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Love is Surviving his Noxious Gas (and 6 Other Things I Realized While Watching The Bachelorette)

ImageOkay, so this season of The Bachelorette is over, and everyone is so happy for Des after she managed to take one day to get over being dumped by the supposed love of her life in order to get engaged to her second choice. In case you live under a rock and/or have a serious aversion to social media (if so, I’m glad my blog is an exception, thank you) and have never heard of ABC’s smash hit The Bachelorette, it’s basically a show where one woman spends 10 weeks sifting through a group of 25 men to find her one true love. It’s totally realistic.

I’m kind of embarrassed that I got sucked in this year. I’ve never watched it before. I was trying to reconnect with my girly side. It’s been a long time since I got to hang out with some girlfriends and watch a chick flick or Sex and the City. I’m a stay at home mom and rarely have a reason to dress nice or wear makeup. I have a son and am engaged to a real guy’s guy. I’ve begun to grow hairs on my chest and have developed a penchant for peeing outdoors. Ok, just kidding on the last two counts… although I did have to pee outdoors a few weeks ago when J’s stellar navigational skills got us lost in the middle of nowhere. I did not enjoy it. I especially didn’t enjoy that he laughed his ass off the whole time and I could barely go I was so embarrassed. What a jackass… I mean… so glad he could find humour in my humiliation, that sweet, sexy, ever-loving fiancé of mine… errrrr, right.

And on that note, the amount of times that Des talked about ‘real love’ on the show, and then proceeded to swoon over presents, poetry and romantic walks on the beach made my ears bleed. Apparently true love Bachelorette-style equates with Nicholas Sparks-style romance. Um, Des? Don’t you know Mr. Sparks’ romances rarely end in happily ever after? Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 11.43.12 AM

So, I decided to make a 7 point list of what love really is in order to help out future stars of The Bachelorette. You’re welcome, o seekers of true love. You’re welcome.

Love is…

1. … being able to tell little white lies and feel no guilt because you know you’re doing it to protect the one you love. And no, I am not advocating dishonesty. I’m talking about insignificant lies that protect no deep dark secret. Nope. Just the kind of tiny lie that is meant to cover your passive aggressive ass and protect the illusion that you are nothing less than perfect. Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 11.50.31 AM

Example scenario: Your boyfriend/husband/partner always manages to throw his/her dirty laundry on the floor next to the hamper rather than in it. After asking politely several times, your passive aggressive tendencies take over and you find yourself tearing a beloved t-shirt into tiny pieces with your scissors/teeth/claws. Little white lie: “Oh Honey, no! I would never tear your favourite t-shirt to shreds. The dog/cat/baby dragon must have got it, that little rascal.”

2… never having to say you’re sorry. JUST KIDDING! Love is a big fat slice of humble pie and if you don’t learn to admit when you’re wrong and learn to use that word with sincerity, your love is probably going to drown in a big boiling vat of resentment. Ironically, the movie that line comes from ends in much the same fashion as a Nicholas Sparks novel.

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3. … being able to put up with someone’s crazy quirks. Example scenario: Your husband turns to you in bed with that loving look on his face (you know, that look that normally tells you you’re gonna get some), leans towards you, reaches out and tucks your hair behind your ear, his lingering fingertips soft on your cheek, looks deep into your eyes while reaching for something off the night table behind you and says, “Honey, will you please pluck each individual back hair out with these tweezers I bought today?” Even though your brain is probably sincerely questioning your taste in men, you do as he asks, cuz hey, you love him and he loves to be hairless. C’est la vie.

4… being able to refrain from committing murder. Let’s face it. Part of the reason divorce is rampant is because we have this fairytale idea of love. We’re told it’s always there. We’re told we should want to always be with that person. That we should always miss that person when we are apart. Pft. It’s impossible to feel lovey dovey all of the time. The person you love is the person you spend the most time with. You see the best of them, but it also means you see the worst of them. If you can survive those worst moments you can survive anything. That’s love. If you commit homicide, that is not love. Therefore, not committing homicide = true love. (Don’t bother pointing out the fallacy here. I’m well aware.)

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5… realizing that if the knife actually did slip/the pillow lingered a little too long/the vial of arsenic did accidentally get knocked over into his stew, you would miss him terribly. Yes, the love of your life will probably drive you cuckoo bananas, but you’d rather risk your sanity than live without him.

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6…  being able to survive his noxious gas. This is especially important to the stars of The Bachelorette. Men are smelly smelly creatures, but they can hide it well in the early weeks/months of a relationship. Ladies, 10 weeks is not long enough. Once you’ve survived your first Dutch Oven (intentional or inadvertent) and you still want to let that guy/disgusting creature/swamp thing touch you in your happy place, you’ll know you’re playing for keeps. Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 12.03.42 PM

7… when, despite his protests and threats to retreat to the basement man cave, that man will give in to your request to curl up in bed with you and watch The Bachelorette. Watching The Bachelorette is probably way down there on that list of things your man would like to do. He might even rather stab himself in the eye with a fork, cuz hey, he’s got two eyes. He could be using his one remaining good eye to watch Duck Dynasty or Cops or ANYTHING ELSE. So yeah, watching The Bachelorette with you? Now THAT is love.

Don’t be a Fool, Fool: Things Not to Say to a New Mom

Being a new parent is wonderful, glorious, amazing, awesome, fantastic, sweaty, exhausting and stressful. New parents need to work as a team, whatever that means. Configurations might be different, but the definition of ‘team’ must be agreed upon by both. My definition of team is pretty simple: Don’t piss me off. I don’t expect J to be up with me all night. Firstly, he doesn’t have the boobies.

Unless I buy him some boobies? Hmm… possible Christmas present!

Secondly, he works long days and operates heavy machinery. If I want a team member and father for Baby H at all, I think it’s best that he sleep at night. Pretty simple I think.

So, based on the experience of my brief foray into parenthood thus far and convos I’ve had with other mommies, here is a list of advice for new fathers of partners with expectations similar to mine. I also affectionately refer to it as the ‘How to Keep Your Manhood* in Tact List’.

1. When you’ve been ships passing in the night for a few days and the only contact you’ve had with the exhausted and unkempt yet astonishingly beautiful goddess that just bore the fruit of your hairy loins, is a single text that reads: I’m so tired :( Do not write back, “I slept sooooo good!” [insert the deadpan expression on my face here]. Especially do not follow that text up with another one that simply says, “LOL”. You will be lucky to live another day. Trust me.

2. Do not ask how soon you can have sex again. When she’s ready she will let you know. If you ask more than once you may receive a kick to the nether regions, thus incapacitating both of you and preventing this question from being asked for [insert appropriate amount of time here… I don’t know. I don’t have any nuts to be kicked in and so can’t say how much time this will buy the ladies]. I imagine that this applies at least threefold to women who have had a vaginal delivery.

You will also be forced to wear this… it’s not something to be proud of

3. When it comes to the safety of your newborn just assume that your partner knows more than you. Seriously, do not challenge her unless you were the one going to prenatal classes without her and who spent the last 9 months reading pregnancy and baby books. I can’t speak for all first time parent couples, but from personal experience and from asking other moms I have learned that women become moms the second they see the second pink line on the pregnancy test, whereas men decide that they only have 9 months left of freedom and instantly become way more wild and reckless up until the day the child is born. I don’t care if you have a revelation when you see that precious child’s face. In your partner’s mind she has been taking care of and worrying about this baby for nine months already and you will forever be the guy that almost left him fatherless on multiple occasions. Yes, we appreciate that you have had that revelation, but it doesn’t undo nine months of stressing about your well-being as well as that of the child. It’s too much, so just shut up and listen.

4. Do not ask for the television station to be left on some show with women running around in bikinis for ‘just a few minutes.’ Dude. That is way too transparent. Don’t be surprised if you wake up the next morning bound and gagged with the millions of bikinis your partner owns and may never feel comfortable wearing again because your giant child stretched her belly so badly that it looks like it’s a low hanging gelatinous map of purple rivers.

UNIMPRESSED

5. Your partner pretty much feels like her life is no longer her own. It has been consumed by a tiny, demanding, constantly hungry and poopy little alien. She loves this little alien, but life is suddenly so much more tiring. Do not suggest scenarios that could make life even more exhausting, such as, “Honey, wouldn’t it be funny/cool/awesome if next time it’s twins?” Uhhh…. FUNNY/COOL/AWESOME? This will earn you an emergency vasectomy right there on the spot in your very own living room, performed by your loving partner be she a surgeon by trade or a journalist. It doesn’t matter. You’re getting snipped and then she’s publishing a story about it in the paper. Everyone will know and the get well soon cards will come pouring in.

*Note: Manhood here can be defined as either the right, left, or both nuts; the whole package; and/or the general ability to produce children, whatever you believe that entails.