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14 Marriage jokes to liven up your anniversary

By | love, parenting, spouses | One Comment

Everyone should get married at some time. After all, happiness isn’t the only thing in life. TensionNot

One of the reasons my husband and I decided to get married on a holiday weekend was to ensure that we’d always have the opportunity to get away for our anniversaries. This year my husband and I spent out 14th anniversary in Maui. What does a blogger want to do on her anniversary? Interview her husband, of course.

Lorraine and Bob celebrating 14th anniversary in Maui

Lorraine and Bob celebrating 14th anniversary in Maui

So as we sipped our fresh fruit smoothies before heading to the beach for the day, I asked my husband to help me brainstorm 14 tips for a happy marriage. I figured we should have learned at least one valuable lesson for each year of marriage. It didn’t take us long at all to come up with the following ideas:

1. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener. Anonymous

When you date someone for months or even years, it’s easy to get a false sense of security that you really know him or her. Most people are somewhat flexible when it comes to dating and courting. But inevitably, a new set of expectations kicks in when once you’re married. Based on culture and family history, people enter marriage with fixed notions of what they want from their life partner.

Try to have as much fun as possible as you iron out your differing assumptions and intentions. Look for opportunities to do things together that you both enjoy doing. Maintaining a strong marriage is a lifelong process.

2. Successful partners have a perfect understanding: he won’t try to run her life, and he won’t try to run his either. Anonymous

“Selfishness is one of the keys to failure,” my husband says. Keep prioritized lists of ways to please your spouse. For some, this is automatic. You probably already know your spouse’s favorite foods or hobbies, but other things may not be so obvious. If your spouse is going through a difficult time, you can ask, “What are several things I can do for you to help make this week easier for you?” The response may surprise you. It’s all about Love & Respect.

You can use this same list strategy for fun times. When you’re going on vacation together, you can ask, “What 3-5 things are most important for you on this trip?” When you approach marriage with a “me second” attitude, you’re much more likely to be rewarded with a fulfilling marriage. My husband said he liked this joke: “My wife and I agreed that I’d make all the big decisions and she’d make all the little decisions. In all these years, there just haven’t been any big decisions.”

3. When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one. Helen Rowland

Find ways to do something together even if it means that you take breaks to do things that interest you. There’s a balance of doing things together while inserting extra activities along the way. My husband likes snorkeling, so we both have a good day when we go to a beach where he can snorkel while I read, walk, socialize or take pictures.

My husband sometimes likes watching (and napping through) golf or football on Sunday afternoons, but that doesn’t stop us from spending the afternoon together. I don’t mind golf in the background, except for all the annoying viagra and drug commercials. But when he watches football, he wears a headset while I write or do something else.

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4. Marriage is like having cable with one channel. Nathanel Stroman

People are naturally habitual. Some routines are good, but some aren’t. Take the time to label your good and bad routines and discuss the ones where you don’t agree. Find ways to weed out bad relationship habits or routines. Stay out of daily, weekly, monthly and annual ruts. Some people go the same place for holidays or vacation year after year, without taking advantage of how refreshing it can be to do something new.

Go someplace that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. Visit family members you haven’t seen for a while or go to a foreign country. When you go out and explore new places together, you have to rely on each other. It puts a new aspect on partnering when you team up through new experiences.

5. The honeymoon is over when he phones to say he’ll be late for supper and she’s already left a note that it’s in the refrigerator. Bill Lawrence

My husband was a widower with five children. We got married on Labor Day weekend. Little did I know at that time how appropriate that date was for a woman diving into an instant family! But it surprised me when my husband insisted that we continue dating at least one evening a week, even after we got married. He believed in the importance of date nights with just the two of us.

Although I didn’t think it would be possible with children, he taught me that it was especially important when you have children. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going out for a Saturday night dinner or a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park. The important thing is to take some time where just the two of you can chat and catch up without the distractions of housekeeping, grocery shopping, preparing meals or caring for children. When you take time out for regular romantic interludes, it allows you to flush out small issues before they build up to big blowouts.

SorensenCartoonMarriageTimeListening

6. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops. Henny Youngman

When you’re married, you’ll inevitably experience a roller coaster of emotions at different times. You may hurt your spouse or vice versa. But it’s important to let things go. This also means that you don’t overthink who makes more money, who does more cooking, or who does more or less of anything on any given day. As a couple, you have one bank account and you’re both responsible for making sure the finances balance at the end of each month.

Together you’re responsible for taking care of all the time-consuming details it takes to manage a family. How you spend your time and money says a lot, so it’s important to have an open checkbook and calendar so you each know how you’re spending your most important assets. “Awareness is good, but don’t keep score,” my husband says. Stay focused on the bigger picture.

7. I think we explored the further reaches of “for better or for worse.” Mary Archer

Children add both pleasure and stress to marriage. In a family situation, it’s critical to be united. When children are involved, it’s vital to discuss how you want to handle child-rearing and discipline. Don’t argue in front of your children or other family members. Work out your disagreements one-on-one whenever necessary.

It’s totally ok to have open discussions where everyone can voice their concerns and opinions, but once a decision is made, it’s important that at least one parent take the lead to see it through. This is part of being a team. This isn’t necessary for every little decision, but it can be important on bigger decisions where family members have conflicting views.

8. Husband: One who stands by you in troubles you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t married him. Anonymous

Differing values are pushed onto relationships through family traditions and culture, but you don’t have to succumb to them in your home. This can be especially challenging with blended families where children are exposed to different households with conflicting house rules. And it can become intensified as kids are sorting through their own values through their teen years.

Look for ways to blend, support and even restrain differing values. It has always been important to me that the children eat real foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But I had to learn to let this go during holiday time with family members who have different standards.

Go Away! And other good advice parents should give kids

It’s actually beneficial for kids to be exposed to different values, traditions, cultures and lifestyles. It helps them learn from a young age that they have the freedom to decide how they want to manage their own lives after they move out.

9. The only thing worse than a husband who never notices what you cook or what you wear is a husband who always notices what you cook and what you wear. Sandra Litoff

SchwadronCartoonWifeStud

When everything about your marriage feels too predictable, it can become boring. Avoid getting into comfort zone ruts or bad habits that cause stagnation. Try new things together. Another great way to break up your routine is to travel. When you get away from home, you’re automatically forced into new circumstances that allow you to try new things. Be daring together. Try new foods, buy youthful outfits, go skinny dipping, do something that surprises your spouse in a fun way.

10. My husband said he needed more space . . . so I locked him outside. Rosanne Barr

Going out with the guys or having a ladies night out is ok in moderation. but it’s more important to do stuff together. Sitting on the couch together is nice, but if that’s all you do night after night, you’ll turn into couch potatoes . Ever since I’ve known my husband, he has been been finding ways for us to try new things together to create memories. “You have to plan for them. They don’t just happen automatically,” he says. Sometimes it may just be the two of you together, but it’s equally important to mix it up by doing things with friends and family.

11. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution? M.L. Mencken

If you enjoy spending most of your non-working hours with your spouse, then you likely to have a strong marriage. If you don’t want to spend time together, it’s critical to figure out why and work through the issues. If either partner feels trapped or confined, both will suffer. It’s much easier to have a happy marriage when you’re married to your best friend.

12. Before marriage, a man will go home and lie awake all night thinking about something you said; after marriage, he’ll go to sleep before you finish saying it. Helen Rowland

Opposites attract. When couples fall in love, it’s sometimes despite the innate characteristics of their partner . . . the things that make them tick. These are the things that can make or break a marriage. Do you know your spouses’s love language? My sister, Jan, is passionate about art and her husband, Periklis, is passionate about flying. They’ve always been supportive of each other pursuing their dreams, despite their differences and fears:

How an artist leverages her passion to suppress fear

Supporting each other in pursuit of your passions sometimes involves short-term sacrifices as you work toward living out your dreams. Always listen to the voice deep inside you. It will guide you to your true north. And encourage your spouse to do the same. It may mean you need to temporarily set aside some fears or short-term desires in order to reach larger goals, but in the end, you’ll both be much happier.

13. I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. Rita Rudner

Take the time to look over your marriage and think about your last several months or years. It’s much easier to laugh at the difficult situations after time has passed. Cherish the challenging times as opportunities that allowed you to learn more about each other. Reflect on the best experiences you’ve had with your spouse.

Find ways to create more positive memories while avoiding the not-so-good experiences in the future. Keep your mind on the good times and positive things that have happened over the years. Practice The 4:8 Principle.

14. The secret to a happy marriage is a secret. Henny Youngman

Make a conscious effort to discover your spouse’s hot points and what they need to feel loved. Some people need words of encouragement while others need a lot of touch. It can take years or even decades for couples to really understand each other. Some people are too embarrassed, shy or afraid to share their true feelings. Some people remain pent-up for years or even decades.

If you can learn to communicate fully and truthfully, you’ll have a much better chance at understanding each other’s deepest feelings and moving to new levels of trust. This can help you unlock ways to resolve your differences. Explore new ways to enjoy your sex life. If you’re happy in bed, you’re more likely to be happy everywhere else.

BruceEricKaplanCartoonof-course-i-care1

I enjoyed pulling together this list with my husband. It was a fun exercise that gave us an opportunity to reminisce and laugh. Together, we came up with more than 14 ideas, jokes and quotes in less than an hour. I hope these marriage jokes help to liven up your anniversary.

Later in the day I asked my husband if he would tell me the 14 things I do that annoy him the most and I would do the same for him. But he said he wasn’t in the mood for playing that game.

If you have something you’d like to add to the list, please leave a comment. There’s no such thing as a marriage that’s too good!

Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

By | Biking, BODY, Comedy, health, Pets, POPULAR, spouses | 6 Comments

It’s always good to have a few excuses up your sleeve in case you run into someone who nags you about joining a gym. Prepare now for the next time one of your “you-should-join-a-gym” friends or family members nags you. If you put a little thought into it now, you can easily ward them off later. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call this friend Jim. It’s best to develop a few excuses that are custom made for you, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

The world's strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

The world’s strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

“I’m taking vegan cooking classes.”

This is a timely excuse you can use now since Jim probably heard about Patrick Baboumian. At Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Festival this year, he carried 550 kg (1,212 lbs) more than 10 meters (32.8 feet), setting a new world record. This makes him the strongest man in the world. This 34-year-old Armenian-German relies on plant power to build his lean body mass and strength. The Star

When he was a boy, Patrick’s hero was the Hulk. Today, he’s achieved his goal of being as big as the Hulk, but despite eating lots of greens every day, he still hasn’t turned green.

He broke the world record by lifting some heavy metal on an outdoor stage. He didn’t use any fancy gym equipment. Real men go to competitions to lift things like logs and cars.

If Jim gives you a hard time about the vegan thing, tell him that after you eat your vegan dinner, you go around the house lifting furniture. Make up specific examples like, “I can already lift my LazyBoy. I’m working on lifting the couch, and eventually I may even be able to lift some of my family’s potatoes.”

“I’m concerned about FARTS.”

Flatulant Air Release Timing Syndrome (FARTS) is particularly troublesome in smaller gyms, and gyms with poor circulation. Scientists are still studying the causes and effects of FARTS. They believe it’s mainly due to diet, but it could also be hereditary.

Though it’s not considered to be contagious, other people will notice if you have FARTS and they may try to avoid you. FARTS is particularly common among people who run on treadmills or ride stationery bikes.

Psychologists are also studying other possible negative effects of treadmills and stationery bikes. When people ride bikes or run on treadmills that go nowhere, some psychologists believe that it may reinforce the idea that no matter how hard you work, you just don’t seem to get anywhere. Working hard to get nowhere? That stinks!

“My local gym won’t let me bring my dog.”

This is a perfect excuse if you have a dog because you can back it up with research. Studies show that pet ownership is linked with better heart health.

Dog owners can also use the FARTS excuse. Despite the fact that most dogs are smart enough to avoid treadmills and stationery bikes, some dog owners have reported that their dogs have contracted FARTS.

You can tell Jim that you’re waiting for a dog-friendly gym like FitBernalFit or K9FitClub. As soon as one opens nearby, you’ll be the first to join. If you have more than one dog, you can elaborate on the fact that your dogs really miss you when you’re at work, so you like to spend as much time as possible with them on evenings and weekends. It also gives you the opportunity to change the subject.

“You know how most people give their dogs boring names like Rover or Spot? I call mine Sex. I was so embarrassed recently when I went to the city hall to renew the dog’s license for Sex. I told the clerk, ‘I’d like a license for Sex.’ He said, ‘I’d like one too!’ Then I said, ‘She’s a dog!’ He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, ‘you don’t understand. I had Sex since I was 9 years old.'” Garrick’s Jokes

And you can go on talking about Sex until your friend forgets about the gym question. If Jim isn’t interested in Sex, then he’s probably not a very good friend anyway.

“I’m learning partner yoga.”

This is a good excuse for people who are married. Tell Jim that you and your spouse/partner are doing partner yoga together several hours every evening while you watch TV. If Jim persists by bragging about how much he benches or how many reps he does, tell him how much strength and flexibility you’ve gained now that you’re doing the dog, the cat, and even the happy baby.

“I’m totally claustrophobic.”

If you have an older brother or sister, you can use this excuse. Make up a story about how your older brother/sister locked you in the closet when you were five years old and ever since you’ve been chronically claustrophobic. Tell Jim that you need open space and fresh air.

If he persists, you can embellish a bit more on the indoor thing. Tell him you’re allergic to the toxic disinfectant sprays they use in gyms. He can’t argue with you on personal stuff like this.

This excuse works particularly well if you’ve ever lived near Venice, CA. Tell Jim that you just can’t seem to find a gym that compares to your former gym, Muscle Beach. You can’t stand those oppressive gyms without a view or fresh air.

Free Fresh Air: Hurry! Offer Ends Soon

“I bike to work.”

Jim probably drives to work. Tell him you’re taking up donations for the League of American Bicyclists to help make roads safer because of all the people driving to gyms. Tell him that you’re only asking for a small donation, about the cost of one tank of gas. If Jim drives a car, ask for $50. If he drives an SUV, ask for $80. If that doesn’t work, give him 13 reasons why he should bike to work.

“I get paid to workout.”

This is a perfect excuse for anyone who does manual labor. Whether you’re stocking shelves, framing houses, or climbing telephone poles, you’re getting paid to workout. Why do you think personal trainers are the only people excited about going to the gym? They’re paid to hang out there.

“I’m a stair master.”

This is a great excuse if you work or live in a tall building. The more floors, the better. You know how magazines are always putting out tips like, “take the steps instead of the elevator.” Tell Jim that you begin your workday by climbing 27 flights. That ought to impress him.

Why don’t more people take the steps? Most stairwells in the US are unattractive passageways installed just to meet ineffective safety codes. Remember the 200  9/11 jumpers?

It’s all backwards! We need to erect more buildings with the emergency stairwells outside the building where they belong. For the sake of good health, indoor stairways should be as elegant as today’s elevators, lined with mirrors, fine wood and polished brass rails. And only one elevator for the disabled. Some people think guns are killing a lot of people in the US, but this number is low compared to the statistics on elevators.

You can use the stair-master excuse for most people you know, but be careful about using it with colleagues who work in the same building. If Jim catches you in an elevator, you can say, “I’m running late for a meeting.” Of course he’ll understand.

White-collar people use this excuse all the time, even though most of them never run at all. People with desk jobs drive home and turn on their TV so they can watch cops and robbers chase after each other.

11 Equipment Essentials for Easy Everyday Exercises 

As you can see, there are many good reasons for not joining a gym. But just in case you’re still looking for a few more ideas, check out this two-minute clip by Jeff Allen . . .

If you’re forgetful, put the Hulk in your kitchen to remind you to eat your vegetables every day. The whole family can have fun with the Hulk. If you have kids, keep the Hulk next to the fruit bowl. If your in-laws are visiting for the weekend, put the Hulk in the refrigerator. Next time Uncle Jim comes over for dinner expecting steak, point to the Hulk.

Subscribe to VegNews to learn more about the benefits of going vegan.

One last word of caution. If you have a dog, be careful where you keep the Hulk. The Hulk has no protection from Sex.

What’s your excuse?

Vegan Society

Laundry study shows Americans have few hangups

By | HAVE FUN, laundry, parenting, POPULAR, spouses | 9 Comments

For the record, I don’t have any problem with people hiding things in their drawers. That’s not my business. Participants in this laundry study agreed unanimously that once clothes are washed, they should, in fact, be hung up or put away in drawers.

Why do a laundry study? I lived in France when I was in college and became fascinated by the ways that people from different cultures do laundry.

Here are a few of my hangups and some of my husband’s as well. I took this picture from the balcony of our apartment in Shenzhen, China.

In this study, drying clothes or putting clothes on hangers was simply referred to as “hangups.”

The French procrastinate. They don’t like dealing with their hangups at all. I became close friends with quite a few people and got invited to their apartments. Many of them had very few clothes and they’d wear the same outfit all week. I learned that the French invented eau de toilette water just to avoid their hangups.

collapsible indoor tripod clothes drying rack

CLICK HERE to buy a collapsible indoor tripod clothes drying rack.

Instead of doing laundry, they’d rather meet up with friends to talk over a glass of wine and a plate of crackers topped with smelly cheese. At first I didn’t like the smell of some of the cheeses or even some of my friends. But it didn’t take me long to adapt to the culture and pay less attention to my own hangups.

One French participant noted that he used his bidet to wash his underwear and derriere at the same time. AhaJokes

Americans also avoid their hangups, but in a different way. They put their clothes in the dryer and expect the appliance to minimize their hangups. Numerous participants reported that their things do indeed tend to shrink in the dryer.

But in reality, dryers are a big waste of money and space. Clothes dry all by themselves if you give them a few hours. They don’t need to be baked. We’d all be better off if people dealt with their hangups on their own instead of relying on an electric appliance for a quick fix.

Many Americans firmly believe that people shouldn’t hang their laundry out to dry. In fact many homeowner’s associations and apartment complexes in the US restrict people from hanging their laundry out to dry. They forbid people from putting up clotheslines in their own backyard or hanging clothes on their porches.

hang drying laundry on a retractable outdoor clothes line

CLICK HERE to buy a retractable outdoor clothes line. It stows away neatly when not in use.

Uppity hotels and resorts in the US restrict their customers from hanging their beach towels or bathing suits on their balconies. As an American, I think we should stop doing this. It’s really confusing to foreigners who think America is the land of the free.

One Italian who participated in the study stated that he didn’t understand why so many Americans went all the way to Italy just to take pictures of laundry hanging across streets in his hometown, Venice. He felt that Americans should be free to display hangups in their own streets.

Dry your laundry like you're in Venice.

Dry your laundry like you’re in Venice.

Most participants agreed that it’s perfectly normal to have hangups. And we’d all be better off if everyone hung their things out to dry. Most of the male participants agreed with this. Several commented that they like to know if a woman wears granny panties or thongs, adding that they have a tendency to be curious about things like this. But many female participants stated that they prefer to hide these sorts of things in their drawers. Whatever you wear, be sure to choose natural fabrics over synthetics.

My husband loves me regardless of my hangups. I know this because over the years he has supported me during times when I’ve had fewer hangups and at times when I’ve expanded my collection.

It’s important for married couples to be tolerant of one another. Since the time we got married, I’ve dealt with every one of my husband’s hangups, except for the occasional ones I pass on to the dry cleaner.

But even this I take seriously. I don’t give his hangups to just any dry cleaner. I look for ones that don’t use PERC.

clothes line solar powered laundry drying apparatus

Clothesline: a radical solar-powered laundry drying apparatus

Men usually have bigger hangups than women. Because their shoulders are typically wider, they’re naturally suited for larger hangups. This was another important finding of the study. My own husband, for example, didn’t know how to use a washer or dryer when we got married. Some of the younger women who participated in the study said they would have a problem with this because they expect their husband to deal with his own hangups.

But like many men of the Baby Boomer generation, my husband believes that women should be responsible for all the hangups in the family. I never really had a problem with it though because it makes me a stronger person. Any woman who has carried around a big basket of wet laundry knows it’s a heavy load to carry.

Turns out this is a global phenomenon. I’ve traveled all over the world and observed that women are usually the ones who take responsibility not only for their husband’s hangups, but also for the hangups of their children. That’s why middle age women are generally afflicted with a higher percentage of hangups.

According to the Green Cleaners Council, most drycleaners don’t care about their hangups. They pass them out without asking customers to bring them back. Responsible drycleaners understand that perfectly good hangups should not be wasted or placed in the trash.

When I lived in China, I was impressed with how many hangups Chinese people have. I saw many new types of hangups I’d never seen before. Most of them have a certain type of hangup permanently installed on their balconies or porches. And some have attachments to purposely display their hangups from their windows. They have no problem sharing even their most personal hangups with their neighbors. In fact, most Chinese people don’t even own electric dryers. They hang all their laundry out to dry.

I like to take pictures of people and their hangups. You can learn a lot about folks this way. Sometimes you can tell what type of work they do, the age of their children, and even how much money they make.

I’ve always believed that children should learn at a young age to put away their toys, say thank you, and deal with their own hangups. And moms should also be concerned about the toxins in dryer sheets. According to the Environmental Health Association of Ontario, dryer sheets “have been associated with numerous illnesses and chronic conditions.”

More Americans are starting to understand the hangup issue we have in our country. They’re banding together in organizations like Project Laundry List to educate people and to promote things like clotheslines, drying racks, and more hangups for Americans.

A member of the International Naturist Federation participated in the survey and commented that most people in Western countries have way too many hangups that they don’t need. He asked to remain anonymous even though he assured me he didn’t have anything he wanted to cover up.

nudefest naturist beach

The naturist assured me he didn’t have anything he wanted to cover up.

You can do your part by supporting Project Laundry List and your local green cleaner. But, according to the findings of this laundry study, the most important thing you can do is start dealing with your own hangups. As soon as they come out of the washer, hang them up to dry.

As with any change, you may find it a bit uncomfortable until you get into the new habit. But you’ll quickly begin to reap the benefits. Not only will you increase your physical activity, your clothes will last longer, and you’ll save money.

Shortly after the laundry study was complete, one of the participants contacted me with good news. Her husband decided he would try to do his own wash.

“What setting do I use on the washing machine?” my husband yelled out from the laundry room one morning.

“It depends,” I told him. “What does it say on your shirt?”

Go Gators,” he replied.

AboutLaundryRoomJokes

Project Laundry List

 

Design a Peaceful Bedroom

By | Sleep, spouses | 3 Comments

Good sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health. Make your bedroom a peaceful sanctuary. By applying a few Feng Shui principals, you can optimize your sleeping space. Use a mix of soft blue tones, for example, to promote tranquility. Avoid bright red, or other vivid colors or patterns that stimulate energy.

blog create a peaceful bedroom

Keep TVs, computers, and other electronics out of your bedroom, or at least hide them away in closets or cabinets before sleeping. Keep your alarm clock on the far side of your nightstand and make sure it doesn’t emit too much light.

Keep mirrors out of your bedroom. They bounce light and images around the room, and therefore increase energy. If you have a mirror in your bedroom, cover it with thick fabric before getting in bed. Glass also reflects light. Glass-top nightstands, artwork framed in glass, and glass containers all reflect light and should, therefore be avoided.

Consider your partner. Objects and colors should appeal to both of you. If you share your bed, place a nightstand on each side to create balance. Choose art and objects carefully. If having a partner is important to you, avoid depictions with only one figure, which suggests solitude. And avoid things with three or more figures which  can insinuate infidelity. Be especially attentive to what you can see from your bed. What you notice first thing in the morning can help to set the mood for your first and last thoughts of the day.

Ideally, everything about the area should be peaceful. Don’t store exercise equipment near your bed, for example, or allow clutter to accumulate. If you live in an open-style loft or you can’t move things, cover them, or hide them behind a screen before you go to sleep.