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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Are You Geographically Challenged?


I had this response - "I'm geographically challenged" - posed to me this morning at 7am, but it wasn't a question, and no, this is not a lesson in geography in the sense that you are thinking.  This is an entirely different post for me and one that is quite out of character.  However, I felt compelled to leave my bedroom and come downstairs to the comfort of my sofa at about 7:35, in an attempt to temporarily save me from the one who is "geographically challenged."  Now do you get where I am going with this? 

Just a brief, and a bit personal, history here - I have back issues.  Not the kind of back issues that most healthy people develop, either, as they get older.  I've always had back issues.  Scoliosis.  Spinal fusion.  Degenerative discs.  I'm a mess.  It happens.  Deal with it, right?  I do.  And that is why I sit on this sofa and write.  Laugh at that will ya?  Still, my big bear is, in every sense of the word, compassionate, cuddly, warm, and snuggly.  And he always - every day - when he comes to bed, or when he wakes up, always manages to take his hand and find its way to my lower back.  The warmth is healing.  His love is healing.  It's a wonderful moment that we share.  But....

Yes, I said "But," or, wait a minute, is that "Butt?"  Okay, (shaking head here), I really did mean "butt."  ahem, cough, cough.  You see, with this momentary surge of tenderness and love from "My" Big Bear comes challenges.  Challenges that I am certain afflicts 99.9% of the male population, and probably less than 1% of the female population.  Geography. Because although his hand will find its way to my lower back and he'll , on occasion, give me a butt scratch (Hey, I don't care what anyone says about this, a back scratch is good, but a butt scratch is great), his hands within minutes will gravitate to other areas that have absolutely nothing to do with pain.

You see, this morning, after his hand found its way to my lower back, I asked him if he would rub my hip.  That's because 2 days ago, while attempting to move a piece of furniture from my front hall to my music room, I lifted one side so that Matthew could put diapers (yep, diapers work great for sliding furniture on hardwood floors) under the legs, I did something to my lower back and left hip that has been a painful reminder that I'm getting older here and not the spring chicken I used to be.

Oh boy, did I feel it when it happened.  Fortunately, I managed to get the piece of furniture into the music room, albeit painfully.  Within minutes I was popping 3 Advil and 2 extra-strength Tylenol as if they were M&Ms.  So, the requests for kindness emerge - "Honey, can you rub my back and hips?" and naturally, at least in my house, he'll comply, but not without his own requests. 

It starts with "Sweetie, can you rub my feet, their killing me?"  then he'll turn around on the sofa and plant his head firmly in my lap - "Can you rub my head and neck?"  then the t-shirt comes off "Can you scratch my back and rub my shoulders?"  Now this is all fine and good, but give me a break here!  As I was saying, though - we ladies generally don't have an issue with geography.  If our man asks for a head rub, that is exactly what he is going to get - a head rub.  If he asks for a back scratch, he is going to get - as sure as sugar - a back scratch.  If he asks for a foot rub, we're not going to gravitate to the thighs.  I can hear the men out there asking "Why not?"  Because we're women, silly!  We don't think like that!  We know our geography, and this is one geography lesson that we want over - soon - especially when you've been married as long as we have.

Then there's that momentary show of kindness from my Big Bear that makes me feel guilty.  You know the moments - when your significant other shows loving tenderness by rubbing your back (or scratching your butt) without being asked?  That's my bear.  He does, however, have an issue with geography, and came right out and told me this this morning - "I'm geographically challenged, what do you expect?""I expect that if I ask you to rub my hip that you won't gravitate to my front or my thighs and that you will rub my hip." - "But I don't want too" was his response.  So I said "Good morning dear, I'm going downstairs." - "You're leaving me?" - "Yes, I need an Advil."  - "Aw, darn, and I thought I was going to get paid for that iPhone I just bought you the other day." 


Which leads to the other arrangement in marital life that works - most of the time.  Bartering.  Listen up you young ladies out there who are newly married.  This is a great device for getting what you want.  It works.  Men will do anything for a little nookie.  Promise.  Anything.  What you need to understand, though, is that they have to get the work done first.  Never pay him first or you'll never get done what you need done.  For instance, if you need him to help you clean the house and do the laundry, or you need his help moving all that crap in the hallway up to the attic (because it has been there for 2 months and you're sick of tripping over it) or you need him to fix the leak under the fridge before it destroys the hardwood floor, or run an important errand for you, or take the kids out for 4 hours so you can nap - you have to barter.  Bartering is good.  It gets the things done around the house that you need done - most of the time.

Then again, when it comes to paying him back for a gift that I didn't ask for in the first place (although I love that little iPhone), no bartering required - unless, of course, you want to show him your love and appreciation, which is always a good idea. 

This morning was a little different, though.  I was sound asleep, and suddenly I feel the warmth of his touch on my lower back.  I love it when he does that.  But (oh, wait a minute, I think I meant "Butt"') when he starts getting all mushy and cuddly and snuggly, you can bet that his hand wasn't going to remain on my back.  "I'm geographically challenged" was his response.  "You got that right." 

Must be a testosterone thing.

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