Thursday, April 5, 2007

Simple Key to Happy Life

I have a friend, who met her husband a few years ago. They had a fairytale romance of prince and princess, eyes for only each other. "Penelope" and "Colin" were pledged soul mates who had weaved their weary way through the frosty world into each others waiting arms. They soon wed, and shortly before the wedding Penelope had a conversation with another friend, "Susan", who had been married for almost 20 years. They spoke of some of the trials and tribulations, arguments, out and out brawls that married couples may encounter. My delusional punch-drunk-love-bitten friend said to this seasoned matron that she could "understand this could be how it is for less fortunate folk". However, she and her beau would not fall victim to the same diseases run rampant on us unenlightened couples. They had truly found the fountain of pure, everlasting love and adoration. When Susan did relate this tale to me, we had a fantastic laugh, a knowing glance at one another, and said: "just wait." Penelope relocated from her home country to her husbands and has recently called Susan to say that she has since kicked him out due to his overall inability to "get" her. Colin has failed to remain as devoted to the relationship as she, unable to maintain their former nirvana, and could not truly be the man she married. As Susan is the wise sage of our circle, Colin also called her to lament that he has tried desperately to please, (or avoid displeasure) yet falls short every time and asked for advice. Susan, gentle and nurturing, gracefully tactful told Colin that all Penelope really wants (as does every wife) is "a woman with a penis".
My own husband wooed a wonderful love story for us as well. He was spontaneous, romantic and full of adventure. We kissed for hours under the moonlight and waxed lyrical about the life we would create together. About endurance and devotion resulting in the ultimate bond where we would collapse in an elderly embrace somewhere on the craggy cliffs of the pacific northwest, after raising beautiful children and seeing them plentifully provided for, now raising our grandchildren who would adore us and come for visits of hot cocoa and oatmeal cookies. I bought it hook, line and sinker. If I were to still believe in our own love story, we would be rooted in the endurance stage for the last 5 years.
See, husbands and wives really are fundamentally different in so many ways. Men do not sit around and ponder if the relationship is headed in the the right direction. They don't worry about our happiness and wonder if we are satisfied and content. They don't stand in front of the mirror, turning to see every angle and possible protrusion both wanted and unwanted asking themselves "will this dress and haircut make her happy?" Men are like cheetahs. They use up all their energy in the chase and then need to take a breather (for a good decade or so). Husbands have two indicators, at most, as to what calls them to action in their marriage: are we having sex? and is she nagging me? If the answers to these questions are (former and latter) yes and no, then there is no need to do anything at all but come home, plop on the couch and fondle the remote. If the answers are reversed then, well, a little more time is spent in the bathroom or garage.
Poor Penelope, I do not envy her stage in the marriage house. The disillusion, and possible dissolution if you don't recover from your heavenly euphoria. It took years to grasp the reality that marriage is a really great friendship in which you may have sex occasionally. Your husband will never "get" you, that's what your girlfriends are for. So have your sex then call your best friend to chat while your husband snores away blissfully. Simple key to happy life. And, I've decided, in the next life: he's the woman.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Things To Look Forward To

A list of things to eagerly look forward to when you decide to have children:

1. 8am is sleeping in
2. 8pm is staying up late
3. Instant stupidity monitor (your children)
4. Understanding clothing size 2x
5. Your bi-weekly shower
6. Inability to shave bikini line due to stomach obstruction
7. Nipple adjustments - to avoid "looking" south while the other "looks" west
8. Referring to nipples as though they have eyes
8..............................................................................unexpected loss of focus
9. Loss of vocalubary and alibity to speak tanive longue
10. Loss of sexual appetite
11. Increase of ice cream appetite
12. Relating to "Everybody Loves Raymond"
13. Relating to your parents
14. Becoming your parents
15. Most exciting event - being able to poop OR not having to use wet-wipes when you do
16. The "Sneeze-Pee"
17. Hemorrhoids - no it's not a character from Star Wars
18. Night Out On The Town: Dinner at the Olive Garden and a jaunt over to Lowe's
Just a little information for those contemplating the joys of parenthood

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thank You June Cleaver

What was June Cleaver really like? What happened when you turned off your TV and the door was shut to the Beaver household? June, so calm, so together, so available for husband and children, so willing to acquiesce. What happens when she's alone? Don't her kids ever whine, pout, and require things that she isn't able to give? Did she ever backhand Wally or the Beave after a couple too many martinis? In the pressure to be perfect, did she find herself alone at night staring into the mirror, mascara running down her cheeks, lipstick smudged and rouge too heavy? Did she ever imagine smothering her husband as he slept so soundly in the twin bed next to hers? Or how about hopping in the Ford, driving to Vegas, getting a boob job, becoming an exotic dancer and mistress to some seedy underworld crime boss? When the TV was shut down and middle class America faced itself, did she feel guilty about the facade she presented so charmingly, so convincingly, that a generation was beguiled into believing it not only a possiblity but a requirement? Well, from a product of the product of the 50's - Thank you June Cleaver.

Monday, February 12, 2007

First time for everything

When I was a teenager, 30 seemed quite grown up and sophisticated. I knew some thirtysomethings and they really had it together. 30 was independence at its best. I'm 30+ with 2 kids, a husband, a 1950's tract house in a flat suburban landscape often cinematically represented as the epitome of dullness, 2 cars, three cats, and a middle class income. And I ask myself, "How did I get here?". I'm a stay-at-home-mom who in my teens and early 20's was wild and crazy and swore that I'd NEVER be caught dead in an environment that was anywhere near the type that my parents were raised. Now I'm one step away from the minivan (toyota sienna or honda odyssey?), girl scout cookie chairperson and hand making all my older daughters valentines. (June Cleaver, my hero). I love my family and actually enjoy the comforts of home. However, my question is, "How do I define myself outside of parenthood? Am I more than a Mom?" I have not found a career that inspires me and by the time I finally finish school I will be a grandmother. How can I write this without whining and self-pity? I have a strong opposition to blogging and the general look-at-me-ism rampant in American society. This need for attention and fame highlighted and intensified by, what? Reality TV? The Internet? De-personalization of communication (e-mail is the best way to get a hold of me...caller id....text msging)? Whatever. I don't want to buy into it, yet "it" is becoming more than a normal way of existing. It IS existence. So, here I am, beginning a blog, becoming a blogger. Becoming a contributor to the demise of all I held on to as belief. But this is not for you. Or you. Or you. This is for me. A search for "what's next" and "what else" and "where to". There's a first time for everything. Stuck in my stories of suburbia and motherhood, I forgot how to jump off the cliff. 1, 2, 3...splash!