What Do You Want?

I’ve been thinking about what I want for celebrating my upcoming 40th birthday and it better be good because I can feel a freaky very out of character drama queen event coming if it isn’t. I just don’t know what it is I want. So I’m pretty much bound to react badly to anything that happens. Give me this, and I’ll have wanted that. Give me that and I would have wanted this. I can feel it coming. Seriously I have no clue what I want. Oh it could be one of half a dozen things, but I can’t decide.
Holy crap, I’m shit testing myself.
Anyway the whole day has been seeing that phrase “What Do You Want?” in various forms. I’ve seen it crop up in emails, in private messages, on other blogs, and it’s been repeating all day.
Here’s a private message from LIL via Talk About Marriage…
(From Me to Him but Quoted Back at Me) “Figure out what it is that you want.”
(From LIL) “I think this is good advice Athol. It’s also sort of fortune cookie nebulous, but it’s good advice nevertheless. Have you figured out what you want yet?”
Ugh, I love it when people quote my own crap back to me when I want it least. That being said LIL didn’t even know about the whole 40th birthday thing, and was asking about something completely different. That one I’ve figured out what I want and despite it being painfully complicated I’m making progress on it. (I really can’t talk much more about this as it work related and I’m on my real name here.)
So no, haven’t figured out what I want for a party, or non-party, or thing that I want for my birthday LIL. No clue.
On Sex With The Wife the question of the day was “What Do You Want?”
“Asking my wife directly what she wants just ends up starting a spiral of self-pity about how she doesn’t know either, and why do I expect her to know.”
So my general advice to that is, don’t worry about what someone else wants if they can’t decide what they want. Trying to make those people happy is like building sand castles below the high tide mark. Pretty shortly all your efforts get washed away and it’s all for naught.
You’re much better off figuring out what it is that you want and just plowing ahead and getting what you want. That way at least you will be happy. They aren’t likely to be happy no matter what you do, but they might end up happy if you’re happy because you got something you wanted. If they are angry that you are happy and they are not, just say “I asked what you wanted and you didn’t know, so I’m not wasting my efforts trying to make you happy when you don’t even know what makes you happy”. Then you ignore their tears.
Of course if what makes you happy is them being happy, you get caught in a relationship gridlock where everything circles around in a cycle of decreasing happiness until ultimately you cross the event horizon of the black hole that is forming and either blink out of existence or get served with a restraining order and divorce papers. The black hole visits joint checking accounts first by the way.
Oh hang on… I must have told LIL that exact same stuff in my earlier message to him, and he quoted it back to me.
Oh frak! The timeline is looping! If only I can get a message back to me somehow in the past, maybe all this can be avoided. I just have to let me in the past know what it is that I want and all this can be avoided….
… holy crap I still don’t know what I want for my 40th…. A strip club? A surprise party? The thing with the jumper cables and the butter?
So what do you want?

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please don't tell me you want to go to a strip club!! Isn't your wife enough??

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Actually I've been to strip clubs twice in my life. My biggest reaction to them is that the beer is very expensive in there. The idea of going to one is better than the reality for me.

  3. Hughman says:

    Just ask for a different bottle of wine/spirit from people.
    Build up a madly awesome bar and learn some simple bartending skills for cocktail making and flaring.
    (I'm not projecting here at all…maybe)

  4. Athol Kay says:

    I'm probably going to ask for books… and the thing with the Jumper Cables and the Butter.

  5. THOMAS AMUNDSEN says:

    Wow, this is totally true and ironically timed for me. My girlfriend and I were totally in a "relationship gridlock" and we just decided to go on a break today.

  6. Athol Kay says:

    Well you don't have to break the relationship because she doesn't know what she wants. You decide what you want and go for that. She may follow. In fact she may be waiting to follow.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I find much of what you say is true. Even (especially?) in a marriage, alpha behavior such as taking the lead and doing what you want (as long as it's reasonable) is a well-rewarded behavior.

    I was wondering if the whole outlook of your blog couldn't be even broader than that, and apply to child-rearing also. While there are many wives out there who withhold sex, there are also many children who don't respect their father. Is it possible to use Game to bring them back in line? Can I AMOG my own son?

    For example, growing facial hair is Alpha because the father is the only one in my family who can. His wife can't (hopefully!), and his children cannot either. So right there, it sets him apart and above. Cue to the famous song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmFnarFSj_U

    I think there are many thoughts to be explored on this subject. Any other suggestions would be welcome…

  8. jodiemiller says:

    I don't get the facial hair thing at all (though my husband has a goatee, which I rather like).

    RE: the big birthday

    We're doing the 40 transition too. For his birthday, last year, we threw a big party and had his band friends play for us. For mine, we're splurging on a trip O/S to a place where we used to live together, before we had our kids.

    Just wondered, if you're looking for something significant to mark the event (and there's really no reason for 40 to be a big deal – it's just 39+1, really) then look to your couple-past and perhaps re-experience something significant, or build on an old experience that made you who you are today. Please don't go with the strip club. You're not 21 anymore.

    What will make you anticipate your birthday and celebrate your couplehood?

  9. Athol Kay says:

    It's tempting to expand the blog into other topics, but not just yet. Much of what I'm saying in general will work on kids. Setting standards and paying positive attention to behavior you want to see increase and diminshed attention to behavior you want to see decrease basically works.

    As I said before… it's books and the thing with the Jumper Cables and Butter. :-)

  10. elhaf says:

    Well jodiemiller kind of proves the point with her first sentence. I don't go to strip clubs because they exploit men.

  11. Topher says:

    elhaf, I don't go to strip clubs because I find them boring. Last time I went to one I fell asleep. Many of my friends have relayed similar stories. Also I don't find the women particularly attractive…maybe it's the whole not leaving anything to the imagination thing.

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