if you don’t call, I think you’re dead, and that’s why I’m getting a pair of Loubies

(If you don’t know what Loubies/Louboutins are, scroll down to the end for a pic.)


We are officially at Tugboat Man Minus Two.

In other words, two more shopping days ’til I drive to the airport and pick up a man.

That’s funny, but it’s true.

I go from SASSY single girl to a coupled MARRIED woman at the whim of a flying machine.

Well, after a good amount of time ‘scaping and scraping and all that jazz.

Got a totes adorbs dress at the Banana Republic @Carlsbad Outlet today.

Fifty percent off! Kinda Pucci-like, don’t you think?bananarepublic

I’ll pair it with skinny jeans or black tights.

And those LOUBOUTINS I’m about to receive as soon as hub comes home and catches up on his lost sleep.

Sleep loss is a real health hazard of the professional mariner.

But enough about him.

Here’s why I deserve those scandalous, over-the-top, uber extravagant and gorgeous shoes.

Settle in, this is a good story, albeit a tad convoluted, but not if you follow my way of thinking about things. If you’re like me, you’ll soon nod your head in agreement.

Remember a few weeks ago I shared with you that hub got a new surfboard? Do you also recall how i was the ultra supportive wife who encouraged him to buy it (and that I figured it behooved me to be “all in” so that I could expect the same reaction when I suggested a trip to Chanel for that iconic pearl necklace?)

OK. That’s the first part.

What you don’t know is that after my 50+ year-old tugboat man acquired his new toy, there was a slight swell (that’s surfer talk), a bump in the surf — and he became OBSESSED with surfing. Surfing in the morning, surfing in the afternoon, surfing until the sun went down. Normally, I’m pretty cool with that — he loves to surf, he’s gone a lot — when he’s home, he deserves to follow his bliss, right?

Now it’s time for you to understand that I’m the type of person who thinks if I don’t hear from you, you’re dead.

A to Z, black and white, dead or alive. No gray area.

I was am that way with my son, too. If he does’t call or text or email, I get so worried that I believe the WORST POSSIBLE THING HAS HAPPENED.

At any given time, I’m THAT close to calling the police, hospitals, FBI, State Department, and boarding a plane to wherever.

With my son, it’s not as if there isn’t some history…for example, one year he rode his bicycle alone from Carlsbad to Utah and had a pretty bad accident in Moab; more recently there was his life threatening illness and life-saving surgery — oh and let’s not forget that time he was riding his bicycle home from school at Johns Hopkins (where he received one of his two Masters) and a carjacking took place RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and the car RAN HIM DOWN and mangled his bike. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt at all. LUCKILY.

AND that one occasion DIL and I were together while Angel Boy was hiking in some godforsaken remote location. I’ll never forget and neither will she…we were eating fish tacos at Rubios prior to her flight back home (she travels more than anyone I know) and we were waiting for a CALL from Angel Boy to let us know he was off the mountain. No call; she power called him until her fingers were sore, but it went straight to voicemail. Finally, she called one of the guys he was hiking with and we learned that the rest of the group had met up at the arranged time, but not our Angel Boy. In fact, the rest of the group was becoming worried and had contacted the rangers, and there was talk about forming a search party. Can you imagine how worried we were? We’re in the car, on the way to the airport, very upset as you can imagine, when he finally called. As thankful as we both were that he was OK and now I can’t really remember the reason for his delay, we were SO MAD AT HIM. And now it’s kinda ruined Rubios for us, because it brings us right back to that place of panic.

Now’s the time you should be nodding your head in agreement that there’s some justifiable basis for the way I am. RIGHT?

Back to my tugboat man. His job is a very dangerous one, no matter that he’s the captain and is inside the wheelhouse mostly driving the boat; it’s inherently rife with danger. At any moment, I could receive a call from the company with some bad news. AT ANY TIME. So much to worry about.

And surfing is dangerous too, right? My son’s childhood friend disappeared while surfing in Hawaii, and there are always horrible surfing accidents on the news that further support my crazy.  In fact, a few years ago, through no fault of his own, hub was involved in a freak accident out in the water where he was stabbed in the lower calf by the tip of someone’s board – he drove himself home — I took one look at the injury, which was open all the way to the bone (MAJOR GROSS), and we made a trip to the ER where they sutured it.

End of story?

Nope, just the beginning. Suturing was a bad idea. The wound became horribly infected because of FILTHY OCEAN WATER; he had a fever of 105 degrees, contracted an antibiotic resistant staph infection, was in incredible pain, but LUCKILY recovered with no limbs lost — just a small divot in his calf and an ugly scar.

As you can see, I’m not ALL that crazy. Sorta cray, but not ALL the way cray.

OK, back to the present (literally). Hub’s been taking Spanish lessons when he’s home, I think mostly so that we can go to Costa Rica (to surf, duh).

Anyway, here’s where it gets hinky.

He loaded his new surfboard in the back of his truck, and said he’d MAYBE go surfing after the class was over.

Class was over at 6:00 p.m. No phone call. 6:15. No call. 6:30. No call. I started power calling his cell. No answer. 7:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

He NEVER doesn’t call.My almost-always-perfect hub UNDERSTANDS the importance of a two-second courtesy call or text.

On this particular day, one of the hottest in history, a call would have been especially nice if he had asked if I wanted to meet him at the beach to cool off and take pics or video of the big surf.

7:45 p.m. No call.

One by one the ingredients I had prepped for dinner were put away.

What ifs were peppering my brain.

What if he got hit with a board again? What if he cut himself on glass?

WHAT IF HE’S AN INCONSIDERATE JERK?

He rolled in a few minutes before 8:00 p.m., happy and hungry.

Me, not so much.

I proceeded to explain to him the thousands and thousands of ways he failed me as a loving husband by selfishly not caring enough to make that phone call. It’s worse ‘cos he KNOWS how crazy I get. He said he was sorry, that he thought I understood he was planning to surf…blah, blah, blah.

I tossed a couple lettuce leaves in his direction, telling him to enjoy his dinner, while I flounced off to not speak to him for the rest of his life.

The next morning I went to the gym while he went surfing AGAIN.

When I got home and pulled into the garage, there was a handwritten huge banner staring at me; “I’m very, very, very SORRY, how can I make it up to you?”

Louboutins, my friends.

Louboutins.

And don’t EVER do that again. ‘Cos I’m crazy,

And when I’m cray, YOU pay.

louboutin-black-leather-high-heels

#Louboutin #Loubies

My Husband Has a Mistress and That’s All Right With Me

I did a bad thing, tricking you that way.*

SORRY!

(But it made you click on it, haha)

My tugboat man doesn’t have a mistress.

Or…does he?

He might as well have one.

Listen to the facts:

1. He spends a lot of money on her.

2. Sometimes when the tides are right, he spends more time with her than at home.

3. He found her on Craigslist.

Here’s my hub’s newest love, a Kies custom surfboard.

Apparently John Kies is one of the best surfboard shapers out there; at least that’s what I’ve been hearing for — well, it seems like for the last twenty-four hours. Nonstop. “Look at her shape!” “Isn’t she beautiful?” “I can’t wait to get her out in the water.”

Kies custom boardSo. Here she is.

Gaze your eyeballs on her beautiful and young body, so fresh and clean, no wrinkles or stretch marks or cellulite.

I actually drove with him halfway across San Diego County so that he could check her out — get a taste of her — stroke her and examine her from all sides –all the  while I sat in the car and read a book until it got too dark to read.

And now he’s applying a coat of fresh StickyBumps warm water wax so that she’s primed and ready for their first ride. Together.

But don’t worry about me.

I’ll do all right ‘cos I’m a SURVIVOR.

I have my eye on a sweet little pearl Chanel necklace.

All’s fair, right?


 

*P.S. Apologies to anyone who may have thought I was going to reveal marital dirt…I’ll admit to gentle teasing and snarky humor at times, but I almost never share personal dirty laundry in a public forum. Not my style. Not my thing.

 

 

My Husband Suffers From Performance Anxiety

A CONFESSION.

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!

carlsbadbeach2

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

carlsbadbeach7

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.

surfergirlhawaiian

 

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.

mebeach

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.

mebeachhair

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.
surfrocks

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

 

 

“Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband”

So, here we are at Villas de Cerritos in our little palapa covered bungalow, having a great time, hablamos un pequito Espanol, and this single girl arrived last night and decided my tugboat man was gonna be her little surf buddy.

She hung around on our patio last night while were were relaxing after dinner, checking Magic Seaweed with my hub and regaling us with tales of how she just broke up with her fiancé BLAH BLAH BLAH.

She looks to be in her thirties, is (was) kinda pretty, longish hair, athletic body as you’d expect for a surfer.

She finally left.

This morning, we got up early, had coffee, and hub went surfing. I can’t upload the pics yet ‘cos of slow and intermittent internet, but there are some photos of twelve foot faces and EPIC conditions.

About half an hour after he left, SHE came by sniffing around, looking for him. I told her he was gone.

Now, honestly, after twenty-plus years, I am not a jealous person; he’s given me no reason to be jealous, but I was picking up on some vibes, and you know what they say about women’s intuition, right?

I had a leisurely second cup of coffee and some fresh figs; straightened up before slathering myself with sunscreen and heading down to the beach.

I had a premonition that she was going to be standing right next to my tugboat man staring at the waves, and guess what?

I was right.

I watched her for a minute, observed her body language, and had to hold myself back from kicking the shit out of her. Literally. For reals. No. REALLY.

I continued toward the beach and took a left so that i was south of where they were standing by about one hundred feet, unrolled my towel and sat down.

Finally, hub scanned the beach and saw me.

He waved.

I did not.

She waved.

I did not.

Instead, I called upon every ounce of self control and impulse control in my powers.

Smoke was pouring out of my ears, my nose, any and all orifices were roiling and boiling.

Shit was about to hit the proverbial fan.

More later. Gotta go.

The Penis in Repose…

…is not very imposing.

COVER YOUR EYES NOW. COVER YOUR EYES NOW!

(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.

COVER YOUR EYES NOW. COVER YOUR EYES NOW!

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:

SURFER PSA

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.

You’ve Made Your Bed, Now Lie In It.

Making the bed

                             Making the bed. Perfect, right? Yes, those are Hello Kitty slippers.

What goes on behind closed doors at Casa de Enchanted Seashells?

Besides seashells and glitter and the constant repositioning of my Princess Rosebud tiara, here’s an accurate recollection of a recent conversation between me and my Tugboat Man.

I’m not promising you that it’s at all funny or witty or full of banter — it’s like a Seinfeld episode — a whole lotta nothing.

Backstory: I change the sheets on our bed every week. That day is referred to as “Sheets Day.

Me: I’m gonna change the sheets today, it’s Sheets Day!

Tugboat Man: Do you want some help?

Me: I think I can do it myself, but thank you for offering.

Tugboat Man: Don’t be a martyr. Let me help you with your broken wing.

Me: OK, but you have to follow my orders and do everything MY WAY. Can you promise to do that?

Tugboat Man: No.

Me: Well, then I don’t want your help, cos that’s not helping at all. Helping is doing everything I say. THAT’S helpful. Otherwise it’s just called pissing me off.

Tugboat Man: OK OK. Don’t get your panties in an uproar. Let’s do this, c’mon, I need to go surfing while the tide is right.

Me: Well, excuse the hell out of me. Don’t let me hinder your surfing lifestyle, Gidget. Geez.

Tugboat Man; {Pointing to the clock by the bed} Tick tock.

Me: Pick up this end of the mattress and lift it so that the fitted sheet will completely surround the corners and be as taut as possible.

Tugboat Man: Let’s just get it done. Really, Rosebud, you are such a micromanager. Why are you such a control freakazoid?

Me: Well, I told you I could do it by myself, but since you insisted, you have to do it my way. There’s a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to do this. MY way is right, YOURS is wrong.

Me: Now I’ll teach you how to do a hospital corner with the top sheet, mitering the sides as we tuck it under and smooth it out. That’s how Mommy taught me. It’s called a “hospital corner”. You know she was an RN and that’s the way I learned to do it and that’s how I’ve done it and that’s how I want it done.

****If you don’t know how to make a “hospital corner”, click on the link.
It’s a perfect tutorial!   
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Hospital-Corner

Me: Why are you acting like such a baby? You are really messing with my bliss here.

{Tugboat Man sloppily pushes the sheet under the mattress and moves on to the other side} 

Tugboat Man: There. It’s done,

Me: No, no, no, not like that. Sigh. You can’t simply shove the sheet under the mattress! It has to be perfect. Remember that story, The Princess and the Pea? That’s me. I can feel it if it’s not right.

Tugboat Man: OK, how’s this?

{He threw all the blankets on the bed and rolled himself up like a burrito, laughing maniacally}

Me: Oh-Em-Gee. You are worse than having a kitty around when I’m making a bed. Get up. Get off the bed. Geez. I thought you wanted to go surfing. Stop rolling around.

Tugboat Man: Why did you put the sheet on upside down?

Me: It’s NOT upside down. It’s only printed on one side, right?  You like it when the top sheet is one way and I like it this way, so when the printed top is folded over, the pretty side shows.

Me: Anyway, why does it matter to you?

Tugboat Man: I don’t know, I just like it the other way.

Me: Next time I’ll do it your way, ‘k?

Me: Now let’s take the bedspread — NOT LIKE THAT — fold down your side the exact same width mine is folded, OK?  Now it’s perfect. Thank you for your help. {Eye roll} Leave the pillow arrangement for me to do. You can’t just throw them up there — they each have a specific location.

Tugboat Man: Can I go now?

Me: You are soooo annoying. Why are you always so passive aggressive? If you didn’t want to help, you shouldn’t have offered. Yes, please go. NOW.

{We kiss goodbye. He leaves, and I rearrange everything MY way, and NOW I’m happy.}

_________________________________________________________________________

  • Do you and your significant other agree or disagree about which side of the sheet is revealed — or do neither of you care at all? 
  • And how about toilet tissue? Are you an over or an under? Hubs and I do agree on that (over).

Princess Rosebud And Her Tugboat Man

Nope, I don’t surf, but if I did, this is what I’d look like, and I’d be blonde, too!


Vintage-surfing princess rosebud

While he’s surfing, I’m cleaning the house and doing massive loads of his laundry that came home in the biggest black plastic garbage bag I’ve ever seen.

It’s so big, I could fit inside of it.

They have a washer/dryer on board; I suppose it’s much easier for him to stuff it in his suitcase and know that his live-in maid/laundress/cook will wash, dry, fold, and put it all away while he’s riding the wild surf. 

Or maybe it’s a primitive vestigial trait just like the way a kitty brings a dead rat home and lays it at your feet.

Yeah, it’s just like that.

His laundry = dead animal prize.

No problem, Tugboat Man, you worked hard and deserve a little R & R.  I saved my pilgrimage to South Coast Plaza for that perfect wedge ’til you came home so you could enjoy spending the day following me around the mall, too!

Payback and all that, right?

Male Menopause: How I’m Supporting My Midlife Husband

OldageDwfsFSI want my husband to have a healthy midlife and beyond.  I believe that’s one of the building blocks to lifelong happiness and I certainly don’t want to think of a life without him.

On our radar now…

  • Paying more attention to news reports like this…A fifty-something man died while paddleboardering at one of my husband’s favorite surf spots. They think he possibly had a pre-existing heart condition.
  • A friend of mine complained to me about her husband’s purchase of that stereotypical flashy sports car and his attempt to squeeze his midlife manbelliy into skinny jeans.
  • Another friend laments the death of a sex life with her newly grumpy fifty-something husband.

How can I help him?

I’ve been throwing myself into a tizzy worrying about how my husband’s admission into the land of midlife is going to affect him AND me.  Always the Preparation Princess, I’m attempting to anticipate any issues so I can deflect and deflate them before his issues become my problem.

Cure-for-hair-loss-man-hair-lossIs he losing his hair?


The very first inkling that some shift had occurred was during this daylong conversation thread that started first thing in the morning.

“Hey Rosebud, come here. “(Pointing to his pillow) “Do you see the hair on my pillow? See it? That’s my hair.”

And a bit later in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, “Do you see my hairline? Doesn’t it look different to you? Is it actually receding? Find a picture of me from five years ago and let’s compare.”

Five hours later, “ Feel my hair. It used to be really thick, right?  And now it feels thinner. Feel it again.”

Watching television in the evening, “Get on the internet and find out what’s going on.”

“Am I sick?”

“Why is my hair falling out?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

You know how you see someone every single day and you don’t really notice minute little changes in their appearance? Well, that’s the way it was with me.

When I looked at my husband closely, I had to agree that he was right. His forehead was bigger. A LOT bigger. Wow.

Age has begun to ply its sneaky tricks on my handsome tugboat man.

He didn’t want to start using Rogaine, but I found a thickening shampoo he likes and he’s begun to grow his hair out a bit longer in front to conceal his expanding forehead.

Not a comb-over – not yet anyway. (Hee hee.)

willworkDoes he need glasses OR maybe that little blue pill?

He’s been paying a lot more attention to those erectile dysfunction advertisements (not that it’s an issue — yet) and it seems that he’s having a harder time reading the newspaper or a telephone book (who reads telephone books anymore anyway?)  but he claims it’s just ‘cos the light’s not bright enough — Riiiggghhtt. Sure, that’s the problem. You need a brighter light. AND READING GLASSES!

Denial, denial, denial.  It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Anxiety about our financial future
Another change that’s popped up in our conversations is his interest in retirement planning with IRA and 401K talk.  We’ve invested and strategized and hopefully created a blueprint over the years for a stable retirement, but the fifty-year threshold definitely heralded a more imminent need to save for the future when that future is closer than it used to be.

Staying healthy

Knowing that other changes might be lurking on the horizon, I’ve commenced implementing lifestyle changes like a drill sergeant.

We’re already vegetarians – I’ve been one since high school and he came on board since before we were married.

But now I’m uber diligent with the amounts of food he’s allowed to eat.

The most difficult challenge I’ve had so far is convincing him that he can’t eat the same way he did in his twenties.

For instance, I dole out twenty raw almonds instead of allowing him to eat the whole bag, one cookie instead of a dozen, and try to transform baked goods to include mostly only healthy recipes –like  Lentil Cookies, Black Bean Brownies (click HERE for the recipes), and my piece de resistance…Wheatgrass Flaxseed Smoothies.

I purchased a digital blood pressure machine to record our BP every now and then. High blood pressure is a silent killer; it can sneak up on you, and it makes sense to be aware of your baseline numbers.

Support his hobby

My tugboat man has no desire for a flashy sports car – his midlife cravings tend to be focused on surfing. He has three longboards, two shortboards, and a standup paddleboard. It seems as if he buys a new board about as often as I get a designer handbag.

With his SUP, no wave is too small, so I don’t have to hear him whine about the lack of good surf when he comes home from being out to sea.

lipstickInfidelity

I don’t envision my husband’s midlife crisis to include a wandering eye — at least I hope it doesn’t happen.

Many people have referred to us as two peas in a pod – except for surfing, we have the same interests and stay active working out together, hiking, camping, skiing, bicycling.

As a merchant mariner tugboat captain, he’s often away from home on assignment for up to two months — sometimes longer. When he’s here, we’re mostly inseparable. It’s not an ideal lifestyle, but we made the decision together when he was offered the opportunity to go back out to sea instead of working in our local harbor as he had done for most of our twenty-plus years.

Open communication is our key  to success
I believe we’ll get through his male menopause the same way we deal with everything – our marriage motto is “full disclosure”.

We share everything and we have complete trust in each other.  We’re a team, we’re in this together, in good times and bad — including his midlife crisis.

Do you have a marriage motto? What works for you? Do you work as a team?

Holla! to Pinterest

Of late, I’ve been shamefully neglectful of my Pinterest boards. I know you’re all out there, organizing and pinning and repinning and following and liking.

He's soo dreamy!

He’s soo dreamy!

I even know what you like best about my own Pinterest site (click to visit) and that would be  my NUMBER ONE pin: Ed Westwick, who so briliiantly portrayed Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl — and Owls.

Saw-whet owls

Yes, owls are a fave amongst my pinning pals! And animals in general, which makes me happy, ‘cos I’m a huge animal lover.

Pinterest now has created Group Boards that one can be invited to join and pin to, but what kind of freaks me out in a slightly squinchy way are my MALE pinners. I just don’t get the appeal for a guy. I’m not at all sexist, but the two males I asked — my tugboat man and my son —  said they would never in a zillion years have any interest in Pinterest. Sorry for all you guys that do, but in my own little world, the answer is NO WAY. All I got was a “let me see those In the Tube surfingsurfing pics” and then they walked away, shaking their heads.

Although…I got a little snarky comment under his breath from my tugboat man, something along the lines of…”must be nice to have so much time to waste on crap” but when I demanded that he repeat what he said, he changed it to, “That was a delicious dinner, my love” but don’t you worry, I heard it. Yes, it’s a waste of time. I agree. But it’s also very addictive.

Click on my Chanel board. Very aspirational, don’t you agree?

Chanel surfboards

OMG, this is an amazeballs seashell wedding cake, isn’t it?

Unique-Beach-Wedding-Cake-IdeasDoesn’t it make you want to get married all over again? Hmmm. Ya know, I’ve been thinking about planning a vow renewal for our big #20 wedding anniversary next February. Pinterest is the perfect place to organize themes and ideas.

Now if I could only PIN my tugboat man down to actually being at the same latitude/longitude as me, maybe it’ll happen!

This isn’t my mariner nor his tug, but it’s a good example of the kind of work he does. 

Tug and barge