Do you have any words of wisdom in regards to relationships seeing that you are celebrating your just celebrated your 20th wedding anniversary? Your discourse on relationship advice never fails to interest me. Thanks!
- A gym rat-ette.
Anniversaries are an odd celebration…is it a celebration of survival? A celebration of the fact that we haven’t done mortal harm to each other (yet) and still possess a modicum of respect for the familial unit? If it were up to me, I would celebrate something with a much more linear connection to my internal happy calendar…like the first time I noticed her (33 years), the first time we kissed (30 years), or the first time we…(29 years and 50 weeks give or take depending on whether you agree with President Bill Clinton on the term ‘advanced massage’).
Long term romantic relationships as any expert can tell you from Cro-Magnon man, to Shakespeare to Brittany can attest that they are built around a complex amalgam of emotions, life events, physicality, children, finances, external crisis/opportunity and the cognitive evolution of each participant.
Billions if not trillions of dollars are earmarked annually world-wide for the exploration, conquest and resolution of romantic opportunities and you are not alone in pondering its riddles.
In the early 80’ies prior to all the electronic social conventions we have today, I paid $700 for a tape of me extolling my virtues and why I would make a reasonable date/mate for one lucky lady. (American Pie comes to mind – see the above video)
The day it went into circulation, I went to Club Med and serendipitously hooked up with a dive instructor and never checked if I got any hits from the video. Somewhere out there however, that little bit of digital horror lives on in the bowels of an extinct, chapter 11 dating service…shudder. This tape along with some questionable starving student decisions I made in college are two in a long list of reasons that I will not be running for political office any time soon. In Manhattan a few years later when I was setting up a stock-brokerage in a bank, I was again lonely and my sister suggested placing an ad in the Village Voice. She had had some success meeting a nice civil engineer in Walnut Creek using this type of resource so I went downtown and submitted my add. I wrote: “6’4″ surfer from California looking for fun and frolic on the weekend. Please send photo”. I had some extra time and was feeling frivolous so I put in another one that said: “Short, fat, balding, walk with a limp. Six figure salary, drive a Ferrari and looking for fun and frolic on the weekend. Please send photo.
I got busy with work and forgot about the submissions until that Thursday when I got back to my flat and the message light was blinking. I pressed it and it said, “Mr. Johnson, this is the post office. Could you please come down and clear your box as it is overflowing”. When I went down there in a taxi, I had over 200 boxes, manila envelopes and long form letters filling two mail tubs. I immediately went home, sat down on the John and started opening them…the results that occurred over the next few weeks are better left to person to person ruminations over cold beers and kamikazes as they are fairly colorful. Suffice to say that of 212 mail pieces, 206 were addressed to short, fat, balding, walk with a limp.
Hmmm. As a side note, has any other guy noticed that since 50 Shades of Gray came out that Saturday nights have become more….more? I secretly speed read two of those books off my wife’s I-Pad (She put them on there so no one could see what she was reading on the pool deck) You can read both in about 30 minutes if you only read the ‘good’ parts and I am telling you, this book has struck a chord with a cross section of normally staid, pragmatic women who are now considering a cornucopia of new ideas not to mention that I have now learned just how far off the experiential curve I have drifted in two decades! Men should be blessing the author of these books every night because women have just been given the green light to experiment… I asked my wife why the deranged lead male is so fascinating to her (and other women) She responded, “Because he is rich, confident, in control and pleasures his woman all day long with his money, body and soul.” Well yeah but can he eat an entire tri-tip in a single sitting and burp the opening theme song from Star Trek? I thought not. Uhhh regardless, can someone with good auto-mechanic skills please quickly tutor me in proper usage and then loan me their ‘spreader’?
I really don’t have much sage advice regarding long term relationships as you can see from the never ending stream of relationship mistakes that I share with this blog in amused befuddlement at my ham-handed ‘guyishness’ but I think that all the relationship a person ever needs can be found in the mantra of a single CrossFit workout:
- Just show up. Don’t quit.
- Work hard when it is time to work. Play hard when it is time to play.
- Respect, encourage and support your teammate.
- Understand your limitations and modify your life as necessary to overcome their drag.
- Balance in all things. Too much good, too much easy, too much of anything is just as problematic as too little of the same. (I think that sex, like the Bose Einstein Condensate, is in a different category and not subject to the normal physics of number 5. Bang away I say.)
- The next grass (CrossFit box) is not always greener. Every relationship has its expectations, limitations and disappointments. The next one will too. But the current relationship was forged for positive reasons that are still there but may have gotten lost in the debris of the day. See number 1.
- At some point, you and your teammate will confront your greatest fears whatever they may be. Once you start to tackle them together, they lose their resonance and joy washes through their crumbling façade. See number 1.
- There is no reason to worry about the future. Plan for it yes. Adjust for it when the plan goes awry. Yes. Make sacrifices when necessary. Yes. But do not worry about it. Today is a day for joy and wonder at life and tomorrow remains to be seen. See number 1.
Twenty + years checking the box, ‘In a relationship’ has actually been an eye blink for me. It was just yesterday that we sat in the high school key club meeting and I noticed a cute blond girl pushing a wisp of hair behind her ear…and thirty four years later the spawn of that first encounter is heading out to his new UCSB world and social engagements of his own. Time may be physically linear but I find it to be cognitively fungible at best….just like relationships.
Skill: Skin the Cat
Split Squats: 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 ( 5 each leg per set)
1 Round For Time:
50 Double unders
40 Wall balls (20#/14#)
20 Kettle Bell Swings (2pd/1.5)
10 Shoulder to Overhead (135#/95#)