Monday, June 28, 2010

Tournaments, Emotional Conversations and a Book Review

Well, it seems I’ve take a bit of a hiatus for about a week to a week and a half. And it was an eventful break as well. I went to two tournaments in a coaching capacity, had a lengthy conversation with Mike that almost broke my heart, hosted my first Mary Kay party, went to the first annual Tacoma Hemp Fest and (I know there’s more…) went to the Bite of Tacoma.

Both fencing tournaments where held at Rain City Fencing Center, which is a very large facility that offers exceptional fencing. The first was held on a Thursday night and I barely managed to get home before midnight. It was a C and under event that had an extremely good turnout. Most of Metro Tacoma Fencing Club competitive members came out and competed. Several of our fencers made it past their first DE’s. The second tournament I coached at was held on Sunday morning and was for youth competitors only. This tournament was held youth's the same age could fence eachother. There were Y8, Y10 and Y12 groups. The student I was coaching was in the Y12 group which consisted of 12 to 14 kids who where split into two pools before being grouped with their DE partner. The DE’s (direct eliminations) are done differently in the youth groups then with the adult competitions. Normally the fencer fences for up to 3, three minute periods with a minute break in between, the first fencer to reach 15 or have the most points at the end wins. The youth DE’s are still done in 3, three minute pools but instead of a total of 15 points, it’s the first to 5 points wins the first segment and the points are cleared before the next three minute period begins. The fencer who wins the youth DE’s will have to have the best 2 out of 3 in the DE's in order to move forward. This was the first youth tournament I had attended and it was interesting and fun to watch, the kids where particularly entertaining.

My conversation with my future hubby was both calm and especially devastating. I was of a mind that something had been bothering him lately but I figured it wasn’t something we couldn’t work out. When I started the conversation it was to figure out why he was off lately and ended up being a conversation about him feeling uncomfortable with getting married. We discussed what was bothering him and tried to figure out what the exact problem was with getting married. I suggested he take a couple of days to think about it. In the end I only gave him three days. Those had to be the longest most unpleasant days of my life where I was locked in my head trying to figure out and get a grasp on where he was coming from. I have to say that for all the shear emotional upheaval I was able to come to terms with what I actually wanted in a relationship. What I felt I deserved and wasn’t receiving if not all the time, often enough to sooth me.

I feel like I wasn’t a very physical child when I was younger, what I mean by that is I didn’t hug any friends, never told anyone of importance that I loved them and didn’t provide any light touches on the arm or shoulder that indicates close friendships. I know when I was in elementary school and my sister and I shared a room, we’d fall asleep holding hands. It was a creature comfort that I enjoyed until I received my own room. I don’t know when what minimal friendly contact I provided died but my sister and I are of an agreement that we aren’t really physically ‘touchy’ when it comes to friends or family. That being said, I find that I need an almost constant physical contact from Mike. I need to feel loved and aside from saying it, I realized that I needed the other comforting touches as well. I need the rubbing hand on my back occasionally when we’re out an about. I need the hand holding and small reaches of touch. I need to be touching when we’re sitting close enough to. It’s like my body stored up all this want and need, found the right person and said, ‘This is who you’ll be getting it from’.

Is it bad that I measure any ‘adjustments’ that I’ve had to make in our relationship by physical actions as opposed to verbal ones? Mike and I really haven’t had any large arguments, I can only think of one instance where we almost had one, but we’ve never gotten into any shouting matches over the 3+ years we’ve been dating. To me the distinct changes in our relationship are the physical accomidations I had to change. I remember the first time he asked me not to ride up behind him on the motorcycle. I understand why, apparently it was crushing his private parts and wasn't a very fun or pleasant experance, but it felt like a physical blow that I’m a bit ashamed to say made me cry. The next was when we where at a party and I wanted to hold his hand and he immediately released me and stepped away, it made me feel like he didn't want me to be around him. Lately it’s been the lack of feeling loved as he gives me a brief buss as he walks out the door for work or the feeling that I’m supplying most of the nonsexual physical touches and he doesn’t supply me with them in return. I was left feel a deeper harder touch that showed he loved me as much as I loved him.

So after the initial conversation, even though it was particularly devastating to me, it allowed me to look at our relationship with a critical eye for what I wasn’t getting out of it. What I deserved to have in a relationship, especially if we’re going to be married hopefully for the rest of our lives. I decided that I deserved to feel loved every day and that I hadn’t been feeling that way lately. During the follow up conversation we had on Saturday the conversation was more about me then him and I have to say that I felt better having the conversation then I thought I would. We spoke again about what was bothering him and what I had thought about over that three day period. It’s a conversation that I hope to never really have again, but would welcome it if it was required at a specific time in our lives. I would rather discuss what was bother eachother then pretend that nothing was wrong in the first place.

On to happier thoughts….My first Mary Kay party went off without a hitch. My mother threw it for me and my aunt’s, grandma and her friend came out and partook in the event. We did a facial party for 5 and some of the participants tried on a few makeup samples. I was a bit rusty, mostly because I hadn’t really practiced but I feel that everything after this event will be smooth sailing! I’m excited to try and get new booking and help with parties where I don’t know anyone. Insane but fun :)

Saturday was also filled with a trip to the first annual Tacoma Hempfest. It was defiantly a lot different then the Seattle Hempfest which have been going on since 1991, if I read the article correctly. It was a lot smaller with a few vendors placed around the park, I say a few but it was probably about 30. There was defiantly a lot of room around the park to walk around and people watch. The cops were out, although I only saw 4 of them when we where leaving. I even recognized one who helps keep the piece at The Swiss, a local bar/club in Tacoma. Still some shady people hanging around, but I was able to park close and had access to The Hub, a local food/bar restaurant in the area that Mike and I usually hit up about twice a month. It was a beautiful day to be outside and the park was relatively clean and bum free.

On Sunday, we couldn’t decide if we want to swim or go to the Bite of Tacoma. In the end we were able to do both. The last time I went the Bite of Tacoma, it was a small gathering and everything was priced at $5 (I think it was caped) and the food when compared to the Bite of Seattle, was found to be lacking. Now, some three years later it was a huge event with thousands of people traipsing through the area. They had a large food court, vendors and a stage. The food was more expensive, from $4 to $8, but there where more vendors out then last time I had attended the event.

Mike ate a German bratwurst and I had a jambalaya.
I tried to get something that I hadn’t eaten before and it was an okay dish. Temperature wise it wasn’t hot enough and the tomato base seemed a bit too mass market but overall it was something that I’ll probably try making at home. Mike’s dog had sautéed onions and sauerkraut and he had a hard time eating it because the bun had been destroyed during handling.

I tried to get some pictures of the ducts but I needed the longer lens and instead ended up getting some relatively boring shots. This was the best one by far.

Once we got back to the apartment, I tried to find the keys for the gate at the pool, when I realized that we could go through the office. It had been so long since I’d been in a pool I forgot what it felt like. I’m not a bath person, mostly because I feel like it’s a waist of water and the tubs are never long enough for me. So being submerged in a cool chlorinated pool, felt like a new experience. It almost felt like I was floating in jello. The silky smoothness of the water seemed to wrap around my limbs almost like I had been covered in Egyptian silk except instead of being tangled in the sheets its would float around me. It probably also helped that there wasn’t a lot of kids in the pool.

I’ve also been re-reading a large bunch of my books, mostly because I can’t find anything that I want to read at the book store. But one of my favorite author’s recently came out with a novel that I wasn’t sure I hadn’t read before despite the ‘first time in print’ statement printed on the cover. So without further ado, here is another book review:

Lisa Kleypas
Married by Morning

This book was about the eldest son of the Hathaway’s and his sister's paid companion. I felt like I’ve read so many of this type of historically themed novel that I was bit hesitant to pick it up. I have to say that although I enjoyed reading it, I felt like it was missing her trademark sexual tension. The character’s repertoire was a joy to read and helped bring together the romance between the two characters but the passion between them when they did finally managed to meet between the sheet seemed a bit disassosiated, almost like she had taken a step back from her normal writing technique and put a screen between the sexual emotions of the characters and the readers. I know writers have to ensure that each sex scene has more emotional depth then the last in order to illustrate a growing love between the characters, but in this case in the end I feel like she still didn’t come through on her promise.

I’ve kept every book of her's that I’ve ever read but I’m sad to say that with the limited book shelf room I’ve found myself with, I won’t be keeping this novel. Lisa Kleypas does have a new novel coming out in July called ‘Love in the Afternoon’ that I will defiantly be picking up when it’s released. I’d suggest to you any of her novels, as I know you’ll enjoy reading them, and to visit her website