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Laborious Weekend
2007-09-04, 3:29 p.m.

Day 1108

Started this Friday & never posted, so I’ll torture you with it now instead.

Day 1104 Edging Closer

While I may not be making progress by leaps & bounds talking with this therapist, I do seem to be getting nearer to making some decisions. Yakking with the therapisthas also provided the opportunity to re-examine some reactions and statements (and reactions to statements).

For instance – 2 (3?) weeks ago, I told asked Cindy if she had any desire to start working on the eleventy billion things that have sprung up between us. Her answer was a resounding “no answer”, which at the time, I took to mean “I need time to think about it”. It could also be an answer in itself, something along the lines of “No”.

Last week, on Friday no less, during our last meaningful discussion, I told Cindy that until she gets her drinking under control (as in no more drinking), we can’t even begin to work on all the other things. Again, her immediate reply was a resounding “no answer”. But. Always a but. Monday. Didn’t catch her red handed, but I know by her physical traits that she’d been drinking. Not a lot, not to the falling down drunk point, but she’d had enough that it showed. Again on Tuesday she’d had some, but this time it was a bit more. I mentioned the Gabby McTalkalot syndrome and her calling the kids just to have someone to talk to.

I didn’t call her on either of those incidents. To what point? She’d only deny that she’d had anything. I didn’t bother searching for her stash either – she’d only find a new place to hide it. However I did see multiple fresh empties of ginger ale bottles out in the recyclabes bin. I like ginger ale, but I haven’t downed 6 20 oz. bottles this week. Now, it’s possible that they were bought for consumption without whiskey, but all those drunken characteristics I saw weren’t caused by straight ginger ale either.

So. Monday and Tuesdays actions could also be interpreted as an answer to the question “Is she getting her drinking under control?” Apparently not. I know that changing her attitudes and behaviors will take time. But to stop drinking? Isn’t it a decision?

Therapist has asked about DT’s. Whether or not Cindy has shown any signs of them. I honestly don’t know. Does she need to be de-toxed? Again, I don’t know. I never thought her drinking was to the point where she’d get DT’s or need to be de-toxed, but hell, I’m just a lay person – really ignorant in these matters. Could someone from AA answer those questions? Probably better than I could.

Anyhow. No resounding YES! when it comes to wanting to work on our relationship. More slips than grips when it comes to eliminating the drinking. Questionable behaviors that involve prying into my briefcase and Jill’s personal belongings. She offers bald-faced denial when confronted with eyewitness accounts of her drinking on multiple occasions. All of those answers, aren’t they? She doesn’t really want to stop drinking. As far as working on our relationship, if the drinking has to stop first, I guess that answer is a no too.

I’ll save this for now and finish & post later.

Leap forward to Tuesday, 9/4/07, aka day 1108.

Heh. Never did say how much later, did I?

I am getting more mixed signals than a spy satellite. That is SO not good. It confuses my poor, addled brain.

Friday night? Cindy was chaperoning that soccer tournament - still. Me? Went out and got into trouble.

Saturday? Worked on domestic stuff, got some piddling things done in Zach’s room, working on the transition from a son’s bedroom to real live guest room. I think grocery shopping happened, bills got paid, and Cindy trotted off to the soccer tournament again. Me? Went out and got into trouble. Again. Big trouble. But it was so, so good.

Sunday is where the labor started getting put in to Labor Day weekend. It was rapidly nearing the time when the new paint was about to hit the walls in Zach’s former room (ZFR). If you’ll remember, it wasn’t too long ago we got froggy and decided to change some rooms around on the main floor. That also involved painting. We decided then that replacing the nasty, 40 year old contractor grade windows was a great idea, especially since we were getting ready to paint. Why paint, then do the windows, then re-paint, right?

So following the same train of logic, we decided then & there to replace the nasty, 40 year old contractor grade windows in ZFR. Off I went to the local big box home improvement store to procure our favorite brand replacement windows – Pella’s Proline. Seet window. Low-E, double pane, insulated, paintable aluminum exterior (maybe vinyl coated, not sure). Best part was I found some that were within an inch of the rough out dimensions I had.

Spent the rest of the day Sunday pulling out the old windows and putting in the new ones. The fun part was that all the exterior work was done off an extension ladder. Yeah, second floor windows. The window on the north side of the house also overlooks the pond, which is all of 4 or 5 feet from the house. Makes for a very steep ladder angle. Also makes for a lot of fun when it comes to humping that window up & down the ladder. Twice. Because I goofed and forgot something the first trip. Managed to get it installed in spite of my own goof ups.

At one point in the afternoon, probably after getting the first window pinned in, I decided it would be a fine tine to enjoy one of my favorite beverages – a Yeungling Black & Tan. Here’s where the mixed signals start. I was certain I still had 6 in my mini fridge out in the garage, along with 3 Guinness and another 6 Killian’s Irish Red. The Guinness were left over from the family reunion 4 weeks ago, and the two 6 packs I picked up before we ran Eric back to school a week and a half ago. I hadn’t touched any beer in over two weeks and I was confident I’d find them all there, just as I left them. After all, Cindy was in recovery, going to AA meetings and had supposedly been dry for 25 days straight at one point. (You know where this is going, right?)

Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to the fridge and spy a single Black & Tan left, and one of the Killian’s missing too. She hadn’t touch the Guinness, possibly out of fear of getting her hand chopped off had I caught her with one (because of the Guinness, not because of the beer – I have my priorities people!!)

So I grab a Killian’s, pour it in a glass and try to enjoy it while I rest up and get ready for window #2. At least physically rest up. Mentally? I’m wondering when and where the beer disappeared. It’s only beer, yes, and I’ll get over that part of it. But what about the trust I’m supposed to be developing? What about letting Cindy work (or not) her program? What about her needing to get her drinking under control before we can work on the other eleventy billion things screwing up our relationship? The beer is the least of my concerns.

Once the windows are in, I’m thinking about getting a shower and starting on dinner. Chicken Paillard – a favorite. But Cindy – already drunk from hoisting all those missing beers (and actually nabbing a Guinness and getting busted with it) asked if we could go out to eat so we could ‘talk’ some more. After all, we needed to work on our relationship, so how about a night out to start? At least that was her justification. Against my better judgment, we end up going to the Dinosaur . (You really gotta get one of these in your town. Puts Famous Dave’s & Smokey Bones to shame)

So we get there. Middle of downtown, so we have to park a ways away and hike back to the joint. This sucks because Cindy is a.) drunk and b.) short. I could flip over and crab walk faster. Bare handed, on the street.

Long story short – after a 30 minute wait for a table (Cindy had a beer at the bar while we were waiting) our dinner conversation boiled down to her asking me what did I want to do to start working on our relationship. My answer? (Go ahead and answer if you like, I now you’re read it before) “Cindy, you need to get a grip on your drinking before we can work on ANYTHING else.” I mentioned that as the waiter was bringing her another beer to our table, before the food even arrived. (Food was excellent by the way. I had a smoked/grilled strip steak with habanero butter {which was NOT hot enough by the way Mr. Stages} and Cindy had Cajun catfish), but the dinner conversation was rather muted by that point. The rest of the evening went by too quietly and too slowly.

Yesterday? She’s all sweetness & light, trying to blow sunshine up my shorts. This is even after she notices my cell phone buzzing intermittently, grabs it and sees I have a message from P K waiting. I passed it off as an Al Anon friend texting for a quick phone chat. She understands the phone tree support network and buys my excuse, I guess. In reality, it was a message from earlier in the day from Ms. CL just saying good morning.

Oddly enough, after that message, Cindy actually seemed to be TRYING to be nice, civil and understanding. Sort of. The morning was tense, but it seemed that by the afternoon she started to realize that perhaps she was in a competition. Maybe she thought I was serious when I said I was going to go have an affair the next time she accused me of having one (I was).

It’s ironic. On the one hand, we have Cindy, planning out next year’s gardens, ditching the veggie garden in favor of a large raised berm for perennials. Sketching out plans for re-doing what was the family room, shrinking the fireplace, re-doing the floor, moving the powder room and incorporating laundry. I’m thinking about what I can do quickly to enhance re-sale value in the event everything relationship wise goes up in flames next week. Sad position to be in.

Last night, Cindy asked me what I wanted for dinner tonight. A month ago she was all up in my grill about constantly asking her what she wanted for dinner. I told her then I’d never ask her again and would just cook what I wanted. If she didn’t like it, tough – she opted out of the decision. I haven’t asked her – at all. When the kids were still here, I asked them. They had no problem answering. After the kids left – I just cooked. Haven’t been many nights to worry about. It’s only been 10 days, she’s worked 4, we’ve eaten out 4, that leaves one night last week when she actually cooked and tonight.

It’s really occurred to me what I miss about our relationship. Intimacy. Intimacy in the form of sex, in the form of just lying down together and having an entire conversation in whispers (after sex especially), intimacy in the form of being able to complete each others thoughts, intimacy in the form of getting that look that says “when I get my hands on you . . .”, intimacy in the form of being able to do anything you can think of, some things you thought you couldn’t do and a few things you never thought of. It’s been a long, long, long time since Cindy and I ever had that. Hell, the sex part alone has been sorely lacking for longer than I care to remember. For me, the constant rejection just did me in. So guess what?

I’ve made the biggest mistake. Now I care. I am so screwed.


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old habits - new tricks