Framing the Official Relationship History

The half of the couple who is in charge, is the one who gets to take the official meeting minutes of the relationship. As long as the relationship is going well, this isn’t a concern because the official meeting minutes reflect the happy harmony of the relationship.

But on the rare occasions the relationship has some minor points of interpersonal discussion, requiring greater thought as to the structural situations in which the happy couple periodically finds itself at sub-optimal levels of unification on a temporary issue, the official meeting minutes of the relationship, become an important resource to clarify the memories of prior statements of mutual agreement, to the appropriate course of action for exactly the circumstances in which discussion wishes to take place and as the matter has already been settled before the present point of time, this entire debate amounts to a potentially offensive reopening of a closed matter, as the expectation remains that talks made in good faith will be honored and not discarded on a whim, especially when additional plans have already been made with outside parties and costs borne predicated on the original agreement, thus it remains not only a reasonable expectation that the plans of action unfolds as mutually intended and agreed upon, it is in fact going to be damaging to attempt to not proceed and therefore is doubly justified as the only possible thing to do at present.

Or perhaps put more plainly…

“We’ve already talked about this. You agreed that I could have a weekend away with the girls, you can’t change your mind on me now, I’ve already got plane tickets and booked the hotel.”

“I didn’t think you were going to Vegas though, you said it was the beach house.”

“What? No! You agreed that I could have a weekend away with the girls. The beach house was only one idea of a possible place. We decided on Vegas as a group after that.”

“I don’t think that’s how it happened, you said the beach house.”

“Okay, well now we have this problem again where you can’t remember conversations we’ve had. You don’t pay attention. I have to remember everything, and I clearly remember that you agreed I could have a weekend away with the girls.”

As you can see, if she controls the official meeting minutes of the relationship, she gets to be the one that remembers the relationship correctly. Which means she controls the entire frame of the relationship history. Which means if she’s fallen out of love with you, your entire relationship will be rewritten to frame you as some loser she was putting up with and her as the long suffering spouse. Thus explaining, when driven to the breaking point, the need to seek solace in the arms of another.

This mind control tactic is called Gaslighting.  And yes of course men can do the same thing to women too. I’ve seen victims of both sexes come stumbling onto the forum with having experienced Cardassian levels of mental conditioning.

Anyway…

If there is a patron saint of hamster, it’s Sir Humphrey…

Jennifer:  It’s nice to be Athol’s editor and ensure his postings are officially official.

 

Dragon’s Lair: Princess Daphne Teaches Girl Game

Here’s the thing about White Knighting.

No one tells guys they need to do it, it’s built into their DNA. Pretty girl needs saving? We’ll be right there.

Watch this short video and tell me you don’t have a total craving to hunt for a copy of Dragon’s Lair. Must. Save. Princess. Daphne.

There’s a rather obvious assumed contract at work there. Be the hero, save the girl and you get to pop her out of her chastity bubble.

However in modern society, if a woman is rescued she doesn’t have to pony up like a fairy tale princess. If the fire department rescues a woman from a burning building, there’s minimal expectation she’ll let herself be taken doggy style in the back of the fire truck. As an aside, Engine 7 wishes to apologize.

But for men, the expectation for being a White Knight hero remains intact. If a woman is getting robbed by three men, a male passing stranger is simply meant to rush them unarmed and get shot as a distraction so she can escape with her pocketbook. Your wife will bawl her eyes out on your casket and you’ll be called a hero. Everyone will be proud.

Yeah I know, extreme examples, neither of which is likely to happen to you in your lifetime. Usually the “save me” and “here I come to save the day” is smaller and less dramatic. Here’s rent money. I’ll help you finish your report. I’ll tell them no for you. Take my car. I’ll help you move. No worries, I’ll buy dinner. Here’s something to help get you back on your feet again. I don’t mind staying here all night in case he tries to come back, I’ll just sleep on the couch with a hard-on.

So the rule is, you don’t turn yourself into a chump. You don’t spend unusual time, energy, or money on a woman who isn’t willing to put out for you. You sure as hell don’t put yourself in danger for her. Women killed chivalry by demanding equal treatment and breaking their end of the hero-gives-rescue-princess-gives-poon contract. So men have to stop White Knighting, otherwise you’re just an idiot for doing it.

But…

It’s fucking built into us.

When all is said and done, one of the things I like about being married is I can White Knight Jennifer. To be fair she’s not some dingbat endlessly getting herself in a spot of bother, but it’s really actually kinda fun to provide for her and get to play the all-purpose hero of the family. She also holds up her end of the bargain and puts out rather nicely. I don’t have a magic sword, I have a laptop. I don’t have a dragon, I have MMSL. I don’t have Princess Daphne, I have Jennifer. It’s actually really enjoyable.

When you look closely at most guys, their lives involve finding out whatever their version of the magic sword is, trying to slay their dragon and saving their girl from something. You want to know what the hottest thing about Princess Daphne is? What gives her rock solid girl game? It’s not the sexy voice, it’s not the lingerie outfit, it’s not her long blond hair, it’s not her ass, boobs, lips or legs.

She squeals and claps.

Ladies if you want your husband to act more Alpha, if you happen to notice him doing something good, try an over-the-top Princess Daphne patented Squeal and Clap routine. Watch him puff up with DNA programmed pride. I do Goofy and Groping, so why not see what a couple of seconds of Squeal and Clap gets you. I’m telling you, back in the day guys shoveled quarters into those Dragon’s Lair machines….

 

 

Men White Knight Because Sometimes It Works

As a response to Fun Money.

Celeste:  Okay, true, but an extra $2000 isn’t in the cards for us for a few years. A good wife can have fun with a hike at a local park, a good husband can Google around for new local parks and surprise his wife with a visit. Really, $2000 extra is going to be out of reach for a lot of people, for most of their lives. I foresee a future in which we will, but another part of me bristles at this…how did all those peasants and serfs manage to stay married living hand to mouth? No extra shirts, no nights out, no shopping malls, and people made it work. Of course, the whole structure of society was different, and men had some actual power. But does it require wealth and materialism to make this work? I don’t think so.

Athol:  Well as a reminder, what I said was…

When people imagine life changing amounts of money, they always imagine millions of dollars, but consider what just a extra $2000 can do for a relationship if you’re the husband.

An extra $2000 spread over a year, comes to $40 a week.

Is there truly, truly no way to find some combination of extra income or reduced expenses, that comes to a net gain of $40 a week? Then consciously spending that money toward maintaining the attractiveness and playful attention you give each other as a couple.

Women aren’t all gold-diggers, but they are all at least copper and silver-diggers. You gotta pay the bills. Nice things once in a while can go a long way. The whole point is you have to be mindful about creating attraction. Rather than getting torn up about not having millions, work with what you’ve got.

Jennifer and I are doing okay, but we’re not rolling in it. We tend to go out for dinner hardly at all, but we go out for breakfast and lunch because it’s cheaper. It matters, it makes a difference. Our more routine treat is walking together for coffee. It really doesn’t take that much extra money to make a difference.

It’s no different now than it was back in peasant and serfdom days. If you live a life of dreary squalor, the women will all start dreaming of guys on white horses coming to their rescue. After a certain point of being broke off your ass, it doesn’t matter how wondrously Alpha you think you are. Some Betaized white knight can swing by and mate poach almost accidentally. At some point being willing to share hot food, medical insurance, gas money and a paid power bill is rock solid tight game.

Women never want to be rescued from the tallest tower. They want to be rescued from the ground floor.

Do I Look Like a Line of Credit?

 

Smirking.

Her foolishness, so her job to bail herself out.

She threatens the takeaway.

Amused mastery and is otherwise non-reactive.

Energizing huh.

Why You Need The Blue Pill Too

The Red Pill is great, but we do actually need a little bit of Blue Pill too. There’s a balance… let me pull up the Hitchhikers Guide for a second…

The Belcerebons of Kakrafoon Kappa had an unhappy time. Once a serene and quiet civilization, a Galactic Tribunal sentenced them to telepathy because the rest of the galaxy found peaceful contemplation contemptuous. Ford Prefect compared them to Humans because the only way Belcerebons could stop transmitting their every thought was to mask their brain activity (or its readability) by talking endlessly about utter trivia. The other approach to dampening telepathic communication was to host concerts of the plutonium rock band Disaster Area. Thankfully, during the concert, an improbability field flipped over the Rudlit Desert, transforming it into a paradise, and cured the Belcerebons of telepathy. A Disaster Area spokesman said that this was “a good gig”.

You catch that… sentenced them to telepathy.

If you actually knew what every person was thinking 24/7, you’d quickly go insane from hearing the random thoughts of everyone else.

Imagine having sex with your partner and seeing their thoughts flick off topic for a few seconds. Without telepathy you’d just see them shut their eyes for a couple of seconds and you’d assume they were into it. Instead you’d know they were thinking about the grocery shopping, the truck, fuck my thighs hurt, I wish he’d just cum, I miss my ex-gf, that’s a big zit on her forehead, I shoulda peed before I started, shit don’t cum yet, why the fuck won’t he tie me up, it’s the top of the seventh and coming up to bat with a .365 average is… ah dammit I came, is that it?

Hell I was standing in line at Dunkin Donuts today and the three teenagers in front of me in line seemed a little on the douchebag side and I had a whole fantasy about just beating their underweight asses into the ground. Look I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying I was thinking about smacking that one first because he’d just run, one shotting the other one and then staring down the other one and saying “When you’re unconscious I’m not going to stop hitting you.”

I just need my coffee and no one gets hurt. Just be cool. We’re all going to be like little Fonzies.

Anyway, obviously I didn’t do that, because it was just a random thought, but I would imagine if they actually heard all that, standing in line would have gone differently.

The trouble is, a lot of the Red Pill approach to life assumes a near telepathic assumption of negative intentions in others. Is it often right? Sure it is. But it’s almost impossible to live happily if you are endlessly paranoid and jaded about the intentions of everyone around you. If every woman is a hot mess of whorish desire and nothing else but a lying cunt of a hamster justifying her Alpha male sperm seeking… well it gets tiring being on edge after a while. Likewise every man is a third wheel seeking an opportunity and plots behind your back, pumping you for information about your woman, seeking to make a run into the endzone the moment you blink too slowly.

After living like that for long enough, well…

I see it a lot in Red Pill people. There’s often an expression of wishing they could just believe everything was fine, that love exists, that they could love and be loved… just for no reason.

I get it. I totally get it.

The standard line is that the Red Pill is the truth and the Blue Pill is the illusion. But it’s more like the Red Pill is muscle and the Blue Pill is fat.

To be sure, you want more muscle than fat on your body, but if you cut the body fat down low enough… eventually you keel over and die. You simply can’t be 0% body fat. Nor can you be 0% Blue Pill without being a rather paranoid and dysfunctional person. It’s simply not possible to sustain an endless state of assumed telepathy assuming your partner or opposite sex is out to get you.

If you see all women as gold-digging-cuckolding-false-rape-raptors, you can’t have a successful relationship with one. It’s no different than a dyed in the wool all-men-are-rapists-and-beat-women-as-a-default-setting feminist can’t have a relationship with a man. You eventually assume the worst and tear the relationship apart from the inside.

By all means pay excellent attention to building your muscle and getting your life in great shape, but at some point, you just have to say fuck it… and trust that your partner isn’t out to sneak some on the side as soon as you stumble for a moment. Obviously choosing a partner well is part of that decision matrix and having them on board with positive relationship standards matters too. But at some point you have to trust.

Jennifer and I do love each other very much… but it’s not a 100% perfect 24/7 experience. If we started fixating on the minor points of bad mood or inattention and assuming evil intent, we’d slowly tear each other apart. I’ve seen that effect play out with people snooping on their spouses over and over. I do advise at times getting your hands dirty and digging into their email and phone records to find out the truth, but I always say you should get in, get what you need and get out. Every time I see a spouse turn into a mini police state monitoring email… they slowly go insane reading and waiting for the slip up.

Do your due diligence, but at some point you have to trust.

Pinterest and Disinterest

I think we have a new first date question…

“Do you like Pinterest?” is a lot more subtle than “So…. are you Borderline Personality Disorder?”

‘Pinterest stress’ afflicts nearly half of moms, survey says.

In our exclusive TODAY Moms survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers, 42 percent said that they sometimes suffer from Pinterest stress – the worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough. Symptoms include staying up until 3 a.m. clicking through photos of exquisite hand-made birthday party favors even though you’ll end up buying yours at the dollar store, or sobbing quietly into a burnt mess of expensive ingredients that were supposed to be adorable bunny cookies for the school bake sale.

and…

Aiming for magazine- or Pinterest-worthy perfection all the time is an impossible goal for anyone, especially when you’ve got kids. And striving for perfection is a major source of stress for moms: One in four mothers told our TODAY Moms survey that the pressure they put on themselves to be perfect is a top cause of stress, and 75 percent report that the pressure they put on themselves is worse than any pressure or judgment they get from other moms. The result? Our average stress level is 8.5 out of 10, the survey says.

Anyway…

If that’s your wife, tell her to knock off the art department that only the mean girls in her head care about. Suggest she’d be better off lying on her back, letting you check in to the phallus palace and then she could take a nap.

In other news…

But that’s not all. In a press release published Tuesday, [Ashley Madison] also revealed that they typically see the highest spike in female signups on the day after Mother’s Day. In 2012, they saw a whopping 439 percent increase on that day as compared to a typical Monday.

“Mother’s Day tends to magnify the flaws, leads to questions about the choices you have made, and ultimately fosters conclusions around doing something different for yourself,” explains Ashley Madison founder and CEO Noel Biderman. “This latter choice tends to be the genesis of many women’s journey into an affair.”

So…

Maybe you could step up and burn the bunny cookies for her this weekend, or cook dinner or something. Meh it’s Mothers Day, there’s a little more expectation of Beta love. Some dinner suggestions… roast chickensides dishes.   If you’re buying her flowers… buy her a Just Add Ice Orchid. I got Jennifer one last September and it’s still alive! She loves it.

Sometimes a little extra effort saves you a ton of angst and trouble later on. You don’t want to be starting over asking questions about Pinterest as a screening tool because you couldn’t pass Loyalty Testing 101.

Just remember to keep the Alpha goodness in place. Have fun with it. Don’t skip your workout for any of this.

(Disclaimer: I have no idea what Pinterest is. I think it’s like a Special Olympics version of Facebook)

Is a Religious Conversion Like an Affair?

From the forum…

Sleepy:  I was reading Athol’s blog yesterday “Quirky Gifts and Flair” and read this line… she starts checking out of the relationship because she’s unhaaaaaappppppy and about to Eat, Pray, Love an exit.

So, my wife of 20+ years and 4 kids who has always been anti religion started to convert to Catholicism in secret. When I figured it out, I felt like she was cheating on me (about 6 months of individual and couples therapy and I still feel this way) as this was done in secret and her reason for needing god was that we were no longer good as a couple and she needed “love”. I flipped and basically took a position of no contact as if this was an affair, which she has done with just enough complaint that I know she still wants too.

Without going into all the details here (if there is a lot of interest I could add a thread in the 911 Relationship ER section) I guess my question is how evil am I and are there others out there who have felt this way?

Athol:  Well Eat, Pray, Love refers to a book, but the answer to your questions is yes / no / kinda / sorta / it depends.

It’s usually a critical junction when one half of a couple changes their religious status, either becoming more religious, less religious, or changing religions. They can be a wide variety of changes in personal interests and personality from benign to quite alarming as someone changes from one religious viewpoint to another. It’s always hopeful that an inter-faith marriage will stay stable, but the more divergent the expressions of belief are, the greater the stress is on the marriage.

This is largely the same effect at work as shared beliefs of any sort. Two democrats or two republicans are likely going to be more comfortable married to each other than a democrat and a republican are. It’s all about being able to relax with each other at the end of the day instead of wanting to disagree about something. Same deal if someone suddenly becomes crazy about a diet while the other isn’t. It’s a relationship stress to have one of you wanting to eat Paleo and the other being a Vegetarian… though the old joke stands that if you really want to piss off a Vegetarian give them vegetables to eat… most of them just want to eat pasta all day.

The more fundamentalist (Wikipedia) the conversion the greater the stress on the relationship is. Note that Wikipedia link to fundamentalist covers Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and even Non-Religious fundamentalism. As soon as one half of the couple digs in their heels and states they are right and their partner is not merely in misguided disagreement, but utterly wrong… or even literally damned and/or evil for whatever reason… the relationship is heading for seriously choppy waters.

If you’ve ever had your partner educated as to your total failure of morality by their near entire social group, you’ll know just how hopeless your situation is. You could be a tax-paying, law abiding, full and complete stop on red, look both ways before you cross the street, girl scout cookie buying sweetheart, but having 20-30 people tell your spouse that failure to believe in [religious belief] turns you into a horrible fallen person hell bent on destroying everything precious and good… well, it has an effect. Speaking as a good evangelical Christian back in the day my first serious girlfriend was Catholic… it doesn’t take many people giving you “Godly frowns of concern” to make you feel uneasy about your relationship. That was a Catholic girl too, not even a clutch-the-pearls Non-Christian… that would have had people directly saying things to me like, “I’d like to encourage you to seek the Lord’s guidance”, which is how evangelicals tell you you’re retarded.

And yes I get that there are a wide variety of expressions of belief from rather insipid, to rather psychotic in intensity, even within each faith or even denomination. I’m painting with a wide brush here.

Anyway… back to the question at hand…

My knee jerk reaction to your situation is that you have two issues rather than one issue.

(1)  The state of the marriage.

(2)  Her interest in Catholicism.

What she’s saying is essentially, “Because of (1) I’m (2)” which is trying to turn it into one issue. This is a poor solution because the marriage issues aren’t going to be fixed by going to church and it is obviously driving a bigger wedge between you.

My advice would be to figure out the marriage issues as marriage issues, and allow the religious issue to be handled as a religious issue. So grab the free forum booklet and answer the nine triage questions in a 911 thread on the forum and people can help you get to the bottom of things.

Or put another way, if the marriage is chugging along just great, everyone getting along well, lots of sex and laughter… would it matter very much at all if she was a standard issue Catholic?

I will say this much though, I’m not convinced she’s been hiding it from you as a way of hurting you, more as a way of trying not to lose you in the process. When I became an atheist, I kept that a secret a looooooong time. I thought I was risking my marriage coming out about it, which because my faith was part and parcel of my attractiveness to Jennifer, I think it really was. When I finally told Jennifer she bawled her eyes out with me feeling like the worst husband ever. Even after that, it took fourteen years before I felt comfortable publicly identifying as an atheist.

Anyhoo…

As official MMSL policy, I personally don’t care what you believe or disbelieve in. I obviously self-identify as atheist because I don’t believe in a deity, but I’m not trying to actively convert anyone to that point of view on MMSL. I only try and get involved in religious issues on MMSL when it seems to be clearly screwing with the marriage. At this point the entire fabric of western civilization is sufficiently screwed up that individual marriages are like sandbags keeping back the flood-waters. I don’t care what type of sand you have in your bag, just that you have a sandbag that isn’t going to fall apart.

 

If You Really Really Love Me

From the forum…

Kalda:  Now, almost three months later, I am doing better and still making progress. The biggest improvements have been physical. I’m in the best shape of my life and maintaining 5-6 workouts a week while cutting back on the junk food. She, however, is the heaviest she has ever been.

My wife bounces between commenting on how good I look in positive ways and expressing concern I will leave her for a younger or fitter woman. I’m looking for some ideas on how to respond to the latter comments. I’ve told her I’ll support any positive health changes she wants to make when she has brought up exercise or diet, but when she talks about me leaving her I just laugh it off. Tonight she said something and laughing it off felt awkward and she seemed sad. Is there a good way to redirect those comments to flirt or keep a positive vibe between us?

Athol:  This is her Loyalty Testing you.

This is actually a pretty serious thing. If she’s really starting to dread that there’s nothing she can do to keep you, she’ll give up on the relationship. So whether she starts checking out of the relationship because she’s unhaaaaaappppppy and about to Eat, Pray, Love an exit, or she starts checking out of the relationship because she thinks you’re going to dump her, doesn’t matter… she’s going to start withdrawing from you, or even start looking for someone who she can jump ship to before you pull the trigger.

In fact you might be a sizzling 9 and her a 7 and she might move sideways to some guy who is just 7 himself to avoid the pain of you smashing her to the ground.

You trying to laugh it off is the exact wrong thing to do, because to her, this is a really unfunny situation. When you laugh, she experiences it as you laughing at her predicament. She’s looking for loyalty and your emotional involvement with her, instead you’re displaying high value and detachment from her.

This is why the pure Alpha approach utterly fails in long term relationships. You can pretty much set your watch on a six month timer for pure Alpha to just blow it all up.

Anyway…

You do two things to pass this test.

(1)  State clearly what your standards are for her behavior as a wife. Stuff like her sexual interest in you, appearance, general work ethic. Make them all reasonably high standards, but by no means impossible. Something that she would have to apply herself to get done, but not kill herself to consistently do in reality.

(2)  Say that as long as she does (1), she never need fear you leaving her, or cheating on her. If she does right by you, you will do right by her. You need to say this with complete conviction and emotional content. You can also say that you know you could find someone else if you had to, but you want it to be her.

What this amounts to is an all purpose, “There is no X until Y” variant. X is the (2) and the Y is the (1).

This all sounds horribly manipulative I know, but what it sums down to for her is this….

(A)  She’s with a guy hotter than her.

(B)  He demands her best of her.

(C)  He’s loyal to her.

Which all in all doesn’t sound like a bad arrangement.  The trick for the guy pulling this off though is this…

…there is no trick. You have to believe it and commit to it, to sell it. What you’re saying is that if someone hotter than your wife comes along and makes a play for you, you’ll just enjoy it as compliment and that’s as far as it goes.

Anyway… Steel Panther video time… kinda like this, just bring it down a couple of notches.

 

…okay so not very much like Steel Panther. My bad.

The Eternal Captain Rule

If there’s a element of learning the Red Pill that’s like getting a gaping chest wound… it’s The Eternal Captain Rule. Namely…

“Ignorance of your responsibility to have been the Captain is no excuse.”

The perception is that men always have the personal power to effect change, while women can more easily frame themselves as the victim of circumstance. Therefore, if you’re the husband, just because you didn’t know you were supposed to be the Captain, doesn’t excuse you from having failed as the Captain in the past. Even if having an equal relationship was by mutual agreement, if it all falls apart it’s going to be the husband who carries the most blame for the failure.

I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m just saying what it is.

Just as importantly, the average woman quite pointedly responds sexually to a dominant leading man. Lack of a husband displaying reasonable dominance and leadership is a fast track to relationship failure. Weak and poorly leading husbands may as well be actively pushing their wives into the arms of other men. Women as the manosphere so rightly explains, are hypergamous – seeking strong, powerful, leading men. It’s what they are designed to do, its normal female behavior.

Harsh truth here… complaining about normal female behavior makes you sound like a loser. Stop whining about it.

In the same vein I don’t react with shock that someone was half eaten by their pet tiger. Tigers are created to be merciless, rampaging, killing machines. It’s what they do. Your pet tiger killing you is simply your tiger displaying normal tiger behavior.

So for whatever reason your life falls apart and you suddenly become homeless… odds are pretty good that your wife isn’t going to be homeless with you. If she has a better deal than you she can get to be with… she’d be rational to not bed down in the cardboard box with you. It would be her being crazy to stay with you.

I’m not saying that all women are jaded, gold-digging whores waiting for the first moment of weakness to jump ship to a larger cock… it’s not THAT bad (he said softly massaging his right temple for effect, thinking that the tiger metaphor was perhaps poorly chosen)… but every woman expects you can hold your shit together and be a productive spouse on a routine basis.

The old line is that “women don’t want to win, they want a winner.”

There’s a lot of truth to that, but it’s also worth saying that no one expects you to roll through life like an endless perfect season either. You can even have a losing season…

…but if you do, you better have a plan and a show of confidence that you can turn the franchise around and have a winning season.

Right now…     —–>   Buy the damn book.

Four More Years

Firstly, thanks to everyone who made today the best day of sales for the Pants Book ever. Much appreciated.

Anyway…

My eldest daughter is back from France today. High school French trip. When all said is done, I have a photo of her looking at some French ducks that cost me approximately $1500.

It’s actually been rather odd to have her gone for a week, she’s very introverted and self-sufficient, so it’s not like she takes up a lot of time and effort to manage. She’s so introverted, if we wanted to punish her, we’d send her to a party. I was surprised that I wasn’t a little sad she was gone, but as soon as she was back and completely gone from view into her bedroom… it was an entire week for her crushed up with other people, so exhausting… anyway… as soon as she was home, the house felt right again.

Jennifer was a little “on alert” all week figuring that sub-consciously she was always missing something. She has a far more attuned kid radar than I do, in no small part because I’m mildly deaf and simply never could hear the high pitched voices of children in the middle of night asking for cups of water. I’m a heavy sleeper too, so that just makes any hope of me being responsive hopeless.

In fact one legendary night a couple months back a raccoon got up on the roof and over the course of an hour, tore a foot wide hole in the roof, before hitting a crossbeam and figuring out he’d never get through that and giving up. Jennifer and both girls of course wide awake and in varying stages of freaked out by it. The girls spooked by the noise and Jennifer by the imagined cost of roof repair. I provided timely moral support and comfort by modeling unaffected concern and stability… by which I mean entire time the raccoon was directly over my bed growling and ripping up the roof… I slept the blissful sleep of the AMOG.

Youngest suddenly seems like she’s flipped from that “little kid” into being what looks and sounds like a proto-adult. Every single one of her close friends has in the last year had their parents go into some kind of marriage crisis… or had a step-parent suddenly die. Plus the usual boy trouble woes lol. I’ve seen her look at her phone once in a while with a “therapeutic frown” and vanish into her room… or occasionally… head to the end of the driveway for a good 30 minutes.

I don’t know what she talks about. I think there’s this assumed confidentiality thing where I don’t talk about MMSL peeps to her and she doesn’t talk about school peeps to me.

“Crazy people are crazy?”

“Crazy people are crazy.”

I’m so proud lol.

I’m proud of eldest too, though if she ever practices her “gaping bloody wounds” makeup for Cosplay zombies again without announcing it first, I’ll kill her. Special zombie contact lenses too which are f-r-e-a-k-y. One of the cats refuses to be petted by her anymore.

Anyway…

Four more years of teens and high school and then Jennifer and I are supposedly child-free for the majority of the rest of our life. The kids will always matter of course, but I won’t lie when I say I’m looking forward to it being just the two of us. We had this weird courtship in separate countries and just got married cold turkey so to speak. I don’t advise that as a plan lol. But still, we got lucky and it worked and in four years we’ll be mid-forties and done with the kid phase. After that…

…I think I’ll ask her out and we’ll start dating.