Sunday, February 28, 2010

You should Do It.

Well Now. It sure does seem to me that y'all might would wanna go wish Shelle a HAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Its ok if you are late she doesn't mind.

Didja go?

Don't suck.


Ok I know you went.

Go see what the Hotdads has going on! You can hit up Sageville too, but it ain't safe for work on Sunday.

Southern Sage

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Addiction. It isn't just for drugs.

When Shelle asked me to post about addiction, I sat back and realized that I don't have a single person in my life that is addicted to the traditional things to be addicted to. Cigarettes, Drugs, Alcohol, and Sex [all the rage in the celebrity sex scandal now]. I have friends addicted to other things and most importantly, a friend that is addicted to chaos and has an addiction to attention. Now I use the term friend loosely, because once I caught onto this dangerous game of attention, I try and distance myself from them.

We all have those friends. You know the kind that over stay their welcome, come to almost EVERY family function, and call your parents mom and dad (but they say it just like you and not like a friend).
Some of you may say, " No I don't have any of those.". I find it hard to believe that I am alone in this world. So if you don't have friends like that, then you are that person.
There is nothing more awesome than having a close circle of friends. They are there in times of joy, and they are there in times of need. But when does that close friend become a nuisance? I will tell you when.
That friend becomes a nuisance when they come to a family function because their parents "kick them out" and you tell her sob story to your family, and they all start to feel sorry for her. Then because your family is kind hearted they allow her come to again, and again, and again. It's a year later and you sit back and realize that most of everything your friend tells you is 100% bull shit and you can't bring yourself to tell your family. When you do, your parents tell you things like, "oh they are young, its a defensive posture, no one could make all that up, there must me basis for the story."

Your friend went from being a friend, to being a reflection of lies that cannot be corrected without ending the relationship. They have conned you into selling their story of down and out luck to your family and it opens a window for them to start to manipulate you and your family. This type of person doesn't do this for fun, they do this as a method of operation. The type of person probably comes from a large family and has lots of siblings. Many people call this 'middle child syndrome'. So they'll latch on to a friend of theirs who has a smaller family than theirs and will capitalize on their "horrible" parents and childhood. How she is always forgotten by her parents. We will never hear the other side of the coin. We will never hear how she berates her parents or is constantly telling them they don't need them. Never will you hear how most of their problems are completely made up, or how none of their stories match at all.

Now that this has gone on for years, your friend has infiltrated every aspect of your life. It starts with family gatherings, it moves to family vacations, and it moves to calling your parents and family then your friend tells you how your family is. They visit your family on the weekends and it's your friend telling you how your mom got into a fight with your grandmother and it leaves you wondering, why doesn't she visit her own family?

It even goes so far as your parent who owns their own company hiring your friend to give them a stable job, and then they steal the petty cash. When they get caught they tell another lie, and they are off the hook.

When does this type of friend need to have boundaries set? Immediately? Who knows. What you do know is that you wrestle with decision to tell your friend how you feel, but you know what will happen.
If you tell your friend how you feel, they are going to guilt you. They aren't going to be understanding to how you feel. Well at least this type of friend won't understand. They are going to cry, and tell you that you are being a jerk, or selfish, or any other thing they can say to get you to stop telling the truth.

You can tell your parents how you feel, but like how they have in the past, they will tell you that your friend is not a bother, and that you need to stop being selfish. They apparently didn't have as good of an upbringing as you did so have some heart. Little do they know that everything that has come out of your friends mouth has been a lie from the start.

This type of person is out there. I have had more than 1 of these friends and I now pride myself that I myself don't have a friend like this, but I know people within my close circle of friends that do. I hear their frustrations, and this is one problem I know how to fix, but most people lack the courage to make that decision. You need to tell this person to stop doing whatever it is they are doing. If they can't respect that, then they need to take a hike.

This type of friend can go unchecked, and then one day your parents will stop talking to you. Why? Because your friend told a lie, like they are known to do, but this time it was about you to your family.

Its coming. Just wait. There are many lifetime movies that are based on true stories that can prove my point. Being addicted to chaos is something that is just as dangerous as drugs. Because the high they seek is in the attention they get.

Adam-Throwing Quarters

Addiction..can't be that helpful

When I volunteer to write this post, I thought it would be one of those topic where you can easily write it up without any reservation. But now that the time is here, I'm a bit hesitant so please bear with me.

I grew up with seven brothers, six older than me and one younger and all older brothers had an addiction of some form. All six are big time drinkers and smokers. I guess you could say that was an addiction for them, they all just couldn't lay off the boost and lighting up one cigarette after another. Now my dad, he's so addicted to smoking that if it comes down to his last dollar and he had to make a decision between spending that dollar on a starving kid or feeding his addiction...that damn addiction always won. I don't even want to mention the ugly monster that came out this man when he couldn't get a drag for even one minute. And my brothers, the alcohol addiction made them practically horrible people to live with. Because of that, I definitely knew as a little girl what I do NOT want in a husband.

So fast forward to my adult and married life. I am happy to report that my hubby doesn't have any of that drinking or smoking problem..heck the man never smoked a cigarette or drink anything remotely smelling like alcohol in his life which I am incredibly grateful for. So what the heck am I babbling about? I'll tell ya..LOL.

I am afraid or even ashamed to say that I think I may be the one who have a tendency to come upon addiction myself. Oh, I don't have a those life threatening addictions or severely destructive addictions. See, I have a tendency to get passionate about things, if I find a new hobby or discovered something, I get so engrossed in them that I guess you could say I get addicted to them.

For example: When the internet was fairly new and online chatting was invented, I found out that a fellow islander, someone from my own island had created a website just for the islanders, where they can get together and socialize through the web. I was beyond excited to know that I can log on to that website and chat to any family members, relatives, old friends from high school, even make new friends. I can chat with any of those people from all over the world from the comfort of my own home and it didn't cost me a dime...imagine that. (I know this is like no big deal to some of you or maybe most of you but to me, that was extremely wonderful. To call home and talk to my family, it would cost me from 3 to 5 dollars a minute...a see why I would be excited about something so small as chatting?)

Like I said, it was a such an exciting thing to discover that I was happy to be able to keep in contact with everyone I need to get in touch with. First few months, I was pretty good, I have a set time when I logged on and timed myself. And then as I logged on more and chatted more, and started making more new friends, everyone I wanted to chat with (all living in different parts of the world with different time zones) the time I set for myself wasn't enough anymore. I started getting on every hour and as days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, I've practically lived on my computer or should I say in cyper space. I started neglecting my life...dishes stacked up, clothes piled up, my kids and hubby were pushed to the bottom of my list of importance. I would get up in the morning, very early, logged on, chatted with whoever was on..the kids woke up, got themselves ready for school and dad took them to school. Me, still sitting at the computer...when they got home from school, I was still on the computer. Hubby would come home from work, asked what was for response, "oh no I'm not hungry, thanks".

His response back: I meant what's for dinner for the family?
Me: Your hands broken? Don't know where the kitchen and the fridge are?

Of course, hubby's getting frustrated: Looks like you've been on that thing all day, are you going to be on all night too? When are you getting off? Kids are hungry, I'm out of clean clothes to wear, I've been wearing the same shirt for a whole week and I'm not even going to mention the state my underwear is.

Me, (absolutely oblivious to the fact that I seriously have a problem) yelled back with all the gusto I can muster: I will stay on this thing all day and night if I want to and I will get off when I damn well please. Stop being a baby and use your freaking hands God gave you and fix yourself something to eat. And if you're so worried about those kids being hungry, feed them yourself and then march your ass over to the washer and dryer and do your own damn laundry. Your hands are definitely not broken, use them, you jerk!!!"

You see the problem. And that did not even involve any alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or any other drugs. I don't even want to think about the harmful damage and pain I'd have inflicted on my family if I seriously have that kind of addiction that I would seriously need some serious intervention. Looking it at now makes me laugh hysterically because it was so miniscule in the scheme of things but yet for a while there I let it became a problem with my relationship with my kids and husband. At that time it was happening, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why my hub would see it as a problem. I even came up with excuses for when my friends called for us to hang out why I couldn't go. Sometimes I'd tell them a date just to ease their mind and then thirty minutes before the set time, I'd call back and cancel. Oh my gosh, talk about a crazy person, whenever the power went out or the internet shut down for whatever reason, I literally would get beserk and rant and rave about how totally unfair it was to pay for something that never seem to work.

The realization hit me one day that what I was doing had become a problem when I overheard my kids talking about how totally different their mom had become, like she didn't care about anything real anymore(meaning them)...first thing they saw when they woke up was me on the computer chatting away, last thing they saw before they went to bed, me again on the computer chatting. To have the kids talk about me like that with worry in their voice made me rethink things and gave chatting up for good.

Yep, that was something to reflect on. Now with the new world of blogging, I am trying very hard to not let myself get totally sucked into it so bad that it would become an addiction, something I absolutely have to have.

So, what about you guys, any of you have an addiction that you can't seem to shake off? Have you had one that have caused a riff in your relationship with your spouse?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Group Therapy: Trust and pornography


I emailed Shelle about writing a post for the blog. When I told her what it was about she thought it would be better to do it in this kind of forum.

I have to give SOME background to help with the bulk of the questions.

I feel I'm like any normal male, or most males. I'm average. I say this when I'm talking about pornography. I don't need it and I don't have to watch or look at it, but every now and then when I need a quick pick me up and especially before I was married, it was a fast way to reach the "goal". No harm no foul. If it was there I'd look but nothing obsessive, never ruled my life.

Fast forward to marriage. My wife has never looked at porn. She thought of it as vile and disrespectful to women, even though those women fully engage of their own accord. It was something we talked about before getting married and she said that if I wanted to look at something or watch something that we do it together as a couple, see in her mind, it was worse if I was getting off behind her back or being sneaky about it, so her compromise was together or nothing at all. I agreed to it because like I said before I didn't need it and hell if she wanted to watch and look at it with me I could roll with that.

Not going into a lot of detail because it would suck to listen to, she tried the compromise thing and long story short we looked at porn, really really soft porn.

Fast forward a bit and one day I get sent an email from a friend which sent me to a website with porn. Being a weak human I looked at it. For longer than was probably necessary, I admit, I was guilty and looked at it.

In walks wifey on me. And she flipped. I mean she turned into a whole other person. Screaming, ranting, crying! You would have thought the end of the world was upon us. To say the least, she was not happy about it. I begged to be forgiven. Told her I'd never again look at it unless she was right by my side. Claimed I'd block any friend that sent me that kind of material again. I did whatever I could to try and make it better.

She said she needed time. Time to think about it. Time to let it go.

It's been 2 years. If you were an outsider just walking in on an argument of ours you would think I was caught last week. She still holds it over my head. She still thinks she cannot trust me, even though I haven't looked at porn without her there or knowing about it. She throws out divorce when we argue and blames any problem on the fact that I was the one who caused it by looking at porn.

I love her. I don't want to divorce her. We have a beautiful little boy together. I want my family to stay together.

My questions are: If your spouse or partner did something that made you lose your trust in them and you were able to get past that, how did you do it? Is there anything I can do to make it better, to help her trust me again? Or is there nothing I can do? Is there no hope? Will it only get worse?

***If you have any questions or problems that you would like to have addressed in Group Therapy please email me at blokthoughts@gmail dot com orrealworldvenusmars @ gmail dot com.

Leave your advice in the comments, comment on other comments, and feel free to comment Anonymously.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Rantings of an Organizationally Starved Spouse

Domestically Disturbed took a turn at this theme of "Who loses stuff, who finds stuff" yesterday...and today, it is my turn.

I am a creature of habit...only out of necessity. I'll readily admit that I have a touch of OCD...where I like things neat and I'll push in all the DVDs on a bookshelf at a library so nothing juts out...or stack up the spelling blocks on my daughter's wagon...or line up the kleenex boxes at a grocery store...but...I am a creature of habit because of three concussions I've had, which has effectively turned the memory part of my brain into a swiss cheese.

With a swiss cheese for a brain, I cannot explain why I will always remember where I parked my car every time and yet not remember where I put my glasses, my pager, my shoes, my head, my socks, whatnot just a minute ago. I like being neat so I can find my things every time. To my mind, a mess of any kind is a disorganized state where things are not yet put away and that "clutters" my mind.

My wife is a slob. She trashes her side of our bedroom. She discards whatever isn't needed/used in both her car and my car instead of in a trashcan. She doesn't take time to throw things away which drives me nuts because I can't stand the sight of a mess and I keep my side of our bedroom neat...and my car tidy when she isn't using it regularly.

With that picture of we each live clearly painted in your mind, you can truly appreciate how the ultimate irony comes into play with my wife and I. I cannot remember where I put my keys if I don't put them in the same place over and over, but she expects me to know where her keys are every time she loses them. I cannot find my own ass even with the neon flashing arrows pointing right at it. She cannot find things she needs because there's too much crap all over the place for her to find it.

How do we deal with this? This is where our weaknesses and strengths compliment each other. Because of my OCD, I have an eye for details and I see things that people overlook or they don't "connect the dots". When my wife is unable to figure out the location of what she needs/wants, she comes to me for an answer based on my observation skills. Strangely, I never can find what I am looking for...even inside a fridge...and I have come to rely on my wife.

Why can't I find anything? My mind is too busy dealing with how things aren't in their places and cannot locate whatever I am looking for, even if it is right in front of me. Since she doesn't have OCD, she is able to look past the "disorganized state" and find what I cannot seem to see. You have no idea how often I have heard her say "It was right there, in front of you!"

Her mess drives me attempts to keep things straight drives her nuts...and yet, we cannot function without each other.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Blissfully Sweet Life of Organized Chaos

The topic of the day is who misplaces things and who can find them. The overall theme for this, to me, is organization, so read on to find out how we handle organized chaos at our house…
Hubby: “Has anyone seen my shoes?”
Me: “Under the table!”
Hubby: “Which one?”
Me: “The end table where they were kicked under, like always.”
Hubby: “How about my keys?”
Me: “Downstairs on the arm of the couch.”
Hubby: “My phone?”
Me: “Stuck between couch cushions in the living room.”
Hubby: “Wait, what about my wallet?”
Me: “You left it in the console of your Jeep.”
Hubby: “Oh yeah. Has anyone seen my hat?”

Are you KIDDING me? Thank goodness I adore this man.

This is my life of organized chaos. We’re a fun loving family that stays very busy. A family of 4 with two Chihuahuas and a rotating door that invites houseguests at all times of the year. Our 2 crazy dogs that think they are Dobermans and bark at every knock or doorbell ring on the TV. My daughters are amazing. At 6 and 9, they could keep me laughing from morning ‘til night, if I wasn’t at work all day. They are creative, inventive and love doing projects with Dad. “Dad, Can I use the nail gun?” is a common question we hear. They and their dad absolutely make the chaos fun and the work day worth working.

My ultimate goal is to have everything organized and to simplify our lives. This would mean that everything has a place, closest are perfectly organized and labeled, my books and files are where I left them in my office, and shoes can find their own way to the closets. ~ I’ve since come to my senses and I’m settling for being able to see the kitchen counters and not get anything stuck to my feet when I walk on the wood floors in the living and dining rooms. Yes, it’s not my idea of “clean and organized,” but as long as others are helping out, I’ve decided to not be such a perfectionist.

I’ve noticed that everyone in our house misplaces things. Typically, things get set down where ever and I have a basket for each person that I put them in when I clean up. With my husband, however, I tend to have a different approach. I think I drive him crazy because he seems to want me to just leave his stuff where he left it (on the table, counter, window sill, etc), but I feel that if I give him a place to put his day-to-day things (wallet, keys, phones, etc), he should be able to put them there every time and know that they will be there when he needs them. This works sometimes. However, if these specified locations get filled with other items like tools, fishing line, other not day-to-day items, I move them to a basket in the closet. Therefore, I tend to misplace his stuff for him. However, I see it as cleaning up.

While things are certainly crazy all year round, I feel that summer is the craziest. With the entire family home, other than me, the house has no chance to sit and enjoy being clean. That is, three people here to dirty the house all day and the one that does most of the cleaning is at work and does NOT want to spend her entire evening cleaning.

Enter here…the chore list. Sometimes they get done, sometimes they don’t, but mom’s rule is that if it’s not done before I get home from work, you don’t get allowance for that day. It tends to work with my 9 year-old and I’m hoping that rubs off on the 6 year-old soon. However, she tends to be a walking tornado…things literally fall on the floor as she walks by. I’m thinking about having her tested for a sixth sense…what do they call it when you can make things move without touching them?

At least with a system of chores...(written down and posted on the fridge counts as a system, right?)...and some family members that help…(Kudos to my amazing 9 year-old!)...we can typically find the things we need to make our family function without too much freaking out…on good days. This is what I call Organized Chaos. Now, where is my energy drink and why is the dog in the baby doll stroller?

Who is your household misplaces things? Do you have a system for keeping your family organized? Inquiring minds are always looking for ideas.

Thanks for reading: Domestically Disabled

Friday, February 19, 2010

How We Dealt with My Husband's Job Loss

Tysdaddy's post on the topic last week was totally awesome and hit so close to home that I've decided to write another one coming in from the spouse's viewpoint.

The first time my hubby lost his job was about a couple of months after the 9-11 incident, heck it was just a few days short of Thanksgiving. His reaction to that job loss was mostly on the shocked side. My reaction was completely on the denial side. I remember the day he walked into our door in the middle of the day (because he worked five minutes away from our house, he would come home for lunch everyday) and was not his usual self. He usually walked in with a little humor, either a joke that he was dying to tell me or tease me a little. That particular day he was quieter than usual. Before he sat down on the couch, he blurted out that his company has laid off a bunch of people and he was one of them. At first I thought he was joking, after a few minutes of silence again on his part, he confirmed it again.

"But I thought you said your job is set for life and that company you work for doesn't lay people off, that once a person got a job there, they're in it for life. You're joking, right?" I blurted out.

"Why would I joke about something like this? And yes, I thought that my job was set, but I guess I was wrong. For all these years I've worked for that company, I've never so much as a take a pen home from the office and then today, not only did my boss say, 'I'm sorry but we can't afford to have all the employees working here, we're letting you go', he had me escorted out of the building like I was some common criminal". (Talk about harsh, that really ticked me off right there picturing him escorted out the building like that.)

I think the next few weeks kinda went by in a blur. I kinda gave up the nightmarish thought that one day we'll wake up and it was just all a dream, you know. Yes, I still wasn't fully convinced that he's lost his job. After he started attending to unfinished projects we started on the house, the roof for example, I had to come to terms with the reality of it all. Of course, our family pulled together. For the first month or so after he lost his job, after I've come to terms with him losing his job, I started enjoying having him home. We kept busy, he had resumes sent in wherever there are jobs opening, put in a new floor in our upstairs kitchen, re-roof our house and hung out at the beach. He even took our kids (there were four of them at the time) to visit family on the mainland.

The second time he lost his job...he called me on his cell to tell me that he up and quit his job. That time was not as hard or surprising as the first one. I knew the day would come, either he would quit or they would let him go. He wasn't happy with the next wasn't the job he was unhappy about, it was the people he worked with that he was unhappy about, especially his supervisor. {Veronica mentioned in her post last week about never disagreeing with the boss's wife...let me add on that it is absolutely not a good idea to disagree with the boss's pet employee.} Anyways, when he called to tell me he quit his job, I was upset. I was so tempted to call him an idiot but I could hear in his voice that he regretted what he did so I just told him to come home. At that time I was pregnant with child number seven (yes we had two kids after he lost his first job, one adopted and the other surprised baby).

There was one more job after the job he quit that he also called me from his phone in Honolulu to tell me about. Again, same thought but never did I voice it. It seemed like we were a lot closer than before, he was coming to me for my advice and I've joined him full force on the job search. Whenever he got an interview, he would call me as soon as he finished to tell me about and then asked about how I feel about this job or that job. Yes, I think I've prayed more in those times than I've prayed before...not just that he got a job, but one that he would get along with his co-workers and please dear God, make it a job close to home. All those times he commute to town to work, he would leave 5 in the morning and come at 7 at night, I felt like I was a single mom...a lot of the times I have to be two places at once for the kids. Oh yes, money was really tight...but I can honestly say that even with all that not knowing if my hub would get a job and stick with it, the only big bill that worried us was our mortgage.

We were so used to living within our means that him going from job to job didn't really devastated us as much. A real cool plus...if you haven't started or ever heard of it, besides having savings to fall back on, have a food storage. That cut down on the grocery bill worry. Yes, you have to get creative on eating canned foods but at least, it beats starving to dead or it reduced the amount of money spent on grocery, especially at a time like that.

Now that my hub has gotten a job working for his Alma Mater, about five minutes away from our house, I look back on those hard years and can only conclude that everything happens for a reason. My hub is happier with his current job and I am not as naive as I used to be and have learned to not take things for granted. Those years were hard, yet in some ways it had brought our family much closer.

Thanks Shelle for letting me post this today. I know you have to rearrange some of the scheduled post to accomodate me...You are BEST!! Mahalo!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

He Said She Said: Satellite/Cable/TV

Every Thursday, two of our contributors are asked to take opposing stances on an issue and present a case for their viewpoint. Comment and tell us who you agree with or what you believe or think! The topics are suppose to illicit a response and start a conversation in comments. Enjoy!

TODAY'S TOPIC: Satellite/Cable TV. Is it necessary?

SHE said:

In general, I could live without TV. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it, but I could live without it. Internet is another story for another day. That being said, I think cable is not only acceptable, but beneficial. The key is balance and guidelines.

For the kids, TV, and all the cable programming that comes with it, is a privilege, not a right. On a good day they each get to choose one, 30 minute, show. That means no more than 1.5 hours of TV, per day. It does not mean a free for all, to choose anything they want. I am very strict about what gets watched. For example, no Sponge Bob. The girls know what they are, and are not, allowed to watch. For as many bad programs that are offered by cable, there are just as many good ones. We opted for the Discovery tier, which opens up a whole world of educational TV for the kids.

Any of the girls can lose the privilege of watching TV for misbehaving. I find that it is a good currency.

Another important aspect is balancing TV with other childhood activities. Creative activities and outside play for example. On a typical day, when they get home from school, they eat snack and go out to play for an hour. When they come in, they do homework. Once everyone is done with homework, if there is time before dinner, they can watch TV.

For my husband and I, cable means DVR. DVR means we can watch "our" TV when it is convenient for us. I generally watch TV during the day, when no one else is home, while I fold laundry. My husband will watch a program when he gets home from work to unwind. Then there is the one and only show we watch together. Thanks to the DVR, we can watch that after the kids go to bed.

For us, cable has not meant more time planted in front of the TV. It has offered better choices in what to watch. For the kids, it's more educational. For my husband, it's Food Network. For me, it's all the wonderful food my husband is inspired to make... I mean news whenever I have a free moment. Without it, I would be limited to stupid reality shows, and soap operas.

Just like any time-consuming extra curricular activity, you have to make good choices. You can't ignore the real people in your life for the TV. Just because you have access to more programming, doesn't mean you need to watch it all.


HE said:

What she said.

No, really. I'm not stupid!

I was going to go on and on about how having access to literally thousands of choices makes for a remote-controlled lifestyle where one subsists on show after banal show. Where one sits down and just starts flipping through the channels and stops to watch a minute or two of this or that before heading to the next must-see offering.

But that would be how it goes for some people. People unwilling to set limits, on themselves or on the children. People with zero imagination or energy.

Clearly, Missy is no such people. And I can't argue with a single thing she wrote.

Is having satellite/cable in the home wrong? Absolutely not.

Is having satellite/cable in the home a must? Again, absolutely not.

Is satellite/cable in the home necessary?

I grew up in a home where the TV often came on before the lights. It was the ever-present glow over every meal. The disruptive, chatty, obnoxious Buttinski, ruining nearly every meaningful conversation. Benny Hill and Carol Burnett and Ricardo Montalban were my babysitters.

And then came cable. With its nonstop marathons of mayhem and doting detectives and music videos. (Well, actually, that last part was pretty cool. Especially back when they played videos. Remember those?)

And now? Well, it takes every ounce of my extremely diminished willpower to keep from turning off the TV when we go over for a visit. I just can't stand the inanity of it all. The way it sucks you in and won't let you turn away, even (or, perhaps especially) from the more ridiculous stuff.

Now don't get me wrong: I love to do stuff that involves a TV. I play the occasional video game. my favorites including the Silent Hill series and any game that requires a guitar controller. And I am an avid movie viewer: I have a Blockbuster membership and get my money's worth. My library's collection of episodic shows on DVD has been perused and used regularly. (Most recently, it was The Wire. My God! After those 60+ hours, I'll never watch another Jerry-Bruckheimer-Dick-Wolf-produced show again.) The same goes for the rest of my family. They have things they like about the TV and, for the most part, they use it wisely. (Currently, it's nonstop Apolo Ohno. I hate Apolo Ohno.)

But their needs to be limits. And Missy covered those nicely. She also pointed out some nice alternatives to spending hours in front of the tube, to which I'll add some specific examples that my family enjoys:

1) The Library. Find the one in your town and go get a card if you don't already have one. Each of my children got their own library card when they turned five. Sure, the fines pile up occasionally, but I can eat those easier than a cable bill.

2) Family Game Night. I know. It's an overused platitude, but it works. We have a closet just for games, ranging from the simple (Uno) to the more time-consuming and complex (Arkham Horror). Sometimes everyone joins in, and at other times it's just a select few. Regardless, it becomes a habit. One that leads to conversation, laughter, and the occasional argument. The stuff of life. Real life. Not the crap you see on TV. Your Family Game Night doesn't have to look like the one on TV, with all the saccharine smiles and whoops of joy. Make it your own.

3) Read something! See #1. And when you get your basketful of books home, grab one, grab some couch, and crack that cover. We don't do this as much as we used to, where everyone sits down together and just enjoys a book. But it's not rare to find someone hanging out in their favorite corner, or in my favorite chair, curled up and reading. There is enough imagination-inducing goodness between the covers of most any book to easily rival whatever TV has to offer.

Our TV? Not a flat screen. It's 27 inches of big, fat monstrosity that likes to shut off on its own right in the middle of the good parts. I have rabbit ears hooked up to the digital converter the government made me buy. I am told that I should probably consider getting hooked up. Verizon won't leave me alone, wanting me to upgrade to the latest mind-blowing package deal. And I probably will eventually. But I'm glad I've taken the time to ensure that TV-watching is a lesser priority.

It sure makes things just a little bit quieter . . .

Alright, people. It's your turn. Is satellite/cable TV necessary? Is television in general necessary? Can you live without it? Should you live without it? Can we live without it? Sound off in the comments . . .

[Flickr image by kevinzim and is protected]

Group Therapy: Should he have to pay? Is it right?

Welcome to Group Therapy:

Alex commented and wrote a question for everyone to discuss. We decided it needed its own post! So here you go: Please give any advice you feel is helpful for Alex's question.

Hello everyone!

I had squished this post into a comment during one of the last Group Therapy topic. I was actually wondering when I'd get a chance to write a post for this blog. So here it is;

With all the discussions about Child Support a couple of weeks ago, I brought about a question I had in regards to my brother's situation. First, I'd like to tell you about his situation.

My brother met this girl about two years ago (
he was 20 years old at the time, he's now 22 years old). I honestly don't remember the date. They hooked up and started dating. Ok, more like fooling around. He had no idea this girl had children. To be fair, she didn't HAVE her children. Child A was taken from her at the hospital by CAS. Child B was given up for adoption and was taken at the hospital by CAS. Child C was delivered IN JAIL (she was in there for dealing cocaine) and taken from her by CAS. When my brother entered the picture, the girl was fighting to regain custody of Child C. Child C was almost a year old by the time she got him back. She, in the end, won. My brother fell head over heals for this little boy. He's a darling and even I care deeply for him. His one mistake was sticking around in the relationship because of the little boy. He didn't love this girl. He never has. The biological father, btw, is in jail for numerous things (including drug dealing, assault, etc) and has never seen his son.

I'm now going to skip to present time because the middle of the story really has nothing to do with what I'm about to write.

In early October, my niece was born. So now my brother is a father and a proud father at that. He truly loves this little girl and has done everything in his power to support her and provide for her. In December, my brother and his girlfriend broke up. They both agreed on figuring out a visitation schedule without going to the courts. They were being mature about it (
despite both not really being mature adults). They agreed upon the following; My brother would take both kids every second weekend (Friday at 6pm until Sunday at 7pm) and would take them on Thursday evenings. He would purchase all diapers (for both kids) and formula for his daughter and would help out as much as he could financially as long as his ex provided him with copies of receipts. Things have been going well in that sense but utterly horrible between the two of them (fights, threats to go to court for custody, etc).

So that's the situation. Now for the problem;

CAS has now stepped in (
remember, this girl has a running record with CAS and when they caught wind that my brother was no longer in the picture, they became involved). They decided that my brother needs to go to court and have a legal Child Support agreement drawn up. Not only does he need to do this (according to CAS), but he also "legally" has to pay child support to Child C, as well as for his daughter. Their reasoning behind this is because my brother has been part of Child C's life for well over a year (living with him, taking care of him, etc), that he has become financially responsible for Child C.

My opinion;

This is incredibly unfair. Yes, my brother loves this little boy. Yes, he wants to help out by supporting this little boy because he truly feels a bond with him and the little boy thinks of him as "
Daddy". I think it's wonderful that they share this bond and even more wonderful that my brother wants to help out by paying extra money each month in order to help support the little boy. I'm very proud of him and have told him numerous times (I have a son who is not biologically my husbands, and so I've been on the other end of this "bond" because my husband feels the same way for my son). However! I do not feel that he should LEGALLY be held responsible. My brother have not adopted this child, nor has he signed any sort of paperwork stating that he would financially support him. Also, from my understanding (and I could be wrong here), the biological father has NOT signed over his biological rights to this child. I have told him that if he fights nothing else in court, that he needs to fight this one. Continue being the good guy and pay a little extra if that's what he wants, but make it so that he doesn't legally have to.

My questions;

s this actually fair of CAS to ask this of my brother?
Will the Court actually make him pay child support for a child that is not biologically his or legally his?
(We're in Canada btw. I know that our legal system is different than that of the USA but some things are generally the same).

Thank you for reading my post and for offering any suggestions, comments, tips and answeres that you may have.

~ Alex

My Blog: My Life, My Glory

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Apron String is barely there!

"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat." - Joanne Woodward

That has nothing to do with what I'm about to talk about... I just think the quote rings true.

I can fully say, with complete confidence now, that the apron strings which connect me to my parent/family is very very very thin... like you can't really even see it. Really. At least I think. Or I mean... kinda. Maybe you can still see the teeny tiny edge that connects the string to my skin... because I hear it is thicker at that point, but as the string gets in the middle I mean... you can barely see it.

I would hate to completely break free because I think it is important to stay connected to the two people who helped mold me into who I am... which, of course, is totally awesome! I mean we have to assume that is why my husband married me right? Looks only goes so far, and for some, not far at all. So we have to bring out the only thing that may redeem us, which is PERSONALITY, and my parents helped mold my personality.

Growing up my mother and father instilled in me that family comes first. Any decision conflicting with school/friend life and family I would always get, "who comes first Shelle"? When any family member performed, played, or had ANY event... we'd pack up the station wagon and come rain, snow, or shine we would head to whatever it was and be there for SUPPORT. With 6 kids in the family we ALWAYS were supporting SOMEONE. I was the black sheep because I was always saying, "You've seen me dance this 10 other times, no need to come to this performance." Yet, they were there. If not my brothers and sisters, my parents were. My Father has three girls. Each of us did the dance team in high school. Poor guy had to sit through each one from beginning until end. Each and everyone one. That's a lot of competitions-I'm telling you, he should be beamed to Sainthood for that.

My husband comes from a family that well... is pretty much opposite of mine.

Two extreme's.

So when we got married he had a hard time with me wanting to drive three hours in extremely hazardous snow weather to make it to a football game of my brothers or cancel our plans because my mother had made impromptu plans and wanted the whole family there.

We had a lot of intense arguments "discussions" on cutting the apron strings. His Point: because I was married I didn't have to jump when my mom said jump or ask how high. My husband introduced me to the word NO *shudder* when it came to my parents... and believe me, that first time I used it I almost crapped my pants I was so scared.

But that wasn't the only string that needed cutting.

The other one my husband wasn't to fond of was the one where I went to them for EVERYTHING! Meaning... when we got into any kind of argument, they knew about it, in explicit detail. As well as my two sisters... and sometimes my older brother. (What!?)

In my defense, my family, my MOM especially and my two sisters are and were my VERY best friends. Even WITH best friends in high school, (which I have ones that are still my best friends today and are more like sisters than just friends), my mom and sisters knew everything about my life before anyone. Even in high school when I did something I wasn't suppose to... I usually ended up telling on myself because I couldn't stand not talking to my mom about it.

So you can understand the difficulty of cutting my apron strings.

It has taken 10 years, and still I can mess up sometimes, for me to be able to put my husband in that role of confidant and priority. In my heart and mind he is and always will be first priority as well as my kids, but habits are hard to break. And even now when we argue I am chompin at the bit to tell one of my sisters or my mom just so I can vent, and if there is a family event that I can't make it to I feel left out and sad that I missed it.

But... not as much as I used to and especially if it's because my hubs and I are going on a trip or one of my kids has an event.

And if something good, funny, or even bad happens to me I find the first person I want to tell or call is my husband.

I can see how this might be a deal breaker for some couples though, because if the partner can't put their spouse or significant other first than that SHOULD be a problem. When you get married you agree to put that other person first before anyone else even your family. For those of us who are religious "...For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall acleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?." (Matt 19:5 and Mark 10:7) the more one does this the more they rely on the one person that is and should be most important in their life. It creates that unbreakable bond.

So like I said... the string is still there... but you can barely see it.

Any of you have this problem? Or have had this problem? How have you gotten through it. Is it a deal breaker?

Tomorrow Sage will tell us his perspective on it so come back tomorrow, warning though, you may laugh.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Growing old with spouse- Jules Perspective

Growing old with my spouse and partner sounds good/bad because...

How I answer this depends upon the minute, the hour, the day or the week. However, my initial response to this question was this - Growing old with my spouse sounds GREAT because I can't wait to do the things we like to do as a couple but can't because of the stage of life we are in.

What drew me to my hubby in the first place (beside his killer blue eyes) is the fact that he was willing to partake in my crazy outdoor adventure sports that I was interested in doing. I gave him the ultimate test early on by showing up with a tent and setting it up outside his apt sliding glass door and telling him I wanted to go tenting with him. Granted - I had bought a tent made for pets or children 2 years and under and he graciously pointed out my error proving that his straight forward thinking indeed did balance out my curvy, swirly, circular, what path? thinking.

While living in Colorado we had many many opportunities for adventure - backpacking in Utah, climbing steep trails to waterfalls in Telluride, CO, a 30 mile one way back pack trip through the Grand Gulch, climbing al
most to the peak of a 12,000ft mt. (damn mt. weather) just to name a very few examples. But, this all changed when we moved back to Minnesota and started our family. It is hard to strap an infant on and go across the desert - especially when you have two babies under the age of 18months old and one weighs 3 lbs. our life drastically changed. Our adventure days were basically through.

However, as our children grow older, the light --- the one at the end of the tunnel is slightly visible. I see a day where it may be possible to go with and without our children to once again do the things that we enjoy. We proved this to ourselves during our first trip back to CO as a family. Our first expedition will be to the BWCA I believe.
So what about growing old with your spouse do you look forward to?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Growing old with your spouse

With the divorce rate hovering at 50%, it seems to me that the concept of growing old with your spouse is in danger of going the way of the dinosaurs. What is appealing about growing old with your spouse? Your spouse would:

1) know every little quirk of yours
2) tolerate them
3) know how to "take care" of your order at a restaurant when you cannot order for yourself
4) comfort you when you are sick
5) know where it feels "good" to you when touching you
6) support and/or attend your interests/hobbies
7) be in tune with you, emotionally and physically

I could go on and on but I know that you all have experienced this. Your spouse is, at the minimum, your friend. Ideally, your spouse is your best friend. You have shared your secrets and fears with your spouse and you both are still together after all that. That's what I love about my wife and I do my best to do the same things for her as she has done for me. Reviewing this list has made me realize how much I appreciate her and...

I better tell her now. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Surviving a Layoff With Your Spouse

Before I get started I must say that Tysdaddy wrote a beautiful post yesterday. Please read it if you have not already.

Hubman and I have been together for almost 20 years and married for almost 17 years. Hubman has always had steady work due to his choice of industry or being a student, but I have not been so lucky. There have been about six periods in our marriage where I have been without a job due to either layoffs, getting fired (quick life lesson: don't disagree with the bosses wife) or moving to accommodate Hubman's career. Two of the periods of unemployment were mercifully brief and since one move was rather temporary, it was established that I would work temp jobs for the duration of the move.

However, I had a few periods where I was unemployed for a few months and that my friends is grueling and stressful. I know that there is supposed to be a he said/she said component to this task, but I am going to go off that track a little and give some thoughts about how to survive job loss together. Some of these thoughts come from my ten years' experience as an HR Professional.

For the Spouse who did not lose their job.

1. Both of you experienced a loss just like your spouse did and the spouse that did not lose their job is also going to feel the loss. However in trying to be supportive, your feelings get lost. Make sure you have a trusted confidante to talk to during this time.

When I lost my job in construction it was very frustrating for Hubman. He was in the 4th year of a four year PhD program, and I was the primary breadwinner. Also due to the stresses and deadlines of his program, he could not take a second job to help out with income. He had a fellowship and some GI Bill benefits, but as far as we were concerned, going to school was Hubman's first and only job at this time.

We also had the frustration of the fact that we were planning to move about a year after I lost my job and the loss really screwed up our plans, as all I wanted to do was finish out the year. If the company had laid me off a year later, while I would have not liked the layoff, it would have been nice to be collecting unemployment and basically get paid to pack up.

There was the frustration that we lived in a small town that simply did not have many jobs to begin with that were not minimum wage waitressing jobs, which were usually done by hot co-eds. I would say that the six months of unemployment was one of the most stressful periods of our whole marriage. Oh, and did I mention I had a baby less than two months before I lost my job. Fun times, friends, fun times.

2. For the first 24-72 hours your spouse is going to be kind of in shock. Losing a job is a real loss, like a death, and depending on the nature of your spouse they may cycle through the seven stages of loss quickly or take some time. But during that 1st 72 hours use that time to file for unemployment, and deal with insurance issues. This is also a good time to call anyone you owe money to and negotiate with them while you are current on everything, and work out a six month emergency budget.

3. Give your spouse lots of love and support. If they lost their job because they were fired for doing something stupid, it is ok to be mad at them, but chances are they already feel horrible about it and due to your anger level, things are going to be said that you may later regret.

4. Don't overwhelm your spouse with a honey do list. Give them a week to relax and sort themselves out, get the resume together, call the network, etc. However once the week is over its a good idea to have the spouse do something that gets them out of the house everyday, so they are getting up and dressed.

5. Offer assistance with their resume and cover letter, unless you are still angry about the job loss. You might find yourself being kind of nasty about any errors in the resume and letter which is not helpful to the spouse.

6. This is the most important one. On the issue of job hunting, decide how much communication you want from your spouse about the status of the hunt and agree on it. There might be days, especially after the first week or two of contacting people where there is NOTHING to apply to. Don't treat your spouse like a child who does not complete their homework.

7. Be patient with the job search. Even if your spouse is applying to jobs, he or she may be one of hundreds of applicants. I have a friend who works in HR for a school district. She ran an advertisement for a secretary. The job pays about 42K. She had 350 applicants in 48 hours. This is going to be a slow process.

8. It is ok to tell people your spouse is out of work. These days, there is no shame in it. It is also a good way to network.

If you are the spouse that is out of work:

1. Remember that your spouse might be negative out of fear of never replacing the income, that you will never find another job and that you all will soon be homeless. Be supportive of your spouse and if you are home, take on the lion's share of home responsibility, especially if the working spouse is taking on extra hours to make up for the lost income. Your spouse is experiencing a loss too. Try to be respectful of that.

2. Be ready to report on what you have done that day. Even if the answer is, there was nothing to apply to and I spent time fine tuning my resume or looking into some additional schooling or I went to every temp agency in town and put in for work. Always have an active answer.

3. Keep yourself busy. Its easy to fall into a depression and want to stay in your sweats all day, eating cheap junk food and watching tv. Don't do it. Now is the time to tackle home projects, organize things, volunteer, EXERCISE! whatever keeps you out and engaged. And remember, the more people you interact with, the better the chance that you will find someone who can help you. And if you take a nap during the day, do NOT mention that to your spouse.

4. Try to find temporary work to supplement your income. When you collect Unemployment Insurance there is a certain amount you can make before you mess with your unemployment payments.

I know that this was not a true he said she said, and I apologize to Shelle and Tysdaddy for going off the track a little, but I hope that you find my advice useful.

If you would like to stop by and say hi, please do so. I am usually not safe for work on Thursday's and the rest of the week is the luck of the draw, except for Friday, when I talk about food.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Upside

Back in the day, before there was a recession, I worked as an operations manager for a radio station. For eight years I wrote commercials, produced them, scheduled them, and hosted the morning show that aired them. I hired people and fired people. I changed out transmitter tubes when they went bad. It was a decent gig. And then the owner sold the station.

The unwritten purpose of any employee is to reduce the owner's debt. Job well done, indeed.

Radio jobs in the area were scarce at the time, and I didn't want to relocate, so I looked elsewhere and found a job manufacturing control boards for heating and air conditioning units made by a company whose name you'd immediately recognize if I told it to you.

Since starting there in early 2006, I've been laid off three times, each within the past two years.

The first time was in May of 2008. It lasted about six weeks. Not really all that big of a deal actually. I got some time off during the summer. Got to swim with the kids, play lots of video games, rock out in Cleveland, and catch up on my reading.

The second time was in February of 2009. That one lasted until just after Independence Day. I played more video games, swam some more, studied harder than usual for my university classes, wrote a rather sunny post about the whole ordeal, and slept in. And I looked for work. Any work.

The third time was not a typical layoff. It came in late August of last year, and this time there would be no recall rights. The ones who had taken voluntary layoffs were coming back, and there would be more people than jobs. Once again they would be taking my badge from me. I went home one night and wrote this:

Home at 2:30 this morning. Finished reading a chapter and turned off the light at 3:00. And instead of grabbing my favorite huggy pillow off the floor and drifting away, I rolled over and embraced my wife.

I caressed her cheek. Brushed the hair from her forehead. Ran my hand down the length of her side and let it rest on the curve of her hip. Felt each shiver. And I thought about things we’ve been through during these 20+ years together . . .

Our firs
t night as husband and wife when, in the early part of the evening of a very long day, we fell asleep on the floor of her grandmother’s cabin. How we held each other so tightly under a handmade quilt, having vowed before a great cloud of witnesses to never let go.

Following the birth of each of our four children. Even when she would have rather been sleeping, or throwing up, we held each other.

At funerals, weddings, and crappy movies.

Effortless embraces that carried the weight when words were used up or out of place. Thousands of times between the first and
this morning. Each one – whether visceral, frisky, or subliminal – a touch, a point of contact between physical presence and myriad circumstances.

Today, I
have to tell her that I’m being laid off. Again. I imagine we’ll hold each other. And, though mixed with tears and worries, it will feel like love. Like an unspoken commitment to make things work. She will bear the emotional brunt upon a backbone made of stuff stronger than steel. And in her embrace I’ll find the courage to get out of bed in the morning.

If I can convince her to let me go . . .

I haven't worked since. And while the math is easy, it isn't pretty: In 2009, I worked only about eleven weeks. The remainder of the year, when not swimming and playing video games and attending classes, I looked for work.

Any work.

I thought about going all funny with this post. Telling you about how I'm starting to drive her and the kids crazy with my lack of hygiene and omnipresence. Or how I watch Dirty Jobs for ideas on what to apply for next.

But it's just not funny anymore.

The Upside? She still hasn't let me go. I will find a job. Regardless, we will continue to hold each other, and make memories that will last. Today is another day to either sulk and stay in bed, or get up and, as some guy in a movie once said, "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

I hope . . .



The Cheek of God

[Flickr photo is by cherwenka and is protected]

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meet The Blogger: Chief

Name: Chief (unless i absolutely have to use my real name)

Age: 37

Kids #, age & sex: 2 boys ages 9 & 13

Maritial status: Married

1. How many years in your current relationship: almost 17

2. Have you ever been divorced?: nope (unless you count the time I divorced him on Facebook for a day

***If so how many times?:

3. What do you do for work: Administrative assistant at a k-9 school full time and a cosmetologist part time at home when I feel like it

4. Education: not much.... HS and 1 yr of college... school wasn't mah thing... Cosmo school was two years and miserable

5. Blogs you contribute to:

main blog:
(Hiding From the Kids)
Skinny Chics in Sumo Suits
Apples and Aprons
Venus Vs. Mars

My newest adventure is: We Believe Blogs

6. Religion: LDS

7. Political affiliation- (republican, democrat, libertarian): Republican most of the time

8. Basic philosophical leanings (liberal, conservative, confused): pissed off conservative

9. What is your motto in life?: I refuse to do things for other people. Did that for too many years. I live life for me and my family and no one else. This is me, take it or leave it.

10. Who has had the most influence in your life?: My Jr. High Choir Director - Jennifer Strassburg. She was a cancer survivor and one of the spunkiest people I have ever met. She took me under her wing and lead me through some very trying times.

11. Why did you start Blogging? (100 words or less): I was pressured by friends and family to document the idiocy of my daily life.
*What is the most favorite post you have written on any blog you contribute to?:
Peeing with a hairy man

12. Tell us in 100 words about your current relationship: Duke and I are best friends. He bugs the hell out of me and I drive him nuts. We tell each other everything and love each other for who we are. I wouldn't change for the world.

13. BONUS or OPTIONAL: Tell us something we need to know about you that we haven't covered above. 50 words or less: I love making people laugh. I hate to find out I have offended anyone with my lack of filter. I have a tough outer exterior and a mushy center (literally).... how many words is that?

Shelle's Note: Chief's blog truly makes you laugh. She always has something to say. Mostly done in sarcastic humor but it will make your day and we have this running joke that she owes me a few key boards because of all the water I have spit out while laughing at one of her posts. You will not be sorry if you take the time to hop over to her main blog and read her posts. Then follow her. Trust me. We love Chief over here because not only is she brutally honest but her humor trickles over here and livens up the place... yet her advice is sound and very profound.

Thanks Chief... for being a part of Real World Venus vs. Mars. We definitely wouldn't be the same without you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

He Said She Said: Casual Sex

All I asked of the contributors is that they take one side of the issue and tell us why they believe that! Comment and tell us who you agree with or what you believe or think! The topics are suppose to illicit a response and start a conversation in comments. Enjoy!

TOPIC: Casual Sex. Can two people just have "casual" sex?

SHE Said:

Casual sex is not casual and it’s just that….sex

I am definitely not a proponent of casual sex. I have been on both the giving and receiving end….no pun intend. Well, maybe just a little one!

Sure, I’ve sex with guys in casual relationships. But the key word there is casual *relationship.* Meaning we’ve shared a meal, went out for more than one date, shared a dialogue. Something.

I think there is a certain type of person that is able to have sex with someone (whether they know them or not) and just be able to move on from it. And that person is not me.

Nothing good can come of it. No matter much you go into it telling yourself this means absolutely nothing. Even if you don’t have feelings for the other person. Even if you have no desire to see that person again. There is still an emotional string there. Unless you’re one of the guys I’ve had casual sex with!

I’m not proud to say that I’ve done this before. Well tried to anyway. I met some guy online and it had been a while for me. A girl has her needs too! There was some attraction there (there has to be at least that!) He was younger than me and I knew that I wanted nothing more to do with this person than to just sleep with him. He didn’t want anything more either. So we agreed. We would meet for a drink, then go back to his place, have a little fun and move on.

Well, drinks were awkward to say the least. Neither of us had anything to say to the other one. The only positive that came out of the drinks was that he paid. And that’s not much.

After the cocktails, we headed back to his place, which was conveniently really close to the bar we were at. We didn’t say anything to each other. He just led me to the bedroom and we had sex. It was pretty good too, actually! When he was done (yes, he. Are you surprised that he didn’t care to try and help me climax? I’m not!) he threw me a towel, walked out of the room and asked me what I was going to do for the rest of the night.
Now, like I said earlier, I knew I didn’t want any more from this guy than to have sex, but it still feels really, really dirty. I felt terrible afterward.

That is exactly why I cannot just have sex with someone. No matter how much I tell myself there won’t be any feelings involved there always are.


I start to feel guilty, not worthy. Like why am I disrespecting myself like this. I’m better than that. And while none of those feelings were for him, I still had them. Even though I didn’t feel any of those things while we were actually having sex, they always creep back into your head after the fact.

But again, this is just my opinion. I know plenty of people that can do this on a regular basis and never bring in the emotion that I do. Or do they?

Really, I feel that it boils down to respecting yourself. If I treat myself and my body like it’s public property, how will I ever meet someone that’s truly interested in me and in being just with me. How can I ever expect anyone to respect when I freely give away what is truly precious and special. Myself and my body. It feels like I’m making myself a doormat for guys to just come and sleep with me whenever they want and not have to give anything in return. Namely, respect. What guy would buy the cow when they are getting the milk for free?

So, this doormat has been officially put away. Until someone with honorable intentions comes a knocking. At least with my vibrator…I’m the one doing the using and I can guarantee you there are no emotions involved. And I always make sure I *take care* of myself first!

HE Said:

When I read what SHE said, I am forced to offer a point of clarity. Trolling the internet looking for someone to 'do' is not casual sex. To argue that casual sex is wrong, or that it isn't for you, you must know what you are saying no to.

Casual sex is not having sex with some anonymous partner from the internet. Casual sex is having an understanding with someone of the opposite sex. If it evolves to bumping bathing suit parts together at the end of a drink, then so be it. But casual sex is not an orgasm-less experience. This is probably why SHE isn't a fan. She got a douche-bag in the sack. Congratulations, be glad you didn't marry him.

To have a good causal sexual experience you must be very up front with the other party. Hey, we're gonna do it, make sure I get mine too. The point of casual sex is to get off. It isn't about cuddling after. It isn't about talking about those pesky things called feelings. It's about unadulterated bump and grinding. [insert R. Kelly here, and yes, i really did intend to use insert and R. Kelly together]

So before you talk down about something that you think is wrong or not for you, make sure you know what you are talking about. Again, let me reiterate, talking with some dude from 'i need to get my pee pee' then having a drink and doing it, is NOT casual sex. That is creepy. That is dangerous.

Casual sex is more of a business relationship than an emotional one.

Adam- This is his COMING OUT over here at the Real World, he is our NEWEST contributor! But he's been doing this blog thing for a while and just had a new edition to his family! Plus he does kinda pretty cool Podcasts... go check his blog out!

Donna says more................

In response to what HE said:

By the way Clinton, casual sex can be having sex with someone anonymous partner from the internet, or with someone you know. Yes, it’s not the smartest thing to do, but if you don’t happen to have a bump and grind partner readily available to you and are safe about it, what difference does it make? Hence the emailing, texting and meeting for a drink first. So I beg to differ on HIS opinion that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The example I gave was ONE experience that was had. And I do not troll the internet looking for guys to do.

Besides, isn’t that how all relationships are built? Casual sex relationships or otherwise. And yes, I say relationship, because regardless of how much you just think with your dick, there is always emotion involved.

What’s creepy to me is that someone can actually just have sex and not have one single, emotion or feeling afterwards. I am not a fan because I just can’t have sex without emotion. Other people can, I can’t do it. Which is what I thought this was supposed to me about, MY opinion on the subject. Not getting attacked by someone who thinks I troll pee pee wet .com (who comes up with this shit?) and what I did was creepy.

Part 2: Adam says more.........

Let me clear the air. I wasn't attacking you. If you felt offended in anyway I deeply apologize. I was attacking your stance on casual sex. Last I checked this was a he said she said argument. Your stance is that, casual sex is NOT ok, and my stance is that casual sex is just fine and dandy.

So let me put it out there. I have NEVER once ever in my life had casual sex [honestly I have only had 2 sex partners], but that doesn't mean that I think it is bad or have it's place. See I don't buy your argument that you think it is bad. I do believe that casual sex is not FOR YOU. That's fine. I don't think casual sex is good for me. But casual sex is just fine for many people out there.

I think we seem to agree that casual sex is fine as long as it is safe. That is what my argument was structured the way it was. It was designed to get a reaction out of you so you can show us what you REALLY think. It's ok, I agree with you too. Casual sex has it's pitfalls, but I don't think those pitfalls disqualify it from being something that can fill in the sexual side of your life until the next relationship starts.

Relationships built from casual sex NEVER work out. I have had plenty of friends cry on my shoulder from this. Relationships are built on friendship that develop into sexual relationships.

***Note: So to sum it up, SHE thinks casual sex is bad, but has partaken in the act of casual sex. HE thinks casual sex is ok, but has never had casual sex himself.