First for the hoochie coochie
I think success begets success which is one of the many, many reasons I love this community so much. From time to time I read some of the history on your blogs. It helps me see where people have come from and how they got to where they are. We all have our ups and downs but you guys are just a big ‘ol group of success – how fantastic is that? So sometimes I go back and see what you’ve done how you learned this or that.
And… ooh the things you learn. I don’t even remember on who’s blog I read this, but there was apparently quite a discussion about whether or not the old hoochie coochie is smooth and hair free. And someone recommended Carson Magic Shaving Powder and Cream. I just want to send out a big thank you to whoever’s suggestion that was, because I used it this weekend and it really did work like magic AND there were no bumps afterwards!! Woo Hoo! If and when there’s ever sex in my life again, my husband will thank you as well…. Or I guess maybe some nameless faceless man I can’t yet identify will thank you but that remains to be seen.
Now to the musings
I’ve always been a huge advocate for being your own best advocate. Stand up! Say what you want. Be who you want. Throughout my life people have been scared of me; scared of my confidence and determination. Impressed by my iron will. It’s all been a lie.
We had this class in college, I don’t remember what it was called but it was only for seniors because the waiting list was so long. It was a seminar led by this guru like guy that everyone wanted to be near. Ultimately it was just a semester of honest talking. A big, hulkin’ lacrosse player cried over his relationship with his dad, women talked about destructive relationships, things like that. I thought it was an amazing class, but would have said I didn’t contribute too much. I talked here and there, but no way in hell about anything personal – I was more a background singer.
On the last day of class we all went around the room and talked about the one thing that had hit us most during the class. No idea what I said, but when it came to the teacher we all hung on his every word; waiting to see what got to him most – and it was me. I’m paraphrasing here but he said – I’ve been teaching for too many years to count and every so often I wonder why am I still doing it? But then you encounter a student like this. One who challenges what you know. One who doesn’t fall into all the tidy little boxes you were so certain were all there was. They make you want to keep going and learn more. This student is so confident. So sure. It’s Read. I’ve never met someone so young, who was so sure of who they were, of where they were headed, so sure where they’ve been. I didn’t know you could get there in 20 years and it’s truly adjusted how I look at all of you and what I’m here to offer. I need to thank her for her presence here and for all she’s taught me this semester, It’s reenergized me. It’s helped me remember exactly why I love teaching all over again. I was stunned. At first I thought, holy shit, I need to find out what he sees, maybe he can help me see it too. But of course I was way too afraid to actually go talk to him and it didn’t take too long for my opinion of him to change – “Not him too”… God, how have I painted myself into this corner? It’s all an act, how can no one see this?
When I was an RA in college I used to preach safe sex, I led the safe sex class thingies – I was very funny, I always carried condoms in my pocket to give to people. Then at night I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I would be horrified to bring up such a topic with a man.
I’ve spent the nearly 20 years Brad and I have been together preaching to other women, not to settle. If you want a man who will treat you well and share in the household chores or who will do X, Y, and Z – whatever that is, they exist. Go out, have fun, but when it comes down to it, don’t settle. Life’s too important to settle. Have I done that? This is my big fear.
He’s this amazing guy; funny, caring, thoughtful, interested. He’s so completely involved in everything. And on paper I didn’t settle for a single thing. But for years, there’s been this thing in the back of my brain. Even as I touted all his attributes and preached no settling is necessary. Even as I watched people hold us up as the poster children for perfect marriages – “you really did find your prince charming, didn’t you?” I’ve wondered. Is this all there is? And I don’t truly know what it is that I want, what I’m looking for. I know I don’t want to be in charge. Truly and spectacularly I don’t want to be in charge and I am.
For many, many years we worked hard to keep the balance. People say it can’t be done. There has to be a leader when push comes to shove but we did it. For more than 15 years we did it. No issues. We decided together. It was in perfect balance. We have a profound level of respect for each other and you couldn’t do it without that. Was that the biggest lie of all? I’m this big in your face feminist, but shit I don’t want to be in charge here too. It’s hard enough to pretend in the rest of my life – you do it. It’s not like I want to suddenly be a doormat; I just want to be President to his CEO.
That’s the change we made a few years ago. The change that pushed us closer then we’d ever been. That was good for him and good for me separately and good for us together. The lines of communication were wide open and clearly defined. There was a connection, a closeness that you only read about. But it was short lived. As much as he wants it, he can’t seem to maintain it. And ultimately it left a vacuum that I’ve had to fill. Now I’m firmly in charge – of every bit of it. I can’t handle this. I don’t want this.
It wasn’t the only thing that got us here. He had what I call a mid-life crisis a few years ago where he turned into a royal asshat for a while. Something he’d never ever been. And that ugliness was shocking and it was probably that shock that made me take a long hard look at the rest. Ultimately I take the blame. I let us live in a way that wasn’t comfortable for me for all that time. I only cited the good stuff. But now – as we look at each other – it seems like it would be so easy to just go back to the way it used to be. He’s a great guy. But I can’t seem to relax. I feel like I have to cling to this thing. This thing that won’t let me relax in my marriage right now. Because if I relax and just it be, does that mean I’m going to go back to settling?