That One Time You Forgot Who You Are

Yeah. I took a picture of the bong display. Sue me.

Yeah. I took a picture of the bong display. Sue me.

I just got back from a month long expedition back to the Mother Land. By Mother Land, I mean Washington state and by expedition, I mean lived under my parents roof again and hid booze in my room.

Except for the moment my daughter tugged on my shirt and said, “Mom, look.” then pointed out the glass case full of hand-blown bongs on the counter of a convenience store, it was a relatively uneventful trip.

What? It’s Washington state. Pot is legal there now. You never know when you’re going to need to pick up a new bong with your Slushee at Kwik Gas. God knows you probably aren’t leaving without Doritos.

Anyway, whenever I go back home, I try to see as many people as possible while I’m there. People I know that is. I can see strangers anytime. This seeing people thing usually includes a few friends I’ve known since I was 12. We find a happy hour and gather not so much to reminisce, though that happens, but to catch up.

Turns out a friend of mine has gotten divorced since the last time I was home. Let’s call him Lake Huron Morgan Freeman C. Patrick.

Sorry. The History Channel is on and I got distracted while trying to think of a name. C. Patrick is the first name that came up after Morgan Freeman.

So C. Patrick got divorced and had been having a hard time since his wife left. I’m not going to go into all the gory detail of why he got divorced, that’s his story to tell, not mine. What I can tell you about him is that in high school he was maybe the most beautiful boy to grace the halls. He didn’t know it though and some girls didn’t notice because he was also just super nice. No big swagger, though he could have, and no big attitude. Fast forward twenty years and he’s a guy who has been put through the ringer by a woman who didn’t appreciate what she had.

He forgot who he was.

Hold on to your butts single ladies because the man I am about to describe is the super awesome man win, I won’t be exaggerating and he’s on the market.

Remember like 5 sentences ago when I said he was the most beautiful boy to walk the halls of my high school? Well, time has been good to C. Patrick and he’s only better looking now. If I wasn’t happily marriage, Hi Craig, the smile alone might do me in. But that’s not all. He’s an architect. He’s a great dad. And he’s still a helluva nice guy. He doesn’t just have a lot to offer, he has it all to offer.

But he forgot. He forgot who he is because a woman did a number on him and stole his confidence. Ever been there? Ever had your confidence shaken by someone you trusted? Or by life in general? Then you know how he felt.

How do you come back from something like that?

You remember.

You remember who you are. You inventory the super awesome man win things about you and own the hell out of them. You lift your chin and look the world in the face again. You decide that no one gets to steal anything from you and you take one step forward. You decide your own worth.

You remember.

Go get ’em tiger.

Have you ever forgotten who you are? Had your confidence shaken? What did you do about it?

Dear Sharideth, He Wants a Prenup

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Dear Sharideth,

What are your thoughts on prenuptials?

My boyfriend and I aren’t engaged yet, but we’re heading in that direction. He has a “I’m not getting married without prenups” policy; he admitted that it’s because almost every marriage he has ever been around crumbled due to infidelity/the wife leaving when things get rough. He is worried we’ll eventually fall into the same pattern. I grew up with parents about to celebrate their 35th anniversary, and heard “prenuptials are preparation for divorce.”

I refuse to jump on the “you don’t trust me and don’t have faith in our future!” crazy train, so I’m looking into it for the first time as an option. But while I’m figuring it out, would you share your thoughts on the matter?

Sincerely,

‘Til Prenups Do Us Apart

Dear TPDUA,

Yeah. I’m not a fan. What you’re talking about is called an infidelity clause and they tend to do more harm than good. Especially when there is no other reason to have a prenup and no historical grounds for requiring such a thing. If you have given him no reason to doubt your commitment, then I do not recommend this. It will only solidify his paranoia and could eventually cause you to resent him and his fears.

I respect you not wanting to jump on the crazy train. I try to keep people off of it as often as possible. But the truth is he doesn’t trust you or your future. And an infidelity clause won’t fix that. It won’t make him less suspicious or more trusting. It will only make him feel like he’s protected financially FROM YOU when/if you cheat on him. That’s the part you need to understand. He believes making you agree to a prenup is protecting himself from you. Don’t kid yourself about that.

And that’s his issue. Not yours.

Sounds to me like you two, him especially, could do with some serious premarital counseling. If I were you, I wouldn’t even agree to marry him until you do. He really needs to get a grip on his fears and mistrust before you can move forward. I know that’s not what you want to hear but the reality is you are going to get tired of his suspicion sooner than later. Marriage doesn’t make issues better. It makes them worse. Marriage is like shining a magnifying glass on problems. They only get bigger. And the prenup won’t help.

This is a great article about infidelity clauses:

Infidelity Clauses: Protecting Marriage with Fear of Financial Fall-Out

I would seriously encourage you to think long and hard about marrying under the shadow of an infidelity prenup. Preuptial agreements have their place but that place is pretty small in the big scheme of things.

Oh so sincerely,

Sharideth

Okay. I know there has to be some thoughts on this out there. What do you think?

Father’s Day is Saved

I realized something this week. I have never done a Father’s Day gift post. I KNOW, RIGHT? So I started hopping around the internet looking for interesting, awesome, unconventional things to put together for you. My minions. And you know what I found? This:

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A glass moss terrarium.

On 3 different gift lists.

One of those lists was this one:

36 Father’s Day Gift Ideas according to Real Simple Magazine

With the exception of maybe two things, this list is completely useless. It included cutesy sticky notes, paper clips shaped like sardines and stationery. STATIONERY FOR GOD’S SAKE! This is the very first thing on it:

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A wireless dolphin mouse.

I KNOW!

One list suggested a sponge holder. For your father. FOR FATHER’S DAY! Oy. It made me pretty stabby.

“Dear Real Simple Mag, your Father’s Day Gift suggestions make me sad. A glass moss terrarium? Really?”, I bitched on Twitter. To which my friend Justin responded:

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No, Justin. No. I can do better. We can ALL do better.

I have compiled a list. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Mother’s Day? Simple. Valentine’s Day? Don’t make me laugh. But Father’s Day? I had to go deep. The suggestions out there are so heinous, Nicholas Cage should play them in a movie. But here’s what I found to save the day:

TOP 10 FATHER’S DAY GIFTS

When possible, I have linked to where these things can be found and you can get there by clicking on the pictures because I’m just that helpful.

1. For the tech savvy dad:

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The top one is a super cool iPad case, the bottom one is by TwelveSouth.com and you can get one for his computer, iPad or iPhone. Awesome, yet manly. But you still have my permission to not teach him how to text, explain what Twitter is or allow him to be your friend on Facebook.

2. For the napping dad:

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Again with the hammock, Sharideth? Yes! Because clearly you people aren’t listening. Hammocks are the happiest of napping places and the most underused. Seriously, if you can’t see how amazing this would be for dad, then buy him the terrarium.

3. For the dad with teeth:

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.57.54 AMOkay, so hang with me here. This isn’t for everyone. But if your dad is a) the one who complains about people squeezing the tube wrong or b) the one who makes an abomination of the tube, then this is your gift. You will both laugh and laugh then put it immediately to use.

4. For the…um…itchy? dad:

4112L6UcaJL._SY355_This, my friends, is called The Gentleman’s Ball Scratcher. I would recommend this be given from a much beloved son to his father with the well-developed sense of humor…and itchy scrotum.

Note: Also acceptable as a gift from wife to husband. Humor is optional.

5. For the slippery dad:

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A grip pad in the car for his phone? Yes. Yes. It is awesome. Buy it.

6. For the dad who can never find his tools:

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You can lead a man to water, but you can’t make him locate his socket wrench.

7. For the dad who can never find the remote:

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Oh my. What is this? The worlds largest universal remote? Oh stop. I know I’m a genius.

8. Whatever he needs. Does his yard need work that he can’t do? Do it or have it done for him. Does that old car sitting in his garage need a part that he can’t find? Find it. Did his favorite coffee maker just die? Buy him a new one. You get me?

9. Whatever he wants. Is there a book he’s been wanting to get? A new golf club he’s been drooling over? Tickets to a baseball game regardless of how slit-your-wrists boring it is? You have no idea? Ask your mom.

10. You. Take him out to dinner. Take him to a movie that you know you’ll hate but he will love. Play that ridiculous card game that takes 4 hours to finish. Just be with him. He’s your dad. It’s one day. You can drink later.

See? Told you I’d save the day.

Now I know some of this stuff has to be ordered. Big deal. So it comes late. A phone call to let him know it’s on its way will be just fine. Besides, what kind of monster doesn’t call his dad on Father’s Day?

You are welcome.

Any other suggestions for the giving impaired?

Oh Redbook, You Came So Close to Being Right

Y’all know that sometimes I hop around the internet to see what others are saying about relationship stuff. I read articles by professional therapists, entertainers, whoever the romantically busted are that write for Men’s Health and teenagers trying to give each other advice on Tumblr. God help us, that’s even worse than Men’s Health. Almost. Then, of course, I choose the worst of the worst and have some fun with it here. Occasionally I run into something surprisingly good, so I’ll post that, too.

This is neither. Or both. Whatever.

10 Questions Men Are Too Scared To Ask Women

Nine of the 10 are entertaining and even have moments of insightful. I don’t agree with every word of the other nine but not enough to pitch a fit. Number 8 is downright hilarious. But there was one….

Q:How can a woman hold it together for everyone else but have such a short fuse with her husband?

A: I’m not even going to attempt a sports analogy and instead use what I know best: Elmo. He’s adorable — until you realize that the person behind the cuteness is not a preschooler but a 50-year-old man. What’s mildly irritating in kids is infuriating in adults. I call it Extra Child Syndrome. With four young kids in our house, I need to know that my husband’s got my back. Anything that creates more work, whether it’s un-dyeing the laundry he turned pink or rescheduling that missed appointment, frustrates me. It isn’t fair that a husband bears the brunt of his wife’s frustration, but be flattered: Your wife knows you can handle it, because you are, at the end of the day, the only other grown-up in the house.

So what’s wrong with that, Sharideth? Seems reasonable.

Yeah.

No.

A lot of a man’s validation and security comes from the support and encouragement of his wife. If he is the only one getting the ass end of her on a daily basis, that’s going to getting frustrating. And hurtful. And demeaning. And beat down. He can take it? Sure. But only in small doses.

Why would a woman reserve the worst of herself for her husband? Blergh. Just the thought of it makes me feel all greasy and yuck inside. Can you imagine the response from her if all she got from him was complaints about things she does? Woo boy. Moaning. Wailing. Gnashing of teeth. Unlimited text messages and calls to her friend would be tested.

Our spouses are suppose to see us at our worst and love us anyway. But we are not suppose to be willfully thrusting the worst of ourselves at them. He/she should be our main focus of all that is good and right and sexy. I know that isn’t going to be 100% of the time. It can’t be. We’re people and people are flawed and will behave badly. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. But we do have to try. We vowed to love, honor and cherish. There was no “only when we feel like it” at the end of that.

I do understand getting frustrated with your spouse, legitimately or otherwise. It happens. Kids are life-sucking leeches. Adorable, but exhausting. As a mom, I know there is very little to give at the end of the day. Bosses can be subhuman. Any number of things can drain away our happy place and make it all too easy to lash out at the person closest to us.

But kindness is not hard either.

Pasting a genuine, albeit weary, smile on your face when you have had a crappy day and letting your beloved know that he left his power supply for his recording console in the middle of the floor and you tripped on it when you were carrying disgusting teenage boy laundry down to the basement so could he please move it or maybe take it to the studio is fine. Bitching about it the second he walks through the door is not.

What? That example could happen to anyone.

And I totally bitched.

The point is, I know my husband is never trying to make my day harder. And I should never treat him like he is. How unfun is that? For both of us.

So Redbook, you did well. Mostly. But no. We don’t reserve all our bad attitude for our spouses. Just…no.

Who gets to see the worst of you most often?

“But there’s glitter on your boobs!”

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I have a guest post over at Rage Against the Minivan, Kristen Howerton’s blog. I take some shots at the flip side of modesty. Here’s a bit of it:

BUT THERE’S GLITTER ON YOUR BOOBS!  (<— link!)

I could wear a burkha and still wouldn’t be able to hide my boobs. When you’ve got curves like mine, there is no modest enough. Ever. I’ve never been super popular with the faction of my faith who believes the responsibility of causing men not to stumble face first into motorboating lies solely on the way women dress and carry themselves. Which is a steaming pile, of course. Not only is it impossible for me to completely conceal what my mama gave me, I don’t want to.

Which means I also have to be cool with it when men notice.

There are bloggers and activists out there doing amazing work against the modesty culture that causes women to carry around so much shame when it comes to their bodies. You only have to read this one experience to understand why Christian feminists like Dianna Anderson are so necessary to move things forward in the church. I make a terrible feminist, so I’ll just let my sisters-in-Christ-who-are-smarter-than-me swing those particular punches.

I’m here to talk about the other extreme.

For the rest of it, head over to Kristen’s pad and have a gander. (<— link!)

 

Dear Sharideth, I’m not sure what happened…

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Dear Sharideth,

First let me apologize because this is probably a long email. I have read a bunch of articles on your blog and find them very insightful.
 
I must say, I perfectly fit the nice guy description. I frequent a small local book club, where I would usually just go in participate in the discussion and leave. I was friendly but did not really converse much with the other members. One of the girls approached via Facebook to chat, and pushed me to hangout. I figured I would hang out with her casually, since I was not sure I was interested in her, and took her to a movie that we both wanted to see. She came on a bit strong, but I felt like I should see where things go considering how much we got along and how much she liked me. The truth was, I enjoyed that she made the first move since I am usually shy and timid. From what I later understood, she was intrigued with me because I seemed a little mysterious, always had the best insights, smart, well dressed, but distant to the rest of the crowd.  
 
It was great, she fit the description of the girl I was looking for: outgoing, active intellectually and physically, a go getter, a nerdy quirky side, and one from an upstanding family with the same values I had. We had great chemistry and I could just take off my glasses to turn her on. The relationship moved forward, I tried to balance wanting to hang and talk with her all the time with taking it slow and not rushing. After a month an a half, I seemed to be getting signals from her that she wanted things to get more serious; she asked to be exclusive, and to be somewhat physical (not sex or anything sexual, but from a religious community and me being particularly religious this required a lot of effort). So I began hugging and snuggling with her, going out or talking more often, hanging with her family and so on. I knew it bothered her that she had to prod me to snuggle but I felt if I was going to show physical affection it would only come hand in hand with me feeling that this relationship was the real thing. 
 
One night after hanging out, she gives me an ultimatum, I need to start opening up to her emotionally or else she can’t see things going forward. She simultaneously lets me know that a guy friend let her know he was available and that he was already emotionally open with her. I told her that I was a closed person, but I made the effort and really opened up to her that night. I made an effort to still do this, all the while hanging out and having the relationship move forward further. I continued getting signals that she wanted to be more intimate with me, and one night she even asked me to kiss her while we were snuggling. I told her I was not ready but to show her how I felt, I took her hand and kissed it.  
 
A couple of days later she calls me to come over and tells me she needs a break. I was stupefied and did not know how to answer. She tells me, “How do I know that your “the one,” and you’re amazing and different from any guy I could have imagined going out with.” I thought she just needed space. I said ok, gave her a hug, and as she left she said, “Don’t be afraid to call me in a month.”
 
A month passes and she passes me by and says very coldly, “Hey!” I text her hows it going and she tells me that shes happy and does not want anything to change. I was devastated. I sent her a few harsh texts about how she was not forthcoming with me, and finally we have the chat. She tells me I’m just not the guy for her, I don’t speak to her personality, and that I’m not exciting. I say how do you know, and she tells me that she went out with that friend and though it did not work out, she didn’t feel nervous as she would with me. We finally agreed to be friends, but it’s obvious she was just trying to make me feel better.
 
Unfortunately this brought out all my insecurities on top of the fact that I cant get over her. We never even had any bad times that I could reflect on since it ended so abruptly. 
 
I would really appreciate your insight on how I can move forward.
 
Sincerely,

Confused and hurt

Dear C & H,

I’ve thought about this off and on quite a bit since you first emailed me. And thinking about anything a lot is not my general MO. I could take your email line by line and break it down, making this the longest post ever on my blog, but honestly, all that would still lead to one simple answer.

The two of you are not compatible. Like, a whole lot of not.

And jut so we’re clear, I don’t think your position on physical relationship is wrong. I respect it. I don’t think hers is wrong either, but the two perspectives are definitely square peg round hole.

You both approach relationship very differently. So differently, that they don’t even resemble one another in practice. That just doesn’t work. It won’t work with anyone except a girl with same value system you have in regards to physical relationship. Or at least one who respects your position enough to wait until you are comfortable with moving in that direction.

This is not the end for you. Take it as a The More You Know lesson and look for girls with your same value system.

Oh so sincerely,

Sharideth

Any other advice for our friend?

How to Win at Mother’s Day

Some of you might remember that two years ago Craig bought me an axe for Mother’s Day. For those who are gaping in horror at your laptop right now, here’s me using it:

me-chopping-wood

And…I loved it. That wasn’t my only gift, but it was the only one I asked for. What? Axes are awesome! Anyhoo, Craig always wins at Mother’s Day because he bothers to think about what I might like and does that. He either gets me exactly what I ask for or drops a surprise that is specific to me.

That’s how it is done, fellas. Please make a note of it.

Until you reach shopping level:pro like Craig, I’m here to help. My benevolence and loathing of awful gifts knows no bounds. So I’m revamping my favorite online shopping sites from last year. There’s going to be a couple of nips and tucks and a complete removal of all that stress you’re feeling because you are just now realizing that Mother’s Day is in 2 weeks. Don’t worry. All these places have shipping services that will totally save your ass.

Here we go:

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The logo/link will take you to a page where they have women broken down into interests/personality types and you can click on the one that is most like the mom you’re buying for and get her something awesome.

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Oh dear lord.  I am truly very sorry if I’m the one who is exposing you to this wonder of the interwebz where you will spend all your disposable income and waste hours dreaming of what could be.  But don’t be mad at me, blame Matt Gates.  It’s his fault. Also, do not take my warning of how much this site will consume you lightly. I recently touted it’s wonders on the 9 Thumbs podcast and nearly shut down the recording.

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This one is broken down into categories so it is easy to navigate to items that might be super cool for your mother, the mother of your children, grandmother, mother-in-law, step-mother…

Now you’re panicking and wondering where the shopping stops, aren’t you? Sorry. I’m going to totally leave you hanging on that one.

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This is the highest rated flower delivery company in the country.  the prices are competitive and the arrangements are lovely.  I have already established that any woman who says she hates getting flowers is a bald faced liar, but you’d better make it good.  Spend the money for something unique.  Do not cheap out on carnations or I will personally hang you out to dry on Twitter.

So have at it.  Make her day awesome.

What are some other good shopping websites?

What is your version of perfect Mother’s Day gift to give or to receive?