Dealing with a NON-Jealous Mate

jealousy-cause-and-cureYou may reread that headline and decide it’s probably a typo. Or you may think having a NON-jealous mate is actually a good thing! And that may be true except … when it’s not.

Bear with me as I relate the following conversation:

Me: So I had lunch today with my publisher, Jamie.

Him: Nice. Whadya order?

Me: Salad. You know . . . Jamie IS a unisex name. Aren’t you suspicious that my publisher is a guy? And feeling a bit concerned that I had lunch alone with a male?

Him: Nope.

Me: Well he is. And he’s actually VERY male.

Him: That’s nice. Glad to know my gender values books.

Now stop right there.  I know, I know. This illustrates he’s perfectly secure within himself. Also it shows he has a ton of faith and confidence in me and our relationship, trusting I’m not going anywhere.

But what does this say about his perception of my potential value and attractiveness? He doesn’t bat an eye that someone else might find me worthy of coveting! jealousy

Metaphor Time:  Every Friday I drag my overflowing trashcans out to the curb. I never worry someone will come by and flirt with my garbage when I’m not around, or try to take it for their own pleasure. And it’s not because I have a trusting relationship with my rubbish . . . well the recyclables maybe. But now consider this – – parked in my driveway is a shiny, new red Mazda. And you better believe I installed an alarm system on that baby!

Aha! What does this tell you? That’s why I just had to find out more. So I told my best friend to call our home phone several times a day and hang up when he answered.

Him: Darn telemarketers.

Seriously?? So I bought myself some beautiful flowers.

Him: That’s so nice that your older kids would send you an early mother’s day bouquet.

Grrrrrr. So I made a big production out of carrying in a mysterious brown wrapped package from the front porch late one night.

Him: Wow. Who’d guess Nordstrom delivers after midnight?

Ugh. So I secretly opened it in my closet, then intentionally left its contents (a lacy negligee with tags still on) out for him to stumble upon.

Him: Ha. Someone actually believes you could wear a size Small.

That does it.

Me: Haven’t you been the least bit concerned over the past few days? And haven’t you seen the amount of friend requests I receive on Facebook from men who look wild with desire?

Him: Yes. I meant to tell you to stop posting those graphic pics of your brisket and brownies.

Me: Sheesh. What will it take for you to feel threatened? To fight over me? To challenge someone to a duel?

Him: (looks around) Is that last question directed at me or did Sir Lancelot just ride into the room?

Me: OMG! Well, would you at least rescue me if I was tied down to the railroad tracks and a speeding train was imminently approaching?

Him: North or Southbound? Sorry. Absolutely. Of course. No question.

Finally! I decided to stop (the hypothetical questions) while I was ahead. He didn’t need to know that (in my mind) the reason I was tied to those tracks was because Jamie, (my VERY manly publisher) had shouted in a fit of jealousy, “If I can’t have you, then nobody can have you!”

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I love hearing from you. Tell me if you get jealous or if your mate ever does?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rhythmic/

Planning An Affair? (Carrying on with someone else when you’re married!)

photo-439Does anyone PLAN an affair? Not a black tie affair with music, food and dancing! This is for my followers who are okay with reading something different from me.  Back soon with some Valentine’s humor.

SO YOU WANT TO HAVE AN AFFAIR . . . 

You want to have an affair. You haven’t even been married long. Wait a sec, are you married or just roommates? You check and yep, your marriage license is in your nightstand drawer. The wedding video that cost $800 is covered with dust. No question — you’ve made a lifelong commitment.

But your current nights certainly give a good impression of being roomies. There’s even a posted schedule of whose turn it is to take out garbage and shop for groceries. Truth be told, you’ve been contemplating the idea of an affair for a long time and not because you’re having a mid-life crisis, envisioning a red sports car in your future.

No, this isn’t about low self-esteem. Quite the opposite. You deserve more. You deserve someone who understands, connects, responds — and “gets” you on a deep level.

You’ve been testing the waters lately, making more intense eye contact with attractive strangers. When they hold your gaze, you’ve felt that elusive thrill from your past. But your thoughts never go beyond this. Until today.

Today a pop-up window appeared for Ashley Madison. Their slogan — “Monogamy is monotony!” Clever. Maybe that’s a sign? Visions of hang-up phone calls, excuses to get milk (when it’s not even your turn!) and seedy motel rooms run through your head. You visit the website and there are many photographs. These people do not look underhanded, sleazy or desperate. They look like…you.

They talk of voids. “Mistakes, regrets and soul-searching” are other buzzwords. Everyone’s profile states they don’t want to change their current marital situation. They don’t want to hurt their lifelong partner or upset the family’s applecart. They just want to supplement their life. And above all, they want discretion.

You are attracted to several of the profiles, but there’s no way to contact them (even to innocently chat) without making a profile of your own. You could easily do this. You have that private email account. And amazingly enough, you have a nice photograph of just you. You wouldn’t even have to crop out someone else’s arm around you. You decide to do it. It’s just a couple hundred words describing your likes and dislikes, no big deal.

You’re careful to phrase things so people understand you haven’t done this before. You’re not a player. You’re just curious about what’s “out there.” When you’re done, you preview it and feel confident you’ll get lots of views and responses. You hesitate just for a moment before you click “Publish” but then do it very matter-of-factly. After all, you want to have an affair. Don’t you?

Later, your spouse is particularly upsetting which justifies your actions. Not listening to anything you say, but instead thinking up the next clever remark to interject while you’re still speaking. You’re tired of being talked over and around, so when you finally go to bed, you’re grateful there’s no talking at all. Carefully staying on your side of the bed, you don’t brush skin. Even accidental cuddling would elicit guilt.

You can’t sleep. Your new online mailbox is all you think about. In the den, the monitor glows eerily and after remembering your password, you’re rewarded (and flattered!) to find 6 new emails. Several of them try to be funny. They try too hard. One goes on and on, obviously totally self-absorbed. Who does that remind you of? One talks about extreme guilt, which you don’t want to be reminded of. Two of them gush over your photo and tell you they’d sleep with you tomorrow.

But really if this was just about sex, you could find that anywhere. After all, you’re attractive. Hell, there’d be zero risk of getting caught if it was just the physical release you were after. You can do that for yourself. And God knows, lately you have. A lot.

No, you’re trying to find that missing connection. You hate the term ‘soulmate’ but admit it fits here. The chemistry must be there, yes, but you’re seeking more. You write back to all six individuals. You ask questions. What brought them here? What are they looking for? What’s wrong with their marriages? You don’t ask anything you wouldn’t answer yourself.

You tell everyone to write back and confess something surprising, even shocking. You spend the next twenty minutes deleting emails, emptying recycle bins, erasing history as your other half sleeps in the next room. This is kind of daring, kind of thrilling and definitely an adventure into the unknown.

The next morning you can’t look your spouse in the eye, but interestingly, there’s no notice taken of that. Everything proceeds as usual and you’re off to work. In your office lobby, you look around and wonder how many people are having secret affairs? From the number of hits on that website, you’d venture 1 in 3 people do this.

Could it be her? Maybe him? Oh! You bet it’s those two over by the ATM machine. Maybe that one is even one of your actual responders… after all, the photo was faraway and blurry. You feel giddy. Your day flies by. You don’t dare check email from work because you’ve heard employers have ways of tracking these things. So you race home to log on and… Jackpot!

Nine new responses and four from the first batch have already written back. As per your request for surprising tidbits, there are some real shockers revealed. Someone is a physician who regularly sleeps with patients. Someone else is happily married and just looking to add a threesome to their routine and someone else has a gambling problem and just lost the house. Interesting how that one original respondent who was so cocky and self-assured hasn’t sent a photograph or admitted anything astonishing. All the rest are okay, but it’s those voids in that particular email that’s most intriguing. You ignore the others and pursue the individual who represents a challenge.

Two weeks pass and you’re wild with desire by the mystery profile. The witty flirtations have been like nothing you’ve experienced, well at least not since you first got married. This person truly “gets” you, which blows your mind because you’re so complicated. Sometimes you don’t even “get” yourself! And after all this time, you haven’t even seen a photograph, but this doesn’t matter because you’re officially obsessed. You can’t believe your spouse hasn’t noticed changes.

Computer time increases three-fold. You’re simultaneously jumpy, edgy, and euphoric. You’ve shopped for the perfect meeting outfit. There’s talk of an out-of-the-way place for cocktails but both people know that’s just a formality. Until you seduce one another physically, mirroring what’s already occurred emotionally online.

Today’s email is especially adorable and funny. An agreement has been made that when you meet, the long awaited photograph will finally be placed in your hand! Kinda ironic because when that happens, you won’t need a photograph. The email also promises you’ll be told what quality about you was initially the most attractive. How fun!

You write back that you can’t wait for this to happen. You delete that because it makes you sound needy. Instead you casually write back “perhaps our paths will cross one day, when we’re least expecting it.” You add that you’ll anticipate a photograph and the compliment when that time comes.

You log off the computer with a yearning sigh. You walk from the den into the next room where you literally bump into your spouse. As you look up into wistful eyes, a photograph is gently slipped into your hand. Your spouse softly whispers, “Hello. It was actually your honesty that originally attracted me the most.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/carry/

Is Profanity Legal in Scrabble?

couchEvery writer plays Scrabble at least once in their life, right?  Form a seven letter word, score 50 pts, use your Q without a U, challenge your opponents version of “EUOUAE” (a consonant-less word that’s legal? Yep!) clink teacups, and call it a fun night, right?

That’s all well and good when it’s a friendly game around your kitchen table with family.  But playing with a competitive stranger online from God know’s where, who also cheats? Well that’s quite another story!

It all started when my children coaxed me to download the App, “Words With Friends” on my cellphone.  What a neighborly sounding game it was! A few clicks and voilà! (I always wanted to work “voilà” into a post!) suddenly it was just as I remembered from my own childhood– except you could take all day to make one word and nobody minded.

That was rather nice – – mulling over the letters whilst mopping the dining room floor or leisurely contemplating a compound word as you auto-shuffled the letters “sexycat” around, searching for something better during a gynecologist appointment.

And you could even send gracious messages back-and-forth like “awesome word!” or “you got me there!” No rush, no muss, just clean, polite, old-fashioned fun.

Until none of my children would play with me anymore. Or my ex-husband, my cousins, my neighbor, my babysitter, my accountant, my Rabbi, my boyfriend, and not even my Tupperware Lady.  Right, like she was just soooooo busy – – when’s the last time you were invited to a party that featured burping plastic containers?
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Poor sports and sour grapes, every last one of them, just because I clobbered them all! One by one, I went through my Facebook victims, err contacts, systematically challenging familiar names to a friendly game until they all dropped off in defeat.

Then it happened. The invitation from “1OldTortoise” appeared–I took one look at his innocuous name and eagerly clicked “Accept.” Easy pray.

But who was he?

His first word utilized all his letters — “ratines.” A noun meaning “heavy, loosely woven fabric,” my eye! Looking back, that’s when I shoulda smelled a rat.

But I gave him the benefit of the doubt and made a few of my own 7-letter words. First “coupons” followed by “toenails” playing off his ‘S.’ Ha! Let him dispute that toenails wasn’t all one word. Then a message came across in that cute little thought bubble–“I was just clipping mine.”

Okay, ewww! And seriously? I needed to know an Aging Reptile’s grooming habits? I don’t think so. Also I was immediately reminded of the Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare” because the sudden alacrity in which he sent his words across was astonishing. He beat me three times in a row just that one morning.

Gone were the relaxing days allowing me to pause and brainstorm for an hour. If I hesitated to respond in twenty minutes, a message would appear with an impatient ding, prompting, “1OldTortoise is waiting. Make your move!”
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Really? Well he can just pull his wrinkly head back inside that cracked shell of his and sit tight. What business did he have rushing me like that? It’s just a form of recreation, after all. Besides it’s humiliating getting beaten in a game of wits and skill by someone like this. He was quickly turning “Words With Friends” into “Language With Enemies!”

And worse yet, I had the distinct impression that he was using a dictionary. His words were just too obscure. Nobody has a vocabulary like that. And once I lost by 200 points because my 8-year old “borrowed” my cell phone for twenty minutes. Still, it was infuriating.

And if he wasn’t using a dictionary, then he had some other devious way of drawing all the best letters for his own rack while leaving me with nothing but “ffhzxns.” Whatever that was, I so yearned to pluralize it!

Then one day it happened. I actually beat him! But as I rejoiced, a thought bubble popped up all aglow. “Congratulations,” it proclaimed. “You managed to beat my young grandson who happened to be playing with my phone!”

Oh that was rich, really rich. What was this? He’s trying to diminish my joy. Make me feel foolish because I celebrated out-spelling a small child. One who probably called himself, “1Tinyturtle.”

The guy was so slippery, he may as well have been a snake. And persistent as all hell. Hell in a tortoise shell! The moment he won, like lightning, another invitation flashed across the screen–“Accept a new game with 1OldTortoise?”  I had no choice. If I clicked “decline,” I knew on his end it looked as if I resigned. I wouldn’t give him that satisfaction. I played with a 102 degree fever, in the middle of movies, while studying for an exam, and even as I wept because our cockatiel died.

Finally I developed that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude. I downloaded another app called scrabblecheat.com. I am not proud of this behavior. But the tortoise was going down… I was determined.

Now I couldn’t sleep because of my obsession with winning. When I did manage to grab a little shut eye, I dreamt of glass enclosures at the zoo, housing 200 year-old (did they live that long?) terrapins. (Small edible turtles!) Or I would awaken shouting out, “QWERTY!”
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The whole situation became truly absurd — he was cheating, I was cheating–it was as if there were two computers playing against each other. A tech war.

One night my mother came over for dinner and as we prepared the brisket and mashed potatoes together, I showed her the current “Words With Friends” game board in-progress on my cellphone.

“Ma,” I implored. “You were a high school English teacher, what intelligent word can you make with these letters?” She fished out her reading glasses and furrowed her brows. “Oh you’ve got a worthy opponent here,” she said. “But use your Y and make “gravy.”

Bingo! With her help, I felt confident I would finally make turtle wax outa him. And that’s when I heard it. The familiar ding, and then the thought bubble with a message inside.

“Gravy! Clever word you made. Now make some for your brisket. It’s always dry.”

As I peeked into the living room, I saw my mom typing into her own cellphone, beaming while nudging her glasses back up on her nose… Her old tortoise shell glasses.

“1TinyTurtle” was probably my own 8-year old little boy that she occasionally babysits. And my mom actually clips her coupons (not her toenails!) while playing me in “Word With Friends.” Good to know!

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This is my 100th post since Jan 1st 2014! I’d be thrilled if you’d leave me a comment to celebrate as well as introduce yourself–if you haven’t already?  And please visit me on The Huffington Post to laugh some more…. Click HERE

Would You Date Casper the Ghost?

Casper the GhostWhen you’re a Ghost Writer, you often wish you hadn’t agreed to let someone else take credit for YOUR brilliant, original words.   Nothing worse than a regretful phantom.  But are people ever sorry they asked you to ghost write for them?  I think my obnoxious divorcee neighbor wishes she could take back that fateful day when she asked me to compose her online dating profile.  Listen:

Lydia: I just got my eyes and boobs done.

Me:  Done? I didn’t realize you were born with incomplete sets?

Lydia:  Very funny.  And the Doctor took some extra fat off my butt and injected it into my lips, so they’re nice and full.

Me:  Great!  Now all those men can continue to kiss your ass and never even know it.

At least you won't have to wonder where thin lips like these may have been before!

At least you won’t have to wonder where thin lips (like these) MAY have been before!

Lydia:  Never mind that.  How about using some of that clever humor of yours to help me find someone who will appreciate my anti-aging efforts?

She had a point.  I have never seen anyone so well-preserved – – except maybe a jar of strawberry jam.

That’s why I simply have no idea why Lydia rejected the witty title I composed for her Personal Ad. . .

Will you be my Charmed Princester Before I Become an Old Spinster?

Some people can be so picky.  But I changed it to something much better.

The adventure was on!  Lydia enthusiastically gave me her password to Match.com and soon I was thrust into the Online Single Dating world.  AS SOMEONE ELSE.

And lemme tell you – – with my very Dark Brunette style of writing, I was gonna make extra sure that Blondes do indeed, have more fun.

The intro line . . .

5ft 2″, Green-Eyed Monster Blonde Hears Voices, But Has Too Much SelFContRol to Act On Them!

And then because everyone knows that men need a good opening line to help them write interesting responses. . .

BE surE to ask me about the time I Stumbled and trippEd over my right breast.

Then the middle portion went like this . . .

EXcited to meet “The Man in the Mirror!”  I’ll certainly be your “Thriller.”  On our first date, we won’t “Stop Till You Get Enough.” I might be “Bad” in bed, but at least you won’t have to stay home alone and “Beat It.”

Yeah.  She may not be such a huge Michael Jackson fan anymore after she reads that. Maybe she’ll stop blasting “Billy Jean” at 2 am.

I’m an expert stripper and very good with my hands.  But my sanding and varnishing skills might need a little work.

Ho hum – –  my own humor was boring even to me, and the money she was shelling out ($0) for me to write this junk wasn’t worth it, so when I got sick and tired of thinking up little gems, I decided to peruse the male online profiles.  AS LYDIA.

And lo and behold, whom do I see but my ex-husband!   At first I didn’t think it was really him, because the headline didn’t proclaim, “God’s Gift To Women.”  But I’d know that stupid joke about the one-legged flamingo and roll of toilet paper anywhere.  It was definitely him. Perfect.  I quickly poked and prodded and pinched and winked until he finally sent me a real message. Aha!  I gleefully watched his status change from “Guest” to “Paying member.”  Good.  Because I was worth it.

I took this as my big opportunity to find out what he really tells people about the reason why we got divorced.

Hi Handsome! Before we get in too Deep, I’m a Firm believer in finding out why a man’s marriage failed.  Mind telling me your story?  Flirtaciously Yours,  Lydia.

I figured I had him with “Deep” and “Firm.”  His response came instantaneously.

Forget it.  You’re just as nosy as my Ex-Wife.

Hmmph – – How dare he respond so rudely to poor, innocent Lydia!

I turned my attentions back to her silly profile and decided what Lydia needed was some nice photos to attract just the right man for her.  I went onto Google Maps, entered her Home address, and found a lovely picture taken in her backyard from a helicopter.  Men just love candids.  And another taken of her smoking, so all the guys could appreciate how much determination it took for her to quit.

I'm Seeking a Non-Smoker ONLY.

I’m Seeking a Non-Smoker ONLY.

There's no grass back here for you to have to mow!

Dear Potential Mate:  There’s no grass back here for you to have to mow!

Next I decided to scope out Lydia’s competition and began methodically scanning all the women until I ran straight into one I recognized.  It was none other than my boyfriend’s sister-in-law.  The only problem was she was happily married.  To my boyfriend’s brother.  What to do?  What to do?  There was only one thing to do.  I called my boyfriend and broke the bad news to him.

Boyfriend:  Forget my sister-in-law.  You were  roaming around on a dating website because . . . ??

Me:  Oh.  That’s easy.  I was hired by my neighbor Lydia to write a profile for her.  Just call her and verify everything, Honey.

It could have been that Lydia no longer thought my humor was very funny.  Or it could have been the slightly unflattering photos of her that I put up.  But I seriously doubt it was my clever new title for her profile . . .

I’m Chlamydia Lydia – – Looking For My Penicillin Pete!

I guess I’ll never know the exact reason because Lydia refused to say.  But she vehemently denied ever asking me to write her dating profile, which left me in some awfully hot water with my boyfriend.  That’s okay though, because Lydia now has a hot message of her own, running through her profile like a Secret Coded Anagram.  Check out the Green Capital letters above.

And good luck, Lydia!  I’m gonna make like a ghost and disappear now, but your online dating life might haunt you for some time to come.