Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Have you ever thought about words?  The way they are used, who is saying them, the tone and the timing all seem to have a huge impact.

I never thought I would like the word ma'am.  I thought it would make me feel old to have someone use it...I still don't like it for the most part.  Most people that I am in authority over call me miss.  My boss, however, calls me ma'am. When I ask him to do something for me, he often says, "Yes, ma'am."  I find I do like that and I'm not sure why.  He is older than me and in a position of authority, but he doesn't seem to feel the need to pull that authority card.  Maybe for those two reasons it doesn't make me feel old.  He also calls me "MIss Cygnet"  that I like less, but it's said with a huge smile and kindness so I can live with it.

Another word:  Daddy.  We were discussing its use the other day in a group of 4 woman and 2 men.  One of the guys finally said, "Not to be sexist, but I think it is different from women and men.  I would never call my father, Daddy."  "Not even when you were a little boy?" I asked.  "Never," he said.  The other guy agreed and said he was hesitant to say it.  I replied that it was a term of affection for girls and women.  He said he had no problem being called it by his daughter, because she is a Daddy's girl: a term he says he uses.

How about diva?  I can't believe any woman would want to be called that, but there are women who have claimed it.  I have always thought it was a term of derision.  I guess it originally was a term for a woman who was a wonderful singer: a Prima donna, but I think diva and Prima donna have come to mean a temperamental person; a person who takes adulation and privileged treatment as a right and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience.  How is that a good thing?

Do you think there are other words that used to feel funny to be used by or about you and your feelings about the words have changed?


Saturday, December 14, 2013


I was talking with a man the other day and he had been terribly wounded by a woman who he labeled as "high conflict".  He said he had finally had enough and had left her.  He then started up a counseling service to help other men who were in relationships with high conflict women.  He said the first thing to do was to end the conflict by just agreeing with everything she says because by doing so, you don't get into fights at all and then you have the freedom to decide if you want to stay with her or not.

I was thinking today about why his suggestions felt uncomfortable to me.  At first I was trying to label it passive aggressive, but it's not really aggressive, passive, yes, but not aggressive.  I then I started thinking that I wanted a guy who would argue with me, when I am upset about something he did and that doesn't seem right either.  I think I want a genuine "I'm sorry" when he really is contrite about something that he has done and just apologizing for anything and everything just seems like there is no true contrition, just trying to shut the woman up and stop conflict before it happens.  I want to be able to discuss problems and work them out and when the man apologize immediately, then no discussion really happens. I want to be able to argue and that sounds wrong, but I don't think it is.  I want to be able to argue and come to a resolution.

What I realized finally is that I want a man who will stand up for himself, fight fair and apologize if he has made a mistake.  I also want a man who can say "enough" to me when I push things too far or when I am escalating an argument too much. I don't want a passive man who goes belly up at the first sign of conflict.  I want to want to argue and be honest, while still being respectful.  I don't want things to go unresolved, but I do want a man who has the ability to lovingly and firmly say, "Enough" and have the means at his disposal to make sure I honor and accept that.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Reassuring the man

Thought I'd check in from the dating wars....

I got a strange e-mail last night that in thinking about how I wanted to respond made me realize something:  the men that are good dominant men and not domineering men, need reassurance that they are doing things right.  I know, that may not be a news flash to a lot of you, but in trying to find a relationship that works for me, I suddenly realized that when the relationship is new (and maybe not so new), the man needs as much reassurance from the woman as the woman does from the man. 

I also realized that the women in these types of relationships tend to be very much caretakers.  For me,  that can show itself in a variety of ways:  being bossy; refusing help when you need it; and generally trying to make sure everyone's needs are met, even when my own maybe aren't.  That, I believe is the power position.  I know it is in my life.  I know that if I am the one doing all the giving, then, I don't owe anybody anything. I learned that coping skill when I was a very young girl and it worked for me,because I grew up in a family where the cost of allowing someone to do something for you was unknown, but it was never free and a lot of times the cost was higher than the value of what that person did for you. I have since me a lot of people who give without expecting anything, but it is a hard habit to break.  I can make myself an island and not need anybody for anything and I can be strong and tough in my armor.  I think when I am in the world, I need to do that.  I can't afford to make myself vulnerable because when I am vulnerable, then I can lose and I really can't afford to lose.

That reassurance piece is critical in a relationship, when you are just getting to know each other, and especially when you are trying to form a more traditional relationship, I think the man needs reassurance that he is leading well and is "doing it right".  Which kind of gets me though, is I somehow don't want to be the one having to be reassuring.  I know that sounds selfish, but I guess I just want the man to magically be able to read me, and that is not fair.  He wouldn't ask if he didn't care, but at the same time, I feel myself wanting to wave my hand and say, "What about me.  I need reassurance too!" I think that is me wanting to be reassured that there isn't come hidden cost to letting him get close.

I also find myself wondering if maybe men who are trying to be leaders in a dd relationship aren't a bit more emotional about things.  I think they try to do the stiff upper lip and brazen their way through, but under that lip is a lot of emotion that needs the woman's permission to be let out.  I think it is a tricky balance though, because I also think there can be some men who want to be leaders but need to constantly be propped up and that SHOULDN'T be the woman's job. 

I want to be a good companion and I want to be some who can be reassuring, but I need to have my needs met too, and I am not sure exactly how to ask for that and that position of power in which I am doing all the giving is comfortable or at least familiar, but at some level I want to give up power and I need a guy who wants that too and if I'm to have that, I can't be the one who is doing all the reassuring.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Love Our Lurkers Day

Hi Everybody,

I feel a bit weird posting on Love Our Lurkers Day, but here I am because I always like meeting new people.

I was a lurker for a long time and I so get not wanting to post, but I have found a lovely group of people who take the time to comment and help me along...because you know...I am not in a relationship at the moment...but that seems to be okay with all and sundry, so if you are looking or just want a friend to converse with...come on in, the water's fine. 

I have found a group of caring people on-line who want to help along with path of life.  There is a sense of relief when you post and realize that you aren't alone in your desires and needs and that all are really welcome.

So, if you have a mind send a hardy howdy, if not today, then some day, because you are always welcome here.

Thanks to everyone who has made me welcome too.  I am truly grateful.

Friday, October 25, 2013


As I may have mentioned at some point in the past, I work with some pretty terrific men.  I work with nine of them and I am one of two women.  These men are hugely attentive to what is going on around them.  I have seen them stop conversations to open the door for me if my hands are full.  They have come and asked me if they can move my car when it starts raining and ends up in a rain puddle so I don't have to wade to it.  I was at a party once and broke my plastic fork and one of them jumped up and got me two before I got a chance to get my own, saying, "I got you two because those things break pretty easy."  They come to me with things they been thinking about that will help me. I told one of my friends that I work with a bunch on knights who think part of being a man is helping out those around them.  I had one person in my office once who was known for blowing up, the guy across the hall came and stood in the doorway as I dealt with him.  He didn't say anything, he just stood there, all 6' 5" of him. After the guy left he told me if I ever have trouble with that person to let him know.  I am so not used to that, but I find I am basking in it. 

Enter the new guy.  He is peripheral to me but I do encounter him now and then, but it is pretty rare.  He doesn't really say thank you, he gets kind of bossy even though he is not a boss to me at all and apparently he treats every woman he encounters in much the same way.  The guys from the first paragraph aren't fond of that.  Knowing that he will listen to them before they will listen to the "woman", they speak up and say things like "She said..." and repeat exactly what has been said by the woman.  Luckily for the two women who have to work with him, he will be gone in a couple of months since he was only on temporary assignment. 

But here's the interesting part...the other day I am in my office and the new guy is with the boss.  The boss is firmly in the first paragraph.  In fact he sees it as his job to make the jobs of all those with whom he works easier.  If you come to him with a problem he tries to find a way to solve it, or he tells you he can't help and he's sorry but you just have to deal.  When he is sent snarky e-mails about me that I am cc'd on, he responds to the e-mailer with compliments to me and how they are wrong in their perceptions. Some people lack civility.  When I asked him about the latest e-mail he said his mother told him if he couldn't say something nice, don't say anything at all, but he responded in a measured manner letting the e-mailer know that what I was doing was a good thing, it would help the firm, and that he fully supported me.  He also told me he has had conversations with one of the other higher ups, who is another nice guy about how rude people are with each other. 

So...so...here's the really cool part.  He has the new guy in his office and I hear my boss telling him that he needs to change the way he deals with people.  First, he told him he needs to let people finish their thoughts before he interrupts (Amen, brother!).  My boss told him, take a pad of paper to every meeting you have with people and if you have a thought, jot it down so you don't forget and then AFTER the other person finishes their thought then you can tell them your thoughts. He had a few other hints for him too.  The part about listening is what got my attention though, how often are we planning what we are going to say without listening to what the person talking to us is saying.  Or do we interrupt because we are afraid we are going to forget what we were going to say.  I thought the boss was giving great advice that will help the new guy be a better administrator, but also make him more liked.  Why is he telling the guy this?  I think part of it was complaints that were made, but I also think he has noticed the new guy is not liked and he wants to help him.  I think that means the boss is listening and paying attention...like I said, I am pretty lucky.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Self Preservation and learning to waltz

I have been considering why people pull back from love and affection and attention from their partners and I think to a large extent, it is about self preservation.  I think that need to preserve yourself happens when confidence in the other person is lost or damaged. For women in DD relationships it seems that they can willingly submit when there is a high level of trust and they seek that companionship and love from their partners. I think the men in the relationship can more effectively lead when they know that their woman are supportive of their role as leader and forgiving of their missteps.  I think men tend to go into self preservation mode when they feel they have made a mistake and begin to beat themselves up about it. 

So, I was thinking about building that trust.  I think a big part of that is knowing that your man wants to help you be in willing submission.  That mean that you are communicating and also I think that means that he is considering what he can do differently to help you embrace your role.  Ultimately it seems that when he is considering how his actions affect your actions that means he is paying attention which makes you trust him more. For the men, I think that if they know they have the support of their partners and know that they aren't expected to be perfect (even though they want to be), they are more willing to take chances and find the path that works best. 

Since I am just trying to find a relationship, I think that so much of this is about building a foundation and not skipping to the construction before we have a steady base of trust, communication, friendship and a genuine like of each other.  I think sometimes people are so focused on the goal that they tend to sacrifice the foundation.

I do often think of this as a dance.  If you are going to dance together, one must lead and one must follow.  The more confident the man is in leading, the easier it is for the woman to follow.  There are times in every dance where the woman yields and there are times in every dance where the man yields.  If you are good partners and are together in how you move the waltz is beautiful  You have to have a steady foundation of good communication and willing submission if you are ever going to waltz perfectly together

Friday, September 20, 2013

Not a door mat

In defending the decisions that they have made to have a dd sort of lifestyle, I often hear woman say, "I am not a door mat".  That has always rung wrong with me and I have been giving it some consideration as to why it feels wrong to me.  I know that the women who say it aren't door mats, but I guess I just find myself wondering why they aren't door mats.  Is it because they don't allow themselves to be walked on or because the men they are with wouldn't walk on them, even if given the chance?  I like to think it's the latter.  I guess I think that because so much of dd is about trust and vulnerability that it feels like if she has to maintain some sort of control to keep from being walked on,  then how do you move forward in trust and vulnerability? I get why people say it because they feel the need to defend their choice and there is worry about abuse and being taken advantage of....

Perhaps I would be more comfortable with "I am not treated like a doormat" with the unspoken part being..."I make myself vulnerable to him and he doesn't take advantage of that trust and walk on me."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How do you know this is what you want?

As I have written before, I am looking for a relationship.  I was contacted by a man recently who does want to be an HOH.  He has had one other dd relationship and said he "took to it like a duck to water".  We have had very long conversations and have found we have a lot in common outside of dd. One thing I told him right off the bat is that I want to know what kind of man he is before we can even discuss the discipline/control/HOH aspect of things.  I need to know we like each other and not find out down the track that the only thing we have in common is an interest in dd.  He has respected that and we are tentatively starting to explore what a relationship would look like.  We seem to have similar views on things.  I don't want to be under a high level of control.  I also don't want to be treated as a child.  I did talk to one man who wanted a little girl and while that is fine for some, it is not for me...I discovered that pretty quickly.  I did appreciate what he taught me about myself though and about needs and wants and desires.  I guess it was good to have a daddy type who was willing to help me explore a bit without any pressure.

The question that has presented itself, though, is: how do you know this is what you want? I like that there is a way to resolve conflict in relationships and move on.  I also like that I can be myself: strong, capable and confident and have the man like that.  I have dated men who say, "You intimidate me".  Yes, that it just not something I want to deal with.  I want a man who likes that I am accomplished.  The man I am currently speaking with says he thinks in a relationship you should be allowed to be all you can be.  There is a sexual aspect to this, also, and we both acknowledge that.  There is something attractive about a man who is strong enough to let me be all I am with no hiding.  There is also an attractiveness to having a man I can trust enough to yield all control over to him.  I think putting myself across his lap is the ultimate show of that trust and I think that is the turn on on both sides. 

I am still formulating my thoughts on this.  Would anyone out there in blog land be willing to answer that question if it were put to you before you were in a dd relationship (maybe you were asked this question as well):  How do you know this is what you want?  Further, once it came out of the fantasy world and became real:  How did you know that it was indeed what you wanted?  Did you know right away or did you slowly come to the realization after you embarked on the journey? I find I am by turns excited, nervous and even a little scared.  Did you all go through those feelings after you and your significant other decided to give dd a try?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Computer security

I know a lot of people worry about their children...in-laws...husbands seeing what is on their computer screen.  I have recently found a solution!

For ensuring no-one can see your passwords or what you are typing (and keeping your fingers warm!)

 Ensure no-one can see your passwords or what websites you are visiting….

For the ultimate knitted security!

Start knitting, everybody!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Too Much Woman

I have begun to think that for some men there is such a thing as too much woman, and by that I mean that there are men who prepared to lead a woman as long as she meets certain criteria:  not too educated; not too capable in the out of doors; not too good at making decisions; not too intelligent.  The list could go on, but you get the idea. 

The conclusion I have come to is that these sorts of men realize that their leadership abilities have limitations and there is such a thing as too much woman for them to handle.  I also think the opposite is true. There is such a thing as too much man for a woman and by that I mean there are women who thrive on a lot of control and others that need a lighter touch or maybe they want one that they can push a little bit.

For the men, I think it ultimately boils down to confidence.  Does a man swell with pride when his woman is accomplished, even in areas that he doesn't?  Does a man encourage his woman to achieve everything she can and wants to, or does he feel like he is in competition with her and doesn't want her to get too far ahead?

I guess I just find myself wondering why men want to limit the women that they will consider as good partners.  So many single men seem to have lists of all the things she "can't have" or she just won't make him happy.  (Perhaps that is why they are still single? Whereas the ones that don't have those lists are successfully leading.  I am not talking about momentary doubts about an ability to lead, I am talking about diligently looking for a woman who will not be a challenge to their ego or their leadership abilities), Maybe they just aren't confident enough to guide and lead an intelligent, resourceful, independent minded women successfully...and they know it....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rich Dead Relatives

I recently heard about the "other" folder on Facebook.  If you click on messages in the upper left hand corner, you will see right next to your inbox the word other.  This is the other folder for Facebook.  Since I heard about it I thought I would check it out...it turns out I have two very wealthy, very dead relatives.  One barrister is ready to send me 13.5 million for the one dead relative and the other...merely an attorney, wants to send me 16.5 million for the other dead guy.  By my count, that is 30 million dollars coming from two relatives I never met...so I am planning on getting right on sending those attorney types all my personal information (insert eye roll here) so I can retire to Tahiti.  Anybody want to go with me?  Who knows how many very dead, very rich relatives with attorneys that have no way of contacting you except through Facebook there are that you don't even know about,  who want you to collect their estates and retire to Tahiti with me.

So, who's with me?  Check those Facebook Other boxes!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Now for something totally embarrassing

Okay, I know lots of people who admit to embarrassing things on their blogs...I guess it is my turn.  So, now you have the opportunity to make me feel better or to laugh at myself a little more than I already have...so here goes...I met Will.I.Am the other day and had no clue who he was...yes, I know...I know....but, but, I know who he is NOW....giggle....

So, my question to all of you is....without googling....do you know who Will.I.Am is?  Just off the top of your head? It's okay, you can admit it either way...you're among friends here...clearly at least one clueless friend, but friends none the less....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Now for something a bit lighter

I don't know why, but I was talking to a guy about school being out for summer and then about Alice Cooper.  From there I thought about the Marriott Commercial he made...it is pretty funny.  So here is a link if you'd like a laugh.

Alice Cooper

Some other interesting Alice Cooper facts:  He has been married to the same woman since 1976 (37 years..go figure)
                                                                  He has three children (What that must have been like to  have     Alice Cooper as a father)
                                                                  He is a Christian (Apparently his father and grandfather were evangelists)
                                                                  He plays a lot of golf... (not so weird I guess, a lot of celebrities play golf)
                                                                  Phoenix is his home town (Yeah, Arizona!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Never really prepared

While I was away on a business trip, my sweet cat friend of 19 years died.  She saw me through graduate school and 15, yes 15 moves.  My dear friend who was taking care of her, dug her grave so that I wouldn't have to come home to that.  That's a true friend! 

She was old and lived a good, long life, but you're never really prepared.  My house is quieter and my other cat is doing her best to comfort me.  She is staying close and purring...not her standard behavior.  She's always been affectionate, but not affectionate like the one who died. It always amazes me at how much animals can pick up on your emotions.

Pets are family members and their loss leaves such a hole.  You give your heart freely, knowing that it's going to be broken, but they love you so much...that it is totally, completely WORTH IT! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hugs to all you Canadians!

So, I just have to ask, what is it with you Canadians and DD?  Hugs!  A lot of my bloggy friends are Canadians and HOH/DD types...I'm still not sure what term to use. Why do I mention this?  Because I have started corresponding with a Canadian of the HOH variety.  It is very early yet, but he seems like a keeper.  We have very similar views on how a relationship of this sort should be and we have a lot in common just lifewise...likes, dislikes (although he doesn't like animals on the furniture - good luck on that one, I have cats).  We both like to travel and read and he actually believes in God (Don't laugh those three things are pretty hard to find in a guy) among other things.  So, we are tentatively starting to see if we might work out and it is making me smile.

It is still in the getting to know you stage, which is fine.  I am a thinker so I like to take things slow and that seems to be okay with him.  I hope you all will be around for advice...I suspect I am going to need it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Men and Women working together

Yesterday I had two men at my home to do a couple of things I needed done that I couldn't do myself.  The first to arrive was in his twenties the second to arrive was in his fifties.  I got the fifty year old started by showing him what needed to be done and we discussed what he thought he needed to do and I agreed.  I turned back to the twenty year old and started to tell him what I wanted from him and he started out with, here's what I was told you want, but here's why that decision is wrong about materials.  I told him I understood that he was supposed to push that other material, but I really wanted the materials that I had indicated.  He tried again to tell me I was wrong.  I then told him that if he didn't think he could do what I wanted that I could find someone else.  He apologized and said they COULD do what I wanted.  But over the course of the next 10 minutes he mentioned the material that he thought would be better several times.  I told him again why I wanted to materials that I requested and after measuring, he was on his way. 

In the meantime, the fifty year old shows up with the materials he needs for the repair.  We had a great time talking to each other and I told him about the encounter with the 20 year old. He laughed and said he would have stopped asking the first time I explained why I wanted what I wanted.  He laughed again and said, "He's just young.  He hasn't learned yet."  So, I followed him around as he fixed what I needed and then he needed my help for the final repair.  He was asking me about myself and I told him about growing up with a lot of men and helping them.  I said, they always told me what needed to be done and I told them what I was capable of doing and they just had to work around that.  I told him my rules for moving furniture are that I always walk forward, with the piece in front of me, I don't do the behind the back carry (how do men do that?).  I also always carry the lightest end even if that means we have to move the piece around so it is oriented so that I walk forward.  Finally, if I say I need to put it down, I NEED TO PUT IT DOWN!!! even if we are two feet from where it needs to be. The men I worked with were okay with the rules because they needed the help and were smart, realizing that men and women are different and that men have to modify how they work sometimes to make things go smoothly.  The fifty year old agreed and said it is about communication with woman.  He said men know when something isn't going to fit through a doorway and there is a silent communication to rotate it.  With woman, he said, you need to discuss the plan ahead of time.  As we worked together, he did just that, told me what he was going to do and made sure I was ready to do my part......verbally.....grin. I guess thirty years of marriage had taught him about men and women working together and it was a pleasant afternoon for both of us.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Have you ever...

This sounded like fun and reminded me of a drinking game...

Have you ever:
Shot a gun? Yes
Watched someone die? Yes
Served on a jury? Yes
Flown on a plane? Yes
Swam in the ocean? Yes
Cried yourself to sleep? Yes
Been camping in a trailer/RV? Yes
Rode on an elephant? No
Rode on a camel? No
Been lost? Yes
Eaten just cookies or cake for dinner? Yes
Been on TV? Yes
Been on radio? Yes
Been in a car accident? Yes
Donated blood? Yes
Got a speeding ticket within the last 12 mos.? No
Gotten a piercing (not ears)? No
Gotten a tattoo? No 
Flew in a hot air balloon? No
Flew in a helicopter? Yes
Gone parasailing? No
Been on a jetski, snowmobile or dune buggy?

I need to get busy turning those nos into yeses...except for the tattoos and piercings... I prefer to be a rebel and not follow the crowd when it comes to body art (smile).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Listening with the heart

Today at mass the gospel reading was about the sheep hearing and knowing the shepherd's voice.  He said the meaning of obedience in Greek was to "listen with the heart". I can really embrace that definition whether it is in my relationship with God or my relationship with my future husband.  I need to keep that thought in mind.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Feminism and Femininity

Recently Gabrielle Reece published a book called "My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper". She and her husband have been interviewed on a number of shows and the thing she is really taking the heat for is the fact that she wrote about letting her husband be in charge and her being submissive.  Gabrielle talks about empowering her man by letting him take charge.  Most of the critical comments have been about feminism and how maybe Laird should submit to Gabrielle. 

I have a lot of thoughts about this whole thing.  The first is that Gabrielle changed her tactics in how she responded to her husband and it has helped her marriage.  They have been married for 17 years and in the interviews she seemed happy and calm and in a good place.  So, what's the problem?  I don't think she was saying everyone should live that way.  I frankly don't think everyone can live that way.  Every couple needs to work out a dynamic that works for them and there are so many ways to relate to each other and as long as everyone's needs are being met and everyone is happy for the most part, why not embrace more traditional roles if it works for them?

Second, it seems that even though Gabrielle is the submissive one, she is the one that changed how she acted towards her husband.  That seems to be a reoccurring theme (lol).  The woman wanted the marriage to be better and she didn't want to divorce him (she had filed five years into their marriage) and so she changed the dynamic. She chooses to yield rather than he seizes control. When Gabrielle says she submits, I am sure that what is going through the reporters heads is that he is being some big jerk and forcing her into a relationship style that stifles who she is, but if you think about who really has all the important power...it is still the woman, which is an interesting thought.  She has the power to yield or not, because her husband will not take what is not offered.

The other thing that has been brought up is what a blow against feminism this is.  I clearly don't understand the definition of feminism, so I looked it up.  The definition is the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. So, I'm not sure how choosing to yield to her husband is a violation of the tenants of feminism.  She is paid very well for what she does.  I doubt there are any doors closed to her because she is a woman.  She can vote and do what she wants with her life, even though she is a woman.  So how does her choice violate the doctrines of feminism?  When feminism started I do think woman were treated unequally and they weren't getting paid the same as men for the jobs that they did and there were more than a few male chauvinist pigs keeping woman down and feminism was a force for good, but as often happens when there is a paradigm shift, the pendulum swung way in the other direction.  Things like motherhood and staying at home and being a wife began to be scorned.  If you didn't have a job you were a traitor to the cause and I sort of get that: if a woman wasn't working, she didn't have her own money and she often didn't have a way to get out of a bad marriage.  I think many of the woman in the forefront of the movement rejected the more traditional roles because they saw them as promulgating the subjection of woman.  Being a wife and mother became a taboo thing.  I think, thankfully, the pendulum is swinging back.  I know many women who I went to graduate school with who have chosen to stay at home and raise kids. Their husbands are not complete jerks who forced them to stay home; they arrived at that decision as a couple. Their eduction allows them to freedom to stay home because they know that if they needed to end the marriage, they would still have a way to make it in the world.

Finally there is the thought that some how Gabrielle is no longer strong.  The woman is six feet three inches tall.  She is an athlete.  She contemplated divorcing her husband because of his behavior and I am sure she would get out of the marriage if it wasn't good for her.  She sounds pretty strong to me. She mentions lifting her side with the expectation that Laird will lift his side. She also says it is not about him commanding that dinner be on the table at six, but rather that she is in service to her husband the same way that he is in service to her.  She says femininity is about being soft, receptive and submissive. She likes that Laird is acting more like a man and more masculine and treating her the way she likes to be treated. She says she likes being cherished and protected.  When I read those lines I often think about the romance novels.  You know all those ones where the woman rides in to save the man, where she is independent and has no need for a man, but she saves his bacon over and over and then they ride off into the sunset with him is the passenger seat.  Yeah, I haven't read many of those novels either (lol).

One write suggested that Gabrielle likes the relationship the way it is because it "allows her to not have to be Superwoman in control all the time."  She may very well be right...I can certainly identify with that.  Gabrielle also says that the way they conduct their relationship allows Laird to feel empowered.  The reporter argues that not all men need the dynamic to feel "empowered".  I would tend to agree, but when you show a man respect and let him lead, you often see a blossoming that just can't be achieved without a woman's hand in that area. I think deep inside of every man is a knight who wants to show his lady what he can do for her and what he can achieve for her. When she respects him and yields to him and shows him how proud she is of him, he is empowered in a way that I don't think can be achieved any other way.  I would say the same for a woman.  Having a man stand behind you and encourage you and be your strong rock, empowers women in a way that women just can't be achieved on the own, even with feminism on their side.   

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Common courtesy

So, when did common courtesy go out the door?  I'm home, taking some off time and I come out into my backyard to find a woman and a man putting screws into my (our shared) fence because their dog can squeeze through the loose boards.  Which is a great thing, but sort of presumptuous...isn't it? Or am I way off the beam here?...You can't knock or ring the bell to tell me what you want to do?  They apologized for not ringing first, said they assumed I was at work...grrr...

I'm not sure if I should feel violated or glad...

Friday, March 1, 2013


Today at work was an interesting one.  Today was about respect.  Now, I know that word is bandied about quite a bit in these circles.  It is discussed how respect is almost more important to a man than love.  I guess I sort of knew that in a sort of peripheral way.  It was front and center at work today.

I work for a great guy and we have a new boss who is also a great guy. They are fun, easy going, kind and thoughtful.  Today one of them got on a rant about respect.  He was right.  He had been to a meeting where he was ambushed and he thought the ambush was disrespectful. He told that to everyone who came by to discuss the occasion of the disrespect.  I guess I have always thought disrespect was most commonly shown in words or body language when two people are communicating. 

This disrespect was about hiding something and then using it as a weapon.  This disrespect was between two men (yes, I am innocent of involvement...thank goodness and also thankfully the one woman involved did the right thing and wasn't disrespectful.  She didn't hide anything).  What I realized as I listened to his anger was what that he doesn't mind bitter disagreements or not getting his way, but he doesn't like being caught off guard and not being given the chance to respond in a reasonable manner so that everybody wins.  To the guy that was disrespectful it was about a minor victory that made the small disrespectful man feel good about himself. I am sure he gloated!  To the guy he was disrespectful to, it was about betrayal.  He said he always tries to be respectful of others and he couldn't understand why the other guy was being that way. 

It was very interesting and educational to hear all those things we hear in our little blogosphere right out there on the table.  Disrespect isn't just about words and body language it is about intent and in this case it was about premeditated intent. 

When I started this blog it was about finding teachers...I think I got the Master's Course in the effects of disrespect today!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Knights and Dragons

Things have been tough at work.  There is a lot of infighting, but I am mostly staying out of the fray at least visibly.  What I find very interesting and heartening is that my male colleagues are more upset about the way that I am being treated than the things they are having to endure.  Pretty sweet really. They pop by my office to tell me that they are behind me and to ask me what I think we all should do.  They also seize opportunities to explain to the dragons why they are wrong in their opinions of me, without me asking or even mentioning it.  As a department we are rallying to fight the dragons and I guess I am the fair maiden (who rides a horse and wears armor) around whom they are rallying.  The dragons are trying to pretend they aren't dragons and are trying to shift the blame away from their actions.  I keep reminding the knights that there are lots of problems, but the dragons need to be taken care of before we can deal with the other problems.  So far the knights agree.  The dragons are getting nervous and trying to play nice with us, but we are of the mind "Too little, too late!" 

In other news, I have gone out on a 4th date with a very nice man.  He is courting me!  At one event he saw they had my favorite candy and bought me some.  Another time, he brought a book that we had discussed.  I have read that the standard now is to ask a woman to come "hang out" instead of actually date.  I like that I am dating a man who actually makes plans that he thinks I will like, who asks me far enough in advance that if I can't make the night he suggests we can make alternate plans.  I'm not sure where this is heading.  I usually only hear from him once a week or week and a half.  Maybe it is just a friendship in the making but it is nice and I'm just going to enjoy it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I was watching the World Figure Skating Championships yesterday or Worlds as they're known by the in crowd.  I haven't watched Worlds in forever, I'm not sure why, I guess life just interrupted things...that and living and working in places that don't have TV.  I guess I just fell out of the habit and didn't fall back in when TV reception was again available.  I used to watch every year because...well...I used to be a figure skater and I used to ice dance...not in a Torvill and Dean sort of way, but I did ice dance.  I loved it!  In addition to skating with my partner, every Sunday morning the ice hockey team would show up in their hockey skates (for those of you who don't know, hockey skates are WAY different from figure skates, the blades are much wider, the boots are heavier and there are no toe picks which are essential for jumping).  It always worked out okay though because the guys were GOOD skaters.  We all had a wonderful time and it was pretty fun to be held close by some pretty cute hockey players...what's not to love?

So, as I was watching, I began to remember what our coach used to say about how we should dance.  It is the man's part to present the woman.  It is the man's job to support the woman. It is the man's job to protect the woman.  I'm sure the same is true of ballroom dancing.  This idea is a pretty old because it is tied to a pretty old art form.  I just wonder when it stopped being the norm.  I was just as strong, capable and as good a skater as my partner, but how we ice danced was different.  Our feet were very close together and one misstep and we would both go down.  That's what was pretty impressive about ice dancing with guys in hockey skate, they had to be especially careful to keep from taking us both out in those clodhoppers they called ice skates. We were also often in a rink full of skaters and because I was skating backwards, it was up to my partner to negotiate me around all the other skaters.  I had to keep my eyes on him and trust where he was taking me.

So, I harkened back to the days of Viktor Petrenko.  He used to do a pairs routine...alone.  This wasn't ice dancing, this was a pair routine that involved him lifting the invisible woman over his head, doing death spirals alone and pretending he was actually skating with someone.  It was hilarious!  But it made an interesting point...the man's job is not nearly as complicated as the woman's.  His job is basically to lift her up so she can do pretty things with her body or be thrown through the air while executing a jump.  He holds her off the ice when she is doing a death spiral. In those cases his strength is what keeps her from crashing into the ice. In a lift, he is her only support, in a throw jump, he throws her and then will often catch her, in a death spiral, her face is inches from the ice and has only his hand to support her.

The thing I remember the most is that if you don't trust your partner, you will never be a good team.  If I didn't trust my partner to carry me or support me, I would hold back and when I didn't commit, it never went well. I noticed that at competitions and last night too...the guys always had their eyes on their partners.  They were protective and gentlemanly and considerate.  A carry over, I am sure, from how they were on the ice. The mens' hands were always out to help and the women took those offered hands.

So, my thoughts were that in ice dancing or pairs figure skating or ballroom dancing, the women's part is much more complicated.  She must accomplish a lot more in their time on the ice (not very different from life, I suppose, being the multi-taskers that we are).  The man's job is to watch his partner and figure out when he needs to provide his strength and support and when to let her fly alone.  I can remember those moments in competition when the crowd fell away, when my partner and I only had eyes for each other and when I could do anything because my partner was there to support me and keep me from falling.  It was liberating.

I also think those things are buried deep within each of us, just waiting to be nurtured out into the open.  It makes me a bit sad that in today's culture those supportive hands are frowned upon, because I would never have flown on the ice or made it as far in my life as I have without them. 

Now, I think I need to dig out my skates....

Friday, January 11, 2013

The man in the arena

I have struggled a bit of late, trying to figure out my place in the world.  Times I have wished for many things.  Times I have prayed for less loneliness.  Times I have questioned my place in the fabric of life.  I guess we all do, no matter how accomplished or unaccomplished.  Perhaps we never know the impact of our lives on the world, except when we are old and perhaps not even then.  Perhaps we only know when we are on the other side of the veil of death and then perhaps what we achieved will not matter so much as that we strove to live as best we could.  That we stood again and again despite the stumbles. 

I call to mind a quote from Teddy Roosevelt.  It seems, he, too, asked those questions of life. I'm not sure he had an answer, but here are his thoughts:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

A bit of melancholy as the year turns and as I see another birthday approaching.  But even as I write this I find myself thinking, that every day is the perfect day to start over.  I can't even hang on to a good bit of melancholy. 

Pollyanna always rears her ugly head, doesn't she?   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Practicing Virtue

It's funny how we see people in life.  I had a conversation with one of my colleagues about a students that I knew what going to be a problem.  My colleague gave him the benefit of the doubt and then told me at the end of the semester that I had been right.  I mentioned another one that was going to be a problem and he was shocked, but I think he trusts my judgement on these students.  I have always been a pretty good judge of character from the first time I meet somebody.  That doesn't mean I don't like or don't get along with people who are going to be a problem.  I am pretty laid back and I really don't get ruffled feathers too much, but I can see what their character is pretty quickly.

On that note, I spent Christmas with a friend.  He has a wife who for all intents and purposes is treated as a child.  She has no responsibilities and rarely has an opinion on anything.  I think my friend likes that.  He likes being responsible for everything.  Many a time when I mention something about a conflict between couples he blames the wife and says he would divorce her if his wife acted that way.  I keep quiet, but I tend to think, "Words are cheap, Buddy. You didn't divorce your wife when early in your marriage she acted that way."

So, he was bad mouthing a mutual friend who he thinks is bossy and was a terrible wife.  Truth be told she can be pretty controlling, but as I tried to explain to him, she was married to a functioning alcoholic.  Which my friend knows, but, of course, the wife (well ex-wife now) is totally at fault and it is his opinion that she wouldn't have acted that way if she didn't already have those tendencies...maybe he is right...but did she come into the marriage behaving that way or did she have to embrace those latent qualities because her husband often didn't behave as an adult? By the way, I love her husband.  I always have.  I'm not sure how easy he would have been to be married to though.  In a nutshell, my friend doesn't like her.  Go figure!  What amused me to no end though, is that the woman he held up as a model of virtue and the perfect wife is about ten times more controlling than the one he doesn't like and she is combative, has few friends because she is so confrontational, and she fights constantly with her husband.  Her husband raves about how great she is and my friend only knows that side of her.  My friend hasn't seen her "in action".

So, now comes the chance to practice being virtuous for me.  I like both of the woman he talked about.  They are both friends and they both have their faults and failings like everyone does.  I know them much, much better than he does.  As I am listening to this diatribe, I think back on the conversation I had with a colleague (written about here) in which he said he was not going to tell me something because he didn't want me to change my opinion about somebody (I think it was his gentle way of saying he wasn't going to gossip).  So, it was the moment of truth, do I tell my friend the truth about the woman he thinks is so great or do I keep my mouth shut? I decided in that moment that it didn't really matter if my friend knew the truth or not.  He is not going to have any sort of relationship with either of the women in anything other than a superficial way.  The one he dislikes he never really associated with so it really wasn't important for me to defend her and it would have been of no good benefit to change his opinion about the one he does like.

Craig Ferguson (the comedian) says the way he judges whether he should speak or not hinges on three things: Does it need to be said?; Does it need to be said by me?; Does it need to be said right now?  The answer to all three of those questions in that moment was no. So, I practiced a little virtue and kept my mouth shut.  Now, if I can just make that a habit!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The value of virginity

Every now and then you hear about a young woman auctioning off her virginity.  I find that really curious.  I would think that an inexperienced woman would want someone who she is at least attracted to show her what sex means.  I would hope even more that she would want to find someone who at least professes love for her, not just some guy who can bid the most for the honor of deflowering her.  I say honor because isn't it an honor?  Does a guy who will pay $780,000 (yes, that is the real figure) consider it an honor?  I wonder.  Is he just in it for himself?  Will he give her all the care and attention that she deserves? I wonder about his motives.  Why would he pay so much?  Is it just because there are so few virgins around anymore?

I know most people "lose" their virginity in high school.  On a side note I have a real problem with the idea of "losing" your virginity.  I think that it should be thought of more as a gift. It shouldn't be "I lost my virginity" but rather "I gifted my virginity" or "I gave my virginity"? The idea of losing it just seems like you have no control and I like to think that you do have a choice and it is a gift.  Does a woman who will sell her virginity on eBay see if as a gift or does she see it as a commodity?  Will she regret it later? Is this 20 year old woman a rarity because at 20 she is still a virgin?  Does virginity lose it's value as a woman ages?  Say the woman was 50 instead of 20, would her virginity still be considered valuable?

Which brings me to the idea of virginity being valuable.  Does it only have monetary value?  Or is there some priceless quality that is attached to it?  Is there some inexplicable value to saying to your spouse, "You are the only one I have been with, I am yours alone.  I have never shared myself this way with anyone but you."

Do men value virginity?  Does a man want a wife who has no experience or does he want a wife who has some experience?  Does a woman want a man with some experience or would she think him being a virgin is a valuable thing?

I find more questions than answers.  It seems in today's society that virginity is more of a thing to be gotten rid of quickly.  It seems to be some sort of burden rather than something of value.  I wonder if this has always been so or if views of sex have changed views of virginity.  There saw much talk of Princess Diana's virginity when she wed Prince Charles and hardly any talk of that when Kate Middleton married Prince William.

Does a virginal bride have value because she is pure and innocent?  I'm just not sure.  I do know that a woman who will auction off her virginity on eBay doesn't think there is intrinsic value in being able to give herself to a man she really loves or thinks she loves and that makes me sad.