Things in the last week that I learned or were reinforced
Mumford and Sons puts on a great live show
Holly and I had the opportunity to see Mumford and Sons in the last week or so. We don’t really see a whole lot of live music any more, but when we do they’re usually bigger events. While we may be a little late to the party (they last toured in our area in 2010 in support of their Sign No More album), it’s better to get on the train later than never. They played for about an hour and forty-five minutes and it was a banjo-filled great set. They did a rendition of Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” as part of their encore set. Really nice time spent with my wife.
College students have weird fashion tastes
Holly had some business in the city over the weekend and noted what she thought was ‘retro day’ on the college campus. Nope, more of a retro trend I hadn’t heard of: Mom Jean Shorts (or as I affectionately call them, Jorts). I was and am a fan of some younger-people styles like the low-rise jeans, short shorts and yoga pants, I think I’ll have to agree with my wife who says these are “..so not-flattering.” Look like this (on some slim and more attractive ladies):
Holly said that they really had a propensity for some cameltoe as well. I hope this doesn’t travel up the age range to actual moms.
Mate Guarding is sometimes necessary and appreciated
I am a pretty laid back dude with a more serious personality and demeanor. My wife is an extroverted funny person with a sarcastic wit who can handler herself pretty well. To date, I really haven’t had the need to mate guard or stick up for my wife because she tends to take care of herself just fine, and we don’t often find ourselves in situations that it calls for, especially with randoms. With that said, one of our good friends we’ve known for 15 years (call him Mark) is the boundary pusher for good tastes and sexual banter in our group. We do a lot of things with their family, and a couple other families, on pretty regular intervals and we are often pretty open with our lives and personal discussions, including nibbling at the edge of sex lives and such. The previous time we did something together he passed the boundary, and it was one of those where it happened so fast I couldn’t wrap my mind around it or I would have responded differently. I was not happy with both Mark’s behavior and my lack of response.
When we saw them again, along with another family, this last weekend topics again got personal. The women were discussing grooming and laser hair removal, and Holly told them she had it done and was worth it. She had gotten her armpits and bikini area fully done a year or two ago. So of course, Mark had to know more (in the line of hardy, har, har) and started a line of questioning that I could tell Holly did not want to get into. I tried to gently steer the conversation to something else, but Mark did not get the hint so I basically told him to shut the fuck up and the conversation was over. I didn’t think much of it after that, but when we got home my wife mentioned the incident in a positive light so she must have been happy that it got smacked down as this personal talk and Mark’s behavior does seem to cross the line. It can be pretty fun to talk freely on such subject matter sometimes, but other times it’s just too much and a hard push-back is needed which I’m getting better at recognizing and taking care of.
Marriage is often work, but with the right partner it can be a celebration
Life and family life is often stressful. We try to pack so much in our lives that it’s easy forget to slow down and celebrate what we have. Holly and I celebrated our 12th anniversary over the weekend, but with the M&S concert and another upcoming weekend away (without the kids but with another couple of people so no sexy time will ensue), we didn’t do anything away from the house to celebrate. What we did do though was light some candles, draw a bath and have some wine as we shared a moment without tv, I-pods or phones. We were both doing work, both household stuff and work-work, most of the day and it was the first time we really saw each other all day and it was a really nice bonding moment as we just relaxed for what seemed like the first time all weekend.
As anniversaries are wont to do, we reflected on our life together, early times, how we’re in a really good place now and how we can stay there and improve even more. We’re both flawed people just like every other person, but we’ve come to accept them and communicate through them. I think we’ve got a more pragmatic view on marriage now than early on in our marriage and recognize that it does indeed take some effort to keep things in the right direction, and ups and downs are part of the equation. The shift to taking the Captain’s chair a couple years ago, embracing my masculinity, attraction to my wife and unapologetic need for sex has made a world of difference. I walk taller, am more confident in my life and our family has great structure and harmony. We try and celebrate what we have much more regularly rather than bemoan the rough spots in life. Things will never be perfect, but with some effort and a partner you can rely on and trust, things can be pretty great.