the nagging wife

There’s a reason that the Nagging Wife has always been a comedy cliché. It’s basically because MEN NEVER LISTEN AND OMG THEY’RE SO USELESS AND ALSO THEY NEVER ASK FOR DIRECTIONS AND MAN FLU AND HAVE YOU SEEN MY HUSBAND’S TOENAILS AND BLAH BLAH BLARGH DE BLOO.

Only kidding.

Sort of.

In all seriousness, the reason that the Nagging Wife has been a comedic trope since time out of mind is because we all know one. Oh, don’t argue with me – we do. If we haven’t been scolded by one, we’ve seen somebody else get scolded by one, or we’ve (gasp!) (the very thought!) (well I never!) been the ones who did the scolding ourselves.

Now wait a minute. Don’t bust out your torches and set me on Internet fire just yet. There’s more to this train of thought. Bear with me.

Hear me out.

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can certainly speak for myself, and I will attest to the fact that as a wife and mothers, I certainly do nag. I nag a lot. Some days it seems like I nag my husband and son from the moment they crawl out of their beds in the morning until the moment they crawl back into their beds at night. I nag them to hurry up. I nag them to pick up their shit. I nag them to do whatever housework they said they would do but never did. I nag them to stop leaving their dirty socks all over Every. Damn. Where.

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No, it’s cool. It’s just some of my husband’s dirty socks hanging out on the living room carpet. Two pairs of them. In the exact same place. Because that’s where they go, apparently. No big.

I freely admit I nag. But you know what?

So does my husband.

A lot of husbands do, actually. Probably close to all of them. Except their form of nagging isn’t really considered “nagging.” There’s certainly no pervasive Nagging Husband cliché associated with it. Male nagging generally isn’t thought of as bitchy or grating. It’s not satirized to DEATH on sitcoms or in stand-up comedy routines. It doesn’t make us think of a screeching banshee with a voice like sliding down a razor blade naked.

Which, if you ask me? Is completely and totally unfair.

Because (in my opinion) my husband’s nagging is equal to, if not more annoying than, my own brand. Okay, yes. He doesn’t nag me about chores or parenting or social obligations. He doesn’t nag me about lawn care or car maintenance or any of the other tedious things I nag *him* about.

Still. What he does nag me about is SEX.

CONSTANTLY.

And while I’m sure – in fact, I know – that my husband is not the only one guilty of engaging in some prodigious sex-botherin’, I nonetheless can only speak from my own experience. So that’s what I’m going to do.

First I’m going to hit you up with a couple of important facts:

Fact #1: My husband and I have plenty of sex. He’s not hurting. I’ll leave it at that.

Fact #2: I am a woman whom Dan Savage would classify as “Good, Giving, and Game.” Again, I’ll leave it at that.

All right. Now that we’ve established that my husband is not a victim of Bed Death or even Vanilla Sex Life Syndrome, let’s ask ourselves a few questions.

Question #1: Why is my husband’s nagging about sex completely acceptable in our society, when my nagging about other stuff is considered to be irritating, patronizing, and in many situations, downright laughable?

Question #2: Why does he get to complain endlessly and relentlessly about his sexual needs, but when I ask him to do ANYTHING more than once I might as well have transformed into a hysterical griping fishwife?

Question #3: Why does he get to mope around like an unmedicated Eeyore when I say “Not tonight,” but if I dare to get uppity when he leaves 398475394875 used Kleenex all over the house, I’m “treating him like a child” and “he’ll pick them up later.” (He never does.)

I don’t have a good answer to these questions. I wish I did. Because here’s the thing: Sex is not an entitlement. For either partner. In a lot of ways, having sex is just like going out for a nice dinner or watching a movie – it’s something and fun and entertaining that two (or more) people do together. And they decide when to do it, where to do it, and how to do it, together.

Together!

And if it doesn’t work out on one particular day? You move on. You wait until the time is right. You don’t grumble and moan and bitch about it every minute of every day until it happens. You don’t make passive-aggressive comments (“remember when we were dating?”) until the other person gives in just to shut you the hell up. You don’t constantly grope someone and make suggestive gestures and throw around overtly sexual comments until… well, I guess that doesn’t really apply to the dinner/movie analogy.

For most people, anyway.

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Don’t get me wrong – I love my husband. More than life itself. He’s smart as a whip, gorgeous as hell, and just amazing in every way. And I really do appreciate the fact that he’s still attracted enough to follow me around the house grabbing my ass and making not-so-veiled allusions to butt stuff. But let’s face it. When it comes to sex? He a nagging bitch. And I just think it’s massively unfair that he can consistently ride my ass about doin’ more nasty, but if I tell him to flush the toilet after he pees, I get an eye roll and a “yeah yeah.”

Long story short? Husband, don’t make me get out my rolling pin.

(Though you did say you wanted to do more butt stuff.)

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An earlier version of this piece was published in April 2014 on humor/parenting blog Foxy Wine Pocket.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Taming the Shrew”: Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk; Taming the shrew. T.L. Busby; ca. 1826.; Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0
“Old woman”: Giorgione (1477–1510); English: Old Woman; Date circa 1508; Source/Photographer Web Gallery of Art: Inkscape.svg; This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States. — Modified

the best baker in the world

My son wrote this story in his first-grade class the other day, and I just had to share it with you.

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Just in case you’re having trouble deciphering my son’s handwriting, the story goes like this:

My Mom is a great baker! Is yours?
Yesterday, my Mom made a delicious “French Bread Pizza”!!
She is the best baker in the world!!

Sweet, huh?

I thought so.

Now let’s translate it into reality.

My Mom is a great microwaver! Is yours?
Yesterday, my Mom microwaved a delicious frozen Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza! 
She is the best microwaver in the world!!

Yup.

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If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

fitness no nos

Welcome to 2015, loyal so-and-sos! It’s the second week of the new year, and do you know where your fitness resolutions are? I do! Let’s check in on mine:

  1. Using My Fitness Pal like everybody else on Earth? Check.
  2. Keeping meticulous track of my food and exercise? Check.
  3. Not making any actual changes to my diet or workout regimen whatsoever? Check.

Okay. So clearly I suck at getting healthy. Since I can’t lead by example, how about I lead through cautionary tale?  Without further ado, let me now present to you:

SARAH’S FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO IN YOUR QUEST FOR FITNESS

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1. DO NOT attempt to exercise without bike shorts.

If you’re like me, you know that the whole phenomenon of Thigh Gap is decidedly Thigh Crap. If you’re like me, you’re barely breaking a sweat before the monster known as chub rub is rearing its evil head. If you’re like me, you know that once you start feeling chafed down there, the end to whatever’s currently passing for your “exercise regimen” is near.

But not to worry. The solution is simple: bike shorts. Wear them under your yoga pants, or your sweatpants, or your exer-pris (I just made that word up.) Bike shorts are not overly stifling and they prevent chub rub like woah. Oh, and don’t fret – if you’re low on funds or clean laundry, you can achieve the same basic effect with baby powder or Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel.

2. DO NOT attempt an exercise program taught or led by someone you dislike.

Okay. I realize that by saying this, I am risking an immediate attack on my person by a gang of angry fit ladies with shake weights and kettle bells – but I cannot stand Jillian Michaels.

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Believe it or not, I’m telling you this for a reason. If an exercise program is taught or led by someone you don’t like, you’re simply not going to stick with it. This could mean a celebrity trainer such as Ms. Michaels, or a Zumba instructor that moves too fast, or a yogi at your local studio that’s a little too “helpful” with “adjustments” in the region of your “butt cheeks.”

Look, if you’re not comfortable with an exercise video, you’re not going to work it; if you’re not comfortable in an exercise class, you’re not going to go. Period. And that is why my copy of Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred has never been watched. Nope. Not even once.

3. DO NOT expect to become fit overnight.

This is a serious problem for many folks, and one that I in particular have never been able to overcome. I’ll count calories for a minute and then get frustrated when I actually weigh *more* than I did before I started. I’ll go for a long walk every day for three days and then grumble because I’m tired and sore and my kneecaps feel like those of an 80-year-old woman. I’ll eat healthy for a week, not feel any different, not lose any weight, and then become resentful at all of the missed pizza and cake opportunities.

And those are the times that I decide to just give up.

And giving up is NOT how you get healthy.

Basically what I’m saying here is this: if you harbor expectations for immediate fitness success, prepare to be disappointed EVERY TIME. You best believe I speak from experience. Only the patient, the determined, and the realistic will achieve results. And yeah. I don’t achieve results.

4. DO NOT go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of athletic clothes and equipment until you are absolutely 100% sure you’re going to stay committed.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you’re thinking of taking up running. Great! Running is literally the cheapest sport in the world – you don’t even need a ball. You can just run right out the door in your busted high school gym shorts, that ratty “Where’s the Beef” t-shirt with the hole in the armpit, and a pair of decent sneakers. You literally do not need ANYTHING. ELSE.

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Me. “Running.”

Sure, in time you might want to upgrade your running gear. No judgment here! You can buy the special sweat-wicking socks and the expensive running shoes and the infinite variety of little techy-type gadgets that measure every possible shit. Just buy them LATER. Do you hear what I’m saying? Because if you quit after four days, not only are you going to feel bad for quitting, you’re going to be in the hole for hundreds of dollars of gear you didn’t need. That’s a surefire recipe for a shame spiral right there.

Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.

*shoves pristine tennis racket under the bed with foot*

*shame spiral*

*eats entire bag of Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s Potato Chips*

5. DO NOT tell yourself continuously that you’ll “start tomorrow.”

I think I’ve done this every day of my entire adult life aaaand well lookie here! Now I’m almost forty. Yes, forty — arguably the most difficult time in a woman’s life to lose weight and get in shape due to the metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying perimenopause. If I’d stopped telling myself that I’d “start tomorrow” when I was 25 and I’d actually STARTED TOMORROW, I would have found losing weight, getting in shape, and staying healthy to be a whole lot easier than they are now. Now it’s an almost Herculean task fraught with frustration, bitterness, stiff joints, sore muscles, back pain, and strange smells.

Also doughnuts.

I mean, what?

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An earlier version of this piece was published in July 2014 on fitness blog Kris on Fitness.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

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Photo credits:
“Drinking Man”: Das Vesper; Date 1828; Source Ketterer Kunst; Author Constantin Schroeter; Licensing: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States. — Modified
“Willam .gif”: Source unknown. Footage from RuPaul’s Drag Race, aired on LogoTV