Marriage Fosters Infidelity…I Mean Immaturity

At first we laughed, next we shook our heads in that what-will-this-crazy-gal-think-up-next kind of way, and, finally, we just rolled our eyes as we read through the series of antics in which Lauren–from Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage–either participated or otherwise engineered.  Swapping sex for household chores, imposing an overtly sexual context on an innocent tennis lesson, or creating extra-marital intimacy again and again and again and again–with whomever she fancied at the moment, Lauren most certainly became the poster slut for all that is brazen, ill-conceived, and completely immature in the world of committed married adults.  I know, I know…I love her too!

Of course, this unfaltering admiration for a character of my own making got me to thinking about my own bad (read: very bad) behavior.  Perhaps the only way to release myself from the karmic catastrophe of my own less-than-exemplarary marital thoughts and deeds is to confess, to own up to that of which I am just not proud…well, kind of proud, but there is no room for a self-congratulatory snicker here…

Immaturity at its best (its very best)…

MY TOP TEN LIST:

1.  Searching gay porn, bestiality, and fetish sites on my husband’s closely monitored work computer just because I was mad at him…

2.  Searching gay porn, bestiality, and fetish sites on my husband’s closely monitored work computer just for the hell of it…

3.  Registering my husband for a 10 mile race and answering the question on the registration form–what special fun fact do you want us to announce about you as you cross the finish line?–like this:  Please let the crowd know that I am a hermaphrodite and I run for hermaphrodites everywhere…I run because I am a hermaphrodite, and I am PROUD!  VERY PROUD!

4.  Taking a picture with my Android phone to prove to my husband:  1.  That he in fact DOES fall sound asleep on the couch at night…EVERY night    2.  That he HAS in fact started to resemble our dog

5.  Taking a picture with my Android phone to prove the above, and then posting said picture on a public site:  IMG_20130522_230732_688-1

6.  Trying my hardest per my husband’s request to be polite, professional, and demure, when out to dinner with his big boss and his wife but losing it completely when the waiter informs us that the oysters of the day are called NAKED COWBOYS

7.  Innocently inquiring about the oysters’ size and wondering if the waiter had ever tasted NAKED COWBOYS and whether or not he thought they had the ability to make me go, “YEE HAW”

8.  Quietly asking my husband’s big boss his opinion re the NAKED COWBOYS and informing him that I am totally into sharing and would be happy to go in three-ways with him and his wife

9.  Because my husband just couldn’t let what he called the “dinner debacle” go, hiding a poisonous snake in his car…

10.  Just kidding…I know the proper term is venomous…

There you have…my top ten…feel free to respond with one, two…or ten of your own.  Believe me, it does feel good to confess…

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As Good As It Goats

Oh, Matt–poor, innocent, optimistic, misguided, p-whipped, idiotic, clinging-to-your-heydey-like-a-life-raft Matt…your wife doesn’t care if you are happy, fulfilled, barely getting  out of bed in the morning, suicidal, or other such nonsense…she just wants you to get a life…and one which…incidentally…DOES NOT include beekeeping as a preferred hobby.  Sure, we all rooted for you in Broken Hallelujah: notes from a marriage; in fact, we found it just too damn adorable (sexy, even) that you left your brokerage firm to become Mr. Mom and raise the three spirited, slightly unkempt, and eternally clever progeny which sprung from your loving wife’s loins.  But beekeeping…BEEKEEPING…I mean, really, what were you thinking…

But the good news, Matt, is that you are-apparently-not the only member of the male gender with a desire to dominate, not the only male begrudgingly coming to terms with the reality of his subpar status (no matter his “contribution” or his protest) in the family unit.  That’s right–you are not alone:

R (somewhat wistfully):  “I have always wanted to be a shepherd, to command a flock, to lead and to be listened to, dammit, for once in my adult life.  So imagine the joy–the sheer delight–I felt upon learning that I had moved my family–my wife and four children–into a volatile Southern California cavern, known for both its beauty and its property destroying wild fires.  Finally, I had my chance.  The type of herd I chose was simply the perfect, no-the only, choice.  Goats, lots of goats, many, many untrained ill-tempered brush-eating goats.  Their delivery would be a surprise, a gift, to my adoring and supportive brood.  The one small glitch, the tiny potentially inconsequential timing issue I had overlooked, was that the projected delivery time of the fifty young, eager, property-saving, and untrained goats was about two hours after I left the country for a brief two-month work assignment.  I simply thought my resourceful family could improvise until I returned.  Sadly, I was wrong.”

A (somewhat angrily):  “Was he out of his fucking mind?!?  Four kids, fifty goats…he was lucky I was too busy trying to save our rose bushes to actually finalize the hit I had fantasized about as I frantically dialed his cell phone number…again…and again…as he was presumably enjoying top-shelf cocktails on his first class flight to only G-d knows where…”

R (somewhat contritely):  “As soon as we landed and I listened to the two dozen angry, tearful, almost pleading, practically desperate, and, at times, threatening messages from my better half, I jumped right into action mode, and, though practically three–ok-four or five–sheets in the wind from my drink-riddled first class flight, took complete control of the situation.  I called my able seconds, my two teenage sons, and instructed them, down to the smallest detail, the intricacies of their mission.

Listen…we have a situation…mom is mad…really mad…she is freaking out…I need your help..NOW!  First, go to Uncle Joe’s house, and borrow his trailer…the one he transports his horses in…enlist his help in gathering up each and every goat…and get them in that trailer.  Second, call So Cal Brush Control at (555) 555-5555 and convince them to take the damn goats, at least until I get back and I can firmly and lovingly and shepherdly train them…offer the goats’ services for free–yes, free–you know, giving back and all that…then text me their response.  If they are a no go, call animal control at (555) 969-6969 and explain the situation…good intentions and your mom freaking out…feel free to cry for good measure…have Uncle Joe help to deliver the goats, get them settled in their pens, feed them and let them know as soon as I am home…anyway, are you getting this?  Do you understand?  Come on, boys, I need your help…”

A (somewhat resignedly):  “And what they heard in their not-yet-fully-developed-self-centered teenage brains, while clinging to their surf boards and counting the minutes until the surf would NOT be up, was blah, blah, blah, get rid of the goats, blah, blah, blah…”

R (somewhat tersely):  “The surprise was that they could even fit all of those goats into a hybrid…and they didn’t get stopped, not once, as they made the half-mile trip to the patch of woods behind the local elementary school.  I mean, of course the goats didn’t know they were supposed to stay in the woods, or that they weren’t supposed to be eating the garden that the second grade had planted and tended over the better part of the school year…I mean they are only animals, after all…stupid, untrained, ill-tempered animals just waiting for some loving guidance from a shepherd’s…well, never mind that…what I am saying is that I thought more of my boys’ ability to follow simple instructions regarding goats, I mean, really…”

A (somewhat wearily):  “I think the fact that we weren’t actually kicked out of our community is the important take away here…and the end result was the right result–even though your work assignment location was outside the area of cell service, so we couldn’t consider your input when we sold your herd of goats for half of what you paid for them to the starry-eyed would be shepherd (and husband and father of five) two towns over…”

So, Matt and R, I think we can all agree that while being master of one’s domain is an understandable and worthy pursuit, perhaps the pursuit of a less tricky, less divisive, less animate domain is the lesson here–to quote Mr. McGuire from the classic 1967 film, The Graduate:  “I just want to say one word to you.  Just one word.  Are you listening?  Plastics.”

Subtext is the Same in Every Language:

Communication is truly a wondrous thing.  The ability–through words, looks, eye contact, body language, casual groping, and (while not as often) heavy petting–to convey one’s thoughts and feelings to another human being is pretty amazing.  Lauren, as we all fondly remember from the chapter, Brian ll, in Broken Hallelujah:  notes from a marriage, is a communication aficionado of sorts, using the subtleties of subtext to, well…you be the judge:

Brian (to assembled clinic participants):  “Doubles is like a dance between partners.  Imagine there is a belt connecting you to your partner; you should never be more than ten feet apart.  If you find yourself drifting from your partner, tighten the belt!  Any questions?” 

Lauren (innocently, after raised hand is acknowledged):  “Why does so much of your tennis instruction language have such a decidedly sadomasochistic subtext?”  

When this ability, this thing that connects us to others, allows us, enables us really, to live where others live, so to speak, so that we are able to share a conversation, to make nothing short of a true connection with someone we hardly know and whose native tongue, in many cases, may be different from our own, then communication truly becomes a thing of beauty (and a joy forever)!

Just the other day, while enjoying my weekly $120 spa pedicure with extra massage (add $40) and essential oil of lavender (add $15) and callus remover (add $5), I was able to observe this beautiful and joyous reality with my very own eyes and my very own ears:

(For those of you who do not speak subtext, I have provided–to the best of my abilities– the translation)

Non-Native-English-Speaker Pedicure Professional (NNESPP) (after selling $150 worth of add-ons to hapless customer):  “You married.  Yes?  How long?”

Non-Native-English-Speaker (though different native language than pedicure professional) Hapless Customer: “Ten years”

NNESPP:  “Ah, ten years, yes…ten years…”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  Is your husband a sloppy lazy bastard like mine…?

NNESPP:  “Children?  How many…?”

Non-Native-English-Speaker Hapless Customer: (closing her eyes as the massage portion of the pedicure begins):  “Two..one girl and one boy…’

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION: Yes, sloppy AND lazy…I rip my vagina with his babies…and still he is no help, no help at all…

NNESPP (smiling serenely with the thought of family): “That’s good…that’s good…family most important….”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  I poison my husband’s food…a little each day…so he suffer…oh, how he suffer

Non-Native-English-Speaker Hapless Customer (a bit sleepy now, as deep relaxation begins to take hold of her body):  “Yes…most important thing…”

SUBTEXT TRANSLATION:  I poison my husband’s food too…

I challenge you, dear reader, to get off of your computer and go out there, face to face, and find someone with whom to connect.  And, if that’s not working, there is always casual (and consensual) groping…

Running (second only to drinking) Is My Favorite Sport

Way back in March, I posted Wine-a-thon (1/2), which revealed for the first time that I, minor athlete and major drinker, planned to run my very first ever half marathon, sponsored, no less, by a local winery.  Now we all had a good laugh at that one, wondering if, as was the case with Lauren one too many times in Broken Hallelujah:  notes from a marriage, I wouldn’t make it past the pre-event party to the main event. Well, I am happy to report that I DID make it to the starting line, and I DID finish that hot and hilly bastard of a race,  and I AM mighty proud of my achievement, which I owe, incidentally, to My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Just kidding.

Though, as I started mile two, I did notice that the shirt the woman running directly in front of me was wearing literally glowed (well, not really) with this sentiment:  “I owe the ease of every step I take and every hill I climb to the light Jesus has lit inside of me.”  I attempted to stay with her, just in case  that “ease” could somehow be absorbed through osmosis.  It, unfortunately, could not.

But here I sit, two days post race, my finisher’s medal still securely hanging from a ribbon around my neck (surprisingly comfortable to sleep with/thankfullly versatile enough to go with any outfit), reflecting  on the experience of actually accomplishing that which I wasn’t sure I could a few short months ago, and remembering to thank those who, in one way or another, helped to get me across that proverbial (not to mention actual) finish line:

1.  My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Just kidding.

2.  My favorite “Skinnygirl,” who offered her calming tonic and doubt-defying sedation in three great flavors (Margarita, Cosmo, and Pina Colada)…

3.  Johnny Rotten, Billie Joe Armstrong, Joey Ramone, Bruce Springsteen, and Kid Rock who let me believe…for as long as my iPod shuffle was on at least…that G-d would save the Queen, the fascist regime, while I, smoking funny things, got wasted in the heat…desperate but not hopeless (as I approached mile 10),  because a tramp like me, baby, was, in fact, born to run.

4.  Nike, for creating a running skirt so cute, you want to run just so you can wear it…

5.  The woman wearing the “LOOK AT MY FAT ASS” tee…

6.  And, finally, my loving and supportive husband who offered me nothing short of heroic and self-sacrificing support as I sweated and trained and suffered from self-doubt…who put all thoughts of his own needs on the back burner, so that he could be there for me, really be there for me, driving, feeding, and nurturing our children, so that I could realize my dream and run, run, run….

though I do still wish that he would lose those twenty pounds he has been carrying around for five years…

and that he would remember to put a damn coaster under his drink, so that I am not forever wiping those rings away after him….

and that he would realize our front foyer is in fact NOT a shoe rack, but perhaps his side of the bed could become one, if he continues to kick off his work black and browns wherever he sees fit…

As for my race finishing time, I think it would be appropriate to quote the Reverend Billie Joe Armstrong here:

“We are the last call/ And we’re so pathetic”

But finish I did, and after 13.1 miles the permission to party is, well, limitless…