01 February 2007

Rain Check for Services Rendered

Late yesterday afternoon, I got a call from our babysitter at home: The electricity was out. After a brief consultation over the phone, it was clear that I needed to go home and take care of this, or at worst, call an electrician to get this fixed.

Amy and I were headed to a lecture that evening, so this had suddenly gotten tricky: Instead of picking her up, I was now headed the other direction; Amy would have to get her own ride to the lecture. I was going to be lucky if I made it at all. I arrived home in the chaos of a babysitter changing-of-the-guard while the kids went ape about the power outage.

LongStoryShort: I got the power back on relatively quickly. That's always a relief, based on the money we had just saved. Amy was going to be glad.

Hmmmm, I thought. Amy was going to be glad.

How glad?

I called her. She was still en route to the lecture.

"It's back on," I said. "Everything seems to be fine."

"Great!" she said. "So you can still make it?"

"I'm on my way out the door." I paused. "You know, I'm billing you $130 for this." She laughed. "But don't worry about it," I assured her. "I'm certain we can work out an arrangement for compensation that doesn't have to involve money." She laughed again. We talked for another couple of minutes as I got my coat on, and as the little one talked to her briefly on the phone, but before I hung up, I whispered: "Yesssssss! I get to save a coupon! It's a freebie!"

+ + +

Several hours later, Amy and I were home, my head in her lap, the kids asleep. Because we had been out and hadn't had to go through the usual (exhausting) ritual of getting little ones to bed, she was exceedingly awake.

"I'm thinking about submitting my bill for the electrical work," I told her. She laughed and kissed me. "What do you think?" I pushed.

She avoided a direct answer for a few minutes as we talked about other things, and then finally said, "You know, I don't think I'm in the mood. How can you be in the mood after that intense lecture tonight?"

"That's a whole different part of my brain. It has nothing to do with the part working right now."

"But it was such a cerebral night," she said. "It doesn't put me in the frame of mind for this."

Cerebral? Was she kidding?

I pointed out that cerebral things were exactly the kind of things that tend to turn me on ... and I thought that was the case with her too.

"It does, but ... not that way. It's just that--"

"You know what?" I cut her off. "I'm whining. I hear myself whining about this. That's totally not what I want to be doing. This was supposed to be a fun thing, and it's going the wrong way. So I'm totally cool with a rain check."

That was that. In the same way that every grope doesn't have to turn to sex, every rejection of advances does not have to turn into another lengthy discussion about our unbalanced libidos.

But I did warn her about a simple fact of business: If she doesn't remit, I'm coming back later to collect. With interest.


Tom Paine said...

God, does that ever bring back nightmares....

The differing libido is a real problem, and it took much work on our part to find a balance. Now, it seems her capacity is actually greater than mine.

Anyone out there who can help me on this?

Odysseus said...

I can see Penelope having that same sort of experience. And I can see myself going down the same road you started to go down, as well. Nicely handled! I think things like this are what best contribute to an improved sex life - awareness of the other's state of mind and how it affects their libido, and especially discussions about it.

Mandy said...

I'm in the same situation - great, wonderful, fantastic marriage, lousy sex-life at home. So it's nice to read your take!

Found you through Tom Paine - hope you stop by sometime!


la fille mariée said...

You handled this in exactly the right way, Denis. There was nothing else you could have done that would not have lead to a very negative outcome. You are very good at looking at the big picture, and staying hopeful.

At what point, however, does the frustration start outweighing the benefits of always making the right choice, saying the right words?

Odysseus said...

weird. seems like everyone else is reading this as a negative experience for you, while i thought it was positive.

i mean, you didn't get laid, but you analyzed some of your behavior and learned a little something, and that will surely help you more in the long run in terms of your sex life, right?

Denis Connor said...

Tom and Odysseus -- Your hopefulness is welcome, bolstering.

Mandy -- I stopped by. Damn. Now that's a sex blog. I'm officially your newest fan.

Mariée -- It's an impossible question to answer. My love for Amy extends that point almost over the horizon. And it's not like our relationship is devoid of any sex. It's also not like sex is the only source of pleasure under that roof. So I guess the vague answer to "At what point...?" is: "A long, long, long way off." For better or for worse. An answer to be reassessed as necessary.

Odysseus, you're clearly a glass-half-full kind of guy. And I know that I generally am too. The thing is, this is not the first time I think I've learned this lesson ... or the second. Or even the fifth. The rational part of my mind understands that timing is everything -- that sex when both parties crave it is going to be great sex. But there's another part me that just wants to get laid, god dammmit. It's a constant pushme-pullyu of my sex life.

LadyXandria said...

Umm... do you know if they've worked out that whole cloning thing yet, cuz I would definitely like to order one of your models :) Your wife is truly one lucky woman.