Some things can’t be planned for

In spite of our “every day in September” resolution being only three days old, it was just not in the cards for Doug and me to go to the gym today.

When I got off work at 6, I came home to a large portion of Doug’s family sitting in my apartment.  They’d come over at the last minute to use our pool, and had just picked up Subway for the whole gang, me included.  I was grateful for the free dinner, and didn’t mind the company, but it did make for a logistical timing issue, since LA Fitness closes at 8 p.m. on Sundays.

The three adults and four kids, who had somehow made themselves fit into our tiny living room, left just after eight, and Doug and I were left to try to come up with a backup plan.  There were the open streets of the neighborhood, usually ripe for walking, jogging, or cycling, but unfortunately our neighborhood isn’t very well-lit; I didn’t like the idea of wandering around in the dark, even though we do have a flashlight and Doug was promising to protect me.  So instead, we suited up and headed over to the small workout room in our apartment complex, which is open until 10.

When we got to the little gym, it was dark.  Flipping the light switch did nothing.  Doug started walking around, waving his arms, hoping to trigger a sensor.  When this didn’t work, he combed the walls looking for another light switch, and again came up empty.

“It’s okay,” I said, stepping up onto a treadmill.  “We can just work out in the dark.”  There was just enough light coming in through the window so that, if I got my face really close to the machine’s dashboard, I could make out the words on all the buttons.  I pushed QuickStart.  Nothing.

“The fuse must be out for the whole room,” I said.

“Try an elliptical – aren’t those self-powered?”

I climbed onto an elliptical machine and started walking.  It worked, but I quickly realized that without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to change the resistance or set a workout time.  I was beginning to get frustrated.

“Maybe we’re just not supposed to go to the gym tonight,” Doug said.  He was right.  Disappointing as it was, all the signs were pointing to no.

Doug did one last sweep of the room, then followed me out the door, pulling it closed behind him.  But then I stopped on the bottom step, turned around, and said something totally out of character.

(Warning: If you are related to me, strictly religious, or under the age of 18, you may want to stop reading now.)

“We could have sex in there.”

As it turns out, there’s a coat-closet-sized alcove in the corner of the workout room, next to (and therefore out of sight of) the one big window.  A few moments later, I found myself standing in that alcove with my forearms against the wall and my yoga pants around my ankles.

Was it the best sex of my life?  No.  But considering that Doug and I have had sex a total of four times since I started this blog a month ago, an average which accurately reflects our pattern for the past two years, it was something.  And like I said, it’s out of character for me, this spontaneity thing.  I don’t like to admit it, but I like having a plan and a running to-do list.  Hence, I’ve already got my next wedding date picked out, and hence, when things I’ve thought I had all figured out (marriage, pregnancy) haven’t gone as I expected, my life has felt like it’s spiraling out of control.

So if you were to ask me whether I’d ever have sex in public, my immediate answer would be no.  This disregards the fact that I used to have sex in quasi-public places on a fairly regular basis when I was younger, and it may suggest that the idea of public sex disgusts or scandalizes me, which isn’t true.  It’s just that if I think about it, my brain starts going and telling me all the things that are wrong with the picture: people could walk in; it’s hard to find a good hiding place; any position that would allow for a quick getaway has got to be awkward and uncomfortable; there’s too much time and energy involved in taking off and putting on clothing; and anyway, I never seem to be wearing an easy-access miniskirt when the idea of public sex presents itself.

But…  Fuck, I’d already spent all that time and energy putting on my gym clothes for what was apparently going to be nothing.  So this time, when the idea presented itself, I ignored my overworked inner censor, and suggested it out loud.  And of course Doug got on board.

So now I guess I understand how Erin and her boyfriend had sex behind the Disneyland castle as the park was closing one night, or how my nephew was conceived in a car parked hastily on the side of the highway.  These people weren’t thinking about the possibility of getting caught, or how much time they had left in the day, or how logistically to position themselves in such locations.  They probably weren’t even thinking about the good story they’d be able to tell their friends and sisters later.  In fact, they probably weren’t thinking at all.

Spontaneity should be like a reflex.  A choice is presented, but it’s a simple choice, with an immediate response.  It’s like checking a box:

Or, in this case:

I hardly think it’s a bad idea to turn off the inner censor in other aspects of my life and my journey as well.  Which isn’t to say that I’m just going to trust my innermost desires and try to make a baby right now, but that maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about what society or Doug’s mother think the “right” time and the “right” situation are.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to say my ex-husband is remarrying “too soon” or worry that I’m waiting “too long.”  Maybe I should stop talking myself out of having sex by belittling its meaning, and just have more sex – not necessarily in public, just in general – and let myself enjoy it.

Life is messy.  And unpredictable.  And although I’m empathetic and sometimes intuitive, I’m no psychic.  So why am I trying to predict things all the time?

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5 Responses to Some things can’t be planned for

  1. Dani says:

    Just came across this quote and thought about what you said about not quite having the marriage or pregnancy you wanted/anticipated/planned for…
    “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell, author

    • Marie says:

      I feel like I just read that too, or some other quote from the same dude, because I keep thinking it says Joseph Conrad, who wrote Heart of Darkness, which I hated in high school. Anyhoo, where did you see the quote?

      • Dani says:

        I’m moving and found a binder with a bunch of magazine cut outs for potential scrapbooking/collage making projects that never materialized. That quote was one I had cut out of a magazine. I also came across some pics from log cabin night. One was where Carrie made a whole bunch of pancakes and our class came over to our apartment including Robyn Bell! I don’t remember that at all! Do u?

      • Marie says:

        I do remember that! They wanted so badly to know what Log Cabin Night was that we invited them over to see. I think we chose pancakes because they’re cheap and easy for feeding lots of people, and I think we employed Carrie to cook because we were ACTUALLY HOLDING CLASS in our apartment that night. Awesome.

  2. Erin says:

    Technically, it was kinda in the castle 😉

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