All right, now that I have your attention, get your minds out of the gutter. I was talking about W’s new flat screen TV that got delivered a few days ago. And actually, it’s not as large as I thought it was (heh, that’s what she said…ok, ok, enough of that…), although for a non-TV watcher, anything over the 20-something inch screen we have seems gargantuan. Ad and I went over the other night to help him set it up, and afterward they went to Lowe’s to pick up some shelving, while I stayed behind at W’s, cooling my heels.
It’s kind of strange, being in this enforced-vanilla mode with W. Even when I was being naughty, there was the underlying knowledge that we were still, at heart, just being a regular ole couple…err, triple. (Odd that being with both my men has become so commonplace, so “normal” that I don’t even include that in my assessment of whether or not something is “vanilla.”) Anyway…no bondage, no slutwear, no high heels. W and I talk a lot about kink, because, let’s face it, that is a large part of our mutual interest, but not being able to be kinky is…wearing. I miss my Mean Guy.
At the same time, the five or six days we spent together, like, every minute while I was in the initial stage of recuperation, when I couldn’t use the restroom without assistance and was, literally, bedridden, was really, really enjoyable. Even if he wasn’t beating me up. I’m amazed at how compatible we are in a vanilla sense, as well as in kink.
On the other hand, I realized how different his life is from mine in some ways. He really never has to stop living in his kinky world. Semi-retired and comfortable financially, living alone, with his family hundreds of miles away, he really has been able to craft his life exactly as he wants it, and his main interest/focus really is kink, his bondage website, tying me up and abusing me when he can, and creating & selling infernal devices to torture woman. Of course he also works on renovating his house, but even that is done in such a way as to make it exactly the way he wants it so he can use the space and invite others to use it for kink. He doesn’t have to step back and forth between the vanilla world and his world as I do, with my job and family and children and even my relationship with Ad. No wonder he doesn’t understand sometimes my need to be (forcefully if necessary, or by rituals or expressed dominance) reminded of our dynamic.
But sometimes I think he likes being
dragged kicking and screaming invited into my vanilla world too. I think he enjoyed being part of my family, cooking, playing board games, playing caretaker to me (ok maybe that part wasn’t so much fun), hanging out with my daughter and I and watching us interact, watching TV(!) with me on the internet, helping Ad with plans for the walk-in closet, joining in discussions with my kids about college and majors and what they want to do with their lives.
My daughter had told me several days before that she had decided that maybe she would “just get a teaching certificate and teach high school English.” The way she said it I knew it was a statement of…defeat. Or resignation. She has been fairly undecided about what she wants to do, and I have encouraged her to take her time in making a decision, to simply take her undergraduate classes and to give herself time to think about what she wants to major in, etc. She has said, and I have known, all along, that one of her great loves is writing, and I would never discourage her from pursuing that as vocation or avocation, but I have also seen her passion and interest in biology, anatomy and physiology, and so I was surprised at this sudden decision.
“Well, that’s fine,” I said cautiously, “if that’s what you really want to do. But…why? What is it about teaching that attracts you?” I wanted to know what was at the root of her “decision,” because I didn’t feel that it was one she was making out of joy or passion. Instead she seemed dispirited by it.
What followed was a really good discussion by all of us–Ad, me, W, the Missy and even her boyfriend, as we discussed the merits and drawbacks in choosing teaching–and teaching English–as a career, and as we finally got to the root of the matter. “I hate chemistry!” she wailed. “Do you know how many chem classes I have to take to get a degree in biology??”
I let that ride for a couple days while I mulled this over. But then, a few days later, I called her into my bedroom, where I had been doing most of my recuperating. W was there, computer on his lap, and she climbed up onto the bed next to me.
“Missy,” I said, “talk to me about this chemistry stuff.” And we talked about her fear of failing, of her father’s wrath with her if she failed, of not being able to “cut it” in chemistry.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know how hard chemistry is. I have never been able to pass it, and don’t ever care to. But I have also not done so many things in my life out of fear. Fear of failing, fear of rejection, fear of change.
“Look,” I finally said, “if what you really truly want to do, if it is your heart’s desire to teach English, then I want you to do that. I am behind you 100% of the way. But if you are only doing that to avoid trying to pass chemistry, because you are afraid of failing–that I can’t support. Do not live your life refusing to try because you might fail. I’m not saying you won’t fail–but if you do, then we’ll figure out what you need to learn, we’ll get you help, and you’ll try again until you succeed. That’s all there is to it. You are smart enough to learn it. I know that for a fact. And I have seen the way you light up when you talk about science stuff, I have seen the way it moves you. To turn your back on that without even trying would be wrong. If, after you have tried it, you decide it’s not for you, then fine, we’ll look at other options. But don’t give up before you’ve even had a chance to try.”
And then W chimed in about success and failure and college and degrees and life and careers and chemistry and following your passion. And it was just such a perfect poly moment, sitting there with him and her, listening to them, talking with her, discussing the course of her life and all those wonderful, exciting, terrifying decisions that one has to make as a young adult, and sharing all that–all that parenting–with him. I could see that she respected what he had to say, just as she respects what Ad says, and it warmed my heart.
Occasionally I think, “give me back the kink!” especially when I have been so bereft of it as I have been lately. But when I am able to sit back and really appreciate the fullness of what we have now, even if it’s not all-kink, all the time, I do not for one minute wish it back to the beginning, when we both thought he’d just tie me up, beat me and fuck me and push me out the door.
It helps though when, as he did tonight before I left his house to come home, he pushes me to my knees and does nasty things to me, banging my head against the radiator while he tells me more nasty things he’s going to do to me, or make me do. A little reminder of our roots–and that we’ll soon be returning to that side of our life as well, is a good thing. :-)