How To Ask A Woman Out

A friend of mine told me of an experience she recently had at a Christmas party. 

She’d been invited by a colleague from work.  The party was held at her friends house in a rather upscale neighborhood of a nearby town.  My friend knew that some people from work would probably be there. Since this party was an invitation only kind of deal and she didn’t know who’d been invited she didn’t ask around at work to see who else was going to attend.  She also knew there would be other people from the city and neighborhood there.  She was apprehensive about going to a party by herself, at Christmas.  You guessed it.  She’s in her 40’s and single and feeling a bit lost about it all. She was dreading going.  In fact, she told me, she wanted so badly to stay home, curl up in her pj’s by the fire and veg out in front of the TV with her dogs.  As she was contemplating whether she should attend or not, the thought occurred to her that she’d have plenty of time to sit alone by the fire and veg out in front of the TV in later years, but she might not always be invited to Christmas parties like this one.  It was after all a fairly prestigious annual thing and a fundraiser to boot.  None of that impressed her so much but the idea of having plenty of time to sit around later was the tipping point for her.  She decided to go.

She drove in the rain and snow without directions, to an address she didn’t know and a house she only vaguely remembered from the year before.  As she parked her vehicle she thought, “What if I’ve got the wrong place?  What will I say?”  Well, fortunately, my friend is incredibly good with directions and she got the right place.  Her colleague’s husband answered the door, recognized her instantly and welcomed her in. 

Then the most interesting thing happened.  She met someone.  Well, it was someone that was a colleague of her friend’s husband.  The two began chatting, it seemed things were clicking between the two of them and just as their conversation was really getting going another person came along and took over the conversation.  You know.  You’ve been there, so have I.  Someone joins the conversational circle and completely takes over.  Well, the first guy’s drink went dry, my friend’s drink was still full.  He left to go refill his drink and she was left talking to the one who took the conversation hostage.   The man she was originally talking to ended up meeting up with some of his other work colleagues and she ultimately left the conversation with the hostage-taker and found conversations with colleagues and friends she knew.   She was enjoying herself, wished she could figure out a way to resume the conversation with the man she was originally talking to because he seemed interesting.  After “working the room” a bit, stopping off to grab tidbits to eat, she realized it was going to be rather intimidating breaking into a crowd of complete strangers mid-converstation.  And he was surrounded by men she didn’t know and had never met.  His crowd from work apparently.

She decided eventually to call it an evening.  It was early really, only about 9:30, but with a 30 minute drive and snow on the roads it was probably late enough she figured. She said her good-byes to the people she was talking to, to the host and hostess and headed for the door.  She collected her purse and as she was getting her keys he appeared and said, “Where are you parked? If you don’t mind, I’d be glad to walk you to your car.  It is awfully slippery out.”  Surprised and pleased, she smiled and indicated her appreciation of his thoughtful gesture.  As they walked to her car the gentleman expressed his regret that they didn’t get a chance to finish their conversation.  He asked her for the opportunity to continue the conversation at a later time to which she agreed.  He asked if it would be okay to request her number from the hostess of the party (I mean who does this anymore?) and well, because the hostess didn’t have her current phone number she gave him her cell number.  He said he’d call her.  As she drove off, he turned as he walked up the steps to the house and waved at her.  It was all very sweet.

She told me how he sort of fumbled through it just ever so slightly, but he still put himself out there. He’d noticed she was leaving and made a point to be at the door when she left.  He offered to walk her down a very, very steep icy hill to her car in the dark and in the snow. He was courteous, kind and clear about his intent. He wanted to get together again. He asked for her number.  He didn’t just give her his number and expect her to do the work.  It was, according to my friend, refreshingly nice.  

All I can say to all of that is, “And that, my dear friends, is how you ask a woman out”.

A Convivial Noel To You

Here you go.  This is a homework assignment my daughter asked me for help with.  Thought you might like this too. 

Can You Name This Christmas Carol?

1.  Nocturnal noislessness

2.  Quadruped with the crimson proboscis

3.  Monarchial triad

4. Yonder in a feeder

5. Righteous darkness

6. Youthful male percussionist

7. Father Christmas en route to muicipality

8. The Primary Christmas

9. Query regarding the identity of descendent

10. Diminutive Judean village

11. Ancient benevolent despot

12. Adorn the corridors

13. Exuberance for the planet

14. Give attention to the melodious celestial beings

15. Tin tintinnabulums

16. A dozen 24-hour Yule periods

17. Befell during the transparent bewitching hour

18. Homo sapien of crystallized vapor

19. Singular yearning for twin anterior incisors

20. To espy matriarchal osculation of fat man in red

21. Perambulating through a December solstice fantasy

22. Aloft on the acme of the abode

23. Frozen preciptiation commence

24. Hence arriveth Kris Kringle

25. Jehovah dulcify blithe chevaliers

and my favorite re-naming…

26. Endocarp desiccated in a conflagration

But it’s not my favorite Christmas carol. 

Can you correctly identify them all?  How many can you figure out without using the dictionary?  Yeah!  No fair looking up the answers online, my goodness!  Anyone can do that. 

I’ll post the answers one diurnal course after yuletide.

A Convivial Noel to all!

Take Some Christmas, A Warm Fire, and Two Glasses of Reisling and Call Me In The Morning

I just want to write something happy tonight.  My last few posts have focused on the somewhat drearier side of existence.  I’m ready for happy.  I’m usally ready for happy.  I also have all my Christmas decorations up and my house is clean.  I also have only two more days to work this week.  Well, that’s not really true, I get pulled out of the classroom for some district work on Friday and after dealing with tons of elementary school kids all day everyday, going to adult meetings is like taking the day off. 

There’s a warm fire burning in my woodstove.  The lights on the tree, the ledge and the window mirror in my entry way look absolutely inviting.  It isn’t a monstrous palace I live in, but it is warm and cozy and inviting most of the time. It is especially so at Christmas. 

I mentioned earlier in one of my posts either here or on my other blog at http://cabsplace.wordpress.com that I just wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit.  I wasn’t.  I haven’t been.  It took a while to ignite. 

First, there was the haggling (in my mind) about whether or not to go with a fake tree this year.  I’m such a real tree lover (not hugger, lover).  I was concerned that getting a fake tree would be a disappointment to the kids.  There are some real valid reasons for wanting a fake tree though.  One is that the cost over time is something I really need to consider.  Throwing $30-$60 away on a tree that’s going to be dead by Christmas every year is not a good thing.  I also have a wood stove and the tree and the wood stove are not that far apart.  Remember, my palace is small.  Very, very small.  So tree and woodstove in the same room equals insurance claim waiting to happen…hmmmm.  

I also live right in the middle of Christmas tree land. Getting a permit and going out to the woods to cut my own tree is not a real tough thing to do.  I could do it.  However, cancel out another day out of my life that I desperately need to use to do laundry and cleaning.  I’d be doing it alone or with only my youngest which is fine, but again, it means something else vital doesn’t get done.  The worst part is getting the thing up on top of my 4×4 alone.  I could do everything else, but that might stymie me.  I usually enjoy going out in the woods and making a day of it with friends, building a big fire and hanging out after the trees are found…but again…not many couples enjoy having a single 5th wheel around and this year my single friends made other arrangements.  I just opted for the easy way out this year.

I’m glad I did.

I bought a $68 special at Wal-Mart.  After three attempts back and forth from Wally World, I had the thing up and lit.  And there it sat…for nearly a week.  I just dreaded the idea of going out and pulling down the decorations from the rafters in the garage.  I don’t know why.  Each day after school, I’d tell myself, toinght we’re going to do this.  Then my energy to do it would just evaporate.  Finally, I just gave my two older girls control of it.  So, Sunday evening they set about decorating the tree while I prepared dinner.  I deliberately stayed out of it.  I wanted it to be their thing. They did their thing and it is beautiful!

It looks like a decorator tree!  Well, almost.  I definitely need to work on getting some more of those specialty ornaments, but with the money I’ll save next year on buying a tree that should be no problem.  Next year. 

This year, I want to add one new thing to the outside light display.  I only have lights across the front of my house and a rope light up the walk.  Pretty boring.  But, hey, like I’ve said all over the place here, it’s been tight.  Things are getting better.  I think this year I might wait till the day after Christms (since I won’t have any kids) and go to the stores and get a few things for the outside of the house…and maybe for the inside too.  But not too much, just a few things.  In a few years of behaving like this I”ll have more Christmas than I could have imagined.

Anyway, I was pondering all this last night and feeling really at peace with the world. It is hard not to feel this way when your kids aren’t squabbling, the Christmas tree looks spectacular, the kids are fed and the dishes are done and the house is clean.  There was a warm fire in the woodstove and all was very well in my world.  It was so nice, that after I sent the younger two to bed, I slipped into my p.j.’s, poured a glass of my favorite Reisling and curled up on the couch to enjoy the ambiance. Before I knew it, I’d dozed off.  I awakened only momentarily when my two oldest girls entered after their holiday dinner theatre rehearsal.  I said a few groggy, loving words to them, they headed to bed themselves and I added a couple of  logs to the fire. 

I think I woke up about midnight and headed to bed after throwing the last few logs on the fire for the night.  The house is lovely, clean, cozy and warm.  My kids are fed and clothed.  We have a roof over our heads and we have Christmas in our hearts as well as our home. It could be a whole lot worse than this that’s for sure.  And, even though, I really have only one more week till my kids vanish for the Big Holiday, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it with them…and I’ll even enjoy the time without them too (I know, blasphemous thing to say, but, remember, I’m one who is with kids 24/7.  It’s nice to be alone after that sometimes). 

As long as the decorations are up, the fire is crackling warm and I can pour a glass of Reisling, life is good.  Not perfect, but still very, very good.

Sleepovers and Re-Gifting: Fundamentals of a Good Marriage

My friend was in the kitchen last night finishing the last preparations for her kids’ lunches the next day.  Her husband walked in, smiled mischievously and asked, “Want to have a sleepover?”

“A sleepover?”  After 20 years of marriage and three children, she knew enough to be wary when he approached her in the kitchen. 

“Yeah, a sleepover,” he grinned, “You know.  You sleep over on my side of the bed.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes at him.

“I even have a gift for you,” he continued with his devilish grin.

Without missing a beat, she zinged this next comment his direction, “Oh, I’ve had that gift before!”  She paused for effect, looked at him in the eyes and said, “I think that’s called re-gifting.” 

Stunned at her smooth return of his banter and somewhat crestfallen he shrugged, “Well, okay then.” 

It’s just too bad we weren’t there to see the look on his face as his wife of twenty years lobbed the creative flirty serve back to him without missing a beat. She did that in style.  She put him in his place without insult or recrimination.  She stepped it up to his level, and matched him stride for stride in his fun antics.  I’m guessing they sleptover and regifted and enjoyed every minute of it.  She didn’t tell me that…but she didn’t have to…I’m smart that way you know.

 

Ahhh, tis the season!  Sleepovers and re-gifting.  The stuff marriages are made of.

 

As I watched this same friend interact with her husband last week when they stopped by my classroom during conference, I was struck with the same impression after hearing this story: these two have a great marriage.  They’ve been through some stuff, it hasn’t always been easy, they don’t always get along, sometimes they can’t stand to be in the same room together and they have all the experiences of married people who’ve been together since youth, built careers, birthed and brought up children together and are now in their 40’s.  The new, giddy fairy tale honeymoon bliss is long gone from their relationship or at least it has dimmed signifcantly.  But they have a great marriage. They have a marriage I dreamed of having when I was a girl but somehow wasn’t able to experience yet as an adult. They still laugh and joke together, they still communicate, they still respect each other, they are still working shoulder to shoulder together in the thing they are building called their family, their marriage and their home.  In her own words she says, “After all the garbage and stress of life is done, when we can finally be alone, we really like it.  We still really enjoy being together.”

 

Now that’s a fairy tale ending that doesn’t get any better. I am envious.  In a good way.  I am so happy for them and their children.  I long for that for myself.  And I am ever so grateful to know these two people because they crystallize for me certain aspects of what I am looking for in a long term committed (yes, it is insane) relationship. They remind me never to settle…never…ever!  I love having these two in my life, because in the very short time I’ve known them, they’ve showed me that what I suspected could happen between a man and a woman in love, does happen, it does last and it is not simply wishful thinking on my part.  They inspire me.  In all their middle aged responsible duties to each other, the kids the community, the new house, they just simply inspire me.  They give me hope.  

 

If I were to say what I think makes their marriage so good, it is that they still enjoy being together and they enjoy being together…alone.  They probably still enjoy it because they still make time for each other.  They haven’t ditched out on each other emotionally nor have they chosen any number of escapes that people can and often do choose when they grow apart from each other.  They are both still in it, working on it and respecting each other for their part in the project.  They can play and laugh and flirt in the kitchen during the most mundane tasks.  They still have fun on a “connection” level not merely on an activity level.  I think this is probably a vital element in the success of their marriage.  They have the “happily ever after”.  Not the perfectly ever after, but the happily ever after.  There’s a difference and these two get it.  

They keep their marriage fun by having sleepovers and re-gifting. 

 

Someday, someday…I will eagerly accept the invitation to sleepover on my man’s side of the bed and I will just love whatever regifting he has to offer.  Until then, it is so encouraging to know, in this day and age where over 50% of marriages fail and even more remarriages fail, that happily ever after does exist.