Lust, Love & Jellybeans

Oh how I love Modern Family! In the most recent episode (*SPOILER ALERT*), Claire and Phil (the mom and dad) are caught in a compromising position (doing it doggy-style) when the kids try to surprise them with an anniversary breakfast in bed.

Which got me to thinking, right after I got engaged to my husband, some idiot said to us, “Congratulations! Did you know that if you put a jellybean into a jar every time you have sex in the first year of your relationship, and take one jellybean out of the jar every time you have sex after the first year, you will die with jellybeans left in the jar?”

Rendered speechless of a witty comeback, we laughed him off nervously, wondering what kind of jerk would say that to a newly engaged couple? Suddenly, my engagement ring felt too tight and I was beginning to look at marriage as a 5-10 year investment. But mad (read: young and foolish) fools we were, we got married anyways. We were going to prove him wrong. It was easy to believe that we could in those days, we were like bunnies then, all it took was a french kiss to get us all hot and heavy. We did it twice daily, at least (!) and we did it everywhere – in the back seat of cars (sorry Dad!), on hikes in the great outdoors, in airport washrooms, in airplane washrooms, in darkened movie theatres, even while driving (sorry everyone!)

Fast forward 3 years and a baby later, we had a 9 month drought (3 pre- and 6 post-baby). After the baby, it took a lot more than a well-intentioned kiss to convince me to drop my drawers. A cesarian scar, the sad realization that my stretch marks were permanent, and the emotional funk that can sometimes accompany the metamorphosis from a woman to a mom, pushed sex right out of my mind. And I would have forgotten about the jellybean comment forever, except for the fact that a friend warned me that as a wife, I needed to give my husband “just a little more sex than he actually needs” to keep him from straying, jiggly belly be damned. But I was a reluctant lover, and beginning to wonder if that idiot was actually right.

Fast forward 5 years and 2 more babies, I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom, trading my MBA and my consulting career for the good of our children. Making organic purees, organizing play dates, ensuring developmental milestones were met, updating their baby books with precious memories, took precedence over me, my husband and the sack. I’m sure those jellybeans were downright dusty by this point. I was too run down to conjure up a lustful response to a wishful poke in the night so I started to go to bed later and later, long after my early rising husband was sawing logs, too tired to care that he was probably dreaming about show girls. When my husband started to hang out more with his single office mates late into the night, I began to wonder if this was the beginning of the end. I asked my mom, the veteran of a 40+ year marriage, how she made it work with Dad with 5 kids (even though I thought they should have divorced at least twice). She said simply, I think, “your Dad always needed sex.” I say that I think she said this, because she was speaking in Korean at the time and I may have temporarily blanked out at the mental image of my almost 70 year old parents doing it, and doing it more often than me. I doubted that she’d ever heard about the jellybean statistic.

Fast forward to the summer of my 39th year. During a routine hysterectomy, I contracted e-coli unbeknownst to the doctors. For the next 8 days my blood brewed up a big batch of peritonitis, which can be fatal without prompt treatment. My husband and kids came home with a Slurpee for me and found me semi-conscious on the bathroom floor. Over the next 4 days at the hospital, I not only rid my body of the e-coli, but also my pregnancy pounds. Friends told me I looked fantastic, which is really very terrible to say to someone who nearly died, but it was true. Madonna, bless her 50 year old heart (and rock hard abs) inspired me to believe that with this little unintended head-start, I could bring sexy back (well, I guess I should thank Justin Timberlake also). I mean what was I saving my body for anyways? Definitely not for science. Both my husband and I started going to the gym, we got a personal trainer, joined numerous boot camps, ran a couple of half marathons, tried out a home delivery food service, and while my weight stayed (mostly) down, my libido went up, and the rest as they say, is history. As we find ourselves somewhere in our 18th year together, by my calculations, at our current pace we should empty that jellybean jar in about 5 more years. As I’m sure, will Phil and Claire.

That guy was obviously a ding dong. Here’s hoping we all enjoy a jelly bean tonight!

Love Lucie

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Fake it till you Make it

When I was in New York (what seems like a million years ago now, instead of just 3 weeks ago) I went to uber-sexy Buddakan for dinner with an old friend. After the initial “you haven’t aged a bit!” pleasantries, Mike asked how long I’d been married (which was the last time I saw him). When I told him it had been 13 years, he marvelled, quite sincerely and asked, “What’s your secret?” I paused, not quite knowing how to answer. Mike, a 42 year old serial monogamist, went on to lament that he meets these beautiful, intelligent, successful women (of which there are plenty in New York!) dates them for awhile, falls madly in love with them, and then he claims, they morph into depressed individuals lacking self-confidence.

Yowch. A rousing endorsement for staying single for life if I’ve ever heard one, but many working women I know have fallen into that exact rut that Mike so eloquently described – she marries Prince Charming, trades the corporate ladder for the Joy of Cooking, play dates and negotiating with pint-sized dictators, drowns feelings of jealousy (over hubby’s career, over hubby’s hot co-worker, over her former self) and anger (with doing the lion’s share of the housework and parenting as she does not “work” outside the home) with pinot grigio. No wonder we’re depressed. Add to that the 10 pounds of baby weight we can never seem to lose and age’s nasty inverse relationship to skin elasticity, and you have it – the plight of married women in the new millenium. Our bra-burning grandmothers are rolling in their graves knowing that we have willingly stepped back into June Cleaver’s sensible shoes. We’re baking cookies, but we’re not totally happy, we’re not quite sure why, and we’re not sure what to do next.

Sex.

That was my answer to Mike’s question. My good friend Rosie, who’s been married 30 plus years swears that her secret to their successful marriage is to give him “just a bit more sex than he can handle.” Not to be glib, but not many bad feelings, hurt or anger or otherwise, can linger past the first couple of humps. It’s like laugh therapy, only it feels better. I believe if you can get to sex, your marriage is still relatively intact, or at least you’ve agree to fake it until you can make it so. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering either (although that never hurts), just some skin-on-skin contact. Even if you’re angry and you’d like to throw a pot/hammer/boots at his forehead, repurpose that energy and screw his brains out. I bet you in the end, everyone will feel a whole lot better.

Love Lucie

Of Mouthguards and Men

There are numerous indignities associated with getting older – sagging breasts, wrinkles, age spots, and getting long in the teeth (literally! Like a horse!). To add to this list, a few years ago my dentist informed me that I am grinding my teeth to the nubbins, likening my molars to ice rinks that are being supported precariously by splintering icebergs. So he fitted me for a $400 mouthguard, a semi-opaque, pale yellow thumb-sized chunk of plastic that sits over my 4 upper front teeth, immortalizing my bucked toothiness forever. I didn’t wear it at all for the first couple of years as my vanity flatly refused to let me wear it to bed. But as my unprotected molars creaked under the strain, migraines and an inability to enjoy ice-cream or hot chocolate wore away at my vanity, until I was forced to put my money where my mouth is. My teeth are better but alas, middle of the night romps are now preceded by a distinctive click (to disengage the mouthguard from the teeth) and a wipe (to remove the strands of saliva strewn across my cheek). I’m glad he’s a sure thing or I’d be getting fitted for dentures soon!

Love Lucie

You don’t bring me flowers

My husband never buys me flowers for Valentines Day, because “it’s too expected.”  So what then, you might ask, do I get for Valentines? 

When I look back at our 13 or 15 Valentine Days together (1994-1995 were on-again, off-again years) very little in the way of gifts that wow come to mind: dinners out at tables for two so jammed together, we were rubbing elbows with the couples beside us; being serenaded by cheesy troubadours schlepping songs and “roses for the lady”; flowers sometimes, and more rarely roses.  Oh, I did get that black corset from Agent Provocateur one year.  And we did get engaged twelve Februaries ago.  Definitely some wow years, and some that were just…whatever. 

The only expectation through the Valentines in my house is really good sex, even on a tummy full of pasta and red wine.  But if it’s expected, can you still call it a gift?  

Only if it starts with a full body massage…

Love Lucie

I heart Provocateur

From some reason, I am on Agent Provocateur’s email list. I should probably move them to my junk folder except that occasionally they send me photos of the latest fashion in high-class call girl, barely-there wear, and the photos are deliciously hot! Last week, the very clever people at AP sent me an invitation to Men’s Shopping night  this Thursday, complete with cocktails, canapés and lingerie models, just in time for Valentines Day. But this time, instead of photos, their invitation came with the most titillating video I’ve ever seen outside of YouPorn. View it for yourself here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Enjoy!  And remember Stan, Valentines is only 5 days away!

Love Lucie