Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Will the "Real" Me Please Stand Up

Recently there was a very thoughtful post that Meredith put up over at New Twist...  It talked about the double lives most of us live when ttwd becomes part of our marriage.  It's true.  I certainly do not have any intention of sharing this lifestyle choice at work or with members of my family.  I am careful of what I talk about and don't talk about.  Sam and I maintain passwords on our computers.  I am cautious about our "toy box" and its contents.  So, yes, there is a secret life I guard diligently.

In my head, though, the division between the so called "secret life" and the "real life" has become a little fuzzy.  When I went to make a comment on Mere's post, I realized this and referred to it as 

                                    "...the Bigger Question."

                             Which Me is the Real Me?

The "real" used to apply to my time with family and at work.  The "secret" used to describe my precious time with only Sam.  After more than 2 and 1/2 years, though, I find that the way I act and speak in my "real" life has changed drastically.  I am conscious of
my behaviors and the things I say and view them both through the eyes of a ttwd wife.  A little like Ella Through the Looking Glass.  I know it is a huge change because the people in my "real" life not only notice but make comments and ask questions.  I've said it before.  For me, this kind of fulfillment and happiness shines through any secret I may wish to keep.

Then if I look at what used to be my "secret" life, I find I covet this time to such a degree that it usurps my "real" life.  Sam and ttwd is where I feel most truly myself, and the time I spend away from him is less and less appealing.

So, this far into a ttwd relationship, my real self has a lot of my ttwd self, too.  Sounds a bit schizophrenic, but I don't know how else to explain it.  Like I said, the delineation of those separate MEs is very fuzzy.  

So my ttwd self, Ella, is quickly becoming my real self, and it feels so right.  And the person that I present to the rest of the world is a whole lot more Ella than she used to be.

                       Are we all thoroughly confused? 

Now, let's examine further this "double lives" train of thought - relationships with family and friends.  In some ways my connections with these important people are as strong as ever - maybe even better, because there's a whole lot less anger or moodiness that causes me to pull away from others.  On the other hand, and this is hard to say, I don't think the connection is quite as strong, especially with friends I had before ttwd.

I cannot truly be myself with them anymore, and I do not feel as close to them as I once did.  We still get together regularly to catch up on each others' lives, have a dinner out, do some shopping, attend a party, or catch a movie.  I still have fun.  But there is a subtle change in the personal dynamic, and there is so much I cannot share.  No matter what, keeping a secret from a friend or loved one will put a little distance between you.  I think it is unavoidable.

To My Blogland Friends

This change does not make me melancholy at all because much of the support and love that friends give one another takes place in blogland, too.  You may not be able to physically hold my hand during a difficult time, but I know you are all there.  I feel the camaraderie.  I enjoy the wit and humor and the wise advice that is shared.  And most of all, I am at ease and feel I am accepted.  This was never more true than it was on a recent adventure with 5 very special spanky ladies.

Secrets Shared

A very dear blog friend out there sent me a lovely greeting one day not so long ago.  It said, 

                          "You and I are more than friends.  
                            We're like a really small gang."  

That made me smile a mile wide.  This little blogland gang shares a common purpose and a common perspective.  And the friends I have here are just as "real" as the sun coming up in the morning.  They brighten my life and bring me great happiness.

                       So the next time somebody says to you,

                                              "Get Real!"

                                    You can smile and reply,

                                     "Oh, if you only knew."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Love Letters

As I was editing a post last week, I was thinking that no matter how hard I worked on a piece or how many of you might enjoy my blog once in a while, there wouldn't be anything here at all if it wasn't for Sam.  Sure, we all frequent this corner of blogland because of a common fascination with spanking......

       ....but don't you think our blogs are really 
       born out of some of the greatest love stories 
                     you have ever heard ?!

If I think about any one of the women who regularly visit my blog or whose blogs I read each week, I see one love story after another.  All different, to be sure.  But love stories just as plain as the nose on your face.  A man and a woman who have been together for many years - young love and children and careers.  But I think that
all pales when you really unwrap the essence of the bond between them.  Then what you have to hold in your hand is that kernel of truth and passion and real love.  Not a Hollywood love or a Romeo and Juliet love, but a wiser, stronger love like the mountains I can see from my kitchen window.  This is the kind of love that can grow into ttwd.  And this is the kind of love that takes my breath away when I look at Sam and he looks at me.

Several years ago, Sam and I tackled a big cleaning task together and went through a huge storage closet in our mud room.  Christmas ornaments and garden items and boxes of memorabilia.  We sorted and cleaned and reorganized.  It had been 20 years since we opened some of those dusty boxes.  We were rolling through
this project with all dispatch until we found a box that contained all our love letters to each other.  That stopped us in our tracks, and we both sat on the floor and started to read.  Good writing has a quality called "Voice," and the voices we were reading were our own.  It was us but somehow the words were new again.  Many of them ached with the feeling of young passion and longing to be back next to each other.  I remembered that gorgeous boy I fell in love with and how hard it was not to have him there with me.  I could see a girl with long brown hair glued to the phone (when phones were still glued to the wall) and waiting for his call.  We both smiled a lot that afternoon as we read.

I surely do love this quote.

Just lately several friends have sent me handwritten notes or thank- yous, and I will tell you that there is still a place for letters that are written in the hand of someone you care about.  That person held that piece of paper in his or her hand and now you are holding that piece of paper in your hand.  It becomes so much more than paper; it becomes a piece of their heart.  Something to hold and touch and cherish.  I know it sounds old-fashioned but emails just can't quite measure up to that.

So where are the love letters now?  I believe my blog has become the mailbox for my love letters to Sam.  In each post I think our love for each other still shines through and that my "Voice" is present in every word.

Recently a special blog friend pointed out that she never hears any husband-bashing in the ttwd posts she reads.  I agree, and I say we almost always hear about how wonderful and appreciated those husbands are.  It doesn't mean that Sam or I never stumble.  It simply means we pick ourselves up, and instead of silences and hurtful words, there is ttwd to help us refocus on the path we want to take.

Sam "writes" what is in his heart every day now....
  • when he pushes me up against the wall for kisses that are slow and long.
  • when he takes my hand wherever we go.
  • when he gently puts his hand on my bottom to remind me of what's important.
  • when he pats his knee to invite me to sit in his lap.
  • when he pulls me into "spoon" last thing each night.
  • when he makes love to me and sends me to the moon and back. 

And Sam writes his greatest love letters when he spanks me.  For this wife, that is when I hear his "I love you" most clearly.  He gives me this gift freely and uses his hand to sign his name on my bottom instead of at the bottom of the page.  And I know in my heart how much I am loved.  

                                                    Thank you, Sam
                                                     Your Ella Ever After


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Tell Me About the Rabbits, George."

So many years ago, before Sam and I were even married, I read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  It affected me greatly at the time, and I remember just sobbing at the end of that book.  One can honestly say it is really an American classic, and I doubt that readers from other countries would necessarily be familiar with it.  It is the story of 2 drifters who travel from ranch to ranch during the Great Depression looking for work.  Although George is not an educated man, he is intelligent and watches over Lenny, who is a huge mentally disabled man.  The two men form a bond of friendship and dream of having a ranch of their own.  Lenny's favorite story is how he will one day be able to tend the rabbits.  So, hence, the famous quote I chose as the title for this post.

Lenny repeats this childish request often, and it makes him very happy to hear George tell him what it will be like in the future.  Steinbeck emphasizes the theme of dreams throughout the book.  I will admit to being a dreamer, too.  Don't quite remember when I first started saying this line to Sam, but it always made him smile and still does.  "Tell me about the rabbits, George."  He knows me so well.  I am quite like Lenny in this way.  Anticipation makes me just as happy as any special upcoming event in my life. 

When I was a child, I would look forward to vacations and Christmas and the last day of school and drive my family a little
batty, I'm sure.  I would draw maps to tape to the dashboard of the car so we would know the way to the lake and the little cottage on the hill.  There would be checklists and little papers stapled together like tear-off countdown calendars. 

                                      Twelve days to go.....
                                       eleven days to go.....
                                             ten days....  
                          Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?

If you ask Sam, he will tell you that not much has changed.  When I am very excited about a vacation or visit or a present, I will sit on his lap or nestle in to spoon in bed and say.....   

"Tell me about the rabbits, George."  He is used to it by now but almost always chuckles.

"Ella, I told you about the rabbits last night," he will try to sound exasperated but is only teasing.

"I know, but I like to hear you tell it," I will plead.  "Please - just one more time."

Over the years the "rabbits" can change.  Special days, visits from faraway friends and family, times when Sam would return after he and I were forced to be apart, boys coming home, big trips and
small ones.  Having Sam tell me about a day that is coming makes me happy, even if the wait is a long one.  Sometimes I will even tell myself about the rabbits as I make plans or am falling to sleep.  Lately there is a special friend out in blogland to whom I explained this strange quote of mine.  Now she knows when an email from Ella says, "Tell me about the rabbits, George" that I want to talk about a special day in the future.

Ever since I discovered that there were other women just like me out there in the virtual neighborhood, I have ached to meet a friend that would know me for who I really am.  I'm not sure why that is so important to me?  Maybe some of you reading here today will identify with this need, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  But for me, it is 

                                    CROSS MY HEART 
                                     GOING TO HAPPEN

very soon, and I cannot tell you how excited I am!  It will be one of those earth-shaking days that I will never forget.  The forecast is for smiles and hugs and even tears.  So for weeks now whenever I say, "Tell me about the rabbits, George," Sam just smiles and shakes his head.  I have dreamed of this just as sure as Lenny dreamed of his rabbits.  Right now I am counting down the days and hours and minutes. And I love that the anticipation is such a glorious part of the lead up to this special event in my life.  I would not trade it for anything.  Gustave Flaubert wrote this about that wonderful time of waiting.

          "Pleasure is found first in anticipation,
                          later in memory."

             I promise to share some of those memories, too.