The Rapey Boy of 21st St

He wants it intensely. No matter how many times you say “no” or try to push him away, he keeps coming back, holding your leg, pressing himself against you. He has needs. How can you be so cruel as to deny them?

Readers may be relieved to know at this point that I am not describing a human assailant or an even slightly traumatic experience. Rather, I am talking about my puppy’s desire to get on the couch with me. Continue reading “The Rapey Boy of 21st St”

Trying Not to be Selfish

Let’s face it: marriage is disastrous for blogging. When I resumed in September I didn’t say it was a 52-week project or that I would post every week, but such was, of course, my intention. Then miss two weeks, post one (at the absolute deadline), miss – what? Two weeks? Three weeks?

But when you have a husband who is at school two days a week and often studying until 7 on the other nights, dinners must be cooked and dishes must be washed and at some point the laundry must not be allowed to remain in its state of filth. And afterwards, in spite of our best intentions and repeated resolutions, we often find ourselves too tired or too headachy to do anything but sit down to a nice episode on Hulu.

And I find myself resenting it all.

Yes, of course I had chores when I was single, but aside from keeping some semblance of friendly roommate relations, there was no reason to do them if I had something more “important” to do. Now, no matter how much I want to accomplish something for myself, I always seem to end up doing the chores instead because it will relieve that much pressure from my husband.

To be clear, it’s not that he doesn’t do his share. I feel bad plenty of times that he didn’t get as much homework done as he wanted to because he was running errands for the household: taking the recycling, doing the grocery shopping, dropping off my shoes at the repairman because he’s going to be on that side of town anyway.

And it’s not that I feel particularly “guilty” about not blogging. If I’m going to feel guilty about anything it’s about not exercising and being more targeted about my diet – the idea being that those things would create more energy (and therefore more usable time) where none currently exists.

No, it’s just that I miss the reading and writing that go into blogging. There’s a book I’m desperate to read that I’ve checked out from the library twice. Twice, because I maxed out the renewals the first time before making meaningful progress through it. Tomorrow I’ll max out the renewals again. And I’m maybe 10 pages further along than I was when I returned it the first time.

15 weeks to read 60 pages. It’s no wonder I feel like my brain is slowly shriveling up and dying of starvation.

For now, I’m not sure what else I can do than continue what I’m doing. Only one thing is clear: if this low level of selflessness is beyond me, I am so, SO not ready for children.

Summer School

When this blog went on extended hiatus this summer, it was not a rejection of the Eschewing Easy project. On the contrary (as many of my readers will know), I was committing to it for the rest of my life: I got married. I rather suspect that living happily ever after will provide the seed of many new Eschewing Easy posts.

The biggest lesson learned this summer? Planning a wedding is not easy or fun.

It is also great practice in leadership: from my perspective (although I’m sure others will disagree!), the bride can be regarded as the “CEO” of The Wedding. An involved groom is like a 40% shareholder – you’d better listen to what he wants. When the parents are paying, the Mother of the Bride is like the Board of Directors – the only person who can tell the bride what she absolutely cannot do. And the goal of it all is to fulfill the CEO’s vision while showing the “customers” – the guests – a good time.

I admit I thought of all this rather late in the process and therefore didn’t manage and lead the chaos as well as I might have. Turns out that no matter how determined one may be not to be a Bridezilla, planning a wedding does tend to focus one’s attention on Self and what “I” want. That’s a very hard position to lead from; you have to take a larger view if you’re going to manage (and keep happy) different factions.

The other thing I realized, at least more practically than I had previously, was that it’s hard to find the balance between being warm and emotive without being emotional, and between being decisive without being or seeming inconsiderate of others’ ideas.

Craving simplicity in a complex process, or just a brief respite from constant discussion, it’s easy to over-do the decisiveness, to pull rank, to put your foot down. It doesn’t work. Without consensus, or at least without others knowing you’ve given open-minded consideration to their ideas, resentment builds, everybody digs in their heels, and discussion accelerates – at a greatly increased level of tension.

Still, I’d say the end product was worth it all.

first kiss

Mother of the Bride and family friends under the pergola
Mother of the Bride and family friends under the pergola
friends enjoying the party
You know your wedding has a relaxed atmosphere when friends wander away and seat themselves on the grass.

It’s good to be back.