That’s What I Like About You

My blog friend G Sandwich wrote a great post the other day about writing.  Sometimes as a journalist she (and every other journalist in the known world) would need to file copy, so they would “milk” an already written article – basically rewrite the story using mainly the same facts.  The other option is to write a “follow-up”.  This is where the majority of the new story is actually new, but just brings up different viewpoints or more info.  Here’s hoping that todays post is a follow-up and not a milk.

Last week I wrote about saying I Love you unconditionally.   My blogging friend Deep As Thought commented that sometimes she would like important people in her life to say, not necessarily I love you (though I think everyone wants that) but “I like you because ….”  That got me thinking.

Growing up, my Mother was very critical.  In 3rd grade, I remember getting a 95 on a test.  I was proud of myself.  I went home and told my Mom.  her response: “Well, if you’d studied harder you would have had a 100.” ( No- my Mother was not nominated for parent of the year that year, or any year since.)  These words from my Mother never got less harsh as time passed, but guess what, my grades got worse.  I stopped studying and doing homework.  How I managed to escape High School with an average somewhere in the B range is a testament to being somehow smart enough to get through a test. What I lacked in actual book knowledge I made up for in an uncanny ability to figure out multiple choice questions.  In my teenage mind, my Mother was not going to appreciate anything I did, so why should I try? No- I hadn’t yet learned the art of doing things for myself.  Again, my Mom was so controlling, I didn’t think having my own thoughts and actions was possible. She did not like who I was. Thanks Mom.

My Mothers words and actions continued to dominate my thoughts and actions.  This lasted for way too long.  I had a long line of mistakes and missteps that can be directly attributed to my weird relationship with her.  Because at the root of everything, my Mother did not like me.  She did not like what I did.  She had comments about my weight, choice in friends, what I wore, what I read, how I spent my free time.  There was little in my life she did not criticize.  As a child and a teenager and young adult, even as a real adult, it did not feel great to think that my Mother didn’t like me.  It sort of zaps your confidence.  Well, not sort of.  It  totally zaps your confidence.  And if you don’t feel confident, then you really can’t succeed at anything,  you really can’t ever be happy.  You walk around with a feeling of not being worthy of anything.  This is not a great path to be on.  It is a dizzying downward spiral.  It is a spiral that is hard to recover from.

All because my Mother never said “I like….”

We all want to be liked, especially by our parents.  Shouldn’t the assumption be that a parent likes their child?  As a Mother, I know I want my daughter to feel loved, liked and appreciated every day.  I make sure I praise her about the things she does well at, give constructive criticism if the situation warrants it, thank her when she does something nice, and tell her I love her.  (Don’t worry- I screw up a lot too- I’m sure one day she will write a blog and tell you all the horrible things I did…)  But I really try.

So here’s your homework assignment.  Really think about why you like all the people in your life.  Think about their positive attributes that draw you to them.  Tell them.  Tell the people in your life why you like them.

Here’s my list:

  1. I like it when my husband takes out dog out for the 10pm walk, because if I’m home I like to be in my pajamas by then.  He knows this is important to me, which is why he does it.
  2. I like it that my daughter comes home and takes care of school work right away.  This makes my life so easy.  I have never had the dreaded homework fight.
  3. I like my best friend S because she is a vault.  I can tell her anything and she will not even share it with her husband.  Everyone needs a friend like that.
  4. I like my friend G because she will always tell you the truth.  Sometimes I need the reality.
  5. I like my friend M because she is completely realistic.  She knows that sometimes life has to be ugly, and she will guide me through the cold hard facts.
  6. I like my friend A because she is truly the funniest, most sarcastic person I;ve ever met.  No matter what the situation, she finds the humor, no matter how dark.  I need this type of person in my life.
  7. I like my friend SF because he is willing to argue with me.  We differ on certain subjects, and he’s never afraid to engage, even though he’s always wrong.
  8. I like my friend M2 because she loves culture.  I need a friend I can go to a museum, concert or whatever with because those experiences are fun to share

I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.

Tell someone you like them.  It really means a lot.  They will like it.

 

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Eyes Pretty Wide Open

I can be a little overbearing.  I can be opinionated.  I can be a control freak. No one would ever describe me as “laid back”.   I think you can ascertain most of this about my personality, and I am OK with that.  I will freely admit that I exhibit many of these traits in the majority of my life.

Except

I am actually somewhat laid back as a wife.  Not in the domestic side of things- I run the household with a pretty tight leash.  But, as far as my Husband goes, I am pretty easy going.

He wants to hang out with the guys?  Go ahead.  No problem.  Wants to go to Alabama to watch a football game?  Works for me.  Wants to hang out with people from ski club, men and women?  Have fun.  Want to go to Montana to ski for five days?  Don’t forget your gloves.

Many women look at me and say- “You’re crazy.”  “You trust him?”  “Why does he want to be out so much anyway?”

I think of it like this: if he’s going to cheat, he doesn’t need an excuse, or a situation- he would do it anyway.  I’m not a particularly jealous person.  I don’t covet things other people have, I’m not particularly envious.  I don’t view his wanting to hang out with his friends as an affront against me.  I like hanging with my friends too.  I certainly wouldn’t want him to tell me what I can and can’t do.  And skiing- well- he loves it.  Me- I figure if I was intended to be ass down in a pile of snow, God would have made me a polar bear…..so if he has friends to ski with, then I’m a happy girl.

But that doesn’t mean I’m naïve.

Case in point.  Last weekend he was at a ski club outing.  I tend not to accompany him, because frankly, I don’t like many of the people in the club.  When he came home, he talked to me about two of the women in the club.

Him:  “Wow. S and R were talking about the guys they were dating, and how lousy the sex was, and how they had to break up with the guys because the sex was so bad.  They said that sex is the most important thing in a relationship.  I don’t know- when you’re 50ish, is that the most important thing?  Isn’t it just getting along and wanting to spend time together?” he said.

Me: They’re trying to get you to sleep with them.”

Him: No?  Really?  What?

Me:  They’re trying to tell you that they are hot and ready all the time.  That life with them would be one long sexcaspade.

Him: You mean they are trying to lure me away from you?

Me:  Yes.  They assume because I let you off your leash that we have a lousy marriage.  They want to be married/paired off, and they figure you are a willing victim.  They know you’re not afraid of commitment, your kid is almost out of the house, you’re a reasonably nice guy in decent shape….

Him:  Women don’t do that

Me:  Really?  You think?

Now, I’ve seen these women at social functions.  I know exactly the type of women they.  They are not women I would ever be friends with- for myriad reasons.  Let’s just say, if I ever finish my current novel, my next one would be about women such as this.  They are a caricature, and a stereotype, but boy would it be fun to write about one.  Let’s just say there is a reason why one of them has been divorced 3 times, and the other one is desperate to be married….and I mean desperate.

Did my husband learn anything about human nature?  Probably not.  At 49 he still doesn’t realize how conniving people can be.  I know, I know.  It’s my fault.  I’m such an amazing human he finds it hard to believe that there are people with faults…but I can only point out that sometimes people have ulterior motives, that sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.  Except me being perfect.  Because I truly am perfect…….

 

 

The Battle of the Relationships

Sometimes my Husband drives me crazy.  There- I said it.

I think this is the case in many long term, monogamous relationships.  Usually things are great, but there are those moments.  And it’s those moments, the moments when our partners drive us crazy, that determine if a relationship will survive.

Husband and I see very differently on a particular subject.  This has been the case for our entire history together.  He thinks he is right.  I think I am.  Now, the good thing is, the catalyst for this issue doesn’t show up very often- so we don’t often experience the strife related to it.  But, the underlying root is always there.  The seed of discontent is buried deep inside.  It frustrates me that he doesn’t see and appreciate my side, doesn’t back me up, so to speak.  I know he is never going to change his stance, I know he doesn’t have the courage to.  I accept that he will never change. Until he expects me to change.  See, that’s the problem- in my mind, what’s fair is fair.  I’m not changing, he’s not changing- we just have to grit our teeth and bare it.  He doesn’t see it that way- he wants me to change.  Our fights aren’t about the issue directly- they’re about his refusal to accept who I am.

That’s where relationships falter- when one partner can’t accept the true nature of the other.  When one partner wants the other to “change”.  This is a wonderful theory- it’s just not practical or realistic.  People don’t change cause others wish it so- people change when the individual wants to.

So what do two people do?  How do they handle it?

Well, Husband and I argued quite a bit.  We had a “discussion” about the underlying issues.  When two people fight, each person goes in thinking they are 100% right.  When another person starts to poke holes in the theory, well, that’s when things have the ability to get ugly.  That’s another test of a relationship- how do the people involved fight.

My Husband likes to say- “Everyone would agree with me on this.”  First off- don’t ever use that as an argument, because unless you took a poll of everyone, this is just not valid.  There is no way to determine what “everyone” thinks. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks- everyone else is not in the relationship.  The only opinion that matters is of the two people involved.  Also, sometimes you’re wrong- sometimes others will not agree with you because your argument is just not “right”.

You can’t bring up the past.  I’m repeating that.  You can’t bring up past fights or past actions.  When you’re fighting, keep it to the situation.  If you have resentments about past actions, then you need to discuss that separately.  If a past issue is resurfacing, then you have to ask yourself if you are expecting someone to change their behavior.  Because as stated, no one changes because you want them to.  If someone did “M” three months ago, should you be getting mad if they did “M” today?  You can’t make someone change, but you can change your behavior.

Don’t put the blame on something or someone.  This is a cop out.  The chance of an outside factor being to blame is probably slim.  What’s that line, “fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”?  Take responsibility for your actions, and how your actions affect others.  Own your mistakes and miscalculations.  Accept what you did wrong and learn from it.  Try not to blame your partner.  I know this is hard- but once you start blaming people….well…how well can you recover from that?

So- to try to summarize this wandering post:

Fight fair.

Be realistic about the issue you’re fighting about.

Remember the other persons point of view.

Accept your partner as they are.

If you want change, you must be the one to change- don’t expect change of your partner, unless they are 100% on board with changing.

Listen to what your spouse is saying- they just might have a valid point/argument.

Peace!!

 

 

The Day I’m Not so Nice

I am usually a somewhat kind person.  Don’t get me wrong- I have mean days, days where I tell and tell people off.  But for the most part, I’m fairly Ok.  Today, I am going to write in a somewhat spirited and not altogether kind way about another woman.  Sorry- sometimes women do things that piss me off, just like sometimes men do things that piss me off.  But- be forewarned.

My Husband has a good friend from college.  Great guy.  Intelligent, funny, trustworthy, loyal, great Father, general good person.  R used to be married.  I will not mince words- I (and just about everyone) hated his ex wife- she was cold and calculating and rude.  I saw the handwriting on the wall and their eventual break up.  It was a  nasty contentious divorce because she was being so petty about everything, and he gave in to just about everything, except joint custody of their teenage children.  The kids were his Maginot Line.

While the divorce was in its final stages, he began trolling Facebook for women he had once been interested in during college, and for whatever reason, they never dated.  I did not think this was a good idea. While I love the idea of this (I’m actually using it as a device in my novel) realistically, I find this a bad idea on so many levels. People change, and we’re all at different stages- can you expect the same attraction to be present?  Also, I think it’s a little desperate- it’s like you just want a partner and it doesn’t matter who it is.  You’re throwing out bait and hoping something catches on.  So, I wasn’t crazy about this girlfriend through Facebook experiment.

But- he did begin dating two different girls- one was geographically desirable, so he ended up with the convenient one.  In the beginning, my radar flashed me warning signs- I saw someone who took offense very easily, who would feel slighted very easily.  He was going to have to walk on eggshells around her.  For the record, I do not like to be around people that are overly sensitive.  I like people who realize that not everything is a direct attack against them, and that people are not hiding things from you.   These type of people are emotionally draining.  I don’t like to be emotionally drained.

The more I got to know her, the more I realized my internal radar was correct.  She is massively insecure.  We had game night at my place- she lost every game we played.  Now, we’re adults right?  Does it really matter who won Apples to Apples?  Well, the next time I saw her she told me that we were playing the game wrong.  WTF?  As my other friend said, well, we were all playing by the same rules, so really, but anyway…it was Apples to Apples.  Who cares?

I planned an outing for our group.  We were doing a scavenger hunt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through a group.  I love things like this, clues, running around a museum- I think it’s fun.  and, truthfully, I’m good at puzzles.  So the day of the hunt, we had our team of 6. 3 of us were excellent at this, 2 of us were really good at writing down stuff and reading the map as we gave out directions, and 1 of us was stopping to look at all the art.  During a timed race.  In a museum on the same city in which we live.  A museum I’m at at least monthly FYI- I mean- it’s right here!  So, when she realized she wouldn’t be the “star”, she checked out of the game.  Didn’t care at all that the rest of us were really into it.  just checked out.

A few weeks ago, we were having a big group dinner- a group of about 16 people who hadn’t seen one another in awhile.  We met at my place for drinks.  They were the last to arrive, even though she lives the closest to me of the group.  They had to walk her dog.  Well, they were at our house for about 15 minutes before we left for the restaurant.  As I was trying to shut lights and blow out candles and check on my own pets, she was whining to him about how her dog walker screwed up something, and the dog was not going to be walked.  Remember, her 5 year old dog was walked a half hour before, and would be walked in a few hours.   She kept whining and whining and whining.  Finally, after badgering him, he left the party, with his friends, some of whom he hadn’t seen in awhile, to go across town to walk her dog.  She sat at the table looking smug and self satisfied.  It was the ultimate FU to the people at the table- she was making a power play.  She was making sure we all knew that she was more important than his friends.

I don’t like this behavior.  I don’t like insecurity.  I don’t like people who try to separate someone from their friends.  I don’t like manipulation of this magnitude.  I don’t like bullying, and this is bullying.

She’s done about 1000 other little things that show what type of person she really is.  I feel bad, because the guy R, is a quality guy.  Yet he is now again in a relationship with someone who is not nice, or kind.  He is again in a relationship with someone selfish.  Obviously, there is something about this quality that draws him in.

Now, the other problem is, we all hate this woman so much, no one wants to see them as a couple. (Not that it matters- she’s not going to let him play with the others anyway)  We also can’t say to him “Hey- your girlfriend is the ultimate Bitch” because, you know, my Husband keeps telling me I can’t. (Though, two of the other guys voted for me to tell him)  But anyway.

Ok- thanks for letting me get off some steam.  The situation sucks because we love this guy, and we can see the handwriting on the wall of what his life is going to look like.  There are not enough good qualities in the world to counteract her bad ones.

And if you all have advice, would love to hear it, but really, my friends and I all know that there’s nothing we can do except hope that he doesn’t marry her.

Closed Concept

My blogger friend Ann talked about the idea of open concept living space the other day.  You know, the thing commonly seen on HGTV, where all walls are eliminated, and costly beams are placed in the ceiling to support a wall less structure.  I commented that I read recently that people are taking to their basements to gain privacy.  I guess what people failed to realize is, everyone one needs a little time to oneself.

Now you all know that I live in a very small apartment.  Middle class New Yorkers are know to utter “Our apartments are our bedrooms, and the city is our living room.”  That’s how we console ourselves by living in tiny places- we talk about how we are always out and about, doing all sorts of wacky things.  But trust me, though you all know I love doing all the things the city has to offer, sometimes I need some time, and space to myself.

I don’t have a large bedroom- it true New Yorker fashion, we split our living room in half – one half living room and one half bedroom.  I don’t have a sanctuary, I have a bed, two nightstands, a vanity and a shelf.  I spend almost no time in my bedroom.  It just isn’t big enough.  My entire apartment has 3 closets.  3.  These closets store clothes for 3 people and vacuums, brooms and all the assorted household items one might need.  We have a storage locker in our communal basement to house luggage, skis, holiday decorations and extra toilet paper and paper towels.  We literally do not have room for these things within our apartment proper.  We have one bathroom- we literally schedule bathroom time.  I promised Cynthia that I would do a post on my very tiny kitchen, so I’ll talk about that separately.  I don’t have an office- I have a small desk tucked into a corner of the living room.  I usually bring my laptop to my dining table to write, because I have enough space on that to hold a cup of tea or glass of water.

This is my reality and I’m OK with that.  This is how I choose to live, even though most don’t understand it.

But, while I’ve adjusted to minimal square footage, I have never really adjusted to having no time to myself.  We obviously have no space for a she cave or anything like that.  Spending time alone is my biggest challenge.  Let me rephrase that, having time alone when I am not doing something practical is my biggest challenge.

Now, my Husband was supposed to go on a business trip this week- a convention in Nashville.  I was looking forward to this.  Oh, how I was looking forward to this.  For the most part, my teenage daughter is not needy- she is fairly self sufficient.  Husband…not so much.  He requires attention.  I’m usually OK with giving attention, but sometimes……

So, when Husband’s trip got cancelled the other day (pressing work issues precipitated by changes that were not forecast) I was the one that was the most upset.  I was lookin forward to 4 days of not having him around.

I know- some of you think I’m horrible.  But really, I planned on writing a lot.  I planned on going through my shoes- I know I have shoes I really don’t wear anymore and i’d rather give them away to someone who might make better use of them.  I wanted to reorganize one of my kitchen cabinets.  These are things that take a lot of thought- when you have small spaces and limited cabinets, you must completely empty more than one area, you must regroup and consider each items worth- you ask, do I really need this?  When did I last use it?  Is it difficult or costly to replace?  Trust me, New Yorkers have been asking these questions long before Marie Kondo.  This takes awhile.  It also means there are a lot of things hanging out in yoru living room.  A living room that is tiny to begin with.

I also planned on sitting on the couch and watching some Hallmark mystery channel movies that I DVR’ed a few months ago.  Ones that I just haven’t had a two hour block in which to watch.  Because we only have 1 TV and I can’t/won’t watch on my computer.

I also wanted an hour to just stare at the wall.

So I was a bit deflated, knowing that I would not have a little time to myself.  I still need to figure out how to recharge my very depleted internal battery.

This time of year is busy.  I always joke that I have a HUGE social life from September 1 to January 2, and from April 1 to June 30.  For me, it seems like its all or nothing.  But during the “all” times, I know I have to schedule some down time.  I am no different from a toddler that requires a time out.  I need a time out.  I would like a really comfy chair in the corner to just sit in and stare at the wall, and not have anyone bother me for at least 12 minutes.  (FYI- my husband went to the gym the other day- he joint texted my daughter and I and told us he couldn’t get the gym wifi to work on his phone at the gym- he couldn’t get Spotify.  Because you know, I’m the person to call if the gym’s wifi is not working.  Fearing he was going to ask me to sing into the phone so he could run, I suggested he turn off his phone and turn it on again- reboot- what a concept)  But you get what I mean- I’m never safe from questions.

And now I know it will be full throttle from now till New Years.  But I need a break.  I may lock myself in one of my three closets and hide from the family.  Or maybe I will bring a comfy chair down to the storage locker.

Right now- I need a little space.

Relationship Jenga

Have you ever played Jenga?  It’s that game with wooden pieces that sort of stack on top of one another, and players have to remove pieces from it without toppling the structure.  (I’d post a picture, but I hate the whole making sure I’ve credited everyone possible for the use of the image, and it always takes be far longer than it should to repost anything- perhaps I should take a WordPress class now that I appear to take classes all the time)

But anyway-

I always think about relationships like they are Jenga games:  a whole bunch of blocks that make up a sound structure.  Each block represents a piece of a relationship- when you begin a relationship, you have all 100 pieces and the combined unit is strong.  In the beginning, everything is wonderful, and the relationship is solid and will not fall apart.

But as time goes on, things happen in the relationship.  Fights, arguments, whatever.  And each time one of these things happen, the blocks loosen up a little, the foundation of your relationship is a little less strong.  You still have 100 pieces. but 5 or 6 have loosened up.  We know this is going to happen- no two people are perfect together all the time.

Now, sometimes, there are big problems in a relationship.  Say, someone cheats.  Well, that might knock out one or two blocks entirely.  And they might be blocks from the bottom, the foundation so to speak.  A relationship might not be able to stand strong and tall if this were to happen.  But it all depends on the people involved in the relationship- how much the cheating affects it.  Maybe a child becomes ill- though no one has done anything wrong, this can shake even the most stable of partnerships.  Blocks may fall out.

Now- I’ve spoken about the big things- obviously, the larger the issue, the worse it threatens a relationship- that’s logical.

But what about the small things- those little every day annoyances?  If something small happens enough, can it knock out a block from the bottom? Or lots of blocks?  Can small things crumble a relationship as effectively as large things?

Now- lets bring this into context.  Last night the Husband and I were going to see our neighbor in a one man show (my neighbor used to be an actor, and is trying to get back into it- he’s in his early 60’s- so I am in awe of his courage- and his talent, but that’s another thing)  The show was taking place in a theater literally down the block from us, in a theater that has two performance spaces.  To confuse you a bit further, we also have another theater, one street over and down the block, this building containing 3 performance spaces.  Are you confused yet?  Cause Husband was.

Let’s add on, that Husband had a lousy day at work- so much so that he was going to be late to the show.  I text him that his ticket is at Will Call, it’s in the space known as The Underground, and I’m sitting last row, far left.  I set my phone to silent and put it in my bag.

You know that Husband went to the wrong theater.  He wandered around the wrong performance space, tried to reach me on my hidden phone…..

This added another layer to his already crappy day.

But who is to blame for him going to the wrong theater?

In my mind, it was just an  unfortunate situation.  I know I had said the name of the theater to him the evening before (seriously- it’s me- you know I went over this with him) Plus, The Underground is a theater that we have been to before, so my writing it in the text served as a reminder.  (and you know- he could probably google The Undergound in 5 seconds……)

He blamed me.  It was all my fault.

This wasn’t a situation worth engaging in, because I knew his whole day was rough.  I wasn’t going to play into the who did what wrong game.  I let it go.  In this situation, I felt it was the right course of action.

But- my husband is a blamer.  It’s not his fault entirely- he comes from a long line of blamers.  In his family dynamic, every time something goes wrong it is someone else’s fault.  That’s their MO- they don’t take personal responsibility.

Now- we’re going to swing it back to the Jenga analogy.  Though Husband is a generally good guy, he has this one little peccadillo.  And though it appears small, if you add up all the times he has shifted blame to someone other than himself…..

How many times does he have to do this before it takes a block out right from the bottom?

So here’s todays unwanted advice- be mindful of the little things in a relationship, the things you brush aside because they are not worth the argument.  Though, they might not be worth an argument, they probably should be talked about openly and honestly.  And if you can’t discuss something like this, maybe there are greater problems in the relationship that need to be addressed.

 

 

 

Stop Dragging my Heart Around

So….

I’ve been thinking about love- obviously- I wrote two posts about it last week.  And while there are many positive descriptions and feelings about it, and most people enjoy the feelings associated with it, there are plenty of negative associations.  So today, I’m going to talk about the dark side…..

Unrequited love- when one person loves someone, but the feelings aren’t reciprocated.  I once had a boyfriend.  He told me he loved me (ah swoon) and I responded in kind.  His response back was “Well, I hope so.  That’s how it’s supposed to work.”  He wasn’t being flip, but his feeling was that it’s only love if both sides feel the same way.   He felt that one sided love wasn’t love, but delusion, because love is reflective- you give and you get.  We come to the first question of the day:  is it love if it’s only one sided?

I must admit, I think this old boyfriend was right.  How can you actually love someone who doesn’t feel same way?  Sure – there could be really deep feeling….but is that love, or a crush?  If you’re constantly going above and beyond for someone who might not necessarily be doing the same thing, is it love or obsession? ( I know- we’re now starting to get into the tricky what is love area, but I’m not posting quotes today…..)  Love should be about two people sharing mutual feelings- whatever guise that is.

But at least I’ve answered the cheeseburger dilemma, as the cheeseburger does not love me back, so we can safely say that I am obsessed with cheeseburgers….

Now let’s talk about when love ends….break ups and divorce.  How does love so quickly become so devastatingly nasty?  Well, humans can be pretty crappy to one another- I think we know that.  But how can you treat someone you once loved with so much contempt?  Fighting over objects?  Being overly critical in front of your shared children?  But- I often wonder…..were the two people really in love?  (I know, I know- we’re back to the what is love question again- I can’t help it- it’s a vicious circle)

I got married youngish, and I got divorced.  My ex husband was not a good person.  He did some despicable things.  But in hindsight, I don’t think I ever loved him.  I don’t think he loved me either.  I had all sorts of stupid reasons as to why I married him, which are enough for a 3 volume set, so we’re not going to go down that road today….but suffice to say- it probably wasn’t a love match.  Now, when I actually got married I thought I loved him, but my view of love was a bit skewed, and again, all sorts of emotional baggage at work here.  So next point- if people break up, were they really in love to begin with?

What about cheating?  If you love your partner, why would you have an affair?  Sure, sex is sex- I get that-but  If you have an affair, does that mean you don’t love your partner?

So this sort of brings me to my next point- what if you talk yourself into love?  There are many reasons you might do this: you got pregnant, you want to get pregnant, you want to be married…..for whatever reason- you think that you need love to complete a goal…..Now, you might end up with the baby, or the wedding ring, but are you happy?  Should you talk yourself into “love” because it completes your to do list?

I know there are all sorts of love/ physical-emotional abuse things- but I am not qualified to talk about that.  I do not even come close to understanding the dynamics involved in relationships like this, so that subject is off the table.

So thoughts?  Questions?  What did I miss?

I’m very interested in ideas and questions that I don’t think computers can solve- for now anyway- I’m reading the new Dan Brown and am beginning to think that computers will be able to answer everything-  and RIP Tom Petty…..

Peace and love to all!  Well, maybe love.  Depends on how we define it……

 

What’s Love got to do……….

There were four of them in the dorm room that day- 3 women and 1 guy.  One of the girls, Z was sort of dating the guy, (this was the eighties which meant they weren’t actually sleeping together)- the other two girls were there because they were bored and it was Saturday and not a party in sight.  Suddenly the door burst open and 3 guys entered, their sense of entitlement showcasing the fact that they were upper classmen.

“Hey A” the blonde one yelled “We heard a rumor that you have actual females in here.”

And he looked at her, and she looked at him and the world stopped for just a second.  She didn’t care that she was sort of, kind of dating A.  She actually forgot about him for a second, because all she knew what that she was completely besotted by this slightly older boy wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  As he was with her.

Do you think the kids of today experience this feeling from swiping right?

You know.  Tinder.  If you don’t know- Tinder is an app that apparently highlights available mates in your vicinity.  You scroll through pictures and swipe right on the promising ones, left on the ones you wouldn’t be caught dead with.  (Honestly, I don’t know if this is how it exactly works, so if anyone has a better description PLEASE chime in.  I really strive for accuracy in my blogs about sex)

So basically, it’s internet shopping.  You place people in your cart, try them on, and if you don’t like them, no harm, no foul, free returns.

But does your heart skip a beat by swiping right?

Millennials and Generation Z (kids born in this century) are certainly more tech savvy than their elders.  They are more gender fluid.  They are passionate and care about causes.  But are they missing out on love?

I guess you can ask- does the youth of today care about love?  Should they care about love?

Or are they just happy with sex?

I remember falling in love.  It was the greatest feeling in the world- I would not trade those memories for anything.  But am I a dinosaur?  Has falling in love become a thing of the past?  Is love going to go the way of eight track tapes and VCR’s?

Think about where kids read about love these days?  The Hunger Games- dystopian.  Divergent- dystopian.  Twilight- weird.  Pretty Little Liars- well, I know there was some murder and some stalking and I think characters hooked up……but you get the idea- are there even love stories for this generation?

So- here’s the question:  Is love over?

Discuss.

I’ve Got Some Good Gossip….

For the record- I think gossip is mostly bad.  I try not to engage in it unless it’s about you.  Kidding.  But no, I’m not eavesdropping on conversations so that I can dish about it later.  If I see a friend’s kid doing something that I know his parents won’t like, I don’t rush to tell everyone else.  I try (the optimum word being try) to be as nice to, and about, people as possible.

But…..

Can gossip be good?

Example 1- About 8 years ago I was at girls night.  I had read an article that day about the number of married women who had affairs with their personal trainers.  I went on and on quoting stats, asking what people thought.  I asked if an affair with a personal trainer was just sex, or was it a relationship, or was the woman just seeking comfort, etc.  One woman was kicking me under the table- but I’m slow to take a hint.  After the night, the soccer playing friend texted me- “S is having an affair with her personal trainer.”

Yes, I felt like a moron.  (and yes, I have felt like a moron too many times to count) And the women having the affair was mortified.

And I know that telling someone about another persons extramarital affair would indeed be really big gossip.  But….if a group of women are out, and wine is involved, and these nights usually revolve around complaining about husbands and kids, and I usually pontificate about things….maybe a head’s up would have been nice.   Or maybe I have to be more aware of someone kicking me under the table.  Your call- who’s wrong me, or the woman who was being a really good friend by not telling a secret?

Example 2- Last year I was at a holiday celebration with my Husband’s family.  I innocently said to his Cousin B, “Where’s  K tonight?” (her husband).  Her reply- “Oh.  We separated about 3 months ago.  I thought everyone knew.”

Apparently, not everyone knew.

I went to my Sister in Law- “Did you know that B and K are separated?”  “NO WAY” she replied.  We found my Husband- asked him the same question, and he didn’t know either. Of course, he hadn’t even realized that K was not at the party, and if pressed, I don’t know if he remembered that B was even married…so…..

Then we cornered my Father in Law.

“Did you know B and K were separated?”

“Yes” he responded

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

“I didn’t want to gossip.” he said.

FYI- My Father in law does a lot of borderline ethical/moral things, so it’s funny to see him draw the line at gossip.

But is that even gossip?  Should news like a separation or divorce just be shared grapevine style amongst the relatives?  Did his cousin need to inform everyone individually?

I know that the majority of gossip is bad.  I know that people can really be hurt by malicious spreading of information.  I try to avoid gossip like the plague, both in telling and receiving.

But is there a place for gossip?   Or, should I just get over feeling awkward in a situation when I just didn’t know the situation?

What do you think?

 

Open What?

Open Marriage.

That’s the issue in a book I read last week, “The Arrangement” by Sarah Dunn.  Couple decides their marriage is getting stale, so they set up a 6 month time frame and a list of rules, and decide to give this alternate arrangement a go.

Hmmmm.  What could ever go wrong?

Ok- this is not a book review- this is a lifestyle review.

I don’t think open marriage can/will work.  I don’t think having sex with other people is the way to solve marital issues.  If you want to solve marital issues, you have to identify the issue- then you can solve the problem.  How is having sex with someone else helping you solve a problem?

Oh- you say that lack of sex is the problem?  OK- I get that.  But again, how is sex with someone else helping your actual relationship?

Marriages can get stale.  I understand that.  Life gets in the way.  There are bills and chores and jobs and families and about a million other things.  When you go to bed, these are the things that flash through your mind….is there milk?  did I pay the insurance?  Am I supposed to bake cookies for the bake sale?  I’m supposed to present at the 9am meeting tomorrow- do I know what to say?  You forget about that person that is actually sharing your bed every night- they’ve become your roommate.  Sex?  What’s that?

So what should you do?

I have no idea.

But I am pretty sure that opening up your marriage to others is probably not a great way to start.

Side note- my husband just wandered by, and when I told him what I have been attempting to write about he said…”Oooh that sounds interesting- Do you know anyone hot?”

FYI- not a great thing for a husband to say….especially when his wife is having tremendous writers block.  Also- whenever my husband hears that I’m having writer’s block, he says, “Maybe it’s not a good topic.”  And then at moment’ s like this I think to myself….hmmm, maybe open marriage would be a great idea, except instead of finding a sex partner, I’ll find someone to be more helpful when I’m writing……

But back to the topic at hand:

If you love your partner, and the issues you are having are because you don’t see them in a romantic way anymore…..try to figure out how to see them in a romantic way!  I know- it’s hard- life, blah, blah, blah……

But isn’t it worth it to try to rekindle the passion you once felt for one another?

So- here’s your homework….

  1. Can open marriage work?
  2. Am I old fashioned in thinking that it is not a good idea, or is this the way of the future?
  3. How do you revive a marriage that has become a bit rote?
  4. Would you ever consider open marriage?  If so, would you have rules?
  5. Do you think that if someone suggests open marriage they have an ulterior motive, ie- they already have a partner in mind?
  6. I’ve seen statistics that suggest that less people are actually getting married.  Do you think they are less likely to get married because they want to have the ability to explore their sexuality with multiple partners?
  7. Can something be “just sex” or are emotions going to become involved no matter what? (I think emotions are going to jump in no matter what- how many people equate sex with love?)
  8. Even if you’ve given the green light, is it possible to truly not be jealous? (Seriously- can you really remain detached if you know your spouse is sleeping with someone younger/hotter?)
  9. Do you want your kids to know what you are doing?  (I mean really- kids are smart- they figure out everything we want to hide…..)

I know- I’m a demanding teacher.   Also- writers block!  I need you guys to write for me!!!

Also- I may be taking applications for a muse.  Start working on those resumes……