Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Drunk’

Hitchhikers and Romance

We had a weird night on Sunday.  This summer we have been trying to make it to my parent’s for a visit on Sundays.  I never imagined a day when I would worry more about my parents than they worry about me.  That’s  happening.

We usually go out to eat with my parents when we visit.  They live in a small town.  This Sunday I was having a hard time enjoying my dinner.  The entire time we were eating there was a young man standing on  the sidewalk outside the  restaurant  window.   He kept looking at his watch and calling someone on his phone. It was obvious he was waiting for someone to pick him up.  He looked disheveled; messy hair and an over all appearance that stated, “I could use some help.”

I didn’t say anything about him while we were eating.  When we were almost done I spoke.  “Hey Scott, there’s a guy out there who looks like he might need help. I think he is…”

“I know,” Scott interrupted. “I’ve been  worrying about him this whole time.  I’m going to go out and see if I can give him a ride.”

Turns out this young man did have special needs.  He had decided he was going to walk to Walmart to buy some video games.  Walmart was about 6 miles away.  He got half way there, and changed his mind.  He called a taxi, but the taxi never came.  Scott and Zeke gave him a ride to his Grandma’s.

After dropping that young man off, Scott picked Olivia and I up at our  Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Scott told us that  now we can add worrying about that guy to our list of people to worry about.  That boy surely had some troubles.  What if he decides to walk to Walmart again?  What will he do when something happens to his Grandma? Where will he go?

Right while we were  listing all the reasons to worry about that young man,  we drove by a lady who was walking along the side of the rode.  She looked like she could be a Grandma herself.

We were in a tidy, middle-class neighborhood.   This Grandma put her thumb out for a ride.  I’m serious.   She really did.  Scott and I just looked at each other.   We knew we were going to pick this Grandma up;  that would bring the number of strangers we’ve picked up in our lifetime to two.  Both in the same night.

Scott slowed down.  I rolled my window down, and asked that Grandma, “Do you need a ride?”

She walked over to my window and stuck her had in WAYYY too far.

“YES!” She said. “It’s my birthday.”

Then she didn’t say anything else.

I said, “Happy Birthday?!

She just looked at me like she was trying to tell me something else.  Then I figured out she was trying to tell me it was her Birthday, and that’s why she was really, really  drunk.  I actually think she was trying to do a nice Grandma thing.  She was trying to warn me that I was about to let a strange,  intoxicated woman in to the back of my car with my children.

I told her to hop in back.  The kids get drunk with their Grandmas at least every week. They’ll be fine.

No.  I didn’t say that.  I don’t think she would have gotten that joke. We told her we hoped she had a good birthday, and dropped her at her house.  She was sweet.

I don’t know why she walked somewhere by herself to get drunk on her birthday.  And, that would make  the second person in one  day we can add  to our list of people to worry about.  Maybe we should start going to my parents on Monday nights instead.

Something is happening with Scott lately.  He’s really stepping up his game.   I know I married a good guy.   I wrote about how nice he is here.

I said Scott was  a good guy.  He is not a romantic guy.  That’s okay.  I’m not very romantic either.   When I was young I was always a little suspicious of romantic guys.  I know, that’s not fair.  Some romantic guys are really nice.  They are just also in touch with what a woman wants to hear.  But, then there’s that other group of romantic guys.  The ones who are full of crap.  Those are the guys I was trying to avoid.

Scott has set the bar for romance really low.  I’m not complaining.  I’m practical too.    We understand each other.  That’s why he is FREAKING me out lately.  Scott  has a new smart phone.  Since he’s had his phone he has sent me two messages with emoticons.  Do you know what an emoticon is?  It’s an electronic graphic used to express emotion.

Scott sent me a text that said, “See you tonight,” followed by a heart with a cupid’s arrow.  The second message had just a plain heart.

All those other husbands that have been busting their butts, coming up with poems and secret weekend getaways should take a lesson from Scott.  The problem with those guys is that they set the bar too darn high.   Their wives have expectations.   When you have a wife with expectations, you’ve got yourself some problems.

I received my text message from Scott with a heart emoticon.  When I saw that message  I hugged my phone to my chest.  I didn’t know Scott had that in him.  Completely unexpected.  I told him that I was shocked with his gesture, but that it meant a lot to me.  I could tell he was kind of proud of himself.


About a week later Scott was shopping with Olivia.   He came home with a small, deliciously scented  candle for me.  It wasn’t my Birthday, or our anniversary.  I asked Olivia later  if the candle was her idea.  She told me no.  She said her Dad just suddenly decided  they should get me something.

What is going on?

This emoticon thing is opening up a whole new world.  Scott didn’t think he had any game in him.  He does.  I didn’t think I cared if he had any game.  I do.

I can tell that my sincere appreciation for these gestures is motivating for him too.  So, now Scott has a wife with expectations, and now he has  some  problems.



All right my peeps.  It’s time for some straight talk.  I think we’ve been friends for long enough to be real with each other, right?  Today I  am going to get really real.  Like, you may-want-to-cover-your-eyes real.   I want to talk about fidelity, or marriage,or families, or maybe all three.  It’s hard to separate them.

I was talking to a Realtor/friend this week.  She was telling me that she’s getting her butt kicked.  She’s been working with so many friends and acquaintances who are calling it quits.  They’re splitting one home into two.  Everyone is miserable about giving up on what once seemed like a really good idea.

That’s sad stuff.  It’s sad for the family that it’s happening to, but it’s also sad for everybody who cares about them. Everybody who wanted that marriage to last a lifetime,  is now mourning  the fact that it won’t.  Divorce is just sad.  We all know this.

On the same day my friend and I were talking about sad divorces, I had an interesting grocery store experience.   I was getting my cart, and when I turned around this guy appeared from nowhere.  He was about my age, and he was wearing a suit.  I didn’t know him. He said, “Excuse me.  I couldn’t help but notice how nice you look.”

Well, if you want to know how to scare the crap out of me, that’ s a good way to do it.  I jumped.  I think I said, “Thank you.  That’s nice.”   My heart started racing.  Not in a good way, in a scared way.  I pushed my cart away as fast as I could. I think he may have been  following me for a while, but I couldn’t be sure.  My eyes were locked straight  ahead. I am not used to uncomfortable conversations with men.

I know that  guy probably tried that approach 10 times that day. You might be thinking that I’m flattering myself.  You might be right.  He may have thought I was a nice elderly lady who could use a compliment.   But, if that were true, then I couldn’t make a point here.  Just let me make a point.  Can you at least give me that?

This guy got me thinking about some things.  He got me thinking about marriage.  He got me thinking about how precious marriage is, how fragile it is, and how good marriages don’t make themselves.

Many years ago I was a new sales rep.  I was fresh off of my stint as a stay-at-home mom.  I was participating in some training with other, more seasoned sales reps in a city far from home.  We all went out for dinner one night.  The company picked up the tab.  There was plenty of alcohol consumed, and people were having a good time.    I saw married people exchanging numbers and flirting with other married people.  I was told some crazy stories about how things often played out. It wasn’t pretty.

I know I’m not being very open minded, but I am being honest when I tell you that I was disgusted with humanity that night.

I spoke to my manager about it.  He was a good guy.  He was happily married.  I told him that scene wasn’t right.  He told me, “Welcome to the real world, Laura Ingalls.”   He also gave me some sage advice.  He said, “When you are dealing with people in the business world, and of the opposite sex, you either have your ‘open for business sign’ out, or your ‘closed for business sign out.”  He told me that people can read those signs.  He said I had nothing to worry about, because I had a very clear “closed for business” sign. That’s a pretty crass analogy, but it was honest, and it hit the mark.

People do give off signals, don’t they? I probably am not used to having overly familiar conversations with men who aren’t my husband, because I project a signal.  I project a signal that says there isn’t any amount of flattery you throw my way, money, charm or fame you could possess that would make me forget how awesome my husband is, and how fortunate I am to have him.  So, beat it!  At least, I hope that’s my signal.  It should be, because that’s what I’m thinking.

Kudos to grocery store guy for  being stone cold sober and approaching strangers in the hopes of getting a date.  That’s a confident guy.  But really…me? Read my sign, buddy!  You’re up the wrong alley; quit barking.

I was thinking that married people should think about these things.  Marriage is becoming a risky venture in this day and age; married people should invest in  and exercise whatever measures it takes to lessen their risk.  Here are a few ideas on where to start:

Get your fleepin’ “Closed for Business Sign Out” –    Signals aren’t hard to read.  Flirting is a universal language.  Hair flipping, sexual innuendo, standing too close  and laughing too much are all part of the language.  Avoiding talking about spouses and kids is another sure sign that your hook is in the water.

Almost any non-business conversation I’ve ever had with someone of the opposite sex has been peppered with a story about my husband, kids and/or a cute anecdote  about church/faith.   The church stuff is  a classic just-in-case-you-were-getting-any-ideas-here’s-a-bucket-of -cold-water-over-your-head maneuver.

“What’s that you say?  You want to meet for a drink?  That reminds me of the time Jesus met the disciples for a drink.  Would you mind if I asked Jesus to join us?  What am I thinking?  He’ll already be with us.  In our hearts.  Wait.  Where are you going ?”

You can drink, but you can’t get drunk.  Maybe you shouldn’t drink –  I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you.  I know there are tons of good reasons for getting drunk:  it’s good for your health, it’s a good investment,  you feel great the next day,  and we say the coolest things when we’re drunk.  But, there are some bad things about being drunk too. Being drunk opens the gateway for your inner stupid.

If you ever, ever, ever thought about putting out an “open for business” sign, there’s a better chance you’ll do it when you’re drunk.   If I was at a luncheon with those sales people, and everyone was sober, would they still have been flirting and exchanging numbers?  If they were grocery store guy they would.  The rest of them, probably not.

Some  people don’t know how to drink without getting drunk.  In that case, have some apple cider.

Spend more time in risk free places – I’m sorry to beat this alcohol thing to death, but I think we need to be honest with each other here.  When you put that “open for business” sign out, spend a lot of time at the bar, and have a habit of drinking too much.  You’d better be good at handling fire.  You’re playing with it.

How many affairs have started when you’re on a bike ride with your family, or playing basket ball with the kids in the driveway?  Maybe a few.  I’m not sure how, but I guess it could happen.  How many instances of infidelity start at night, in a bar when we’ve had too much to drink?  A few more than a few.

I’m sorry if I sound like a fun killer.  This is just common sense though, right?

Spend time with people who have gold star marriages  You know how we want our kids to pick the right friends?  If they pick friends with bad habits,  those friends habits are likely to rub off on our kids.  You know why we think that?  Because it’s true.

Scott and I have friends who are 20 years older than us, and they make marriage look fun and exciting.  That helps us.

Make sure your BFF is not of the opposite sex – I know.  You have a best friend who is of the opposite sex.  Well, you’re an exception.  Let’s just talk about the rest of the world here.

Almost every woman knows that the most romantic thing her husband can do is to listen to her, and to care about what she is saying.  In good marriages , spouses talk to each other.  They laugh.  They share inside jokes.  That is intimate.

If  something super cool happens, and your first instinct is to call someone of the opposite sex who isn’t your husband, wife,  or family member, that’s something to ponder.  That me be a sign that at some point your marriage will be in danger.

Call a spade a spade – Speak plainly and honestly.  When I had our third baby I had a wicked case of postpartum depression.  It  snuck up on me slowly.  I didn’t know the warning signs.   By the time I figured out what was wrong, I was in deep.  It was too late.

What I learned from that experiences is that one of the best ways for managing, or avoiding future postpartum episodes is to prepare for it in advance.   Doing so, dramatically reduces the odds of going through it again.  The other way to avoid postpartum depression,  is to not have any more babies.  I chose the latter option.

My point is that we all know that infidelity happens.  It’s a real and possible threat for even the coolest/happiest marriages.  Pretending that it isn’t possible is putting yourself at risk.

Speaking with your spouse honestly about how to protect yourselves, and what’s at stake is healthy.   Not in an insecure/whiney way, in a practical way.

It’s also healthy to acknowledge that life happens.   Sometimes our relationships with our spouses are off.  That’s when we are more vulnerable , and apt to make poor decisions.  Talk about that too.   Talk about how it might look easy to start over somewhere else, but talk about how usually it isn’t.  People will be wounded.  A lot of those people are little people.  People we created with each other.

Take care of yourself like you’re still on the market – This one doesn’t need an explanation, does it?  Remember how you used to care how you looked when you were dating?  Keep doing that. Do it for yourself, and do it for your spouse.

Ask for help –  Are there any marriages out there that haven’t hit a slump?  Mine has.  Be secure and confident enough to know that it’s okay to ask for help.  Not from your BFF of the opposite sex, either.  From a counselor.

Pray for your marriage – Put your spouse at the top of your prayer list.  Pray for your relationship.

Well, I’ve got plenty  more, but you’ve given me enough of your time for today.  I just wrote a book.  I didn’t  even know I was going to say all that, but I guess I  did.   Thank goodness I  have  a degree in psychology, and I’m licensed as  a Marriage and Family Therapist in Wisconsin.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to give out all this free, professional advice.

Nope.  You got me again.  I have a degree in communications.   I have nothing  that qualifies me to tell you how to protect your marriage.  I just have a husband that I like and a blog.   You should probably keep that in mind.








Tag Cloud