i’ve mentioned Happy Half a lot, but don’t think i’ve ever explained it.
Happy Half appeared in our amended contract of April 2016, however, i believe it started prior to that, sometime between September 2014 and April 2016, just wasn’t codified until last April. It started after i became frustrated with Maximus’ work-life balance–well, really, the lack of it. Maximus can easily work twenty hours a day, as long as He gets a swim in at some point. He won’t really eat, other than grabbing a banana, oatmeal, or a plate of almond butter (yes, i really did say a PLATE of almond butter) and He doesn’t have a quitting time being that He works from home when not traveling. There’s always work for Him to do and He can just get wrapped up in it and lose track of time.
That was fine when He was single, but when i moved in, it made it difficult for me to navigate things like dinner time. i could never figure out when to plan for dinner and i always felt like i was interrupting. We discussed that He needed work-life balance and find a way to end His work day when at home, both for His mental health and time for us together. He mentioned that when He was growing up, His father would come home from work, state, “Mother, bring me a drink,” and His parents would sit together in the formal living room and visit about their day. Maximus and His brother were not allowed in the living room during this time–it was adult time only. After His parents were done talking, His mom would put dinner on the table and it was family time. Maximus had really forgotten about this until we were talking about needing a transition time from work, but found the idea really attractive for us.
Maximus has always had a “No bras after 5:30PM” rule, even before we were D/s, and it’s one of my clothing rules. So He decided to incorporate the end of His work day with the no-bra rule. As Maximus can get completely immersed in His work and lose track of time, i am to knock on the office door at 5 PM and after He acknowledges me, inform Him of the time. He will then notify me whether the 5:30 Happy Half time will work or if He needs more time to complete whatever project He’s in the middle of. i inquire what He’d like to drink for Happy Half and/or may make recommendations/suggestions for Him to choose from. And then i leave Him be.
i often work on dinner prep during this time. i also prepare our drinks, any hors d’oeuvres, and set up space for Happy Half. During the colder months, Happy Half is inside, generally in the Family Room. When weather permits, we have Happy Half outside either at the deck table or chaise lounges so we can enjoy the weather and scenery. Setting up the space just entails that the area is neat and tidy, coasters present, television is off, music may be on, wine decanted (if serving wine) or champagne chilled, and glasses set out, etc. If we are having cocktails, i will have things at the ready to mix at the kitchen island so i may serve fresh drinks when He leaves His office. If Happy Half will be indoors, i will often just wear an apron and stilettos, but if it is cold, i may wear nice clothing. If outdoors, i wear whatever clothing is appropriate for the weather (sans bra, of course!).
Maximus starts Happy Half with a toast to us. Then we catch up on our day. If it is a Monday, we may incorporate my training into Happy Half, unless training requires more time, in which case Maximus will schedule that earlier in the day. The goal of Happy Half is for Maximus to transition away from work and for us to reconnect. To avoid making dinnertime too late, it is meant to be thirty minutes, thus the name Happy Half rather than Happy Hour, but it can be extended as necessary, although it is always a minimum of thirty minutes.
Happy Half has been incredibly important for us. Not only does it set a quitting time for Maximus’ work day and allow me to plan for dinner, but it reconnects us and sets the intention for us to come together every evening. It gives me a time that i can bring up things i need to discuss with Maximus rather than interrupting Him during His work day. And it really reinforces our D/s every single day. And i love how it incorporates the 1950’s style into our relationship that i wrote about in Our M/s.