No. It’s not okay if I get pregnant.

I’ve had to abandon hormonal birth control, because it makes me sick. While I’m considering an IUD, that’s something of a process, so it’s just condoms and somewhat hypocritical prayer for the time being. This comes up a surprising amount, with medical professionals and even family and friends, perhaps because we live in a society where people “check in” to the urologist on Facebook…

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… therefore, I’ve realized that the world is super okay with an accidental pregnancy for Belle.

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Aunt Lacy: “Why get on birth control? Why not just have a baby?”
Me: “Because Jake and I… aren’t married?”
Aunt Lacy: “So? You’re old enough.”

Me: “Well, I’m not on anything right now. Both Nuvaring and the pill made me sick, so it’s just condoms and prayer.”
Nurse: “Well, if it happens, it happens.”

Aunt Dee: “Well, you’re 28 now. If you got pregnant, it would be wonderful.”

Please, tell me more about how okay you are with taking my remaining years of freedom. Let’s talk about how great it will be for me to get fat and go five years without sleeping. I’m sure Jake will be thrilled to either have to propose, knowing he’ll never convince me that he actually wanted to marry me or break my heart forever.

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I have just gotten the hang of putting the dishes in the dishwasher, as I go, as opposed to musing aloud about taking them to a car wash while balancing a mug precariously on top of the pile like a game of kitchen Jenga. I am so shocked that I’ve kept a plant alive since Christmas that I’m not even sure it’s a real plant. In just the last week, my pets have had to alert me to their need for water by barking and meowing when I turn on the bathroom faucet. It’s either really flattering that the rest of society thinks I can handle the life of another human being or really quite sad that their standards are so low, because I’m perfectly willing to admit that I can barely take care of myself right now. I am finally at a point in my life where I can afford a small emergency and remain on top of my bills and I’m enjoying such expansive financial freedom in comparison with where I was one year ago.

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… how my bills got paid from 2007-2015…

It’s fantastic that the rest of the world is now so keen on babies born out of marriage. I’ve seen Bastard Out of Carolina twelve times and I’m not a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, so I really do mean that. I’m glad society is more accepting of individual lifestyles, but I still have a pretty traditional idea of the one I want to live. Call me old-fashioned, but I think life is generally easier and more pleasant for everyone involved if two people fall in love, marry, enjoy some time alone, and then have babies. I don’t want to be the only one to take my kids to basketball and ballet, to be the enemy when I take away electronic time for the weekend, to attend parent teacher conferences and pick up snacks for pre-K, because it’s my week to be the parent. I admire my single mom friends, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look absolutely exhausting.

Fine. I concede that at this point in my life and relationship, I wouldn’t actually even be a single mom. Jake would step up, but his mother and father would never respect me again. Regardless of my financial standing, my dad and step-mom would be disappointed in me, too. Who cares what they think, though, right? I do. I care what they think. I care how the world reacts to the news that I’m having a baby and entering a new and exciting stage of life. So, yes, maybe a child wouldn’t derail my entire future, as it might have once, but it’s still one of my greatest fears and will remain so until long after my wedding day, because I can only handle one mouthy redhead for the moment. Am I being ridiculous and overdramatic? Possibly, but no one really gets to decide that other than me. I am not ready for a baby. I want to be excited by the prospect of parenthood, as does Jake. We are the primary individuals effected, after said baby, therefore it’s only our opinions that matter. So everyone needs to back the fuck off and stop jinxing my uterus with their damn well wishing!

 

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Being Out of Communion with the Church

 

On a scale of one to ten, with one being the guy who checks the box because his great grandma dragged him to Mass every Sunday until he was eleven and ten being a nun, I am a relatively devoted Catholic, landing at about a six. To define more clearly, I go to church every Sunday and confession at least twice a year. I’ve never blatantly sinned, only to declare that all was well the next day, because I asked for forgiveness with no intention of changing my ways. I try not to say God’s name in vain. I pray and give thanks. I aim to be honest and good. I’m not perfect, but I don’t knowingly break Catholic teachings… or I didn’t, until now.

Jake and I are having sex. I’ve told you that, without too much detail. It wasn’t a slip up and I didn’t get caught up in the moment. I didn’t change some kind of vow I’d made, because my feelings surprised me. No. In fact, I made a conscious decision, long before I met Jake, that I wasn’t going to wait until I was married to have sex: a mortal sin, that requires absolution from a priest, through confession, for one to be considered in communion with the Catholic Church and receive the Eucharist.

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All you non-Catholics are either scratching your heads or rolling your eyes, but as Christ granted the apostles the ability to absolve mortal sins, so goes the way of the Catholic Church with priests. Furthermore, despite all the jokes to the contrary, if the confessor does not genuinely intend to avoid further sin, true absolution cannot be received. That’s the deal for Catholics. It’s non-negotiable and this is my faith.

Having been divorced young, I’ve heard a dozen stories about why others’ marriages ended and a sad number of them directly related to sex. A high school friend’s ex-husband had a general, but whopping porn addiction; another acquaintance waited until she was married to have sex, only to find out her new husband wasn’t interested in the slightest; Gaily’s ex-husband was just into really weird stuff; in addition to numerous other issues, even my own former marriage suffered from my ex-husband’s complete lack of interest, because sex is exercise. Of course, a healthy marriage goes far beyond the physical, and each of the above had other severe issues, but there are so many variables that can make or break that relationship, that I just couldn’t bring myself to promise not to explore any and all that I could before making a lifelong commitment, again.

At 23 years old, I sat crying in a judge’s office and I did make a vow. I vowed that the next time, I’d make an educated decision on my partner and over time, I came to decide that this included sex. I’d often read an online dating profile that elaborated (usually far too much) on sexual preference. One man declared himself a dominant, while others revealed that they’d like to act out rape fantasies, and most would simply admit to their appetites and how often they’d like to engage. I consider myself pretty open-minded sexually. There’s not a lot that I think Jake would suggest, that I wouldn’t try. However, if his suggestion was that we only have sex, missionary style, twice a month, I’d object. I’m young and healthy and have the sexual appetite and sense of adventure to match. I don’t want to be with someone who feels guilty at trying new things or lacks interest in that connection. I also don’t want to be with someone who can’t enjoy it without props and gimmicks. I just want to be with someone sexually normal and I’ve known for some time that I could never discover what that meant to either of us, while clothed.

In a lot of ways, the decision has come down to with which sin I could most comfortably live. My previous marriage was never acknowledged by the Catholic Church, but my next one most certainly will be. I won’t get off so easy if I find myself divorced again, because unless you receive an annulment, you are still married. Any relationship pursued, beyond this point, is adultery, so getting a divorce (and living as such) despite the Church’s teachings, is a mortal sin… and one I can never rectify. With Jake, I can once again be in communion with the Catholic Church on the day our marriage is blessed, typically one year after having a non-Catholic wedding. That may be a couple of years away, but if we waited until marriage to have sex, only to realize that some element of our sex lives would lead to divorce, I’d be out of the Church’s graces for good. I know there are a dozen other factors that could lead to divorce, but we’ve explored those as well. Jake knows my financial views and priorities and I know his. We’ve discussed parenting styles and religion. Why wouldn’t we explore a fundamental aspect of marriage, like sex, as thoroughly as we could?

I’m rationalizing. I know I am, just as I rationalize using birth control, because I’m already breaking one cardinal rule and can’t imagine being pregnant and feeling so alone again. According to the Church, my priest, my fellow practicing Catholics, my reasons don’t matter. I don’t know better than God and I am truly remorseful for the weakness and pride behind my decision. I am not criticizing the Church. I love the Catholic Church and I understand and agree with their rules, even this one. God does not negotiate. I just can’t bring myself to risk the pain I felt, sitting in that judge’s office. It far outweighed the pain I feel sitting in the pew, as everyone else partakes in Communion… and I’m sorry for that, as well.

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The Romantic Weekend that had Nothing to Do with Valentine’s Day

Jake and I both find Valentine’s Day to be kind of lame. I’m pretty sure Jake has never celebrated it. In fact, the only way I have, in the last several years, is by going to dinner with Gail to reminisce over the infant daughter she lost on February 13, 2010, just weeks before I would’ve had the baby I miscarried. It’s not just a greeting card holiday for me. It’s actually a pretty sensitive time of year, one when I’m quite prone to tears. As timing would have it, though, it was on February 12 that I received my third and final Gardasil shot. After eight months, Jake and I would finally be able to have sex without voiding the $600 I spent to vaccinate myself against his sluttier days. So, more in spite of the faux holiday than because of it, I scheduled five days off, from the 12th through the 16th… and Jake decided to plan a ski trip.

Y’all, recently I’ve admitted that my relationship with Jake is pretty old school. He pays and opens doors. I make him peanut brittle and chat with his mom in the kitchen, while he goes quail hunting on the family ranch. It would never work for Gail, Laura, or Catherine and to each their own. I just love that Jake’s… the boy. I don’t care if that makes me June Cleaver, Samantha Stephens, or Charlotte York. I’m not living my life to make a statement for the modern woman and I’m not real fond of the modern man.

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Specifically, I loathe the tendency modern men have to refuse to make any plans. Every woman knows the conversation.

“What do you wanna do?”
“I don’t care. What do you wanna do?”
“Whatever you wanna do.”

I wanna watch as your testicles descend and you make a fucking decision. That’s what I wanna do.

tumblr_nzgsuslugj1qlvwnco1_500 How was I single for so long?!?!

I come up with plenty of fun ideas. I just don’t want to be the only one doing so. The catch of course, is that when you insist the man make the plan, you have to go with it… entirely. You can’t veto this aspect or that aspect, so my only caveat was that Jake check to make sure our hotel was not on the bed bug registry. With my having no more real information that that, on Friday morning, after I got my shot, we were off!

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The moment we left, Jake declared that we wouldn’t be stopping at all for several hours… and promptly relented every time I had to go to the bathroom. The drive was relaxed as we debated politics, talked about work, gossiped about our friends. Any silences we had were easy and comfortable, despite the fact that Jake doesn’t really listen to music when he drives. Jake humored me as I took photos of everything and told me tales of his previous ski trips, encouraging me not to get too frustrated if I didn’t pick it up quickly. He thought he was being encouraging, anyway. In actuality, he was just insisting over and over again that I’d likely suck at skiing and therefore hate it, continually citing his friend’s wife who got so frustrated that she insisted on walking down the mountain alone. I assured him I’d try and that I was looking forward to it, but was worried that the sport, in general, would cause me back pain.

It was evening when we arrived in Ruidoso, luckily still light out, so we could see the snow on the mountains and find a place to eat. We’d each had a pretty rough week at work, mine having actually involved a hysterical phone call to Jake the night before…

Me: “Could you please pack the pink travel bottles I left at your place?”
Jake: “Yeah. Sure. Are you crying?”
Me: “NO. I just have something in both my eyes!”
Jake: “So, that’s a yes.”

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I told you it’s a weepy time of year for me.

Jake works in the oilfield and he’d just embarked on a trip that cost right around a thousand dollars. He had his own job worries after driving all day and coming off the night shift. By the time we’d eaten and gotten back to the hotel room, we were both exhausted and fell asleep around 8:30, like the party animals we are.

I woke numerous times in the night, unable to sleep because my left shoulder and the left side of my neck were painfully tight and my arm was throbbing from where I’d gotten my shot. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing how many times I got hurt over the weekend and it’s just… not surprising at all.

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The next morning, it finally happened. Yes, yes. I doubled the number of men with whom I’ve had sex… more than that if you want to get into discussion as to what counts as a man… and sex. Not to go into unpleasant amounts of detail, I’ll just say that Jake and I definitely click, sexually. Gail was right and we just continued doing the same things we’ve been doing, only without stopping this time. I barely even worried about what to do with my arms. It was just the perfect amount of comfortably awkward, messy, and emotional. I wouldn’t change a thing.

We spent Saturday procuring skis, ski pants for me (only $45!), and browsing the stores on main street. Jake bought me a souvenir t-shirt and it was the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ll ever get, because that wasn’t his intention at all. He just likes to do sweet things for me. There was only one small theater in town and it looked like it would have folding chairs in the auditoriums, but we decided to see Deadpool anyway.Though we loved it, we agreed we’d never let our children watch it as we made our way back to the hotel room. Jake suggested we get a cab that evening, so we could drink freely and have a ride back to the hotel. Naturally, from that point forward, everything went wrong. 

The cab driver drove us the three miles or so into town, dropping us off at a restaurant we’d both wanted to try. We decided to see some more of the shops while they were still open, making the approximately one mile trip down main street, despite the new boots I was wearing. We headed back, as it started to get cold, and Jake gave me his jacket to wear over mine, since I was in a dress. When we finally made it to our first choice restaurant, we realized they were only filling reservations. In good spirits, we headed to our second choice… which had permanently closed without removing the sign. We made our way to our third choice as my legs began to freeze and my feet thankfully started to go numb.

Finally, we made it to an open restaurant… where the food was meh, the service was terrible, and the company was wonderful. We drank and laughed and I told Jake how my Gramma had hinted that he’d be proposing.

Me: “I assured her that would be terrible, since I’ve told you verbatim that sooner than a year is too soon.”

When he came back from the bathroom, Jake teased that he’d had to catch the waiter and make sure he didn’t put the ring in my dessert. At around 8:30, he went to call the cab driver… who would not answer. At 9:00, after hearing from more than one waitress that the cab company was made up of “assholes,” our only option had become pretty clear. We would be walking back to the hotel, more than three miles away, after having walked two miles already… in the cold, with me wearing new boots and a dress, and completely drunk. Fortunately, Jake was relatively sober, because he quite literally had to drag me that entire three miles.

I’d like some credit for the fact that, for the most part, I didn’t complain. I drunkenly rambled some pretty offensive musings. I laughed about how much walking three miles in brand new heeled boots sucked. I made several dramatic declarations of my pain.

Me: “Okay. So, if I lay on the ground right now, you’re just gonna say logical things about how I’m getting my dress dirty and you’ll insist I get up and start walking. We’ll argue for awhile and then I’ll finally get up. You’ll be annoyed and I’ll be cold and it will just be twenty minutes gone that could’ve gotten us twenty minutes further, won’t it?”
Jake: “Yes. That sounds pretty accurate.”
Me: “Could we do it anyway?”
Jake: “No.”

Me: “MY BOOTS ARE RUINED!”
Jake: “Your boots are not ruined.”
Me: “THEY ARE TOO, BECAUSE THEY’RE FILLED WITH MY BLOOD!”

Me: “JUST LEAVE ME HERE TO DIE!”
Jake: “Keep walking.”

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Towards the end, my feet were hurting so badly, I did start to cry. I was drunk. My shoulder still hurt from the night before and my arm was still sore from that stupid shot. It was 40 degrees. Regardless, Jake pulled me along beside him, refusing to let me rest or take off my shoes and walk barefoot. Not once did he get angry with me. Not once did I blame him for his brilliant cab idea. Finally, we got back to the room and I was able to take off my boots and survey the damage done to my feet. I’m telling you, I looked like a victim of ancient Asian foot binding. It was horrible and we were getting up to go skiing first thing in the morning. Thank God for small favors, though, because the walk in the cold had sobered me up enough that I didn’t have to worry too much about being hungover. It’d be terrible to ski with a headache.

After trying on skis Saturday afternoon, I’d very seriously explained to Jake that he had to stop teasing me for not knowing things he considered common ski knowledge. On this one topic, I didn’t want him to joke with me, because it was making me feel stupid. He apologized and agreed… as he did when we got to the resort and I told him he had to stop telling me how frustrated I was going to be in an hour, because it was ruining my fun.

Overall, skiing was great. Jake was an endlessly patient instructor, never insisting I do something when I told him I was scared or uncomfortable. I realized that the falling, that is so much a part of skiing, didn’t affect my back at all. Bending down to tighten and loosen my skis, however, was a different story, so Jake did this for me approximately 20 times throughout the day. He encouraged me and waited for me and never grew impatient, despite the fact that he can ski a black and I was barely doing the bunny slopes. It was great, but after a couple of hours, I needed a break for my blistered feet, so we ate lunch and I slept with my head on a picnic table while Jake skied some more difficult runs. After an hour or so, Jake came back, convinced I could do the easiest green, so we headed up the mountain.

The day was quite warm, but as the sun set, it was growing colder, particularly higher up the mountain. What I didn’t know was that this meant snow would turn to ice. What Jake didn’t know was that I was serious when I said the lift got off on too high of a slope. Not having much choice, I went for it… gained too much speed and threw my legs out to the side to intentionally fall… and smashed my head into the slope.

I’d hit my head so hard my cap and glasses flew off and my eyes felt like they were swelling. I buried my face in the snow and gripped the back of my skull as I heard Jake telling the guy manning the lift that he thought I’d hit my head. I started to cry and Jake rolled me over, insisting I look at him.

Most of the women I know cherish memories of receiving flowers and jewelry. For me, it’s the little things, like the time I was mostly asleep on Jake’s chest and I felt him pull my glasses off and kiss me on the top of the head. All things considered in the expense of the trip, the gravity of it being our first time, or the notion that it was a “romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” the most profound moment of that weekend, was when I reflexively turned into Jake’s chest after I hit my head on the ice and he wrapped his arms around me. I don’t even remember what he said to steer me to the side of the slope, but I remember how good it felt as he held me in the snow and I cupped my head and cried from pain and fear, while trying to decide how badly hurt I was. For about 10 minutes, we sat there, until I determined I was okay to ski down. He never rushed me or told me to shake it off. We didn’t speak at all, except when Jake assured a woman that I was okay. I am pretty sure I fell in love with him all over again, on the side of that mountain.

Had I not hit my head, I think the run would’ve been alright. As it was, my eyes were pulsing and I just wanted to lay down in the cold snow to soothe the pain, but I had to get down the mountain. Jake skied directly by my side, the entire time, including when we came to a slope that was both steep and slanted toward a drop off full of trees.

Jake: “I’ll ski to your left and if you start getting too close, I won’t let you fall.”

Now, uninjured, I am pretty sure I would not have been able to complete this run, straight through. Injured, though, I made it less than halfway down this particular path before shouting that I didn’t want to do it anymore, throwing my legs out to the side, and knocking both Jake and myself down. Uninjured, I might have shakily declared I would just walk until it got a little easier. Injured and scared, I panicked and started crying uncontrollably and gripping my head. All the while, I kept flashing to Jake’s story of his friend’s wife, fearing he’d see my freakout in the same light a year from now. I apologized over and over, crying, as Jake told me that it was okay, we didn’t have to hurry, and that I could just sit down for a minute and decide what I wanted to do. Ultimately, I did decide to walk until things got easier, as Jake skied at the same pace I plodded. When I could, I put the skis back on and gave it another shot. Jake was ready to head back to the truck when we got down the mountain. I insisted he go ski a blue or something before we left.

Jake: “I don’t want to leave you hurt.”
Me: “I’ll be fine. Have fun and I’ll hang out at the picnic tables.”
Jake: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Yes. It’s fine. Go.”
Jake: “Well, if you’re sure…”

It’s beyond me why any woman would play this game if she didn’t actually want the guy to go ski. I meant it. I wasn’t angry. I wanted Jake to enjoy a last run before we left, particularly since it didn’t seem likely we’d be back the next day. I thought about asking the first aid center if they’d lend me a cot for a bit, but then I realized what an asshat Jake would look like in that scenario and spent the next 45 minutes perusing the ski shop. We headed down the mountain and Jake made no attempt to make me feel bad for not wanting to ski the next day. I made no attempt to blame him for insisting I could do the run on which I got hurt. We went back to the hotel, showered, changed and made jokes about calling a cab for a ride into town for dinner.

We spent the next day lounging in the hotel room. We watched movies and went in search of an affordable wooden bear souvenir, made with a chainsaw, an apparent staple of Ruidoso. It was the perfect souvenir, as Jake spent the entire trip quoting his best friend Aaron in a silly voice “Ruidoso, home of the wooden bears.” We talked and laughed and I tried not to complain too badly about my still very sore shoulder, feet, and head.

Me: “How old were you when you had your first beer?”
Jake: “Fifteen.”
Me: “What brand was it?”
Jake: ::confused:: “Budweiser.”
Me: “Where were you?”
Jake: ::still confused:: “Camping.”
Me: ::laughing::
Jake: “What?”
Me: “You remember drinking your first beer better than you remember losing your virginity.”
Jake: ::laughing:: “That was a mean trick!”

The next morning, we had our last continental breakfast of sausage and fresh made waffles. We headed out early, since we’d lose an hour on the way back. I knew everyone else would be sad to see the vacation end, but I was just devastated that I’d have to go from spending every day with Jake, back to our usual schedule of once every two weeks. We’d connected so much over the weekend, not just physically, that I couldn’t imagine not waking up to him every day. I’m glad we’re taking our time. This is how you figure out if you want to be with someone forever. I still can’t help but wish we could fast forward to the point when we’re ready for that, though.

Sex. It’s just a blog post about sex.

Jake and I have been dating for exactly eight months. Despite this fact and our many sleepovers, we have not had sex. It’s not that I’m a prude… okay it’s not just that I’m a prude. It’s precautionary. Jake probably has a pretty average sexual history for a 31-year old guy. I’ve insisted he never tell me his number, explaining in a somewhat stereotypically irrational woman way that if his number is three, every time he introduces me to someone, I’m going to wonder “Is she one of The Three?!?!” If his number is 33, then I can only assume that he’s had sex with all of them. It’s not a source of contention in our relationship, though. Quite the contrary, we regularly joke about it.

Me: “Does it bother you, when I tell you what I like?”
Jake: “No. Not at all. I’m glad you let me know… unlike all the other women I’ve been with.”
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Me: “ALL the other women you’ve been with!”
Me: jackie-stoned-laugh
Me: “There’s a conveyer belt next to your bed!”
Me: cracking-myself-up
Me: “It’s like a WHO CONCERT in your room!”
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As you can see, I’m not particularly bothered by the number of women Jake has seen naked. I just don’t want the details. I also don’t want anything else, which is why I started the Gardasil vaccine course six months ago from this Friday. If you’re unfamiliar with Gardasil, the basic gist is that after three shots, given over a minimum six month period, both men and women are protected against HPV, which is the cause of cervical cancer and cannot be reliably tested for or treated. Gardasil is generally given at ages 11-13, before people become sexually active. In fact, the FDA has decided that the average American has had so much sex by their 26th birthday, that they’re no longer worth even attempting to protect.

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With the vaccine being so new, I never got it, assuming that was Future Belle’s Problem. Then I met Jake. Luckily, I was able to find a physician who would approve Gardasil for off label use, so that eventually, Jake and I could have sex. Honestly, it was sort of a relief, at the time. I mean, as inexperienced as I am, the idea of sex with Jake was a bit daunting. That could just be Future Belle’s Problem, too.

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Y’all. I don’t remember how to sex!

It’s not that I’m not looking forward to sex with Jake. If anything, the last eight months have left me certain that we’re not only sexually compatible, but also truly in love and I’m glad for that. It’s just… I’m 28 years old and I’ve only had sex with one person… five years ago. Five years ago, I was morbidly obese and so was he. There are only so many positions that are even possible for elephants. For realz, y’all, we were very large people. Most of the time, my ex-husband didn’t even want to have sex, because as Gail puts it “sex is like a super fun workout massage.” I got turned down nine times out of ten, which killed my self-confidence. When we did do anything, it was always the exact same: one of three positions, under five minutes, and I was not… prioritized. So what’s not to look forward to, amiright?!?! Sure… except for the fact that I barely remember where the penis goes. I read a lot of romance novels and when I think about the logistics of certain sexual positions, I literally cannot figure out what’s happening. Where does the girl’s leg go and how can that be comfortable? Wouldn’t that hurt your back after a few minutes? How do you get any leverage doing that? Wouldn’t the table tip? What do I do with my arms?!?!

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Why didn’t I have more sex and refine my skillz while I could?!? My friends either tell me I’m overthinking it and it will come naturally (which is entirely useless advice, because I want diagrams, complete with angle measurements, damn it), or they join me in my own self-mockery.

Laura: “You only lose your virginity once.”
Me: tumblr_mmd67t6hli1qdg9dlo1_500

Me: “What if I’m bad at it?”
Jake: ::rolling his eyes:: “You’re not going to be bad at it.”

Well… no help there, either. I watched some porn for tips a few months ago. I’m pretty sure it was the worst idea I’ve ever had, because I know I don’t look like that. Naturally, I’m convinced that every woman Jake’s ever been with was a size 2 and wore Victoria’s Secret wings. I even tried to buy sexy underwear.

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It did not go well. In fact, after I bought a couple of pretty (but sensible) bras and panties, I checked my credit card statement, panicked, and returned everything, because I’m paying out of pocket for birth control and the Gardasil shot this month.

Responsibility: 5
Sex Appeal: -5

So, here I am… with the same old undies and no idea what I’m doing. I suppose my awkward delivery of the wrong words has brought the boys to the yard so far…

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… perhaps Laura is right and I could self-medicate, though perhaps Xanax is a little extreme.

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Really, though, the man’s seen me sobbing because a zombie ate a goat in The Walking Dead. He’s wiped my tears when I’ve gotten drunk and weepy. He’s heard me attempt and fail at dirty talk. Could I really embarrass myself that badly?

It’s just… if you’ve never been on a roller coaster, it doesn’t matter if your first, or even your second, only has the one loopty loop. It’s gonna be a good time. But if you’re a… roller coaster aficionado, it’s possible you’d be disappointed or even bored by just the one loopty loop, especially if you waited eight months to get in the park. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY ARMS, LET ALONE HOW TO LOOPTY LOOP!

newgirlsex

 

Toothbrushes, Insecurities, and Meeting the Family

Me: “So, I bought you a toothbrush on clearance, since you didn’t have one the last time you stayed over… unless that freaks you out, in which case I already had it, cuz of all the men I sleep with.”

Me: “So, can I call you my boyfriend now or is that question crossing some kind of boundary?”

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:: 6:00 am and completely incapable of early morning thought processes ::
Jake: “Is this your baby blanket?”
Me: “No. It’s… something very mature.”
Jake: “Is it like your teddy bear?”
Me: “No. It’s nothing.”
Jake: “It’s obviously not nothing, since you brought it with you.”
Me: “I didn’t. You already had it here. Don’t worry about it.”
Jake: “What is it?”
Me: ::speaking into pillow:: “It’s the remnant of a baby blanket. The rest was lost in the fire.”
Jake: “Why are you so embarrassed? That’s not weird.”
Me: ::incredulous:: “It’s not weird that I hold it when I suck my thumb?”
Jake: “Okay. The thumb sucking is a little weird, but it doesn’t bug me. It’s not like I don’t have quirks.”

Me, playing it cool.

Things have been going really well with Jake. He’s mostly been commuting to me from Wellston, which is about an hour away, in part because there’s more to do in my area, but also cuz he’s just super. I’m so dedicated to keeping this blog anonymous, while also allowing for proper spatial visualization, that I created a map for you. Y’all, I am no cartographer and this was a bitch to do in Microsoft Paint.

Anonymous State SmallerWho relocates if and when that becomes an issue? That sounds like a problem for… FUTURE BELLE!

Two weeks ago, Jake came to Shetland with no firm plans. We were just going to spend the day together and I was going to make him dinner. I bought all the fixins for meatloaf, one of the few main courses I can cook that wouldn’t be pure experimentation. I live alone, folks. I consider it cooking when I throw things in EasyMac. I’m sort of kidding. My bachelor’s degree was in Home Ec. I know how to cook… in theory. Jake and I started the day with lunch out, though. We had sushi and, as per usual, redheaded Jake paid.

Me: “Ew. I hate the ginger… the pickled ginger, not you.”
Jake: “I was gonna say, I hope you brought your wallet, then.”

I love that our dry humor meshes so well.

When we got back to my apartment, we watched Logan’s Run and I had my first genuine faux pas of the day. You knew it was coming.

Me: “Is she naked?!?
Jake: “Isn’t this one of your favorite movies? Haven’t you seen it like a hundred times? How did you not notice that?”

No really. HOW? Those people were wearing see-though clothing through most of that movie.

After Logan’s Run, Jake put on Flight of the Navigator… which we ignored.

Finally, I made dinner, which turned out great and we decided to go to the drive-in… which we ignored.

I don’t remember kissing being so much fun. I think my ex-husband must have been really bad at it. Eventually, though, I fell asleep lying on Jake’s chest while he watched the ending to Mission Impossible. When I crawled over the seat for the ride home, I promptly fell asleep again, waking briefly to hear Jake order something at McDonald’s and ask his phone for directions back to my apartment instead of waking me up. Awwww.

Jake: “You were asleep in your little dress over there and I’m pretty sure the people at McDonald’s thought I’d drugged you.”
Me: ::droswily:: “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

Sigh. Again, with the semi-conscious date rape jokes. It’s a good thing he thinks I’m funny.

When we got back to my apartment, Jake carried all of the blankets and pillows upstairs and I asked if he wanted to just stay over, since Wellston is an hour’s drive and it was 2:00 in the morning. He’d made the same offer the first time I’d driven to him a week before, when we had our Gardasil talk, but I declined for canine reasons. He accepted and I learned that Jake’s a cuddler, which I surprisingly love. I’ve always wanted my space in the past, but curling up with Jake felt very comfortable and natural. I also learned that he’ll be a morning sex guy when we get to that point. It’s not a bad way to wake up and I did what I could to give as good as I got without making the vaccine wait obselete. Then he left… and the crazy kicked in.

This is why I didn’t write last week. Jake has a crappy phone, hasn’t been in a serious relationship in five years, and is a boy, so he doesn’t overthink things. However, I was getting shockingly little response, less than I ever had. If I didn’t text first, he might ask how my day was, but even then, I’d mostly get one word answers in return. By Thursday, when I texted to see if he still wanted to come over Friday, which he planned, I was convinced he was coming to Shetland to tell me he was over it. That’s how rarely I was hearing from him. I even called him to ask if everything was okay and make sure he still wanted to come. In typical boy fashion, he had no idea anything was wrong and assured me he’d be over the next day. I vowed not to bring it up, unless he did first.

:: two girly beers into Blazing Saddles ::
Me: “So, you should text me a little more this week. I kind of thought you were coming here to tell me you didn’t want to see me anymore. That’s actually why I called last night. I figured if that was the case, you didn’t need to make the drive. I’m not trying to be crazy or clingy, but you kind of just left and barely talked to me all week. It doesn’t have to be constant, but I wouldn’t mind hearing from you a little more. I even thought maybe I did something wrong when we were fooling around.”
Jake: “What? Why? Because of something I said?”
Me: “No. I just… I dunno. Maybe I give really bad over-the-pants handjobs or something and you didn’t want to see me again, because of it. I don’t know how this crap works.”
Jake: ::laughing:: 

Zetus lapetus. Someone shut me up.

So, after that fucking eloquent speech, we sort of dropped the subject, finished the movie, watched Back to the Future, and went to dinner. Being Friday night, Chili’s was packed, so we had a drink in the bar while we waited for our table. I am a total lightweight, y’all. After two margaritas, I could barely get into Jake’s truck for the ride home and kept giggling uncontrollably and calling him keen. When we got back to my apartment, I put on Back to the Future II… which we ignored.

Things ended up a lot more R rated this time, so I’m gonna spare you that GIF. I asked Jake to stay the night again, told him about his toothbrush, and asked if he was my boyfriend.

in a relationshipThe answer was yes, which has renewed my ability to hide any and all insecurities.

I made him breakfast the next morning and he told me he had a bachelor party float trip planned for this weekend, so we wouldn’t be able to see each other for a while. We were both disappointed, so I offered to make the trip to Wellston on Sunday, after church, allowing him to get his work done that day. That, my dear readers, is how I ended up driving to Wellston, beagle in tow, and meeting Jake’s family… or at least his sister, the only family that lives locally. Still, it was a pretty big deal and Jake initiated it, so he must like me.

Me: “They live on a farm. I look ridiculous. I’m wearing a fucking prom dress.”
Jake: “It’s not a prom dress. It’s like… an Easter dress.”
Me: “Oh, thank you. That doesn’t make me look like an asshole.”
Jake: “You did come from church.”
Me: “Who are you kidding? I would have been wearing this anyway. Dude, I don’t own pants.”

Fortunately, the beagle was chilling out on Jake’s couch (where he was not supposed to be, the little rebel) while we were at dinner. After chatting for a bit, Jake declared that we should go get Jude, so he could play with his sister’s dogs. Planning for a possible overnight stay, I’d brought a change of clothes and jumped at the opportunity to take off the dress and don some leggings and a t-shirt.

Me: “Ugh. I didn’t think this through. Now your sister knows I brought a change of clothes. She’s going to think I’m a total whore.”
Jake: ::fucking laughed at me::

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By the grace of God, I did not embarrass myself in front of Jake’s sister, brother-in-law, or nieces. Jude didn’t make the best first impression, when he got a single sticker, lay down in the field for 10 minutes, and waited for his mommy to rescue him, but I felt like I came off just fine, and Jake’s sister gave me some free cucumbers. It was still pretty early when we got back to Jake’s duplex, so we watched a couple of horror movies, which we both enjoy, but find no pleasure in watching alone.

Me: “Do you mind if I stay the night? I have horrible night vision and I’d rather drive back when the sun is rising.”
Jake: “You can stay, if you let me sleep. I have to be up by 6:00.”
Me: ::deepened voice, imitating Jake:: “You can stay, if you can quell your insatiable craving for my dick.”
Jake: ::laughing:: “That is not what I said.”
Me: “Dude, it was verbatim.

After watching both Clown and Annabelle, we went to bed and not only did I keep my hands to myself, but I also kept to myself how much I cannot sleep without white noise. Jake had to work in the morning. All I had to do was drive to Shetland and pass out, so I lay awake in bed, only falling asleep when the air conditioner kicked on and ultimately waking up to Jake cuddling up to me with clear intentions. That boy makes for the best good mornings, but I’m buying him a fucking fan.

After we got out of bed and Jake quizzed me about the “something very mature” baby blanket I brought with me, he took Jude outside while I dressed. He carried my bag to my car and I drove home. Later, I met Gaily for grocery shopping and gossip.

Gail: “So, have you said it, yet?”
Me: “What? You mean out loud?!? He might hear me!”

Um… yeah. I totally care who knows it.

In actuality, I don’t think I’m quite to the “I love you” point yet. It’s still early and I’d like to make sure this isn’t just infatuation. I’d also like to wait a bit longer to see if Jake is going to come to the realization that I’m both awkward and loud and get out while he still can. He’s mentioned the future quite a few times, though. For instance, he joked about dressing as an astronaut for my high school reunion in May, forbade me to participate in No Shave November, and has mentioned the point when my vaccine is up a few times. He doesn’t seem afraid to imply that we’ll be together in six months. He’s talked about his mother asking where exactly Shetland is, in relation to Wellston. His family and friends know about me and now his sister, brother-in-law, and nieces have met me. He’s even made a clear effort to text me more this week, despite his busy schedule with work and his weekend trip. Best of all, he’s agreed to go to Disney on Ice for my birthday, assuming he can get off work!

I still think he’s pretty danged keen and I’m hopeful that the feeling is mutual.

Fantastical Failures…

… or why I’m too high-strung for my own sexual fantasies.

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Okay. So maybe we meet at a bar over drinks. Wait. If we’re drinking, who’s driving? I’m not doing it with him in a bar bathroom. I mean, even the cleanest bar bathroom… That’s illegal, isn’t it? Okay. So he doesn’t drink much and we take his car to his place. I met the guy in a bar. I don’t want him to know where I live. But wait. Do I want to go to his place with him and leave my car? It would be super awkward to ask for a ride in the morning. I can’t exactly sneak out and call one of the guys to pick me up. Ugh. Fine. We take separate cars. So no one drinks? I don’t want to sleep with someone who drinks irresponsibly and I don’t want to get a DUI. They don’t let you be a librarian if you have a record. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t have a one night stand sober. I’d be halfway to his place and just decide to get McDonald’s and go home. Ugh. Fuck it.

Okay. It’s an established relationship. We’re parked where no one can see, in the bed of a pickup. Wow that sounds uncomfortable, unless there’s a blanket. It would have to be a pretty thick blanket, too. What guy just keeps a super thick blanket in his truck? It would probably be dirty if it were just in there, anyway. Fine. I brought it along. But wait. It would be cold. Or it would be warm and there would be bugs. Maybe we were out earlier in the evening and put on bug spray? But that would be greasy and kind of gross. Maybe there’s a camper? But that would limit movement. Ugh. Fuck it.

Same relationship, we’re in the cab. That wouldn’t really allow for a lot of space, either, though. If I’m 170 and 5′ 5.5″, he’d have to be at least 6′ tall and over 200 pounds. I mean, this is a fantasy. No reason he should be dainty. Would there even be room if we did it in the driver’s seat? I mean, of course he’d be driving. I don’t want to drive. If he had a nice truck, he probably wouldn’t let me drive. I’m a terrible driver. Fine. It’s a ridiculously extended cab and he can move the whole bench seat back so I don’t have to worry about the discomfort of a bucket seat. I mean, I would so get my leg stuck and hurt myself and that would totally ruin the moment. Wait. If it’s that extended of a cab, why not do it in the back seat? Ugh. Fuck it.

Okay. Established relationship. We’re at home. Kitchen table? My kitchen table is way too small for that and it’s held by a central support post in the middle. The table would tip. Fine. It’s a different table. But the wood would be awfully cold. Maybe I keep some of my clothes on? Is this really even that sanitary of a fantasy? We eat there, presumably. I guess I can’t remember the last time I ate at my table. But I live alone. I wouldn’t want to be the couple that sits on the couch to eat dinner every night. That’s not sexy. Ugh. Fuck it.

Okay. We’re on the couch. I straddle him. Wait. I’d have to get up in the middle to take my pants off. Fine. I’m in a dress… commando. I would never do that. Whatever. I was trying to be sexy or something and I’ve failed like nine fantasies already, so I need to just fucking go with this one. Wait. I don’t like to be on top. How the hell do I even know that? I haven’t had sex for like 12 years. God, I exaggerate everything. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking about God while I’m doing this. May as well think about my dad. Great. Now I’m thinking about my dad. Ugh. Fuck it. I’ll just go read.