11/52 – Final (Fantasy & Exam)

There’s something about Saturday morning that lends itself to relaxing and goofing off.

Woke up this morning to a call from my sister, asking if she could come spend a few hours at the apartment, before she goes in to work. Of course, I told her yes. While I know that there are some sisters who don’t get along very well, we are not in that category. Even though she’s two and a half years younger than me, she’s somewhat taken on the role of the older sibling, ever since my anxiety manifested a few years ago.

Hands down, if asked whether I’d be more upset losing my parents or my sister, I’d say my sister, though I love my parents too. Anyway. I digress.

She came over and I let her know that I’ve got to study for my second final exam (the first, I passed yesterday with an 89%), but that she’s free to do whatever – use the computer, rummage the fridge, watch TV. She eyed the PS4 that was a Christmas present from my SO. “Can I play Final Fantasy X?”

And now, I’m sitting here, getting ready to start studying some more and watching her play the opening scenes of FFX. Now, this one is not my favorite FF video game – FFXII has that honor – but it’s not a bad one. Okay, sure, it’s a little hokey, but it was made more than ten years ago, so I have to give it some slack. Plus, the voice acting adds something that was to be desired in FFXII.

God, I can’t wait for the remake!

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10/52 – Aspirations & Fears

Aspiration: A hope or ambition of achieving something.

Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something is likely a threat.

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The other day one of my classmates, Twinlee, said, “Oh my god. You should just type mine up, too. You’ve got the words!” This was in reference to a small group project we were working on making a PowerPoint for during some down time in lab.

I was startled into admitting something that hasn’t come up yet. “I like to write.”

That’s something of an understatement. I’ve been writing short stories since the first grade. Have, actually, written three novels of more than 150 pages – two of which were part of a truly awful series that I did when I was about fourteen. The third was, I think, pretty okay. It was my NaNoWriMo novel four years ago. At present, I have two novel ideas that are tumbling around in the back of my mind.

I’ve always thought of it as both a good and a bad thing that I don’t ever have to search for an idea. Truth be told, sitting here, I’ve actually got closer to a dozen potential story/novel ideas, but only two are developed enough to be considered, practically speaking.

At Twinlee’s probing, I admitted as much as the above, and confessed something else. “Part of the reason I decided to go into nursing,” I let her know, “is due to the fact that I could work three twelve hour shifts, and then go home and write for four solid days, if I want.” She was, I think, both impressed and bemused.

It’s true though. When I was a kid, I expected to grow up to be a photo journalist, because I like to write, take pictures, and travel. As I got older, that somehow turned into something that I felt was impractical. It’s not that anyone ever told me, “You can’t do that.” It just . . . became a non-option, along the way.

My aspiration, I suppose you could say, is still to become a novelist. I don’t even let myself dream of real success, most of the time, but it’s fun to imagine seeing one of my novels on a bookshelf. Maybe even to daydream about seeing someone wander over to it and pick up while I stand there, pretending not to notice.

Of course, I don’t really think a person can have an aspiration without experiencing some parallel fear. Not only of failure, necessarily, but of the sheer possibility of success.

People fail all the time. It’s not unexpected. There are protocols, procedures, and policies in place to help people deal with failing. We have so many expressions and saying relating to failure that it’s not really something scary, in and of itself, at least not at a core level, for me.

“Why do we fall? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”

The prospect of accomplishing something successfully is, realistically, more scary to me than failing is, because I’m not sure what would come next. Fear of the unknown is the biggest fear I have, and failing isn’t something that’s unknown . . . success is.

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I haven’t written much since starting school, aside from homework and this blog, because I’ve been trying to narrow my focus to becoming a nurse . . . which is, honestly, an aspiration in itself. I’ll have two weeks off though, starting on the sixteenth and I keep thinking about trying to pound out a rough draft, at least, in that time.

A rough draft in two weeks would seem like a tall order, except the one I mean to write is one that I’ve had in my mind for years and it’s so ready to be written that it’ll feel just like typing out the outline of a movie I’ve watched a million and one times.

Of course, I don’t really know what I’d do with the draft once I finished it. I’ve never actually gone through the process of revising one. Now that I’m thinking about it, working to revise the school assignments I’ve done isn’t that dissimilar. Well, aside from the fact that the school assignments aren’t more than ten pages long . . .

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Also, as an end to this post, which was sort of off on a tangent, and as a follow-up to the post earlier today, I didn’t end up getting naked. He came home from work early, we had lunch . . . and then there was sex, but I got to keep most of my clothes on. Compromise exists, even in dynamics with heavy M/s connotations.

9/52 -Naked? No, thanks.

I know there are people on this planet who are comfortable with being naked.

My SO is one of them. The first time I met him, he was wearing only a towel and that’s because it was the middle of December and he felt a bit chilly. While not a nudist in the modern sense of living in a special community, he’s certainly got a proclivity towards being nude. He’s not self-conscious about it and it actually strikes me as odd when he happens to be wearing shorts while in the house – even weirder is when he’s fully dressed.

He takes off his clothes upon coming inside like other people kick off their shoes.

I, on the other hand, avoid being without clothes as much as I possibly can. I change quickly, I transition from dressed to a towel to the shower and then back again in fifteen minutes or less. I sleep in a minimum of a tank-top and pajama bottoms. I even swim in shorts and a sports-bra style top. Even during sex, I’m reluctant to remove my shirt and if it’s long enough to cover my hips, then I consider it a bonus.

It’s not that I’m hideous or particularly overweight – I’m 5′ 4″ and weight roughly 160lbs, but the weight is all the “right” kind of curves. He says often enough that he doesn’t consider me fat and likes the way I look. That’s great and all, I suppose, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I’m not at ease with my clothes off.

This is coming up, today, because he left the house this morning and instructed me to be naked when he comes back. “Naked?” I asked, hoping I’d misheard him somehow.

“Yes. Naked.”

“. . . like, with a towel on?”

“No. Naked.”

“. . . can I be in bed under the blanket?”

“No. You can be on the bed, on top of the blanket. Naked.” My silence made him raise an eyebrow at me. He eyed the paddle to the side of the bed. “Problem?”

It was 6:30 A.M. and I was too sleepy to fight, but . . . “. . . I don’t wanna be naked . . .”

“I know, but you will be.” And he left.

This is when being his becomes problematic. Submissives – such as I – are supposed to . . . well . . . submit. That’s not an issue for me, usually. I am naturally inclined to be submissive and to “go with the flow,” as it were. Getting his drinks, washing his clothes, going where he wants, even leaving him in control of the finances and major purchases is all fine with me. The second sex gets involved though . . .

I mentioned during the last post, I think, that I’m just not that interested in sex. I like to masturbate, sure, but the mechanics of actual sex just make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Partly because of the need to be naked during most of it, but also just because I continually worry about doing something wrong.

*sigh*

There are always choices. In this case, I can choose to be good and be naked in 45 minutes, when he’s due home. Or I can choose to be bad and not be naked . . . and end up naked anyway, of course, because if he wants me to be naked then he’ll get me to be naked.

He’s got my permission to force me to be naked, of course. I’m his and it’s consensual even when it’s not – which is always so much fun to try to explain to people. *sarcasm*

Even among those in the lifestyle, I’ve realized that my relationship with him is an extreme that very few can actually fathom. In BDSM, it’s not unusual to find people who identify as being in a M/s dynamic. However, if you start talking to the majority of them, it becomes clear that we have very different ideas of what that actually means. For most of them, it’s a fantasy that they choose to live. One of the first things I ask when someone says that they’re a slave in the BDSM sense of things is whether or not they have hard limits. If they say yes, my next question is whether or not their “Master” is allowed to break those hard limits – for instance, “golden showers” is a popular one.

In every case, but one the person in question said, “Well, of course not. That’s why it’s a hard limit.” And in every case, but three, they didn’t then understand why I started giggling. In my opinion, you’re not a slave if you’ve got limits (which is, incidentally, why I don’t think of myself as a slave, even though He thinks of me as one). I tell myself that I have limits, but in reality, I wouldn’t be angry with him for breaking those limits, because I’ve given him permission to do so by calling myself His.

I’m one of only two people I know who doesn’t have limits – short of dismemberment/extreme mutilation and/or death. He doesn’t usually push me, because I’m lucky and he respects that this part of our lives is only one part of it, but if he wanted to, he could push it.

To me, the question of limits is not a question. I’ve been rereading 50 Shades in light of the new movie coming out and I keep giggling at the concept of a contract and limits and negotiating. It’s outside of my reality and playing like that would actually be more of a “fantasy” to me than the M/s dynamic I’m already in.

Here’s a really good example. I don’t call him Sir or Master. I never have. Not once in six years. He doesn’t require it of me, and I think of him by his first name. I only tend to capitalize “Him” in this blog, because I want to avoid using his name here. He calls me by my name, or pet, or slave – depending on the situation. When we used to go to play parties and munches, everyone was always somewhat put off by this arrangement. They either doubted my “submission” or questions his “authority.” Eventually, the core group got used to it, but it still raised some eyebrows here and there.

Now, if I were to call him Sir or Master, I would consider that part of a fantasy role-play.

I’ve killed half an hour, writing this, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to be naked when he gets home, or not. Decisions, decisions . . .

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Normally, I don’t do direct questions to you, the reader, but in this case, I’m curious about two things and I’m going to go ahead and ask . . .

  1. Are you comfortable being naked? If yes, was that always the case? If no, why not?
  2. If you are in a BDSM style relationship, what do you think about the differences between being a slave and a submissive? Is it a matter of limits, time, semantics, or something else?

I’m genuinely curious and welcome any/all input!

 

 

Not the End of the World

I met him – my owner (who I call my SO for the sake of simplicity) – when I  was twenty. My best friend in the entire world, Harley, was moving in to the house that he also shared with his pseudo-stepson, D, and D’s at-the-time girlfriend, Tink. And their other mutual friend, Biggie. I’d known Harley since I was thirteen and we were going to a small school for troubled and delinquent girls (I was troubled, she was delinquent). I’d known D and Biggie since I was sixteen, because Harley dated D for about two years during that time and Biggie was his roommate then, too. Tink I’d met briefly a few times before.

He was the only unknown variable in a time when my anxiety had been – for months – so high that I could barely leave the house without it feel like death. But Harley needed me to help her move (she was leaving a bad relationship). I did my best to help her pack and unpack and honestly tried to ignore the man sitting in a towel on the couch, because . . . well what the hell was I supposed to say to the man sitting in a towel on the couch?

But – somehow – I did find myself talking to him. And the next thing I knew we were discussing all of my darkest fantasies over the FaceBook messenger. And . . . for the first time in months . . . I didn’t feel like I had to take a Xanax. I felt dizzy and off balance, but it was because he was tipping me, not because I was falling. I wanted to pace, but only because he was drawing me back out of my own head. It was like taking a cold shower after a nightmare. It was like being saved from walking off a cliff. That sort of awakening.

Within a month, I was wearing the collar. I held out six months before we had sex (and it was “only” anal and oral, because I wasn’t on birth control and neither of us wanted any risk of pregnancy). By the end of the year, I was spending about half my time with him. Two years after we met, I moved in with him. And we’ve been in our apartment ever since.

It’s strange to think of our dynamic in terms of years. We’ve been “together” since January of 2012. We’ve had four “anniversaries.” I know a lot of people both in and out of BDSM relationships who didn’t make it past the one year mark. Harley herself has never been in a relationship that lasted longer than three years. D’s longest was two. Tink hasn’t ever hit the year mark without cheating on the person. My own parents only lasted five years before they fell apart when mom came out as gay.

It’s weird. There’s only one other couple within our group of friends that has been together longer than us. That would be Matt and Iris. They’ve been together since 2010 (or 2011, depending which one you ask). They got married in 2013. Iris is the mutual friend that D and I know who encouraged us to go to school, because she graduated last year. They are quite happily planning their family and their future.

When that’s contrasted with my SO and I, I feel somewhat . . . cheated? jealous?

I guess that’s true. My SO and I do have plans for the future, of course. I’m looking forward to starting a career in nursing, he’s looking forward to being able to work less than 40 hours a week. We both are looking forward to buying land, building a house, traveling.

But there’s no wedding in my future. No plans for children.

When I was twenty and first met him, I didn’t expect that to ever be an issue. I was the one who told him that I feel marriage is overrated and having children would be insanely impractical . . . but when people tell you that your views on such things may change as you get older . . . they aren’t always wrong. I’d mistakenly thought that since I hadn’t wanted those things during my teens, then I wouldn’t want them ever. I was wrong.

Not so much about the marriage thing. Though marriage works for some BDSM couples, I don’t hold any thoughts that it would work for my SO and I. Partly, this is because I know his background. He was married when he was twenty, had a son with his wife, and then lost them both to his wife’s anxiety and paranoia (the irony is not lost on us that his second-longest running relationship is also with someone who has anxiety). He’s estranged from his son – who is now only two years younger than me, at twenty-two. He hasn’t actually seen him since he was seven. His attempts to contact him have all been met with silence. It hurts him on a daily basis, because it’s unresolved and unmentioned

Also, I do feel that marriage is mostly over-rated. I’m not religious so I’m not worried about living in sin or anything like that. But is bothers me that I won’t be able to give my mom the happiness of seeing me all dressed up in white, walking down an aisle.  And she makes comments about that pretty much whenever she sees me, because I’m now the age she was when she and dad got married – even thought that didn’t end very well.

So. Marriage. I can leave it. That’s fine. It’s not something I need from a relationship.

(I’ve been asked, a few times, what I want from a relationship that I’m not getting in my current dynamic, because my current dynamic does – sometimes – wildly depress me.)

Children. This is trickier. Thought I never let myself verbalize it, I’ve always expected to have a child. Just one, mind you. I don’t know why, but I never felt comfortable saying so. It never seemed terribly relevant, because I expected to stay single for forever and always sort of thought I’d end up with a sperm bank. That doesn’t really seem practical, now.

We’ve  – my SO and I – have circled around the topic. His bottom-line is that we must be financially secure and preferably living in our own house, rather than an apartment. I agree with those terms. But I would also personally prefer to have a child before I turn thirty. He hasn’t ever come out and said whether or not he would prefer to actually be the father, or if he would rather it be anonymous and he be more of a god-father/mentor.

If I’m honest, then I have to admit that I do want a child out of a relationship. But I’m pretty flexible regarding what role he feels comfortable taking with that. It’s a personal choice and I understand that he might make a different choice. I’m okay with that.

So What do I want from a relationship? I’m still not entirely sure.

He apologized, on Thursday night. I asked what he was sorry about – because I was curious about whether or not he felt his comments were over the line, or if he’d just done something else that he’d felt sorry about in a small way. But he said, “I over did it, Wednesday. I drank too much. I should have let you drive us home. I don’t really remember much after I fell into bed when you got in the shower.”

And I brought up his comments. About me, about nursing school. And he was shocked and asked if I’d taken it out of context. So I went back over the whole conversation and what had started it and he apologized. He didn’t remember any of it. He knew he’d snapped at me, because he remembered me crying, but he didn’t remember the conversation itself.

I’e been intoxicated and said things I later regret. And this was the first time in our relationship when he’s done it. He’s forgiven me worse. Way worse.

And so I’ve forgiven him.

And now that it’s been several days, we’re both borderline amused at the situation. And we’ve moved on. Because of something is broke then an effort should be made to fix it. And we’re not even terribly broke. Just a little bit. And that’s not so bad, really.

It’s sort of interesting how one night can seem like the end of the world until morning comes and puts things in perspective.

Holiday Melancholy and a To-Do List

It seems like every single Easter Sunday that I can remember from when I was a child took place on a remarkably sunny day – pure blue sky, gentle breeze, warm enough for a dip in the pool at my Mamo and Papo’s house . . .  which was where we used to gather for every noteworthy holiday (including Memorial Day and St. Patrick’s Day).

This morning I woke up late. The sky outside is gray and all the greenery that I can see out my living room window is dark from being water-logged – it stormed most of the night. There’s a slight breeze, but it’s only just barely moving the heavy air. And, while it is probably warm enough for a dip in the apartment pool, it cannot compare to my memories of splashing around with my cousins as a kid.

Easter, when I was young, meant putting on my frilliest and most colorful dress (usually something involving a floral print and lots of ruffled lace). It meant knowing that I’d get to dye lots of eggs with bright, pretty colors. It meant a large white Easter basket with chocolates and a few small toys nestled in an overflow of crinkly pink and purple “grass.” It meant eating a wonderful dinner with my mother’s side of the family and then going home with my sister to play with all of the new goodies we’d gotten.

That last is the part I’m most nostalgic about. I can’t say I particularly miss the girly-girl dressers that I adored until I was about eleven, or the task of dying eggs, or even getting an Easter basket loaded down with awesome surprises. I miss the family gathering aspect.

As a child, much of my life revolved around being with my family. Holidays at my Mamo and Papo’s (along with random summer days to spend swimming and marveling at how tidy my Mamo kept her home – my mother did inherit her cleaning genes, but not her persistence in making sure each surface gleams); weekends at my Grandma Betty’s with my dad’s side of the family. Just about every moment in between spent with my sister.

 

Now, to contrast that, I only see my grandparents on Christmas and Thanksgiving. I see my cousins once every couple of years, because we live in different states. My Uncles are practically strangers; both of my Aunts died while I was still a teenager. I see my parents and sister about once a month – though I talk with my sister almost daily on FaceBook.

This Easter, I will not be dressing up or dying eggs. But I will, at some point, make the 45 minute drive with my SO to visit my parents and sister. KT has already told me that mom admitted to her that she got both of us Easter baskets this year, on a whim. Dad will likely have made a batch of deviled eggs. My SO will fall asleep on the couch while I spend a half an hour or so catching up with the three people who I’ve spent almost my entire life with, but who now receive only the high-lights of it. And not even all of those, really.

I’ve been melancholy on holidays since the end of the era of my childhood. I thought, then, that they would always what they were. I was wrong, of course. That’s not all that surprising, I guess, but it still pains me to think of how epic holidays used to be.

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Today, I’ve got a bit of a list of things to get done before my SO gets home.

He went to work two hours early to cover someone’s shift and will be home anywhere between one and three – depending on who they get to cover what would have been the remainder of his shift. I want to have the apartment spotless when he gets home, because I know he’s not feeling well and I feel slightly bad that I did not wake up to say good-bye to him when he left. Granted, it was four in the morning and I’d only fallen asleep about two hours before that, but I’m still his and it would have been the proper thing for me to do.

My apartment is not large – a living room that opens a bit to the tiny kitchen, which then leads to the bedroom and the basic bathroom. The apartment is essentially a rectangle divided into thirds: the living room is the first third; the bedroom is the last third; and the middle third is split in about 2/5 with the larger section being the kitchen and the smaller being the bathroom (which is frustratingly only accessible through the bedroom).

Cleaning the apartment doesn’t take a lot of time. And only a few things need to ge done.

In the living room:

  • Fold up throw blankets and fluff throw pillows (arrange artfully on the couches)
  • Take everything that doesn’t belong in the living room to where it does go
  • Dust surfaces (desk, bookcase, DVD shelf, TV stand/stereo cabinetM
  • Vacuum the floor and give the windows a quick wash

In the kitchen:

  • Do the dishes – put away those in the drainer, too
  • Wipe down surfaces (stove, counters, fridge)
  • Clean the floor and take out the trash
  • Update the white-board on the fridge

In the bedroom:

  • Make the bed up with clean sheets and fresh pillow cases
  • Put all the dirty laundry in the hamper it belongs in (mine or his)
  • Dust surfaces (dresser, headboard, snake stands)
  • Vacuum the floor and wash the windows

In the bathroom:

  • Wipe down surfaces (counter, tub, toilet, clutter keeper)
  • Attempt to get a handle on the flood*

That last thing is something I am NOT looking forward to.

Living in an apartment has certain perks. When my SO and I noticed that our toilet wasn’t really flushing properly and was running more than it should have, we just made a call to the apartment manager and he came down to look at the issue. He decided to just replace the entire toilet, on Friday, because the toilet we had was several years old and no longer in the best shape. Fine by me and my SO. We didn’t like the old one anyway.

Well. Fast forward to when I get home on Friday night. There is water on the floor near the toilet. Not a lot. But enough to get my socks annoying wet. I ask my SO and he explains that he thinks the caulk around the base wasn’t put on liberally enough. He’ll have the apartment manager check it out. Well. The apartment manager returns on Saturday morning while I’m out on an errand. He discovers that the base of the toilet is cracked.

The small bit of water is no longer a small bit of water. Overnight, it has soaked all of my towels – which are now hanging in the shower and various other places. Yet, the apartment manager explains that he can’t simply get another new toilet or a new base. Not until Monday. He leaves, doing nothing to seal the leak.

Now, fast forward again, to last night. Water is now not only in the bathroom. It has crept into the crack in the baseboard, behind the toilet, through the flooring under the tiles in the bathroom, to end up soaking the carpet at the doorway between our bedroom and the bathroom. Requiring even more towels. My towels are now on a rotational schedule. They take turns sopping up water and hanging to drip dry. But I only have so many towels and the water is slowly, but surely spreading further out from the doorway.

This small domestic problem has had me in tears several times over the weekend.

I don’t even have a dryer in the apartment with which to properly dry the towels between having the soak up all the water. And the dryers down stairs in the laundry room don’t heat well enough to dry three soaked towels. And, besides, it costs a dollar for every load, even though all I end up with are weirdly warm, but damp towels. My powerlessness in this situation is driving me to distraction and I hate it completely, but can’t take matters into my own hand without risking having to pay for whatever expenses are being incurred.

Last night, my SO called to explain to the apartment manager that the water is now an issue in the bedroom, not just the bathroom. Because this means – in my mind – that the carpet in the bedroom will have to be replaced. Along with the sub-floor in the bathroom and the bedroom. Because mold is not my friend and I fear that the water will cause mold.

But the apartment manager did not answer the phone. My SO admitted to me that he’d told him on Saturday morning that he wouldn’t be able to do ANYTHING until Monday, because he has two young daughters and a wife and will be busy spending Easter with them. Which is great and all, really, but I’ll subsequently be spending a portion of my Easter crying over my lack of towels and cussing at the toilet.

 

Rainy Day Productivity

Saturday may just be my favorite day of the week. For a lot of reasons.

Both myself and my Significant Other have the day off. It’s the only day of the week that I can sleep in. It usually consists of running errands and watching a newly rented movie. Our meals are usually all home-cooked on Saturday. In general, Saturday is the day of the week that I feel most able to live fully on – with friends and family, no pressing deadlines, and plenty of time to simply be.

This morning I woke up just before seven – far earlier than usual, for a Saturday. I drank a bottle of water and followed along with a yoga video from YouTube. Showered and then made breakfast for SO and I.

I’m actually really pleased with how breakfast turned out. I’m not the worst cook in America, but I literally couldn’t boil water before I met my SO, four years ago. I was twenty and hated the thought of opening the oven door.

This morning, I baked a hash brown casserole, cooked sausage, scrambled eggs with spinach, and did a side of baked apple chunks with cinnamon and vanilla. 

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All in all, it took about an hour to finish everything, but it all tasted pretty good and my SO promptly dozed off on the couch, after.

I think a nap sounds pretty good myself.

Today the only things on my agenda are doing a load of laundry, tidying around the house, a little light grocery shopping.

And – the part I’m truly excited about – buying a new 2-in-1 laptop/tablet. I haven’t gotten a new computer in five years and officially have to invest in something more recent for school purposes. I’ve settled on the HP Stream 360 and for the price I’m pretty happy with that!

I’m mostly technologically illiterate, but it will be nice to have something newer.

(Even though my little sister has pointed out that most of the features will be lost on me.)