Grace & Frankie

With so many shows on hiatus for the Summer, I’m glad networks have gotten smarter the last few years and are giving us new shows or new seasons of shows right now. Even though there are fewer shows and fewer episodes of Summer shows. I don’t have pay movie channels and can’t watch zombie shows because they will give me nightmares. I tried watching Orang Is the New Black on Netflix, but couldn’t get through more than 15 minutes of the first episode. Scandal is so hard-core, I keep threatening to stop watching, but I still hang on. For that reason, I haven’t watched House of Cards because I’ve heard it’s even more evil than Scandal.

Yesterday, however, I started watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix. And by “watch” I mean binge-watched. I watched 6 episodes yesterday and 3 more this morning! I love it because it is so grey, like real life. Our expectations, and the media’s portrayal, of life being just black and white is not only unrealistic, but impossible to obtain! Why? Because we are humans! Brutiful, fallible humans with good and bad in all of us, the ability to wound each other and be hurt by others. We all have the capacity to use our talents, smarts and tongue to build each other up and tear each other down. No one human is all evil, all good, all worthless, all valuable. There is something to like, love, hate and pity in all of us. And Grace & Frankie remind us of that.

Here’s the plot of the show: two 70 year old married men (played by Sam Waterston & Martin Sheen) have been business partners for as long as they’ve been married, 40 years. 20 years ago, they fell in love with each other and started an affair. The show opens with the husbands finally telling their wives (played by Lilly Tomlin & Jane Fonda) they are leaving them for each other.

Sounds pretty cut & dry, doesn’t it? The men, are obviously the “bad guys”, the ones to dislike in this show. They not only cheated on their wives but also lied about who they are for 20 years! They stayed with their wives while the women raised the children, took care of the house and, now, are leaving their wives all alone at the end of their lives? And to top it all off, they chose to tell their wives in a restaurant, hoping there would be no outburst or scenes made. However, I have sympathy and empathy for all 4 main characters. The writers and the actors get kudos for achieving that!

Because you learn that one marriage wasn’t happy and may have never been. One wife was going through the motions and hadn’t paid attention to (literal) signs that had been in her house for years. Would it have been better for both to continue on that way or for one of them to marry the man of his dreams and the other to be free to find her own? One spouse lost her best friend and had her heart broken so that her husband could be free to be himself and marry the man he loves. It’s hard not to be happy for two 70 year old men, finally free to be who they are, excited and proud to tell the world that they love each other! And come on, who doesn’t love a big, gay wedding?! There is pain, anger and regret felt and dealt by all of them, but there are also the possibilities and joy that can be gained by new beginnings.

But that’s not all! There are also the adult children, who have all grown up together, and the huge family adjustments. Your parents are divorcing, you have more houses to visit now,  and the man who was your “uncle” is now becoming your “stepmother”?! Dealing with that along with their own children, marital problems, the dating scene, their own careers and addiction adds more layers to the show.

Wow, I think I’ve managed to paint a very bleak picture of this show but it’s not! I laugh hard during each episode, as well. Because life is messy and complicated and grey. Grace & Frankie show all of that while making us laugh, cry and embrace all that we brutiful humans are!

If you’re are or have watched it, let’s chat! If you decide to start watching it, tell me what you think!

A Sunset Picnic with The Hubs & Nature

B was at sleepway camp since Sunday afternoon and I pick him up yesterday. On Wednesday evening, our last night alone together, the hubs and I made a picnic dinner and went away from the city and the lights to watch the sunset and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
He put a blanket and some cushions in the back of the truck and backed it up to a pond. After eating we laid down and just talked and listened and watched. It was beautiful and peaceful.
We saw lightening bugs; there are none where we live! Bats flew above us and bullfrogs talked to each other across the pond. An owl woke up and took off for his nightly hunt. We heard deer stomping and snorting in the woods behind us. It was so lovely.

Our” bed”, cooler of dinner and thermos with tea. Trust me, those cushions from an old oversized chair in the basement were so comfy! Bug spray in bottom left corner.



Selfie with my love.



Partially eaten dinner sandwich in my lap. I made The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch-Style Chicken with thighs, instead of breasts, put them on potato rolls and wrapped them in foil for the trip to the pond. YUM-O!



Final pic before leaving: the hubs, the evening star and the pond.

Perfect Example of Venus vs. Mars

First of all, I want to thank all of you who commented on my Facebook page and sent me private messages regarding my previous post, Unexpected News.  I truly thought I was alone in this and that I was disappointing and upsetting people by being so scatterbrained.  I have described it to the hubs like this: “I wish the issue was merely that I am juggling too many balls at once and I can’t keep them all in the air.  But the issue is that sometimes, I don’t even remember I’m juggling!” Turns out, there are other 40-something moms out there with lots to do, worry about and keep straight and they forget important stuff, too.  I know there are others that are able to keep their shit together and I commend and envy you.  But I am cutting myself some slack and ensuring that I am updating and consulting my Cozi at least 3 times a day.

We all know that men and women view, feel and think differently.  This past weekend, the hubs gave me such a perfect, simple example of this and I had to share.  He was in the bedroom watching a cooking competition on TV while I was in the bathroom getting ready.  I heard a woman crying on the TV and walked into the bedroom to find out why.

Me: What’s the problem?
The hubs: She’s crying.
Me: Holy crap!  And THAT – right there – is the difference between men and women.
The hubs: (chuckles) What?
Me: She has a problem that made her cry.  I want to know what made her cry.  To you, the problem is that she’s crying.  This is brilliant and so simple!  I’m putting this on my blog.
The hubs: That’s what I’m here for, babe.  To provide you with endless material for your blog.

Happy Monday!  😀

The Story of You & Me: In the Beginning, Part III

I got up at 4:14am this morning to go to the bathroom.  When I came out, the hubs was awake.

Me: Did you turn the volume down on the computer last night before you turned it off?
TH: I hope so!
Me: I’m serious.
TH: Yes.  Why?  Are you going to get on it now?
Me: I have to or my readers will riot.  That’s the problem with giving them content they want – they want more and they want it yesterday.
TH (sarcastically): OK, JK Rowling.

He cracks me up!  One of the many, many reasons I keep him around.

(If you missed the 1st two installments of how the hubs and I began, you can catch up on them here and here.)  So, back to our story…

Ten minutes later, I was showered, dressed, applying mascara and cursing my still beet red face from mowing the lawn, when the doorbell rang.  Thank goodness I froze instead of stabbing myself in the eye with the mascara wand!  It’s just a neighbor, it’s  not him, it’s just a neighbor, it’s not him, I repeated in my head, not sure if I wanted it to be true or not.  He was sexy as hell and certainly acted like a gentleman, but I’d been drawn in and burned before by guys who say what they think you want to hear to get what they want.  Being alone was less taxing and safer.

I heard my mom open the front door.  I couldn’t make out what was said, but I heard her voice and a very distinctive male voice respond that was not one of our neighbors.  My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach and I stopped breathing.  My left hand was still frozen in front of my left eye with the mascara wand.  Finally, my mom hollered up that I had company, causing me to exhale.  My heart didn’t just start beating again; it started slamming against my breastbone and my hand started to shake.  I started yelling at myself in my head.  Have you seen the movie Return to Me?  If you haven’t, you MUST rent it/download it/stream it!  It’s a perfect date night movie!  So many wonderful actors, laughs, tears and a fabulous soundtrack.  Anywho, in one scene, Jim Belushi’s character is in the midst of chaos in his house with wife and kids running amuck and the doorbell rings.  He decided to surprise his wife’s best friend by inviting a blind date for her to dinner.  He’s standing in the middle of the house yelling, “WILL EVERYONE JUST CALM DOWN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY?! CALM THE HELL DOWN! GOOD. NIGHT. NURSE!  FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, HE’S JUST A MAN!”  The writers of Return to Me stole those lines from my head in June 1995.  😉

I tried to finish applying mascara and, of course, stabbed myself in the eye.  I cursed and washed my face and tried to start again but my eye would not stop crying.  Then I got worried and frustrated and felt pressure because he was waiting downstairs and my poor mother was entertaining him, which made the other eye cry, too, because I cry when I feel any emotion. And in addition to the beet red blotches that were all over my face from mowing the lawn, all the non-beet red places on my face and my neck now filled in with red from embarrassment.  And I was alone in the bathroom!  How was I going to go out on a date with this man?!

I took a couple of steadying breaths and called down to my mom if I could see her for a second.  As much as I tried to sound calm, it came out shrill and panicky.  The man must have been daft for not running from the house as soon as my mom left the living room.  She took one look at me and said, “What is wrong with you?!”  I started blubbering about lawn mowers and beets and mascara wands and nervous wrecks and ended with, “And now I can’t stop crying!”  She put her hands on her hips and, with a stern look on her face, said, “That boy has come a long way to see you and judging by the mess you’re in, I suspect you feel the same way about him.  Now, wash your face, reapply your mascara or don’t, but get your big girl panties on and get downstairs!”  Then she gave me a quick hug and walked out of the room.

When I finally walked into the living room, he stopped mid-sentence when he saw me and stood up.  He just grinned at me and I grinned back.  I don’t know what was said after that or if any of it was said by me.  I’m sure he told my mom where were going because he was considerate like that.  I just floated on a cloud out the door, with his hand at the small of my back until we got to his car.  He opened my door and I started to climb in when he grabbed my hand and pulled me back up.  “I told you this wasn’t over,” he said and then he kissed me long and slow.  I didn’t want to do it, but I just swayed right into him.  We fit.

Once we were both in the car, we held hands the entire ride.  If he needed his right hand to shift something or adjust a dial, he took my hand with him.  We drove to Fells Point in Baltimore, MD and went to a bar.  Not my scene.  Someone was waiting for us at the bar – his best friend.  I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to spend time with him alone and I was annoyed that I was being put to the best friend test.  Looking back, though, I’m not sure who was supposed to be sizing up whom: did I need the thumbs up from his best friend or did he need to know if I was going to get along with his best friend?  His bestie was certainly an original!  I’d never encountered someone like that before.  But he was a harmless teddy bear in the end and I guess I passed!

I was sad when we headed back to NOVA to take me home.  I wanted more time with him.  I asked where he was going after he dropped me off and he said he’d reserved a room in a local hotel.  I asked if I could go there with him and he debated that, silently, probably wondering what the correct answer was.  I was also going back and forth on which answer I wanted him to give.  I went to his hotel with him.

Around 4am, he told me he was taking me home.  He didn’t want my parents to worry and thought it best I be there when they wake up.  I was impressed and annoyed.  A theme when I was around this man!  He dropped me off and I went straight to bed.  He went back to his hotel and did the same.  We both got up later, showered and he came back to my house.  We had a little time together before he had to hit the road.  He was such a good kisser!  I could tell there was so much strength in his arms but he was so gentle with me.  *sigh*

We talked nightly on the phone.  I think it was a good thing that we got to know each other over the phone.  No anxiety of looking your best when your face-to-face and we probably would have done more kissing than talking if we lived closer to each other.  I realized that no matter where we were, we were going to be one.  So, I decided to pursue something I wanted to do – move to Charleston, SC.  I’d gone to school there and loved the city.  The credit union I worked for happened to have a location there so I looked it up at work.  I could not believe it when I saw they had an opening!  My branch manager and the manager of the branch in Charleston were really good friends, so a recommendation over the phone was good enough for the Charleston manager to hire me!

I gave my 2 weeks notice at my current branch and planned a week off before starting at the new branch so I could find a place and move.  The hubs was excited about my move because, although we’d still have a long-distance relationship, the driving distance between us would be less than half what it currently was.  Everything fell into place so well and I was on top of the world.  I was making a fresh start, moving out on my own in a city I loved and I’d see my man on weekends.  I was beaming!

That is until a certain customer came up to my teller window on my very last day of work before moving: the guy who raped me.

To be continued…

The Story of You & Me: In The Beginning, Part II

If you missed Part I of our story, you can read it here.

He was leaving.  He’d given notice a while ago.  I had no idea until a co-worker asked me if I was going to his goodbye party on Friday night.  At first, I was embarrassed for not knowing.  Although we kept the fact that we’d been on a few dates from our co-workers, they could definitely see there was something more than work between us when we had to interact at the credit union.  Then I felt sad, but I squashed that pretty quickly.  I was not attached to him; I was just sad that I hadn’t had him yet.  At least, that’s what I told myself.  Then I focused on the positive: he couldn’t have been interested in relationship since he knew he was leaving, so there was still a chance for a one-night stand! (I just recreated the happy dance I did 19 years ago after typing that sentence.  hehehe)

I don’t know how I wasn’t sent home from work that last week of his.  I wore the sluttiest, most revealing clothes to work trying to temp him.  On Friday, I wore a black, see-through vest and matching wide-legged pants.  i got plenty of attention from members and male co-workers, but not from the one I wanted.  When we closed, the officers and counselors who worked in the lobby finished up quickly and headed out to the goodbye party.  It took us tellers longer to close out, but he told me before he left that he was looking forward to me coming.  Unfortunately, one of our tellers’ drawers was short that night and no one goes home until it’s found.

By the time I got to the restaurant, everyone had already paid their checks and were discussing where they were going next.  I suggested he and I do something alone, but when one of our co-workers, Michelle, said she was headed to her neighborhood bar, he said, “That sounds like fun.  We’ll join you!”  Errr.  It’s Friday night, he’s leaving the state on Sunday and he opts to hang out at a bar with our co-worker instead of being along with me.  It couldn’t be any clearer that he was not interested in me.  I said I was just going to go home but he asked me to come along to the bar.  I don’t know why I said yes, but I did.

On our way to the bar I asked him pointblank in the car, “You’re not interested in me at all, are you?”  “What?!  What makes you think that,” he asked.  I ticked off on my fingers, “You’ve never held my hand, you won’t walk me to the front door and everyone knows what happens at the front door, you’ve never tried to kiss me and you didn’t even tell me you were leaving.”

“I’ve wanted to ask you out since I saw you walk out on the teller line your first week at work.  But I knew, even then, that I was moving out of state.  I didn’t want to get involved and hurt you or get hurt myself when I left.  But I couldn’t take it anymore.  I had to go out with you.  I’ve really enjoyed your company but I didn’t think it was fair to you to take this to the next level.”

My Irish temper flared.  “You had no right to make decisions for me.  I’m not even interested in a relationship, I’ll. Have. You. Know.  I just wanted you.  I won’t be hurt when you leave and you wasted a lot of time that we could have spent having fun.  Too bad for you!”  The rest of the ride was spent in silence.  When he parked the car at the bar, he turned the engine off and looked at me.  He might have had something to say, but I wouldn’t even look at him.  He sighed, got out and came around to open my door.  As we walked to the bar, he took my hand.  I proceeded to pull my hand out of his.  Golly day, I’m stubborn!

We walked in behind Michelle; she headed to the pool tables and we headed to the bar.  He ordered himself a beer and me, water.  I sat on my stool, facing the bar and he sat on his stool, facing me.  His legs were open, the heels of his dress shoes hooked over rungs on either side of the stool.  We sat there in silence.  “Come on,” he said.  “It’s our last night.  Don’t be like this!  I’m sorry.”  I let him stew in my silence.

Halfway through his beer, I turned towards him.  I oh, so slowly slid off my stool, walked in between his legs and gradually leaned into his neck.  I placed a light kiss on the side of his neck and, just as slowly, back away and climbed up on my stool.  The deadpanned look on my face turned into a wicked smile with one cocked eyebrow and silently said to him, “Your move.”  Three seconds past in which he didn’t blink.  Then, without taking his eyes off me, he shot his right hand in the air and yelled, “CHECK PLEASE!”  He opened his wallet and threw some bills on the bar without even looking at them.  He stood up, yanked me off my stool and dragged me towards the front door.  “WE’RE LEAVING,” he yelled, in Michelle’s general direction.  Once again, I was singing in my head, “I’m going to get LUUUUU-CKYYYYY!”

We were in Old Town Alexandria. He drove to the waterfront, found street parking and we got out and walked.  Well, we took a few steps, made out, took some more steps, made out…rinse and repeat for an hour until to got too chilly for me.  Remember, I was wearing a sleeveless, see-through outfit!  On the drive back to TGI Friday’s where my car was, we had a really nice conversation about a lot of things.  Important things, like our families, our goals, why he was moving.  He parked his car next to mine but I didn’t get out.  We continued to talk for a while.  And then we fogged up the windows for an hour or so (only making out; I was not going all the way in a car!).  He was a wonderful kisser!  Before I got out of his car to go home, he told me he was busy the next day packing up his apartment, but he’d come see me on Sunday before he left.  “You don’t have to,” I said.  “This was a fun evening; let’s just leave it at that.  Have a safe move and a nice life.  Goodbye.”

On Sunday, I was in a bad mood.  I was angry at myself because I couldn’t stop thinking of him.  He called in the afternoon and my heart did a little flip; then my brain berated it and I adjusted my voice to the cool setting.  “Why are you calling me?”  “Because I told you I would,” he replied.  “I didn’t get all the packing done yesterday; I thought my friend would be more help than he was.  I’m running behind and really need to hit the rode.  I’m sorry that I can’t come say goodbye in person.”  My voice changes from cool to pissy.  “I didn’t ask you to come over.  I told you goodbye Friday night.  Have a nice life.”  I hung up.

Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rang and my heart fell into my shoes.  I was frozen in place and my mom answered the door.  “Jessica!  It’s for you!” she called.  I took several deep breaths and tried to get the stupid grin off my face before heading to the door.  The only way I could accomplish that was by crossing my arms in from to of my chest and scrunching my lips and brow into a scowl.  My mom was shocked when I came around the corner and she saw my face.  I walked right past him and out the front door.  I heard him make small talk with my mom for a minute and then he followed me out.  When he came up behind me, I turned and unleashed the beast on him.

“What are you doing here?!  I said goodbye!  I hung up on you!  How much more of a hint do you need?!”

I gotta hand it to him, he kept his cool and acted like I’d given him a warm welcome.  “I came to tell you I don’t want this to be over.  I’m going to call you.  I’m going to come back and visit you.”

“There is no this.  We had some fun and now it’s over.  Just go.  Guys can’t handle long distance relationships.  I’ve been in 2 before and neither one worked.  Besides, I’ve told you, I don’t want a relationship and I certainly don’t want one with you.”

He cradled my face in his hands and chuckled.  “Too bad.  I want one with you, so you’re stuck with me.”

I pushed his hands off me and turned away.

“Why are you being so mean to me,” he asked.

I spun around and yelled, “BECAUSE YOU GO TO ME, ALRIGHT?!  I didn’t want you to, but you did!”

He smiled, “It’s OK.  I’m falling for you, too.”

My eyes bugged and I got all flustered.  “What the heck are you talking about?!  I-I’m not falling for you!  I just meant that I…you know…wanted you.  You’re….a good kisser, that’s all.”

“I’m glad you think so because you’re going to get a lot more of that in the future.”

I closed my eyes and all the wind went out of my sails.  “Don’t do this.  Please.  Why do guys think they have to say these kinds of lies?  Just say goodbye and leave and I’ll think well of you.  If you say you’ll call, I’m going to hate you when you don’t.”

“Well, I don’t know why guys do that, because I’m a man.  And I’m a man of my word.  When I say I’m going to call and I’m going to come back, I will.  Now give me a proper goodbye kiss.  You’ll never forgive yourself if your last words to me were in anger and then I die in a car accident.”  He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me.  I left my arms hanging at my sides and refused to return the kiss.  At first.  But then I couldn’t help myself.  Damn him, he put a spark of hope in me!  As he drove away, he waved to me until he was out of sight.

I didn’t care what he said, I knew I wasn’t going to see him again.  That week at work was loooong and I was missssserable.  Everytime the phone rang at home, my heart stopped for a second, wondering, but it was never him.  I knew it never would be and shut that door for good.  Saturday afternoon I was in the backyard, listening to my walkman with the tape deck while mowing the lawn and sweating like a pig.  I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and looked up.  My mom was waving to me from the back porch so I turned off the mower and the walkman.  She said I had an important phone call.  I assumed it was work.  The receiver from the wall phone in the kitchen was sitting on the counter and I picked it up.  “Hello?”

“What are you doing tonight?”  HOLY CRAP, IT WAS HIM!  I don’t think I even grinned that wide on that Christmas morning when I got the Barbie with the kinky hair that matched my own.  He said he would call and he’d called.  Not only that, he’d called within a week!  I pulled the receiver away from my face, took some deep breaths to calm myself and wiped the smile off my face.  You can hear a smile over the phone!

“I’m in the middle of mowing the lawn,” I replied cooly.  “What do you want?”

“I want to know what you’re doing tonight.”

“I don’t know.  Reading a book, I guess.”

“Oh, good, then you’re free.  I’m on the beltway and I’m picking you up in 15 minutes.”

“You’re lying!”

“No.  I’m not.  I’ll be there in 15 minutes.  Go shower.  I don’t mind kissing you all sweaty but I don’t want you sweating in my car.”

“This isn’t funny.  You are not on the beltway.”

“Well, you’ll find out in 15 minutes.  What are you going to do?”  He hung up.

I just stood there.  There was no way he was on the beltway.  How could he call me from his car?!  This is ridiculous’ I’m going to finish the lawn.  But…..what if he was 15 minutes away?

I ran up the stairs, 2 at a time.  My mom called after me, “Where are you going?”  “I’m jumping in the shower!  That was him and he said he’s 15 minutes away!  He’s taking me out tonight!  He came back!”

To be continued…


The Story of You & Me: In The Beginning, Part I

Before We Met

Pictures of the hubs and I before we met. Mine was take in 1994, his was taken between 1990 – 1994. He’s using The Club as a pretend gun. Do y’all remember the steering wheel lock, The Club?! I’m at work in a bank. BTW, that bug was NOT on me. I don’t know if it was on the camera lens or in the developing machine at the drug store, but I am rocking the shoulder pads!

It was March 29, 1995 and my 3rd day at a new job – a teller at a credit union.  The 1st two days were spent in Human Resources-led orientation with all the other new hires.  I spent that 3rd morning being introduced to the other tellers, going over things with my head teller and reading from my manual.  After lunch, I was taken out to the line to get to know my way around their teller stations.

As I looked out at the branch lobby from behind the line, a man caught my eye.  He had a big presence.  He wore an olive-colored suit that set off his completion beautifully.  I’d never seen a man look sexier in a double-breasted suit!  Everything was suddenly happening in slow motion and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was playing in my head.  He walked, no strutted, across the lobby with confidence, saying “Hi” or pointing with his hand in the shape of a gun and winking at everyone in the lobby.  I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.  After making the rounds in the lobby, he went down the entire teller line, saying hello to all the ladies.  I was in the last station with my trainer and when she introduced him to me, I don’t think I even said a word; just stared.  As he walked away, there was only one thing on my mind: “I.  MUST.  HAVE.  THAT.”

Yup, it was lust at first sight!  Which was a good thing.  I’d falling in love and gotten my heart broken twice in the previous 3 years and I was definitely not looking to fall in love a 3rd time.  For the next two months, I threw myself at this man.  I’d never chased a man before and I did it shamelessly at work.  He was nice and friendly to me, but he was like that with everyone.  I dropped all kinds of hints that I was interested and then stopped hinting and went full on obvious, but he never asked me out!  So I decided I was going to ask him out.  I needed to know if he was interested in me because if he was, let’s get it on and if he wasn’t, I was movin’ on!

One May Saturday morning, I was the 1st teller to get my drawer and head out to the line to get ready for the branch to open.  Here comes Mr. Double-Breasted Suit walking down the teller line like he does at the beginning of every shift to say hello to all the tellers, but I was the only one out.  I thought, “This is my chance!”  He came to my station and started to open his mouth to say something but I cut him off.  “Would you be interested in going out with me,” I asked.  He was taken aback.  “As a matter of fact, I was coming over here to ask you out,” he said.  I literally rolled my eyes, crossed my arms and made the duck face at him.  “Yeah, right,” I said, laced with sarcasm.  “No, seriously!  I was!  You can ask the guys!  I just told them I was coming over here to ask you out.”  I went back to counting bills and said, “Whatever.  If you’re not interested, just say so.  It was a simple yes or no question.  I don’t need to be lied to to spare my feelings.  I’m a big girl.”  Just then, the door to the back opened and 2 other tellers came out to the line.  He hissed at me, “This isn’t over,” said good morning to the other ladies and went back to his office in the lobby.

My face flamed.  I was angry, but at him or myself, I wasn’t quite sure.  I was not going to cry at work so I held tight to that anger.  I kept going back and forth: kicking myself for being such a bitch to him and then telling myself he’s a liar and not worth it.  That was the longest shift of my life!  Like every weekend, it was busy in the branch, so I concentrated on serving my members and not scanning the lobby for him.  About an hour into my shift, I rang my bell to let the next member know I was available and they were slow to walk down to my end.  So I chose to sweep the lobby.  Big mistake!  He was out there, already looking at me, and our eyes locked.  The emotions that quickly flashed over our faces reminds me of the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Jeanie almost hits Ferris with the car and their eyes lock – surprise –> eye’s squinting in anger –> wicked smile –> game on.

I’d never had so much electricity, so much sexual tension going through my body before.  My members kept looking at me funny, probably wondering if I was tipsy or psycho.  The rest of that shift, our eye kept meeting across the branch and my face would get hot just looking at that sexy specimen of a man.  His smile spoke volumes to me and I kept singing in my head, “I’m going to get LUUUUU-CKYYYYY!”

Our first date was in the afternoon.  He took me to J. Paul’s in Georgetown for a late lunch.  I’m a shy person (I know, asking him out even surprised me!) and have a hard time making conversation with people that I don’t know very well.  Add in the sexual tension and I just knew I was going to blow this!  But he was one of those people who could and would talk to everyone, so I didn’t have to feel pressure.  He was interested in learning about me, he talked about himself and he was comfortable with silence.  That made me comfortable, as well.  He was a perfect gentleman: held doors, pulled out my chair, helped me on with my sweater when I got chilly.  He was actually too much of a gentleman.

When he drove me home, he immediately got out of the car, walked around to open my door and helped me out.  We walked towards the walkway to my front door and I was all giddy inside, anticipating our first kiss.  I was concentrating on it so much that I didn’t realize he was no longer with me until I got to the front door!  I turned around, confused, and found him at the bottom of the walkway.  He had stayed there, choosing not to walk me to the front door.  He smiled at me, thanked me for going out with him, told me he’d had a great time and that he’d see me at work.  I just stared at him with a confused look on my face.  He didn’t get in his car, though, so I had hope.

“Don’t you want to come up here and tell me goodbye,” I asked.  “I just want to make sure you get inside safely and then I’ll go.  I have some things to take care of,” he replied.  I walked inside and closed the door behind me, crushed.  Everyone knows what happens at the front door and if he didn’t want to walk me up to the door than he didn’t want to kiss me.  Either he wasn’t interested in me or he was interested in a relationship.  I shuddered and hoped it was the former and not the latter.  I did not want a relationship; I just wanted to get naked with this man!

My attitude towards him changed immediately; my walls went up.  I wasn’t going to invest my time in someone who wasn’t interested nor in someone who wanted a relationship.  I’d experienced serious hurt in my life and I wasn’t going to let anyone in again.  If he wasn’t interested in a casual, sexual relationship, then I wasn’t interested in him.  However, he asked me out again, for an evening date, and I said yes.  What the heck was wrong with me?!  What was it about him that made me throw my backbone out the window and say “yes”?  Well, I’ll go, but I won’t enjoy myself, I thought.

He was the perfect gentleman again and kept the conversation going, ignoring or being amused at, my barbs, short answers and “Mm-hmm”s.  I was grudgingly impressed that he didn’t give back all that I was dishing out to him, and the fact that he didn’t cut the evening short.  Maybe he was interested in me but didn’t want to appear too eager and kiss me on the first date?  I wanted to hope but squashed that idea.  We got to the end of the walkway and I proceeded up, alone.  *SIGH*  He thanked me for the evening, said he had a good time, yada, yada, yada…whatever; I just went inside.

I was done with him.  I tried to just be cordial with him at work and succeeded in being cold most of the time, but that man was so damn good at disarming me!   Sometimes he’d make me smile and feel good and then when he walked away I’d get so mad at myself.  Regardless of the fact thta I just kept getting meaner to him, he was calm, attentive and charming. I figured I was challenge to him.  He wasn’t interested when I was but now that I wasn’t interested in him, he saw me as a conquest.  Fat chance!

Then I found out the real reason he hadn’t kissed me, and I didn’t even hear it from him.  I had to hear it from a co-worker.

To be continued…

Stories of You and Me

My hearing has been coming back and going away sporadically over the Summer. Yesterday, I said to the hubs, “Babe? My voice, in my head, sounds really loud all of a sudden.” He replied, a little scared, “What is it telling you do?”

This morning we were standing in the kitchen, hugging, and I said, “Thank you for providing so much love, laughter, peace and security for the last nineteen and a half years.” He replied, “You’re welcome, but I’m taking today off!”

Who knew undershirts could cause such angst?


While folding the hubs undershirts on our bed Sunday afternoon, I started reminiscing.  (BTW, doesn’t our $20 yard sale comforter look great?)  Before I met the hubs, the only other male I knew that wore undershirts was my dad.  I guess that was another sign of the wonderful man the hubs was; one of many things he had in common with my dad.

I used to tease the hubs because he wore an undershirt all the time.  Not just under dress or work shirts, but also under polo shirts and t-shirts and it’s his pajama top when he sleeps.  I’d ask him why he didn’t go without one when he wore a polo shirt – it’s thick enough you can’t see through it, or a crew neck t-shirt – the t-shirt covers everything the undershirt does.  Even on hot, humid 90+ degree days he still wears an undershirt!  After a couple of years, I stopped teasing and cajoling him to lose the undershirts and accepted that I was in love with an ole fuddy duddy.  😉

Fast forward 10 years, we have a child and the hubs still washes his own clothes.  One day he came downstairs, all showered and dressed and cameo me for his goodbye kiss before heading out the door.  I admired him by looking him up and down as he walked towards me and stopped at his throat.  He had on a red polo shirt, top button undone, and instead of seeing the standard white undershirt, I saw bronze skin.  Different emotions flashed through me – disbelief, surprise, lust – and then one other emotion that I had never felt before in my life – jealousy.

Me: Wait.  What’s going on?  Why aren’t you wearing an undershirt? (with a touch of accusation in my voice)
The Hubs: I don’t have any clean ones left.  I thought I had one more, but I was wrong.  I’ll do laundry tonight.
Me: Then wear a dirty one.  Or change into a dress shirt and tie.
The hubs: What’s wrong with you?  I don’t need to change.
Me: Wherever you’re going, it can wait.  I’ll go wash your undershirts right now and you’ll be much more comfortable leaving this house with one on.
The hubs:  Will I?  What’s going on Jessie?
Me: (face turning red, breathing heavy, teeth clenched, lips pursed) I DON’T WANT WOMEN TO SEE YOU!
The hubs: HUH?!
Me: That little triangle of bronze skin showing where your shirt is unbuttoned hasn’t been seen by anyone other than me in over a decade!  I don’t want want anyone else to see it!  No other woman should be looking at it!
The hubs: I’ll button it up.
Me: NO!  The collar of the polo shirt is wider than the undershirt and women can still see you!
The hubs: You’re scaring me.
Me: (dissolved into puddles)

He didn’t change.  He didn’t put on a dirty undershirt.  He wouldn’t wait while I washed his clothes.  After holding me and passing me tissues while trying very hard not to laugh, he went to work just as he’d come downstairs.  He was amused and flattered that I was jealous.  I was mortified.  He came home that night to a drawer full of the clean undershirts from the hamper as well as others I’d bought that day to make sure he had an amble supply.  And I’ve been washing his undershirts ever since!

Another reason the hubs and I have stayed together

Two years ago, I did a monthlong series called, 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years.  I posted a new one every day during the month of July.  It was fun, it was hard and, sometimes, it was embarrassing.  But experience – the good, the bad and the ugly – can only help each other when we share it. A few months ago, I came up with another reason and jotted it down quickly to share later.  I just found it, so I’m sharing now before I lose it again.  😉

There can be no hiding physically or emotionally.  We have to be able to bare who we are to each other.  We not only have to be comfortable enough to ask for what we want and need, we also have to accept and not judge each other for asking.  We listen and then do – willingly.

The hubs shaved my legs when I could no longer reach them around my pregnant belly.  When I get the stomach flu, and it’s coming out both ends, he comes into the bathroom with me, pulls my hair back into a ponytail, wipes my face with a wet cloth, holds a glass of water with a straw in it in front of my face so I can drink and have something to throw up instead of dry heaving.  Granted, he pulls his undershirt up over his mouth and nose b/c it is not the sweetest smelling place to be right then, but he’s there.  And I’m over worrying about him smelling my poop or seeing me at my worst.

He also tried to paint my toenails for me when I was pregnant, again because I could not reach them.  It was such a struggle for his giant man hands to grasp the tiny nail polish brush and he ended up painting not only my nails but the entire top knuckle of each toe.  But that’s OK!  He tried, because I asked.  Although he finally sent me to get a pedicure from a salon after seeing the job he did, that wasn’t his 1st response.

We are not afraid to ask for, or even demand, what we need from each other:

Don’t try to fix it, just listen to me.

Hold me.

Leave me alone right now.

Tell me I’m not screwing up our child.

Hand me that wrench.

For the love of all that is holy, pick up your (insert whatever it is they leave around).  

Help me.

What are you afraid to show your spouse?  What are you afraid to ask of them?  How would you react if they showed you their’s?  How would you react if if they asked of you the same thing?  Would you judge?  Or would you marvel at the courage and strength it took for them to do that, accept them and love them even more for trusting you with it?  Why not give them the opportunity to accept all of you?

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