baby development

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Weird Stuff at Work II

Monday at 5:00 here was not a pretty sight. Now, it is never the beaucolic workplace many of us desire - but yesterday bordered on hard-core. My boss, who is odd enough as it is, decided to work from home Monday. But at 5:00, she showed up in shorts and a t-shirt...and no bra. Now, she's not nearly as gifted as I am in the breast department, so braless for her still constituted "perky". But I did not need to clearly see her 50-something boobies peeking out of her t-shirt. My day would have been complete sans boss-boobies. I began to talk with her while being cautious about not looking down. I felt odd and uncomfortable. I wanted to hold up a piece of paper or something to cover her up while she detailed the work we had to do in the weeks ahead.

To enhance the image even further, she began a monologue of sorts for her secretary and I (you enter my office after going through the secretary's office) think the technical term is...screwed. She detailed how she was not wearing a bra because her boobs hurt too bad to wear one. Then she went into detail about how she was "spotting". Oh mercy. I so wanted to escape out my window - oh, damn, I'm on the 3rd floor, and a small child couldn't fit through that window. I politely nod and look concerned - which, of course, prompts more self-disclosure. Oh God, make it stop! But no, more monologue on how she had already gone through menopause so shouldn't be experiencing this.

Finally, it stopped at about 5:30 when she went on to some other poor unsuspecting chap's office who hadn't had the smarts to leave at 5:00.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Crisis in My Hometown

From -,2545,TCP_16736_3887252,00.html

Monday, June 20th, a private plane disappeared from radar off the south eastern coast of Florida. On board were Joseph and Pauline Helseth and Pauline's son Scott Sheline. Joseph and Pauline were the dad and stepmother of my ex-boyfriend Chris. To date, no remains and no wreckage have been found.

The three were coming back from a weekend trip to the Bahamas on their private plane. Joseph had been flying since he was 19. He was 60 years old. Apparently, they ran into rough weather about 40 miles off the coast. They were so close to home.

No one knows what happened to them. The Coast Guard has called off the search. Now, private searches are costing about $10K a day.

When I talked to my dad just now, he said he thinks there are better uses for that kind of money than trying to find some wreckage or body parts. That's my dad for you.

Chris is my age - 34 years old - and he's lost his family. I simply can't imagine. But I think I'd still be searching, too. Sorry, Dad. Guess this is where we disagree.

More Personality Stuff

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Work ethic23%
Self absorbed63%
Conflict seeking70%
Need to dominate70%
Change averse30%
Peter pan complex10%
Physical security90%
Physical Fitness10%
Female cliche83%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Here's what else it said about me:

Stability results were low which suggests you are very worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
Orderliness results were high which suggests you are overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense too often of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.
Extraversion results were high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.

Trait snapshot:
self revealing, neat, craves attention, prefers organized to unpredictable, needs things to be extremely clean, worrying, perfectionist, emotionally sensitive, respects authority, social, vain, does not like to be alone, likes large parties, controlling, social chameleon, not a thrill seeker, enjoys leadership, takes precautions, puts the needs of others ahead of their own, assertive, rule conscious, makes friends easily, always busy, heart over mind, phobic, aggressive, clingy, compassionate, dominant, outgoing, suspicious, hard working, strong

Wowzers. I guess that about sums it up for me. Yeah. Perhaps I'll take it again some other day and see if the results stay the same. I'll bet they do - I'm a creature of habit.


Megan Does Italy

No, it's not a new skin flick. It's my little sister-friend and her about-to-be greatest life adventure. She's leaving on Thursday for Italy and will be there about six weeks - studying, living in an apartment, and cruising all around discovering the wonders of cappucino and real pasta.

I declare she's been packing for this trip for no less than a month now. She's emailed me packing lists so I could read through them and see what she might have omitted. She's been shopping for supplies for art class and clothes. I'm sure her packing has come down to a fine science. She probably has a mathematical formula for space times weight times distance (or something like that). Long live the obsessive compulsives! Hurrah! (Visions of a scene from As Good As It Gets - bwahahaaha.)

I know she's worried about things - and I'm not sure how to be the best friend and support I can be. In some ways, I feel I've avoided talking with her about her fears. For some reason, I view talking about them as preparing for the worst as opposed to gearing up for the best. So, we didn't really talk about it much. She's fearful of the long flights, and of being on a plane that long with that many people in such a tight space. I know where she's coming from. My blood pressure rises just thinking about it. (Tamara pauses to "shudder".)

Her Aunt "Pancake" and I both worry about her. I know I worry less than Pancake does. I worry about her safety and her health (asthma, foot problems, blood sugar level, bi-polar, fibromyaliga...etc.). She hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to health concerns. I pray Italy just heals her. I pray it just all disappears while she's there, adn never returns. Pancake worries about the decisions she might make - she trusts Megan less than I do. But Pancake takes care of her in the physical sense. I know Megan will make good decisions. I know God's already got an army of angels ready to go with her on this trip.

Lastly, I've never really understood Megan going on this trip. I mean, she'd never mentioned Italy before. There are a lot more affordable studies abroad she could have taken. And she had to take out massive amounts of student loan money to pay for it, and rely on Aunt Pancake to pay for a lot of things up front too. So, the why is less clear to me. But here's what I do know - my little sister will return a new woman. Our friendship will change, because she will change. It's exciting. I imagine our friendship will mature and our connection will deepen. Her relationship with Jason will change. She will learn alot about whether she really wants to marry him, or simply likes the idea of him. She will know more about her future and what she wants. She will bre stronger and more determined in her pursuit of those things. And she will be happier. Knowing this - the need to know the why fades into the distance.

Jelly Bean, I love you. You mean so much to me. Let Italy be God's way of revealing to you things you just didn't have the time and space and patience to find out here. No, you get to stop trying to get things out of your system and start taking them in. I feel a miracle on the horizon for you. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Weird Stuff at Work

Well, a colleague from downstairs just came up and presented me with the following: Elephant garlic that she had apparently grown at her home. Hmm. The bag even had my name written on it - so as not to confuse it with garlic intended for others, I assume. I am not sure if I should feel grateful for someone who thought about me, or if I should find this freakin' hilarious (which I do). I found it so funny, that I took a picture of said garlic for your enjoyment on my blog. A little levity this Monday morning. I sense much garlic bread in my future.

Date Night

Our pastor suggested that my husband and I impliment "date night" - a concept that sounds harmelss enough. As luck would have it, I had won tickets to see the Lexington Horsemen play arena football. We'd never been to a game, so it was a blast - and we had especially good seats. I'll have to remember the sporting event connection in the future, as my husband actually spoke to me and smiled a whole lot. I'm glad he had fun. Surprisingly, I had a good time too. It was nice being out with him when he wasn't doing everything in his power to kill my joy. On, and the Horsemen won - which always adds to date night. I will have to keep in mind the sporting event phenomenon - apparently being out on a date with me isn't enough - but add men beating on each other in some competition, and I've got myself a happy husband. Guess if you can't beat him, join him.

So, you're wondering if all the excitement put him in the mood for sex after we got home? No. Hope you didn't get your hopes up. Silly me - I did. How unfortunate.

Liking the Real Me Better Than the Ideal Me

I took this Jung Ideal / Real Test on, and below are my results.

Introversion 30%
Extroversion 70%
Intuitive 56%
Sensing 53%
Feeling 53%
Thinking 66%
Judging 70%
Perceiving 30%
ideal type - ENTJ, real type - ESFP

Ideally - this is the type of person I'd like to be:
E - expressive, outgoing, many friends
N - random, mysterious, non-linear
T - willful, stoic, self-reliant
J - planned, regimented, orderly

But REALLY, THIS is the person I see myself as being:
E - expressive, outgoing, many friends
S - sequential, factual, practical
F - emotional, passionate, selfless
P - spontaneous , playful, and fun

Not surprisingly, I think I like my real/actual self better than I think I would like my ideal self. I think my ieal self would be boring and predictable and stuffy and judgemental. I like being passionate - and, as you can see in my "ideal", the passion and spontaneity and palyfulness are gone. Oh dear! I can't let that slip away. So, I know how society tells me I ought to be. But I like who I really am much better.

Friday, June 24, 2005

There is Humor in Everything

I was browing through some photos on my computer here at work - and I still laugh when I see this one. My husband took this with his camera phone while he was in CVS. He said he didn't move it at all - this is what he saw as he walked down the isle in the store. No matter what happens with he and I - I'll certainly always appreciate his sense of humor.


I am going to miss Fuzzy like crazy when I have to take him back to the Humane Society on Monday. He will have to not eat for 12 hours (which will be as much a sturggle for him as it would be for me), and he will get vaccinated. Hopefully, a loving person will adopt and his brother and sister quickly so they doesn't have to live in a cage very long. I hope his new human feeds him lots of Iams kitten food in the packet (it is kitten crack), and rubs his tummy and buys a feather-stick for him to play with. Fuzzy and his brother and sister have been in my home 3 weeks now, and they have gained lots of weight and have learned to jump and climb to new heights. They have also stolen hy heart. I love to spend time with them before I leave for work in the mornings, and I love to visit with them when I come home at the end of the day. They have such loud little motors - and when all three get to purring, it's like a choir of motors. Next week, my guest bedroom will undoubtedly smell better and be cleaner - but it will be far less cheerful with the 3 little kittens gone - mittens or not.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Megan & Jason

The lovely man in this picture might be my future brother-in-law. I'm thrilled for them both, and I hope they take things nice and slowly. Aren't they the cutest couple? I'm so happy for my little-sister-friend and I hope that God leads her to make all the right decisions. I hope he's crazy about her, and wants her, and treats her like the princess she is. (If not, there will be war - and not the kind he's used to). Hehehehe.

Macy Gray

This is my bad kitten Macy Gray (11 months old now). She tears around the house like she's on crack. She likes to jump on top of the CD towers (behind her) and on to the top of the entertainment center. She does this all day - every day. She also likes to terrorize our other cat - Callie. We have tried to train her not to jump on the kitchen table or the coutnertops by spraying her with a squirt bottle. Now, she remains pretty wet most days and just sits there and stares at you while you squirt her. She is so much like me. I'd just sit there like "who do you think you are" too.

Day Dreaming

On days like today, when I can't seem to focus on anything or be "productive", I imagine my best-case scenario. If I could transform myself and my surroundings into anything in the world right now, where would I be and what would I be doing?

Well, I'd be at a healthy weight. I'd be a nice size 10. I like 10 - it screams "perfect". I'd have red hair. I'd wear fashionable clothes. My complexion would be clear.

I'd be living somewhere out west - Colorado, Arizona - somewhere pretty and progressive without being left-wing radical. It would snow where I lived, and there would be all 4 seasons. There would be people of all shapes and sizes and shades - and lots of different points of view. There would be great theatre and music and food.

I'd be married to a man who wanted me. He'd be a wonderful kisser and a wonderful lover. He'd touch me all the time, and we'd make love whenever we got the chance. He'd be excited about being with me. He'd work hard and play hard. He'd be happy to come home at the end of the day. He'd love me and his family. We'd have one child. One's enough for me. Gender's unimportant. Healthy, cute, and smart, and happy - that's all that matters.

I'd be a convertible-driving mom. My silver car would have room enough for a car-seat in the back. Baby and I would go cruising on Sunday aftenoons.

I'd have a housekeeper. I would never again scrub a tiolet or the floor or vacuum.

What would I be doing?
I'd be singing regularly, somewhere - musical theatre, church, with a band - it hardly matters as long as I am doing it. I realized the other day as I was going through soundtracks how desperately I miss singing.
I'd be working - somewhere. Ideally, I'd be teaching college. I'd teach courses in family communication, and gender and sexuality.
I'd buy a fantastic camera and take photography classes. I'd build my own dark room and do my own processing. I'd enter art shows and sell my work.
I'd write and publish children's books just for fun.
I'd take a vacation every year to some new place I've never been to.
I'd visit my family every year - even if they didn't want to see me.
I'd have several really good friends in the town, and we'd go out together every week or so just for fun.
Every other week, I'd get a manicure and a pedicure.
I'd be active in my church and in ministry of some kind.
I'd cook fabulous gourmet food several times a week for dinner.

I wonder how close I can come to making those things happen - say, by the time I'm 40 - six years from now? I wonder if, at that point, I'll even care about these things?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Maggie S. My husband once described her in writing as his "Canadian rose". She has taken up so much mental time and space in my head, that I'm wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to try to get her out of my system and into my blog.

Maggie was my husband's student before we ever met - in the mid 90's. He was in his twenties - she was almost 40. She was a divorced single mother of two from Canada. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen - with (what he describes as) "the most narrow waist" he'd ever seen on a woman. After the class ended, she bought him a gift, and he called to thank her. Apparently, one thing led to another which culminated in passionate kisses one day in the campus library. And that led to passionate encounters and sexual exploration beyond his most vivid imagination. Their relationship lasted for quite some time.

I know some of this because of what Michael told me about her when we first got together. He couldn't stop talking about her. It was as if she were still just around the corner. There was a longing in his heart that only we women know. It had been years since their breakup, but they still talked on the phone and e-mailed. They still told each other "I love you".

I know more about their relationship from what I read. I knew that Michael kept journals - no, more like photo albums - of all of his correspondence with every woman ever dated and computer journal printouts of his writing during these times. They were explicit, and detailed things like kisses, touches, feelings, and sexual encounters. I learned about these binders of material once early in our relationship during a visit to see my husband when he told be about Karen. I'm not sure, but I think Karen was one of the first women my husband explored his sexuality with in college - and maybe the first white woman he fell in love with. When I was up visiting him, he got out this album to show me a picture of Karen - (deep breath as I write) - to show me how much he thought she looked like me! I was horrified and embarrassed - and deeply hurt. (Though I should have been flattered - she was stunning.) And I was confused. I loved this man so much - why would he do that to me? Worse - why on earth had he held on to these things and catalogued them (dated and in sheet-protectors) in logical order, perfectly preserved?

Come to find out, he had done the same with his relationship with Maggie. Maggie had her own binders (yes, multiple binders) devoted soley to her. Her binders had a prominent place on the bookshelf in his office. This meant that he had to move from apartment to apartment - and from Florida to Ohio - and move those fucking binders with him every place he went, unpack them, and place them in a prominent position on his bookshelves.

Over the course of numerous trips to visit Michael, and long days when he would work on campus while I stayed at his apartment, I took the time to read through these binders of memories. (He took little time away from his precious work to be with me even when I visited for a few days all the way from Georgia). In Karen's binder, there was the Christmas card she gave him when after they became intimate. This was back to his undergraduate days - he was now a professor. This was a long time to save these things. Maggie's binders were much thicker and difficult to read through, but I figured I might learn something about Michael's fear of relationships, or about what he liked and didn't like - because he certainly wasn't revealing those things to me.

Maggie's binder contained all sorts of memories. There were Maggie's journal entried where she wrote about the development of her relationship with Michael. And then there were all of Michael's journal entries detailing his developing feeling for Maggie. Every card or letter she sent was perfectly preserved in sheet protectors. There were letters her children had sent to Michael and even little drawings they had made for him. There were love letters and informational letters. There were poems, and talk about visits and things they did together. With these binders, you could re-trace every step of their relationship on a day-to-day basis. The descriptions were so rich you could see what transpired between them. I remember Maggie's detailed description of how he unbuttoned her blouse and delicately touched her breast for the first time. I remember her writing about how pleasantly surprised she was to see how well endowed he was physically when she saw him naked for the first time. I read her journals entries she shared with him describing how he smelled and tasted, and how he moved with her sexually. I read details about how she brought him to orgasm for the first time, and how he was able to bring her to orgasm time and time again. I found a picture of her, and she was very pretty. The picture was taken of the two of them in Michael's parent's home in Mississippi - a place he wouldn't allow me to visit with him until we'd been together almost a year. She was very petite with pretty hair and eyes and perfect skin. She was thin, and...visually perfect. I could see why he found her irresistible.

He kept the journals the entire time we were together. When we broke up for 6 months in the middle of our relationship, he immediately emailed her and told her how much he missed her and that he loved her. He left a printout of the email on the floor beside the sofa - it wasn't hard to miss one day months later when I was up for a visit. You'd have thought he'd at least try to put those things away to protect my feelings, of not hide his personal thoughts about her.

Later, when I asked him for names and addresses of who he wanted to send an invitation to our wedding to, I was cut to the core to see that he had put her name and address on the list. Couldn't you see her at our wedding? MY wedding? What a slap in the face.

A month after we got married, I was up visiting my new husband at his place in Ohio. He was at work and I jumped on his computer to check my e-mail. I noticed a file on the desktop labeled "stories". I decided to read them. One of them broke my heart. He wrote about driving down to Georgia from Ohio to marry me, and not knowing why he was going through with it. He wrote about stopping at a gas station, and seeing a woman - and feeling a sense of panick because he thought it was Maggie. He said he thought that if he found out that was her, and that she was available and living in the states - that he could not have gone through with marrying me. He talked about how much he missed, and still loved, his "Canadian rose". When he saw that it wasn't her, he drove on and went through with marrying me. This was not a fictional account. When I asked my husband, he admitted it was true, but that he was "freaked out" about getting married. He had written it shortly after returning to Ohio from our "honeymoon" if you could call it that.

Back when Michael and I decided to get married, I told him how uncomfortable I was with these binders of his past (he kept these binders as well as electronic copies of everything - because, God forbid he loose them). He never got rid of them. After we got married and he moved to Lexington (a year ago now) I discovered that he had packed these up and moved them with him. Now they were in OUR HOME. I was deeply disturbed. I begged him (well, probably ordered him) to get rid of them. He said he needed to "go through them" first. He claimed he was keeping them for "books or journal articles to write someday". The truth was he couldn't part with them.

As things stand now, I live with Maggie in my head far too often. I know about my husband's fantasies for older women - I've seen the videos he used to buy and watch. And I know he can't talk about these fantasies because of my reactions to them.

I'm not Maggie. She'd be 50 years old by now - I'm 34. She's petite and thin - I'm tall by some standards, busty, curvy, and "thick" as some have described me (in a good way). I don't write as well as she did. I don't turn on my husband like she did. Over the 3 plus years we have been together, my husband has never sent me a card, and has written me 1 love letter which caused him unbelievable anxiety. Whatever happened between Maggie and Michael, this much is true: in his heart, he loves her and will always be married to her. She was his one true love - the one that taught him about love and sex and family. He was willing to become a stepfather to her two children - but now, at age 34, doesn't even want to have any of his own. Nothing will ever compare to Maggie.

I hope Maggie S. (now Maggie N.) knows how much she is loved and admired and cherished. I've never met her, but wish in some way I could. I bet she's simply amazing, and I bet I'd like her a lot. Anyone that could excite my husband must be something else - because he's never been able to tell me he wants me, and I'm the one he ended up marrying.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The First Day of Summer

Today is the first day of summer. I got married on the first day of Spring (March 20th), so I'm one who loves these beginnings of the seasons. It was the perfect day here in Lexington - 85 degrees, lots of sunshine, and clear skys. As a write, there is a hummingbird sipping juice from the feeder on my patio, and the cats are at the window watching and fatasizing about hummingbird appetizers.

I did some spring cleaning a few months ago, and it felt great. I gave away a carload of things and clothes and re-organized my closet. Now that summer is here, it has me thinking about my list of must-dos between now and the first day of fall.

This summer I must:
get a bit bronzed (via a tanning bed or a la natural)
travel to some place I have never been, even if it isn't too far away
plant something living on the patio - herbs maybe?
have lots of steamy hot summer rip-the-sheets-off-the-bed sex
wear a 2-piece bathing suit in public
read at least 3 for-pleasure-only books
cook a new recipee
buy new reeds for my clarinet and get my chops in shape
clean out some of the "storage" in my office closet

That's a short list, but summer always seems to go by so quickly. It seems as soon as I have enough tan to wear a skirt, it's cold enough to wear pants again. So, I'll keep it short and sweet and hope that I get to accomplish at least a couple things on my list.

Friday, June 17, 2005


I've been asking myself WHY? Why do I want to have a child?

I am struck by the overwhelming urge I feel to articulate, and more importantly - to justify, my desire to have children.

The feminist in me screams - REBEL, BITCH! It's nobody's business but yours!

The submissive wife in me tell me I need to articulate it to my husband.

The academic in me tells me I need to articulate it for myself so I can become more self-actualized.

There are too many voices inside my head.

The truth is, I don't really know why or how to articulate it. And my anxieties get the best of me whenever I think about someone reading what I've written here. Aaaah, those damn voices of approval-seeking. OK, here goes my first attempt:

I would like to bring into this world a new life. I'd like for that life to be a combination of both me and my husband. I'd like to nurture and care for a child throughout its life. And yes, I'd like to be the mother of a school-age child, a teenager, a college student, and even an adult. It's not the baby that I want - its having a family. I'd like to know that after I'm gone, my family will still live on.

I think having a child would change me in profound ways that nothing else could. I want to experience those changes and live those feelings and emotions and see myself emerge as the same person, yet wholly different. I anticipate that it would be the most difficult thing I could ever do, and that nothing could prepare me for understanding that. Yet, knowing that somehow makes it even more desirable. Many of the things I don't know motivate me to want to find out. I live not to dull my senses and quiet my experiences, but live to take in all that I possibly can and live all-out.

I can see myself doing all sorts of things for and with a child. I can see myself at PTA meetings, and parent-teacher conferences, teaching Sunday school, reading the Bible and all sorts of books, and teaching them to read and write. I can see myself caring for a sick child, and going to the school when my child has misbehaved. I can see me up at night worrying about a child who has just started driving and dating someone my husband and I don't really care for. I can see me wondering about letting them get piercings and tattoos, or choosing to attend a different church - or not attend church at all. I can see me struggling to help a child pay for college, or worrying about a child who has decided not to go or drop out. I could see myself struggling to be a single mother if something were to happen to Michael, or if he were to leave me.

Fear is there too. There is fear of the unknown, fear of having a child late in life and the risks of health problems - for me and for the child. I fear that if Michael did have children that he would not like them or enjoy them. Even worse, I fear he would resent them and resent me for the negative impact they had on his career, his privacy, and his freedom. I fear that not matter how much I would love that child, that they would pick up on this and feel badly about themselves because they feel unwanted by their father.

Could I also see Michael being a good father? Definitely. In fact, I could see him being a better dad than my father was, and maybe even a better dad than his father was. I can see him teaching his child to play baseball and basketball. I can see him reading to them, snuggling up with them on the sofa to watch TV or a movie. I can see him helping them with homework with far more patience than I would have. I can see him laying down the law when it comes to the rules of the family. And I admire those things about him. But I also know those things come at a high price - sacrifice. Michael would have to give up a tremendous amount in order to be a good father (so would I). He's already given up more than he wanted to in order to be married to me.

What This Girl Wants

"What a girl wants, what a girl needs Whatever makes me happy sets you free And I'm thanking you for knowing exactly What a girl wants, what a girl needs Whatever keeps me in your arms And I'm thanking you for giving it to me."

'At a girl, Christina. You've got that right. Somehow, it always takes another woman to know and remind me of what I want and need.

It's FRIDAY - Woooo Hooooo. And I'm just sitting here (avoiding work like it's toxic) and trying to gear up for the weekend and figure out what I want to do.

I do love the farmer’s market, but getting up in time to do it seems difficult at best. I’m wondering why that is. Could it be that sleep always seems to win out over produce? Hmmm. Brocolli - sleep. Carrots - sleep. Tomatoes - sleep. You can see the dilemma.

I think I’m going to find some music somewhere on Friday night (and/or Saturday night) and just go – no matter if I’ve heard anything about the group or not. Last Friday night my girlfriend and I went to an Irish pub. I had 3 beers and 2 cigarettes while sitting out on the patio listening to a guy play acoustic guitar and (attempt to) sing. It was a blast, and I hadn't been more relaxed in eons.

I’m going to go for a long walk on Saturday and Sunday at some point, either morning or afternoon. I used to love taking walks with my husband when we were dating. We'd walk along the path that ran from his apartment by the library all the way down the river and to the Ohio U. football stadium. It was 2 miles down to that point, and we'd walk down there and head on back for a 4-mile trip. Sometimes, he'd go out for a run and come back in feeling better. I enjoyed our walks together on that path in the evenings. I liked the quiet and the peacefulness, and his company. At that point, I loved every minute we spent together and tried to cram as much into our visits together as he lived in Ohio and I lived in Georgia. Those walks together seemed too few and far between. And since we have lived together here in Lexington, we've never gone out for a walk together. He just seems too tired and depressed to do anything, and I miss that a lot. I miss it so much that I'm going to start just going on those walks by myself and clearing my head. Sometimes when I was visiting him and he was working, I'd walk from his apartment all the way to campus - even on some of the coldest days. So, I'm going out walking - not jogging - because apparently married women who go out jogging end up dead. And I've got a lot of life left in me.

I might also go start tanning for the summer in a tanning bed. I’m feeling very self-conscious about my pale skin. I have this weird notion that if you are overweight with pale skin, it looks worse than if you are overweight with a tan. I like my fat fried, thank-you.

I think I might look for a part-time job in the evenings and weekends so I’m not just sitting around doing nothing. I feel pretty useless most nights and don’t really feel like I have any human contact once I get home. I’m thinking that if I got another job it would keep me from getting depressed at home and help me earn some additional money so I could save up to do the things I really want to do (or buy the things I want – a house, a new car, a trip to Mexico, etc.). I’ve worried about my husband a lot, but my life has to go on. While I don’t feel as urgent a need to move out, I do feel an urgent need to move on. Again, I’ll try to write about it and sort through some of the feelings. Usually when I feel a sense of urgency like I do now (and have for the past few months), major changes are on the horizon for me. In the past, when I’ve ignored those drives within me, I’ve regretted it.

Mu husband used to say that he hoped a day would come where I don’t need him for much. At last, I am pleased that day has come. I no longer need him. I am my own companion, my own lover, and my own friend. I keep my thoughts on deep topics to myself. I don’t rely on him for anything meaningful anymore. I appreciate all he does in terms of running errands and paying bills and keeping up with finances for us. But in terms of all the other “needs” I thought I had that he most avoided meeting – I hope he's relieved that I no longer need those met. I suppose, ironically, as he has gotten more of the kind of relationship he wanted (privacy, freedom, lack of physical intimacy, lack of disclosure, and peace, focus on the daily mundane), I have found that I do not need him to provide me with the things that I wanted. Yet, as I have given him the two things he values most – freedom and privacy – he seems no happier now than he was before. If you get what you most desire and are still not happy – where else is there to look?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I Wanna Do It All

Driving endlessly down the 4 floors of the ramps in the parking garage at work, I was thinking about how much time I spend just driving up and down that parking structure every day. It takes me about 7 minutes in the garage each morning, and about 5 minutes to get down out of it each night - 12 minutes a day - times 5 days a week - 60 minutes. An hour of my precious life each week is filled with just driving slowly through a parking garage. 52 hours a year - about 2.5 days each year spent in a car in a dark parking garage.

On my way down yesterday, a song by Terri Clark came on the radio - it goes:

"I wanna do it all
Visit Paris in the fall; watch the Braves play ball
I wanna take it all in
Catch a few beads down at Mardi Gras
Start a tradition and lay down the law
I wanna do it all

I want to drink tequila down in Tijuana
Say "why not" when somebody says
"Hey do you wanna hmmm?"
I wanna get my heart broke once or twice
Settle down with the love of my life
Rock little babies to sleep at night
I wanna do it all

I wanna do it all
See Niagara falls, fight city hall
Feel good in my skin
Beating the odds with my back to the wall
Try to rob Peter without paying Paul
I wanna do it all"

I suppose the song got me thinking about what I really want to do before I die. I started thinking about the things I don't do and why I don't do them. And I wanted to write about that for a while.

In a previous blog, I listed out things I have done. Some things were impressive - some, well...not so much.

But what haven't I done that I want to do?

I want to travel a whole lot - not just to another city or state, but to other countries. My girlfriend Megan is traveling to Italy this summer for a study abroad. It is costing her thousands of dollars in student loan money, but it seems to be worth the cost. I've never been to Italy - wether that place in particular is high on my list is a good question. But the fact remains I've not traveled a lot. So - why not?
Two reasons come to mind immediately - not enough money, and no one to go with.
I should pick somewhere to go, save up the money, and go all by myself. I know how to travel in a foreign country, know how to research the places I'd like to see, and am pretty good company when I'm by myself. I spent a lot of time alone in Mexico - walking around after school got out, or on the weekends when folks were doing other things. Often, I found the experience to be richer when it wasn't tainted by someone else's take on the experience. My excitement didn't have to be confirmed or disconfirmed by a traveling companion - it was my experience and it was marvelous on its own. This is my goal - pick a place, save the money, and go. I will not wait until I am rich enough, or until I find someone who wants to go to the same place I want to go to. And who knows - I might meet a kindred spirit along the way somewhere.

I want to see a UK basketball game while I live and work here. This sounds like an easy enough thing to accomplish. And it is. Last year, we bought season tickets. And we knew immediately there were games we couldn't go to because of work schedules, conferences, and the holidays. And we sold those on eBay for nice little chunks of change. And we kept selling them - arguing that it would be better to watch the games at home, not have to mess with traffic and pay for parking, or that the games were too late at night. And in some ways I was really looking forward to actually going to the games. I figured it would be a good time to be out with my husband as he loves nothing more than watching sporting events. And we never once went to a game the entire season. Next year, I am going to a game - no matter how much money I have to save up to do it, or if I have to go alone. I am not waiting anymore.

I do want to rock a little baby to sleep at night - mine. And I've put it off for the same reasons - money and companionship. I either convinced myself or let someone else convince me that I couldn't afford to have a child. And I either convinced myself or let my husband convince me that we would not make good parents. Or I convinced myself that if my husband didn't want to have children that I shouldn't want them either. I figured if he was in God's will, and God wasn't telling him to have a child, then as a wife I should submit to my husband and not have children. Well, all that hinges on my husband being in God's will. And I have to wonder how someone who neglects my basic needs for physical intimacy and companionship, who never even prays with me or event talks with me about our life in Christ could be in touch with God's will. So, who am I listening to? I used to love to watch my mom rock my brother to sleep. I was 7 when he was born and I remember begging my mom to let me hold him and rock him to sleep. I was in awe and amazed as I got to be a part of watching him grow and watching my mom care for him. I thought how nice it would be to do that myself one day. She always told me I'd make a good mom. I still think I would. I think I'd make a lot of mistakes, but I think the good I would do would make up for the mistakes in the long run.

I want to own a house. I can hardly believe that my brother is 26 years old and has owned his own home in West Palm Beach for over a year now. Now, he's had some benefits. He wasn't married before and wasn't in the kind of debt I was, and had my parents as mortgage holders. Nice, if you want family breathing down your neck and telling you for the rest of your life how much you "owe them". But I'm 34 and I've been living in an apartment now for far too long. In 2 years or less, I am outta that situation - with or without my husband. I'm actually offended that he doesn't have any motivation to look into how on earth we are ever going to get out of this renting situation. We pay as much in rent as we would for a mortgage. You'd think it would be important to him, but you have to remember, he's content. And content people have no motivation to be any better off than they are now. I am not content. In fact, I am discontent knowing how much money we are throwing into something every month that we do not own. I feel like I am spinning my wheels just trying to stay right where I am. I'd at least feel better if at the end of the month I was that much closer to paying for something that is mine. My husband has absolutely no clue how strongly I feel about this. But I can hear his response now, "We can't afford a house, and I'd never qualify for a home loan. What do you expect me to do about it now?" I expect progress, and a goal, and a specific plan to get there. Again, my problem so far has been waiting for someone to buy a house with. And I think I make enough money to buy myself a tiny little house where the cats and I can live happily ever after - and if that's what it comes down to, that's what I'll do.

I want a new car. I've never owned a new car. My parents have found and purchased most of the cars I have owned, because I've never been able to afford to buy a new car - until maybe now. But I'll be freed from a lot of debt by the end of the year, and able to afford payments on a modest new car. But again I've waited for someone to get enthusiastic about doing that with me, or helping me afford it. So, at the beginning of 2006, I'm going to shop for a new car. It's time I had that for myself and stopped worrying about it. My brother just bought a new car for his wife - because her car was having too many issues - so he just went out and bought her one. Must be nice. It's time I started taking care of myself like that instead of waiting for a man to do things like that for me. I've clearly been spoiled by the men in my family, and watching how devoted they are to the women in their lives and to building a future for their families. But I also watched my dad buy boats and hunting leases and Cadillacs and Ford Explorers - I'm not asking for that - just the same level of involvement and dedication to making things happen.

Clearly there's a lot that I want, and I'd like to continue with the list. I think it's important that I stop putting off my own needs and desires while I wait to be more "financially stable" or for the companionship and dedication of a husband to do those things with or for me. The men in my family set the bar pretty high. I don't expect perfection, but I do expect more than "I'm trying" - I want to see some evidence of progress. I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Gotta Love a Compliment

Wow! My boss just told me that she liked the work that I had been doing lately and that she could tell I was really "getting the hang" of the things I had been working on lately. She listed specifically the documents I did a good job on.

YIPPIE! [Tamara pats herself on the back]

This is where I recognize that I am not well differentiated, and at this moment I don't give a damn! Yes, a lot of how I feel about myself at work has to do with how others see me and the kind of feedback I get on my work.

I ROCK! [Tamara does the "Dance of Joy" alone in her office]

I really do like working, and lately it has been easier to get up and go to work in the mornings. I'm not dressing up as much. I just didn't seem to care as much about making a good impression. I figured I'd screwed up so much that there was little resurrecting the "old Tamara" who wore suits and came with perfect hair and clothes. Now I come dressed, and I work. Most days I work hard from 8-5. I take lunch now instead of working through it. Some days I actually leave my office and go grab a bite to eat with co-workers, or by myself. I'm extra-nice to my co-workers, but I figure they deserve it. They are nice to me.

My office allows me to "hide out" in a cubby-hole of an office on the 4th floor of a very old building here on campus. Last week I got new furniture and I am still enjoying the newness, and how great a good office chair feels on your butt. I am sure it has increased my productivity.

I mistakenly saw a document that revealed how much my co-workers make. I make about as much as anyone who has been here a few years. There are folks here who make more, but who have worked here 15 years or more. I don't want to be here in 15 years, especially if it means I am doing the same job day after day. This is another reason to be nice to my co-workers. My supervisor makes 50% more than I do - but that isn't a whole heck of a lot. I'll be nicer to her too. My boss more than doubles my salary, but she has to put up with huge jerks and raving lunatics every day. She works every weekend. She never had children. No thanks - I'll take my cubby hole.

But I Love Him

A girlfriend and I used to joke about women who's men wold run around on them & treat them like crap - they were always a special class of women who would take back any man, proclaiming in their best red-neck accent:

"But aah luuv heeem!"

Am I one of those women?, I wondered the other night. Why am I still around? Through all that he has put me through, why have I stayed? Besides the three kittens in the guest bedroom, why am I in bed next to him?

I do care about my husband, and I believe I love him. I no longer know the depths of that love, or how much I am willing to sacrifice anymore. I used to believe I would lay down my life for him, but now if it were between him and me, I wonder if I'd be able to resist hollering, "Take the selfish jerk! He treated me like crap!" I wanted to love him with the kind of love that would overcome all odds. I wonder now if such a love is just the stuff of fairytales. Maybe as humans we created this mythical love because we were so depressed once we realized "this is all there is". Dishes and laundry and cooking and paying the bills and heading off to work are all I get to do with my spouse, and most of the time I do those alone.

I really do care about Michael. I look at him in the mornings sleeping next to me and he looks so peaceful, his dark skin so beautiful against the white pillowcase. I am saddened that I will never expereince marital joy with someone who cannot experience it for himself. I used to be so in love with him. I would have traded away everything to be with him. I already have given up a lot, but there are so many things now that just aren't worth trading in.

So, why am I still there? Because aah luuv heeem.

Friday, June 10, 2005

3 Little Bursts of Sunshine

A fellow sister took the time to advise me to do something for me, and to save myself. I am grateful for her moments here on my blog. She was right, I was obsessing and wallowing in the pain, and the anger. So, I did something I really wanted to do. And while it might not seem like a lot to some, it meant a lot to me.

I am, for the nest 3 weeks, a foster mom to 3 5-week old butterscotch kittens. I picked them up from the Humane Society and will care for them until they are old enough and weigh enough to get vaccinated and be adopted. I feel like I am doing something worthwhile and fun! These three little balls of energy just make me smile from ear to ear - even when they peed on the comforter in the guest bedroom, I kind of laughed to myself and put the comforter in the wash after dumping Petzyme over the pee spots. They are eating and growing and jumping and playing. When I spend time with me they crawl all over me, and up my chest and snuggle up in my hair. I wonder if I feel at all like a momma cat. I even hate leaving them in the morning when I come to work.

Their purring against me as I hold them to my chest is my recharging time, as I imagine their life energies filling my whole body with hope. They are my 3 little bursts of sunshine.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Yesterday, I discoved that my husband has meticulously saved IM correspondence with women that he met online and had phone sex with. He has them saved to his laptop that he uses for work here - with a job he started less than 9 months ago. These correspondences date back at least 5 years. I was disgusted to see how he has catalogued these writings and saved them in special files labeled with each woman's name. He tells them how much he loves them, while at the same time lamenting about his need for isolation and his depression. Sounds exactly like how he is today. Some people never change.

These must have been the ideal relationship for Michael. He never met these women in person - never had to do anything for them. He never had to look them in the eyes, and he got to be in control. If he didn't feel like talking, he didn't have to. They were "girlfriends in a box" - in his computer screen, on his phone, arousing him mentally and physically, but requiring no giving. Perfect for the king of selfish.

So, Michael who has never talked to me during sex was sure able to run his mouth with these women enough to get them off over the phone. He's a selfish ass who cares more about himself than he ever will about anyone else. He's a coward, and liar. He claims he can't say anything during sex, or that he doesn't know what to say. Well, he sure knew how to charm the panties off women on-line in a former life. No sex drive? Bull shit. I know better now. He's lied to me and withheld from me enough.

The man who saved every bit of correspondence with these women didn't even want a photographer at our wedding. Revealing, isn't it?

He gave me up for this? He is sick, and I hate him more than I ever thought possible. I want to hurt him, get even with him, and make him pay. But I won't. He expects me to do that and somehow if he felt he paid the price, he could "buy his way out" of this mess of a marriage. At this point, the deficit is so bad there isn't enough he could do to make it up to me.

How am I supposed to take it now when he tell me he loves me when he has these chats with women on line and he told them he loved them every time he was online? Am I supposed to feel special? I feel angry, and sad for him. He traded me for his trophy letters. He has a real women next to him that he can't bring himself to be with sexually - yet he hangs on to every word he ever wrote to women he never met. He has trown me away for his cyber-sluts. Nice. Real nice.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mercy F-ing and Marital Sadism

Sweet mercy. Last night, I finished reading Chapter 11 of Passionate Marriage. It may very well have been life changing. I was about mercy fucking - and the author pulls no punches and calls it just that. This book is not for the uneducated or the faint of heart. I had thought that word in my head before, but I thought it was so coarse and vulgar that I tried to conjure up more polite terms. But taken at face value, it is just that. It is not meant to be hard-core vulgar, just brutally honest.

My heart sank, but my hope rose as I read every word of that chapter carefully. As the author described the couple in the example, I saw Michael and I trying to navigate our marriage and our sexual intimacy. And I saw myself in the man's position - "a perfect lapdog willing to be owned by anyone who would have him". I saw my husband in the woman's position as she stated that she would be perfectly content to never have sex again - but she expected her husband would not leave her, because, as she put it, "If he loved me, he would not pressure me to have sex with him and wait until I am ready." He, of course, saw this would never happen. And the longer he "waited", the more "pressure" she felt, even if he said nothing. And within a week, he exploded. Oh Lord - this was me. He was a lot like me - afraid of letting go and forcing his partner to choose - between holding out from him, and staying married to him. No, there were plenty of little differences between us and the couple described in the book. One not so little difference is the reversal of the gender roles. I would love to read an account of a woman who wants a healthy, robust sex life and a husband who is withholding sex from her because he just "isn't ever in the mood".

This chapter also addressed the issue of marital sadism. Oh, sweet mercy. This was us too. I didn't know the ways Michael has been hurting me intentionally, but I had some guesses. I sure could start to identify all the ways I purposefully tried to hurt him. Some things that came to mind I wasn't even sure about because I was certain I had tried to hurt him in so many ways that I had lost track of my attempts. So often we tell each other, "I would never intentionally hurt you - never, ever." Again, marital bullshit. We are vindictive, vengeful, and selfish people. And we like it when we see others get their comeuppence.

I am sure Michael has, on more than one occasion, withheld sex from me in order to hurt me. It is less of a weapon when I say I'm not interested. When I said I wouldn't settle for lizard-level sex, he tried to lash out in other ways. He sulked and moped around, and I'm sure he loved watching me grow more and more angry. And I would leave the house to get away from it - giving him what he wanted - silent solitude, privacy, and freedom. He had won the battle. He had been able to express his anger without actually "loosing his temper" which he prides himself on not doing. His passive aggression suited him well. He could remain calm and quiet and lash out at me at the same time.

My sadism was and is much more visible. I make comments and nonverbal gestures to indicate my disgust. I pull away when he attempts to make a move toward me in order to say, "See what it feels like, moron! Doesn't feel very good, does it?" I wanted him to feel pain and rejection and hurt like I'd felt when he neglected me and took me for granted and mistreated me. I was going to teach him a lesson. And the more times he evaded my attempts, the more I struggled to hurt him. And I was killing myself in the process and becoming more and more dependent on him for my validation. I was becoming less differentiated by the day - and he knew he had me. He was smart enough to know I was intimidated and scared to really assert myself and leave. I threatened, but I did not act. I stomped around, but I did nothing to better my situation.

I read the story in the book about the couple, and how the wife has spent 3 years in therapy to try to determine the cause of her low libido - all to no avail. Her husband waited. Only to find out all along that she loved to fuck - just not him - she was punishing him and loving the pain and frustration it inflicted. I swear, if I had been that man and I found out that my wife really did like sex but withheld from me for three years just to hurt me, I'd have stood up and said, "You miserable conniving bitch!" and walked out. How low can you stoop? It's one thing to self-destruct, but when you pull someone else down with you, that's something different.

My guess is my husband's sex drive and libido are just fine. I'd put money on the fact that he'd love to fuck (in the book's definition of it) as much (if not more) than I would. I'll bet he craves eroticism and sensuality, but it scares him to death. I'll be he enjoys my body, but is so angry with me for destroying everything good in his life (his career, privacy, freedom, and solitude), that he intends to make me just as miserable as he is. I would not be surprised to find out that not only is he clinically and severely depressed, but that he is sadistic enough to want me to be as miserable as he is. After all, misery loves company - even those loners like my husband.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Yesterday my husband turned 34. I got him his favorite foods, and baked him a cake. I did not get a hug or a kiss. He did (in his defense) say thank-you. Last night he laid in bed and watched basketball. As I said in a previous post, I lost during March madness. The thing is, I always come second to sports...all year long. Work and sports - I think work comes first to Michael, though sports sometimes competes with it to the extent that he feels rushed and overwhelmed and behind in his work. Then comes work. God comes in 3rd, I think. I come in somewhere around 4th or 5th. His brother comes before me - he likes him better, though I suppose he had quite a few years up on me there. But I'm glad he has a good relationship with his brother - it is really about the only thing in his life that makes him happy.

This morning I woke up to my headphones-wearing husband and I woke him up. I asked him why he didn't want to have sex with me. He said he did want to. So, I asked him why he didn't. He said that he felt he needed to answer the questions I had asked him over the last few days first - like whether he really does not want children, and if he would like to have a vasectomy. His answer of-the-week is this: He does not think he wants children (that's the answer he was able to conjure up in counseling on Wed. night). He was unable to look me in the eyes and tell me he definately does not ever want to have children (though I see it progressing in that direction). This morning he told me he did not want children "right now" (whatever the hell that means), but was scared to get a vasectomy for fear he would "wake up one morning and decide he wanted to have kids". I could have been hurt and cried and lost it. I could have gotten angry and felt sorry for myself. But instead I felt sorry for him.

I felt sorry that he felt pressured into marrying me. I felt sorry that he could not just stand up to me when we were dating and say, "Look - I don't ever want to have children, and if you want to be with me you'll have to realize that. I don't forsee ever changing my mind on this." I felt sorry for him that he feels he has to take a neutral position on so many areas of life. I felt sorry for the confusion and weakness he must feel. But for the first time in a long time I did not feel sorry for myself. I did not question what must be wrong with me, or why I wasn't woman enough for him. I felt strong and empowered. I felt relief to finally have arrived at the truth. I felt love and compassion for him. I felt ready to let go of him and hold on to myself.

I took off my wedding ring. I took my "engagement" ring out of my ring holder. I took my anniversary band out as well. I laid them on the dresser as I got ready for work. I washed my face and dressed and put on my makeup without crying. My husband had already made his way into his office where he hides out in the mornings if he is awake so he does not have to speak to me. I got my things together, and was ready to head out the door. I went into the bedroom and looked at the rings on the dresser. They represented a lot of pain, disappointment, and my husband's attempts to rectify situations that were already beyond repair at the 11th hour. They represented to me the tears and the pain I keep hidden everyday.

I held the three rings in my hand and looked at them. They were beautiful and elegant - still shiny and sparkling. They reminded me of what I had hoped our relationship would be like - strong, elegant, magnificent, beautiful, and of great value. I walked into my husband's office on the way out the door. He told me I looked nice today. I said thanks. I told him that I valued his honesty this morning. And I placed the rings on his desk in front of him. He glanced down, and we both said nothing. As I walked out the front door, he was behind me and looked out after me. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could and made it to work. I did not cry. I have not cried. I hope I make it through the night, as I have nowhere to go but home. But now I feel like I know where I'm headed. My left hand feels strange, and glancing down as I type is a reminder of what I left at home this morning. But I took my dignity and my hopes for the future with me. I won't ever leave those behind again. I did that once, and I already paid the price.

Finally, I am awake.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


In reading The Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, I've been introduced to a theory called "differentiation". I have so many different thoughts and feelings about the theory and its potential impact on my marriage, myself, and my husband (both good and bad) that I thought it might be helpful to write about those thoughts in the days and weeks ahead.

I've read almost half of the book. So far, I've cussed at the author in my mind, laughed right out loud at truisms that were worded better than I could have ever imagined, and hurt so much from being confronted with my own insecurities that the tears just streamed down my face. But I am learning more about letting go of my husband and holding on to myself. It doesn't mean I don't care. I just means that I am choosing to no longer allow his fear and anxiety to have an impact on me. It means I am taking care of my own needs instead of waiting with fading hope for him to take care of them for me (or even with me). It means that his behaviors and interactions with me and his responses to me will have less of an impact on how I feel about myself and the choices I make than they once did.

I bought a vibrator. I laughed to myself when I thought about "self-soothing". Well, yeah. It was a sad day when I realized that I was purchasing it not to have fun with my husband, but because our sex life is relatively non-existent. I am tired of a lazy and apathetic, stressed out and anxiety-ridden man lying next to be trying to psych himself up to have sex with me. I've been reminiscing about some of my past sexual experiences. This is not an effort to make me forget about my husband, but instead to remind myself that it can be good, and passionate, and involved, and most of all - that the problem is NOT all mine. It is NOT because I am overweight, or 34, or intelligent, or assertive, or moody. It is not because I am not Maggie, his "Canadian rose". He doesn't have sex with me because he chooses not to. Period. It is not my job to psychanalyze him and figure out why and try to do something about it. IF he cared about it, HE would do something. And him not caring about it is not a reflection on me. It is only a reflection of him. There is nothing wrong with me, or undesirable about me. I smell good, feel good, and I am sexy and pretty. I am a good sexual "technician" and can be a wonderful lover with someone who would allow that to happen. But for now, I am choosing to have my needs met - at least those I can fulfill on my own.

It hurts like hell, but it hurts less than allowing him to have such an impact on my sense of self. I wonder how long it will be before I realize I really am strong enough to leave.

Privacy & Freedom

In our most recent counseling session, my husband revealed that his two strongest values are:


Now, he was clearly not referring to privacy in the governmental sense - nor was he referring to freedom in the political sense. He was talking about personal values - who he is and what he needs and wants.

Is it any surprise then that I am hurt as neither of his top two values have ANYTHING to do with me, marriage, his role as a husband (or potential father), or relationships with others including myself?

I can give him these things, but in doing so I feel I will strip away much of the potential we might have left to create a marriage - a relationship - a bond between us. I can let him keep his secrets. I can let him keep himself and his thoughts and feelings hidden from me. I can stop asking him questions, pestering and nagging him and sobbing when I feel "shut out". I can self-soothe and differentiate and quiet myself (more on differentiation later). But at the end of the day, I will still "feel" alone and isolated from my husband. Why would I choose to live like that?

Now, I believe in privacy too. I believe in not opening each other's mail. I believe in closing the bathroom door when you go in to do your business. I do not need to know the details of what went on in there when he emerges. I believe that husbands and wives do not need to know every tiny detail of each other's comings and goings. I do not need to know every phone call he makes during the day, what he ate for lunch, or what he did at work.

I do, however, believe in honesty and openness, and in being forthright. I do not tolerate lying of any kind, especially those lies that like to masquerade as "protecting my feelings". I do not tolerate secretiveness. I feel like when my husband tells me that he has to go "run some errands" or "has an appointment" that he is being purposely evasive. And I wonder what he is trying to hide. Now, I've just stopped asking. I used to check up on things, but after I found out about things he was buying, and things he was watching, and things he was writing, I stopped looking. Eventually, I stopped caring. I have to be honest with myself and to him. If he chooses not to be honest and forthright with me, he will have to answer to God for that. If this is what he means by privacy, he can have it. But he can have it without me.

And what of freedom? I believe in that too. But each realtionship we engage in strips away some of our freedom. I have a career here in Lexington. I have to be at work at 8, and cannot leave until 5. I can only take one hour for lunch. I am told how to dress, and I must look professional. I cannot bring my cat to work. I cannot talk to friends on the phone all day. What a drag. There is no freedom in this job! Yes, but I am still free. I chose this job - willingly and knowingly. And the "rules" are ones I can live with, even the rules my boss makes up from time to time. But I can walk away at any minute. I am not stuck - I am free. I can live in government housing and eat government cheese. I can live in a cardboard box under the overpass. There is freedom in that box - freedom from rent, from the housing authority, and from neighbors. But there is a price for freedom. The cost is obvious.

My friendship with Megan limits my freedom. I can't just say any old thing that comes to mind. My "freedom of speech" is limited - IF I want to maintain the friendship. I VALUE friendship MORE than FREEDOM (of speech, anyway - other freedoms, well, I'll think about that).

My relationship with Christ limits my freedom in more ways than I can imagine. It limits my freedom of speech, of expression, of religion, and more. It limits what I see, consume, what I go - and who I am at my very core. But I VALUE my ETERNITY more than I value FREEDOM.

So, I value privacy and I value freedom. But I value myself more than to be taken for granted by someone who values these so much that he looses sight of marriage, of intimacy, and of his relationship with his family, his friends, and most importantly - his God. He can have his privacy and his freedom. Time will tell if he is willing to pay the price to get them.