The Afterglow-Or Not; Keeping the Passion Alive, One Closed Bathroom Door At a Time

how beautiful our love isI don’t even know where to begin.

I guess I can start around 17 years ago when I got divorced.

At that time, I decided a few things about my next real relationship. I decided that I would really examine my own self and try to improve. I also decided that the only person that I would clean up after would be a human being whom I gave birth to.

Most importantly I decided that I never, ever….never, ever, ever needed to see my partner on the toilet. I never, ever needed to hear them or smell them. Oh yah. This is a big boundary for me, and my man knows it.

 

With three children in university and college, and all the stresses of merging two lives and two families, let’s just say our communication has been a series of to-do and to-buy lists along with griping about the others living habits. Our intimate communication has been less than five star. In fact, it’s been f-ing horrible.

The long and the short of it is that we committed to re-connecting, and after our hour-of-power-a-la-boudoir, we began to settle in to what I like to refer to as a ‘time of tenderness’. You know what  I mean ladies, when you feel all cuddly and want to talk, and reconnect to the awesome partner you fell in love with. With the bother of passion out of the way, it was clearly time to rekindle our friendship. This is also usually the time that your man falls asleep and you begin hating him again.

So last night, music playing in the background, stretched out feeling blissful, reliving our recent forray into, well, let’s call it the-glorious-climb-to-the-snow-capped-peak…. I awaited my man’s return from our en suite bathroom.

man on toilet

Do not leave the bathroom door open unless you’re sick.

In the candlelit quiet, my heart eased a bit, and I actually felt like a woman, not a domestic workhorse. From the bathroom;

“Hey – do you like The Killers?”

In my head; Sweet Jesus, does the man have a romantic drop of blood in his body?

Out loud; “Yes.”

He then passes gas, tinkles and says, “So do I.”

In my head; Brilliant.  He’s perched on the toilet with the door open. The romance is, officially dead.

…and back we go to the reality of life. Poop. Money. Who’s cooking dinner.

It really takes work to keep a spark alive. Trust me, keep the pilot light lit, it makes it a lot easier.

Remember that you’re friends, and always, always, always, close the bathroom door.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Speak to Me That Way

mean manLately, for some reason, the universe is reminding me what it’s like to have to stand up for myself.

I mean, come on! I’m middle-aged for goodness sake! Apparently not too old to learn though, and life likes to teach lessons in depth as we move on…or so it seems.

Differences of opinion and disagreements can be interesting, enriching and even enlightening. That is if the people involved can communicate – you know, if they can listen. That’s a BIG part of communicating; I hear what you’re saying and understand how you feel, now let’s see how we can make this work. In life; work, home, school, politics…it’s really the best way.

But it doesn’t often work like that. Often it’s heated, and as I’ve learned lately -mean. Mean can throw you off.  Mean trumps anything that actually gets said because it’s scary, and meant to be intimidating and oppressive.

Screw mean.

We’re too gloriously wonderful to let mean people make us cower, shrink, or make us believe that we’re crazy. It’s called gaslighting, it’s emotional abuse, and it won’t stand.

When meanness is a stream of relentless arrogance, it’s easy to get tripped up and argue. Trust me, don’t get sucked in, and if you do, pull out as soon as you become aware that you’re caught in an energy-sucking game. That’s what happened to me recently. I got sucked in, and then I realized what a shit-ball-of-a-circus-conversation was happening. I wasn’t as angry about the issue at hand as I was at the way I was being spoken to.

Sometimes it takes a firm shout/yell or even a scream; YOU DON’T GET TO SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT.  Don’t ever speak to me that way.  Repeat as necessary. Step forward into their space and let them know you will not be treated in such a disrespectful way, you will not tolerate their meanness, and above all, you will not be broken.

Your energy is too precious. Your gifts are too sacred.

When someone is mean to us, we tend to let our emotions rule when really, it’s pretty straightforward and logical. Save your emotions for joy, love, sorrow, grief, and the things that make us human. Do not spend them on someone who is undeserving.

Meanness will not be tolerated.

Keep that in mind. Repeat as necessary.

 

That’s a Mighty Fine Driver You Have There Sir: The Un-fore-seen Benefits of Golfing with Your GF

basket-of-golf-ballsToday was a first. The left side of my mid-back is whispering caution to me. It’s rather insistent that tomorrow I may be in some pain. The right side is nodding in agreement.

My sweetie finally took me to the driving range. Brave? Yes. But not brave enough to take me out on a for-real golf course, and who can blame him?

About midway through the ‘jumbo’ bucket of balls, I thought that I had hit him in the back. You see, I made contact with the little white devil, but it took off toward my baby on a trajectory akin to tiles blowing off a space-shuttle. I must have missed his left ear by an inch. For a full two hours, he patiently took me through a range of clubs and tried teaching me the basics, and he didn’t swear once…out loud.

bad golfer

As you all know, I’m incredibly patient. Ok, maybe a teensy-tiny-eensy-weensy-bit patient. Or not. By the time we were chipping,  I held out my hand and let him know I was already an expert and his blathering was unnecessary. My chipping as it turns out, sucks.

My putting is slightly better if I have my arms over my voluptuous breasts, which means the damn club sticks out perpendicular to the ground and I have to bend over like some weirdo with a metal detector on the beach to ‘pendulum’ like my sexy instructor was trying to demonstrate. You see, his breasts are significantly smaller than mine, and penduluming is not such a challenge for him.

I made contact with the ball (most of the time), and if I were aiming 120 degrees to my right, I was dead on target. By the time I finished with the driver, I could really appreciate my man’s talent.

And maybe that’s why I think I’m going to love the game. A woman like me likes a challenge, and some fun. I can’t wait to go again.  Perhaps when my man buys a helmet he’ll take me on another hot driving-range date.

Laugh as you may, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. I’m a strong, confident, capable woman. There are very few things that a man can do that impresses me to the point I’m actually attracted to him because of it.

But today was the day for my man. He was good at it. Like, crazy good. He made it look easy, and I was struggling to even connect.  It made me kinda hot for him, in that grrrrr, you’re a manly-man kind of way.

He doesn’t know it yet, but his patience may just pay off for him two-fold. He may have a willing partner to hit the links with every chance we get, and he may also have a lady who needs to go immediately home for some good lovin’s when we come off the course. All of a sudden, I can appreciate his driver just a little bit more.

The Toilet: Where You Find The Best Things

no-mudFor years I had this je ne sais quois quality about me that, dare I say was charismatic, charming, and could even make your grouchy old granddad giggle.

But then I lost it. I guess for a while I didn’t much care. I figured it was just the normal aging process. Recent events have had me re-evaluating, and realizing that like my black tights which make their way onto hangers under the next sweater I’m going to wear, my chutzpah hasn’t died, it’s just been hiding in a corner where I had, out of sheer exhaustion, dropped it.

For a couple of months I’ve been getting hints that it’s still around. I’ve been reclaiming my own joy; creativity, physical activity, rest…and with that, I’ve felt it was coming back; that fabulous zest for life that is my legacy. Our legacy ladies. Everyone’s legacy.

No, it wasn’t hidden by the old stack of House & Home magazines in the corner, or next to an errant knee high and old slipper that continually fail at making it into my laundry bin. No, I found it in the loo at a crowded bar,dressed up and fevered to the point of sweating through my clothes and being yelled at because of it.  Yah, it’s true, we find miracles in the darndest places.

At some point (and yes, it was a sober some point as all I’d had for two days was gingerale and tea) the reality of reality sets in.  When you find peace in a tiny stall with a toilet, you should know that something is wrong.

One cannot seek meaningful solace next to the shitter darlings. One can only hope to apply fresh lipstick and get their kit together.

If you find yourself in a similar circumstance sweeties, look at it less like a dirty toilet in a pathetic re-run bar, and more like a time machine, transporting you from whomever made you want to shrivel up, or feel shrivelled up, to all of your gloriousness as a woman who is true to herself.

In those toilet-hiding moments, we find our je-ne-sais-quoisness.  These are the moments that give you the confidence to strut.

Last night, after having suffered for someone else’s comfort, and being yelled at and treated poorly, I made a trip to the lady’s time machine where my wee little girl brain asked me what in the hell I was doing suffering for someone else who was supposed to be not just a friend, but the best of friends.

The night got worse before it got better, but it was at least efficient.

Quite often women retreat to the bathroom as their only place of quiet and peace. Whether it’s out and about, or at home. Quite often they are there because someone has attacked their self worth. Those quiet, albeit gross moments near the toilet are generally where you can find your value again. Dare I say your,  I-Don’t-Give-A-Shitness.

It’s sad that we are forced into the shit to find ourselves, but that is life. No mud, no lotus right? Whatever…

Just remember if you find yourself in the loo with a tear in your eye, it’s a grand opportunity to make things better.  I mean, after all, how much worse can it get than hiding in the same place a thousand other people have pooped? Not much.

 

Love Letters: I Almost Forgot About You

postmanWay past the hour when I should have been asleep, I rummaged through my bedside table looking for a grey and red package that only I know exists.

It belongs to me and no one else. It’s a part of my past that I reflect back upon now and then, and one that I treasure when I feel listless and alone.

Reading, ” I Almost Forgot About You” by Terry McMillan, reminded me of a few people in my past that I have not almost forgotten about, but had completely forgotten about. Thank gawd.

As I rummaged through old love letters and cards, I found myself deliberately searching for that grey and red package. The one that I found a few years ago and read again. Every time I go through it, I cry. These are bittersweet tears.

Decades ago I threw away all of the love letters that my high school sweetie penned. We were grand letter writers back then, and they were special. Alas, they long ago became part of the ecosystem, and hopefully are helping to sprout wildflowers somewhere for a young lover to pick for his beloved.

I still believe in the art of letter writing despite the instant and efficient technology we favour today. I believe in the value of quiet reflection while taking in the written word. It’s a lost art, but I try to tend to it faithfully.

As we stumble through life learning about ourselves, falling in and out of what we often mistake for love, once in a while we catch ourselves caught up right in the middle of it. Once in a while we reflect upon where we are, and we realize then, and only then, the little things that make us feel loved.

This is how I felt snuggled under my fluffy, white duvet. In the stillness of the night, I found the grey and red package and  reread the letters contained within it. Somehow they bring clarity to my life. They put my needs in perspective and remind me not to settle for someone who makes me feel less than…Love can be fleeting if you do not tend it. Like a garden it either grows roots or it withers like tender blossoms after the summer sun tucks itself away for another season.

Love letters can be grand reminders of what you really have to offer in relationship and what you really need. If you have nothing left after a relationship, no letters to remind you of what it felt like to be adored and cherished, I have to wonder if it was really love at all.

A wise woman once told me to pay attention to how a relationship started. If it did not start with affection, romance, and caring, it was bound to end with even less.

Love letters remind us what we love about the person we’re writing to. They remind the recipient that you think of them when they are not there, that they are cherished, and that love, despite distance, remains a true and trustworthy bond.

My little grey and red package reminds me that it’s out there somewhere.

 

Travelling Light: My Very First Travel Companion

mapTravelling companions can make or break a travel experience. Or so they say.

I wouldn’t know. I’ve only ever travelled alone, but for one wild weekend in the Bahamas with my BFF, and we shall never speak of that again.

Pretty soon I’m off on an adventure with my sweetie-bear, my puddin’ pie, my hunk’a-hunk’a burning man love…you get what I’m talking about don’t you ladies?

Basically what I’m saying is that having passed the age of 40, I’m travelling for the first time with a man.

There are only two words for it; Yu Ikes.

Seriously.

Just the thought of it makes me giddy. Because giddy is my inappropriate nervous reaction.

Sweet Jesus. As I look around my hotel room, I see a sight that only a busy, single parent of an active teenager could smile at. My bra is hanging over the corner of the television screen. The large garbage can that is meant for the main living area is full of ice and wine. A French version of a popular food and drink magazine is drying out beside the sink (it got soaked by a half open bottle of coconut water while I was struggling to carry everything in from the underground parking garage), and deep purple remnents of said magazine are stuck to the towel that is hanging from a hook meant to hang up jackets in the entrance. There is a wet creamer package sticking half out of a coffee bag, and my shoes are scattered on the floor. Don’t even attempt to try and picture what the bathroom looks like afer a full-on gal-sprawl of cosmetics, towels, panties and hair accoutrements.  It’s pretty only in a way that that Parisian artists of the golden age could appreciate…while on opiods.

So this travelling without a companion has been a wonderful freedom that very few of my gal-pals have been able to enjoy. I totally get loving this freedom to not give a crap about anyone else’s space or comfort. After all, when you travel alone, your ‘stuff’ is all in one place and nobody bothers the organized chaos. There is also no cleaning up after anyone else either, which is a heavenly bonus. As is the fact that there is no one else’s schedule, priorities or aversions to be considerate of.

There is also no one to share it all with either. Not the messy bathroom and bra and the television set stuff – the good stuff. Well, not unless you go out and find someone to enjoy it with, but I digress.

Simply put, I need some valium and a good whack of booze to get me over my nervousness. But maybe a hug from my sweetie will do. I’ll let you know how it all pans out, hair accoutrements and all.

 

Afraid of Being Happy: No, Just Tired of Explaining

vintage-love1I’m in a hotel room sipping vino, sitting in, what I must admit is the most comfortable office chair I’ve felt on my tushie in a very, very long time.

Tonight it was brought to my attention that I have mentioned a ‘someone special’ in these posts, but not enough to call him to your attention as a character in my book.

Ah yes, I confess, there is a man on the scene.

I don’t write about him because first of all, I think he reads these posts from time to time, and secondly, I’m kind of tired of explaining the ups and downs of my love life. Correction: what some people consider to be my love life.

Frankly, I’m tired of explaining darlings. T.I.R.E.D. Your idea of a love life and my idea of a love life are likely worlds apart. Men have, for the most part, been recreation for me. Curiosities of a sort to be examined, and put back without having damaged anything. Fascinating and lovely in their own unique way, there are few that I wished to have taken home. Kinda like lamps. Because really, who needs a bunch of funky lamps in the house? I would not call this my ‘love life’.

Anyway, I do have a lovely man in my life, and I mostly don’t write about him because I like him. I don’t want to jinx anything, and I don’t want anything about his being to be trivialized. I save the juicy bits for face-to-face-girl-talk. Mostly though, I don’t want to jinx anything and then have to explain why he’s an asshole. It’s just not a pretty thing to have to do.

However, given that I was asked by a friend ( and follower of Andshelaughs) about this mysterious man o’mine, I shall give you a list of some of the reasons he is a lover, not a curiosity.

  1. He’s cute. Yah, I know, it sounds really shallow, but I do genuinely think he’s adorable. I look into his eyes and my icy heart melts just a tiny bit.
  2. He tries. Mostly he’s emotionally oblivious, but he tries. In his own way, and in his own time, and I respect that. A lot.
  3. He’s passed the curriculum of adequate love making and is being considered for the advanced class.
  4. He does the dishes. Not kidding. This is huge. Any housework gets a bonus smack on the ass or two, and if he keeps going, he’ll be in for a full paddling. Perhaps I should introduce him to the vacuum and dust rag. Now that makes me hot!
  5. He gets me moving. When I feel worn right out, I like his company enough that I make the effort to go for a walk, or do whatever it is he thinks he needs to be doing.
  6. He’s not a romantic (which entirely sucks for a head-in-the-clouds-wish-I-may-wish-I-might kind of gal), but he consistently communicates. I’ll take that any day over an MIA flower sender.
  7. He eats my cooking and doesn’t complain. Ever. Need I say more?
  8. He’s touchy-feely and snuggly. Sometimes he needs some coaching, but he’s coming along quite nicely. Don’t tell his buddies, but I think he may be headed for  national-cuddle champion recognition.
  9. Although he watches CNN, he is capable of a conversation about current events and philosophy without sounding like a Warner Brothers stuttering pig. Politics however, now that’s another story…
  10. He drives all over hell’s-half-urban-acre of traffic to see me all the time…and he hates driving.

So my darlings, there you have a small snapshot of why I may not write about someone who is pretty special to me. You are also likely thinking that he’s one hell of a lucky guy to be keeping the company of a stunning, free-thinking bucket of devoted lust like me.

Simply put; He is.

 

I’m Sorry I Was An @Hole

200292204-001

“I’m sorry I was an asshole. I love you and don’t know what I’d do without you.”

That’s what a friend of mine told me he wanted to say to his wife today after being a colossal douche during the weekend. He also spun his wedding ring around on his finger and said that when he got home (late), he noticed that his wife had placed her wedding rings on the counter.

She’d never taken them off before.

“Did you tell her that?” I asked.

“No.”

“You need to dial a florist, send her a beautifully girly bouquet, and write exactly that on the card.”

“That’s so cliché.”

“How the hell is she supposed to know if you don’t communicate to her?” And because I know his wife, I also suggested that if she walked out on his dumb-ass, I wouldn’t blame her.

“True. You mean I should really write that, I’m sorry I was an asshole on the card?”

“Yes, and that you love her and don’t know what you’d do with out her. Because it’s true right?”

“Yah, it is. I do love her. What the hell was I thinking? She’s a great woman, and I don’t want to lose her.”

Off he went to send the flowers, which should have been delivered a few hours ago if all went according to plan, and the florist didn’t misspell asshole. Tomorrow I hope he comes in all smiles and thanks me for kicking his butt into high gear.

This man was not going to send flowers because he thought it was cliché, tacky, and overdone. Let me reassure you gentlemen, romance can never be over-done. Never. No woman will ever not swoon if there are flowers, jewellery, sweet letters of love, or any other grand romantic gestures.

Life is short and precious, and when it comes to truly-madly-deeply-relationships, we can never say, ‘I love you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ or ‘I want to ravish your naked body’ too much.

It’s one thing to be comfortable with one another. It’s another thing completely to take one another for granted or treat one another with anything but respect. You are each other’s rock. Don’t let the rings come off, or the relationship disintegrate into two people lonely together.

A suggestion for you darlings: 10000 Ways to Say I Love You by Gregory P. Godek. If you suffer from Lackofromanceinyourpants Syndrome, you need to buy this and use it.

Send the flowers. Write the note. Leave a trail of rose petals. Buy the lingerie. Hold hands and kiss passionately in public. Be gloriously in love.

Swing Your Partner ‘Round & ‘Round

square dancingI used to think the term partner was kind of dorky. It was a pretentious term that made me want to gag. Kind of like when someone said, ‘making love’. What the hell?!

Partnership and making love seem to have gotten a lot more sexy as I’ve gotten a lot more mature.

The older we get, the more important it is to connect with someone who understands the values you were raised with and where you come from.

I recently connected with a school chum who has known me since I was a pre-teen. We spent some time talking and  shared a male/female perspective on life, work, and partnership.

Ah, yes. Partnership. The great connection we all seek which satiates the need to have someone witness our lives. Time unravels more quickly as we get closer to the end, and having someone to partner with begins to mean more and more.

Having a partner means having someone to stand as our witness in this world and say,

I see you. I see you for who you are, all you’ve been through and accomplished, and everything you hope to be. I see you.

True partnership is rare. Partnerships involve intertwining two lives to support, uplift and encourage one another. And that comes with the requirement to empathize and love in an active way.  It requires truly caring for someone and putting your kind thoughts and words into action.

You go out the door everyday cheering one another on, and come back together eager to share and plan. If it’s working, both benefit. If it’s not, you feel like you’re not in partnership, but continuing a solo journey through this wild and wonderful blink-of-an-eye that we call life.

True partnership is a dance of communication, support and joyfully participating in not only the exciting, but the mundane aspects of one another’s life.  Ah yes, the mundane. That unsexy, but major part of our time spent here on earth.

Our culture honours the individual and  often people dismiss commitment, thinking that relationship growth will come without effort or deliberate attention. Good luck with that.

Partnerships are living relationships. Nurturing a culture of neglect within a relationship is a bad thing. You know what happens when you neglect living things? They die.

People want partnership but they aren’t willing to do the work. They aren’t willing to communicate, prioritize time and sadly, many people lack empathy. We swing our relationships in stomach-churning circles, instead of lovingly holding them with care and giving them the elements they need to survive.

Tonight it was nice to connect with someone who really understands what it means to be in partnership.

It was nice to know that my values and my heart are not alone in this world, and that someone, somewhere remembers who we were.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Chances to Fly & More Places to Fall

vintage-smokingIt seemed like a lifetime ago that I lay awake in the dark, staring at a vast, chasm of nothing, and feeling about the same.  Dr.Hook blared somewhere on a CD,

“I’ve got a couple more years on you babe, that’s all…”

More than likely there were tears involved. Perhaps some contraband vodka, as those were the early days.  This was before I realized that my heart wasn’t broken, I was just being nostalgic.

Ah yes, a couple more years on you babe. I’ve reached an age where it’s not the years, but the experience that makes all the difference, and boy oh boy, do I have experience.

Get your head out of the gutter, I’m not talking about thigh-wrapping-lip-locking-giddy-up-experience. I’m talking about the good stuff; love, loss, overcoming adversity, and enough street-smarts to not really give a hairy rat’s patooty what anyone thinks.

It’s grand darlings, it really is.

Stretched out alone in the darkness as a very young woman, I thought about the love and loss I’d endured from those sinfully delightful men-folk in my life who did, at that time,  have a couple more years on me. Back then I never knew that there would be nostalgia on the other side of youth, or that I would feel like the one who had a couple more years on you babe…that’s all.

It ain’t that I’m wiser, it’s only that I’ve spent more time with my back to the wall

Nostalgia is a quick rose-coloured glasses fix on the past, and not so much the grand master of being in the moment. And that’s all we have darlings. This moment.

But sometimes, in the moment, one must realize that being rooted in personal authenticity, and staying flexible enough to bend with the ever-present winds of change is a balancing act that never ends.

Which means, that someone, somewhere, has always got a couple more, or less years on you babe. That’s all.