Tag Archives: marriage

When I Said I Do…

k8edid and Sweet Cheeks – Two Wild and Crazy Kids, circa 1979 (photo credit – my Mom, I think, maybe my sister, I don’t remember).

When I said I do, I meant that I will ’til the end of all time
Be faithful and true, devoted to you…
That’s what I had in mind when I said I do

          – Lyrics – When I Said I Do

by Clint Black

Thirty-three years ago today I said “I do”.  And I meant it.  In the cluttered office of a town judge, with a couple of friends and a couple of German Shepherds as witnesses, we joined our hearts and our lives together.

It hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been fun, but it has always been the best thing that ever happened to me.  There have been low points, fabulous high points and a lot of mundane times in between that we slogged through side-by-side – sometimes shouldering the load together – sometimes depending on the other to be stronger, tougher, more resilient.  There have been disappointments, setbacks, and challenges.  There have been many lessons learned, periods of intense joy, and an abundance of blessings.

A lot has changed in 33 years.  I am no longer the frightened, insecure young woman who needed constant reassurance – but he provides it anyway, showing me each and every day that I am loved, needed, and wanted.  He endures my moods, laughs at my jokes, devours every word I write and believes in me in everything that I do.

He is not perfect.  He has a preoccupation with sports that is beyond annoying.  The sound of his chewing makes me want to pick up a steak knife  and do some damage to his lateral pterygoid (his manners are impeccable, but his jaw muscles just make so much noise when he chews that I want to scream).  He snores, can’t cook, and his handwriting is legendary in its illegibility.  But in the ways that matter – he is a rock star.

I know that I’m not perfect, either.  I am perpetually cynical, sporadically foul-mouthed, incredibly impatient, and occasionally passive-aggressive.   Okay, maybe more than occasionally.  I sometimes take advantage of his easy-going nature, and a lot of my “jokes” are at his expense.  I like to be right.  And I like to be told that I’m right.  Repeatedly.  Am I right?

I do not know how many more years we will have together, but I know they will not be enough.  I hope he knows that today, and everyday, I meant what I said that afternoon so many years ago.  I do.  And I will.

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These Things Do Not Actually Constitute Foreplay

Spotted Owlet Athene brama at Keoladeo Nationa...

Since you're going to the kitchen any way can you get me a beer? (Photo credit: Wikipedi

Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University report that men are “always” thinking about sex. By that they meant that 54 percent of men think about sex several times a day, compared with just 19 percent of women, they wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of “The Female Brain,” however, disagrees. She writes in her book that men think about sex every 52 seconds, while women tend to think of it just once a day. If men are thinking about sex more frequently than once a minute, how do they get any work done?  Why, when they aren’t also thinking about food, sports and beer, of course.  And when women do think about sex once a day are they thinking “I hope he’s not thinking about sex, again”?  Or is that just me?

My husband is out of town.  I do miss him.  I mean, there hasn’t been a single sporting event blasting from the television since he left.  There has been no dinner preparation in the evening, unless you count pouring milk over a bowl of Special K.  I have enjoyed unlimited use of the lone bathroom here, and unfettered control of the remote.

No, really I do miss him and his, um, shall we say continous amorous advances.  Even though we have been married for at least 100 years (what?  It’s only been 32 years?  Seems like so much longer…) he still obviously finds me irresistable.  Either that or his vision has deteriorated to the point that he is mistaking me for someone else.

Sex

Sex (Photo credit: danielito311)

Given the potential for miscommunication and misunderstanding, based on the wide variances in male and female thought processes associated with sex, I offer the following guidelines for my husband as to what does not constitute foreplay.

1.  Asking me to get you a beer.

2.  Opening a jar for me.

3.  Sneaking up behind me while I am washing dishes.

4.  Folding my underwear.

5.  Bumping into me in the hallway.

6.  Getting me to scratch your back.

7.  Pretending to hold my hand when you are actually trying to sneak the remote from my grip.

8.  Taking out the trash.

9.  Waking up.

10.  Opening your birthday card.

Except that with #1o, I can’t say “Get off me, this isn’t your birthday”…

DISCLAIMER:  This post is entirely (well, mostly) tongue-in-cheek.  I know a great many men who are capable of deep thoughts and who actually consider topics other than sex, food, sports and beer.  I’m pretty sure I do, anyway.  In any event, I am fortunate to have a husband who not only makes me feel loved and desired, but lets me know everyday that he supports me, appreciates me and cherishes me.

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How Do I Love Thee? Hmmmmm……

Lenore, you said it was time for a poem – this one is for Sweet Cheeks, of course.  Hope you enjoy. 

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...

Image via Wikipedia

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love that you’ve been mine for 11,840 days.

I love that you still find me the girl of your dreams.

Despite menopause, depression, and a few primal screams.

 

I love that you adore me, that you think I’m the best.

Even when I’m lazy and “comfortably” dressed.

Your faith in me never wavers – your love is absolute.

Your ability to love me is your best attribute.

 

I love that you think I’m brilliant; you believe that I’m funny.

You overlook that I’m more “vinegar” than “honey”.

I love that you eat whatever it is I have cooked.

I love the way you stay so easily hooked.

 

I love that you cover me up when I’m sleeping like a log.

You check my car’s oil and take care of my dog.

Your Post It Note love letters, your “no occasion” bouquets.

I love that you express your love in so many ways.

 

I love that your heart is mine, of that there’s no doubt.

Your loving gestures are evident – day in and day out.

So this Valentine’s Day, I am happy to recount

The ways that I love you – it’s a freakin’ huge amount.

Valentines heart

Image via Wikipedia

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Adrift at Sea on HMS Doldrums

Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.  (Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

doldrums – noun

1. a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art: August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.

2. the doldrums,

a.  a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of the equator between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

b. the weather prevailing in this area.

3. a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

(courtesy dictionary.reference.com)

Captain SweetCheeks and FirstMate K8 have been on a marital voyage for more than 32 years. There have been many days of smooth sailing, more than a couple of near-shipwreck misses near rocky shores, and occasional battering by waves and winds that they somehow managed to safely navigate. They enjoyed sunsets, changed course more than a few times, and learned to trust while charting a course of togetherness for all time.

They took turns steering the ship; sometimes standing together at the wheel.  Sometimes one would stand alone at the wheel while the other, with full faith in the ability and skill of the other, rested or pursued other activities, resuming their watch in due time.

They trained a couple of crew members who then set about on their own journeys, on their own vessels. These grown crew members produced new little sailors who popped onto our ship from time to time, bringing great joy, laughter and adventure.

A long voyage was planned, mostly by the Captain, that would take the seasoned crew away from the children and grandchildren, to a warmer climate. He planned a career move that would carry him to full retirement. First Mate K8, reluctantly agreed to the voyage, and planned a semi-retirement that would include part-time teaching and exploring a life-long desire to write. The ship set sail on the newly charted adventure, the crew standing shoulder to shoulder at the wheel, heading into the sunset.

The ship anchored at the chosen southern latitude. The employment opportunity that the Captain anticipated never materialized. An alternate employment path was deemed unsuitable and the Captain obtained part-time employment to get him off the ship from time to time. First Mate K8 was homesick for her home port, missing her former crew members, dockmates, and comfortable assignments. She struggled daily to stay upbeat, fighting (although not always successfully) to keep from blaming the Captain for her unhappiness. She was offered a demanding full-time position.  Given the economic outlook for the voyage and the need to purchase the large quantities of provisions required to make margaritas (for purely medicinal purposes), she accepted it.   The position included a soul-sucking commute and left her little time or energy for her desired creative outlets.

Thus Captain SweetCheeks and First Mate K8 find themselves on the HMS Doldrums – listless, depressed, lacking movement of any kind. Unable to move forward, unwilling to move backward, they find no wind in the sails of their marital vessel.  They feel the presence of the albatross.

The Captain, as always, feels responsibility for the happiness of the crew and success of the mission. He blames himself, berates himself for the stalled success of the voyage, despite his best intentions. He wishes, more than anything, that the First Mate will find some nuggets of happiness. He misses her laughter, cynicism, and teasing. He wishes she did not have to work full-time, commute so far, give up so much. He fears a mutiny, and treads lightly around her – unsure what to say, more unsure about what, if anything, to do.

The First Mate, finding herself in totally new and unfamiliar surroundings and roles, fights loneliness and depression. The support system on which she had depended for so many years and from which she had drawn her strength feels as if it is out of her reach. She floats adrift – immersing herself in work, floundering socially. She wonders why she agreed to the voyage, and more than once reminds the Captain that she had voiced doubt about the advisability of the mission. She finds no joy in being right.  In fact, she is despondent that he, too, seems adrift.  She hates that he has assumed the burden of responsibility for her unhappiness. Unwilling to make him feel worse than he already does, she also begins to tread lightly in the Captain’s presence.

Thus their interactions become wary, stand-offish, tentative. The crew members, accustomed to finding joy and taking pleasure in each other’s presence, now retreat to solitary pursuits, withdraw from each other. Periods of silence, once comfortable and welcomed, now feel dangerous – as if at any moment an explosion will rip a hole in the side of the vessel. At last fears and recriminations are voiced, tears shed, thoughts and hopes addressed, and healing begins.

There will be no mutiny. The Captain is reminded that he is not responsible for the happiness of his crew – only their safety. The First Mate recognizes that she would rather be on this journey, with this Captain, than anywhere else on this globe. Once again they stand shoulder to shoulder at the wheel, facing the sunset, secure in their love – ready for whatever direction the winds take them.

 

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Moon and Sun in Perfect Alignment

    

This week I have had the supreme pleasure of seeing the beautiful harvest moon each morning while waterjogging at the local pool at an ungodly hour.  Before my 30 minutes of laps are up, I am then treated to a sunrise.  I thought about this several times today – the sun and moon are in perfect alignment for that to occur.  By tonight the moon is no longer full, and the sunset will take place a few minutes later – and the opportunity to enjoy that particular set of beautiful scenes will be past.

I am reminded of another time when the sun and moon were in perfect alignment.   They had to have been.  A Sunday, 32 years ago today, when I was married to a wonderful man who was (is) my very best friend.  We were married by a judge in a civil ceremony, in the presence of 2 witnesses and 2 German Shepherds.  No family present – no reception, no hoopla.  I had been married before and did not want to repeat that stress-filled experience.

We had a low-key honeymoon in Northern Michigan, punctuated by car trouble and a terrible migraine.  Omens?  He watched Monday night football and I read a book.  A sign of things to come?  Not a terribly exciting beginning, but one filled with love, tenderness, and hope.  Sweet Cheeks chartered a private plane and we flew over Grand Traverse Bay – in the fall, a very beautiful place.  After a few days we returned home – but not to live together.  The home we purchased was not ready to occupy, and I did not want to move my kindergartener twice, so our first 6 weeks of marriage were spent living apart.  Not typical, but not awful.

Over the years there have been peaks and valleys, struggles and triumphs.  At one time or another each of us has considered throwing in the towel, but fortunately, never both at the same time.  We fought, made up, laughed, and cried, never losing sight of our love and commitment, although sometimes the focus has had to be readjusted.

So today, I want to thank my wonderful husband for 32 years of  sweet togetherness.  Thirty-two years of laughter, support, truthfulness, and friendship.  He is my staunchest defender, best cheerleader, and a perfect straight man for my warped sense of humor.  He endures my snarkiness with characteristic good grace, and tactfully tells me when I step over the line (which is more often than I care to admit).  He has loved me through thick and thin (literally and figuratively), highs and lows, and every spot in between.

I am truly blessed.  I do not know how many more years togther we will have, but I can tell you that it will not be nearly enough.

Happy Anniversary, Sweet Cheeks.

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