Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm published.

Good Monday everyone!

This is going to be short and sweet.

I was asked by a site who interviews experts in Marriage and Family Therapy fields to write my opinion on what the one thing a man/woman wants in the bedroom.  So I emailed a bunch of you to get your opinions and then wrote up my piece, thinking nothing of it because I'm not an expert... or don't have the initials that tells everyone so.

I am a studier of Marriage and Family Science and graduated with my Bachelor's in that field...but that's about it.  I just love to talk about relationships and this site seems to like that about the Real World blog.

Next thing I know I get an email that tells me my words have been published in an e-book!

Featured Author - He Said/She Said Book on

Click on that and you can download a free copy for yourself. You guys, this book is awesome. I honestly don't see why I'm really even published in it with all the amazing people, but what they have to say you can definitely learn from! In the coming weeks I'm going to highlight certain things some of them say through VLOG or BLOG... but if you'd like, get your own copy and read up and discuss along with me. 

 In fact, if you read it and have something to post about it, then by all means let's have our own little mini book club on it!

Here's an excerpt by Dr. Steven Steven Davidson, LCSW, CST

Psychotherapist/Sex Therapist

"When it comes to sex, women tell me they want their

partner to express his love for her as a total person. She

wants him to be as attentive to her heart as he is to her

body. Sex is a bonding experience for her, and she wants to

feel connected with him on every level. She is sexually

aroused by him when he listens to her, validates her, and

shows an interest in her thoughts and feelings. She can

communicate this to him by reinforcing behavior that she

likes, and directly requesting from him what she needs. It

may require that he stretch into a realm of emotional

intimacy that feels awkward initially, but he will discover

that it is vital to keeping her satisfied in the


When it comes to sex, a man wants his partner to enjoy

the experience as much as he does. He wants to know that he

performs to her satisfaction. He wants her to desire him

and participate in sexual play and fulfillment. He wants to

impress her with his virility and skill and he will judge

his performance based on her level of enthusiasm. He wants

her to look forward to sex and to sometimes initiate it

when he isn’t expecting it. He can best communicate this

lovingly in conversations outside the bedroom.

ask her what it is about him that turns her on, and pay

attention when she answers. Whatever he does, he should

never pout or throw a tantrum if he isn’t getting it as

often as he would like. This turns women off and further

distances them from their partner."

Do you agree with him? Disagree? Why?


Love Shelle --Okay so maybe it wasn't so short.

It is the same people that interviewed me here. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Root Beer and Pizza - An Embarrassing Moment Wrapped Inside a Love Story

I’m hoping to score with this gal named Lisa. But Lisa makes a mistake . . . she brings Garsy with her.

Lisa and I had met at an InterVarsity gathering the first week at college. I apparently impressed her with my ability to chug a root beer float in less than twenty seconds. We chatted afterwards in that awkward way you chat with someone you’ve never met before but sense right away there may be more brewing than just friendship. So one night I get up the nerve to call her and invite her to the quiet floor for further chatting. She shows up with Garsy in tow. Garsy remembers seeing me at the same gathering, recalls the frothy root beer dripping down my chin and collecting on my shirt collar, and says it was cute.

Whatever it takes to make a first impression.

Lisa eventually splits. Perhaps she notices that Garsy and I have hit it off and doesn’t want to be the third wheel bogging down our nonstop conversation. Perhaps she meant to hook us up all along. Whatever the case, we all stayed friend and the subject just never came up. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

I walk with Garsy back to her room that night and she digs out some pictures of her family. There is her Grandma Ida, displaying her classic, cheeky grin. There are her brothers and sisters, all five of them younger, and all of them looking rascally and rambunctious. And her mom and dad, their faces beaming brightly, way beyond what can possibly be expressed on cheap photo paper. She loves her family and I feel honored to be a shoulder she can lean on as she realizes how much she misses them already. I somehow make it back to my room, already in the autopilot mode that kicks in when all you can think about is the one you’re falling for.

Three days later I manage to work up the nerve to take her hand in mine, during a Billy Idol video, and tell her how much I like hanging out with her. The next day we kiss for the first time as Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies” plays on the campus radio station. She makes me promise I’ll never hurt her; she’s been down that road before and has no interest in travelling it again. I tell her I’ll do my best, and I guess that’s good enough.

A few nights later we go out for pizza at Itza Pizza, our campus’s little hangout complete with a giant rear-projection TV, fading leather benches around chipped and gum-spotted tables, and reasonably priced, fresh baked . . . pizza. (Duh!) We watch videos on MTV, do a bit of homework for our PSNS class (that’s college-speak for a large, theater-sized classroom where Physical Science for Non-science Students is taught by this huge guy resembling Grizzly Adams who likes to give “quizzies” whenever he gets tired of talking), and then hold hands as we wait for our grub. It finally comes and, being famished and a hearty eater at the time, I quickly grab a slice and dig in. Only the pizza is hot as hell. (Though my mother, the ultimate example of patience, had tried for years to teach me this simple lesson, “Food is generally hot when it comes out of the oven,” I am apparently a slow learner.) I yank it out of my mouth. Only I forget to quit biting down first so I drag the cheese and flaming tomato sauce off the crust. Only I have quick reflexes back then, so I go to catch all that steaming goodness with my left hand. You know how adrenalin works, right? Momentum takes over and I cram the whole shooting match up my nose. Now I’m suddenly in serious and acute pain, so I blow it all out. Sauce nearly reaches the TV. Pizza is everywhere; on every square inch of my face, on the coffee table in front of me, and down my shirt. All this transpires in less than about two seconds. And as the blisters are forming on my nose, there’s Garsy laughing, a hearty belly laugh that shakes her glasses, sends her into a rocking fit and gets the attention of everyone in the place. Somehow, although perhaps I should be, I’m not really embarrassed. She doesn’t abandon me to my sorry state or try and cover up the fact that I’m an idiot. She just laughs, even as she grabs a napkin and helps me clean it all up.

That pretty much sums up my wife’s attitude toward life. It’s all funny, not meant to be taken too seriously, and when shit happens it’s best just to clean up and move on. It’s an attitude that’s kept her by my side for almost twenty years as my wife.

Twenty (!!!) exciting and wondrous years this coming June. Happy anniversary a bit early, my love. You still make me smile . . .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Total Package...

What makes someone the total package? The stereotypical trio of tall, dark and handsome? The curvy blonde with legs that go on for days?

Perhaps, but I need more than just eye candy.  Despite my obsession with vampire fiction, even Kellan Lutz isn't my ideal guy. He's still my celebrity freebie though.  (You know, in that fantasy world where we would actually meet and he'd choose me over all the other women throwing themselves at him).

No. My ideal guy likes video games. He smokes. He's living paycheck to paycheck. And he's a Mets fan.  
Despite those faults (being a mets fan is by FAR his largest offense), he's been the one all others are measured against and found wanting...

I suppose this is where I should introduce a bit of history... We met in college after my world had been turned upside down by my ex turned stalker. At the time, I wouldn't let myself trust or care about anyone. After being hurt that badly, I went kind of numb, thinking that would be the way to ensure I wouldn't get hurt again.

I wasn't looking for him.  In fact, I think I convinced myself that someone like him didn't exist. But there he was...

Yes, I found him so attractive I couldn't look away when he entered the room. It wasn't just that I could lose myself in his eyes. Or that his confidence and cocky swagger were sexy as hell.

He was a great drinking buddy. A frat boy who could actually carry on a conversation about something other than sports and beer. A fiercely loyal friend. An amazing lover.

But he was so much more than all those things.

Even though I wanted to be invisible, he saw me. In a lot of ways, he knew me better than I knew myself.  At a time where I couldn't trust anyone, I trusted him completely.  With him, wrapped in his arms, it was the one place I felt completely safe, where I could be myself, wanting him to see the real me.  He deserved nothing less.

Sounds perfect, right? How could there not be a happy ending to this fairy tale?
The two of us shared so much - from stolen moments to our darkest secrets - except what was in our hearts.  By the time we realized what we had together, we were separated by about 10 states and were each attached to other people.  It was the most defining relationship of my life...
And yet he was never mine.

What about you?  Do you have a defining relationship?  Maybe with someone who isn't yours?  Or what about the one who is yours?  How have they defined what you have now?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And we're still living together...

My marriage is over.

My husband is an adulterous swine jerk asshole man. He has a girlfriend, even though we’re married.

He spent a night in a hotel room with her, despite the pain that it caused me. He is openly cheating on me.

And we’re still living together.

I’m in school, and I made the decision to leave him the day after classes started, when I found yet another email between the two of them, talking about how in love they are. She calls herself “Mrs. Howell”. He calls her his “wife”. As for me, well, I guess they both like to pretend that I don’t exist.

On facebook, on my own blog, I’ve been very gracious. “We’re keeping things civil for the kids”, or “we won’t allow anyone to trash either of us, we’re united in raising out children” or “we’re going through a difficult time right now, but we will continue to be respectful to one another”; we’re acting like celebrities do when they divorce, and their PR people come out with these kinds of statements.

But here, where no one knows me, or him, I’ll be honest and to hell with him.

Every morning, I get up and get our kids ready for daycare. We have a 3 year old, and an 18 month old. He sleeps either on the couch or in the guest room in the basement, or occasionally in our king size bed (with a pillow-wall between us, no accidental touching here) if I’m not feeling well, so that he can get the kids. We take turns driving them to school. We switch cars so that one can drop them off and the other can pick them up. We still make dinner arrangements, and do children’s baths and story time together. He still washes, I still fold.

But now, instead of being held when I’m upset, I sleep alone. Now, instead of flirting and camaraderie, there’s a tension in the air. And now, instead of long talks between us, there are phone calls from the basement while I study, alone.

I’ll have my degree in December, hopefully, and then he’ll move out and I’ll find a job. But for now, I can look at him, his things, and instead of feeling the love, the pride, that I’ve felt in the past (and that I’ve written about here before), I feel pain. Disappointment. Anguish. Hope. Failure.

I could take the substantial evidence that I have to his commander, push for UCMJ (adultery is illegal in the military, and you can be severely punished for it) action. But I won’t, and he knows it. I could blackmail him for alimony, for everything we have. But, again, I won’t. It’s not that I’m not tempted to take my revenge the only way I really am able, but I don’t see the point in ruining his life; he’s hurt me, but he hasn’t ruined mine. Besides, if I know anything about these things, he’ll ruin his own life eventually anyway.

He thinks that he and Girlfriend, as I like to call her, will be very happy together one day. Despite the fact that they can’t be open about their relationship, despite our marriage and her boyfriend, and despite the two children who will eventually have to be told about the effect the relationship had on Mommy, they think they’ll be happy together. But they won’t. Both of them will always wonder, “is s/he cheating again?”. The “new” will wear off, and all they’ll have left is whatever substance there is, which isn’t much.

I’ll be alone, but at least I’ll have my self respect. At least I can hold my head up high.

He can’t.

Elaina--Has bloged HERE, HERE, and HERE for us.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Co-worker from hell….do you work with one of these?

Image taken from HERE

She used to try to consider herself a friend. That was until I had to go out of town and asked her to mail something for me while I was out. She complained to the GM and then gave me the cold shoulder when I returned.

All for what? Because I asked her to take 2 seconds out of her day to mail something I had completely put together? Rock star I tell ya.

The team she was on when she came on board despised her. She was a mole. A rat. Constantly watching what everyone else was doing instead of focusing on her own position.

She moved from that team when she couldn’t take their complaining any more and joined another team in our company. Things just got worse.

This department basically took care of everything, whether or not it was feasible for them to do so. Wanted any supplies? She kept them locked up like the supply natzi she was. If you needed anything from her all you ever got was a snotty response.

During her transition from team to team, I had switched positions as well. Oh no. Not because I couldn’t hack what I was doing. Not because I was getting complaints. Because it was the right career move for me at the time. Oh and the manager of my new department approached me about taking the position.

I was in my new position for about a year. They brought on a new director for my co- worker from hell
and guess what? She was pissed she didn’t get the director position. Never mind that she wasn’t
qualified for it. Time for another move.

To my department.

I warned my boss. Told my boss she wouldn’t be able to cut this position. She would fail miserably. But my boss felt for some odd reason that with the right direction, she would transform.

Not so much.

On a daily basis, I have to listen to her cackling. Her constantly talking about how healthy she eats, when pretty much every day she has no less than 3 cans of Coke (regular Coke) on her desk and eats at such fine establishments as McDonalds, Moe’s, Chick Fil A (I can’t knock that one…it’s one my guilty pleasures if I’m feeling naughty. God, I need to get a life….Chick Fil A, naughty?)

If you’re going to eat that like, at least own up to it. She’s no lightweight. We’re not stupid, I can see your clothes don’t fit. But no, she watches what everyone else eats and then tries to say how we’re being bad. She must be delusional.

She is constantly rude to other employees on the phone. In fact, just last Friday night I heard her saying to another employee that her word is gospel and that if it comes from her mouth, everyone should listen.

Really, when did you become God?

She abuses our admin too. She treats her like she’s less than part of the team because she’s in an administrative role. The way I look at, the admin probably does far more work then any of us do! She gives our admin all the mundane stuff that she doesn’t want to do on her own, complaining how busy she is that’s why she passes it off.

Busy? Really? I hear you on the phone. Calling your day care at least 2-3 times per day. Setting up birthday parties. Talking to your mother. Talking to your sister. I am not deaf. Sitting there talking to another teammate about how your baby farted and it was the cutest thing. EVAH…I could puke, really.

One day she started the whole territory comparison thing. Oh how many people do you have now? I gave my number and she goes, oh, well all of mine are for real, unlike yours. You have so many part time people so they don’t count. Ha! What a joke, my part time employees take up most of my time. And the truth is, you couldn’t handle it if there were any more added to your territory. Hence the fact that you have been doing this for two years and you still have the smallest territory. Do you not see that?

Then she got in trouble for processing something that she shouldn’t have. Instead of saying whoops, my mistake, she says, oh my teammates told me I could do that. Not one of us did she ask, because well know the answer, she shouldn’t have processed that.

She didn’t want to participate in this function I had put together. So instead of her being the one who was vocal about it, she told me boss that two other teammates didn’t want to participate either, but they were too afraid to tell me.

She has no idea what she’s doing. Asks the dumbest questions and never, I mean never, volunteers to help out on any additional projects that might come up.

She is definitely not sunshine and rainbows. Negative Nelly is what I should call her.

It’s getting harder and harder each day to not get angry. It’s so frustrating working with someone who complains constantly over the smallest things. She makes people feel bad and honestly, this may seem mean, but karma is a bitch. It’ll all pay forward one day. I just hope I’m around to see it.

Can anyone relate?  Have any advice for me? Let me know in comments.

Bare Essentials Today

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm the Hero type

I posted on Monday (go read it first!) about how my father harassed me for 6 months straight. I didn't mention why it suddenly stopped. It stopped only because he slipped up and I caught him right away. He was drunker than usual and forgot to "hold his place" on the whole bumper thing.

I was complaining about how the bumper kept falling "in" on my car and I had to pull it out. I asked him why it cost $100 to fix when the mechanic didn't do the job properly. He said, "Oh, I had the mechanic pull it out and it was good enough. Didn't have to pay $100 to fix it after all - it was free."

WHAT?!? I jumped on him with "You mean to tell me that you've been making me tell you how much it cost to fix both cars when you didn't pay anything on my car?" My father realized that he had made a blunder and tried to convince me that he did pay for my car. Too late.

He slipped up. He had been lying to me for 6 months. I had enough of his drinking and I actually went home the next day. I was too angry to stay for the rest of the weekend. That was the last weekend I ever spent at his house.

I did some introspective thinking. That's when I realized that the role I created for myself was not working at all. A year and half earlier, I attended the Alateens (part of Al-Anon) meetings at my mother's urging and in one of the meetings, a counselor passed around a brochure on roles children of alcoholics tended to be in.

The Ghost
The Responsible Child
The Rebel
The Hero
The Problem Child
The Scapegoat
The Attention-Seeker
The Caretaker
The Bully
The Clown

I'm sure there are more roles I didn't list, but the point was the roles were our defense mechanism for alcoholism in the family. The roles were ultimately detrimental to those who chose it. My sister was more of the Attention-Seeker.

Me? I was the Hero. The description jumped out at me right away..."The child tries to save everyone by fixing their problems." It's true - I tried to save everyone. I thought that by staying at my father's house every weekend, I could somehow control his destructive patterns. I tried to fix everyone's problems. I tried to solve the mess of my parents' divorce.

I'd set aside my problems to go save someone. It was detrimental to me because I wasn't fixing MY problems. I wasn't saving ME. My role was masking my true feelings and was hindering the communication.

It took another 4 years before I finally told my father off about his drinking, how it destroyed our family, and how he made me feel...small. I remember his reaction - he said sarcastically, "I'm sorry I made you feel SMALL."

I was able to overcome the role I created, but sometimes it's hard for me. I'd see someone having a problem that is so SO SO easy to fix and all I have to do is step in. That's when I must remind myself, "You must save yourself first."

Because I was able to overcome my self-imposed role and how much I despised what not communicating did to me (and my loved ones), I have been honest and open in my relationships.

Granted, I have issues with my loved ones getting sarcastic on me, but they're minor.
  • I cannot distinguish the difference between being mean-spirited and being sarcastic (thanks, Dad for obliterating that fine line)
  • I don't tolerate drunks trying to have a conversation with me - they NEVER make sense and yet it makes perfect sense in their pickled minds
  • I am judgmental of those who choose to drink and drive
What makes me think I have succeeded?
  • I am not co-dependent
  • I don't drink
  • I don't smoke
  • I don't use drugs
  • I am not abusive or manipulative.
However, all of above won't mean a thing if I persist on being the Hero. The slope can be slippery, but don't fret...I have my ice cleats on. ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How do you show, "I love you"?

Shelle asked a question in What Would You Rather: Episode 14. “Would you rather your significant other tell you they love you with words or never saying it but showing it with their actions?”

My experienced self is here to tell you that both are important, but maybe not in the way you think. Do you know how your mate responds to words? to actions? Do you know which actions and words mean the most to her? Do you even know what means the most to you?

I love you” is the standard example for words you use to tell someone you love them, and there is a lot of different variety to that, but there are thousands of different ways to show your mate you love them, using actions. I’ve learned that discovering the actions that your lover appreciates the most is one of the most complicated aspects of a relationship. Mixed in with that are the words. People react differently to “I love you.”

I can’t imagine any relationship where either mate would prefer words and no actions, or vice versa, but those are the extremes. There is a huge variety of combinations between them and any one of us could land at any point along the scale. I firmly believe that discovering where your lover lands is crucial to a fulfilling relationship.

This complicated discovery process is something that my ex and I (of a 10 yr marriage) failed miserably at. Neither of us made any attempt at actually learning how the other saw love. Until it was too late, that is. Did she see love as a series of selfless acts, regardless of what I said? Did I see words as being as important as actions, if not more?

From my perspective (which is biased, I know) I thought I did ok at saying “I love you” on a regular basis. On the flip side, I didn’t spend the time discovering what actions meant the most to her. I was lazy about it and expected her to tell me what she wanted. Fail.

From her is was just as bad, if not worse. I could count one hand how many times she actually said the words, “I love you.” That hurt. A lot. More than I ever imagined actually. On top of that were her actions. She thought she was acting in a way that showed me love. Well, hate that it happened, but whatever she was doing was lost on me. There at the end she explained to me what she did to show me love. I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t imagine anyone seeing what she did as being ‘acts of love’. My conclusion was that she just has a warped sense of reality, but maybe not? There might be someone out there that thinks her ‘protecting’ them would be seen as love? ...maybe not.

That was the one and only serious relationship I’ve ever had and I’m still not sure what kind of love I would really respond to. I know words are important to me, but what kind of actions? I hope someone takes the time to find out someday. I’d love to do that for them too.

How about you? In what ways to you appreciate being loved? Do you know what your mate likes?


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Discussion-join in!

Image taken from HERE
Happy Valentine's Day or Single Awareness Day to everyone!!!

Today is either looked at as a fun day or a depressing day.

I want your opinion in comments what kind of gift YOU as a male/female would like on this Day, if any.

Also, if you will, what one experience on Valentine's day was your FAVORITE or BEST... or WORST.

You choose.

This should be fun... so twitter and/or facebook this and share it around. Let's see how many people we can get to participate!

Image taken from HERE
Comment, read, and comment on other people's comments! Let's have a Valentine's Discussion!!!



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Papa K Almost Blows it-most embarrassing moment with a significant other

Shelle Edit with Papa K also talking about himself! : I somehow found Papa K or he found me, either way, he's hilarious and one of my favorite reads.  Here's what he has to say about himself.  (Definitely check him and his blog out!) Papa K is a freelance blogger and the self-proclaimed “Writer Of All That Is Good And Hilarious”. Papa K enjoys writing more than showering and insists that you visit him at his site:, where he talks just about anything including fatherhood, his beautiful wife, general silliness, baseball, and boobs among other things.

When I met my wife for the first time I felt as though I didn’t stand a chance. She was WAY hotter than any girl I’d probably ever breathed the same cubic foot of air space with.

I was a pasty college graduate who hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to do with myself and consequently was working at the mall in a clothing store called “The Equivalent of Hemorrhoids”… I mean, “The Buckle”. It didn’t take a genius to derive from my situation that I probably wasn’t the best fish in the pond at the time.

My future wife on the other hand was a sexy college student who was about to graduate with a degree in “Dangerous Curves(I know I know… “Gag me with a spoon Papa K”). Seriously… she needed to come with a warning label. She was the hottest woman I’d ever talked to. It didn’t take a genius to derive from her situation that she WAS THE BEST catch in the pond.

After an evening of getting to know each other (and me taking mental snapshots down the low-slung collar of her shirt) we finally exchanged numbers.

Who got the better end of the deal? Hmmmm… I know!! ME!!
I finally got the nerve to call her several days later with the hope that she hadn’t realized how large a douchebag I actually was.

Thankfully… she hadn’t.

I arranged for us to go to dinner and then go to the local comedy club for a few laughs and hopefully, if the stars aligned perfectly, I’d get to see her boobs… but I wasn’t counting on it.

I met her at her restaurant of choice, a place called “Bahama Breeze”. It wasn’t a fine-dining establishment but it wasn’t a Waffle House either. I had worn the best ensemble of clothing I had in my closet at the time: a blue plaid, short sleeve shirt (that I still have) with khakis and Reeboks. She was wearing a tight, blue tank-top with hip-hugger jeans and flip-flops.

We sat in a booth amongst the masses and began with the tedious task of “getting to know each other” with small talk. I’m never one to talk too much so I blanket this fear by asking an excess of questions.

If you could have your dream house… what would it look like?

Tell me about your family.

What’s the square root of Pi?

Who’s your celebrity crush?

Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Things ran smoothly. I had made her laugh a few times. She was answering all my questions. My plan for the date was working out great.

Amongst all these questions, we ordered our food and drinks and before too long our salads came out.

I casually adorned my salad with ranch dressing and croutons while asking her more questions about her life and how hard it must be to be so damn hot. With my eyes locked on hers, I diligently kept asking these questions while I began stabbing at my salad.

I don’t remember what the question was I was asking her about. It apparently required a long intro because as I the seconds ticked I continually stabbed at my salad until what constituted THE WHOLE SALAD was run through with my fork.

I was unaware of this development because my eyes were locked on her. I didn’t want to seem uninterested.

It wasn’t until I was done saying whatever it was I was saying and she began to speak that I happened upon this “entire-salad-on-a-fork” situation. The only problem was that I didn’t happen upon it until it was halfway into my mouth. I had remained locked on her the whole time I had stabbed at my salad so what I had assumed was a bite size portion of lettuce, croutons and ranch dressing turned out to be THE ENTIRE SALAD!

Now that the entire salad was beginning to make its way into my mouth and I had noticed my date was looking at me in a particularly confused state, there were only two options that ran through my head:

1. Remove the bite from my mouth and start over… but risk grossing out the babe across the table from me!

2. Continue shoving the head of lettuce into my mouth and hope against hope she wouldn’t be repulsed by my apparent lack of manners!

Either way, the outcome looked bleak.

Ultimately, in those few seconds, I decided that perhaps it would be better if I just continued along with shoving it down my gullet as if, “I eat like this all the time” rather than removing food from my mouth.

So, in much the same way a snake swallows a dead rat, I dislocated my jaw and opened my mouth to its extreme limit and jammed that whole forkful of salad into my mouth. It was so much salad I could barely chew it. I had to reopen my mouth just to make some progress on it.

Eventually, after a few silent moments as she watched me, I was able to reduce the bite to a manageable amount of bolus and swallow it without choking myself. What remained of the bite were a few drips of ranch dressing slowly making their way down my chin and onto my shirt. I wiped what I could from my face and shirt as fast as I could.

I feared the damage had already been done though.

Well… I have effectively screwed any chance at a second date.” I thought to myself.

But what happened instead surprised me: my date was smiling at me.

You have no idea,” she said, “How often I do that!” And then she started laughing.

I laughed along with her even though I was still worried this might be a ploy to get herself out of this disaster date… but she never did.

In fact, a few moments after I shoved that entire head of lettuce into my mouth, she dripped a healthy amount of spaghetti sauce onto her shirt. Even though the drip hadn’t resulted from shoving an entire bowl of pasta into her mouth I still felt as though somehow… we were even.

If anything, the incident left me more relaxed and more confident that anything short of shitting my pants wouldn’t be enough to scare this girl away. Hell… she even acted like she liked me!

Incredibly, eight years later we’re married with a two-year-old and still talk about our first date frequently. In our entire eight years of being together… I don’t think I’ve been more embarrassed than that first date where we hardly knew each other.

Who’d have thought a dislocated jaw and a forkful of salad could have brought us together

I think if more guys knew how endearing it is to accidentally make themselves look like a complete idiot in front of their dream date… they might actually hit it off.

Hey… it worked for me (and I got to see her boobs too… eventually).

Papa K

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I wouldn't want to be a teenager again for anything!

Shelle Edit: Vodka Logic I have known for a long time and she is absolutely one of the best people I know on the internet. Plus she twitters and facebooks and so we have many avenues to talk to each other. She always has something pretty cool to say and relevant. So go check her out after you comment here with any advice or opinions! :) Her site HERE.

Image taken from HERE
I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again for anything. Offer me life ever after and I’d turn it down. Being a teen is hard, especially these days. My experience is hands on these days. I have two daughters, one is 21 and despite a few set backs in middle school, made it through fairly easily. We’ve had our differences but for the most part it was smooth sailing. My other daughter is 16 and has struggled. Middle school was a nightmare, elementary school was difficult too now I think about it. She is angst filled and emotional.

She fights with us over every detail, regardless how small. She has caused me more grey hair and tears than I care to admit. I cry because of her and with her. I have loved her and not liked her at the same time. Does this make sense? Sure does if you have a daughter like mine.

I have taken her to therapy in the past and other than one initial woman she hasn’t really “clicked” with anyone. She has been asking to see someone again and let me say it has not been an easy task. I have left more messages at therapists offices and gotten no call backs. If I do get to speak to someone they don’t take our insurance or they don’t have appointments for months.I don’t want to wait months, I want to help my daughter. It has been very frustrating.

We have an appointment finally lined up with a woman but I have my reservations. I left messages four days in a row before I got a call back. I am not sure she called back on her own or because I asked the pediatricians office to call on my behalf. Needless to say she better impress me.

We love our kids and want to do what we can to keep them but sometimes the powers that be make it difficult. Trying to help my daughter and not over react is a fine line. I tend to be a worrier and I don't want to project this on my daughter.

My daughter has now had two sessions with her therapist. The first I sat in on with her and the therapist asked questions about what she was like as a little child, her developement, behavior etc. She asked what  we expectd from the sessions, our family history and what we could anticipate from her. Overall a good meeting.

Monday my daughter had her first session alone. I sat in the waiting room listening to my ipod and wondering what was going on inside. After they were finished I went in and made the copayment and scheduled the next appointment. The therapist suggested we go weekly for the time being. On the way home I asked my daughter how it went and she was a bit evasive at first. I told her she didn't have to tell me what they talked about just how she liked her and did she think it would help. She seemed unsure but since we have just started it is probably too early to tell. She did however open up about a few things, our parenting styles and things that bothered her that she mentioned to the therapist. I have to admit some of it was hard to hear and we both shed a few tears as I drove home. My daughter felt bad she made me cry but I said I wanted her to feel she could talk to me without worrying about my reaction.

Certainly some of what she said is true but some is also her perception of things. It doesn't make them wrong it is just her reaction to situations and admittedly I don't always have the words to explain things the way I would like. As a good friend said to me, "it will probably get worse before it gets better." True I am sure.

Certainly no one ever said raising children would be easy... seems I still have a lot to learn.

How do you balance raising a teenager today?

Vodka Logic

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What For Lunch Dear?

Shelle Edit: Snooty Primadona has decided to write for the Venus side and let us learn from her 34 years of marriage! I am so excited! She writes on her OWN BLOG HERE about her husband (who sleep walks), family, and just general go check her out after you read her here how her and her husband found a way to keep the intimacy alive while raising their kids.

Image taken from HERE
Mr. Snoots and I have been married nearly 34 years and were married for 6 years before hearing the pitter-patter of little feet. So, as you can imagine, we had a very active marital sex life. When we were finally blessed with children, I’m pretty sure someone forgot to send us the memo about how your sex life would diminish, becoming almost non-existent until just before they thankfully enter Kindergarten.
Our son was born first (weighing in just under 10 lbs.), and he was sleeping through the night within a couple of weeks after birth. Since I’d had a c-section, it was a while before we could return to normal. Yes, we were actually convinced that we’d return to normal at that point. The first time Mr. Snoots changed our son’s diaper, he was sprayed with baby boy peepee while cleaning up a poo. Needless to say, he didn’t want to procreate for a while after that.

Once our daughter was born, the grandiose delusions of returning to normalcy were completely squashed. We suddenly realized we were never again going to have a shower together (or alone), have our morning constitutions alone, have sexual relations alone, or anything else for that matter. We had given birth to our *wonder children*! Life would never again be the same, as we struggled to afford them all of the same activities as their school friends. It was a constant parade of carpools, festivals, sporting events, amusement park trips, skiing every winter, and summers at the lake.

I remember praying (I know, don’t judge) for them to hurry and reach the age of mandatory school attendance, so we could at least see each other for a few minutes a day without the loud hustle and bustle of having children in the house or shuffling them from one activity or another. It was a 7 year wait. We were both becoming somewhat impatient. We had to go out of town to be alone together. That, or wait until the blissful 2 weeks they were at summer camp, which was really only 10 days because you had to count the day they leave, their end-of-camp activities & awards for a weekend.

Once our son was in 2nd grade & our daughter was in 1st grade, we devised an *EVILPLAN* to meet at home during the lunch hour, for what we referred to as *nooners*. Of course, since the kids were in private school I had to do a mandatory 2 lunches delivered to both kids, every week, which narrowed the time frame. But, the *nooners* were the magic glue that kept our marriage together all those years we were absorbed in child rearing. I mean, you can’t exactly have relations when your children are in the bed across from you on club soccer or basketball trips, or when they come into your room asking why Daddy is hurting Mommy, which is the stuff therapy is made of. If you dared to lock the door at night they would stand outside wanting to know why, which would spoil the mood anyway, or you could hear them vomiting all over your bedroom door as they called your name (Mommy!), to your horror. It was tough going during those years (though we giggled about some of it in secret).

Just as things are going along smoothly for a few years, they suddenly turn 16, get their license to drive, you foolishly buy them a car, and they start coming home for lunch. Every. Day. If you try making whoopee on Friday or Saturday nights when they are gone & there are no games to attend, it seems they always need to run back by the house or call for something they need. You’re looking at another 7 years until this ends. All you can do is look at one another in pain. When they finally leave for college, you make sure they go at least 500 miles away because you love them and want them to be worldly….

What has worked for you guys?  Do you agree with Snooty Primadona? Let her know in comments.

Snooty Primadona

Monday, February 7, 2011

How money affected my relationship.

Shelle Edit: So we have a new Contributor for the Mars team!!! Let him know what you think and then go visit his blog where he talks about music and happenings with him and his three girls!!! But watch out... he might challenge you to a dance off! :)

Did your parents ever teach you about money? Maybe they showed you how to fill out a check book, but what about saving or planning? Mine didn’t. They never talked about money. Maybe that was ok, in the sense that I never worried about their financial situation, but it had a big impact on my marriage.

My ex didn’t learn early on either. She had a much leaner childhood, as far as money was concerned, and with that poor real-life education and without structured education about money, that also had a big impact on our marriage.

We married in 2000. We’re separated at the moment, but expect a divorce to be finalized sometime this year. That gave us 10 years to learn things the hard way. A lot happened in those 10 years, including 2 home purchases and 3 kids. At one point I was making pretty good money; for a young family anyway. We made a bad decision with that money and got into a very ‘house poor’ situation. We sold that house 3 years ago and it’s still a problem. So much a problem that I’m planning on filing for bankruptcy.

I believe money is a catalyst. You’ve probably heard the bible verse 1 Timothy 6:10 misquoted a time or two; “Money is the root of all evil.” The correct quote is “The love of money is the root of all evil.

Being a catalyst, something else has to be involved to create a reaction. I called this post “Money affected my relationship because...”, because in and of itself, money was not the problem. The problem was unrealistic expectation, along with misunderstanding and poor communication.

They all tie in together, but from the beginning we never discussed our expectations and thoughts about money. Well, to be honest, we didn’t discuss much about anything. (Hence the “ex.”) Starting a relationship with at least some understanding of how your partner thinks about money is very important. How each of you think about money may be very different. In her case, I believe fear played a big part in how she thought about money. Money was the difference between happiness and anger; between hungry or not. I had no idea she thought that way. As for me, money was never a big issue. That became a problem because I was lazy and had some unrealistic expectations. I figured no matter what happened, we would be fine.

Because of what we learned the hard way, I’ve made a personal vow to make sure my kids understand how money works and how to properly handle it. My dad never taught me. I don’t think because he couldn’t or didn’t want to, but I think he assumed school took care of it. If it did, I must have missed that class. But then again, where would I be now if I hadn’t learned the hard way?

I’m not entirely sure how I would handle it in the future, if I married again. Friends of ours have some of the same issues my ex and I had, like conflicting money management styles, but they make it work somehow. A lot of it is extreme patience and an understanding that there is more than one way to do it. I have a cousin who is a stay at home mom and gets an allowance from her husband. She likes it because she doesn’t have to do any of the bookkeeping. Some people keep their finances totally separate. Each has an income, separate checking accounts, and split the financial responsibilities.

I still believe that my girls and I will be fine, no matter what happens, but now understand how important proper communication about money is. It’s important for maintaining a strong relationship through understanding and realistic expectations, as well as reducing the potential for bad money decisions sabotaging a relationship.

How has money affected your relationships? How do you and your partner handle money? If you don’t like how it’s handled now, how would you rather do it and what are you going to do to change it? Who wants to join me in reviving the barter system?


Friday, February 4, 2011

Some things I've learned the last 11 years.

Tomorrow marks the day of my 11th Anniversary and for some of you that might not seem so long, and for others you might say to yourself, "But SHELLE! You're way too young to have been married that long" and to you I say, "Yes. Yes I am", but it's still true nonetheless, 11 YEARS! There even may be some of you that say 11 years is a long time.  Wherever you fall concerning the amount of years matters none at all because I'm going to tell you what I want to tell you regardless.

Your. Welcome.

I can honestly tell you that I love my husband, obsessively so.  I still think he's hot so I still get turned on by things that he does.  He still makes me laugh.  I still care enough about him that he can make me extremely angry and that's partly because he knows me so well that he knows what will set me off. He gave me and helped me in creating the two things that matter the most to us, our children.

So 11 years.  At times it went really really slow, but mostly it has sped by.

And I thought I'd share some things I have learned that has helped in our marriage.

1.     Go to bed angry.  Seriously. Everyone tells you to "never go to bed angry" but I say, NAY, do go to bed angry, because most of the time, if you are like me, you'll wake up and realize that whatever you were mad about really isn't that big of a deal and you are in a better place to talk about it.  More calm.  And with as much reason as I can muster, I am an emotional based person after all.  Plus, if I'm ready to start a fight with my spouse at night, it's usually, or 90 percent of the time, just because I'm tired and easily irritated.

2.     Kiss your spouse once a day.  Like REALLY kiss them.  Not just a peck you reserve for your children or friends, but a really good, get it done-down and dirty-kiss.  But not before you've brushed your teeth or popped a breath mint.  What? My nose still works no matter how excited I am for a good smooch.

3.     We shower together often.  True story.  Not everyday mind you, but often.  For us a shower together may take a little longer, but it's that time we have together that we may have intimate moments, and because clean up and smell is a lot better in there!!! Just sayin.

4.    We take vacations together.  Just him and I.  Whether it be overnight or a few days.  Just him and I.  We discover things together that we have never done and we find time to talk with each other.  That can go bad sometimes because we might choose to talk about things that make us mad at each other, but most of the time it is good, and it's memories we create together.  The more memories, the more we bond and continue to get to know each other.  Plus those times it's just him and I, we try things we haven't tried before, and YES I mean in the bedroom, no worries of kids walking in, so we like to see what might spice it up for us.  It's fun.

5.    We also find time to go out, or try, at least once a week.  For our religion, sometimes that is to the temple.  Sometimes it's for a run to get ice cream.  Most of the time it's a movie we have wanted to watch that isn't kid friendly.

6.  We try to find one thing positive everyday to say about each other that we notice. Now that doesn't always happen, but we try, which is key.

7.  We fight, BUT and this is key, we forgive.  I see he forgives me and/or is working on it and he sees the same.  We also bicker like sister and brother... not sure if that is key or not, but we do, often.

8.  He makes sure I get out with the girls and I try to shove him out the door to get together with someone that isn't me.

9.  I let him have his thing he likes to do without me and he lets me have things I do without him.  But we also find things we like to do together, like cycling or I'll try mountain biking or snowboarding or hiking.  We both continue to like the sport of sex... so that helps that we have that one thing in common. ;)

10.  Our one rule since the beginning of marriage has been, "no bringing up things from the past once we have talked about them and agreed to let them go".  However hard that has been, we have stuck with that.  Well mostly, I am female after all.

11.  The "D" word is not allowed. Divorce.  We both agreed to forever and even sometimes we make fun by saying, "well that sucks, I'm stuck having to deal with that forever!" or "that was some fine print I wish I would have known about before I signed the dotted line on FOREVER!!!" but for him and I we make it a point to not add the D word for argument's sake or dramatic effect.  We don't want to allow that seed in to begin to nourish any  kind of growth at all. So far it has worked for us.

Every relationship is different.

But these things have worked for us.

Oh and love!  Love helps alot.  Love and lust... and well I like him also.

Yes, all those things help!

And to be honest... so does a lot of s.e.x.



Thursday, February 3, 2011

The only folks we really wound, are those we love the best

The Quote/poem today to discuss is this:

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It makes you sit back and kind of cast your eyes down, or drop your head in a bit of shame, because it is so true.

"And deal full many a thoughtless blow to those who love us best."

We are always so worried about how others perceive us that we try so hard to please and do for those that probably and most likely know us the least, but for those that love us the most, accepting us in our faults and in our strengths, tend to get the worst of us most times, while the world outside of our loved ones circle gets the best of us, or what we show them is the best of us.


Let's discuss on why you think that is?  How do we change that? Is it important to change it?  How do we recognize if we are one of those that give the "thoughtless blows to those who love us best", because I bet you could think of people off hand who do this to you, but are you also one who does this to those closest to you?



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stay Flexible in your Approach

So I'm in the process of scheduling a bunch of guest contributors and the start of our New Regular Contributors along with fun games and other things to schedule with the blog.

In the meantime, this week will be all me.

I know... you're totally excited.

I'm a quote snob.  Love them.

So each post will be short, hopefully, and based off of a quote I found and thought would be fun to talk about with you guys.

Today's quote:

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”--Tom Robbins

How can that not be more true then in a relationship?

Image taken from HERE

You commit yourself to one person... for some, until death do you part, for others, forever, and the rest, you have committed in your heart and mind and soul.  You made a decision that the person you want to spend everyday with and share your most important moments with is that person you have committed yourself to.

But any relationship requires flexibility, does it not?  You go into any relationship, and especially it seems, marriage, with certain expectations.  You made your decision and you have these ideas of how things are going to be.  But any relationship takes at least two different ideas and perspectives... so without flexibility to compromise or change or adjust those expectations or ideas--that relationship will likely fail or be terribly rigid with that feeling of being closed in and stuck.

That is when people want out.  That is when people can't do it anymore. 

When someone made their decision but either they or the other party in the relationship wasn't flexible in their approach.

What do you guys say???  Do you agree?  Do you have anything to add?  Do you think I'm nuts?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Would you Rather Episode: 14

First day of February... and first of the Real World coming back to life!!!

Or so I hope.

If you volunteered to post... THANK YOU THANK YOU!  We are still looking for more posters and guest posters so keep them coming!

If you follow me on facebook at all you will have already seen this picture, but here is an example that I will take whatever picture that you want to send in to add to our header!!!  Can't you see the love emanating from my guy??? hehehe Yes, my camera lens on my phone is diiirrrrtttyyy!!! Makes me look angelic though, don't you think?
Also, in the next few weeks I will be redoing the header with pictures of couples (sisters, child/parent, married or dating couples, etc) sent in by YOU guys.  I still have those that sent me them the last time I asked for them but if you'd like to be on our header then send your pictures to!

Let's play a game of What Would You Rather to start this awesome month of February off--

1.  Would you rather your able to talk and communicate or connect through rare bonding moments?

2. Would you rather your significant other tell you they love you with words or never saying it but showing it with their actions?

3.  Would you rather be surprised or do you hate surprises? and why?

Okay answer one or the other and if you can explain why you chose that answer!!!  Follow comments so you can comment on other peoples comments!  We are all about discussion around here!