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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.

 

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I’m Sorry I Was An @Hole

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“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.

Andshelaughs · andshelaughs writing

The Don’t Let the Bastards Get in Your Bedroom

snoring.jpgHow often have you lied awake in the darkness, with something on your mind and remained still and silent?

How often have you shed tears that only your pillow has known? Or perhaps craved your lover but been unable to touch them?

We’ve all held sadness throughout the day, only to release it when we’re alone; in the bathtub, shower, on a long run, or in bed.

But have you had great joy, and great love you were too timid to share as well? Well, last night was one of those nights for me.  I had both, and damn it, I was going to enjoy it.

You see, I’ve had many, many nights where loneliness and sadness were my bedfellows. They’re not nearly as sexy as a man, and they’re worse at keeping you awake. I’ve cried a river of tears in my bathtub and in my bed. Quite frankly, I think I’ve used up my lifetime quota, so I fully intend on enjoying every second of joy when the mood strikes.

We all know the torturous sounds of partners that snore like lumberjacks after a night of swilling whiskey. Ah yes, the torture of sharing space with someone who makes a lot of noise. When you’re tired, the sound of someone else indulging in sleep is almost too much to take.

Last night I was curled up in my sweetie’s arms, wide awake as he drifted off to sleep. If you’ve ever been smitten, you know how lovely that sounds is; your loved one cozy and warm and safe, drifting off with long, relaxed, deep breathing. He was dead to the world, but I was awake. As in, awake-awake. As in, I had some bedtime-energy to burn, and damn it, I was going to set a match to it.

Too often I hear my gal-pals tell me how terribly lacking their relationships are when it comes to physical intimacy. I know it can be inconvenient, time consuming, hair-mussing, and laundry producing. But really, what the hell?!

Intimacy is one of two great things about being an adult. The other one is booze.

But I digress….

What I’m getting at is the one, single element of our ‘intimate’ relationships that we let slip is the intimacy itself; physical and emotional. Day-to-day tasks take over, and before you know it, you’re sleeping with someone you no longer en’joy’. One of you sleeps, the other one is horny and resentful. It’s great when you’re on the same  Exhausted/Exhausted schedule and Horny/Horny schedule, but let’s face it, that rarely happens.

So, last night, curled around each other with my dozing sweetheart , instead of letting another moment be sequestered by the fatigue of our day-to-day-pooh-ha, I seized the moment. Well, his moment.

Just a little suggestion if your bedtime routine is more like a sleep lab and crash pad than a flamboyant boudoir; roll over and do something about it. Maybe even splurge on a candle or two.

 

 

 

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2016 Predictions: It’s Your Choice Baby

liveonceToday someone paid me a backhanded compliment. Their ex accused them of being just like me.

To which I say, ‘That’s right douchedrop, she’s just like me. Happy.’

I’ve been accused of being too passionate, too cold, too serious, too silly and just too much of many things.  I am who I am in the moment. I feel deeply and think creatively and give big, warm, squishy hugs. It’s a wonderfully liberating way to be.

A lot of people can’t handle authenticity in the face of their own, long-ago-lost moral compass.

I know heartache greater than losing your true love. I’ve known regret, self-doubt, crippling fear and loss. I’ve known the depths of depression and despair.

Perhaps this is why I readily see beauty in simple things. Perhaps it’s why my definition of crisis is much more intense than the average bear. Perhaps it’s why tonight, with family and friends gathered at my humble table I felt a deep, profound, contentment.

This year I hope you have the courage to be who you really are. For some, you will be ‘too much’.

I hope that you are finally brave enough to take time to sit with your demons in silence, hear them out, let them have their say, and then graciously hold the door while they leave.

Be brave enough to use your heart for great love. Cherish your friends, fall head-over-heels in love, and don’t let the shadow of hurts-past darken the gift of getting to do it all over again.

Choose to be happy. Choose to be quiet. Choose to be alone. Choose to be whatever the hell it is that you need to be. But know it is a choice darlings. You, and only you, can choose.

Don’t whine and be a martyr for your lover, your family or your colleagues. Don’t waste your breath explaining away your shitty choices, or your crazy ones, or the ones that will make you smile a kazillion years from now when all you have left are memories of your misadventures.

My wish for everyone whose life I touch this year, is that I help them be at ease with themselves, in this wild and wonderful world.

 

 

 

 

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Sink Or Swim; Nostalgia & a Little Shove

mylifeHolidays tend to make us nostalgic. Thank goodness that they’re officially over for 2015.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard, “2015 was a terrible year“. Wow.

I prefer to frame my year as a deli sandwich. The bread was delicious, but the meat of it was a little sour. In other words, the first and last thirds were great (as in; good enough), but the middle really blew.

How often as children did we say a year was terrible? We didn’t darlings. We just did the 10 second countdown to the new year and moved forward with joyful, curious abandon.

sufferingNow we yearn for the days when life was simple and  we still believed in magic. Friendships and family were taken for granted, and happiness was just on the other side of the screen door.

As adults, we tend to overcomplicate things. ‘Be kind and play fair’, seem to have gotten lost in the big, adult personal ethics playbook. And that just stinks. Because it hurts. Yes, people can be selfish and cruel, but they can also be kind, giving, and lovely to snuggle up with. Naked.

As human beings, we all want to be loved. We all need and want strong friendships, a true love with whom we can  share our most intimate selves , and bourbon. Ok, maybe the last bit is all about me, but whatever.

When we lose ourselves in the fray of losing the one person we fell in love with, we feel broken. I’ve been there. It hurts. It’s scary, and it puts a pretty harsh filter on our vision of the future.

Just this summer, I sat, sobbing on my friend’s front step, while she nursed my broken heart and damaged pride. I felt empty, hopeless, afraid and lost.

We live in a world that prizes the individual and yet makes it impossible to live without the safety net of community, family and friends. Yes, the great Western-way-of-life has unfolded into a wonderful cock-up of psychological dissonance. But what do I know? I’m just a girl after all.

I do know this. The holiday season has seen a lot of falling in and out of love; happy hearts and hearts that have been broken and need time to heal, relationships that are worn thin, or worn out altogether.

The beautifully terrifying part of it all, is that the only way to heal a heart is to live life. The very life that has tossed you like a small boat on a big, angry, ocean, leaving you feeling washed up and broken beyond repair.

Cling to curiosity. Let your friends lead you when you are  blinded by tears. Be wary of the seductive pull of too much sleep, lack of self care, and try to remember how good it feels to laugh after you decide to, ‘fuck it’.

As a quasi-Buddhist-lover-of-Christian-ritual, this speaks to me. You have two choices; get up, dive back into that same unpredictable ocean to wash yourself clean, or wallow in the sand getting burned by the sun and possibly gnawed to death by vicious, exotic fauna.

Sometimes you need a friend to role you back into the ocean. In some cases, you need a friend to drag you, kicking and screaming, back to life. It’s called tough love, and we all need it once in a while.

Nostalgia and wishing for a happily-ever-after is a waste of time.

havetimeYou and I both know that more than anything else, this is true; life is short and precious.

Take the time you need to sit quietly with your broken heart. Don’t run away from it, or deny it what it needs to tell you.  Take your sadness and swaddle it like a helpless infant. As difficult as this may seem, you will see that soon enough, you will be at peace with it.

Weep. Cry. Scream into your pillow…and as you take your last gasp of sobbing breath, get ready for a shove back into the ocean of life.

You’ve always been a beautiful swimmer darling. Always.

 

 

 

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Starting Fresh at Christmas: Relationship Advice

kissingmeistletoeThis afternoon I had a lovely surprise. A rather handsome man whom I’ve known since once-upon-a-time popped in to say hello at the little coffee shop where I was writing .

I wanted to give him a long, slow, deep, wet kiss right there on the spot.

I wanted to tell him that planning to be disappointed during one of the most magical and romantic times of year was a really stupid thing to do.

I wanted to make wild, dirty, love to him underneath his yet-to-be erected Christmas tree.  It was all I could do not to give in to my desire to erect things….

But that wouldn’t do.

No. I’ll tell you why. He’s torturing himself with the slow and painful ending of a bad relationship.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all put ourselves through the agony because we’re afraid of pulling the pin. Like much of life, we’re afraid of endings when we don’t know for sure what comes next.

While deployed in the trenches of love, I learned  that swift and complete is the only way to end something that’s dying a painful death.  I still kinda suck at it though.

Anyway, Mr. Slice-of-juicy-man-steak and I had a little chat. I rambled as I often do when I can’t focus and I’m visualizing my sweater being ripped off, breasts heaving, and tumbling naked into a candlelit bed. But I digress….

The crux of his matter is hinging on a do-or-die-show-up-or-no-show performance on Christmas day.

For everyone out there in relationship purgatory, please consider another perspective.

Why hang another expectation on an otherwise emotionally stretched holiday? It is THE holiday of the year. It’s a time to gather together with  the people we love, and share our lives.

Why not count-down to something a little more magical and heart-warming than, ‘if he/she doesn’t do this’, I’m ending it?

Why not shift the negative, I-dont’-want-to-feel-unloved-and-miserable, to an, I-can’t-wait-to-be-happy-focus?

Maybe I see the world differently because I’m surrounded by loss; people who didn’t get a chance to do the things they wanted to, or say the things they wanted to say.

The man who sat beside me this afternoon has a strong, protective side that I admire and respect. He still has a playful side that I miss seeing, and that I’d love to spend time with.

For everyone out there with a partner who doesn’t treat you like you are amazing,  who does not choose to adore you every day, who doesn’t make you laugh until you’re breathless, I beseech you to stop wasting everyone’s time.

If my sexy, juicy, delightfully sensual friend is out there reading this, know that I hope to see you soon. This time at home, laughing, with a little too much champagne, and a giant heap of  clothing on the floor.

There is mistletoe hanging at my door just waiting to fulfill it’s destiny.

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When Christmas Isn’t So Merry

ADVENT WREATH

“Christmas makes me sad, ” one of my colleagues said in passing this week.

Sad was a theme for me in 2015, so her comment caught my attention.

My head jerked up from what I was working on and I listened to what she had to say.

“I still put up the tree and decorate. You know, for the kids.”

“Me too.” I said.

We were speaking with a younger lady who is still a starry-eyed romantic like we used to be. I hope she never loses that magic, because once you lose it, you can’t get it back the same way.

Loss during the holidays spreads a pall over the joy of the season. Loss as in a you’ve experienced the death of a loved one during the holidays, you’ve experienced another type of loss during the year (relationship, job, ability).

As you get older, there tend to be more people and more things to miss. There are deeper elements of life to reflect upon, and joy comes less and less from what is under the tree than from the quiet moments you get to spend with people you love.

When I was a child, the season of Advent was not a spiritual experience. It was a season of ribbon candy, clementines, chocolate galore and lots of toys. As a young woman, it was a season of party dresses, romance and giddy fun.  As a middle-aged woman, I realize the meaning behind the season of Advent; living in darkness, anticipation and mystery, meditation, and the cultivation of patience.

For those who find the Christmas season emotionally challenging, please try and remember that you are not alone. Our silver-bell-and-city-sidewalk-smiles hide a multitude of sadness.

For those who still find Christmas deliriously happy, don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm. We love it, and are happy knowing that although we may bring peace and love to the season, there are others who bear the burden of bringing the joy.

Wishing you peace this Christmas. Wishing you love. Wishing you the joy of friendship, romance and the thrill of experiencing some of life’s  unfolding mystery.