A Peek Into Parenting?

Do you ever think about what kind of parent you will be? Would you be the spoiler, the punisher, the rule-enforcer, or the go-ask-your-father/mother type? Reynold has been home for about a month now, and with that has come this out of body experience of witnessing my (puppy) parenting skills develop.  “Jesus, I sound JUST like my father” is a common thought, and a scary one. If you ask anyone in my family, they’ll quickly tell you that I’m the crazy one; speaking up and correcting any nonsense that is presented to me in any moment, regardless of who you are.

My father was always more strict than my mother, and was the parent you feared if you knew you were up to no good. Don’t get it twisted though! Because mom would surprise you with some rage – if you pushed her too far – that would send you into an instant frenzy as you hustled to get out of dodge. When it comes to Reynold’s training and development, I’m the parent that’s constantly in his ass; making sure he isn’t eating some random rock, chewing on things that aren’t his toys or bones, trying to potty inside, and worrying about things that probably won’t happen. S is the parent who is more relaxed, and zen in all things puppy. “He’s a puppy! He’s fine” is what he tells me when I’m worrying about something as random as Reynold licking the floor, or vanishing behind the couch. “We have to stay on him so he learns… he can’t sleep with us until he’s been sleeping in the crate throughout the entirety of the night with NO accidents, for two months… DON’T FEED HIM TOO MUCH, YOU’LL MAKE HIM FAT!”

All in all we’ve been having a great time raising our first fur child together. Our parenting styles are very balanced, and in the end, we both spoil the crap out of him. I just ordered his Halloween costume… a handmade Yoda-ears hat from Etsy. Another thing I’ve started doing is making him homemade treats; eventually Reynold will be a paleo/low-carb pup, like his daddies. Yes, we’re THOSE dog parents. It’s been a fun preview into what I hope will be a similar experience when we have human children – minus the fact that human children can talk back, and I don’t do well with that, LOL. It’s only been a month, and I already feel like our lil pup is growing up way too fast. Slow down, mister! Your daddies love you.

Advertisements

Minnesota Wrap-Up

A few weeks ago, S and I traveled to Minnesota to visit a great friend of mine.  Whenever I meet up with ST, no matter where we are, it’s like no time has passed. Immediately we picked up right where we left off, and the shenanigans to be had weren’t far behind.  We would party pretty hard in college, being part of Big Ten marching band (Go Hoosiers), so it was no surprise that the liquor store was our first stop on the way to his gorgeous new house.  S and I had been anticipating the trip for a while, and were excited to hang out with ST and RG more. We don’t have very many gay friends in Indianapolis – we could make more of an effort, but we stay tired, and like saving money – so being able to kickback with another young, fun and professional, gay-married couple was an instant highlight for 2015’s itinerary.

None of us were the going out types anymore. ST and I have always been partial to house parties, so we talked about going out to a gay bar, but opted for a brewery tour instead. A good beer, day-drinking and gays are always an instant win; even more so when you get to flex your queen muscles with your clique to ward of the hurt feelings of young queens in your tour group.  Long story short, one guy in the group, clearly gay, made a fool of himself with his overly animated reactions to our tour guide, and we may have laughed and poked some fun at him; all in good fun. Surly Brewing Company turned out to have pretty amazing beer, and the tour was very cool for S and I since we do some home-brewing with friends back home.

Minneapolis is beautiful. It reminded us of a more “hip” Indianapolis, but I definitely understood what ST and RG meant when they explained “Minneapolis wants to be Portland so bad.” They have a point there, but the city was cute and chic nonetheless.  Most of the trip was spent hanging out, playing with their beautiful puppy Daisy – a Rhodesian Ridgeback – drinking, and nerding out with a few rounds of Pandemic. Don’t ask me how we cleared a handle of Kettle One vodka and a handle of Jameson in four days, but we did it. We all felt the pain after doing shots, and realized we had evolved when we were all popping multi-vitamins before passing out, to combat the hangovers that would greet us the following mornings. I don’t know if we thanked them for that tip, but we SO appreciated it. August will mark ten years of ST and I knowing each other, and I’m already looking forward to another visit to Minnesota, a couple’s trip somewhere together, or hosting them in Indianapolis. It was fun boys!

Hi! 

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been in and out of the blog as of late. It’s only been a couple weeks since my last post, I think, but I fully intend to hop back on the wagon SOON! Excuses aren’t cute by any means, but the husband and I have been extremely busy.

Last week our home desktop computer decided that it wanted to crash, in the middle of my husband prepping for a final exam, just before we were to leave for Minneapolis to visit friends, and that left us with one laptop to share. We returned to Indianapolis on Monday, after having an absolute blast in Golden Gopher territory for four days, and are just now coming off that “vacation” feeling of laziness.


I would like to have a post up by this weekend, but I will make no promises. I plan to write a little about our time with our friends up in Minnesota, but S is still monopolizing the laptop. Education is important, and his final is tomorrow, so I won’t snatch the device away from him, lol.

So I apologize for the delay! But in the meantime, keep up with me on social media across these platforms:

Twitter: @gaysinthelife

Instagram: @being_mrj

Be looking for a post soon! Share past posts with your friends and family! And as always, I thank you for the love. Talk to you all soon.

You Take Out the Trash, and I’ll Do the Dishes.

“Who’s the girl in the relationship?” is a popular inquiry among curious heterosexuals I’ve met in the past. Like a gust of wind, the gender roles within my marriage lean towards societal normativity, but depending on the day will quickly whip in another direction. Society has programmed most of us to think that men and women have specific roles when it comes to households, jobs, and various other avenues of life. I always have to laugh when the questioning of roles within my relationship comes up in conversation, because you’d think that here in the year 2015, that there would be a better sense of freedom within any relationship. Relationships and marriage are both partnerships, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who did what chores. Views of how a relationship should work will vary, and not everyone will agree. I believe this disagreement is important because not only does it encourage learning, it promotes individual growth that could can potentially be shared with other relationships and marriages.

I’ve always joked that – stereotypically speaking – I’m the woman within my marriage. Pinterest is one of my most used apps on my iPhone, and I’ve known how to crochet since I was twelve. I’ve never liked getting dirty, I enjoy a good outfit, and I absolutely love a good bag. My mouth waters over a good-looking messenger or weekender-styled bag, and sports have never been my thing ever since I could remember. I only learned how football truly worked when I joined marching band at Indiana University – Did I mention I played football one year in high school? Yep, now read back those last couple sentences, and collect that laugh.  Over half of my work experience was spent in retail stores, so I’m cursed with the ability to organize any closet, and I actually enjoy it. Every outfit and accessory has a place, and when things get cluttered my mind nearly explodes; there’s instant stress when I come across clutter in my home. When we moved into our condo, I told my husband not to touch anything that was going to a closet. All the traits I’ve mentioned above – things I love about myself – would typically be matched with the gender labeled “female.”

My husband does not mind getting dirty, and this is a result of growing up on a horse farm.  He had real chores: cleaning horse stalls, moving haystacks, breaking horses – the act of socializing a horse to the point of being able to ride it – and various other farm chores that would make most city kids cry. I believe my husband to be the most handsome man in the world, but his wardrobe can be pretty plain – nothing against the plain and simple types.  It’s easy and refreshing most of the time. He’s a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy, and I love any opportunity to play dress-up with him before going out with friends, or heading out to a dinner. I watched him change the oil on his own car some months back. I ended up retreating to the house, and probably ended up playing on Pinterest, but returned to the garage to find quite the mess. Outside of the dirt and simple manliness that makes up my husband, is his love for Indiana basketball. He can talk college basketball like no one I’ve ever heard before, and gets completely into the games. He’s most emotional during an IU basketball game, and when players from the team make the news because of some coach drama, or team scandal.

While most of these gender role stereotypes are entertaining and fun to identify within any relationship, they’re not the norm anymore.  Sure, back in the day women had their roles, and men had theirs, but in today’s world, you can identify ALL gender roles within a single gay relationship. So what does this say about gender roles in general? Like sexuality, these roles within a relationship are fluid and ever-changing. One person doesn’t have to do one specific chore, or act a certain way because of their sex. For S and I, all that matters is that our condo – and life – isn’t burning down. I imagine this to be a similar and common thought when it comes to other relationships and marriages across the globe. There are plenty of straight, uber-masculine men that can sew, cook, and clean, and a great deal of women who enjoy getting their hands dirty, and who could teach any man a thing or two inside a garage. The traditional views of the inner-workings of a relationship are slowly fading, and my hope is that by acknowledging the fluidity of gender roles – across any type of relationship – we can stop answering a question like “So, who’s the girl in the relationship?”

Bored.

Tuesday nights he has class. Any other night, he gets home about an hour after I do, and the usual weeknight routine of hanging out and decompressing on the couch together commences. Best Coast plays in the background as I sit here at the kitchen table; trying my best to think of something to do, or decide which band I should listen to next on Tidal. Boredom hits me pretty hard every once in a while, and most of the time will guide me in a very unproductive and lazy direction. This was almost one of those instances, but some nagging energy from within managed to place my ass in this chair in front of this computer screen.

“What to do, what to do?” Tonight was the first night I went walking, solo, on the trail near our condo. The weather was too charming for me not to get an extra workout in, and despite violent winds, I enjoyed my hour stroll around Eagle Creek. “Now what?” I’m glad we canceled our cable, because even the streaming services were failing me, and YouTube was not piquing my interest in the slightest. “I guess I’ll shower.” I showered because I was bored, and continued to avoid cleaning the refrigerator; something I’ve been meaning to do for the past few weeks. The intensity of my walk was no more than that of walking a dog, so a shower most definitely was not a need, but it was something to do. “I wish he were home… then at least he could be in charge of picking what show we watch… or we could play Mario Kart… Do I want to play Mario Kart?

Significant others, boyfriends, or girlfriends make the time pass easier during these bored moments. I can’t stand being bored and alone, because I can never decide what I want to do.  “What do you want to do?” is a common response to him asking me “What do you want to do?” At least if he were here, being lame and bored with me, I’d have someone to interact with while scrolling through Netflix listings. No activity, show, or chore sounds remotely appealing at the moment, so sitting here listening to music and attempting to write something seems to be the best way to battle boredom’s persistent energy. I have one hour or so until S walks through the door. Let’s see if I can finish this post by then.

Pumped

Finishing his last set of lateral raises, my alter ego studies the reflection in the mirror. The body in which he lives is no longer round and fluffy, but hardened around the edges with some softness left in the middle. He is built like a brick wall with fresh mortar, and the sweat-shaded shirt harnesses swollen shoulder, arm, and chest muscles. Judging by the weight and overall wetness of his t-shirt, it is safe to say that today’s workout was a success, and the urge to flirt is burning wildly under the freshly worked out muscles. All bets are off at a smaller gym, because eyes have no choice but to wander, and I’m one to give a show if I catch you looking. My shorts are already pretty short – because I hate basketball shorts – my shirts grow tighter in all the right places as the weeks pass, and I make sure my form is on point.  This voyeuristic trait really only comes to life when I’m in the gym, and I like to think it makes me dig deeper in achieving a better workout.  Whether you like it or not, you will gain inspiration from watching another participant, or you’ll unconsciously lust after them; wanting their body for yourself. Snapping out of my temporary trance, I put away the dumbbells, wipe off the bench, and make my way toward the locker room. “Oh, I’m sorry!” I bump shoulders with another lifter, and the urge is reawakened. “Get the hell out of here” I think to myself, doing everything I can to will away the thirst of my alter ego’s sweet and sour thoughts. If this internal battle weren’t already enough, running smack into my office crush – making chest to chest contact – on my way into the locker room was the icing on this mess of a cake. “Hey man! Looks like you got a good workout in today, eh?” Why is he so nice? He’s always so nice. Get me the hell out of here.

Hibernation

During the winter months, much like bears of the North, S and I tend to hibernate. Whether knowingly, or unknowingly, most couples tend to practice some form of hibernation when summer is farther away than we’d like to admit (because, screw Jack Frost).  Some fall completely off everyone’s radar, and others go from one-hundred to a solid twenty-five on the social scale. Yesterday, S and I left the comfort of our condo, and had lunch with two friends – former roommates from the Indiana U dorm days. The weather was surprisingly warm and welcoming for a February day in Indianapolis, and we had a great time catching up and laughing at their one-and-a-half-year-old.  A habitual and frequent goal of ours is to do nothing more than stay home and relax as soon as we leave work on Fridays. Usually we’ve planned too much or we’re visiting family, so taking full advantage of not having any commitments in our queue, and keeping hard earned coins in our pockets – and not on the countertops of downtown Indianapolis bars – is pretty great.  When I think about it, our hibernation period is probably due to preparation for the summer.  Summer is when we stay pretty social; having people over, and going to our favorite spots around town.  Being completely real, it seems as though our motivation levels match the season. Winter is dark, cold, and lazy… So thankfully, we both have the option of working out at our workplaces.

Prince Charming

Who is Prince Charming? Does the comparison – of one’s new, old, or off and on again boyfriend – truly mean anything, or has society programmed us all to think that it’s some end-defining-scare-the-man-away-anti-feminist notion? A recent exchange with friends made me consider what the idea of Prince Charming really means within a relationship. The group of us were at a bar, watching Big Ten basketball, and enjoying beers when I mentioned to my friend’s boyfriend that he was like her prince charming; keep in mind this was my first time meeting him. He handled the comment like a gentleman, and I later found out, via my husband’s opinion, that the comment was “awkward,” and that my friend was a smidge embarrassed.

Making awkward comparisons and embarrassing my friend was never my intention. The way I viewed my comparison was the fact that both of us had been through a great deal of shitty dating experiences, boys, not men, and our fair share of situations you may only see in movies; movies that usually end with someone’s heart being grinded up in some dramatic, emotional fashion.  I’m genuinely happy that she has found someone, and stand by what I said in that moment. So, why is there so much weight placed on the idea of portraying a Prince Charming-like character? I know full well that my friend does not need any man to save her from anything, so maybe I should have tried to compliment their relationship in another manner?

My view of who Prince Charming can be is not so traditional. If I were Rapunzel, there’s no way in hell I would be waiting for a man to come and rescue me from a tower – only to get knocked up with kids, who I would love dearly, and become a housewife. That’s never been me, or any of the people I surround myself with; nothing against those of you who would enjoy, or aspire to be stay-at-home parents.  What’s wrong with Prince Charming being nothing more than a man that’s extremely attractive, has a good job, sends out every signal and vibe that he loves the woman, or man, that he has found, and is an overall good fit for your life where it stands currently?

My husband is my Prince Charming because he entered my life at the right moment. He didn’t save me like some fairy tale hero, but we were ready for each other; ready to give each other a try, with no specific ending (good or bad), or timeline in mind.  He challenges me, emotionally and professionally, and most of all, he inspires thoughts of what a realistic, adult future could be. For me, this future with my Prince Charming is not a stereotype-fueled vision of what the American dream should be, but a relationship that works, is filled with love, and one that encourages our growth as people. No pressure, no awkwardness, just owning and living your relationship to its highest potential.

I Am Wedding Band: A Mini Monologue

The sun enters my bedroom, and I hazily welcome its warmth. It’s quiet on the dark, wooden nightstand, where I spend most of my days, and where my owner has left me, alone, again – I’m always alone. What the hell? In the stores, they tell us wedding bands that we represent the many bonds of love, and that we are so important, and that people are going to love showing us off. If that’s the case, then why do I spend so much time sitting on this nightstand? Like tanned skin in the winter, my glimmering titanium exterior has begun to fade; accepting each layer of dust without declaration.  My partner – a titanium and black zirconium ring – gets all of the action. That slut has his owner’s finger going in and out of him over the entire course of the day. Doesn’t he get tired? I mean, servicing the same finger every single day must be exhausting, but isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Hell, I don’t know. He must be using awesome lube; cocoa butter lotion, if I had to guess. Let me stop, though. Because at least my partner is getting some action… and I’m beginning to sound like a jealous queen.  I love my owner. Sure, he may forget about me some days, but it’s not all days, I guess. Here on this nightstand is where I will stay, until he is ready to take me out for a day. I imagine it could be worse. At least I’m not locked up in that miserable glass case anymore…

Silence CAN BE Golden

A good sign that you’ve found someone that will be around for awhile – hopefully forever if you’re married or in a serious relationship – is if the two of you can be in the same space and just be; existing in the same space with silence and unconditional peace of mind and comfort.  In the past I’ve had roommates and exes that assume something is amiss if we’ve been in the same room and haven’t shared any kind of interaction for an hour or more.  What’s wrong with actually watching the television, reading a magazine, or surfing the net in the presence of another? This is something that annoys me about individuals that crave constant attention and, in a sense, social babysitting.

Thankfully, my marriage is one that does not require constant attention or tending. There’s something truly authentic about being able to just chill out with a significant other, and not give two fucks about anything that’s trying to enter your orbit. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is relaxing slothfully with my husband; binging on episodes of The Good Wife, and only moving from the couch to pour more merlot. Take this very moment for example: Currently we are watching survivor casting videos, he’s in and out of scrolling through Instagram, and I’m partially anti-social because I’m writing this blog entry.

It’s okay to not be in each other’s faces every second of every hour after you get home from a long day of work. Interaction is a great thing in any relationship – and necessary, of course –  but it’s telling if you have someone that can share pure peace and quiet with you. If you’re one of those people that think you need THAT much attention, and can’t take sharing silence with your significant other? CALM DOWN, GIRL (or boy), is all I have to say to you. Now, because this entry is finished, I will go discuss some of these silly Survivor cast members with S. Can you believe this show is on season thirty? Talk to you later, readers.