Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Tiff

I suppose I should introduce myself: I am an American from North Dakota, transplanted by several degrees of fate to a city in northern Germany. I am divorced and have 3 children, and have a long-term German girlfriend, with whom I do not live.

My girlfriend and I don't argue much.

Partly this is because we agree on so many things, partly because our arguments are of necessity in German, and partly because I am congenitally a Pathetic Arguer, and can only think of rebuttals about one hour after the dispute.

The French, by the way, have a name for this phenomenon: L'esprit de l'escalier, literally translated means The Thought in the Stairway, that is, that brilliant thing that you could have said, the manifestation of your rapier wit, occurs to you only as you have left the party and are going down the stairs.

But then, occasionally, we have a lengthy exchange that leaves me completely baffled. One of these happened last night. Our conversations are in German, so I am doing a rough translation.

"I am so disappointed in you sometimes," she says.

"OK, that is odd because I have always assumed I was perfect, but what do you want to say?" I ask

"Tell me what is going on!"

"What do you mean, what is going on?", I say.

"You know what I mean, I don't have to tell you!"

Actually, I have no idea at all what she means, and say so.

"Don't lie to me!" she says.

"I am not lying, I really don't know!"

She wants an admission of guilt from me, and as it happens, I am feeling quite innocent. I search my conscience and discover a number of embarassing things, but they either predate my relationship with her or have nothing to do with us.

It takes me an hour and a half to glean the information from her that she suspects me of trying to meet up with a young Turkish female pianist, because she had seen an email I had written. It didn't do me any good to explain that I had not met up with her, that she was young enough to be my daughter, and I had written on behalf of my son, who will be traveling to Istanbul next month. I didn't even remember writing the email, which of course made the whole thing even more suspicious in her eyes. And in getting to the point of what she was talking about involved a circuitious route that took her to accusing me of smiling at a Bulgarian girl on a beach in Croatia one year ago, and leaving my bicycle in one place for 5 hours, ten years ago.

OK, so what I want to know is: when we men accuse our wives/girlfriends of something, we generally go right to the point and say, "Hey, why did you sneak off to the movies last Thursday with So-and-So?" whereas women will say, "What is going on? Tell me the truth!" but not tell you what it is you have done wrong, isn't it the law that you are innocent until proven guilty?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little White Lies...

On my first date with Man Of The House (M.O.T.H.) he invited me to a concert.  Will it make me sound too old when I tell you it was a Toad The Wet Sprocket Concert?  No, probably not - it just makes me sound too weird...

Of course, back then he was just known as Q...  heck, it was our first date - I didn't even have a cute name to call him!

So the plan is that he'll pick me up after work, we'll grab a bite to eat and get to the concert with time to spare.  Great plan.

But he's running late...  so he picks up Subway on the way over...  a 6 inch club - with EVERYTHING on it...  

Have I ever mentioned that I hate vegetables?  Okay - amend that... I HATED vegetables... I'm learning...

But this day - on my first date with this cute boy with floppy hair...  I didn't pick them all off.  Mind you, I didn't exactly encourage them to stay within the confines of the bread...  and I might have just knocked off a few onions and cucumbers (hey, I'm allergic!) but I ate the majority of the sandwich and was able to keep a smile on my face.  probably.  maybe.  I even ate the SunChips - even though I'm a traditional potato chip girl...  I actually liked them!  

The rest of the date was typical first date stuff...  will he hold my hand (no), will he kiss me (no), will he ask me out again (eventually)...  

But really, Did I start out the relationship on the wrong foot - is our entire life together based on a lie because I ate a few tomatoes?  

Turns out he also pretended to think my "Family Dog" movie was funny... and he pretended to think The ABZ book was hilarious.  (all pre-requisites for someone I was going to date)

But we're still together - and I learned that if I pretended to like veggies long enough that I could keep them down without barfing.  I've learned that I can actually like hiking and camping...  and he's learned to appreciate a little bit of twisted humor...  and once in awhile I can actually get him to play a card game with me... if I beg enough and promise a good enough reward to the winner :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mother's day?

Sooo...Mother's Day is coming up. What have you hinted for this year? Do you even have to hint or is your guy great for coming up with a gift, perfect or not.

My guy is in the dog house on the gift giving. I can give hints left and right, but he doesn't get them. I could make him an actual, detailed list and he's still just not jiving with the whole thing. This last year for Christmas ( I think he did this the year before too) he hung 20 dollar bills all over the tree.

Now mind you, I'm never a girl to turn down some Jackson's and green is a perfect Christmas color, but really, he should know better. Or maybe I should know better.

It's been almost 13 years and he hasn't been doing too well on the gifting thing. Most times I just pick myself out something cute and say "look what you bought me for (fill in the blank).

Although, to give him some credit, he has on occasion, and for no reason brought me home a flower or a candle or these really huge yummy chocolate covered cherries from this fantastic little chocolate shop in Montana.

I guess I'm just wishing that he'd put a little effort into getting me something a little special on that special occasion. I love buying or making a gift for someone that I know will be perfect for them (or if it's not, just smile and nod. :)

Oh well, he is pretty cute so I guess I'll keep him. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Funny story to pull out when we fight

I have to give a story before I tell you what happened the other night so you will be able to truly appreciate what I go through.

(Imagine the Wayne's World "travel back in time" or "dream sequence" screen waves.)

Shortly after we were married, Hubby and I went to a college volleyball game with my sis and a group of friends. The game was great and we all had a blast, but it was long and by the time we left I was so ready to hop in bed.

Our group had all driven in 2 cars, so as we were walking to the parking lot Hubby asks everyone if they want to come over to our place for a late night movie.

Now, normally I am a total late-night person. At this particular time in my life I worked graveyard at the college and actually the friends that we were with were my co-workers.

Back to my story. I looked at Hubby weird and then just shrugged. I could always fall asleep on the couch if I was too tired.

Everyone was in on the idea so about 6 people jaunted over to our little apartment for movie night and snacks. I can't even remember what we watched and you will understand why in just a little bit.

MAYBE 20 minutes into the movie Hubby went into the bedroom. I thought he was just going to change into some comfy clothes. It didn't take too long for me to notice that he hadn't returned to join the group. Slyly- so as not to be noticed I snuck into the bedroom to see if I was going to be getting a little hanky panky.


He was ASLEEP!


He was the one that invited people to our house. I was the one that was tired, but he was the one in blissful slumber. I think not!

Being the kind hostess I was I stayed AWAKE while Hubby rested. Once the movie was over I grabbed a blanket and started in on an even LONGER night of sleep on the couch.

The next morning Hubby woke up and had no idea what he had done wrong. Umm, HE invited people over, HE didn't tell me he was tired and going to bed, and HE got to sleep!

Now, I am sure that you are wondering why I didn't wake him up. That's a pretty easy question to answer- I TRIED! Truly I did. But, he comes up swinging if you are too rough trying to wake him up and he was already in a very deep sleep when I found him.

This has actually been a source of contention on and off throughout our marriage. Hubby will make decisions that will totally effect me without thinking about me. I am sure I NEVER do that to him. Right? Are you hearing me people? I am the PERFECT wife. Really I am! Okay, maybe not really, but I have never invited people over then left him to entertain whilst I catch up on sleep.

(Back to the present day.)

Sunday night we went on a walk as a family. It was a beautiful evening and spending time together on Easter was perfect! When we rounded the corner, the last stretch before home we noticed a car in our driveway. As we approached we noticed it was our friend, Ken. His wife is in Texas at the moment, so he was stopping by just to drop a few things off. Hubby invited him in for a visit. (I am sure you are seeing where this is going.) Well, we get inside, Ken sits down on one couch, Hubby sits on the other and I sit down too, ready for a nice visit- the 3 of us!

Oh, heavens no! Hubby grabbed his computer and started tinkering on it. Umm, Hubby, hello- our friend is here! Let's visit... It was a little awkward. Yes, totally love Ken, he is great. But it is weird, don't you think?

Sidenote- told hubby about this post and he wasn't too happy. He said that he had totally forgotten about it and was upset that I was bringing it up to make fun of him. Am I making fun of him? Nope- just thinking that the differences between men and women are pretty funny!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Mathematics of Men and Women Relationships...

I found this off of a website but forgot to get the link and now it is in INTERNET space somewhere and I can't find it just so you know, I didn't come up with this list...but then again, you probably wouldn't have thought that anway!

The Mathematics of Men and Women Relationships


Smart man + smart woman = romance

Smart man + dumb woman = affair 

Dumb man + smart woman = marriage 

Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy


A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need. (I don't see the problem?)


A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. 

A successful woman is one who can find such a man. (Isn't that the truth)

So according to this...are you a SUCCESSFUL man or woman???

We definitely don't earn more than I can spend...I don't know if that is even possible! :)



Saturday, April 25, 2009

First Date

She could remember it like it was last night.

She had worn her favorite lacy black top and tightest jeans. Every curve was highlighted, every attribute accented. Her eyes were smoky and her lips were light. Even back then, she knew bold lipstick was bad for a date. With a colony of butterflies dancing in her stomach, she had waited at the door of her dorm.

She heard his engine before she saw him. The roar of the sports car made her friends squeal with glee as he pulled up. When he climbed out, his thick dark hair glinting in the moonlight and crisp white shirt cracking in the night air, the squeals turned to sighs.

"Look at you!"

"What a catch!"


"Does he have a brother?"

"Shhhhh," she hissed, waving off their giggles as the door opened. He grinned at the matronly monitor glaring behind the counter and waved to her friends. "Evening, ladies."

They giggled. With a swoop of his hand, he pulled a bouquet of daisies from behind his back. "I wasn't sure what you liked," he apologized, his brow creased. "I knew roses had been done, but everything else seemed so...not you. These looked perfect."

Her friends sighed. Her lips burst into a smile and she looked up into his dark brown eyes. "They're perfect," she whispered. She wanted to add like you, but knew it would come off as completely cheesy.

"We'll put them in water for you," her friend said, practically snatching the flowers out of her hand. Her friend shoved her into him, knocking her head into his shoulder. She prayed her foundation hadn't smeared on his shirt.

"Go on!" they caroused, waving the couple out. "Have a good time!"

And they did. Nestled in a dim Italian restaurant, the magic of food and wine unwound around them. She couldn't remember what the dinner tasted like, but she remembered the way his lips curled and everything he said. They talked about their families, school, their dreams and the future. She teased him about his taste in sci-fi movies and he twirled her thick hair around his finger. Holding hands, they walked the streets of downtown until they stopped into a late-night sundae shop. Over ice cream cones topped with sprinkles, they kissed under the streetlight as the lights of shops dimmed.

It was perfect.

Now fifteen years later and three kids later, she didn't know if one of her legs would fit in those jeans. Her eyes were shadowed with fatigue, not shadow. Her lips were not quirked in a seductive smile, but shouting instructions and commands to three beings that ruled her every waking hour. She hadn't seen a movie that wasn't a cartoon in seven years and ice cream came in tiny cups at birthday parties with goody bags.

And she was tired of it.

On Friday night, she went into her closet and pulled out a slinky black top, with lace in all the right places. She shaved her legs and curled her hair, painted her cheeks and made her eyes as smoldering as she dared. Pulling on a skirt that would make her mother blush, she slipped on heels and waited at the front door.

He pulled into the garage and her children squealed. They hopped up and down as the babysitter tried to wrangle them into the kitchen. Her two dogs barked along in joy, their tails slapping the back of her legs.

"I want pizza!"

"Macaroni and cheese!"

"Ice cream with gummy worms and peanut butter covered in chocolate chips with nachos and hot dogs!"

The door opened and her breath caught in her throat, just as it had fifteen years ago. He had put on a suit and polished his shoes. His hair gleamed in the light, hiding the small patch of skin underneath. Reaching around his side, he pulled out a wad of bills and handed him to the babysitter.

"Order them whatever you like," he told her. "Just keep them alive. We'll be back late."

Leading his wife out to the car, she exclaimed with joy. A bouquet of daisies sat in the front seat.

"I wasn't sure what to get," he told her, his forehead crinkling with deep lines. The creases around his eyes crinkled. "I know roses is traditional, but they seemed so blah. And all the other bouquets looked like they belonged to a wedding. I wasn't sure if you still liked daisies."

She looked up into his eyes and smiled. "It's perfect." Holding her hand, he opened the door and helped her in the car.

"Italian?" he asked.

She smiled and nodded. "Then ice cream."

It was a perfect first date.

Friday, April 24, 2009


She's back! Missty from Life is Good. has returned!  Her posts are always good and full of the things we really want to talk about.   Missty just celebrated her 26th Wedding Anniversary and has four nearly grown boys, two of which recently left the nest.  She loves to cook and garden. Funny, smart and a wonderful blogger we're very glad to have her offer up more dish in the post below.  Enjoy!

They're women over 40. They like younger men. And in pop-culture circles they're called - often jokingly - 'cougars’.



Here is a definition from the Urban Dictionary:


Cougar is a female, usually between thirty and fifty years-old, who enjoys the sexual company of younger men. 
Cougars are only usually interested in men under the age of twenty-five. Also, Cougars are non-committal, choosing to move from mate to mate without ever settling down. It is not uncommon for the same Cougar to attack (sleep with) many different men in the same group of friends. Furthermore, Cougars are older and more practiced in the ways of snaring a mate so they will rarely broadcast their intentions to sleep with you until you are already in her Jetta, headed for the condo she just bought. It is this elusive behavior that earns her the name “Cougar.”


So now that we have the definition figured out.



  How would you feel grocery shopping with your 23 yr old semi-adult  son and realizing he is getting tons of text’s.  You are trying to ask if he and his brother who share a condo, if they need bread, or tortillas.  And he keeps say what mom? or what did you say?   


So the conversation went like this:


Me: T who are you texting?


T:  Oh this lady.


Me:  Oh.. 


T:  Silly laughs, as he continues to text, ignoring me as I ask if he and his brother needed  some veggies.


Me:  T, I am trying to help you two out this week, you need groceries, you have no money,  can you give me a minute of your time.


T:  Yeah sure mom. Sorry.   This lady won’t leave me alone.  Me and brother  and a friend are going to meet her and a couple of friends later tonight. 


Me:  Lady?  Whats this girls name?


T:  Oh she’s not a girl.  She is 35.


Me:  Seriously!    A bit old, don’t you think?


T:  Mom, we had some  45 yr old cougars hang out with us at the hot tub last weekend.


Me:  You did?!!!  You do realize they could be your mom?


T:  Huh?


Me:  Yeah, I just turned 45!


T:  Just laughs.



Ugh!  I never gave it a second thought before.  I was always of the mindset  “hey if you find love, and your happy, does it matter the age differences”?  Well, um yeah it does if you are talking about my baby boys!  LOL. 


 know they are adults.  But, to hear  women MY age, be interested in my boys… like that.  Yuck.


I can tell you the last thing I would want would be a boy my sons ages, for me in a relationship!  lol



So what do you think?  Is it ok to have such a huge age span?


 Does it matter who is older in the relationship? The man or woman?


Have you had a relationship with a person much older/younger?   If so how did it go?

And is it even fair to be calling these women cougars? 


Enquiring minds want to know!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Legged Stool

Wahoo, let's here it for our first male posting member of Venus vs Mars!  Mr CaJoh is a blogger with a lot of heart and a great style with words.  He is often funny and thoughtful and even writes poetry. Married for almost ten years, you can find wonderful ideas and advice on his site CaJoh.

All relationships require balance and stability to be successful. Like any platform, a stool requires at least three legs to stand upright. I have found three key components that I believe are necessary for any relationship to work:


There has to be a reason for being in the relationship. You need to be interested in having the relationship as well as having interest in the other person.


There needs to be a dedication towards having the relationship work. Through commitment you are paying attention to the relationship and making the necessary adjustments to keep the relationship growing and strong.


You both have to have the other two components in order to fully balance the relationship. If you are interested in them and they are not, then it is unrequited. If they are committed to having the relationship and you could care less, then the relationship either becomes stagnant or falls apart.

With the presence of these three key components in place, a stable base is established which allows for a firm foundation for any relationship to be built.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To game or not to game

Youngbloods4ever has just recently admitted to having a reading addiction that HAS to be just as bad as mine...which is WHY I we/I love her.  She is a wife and mom to four kids.  Her writing style is honest and witty. You can also find her at her own blog YoungBloods4ever.

I grew up in a very "gaming" household. Sunday nights we busted out the cards, board game, you name it. We sat down for hours of competitive fun.

Hubby, on the other hand, did not. He grew up creating his own fun, hiding from his insane older siblings and hanging with friends.

I didn't think this would be a source of contention within our marriage. But believe it or not, it has been. When Sunday night rolls around I still get a twitch in my hands for a good game of Hands and Feet or Scum. I'd love to hear the word "PIT" screamed in my house once in a while. I wouldn't mind getting a Life with my kids. Sitting on Baltic with crap doesn't sound like a bad idea this week.

Sorry for the poor sound quality. It's youtube's fault, not mine. But I love his physical comedy, so I had to add this!

I was thinking about the Toilet issue and what really bothers me. Games kept coming to mind. I know I have to be reasonable about this. I know that hubby really loves to just hang and watch movies.

The major issue is that during movies I believe in the "no talkie" rule. Unless, of course, it is me that is talking. In which case I am totally allowed to talk whenever! So, how do we converse when all we do is watch movies? How do we really spend that alone time with each other when there is a third party? (the tv, duh!)

I love the interaction, competitiveness (within reason) and the fun that can be had during a great game session.


I'll be over at Bejeweled Blitz if you are interested. Since hubby isn't I have to "cheat on him" and turn to my computer for my fix. (Minds out of the gutters, PLEASE! My fix is with GAMES. Did you read anything I said?)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When Travel Brings Out the Worst in Us

It’s the one time of year, or possibly one of the many times a year for some, that you look forward to getting away and leaving responsibilities behind.

Vacation.  I know I dream about it from inception to delivery.  I look forward to the day we say goodbye same old and hello new adventure.  Being as lucky as we are to live among some seriously fabulous European cities our vacations can be exciting.

And this summer it’s a mixed bag of opportunities.  

The beginning of July my husband will be participating in a charity bike ride from Germany to Prague, Czech Republic.  Then we will we heading to New Jersey to visit my mother in law and I will be attending a conference in DC for part of the trip.

The other night we were talking about July and we were kicking around how hubby would be getting back from the airport with his bike and bike case (the thing is HUGE) after his trip and also fit two kids in the car (we have a small sedan).   The bike and case will also be going on vacation with us as Hubby has a 24 hour cycling race on the Nurburgring days after we get back. So he needs to train while we are on vacation.

Here’s the conversation:

Him: I know I’ll just rent a car at the airport.

Me: Well that seems like a waste of money. {ever the frugal oneSurely we can work something out getting it in the car with the kids. {even if they ride on the roof}

Him: But we’re leaving the next day for the US so we’d have the rental to drive down to Frankfurt with all the luggage.

Me: Huh? 

Him: To go to my moms and your conference…

Me: The VERY next day?!!

And I’m thinking Dang it.  The entire week leading up to vacation when I NEED help with the kids so I can pack all of us (because somehow the kids are always my job to pack) he will be MIA.  Fab.u.lous.  Whose idea was it to go the next day anyway?

Me: Whose idea was it to leave the very next day? {said with annoyance in my voice}

Him: Umm, yours if you want to go to that conference.  You said you wanted a day or two to get adjusted before you went to DC.

Me: Oh.

Oh, yeah, I did say that. Darn it!  So already I’m annoyed at having no help the week leading up to vacation.  My mind plans and then forgets things easily.  I would never remember anything if it weren't for my phones calendar and a whole truckload of sticky notes.

It’s always the little things when we are on vacation that cause irritation.  One of us forgets something, says the wrong thing or didn’t read the other persons mind and on occasion the trip starts to look like a bad movie.

I know that as much as we travel, I get nervous on planes no matter that we fly several long haul trips a year and I tend to have far less patience than I probably should.  There’s some magic switch inside that tells me to get tensed up the second we get in the car to leave.  The kids seem to fight more, hubby and I argue about stupid things that don’t matter and I in general end up not getting to participate in much of the relaxing part of the vacation.  Living in hotels and seeing sights and eating out it all adds up to more stress and tension.  

And lets not even bring up visiting family for 'vacation'.  Everyone wants your attention from family to old friends.  For us we spend half our time running from Target to the nearest mall to stock up on shoes and clothes for the kids, American 'stuff', books, videos and foodstuffs. We rarely actually sit and do nothing.  Add in dentists visits and going 'home' becomes far more stressful than actually staying home.

Why do we do this?  

A vacation should be fun not stressful.  I don’t remember my parents being so stressed out when we traveled as kids.  However we have yet to forget our children anywhere (cause you really can't count that one time...) and we've remembered to pack underwear for everybody.  Socks though  are a completely different story.

What is your ultimate stress free vacation?  What do you do to insure you're not tempted to throw the other person overboard?  


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Simple Love

Her granddaughter slammed through the screen door, throwing her purse on the counter.

"He did it again," Sophie snarled, tearing her hair through her hands. "I tell you, Grandma, I don't know how you stayed married for 63 years. I've been married for just 2 years and the next 60 days seems like an eternity. And you already had Mom by this time, and you were younger than me! I can't imagine having a child with that irresponsible, selfish man!"

Sophie plopped into the kitchen chair, staring at her grandmother. For as long as she could remember, her grandmother had always stood at that stove. She was always stirring something, pouring batter for cupcakes into her worn steel pans or icing a cake.

"Grandma, didn't you feel slighted?" Sophie pressed. "You were so smart! You could have run your own business or had a big life! You could have traveled to exotic beaches or tiny towns hidden in the South America mountains. Why didn't you?"

"I wanted to marry your grandfather," her grandmother replied mildly. "Women didn't work back then once we were married, unless they had to. And I didn't have to. So I didn't."

"Why did you marry Grandpa?" Sophie asked. "Didn't you want to do more with your life than just raise babies and putter around the house?"

"Not particularly," her grandmother said. "I enjoyed running a household and raising a family. I loved your grandfather."

"I don't get it." Sophie leaned back and crossed her arms. "I can't imagine loving anyone that much to give up my life."

Her grandmother put down the spoon and turned, wiping her hands on a dishtowel. Her eyes glowed and her lips were spread in a sweet smile.

"When I was 18, I worked at a local radio station while I was going to college. One night, a bunch of girls from the dorm and I went to a dance on campus. We curled our hair and put on our best shoes and dresses. The war had just started, so there were still some men left to dance with."

"This tall, thin boy with a sweet smile asked me to dance. I loved his blue eyes and the way he said my name. We talked all night. By the next day, I knew I wanted to marry him."

"Of course, he had to go overseas and fight. We wanted to get married, but my parents wanted me to wait until he got back. I understood. They wanted to protect my heart. What they didn't realize was my heart was already his."

"He got shot down in the war and it shattered the bones in his legs. They never thought he'd walk again. For three years, he stayed at the hospital. I was there with him every day. We got married and he drove me around town, pointing at all the houses. 'I may not have much now, Iris,' he told me, 'But I promise you that you'll get a fine house someday. The finest in town.' But I didn't care. I would have lived in a shack to be with him."

"Grandma, that's really sweet," Sophie said. "But didn't you worry he wouldn't come back when he went to war? And didn't you worry that he'd never work when he was in the hospital? I don't know if I could have stayed with someone through all that."

Her grandmother shook her head, with a small smile on her face. "We didn't have it bad at all, dear. Even by your standards."

"But you had to live with your parents for the first five years of your marriage until Grandpa could afford a house!" Sophie protested. "And you already had Mom by that point. She told me stories about how you clipped coupons, made her clothes--all of that. Weren't you worried about security? Didn't you ever feel unsatisfied?"

"What you don't realize, Sophie, is that love is not as hard as everyone makes it out to be," her grandmother informed her. "As long as we had each other, everything was fine. I was just so happy to get him back from the war, I didn't care what happened. And then we were blessed with our three children. Ed worked hard to make sure that I could stay home with the kids, and I loved every minute of it. I never felt repressed like your generation does. We had a lovely life full of laughter."

"But marriage is work," Sophie argued. "It's hard navigating life for two people. I mean, surely not everyone who got married felt like you and Grandpa did."

"True," her grandmother said. "But as I always said to my friends, why did you marry if you didn't like him?"

"I just wish it wasn't so hard," Sophie whined, burying her face in her hands. "Sometimes I just think I should be single again. It'd be so much easier."

Her grandmother shrugged. "You just have to figure out what's important, Sophie. To me, it was simple. I loved your grandfather. As long as I was with him, I was just fine. Divorce won't change things if you're not happy with yourself. You won't be happy with anyone."

She took her granddaughter's hand and patted it.

"You've got to remember, dear, that life is pretty simple. It's we who make it complicated. As long as you focus on the important things, you'll be fine. Just love and laugh. That's all you need in life. The money, the career, the important PTA meetings and kid's activities--it all fades. At the end, all you've got is each other. And if you don't like each other, then you're in for a rough time. And if you don't have anyone,'re alone. It may be easier, but it's sure not as much fun."

She gave her granddaughter a wink. "And I didn't give up my life for anyone. I made one. With him."

Sophie's eyes strayed to a photo of her grandparents. She stared at their wrinkled, smiling faces. Her gaze roamed over the photos hanging on the wall; her grandfather in his uniform, her grandparents on their wedding day. Pictures of her mother and brothers as infants hung on the wall, followed by snapsnots of the growing family at various birthdays and simple celebrations. Her mother once told her she was excited if she got a cake and ice cream for her birthday. Sophie had never gotten excited over something like cake. It took a fancy purse to excite her.

She wondered how many fights her grandparents had, how many times her grandmother had wished to be doing something other than baking or tending children. Then she thought of the love they must have shared, the excitement over creating a life together. She thought the dedication it took to sit at a hospital for three years, day after day, waiting to be married to the man her grandmother had loved and waited for.

All of the sudden, she felt ashamed.

The screen door banged open for the second time that morning. Josh, Sophie's husband, stood sheepishly in the doorway.

"Hi Nana," he addressed Sophie's grandmother. Hanging his head, he peeked up at Sophie.

"Honey, I'm sorry I wasn't sensitive to your needs, like you said before. I didn't realize you wanted to go on a trip for our anniversary. I called around and got some extra overtime, so we won't have to skimp like you were worried about. And I'll get you that necklace you want. I didn't mean to forget our anniversary, it's just with that big project at work...but I don't want you to think I care about work more than you. I never wanted you to think that."

Sophie glanced at her grandmother and stepped closer to her husband. "I'm sorry too," she replied. "I realized there's something more important than a trip or a necklace."

A look of worry and exhaustion crossed her husband's face. "What?" he replied in a wary tone.

Sophie smiled. "Love," she replied. "And making a life. Our life. Together."

Her grandmother smiled.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sexless Marriage

Today we have our first guest poster!  Missty from Life is Good.  Please click her blog link and offer up some comment love!   Missty just celebrated her 26th Wedding Anniversary and has four nearly grown boys, two of which recently left the nest.  She loves to cook and garden (check out her flowers, beautiful!) Funny, smart and a wonderful blogger we're very glad to have her offer up the post below.  Enjoy!

Sexless Marriage.


Wow, what do you think when you hear those words?  Kind of a taboo subject?  I think how very sad.  And yet so many marriages are in this very state.  Some because that’s what they both prefer… though I can’t imagine there is a guy out there that doesn’t want sex.   Some because it slowly ended up that way, and  last some couples just can’t stand each other and are just co- habitating till the kids are raised, and then both will go their separate ways. Many couples live even in separate bedrooms.


I was having lunch with a friend last week, and she has not had sex with her husband for over 6 years!  They have been married about 20 years.  She was telling me how she doesn’t think they will ever have sex with each other again.  Its to awkward, she said.  How would we just “start” to have sex again?  She asked.  She mentioned that it was a slow process, but look where they are now.  She didn’t really plan it this way, but this is where she is at.  No sex one night, turned into one week, turned into one month, turned in to one year, and there you are. 


Wow, is all I could think of for the rest of the day.  How do you get to that point? 


I started to think back about 17 years ago to my own life.  Married, to a wonderful guy – who worked very long hours at 2 jobs, for very little money.  I was mommy to our four small boys’ ages newborn to 8 years old or so.  Tired and  exhausted.  Lots to do, no money, bills stacking up, a husband who was young, and tired as well.  I could see us, having less and less sex.  Who wanted it?  Not me!!  If I was hitting that mattress – it was to sleep!  My husband – wanted it, he needed it. He was under tons of stress at work, and at home.  We weren’t sexless, we were just not having it as much as we probably both wanted or needed.


Then I had an “Ah-Ha” moment. My baby was just about a year old. When I was watching a talk show that was talking about sexless marriages. Wow – who knew?  I seriously had never thought about married people NOT having sex for extended periods of time.  Seriously!  LOL   I just thought it was something you did.  It was something I enjoyed a few years back, before I became this overly exhausted mommy.  But, I always knew it would get better, right?  It’s just temporary… I think that’s what my friend thought as well. 


After that show I decided I needed to make “US” First.  The kids would now be put to bed at 8:00 pm.  They could read, or they could sleep or talk quiet to each other.   But my man and I needed each other.  We needed a new spark.  We would “date” even if it was within our own home.  I would flirt like I use to do and put that cute skirt on that he loved.   We needed our sex  life to get like it once was – Or better. 


I thought to myself I don’t want to end up  like those couples on that TV show. 


And now here I am with a guy who rocks my world, better than ever.  It has never been an issue since.  I made US important, and in return he made us important.


Having lunch with my friend, I wish I could have told her some incredible advice to get that spark back.  To get the intimacy back in her relationship. The passion..  But I fell short. I pretty much said nothing.  She says they both love each other.  But, she just doesn’t know how to go about connecting again.  And what do you say to someone who hasn’t had sex for over 6 years?


So what do you suggest?  Are you in a sexless marriage?  What do you wish you could do about it?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Selective Hearing Disorder

T. has a special place in my heart because she is from MY home town!!!  I could be in Costco the same time she is and we wouldn't even KNOW it!  T. is a writer that likes to make you feel like you are there WITH her...go check her out on her personal blog at You Asked For It.

I'm hoping it's not just my man...  

(or maybe for the good of the earth it would be great if it WERE just my man)

He suffers (or to be more precise I suffer) from a Selective Hearing Disorder.

Sample Conversation:

Me (after starting the dishwasher and then realizing he just jumped in the shower): "Oh, sorry hon, should I turn off the dishwasher?  I didn't realize you were showering."

Him:  "It's fine"

Me:  "Fine leave it on, or fine turn it off?"

Him:  "I'll turn it on when I jump out."

Me:  "o...kay, then I'll run turn it off"

Him:  "it's already on?"

Me:  "yeah - remember when I said (directly quoted the first part of conversation)"

Him:  "well, just leave it then"

... truly this is SO MINOR that I shouldn't care...  but it's a daily occurrence...  all about minor things.

Is it hearing loss?  Did we go to too many rock concerts while dating?   

Is it that men tend to go deaf in the range of their wives voices?  Seriously - I think I heard this somewhere once from a substitute choir teacher back in the 80's...  but I don't have any research to  prove it...  

I love him, really - I do... and I would tell him that more often, but he wouldn't hear me anyway :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Last Thing You Say

I think the greatest thing about this blogger is her complete honesty to approach whatever she wants on her blog.  She can talk amiably about her husband and their relationship.  She also is doing her own break off of Twilight beginning where the books left I am glad to have her on board to give us more of a peek into another really cool REAL can also find her over at her site Color Me Untypical.

I'm really not a serious person, like . . . ever. And I did want my first post here to be something more humorous, but after some events Sunday, I feel that perhaps I've learned and important lesson, and I'd really like to share it with others.

I received a phone call from my husband Sunday afternoon. We were going over to his best friends house for dinner that night, but originally for another completely different purpose: a friend that my husband, and our two close friends worked with at their last job killed himself Saturday night.

Apparently he was in the middle of an argument with his wife, to whom he'd only been married one month. No one knows if it was an accident, if he was drunk, or, God forbid, if she did it. He was a very happy guy apparently, and everyone is just shocked by this news.

It really makes me wonder . . . . what were they fighting about? Was it something important? What were the last words she said to him? And how will she go on through life, remembering those last few moments of her husband's life?

Sometimes in the past, in the middle of an argument, I'll take notice of something on the floor near DH and think, "What if right now, in the middle of this argument, he trips on that, falls and breaks his neck?" And instantly, my thoughts change. I'm willing to give up the fight because there are so many more important things to say to the man I love.

I don't know about you all, but this moment has given me some perspective. What's worth it to fight about? Certainly not the dirty dishes, his socks on the floor, lack of money, a video game gone too long, or his snoring through the night.

No matter what, I'm going to take this moment to rededicate myself to my husband. Because I don't want to have any regrets should something ever happen to him. I want the last words to be "I love you," I want the last thoughts to be "I love you," and I want to make sure that my last actions with him are going to reflect my thoughts and words.

I encourage everyone to do the same.

Untypically Jia

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love and Friendship

This story below comes from a wonderful blogger Blonde Duck. She is an aspiring writer with a collection of short stories that are full of wit and humor (and often times pie!) Married to her love Ben and raising two furry children she dishes up a little reality about her and friends, guys and girls. You can find her page at A Duck In Her Pond.

When your best friend is your husband, it’s hell finding girlfriends.

Growing up, I was always a guy’s girl. Even though I was convinced I was a princess and wore only pink dresses, you’d be more likely to find me digging a hole with China in the sandbox with the boys rather than giggling on the sidelines with the girls. From first grade until freshman year of college, most of my friends were boys. I was like the Gwen Stefani of Anderson High School—blond, girlie but totally in the boy’s club. Forget ladies’ lunches and shopping trips. I was the sole girl with several guys in heels at rock concerts, pool halls and disgusting dorm rooms with foil on the windows.

And then I met my husband. And my guy friends became a problem.

As much as I hate to admit it, a lot of guys make friends with women knowing that they would date them in a heart beat. There are the guys that wouldn’t even think of it, but they are few and far between. While many criticized my decision. I distanced myself from a lot of my college guy friends unless we were out as a big group. If my husband wasn’t going to go hang out with other women alone, it didn’t seem fair for me to.

There was only one problem. I had no girlfriends.

Growing up, I’d always had one girl best friend. At 13, hormones and a move to California caused our friendship to drift apart amicably. In high school, I had a girlfriend so close I had a tooth brush at her house until we both went to college.

But now, as an adult woman in a small college, I had a problem. The girls I met didn’t want to go hang out with guys in big groups. They wanted to go get drinks at swanky bars, eat salads at charming little restaurants and get pedicures. With pearls wrapped around their neck and stylish outfits, they looked like a model that fell out of a magazine.

No pearls here!

I didn’t. I was in the horseback riding club. I wear cowboy boots in the winter and my hair in wet ponytails. My ideal meal was a hamburger and unless a bar had dancing, I was going to be bored out of my mind.

I hate pedicures.

But I didn’t fit in with the tomboy crowd either. They wanted to go on biking excursions that lasted three days and had more armpit hair than a gorilla. They saw my pink dresses and love for baking cookies as feminist entrapment and wanted to free me from my domestic prison.

So I came to the most logical conclusion: I needed to find girlfriends in a relationship. They would understand my reluctance to go to frat parties, my dislike of going out at 10 at night and love of sundresses, right?

Wrong. The women I met in relationships only wanted to do one thing: Bitch. They whined about their boyfriends, obsessed over getting engaged and told me things about their romantic life that would have shocked Dr. Sue. They bullied me for not wanting to go out all the time without my husband and pushed me to get a ring. I fled in terror.

I can haz girlfriends?!?!?

Ever since, I’ve met several great women. Some are moms, some are single, some are in a relationship. They all understand me and my quirks. The more women I’ve met; the more I’ve realized that good girlfriends are out there.

But my experiences taught me a sad truth that was proved to me the other week. A dear friend of mine had a birthday I couldn’t attend because Ben was sick. I wasn’t willing to leave him, and she was hurt and disappointed.

I will never have the friendships seen in movies like Sex and the City. I won’t have a group of girlfriends that put each other above all else, all husbands and children. And it’s due to one simple fact: My husband comes first. My family comes second. Our health is third. And everything else comes after that.

Considering I’ve got the love of my life and best friend, I think it’s a pretty good tradeoff.

What do you think? Have you had trouble making girlfriends or trouble with relationships because of friends? Let’s dish, ya’ll!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Now we just "discuss"

I was thinking about this the other day how hubby and my fighting has changed since we were first married. 

I no longer throw forks (hee hee), and I don't yell as much. 

Um...ok I do like to yell still, but I've learned to curb my stubborness and not hold my anger forever. Hubby is a much cleaner fighter. When he's mad he just goes and chops wood for an hour. Or into his man cave (garage) to work on his cars. 

He also is almost always the first to say he is sorry. He probably takes the blame for most fights, even though I know that I was probably wrong, or just being grouchy. 

I have a hard time saying the actual words "I am sorry". I don't know why. Maybe I don't want to admit defeat? Could be. 

We are going on 13 years in July and I couldn't be happier with the choice I made. 

Sometimes things can get crazy, but at the end of the day, I know that he'll still love me and I can count on him always, for anything.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

How I like needs to be said!

So found this song's country... it makes me laugh, and it's so true!

I like the live version better because it's fun to hear people's reaction to the lyrics! So here it is...Brad Paisley singing, "I'm Still A Guy"...and be honest...isn't there something about a guy who can strum a guitar and sing? Yum! :) If you want to read the lyrics just YOUTUBE the song!

My favorite verse of this song is something we have already addressed on here written by Youngblood which just concludes that the average male thinks the same when it comes down to one thing, so here's the line I love, "when YOU say a back rub means ONLY a back rub and then swat my hand when I try, well what can I say, at the end of the day, HONEY, I'm still a guy!" :)

So why would I have this video on here today?

Because guys...and I mean MALES. We want your opinion! We want you to write for us. We understand you're a think differently and DO things differently...

So either Guest Blog if you have something you think the FEMALES might need to know, or be a REGULAR contributor so that you can help us UNDERSTAND!!! :)

Gals...if you know of a male blogger, or a MALE who likes to write and write well, that you think would be a PERFECT fit for our site...let us know by any of the three emails over there on the right hand side bar!!! Or go pester them on their site to come over and check us out!




Friday, April 10, 2009

Potato Power

Today's poster has been a long time favorite of mine. We don't know her real name and she's not telling either. Crash, of the blog Crash Test Dummy Diaries, lives in the magical dreamland of a tropical island with her husband and several small Dummies. She also knows Jack Johnson. A literature professor by trade she brings it down to dummy level for all of us on her blog. Be sure to stop by!

When I read Susan's post about special moments I contemplated breaking a commandment and coveting her marriage. Her second marriage. The way she tells it, her first husband was as intimate as a potato, while her new husband is Kobe beef. Prime! He inspires her to sleep neked and when she's making dinner he pulls her aside, pins her to the wall and whispers hoarsely, "I NEED YOU!"

No wonder I never make dinner! I thought.

And then I thought Two years! Pshaw! See if she's still sleeping neked after 20 years.

And then I began coveting. What a lucky duck to get a second shot at having a bang up marriage.

Suddenly I heard thunder rolling towards me. A bolt of lightening struck my forehead and a voice out of nowhere said "HEY DUMMY, you too can have a second shot at a bang up marriage! And it doesn't have to be with someone new--it can be with someone old--someone really old, like your hub. In fact it can be with your hub. But you have to want it!"

I sat dumb struck when a vision opened up before me. In it I saw my hub walking down the aisle in his black tuxedo with a twinkle in his bright blue eyes.

But who was he walking down the aisle with? It wasn't me.

It was . . . a potato!?

What is the universe trying to tell me?

Am I as intimate as a potato?

Maybe I could be a couch potato, just to change things up? Or a sweet potato?

My hub loves mashed potatoes--I wonder if he would love crashed potatoes.

Maybe I could be Mrs. Potato Head. She's got that sassy look in her eye.

And I've already got the red bag.

And look how she keeps her man smiling.

Point is, Susan made me think about second chances. Perhaps it's never too late to reinvent yourself a bit--take some chances, tell some secrets, make yourself more vulnerable, be more FUN!

Do I dare?

I know my hub lubs me, but maybe I should stick my foot out and trip him--make him fall for me again--pull him aside, pin him wriggling to the wall and whisper hoarsely, "You want some potato salad? Or how about some potato chips? I'll be the chip and you can be the dip."

Susan's post was a good reminder that I create my marriage.

And I am responsible for what I create.

That's potato power.