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Posts tagged ‘women’

What Men Need to Know about Menopause

If you’re a man reading this article, you’re either living with a menopausal woman or you hoping I’ll talk about sex. I will, but not in a way that will make you happy. Or hot. Know that going in.

Menopause isn’t pretty. I know. I’ve got the sweaty sheets and haggard, sleepless look to prove it. But it gets even uglier when men of the guy variety step in and try to fix it. For the love of all that is holy, if you don’t want to open the gates of hell, please heed my advice. You and the mood-swinging woman closest to you will be better off for it.

  • Look in the mirror. Do you have hair in your ears? Gray ones on your chest or among the pubes? Would you like her to bring that up at parties? Okay, than stop talking about her moustache. At least she keeps it trimmed.
  • Yes, you’ve been hot before. In fact, science tells us that there is only one temperature that doesn’t make most men sweat and most women run screaming for a sweater or a blanket with arms in it – 68 degrees. But you have never been “hotflash-hot” unless someone has set your testicles on fire and shoved them you-know-where. So when she says she’s burning up, do NOT respond with, “Now you know how I’ve felt for the past 27 years.”
  • After she flashes, she will be freezing. If you share a bed, you’d be better off using a sleeping bag on top of the fitted sheet so that you can rest comfortably while she throws off and then shivers beneath the covers. Although if you’re resting comfortably while she’s miserable, that may be a topic of conversation over coffee in the morning.
  • Unless you are a superhero who can transform into a giant popsicle and inject yourself into her chest for the 45 seconds-1 minute her hot flash lasts, you are worthless when it comes to offering workable solutions. So keep your suggestions to “Just open a damn window” or “Why don’t you take off your bra?” to yourself.
  • Speaking of sex, if you’re getting any, you’re lucky. She’s hot, she’s cold, she’s thought about hitting you in the head with a 2 x 4 and hasn’t done it. Yet. And she’s dry. Down there. We’re not talking the kind of dry that cheap flavored lube from the porn store will fix either. And there is not enough WD-40 to handle this job. The good news is that menopause may be the one time where quickies are actually the preferred form of sexual activity. So keep your mouth shut (a ball gag can help) and be grateful.
  • If intercourse is off the table (and the bed, the floor, the cat tower, etc.) and she offers up a BJ (which may be rare because when the estrogen goes, so does a lot of her caring about your needs), you’d better reciprocate with whatever she wants, even if it’s a two-week vacation to Antarctica with only her girlfriends. She’s got what’s left of your manhood in her mouth and she could swing from horny to homicidal in 2 seconds flat.
  • If you’re in the middle of an argument about anything from politics to pistachios, do NOT jokingly ask her if her bad mood might be hormone-related. Remember how well it worked when you tried to blame things on PMS? This will not go any better.
  • While “menopause” is defined as the day on which she hasn’t had a period for a year, the symptoms can show up as early as mid-40s during “perio-menopause” (Greek for “Well, aren’t I damned lucky?”) and last well into “post-menopause.” There are women who never stop hot-flashing and mood-swinging. Your 87-year-old aunt with the shotgun by the front door? Now you know why she’s always angry.
  • Be prepared for weeping. Not regular crying at things that are sad, but loud wailing and gushing tears that seem to spring up from an internal sprinkler system at the stupidest things. Cat food commercials, text messages from the dentist, Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy”… all of these can start the waterworks. Even if she didn’t want any more children or never wanted any, the idea that she can’t have them now, combined with hormones stampeding through her brain and body, makes her really sad. If you want to empathize, imagine knowing that you could never have another erection. There you go. That’s what empathy is like. Use that a lot.

Well, I hope these tips help save your relationship and your man parts during the next 5 to 50 years of your life. I’d write more, but I’m so damned hot right now!

 

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Invading My Space

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I’ll admit that I’m lousy at setting boundaries. Words come out of my mouth that in my mind make my desires or lack thereof clear, but what other people seem to hear is, “What you need to do is wheedle, and manipulate, and pressure me into changing my mind.”

And by other people, I mean mostly male people.

Wish-washy boundaries are why I ended up married to my last ex-husband, a man who proposed to me while he was in the bathtub! He could leave a ring around the tub, but I couldn’t draw a line in the sand. How sad is that?

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My girlfriends all seem to understand that when I say something like , “I can’t be out after dark these days because my 16-year-old dog with Sundowner’s Syndrome gets freaked out and might have a seizure,” what I mean is “I don’t want to be out after dark because my dog is my family.”

Guys seem to hear, “I’d really like to come over and make you a sandwich, day or night.”

Case in point: I met a guy at a book signing event recently. We talked about writing and he asked me if I’d like to have coffee sometime. I assumed (wrongly, I now know) that he wanted to talk about writing with me, a writer–someone who could perhaps give him advice. I have these kinds of “meetings” all the time and am happy to share anything I know and learn new things. Hell, when you’re a writer, you’re always in search of new stories and stealing them from strangers is a great way to “do research.”

When this guy, let’s call him Kyle, sat down for our “meeting,” he immediately started talking about his ex-wife and then caught himself by saying, “Oh, I’m not supposed to talk about my ex, right?” Red flag, right? Still I managed to convince myself that he was just telling a funny story to break the ice and that soon we’d be chatting about how he’d like to write a screenplay about his ex and wondered whether I had any advice about doing that without a lawsuit or bonfire on the front lawn.

bad-dateBut no… He told me about his kids. Then asked if I had any. It was then I finally wised up. He. Thought. This. Was. A. Date.

I mentioned that I was working on a novel. Talked about writing jokes for the internet. Looked at my watch several times in a very obvious fashion. “Hey, Kyle, see, I’m looking at my watch. That’s a sign that I’m ready for this to be over.” I thought I was drawing a line. All he saw were flirtatious doodles.

Throughout our conversation, Kyle made it clear, he considered this to be the first of many “coffees and lunches.” I said I was really busy, that my schedule was unpredictable, that I could turn into a werewolf at any moment and should flee if he valued his life.

werewolf_woman___second_date_by_jrunsteen-d861rxsHe nodded and smiled and asked me why I hadn’t asked him any questions about his personal life. Because, Kyle, I’d rather have a Brazilian wax than give you any reason to think this might be a date.

I should mention, he was extremely loud. The woman at the table behind ours kept trying to move farther away. I wanted to get up and offer her my napkin to stuff in her ears.

Nothing phased him. Not my looking around the room at other customers and servers. Not my determining who owed what on the bill and paying my half as soon as the check came. Not my swift kick to the crotchal area. Okay, that last thing was just in my imagination.

I said goodbye to him at the door of the restaurant and he followed me to my car. I threw out eight or nine clear “I have to go” statements, to which he said we “had to get together again so I could help raise his consciousness.”

I’m sorry, is that my job now? I don’t know him from Adam and not only does he expect me to go out with him again, I have an assignment! Oh lucky me.

Fortunately, I have a friend who is good with setting boundaries — at least for other people. She helped me compose an e-mail and took out all the words that could possibly be misinterpreted. She said I should practice ways to say no for the next time this happens. I told her the last time someone asked me to coffee, I had practically screamed, “What do you want from me?” at him and was trying to be a little kinder.

But I’ve taken her advice and have been making a list of phrases I can use that might keep people from pushing past my boundaries:

o  I’d love to be caught in midnight fire at sea. (This is a Dorothy Parker quote, but might be too literate for many of the guys who come my way).

o  I ‘m sorry, but this vaginal dryness is really distracting. What did you say again?

o  Maybe later, but I’m performing a bris this afternoon. (I’d save this for the Jewish guys).

o  Republican leaders say the sexual orientation is a choice, so right now in this very moment, I’m choosing to be a lesbian.

o  My coven is going on a retreat for the next six months.

A 'coven of witches' line up for a Halloween portrait dressed in festive witch's hats and improvised costumes, ca.1910, United States. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

A ‘coven of witches’ line up for a Halloween portrait dressed in festive witch’s hats and improvised costumes, ca.1910, United States. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

o  I don’t date outside my species.

I’m hoping these help me out in the future. Feel free to use them if you need them.

It’s “History” because Women’s Clothes are Uncomfortable

I walked out of my high school history class one day because I was tired of learning about men and the wars they started and the countries they “discovered” by taking them from other people when they weren’t paying attention. If that’s “discovery,” then my sister discovered my clothes every week when we shared a room growing up together.

Even at the ripe old age of 16, I knew that if women made up half the population, they surely must have contributed something more to the world than birthing babies, tending to men’s battle wounds, and dressing up purty in whorehouses. But the Texas educational system surely did not want me to find out what those contributions were ‘cuz I might get uppity and refuse to bring my future husband a future beer.

Fast forward to today when I decide to take a break from digging up crabgrass in my yard, so I turn on the Discovery Channel, only to find a marathon about extraterrestials and how they may be behind most of the bright scientific and artistic minds throughout the ages… and every example of those bright scientific and artistic minds was male. This contrasts nicely with a printout on my desk right now from WomenRockScience.tumblr.com that highlights women who made remarkable scientific discoveries only to have them co-opted by men who decided he who has the testicles gets to win the Nobel Prize.

Other than men taking credit where none is due and men controlling the media for millenia, is there any other reason women don’t show up as history makers? I think there is: uncomfortable clothing.

Throughout history, women were in so much fashion-related pain, it was hard to remember where they lived, much less take over a government or develop a plan for landing on the moon. Yes, I realize that in the past men also occasionally dressed uncomfortably but most of the  painful outfits and accessories are saved for women. Think bustle so large women couldn’t sit down, corset laced so tightly that the act of breathing was as challenging as sucking a strawberry through a straw, girdle, hoop skirt, skinny jeans so tight it took a stick of butter to get them zipped, crinoline cage (that’s right, cage), thong panty, and 6″ stiletto heel (or as I call them, training stilts.)

Yes, it’s true that women have often chosen these stupid options for themselves, but most were invented by men and the media helped perpetuate the myth that the only way women could be considered feminine was to also be weak and unable to get from point A to point B without stabbing pain, likely heart attack, or scaring the horses. Even today in our so-called enlightened and more gender-equivalent society, the thing most women do when returning home from work or a social event is to strip off the Spanx and breathe and kick off the heels and slip into an actual shoe meant for walking.

If the members of one gender have been brainwashed to think that they must be uncomfortable at all times in order to be considered attractive and socially acceptable, they aren’t going to accomplish as much as if they were wearing, say, sweat pants and sneakers. There’s a reason Wendy Davis didn’t wear heels to deliver her filibuster in Texas: She knew that women with barking dogs don’t get anywhere.

The next time you go shopping for something pretty, ask yourself, “Can I run up the stairs of the Capitol building in this? Will I be so preoccupied by the pain it causes that within a few hours I’ll be dying to go home and put on my robe? Will it scare the horses or will it scare the men with whom I can now compete on an even and more comfortable playing field?”Image

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My new book

My new book

Leigh Anne Jasheway’s new book, Date Me, Date My Dog: Finding Mr. Right for You and Your Pack is available from Kimberley Cameron & Associates on Amazon for Kindle today! It’s doggone funny, filled with good advice, partial proceeds benefit Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene, Oregon, and smells like chocolate. Okay, maybe not the latter so much 🙂 PLEASE buy a copy, tell all your single dog-loving women friends about it, write a review, or all of the above. http://www.amazon.com/Date-Me-My-Dog-ebook/dp/B00C15TTVS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364302749&sr=8-3&

The Hairy World of Dating

If you think dating is hard work, you should try surfing the world of books on the subject. I recently took a long detour through Amazon.com’s current list of books about dating, relating, mating, and a little bit of hating. It wasn’t just fun and games– I’m working on an e-book that will be available to everyone with a Kindle (fingers, toes, eyes, and legs crossed) next month and I needed ideas for a cover design.

The list is peppered with books for women who want to date older men, younger, men, schlumpy men, metrosexuals, geeky guys, guys with fetishes, commitment phobes, saints, sinners, and god. (I’ve dated guys who thought they were god, so I’m staying away from God, Allah, Buddha, Donald Trump, etc.) There’s even a book called Dating Your Vibrator (it’s a cheap date and requires little to no wine.)

My first thought as I reached page 99 of the list, was why stop there? If you truly believe there’s a cover for every pot–a philosophy I DO NOT ascribe to because I’ve got six pots with no covers in my tiny kitchen–where are the books for women who want to date:

Aliens (if we agree that men are from another planet, why not take that next step?)
Deaf men (what better way to always get the last word?)
Electricians (when the spark wears off at least they can rewire the kitchen)
Elvis impersonators (suggested title: Elvis is in the Bedroom)
Furbies (great for crazy cat ladies)
Ghosts (especially if they act like Patrick Swayze in the movie)
Guys who were kicked off The Bachelorette in the first round
Massage therapists (I could go for one right about now)
Mimes (someone’s got to love them)
Rednecks  (for women who really can’t live without a transmission in the bathtub)
Sasquatch or guys who could pass for him (been there, have the plumbing bills to prove it)

If and when I start dating again, I’m going to need some advice. I learned my dating moves in the 80s. Am I still supposed to flip my hair and lick my lips, or are there emoticons for that? Do we go out or is everything done via text-messaging (if the latter, I may actually be dating because I get texts all the time, but my eyes are too bad to read them, so I just hit delete all.) How much younger does a guy have to be than me in order for me to be considered a cougar? I don’t want to be a cougar–I prefer to be thought of as a puma.

Maybe I’ll stick to reading books about the topic. I don’t have to get dressed up to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of a bad first date. I’ve got a thousand books that can deliver these to me right here at my house.

How to Put the Spark Back in Your Relationship with Barack Obama

I’ll be the first to admit the passion has been all but snuffed out. Gone are the days when simply saying ”Barack” brought goose bumps; when I not only wrote his name on my notebook, I put his picture on the rear bumper of my car; when someone else would declare his or her love for him and I’d interrupt, reminding everyone, “I loved him first! Back when you were drooling over John Edwards and Hillary Clinton!”

Yes, I know that our waning ardor was inevitable. After all, the honeymoon is long over and it’s hard to feel that rush of desire that once was so powerful that hardly a moment went by without me thinking about the Big O and smiling like a fully satisfied woman. But our loss is sad nonetheless and I refuse to sit back and do nothing. It’s time for me to do what it takes to put the spark back in my relationship with Barack.
I know he feels the same way. Just last week, he reached out to me, inviting me to a romantic dinner. Sure the national media would be there and he’d invited millions of others too. And yes, I’d have to win a random drawing first and he wanted my money, but I could feel that his heart was in the right place. He knew we had to do something and he was willing to take the first step. It takes a big man to put aside his ego and reach out to his soul mates.

Now it’s my turn. And while I realize that a picnic in the park or long walks on the beach are probably out (it’s hard to reconnect with Secret Service surrounding us and the sound of helicopter propeller blades chopping the air), there are some steps I can take to rekindle our love. I plan to:

1. Make more time for him. Often I go days without thinking about Barack at all. His wants, his needs, his plans for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan don’t even register on my list of things to do. I take full responsibility for my failure to be there for him. From now on I will devote myself to visiting his FaceBook page several times a day and liking him as often as I can.
2. Listen better. Whether he’s giving a weekly radio address or fielding questions from reporters about his thoughts on Paul Ryan or who he likes on So You Think You Can Dance, I will listen. And rather than barely tuning in while sorting laundry or doing the dishes, I will give him my complete attention. In fact, just moments ago I watched an old video in which my man said, “I have faith that we will emerge from this trying time even stronger and more prosperous than we were before.” I feel better about us already.
3. Praise him for the good things he’s brought to our relationship. Couples tend to focus too much on the little things that go wrong, such as job loss, failure to get angry enough, and lack of commitment to slowing down global warming. But so many things have gone right and I need to make sure to let Barack know how much I appreciate even the smallest effort. Whether it was appointing Elena Kagen to the Supreme Court (and no, I am NOT jealous), asking the Pentagon to eliminate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, restoring the Environmental Protection Agency to Cabinet status or installing energy efficient lights in the White House, there are so many things I have been taking for granted lately. And look, just last week, he finally took a stand on gay marriage. My man is slowly evolving and I need to make sure he knows I appreciate it.
4. Laugh together. In the beginning, we giggled all the time. He was on The Daily Show and I snorted soy milk through my nose. I hurt my tailbone falling off my chair laughing at his appearance on Saturday Night Live. What happened to the fun times we used to have? Sure, we’ve had to get serious and face our problems, but we need to remember to take time to laugh and let go. I think I’ll send him that funny YouTube video of the Tea Party flash mob video featuring cats in Glenn Beck masks. I know that will crack him up.
5. Make him his favorite meals. It’s been forever since I cooked for my man, so tonight I’m going to prepare all his favorites: nuts, seeds, raisins, broccoli, and spinach. How could I forget that the way to the leader of the free world’s heart is through his stomach?
6. Flirt. Flirting is what our relationship was built on at the start. He promised me change and I flashed him a coy smile. His eyes bored into mine through the fiber optic cables that bring me the news and I twirled my hair and batted my eyelashes. Just because he’s thousands of miles away and sometimes too busy to get away from his job, that’s no reason for us not to make sparks fly again. I know his @Twitter name and there’s nothing to stop me from sending him sexy messages. If he can get his sound bites down to fewer than 140 characters, I know I can do the same with mine.

You know what? I feel more connected already. In fact, if all goes well, I see us renewing our vows later this year. He looks so handsome in the fall.