Un-Friended

I’m a very open-minded, inclusive individual.  However, today I “Un-Friended” a Facebook friend because of how they continued to communicate their views.  Please re-read that sentence…it was not BECAUSE of their views, rather, HOW they continued to communicate them.  I’d like to say it pained me to remove them, but it didn’t.  It felt damn good to cut their antagonistic, self-righteous rants out of my life! So here’s the story.  This individual is a highly educated, well-versed and, as far as I know, loving person.  A “practicing” atheist based on the sheer number of daily/weekly posts made that I was guaranteed to see ANYTIME I logged on.  I couldn’t care less if someone is an atheist.  Truly.  All posts, with the exception of one, were based on making derogatory statements about the Pope, Christians, faith, etc.  I’m not Catholic, so I don’t care about the Pope any more, or less, than any other human being.  But seriously, it was getting hateful.  I tolerated these as individual expression, despite the implication that those of us who didn’t agree would not only die without any hope of Heaven, God or angels, but seemingly worse…we would die as idiots.  So back to today: I’m happily scrolling through Facebook, quickly viewing posts and photos of kids and dogs and…wait, what the hell IS that? I see ‘said person’ has posted “something” that is not connecting in my brain yet, although it appears to be a dummy or the set of a horror movie. I don’t know, what possessed me to continue trying to figure “it” out, but instead of heeding the warning of my psyche, saying, “STOP, NO, GO BAAAACCCKKKKKKKKK!!!” I continued on to the article attached and then it was clear.  The picture was of a mutilated corpse of a woman who had clearly been tortured prior to her death.  I will not get into the gory details, suffice it to say this image is emblazoned in my mind.  Once my neurons made the connection, I was pissed! I don’t watch the news, I don’t watch CSI or any of its derivatives and I deplore movies based on violence.  I read the news and am very aware of the travesties and unjust actions that occur, but I don’t need the images.  I have a very active imagination, thank you very much.  All I know is that I feel violated now.  I have friends who are Jehovah Witnesses, Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, Gay, Single, Unemployed, Alcoholics…the list could go on and on about my friends and family that are, or believe, things that differ from me, my preferences, views or lifestyle.  I love every single one of them and NONE of them have ever forced their views on me.  (Yes, including the Witnesses!) I go on Facebook to see the joys, successes and struggles of my friends.  I want to see the sarcastic e-cards and motivational words they enjoy.  I don’t even mind their “conspiracy theories” or “save these dogs” posts so much.  But if your ultimate purpose is to propagate change and improve the world, then motivate through positivity, not gory realism.  I would have been much more open to a post stating: “Women are being brutally murdered, here’s how you can help…”  Instead, this person got the same treatment Sarah McLaughlin gets with her “starving children” commercials…BOUNCED!  And I “LIKE” Sarah McLaughlin and her cause, I just don’t want images forced on me.  You can’t change the world if everyone runs from the message you’re trying to make and in the case of my former Facebook friend, I don’t even know what the message was. What a wasted opportunity to enlighten an open mind. Thanks for tolerating my rant. In Peace!

Man Up

Ladies, you may have read my “Fifty Shades of 40” post. This version is more for the men out there who haven’t been paying attention. Men, start reading here: While the following doesn’t apply to ALL women, it does for many ladies I’ve spoken to, so    pay attention. When we (the ladies) first met you (the men), you were likely decisive, confident, chivalrous…wait, I forgot, I’m talking to men right now…you were badass. You took what you wanted, you jacked us up against the wall, you owned your masculinity and you were willing to kick the ass of any other male who even thought about moving in on your woman. Fast forward through commitment, marriage, perhaps children, what-have-you and…well…now look at you. When did you become a chick? Ok, that may have been a little harsh, but think about it. At some point we took some power, then some more, then, before you know it, it’s a total role-reversal. I am not blaming the men here (entirely). We did this to you. Think back to the very first time you made sex an option. “So…waddaya think? Wanna fool around?” Who are you? Urkel? What happened to the badass machine who knew exactly which  move would elicit complete passion? Because that moment…when we just get into bed after cleaning up the kitchen, doing dishes, catching up on laundry, helping with homework or maybe just washing our face, is not the most opportune time to give us an option. Sleep…sex…hmmm. I can have sex anytime, but sleep, that’s now or I have to wait another 24 hours. On the other hand, when your woman comes to bed, maybe offering a (sincere) back rub would pave the way. Sorry to disappoint, but sporadically letting your hand fall on our back while watching CSI is not exactly foreplay. Don’t ASK us…just GET us there. You know what we like, just do it. If we have a book on our nightstand, read the title. If it even remotely sounds like a romance, I highly suggest you read it. Chick-flicks? If you appear even slightly intrigued you’re almost guaranteed to get some after. Pay attention! What does the guy do in the movie that makes the girl get all gushy? Do this, SCORE! You know when your woman is most open to a little nookie. For some, this is morning, or in the shower, maybe afternoon delights are more her thing and some may just need a little help unwinding at the end of a long day. Pay Attention! Another clue, roughly 10 days after the start of her period she is having lascivious thoughts that can almost guarantee a happy ending for you. A little wine…score. Every woman is different, so don’t go jack her up unexpectedly if that is not your “couple style”. Think about what’s worked in the past. Also, don’t translate this into “no” means “yes”. Sometimes “no” means “no” and sometimes it means “maybe” and sometimes it means “yes” but let’s just start with the easier steps, ok? The key here is paying attention to her signals. We don’t want to tell you what we’re thinking, that takes all the fun out of it. Read our mind by reading our signals. Man-up and remind us why we picked you in the first place. And if some Rockstar Lady happened to send you this post…well then your work is half done, isn’t it?

Fifty Shades of 40

If you are between the ages of 35-45, this may be a good read for you.  No, I don’t mean the “Fifty Shades” phenomena, I mean this article.  While I don’t believe the author of the Fifty Shades series had any malintent to those of us in the aforementioned age bracket, I do believe damage has been done.  I remember reading romance novels back in the day and while my husband reaped the rewards of my passionate replays, he was just as likely to miss his lines as the “assertive pursuer of my unlit passions”.  This may, in part, be because I didn’t TELL him his role, or his lines for that matter! But that’s neither here nor there.  I did give him another opportunity to take on this role by instigating an argument with him so that he could “take me passionately and no longer allow my half-hearted façade of indifference stop him from claiming what was his to take”.  However, this wasn’t exactly how our arguments played out.  A: I’m not known for my submissiveness B: He was just so confused that less than 24 hours ago I was all over him like it was my job and now I’m just being a bitch.

These books paint a picture of never-ending passion, however passion was never meant to be never-ending.  We’d all be exhausted if we were passionate like that all the time.  Please don’t misinterpret my meaning for “passion”.  I’m not referring to good sex and variety in the relationship, which should be expected throughout, taking into consideration natural ebbs and flows.  I’m referring to the “butterflies in the stomach, tingling all over, I wonder what will happen next, insecurities-be-damned” emotions that are often found at the beginning of an intimate relationship.  The reason these passions exist at the beginning is because we tend to ‘fill in the blanks’ of any aspects we haven’t seen first-hand yet.  For example, you are incredibly attracted to ‘Blaze’ because he is handsome and assertive and is successful in his job.  Those are the facts as you know them.  All the other unknowns you fill in with whatever sounds good, like because he’s assertive, he must have had a wonderful relationship with his father who taught his son how to be a man and this quality will make him a great husband and father someday.  Since he’s great at his job, he will ‘obviously’ be able to provide wonderful things for me (his future wife) like vacations and jewelry and a house that will be the envy of all my friends.  So while you’re giving him the best sex he’s ever had while planning your future wedding, keep in mind, you made all that up.  It’s just as likely his assertiveness is hiding a controlling and domineering personality.  Or, that he’s successful because he puts nothing before his job, including girlfriends, future wives and future children.  Over time, this Knight in Shining Armor will prove to be as flawed of a man as you are as a woman.   You will both do things to drive each other crazy and slowly extinguish the flame of passion.  While this may sound depressing, it’s just reality.  That crazy, unpredictable flame can be replaced with an eternally lit glow that still has the power to heat you both up, but is more frequently keeping you both warm.

The changes we experience as women between the ages of 35-45 are enormous.  Our bodies are changing, our children, if we have them, are likely gaining more independence.  We are starting to pay attention to the life clock we didn’t even consider 15-20 years ago.  We are tired of sacrificing, tired of providing for others while forgoing our own needs and tired of no longer being seen as the complex, sensual women we are.  While true and reasonable, some of us see this as an opportunity to quit our spouses and find our own “Christian Grey”.  In some cases this may be the right path, but I don’t believe that’s true in most.  If the guy you married was a good guy then and is still overall a good guy, don’t be too quick to throw in the towel.  We’d like for them to read our minds, just like they seem to do in those books, but that’s not fair.  Most men don’t have any idea what we are thinking or feeling.  We need to help them out a bit.  Share a few secrets you’ve been keeping, give a few clues or, even better, you can be upfront and honest and openly share your needs with them.  There’s a good chance they will listen and try to please you, just like they did so well when you were first together.  Help them understand what your needs are and work on understanding theirs too.  When I was first dating my husband, I wouldn’t blow my nose or eat in front of him.  Now I do both with gusto.  Hot?  Not even a little, but that’s OK.  I stopped trying to prove I was perfect long ago.  So read those books if you must, but at the very least, let him read it with you so he can see what role he has and what his lines are and maybe he’ll even surprise you with a few moves of his own!