As I think I’ve mentioned–about a hundred times–I am a very happily married woman of over 22 years. We will be together as a couple for 24 years come June 2012. I say this by way of providing my pseudo credentials–in the relationship department. Again, I’m no expert. And as I’ve also clearly noted previously, for my first time at bat I got extremely lucky in my wonderful hubby.
But here is the thing. Husbands/Spouses/Partners don’t come with an owner’s manual [(1) right] like appliances and computers do. Heck! Computers even give you step by step instructions for how to set them up and when and where to connect cables. Husbands/Spouses/Partners? Not so much. Ha!
So what follows are my random thoughts, observations, and insights that I’ve gleaned over the last 24 years of being in a committed, monogamous, and romantically vibrant relationship. This is not a conclusive list and I may return to this topic in the future.
1. Love happens at any age–yours or theirs. In fact, there is a delightfully sweet newly married couple in their 80’s in our parish and they are a great example of love and tenderness with each other. And when I met my future hubby, the term “cougar” had not yet been invented. But I have heard the younger man and slightly older woman dynamic praised to the skies by others–possibly because men our age are usually trying to date younger women. Anyway, the general consensus that I have heard–and this is not scientific, nor supported with evidence–is that a younger man can keep up with an older woman’s highly romantically charged sensual energy. Well, I’m hotsy totsy most of the time–I joke that my hubby lucked out in that regard. Me, too! Ha! My hubby got the sexy rather than the grumpy wife. So, if the relationship feels good–and you are both consenting adults–go for it.
Were I still on the market–and I’m not–Grati’s personal take on thinking like a cougar is:
If a man is young enough for me to have potentially gestated him, I’m not interested. So men in their twenties–such as actor Aidan Turner–are out, nice though they may be [(2) right].
On the other hand, my hubby is 10 months younger than I am. So I do seem to prefer slightly younger men. Therefore, I intend to be open minded because mature men in their forties–such as actor Richard Armitage–are quite nice [(3) left]. Purrrrrrrr!
2. I am a short gal (5 ft 2.5 inches tall) and my hubby is a tall guy (6 ft 4 inches tall)–not unlike the Vicar Geraldine and her sweetheart Harry [(4) right]. So when I was asked by my hair stylist how that works for the two of us, I/Grati simply replied with aplomb:
Well, everyone is the same height lying down. *wink*
3. Grati’s relationship advice about issues where you and your hubby/spouse/partner disagree:
Successful relationships are not about compromise. Successful relationships are about consensus building–in other words, getting your husband/spouse/partner to think like you do, and making them think it was their idea. Snap!
4. Grati’s take on not so Mr. Fix-it husbands:
$450 later, I have convinced my hubby that he is not a plumber–after he broke the shower pipe using his considerable strength to try to twist a fitting, that turned out to be welded on–nor an electrician and carpenter for that matter. Ha! And let me tell you, he was using the biggest wrench that I had ever seen [(5) right]. It’s a wonder that the wrench didn’t require a “TOID”card–tool owner’s ID. Though, I’m still trying to get my hubby to pull his pants up when he bends down. I enjoy the view, but others might not. Ha!
5. Another clothing related issue is that my husband sometimes wears–and has worn–threadbare under pants that only have a passing acquaintance with something resembling fabric, were it not for me buying him new underwear and throwing out his old underwear. And as to him matching his clothes or colors? Forget about it. Metrosexual [(6)] he is not, bless him poor dear. Ha!
Seriously, I’m a big fan of the Garanimals [(7)] children’s clothing line at Sears ago. Perhaps they should start a line of adult aged clothing with matching tags for tops and bottoms–you matched a lion top to a lion bottom and the color and patterns matched without a kid having to think about it. So the adult based line could have guy related symbols–rather than animals. So for my hubby, the matching symbol clothing tags for tops and bottoms would need to be bicycle related–such as spoked wheels, derailleurs (I have no idea what they are, he just mentions them a lot), handlebars, bicycle frames, gears, spandex, etc. They could also have a line of tools matching symbol clothing tags, other sports, or cars, etc.
6. Grati’s take on spousal/partner territories in one’s own home:
Women might ‘nest’ with decorating our homes comfortably and cozily, but men need their man cave [(8) and right]–a place to call their own. Our unfinished basement is that for my hubby. Down there, he keeps his exercise equipment, old cameras and photo developing equipment, and his overflow books and CD’s, etc. My belief is that if I don’t have to look at the clutter in that man cave space every day, then I don’t care what he does with that space. Thankfully, we only had one serious tornado storm last year necessitating me heading down to the basement for protection. Of course, my hubby first had to clear a path for me to walk through. Ha!
7. Bottom line about making life and love work with our husbands/spouses/partners? Realizing that life is made sweeter by having our loved one in our lives–and appreciating them accordingly.
Or as Glee sang it rather colloquially (and please pardon the vulgar slang in the song title, but it fits), “My Life Would Suck Without You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video)” a video by GleeFullPerformances [(9) below]:
Nota Bene: Coming Soon! A companion essay, “Wife/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual”.
1) Husband/Spouse/Partner Owner’s Manual graphic created by Grati; man in tool belt graphic was found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/?CTT=97
2) Twenty something Aidan Turner image was found at prettypetitepoppy.blogspot at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gAgKhF7hWKo/Tc2KCRr3mkI/AAAAAAAAAMg/PHoso3MFgdY/s1600/Aidan+Turner+t.jpg
3) Now forty something Richard Armitage image was from Sky 1’s Chris Ryan’s Strike Back in 2010, Series 1, Episode 1 (pix 248) and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode1/slides/ep1_248.html
4) This is my favorite image of the Vicar Geraldine Granger (as portrayed by the oh so petite Dawn French, so she must be standing on a box here) and her love interest Harry Kennedy (as portrayed by the wonderfully tall Richard Armitage) from the BBC’s Vicar of Dibley: A Wholly Holy Happy Ending two episode series in 2006, from the Promos portraits (pix 7) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/VOD/album/VODPromo/album/slides/vod07.html
5) Wrench graphic was found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/?CTT=97
6) The Urban Dictionary’s definition of Metrosexual is found at http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=metrosexual; though my hubby doesn’t have sartorial splendor, he is quite erudite with regard to books, music, etc. Snap!
7) Garanimals Children’s Clothing Line info was found at http://www.garanimals.com/about.php
8) A man cave in my hubby’s sense involves a place that only he inhabits where he can work on his bicycle projects, lift weights, etc. The Urban Dictionary’s definition of man cave is found at http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=man%20cave; lamentably for my hubby, he does not have a big screen tv, beer cooler (he doesn’t drink anyway), nor a pool table in his man cave; the picture of a man in a cave is just for fun and found at MSOffice Clip Art Images at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/?CTT=97
9) “My Life Would Suck Without You (Full Performance) (Official Music Video)” a video by GleeFullPerformances found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHtJtDkRPyo&feature=relmfu