Therapy. Well, that and a bottle of red wine...
Therapy: The Game

If you know me, you know this has been a rough year for me. But this week was about eight thousand times harder.
Work without pay - wait, when did I start training horses again?
So last night, after another 12-hour workday, I looked at my honey, and he said, "Let's just stop for tonight - please?"
With tears in my eyes, I sighed, "Okay." It was all I could do to stop, I was so overwhelmed by everything we had to do.
"Let's make some dinner, have a glass of wine, and watch a movie or play a game or something. We just need a break."
A game? That sounded remotely FUN. And nothing sounded FUN at that moment, so that was a pretty good idea. "What game?"
"Well let's see what we have in here..." He opened the cabinet, "How about Jenga?" I pictured myself throwing wooden rectangles at his face. Not a good plan.
"What else?"
"Therapy - what's that about?"
"I LOVE Therapy."
"Therapy it is."

Therapy: The Game
Fascinating fun with a psychological twist. Explore your imagination. Discover surprising facts about human behavior. Find out how others see you.

Let it be known that I ended up in "psychosis" five times, boyfriend, once. That's about the right ratio. So after some dinner and much alcohol consumption, Therapy turned out to be just what we needed. The directions call for 3-6 players, but we just figured instead of group therapy, we were undergoing couples therapy. I haven't had that much fun in such a long time. A sampling of our Therapy sessions:

"So tell me, Lisa, which player do you think would be quickest to admit to making a mistake?"
That'd be a resounding NOT ME.

"So tell me, Lisa, on a rating scale of 1 to 10, how stubborn are you?" Uh, 10.

"So tell me, Lisa, what percentage of your worries do you eventually reveal to other people - 5%, 50%, or 95%?"

As my therapist, Boyfriend was to try to guess what my answers were, and he NEVER GOT ONE WRONG.

On the other hand:
"So tell me, Boyfriend, what period of history were you really made for - the Roman Empire, the 'South' of Gone with the Wind, or Modern Times?"
Boyfriend: Modern Times.
Me: Oh, I said the Roman Empire.
Boyfriend: Really? Why?
Me: Hmmm, I guess 'cause you're all chivalrous and believe in battling things out via warfare, if necessary.
Boyfriend: Huh.

"So tell me, Darling, which player would be most likely to make the headlines in the paper?"
Boyfriend: You.
Me: For what?
I could hardly get through reading this one:
"So tell me, Baby, which player do you think would be most likely to become addicted to 'General Hospital'!?!? Phbpbplt!"

He won the the game. But I won the fight with myself.

Thu, 03/05/2009 - 9:04pm | Blog Post, boyfriend, personal growth | 0 comments | Leave a comment
Amy Dearest

Why is is that we don't appreciate the things we have until they are gone?
Ugh - my horse is gone. To cut back expenses, I gave her away, and she's gone already. I could cry for at least a week over everything about which I'm sad or angry. But I don't. I get up each day, determined to believe that it will get better. That I'll recover from this year of my life. That I can get past all of this anger, sadness and grief. That I will be able to really recognize just how lucky I am. I have a boyfriend who loves me. I still have my grumpy old men, Reggie and Stevie. And Amy will be back, she's just going off to college for a while...
The weather cleared up here in California just in time for her departure, I was able to ride her the three days in a row before she left. I came home after the first of those rides, and lamented, "Why is it that I'm finally clicking with my horse, now that she's leaving in a few days?"
To which my brilliant boyfriend responded, "Because you only have a few days. You've had five years to learn how to ride her, and now that she's leaving, you will."

Love you, Ames. I know we've done our share of head-butting over the years, but I've never known a horse to teach me so much. There were times when I thought of you as my angry teenage daughter, thinking, "What happened to my baby girl?" I'm sorry I wasn't always open to the lesson, the hard-headed mother that I am. I have always expected a lot of you, and I know that was hard to take sometimes. You are my mirror, you are my soulmate. You be good, and I'll be back.
Smooches and hugs, Mom

Tue, 03/03/2009 - 1:11am | horses, personal growth | 0 comments | Leave a comment
My boyfriend is amazing and other true stories
Girlbert and Boyfriend

I found this meme on dooce the other day and felt compelled to do it. Because my boyfriend is worth gushing about, and I haven't written about him in too long.

What are your middle names?

Mine's Jean, his is David. Nothing terribly embarrassing there – in fact, I was pushing to name our business David Jean Design at one point, but it became one in a list of rejected names.

How long have you been together?

One year, one month, and a couple of weeks. (and 3 days...I know, I know - aren't we gross?)

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

Eight months.

Who asked whom out?

Hmmm...I was packing my belongings to move to California in January of 2008, and he said, “I want you to meet my friends when you get here.”
I said, “I'll be there Friday.”
He said, “This Friday?”
He called me back the next day and said, “My friends are having a beach party on Sunday, and I'm going to pick you up and take you there, and bring you back home when it's over.”

How old are each of you?

I'm 32, he's 38. Six glorious years apart.

Whose siblings do you see the most?

We don't see either younger brother enough, and it's a dead tie. His is in Colorado and mine in London. But I predict more visits in the future.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

Work. Work and money. Oh yeah, and my effing divorce.

Did you go to the same school?

No, sir. I graduated from William Woods University in 1998 with a degree in Equestrian Science. He went to UCSB in California.

Are you from the same home town?

No....but my parents currently live about 15 minutes away from his aunt and uncle in Illinois. Both of our families are in Illinois, even though he grew up in Michigan and then California. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago.

Who is smarter?

He is, hands down, although he would beg to differ, and he means it. Love that. But really, all his friends always say, “Chewy (his nickname) knows everything.” And it's pretty much true.

Who is the most sensitive?

We are both terribly sensitive people. I'm really not used to being with someone sensitive at all, so it's been an adjustment. I have to take care of him when he's hurting, which I love, but he takes care of me when I'm hurting. It's the best.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

We really don't.  We both cook really good food all the time, so we're a bit elitist on the whole restaurant thing. Why pay all that extra $ when we could cook something far better at home?

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

Puerto Vallarta. My first trip to Mexico.

Who has the craziest exes?

I only have one ex, unless you count high school, and he's not crazy, just annoying. I've heard a little about Eric's exes, but they don't seem crazy, just long gone.

Who has the worst temper?

I would have to say him, he's big into swearing when things don't work right on the computer. For instance:
BF: "Aaaahh - fucking hell."
Me: "Honey?"
BF: "Yeah, baby?"
Me: "When we have kids, you're going to have to refrain from saying things like that."
BF: "Oh, it's okay, baby, 'cause she's going to be a sailor – it'll be perfect."
Me: "You never know, he might be a gay horse trainer…"
I, on the other hand, internalize really well. Lots of practice.

Who does the cooking?

We both. LOVE. TO. COOK. TOGETHER. One of our favorite activities. It usually involves a bottle of wine and banter in fake, foreign accents....

Who is the neat-freak?

Uh – that'd be me. There's a pile of mail on Eric's desk that really bothers me, but I refuse to open his mail for him. But I know he'll never open it unless I stand over him to help him focus. So I clean around it, and straighten it when it threatens to slide off the desk entirely. All of his belongings threaten to slide places. I have my work cut out for me.

Who is more stubborn?

Hmmm. We're both pretty stubborn, but in different ways. I once had a full-on meltdown because he suggested I coil my rope (horse) lunge line a different way. Pure stubbornness, leaving no room for logic, I huffed and nearly stamped my feet, saying I'd been “doing it that way for years”. He's a sailor for god's sake, he could probably show me a few things about rope. And coiling. So I can be stubborn about really silly stuff.
He can be immensely stubborn about things for a good reason – like our safety or taking care in making decisions. He's really hard-headed about getting ALL the facts prior to making decisions. And sometimes that's just not possible. Do you know how long he spent researching our SINGLE satellite internet option? We went to coffee shops for internet for a good 3 months. And update – it sucks, but Hughes Net is still our only option because of where we live.

Who hogs the bed?

I've been labeled a cover-stealer, but I don't think he's ever asked me to move over. I've had to wake him up a handful of times to let me back in the bed.

Who wakes up earlier?

Me, mostly. But sometimes I'm awakened with kisses and hair ruffling. It's my favorite way to wake up.

Where was your first date?

Group date: At his friend's beach house party in Ventura.
Real first date: I invited him over for lunch, we went on a hike in the Santa Ynez mountains. He stayed for a week.

Who is more jealous?

We're not jealous people. At all.

How long did it take to get serious?

Despite our best efforts with regards to my divorce and taking it slow in the beginning of our relationship, logic was no match for what happened. Our second date was seven days long. We went to Mexico on our fifth date. And moved in together on our eighth date. It was there we stopped counting...

Who eats more?

I think he may eat a little bit more, but that's only because I'm exerting so much energy restraining myself.

Who does the laundry?

We both do. I never realized how terrible I was at laundry until I met him – I was the only option in my previous relationship. He's pretty finicky with all the pre-treating and soap measuring, and load sizing and water temperature. This may have something to do with his parents owning a dry cleaning business at one time... But he NEVER puts anything away. Okay, sometimes he folds my underpants and puts them away.

Who's better with the computer?

Really? Do we need to explain this? Okay, he's been using Linux for over 10 years. He designs databases and writes computer programs. Up until 6 months ago, I was running bloated Windows Vista on an HP Entertainment Pavillion WIDESCREEN. (It was really shiny.) The learning curve is STEEP.

Who drives when you are together?

See above. Well, I guess people who don't know me should know that I'm not a good driver. It's really hard for me to pay attention to things I don't like doing. And stop signs have been known to render themselves invisible in my presence. That bothers Eric a lot. So he drives.

Sun, 03/01/2009 - 10:47pm | boyfriend, california | 0 comments | Leave a comment