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Archive for the ‘sex of the icky parental kind’ Category

File it under men who think it is no big deal that you did their washing for them. When actually, you want to say. You don’t live with a man and haven’t for a couple of years now and you work, parent, run a house by yourself and so, doing someone’s washing is a very big deal. 

File it under men who cook for you. Under men who learn vegetarian recipes. Under men who have never dated vegetarians before. Under men who have exclusively dated vegetarians.

File it under men who love to eat pussy and think they’re the only one.

File it under men who sulk when you’re the one turning yourself inside out to see them.

File it under men who text you to tell you they’re calling you – they don’t ask, they tell you – even though you left them ages ago. Under other men who motion you over to your own fence by saying “come here, you’re not in trouble”.

(Note: not written about current events in my life).

 

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I read Monkey Grip (1977) by Helen Garner last year and I can’t believe that it is a) Australian and b) I’d not read it until now and c) something this good and interesting was written about single parenthood and wasn’t handed out at the door. It’s set in a very different time to now but captures well the compromises you make with difficult men and also, the possibility of freedom that exists as a single mother.

I thought about the patterns I make in my life: loving, loving the wrong person, loving not enough and too much and too long. What’ll I do? How much of myself will be left hanging in tatters when (if: I don’t want to end it) I wrench myself away this time?

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He tells me about when he was first falling in love and how he sent me songs hinting toward this.

And you kept texting me back naively with messages like, cool, I need a song to walk to work with this morning or here’s a song that I like even better by that artist.

 

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He touches my breast and says I think I have been drawing your breasts my whole life. The weight, the curve, this shadow.

(File under These are some of the best things about being with an artist).

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This year my resolution involves more beauty, more connection. That is, for just a year I will try prioritising both in my life, like they are needs. Like it is not enough to notice and enjoy them as they occur but that I may choose a direction or a moment over others simply because it will deliver either beauty or connection to me. That sometimes that choice would otherwise look frivolous or even reckless.

Fittingly, I then spent the beginning of 2016 travelling around Tasmania, me and my two children and the boyfriend that I now have. Doesn’t it sound strange to say you ‘have’ someone and doesn’t it seem strange to say boyfriend, at this stage? And who knows what else you find strange about that declaration. He’s appeared here and there on the blog already but this is still something of a coming out.

Some of the trip was also spent with family and friends and some of it was just the four of us, going happily crazy together in a little car.

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Picnic dinner outside a cabin with my brother. These nachos I cooked us tasted stupidly good after a day hiking in Cradle Mountain.

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Tasmania being, generally, ridiculously beautiful.

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Lauca and the boyfriend are two of the dots over on that rock island in the centre of the photo.

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And then because it is Australia, a wallaby comes up to the boyfriend on the beach.

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The boyfriend and I discovered Tasmanian Pinots. We drank them by fires in cabins, we drank them skinnydipping in an indoor pool at night, we drank them in caravan parks, we drank them on beaches.

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Lauca looking out to sea.

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And then I found Cormac looking out to sea, too.

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We did a lot of hiking. Big walks and big views are some of my favourite things in the whole world. The children mostly claim the same. And apparently, the boyfriend also acquired a taste for hiking somewhere along the way on our trip.

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And we swam a lot, even if it was cold. We found completely empty beaches and then a little more patience for the next leg of the trip. Cormac also found an incredible number of sticks that he in love with and amassed in the car as imaginary weapons.

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We also visited Port Arthur and the kids were, in turns, fascinated by and heartbroken by the history. We had lengthy discussions about inequality and the justice system and oh, how we did homeschool.

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Even now, with Lauca aged ten and Cormac six years old, I am still amazed by the powers of goddamn craft with my kids.

They were both quite tired, and frankly, rather shitty to be with until I squeaked them into the last convict peg doll making session available at the site and then, woah, little powerhouses of pep and gratitude after that for the rest of the day.

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The boyfriend proudly presents pizza he made and Internet he obtained for me one evening when I am feeling particularly wretched about the lack of solitude I am experiencing  while road-tripping with kids.

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The boyfriend sleeping.

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The wedding we attended at the MONA of one of my best friends. Cormac in the foreground watching the dance floor.

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Lauca with grown up hair at the wedding. Aw, little button.

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Oh, how MONA loves come and dicks and pussies and shit. Fortunately, Cormac is in a peak toilet humour stage.

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Here in Daily Life:

Chabon suggests, “I think it was training. We were practiced doing it together and we had our lines down. Also, people are not very observant, thank God”.

That’s the thing about sexual relationships, isn’t it? Part of it is real but part of it is always appearance, too. This facade is as much for yourselves as it is for others. Because a sense of self both feeds and is fed by intimate relationships. Ironically, the pressure to stay together is precisely what may be limiting passion in those women Waldman observed from in the mothers’ group. Children may have nothing to do with it. People stop having sex when they get bored with one another, too, but they are prevented from ending relationships by the pressure to ‘perform’ relationships.

Waldman wanted women to be more passionate, but there are limits to how comfortable any of us are with the pursuit of desire by women, and particularly, with mothers focusing on it. Having been a single parent for a couple of years I now find myself falling in love with another man and re-partnering. Sexual desire prioritises itself in a new relationship. Libido is all-consuming, it does not require conscious effort. In fact, it can be confrontingly disruptive to the calm necessary for parenting. I ask myself, is this how someone’s mother behaves?

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I Did Think, Let’s Go About This
Slowly

I did think, let’s go about this slowly
This is important. This should take
some really deep thought. We should
take
small thoughtful steps.

But, bless us, we didn’t.

– Mary Oliver

Not Anyone Who Says

Not anyone who says, “I’m going to
be
careful and smart in matters of
love”.
who says, “I’m going to choose
slowly,”
but only those lovers who didn’t
choose at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible and powerful
and uncontrollable
and beautiful and possibly even
unsuitable –
only those know what I’m talking
about
in this talking about love.

– Mary Oliver

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