From Men and Women

Cooperative Girlfriend

Bob likes to remind me of how cooperative I used to be when we first started dating. He claims it’s a mystery to all men why the sweet, agreeable woman they start out with changes over time to…well…someone less sweet and agreeable.

I don’t disagree I am less cooperative, but I disagree it is a mystery. I think all relationships evolve in stages and ours has been no different.

 

 

 

It wasn’t long before things went awry.

 

 

The truth is that Cooperative Girlfriend is doomed. She exists only in the beginning of a relationship because it is the only time there is no evidence to suggest Infallible Boyfriend could ever be wrong or limited in his ability to read her mind.

As time goes on, evidence builds. Infallible Boyfriend develops a track record of being Human.

Cooperative Girlfriend becomes Doubtful Girlfriend.

 

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Soon, the evidence can no longer be ignored.

Doubtful Girlfriend becomes Skeptical Girlfriend. At this stage, she cannot tell the difference between Infallible Boyfriend and Human Boyfriend. Therefore, everything must be questioned.

 

8-25-x-1-25-stage-3-sg

 

 

With time and experience, Skeptical Girlfriend becomes Pragmatic Girlfriend and deals with reality. She accepts that her boyfriend is Human, can’t read her mind and doesn’t have perfect knowledge of all earthly matters. She adjusts her expectations and takes responsibility for her own happiness.

 

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Everyone misses Cooperative Girlfriend, especially Bob.

I tell him he’ll be happier without her, that a more reality based relationship will be healthier for both of us.

It’s a hard sell, but in time, I hope he’ll forget all about her and go on to be very happy with Pragmatic Girlfriend.

 

 

 

 

Hopeful at Home Depot

This past Memorial Day weekend found me at Home Depot to buy plants for my balcony and paint for my window sills.

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My nearest Home Depot is on North Avenue in Chicago in the middle of an area of young professionals and families. Many of them were shopping for supplies to complete home projects over the long weekend.

Some received bad news before they even left the store.

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Others’ self confidence crumbled before my very eyes.

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The plight of humanity stretched  before me.

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Especially notable was the marital conflict erupting around me. I empathized with the constant tug of war of opinions about home improvement and decorating when two unique individuals live together. I certainly had my fair share when I was married. Like the time I came home to find a prime spot in the front hallway set up as a Civil War Memorial.

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Or the time we almost a lost a future generation to a poorly installed children’s pool during a family reunion.

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We were lucky no one was hurt, but that family reunion is one that no one will ever forget!

Single now, and without a husband to blame for anything that might go wrong, I hire out most of my home repairs and decorating projects. As I left Home Depot, I wanted to reassure the confused, soothe the irritated, help the indecisive and impart words of wisdom learned from decades of my own DIY successes and failures.

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But I remained silent. I knew they would find their way, patch up their disagreements and make wonderful improvements to their homes.

With or without the cove moulding.

The Worry Hotline

Motherhood brings much joy, but also the responsibility for actions that will affect your children for the rest of their lives. The weight of making the wise decisions necessary to keep a child alive, safe and thriving can be agonizing. So many questions! So many answers!

 

WH 1 & 2

 

 

When I was raising my children I wanted to know who I could go to for that one, ultimate, authoritative and credible answer to all motherhood’s questions.

 

WH 3 & 4

WH 5 & 6

 

I longed for a “Worry Hotline” that I could call for answers. It seemed there was a hotline for everything…

 

WH 7 & 8

 

If cooking a turkey rated a hotline, why not child rearing? Was it too much to ask for experts to help us with the most valuable resource in the country, our children?

I desperately wanted to stop the endless weighing of pros and cons, the infinite analyzing of consequences and the fear that every decision I made might end in lifelong mental or physical harm to my children.

I wanted to go from this:

 

WH 9 & 10

 

WH 11

 

To this:

 

WH 12 & 13

 

The Worry Hotline would be staffed by mothers who had raised large families of happy, healthy, functional children. They would have at least a Master’s degree in Child Development and call me “Honey” or “Dear”. They would know every answer to any question with absolute certainty.

They would put me out of my misery.

 

WH 14, 15 & 16

 

Somehow, I made it through motherhood and raised two terrific kids without the support of a Worry Hotline.

However, I still think it is a good idea!

 

WH 17

 

Happy Mother’s Day, dear Moms!