At our friends’ home over diet coke we discussed writing, politics and books, not all in that order. My friend joked, “You know what your next book should be about? You should do your version of Fifty Shades of Grey.”
I laughed, “Like how things really are. The other side of Fifty Shades of Grey. Like un-erotica.”
My husband Scott offers up, “Yeah, like how you go to bed at 9.”
I said, “Or how you fall asleep downstairs to the TV with all your clothes on.” I found him a few days ago at 7:31am on the couch in a dress shirt, jeans and socks, fast asleep under the blanket his Nana made. We cuddled a little on the couch at 7:32.
On the way home from our friends’ house I took stock of our married life, the many ways we differ from that book.
I don’t call him Sir. It’s either Scott or Dude.
There is no dungeon-esqe room where the lines of pain and pleasure are blurred, only a dimly lit basement with kids’ toys, Lego to trip you, and a closet that holds the secrets of bad hairdos and musical tastes.
We don’t have bodyguards or caretakers or cooks. Security is a key and an umbrella. We cook or order pizza from Jim’s. I do the laundry and then leave it in the basket at the foot of our bed for a week. No one buys clothes for me because it’s my cardio and creative outlet, and woe to the person who would try to take that away from me.
No one saunters in our house except maybe Ben, my seven year old. No one sashays either.
I don’t have an ‘inner goddess’. There is a voice that reminds me to calm down when I’m irate that Scott left me to empty the grounds container of the espresso machine. My soul leaps when he mows the lawn or buys me chocolate treats. My inner goddess dances around the fridge, twirls a fork and declares, “He is a good man!”
On a rare night out, I swoon when Scott opens the door for me to the passenger side of the Jetta (leaving the minivan behind) and he slides into the driver’s seat. When we are alone in an elevator we do not succumb to desire as elevators often smell of other people’s food and potpourri.
Scott doesn’t wash or comb or braid my hair. However, yesterday he swept my hair back, piled it on top of my head until it flopped over my face as he laughed, “You look like a scarecrow!”
There aren’t emails full of innuendo. I send texts that say ‘please pick up milk’ or ‘be home by 5’ or the occasional naughty text thanks to autocorrect. Occasionally I will peel off my cardigan and send this text from our bedroom, “Are you coming to bed or what?”