The monetization of motherhood part 1

For me it started with Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple magazines. The glossy spreads abound with plenty: stunning pictures of complex foodstuffs and homemade decorations set in perfectly organized and bedecked living spaces without a trace of dog hair or a hint of perspiration. The colorful covers call out to women standing in grocery aisles and rushing past newsstands. They promise that she can do it all—if she just tries a little harder, works a little smarter, or cares more for her family. And they don’t discriminate! Any woman, all women, working moms and stay-at-home moms too can be better at everything. But first we have to recognize that whatever we are doing now is not good enough.

If we buy the glossy magazine and take the advice of a very large and well-funded staff of professional and highly-paid designers, we too can be better women. The articles claim to provide miracle cures for disorganized closets, overbooked work weeks, wardrobe malfunctions, and healthy meals made at home.

But really they are just designed to make women feel bad about themselves. One glance at the article “7 Steps to a Clean Bathroom” and you’ll realize your germaphobia is justified; your bathroom isn’t really clean. Right next to that you’ll find an article titled “7 Flattering Dresses for Full-Figured Women” and you’ll think, hooray it’s finally cool to be full-figured except now that means everyone will notice that I’m wearing the wrong dress! We all know how this works, but we fall for it anyway. Because if I keep buying what they’re selling maybe one day we’ll finally learn how to fold those fitted sheets from Hell so they stack neatly in the closet. Yeah, right.

This is the phenomenon that I’ve recently started referring to as the monetization of motherhood. Although it applies to all women, I think mothers feel it the most. Working mothers experience the guilt of leaving their children to be cared for by people who are not their parents five days a week and the shame of not having the time to make cookies for the bake sale or hand stitch the perfect Halloween costume. Stay-at-home moms feel like, because home is their work, their homes and their children and they themselves must be perfectly coiffed at a moment’s notice seven days a week.

If our cupcakes don’t look like Martha’s, no one will want to eat them. If our houses are not decorated like something out of the Pottery Barn catalog, no one will want to visit. If our children are not wearing hats and scarves made by mommy, no one will play with them. What’s a gal to do?

Personally, I do my best to resist these feelings of inadequacy. I haven’t touched an issue of Real Simple in years. I indulge myself in the Halloween issue of Martha Steward Living, but I almost never follow a recipe or complete a craft project because, seriously Martha, WTF is up with the individually wrapped pie slices?

It’s easy to shrug this off as a joke. But I’ve known too many smart women who fall for this crap to not take it seriously. Too many women think they are not doing enough for their families (and for themselves now too because if we’re doing everything else the magazines say we’re meant to but we’re not taking time for “self-love” and “self-care,” then we’re still screwing up). Beyond the insane personal feelings of defectiveness, we arrive at an even bigger problem: this cultural trend makes women turn against other women.

It’s just a hop, skip, and jump from “I’m not doing enough” to “Of course she has time to bake for the bake sale. She just sits at home all day with her kids.” And so the “Mommy Wars” rage on.

Maybe this is all obvious, commonplace culture stuff now. But I’m angry about it. I’m angry because this “mommy wars” thing is not something that men, society, media, or culture are doing to women. This is something we are doing to ourselves and to each other. And that makes no sense for two reasons.

  1. The media is targeting us all equally. The message is clear. If you have a uterus, you’re not working hard enough either at home or at work.
  2. We all want the same thing. We want raising children to be recognized as “a real job.”

to be continued…

What is an “act of love”?

As the crescendo of conflict between Elton John and Dolce and Gabbana has risen this week, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the fashion moguls’ original, offending statement that procreation should be “an act of love.” In vitro fertilization (IVF) doesn’t count in their books.

I’m having trouble understanding this. IVF isn’t just for gay couples or unmarried women and their anonymous sperm donating partners. It’s for straight couples too. It’s the great fertility equalizer. The only thing unfair about IVF is that, like most innovative health services in this country, it’s only for couples with the health insurance or private funds to pay for it.

Then there’s the physically, emotionally, and financially grueling process. Women who opt for IVF have to deal with daily crazy-making hormone pills, painful injections, frequent blood tests, invasive uterine examinations, anesthetized egg extraction, stressful embryo implantation, and uncertain genetic testing; then they wait for a positive pregnancy test, handle all the usual risks that come with pregnancy including miscarriage and birth defects and the near-certain risk of low birth weight that is characteristic of IVF babies; meanwhile she has to go to work, exercise, eat right, not allow the hormones and the stress to alienate everyone around her, and manage all of life’s other daily challenges. Her partner (if she’s chosen wisely) frets over how to pay for all this, deals with the crazy-making insurance process, goes to work, makes sure she has enough ice cream, walks the dog, listens to her shouting, dries her tears, and handles everything else she can’t handle. If that’s not an act of love, I don’t know what is.

As an act of love, it beats the pants off of two teenagers fumbling around in the back seat of a car. According to the CDC, in 2012, 305,388 babies were born to girls who were 15–19 years old. The organization RAINN reports that in 2012 an additional 17,342 pregnancies were the result of rape. These are just the ones they know about, and these are just the ones reported in the United States in 2012.

The Huffington Post designed an infographic last year that illustrates unplanned pregnancies (not the same as unwanted, but profoundly compelling) across the US. Apparently 49% of pregnancies are unplanned; and just as you’d expect, women at or below the poverty line are five times more likely (that’s 500% more likely) to experience an unwanted pregnancy. These are the same women who are least likely to have access to healthcare or abortions. PBS says that, of the 1,500,000 children adopted in the US in 2001, 50% were from the child welfare system.

All this makes me wonder about Dolce and Gabbana’s hypocritical insistence that adoption is better than IVF. Where do they think all those unwanted babies come from? Yes, those children need and deserve loving homes. But did D&G stop to think about why?

They did get one thing right: procreation should be an act of love. If that was the measure we used to make choices about access to healthcare, a lot more women would get the care they need, and there would be a lot fewer babies available for adoption. The children would all be in loving homes with healthy parents. And that would be a better world indeed.

Ever wondered why they call it caterwauling?

According to the US Navy, tomorrow, March 17 is the real spring equinox this year. Daylight and night will be in near-perfect balance for our St. Patrick’s Day delights. This is not just a fun fact; it’s vital information, because it tells us when to expect the false dawn, that brightening of the sky that wakes creatures that don’t sleep in pitch black curtained bedrooms. This week, astronomical twilight happens around 5:20 am, and it gets earlier and earlier until midsummer’s eve. Why pay attention to such a thing? Because in our house it’s become known as the caterwauling hour.

This morning it started quietly enough. There was a tentative “Meow” from outside the bedroom door shortly after 5 am. The hour seemed more like night than day. And the first noises echoed in my dreams, gently rousing me from sleep.

And then it got louder.

Cat [in an itty bitty kitty voice]: Hello? Hello?

[pause long enough for humans to fall back to sleep]

Cat: Hello? Are you there? I’m out here.

[pause long enough for humans to fall back to sleep]

Cat [louder, and more insistent]: Helloooo? I’m still out here. It’s lonely out here.


Cat: Helloooo? I’m still out here. I know you’re in there. I’m really lonely. And I’m hungry.

Cat: Helloooo? Still here. And you’re still in there. I’m lonely. And hungry. This isn’t fair!

[pause while humans pretend to sleep, thinking, If we don’t move, she’ll give up and go away.]

Cat: Really! I want to be in there. And I’m going to stay out here until you let me in there. It’s not fair! She’s in there. Why can’t I be in there?

Sound of scraping noises as cat claws at the gap between door and floor.


Cat: Helloooo? I know you can hear me! This is really unfair! Really, really unfair!

[pause long enough for humans to drift off again, thinking they’ve won]

Cat [aside in a silent kitty soliloquy]: What has the giant cat got that I don’t have? Okay, she’s a goliath, but she’s not nearly as cute. Sure, she’s black and hairy and wags her tail like me. But when was the last time she brought the Food Lady a bird or a mouse or three birds and a mouse in the same week? Is she even a real cat? She’s like a mutant panther or something. Why does she get to sleep in there? And why does she get that awesome bed? It’s soft and warm and big enough for me too. But does she share? And why does she get fed before me? The Food Lady cuddles her. And escorts her on outings twice a day. They take her away for days and day. And leave me here. All alone. For what seems like forever. Maybe it’s the Food Lady’s fault. This never happened before the Food Lady and the giant hairy one moved in. And she wonders why I roll around in her laundry? Hah! It’s funny when the Food Lady sneezes. Maybe if I get myself worked up enough, I can throw up a hair ball in her shoes. Let’s see…

Cat [caterwauling]: Helloooo! Helloooo! Helloooo! I know you can hear me! I’m still out here! This is really unfair! Really, really unfair! I’m not going away! I know you can hear me there! They can hear me next door!

Female human [silent aside while burrowing deeper under the duvet]: Not my cat. Not moving. Don’t care how much noise she makes. If he makes me go out there, I may have to choke her.

Cat [caterwauling]: Helloooo! Helloooo! Helloooo! Still here!

Male human [rolling out of bed and groaning in defeat]: I’m going to choke her now.

Dog yawns and falls back to sleep.

The End.

Notice to readers
No cats, dogs, humans, or panthers were harmed during the writing of this blog post.


At my age

My new OBGYN starts every sentence with the phrase “at your age.” She says, “At your age, you should be doing [everything differently].” In response to every question I ask, she replies, “Well at your age you might want to try [something for old people].”

This flies in the face of all the “Forty Is the New Thirty” hoopla I keep reading in overhyped media stories about celebrity bodies and the wisdom one achieves in her forties. I suspect this flimflam editorializing is the work of propagandist Generation Xers who have all turned forty recently. None of the pop psychology pseudo-science referred to in these publicity stunt blog posts is getting through to my doctor or to my uterus.

I think that’s because my doctor is twelve years old. Sorry, that’s unfair. She’s fourteen. She and Doogie Howser could be pals, except she’s not old enough to remember Doogie Howser, M.D.. Okay, okay, now I’m just doing the bitter reverse ageism thing. My best guess is that she has probably reached the ripe age of thirty-two, which according to Wikipedia, puts her squarely in between Generation X and Generation Y. Dear Universe, please don’t let her be a Millennial. She was my only way into the specialized women’s health practice that handles my um, special circumstances.

Her “At your age” commentary grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. She talks about my uterus in dog years. My body may be forty, but my ovaries are sixty-five. I’m ready to enjoy the financial stability of my mid-career earning years. But my eggs—the ones that haven’t been flushed like goldfish—are moving to Boca Raton, and they ain’t comin’ back. My fallopian tubes? Fuggedaboutit.

And here’s the punchline: it’s all true. The Lady Parts don’t age like the Gentleman’s Parts. They don’t even age like the rest of our body ages. They just go verkakte at some point. The awful truth is that Lili von Shtupp was right, “Everything below the waist is kaput!

Honestly, I really like my doctor. This “At your age” verbal tick is less insulting than the doctor who informed me when I was thirty-four, “You’ll never be as young as you are today.” She is smart and cheerful and has the wisdom and compassion to communicate bad news well. And that’s why I comfort myself with the knowledge that she’ll grow out of it. Then she’ll be sorry. Because one day she’ll be forty too.

Breaking the rules

I must confess I broke my own rule recently. One afternoon last week, I walked to the grocery store in my yoga pants. This is not a particularly earthshattering confession, I admit. But it caused quite a bit of angst for me. Although I am flexible about most rules, I aspire to adhere to the ones I set myself. (This is an inherently Italian trait.) Thou shalt not be seen in public in exercise kit unless exercising or making thy way to exercise, including but not limited to yoga, walking the dog, running, hiking, snowshoeing, etc., etc. Leaving the house to do chores in clothes intended to soak up sweat is strictly verboten.

A friend from school agrees. She says, she always dresses like she might meet her worst enemy on the street. For her this rule is intended to avoid the pain of jealousy and embarrassment if she finds herself face-to-face with that girl in college who made her feel small. Who know that person, the one who knows the whereabouts of that money tree you’ve been searching for your whole life. And she knows how to spend it on looking fit and fabulous.

For me, it’s about the possibility of meeting a client or prospective client at the grocery store, which happens quite a lot more often than you might imagine. As a freelancer with a work-at-home job, the temptation to sit around in baggy pants and a ratty t-shirt for three days can be overwhelming. But when I leave the house in the middle of a workday, it is imperative that I appear dressed for work. This doesn’t mean a suit and shiny shoes or even a skirt and heels. Jeans are acceptable—the good jeans though, not the faded weekend jeans. Because the potential for running into a client is very real, I would rather look like I’m just dashing out during a break from a serious design challenge than racing to the store for yet another chocolate bar between binge watching the latest PBS Masterpiece costume drama series.

So there I was, walking down the sidewalk, carrying a grocery bag, browsing the aisles, pulling foodstuffs off shelves, placing them in my basket, checking items off my list, standing in the checkout line, exchanging pleasantries with the woman behind the cash register, and so on until I retraced my steps and arrived home. I reentered the house in a sweat. I guess technically that means I had not broken my rule. Except I really had, and in so doing I had invited agita upon myself.

To some this rule would seem silly perhaps and not worth the stress it produced on this occasion. But imposing a set of guidelines intended to pilot yourself through life’s tiny pitfalls is a worthy cause. Putting your best foot forward, even on a walk to the grocery store, is one of those minor victories that ripple outward, affecting your whole day, your whole outlook. As the old adage goes, you gotta dress for success. And if that’s not enough to convince you, remember those tops and pants you sweat in do not smell good, no matter how well you wash them.

The godfather

As any good Italian-American will tell you, the role of the godfather is an important one in any good Italian-American family. Am I stating the obvious? This could be a truth universally acknowledged by anyone who has ever caught an episode of The Sopranos or reruns of The Godfather. I couldn’t say. This may be true for other families who practice the ritual of baptism. I couldn’t speak for them either. I only know my own experience.

Here is what I know. The road to Schenectady is a long and desolate one, through the barren wasteland that is the Massachusetts Turnpike in its final countdown to the New York state line. Exit 4: West Springfield. Exit 3: Westfield. Exit 2: Lee. Exit 1: West Stockbridge. One begins to anticipate the end of the road—a rock wall perhaps, a precipice for sure—around the next bend. Not this one, the next one. Or is it the next one? The road rises and falls, crossing the Catskills and the elusive Appalachian Trail, an intangible pursuit carved into the bedrock of the northeast. If a person didn’t know better, she might think she had reached the end of the known world upon sighting the You Are Now Leaving Massachusetts sign. Alas, the road continues. What once seemed dark and looming stretches out into a strange flat—a no man’s land—between the last waypoint and the next, the Welcome to New York sign.

From November to April the ground is frozen, frosted, and forbidding. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas a perpetual snow blankets the divided highway. Overpass May Be Icy signs, so easy to ignore in August, loom like a threat over the holiday season. And the overpasses themselves are unremarkable bridges, allowing wildlife to cross under the road unhindered, barely noticeable but for the warnings. There are exits for humans too. They are marked and signed. The signs marking the exits are the only signs of life. No lights. No cars. Snow on the grass. Black ice on the road. Snow on the radio. Nothing to do but wonder, What’s the bother? What’s the use of driving this road, this far, this time of year (or any time of year)?

For the godfather, that is why.

He summoned.

“Did you make plans for Thanksgiving yet?”

“Yes, I’m cooking for [him] and [them] and [her] too.”

A spreading silence at his end of the phone.

“I was really looking forward to seeing you.”

An almost imperceptible pause at her end.

“I’ll be there in the morning.”

She drove.

Why, you wonder? Why go all that way alone? Just because he asked?

Yes, just because he asked. He is the godfather. She needed no other reason. He taught her how to fish, how to play tennis. He vetted every boyfriend, threatened to break knee caps at every break-up. He stuffed cash in her pockets when she graduated from high school, from college, and when she got married. He paid for her post-wedding family brunch just because he wanted to, not because anyone asked. He called her a rat-fink traitor when she moved to Colorado. He said it was “about time” when she moved home three months later. He stuffed a basket full of wine and candy and bracelets and scratch tickets and socks when she moved into her own apartment at Easter. He made her run the Turkey Trot and watch bad AMC movies when she lost her job at Thanksgiving. He bought her more wine and scratch tickets and a new running jacket and warmer socks at Christmas when she signed the divorce papers.

So she drove.

She drove to his daughter’s (her cousin’s) wedding shower, to the family barbeques, to her cousin’s wedding. She drove to her cousin’s baby shower, to more family barbeques, and to more holiday dinners. She drove because he expected her to. Because it was the right thing to do.

He knew right from wrong. Not in a high-handed way. He was capable of moral relativism, but only where it applied to others. He held himself to a higher standard.

I’ll give you an example. It was about four years ago now, when his ex-wife became ill. She was diagnosed with lupus and something else chronic and fatal. They had split years ago. Not a few years. Like 20 years. And then the strokes started. Her health declined steadily. Her cognition slipped away. Her legs slipped out from under her. She was confined to a wheelchair first, then a nursing home. He took care of all of it all, in his uniquely superhuman and understated manner.

He handled it in a godfatherly way. Not in an overbearing, hefty Marlon Brando or James Gandolfini sort of way. He handled it in a modest, unprepossessing, Al Pacino sort of way. He was fit of frame, slight of build, his dark hair thinning in the front, his Italian beak of a nose suspended over a kind smile. (I bet you’ve never noticed that: Al Pacino, king of the fictional underworld, has an unassuming smile.)

Hmm, did you catch that? I almost missed it myself. I said “was.” He was fit. And then he wasn’t.

So she drove on Thanksgiving day, then again four days before Christmas, and then again two weeks later, for the last time.

It all happened too quickly for her. The pancreatic cancer had spread too quickly. But he handled it the way he handled everything—with strength and dignity and decisiveness. He decided when it was time. He told her at Thanksgiving that he was done. He told her he loved her. And he checked into the hospital after she left. He made all the arrangements and said all the goodbyes. And when there was nothing left to do, he waited for her that Friday before Christmas. He waited for her to complete the drive. And then, a few hours later, he was gone.

At Easter I caught myself musing about that drive. I was missing it—longing for it—in a way that seemed irrational at best. Then I heard it. “Duh, Sah,” he said.  (He had a way of diminishing my name to something childlike, his New York accent sinking the r. It always amazed me that an act of reduction could fill me with such love.)

“It’s not about the drive, sweetie.” I heard his voice in my head.

I keep hearing his voice in my head, over and over. And I keep wondering, What does it mean? I mean, really, What is it all about? It’s not about the drive. It’s not about the bike. It’s not about the nail. Please don’t tell me it’s about the hokey pokey, because I will just give up right now. And anyway, I thought it was about the drive, like in that, “it’s about the journey” kind of way. Well the drive really…the drive is kind of shit. I drove because he asked me to. He was my godfather, my moral compass, the one who always knew what to do, the one who always knew what to say. And now he’s gone.

I think what he meant (and yes, I do know the voice in my head was just me talking to myself), he meant there should always be at least one person in our lives for whom we will go to the ends of the earth and who will go to the ends of the earth (or Schenectady) for us. Without that person, everything seems pointless, directionless, and well…just less.

Proud to be an American

(Note, the supposedly fictitious events described herein may or may not have taken place in August 2013.)

Diversity in relationships, like diversity in the workplace, is great. Variety of opinions, experiences, and perspectives enhance creativity and overall satisfaction, in my opinion. As usual, I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere so it’s not just my opinion, but also a well-researched and documented fact. Heterogeneous groups learn from each other and grow individually and as a team. There’s really no down side, except when someone forgets that there can be extreme variation in communications among English-speaking people, which can present challenges in any relationship either professional or personal. For instance, a pep talk does not mean the same thing to a Brit as it does to an American.

This too is a well-known fact (although I can’t prove it because Google is failing me). So I’ll talk us through a hypothetical situation. Say for instance, there’s an American girl up late conversing with her British boyfriend. Despite her very best efforts, the conversation goes off the rails, and she finds herself doing some defensive dialoging. She’s pretty sure he’s picked a fight for no reason, but she’s trying to patch it up so they can both get some sleep. It works, eventually. The conversation ends. He sleeps. She doesn’t. She’s too upset that he picked a fight for no reason. When the sun finally trickles through her gauzy curtains (despite her fear that it would never rise again, trapping her in the torment of the previous night’s conversation, stuck on repeat in her head), she decides that she’s angry. Not just angry, she’s livid.

He checks in with his usual, “Good morning,” greeting a little later than usual. She’s happy for the extra time to prepare her reply. As soon as he says, “Hello,” she pulls out a steady barrage from the drawer marked, “What the hell is wrong with you?” She reaches for a curve ball from the, “Don’t you know I have a big day today,” shelf. And clinches it with a bit from the cupboard labeled, “I’m not speaking to you right now.”

Before you accuse her of overreacting, let’s review the Relationship Rules of Engagement. Rule 47B Statute C Paragraph 3 clearly states that if a man picks a fight with a woman past 9:00 pm on a school night (note a “fight” is defined as any argument, debate, or disagreement that occurs for any reason between any man and any woman in any small r or large R “relationship” regardless of who is right or who is wrong) he should expect to receive the Silent Treatment from said woman for a span of time equivalent to the length of the aforementioned dispute.

He fumbles an, “Okay, I will talk to you later,” and silence ensues.

When the count runs down on the penalty box timer, she checks in with a work-related issue signaling that she will speak to him but he’s still in the dog house. At this point, the conversation could take several turns. Let’s say, he’s well-intentioned and not a complete idiot. He might reach into his bag of tricks and attempt The Pep Talk. The classic post-row Pep Talk is a dazzling move. It opens with the Pep Talker in a position of power. He is the first of the two combatants to say something nice, and therefore he is the more generous of the two. He attempts to placate the Pep Talkee, washing away any bad aftertaste from the quarrel. And, if she is won over, the contention dissipates in a brilliant rhetorical twist wherein he gets away without admitting he was wrong for picking the fight-for-nothing in the first place.

So back to our hypothetical scenario: it might go something like this.

Him: You know I think you’re great, right? (10:34 am)

At this point, if she’s not a complete idiot, she likely will pause for a deep breath, pondering an appropriate response. She will think to herself, Great? You think I’m great? You think pizza is great. Another pause before replying, realizing that’s not the right tack. If she goes with the pizza thing, he might confess that, Oh my god, he loves pizza. Then she will have to punch him in the face, which she can’t do because he’s six time zones away, and they are having this conversation over instant messenger goddammit. One more deep breath and then…

Her: You think I’m “great”? Don’t you think last night’s conversation warrants a response a little less British? (10: 41 am)

And now we’re at the crux of the issue. If you’ve ever been an American at the receiving end of a British pep talk, you’ll know what I mean when I say, it’s the most unsatisfying attempt at encouragement devised by man. The British hone their un-enthusiasm like they are training for the Olympics. I was shocked to discover (when conducting very little research for this article) that the Brits do in fact have a cheerleading association; and it was founded in 1984. The commentary must be the most dispiriting play-by-play ever encountered. When the team performs very well, they are told they are “adequate.” Trophies are handed over with a pat on the back and a dry, “well done.”

In contrast to the British pep talk we have the American Pep Talk. America is the home of the Pep Talk. We invented Pep. It’s in the water. We are a nation of cheerleaders. Even those of us who may have suffered the self-loathing of an angst-ridden adolescence, the kind of teen years that triggers the involuntary upturn of a nose at the mention of the word “cheerleader” and the images it evokes. I mean the kind of high school dreariness that makes a girl say, “Vampires are cool outsiders who love girls who hate cheerleaders” (The Simpsons, Season 21, Episode 15). Even an American like that hypothetical person knows how to give a pep talk, i.e., a proper Pep Talk.

When faced with a British pep talk, this hypothetical American girl will change the subject rather than being baited into a conversational cul-de-sac (yes, a cul-de-sac, you know because the only options are circling the unsatisfying loop of the pep talk or heading back out onto the street that led you there, i.e., the wrong-road fight that started it all).

She might say something like, I spoke to the clients for you, or I checked on the cats. If she were smart, that’s what she would do. Because then his only reply is…

Him: Thank you. (2:52 pm)

If she’s really, really smart, she will go to a meeting for hmm…about two or two-and-a-half hours, triggering what he believes is another long Silent Treatment. Although she knows the rules governing the Silent Treatment (for a review of the rules, I recommend Coupling Season 1 Episode 4, “The Inferno”), I mean, even if our hypothetical woman knows the rules of the Silent Treatment, she may yet be surprised by what happens next.

Him: I’m hopelessly in love with you. (4:49 pm)

While the butterflies in her tummy do backflips, she might not resist the urge to nitpick. Why would she do this, you ask? Obviously it’s a misguided attempt to “win” the original argument and cover for the fact that he’s caught her unawares.

Her: hopefully. I’m hopefully in love with you. (5:10 pm)

And now he, wrong-footed by his vulnerable confession, will attempt to get the last word.

Him: you know there’s an implied double entendre in that statement. (5:14 pm)

She won’t take the bait though, because our hypothetical girl is sharp.

Her: I love you (5:18 pm)

Him: I love you (5:19 pm)

I’m just saying, things like this could happen. They might happen every day. Diversity in relationships is responsible for all kinds of zany goings-on. And many these madcap circumstances turn out to be positive. For instance, the woman in our hypothetical scenario now knows that when her British fella’ says that she’s great, it means so much more. Isn’t that great?