Monday, June 26, 2006

Up and Down, Down and Up

We were riding our bikes fast down a dirt path lined with oak tree leaves, leaves that fell in autumn and will remain there until they become a part of the earth. There was a right-handed slope to the trail and my bike drifted into a gulley, making me yell out to A in front of me, “Move to the left!” My efforts were too late as his bike had drifted even further than mine did and when he hit the bottom of the hill, he finally lost control and fell hard to the ground, the wheel spinning, his leg under the core of the bike, his body sprawled in the leaves. He lay there and cried pitifully.

I jumped off my bike and ran to him, pulling his bike off him. I was concerned slightly about his ankle. I’d forgotten my cell phone and we were far away from any easy help, being well into a ten-mile hiking trail near Bonelli Park in San Dimas. We’d done most of the ride before, but never this far.

He looked up at me and just cried. He got up though and I saw there were no problems other than wounded dignity and mere minutes later we were speeding along the trail once again, up and down, whooping it on the downhill, huffing it on the uphill.

I was relieved to be there.

The past few days haven’t been good thanks to some drama affecting me – I sit here now, the day over, very sorry about a relationship that was once simple but is no longer that way. Simply put, I wanted to tag along with my brother and sister and their respective families on a weekend jaunt to the mountains when I discovered that my brother had built this annual trip into something far greater than he ever let on. He said to me, “Don’t take this personally, but I won’t go if you go.”

I was deeply hurt, taken by surprise, but I conceded. He’d been rather mean about it, both he and his wife. For weeks they'd been making jokes at my expense, saying they didn’t want me on the trip because they didn’t “like” me, saying these jokes often and as long gags, without telling me they were serious, that there was truth to their "jokes." My sister was hurt too at the awkward snub not knowing about this exclusion that he so learned to covet, that he never shared openly.

I sit here now in complete confusion. He hasn’t returned my calls, he’s not speaking to anyone, all because I thought it would be fun to spend some time with the siblings, me being free of my uptight husband and demanding kids. How fun, I thought, to kick back on the porch under the stars, chatting late into the night, glasses of wine in hand, with both Brother and Sister. This thing has turned into a nightmare.

I lost a beloved Aunt in a similar fashion – lost her to her problems, to my supposed insensitivity. We don’t speak anymore and it’s terribly painful. She won’t budge. No amount of kindness from me will bring her around. Again, she’s gone. I suppose I should look in a mirror and ask myself why. I know that the very challenging situation we have with our children has made us reclusive. I sometimes won’t call anyone for weeks and weeks simply because we’re working so hard at maintaining a schedule for the children and working so hard at keeping sanity within arm’s reach. I’m sure I’ve made bad choices in behavior. I give that I can be self-absorbed at times. I try not to be. I reach out…but I’m often pulled back into my cave with the hard work of my family life.

So…I’m confused and shocked and left speechless. My brother is someone I’m unsure of now.

I look at the time and cannot believe he has nothing to say to me. I’ve completely given him his coveted weekend – I got it, I’m over it. However, there’s obviously something more than I’m not able to grasp. If he didn’t completely disregard our childhood I’d blame it on unspoken wounds. Perhaps he’s angry at me for being an abandoning older sister. That could be true. We weren’t close as children. I bonded myself to my sister. We might have built an impenetrable wall without realizing it. We did so to protect ourselves from my parents. Perhaps…without realizing, we kept him out, too.

I don’t know what’s up or down. I do know that tonight, I’m not feeling the love. I’m feeling definite rejection, definite hostility. I’m stunned.


In this current low mood of mine, the mood that makes me look inwardly and into mirrors, I’ve decided that I’m tired of the celibate lifestyle. Yes, yes, I married and made all those vows about for better or worse and all that rot but really, am I expected to whittle away the last of my able years as an untouched woman? I think not.

So, I’ve decided to take on a lover. The lover should be taller than me, but at this point in my life with all my imperfections, I’m not going to be choosy. So…as long as the lover is not under 5’2” in height and is less than 5’2” across, I’m good. The lover does need to think I’m sexy – the lover should actually want to have sex with me. This is a must. If I wanted a lover who didn’t want to have sex with me, I’d continue on with the status quo.

And yeah, as you can probably tell, this relationship will be purely physical. Sure, a common interest in James Joyce and Joyce Carol Oates and films about heroin addiction would be nice, but not a requirement. I’m not interested in running away to the Dominican Republic for a quickie divorce and definitely don’t want an equally quickie marriage. NO COMPLICATIONS, that’s my new motto. I guess one could say I’m into the bootie call. My call, though. Don’t harass me for attention because I won’t give it to you if I’m distracted with the kids. But don’t ignore me either. Leaving love notes on my super-duper-secret yahoo e-mail account is fine. That I’d like.

Moving on, the lover can’t mind the bumps and softness and grey hair. He needs to find me fairly attractive – yes, the lover can want to have sex with me but he needs to be turned on by my 42-year-old self. He also can’t mind my driving impulse to call all the shots. Look, I have a busy schedule to keep. I take M to swimming lessons in the a.m., there are drum lessons for J at noontime, and bass lessons for A in the evening. We have an agreement to go swimming every day at the pool and do lots of mountain bike riding (see above). We’re also trying to teach our dog to walk like a regular dog on a leash as opposed to some crazed, wild animal, which requires walks/pulls twice a day. So far we’re making these commitments work. I’m also trying to get the family on a healthier diet, so I’ve got to be around for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Fact is, we can’t talk on the phone or chat on the computer or meet very openly for obvious reasons. Discretion is the name of the game. I think I can swing the occasional drive out to wherever the lover is on a Friday night. But it has to be at the lover's place. My house obviously is unavailable as all five of us are here...well...constantly. Can’t afford motels and can’t get caught in a car. Can’t do Saturday night because that’s the day I go out on dates with the husband.

So…I’m thinking that the best we can do is the lover e-mailing me at my yahoo e-mail account which is “sxymama4bootycall at”. I make no guarantees that I will respond. This will be training for the affair.

Okay, that’s my advertisement. You don’t like it, not my problem. Now…buzz off because I need to cuddle on the couch with D.


I’m looking up, now. I’m choosing to laugh and enjoy the muggy Los Angeles weather. Tomorrow I’ll call my grandmother, chat with the sister, watch the soaps, and fiddle with my short stories. I’ll cook for the family and vacuum the carpets and mop the floor and forgive D and myself for things beyond our control. I’ll work with Sassy and swim with the children in the cool water.

I’m tired of the pain, I'm just going to love.


Lori said...

That's what happened to your vacation? Oh, man. I'm so sorry. What is up with relatives? Why do they have to be so WEIRD?

Well...never fear. I'll be in town. :)

Brenda said...

My mother's in a current storm of fury over stuff she imagined to have happened 10 years ago and that has left me dumbfounded. Once she gets on a roll, it's hurtful and painful and impossible. I've had to cut contact, as I've done now & then over the years when she starts not just criticizing but attacking. So I'm feeling the pain of family right about now too... in deep sympathies.

Glad your son is okay, that your brother's at least healthy if not wise, and the ad, oh that was funny!

Then go cuddle on the couch.

An extraordinary post of much honesty and openess, thank you, *big hugs, Brenda

Dale said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. How ghastly, all of it. Is there any chance of you and your husband getting some sex therapy? I mean the real therapeutic kind? My wife and I did that twenty-five years or so ago, and I remember thinking "this can't possibly do a thing for us," and it did wonderful things for us.

Of course I'd love to drop you a line on your secret account and if I thought it would really contribute to your happiness I probably would, having no self-restraint whatsoever & all. (And having taken a shine to you in a major way.) But I think a straighter path to happiness would be getting your husband to put out. Because he probably wants to. You just need to find the way to it.

Adriana Bliss said...

Yeah, Lori, that's what happened to my little vacation. It's really beyond my comprehension. Grrr. On the other hand, it did free me up to go hang with you! YAY!!

Brenda, I'm so sorry about your mother. I used to have many troubles in the mother department...that part of the relationship I don't miss. Such pain. My ad...LOL! Thank you so much for your comment - I so appreciate it.

LOL Dale! Why thank you - aren't you so sweet. :) A sex therapist, huh? If our money wasn't going to our local psychiatrist, I'd jump on the idea! The reasons are complicated and yet, not so. Health problems obviously play a role but it's not everything. Hopefully, one day, there'll be some resolution. You're right about the affair not being the road to happiness. It might help temporarily, but only complicates things even further and can seriously affect chances for the marriage to recover.

Jennifer said...

Ms. Bliss, there are times I just want to hold your hand and say ... nothing, really. But just listen. For endless hours, interrupted only by the occasional clink of wine glasses.

I wish I had something brilliant to say. I don't. But I listened. I hope that's worth something.

Shuana said...

Rejection hurts at every level. I guess, most importantly we need to be sure we accept ourselves, and be confident that we are lovable, and the things that aren't lovable in us must be overlooked by those who love us. If they are rejecting, the problem is theirs, not yours. So very sorry for your pain.

Jean said...

oh my goodness. Your honesty. And brilliance. And the complicated nature of your life. How dare your brother do this? But of course it's about him, not about you. I imagine all you can do is make sure he knows you're there if he manages to sort himself out.

I always come away from your blog feeling as though I've been hugged and smiled at and communicated with, even when you're dealing with and writing about really difficult stuff.

And, for what it's worth, I settled, a long time ago, for quite different reasons, for living without sex. And I think now that it was a mistake, at least not to have put up more of a fight for it. Not much is more important to your quality of your life, the quality of your energy for dealing with everything else.

8763 Wonderland said...

Well now ...

Adriana Bliss said...

Jennifer, having you listen is priceless.

Thank you, Shauna, for such lovely advice. I so appreciate it.

Jean, oh my goodness. Thank you for that. I'm so glad that my posts mean something. As for fighting for the physical connection - it's definitely something worth fighting for. But sometimes a person just tires of the battle, you know?


nappy40 said...

Wow. It's hot in here, Adriana.

Mr. Gobley said...

We are faced
With our own loneliness
More often
Than with
Anything else.

That this is so indelibly human
And that you speak it so plainly
Makes you very human
And yet more than that;
It vaults you into the pure air
Of longing,
Where souls meet,
Where bodies embrace,

Where loneliness is left behind
By the pure expression of loneliness.

Here, in this non-existent universe
Of letters and symbols
You have many lovers.

Danny said...

Having just returned from two weeks with my siblings in the midwest, I know how complicated the family dynamic can be and how each member of a family can have completely different versions of the past. I hope that your brother starts talking. That "joking" sounds hideous.

I really enjoy the way you process this stuff in your blog. Always very helpful to read.

Do your family members read your blog??

8763 Wonderland said...

I'll second Mr. Gobley's sentiment.

Adriana Bliss said...

Nappy40, I'm so happy to see you here. :)

Mr. Gobley, your poem is beautiful, moving. Thank you so much.

Danny, I don't believe any family members read this blog other than my sister. At one point a long time ago I told some about the blog, but based on the stats, they're not here. Yes, it's interesting to how different we all see the same things. And thank you. :)

Thanks, RJ. The sentiment certainly is lovely.