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Conversations with old married people

Effective communication is the touchstone of a good relationship. Listening to what the other person has to say. Actually hearing their words and not just spouting off when you want to hear yourself speak, but actually letting the other person tell you what’s on their mind.

Sometimes it takes a teenager to point out what you might be missing in this area. Sure, you’ve been married 17 years, your daughter is only 14, what could she possibly know? Apparently she just has better hearing.

It’s Sunday evening. We’re both with blankets on our laps, laptops on those blankets and on separate couches.

 

Me while sipping peppermint tea, shouting to McSweetie in the other room: “You can come in and watch football now. I’m done with my show.” (That show happened to be Les Miserable.)

McSweetie: “That’s okay, me and the cat are here napping.”

Me: “Why are you taking a nap at 8′oclock at night?”

McSweetie: “I’m norphn nea bate gluck”  (I don’t know, I couldn’t hear him.)

 

Emma walks in.

“That was the dumbest thing between you two just now. When you asked dad if he wanted to come in and watch football he said, ‘I’m hanging out with the cat’ and then you said something about taking a nap, and then he said ‘what time is it? It’s 8 o’clock’.

“You guys are the worst old people and you’re not even that old.”

Oh didn’t you know? Forty is the new seventy.

40 is the new 70 by Frugalista Blog

 

25 reasons not to have sex every night. Or much at all for crying out loud.

Frugie blog- reasons not to have sex with your husband. HUMOR, Marriage, life

There was an article in Huffington Post this summer about why I should have sex with my husband every night that made me roll my eyes out of my head. Like, I think I sprained something.

Power to that woman and her husband. But gobsdangit, she just convinced about 8 million husbands that they should be gettin’ some on every day that ends in Y.

Oh PUHLEEZE.

Disclaimer- I’m a happily married woman of 17 years who gives and gets it from her hubs plenty. So there.

But here’s my list on reasons not to have sex.

1.  I haven’t showered.

2. It’s Tuesday.

3. I had to clean the cat box earlier.

4. I have gas. Again.

5. I’m constipated.

6. I’m feeling bloated.

7. I had to put the kids to bed.

8. I made dinner.

9. I did the dishes.

10. I’d rather watch Downton Abbey.

11. I had to go to our kids’ school and it was exhausting.

12. I had to go grocery shopping.

13. I just washed the sheets.

14. I ate too much bread today.

15. The dog is snuggling me.

16. Our son is sleeping on our floor again after his nightmare.

17. It’s Thursday.

18. We did it last week. Or month. Whatever.

19. You promised me a back rub and only a back rub.

20. I need to exfoliate my face.

21. I’m tired.

22. We talked about our financial situation.

23. I’m worried about a UTI.

24. I just showered.

25. I painted my nails and they’re still wet.

Well, I could go on and on. Couldn’t you? I mean, let’s not get carried away. Sex is natural, sex is fun, just like George Michael sang. But good gracious, I’ve got things to do. I’m middle aged and tired. I don’t need no twentysomething who hasn’t found her first gray pubic hair, or crows foot, telling me what to do. If he wants sex every night, he can have it. By himself. But see, even he’s too tired for that. So there you go. It’s called life.  And nobody needs to tell you what to do. So there.

 

The lost bouquet

 

 The Lost Bouquet by Frugalista Blog, wedding, anniversaries, marriage, bridal

 

If you’re like me, you pretty much obsessed over every wedding detail since you were five.

Of course, by the time I was 25 things changed. Like, I wasn’t going to have a horse-drawn carriage or a dress with a hoop skirt. The 80s of my childhood consisted of a lot of Princess Diana wedding dreams. Then my teens and early twenties took me to an obsession with Jackie Kennedy. So much so that I found a very similar wedding dress like the one she wore when she married John.

And in my typical fashion, it was on sale!

That’s pretty much where my Jackie Kennedy vision ended. Except for the wrist length gloves and strand of pearls I wore. But there were no dignitaries, senators, or heads of state at our wedding. And we also had a budget, so no old Bouvier money to pay for the jazz band I ordered.

I found a florist that I simply fell in love with. She created a ‘Martha Stewart’ type portfolio of lush foliage. And actually, Martha Stewart had only just started her Weddings empire in the early 90s, so all of this seemed ahead of its time. I kept in mind the orange blossom and narcissus flowers Jackie had used, but I also had a theme of hydrangeas throughout. Hydrangeas everywhere!

When we headed out for pictures the morning of the wedding with my bridesmaids, I was tucked in the backseat of my dear friend, Melissa’s Subaru Outback. My dress spilling over me, I dare not move, but the flowers had arrived and I wanted to see my bouquet. She brought it to me in the car and I carried it on my lap in its delicate cool-petaled glory. It was fragrant and felt just the right weight in my hand. I arrived at the park that had the rose garden we reserved  for pictures and for my groom to get his first glimpse of his bride.

It all went perfectly well. The clouds hung over us like they were about to rain, but held off, not sprinkling but creating a reflective veil of lighting for the photographer.

I felt fabulous in my dress. I felt terribly uncomfortable in my shoes! But that’s another story. They sure were adorable. Everyone looked beautiful. I held on to my bouquet tightly. It was an anchor for the day. Giving me something to do with my hands, drawing me in to its delicate, sweet scent. Scent is a powerful thing. It settles back in our ole factory glands and burns itself in our memory vault.

I had the florist make a mini bouquet for the bouquet toss at the reception. It was a sweet little nosegay of similar flowers so I could spare my bouquet and have it as a keepsake.

By the end of the festivities and cake cutting, garter throwing and first dances, so much was happening and time was running out to get changed and to our honeymoon suite. I felt like Cinderella at the ball. I didn’t want it to end, but the clock kept ticking and even though I wasn’t going to turn into any pumpkins, we had to keep a schedule. I knew my bridal party would look after all the cleanup and details that bridal parties do. All our bouquets were on the cake table to add to the floral decor. I needed to change and run off with my husband for our wedding night. Things like where to store my petticoats and paying the caterer were left to all my ladies in waiting of moms, aunts, bridesmaids, sisters, etc. I knew things would be handled.

The next day at my parent’s house was a wedding breakfast. An all day open house that gave us time to soak up each others company and bask in the post wedding glow. For friends and family that traveled from afar to be with us, this was an extra special day that gave us that time to share without so much of the craziness of the previous day’s events.

I saw many of the centerpieces from the reception displayed throughout my mom’s living room and patio.

“Where’s my bouquet?” I asked her.

After going through each and every box, vase and display, my bouquet wasn’t anywhere. Not one of my bridesmaids remembers picking it up.

Strange, because most of the flowers made it back to my parent’s house. How could this particular piece not?

I didn’t get too upset over it. Heck. Lots of things could have gone awry for the occasion and that was such a minor thing. So many of my cherished people were working so hard to make this day a success, what was a little detail like ‘we lost the bride’s bouquet’ going to really add up to in the end?

Anyway, we had a two week honeymoon ahead of us to New England to see the sights of Cape Code, Vermont and the shores of Maine. There wasn’t any need to worry about some dumb flowers.

After returning from my honeymoon, I still needed to get some last few personal belongings from my apartment I shared with my roommate, also a bridesmaid. I let myself in when she was at work, and packed up my final box of whatever. I noticed her bridesmaid’s bouquet sitting on a side table. It was drying and looked like a still life reminder of the fabulous event that had just happened two weeks prior. I felt a let-down of sorts.

It was over. All the planning and dreaming, magazine clippings, dress shopping, fantasizing was done. I had had my wedding that I wanted. It was a dream come true.

I was jealous I didn’t have a bouquet of my own drying on an end table.

One year later, celebrating our first anniversary, we had planned a weekend getaway to Victoria, B.C. We were going to visit the gardens and have high tea. It would give us that feeling of the wedding that took place among the gardens and flowers a year prior.

The night before we were to leave as we’re packing, James tells me to close my eyes and he wants to give me my present.

I’ve had presents and surprises from him before. Mountain bikes. Hmm, that didn’t go over well. Ice cream cakes. Okay, sweet, but I’m lactose intolerant. I figured this would be something charming and funny in his typical style.

I didn’t cheat. I kept my eyes shut. But I could smell it before I could see it. The fragrance hit the back of my sensory triggers and brought me all the way back to the beautiful day a year before when I married this man.

There was my bouquet. Not the same one from the wedding, but an exact replica he had the florist recreate.

I cried.

Its petals were cool and soft. It had the same weight of the first one, anchoring me in place as a bride. Orange blossom, freesia, roses and narcissus wafted above.

I couldn’t stop looking at it, smelling it and holding it. Much like a little girl getting a new doll, I was enraptured with my bouquet! I also, was unbelievably overwhelmed with gratitude and fulfillment that the man I married could see into my feelings and heart so much to know this mattered to me.

It meant more than any jewelry or crystal, paper or clocks, that any anniversary list could have.

I kept that bouquet for 16 years. I only just threw it away after going through a revamp of my living room. It was disintegrating and dusty. I didn’t preserve it professionally. I didn’t need to.

I had had my fill of my flowers, I had my memories and pictures. And I had my husband who cared so much about me and understood sentimentality like I could only hope.

It was a dream come true, that I hadn’t even dreamed in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He loves me just the way I am

Recently over at Bonbon Break I wrote about some lingerie I was sent to review and I guess this got McSweetie a little bit excited. Whoa. Hold on there. Not THAT excited.

You can read the post here if you want.

He has never really complained about my lounge and sleep attire. Sure it’s mismatched, saggy, and stained with a myriad of substances, human and food related. But I’m a comfy gal. Always have been. Even in our early courting days when weekends would be spent at each other’s apartment. There we’d be over morning coffee and he would make fun of my giant ribbed orange socks. I loved those orange socks. I bought them at the Gap in 1991 with a matching orange and white striped top. Because you always bought a pair of socks to match your shirt at the Gap in the ’90s.

Those socks lasted at least until 2005 when I finally put them in the Goodwill pile. They were my favorite bedtime orange socks. But it was time they go.

Apparently, it’s also time that my pajama bottoms with ice skating penguins take a hike as well. Maybe the underwear with one too many period stains should get the heave ho. It’s hard. I get attached to my things. Even old, ragged gross things.

I have been quite content with my ‘comfortable self’ these last couple years. In fact, I think blogging has gotten me more ‘comfortable’. Because I spend a lot of time writing, I’m sitting. A lot. Let’s face it. Writing is not cardio. And eating while writing is devastating to one’s waist.

But this is not a fitness post. Nope. I can preach and preach from the mountain tops and bell towers how I am learning to love my body ‘as-is’ and you should too. I am not talking about that so much.

I’m talking about when my husband bought me a bunch of trashy lingerie lately and it made me cry.

I am not sure if I will understand how my husband’s brain works. And that’s okay. He sure as heck is not going to figure mine out either. But I’m trying to at least put myself in the lobe of his noggin that thinks, “I’m going to buy Rebecca lingerie that looks awesome on a model that is a size zero with double D boobs and it’s going to look just as fabulous on her as it does the model chick.”

It’s no secret that I don’t have double D boobs and I’m not a size zero. I like to hover around a size 6 and lately it’s been more of an 8. AND THAT’S OKAY.

BUT- trying on anything that is too small, let alone with holes strategically placed along the waist line, or see through lace in other areas, is enough to put one over the edge of a Xanax needing cliff.

McSweetie- “I got you some things.”

Me- “You did? Oh boy! What?” (this is where I hope it’s shoes, lipstick or a handbag)

Mc- “Some lingerie. Here, try it on and you can wear it tonight.”

Me- “Uhm, there’s nothing flannel or over-sized here. Where’s the fuzzy comfy stuff?”

Mc- “You have fuzzy comfy. Let’s try sexy and shiny.”

Me- “You know this won’t fit me right? It’s like tacky city here of poor quality and even worse fit. You know this right?”

Mc- “Well, I think I bought it in your size, so give it try.”  Eyes hopeful.

Later, I shaved my legs and pits, applied bronzer lotion everywhere I could and gave the garments a go.

Not one fit me. Not. One.

I was devastated. Sure, one of them looked like a banana hammock Borat wore but only in red lace. That one actually did fit better than the others. But let’s not go there.

After some time of pouting and stomping around the house obviously with a huge chip on my shoulder, he asked what was wrong.

“Nothing fits, that’s what’s wrong! You think it’s fair to make me try stuff on that is clearly made for a 22 year old who has never had children?!” I wail.

What a selfish pig! What a misogynistic asshole to think I can just conform to the rigors of what society thinks is pretty! How dare he?I am going to burn all of Frederick’s of Hollywood down to the ground for leading men on to think us women can wear this shit! Who does he think he is?

Him- “Well, I just thought you would look awesome in it. I wanted to see you in something sexy just the way you are. But if you aren’t comfortable with it, I’ll just return it.”

Me- “You will? Really? Because, maybe I can get something sexy but that fits me better and is better quality so I feel comfortable in it and want to wear it, you know?”

Him- “Sure. I would love that. I’ll just send this stuff back.”

Me- <wipes tears away> “Oh okay. Thanks babe. I love you.”

Him- “I love you too.”

AWWWWW!

And just like that I felt dumb for feeling so mad. If it was a pair of shoes that didn’t fit, or a sweater, I would have shrugged, put it back in the bag with the receipt and went about my day. But the fact that it was lingerie made this whole thing in my mind about body image that was just dumb.

HE has no problem with my body and probably wishes he could see more of it more often.

Now that the weather is warming up, he just might get his wish. Which is kind of getting me to get moving so the certain parts of me jiggle less and less as the flannel turns to cotton and the sweatshirts turn to tank tops.

I’m feeling kinda sassy like I can get it a little higher and tighter, locked and loaded. And who’s to say I might be shopping a little bit for some tasteful yet alluring intimate wear? Hmm?

After all, McSweetie is a sweetie and a very deserving one.

But let’s leave the trashy cheap satin and lace to the 22 year old’s, shall we?

 

 

He loves me just the way I am by Frugalista Blog

A guide to married sex in your 40s

Twenty somethings- listen up. Twenty years from now, sex is going to be really different. Especially if you get married and have kids. I don’t know what single person forty something sex is like. You’ll have to ask someone else.

But almost middle aged sex (forties count as middle aged right?), is really different. Some might say lazy and infrequent. I say, simplified and comfortable.

First there’s foreplay. There are two kinds of foreplay. The Race Track and the Camp Fire Starter.

The Race Track is when you’re laying on your side away from your husband. You ask for a back rub. He reaches out one arm and traces what feels like a figure eight. He continues with this pattern for about 10 times and then says, “there, how’s that?”

Wow. That’s, uhm, excellent. I feel SO relaxed. It was just like the spa.

The Camp Fire Starter is when you’ve both gotten in bed on each prospective side. I call this, the safe zone. I lie on my side, he lies on his. He decides to explore the slight possibility, we’re talking slim here, that I might be ‘interested’. He ventures out of the safe zone and daringly puts his hand on my pajama covered knee and rubs back and forth. It’s a random kind of thoughtless motion. Nervous back and forth, back and forth. The friction starts to cause heat and sometimes sparks fly. Not those romantic sparks. But actual static electricity emitted from the flannel.

I then joke, “are you trying to start a S’mores cookout here, or would you like to get busy?”

Next. Lube.

I don’t know what else to say but you will need it. Peri menopause makes your lady box like a beach. A sandy and dry beach. Even when you think you might be raring and ready to go. It’s a dehydrated box of fruit leather.

Now let’s move on to position.

Not positionS plural, no. Position. There’s really only one. I like to call it the side by side. It’s a way I figured out how for both of us to be on the bottom.

Sad, huh?

He’ll say, “Dontcha want to get on top?”

I’ll say, “Uhm not really. How about you?”

Him, “I’m kind of tired. It’s good, you go.”

Me, “I think it feels better with you on top. You get up.”

Him, “I’ll lay here and you turn to the side.”

Me, “Oh, this is genius. We can BOTH lay down and do it!”

There’s an actual part of me, the part that is from the neck down, that wants to just have sleep sex. I think it would be awesome if we could just have intercourse with our minds. I’m sure some evolved person like Sting, or Gwyneth Paltrow has come up with a way to do this.

It would be the perfect lazy person sex. Mind sex. Didn’t the movie Judge Dredd with Sandra Bullock have them do that? Or am I getting my 80′s pre-Speed era movies confused?

So let’s review-

Race track and Camp Fire are the two kinds of foreplay.

Lube is necessary because your lady business is like a food dehydrator.

One position is all you need. The side by side.

And there is your Guide to Married Sex in your 40s. Don’t get too excited now.

Oh, and after you’ve copulated and are enjoying a cigarette, be sure to read your copy of I JUST WANT TO BE ALONE.

What? You didn’t expect me not to plug the book did you?

 

 

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without swearing under the tree

We have a fake Christmas tree. Maybe Martha wouldn’t approve.  I’m okay with that. Some families go to tree farms and cut down the tree themselves. Some go to a tree lot and pick out the best looking, least Charlie Browniest they can find.

We used to do that. And then there was the year James brought the chainsaw into the living room, and something had to change.

We never did the tree farm thing with the kids. Just the tree lot. We’d drive down the two miles to the fruit stand that sells the Christmas Trees in December. It’s right across from the Starbucks, that we would visit afterwards, or before, or both. The guy at the lot straps the tree on top of the minivan and off we go to decorate it. It’s like Norman Rockwell. Or the Griswolds. I don’t know if the Griswolds paid $95 dollars for their Fraiser Noble, but we did.

Emma and Owen were smaller. Probably 7 and 4.  They knew what bad words were. Like ‘shit’ and ‘damn’. We tried to keep it innocent. Mostly. That would all change at the holidays.

Now, the tree strapped to the minivan was at least 8 or 9 feet tall. We wanted it grand in front of the living room window. It was also about 7 feet in diameter. And so pokey with all those pine needles. They don’t call them needles for nothing.  We, James and I,  mostly just James would lug the tree through the front door and shove it into the tree holder. This would take a lot of screaming on my part, because of the pokey needles, and that  it weighed 400 pounds at least. Getting it just so, in the hole with the screw thingys all tight meeting in the middle. This would work very easily with a 5 foot tree, about 4 feet in diameter and with a trunk only about 6 inches. This tree we got, had a trunk about a foot wide. Clearly our tree isn’t going to fit. But what’s hard about realizing this, is you are still holding this 800 pound tree (it gets heavier with each minute that passes) with all the pokey needles in your hands and up your nose and stuff. You can’t just lay down a 9 foot tree in your living room. Well, you can, but then your couch will probably have sap all over it and pine needles all over the carpet. Which are anyway after it didn’t fit through the front door and it needed to be shoved over the threshold. So I stood there holding it up and James says he’ll be right back. Meanwhile the children are anxiously putting ornaments on it while you are holding it, and you’re telling them now is not the time to hang Rudolph on the branches and that Daddy is going to fix it so we can get the tree to stay up without mommy holding it up. So BACK OFF. I mean, ‘Go watch Dora for a minute sweeties’.

So the part I haven’t told you yet, is the colorful words that come forth from daddy when the tree doesn’t fit. I don’t know why he’s the one swearing. I’m the one holding the 1200 pound tree. But I’m not swearing in front of the children, because that would be wrong. When he returns to the living room, he is holding a chainsaw. Or was it a circular saw? It was a power tool with ‘saw’ in the end of it’s name. I think it plugged in instead of using a pull string to start it. So maybe it wasn’t a chainsaw. Either way, it looked dangerous. And dirty. And not something that belongs in my living room.

Laying down the tree-very carefully-(because I am NOT holding it anymore since power tools are involved).  James starts cutting the crap out of the bottom of the stump to fit it into the tree stand. There’s wood chips flying everywhere. It was working. Sort of. What was this tree made out of, metal?  It was very loud and I worried that he wasn’t wearing protective eye wear. I think there was a knot in the branch that was at the bottom of the tree. It would be nice if the tree guys could whittle it down like a pencil to fit perfectly in the tree stand. But that’s hindsight I guess. So James fought that knot in the stump with valor. It had no chance. Eventually.

Once we heaved ho-ed it into the stand, screwed in the screws at the bottom, took turns standing across the room squinting to see if it was straight or not, James got the pleasure of getting the massive spider’s web nest of tree lights out of the bin to find that probably 3 out of 5 strands had dud bulbs in them and he needed to go to the hardware store anyway. More swear words. At this point the children have learned the finer language of truck drivers or sailors, or long shore men- just pick a profession that swears a lot and that is what the children learned.

So, to make a long story, kind of longer. We decided that even though it might not be eco friendly- totally sentimental, or even have that piney smell, it was time to get a fake tree. We didn’t care that they were made in China, that you paid about $400 for a decent one. We just wanted to save Christmas from the litany of profanity that came with the tree. It was our duty as parents.

So the next year, we packed up the kids and drove to Ace (it’s about a half mile from our house) and picked the display model that was discounted for only $150 (a steal!) and, you guessed it, went to Starbucks after to celebrate. The cool thing about most artificial trees is they come pre-strung. The lights are all good to go. You pop it together, plug it in and voila, O Tannenbaum.

Now Emma says when we put the tree up, “It’s just not the same without daddy swearing.” Cheeky.

Guest Post- Mom’s New Stage

Keesha is my sister from another black mister. She and I go together like ebony and ivory. Okay, enough with the jokes. You get it. As different as we are on the outside, we have so much in common on the inside!

I got to see her for the first time in person at BlogHer and then I liked her even more.

When I read this post of hers back in January I knew I felt a connection. She had just posted on Scary Mommy’s website. Oh boy. I know just what she went through. People had a field day on her for her frank discussion about her husband. I’ve been there. I know.

So with that, I give you, her follow-up post to the Scary Mommy post that caused such a kerfluffle. Here’s where it begins:

 

I had a big thing happen this weekend — a guest post on Scary Mommy, one of the biggest mommy blogs on the Internet!  

Huge right?


Ka-bam!  I tried to be deferential, saying that I wasn’t talking about all men, and that many husbands, even fab dads, fell into some of the described categories.

Many, I’ll say most, moms saw both the humor and truth in the post.  A few dads were offended, but one softened after I replied to his comment explaining my position — that while some dads might be a bit inept, many moms were professional worriers. 

Still, a few folks, people standing on soapboxes with the Washington Monument up their you-know-whats — got really offended.  Great, now I’ve got two posts that have made people want to gather up a mob and chase me off the Interwebs!  One chick even said she would stop reading and following Scary Mommy because of little ol’ me! Thankfully Lady Scary Mommy comes to her guest bloggers’ defense and bade this gal good riddance, followed by, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”  

Can I get an Amen!

Now some readers, when they see a post criticizing dads, sneer, “Oh that mom thinks her s–t don’t stank.”  

As if.  

Most women blog because they know they are far from perfect.  And anyone who knows me, knows that I could teach a graduate level course in self-deprecation.  

So that’s why I’m responding to one commenter’s suggestion/dare, to do a post called: 

10 Things About Me that Suck for My Partner.  Here goes:

1.  Hello, Mrs. Double Standards!
I’ll give him the eye for eating that ice cream with chocolate sauce.  Hello, Cholesterol issue? Do you want to be here for us in twenty years? Then I, the Root Canal Queen will go polish off a bag of a sleeping -bag’s worth of gummi bears.

2.  I change my mind more than a toddler.

Me: What movie should we see? The historical one.  We should see it because it will be up for an award. 

Him: Okay sounds good to me. 

Me: No, lets see the funny one.  I need a good laugh.

Him: I do too.  Okay, let’s see the funny one.

Me:  But, we’ll be bummed when we’ve seen nothing at award season.

Him: Okay, I’ll get tickets for the historical one.

Me (running in while he’s ordering tickets):  No, no, I’m feeling depressed – let’s just see the funny one. 

Him:  (#@$%!)  Grrrrrrrr

3.  The incredible blame-shifting woman.  

In the above scenario, if the funny movie sucks out loud, Hubs’s should have foreseen its suckiness and prevented me from changing my mind. Now we’ve thrown $20 bucks and 800 calories in popcorn into the crapper and it’s all his fault.  And, if he is anywhere nearby and I can’t find something — surely he put it somewhere!!  And when we are late, guess who was dilly-dallying?


4.  The Rollercoaster of Love (Ooo-ooo-ooh!).  
For two weeks a month I am on top of the world. Then for two weeks I careen between angsty teenage girl and Cruella deVil. It’s a wild ride.

5.  It’s my way or the highway.

There is one way to do things.  Just one. No room for interpretation when you fold shirts or load the dishwasher.  

6.  I fight dirty.

I curse a lot (I’m from NYC, what do you want from me?) and than includes little tiffs.  I can take a talk-it-out and turn it into something that would make Ol’ Dirty Bastard and three street hookers want to find a priest and go bathe themselves in religion.  

7.  The Human Cyclone. 

When I enter a room, I throw off shoes and sweaters, spraying them around the room like hot soup in a blender.  I open magazines I have no interest in.  Including financial ones that might as well be written in Sanskrit. 

8.  You work for me now buster…

With two little kids, the house might be a mess most of the time, but when company comes over, I go berserk.  I go buy a bunch of new decorating items, and order Hubbles around demanding that he convert trailer park squalor into an upscale sale-ready townhome on HGTV.

9.  So You Think You Can Dance, Mutha—-a?  

         Awkward dancing earns you anything from no reaction at all to a bemused smile to an outright grimace.  But… when I bust out all kinds of ridiculous moves — the running man, the cabbage patch, bad jazz dance party– I require enthusiastic belly laughs and fan worship.  I mean, I get paid to move, right?  Be grateful, whydontcha?!!

10.  The most impatient woman in the world.

When I ask for help with something, I mean now!  In a couple of minutes I could have done it myself.  And he will find that I have done just that, if he has waited too long.  


So there you have it Sr. M.  I met your little challenge. I aired my dirty laundry.  I may sound like I need meds, and maybe I do, but I’m also a person who’d do anything for her friends and family.  I’m smart and funny and when I decide to change out of my momiform I clean up real good. 


And, sir, you couldn’t handle me for five minutes.  
Thank you Keesha for helping me during this ding dang time of my one-handedness after finger surgery.
You can find more on Keesha here-
Before her two children re-choreographed her life, Keesha was a professional dancer who performed in the U.S. and in Europe. Today she is a modern and jazz dance teacher in the Chicago area. She is also the human cyclone behind the blog Mom’s New Stage. A multitasker at heart, she shows fierce skills at simultaneously writing, choreographing, checking Facebook and Pinterest updates, playing the role of a mother named Joan “Kumbaya” Crawford, and overcooking food. Her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, BonbonBreak, Mampedia.com, and recently in the bestselling anthologies I Just Want to Pee Alone and You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth. 

 

He liked it enough to put a ring on it.

16 years ago to be exact is when he put a ring on it.

I’ve made some dumb choices in my life. Like the time I did Sun-In when I was 12. And then did it again the following week. Or the time I took a job at a 1 hour photo developing place in the mall when I wasn’t even 16 and my boss was a very ‘handsy’ 4’11″ Korean man. Then there was the recent purchase of a peplum top that was all the trend this spring, but really didn’t do anything for me.

However, one choice I made in this life that has been the best one yet is marrying my McSweetie- James- those many years ago.

He proposed to me at a bed and breakfast in Vancouver, BC with a Snow White music box containing the ring. That moment made me feel like a princess with her prince charming, seriously. We’d been dating exactly a year and he was already familiar with my nutty humor, sharp wit and fabulous charm. Okay, so I get a little grumpy if I’m hungry! Doesn’t everybody? We’ve figured out how to navigate the bumps, and in the end, we pretty much come out smooth sailing.

Our engagement was  a year long. I had already picked out the dress and reception site even before he proposed. I’m not kidding. I knew we were getting married. Eventually. And the dress was on sale (you’re not surprised, are you?) and the reception area was perfect and if it had booked up that following summer, my heart would have broken.

Everything else still had yet to be arranged. It was a long wedding season of future in-laws, showers, and budgeting. We even bought our first house. Holy shit were we ambitious.

I’m sure there were plenty of folks thinking we were too young (I was 24 he was 26 when he proposed), even though I think that’s a pretty average age to marry, or that the house we bought was a little fixer upper- which it was, but we gained enough equity to move into our second one that was double the price, after only 4 years. Yeah. How do you like them apples?

Anyhoo, here we are 16 years later. Sometimes I’m annoyed as hell and sometimes I’m brought to tears by my adoration for this man.

The other night I was sharing a story at dinner time with the kids about a meal I had cooked many years ago. It tripped me out that I could say, “in our early years of marriage.”  We are that old! I told the kids about the infamous Bamboo Helper I made one night when it was just the two of us. I was experimenting with ingredients, trying to be thrifty, and of course, trying something that I hoped would be delicious.

It wasn’t. But if you want to try Bamboo Helper- feel free to follow this recipe. Oh, why is it called Bamboo Helper? Because it has bamboo shoots and it’s made with hamburger like Hamburger Helper. Gee silly. Why else?

1 pound ground beef (because Thai food is hardly ever, if like never, made with ground beef. this is what gives the dish its extra special twist- or makes it gross, according to McSweetie.)

1 can coconut milk

1 can bamboo shoots

1 cup jasmine rice cooked

2 teaspoons curry powder

button mushrooms- sliced

salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to taste

brown the meat, drain any fat. Throw in the mushrooms and soften, throw in the bamboo shots, curry powder and pour in the coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes. Like maybe 10.

Season to taste or throw out. Either one. Serve over rice. Or order pizza- which is what we did.

Dearest McSweetie- I love that you loved me even after the Bamboo Helper. I love that we make Zoolander faces when one of us says ‘Blue Steel’ and I love that you wore team jerseys and logo sweatshirts when we first dated. Okay, I hated them, but still, you were pretty cute.

I promise not to make Bamboo Helper ever again.

Forever yours truly. Rebecca xoxo

Look how cute we are. Yes- I photoshopped the wrinkles out of this one! I didn’t realize how much we look like a toothpaste ad.

 

 

 

 

50 Loads of Darks

*Disclaimer- this post is romanticized fiction based loosely on actual events. Sort of.

 

 

Another Monday night and I was putting the kids to bed. Hubs was snoozing on the downstairs couch. A typical long day at the office has killed any energy he might have had for some gymnastics between the sheets. Okay, not gymnastics, but some spooning that leads to forking anyway.

I make my way to the laundry room to check to see if the towels in the dryer were in fact, dry. I hate mildewy towels. I pushed the button for ‘touch-up’ and went to the hamper to sort some more dirties for another load.

The husband’s darks. How in thee hell does a man have so many socks and shorts? All black socks to be exact. The hamper is in our master bath and is parked outside our walk-in closet door. I made two piles- husband’s black socks, and everything else.

Then I remembered I needed to jot down on my shopping list that we are out of cat food and postage stamps. If I don’t write it down now, I’ll certainly forget.

I go downstairs to write on my list. Then I see dishes of various ice cream vessels that have been left on the side tables and couch from where the kids AND Hubs had their evening bowls of ice cream in front of the TV. Sigh. Picking up dishes all over the house is a full time job. Why am I the only one who seems to remember to put them back in the kitchen?

Hubs is still snoozing. His jaw is slack to the point where he’s almost snoring and he looks pretty wiped. I walk up to him, lean over, just enough to put my saggy bosoms up to his face and whisper, ‘How about a little nookie nook?’  No response. I proceed to give him a Wet Willy in his ear and when he snaps awake tell him, “hey, wanna make yourself useful and meet me upstairs?”

Despite his initial pissed-off reaction, his expression softens and the look of realization crosses his face. I can imagine it was probably the same look he got at 13 when he looked at a Heather Thomas poster.

I put the cat in his room for the night, and call the dog upstairs where she makes her nighttime spot on our bed. I make sure the children’s bedroom doors are shut and I wash my face of the day’s makeup and oily grime.

Wait- did I ever jot down cat food and postage stamps on my shopping list? Oh geeze, I don’t remember. Oh well. I quickly brush my teeth. If hubs does in fact come upstairs for a little whoopie making, I better act fast because he’ll probably fall back to sleep if I dawdle too much.

He heads to the walk-in closet to put on his pajama sweat pants. I figure, now is as good a time as any. I hit the lights so it’s just me and him in the dark. I reach to feel around his mid-section and feel the elastic of his shorts. I creep my fingers just below the waist band.

He asks, “Here?”

I say, “Sure.”

He asks, “On the dirty clothes?”

I say, “I’m washing them anyway, what does it matter?”

He doesn’t ask anything after that. It’s hard for him to think with my hands in the right place.

I decide to speed things up, it is getting late after all. That alarm clock doesn’t wait for anybody, let alone sleep deprived middle aged married couples.

What am I standing on? Probably socks. I try all sexy-like to shimmy down my lady briefs. Not that he can see me anyway, since it’s dark, but our eyes are adjusting and I’m seeing some gray shadows to navigate around. Something is caught around my toe. Holding on to Hubs for support, I wrangle a pair of Fruit of the Looms (not mine) from underneath my foot. I kick around a pile of socks, definitely Hubs’ socks, and try to find a nice soft pile for us. There’s some shoes in the way and a couple of my handbags. A bigger walk-in closet would be really nice. Something along the lines of one of those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills closets with benches and fancy armoires. But now I’m getting distracted. Must focus on Hubs and trying to balance myself on this pile of dirty clothes. Maybe he should squat….? Hmm.. this is getting difficult.

If you think Monday night closet sex on a pile of dirty clothes is not sexy, then you are exactly right. But hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

And I gotta lot of laundry to do. That’s for sure.

Tune in next Chapter when Hubs decides to clean the garage in order to cash in on some marital ‘favors’.

 

Gather ’round for a tale of a vasectomy

There are many reasons why I love my husband. He’s a kind and loving man. He’s loyal. He’s good looking. He puts up with me. He called his urologist to schedule his own vasectomy.

Yep. Listen up men. My husband’s balls are so figuratively large that he signed up to get them literally snipped. Well, not the balls, the vas deferons. Right? Isn’t that what gets the clamp for v-omy?

I’ll never forget the day he came home from work and said he made an appointment. It went something like this:

McSweetie was on a lunch date with an old work buddy.

They joked about guys they knew who were getting fixed and then his friend revealed that they were pregnant with number 3. An oops.

Enter the sound effects of breaks screeching inside McSweetie’s head. Then all of a sudden both of my pregnancies flashed before his eyes and I think two terms of bed rest pretty much scarred this man for life.

He went straight to his office, got his referral and set the date. Boom.

Did I flinch that maybe I wasn’t ready for him to be ‘fixed’? Are you kidding me? Owen was already passed his first birthday. While I was pregnant with Owen I would announce daily that I was done having babies. My body doesn’t like being pregnant.

My body also doesn’t like birth control pills or a tubal ligation (not that I know this, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need another procedure). I feel it’s only fair, that if he wants to get the milk around this barn, he needs to come ready with his own bucket. That analogy actually didn’t work, but just go with it.

Sure, there are other ways of practicing birth control. The rhythm method is one option. This is not, by the way, any reference to white men dancing. Which when first explained to me in 5th grade, I thought music had something to do with it.

My point is that we (females) have enough to go through. Need I list them? Pregnancy- first trimester; nausea, constipation, insomnia, fatigue. 2nd trimester- voracious appetite, ability to eat from Old Country Buffet and swing by McDonald’s for a Big Mac on the way home. I heard this from a friend- of course.

3rd trimester- oh wait- BED REST for me. Yeah. Preterm labor with both anemia, high blood pressure and the ability to only be on my feet for 20 minutes a day. That was FUN. This is written in sarcasm font people.

Poor James barely wanted to have a second child after Emma was born. We thought and pondered long and hard up until the age of when she turned two if we were ready to do it all over again. We decided our family wasn’t complete yet. That having a sibling for her would be nice. So we went for it. All the experts, journals and medical professionals said each and every pregnancy is different. No two are alike. Okay, let’s spin the wheel and see what we get.

Bed rest at 28 weeks. Oh, boy. Here we go again. At least it wasn’t as strict and plus I was caring for a toddler. Let me tell you, Emma watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh and played with her princesses next to our family room couch, where I was laying with my feet up.

Owen came healthy and strong at 39 weeks and when I was pushing out the placenta, I basically announced that that was  my last go at the baby making factory. This shop had closed and I had punched my time card.

Now fellas, don’t think you are out of the proverbial woods just by going and having the snip-snip done. No. You need- the follow up. This is very important. I know someone, family of three girls. Went for the v-omy- and 2 years later, wife is pregnant from a little swimmer that really got through at all costs. If I was them, all my bets would be on this kid. Surely he was the sperm that won that race.

Anyway, the follow-up is very important. About a year or 6 months afterwards, they need a specimen to test that hubs is shooting blanks.

I remember James leaving for work that morning with a brown paper bag that contained a cup. I asked him what his strategy was since he was busy with meetings all day at work. Tight lipped and with very little emotion, he told me he would take care of it.

That night I asked how it went. He told me he didn’t want to talk about it. In a fit of giggles I tried to pry the information of him and how he slapped the monkey for the cup. But his lips were sealed and I let it go.

The good news was a week later he got the call that yes, he was firing blanks.

The weekend of frozen peas on the crotch and that faint smell of burning flesh and his ball sack getting shaved, was all worth it.

I was proud of him. He really took one for the team.

 

 

If you haven’t already- please buy the book! It’s funny, even husbands are enjoying it. Makes a great baby shower gift!