Staying Married: Listen to Your Wife; Talk to Your Husband

My husband forgot about the first Valentine’s Day after our marriage.

I didn’t get so much as a card.

That was what you might call a mistake on his part; one he has learned not to repeat.

The reason he’s learned this is because I told him. I didn’t go home from work that day (I was in the legislature at the time) and hit him with my purse. But I did tell him. And the next Valentine’s Day, I told him in advance.

Which leads me to half my point.

Women, if you want a happy marriage, do not assume that your husband understands what you want. Based on decades of happy marriage to the one and only love of my life, I can tell you that he does not.

He. Doesn’t. Have. A. Clue.

I grew up with an involved father-in-residence and then married another y chromosome type person and have lived out the rest of my life since then with him. This experience has led me to form a theory about the male brain.

It doesn’t think like ours.

From what I can tell, the male of the human species thinks that if he makes sure you go to sleep in a warm bed under a roof that doesn’t leak after eating three square meals and that every man around knows that insulting you will get him in a fight, well then, that’s love. And you should know it.

If he comes home at night and doesn’t dally with other women, if he would rather cut his arm off than raise a hand to you, if he provides for, protects and cossets you, he thinks he’s done everything any woman with half a brain could possibly want. He’s finished. Done. Through. In his mind, he’s got that good husband stuff handled and now it’s time to get a brewski and plop down in front of the television for some football.

You, on the other hand, need to be told that he loves you. You think that all this protecting, providing, cosseting stuff is just a sort of baseline that any decent person would do. You don’t want a bag of groceries … or … well … you do want a bag of groceries, but you want something that feeds your heart as well as your stomach. You want affection. And you want a few complimentary words thrown in with the affection.

The trouble is, he’ll never know this if you don’t tell him. In fact, if your way of telling him is to go off and throw a hissy fit and cry and slam doors and answer “Nothing!” when he asks you what’s wrong, he’ll never figure it out. Nothing comes of that kind of behavior except a husband who is convinced he’s married someone who has mental problems, and a wife who honestly thinks her husband does not love her and that she’s probably unattractive to him to boot.

So, the first half of the point I’m making is, wives, talk to your husbands. Tell him what you want. I don’t mean yell at him and demand what you want. Just … tell him. Be specific. If you want him to take you out to dinner, say so. If you want a box of chocolates, say that. Do not make him try to figure it out. He won’t. Because he can’t. His brain doesn’t think like yours.

After you’ve told him, let it go until the next Valentine’s Day or whatever it is you were telling him about rolls around again. Then, gently, gently remind him. As the big day comes into view (be it your birthday, your anniversary, Valentine’s Day or whatever) start reminding him a few weeks out. You don’t have to make an issue of it. In fact, you shouldn’t make an issue of it. Just use your knowledge of him and your relationship to go about the business of reminding him in the gentlest way possible. If you don’t remind him, he won’t remember. Not, mind you, because he doesn’t love you, but because he’s a man, and their brains don’t think the same way ours do.

Which leads to the second half of my point.

Men, if you want a happy marriage, listen to your wife. When your wife tells you and reminds you, that means she’s handed you the ball and you need to run with it.

Do not quibble about this. Listen to your wife. Go forth and buy chocolates, or make dinner reservations or whatever. It does not matter that you just rotated the tires on her car and filled it up with gas. If she wants dinner and a movie, give her dinner and a movie. And for pete’s sake, tell her she’s pretty. Stand in front of your bathroom mirror with the door locked and practice if you have to, but say it.

Wives, talk to your husbands. Husbands, listen to your wives.

And while you’re at it, forgive one another for the subtle differences between the sexes that make this post necessary. There’s a reason God made us like this. When husbands and wives cooperate with one another this way, love between them grows. Our differences, which can drive us apart if we are stupid about them, can also meld us together for life.

Now, husbands and wives, start talking and listening. Your lives and your family will be the better for it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Is There Something in the Drinking Water, or, Were People Always This Crazy and We Just Didn’t Notice?

Is there something funny in our drinking water? Or have people always been this crazy and we just didn’t notice?

The reasons I’m asking are …

Te’o and the girlfriend who wasn’t. If he’d been a lonely nerd with acne and a weight problem no one would have been all that surprised by a fantasy girlfriend. But everyone knows that football stars are like young lords on college campuses. The profs, the staff, the press, the administration and the girls just can’t say “no.” So, what’s with Te’o and the fantasy girlfriend?

Monsignor Meth, the Breaking Bad priest. Turns out the monsignor was a sex-party-in-the-rectory-having cross-dresser before he was a meth-dealing-money-laundering-sex-toy-store owner. Fortunately, the Church had already removed him from his parish for the sex party in the rectory stuff. (Whew!) But … what’s with this guy?

Father Handcuffs, the 911 caller. Odd as this sounds, my main question about Father Handcuffs is why he didn’t call a friend to get him out of his rig instead of 911. My family and I were discussing this at dinner the other night (my kids are adults, and our dinner table conversations are, always have been, free-ranging) and one of my sons said, “Why didn’t he call anybody — even his mother — before he called 911?” All this leads me to think that Father Handcuffs, in addition to being a bit of a kink, may be a lonely man.

Mark Sanford the I-lied-when-I said-I-was-hiking-the-Appalachian-Trail-I-was-really-in-Argentina-with-my-girlfriend Governor. Now, with said girlfriend at his side and his wife and four children … somewhere else … the former governor says he’s running for Congress. Where he should fit right in.

Mel Gibson the brilliant actor/director who truly and absolutely cannot hold his liquor, a weakness that combines with his love affair with hidden microphones to make for sordid tapes.

And all those famous menpoliticians, footballs players, etc — who keep sending photos of their private parts to women who don’t want to see them.

Were people always this crazy and the internet has just forced them on us, or, is someone putting some sort of mental whoopee cushion in the drinking water? I ask you, what’s with these people?

The Dynamic Duo Take the Oath

Never in American history has a president and vice president formed a team like these two.

It’s … 

Tonto and the Lone Ranger

The Dude and Walter

Buzz Light Year and Woody

Chester and Marshall Dillon

All Over Again

 

 

 

Four More Years: Joe Biden is Off and Running at the Mouth

Vice President Joe Biden

 

Vice President Joe Biden kicked off four more years of verbal blundering at the Iowa State Pre-Inauguration Inaugural Ball by telling the crowd, “I am proud to be President of the United States.”

Enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

GPS Leads Woman 900 Miles Out of Her Way

Sabine Moreau, a 67-year-old women from Belgium, wanted to go about 90 miles to pick up a friend at a train station. But instead she followed the directions from her GPS all the way to Croatia, 900 miles away.

She told the press that she wasn’t paying attention.

Here’s the story:

Put too much faith in technology and you may wind up in Croatia. A 67-year-old woman from Belgium learned that the hard way after she followed (faulty) directions from her GPS device.

The woman only wanted to go about 90 miles from her hometown of Hainault Erquelinnes, Belgium, to pick up a friend at the Brussels train station. Her GPS device sent her about 900 miles to the south before (during the second day of driving) she realized that something was amiss. It’s unclear if she entered the address incorrectly or if the GPS was faulty.

Discovery explains that the driver, Sabine Moreau, stopped twice for gas, slept on the side of the road, and “even suffered a minor car accident” along the way. She told El Mundo that she wasn’t paying attention. (Read more here.)

Gorgeous George, the Vatican’s First Pin-Up

Public stardom is difficult for anyone to handle. Based on the outcomes we’ve had with several “star” priests, I would say that clergy don’t handle it any better than anyone else.

That said, I have to admit that I’ve noticed the nice-looking man standing in the background in several photos of Pope Benedict XVI. I wasn’t aware until today that the Italian press had dubbed the good father “Gorgeous George.”

I tend to associate the moniker “gorgeous george” with a small monkey who is the lead character in a series of children’s books. A reader pointed out that, even though I remember him as “Gorgeous” the monkey is actually “Curious George” and that “Gorgeous George” was a famous wrestler. Somehow, that makes it funnier to me.

For all that, I have to admit that the priest in question is, as I said, a nice-looking man. But I don’t faint or anything when I look at him. Of course, I’ve got an exceptionally good-looking fellow that I see across the dinner table every night.

Maybe that’s why I can’t get beyond “nice-looking” in my description of the new Vatican hunk.

My reserved assessment is evidently a minority report. Not only has the Italian press gone loopy over him, but Vanity Fair has now put Archbishop Georg Ganswein on its cover.

I wish Archbishop Ganswein good luck with his new international pin-up status. It’s not easy, being a religious celebrity.

Reuters has the details:

ROME (Reuters) - Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict’sprivate secretary, who has been dubbed “Gorgeous George” by the Italian media, is now a real-life cover boy.

The prelate has landed on the cover of Vanity Fair.

The cover on the Italian edition of the magazine shows the 56-year-old archbishop smiling, his blue eyes beaming, above a headline that reads “Father Georg – It’s not a sin to be beautiful.”

The magazine calls Ganswein “The George Clooney of St Peter’s” and says it dedicated a cover story to honor his recent promotion to the rank of archbishop and as recognition of his growing power inthe Roman Catholic Church.

A spokeswoman for the magazine said Ganswein was not interviewed for the article and did not pose for the cover photo, which she said was a close-up of an existing picture. (Read more here.)

God Sells Magazines. God and Obama Sell Lots of Magazines.

Big names sell magazines.

Eye-catching covers sell magazines.

Eye-catching covers with big names sell lots of magazines.

Who’s got the biggest name of all?

Let’s look

Double big names, with an Asian twist. How New Age.

The biggest name of all.

And of course, our ultimate destination.

Name That Bird

Add a caption to this photo. 

The Seven Most Provocative Religious Videos of 2012

 

 

This is a little late, but it’s still worth a look. Daniel Burke of Religion News Service has put together a list of 2012 religious videos he thinks were the most provocative. They range from the young star of a major television show criticizing its content to a video that is alleged to have set off tragic violence. Read and enjoy.

The seven most provocative religious videos of

2012

(RNS) Imagine if Martin Luther and John Calvin had YouTube.

Armed with Gutenberg’s printing press, the two reformers wrested Europe from the grip of the Roman Catholic Church and changed Christianity forever.

What would they have done with a medium that can zip text, music, and, perhaps most importantly, videos across the globe in a matter of seconds?

“The importance of YouTube, the importance of the Internet is huge for the next coming generation of the church,” Jefferson Bethke told NPR earlier this year.

The 23-year-old Christian poet should know. His four-minute video, “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus,” has been viewed more than 23.5 million times since he posted it on YouTube last January.

Bethke wasn’t the only religious figure to find an audience, or apostles, on the Internet. Indeed, among other epithets, 2012 might be dubbed the Year of YouTube – and that’s especially true on the religion beat.

Religious videos sparked international riots, stirred up the U.S. presidential campaign, sought to comfort LGBT youth and urged Christians to rethink their religious ideals.

In chronological order, here are seven religious videos that made headlines in 2012. (Read more here.)

 

 

That explains it

I’m a homey.

I don’t mean that in the usual, slang way. I mean I’m a home-lover. Home to me is peace, safety, contentment. There is nothing more soothing after a terrible day at work than to walk into my home, shut the door behind me and leave all that black magic on the other side.

I love being home. Which makes me a homey.

I also enjoy watching the different “house” shows on HGTV. I can watch people tramp around houses with realtors, grumble their way through renovations and oooh and aaaah over the scrumptious results — all without having to spend a dime or move an inch.

This is bliss for a woman who is both a homey and curious about how other people live.

Some of these shows are obviously posed, at least a little bit. I mean, what straight man goes into a house and says “Oh I hate those countertops, and I’m just not feeling the color of that backsplash?” Get real.

And who calls every room in a house a “space,” as in “this is a great space.” Nothing ever needs remodeling or fixing. (an Okie term, I know, but this is an Okie blog) Everything needs “updating,” as in those horrid laminate countertops need updating to granite, and we’ve got to get rid of the perfectly serviceable white appliances and update them with stainless steel. Hang the cost and full steam ahead.

I just love watching that stuff. For someone from my part of the world, all this talk about updates and straight men twirling around kitchens and getting excited by backslashes is exotic and somewhat comical. It is high entertainment.

One of the more confounding things to this little Okie girl is the prices people pay for these domiciles. They’ll go into a house that’s smaller and more beat up than my little hovel and yack about how it’s “competitively priced” at half a million.

These people think nothing of plunking down upwards of half a million to a million or even more for what is just a plain, ordinary house. In fact, they often buy “fixer-upper” houses in this price range because their cool mill won’t get them something that’s “updated” the way they want it.

I watch this stuff and I think, “Where do these people live, and what on earth do they do for a living?”

It seems quite clear that my family income wouldn’t qualify me and mine for a pasteboard box under a bridge in their neighborhood. I couldn’t even afford one of their “needs updating” doormats. I keep wondering, do they rob banks or something? How do they afford this? And more to the point, why are they willing to spend so much for so little?

Then today, I came across an article that explains it all. It seems that in some parts of this country the incomes are totally out of sight by my standards. Unfortunately for the people who make all this good money, the cost of putting a roof over your head in these areas has kept pace with the incomes.

Of course, the other side of this extravagance is that somebody in those communities still works at fast food joints, still mops the floors and drives the delivery trucks. I have no idea how someone making that kind of wage manages to exist in that world. None.

I don’t buy real estate in places like Los Altos, San Francisco or Seattle, but every time I go there I am struck by the fact that it’s not just the real estate that costs more. A San Jose hamburger costs about two and a half times what an Oklahoma hamburger costs. Ditto for movies, hotel rooms and other things a traveler would notice.

This little article I found gives me a teeny bit of insight into the lives of people who think that a normal income for an ordinary family will support the purchase of a million dollar home that doesn’t exactly look like a million dollars. I’m not going to comment on what all this means to me and people like me. I’m still thinking about that. But I do find it interesting.

The 24/7wallstreet.com article says in part:

This is the most expensive house for sale in the nation’s most expensive housing market: Los Altos, California. …

U.S. home prices have begun to rebound in the past year. And in the most expensive markets, where the average home sells for well over $1 million, recoveries are among the strongest, increasing between 20% and 50% in most cases.
According to Coldwell Banker Real Estate, there are at least 10 U.S. cities where the average listing price for a home in the first six months of this year exceeded $1.2 million.

The majority of these cities are on or near the California coast. For example, in San Jose suburb Los Altos, homes sold in the first half of the year averaged a $1.7 million price tag. Based on data provided by Coldwell Banker, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most expensive cities for buying a home.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Coldwell Banker Chief Operating Officer and President Budge Huskey explained that for the first time in years, residents of the country’s most expensive housing markets are largely professionals working in or very near their home. In prior years, he explained, many of the most expensive communities were simply very desirable for wealthy families or individuals, without necessarily being employment centers. Many of these people were retired or worked from home.
“Now,” Huskey said, “the emphasis is on those markets that are in proximity to true, strong business centers, where employment has been consistent, and the overall level of wealth and wages has been high relative to other opportunities within the country.”
These expensive markets are concentrated around the tech industry, which has remained strong throughout the recession. As a result, most of these cities and suburbs are near the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. These are areas driven by the tech boom, explained Huskey. “In an area like Los Altos, for example, you’re looking at a location that is 15 minutes away from the headquarters of such corporate giants as Google and Facebook.”
Income in the expensive housing markets is among the highest in the country. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, median household income in these cities far exceeds the U.S. median income by at least $20,000. In Saratoga, California, one of the cities on our list, median income is nearly triple the U.S. figure of $51,914.
Two cities outside California are on the top 10 list, one of which isn’t even the continental U.S.
Based on data published by Coldwell Banker in its annual Home Listing Report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the country’s most expensive cities for buying a home. Homes in these cities had the highest average listing price between January and June of this year. Markets with less than ten four-bedroom, two-bath homes were excluded from the survey. We also examined data on vacancy rates, median price per square foot, and changes in price from real estate listing service Trulia. Information on income, educational attainment, and poverty rate, among other data, is from the U.S. Census Bureau. (For the list of cities and their prices, go here.)


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