Good advice from Wife M

We were waiting for dinner with my parents and I was standing next to two young women while Wife M talked to my parents.  The way the line worked, I was facing right the women, who were two feet away from me.  Silence bothers me, so I asked one of the women what her drink was since it looked cool, and that started a conversation, which I quickly brought in Wife M (it turnd out the second woman happened to be standing with that woman but was with another group).  A minute or two later, the woman’s male partner returned, and I said, “Hi there, I was just asking…”  At that moment, I paused, not wanting to offend them.  Was it his girlfriend?  WIfe?  Friend?  Life partner?  WHo knew?  As I thought through this, I decided to say, “she” so then finished with, “what she was drinking.”  That launched another conversation in which I again made sure I was including the guy plus Wife M.  Soon, it was time to go into the restaurant and the conversation ended.

Later, Wife M said, “You have to be careful talking to people.  They thought you were hitting on her?”

“Are you kidding?” I said.  “She was half my age and I am with you.”

“First of all, you look young for your age, and second of all, that doesn’t stop a lot of men,” Wife M said.  “THey realized eventually that you weren’t hitting on her, but it was awkward at first.”  We realized at that point that my hesitation made it seem like I was thinking of an excuse to cover up that I was hitting on his partner/friend/wife/girflriend.

“Just be aware of that,” she said.  “You don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable.”

Since then, I’ve been really careful, and appreicate that Wife M told me that.  It is also a little discouraging – I’ve been appreciating that in middle age that women don’t approach me anymore (it has been 6 years since a woman approached me, something that used to happen semi-regularly when I was young, which was hard since I had to risk hurting someone’s feelings by telling them I was happily married), but also appreciating that I could talk to women withouth them thiking I aws hitting on them (I am friendly, and a lot of women used to mistake that for flirting, which always annoyed the sh*t out of me since I was happily married).  Turns out, I was only half right, that women still might think I am hitting on them when starting innocent conversation, and Wife M is right – there are a lot of creeps out there willing to approach women who are young enough to be there daughter.  I am not one of them, but women who don’t know me have no way of knowing that.

Sigh.  The creeps out there make it harder for the rest of us.

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Good advice from Wife M

Oooohhh, so *this* is how the yelling starts in a relationship…

Wife M and I rarely — if ever — yell at each other.  At times we might get sarcastic, express displeasure at something or even bicker, but we rarely actually yell (and 99% of the time we are lovey-dovey :)). So I’ve always wondered, how does someone start yelling in a relationship?  In those relationships where a person is moody and raises their voice — how does it progress from the first date and the honeymoon period to actual yelling?  I could never quite figure that out.  But after a meeting with my boss last week, I think I know…

My boss actively courted me for over six months.  We had coffee, he sent me notes asking me to come work for him, and when I started working for him he stopped by several times a day to make sure I was okay.  Then after a few weeks he stopped popping by.  Then he started coming in through the other door so some days I didn’t see him, and if I popped in his office for a moment to ask about something he had a look of tolerance on his face, like I was interrupting him.  One day he didn’t make eye contact as I passe dhim.  In the meantime, he made a flippant comment about an employee or two, and I heard him yelling twice at other employees through the office walls.  

Then last week, he raised his voice at me during a meeting.  Not actual yelling, but he was visibly frustrated and his voice was over a conversational level.  I hate yelling.  My family yelled at each other a lot when I was growing up, and over time I came to really hate it.  So when someone yells at me I genuinely want to punch them, and when the yelling is over it is  hard for me to not distrust them (although he is not a bad guy, per se).  Last week, my boss didn’t actually yell at me, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the escalation over time, over hear the yelling at others, and to see that eventually I too will be yelled at.

But what is most interesting, is that *now* I see how people start yelling at their spouse – it happens gradually, like the foot in the door principal.  So in baby steps you go from whispering sweet nothings with someone to their hollering at you and blaming you for their problems.  Wild!

I am glad Wife M and I don’t yell at each other (I think our last genuine yelling match was almost 20 years ago).  And I don’t know how someone can spend their life with someone — and sleep with someone — who yells at them.  I think I would have to leave that person.  And because I was an adult before yelling truly started to repulse me, I am lucky that I met Wife M young and it happened to be that we’re not yellers.

Oooohhh, so *this* is how the yelling starts in a relationship…

I wish Lunde in Dexter had not slept with Dexter’s Sister :(

Dexter’s sister looked up to Lunde.  She liked him, and respected him.  She was learning from him.  So I was disappointed when he slept with her.  No, I’m not disappointed in the script/writing – if anything, it would be expected.  But I am disappointed in the character. Maybe it is my teaching background, but when I mentor a young woman, especially one who works for me, I’d never defile that special relationship with sex.  I feel like people need safe relationships, one where they don’t have to worry about sex, and a mentor/mentee relationship is a special one that in particular needs to stay away from that.

I wish Lunde in Dexter had not slept with Dexter’s Sister :(

Dream we were leaving son R at home during a trip

We were going somewhere — on a trip — but R didn’t want to go, so we were leaving him, and wife M and I were helping him with final arrangements and I was very nervous for him.  In my dream, he was probably 13 or 14.  Of course, the dream was related to our trip later this year where he is staying behind – he is pretty much an adult and it won’t be the first time and he is 100% capable and he specifically does not want to go (what college age kid wants to spend 2 weeks with their parents?), but I am none-the-less slightly nervous on his behalf 🙂  I love having nearly grown kids but also do miss when they were younger, those bundle-of-energy school age kids who wore me out all the time — it’s not that I want my kids to be young again (I love who they are now), but I miss those young kids I spent so much time with who basically don’t exist anymore 🙂  I think I am mourning those times some times, although I also wouldn’t trade in my times now.  Darn it, I want all those times 🙂 

The dream changed a little at that point.  Before we left, my friend and our friend E were there and they were going on a (platonic) trip together.  In life, I don’t even know that they know each other, and both are in partnerships (one is married, the other in a long-term commitment), and I would not picture them together in a million years, but in the dream I — and I think my friend T — were hoping they would bond and it would turn into a romantic trip.  I was giving him some advice on what kind of music (rock music — WTH?) he should play for her.  I think it is interesting I put them together in my dream – they are night and day and nothing alike, although both of them at some point has disappointed me on one level or another although both are good people.

Later, the dream morphed into a long drive that was almost like a computer game or something out of Tron, where we were driving south to Tuscon in a kind of digital setting.  When we got to Tuscon, it was the ocean (of course – always some weird twist in a dream) and we were actually attending some kind of seminar or conference, except the person who was supposed to be leading it was an old man and had submerged himself in the ocean (which reminded me of Hawaii’s ocean – clear and white sands) for a very long time. “Shouldn’t we pull him up?” I asked my wife but she commented he obviously knew what he was doing.  My alarm went off about here…

My dreams of late have had a dusk-like feel to them, and today was slightly brighter — not like real life, but not so dark either except for a stretch in the beginning.  Wife M thinks I am having these dreams because I am having troubles with my vision in general, and seeing dark things in particular.

Dream we were leaving son R at home during a trip

Two kinds of (male-female) households: one where the woman makes the decision, and the unhappy ones…

Felt a moment of affection for my wife as I observed how she packed our lunch bag…  Which reminded me, I am 48 and like to think I am open minded.  As a teacher, manager, sales person and a holder of many jobs in many states over the years, I think I’ve observed a lot of people.  And I truly believe that in 90% of husband/wife households, there are the ones where the women make most of the decisions (note, making the decision should be different than doing the actual work), and the unhappy kind.  I love that my wife makes our decorating decisions, packing decisions and vacation decisions; I am more than capable of making those decisions myself, but no one ever walks into a house and says, “Bob, I love what you’ve done with the place.”  I think most women are wired to make the majority of decisions, and men who are smart stand by and are ready to jump in if needed and/or pull at least half the workload.  I know a few women who claim they want the men to make the decisions, but inevitably their partner drives them crazy and they leave the relationship.  Anyway, that is my opinion, and to date it has treated me well…

Two kinds of (male-female) households: one where the woman makes the decision, and the unhappy ones…