I did, I really did and I also thought that I would do it much more gracefully than I have been so far. Oh magnanimous me. I was not going to be one of those people who go out to dinner and spend the entire evening talking about aches, pains, surgeries and medications. Well Ha! Don’t I just catch myself doing that all the time? Lately I’ve taken to doing the Mona Lisa smile routine. I am not going to monopolize an evening cataloguing my aches and pains. Unfortunately sometimes there is nothing else going on in my brain. I can’t think of anything else to say. So I say nothing.
I do love to babble on about painting. But, it hasn’t taken long to learn just enough technique and theory to where the eyes of the casual observer starts to glaze over and I know I’ve talked myself off into the weeds. So I yank myself back to earth and ask them about their day.
Recently, I’ve taken to asking people about their day and actually paid attention to their answer. Most talk about work which takes up the majority of a working person’s time, of course. Then they switch to some generic topic like the news, or what’s on prime time TV. Maybe I need to rephrase the question and ask “what went on in your head today?”
The painting class I’m taking is helping put this aging thing into perspective for me. I’m one of the babies in my class. It’s been great and encouraging to see these women in their 60s and 70s just rocking on having a great life. There is hope for me yet.
When you get diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, they should hand out a list of bizarre moods that might overcome you and also clue you in that it will be excruciatingly obvious to everyone EXCEPT YOU. What will be going in your head “what the hell is wrong with all you ass hats, would you get with the program here, and make it snappy!” Lately I’ve been in the taking 200 milligrams of I don’t give a shit about anything zone, also known as Seroquel. A right amount can be a good thing, slip over the border into too much and you have a chemical lobotomy. I stopped painting, writing, brushing my hair, even getting out of bed seemed to be a task that just really wasn’t worth the effort. And at the time it all seemed so logical, so right on the spot. I wasn’t really worried about it either other than a vague feeling of life shouldn’t be like this. I used to look forward to speaking my mind, slinging paint around the room, saying things that pissed some people off, etc.
Finally I got all scientific on the problem. I’m good at that kind of stuff. My major in college was Accounting until I realized that it meant that I would have to spend the rest of my life massaging numbers. That major came to a screeching halt after I realized that I had a better grasp on the subject than the teacher did, leaving me with no one to go to when I had questions. I’d rather massage people anyway. People I know of course. I’m not talking about massaging random strangers I encounter in the shopping mall.
So I started tracking my moods and the amount and type of meds I was taking on a spreadsheet and on the calendar. Sounds a bit complicated but it’s been worth the effort. On the calendar I just use little emoticons so no one would know what it was about if the glanced at our day timer that lies on the kitchen counter. I use a smiley face for really good days, a frowney face for bad days, and a confused face for those days when I’m in a “what the f@ck is wrong with me, and everybody else?” type of mood.
After this semi-scientific method of evaluating my sanity, I realized that I had exceeded the limits of my meds and that it was time to cut back a bit and see if my brain would do a kick start. I think it did help. Proof in point is that I’m actually writing a post. Yippee!
So we survived Halloween by keeping the shutters closed and the porch light off. Oh what a party pooper you may say, but hear me out. Mr. Husband and I are the babies in our neighborhood. The majority of our neighbors are elderly and the only time a house goes up for sale around here is when someone died. There are no houses with children near us.
Any kids that show up here are bused in from who knows where and swarm all over the block scaring us half to death when they dart out into the street from between parked cars. I don’t like it. When I’m in a cynical mood I wonder if the parents are hoping for the opportunity for a juicy lawsuit. I prefer children that I at least know in passing, as in I trip over their tricycle when walking my dog, they throw a Tonka truck at my head, etc.
The holidays are always a weird time for me. It is particularly stressful for me because I have in-laws who have entirely different expectations of when and how to celebrate holidays. After going through this for years I have developed a deep-seated resentment because my in-laws tend to ignore the fact that I have my own family with their own expectations and ways of doing things. This is mostly my fault because I haven’t put my foot down and explained that I have a right to celebrate my way occasionally. Instead I’ve piled up a humongous debris tower of resentment.
I have bowed out a few times over the years and gone to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I always have a lot of fun even though my family gatherings can get a bit wild and crazy. So… what to do…what to do?
I’m going try to plan a bit this year and decide what I am willing and capable of doing. I’m going to send out Christmas cards this year. I haven’t for a few years, partly because I received a snippy reply from one of the card recipient’s informing me that I was wasting the earth’s precious resources and killing trees by sending out Christmas cards. Well, how rude! I removed them from my list and in an attempt to take the high ground I refrained from calling them and sharing my opinion that they should take up residence next door to the Grinch who stole Christmas.
So here I am facing the holidays again. It occurred to me while ruminating about this subject for the last few days is that Mr. Husband our past 10 years together has not joined me with my family for a holiday even once. It’s been his way or the highway, year after year. I’m not quite sure why I put up with this, but it’s starting to piss me off. Why do I do this to myself? I’ll just grin and bear something for years or even decades and then suddenly it’s a Mt. Vesuvius eruption of anger and resentment. Then I decide that I’m not going take it anymore and Yee Haaa, here we go.
So it’s not too early to plan for the holidays. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to do the Christmas card thing. But, for Thanksgiving I’m going to visit my family in New Orleans. What the heck, maybe I’ll just stay there for Christmas. I haven’t been with my family for Christmas in maybe 20 years. It’s high time to do something about that.
If you are a fan of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory” you will know what I I’m referring to in this post. If you haven’t seen the show, the “roommate agreement” is an 80ish page document frequently wielded by the head geek of the show when having disagreements with his roommate about specific protocols going on in the apartment. It is hilariously comprehensive and covers everything from what time each one occupies the bathroom in the morning or the default thermostat setting in the apartment, to what to do during an alien invasion or the duties of a sidekick if one of them suddenly develops super powers.
The agreement stipulates that the other roommate receive a 48 hour warning if the one of them has an overnight guest. They have frequent arguments about this because the more sexually active of the geeks occasionally gets lucky with an impromptu “hook up” and violates the 48 hour advance warning clause.
Technically I call this a marriage adventure blog so I feel a certain obligation to discuss marriage issues even if only occasionally. Where I’m going with this is a conundrum that far too many spouses find themselves in. I know this because I’ve read approximately a bazillion blogs posts and books about this topic. It seems to be the elephant in the room that people are afraid to talk about, The problem being that one partner thought they were signing up for a marriage agreement but somehow a bait and switch happened and instead they got the roommate agreement – minus the overnight guest clause. This recalls the old warning – always, always, always, read the fine print.
The difference is that most people, when entering into a marriage agreement assume that the other partner is able to or at least willing to try to be available to meet the sexual and accompanying emotional needs of the partner. If one of the partners outright refuses, or won’t step up to the plate in a more passive aggressive fashion via poor health habits, unaddressed emotional issues, etc., this creates a huge problem because in the roommate agreement neither partner is expected to participate in gratifying the sexual or physical needs of the other partner whereas the marriage agreement implies that the partners not seek to satisfy basic sexual biological needs outside the marriage agreement, even if these needs are totally unmet within the relationship.
Open marriages aside, going outside the marriage to satisfy unmet sexual needs within the marriage is a huge social taboo. I’m not talking about the need to swing from the ceiling on a mink covered trapeze here either, just plain old garden variety sex. Going outside the marriage never seems to work well and usually damages a shaky relationship severely, if not irrevocably, regardless if it is the husband or wife who strays. Unlike the roommate agreement which does stipulate that the partners may arrange an overnight guest for said needs as long as there is a 48 hour warning. I generally don’t recommend it.
So what happens from here? Good question. The choices seem to be; A) remain in the marriage agreement, never have sex, and grit your teeth because the spouse is “so great” in all other departments (this is the ultimate self-con job by the way), B) Remain in the marriage agreement and meet your needs outside the marriage unit, or C) Take the high road and exit the marriage agreement before arranging to meet ones needs elsewhere.
Ideally the party who is not getting their needs met would prefer another option as in D) the sexually prunified partner lose that nagging little extra 50 pounds, work with a doctor to get off medicines that cause a lack of sexual libido or function, and do whatever it takes to be attractive and healthy enough to rejoin the marriage bedroom tango.
I know there are people who will say “well sex isn’t the only important thing in a marriage.” True BUT, if it’s not happening at all ever, zilch, nada and this is bothering one of the spouses then it is a hugely mission critical problem. In my opinion it is a deal breaker. As in “excuse me Bubba, or Bubbette, I don’t care how much money you have, what a great cook you are, or if you clean the house so thoroughly that I could lick floor, if I’m not getting laid on at least a semi regular basis then all the other stuff means exactly diddly squat! I can hire a maid for that, go find someone else with money, or provide myself with funds.” For a woman with small children in this situation this might be a little tricky to achieve at first, but personally I’d rather be strapped for cash on occasion than watching my soul die slowly in a sexless marriage.
The no sex clause is all well and good and if both parties are aware of this and amenable to that from the beginning. However, it’s not kosher to spring this little surprise on a partner after marriage as in “oh by the way, I don’t intend to have sex with you….like ever.” Whether it is expressed verbally outright or only implied through actions or the lack there of, it’s still dirty pool. The left out partner feels like they got cheated or scammed. And you know what? They did.
Further reading: Take the Red Pill
I don’t know if it’s a seasonal change, phase of the moon or some other ennui I’m going through lately. Or maybe it’s just a normal part of aging. Regardless I’ve been going through an approximately 10 day period of profound testiness, irascibility, glumness, and a generalized all around refusal to put up with anyone’s bull shyte for any reason what so ever, no exceptions.
When I was single and lived alone it was easy enough to just hide and wait it out. Ah, blessed, blessed solitude, a rare commodity more precious than the Hope Diamond. Not so easy when living with a spouse. If said spouse has not mastered the art of leaving well enough alone and not ask pointed and intrusive questions of a lady in obvious private distress, then said spouse places themselves directly in the line of fire. It is a principle that should be taught in the early years of grade school: Rule Number 1 – don’t piss off a crazy person who is figuratively wielding a battle-axe!
The other day a mental image came of my aunt-in-law, (mother-in-law’s twin sister) walking around after dinner at 6:30 in the evening in a muumuu and a hair net, already ready for bed, and so what I say? Unless you have plans for a night at the Opera, what’s wrong with getting in your jammies early? Mr. Husband made some sort of sarcastic comment to her about it. I didn’t say it the time, but thought, “what business is it of yours how a lady dresses in her own home?” Furthermore your pajamas consist of your birthday suit, and by the way I would prefer that you wear a muumuu. I’m too old for all this unbridled nakedness! I prefer some things to be left to the imagination.