Saturday, December 22, 2012

37 Years Of Understanding

Marriage is hard work and takes a lot of patience and understanding.  That is the understatement of the millennium.  The wife and I have seen our reverend several times since my last post, talking out a lot of differences we've been having.  It was something we needed, because we were grinding on each other's last nerve trying to communicate and not believing that the other person was listening.  Having that third party decipher our desperate screams really helped.  The wife may still think that I've been hiding things from her, but she hasn't accused me lately, so that's some progress.  We're trying to fit a sex life into our schedules, which was hard enough when she was searching for work, but will go back to being a real task once she starts working again on Jan. 2. I feel guilty about it because I've spent so much of my free time on my football blog ( that I've neglected her.  So maybe that contributes to her feeling like I'm being dishonest with her.  I don't know.  Other life stressors may also contribute, such as our messy house, our general lack of money, and the car needing thousands of dollars of repair work in the past month and still not running right.  In this Christmas season, we've done well to make time for each other and try to keep smiling and not piss each other off.  Hasn't been easy, but we've done it.  As our marriage gets some age to it and we get to know each other better and better, I think we will have no choice but to understand each other better than we did last year, our first year living together.  Although we fought this year as well, for the most past we kept the peace.  Keeping separate bedrooms helped, because no matter how still I try to stay while sleeping, I just can't stay still.  So giving her a peaceful night of sleep has made a big difference in her demeanor.  So on this, my 37th birthday, I must double down and commit myself even more than I already have to understanding my wife, communicating with my wife, and making sure that I am attentive to my wife's needs.  There have been times when she seems truly unhappy, and I hate that look on her face because it's the look you get before you call the divorce attorney.  It will be my fault if she does, because I've neglected her so much already, but it's time for me to start focusing on what she really needs from me to make our marriage worth it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Karen May Have Been Right

Throughout my campaign to paint "Karen" as a whore who lied and kept her secret sex life private on purpose, I relied on all of the circumstantial evidence to affirm my accusations.  The facts as I saw them were, she was on the front page of a swingers website topless posing with her also-topless friend who Karen told me was a remorseless woman who cheated on her husband; she was named on the website as a moderator of the swingers club; she had her own portfolio on the adult photography site owned by the large black man who took the pics; she said on her own personal ad that she was partial to large black men; and a different woman told me that the photographer often took pussy from his subjects as a perk or payment.  All of that added up to Karen being a swinger/slut/liar, although I never actually saw her having sex with someone else.  I always thought that Karen took some perverse pleasure (or "pure bbw pleasure," as was one of her handles) in denying everything to me in subsequent e-mails despite all evidence to the contrary.  She didn't explain why she hid the pics and the club from me, a man she was supposed to be in love with and dating exclusively.  She said that she was only a moderator for the swingers club, not a participant, and she claimed to have never cheated on me.  But the things happening in my marriage have made me admit something that I never wanted to admit:  Maybe there's a sliver of a chance that Karen was telling the truth.

When I last talked about my marriage, I was stunned to find myself being accused by my wife of jacking off in bed next to her and disturbing her sleep.  No matter what I did, I couldn't convince her that I was not doing that.  Eventually, I had to concede that maybe I was doing something resembling that in my sleep, but I only gave that concession because she kept insisting that she saw my dick hanging out multiple times and that she wasn't imagining things.  But I never took my dick out on purpose, nor could I remember waking up with my dick out, and that's something I think I would remember.  Well, a few months ago, my wife informed me that I would have to start sleeping in the guest bedroom because she couldn't get a good night's sleep with all of the activity happening on my side of the bed.  So we have been switching off between one of us sleeping in the bedroom in the queen-size and the other sleeping in the guest bedroom in the twin-size.  We go three or days in our respective rooms, then we switch off for three or four days.  It's not my idea of a great arrangement, but I agreed to it in order to keep the peace.

There have been several incidents recently that once again make my wife believe that I'm being dishonest and hiding things.  She pointed to a time where I held up a t-shirt in an awkward way while she spoke to me, which made her think that I was in the midst of jacking off and trying to hide it from her.  She believes that there have been several times where she entered the room while I was on the computer and I made a sudden movement to try to hide something that I was viewing.  And she thinks that I can hear her footsteps on the carpet and that I've been getting up and blocking the doorway so that she can't come in the room and see what I'm hiding, whatever that may be.  I could run down the list and defend myself against every accusation, but the bottom line is, I don't lie to my wife and I don't hide things from her.  A few days ago, I decided to put a naked woman as my computer wallpaper, and because I didn't feel like having the conversation and defending it from my wife, I tried to hide it when she came into the room.  But she saw it a minute later when she returned.  That is the only time I tried to hide something from her.  All of her other beliefs that I've been hiding shit are all in her head.  I know that if I were in her shoes and saw all of the circumstantial evidence, I'd also be upset and thinking that my spouse is lying to me.  But I'm not.

This morning, she told me how anxious she has been about the whole situation, and that she didn't sleep last night because she couldn't stop thinking about it.  She cried and said she didn't know how much deception she could continue to take from me.  I went from stunned to angry because this was something I could not control no matter how hard I argued.  If truth and honesty is the rock that keeps marriages strong, I'm screwed because I keep offering her that rock and she keeps rejecting it, which is bad enough, but then she gets mad because I don't offer her that same rock.  So I offer it again, and she rejects it again, and then gets mad because I don't ever offer her that rock.  And around and around we go.

And it dawned on me in the shower that this has similarities to what Karen and I went through.  I could not believe that I was being accused of something constantly and couldn't defend myself even though I knew I was telling the truth, and isn't that what Karen claimed was happening?  That I was using circumstances to accuse her of something that she claimed she didn't do?  And in that instant, I finally, for the first time since the whole Karen thing happened, had to admit that there's a chance she was being honest.  No one in my position would believe what Karen told me, just like no one in my wife's position would be inclined to believe me.  But I know what I'm saying is true!  I can't make my wife believe it, but I know it, if no one else does.  Maybe Karen saw how passionately I believed the circumstances in the four-page e-mail I wrote her and decided to not try to convince me otherwise.  Maybe that's her personality.  Maybe it was different because we weren't married or even living together, and the effort to convince me of her truth wasn't worth it to her.  Better to cut ties with a seemingly unhinged, angry person, she thought.  And I really hate conceding victory to Karen because in my mind, she's been the most evil wench on the planet ever since that night that I found her swingers website, and that hatred of her consumed me and drove me to the psych ward, but then helped elevate me and push me to be the best I can be at whatever I do just to shove it up her cunt proverbially and show her that she didn't destroy me with her lies and deceit.  But what if it was all a mirage?  What if I cast Karen as the evil wench unjustly?  What if the worst she did was keep the swingers club and the pictures a secret just because she didn't know how to approach me with that side of her life?  What if she really did serve only as admin help for the club?  What if she took the pics for her own self-esteem, or just as a lark?  What if circumstantial evidence all added up to show me something that really wasn't?  Sounds nuts?  Sounds like I'm being naive?  Well, I wouldn't believe it either, except it's fucking happening to me RIGHT NOW.

I offered a counseling session with the pastor who married us, so we're doing that tomorrow morning.  I don't know what else I can offer.  My wife's laid down her viewpoints on the issues that are keeping us separate.   She doesn't care if I am masturbating, she doesn't care if I am looking at naked pics of other women, she just wants me to be honest about it.  It might be easier if I would just do those things instead of continuing to deny the little circumstances that seem to her like I'm lying.  That's what's so frustrating.  She's the type that understands people and men in particular, and she doesn't want to be the nag that jumps down my throat if I want to enjoy porn, and I really appreciate that because I do like to enjoy porn occasionally.  I don't have any problem at all telling her when I watch porn or what kind of porn I like to watch.  We're trying so hard to be a dynamic, contemporary couple who let the other live their lives.  So why does she keep thinking that I'm hiding things from her?  It's incredible, but Karen might understand the issue better than I can explain it.  My head is spinning.  Seriously.  I might owe Karen a huge apology someday, and I never, ever thought I'd say that.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

No Rest For The Weary

I wrote last year right before the wedding about how hard it was to deal with a situation where my fiancee thought I was disturbing her sleep while masturbating and I knew that I wasn't masturbating, but rather I always moved around and made noises while I slept because I had undiagnosed sleep apnea.  I got a CPAP machine, which forces oxygen into my body through my nose while I sleep, and I thought all would be well.  It's not.

I still move during sleep, although not nearly as much as before, but we're both big people and it's only a queen-size bed, so I'm still adversely affecting the wife's sleep.  Last night, she woke me a couple of times by kicking me in the leg, and she also poked me in the back to tell me that my oxygen mask was making noises, meaning it had slipped into a position where air was leaking out.  She explained this morning that she kicked me because I had unknowingly kicked her several times, which I do every night according to her, and she apologized for getting so frustrated that she kicked back.  I have to understand her sentiment, though; if someone kicked me in my sleep, I'd have a nasty reaction, too.

But the issue is, I'm still doing things in my sleep that disturb my wife, and she's very discouraged by it all, and so am I.  I try very hard to not move or even touch my wife while asleep, but once I fall into slumber, I'm completely unaware of my actions.  The only moving I do when awake is shifting my weight or turning over, and that's only because my lower back gets stiff if I'm in the same position for too long.  It's maddening to know that I'm always disrupting my wife's sleep pattern, and I'm sure she'd describe it as something more severe while using more colorful language.  But what the fuck do we do?  I don't want to sleep in separate beds, and neither does she, but there have been several nights during our short marriage where she's asked me to take my CPAP machine into the spare bedroom and catch some zzzs in there.  She's tried to be diplomatic about it, but it's still a terrible feeling, kinda like when the dog messes in a part of the house that's valuable to the owner and the owner banishes the pet somewhere else.  But that's where we stand right now.  She tolerates me sleeping in the bed until she can't take it any more, then I have to sleep in the smaller bed for a night or two.  And this is only less than a year of marriage.  I'm legit scared of how she's going to feel about it after a few years of this shit.

We've got other issues, like every married couple, but this one confronts us every night and (in her case) threatens to ruin every day before it even starts.  It breaks my heart.  I do not want to sleep apart from my wife, but I don't know what to do to stop disturbing her when we sleep together.  At least she's backed off a little from accusing me of masturbating next to her, although I get the feeling she still thinks that's what I was doing.  I had to concede the point that I can't tell her 100% that I wasn't masturbating if I also simultaneously don't know what I do while I'm asleep.  It's true that I don't know what I'm doing while I'm asleep.  It's just that there are a million little context clues that should be there if I am jacking myself in my sleep, such as waking up with my whang out, or with my pajamas off, or with semen present somewhere in my shorts, but none of those clues have ever presented themselves to me.  The finances, the intimacy, the communication--any other situation in the marriage takes up our time for a little while and then dies down, but this sleep thing persists, every single night, with no end in sight.  We are at a standstill, and I don't know what to do about it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Wrong LaRoche

If I start a new blog about adventures in baseball scorekeeping, I think I'll have to call it The Wrong LaRoche. Having the wrong LaRoche almost cost me this new opportunity.

I'll give you the deets quickly, because it's been a long last three days and I'm ready to go rest before going back to work tomorrow. So about a month ago, I saw a Craigslist ad (yep, Craigslist again...will this work out like my last job in Chicago or will it be another scam like "Shelley"?) looking for minor-league scorekeepers for the upcoming baseball season. Why, there's a minor-league team right here in my new city! They're the Memphis Redbirds, and I went to a few games last year. Good team (of course, since they're affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, who only won the World Series last year), great stadium, love the BBQ nachos, but I wonder why they refuse to stock lids for their soft drinks. I don't like flying critters in my Coke. Anyhow, I responded to the ad, and someone replied back with a two-question e-mail interview asking me what numbers correspond to the players on the field when keeping score and how to score a 2nd-to-SS-to-1st double play. Two very easy questions for me, and I tried to give a little flava in my answer by mentioning that my favorite DP is P-to-C-to-1st, the ol' 1-2-3 if you're scoring. He replied that it was his fav too, but he didn't see it at all last year. So I passed the first gateway and was sent to a website that gave me the details of the job, and I almost got scared off by the 17-question sheet that I had to fill out. But it paid $25 per game plus reimbursed parking, so I pressed on.

I was mailed a booklet and a couple of DVDs a couple of weeks later. The booklet described in 57 pages of detail what I'd have to keep track of when scoring games according to their specifics. Oh. My. God. This would be scoring a game in a fashion unlike any I've ever even attempted! I'm talking keeping track of every pitch result, every pickoff result, charting the field location of every single ball put in play, as well as the velocity and trajectory of the ball. And those are the basics! Don't even ask about what you have to do on complex plays, like when there's an out made on a base hit or there's an error on a fielder's choice, or when the defense shifts. Man, my head's exploding just thinking about it. One of the DVDs was the guy who runs this operation sitting at a webcam going over real examples of many various game situations. That DVD runs for over two hours. The 2nd DVD is of a game from a few years ago between the Giants and Pirates that they use as a test game. I had to keep score of the test game and send it in like I would a normal game, and only if that test game was scored as decent would I then finally be allowed as part of the Memphis crew of scorers. Well, I sweated and sent that game in last night, even though they provided a box score of that test game and it had a pitcher officially throwing two wild pitches, and my box score only showed one. The thing is, I went back and looked at my inning-by-inning chart, and I had the two wild pitches recorded. But I didn't even care to figure out what I did wrong. I was so exhausted that I just sent the thing in and hoped for the best.

The e-mail came this morning that my test game had been scored. The guy in charge started the first sentence with "You made two major errors and nine minor errors..." My heart almost stopped. I assumed that the wild pitch discrepancy would be some kind of fuck-up on my end. Where did these ten other errors come from??? Then I kept reading the sentence, and it said "...which is better than average for our test game scores." Really?? My eleven errors is actually considered kosher?? I couldn't help but smile as I skipped to the end of the e-mail, where the guy in charge welcomed me aboard and said that once I went into the software and checked off which Redbirds games I would be available for, he'd schedule me. Whoooo!! "I'm in! I'm in!" I said to my wife on the phone. I was ecstatic and also relieved.

At this point, I went back to the e-mail and read the errors that I made. The wild pitch thing was a major error, and it happened because there's a box that you have to check before the wild pitch gets put into the system, and I neglected to check this box the 2nd time, and that's why it never showed up in my box score. The other major mistake? I put the wrong LaRoche into the starting lineup. The Pirates had two brothers on their team, Adam and Andy LaRoche, and without thinking about the fact that Adam was too clumsy to play third base, I put him in as the starting 3B instead of Andy. Yeah, that's kind of a major mistake, starting the wrong guy. However many games I get to score, I'm fairly confident that I won't put the wrong fucking player in the lineup again. But I'm just psyched that I will get to score some games at all. I'm also intimidated at how much detail I'll have to keep up with. I won't be able to take a piss or get a bite to eat unless my wife comes with me to some games and feeds me while I scribble. But it's hard to complain because I'd be getting paid to keep score of a game. How awesome is that? I only wish they paid more so that I could make it a full-time gig. But hey, I may have to pull out those schmoozing skillz that my father instilled in me and make friends and cohorts along the way, and maybe I'll find my way up the chain into a serious-paying baseball executive role. Don't put it past me. I have a lot of failures in my past, but I've been known to come out ahead at times also. And with the cash flow getting a serious setback thanks to all the car trouble the last several months, I'm as motivated as can be to climb any ladders that I come across.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Little Valentine's Advice

I wanted to check in on Valentine's Day because I was struck by a thought that I wanted to share. I've been keeping busy when I'm not working by blogging on my football blog, which in case you forgot or wasn't aware, is Now that football season's over, I'll try to make my way back here to my original blog much more often. Married life is definitely not perfect, but the only thing I'll say about that at the moment is, I still love my wife, she still loves me, we still got married for the right reasons, and we're going to work out our problems together as a team. That's not what I wanted to speak about. I just wanted to share my wife's reactions when her Valentine's presents were delivered to her job. First, she got a delivery from Shari's Berries, which are humongoid strawberries dipped in chocolate designs. She was happy about them, as I figured she would because she likes chocolate and she likes strawberries. Then her dozen roses came a couple of hours later, and she texted me, "You really outdid yourself this time!" She didn't expect the roses and the berries, so I'm glad they got delivered separately, though I didn't plan that. (She actually just texted while I was typing that the berries were a hit with the office.) I'm about to groom myself in preparation for an Italian dinner she's taking me to when she gets home. I have to address the issue of Valentine's Hate, which is not a man-woman thing, as both genders seem to be afflicted with it. Rather, it's an issue where someone is either single and trying to downplay their feelings of inadequacy, which is completely understandable, or in a relationship and trying to shove off the commercialism of it all, as if they're just so above that. You know who I'm talking about. "My significant other and I don't need to celebrate our love on a specified day. We let each other know every day of the week. No corporate holiday can tell us how and when we should be good to each other." Here's my response: I have now sent flowers and candy and berries to my wife on several different Valentine's, and her reaction is always to tell me how sweet I am and how great it makes her feel to be appreciated like that. Why in the blue hell would you go out of your way to NOT make your honey feel special on the one day where it's an unofficial holiday set aside to make your honey feel special? Some folks work so hard to be "above it all" that they lose sight of things. I don't care how many times your woman tells you that Valentine's isn't a big deal to her, it's a big deal to her. While you're busy being too cool to show her any kind of token of your feelings, she's gotta go through the day with red hearts everywhere she turns, and friends gabbing to her about the sweet thing their man did for them, and eventually, it makes her, if not sad and melancholy, reflective on your union, and that's not good. The only thing not doing anything for Valentine's does is give your woman cause to pause and think about how special you make her feel at other times, and unless you're giving her a unicorn every day, you're probably going to come up short in her eyes. "Oh yeah? Well, fuck her then! She don't deserve me anyway!" Keep going, tough guy, see how much good that attitude does you when you find her secret website and discover that she's been getting what she wants elsewhere. My point is, why single your girl out and make her feel lonely and unappreciated on this day just to prove that you're no slave to fake holidays? If it hurts that much to show her love on Valentine's, then either you're probably not ready for a relationship with her or your flame is out so it doesn't matter. Either way, sucks to be her. Drop your pride and get her something or take her out. Your ego ain't more important than your relationship, and if it is, then you need help.