Vulnerabililty

The candles are lit and I’m showered, perfumed and all dolled up. There is “don’t-let-the-kids-hear-us-through-these-paper-thin-walls” music  playing softly from the stereo on the dresser. He comes in surprised and then the clothes begin to come off. Everything is perfect…and then he turns toward the nightstand and
blows out the candles.

“Why’d you blow out the candles?”
 
    “It’s better in the dark. What if the kids come in?”

“That’s why I told you to lock the door.”

     “Oh. Too late now.”

And so the evening proceeds but in a much more mechanical and obligatory way, with me wondering in the back of my mind why he doesn’t want to see me naked anymore.

I am well aware that my curves that once attracted him are now a little lumpier…okay, a lot. And the fact that he was blessed with this metabolism that still burns at 46 like it did when he was 19 is not helping in the “Honey, I understand” department. And maybe I shouldn’t have eaten those 10-pound seafood and crab submarine sandwiches with everything and bulgoki for dessert while I was pregnant with the first child so many years ago. But five kids later, I am still the same hot and sexy and funny and intelligent woman that he married. More so even….no pun intended.

And I know that I still turn him on and that I am the woman of his dreams. I know from the way he looks at me across the room while I’m doing something mundane like folding another 6 tons of laundry and how he’ll hold my hand when we’re sitting on the couch watching movies together and how he goes out of his way to fix things for me in the kitchen to make my life easier.

And maybe he has other reasons for not wanting the lights on when we’re alone in each others arms. Maybe he doesn’t want me to see how thin he’s gotten or how gray he’s become or how much muscle mass has been lost since we first did this so many years ago. Being “MAN” sometimes causes him to swallow those feelings and insecurities and they won’t be shared with me for fear that I will see him in a smaller, less manly way.

I know that I’m an amazing woman whether I’m tipping the scales at the 200-lb mark or whether I’ve managed to stick to my exercise program and portioning restrictions at meal times. I know that I am not defined by the size of my pants or by a number on a scale. But I still have those days when my shirt clings just a little too tightly around the middle or my inseam rips while climbing up the steps of the city bus and then my usually strong self-confidence is shot to hell in a New York minute. And if I am trying to make up for those feelings of self-loathe and fantasies of liposuction that I know we can’t afford by making myself sexy for him, then can’t he just suck it up and close his eyes and let me just pretend that he wants to make love to me with the lights on?

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