And here we are again, in yet another segment of "Daffodil, your oversharing light is on". I know people read these entries and think to themselves, "I can't believe she just said that." It's true. I say things sometimes that I should probably keep private. But on the other hand, I truly believe that if we don't talk about the deep dark secrets that no one ever talks about, and acknowledge them as an actual wide-spread concern, then we find ourselves feeling very alone. The small issues become huge, glaring problems, and we have no idea that every other damn person on the block is having the same problem but they are too embarrassed to talk about it. Silliness. So here we go.
Do you remember those halcyon days of young love? Those days where you were having sex not once, but MULTIPLE TIMES a day? In backseats, on sofas, in bathrooms, on the beach, in the shower.......
I don't either. Wait. I *do* remember having sex in the shower. I ended up with a terrible cramp in my neck and in the end we fell over. It is by some small miracle that the shower door didnt break. Obviously they are built with that sort of accident in mind. I wonder if they have a safety check for that in the factory? Anyway, my point is:
How did I ever have the energy for that sort of nonsense?
My god, I consider it a personal accomplishment worth celebrating if I stay awake for Jon Stewart. And here in Hawaii he's on early. Between the time the kids fall asleep and the time that I finally give up trying to write anything interesting for the day, my evenings are very full. And then I lie down in bed and turn on NPR and before you know it I am out cold. If Sam manages to stay awake long enough to see me stop writing, he always looks over hopefully.
Fat chance, buddy.
I have heard the talk, read the magazine articles, checked out the shelves of weird looking lubricants that makes your bits hot or cold or fruit-flavored or tingly. I've even seen friends recoil at the very thought of having sex with their partner. And every time, I thought smugly "I have no idea what you are talking about. If you are not having sex, if you don't even want to have sex, then something is wrong with your relationship. I LOVE sex!"
And I do. I love it. When I have it. Which is not very often at all these days. You too, huh? Yeah. I guess that is just how things go - even the very hottest of fires tend to burn out eventually. It's all about keeping the embers going, and jumping at the sparks. It's just become a lot less sparkly around here.
At first, it happened very gradually. "When is the last time we did this?" I would joke, knowing it had only been a few days. And then "When was the last time we did this?" became a legitimate question. Was it last week? Two weeks ago? I would feel guilty. I would worry that my husband was going to go find a more attentive partner. I worried that he already had.
But what I didn't want to do, was have sex if I wasn't feeling it.
To his credit, my husband has never pushed the issue. At least, not directly. But he sure is optimistic.
He is patient. He has remained sweet and loving, hopeful, eager to please, willing to wait but hoping I will just come to my senses and realize what I am missing. Kind of like Duckie in "Sixteen Candles".
"Hi! I'm here! I'll just be right over here.....waiting! No rush! Whenever you're ready! I don't care if you have shaved, or brushed your teeth!"
So as I fell asleep each night, I was reminded that while we might not be actually having sex, this idea of it was definitely still appealing. I was still appealing.
And I got complacent.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I hurt my back. Any prospect of having sex went right out the window. It was just not on the agenda.
Recently, it occurred to me that while I was lying there with various ice packs and hot packs and pillows and bolsters, my husband was not really able to get within arms reach of me. And with all of that distance, Duckie had left the building. He was still kind and gentle and loving........but the idea of having sex never seemed to cross his mind.
Now, some women would be whooping it up, clapping me on the back, congratulating me on my good fortune. "How did you do it?" they might ask. "I've been waiting years for him to give it a rest."
But the reality is, that is more difficult to lie there and realize your husband isn't reaching for you, than to lie there and wish he would keep his hands to himself.
So one of the items on my Life List that I am going to be very proactive about, is planning date nights. And I am not talking about hiring a sitter, having a quick dinner and then grocery shopping or something equally exciting. Nor am I talking about going out with others.
I just want to go out with him. Just us. On a date. Talking about something that we both enjoy. Eating food we like. Planning a project or adventure. Sleeping in from time to time. And yeah, maybe even having (gasp!) sex now and again.
I want to remind him that while I am not waiting for him to sneak into the bathroom while I shower (really, please don't) I am waiting for him to come home each night - and I am always happy to see him walk in the door. We are in it for the long haul. When the kids are grown and gone, our marriage will remain. And there's always that tingly lube stuff at Walmart if we need some inspiration.
19 minutes ago