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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

I Tetrised the heck out of my stuff to get it all to fit in my tiny trunk.

Dear Readers:

I’ve been keeping this blog for 12 years. I started it because I was about to make a class of students start one. I figured I needed to practice what I preached.

Anyway, though I’ve traveled all over the place and written about my adventures, my home base (i.e., where I get my mail) has always been Georgia.

That changes today. I’m Missouri bound.

Q: Um … why?
A: I got a great new job, and I’ll be based in St. Louis.

Q: Isn’t that where your birth family is?
A: Yes. The universe clearly has something to say. It’s also where I have loads of adopted family.

Q: Is your family excited?
A: Excited for me, yes. But Eddie and the boys aren’t coming with me right now.

Q: What?
A: Yeah. Eddie did not thrive when we moved to Atlanta. He missed Savannah, his job, his friends. So he went back to work at his old job. He’s much happier. The boys are staying in Atlanta with friends until winter break, then they will join him. I’ll be back with them as often as I can, and we’ll work it out.

Q: You think this is the right decision?
A: I effing hope so. We had many family discussions. We decided on this plan together.

Q: You’re ok?
A: Eh. In general. I watched two episodes of “Intervention” last night because I couldn’t sleep. Of course, I convinced myself I was scarring the children. I told Gideon that this morning. He rolled his eyes at me. So maybe I’m not scarring the children.

Q: But what if you are?
A: What if I am? This is the path we chose together. At least the boys will see their parents doing jobs they really like.

Q: When do you start?
A: Monday. I’ll be staying in university housing for two months. My plan is to find a permanent place this week, so I can make arrangements to get all my stuff moved up there.

Q: And you’re sure you’re ok?
A: Well, there’s been plenty of ugly crying. I made a road-trip playlist. I got to “Wide Open Spaces” around Chattanooga, and lost my shit.

If you are inclined, send positive thoughts my way as I (we) embark on this new journey.

I am looking forward to writing about a new environment. I’m sure the Show Me State is named that for a reason.

Meet me in St. Louis,
Beth

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Dear Friends,

If you’ve spent any time at all reading this blog, you know how much I love all kinds of music. Well, almost all.

Two of you (Logan and Julia) wrote music-related Facebook posts recently.

I’ve done a take on the “10 albums” challenge, but this is different: These are songs that you associate with a time or a person.

Here are 15 songs indelibly linked to a certain someone.

“Tusk,” Fleetwood Mac and “Escape,” Rupert Holmes: These were the first two 45s I bought at my friend Michele’s suggestion. Solid choices.

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” Wham: Michele again. We played tennis rackets and sang this at 2 in the morning during a sleepover. A videotape exists somewhere.

“9 to 5,” Dolly Parton: I dressed up as Dolly and performed this for a talent show at church. I think of my dad because he made me do it. I mean that in the very best way. I had not yet fully discovered my ham gene yet.

“Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton: At the church talent show the next year, I sang this while my dad played guitar. We were huge Dolly fans. Clearly.

“Beat My Guest,” Adam Ant: This is not a song that is appropriate for ninth graders, but there Julia and I were — titillated at the lyrics and salivating over Stuart.

“1999,” Prince: Julia again. See screenshot above.

“I Melt With You,” Modern English: High-school boyfriend Tom. It was “our” song.

“It Takes Two,” Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock: My Chi Omega sisters and I changed the words and sang this during Greek Week. I STILL remember most of our lyrics (“The situation that Delta Sig is in … “).

“No Sex,” Alex Chilton: Mike put this on a mix tape. I had never heard of Alex Chilton. Mind blown.

“Friday I’m in Love,” The Cure: Post-college boyfriend Rob. “Our” song because that’s what was playing when our friend Harry caught us kissing on the Malone’s steps. Oops.

“Mr. Vain,” Culture Beat: Eggy “watermelon” lipsynced to this while Sophia danced on a box for a music video Eddie had to do for a class. Alex debuted some dance moves. James too.

“I Swear,” John Michael Montgomery: Eddie and I danced to this for our first dance at our wedding.

“Si Tuvieras Tus Ojos,” Edgar Joel: This was on a Salsa Mix CD our friend Billy gave me. I’ll never forget him dancing to this. For a husky guy, he is shockingly graceful. (Billy, that is. I have no idea about Joel’s physique.)

“Take On Me,” a-ha: This is my song with Gideon. We sing it with gusto. Sometimes we can hit that high note. Sometimes not.

I feel like this is a Part 1 post. As soon as I put it up, I know I’ll think of others.

What are yours? Tell me in the comments.

Happy trip down memory lane!
Beth

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Dear Gary Chapman:

Trish the Human told me about your “Five Love Languages” philosophy ages ago. I have three languages competing for the top, but Acts of Service usually wins. No surprise.

I would like to propose Five Text Languages. I’m pretty sure everyone I know falls into one of these categories.

  1. Actual words
  2. Gif
  3. Emoji
  4. Bitmoji
  5. None

Words: I text in full sentences with proper grammar and punctuation. (Of course I do.) Gideon does too. Dominic texts in words without grammar or punctuation, and I want to die.

Gif: My niece Chelsea is definitely a Gif fan. This is my second favorite way to communicate.

Emoji: Eddie is an emoji user. And sometimes I can’t figure out what he means.

Bitmoji: Trish the Human is a bitmoji fan, as is my new friend Andy. (A discussion with him was the inspiration for this post.)

None, aka radio silence: This style is no style at all because these people DON’T TEXT back for DAYS, if ever. Brian and Edgar, I’m looking at you.

Which one are you?

I’m guessing you use words because you are an author.

If you read this, let me know in the comments.

Yours in service,
Beth

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Concept of mental load explained in one frame of a comic

Dear Men in Relationships with Women:

“Am I the Asshole?” on Reddit is alive with the sound of squabbling. One woman is upset about her boyfriend who doesn’t do chores (and doesn’t flush). A man thinks his girlfriend should do all the chores because she works from home.

Men, have you heard of the concept of mental load? No? Let me share it with you. (Thanks to Goat Yoga Lisa for introducing me.)

You don’t have time to read this whole thing? Yeah, women don’t either.

That’s the point. And the pandemic has made everything worse.

When did women sign up to be house managers? Hint: We didn’t.

Maybe in the Cleaver-style 1950s, things were more equitable. Men worked. Women stayed at home, raised the kids, and kept house. But now most women have full-time jobs and STILL have all the things to do at home.

Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, I’m oversimplifying. Yes, yes, yes.

But still my point remains.

I know you want to @ me with sentences that start with:

  • “But not all men … “
  • “But what about … “
  • “But I do … “

Please don’t.

Look. Listen. I’m sure you are lovely and think you are an equal partner.

But I bet you are not.

Ask the lady in your life. Listen to what she says.

Now that I’m conscious of mental load, I notice things I never noticed before. Gender roles are so ingrained.

A couple of weeks ago, we were visiting the house where my sister in law is staying until she gets her own place. It’s the home of a lovely professional couple. We were all outside chatting: three male adults, two male teenagers, three female adults. The lady of the house was being a good Southern hostess — getting drinks, bug spray, snacks, etc. My SIL disappeared. I found her in the kitchen alone making dinner. I rolled up my sleeves and started helping. We were in there working on dinner for about two hours while the guys had a nice chat outside.

To recap: Women inside making dinner or serving snacks/drinks. Men outside relaxing.

To be fair, when my SIL asked a couple of the men to help with one part of the dinner, they did.

But they had to be asked.

Now reread the article I linked.

That’s right.

Now do you see?

I thought you might.

Thanks in advance for taking on more of the mental load. Your partner will appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Beth

*Credit to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

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Dear People With Normal Human Eyes,

Remember I said I needed glasses almost all the time?

Well, I don’t need glasses to see certain things.

For those things, I’m apparently the ONLY one who can see them.

It’s like my mom superpower.

Here are some of the things only I can see:

Ramen in the sink.

Remains of ramen in a pot.

A measuring cup that won’t get clean.

That there’s no cheese in this container.

The green light on the washer indicating clothes are done.

That the recycling bin is full.

I should feel powerful with all this magical sight.

But I actually feel drained.

Tell me: Can you see these things with your normal human eyes? Or am I really that special?

Yours truly,
Hawkeye

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Dear @adampocalypse,

I’m very sorry my public reply to your public question to AITA on Twitter upset you so much that you blocked me.

I’ve never been blocked before — not to my knowledge, anyway.

Maybe you block people regularly, so you don’t remember our exchange.

(And if you do block people regularly, perhaps you should stay off Twitter. Or stop commenting on tweets from popular accounts.)

To remind you, @AITA_reddit posted a selection involving a grown woman whose teenaged boys were mortified by her One Direction decor in one of the bathrooms.

As a mother of teenaged boys, and as someone who loves One Direction, I was interested in the post and fully on her side (as most people were).

But there’s always one person who wants to make it awkward.

That person was you.

It seemed like quite a leap from liking a band to being a pedophile. I’m shocked 584 people implied they agreed with you.

I was compelled to respond. (Because of course I was.) But I wasn’t the only one.

1. Target sold these candles.
2. I guarantee you that most moms of teenaged boys are not into thinking sexually about teenaged boys. They are gross.
3. Yes, I know some women do. That’s gross too. And, thankfully, not that common.

I think you are too sensitive to be on a public forum. You also seem to be projecting.

I am a middle-aged woman who thinks Harry Styles is very cute. He does not meet the age requirement (half my age plus seven) for naughtiness, and also, HE’S A CELEBRITY I’LL NEVER MEET.

Harry IS dating an older woman in the age-gap allowance (Olivia Wilde), so good for her.

(Side note on the age thing: I’m very excited to know that I can date all those hot middle-aged men when I’m 80. Cougaring FTW!)

When my aforementioned teenaged boys were young, they liked to watch iCarly. So I watched too. I thought Freddie Benson was adorable, but I did not want to sleep with him.

Now?

Hello, Freddie!

But no. Still not in the acceptable range. (Also, I’m married. Hi, Eddie!)

My point?

You can think someone is cute and not want to groom them for sex.

Just because a grown woman likes a boy band does not mean she is a pedophile.

I’m sorry if that’s hard for you to believe. And that, sadly, says more about your life.

I’m sorry my response upset you enough for you to block me. You didn’t need to worry, though: I had not planned on having any subsequent interaction with you.

May your future responses to @AITA_reddit bring you more peace, joy and solidarity than this one.

Sincerely,
@BethCon5

*I’m apparently a mean girl, so this works.

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Dear Santa:

Any other year, this SNL sketch really would have resonated with me.

But this year is different. All my whining bitching complaining gentle nudging finally paid off.

Eddie and the boys did something great for Mother’s Day AND my birthday.

Not only did I get a balloon and presents to open (this is a big deal), but Eddie also apparently was paying attention when I said this to Gideon:

When you get further along in your guitar lessons, I’ll start playing drums again. We’ll start a band.

Eddie got me a drum kit for my birthday.

He didn’t really knew how to set it up, but BY GOD HE TRIED!

😳

It’s great, but we live in an apartment. His rationale was that if the leaf blower guy can do his thing every day, so can I.

Yeah, no.

Now I am looking for studio space.

Still, it’s a thoughtful, fun gift. Hella impractical, but appreciated.

This year, I feel certain my family will come through for me on good Christmas gifts. So I’m going to ask for more altruistic things:

  1. COVID vaccines for normal people. (Certainly not for asshat politicians who spent months denying COVID, organizing super-spreader events and not wearing masks.)
  2. The ability to travel freely again.
  3. A peaceful transition of power.
  4. Jail time for the guilty.
  5. Control of the Senate. (Side benefit: Mitch sidelined.)

I hope that this list isn’t too hard to finagle. If anyone can do it, you can.

Thanks, Santa.

Love always,
Beth

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Dear Friends and Family,

Though this year has sucked in ways large and small, I’m thankful for all of you. I have big emotions regarding a few of you, but I’ll save that for a later post.

On this day of Thanksgiving (glossing over the actual horrific origins of this celebration), I’m thankful for small things (in no particular order):

  • Apothic Red for just $10
  • Jeans that fit
  • Fozzy
  • Gideon’s eclectic taste in music
  • Dominic’s dry comments
  • Eddie’s workout habits
  • Purple nail polish
  • Massage therapy
  • Airpods
  • Uno
  • Alexa (but not Siri, sorry)
  • Twitter
  • Apple Music
  • FaceTime, Skype, What’s App, Zoom and Houseparty
  • Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus
  • I have spoken.”
  • Bubble tea
  • Gus’s chicken
  • Writing ability
  • Cooking skills
  • That I can drive a stick shift
  • Ancestry.com
  • The election is over (It is. For real, Donnie.)
  • Saturday Night Live
  • The Amazing Race
  • Jersey Shore Family Vacation
  • Rollerball pens
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Panhandle Slim
  • Frequent flier miles that don’t expire
  • Friends who invite me over just to drink
  • People who have given me a chance to grow as a person and a professional
  • The fact that the first “Happy Thanksgiving” texts I received were from the moms of my sons’ friends (three of them!)
  • A balcony with lounge chairs and good Atlanta weather so I can be outside
  • Fellow bloggers (like this one and this one)
  • The cute but not functional scarf Goat-yoga Lisa made me

Adorable, right? In the background is the not-cute-but-functional blanket I made.

For what are you thankful? Tell me in the comments.

All my love,
Beth

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Dear Eddie,

Today we have been married longer than many of my students have been alive.

Yikes.

One of your friends wrote on Facebook about her parents being married 58 years. She said, “It has never been perfect, but it has always been interesting.”

Yeah. What she said.

The last couple of years have been TOUGH for us. Hormonal teenagers, a big move, new jobs, a PANDEMIC — many factors have made it difficult.

I try to remember why we’ve lasted this long.

It can be summed up in two photos:

This is actually when my obsession with bad taxidermy began: Eddie and I were replicating specimens while waiting for a kids field trip to begin.

Clearly the same sense of humor.

In fact, this time five years ago, we were in Italy. One of the highlights of the trip was taking photos with a man sleeping next to us at a restaurant.

We ended up seeing our new friend the next day. He was looking a bit worse for wear.

Interestingly, later in the trip we became somewhat of a zoo exhibit ourselves.

Yes, those are the fish that eat dead skin.

In addition to the funny factor, you also are willing to go along with my crazy plans.

Halloween 2012: I handled the costumes and makeup. I’m crafty once a year.

We also find the same things horrifying. Like a house full of dolls and tchotchkes. Shudder.

Your face says it all.

Thank you for two great kids and many years of good memories. Hope we can keep on laughing!

Happy anniversary!

Love,
Beth

*Thanks, Paul Simon.

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Dear Evangelicals for Trump:

I infiltrated your ranks Thursday night, against my own best interests and Eddie’s wishes.

We were both afraid it would be shoulder to shoulder with no masks in sight.

We were wrong.

The hotel employed social distancing efforts, and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. At first.

I didn’t take any chances. I double masked — with a twist.

My mask says “But her emails.” Heh heh.

To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames upon arrival.

Let’s just say you’re not my usual crowd.

And I did find it very funny that I followed a car with the custom license plate “SAVED” into the parking garage.

So why did I go?

Because I genuinely wanted to know how people who follow the Bible can also follow Trump.

I was raised Presbyterian. I know scripture. And nowhere does it say:

And if thou wanteth the p—-, thou shalt grabbeth the p—-. And thy womenfolk will submit, for it is good.

Anyway, the crowd warmer was a gospel couple. Lovely, but not exactly sing-along style. Not for me, anyway, because, you know, HEATHEN.

The emcee for the night welcomed the crowd, then introduced Jonathan Cain.

The Jonathan Cain from Journey.

And my inner voice (in the voice of Daveed Diggs) said, “Whaaaaat?!”

Apparently, he’s got a new single to promote.

 

I don’t know what you thought of “More Like Jesus.” In my humble opinion, it’s no “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and he’s no Steve Perry, vocally.

(In other words, it’s not a banger.)

Next up was Jentezen Franklin, a “trusted voice for our president.”

And it was then, 30 minutes in, that someone finally explained why religious folks would support Trump:

It’s not about four more years. It’s about 37 more years. It’s about two more Supreme Court justices who are pro-life, pro-Israel, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Without that, according to him, “We won’t have the freedoms we grew up with.”

“What freedoms are those?” I was wondering when the dude brought out his saxophone.

I’m not kidding.

Jentezen Franklin plays “America the Beautiful.” He didn’t follow with “Baker Street,” sadly.

I guess he didn’t want Cain to upstage him.

This was getting a talent show kind of vibe, so I was excited to see what Bishop Harry Jackson would do.

But he just promoted his new book and explained racism to a room of mostly white people. Y’all were polite, but unenthusiastic.

Bishop Harry Jackson didn’t show off his musical talents.

Interestingly, he was the first person to mention the president by name: 45 minutes into the event.

Ralph Reed, the next speaker, alluded to why.

Donald Trump with his imperfect past and with his personality … God chooses to use whoever he chooses to use.

Ah. Gotcha.

God and Jesus are the headliners; Trump is support.

Y’all seemed to love Ralph, even though he didn’t do anything music-related either.

He emphasized that you need to support Trump because he is:

Pro-life
Pro-marriage
Pro-freedom
Pro-constitution

Reed claimed Trump is “the most pro-life president in American History.”

Imma let you finish but first, let me remind you of his response to the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, let’s back up. I can’t help it.

Pro-life: Just unborn babies, apparently
Pro-marriage: Only between a man and a woman
Pro-freedom: Religious freedom to discriminate
Pro-constitution: A Tea Party battle cry regarding the expansion of the federal government (maybe)

OK. I’m done for the moment. Go on.

Next up: Alveda King, niece of MLK Jr.

She talked about squash plants and chipmunks. I was a little confused. But then she said:

Some things never change. Some things do change. There was a change of the guard in 2016.

And then she said something about Planned Parenthood “ripping little babies up.”

I see. Abortion. That’s the main driver.

OK, then. Let me say this about that:

No one is hyped to get an abortion. It’s a last resort. Also, no one is “pro abortion.” So let’s agree on one thing: The goal is to reduce abortions. How do we do that?

As we’ve seen with prohibition and the “war on drugs,” making them illegal won’t work. People will find a way, but it makes it very dangerous for women. So to me, the solution is to put more money into sex education, healthcare and contraception.

If you are pro-life (and really, aren’t we all?) then you should be supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that actively help women with the above needs.

Alright.

Moving on to the next speaker, Richard Lee, who is as orange as the evening’s celebrant: the Cheeto in Chief.

He didn’t address abortion like everyone else. His main beef seemed to be with what is being taught in school: “garbage.”

Oh, and the Antichrist in the form of Democrats.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Antichrist. It’s an evil party.

I thank God that he sent Donald J. Trump to us. He is a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

As much as you seemed to like this statement, I could tell you were restless. He willfully went over his allotted time and joked about it.

You were ready for the final act: Pastor Paula White. I found out later she is married to Jonathan Cain. Ah. He’s her third husband. With overlaps in relationships. So she’s truly taking those commandments seriously.

(🙄)

I mean, good for her for breaking into a man’s world in all respects.

In 2017, she became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.

She spent her time this night trying to convince everyone that Trump really is “godly” and “knows his scripture.”

Sure.

All I know is that I was hot in my two masks (and perhaps because of the fire and brimstone), so I slunk out a side door.

Y’all weren’t hot because all but about 12 of you shed your masks mere moments into the event.

(And that made me feel like I was marinating in the ‘Rona.)

Anyway, thanks for letting me bear witness. And now I’m on the Trump Train mailing list! This should be fun.

Your obedient servant friend,
Beth

Yeah. You know how I feel about bashing the news media.

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