Monday, March 12, 2007

Beautiful weekend

It turned really lovely this weekend. It's not fair, in some ways. We need rain. We haven't had enough this winter and that's not good. There's already a wild fire down in southern CA this year. That's way too early. But at the same time, it was wonderful to be out in short sleeves and enjoying the nice weather.

My allergies were better on Sunday. I have thought about getting shots. My doctor and I talked about the possibility last time I was in, but she wants me to try a consistent regimen before getting them. And when I am consistent, I don't have as much of a problem.

I had Saturday and Sunday on my own...S was preparing a presentation for a student group on Saturday and was spending the day with SS on Sunday. Saturday I mostly was on the computer. I was looking into allergy stuff...and I joined If any of you are members, feel free to look me up. I'm listed under "Spins," of course. I also joined under my name, so that I can connect to people for my practice.

Sunday morning, I decided to check out this dance event that happens every Sunday from 11-1 at Ashkenaz (a music venue in Berkeley). Basically, they put on music, charge a cover, and you come in and dance. It's a really mixed crowd. The music was great. There was no one trying to pick people up. Most people came as singles, so I didn't feel self-concious that I was there alone. It was a lot of fun. I danced for an hour and it felt great!

I went and had some lunch, then went to REI (conveniently just across the street from Ashkenaz). REI made me a little grumpy. I'm trying to be more active. Some of the things that I see in the store are accessible to me, but because of my size some are not. We are planning to go kayaking, for instance, in April, but I'm concerned about whether I can sit comfortably in a kayak. The weight that I carry is almost all in my butt and thighs, so this is a very real worry. And don't get me started on the lack of plus size active wear! Still it was interesting to see all the food that you just add water to and cook, along with random camping stuff.

I came home for shopping, cleaning and laundry. Then had a lovely evening just chilling out. Yesterday went by way too fast.

I have to say that I'm fascinated by how Hammer and Hyde struggle to understand my relationship. I wonder how other people experience reading about this as well. If anyone has specific questions or would like to share their experience of reading about my relationship, I would love to hear it.

I sometimes wonder if the confusion comes not just from the form the relationship takes, but because of who S, himself, is. I've really never known anyone like him. He calls me a strange girl, but he really is a strange boy. He's an introvert, but always needs to be engaged in some way with something. He's got an incredibly wide range of interests. I am, of course, still in a honeymoon phase with him, but I do know that he isn't perfect.

Anyway, I'd welcome comments or questions and do my best to answer them.


Hyde said...

Hmm... I'll have to think carefully about this. I am trying to understand it and have a lot of questions/comments/opinions, but in the end, I really feel like it's none of my business and if you're happy, you're happy, so why should I go poking? You know?

You're probably right that some of it is due to the "polyamory" and some of it is simply due to who S is.

Anyway, I have a lot on my plate today (as you know) but I'll get back to you on this one.


Cody Bones said...

Spins, as a 4M (Male, Middle-aged, Married, Midwesterner) as well as a conservative(libertarian actually), It seems to me that your blissfully happy with S, and that really is all that matters. I realize that I just know what I read on these pages, but Hyde, if you read this, and PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, I think I understand Spins relationship more than yours and Narc's. As an avid reader of both blogs, and witness to a number of divorces in my social circle, there are not a lot of blissfully happy couples out there. Spins, the reason why your blog is one of my favorites is that your joy and happiness with life shines through. Hyde's intelligence and pure emotion really make for amazing reading. You both deserve happiness.I really look forward to all your posts.
Spins, S is a very lucky man, even though I don't know the guy, he is blessed to have you in his life. Stay doing what you think is right, and "Stay Gold Ponyboy"

hammer said...

I'm with Hyde on the whole, "If you're happy, who am I to comment" thing. But you seem to have a hard time standing up for yourself and so I often wonder what you're sacrificing for S.

i guess that i just don't get the whole "2 girlfriends" thing. when i read your blog, i find myself searching for some subconscious jealousy or competition that you might have with SS or something. It just seems so unfair, because you seem to love S so much --- i mean, wouldn't you love to have him be just be devoted to you?

You also seem (on my reading) to be struggling with self-esteem issues. And so I wonder whether you're setting with S when you really might deserve more? I must say I was surprised when you mentioned that you were in a sort of Master-Slave situation with him, and that scared me. My friend once explained to me some good advice she got: the sub-dom aspect is one "track" of your relationship, but it's also important to have other "tracks" too.

I guess that it seems to me that you're such a sweet and nice person (and so in Love with S) that you may be reluctant to speak up for what you really may want, you may be neglecting to admit that you may want some sort of a commitment from him, even to yourself. I'm trying not to compare you to conventional "norms" but I'm just observing/commenting/opining on what I see when I read your blogs about S. (and perhaps I'm projecting a bit, because if I were you, I would want the relationship to progress a little bit, to move forward, to become more intimate.)

I'm not super-familiar with the polyamorous lifestyle in practice (just in theory), but for some reason it seems to favor men being polys and women being not polys.

On a final note, I hope you know that I'm not goign to judge you or reprimand you for remaining in your situation as it is. I was just answering your questions. I understand the urge to stay in a non-textbook-healthy relationship (aka me + Wiz). But I also understand that it's possible to release oneself from it and find just what one is searching for afterwards, a level of mutuality that always seemed impossible before.

Every loyally your reader,

Aravis said...

I don't have any questions for you Spins. I think I get it. Like cody, you have this great joy and passion for life that comes through when I read. I know that things aren't always perfect in your relationship, but the same can be said of any relationship. I can see where Hammer is coming from regarding possible insecurities; I would struggle with jealousy myself. But I have also seen how S (and even SS) have built up your self-esteem and have encouraged you to do things for yourself, such as writing those articles, making pamphlets for your group, and going hiking, etc. You shine through your writing when you discuss your relationship with them, and honestly I'm happy for you. You're a pretty amazing woman, imo. :0)

Lord Bargain said...

I had to have it explained to me. I don't know whether I missed a vital bit somewhere, but I suddenly realised I didn't really know what was going on.

If it works, it works. I can't say I don't wonder how exactly it works in practice (S seems to be doing OK out of it...) but hey - if it's good, then that's fine by us all, I reckon.

Hyde said...

Hey Spins,

Okay—here’s my “hyde-esque” mega response.

I’ll explain some of my confusion. I want to reiterate again that I’m happy that you’re happy and I’m not trying to be judgmental… I’m just trying to understand. As Cody pointed out, my relationship with Narc has seemed incomprehensible at times, and I know that relationships often have their own logic impenetrable to others. But as an avid reader of your blog, and a “student of human nature,” I always try to rise to the challenge of understanding my fellows.

There are a few different aspects of your relationship with S that have me curious—

First of all, there’s the polyamory thing. I for one wouldn’t be able to deal with it. When you first talked about it in August, it didn’t seem to be your “first choice.” You said “I may have to split my time with S, but…” And you’ve also talked about competitiveness between you and SS at points—in November you talked about “some rough spots,” when both you and SS were dealing with feelings of jealousy. If polyamory is not your ideal, how do you reconcile it to yourself?

The next part of the relationship that has peaked my interest is your “master-slave” dynamic. You talked about your relationship really early on as a “contracted relationship” and then explained what that meant in September—that you would give him rights over your time, body and thoughts “ shape to his whim.” I thought it was interesting how you related this back to your relationship with your father. You said that your father was never able to make decisions which left you anxious, always trying to make the right decision for him. S relieves that anxiety because he just tells you what he wants. I picked up on this because of a similar experience in my childhood. Growing up with an alcoholic father, I was consistently trying to read his mood and with a lot of anxiety, make the right decisions without being offered any clear direction. Like you, I now tend to gravitate towards dominant men who can relieve me of that particular anxiety. But for me, I have been learning that such a dynamic is not a healthy thing. I need to learn how to not relieve myself of the burden of decision-making by losing myself in another. I need to stop losing myself in relationships. So, it’s interesting to watch you (as a healthier person than I, and a therapist!) embrace the kind of relationship I have been learning to see as “unhealthy.”

The next thing is that I’ve noticed that since you’ve been with S, you’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about your body image issues. You comment quite frequently on how S has given you a more positive body image, telling us that he loves your body. I’m happy for you that this is the case but there appears to be another current present. S often criticizes your lack of athleticism. All the way back in October, you wrote about feeling left out when S and SS were talking about a weekend of bodywork training. You talked about being left behind when S and SS went off to look at sea lions on a hike in November. As a gift to him, S wants you to be better able to match his pace when hiking or swimming. You told us yourself that all of this intensifies long-present insecurities stemming from competitive feelings that you had with your sister—she was the athletic one and you felt uncomfortable and clumsy. Perhaps it’s because you are feeling better about yourself that you’re confronting these issues, but I can’t help but notice a lot of posts that address your feeling overweight. (To name a few off the top of my head, you mentioned some guy calling you “wide’ in your corset, a “Cold Case” episode that characterized single women as fat and lonely, recently the CSI episode in which a fat woman smothers her lover, etc.) I guess what I’m saying is that while you tell us that your body image has improved, I keep getting the sense that you are feeling fat. I can’t imagine that S’s demands that you improve your athletic ability would make you feel better about yourself. For me, such demands would probably trigger a lot of insecurity. Believe me-- I sympathize with body image issues and struggle with my self esteem. Maybe my reading of these posts has been overly sensitive. But, I’ve been confused. Two messages have been present—that S leads you to feel good and to feel bad about your body. And either way, he is the one framing the way in which you see yourself.

And on a lighter note, the last thing that I find interesting about the relationship are some of your unique activities that always make me smile—like when S and SS stopped by to “pet you” or when he had you guys act like sea lions.

Anyway… that’s it. Since everyone seems to be chiming in, I thought I’d give you the explanation behind my comment this week when I said “I keep trying to understand your relationship with S, but I don't quite get it.” I think it’s great if you’ve found something that works for you, but like I said-- I’ve been struggling to “get it.”

You know that I am the furthest thing from an expert on relationships. In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I am a walking romance-disaster. So, I’m not trying to criticize your relationship with S in any way. I’m only trying to understand how other people navigate issues of jealousy, self-esteem, etc. when it comes to love. I have a lot to learn… I guess we all do.

Stay happy!