Naked and Afraid-Marriage in the 21st Century -Podcast 3 part series

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I decided to do a three part  segment on Marriage and some things I have  learned during the last 14 years of wedded bliss and almost 18 years in a relationship with my husband in which we have  faced our share of adversity and struggles.

Marriage can be fun, beautiful and so rewarding, but the one thing that nobody tells you on your wedding day is how hard it is, how much work it requires and if you do not nurture it it can very quickly wither up and die, like a flower in the desert heat!

I entered into my marriage pretty idealistically and with a lot of silly expectations. I brought with me way too much sass and this incredible need to be right all the time. My husband brought his own ideas and idiosyncrasies. Adding us together, mixing us up, throwing in some good times and struggle on top of struggle there have been some dark moments. The thing we are proud of is that though there were times where we almost got lost in the struggles, we dug in, put in some very hard work and today we are lucky to not just call each other partners but we are best friends.

There will be times that we may not like each other but those are the times that we remind ourselves how much we love each other. We have shared some great times together and some times that have made our heads spin. My need, or desire to share this with you comes from a good place in my heart that wants everyone in a relationship that is facing hard times or  daily struggles to know that you are not alone and it is normal. I even share some tips about things that have worked for us.

Join me for a fun and honest look into being Naked and Afraid in a marriage in the 21st century.

Part One- Setting the Stage

Part Two- Stupid things your spouse does and taking the good with the bad

Part Three- Make-up sex, fighting fair and why cuddling has it’s time and place.

Thanks for joining me, I would love to hear your feedback and I adore your marriage stories.

Cheers,

Michelle

If you don’t know me by now- W.I.S.E. Project 2016

me

The W.I.S.E. Project is a journey to self discovery and fulfillment. I am just like you, yet different. I decided to tell you some totally useless information about me and then you will know me better. You may love me, totally dislike me or suggest I seek help. Regardless, if we are going to journey together we should have some dirt on each other in case things go awry along the way!

1.) I love the sound and the smell of rain, if it is accompanied by rolling thunder and lightning lights up the sky I am enthralled. Stormy nights make me sleep like a baby!

2.) I love eggs. Boiled, fried, poached, scrambled or omelets. Eggs are my go to, any day, any time food.

3.) If I have red lipstick on and a flower in my hair I am determined to have a wonderful day!

4.) I love movies that evoke feeling. If they don’t make me cry, scream in anger or recoil in fear then it is not a good movie. If I can do all of that in one movie then it will be my favorite.

5.) I cannot be held responsible for anything I say or do when I am behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. I am a nice person until I am driving and you disregard rules and courtesy. 98% of my swearing takes place in my vehicle.

6.) I like the feeling of being happy. I recognize very quickly when I am not and I have to try very hard to get back to that feeling. Sometimes I have to give myself a time-out!

7.) I love road trips but I also like coffee. It is impossible to combine the two and still cover the miles needed to get where we are going! I am not a lot of fun when I need to pee!!

8.) Sometimes I am afraid to be totally myself because the world has a certain amount of power over me. I try to serve my authenticity but when challenges get to great I tend to panic. As above, sometimes a time-out is needed.

9.) I take a five minutes a day to meditate and be mindful. It is hard. I set a timer. It does get easier and it is helping me to cut through mental distraction and build my attention span.

10.) I used to envy people. Now I admire them.

11.) I used to have this driving need to make a difference somehow. I would spend countless hours being curious and trying to figure out what my purpose was. I found that my greatest contribution could be in changing myself and in learning to be happier, grateful and more mindful I am making a difference in my life and the lives of those I love.

12.) I think identity is something we build on. At 17 I thought I knew everything, including who I was. I am glad that I am not the same person today that I was a 17.  I think the painful experiences that I have had in the last 42 years are the times that I have fought the most to seek my identity, with each lesson, with each trauma, with each survival; parts of my identity emerged.

13.) I sometimes yell at everyone in my house when I am frustrated.

14.) I use laughter to deal with hard situations because someone once said it was the best medicine.

15.) I lose several corkscrews in a month and find them in weird places like my underwear drawer. I love wine 😉

16.) If someone is not nice to my children then I wouldn’t have them around, I feel the same way about my pets.

17.) Sometimes I crave a good cuddle but it is on my terms only. When I want to cuddle and how long I want to cuddle. I have unspoken cuddle rules! I know it sounds selfish and it is not the intimacy of it that I struggle with, it is just that sometimes it sends me into a claustrophobic panic and others it feels like my body has burst into flames and I am burning alive. If it is my way and my terms it can be the sweetest and most calming experience.

18.) I am fascinated by nerds. Most nerds are incredibly smart and though they often lack in social skills; one on one they can be so charming and engaging. I love the way their minds work and they can be really exceptional friends. I had a really good friend years ago that I would describe as the “nerd” of our group. At 20 he was abundantly smart and was enthusiastic about things other than drink specials and wing night. After a night of tequila shots and bad decision making we somehow ended up alone and he educated me in unspeakable ways. He was brilliant and attentive in the bedroom and other rooms. In fact, just to prove it wasn’t the tequila talking we engaged in many more crazy times until he moved across the country to further his education. I would listen to him for hours on end talking to me about amazing things that I wasn’t smart enough to understand, he would ponder, adjust his glasses and thoughtfully explain to me everything I never wanted to know and then when it was least expected he would literally rip my clothes off and ravish me. It could be at the bathroom sink, in the kitchen…in the middle of a math equation. It was so incredibly hot. I thought he was my best kept secret but many monthes later I found out that at least a couple of my friends thought they had the same secret. No regrets 😆

19.) * sometimes my mind wanders mid thought. No nerds were harmed in the making of this blog post!

 
20.) One of the most valuable things I have learned to do is to say NO.

Now you  know me a bit. I would love to get to know you. Tell me a totally random and useless fact about you.

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of a Whiny Bitch!

On my way to work a couple of days ago I found myself in tears at a red light; in fact I am tearing up just thinking about it. I was thinking about an argument that I had with my husband that morning that really shouldn’t have been an argument at all, it should have been two people supporting and encouraging each other but it turned into a pissing match over who was busier, whose day was the fullest, who put in the most effort. There wasn’t a winner and nor should there have been and at that moment I was feeling apologetic that those few minutes we are lucky enough to get together in the morning were wasted.

I was sitting at that red light with hot tears threatening to spill down my cheeks and ruin the make up I had carefully applied in the five minutes I had between making sure my daughters were out of bed and had something to eat before I ran out the door for work crossing my fingers that they would get to school on time. The haunting melody to James Blunts 1973 catapulted me out of my trance to answer the incoming call from my husband. 1973 is his ringtone not just because it is the year of his birth but because we have often danced to that the song when it comes on the radio. There just doesn’t seem to a be a lot of time to dance lately.

My husband had been working in the Alberta Oil sands for seven years. That is seven long years, working long hours in extreme weather and living in remote camps away from his family for 250 days out of a 365 day year. Circumstances led to him deciding to come home and try to run his business in Edmonton. It means even longer hours, a lot of worry about making ends meet and a great deal of faith but we all go to bed under the same roof every night and that is huge. I have returned to work full time as well so my job, my volunteer work, shuffling my kids activities and trying to make sure that my house doesn’t resemble a college dorm (and smell like one) gives me very little time to dedicate to my own sanity. My husband’s business is in infancy so he doesn’t have time to help me and I don’t have time to help him.

Insert frustration, lack of sleep, worry, not enough vegetables in your diet, yelling in place of talking, fear of epic mom failures and waking up with gray hairs where your eyebrows used to be and then the waterworks begin.

For ten days I have been promising myself a glass of wine and a kit kat bar. A “give myself a break” reward. In ten days I haven’t found the time. I really need to get my priorities straight!

As soon as I get to that last load of laundry, go on my fourteen year old daughters school zone which I haven’t signed into in six months (she swears she doesn’t have homework) and convince my 9 year old the importance of taking baths and showers I will get to it. The wine is waiting…..waiting….waiting. I hope it doesn’t turn to vinegar.

I was watching a show on my laptop in bed the other night and I remember the days where I used to envy an actresses hair, body or trendy clothes. Now I just envy how clean the houses are on TV. I am getting older by the second and my laundry is piling up, dust is accumulating in corners and the dishes that have not broken are in the dishwasher. The hot bath I had planned turned into a quick tepid shower followed by my oldest daughters forty five minute tropical shower.

I eat left-overs, I wear left overs, I pull grey hair out of places that shouldn’t even have hair, I calculate bills and schedules in my head as soon as it hits the pillows. I dream of days where there is nothing to do. I yell a lot and yet nobody hears me, I go to the store to get milk and come home with an armload of groceries and no milk.

I am a MOTHER, hear me ROAR, Ok I know, it sounds more like a yawn!! It’s 8 pm and I am yawning. My bottle of wine is looking at me disapprovingly, mockingly as if I’ve done it some disservice. I have no milk and no gas and very little patience.

I had a great laugh tonight with a friend about vaginas, penises, pasta salad and poop. I needed it and it is in those moments that I am reminded how lucky I really am. My kids are doing OK, they have food to eat, clothes to wear and they love their mama. Today they even cleaned the house and made cupcakes. I have a husband who works harder then any man I know and still asks me to dance at the end of the day. I don’t have a model’s body, a millionaires money, a show home, the patience of a saint or a mother of the year award but this whiny bitch has five free minutes, an open bottle of wine and 5 confetti cupcakes….dare me???

Love you all and happy Easter xoxox
Michelle

Mom’s everywhere, watch this and then pat yourself on the back because you ROCK!! Especially mine!

Grab your Jimmy Poo Shoes and shimmy to the Dear John!

Don't get caught in the flush, grab your Jimmy Poos!
photo compliments of http://www.sassisamblog.com

Hubby and I met friends the other night at a local pub to play pool and as is usual for me, one drink goes in two come out. I.P. Frequently is my pet name! I was sitting in the stall and a woman entered the one beside me and sat down with a thud. She was peeing almost immediately, before her ass even touched the crapper seat and letting out long-winded, uncontrollable pee farts. I snickered loudly and when I realized I hadn’t done so in my head I felt bad and didn’t want to embarrass the mad pee farter so I pretended to be laughing at a conversation I was having on my phone. I know, I know, I am juvenile, faking a conversation was even more mature than the actual loud snickering but farts are funny, especially after you add a double vodka to a stressful week.

I was recounting the story to my husband and he asked if I had Poop shoes when I worked at the Soccer Centre. I laughed, asked him to repeat and then laughed again at his hilarious explanation. I had never heard of Poop Shoes. Apparently I have been out of the “office culture” loop for too long!

URBAN DICTIONARY
poop shoes
the pair of shoes you put on when taking a dump at the office, so no one can identify you under the stall.
matt: who blew up the handicap stall on 5, bro?

rey: it was me, bro!

matt: nah, dude was wearing neon dunks, bro.

rey: yo! them’s my poop shoes, bro!

matt and rey: ahhhhhhhhhh. yea, bro!
by pied pooper July 19, 2011

Apparently this Poop shoe thing is a big deal and may in fact have been stared by the great one herself Oprah Winfrey!

Oprah Winfrey > Quotes > Quotable Quote
Oprah Winfrey
“I have a special pair of poop shoes under my desk. Whenever I need to drop a deuce, I slip them on and scurry to the restroom, and no one ever knows it’s me. Like, if I’m wearing Louboutins that day, and my producer sees Earth shoes in the stall….well, you get the idea. It was truly a lightbulb moment when that came to me.”

― Oprah Winfrey

It got me wondering how many people actually do this? What kind of shoes do they use? How often do they switch out their poop shoes? Are they nice shoes or “shitty ones” excuse the pun?

I can imagine women everywhere sneaking their Poop Shoes into their purse, clenching their butt cheeks and taking quick but careful steps to the bathroom to release the Poop Storm!

In defence of Poop Shoe users everywhere when I worked at the Soccer Centre I had about 30 bathrooms to choose from so it wasn’t necessary for anyone to know how regular my bowel movements were or were not! I always had extra shoes in my office though, for whatever need might arise so had I needed them I would have been covered.

Always looking for the perfect get rich quick scheme I decided to market my own line of “Poop Shoes”

“C’mon ladies, Jimmy Poo shoe Party Anyone?”

“If you feel a rainstorm coming on you grab an umbrella, if you feel a shit-storm coming on you grab your poop shoes” -Michelle DeBay

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Photo courtesy of bestappsforkids.com

The day was easy, it must have been Sunday morning or at least it felt like it. Easy Like Sunday Morning. I was around ten at the time and a gregarious and likeable child. I bounded out of my Holly Hobby room in my fuzzy slippers and the tantalizing smell of smoked bacon led me to our small kitchen. I remember that the kitchen appliances were an earthy green color. I remember simply because I like green and this is not relevant to my story whatsoever.

Moving along….
My mother was at the stove turning the bacon while my Dad waited anxiously to steal a cooked piece and excitably told my mother about his wild dream. It seemed silly but what did I know. He turned to me and smiled and said “ooOh Child, things are going to get easier!” I giggled. I thought things were already pretty easy. Besides brushing my teeth and remembering to pick up my dirty socks I didn’t have it so hard. What he said though reminded me of a song my Mom would sing to me. One time I had a horrible ear infection and the pain had me in tears. After giving me my banana flavored penicillin before bed she softly sang that song. My mother was tone deaf and had as much rhythm as our pasty white local librarian singing Abba in the talent competition during spring fling. Being ten though and loving my mother the way I did I felt like every time she opened her mouth it was like angels flew out!

So when my Dad excitably said that to me I knew immediately that something good was about to happen and I was Bustin Out at the seams hoping to get in on the secret before my brothers got up. My youngest brother slept like the dead and the other was at the stage where he spent a lot of time alone in his room with his Bo Derek Poster. My Mother said he was discovering himself, or exploring himself or some shit. I am not sure but his voice was beginning to sound weird and he never seemed to have any clean socks!

“Didn’t I blow your mind this time?” my Dad asked, slapping my Mom lovingly on her ass. It was times like these that I wondered if my mother ever got annoyed by my Dad’s never-ending, gigantic, best one yet plans. She continued to flip bacon and she smiled back at me and winked.

So it was over crisp bacon and scrambled eggs that I learned of our new fate. No more just Stayin Alive my Dad said, it was about time that we started living out our dreams. We were on a Love Rollercoaster and we were Born to run. So here we were, the five of us sitting around that laminate dining table on harvest gold vinyl chairs Reelin In the years.

“Mercy, mercy me!” my Mom exclaimed as my brother squeaked out his approval in a high pitched girly voice.

No more Workin for the man and wondering how you were going to rob Peter to pay Paul when Paul was flat broke. The news was like a Bridge over troubled water.

We were joining the CIRCUS!!

That very day we packed up our favorite things into our Ford Galaxy including my younger brothers sooky blanket, my older brothers Bo Derek Poster and a laundry basket full of dirty socks and of course my way too short draw-string corduroy pants and my most prized possession my glowing personality that would keep us happy for the long ride to the circus, wherever that was.

My Dad had the windows rolled down and he happily sang John Denver tunes as we put miles between us and responsibilities. Occasionally I would take a little break from amusing my family with my cute and wondrous chatter to daydream about what I was going to be in the circus. A Black Magic woman sounded like fun or maybe a Lion Tamer, an Acrobat or a Juggler. I was so excited I near peed my pants.

As we drove Into the Mystic I thought is it “Just My Imagination” because I said it before “Won’t get fooled again” but here we were driving that Ford Galaxy up my grandparents lane as my father sang along with Olivia Newton John on 8 track cassette.

So much for my dreams of being the worlds greatest illusionist, working with some of the most talented but undervalued humans ever. So much for dancing under the harvest moon in my bare feet with all the circus freaks and geeks. Alas though I was happy to hang out with my cousins and hover over the vent in my grandmothers room and spy on the adult conversation in the dining room below and stifle giggles every time my Aunt exclaimed “Good God what did you eat?” as my uncles famous farts escaped him and vibrated off the wood chair. Good times, perhaps it’s own type of circus.

Makes me miss those crazy farting buggers, every one of them.

Too Close for Comfort

I have personal space issues. I am not sure when it began or how and why it progressed because I don’t remember always being this way. By nature I am an affectionate person and some people can bust through my bubble pretty easily but sometimes contact with people feels invasive. If you are among my closest friends don’t feel offended or worried that you may be smothering me. We both know that after a couple of drinks I lose my filter so chances are I would have said something sarcastic like “Are you trying to kiss me? You would have turned red and blurted out “No” and I would have said “then take a step back because I can see your tonsils when you talk and it is freaking me out!” I have on occasion though endured my discomfort for the sake of someones feelings. I always thought this was kind and mature of me until my friend told me she slept with a guy she wasn’t the least bit attracted to to avoid hurting his feelings. So, in some cases honesty or at least removing yourself from the situation is the best thing for everyone.

Last night I took my girls to the movies and I was happy because we had the entire back row to ourselves, or at least that is the way it began. Moments before the show people are filing in and crawling over me to get to seats. Thankfully there was still an empty seat separating my oldest daughter and her friend from the youngest and I, and there were two open seats beside us. I was so content I ate a box of glosette raisins before the movie even started. I was anticipating the entrance of Will Smith in tight pants when some late arrivals filtered in. Never mind that there was five empty rows to choose from, they sauntered up to our row and hung out awkwardly for what seemed like an eternity while they decided if they were going to sit there. I wasn’t about to give them an invitation or look welcoming or anything. Looking back on the situation I should have let out a guttural growl and told them that the seats were taken. Again the movie had already started so it was annoying to have them stand there and then even more annoying when they decided to shimmy their way into the seats squished between people who were already comfortable. Did I mention there were five empty rows? My mature voice is talking to me and it says “Michelle take a deep breath and enjoy the movie!” I try, I really try but the man is quite large and his arm keeps grazing me and I can feel myself retreating, mentally trying to make myself smaller He is a heavy breather, he sounds like he has been on a ten-mile jog. I am looking straight ahead and doing my best to focus on what I came for, enjoying a movie with my daughters. The smell of movie nachos hits me before they hit his mouth. They are loaded with jalapenos and dripping with cheese sauce. This guy is ravenous. He begins shoving them in his mouth handful after handful, barely taking the time to chew between deposits into his hungry cave. There is cheese sauce dripping off his chin but he doesn’t wipe it. He continues to stuff the nachos into him and I am sure he is going to barf on me. His labored breathing is ten times worse now. It sounds like at fat man on a treadmill. I am doing anything I can to focus on something else. Occasionally he snorts a little, I assume to avoid choking. In my head I am picturing my mother stuffing a butterball turkey with stuffing and she fills it and fills it until the turkey explodes all over me. My head starts to tingle and I pull my hair back tightly into a finger ponytail. Sometimes adding some sort of pressure to my body can help me refocus. I am literally feeling like bugs are crawling on me but I know this will pass. That triple extra large order of nachos cannot last forever. It feels like eternities have passed since this man sat down beside me. I sympathize for anything or anyone who has ever been trapped in a cage for I imagine that this is how they must feel, or dogs on leashes unable to run free. Now I am imagining myself in a wide open field with nothing but green grass below my feet and blue sky above my head. I am barefoot and running with my arms above me basking in the open air. The man puts his Nacho container on the floor. Surprisingly it is not done but he needs a drink. He takes a large swig and then burps and loudly clears phlegm from his throat. I want to be back in my wide open field but now I picture the heavy breather with nacho cheese smeared on his face chasing me through it. He takes another drink, every time he lifts his cup his arm hits mine. He burps again and this time the smell hits me immediately. Spicy jalapeno cheese burp. I jump out of my seat like it is on fire and dive into the seat beside Morgan and her friend. Within seconds the tension subsides and I am free to enjoy the movie.

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