"I thought we signed up for the same thing... I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. You are an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a parenthesis"
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
This One Goes to 11
"You see, most blokes will be playing at 10. You’re on 10, all the way up, all the way up...Where can you go from there? Nowhere. What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff...Eleven. One louder." DiBergi: "Why don’t you just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number, and make that a little louder?" Nigel: "These go to 11."
And remember this one as well!:
“You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like - I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece.”
“What do you call this?”
“Well, this piece is called ‘Lick My Love Pump’.”
OK, all that above has nothing to do with today's post. But as I was contemplating my 11th "Shannon's Story" post that (in)famous Spinal Tap scene just struck me like lighting and I couldn't help mentioning one of my favorite movies of all time! Additionally, I have always felt Nigel and I are kindred spirits intellectually and culturally so I consider this a tribute as well. But now, I'll get back to my alternate blog story.
Let me speed forward to about Summer, 2007. Looking back my relationship with Brent had ebbs and flows. At times we would be together constantly each week in different cities. It was like we had a real relationship, almost a couple. And at other times we would not see each other for a month. At its best I knew I was his dream-girl and he was the most exciting guy I had ever been with. I think our best time was when we drove up from Minneapolis to his small hometown in Central Minnesota. Of course there was nothing fantastic about it just the chance to see who Brent really was and where he came from. But the lows were always there, the weeks where we were almost at other ends of the country. At times I did worry if this was just about sex for him and of course I did at times worry about Brent's reputation as a womanizer - would he ever move on to the next ingenue.
Likewise with Ryan there were ebbs and flows. At times we would be at each other's throats and at others just distant roommates.
What kept me going was the natural progression of each year. The beginning of school for our daughters, the holidays, snow days, Spring Break vacations, beach vacations in the summer, and then back to school. It was actually the progression of mundane life that held me together. In many ways I was happiest when I was just existing. Watching the girls play, reading the paper with a cup of coffee. That is what sustained me. God what I'd give just to be bored!
But like beach erosion my relationship with Brent was slowly fading away. The highs were less high and lows more low. Oh yes, we had several breaks. Mostly me saying I couldn't take the stress. We would part ways but eventually and inevitably we would be on the road together at dinner or at a hotel in St Louis or Kansas City; Brent would beg, I would feel bad and perhaps just simply have the need to feel attractive, and of course it would happen. We would have sex and things would go forward again. But each time it felt less good and more dirty.
The first few times we broke up Brent was very sweet. One night he literally got on his knees and begged me back. I was floored and I couldn't help myself. As time went on though Brent got more exasperated with me and his pleas for my return were less and less heart felt and sometimes bordered on condescending. I could see the aggravation and look in his eyes, I could see him thinking "oh great, this again - how long will it be this time."
Sex at times became a means to an end and Brent would manipulate me. Once he wanted me to leave on a Sunday to be with him for an evening before we were to be at meetings on a Monday. I always treasure my weekends with my girls but I hopped on that plane just so I could be with him for an extra night. Unfortunately Ryan found a Starbucks receipt from MDW when I said I was going to Missouri. Not good! But worse was the guilt I felt at leaving for Brent when I could have been home. Home and the absence of travel stress was beginning to be more attractive than another screw in a Midwest hotel. I guess the one good thing I could count on at home from Ryan was that eventually he would calm down and just go watch football or basketball and leave me to myself.
Ryan finally said he had visited a lawyer and had put down a retainer and was planning on filing for divorce. I said I didn't want that. I felt so strange now trying to convince Ryan not to divorce me when I had no feelings for him and in fact wished I could escape the life with him. And of course I had filed for divorce just a few years prior and he had gotten that thrown out. Life had become such a paradox.
I was most afraid of what life would be like trading our girls back and forth, leaving the home we had created, and leaving the relative comfort of the life I was now accustomed to with Ryan.
So we did what all couples do and we signed up for our second round of marriage counseling.