Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Sexy After Fifty


As I was perusing People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue, I thought about how my definition of sexy has changed over the years. Though Channing Tatum looks great with his shirt off and is an amazing dancer, I don't know if he has what it takes to top my list. Sure he would be delicious arm candy, but would he ever stop doing push-ups long enough to give me what I really need?

While most of the buff men in the issue pump iron, I get steamy watching my husband iron his shirts. Instead of texting naughty messages like many celebrities do, my husband prefers a more personal approach. He lets me have a front row seat while he's cursing at bad drivers. 

Lately, I've found that simple sayings are music to my ears. Some of my favorites include:
No that doesn't make you look fat.
You were right Julie.
Cancel the service guy. I'll install it right now.
And my all time favorite is when he's telling our boys:
Listen to your mother.

Men who cook are incredibly sexy. My husband is master of the grill, and even our friends delight in watching him barbecue. Whether he's adding marinade, inserting timers, or slicing with the precision of a Samurai Warrior, it's always a treat to see him in action. My dad was known for his special London broil, and my husband has continued the tradition. Our sons are currently in training. 
Some of our neighbors could also be in the running for Sexiest Man Alive. There's Devin who's either outside mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, or shoveling the snow. He's always quick to smile and wave no matter how inclement the weather.  Stan drives carpool, and even packs his kids' lunches. Good neighbor Ted leads a dog walking group with other moms. He also volunteers at the local school, while his boys are off at college. I've never seen any of these men without their shirts on, and I prefer it that way.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What Do Couples Talk About After 23 Years?


The British dating site wrote that a couple married for fifty years will talk to each other tor only three minutes during an entire dinner hour. The Sunday section of The Chicago Tribune featured a cover story by Nara Schoenberg detailing the importance of having quality conversations everyday for ten minutes. This entails "sharing your private feelings, fears, doubts, and perceptions with your partner." Since we've been married for over twenty three years, I thought this would be a piece of cake, but after reflecting on our years together, I realized ten minutes could be an eternity.  

When the kids are away at school we normally discuss if either one of us has heard from them. If I say "yes" then my husband's next response is "at what time?" For some reason that particular question sets me off into a tirade and the discussion ends quickly. While most husbands fantasize about their wives greeting them in a sexy strapless gown; mine would be perfectly happy if I held out a rib roast and strapped on a Timex. The next time I spoke to one of the boys I wore my watch, and told him every detail of the conversation. This lasted about four and a half minutes. Maybe we needed to go deeper.

The article talks about research scientist Terri Orbuch's theory of "affective affirmation" to show your partner how much you love them. This could mean anything as simple as offering a hug to show your appreciation. After my husband washed my car, I threw my arms around him to show him my gratitude. This worked well for about twelve seconds until my husband turned me around at the right angle so he could face the TV.  Later when I called him on it he apologized and offered up an even bigger hug. It took me a few minutes before I realized he was also reading the sports section while I was backed up against the kitchen counter.

The truth of the matter is we're both perfectly happy talking about everyday inconsequential things. My husband is more than willing to talk about almost anything with me as long as it doesn't involve screaming, whining or spending money. Tonight we even hit the ten minute mark at dinner with topics ranging from the weather to what's on TV. For all of the other stuff, that's what girlfriends are for.

(This was originally posted on January 18, 2011)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest: A Holiday Roast


Andrew Leon,   Matthew MacNish,  and   Alex J. Cavanaugh  are hosting the  Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest.  The  purpose is to show our appreciation for the special bloggers in our lives, and to highlight those we would miss the most. We were supposed to stop at three, but there were many more to thank for not giving up on me. 

     A Holiday Roast

     It all began you see,
     When  Arlee Bird said the word,
     Followers advanced from A to Z.

     mybabyjohn welcomed me the same,
     And waited several months,
     Before revealing her real name.

     Talli  is such a prolific blogging neighbor,
     That she'll probably write her next book,
     In the midst of going through labor.

     Julie  is always giving,
     Without wondering what she'll get.
     Especially if she's helping,
     Some poor, neglected pet.

     When most people wouldn't bother,
     Hilary  never gave up on Blogger.
     For months when her comments would fail,
     She sent them straight to my email.

     Robyn  is the funniest by far,
     If she says, "Tall, dark, and handsome,"
     Odds are she's describing a chocolate bar.

     If mystery is your passion,
     Michelle  will whip one up,
     In Five Sentence fashion.

     Al  is another comedic master,
     Throw any historical event his way,
     And he'll turn it into laughter.

      A triple shout-out to:
      Ros,  L.G.. and  Susan ,                                                    
      I admire your creativity,
     And find you most amusin.'

     Rhonda's  back from a worldwide tour,
     She was my true blogging mentor,
     And someone I would miss for sure.

     A special thanks to our  Fearless Leader,       
     Who tends to his devoted ducklings,
     Like Father Goose on speed reader. 

     Without all of your support,
     It wouldn't be the same.
     I hope you'll forgive me,
     If I didn't include your name.

     -Julie Kemp Pick

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG : Original Or Extra Spicy


It's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we share our innermost feelings under the guidance of our fearless leader  Alex J. Cavanaugh. The group has grown so large that he has deputized other volunteers to assist in his patrol. Be sure to visit this vast array of amazing authors who are always willing to offer their support.

The wonderful thing about this group is no matter where you are on the list, someone will welcome you with open arms. You don't have to worry about being noticed. This frees you to worry about everything else instead.

For example, lately I've been struggling with originality. Not only do I wonder if I've unconsciously taken someone else's ideas, but I also wonder if I've recycled some of my own. I fear that I'm turning into the crazy aunt who sits in the corner muttering the same stories over and over again, while the children are instructed to politely nod and smile. Eventually the stories will drag on as long as my chin hairs, and no one will say a word about either irritation. On the bright side, it only takes minutes for me to pass out in a comfortable chair.

The other day an elderly man came over to give me an estimate on "dustless" wood floor sanding. I was very concerned when he got down on his hands and knees to measure the floor. Miraculously, he was able to gracefully spring up on his feet like a gazelle. His knees didn't buckle, his bones didn't creak, and his cap didn't sway. It only fueled my desire when this ninety-year-old, five foot two Valentino was able to hear every word I said.

After he left I started typing away. The words were flying off of the page. I was writing chapter after chapter with a reckless abandon. I was grateful that I had finally found my muse. When I reached the halfway mark, I decided to take a cold shower. My husband drew me a rose petal bath instead.

As I was about to go back to work, my husband insisted that I have something to eat. He prepared a lovely meal that we ate in matching robes in front of the TV. We watched a classic film  that was wildly romantic, yet strangely familiar. Though I had never seen this love story before, it was haunting me.

At the end of the movie, my worst fears were realized. I pulled the chair closer to the bear skin rug, and tried to slowly pull myself up from the floor. When that didn't work, I took the belt off of my robe, and wrapped it around the chair like a pulley. A moment later, my husband awoke, and dragged me along the room. Then I grabbed my manuscript, and threw it into the fire. He tried to stop me, but I told him that my story was already made into a Marlon Brando movie from the seventies. Aside from the fact that my tale took place in Pittsburgh, it was almost identical to The Last Tango In Paris.