Posts filed under ‘Marriage’

What Happened to the Girl I (Was When I Got) Married?

I’ve just had one of those days.  You know — when you drop your kids off at camp (or school or whatever) and suddenly, it’s 3:00, and you haven’t had lunch, and you never made it to the market, and you didn’t deal with your serious dark root s situation AGAIN – but it’s already time to pick up the kids?  One of those days.

It made me think about a book I’m been reading: “What Happened to the Girl I Married” by Michael Miller.  Which is good, because I’m reading it as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club. (I write for NYC Moms blog, which is part of the SV Group.  Confused yet?)

Anyway, the book is about a guy (Miller) who spends a year “in his wife’s shoes at home.” (wonder if she wears Blahniks!), as a way to discover what happened to the girl…well, you get the drift.

I know what happened to her.  She lost herself on the way to the dry cleaners and the pediatricians, and the exterminator, and the optometrist, and and and and and.

How does that happen?  How does the day get away from you so fast?  Miller thought his wife was just inefficient. Ha! He learned the hard way what a hard way of living being a full time stay at home Mom can be.

Miller really does give it his all — He tackles the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning. But for all of his realizations — some of which, I admit, are validating and worthwhile to read (I especially liked his idea of SAHMs living life in fragments)– the book is really about him.  His journey.  His conquering it all.  His realization and transformation from corporate egomaniac or domesticated, sympathetic uber-husband and father.

All I could think of while I was reading it was — where is the girl he marred in all of this?  What was she doing while he took over her life to learn how to respect what she does?  Why don’t we hear from her?

I know why.  It’s a man’s world.  Even in a book written to help men understand what their wives go through each day.Even in a book that advises men to acknowledge and praise their wives.(And Michael, I do acknowledge and praise you for doing this.)  Because, what he doesn’t say is: encourage your wife to be herself.  Encourage your wife to follow her own dreams while you hold down the fort.

In the end – he’s just making life more palatable for women (not to mention himself — there’s a lot about getting enough sex)…as long as they’re still at home waiting for him when he gets back from wherever he’s been all day. I don’t mean to say that he hasn’t genuinely changed the way he perceives, appreciates, and communicates with his wife.  He has.  But it’s still a book about men.  About husbands appeasing wives, understanding wives — as if “wife” were some state of being universal to women.

On days like today, I’d love for my husband to read this book – lacking though I found it. Because at least this guy made the attempt.  I’d rather he universalized, instead of personalized the whole thing. I wish he didn’t repeat himself quite so much. (yes, I know.  Your father was a produce man)  but still — he tried.  Which is more than I can say for a lot of husbands I know. (not mine.  of course.  never mine.)

But honsetly, what I really need is a book about how to clean the house, make the beds, do the shopping, wipe the tears, arrange the flowers, prepare the meal, do the dishes, fold the laundry, “do” the husband, and still have time to hang out and be myself.  That book, I’d love. I But until it comes out, I’ll still be searching.

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July 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm 1 comment

Valentine Schmalentine

kiss_cutoutMy High School sold carnations on Valentines Day to raise money.  Girls like Cynthia Gerardi (the most beautiful girl in 10th grade) and Courtney Funston (the blondest and cheerleader-est) got ten, twenty, I don’t know, eighty-seven flowers each, either from boys hoping to capture their hearts, or girls hoping to ride their wave of popularity.

I got two.  One from my  gay friend David, and one from my best girlfriend, both of whom understood all-to-well what it was like being the only kid in school who didn’t get ANY flowers at all.

When I was in college, my boyfriend couldn’t win.  If he sent flowers, I thought it was  a cliche, that he didn’t care enough to be creative.  The Shakespearean sonnet he sent one year was great…but when he tried it again the next year…not so much.  Lingerie was a lose/lose prospect.  If he bought my actual size, I’d be insulted that he saw me as so big.  If he bought it too small…well, it would be too small, and trust me, a big girl in a little teddy is nobody’s idea of a good time. I finally had an actual non-gay boyfriend and I turned Valentines Day into a tightrope of Hallmark Cards strung over a vat of bubbling chocolate.  And there were rose thorns everywhere.

In my post college single days, every Valentine’s day was fraught with meaning.
Would the guy I was seeing take me out that night and if he didn’t what did that mean?  Should I give a Valentine to that cute guy at the coffee shop, or would that be like wearing a sign that read desperate and dorky?  If there was no date, was going out with friends pathetic or a statement of our independence?  Would I  run from the office screaming if I had to  hear the receptionist at work gush loudly over yet another flower delivery that wasn’t for me?

But now, I’m married.  I don’t really care about getting flowers, I don’t want candy (post 40-spread, anyone?), and I don’t expect much romance.  Love, consideration, affection, support.  That’s enough for me.  At least from my husband.  So last year, from my kids, I wanted something more. (more…)

February 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Me and Sarah Jessica

From ActressArchives.comWith the new Sex and the City movie all anyone is talking about, I couldn’t help but wonder: Will anyone still tell me I look like Sarah Jessica Parker?

We have the same hair (ish), the same color eyes, the same large-ish nose with a bump, even the same little mole on our chins. Hey, knock six inches and forty pounds off me, and you’d swear we were twins!

The difference is, even though we’re the same age, we’re both moms, and we both live in NYC, she’s still considered a sexy woman and I’m considered…well, not. The only men who think I’m sexy are over sixty. Ouch.

Back when the Sex in the City series was in it’s heyday, people used to literally stop me in the streets. “Are you Carrie?” they’d ask. I was young and single and dating in the city. I really was Carrie (minus the inches, the pounds, the fame, the shoes, and the wardrobe). But it was also that I was — dare I say it — sexy. Not so pretty maybe, but I had… something.

Sarah Jessica Parker still has it. Me? Seems like somewhere between changing diapers and helping with homework, I’ve lost it. I’m not really complaining, mind you. I think that a big part of being sexy is putting yourself out there, and back in the day, well, let’s just say that I was out there quite a bit. Now, I’m in here. I’m with my kids. I’m at my computer. I’m not looking for love, I’ve found it. I’m not trying to prove myself by attracting strangers. My husband still finds me attractive (God bless him) and that’s good enough for me.

Still, if Carrie can come back bigger than life on the big screen after four years, would it be so terrible if just once, someone could think that was me? Chic, and sexy and fabulous?

Maybe I should get a huge flower and pin it to my dress. Maybe I should get a tutu and stand in front of a bus. Or maybe I should just thank the powers that be that after fourteen years with me, my husband is still glad to be having sex in the city with me.

June 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm 1 comment

Looking Good at Any Price

Have you ever noticed that the worse your body is, the more you have to spend on a bathing suit?

I’ve been to the Lands End site with all of it’s symbols about body type and claims of flattery. And I’ve always liked the suits. Not too flashy. Not too revealing. But in the end, not too exciting, either. They’re all fine in a “I’m a middle aged woman who drives a minivan, has a bad perm, and still uses cans of Cream of Mushroom soup to make a casserole” kind of way. But chic they’re not.

This year, I decided to actually go to a store and try on bathing suits. No easy task. Like most women over forty who’ve borne children, trying on bathing suits is as depressing as it gets. What I didn’t realize is how expensive it can get!

The average price of a bathing suit at my local (and totally fabulous) lingerie store, The Town Shop, is $150. Seriously. They have a few bathing suits under $100, but most fall into the $125-$225 range. Shocking. I must be naive, but I had no idea a little piece of Lycra could cost so much.

But I had decided that, like a good haircut, a good bathing suit can change everything. So I sucked it up (and sucked it in) and tried one on. I don’t know who this Karla Colletto is, but man, can she design a bathing suit. I’ve tried the Miracle Suit thing, and quite frankly, the only miracle is that they can get away with their copywrited claim that you’ll look ten pounds lighter in ten seconds. They’re relatively flattering, but they ain’t no Karla Colletto. In her suits I looked – are you ready for this? — GOOD! Do you understand the magnitude of that? I LOOKED GOOD IN A BATHING SUIT. Talk about shocking.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the cut, maybe it’s the fabric. But I don’t care what it is. It was worth the staggeringly high –wait for it…$225 — price tag.

I decided to see if my “the worse you look the more you have to spend” theory applied to exercise clothing as well. Usually, I head to Filenes or Target and buy my exercise clothing there. After all, why spend big bucks on something you’re just going to sweat up anyway?

How wrong I was. I have only one thing to say to you: Lululemon. These pants are amazing. Their seam runs down the back of the leg, instead of the sides, making your legs look longer. The waist band hits at exactly the right spot to avoid side-bulge, and minimize butt bulge.

In my Lululemon signature pants I really do look ten pounds lighter. Unfortunately, they also left my wallet nearly $100 lighter. A small price to pay for a small butt.

So alas, it’s true. The worse you look, the more you pay. But the bright side is, if you’re willing to spend the big bucks, you can look like a million bucks. Or, OK, $100,000 bucks. But that’s rich enough for me.

June 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm 10 comments


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