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Patterns Saturday, August 23, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed, strange days.
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Driving in the car a few days ago, Fearless and I were talking and he mentioned something I’d heard about before, but had never really thought about. And it’s been sort of stuck in my head since.

He brought up the idea that people look for people similar to their parents when starting relationships. The whole idea of a man wanting his lady to be like his mother. Not act as his mother, but to share some of the same basic personality traits.

He made an example of me, as well as another person he was with for a long time before I came around. First, that both of us have some common traits with his mom: a little bit shy, creative, like to spend time in the kitchen, and being kind hearted (though, if I remember correctly, he used the word softies).

I brought up the point that if people do look for their parents in their partners, what was I supposed to go off of? My dad died when I was very young, I have little recollection of him. How am I supposed to be looking for men like him when I don’t really know who he was? (Note: This was not brought up in any sort of woe is me, accusatory way. It happened a long time ago, and it’s not something I get really emotional about whenever fatherly topics come up. It was just a point to be made.)

Fearless said that my dad had been around in my life long enough to have made an impact, and though I may not know on a very conscious level the person that he was, on a visceral level I knew the type of person he was. And that I know things about him, it’s just that what I know I’ve been taught, I don’t know it first hand.

And much of that proves true: my father was a very masculine in the classic sense, he knew how to fix just about anything, was very much a provider/protector personality, loved being outdoors and working with his hands. 

The type of man I generally get interested in is classically masculine, outdoors-y, a Mr. Do-it-yourself and it’s important to me that I get that feeling that I’m safe with them (not that I haven’t been wrong before). 

So fine, he had a point. But then he pointed out that A, the other girl, and also had many similarities. And that’s what’s been sticking in my head.

Besides the obvious your last two relationships have been with Army men, Grace there have been some interesting similarities I’ve found between Fearless and First.

What has really been making it stick to my brain so much is their similarities with the one other person who I’ve been in a relationship.  Now, I’m not going to mince words, he was a manipulative, controlling, violent person. It wasn’t good, or healthy, while we were together. I had been told often enough that it was, so I believed him, but that’s a different story for a different day.

First and Fearless both habitually are decision makers. This is not a bad thing, but when you’re looking at it, they are the person who generally takes control. I know that it’s nothing near the degree of controlling that this nameless person was, but it’s still a strange parallel.

I don’t think I’m going to go into this too much deeper here, but it’s just strange, when you think of it, the lines you can draw and patterns you can see.

Any of you out there looking for your parents in your significant others?

Sing Sunday, June 15, 2008

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Fearless sings.

Growing up, he did years with choirs and formal training. He doesn’t do anything too formal with it anymore, but he still sings. He sings in the car. He sings in the kitchen when we wash dishes together. Little snatches of lyrics from songs passing through his head. Things he heard on the radio, songs he loves, words that go with the moment.

He’s got this voice. One of those that seems bigger than the person who produces it. Low and just a little gravelly, with a certain dark strength that crashes over you. Sometimes it gives me chills.

I’ve been known to sing a lot. But something about his being trained, his talent, makes me nervous singing with or around him.

He’s commented on it, that it’s not fair that he knows I belt when I’m driving, that I sing in the shower; but that I get nervous and clam up when he’s there to hear it. There’s just something about knowing that he’s got perfect pitch on his side, and that he knows when you’re making the mistakes that gets me. And it’s strange, because with most things, a little bit of nerves will not stop me.

Yesterday, the moment was right. I had just arrived at his house, he had stepped out of the shower perhaps a minute or two before. His hair was still wet, he hadn’t made it into a shirt yet, and you could still smell traces of his soap. He hugged me, and it just kind of started.

He held me and I sang. It wasn’t for long, it wasn’t very good (but then a person is always their worst critic). But I could see in his eyes he appreciated the gesture, and now that I’ve started, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Fixation Monday, May 5, 2008

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One thing that people oft point out to me is my tendency to end up with things in my mouth.

Studying, almost classically, I am found with two writing utensils, one in hand and one between my lips. You always bring two in case one stops working, but it’s rare that that happens, and the extra ends up in my mouth. I used to chew my fingernails pretty hardcore when I was younger. That bad habit has been kicked long ago, thank goodness. But once again, hands up by my mouth. As well, I’m a foodie. There’s always something someone wants you to taste. And in the interim, there is always gum.

Fearless is returned (yay!!). And yesterday morning, after looking at the million pictures he took of work stuff, we watched a movie, Run Fatboy Run. We curled up on the couch, loosely spooning. At one point, he brought his hand up and traced my jawline, slow and soft. Back and forth, chin to ear.

And somehow or other, I’m not sure because I wasn’t really thinking of it, I ended up with his forefinger in my mouth. Not far, between the first and second knuckles, but still there.

Like I said, I wasn’t really thinking about it, but he eventually piped up and pouted with a laugh It’s not nice to tease.

He said it because I had his finger in my mouth, and it’s not that it was just there, but that I was in fact teasing, though it wasn’t intentional. Still, there was that touch of the tongue, little bit of suction, that lets you get full on the taste and texture of another person.

Orally fixated? Maybe a little. The movie was soon to be shut off.

He’s a lucky man.

Song of the Day: Angel – Massive Attack

81 Hours Monday, April 28, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed, graceisms.
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I’m used to not sleeping, really I am.

I have been awake for 81 hours (and 17 minutes, but who’s counting?)

A lot of people don’t believe you if and when you tell them that you don’t sleep. They think you choose to stay up, that you just don’t sleep a lot, but really, when I say that I’m not sleeping, I mean I really don’t get anything that really resembles quality sleep.

Sometimes it’s better than others, ha most of the time is better than right now, my body starts making decisions that I don’t get a choice in. No Grace, you’re getting some sleep right now, I know you’re scared and that it’s not going to last long at all, but I’m going to get mutinous if you don’t.

And I can’t stop myself from falling asleep, even though it’s gotten to such a scary point for me. Fearless told me that it’s beautiful when I actually do sleep.  That I curl up, snuggle in, against him in a way that makes him wonder how I can have that much of myself in contact with him.

Some time passes. 15 minutes, 5, almost immediately. And that’s when it all goes to hell.

It helps when he’s there, he talks me down, holds on to me and makes sure I know everything will be fine.

But now, no, my body is not making these decisions. There is no Sleep, Now signal. Or maybe it’s trying to, but I’ve actually sunk deeper into this sleep issue, and have scared it out of those instincts too.

He left me a bunny hug, one he had spent almost two days in. It was supposed to help. It’s big and warm and smells like him. When he gave it to me, he laughed and said Three things you enjoy about me.

It doesn’t smell like him anymore, it just smells like my bed. And though it’s big and warm, it’s not big and warm like him. You can’t curl up around a bunny hug. I’m pretty sure the point was more so having something comforting from him there when hell broke loose, but I haven’t had the chance yet to see how effective it is.

I just want this to stop.

Song of the Day: Asleep – The Smiths

Ten Days Friday, April 25, 2008

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Fearless is gone for ten days.

Ten days isn’t long, not long at all.

So many people are separated so much longer.

I am not saying that ten days is at all the same.

Still, I dropped him off 0540 this morning.

I dropped him off so his car wouldn’t be left there.

And there was that bit of sad silence.

Neither one of us wanting to say anything.

Hearing and acknowledging the words would make the ten days stretch, seem longer.

I yielded, parked amongst the bank of vehicles.

Unlatched the trunk, he let me carry the smallest of his bags.

He planned, and wanted, to carry them all; he knew I would feel better helping.

Remembering yesterday’s conversation, I had to ask You packed extra socks?

He laughed.

Already, the change in him was evident. His posture, the way he looked around, you could see he was in his work headspace.

We approached another bank of vehicles. Different this time, bigger, all the same shade of green.

We stopped. His fingers traced their way down my arm, he took the bag.

I’ll call if we’re on the grid. If not, I’ll call on the drive back.

A few more moments, and he was gone.

Ten days is not long. It is almost nothing. Still, whenever they leave, there is that indescribable finality of it all.

Love Me Tender: In the Days of Melting Snow Saturday, March 29, 2008

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Fearless lives in very close proximity to a large church.

On Sundays it is near impossible to get parking anywhere nearby.

I don’t know what was going on yesterday afternoon (wedding? baptism?), but there was no open parking down his road, just back to back parked cars. I turned and weaved my way through winding side roads that generally have some open spaces, with little luck. I found a tiny little spot between cars, and was rather pleased with the fact that I drive a tiny little car that would fit.

Being a born and raised country bumpkin, I’m used to people having drive ways. Used to lots of available parking space, and free parking at that. As it happens, Fearless is a matter of blocks away from downtown.

It was snowing, but hovering around zero, so as soon as the snow landed, it pretty much melted. Not yet having transitioned to a waterproof spring jacket, I was still wearing a heavy, non-waterproof, wooly jacket. The long walk didn’t go together with lack of waterproofing very well, and by the time I got too his doorstep, I was pretty soaked.

Sad little person I must have seemed, wet hair, sopping jacket, teeth chattering when he answered the door. He unbuttoned my jacket for me and took it to hang on a chair close to the fireplace to dry. I went to the hall closet and got a towel to get some of the excess wetness out of my hair.

While I was smoothing it down with my fingers, trying to avoid as much as possible the fluffy texture my hair likes to take on, he came down the hall with a bunny hug of his, knowing I would still be shakily cold. When I get chilled like that it sticks with me for quite a while, and I’ll shiver and shake until I warm back up.

I pulled on the bunny hug, marvelling once again to myself how small I feel next to him. The waistband was more than half way to my knees, sleeves extending way past my shivery fingers. It was perfect, soft and warm. But even better, it felt safe, smelling like that pretty mixture of old spice and cedar and himself that I love to breathe in.

As I rolled up the sleeves, hands reappearing, he told me to get out of my wet socks. You’ll catch cold. And anyway, you’re leaving little wet footprints everywhere.

I wiggled my way out of my mismatched sopping socks and threw them in the laundry. I’d steal a pair of his when I went home.

He led me back to the living room. My soggy shoes were in front of the fireplace, as was my jacket hung over a chair brought in from the dining room.

Then he did the perfect thing, got me down on the couch and nestled up behind me. Broad chest and shoulders like a shield, an envelope I fit into just right. Through the fuzzy fabric of the bunny hug, I could feel when he breathed. One arm was a place to rest my head, and the other came across my side. Muscle and bone not resting too hard, but transferring enough weight and pressure to feel their strength and protection. His big hands swallowed mine up, transferring over their heat. He’d had a day off, and so avoided shaving because it wasn’t compulsory, and the stubble touching my cheek wasn’t too prickly or tickle-y, it was just another layer of texture.

To think you said you weren’t one to cuddle I breathed into the warm air.

He shushed me and replied For you, anything.

(I know, I’m being super smushy. I just couldn’t help myself.)

Song of the Day: Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

I’ll Cover You Monday, February 18, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed, from the kitchen.
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Yesterday, the rescheduled Valentine’s was rescheduled again because Fearless has come down with a serious bout of the flu.

I went to his place at the time he had given me, dressed for the weather as I was told to do. And when I rang the buzzer, there was no answer at the door. I was confused at first, wondering if I had forgotten I was supposed to meet him elsewhere? I got out my phone and dialed his number.

The door opened. It was him, looking like death warmed over, wearing naught but a pair of gray sweats.

It’s Sunday? He asked, voice a little raspy.

I didn’t answer. You’re sick?

He ushered me inside. His movements were slow, very out of the ordinary because he normally carries this kinetic energy that buzzes from him. He grabbed a blanket from the floor, where he must have dropped it, and plunked down on the couch. I’m sorry about Valentine’s. He proceeded to lie down again.

The caregiver in me kicked in (as it always does), Have you eaten anything today?

He pointed at an open but untouched looking packet of soda crackers and said, Keep throwing up.

Are you staying hydrated?

He lifted a bottle of water from his side.

I fluffed the pillow under his head. He started to mumble something about moving Valentine’s to another day again, but I shushed him, gave him a kiss on the forehead, and told him I was going to make him some chicken soup. Fearless started to protest; he’s such a protector, he likes to do the taking care of, not be the object of it. Luckily, he was tired and weak from being sick, so protesting didn’t get him very far.

I whipped up a simple stracciatella, the perfect thing for a sensitive tummy, and brought him a new glass of water.

He ate, got sick, and tried to eat a little more. I got him into his bed, solved his achey muscle issue with a long massage, and just sat with him for a while in the quiet. He kept saying sorry about Valentine’s day, he had so much planned; but really it wasn’t bad at all. I got to spend a quiet day pampering my man and showing him I care. The only thing better would have been if he wasn’t sick.

Valentine’s has been moved again, to as soon as he’s feeling up to snuff again. From talking to him today, it seems he already feels much better. I hope work tomorrow doesn’t make him any worse, it sounds as if it’s going to be a rather intensive day.

Stracciatella

7 C Chicken Broth

1/2 C Orzo (my personal choice for this) or other small pasta

2 Eggs

1/3 C Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley, fresh is best but dried works too

Pinch pepper, to taste

Bring six cups of the broth to a boil, reserving one cup. Stir in orzo or other pasta, and cook until al dente.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, parsley, pepper, and reserved broth. Gradually pour mixture into boiling broth, stirring constantly until the eggs break into strands.

Serve!

Song of the Day: I’ll Cover You – RENT

All I Want to Do is Love You Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

If you’re here to read a sweet and gooey Valentine’s story, you’re going to have to wait for Sunday? Why? Because I have an exam scheduled for 1900 today.

That’s right, I have a professor who must have something against this holiday. It was originally scheduled for 1000, but yesterday I found out that he had rescheduled it, for 1900! This is a class of 212 people, and all of us who had plans are now going to be missing them. Excuse me while I pout.

When I told Fearless the news, he was sad because, by the sounds of it, he had something really sweet all planned out. He shared my sentiments about unfairness and both of us wondered if this professor had a vendetta against the holiday because of something that had happened in the past. Perhaps?

We rescheduled for Sunday, but then, sweetie that Fearless is, he says, Can I still see you tomorrow?

Well, I’m going to be studying most of the day, and the exam doesn’t finish until 2100, but I’d still love to see you.

Come after your exam. He says.

You realize I’m going to be tired and probably a little depressed (it’s going to be a tough exam) right? I’m not going to be much fun. I’ll probably be in need of a drink.

Alright, he tells me, we can drink then. Valentine’s day drinking. You sure you don’t want me to do anything nice for the holiday? You’re just going to be tired and in need of a drink?

Well, maybe a cuddle too…

That’s the plan then. Drinks and cuddles, but nothing overly romantic. That will be for Sunday.

Sunday it is.

Perfect Grace, just perfect. Good luck on your exam.

Hope all of you out there have a great Valentine’s day!

Song of the Day: All I Want to Do is Love You – Bran Van 3000

She’s So Hot… BOOM!: Chocolate Lava Cakes Sunday, February 10, 2008

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What better than to follow up the first, cold part of the weekend with something luscious and hot?

Quintessentially female, I have quite a love affair with chocolate. I made them for Fearless earlier in the week, and he loved them too! I’m lucky the recipe makes a bunch, because he didn’t want to settle for just one. He was a lucky man because I let him take some of the extras. What can I say? Food is love! They’re just perfect little personal cakes of pleasure, ready to go the way of volcanoes at the first touch of a spoon. Each mini cake is baked with a truffle in the middle, and as the cakes bake, the truffles melt. Just divine!

1. Truffle

4 oz bittersweet chocolate

1/3 C whipping cream

2 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream (or other preferred liqueur, Bailey’s is my personal favorite)

In a saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium heat until steaming. While waiting for the cream to heat, chop up the chocolate and place it in a bowl. When the whipping cream is ready, pour it over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the liqueur, and then refrigerate until firm. That takes about an hour.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into eight mounds onto the sheet. Roll them into balls. Cover and freeze until firm, around four hours.

While you wait, grease eight 3/4 cup ramekins lightly, these cakes are sinful enough without adding a lot of extra butter.

2. Cake Batter

3/4 C Butter

3/4 C White sugar

12 oz Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 Eggs

4 Egg yolks

1 tbsp Vanilla

1 C All purpose flour

In a bowl set over a saucepan of hot, but not boiling, water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter. Let cool.

In another bowl, while the chocolate bowl is cooling, beat the eggs, extra yolks, and sugar until thickened. (Takes me around 5 minutes, but I guess it depends on your skill at beating eggs) Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in the flour.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared ramekins, and then place a frozen truffle in the center of each. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake with ramekins on a baking sheet on the center rack of a 350° oven for 22 minutes, or until the centers are sunken, soft, and shiny. Let cool until you can just handle them. Gently loosen edges with a knife, and unmould onto plates. Serve immediately.

They’re beautiful little cakes, that so far haven’t ever failed to impress. The person who taught me the recipe serves them with a Crème Anglaise flavored with the same liqueur, but I find the cakes rich in and of themselves, and skip it. They’re great when you have people coming over for dinner, or any other time, but then you don’t get to finish them all right when the cakes have come out of the oven and are perfect. Though, a little reheating and treating yourself the next day or for a midnight snack isn’t uncalled for…

Song of the Day: She’s So Hot… BOOM! – Flight of the Conchords