Monday, February 27, 2006

So Much To Say

First of all...a big Spring Flower Celebratory Hallelujah because the Olympics are finally over. YAY-USS!!!! It's not that I think the Torino games weren't great or that I'm demonstrating a strong sense of ethnocentrism because my genetic forebears don't hail from cold European climes...because half of them do. It's all that snow and fog and the Thursday nights devoid of "The Office" and "ER". I'm thrilled that I don't have to ignore my NYTimes internet Olympic updates during the day so that I can watched the heavily cut-up 8-hours-old replays at night whilst pretending that they're live. Too much cranky-ass Dick Button's skating commentary. Too much speculation about Chad Hedrick's dead grandmother and his self-involved teammate Shani Davis. And too much Sasha Cohen. Sure's she's great and all...I mean...the girl leg-presses 400 lbs. She's a hoss! But the bottom line is that I'm not such a freaking NATIONALIST that I think Americans ought to win everything or that I can conveniently ignore the fact that the Japanese chick was better. She was...and I'm glad she won. So there.
Writer Ayelet Waldman was under fire from readers and Oprah viewers for stating in a column that she loves her husband more than her children. She even went out on a limb to admit that, even after four children, their sex life is torrid. TORRID, people! Her word...not mine. And I'm not trying to be Captain Obvious or anything but WHY WOULDN'T SHE BE rocking the sack with this guy? Who can blame her? He's a brilliant Pulitzer-winning writer. He lays out words like polished stones on the page...pretty, textured, thoughtful words that you'd like to put in your mouth--*cough*--sorry...where was I? Waldman's husband: Michael Chabon. He's equal parts literary wunderkind and househusband. He's Jewish. He changes diapers and plays with the kids. He cooks dinner and takes the little ones to playgroup. He still thinks that his wife is hot after four pregnancies and he says so publicly. He doesn't feel that being a real presence in the lives of his children is emasculating and he doesn't blame feminism for the country's many ills or use it to excuse the violent and selfish actions of his gendermates. And I need not point out that he's so stunningly beautiful that it makes my eyes hurt. In female parlance, Chabon is referred to as ONE STOP SHOPPING. That said, I still have the following to offer:

Dear Ayelet: So sorry that our jealous, middle-aged peers can't stand the thought that you and Michael are still getting it on at this stage of the game. Sorry, too, that the success you both have as writers plus the fact that life with four beautiful children hasn't somehow sucked the sweet marrow of sexuality out of your coupledom makes all of these frustrated people feel sexless and irrelevant and eager to lash out at you.

The love you feel for your children should be different than what you feel for their father. Both should be powerful and powerfully intense. One is sexual and the other isn't. One represents the partner with whom you share your life and the others are the result of that life. Both equal and equally special. I get that, because life without Mr. Half wouldn't be worth living. Ditto life without one of our children which would cause a part of us to die, both individually and collectively, and we would never be the same again. But different doesn't mean unequal and it's important to make that distinction. I feel sure that's what you really meant to say in your column when you pissed off all those people whose barbed comments caused you to name your recently-cancelled blog, "Bad Mother". Now go hug your kids and give Michael a big, wet kiss for me.

Casanova. Fast Gun Fife. Eagle-eye Barney. Big Barn. The Adolphe Menjou of Mayberry.
Luther Heggs. The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Half of the Apple Dumpling Gang.
DON KNOTTS...You were peerless and you will be missed.

Hearing author/journalist Anna Quindlen on Friday was a huge buzz. She was intelligent and eloquent. When she called for a restructuring of the family dynamic which, despite the strides women have made in the outer world, still places 90% of the childcare and home responsibilities on their shoulders, the applause was automatic and thunderous. We're talking about the care of a home that more than one person lives in and the nurturing of children that it takes two people to bring into the world. It's called the Second Shift and only 50% of the population is expected to shoulder that enormous mantle. Guess which half that would be? Can I get an "Amen"?


Anonymous TB said...

Amen on all counts. Good lord I can't wait to sit down with you over a glass of wine.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

Good job. I was on an email listserve with Ayelet for several years for parents of children born in June 97. Her relationship with Michael has always been torrid. I love her. Her blog ended well over a year ago though, the 'bad mother' label came long before the whole husband love thing.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Melanhead said...

Don Knotts is immortalized in that Incredible Mr. Limpet movie. That was one of the best childhood flicks they showed on TV once a year back in the 80's.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous LetterB said...

Ayelet can say some out there things but my personal feeling is that anyone who can make the New York Urban Baby moms freak the f*ck out and froth so righteously is okay by me. You'd think she had written an article on how to m*sturbate with your bugaboo. Yes, and amen, amen on the second shift. When is the revolution coming, sisters? I want my tank, already.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Amen! I hear you.

Personally, I think it's hard to navigate the transition from being a couple to being a family. Some people find children bring them closer, others find it compromises their relationship with their spouse.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Let's hear it for torrid sex after four children!!!

6:14 AM  
Blogger R. Robyn said...

I'm living in Italy and I just as glad as you are that the games are over. Broadcasting 24 hours a day....whitewashing my televsion screen, depressing almost!

6:23 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Oh God, I'm hoping "Torrid sex after four children" is a disease. Pass it to me sista! I'll take it!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

A-freaking-MEN! Tell it, sister-friend!

8:07 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Geez I'm sick of Oprah trying to take over the whole damn world. Now she's trying to tell moms how to think and feel when she's not even a mom? WTF

8:47 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Good post.

Just between you and I, I have toned down that kind of talk about my hubby because I realized it made people NOT like me and other women resent that we had a wonderful relationship, that he got up during the night just as much as I did, changed diapers, cooks dinner and cleans AND brings home the bacon (and some fine bacon it is!) and we are still hot, hot, hot for each other. Don't hate me.

8:58 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

oh yeah. We only have torrid sex after three children.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

God, let's hear it for torrid sex after no children. And let's hear it for Don and Anna (wouldn't they be a cute couple?).

But about the other, an episode of Judging Amy keeps running through my head... she caught a lawyer in the hallway to ask him about something and he gave her a little too much info. When she pressed him on it, he said "I must have misspoke." And she said, "You're a trial lawyer. You don't misspeak." In a small way that's what I think about what Ayelet Waldman said. She's a writer, and it's odd that we would have to characterize her sentiments with "I'm sure that's what she really meant to say." However, with that said, I love your interpretation of her words, wordgirl.

And teebs, YESYESYES about the glass of wine and all!!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Now if I could just learn to post my comments in the right comment entry. Geez. I meant to post here:

Olympics. Marital Sex vs. Child Love. Don Knotts. I dub thee blogsequitur.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

$%^$#^$%^ I have got to fix my sex life...posts like these just remind me how far gone it is....sorry...Yes, it is okay to still love and wrinkle the sheets with your husband.

8:50 PM  

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