I’m a Mormon, so I support families and family life.
Families are central to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re taught their importance from a very young age; the expectation is that everyone will try to marry (and be sealed in the temple) and raise his or her own children in a righteous environment. In the end, we have the chance to be together forever.
The Lord has designated the family to be the basic unit of the Church and of society. As used in the scriptures, a family consists of a husband and wife, children, and sometimes other relatives living in the same house or under one family head. A family can also be a single person living alone, a single parent with children, or a husband and wife without children. …God organizes us into families so that we can experience happiness and learn patience and selflessness. These traits help us become more like God and prepare us to live happily as families throughout eternity.
The way Kevin and I have been able to live this life is by his being the main breadwinner while I stay home and write blog posts. We have six boys so far, and are raising them with the expectation that they will marry and care for their own families one day.
The instant I’ve guaranteed ten full minutes of distraction for my cute, little distractions; I’m in flight-control checklist mode:
✔Shower curtain, in position ✔Nozzle, adjusted ✔Hot water, started ✔Shampoo, secured ✔Bar soap, on rack ✔Razor, located ✔Towel, ready for reentry ✔Water temperature, adjusted ✔Hair, secured with safety loop
And … go, go, go!
My husband is a Pleasure Showerer.
The hour or so after he’s leisurely caught up on cell phone heralds from his porcelain throne; he’s in contemplative mode:
Tap water released Phone, atop muddled towels Awaits naked return
Meanwhile, I take bets on whether the hot water will run out before he does.
A Freudian voyeur can analyze our freshly-scrubbed psyches by studying our bars of soap: mine is always a flat, overworked strip; his, a perfectly-caressed quenelle.
Ted and Trudy had been married forever; four years, in fact. Each still said he or she was in love. Still, each found himself or herself dreading the drive home after work.
Their marriage counselor tried. “What you need is to find and speak each other’s love language,” she said.
Ted and Trudy tried.
Physical intimacy didn’t touch on the issue. Spending quality time together made the evening drag on and on. Neither received gifts presently. Words of affirmation didn’t speak to either of them. And we won’t even mention how self-absorbed each became when performing acts of service.
It wasn’t until Ted finally snapped and complained about it all that Trudy felt an unexpected spark.
“Ooooh. Say that again, Ted,” she cooed.
Ted blinked. “Uhhh… the counselor’s charging way too much for something that’s not working?”
“Yes, Ted! Yes! What else isn’t working?”
“Uhh…” he thought for a minute. “That plumber we hired this morning was late, incompetent, and left a mess.”
Trudy sat up and perked up. “What else??”
“No one knows how to drive anymore?” He was starting to get excited as well.
“Whenever I go shopping, I can’t ever find a good clerk! How difficult is it to know where the polos are?”
“Ohhh, Ted.” She drew right up to him. “What else?”
“The governor’s an idiot and this country’s being run by imbeciles!”
Their counselor was surprised to see them practically bouncing at their next (and last) appointment.
“We did it!” Trudy gushed. “We found our love language!”
“Oh?” the counselor asked, intrigued. “Which is it?”
Ted and Trudy looked at each other, smiled; then, in unison, answered, “Complaining!”
Always on the cards, by Over Soil Last second writing “All my love” so cursory, Time and again made us forget each anniversary, For us, protecting trees was always on the cards, So what better than a trip to a nearby plant nursery.
Untitled, by Ellen Best I love your beard … when its not there. And the shine … that’s not hair. The way that you snore sounded sweet Well until, the first time it woke me from sleep.
I love the ring in your nose The way you bite at your toes Because you can’t be arsed, to get the clippers off the shelf.
I like all the things that you do, But you never bag the dogs poo. Now that might make me mad, just a bit. I am glad we got wed, Though you spent a week in bed Because of jet lag As I recall you to say.
Romance is not dead We’ll have adventures you said, So we married on a beach in the bay Even the bomb squad didn’t ruin our day.
Thanks for playing!! Return tomorrow for next week’s prompt.
Michael Fishman, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!
There’s some sort of commercial event coming up this Friday. I’m not sure what’s it’s all about; judging by the stores, there’s a lot of red and pink and hearts involved. There’s also chocolate, which I can always get behind.
From what I can gather, like with Christmas; if we spend enough money on presents, we love someone.
The facial expressions of the men shopping on V-Day tell me otherwise. Every year, I see an unusual number of men in end-of-day work shirts and khakis standing in line at the checkouts. All bear flowers, balloons, chocolates, or plush animals holding hearts. And all bear a resigned grimace.
Hopefully all that annoyance pays off for them later…
As for me and my husband, we’re practical. I have never demanded flowers, chocolates, and a romantic evening on February 14 (at least, not lately). I’ve not insisted Kevin spend a certain amount for an anniversary gift. I certainly do not expect a puppy on my birthday.
Most of that is because he wouldn’t do so without my asking, so I feel bad when he shows up with commercially-prompted merchandise. Such gestures make me feel like someone put him in a headlock and forced him to purchase roses.
Where’s the love in that?
I trace our practicality back to our engagement. We were …young. We hadn’t much money. We went shopping for everything together, from our apartment to our kitchen table to our bedding. I watched our meager incomes disappearing into rent, food, car payments, school costs, utilities…
Then, we went ring shopping. This band with a bit of shiny rock cost an apartment for a year, while that band with a smaller shiny rock could buy us food for a month while this band with a very tiny rock was our car payment, due that Thursday. Metal and stone hardly seemed worth the price.
We had a small, simple wedding. We honeymooned a couple of hours North. And life resumed.
Our dates were World of Warcraft and Diablo II, at home. Our romantic getaways have been an overnight stay for anniversaries and two trips out-of-state in the last …never-you-mind-how-many years.
Perhaps if “exciting” weren’t synonymous with “expensive,” Kevin would get me a dozen roses and a cruise to The Bahamas. Perhaps if “impetuous” didn’t need to include the five children he values most in life, we’d dine on lobster and wine and make violent love on the evening of a cute holiday.
It’s true that our romantic life is a bit flat because I’m recovering from being a whale and being cut open to remove our adorable offspring and we’re already dealing with having four active fighting demanding mess-making boys…
but the romance won’t be because Wal-mart told us to.
It will be, quite practically, because we love each other.
What of you and yours? Do you observe the official holiday of Valentine? Does practicality trump spontaneity, or are you hopeless romantics?
“Wanna carry me across the threshold?” Her eyes twinkled and her mouth twisted in playful merriment. She knew her 130 lbs outweighed his 118; that her 5′ 8″ exceeded his 5′ 6″.
Then, of course, there was the matter of her dress.
“Sure!” he answered, feigning ignorance to any impediments. He strode forward and pushed the apartment door open.
Like a gallant knight -or its steed- he returned and grasped a hand beneath her fluffed-lace rump; another steadied her sheer-laced back. No more chivalrous a man than he grunted and stalked his steady way forward, laughing bride and all.
January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by January 14, 2019. Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
“But, men are better-suited to a job. Women are nurturers, better-suited to home life and childcare.”
She looked his way, watching her nonverbal incredulity fly over his head.
“You think work’s some sort of vacation, but it’s difficult. It’s boring, too.”
She could see the piles of laundry behind him, an out-of-focus background to his immaculately-suited person. Disorder framed order: a juxtaposition between her expected daily high point and his.
“It’s true. I read a study that women are happier at home.”
She sighed, wondering which pile hid happiness.
“Trust me.” He kissed her pale cheek. “It’s by design.”
What came to mind for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: to include the phrase “by design.”
December 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the phrase by design. It can be used in any manner — a label, a mantra, a story. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by December 31, 2019. Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
She felt him: fluttering rolls across her belly, monitor heartbeats strong and loud. What will you be like? she wondered, pausing life to grow another.
She chased him: rolling, crawling, walking, running; breaking, laughing, climbing high. When will you slow down? she wondered, curtailing career to care for child.
She watched him: growing taller, speaking deeper; leaving parents for teenage crowds. When will you grow up? she wondered, forgoing sleep for curfew calls.
She hugged him: leaving nest to start his own; walking tall beside his wife. When will you come back? she wondered, looking round at what remained.
Raised and cared for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt: an interlude.
September 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an interlude. It can be a pause between two key moments, the pause between acts in a play, an intermission, or a temporary amusement Go where the prompt leads you!
Respond by September 24, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.