I was reading back through some of my gloomiest posts and it is interesting (perhaps only to me) to note that even though I am pregnant it seems I am down and blue damn near once ever 28 days. And if my “woe is me” can be tied to some kind of hormonal cycle than so can the rest of my hormone inspired thoughts and desires, right? Consequently making them a product of my chemical make up, fair game for discussion.
I am a firm believer that a romantic relationship with the person who is truly in your heart of hearts your best friend is a good idea. But you have to do the work to make sure that your romantic partner is equal parts best friend and lover, or you slide in to that scary territory of living with a roommate. There are lots of ways to accomplish this, I think. Lots of complicated, time consuming ways. Sexy posing on the bed in the “good” nightgown, not the 15 year old band t-shirt. Try not to bitch and moan about finances and cook a decent meal. Don’t change in to sweatpants as soon as you walk in the door. Shower with the door closed and shave your legs in private and maintain some kind of… what do they call that? mystery? Make an effort to make absolutely zero jokes related to bodily functions. But all of these ways rely on another party noticing you sending out these signals.
If I was thirsty it would never cross my mind to sit on the couch trying to look thirsty and yet disinterested in a glass of water until MQD noticed and asked me if he can get me a drink while he is up. And yet somehow I spent the first fifteen years of my adult relationship life feeling like it is way, way out of line to just ask. For what I need. Out loud, in English.
MQD and I went out on a blind date in late October of 2008. We saw each other every day for weeks. We liked one another enough that we made a concerted effort to keep our relationship out of the sack for a while. In that first week, as I played outside with Emily and acted surprised when he stopped by on his way home from work every day it was a struggle to remember that I was a “grown up.” Grown ups did not fall so hard for “a boy.” I was crazy about him from the moment he got out of his grandpa car in his overcoat.
I told him the other night in the kitchen that it still takes me by surprise. That “boy” that made my heart beat so fast became the man that I have invested my life in. I never imagined that I would have to remind myself that he is still that boy. And I am that giddy girl that was counting the days until Planned Parenthood gives us both a clean bill of health so we could hop in the sack.
But that man and I are scanning bank statements and planning dinner menus for the week. We are budgeting for Em’s school payments and picking out a new couch. That boy that turned in to a man that is my partner is not damaging to our romantic partnership. I feel safe as we climb in to bed. I feel like he will protect me, care for me always. And as sexy as a dangerous boy might have been in my twenties, that safety is sexy as all hell in my thirties.
So it’s not MQD’s role as my partner that threatens our romantic relationship. It is his role as my best friend. It is your best friend that you share the down and dirty details of your life with. The moments that strike you as disgustingly funny. Disgustingly funny is my favorite kind of funny. I never grew out of that, the potty humor phase. So we share a lot in our house. We laugh. We horse around. We make fun of each other.
The other day I stopped MQD in the kitchen and turned him towards me. “Can we please get the kitchen cleaned up before Em goes to bed? I would like to have the sex tonight. Before 8:30, please.” We laughed at my mentioning of a timeline. But it is important to make sure that all cards are on the table. I had my weekly date with a Benadryl and a Zantac and expectations of a full night’s sleep where I woke with a mouth full of stomach acid not even once. Benadryl at 8 pm means Sexy Time must be well under way by ten after. He pulled his CGM out of his pocket and looked at his blood sugar. “I’m high now” and he looked rather apologetic. “Get it under control, because tonight! It’s on. Come on… I made you meatloaf. And roasted potatoes. You love meatloaf…”
He kissed me and started doing the dishes. I looked down at myself, in a tshirt I had been wearing for two days and an apron “How’s that for pillow talk?”
In the last few years we have adjusted to life as parents. The spontaneous, passionate sex in the kitchen isn’t probably going to happen. So, if either of us is interested in any happening at all it is probably a wise idea to go ahead and mention it. This doesn’t prohibit a sneak attack, but it does help to make sure that we all get what we need when we need it. Speak up. Out loud. In English. I worked hard to learn that.
This “scheduling” leads to an awkward moment. It is difficult not to begin to joke when he climbs in to bed. “Quick, it is 8:12, pants off!” Inevitably something happens that makes one of us start to giggle. And there we are. In bed. Trying to have the sex, laughing like ten year olds at a sleep over. There is plenty of laughing and looking at each other adoringly and lots and lots of “oh man, I fucking love you”s. If I am lucky he throws in a “You are my favorite.” The other night I was trying to get past the giggling phase to the sexy time when I traced the side of his body with my fingernail. “Oh, GOD! Get your bug fingers off me!” Bug fingers, really? Evidently a bad case of the giggles can make a woman’s hand feel like bug fingers, who knew. Throw a pregnant belly in the mix and comedically large boobs and the jokes (and only the jokes) just keep coming.
I don’t hand out a lot of relationship advice. Because really who the hell am I to do that? But if you married your best friend. Try it out. Pillow Silence. It beats the pants off Pillow Talk. Yes, sir, it does.