A sex spreadsheet? Hahaha!

That was my first thought when I happened upon an article on Buzzfeed about a Reddit user who had posted a photo of a spreadsheet she had received from her husband. Did you read about this? Well, for those who didn’t catch this glorious nugget of entertainment I will explain.

The wife was about to go away on a 10 days business trip but before she left her husband emailed her a sex spreadsheet. A three column, dated spreadsheet which had cataloged their apparently dry sex life. It stated the date throughout a six week period, whether sex had been granted or not and if not, the reason behind it. Only 3 days out of the 28 recorded days had ‘Yes’ marked in the ‘Sex’ column. The ‘Excuse’ column contained things like, ‘I’ve been to the gym and I feel sweaty’, ‘I’m watching my show and don’t want to miss anything’, or my personal favourite, ‘(non verbal)’.

This post has been view over 1.5 million times! The world now knows about this and the reactions are both fabulous and ridiculous. Theories are now flying through the interweebs as strangers battle over this tasty tidbit of human silliness. Everything from being married to an Asexual partner to serious mental issues are being thrown into this ever growing ring. Both teams have supporters, each calling the other immature, selfish or just plain stupid. Personally I think it’s equal on both sides; who in their right mind makes a spreadsheet to catalog this sort of thing?! And who would post it on the internet to shame the poor sap for doing something so silly? You begin to wonder how it all came about (or not, pardon the pun.) Did the husband, now affectionately named Spreadsheet Guy, just walk up to his wife and say in a rough, monotone way, “Sex!”  Was there any romance, a gentle wooing of the wife to arouse her, even if she didn’t feel like it? Judging by the spreadsheet, me thinks definitely not! But then to feel so outraged and hurt that you think, “I’m posting this on a heavily used website and make people see what an ass my husband is, how dare he!”

Two things are very clear now: 1) The husband will never get sex from his wife ever again and 2) Can you say ‘Divorce’?!

Sex plays a HUGE role in a marriage whether people want to admit it or not. It connects a couple emotionally as well as physically and without that connection people can feel neglected and distant which apparently happened in this case. I’m sure there were women who read the article and cursed Reddit Wife for being so lucky to have sex readily available. But I have to wonder about what their life was like before they married; was the sex amazing and adventurous so it is now missed or was it OK to the point Spreadsheet Guy thought, ‘I’m sure she’ll get better with age.’ Maybe Reddit Wife thought, ‘He wants sex a lot, I’m sure he’ll calm down with age.’ Who knows, we can only speculate. Either way it looks like good old communication seemed to once again have been left out of the equation.

 

 

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Summer Holidays are stressful, right?!

Sidewalk chalk shouldn't be just for the sidewalk!

Sidewalk chalk shouldn’t be just for the sidewalk!

For many of my friends back in the UK the summer holidays are only just starting but here in ‘Tronno’, we’ve been at it for 3 weeks now. We get to have 8 weeks of attempting to keep kids active, interested and off each others backs! So far I think I’m doing OK but it’s still early days.

I am sure, like many parents, I desperately searched for activities to do, places to go and camps to enlist with before the holidays happened but as per usual, I left it too late! Parents sign their children up in March for camps! I always assumed camps where just made up things that you saw in kids movies but it’s a real thing! I suppose I did a version of camp…it was called Boarding School.

So here I am in one of the biggest cities in Canada and I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do with my kids! It isn’t as if there isn’t any choice; we have museums, parks, an aquarium, pools, galleries, beaches, you name it. What fills me with dread is the fact that every other kid in Toronto will be there too. I once did the Science Center during a holiday and I swore never again – chaos, tears, stress, even my poor children hated it and they usually love to learn things but they don’t like having to fight for something and they don’t enjoy being watched by impatient children who are attempting to telepathically will them off a toy/ride/game. They will happily fight and bicker with each other but not with other children so I always take that into consideration whenever we decided to go somewhere. Nine times out of ten we usually stay close to home and play and I will make each week a specialty week. For example, during March Break, I devoted a week to Science. We made Ooblek, Volcanoes and sun-catchers using glue and food coloring and the children loved it. With the summer holidays I have 8 weeks to plan for and the more I investigate, the more excited I become about doing things at home.

I know I am lucky because I work from home so I have the time to be able to spend with my kids. Many parents don’t have that option and find sending their kids to camp the only choice until they have their vacation too. I dread to think how expensive it all becomes; a week long camp at Ripley’s Aquarium is close to $400 per child. I have a friend who just put both her kids, aged 5 & 7, into 4 separate camps; over $1,200 to cover just 2 weeks worth of the holidays.They are also planning to go on vacation for a week which was in the region of around $3,500 (flights, hotel, etc). I know having children is expensive but these days it seems just unrealistic at times. Having said that this sort of thing seems to apply to younger kids; the older they get, the more independent they become and the money once spent on camps is re-directed towards other ‘essentials’ teenagers ‘need’.

Today my kids have drawn life-size silhouettes of themselves on paper and are currently embellishing them with a ridiculous amount of tissue paper, sequins, and fuzzy balls. (I’m looking forward to that clean up later…) The point is, they have been occupied for over an hour with this. I’ve broken up 3 fights, all from the comfort of my desk chair, and they are learning (with some degree of stubbornness) the art of sharing. The TV is off, Jazz music is playing softly in the background and I’m sure once everything is done we will have some pretty spectacular pictures!

I live in the city so there are programs and camps all over the place so here is a question: Is it easier or harder to plan summer holidays if you live in the country vs the city? Working parents vs. stay at/work from home parents; how do the long holidays effect you?

Whatever you get up to this summer I hope you have an enjoyable holiday and get to enjoy some quality time with your children.

 

Growing old not so gracefully

I’m not that old! I’m in my 30’s so even I am surprised by how sensitive I have become recently to people not having good manners. A few things have happened this week that has left me to wonder if I am loosing my marbles or if I am just having a bad week.

It started at Home Hardware. I went looking for a new fuse for my brand new fairy lights. They worked the first time I switched them on, then stopped. A new fuse can sometimes fix the problem so off I went. Every time I have been in the store the staff there have been friendly…except this time. An older gentleman walked up to me and said, “can I help you?” I explained my problem and asked if he had fuses for fairy light plugs. The guy stared at me with a ‘what the hell are you on about?’ look and he didn’t say anything for so long I started to wonder if he had heard me at all. He then asked me to repeat what I had just said, which I did. He continued to look at me like I was an idiot. He then asked what the voltage was to which I replied I didn’t know and that’s when he scoffed at me, raised his eyes to the roof in a ‘bloody women shouldn’t be doing a mans work’ sort of way and then reprimanded me on how that piece of info was the most important part before huffing off to a rack. Suitably offended I didn’t follow him, I walked out the store. F**k you, thought I, the lights aren’t that important anyway! I know the voltage part is important but I genuinely didn’t know that piece of info.

My next venture was with the gas man. I have an automatic sprinkler in my garden to deter raccoons and squirrels from digging up my garden. I have it pointed towards the garden and you have to be within range to set it off so walking around it to get to the meter is easy if you are smart. Not this guy. I wasn’t aware of the altercation until I heard my garden gate forcefully slam shut. Knowing I had locked the gate the night before I was surprised to hear it so went out to investigate, my 3 year old son behind me. My gate was swinging in the wind…strange…then an angry voice from behind me exclaimed, “I just got wet checking your meter!” Turning around I saw the gas man, hands in the air, yelling at me. 

“Well, if you had let me know you were there I could have switched it off,” I replied, stunned at the outburst. My son looked up a me and asked, “why is that man shouting at you?” Hands still in the air the guy stormed off. You would have thought he had been hit with slime. I checked my gate to make sure it was still intact, which it was only a little looser than it had been before. Seriously?! All because you got wet? You wanna break my property? A call was put into the complaints department that afternoon.

Lastly, this morning, the city of Toronto pissed me off. Not the actual city, just the lovely individuals who work for it. We have a public footpath next to our house which need maintenance, grass cutting, tree trimming etc. Our house is also at the top of the dead end road. A white city truck pulled up and rather than parking opposite our house, where there are no driveways, they park right across my driveway, blocking both myself and my neighbors cars.  What though process goes through people’s head where they think, ‘hey we’ll just park here and block these people in.’ It happens all the time. Had I been able to find the individuals i would have politely asked them to move so I could get out but they were nowhere to be seen. 

Am I getting old and crotchety already or am I right to feel the way I feel? It kinda upsets me sometimes that the general public can’t be nice all the time! If this carries on I am going to be a very grumpy old woman by the time I’m 40…

There is a line, but can I cross it?

If someone told me how I should mother my children, I would tell them where the shortest cliff was so they could take a long walk off it. Recently, however, I have found myself itching to do just that: to tell parents to do or not do something involving the care of their child. 

When I was a kid I grew up under the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ rule. I was taught it was rude to behave badly when out in public. I had to to be quiet when in a shop or cafe or museum and I was always informed of my manners (or lack thereof!). When at home I was free to do what I wanted (within reason) but if I went to a friends house or out with my parents, the Good Act had to be played as I’m sure it did with most kids. Keep in mind I lived in the UK where people are much more outspoken and you got in s**t for anything so I’m wondering if being in Canada things are a little different or if it is just a sign of the times? Remember that age old threat, “Wait till your father gets home!” Apparently that doesn’t work anymore.

What the heck happened?!

Today, as I was enjoying a coffee in my favourite cafe with my three year old son, I witnessed a whirling dervish of a child who was a ball of running, screaming, dangerous energy. He couldn’t have been far off my sons age and his mother was looking after something even smaller. I know what it is like to have two kids under the age of three – I did that – however I don’t think that can excuse you for knowingly letting your child run up and down a very small space, screaming loudly and disturbing other patrons. This child was a health and safety nightmare! The cafe is on a major road with lots of cars and large streetcars. The door is usually always open to let in the cool air so it wouldn’t take much for him to run clean out and meet with an unhappy accident. There are also shelves with breakable items on them and, let me see, oh yes! People with scolding hot coffee walking around. If he ran into them, another accident. And yet his mother just sat there, watching.

Should this be the line that can be crossed? Looking around I could see other patrons were getting irritated by the noise. The staff within the cafe were also looking nervously at each other and I’m sure one of them was wondering if something should be said.  When I worked in a restaurant I did have a few occasions involving unruly children – any kids who ran around or were uncontrolled I had no issue telling their parents to deal with it. I told them it was too dangerous and we wouldn’t be responsible for any damages to their kid if he/she got burned, tripped or walked into. I have also seen other patrons taking matters into their own hands but it never worked out too well. I think parents get embarrassed even though they have no intention of fixing the problem in the first place.

In this situation there were a few things I wasn’t sure of, for example was the mother a previous employee and a friend to everyone there? Was she the owners sister? Perhaps she was well known in the community and this sort of thing was the normal routine! Regardless of all that would it be bad to say something about her child’s behavior? Would it be bad if I walked up to her and said ‘Shut your child up and control him before he has an accident!’ 

I’ve had a total stranger walk up to my infant daughter and physically pull her thumb out of her mouth because they said it was wrong of her to so that. The person was lucky to be able to walk off the subway train. That is a line wrongly crossed. However when it is something that is inherently annoying and rude and potentially disastrous, is it OK to assume something can be said? 

Before I had the chance to actively carry out this thought the delightful party left but it made me wonder: if I had stood up and said something, would it have caused a huge fuss? Would I have been glared at for crossing that line? 

Your thoughts? Would you say or have you said something in a similar situation? Have you had a total stranger tell you how to be a parent and was it positive or negative?

 

The Great Parental Debate

Before we had kids my husband and I didn’t really give flying whatsit about how people were as parents. We would see all sorts of things and judge in a way we had no basis to do so. Living in a city I see a lot of kids being brought up by nannies because Mum and Dad are working. For many this isn’t a choice if bills are to be paid and for others a career is too important. The weekends are clearly a massive nightmare for the biological parents and some simply don’t know how to handle their kids; we once over-heard a father says to his small boy, “Behave yourself! Stop acting like a child!” His son could not have been older than 6 years old. Perhaps this father works hard to provide for his family and was tired that particular day, I don’t know, but to tell a kid to not act like a kid…?

Anyways, my husband and I are parents to two fantastic children who are rambunctious, fun, artsy and loud. They are also two of the most loving and caring kids I have ever known. My youngest son adores his older sister and follows her around like a puppy while my daughter pretends not to enjoy the constant attention and bosses him around like a diva! As parents we haven’t really attempted to mold our young breed too much as we want them to learn for themselves, we just like to guide them and try to stop them from nearing danger so it stuns us when we see other parents going against the grain and doing things that we feel is potentially dangerous and incredibly selfish.

Everyone is entitled to parent in their own way but I ask you this: is putting your child’s health at risk because of your beliefs really worth it? For example, not getting your child vaccinated because of all the hype around autism. I recently listened to a parent on CBC news radio claiming vaccinations weren’t safe and posed more of a risk than the disease itself. ‘ARE YOU CRAZY!’ I screamed at the radio. If you decided not to vaccinate your child, are you really keeping them safe or are you potentially putting them at even greater risk? Do these parents stop to consider just how  lucky they are to have access to these potentially life saving drugs? Do they stop to consider how many children and adults have died throughout history before vaccinations were found? How many parents would have begged for a way to save their dying child? Some of the diseases and illness are still around today and children do die so flip that coin and ask the question: Do I want to protect my child or do I want to put them at risk?

I feel the same way about parents who try to mess about with feeding young infants. I read an article on the web about a mother who kept her 6 month old daughter on breast milk alone. No other foods. She went on to say she knew her daughter was hungry all the time and woke up every 1-2 hours through the night yet she continued to say nothing was better for her child than what she was giving her. Well, correct on the breast milk but NO to consciously letting your child be hungry. Again, there are children in countries that don’t have the access to foods and here is a mother actively denying her daughter nutritional foods. Iron, Vitamins, essential nutrients are all babies need for healthy development and it can be found in egg yolks, bananas, vegetables. Why, why, WHY do people do this? Why doesn’t she try living purely on breast milk and see how far that gets her before she keels over?

I understand there are some children who, for heath reasons, really can’t have the vaccinations and I know of children who have such severe allergies that their diets are a minefield of trial and error so I understand that some parents and children just don’t have a choice but for all the others, there is no excuse. Do the research, learn about Andrew Wakefield and his little ‘conflict of interest’ while putting out his so-called research on the MMR vaccine and it’s ‘link’ to Crohn Disease and Autism. Look for those magical words that say, ‘no real evidence has been found,’ because it pops up quite a lot.

I am no doctor, healthcare provider or medical guru; I am a mum who knows that I will let my kids be as healthy as they can be by putting their needs first before my own. I will vaccinate them so they can go to school  and travel easily, I did eat peanuts and sushi while pregnant and I even had a beer – all in moderation. My kids adore couscous and quinoa and snack on bananas, not because I force them to but because they like it and want it. I let my kids try anything once so they learn what they like or don’t like and of course I stop them from trying to eat a whole tub of Nutella! Parents are bamboolzed by ‘expert advice’ and some of it is complete rubbish. Global news reported last week that ‘experts’ are now saying pregnant women shouldn’t be driving because they are more at risk of having an accident. Again, no real evidence to support this and pregnant women are at risk no matter what they are doing and sometimes they can have something go horribly wrong while sitting at home, reading a paper.

Right, that’s my 2 cents – if you have a view, if you think I’m wrong then I’d love to hear why. As I said previously there are two sides to the coin. If you are expecting your first child, what horror stories have you been told? If you have kids have you had people try to sway you into a different mindset? Which side are you on?

Why crap on anyone’s parade?

I’m not a huge follower of many things but I have a few select YouTube videos I like and a select few bloggers I find fun to read, I have Instagram and Twitter and the book of face. While reading a blog the other day I noticed there are quite a few people voicing concerns about publicly posted negative comments and the effect it has on them.

Social media, as we all know, is a double edged samurai sword. It can be brilliant, it can be positive, it can be productive but it can also be deadly, vicious and extremely negative. Prime examples of late have been the heart-breaking stories of teenagers committing suicide due to ‘cyber-bullying’. The scary part is the the Trolls who take the time and effort to be down right vile can be anyone in the world; one teenager in the US who committed suicide was hounded by classmates along with someone in Europe, a total stranger. It’s disgusting. What makes a random stranger feel the need to act out like that?

I follow quite a few tattoo artists on Instagram and I really enjoy looking at posted pictures of various forms of tattoo artistry. Some I look at and think ,’Eeeew!’ and others I will stare at for ages, marveling at the detail/color/image depicted on a persons body. My opinions are mine and I recognize that one persons’ likes won’t mirror mine but I wouldn’t dream of slamming a person publicly through social media, which is exactly what I saw happen to a very talented artist who goes by the name Paul Acker. He did a stunning Harry Potter leg piece which would have taken a lot of time and patience to complete. Looking at it, anyone worth their salt would say, ‘Wow! That’s quite something.’ Apparently some people did not think so and posted on his Facebook page their negative thoughts – some individuals didn’t like it, slammed his talent and said he had done a bad job all because the characters didn’t look exactly like the actors portrayed in the movies.

Why?

As a free thinking world we are entitled to opinions but to slam someone because they didn’t draw Harry Potter ‘properly’? Did J.K. Rowling feel the same when Daniel Radcliff was cast as her protagonist? He was probably as close as you could get to the character but it he would never be the Harry Potter we each, individually dreamed up as we read the books. To declare an individual persons’ expertise incompetent because it doesn’t match your personal opinion is so wrong! Do the haters take into account the actual level of capability artists possess when it come to tattoos? Sure, there are definitely people who should never be allowed near a tattoo needle, but in this case Paul Acker has serious talent. Just look at his work – it’ gruesome and not my kinda style but even so, I was amazed by some of the pieces he’s done.

 

Flip the coin; if you are going to put yourself out onto the world wide web then you have to expect an audience to have many views. You won’t please every singe person. I learnt that when I took a children’s book writing class through the University of Toronto. We all had to learn to accept that people will read/see/hear/think things totally different to what we originally wrote and sometimes it was really frustrating. With Social media there are a lot of voices, each with their own opinions and thoughts, but why get nasty? What’s the point? If you don’t like something, move on, don’t take time and effort to crap on someones parade!

One more person I am going to highlight, it’s to do with make up. This girls talent is MIND-BLOWING! Her name is Alexys Fleming, her YouTube Channel is here and she has, in my humble opinion, a stunningly good talent as an make-up artist and body painter. I will freely admit her accompanying music can be a bit harsh and personally I find her thick Chicago accent funny to listen to, but all that aside she can do brilliant work! With that said, she also receives hateful messages through her Instagram/youtube account and it gets nasty. Individuals will leave comments saying her voice is horrible, her music choices are terrible, her art is worthless…why the hell did the hater watch the video in the first place?! Positive feedback far outnumber the negative and her loyal followers will tell the haters where to go but still, why go to the trouble of writing it in the first place?

Anyhoo, that’s my two-cents on the matter. I know one day I will probably get someone voicing their disapproval of my thoughts but hey, their entitlement and if it gets nasty I will tell them to bugger off! I wonder though how many people, normal, regular individuals, deal with this sort of behavior on a regular basis? What’s the worst thing someone has written about your blog and how did it get handled?

 

Wife of the Year Award goes to…

An interesting conundrum:

Over the weekend I was sitting having a coffee with a friend when we happened to over-hear a conversation being had by a group of women. It wasn’t difficult not to over-hear them as they were being rather loud and, in my opinion, extremely obnoxious. My friend and I were about to move tables when this little charm of a sentence was uttered:

“I said he couldn’t be his best man because the wedding day is on my birthday and I want a party!”

With raised eyebrows we decided to stay in our seats and pretend not to listen to this enlightening conversation. There were three women in question and they had an air of ‘we-trump-everyone-else-because-we-are-wives’ about them – the scathing look anytime a pretty woman or another man walked past, the loud conversations about how crap their husbands were and how difficult is was to be wives. It was quite something to experience and this subject topped it all off.

One woman in particular was the loudest and she was also responsible for the above statement. The woman next to her was small and twitchy and she didn’t seem to say much but nodded vigorously when either of her friends said something agreeable. The last woman in the group looked almost bored with life in general, her eyes at permanent half mast, legs crossed while leaning as far back into her chair as possible and her voice…dear God! She spoke from the back of her throat making her voice sound gravelly and as if she couldn’t quite muster the air to fully bring out her words. I call it ‘Creaking Door Voice Syndrome’ and it drives me <expletive> nuts!

This is the story, or some of it, from what we heard. Loud Mouth was upset because her husband had been asked to be the best man at his best friends wedding. Let’s just let that sink in: Best Man at his Best Friends wedding. This up and coming wedding just so happened to coincide with Loud Mouth’s birthday and she was upset as she apparently considered her birthday more important than some other persons wedding so had informed her husband he was not allowed to be best man.

“Besides,” she continued, “I want a party and he needs to plan it for me.” She then went on to complain about the bride-to-be and how could she be so selfish by setting her wedding date on Loud Mouth’s birthday. Vigorous Nod went into overdrive and CDV agreeeed.

My friend and I were stunned! How on earth could anyone justify not allowing their other half to be such a big part of such a big occasion? If the shoe was on the other foot you can imagine the storm that would erupt! I couldn’t wrap my head around putting your birthday ahead of someone else’s wedding unless there was a reasonable explanation (e.g. you equally dislike both sides of the couple). Oh, before you ask, no it wasn’t a milestone birthday either.

Not long after the women departed in a flurry of twitching, hand-waving and “BYE DAAAAARLING!” and my friend and I were left to theorize this to death! We decided Loud Mouth was out of line in her demands and might suffer a touch of amour propre. We also wondered if the husband was *cat* whipped as it seemed as though the decision had been made for him that her birthday trumped the wedding and he was agreed to this (unless he had kicked up stink and she was misguided in thinking she could change his mind). Imagine his friends reaction, ‘sorry mate, I can’t be your best man. Prunella wants me to do a birthday party for her on that day.’  Who exactly would he invite? You’d think their circles of friends would over-lap so wouldn’t that cause problems? Was she trying to totally destroy his circle of friends and replace them with hers? Loud Mouth may have potentially damaged a possibly long lived friendship between her husband and his best friend. Or perhaps her husband didn’t really care about being best man and this whole scenario was just convenient for him. Beer time with the guys would be interesting…

“Hey d’ya hear about Duder not being best man?”

“Yeah, his wife is making him stay home and plan her birthday party!” Thanks for making us wives look bad, Lady!

The possibilities were endless and we were at the coffee shop far longer than we should have been! Seriously though, am I out of line thinking Loud Mouth was being a a bit of a cow? If your boyfriend/husband/partner was asked to play a major role in someone else’s wedding which also happened to be your birthday, would you tell them they couldn’t be there and expect it to be accepted? If the birthday was really significant then case closed – a parents 60th birthday for example – but otherwise, unless you booked first there is no reasonable way to accept such behavior, right?