Lunch with Mom

December 7, 2011

I love my mother dearly, I truly do, but sometimes the woman drives me batty. And makes me worry that one day that will be me, telling the waiter at Denny’s exactly how to prepare a BLT (“Very lightly toasted, bacon very, very crisp, and none of that wilted lettuce, young man.”) “Mom,” I wanted to say, this is Denny’s.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We weren’t even supposed to be at Denny’s. Actually, it started even before my Mom and Dad pulled up at my workplace and called to let me know they’d arrived. “Great, come on in,” I’d said. “I’m just wrapping up a conference call.”

They couldn’t do that. Apparently Mom’s latest “thing” is that she “is terrified” to go into anyplace where there are strangers. I guess not being able to drive at night, if it’s raining, if it might snow and on the highways, being afraid of heights and closed spaces and crowds, being too “clumsy” to step off a curb, being unable to use anything of higher technology than a dial phone and being sure that she has every bizarre illness known to man is not enough oddness.  Now she has decided to make herself agoraphobic.

Sigh.  She’s 74. I guess if she wants to be the crazy old lady, she can do so.

At Thanksgiving we talked about the baby items we are making for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter. She had decided to make a quilt, I crocheted a baby bag and a couple little hats for her. “I need to mail them by the 1st, ” I said, since the baby is due the 15th. I told them I would call them to arrange for me to come out and pick up the quilt so I could mail them all together.  As time went on we realized we weren’t going to make the deadline, so I told her that was fine, if I got them out by this week we’d be okay, and I would call her when I could make it out.

Friday she called. “So what time will you be out tomorrow?”

I hadn’t made plans to go out there (and hour drive) Saturday. I had made other plans for Saturday (which involved having lots of sex with Ad and then going to a play party that night.)

“Huh?” I said.

“We made plans,” she insisted.

I “rescheduled” for Sunday. Now, given that she insisted that we had had plans for Saturday, and that those plans included me picking up the quilt, I assumed it would be done when I got there Sunday.

Assume and you make an ass–

Yeah, whatever.

So we had to schedule lunch for today so they could bring the finished quilt to be mailed. They agreed to come to my work and we would go from there to a nice little restaurant close by. Nothing fancy, but I knew it would be decorated for the holidays, it has a beautiful fireplace, and is right on a lake. Today was so beautiful and clear it would have been perfect.

Mom: “Can’t we go to Denny’s?”

Me: “Seriously? Denny’s?

Mom: “Yes, they have such a nice lunch there. Don’t they have a good lunch there, dear?” (to my dad.) “Our Denny’s is so nice, they have a sunken garden!”

So we went to Denny’s. Where she proceeded to return the utensils (sticky), instruct the waiter on her BLT and then drop her utensils on the floor, and even though she wouldn’t need her knife or spoon for a sandwich and fries, and I offered her mine if she did, she requested yet another set.

I asked her about meeting up with the local quilting group in her area that we had found online for her.  She has always had difficulty making friends, and when my father retired, was very jealous of any time that he spent with his friends, his family, or doing hobbies that didn’t include her–which is just about everything, because she can barely move, due to various mysterious ailments that the doctor (a “quack”) can never diagnose. “You need to make your own friends, Ma,” I said. “You have hobbies you enjoy. Then you won’t feel bad when dad goes bowling or hangs out with his brothers.”

“Oh no,” she said, about the quilting group. Then she divulged her fear of “walking into rooms with strangers.”

I had also advised that they find things to do together. My dad was a workaholic, and now…they needed to find something they could share as well as things that mom could do on her own.  She said she would like to get some exercise, and dad always liked to run and walk, so I suggested the Silver Sneakers program that a local hospital offers.  Her doctor agreed that it would be great for her.  That’s when she started having a “balance” issue. Suddenly she can’t maintain her balance and walks into walls and doorjambs.

“Did you look into the Silver Sneakers program for her, Dad?” I asked when she went to the restroom. “The doctor said so many of her physical issues could be alleviated if she got a little bit of exercise. Every little bit helps. Also, she will get to make friends and get to know some people her own age, see that she’s not alone in dealing with some of them.”

“You’re mom will never do it,” he said dismissively. “I had a gym membership for two years and she never went.”

“Oh really?” I’d never heard about that. “Where at?”

“Gold’s Gym,” he said.

GOLD’S GYM. For my then-72-year old mother. GOLD’S GYM. Christ. I’d be intimidated to go in there.

So. Other than that, and Mom being very awestruck at our “fancy Target,” here in the city, with its new-fangled parking garage, and staring at the houses as we drove by as if she’s never seen houses in a city before (“Look at what little yards they have! And how close together they are!”) lunch went well. Mom is sweet, and has a loving, generous heart. The quilt she made the baby is darling, and it was touching how proud she is of it.

I just have to never let them come to “the city” again.

Michigan – Endings and Beginnings

December 2, 2011

So here they are, the last of the snaps I took while we were on our mother/daughter retreat.

A bit about that, first. Ever since my Ex and I split, my daughter, who I refer to interchangeably as The Missy and The Girl,  and I have taken a yearly vacation together, just she and I. Usually it’s sometime in the summer, but this year it ended up being over Thanksgiving, which is perhaps apropos, since I am profoundly grateful to have had these times with her and to have been able to have this relationship with her. Not all mothers have such a close relationship with their teen-to-adult daughters.  Although my relationship with my own mother is wonderful now, close and loving, we had our struggles when I was growing up. So I know firsthand how unusual, and precious, my relationship is with her.

This time with my daughter was especially poignant, in that as she moves into true independence and adulthood, I can see that our yearly trips together may now become her yearly trips with girlfriends of hers (she is already planning her first girlfriend-vacation for next year.) I’m a little sad (and still hopeful that she and I can continue to do this, too) but also…it feels right for her to be making these plans without me.  Making her own plans, for her own life. I’m proud of her, excited for her, and proud of myself, too, in a small way, for having raised a girl that is as fearless, open and loving as she is.

We spent a lot of time talking this time around. In the past we have had a lot more pool/beach/hiking/activity time, but the beach was cold (as you’ll see) and mostly we just holed up, relaxing, writing and talking. It was more enforced relaxation than I’ve had in a long time, but it was really, really good.  For us both.

And the topics we covered…whew!…that’s a post all in and of itself. And of course (as mentioned in PoJ) there was her discovery of this blog…

But that’s another post.  Here, for now, are the last of the pictures.

The last two days were cold and blustery.

I have no idea what I was doing here.

But I know it was damn cold here.

And windy.

I love how the dunes take back the beaches when the summer folk go home.

And I loved the crash of the waves.

Monday it was clear again. Cold and windy, but sunny.

I was so glad to get my shot of the canoes on the beach.

And Tuesday, we were on the road again, headed back home.

All in all, a successful trip. “One of the best mother-and-daughter trips we have ever had,” the Missy wrote in the guest book at our place. And I have to agree. I hope that there will be many more to come.

e[lust] #29 (Oops)

September 28, 2011

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #30? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Evidence To The ContraryIf anyone out there ever tries to tell you that internet relationships and friendships are not real, point them in my direction and I will happily set them straight on the matter because I have proof, in fact I am proof, that they know not what they speak of.

Open Marriages Don’t Work….The only way I would agree with that statement is if you add: …..if you’re marriage already has problems. But even that part is not universally true.

Love in the Age of Broadband What happened to our ability to keep it casual? Why would we attach ourselves to someone who is (often) hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away? And, more to the point, why would we attach ourselves to someone we have never met?

~ e[lust] Editress ~

Ask Lilly – Open and Polyamorous: Why be married at all?

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

My apologies, everyone, since submissions closed I’ve been 100% consumed with personal family tragedy (the flooding in Central PA) so I didn’t have time to read most of the entries this time or find a photo. The html code might contain a lot of blank lines for some of you, I didn’t have time to “clean” it up, either, just throw up what I have.

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Ask Aunty Dee: Dental Dams
born this way…
Clit Truth
Condoms and Size
Lies & Infidelities
Misguided Dominance
Poly Language
Return to Decadence
Step Inside My Head
Who was the first person you told..
When Bad Things Happen To Good People – Warning Bells

Sex News, Interviews, Politics & Humor

To Be Out Or Not To Be Out
Want Sado-Erotic Horror Movies? Yes please! Films by Matthew Saliba
What I’ve Learned From E[Lust]

Kink & Fetish

A Much Needed Distraction
Another drink?
Facing Fear
Negotiation Win

Erotic Writing

As Long As It Lasts
Asking For It
Blow Job
Debra’s Gift
June’s Caning
Please, Please, Please, Sir
Showers and Strawberries
The Visitor
The Play Fight

A Walk Down Memory Lane

September 2, 2011

I’ve mentioned how much I am enjoying spending time with my son since he moved home with me full-time. It’s a joy getting to know him as a young man, a joy that I never expected. Sixteen-year-old boys don’t “share” a lot with their moms, and he probably wouldn’t either, except that we are thrown together (with no escape from each other) by the fact that I have to drive him to and from school daily, a forty-five minute jaunt each way. A lot of times I listen to an audiobook, and especially in the AM he will snooze on the drive, but occasionally even in the mornings we will have good talks.

In the afternoons though is when we really get a chance to talk–and he seems delighted to do so.  Our conversations are wide-ranging and his opinions about things are interesting to me. He’s much more gregarious than I ever knew, and, in some ways, much more a “typical” teen: moody at times, opinionated, very sure of his own rightness and immortality, snarky and sarcastic at times, very dramatic at others. It’s odd, since neither the Eldest or Missy were what I’d call typical in that regard, and I really hadn’t spent enough one-on-one time before now with The Boychild to realize all this about him. It’s like I am getting acquainted with my own son–and in the process, also learning to mother him in a way that is healthy, effective, and good for us both.

One of my favorite things that he does spontaneously is to introduce me to music he enjoys. Oftentimes when I am listening to an audiobook, he will tap me on the shoulder if music comes on that he knows I like, or that he thinks I might like.  And then, if it is a song we both know, oftentimes we will sing along to it together. Yesterday he tapped me when a song that he really likes came on:

“Oh my god,” I said, “you like this?”

Yeah, he said, and started to tell me all about what he likes about it.

I just grinned and grinned, and when he was done, I said, “Do you want to know how old that song is?”

And then I proceeded to tell him how that was the first song my first husband, his older brother’s father, and I had listened to together. I’d met him in an 18-plus dance club (he was only 17 at the time but got in anyway because he looked like he was 24–and lied to me too about his age as well, btw) and offered to drive me home. Of course I couldn’t know it at the time, but it wasn’t his car he was driving, and he didn’t actually even have a driver’s license. (More bits-o-history: the car was an El Camino, the same kind of car that is parked in the condo complex with a For Sale sign on it. When The Boychild started oohing and ahhing over it recently, I told him about how my first Ex’s best friend had driven one, and how he had been the sweetest boy, and had had a crush on me, but that I’d gone for his “bad boy” best friend. And what a mistake (except for getting my eldest son out of the deal) that had been.)  Anyway, “Jump” by Van Halen had been on the radio when I’d hopped into the car to get a ride home from the dance club.

And the very next song that came on was:

I could not believe it. That song was the one that was playing the first time my very first boyfriend ever kissed me. I had to tell him that story too, and in telling confessed to having first gotten into D & D with that boyfriend and his group of nerdy friends–the game that he is now heavily involved in with his “Nerd Club” after school club. He was amazed that I had played D & D, and laughed his ass off when I told him that of course those stupid boys had had a lot more fun abusing my half-elf/half-human character Chya than actually fighting the monsters–that was until I clawed my way up to a high enough level that I could kick their asses back (and I did!)

After he caught his breath he looked over at me. “That’s my Mom,” he said.

Thinking about all that I’ve learned about him recently, looking at his mohawk (now blue) and listening to his sometimes-cocky, sometimes-still-heartbreakingly-innocent monologues on life and music and love and sex and growing up and his father and friends and school and what he wants to be, I just have to nod.  That’s my boy.

Life just gets better and better.



Random Bits of Happiness and Pleasure

August 23, 2011

So, after my mini-meltdown last week, and my subsequent “Hold it together girl,” chat with myself, it turned out that my fears were all out of whack with reality.

No, really.  I know that surprises you. (Can anyone say “hamster-head?”)

Anyway.  I have had a completely delightful two weeks since this new schedule has happened. Surprisingly, utterly, delightful.

First was the unexpected pleasure of a night with the Boychild, completely on our own.  Ad got called away to KC for the night, and whereas in the past I would have taken my happy butt over to W’s (and enjoyed myself) of course I can’t do that now.

I’m a parent. I have responsibilities.

So instead I took the Boychild out for dinner at the City Diner and then to the ice cream shop and we meandered down Kingshighway, looking in storefronts, eating ice cream cones, and talking about school, and life, and how he wants a job and–oh yeah–how he has a new girlfriend. A 19-year-old girlfriend.  I’m not actually too distressed about this (yet.) She doesn’t have a car, he doesn’t have a driver’s license, they met at Shakespeare Camp and haven’t seen each other since then, only communicating via text, Facebook, email and phone.  But now I know why he’s so hot to get a job.

“I need money to take her out on a date, Mom.”

“Oh? And am I going to pick her up and drive you both to the theater, like I did when you and your last girlfriend were fifteen?”

I predict this lasting about until she starts college this semester.  Which, oh, is this week.  We’ll see.

On the other hand, the Missy is quite in her stride with her guy-she-likes-to-hang-with-who-isn’t-a-boyfriend. As I was getting ready for bed she was getting ready to go out.

“Where you going?” I asked.

“Over to H’s,” she says.

“Isn’t it kind of late?”

“He just got off work.”  When I raise my eyebrows she continues. “Don’t worry, I asked him if he’s too tired.”

Eyebrows raise higher. “Too tired?”

She gives me a cheeky grin. “Gotta get me some, Momma!”

I shake my head.  Gotta love that girl. “Be careful,” I say, because what else can I say?

“I always am.” She kisses me on the top of my head (cheeky-ass girl.) “You raised me right.”

And I think I did, and am. I’m not making a hash of this motherhood thing. At least not yet.

Oh, and PS? The Girl started her own blog.  And sent me the link, because she wanted me to read it.  She wants me to read her blog. “Only if you promise not to censor yourself,” I told her.  And then said that I’d only peak in once in awhile.  Which is all I’ve done. But seriously–she’s freakin’ hilarious! The girl can write, and she has her timing down in telling a story. I am bowled over, awed, and just so proud to be her mom.  But the eggs? I swear they didn’t expire back in May.  She’s making that part UP.

I’m quite enjoying spending time with the kids, being home, cooking dinners. I adore those two knuckleheads, and they seem pretty fond of me back. The Boychild still hasn’t reconciled with his father, but I can’t do any more than I have done already. It’s up to him (the Ex) to be the adult and make it right with his son. I make sure to insert my opinion (that they do need to reconcile) into my conversations with the Boychild, but I can’t really do more than that.

This being home stuff is good for Ad, too. He loves having me here every night, and it seems to be helping his mood quite a bit.  Maybe it will be good for both of us, too, if I can get him out of his funk. Me being here seems to help with that, although I warned him that sitting around every night is not going to cut it for me. So we’ll see if he can motivate himself off the couch.  Meanwhile, I have my weekends with W (which I talk more about on PoJ.)  And much upcoming travel! I go to Las Vegas in early September, Twisted Tryst in WI (and meeting W’s mom and brother!) over my bday weekend, then Baltimore for a work thing at the end of the month. Later in October, if all goes well, I will be hitting Chicago for Kinky Kollege, and somewhere in there I need to schedule a trip to visit some new kinky friends in Des Moines.  And then, it’s Puerto Vallarta in November with the Missy and possibly Spokane to visit my son, daughter-in-law and new grandbaby over Christmas.

Thank god I got a raise, huh?

So yeah.  Things are good.  And yeah–I love my new schedule.

So far.

Playing Martha Stewart

August 16, 2011

I can do this.

After my morning temper tantrum, and a somewhat drama-laden email to W in which I decided I wanted to quit everything, my hormones settled down to a dull roar and I was able to see things a bit clearer.  You know, able to see that though my wings have been clipped a bit, tho I don’t have the freedom to do what I want, when I want and how I want, it’s not the end of the world.

And benefits like I described in my previous post might even make up for it.

Maybe it was reading W’s emails throughout the day as he described the process of replacing his hundred-year-old bathroom sink that made me stop and remember to take pleasure in the satisfaction of doing my work well; maybe it was Carrie’s post over on A View from the Floor that reminded me to be grateful for small things; maybe it was my dear friend Julian Arancia‘s comment on my post on PoJ that reminded me that in the grand scheme of things, this is only a minor bump.

I actually enjoyed being a little domestic tonight. The Boychild and I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and shopped for dinner groceries, something I don’t think he and I have done but maybe a handful of times in the past.  On the way home from there, he and I went over his list of vocabulary words, testing me to see how many of the 50 I knew (all but 3) and competing to see who could make up the best sentence for each.  A voracious reader, he has developed a vocabulary almost as good as mine, and just as large a love for words, something I would didn’t realize.  For supper, I baked potatoes, made a green salad with candied pecans, dried cranberries, diced apples and croutons, and set out crumbly Stilton cheese with crackers–all while still wearing my heels. There was no one to see, no one to care, except me.  I thought about cooking for W in heels and chains, and smiled a bit.

I’ll see W on Thursday, when I work from his house, and hopefully stay over Friday and Saturday with him.  The Friday-to-Saturday morning thing will be different.  We’ve done it a couple times, but far more often I am either home Friday nights or he stays here occasionally. In all my pissing and moaning I sort of forgot that this change means getting to spend the whole weekend with him.  And next week I start classes again.  Just a Tues/Thurs gym class, but that will be good for me, and I won’t feel like I’m vegging out every night on the couch.  I plan to add an additional workout class on my own at my gym as well, or perhaps a walk or hike during the week. Maybe I can get the boys to accompany me, who knows.  I’ll get back into a schedule.  It won’t be the same schedule, but I’ll make it work.

So, looks like things will be okay. Hormonal fluctuations aside.

Insomnia, Schedules, Motherhood & Mohawks

August 15, 2011

Insomnia sucks ASS. I may have mentioned this before.

It’s 5am, and I have to be up in 45 minutes, but I’ve been awake since 3am. No reason that I can think of, except that, you know, once I woke up my brain wouldn’t shut off. Blueberry flavored bite size Shredded Wheat almost makes up for it though.


I have a first date tonight. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it over on PoJ, but I’m back on OkCupid. Revamped my profile a bit to reflect my situation and what I am looking for a little more accurately: ie, not a “relationship.” What I’m seeking now–there or anywhere–is not another full-on poly relationship, or even “dating,” if I’m being perfectly honest. “Casual encounters” of the type that W and I prefer are what I’m after, and maybe someone to flirt with & go out with one in awhile.  I do love the flirtation, the anticipation, the getting-to-know someone phase. But I just don’t have the time, energy or desire to pursue anything more than very, very sporadically.

And no vanilla sex, although, by placing W’s special twist on things, the vanilla could become definitely twisted, and in that case, would be acceptable.

So, I’ve made that pretty clear on my profile, and…it’s been pretty well-received. I have had several interesting inquiries into what exactly “W-type” encounters are, forwarded a couple of them on to W after some back and forth clarifying the concept, and had a couple more emails from guys that I actually might be interested in for the “flirting/occasional date” category. In fact that is what my date is tonight.

So, of course, I’ll be running on short sleep.

The Boychild goes back to school this week.  And, since he’s moved in with me full-time, that means that I’ll be driving him back and forth to school daily. UGH. It really fouls up my routine. Not to mention when I start back to school–I am not even sure how that’s going to work!  For instance. Not remembering that he starts school today (yeah I SUCK as a mom) I made my date for 5:30 tonight.  Ummm…I get off at 4:30 and have to pick up the Boychild from school and drive him all the way home to South County before coming back to meet the New Guy back here in the city. There’s no way I could make a 5:30 date. So (for the second time) I had to beg his patience and ask him to reschedule–at least this time it was just for a later time.  But still. This whole being a full-time mom stuff is HARD.

Okay, I’m being a little facetious. A little.

It is a rude fucking awakening though, having to be responsible for and thinking about someone else’s schedule all the time.  At least when he was at his dad’s he was able to get back and forth to school without interfering in his dad’s work schedule. So it’s a lot more cumbersome for me than it was for his dad (and thus why he was at his dad’s during the school week in the first place.)  And also? I think it is one reason his dad was so “accommodating” when the big split happened two weeks ago and the Boychild decided to move in with me.  I suspect a smirk behind his gracious attitude (“Just see what it’s like, you’ll send him packing within a month!”)  And who knows, maybe it will be a failed experiment, this full-time motherhood thing. I’ve always been upfront about the  fact that I am great part-time parent.  But full-time? I dunno…

Except that…I am loving having him around. Oh, we don’t hang out and yak like The Missy and I do.  He’s much more social than she is, has a wide circle of friends that he keeps track of online, and is a gamer as well, but…I get little snippets of him that I didn’t have before. Like when he wanted his hair dyed pink (after he’d got the mohawk) and I did it for him.

Is it freakin' awesome, or what?

And this morning when I helped him spike it up for his first day back at school.  He and I in the bathroom at 6AM giggling about his hair and what his schoolmates are going to think.  And then on the ride in, when I asked him if he wanted to listen to the radio (enabling me to do my usual, listen to a book-on-tape on the drive in) he said no, he’d rather talk. And then he did!  Talked and talked and talked about school and acting and the tattoos he wants to get when he decides on his career (after he turns 18.) And the symbolism of each. And on and on about everything under the sun…

So. There’s a good side to this motherhood thing too. I could almost get to like it…

If it didn’t mess up my schedule so much. ;-)

Lies & Infidelities

August 14, 2011

I just got back from staying over at my mom’s house.  I love hanging with my mom. She’s getting more and more…addled…finally, at 75, beginning to show her age, but she is sweet, and kind, and loving, and every time I am there I wish she lived right here in our condo complex so I could see her more often.

Instead, she lives in the subdivision where my sister, T, lives, one block away from her, her husband and their little boy. My mom is lucky if she sees T once a month, and usually it is only an obviously obligatory visit.

My sister is not kind, or sweet, or loving.

Lately when I talk to my parents, I have been deliberate in bringing up W in the conversation. Not in an “in your face” way, but just as I do in every day conversation with anyone else. I don’t insert him into the conversation, but if it is natural to mention him or something he and I have done, I don’t circle around it, I don’t equivocate.  I say his name, I mention whatever-it-is and I move on. I want them to get used to hearing about him, and to begin seeing him as a part of my life.

This weekend, while out with my mom, I finally came clean on who this “W” fella really is to me.

My mom knows I am poly, and has known since I told her during my split with my Ex.  I knew that she had a lot of admiration for the Ex and liked him a lot, and I didn’t want our breaking up to destroy that. It’s too easy to want to attach all blame for a break-up on the partner that isn’t your family, and, especially as it was me that precipitated the split, I didn’t want my mom to think badly of him. So she knew that Ad and I have an open relationship, but she never met any of my other partners, or even heard about them. Why should she? I didn’t have any committed partners before W.

But it’s been three years now with W, and, frankly, I just wanted to not to have to mince around who exactly this “W” person is in my life. I wasn’t committed to telling her this weekend, I didn’t head out to visit her intending to come clean, but, when the opportunity accidentally presented itself, I took it.

Here’s the deal. My sister’s marriage is falling apart. Or has already, and the only reason they stay together is because they “can’t afford” to split up. Meanwhile, they buy cars, go on separate vacations, presumably drive up their credit card debt–and live in a  state of barely-concealed warfare, sniping and biting at each other, visiting petty cruelties upon the other and crowing about it behind each other’s backs, all the while acting like they are being “civilized” and doing it all “for their son’s sake.”  It’s enough to make me sick. It makes me so sad to see my sister so bitter and unhappy and to see that same resignation and joylessness reflected on her husband’s face.

And yet.

This is the sister that, when my marriage was ending and I told her about me being poly said to me, “Why do you always have to do things your way, Jade? Can’t you just be like normal people? Can’t you just have an affair??”

She truly thought that having an affair was morally superior to being in an open marriage or relationship. She also thought it was a lot smarter, since everyone knows an open relationship can’t work–and wasn’t I proof, as my marriage was a failure because of it?  (I could never convince her of the wrongness of that statement: I never considered my marriage a failure.  But that is perhaps for a different post.) Stay married and have an affair, and you don’t have to give up your big house, your fancy cars, your credit cards–your things.  But what about your soul? What about love and joy and morality and ethics and your sense of decency?

Uh-huh.  I see how well that worked for her.  Because that is why she and her husband are in the place they are.  She had affairs, he found out. She went to “counseling,” confessed her sins, swore never to do it again…and smirked about pulling the wool over his eyes as she headed out to another of her trysts. Well, it didn’t stay pulled, and now they are in the situation they are in.

What a sad, ugly life.

But what really bothered me was my mother going on and on about what a bastard my sister’s husband is for “throwing her out of the bedroom,” for “cutting her off” financially (he split the bills and she has to pay her own bills and he his) and for treating her “unkindly.”

Look, the guy is no peach. I couldn’t live with him. But I didn’t choose him. He never lied to her or cheated on her.  He may be as slow and dumb as a box of rocks, but he took care of her, he bought her ever-increasingly larger houses and nicer cars, he moved clear across the country, away from a hometown he had loved and never wanted to leave to be with her.  He gave what he had to give.  And she chose to lie and cheat and laugh at him behind his back when he didn’t see it.  And when he did see it, and he still wanted to be with her, to work it out, instead of either a) owning up and changing her behavior, or b) letting him go so that maybe he could find happiness with someone else that could be happy with him, she lied again and started it all over. Only this time she despises him for taking her back, as well; for allowing himself to be used.

She deserves every bit of contempt he levels at her.  And he doesn’t deserve my parent’s contempt.

But they only see what my sister has shown them; they can only believe the sob story my sister tells them. It’s repugnant, and…I finally got fed up with it.  I did something I am sure I will regret: I told my mother the real reason their marriage is on the rocks. Oh, not the fullness of my sister’s lies and infidelities. In fact I made no mention of her continued affairs. I only said that perhaps B had a reason to be “unkind.”  That she had had an affair (“an” affair? try dozens) and he had found out. That maybe my sister was skewing the story a bit.

I’m not sure how the conversation went from my sister’s infidelities to W, but it did. Maybe I was trying to juxtapose what a farce her “arrangement” was with something healthy, and vital, and good. Whatever my original motivation was (okay yeah, my motives may not have been pure, maybe I did want to show her up a little) by spotlighting a lifestyle that, for a 75 yr old woman, would have to seem untenable at best, immoral at worst. But she took it all in stride (she’s something else, my mama.) I guess having softened her up 5 years or so ago with the confession of being in an open relationship in the first place made it not such a shock to her. The fact that it has lasted 3 years was a bit of a shock: “You’ve been with someone for three years and never told me, never introduced me?!?” So I had to take my lumps for that.  But for the most part, since I’m happy, Ad’s happy, my kids are happy and she assumes W is happy–it’s all good.

Oh, except for one more thing. When I told her W’s name, she said, “This is a man?”

I’d forgotten I had also confessed to being bisexual at some point a couple years ago.  Oops.

Cruise Wrap-Up, Days 4-5

August 6, 2011

So where did I leave off, all those days ago? (I can’t believe the last time I posted here was, sheesh, June?  Seriously??  I’d apologize for being so lame, but, hell, that’s my life. Sometimes I am living too much to write about it.)

Anyhoo…there we were at Lamanai. (In case you forgot.)  And then…we were back on the ship.

And…hell, lots of things happened. But I can’t remember all of them now, because I was a bad blogger and I didn’t take notes.  (Sigh.)  I’d like to say I’ll do better, but honestly, I don’t know if I will. So I can’t promise. Instead I’ll just post some pics from the trip, with a few notes here and there, and we’ll call it a day.

Cruise Day 4

That night was the only night we ended up on deck, oddly enough. It's windy out there, tho, so maybe that makes sense.

Ad and I on the cruise

We played like a regular couple...

Bite on the cruise

Except I was a couple with two men. :-)

Tying on the cruise

Of course we had to play a *little*...

And maybe just a tiny bit more.

There were other ways to play, too. They wouldn't let me go up naked though.

The next day was a day at sea, and we hung out on the pool deck, naked, for most of the day. Not a bad way to spend a day. But I had to put clothes back on to climb the rock wall.

So did Ad.

Ad at the top.

Me ringing the bell.

Woot!  I'm so freakin awesome!

Woot! I'm so freakin awesome!

I was pretty happy.

But now, seriously? Let me outta these clothes!

We also played other ways.

And played like pirates on Pirate Night.

The last night was Blue Night. The red dress was Ad's present to me at Christmas just for this cruise. And oh, yeah, the decor very much reflected the whole atmosphere of the cruise!

One last time to be "dancing girl" before we returned to "real life."

And finally--on the way home. We were sad, but we'd had a marvelous time!


June 15, 2011

Sometimes I still feel like the outsider on the sidelines, always looking in, never one of the “in” crowd, never invited to “play in any reindeer games.” I watch as people interact around me, form their groups, their cliques, their friendships, at times tentatively, hesitantly, reaching out, only to feel rebuffed or ignored once again.  I know this isn’t the case, and I have heard so many times that you just have to be a part and join in, but…these feelings don’t live in the rational part of my brain.  They’re hardcoded in somewhere else, somewhere that my rational thoughts have little access to.

I do keep trying to untangle the coding though.

It’s a leftover from my childhood, I’m sure, from having been one of those kids that never quite fit in and was too shy to try-and so afraid of rejection if she did that it was just better not to, to claim that she didn’t want to be invited, didn’t want to be a part, was fine on her own.

I have read that this is a common reaction/trait of people that move around a lot as children. Being the child of a railroad worker, we moved every year or so, and although I have lived in St. Louis for more than 20 years now, I still feel unrooted.  When people talk about having a “hometown,” or “going home,” I can’t relate. The last home I lived in with my parents they’ve long since moved out of, and I was only there for three years of my life anyway. What kind of roots can grow in that amount of time?  Still, when I watched a video recently of a locomotive taking the tracks near where I spent those years, I did feel a sense of…something. Homesickness?  Loss? Nostalgia, maybe.  It was hard to define.  But even as I felt it I wondered if they were manufactured feelings.  I’d never felt I was leaving my home when I left, never felt a part of that small, tight-knit mountain community when I was there, and didn’t miss it in the years since.  As with many small towns, I could have lived there for twenty years and still been considered the “outsider,” and was never fully embraced or taken in by the locals.  Perhaps that sharp bite of longing I’d felt as I watched the video, as I walked around the railyard where W and I looked at the steam locomotive, was merely wishful longing on my part–a wish that I did feel homesickness. That I had a place that I could be homesick for.

I married a man for his roots, thinking they’d reach out and entangle me–and that I’d be happy that way: rooted down, captured.  I wasn’t, though perhaps if his family had treated me as more than an outsider, if they had welcomed me, I might have been.  It’s hard to say, now, although knowing myself as well as I do, and if I am looking back with honesty and not with wishful “might-have-beens,” I know that I would not have been happy no matter how they treated me. Wanderlust and rootlessness, that restless gene, is too deeply seated in me, too much a part of my psyche, as is my fear of rejection.

And perhaps, because of that, I caused my own ostracization. Perhaps I held myself aloof, just as I did as a child, withdrawing rather than risking rejection.

Perhaps I do so even now.

All these petty fears and insecurities.  How to shed them, how to throw off the shackles that they bind me with?  I admit it, I am not “fine on my own.”  I don’t want to spend my life feeling like an outsider.  I want to be accepted and loved and welcomed, I want to be a part of something greater than myself–I want to fit in.

Pitiful, ain’t it?