How To Charm The Socks Off Your Man

I thought I’d share some of Cisco’s favorite things. Things he loves about me, special me-isms that make him happy, me me me I I I. Implement some of these helpful tips today to woo the crud out of your man.

1. Almost never stand up straight. This has more impact than you might think. Cisco used to call me “S” because that’s the shape my body makes at rest. Can’t picture it? I’ll paint you a picture: Head jutted forward and down, shoulders slumped, chest caved in, gut thrust out (I really go for it), butt tucked and knees locked. You can’t imagine how flattering this posture is. It’s so overpoweringly attractive that Cisco has been trying to break me of it for almost eight years.

2. Never not crack your knuckles. He loves it. Especially when he’s just dropping off to sleep.

3. Go buy a new pack of bobby pins, and leave them all over your house. Especially on his desk, nightstand, and everywhere he might possibly want to set a drink down ever. I’ve been using this one for years, and it lit-rally makes Cisco’s eyes bug out of his head. I’m training Snert to do it, too, so if I die in a freak accident tomorrow they won’t have to miss me too much. Earrings and bracelets work well for this, too.

4. Tell him about your feelings more. He wants to know every minute detail of your emotional make-up, and he’s tired of having to work so hard to draw you out. After a long day of work, there’s nothing that refreshes him like sitting down with you to talk and talk and talk.

5. You know that one chair in your bedroom? The one he likes to sit on when he puts on his shoes? Make sure it’s always piled with decorative bed pillows. Husbands love decorative bed pillows – the more the better. If you’re some kind of pillow-hating freak you can use laundry.

6. Cover every square inch of the bathroom sink-top with your toiletries. This lets him know how hard you work to be pretty for him, and leaves him feeling really loved.

7. This one is the magic bullet, so only use it if you’re really trying to turn him on. Find the oldest, stainedest, fugliest pair of sweat/pj/yoga pants in your collection. The crotch should go at least to the knees. Pair it with one of his holiest, pit-stainedest college t-shirts, and really thick socks. If it’s Winter and you’re really trying to make a point, throw on a hat and a sweatshirt. Wiggle eyebrows provocatively as you approach the Marital Bed.

Looking back over this, I can see how much of it has to do with the way Cisco likes things so sloppy, and I have to overcome my neater nature to please him. These are the tough things we do for love.

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Deep Thoughts With Rose

Are you ready for this? Cue Yanni.

One of the readings for today’s mass (or was it the gospel? I really was paying attention when I wasn’t whisper-yelling at Snert to stop jellyfishing* all over the pew) was about fasting. The one about not letting yourself go all greasy and starved-looking so that everyone knows how hard it is for you. In the homily, Father made the point that fasting is not just for Lent. It should just be part of life. This is exactly the kind of thing that I don’t want to hear. I’d like fasting to remain one of those things that’s meant for Other People. Like sainthood.

A friend told me recently that “nothing unites body and soul” like fasting. She’s absolutely right, but it’s a strange statement, because if fasting unites our body and soul, then they aren’t united to begin with. We’re all living, at least to some extent, divided lives. Divided from ourselves. But yes, well, duh, Sin what what? This isn’t a new concept, it’s just that I feel honestly creeped out thinking of myself as fractured. Like the Janus head – half of me pointing one way and half of me pointing the other.

That just made me think of something totally unrelated. When my mom was a girl, her mom used to warn the kids to behave because, she said, she had eyes in the back of her head. My mom took her at her word, and used to live in horror that one day her mom would pull aside her hair, and there would be those head-eyes, staring at her.

Another thing that struck me about fasting is that there are many different kinds. There is fasting from food, of course, and it really is powerful (always with God’s grace) to choose to do that, but there are other ways we fast, too. In fact every single person, at every single moment, is fasting from something, whether they like it or not. The mother of many small children fasts from sanity alone time. The elderly and sick fast from physical freedom. The lonely fast from friendship (I think loneliness might be one of the greatest unsung sufferings). And so on. I realize that this is oversimplified – each unique situation has unique nuances of suffering – these are just quick examples.

Now I could just use the word “suffering” for all of those fastings, and that would be correct, too, but I want to emphasize the sufferings that are a “doing without”. It matters to me right now because this morning I felt a hunger for more children that was as real and as physically painful as actual hunger. The similarity was stunning. And I thought (I probably didn’t think. It was probably the Holy Spirit. But that’s always hard to say, because while that makes me all humble for not taking credit, I makes me seem like an ass for saying that I’m so super that the Holy Spirit talks to me. (But I am an ass, and the Holy Spirit talks to everyone (I just listen because I’m so super (Damn.)))) Shoot, where was I? Right, so there was a thought, “But what if I approach infertility like fasting?” What if, even though I don’t have an actual choice in the matter, I choose the fasting of infertility? Another way to say the same thing would be “What if I ’embrace my cross’, ‘lean in to the pain’, or ‘offer it up’?” So again, nothing that hasn’t been said before. It’s just a nuance of suffering I’d never considered before, and since infertility is the major cross in my life, and it’s a suffering of “doing without”, it seems particularly apt. I dunno. I’m still thinking about it.

It has occurred to me that I like this idea so much because I tend to think of fasting as finite – something you do for a little while, and then you get to eat again. And I’d really like to eat (children?) again.

Also, it strikes me as… breathtaking that infertility, the thing that makes me feel most divided from myself – most freakish- could be the very thing through which God unites my body and soul.

Whoa.

So many deep thoughts up in here.

Anyway, since I’ve way surpassed the limits of preachy, here’s a little bit more nerd. According to diction.ary.com, these are some other definitions of fast:

“fast: noun. a chain or rope for mooring a vessel.” [Fasting keeps you grounded in God, etc.]

“fast: adj. proof against fading.” [Kind of like a proof against fading-in-faith-or-love-for-God, i.e. lukewarmness. Boom. Am on fy-ah.]

fast: apology. I have milked this for all it’s worth and then some, and if you are still reading it’s only because you’re my sister or my husband and I’m sorry I really am I will try to keep it toned down next time.

*Jellyfishing is when kids go all limp, and won’t sit up at mass because they are so “tired”. This never happens at the park.

Quick Takes – Summer Style

That’s not gangrene. Snert just circled all of his cuts with black pen. Duh.

1. Am in the throes of the yearly Swimming Suit Quest of Horrors. Have discovered that this is the year that every single store on earth chose to no longer sell women’s board shorts… unless they are men’s board shorts (a nice sales girl showed me their board shorts the other day and I said “Yes, but where are the women’s?” She said “These are.” Huh.), or those teeny tiny scraps of nylon that somehow manage to cover less than underpants.

2. Wow, I got back to underpants quickly! Promise am not underpants fixated, but while we’re talking about it, I might as well tell you about the awesome term my sister coined for those jean cutoffs all the teen girls have been sporting. You know the ones. She calls them Junderpants. You’re welcome.

Anyway, in swimming suit cover-up news, have settled on white (why?) board skirt with a strangely bunchy backside. Vogue, I am waiting to be Discovered.

3. Am not some kind of bathing suit prude. Applaud all of you who don’t need to wear the Mom Skirt/Short getup. You are brave and I want to be you. Just not that badly.

4. Came home the other night from a spiritually formative evening feeling refreshed and saintly. Saw that the kid was still up and decided to be pissy and terse instead. This is very bad because when I make my pissy face my chin recedes in to my neck. Am pretty sure this distracts Cisco from seeing how hard my life really is. Must either grow chin, or give up pissy forever.

5. Am listening to Snert and his cousins “play” memory. They all cheat, they all hate cheating, it’s everyone’s fault, it’s no one’s fault, and sometimes people get punched. (Not by me.) Can’t make up my mind if I should intervene more, or just let them go all Lord of the Flies on each other until they get their sh*% figured out. Am thinking Cisco would go for the latter, and since he’s the boss of me and I’m not done writing, I’ll go with that.

6. What is everyone’s opinion on camping? My opinion is that other people should do it. Or that if you really want the experience it’d be easier to just roll in the dirt, step in a wasps’ nest, eat Kingsford for dinner, and throw some rocks in your bed. If you have any filthy children, preferably some who have soaked in a Sand-Popsicle-Dirt-Swampwater-Ketchup marinade, throw them in your bed, too. Then set your alarm for 5am and get up and do it all over again. With a smile! Always with a smile!

7. I only ask because I love it so so much, and I want to know if anyone else loves it as much as me. If you don’t, just make sure you bring along some Starbucks Via. That’s their instant coffee, and it’s better than homemade real coffee. Trust me, I don’t even care about Starbucks most of the time. If you don’t drink coffee, well just stay home. There’s no hope for you. Except a Margarita IV.

For more, go to Conversion Diary! Oh, who am I kidding? If you’re here at all, you just came from there.

What Am I Going For Here?

I want a small life. Of course, that encompasses a lot of things – tidy, happy home, daily mass, evenings outside with closest friends, parcheesi with my boys, Summer book reading (if you were wondering, Summer Reading consists of, and only of, Food/Travel Memoirs, and Food/Travel Mysteries – but not the gory or overly-exciting kind. More like the slightly-thrilling-cum-vintagey-romance kind.), grilling, margaritas,  singing, and a very very empty calendar.

Like so.

I want time to sit around with Snert and halfway listen to him tell me all the new names of his stuffed animal “friends”, and how Happy the Dog has been rechristened “Chaser” because it’s a “more dogger name”. I want lots of evenings alone with Cisco. I guess saying that I want a “small life” with all of that is like saying that I want ice cream and weight loss, but I do. I want my days to breathe and deflate a little so that I can fill them up with whatever I want. Aw geez, that was a little writery, but it just slipped out. Next I’m going to two-step around the sun while my dreams soar like eagles on the breeze of reinvention. Or something.

But I really do want my days free to be filled with whatever I want. I want to fill them up with my babies, damn Infertility.

Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done.

I think I’ve felt for a long time like that is some kind of very selfish goal. Or at least unworthy. And I’m declaring now that that is BS. It’s not to say that I may some day be called to a Great Big Good, but I don’t think that I am at the moment. Right now it’s so simple. I’m called to make a happy home. I am called to work and smile, to laugh and labor. And live love eat pray squat nosh kiss slurp keep carry and calm on. I wish my stupid heed could hold that thought.

7 Quick Takes Friday – Underpants Edition

Have a cup of coffee with me.

1. I’ve never done Quick Takes before, but I think it’s really going to work for me, being kind of ADD and whatnot. Not that it’s ever been diagnosed – I just have my suspicions. My mind races, I jump from task to task, I don’t finish things, I’m constantly getting sick of things around the house and switching out photos and pillow covers. I don’t know if these are symptoms of ADD because I’m too ADD to check, but it sounds like it.

2. Snert is still sleeping at almost 9:00 in the morning. I am going on three hours completely to myself since I woke up. Don’t be too jealous, though. If I could switch it out for a barfing three-year-old and a teething baby I totally would.

3. That’s very negative and ungrateful of me. Will try again. I am thankful for time alone. Time to pray, drink a pot of coffee, go to the bathroom thirty times because I wasn’t made to hold a pot of coffee, get the shakes because I wasn’t made to hold a pot of coffee, and put lotion on my lizard feet.

4. We are going camping tonight. In Nature. Which reminds me of the only other time we went camping, and Snert’s cousin was talking about sticks or ponds or something and was calling it all “Nature Parts”. Is now my most favorite term ever.

5. Before Cisco, I thought Body-Bathroom-Sex humor was just so gauche, dahling. One time in college some girls bought enormous flowered underpants and hid them in the boys bedrooms. When the boys thought I had done it, I was most ungracious and condescending about it all. I thought the prank was inappropriate and juvenile, and I thought the cheez-whiz-in-my-shower-head-retaliation offensive in the extreme. I’ll never forget the terror in that boy’s eyes when I balled him out. In hindsight I’m embarrassed for being such a humorless jerk. Two of those girls later ended up being my roommates and very close friends. Oddly enough, they are both cloistered nuns now. I wish I were more like them, giant underpants included.

6. Not that I want to wear giant underpants. Speaking of, I had another college roommate who had underpants wars with her mom. She would buy new underwear at school (we’re talking Hanes cotton briefs with little flowers on them) and her mother would throw them out every break because they were so Sexy. I mean, they didn’t even cover the belly button!

7. Hmmm, let’s elevate things. Hmm hmmm… Ah. I’ve been reading a Peter Kreeft book, The Angel And The Ants, and it’s good! Duh. I’ve like Peter Kreeft for a while, actually. He’s readable. This one is basically about, as the subtitle suggests, “bringing Heaven closer to your daily life”. I’m not very far in to it, but so far he has done a marvelous job of stressing the importance of prayer. As he says, “the most popular and powerful excuse we give for not praying, or not praying more, or not praying regularly, is that we have no time. The only effective answer to that excuse, I find, is a kind of murder. You have to kill something, you have to say no to something else, in order to make time to pray.”

Damn. That is so true. I’m relatively new to regular praying – I’ve only been really trying for a couple of years now – and none of it happened until (all through God’s grace) I flipped my life on its head. Instead of saying, “here is my day, now let’s see where I can wedge in prayer,” it became “Here is my prayer, and the rest can fit around it.” Flipping things on their head made my world right-side-up. Behold, less time wasted, more things accomplished, greater peace, joy, butterflies, etc. Also have sweet halo now.

Go to Conversion Diary for more!