The following is a list of all entries from the The Other Half category.
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To explain why you want to marry someone is a difficult task.
All of my girlfriends move in with their boyfriends, usually within a year of dating, economically it makes sense. Living with someone, sharing your life with them is similar to being married. I have friends who argue against the archaic decision to get married – why give up your freedom, your name, and a piece of yourself just for a piece of paper? (Equality isn’t an argument in Canada, any two consenting adults can get married, doesn’t matter what sex they are). One can’t get married to change any aspect of their relationship – that piece of paper won’t make him do the dishes more often or like your family more.
So why would two people chose to get married?
When you get married you are stating to the world you are perfectly happy with the status quo. You are willing to commit to someone for your entire life, as is. In this age of commitment phobia and being told you can always change your mind to decide on something so permanent says something about your relationship: I’m not kidding. I love him. I don’t need a way out because I believe I won’t need one.
As I stood in front of CJ, our family, our friends and recited my vows:
I take you to be my husband;
to laugh with you in joy,
to grieve with you in sorrow,
to grow with you in love,
to be faithful to you alone,
as long as we both shall live.
I was completely at ease with the lifelong commitment. I want to grow old with him and I wanted everyone to know.
Since the wedding, nothing has changed in our relationship. We’re experiencing change in our lives, but we bicker just the same, we love just the same, we have the same amount of (fantastic and frequent) sex. The jokes have changed a bit – threatening divorce for a silly offence seems to please us (“What do you mean you forgot to order the spicy sauce? I’m going to divorce you over this!” or “What? Light beer? No, I’m filing the papers for this tomorrow”) and calling each other husband and wife is taking some getting used to ( “meet my boyfri… errr… husband”) but it’s the same for us.
What’s different is how you see us. And that’s the point.
(Our wedding was beautiful, unfortunately our photographer is still editing so pictures will have to wait until a date in the near future)
There are three types of people in this world:
People who like cats.
People who like dogs.
And those poor souls who like fish. We aren’t here to discuss the fish lovers.
I have now and always will be a cat person. A cat, especially my cat, a 5 year old 20lb black and white tabby named Dante, is easy. I feed him twice a day. He enjoys a good cuddle in the morning and just before I go to bed but that is as much attention as he needs.
CJ is now and always will be a dog person. A dog, especially the 100lb creature he wishes to acquire, demands constant attention. You can’t do anything without considering the dog. You can’t fill a dog’s bowl up and leave it for the weekend. Apparently a dog loves you in ways the cat could never but I’m not sure about that.
I don’t want a dog. If I wanted to be responsible for another creature I would have a baby. And despite CJ swearing up and down it will be his dog and his responsibility I know, like with all things we do, the responsibility will be at least 50/50.
As a couple you make compromises in your relationship. Sometimes you have to give in not because you want to but because it’s the right thing to do. He so seldom asks of anything from me that when he has a simple request – even one that will change our lives forever and make us responsible for a needy creature I feel like I have to do it.
I’ve read the books. I’ve talked to dog owners. I’ve insisted on spending lots of time with dogs. Apparently it’s going to be fine. Apparently I will fall in love with the slobbering creature and magically transform from happy cat lady into crazy dog lady. Apparently.
As soon as I relented and agreed to let a creature into our lives, CJ found a list of potential breeders. He’s been researching the best ones and what to look for in a dog. He’s happily considering various dog foods and dog vets and other dog things. I’ve never seen him so productive over … anything.
Despite a full round of heel dragging I’ve agreed to participate in the selection process. I mean I agreed to this ridiculous scenario so I’m going to go all in.
This morning I sent an email to a breeder asking about a German Sheppard puppy.
What’s that? It’s spelt shepherd eh? Hmmm, oops. My bad. Hopefully it doesn’t prevent the woman from answering my email because she thinks we’re too dumb to own a dog.
… hey, just because I agreed to something doesn’t mean I have to give up my passive aggressive measures to prevent it from happening.
Today is CJ’s birthday.
Technically his birthday. I’ve deemed his birth date void and insisted we start celebrating on May 1st because I’m in a profession that will always see me working 14 hour days on April 29th. He’s ok with this idea because it means I’m not stressed out during his celebrations.
Today he turns 26 years old.
Six years ago this summer, when I met CJ, he was living with his parents, had just quit his job and was making allowance; $10 a week to be exact. He had to save up for two weeks so we could go to the movies for our first date. He had no immediate plans to go to school, no plans to get another job and a vague idea that at some point he was going to move out of his parent’s house.
To tell it now, it’s hard to explain why I was so smitten with him. We were young. So young that nothing I just typed above mattered. We were too young to worry about the future or careers or prospects. We just knew we liked each other and ran with that.
Six years later it still works.
To view it from the outside it’s hard to understand how this quiet, unassuming shy guy and this loud mouth attention seeker get along. But I’ve been told that spending a few hours with us is all it takes to see how madly in love we are.
This morning we had cupcakes for breakfast because I’m not going to see him until bedtime tonight. As we laughed about eating cake at 6:30am, I realized why it was so easy, how it was that we could make it work – I like him. After all this time we still like spending time together. We work great together and bring out the best in each other.
I don’t need him in my life. He doesn’t need me. But we want to be with each other. That is what it boils down to – we are here because we want to be here. We are in love because not being together seems like a ridiculous notion.
We get married in eight weeks. I have no doubts. No cold feet. I’m just excited to start another chapter with him.
Happy Birthday CJ. Here’s to another fifty together. xoxo
I’m home alone tonight, catching up on some quality time with Tyra Banks.
(Don’t hate, you love ANTM too)
CJ is out and I just received a text message.
CJ: Tina Fey on SNL tonight! Download it!
Me: Will do tomorrow.
CJ: Not tomorrow! I want to watch it when I get home!
Me: Can’t download it until tomorrow silly :)
CJ: Don’t be lazy woman*! Download it for me!
Me: Yah, saturday night LIVE, I’ll get right on that.
CJ: Good. We’ll watch it together when I get home.
I could correct him now, or I could make fun of him tomorrow morning.
Guess what I’m going to do?
Edited to explain: While Canadians view network shows at the same time as our American cousins, most cable shows can usually be downloaded before their air date in Canada; we straight up can’t get some channels like AMC and FX. Seriously, I don’t understand since most of the shows we watch are shot in Vancouver. WHY CAN’T WE CANADIANS SEE THEM AT THE SAME TIME AS AMERICANS? WHY? WHY? Also, we are banned from using Hulu. It’s like America is so jealous of Canada it holds the only thing they do better than us over our head.
…. but that’s just a theory from a very proud Canadian.
*Woman is his pet name for me. I realize the potential negative connotations but I’m flattered because he got it from my late grandfather who used to affectionately call my grandmother ‘woman’.
I always have claimed to be a low maintenance type of gal. On any given day I can be out of the house within 20 minutes of waking up. Even at night, getting ready to go out it usually takes me less time than my girlfriends to get ready. I’m just efficient.
As I’ve aged, I’ve noticed having to spend more time on myself than I used to. Creams are needed to keep dryness away; my hair just doesn’t fall into place after air drying; and throwing on any combination of clothing doesn’t always work, thought needs to be put into it.
Until last night, I would still claim to be fairly low maintenance for a girl of my age. Hardly taking any time to get myself ready…
…Until last night, when CJ hopped in the shower with me. He caught me mid-wash – meaning my hair was shampooed, my body soaped and my face cleansed. I still had to shave my legs, exfoliate, and deep condition. He mentioned something about making this a sexy shower – I motioned towards the shaving cream on my legs and told him after I shower. He quickly shampooed, soaped and rinsed and hopped out.
After I got out of the shower, I dried myself and went to the bedroom. CJ was already in bed and reading. He mentioned something about making bedtime sexy and I told him after I finished.
I then brushed out my hair, applied blow dry cream and blew it dry. Then I applied toner, face cream, eye cream, lip chap, deodorant, body lotion, foot lotion, hand lotion and cuticle lotion. I picked out what I was going to wear the next day and ironed it. Then I took my pills (multivitamin, birth control, allergy), my asthma puffers and crawled into bed. Ready to get sexy.
CJ was asleep.
Mildly insulted I looked at the clock – an hour had passed since he first hopped in the shower with me. I couldn’t blame him for falling asleep, he has a hard job and it would have been mighty boring waiting for me to finish. I thought of what steps I could cut out of my nightly routine… nothing came to mind.
I don’t think I can call myself low maintenance anymore.
We watched Chuck together last night. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a quirky spy show; completely mindless but enjoyable nonetheless. During a commercial break:
Me: You know what?
Me: In life, I’m pretty sure I’m an Ellie. She’s pretty and smart but not too pretty or not too smart. She’s just above average but not too above average. She has her shit together –she has a job, she’s married, she’s a mom to everyone around her. I’m like that, average but I got it pulled together. Not like a Sara. She’s obviously the typical blonde girl – very attractive but she doesn’t have it together. She’s struggling with relationships and jobs. She appears to have it together but in reality she’s just another confused pretty girl. This is clearly a classical case of blonde versus brunette – blondes are always portrayed as smoking hot but they never have it pulled together. No, scratch that, I’m putting this stereotype out there to all the pretty girls of the world – they say to be attractive is to have a leg up in life and I agree. I mean I’m not boot but I’m not the type of girl you call out for being beautiful – I’m generally given credit for my smarts – but my most beautiful friends are complete disasters. They never have it figured out; they’re always struggling with life. It’s like they have too many options and can’t just pick one. But my regular friends – you know the ones that are pretty but not too pretty, they’re doing fine in life, they have it worked out – relationships, school, and jobs. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t rely just on my looks in life so I had to develop common sense. I had to play up my smarts because my looks alone wouldn’t get me by… it’s very interesting… Yup, I’m totally an Ellie. Not the prettiest in the room but she has it together. Of course all these television comparisons need to scaled to real life because obviously on TV actresses are way prettier than anyone we know. Also, these actresses are tiny and their skin? Always flawless.
CJ: *completely confused look on his face* Uh? I think you’re beautiful?
Me: I miss living with a girl.
I sit down next to him and watch tv for a few minutes.
Me: Do we really have to watch this?
CJ: I think it displays the bond and love of brothership. Of helping each other in need.
CJ: *head nod*
Me: Band of Brothers?
CJ: I just really don’t want to watch Love, Actually.
He then handed me a cookie.
Happy Valentine’s Day lovelies. It’s all about the little compromises.
Valentine’s Day. That’s Sunday right? Hmmm… I hate Hallmark Holidays… but I like having a theme to write about… therefore I declare this week Valentine’s Week! Don’t worry, I promise to trash the day but first up I’ll tell you how to give the perfect gift:
The most romantic gift CJ has ever given me (besides allowing me to pick out my engagement ring, which was the best day of my life – I love sparkly things and being in control) was a case of diet coke and a package of bobby pins.
The case of diet coke is easy enough (see previous post) but the bobby pins were the most thoughtful gift ever.
I was growing out my hair and I was constantly using and losing bobby pins. One day as we were headed to school and I opened up the apartment door and there was one right in front of our door. So I picked it up and popped it in my hair. This, CJ claims, was perhaps the grossest thing I have ever done in our entire relationship (he has other people hair issues). I’m 80% sure the bobby pin was mine but one can never be too sure in an apartment building. That Valentine’s Day (which was a few weeks away from the incident) I received a package of bobby pins which matched my hair colour. It was adorable. It made me laugh and let me know that he’s paying attention.
I once gave CJ chocolate milk and a pan of brownies with Cadbury Mini Eggs baked into them with my promise not to touch either one of them (he doesn’t like to share). Last year I gave him the entire boxed set of Looney Tunes, his favourite childhood cartoon (he’s subjected my nieces to hours of senseless cartoon violence, claims it will “man them up”). Just recently CJ gave me a cactus because while I love plants I kill things that don’t make sounds when they need to be fed. So far so good, cactus is still alive.
So, dear boyfriends and girlfriends when giving a gift this year I want you to think outside of the box. Everyone can give flowers, chocolates, body massage oil and head but what can you give that the other person will think quirky and always remember? What does your loved one ask for that they don’t have? For example, I’m really hoping I get a replacement grapefruit spoon.
Last night CJ and I are getting ready for bed. Bedtime is my favourite time of day – it’s when CJ and I reconnect, we talk about our day, about random things, and all the naughty stuff goes down at bedtime. Last night was a talking night. I was, as usual, slathering lotion all over myself, concentrating on my hands and in particular my right hand thumb.
CJ: I wonder why your hands get so dry in the winter. You’re the most paranoid person I know about wearing gloves.
Me: Well my right hand is trouble because of the thumbsucking.
Me: Yah, I sucked my thumb until I was 7 or so an every winter since my thumb gets dry and cracks in the winter.
CJ: You’ve never told me that before…
Me: you’ve never asked.
… (a few minutes later) …
Me: we should switch sides. I don’t like sleeping by the heater. It gets too warm at night.
CJ: Can’t. Gotta face the water when I sleep and you always sleep turned in. And neither of us likes face to face.
Me: Face the water?
CJ: I fall asleep facing the harbour every night.
Me: (thinking of every apartment we lived in and realizing the side he sleeps on depends on the direction of the harbour) I never knew that…
CJ: You’ve never asked.
…(random conversation, rather dull)…
CJ: Do you have any cash? I want to get a coffee tomorrow morning.
Me: Yah, I have a $5 in my wallet. Take it before you go.
Me: You know, I am always giving you cash, I feel like a sugar mama.
CJ: Sorry, some of us don’t have time to do whatever we want during the day, like go to the bank*
Me: I should be receiving services for my money.
This launched a giant conversation of how much our sexual services would be worth, relative to each other and other people. Final decision: CJ would be $50/hour, $300 for the night. I’d be $100/hour, $500 for the night. I could go into a social commentary of the relative prices of male vs female hookers, but I won’t.
And they say you’ll run out of things to talk about after years of being together….
*CJ appreciates my self-employment (and my pay cheque) but sometimes when I talk about what I read on the internet all day or groceries purchased at 10am or tickets received while getting coffee downtown at 2pm, he thinks that I don’t actually work all that hard. Which is kinda-sorta-true.