Cards on the Table in Reconstruction

  • Sept. 2, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
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  • Public

Cards on the table?

I told work to sod off yesterday. Barometric pressure was significantly fucking with my body. So I just crawled back in bed, closed my eyes, and slept through almost the entire day. Which… on one hand, good… because I needed it. On the other hand… if I was going to be home all day… I would have rather spent that time on cleaning the house, doing laundry, doing dishes, and packing more of Nancy’s shit. That didn’t get done. So I figured I’d do it that evening.

Then Victoria called. She wanted to know if I could come pick her up and if we could spend time together that evening. Ultimately, because I know she’s been having a rough go of it lately, I figured it’d be a good idea. I could always clean later… I mean, cleaning is never EVER actually finished merely achieved to a satisfactory temporary arbitrarily set limit for satisfaction. So why not.

I had no expectations of anything sexual. Nor was I going to reject anything sexual. And I didn’t even hesitate. BUT here is what the ‘non-hesitation’ means: I am no longer paternalistic in my interactions. There was a time where I would have thought, “She’s in a rough place. If sexual conduct is initiated, I should reject it because I don’t want to take advantage of a young woman in a bad place.” NOPE. I don’t know if it is a change in me or simply how I view things with Victoria but.... did not think like that. My thoughts are more… this is an adult woman making decisions about her time and her attention. I am an adult man making decisions about my time and my attention. If she wants to spend her time with me and her attention on sexual conduct and I do as well… it isn’t my responsibility to “protect her from herself.”

So I went to pick her up. She looked amazing and was wearing one of the outfits she’d picked up over the weekend. It’s funny. The outfit would have looked good on her if she still had all of her hair (she shaved it all off many months ago) but it would have had a different unspoken air to it. With longer hair, it would have been cute and sexy. With just the red super short hair; it was more just sexy. That’s a thing that Victoria has a hard time with sometimes. Her current hair cut makes her look like an absolute badass… she should embrace the appearance inwardly. Tough to do, I know, but if she saw herself as badass more, she might feel better. We spoke on the drive to my place. We discussed the kids, her day, and she wanted to give me tips about the Dating Profile (more props and pictures that demonstrate personality; find a way to discuss how amazingly kind you are, etc). When we got to my place, there was an agenda. She is, brilliantly, entirely against anything sexual while she is drunk as she does not wish to create any question as to proper consent (THANK YOU!) so she wanted to engage in sexual conduct, then drink. Which is what happened.

Of course, as she drank, she opened up more. I can 100% pick ‘em. Obviously, Victoria is infinitely better than Nancy in a lot of ways (not least of which is her kindness towards me, her concern and communication) and any comparison between the two is not meant to elevate one or devalue one. But Victoria is very much experiencing something that feels like a Nancy’s Issue. You see… Victoria is a mom of two kids and her entire identity (to her) is wrapped up in the Domestic. She’s a wife and mother and nothing else. This is combining with all of the stress and trauma going on for everyone these days to bring her pretty down in the dumps. She’d like an identity that is HERS. That doesn’t revolve around who she is domestically. But she isn’t sure of how to do that. So she does her domestic duties and then kind of “runs away” when Remus is available to watch the kids. A great and excellent thing, though, is that Victoria always makes sure to let me know (as we discuss these matters) that it isn’t something she expects me to fix, or solve, or do anything about. And when I apologize that I can’t help more; she is quick to check me for it… reminding me that it isn’t my job to do anything about it. Like… this is a brilliant and appreciated switch (made easier by not actually being her husband). Nancy made me feel like any time things weren’t good… it was my responsibility to fix it. Victoria is always about taking responsibility for her own emotions and issues. Hell, over the weekend, she wore the wrong shoes and was feeling pained. When she noticed I was working through the thing to find a solution, she stopped me and stated clearly, “This was my bad choice. It is on me to either fix it myself, deal with the consequences of my choice, or ask to go home. You don’t need to do anything and you certainly don’t need to feel guilty or bad about what was ultimately my choice.” And honestly… that… was beautiful but weird. Like Nancy would constantly make me feel like shit in times like that. SO… the directly stated permission to treat her like an adult that made her own choices and had to deal with them? That was nice. And was reiterated last night as she was lamenting her present depression. And yet… I care about her. Even without any sexual elements between us, she is one of my closest friends and I wish there was something I could do to help her with her current funk. But I know there isn’t. Because the real truth is that THE FUNK is largely being felt by most intelligent Americans. We have a government system that has failed to produce the proper checks and balances on a deranged madman; the deranged madman has a VERY REAL chance at winning a second term; and the pandemic he and his supporters ignore is getting worse and worse all the time. There is some VERY REAL trauma we’re all going through right now and not a lot that most people can do about it.

And honestly, after dropping her back off and going home… I slept really well. I’ve been sleeping a lot better since I started seeing her at least once a week. And for all the peace, comfort, sex, and encouragement she gives me… I’d like to give her some peace of mind of her own.

Work today is stupid. Work is stupid in general, of course. Today we discovered that one of the firms we deal with had a confirmed case of COVID. But of course that doesn’t mean they are changing their trial perspectives. So… yeah, in the middle of Iowa now being considered a genuine HOT SPOT for this damned virus… I have to prepare for a Jury Trial in 12 days. Against an attorney who works in a firm with a confirmed COVID case. As we gather together 50 people from ages 18 to 98 in a small room to sit and hear testimony for no less than 3 days. Sure. Sure. SOUNDS REALLY FUCKING SMART! Jackasses.

On top of that, of course, I have my regular shit. So… dozens of hearings tomorrow; multiple trials tomorrow, people calling me all day today to try to get out of traffic tickets. Allllll sorts of stupid shit.

Wednesdays are my usual day with Victoria but considering she came over last night… I’m not sure I’ll see her tonight. Honestly, for her sake… I kind of hope not. Don’t get me wrong. I care about her and would LOVE to spend time with her… even if it was just walking Nala or watching TV… but I got her Sunday night and Tuesday Night. As down as she is about domestic stuff… I can’t keep her all to myself. Especially when she has 2 kids, a husband, and two other men to fit into her schedule. BUT… we’ll see. If she doesn’t come over… dishes, and laundry, and cleaning, and packing await me in my own domestic future.

girl in recession September 02, 2020

It sounds like you're really growing as a person, which is awesome. the way you described the Paternalistic thing reminded me of a friend I had in my early 20's. We'd go out drinking in a big group, and I remember wanting to leave the bar to buy chips at the corner store. We were in downtown Boston and this particular friend felt the need to literally follow me to the corner store to "protect" me because I was a young woman walking around by myself in downtown Boston, a little drunk, at night.

I never really spoke to that friend after that, it pissed me off so much.

Of course, I didn't need protecting. I just got back from being a young woman backpacking by myself around Syria, Lebanon, and living in Egypt for a year. I could handle myself in the town I grew up in - Boston - just fine. It was insulting to me that a man who couldn't take care of himself thought he could help me in any way in that situation!

Park Row Fallout girl in recession ⋅ September 02, 2020

I'll be honest with you... that was ABSOLUTELY me in my early 20s. I would have straight up said something like, "You're leaving? Let me go with you. I could use some fresh air and a bit of a break." But the real reason would have 100% been to make sure you got to your destination safely.

girl in recession Park Row Fallout ⋅ September 02, 2020

Yeah that's at least a smarter way of going about it. I think if he just said he wanted snacks too I wouldn't have noticed/cared! I do think he wanted everyone to know he was "the protector"

He got divorced a few years ago actually.

DE_KentuckyGirl September 02, 2020

What V is experiencing regarding identity is very common for mothers, especially of small children. They need so much time and attention that almost everything you do is scheduled around providing. It definitely takes some introspection and sometimes deliberate choices in action to balance that out.

I am sure it helps her tremendously to just be able to talk to you about it with no judgment.

Park Row Fallout DE_KentuckyGirl ⋅ September 02, 2020

I hope so. I'll admit, it is nice being expressly relieved of any sense of responsibility for the issue. I just genuinely hope that her depression and/or this world at large gives a bit of a break soon. The oppressive crush of everything right now is driving people quite mad.

hippiechica15 September 02, 2020

This all shows a lot of emotional growth! That's fantastic!!

Park Row Fallout hippiechica15 ⋅ September 02, 2020

Thanks! I just feel really lucky that I was able to have a friend help me through all of this stuff otherwise I know I wouldn't be progressing this well.

hippiechica15 Park Row Fallout ⋅ September 02, 2020

You are, she seems like a wonderful friend <3

stargazing September 02, 2020

The best thing you can do for Victoria is just listen. I'm loving that she takes responsibility for her choices.

Rhapsody in Purple September 04, 2020

It’s interesting how Victoria sees herself because when you describe her it never comes across as just a wife/mum domestic sort of person. Although she is doing those things in her life, but it fills like she has a very full life of many other things.

Park Row Fallout Rhapsody in Purple ⋅ September 04, 2020

I would agree; but I think we see ourselves often as what we do most. It's why the common question is "What do you do?" Because those in full time jobs do job more than most other things. So, while she does have a fairly full life in many regards... any time she spends at home feels domestic and becomes really how she sees herself. My theory, anyway.

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