Category Archives: Matrimony

all things marriage

Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat

So we are hanging out at a super bowl party this weekend. Should be fun. I love football and in a different life, I’d play the game and be that super fly wide receiver, for sure. But Eric tells me that the girls who play in our neck of the woods are way bigger and meaner looking than me. “I don’t know P,” he said. “You might get hurt.” Tough as I wanna be, I read an article about a local women’s league and decided he was probably right. So this weekend I’m just going to enjoy the game (and the commercials). Then next date is my pick. It’ll be frilly and pink. I like Fugosa for a little wine tasting and dinner. Now E’s no wine connoisseur but if I promise some nearby shopping afterwards, he’s in there!

Our date nights and evenings devoid of children help keep our marriage interesting.  What keeps your relationship spicy? Share.

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

It was 18 years ago, today. I was 18 years old. I wish I could say I knew then that he was the one. But when he introduced himself I was smug. Trying to pretend that I was neither affected nor concerned and that I would remain indifferent if he sat beside me or if he moved past. As I already possessed the knowledge of good and evil; garnered by chance and bad choices. But he was cunning, witty, smart –handsome. He sat down and in a sing-song voice said, “Can I tell you that, I just love you.” I had sense enough to know that this was a line. It couldn’t have been reserved for me. But the moment he said it, his hand lighted, briefly upon my knee. He was sincere; his touch correct. I was undone. We shared a Physics class and had passed each other in places. But familiar, we were not. Not even to know one another’s names. But the two hearts knew all. It was confirmed as we watched the movie together; the movie that we had not planned to see. Gritty, complicated, intense emotion splayed on the screen. Love, hate, lust, happiness and grief. At some point I tried muffling the subconscious communications with the stranger by shifting and fidgeting in my seat. But the questions were already being asked, silently. Us? It was our own indecent proposal of sorts. But the two hearts didn’t care. They mingled and brushed against each other, kissing wildly, touching, conversing…wrapping fingers in hair. Do you really want that? Can we be that to each other? Even that? On this our first meeting there was no denying the fact. I knew him and he knew me. Forever.

©P.Brooks 9/3/2011

7 Successful Habits of Highly Reproductive People

7 Successful Habits of Highly Reproductive People

Kids can do a number on relationships between even the most compatible mates. But what, if anything, can you do to keep the romance, excitement and love burning hot in your marriage? The followoing is not a call for more intimacy, but rather a plea for sanity. Drumroll please…

#1 -Ignore the kids. You may want to call the authorities on me, but before you do try this out yourself.  Even if it’s just while they brush their teeth. Choose a  task –any task, and don’t hover. Pop in a short DVD for toddlers who won’t sit down. Take back your freedom a few minutes at a time!

#2-Be a help mate. There’s always a task that would go much faster if you both got involved, like unloading the dishwasher together. Clean dishes can prompt laughter and happy conversation. What else can you two tackle?

#3-Respect each other’s time.  If your spouse is busy then leave him/her alone. It is not couple time. Deadlines and tasks that must be met will only make them bitter if you interfere. Practice the golden rule.

#4- Play switcheroo! Who says you always have to read stories to the kids or he always has to take out the trash? Do the laundry? Cook? Some of my happiest days are when hubby (who can cook, but doesn’t) announces that he is making his famous chili. And don’t let him put hot dogs on the grill. I’m subject to cry.

#5- Do you. No, seriously. DO YOU. Absence does makes the heart grow fonder. If you aren’t taking time for your passion, hobby or some plain old me time, then do it now.  Never aim to neglect your partner, but do have a little fun without them every now and then.

#6- Invite your mate to bed. By bed I mean sleep. Plan a sleep date or just take your honey by the hand and say, “Screw the rest. Let’s go to bed early tonight.” Only include lovemaking if you can end soon enough to get great sleep afterwards. A sleep date can trump a late night romp. While lovemaking is sweet, who couldn’t use some extra zzzz’s?

#7-Cut each other (and yourself) some slack. You’re married with children now! There is no way to always keep up with everything. If the house isn’t spick and span so what? I say a good day is when everyone has on clean underwear and had at least one bowl of cereal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You agree? Yeah! Pat yourself on the back then rush out to buy more Fruit Loops.

What tips can you add to the list?

Into the Thick of It

Into the Thick of It

Fall is swiftly approaching and I can feel it in my soul. All it takes is a couple of cool days and I’m there. Drifting and dreaming about when we first met. Turning 19 and the card he gave me.

As our anniversary draws near, I wonder where the years went. Ten according to a courthouse in Raleigh. Seventeen according to my heart. Are we still happy? We seem happy, but I don’t know for sure. Why? Cause of all the laundry. It makes me want to cry. The clutter too. But the kids? Well the kids are hilarious. They really do bring joy. Otherwise right about now, we might be bored with one another. Except stealing time away from them, is exciting! Especially at night. So is kissing each other amist their wails of “No kissing!”

We talk about our babies and what havoc they’re causing in the same breath as “you know they all need new underwear.” Well I guess that’s parenting. So since we’ve survived yet another kid emergency just this week, and they are all still alive… next month I guess we’ll toast. To the fall and having a somewhat happy family. Dirty laundry included.

Are you married or in a relationship? How long has it been?

Spoiled for a Spell

Spoiled for a Spell

I’ll be the first to admit that I never pictured or planned this style of motherhood for myself.  I just knew I’d put my all into them and they’d be well cared for.  I couldn’t have dreamed of all I would give up and the many hours of worry I would edure while trying to know if I had made a good decision, the best decision or if they would be all right under my guidance.  I still sit here hoping the world hasn’t warped me so much that I don’t know what to teach my children.  But I digress.  For even though it is hard being a mother —-I’ve had one hell of a week with all 3 of my babies being sick.  Even still, I have really been enjoying the past month and this period of them being 3, 4, and 5 years old.  It’s sweet.  And the reason I’m now calling myself spoiled is because of the two hour window of free time 3 days a week. I have totally been enjoying it. But since it was taken away this weekwhen were all too sick to go to school, I was just looking crazy, wondering if I could survive.  On top of that I had a deadline to meet for Polly&Meek business.  Plus, I didn’t order out on my takeout night because the pediatrician had said to watch their diets closely until they were better.  So I cooked.  Well in all honesty, I complained to E before the illness jumped off and he chose this week to hook me up with some extra help and a couple of meals.  He actually turned the stove on! Of course there was a fair trade involved for those favors.  But not what you think.  Sex is cheap here, instead I had to pay big time by taking the kids out of the house so he could have some downtime —-after I had already spent way too much time with them. 

Sounds crazy but I did it because he did it for me while I sold books two weekends in a row.   Also can’t forget last week when I turned 35 and got surprised big time. He called at 9:30am to say he would come home and get the kids while I went out for a spell.  Unheard of right?  I felt guilty, but I let him go through with it since it was my birthday.  I told Meek the whole thing was such a euphorific high that it gave me a tremendous migraine.  I had to give up on shopping and come back home. Our plans included dinner later, but I eventually cancelled with the babysitter cause I was still feeling so bad.  I took in L in the eating seafood column. Hey, it’s not everyday that your dreams come true.  Oh! It was an awesome birthday!

As for today, Eric dressed and ate quickly this morning and it looked like a gym date, only he informed me that he had to go study.  I did my Scooby-doo sound, then I remembered — oh yeah grad school!  I was growing so accustomed to the extra help and stuff so I didn’t know what to think.  I said, Just take all the time you need and go to the gym to if you want.”  I had totally practiced that line so it wasn’t even hard to say.  You know why I did it?  Cause there’s no such thing as just being spoiled in a marriage.  You’ve got to give some to get some.  It’s easy for me, cause I like where I am right now.  And when all the germs are gone and they’re back to normal I want to enjoy some downtime — by myself!  If I’m happy they’re happy.  Isn’t it the truth?

Textual Womanhood

Textual Womanhood

The kids caught on to my MIA status after a few minutes and began to search upstairs for me.  Of course I was here.  Just one of the reasons I love this house.  I can hear them easily on the next level even if I choose to unplug the monitor.  So there I was  behind closed doors striking interesting poses.  Once or twice, I posed right along side a basket of clean laundry.  There’s no shame in my game.  If hot teenagers can send sexy cellphone pics, so can I.  Ever do anything wild like that?  We used to leave “notes” in each other’s work bags, long ago. Boy was that fun. I do crazy stuff on a regular basis.  All for the sake of marriage.

I guess I’m still feeling the effects of last Saturday’s date night.  Xmen was great, but most of all I just enjoyed his company.  Our date was interesting because we lost our house keys during the thunderstorm that broke after dinner.   Eric had run off in the pouring rain to get the car so I’d be dry.  I had to accept his chilvary because I didn’t want to be a popsicle in the cinema.  (I find it so sweet when he pours on that southern charm). So we didn’t know the keys were gone until we were about to watch Wolverine rip some stuff apart.  That discovery made us exchange our tickets for a later show and then go on a hunt for the keys.  It didn’t take long to find them and soon we were back at the theater patiently waiting for our show to start.  When it finally got started, it was Hanna Montana, not Xmen.  The whole cinema was in uproar.  In retrospect this is very funny.  But during the show, about 20 of the movie patrons (including us) stormed out looking for the first attendant we could find to string up.  I mean they literally had the kid surrounded!  The young manager fixed the problem quickly, after cracking a few jokes, of course.  At the end of the show we both agreed, the movie was awesome.

The Sunday afternoon following our date, I went out for nearly six hours — alone.  He took care of the kids without complaint.  Anytime he watches the kids like that, I go straight into your-wish-is-my-command mode.  And I’ll do anything for him. Just can’t help myself!  That little taste of freedom reminds me that I’m not just a hardworking mother.  Sort of like I feel on date night.  I get to dress up, put on makeup and pretend we’re 19 again.  I love it. Not much trumps being a mother.  But being a woman can feel so very, very good.  How do you express your womanhood?

Where I’m At

Where I’m At

It’s another scorcher today. Something like 95°. Such a hot way to welcome in spring.  I was caught off guard and had to bust out some capri’s on Saturday only to recall that I hadn’t, er, tightened things up in the hairy legs department.  Thank God they were long capri’s.  But the spring weather always prevails.  So with that in mind after sleeping in a little, I got up and did my thing in the shower on Sunday morning.  All areas are as smooth as can be but I’m rocking jeans today cause these legs are much too pretty for anyone but my man.  Well, that plus the fact that I need to go shopping for shorts. 

I had actually planned to throw on an old pair of shorts to go outside and de-weed my frontyard.  I’m talking gloves, garden tools, big hat and all, while the kids play in the sprinkler.  But now that I have a slight headache, I’ve retreated to my bedroom/office and bribed the children with The Backyardigans.  Yes, I know it’s science day and I’m an awful mother, but I got a migraine last week when I didn’t chill out soon enough.  I’ve convinced them that we’ve plenty of sunshine left in the day and they can still come out with me after my break.  They weren’t exactly all understanding. When I said, “Just watch this for a little while, until I’m feeling better”, Orion responded with, “Are you crazy?”  That’s what I get for asking them that same question when they misbehave.  I can just see him in preschool this fall. The teacher will say come sit down for circle time and Orion will ask her, “Are you crazy?” I shake my head. 

They are my children. And apparently just mine.  I say this because I just got off the phone with their father, whom I asked to watch the two little ones for me next week so I can go to the Mother’s day Tea with Lainey.  He’s going to do it but says the the Tea coincides with a day he had planned for himself. So he’s going to reschedule his day.  Are  you kidding me? Watching the kids for 45 minutes to an hour out of a day when you’re already home messes up everything and you need to reschedule?  Men are a damn trip.  But it’s all right.  I’m not even getting all sentimental, hurt and upset like I would normally.  I even almost laughed.  Thank God he’s the daddy and not the mama cause I don’t know what he’d do.  

Men are so hardcore and great in many ways.  But as my husband reminds me — don’t get it twisted.  This isn’t their speciality and they can’t compare to mothers.  They expect us to keep that super woman cape on straight and crisply ironed.  Then be able to strip it off along with the rest of our clothing to reveal perfectly maintained, volumptuous bodies; ready, willing and able to perform any tricks they conjure up.  And although some will take you —hairy legs and all, most of us don’t want THEM unless they put in a little quality time.  So E, don’t be telling me how you need to get away from me and the kids and then later asking me if I can wear that new little, hot number I just bought for you.  Cause, I’ma put that in the back of my lingerie drawer and you can see me in this long cotton tee and plain cotton pants!  All right? (And no, hell no, ladies.  I don’t deprive. It’s against my religion.)

So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.  Perhaps I am better and I’ll do a little reading for the last 30 mintues of my break.  See ya!

Daydreaming and I’m Thinking of You

Daydreaming and I’m Thinking of You

Strong overtones of incense fill the air, as I climb the stairs leading to our bedroom.  I inhale and simultaneously close my eyes while fresh images of the two of us unfold.  Remnants of a jazz melody plays loudly as I pass through our room; the iridescent comforter lays crumpled atop cotton sheets.  My mind switches to the bath tub.  Candles are put out now and there are no more bubbles floating softly on water.  Something catches my eye, so I lean closer to focus on glittery gold stars on the bottom of the tub. A clue left behind for young minds to ponder.

We locked our bedroom door last night and for a spell, I completely forgot we even had the three of them who were soundly asleep in their beds.  We both laughed at the thought of that.  Yet upon remembering our children — our family— a deeper connection was made.

Spontaneity has been our friend in this marriage. Our rendevous was romantic and totally unplanned.   There are no places or times that are off limits to us and this we’ve learned more so since having the kids.  So in a way they help us.  If not simply by supplying enough stress and tension that only the two of us can understand and then have cause to passionately coax away. 

It had totally been a tough week.  But not a rotten one.  We’d both logged too many work hours without all the work getting done.  Nobody cuts you any slack, especially not our three tenants.  We have to work around all the craziness of the world to find each other and reconnect in our own sanctuary.  It is very necessary.  Totally inevitable.  Completely satisfying.  Angelical bliss. 

The helter-skelter, the chaos…the mayhem, if you will, that is our life is not brought to an end by a fiery Friday night.  For he is gone.  Studying.  And I should be cleaning the house and washing the kids hair today.  And of course I will. Outside time is mandatory on a day so beautiful, no question about it.  Though I still have pending business to handle and an article to write.  But as I go about all I’m to do, I secretly long for him.  One night is not and could never be enough time to spend with my soul mate.  I’m speaking of the one God sent to me, stuck me with and made it so I couldn’t leave although I may have tried to once or twice ;).  And well, if you haven’t found yours yet.  Wait.  God is kind. 

Now I see us under a gazebo in Hawaii.  Aqua green ocean in the background; the scent of seawater in our noses.  Cool, gritty sand oozes between our toes as some unknown minster presides. The wind gently blows the flowers in my hair.  He’s as handsome as ever in an all white tux, with a smooth matching hat cocked to the side.  We say I do and smile. I pull his tie as he dips me in a heavenly kiss…renewing our vows.

My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

Who has a fight on Valentine’s Day and then goes out together anyway while still mad…cuz they just really need to get out of the house? Married folks — with kids!  And it wasn’t just me and E, either. Valentine’s day was a trip.  Not that we were trying to seriously celebrate, we just wanted to hang out like normal. So we did, after the spat.  But let this weekend past be a lesson, lest I forget.

Marriage, like anything else, requires a little work.  Okay sometimes alot of work. After nearly 9 years, I know this well. At times we both forget that two are supposed to become one and how hard that whole concept can be.  I try to remind myself that the hard part of marriage for us is the compromise.  There is just no way to have  your way all the time.  You MUST consider the other person.  At times this type of compromise can be painful, but you have to train yourself to treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. 

I emerge from this lover’s quarrel with some notes to self:

1.Stop trying to be mean in a nice way.  Being tricky on top of being nasty is just playing dirty.

2. Since I am going to cry anyway; learn to weep.  Tears are peculiar things, but can be used to my advantage in desperate times.

3. Try to balance out bad talks with good talks.  He can only remember the unhappy ones which means he’s not performing well overall.  And see that’s not the point.  I need him to focus on the issue at hand.

4.Forget trying to argue quietly in the basement while the kids are playing upstairs.  They know how to keep us from fighting because we won’t do it in front of them. They simply intervene every time things get heated.

5.Don’t end the fight with, “Whatever, man.”  Such a high level of disrespect.

6.Never get too mad for makeup sex and hot fudge brownies.  I’ve been known to hurt myself while getting back at him, but this had to be the worst timing ever.

7. Say sorry. 

8. Commit the tiff to short term memory.  Life is too short!

9.Marriage counseling is a great idea.

10.Say I love you…regardless.

Oww!

Oww!
The weekend was sooo good!  Not much out of the ordinary, just enjoying life.  I must have been having a great time to forget my appointment at the chiropractor last Friday.  It’s my favorite appointment because I get to relax for a little while as they tend to my aching back. And my back always aches.  I guess until the kids don’t need to be picked up and helped out as much, I’ll be in pain.  Anyway, we were all outside enjoying the weather when I should have been at Dr. Lee’s.  I think we must have stayed out until 7pm.  The kids had a ball.  But I didn’t start today’s blog to talk about them.  It’s about my wonderful other half.  So if you don’t want to read about how good he’s been to me.  Stop now.  If you don’t want to know how he’s helped with our children, before and after work, then please look away!  And if you don’t want to see me write about being deeply, deeply in love with him — then I guess you’re too late.  I’ve been enjoying friendship, parenting and intimacy with him so much that I had to stop and praise God for putting us together.  For he’s the only one that can orchestrate a harmony like this.  To God be the glory!  I can’t wait to see what’s next.  E, if you’re reading, thanks for making marriage fun, interesting and exciting.  I’d love to show you the full — I’ll just see you after nine.