For more, visit the Blond Duck at www.aduckinherpond.com
Saturday, May 30, 2009
For more, visit the Blond Duck at www.aduckinherpond.com
Friday, May 29, 2009
I was sitting thinking tonight, which is always dangerous, about my relationship with Hubby. After reading Crash's posting last week about going green I had to stop and take stock of my marriage. Really, it was a great post about jealousy.
Thought my few moments of deep reflection (because I don't like to delve too deep in an endless abyss of depression and memories) I realize one of the main reasons why I have a hard time with trust.
Growing up (well, really I am talking more my teen years to early 20's I dated. I was not a dating hussy, but I did date quite a few guys. Well, let me rephrase. I dated more than most of my siblings. But, I did like to get into a little more of a relationship every so often so I could really connect with someone. And by connect I mean having someone to make-out with seriously! More often than not the relationship would end by the guy finding someone else a little more interesting. Sad thing is that most of those times it was with my friends. Yup, the guy would dump me for one of MY friends that I introduced him to. Nice, eh?
In particular, there was one guy, in my early 20's- the college years. I was actually engaged to the guy for about 6 months. That is considered like 10 years at the college I attended. Anyhow, I found out, by chance, that he was dating another girl that I knew, on the sly. Yup, nice commitment-phobic SOB! I left him that night (after finding out) and considered up over. He showed up a few days later thinking he had made a bad mistake and wanting to get back together. Ummm, the smart girl in my head said RUN! The dummy that I am actually accepted this as an apology (although the words "I'm Sorry" were NEVER said). A few more months and he was off to serve a religious mission for 2 years. Then, the strangest thing happened... NOTHING. Nothing happened. No letters, packages, emails, NOTHING. When he finally returned home it was with another girlfriend- whom he had met in South America. Nice, don't you think. And, now he is married to her with at least 2 kids (that's all I know since I don't keep in touch with his family anymore).
Now here is why this relationship (and a few others) ruined me. I don't trust men. I try, or at least I think I do. But I am always afraid there is going to be some monster jumping out of the closet in the form of some drop-dead-gorgeous hussy that is going to take Hubby away from me. I know I need to trust him. He and I have talked about this. He knows, but I feel bad that he has to reassure me that he is not going anywhere.
Do you have relationships that tainted the way you feel about your current relationship? Is this most often in women or do men have this happen too? How am I going to get over this?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
OK, I have only been married once, but I have somehow ended up with, in effect, 3 mothers-in-law. (Mother-in-laws? Anyone out there a grammar fetishist?)
There is my ex-wife's mother, and my girlfriend's mother, and then there is my daughter's grandmother. Got that?
They have surprisingly similar characters: they are all tough and fiercely opinionated, stubborn and direct, even though the backgrounds couldn't be more different-- one upper class English, one East German, one West German but lived mostly in Africa. They are all capable of powerful charm, but all bully their husbands and feel no compunction about insulting strangers.
They will never meet, none of them would want that either. I have locked horns on multiple occasions with them, but fortunately none of them hate me. I would love to see them interacting with each other, although due to the stubborn opinionated character traits they are sure to despise each other. The insults would soon be flying.
How come I have ended up with women whose mothers are like this? My own mother is gentle and self-effacing, her toughness is expressed in other ways.
How do you deal with the in-law problems? OK, I know not all in-laws cause big difficulties, but there is always friction of some kind. How do you define the line between accepting their experienced judgement and insisting on your own identity and ability to forge your own life?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I often wonder what etiquette there is, if any, when you pass someone on the street. Specifically when passing someone of the opposite gender. Do you make eye contact or not? Smile? Say hello?
For reasons I don’t know I find myself averting the eyes of men I pass on the street. I even find myself looking down and completely avoiding even looking at them. I am not sure why I do this. The house I was raised in wasn't one where the male is supreme and my marriage is not like that. Ask my hubby if I defer to him.
Pardon me while I laugh. We are equals (as I feel it should be).
So why do I avert my eyes? I know I don't want to have anyone ask me a question I might not be able to understand or to answer. I do find this is far more common when I'm alone or just with my kids and my husband isn't with us. I never used to have quite such a problem with this.
I don’t understand what it is that compels me to look down or away. People don’t intimidate me, at least I don’t think so. It is more likely for me to do this when passing a man than a woman though.
It doesn't seem to matter if they are taller than me or not. If it's more than one person or not. I even usually wait for a man to address me first (even the dad at school whom I've spoken to numerous times). I can't figure out why I do that.
If it isn’t something I recognize from my upbringing is it because of the media (tv, magazines, books etc)? Do you find yourself avoiding eye contact with someone of the opposite gender on the street? Do you greet someone of the opposite gender first or wait?
I’d love to hear from both men and women!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We invited one of these guy friends to our wedding, but he didn’t come. In fact, my wife hasn’t heard from him since the invitation was mailed. A little while before, the guy had met a girl, who apparently did not like the fact that her boyfriend was still friendly with a woman he used to date. Despite the guy’s denial about this situation, contact between he and my wife dried up. We never even got an RSVP to our wedding.
In a similar instance, I once found myself curiously absent from the invite list of a couple with whom I was friends. I have no concrete reason why, but the common theory among our circle of friends is that I was shunned because of a brief fling I had with the wife years ago. It took place long before they even met. In fact, calling it a “brief fling” gives it more significance than it had for either of us. Even though I have been happily married to WonderWife™ for the entire time this guy has known me, for some reason he found my very existence, and the knowledge of my past with his wife, to be threatening.
I find this behavior very hard to understand.
I am totally secure in my relationship. There is deep trust between my wife and me. I couldn’t imagine being in any kind of long-term relationship without it. So who cares that she used to have a relationship with her best guy friend? That was in the past. In the present, she picked me. She married me. (In fact, that dude is a really great guy and has become my friend also. WW™ and I happily danced at his wedding.)
If you’re comfortable that you’re with the person you’re supposed to be with, their past shouldn’t matter. Now I’m not talking about unrequited love, which does exist. But unless spending the evenings wistfully staring out the window at a moonlit night while clutching the ex’s picture, chances are they’ve moved on. Despite this, I know men and women who just can’t get past the fact knowing somebody that their partner has been with.
If you’re currently happy, then the past should be celebrated. It’s what got you to where you are now. Really, how much energy should be spent being jealous about exes? Do they really think there’s a danger in rekindling whatever brought them together in the first place? These are relationships that didn’t work out. They’re probably the safest people for your partner to be around. If I’m going to try to avoid being hit by lightening, I’m going to be close to the guy who’s already been struck, cause chances are it’s not going to happen to him twice.
So what do you think? Are you the jealous type? If so, why?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
But my best inspiration is when I read other peoples blogs and get a little REAL WORLD from their lives. For instance... THIS post inspired the one I'm about to write.
Playing tricks/pranks on your significant other.
My guy is FULL of them. I think it comes embedded in their brains at conception. Well at least in MY guy's case... but I don't think he's alone, in fact, for being a guy I think he's pretty average if not bordering on above average.
One of the first things I remember him doing to me is pouring ICE cold water on me while taking a shower. Keep in mind, I like my showers STEAMING HOT... so the contrast of the ICE COLD water was shocking and I screamed at him every time... "THAT IS SO MEAN!!! WHO DOES THAT! YOU'RE SO IMMATURE!" And not one ounce of remorse.
Next... he thinks its hilarious when he's waiting for me in the car and I come rushing out to get in and he drives off right before I open the door. I always slam my hand on the car and threaten to punch him while he's laughing his head off. If you don't know what I mean, here's a good reenactment!
Yea... I'm a little hairy in this video and sometimes I have a temper.
The list goes on... but the last one I'll share is the MOST favorite thing he likes to do. He KNOWS I scare easily. I even scare myself sometimes. Don't Judge. My BIL and SIL have a bathroom that has a mirror for a wall (why anyone would want to see that much of themselves while sitting on the toilet is beyond me) EVERY TIME I entered that bathroom I scared myself because I thought someone was in the bathroom! hehe.
My guy likes to lurk around corners while I'm off in my own world and scare the CRAP outta me! Bang on the bedroom window while I'm reading or just about to drift off for a nap and scare the CRAP outta me! Or pound on the bathroom door while I'm going to the bathroom and scare the CRAP outta me!!!
Honestly... it's a miracle that I haven't had a heart attack! Or that I haven't killed him!
All the while he's having the time of his life!
He's horrible and MEAN and conniving and SOOOOO immature.
But when I get my revenge and play pranks on him... especially ones like the SHOWER example I gave you above, that he taught me... it's HILARIOUS and totally deserved and completely mature!
Just Saying! :)
I'm not gonna lie... adds some spice and fun in a relationship. Albeit ya have to know where the line is.
So what about you guys? What's your favorite prank/trick, make sure to explain in detail, I mean, for the sake of research? Or are me and my guy like two little kids who need help?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So if you had 3 wives and we were having a video party (that's what we called it in my day) which wife would you sit by? Would you hold her hand? Would you share your popcorn with her? Would you? huh? huh? huh?
The thing that always got me is that my husband would start squirming and little beads of sweat would form on his brow. He could never fully commit to who he would actually sit by.
These games always ended with me stomping off to the bedroom in tears and withholding any favors from him until he promised he would only sit by me.
When I went from being a lover to being a mother, it created a whole new dimension to the fun little quiz-your-lover-about-polygamy-because-now-I'm-a-stretched-out-stressed-out-mother-and-I-know-you-wouldn't-be-sitting-by-me-at-the-video-party-so-stop-your-freakin'-lying game.
These games usually ended with my husband stomping off to the bedroom in tears and shouting Why would I want to be married to more than one . . . YOU?
Ah, the good ole' days, when I was young. And beautiful.
I practically invited the green-eyed monster to live in my closet. And under my bed. And in my bed.
But mostly I let him live in my head.
I let it feed off my imagination. And the media. And my abandonment issues. And my idealism. And my misperceptions of love.
It may be true that going green is good for the planet, but it's the quickest way to kill cupid.
It took the first ten years of my marriage to get rid of that destructive green monster and the next ten years to repair the damage it did to my marriage.
Even now, ten years after I've had any outbursts, I feel a little bit ashamed to admit it. In fact the first time I spoke (cautiously) and (hestitantly) about it to anyone was in my night class last semester. (I'm a college English instructor). I was surprised by the reaction. Student's began texting me during class confessing that they were struggling with the same issue and didn't know what to do about it. Other students talked to me in person or called me after class asking for advice. I actually didn't know what to say. How do you tell someone HOW to stop being insecure?
If someone were to ask me if they should allow drugs into their body I would shout "DON'T DO DRUGS!"
If someone were to ask me if they should allow jealousy into their marraige I would shout "DON'T DO JEALOUSY!"
The bottom line is the same because both are a slippery slope to unhappy, unhealthy relationships which breed secrecy, paranoia and distrust and make you increasingly unattractive to your partner.
Moral of the story?
This message brought to you by The Crash Test Dummy
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It wasn't until my Mother-in-law's turn came and she was the first one, that we found out that my BIL is having serious marital problem. That was a really toughie since he needed every help and support coming from all angles. As my MIL visited, my BIL was in the hospital for his first treatment....the whole time he was in the hospital, the wife never visited once. When my MIL made to their house, she found out that BIL and wife were living in separate rooms from each other. The wife has two teenagers of her own from a previous marriage so they stayed in one part of the house while my BIL stayed in the other part. The whole time my MIL was visiting the son, she took on the cleaning and cooking since wifey there practically did nothing.
Later on, after some serious talking with the son, MIL found out that his marriage has been on the edge of destruction for the longest time...in fact, they had decided to get a divorce before. The wife wanted them to refinance the house so she can get her half of the share and go her merry ways. Well....after the house was refinanced, she took her money which was over a hundred thousand dollars or something, spent it all on practically anything her heart desired and once the money was gone, she decided to stay. MIL reported that the whole time she was visiting, BIL's wife would go out all night and just stayed out til the next day....the whole week and a half of her visit, the only time she saw her DIL was when she was picked up from the airport.
From the phone conversations that my hubby made his brother and conversations between my MIL and BIL, I found out some very disturbing informations about my BIL's marriage. They have been married close to ten years and according to my BIL, they haven't had sex in six years. Yes I know, too much information but I had to point this out so you know how serious this is. My SIL does odds and ends jobs and whatever she made, she spent it on herself and her kids. My BIL is then obligated to support her, her kids and making sure their mortgage is up to date on the payment, car payment, any other bills and grocery bills.
Ok so I know some of you may think there is nothing wrong with a woman doing what she wants with her money but hey, seventy five percent of the house and bills are occupied and used by her and her kids...they don't have any kids together....so she should chip in and help pay for their bills, don't you think so? Especially now that he's sick.
There were a whole lot of other things that she does that my hubby's family does not agree with but I will not go into any details. When my BIL would tell us about how bad his marriage is, we thought, well, maybe now that he's sick, his wife would find that she still love him and takes it upon herself to take care of him.....nope, no such thing. Her kids are the rudest kids I've ever come across, they demean him all the time and she lets them get away with it.
I was so outraged by that, I told my hubby to buy his brother a plane ticket ASAP to get him over here so he can take a break. Hubby and I were both willing to have him move in with us so we can help, take him to his treatment and basically give him a break from all his load. Even today, he drives himself to his treatments...the wife never did it, not even once.
Ok so my hubby called his brother up and told him we'll pay for his ticket to come to Hawaii. He was a little hesitant, didn't want to leave his obligations behind...AS IF..the dummy. We convinced him to come only to find out that he wanted to bring the wife and kids along..(are you friggin kidding me?!!) His reasons? He said he wanted to rekindle what little fire still left in their marriage hoping that if he showed her this one last act of kindness, she would realized how much he deeply love her and return the favor. (whatever!!) I mean seriously, that was very kind of him but in my book, very STUPID! So they came last summer.
I wasn't exaggerating when I said her kids were aweful kids. They are the worst teens I've had the unfortunate curse of meeting and the wife...she's worse!! I'm not being biased either. From the minute I picked them up from the airport, all I heard coming from her and her kids are complaints. "The flight was too long", "the wait for unbearable"(they only waited five minutes for me to pull up to where they were standing to get them...they refuse to walk to the parking lot), "the sun was too hot" (sheesh people, this is Hawaii and it's summertime)...oh the list goes on and on. I was only with them for an hour(that's how long it takes to drive from the airport, give or take) and I was ready to strangle them. She has an eighteen year old daugher and a thirteen year old son...the daughter was literally bitching in the car the whole way to the house about her phone not getting good reception and she couldn't talk to her boyfriend..(boohoo!!).
The whole time they were here, they were complaining...he was practically on his hands and knees trying to make their trip over here a pleasant one. Excuse me but the trip was supposed to be for him to come here and take a break, instead he was running around all over the place trying to please them. We would go to the beach and as soon as my BIL would start enjoying himself with my hubby, the wife started whining about how the sun is too hot and the sand is blowing all over her...I am getting real ticked off just remembering it. I cooked dinner and breakfast for them everyday while they were here...they declared on their first day here that they don't eat breakfast, so fine, I'm not a breakfast person but I did it anyway because my BIL likes to eat breakfast. But because his family doesn't eat breakfast, he didn't feel good about eating breakfast while they didn't...are you kidding me? Come to find out, they were going to the Seven Eleven store near our house for their breakfast...I made the same kind of breakfast they were spending money on. Dinner time..she would eat and just took off to her room, no "thank you for dinner" from her or her kids and not one single offer of helping with the dishes. I supposed I'm not required to make my quests work while they're visiting...excuse me but everyone that stepped foot in my house has done their share of helping with the dishes. Besides, isn't it just a courtesy thing? But enough about me...
Basically, their whole trip here, she was down right mean to my BIL, her teens were rude and they were very ungrateful. Oh yeah, whenever she ended up spending money, which is mostly on her and her kids, she made my BIL pay her back right there in front of us. Not once the whole time they were here did she ever said a thank you to him or give him a hug or kiss like normal couples do.
It was almost a year ago that we found out about BIL illness and their visit here but things are still not looking up with them. They are still living in their separate units from each other, my BIL is on the brink of losing his job, and he's giving his car up so he can keep up with the payment on the mortgage and his wife and daughter's car payments. He seems to be doing everything he can to keep his marriage but she's not doing anything at all. Her attitude and behaviour hasn't changed one bit. The most frustrating thing about this is that whenever my hubby and his family tried talking to him about just cutting his losses and move on, he gets mad at everyone. He keeps trying to convince everyone that there is still something good about his wife but quite frankly, we can't see it. She has her chance to at least fake it while she was here, but she didn't. We can understand him hanging on to a marriage if they have kids together but they don't...and he never adopted those kids and they treat him like dirt. He is not even happy with his marriage, he complains about her all the time but yet he doesn't want to walk away from her.
What would make a person hang on to a marriage like that? What kind of hold does she have on him? Does he think that if he leaves her, that he will never be able to find a better person, someone who loves him as much as he does her? I'm sorry but if I was diagnosed with cancer and even if I am having marital problems, I would expect my hubby to put our problems aside and take care of me with my illness...if he doesn't love me enough to do that...then hit the road Jack!! The fact that she's not willing to take care of him in his most vulnerable stage is proof enough that she doesn't love him, am I right?
So tell me people...what would you do if you were in my shoes? What would you do if that was your BIL or SIL? Every suggestions we gave him, he doesn't want to heed it. I don't mind us helping him out a little financially if she was actually a loving wife and we know she is doing her part. Whenever he ask for money from my hubby and my hubby asked him about what his wife is doing to help contribute in to budget, my BIL would get downright mean and tell my hubby to leave her out of it and mind his own business....hmmmm, interesting, him asking for help has made it our business, no?
Anyways, this is what I've been thinking about lately so I thought I'd share with you all, hoping you guys might have some suggestions or insights. I appreciate you reading this...I know, it's not about my relationship but like I said, it's been on my mind lately. Thanks!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
"So what was all this bluster about love and marriage, then? I believe you owe us an explanation." Venita smiled. To be continued...
The Blond Duck
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The other night I was talking with hubby in bed... I know- can you imagine we actually conversed? And about something really important to our sex life. Lately he hasn't really gotten my subtle (or sometimes no-so-subtle) hints that I am in the mood. I asked him, "What am I doing wrong?"
He told me (and I am not kidding you- so sorry for the lack of a better, maybe more tactful way of putting this) "Sometimes you just gotta grab the bull by the horns."
Now, I'm not asking what did he mean. I totally understood. I am just wondering how that is even sexy/a turn-on/desirable. I have to be kissed, caressed, and the like before any touching in "that area" is to take place. Of course there are times when I am a little faster and the preshow doesn't take so long, but really, "grabbing the bull by the horns?" Is this common? Do all guys really like that? Am I abnormal as a woman? Let me know!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Seriously, Men's Cologne turns me on! Oh yum! I love the way men smell. LOL Especially my man. But I do notice other men’s cologne, and think yummy! LOL
I can smell as long as I don’t touch, right?
My husband wears cologne – for special occasions only. Ugh. I would love it if he wore it every single day! He goes to work semi dressed up, dress pants, button collared shirt, a tie or suit on occasion. Cologne would be perfect for what he is wearing, right? I would love it even if he was in some jeans and was wearing it!
Smelling his incredible scent, as he goes off to work, has me thinking about him all day and what I want to do with him in about…. Oh, 8 hours. ;o)
I have mentioned it to him before, and he will wear it for a few days then stop. And then I get to wait for the next “special occasion”. Whats a girl to do?
So, what is your turn on? What gets your motor going? What would you LOVE for your spouse to do more of?
I think I need some dessert tonight! ;o)
Monday, May 11, 2009
2 like-minded people that we can hang with and have fun with.
It's tough. I know you all know what I mean. Finding that one special couple where you love the girl, hubby digs on the guy and you can sit for hours talking, watching movies, playing games (although I have already posted about my Hubby's disdain for games). You know, all that fun "dating stuff."
I am looking for a couple to date.
Get your sick minds out of the gutter people. I am not into Swinging. I just want another couple that will be a perfect fit for me and hubby to hang with.
Do you have this problem?
Let me describe a couple of examples of the problems we are having in this area.
- Hubby's best friend got married about 2 years after we did. His wife is pretty much a homebody. I have my own issues, so I am not going to judge her on that. BUT- not too long ago Hubby was taking the chillins to play with his friend's daughter. When I didn't show up, too, the wife was a little put out that I wasn't there. A few months later happened to be New Years Eve, so we invited their family over for a night of movies and snacks. Hubby's friend and kid came, but no wife. So, I thought this was maybe in retaliation. She stayed home that night to clean her house in preparation for her family to come over. Weird, but okay. About a month later I planned on making the trek with my fam down to see Hubby's friend and he called ahead to see if they wanted to do dinner all together. The wife said she was tired and was going to go to bed. NICE! So, needless to say, I am no longer making an effort with this couple. (These are only a few of the weird things that have happened between us.)
- Next up is the ever-popular "let's move away" couple. We had the perfect fit. I kid you not. Seriously people, Hubby had grown up with the guy. They were tight. The wife and I got along REALLY well. We hung out for hours scrapbooking, watching American Idol and shopping. ALL OF A SUDDEN they told us that they were moving to California to move in with her parents while they tried to get out of debt. Now don't get me wrong. I totally get that they had a situation with their bills and had a solution, but did they really have to move 3 states away? Finally a perfect fit and they move.
- Last example, I promise... I love to hang out with friends. Really, I crave social interaction. I found a friend and totally loved her. Her hubby got along pretty well with my hubby. We did things A LOT! Our kids got along really well. Situation seemed really good for about 6 months, until my friend's hubby found a friend that he liked better. Then, when we invited them over for games or dinner they were always busy. OR my friend's hubby was quiet the whole time, making the situation more than a little awkward. Just WEIRD.
Friday, May 8, 2009
My husband has a tool for everything. Seriously. There isn't a tool to be found that my man doesn't have. Funny thing is - He really doesn't use that many of them – Well on occasion he does. But they are cool, and I think they must be fun to pick up and organize from one tool box to the other. I know he loves to hang out in the garage, and watch his Direct TV, or listen to his IPOD all the while moving one tool chest from one side of the garage to the other side. You know it’s his club house. Then after that is done. I think? He then moves the different tools to different tool boxes. It’s a guy thing, who knows?
Besides the regular, every day tools of hammers, wrenches, etc. we have big and different, and who knows what kind of tools.
We have big welders; he mentioned he wanted to learn to weld, so we weld…. Um, lets see, we have welded.... Umm. Well; anyways I will come back to that when I think of what we have welded.
We have a sand blaster. Ok, that one I think is for taking the paint off my sons’ car project. But don’t you think we could have rented one, borrowed one? Like we are going to ever use it again? Could they not be telling me there are more car projects down the road? (And this car thing will be for another post at another time…. Stay tuned)
Oh my favorite. We have this box, which has these round holes with gloves attached. Looks like something that belongs on the space station. Apparently it is a "parts washer" of some sort?? You stick your hands into these big huge gloves with the parts already in the box and wash away? Looks pretty cool and kind of scientific. lol
We have air compressors, with all these weird attachments, to do, well, I am sure they do something. Oh yeah I remember now. I have seen the big huge air compressor that is about 6 feet tall , 3 feet round, hooked to the little air compressor, to fill up my sons bike tires. An important one to have. LOL
And drills – Don’t get me started on the drills. We have one so big it stands on the floor of the garage, and is about 6 ft. tall! Of course you have to have the cordless, and then the one with the cord, or actually two of each. Why? Who knows, that is one of the mysteries of the cave, er… sorry the garage. There are just some questions, that can’t be answered.
Actually I don’t mind his garage, or his tools. I really don't. Why don’t I mind all his toys, er… I mean tools? Because they make him happy. And because, we have a great agreement. I don’t ask how much a tool cost or why he needs another one, and he doesn’t ask about my designer purse I have on my shoulder, or all the ones stacked in my closet. That I play with and move from one side of the closet to the other. ;o)
What agreements have you made to keep the peace? Or kept each other happy? Do you each have a collection of something that the other just doesn’t get?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Lawn care, garage floor repair, garage paint job, cement stamping of side patio and front walkway, new candles for back patio, garden paraphernalia and lots of vegetables, new day planner, new work bag, sharp raincoat for spring, sports camp fees for soccer and basketball, window treatments for bedroom, summer clothes for kids, plane tickets for trip in August....
Seriously, I could go on. And then it hit me. The ability to create and run a family "budget" has never been more important than now. A budget is something we throw around "loosely" here, but heck, every 15th and 30th of the month, my husband and I sit down and go through what amount is coming in, and what amount must go out.
We have subject lines for everything we can think of. Not a regular excel spreadsheet, and no we don't use any of those software programs - let's just call it a third class system, but at least we've got one. AND, we do it together most of the time. We sit down with pen and paper, and rattle off the 15-20 average line items of expenses for each month instantaneously. And then it becomes a messy but functional working document for the next 2.5 weeks.
And what I realized is that we are adding a new line item next month as I'm re-employed full-time.
It's going to be called: "S&M".
[OK, all you with your mind in the gutter, S&M stands for Sue & Mark.]
How do such a large number of us become so pre-occupied with family, work, careers, keeping up with the Jones, driving the right car, making sure our kids have the right labels, and carrying the latest model blackberry phone while we allow ourselves to totally disengage from one another?
And then again, maybe a good number of us actually don't fall to the above pressures of keeping up with the Jones. Some of us drive plain cars, some of us don't have blackberry phones. Many of our kids live in Target or Old Navy clothing and some of us might even call our own favorite "staple of an outfit" a faded pair of favorite no-name jeans, with a tank top and flip flops.
But still, spending occurs, and priorities are set. In every household, and in every relationship.
With my upcoming change in employment status, we've been re-evaluating our 529k contributions, our personal savings contributions, our ING savings contributions, our 401k contributions, our daycare spending budget and hell yes, even "Target" has its own darn line item. But if we can suddenly adjust and re-balance our investments and spending, we can surely PLAN and EXECUTE an "S&M" spending category.
It's the perfect time.
Maybe it's just $20 a week. Maybe it's $500. To me, paying a babysitter to come over for 2 hours for $20 would let my husband and I go for a walk or head to the gym.
Maybe we don't actually use a sitter for the next few weeks, and instead begin to bond in just the planning of a future weekend trip we agree to take together after a few months of savings? We can e-mail each other about ideas and hotels... we can text one another about how we can't wait to get away for a weekend... We can bribe our family members to entertain our children for 24 hours.
This is my priority in two weeks. I'm budgeting "S&M". The patio can wait. I can use last year's patio candles.
And who the heck needs a spring coat? That's what umbrellas are for.
So when might your perfect time be? Pick a day of the week. Pick a date. Pick a holiday. Pick an event. Just make sure you execute it and enjoy.
And then call me if you need a babysitter.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
After reading Missty's post Cougars it inspired me to write about the age difference between me and my wife and how we manage to relate to each other in spite of it.
I usually mention to people that my wife is 16 years my senior. I never know how people are going to react to that statement. Many times people do not believe it because my wife and I look about the same age.
My wife has a youthful appearance. It is difficult to determine her age based upon looks alone. Most people, including myself when I first met her think that she is younger than she is. I on the other hand tend to be looked upon as older than I am. I usually mark it up to acting more mature than people my age.
People tend to define themselves based upon their experiences. This is where generation gaps come into play. When you live determines what you experience. If you live at one time you experience one thing— while someone else who lives in a different time experiences something else. This is what defines a particular generation and why it can be difficult to relate to someone— you didn't experience the same thing and don't understand.
I think what is interesting is that my wife and I tend to overlook those differences and are able to relate to the core elements of a relationship. We don't let the fact that she may have worn this style of clothing— or I played with this type of toy become an issue. Finding that one experienced something adds flavor to how we know each other— but we do not let the fact that we did not experience it too take away from the fulfillment of knowing each other. To us it is trivial because as you grow older the gap diminishes. We both met when we were adults— I was almost 30 when I met my wife.
I consider my wife to have a youthful spirit and a mature vision on life. What I mean by that is she sees the world around her in a profoundly innocent way— yet she has experienced a lot in life. I on the other hand consider myself to have an ancient spirit and a youthful vision on life. I see the world and tend to understand it's complexities— yet I have not experienced as much as she has. These two opposites balance each other out and help my wife and I cope with whatever life tends to throw at us. Whenever my wife is stuck worrying about the little details of something, I can help her see the big picture. Whenever I get too serious about things, she reminds me of how beautiful the simple things in life are.
It is said that age is relevant. I am thankful for the relevancy that we share that does not include the differences in our ages.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
My little sister texted me this morning with, "Can I move in with you in August?"
Little background, my sister is Drama Queen in all sense of the words. She has lost 5 jobs in two years because of drama that she starts between co-workers. She has had a gazillion boyfriends because she makes drama with them too.
I love her with all my heart, as sisters do, but she is DRAMA!
Now of course, who is the first person I call???
"Hello Hubby. Have I got some news for you!!! Your sister-in-law wants to come live with us. Can you just imagine the stuff she would start?? I mean, ........."
I talked for a good ten minutes about what she would do. And about how it would affect our little family. And the DRAMA!!!
Hubby's response," Well tell her no."
Are you serious? That is all you have to say??? Tell her NO!!
My response,"Did you hear anything I just said? I just told you all the stuff she would do."
Hubby, "Yes. And I said, 'Tell her no.' I got to go. Is there anything else?"
Can you see the difference in our responses??
I know that men and women's brains are different. It's what makes everything work.
I've read the books. Heard the talks.
But sometimes it just slaps me in the face, like this situation! :)