Archives for posts with tag: marriage

Wars may be too harsh; skirmishes, maybe. That Man I Married and I are in accord on most of the big issues in our lives together. Meals are sometimes a different matter. When, how, and what to eat are questions that plague us repeatedly. Take this morning:

I need to eat early, not immediately, but not long after a cup or two of coffee. TMIM has no such requirement, frequently making his first move in the direction of food sometime after 11:00. Despite my argument that science is on my side on the breakfast question, I haven’t been able to convince or cajole him to  join me.

Even if I can get him to accept food on my schedule, he steadfastly rejects my favorite cold weather breakfast: oatmeal.

I’ve tried to win him over by  re-branding my beloved oats:  “How about some breakfast risotto?”

“I hate the way it smells!”

I can fix that. I love cinnamon in my cereal, so rather than waiting until it’s ready to eat, I add a generous sprinkle right when the oats go in. Problem solved, or so I think.

This morning, later than usual, I made my oatmeal. But I had forgotten to add the cinnamon. Enter TMIM. “That smell!” Oops. I quickly grabbed the cinnamon bottle and shook away. Another opportunity to win hearts and mouths lost.

Oh well, more for me.

My smart and sassy single friend and I were chatting on-line, as is our habit lately. The conversation came around to her most recent foray into dating. First we kicked that word around a while. (Such an odd thing to call what we do at this age) I noticed that my friend had upgraded her description from “definitely not a date” when she socialized with this man to The D Word, and gently teased her about that.

The dating, or whatever it is, is proceeding well. So well, in fact, that my friend is confronted with the prospect of becoming a “girlfriend.”

“I won’t do it.” The last time she had been called “my girlfriend” she was 46 years old. “It was ridiculous.”

“I know,” I replied. ” I thought it was ridiculous when I was 34. I had to get married for lack of a better descriptor.”

(Just teasing, Dr. T.- Loved you then, love you now.)

It’s been a while since Dr. T and I have been away from home; we ended last year and began this one during a two night trip to the coast, and spent three days on a historical pilgrimage to Virginia in June. We had company on that trip: my brother-in-law and his wife.  It was very pleasant, and entertaining to watch TMIM in the role of little brother.

I am generally very happy in my little corner of the world, but I do get itchy feet from time to time, and it was very clear that my spouse needed, and very much deserved, a break. It came in the form of another two night stay at the coast, this time in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The destination might not have been my first choice, but I threw a few things in our common suitcase packed with an open mind. Did it matter where we were going? Probably not. The point was to go.

I love a road trip, under the right conditions: good weather, a destination attainable in less than a day’s time, scenery, and good company. I got them. Dr. T did the driving, and was agreeably flexible when I botched the navigation (I told you he was good company.)

Our hotel was a block from the beach, and within sight of the water, as well as the Sky Wheel and other boardwalk attractions. It might have been miserably congested Mid-July, but Mid-October, it was convenient and scenic.

We enjoyed a snack and a drink at a restaurant on a pier while we made plans for dinner. It was an early night, followed by a lazy morning, including a large and delicious breakfast and a long walk on the beach.

After another snack (vacation dietary laws) we headed out in search of the perfect putt-putt golf course. My marginal navigation kicked in (N. King’s Highway? S. King’s Highway?  whatever) and we ended up at the wrong course. Which we played twice. I would have gone again, but my better half displayed better sense.

Back to the restaurant on the pier for a pre-sunset drink, followed by a dinner of oysters and crab legs at a joint some miles up the road in a strip mall. (thanks, Yelp!) Another early night and lazy morning, and it was time to hit the road for home.

I couldn’t sweet talk my way into any more putt-putt, but I did convince Dr. T to pose for some very silly photos in front of a very silly-looking restaurant on the way out of town.

“I had fun,” I said as we got back into the car. “Me too.”

We really need to do this more often.

When my husband headed back east in 2008, I almost instantly dropped 10 pounds. Even though I certainly missed him, I was not wasting away from that. Rather, I was occupying myself at the gym, and eating what I call “girl food.” I also took the liberty of eating my main meal, which was frequently meatless, at lunch, and snacking at our traditional dinner time. I dropped a pants size without noticing.

The lease on our place expired, and I moved The Kid and myself into a smaller, less expensive apartment within walking distance of the train I took to work, the library, a park, two grocery stores and a lively little downtown with restaurants and a movie theater. I walked virtually everywhere. (Not only was it painless exercise, I never had to worry about parking, which has to be a health benefit.) The weight stayed off. I never really “dieted,” just ate what I wanted when I wanted it. I am fortunate to prefer lots of fresh produce, low-fat dairy and whole grains and beans. (And salmon and spinach, which TMIM has very little use for.)

Even though I reverted to our joint habits when Dr. T and I  were together, the  weight stayed off. Restaurant meals, bacon, even Satan’s Crisps (you may know them as Utz potato chips) don’t have much effect if you only indulge a few days a month. No, the trouble began when I came home for good.

It wasn’t just one thing, but a “perfect storm” of factors: my husband is an excellent cook, and doles out generous, man-sized portions. He favors heavier foods than I would make myself, including fried chicken that would turn a vegan into a raging carnivore. But it’s not all his fault. As I have mentioned, it was stinkin’ hot this summer, and I did not move much. I did not have to get dressed for work, so never had a chance to notice that my  pants were getting snug. Before I knew it, my ten pounds had returned, and stay with me to this day.

It’s a funny thing about weight: I weigh exactly the same as I did when I was six months pregnant, but I assure you it is not distributed the same way. Over the course of the last 10 years, I have spent enough time at the gym (off and on as it was) to actually develop some muscle, so even though I have weighed slightly more than I did in my 30s, my overall size did not change much. I am trying to shape up, but I will not be too concerned about what the scale says. Any pound that wants to stay is welcome, provided it shifts to a place that allows me to zip my pants and sit in them without fear. I am also resigned to the idea that I may never have the waistline of my youth, but I will fight for it anyway- at least to keep the jungle from encroaching further.

This may be my last post focusing on weight loss; I have a smart and funny friend (one among many) who deals with it better and in more detail here. I will probably touch on it from time to time, since  it does relate to the health portion of my five priorities, and affects what I can wear and how I feel about myself. In the meantime, I have reminded myself that I know what I need to do. The challenge, as always, is doing it.

As happy as we are to be back together  under one roof, TMIM and I have the occasional tiff, as couples will. Most of ours seem to involve the phrase “Why would you put that THERE?” When this happens, I imagine us in a sitcom: “Loving, long-married couple spend 3 years in long-distance relationship.  They reunite, and hilarity ensues.”

I’m not sure why this works, but I can usually walk away from these little controversies with a smile.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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