Men All Pause

Heed the warning that’s boldly in the name. No attempt to hide it’s imbalance is made.

Menopause. Men~o~pause. Seriously.. Men.. All pause and let me help you through this. Know that you are not alone sir. And ladies it’s best to work with our victims (husbands, boyfriends, domestic partners, etc) on getting through this.

One minute hormones are screaming “Heyyyy Mister Mister!” And literally the very next second, these moaning hors are rebuking with an “Oh hell no! You betta put all that on pause!” statement. It’s so confusing for us all. But we can overcome the demented twists of our biological fate.

This is not something that can be explained in a way that absent the experience understanding can be found. Logically, yes we know certain things. Menopause marks the transition from the childbearing to non-childbearing years. It is the bridge that liberates ladies from monthly uteral assault, costly provisions, and managing medical care for a “natural” process. It is saying goodbye to a friend that the two of you never really liked anyway. She wasn’t pleasant. She wasn’t considerate. And quite frankly she got in the way and ruined a few vacations (ol’ stanky bitch 😠) So let’s not pretend that we’re not glad if she doesn’t visit for a whole 12 months. Bye Flowlecia!!

Sounds normal. Natural. Reliable. Except for the peri phase before the emancipation. Men don’t always get this disclaimer about peri. She ain’t pretty at all! Peri is not the root of paradise. We, ladies, meet peri when doctor says or the blog reads “But first”… What?!? Well, the answer goes a little something like this.

But first what?? But first, you will wake up on fire from the inside out for no apparent reason. But first, you’re lady flow will randomly and erratically increase to a volume that will make you question how you’re not dead. Oh yeah but first, you will develop some random trigger switch that causes you to cry from sadness, joy, anger, and sentimentality at times that are beyond your control. Emotional self-control? Gone and you won’t know where you put it. Because first, you will start walking into rooms and just standing there confused about why you went in there to begin with. (Personal note: I do this at least twice a day πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ)

The perimenopausal phase is on average 4 years. I know for me it’s been a little over that and my husband is trying to track down who gave us misinformation. This is a joint venture and we are expecting a very specific return on our investment. Free sex!! He’s tired of doing supply runs, getting yelled at and then sympathy hugged. I’m tired of feeling nutty as a fruitcake before we get to the nuts. I usually take two days off a month to lay around and faux-hemmorage in the comfort of my own home. I’m fortunate that we are self-employed (I’m not required to give myself doctors notes and I don’t have to fake I’m sick. I’m not sick. He knows my ass is just sleepy, shit). He books extra jobs so I can be avoided, I mean alone, as much as possible. His personal and work calendars have monthly reoccurring events titled “She’s Crazy” (I’m not even jokingπŸ˜‚). All of this is costing too much energy!!! We are ready to be free.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because it is natural and you can survive it. All the older ladies tell me to be ready to hang in there for 10 years, but older men don’t tell my hubby anything. Which is sad, because he suffers with the sufferer. So he told me to tell you: Herbs help. Laughter helps. Avoiding red wines, aged cheeses, and drinking coffee helps me. Smoking cigars, eating cereal before bed, and cool flannel sheets help him.

“It’s like one day we were young, then not so much. But it’s not bad though. I guess I just realized that sagging balls and menopause are just like a landslide and a river bed. Erosion and evaporation may change the landscape but it takes a lot less energy getting the rocks off.” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚~My Hubby

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Someone else’s shoes

Here is an ism that I encourage my children to live by:

Just keep walking and you’ll end up in someone else’s shoes.

Reread it… I’ll wait πŸ‘πŸ½

It has been my observation in life that there is nothing new under the sun. All situations have a component that is universal. We may not all have to recover from a foreclosure, but we’ve all at some point had the worry of how to make ends meet. If this doesn’t apply to you.. keep walking. I’ve never had a child in jail, but I have one that is imprisoned inside of a shell of social paralysis. I have walked in the shoes of a parent that frets, because they can’t change their child’s circumstances. I can only imagine and empathize with parents whose children suffer from mental illness, drug addiction, domestic violence and similar issues. Societal ills. It’s a one size fits all shoe; anyone’s foot can fit it.

Every marriage I’ve ever observed has had to deal with three obstacles, even four: money, sex, communication boundaries with the opposite sex, and managing technology. Money is something everybody wants and everybody needs. Even when your take home is enough, you still need it to keep flowing. When you have $17 to your whole name until payday, you sho’ nuff need a positive increase in funds. Age, medicine, and stress screwing up your ability to screw? Dudes sliding in her social media inbox? He’s 2 am texting? But y’all just argue about the bills instead? Oh, wait βœ‹πŸ½ You can’t relate? πŸ€” Well, be sure to invest in an umbrella, because rain falls on everyone and floods are indiscriminate.

Just keep walking and you’ll end up in someone else’s shoes.

This principle applies from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. We all fall and we all get back up! That’s the good newsπŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½ My top may or may not be as a millionaire mogul, but I reach for the top of my own game. My race and reward does not have to match someone else’s. Each one will be raised up according to their own measure of success, but you can’t dismiss the commonness of the struggles that come with life.

The moral of the story is that my personal calamities are not unique. Problems are just like shoes at Payless. The same pairs, in every size, in several colors exists in every store. You bought them in black? Yeah, I’ve had them in brown and blue. And Sally Sue had ’em in red, but guess what? It’s the same damn shoe. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ I’d love to tell you that eventually you will be able to stand in a custom pair of glass slippers. It’s possible. It’s not likely, but possible. Hardest part is that all shoes get outgrown or worn out. How many miles do you think you can walk in a glass slipper?

Advice: Don’t get so comfortable that you can’t handle when your feet slip into a new pair. An unfamiliar pair. The right pair for the terrain ahead.

I must always recognize the ebb and flow of my own life, so that I can have genuine empathy for the highs and lows of others. I’ve never been homeless on the street, but I know what it is to live under someone else’s roof. I equally know what it is to open my doors to others. I had a co-worker back in the day that bought me lunch every day until I got my first paycheck. I received a practical hand up that I never would have asked for. I’m the martyr typeπŸ™‹πŸ½. Decades later, I still buy lunch for my new employees until they get their first check. My old friend taught me the importance of helping without making the person ask for what is blatantly obvious that they need. Dignity is an unfair price for a meal. Y’all know that first two weeks can feel like the brokest weeks of your life!

I’m just saying… keep walking…

Water your own grass

There’s a logical reason behind my repulsion to romance novels and love drunk movies. It’s not that I don’t like a few sweet nothings, but love edited for entertainment creates disillusionments about the wonderful world of love and marriage.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Blooming flowers get old and die too.

I don’t mind getting flowers on Valentine’s Day. I can’t say that I think they are the perfect token of love; nevertheless, they are easy for my husband to buy and giving them makes him happy. He personally delivers them to my office. When the other ladies see him walk in with bouquets as broad as his shoulders, they just gush (some figuratively; some literally). I squeal, “Oh Honeybun!! You’re so sweet!” He gushes. We give each other a quick kiss, he gets a little blood flow, and his Valentine mission is accomplished. He’s happy. I’m amused.

I know flowers are a one size fits all gift, which is why I don’t mind getting them. I love my Honeybun. I’m not here to make his love life super complicated. He picks what looks pretty to him, just like when he chose his wife πŸ™‹πŸ½. I keep them alive as long as I can so he gets his monies worth. That makes him happy too. When they get to where I have to throw them out, I tell him, “Oh Hun, I gotta let my flowers go.” πŸ˜” “Well they did good Bae. They lasted [insert number of days].” The longevity of his gesture becomes our aphrodisiac.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” ~Forrest Gump’s Momma

I am partial to candy. I don’t like the big boxes though. I want the little $1 boxes. He knows this. We’ve discussed it. He can do flowers his way, but I run the candy game. Anyway, he brings me little boxes every few days during the 14 day romance window. I probably end up with about 20 boxes πŸ’πŸ½ And I love it!! I lay across our bed, watch TV, and devour a box. I sit in my chair and read while scarfing down another box. I take a few to work, so I can dreamily chew on chocolate surprises throughout the day. I am happy. He’s amused.

It’s not about the candy. It’s about the “no judgement”. He is willing to fuel my fantasy of living the life of leisure that my little candy boxes represent. He see the delight on my face, so he doesn’t comment about how many empty boxes are on my nightstand. I get to not be giving, because I don’t share my sweet treats. Not even with my pretty little grandgirl. Nope and grandad can’t buy her any either. Oh, she’ll rat me out for sure, “But Granddad. Sweet’s not sharing.” He explains, “Those sweets are just for Sweet.” Chocolates from him belong to me. They’re my sweet nothings.

Character is what you display in front of people. Integrity is who you are when you think no one is looking.

He gases me up! Every Sunday! Without fail! πŸš—πŸ’¨ I get in my car on Monday morning feeling prepared for the week. Tank is full. Air pressure and fluids checked. βœ”οΈ Dashboard Armouraled down. Any trash (water bottles, fast food bags) from the weekend has already been disposed of. Now that is enough to make me wanna roll over on him❀️ I’m happy. He’s happy.

I will admit I gassed him up on the idea. We going for a ride one day and I suggested that he should gas up my car every Sunday. I told him other husbands may do it and I want it too. He looked at me and loving said, “Who the fuck we know that does that? Where did you get this idea from??” 🀣 then he laughed hysterically. I pouted and then cried (I’m menopausal; crying happens often). He stopped laughing. I admitted that no other wives I know get that. Maybe my granddaddy use to do it. I don’t know πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ but I want it. “Honey…You’re better than all the husbands we know. They know it. Even their wives think so. You can show other men the way. It might not be for everybody, but you can let it be for me.” He smiled. He’s done it for me ever since.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but if you take care of it, you can have green grass too!

These aren’t the things I read about or see in movies. They are not rose petals in the bath or riding butt naked on a filly. They are not grand. They are not expensive. They’re basic. That’s what makes them better than anything caught on film. They are the real wonderful world of love and marriage. ❀️❀️

I Can’t Eat Your Cake

I have a serious question. I sincerely need help understanding why I can’t have my cake and eat it too. What am I supposed to do with the cake? Just look at it? I’m inclined to think not.

Everyone has a different flavor palette, so maybe whoever thought of this saying didn’t like cake. That’s fine. I wholeheartedly believe that not everyone likes cake. Some people prefer cookies or pies. Even to those, I think my logic still applies. Why would I have what I desire and not want to consume it?

Could this “have your cake and eat it too” be an indictment of gluttonous behaviors? Gluttony is all about greed and over consumption. What if I only want to eat a reasonable share of my proverbial cake. Some of us may only like it by the sliver; whereas, others gorge on it by the pound. This spectrum of partaking in sinful delights shouldn’t ban the reasonable indulgences. Should it?

Maybe variety matters. Each kind of cake possesses it’s own unique blend of tastes and aromas that seduce the mind. Hey… which one did you just think about??? I swear I can almost smell a three layer chocolate on chocolate cake. Still warm. Freshly baked. *Sigh* Soooo why wouldn’t I want to eat that? Or a Sock-It-To-Me cake made in a bundt pan with a perfect cinnamon ribbon running through it. You smell that? Umm, cinnamon. If comfort had a flavor, it could be either of those for me.

If talking (actually typing) about cakes makes my olfactory senses leap for joy then why must I deprive my tongue such sweet savors. Two of my senses have already fallen victim; my hands and my mouth are sure to fulfill the desires of my eyes. Is that wrong?

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that it’s not someone else’s cake. It’s mine. All mine. I invested time, money, and lustful feelings into possessing it all for myself. I don’t think that I would do that if I had no intention of getting the most out of it. That was the whole point of making the cake. Pleasures. Indulgences.

I do understand that this “have your cake and eat it too” mantra conveys a sentiment against wanting more than your fair share. I realize that I cannot eat my cake, lick my fingers and then expect someone else to give me theirs. That would be unfair and inequitable. I must fully accept that when my cake is gone it is gone for good. I must consume it prudently. Whether I heed that advice or not is my choice. I alone will have to live with the consequences. These are the guidelines for being able to have it and then eat it. If I scarf mine down and then take yours that’s called greed. Double standards. Thievery.

It could be said that the reversal of the quote makes more sense. “You cannot eat your cake and still have it.” So, I can’t have it both ways. Either I will eat my cake or keep my cake. I cannot create a double standard by trying to eat it and keep it too. Again, that is unjust, because others comply with the moral code of adhering to social norms uniformly. I don’t get to be so special that I can devour my cake, regurgitate it, and then eat it again, because by all rules that’s gross. Barbaric. Animalistic.

I guess in the end, I can have my cake and eat it too. I simply have to be mindful of my consumption, because once it’s gone I cannot devise schemes to get more than my share. In other words, I can’t have my cake and eat yours too!

Yay!! My oven timer just went off!

Mr. Right can do no wrong

I’ve told this to a few people before and the more I say it the more I try to find the truth in it. I mean is this really a thing? Is it this simple. Mr. Wrong can never do right and Mr. Right can do no wrong.

Now I know that this seems clichΓ©, but so what. Even frivolous musings can have some wisdom in ’em. Don’t forget it can also apply to the Mrs. of the world. I just have zero interest in whether a woman can be right or wrong so I’ll just focus on the Mr.’s.

Mr. Wrong can never do right and Mr. Right can do no wrong. I feel like exhausting my thoughts behind this. I don’t know if I heard someone else say this first or if it’s my brain child; either way, I filed it away. It must speak to something or why else would I save it. I try to only retain needful things, because I don’t want to run out of memory when I really need it. But, I digress.

Ok soooo…Mr. Wrong can never do right. There’s a pretty simple logic to that. If you’ve ever been pursued by a very nice person that you had zero attraction to, nothing they did was enough to make you fall for them. As a matter of fact, it can stir up the feeling of agitation. I know for me it can trigger a fight or flight reaction. Neither is endearing.

Ok soooo… Why does Mr. Wrong make you want to punch him in the face for trying to touch your hand?? Maybe that’s too strong of a reaction. How about when he tries to lean in to kiss you and you get the heebie geebies (is that how you spell that? Hmm) Anyway, there seems to be a chemical reaction that almost repels you away.

But then I think about maybe Mr. Wrong just can’t do right right now but later he could be all right. It’s just that right now the timing is all wrong so it puts him in a space that’s awkward. Out of sync. Like he could be Mr. Right six months down the road, if he wasn’t so darn wrong right now.

Here’s another thought, maybe he has all the makings of Mr. Right, but you’re so screwed up in your head with unrealistic fantasies that you confuse right for wrong. Just suspicious lol. He brings flowers and you’re like “He must think I’m stupid! Being all nice so I can trust him. No way Buddy!” Checking off boxes of what’s wrong. You can’t even recognize right anymore. He tries to open the door for you and you retort, “Ugh, you just wanna look at my booty. Men are nasty.”. Please know that I am fully aware that this explanation could never belong to anyone reading my blog. Yet, this does remind me of the whole “hurt people hurt people” thing. Whatever, I digress.

I’ve had Mr. Right and even when he was wrong he was so right in his wrongness that all wrong seemed all right. Whew. Seriously though. He can arrive late with no flowers and you’re just like “oh well, you’re here now”. He can smell like a freaking grease monkey and you’re still gushing. “Oh how I love a handy man!”

What makes his wrong so right? He’s not the only guy with beautiful eyes and a jolly laugh. Other guys may not be able to change your breaks, but they’ll smell good and show up on time. He can’t do wrong because all wrongs are nullified by the rightness of his ability to just feel right. All the time. Right? *sigh*

I think I might have married Mr. Right who lives inside of Mr. Wrong or Mr. Wrong who cleverly hid inside of Mr. Right. That is my conundrum. He baffles me almost everyday. He’s right in the morning, wrong during the day, and right at bedtime. It’s like a right wrong roller coaster. How can I adore him and want to punch him in the face at the same time just because he brought me ice cream that I didn’t ask for??? Now I do not condone violence, but geez Louise! I really don’t think there’s a wife out there that hasn’t slapped the shit out of her husband in her mind. Similarly, I’ve caught him looking at me in a way that screamed, “Biiittccchhh!” Needless to say, he was wrong for being right. But we don’t slap or call names. Sorry… I digress.

I think my thoughts on this have been exhausted.

That person…

If you can control it, please don’t be that person. You know. The person who is so preoccupied with what comes next that they have no presence in the present.

I try my best not to be that person. That person that sits in the front of the class and equates every lecture to a personal experience. I can tell you that no one cares that you were a real estate agent who volunteered to pass out water during a space shuttle launch. It has nothing to do with [insert course title].

It takes self discipline to avoid becoming that person. No matter what great news your closest friend has you some how turn the conversation towards your own achievements that just happens to grander than hers/his. You are considered a one upper and no one likes your attempts to shine by snuffing the flame of someone else’s brightness.

It takes self awareness not to devolve into that person. The emotional vampire. There I’ve said it. Get your life together. No one wants to hear you whine about a life you created and are unwilling to change.

Oh God, no!!! Have I become that person? The one who sits on high and judges others. Deluded into thinking that we’ve lived in perpetual triumph all our lives. Forgetting every stumble and fall.

I think it’s best to remember that at some point it’s likely that we have been that person.

Generations: Worlds apart

Time. Lines. In one household, we occupy vastly different spaces. Worlds apart from each other, our bond is challenged by our coexistence.

A medical emergency lead us to decide that we needed to move our family in with our parents. As self-sufficient grown ass adults, it’s been humbling to say the least. It was the wisest option considering the totality of our circumstances, and their love and support has helped us through a difficult healing process.

We knew that combining our kids (young adults) and our parents under the same roof would be a challenge. What I think I underestimated was how this would become a study of values and behavioral norms across generational lines. Our age sets are 68-72, 44-47, and 17-23. The 68-72 set has two people, a male and a female. The 44-47 set is also a married male and female couple. The 17-23 group is made up of 3 single males.

Our parents lived alone in a two story 5 bedroom house. Needless to say, we are not living on top of one another. Everyone has a certain amount of privacy and a space they can retreat to. The parents generally occupy the living room during the day and early evening. The watch all their stories, Fox news, and Alaskan wilderness shows. Mother is the primary cook, so their days are scheduled around meals with dinner at 6pm. Pop is retired military, but works part time to stay active and supplement his income. Mother has not worked outside the house in about 30 years. Pop is a Republican and Mother is her husband’s wife. They share one car. The house alarm was generally set by 8pm.

Time. Our household is nocturnal. Well the male part of my household anyway. My husband and sons become active in the house after dark and it lasts until around 3am. While recovering from his injury, my husband slept during the day and perked up once I got home in the evening. Two of our sons work nights, so they do not get home until midnight. During summer, the 17 year old keeps the same vampire schedule as his Dad and brothers. I go to sleep around the time the older ones get home. Dad and boys may sit outside in the night air talking, laughing, and sipping a brew, or they may watch a comedy and laugh until they can’t breath. They have very little sense of volume, especially their Dad whose laugh is best described as “jolly”. My husband and I vote bipartisan. Our voting age sons are more liberal. Oh and we have 5 cars.

Lines. Everytime the night crew goes outside, the alarm system announces “garage door” or “front door” loudly. Apparently, the volume was raised to proclaim what they were doing at night and it fuels an annoyance about what they are doing at night. Pop is asleep; they are awake. Consequently during the day, he is awake, while they are asleep.

And more lines. The parents park in their garage. In an effort to not block their side of the driveway, we park two cars in a line on the other side, and three cars on the street. Yes, this means we have to park at least one in front of the neighbors houses (we try to rotate which neighbor as a courtesy). The parents don’t want to offend their neighbors; my menfolk feel like it’s a setup (can’t park in the driveway, but have to endure snide comments about disturbing the neighborhood). Sincerely, some neighbors have pulled their second cars out of their driveways and permanently parked them at the curb so they can’t use that space (super petty).

Worlds apart. The distance between our parents and children is vast. We exist in the void between. We look up to our parents and understand their perspective. Their act of love for us has also been an inconvenience for them. Their life and routines have changed. There is constant movement in their once quiet house.

Our children were hurt that they could not financially take over while their Dad was down. We respect them for their efforts and understand their limitations. We communicate with them as adult men. They work hard and pay an agreed upon rent. They helped with their Dad’s daily care while he was not mobile. His immobility also made the parents feel that they should act as surrogate parents to the boys. Their grandparents will always see them as children no matter that the 17 year old is 6’1″; therefore, chastising is the method employed for guidance. That hasn’t worked towards building reciprocity. It does contribute to the young men using avoidance as a defense. The sad part is that it’s also cheating them from being able to get to know their grandparents as people with decades of wisdom and experiences.

I don’t have a resolution. I don’t even know if there needs to be one. Conflict is not always negative; it can cause healthy introspection. I just know our arrangement is temporary and when it’s over I need to put more effort to get the parents to visit our home. Our political ideologies do not serve as concrete evidence that there is no consensus of opinions on any matter. Each generation pulls from their experiences and set their moral compass to navigate the world as they know it. I think all three generations need more time to erase some lines that keep us from fuller connections to the past, present, and future.

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