It’s no surprise that I’d rather watch movies at home. No crowds. Pause for pee breaks. I can ignore the movie and do something else while Lion watches. So giving Lion a reward of seeing a movie I know he really wants to see was a big deal. Over the years, going to the movies has become somewhat of a battle. He’ll say he wants to see a movie. Each time he sees the commercial he’ll say he wants to see the movie. After it’s out of the theaters, he’ll say he really wanted to see the movie. Eventually I realized that he’d never see the movie unless I looked up show times and wrote them down for him. Then he had the information he needed to see the movie. Nine times out of ten we’d go see the movie. So what’s the problem?
Either I don’t want to see the movie or don’t care if I see the movie. I’ll go with him. But usually I couldn’t care less if we go or not. So why am I the one looking up the information? That may seem like a small point, but given the fact that Lion, pre-unemployment, buys what he wants when he wants it including opera tickets, symphony tickets, theater tickets, etc., why is going to see a movie any different? Why am I the one who has to make that decision? And I know you’ll say it’s because I don’t really want to go and he doesn’t want to make me do something I don’t want to do. Hello? Opera. Symphony. Theater.
So a while ago I made the rule (and this was even before FLM) that if he wanted to go to the movies he had to look up the show time and decide when he wants to go. He will do it very rarely and I have still done it for him a few times for movies I know he really, really wants to see, even though it annoys me every time. His reward movie was no different. It’s his reward. Why am I doing the work? And yes, I had forgotten about it. I thought of it the other day, wondered if it was still playing, and promptly forgot about it again. I’m glad he remembered. I am. The movie was ok. It was just like the TV show. But I’m glad he remembered because it was a reward and he earned it. If he had forgotten I probably would have transferred the reward to a different movie he wanted to see. I’m not evil. I wouldn’t rescind a reward just because he forgot. How many times do I forget things? Don’t answer that.
All of this leads me, in a roundabout way, to Lion’s post today. Here’s my quandary: I don’t like to be in charge. He wants me to be in charge. When I think about being in charge I worry I will hurt him somehow. How could I hurt him by being in charge? When he’s down from being out of work I could tell him to snap out of it. Suck it up, Buttercup. I’m tired of hearing your whining. There are so many things wrong with those statements. There’s no switch to make yourself feel better when you’re down. I hate when people tell me to just get over it already. And I’m not tired of hearing Lion whine (even though he doesn’t really even whine). I’m more of a we’re-in-this-together kind of person. I could tell him he’s not allowed to spend any money even on lunch when all he really wanted was something from the McDonald’s $1 menu. Just because I decide not to go out for lunch to save money doesn’t mean he can’t have lunch out occasionally. Demanding he stay home and not spend money at all would be unfair. He hates being cooped up in the house all day, every day. As much as I love being home, I got stir crazy after a few days when I was unemployed and home all day, every day.
As I see it, my job is to manage things. Yesterday, I wanted nothing more than a day at home. I knew we were going to the movies in the evening. The day was mine. Lion was stir crazy. He needs to be out and about at least once a day and we had to get our mail from the post office anyway, so off we went. Did it kill me? Nope. Would it have killed Lion to stay in till the movie? Nope. But there are times when I need to give him a longer lead than others. He wants to make me happy. I want to make him happy. Give and take. That’s how it works.
I’m trying hard to manage work and home and money and Lion. I can’t make all the decisions all the time. I’m just not wired that way. I’m trying to make more decisions. Baby steps. It would be too difficult for me to flip a switch to make myself an extreme dominant. I would burn out in a minute. And I’m sure Lion would hate it too. Just like you can’t lose 50 pounds in a week, I can’t become super dominatrix overnight. Besides, if we don’t figure it out on our own, it won’t have much chance of succeeding.