Friday, July 31, 2009

Love and Marriage



I spent last Sunday at a Central Park concert with three of my cousins. We danced, sang, took pictures and generally had a wonderful time - the kind of fun that makes you say "We need to do this again SOON!" But the best part of the day was undoubtedly the spirited and brutally honest conversation we had in the car on the way down to NYC and at the restaurant after the concert was done. Guess what we chatted about? Relationships.

We all kind of came to the conclusion that the examples of everyday love and marriage in action that our immediate families set for us pretty much doomed us to relationship failure. I mean, I always thought my parents had a great marriage until it dawned on me that my mom did most of the compromising and bending in their relationship. Dad's job was to have a job and provide for his family. My mom's job was damn-near everything else. That may have worked for them, but it made me say "NO WAY!!" as theirs was not a relationship I sought to emulate in the slightest. My cousins all saw similar things in the relationships that surrounded their lives as well. "Why are these two people even together?!?" is the question we all found ourselves asking at one time or another about our dear relatives. We couldn't imagine putting up with so much and getting so little in return.

Part of it is, perhaps, that our relatives grew up in a time where marriage really did mean "'til death do us part." Being miserably unhappy was not a reason to toss in the towel and call it a relationship in their books. With divorce rates currently hovering around 50 percent, it's not hard to figure out that my generation doesn't feel quite the same way. Not quite sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing - it just is, I guess.

Have one-sided relationships clouded your opinion of love and marriage? Check out our message board and let me know how you feel about it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dogzilla and Me

Meet K, our new puppy. He is a now four-month-old Lab/German Shepherd mix that hubby-to-be (H2B) brought home from North Carolina after a track meet. I didn't want a dog at all, but H2B really, really did. I compromised and only asked for one thing in return: a small adult dog (a shitzu would have been nice). What I got was K. Please don't tell me how cute he is...

Two reasons I didn't want a dog: we already have a cat (9-yr-old Vestley) and puppies, I hear, are a lot of work. For the record, we are almost never home for long stretches of time. I work during the day, teach writing classes at night, coach track in the afternoon and have karate classes at least three nights a week; H2B coaches and is gone almost every weekend from November through July (in fact, he is at a meet as I type this). It just seemed to me that we hardly have the lifestyle for a dog that has to be walked and fed at regular intervals.

Seems I was right. Although K is slowly getting the don't go IN HERE but OUT THERE thing, I'm coordinating feedings and bathroom runs more than I've done since my son was 2 (he's now almost 16). I swore I wouldn't walk, buy food for K or take him to the vet, but I did all that within his first days here. Also swore I wouldn't bathe him, but we're heading to the local dog wash as soon as I'm done chatting with you. Never say never, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, K is a great dog. He's got a wonderful disposition and is affectionate and sweet - but having a puppy is a lot of work. Last night, in the middle of a torrential downpour, I held an umbrella in a futile attempt to keep us both dry while K did his business outside. Not what I signed up for at all. At this point, I'm about done with scooping puppy pooh from the front lawn. If there is a nastier job on the planet, I don't know what it is...

Dogzilla is what I call him when he chews my flip-flops, eats the cat food and pees in the foyer only inches from the front door (thank God it's tiled and not carpeted there), but he's Puppy Love when he greets me at the door by licking my toes or climbs on my back when I'm doing my morning pushups. Ours is truly a love-hate relationships, it seems...

Proceed With Caution, Please...

So, yeah, there are a lot of males who have behaved badly and are being called to the carpet for their past actions. Hats off to the women...