I’m going to make a bold statement. Some of you will disagree vehemently, I’m sure. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m surrounded by testosterone – as the only female with three guys at home, and am now immune to certain things.
All I know is that I’ve discovered the secret to knowing if you’re in a strong, lasting relationship.
I wish I could say it’s open and honest communication, which is a key component that shouldn’t be ignored.
I wish my words of wisdom told of trust and respect, other characteristics of any good relationship.
But no, the secret, apparently, is a complete and total lack of modesty. The grosser you are with one another, the better the relationship.
Let me explain…
French kissing with morning breath is just the start.
Asking about bowel movements – even in the most delicate way comes next. There’s no longer a squeamishness about noises or smells. You tell the other to turn on the fan, use the Febreze, and warn a bitch before I walk in there!
Then it happens. You lose all mystery and know each other better than anyone has known you since you were in diapers.
Plucking your chin hairs (where the hell do those things keep coming from??) and waxing your upper lip with an open bathroom door.
Peeing while the other brushes their teeth.
Carrying on a conversation about the much-needed air conditioner repair as the other opens the door to witness you wiping your hoo-ha. (Is it front to back or back to front? I always get that confused.)
Hot-boxing each other in bed. (Farting under the covers, in case you wondered.)
Laughing hysterically about said hot-boxing and other farting incidents.
Using a corner of the mirror to pop a pimple while the other brushes their teeth.
Pulling out the nose hair trimmers and actually using them in front of the other.
Asking the other to look at this thing on your toe, knee, finger, lady bits – does that look weird? Should I get it checked?
One day I looked up and realized not a damn thing was sacred anymore. He knows how I wipe when I’m sitting on the toilet. I can tell the difference between his fart that will clear the room and have me breathing through my mouth from the innocent little toot. The mystery is gone.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
When I was married, some tasks were sacrosanct and shrouded in total privacy. My ex-husband and I pretended we didn’t do certain things and neither of us saw, heard, or smelled plenty of others.
Whatever he did in the bathroom was his business and whatever I did was mine. It was a line neither of us crossed. I attributed this to my early demands that he “leave me the hell alone, can’t you see I’m in the bathroom?!” as a desire for privacy that comes with being an only child.
I may have to concede I was wrong.
Now, years later, I’ve discovered if you share certain “secrets” with your partner – willingly, I mean – you’ve probably found a keeper.
Think about it. If they’ll still have sex with you when you’re at your absolute grossest, it must be love. Or a desperate need for sex. Either way, you’re probably golden.
If anyone had asked me a week ago how I felt about routine, I would have climbed up behind my proverbial bloody pulpit and extolled all the reasons my routine is sacrosanct, the thing that keeps me sane in a world gone mad.
I might have been full of shit.
Maybe I’m growing as a human being. Maybe I’m becoming more mature as I barrel down the road towards the ripe age of 36. Maybe I spend way too much time thinking. (Hell, that’s all true.)
Either way, I’m realizing that my need for a strict routine is mostly about control and completely irrelevant to a well-balanced life.
Now, for my Type A, OCD friends who are appalled by such statements, let me clarify something.
I have a routine. I like my routine. But…and here’s the kicker, the routine is amorphous now, instead of rigid.
Back in the day, my philosophy was that if I had a process for everything and a routine/checklist for everything, life would flow smoothly. And, for many years, that was quite true.
In the here and now, my routine is becoming much simpler and (apparently) more flexible. I have a list of what needs to get done each week – and in some cases, each day. I get it done in whatever way works best for that particular day. And sometimes I don’t, and it gets moved to the next day. No specific order, no process for how it should get done. Just get it done as best as I can and move on. Ta-da!
Where did this little epiphany come from?
I think it was the day I cried (yes, cried) when my plans for the day veered off course because John’s sister had an unscheduled doctor’s appointment – and I’m her ride. I could blame the silly tears on stress or fear for her health. That makes me sound like a much better person. I had what amounted to an adult temper tantrum because my perfectly scripted routine was thrown out of whack. (It’s mildly embarrassing to even admit.)
Or, maybe it’s the admission that I’ve tried for a year to create an easy (read: mindless) routine I could simply follow…like I did in the old days…and failed miserably. The old days truly were simple. Wake up at the same time. Leave to drop the boys off/get to work at the same time. Eat the same breakfast/lunch from the same drive-thrus. Come home at the same time. Do the same thing every evening. And let’s not even mention the rigid schedule I created for myself while at work. The routine worked back in the day. I had little time, little help, and a lot on my plate. The routine was a survival mechanism, and it worked. But I don’t have that life anymore so why am I still trying to live like I do??
Routine can cause change to stagnate – if it allows changes at all.
I have said the words, “But this is how I’ve always done it” way too many times to count. I have dug my heels in, quite firmly, thankyouverymuch, when others – well meaning or not – have suggested a change, a new way of doing things, a different outlook. My process and routine gave me comfort, made me feel safe, and granted an appearance of control in a life where I felt like I had very little.
When my routine couldn’t be maintained or even determined, as the case has been recently, I’ve melted down – quietly and not-so-quietly. At some point, I guess I realized I was being ridiculous about it all.
Working from home, being a writer, creating this life has been nothing but change. And change is scary. Trying to have a similar routine from an old life gave me comfort…until the lack thereof stressed me out.
What’s the bottom line?
If I really want a permanent change, a healthier life, and less stress, I need to give up on the idea of a strict routine when it no longer fits my professional or personal goals.
Believing that because I’ve always done something a certain way means I should continue doing it that way – even in the face of overwhelming evidence that tells me it’s no longer viable, is only holding me back. Routine is incompatible with change, no matter how comforting it may feel.
Image via Google Images
This week’s prompt for the 300 Prompt series is to write a diary entry dated 10 years in the future. Hmmmm, I can feel the creative juices flowing in 3…2….1
Aidan brought home a new girlfriend today. She seems nice. They don’t talk much, preferring to text one another…even at the dinner table. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard the sound of her voice yet. He also brought home his latest robot creation. This one plays video games, writes his papers, and is helping him get through an art history in class. I miss the days when his creations were made out of Legos.
Sean is begging us to buy him a new car when he turns 16 in a few months. John and I just laugh and laugh. No way in hell he’s getting a new ride when I’ve seen how he pushes the shopping cart at the grocery store for me. My heels will never be the same.
I published another book last week. Of course, only my mother and John bought it, but that’s okay. Not everyone is interested in a full length novel detailing the lives of teenage boys addicted to Minecraft, 10 years after they should have grown out of it.
Life is calling. I need to shut myself away in the writing cave and avoid it like the plague. Someone might want to actually speak with me, and you know I’m not interested in all of that. I do enough socializing on FaceTwitTube conglomeration, thankyouverymuch.
Writing? Not hard (not always easy, but not impossible). Pretending to write in a diary when I couldn’t keep one even as a child? Very difficult. In 10 years, Aidan will be 20, Sean will be closing in on 16, and I plan to still be writing in some form or fashion. We shall see…
Feel free to write your own future diary entry and link to it in the comments. Or write the whole darn thing in the comments.
Funny video. Good song. That is all.