I Don’t Want Kids Because I Don’t Like Them – But That Doesn’t Make Me An Asshole

I know, I know. You’re never supposed to actually say you don’t like kids. I mean, we were ALL kids at one point – how can you say you don’t like them?? I don’t know, but it seems to roll off my tongue pretty easily.

When you don’t want children, you learn quickly that there is a list of reasons that are relatively “acceptable” to most people when you choose to actually justify your decision with a reason, should someone ask (and they will).

I don’t want to pass on the genetic health issues that both sides would be contributing to.

I don’t want to bring a child into a world as fucked up as ours is right now.

I prefer a lifestyle where you can spend money on travel and custom furniture instead of diapers and daycare.

I have never felt any type of maternal instinct and feel like you shouldn’t really have kids unless you KNOW you really want them.

These are all reasons most people digest fairly easily. They can understand them. That said, many will still try to debate you on them and tell you that you’ll change your mind, or the joy of being a parent overrides the fact they can’t remember the last time they slept in, or peed alone, or haven’t had a spa day in 15 years. But that’s why they’re OK with these particular reasons – they feel like they might be able to talk you out of them or that you’ll “change your mind.”

When you tell someone you don’t want kids because you don’t LIKE kids, things go a little sideways.

I have been totally spoiled though because my friends and family are actually awesome, and not super intrusive jerks who really push on stuff like that (although I know that happens A LOT). So I don’t really get challenged about not wanting them, because this conversation has happened many times already (basically since I was 15) and everyone who loves me and thinks I’m awesome already knows I’m not kid-friendly. They know that babysitting duty = any other friend. Counting on someone to take their teenager to Planned Parenthood and teaching them how to master the perfect cat eye and not take shit from boys = Auntie Courtney.

But recently, I was made to feel REALLY uncomfortable by a medical professional who looked at me like I was a troll who ripped the heads off of puppies when I told him in no uncertain terms I was on birth control to prevent pregnancy. Forever. Because I never want kids. Ever. Because I don’t like them or want them.

It was my second appointment with this doctor (a sleep specialist mind you, and not my actual primary care doctor), and the topic of kids had already come up in the context of genetic issues, which is when I made it clear that wouldn’t be a problem for me. When the topic of birth control came up again later, he advised me I needed to stop taking it not only because it is “part of why you’re fat” but because a different medication I had been prescribed was going to regulate my cycle, so I “didn’t need birth control for that anymore.”

OK. 1. I’m not on birth control just to regulate my cycle you clueless buffoon. And 2. I know from my ACTUAL PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR that this other medication is actually also used to treat infertility because it helps women get pregnant so much easier. I only agreed to take it when she promised me it wouldn’t “cancel out” my birth control.

Back to the idiot doctor.  I calmly informed him that I am taking birth control to actually PREVENT PREGNANCY and that it is not an option for me to stop. To which this cartoon character of a man said to me, “You’re only 32. You don’t really mean that. You’ll change your mind and decide you really want kids.” And then stared at me, like he was waiting for me to confess that he was right, and that I do in fact harbor a secret desire to procreate. Um, what? Like, what the what? What the actual fuck did you just say to me???

I should pause for a minute to mention I live in California, in SILICON VALLEY, the most progressive place in the world. It’s not like this was some backwoods doctor in the Bible Belt (not that it would have been acceptable there either).

So when I lost my patience and explained that no, stopping birth control would never happen because I don’t like kids and have literally never experienced an ounce of desire for them…. that’s when it happened. That’s when the whole ripping heads off puppies face came in.

For the record, I do not rip the heads off of puppies. Ice does not run through my veins. Kids just aren’t my jam. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, with all my heart, my best friends’ kids. They get a pass. They’re cool as shit because the people I love most in the world made them. I love to hold my friends’ kids (if they’re not covered in goo or screaming) and I will spoil the shit out of them because they are my family by proxy. And even THEM I don’t really want to spend an entire day with. A few hours is more than enough for Auntie Courtney. Get a sitter and call me when you want to hit up a wine bar or grab some sushi.

It sounds harsh, but it’s really not. I have built a life for myself that purposely does not include children. And I like it that way. A lot.

I do make exceptions for kids of the people I love the most, but if someone asked me and Gil to babysit a kid for them, it would be all him. His coach instincts are strong. I see it when he’s hanging out with his nephew – that’s his territory. He never wants kids either, but he actually enjoys hanging out with them. I just don’t.  I mean, I can tolerate it. I am a functioning human being who understands the rules of society. But I don’t ENJOY it. And this does not make me a heartless monster.

And in general, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by intelligent people who understand all of this, so it is usually a non-issue for me. I am in the best relationship I could ever imagine with the man of my dreams and we’re building a life we love. The people who love us are thrilled by that and support our crazy dreams (even when it involves moving hundreds of miles away). So it catches me off guard when someone feels they have the right to speak to me that way and I just had to talk about it with you guys. Because I also realize not everyone has friends and family who are as supportive as mine, and it never hurts to be reminded that liking kids is not a prerequisite to being a good person.

Also, that doctor is FIRED. I saw a new female sleep doctor today who kindly decided to stay the eff out of my uterus.

True Love Means Peeing In The Woods

I am sooooooooo behind in documenting our first foray into camping as a couple, because, you know, life happens. And if you’ve been keeping up, life has been kind of shitting on me recently. So I really just never sat down to finish writing about our camping trip from last summer.

Which is a damn shame, because I really should have documented everything while it was fresh in my mind. Luckily however, it really wasn’t THAT long ago, and the concussion was minor enough (we’ll get to that later) that I have retained most memories from this little adventure. So I am here to share with you what essentially qualifies as my second camping trip EVER.

If you’re not already familiar with my disastrous camping history, you should be. I am what you would call an “indoor girl.” I need makeup, an outlet for my curling iron, air conditioning, and although I kind of thought this went without saying – indoor plumbing.

So when Gil told me one of his best friends was getting married in the mountains and it was going to be a “camping wedding” and that we would LITERALLY be sleeping outside on the ground, this was my face:

court

But I am nothing if not a trooper. And a damn good girlfriend. Since I knew it was important to him, I faked a smile, said it sounded like an adventure and that I was willing to give camping a second chance. And I was told there would be a bathroom and indoor plumbing somewhere on the camp site, and NO WILD BOARS, so I figured I’d survive.

So Gil, being a good boyfriend, went to a camping store to get a battery powered blow up mattress that would fit in the bed of his dad’s truck that we were borrowing. He had a truck tent (that’s a thing? and I know those words now? what??), that fit on the bed of the truck, so it seemed as close to “glamping” as I was going to get.

But I want to make one thing really clear – he didn’t just do it to be a considerate partner. I mean, he is, and that’s part of it. But REALLY, he just didn’t want to hear me squawking at him the whole time and this was his preemptive strike against it. Seriously, sometimes when I get on a tear about something he just caws at me like a giant bird. HE LITERALLY SQUAWKS AT ME UNTIL HE DROWNS ME OUT. So let’s be really real – he was trying to placate my inner bird-woman.

So away we went. To a camping wedding. And… it was kind of amazing. His friends who were getting married are pretty much the most amazing people on the planet and have the rare ability to make everyone they meet feel incredibly special. They had all their friends and family in one place, and it was one of those weddings where there was so much love it was palpable. Even the bride’s broken leg couldn’t dampen the excitement and activity going on.

Day one was essentially the rehearsal dinner and a huge party. Oh, did I not mention this was an entire weekend of camping, not just one night?

With the party in full swing and what basically amounts to a huge reunion of Gil’s friends, we stayed up well into the night. Gil decided there wasn’t actually enough room for both of us to be comfortable in the bed of the truck, without running the risk of one of us rolling over and falling into the cavern between the airbed and the side of the truck. So he very gallantly slept on the ground in a tent and gave me full reign of the truck.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Until I woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee. Real bad. As I crawled out of the truck, I realized in this particular instance, I would have actually been better off if we’d really been camping in a more remote location, instead of surrounded by other cars and trucks and campers. I was not prepared to just fully drop trow since I had no idea who might be walking around and I do try to limit full on flashing people until at least the second or third time we meet.

And remember – there was a bathroom. It was just up a hill from where we were all camping. Which in the light of day looks like no big deal. But in the middle of the night when you’re half awake and regretting those margaritas from earlier…. well, it may as well be Everest.

But I survived, and we made into the wedding day relatively unscathed. And then I realized I had to get ready for a wedding. In a truck. In the woods.

Turns out, there was actually a shower inside the building where the bathroom was. But the walls surrounding the shower? Glass. Remember my rule about flashing?

I had somehow not anticipated the need for a bathing suit, so I made my way into the bathroom where I gave myself a quick whore’s bath at the sink, and patted myself on the back for bringing dry shampoo. I have to admit, we cleaned up pretty well.

wedding in the woods

And the wedding was flawless. The ceremony was back on the property under the trees, and we got to watch two of the most genuine people I’ve ever met pledge their love to one another. Totally worth it.

From there, it was time for another party! I’m getting a little old for this whole two nights in a row business, but if the bride could get out on the dance floor and bust a move even in her cast, I had no excuses.

But the thing is, dancing is not one of my gifts. I’m not what you would consider graceful. I fall a lot. I trip over my own feet. I lack rhythm completely. But as we stood there watching a group of his friends go through what was essentially a choreographed dance they had perfected over all their years of partying together, I felt a little… inspired.

To be clear, we will never be the couple with the choreographed moves on the dance floor. Gil is actually a pretty good dancer but I’m more of what you’d call a flailer. I flail. Or shake my boobs. Those are my only moves. So I dragged him out on the dance floor and commenced the most graceful flail I could muster. We were both pretty into the song at that point, and since we have an ongoing competition in our relationship over who has the better hair (he’s been growing his out since I met him), we were both whipping our hair pretty aggressively.

But I’m 5’4″. He’s 6’3″. He’s also a long time heavy metal concertgoer. He’s used to mosh pits and has what I am now convinced is literally the thickest skull in the world. Because as I was coming up, he was coming down, and his forehead cracked down directly on the top of my head.

As it happened, one of Gil’s best friend’s is an EMT and his girlfriend is a nurse, so when the world was still spinning a few minutes later, I knew I had back up if I needed it. I didn’t, but I did wind up with a killer headache that had me turning in early, leaving Gil to party on into the night. Which is kind of shame, because it sounds like things really got going after that. At one point in the night, I could hear someone in the tent next to our truck having sex, which if I recall correctly, is essentially the whole point of a wedding when you’re single, so hooray for them!

When dawn broke, there were a few sheepish faces and a couple quick getaways, and I think we were all in desperate need of a shower and a nap. But at the end of the day, it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Only next time my request will include no wild boars AND no concussions.

So. Much. Rage.

I hate when people make me be mean. I would rather be nice. I have worked in sales and customer service for years… I know you catch more flies with honey, or whatever that ridiculous analogy is.

However, I have recently been exposed to the 7th circle of hell otherwise known as Mazda, and the experience has required me to go into full bitch mode more times than I care to count just to advocate for myself and prevent arrogant pricks from completely jerking me around. When a company so grossly mistreats a customer who has literally just spent $30,000+ and that customer is ME, I find myself getting very worked up over it.

So much so in fact, that I recently landed in the ER with unbearable abdominal pain, only to be told to that it was due partly to an ovarian cyst, and partly due to other stress-induced medical issues. Thanks Mazda, I’ll be sure to forward my ER bill to you.

I am hopefully coming to the end of my almost 2 month battle with Mazda at this point, and I think we are going to reach an outcome I’m comfortable with. If for no other reason, than that they have literally worn me out and I just want to be done. I can’t afford to spend hours of my life every week fighting these battles anymore – I already have a full-time job.

But now what I’m finding is that as a result of this nightmare with Mazda, along with all the personal health issues I’ve had going on lately, I am becoming more and more filled with rage.

This is a total 180 from the other night, when Mazda called to basically tell me to fuck off, that they weren’t going to try to work with me to replace my brand new car, and were now claiming zero responsibility for the issue. That was the night I had to have Gil drive me to one of my many doctor’s offices for a sleep study, so I could be observed like a zoo animal all night. As if I wasn’t stressed enough about that, getting the call from Mazda pushed me over the edge, and I literally sobbed the whole drive over there.

That was 2 days ago though. Today… today I am filled with violent anger.

Not only at Mazda, but at the ER who discharged me with papers telling me I had been diagnosed with hepatitis, when THEY HADN’T EVEN RUN A HEPATITIS PANEL. (For the record, I do not have hepatitis – my primary care doctor ordered the panel herself when I showed her that, and everything came back negative.)

Rage at the ultrasound tech who was checking for the pancreatic lesion the ER thought they saw, who thought it would be helpful to tell me that the pancreas is the one organ that once they do realize something is wrong with it, it’s already too advanced to do much about it. (I do not, in fact, have any pancreatic lesions.)

Rage towards one of the other doctors I saw who basically said, yeah, I don’t know what it could be, you’ll probably just have to learn to deal with the pain, and by the way, I know you didn’t ask me and I’m not your regular doctor, but I think you should really have weight loss surgery.

That day, tears. Today, in hindsight, rage. So much rage.

I suppose I’d rather be full of piss and vinegar than sorrow, but honestly I don’t think either one really suits me all that well. I find myself wanting to snap at everyone, when I know damn well that’s not fair. Although the reality is that life isn’t fair, as the universe has so kindly reminded me time and time again over the last couple months.

So I find myself at what I wonder may be a crossroads… I feel like it would be so easy to completely cross over into just becoming an angry person. Adopting that as part of my regular personality. Angry at the world, and angry at all the idiots who have done me wrong. I would be justified I think.

But I would also become someone I don’t think I would like very much. I love that I can get in peoples’ faces when I need to, that I don’t back down from a challenge, and that I always make sure my voice is heard, but I don’t want to become someone who is in that kind of battle mode all the time, looking for a fight.

I need to find a way to let this all go… and maybe just sharing it with you guys is what’s going to let me do that. Well, that and finally putting this mess with Mazda behind me, which is hopefully happening very soon.

This Is The Least Fun $30,000 I’ve Ever Spent

Guys. Seriously. February was the shittiest month for me. Other than the fact that my birthday was in there somewhere, it was SHITTY.

There are actually a lot of reasons why, but the one I want to share with you today is because I bought a car. A Mazda CX5 to be exact. Which, as it turns out, has been the worst decision I have ever made in my entire 32 years on this planet.

Mazda

literally a stock photo because I haven’t had my car in my possession long enough to photograph it!

Let me take you on a little day by day diary, at least for the first week of this saga, and then I’ll recap the rest up through today.

January 31, 2016

I’m having a bad weekend and have some personal issues going on, and really need a pick me up. I’ve been planning on buying a Mazda CX5 for months now since I’ll need a 4 wheel drive vehicle when we move to Colorado. I’m going to buy it today!!!! That will be fun.

At this point, I do in fact, go to the dealership (Capitol Mazda, I’m looking at you) and purchase the car. They don’t have exactly the one I want, but a local dealership does and they can get it here by morning. They want me to sign paperwork tonight, which I do, with a caveat that I have 24 hours from receipt of vehicle to return it.

February 1, 2016

I’m so excited I get to pick up my brand new Mazda today!!! It’s everything I wanted and it’s beautiful. They call me in the afternoon to come pick it up. As I’m playing with my new $30,000 toy, they drop the bomb on me that there has been a recall on all CX5s and that I will not, in fact, be able to take it home today. (Now, the recall was announced in the morning, and they called me in the afternoon to pick it up, but I’m still so excited about the car I decide to let that slide.)

Bonus: They can install the roof rails I want while they keep it to work on the recall. They said it would just be a couple days.

February 2, 2016

I got a call from the sales guy at Mazda AND a text from the service department saying my car was done even sooner then they thought it would be. Yay! I head over in the afternoon to pick it up.

Me (to the service guy): Hi, I’m here to pick up my car.

Service guy: Oh, yeah, I’ve got that right here, the roof rails are all set.

Me: And the recall too right? They told me yesterday I couldn’t have it because of a recall.

Service guy: Oh I couldn’t find any recall attached to your car in the system so we didn’t do anything.

Me: <furrows brow> What? They literally told me yesterday, and you were right there. Can you please look into this further? If there is a recall out I don’t know if I even want to be driving it.

Service guy: Um, OK. I’ll have to look into it.

…… half hour later …….

Service guy: OK, so the recall was issued the morning of Feb 1, and you signed paperwork the evening of Jan 31, so technically your car isn’t prohibited from leaving the lot.

Me: OK… so I’m just supposed to take it with a recall?

Service guy: Well, yeah. You’d drive it for a few weeks until we figured out the fix and then bring it in to be worked on. But I’m not sure if you can really have it.

Me: You just said I could?

Service guy: Yeah, but since you never actually took possession of it, I don’t think we can let you have it. Even though you already bought it and it’s not technically in our inventory anymore.

Me: Sooooo… can I take it or not?

Service guy: I’m not sure, why don’t you just leave and get a rental car while we try to sort this out.

At this point, I go talk to the sales team to express my DEEP DISPLEASURE at how things are being handled. In the meantime, service guy tells me I better get going because the Enterprise Rental Car guy is waiting. Apparently, they won’t give me a Mazda loaner because now they’re telling me the recall could take WEEKS to get resolved and they don’t want their loaner cars out that long. Oh, yes, how terribly inconvenient for THEM.

I swiftly inform him I don’t work on Enterprise’s schedule and I’m not satisfied with the answers I’m being giving. A sales manager gets involved. They all want me to leave. They are afraid of loud, emotional women. (I can tell, they’re not the first.) They still can’t give me good answers, but agree to a free cargo cover for my trouble and usher me out since Enterprise is closing soon.

They tell me I have no right to be upset about the recall because it was out of their hands. Their brains cannot comprehend when I tell them that I am not in fact, upset about the recall. I’m upset about the lack of communication and the fact that I keep getting brought in here for no reason. That every time I call, one person says something totally different than the next. No one seems to be looking out for me, but rather pointing fingers at other departments.

They nod, not understanding, still convinced I’m unreasonably upset about the recall, and say they’ll call with updates. Also, apparently I am supposed to be falling over myself thanking them for paying for the rental? When they told me they were covering the cost of the rental, they looked like they had given me the best orgasm of my life, waiting expectantly for my gratitude. (Spoiler alert – they didn’t get it.)

I go to Enterprise, get the WORST customer service chick who can’t stop talking about her personal problems, and they give me sedan, because Mazda wouldn’t pay for a “comparable car” which would have been an SUV. I can have one for another $50 a day out of my own pocket though. Swell.

February 3, 2016

I’m at work telling my colleagues about all my car drama – they feel bad for me. As I’m sitting there, I realize my car payment is due soon, for the Hyundai Veloster I traded in. When I did the trade in, obviously they paid off that loan, so I log in to cancel my auto payment.

Except, it says I still owe the remaining balance. Slightly freaking out, I call TD Auto to explain the situation and figure out why it’s still showing I owe the money. The worst person in the world answers the phone.

Me: Hi there, I just traded in my car, and they are paying off the balance of my loan, but I still see it reflecting here in my account and telling me I have a payment due. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.

Worst person in the world: If it’s in your account, you owe.

Me: Oh, I understand that, but part of the trade-in was the payoff, and they said they work with you all the time. I’m just wondering if there is a delay before it shows up on my account or something.

Worst person in the world: Did they physically write a check and hand it to you?

Me: No, obviously not. They went through their system.

Worst person in the world: No one has just magically paid off your account. You owe whatever is on your account. This isn’t that hard a concept, is it?

Me: Excuse me? I’m just trying to understand the moving parts so I don’t get dinged for a late payment that I’m not even responsible for.

Worst person in the world: That’s not my problem.

Me: Oh, OK, thanks. Go fuck yourself.

So I call the Mazda finance guy in a panic. He tells me to chill out, that it takes 10 days to process and it will be fine. That TD Auto knows that, so should have told me the same thing as well. He asks how my car is, so I fill him in on my frustration. He says he’ll talk to some people to see about getting more information and moving things along.

February 4

Finance guy calls me. Tells me they are getting the parts for the recall tomorrow and my car is at the top of the list. Even offers to install the parking sensors I was interested in free of charge instead of the cargo cover. Great! I tell him I’d rather wait until both the recall and the sensors are done to pick up my car. I’ve seen enough of that dealership at this point. He tells me no problem, he will have someone install them on Friday so it will all be done for me to pick up Friday or Saturday. Fantastic, things are finally coming together!

February 5

Service department calls to tell me the part for the recall is in and they are working on my car. I ask if the sensors are already done. Response? “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Fuming, I call sales and finance to get a better answer, as these were promised to me. Sales guy says he has to check with the manager and will get back to me. Sales guy calls me back and says “No one said they’d be done Friday. That’s not how it works. You’ll have to pick your car up and then make another appointment to have that done if you want it.”

If I didn’t like my stuff so much, this is the point in which I would have hurled something across the room. Instead I calmly informed him that, no, I would not be doing that. I was lied to, and I’m tired of the piss poor communication. You can tell your manager that this is what is going to happen. I’m going to come in to pick up my car tonight, I don’t even want the sensors anymore, and instead, I will just not be paying the invoice for the roof rails that were installed since they are comparable in price. I do not ever want to have to come back to this dealership.

I pick up my car, and the General Manager catches wind of the whole thing. He apologizes profusely, gives me his card and says if I ever decide I do want the sensors, he will take care of it personally.

February 6 & 7, 2016

I finally have my car! We take it on a day trip to Monterey with my parents and I love how it drives, love the interior, and am overall just so happy to finally have it. But then the voice command doesn’t work. And the navigation won’t load. And the whole goddamn system crashes 3 times on the way home from Monterey.

And the rest….

So I took it in to have them fix the infotainment system. I wrote a very lengthy email to the general manager to share with the service department so they could see exactly what issues I had been having.

They replace the “module” that runs the whole thing, and tell me it’s fixed. In the service report, which I read later, it says that they road tested to make sure it didn’t “crash and reboot, as this was the customer’s main concern.” Well, actually it was ONE of my concerns but OK. I got my car back around mid-month.

Then literally just a couple days later on February 19, I realized NO, they did not in fact fix the issue with the infotainment system, and and the navigation in particular. If possible, it’s worse than before. Although to their credit, it didn’t crash again. Maybe I’m being too picky? Those thousands of extra dollars for the tech package and I expect it to recognize where I am? Actually give any sort of directions? Not reroute every 5 minutes because it thinks I’m flying over buildings? So I send another email, this time with 4 different videos as proof of how defective this thing is. This is also where I realize they probably never even road tested the navigation itself, or they would have seen all these issues.

Sooooo, they picked it up again to work on it. That was over a week and a half ago. Since then, I’ve made my first car payment on a car I’ve had for about 4 days total, which didn’t work, and has been eating up hours of my life in phone calls and follow ups every week.

I’ve been told by service multiple different things: they found an error code, they didn’t, the car is fine, etc. They finally told me if I wanted to try to escalate I should call corporate myself, which I did. I talk to them every day now. They told me one story, about another module being replaced, and Mazda engineers coming down to help the dealership, etc. But I literally JUST NOW on March 3, 2016 called the service department myself, and this is what they said:

“Yeah, we have your car. We’ve put like 50 miles on it and tested the navigation. There are no problems with it. So we haven’t done anything to it. It’s just been sitting here since last Monday. We are waiting to hear from Mazda tech/engineers to tell us what to do but I have no idea when we’ll hear back from them or how long that could take.”

Me: I’m going to throttle you. (No I didn’t actually say that, but I’m sure that’s basically what he heard). Is there no way to escalate this further? How is Mazda Corporate just sitting on their hands while I make my first car payment on a car I don’t have? You guys literally haven’t touched it to work on it?

Him: No, there’s nothing we can do. And nothing you can do to expedite it. I don’t know what to tell you, I guess you’re out of luck.

And then my head exploded into a million pieces.

I would tell you more, but this is already the longest thing in the world. If you’re tired from reading it, you will have a glimpse into how exhausting my February has been. I will probably have to start exploring legal options to return the car at this point but that’s a story for another day.

 

The Secret Life of Couples

If I read one more of these lists of things you’re not “allowed” to do in front of your significant other, my head is going to explode. Or my insides, if I follow the ridiculous advice they offer, since then apparently I’d never be able to fart ever again. If you have never farted or peed in front of your live-in significant other, I seriously question your relationship. Or perhaps just your ability to tell the truth. Because, COME ON, there is no escaping certain realities.

Recently, I have been seeing more and more of these ridiculous “listicles” floating around titled things like “15 Things You Should NEVER Do In Front Of Your Boyfriend” or  “Things Married Couples Won’t Do In Front Of Each Other – Even After Decades” or “10 Gross Things Not To Do In Front Of Your Boyfriend.”

Let’s forget for a moment what bullshit it is that they all seem to be aimed at WOMEN, basically teaching/threatening them that they can’t keep a partner if they don’t present an attractive enough air of mystery. Let’s try to forget that thread of sexism for now, and actually just look at what terrible expectations they’re creating for both men and women.

These lists are often disguised as a guide in how to “be respectful” to your partner, or the importance of “keeping romance alive” but that’s total crap. I would be willing to bet they are written by mostly single people, or people whose average relationship lifespan is about 3-6 months. Because anyone who has been in a long term relationship and actually lived with that person will have run into basically all of these taboos, and probably blown by them without even thinking about it. So why is no one writing about THAT?

I have decided (and I’m sure Gil is gonna be totally thrilled about this) that I’m going to debunk some of these common “never ever” relationship commandments with examples from my real-life, awesome as shit, cohabitation situation with the man of my dreams. Good thing he doesn’t embarrass easily. Buckle up guys, here we go.

Thou shalt never, ever, ever, ever, under any circumstances poop in front of your significant other.  

I am going to call bullshit on this, pun definitely intended. I mean, I don’t actually want to see Gil poop, and when he forgets to light a match and I’m not expecting it, our bathroom can make my eyes water. But let’s be real – we live in a small condo with ONE bathroom. If he’s indulging in what I call one of his “luxury poops” and is taking foreverrrr, I will for sure pop in to grab whatever it is I need. If I’m sitting there minding my own business and he really needs his contacts, he’ll come in and snag them. News flash: we still want to have sex with each other. Like, a lot. We understand what happens in there and that we are humans with human bodily functions.

Tonight, he even gifted me with one more example. I hadn’t been feeling hot today and Gil knew it. He was in our room with his headphones on playing video games. As I walked through our room to the bathroom, I made a comment to him about the leftovers from dinner. I thought he caught the whole thing and I went about my business, closing the bathroom door (because I suppose we should have SOME boundaries). A full 5 or 10 minutes later, Gil bursts in without even knocking to check on me, literally scaring the shit out of me. As he was playing his game, he started thinking that maybe he hadn’t caught the tail end of what I was saying and that I was sick and needed immediate assistance so he decided to just barge in and make sure I wasn’t dying. Not sure I completely follow the logic, but I’m pretty sure it’s sweet. I think.

Thou shalt never fart or belch in front of each other.

I mean, seriously?? So if you live in a small space with that person, you are supposed to actually put on shoes, and pants, and a bra, and go outside to fart? That fart or belch is going to damage your fragile little relationship so much that you have to go on a field trip to relieve yourself? Sorry pumpkin, you’re not gonna make it to forever.

Gil told me once about how when we were first dating, he would actively hold in his farts, to the point that it was really uncomfortable for him, and when he would finally get in his car to leave, he would just unleash hell on that poor upholstery.  When I asked him when he felt comfortable enough to start letting them rip (because honestly, I can’t remember a time when he didn’t) he said it was immediately after we starting sleeping together. Once we’d gotten that intimate, all bets were off. And that was within the first couple weeks of knowing each other (sorry Mom) so I can’t imagine how he could have continued much longer without doing serious medical damage.

At this point, we both fart freely in front of each other. And yet, we still want to see each other naked and go down on each other. How crazy. I actually have pretty strong feelings about this whole farting in front of your significant other thing… you can read my whole theory on it here.

Thou shalt ever speak of the shame that is menstruation. Or cramps. Or yeast infections.

Obviously this one is aimed directly at the ladies, and the logic behind it (usually from female writers, which bums me out) is that it’s gross, and no man wants to hear about it. That “place” is supposed to be a special, wonderful playground for him and if you tarnish it with the idea you might be a human woman with human woman issues, it’s not going to be as appealing to him. If that’s your approach to vaginas, you should just buy a fleshlight or save up for one of those real dolls, and call it a day. Real lady vaginas have things going on up in there. And if I’m miserable and grumpy because I’m expelling part of my uterus in a bloody mess, or have a yeast infection that won’t quit, then yeah, I’m going to tell Gil. Because then he’ll probably make me tea and ask if I need ibuprofen, cuz he’s awesome. Because healthy couples support each other.

tampons

As a side note, I don’t understand how you can possibly have a fun, adventurous sex life if you think this way, because in order to try new things you really do need to completely trust your partner and be OK with all the different bodily functions that can happen. And guys? You really need to get over it if you aren’t comfortable listening to any of this. Because first of all, you should be a caring human being who wants to help take care of the person you love and help make her more comfortable if possible. And second of all, the more you understand about a woman’s body, the more able you will be to actually please that woman, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but orgasms are a pretty important part of my relationship.

 Thou shalt never, ever, allow your partner to see you removing any of your unsightly body hair. Do that shit in private.

Another one that is targeting women in particular. On not one of these lists have I seen a “never ever” commandment about men shaving their face. But you gotta wax your upper lip, or pluck your eyebrows, or shave your bikini line? Lock the door and hide the evidence after you’re done. He wants to enjoy the finished product, but wants no part in understanding what went into it. Kind of like eating hot dogs.

OK, story time. Once upon a time, early on in our relationship, Gil noticed the hairs on my chin (thanks for that, PCOS). I usually wax or pluck them, but it’s not really at the very top of my priority list. He started referring to them as my “little beard” – lucky for him I have a sense of humor. So when he asks where I’m going as I head out the door to the salon, I tell him I’m off to wax my eyebrows and beard. Now he pretends to be sad when it’s gone, staring wistfully at my newly smooth  chin. It’s entertaining for both of us.

And another thing… I would not hesitate to trim my lady garden in front of him either. He’s intimately familiar with the area, so I don’t see how actually seeing it being trimmed could even be a blip on the radar.

Thou shalt never bring up past sexual partners or, even worse, discuss your…. number.

Oh for fuck sake. Really? Are we that insecure? Are you not being an adult and having a conversation about your sexual history and STD screening before you hop in bed together? Gil and I know about each others past – it was never awkward, or even one specific conversation that I can recall. I know which of his exes he’s still friends with, and he knows I whored it up in college after my brother died. We talked STD’s on our third date. Jealousy is just not a part of the equation, and there is no need to try to protect anyone’s feelings. It’s life. It’s what made me who I am, and what made Gil who he is. Why wouldn’t we share that with each other?

The reality is, laying yourself out raw and vulnerable to another person is one of the scariest, most exhilarating experiences a person can have. To be completely, unapologetically yourself in front of the person you love, and to have them embrace all of you (flaws included), is a rare gift. Gil and I dropped our bottom lines pretty quick – we talked religion and kids during our first lunch, which I wasn’t even sure was a date. By our official first date (which turned into a whole weekend btw) we had shared even more.

So what are a couple of burps or period cramps between people so close to one another? Why would we care about that kind of trivial shit? I care that he’d protect me against anything, and that he sees the beauty in me even when I don’t. I care that we support each other in our life decisions and know we can count on each other no matter what. Opening the door while he’s pooping to grab my phone doesn’t change any of that.

And for any of the people writing those articles who actually DO believe in what they’re writing, I feel sorry for them. Because putting up those ridiculous walls and expectations means you’re spending more time trying to hide who you are, instead of actually focusing on sharing yourself with your partner and just living. I mean, relationships are hard – you better have a partner who is all in. And life is too short to walk outside every time you need to fart. Seriously.