A Glad Heart
For the first time since I started blogging – not that long, of course, but still – I didn’t blog yesterday at all.
I do have a fairly good reason.
My Internet provider had an “area outage.” My Internet went down about 3:15pm on Friday and, because I was online, I noticed immediately and called. They tried a couple of resets, they didn’t work, they decided it must be my equipment. They would have to send someone out to “recalibrate” it.
And the soonest they could get to me was Sunday at 2pm.
Crap. Crap. Crappity crap.
It’s amazing how disturbing that was. Forty-eight hours without Internet access? Would I survive.
Then, about two hours later, I thought to check my cable only to discover it was out, too. Long story only marginally shorter, when I got home a few hours later, all was well. So, I did a few of the things I hadn’t done earlier, and then went to bed. I was tired, and was going to watch a bit of TV. I started to drift off…
…And suddenly, in that way you do when you remember something important, I nearly bolted upright.
I had forgotten to post a blog!
I did consider coming back downstairs, or even posting something brief from my phone.
Then I shrugged and went to sleep.
Come on, it’s a blog.
No one is out there with baited breath waiting for me to speak.
So, I didn’t.
What I did do today, though, was teach a class on Safety, along with my friend, Ms Tammy. She has a healthcare background with a heavy emphasis on psychiatry, so she’s a great resource for both physical and mental health education. She’s also funny as hell, and we tend to work like a well-oiled Borscht Belt team.
It was a very small class. Some of the ones I expected didn’t make it, but as often turns out, sometimes very small classes are the most interesting. And I sometimes think that everyone, myself included, get more out of it.
In any case, there were six of us, Ms Tammy and troy, S and k, our hosts, and x. S and k host my classes, so they kind of have to be there, meaning we really only have one attendee. She is in a relationship that seems ill-fated, which is obvious to all around her, and yet seems to totally escape her.
One of the things that she mentioned often was that she could and had said “No,” to her Mistress frequently. No, she wouldn’t do this, no, she didn’t like to do this, no, she couldn’t do this. How she nagged her Mistress and shook a finger at her when she wouldn’t let x do something for her.
Anyone who knows me and reads this might guess that kind of attitude is not one of which I am fond. For me, if you do not want to serve me, then do not. I want nothing that is given grudgingly.
I want, in other words, to be served with a glad heart.
I want to be served because you want to serve me, because you find something in me that inspires service in you. I want you to choose service, not be pushed into it, or cajoled, or coaxed.
I don’t think that’s always easy, mind you. I have few illusions about what serving me means. I am generally quite reasonable, but I want what I want, preferably when I want it. I expect a lot. I have a lot of commitments, I spend a lot of time in public spheres. I am far from lazy, and I expect a relatively high level of industry from you. I’m critical and opinionated and blunt.
I do have my good qualities, too, by the way.
I understand that perhaps it doesn’t fill your heart with glee to get up early and let the dogs out and make me a pot of tea, which slave drew does every morning he is in the city, unless I specifically say, I won’t want tea tomorrow.
Each morning when I get up, there is a teapot of hot tea, under a pink patterned tea cozy on the counter. Beside it is a mug, one of the big ones I prefer, with a pink packet of sweetener leaning against the mug. I never asked for this, by the way. He developed it on his own, and he’s added to the ritual over time. First it was tea because he drank it and he’d put a cozy over it so it would still be hot if I wanted some. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t.
Then it became more regular. It was always a pot of tea, and the black tea I prefer, not green. Green is for evening.
Then he added the cup.
Then he added the sweetener.
That is a glad heart.
He may not specifically enjoy the task, the boiling of water, the steeping of tea, the choosing which mug, but he enjoys what it represents. He enjoys the dynamic.
I thought I had been harsh with x, because, as she kept speaking about her relationship, wondering if it was really a Master and slave relationship. She kept coming back and coming back and coming back to this, interspersed with another unconscious retelling of some incident in which she had acted in a way that would seem, to me, to be utterly unacceptable in anyone claiming the title of slave.
She says no, regularly and frequently, about big things – whether she would get her tongue pierced or not – and small things – whether or not she liked the way her Mistress chose to wake her. (A finger in the ear, apparently, and I cannot say as I blame her, actually.)
Finally, I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer and said, “You keep saying to me that you say “No,” and that you wonder if it isn’t a Master and slave relationship.”
She asked me what made up a Master and slave relationship. She wasn’t unpleasant, ever, and was asking genuine questions.
I told her that for me, the basic definition of a slave is that he has two choices, he may choose to obey, or he may choose to leave the relationship. Saying no is not an option, not in any real or significant way.
So, surely someone out there is thinking, if you told your slave to jump off a cliff, would he?
The answer is, I would not tell him to do that. His welfare is of as much concern to me as my own is.
I would also not require something that would have a significant impact on my slave(s) without their input. I value them for their experience and their intelligence. To ignore either would be foolish of me and a poor use of the resources I have at hand.
However, if there comes a time with either of them where I require something that they are unable or unwilling to give, then that changes the essential nature of the relationship in ways in which I do not want to change it.
My way or the highway.
Which is very hard line, isn’t it? Not a lot of wiggle room, not a lot of warm fuzzies and being told what a GOOD slave you are!
That’s not my style. One of the things I prefer about Master and slave relationships is the lack of continuous negotiation. I know who will empty the dishwasher and take out the garbage and mow the lawn. If I need to for some reason, I can do all those things, and have. But if a slave is in the house, I will not be doing them. That was negotiated at the beginning.
I had lunch with Bootpig, who is a fairly well-known educator, back in September of 2011. She said that she had been discussing slave contracts with her Master, Whip Master Bob. She was whining just a bit about not having a contract.
Whip Master Bob took a Post-It note, and wrote on it, “I say. You do.” He then stuck it on her forehead and said, “There’s your contract.”
I like that. I believe that I will officially adopt it as my policy on Mastery.
Master says, slave does.
And with a glad heart.