Upon the horns of an existential crisis

Such has been my excitement with all the new things occurring in my life recently, I have, in my writing here, been dipping a little too much into the sexual elements of my relationship with Audrey. I do apologize. It is so easy to be carried away by such titillations. There is more to life than that covered by a blanket is there not?

Audrey and I seem to be doing what many couples do, recently. We have fallen into certain routines. On a certain night now we go for dinner and take in a film. I go to Audrey’s home to help clean one day and she will come to do the same on another day. We have taken to eating dinner at more or less the same time every evening. And there is more. Toothbrushes in certain arrangements and so on.

I ask myself sometimes if the inadvertent freedom my ex-husband afforded me by leaving has now been compromised by some deep need for the mundane and routine. Despite our not being a conventional man-woman couple I wonder, are we at risk of becoming tediously everyday?

To friends I suppose the answer to that question would be a resounding no. A previously stable, safe woman in a conventional marriage coming together with an established spinster would appear to be exotic to them. In the wider world though, Audrey and I are merely a couple who do the things any couple will do day-to-day.

Perhaps I am expecting too much. After all, neither Audrey nor I are the sort to jump from a bridge on the end of one of those elasticated rope things or dance in some street parade in swimsuits. Heaven help the populace if we did. Perhaps we are, despite certain exotic proclivities, middle-class and conventional at the root.

What I am asking myself here if I am honest is do I feel there should be more, or do I really have exactly what it is that will make me happy already?

There are many clichés about the grass being greener on the other side of the hill and all that, I know.

When one takes the great step, or is pushed as was my case, into a new life seething with possibilities, how does one know when happiness has been arrived at?

Am I there now? It does feel that way most of the time. Is there more I may have denied myself by settling into this comfortable, domestic situation? Would paddling a canoe down the Amazon satisfy some deep need or would it just be a delusion of happiness because it’s something I think I should be doing?

I mean when I sit down in my new favourite armchair, comfortable in my birthday suit, to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a good book, in the knowledge that there sits beside me a friend who never demands anything of me other than to be a friend in return, I ask myself, ‘do I really need more?’

Until next we meet,

Kate

changing labels?

Oh dear, it seems I am caught in a flurry of labels and none seem to fit, quite.

Not so very long ago, and for a long time before that, my label was a very firm ‘housewife’. I am aware how archaic that sounds nowadays but that is what I was known as. I was a wife and I stayed largely in my husband’s home, ergo, housewife.

As I have mentioned before it was not an especially pleasant situation but it was all I knew for as long as I could remember so had I settled into, as people do, and stayed there until I was wrenched out of it, unceremoniously and swiftly, having been ‘traded-in on a newer model’ as the saying goes.

Within a short time I was no longer the settled housewife, albeit in a very deep rut, but a single woman rendered directionless by circumstance.

Life carried on and a situation came about in which I was to spend a great deal of my day naked about the house. And so I was suddenly a nudist or a naturist, a label to replace housewife.

Then I found that life had provided me with emotional and physical joy and comfort in the arms of a dear friend. Next I am wearing the additional label, lesbian.

From a housewife to a lesbian nudist almost overnight. How does such a thing happen?

Perhaps I am being a little over-dramatic about all this. After all, nobody has actually come out and called me that, I suppose I’m just over-aware of how labels are attached to people now.

If you were to ask me, ‘who are you?, I would answer I am a divorced woman of a certain age who is discovering a fresh life.

Am I being silly to be so wary of labels?

For me, going naked about the house is not a statement of any sort. It’s something I more or less fell into in the presence of one (Audrey) who did it. I find it comfortable and so I continue to do it.

Joining Audrey in my bed or hers to share intimate physical enjoyments does not preclude, in my mind at least, the possibility that I may one day meet a man with whom I could enjoy a relationship, physical or not.

Having said that I will not label myself as ‘bisexual’ either. So much has happened so quickly that frankly, I don’t know which way I favour. The physical relations I had with my ex-husband were never anything I enjoyed. I don’t believe it was because of a tendency in me toward women, more likely it was a lack of any sort of physical attraction or skill in either of us, he or me. Had I been with a man to whom I felt attracted it may well have been different and my foray into the sapphic may never have occurred.

The fact that my first ever orgasm was delivered by a woman (Audrey) does not necessarily prove that I have a proclivity toward the homosexual, though I suspect it may well be so. Should a man have delivered me to the heights of climax would I have never drifted? I can’t really say.

Oh dear, this has all gotten rather more complicated than I had set out for it to be.

I suppose to boil it all down, I was labeled as a housewife for many years and I am afraid, I suppose, of being labeled once more, this time as a nudist and a lesbian.

As a friend I care as deeply as one may for Audrey. As a lover I also care deeply. I wish to take nothing away from the relationship we have come to know in what is really only the last month, the physical aspect at least.

I have no desire to be an example to anyone. I am grasping in the dark to find my way as so many doubtless do. I do suspect however, that Audrey and the naked thing will persist and flourish. I so delight in it.

I imagined for a long time that I would be a housewife forever so all I can say is, we shall see.

Please forgive the rambling. I hope it hasn’t all sounded too dreadfully clinical. I’m trying to get at something elusive.

Until next we meet,

Kate

My lovely house and a long chat with Audrey

Sunday is quiet at chez Audrey. While my body pops my eyes open at six in the morning, every morning (no doubt owing to a years-long routine with ‘that man’), Audrey enjoys the last day of the week with all the decadence of an Edwardian princess. She seldom stirs before lunch no matter what, and then only to drape her post-showered self about the sofa sipping tea and crunching on near-to-blackened toast and marmalade.

By seven I have already showered, breakfasted, tidied, and read through a good portion of the Sunday newspaper.

At seven-thirty I was at my own house. you know, just to look things over. Would you like to know the truth? It was far less an inspection and far more a giddy girl dashing from room to room, thrilling at every sight. The fading smell of paint together with that invigorating timber smell of new furniture speaks new house to me and like a child on the night before Christmas, I am almost insane with anticipation of the day I will make this home once more. That day, the builder/decorator assured me last evening, will be Tuesday. Hurray!

The colours on the walls and ceilings were inspired by a visit some years ago, on a rare trip abroad when ‘that man’ had business in Paris, on a day-trip I took alone to Claude Monet’s house at Giverny. The dining room is the most lovely pale yellow with brick and white coloured tiles. The living room is a slightly muted turquoise and nineteenth century tiled floor. The kitchen is in blue tones, while my bedroom is a restful celadon green. I decided when renovating the house that each room would have its own character rather than the dull beige and dark brown that dragged its former incarnation into Dante’s seventh circle of my own, personal hell. So there! Colour reigns. The king is dead (well, might as well be), long live the queen! Oh dear, I am getting a little carried away aren’t I? Calm down, Katie girl. Must be the paint.

Having spent the better part of two hours at the house, time gets away doesn’t it?, I found myself walking about the shopping centre. The greengrocer had some fresh-looking courgettes and a cauliflower that would go perfectly with the meat in the fridge. I know white sauce is old hat now but there’s something about Sundays and chops and vegetables that demands white sauce. Perhaps it might be considered ‘retro’ as some say. Really, I am not old, but an upbringing in the traditional style will have its influences.

Are you wondering whether I’ve been thinking on my new situation, moving home and the altered relationship with Audrey? Of course I have. I’ve thought of nothing else. I’ve done quite a bit of reading on the internet from people’s blogs and information places too. I’m a little farther down the road to understanding but not far enough I think.

Last night, after dinner while we were relaxing in the living room, I spoke about my confused feelings with Audrey. It went something like this.

“It’s like this”, I said, “this is all new for me. For years I was married, bored and neglected but married. I knew my place in the world as a wife and a housewife. The bedroom was a place where I did my duty when my husband required it. It was never something I enjoyed but I never expected it to be. It was a wife’s duty, plain and simple. I suppose my mind was dulled from the long years of boredom. It was safe though and all that mattered was being safe and stable.”

Audrey tried to speak but I hushed her and I went on.

“Last year, well the year before last now it’s a new year, it all changed. He was gone, I was alone, then the depression took me over. I’d no sooner gotten over that than I felt this need to make things new. You and the other girls helped and it was all going along like a dream, you know, like a beautiful dream. Then I came here to stay. Within no time at all I was going about the place as naked as a new-born and on top of that, sleeping with a woman, not only a woman but my best friend. Can you see how I might be a little overwhelmed?”

Audrey tried to speak. I hush her again.

“I’m almost there dear, almost finished. I’m enjoying it, Audrey, I am. You’ve been such a good friend letting me come here while the place is being done and you’ve shown me I can enjoy my body and I don’t have to be ashamed of my few extra pounds. That’s a big thing. And in the bedroom, well, I never imagined I could feel that way. Certainly never with a woman. But I have a problem. The nudity is fine, I love it, no it’s us, what we’re doing in bed. Is it really me? That’s what I can’t work out. Am I like that? Or is it just being able to let go for the first time? Is it just the feeling or is it more? If I’d met a man who did the same things, would I have enjoyed that the same way? Do you see what I mean? Audrey, I’m not used to any of this and I don’t know what to do. The house wil be ready in two days and I’ll be moving back. But what will happen then? Will we keep going with what we’re doing? Will it stop? Do I want it to stop? Should it stop, at least for now? I’m so confused.”

The words might be a bit different but that is about what I said. After that Audrey said her piece of course, and she was very good, selfless, as only a best friend can be.

We talked until very late and in the end we’d considered all of my worries. At first Audrey said that once I went back home she would stay away for a while. But I couldn’t have that. Audrey is my best friend before anything else. Nothing has changed there. She suggested we stop our bedroom dalliance, at least for a while, to see if the feelings we shared were real or just a sort of release. I could see that hurt her to say but I agreed that once I went home, we should stop for now.

I am stilled confused. I don’t know how I feel about Audrey in that way. Physically it is the greatest of delights, I will never deny that, but is it me? How long will it take to know? As I’ve said before, I’m not old but I’m not a spring chicken either. I’ve become impatient to live life now in every way I can. Should I be denying myself experiences I enjoy? How long will it take? Listen to me, I sound like a schoolgirl, but I feel that way, like life is so open in front of me that I’m terrified to make a mistake. I suppose we’ll see what happens.

Sorry to have tested your patience so long. I’ll try to write less next time.

Until next we meet,

Kate