It’s Difficult Loving a Snoreman

duct tapeI woke up this morning with the bloody evidence of a restless sleep. In my ear  no less. From trying to block the loud sleep-purr of my man.

For two years ear plugs have kept me from two things: chronic sleep deprivation, and killing my partner in his sleep.

For years I lived alone.

Only in retrospect have I discovered that it was ‘blissfully’ alone.

HA-ha! HA-ha-HA-ha-HA!

Just in case you couldn’t tell, that is the delirious, sleep-deprived laughter of a woman who now shares her bed with a chronic snorer. A snorer supreme. A snorosaurus. A snorenado if you will.

Every night it’s snormagedon. And I’m sooooooo t i r e d.

This morning, a contractor needed to get into the building where I worked before we opened, so since I was awake all night anyway, I went in early to unlock the doors.  I rolled out of my car yawning at the same time as the contractor pulled up.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, finishing up a big, wide-mouthed yawn, “I”m not much of a morning person and the love of my life snores like a bulldozer.”

“So do I, ” he said, and then he laughed.

He laughed.  Asshole.

I had the same response from the lady who served me at the liquor store tonight. It was my one and only stop on my way home from work. The only thing I wanted was a big bowl of my auntie’s recipe for 3 in 1,  an intravenous feed of red wine, and a full-bellied-red-wine-induced-nap in front of the fireplace.

And that’s exactly what I had.

Until my well-rested horror-snorer came barging through the door. He was full of energy from having a full night of sleep.

Just to be clear to all of the snorers out there-we hate you.

You see, until now, I thought I had a solution. I had adopted the wise sleep habit of my bestie – using earplugs. Trust me, once you start wearing your long nightie to bed with socks, the ear plugs come next. The good news is when you reach this stage, you have simply come into your own power. You are silently creating your very own space. Everything about you, including your self-induced hearing impairment does not invite anyone into your space, not even subliminally. Your entire vibe is fuck-off-and-let-me-sleep. The flannel, the socks and the construction orange ear-plugs are sleepy-time-thug-gear.

Until you wake up with a bloody ear from wearing ear plugs too often.

The only solution I can come up with right now is to learn how to accessorize an orange jumpsuit.

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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.

Firekeepers: The Responsibility of Passion

mad but magic.pngI watched the fire die down last night in the fireplace; the glowing red log and the one on top of that that heated, snapped, and eventually burnt down to a few dull embers.

Ironic, I thought. Or maybe not so much. Our language is very delicate and descriptive. Watching flames die is a lot like watching any passion burn brightly, flicker, and cool to nothingness.

Like a good fire, any passion requires tending. Firekeepers have always been valuable members of our communities, and for good reason. If a fire burns out, the life around it dies too. In relationship each person is a firekeeper, whether it’s in a workplace, a friendship, or a romantic partnership, firekeeping is everyone’s responsibility.

If you wish for stability, you have to tend your passions very carefully. Tending a flame is a lot easier and satisfying than spending energy trying to light a dead ember. Letting your passion burn brightly is less dangerous than letting it burn out.  Always, and without exception.

Love & Other Fragile Things

birdbranchYou know that I’m writing this for you, right?

The woman who’s just had the news that her husband isn’t ‘in love’ with her any more. Maybe it was your wife, or your partner…whatever. It’s all the same soul-crushing-crashing-everything-to-a-halt-breath-stealing-change. And it hurts. Bad.

And it scares the hell out of you.

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. But here I am, 17  years single, and not a-crazy-old-cat-lady…yet.

There will be times that you despair, and feel loneliness deep in your bones. You will lose sleep over how you will pay the bills, tell the kids, manage holidays, and ever manage to open yourself up to the wonder of everything that once brought you joy. But you will darling. I promise.

Your sense of self, your home, your routines, your comfort zone – these things make you fragile my sweet.

But you will crawl out of all of this muck. You will be a polished, shining, more resilient version of yourself. You will be more wise. You will appreciate the little things. And you will laugh from your belly.

You will also wonder what the hell you were so upset about in the first place. There’s a lot of energy that goes into loving someone – I mean really, feet-on-the-ground-all-hands-on-deck-loving, or as some people call it – active loving. You likely spent a lot of time doing stuff for your partner; maybe you cooked, did the laundry, maintained the vehicles, did the lion’s share of maintaining the kids, your family holidays, etc., etc.  If you’re like me, you put your own timeline and the little things that bring you joy  second to the priorities of your partner; boys’ nights, golf, their fitness and waking time preferences.

At first, time on your own will feel like a long rest after a marathon, and then it will feel eerily quiet. What will you ever do with this landscape of barren time?

Let me give you a few suggestions; pedicures, concerts, art galleries, boozy lunches with the gals, discovering favourite shops, more time with your kiddos, a bed all to yourself or not, reconnecting with friends, and eventually rediscovering the joy of  being treated like the precious gem that you are.

Love is fragile, but so is our sense of self.  As a woman who has had the luxury of time alone, I realize the cost of independence and the price of nurturing another. Love is fragile, Time is fleeting.

Lean on your friends. We will remind you of the fabulous person you have always been, even in the shadow of heartache.

 

 

 

Cow Tea-Pots & Other Dreams

cowteapotA young woman held her lover by the hand and reached up on her tip-toes.”Do you remember at the beginning of our relationship when I told you that I’ve always wanted a cow teapot?” She stroked (yes, caressed) the ugliest tea pot I’ve ever seen. It was in the shape of a Holstein cow, with it’s tail curled as a handle.

I immediately felt emotional pain for the young man. Who on earth cares about a cow-shaped tea-pot? What on earth would possess anyone to reveal that to someone at the beginning of a relationship other than recreational drugs and too much tequila?

At first my thought was, ‘this is over the top’. Who cares? Who really freaking cares about your tea-pot darling?

The reality is we all do.

It’s about the need to connect. That’s what the tea-pot is about. Our need to connect is even more powerful than any numbing agent out there; prescription drugs, booze, therapy or any other obsessive behavior. As human beings we have a great need to connect with one, special person who gets us. Who loves us no matter our penchant for weird kitsch like cow tea-pots and Jimmy Buffett costumes.

The evening I overheard this little nugget of ‘please remember me’, I was having dinner with a friend. Most of the dinner was about girl-stuff; being mothers, wives, and our loss of who we are in the middle of all of that (I’m not a wife,  I’m currently hanging out with a gem who thinks commitment is letting me know where he is sometimes).  We talked about our children, our work, the details of our personal lives, and we considered the quality of our romantic partnerships.

Feeling taken for granted is the biggest killer of joy on the planet.

Cow Tea-Pots matter. How you take your coffee and tea matter. What your favourite section of the newspaper is matters. How you feel matters.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have a  man  who has no idea how I take my coffee or tea. With sugar right? No darling. Not for the past 42 years, but thanks for caring. If your partner would rather be on the golf course than in bed, and planning anything romantic is beyond their grasp, but planning social events for a dozen people is nothing, give the whole thing some serious consideration.

I’ve suggested setting a goal of hiking the Bruce Trail as a couple-something new, active and with a common goal in mind, but I know that it will never happen with my partner. I will have plenty of time for that however when he’s off on his own. Cow-teapots? Pul-eaze. Not even close.

Cow-tea pots matter. Because it means they listen, they care enough about why on earth that damn ugly tea-pot means so much to you, and they listened not just to the words of your story, but to your connection to it all.

When you are with a man who,  doesn’t have a clue  what kind of perfume you wear or a thousand other things, I have some advice for you. As much as it breaks your heart to think that your lover does not love you, but takes you for granted instead; wear the red dress and go to dinner with friends on your own (they will love your teapot stories), hike the trail  (who knows who you might meet), buy the lingerie, and don’t ever make your time a priority for someone who takes yours for granted.

Go for the person who knows all about your cow teapot, or in my case, the pin-ball machine.

 

 

 

 

Sensuality; The Elixer of Life

stephanie-sarley

This is an image by Stephanie Sarley; Fruit for Feminism.

At this age, we’ve all had lovers. To be considered  a lover, one must be sensual, and as such, must be able to arouse and sate the sensuality in their beloved. Lovers are rare.

This post is about not letting your self-worth and sensuality get lost.  Don’t. Also, don’t confuse sensuality with sexuality. They are two different things, although they have a strong bond.

Enjoying and cultivating our own sensuality is something that I truly believe enhances our overall health; physical, mental, emotional and social.

Waking up alone this morning  I indulged in just-a-few-more-minutes. I spent some time thinking about neuroplasticity, and what I’ve been thinking lately.  I have spent a lot of time wondering whether I’m good enough or not; a good enough mother, a good enough partner, a good enough friend, a good enough professional…

But I always managed to make time to indulge in my own senses. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a long, slow meal at a table with friends with wine and succulent flavours? What about the smell of vanilla candles burning and a bubble bath accompanied by the dulcet tones of your favourite crooner? How about your true love reading Pablo Neruda poems to you while stretched out with your morning coffee? Perhaps it’s just the simple pleasure of being fireside with a good book, wrapped in a blanket with your fur baby curled up beside you.

I am by nature a sensual being. I believe we all are. Even Baptists. I’m not talking sexual here folks, although sensuality sure the hell does raise the bar when it comes to physical intimacy. I enjoy tastes, scents, sounds and tactile pleasure that the world has to offer. By nature I’m a kinesthetic learner.  I’m ‘touchy feely’. In relationship my need for physical contact is great.

I enjoy my wine, my bourbon, and my body. I find comfort in a soft blanket and a cool pillow. I love hugs. Not creepy-old-man-copping-a-feel-hugs, but hugs from my friends, colleagues and my kiddo. I love the strong taste of a good blue cheese, and the sweetness of a candy apple. Yesterday I stepped out the front door of my workplace just after the rain and for a few seconds was overcome by the delicious scent of the earth after an autumn rain.

This morning, I remembered how much I enjoy so many things. How I’ve let lazy lovers fool me into believing something is wrong with me; I’m too fat, I’m too needy, I’m too smart, I’m too fiery, I’m too nice, I’m too harsh, I’m too sexual. I’m not too anything, and neither are you my dear one. Today I vowed to turn my back on these judgments and re-awaken my sensuality; long, slow baths, indulgent fantasies, lingering over wine-rich meals with my friends, music, lingerie and most importantly, allowing myself to want.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

Uncorked Part 2: If a little Her-Heming-Way Becomes Her, So Does An Entire Bottle of Chardonnay

IMG_7058Ah yes, Part Deux of deux.

The prerequisite for reading this post is Uncorked Part 1.

Pour a glass of your favourite tipple darling, and snuggle in. In fact, just bring the whole damned bottle with you.

Two Christmases ago (is that even a word?…anyway), my friend, the Determined D. gave me a very heartfelt gift. She was very familiar with my love of fine wine, and my love of not-so-fine men.

Determined D presented me with a beautifully, purple organza wrapped bottle of Chardonnay. When she gave it to me she said, with sweet, wistful, Disney-like-fairy-tale, earnestness,

” I want you to open this with the love of your life. I just know that this is the year you will meet him.”

I really, really, really wanted to believe her.  So, I took the bottle (still wrapped), and placed it with my stash of vino that I keep on hand should I have the good fortune to keep the company of a wino with expensive taste, such as my own.

…and I waited….

And waited. And then I met Mr. Wonderful-Love-Of-My-Life-Everything-Just-Clicked! Ok, so it took a few months longer, but still! The Determined D was right!

I poked my head into my secret wine stash. “There it is!” I thought to myself. I’m going to open this on the big day when everything is official. Given the discussions we’d had, I figured that would be September sometime. Maybe October. You know, perfect weather for a little autumn al fresco dining.

Keep in mind darlings, that I’ve been single for the better part of a decade and a half. Not a year and a half. I’m talking a DECADE.

Long story short, he turned out to be the adult-equivalent of my high-school sweetheart stomping on my heart with the whore whose dad was the town dentist. Oh boy did it hurt.

After a bit of a parade of useless men during the past few weeks, and a really bad week on other fronts, I decided that tonight was the night that I was going to uncork my hopes and dreams of meeting the love of my life.

So, what exactly does a lady do when she officially surrenders? When she knows that there is never going to be the love-of-her-life to share that special, thoughtfully and beautifully wrapped bottle with?

She takes herself out to one of her favourite places. Mine just happens to be a world-class art gallery, with a Member’s lounge boasting an award-winning chef. She orders a tall glass of something boozy, a mouth-watering meal and stays to hear the world premiere of a piano concerto written specifically for the current exhibit.

She then get’s somewhat loose, toasts a grand good-bye to the lying, cheating, multiple-personality, whack-job, dickwads that have broken her heart, and goes home alone (listening to classic 80’s rock so loud the car shakes) to a fabulous bottle of Chardonnay. That’s my guess anyway….

Tonight I went to my go-to feel-better place. I stared out the window into the darkness of the November night, into the beauty of a city fully alive. I meandered the gift shop and decided to forgo buying a guilded acorn that Nordic legend holds will ensure a long life.

You see, the way things have been going, I don’t know that I want a long life. I want a happy life, a simple life, a life filled with love. An acorn isn’t going to give me that.

Neither is the Chardonnay, but at least it’ll get me though the night.  See Part 1.

Planning Ahead & Being Prepared

camp coffeeWe plan for everything. Generally speaking we plan ahead for everything that could go wrong.

You know, health insurance, emergency phone numbers programmed into our phones, an extra bottle of bourbon on the back shelf just in case.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve had a life of planning ahead; planning for this, that or the other thing. Sure I’ve planned for holidays, lunches with the ladies or romantic evenings of carnal bliss, but I’ve never had the luxury of planning for something wonderful.

Until now.

And it’s a strange feeling darlings. Strange as in; Yowsa! Holy smokers! I’m so happy I could cry…

When your 40 years of living have taught you that the most wise fallback is a door that only you have the key to, and suddenly you realize that’s changed, well darlings, it can throw even the most guarded of ladies off-balance.

I’m not sure whether to issue the command to fetch mamma her bourbon or break open the champagne from the art deco chaise lounge where my psyche rests in my wee, but very ornate girl-brain.

It’s a man darlings. Yes, it’s a mere flesh and blood man who has me peeking inside a life that has suddenly cracked open, exposing all of the precious treasures of sentiment that have been so well hidden away for so very long.

I do not use the term man lightly my juicy little plums. You see, boys and guys and nicknamed personas have pranced through my life like a summer holiday parade; all dazzling spectacle and curiosity. They’re the kind of people you bring a lawn chair for, and pack up and leave when the band stops playing. no anxiety

Men don’t require you to do that. Men swing wide the doors of a woman’s heart and set up camp.  No worries, no drama, no grand, sweeping gestures. It just happens and it’s good. Just. Like. That.

So here I am with the life that I’ve always hoped for. Job – check. Kiddo responsible and ready to launch – check. Lifetime friendships – check. Man who has set up camp and has the coffee pot on while I get lost in my hair-brained writer’s mind – check.

You can plan all you want for the what-if’s, but I don’t think you can plan when it comes to matters of the heart, and that’s a good thing. A very good thing.