Fear (no loathing) in Las Vegas (06-02-2010)

This Friday, The Man and I fly out to Arizona to stay for the weekend with His mom and step-dad. The day after we arrive, it’s off to Las Vegas for a night, then back to Arizona for another night before flying back home. I’m alternately thrilled and terrified.  He finds this dichotomy amusing.

I’m thrilled because it’s three and a half days away from our children. Our children, who, though I love them so, have driven me stark raving mad more than once recently. I’m thrilled because it will be new experiences for both of us, a chance to relate to each other on a solely O/p basis, parenting and the stressors of living one step from disaster a far distant concern for that short stretch of time. A chance to recharge our batteries and reaffirm why we love each other so much.

I’m terrified because there is so much unknown involved. I’m already getting a squicky feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking about going through security. About strolling down the Strip. About the noise and crowds and dim chaos in the casino His mother is bringing us to. While I am curious about it all, I still would rather bury my head in His shoulder and blink it all away. Unknown situations can bring me, an otherwise fairly confident, strong woman, to my knees begging for it to just stop. Good example: When I was a freshman in high school, I was transferred three-quarters way through the season to a different school due to natural disaster. No one from the new school showed me how to use the totally unfamiliar check-out system for lunch. Consequently, I never ate lunch there. For two months, I never stepped foot in the cafeteria. I was petrified of the idea that I would make a fool of myself trying to learn this new system. I didn’t want people behind me getting irritated with me for taking so long. 

I didn’t want to look stupid and be annoying.

With that in mind, you can understand why my mind comes to a screeching halt when I try to imagine going through security without Him. Trying to navigate the Strip without His comforting presence. Even just imagining finding my way around the different gates and sections of the airports leaves me a little shaky and mildly nauseous. Some would say that this was indicative of an anxiety issue, that I would need to see someone to help with this mental self-bondage. Do I think so? Not really. It doesn’t affect my day-to-day life. When I am overwhelmed or panicking, one step away from bolting or bawling, He’ll be right there, and I can look into His eyes and feel the panic release it’s grip. Is this co-dependent? Many people would say yes. I would disagree. How many people need their spouses with when confronting someone or getting possible bad news? Mutual support, I believe the popular term is. So why would be any different for me to need Him with me when navigating new experiences?

It also makes His life a lot easier when I get anxious about being out and about for an extended length of time, and well, He certainly doesn’t have to worry about me sneaking off to go gambling anytime soon!

In some ways, I wish I could go down the Strip with Him while collared and leashed, the other end firmly gripped in His hand, to have such a tangible sign of His presence and control over me. As it is I will probably have my hand firmly planted in His trailing along Him like a shadow, screening out most of the outside world and focusing on His commands, His moods, Him. I’ll lean against Him like an overgrown cat when feeling overwhelmed, and purr under His soothing caresses.

I love The Man, because if it weren’t for Him, I’d have voted to stay in Arizona, lounging by the pool and staying within my safe, if somewhat stifling boundaries. Yes, He’ll push me farther than I think I can go. Yes, I’ll most likely feel like I am one step from total melt-down at some point that night. Yet, when looking back at it, I’ll know that I grew a little, submitted more, and furthered myself as His slave.

Has anyone ever considered that in becoming more dependent on an Owner, the property is forced to grow?

Gratitude to those who watched over us (05-29-2010)

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Most people are gearing up for a weekend at the lake, in the backyard bbq-ing, swigging beers and tossing the football around. Children running around yelling and whooping, the slight scent of coconut wafting off their skin from the sunblock their moms dutifully rubbed on. Women kvetching over paper plates piled high with pot-luck fares like potato salad and baked beans, men surrounding the grill in a re-enactment of man’s primitive circle around the fire. Flags fluttering in the breeze, a tradition done on instinct, because Dad did it, because his Dad did it, for who know how long.

That is not ALL Memorial Day is. Go to your nearest graveyard. See all the flags marching row and row, column and column? They are the main reason for Memorial Day. Those men and women who did what they could to ensure that the bbq and children running free across the yard was available to all. They put themselves in front of us to keep us safe, to keep us free. They elevated the safety of America above their own dreams and sometimes, their own lives. 

I visited the grave of my Grandfather today. I cried. He’s been gone since 2006, and yet every time I go to clean his grave and leave him flowers, I am still sad, I still miss his presence. I tell him thank you every Memorial Day for what he did for our country in Europe 1944.  It changed him, he once told me. It was in the trenches, trapped during the Battle of the Bulge, that he found God. When he came back, he tried so hard to put it all behind him. His hands shook from shellshock.  He never touched a rifle again. He refused  a military burial.  He was proud of his country, loved America so much he made an emphasis on teaching Civics as a teacher after the war. He sacrificed much for his land, and I hope like hell that we today, in this soft and selfish land, can remember those who have done so much that we can sleep at night safely, without worry. My Grandfather, like many other men and women in our Armed Forces, gave his all and never expected much in return except the right to live his life in peace.

For all those anti-war asshole protesters yanking the flags off of graves, shredding the flowers left behind, chanting and stomping around the grave sites: What are you hoping to accomplish? Dishonoring the fallen dead will do what? Do you think it will win you any sympathy? Does it give credence to your cause? Or does it harden the hearts of those you anger and drive people further away from any compromise we might have reached? Want to make a radical statement, do ya? Then don’t be surprised when your get radical reactions. Leave our fallen heroes alone. Let the families that miss them so grieve in respectful peace. Go march at the mall. Consumer greed causes more bloodshed and pain than those dead folks ever will.

Want to know more? Head over to Andi Grant’s excellent description of Memorial Day. Want to help our vets?  Check out Honor Flights or Disabled American Veterans. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is also a good group dedicated to helping our troops in their times of need.

Please take the time to thank the next Armed Service member you see. You’d be surprised how much it will make their day.

And say a prayer for our fallen forces tomorrow before you sit down for your big bbq supper.