Dinner For One

Valentine’s Day is this week. ARE YOU READY?

Someone said this to me today when I was picking up my kids from tennis. I smiled and nodded, and said “what about you?!”

In reality, I should have said “Dafuq? Ready for WHAT?”

Valentine’s Day, traditionally, is a huge disappointment for me. Most years, my husband is at work. Since he works nights, that means my idea of a sexy weeknight outfit is stained yoga pants and my MOM AF t-shirt with a gaping hole under the left armpit, and last week’s spilled rice still stuck to the chest.

There’s also the simple fact that I don’t particularly give a shit about commercial holidays, Valentine’s Day being one of them.

I guess my disappointment actually comes from the fact that I feel like I’m expected to care – a lot – about the vacuous, mundane celebration of love, when in actuality I just don’t. Sorry! I don’t.

I get weary of always feeling like I have to explain or answer to people just why I am the way I am, or of having to justify my feelings. I don’t owe anyone anything, including – and especially – an explanation of who I am. Yet still, I have an entire deck of excuse cards, always ready to pull out for why I don’t what others do.

And as with many commercialized holidays, there is also the obvious: why do I need a special day to remember or honor or celebrate something I should be doing *every day?*

[Cue the high horse.]

This isn’t to be confused with the celebration of Valentine’s Day with my kids. I am all over that shit. Any opportunity to use colloquialisms and special events to teach them how to show people that you love or care for them, I’m all for it.

What I do for Valentine’s Day with my kids is pretty basic, too. I buy a gift bag for each of them, and slowly – over the course of about a month – fill it with things I see while I’m out that make me think of them, know they’ll like, or that I think they need. When the bag is full, it gets topped off with tissue paper and, vóila.

Then, on Valentine’s Day, I make our meals V-Day themed. Because it’s fucking cute.

As the years go by, and my kids get older, though, they become less and less impressed with the commercialism of it as well. That, I believe, is in large part due to the fact that you can’t go anywhere without the holiday being shoved down your throat.

Honestly, CVS: I’m looking at you.

I’m trying to then gear it more towards teaching them to give gifts that have personal meaning. An old necklace I had to pass on, a card that’s just silly, or something I saw while out that was only $1 but made me think of them. Arguably the most commercial of all holidays, Valentine’s Day seems an opportune time to teach gift giving sans commercialism.

So when I first met my husband, it was just before Valentine’s Day, and I will never forget his rant about how much he loathed the material aspect of it all (ironic given my husband’s propensity to acquire stuff, but we’ll save that for another post)…

Being the late stage millennial hipster that I am, and not knowing how much of a hoarder of things he really was yet, I ate that shit up. Ate it with a spoon.

I, too, had a deep disdain for The Man, and all of the ceremonious, faux holidays that came with it! What a match we were – we had so much in common philosophically!

That year, on Valentine’s Day, we agreed that we would hang out anyway and not be – like – romantic. But we were planning to hang out anyway, and it just happened to be Valentine’s Day, and we had to eat so we should probably cook too. Definitely not a Valentine’s Day thing though because fuck The Man.

[Cue the second face.]

(A little side anecdote for you guys: having also had a conversation about how my unbeknownst husband-to-be had never had Macaroni and Cheese with BBQ sauce mixed into it before; I, trying to be coquettish, said “well I’ll just make it for you on Valentine’s Day then.” We did hang out that day and made mac and cheese. And if you guys really want to know how intolerable this whole thing became, when I showed up he said he thought it would be REALLY ARTISANAL if we added some red onion and FAKEN BACON, which he had pre chopped just assuming I would be fine with such a culinary abomination, quite obviously a portends to what was to come in our marriage no doubt. I know, you guys… I know…)

Anyway, so then we got married and suddenly it was like: okay yeah, but married people do Valentine’s Day, and they like it. So we thought: well, shit, if other people do it and like it, we probably should too.

The first year, we went on a fucking gondola ride in the swampy canals of Long Beach. Name me something more cliche to do on Valentine’s Day than that, I’ll wait…

[Cue the crickets.]

To this day, it remains to have been the most uncomfortable and awkward two hours of my life. I mean the boat was cool and all, but the guy doing the paddling sang while looking directly into our eyes, with a really weird I’m-borderline-sexual-about-this-song-and-paddling-gig, then turned and said he would “give us privacy.” All the while, dirt bags and homeless people were hanging out along the canal waterfront; one guy so drunk he repeatedly belched, seemingly in tune with our gondola guide’s song, which at that point had turned into something of a rhythmic, hip-thrusting chant. Towards the end, a lady and man in matching tight-fitting speedos and muscle shirts paddle-boarded past us, screaming at each other.

For years, we tried. Well, I tried. Or at least, tried to get on board. My husband always got home from work super late, pretending to be all stressed out because he got “stuck in traffic” (he had really just worked late like he always does). I would make a romantic meal, or I actually put on makeup for once, and then I would sit there – the doting wife – tapping my toe while I waited for him to get home.

It was so ridiculous.

One year we went out to a Japanese restaurant and I ordered this sautéed edamame dish that was so goddamned good I basically woofed it down like a pig with a feed bag on her face.

The next year, I saw a Groupon for a pearl necklace and was convinced that I needed those pearls. So my husband got them for me, but there was also a big Lakers game on that night so he threw them in my general direction as he made a beeline for the TV to turn on the game.

Then he started working overnights, and Valentine’s Day sort of just faded away.

I’m certain he has gotten me cards, either at CVS or one he printed off the Internet, typed message and all, since then. But every year it has been less and less of an effort. This year, I am firmly expecting not even an acknowledgment of the day.

To be honest, it has been a relief. That is, until I started feeling like people wanted an explanation as to why we didn’t celebrate as ostensively as possible.

The other day, we were celebrating my oldest daughter’s fifteenth birthday, and the topic of the swiftly approaching Valentine’s Day came up. Everyone was talking about their plans.

I was talking about my kids.

People were saying they had dinner reservations (for two), had special gifts coming in the mail, and my mother in law even said she and my father in law would be going on a boat cruise.

I said I would be making a cutesy dessert for my kids that night, and/or leaving them at home and making a dinner reservation for one since my husband will – obviously – be working. I was mostly joking; the truth was I would do the dessert and then binge watch You on Netflix (assuming I don’t finish the season beforehand).

In response, I got all these pity kind of faces. Like oh poor you, you’ll be so lonely, so sad, and so on.

Normally, I would start up my canned speech about how commercial and material Valentine’s Day is. I would blather on about the “why do I need a holiday to do what I already should be doing” sanctimonious speech I always give. And I would start up all the excuses I could fathom for why my husband and I ain’t doing shit at all.

This time, I didn’t go down that road, though. I just said: “I love myself enough to not need all of that.”

It cleared the room, and it’s true.

I don’t need my husband to buy me flowers (I buy them for myself), or candy (my tastes in candy change frequently, so it’s better that I pick out my own anyway). Cards are nice, but a couple of words in passing are just as good. I don’t need the fancy dinners and the boat rides and the romantic walks and the wine tasting limo rides to feel good about my place in my relationship and, more importantly, my life.

That may not be the case for everyone, but I think every relationship is different. For me and my husband’s, it works. And I’m done explaining it away because people just can’t accept that not everyone does what everyone else seems to do.

I’m perfectly happy and in love with my yoga pants and Mom AF t-shirt, stains and all. Don’t like it? Enjoy your gondola ride.


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An Open Letter To My Husband, Regarding Our Home

Just the other day, I went to my husband’s work. I don’t often go, but when I do I always like to move things around. He works in film, so they have a lot of equipment – I especially like to fuck with that stuff. I make sure to spill things all over the machines and not clean it up. I move the chairs around, and the fixtures. Then I fill the refrigerator in the break room with crap that’s just for me, even though I go in there – maybe – once a year.

I’m just kidding. I don’t do any of that. I also didn’t go into my husband’s work the other day. That would have required me to drive all the way there, and have a reason or will to see him during the workday (which I don’t, on either count), and to wear pants and a bra – just way more than I can handle most days.

I think my point was made nicely, though.

Each of us has a space. My husband’s is his place of employment; mine is our home.

And yet while I would never – not in a million years – dream of going into my husband’s space to move shit around to suit my fancy, make a huge mess and not clean it up, leave things in a way that sets others at an inconvenience, and break things without repairing or replacing them, time and again he does this to me.

Well this lady just can’t take it anymore. I’ve had it with working my ass off for it to all be undone, and for all of my own downtime being taken up with cleaning up his shit. I’m issuing him one more, final and public warning.

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Dear husband. Dear, dear, silly husband.

widget_cqSZNdkODnrlWTcyy5lZMPI think it’s “fun” how you fill the refrigerator with so many beverages it looks like a frat house on the eve of a kegger when you open the door to get – oh, I don’t know – some food. That’s a lie, no I actually don’t think it’s fun. I don’t think it’s fun at all. One time my grandma looked in the refrigerator and joked that we clearly live on liquids. That day, no less than 75% of the space had been taken up with cans of beer, bottles of beer, Soda Stream bottles with small droplets remaining, and approximately 36 bottles of Arrowhead water. With literally no room for food, this requires me to cook more often and grocery shop almost daily.

Fuck eating, we’re drinkers right? Wrong.

Yesterday, as with most days, I cleaned. For four hours. Three of those four hours were spent simply putting things back where they go. I put the throw blankets back where they go on our bed. I draped them over the unfortunate wear of the bed frame, versus where they were – folded up at the foot of the bed, implying they had been used (those are not for use) and exposing those scratches on the frame. I also rearranged all six of the throw pillows on the couch that cost $40 a piece, and yet are routinely treated as seat cushions and stress balls, squished and mashed out of shape while we watch movies in our living room.

Fuck having nice things, this shit’s for mashing and folding up right? Wrong.

Then there are things I think are just typical man, careless macho crap; though ironic since you are one of those LA hipsters that doesn’t like to be pegged a “typical” anything. Like when I go to take a shower and get sprayed in the face upon turning it on, because you can’t be bothered to remember to switch the water from sprayer to tub. Or when I clean the house only for you to spill food all over the bar table twenty minutes later while eating your dinner. And not clean it up, just leave it there in a pile of olive oil and pasta, bread crumbs and my forgotten dignity. And then there’s that whole tracking leaves in the front door thing, every fucking time that door gets opened.

Fuck respect for others, this place is your stomping grounds right? Wrong.

What I’m saying is that when I spend about 4 hours of each day in the kitchen cooking, over three different and complete meals, the last thing I want to do is look at a disgusting pile of olive oil, bread crumbs, and bits of pasta that fell from your mouth, sitting there on the bar table.

What I’m saying is that I would like to vacuum once a week. Not daily because leaves got tracked in and then stomped all over the living room.

I am so tired of our nice things being completely destroyed and left as is, as if once you have used and consumed everything you then will just leave behind a wasteland of broken furniture and damaged decor, and we should all just be totally OK with living in a trash dump.

Because let us not remind you of that temper tantrum you threw when I decided to turn our two, broken dining room chairs into a makeshift dining room bench that doesn’t look broken and dilapidated.

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Being a Stay At Home Mom, especially in your early 30s, can be a very stressful and isolating thing. We don’t get time with other moms quite like we’d like to. Or even just other adults. We don’t get to leave the slop and the slovenliness behind for 8 – 10 hours every day either. We have to sit in it, breath it in, see it all around us. If everyone, at the very least, would just wipe up the mess they leave behind – the toothpaste out of the sink, the crumbs off of the counter, hit the button in the shower, flip the shoes off before walking in the door – maybe four hours of cleaning almost daily would be cut down to two; freeing up more time for me to escape for a little bit in a book.

Let me be a little clearer:

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3 People You Should Hide Your Early Pregnancy From

So I think I’m about to lose a lot of you as faithful blog followers. I say that because I’ve been thinking about the concept of the pregnancy announcement, and I think my feelings about it will hit way more home than some of you want.

Get over it. This is my blog. My opinions.

It seems like it’s pretty taboo to announce you are pregnant before the second trimester. This year has seen an unprecedented number of pregnancy announcements – from friends, family … people I didn’t even remember existed until suddenly their naked belly photos were splattered all over my Facebook Newsfeed. The underlying commonality of each, though, was that they waited until the second trimester to announce. Complications could come up. Miscarriage is most likely in the first trimester. Blaa blaa blaa. You know the drill – it’s taboo, because what if you lose the baby?!

Yes. What if you lose the baby? God forbid you have a networked support system to be there for you.

In my mind, there are three people in particular that you should hide your pregnancy from:

#1 Your Hot, Latin Pool Boy

Yes, I said it.

We have a joke in our family about my uncle: that he’s really the Mexican gardner’s son. My grandma used to be teased to no end about the fact that he looked completely different than the rest of the family. She’d respond with “OK, but you know the milk man was a possibility too.” You go girl.

We all know that the baby’s father may very well be your Latin pool boy anyway – the paternity test on Maury two years from now will be the decider of that. In the meantime, you can limit the drama and keep the fun going for a little bit longer. At least until you start to show.

#2 That Gossipy Family Member

Everyone has a family member that is overly gossipy. I am fairly certain that I am bordering on being her in my family; but besides that, you should definitely hide your pregnancy from her.

Don’t hide your pregnancy from me, though.

Gossipy ladies are so horrid. Really they should be called: shit-talkers. Back-stabbing shit-talkers whose entire personality revolves around the ability to fling crap like monkeys. They don’t just tell stories they should be keeping to themselves; or share secrets that  were told in confidence. They make shit up. They speculate. They exaggerate. Someone gets fired from their job as a part of a huge set of layoffs, and the gossipy lady turns it into a dramatic scenario where “you know, I heard he was bringing vodka to work in his water bottle.”

Losing a baby is hard, but to have the gossipy lady talking all kinds of shit behind your back is just unnecessary. For this reason we will never be able to tell a single member of my husband’s family about any future pregnancies, until the baby is on its way out. Those people gossip like there’s no tomorrow, and you know what they say – someone who will talk shit to you, will talk shit about you.

#3 Your Starbucks barista and/or bartender

I’m just kidding about the bartender thing. I mean I know the pendulum swings on whether or not it is safe to drink any alcohol while pregnant, and right now a lot more people are having the occasional glass of wine after the approval of their doctor; but I’m still kidding.

Okay I’m not.

Nothing brings out the judgy-mcjudgers more like early pregnancy. “I made this decaf for you since you shouldn’t be drinking caffeine” they say. “You’re pregnant? Oh, I’ll hold off on bringing edamame to your table” they defy. “Can I show you photographs of babies with fetal alcohol syndrome while you drink your half a glass of wine that your doctor said you should go ahead and drink, because I disagree with him and my associates degree in mixology is so much more valid than his many years in medical school?”

The only person who has a right to give food and beverage advice to a new, budding pregnant lady is her doctor. And Web MD. And maybe What To Expect When Expecting, but I’m going to err on the side of just her doctor. Keeping it mum when you are trying to weave your way through your daily pattern of eating and drinking is perfectly fine for your own ease.

Now did you all notice something? I didn’t say that you should be keeping your pregnancy hidden from your closest family and friends, now did I? I know this is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Perhaps they miscarried or had to terminate the pregnancy due to complications. Maybe that was the hardest thing – and how could I ever understand what they went through. I’m such a fucking insensitive asshole that doesn’t know shit.

Or am I?

Little known fact: about two and a half years ago, in spite of the chastity belt lined with razors I keep close to my lady parts every night, Poor Nick successfully shot one in the hole, so to speak. I know, I know – who knew? It was a horrible time for us to have a baby, though; I had just left graduate school and was having a hard time even getting out of bed after doing so. We already had Pookies running around too, so he acted like a jerk about it from the minute I said “oh shit…” All the drama and stress and secrecy and “how are we going to do this” about it was for naught, though, because “God’s plan” took care of everything, and before the sixth week I was again not pregnant. To be clear: of no fault of my own. (Duh, I’m Catholic.)

Flash forward to now, and I am living through the deaths of two people very close to me. A suicide and the natural one of my grandfather. Had I had the love and support of the family and friends around me then as I do now, maybe it wouldn’t have taken so long to feel normal again. People say it’s different, but it isn’t. There’s always someone there waiting to say something stupid – in both situations. There will constantly be people pitying you, or avoiding you because they don’t know what to say. But in the middle of all of that are a group of people that are there for you, and support you. Unconditionally.

I see no reason to keep your pregnancy a secret from any of those people – for any amount of time. Because having to tell them about it is a path to being less alone if something goes wrong. Culturally, I think we need to get beyond this taboo – we need to learn to do things together again, rather than always isolating ourselves from each other at the worst times.

And of course to once again embrace the love of our hot and sexy, Latin pool boys. Because pool boys need love too.

That’s just my opinion, though. What’s yours?

My Thoughts on Blogger Awards and Facebook Shout Outs

Quite frankly, I think they’re fucking stupid.

Please don’t take this the wrong way if you do the blogger award thing, or if you do that daily list of tagging all the people you think are just fantastic on Facebook. I don’t think you are stupid. And I very much appreciate when people have thought of me in either event. I just think that the whole concept behind it all is a little dumb.

Allow me to elaborate.

So there are all these blogger awards. It’s pretty chic in the blogging world to get one, post about it, pass it on; but in the process refer to it as a chain letter. Basically say that I am too cool for it, but allow me to lower myself to this anyway. That is essentially what I think of them as too (chain letters); although, I will repeat that it is pretty fucking amazing when someone I probably have never even met takes the time to recognize me for whatever reason they have recognized me.

Again, that, in and of itself, is fucking rad.

What isn’t rad though is that they all have these stupid rules. You have to pass them on to X number of people. Then you pass them on to those people and half of them never even thank you, or acknowledge that you thought of them. You are supposed to share X number of things about yourself too. I have blue eyes. I used to dream obsessively about donkey schlongs. Yada yada yada. Chances are you people could give two shits about any of the facts I have shared in the past when I got those awards. Chances are you people could give two shits about any of the facts I would share now.

Then there is the fact that a lot of your readers may not even be bloggers. This means there are a lot of people that want good content, not bullshit posts about the cleverness of chain letters.

Onto Facebook shout outs. Again, these are great in the sense that it is awesome when someone thinks about you, and feels like they should share you and maybe even your content. It’s rarely your content, though. Usually it’s a list of people – always the same. Often it becomes an unreciprocated activity, as well. And sometimes you share someone on Facebook and the dillhole doesn’t even say “thanks.”

So I’m pretty on the anti-side of blogger awards and Facebook shouts outs. I will repeat one more time so you assfaces don’t get all facehurt by my saying this: every goddamned blogger award and Facebook shout out that has been done for me has brought a tear to my eye. That complete strangers could develop a relationship such as I have with some of my bloggie friends, and take the time to try and promote me (each other) is fucking awesome.

Now all of that aside, I realized recently that I need to do some spreading of the love, so to speak, for all the blogger awards, Facebook shout outs, Twitter #FFs, and otherwise mentions, with a little roasting. I have a much different way of showing my love, though. If you know me personally, you know that you know how many oodles I love you if I make fun of you a lot. Teasing is my hugging. Poking fun at are my smooches. My affection comes in the form of giving people crap – it’s really fun if you live with me. Well, at least for me. There are a few rules of my game, that I made up in my own mind. Just now.

1. If you are a blogger or not, read these with a grain of salt. Consider checking out these blogs because they really are fabulous writings by smacktabulous people.

2. If I left you out, don’t be hurt. Chances are I will be making fun of you too in the near future. Just you wait…

3. Please still love me when this is all done.

Words for Worms

I’ve already shown her this, but really she deserves to have it plastered all over the fucking Internets with her home address attached to it. Then we’ll all show up and egg her fucking house until she fixes this photo. If you are into books and book reviews and witty musings on all things bookworms, and otherwise, check out Words for Worms. Just ignore the fucking Ayn Rand cover she has on her homepage and Facebook cover. Puke, Katie.

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Quirky Chrissy

So Words for Worms and Quirky Chrissy are real life friends. They really pulled the wool over our eyes, that’s for sure. I mean they were pretty sneaky when they mentioned all the time that they were talking to each other; or that Katie almost poisoned Chrissy with a chicken or some shit. Yeah, joke’s on me fuckers, but I finally put two and two together and realized that what Katie lacks in common sense on the issue of Ayn Rand, Chrissy makes up for in total klutziness and – as the title goes – quirky, yet fucking awesome, blog posts.

One thing that has recently harried my brain, though, (also more than my mom’s balls) was when Chrissy made some comment about Justin Bieber on my Facebook. I asked her if she was a Belieber (hoping she would understand that I punch my own self in the boob out of anger every time I hear about the underage Canadian), and she fucking responded by quoting a Bieber song. Thanks, bitch. Thanks a fucking lot.

Frugalista Blog

Oh, I do love her. Fruggie is a mom blogger and, so I assumed by the title, a frugal living blogger. But every time she posts a picture or a video blog, the first thing I think to myself is “shit, this bitch has got a nice house!” Fucking china on the walls and shit. And she’s constantly talking about drinking tea and eating crumpets, and toasting jubilees and other nonsense with champagne.

Now there have been a few posts about doing shit for cheap. Like that rad pizza post, which I promptly ignored because I’m from Chicago (which means I’m way too good – in my own mind – to take pizza-making advice from anyone). But champagne? Tea and crumpets? Fuck that. Frugal champagne comes in a can. And the only fucking tea and crumpets cheap deal-getters eat are the ones made from dust off the floor and dirty sink water. Bring me some fucking deals like that, bitch!

Meat Me

Sean – a professional photographer – writes Meat Me. I really enjoy his blog, simply because he does a wonderful job of putting together video blogging, amazing photographs, and awesome stories behind his favorite thing: meat.

But seriously, man – one more fucking grease-filled photo of beef and pork covered in lard and saturated fats, and my goddamned arteries are going to completely clog in sympathy of yours.

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Alien Red Queen

I really love Alien Red Queen. She’s a talented writer; she has pretty thought-provoking ideas on her blog; and every other thing out of her mouth to me is “fuck that.”

I tried to send her some pumpkin bread about a month ago, though, and the post office called it a threat to the security of our nation. After some hefty thinking about this, I wondered if it had anything to do with her blog. Why you ask? Take a look at her home page.

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Well that’s a start on sharing my own version of love. Please don’t hate me, especially if I roast you too in the coming days. Stop the blogger awards already, people. And the Facebook tagging bullshit. #FF is really nice, but as First Time Mom and Dad and Ashley at Sorry Kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others mentioned just today, a lot of a-holes Tweet it without actually following you. Just what in the fuck is the point of that?

Really, what in the fuck is the point of any of it? That’s what we should be asking ourselves. For me, it’s about having fun. And clearly, making fun of people. Love you?

UPDATE 9:33 PM: First Time Mom and Dad did the post on Tweetholes … a similar issue. Check it here http://www.firsttimemomanddad.com/2012/12/the-politics-of-blogging.html

Relationship Commandments

Let’s not beat around the bush, here:  I’ve been around the block a time or two.  No, I’m not saying “been around the block” in the sense that I’ve whored around and probably carry enough STDs to make a scientist at the World Health Organization salivate with the possibility of using my disease combinations to study the effects of promiscuous behavior.  I’m saying I’ve been in a lot of relationships, of many different variety.

In those varied relationships, I’ve learned some very obvious rules to abide by; commandments, you might say.  Now, while I’m talking about romantic relationships, this could also apply to friendships, family relationships, as well as work associates.   I see some of the experiences I’ve had in romance (dating, living together, marriage) as microcosms of the ways in which people should treat all relations with others.  But for now, it’s more fun to keep it to the romantic ones.

Relationship Commandment #1  

Thou Shalt Not Talk About Your Ex

Nothing is worse than when someone won’t just shut the fuck up about their ex.  I know, I know – sometimes it is obvious when a person is out on the rebound, looking to drown those horrible, broken feelings in hours of apple martinis and random one night stands.  But it’s still a sign that a person has little care about anyone’s feelings but their own when they continue the conversation beyond the initial break-up.  No one cares if your girlfriend did X or Y in a way that you felt was wrong.  Trust me:  it doesn’t make anyone feel good to hear you talk about, or talk shit of, your ex.

Relationship Commandment #2  

Thou Shalt Be Present 

I’m not really talking about physical presence – everyone has other obligations (work, school, etc.).  I’m talking about emotional presence.  Nothing is more damaging to a relationship than when someone is completely unable to be emotionally present in it.  The whole point of relationships is to share emotion; a concept that seems to be lost more often now than ever before.  If you are unable to be emotionally or mentally present in your relationship, chances are you shouldn’t be in a relationship with another person to begin with.

Relationship Commandment #3

Thou Shalt Always Honor Commitments or Communicate Otherwise

I have had the great fortune of being in a relationship with someone that truly believed it was acceptable to not show up for a planned evening together.  He did not call, he did not text – we made plans and he just blew them off.  Later when I asked if he thought it was okay to do that he said he knew people who would think it was.  No apologies, no justifications – just “I think it’s perfectly okay to do.”  Well, faithful blog followers, it is most certainly not.  Anyone who thinks it is okay to be ditched like that has some serious boundary issues they need to work on (as in they have none).  It is never okay to completely abandon a commitment made to a significant other.  Recently I surveyed some of my Facebook followers in preparation of this blog to see what they thought, and the results unambiguously support Relationship Commandment #4: Thou Shalt Always Honor Commitments or Communicate Otherwise.

Relationship Commandment #4

Thou Shalt Be Honest at All Times

The amount that people seem to lie now a days is really starting to get under my skin.  In any sort of relationship – romantic, business, familial, or otherwise – it is never okay to lie.  Ever.  It is not okay either to be equivocal with the intent to deceive.  Lastly, “what they don’t know won’t hurt them…” is not an acceptable mantra.  Relationships are built on trust, which is only found through honesty.  There is no such thing as blind faith in another human being – that is reserved for God, Allah, or whatever religious entity you may (or may not) subscribe to.  (In fact, if someone believes you should have blind faith in them, they obviously think they are God and thus have severe delusions of grandeur you should get the fuck away from.)  The thing about a lie is this:  at some point, it’s going to come out.  Whether it be later on when he finds out you really aren’t into football, or when your secretary calls the house wondering where you’ve been for two hours when you said you were heading home for lunch…and once that trust is broken, it is very hard to get it back.

Relationship Commandment #5

Thou Shalt Never Swap Sex Stories

The only reason I can see for a man to need to swap sex stories with others is because he either needs to prove he can get it up, or assert his heterosexuality.  The only reason I can see for a woman to need to swap sex stories with others is to talk shit about the man and his penis.  In either event, it’s wrong.  The bedroom is considered private for a reason; and while you may think it is perfectly acceptable to talk about the position and moisture level from last night with anyone and everyone, unless you’ve explicitly and verbally cleared that with your significant other you have no right to do so.  Let’s remember that in this world we are not the only ones that exist and have feelings.  When you are telling all your lady friends that your boyfriend’s penis is flaccid half the time, and like boning lumpy mashed potatoes the other half, I’m pretty sure his feelings would be terribly hurt if he knew you were talking about it.

Five Marriage Myths Debunked

Right now – at this very moment – there is a bridal shower going on in the neighbor’s backyard.  Besides the obvious annoyance of the fact that the street is completely overrun by cars and SUVs parked in front of people’s driveways (rude, much?), the party has grown to be so loud that I would leave the house … if only the driveway were not blocked by a very large, yellow Hummer.

The worst part of this party is that the woman hosting it has got to have the loudest voice in all of California.  Whether I am inside or outside; on one side of the house or the other, I can hear her loud, blathering words like a series of ice picks piercing through my head.  And it isn’t just her annoying chatter that is on this misanthrope’s nerves this fine, Saturday afternoon; it’s the content of it as well.  Every few minutes I can hear her belting out more “you know they say”s… about all the reasons that marriage is the next best thing to chocolate pudding.

Now if I were truly antisocial, and intent on ruining the bridal shower altogether, I would march out into the back yard right now and belt right back all the reasons this woman’s “you know they say”s… are nothing more than myths.  It isn’t that I’m against marriage, I’m just against misinformation.  We’ve talked about this before – about people that go into marriage in essence ruin it as a result of having an unrealistic idea of what it was going to be like.  Here is what I would have screamed:

#1 “Listen here, loud mouth!  Being married does not always guarantee you never have to find a date again!”  Actually, it’s quite the contrary.  Since I have gotten married, I have probably gone to more things as a “party of one” than with my husband.  And oftentimes, I feel as if I have to go that way, rather than taking a willing guy friend, simply to dodge the gossip that would inherently follow over my being seen with another man in public.  The fact of the matter is that, while your marriage and lives together are numero uno, dos, and treis, on the sequence of priorities, sometimes your spouse has to work.  My personal goal for the rest of the year?  Get over the concern of what others think if I show up with a guy friend by my side instead of my husband.  The truth is that some things are detestable if you don’t have someone there to scoff at it with you.

#2 “And while I’m at it, mouth-o:  the bride-to-be’s husband will very likely not always be her source of absolute truth.”  I realized that my husband would rather tell a lie than suffer my wrath about a year ago when I asked him if he had left my freshly baked brownies uncovered all night.  He claimed he had not and that he had just uncovered them to throw some in his lunch, although as soon as he walked away to take his shower I looked and there were no brownies in the lunch bag.  The truth to the matter is that a lot of men would rather tell a white lie to avoid confrontation (the path of least resistance) than just fess up to the truth.  Top piece of proof we have this is true?  The lady blathering that ridiculous myth about husbands always being honest clearly doesn’t have an honest husband, for if she did she would know her tone is obnoxious.

“#3 is just plain stupid!  You no longer have to worry about making a full load of laundry?”  At this point I asked to myself – “where does this woman get this crap?”  I don’t know about any of you, faithful blog followers, but as a woman I have absolutely no problem putting together a full load of laundry.  Between my husband and myself, we have more clothing than any two people should probably ever have.  Laundry (dirty or clean) is no issue for us, except where to put it all.

#4 “Ma’am, if you would shut your loud yap for a few minutes, I could explain to you exactly how your spouse does not always understand how weird your relatives are!”  My husband and I both have pretty eccentric families, or at least eccentric pockets within the family at large.  And no matter what either of us does to try and understand the weirdness, we don’t.  Family events are always a shocker to the both of us.

#5 “And for the love of God, loud neighbor I never knew could be so loud:  marriage does not mean your spouse no longer cares about how you look!”  This is the worst thing anyone could believe:  that once they get married, they are with someone who doesn’t care how you look anymore.  It’s true that we marry people who should love us for our selves, rather than our looks, but that doesn’t actually mean your spouse thinks you look wonderful no matter how you look.  On occasion, my husband lets his hair grow out, but not only does he grow it longer, he just lets it go completely.  It’s disgusting – there are tufts of hair everywhere and he looks unkempt and sloppy.  Sure, I still love my husband; but I do care if he lets himself go like that.  And while we should all feel beautiful even in our sweatpants, we should also take pride in doing things for ourselves – like getting a new haircut, making our nails look nice, and dressing up once in a great while.

Good luck to the bride and groom, especially in the event that they believe my loud neighbor’s promises!