Playing with Fire

A handful of months back, I asked my husband to help me with one of my entries for Gays in the Life. I had the crazy idea to write a blog entry where we shared our pet peeves, and talked openly about the things that secretly drive us crazy when it comes to one another. He let out an incredulous laugh, and then proceeded to ask “is that a good idea?” I believed deep down that it was a good idea, but perhaps my inner artist was feeling a little too hungry. Writing a blog entry like this with my husband could offer a fun, real, and honest peek into our marriage and everyday life, but I wondered if my ambitious spirit was approaching an edge that we – because I’d have to consider his feelings, along with mine – weren’t quite ready to dance upon. Would I be taking a bite out of something we couldn’t quite chew? Issues we couldn’t quite swallow?

Almost all of my friends were in and out of relationships before I met my husband. Having a front row seat to every argument, scolding, and various other quibbles helped me realized that, depending on the couple, the smallest annoyance could cause a relationship to crumble, crash, and burn. Remembering those couples and scrolling through memories of their successful, or failed, relationships ignited my current thoughts on whether or not our relationship – our fresh marriage – could survive knowing each other’s hidden pet peeves. Obviously I would say my marriage could survive, but we have to keep a realistic view in regards to our relationships with ourselves – inside the marriage – and as one unit; because every moment isn’t peaches and cream. At this point, we know what sets each other off, but these triggers were discovered as our relationship developed over the years.

Knowing if, and when, the truth is too much, is another factor that should be considered. Initially when I was playing with the idea of doing this joint piece with my husband, the spirit was light and fun, with no thoughts of potential darkness in mind.  Couples can be one hundred percent open, and still have things they keep to themselves. S’s questioning whether or not the unborn blog entry was a good idea bred life to this notion, and invited a small amount of darkness and negativity into my well-intended burst of creativity. Surely we, of all couples, could survive knowing what makes the other tick like a time-bomb, right? The answer to that question would depend on what each trigger was, and the only way to obtain the answer, is to actually move forward with my plan – for the joint blog entry – and discuss them. It’s a devilishly hilarious thing, and the answer remains unknown.

Bored.

Tuesday nights he has class. Any other night, he gets home about an hour after I do, and the usual weeknight routine of hanging out and decompressing on the couch together commences. Best Coast plays in the background as I sit here at the kitchen table; trying my best to think of something to do, or decide which band I should listen to next on Tidal. Boredom hits me pretty hard every once in a while, and most of the time will guide me in a very unproductive and lazy direction. This was almost one of those instances, but some nagging energy from within managed to place my ass in this chair in front of this computer screen.

“What to do, what to do?” Tonight was the first night I went walking, solo, on the trail near our condo. The weather was too charming for me not to get an extra workout in, and despite violent winds, I enjoyed my hour stroll around Eagle Creek. “Now what?” I’m glad we canceled our cable, because even the streaming services were failing me, and YouTube was not piquing my interest in the slightest. “I guess I’ll shower.” I showered because I was bored, and continued to avoid cleaning the refrigerator; something I’ve been meaning to do for the past few weeks. The intensity of my walk was no more than that of walking a dog, so a shower most definitely was not a need, but it was something to do. “I wish he were home… then at least he could be in charge of picking what show we watch… or we could play Mario Kart… Do I want to play Mario Kart?

Significant others, boyfriends, or girlfriends make the time pass easier during these bored moments. I can’t stand being bored and alone, because I can never decide what I want to do.  “What do you want to do?” is a common response to him asking me “What do you want to do?” At least if he were here, being lame and bored with me, I’d have someone to interact with while scrolling through Netflix listings. No activity, show, or chore sounds remotely appealing at the moment, so sitting here listening to music and attempting to write something seems to be the best way to battle boredom’s persistent energy. I have one hour or so until S walks through the door. Let’s see if I can finish this post by then.

Stubborn Interlude

Sometimes all you can do is keep your mouth shut. I’m sure everyone in a long-term relationship, or marriage, has felt this way before. You could offer a truckload of solutions to a problem your significant other is going on (and on) about, but no matter what you suggest they’ll still move forward with something that was their idea; or make the idea you presented seem like it was theirs to begin with. On the inside I have to laugh, because it’s hilarious, but on the outside I have to keep up the fight – challenging the stubbornness.

The spring is here to stay, and with the change of weather comes angry allergens, twenty-four hour colds, and major sinus drama. If I notice the slightest hint of a cold, I immediately begin to take medicine. Whether it be sniffles, minor headaches, or a kind-of-itchy-throat, I make sure to keep taking medicine so the condition does not get any worse.

My husband, S, would take a completely different approach to attacking pre-cold symptoms. He would simply not take any medicine; no Airborne, no Emergen-C, no meds at all. “Maybe you should take some medicine… knock it out before it spreads” is my usual response whenever any health related issue is presented. True to form, he’ll answer in a way that basically says “no, I’m not doing that,” or he’ll change the subject. “Why won’t you take the medicine?!”

S is an Aries, and anyone who knows an Aries is very familiar with the my-way-or-the-highway mentality they manifest on a daily basis. Why so stubborn, though?! I hate saying I told you so, so why can’t he just try this one idea I’ve shared? As spouses we share our respective jurisdictions – regarding one of us being right, and the other being wrong – but there’s always one of us that won’t bend so easily… and that one is usually him.

T H A N K Y O U .

Twenty-something weeks ago I decided to start a themed blog. I needed some sort of project to keep my writing chops conditioned, my creative mind working, and my work-shopping process fresh. This was all in preparation for me finally deciding that I was going to write that book I’ve had outlined for five years now. Life was happening, timelines were erased, and I never really got the chance to sit down and start writing the book the way I wished, and now was that time. Back in the fall I said to myself “Alright, before July 1st, 2015, you will have at least written a page of your book.”

The side project that is Gays in the Life has turned into something I enjoy doing every week, and it reminds me that even though I work a full-time administrative job, and am tired most nights – not wanting to do anything but sit in front of Netflix and Hulu – that I can still tap into my creative side every once in a while; let loose, if you will. Sharing my experience as an everyday gay man in a long-term relationship, and new marriage, has snowballed into a welcomed challenge I never saw coming; the challenge being spilling my version of creativity onto the honest details of my life with my husband.

Thank you to all that come every week to read whatever random piece I’ve thrown together, and thank you to those that share my material with others. Seeing reader comments, views, and overall interaction on Gays in the Life increase week to week not only makes me chuckle, but keeps me motivated to think of new topics to share, and new ways to present them to all of you. Discovering this side of my creative self has helped me rediscover love for playing my instruments, challenge a skill I didn’t believe was there, and has me prepared me for the task that will be writing a book while living a full life. Thank you, thank you, thank you, WordPress and friends, and please keep reading! I appreciate ya!

The Other 364

I’m a self-proclaimed romantic.  So you would assume Valentine’s Day would be of the utmost importance to me, right? No. I love everything that Valentine’s Day represents. I love romance, and all the cheese that comes along with it. I love when two become one in the most barf-inducing-tears-of-happiness kind of romantic film, and the idea that someone is experiencing that kind of love; even if it is just a story. With all that said, what kind of romantic would I be if I only expected that kind of attention on a single day out of the entire calendar year?

I hope a date, a surprise gift, or the smallest gesture that shows one the other cares on any day of the year is appreciated. What does it say if a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife, is only stressed about having a perfect, error-free, romantic day or night only once a year? S and I never do very much on Valentine’s Day. We may go to dinner, or have a quiet evening in with a homemade meal and champagne. Our first Valentine’s Day, I bought him cologne; not sure whether we would be a couple that went all out when this day rolled around. During the early stages of our relationship, it was fun to get small gifts and cards, but now February 14th is just another day.

The fact that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day like all the other lovebirds does not sour me in the slightest. In my opinion, it’s much more exciting to find an unexpected burst of love randomly throughout the other three-hundred-sixty-four days of the year. If you already play cupid year-round, then I won’t shade the fact that you’re going above and beyond on Valentine’s Day. Because if your significant other has the pleasure of experiencing these exclamations of love outside of this particular day, then good for you!  If Valentine’s Day is the only time you’re pulling out the special underwear, thoughtful dates, or passionate appreciation of what you have together… you’ve got some work to do.

Whine & Cheese

Why must romance plateau after moving in with one another? “We hang out all the time” was his counter after I hinted at wanting a date-night in the near future. Lying in bed, and keeping my voice at a neutral tone, my twisted face is hidden in the darkness as I process his response to my inquisition. I’m a self-proclaimed cheeseball, so the slightest touch of romance shared between the two of us completely satisfies me for a long while. Do I keep asking for a date? Do I wait around and sulk? Should I take the initiative, plan a romantic day, and lead by example? I guess I could, instead of waiting around like some pissed off Disney princess. Restaurants and creative, thoughtful nights on the town are more than appreciated, but there’s nothing wrong with a simple walk in the park on a beautiful day, or a day of exploration together in the city. Maybe he just doesn’t get it… a classic case of the romantic and the non-romantic.