My Husband Suffers From Performance Anxiety


But it’s not EXACTLY what you think.

It’s not THAT kind of performance anxiety.

I tricked you and I know it’s not nice to do, but, well, I have no excuse.

I felt like it.


Surf’s been up here in Southern California. A few tropical storms brought a high surf advisory —  thus creating a happy tugboat man.

He’s always in a great mood when he can surf or ride his stand-up paddle boards.

When he was around eight years old, he lived in Kauai and was friendly with Elizabeth Taylor‘s nephew — always disappointed that he never caught of glimpse of her. He also went to elementary school with Laird Hamilton — that very famous surfer.

My tugboat man has saltwater in his blood.

On Saturday, he told me to get ready to go to the beach and bring my camera so I could shoot vid of him shredding and getting barreled and tubed and mastering the wild surf.

This was definitely too big for me to make another attempt at reinventing myself as Gidget. (Click HERE to read all about ME.)

It was a beautiful, perfectly perfect beach day.carlsbadbeach1

Even a few seashells, but nothing like Florida.carlsbadbeach4 Cute shorebirds.carlsbadbeach6

A a proud and loyal wife, I planted myself on the sand with my Canon Rebel T3i zooming in on my tugboat man.

I didn’t want to miss a single wave.

Off he goes!


Nice boat – there’s my tugboat man, ready to shred!


Still waiting…watching…sitting…sitting…sitting…carlsbadbeach5

Is he here? Did he catch this one?carlsbadbeach8 Or this one?carlsbadbeach9 How about this wave? Do you see my tugboat man?carlsbadbeach10Nope, neither do I.

I don’t have a tripod (note to self to get one) and my arms were soo tired.

I gave up, sat down, and read a book.

When my tugboat man finally came out of the water, he just couldn’t understand what happened.

He’s a really good surfer and had been catching TONS of waves — UNTIL I got there.

Not a single wave. Not ONE.

See, performance anxiety, right?

Just not the kind you were thinking of.

Tee hee.

Update: To prove he wasn’t suffering from any long term surfing decline, he went back out without me for an “evening glass off session” (surfing terminology) and returned having caught at least a dozen waves.

I think I jinxed him. Oops.

P.S. In case you were wondering, I got hub’s permission before writing a post about this delicate subject matter. I would never want to embarrass him in a public forum.  Privately? Well, that’s a different matter entirely! LOL


Surfing Safari with Princess Rosebud

Or not.

I had high hopes of a RAD surf vid starring ME — hanging ten, claiming a gnarly barrel — something more exciting than always being my tugboat man’s Surf Bunny sitting on the beach taking pix and video of HIM.

I’m not sure why I thought that my third-time-only on a surfboard would miraculously “Matrix”-me the ability to stand up on a moving board of fiberglass — I guess it’s ‘cos my tugboat man, my son, and my DIL all make it seem so easy, so effortless.

You paddle out, you turn the board around, jump up, and ride the wild surf.

Easy, right? Wrong. Not easy.

I was a naive sixteen-year-old the first time I thought I could channel Gidget. My high school boyfriend handed me his board and said, “Go for it!”

Bikini-clad (string bikini), I walked the surfboard out from the shore. I was up to my knees in foamy white water when the first wave hit my board, causing it to fly up and hit me in the mouth, splitting open my lip. I turned around, walked out of the water, threw the board down, and spent the rest of the day icing my fat lip. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

Fast forward thirty-plus years…my second try at surfing wasn’t much of a success, either. My tugboat man took me out in the water and stood right next to me holding down his 9’6″ Bear longboard so the tip wouldn’t fly up and cause a repeat injury.

As a fresh wave was forming, he turned me around, promised NOT to let go, but guess what?  The force of the wave pushed me away from him too fast and he couldn’t hold on.

HE LET GO. Oops.

The last thing I remember was hearing, “Don’t let go and damage my board!”

The nose of the board pearled, which means the tip of the board went underwater, I went underwater, the board rolled over, I rolled over, the board was on top of me, I hit the ocean floor with the force of one thousand Gidgets and was dragged for a time over big rocks and small rocks.

Thump, thump, thump. NOT a graceful sight.

I finally resurfaced on the shore like a beached whale, still gripping that stupid Buick-sized longboard. With bits of seaweed clinging to my hair and my bathing suit bottom mostly OFF, with sand in my mouth, my ears, my nose — everywhere that COULD be filled with sand WAS filled with sand.

I stood up, shook the water out of my eyes and looked around for that damn tugboat man. He was still in the water behind me, running to me as fast as he could — in slow motion —  his mouth agape, trying to not laugh, and then he said, “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?”

I squinted at him, spit out a mouthful of ocean, and marched my microdermabraded body back to our towels, studiously avoiding eye contact with dozens of spectators lining the shore.

As he recovered his precious and undamaged board and took it out for a successful surf sesh, I was occupied by watching the blooming of bruises from my hips to my ankles. I was a mass of purple and black and blue. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

You would think that I’d never want to recreate that humiliating scene again, and you’d be right. Well, sort of. For ten years, I refused to enter the ocean at ALL, but a couple days ago, I decided to face my fear AGAIN and give it a try.

I thought it would be different this time but I was clearly not thinking straight.



This vintage poster adorns our bedroom — maybe it’s been subliminally infiltrating my subconscious —  embuing me with a foolish and misguided perception of my surfing ability. The truth? I possess NO water skills. I’m not a very good swimmer — I don’t like to put my head in the water.



What. Ever. Here I am at our Carlsbad beach. It’s a lovely, lovely day.


I should have quit while I was ahead, that’s all I can say.

Notice the pretty aqua board to my right? A 9’6″ Ernie Higgins.


Time to surf! I took off my earrings, changed into another bikini top, and pulled on hub’s extra spring suit. The water temp’s about 72-ish, but way too cold for me.

What a vision, huh?

surfmeAnd that’s my very last smile.

It was a rerun of my previous venture to emulate the life of a wahine.

Hub stands next to me holding the board. Hub says, “Do you want to take this wave?” and pushes me forward. I fall off the board IMMEDIATELY and exfoliate all exposed body parts as I’m dragged back to shore.

Once again, I spit out a gallon or two of sandy seawater and hobble back to our towels. Total surf time: less than two minutes.

I give up, I took out my beach read and my camera to snap pics of hub heading out to show me how it should be done.

Yes, he wears a surf hat. Don’t laugh.

surftugmanHunting for rocks and seashells is safe.

Not every attempt is a success, but it wasn’t exactly a failure either, because I overcame my fears and gave it a try. Will I do it again?

Maybe. ‘Cos you miss all the waves you don’t try, right?

Perhaps this is what I need. Hee hee. Chanel surfboards



The Penis in Repose…

…is not very imposing.


(Sorry in advance if this is gross.)

Today I was scarred for life.

I cannot UNsee what I have seen.

The disturbing and appalling vision is still imprinted on my brain. I’m trying to blur it, to drown it, in Craftwork chardonnay, but it’s not WORKING. Get it? CraftWORK, WORKING.

Forgive me, I am traumatized. Wholly and completely.

Vienna-SausageThere it was in all of its unappealing glory.

Right in my face.

It was  a flippin’ and a floppin’ every which-a-way. It really was.

It flipped up. It flipped down. Up and down. It flopped. To the left. To the right. And if my eyes did not deceive me, there was some diagonal flipflopping action as well.

Everthing was moving in different diretions. All at once. In the blink of an eye.

All by itself, it was doing the “Hokey Pokey” and turning itself around.

A VERY indecent exposure.

Let me disclaim here and now: I am the mother of a male. I am the daughter of a nurse. I’ve seen my fair share…

I say all that to explain that I am not UNfamiliar with male anatomy. And yes, I’m married too, so this is not virgin territory. I AM a bit naive about a lot of things, I’ll admit that. No problem. I’ve never seen porn, not EVER, and don’t really ever want to. I’m the lover of Hello Kitty, remember? Kitties, puppies, butterflies — that’s what’s floating around in my head at any given time.

But this.

THIS was a seminal event in my life.

The backstory:

My tugboat man and I were running around doing errands preparatory to leaving for our Yellowstone journey. We had to go to REI and Target and a few other places. Our day ended quite literally at the beach. We stopped to get a much-deserved shave ice at our favorite place, JR’s Shave Ice in Oceanside.

As we headed south towards Carlsbad, hub wanted to stop at the beach to look at the waves (not very good btw) for a potential evening glass-off sesh. We pulled in behind a black truck. (Important story point.)

It was starting to get a little chilly so I sat in the car while he walked over to the cliff to check out the surf at Terramar.

It all happened so fast.

In the blink of an eye.

A surfer, obviously done for the day, was the owner of that black truck in front of us. He put his surfboard in the truckbed and proceeded to peel off his wetsuit.


If only someone had yelled that at me, I would be writing about something else, not attempting to purge this horrendous vision from my soul.

He appeared to be in his mid-to-late forties and weighed 350 pounds or so, if my calculations are correct. The towel he wrapped around his waist was NOT large enough to completely cover his girth and…and his male reproductive parts.

There was a gap in the meeting of the towel.

A triangular gap that exposed private things. Can you picture that?

I was NOT looking, not actively, but it was in my field of vision; the periphery.

Hub started to walk back from the precipice of the cliff. He’s coming to me — he’s my savior — he’ll take care of this I know, and prevent me from seeing what no one should see.

But then…

The wetsuit is peeled all the way down his Orson Welles-ian gigantic stomach and then…

And then — because he’s too obese to bend down and pull it all the way off –HE KICKS the wetsuit OFF HIS FEET onto the sidewalk

At that moment, that precise moment that I was telepathically beseeching my tugboat man to save me, the wetsuit was kicked, the obese man gave a little hop as he stumbled just a bit, unable to balance with all that extra weight (he really needs some yoga training)…

The towel opened wide, and that’s when I couldn’t help but be exposed to all that…

flipping and flopping of his (unimpressive) out-of-control rudder. (I’m reminded of that Seinfeld episode where they’re all at the seaside and George is the victim of the cold, cruel ocean and what effect it has on…things. You know the one I’m talking about, right?)

A penis in repose is not a good look for anyone.

Not George Clooney. Not Johnny Depp Not Tom Brady.

Not even Ryan Gosling (OK maybe him).

There’s something of a nightmarish quality in seeing oftentimes proud, standing at attention, and imposing genitalia in all of its glory — reduced to its sad and listless self.

That’s my opinion. On a serious note, what if, instead of it being me, it was a child who saw that? I think surfers who change in public in full view of everyone need to be more circumspect.

We drove away, hub apologizing over and over on behalf of all men everywhere,

“You shouldn’t have had to see that. I know, I know. You poor dear. It must have been so terrible for you.”

Here’s my public service announcement to all surfers who change in public:


Surf poncho. Changing robe

Surf poncho. Changing robe.

P.S. Here’s a cover-up that completely solves this problem. It’s a great investment.

The secret of a successful marriage

What is marriage all about? Based upon my personal research, experimentation, and analysis, I have the answers to your questions.

This is for all you young’uns who’re on the cusp of searching for a mate or for the older and hopefully wiser female who perhaps wants to dip a toe back into the dating pond.

Where’s Harry? A Wet Republic pool party in full swing

Do you want a life partner with whom to share your laughs, your tears, your bout with intestinal flu, your pillow and cat-laden bed, and to assist in the breeding of your offspring?

What’s the secret to my long lasting (twenty-two years together, nineteen married) relationship?

The secret is…COMPROMISE. 

Not really. I’m only messing with your head.

What works around here is torture and retaliation.

That’s it. Simple. Torture and retaliation.

It works like magic.

Case in point: My tugboat man goes out to sea for quite a while-usually two months or so at at time. When he returns, all he can think about (other than THAT) is surfing. Yes, he’s a big old surfer baby. Right now there are big winter waves pounding our coast.


This is not my captain because he’s not a dick dragger. That is NOT my term. I didn’t think of it but I wish I had. It’s what the young folks call a boogie boarder. Very descriptive, right? Think about it…


This isn’t him, either. He’s not that cute but thank goodness, he’s less hairy.


This isn’t him either, but this is how big the waves were at Sunset Cliffs.

A couple days ago he left at 5:30 a.m. to surf in La Jolla. In case you’re a surfer yourself, waves were mostly six feet with an occasional eight foot set. I was just about on my last nerve with this surf obsesh, so I blocked the driveway with sawhorses and trash cans so he couldn’t pull in the driveway.  Hee hee.sawhorse2C11TrashCanOld.jpg2F5B174A-5A60-43AB-8E0F6CCF2434E2ED.jpgLargerHe had to get out of his truck, move the obstacles, and then pull in.

After that, I used my wiles to torture him into building four more shelves for my lovely collection of shells and rocks.

And that brings us to today. Sunday. I guess the honeymoon’s over.

I was out in the garage chatting up the hubs about tonight’s dinner menu: freshly baked French bread, Caesar salad with my signature dressing, and thought I’d make some Frico at the same time that I make the croutons. I asked him:

“Have you ever had Frico? Do you know what it is?”

“Yeah, I know what a Frico is, I’m married to one.”


This is Frico, I am not Frico.

This is Frico, I am not Frico.

I was being the  best wife ever; I brought him lunch on  a tray while he was working on restoring his rowboat and building yet another shelf (I love shelves, OK?) and THIS is the attitude I have to deal with!? After I brought him a wheatgrass smoothie, fresh pear cut in half and filled with nonfat cottage cheese dusted with cinnamon–blueberry-smiley-face-berries-pixmac-photo-75642785and to make it extra-special, a smiley face out of fresh blueberries–he retaliates with a comment like that? Oh, he’ll pay all right, oh yes he will. We’ll see who’s FREAKY when he takes me to South Coast Plaza tomorrow. We’ll test the limits of his stamina and endurance throughout the huge shopping center. We’ll whet our whistle at one end with Bloomingdales as we march determinedly toward my personal holy grail, (do you hear the trumpets sounding?) as we round the corner to….Chanel–Chanel, the holder of my bliss.

Torture and retaliation-the stuff of which great marriages are made.

Frico, not Freako

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using largest holes on a 4-sided grater, coarsely shred enough cheese to measure 1 cup. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner. Stir together cheese, flour, and pepper. Arrange tablespoons of cheese 4 inches apart on liner, stirring cheese in bowl between tablespoons to keep flour evenly distributed. Flatten each mound slightly with a metal spatula to form a 3-inch round.Bake frico in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on sheet on a rack, then carefully transfer each crisp (they are very delicate) with metal spatula to rack to cool completely.

We are a true bi-coastal family

While DIL and captain were surfing the smallish waves in SoCal, my son, known around here as “Angel Boy”, surfed the hurricane generated waves in Rhode Island. You can take the SoCal boy out of SoCal but the surfer remains! They’ll find waves wherever they are.

Angel Boy getting barrelled!