Thursday, October 13, 2011

Domestic Demons

So I had a minor setback in my dedication to not feel guilty and stupid about the kind of relationship that I am seeking.  I was getting ready to drive to see Modu for a play date last week.  Damascus was planning to stay at home (my home) and do some errands and chores and have the night to himself.  This is sort of new, in itself, as he is not usually here alone.  I don't at all mind him being here alone... it actually makes me feel safe to know he is looking after things and I am sharing my home with him... but there is a part of me that feels bad leaving him alone.  Particularly when I am going out on a date with another man, which is essentially what is happening when I go see Modu, I guess. 

Anyway, he did a load of laundry, and he threw a pair of my pants in too.  Of course, my pants had a tube of red tinted lip balm in it.  I would say that almost every load of laundry I do contains a forgotten lip balm tube, or tissues, or some other thing that is not supposed to be washed.  I am forgetful and not very attentive when it comes to laundry and other household tasks, so it happens often I deal with it.  I basically work around this by never buying white or light clothing, because I know my careless self too much.  But Damascus' shirt was white, and it is now ruined.

Perhaps it was the timing of the day and the lingering guilt I felt about leaving him for the evening, or perhaps it struck a nerve in me the way it might for other conflicted third wave feminists.  Part of me felt bad for not being the kind of woman who took care of my man, the way my mom did for my dad or my grandma did for my grandpa. It's the same way I feel bad for having a messy house and not being very maternal and wanting to cook and feed and comfort my guy. I am simply too busy with work and other things in my life to give a shit about things like my own laundry, let alone someone else's. Of course, I know that I work very hard at my career which takes up almost all of my time, and I am not only self sufficient in taking care of all my own expenses, but I also usually am financially able to provide us with our extra entertainment money for dinners and outings and vacations.  So logically, I know that I shouldn't hold all the responsibility for the feeding and cleaning of another person who is also able to take care of himself, but it is so ingrained into me that it kicks my ass sometimes.

This sort of thing happened often in my marriage with Intaglio. But it was even more confusing.  He expected us to take on traditional male/female household roles, yet he wouldn't hold up his end of the deal and had difficulty if I tried to hold up to his standards.  If I got too house-wifey, he would reject me because it reminded him too much of his mother. So he would push me away if I was too maternal and caring, while still demanding I was a "good wife".  I don't think I will ever understand what that means. Also, I was for many years the one responsible for all the bills, as I almost completely supported him.  So he wanted a wife, caregiver, domestic goddess (but not too much), yet fully independent woman all at once and wanted to take care of me, but never put in the work to support me financially or in any other way.  It is no wonder I was confused then and I am still confused now.

And the thing is, Damascus wasn't mad about the shirt, and he was rather confused why I got all panicky and weepy about the whole subject.  He took responsibility for his own laundry.  He did not blame me at all.  But I did, like the self sacrificing demon that I am.

 In fact, he laughed it off, sent me on my way with the wish to have fun on date night, and told me he had the mind to contact Modu to tell him what a bitch I was being to myself, and that I should be properly punished with a good spanking.  Which is just about the sweetest, most twisted sentiment of love that I have had expressed to me.

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