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February 09, 2005

CMS: America's Dirty Little Secret

Despite the snarky attempts of some petticoated intellectual dilettantes to sweep it under the carpet, the half-vast editorial staff is becoming increasingly concerned about this looming health problem.

Although it is sometimes called by the misleading misnomer used in the linked article, CMS, or Constant Male Syndrome is the fastest-growing health problem affecting American males in this country. And it's not just men who suffer.

Oh no... we women suffer too. Boy... do we ever...

Harold, age 44, has a not-so-typical Valentines Day dilemma. It's not that he doesn't know what to get for his wife, it's that he doesn't want to get her anything!
"I love my wife [and] I know she expects something nice for Valentine's Day -- candy, flowers, or a romantic card -- but I hate to go through the motions when I just don't feel much passion," he says.
Nodding your head in agreement or sympathy?
You or your partner may be experiencing irritable male syndrome (IMS), which is marked by plummeting levels of the hormone testosterone while under stress. As a result, men may feel withdrawn, frustrated, anxious, sad, and/or lack interest or enthusiasm in just about everything - including you!
IMS is highly common and affects many aspects of life -- 365 days of the year, according to a new study of 10,000 men. Specifically, 46% of men say that they are often or almost always stressed and 55% say they often or almost always have a strong fear of failure. Moreover, 62% have a strong desire to get away from it all, and 40% say they are rarely or never sexually satisfied. The full study results will appear in Diamond's upcoming book.

AHA! Scientific proof of what I've always maintained! Some women may get a tad bit irritable a few short days of the month, but MEN ARE CRANKY 24/7, 365 DAYS A YEAR!

It's their natural state!

But relax. We women are (by nature) angelic creatures... full of sweetness and light.

We love you anyway.

For Pete's sake - forget the stupid card and flowers and candy. We couldn't care less about jewelry, or gifts, or silly cards - we just want to know you still love us. A 5-second hug will do nicely.

And try not being so (*&^ cranky when we come up behind you and try to give you a neck rub at the end of the day. We're tired too, you know.

Sometimes approaching a male in the full throes of CMS takes more courage than taking on a 7-foot grizzly with halitosis and hemorroids. But when you love the bear, you take the risk of getting your head ripped off and rolled down the road like a trashcan full of empty Budweiser cans and burrito wrappers.

We hear a new Miracle Drug (Colt-45) is in clinical trials right now. Researchers report incredible results treating the tragic symptoms of CMS.

The editorial staff can only hope...

UPDATE: This is why you NEVER go to Page 2... who writes these things anyway: Oprah?

This Valentine's Day, "couples can either go through the motions and pretend that nothing is wrong, or they can use this holiday of love to re-examine their relationship and see if IMS may be leading them down the wrong path," he says.

"Generally, the first step is to reaffirm that you care about each other," he says. And then say something like 'tell me what you are really feeling and what you are needing because love doesn't flow the way it did or should,' he suggests. Or say, 'Look, I do love you, but something is going on that we need to talk about.'

"...love doesn't flow???" Nice move there, Ace... when I'm dealing with a cranky male, that's the first thing I always like to do... TALK THE PROBLEM TO DEATH. Why don't you just pour gasoline on the fire and have done with it?

"Hopefully couples can use Valentine's Day for talking about the deeper love that they have for one another and the blocks that may be getting in the way," he says.

Like the fact that you're a hopeless moron? Or that the poor guy hasn't had sex for 6 months because you never stop talking about your fricking feelings?

"Let him know that you are aware that he is in pain and say you will listen and be sympathetic; emphasizing that you are the partner," suggests Larrian Gillespie, MD, a retired Southern California urologist and author of The Gladiator Diet: How to Preserve Peak Health, Sexual Energy, and A Strong Body at Any Age.

I think for Valentine's Day I'm going to dress up in that lovely red lace bra and panties and stand commandingly over the Unit, emphasizing to him in loving tones all the while, "I am the partner, you know..." WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???

Here's my prescription for this year's "holiday of love": lock the bedroom door and engage in a little non-verbal communication for about 4 hours. No talking about your relationship, your 'feelings', or your pain.

Something tells me these people have too much education.

Idiots...

Posted by Cassandra at February 9, 2005 11:18 AM

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Comments

Yeah, but the damn neck rubs *tickle*...

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 9, 2005 11:44 AM

Oh, yeah, and what happened to, and I quote (rummage rummage) Aha! Here 'tis:

"Cassandrat briefed on February 6, 2005 12:54 PM
I take back all the nasty things I said about petticoats.

That 1st picture took b*lls..."

Eh?

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 9, 2005 11:47 AM

Manischievitz!

And they say WOMEN never forget :D

C'mon... you KNEW you were gonna pay for that PMS video - just because I was busy with work and didn't see it until this morning just means you got a brief reprieve.

Retribution is certain.

It may not always be SWIFT...but it is certain :D

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 11:51 AM

Well - don't forget my suggestion for dealing with your caption contests... draft the snarks.

And speaking of - you've been by this morning and had nothing to offer?

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 9, 2005 11:54 AM

Sorry - I'm under the gun at work. Reading and enjoying but I'm stressed to the max. Will try to opine later :)

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 11:59 AM

Hey -- I DID respond to your provocation.

Incoming snark detected and return fire laid on target.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 12:00 PM

62% has a strong desire to get away from it all

What in tarnation is wrong with the other 38%???

Posted by: spd rdr at February 9, 2005 12:02 PM

They're probably cheating on their wives.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 12:58 PM

Wow! A woman who almost understands men! I had heard of such mystical creatures, but thought I would be more likely to spot a yeti or a chupacabra first.

Plus, nary a word about "affirmation", "empowerment", "self-actualization" and all the other psychobabble spouted by the Oprah-watching crowd ("You go, girl"). I am impressed.

Posted by: a former european at February 9, 2005 01:09 PM

Yeah, well afe, "affirmation", "empowerment", "self-actualization" bore me to tears, but in the interest of honesty I have to admit that in the midst of a 'discussion' I have been known to utter the words dreaded by all married men:

"I can't talk to you!...sob!"

...followed by much flouncing and even [shudder] big fat pitiful tears.

So much for my womanly virtues.

I do try, though :(

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 01:17 PM

We never talk...

Posted by: spd rdr at February 9, 2005 01:39 PM

smart a$$...

Seriously, afe, I don't want to start a gender war here, but every time I read one of these stupid articles it just makes my head want to explode.

Does it ever strike you how the presumption is made that women's feelings are automatically legitimate and healthy, and men's feelings are wrong?

Heck, last time I checked 'lust' is a feeling :) Let's get in touch with that one... we'd all be a lot healthier for it. And sometimes women could stand to be a bit more honest about their anger too - they can be very manipulative and passive-aggressive.

And furthermore, who says women only feel certain emotions? Crikes, I started feeling trapped about 1 year into marriage, but that has nothing to do with my spouse and everything to do with my personality. I made a good decision and I've never had cause to regret it, but there are times when I can't help wishing I could run away. I'm sure the Unit feels the same way when he's headed out the door at 5 am to face the Beltway traffic - who needs the aggro? But the alternative is living without the person you love. Tradeoffs.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:09 PM

Heck, last time I checked 'lust' is a feeling :) Let's get in touch with that one... - Cass

*picking up ten foot poll*
*Thinks better and puts it back down and backs away*

Posted by: Masked Menace© at February 9, 2005 02:13 PM

Hey, I thought it was funny :)

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:18 PM

re:*picking up ten foot poll*

Ain't touchin' that one either, Mr. Menace.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:19 PM

I think the Unit and the LG might have a problem with that.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at February 9, 2005 02:20 PM

Whoops...I didn't pick up on that - you're too fast for me. Sorry.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:23 PM

I swear to God, it is like I don't even know you people anymore.

Posted by: Pile On® at February 9, 2005 02:32 PM

"I swear to God, it is like I don't even know you people anymore."


Interesting. You cuss me - because of them?
Your logic is puzzling, Pile.

Posted by: God at February 9, 2005 02:39 PM

That's because we never talk, Pile.

I hate that about us... sob!

*running away*

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:39 PM

Pile-
You're doing quite well in the caption contest at The Castle. A personalized mug could be headed your way!

All this talk of red undergarments, 4 hour interludes, lust as an emotion and 10 foot poles has me wanting to go home. NOW. The Man could go to bed very happy tonight, thanks to you, Cass. LOL!

Posted by: AFSister at February 9, 2005 02:49 PM

We at the half-vast editorial staff of VC do our level best to make the men of America happy, AF Sister.

It is a full-time job...CMS being what it is, and all.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:50 PM

I have to admit I lost about 5 minutes of work time thinking about possible ways of sweetening the Unit's mood up a bit too, AFS...

*&^^ snarky articles.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 02:52 PM

I am? Last time I checked I was getting my clock cleaned, causing me to have to do something at the Institute that I am not all that proud of. Heh.

Posted by: Pile On® at February 9, 2005 02:54 PM

Uh-oh. Bill's fiddling with the trivet again.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 9, 2005 02:55 PM

Well, OK. You were doing better earlier, Pile. But you're not doing bad :-)

My husband was disappointed I didn't put up his "4 bottle of beer on the wall" entry for the helo pic. Oh well....I guess I'd better go change into my red undies and put the stripper pole back up in our room.

Posted by: AFSister at February 9, 2005 03:18 PM

"have to admit I lost about 5 minutes of work time thinking about possible ways of sweetening the Unit's mood up a bit too, AFS..."


Cassandra,
For starters, what about a trail of Valentines Hersheys Kisses from whichever door he enters all the way to the bedroom. Then a pair of lacy undies on the floor right in front of either of the doors.

Just be sure to keep pets away from the chocolate. It's highly dog unfriendly.

Posted by: I Didn't Say That at February 9, 2005 03:42 PM

Ooooh... girl, you are what I used to call a bad somethin'.

Good idea. Actually that gives me several creative ideas...

Can't implement that properly tonight because I have to work, but it just got put into my DayTimer :)

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 03:51 PM

Stating the obvious: Since most doors entering into the house open inward, you'd have to be sure to keep the undies far enough away that they would't get caught underneath the door. Having to force a door open & smashing chocolates on the carpet or floor in the process would not enhance the moment. heh

Posted by: I Didn't Say That, Bad Somethin' at February 9, 2005 04:02 PM

Overheard comment by Mother during the Liberation of Woomans in the 60s and 70s by an impressionable young son:

"They're giving away the store"!

Sounds like y'all definitely know where to get your men to shop! :-o

Now where was that thread about whips, padded handcuffs, and stuff! Hmmmmm! ;-)

On the sat radio: Two out of Three Ain't bad! - Meatloaf !heh!

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 9, 2005 04:03 PM

JHD!

Son! Get your sorry tuckus in here THIS INSTANT!

Open your mouth. Didn't I tell you not to talk that way? Yes, you have to eat the bar of soap... no you can't just say you're sorry.

SON!

Posted by: JHD's Mother at February 9, 2005 04:09 PM

Aw, a good mouthwashingouter tweren't nothin' but a thang!

Now that two foot hand carved wooden spoon would put the fear of God into you!

I never got in trouble nohow. I was always such a sweet, quiet, shy little boy. Virgin right up 'til I married!

Then me boom-boom long time! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 9, 2005 04:41 PM

JHD, you wear me out...

I'm still laughing.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 04:49 PM

Yeah, I saved a few things for marriage myself. And that is what is important really, it does not pay to get bogged down in the details of what you saved for marriage.

Posted by: Pile On® at February 9, 2005 04:57 PM

Allright, before the cheesy porn music soundtrack kicks in to match the level of discussion here, I'll make an effort to get back on topic.

Cass, no gender battle is necessary. You are just commenting on male-female interaction in a very rational way and I commend you for that. The Spousal Unit is a very lucky guy.

You are correct that just because a woman is "feeling" a certain way, that doesn't make it necessarily valid or correct. Unfortunately, Oprah and her ilk encourage women to think otherwise. Every transitory feeling should be viewed as the unalterable Word of God and treated with the same dignity and respect. This is a total load of crap.

I can think of many times that I was angry at someone but, upon reflection, realized that I was reacting too harshly. To be fair to someone, you must always be open to the possibility that YOU yourself may be the problem. Self-honesty is never easy. When you are willing to engage in honest self-examination, you always run the risk of not liking or being too proud of what you see.

The Oprah approach discourages women from engaging in the difficult path of self-honesty, and instead encourages a self-interested, self-absorbed viewpoint where your feelings are the be-all and end-all of life. This is very damaging to interpersonal relationships and your own personal growth as a mature adult.

This is why men go nuts when women start talking about feelings. Its a minefield where any misstep gets you blown up. If you attempt to disagree with what is said, then you are "insensitive" to her feelings, needs, whatever. If you agree too readily or enthusiastically, then you are "patronizing". Its a trick question along the lines of "Does ____ make my _____ look fat?"

When the underlying premise is that her feelings are always correct and unchallengeable, the guy always loses. This is why men bolt for the door when "feelings" come up, because it is so often just a set-up for guy-bashing. Unfortunately, when a woman then does want to have an honest and frank discussion, guys still bolt because they can't tell the difference between the desire for an honest discussion and the set-up job. This becomes a particular problem for the passive-aggressive types of women who, through past experience with their behavior, have essentially trained their men to run screaming whenever "feelings" are brought to the fore in conversation.

Even the simplest animal can be trained through repetitive behavioral patterns. Men are no different. When they have to do the backstroke through a latrine everytime "feelings" are mentioned, they fervently pray they never hear that word again.

I am always amazed at how many women I know are seemingly oblivious to the simple fact that actions have consequences, and that they have trained their men to respond negatively to them. If the shoe were on the other foot and, for example, their man physically beat them up whenever he got drunk, no one would be surprised if she headed for the hills next time he started drinking. I guess it comes back to the failings of human nature that its always easy to blame someone else for your own problems or issues.

Posted by: a former european at February 9, 2005 05:01 PM

I couldn't agree more, afe.

And spd's 'we never talk' joke aside, I do have to be able to talk sometimes.

But I also understand the deer-in-the-headlights look guys get when a woman wants to talk about their relationship. Personally, it has been my experience (through dating an awful lot of guys before I was married and 25 years of marriage) that another reason men avoid these discussions is because they get their feelings hurt a lot more easily than they let on.

Women sometimes beat the guy over the head with a 2x4 because he gets this stony expression on his face and they think he doesn't care, or isn't listening. But he's just being a man - men aren't supposed to go all squirrelly. But they take it all on board.

And the Unit is only lucky that he has managed not to kill me yet. There is a shallow grave out back - if I disappear suddenly, you'll know what happened to me. It's a wooded lot, by a lake...

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 05:15 PM

Ceilings, nothing more than ceilings! Which brings up the time that I had to figure out how to get footprints off the stateroom ceiling back when...... huh?

Damn Afe! That was DEEP! I never think about this stuff. Ever! The Lovely Bride and I have been together, faithfully I might add, for 28 years. She Commands the Bridge at the house and is not a real emotional type. Yeah, she can push my buttons but when she does she has a good idea that there is an equal and opposite reaction. We butt heads on a occasional basis but she never plays the "emotion" card.

The Lady is a career woman and has raised four children. I believe she doesn't need Oprah or anyone else to "enlighten" her. She's very comfortable in her own skin and knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how to get me to do anything she wants. And usually makes me think it was my idea to begin with!

I like that! :-)

This whole man/woman love/emotion thing is way beyond me! She can just give me a Harp Ale and bring it to me naked. No problem! And we all know I am "King of the Remote Control"! Life is really simple for us neanderthals! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad - Love Slave at February 9, 2005 05:26 PM

Another thought, afe.

All this validation of feelings of crap was coming out in the late 70's when we got married and I thought it was garbage then.

Manners are even more important in marriage than anywhere else. I read somewhere once a couple of interesting things.

1. Researchers could listen to a couple talk for a few minutes and predict how long they'd be together. The key? The respect with which they treated each other, and eye contact. Makes total sense to me.

2. This was huge: there are certain things that are like crossing the Rubicon. One is talking about divorce - once you bring it up, it's hard to go back. So don't even go there if you're not serious. Deadly serious.

Another is just general ugly insults and namecalling. A relationship can't recover from that - or it's darned hard for it to. Your spouse should feel special in your eyes - the rest of the world might beat him down, but when he walks through the door at the end of the day, doesn't he (or she) need to know that in your eyes, he or she is still the person you fell in love with? With all the magic that entails?

That's something to live up to. Something to straighten your shoulders at the end of the day. Something to remind you of who you want to be, even if you can't always live up to it every moment.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 05:28 PM

Women's estimable virtue is their softness.

Posted by: Drive-by Chinese Proverb at February 9, 2005 05:47 PM

Well...I agree with Cass because what attracts the two of you is physical but what keeps you together is the mutual respect and it takes work.

If I may 'share' a bit here...up until this year started we had three years of unrelenting stress.
And it took its toll on us.

But what kept us together was what brought us together in the first place and we worked hard to get back to that.

Manners were the first thing. I always speak respectfully of my husband in the presence of my children, no matter how cheesed I am at him, and I insist that they speak respectfully of him and to him. This may entail a little soap every now and then, but this man is their father, and has walked the floor with them when they were sick, provided an excellent living for them at the risk of his life, and has shown me every courtesy and tenderness in a rather painful recovery.

When he comes in the door, he and I gross out the kids by kissing. Heh.

However, when it comes to discussing the major issues, it isn't about feelings because we KNOW we love each other and our children. It is how to make it better.

And we have several strategies in place for making that happen. After Sept. 2003, we decided to talk to a counselor and he told us he wished graduate students in shrinking could do as well as we did in assessing our needs and coming up with coping strategies.

We keep in touch with the counselor from time to time because things come up with the short ones
that are rather heartbreaking.

Adjustment takes work. That is why love is a verb and means not just a committment but seeing it through. THAT is true equality.

And never let the sun go down on your anger.
Kiss and make up. Read stories to the short ones and sing to them, cause after they grow up and leave, it is just the two of you again.

Posted by: Cricket at February 9, 2005 06:01 PM

When I attended University of Alaska, a friend from one of my computer classes was talking with me in the commons, when MathMan walked in on his way to class. As always happens when I see him unexpectedly, my heart did that flippity-flop and I began to smile.

My friend said later that her impression of that encounter was "that is a woman in LOVE!" I am glad it was so obvious.

Sometimes you really get lucky.

Posted by: MathMom at February 9, 2005 06:09 PM

Amen Cricket.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 06:19 PM

Oh, MathMom :)

It's funny - I can pick the Unit out of a crowd of a million Marines (and that's hard to do - the darned guys all have the same haircut and dress the same).

Don't know why. It's just something. I have a picture of him at his BN change of command giving a speech - it's kind of a funny picture, really. He's leaning forward slightly - he didn't use the mike. He just has this expression on his face - it is so open and innocent and grave - almost childlike in a way, and yet so formidable at the same time. You get the feeling that this is a person you could follow to the ends of the earth, if he just said the word.

But not a person you would want to piss off. Somehow that picture captures everything I love about him.

He probably hates it :)

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2005 06:26 PM

"Researchers could listen to a couple talk for a few minutes and predict how long they'd be together. The key? The respect with which they treated each other, and eye contact."

And to think I coulda been making money off this stuff!!!

I remember so well a wedding I sang at in Tulsa in the 80's. It was outdoors at the Philbrook Museum. In my gut I had a horrible "feeling" about the couples future as I watched them basically recite their vows TO THE FRIGGIN" MINISTER! They each looked at HIM the whole time and never at each other!?!?!?!

Sure nuff...it was just some months after that I ran into the grooms sister at a store, asked about them and she said they were no longer together. Surprised? Hardly. The *bride* apparently wanted to travel the world with her Navy husband ~~ so evidently he was more like a free travel ticket. I dunno.

At least pleasant memories remain too. Joe [Michael McDonald sound alike who played keyboard and sang with me] and I were standing side by side. A breeze came along and picked up and began to carry off our sheet music--WHILE WE WERE DOING THE SONG!!!...Without taking my eyes off the couple and crowd..or even leaning out, I only reached out my hand, and caught it...as though it was targeted for my hand-- and I put it back on the keyboard, OF course there was NO way Joe and I were going to look at each other, as I was already fighting laughter and out the corner of my eye I could see his shoulders shaking from laughter. We DID make it through the song without incident. Whew!

I suppose that very dead, very white [it had been dead SO long] frog doing the back float in the water fountain directly behind us( that I saw as we took our place) may have been a sign of this couples unfortunate future: Dead in the water.

And another thing! quitcherbitchin' about Oprah! I just watched her show and enjoyed it. This morning I'd heard the cast from Everybody Loves Raymond WAS the entire show, so I was *obligated*. The finale of ELR is in May. "Robert" (Brad Garrett) will probably have NO problem furthering his career. He is UNSTINK'-BELIEVABLY, non-stop HILARIOUS! I had no idea. Jim Carrey WISHES he were Brad G!

And furthermore (--speaking from the convent): HUMOR...gotta keep the HUMOR intact in ANY relationship! It's like medicine.

And now we return you to our regularly scheduled Dr. Phil Focus Group Program. Sponsored by Victorias Secret, Hallmark, Hersheys & Harp Ale, for those who harp about harping harpies and what ails them.

Posted by: CKC at February 9, 2005 06:54 PM

You know why I have a mad on with Oprah CKC? Because she did a show where she informed people that the middle lane was the "safe" lane. Now we've got every friggin' person in the world driving the middle lane. No matter how friggin' slow they are going! :-o

I do know what you mean about knowing when a couple will make it. There were six of us guys that grew up together. Naturally I attended all the weddings (free bar!) and I knew from the get-go that three of us six wouldn't make it. I was correct.

I also knew my brother's first wife was a camp follower but he wouldn't listen to reason. There was no hope for him from the beginning. He was only an E-4 back then. Pay grade wasn't high enough and he was flight status 24/7.

I believe two of the original three could've been just fine but they refused to work for it. They didn't understand mutual respect!

My Lovely Bride told me something the other day that has me worried. She said, "You know Honey, you are like a great pair of Levis. You are just so comfortable!" D'OH! Should I be worried? ;-)

Comfortable huh? Time for a nice weekend getaway in a 4star with a jacuzzi! I'll show her comfortable! he-he!

Posted by: JarheadDad at February 9, 2005 07:13 PM

JHD THAT is a compliment. No need for words to express 'feelings' or anything New Age. It is a meeting of the minds and hearts after all you have been through together.

I love our silences when dh and I are together. It is a safety and a security that means we know each other's minds, hearts and souls. Oh, there are still surprises, but there is no pretense.

She is a lucky lady, and you are one funny lad.

Posted by: Cricket at February 9, 2005 07:50 PM

JHD,
Gee...I don't think you should be worried 'tall (you already know that though (~;). IMO, you have been HIGHLY complimented. Ooolala. No wonder you're thinking Jacuzzi @ a 4-Star.

(I know the *attachment* to fave jeans.. I just recently had to part with a pair of my very comfy, very favorite jeans...They were soooo comfy, the eventually just wore out.*sniff*. I guess to avoid separation anxiety I could make cut offs out of em' for summer.)
**************************
Mutual respect for each other...AND really, especially in something as demanding as Military, Police, Doctors,et al. FOR the others *calling*, Not only do you marry the person, you're kinda married to what they do. It's a drag, but many Military & Police marriages/relationships take a toll by virtue of the career. I can't imagine the rip of the heart when the guys/gals out on the battlefield get their Dear John or Jane letter.

It's a helpless feeling when you just *know* what's ahead for a couple (as you & I both did). You want to scream DON"T DO IT!

*****************Now back to Jeans......
Your brides jeans comment reminded me of this card I've had forever (I buy duplicates of good ones) in what looks like it's handprinted, outside IT says:
"You know having a good friend is a very comfortable feeling. You can relax and just be yourself. There's not that constant pressure to try to prove how much you like somebody. You don't have to test true friendship. You simply know that your friend is always there for you, ready to accept you as you are....No expectations. No obligations. Just an easy kinda relationship that's as comfortable as your favorite jeans."

Inside:
"Isn't that a nice little thought? How come YOU never send pleasant little friendship cards to ME? Why do I always have to be the one to keep in touch? What--are YOU TOO COOL to send me a card just to say, HI? Are YOU too lazy, lollygagging around in those damn ragedy jeans of yours, to do something nice for ME? I mean, we're supposed to be friends!! A little effort on our part would be nice once in a while...."===LOL...That could have been written by a sufferer of PMS ~~or~~ CMS.(~;

This Valentines thing gets whackier all the time. I got a junkmail card from a Broker/Mortgage Co. today: "DO something different for Valentines Day...Buy your sweetheart a Home!". Well, yeah...that would be "different". Talk about stress over Valentines...a 30 year long Valentines Day? Besides, Valentines Day sux! (~;) It's just a sinister ploy by the candy & card companies, and the anti-Christ who wants to destroy any health related new years resolutions, along with getting people sugar addicted right before lent.

Posted by: CKC at February 9, 2005 07:51 PM

No Cat, really?
Tell us what you really think. Really. Don't hold back. :)

Marriage is a funny thing, ya know.
It's never quite what you think it is, you just have to make it up along the way. Just when you think you have it figured out, the rules subtley change.
Being a batchelor is logical, rational, controllable.
And a total dead end. I lived that life for a long time (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away). Sorry, not gonna go back to it, wouldn't be prudent...at this juncture!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 9, 2005 09:45 PM

Don,
You wouldn't return to the galaxy of bachelorhood because you'd have to eat broccoli again? (~;)

Posted by: CKC at February 9, 2005 10:13 PM

I'm afraid I'll have to take exception to this:
"No talking about your relationship, your 'feelings', or your pain."

Unless of course you're willing to concede that administering the occasional smart spanking isn't really what you had in mind by pain. Heh!

Posted by: Dan at February 10, 2005 01:05 AM

Cass: I entirely agree with your comments. I too have found that people who fight dirty/ugly usually do kill the relationship. If you truly love someone, there is no reason that you can't disagree respectfully, even if you do it a bit forcefully.

Also, Cass, I think this ties back to our conversation a few threads ago that your loved ones need to feel appreciated for those relationships to grow and stay healthy.

CKC: As much as I usually respect your views and agree with your posts, on this we must differ. Oprah is unquestionably the devil.

JarheadDad: Thanks for the kind words. Your wife sounds like quite a catch.

Cass, Cricket, Mathmom, and all the other estimable ladies on this blog, and other blogs (i.e. Scrapplers), it has been my pleasure to know, your posts merely demonstrate that you are intelligent, stable, emotionally-mature women. Your respective spousal units are lucky to have you.

Sadly, I do not believe you are a representational sample of the general female population. My post was directed to the "average" women out there who seem to endlessly ride random emotional rollercoasters, and who are told by the Oprah/Donahue/Dr. Phil/70's fad crowd that such chaos is to be treasured. Self-examination must never occur, and you should not think or analyze, just go with whatever you "feel" at the moment. Bollocks!

Posted by: a former european at February 10, 2005 02:48 AM

Well, afe, thanks for the kudos. I don't watch Oprah, as adorably cute as she is. I detest Jerry Springer because of the ugliness of his show. I saw it one time and couldn't even make it through the first five minutes.

I watch the Food Network. Yes, I confess. After my surgery last year when I was STARVED for nearly two days straight, I was allowed to watch tv in my hospital room and I kept it glued to the food network. After one hour I was going to lick the screen and demand smellevison. After two hours,
I had it all planned out: I would write a letter to my husband and children and tell them I was going to run away with Emeril Lagasse. Only problem is, he is happily married and didn't know of my designs on him...I loved him only for his cooking.

So, waking up to the reality of the situation and needing a bit of therapy, we got satellite tv last fall and I have been diligently improving my cooking skills, throwing popcorn at the Iron Chef
and wondering if Rachel Ray is Katie Couric's long lost daughter. And Emeril? I watch him every now and then. And the FoodNetwork is family friendly.

Posted by: Cricket at February 10, 2005 08:25 AM

AFE,
*sigh* You seem to have misunderstood. I did NOT have TV *relations* with that woman..... Ms. Winfrey.

It was a one time thing. It just happened to be HER studio and stage that was used by the crew from Everybody Loves Raymond. I just happened to hear about it on the clock radio yesterday morning. ELR is really about my only TV "guilty pleasure".

Helk, as much as I depise hemorrhoidettes like Rikki Lake (oh that woman annoys the hound outta me!)--I'd have even watched her show (does she still have one?)if the cast of ELR were on there---and taped a post it note on the screen wherever she was sitting.

Oprah was having a really a good hair day though. Probably a wig. (~;) With 7 guests, she also didn't say much as Brad Garrett dominated the show for the most part.

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe Sally Jessie Raphael is on now with her guests, the telltubbies & their master Rosie O' Donnell.

What time's Springer on, Cricket? Jennie Jones? Donahue? If they're not on antenna TV, I guess I'm s.o.l. Darn!

Posted by: CKC at February 10, 2005 09:32 AM

The LG is completely addicted to the Food Network. Our DVR is set to record 4 shows, 3 are on the Food Network and the other is South Park. I blame her for me not being able to lose weight. :-) She just cooks too d*** good. Half of what she cooks I couldn't even I couldn't even give you a name for because there's no recipe. The best I can do is give you the ingredient list.

I look in the cabinets sometimes and think to myself, "We've got nothing for supper". She takes one look in there and the next thing I know she's got a 3 course gourmet meal in the works. The woman's amazing.

And if you're a nerd like me, Alton Brown's Good Eats can be a hoot.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at February 10, 2005 09:38 AM

P.S.
AFE,
...."but I luuuvz ya, Harpo."

Posted by: CKColored Purple at February 10, 2005 09:39 AM

Alton Brown is a god. His spoof of the Iron Chef had me on the floor shrieking with laughter.

I caught it as a rerun. I think I totally lost it when they presented the dishes to the panel and did the lip synching with four letter words describing Chef Prairie's sabotaged dish.

He lives up in Atlanta and lists the stores where he buys everything from.

However, wit aside, he is a solid chef and I have tried some of his techniques. My husband told me that even if I turned into a shrew he would keep me because of the improvement of the cooking.

Posted by: Cricket at February 10, 2005 10:27 AM

Food Network! Food Network! Food Network!

Feh on Oprah! Double-Feh on Dr. Phil!

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 10, 2005 03:03 PM

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