Let’s Get Physical

For the past month or so we’ve been discussing what are the boundaries that partners have when it comes to discussing appearances and habits: do we have the right to say if something about the other isn’t working. And people were sort of all over the place as to what is “good” or “bad” feedback. But in my last post about physical appearance, one or two people simply said that they would tell their partner to change something physical because they simply weren’t physically attracted to them anymore.


What happens if you partner changes and you are no longer attracted to them?

But first, let’s look in the rearview mirror to when your relationship began: were you physically attracted to your partner?  Was the reason you met because you thought they were attractive? Or did they approach you because they thought you were attractive? Be honest with yourself…did looks matter at the onset?

Fast forward how ever many years you are together. Do their looks still make you sigh just a little? Do you still look at them and think that you can’t wait to be alone? I don’t necessarily mean sex, more like,  are you looking forward to just being alone with them and whatever intimacy you have?

Ok- now I am going to sex.  Is it critical for partners to be sexually intimate with one another? Does sex matter in a long term relationship? Is a relationship without sex just a roommate situation? Is a healthy relationship one that embodies both physical, emotional and practical intimacy? Or can you have a relationship without one of the parts?

For this next part, I am going on the assumption that sex is integral to a healthy relationship. What if something about your partner turns you off so much you no longer want to have sex with them? Do you have the right to tell them to change whatever offends you?

Now I bring up a sort of anecdote: I hate back hair.  I mean, detest it. I have stopped dating men when I realized they had back hair because that is a physical turn off for me, yet I would never ask someone to get rid of it. But, what if my back hairless husband developed back hair as he got older? Do I stop having sex because I can’t stand it? Do I ask him to shave it? Do I say nothing and carry on, even though I am repulsed? (seriously- I hate back hair) For the record, my Husband has not turned into Sasquatch…

Where is the line to what is acceptable and reasonable?

With age and relationship tenure, I hope that my partner is still attractive to me, and vice versa, due to the other things that we share.  But is that a fairy tale? I’ve read some alarming statistics as to how often couples in long term relationships have sex, and I started to wonder: is it really just a lack of time/tiredness issue? Or is it something deeper?

And now I open it up to the floor. What do you think? And feel free to chime in on one or many things that I threw out there. As always, your comments and participation made me think and question.  And we know I love to ask the questions with no clear answers…



I Need Your Opinion

One of my close friends had surgery recently.  Her ailment required the opinions of two specialists.  Of course, each specialist suggested a different path to get to the desired outcome.  By friend was a bit overwhelmed by all the information in front of her and asked the three other members of our little clan to give our thoughts on the process.

What I found interesting about this was the three separate approaches we had to making a decision.

  1. My Approach: I asked her what the pros and cons of each method were- the best case and worst case scenario
  2. Friend 1: She asked a Doctor friend for what he would recommend if the procedure were to be needed by someone he knew
  3. Friend 2: She described  her own issues with surgery and healing, and what her friends who had gone through the same procedure  thought, and did

Three people, three different methods of thought.  All valid. And oddly, all these methods led my friend to the same conclusion (coincidentally, also the decision she and her Husband were leaning towards anyway)

When you make decisions, what are the factors involved? Personally, I  make lists of the possible outcomes. (Yes- I will do anything possible to use a list.  I love lists) I formulate best and worst case scenarios.  I think about acceptable risk. This is the numbers part of me- I can’t help but calculate odds….no matter how hard I try to be a words girl, in the end,it always comes back to numbers.

I read about a subject.  And I read.  And I read. If I need to make a decision I try to read as many varied opinions as possible.

I ask questions. (Shocking that I would ask questions) To me, the greatest knowledge comes from the answers that people give you, both the verbal and the non verbal (if you’re looking at someone, check out the body language) Also, a non answer is also a very telling answer- if someone avoids the question, or gives you an inconclusive answer, what does that say?

And, in the spirit of asking questions: How do you make a decision?  How do you formulate an opinion? If a friend were to ask your advice, what method would you use to help them out?

Is one method superior to another?

I need your opinion: how do you form an opinion?

The Long Game

As I’ve told you before, I’m a lousy Words With Friends player.  My Husband beats me 7 out of 10 games, and I have a much larger vocabulary.  I also have a winning record against in him in just about every game except pool…

So why am I monumentally bad at WWF?

Because I play a long game, and my Husband plays a short game.  He looks at the board the way it is at that moment, he looks at the letters in his deck, and he makes a move.  I look at my letters, look at the board, and then I try to “save” letters if I think they will be better used three moves from now. I always think about how many points I may get instead of what I can get.  This is not how to win at WWF- winning WWF requires being in the moment, playing the short game.

But what about life? What works better: playing the short game where you live in the moment, or the long game, playing with the future in mind?

Ideally, we should be all be alternatively playing the short and long game: figuring out when each different path is needed.  But do switch up looking at things, or do we find our method and just go with it every time? Now that I’ve recognized why I am not a successful WWF player, I’ve been winning slightly more often, but I can’t break the old habits that easily- I still find myself plotting three steps ahead. Why is it so hard to break the pattern?

I am a careful planner- I think ahead to what I’m going to make for dinner, I plan vacations, I plan how to spend my free time.  No one would ever label me spontaneous. And honestly, I can’t understand the mindset of those who don’t: one of my friends went on a vacation last year, by plane, and they didn’t reserve anything at the place they went to: not a car, not a hotel room, nothing. Now it worked out for them, but they waited in lines, had trouble finding a room at a reasonable price and found it hard to do anything because it turns out there was some sort of festival in town that week, and things were reserved in advance.  I could not operate like that.  Ever.  The minute I had to go to three places looking f or a room at the Inn I would have been crazed. Some people aren’t- some people just go with the flow…

And what about relationships?  I know plenty of people who are dreaming of their wedding while on a first date, while others are thinking of the date as a one time deal, maybe it will go to two?

Job strategy.  Do you vie for the corner office at the company you’re at?  Or do you job hop, hoping to find greener pastures at different companies?

Do you buy a fixer house and have long range plans with how you want to fix it, or do you flip properties as your needs change?

Child rearing.  When you parent, are you thinking of just getting through the year and the stage, or are you thinking about long term effects for your child?

So what do you all think? What is better- plotting steps out with the future in mind, or just doing what you need to get by in the moment? Can you successfully merge the two trains of thought, or do you find yourself predominantly leaning towards one side? Inquiring minds want to know…

My Week in Review 9/16

Another Week…Lots of my mind this week…

  1. I haven’t talked about music much, but as the past seven days was contemplative, I listened to a lot more.  Music calms me and helps me think things out. My playlist included The Allman Brothers, The Everly Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Scheherazade, Beethoven Symphony NO. 7 in A Major and Kacey Musgraves.  Ear worm goes to “Say Something” by A Great Big World
  2. “Before We Were Yours” Lisa Wingate This is my book club pick for this month.  I know this is on the NY Times Bestseller list, but I thought it was average at best.  But, I do think it will make good discussion, which is the point of using it for book club.  Now if I can only come up with questions.
  3. “Juliet, Naked” movie in theaters.  Romantic Comedy.  Not sappy and trite.  Sort of brilliantly done.  Based on a Nick Hornby book.  Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne.  Love.
  4. Ordeal By Innocence- Amazon (though I think it’s BBC) I will watch any adaptation of Agatha Christie.  This is a slick dramatization.  I want to read the book (which I have somehow never read, or is so different from TV version that I have forgotten) I thought it was a little over the top
  5. Modern Family- The folks behind Modern Family revealed some stuff about the upcoming season.  Anyone who read it and wants to speculate, message me at wakinguponthewrongsideof50@gmail.com.
  6. Met with my writing group- got good feedback with latest rewrites.  Actually used one of my lines in a blog this week, and people commented on the line, so I’m thinking it was actually funny, and will work in the scene….
  7. Got to see one of my best friends who doesn’t  live near me- loved seeing her, but wish it was because of something fun…
  8. My daughter won one match, but lost one match.  She played really well (so I’ve heard- I didn’t get to the games- I’m only “allowed” to go to certain games…

Hope you all had a great week, and hoping for a better one…

Gratitude Saturday 9/15

Another week….another bunch of stuff

  1. My friend made it through her surgery OK.  She is home and on the road to recovery
  2. I was able to help a friend out
  3. First responders- I am eternally grateful to those who rush in when others rush out…
  4. I’m making headway on getting my desk in order
  5. my new bathroom shelves are working out so far
  6. My daughter and I have been using some of the 10 million samples we’ve amassed
  7. English Breakfast Tea
  8. my daughter buying her school supplies without me (though…you know….)
  9. my hideous blister finally heeled enabling me to walk without pain
  10. heel cushions
  11. having a good reason to skip something
  12. brownie mix when you just don’t have the energy to make it from scratch
  13. daughter won 1 match and did really well in a loss to high ranked team
  14. That there’s another week to be even better than the past

Trust Me, Trust me Not

Trust.  Do we want to be able to trust our partner? Now without doing a research study, or taking a poll, I’ll venture to say that trust is something the majority of people want in a their relationship.  Without trust, there can be no intimacy.  Without intimacy there is no relationship. Does that seem reasonable?

Ok.  What if you begin to doubt your partner?

Though infidelity immediately leaps to mind, trust can rear it’s ugly head in any number of ways. I know a couple who had issues over finances: partner A no longer trusted partner B with anything money.  So, for today’s exercise, we’re going to go with financial trust.

Money is a tough issue- how do you divide and use your assets? I see this on HGTV all the time- one is a spender and one is a bit more frugal.  What if the frugal one starts to think that the spender is spending too much? What if the spender is hiding purchases from the frugal? Does a little layer of mistrust seep in? Does a whole level of mistrust push its way in?

What happens if one partner doesn’t trust the other?

Is a relationship over the minute Partner A does not trust Partner B?

Does this diminishing, or deterioration of trust ruin the intimacy, thus eroding the relationship?

Can you be in a relationship with someone you don’t trust?

Now let’s switch it a little- what if it’s little things?  What if you partner likes the house colder than you do and lowers the thermostat, but says they didn’t.  Is this a small nothing, or is it a big deal?

Can you regain trust in someone? Does time and communication (and perhaps therapy) help heal the wound of mistrust?

I know- I know.  It’s like I’m doing a survey, which I sort of said I didn’t need. But I am wondering if a little inkling of mistrust isn’t what ends up killing relationships.  Maybe irreconcilable differences is really a way of saying, “I have no proof, but my relationship didn’t smell right anymore.”

How much does trust, or lack of, effect (affect?) your relationship?

Let’s end the week with a good philosophical discussion!!



Why We Blog

I haven’t done a blog about blogging in awhile…figured you missed them…

What is the  difference between writing a blog and writing an article for a magazine or newspaper? Interaction between writer and reader. I never comment on things I read in the Times or Real Simple- I read, think, and discard.  But blogs…sometimes I feel so compelled I actually add my own two cents into the little box at the bottom of the page. And sometimes, others are compelled to leave their opinion on mine.  In fact, I often ask questions of my readers so that they feel compelled to directly speak to me. I like the interaction.  I thrive on the interaction.  The interaction is why I blog.

Case in point- my blog last Wednesday had over 100 comments.  Granted, half of them were my responses, but still….that’s a lot of time that people took out of their day to join in a discussion.

I love that.

I love the idea of people from all walks of life discussing an issue that is universally relatable.  We all got to hear differing view points and think about aspects that we had never previously considered. It was a great thinking and learning moment for anyone who took part. And isn’t that what life is? Thinking and learning something new every day? (though, to be fair, one of my blog friends recently wrote that she is tired of learning something new every day- she just wants to experience something new every day…but that’s a whole different thing)

Blogger Rachel McAlpine (Write into Life) recently did a poll of older bloggers, asking why they blogged and such.  It was a very informative study about what goes on in our minds, and Rachel is an amazing writer and blogger. But, there was one comment that sort of bothered me – One responder said that they only wrote a blog, that they didn’t read blogs of others.  OK- I understand the time commitment it takes to follow and comment on blogs.  I know that I have days where I can’t read at all, days when I choose between reading 20 and not commenting, or reading 10 and commenting. But I try to stay in the game.  Not out of obligation, but because blogging works best when there is give and take- when someone is not preaching, but rather opening up the forum for debate. That is what blogging is to me.

And honestly- I get so many ideas for blogs from comments that I receive. Last month I asked the question- should you tell someone when they don’t look their best. Since then I have written two follow ups, with more to come.  There were so many viewpoints I had never considered, and I’m finding it fascinating that there are so many ways to look at one question.  Every comment that I read makes me think of something else, makes me ask another question, let’s me change the variable just a little bit. I know this is what I envisioned when I began blogging- expansion of thoughts and ideas.  Interaction of people who might never have met under conventional circumstances.  Opening up the mind to possibilities that one never knew existed.

So here’s the question for today: Do you like the interaction between blogger and reader?  Does the interaction make blogging better for you, or does it make it worse? Why?

And of course- Why do you blog?

Make the Effort

Over the past month I have asked questions about whether or not your partner should tell you that you don’t look your best, including if they should mention that you don’t look as young as you used to. Needless to say, there was a lot of chatter going on about this…

Unless you’re married to Dorian Grey, you and your partner are going to change physically as the years progress- aging is inevitable.  No one’s hair is the same color, or the same amount. Bodies shape shift. Lines appear out of no where.  Should you mention the aging process to your partner? Probably not.

But…what about taking care of yourself?  Do you have the right to tell your partner that they should take better care of themselves? Can you expect your partner to make an effort with their appearance?

What do I mean by this? Cleanliness- body and clothes.  If you decide to take a helter skelter approach to bathing, does your partner have the right to say anything? Can we expect someone to be clean?

How about weight? Assuming it’s not a health issue, can we say anything to our partner about their weight? What if one partner is carrying an extra 10 pounds, but the other has gained more, and it is due to nothing more than overeating.  Can we ask a partner to change their diet or watch what they eat? Is this open for discussion? What if one partner stops exercising? Is exercise part of self care?

Hair.  Should you ask your partner to color their hair? If a man is balding, should you tell them to change the style? What about styling and cut?  What constitutes effort as far as hair care? What if your partner stops cutting their hair?

And while we’re thinking about hair…what about those odd, unwanted hairs that start appearing on our bodies.  I have a thing against ear hair- drives me crazy.  Do I have the right to tell my partner to banish ear hair? Or nose hair? Am I allowed to follow him around with a tweezer?

Shaving.  Should we tell our partner to shave or not to shave?  If you don’t do anything about facial or body hair, does this show a lack of effort?

Clothing and style?  Can we say to our partner “Where did you get that jacket? 1980?” or “Is that blouse from the “Little House on the Ugly Prairie” collection?” Is it right to expect our partner to dress from this decade, or adopt an appropriate style?

I guess in my roundabout way, my point is: Should we ask our partner to take care of themselves in a certain way? Or should we just accept their maintenance schedule as it is? What constitutes effort? What defines taking care of oneself? How should/does it affect one’s partner?

It’s Wednesday, and I’m back into thinking mode…


My Personal PSA

As a rule, I don’t remember what I read or write on any particular day.  Of course, there are exceptions to any rule.

On 9/11/2017 I shared with you my personal feelings and experiences from 9/11/01.  I was living and working in NYC that day, so what I expressed were my memories, no one else’s.

On 9/11/17, I also read some things.  Today’s post is about what I read that day:

Tragedy- an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe (dictionary.com)

I read many posts and such comparing 9/11 to other tragedies.  People wrote, “Why do we care about 9/11 more than we care about X?” (fill in X with whatever tragedy you want)

Now here’s my question to people who wrote something like that: When did this become a pissing contest?  When did we decide to measure one tragedy against another? Can you please send me the rubric so I can determine the pecking order of which destruction of life and property deserves more facetime? Because I sort of treat all tragedies as just that- a horrible event that wreaked havoc on a whole bunch of lives.

The next series of posts and things I read centered around – “OMG it was 16 years ago.  Why are you still so bothered by 9/11?” OK- here’s the thing: Please don’t ever tell someone else when their grief or heartbreak should be over.  Again, if there is a timeline for how long it takes to get over something tragic, please send it to me.  Don’t tell someone they “should” be over loss of a child, or a divorce, or the loss of a home.  There is no statute of limitations on grief- you can grieve about something the rest of your life. And to all of you who may say “Get over it”, you know what I call you?  A bully.  Because that’s what bullies do: they try to intimidate you into thinking you are weak. Guess what?  Grieving for something or someone does not make you weak: it makes you human. And a bully- well, we know what you are…

So today, 9/11/18, I ask the following of you:I

  1. Don’t bully anyone ever.
  2. If you are going to say anything derogatory, think about it.  Think if it will make anyone feel better.  If it doesn’t, ask yourself why you are saying it.
  3. If there is a tragedy that you care about, please donate your money and/or your time to helping the victims of that tragedy
  4. Truly listen to those around you and accept that there point of view may be different from yours
  5. Be kind
  6. Be kind
  7. Be kind



Never Surrender

I am a lousy Words With Friends player (it’s basically an online scrabble app).  No matter how hard I try, I find it very difficult to beat my Husband.  He routinely beats me by very wide margins, which annoys me because my vocabulary is probably a million times larger than his.  I actually figured out why he beats me, but I thought the whole concept itself was so interesting that it will be another blog.  The focus for today is never giving up.

No matter how far ahead my Husband is, I will never quit a game.  Ever.  I must play out the game until the last tile rears it’s ugly head in someone’s deck. I’m always looking for a way to win.  Some would call this behavior stubborn: they would consider it a negative trait, because sometimes you have to just let it go.  People think that when everything is against you it is time to quit, because what’s the point of playing, or doing anything, if you won’t win?

Obviously, I don’t call this behavior stubborn.  I call it persistent, tenacious, determined, strong-willed, tireless, resolute…I can go on and on with synonyms for this trait.  The ability to keep fighting, to believe in yourself- it’s actually a pretty good trait.  If you read about trailblazers, people who are successful in their field, they all share this particular trait.  They all share this particular need to play out the game.

My daughter has this trait.  She is the most determined person I’ve ever seen.  She never gives up, even when she actually loses.  After a loss she immediately begins to think about how she could do better, what her errors were, how to anticipate things better, what were the clues that she missed…She really doesn’t consider something a “loss”- she thinks of it as a learning experience. She’s constantly retraining her brain.

My Husband- well, he doesn’t love this trait in my daughter or me.  I think he would rather have us let things go, because living with two determined people is a lot to handle.  Determined people often appear pushy, or nosy or annoying.  And I guess we are- because we are always pushing and redefining boundaries.  We are always challenging and questioning ourselves. We are constantly trying things again and again, not because we can’t deal with losing, but because we have to figure out the why and the how.  Our desire is greater that a W in the column: our desire is in the knowledge.

So the next time someone you know reminds you of a yappy terrier, just remember that tenacity is a good trait, and this person is not trying to be annoying, they’re just trying to learn.