Category Archives: Life Lessons

Marriage and “Little Things”

I’ve been wondering lately – what can I do to keep from taking my husband for granted?

I don’t mean that I’m not taking care of the house, being sweet to him, etc. And I don’t mean that we’re not having sex (okay….that’s kind of a convoluted, double-negative way to let y’all know we’re having plenty of sex…;) ).  I just feel like I’m not the same, loving kind of girlfriend/wife person that I used to be. He has a box where he’s kept all the letters I wrote him while we were dating and I don’t know why we don’t do the same “little things” for each other any more.

Is there a way to bring more of this “little things” type of  romance back into our lives? I’m not talking about flowers and champagne-type, roll around in bed romance (after all, studies are now actually showing that “cheap sex” is best)….I’m thinking more about the sweet, lover-ish kind of things that you do for each other when you’re first dating.

What sparked my thoughts on this? The fact that someone at work gave me a candy bar from one of those school fundraisers and I brought it home and gave it to Ducks as a treat. Sounds sweet, right? Well, it really wasn’t. I mean, it was a nice gesture, but the intent was to save it for him so I wouldn’t eat it, not to lovingly think of him and bring him something special.

Delicious...but not sweet

Carrie, my freshman year roommate in college and I both starting dating guys around the same time. So, we’d work on little projects for them together. We’d buy Hershey’s kisses and drop them off in cute gift wrap at their dorms’ front desk so they’d get a call to come pick up a gift and feel important. We’d bake Valentine’s treats together. We made jars filled with special notes and quotes for them for the summer, since we’d be spending it apart.

Separate from the things Carrie and I made, I was also a big on writing letters. I wrote letters for every day of spring break when he went on a trip out of the country and we didn’t get to talk. Even once that we graduated from college, I’d send him little notes in the mail. But, now, I don’t know if I’m just too busy, or too stressed, or that I just take it for granted now that we’re in love; we’re married; we live in the same house; we see each other every day.

Also, I guess men don’t really think a lot about romantic gestures. I’m sure he’s not pining away to get a special note from me under his pillow. Is it just that when we grow up, we show our love in different ways — like doing laundry and packing lunches and running errands for each other? But, then, when people end up breaking up and finding new love, don’t they get all giddy from the special-ness of the relationship (don’t worry! We’re not breaking up! We’re doing great – I’m just feeling philosophical)? So, maybe they were missing that before?

 I have “Little Women” practically memorized and as I’ve been thinking about this issue for the past few days, this quote came to mind from the time following Meg and John Brooke’s wedding:

“John did not find Meg’s beauty diminished, though she beamed at him from behind the familiar coffee pot. Nor did Meg miss any of the romance from the daily parting, when her husband followed up his kiss with the tender inquiry, Shall I send some veal or mutton for dinner, darling? The little house ceased to be a glorified bower, but it became a home, and the young couple soon felt that it was a change for the better. At first they played keep-house, and frolicked over it like children. Then John took steadily to business, feeling the cares of the head of a family upon his shoulders, and Meg laid by her cambric wrappers, put on a big apron, and fell to work, as before said, with more energy than discretion.”

I know that Ducks and I love each other. I know that we’re both busy people – he’s studying diligently to do well in school and improve our future. I’m working hard at work to be connected, to make money and to support us. I know that we do a lot for each other – but is it enough that we show our love by loading the dishwasher and hanging picture frames and taking the laundry upstairs? I guess the question is:

“Do couples need sweet gestures to have a great, fulfilling relationship?” Okay, discuss.

Just Call Me a Genius

Okay, so about two or three days each week, I forget to put deodorant on in the morning. I don’t know why – I guess I just have a mental block against it.

So, finally, using my brilliant mind powers, I came up with a magnificent idea. Seriously. I may get the Nobel Prize for this or something.

I put an extra deodorant ….in my purse. Bingo. Years of furtive smelliness dissolved right there.

So, just in case you need the 591st digit of pi, or the formula for world peace, well, you may want to find someone of true genius. But if you don’t want to be gross when you have to hug people, then come to me.

So maybe I’m not being completely serious, but there is a TRUE genius in our family. Hurray Ducks for being a success in being called on in Constitutional Law yesterday, and rocking it! So proud of my lovely little husband.

A Moral Dilemma

I have a true moral dilemma on my hands. It’s a crisis between practical charity and reason. It also makes me wonder whether I am a naturally selfish person.

Here’s what happened.

Around 7:30 p.m., a phone call interrupted my NaNoWriMo work. It was my parents’ home phone, so I decided to answer. As usual, my mom freaks me out to begin the call by sounding like something may have happened to someone in the family. But, no, that wasn’t it. She was calling to ask my opinion on a woman that she and her Sunday School class have been helping.

This woman was about 30 and pregnant. She showed up at the church one day and wanted to become part of the Sunday School class and have her kids, an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old take part in church activities. Then, last week, she lost her baby at 20 weeks.

That part of the story is heartbreakingly sad, and I do feel for this family, as I feel for anyone who loses a child. I can’t imagine the pain and grief that someone would go through.

Well, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. As my mom continues to tell me about this woman, she explains that her three children all have different fathers, that the 6-year-old’s father just fled back to Mexico to avoid criminal charges, that the father of her baby was another man from a neighboring town that she also wasn’t married to. She also tells me where the family lives – in a trailer house behind a liquor store, that the woman has no job, no car (because her insurance lapsed and she was ticketed for driving without it), has multiple tattoos and is on welfare. When my mom asked the pastor about her, he said, “It really wouldn’t surprise me if she’s been involved in anything and everything.”

Now, my mom is a bleeding heart for people like this. While she’s not always that nice to her own children, she has a very strong desire to help anyone in these kind of desperate circumstances, because she grew up in a family that wasn’t completely stable (although not to this degree). But she’s not always a great judge of character – she’s a  very literal person and takes what people say at face value, especially if it has anything to do with Christianity. If you make comments about “the Lord” or try to sound like you’re “seeking God,” then she will automatically believe you.

(Sidenote: The last person that she tried to help was a woman who worked at a local gas station. She lived in the local housing authority and had three children under the age of 4. My sisters, mom and I were donating and serving lunches for the children who didn’t have food to eat in the summer – a project that my mom created and that does show she has a  good heart, especially for children. Her babies were literally crying because they were hungry. My mom went to the gas station, talked to the mother and got all bleeding heart for her, especially because the mother said she didn’t even have enough money to buy milk for the baby. Her philanthropic spirit only increased when she went to the woman’s apartment and saw that she had a picture of her baptism hanging on the wall. That sealed the deal for my mom. She bought groceries for this family, gathered clothes for the children and helped them — until the mother was picked up and arrested for running a prostitution ring from her home.)

To get back to the story at hand, the reason she was calling me was to ask if I would mind whether she invited this woman and her kids to spend the holidays with our family – Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Thanksgiving, I don’t care, even though I don’t trust this woman, because I won’t be there. But, is it wrong for me not to want my mom to invite this woman to their house on Christmas Day when Ducks and I will be visiting? I always make it a point, whatever my other holiday plans with the in-laws are, to be with my parents Christmas morning because my sister is still so young and I love to watch her open presents, but I feel like having this other woman and her kids there will ruin the holiday.

I’m sure something will come out to prove that she’s not genuine and is using people in the church for money before Christmas, so I’m not super concerned about it, but I am also a little concerned about my reaction to the situation. I’m not feeling a lot of sympathy to this family. I hope that people will charitably give her and her children some nice Christmas gifts and a Christmas dinner, but I just don’t want it to be WITH my family. And, I feel a little guilty about that, because it’s not very “do unto others” and I feel like I should want to be a little more kind and generous and let these people join in our holiday when they have no other family, but I just can’t want it.

Is this wrong? Give me your honest opinions.

Alone Time

My husband is MIA.

I didn’t realize how good I had it earlier in the semester. He was getting up early, going to school around 6:30 a.m. and coming home around 7:30. Then, we’d eat go to the gym together, eat dinner and go to bed. Granted, we went to sleep a little earlier. And, he was taking Saturdays off as a day to relax with just a little bit of review, no meticulous reading and outlining.

Now, however, is a different story. He’s getting home later and later, eating dinner at school and coming home exhausted. Yesterday, he received his assignment for his final memo for Legal Research and Writing, which pretty much determines that I will not see him until it’s finished, when the memo is combined with all the studying he has to do on top of that.

Sigh. I should be — and I am — grateful for the time that I’ve gotten to spend with him. I know at the law school connected to our alma mater, I would never have gotten to see him. The students at that particular law school have the worst quality of life (but one of the highest bar passage rates) in the state. And, it’s not that I don’t have a lot of things to do, with NaNoWriMo, JL, work events and more – but sometimes you just miss hanging out with the person you love.

To look on the bright side, when I know he’s not going to be home, I can do a lot fewer dishes! No cooking meals for me anymore – last night, I just mixed up a package of Jiffy corn bread, popped it in the oven and ate some of it with milk for dinner. Just one dish, one cup and a napkin – how much easier can it get?! 😉

Law/med students out there, are your course loads getting heavier? And, significant others, what are you doing to deal with the extra “alone time”?

PS I think today is the last day for the Holy Turf contest! Click just a few more times por favor, and cross your fingers! I’ll let you know if we win!