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Saturday, October 11, 2003

Anger Management IV (Oops, I did it again) 

Steve got reamed tonight. Not in the traditional sense, as I've yet to buy a strap-on, but I suspect the effect is quite similiar. Minus the sore ass, of course.

This time it was because of his lovely tendency to pull a disappearing act whenever I'm upset (at least, when it's his fault, or he thinks it is). This was like the meta-argument from hell.

I've gotten tired of being the proactive one in the relationship. Tired enough that the last time we got into an argument over it, I decided to quit doing it. But lo and behold, he wanted to work through some of our Dr. Phil book tonight. My lack of enthusiasm was pretty apparent. After all, I just can't see him bringing this forward of his own volition unless he was doing it in an attempt to please me.

Does that matter? Sure, it does, in this case. I have very little desire to do it anymore (see above), so there's no point in doing so unless he actually wants to do it for his own benefit. In which case, it'd be fine. I don't know why he brought it up tonight, but it was out-of-character enough that it seemed safe to assume it was because he thought I'd want to.

We talked about this all, briefly, and spent a lot of time lying around in bed cuddling. I figured everything was okay... yes, he said some things to indicate otherwise, but I did make an attempt to comfort him and figured that was the end of it. I was wrong.

So on the way to work, Steve insisted I was upset about something. If so, I'm not sure what it was, because I didn't feel particularly distraught. A little depressed, sure. Not like that's anything new. And then, while still insisting there was something wrong, he said he was going to go play computer games when he got home. Then we could talk about it, afterwards.

I was livid. This is one of those nasty little patterns that's been emerging in our relationship for months. For some reason that I will never understand, if I'm upset (or Steve thinks I am), he thinks it's perfectly okay to ignore me and either go play on the computer, or go to sleep. I guess that way he doesn't have to deal with my emotions. Must be nice.

The real problem here is that every time he does this, I'm reminded of the incident in the hospital, and once again I feel like I'm being abandoned when I need him. It's not pleasant.

So, he got home, I called ten minutes later to let him know I was at the guard shack, and we had the following utterly stupid conversation:

Kataine: "Lupe took first patrol, so you can call me here when you're.. done."
Steve: "Okay."
(At this point I said something, and I'm not sure what. It was probably along the lines of, "Have fun playing your fucking computer games, asshole." I don't know, but I was mad.)
Steve: "Uhh.. okay, I'll talk to you in IRC now, then..."
Kataine: "No!"
Steve: "Yes!"
*click* (Yep, he hung up on me.)

I was already in IRC, though, so I went ahead and talked to him, even though I really just wanted to say, "Go play your fucking game and leave me alone."

Actually, I unloaded on him. It was a strange conversation, where he compared going to play a game, alone, while I was upset with my lying in bed cuddling with him when he was upset. Like that what I'd done was equally bad, although I'm still unsure how it's inappropriate to attempt to physically comfort someone who is feeling down.

That one threw me for a loop. I think he was trying to say that I'd also made myself unavailable because I wasn't talking much. Then again, neither was he, so I don't really see it...

Anyway, I bitched him out quite thoroughly. Meanwhile, I was breaking the legs on a beetle. If you break a beetle's legs, but leave them attached, they can't stand up but they can still move them. The end result is that the beetle looks very much like it's swimming across a hard surface. It's rather amusing.

And now I feel guilty about it. No, not the beetle. I mean, about bitching Steve out. Okay, I think his behavior was unacceptable, and this was one of many times it's occurred, but I don't think he deserved the onslaught. There's got to be some way to get the message, "This behavior is completely unacceptable, and cannot happen again" through to him without screaming obscenities.

Since I'm doing the fourth of my anger management posts, I'll bring up a situation from yesterday that I haven't written about. This one is a bit ugly.

My marriage, which was also my first serious relationship, was emotionally, verbally, sexually, and physically abusive. The physical part wasn't a huge factor -- my ex-husband never actually beat the shit out of me, but he did use physical force in ways I find inappropriate towards your spouse. (Like dragging me to the bathroom and stating he was going to kill me.)

End result: I'm paranoid as hell about anything I think might be indicate the potential for future domestic violence.

There have been a couple of incidents with Steve that seem like red flags to me. The first was when I smacked him on the ass with a Twizzler (yes, the candy) not intending it to hurt. Well, it did, and he yanked the Twizzler out of my hand and hit me on the back of my bare thigh three or four times with it, hard enough to leave welts. Apparently he was just playing around, because he didn't even realize I was upset until a good ten minutes later.

The second time was when I pissed him off while he was on the phone with his mom. I was groping him, which wasn't a great idea, but I figured he needed some entertainment... anyway, he grabbed my hand and slapped it, then poked me (hard!) in the chest with his index finger. No real injury, there (a slight bruise on my breastbone) -- but again, it was pretty damned disturbing.

So now I'm quite paranoid that one of these days he's going to snap and beat the fuck out of me. If he acts out in a physical way, at all, when he's angry, it scares the shit out of me.

Yesterday, he was playing a computer game while I was at work, got pissed off because he was getting owned repeatedly, and apparently hit the table the computer is on. The force of the impact knocked over a bottle of soda on the table and screwed up his keyboard. He called to explain his keyboard wasn't working (it works now, but the keys are sticky).

I freaked out, and we had a rather lengthy talk about all this. See, he's got a history of breaking things, from before he moved in with me. Not that bad, comparitively -- my ex-husband threw a computer monitor across the room once, Steve just did things like breaking his mouse in a fit of rage.

It's been my experience that people who break objects when they're pissed, eventually realize it's much more satisfying to break their wives and/or kids. Not always true, but I've certainly seen it happen.

So we're currently trying to figure out some non-physical ways for him to release anger. Half the problem, I think, is that he allows himself to get that pissed off, instead of leaving the situation before it gets out of control.

I do the same thing, but I don't get pissed off about things like games. I get pissed off at people, exclusively. Then I turn into Queen Bitch. I don't do name-calling, and I don't make threats, but that's about it. I do get vicious, cold, condescending, you name it.

So, what now? Digging for the root of anger, as Dr. Phil suggests, is all fine and good, but damned hard to implement in the heat of the moment. I think both of us are going to have to learn how to remove ourselves from the situation, take a timeout, smoke, think, calm down, and proceed from there.

Otherwise, we'll probably end up in one of those crazy relationships where both parties throw TVs at one another. And that's something I'm really not looking forward to.

It may very well be time to actually invest ten bucks in an anger management book, for both of our sakes.

Why women don't put out 

Just about everyone seems to be under the impression that men have significantly higher sex drives than women do. I'm not so sure that's true. Mind you, I'm working off of an awfully small data sample here, and I could be completely wrong, but I have a theory on why this seems to be the case.

I'll preface this by saying that most people think I've got an outrageously high sex drive, for a chick. Ideal, for me, is once or twice a day, and "too much" is when I can't walk due to soreness. Anything less than twice a week, and I'm going to be seriously suffering.

There are three circumstances under which I will not put out for my SO:
1> I'm pissed off at him, or otherwise emotionally distraught.
2> I'm in severe physical pain.
3> I'm on the rag. (Which isn't actually a refusal, more like "Well, we can, but you're going to get your cock bloody.")

This may not be typical, so the fact I'm always willing under reasonable circumstances probably doesn't apply to all women. However, I definitely believe most men who complain about the lack of sex in their relationship are not getting the full potential of their woman's sex drive.

My theory is that men, in general, simply do not know how to successfully initiate sex with a woman.

I recently read a post where a man was citing an example of women's shittiness -- he said that if a guy asks a woman, "Want to do it tonight?" she'll tend to respond with, "We'll see."

I have a co-worker who complained to me about his wife -- he said, "I say, 'I want to have sex with you' and she always says, 'No! I don't want to!'"

John Gray, author of the Mars/Venus books (who I dislike for entirely unrelated reasons), repeatedly uses the example of a man saying to his wife, "Let's have sex" to initiate. He acts as if this is pretty standard.

My own Steve once told me, before we'd ever slept together, that if he wanted to initiate sex, he'd say something like, "Can we have sex now?"

Every time I hear an anecdote like this, and I hear them often (hell, I've got lots of my own from ex's), I just think, "Well, doh, no wonder she's not putting out." It seems to me that the absolute worst way to initiate sex with a woman is to verbally request it.

The problem is that most women don't go through life in a constant state of arousal, as most men do. Now, I'm not saying that you guys are all walking around with priapism, but I'm well aware that you think about sex a lot. I think it'd be fair to say that most men are horny most of the time.

So, when you verbally request sex, it requires a yes/no answer from the woman. You're basically asking the woman if she wants to have sex, and most women don't know yet. So they're generally not going to say yes, because at that exact moment, they're not feeling very aroused at all... and if they do agree, that means they've committed themselves to an act they may very well not want to engage in. "No" is a much safer answer.

Which leads to the question -- How DO you initiate sex with your wife/GF if you actually want her to spread 'em for you?

Unless you're one of those boring guys who think that foreplay consists of unzipping your fly, it's quite simple. Just proceed as if you had asked and gotten a positive response. You don't need to ask permission before you start removing her clothes, groping and fumbling, or whatever it is you start out with. And God knows she'll be a whole lot more cooperative if you don't bother to ask.

Added for clarity: I am NOT saying you should proceed if the woman's said no or otherwise refused your advances. I'm saying, don't ask in the first place. I assume my readers are intelligent enough to realize that if the woman is uncooperative, they should stop. Otherwise, you're committing rape, which is not only a bad thing, but will likely land you in ass-pounding prison.

One reason this works is that the woman can stop you at any time (since she hasn't technically agreed to it), therefore she doesn't feel pressured. More importantly, she doesn't have to make that critical yes/no decision before she's actually gotten turned on.

I will say this, though... it probably wouldn't work so well if you're one of those men who tend to think that foreplay begins below the belt. Now, I'm not saying that you've got to strew rose petals all over the bed, light candles, or anything else that'll make you feel emasculated. But grabbing the chick and just making out with her for a few minutes (remember high school?) works wonders. Or rip her clothes off, for that matter.

Next time: How to successfully get a quickie from a non-slut!

Undead Flies 

On Monday, our apartment was invaded by flies. This is undoubtably due to my really bad habit of going out on the balcony to smoke and leaving the sliding door wide open. Most of the flies were in the bathroom -- I'd guess about 20 or so there, hanging out on the mirror and several more in the shower.

Steve was freaked out by this, and as his partner, I felt I had a responsibility to freak him out even more. Thus, the following conversation took place:

Kataine: "They look like blood flies to me. See how fat and shiny they are?"
Steve: "Blood flies... what are those?"
Kataine: "You know, the kind that bite."
Steve: "Bite? Like, suck your blood like mosquitoes?"
Kataine: "Yes."
Steve: "Well, they don't seem to be attacking..."
Kataine: "No, they're not aggressive like mosquitoes. They mostly bite like, sleeping animals. Or people."
Steve: "I'm going to sleep under the blanket tonight."
Kataine: "So then they'll bite your head."

I noticed by this point that Steve was looking a little pale. "Don't worry, hon," I reassured him. "We'll get a fly swatter."

Well, we forgot to buy the fly swatter, and by the time we got home, it seemed there were even more flies in the bathroom. Steve was disturbed enough by this to ask me to accompany him when he went to take a leak. I think I was supposed to protect him from the flies or something.

I figured at this point, I should do something about them. After all, while it was kinda gross to have a bunch of flies in the apartment, I'm not in the least bit afraid of them. And hey, someday I might need Steve to kill spiders for me. I do not like spiders.

I couldn't find anything to swat them with, but I did find a can of Raid ant spray. I wasn't sure if it'd kill flies -- the instructions on the back only refer to ants, roaches, silverfish, and spiders. But what the hell, it was worth a try. So I went into the bathroom armed with my spray can and started shooting down flies.

And that's precisely what it looked like -- shooting down flies. The flies, when hit with the spray, would fly around in circles for a few seconds, then just drop out of the air and onto the floor. Then they'd spin around in circles on their backs for a minute or so, twitch a few times, and stop moving. Dead as doornails, or so it seemed. I sprayed every fly I could find in the apartment, and probably shot down a total of 25 or 30 of them.

I felt like some kind of heroine -- I'd defeated the Evil Blood Flies and saved Steve from certain bites. He was quite appreciative.

We noticed a while later, however, that many of the flies were still twitching. I shrugged it off, figuring that maybe the spray hadn't killed them all the way yet. After all, it was obvious they were dying...

The next day, again I saw that some of the flies were moving slightly... lying on their backs with their little legs slowly bicycling in the air. It seemed weird, but eh. Whatever.

So then today rolls around. It's now Friday (actually early Saturday morning, as I write this) and I was in the bathroom when I heard a faint buzzing noise. There was one of the "dead" flies that I'd left lying on the counter near the sink. But now, instead of just twitching a bit, it was moving its wings rather rapidly.

This seemed bizarre to me for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that flies have a 24 hour lifespan. I'd sprayed those suckers down four days ago... so what the hell was going on here?

I stood and watched the fly for a while, and eventually it managed to roll over until it was standing on the counter. A few minutes later, it started buzzing its wings again... and then (and I am not shitting you) the damn thing took off. It flew. Crookedly, and not very far, but it flew.

I noticed today before I left for work that several of the flies seemed to be missing from where they'd been shot down and left to die. My only conclusion is that our apartment is now inhabited by a dozen or more tiny winged zombies. If nothing else, I suppose October is a fitting time for something like this to happen.

The rest of that story 

I'll finish up now, as I'm back at work with time to waste.

So yeah, Steve packed up and left without a word. Oh, he'd warned his parents he was going to move, but he moved the date forward by a month just a few days before he actually came out here. So they were expecting him to leave, just not then and there, and they probably thought they had a shot at talking him out of it before the big day.

No discussion of our history would be complete without mentioning Steve's mom. I spend a lot of time talking shit about her with my own mom, but I've learned not to talk shit about her in front of her son, as he reacts badly. For example, "Your mom is a stupid cunt," is not a good thing to say. It's not true, either -- she's not stupid.

Steve's mom freaked out pretty badly when he announced he was moving down here. I'm not sure exactly what happened, he wasn't terribly eager to discuss it and I didn't press much. I do know she was afraid I was male and/or a sexual predator.

I have to say I encouraged Steve to come down here early, partially because his mother's behavior was getting a bit ridiculous (at least in my opinion). The point at which I decided that she'd really crossed the line is when she decided she wanted to hire a private investigator to check me out. The idea of some sleazy private dick taking pictures of me going about my daily activities was uh, not pleasant.

Anyway, Steve packed his shit up and left one day. The plan went quite smoothly, which suprised me. He'd emptied out his CD, pocketed the cash, bought a couple of large duffel bags, and left while the parents were at work. He shipped his computer to my address, packed his bags and took the bus to the airport with the print-out of the electronic ticket I'd emailed him.

It would have gone perfectly, but neither of us thought about the password reset option on Steve's email address. His mom reset his password by answering the secret question, and found the ticket in his email. She called him at the airport in Houston, where he was transferring to another plane. The one thing I remember clearly that he said about this conversation was that she told him, "I've never allowed my personal life to interfere with my professional life."

It was when I heard about that, that I quit having much sympathy for Steve's mom. Before that, I figured okay, she's a scared mom, her oldest kid is moving out, no wonder she's flipping out. But sheesh... she might as well have said, "Oh, btw, my job is more important than you are, son. And I expect you to have the same priorities, dammit."

She tried again to call him when he arrived at the local airport, but he ignored the page. I don't blame him.

Meanwhile, I was trying to get the apartment I'd just rented ready. Well, as ready as one can get when all the furniture you have is a bed. I moved all my stuff over that morning. I loaded my brother's truck up, and he drove it, then I had to unload and carry everything up the stairs and into the apartment. That was pretty rough... I don't think it's easy for anyone to carry a full-sized box spring & mattress up a bunch of stairs, alone. Especially not a wimpy girl like me.

I got everything moved in, and my brother went back to his house. Luckily, he'd agreed to drive me to the airport to pick Steve up. Otherwise, I'd have had to take a cab (as noted before, I can't drive).

I unpacked, assembled the bed, and put away most everything I could. Then I tried to sleep and failed miserably. I noticed when I went to the bathroom there was no shower curtain, so I figured I'd better walk down the street to the closest store and buy one. There's a K-Mart and HEB (grocery store) about five blocks from the apartment complex, so I went there and bought a shower curtain, a pound of margarine, a package of wash cloths and a case of Bud Light. Somehow I managed to carry it all home.

I tried to sleep again, no such luck -- I was far too nervous. So I gave up, read a book for a while, took a shower, and got dressed. And waited some more. Eventually, it was time to head off to the airport and pick up Steve.

My brother waited outside of the airport in his truck while I went inside to wait for the plane to arrive. I paced like a caged animal for about thirty minutes before I finally spotted Steve coming down the escalator. We headed over to pick up his luggage, all the while eying each other warily. Up until this point, we'd spent countless hours (8+ nearly every day for six months) talking online, exchanged pictures, and talked on the phone a few times. We'd never met, and we were moving in together.

Needless to say, it was pretty damned scary for both of us. Once we got back to my apartment, my brother thankfully left us alone, and Steve proceeded to drink a twelve-pack of Diet Coke in the space of a few hours. I was amazed by the capacity of his bladder.

Four hours after he arrived, we were lying on the floor, side by side, talking. I made some kind of remark about how ironic it was that after all those months of saying we'd be all over each other, neither of us had the balls to touch the other. He did it then, with a look of sheer determination on his face -- he finally reached out and put his arm around me. Things were much easier from that point forward.

The next morning, we had a knock on the door -- I answered, and was shocked to see a couple of police officers outside.

Cop: "Is there a Steven ****** here?"
Kataine: "Yes, he's here."
Cop: "His mother has been calling... she's concerned about his safety..."
Steve: "I'm fine."
Cop: "Could you please give her a call to let her know you're okay? She's been calling us practically every fifteen minutes since yesterday..."
Steve: "Sure, I'll call her."

So Steve went down to the pay phone and called his mother collect, as I didn't have a phone line installed yet.

I guess she's relaxed somewhat since then. I don't think she's still trying to get him to come home anymore, although she did for a while. Oh, I'm sure she'd be overjoyed if we split up and he went back to Maryland, but at least she doesn't try to talk him into it.

Steve's mother is coming to visit us in late October. Luckily, she's only going to be down here for a couple of days, and she'll be staying at a hotel and getting a rental car. I'm not really looking forward to this visit. Not that I expect anything bad to happen -- I can get along with anyone, if I make the effort, and I intend to do so. Still, I have a feeling it's going to be pretty uncomfortable, and I'm certainly nervous about meeting her.

I guess we'll see what happens. As long as she doesn't try to kidnap him and drag him back to Maryland...

Steve's parents intimidate me, because they're so incredibly different from my own. My parents are relaxed, laidback, and often crude. His seem to be incredibly stuffy and self-righteous. I've dealt with such people before, usually in a work environment, but this is something else entirely. I mean... Christ, I'm fucking their precious little boy.

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