Saturday, October 31, 2009

Creativity in a pinch...

My wife and I had been debating about what to wear at a convention's Halloween party in a hotel 3 hours from home. We had forgotten to bring our costumes and neither one of us were happy about it. No point in driving home to get it, let alone visit Wal-Mart because we both knew that all the costumes were sold.

She suddenly had an idea and asked me how to turn that idea into reality. I listened to her carefully, interrupting occasionally to clarify what she meant...before I started brainstorming. I knew that despite the remote location of the hotel, I was bound to find something. I went off to look for a box big enough to fit me. Alas, it had rained all week here and all the boxes were wet & useless.

I had an eureka moment and I went to a gift shop. Sure enough, the shop had large blank posters for sale and I bought 4 of them along with certain markers and some glue. I went back to the room (my wife had left to attend more of the seminars at the convention) and I went to work. I googled for an image of a certain product and left the image up on my pager while I went to work.

Not an artist...or even somewhere in the neighborhood of having an ability to draw something more than stick figures, I decided that I would draw that image "upside down". I had read somewhere that when you draw something upside down, the logic part of your brain will give up and switch over to the creative part of your brain. Here goes nothing. I got the size of that canister down just right. I went to work on the girl in a raincoat, spilling something....and I got the rough look down...but how to do the spilling salt? You guessed it right...I was drawing Morton's Salt. I settled for dotting all along the spill path of the salt. Drew a little pile of salt. Done.

Then I went to work on my poster. Mine was far simpler...draw one line across the short side, about 2/3 of the way up, that's it...and color the bottom portion of the poster 2/3 black...and top portion 1/3 copper/light brown. Yep, I just made a poster for Duracell battery. What was the meaning of those two posters when pairing Morton's Salt and Duracell battery together? It took some people several minutes to figure it out while others got it right away. To help drive the point home, my wife's front poster showed a HUGE single letter of "A", paired with Morton's Salt poster on her back and I drew an ampersand on my front poster to go with the poster of Duracell battery on my back.

We won 1st prize for the most creative costume at the party, spelling out "Assault & Battery". ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween = Pranks

There is nothing like great pranks. My guy loves to prank me all.the.time. here is some good ones that should make you laugh! :)

Have a good Halloween everyone!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Meet Penny.

When socks and library cards go missing, Penny took them. If the lights get left on or doors get left open, Penny is the irresponsible one. She occasionally opens the garage door in the middle of the coldest winter night, allowing the water pump to freeze, and loves to snarf down the last piece of strawberry pie, leaving a trail of crumbs and a sticky, bright red mess on the countertop.

The Swine Flu hit our household this week, and Penny hid the thermometer. We heard her laughing about it early this morning, around 2:17am, as she went about rearranging the boxes in the attic above our bedroom. Then she silently made her way to my son's room and turned off his alarm clock. The alarm clock he swears he set before going to bed last night. He nearly missed the bus.

Penny never flushes.

Penny is dead.

This is her story:

Penny Antoinette Irene Nelson was born during the waning moments of an early-Autumn storm in 1809. The local historian will tell you, with that smug countenance of the rumormonger plastered on her pasty-white and wrinkled faces, that it was this storm that spawned the hellacious tornado which leveled the area's corn and soybean fields. It is that smug expression, with its tiny hint of a wink and an almost tangible plea begging the question, that leads one to inquire further for the rest of the story. And there is far more than leveled corn fields at the end of this story.

Or so I've been told.

It is reported that as the sun rose the next morning, struggling to penetrate the All-Saints'-Day-morning fog, the population of my small, mid-western town found their number decreased by fourteen. For found dead, lying buried in the rubble of their farmhouse on the southwest corner of Feightner Street, were the Strausbaugh family. The patriarch, one William Everett Strausbaugh, had been a shut-in for over a decade by this point. Years of plowing, planting, harvesting, and drinking had turned him into a cantankerous, scurrilous, hoary-headed bastard. But people will tolerate the reclusive where the scent of wealth is present, and Old Man Strausbaugh was loaded. Each year, as the new year began its slow unwinding, he would host elaborate parties, inviting the locals over to gather around his ample hearth fires and drink his homemade sour mash whiskey. And each year, he would smooth talk some young female house guest into visiting his bedchamber for some festivities of a more lascivious nature. In late January of 1809, his willing guest was one Abigail Nelson.

Abigail settled in the region after nineteen years of wandering the highways and byways at the side of her aging Gypsy mother, Rosalyn. She saw in the fields of corn a chance to finally settle down and start a new life, but funds for seed were hard to come by. On that cold and snow-swept evening, over steaming glasses of spiked cider, Old Man Strausbaugh had made promises to young Abigail Nelson. Promises that tickled her ears. Promises he never intended to keep. He planted a seed of a different sort. And when Abigail told him that she was going to bear him a child, he cut her loose in a vengeful, threat-laden rage.

Rosalyn was furious. All those years of wandering, with not a care in the world and no ill effects to speak of, and it took them settling down for things to turn sour. So she cursed Old Man Strausbaugh. Cursed him good. And with the dawning of that aforementioned midnight hour, he found himself aloft and flying, exhilarated as though in the rapture of a dream, and then smashed back upon the ground with a dark finality. The curse had taken not only his life, but the lives of his wife and twelve children. And in their stead, a new life was born. As the fog lifted, Rosalyn the Gypsy smiled a knowing smile and settled back in her rocking chair cradling her granddaughter.

The funny thing about curses is that they seldom play out in predictable ways. Indeed, Old Man Strausbaugh and his brood were dead, but Penny inherited a bit of his wild streak. Penny grew into a beautiful girl. I've seen the pictures, and they are haunting. She had the most penetrating eyes I've ever seen, and I imagine her smile could charm the proverbial ice from the proverbial Eskimo. And from reports I've read, she too, after years of sowing wild oats and no small amount of general mayhem amongst the locals, became reclusive. Each Halloween, beginning sometime after 1899, the year she locked herself inside and never came out again, neighbors would report hearing ear-splitting screams emanating from the attic of the mustard-yellow house on Washington Boulevard where Penny Nelson lived. And regardless of the weather conditions, great gales of wind would sweep down the street, generally around the midnight hour, bending the lilac bushes that surrounded the house low to the ground in their deafening wake.

And on the wind was the faintest smell of liquor.

In 1909, long after Rosalyn and Abigail had been carried away and the windows boarded up, from the inside, the house simply blew away. No body was ever found. The property, overgrown with crab grass and nettles, but with blossoming lilac bushes still firmly rooted around the perimeter, sat vacant until 2003. That's when I bought it. And it's where I built my house. Upon the advice of my neighbor, the local rumormonger historian, I opted for a cream-colored siding as opposed to mustard-yellow. And I stay away from drinking. But the wind has been picking up lately, blowing the leaves across the property and piling them up at the base of the lilac bushes. We decided to keep them. And the forecast for Halloween? Stormy . . .

[Brian, aka The Cheek of God, aka Tysdaddy, blogs here]

[photo credit]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I won't pay to be scared!

I will no longer pay to be scared. This includes all forms of entertainment,media, literature, live entertainment, etc. I have learned my lesson. The final straw came when I was in High School - the nail in the fake coffin if you will. However, I will begin when I was 10 or 12 at the "Great Minnesota Get Together" also known as the Minnesota State Fair.

The Minnesota State Fair is unlike any other State Fair. It is larger than my husbands home town, you can get more things on a stick than I cook on a regular basis, and it is set up in a permanent location in Falcon Heights/St. Paul, therefore it continues to build and get better and better each year.

On the State Fair grounds there is a haunted house. Now this is not just some rinky dink exhibit in a building stuck between the extenda-duster and the sham-wow guy. NO! This is an actual two story house. I can still picture it in my mind. It is painted gray with black trim, it has black rod iron gates around it and fog rolls through the yard all day and night, haunting music and noises echo down the block. (see picture stolen off from flickr below). So - the deal.

I was 10 or 12 and at the fair with my family - this was our vacation, every year, the fair for an extended a weekend and I loved it. This particular year my aunt had come with us. (My aunt is 2 years older than myself.) As always we were stationed outside of the haunted house watching people go in looking quite lovely in their late summer August tans laughing and joking as they entered and coming out shaking and as gray as the siding on the house. I am not sure what convinced us (my aunt and I- it was probably my aunt) that we could go in and fair better. Regardless, we believed it, and we convinced my aunt's neighbor to take us in. (this man would later be my boss, and recount detail for detail on a weekly basis when I worked for him....yeah it was that bad)

Alrighty then... recap for those of you I lost -----> it is myself (10-12 yrs old), my aunt (12-14 yrs old), a haunted house (that scared 250lb linebackers), a man who was 5' 6" maybe, and a crazy juvenile notion that we could do this. There isn't too much about the inside of the actual house I can recall - except that it was dark, and I was instantly scared because I went from a midday heat of around 85 degrees to a house that was air conditioned to around 63 degrees. It was dark - very dark very very very dark. Most time you couldn't see your hand in front of your face kind of darkness. (as a preteen darkness was still a fear), and because this is an actual house it stays up all year long, it is only used for the haunted house so they have done it up right. I specifically remember two things about the house- the first room and a long hallway what happened in between is all a blur.

Let's skip to upstairs: there was a long (or at least it seemed long) hallway with stalls - almost like in a stable. Metal bars flanked the doors and "creatures" were in each little cell. It was a very tight hallway and the "creatures" could grab you from both sides. The lights were on and off, flashing, strobing, and causing general havoc in my brain. The people would not be there and then they were, they would jump at us, grabbing hair and clothing and making all sorts of horrid sounds.

Charles the adult (who now that I think about it was probably our!) decided that we would wait at the end of this corridor for the people ahead of us to clear the hall and we would then run for it. Looking back I bet he was scared too, and why not? We had watched adult after adult come out quite shaken, what would make this guy different? Anyway - I remember this part so vividly because I was begging one of the workers as we were waiting for the hall to clear to just let us out - I knew there was an emergency exit up there I had seen various creatures; Dracula, mummies, werewolves etc standing on the exit outside smoking. No go - she wouldn't let us out - we had to keep going.

Charles was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt. I can still picture it- light blue with a Mickey that covered from neck over his round tummy and down to his waist. We were in a single file line and clinging to the back of his shirt like it was our life line. We waited for the people ahead of us and we made our break - literally running as best we could in our awkward line/group, clinging to his shirt, head ducked down and shuffling through the hall as we were grabbed, pawed, screamed at and generally frightened. Somehow we made it out, we saw the light of day again. We too came out looking like most everyone else - pale, shaken, blinking back the bright sun, disorientated, and with a new understanding - that I don't want to pay to be scared again.

Ohhhh and the funniest part of the story is that dang Mickey Mouse shirt. Due to the clinging, grabbing, hanging on, and pulling that the shirt endured from us young girls, it was more than a bit stretched out. It hung off this guy's shoulders - Mickey now made it down to almost his knees and Mickey himself looked about a good 10 pounds heavier. Oh my, that is the part that later - much later - we were able to laugh at.

I won't even get into the time I went to another haunted house, this one outside, and I beat the characters with a vacuum cleaner hose, literally in tears... yeah I won't get into that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ghost Story

To this day I can’t explain what actually happened that night, but not a Halloween has gone by since that I haven’t thought about it.

I headed out the door that night dressed in my dad’s overcoat and a cheap felt fedora. A plastic cap gun stuck in the pocket was the finishing touch on my detective costume. As usual, I had planned to meet some kids at dusk for trick-or-treating but was feeling a bit uneasy about it. We had all grown up together, but I had started to feel disconnected from them. Even though we were 11, cliques were beginning to form at school and I was finding myself on the opposite end of the popularity spectrum. Nonetheless, Halloween night was tradition and not even arbitrary social standings were going to tarnish that.

However trick-or-treating wasn’t completely on the minds of my friends that night. They were all armed with eggs and shaving cream, ready for a night of mischief. I wasn’t happy about this. I wasn’t interested in egging innocent people’s houses, I was focused on going door to door and getting enough candy to take down an army of diabetics. But not wanting to ostracize myself, I went along with the group.

We meandered through the neighborhood, knocking on a few doors here and there. Some dollops of shaving cream were left on the hood of a car. An egg or two was thrown carelessly into the street. It was a pretty lackadaisical night of mischief. It felt as if my friends were going through the motions of what they thought they should be doing instead of what they really wanted to do. After a while, the thought of a bag full of candy propelled me to to what I knew I should not, venture off on my own.

The areas in between the houses in my neighborhood were covered with thick woods. I was as familiar with them as any kid who lived there. A woodchip-covered path ran down the center and we walked it each morning to get to school. But this night was cloudy and I lost my bearings. I ended up in a clearing where a new house was being built. There was barely any light as the moon was not visible and there were no streetlights yet.

I wandered through the frame of the house, cautious not to step on a loose board or nails, when suddenly I heard a whooshing sound. Before my brain could tell my feet that it was probably just a cat and it was okay to move, the area was suddenly bathed in a brilliant white light that made my eyes sting. The whooshing got louder and turned into a piercing wail. This chaos only lasted for a moment. Then it was gone and I was plunged back into the darkness of the night.

I dropped my bag and got out of there as fast as I could.

I ran through the woods. I ran without stopping. I burst through another clearing and found myself back on the main road. I heard my friends close by. Like me, they had given up on mischief and were taking advantage of the last few minutes of trick-or-treating. I didn’t tell them what had just happened. They ridiculed me enough as it was. Halloween night was soon over.

The next day, I confided in my friend Jay* who convinced me to take him to the house. The construction site was surprisingly easy to find. The bones of the house didn’t feel nearly as ominous in the afternoon sun. In the corner where I had been standing the night before was my bag of candy, lying just as I had dropped it and fully intact. Careful inspection showed that there were no lights anywhere in the area. It didn’t even look like it had been wired for power yet. There was nothing we could see that could have made that light or that noise.

That was the last year I went trick-or-treating as a kid. By next Halloween I felt like I was a little too old for it, and frankly I was still bothered by what had happened the previous year.

I never believed in ghost stories before that night. There were dozens of rumors about how parts of the woods in our neighborhood were haunted, but I never paid that much attention to them. They always seemed like stupid stories made up to scare us kids from wandering too far from our houses. But after that Halloween night, I couldn’t be so sure.

--Daddy Geek Boy

*The person is real, the name is not.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Werewolf? There wolf. (My scary halloween story. Ooooooo.)

My first warning should have been when my date told me our evening was going to be a "surprise". In my experience, surprising me rarely ends well for all parties involved.

But, I was young - 19 or 20, I think - and he was a fun and romantic guy intent on creatively wooing me. So, I thought to myself, "Hey, self, try being spontaneous for once! It'll be fun, right? Right!

- dundundun-

My only hint of what was to come before he picked me up that chilly October evening was when he told me to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.

Still, when he proceeded to take us far out of town into the sparsely populated countryside, I have to admit my inner monologue was starting to sound something like this:

Ummm. Okay. This isn't scary or anything. I'm sure he's totally NOT a serial killer taking me to a secluded spot to chop me into tiny pieces. But, just in case I'm wrong, let's just examine the handle on this car door in the event that I may need to jump out and run for my life.

So, I have to admit I was just a little relieved when we turned a corner and came upon a big lighted parking lot out there in the middle of nowhere.

Of course, that relief turned to dread again when I realized we were at a "Haunted Forest".

Now, here's something you need to know about your Auntie Zen, children: I don't do scary.

I've never worn a scary Halloween costume, I don't watch horror movies; I only rarely read scary books (and then it's only during daylight hours and I usually follow it with a Disney movie chaser to get the ick out); I'd rather roast s'mores than listen to a spooky campfire story; and I've been known to totally freak myself out a la the Blair Witch Project over unidentified noises and shadows in the dark. (By the way, the person who forced me to watch the Blair Witch Project - I'm still not speaking to him.) For heaven's sake, I slept with a night light until I was ... oh, wait, I still sleep with a night light!

And I most definitely DO NOT do Haunted Houses.

So, yeah, you get the idea ... having scary things jump out at me in close quarters is pretty high on my things-I-never-want-to-do list.

My enthusiasm was for this "surprise" date was flagging just a bit at this point.

But, hey, I'm a trooper. I can do this! It will be fun! Right? Right!

I was pondering whether or not I might have preferred the "So I Dated an Axe Murderer" scenario when said date grabbed me by the hand and enthusiastically led me right past the kiddie games and the hay ride and the corn maze and straight to the "Haunted Forest".

Oh. Hell.

Okay. Pull it together, you. Look at the little kids going in there in front of you! If they can do it, you can do it.

Just about then, the screams started drifting out of the thicket of trees.

"Um, so, are you sure you don't want to go do the bean bag toss or bob for apples or ... " I started.

"Oh, don't be scared," my date was the picture of manly support. "I'll be right there with the you the whole time."

More screams. And now, growling noises.

Ohmigawd-ohmigawd-ohmigawd. Self, we do NOT want to go in there, right? Right!

"Or we could go make out!" I said, desperate now.

That almost did it. He paused, but then laughed and handed our tickets to the nice witch at the entrance. "Don't worry, it's just good fun."

Famous last words.

Okay, self, suck it up. You can do this. Oh, and self, you should maybe not squeeze your date's hand so hard. I think his fingers are turning blue. And try not to think about the dark branches that seem to be reaching out to grab you... or the dark, tight space closing in on you ... or that rustling noise in the bushes ahead ... or that sound like heavy breathing near your ear.

I was pressed up against my date so tightly at this point that you couldn't see light between us - even if there had been light to see. Which there wasn't. Because it was freakin' dark in there. Did I mention I don't like the dark?

Okay, breathe, you can do this. Right? ... Right? Um ...

I honestly could not tell you a single thing about the first 1/3 of that haunted forest, except to say that it scared the bejeebus out of me. I've blocked out all the traumatic details.

But I do know that I was damn-near hyperventilating by the time the werewolf jumped us.

We were coming around a corner when the werewolf leaped out of the bush right next to me - meaty arms raised, sharp claws reaching, pointy canines bared, a deep throaty growl on his bloodthirsty lips ...

Yeah, it was exactly like that.

What the hell do you think I did? I shrieked like a little girl and jumped about two feet backwards - tripping over an exposed tree root in the process and landing on my ass - but not before I heard an ominous *snap* from the general direction of my ankle.

My date honestly did not believe me at first when I told him I was pretty sure I'd broken my ankle.

But, he jerry-rigged a (pretty decent!) field splint and helped the EMTs carry me basket style out of the thick trees. Then he followed the (probably unnecessary) ambulance to the nearest emergency room. And he sat with me in the exam room and entertained and distracted me while the (definitely necessary) pain meds kicked in.

Ahhh, drugs are good. Everything will be okay, now right? Right.

I still think he only really believed my ankle was actually broken when the doctor showed us the x-rays. But he was still very chivalrous and attentive during the whole evening.

Especially when the werewolf showed up again.

Yep, the young man who played the werewolf at the Haunted Forest actually stopped by the emergency room when he got off of work to check on me. Wasn't that sweet?

I gave him a hug. Of course, I was all hopped up on those really good pain meds by then, so I'm pretty sure I was hugging nurses, doctors, x-ray techs, and anybody else who said a kind word to me at that point.

I think my date was just a teensy bit jealous when the werewolf - who was kinda cute without his mask - gave me his phone number and asked me to call him to let him know that I was okay. (Please note me NOT making the obvious dogs-fighting-over-a-bone joke here. You're welcome.)

For their part, the Haunted Forest folks sent me a bright orange t-shirt that said "I survived the [redacted] Haunted Forest". (Later, I corrected it by adding "barely" with a Sharpie.) They also sent me some free passes to come back.


Believe it or not ... this is not the weirdest date I've ever been on. Or even the only date to end in medical treatment.

Even more amazing? There was a third date with Haunted Forest guy.

But that's another story ...


How about you? Have a good haunted house (or forest or whatever) story? Well then gather 'round our virtual campfire and do tell ...

Friday, October 23, 2009


I hung with the Holy Rollers growing up. So I spent many evenings at revivals instead of doing my homework. And it seldom failed that the evangelist prancing around the stage - usually corpulent, sweating, and shouting - had a smoking hot wife perched on the front pew.

So I set my sights high. If that dude could bag a hottie, so could I. I already had the fat part down. My third grade teacher told me so after I topped the scales at 110 pounds. Unlike those freaks in the Gatorade commercials, I could sweat without lifting a finger. And while I wasn't necessarily loud, I possessed an extra helping or two of charisma. Like Steve Martin's character in Roxanne, I could self-deprecate like a pro for the sake of lightening the mood, able and willing to acknowledge that, yes, there was indeed an elephant in the room, and he's a wild and crazy guy! Like Garfield up there, in all his grand glory, I was fine with being the biggest guy in the room, eating lasagna with both hands and laying on the charm. I was John Candy. Dom Deluise. A splash of Louie Anderson when people got belligerent. While everyone else progressed, squeezing themselves into whatever fashion statement was hip at the time, I rewashed my Zubas and XXXL Lou Albano Hawaiian shirts and made my own statement:

This is me, so deal with it.

And finally, after years of playing the shoulder-to-cry-on role for numerous hotties, I landed one of my own . . .

Very Ron Jeremy, no? And, believe it or not, it wasn't the kickass eyebrows that did it for her. Instead, it was my prowess at the only collegiate intramural sport I ever played . . . root-beer-float chugging. I took home the gold, and the girl.

In the beginning, I imagine it wasn't easy for her. I was the obnoxious kid with a new toy, fiddling with all the parts, trying to take it apart to see what makes it tick. For I had no idea that someone existed who wasn't willing to take me at face value. She demanded that which I had always felt incapable of giving. She held my hand like she was honored to do so. Kissed me with her eyes closed, like she meant it. And in public! She was never content to hide me away. I figured that's how it would work once someone like her decided to go deep with someone like me. That they'd talk of love and respect, but display it only when we were out of sight. I knew in my heart, for so long I just knew, that I was no prize, worthy of being put on display for all the world to see. Not without the act, anyway. People accepted the act. Yet I had become the entertainer who left the roar of the crowd behind only to settle down alone in the back of the bus.

She saw something different. She looked past all the sophomoric shenanigans, beneath all the boisterous bombasting, and through the worn-thin fibers of my one-size-fits-all Bon Jovi concert t-shirt, and saw a heart ready to care. To love. To unconditionally give that one thing which had been withheld for so long.

On an overcast June day in 1991, we exchanged vows. I easily outweighed her by a couple hundred pounds. But she still said I do.

I continued to play the entertainer for over a decade. After all, I reasoned, she may like me, but there are others that need to be put at ease around the fat guy. Eventually, I grew tired of the role. Even a fat suit wears thin after so much wear and tear.

So a couple years after the millennium, I went under the knife and had an open Roux-en-Y. That's a gastric bypass for the skinny laymen out there. Two hundred pounds - a good-sized high school linebacker - have gone missing, and we aren't reporting the theft to the local authorities. Now we wear each others clothes. Gratefully, mostly sweatshirts. We take long walks where I don't get winded. We go out in public and no one stares. And we make love without all that awkward squashing.

Body image? Even as I spent all that time writing my own punch lines, I hated the way I looked. I come from a long line of big eaters, diabetics, and wearers of pants with expandable waistbands. At my heaviest, my waist size was easily double my inseam. That was who we were, and we just had to learn to live with it. Even as the hatred of it diminished the soul.

My wife taught me to forget about the weight. It just didn't matter. And the funny thing? When something doesn't matter anymore, it becomes unnecessary . . .

Brian- Cheek of God

[top photo credit]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My body, My relationship...

(This is one of those post that you hit publish and you feel open and naked to the world because you have just revealed something completely personal).

"You need to stop putting yourself down. You look great, you should be thankful for what you DO have." (At this point in my mind I roll my eyes and think "yea right I look great, do they want for me to compliment them back?")

I get told this

I really
really wish I could.

I wish I could make my mind see what other people see. I wish I loved my body as much as my husband does. I
WISH I didn't compare myself to people on magazines because in my mind I KNOW it is the expertise of someone who is really good at Photoshop.

I wish I was okay with how my body looked.

And I do go through phases where I give myself the right affirmations every morning… that if I tell myself enough that I am beautiful and Gosh Darnit people
like me my body that I will actually believe it, but those are short lived and I go back to seeing my body the way I see it.

Image taken from HERE

You have to know that I naturally come by a very competitive personality. In this respect, the respect of body image, I'm ALWAYS comparing myself to others. I can blame some of it on media, showing us women that are extra skinny but have great boobs or women that have these shapely bodies and NO cottage cheese or fat to speak of. Sure it may start with that. Maybe it was that in middle school I was put on fat pills by my Mom, I could blame her for it, but I begged her to let me.

If you were to ask me about my body growing up, this is a good example of what I might say to you:

"A short history I grew up dancing. I was always taller than most of the girls. So therefore my body frame was bigger. I have always had a waist, which to me, made me think my hips were to big. I just needed to lose those last '5 pounds'. Then I started my period and on came what REALLY is described as hips and boobs. I hated my breasts! I was a dancer and not the type of dancer where big breasts were beneficial! So I would double up on bra's and sucked in a bit more.

Then my freshmen year of high school I had ANOTHER growth spurt and then I was too skinny! All legs. And my hips disappeared. I had NO shape. I wasn't happy about that either! I remember the next year after I made the high school dance team we had a summer swimming party and I went to go flip off the diving board (I also dabbled in gymnastics) and one of the Senior girls yelled, 'Get some meat on your legs!' I took that as the worst kind of criticsm. I was so self conscious of my legs after that. You see, no matter HOW much I ate I never could gain weight because I danced all.of.the timw, early in the morning, after school, sometimes during school. It was my life. My short shorts didn't look as good on me because I had chicken legs and my friends had these nice shapely legs.,"

I wasn't big enough, I wasn't small enough. I was and am never satisfied. I don't know if I ever will be.

My husband gave me a few years of reprieve. I have never felt so beautiful as the time from when I first met him until I had my first child. I mean, I got attention from guys growing up, but I always looked at them as friendships and couldn't imagine them thinking of me as anything but a friend. He made me
FEEL beautiful, I don't know why it was different, but it was, at first. He made me feel of worth the way I was. Ya know that song by Jessica Simpson, "With You" that is exactly how I felt and I rode on his confidence of me for a while.

It was really good for our relationship. The sexier I felt the more he "
got some". It was incredible to feel that way.

Then I had my first child. I lost my sense of sexiness. I felt huge and even though I am one of the girls that says, "
I LOVED pregnancy" because I loved the energy and how I felt. I did not however, feel sexy, especially when the stretch marks started making an appearance (I do have to say that before I was pregnant I didn't have stretch marks, anywhere...sigh)… which was a downer on our sex life, and that happens to be the part of our relationship that my husband really needs. Nine months he endured, "not feeling it baby" or "maybe after the baby is born". I was NOT one of those women that pregnancy HELPED those hormones AT.ALL.

After the baby it was worse. I didn't slim right down like I should have. I'm sure it was those cravings during pregnancy of late night Wendy's runs and those kids meals I got. Either way, I was not back to my pre baby self and it effected me greatly and my desire to do anything when it came to bedroom play.

For someone that already had a hard time thinking herself beautiful before stretch marks and weight gain it was worse after all of that.

It effects our marriage because I'm always saying something about it. He's a guy, he doesn't care, he still says I'm beautiful--but it irritates him to hear me complain about it. As much as I know this, I can't help it. I try to hold my tongue, but when we are in bed being intimate and he touches me somewhere where I can "feel" the fat… I freeze up. I hate it. Instant mood killer for me.

Even when I complain about it he never says, "
well DO something about it" or "You can't say that and then eat that snickers bar fatty!"

My husband can tell me how beautiful I am, how sexy he thinks I am, he can adore my body with his mouth and hands, but if I can't see it… if I'm not feeling that way… it doesn’t matter, he can compliment me until h blue in the face but my mind still says, "
Well he has to say that."

About 4 years ago I got sick of talking about it and decided it was time to do something about it. I began working out. That did
LOADS of good. Each pound that came off… came a little more sex drive and in turn helped our relationship, but you undo years and years of horrible body image in four years time.

I have realized that each time I start to say a negative
that I should turn around and make it a positive. I try to push the thoughts aside and not say as much out loud because I have a daughter and I want to be a good example for her. I don’t want her to struggle with her body image as I have. I want her to see a strong women who eats right and is active who feels blessed for having a body that can do that kind of stuff. So that is what I have been attempting to do and be… for myself, for my relationship, but mostly for her.

Like an addict it is an everyday struggle. It isn't easy for me. Everyday I get up and make myself be active. Everyday I am presented with choices on what to eat and I try to choose the healthy stuff…
but sometimes I slip up. Everyday I see something that I hate about my body, that if "this was gone" then I would be happy… and I try to push it away before it becomes a full-eating-away-at-me thought. I realize that I HAVE to do this everyday for the rest of my life.

Because old habits are hard to break and in silence I still can never measure up.

So does your body image effect your relationship? Does it effect all relationships or just the one with your partner? What are YOUR suggestions on how to work through years and years of bad body image?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Group Therapy--My boyfriends best friend

Welcome to Group Therapy

Today's question was pretty interesting because I know MY take on it.

"My boyfriend has a best friend that I'm not charmed by. Not only is it a SHE but a pretty she. They text or email or talk everyday yet when I try to tell him that it's bugging me he just brushes it off and says, 'It's nothing, we are friends, good friends... but just friends. Nothing sexual.' I found out that he went to her for advice on stuff to make things better for me in bed?! Is that even appropriate? If I'm honest, she is a nice person, and they were friends before he knew me and I'm not neglected because of her, but it just doesn't seem right?

So my questions are: Am I overreacting? If not, how or can I ask him to scale back on his time he gives to her?


I'm a hater"

Okay write in comments your feelings and suggestions for, "I'm a hater", feel free to comment anonymous if you feel so inclined. (BTW, I love the Dear Abby like names you guys are coming up with, you are cracking me up!)

***Have any questions or topics you want addressed? Email us at realworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com or blokthoughts @ gmail dot com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Isn't he cute? Or is he just irritating?

Recently I read someone say in one of their blog posts that what they once thought was endearing in their husband, quickly became annoying after the first year. I see that with Duke for sure!

I remember he used to cross his eyes when he came in for a kiss. I would giggle and he begged me to tell him why I was laughing at him. I told him I couldn't tell him because then he might stop doing it. Now, I tell him to stop because he looks stupid and he just laughs and crosses them so hard his irises disappear...sigh.

He likes to play with my hair. ALL.THE.TIME! I used to think this was sweet, he would twirl my hair until we fell asleep... but as the years have passed, he has become more aggressive, twisting and flipping and then pulling the knots out. He has been the recipient of more than a few groin punches when he loses control of the twirling. His mom says he did this as a child to his own hair and she would find knots of hair all over his pillow in the morning. WTH? Neurosis!

As I sit here trying to think of some things that are sweet and endearing about him now that we have been married over 16 years, I have to pause and really ponder it. Is there anything? Do I pay enough attention to that that stuff anymore? Or does everything get lost in the shuffle of our busy day to day lives? It took me a while to realize that here are things that are unique about him that make me love him more.

I love the way he is extremely affectionate, although because I am the polar opposite, I admit there are times I brush him off. He loves to drown the boys in hugs and kisses and refuses to let them brush him off. The 13 year old even knows it is best to just succumb to his bear hugs and cheek pinches.

I love how he pulls faces for every picture. It makes for great blogging photos!

I love his nicknames for everything and everyone. "Chief" started within the first year of our marriage and both of the boys had their nicknames with 24 hours of their birth. I would like to think this is endearing and not just because he is too out of it to remember peoples names. We have a neighbor that mopes around like he has lost his best friend all the time...Duke calls him "Knuckle Dragger".

I am grateful that Shelle gave me the chance to think about this. It would be a shame if I just continued on with the craziness and forgot to remember the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Otherwise, I would just continue to complain that his eyebrow hairs are too long, farts as soon as he gets in bed instead of in the bathroom when he was just in there, or how he "snorts" way too loud when he has a head cold and refuses to blow the crap out rather than stuffing it back inside his head.

What is endearing about your spouse and is it the same things that originally attracted you to him/her?

Hop over and see our other "endearing" qualities over at my bloghouse!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The sum of the parts...

What little moments or things does your significant other do that you just love or that reminds you WHY you love them. Like do they bite their lip? Do they sing in the shower? Do they surprise you with fun notes on your trips away?

What I love quickly about the little things of hers...the way she pays attention to details. The way she holds her fork when she cuts her food. The way she smiles. The way she thinks on a difficult subject. The way she changes her mind on a Halloween costume frequently.

What I love in terms of habits is her need to sleep draped across me. Her need to fondle me every night before falling asleep. Her need to play with her rings. Her need to chew on her fingernails (now greatly reduced).

I love how she feeds her addictions. Must have a book. Must watch an indie movie. Must see a Russell Crowe movie. Must have a cup of coffee or tea.

What I love the most is her perseverance to try and actually surprise me, which is RARE. Drives her nuts when she fails to surprise me and drives her equally nuts that I can and do surprise her consistently. In fact, I surprised her in a card game called "Liars" yesterday.

Her birthday is this Thursday and I know she is gonna be VERY surprised to find out what I did to her license plate holder along with her birthday gifts. She's a Firefly diehard fan and her new license plate holder says on the top, "A leaf on the wind" and on the bottom, "Wash is my pilot".

All the little things...makes her whole as a woman whom I love very much. :)

So why don't you tell us about little things your spouse does?

Nolens Volens--"Welcome to my Secret Spot" (Not Safe For Work-NSFW-or your house if you're Shelle :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sometimes apologies piss me off.

When I first told Shelle that I was interested in providing a guys point of view for this blog, one reservation I expressed was that I might have to hold back a little bit when discussing certain things that directly concern Veronica and could be construed as speaking negatively about her. When she and I first started blogging, we pledged to each other that we would not air our differences or disrespect the other on our blogs. Any time I write something about her that she might perceive as negative, I’ll ask her to read it first. I hope you’ll like what I like, but not at the risk of disturbing the domestic bliss I enjoy.

I’m not saying that I’m holding back at all in addressing this topic, but since it’s my first time contributing to Real World: Venus vs. Mars, I wanted to put that out there so that you understand why I might sometimes use general examples. Okay then….

Apologies are tricky things. Given too readily and I don’t think it’s sincere, do the same ‘thing’ over and over again, apologizing each time, and it’ll just piss me off. Very rarely is Veronica reluctant to apologize and at times apologizes when one isn’t called for. A benign example that actually happens in our house might go like this:

Me: hey honey, there are no more cans soda left in the fridge
Veronica: I’m sorry, I should have noticed and put some more in
Here is how it could have gone:
Me: hey honey, there are no more cans soda left in the fridge
Veronica: Well, you’re the soda drinker and took the last can. You
should have noticed and done something about it. You dumb ass…

Sometimes, she is too freakin’ nice, and lets me get away with crap. I think she was infused with an over-abundance of good old Catholic guilt as a kid growing up in a community with a large Jewish population. If anyone knows guilt, it’s Catholics and Jews. Even worse, her mother is a Brooklyn Eye-talian who went to Catholic school
for 12 years. The woman is a master with guilt. Veronica is a peace-maker and often works to placate others in order to maintain domestic tranquility. Me? Not so much. I hold stuff in, then get pissed off and blow up. So perhaps it’s partly my fault that she apologies so readily.

On serious matters when an apology really is appropriate, she is good, very good, at letting me blow off steam, then approaching me and offering a sincere apology. I hope I do the same for her when I need to. And believe me, there are times when I need to….

So, dear readers, how about you and your spouse, what do you think?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

"I apologize"... "now do you want to get it on?"

It’s funny; the things that you think you might struggle with when you first get married. For me, I thought it would be money. Duke was a tight wad, always paid his bills months before they were due (he was a bachelor for 10 years before we met). I grew up believing that debt was just a part of grown up life and that bills would always be there whether they were paid late or on time. I braced myself early for how I would handle the arguments, took on the bills right from the beginning so that I would have some control over where the money was spent. After our first month of married life, it was clear that this was not going to be our biggest obstacle by a long shot.

I remember our first argument. We had been married about 6 weeks. We had never had an argument in our short courtship and engagement, so this was definitely new territory for us.

He came home from work (we lived in a small apartment) and I had lost my job so I was depressed and wallowed in my sorrows most days. He walked in and asked why I hadn’t cleaned the house while he was a work. I was taken back to say the least. I explained that he made the mess just as I had, and we would both be doing the housecleaning. He then proceeded to play the “I am out making the money” card and I started to spontaneous combust all over that tiny apartment. How could he say that? How could he make me feel worse about the fact that I was trying to get a good job and hadn’t found one? We screamed, I locked myself in the bathroom, and he left. When he came back a few hours later, I was ready to talk about it, say I was sorry and make up. This is when I learned that this was not the way he had learned to handle disagreements.

He was a grudge holder and did not let things roll off his back. When he feels wronged, or his feelings are hurt, or even when he knows he is the one in the wrong, he climbs inside a hole and pouts. I remember going in to the bedroom to talk to him and he would not even speak to me. I told him I was sorry for getting angry, that I was over sensitive about not having employment and he just sat there watching T.V. like I wasn’t there. To me, this was worse than the original argument and a slap in the face! How can you truly love someone and not forgive them? Who wants to harbor feelings of ill will towards their spouse? I had always worked hard in my relationships with friends and family, to mend fences as soon as possible so that we could move on and not hold feelings of discontentment. This was the first time I had dealt with someone who would not do the same. I immediately thought this meant our marriage was doomed! He must not love me the way I love him.

Since then, we have worked through these differences and while neither of us completely changed the way we handle conflict, he has slowly changed his ability to go days with the punishing silent treatment, and he is now able to say I am sorry…sort of and sometimes.

We have talked about why he is the way he is, and he admits that this was the way he was raised. His family held grudges against each other and NEVER admitted they were wrong, even though they knew deep down that they were. He has extended family that, to this day haven’t spoken for 20 years and they don’t even remember what the original argument was over. My family was just the opposite. We were taught to “fake it until you make it” everything is fine even if it isn’t, just to keep the peace (this creates different problems and therefore, isn't perfect either).

For years, I would just say I was sorry, even though I knew I had done nothing wrong, just so we wouldn’t argue. After a few years of that, I had had enough and was ready for him to grow up a bit and take his licks like a man. I decided to play the game he had taught me, where I gave him the silent treatment until he finally gave in and asked what I wanted to do to fix the problem. At times he would even dare ask if I was ready to apologize! This would open dialogue for me to at least start to show him how much better it feels to forgive and forget. Sometimes, after an argument, I still actually walk him through an apology. It is like a painful thing for him to say the words “I am sorry.” I think it takes a bit of his soul every time he says it (or at least he acts like it does). I am also trying to show him that it is very easy to detect an empty apology, or just someone who is going through the motions in order to gain something (like sex for instance). This is a total no, no, and gets you nowhere.

We’ve been married over 16 years and while it certainly isn’t our only issue, it has been definitely one of our biggest hurdles in keeping our marriage happy and healthy.

Are you and your spouse different when it comes to how and when you like to “kiss and make up”? Or are you lucky enough not to have this as one of your ‘marital obstacles’?


Come see me at (Hiding from the Kids) where you will read first hand, our other bits of craziness and how we cope with them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Group Therapy - My spouse is addicted to W.O.W.

Welcome to Group Therapy.

Some advice is needed.

"Hello. I have a spouse that is addicted to World Of Warcraft, or WOW. If you don't know what that is, it is a computer game where you make your own world, build up your players, get into groups, play online with these groups, then fight to defend your world? Or something similar to that, I'm not really quite sure. He has to pay a subscription to be a part of it all online and he does. He stays up for HOURS playing this video game. It's insane to me.

We have only been married for a few years, and have no children. He's great about giving me time at night, most of the time. We do stuff around the house, watch tv together or go out to dinner or hang with friends, but as soon as it is time to go to bed he leaves me in the bedroom and he goes off into the computer room to play this GAME!

At first I use to sit and watch him play for a little bit. He made me a player, but I just don't get it or can't get into it.

He will play well into the night and often I will wake up in the early early morning and roll over to see that he is still up. He doesn't get a lot of sleep. And I'm worried someday that he's going to crack or something. Also I have noticed that lately it is earlier and earlier that he is wanting to play AND he's gotten to, I guess, a level where one night I suggested we go to a movie and he wanted to post pone it for another night because he HAD to get online because him and his group had planned some kind of battle or something?

You have to know that my husband is a sports guy really. He plays all of them and watches all of them. A few of his poker friends introduced him to this game and the more he gets into it the more I'm being put on the back burner.

I feel like it is a problem in our marriage right now, I've tried to talk to him about it but he compares it to me blogging or watching television, as just being an activity for him something HE would rather be doing. We are trying to have kids and I don't want this to be an issue when the time comes where we do have children.

I don't know what to do. I don't know if I'm over reacting and just being to needy. I have read online that this game has caused people to get a divorce! I can truly see that and it scares me.

Any advice for me would be appreciated." -- Frustrated W.O.W. Wife

Okay everyone. I decided to link up to the World of Warcraft community and the definition from Wiki about it HERE.

Discuss in comments and give your advice, WOW Wife will be reading your comments and maybe piping in. If you search the internet, like I did, you will realize this is actually really an issue for a lot of people! W.O.W is quite the big deal! And feel free to comment anonymously.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can I twist your definition of Romance???

Romance: How important is it? Do you hate that you have to make an effort to be romantic? Does your spouse expect too much? Do you not get enough romance in your marriage... is your significant other romantically retarded?

Alright these are the questions posed to me by Shelle. I am to write the female perspective on this topic. My perspective has drastically changed on this topic. It has changed because I took the time to figure out the male perspective (I know.... I'm ducking) Ok, so here is what I used to think: He doesn't care enough to take the time to be romantic toward me. IF he truly cared he would plan from the sitter to the activity to the fabulous gift of xyz (fill in your dream item here).

The one truly classic, text book "romantic" thing my dear husband does for me is this- every Valentine's Day he gives me the same thing. It costs him no money, only a bit of time and a piece of paper. He has been doing this for over 12 years now. He makes a top 10 list of the reasons he loves me. It is a perfect gift and one I look forward to. I love looking back on these lists because they serve as a history, a passing of time, a tale of what was going on that year in our lives.

Past that, by definition of "classic romance" my husband is indeed a dud! But, this may shock you. I don't care. It does not bother me. Because I (like other things in my life) have bucked the system and I no longer believe in the "classic" definition of romance. Here is why:

My understanding of romance drastically changed after I read this book. I was floored by what I read and I asked my husband and several other men it this information was true ... come to find out the information in this book is indeed accurate - it states this: "men are unromantic clods" the general summary is this: "Actually most men enjoy romance (sometimes in different ways) and want to be romantic- but hesitate because they doubt they can succeed." It goes on to say in this book that a man's idea of romance is far far different from a woman's idea. Where a woman's idea is candlelight, music, dinner, one on one time etc. a man's idea could be fishing.

Women out there hold your tongues, do not close your minds quite yet. Think about it. A man wants you around and wants to do what he likes. How hard is that to consider. Women are the ones who are being clods if we think men are digging the $50 a piece meal (when all our man is doing is adding up how many hours they had to work to pay for it) then truly it is our faults! Men consider spending time with their mates to be a form of romance. It does not matter if it is hunting, fishing, shoveling dirt, playing a video game, or eating at the top of the Stratosphere in Vegas - spending time doing what they enjoy - that is a definition of romance.

I will leave you with one example: October 3rd was my hubby's birthday. I surprised him by bringing all four kids to my parent's house for the evening (a rare thing around here). We spent the evening geo-caching in the rain and the mud. I wore jeans and a sweatshirt, boots a work coat and a stocking hat. This activity requires lots of back road driving around here so we had time to talk and listen to the radio and relax in general. At a few of the stops to find the "geocaches" I had a beer and by the last stop (which was a public lake access) I was dancing on the dock with the radio blaring while he tromped through the woods looking for the treasure. From there we went to a back woods bar and had supper - prime rib and baked potatoes - a very manly meal but drop dead delicious! We then went home and finished celebrating his bday (*wink wink, nudge) and went to bed by 9:30pm. He said it was the best date ever. Why? because we did what he enjoyed and had fun doing it. We only spent $35 for supper, I brought beer from home that I threw in a cooler in the back, and probably about $10 in gas.

Really, if I think about it, I had more fun doing that than I would have at a classy restaurant, in uncomfortable clothing, spending more money than we could afford to all in the name of romance. Who sets what is romantic anyway? Why does it have to be wine and candles? (I hate wine and scented candles make me gag)

After learning what men consider romantic, that part of our relationship has been better. If I want dinner, movie, music, kids gone, hotel, hot "cuddling" under the sheet, etc then I had best plan it. He goes along with it and we have fun. But, if I want him to plan a date, I need to be willing to accept his definition of fun and romance.

Well what do you think? Always happy to talk about it in comments!

Picture of Dearest and Youngest geocaching

Monday, October 12, 2009

Son of a Romantic

“Let’s get your mom some flowers.” It was this simple sentence, uttered by my dad, that began my informal education in romance. I was nine years old, and we were on our way home from an afternoon of errands. My dad stopped at a roadside flower stand, picked out a bunch and delivered them home to my mom. There were big smiles and generous hugs for the both of us.

Over the years, my dad taught me a lot about romance. Besides the valuable lesson in floriography, he instructed me to open car doors for dates, always pay the check and not to be shy about giving them my arm anywhere we walked. I witnessed my dad stop at the roadside flower stand many times. He would send my mom love notes. In both direct and indirect ways, my dad taught me how valuable a spontaneous romantic gesture could be.

A lot of my father’s playful, romantic side has been sewn into the fabric of my marriage. One of the first impressions that WonderWife™ says I made on her was the fact that I showed up at her door for our first date carrying a big bouquet of sunflowers. I try not to let too much time go by without a love note here or a text message there. With WonderWife™ it’s easy.

I can’t imagine being with somebody that didn’t stir my inner romantic side. Being romantic shouldn’t be a chore. Nor does it have to be done with big sweeping gestures. This is where TV and movies have steered us wrong. A room lit by 100 candles may be romantic, but, as I found out one night, it requires a lot of work to set them up and light them. Not to mention the time it took to blow them out later. Yes, candles are nice, but a simple note hidden in a conspicuous place can work just as well. The one that I left for WW™ in our kitchen pantry is still hanging there three years after I wrote it.

Romance is about surprise. It’s turning off the lights and throwing in a CD one evening. It’s having a picnic on the front lawn every once in a while, instead of dinner in front of the tube. Romance is most powerful when it’s unexpected. The best flowers you can give are on a random Tuesday, to let your partner know you’re thinking about them even during the ordinary, mundane times.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m Casanova. Nor am I implying that I am the most innovative romantic out there. There are sometimes long stretches that go by where the romance is pushed to the back by dirty diapers, doing the dishes or a new episode of Lost. But I’m wired in a way where if I can’t remember the last romantic gesture I’ve made, something in me clicks and puts a new one into motion. And there are some simple, proven gestures that always go over well.

To the ladies out there: romance doesn’t just fall to the guys. The same lessons apply. The fellas like a little attention as well. Everyone in a relationship should realize that romance doesn’t take a lot of effort, just a little bit of thought and planning.

I’m lucky to be the son of a romantic. The lessons from my dad have made a strong impact on me and helped me get the most out of my relationships. So when I’m out with the Bean doing errands, every once in a while I will lean over and say to him, “Let’s get your mom some flowers.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009



Hey everyone. Now that you kinda see what we have been doing new over here at Real World. I'm reaching out to YOU guys to help me with topics.

What do you want to read about???

Do you have questions for Group Therapy?

Do you have topics you'd like to see two perspectives on?

Leave them here in comments or email them to me at blokthoughts @ gmail dot com.

Thank you for all of you that have emailed me so far with topics and questions. It has been so great.

ALSO... If you have a HALLOWEEN story funny, sad, scary, embarrassing, or cute and romantic we want to HEAR about it. The week of Halloween is going to be all about the STORIES!!! :) So email me! :)


P.S. If you are a male, and know how to spin some words into a post... we need more contributors for team Mars, I'm kinda feelin bad for them ;)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Do I choose my kids or spouse first?

My response to this topic "who should come first, kids or spouse" is always a, "really?!" Like they can't believe that I feel the way I do.

When we were first married choosing each other as first priority was easy. It was just him and I! But after I had my first child my husband was enamored with him. His son engrossed his time when he was not at work... and I was jealous. I WAS! It was a very petty and selfish thing but it was how I felt. So I sat him down one night and told him how I felt. (Half of that was the baby blues, which happens to be 1 of 3 times I've ever been depressed) We had a great discussion and he said, "Shelle you are always and will always be my number one. I will try harder to show that by my actions, but YOU are the most important thing to me. It's you and me forever... sometimes that sucks huh?" and then he laughed. But I felt so much better knowing that is where I stood and it became kind of our motto.

So let me just say, I always choose my spouse first. He is priority over everything but my Father in Heaven, even dare I say, my kids. *Gasp*

I know. Sounds brutal right? My spouse is an adult, he doesn't need me to pamper him and take care of his needs before my kids and others, and he doesn't, he IS an adult. That is not necessarily what I mean.

I mean that anyone and everyone who knows me knows that my husband is priority. If I am on the phone with someone and he rings in, then I get off to answer his call. My kids know that we share everything. We have no secrets. They know that eventually, something they tell to me will be shared with their father. Not always right when they tell me, but at the proper time and place so that my kids still feel comfortable talking with me.

I make it a point to contact my husband somehow everyday just to see how his day is going, in return I also get IM or called or Google chatted with during my day.

That doesn't mean that my children are neglected or that I don't love my children. I love them, just differently then I love my husband.

You see someday my kids are going to grow up and find their own love, their own someone special, their own significant other. I don't want them to love me the same or more than that person... I will expect that person to be their number one, like my husband is my number one. If I am so wrapped up in my children's lives and always put them first... then that day when my kids leave and I turn around, take a deep breath and focus my attention on my husband, I'm afraid I will find a stranger instead.

Everyday your spouse is going through experiences. Everyday they become different, maybe slightly, maybe majorly, but they change. If he isn't my number one and I don't take the time to make him my number one he will be a different person by the time I make him a priority, and maybe it will be to late then.

Maybe he will have changed so much that we won't have anything in common anymore? I'm not willing to take that risk. He is the one I chose to be with forever. To share everything with. To be my number one. I don't think that has to change or should change because I have kids.

This doesn't mean that I don't give my kids their time. Obviously my kids run me ragged and I am driving them to this or that or I'm teaching them something at home or they just need a moment for me to hold them, joke with them, and show them that I love them. I am there for them and they mean the world to me. I mean, its not like there aren't exceptions, there are times, of course, where I have to attend to my children because of whatever and I smile, kiss my husband, and attend to what I have to attend to.

But if we are doing their homework and my guy walks through the front door, homework gets put on hold so that I can kiss, hug, and love my husband.

My husband shows me the same respect. I know I am his number one, I KNOW that he loves me, I know that the changes I am going through drive him crazy and make him laugh all at the same time.

We fight and we argue, but we are friends as well as lovers and parents. I choose him. He is my number one, then my kids.

If I'm honest, most of the people that can't wrap their minds around this concept are those that are single, because their kids mean and should mean EVERYTHING to them because they only have each other at the moment or time.

And also I can say that I am not perfect at this concept. I may not always show in my actions that he is my priority, maybe one day I forget, maybe something comes up and I neglect him. Life happens, things aren't perfect, but in general I try to live my life so that I am always that person that he wants as his priority and show him that HE IS my priority, nothing is worth losing him over. Period.

Okay, WOW, so let me have it. What do you think? Am I completely off? Let's discuss in comments.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Wife Puts the kids First....................!!!!!!

.....and I think it should be that way.

(I do my very best to be ummmm understanding here and not be to tough on others and their point of view, or to be condescending!)

Well I often hear about people with different opinions on this but as I have stated before and as is my rock solid position when we were married we decided that what we do would always be what was in the best interest of our kids. I will honestly say that I truly don't understand folks (men especially) that say/feel like they should be first, above their kids. This is just my opinion but the men I know personally that have this as a public stance are ummmm softer than the rest. Needy. More sissyfied. That being said I can understand their take IF the man does the majority of the parenting. If say the man is in an stay at home dad situation then I can see it.

I can also see a girl, female, woman feeling differently. Especially if they do the bulk of the parenting. I can see their take being "I tend the kids, they are fed, clothed and where they are sposed to be when they are sposed to be there, now someone needs to put me first!" And lets face it women see things differently, and they feel more and other reasons I just can't understand. Not negatives just the way it is.

It is my belief that if you choose to breed and give birth then that life IS the reason you do whatever it is you do. That life is the veto power in all your decisions. If the best thing for the kids is opposed to what you want to do then the best for the kids veto's your other desire. Of course people need time alone and for themselves and together without the kids. THAT is in the kids best interest so that mom or dad doesn't punt them to the moon!

The reason I am for the bride putting my kids first is because I am a grown azzed man. Now it should be said that I never look to her or anyone else to do things for me, I don't ask for help even if I need it. Hard headed I reckon, who'da thunk it?

Kids, all kids, need to be put first in my opinion. They need to know that their best interests are being placed at the top of both parent's list and both parents need to back that up. It is my hope that the bride, when asked "why wasn't daddy at my game like XYZ's daddy?", she replies "because son your daddy is out of town so he can earn money so we can have/do this that or the other."

That goes both ways.

Well all that is to say I never would want the bride to put me first. She doesn't. I would be disappointed if she did.

I think that's the way it should be............ what do you think? Do grown folks that feel like they should be or need to be placed atop the list selfish? Are they lacking confidence? Are they suffering from low self esteem? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Group Therapy-Switch cell phones for a day???

So the ever so cool TysDaddy from Cheek of God wrote me an email last week:

"Here’s the question they’re asking on my local morning show this morning . . .

'Would you switch cell phones with your mate for a whole day?' Apparently, a friend of the host is going through marriage counseling, and the doc suggested this, to build trust.

Interesting . . ."

Interesting indeed, I thought this would be a perfect TOPIC for our Group Therapy Discussion this week!

I have pushed some of the other questions/topics back and posted this one!

So, would you guys? Would you switch cell phones with your mate for a WHOLE DAY to show your TRUST?

Let us know in the comments. Feel free to comment anonymous! This should be fun...

P.S. If you have any questions or problems you would like to have discussed in Group Therapy please email them to blokthoughts @ gmail dot com.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sex with the Wife

I put up this topic and thought instantly of this blog I had been reading. So I gathered up the courage and asked Mr. B if I might use snippets of his blog Sex with the Wife to tell the guys perspective for this issue:

***What do you do when your significant other just doesn't want to be intimate. Are YOU the one that doesn't want to be intimate? why?

Instead he emailed me his answers-this was his reply to my email:

I'm going to give you two answers: "what I do" and "what I should do".

What I do: Stay away. I find that if my wife doesn't want to be intimate (and I do) then I tend to smother her. I am overly touchy. I give her unwanted kisses on the back of her neck. I pat her tush every time I pass her in the hallway. This is not well received and generally felt to be pushy. To avoid this, I just keep my distance. I wait until my wife is done in the bathroom before I go brush my teeth. I watch TV in the other room. I just stay away from her until she comes looking for me to see where I've gone. Sometimes this takes days before she notices I'm avoiding her, but generally it does the job.

What I should do: Keep busy. Much like what I do, but more productive. The house is full of projects that need to be done. Organize my work bench. Winterize the camper. Pick up the office. When I am trying to avoid my wife I should do those things and get really involved in them so that I forget the fact that my wife is sexually 'off' at the moment. It's great when I can do this, so it doesn't feel like I'm sulking about my wife leaving me to my own devices.

I loved these answers. He's so honest and open about the issues going on with his wife. In fact, his profile states, "my wife went into therapy for depression and messed up hormone levels...Now people have started to read the blog and I have found a whole community of guys who aren't having sex with their wives and still aren't cheating on them. I guess I am just another guy frustrated at not having sex but is trying to be a man about it."

Here is a snippet of a weekend he was hopeful for but it didn't turn out so well:

"My wife and I were in bed around 9:00 pm. Unfortunately, my wife stomach was pretty gassy and she couldn't relax. I rubbed her shoulders a little to help her relax, and did some soft touching exercises, but the bloated feeling in her stomach was too much of a distraction and she wasn't able to get aroused. Eventually she asked me to stop.

After that I had a very hard time going to sleep. I tossed and turned much of the night. The bed in her rental house is smaller than our bed back home and not as firm. My back was a little sore from the soft bed and I couldn't sleep for more than two hours at a time. I kept waking up with a distracting erection, needing to go use the toilet before it would go away. All of my tossing and turning kept my wife awake, but she didn't want to hold each other or be close in bed; she just wanted to sleep.

This is one of the sources of conflict for us. If I get to hopeful about sex, I don't sleep well in bed with my wife. I keep thinking about the beautiful woman lying two feet away from me, whom I am not allowed to touch. I can't sleep. Then my tossing and turning keeps my wife awake. Then when we go to bed she can't get aroused, because she is too tired. But I can't sleep because I am too aroused. And so goes the vicious cycle. I am hopeful we will have more success with this during our weekend, but so far Iowa City has not been kind to us."

And from THIS post he writes:

My wife, in her quest for self-discovery, has decided that she does not like multiple forms of stimulation at the same time.

This is very hard for me to remember in the heat of the moment. I enjoy lots of stimulation (Of course I do; I'm a man.) so I have to keep reminding myself to go slowly and be careful not to overstimulate her body. When I haven't seen my wife in a week, and I haven't been naked with her in a few weeks, it is especially easy for me to get overly distracted.

I have also discussed that my wife has difficulties with sexual intimacy because she is unable to get lost on the moment. She always has the concerns of the day hanging over her distracting her from our love-making. By contrast I have to work hard not to get lost in the moment. If I get lost in the moment and make love instinctually, I am likely to do something wrong, make a mistake, touch my wife in a way that is annoying and not arousing. I am constantly working to stay detached and not get lost in the moment. This is not easy.

Again he is honest and straight forward about the issues in their marriage and how he is dealing with them. I love the fact that with each post you can feel his love for her. He states in many posts how his wife is his best friend. It's a difficult issue to work through, yet they are making the effort. His wife is seeing a therapist and he continues to be sensitive and understanding to that.

Thanks Mr. B for allowing me (Shelle) to introduce you to the Real World Blog. I know I have learned so much as a wife reading your blog. I find that I myself have done the things that your wife does said the things that she has said because I just wasn't in the mood, I felt so bad after reading how it made you feel and how it messes sometimes with your confidence in performing well for her. If I step back and look at my husband and is trepidation sometimes to start something I can see that the many years I slapped his hand away or told him "not now" really effected his confidence. I definitely have a LOT of making up to do, I really wish I would have heard it from "his" perspective sooner.

I think that is what Mr. B's blog will do for women.

So how do you see yourself and your intimacy as a couple? What do YOU do when your Significant Other doesn't want to be intimate? Is it similar to Mr. B's? How does it differ?