Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Thursday, June 04, 2009

a wretched anniversary

I am breaking a rule by writing this post. In addition to not writing about my job, I have stalwartly avoided writing about my sex life. I have several reasons for this, including: I have already written a book about my sex life, so revisiting the topic seems somewhat indulgent; I do have some personal boundaries; and, until June 28th 2008, my sex life was not only mine but my ex-husband's, and I respected his privacy; and, perhaps most importantly, my family reads my blog. This last point is key. My family are lovely people who've had to endure a lot from me over the years. They don't need to see details of my orgasms on the internet.

Since last summer, however, my sex life has been mine and mine alone (remember that key word ALONE), and I've still avoided bringing it up. Now, however, as one horrifying date has past and another approaches, I am breaking this particular blog-rule of mine and talking about it.

So, Family Members who Read This Blog: you've been warned.

I have not had sex for year.

Actually, a little over a year. In April of 2008, my ex and I went on a trip that was supposed to be our honeymoon and ended up effectively being the end of the relationship (though we were not formally separated for another few months). While on that trip, we had sex for what would be the very last time in our marriage. Prior to that, we'd not done anything approaching sex for a good six weeks (a length of time I considered horrifying, but which my ex seemed to have no problem with whatsoever). That one fateful time I got some action on my honeymoon also marked the occasion when I may have been the drunkest I ever managed to get in my life. We both drank a lot; I know I had at least a bottle and a half of white wine myself, and that I needed a lot of help walking back to the hotel, and what once we got to the hotel I couldn't actually take my shoes off my myself and actually laid down on the bed crying and begging for help. I didn't actually remember the sex until weeks later, when my ex brought it up, and I managed to unearth a very hazy memory of something possibly happening. So, really, that last time barely counts, but it was still The Last Time Sex Happened during my marriage.

Initially, I had absolutely no desire to get any action. I was fucked up and sad all the time, and I was aware of myself just enough to know that even something uncomplicated would be a terrible idea. Then, a the very few romantic-ish encounters I did have ended up either fizzling out before they really began, or by ending up being rather terrible ideas. I realize I haven't really written about my love life (ha!) such as its been either, as I certainly haven't wanted to offend or embarrass or even just bug anyone. In any event, what few opportunities I have had have either not worked out, or were opportunities I ultimately did not want to pursue.

But then Spring came, and sometime in mid-May I realized, to my absolute horror, that I'd gone over a year without so much as a shag. There have been longer droughts than this, to be sure. But this realization has brought with it a ravening pack of insecurities gnawing at everything from my body image to my saleability as a hausfrau. While Spring has been a season of love for everyone else, it's simultaneously made me want to get out meet someone and bust this slump, and made me want to never leave my house again.

But it wasn't just the One Year of Nada passing that made me break down and finally write this post. It was the slow and horrifying creep of another anniversary. Whereas I the one year mark snuck up on me, and I only realized it has passed weeks after it actually happened, I can see this point from afar. On my next birthday, in the middle of July, I will have gone my entire twenty-fifth year, my quarter-century year, without a single bit of action. If that's not a terrifying prospect, I don't know what is.

This post is not an invitation. I am sure that I could go out and find myself a straightforward shag if I really needed to prove something to myself. But what is really behind this my own terror at being single again and, for the last year, not really having any idea what to do. Having time to myself, time to heal and grow and have a really great time, actually, has been both awesome and necessary. But lately I've been feeling to pinch of it, and found myself at a loss for what to do about it.

I haven't brought up my single-and-actionlessness as an issue to many people, but on one of the I think two occasions it has come up, a friend said, "Well. What are we going to do about that?" I joked that I'm not sure I'd even remember what to do at this point, which is both hilarious and a little bit horribly true. As a serial monogamist, I've dated very little, and never really got very competent at noticing when someone was interested in me or knowing what to do if there were (whether I returned the feelings or not). As always, I am sure something fantastic and unavoidable and life-changing will happen. I just need to relax, invest in a plunging neckline or two, and forget about the damn date.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 5:50 p.m.!! 0 comments

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ontario Town

My mom visited me for a whole week right at the end of May, and that week was full of an amazing number of activities. We went to the movies, trekked all over the city, and shopped like pros. We drank ice wine and very good coffee. We went out for breakfast and sushi. We even attended B.K.'s Knee Surgery/Jordan's in town party, and my mom was a very good sport.

My mom even gave me an unexpected present: a one-way first-class ticket back to Windsor, so I could ride home on the train with her (because Margaret Walschots only travels first class =)) and spend the weekend visiting my family. I hadn't been home since Easter, and happily took her up on her offer. I napped on the train, ate some surprisingly delicious salmon, had my rye-and-coke refilled at will, and looked forward to a quiet weekend around my family.

First of all, I did have a really nice time. I did some quality visiting, got to indulge in my favourite ice-cream at my favourite ice-cream parlour (hurrah for the Waterfront!), and mate much delicious home cooking.

Now that that's established, here is a list of events that took place in the 72 goddamn hours that I was away from home in Toronto:

- My dad and I got into several heated conversations about: nature v. nurture as it applied to the upbringing of serial killers; bullet entry- and exit-wounds; the type of person who's out at 2am anyway (I responded that "I am!" and my dad was scandalized); the purpose, function, and moral standing of Unions; and who ate the last bag of Cadbury mini-eggs someone had stockpiled in a rather poor hiding spot.

- Regarding Unions: Windsor City works are currently on strike (legitimately -- the two-tiered retirement benefits proposal from City Council is complete bullshit) over a retirement/pension benefits issue. This means that none of Windsor's parks or public spaces have been maintained, and garbage has not been collected, for, at the time of my visit, six weeks. This made the sick, crumbling city look even more post-apocalyptic than usual, with the garbage everywhere, knots of angry people gathered under tarps and around the entrances to public places, and weeds growing so tall it looked like nature was already starting to reclaim a space abandoned by humanity.

- While is a local discount grocery store, helping my grandmother do a little shopping, I felt the unmistakable sensation of a hand patting my ass. Wheeling around, I found the STORE MANAGER standing immediately behind me. When our eyes met, before I could begin the tirade I had waiting for him, he raised a hand to his brow, tipped his imaginary hat in an"afternoon, little lady" fashion, winked, and went back to pricing some produce. I exhaled my angry breath and could only shake my head in wonder.

DESPITE THIS, I managed to get a little nostalgic. Not for Windsor, which has long ago become a place that I happily escaped; I will never live there again. However, the time I spent in Amherstburg was nearly idyllic (maybe in contrast?). The weather was beautiful, all the flowers were out, and the breeze coming off the water was so sweet and cool. For a moment, just a moment, I was won over by its simple wholesomeness.

The universe must have heard my nostalgia, and decided that a reminder was in order. A reminder of how I came to loathe my surroundings during the two months I lived there last summer, when I was stranded and separated and clinically depressed. So just as I was thinking about the prettiness and cheap real estate of the town, sitting in the back of my dad's Jag, when the unmistakable throaty growl of a Harley pulled up next to us.

My dad owned a string of motorcycles over the course of his life, and still knows a lot of aging motorcycle dudes. One such dude had come up next to us at a red light, and started waving to my dad, who rolled the window down. The two yelled greetings over their respective engines. Then, Aging Motorcycle Dude spotted me. I was only about 7-11 when I rode about with my dad, but since my hair is blond again right now he recognized me.

"Hey sweetie! Given your dad any grandchildren yet? Got a bun in the oven?"

I was silent, and my dad managed to blurt out something helpful:

"She's working on it!"

Then the light turned green and the Harley roared away.

My Sunday, I was back in Toronto and felt this enormous rush of happiness to be home.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 10:30 a.m.!! 0 comments