Fifty Shades of Gimme Some of That. Sex in the Suburbs, Part II.

Do you read Part I? You really should. Click here. 


So yes, the Handyman reminds me of an Ex, who was also a brooding blue collar Hottie who liked Budweiser, smoked Marlboros, and had trouble sticking to one woman. Mmmm, mmm.

I met him while working on the Mississippi Queen steamboat, cruising the length of the great river, living on the boat for six weeks at a time. I felt in love with everyone and everything – the roiling muddy waters we plowed through, and the small towns where we docked: Greenville, Natchez, Paducah, St. Francisville. I loved the Ex, who worked in the storeroom and wore a blue jumpsuit every day, and my friend Em, who was having an affair with the ship band’s trumpeter. Most of all, I loved the FREEDOM that comes with youth and immaturity. I had no decisions to make, no bills to pay – in my off time, I lived with my parents – and really, no reason to worry. About anything.

The Ex is one of those former flames you recognize as a really good guy who never would have worked out. I loved him, but mostly I loved the way he made me feel – wild, sexy, funny, and fringed by a touch of the crazies. I was 23 years old – and I guess I was all those things.

Damn. I was all those things. But not anymore. Or at least I don’t always feel like that anymore.

It has nothing to do with Hot Firefighter Husband, and yet everything to do with him.

Back up 22 years, to when Husband and I first became a couple. The day after we…..coupled, I wore a purple dress to work. I remember that dress – a purple drop waist cotton knit shift that was t-shirt comfortable. I had a green one just like it.

Husband couldn’t keep his eyes off of me. I felt certain the night before had been a mistake, and yet Holy Skinny-Dipping, did I feel exquisite. Like Ecstasy-good. (Ecstasy really is fantastic, peeps. But just take my word for it, okay?)

For years afterwards, Husband remembered that purple dress. He only had to mention it for me to blush. It was symbolic of our union, but also represented what I like to think as my true spirit – me, unencumbered, achieving, reaching my goals simply by grabbing them. Me and my bike and a backpack, riding the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard one weekend just because I could. Me, living.

I can’t remember when I threw away the purple dress, nor can I remember when I packaged up my freedom and stored it on a shelf. Grown-up responsibilities can be so sobering and anti-climactic, right? Money and chores and the sheer weight of grounding a family…it’s time-consuming and exhausting.

A lot of it has to do with the children, of course, particularly my son, whose Attachment Disorder makes him a full-time job. We often don’t even have the option of going to the pool or beach on a hot sunny day, because the boy’s anxieties can turn him apoplectic at the idea of it. Just recently he spent 20 minutes running away from home by walking around our neighborhood cul-de-sac. Because I wanted him to bathe. I am fundamentally tethered to him, and though I’m grateful for the durability of the invisible leash that links us, I’d like to unhook it sometimes.

Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I pull into our driveway, and as I open the garage door, I think, Who put me in charge of all this? Who thought I could handle it? I own a big house! I’m responsible for three live little humans! Just yesterday, it seems, I was dancing on a pool table, and today I’m cutting the crusts off peanut butter sandwiches and wiping pee off the toilet seat! Again and again and again!

Tuck those thoughts away for a moment.

So a confluence of events – me reading Fifty Shades of Grey, the appearance of the (Hot) Handyman, Husband working a long stretch of days – had conspired to induce in me a kind of despair. I sunk into a strange, otherworldly melancholy marked by a deep and omnipresent longing that I did not understand. I craved sex, but not with Husband and not with anyone else.

For whatever reason, probably simply because he was there, the Handyman – the idea of him – became the cure for what ailed me. He made me smile. He was so utterly capable; he could fix anything, and I guess I surmised that he could fix me, too. He appeared regularly to help right the wrongs in my home – replace the weather-stripping in the front door or change out the leaky faucet on the deck – and hope swelled within me.

(It’s important to note here that the Handyman did not return my attention. He thinks I’m weird.)

This dismal state of affairs depressed me endlessly, and cast me into inner turmoil. I love my husband! I love my family, my choices, and (most of) my life! Why was I so fixated on the Handyman?

But then came that cathartic, A-HA moment of clarity, like the proverbial parting of the seas and the commandments etched in stone and the sun breaking through the clouds, all happening at once. It was so…metaphoric, so predictable. The Handyman reminded me of the Ex. Thinking of the Ex summoned up the familiar taste of sexy, wanton freedom. Savoring that old freedom made me feel trapped. And gazing at the Handyman, traveling back in time – it temporarily untied those trappings, and lightened my burden for a precious few minutes. And boy, did it feel good. Like, awesomely good. Like, wow, I’m blushing good. And that’s where the sexual urges came in. I wanted to be in that ecstatic moment all the time, to escape what I perceived to be the restraints of my suburban life.

So I wrote Part I to get this all straight in my head, and proudly showed it to Hot Firefighter Husband in hopes that he would understand why my Cold-Hearted Bitch quotient had been so high – and he FLIPPED OUT. But after a really hard therapy session and some old-fashioned affection, he gets it now.

I’m over the Handyman. Who still likes Budweiser, anyway? I solved my own little midlife crisis using my vast introspective abilities and a heavy dose of patience from the real Hot guy in my world, the one and only Hot Firefighter Husband, who once again fills me with lust and longing and love, and the greatest of these, of course, is the love. (Thank you, Corinthians.)

I see now that the wild, high-spirited, slightly crazy me has not been lost at all, but rather has shapeshifted into a more useful form. I’m Dorothy, clicking her heels. You always had the power to go back home, Dorothy. I don’t need a purple dress or a pool table or a steamy affair. I just need me and my life and my man.

Or, to bring this series full circle, consider Ana, naive heroine of Fifty Shades of Grey, waiting for Christian to dominate her yet again. She silently utters one of the more insipid lines of the entire book. “My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils,” she says.

Yeah for her. So dumb. But actually, I guess mine is, too.


7 responses to Fifty Shades of Gimme Some of That. Sex in the Suburbs, Part II.

  1. Valle says:

    I don’t think a woman without the spirit as strong as yours could be the powerful mom you are. I absolutely love this line: “I see now that the wild, high-spirited, slightly crazy me has not been lost at all, but rather has shapeshifted into a more useful form.”
    That’s *exactly* what I was thinking as I was reading your post. You are an amazing woman, you know that, right? I love you!

    • Tricia says:

      Valle, nobody gets me like you. Well, except maybe Husband. But you were here first, right? Love love.

  2. Amber says:

    I love part I and II 🙂 I felt a myriad of emotions while reading this book too…many like yours and some different. I’m so glad you shared so I know I’m not crazy but actually quite normal! <3

  3. Robert says:

    Tricia, you women do an amazing amount. I’m talking, “Wonder Woman’s a pussy compared to a wife and mother”, amount. But it drives me crazy when women say, “Who put me in charge of this”? You put yourselves in charge of all this. Most women are control freaks by nature.
    Some women (the gold-diggers), who will marry any troll that has money, or they feel has the potential to make vast sums of money. It amazes me how many short, fat, bald men are married to arm candy that claims that it’s true love. Funny that we never see that combination if the man is blue collar. The gold-digger doesn’t seem to care that hubby is a workaholic that will screw another woman at the drop of a hat. His money replaces the dork king status that he held is high school. Then there are the women that marry men that they truly love, though in her eyes he does have some flaws. After a few years of marriage, she will become depressed on occassion because he didn’t blossom into Blake Carrington.
    Women love to watch shows like Dr. Phil. and they complain when their husbands refuse to watch Dr. Phil with them, explaining that maybe they would learn something about relationships if they did. But they all miss the number one rule of hubby selection; DO NOT MARRY A MAN WITH THE EXPECTATION THAT HE WILL TURN INTO PRINCE CHARMING. You married me and my lovable band of juvenile delinguents because we were so much fun to be with. Well, as we get older, we still like to have fun. You complain that we used to be so much more romantic. You think we were that way because we were trying to get into your panties. DUH! Welcome to male/female relationships.
    Back on topic now. You have so much responsibility around the home because you took it. As soon as we do something in a manner that you don’t approve of, you take that job away form us. this isn’t the office,where responsibility is job security, this is the home, where if somebody takes your job, who cares.
    Our wives do an amazing job. You care for the children, arrange everyone’s schedules, make sure there is food and clean clothes, and most of you also go to work. WHEW!
    Thank you. IF I don’t say it often enough (which I don’t), WE LOVE YOU MORE THEN YOU KNOW.

    • Tricia says:

      Robert, you are absolutely right. I made my bed, and the fact that it feels all lumpy sometimes is totally predictable. But I dunno. I guess I just did what I thought was expected of me, not really understanding all that it entailed. But it’s all good! I’m working it out, brother! Thanks for reading….and we love you, too.

  4. Katie says:

    I have no words except…love it! I love the self discovery. And I love hot firefighter husband…..because he allowed you to not only go with it, but post. He’s a keeper!

    And I think many women/moms feel like this at some point. You aren’t alone!

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