tspencer227: (Karma)
Days since we last had sex: 91
Days since we last kissed: ~90

There's an old saying in the Navy, and particularly among Nukes when the suck is at its maximum, that, "it'll get better after ____."

That blank to be filled in starts in Boot Camp, and stays with a sailor throughout his or her time in service. Basically, it's the Navy's version of "the check is in the mail" in terms of lies you hear on a regular basis.
tspencer227: (Karma)
As I started getting ready to leave Charlotte and come home this afternoon, I began to realize that I wasn't looking forward to going home- not because I didn't want to leave my family- it definitely wasn't that- but because I wasn't really looking forward to getting home to K. As I fought my way through traffic up I-85, I came to the realization that I was actually dreading being back at home, because I suspected that I wouldn't exactly be welcomed home with arms wide open.

I texted K as I reached Raleigh city limits, telling her I was stopping for food, and asking if she wanted anything. No reply, and I found myself going way out of my way to get to the restaurant I'd decided to pick up takeout from. Finally I couldn't put off going home any longer, and parked in front of the house, not behind her car (so she could leave if she wanted to at any time), and walked inside. All the lights were off, the dog was in the crate, the cat was on the front step looking hungry, and the bedroom door was shut. I walked back to the bedroom and gently kissed her on the cheek, but she didn't so much as stir. I went and let the dog out of her crate, took her outside where she was eager to relieve herself and stretch her legs. We came back in after getting the mail, and I could immediately tell that her ear (it's been badly infected for a while, and I'd reminded K of this after the vet had expressed concern about it last week) was seriously bothering her again. The dog ran back to the bedroom, no doubt happy to be able to run around and wanting to go see her mom, and nosed open the door. K woke up, and was obviously immediately annoyed by the dog's nails on the wood floors. I took the dog into the office with me, but it was already too late. Between the nails on the wood floor, and her rolling on the floor rubbing her ear while I looked for the medicine, K had had enough, and left. I put the drops in Reagan's ears, and texted K that I had her calmed down.

"It is truly ridiculous that you think that she's the problem."

Nice. Welcome home, indeed. Just as I feared.

"Oh that's right, because when I'm not around, everything's perfect for you, right?"
I deleted my first reply after thinking for half a second.

"Of course she's not. After all, before I got home, she was in her crate scratching her ear on the other side of the house from the bedroom."

"hope that made you feel better."

Nice. Real nice. Especially since she wants another dog, when she can barely stand her own most of the time. You don't just order a dog who's been locked in a crate all day to lie down, especially not and old dog to lie down on a wooden floor- it's hard for her to get back up again.

I'd had enough and left myself, after she got home and greeted me with an icy glare. Driving around aimlessly for a while, I finally ended up at Dorothea Dix park, overlooking downtown Raleigh. We'd gone up there for New Years Eve a couple of years ago, when K didn't want to go out to a party or anywhere else to celebrate. There, I finally let out all the frustrations I've been cooping up the last couple of weeks- the utter lack of affection, the constant feeling like I'm more of an annoyance than anything else, the nagging suspicion that we're not even going to make it a full year, the questioning whether or not I *want* us to make it a year...

It's too much. I'm looking at therapists, but aside from that, I really, really need somebody else to talk to, but I don't know who yet. I just know I can't keep going on like this- I'm feeling lonelier with every passing week of us not doing anything.
tspencer227: (Karma)
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, we found out that my last living grandmother, who's responsible for a lot of my upbringing, only has about six weeks to live. My wife and I had been planning to spend Thanksgiving with her mom and brother, but as soon as I heard the news, I knew that I needed to be there for what could very well be our last holiday celebration with her. I reminded her that her brother and mom were invited, but suspected pretty much immediately that they would decline. K told me she understood my reasoning, but that she felt I was being selfish, and that my timing was really inconsiderate. And then spent the next five days not talking to me- during which time I slept in the guest bedroom.

I spent last weekend in Charlotte helping my parents move into a new house and get my grandmother settled with them. I told them the reason that once again their daughter in law hadn't come with was because she was working so many hours. Not totally false, but not totally true. A lot easier than saying, "my wife doesn't really like a lot of the family, despises our hometown, and dreads having to spend time with both to the point of driving herself to the verge of anxiety attacks any time I suggest coming to visit."

When I got back Sunday night, she finally acknowledged I was back, and we finally talked a little bit, and she explained to me why she had been so unhappy with me. Even though I still don't understand exactly why she was fighting about it, I didn't want to really keep the fight going. Finally, at one point, she turned to me as we were laying in bed.

"Do you think we should talk about setting a deadline, and if things aren't going better, look into annulments?"

My immediate response was "no!" In my mind, as soon as we started talking about deadlines, we were admitting defeat, and that there really might not be anything worth saving or fixing.

The rest of the week was fairly quiet, we talked a bit more than we had in several weeks, and I left for Charlotte after work on Wednesday. K would be celebrating Thanksgiving with her mom and brother at her brother's house in Apex, and was planning on joining me in Charlotte later in the weekend, probably Friday, to spend some time with my family.

Wednesday was spent moving as much as possible from the rental house to the one my parents had bought farther south, making sure my grandmother was comfortable, and catching up with all my family that had come in town from all over. My youngest brother was in town from New York with his girlfriend, my sister was hanging out but her boyfriend was in school in Maine, and my next brother was going to be bringing his girlfriend- so adding in everybody else, I was pretty much the only person there going stag. Fun.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We kids did the vast majority of the prep and cooking, while my mom barked orders and directed everybody not cooking to set up tables and chairs. My grandmother was doted on by family and friends who'd been with us for decades, and remarked over and over about what a great time she was having. Still sharp as a tack- I hope I'm still that way at 82 years old. Twenty friends, family, and guests sat down together Thursday, and everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the food, and the company. I was reminded once again of how much I'd been missing being around my family all the years I was on the west coast, and even those times I hadn't been able to meet up even when I was back in North Carolina.

The rest of the evening was spent catching up, watching football and movies, and talking with the family before we all called it a night. My mom had set it up so that K and I could stay at the now empty rental house knowing that my wife the introvert would appreciate the space to herself after interacting with all my loud, crazy family. Later in the evening, I texted K to ask what time she was planning on being in Charlotte, and if she was planning on bringing the dog.

"...would you hate me if I stay up here?"

"No. But I'd miss you."

And once again, I'll be explaining why my wife is dipping out on doing stuff with my family. And to my grandmother that she won't be seeing her again, like the last two weekends I'd been in town. And seriously wondering if she'll be seeing my grandmother again before she passes. At this point, I don't know.

Friday my brothers went and played golf with my uncles, while I got stuff done around the new house, hauled more stuff from the old house, and caught up with my parents. I'd forgotten how much I'd missed weekend mornings and conversations over coffee. That night, I took all my siblings, and several old friends, out to play laser tag, and all parties involved definitely had a blast. Back when I was in high school, that had been one of our go-to activities, and the venue we'd gone to had closed down many, many years ago. Imagine my surprise when I saw signs for a new Laser Quest going into a shopping center right around the corner from where we'd grown up. I honestly wonder if K would have partaken with us if she'd been in town, and if she'd have had fun if she had. I feel like once upon a time she would have enjoyed it, but nowadays, I just don't know any more.
tspencer227: (Karma)
"You seem to spend a lot of time reliving your glory days instead of facing the fact that you're not 24 years old any more."

I bit my tongue, nodding, and told her, "yes, you're probably right."

I resisted the urge to say what I was really thinking:
"because we don't do much adventuring or anything fun now. Or if I'm doing it, it's because you don't feel like going out, and then I feel guilty about having fun without you."

This was last night. The husband of one of the minister at our church is a drummer in a local band, and he'd invited us to this show, opening for one of the better known local bands, several months ago. As a bonus, his wife had a babysitter for the night for their year old son and would be able to join us. I'd reminded Katie about this via text while we were at work yesterday, and wasn't honestly very surprised when she replied back a bit later in the day that she wasn't feeling like going out, but apologized.

History repeats itself. In all fairness though, she was planning on leaving early for a conference she's due to attend for several days in Myrtle Beach. Still, I'm getting more and more used to coming up with excuses for why I'm appearing solo when I go to meet with my friends.

The show was great- my friend's band, only playing their third show together, were very good, and the main band was amazing. It was about 2/3 of the way through the headliner's set that I spotted her.

I wasn't even really looking around to see if she was there, though I should have suspected she might be. I'd found out earlier that the guitarist for the headlining band was also the guitarist for her band- the music scene in the Raleigh area is really a small, tightly-knit community- and I'd already seen the violinist from her band.

As for "her," I'll call her "K" for now. That all started maybe four years ago, not long after I'd moved to Raleigh and started at State. She'd found me on my old OKCupid account and there had been a bit of flirting back and forth. Nothing happened for a few months, because let's face it, musicians can be flakes. Especially young ones who are just out of college and still finding their place in the world. Still, I was intrigued, and hoped that our paths would eventually cross.

It was a graduation party after friends of mine finished their Master's program at State, and we ended up at one of the better known hipster dance clubs in downtown. It took me a while to put two and two together, but there she was at the bar- tall, gorgeous, and apparently holding court with other local artsy hipster types- some of whom I recognized, one of whom I'd dated briefly- and definitely standing out to the point that everybody in the group I was with commented on her presence. And as a fellow alpha who tends to hold crowds, I was mesmerized. Eye contact was made, shy smiles were exchanged, but as I was still sort of seeing another musician at the time, nothing else happened.

Fast forward to January of last year. My youngest brother Chris was in town for a few days to hang out over his winter break, and a coworker's wife is the lead singer of a band here in the area. I was familiar with them, and already knew that K was in this one- her name had been blowing up in local projects all over the area for close to a year at this point- but I wasn't expecting any interaction, instead, after her set, here she comes towards me. Thankfully, I was by myself on the way to the bar as she said hello, introduced herself, and asked how I enjoyed the set. We chatted for a few minutes, then hew brow crinkled up.

"You look really, really familiar from somewhere. Have we ever...?"

Her voice rose in a playful tone. I stammered something in reply about being at shows for her previous band, deciding to spare the awkward conversation that could result from saying something like,

"oh yeah, we totally matched at around 94% on OKCupid about 3 and a half years ago."

Better part of valor and all that. Besides, I'd seen her boyfriend (at least that was my assumption) come up behind her while we were talking. Still, during the following band's set, she turned around to look back at me several times, always with a smile.


The next time we crossed paths was the entry I wrote about back in August, going to see Nora Jane Struthers with a friend and being the only one there without somebody to dance with. No more needs to be said about that, though.


And then last night. I caught sight of K about 2/3 of the way through the headliner's set, and a few minutes later she started walking towards my direction, heading back towards the bar. She got close- inside personal space close even- as she passed. Eye contact was made. Shy smiles were exchanged. *something* started to happen- I'm not sure exactly what still, but at that point my pulse was pounding in my ears and my chest. Then she suddenly drew back, and was past me. I hadn't even realized I'd been holding my breath as I exhaled deeply.

I'm still more than a little confused by the whole exchange, and by how to feel about it.

So, here I am now, and not sure of what to make of it.

In the past, I had a large circle of friends eager to go out and do things, take in shows, take weekend trips, and otherwise seek adventure at the drop of a hat.

In the present, I'm unfulfilled on a physical level pretty much constantly, most of my friends have drawn back (either because my wife flat out doesn't like them or doesn't want to get to know them better, or because I've flaked on them too many times making excuses for why we (she) can't go out), and when I do go out and do things, I feel guilty having fun without her- and I'm constantly reminded that there are couples out there who go out, do things, and have fun together- on a regular basis.

What does the future hold? I can't say yet. A lot of our engagement I found myself repeating in my head, "it'll get better after school is done/ the house is done/ she gets a new job/ I get a job." I'm still waiting for it to consistently be better. The question is, how long can I wait? A year? Two? Five?

On a somewhat related note, every night for at least the last week, my dreams have been haunted by pretty much the same tall, athletic dark haired mystery woman. Who she is, I have no clue. I just pray I'm not talking out loud in my sleep.
tspencer227: (Karma)
So we've been working out together, as a couple, with a trainer for the last few weeks, and though I'm only barely starting to see any noticeable gains, I've definitely been feeling a lot of differences, and my body's starting to react again in ways it used to on a regular basis. I've had a much higher energy level, much less joint pain, and of course, a much, MUCH higher sex drive (if that's possible).

Katie, on the other hand, seems to be having the exactly opposite reaction- usually, she's wanting to grab something fast and easy to eat on the way home, then immediately crash in bed for the rest of the night. Obviously, this isn't helping with the issues I've previously complained about in our relationship.

A big part of it that bothers me is how concerned she gets when I push myself in the least little bit. I did something to my back over the weekend, to the point that I had to leave work early on Monday to make an emergency trip to the chiropractor. That seems to have straightened out most of the issues I was having, and stretching and jogging on Tuesday before lifting was also helping everything feel better. And then Katie got to the gym and yelled at me for wanting to jog at a fairly slow pace before we started the workout. Now, I can understand

Also, how does one tell their spouse, in as subtle and delicate way as possible, "honey, no matter how much you're working out, the reason you're still gaining weight is because you eat terrible, terrible things at odd times that your body doesn't like, and drink enough soft drinks to give an elephant a sugar rush"? Because I'm fairly certain that if I was to straight up say that, it would have the direct opposite effect. However, I seriously think that her diet habits are having a rather large negative effect on a lot of levels. Growing up, there were always fresh fruits and vegetables in the house, the majority of meals were home-cooked, soft drinks were a luxury only available on special occasions (to this day, I only very, very rarely crack open anything carbonated that's not beer), lunches were packed to take to school or work, and fast food was reserved for those emergencies when nothing else was available, or long road trips when we didn't want to stop for a sit-down dinner, or hadn't packed anything in preparation.

Nowadays, it's pretty much the exact opposite. I'll hit up the farmer's market at least twice a month and get whatever produce is in season, but the vast majority of the time, if I'm not eating it, it's not getting eaten. It's frustrating, because I'm a very, very good cook, and cook lots of very, very healthy things, but again, if I'm not eating them, nobody else is. Meanwhile, the fridge quickly fills up with takeout food containers, fast food boxes, and little things here and there that are also very unlikely to get finished once they're relegated to the fridge.
tspencer227: (Karma)
Seven weeks since we last had sex, and counting.
Six weeks since she last kissed me, or initiated any kind of physical
contact.
Eleven weeks since the wedding.
We had sex on the night of the wedding, in our suite. Once, on the
honeymoon- the first full night in Reykjavik. And once when we got home
from Iceland.

And that's been it.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Katie's been carrying a lot of
anxiety about a lot of things, and also not feeling attractive. It's been
an ongoing series of cycles where that manifests itself in her pushing me
away, physically, and emotionally. Pretty much completely. That's the point
where we start instead of being a couple, it's more of a feeling of being
housemates who often sleep in the same bed, but without touching. And that
phase of the cycle takes several days, or weeks, to very slowly and
gradually move out of, depending on how she's feeling about me, herself,
and us in general. It's gotten to the point where I've pretty much given up
trying to initiate any kind of physical contact, flirting, or showing
affection.

And it's killing me.

Seriously, that part hurts more than the lack of sex. I'm a naturally
affectionate person, as is pretty much all of my family, and the example
that I always saw of marriage when I was growing up were the obvious
displays of affection my parents shared (and still share) on a regular
basis. That's honestly how I've always pictured married life would be for
me too, and to that end, every single relationship I've been in before this
one has involved a lot of affection, on my part and also that of whoever I
was with.

I was at a concert last night- the wife of one of the engineers I work with
is the lead singer of a local band called New Reveille. Once upon a time,
shortly after I first moved back there was a very, very near miss situation
involving a girl who is now their cellist (but that's a story for another
time). They opened for Nora Jane Struthers and Party Line, whom I'd heard
of, but never seen in concert. As it was at the back room at Cat's Cradle,
I already knew it was going to be a very, very small show, and knowing
Katie's interests in bands, was seriously hoping she'd want to go, but not
so much.

There were maybe two dozen people in the audience total, about what I was
guessing, and it would've been perfect for her to be able to enjoy, without
being surrounded by large crowds. The vast majority of the audience were
also couples, which made going with a single former classmate of mine a
little bit more odd- especially when Nora Jane did an amazingly sweet
Everly Brothers duet with her fiance (who also happens to be the banjo/
violin/ slide guitar player for her band), and the love and adoration they
shared was absolutely magical. It got much more awkward when, on the next
song, she gave everybody a quick primer on how to do the Tennessee Two
Step, and declared that everybody should find a partner to dance with. Nick
and I quietly faded into the walls for that one, and I couldn't help but
enjoy watching every single couple in the place as they danced. And feel a
little bit lonely, and wistful- it's been a long, long time since I've been
with somebody who would dance without either lots of alcohol, or lots of
coaxing and begging.

I spend a lot of time in my own head, which is part of the reason why I've
resurrected this Livejournal. Situations like this are very, very bad for
people with my personality type- at the very least, we start pondering on
and obsessing about all the things we must be doing wrong, what we should
be doing differently, and thinking of every little mistake, misspoken word,
or even slightly inconsiderate act, and how that could be affecting things.

At the very worst, we start wondering if we've made some sort of terrible
mistake, or if the universe has decreed that we have some sort of penance
to pay, and then start trying to pinpoint exactly when things went wrong,
and once again, what we did and should be doing differently.

I swing between both those extremes, as well as the full spectrum in
between, at least weekly. The worst part of that, again with my personality
type, is not being able to talk to anybody about it. So instead it gets
bottled up, and I continue to keep a smile on my face and talk about how
married life is going just dandy fine and wonderfully full of house
remodeling projects and fun.

That last part, in turn, is having a serious impact on my relationships
with friends, family, and my usual social circle. I really, really hate
lying about that, hate constantly going out with my friends (most of whom
haven't seen Katie in months at least, if they've even met her) without
her, and doing fun things while she stays home. I'm especially guarded now
in situations where alcohol, the opposite sex, or both are involved. I'm
terrified that I'll slip up if I'm not extremely careful, extra guarded,
and constantly checking up on myself. And. It's. Exhausting. I've skipped
out on many, many outings, social functions, and chances to socialize
because of the above, and I hate it.

I miss flirting. I miss the furtive glances back and forth that only the
two of you share, the work to catch a girl's eye from across a crowded
room, the excitement, anticipation, and rush of initiating and engaging in
a witty banter or repartee with a skilled opposite. I miss the feeling of
the accidental and not- so- accidental brushes of hands and bodies against
each other, the feel of a woman's waist nestled in the crook of my arm. I
miss the sound of her breath catching in her throat the first time I brush
my lips against hers. Watching her eyelids flutter as she surrenders
herself to that kiss. The inevitable escalation as temptation, hormones and
inhibitions duel. The contact, the intensity, the passion, the building
anticipation, the high, the afterglow. I miss waking up, satisfied and
excited, my body pressed up against warmth and curves. Sharing a sleeping
greeting kiss, each daring the other to reenact the previous night. The
promise and anticipation of identical future kisses shared in that moment.

And I hate most of all that I can't dare tell Katie about any of this,
because the last thing she needs is to put more pressure on herself than
she already does. She knows I'm not happy with our current situation, but I
don't think she could handle knowing the full extent.
tspencer227: (Karma)
"I just don't really want to be around you right now. I WANT TO want to be around you, and I don't know why I can't, but I just can't handle being around you. You should probably go with somebody else."

For the weekend, we had planned a trip to Carowinds, the amusement park just south of my hometown of Charlotte. For reasons I still don't fully understand, my wife despises my hometown with a passion, and will avoid going there any time I'm interested in going home. As a result, I haven't been home nearly as often as I would have liked, and I've spent hardly any time whatsoever visiting family and friends in my hometown. I was hoping this weekend would have been a chance for the two of us to catch up with some friends of mine at home, visit Carowinds, ride all the roller coasters, and catch up with my family- something I've been wanting for the two of us to be able to do for a very long time.

In the back of my mind, I was wondering if we'd be able to swing that or not.

And this is why it's Saturday evening, we're still in Raleigh, and I'm hopefully picking up my sister tomorrow morning to spend the entire day at the park.
tspencer227: (Karma)
lj-mood: meh

Raise your hand if you didn't have sex on your birthday.

Keep it up if this is the second year in a row.

Keep it up if this is the third year in a row.

Now, keep it up if you've been in the same relationship for all three of
those birthdays.

Nobody else? Just me then, I guess.

Aside from the lack of any sort of physical contact that is the typical
norm for our relationship, it was a fairly good birthday. My friends at the
office took me out for lunch, which is always fun, and despite their best
efforts, were trying to get me drinking. If we weren't all swamped with
work...

Katie bought me several workout-related things that she knew I'd been
needing, and seriously wanting. A big part of me is hoping that this new
push to get back into shape that we're both embarking on will help provide
some spark in the physical part of the relationship. I'm shooting for being
back at fighting weight by the time my 35th birthday rolls around, and I
think that's doable. Hopefully Katie working out and training with me will
help her feel more secure and comfortable with her own body (since I know
that at least part of the reason why she won't let me touch her is because
she's not comfortable with how she looks- though that doesn't matter to
me). Hopefully it'll also help address some of the issues I know she's been
having with having very little energy, and the constant headaches and
migraines. I know that hasn't done our relationship any favors, and no
matter how many times I ask, plead, and gently prod, she still hasn't gone
to see her doctor about this.

As for the dream I was having the other night before I woke up, as is
always the case, the more you try to hold on to the details, the more seem
to slip out the other side of memory.

This took place in the past- maybe 11, 12 years ago- that much I'm certain
about based on who was there with me- some of my old Navy buddies from the
Reagan whom I haven't seen in almost a decade now. We were at a music
festival- not Coachella, there was too many trees and wildlife. I don't
remember who was playing, but there were several bands there I was excited
to see, as were my old Navy friends who also had excellent taste in music.
Shame, because I'm really curious to place where/ when this was, as well as
what brought it up.

As for "her:" I honestly don't remember how or where I knew her from, just
that we were at least familiar as aquaintances, and were sleeping in the
same cabin as other friends of mine, in bunk beds.

I don't remember a name, but I remember details. The long, fiery red hair.
The hazel eyes. The freckled, heart-shaped face. The long, muscular legs
supporting a lean, athletic frame.

In other words, pretty much every single one of the traits I find most
desirable combined into one package. Ain't the brain a funny thing?

The other part I remember, as usual, is the emotions. Excitement.
Anticipation. The thrill of obviously being desired. The rush of trading
verbal jabs in the beginning phases of flirtation. Emotions I haven't felt
in a very, very long time, even before we were married. Once upon a time
these feelings were all commonplace in our relationship, but I can scarcely
remember when that was.
tspencer227: (Karma)
She squeezed my hand tighter as she slowed her pace, forcing me to stop
walking to turn and look at her. Her hazel eyes burned with an intense
energy from her freckled, sun-kissed face, framed by her long, fiery red
hair.

"I sing, I dance, and I'm a perfect lover," she deadpanned as she looked at
me expectantly.

I could feel my pulse rising as we each took half a step closer to each
other, her long, athletic legs putting her eyes almost perfectly level with
mine. She leaned in towards me, and her eyes started to close as her hand
squeezed mine tighter again-

My eyes snapped open as I suddenly found myself fully awake, and my pulse
still racing from the dream. I lay in the quiet dark of the bedroom, unsure
if I wanted to try and fall back asleep, or if I would feel more guilty if
I did. Behind me, my wife was still quietly asleep, wrapped up in her
blankets as usual, and also as usual, as far away from me on the bed as she
could get. I looked over at her, sighed, and got up to start getting ready
for my day. On the floor on her side of the bed, the dog snored to herself,
blissfully oblivious to the world around her. After showering, dressing,
and packing my gym bag, I leaned over to give my wife a quiet kiss on the
forehead. She didn't respond, no doubt still deeply asleep.

Driving into work this morning, my mind kept rewinding to the dream. It's
not the first time I've had a dream like this, even less uncommon in the
last few months, but this was by far the most vivid one so far. The
emotions had stayed with me, even after being awake for the past couple of
hours, and I knew it wasn't something I'd be able to forget readily.
Especially the most powerful one.

Desire. As in, remembering the feeling of being physically wanted and
desired. It's been a rare sensation for me for a while now.

Two months we've been "married", seven weeks, to be exact, and just over 9
months since we eloped to the Virginia mountains over my fall break, a
semi-impromptu trip that was mostly a product of her guilty conscience of
our "living in sin," since I'd moved in the previous July.

In that time, I can count on one hand since the May wedding, two since the
October wedding, the times that we've been intimate. Granted, there a lot
of factors contributing to this- my wife has been dealing with a lot of
health issues the last few months- anxiety, debilitating headaches and
migraines that send her to bed pretty much as soon as she gets from work,
and a lot of exhausting days that also send her to bed as soon as she walks
in the door from work. And while I've always been good at being empathetic
and patient, it doesn't make it any less difficult for me. I'm not one
who's used to hiding my feelings, or one who's used to not having affection
reciprocated, or my attempts at intimacy, or even closeness, rejected on a
regular basis. As this journal has often bore witness to over the years,
I'm a passionate, physical, affectionate creature, even to a fault more
times than I would admit to most people. And while I've always expected
deep down that I'd someday get married, I never figured I'd be in one of
"those marriages" that would be so devoid of affection, physical
connection, or physical expressions of love- just seeing the relationship
my parents had when I was growing up, and still have today, was the model
for what I'd always looked for, and found, in my previous relationships.

What makes this relationship so different? That's the question now. Will it
change? That's one of many, many other questions. My wife has so far been
resistant to talk to anybody about any of the issues we have as a couple,
and in an effort to respect her privacy, and that of our relationship, I
really don't have anybody to talk to about this.

For anybody who knows me or who has read some of the posts in this journal
(if anybody's even still around to listen), that should be a clue as to how
lonely, alone, and isolated I feel about all of this. And it's why, after
almost four years since my last post in here, and many more years before
that since I've actively posted on a regular basis, I'm bringing this back
into being.

Almost 14 years ago, I started this Livejournal to keep myself sane, to
have somewhere to document my feelings and emotions when I had nobody else
to speak to. Once again, that's my dilemma. And hopefully once again, this
journal will give me a place to keep from having to bottle up all the
feelings and emotions bubbling just under the surface. To keep me sane.
tspencer227: (Karma)
...Because I feel like I've come back from the dead. The last year and a half (shit, the last two or three years) have been more challenging than a lot of the rest of my life, but like a phoenix, I feel like I've emerged from the flames, reborn.

Daddy's back. :)

Seriously, the last month or so have been truly pivotal for me. After the hellish week that was finals, life has started to return to a somewhat normal pace. I started running again the week after Christmas, I've started eating healthier again, and I've been rediscovering exactly what it means to have a social life. After this past semester, I'd almost forgotten. I feel awesome, I know I look awesome, and most importantly, I know that it's showing.

The dating front has been another interesting series of stories as well. I'm not sure if it's a case of women making New Year's resolutions to dump their douchebag boyfriends, or if it's just that 2011 is truly supposed to be my year, but even that part has started to pick up. New Year's Eve was awesome- Team Two Thousand Ted ended up going out to Blue Foot in Northpark, and even though I didn't end up having anybody to kiss at midnight (which is probably a good thing, all things considered), it was still a great night. 

I've been getting much more traffic on my OKCupid profile that last couple of weeks or so, and it's been fun having women actually respond and <gasp> actually want to go out with me.

There are stories to tell, but they'll have to wait a little bit. ;)
tspencer227: (Default)
So Monday, October 18th, 2010 marked what would have been my one year wedding anniversary. For the most part, it was a pretty typical day- classes, studying for midterms, homework. In a frustrating parallel of last year, when my faithful old Prelude decided to throw her timing belt and trash her engine on what would have been my wedding day, the S decided to develop a flat right-rear tire- probably due to the alignment being thrown off from the shitty road quality here in San Diego. I was lucky enough to have a classmate give me a ride into school, and I took the trolley and bus home after class in the evening. Another interesting parallel- and this time, I didn't flinch or feel any rush of emotions as I rode past the County Admin building (where we'd purchased the marriage license) or saw the condo in Little Italy.

Am I better? I've asked myself this a lot over the past couple of weeks. I think I'm still getting there, and I'm sure it's continuing to be an ongoing process. As for the future, I'm not really in any hurry to find a serious relationship any time soon. While I WOULD like to find a playmate for the last few months I'm here, I don't know how healthy that could be for me. As I was describing to a friend of mine yesterday, I feel like a fox that got caught in a trap but managed to escape- the wounds are still there, and I know it's making me more wary, a bit more jaded, and much less likely to trust again so easily. Not necessarily bad things by any means, but things to remember and take into account regardless.

The biggest test of how I'm doing is yet to come. A classmate of mine invited me to go see Dead Man's Party when they play here Halloween weekend, and I know for a fact that The Ex is going to be there with her new boyfriend. I don't anticipate any problems, and we're not planning on trying and talking to each other or anything, but it's still going to be unusual. I always suspected this kind of situation would eventually arise, after all.

Justice...

Oct. 5th, 2010 12:27 am
tspencer227: (Default)
I can't really talk about it now, but hopefully it will be served sooner than later. It's looking like that will be the case. In the meantime, why do unpleasant memories seem to rear their ugly heads at the worst possible times?
tspencer227: (Default)
So no new dates to speak of since the last rant entry that I posted a couple of weeks ago, and to be frank, I haven't really had a lot of new contacts. Sure, I've sent out  more emails, and had a couple of short, superficial conversations, but I'm just not feeling it. In addition, I've noticed something else that I'm pretty sure is the biggest indication that the summer of 2010 is really over.

The quality of the girls on POF and OKC has dropped dramatically over the last three weeks or so. After talking with my friend [livejournal.com profile] bkmichele , it appears that it's just not the girls either. Which leads me to the conclusion that all the good ones found playmates, significant others etc over the summer, and what we're being left with are the remainders that don't quite have as much to offer. Or have kids. Not that I have anything against single mothers- it's just really not what I'm looking for. 

Hopefully school proves to be more fertile grounds this semester...
tspencer227: (Default)
I saw this link earlier today, and had to share it- way too good to pass up. So since my dry spell has officially passed the six month mark with no apparent end in sight, I'm thinking maybe I need to start looking for these kinds of tattoos on girls in PB?

Wow, just wow.
tspencer227: (Default)
There's a saying that I became intimately familiar with shortly after I joined the Navy and got settled in Charleston, just over ten years ago:

"Nice guys don't get laid."

This is, of course, the corollary to the popular statement:

"Nice guys finish last."

Basically, being considerate, courteous, and compassionate are seen as weaknesses in the dog eat dog that is modern day society. I remember reading once that it goes back to evolution- girls want the guys who are inherently evil to sire their offspring, as passing on those genetic traits are advantageous in the modern world. I've seen it happen more times than I can count- I'll start talking to a girl, and she'll seem interested, but it'll quickly fade, and she'll move on to the pushy guy shooting his mouth off at anybody around him. There's another analogy I once read that seems to put things in perspective perfectly:

"This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired."

The point of the above is to back up the claim that nice guys really don't get laid.

Except for One Exception.... )
tspencer227: (Default)
My good friend [livejournal.com profile] bkmichele has to stay at work all weekend as the on-duty manager or something like that, so I dropped in to have dinner with her last night at the hotel's restaurant. Hey, I'm never too good to pass up free food, and I still had to bring her up to date on the adventures in North Carolina (to be chronicled in the other blog), and my newest dating mishaps (to be chronicled...somewhere).

For the time being, we're both doing the OKCupid thing, since from our combined observation there seems to be a disturbing lack of worthwhile single people in our respective work/ life circles; Michele works with a bunch of older married guys in the hotel industry, and I'm going to school with a bunch of virginal 20 year olds and mid 20-somethings in long-term relationships. Not exactly the best place for either of us to meet people, and the folks typically encountered a the bar scenes in either one of our neighborhoods are about as appetizing as a peanut butter and Brussels Sprout sandwich.

I've also been doing the Plentyoffish thing (discovered that thanks to Amy several years ago, and encouraged by my friend Kat), and have been having pretty much the same results both places:

I'll message women that seem to be saying they're looking for exactly everything I have to offer, and who should typically find me interesting or intriguing, and while I'll get a glance or two at my profile, I won't get any responses. Or, the only girls that will initiate contact with me are the same kind that would typically come up and grab my ass at a bar out here- trashy, disgusting, and usually with a couple of kids already. Notice that I said "out here." Yes, I did notice a difference back east last week. Chalk another one up to why Southern California blows.

OK, I know I'm not the slimmest guy in San Diego (although I'm working hard at getting back to pornstar body status), and I realize that everybody in Southern California is obsessed with physical appearance, income level, etc but damn. Granted, I also wish there was a class available, like an "Online Dating for Dummies" type thing, because this shit is hard. I can ask five different girls that I'm friends with for advice on how to make my profile more likely to get hits, which pictures to upload, and what to say in first messages sent out, and I'll get five different opinions. But of course, isn't that how it works with women in general anyway?

So getting back to my original point- are girls in California really that deluded to think they're going to find some gorgeous multimillionaire artist/ architect/ self-employed guru that's 7' tall, deadlifts 300 pounds, and is going to whisk them all over the world at the drop of a hat? Maybe. But then I went and found the following study, and interview, that I think helps explain at least part of the reason why I've been having virtually no success with this whole online dating experiment.

The ugly truth

In addition, I also found this interview that one of the site's founders did with NPR last year. And yes, I thought the date of the interview was hilariously coincidental as well.

Why I'm screwed

So they pretty much speak for themselves, but I'll do the cliffnotes because I know some folks won't bother reading the full articles: basically as a guy, if you're not white, you're not going to get many responses, or messages from folks, unless you're sending messages to black females. And apparently white people are the least likely to want to date outside of their race.
tspencer227: (Default)
Is looking like it's going to be fairly soon. Details forthcoming soon, but there's a lot going on. I need to get back to the family, to the friends that I've known my whole life, to fireflies buzzing around at dusk as the summertime humidity starts to become tolerable.

It's time for me to go home.
tspencer227: (Default)
The last wedding I went to was in Charlotte last July, when my good friend [livejournal.com profile] capt_hornblower was tying the knot with his lovely bride Julie. The Ex and I had flown out for the weekend, as I've already missed way too many weddings and other events in the lives of my friends while I've been on the wrong coast.

As the happy couple walked back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony, Gerin caught my eye, pointed at me emphatically, and with a wicked grin on his face, mouthed the words, "you're next!"

Funny the difference a few months makes, huh? Over the last eight months I've done a pretty good job avoiding most gatherings of happy couples in love. Or I've done a really damn good job keeping my mouth shut. Well, aside from that one time. It was early December, and my old neighbor Kristin was in town from the Bay Area to celebrate her birthday PB style (read: get ridiculously hammered drunk). I don't have any recollection of this, but apparently on the drunken stumble home we passed a wedding at the Zlac Rowing club on the bay, and I managed to shout out a couple of things about how horrible weddings are, how much love sucks, etc before anybody dragged me away.

Whoops. Obviously still a little bit sore about all of that. As if I'd needed another reminder. So needless to say, I've been quite gun-shy about those sorts of things since then, which I know is having a huge effect on my social life, or almost complete lack thereof. There's no guide or benchmark that I've found for "being better" and it's been an ongoing process. I'm doing better than I was even two months ago, but at the same time, I don't want to put myself into scenarios that will test just how "ok" I really am.

Fast forward to three weeks ago. An old friend of mine from the Reagan, Victoria or Vicki, called me and asked if I'd be her date for a wedding she had to go to. Great. Even better? The wedding was at the Admiral Kidd Club. This was a potential problem for several reasons:

1) Naval Recruiting District San Diego's headquarters is literally right around the corner- I was less than 200 yards from my old job.
2) The Ex and I had looked at having our ceremony and reception at the AKC.
3) The catering company that runs and provides the food for AKC is the same one that does for the OceanView Room, where we'd planned to have our ceremony.
4) Did I mention that I basically got left at the altar just a few months ago?

Vicki knew my history, and made me swear up and down that I wouldn't drink to excess, that I wouldn't go ruining the day for anybody else, and that I would be on my best behavior. As if that wasn't enough, several other of my friends, as soon as they found out I was going to a wedding, made me promise the same thing. Nice to know folks were looking out for me. So Vicki came down from LA Friday morning, and away we went to the Admiral Kidd Club for her friend's wedding.

I'd like to say the wedding was super easy to get through and I didn't feel a damn thing except happy for the bride and groom, but that would be a lie. The weather was perfect- sunny, warm without being too hot, and just enough breeze kicked up to keep the air moving without causing too much havoc. The kind of weather we'd hoped and prayed we'd have for our own wedding. Although, in a deliciously ironic twist of fate, October 18, 2009 was gray, cloudy, and decidedly cold. But I digress...

It was a beautiful ceremony- my first Jewish wedding- but for me it was just surreal. When the wireless audio for the Rabbi started cutting out, I sort of smiled to myself; our DJ had told us that he used wired mics on the military bases on Point Loma specifically because that sort of thing happens regularly. I saw the photographer walking around taking pictures, and I could JUST imagine it was Gabrielle Fox, our photographer, running around getting pictures. And wondering who was the better photographer. There ceremony was very nice, short, and fairly easy to understand- the same I would have liked my dad to do- but probably not quite like ours would have been. After all, it's no secret where I get my big mouth from. :) Seeing the happy couple, so obviously and completely in love with each other, share their first kiss was the hardest part- I had to swallow hard a few times to keep from welling up. For just the tiniest fraction of a second, I remembered what that felt like.

After surviving the ceremony, the reception was something else altogether. I thought that Roman Catholic Italians knew how to party, but I'd honestly have to say that all the Petruzzelli family gatherings I'd attended (which granted didn't include any weddings) had nothing on being at a Jewish wedding. I stuck to my promise, and aside from a taste of some rather vile Margarita punch (which we'd opted not to go for), and the obligatory glass of Champagne for the toasts, I didn't touch any more of the drinks. As an added bonus, one of my old former deppers from my time in Orange County was also at the wedding- she'd been friends with the bride for a couple of years, apparently.- so we had a good time catching up, even though I refused to talk about my breakup until after the wedding and we were back out here at the beach.

All in all it was pretty much a success- until I started drinking. Some of us at the wedding had talked about going out afterwards (including a couple of the single bridesmaids that were there), but nothing really came of it, and I ended up going out with the neighbors while Vicki and Veronica passed out here at the house, tired from the early morning drives down from LA and OC, respectively. I vaguely remember getting hit on by a trio of attractive married 40 year olds (again- I think this was the 3rd or 4th time that's happened in the last 6 months), and forgetting some girl's name that  I was talking to. And unsteadily walking back home, only to fall in bed alone, again, and sleep like the dead until I had to be up this morning to go to Balboa Park for the Golden Pyramid Award ceremony. Yep, nice to know I've still got it.
tspencer227: (Default)
Fortuna Favet Fortibus- translated directly from Latin, litterally means "fortune favors the bold."

Through my father and grandfather's families, I'm descended from Gallic French stock. The name "Spencer" traveled to England with William the Conqueror in his conquest of the British crown in 1066, an audacious act that embodies the meaning of the phrase above. For the Romans who coined the phrase, it was a motto that summed up the Republic and the Empire both.

I used to live those words in a much more meaningful sense, but somewhere along they way they became just that- words. It's time for me to start living my life in a purposeful, audacious manner. I know that I'm not going to be handed all the things I want on a silver platter, so it's time to get back into the frame of mind to get out there, and chase them down.
tspencer227: (Default)
Back in 2001 when I first checked on to the Reagan, I found that a lot of our abundant free time between watches and shipyard tests were filled with trading stories. My first attempt at spinning a yarn of my adventures was an utter failure, and after much (not so subtle) encouragement from my friends and coworkers, I strove to correct that deficiency. That wasn't really a problem, as the misadventures and shenanigans of the next three years provided a plethora of material to perfect my craft. Nowadays I'd like to think that my skills as a raconteur have greatly improved.

The adventures continued once we got here to San Diego, as is often retold here, but that came to an almost complete standstill when I started recruiting. Between settling down with the ex and working 80-90 hours a week, there wasn't much time or interest in getting into much trouble. After the breakup and subsequent move back out here to Pacific Beach, school and the need to finish healing emotionally kept any other adventures I took part in were still barely blips on the the radar of partying, especially  in relation to the old days. This was partially me not wanting to go out, but also because the landscape of my friends has changed so much in the last couple of years. Most of my old party buddies are now engaged, married, or now have or are expecting kids. Meanwhile, the majority of my classmates aren't exactly what I would call my peers. Don't get me wrong, I'm making friendships that I know I'll value years from now, but most of the folks I hang out with at school are either married and/ or parents, or are 20 years old and don't exactly have my same... experience level. Needless to say, I've been aching to find folks to hang out and party with for a few months now. Call it a side-effect of springtime burgeoning around me here, but I've been itching to try and get back into the single game.

I'd been interested in a girl in my Chemistry class, Roxy, for pretty much the entire semester, and to my surprise, she finally took notice and (at least academic) interest in me over the last month or so. We made plans last week to hang out this weekend. With that in mind, I started jumping back in to my old role of party organizer- calling up old friends to see who would be able to come out, and hoping that I'd have a decent-sized group with me in case Roxy didn't show up (she'd cancelled last minute the previous evening for Happy Hour at South Beach), or worse, brought along a boyfriend that I didn't know about, since previous experience has shown that any girl I'm interested in dating from school is already seeing somebody. I'd spent most of the day hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] bkmichele , who'd even gone so far as to blow off the date she was supposed to have last night in favor of hanging out with me, and we made plans to go to OB to try and run amok in a way we hadn't done in many years. 

As she was getting ready to head over, I started getting MANY drunken phone calls from Zeke, whom though married and expecting his first son to be born this coming week, was nonetheless free of God, Wife, and Navy for the weekend and obviously back up to no good. Our friend Ben (the gay/ bi version of me), whom I'd previously tried to help join the Navy last year, was also present, and an old friend of mine from the Reagan, Victoria, drove down from Pasadena to partake in the festivities.

And a good night was had by all. Sunshine Company was a lot quieter than previous times I'd been there back in the day, and we were quickly able to commandeer one of the pool tables, where Zeke kept us in stitches as he tried time and again to beat the guys who were running the table. It took him the better part of two hours, and probably close to ten dollars worth of quarters, but he finally succeeded in wresting the table from their grasp- then proceeded to drunkenly shoot the cue ball off the table half a dozen times, to the amusement of the folks at the table next to us.

Between making fun of the hoochies throwing themselves at guys at the table next to us, the man with the epic mullet that Michele and Vic posed for pictures with, the gorgeous black girl that walked up to Michele and basically gave her a lap dance, and me practicing my newfound ability to be attracted to and attempt to hit on only the girls that were with or meeting up with their boyfriends, it was definitely a night full of stories that will be retold later. With pictures to provide evidence of the goings-on.

The craziness didn't stop when we left the bar. A couple of Zeke's new buddies from the Vinson had come out to meet up with us, and lacking a ride, they had to wait for one of their girlfriends to come from Coronado to pick them up so we could head out for the obligatory 2am burrito. As we were waiting, a man walking his cat (yes, on a leash) got stopped and ticketed by a pair of police officers (one of them being a smoking hot petite blond) for having an open container, then stopping to pet the cat afterwards. Meanwhile, Ben and Michele snapped photos and immediately put them on Facebook and Twitter. The ride for our new friends finally arrived, and we made our way back to PB, ending up at Taco Motion for our post-drinking burrito fix. After everything that had happened, I'd thought that all of the hilarity was done for the night.

Nope.

As we were waiting to order our food, some incredibly drunk guy walked in to the taco shop, ready to start a fight with Ben, because Ben had apparently rolled his eyes at the guy.

Ben had been wearing sunglasses since we'd gotten back in Michele's car for the ride back to PB.

A friend of his finally came to collect the his friend obviously endowed with x-ray vision, and we ate our burritos in relative quiet (aside from making fun of how drink Zeke was) before everybody called it a night.

So a good time was had by all. I've been thinking all morning about how much I've missed partaking in crazy adventures like this, and I doubt this is going to be a regular occurrence again, but it's just proof that even as I'm aging, I still have some party left in me. And Roxy, the hot girl from my Chem class that had been the whole reason for throwing together our ragtag ensemble? Never showed, and I never heard a peep from her all night as to where she was or if she still wanted to hang out. Oh well- we can't win 'em all, I guess.

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Tiger In A Cage

March 2016

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