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Birth Week 2017, Day One - The Literary Exhibitionist
Birth Week 2017, Day One

I always go through a minor struggle when it comes to the timing of my Birth Week posts: to post in the mornings, or in the evenings? Well, this year's first couple of them will likely be in the mornings. This first one certainly has to be. I didn't even get back home from Danielle's last night until around midnight.

And this morning I weighed in at 146 lbs. Fuck! Well, so much for controlling food intake yesterday: I suppose that soft taco at work was fine on its own, but I also had a fairly large peanut butter cookie with it. And then a little cake confection thing. And last night I had two cocktails, went out to an Indian restaurant for dinner, and even had a cupcake. That doesn't sound like a huge amount of food, I suppose. Except I ate more than quite necessary at dinner, which is typical at an Indian restaurant, especially with Shobhit.

Shobhit had wanted to go to this place in Renton called Pabla Indian Cuisine for a while, because he had netted a bunch of coupons for volunteering at VegFest, and he got two for this place that offered a free entree with the purchase of another. He hoped to use both of them, but they would not honor either of them, because, as the waiter pointed out, they clearly state that in order to qualify you have to present a Vegetarians of Washington card, and Shobhit as not a member, and neither am I.

This became A Thing for a few minutes. He was irked that VegFest would give coupons he felt were worthless as a supposed reward for his volunteer work -- completely losing sight of what is supposed to be the spirit of volunteer work to begin with. Nobody but him does volunteer work expecting some form of compensation to be the sole reason for doing it. That literally changes the definition of the word volunteer. And I was pushing back on this, and it pissed him off, making him slip into his time-honored tradition of insisting I never "support him." In his mind, "supporting him" means agreeing with him, always. That's objectively preposterous, and it genuinely amazes me that he doesn't get that I will always feel that way, even now after being together for thirteen years.

Maybe I could have found a better way of expressing myself, I don't know. I honestly don't feel like I was particularly rude or anything. I just told him what I thought, and when he kept coming back with the same point, I would not agree with him. He even wrote an email to Vegetarians of Washington to complain about this, and he showed it to both Danielle and me. He literally asked me for feedback, and I gave it to him. And then he turned into an asshole about it.

He even went so far as to threaten not to come to Wolf Haven with Shauna and me today, and not allow me to take the car. This is such wildly childish behavior, it drives me insane. And then it got to the point where he would say other things about the issue he has with Vegetarians of Washington, and just because I did not want to make things worse, I could not bring up any other point because it wouldn't matter how calm I was about it, he would just get more angry. I was rendered silent, like a fucking beaten down spouse. This really bothered me, especially when I came to a rather important realization: Shobhit was identifying a power he had over me, and then threatening to wield it. I mean this quite literally. And that is, by definition, abusive behavior.

I am always careful to acknowledge that I am not perfect, and I certainly have the capacity to be a raging asshole. But I don't ever pull that shit.

Consider this point, which is absolutely relevant: Vegetarians of Washington likely assumes most of their volunteers are already members. This assumption is in most cases likely accurate. Most of their volunteers don't have the same idea of worthless coupons being "a disincentive" (Shobhit's exact phrase in his email) to volunteer again. They are people who care about the organization and what it stands for and the work they do. Shobhit, on the other hand, just thinks, What's in it for me?

But I couldn't bring this up at dinner last night. Not if I wanted to salvage the evening. So I just sat there for several minutes, effectively silenced. Until now, of course, when I suppose I'm making him out to be a jerk without having the opportunity to defend himself. Well, it's my turn, I guess. Maybe I shouldn't be as petty as he is. I don't really think I am anyway, but whatever.

After a while, he clearly felt bad. After Danielle semi-successfully played marriage counselor for a moment over dinner, we all walked to Fred Meyer across the parking lot. By that time Shobhit was being especially amorous, holding my hand and putting his arms around me. He was fine and pleasant for the rest of the evening. I just get tired of his inability to control his anger. Every time he threatens to wield power over me in that way -- knowingly threaten to take some kid of action he knows would completely ruin my day, as well as others -- I just sit there thinking about the logistics of leaving him. I often can't decide where the line should be. Should I just tolerate these threats? He never actually goes through with them. And what if one of these days he actually did? That could be a point of no return in the demise of our relationship. I deserve better than this.

Of course, in his mind, he basically thinks the same thing: I deserve better than this. To him, that includes backing him up, even when I believe he's wrong. And that's where we reach an impasse. I'm getting to a point where I think about lying to him just to placate him, because it's the only way to do it. Is that really what he wants?

Anyway, the whole thing was relatively short lived, although it did make much of dinner itself pretty unpleasant. But then the waiter came and said the owner gave us 10% off for the inconvenience, which helped all around -- although they had no obligation to do that whatsoever. Shobhit even clarified to him that it's not the restaurant's fault but Vegetarians of Washington's. So why did he yell at the waiter at the beginning, then? Well, whatever. At least he was being nicer to them by the end of dinner, just as he was to me.

And after Fred Meyer, where Danielle needed creamer and Shobhit got a bag of frozen peas (exciting stuff!), we went over to Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes, because Danielle wanted to get me a cupcake at the place we go to almost every time I'm down in Renton. There really is no place in the region with better cupcakes. They were about to close, though, so Danielle got our cupcakes to go. The young woman at the cashier at first thought we were getting four cupcakes, and Danielle clarified that we just got three. When she opened the box at home, she discovered the fourth cupcake in there, even though she'd been only charged for three. That was a nice little sweet surprise.

We had actually driven down to Danielle's shortly after I got home from work -- having ridden my bike for the first time of the year, which was fucking exhausting -- and we made it to her house by 6:15. Traffic wasn't even that bad, although it did still take us just as long as the GPS said it would, even taking traffic into account. Shobhit brought a joint, which we all took maybe one puff off of, and Danielle and I each made cocktails with the booze Shobhit and I brought down. She had diet ginger ale to have with vodka; I made myself a White Russian with Irish Cream. We actually weren't there too long before we all left for dinner, as we were all hungry.

Danielle and I both had another drink when we got back to her house after dinner. The kids are with Patrick this weekend and she wanted to take advantage of that, and have us over for a while longer. She even suggested we play a game, and she busted out a Scrabble box that was still shrink wrapped. We played one game, which Shobhit predictably won handily, and which I struggled to stay awake through. We finally headed back home a little after 11:00.

I was up a few minutes later than intended just because Ivan was at the dining table when we got home and I chatted with him for a little bit. We talked about some things we might watch at home tonight, after we're done with Wolf Haven. "Hurry back!" he almost cooed, again making it difficult to tell how sarcastic he's being. I guess I should just get used to that.

It was an unusually beautiful day yesterday, by the way, putting more people in a good mood than usual, given how very much rain we've had this year. We're set to go back to rain today, which I presume might make Wolf Haven tricky. I might wear my rubber boots and bring an umbrella. This year's rain is also why we're doing a museum (MOHAI) with Dad and Sherri tomorrow instead of the traditional bike ride with Dad -- he knew it was likely to be rainy. This same week last year we had unbearably hot temperatures in the upper eighties! I actually prefer this. I know I'm in the minority. Anyway, I'm going to take a shower now.


positive energy please