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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is Sexy?

I recently had the realization that my husband and I have been together for 13+ years.  That is crazy, especially when I think about how I used to measure relationships in months. Not surprisingly those relationships fizzled and died. The longest one I had prior to Don was 3 years. Well, total, not including several intermittent break ups.  The year mark was the crucial turning point in any relationship I had and if I made it that long without getting annoyed with the person( or vice versa) then we were on the road to success. Obviously, Don was the lone survivor.
My niece (15 years old) recently asked me how I knew Don was "the one", and I poetically told her that he was the only one that I didn't get tired of.  Of course there is more to that, but that is quite possibly, the honest to God truth. And after all these years its still true.
What amazes me though, is that I learn something new about our relationship every so often that if I had known this, lets say 12 years ago it would have made our lives much better.   I was watching Don the other day change a diaper.  Oscar loves Dora the Explorer, so Don was making him laugh with a narrative
First, you go uuuuuup the leg, then oooooover the belly to the pity party!!! (a pity party is when Don tickles Oscar's arm pit).  I could hear Oscar hysterically laughing and I thought, damn, that's sexy. Not the narrative so much, but the vision of Don enjoying changing his son's diaper.
Did I ever dream that seeing a dad in a mini van would be attractive? Never.  In college, I don't ever recall seeing a man in a minivan. Why? Because they might as well have been invisible.  I also didn't find fellow college guys attractive. The only time I did was when I was in high school.  Once in college I discovered that the majority of them were extremely immature. I did find my professors appealing. Why? Because they were confident and smart.  And because they had a drink with the purpose of enjoyment, not to get smashed.
Don does things on a daily basis that I think are the sexiest things on Earth. Rolling up his sleeves, exposing his forearms to wash dishes. Sexy.  Bringing coffee to me in the morning while I'm in the shower so when I get out it will be there. Sexy. Watching him do something he loves to do, (yard work). Sexy. I could go on and on and this morning wasn't any different.  Its the little things that I
(and most married women) find extremely appealing. Unlike a man standing there naked. I recently had a conversation with girlfriends and there seems to be an epidemic of husbands flashing their wives.  It does nothing for us, unlike men, some of us are not just visually stimulated. Just FYI.
So I started to wonder what Don found attractive about me, even after all these years, so I decided to ask him. This is the fatal flaw that I should have discovered years ago. I don't ask Don these sorts of questions for information, I ask them for acclamation.  Before I ask the question I already have the perfect answer in my head and when he doesn't say what I like, I become very mad at him.  Honesty does not help him out in this situation.  Here are few example of questions and the answers I got, vs. the answers I wanted.
Me: What do you find sexy about me? His answer: "When I just saw you naked in the shower and your waist curves right where it should above your butt" (followed by a primal grunting sound)
What I wanted to hear: " When I see you rocking a baby to sleep, and your hair is a little messy, you simply look beautiful and sexy"
Me: Ok, but what do you find sexy that isn't part of my body? His answer, after a very pregnant pause: "I think you style is sexy, like when you are getting dressed and you put your heals on first and then your dress." followed by a very crude gesture with his body that looked like humping air. * note, I swear he is not a teenage boy even though his responses clearly reflect that.  What I wanted to hear:
"On Saturday mornings when you first wake up, there is a beautiful glow about you when you are rested, especially when you are not wearing an ounce of makeup."
As you can imagine I was growing more and more frustrated with his answers so I thought I would give him one last chance with a simple question.
Me: What did you find sexy about me when we were first dating? His answer: "Your front...and your back, but mostly your front (as he gestures to my boobs) What I wanted to hear:  "The same thing I find sexy now, everything, you really haven't changed." Ok, now I know that is a stretch, but its what I wanted, NEEDED to hear today, a day I feel chubby.
Frustrated, I said, ok and he left.
What I know about Don is that he is a bit guarded. He had a girlfriend in college who was kind of like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, but this girl didn't boil a rabbit, she boiled Don's balls, (metaphorically of course).
And I suppose I have also contributed to his fear. When we first started dating I flirted by asked him, What kind of girl do you think is sexy?. His answer: Beyonce...or Asian girls.  What I wanted to hear: "An athletic girl with blond hair and brown eyes". NOT something that I can't even compete with because a) I'm not black and b) I'm not Asian. From now until the end of his life he will always get a dirty look or snide remark from me when ever Beyonce or an attractive Asian is on tv.
What I fail to recognize is that to him, asking me to be his wife, and wanting me to be the mother of his children and wanting to grow old with me is more than enough assurance that I am,  and always be his number one girl. But maybe someday in the next 60 years he will have the ability to say the answer I want to hear, even if it is "You are better looking at 95, then you were at 20" or better yet, maybe I will learn to stop asking those questions.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Break at a Retirement Community

Back in the day I can recall watching MTV Spring Break from the comfort of my living room. Fantasizing that some day, when I could get away from my parents, I too will enjoy the thrill of a shake your booty contest on Daytona Beach.  Fast forward 20 years later and you will find me visiting THEM on my Spring Break and not at a hip Spring Break destination, but at their home which is located in a retirement community in Southern Arizona.  So south, that you even get to pass through a border patrol station... which I found to be exhilarating. And that was just the beginning of my thrills.
When contemplating where to go for Spring Break with four kids under 9 I wouldn't dare go anywhere where there wasn't additional (willing) adult support, and where the room and meals are free, so that pretty much narrows it down to one place, my parents snow bird house.
The 4 hour plane ride was actually pretty easy.... After we were settled. We brought along the car seat for Oscar and after Don broke a sweat fastening it with the child in it and arranging everyone with their backpacks, gum, seabands, drinks, etc. etc. on a packed flight, the flight attendant told us that he couldn't sit there because it was 2 rows from an exit row. Seriously? So we had to play musical chairs which resulted in a lot of climbing over seats, passing children like they were hot and my butt crack showing.  Of course there was the added pressure that the plane was waiting on us to take off and if looks could kill we would have all been dead.  We had 3 seats together and 2 seats together which left one family member displaced. Although Don had his eye on that lucky seat, the old man in the seat that was sandwiched between two nintendo playing kids offered to move. Go figure?  Now we were in our cluster.
The boys did great. I am an anxious flyer and I kept my eye on a shifty guy,  who I was convinced was a terrorist, that is, when I wasn't taking someone to the bathroom. Parker joined the mile high club, well, his version of it. Somewhere they heard that term and when he asked me what it was I told him it was when someone pooped on a plane.   He actually joined in three times. 
Once we arrived we settled in easily. Within minutes we were at the pool. They have "family time" which translates to we don't want to be around screaming, splashing kids from 11-1 and 4-6. Senior nap and dinner time respectively.
I forgot how much I love Arizona. I attending the UofA my freshman and sophomore years of college. Not only does it represent my first experience away from home, but it also is the embodiment of rustic beauty. I love it there and if it weren't so darn hot in the summer I swear I would move there.  At least I know that when I turn 65 I will be eligible to live in my parents house.
Besides my children, I was the youngest human in a ten mile radius. Everywhere I went there were old people. It was as if my pace was more like a Porsche and everyone else was a Prius.   There is a golf cart lane on the main drag, and a Jazzy parking station at the grocery store.  After adjusting to the age gap I started to notice a alarming trend.  Most everyone I came into contact with was happy.  At the grocery store that I purchased margarita mix (it is Spring Break after all)  the check out guy was wearing a tie, and happily scanning my purchases. He called me Mrs.   The bagger was equally polite.  I saw couples shopping together.
Granted, most couples that I did see together were bickering. Well, mostly the women where nagging their husband who appeared to be ignoring them. Then there was the lonely man who sat alone drinking his coffee at the grocery store Starbucks every morning who would have loved to have his wife there to bicker with  but he seemed content.  I should have sat down with him just for a moment but my fast pace didn't allow for that.    I overheard some conversations, mostly nostalgia for the past. But being there I felt like I was in the past, and to be honest it was kind of nice.
I didn't see cell phones, laptops or god forbid ipods. I did however see a walkman with a cassette player.
I saw older people literally enjoying every bit of the daylight. Biking, walking, hiking, playing tennis.   I had a sick realization about my generation.  Most of us live with instant gratification, when we want something we get it even if we can't afford it. This huge retirement community may be vacant in 30 years because we are so in debt that we can't begin to think of retirement.
While my generation struggles to find their purpose in life, these people have already figured it out. While some of us search for meaning, we are missing out on the simple pleasure of life, which may be our only purpose after all.  These people know and accept that they are not going to live forever and they want to get the most out of it while they can.  I don't know if I can say I have the foresight of that realization. That is why most of them don't communicate via computer, they communicate in person. Well, besides computers scaring the crap out of them.
For my son's and my birthday my parents invited two couples over to celebrate. They arrived on time, no need to be fashionably late.   We sat around the table long after cake was served and laughed.  I heard a lot of jokes, some of them funny, some of them not, most of them puns and not one complaint. And it was an eclectic bunch, who had lived through some pretty tough things, such as war, and a lot of death, but you wouldn't know it by the way they were laughing.
It was a great way to bring in my 35th year.
There was an unspoken camaraderie that I cannot imagine having with people who have opposite views. At the pool one day a man yelled over to another, "Good Afternoon Hippie", and the other responded "Hey, you dumb carpetbagger, I didn't see you at breakfast today!" Clearly opposing views on politics, but they still enjoy each others company. No fist fight followed. In fact, they played a game of chicken with their grandchildren on their shoulders. I watched these old guys laughing hysterically like they were 12.  And I realized, I should enjoy my own kids like that... and Don needs to work out more because these old guys were buff.
In fact, there were not many signs of stress at all, which was in sharp contrast to me because I checked my phone every other minute to see what email I was missing from my work, which I was suppose to be on vacation from.
After a day or two I decompressed a bit and I stopped checking my messages and spent little or no time on the computer. Ok, to be honest the main reason for that was that my Dad's computer was so slow that you would have thought it was dial up. They actually start their computer, do a load of laundry and wait for it to "boot up", that slow. I didn't have the patience.
Now that I am back and fully on line again, I find myself reflecting on how much fun I had when my high speed world went dial up for a week. It gave me a new enlightening perspective on aging.  If I am lucky and find myself laughing with friends, nagging my husband and enjoying the sun when I am 74 then I have a lot to look forward too. But,for the time being I may slow down and look around too.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lets Talk About Sex.... Baby.

Since having a baby I have been dreading the sex question. The where do babies come from question. Parker has been with us through three pregnancies. He has seen my belly grow and contract each time. Never did he ask how the baby got there. In fact, when he started asking about sex it had nothing to do with babies and had everything to do with pop music.
Maybe Kevin Bacon's girlfriend's dad in Footloose was right. Dancing causing problems and so does that evil pop music.  Parker was singing I'm sexy and I know it. After explaining that kids can't and should never be sexy, he thought it was a cuss word which made it even more appealing.  The other night out of no where he asked me what the S.E.X was.
 I told him to wait and I would tell him in a minute. I folded socks and told his younger brother to go downstairs.  When Jack did, I sat on the bed and and had a brain block. I said sex is a grown up thing and you should respect yourself. It didn't even make sense to me. He was looking at me with big brown eyes and I told him to ask his daddy.  I pushed Parker out of the way and rushed downstairs and told Don I had completely screwed that one up and that it was his turn. After Parker picked himself up he came down to Don and said "Daddy what is the sex?"
 He told Parker that he couldn't explain it in 15 minutes and it was his bed time and he would tell him later.  Another road block for Parker. Frustrated, he left saying "why won't anyone tell me what the sex is!" I felt bad. Wasn't it suppose to be the other way around? We were suppose to approach him?
Now I'm being pursued and harassed by my own son to tell him something that I don't where to begin. I want to be sure that he knows he needs to love and respect the girl, and that no means no etc. etc. But he is just wanting to know what the big deal is. How do I weave in all of that for a 9 year old?
We agreed that we would tell him Friday night. I would have time to get a book to use as a visual because I sure as hell wasn't going to draw pictures or even worse google it.
 I went to the bookstore and searched until I found a little tiny section with books with titles like. "Whats the big secret?" and "A boys guide to his body" or "What is going on down there?" I grabbed one that I thought had nice pictures. As I was standing in line I started to flip through it and to my horror I opened up right to the page about wet dreams. I screamed inside. WHAT? no no no no no no no.  So back I went to the tiny section and chose a more  age appropriate book. I brought it home and showed it to Don.  I know how Don's parents educated them about sex. His Dad, (not his mom I might add) a Colonel in the Army sat his brother and him down one night and told them the ins and outs (no pun intended) and that they need to be careful, and if they knew what a condom was. That is all good and great but the problem was they were 16 and 17. A little too late there pops.  My situation was a bit more horrific. *graphic language warning*
I was in 3rd grade and Sam, a little boy in my class, and I were hanging upside down on the jungle gym. Some how the conversation led him to tell me to suck his dick.  I had no clue what he was talking about, but I did like to suck on suckers, and if dick was a sucker than SURE!
Later in the car I asked my mom what it meant to suck a dick.  I believe she slammed on the breaks and protected me with the arm seat belt. We made a sharp turn into a McDonald's parking lot where she gave me the technical details which I found completely revolting and she assured me that I wouldn't need to worry about it because sex was only when you are married.  So there are the two backgrounds of the two parents who are about to explain sex to our son. We decided to invite our 7 year old into the conversation just for the heck of it.  We called them up from downstairs and said we had a book. Parker was excited. Finally he was going to find out what sex was. I decided now was a good time to get a glass of wine.  As Don began to talk about girl parts and boy parts I couldn't stop giggling. When I heard my son say, "I don't get what a vulva is" I lost it and was in full on church giggles. Parker was watching me like a hawk. Kids read their parents expressions when they need reassurance. Much like I watch flight attendants on a plane. If they look freaked out than the plane must be going down.  By the time we got to rubbing certain areas is called masturbation Parker decided he needed to get a drink too.  Fin was just taking it all in like it was a bedtime story. Don was a pro, he was teaching them just like he taught every other kid math every day. But if I were in his class I would have been in the hall by now. He kept giving me dirty looks as if to say "grow up". I couldn't help it! I was a giggling mess. We finally got to the nitty gritty and Parker was shocked to find out that the actual purpose of sex was to have babies..not so "sexy" anymore huh? Followed by horror and disgust. "That is SO disgusting!" "Do I have to do that?" That is where I finally spoke up and said a confident "NO!" He then asked if teenagers do that. We said yes, but they shouldn't unless they want a baby. Parker then asked if we did that. "Well, how do you think you got here?"  Don said. He looked at us as if we had the plague. That was it. The book was over.
We explained that this was a private matter that we talk about in our home and not with our friends.  I told them if they ever had a question to come to me (but I didn't mean it.)  Think about it. I have 4 boys who will all be teenagers at the same time. Add Don into the mix and our house will probably be grand jack off central, I shutter at the thought.
The next day Parker was playing outside for 10 minutes when he came in and said "I told Joey about our book"  I angrily asked him if he forgot about the word PRIVATE meant.  Don over heard the conversation and was equally upset.  " You need to go tell his mom." Why me? I couldn't even speak during the dissertation, how am I going to go tell a mom that my 9 year old told her 7 year old about sex?  Fine.
I  casually walked over and knocked on the door. She answered. Damn it. I told her that Parker had explained the birds and the bees to her son. She just stared at me. I then thought that was a cue to give her the sex talk. "We told him about the penis and the vagina..." She interrupted me and said that she was fine with it, and that it was a good time to bring it up. Geez. She is much cooler than I was.
I find it odd that my son now knows where babies come from but still believes in Santa. I was tempted to just put it all out on the table, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, elf on the shelf..but I decided that can wait, he has enough to think about.