Funny Thing Is

The following is an essay I wrote yesterday morning (06/26/12) in an early morning urge-to-write frenzy. Enjoy. Or heckle. Your choice.

Funny Thing Is…

I know it is certifiably insane of me to even be contemplating the cosmos, fate, and the reasons I’ve been raising two girls alone for the last twelve months while their father squandered away his opportunities in life, business, real estate (our once happy home, I hear, is in a state of further disrepair and lacks major aesthetic and hygienic qualities…), and love. I know that anyone reading this is going to assume that I have decided to follow him off the deep end. It is not that. I know and have surely shared with all or most of you either on here or through personal conversations (digitally, on the phone, or face to face) the myriad of reasons why the girls and I had to leave and strike it out on our own—headed out West, sucker, cause I wanted to be a winner, baby (what, you thought I was going to say “cowboy” like Kid Rock? Fooled you…).

Interesting thing is…

I have had a lot of time to think in the twelve months since we left. Yes, twelve months. It was June 23, 2011 (at approximately two in the morning) when Luna, Freya, and I pulled out of the parking lot of the (now former) business my husband owned with a car full of whatever possessions I had frantically managed to stuff into our ‘97 Ford Taurus, including a sack of energy drinks my estranged spouse so graciously and generously decided to provide to me free of charge for my voyage.

I suppose the fact that I hadn’t slept the three nights prior left with him some feeling of guilt and a desire to keep me energized. I cannot think of a good excuse for the French kiss goodbye, the reiteration that he still loved me, or the longing way he watched us drive away before climbing into his own beat up, rusty Ford pickup and driving back to the house (where, late in the day—rumor has it—he brought back the first of many post-me lovers, though apparently this one was a repeat offender from our mutual past with whom he knows I’ve had a lot of proverbial beef).

In retrospect…

I have decided I no longer care about the infidelity. Twelve months of new experiences and thousands of miles of separation coupled with (see what I did there?) his general disinterest in our day-to-day affairs and our health and well-being is a lot of room for personal growth and self-exploration. I have decided that an open marriage would have been just fine with me, provided he had been okay with honesty and my own openness.

You see…

If I had known officially (as in, he tells me about it at some point in the courtship process or fucking process or whatever it was he did with all those others in the last nine years of our relationship), then I could have made the conscious decision to accept his desire to step outside of the sacred bonds of our marriage (and prior to that the less official but still precious to me bonds of our engagement, live-in status, or supposedly mutually exclusive dating arrangement). I could have also chosen—if the need arose—to do the same on occasion. He would have had to be okay with me seeking out in other lovers the things he lacked, since that is precisely what adulterers claim is their reason for doing what they do, and he’d probably say that his other lovers weren’t fat or bitchy or lazy or jealous or a slew of other negative qualities he saw in me.

I had ample opportunity to cheat on him. I did—once.

Before we were married, years before, my sophomore year of college in Altus, Oklahoma, I strayed with a guy we both knew from Job Corps who happened to have been staying in my dormitory. The college had had to do some rearranging of the dorm layout since they had more male than female dormitory students. This guy had been placed in a room on what had been the female side of the dorm. The usual rules of not going into each other’s rooms after midnight and such was still supposed to apply, but the security guard was lazy and didn’t care as long as we weren’t too obnoxious about our late night visits.

This guy and two other friends from Job Corps (also male) had been in my dorm room watching a movie one night. The other two decided they were tired and left, but I and Mr. Bad Decision lingered on my bed to talk about randomness and our mutual lack of sleepiness. One thing led to another and—quickly as these things go—he was kissing me in a very passionate way below my equator. Actually, it wasn’t all that passionate. The guy sucked, and not in the good way. Of course, my then teenage angst led me to carve up my flesh in retribution and eventually confess all to a furious then-boyfriend-now-husband who vowed somewhat convincingly to never speak to me again.

Apparently later he visited one of our mutual friends at the dorm and mentioned wanting to see me; the mutual friend had a crush on me and a crushing need to attempt to protect me from then-boyfriend-now-husband  He told then-boyfriend-now-husband I was in bed with Mr. Bad Decision. I was not. A couple of girls from Oklahoma City showed up to the dorms soon thereafter, to visit said mutual friend before heading to then-boyfriend-now-husband s house. Because they informed me that at least one of them was there to procreate with my then-former love then-boyfriend-now-husband  I lied about Mr. Bad Decision and said he was my lover to put on a falsely brave front. But later, when it seemed clear then-boyfriend-now-husband no longer loved me and assuming our relationship had ended for good, I ended up actually having sex with Mr. Bad Decision a couple of times. Then then-boyfriend-now-husband contacted me with the news that he was leaving state and I rushed to spend his last days with him and help him pack, of course eventually following him to Arkansas and our future.

Anyway…

From that whole experience I guiltily swore I would never cheat on him again. I held true to that. I held true to that when I met sexy men at work, at college, in my apartment complexes, and on the internet. I held true to him when men told me I was sexy, beautiful, intelligent, and didn’t deserve a man who treated me the way he did. I held true to him when I was pregnant with Luna and he made it all too obvious he wasn’t true to me but still managed to lie about it. I held true to him…up through the day I left him. I was reticent even in our separation to explore the dating world or even accept a free meal and good conversation from dear friends who may or may not have had coupling in mind. But in hindsight I wish that I had been as free and loose as he felt the need to be. Just think how much fun I could have had!

2006

That was the last time then-boyfriend-now-husband ever performed cunnilingus on me. I do not want to know how many times he did it for his other lovers since then. It would infuriate me, likely. Not that I care anymore what he does and with whom; I just wish that at least once in the last six years he had done it to me again. Or, barring that, that at least once in the last six years I had taken my many friends up on their offers of low-rent rendezvous and enjoyed the forbidden kiss again…although, I know myself and would likely have not been able to stop at the one time.

To be open…

That is a question I actually pondered during our lives together, before my hasty departure to points westward. I read literature. I watched documentaries. I spoke with other members of a subculture I knew existed but thought before I had little interest in. I realized perhaps wisely that our marriage was already built on a quicksand foundation of mistrust and deceit and bitterness (mostly on his part). I realized that opening our marriage officially with the way things had gotten would likely have only led to more hurt on my part. I realized that husband, for all of his philandering, was too jealous of a man or perhaps simply too possessive of a man to have allowed his good wifeypoo to have gotten her rocks off in the arms of another lover.

So I abandoned the prospect.

I never gave him my explicit permission to do the nasty with anyone other than me and pretended to believe he needed it. I cut off ties with really close guy friends if either I or the guy had ever expressed any desire to be more than just friends (even in jest or fleeting thought). I became so ridiculously and blindly devoted him that—in the four years our marriage lasted prior to me leaving—I made a point to mostly not talk to guy friends unless we were in a large crowd of mixed gender friends and acquaintances in a public place with no chance for inappropriate interaction.

New York made up my mind.

Yes, I gave up on him and our marriage when he made it clear that he had no qualms about moving on with one, two, three…I lost count over the last twelve months. At least mostly gave up—some part of me still naïvely, stupidly wishes that it could all be worked out through a counseling cocktail and perhaps prescription medication. But New York and the friends I met there made up my mind about fidelity and what matters, what should have mattered in my marriage. The so-called traditional values of a marriage that lasts for decades with both parties remaining chaste except with one another and then only with the desire to breed more generations of the family line…that concept was flawed and nonexistent.

The supposed good ol’ days never were.

Spouses cheated. Society looked the other way when the husbands did it (unless the husband happened to be the president of the United States in the ‘90s and happened to have committed his clandestine affair on federal property during working hours and lied about it under oath). Society condemned wives. It was the natural order of our world for so long; boys will be boys but loose women are whores. Even the sexual revolution, free love, openness, Ashley Madison, and Hilary standing by her man didn’t shake the uneasiness so many still feel about the concept of couples loving one another unconditionally and without shame while still seeking out physical and even emotional interaction with others.

It was in New York that I met couples who practiced, considered practicing, or had once practiced openness. It goes by other names. Polyamory (having many loves), polygamy (having multiple spouses, although illegal officially in this country, but so is gay marriage and sodomy in most states and we all know neither of those two glorious activities will ever be truly abolished from this great land), polyandry (having many men), polygyny (having many women), open marriage, plural marriage, plural relationship, love triangle, love square, open, exploring, poly curious, open love…I’m sure I’ve left out several terms.

I learned that it is possible to have ones proverbial cake and consume it as well, provided the cake is totally fine with this arrangement. I met a couple where the wife travels all over the country but never enjoys the fruits of other farms while the husband’s experiences locally and abroad were numerous and totally approved by her. I have met the messy versions of open marriages, couples where one spouse steps out of the bonds of the marriage regularly but isn’t okay with the other doing so, or puts far more restrictions on their partners’ activities than on their own. I have met couples where one is very much into the lifestyle while the other has zero interest in it and wishes their partner would give it up. I have met people denying their urge to roam or lying about it. I have met the versions of my husband of the poly world.

I’m coming out!

Okay, so I’ve always been “out.” I mean, you all know (or should know) that I have long considered myself bisexual. More recently I’ve realized that even bi is a limiting term. Am I into men? Yes. Am I into women? Yes. Am I into any combination thereof? You betcha! Also more recently I’ve realized that monogamy is no longer an institution I wish to be a part of. There is no one person in this world who can or will give me everything I need from a partner. There is no one person who can be all that I need sexually, emotionally, permanently, and forever. Of all the lovers I’ve had in the last thirteen years—don’t judge me!—none of them have been everything I have ever wanted or needed in a life-long partner.

I would love to have that special person with whom I share such a strong emotional and intellectual bond that I have no qualms about sharing major life decisions, parenting duties, financial responsibilities, and the upstairs’ bathroom. I would also love it if that special person and I could be free to explore each other and our own pursuits. I don’t want to worry about why he or she or zee or it didn’t come home at night. I don’t want to feel like a night socializing with friends has to end at midnight or Cinderella turns into a pumpkin and loses her ridiculously expensive glass slippers. I want to be totally cool with my partner’s decision to visit, hang out with, or even have a sleepover with one of their exes ‘cause they wouldn’t bat an eyelash if I did the same. I don’t want to hide or be hidden from. I want to meet all of the interests in my lovers’ lives so we can all go out for pizza and agree that it’s more fun when we can share the pie without arguing over who deserves it more and who’s a filthy man-stealing slut whore who guzzles cum in the gutters for fun in her spare time—it’s not worth all that drama.

At one point and time in my life, I wanted that person to be my current husband. I pinned my hopes and dreams on him and the stars (sparkly gassy giant ones, not celebrities, although the description could still fit in some cases…). At one point and time in my life I loved him so completely that I would have actually walked ten thousand miles (great, now that song is in all of our heads…). I was asked the other day if I still love him. Some part of me still does. Some part of me still weeps at what we’ve become. Some part of me still dreams of reconciliation and moonlit nights watching a thunderstorm roll in on a blanket on a hill in lovers’ embrace. Some part of me still believes in fairy tales and giant pink fluffy bunny rabbits named Fu Fu who grant wishes and shit out gold nuggets too…

The simple truth is…

If my husband wanted to be a father to his girls he would be one; he would have sent them cash money or gift cards or cases of diapers ordered off WalMart.com free shipping site-to-store in the last twelve months, and before we left he would have jumped at the opportunity for paternal bonding time rather than balking at the idea of babysitting his own children while I worked or became educated.

If this same man wanted to be a husband he would be one; he would have been more open and honest with me about everything from his sexual transgressions to his favorite flavor of Koolaid and everything between and beyond, and before we left he would have spent more time actively loving me and less time actively fighting with me.

If my legal spouse wanted us to be a family we would be one; he would hop in his pickup or whatever he is driving these days and show up here with camping gear so we could go out to one of the nearby lakes and spend a week remembering why we love each other and what it’s like to mutually parent, and before we left he would have spent less money and energy on building up his private media library and more energy and time on building lasting bonds with his wife and children.

And now ladies and gentlemen…

I just looked up to realized I’ve blathered on about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness for five pages and two hours (I started this diatribe—in MS Word because the internet where I’m staying is currently down—at approximately 5AM CST; it is nearly 7AM now…). It is time for gathering important documentation and packing a diaper bag. It is time for waking and dressing sleeping babies. It is time for dental hygiene, breaking of fasts, and voiding of bladders. This three thousand word essay will be copied into the body of an email, appropriately subject-lined and addressed, and sent off to become part of my blog’s history.
Perhaps it’ll achieve instant fame. Perhaps tomorrow night I’ll actually sleep rather than waking before five to blog in offline format. Perhaps my children’s father will pull his head out of his arse. Perhaps one of my employment prospects will pan out. Perhaps I’ll sell a million copies of one of my books this year. Perhaps I will not. Perhaps I use the word perhaps far too much.

The Script–Got a new job now on the unemployment line.

View the full blog at heartchasms.blogspot.com and like the blog on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Funny Thing Is

  1. I have a feeling I know which couple I’m part of. Kind of makes me sound like a horrible person for not wanting to share the person I love so dearly. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still firmly believe that there is ONE person who can fulfill my needs, and I theirs. While the idea that being completely open and honest making it fine for both parties might work for some, it wouldn’t in my case. I know that I would just be torturing myself thinking about “why I’m not good enough? What am I lacking? Am I really so horrible?” the entire time.It all comes down to this: I fully believe that I should be, can be and am enough for the person I love. There shouldn’t be the need to fill some void with someone else. If there is, then I’m not doing my job.I understand that other people can and do enjoy open relationships, I just know that for me, it’ll never work.

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