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Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

Marriage Sucks, Part II: What your friends won’t tell you

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2013 at 1:56 am

So here is part II in my series on marriage and why it can be an utter bitch, despite all the perks and lovely things that comes with being Mr and Mrs, or Mr. and Mr, or Mrs. and Mrs.

KIDS:

They’re so cute. They poop in their pants. They call you Mommy or Daddy, or Mom or Dad, but these tiny pint-sized people suck the living hell out of a relationship.

It’s not exactly the child/children’s fault, but once you start raising kids together, your dynamic changes. In a heterosexual relationship, a man may view the woman in a maternal role…sometimes forgetting that, “Hey pal, I like to feel sexy too, and not sexy while you’re scratching your balls during a TV show.”

The time you once had with your spouse only dwindles as you collect, I mean, reproduce more children. Suddenly you have forgotten who the hell the person you married actually happens to be. You don’t talk about a lot, unless it happens to be about the kids…or you both make a great effort to keep the couple part of your family alive.

Kids interrupt sleep and sex. They cost money. They rarely work unless you send them to a real hard-working nation like China or India, and sometimes, they even want to come into the bathroom with you.

Make that more than sometimes. Make that all the time.

As much as you both want kids, you may have different views about how to raise them. One of you may be too lax for the other, while the other may be viewed as too stern. It seems that as kids get older, good parents, in my experience, seem to work out the kinks of discipline/rearing methods, yet it is a work in progress. With each new stage of life, a child brings new challenges and joys to the table. It takes work to negotiate these with a partner.

It’s not all hunky-dory, “look at me and my family…we love each other so much” type of stuff…it has down days, rough patches, and nasty snarls.

How the in-laws on both sides handle or don’t handle the grandchildren is also a big debate at times between a couple. Granny or Pop-Pop may have very old-fashioned viewpoints that might really clash with your wife’s theory on attachment parenting, or maybe one side of the family is incredibly lenient, while the other is tough as nails. A child becomes topic for the whole family to discuss in many ways: how the child is parented (good or bad?), how the child behaves, and who the child innately is at heart.

Children bring on stress. Prepare to be stressed in some ways once a baby enters into the picture. Work at your marriage and communicate, but even more so, listen.

Expect bumps.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY….MOOOONEY!

Who makes it, who spends it, who doesn’t make it, and who spends it on what is the dialogue you will be engaged in for forever upon “I do.”

It should be, I do agree to fight fairly about money for the rest of our damned lives.

People fight about mothers staying home or not staying home.

People fight about what constitutes real “work.” Some will say domestic chores and rearing children doesn’t count. Others will say it does. Some will see part-time work is substantial, and others will not.

People fight about how much money should be saved and if it’s not saved, what to put it towards. Do you save for a vacation, or put that extra few bucks in the kids’ college funds?

Money is about as unsexy as a camel toe, a hairy bush, or nasty breath. It can’t buy you love other than the sexual kind, but it can certainly divide and conquer a marriage faster than you can say, “JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt.”

The other questions that will come up during your term as a married individual are, retirement, day care, investments,and vacations. How much to work in order to gain said money? How much to not work in order to avoid missing out on family time just for a few extra bucks? How to balance finances, yet still have time to actually enjoy the family you made rather than work like you’re in a sweatshop.

From “I” to “We”:

Apparently according to some fancy schmanzy theorists on marriage, it takes time and a few years for couples to really grow from “I” to “We.” Essentially, marriage is leaving your primary family and forming a new, more primary family than the one you came from. Sure, you are still part of your birth family so to speak, but the one you make with your spouse is the one that truly shapes your outlook, daily life, and goals. Cutting the cords from that birth family is not always that easy…even if you don’t notice this yourself. You enter into a partnership with someone from a different background or even a similar one, and suddenly the ways in which you did things with your parents etc, may not be how you are doing those things now. Now your spouse and his or her family has ideas about how something might be approached….your holidays are split or shared…your time with your birth family is now shared.

Your spouse will have interests that you could give two craps about, and you will have hobbies or friends that he or she thinks is basically intended for Chimps. You will try to keep your identity, life, and friends, and so will she or he. Somehow you have to keep your own identity as a person intact, yet recognize that all decisions and choices are made with the  other person in mind.

It’s the ultimate act of unselfishness, and it’s hard.

Whoever says it isn’t, is either on crack, lying, or a total saint, especially in the American culture in which we truly value and worship the individual.

Marriage looks nice and easy when you’re watching a couple “live” it out on a television show or in a movie, but you better believe that it doesn’t matter if you love your spouse more than life itself as you will still be challenged during a marriage.

Be prepared to work hard, and possibly fail. That 50% divorce rate exists. It’s scary and shitty, and just a sign of how marriage and the institution itself is in jeopardy.

Personally, I see value in marriage, but I also see value in not marrying. It is an institution, and it is work. People grow and morph, and really, we are one of the few in the animal kingdom with this type of monogamous relationship. It is bound to be a challenge because despite our ability to reason and have common sense, it still is unique to all other creatures. Clearly despite our so-called ability to think, we still struggle with love and partnership.

It’s the reason why we have marriage therapists, porn shops, support groups, and lawyers.

It’s the reason we have children and family.

We humans are a rotten, loving, and complicated bunch.

All we can do is work at being better than we were yesterday, which probably wasn’t good enough anyway.

Marriage: It’s A Bitch. What your Friends won’t tell you, Part I

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2013 at 3:04 am

When you’re in love, no one can do wrong. That person is a saint in your eyes…you could put them on a pedestal, yet still feel the person wasn’t getting enough of your devotion. This person deserves more, better!

Then you get married…

Suddenly, reality kicks in.

Here’s a few things your married friends won’t tell you…lest they scare you away from coupledom for good. With that said, marriage can be a wonderful thing…but you know that already from all the BS Disney and television sold you as a child. You know about how fantastic loving someone and having a family can be…society has trained you to digest this story in order that you become a married tax paying individual.

So forget the stories of how amazing a partner can be, and let’s focus on the pitfalls of marriage that come up in many marriages. Prepare yourself for what married life will really be like that way, you end up happier in a partnership with a more realistic outlook…and tools to make it work.

This is Part I in my series on marriage, and you best believe my advice is golden. Okay, maybe it’s Golden like the Golden Girls…I’m not Dr. Phil, but I’m the friend your mother warned you about: I will not lie to you, and I will crash parties with you and influence you in a bad way, but you will like me anyway.

#1 Consider your in-laws. Consider diverse family upbringings.

It’s cute to you when your Uncle spouts his tirade on where a woman should be (hint, it’s in a room without a view…and with an oven), yet to your potential future wife, it’s a sign that there may be cultural or belief clashes.

It is extremely hard blending two families. The people that say you only marry your husband or wife and not their parents are a bunch of lying turds! Your partner has embodied his or her familial beliefs whether for good or bad, and it can be a real bitch when you come moseying on up to join the family unprepared for the change in your lifestyle.

It is hard to really understand how another person was raised…and how even the crappiest things you hate about his or her upbringing may be something your partner loved about his or her childhood. You need to learn tolerance and respect for these differences…yet your partner must also respect how some of these “cute” family traits are not all that cute.

The two of you need to form a blended family based on both of your upbringings, without either of the family trashing either one of you. Your new family is the most important, so cherish the marriage, maintain bonds with the family of your childhood, but expect there to be clashes between partners and families…and minimize the damage. It is truly tough.

For example, some people think my household is too chaotic and frenetic. I find it chaotic as well and sometimes very tiring, but for the majority of the time, it was interesting. Quiet homes unnerve me. Yet for someone else, two hours amongst my family may have that person wanting to eat Comet.

Keep this in mind: blending families are hard…and you are marrying the family. It may truly suck.It may be great…but keep your eyes open when meeting your partner’s family so you can grasp how your married life may look, and how to best “inject” yourself into your partner’s family. Keep in mind that some families may be too difficult to do this easily…and others will be so easy.

#2 Monogamy is dull

I just saw an ad that said “Bringing sexy monogamy back.”

Really? What’s so sexy about the same person year after decade after century?

Yes, it’s awesome to be with one person who totally knows how to push your buttons, if you catch my drift. Yes, my partner is good-looking. Sure, unless the dude or gal porks up and/or becomes a meth addict, you will find them attractive still, but monogamy is work.

If you want it to be remotely sexy and not the same old, same old, be prepared for work.

The fireworks fizzle, so you better get some good sex toys or widen that arsenal of sexual proclivities, otherwise you will in Monogamy meltdown a few years from now. It doesn’t matter if your partner is an Angelina Jolie look-alike. You will tire of her perfect body and full lips eventually. Keep it interesting. Value the relationship.

Keep a look out for Part II…Marriage: It’s A Bitch. What Your Friends won’t tell you.

A Few Signs that You may have a Toddler

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2013 at 2:25 am

There are a few signs that a woman may indeed, own a toddler.

If you enter her home and you see large splotches of food on her table, chairs, and floor, she may indeed, have a toddler in the home.

If she then goes to stick her head in an over, she absolutely has a toddler in the home.

If she starts to talk to you in a slow manner, telling you that something you are doing may or may not be a “good choice,” she definitely owns a toddler.

If she looks like a mental patient or disheveled like she’s had a one-night stand and is now attempting the infamous “walk of shame,” she has a toddler within arm’s reach.

Toddlers are adorable, fun, spirited, and amazing little energies.

They’re also moody, bi-polar, and sometimes, a bit aggressive.

My daughter changes her mind about food items within seconds.

“I want it.”

“I don’t want it.”

“I want it.”

If this is what grownup females happen to be like,  I feel bad for men. How can choosing between pancakes or cereal be that difficult? I would answer the question except for I myself, may have a tough time deciding.

Toddlers think everything is “mine.”

Really, I want to remind my kid that nothing is hers until mommy or daddy buys it…so technically it’s “mine,” although I’m not so sure I would look very cute carrying a burp cloth around with pictures of trucks embroidered all over.

A sign that a woman may be the mother of a toddler is the numerous stickers stuck all over her furniture. If you go to use her toilet paper, you may see Dora or Cinderella staring at you from the toilet paper holder. If you sit up to pull up your pants, you may have just sat on Dora’s face…

Let’s not even go there.

If a woman is covering her ears and hiding in a corner, she may indeed have a toddler.

Toddlers can be affectionate and sweet, yet they can also be pushy, bossy, and demanding.

Apparently, the type of cup my daughter drinks her milk or water in is very important. I get requests like I am a line cook. This isn’t the damn diner kid, drink your milk in whatever cup is clean…apparently that’s all I need to be mother of the year.

There’s an utter joy in parenting a toddler. It’s never dull, and the highs are intense, and the lows, challenging. Maybe I enjoy this because I have some sick codependent desire to deal with mentally fragile people, or maybe I just cannot help loving the kid who throws every piece of food onto the floor right as I am telling her not to…only for her to tell me, “I’m sorry I threw the food on the floor mommy.”

Maybe I am just a masochist or a sucker for kids with big pot bellies, skinny legs, and dirty hands.

I love my indecisive, food-throwing, no-shouting, restaurant-running around, child.

She’s my maniac, and I claim her.

Hopefully she will take good care of me when I’m older and the people in coats take me away…

Notes from a Gym Yenta

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2013 at 2:18 am

Hi.

I am your friendly Gym Yenta, here to tell you a few things to either A: not do during your work out or B: to avoid when at the gym.

Yenta: (yen-tah) a Yiddish word for an old Gossip.

 

I feel my advice is absolutely pertinent because I am 100 pounds of muscle, and 50 pounds of big mouth.

For some reason, even though I have excellent form, no one wants to take workout advice from a peanut. Fools.

Listen to my warnings and advice, and you will find yourself in a zen moment when at the gym…

#1 Dumb Ass: Quit hanging on to the treadmill while you walk/run

Unless you are checking your heart rate, don’t hang on to the treadmill. Not only are you not working as hard because you’re using your upper body to keep you going, but you would also get a better workout if you slowed down your speed, and relied on your core/legs, etc to keep you going.

Don’t hang. You are NOT a monkey–you’re a human.

#2 Wear Sneakers and Gym Pants

Look, not everyone has money to drop on a pair of cool gym kicks, nor does everyone have the desire to rock Adidas, UnderArmour, etc…I get it. However, working out in your flip flops is just asking someone to drop a large 50 lb weight on your foot…or for you to slip will walking on the treadmill.

And how in God’s name, does anyone move properly in jeans? I mean, jeans don’t breathe very well, so I can’t imagine your balls being too comfy as you exercise in your jeans.

Please leave the leather at home also.

If you think I am kidding you, I am not.

#3 More Fashion advice from a big mouth Yenta:

Please don’t wear anything that shows off your testicles. I am sure you have fathered many children with possibly, many women, but I don’t need to see your nuts.

Thanks.

#4 Bad Pick-up Lines

The other day, a man told me he liked the way I text. Really? If this is what men are using to try and get into a woman’s pants these days, I imagine there will be a rise in lesbianism, which is already a good idea considering the lack of quality men in this world.

If you want to talk to a woman while working out, a hello is much better than telling someone she texts nicely. My other real favorite is “Oh you’re lifting heavy over there!”

Dummy, I am small. I know I am not lifting heavy weights, and so do you. Your little comment is so cliché; everyone likes to comment on the peanut using the Smith machine. Find something basic like hello, or original like, “When you lift, you never have a constipated face like everyone else. It’s so charming.”

#5 Slow Down, Speedy

If you are lifting your weights with the speed of a cokehead, you need to slow down. If you are jerking your weights around like you’re doing some tribal dance, you need to consult a trainer to help you with proper form. Lower the pound, and slow down on the movements pal.

#6 Smelly and Stinky

Please do not have a cigarette right before you enter the gym, and also, avoid the perfume. I can’t breathe when your stinky butt is around me, and nor can anyone else. Sure, it’s a free country and you can smoke or wear as much Chanel No. 5 as you like, but no one likes you. We think you smell. Have a cigarette in your car or wear perfume to your prom, not to my gym.

#7 Put Back your weights

When I have to move a total of 300 pounds off a machine in order to use it, I basically just burned about 600 calories. If you’re not strong enough to put the weights you used back, lower the amount of weight or be prepared to have me smush you with the stuff you left for me to put away. I move my weights–move yours!

#8 Wipe, wipe, wipe

You are sweaty and nasty. I don’t want all of your bacteria on the machines I am using. Clean it up, douche. For all I know, you may have left some of your sperm in your sweat sample and I would prefer to not mingle with your DNA.

I hope you all enjoyed this tips from a Gym Yenta who has belonged to a total of 9 gyms.

Do yourself a favor and look around the next time you’re exercising…you’re bound to see some funny stuff!

Parenting Under Duress

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I have had a fairly rough year–really more like the past 7 months. During this time, I have had to manage extreme sadness and stress, while parenting a young toddler.

I think it’s important to talk about how mothers or fathers can handle the stress of a life situation such as death, job loss, money issues, or break-ups while being a stay-at home parent.

One of the benefits to going to work is your child won’t see you as you go through most of your daily stresses and worries during a rough time. Of course, your co-workers will, but that’s for another author to write.

If you are a stay-at home parent or a mostly-stay at home parent such as myself, your emotions are on stage all day. Your child witnesses just about everything. Even though a young toddler may not be able to say, “Hey Mommy…I can tell you’re extremely disappointed today about something,” he or she can pick up on your feelings. 

Kids will say, “Mommy has a boo-boo,” or “Daddy is sad.”

It’s basic, but they totally get it. You as the adult, may disagree with this, but as someone who used to educate and care for young children, I watched as the “played out” the stresses or parental impacts in their little lives at preschool.

That being said, no one under extreme sadness or stress can sit like a still statue, smiling like a damned Beauty Queen, unless of course you’re taking Xanax or other strong drugs. It’s appropriate for children to see emotions such as sadness, shock, etc, as long as the emotions are not violent or incredibly destructive (i.e., if you’re so depressed you don’t want to shower or play with your kid, you need to seek help. Now.)

How can parents find ways to diffuse these strong emotions while caring for their precious little ones?

Here are my tried and true tips. From a fellow survivor!

#1–Get outside. Getting fresh air and sunshine is an immediate boost. Depending on how active or how old your child is, participate in some type of physical activity with them. Exercise or movement is great for releasing feel-good hormones. Take a walk with your infant, play soccer with your 8 year-old, or just climb the jungle gym with your 3 year-old.

#2 If you’re feeling like you cannot hold back your tears or need to scream, find something for your child to do while you go into another room. Kids don’t need to see everything because it scares them and they will start to feel anxious. If your child is an accident-prone toddler, maybe now is the time to utilize the Idiot Box, i.e., the television, for just a little bit. A little Elmo won’t hurt them while you get out a good cry.

#3 Step outside of yourself. Your problems are crucial. Maybe you’re undergoing a foreclosure, or just lost a parent. These are not easy matters, but try to devote 1, 2, or 3 hours to not thinking about anything but whatever you are doing with your child. If you’re getting just as bored as playing with legos as your child is, plan a trip or try to do something different that you’ve never done before with him or her. Exploring something new is exciting for the two of you, and will get you out of your element and routine.  Ask some other parents for some new ideas or places to go with your little ones.

#4 Bond with other Parents

Getting out with other parents in a similar or even not-so-similar situation will be a great break for you and your child/children. It’s an instant play date for your child, and will give you an adult to commiserate or just chat with. It’s crucial that you have a support network, and remember: if you and your child are at home together all the time, he or she is probably a bit bored and needing some other faces to look at for awhile.

#5 Lower Expectations

Stop being demanding of yourself. If you are about to lose your home, lose your marriage, or undergo a major surgery/enduring an illness, recognize that things will not be exactly the same as it once was. You will find a new normal, and in that new normal, there will be new and different expectations of yourself than there were before. 

This isn’t to say that you should throw all of your daily duties away, but to suggest that you are not super human and will need to adapt to either a new situation or new stress with a fresh outlook and some creativity. Be good to yourself!

#6 Take your Child’s lead

Play, play, and play. What’s more fun than coloring? Introduce your child to a old-new activity. Old to you–maybe a game you played as a child…but New to them! A little childhood nostalgia can always make one feel better.

#7 Music, Rest, Eat, Repeat

Music can change the ambiance, so if you’re stuck at home, try  putting on something lively and upbeat like Reggae.

Rest. it’s very hard to get sleep when you’re stressed, so try anything you can to help yourself, other than drugs or alcohol. I’m not against a glass of wine, but this isn’t the time to become a whino or lush. 

Try some meditation, yoga…if you’re not the New Age type, try reading a book. Avoid the computer because that will just keep you awake. Shut off your phone and computer.Try sleepytime tea or maybe some homeopathic remedies to help you get rest.

Remember, kids are very durable…and you will be too once this is over. Enjoy them. Play with them as much as possible…and when you’re feeling really blue as long as you and your child are not obese or very overweight, just grab a bowl and some Haagen Daas, and chow down on some serious Dulce De Leche ice cream, and offer your kid the spoon. Let them lick the bowl, and join in too.

 

Lemons

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2013 at 3:20 am

I have  a lemon. It’s not what I wanted. I wanted a shiny new peach. Or a beautiful ripe plum.

Instead, I have a lemon. I can throw it, smash it, cut it, or instead squeeze the juice and drink a rather bitter lemonade.

I only have this lemon, but something will come from it eventually. The juicing will teach me something. I will make something good come from this lemon.

It is so hard to remember when things are so damn bleak to find anything remotely good about the situation. As people, it’s natural for us to get caught up in emotions….and fear. I am weak to this just as any other human is, but I need to remember that I will get something from this experience, possibly even more than I did from the happy ones, despite the pain I am enduring now.

I have a lemon, and this half-assed lemonade.

It’s a bitter juice, but at least I’m not thirsty anymore.

For Your Daughter

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2013 at 2:29 am

If a man is not good enough for your daughter, he is not good enough for you.

Remember this mantra when you are dating, married, or single with just a wee vibrator and Haagen-Daas to get you through the night.

We women rationalize and excuse too much, and expect too little.

Consider this the next time you spend any significant time with a partner.

I will be back darlings for more delicious dish on life and what have you. I’ve been busy, but haven’t forgotten you all.