Posts tagged ‘Marriage’

Why We Aren’t The Hearsts

When Stephen and I first started dating I had a conversation with my mom. She asked a million questions to learn more about this new boy in my life. What’s his name? Stephen. What’s his last name? Hurst. Where do his parents live? California. HOLD THE PHONE. He is a Hearst and his family lives in California? Is he one of THE Hearsts?? Ha. No. Not so much.

My Stephen wasn’t part of the Hearst empire. I explained that his parents lived in California for a couple years for his dad’s job but had all intentions to come back to Houston. And there was really no chance they were distant relatives because the spelling is different.

As Stephen and I dated and then eventually got married, I saw more and more that we are not like the Hearst family. We are simple, frugal, clip coupons, and drink discount booze. We often have Totino’s for dinner and wait 6 months between haircuts because it kills me to shell out that much money for a trim. We are just not that classy.

We weren’t planning on going out to a nice dinner last night for our anniversary. We’d eaten out enough over the weekend that we felt like it would be okay to skip the actual anniversary night. Plus, we had run out of Stephen’s winnings from the dog track. So it looked like we’d just be eating some breaded chicken and glazed carrots in front of the television. Not that there is anything wrong with that, Stephen and I love our dinners in front of the television… especially when it’s Wheel of Fortune or Wipe Out!

But my mom informed me that she’d purchased a Groupon to a nice restaurant close by and if we wanted to, we could use it. Yes please! So we got home from work and I changed into a cotton dress (I didn’t think that capris and Stephen’s t-shirt were appropriate) and headed over there. For those of you in Houston, the restaurant is Bailey’s American Grille (<– link, check it out). The restaurant is beautiful, the menu is mouth-watering.

We were seated and given the menu and drink menu. Our waiter came over to take our drink orders. I presented him with our Groupon print out which is a basically a big sign that says “We Are Too Cheap To Come Here Regularly, But We’re All About The Discount Food.” I’m sure waiters just love to see that. He asked what we’d like to drink and we just said water. If it weren’t for the fact that I actually knew the waiter from childhood, I’m sure he’d be cursing the restaurant gods for placing us in his section instead of the next batch of wealthy patrons.

The food was fantastic. We started off with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. They were laying on this awesome lemon butter sauce and topped with goat cheese. They were supposed to be topped with crab meat as well but since I really am hoping to have a 4th and even 50th anniversary, we asked them to keep the shellfish away from Stephen. They were delicious. Melted goat cheese on fried tomatoes? My friend, nothing even sounds better than that! 

For dinner we each ordered a steak. If you recall, I’m of the mindset that you should never order a steak more cooked than medium. It’s just not right. But when you’re pregnant, they say you are supposed to have “fully cooked meat.” So I braced myself for the embarrassment of ordering a filet medium well. Thankfully I was leaning back when our waiter came back and he must’ve seen a glimpse of my enormous belly. “What would you like for dinner?” I’d like the filet, (adjust self in seat and scrunch face to hide embarrassment) medium well. “Umm. Are you..?” And he makes this awkward curved shape with his hand. Pregnant? Yes. Very. That’s why I’m ordering my steak that way. “Oh! Well congratulations.” I felt better that he knew that I wasn’t intentionally trying to ruin a perfect steak. Stephen ordered the prime rib which came to our table still mooing.

It was fantastic. Mine came with garlic mashed potatoes that, I swear, were shipped here from the Holy Throne of God. (Which really makes me excited to go to Heaven. Can you even imagine all the good food they’ve got up there?!) Stephen’s came with a potato gratin that made him moan on multiple bites. “This cheese, Chelsea! This cheese!”

We split the Baked Alaska for dessert. We were underwhelmed but I think that’s because we didn’t know what we were ordering. Overall, dinner was fantastic. My belly was full all the way up to my boobs. Know that feeling, preggos? On the way home, Stephen asked if we could rent a movie. It was already a little after 8 and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of staying up that late. “But it’s a week night!” He was silent for a few seconds and then asked, “Can we please rent a movie and watch it while I rub your feet.” SURE!

So that’s what we did. We watched It’s Complicated while Stephen drank wine and rubbed my feet and while I drank water and paused the movie for multiple potty breaks. It was a great night. We managed to pull off “classy” that evening. We didn’t spill our food on our clothes, Stephen put his pinky out while he was drinking his Guinness from his frosted mug, we said our please and thank yous. I think we could have fooled anyone. We totally could have said we were The Hearsts and they would never have been the wiser.

Until we got into bed, turned out the light, and I let out a belch.

July 29, 2010 at 8:59 am 13 comments

What God DIDN’T Mean When He Said We Should Leave Our Familes

So listen y’all, I’m all about Biblical marriage. Love, honesty, communication, submission, respect, sex, husband : wife : : God : church, honor, relationship, etc. etc. etc. I get that. I’m not saying that I’ve perfected it. By no means is that true. I’m just saying that I get it and I support it.

Do you want to know who doesn’t get it??

MY MOM.

And my sister.

Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined with his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Did you get that? Well don’t worry because it’s repeated.

Mark 10: 7-8 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

I’m not going to write a dissertation about what that actually means. If you’re curious, let me know and I’ll tell you my thoughts and feelings on the matter. What I do want to talk about it what that DOES NOT mean.

Last week I went to my parents’ house to pick something up. I was thrilled to walk in and see their house decorated for Christmas. The big tree covered in ornaments, the snow village laid out across the piano, the smaller tree stuffed with UT ornaments… it was great. I felt warm and fuzzy. And then I saw this.

In the Rosenhagen household, the stockings are hung on the kitchen cabinet with care since they don’t actually have a mantel. I never really thought it was weird until I took that picture. But something is wrong there. Before marriages, there were 5 members of my family. (Mom, Dad, Big Brother, Little Sister, Me) Then Big Brother and I got married and added 2 more to the mix… Laura and Stephen. Did you do that math?? We are now a family of 7. Did you see how many stockings were hung by the kitchen cabinet with care?  THREE.

I have one word for how I felt when I saw that: Rejection.

I immediately called my mom out. I told her that was unacceptable and that I am still a member of this family. When I got married she told me I couldn’t have my stocking because she still needed it, so I ordered super cute ones for Stephen and I from Pottery Barn. And now my wonderful childhood stocking isn’t even being hung? Not okay my friend. NOT okay. 

My mom made some excuse about how they don’t fit very well and Lindsay said that since we weren’t in the house, they didn’t need a spot. Plus she couldn’t find the extra stocking hangers. Hey Little Sister, we may not be in the house but we’re still in the FAMILY!!!  And, what? They don’t fit?? They can cuddle. If my mother-in-law can find space for her daughter-in-law and TWO of her daughters’ boyfriends, my mom can fit her own daughter.

The next day I got a text from my mom. It read, “Will this do until I can find the hangers?”

Yes mom. That’ll do. I’ll take your Christmas present out of the trashcan now.

December 10, 2009 at 9:32 am 25 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.16)

Has this week flown by or what??? Here’s another 7 bits of information that you can probably live without. For more, visit Conversion Diary.

1.
Do you want to know the only thing that sucked about my birthday? I spilled BBQ sauce on my Sperry’s.

Oh, and it was freaking freezing. But other than those two things, it was glorious.

2.
Lauren is out of the hospital. She’ll probably have details on her blog in the next few days. Something about a ginormous appendix or something. She had surgery so she’ll be recovering for a while. But yay!!! I’m glad the doctors finally figured it out.

3.
Whenever you get a spare 2 minutes, watch this video. It is so cool. It appeals to the inner-geek in me.

4.
Quick Take #4 is not suitable for younger audiences… or family members. Skip this one if you are my family. Please. Or don’t… but I warned you.

S- I want this CD for Christmas.
C- Okay.
S- But you have to give it to me while you’re naked.
C- Santa doesn’t bring naked wives.
S- I don’t believe in Santa. I believe in Jesus. Jesus brings naked wives.

(Stephen really wanted me to tell y’all about that.)

5.
So this Ten on Tuesday thing… Let’s talk about it. I had originally planned to do it just one week when I couldn’t come up with something to write about. But then y’all started participating in the comments and on your blogs and I LOVE reading your answers. But here’s my problem: Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with questions… especially because I know I’ll be answering them too. So here’s my idea: You come up with the questions.

You can email me a list of ten questions at any time and I’ll post them on the next available Tuesday. I’ll link to your site and you link to mine- insta traffic! How does that sound?

6.
This may be my last Quick Takes for a while. December and January are going to be exciting times around R&R. We’ll be celebrating Christmas and my Blogiversary (Jan. 5) so each Friday I will announce a new giveaway. It’ll be open for a few days and I’ll announce the winner the following Friday. There are so ridiculously cool things coming your way and I’m sure they’ll help you with Christmas gift ideas. Be excited. Be very excited!

7.
Houstonians going to PW’s book signing… the details have changed. It’s no longer at the Blue Willow Bookshop, it has been moved to Georgia’s Market (<– that’s a link). BUT here is the thing. You have to have a ticket to get in the signing line. Boo hiss, I know. Tickets are available at Blue Willow now and they’ll be available starting at 11:00 at Georgia’s on the day of the signing. I asked if there was a chance they’d run out of tickets. She said, ” I don’t think so.” I don’t know if that means that there are an infinite number of tickets, or if they are severely underestimating the fame of Pioneer Woman. She told me that tickets will be in color groups, so the later colors just have to wait in line longer. If you don’t have the book yet, you can call and reserve it with Blue Willow and they’ll also hold a ticket for you (281-497-8675). Both will be available at will-call at Georgia’s. You cannot call to reserve your ticket, those must be picked up in person.

I think Georgia’s is a restaurant. We should all meet up and eat afterward. Or before. Or during. Or whatever. Who is going?

If you have any questions, ask. If I haven’t already asked I will send you to the correct person.

I hope you all have fantastic weekends ahead of you. We have a few things on our plate this weekend but I’m hoping it’ll still allow time for some reading, writing, and maybe putting up the Christmas tree! I know, I know. I’m a post-Thanksgiving decorator too, but next weekend will be CRAZY so I’m thinking we may try to get a head start. Don’t judge us.

November 20, 2009 at 9:59 am 21 comments

Slow Cooking is Still Cooking

Just so y’all know, Stephen’s nose is looking excellent but now he’s got himself a big fat fever. I spent the evening wondering how in the world I’m ever going to have kids if I freak out about a 102 fever on a 25 year old man. In fact, this is on auto-post because I’ve spent most of the evening Googling his symptoms and am pretty concerned and I’m not sure what we’ll be doing in the morning. I don’t tell you this so you can be all, “Oh Chelsea, you’ll be a great mom.” No. I tell you this because this is my blog and I can be real with you.

One of the greatest parts of having a blog is that I get to tell you ridiculous things that happen to me and somehow they become less embarrassing. Usually you can relate. You often say, “That’s not so bad. One time I…” and somehow I don’t feel like quite an idiot. We work together, you and me. We complete each other.  

Another great thing about having a blog is that you read it and you often give me feedback. You’ve told me how to cut my hair, where to buy a dress, how to paint my wood paneling, what books to read. You guys are full of good info. So don’t let me down today. No pressure…

I’m back on my crock pot kick. The moods come and go. I find that I fall more in love with my crock pot when winter approaches. It’s cool outside (seriously, it’s in the 70’s today) and it’s dark when I get home from work. There is something so comforting about walking into a warm house that smells like a home cooked meal. Sometimes I feel like saying, “Splendid! The housekeeper must’ve left dinner in the oven for us. She’s such a peach!” And it’s a great feeling until I remember that I don’t have a housekeeper and I don’t say “peach” unless we’re talking about cobbler or Bellini’s. But it’s actually even better that the meal is from my crock pot because I still get credit for making a rocking dinner!

Last week Lauren told me about an easy peasy meal that she and her husband have. She throws a few chicken breasts into a crock pot, seasons them with Lawry’s, and then puts salsa on top. After a day of slow cooking you shred it up with two forks and make yourself some fantastic soft tacos.  I made these last week and they were awesome. Unfortunately I made them on a day when Stephen was still learning how to eat, so I had to make him a taco salad. He said it was good but I could tell he didn’t get the full effect. I decided I’d make them again this week.

Massive failure commenced in my kitchen.

You always hear about young brides who are learning to cook and ruin a ton of food. They either undercook things or they burn them. Or they add salt instead of sugar. Or use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon. Up until a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t relate. I never make those mistakes. I know how to cook. But recently I’ve been burning food. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, maybe I’m too comfortable in the kitchen so I’ve started experimenting more. I don’t know. But Monday night was the worst of the worst.

Monday morning I threw two seasoned chicken breasts in the crock. I put a bit of salsa on top and plugged it in. As I was doing this I thought, “I wonder if I should put 4 in there. They say you’re supposed to make sure your crock pot is mostly full. Hmmm… it may be fine. But I wonder if it makes a difference that I defrosted them. Last week I didn’t. It may cook faster. Oh well, I’ll give it a shot.”

I may never, ever give anything a shot ever again. We walked into the house on Monday evening and something didn’t smell right. My mouth didn’t water. I didn’t have the desire to scorch my tongue by eating straight from the crock pot.  I opened the lid. Stephen yelled, “NO WAY! Oh my gosh! Cool!” They were charred. They were shriveled up and hard as a rock. The salsa was burnt to the sides of the pot. It was terrible. Horrible. I was sad and embarrassed and royally pissed off.

I got in the kitchen and made us some breakfast tacos. I cursed the crock pot and went to Bible Study to whine about my misfortune and pray for the mental health of my crock pot. Then I came home and began the marinade for my brisket I was going to throw in the pot the next day.

Tuesday was a bit better. The brisket cooked an appropriate amount of time and smelled excellent. Stephen loved it but I was underwhelmed. I mean, I’m a Texas girl so I believe there is really no such thing as bad brisket unless it’s bone dry. That’s just illegal. But I know I can make a better brisket.

That’s where y’all come in. I need some recipes, brisket and other. Now I’m a firm believer that beggars can’t be choosers, but I’ve got some guidelines here. I’d like crock pot recipes. They need to be easy and TRUE crock pot recipes – None of that saute this, bake that, then let it heat in the crock. No, I need something I can throw together in the morning and leave for 9 hours. Also, I only want recipes that you’ve made. I don’t want to know recipe websites, I have plenty of those. Something that you have made and love. Got it? Post  it in the comments or on your blog or give us a link!

Help a girl out before she has a breakdown!

November 12, 2009 at 9:10 am 27 comments

Dating for Life

I very rarely get junk email. I don’t know if the marketers know I’m cheap and the triple x website owners know I’m prude but they all stay away from me. So it’s a rare occasion when I sign on to my Hotmail account and see “Junk (1)” on the front page. Every now and then there will be something that isn’t actually junk but somehow got caught by the spam blockers. I thought this might be the case a couple days ago when I signed in. But no. Junk. An email from eHarmony encouraging me to view my matches for free. Um, wrong answer.

Now let me go ahead and get this out there. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eHarmony. I don’t judge anyone for joining. I actually think it could be a really great way to meet people, specifically if you’re new to an area. However, if I were single, I’m not sure that I would join because I am way too afraid of rejection to throw myself out there like that on the internet. (Coming from a blogger, that sentence is quite ironic.) Who knows though, it’s moot. The point is this- why would they send it to me? I’m pretty certain they don’t want me to join.

My message to eHarmony is this: You’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m not interested in your match making. I’ve got a man!

Stephen and I have often wondered aloud if eHarmony would hook us up if we joined. Do they think we are good for each other? Do they think we should meet and date and connect on all 29 levels?

I read a post yesterday from a blog I read. It was about her and her husband going out to dinner and seeing a middle aged couple at the next table. She said that they were both reading their own books and not speaking to each other. Unless this was some game of theirs, this is sad. Occasionally Stephen and I will go out to dinner and not say much. Either because we are tired, we are stuffing our faces with chips and green sauce, or we are both using all of our concentration and energy on eavesdropping on the table next to us so we could talk about it the second we get in the car. But we both have so many thoughts and opinions that we can’t keep quiet for an entire dinner. Most of the time, we’ve been talking so much that Stephen hasn’t even read the menu by the time the waiter comes to take our order.

Reading that post reminded me of some truly invaluable advice that we got from the pastor at our old church in Austin. The advice was to the men.

“Men. You did not date your wife so that you could marry her. You married your wife so that you could date her.”

Reread that and think about it. Stephen often sums it up as, “Marry to date. Not date to marry.” I very rarely come to you with a lesson or a message. We all have our opinions on many subjects and we are all entitled to them. But this! This is important. This is necessary. This will ruin your marriage if you ignore it.

Men, pursue your woman. Flirt with her, flatter her, love on her, consider her feelings the way you did when you were trying so desperately to get her to fall for you. Women, look good for your man. Compliment him, hug on him, take an interest in his interests the way you did when you wanted him to think you were the perfect girl. This. is. important.

I love my husband. I knew I loved him pretty quickly after meeting him. I actually told him I wanted to be “just friends” for at least a month before dating because I knew there was something special about him. I knew that once we were together, we wouldn’t ever break up. I knew he was the one guy that would come into my life and be there forever. And I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for that. I’m not sure why I thought that I would be ready for it in a month, but whatever. We say stupid things when boys are involved.

So anyways, I told him that I wanted to be friends for a while. He laughed. He said okay but we both knew he was just humoring me. We continued to see each other almost daily. He came to my apartment to watch the Astros in the playoffs. He didn’t care much about baseball. If you know me, you should know that should be a deal breaker. But it wasn’t. You want to know why? Because he made an effort. He watched the games anyways and he took an interest in what was important to me. Never, ever underestimate the power in that. And vice versa. There is almost nothing in this world that I hate more than dancing. But he invited me to Mexican themed semi-formal where I feared there would be people I don’t know and lots of dancing. I went. And later that night, as we walked through the streets of downtown Austin, I told him I was ready to make our relationship official.

If Stephen hadn’t pursued me and insisted on seeing me, that may not have happened. (I have no doubt that we’d be together now, God clearly made us for each other… but it may not have been as quick.) Fun things happen when you date. Romantic things happen. You fall in love and get butterflies and feel special.

So my question is this: Why would this end when you’re married? Yes, I know things come up. We’re tired, busy, stressed, poor, bored, annoyed, etc, etc. I get that. I say those things too. And by no means am I tell you that Stephen and I have this dating thing down. We don’t. But we both know how important it is and we both try! And besides, why wouldn’t I want to date him? Just look at him!

Stephen Cruise

August 26, 2009 at 9:05 am 26 comments

Got Nerd?

I can vividly remember a day in high school when I was hanging out at a neighborhood pool with two of my guy friends. We were just sitting around and talking, occasionally jumping into the pool to cool off. We’d been there about 30 minutes and their dad showed up. He said he heard we were here and wanted to come hang out. So he did. He told goofy dad jokes and felt comfortable sitting around with us. At one point I was sitting at the edge of the pool with my feet hanging in the water and one of my friends was tossing the nerf football with his dad in the pool. I could hear them having some ridiculous conversation about physics or chemistry or some other science related thing that I don’t understand. And that’s when I made my decision – I wanted to marry a nerd.

There is something endearing about a man who is comfortable with himself and doesn’t take himself too seriously. There is something valuable about a dad who can joke around with his kids and take time to play around. And I decided that wasn’t something I could negotiate on. I wanted a man who was goofy. A man who was friendly and smart. A man that I knew I could have fun with for the rest of my live. There’s no time for boring when you’re going to be married for the rest of your life.

Two years ago, I accomplished that goal. I married a nerd. He’s handsome and smart and honest and sensitive. He loves me and Jesus and playing games. He’s a goof. He tells jokes that I don’t always understand. He loves my cooking and our dog. He watches the History Channel and listens to talk radio. But he is a nerd. And more importantly, he’s my nerd.

See my nerd:

Wedding 1

Oh goodness. How embarassing. We aren’t even looking at the camera. Hold on, we’ll turn around.

Wedding 2

Isn’t he cute? Yeah, I know. That’s why I married him. Or was it because of his dimples? Or his foot rubs? Or his passion for Jesus? Oh wait, I remember. I married him because he’s a nerd… that’s right. Hmm, there are so many reasons, I lose count of the most important ones.

Every now and then he’ll do something to remind me. Like a couple weeks ago when he was eating a hamburger and ended up with two globs of mustard on his shoulder. Or like a week ago when I asked him to kill a bug and he carefully caught it in a Sonic cup and smashed it with the straw.

Even though I roll my eyes and check his birth certificate to see if he’s really as old as he says he is, I love it. I love him.

A few weeks ago our friend James was in town. He said to Stephen, “Sometimes I don’t understand what you’re saying. Not until later when the truth is revealed… then I can look back and it all made sense. It’s just hard to understand at the time. You’re like God.” Don’t worry, I think God appreciated the joke.

So, happy TWO YEAR anniversary to my love. Stephen Bridges. Thank you for making my life interesting!

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the big day… Enjoy.

Wedding 3

My thoughts exactly, girls. There is nothing sexier than a man in a penguin suit! (Except maybe a man in a baseball uniform… but my dad told me he wouldn’t pay for the wedding if I put Stephen in an Astros uniform…) Oh, and it may look like my cousin Natalie is bored. She’s not. She’s just sad. Maybe because the love of her life is about to get married. Or maybe because her stupid cousin (cough…me…cough) gave her the wrong last name on the program.

Wedding 4

It could be worse, Natalie. It could be your wedding day and the DJ could have gotten your name wrong. Chew on that for a second…

Yeah, moving on. Check out my cake!!

Wedding 5

Ooooohh!

Wedding 6

Ahhhhhh!

Wedding 7

Wow!! Love that cake!!!

See ya later…

Wedding 8

I love you, Estaban!

July 28, 2009 at 9:53 am 23 comments

Lost in Translation

You all know how I feel about communication in a marriage. It’s not easy. To be honest, it stresses me out a bit. Men and women definitely speak different languages. Last night we went to a farewell party at a local bar/restaurant. As we were getting ready to leave I asked Stephen if he was ready. His answer was, “Yes. Maybe in a little bit.” What the heck does that mean?? Yes? Or maybe? Or in a little bit? Who even knows? I think we need a live-in interpreter.

 

At the bar, I was at a table with a bunch of guys. Two married, one engaged, two single. The conversation turned to girls, as I’m sure it normally does. I took a big swig of my beer and tried to blend in. This could be interesting! I’m not quite sure how the conversation started. But it was fascinating. Because I’ve been on the complete other side of the conversation many times.

 

One topic they covered was the “Is this a date?” confusion. It appears that if a date-like activity is involved, girls should know it’s a date. I whole-heartedly disagree. If it was never made clear, there is no reason we should assume this! As someone who was “tricked” into a date, I know that this assumption by men is a good way to annoy a good girl friend of yours. Men, if you normally hang out with this girl as a friend, she’s going to assume you are friends. This is not her fault. My question is this: If you know that women often misinterpret your dates as non-dates, why don’t you just make it clear to begin with??

 

Another interesting thing came up. One guy shared, “Okay, so if you ask a girl a yes or no question, we as guys assume that there are two possible answers. Yes. Or no. But oh how we are wrong! In a woman’s mind there is actually this middle non-answer. And we have no idea what to do with that. I really think that if you have that non-answer for over a week, you really should just take the ‘no’ and move on, because her answer will be much worse.” Okay, guilty. Women know that a yes or no question doesn’t have to be answered with a yes or no. There are millions of answers. And really, I feel for the guys on this one. Half the time we don’t know the answer, so how are they supposed to? So ladies, maybe we need to work on this.

 

I heard some stories from these guys about how nervous they were to ask girls out. (“I opened my mouth but nothing came out.”) How if they decide to ask a girl out, the time leading up to the actual question is pure torture. (“I couldn’t concentrate. And then there were too many people around. And they wouldn’t leave. Just leave!!!!”) I heard stories of guys getting dumped, left, and screwed over. (“Yeah, and after all of that, she dumped me after two weeks.”) I heard stories of awkward confrontations with girl’s dads. (“I was talking to her dad and she put her hand on my leg. I couldn’t think. I stopped in mid-sentence and had no idea what I was talking about. Or where I was. What did she think she was doing??”) And at the end of it all, I was stressed out. Being a guy is rough. Being a girl is rough too but mostly because of hormones. A guy’s life is rough because of us!

 

So to all of you single ladies out there, give him a break! Or use this as your soapbox and give him some hints. I haven’t changed my loyalties. I still wear pink and cheer for the girl’s team. I am still 100% against the “assumed date”… it’s deceiving and weak. But on many other topics, yeah, I can see how we are difficult. I can see why men think women are irrational and confusing. But I’d also challenge men to do what I did. Spend a couple hours at a table of women. Listen to their side of the story. You may also realize how ridiculous you are.

 

As the conversation was coming to a close and all them men were worn out and stressed from the discussion, Stephen and I looked at each other. With a heavy sigh he said, “Thanks for making sure that I never have to go through all of that again.” So yeah, we avoid some of that confusion, but we still have quite a bit of our own.

 

Now taking applications for an interpreter. Must be impartial and fluent in both male and female.

February 19, 2009 at 10:15 am 10 comments

Not So Good With the Listening

Stephen and I got married young. There is no arguing that. Whether or not you think that’s a good idea is a whole different story. I’ve heard both arguments. If you get married too old, you’re already set in your ways. You know how you like things done and it throws your whole world off if someone comes in there and tries to change it up. If you get married too young, you haven’t experienced enough life. You’ll end up getting bored or realizing what else is out there and you’ll be unhappy. Well I don’t know about the first one, but as for the second, I disagree. Stephen is anything but boring! And no, maybe we haven’t experienced much, but now we get to do it together. And in my opinion, there’s no better way!

 

But, yes, we knew we were getting married young. We knew pre-marital counseling was extremely important. And we knew we needed to discuss all the ‘deal-breakers’ right away. (Actually, we discussed that early on in the relationship… because, really, what’s the point in wasting time on someone with different goals?) Before Stephen and I got married, we read lots of books. Some were better than others. Our favortites were Five Love Languages, For Men Only, and For Women Only. I highly recommend these books, even if you aren’t getting married. After books, counseling, and discussions with older-wiser marrieds, we found that there are three main areas that bring on conflict.

 

1. Money

2. Sex

3. Communication

 

I don’t think that this strikes anyone as a big surprise. Money, I think we’re okay. We have the same goals, same desire to save save save, and are equally as excited about good deals. If I’d quit buying books and Stephen would order water when we go out to eat, we’d probably never argue about money at all! So, put a check in that box. Sex? Well that’s none of your business so we’ll just breeze past that one.

 

I would argue that communication is the biggest problem for most couples. How can it not be? Half of each relationship is female. In case you haven’t noticed, females are unstable (instable?). Words, tones, contexts, volume, gestures, and even pauses all have meanings to us. The simple question “What are you doing?” can be interpreted in so many different ways depending on how we may or may not interpret all of the other factors. And to rub salt in the wound, those other factors can be interpreted differently each day of the week… and, no, we won’t give you the schedule. So tread lightly, honey.

 

Let’s explain this further. Ladies, just think about it. We’ll put Stephen and I in this situation so that you can still appear innocent. If Stephen came home one day and said, “What’s for dinner?” There are many ways this could go down:

 

Scenario 1: Yesterday I took some chicken out of the freezer to defrost, I have recently been to the grocery store, and I don’t have a headache. I have a planned menu and life is good. So I respond, “Well I thought I’d give that chicken dish another shot. I know it’ll never really be like your mom’s but we can keep trying, right? Why don’t you go ahead and have a glass of wine, it’ll still be about 30 minutes until it’s ready.”

 

Scenario 2:I have a headache, I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer yesterday, the fridge is empty, the pantry is empty, Rookie is hungry and keeps asking to go play with Molly because I’m boring. I’m feeling like a failure since I can’t feed my husband or entertain my dog. So I respond, (please adjust your reading tone of voice for this one), “I don’t know! Ugh! I work full time too, you know. We have no food in this stupid house and I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store on Sunday because I was too busy knitting and napping. The kitchen is a mess, I can’t even think straight. Why can’t you just like soup?” 

 

Poor men don’t stand a chance. And the honest truth is that he was only asking to make small talk. I could have said that I was frying pig feet and he wouldn’t have heard me. So, yeah, communication is a hard one. If you were sitting in our living room this past weekend, this is what you would have heard.

 

Stephen: They interviewed the Harlem Globetrotters on the radio the other day.

Chelsea: What radio?

Stephen: The Harlem Globetrotters.

Chelsea: (annoyed) That’s a good answer to the question I asked.

Stephen: (defensive) What?

 

So my marital advice? If your communication is lacking, at least make it funny.

February 10, 2009 at 9:52 am 5 comments


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