Saturday, October 28, 2017

this thing "WE" do

Once in a while along comes a really thoughtful post out in blogland.  For me it can be a springboard for a deep discussion with blog friends or even with Sam.  Last month Meredith wrote such a post.  

                                      Her Question was, 
              "Who carries the responsibility in a ttwd marriage?"

Back years ago now, when I convinced Sam that ttwd was something I had always wanted, we both had a lot to learn.  For a very long time, I would find a post or article that spoke to me and read it aloud to Sam.  It gave us a place to begin to shape our own version of ttwd. 

  • What were our roles?  
  •  How do we identify the components that will carry us to where we want to be?
  •  Do we have to be perfect for it to be succussful?

I don't read Sam very many posts anymore.  He has a lot more confidence in himself now.  He knows how he wants things between us and takes care of business when there are troubled  waters.

But Mere's post really got me thinking, especially when she invited her readers to ask the same question of their husbands.  When Sam and I sat relaxing together after he got home that night, I read her post aloud to him.  It came at a good time for us.  Due to my health problems recently, ttwd could easily have been something that got pushed to the side, to be picked up whenever we both felt things were "back to normal."  Instead, it was the pillar and strength that held us up as we struggled with the disappointments of another ruined vacation and the reality of searching for a diagnosis with a new doctor and a myriad of tests.

Instead of dumping ttwd for the duration, Sam stepped up to be sure that I stayed focused on the positive and the belief that this would be resolved.  No crying, no silence, no distancing, and no depression.  He was kind and sweet and thoughtful, but he meant what he said.  There were several very serious spankings over the bed, I can tell you.  They were not fun events, although the hugs and kisses afterwards were wonderful.  As we look forward now with a firm diagnosis from a wonderful doctor and the prescribed medications, things are looking much rosier for us both.

Our discussion that evening went on for close to 2 hours.  Sam's response was different than Jack's, but just as quick.  It took him about two seconds for him to launch into an answer.  

                             "It's right in the title, for god's sake," he said.  
                             "It is called This Thing We Do."  

He talked about it being a joint proposition and a shared responsibility - like raising our kids.  If it is not shared, then any blame for it not working would be on just one partner's shoulders.

He said, "We both screw up and we both adjust.  It is my job to figure out what is needed, and sometimes that takes me a bit of time.  I am much better now at recognizing when you are in a funk, Ella.  Like sunny days and cloudy days, there are instances where I know giving you a longer leash, so to speak, is the right thing to do."

Sam went on, "I ask myself is this a hurricane or just a few clouds?  If I know that it is a superficial blip that will be gone in the morning, I do not need to spank you.  I need to hug you or make you laugh."

He said to me, "Ella, one thing about you is that everything is either black or white.  There is never any gray area for you.  Ha!  Grey! Just like that book you like.  Except, for you, it is 50 Shades of Funk!"   

That one really made me laugh, but Sam was far from done.

He continued, "I think I am slow to anger, but there is always an element of anger when I take a correctional course."   

Believe me, I nodded my agreement here.  

"It is your job to listen and obey and to watch your temper.  We are so lucky.  If I was a religious man, I might say we should count our blessings.  Nothing pisses me off more than when you look at the dark side of things.  I watch so I can prevent small bumps in the road from becoming potholes."  

He reminded me that most of our "weekend adjustments" need to address bossiness.  If I lose track of my responsibility to let him be the boss, then it becomes his business.


Sam was almost ready to wrap up this discussion, and there was a lot of humor here at the end.  He told me that he is not telepathic.  He laughed as he referred to Spock on Star Trek.  

"Not able to mind meld, El.  You have to talk to me."

"I will never understand why self-image is so important to women.  I know you need help with that, and I am just the guy to do it."  He laughed again, "Ha!  I don't know about other men, but as long as the old torpedo of love can get a hard-on, I am just fine."

Long before ttwd, I always appreciated our sex life, but there is simply no comparison to the intensity of the passion and the joy it brings us now.

      Sam totally agreed with Jack about never giving up ttwd.  
                                         It is here to stay.  

                                      For better and worse,
                                       For richer or poorer,

                                    In sickness and in health,

                                     Until death do us part,

                                        This Thing We Do.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spit Medals

When I was a little girl, I started helping my dad in the family business by the time I was 5 years old.  By the age of 8, I had a steady job for 4 hours every Saturday morning.  He was a tough but huggable boss.  He loved to tease me with really silly phrases and a healthy dose of gentle sarcasm.  I would laugh so hard, the milk would run out my nose.

One of his favorite jokes was that instead of giving me a standard warm and fuzzy compliment on a job well done, he would grin and tell me to give myself a "spit medal."  This meant that you were supposed to lick your thumb and wipe it on your shirt right over your heart.  If you giggled and didn't give yourself your medal, he would break into a big belly laugh, lick his own thumb, and take a step toward you.

            "OK!  OK, Dad.  See, I gave myself the spit medal!" 

I have never heard of anyone else ever talk about spit medals.  My dad was a crazy Irishman, so maybe somebody reading this post will know of this silly game.  I still give myself spit medals but for a much different purpose now.

Several weeks ago, Meredith wrote a post about -
                            "Going On and On and On...."

I loved it, and her story about nagging reminded me of how I use spit medals these days.

I agree with Mere and others that nagging or trying to have the last word isn't really conducive to a happy ttwd home.  It is tempting, though, and Sam tempts me on this fairly regularly.  There are so many times I want to put my two cents in or suggest a better way to do something (that would be my way.)  Sam will always hear my ideas, but he does not need or want me to tell him....

  •  a better way to drive to our destination.
  • why he should google something to check his accuracy.
  • the reasons my idea should be reconsidered.
  • how to cook my steak.
  • what he forgot to do when we clean.

 Now days, when I open my mouth to say anything that might be construed as nagging, I really try to close it again and give myself a spit medal.  I don't do it ostentatiously, and (up until now) I don't think Sam has really noticed.  Just a little lick on my thumb and a quick tap on my shirt.  In my head I congratulate myself as well as bestowing the deserved medal.


    "Well done, Ella.  You kept your mouth shut.  I'm proud of you." 

  • Sam chooses the route with the most traffic at this time of day - Ella does not make a peep.  "Give yourself a spit medal, girl."
  • For the third time this month, Sam forgets to finish in the dining room......Ella bites her tongue and earns another spit medal.
  • Company is over for dinner, Sam is manning the grill, and Ella does not offer any advice.  You guessed right; she collects another spit medal.

Actually, this little ttwd wife has swept the Olympic event in keeping one's mouth shut.  It may sound silly, this little game of mine, but it has become a way for me to see real improvement in the battle against bossiness and nagging.  I think Sam feels the improvement, too, even if he doesn't know about spit medals.  Whatever works, I guess.

      Always love to find a reason to include a quote from the Bard.

I have a quote for everything.

                              "But no perfection is so absolute,
                           That some impurity doth not pollute."

In the interest of honesty, I confess that even regular awarding of spit medals does not make me perfect.  When the inevitable happens, Sam has a favorite quote, too.

                                 As he takes my hand, I hear
                                      "Come along, Ella." 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meredith Says For Me To Get Off My Ass and Write Something!

These were not Mere's exact words.  She said it much more nicely, but that was basically the message.  It made me laugh anyway!  Besides, she is right.  I need to write something before I forget how to type.  Ella is alive, just not that well. 

Still dealing with lots of medical issues here, so there is not much new happening since I wrote Roses and Gatorade.  Dr. Sam is ready to step in at any time I start to get "mopey," as he calls it.  I am staying as positive as I can.  Sam says we are only 

                                      "Looking forward."

So, I have decided to complete the popular meme floating out there in blogland these days.  It is my turn to purloin and join this band of meme rustlers. Yeehaw!  Here goes.


Marriages - 1
Proposals - 2
Divorces - None, Nope, Never
Sugeries - At least 7 - Too many!
Tattoos - Not gonna happen, ever
Piercings - Just my ears


Shot a gun - Quite often.  Sam and I go out to a private range.

Quit a job - Twice

Been on TV - With my 4th graders

Fallen in love -  Only once, but I got it right the first time.

Driven cross country - Well I have been to both coasts,
                                      but not on the same trip.

Hit a deer - Yes, on our wedding night.  Sam always said if
                    we survived our first 24 hours of marriage, we
                    could get through anything.

Watched a birth - Just kittens.  Didn't get to see my babies
                             because they took away my glasses.  
                             Yes, I was pissed off.

Ridden in an ambulance - Twice

Sung karaoke - Goodness, no.  I can't even stay on key
                          for the Happy Birthday song.

Ice skated - I tried many times, but I was much better at 
                    drinking cocoa by the heater.

Been surfing - Absolutely not.  Couldn't even water ski.

Seen the ocean - I love the ocean - doesn't matter which one.

Ridden a horse - Did this as a kid at camp.  I sucked.

Almost died - Drank insecticide when I was 4 or 5 years old.
                       Had my stomach pumped.

Been punched - Quite often as a kid.  My nickname could
                          have been Scrappy-Doo.

Punched back - Most assuredly.  Must confess - it was me
                          who threw the first punch once in a while.
                          Don't pick on my baby brother!


IN LOVE NOW? – Oh, my.  The answer to this one has been 
                                "yes" since I was 15 years old.