Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do Throw Pillows Serve a Purpose? Part 2

"All marriages are happy.  It's the living together afterward that causes all the trouble."
Raymond Hull

Do Throw Pillows Serve a Purpose?
Part 2

Marital Success and its Relation to the Open Concept Floor Plan
So I was in the kitchen one eve drinking an adult beverage, preparing dinner and watching an Alabama football game.  My husband came in and turned the game down and started talking to me.  I got annoyed.  I know my annoyance threshold is generally low, but this was a legitimate annoyance.  I was participating in a wifely domestic activity all the while watching football, something typically enjoyed by most men.  And I am a girl born and raised in Alabama.  Our state flower is a football and we like football as much as men. I put my drink down and meal preparation ceased.  I asked him to turn the TV up because I could no longer hear the game.  To which he replied, “Oh, I turned it down so we could talk.”  During my long pause and crickets chirping, my drinking and meal prep resumed all while my mind was being flooded with questions such as “Really?  Right now?  Is game time really the best time for intimate conversation?”  I finally formed a good question to liken my chances of being able to watch the game without being distracted with unnecessary chatter.  “I won’t be able to give you my undivided attention during the game.  Can we talk later when you will have my full attention?”  Needless to say, I got to watch the game uninterrupted.  In fairness to my husband, he does like football, just not Alabama football. He had already watched LSU play that week.

And on yet another side note, does anyone ever wonder if it was a man or a woman who came up with idea of an open concept floor plan, a home where the kitchen opens up to/looks over the den?  This is a question I have pondered many times because I can see it going either way. 

The male idea: I can watch TV sporting events year round while my wife is in the kitchen cooking.  I will be meeting her need for quality time because we will practically be in the same room together.  I can gaze into her eyes from across the room during commercials.  And an added bonus, I can meet her need for words of affirmation.  The words I yell at the screen can serve a dual purpose.  “Yes!  Keep it going! Great move!” work for encouraging the star quarterback and my wife in cooking my favorite recipe. 

The female idea:  I can cook meals at the same time I am watching The Bachelor or The Notebook.  I will be meeting his need for acts of service.  As an added bonus, I can meet his need for physical touch.  Since he will be nearby watching TV with me (i.e. sleeping in the recliner), I can easily pat him on the hand or pinch his face while I am covering him with a blanket or when I freshen up his drink.                              

So, surely you can see my dilemma in determining man or woman idea.     

Book reference:  The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Do Throw Pillows Serve a Purpose? Part 1

"I don't fit into any stereotypes.  And I like myself that way." C Joybell C

Do Throw Pillows Serve a Purpose?
Part 1

The rare occasion of male-female role reversal in my life always makes me laugh.  I mean, I am not stereotypical in female areas such as clothes shopping and the number of shoes I possess.  However, I think I am pretty typical in all others.  I like romance novels and chick flicks. I do not like to take out the trash.  I like chocolate and red wine, preferably enjoyed together.  I do not like to cut the grass, even just a small area that should be easily managed by those of average coordination with a weed eater (I had a dangerous, ineffective attempt at independently maintaining my lawn as a single female homeowner).  I like bubble baths and this can be combined with wine and chocolate as wellJ.  I do not like to get my hands dirty (Some have stated this suggests I possibly have a touch of OCD but I chalk it up to being acutely aware of the importance of hand hygiene as a pediatric nurse).  Well, I think you get the point.  Now to my accurate account of real life events.

 Rorschach and the Budding Friendship

This story takes me back to my college days.  That was such a fun, interesting time of my life.  A time of reckless abandonment, a time of a little hurt and heartache, a time of tremendous growth all while trying to become a fulfilled, responsible adult.  Good times!  Great memories!

Before I decided to go to nursing school, I wanted to be a child psychologist.  So I got a psychology degree with biology as my minor.  In one of my biology classes I met Mike, who became one of my greatest friends.  We were sitting at the same table in lab together.  I think I was supposed to be dissecting a baby pig, or small ferret, or maybe it was an earthworm.  Regardless, I was uneasy and it felt unnatural, even though it was clearly lifeless and reeked of formaldehyde.  In a moment of weakness I must have asked the nearest person, who happened to be Mike, for assistance.  He offered help.  And then he later offered to have me over to his house so we could work on our lab project.  I was easily annoyed that he noted my lab technique incompetency/uneasiness.  (On a side note, I think incompetency/uneasiness might be a recurring theme in my life: my less-than stellar driving record, my inability to operate small machinery such as weed eaters and my discomfort/near panic while trying to snorkel.  Ordinary, mundane events for most; unnatural and challenging for me). But anyway, regardless of my annoyance, I noted that he offered to cook for me.  I said yes because I immediately envisioned myself enjoying something men cook on the grill, like a hot dog or a steak!  I get to eat something I love all while working on my A for class.  GPA was really important to me! 

Mike called me later that week in anticipation of our offsite lab gathering.  We talked normal small talk; where we grew up, college major, current weather conditions, etc.  When he learned I was majoring in psychology, he excitedly exclaimed, “Great, you can come over and analyze me!”  I was taken aback and disappointed.  I found myself wishing we were still talking about the barometric pressure.  My vision of enjoying a beer and a steak outdoors quickly changed to a real possibility of a night spent indoors with him lying on the couch covered in his grandmother’s afghan discussing his inner most thoughts on the lack of bonding with his mom because he was not breastfed; thus the resultant effect of an inability to commit to women yet a unique fascination/fixation of female breasts.  (Disclaimer: I do not think this is a real hypothesis or has actually ever been studied.  And I do not mean it as an offense if you have had a similar thought/inquiry.  It is just a random thought that appeared in my crazy mind while typing).  As I was facing my new reality of the evening, I dejectedly replied, “Well, I did just get my Rorschach inkblock test kit in the mail and I have been waiting to break it in.” 

It turned out to be a fun night.  No afghans.  No inkblock tests. The beginning of a long friendship.