Ask any new mom if she’d like to break from pampering her Pamper wearer long enough to become the pamperee.  And you’re sure to hear one thing.  “Oui, oui!”  After taking European women by storm with their doorstep delivered beauty in a box, the creators of GlossyBox are thinking outside the box yet again and launching petiteBox in the U.S. this month.  An e-commerce subscription service, petiteBox is making pampering moms their business. Delivered to the doorsteps of new moms and moms-to-be, these beautifully packaged boxes each contain 4-7  products de pampering and promise a mix of goodies that is sure to give “a day in the life of motherhood” that certain…je ne sais quoi.  Depending on her stage of pregnancy, or her new bundle of joy’s age, the products cater to the needs of both mom and baby.

Pampered moms will receive organic lotions, calming oils, baby clothes, skin creams, baby food, lavish toys, and mommy joys.  With such a delightful treasure box coming straight to their doors, moms are making petiteBox their personal baby “booty” delivery service.  Her bouncing baby box will be filled with products from high end brands such as Earth Friendly Baby (providing organic products like shampoo, body wash, baby wipes, and baby creams), Lansinoh (supplying mom with breastfeeding must-haves), basq (spoiling mom with aromatic body oils and anti stretch mark creams), Mam (calming baby with teethers and binky besties), and Angel Dear (cuddling baby with petite blankies and cozily cute clothes).  So many chic treats!  But, perhaps, my favorite luxurious mommy treat is the flower essences energy mist by Lotus Wei.  While not many things can top that incredibly intoxicating new baby smell mommies snort like addicts, full time mommydom can zap a girl’s fresh feeling.  And a quick spritz of the sweet misty scent of flowers teases the senses and rejuvenates the spirit…giving mom just the boost she needs to feel fresh, flirty, and tres feminine.

Not only are these experts on everything wee boxing up top of the line products for moms everywhere.  They’re also including how-to tips on exercising, baby shopping, mixing alcohol-free cocktails, getting through baby’s first year, and everything pregnancy.

Upon subscription, and once a month for each following month, recipients can expect an elegantly packaged box filled to the brim with these extravagant products and mommy literature ensuring pampering for both the poo bearer and the poo wearer.

Whether treating a mommy-to-be, giving as a gift for her baby shower, or surprising her with a welcome home box after delivery…no gift is more thoughtful or more recurring for a newly initiated member of the mommy sorority than a monthly subscription to petiteBox.  And for those DIY moms out there, give yourself the gift that keeps on giving, subscribe to months of doorstep surprises, say “oui” to all things wee, and surrender to the Box.

petiteBox.

Little box. Big luxury.

Chick Hughes

 

 

As adventure goes, this world is a sea of possibilities.  Take the time to “see” the possibilities.

An Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli, once said…

~ “There is no certainty.  There is only adventure.” ~

Of this, I am certain.  😉

 

Chick Hughes

 

 

As mom to an 11 year old boy barreling his way towards the teen years, I sometimes wonder (in the collision course of parenting, preteen rebellion, and life lessons) just who is teaching who. From his first kindergarten experience, throughout the entirety of his elementary school years, to his first almost completed year of middle school…he has shared a classroom with Ben (*name has been changed for obvious reasons), who has remained somewhat an outsider to his peers since taking his first step into elementary school. The beginning years were kinder.  A time when innocent acceptance was the norm and kids were more focused on their similarities rather than their differences. But times change. Kids grow up.  They begin asserting their independence and searching for their identities amid a sea of possibilities. Trying to “fit in” and avoid being singled out. This search for identity coupled with the need to belong leads to a survival of the fittest showdown. Who will make the cool cut?  Who won’t?  Bullies, on patrol looking a victim, troll the school for an ego to shred…in efforts to boost theirs.  Sacrificing an easy target’s ego for their own.

It’s just recently that my son has entered the social battle field that is middle school.

In all of his 11 years, I’ve been persistent when it comes to compassion and empathy for others. Having seen, first hand, the short term and long term effects bullying has on a person’s self perception, and consequently, self destruction ~ I couldn’t bear the thought of a person I was responsible for ever having a hand in bringing that kind of misery and insecurity to a fellow human being. I pushed him regularly to see life through the eyes of someone other than himself. To be compassionate and empathetic. To be a friend, rather than a critic. So, in kindergarten, when he took notice of Ben’s challenges and befriended him, I couldn’t have been more proud. Becoming a safe place for Ben in a place where he didn’t quite fit in was so admirable, so simply and beautifully…human. He was doing exactly what I’d hoped he would.  Accepting without judgment.

He was an inspiration to me, reminding me to practice what I preach.  A daily reality check on my own reactions and feelings towards others.

Ben was crazy about him. Followed him everywhere. As time went on, Ben’s difficulties fitting in became more and more obvious. The other students were beginning to take notice. And they were much less compassionate and accepting. With our first year of middle school almost behind us, I began to notice he ~ who had always loved school and was riddled with stress at the thought of missing class ~ was asking to miss school, to stay home…day after day. He feigned the usual…a tummy ache, a headache, a muscle ache. But never a heartache, which I would soon discover was the culprit.

After my endless questioning about his sudden desire to miss school, he finally curled up beside me, broke down, cried, and begged me to stay home.  He had confirmed my worst fears. He was being picked on, bullied. And for the very thing I had pushed him to do since he had entered school. For taking in the underdog. For not following the herd. For refusing to join the taunting and exclusion of a fellow student. He was being bullied by association. The other kids had succumbed to the need to fit in, set their sights on Ben’s weaknesses, and were descending on him like hungry wolves. Because Ben had found a safe place in him and clung to him for support, and because he couldn’t bear to hurt him by joining the taunting herd, he had become easy prey at Ben’s side. The pecking order establishment of his middle school years was in full swing. And his kindness was quickly sinking him straight down where the bottom feeders would peck away at him and dismantle his self confidence.

Always having guided him away from becoming the bully… it hadn’t really occurred to me that he may one day be the bullied.

He was crushed. I was crushed. He felt defeated. I felt guilty. After all, I was the one who had harped on the realities of what harsh words could do to a person’s spirit. And now, it was his spirit that was taking the beating. What could I do?  An education in psychology, years of experience with children, past struggles as a parent…all left me helpless in the face of an untouchable bully who had targeted my son.

I wasn’t prepared to prepare him for psychological battle.

As his mom, my knee-jerk reaction was defense. I had to protect him, even if it meant forsaking another child. So, I found myself advising him to do the opposite of what I had told him for so many years. I told him to avoid Ben, who had depended on him since kindergarten as a friend. Not to join in on the bullying of him. But to look the other way. To abandon him when he needed him most. To distance himself from him in order to remove the target from his own back.

I cringed as the words escaped my mouth. Mortified at my own feelings. But this was my baby. And I had to do anything I could to keep his very delicate and developing self confidence intact. I knew that middle school was a dog eat dog world…

And I knew that if he carried around a bone, he would be eaten alive.

But his response was yet another thing I was ill-prepared for and left me ashamed and in tears. He looked me straight in the eye and said,

“But mom, if I don’t talk to him, no one else will. I don’t want him to be all alone.”

My heart broke…for the second time. The first time out of empathy for this chunk of my heart that was walking around outside my body. The second time as a result of clashing pride and regret.

How was it that he could be stronger than I in this scenario?

He had confided in me. Had I said the right thing? Advised the right thing? I still don’t know. But I do know that for the time being, he doesn’t feign illness to avoid school. His confidence is back, if only until the wolves descend again.  I can only hope that I’m able to arm him with enough self confidence to fend them off.

Since then, his school principal has instituted a mandatory film for the entire school to watch. A film based on the real life struggles of a young boy who was bullied, how he had become desperate enough to physically hurt himself, and how the bullies dealt with the guilt of what their actions had done to another human being. That film had a huge impact on my son. He cried recalling the details to me. I could not be more proud of the middle school we call our academic home ~ for their proactive efforts in exposing and educating young children on the realities of bullying. Preteen and teen children are naturally inept at seeing things from another person’s perspective. Especially a person with whom they have nothing in common.

But the parents, the schools, and the media are finally saying “no more.”  No more sweeping this issue under the rug. No more making excuses for our youth. No more allowing our children to suffer in silence. We’re uniting for the sake of young innocence, for the sake of broken spirits, and for the sake of missed opportunities for those who have resorted to taking their own lives to escape the mental torment.

For the first time, we’re forcing kids to look at bullying through the eyes of both the bully and the bullied. For the first time, we’re holding kids accountable for the cruelty they impose on a weaker peer. For the first time, we’re holding ourselves accountable for allowing it to happen as we look the other way. And for the first time ~ hopefully ~ we can find the courage and the leadership as adults to stop the cruelty and teach compassion.

I taught my son compassion. But in the face of the bully when the cost became too great, I retreated…

And he taught me that compassion doesn’t come cheap.  And that sometimes, with matters of the heart, we adults have more to learn from children than they do from us.

The movie Bully opens in theaters on March 30. If you have children in or approaching the very difficult years of middle school or high school, take the time to see it with them. It could change, or save, a life.

Chick Hughes

First comes love.  Then comes baby.  Then comes the all American question:  Suburbs, maybe?  Parenthood instantly propels us to superhero status…called on to protect and serve that perfect little mini-me. We do anything and everything to keep him safe.  We put up baby gates, cover outlets, lock ourselves out of our own kitchen cabinets, and become human security blankets magically resistant to anything from the the boogeyman to the boogie wipe.  But sooner or later, he’ll want to venture out into the wilds that await on the other side of the door we’ve so carefully baby proofed.  Now easy peasy electrical outlet covers, cabinet door locks, and staircase baby gates are menacing streets filled with unpredictable drivers, strangers with candy, and shady slow-moving vans on the prowl.  If you have kids, you got the memo.  City bad.  Suburbs good.

They say birds of a feather flock together.  We parental birds make this suburban migration in droves for the well-being of our little people.  So that we can shield them from danger.  So that we feel comfortable letting them play outside without constant supervision.  And so that we can put head to pillow at night knowing we’ve done one more thing to keep them from becoming the misery-spreading anti-family rebel with fangs that every teenager is destined to become.

It wasn’t long after I jumped on the manic mommy wagon that we did the inevitable and followed the droves.  We bought…a neighborhood.  I say neighborhood because, as any of you who have bought a home knows, it’s akin to getting married.  You don’t just buy the house.  You buy the whole damn neighborhood.  The cookie cutter houses, the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, the neighbors’ dog doo on your shoes, the forced neighborhood how-do-you-do’s, and the futile attempts to avoid the obligatory gossip news.  It’s a deceptively package deal.  And the day we sealed the deal and moved into our white picket fence ~ homeowner’s association ~ gated community ~ neighborhood was the day we were to begin our purchased “safe haven” life.  We were naively giddy with newbie enthusiasm.

They say it only takes one rotten egg to stink up the joint.  And the stench was wafting in our direction.  Pulling the overstuffed U-Haul up to our exciting new abode, we were happy to see a child’s birthday party underway…complete with the blur of running kids, the sound of contagious laughter, the rented bouncy house, and the child’s parents…a twosome that would soon make me grapple with why my dream of moving to the city was ever deemed a bad idea.

My first impression of him was one of “What..the.. hell did we just do?”  And as time marched on, he managed only to validate that impression.  Sluggish, overweight, beer in hand, a slight buzz, and an obvious itch to stir trouble.  The kind of trophy neighbor a realtor pays to stay clear of the hood until the ink is dry on the loan papers.  With a cocky demeanor, he strutted over to me, introduced himself, and proceeded to brief me on his wife’s name.  He took a hearty swig from his beer, gave me a manly punch on the arm, and verbally trashed her like day-old empty beer bottles.  On the outside, I was smiling and feigning understanding.  On the inside, I was planning my escape route.  He was, and is, your typical neighborly nightmare.  After executing my escape plan, I turned to introduce myself to what I hoped would be his polar opposite, a fellow mom I could befriend.  But when she refused eye contact with me, left me hanging, and darted in the other direction like I had bared my fangs and taken aim at her throat, I watched my white picket fence fantasy go up in flames.  And I wondered who lit a match?

Days turned into weeks.  Weeks into months.  Being the new kids on the block, we were privy to our fair share of rumors swirling about the couple in question.  All coinciding with my original impression.  But I tried to keep an open mind.  Remain neutral.  I failed.  Neutral is hard to pull off when I walk outside to hear him barking profanities in one of the faces of his many children, when I hear him -over my television- in the wee hours of the night standing in the middle of the street ranting drunken insults at a neighbor who is inside asleep in his bed, or when I realize that politely asking him to keep his large dog from peppering our front yard with T-Rex sized crappy patties signals -to him- a war of not-so-clever words that may end with his waving of the rebel flag and the threat of his 12 gauge shotgun between my eyes.  Clearly, the last thing I want to do is enrage a drunk redneck exercising his right to bear arms.

Bumping into his wife at our nearby grocery store or in the neighborhood was a routine occurrence.  Eye contact and conversation were still, apparently, off limits.  Word of my Medusa stone turning abilities had somehow been leaked.  Nevertheless, our kids had become fast friends and wouldn’t see each other without speaking.  So completely evading the situation wasn’t an option and chance encounters with her became an awkward game of chicken.  Who would speak first?  Who would look down in avoidance first?  She had mastered the role of chicken well.

I gave up trying to talk to her, settled in the notion that she hated me.  But I do think about her often.  As a woman, I wonder if she’s happy?  Miserable?  Afraid?  Stuck?  As a mom, I wonder if the kids are happy?  Miserable?  Desensitized? Resigned?  If his drunken public persona is so unsettling to the rest of us, what was living with him like?  I presumed happiness wasn’t an option.  Maybe avoidance was her defense mechanism.  A way to keep new unfamiliar people at arms length to project the perception that all was good.  That she had everything under control.  Maybe it wasn’t me she hated at all, but the threat of yet another neighbor witnessing the very things she was so desperate to hide.  Not only from the outside, but from herself.

While I prefer to avoid them, my kids want to play with their kids, putting them directly in his path.  So, here we are in a house, in a neighborhood, that we’ve bought for the peace of mind that our kids could play without threat.  But within months of escrow closing, rumors of the unstable “father of the beer” were joined by those of drug dealing neighbors and the realization that registered sex offenders lived too close for comfort.

So it turns out our neighborhood is just a hood, like any other.  A white picket fence is just wood and nails.  HOA rules are only as good as a handshake and a neighbor’s word.  An electric entry gate is easily broken away.  And the people we’re so desperate to protect our kids from live on BOTH sides of the gate.

A gate that serves no real purpose aside from perceived status.

On my side of the gate, I continue to avoid him.  There’s a tangible tension between us that is challenged daily by our kids’ friendship…a friendship that reminds me that young innocence without judgment does exist…prior to life’s jading.

She speaks to me now, although her dislike for me proves hard for her to hide.  We fake it anyway, as do most neighbors.  And every so often, I look out toward her house and wonder what I may do if I were in her shoes.  Is she simply out of options?  Or does she truly love him and lead a happy life?  Am I being presumptuous in assuming her misery?  After all, the only thing I really know about her life is what I see playing out in the streets of our little utopia.

And then I wonder if she wonders the same about me.

Is her perception of me just as haunted by questions?  Does she see my skeletons peeking from my closet as I do hers?  Does she presume to see through me as I do her?

Am I too living under white picket pretense?

Of course I am.

But at least for now, our kids are youthfully unaware of what lies beneath our pretense.  And to them…

A fence is just a fence.   

 

Chick Hughes

The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.” J.R.R. Tolki

XKCD

Valentine Dilemma

 

 

 

“No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”  ~ Francois Mauriac

photo by: puFFin2006

~ Refined and reposted from 2011 archive

Ok, admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.  Ever ornery, I resent being guilted into expressing my love by corporate greeting card money whores.  Forced to say “I love you” their way…on their day.  Everywhere I look…cheesy cards, heart-shaped candy, and the foolproof red rose…guaranteed to make her shed her clothes.  Apparently.  “V” day could possibly be the most pressure inducing holiday of the year.  He’s feeling the squeeze to romance her, lest she be the only “unloved” girl alive who will secretly plan her vengeance on some random day when he feels all is right with his all too romantically challenged little world .  And, in appreciation for his romantic efforts, she feels pressured to give it up, lest he be the only “unlucky” guy alive, who will surely wither under the duress of an under-utilized appendage.  He’s sprung for dinner and a gift…and he’s sprung yet again.

Forced to stalk the aisles ablaze with red and pink lovin’ necessities, we buy (literally) into the holiday hype for fear our sweetie will feel unlucky in love. Scrambling frantically, and at the last minute, through hundreds of replicated pledges of love, we’re mere puppets at the greedy hand of the greeting card industry.  Five bucks to express someone else’s feelings and look the other way when the moment has passed and those feelings are tossed into the trash?  Creativity is dead, it seems.  A homemade card created from the heart is not only more romantic…it’s a thoughtful one-of-a-kind gesture, and you can be sure that thousands of other people aren’t pretending to love the same exact “gesture” while wondering if their heartthrob searched for hours on end or just grabbed the card nearest the exit route from the store. But hey, if retail giants say these token mass produced impersonal gifts will get you laid, who am I to argue?

But I do.

If cards, candy, and flowers were sure to set his sheets on fire with hot lovemaking (which is the true motive behind his romantic whim), you can bet the calendar would be inundated with more dreamt up “romantic” holidays.  One competing with the next on its panty dropping ability.  Men everywhere would make a daily pit stop at the local corner store to stock up on the “sure thing” card, candy, flower trifecta.  The male consumer population would redefine the term “convenience store.”   A quickie mart for the quickie smart.  😉

Obviously love is more complicated than that.  While it’s nice to be romanced on Valentine’s Day, we want to feel loved, supported, and appreciated every day of the year.  After all, there are 364 more opportunities to show affection…and to get some.  Attentive appreciation provides all the ammo our sweeties need to combat those 364 days chock-full of life’s not-so-welcome little surprises.  Fickle and unforgiving, life is unpredictable on a good day, hostile on a so-so day, and a downright bitch on a bad day.  Presented with twists and turns, ins and outs, ups and downs, we come face to face with everything life throws our way.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And through it all, we want to know that our one and only will stand by our side.  That we can depend on that love, rain or shine.  Dependability plays a vital role in relationship success and is rated one of love’s most valuable commodities.  We want assurance that the one we love is there to catch us when life tosses us aside.  We want more than a lover.  We want a best friend.

Studies show that the happiest and most successful couples are also best friends.  A best friend is there when life is good…dancing and playing alongside us in life’s blindingly sunny rays of happiness.  A best friend is there when life is hostile…showing us a single ray of sunshine amid life’s ominous rain clouds.  And, most importantly, a best friend is there when life is a bitch…standing right there beside us providing shelter in the eye of the storm.  And when that storm passes, a best friend dances with us in the puddles, dries us off, and helps us move on.

On life’s sunniest and stormiest of days…we want a shoulder to cry on, a friend to rely on, and a lover to get it on.

No more holiday hype.

On Valentine’s Day, on a good day, on a bad day, on THIS day…be the best friend your sweetie needs.

Say “I love you” your way…every day.

 

Chick Hughes

Love when love doesn’t come easy.  🙂

 

I am available for freelance writing/copywriting.

* Blog posts

* Websites

* Brochures

* Emails

* Speeches

 

Whether you need professional advertising with an edge or a simple blog post to jazz up your small business, the power of words can make or break you.  Witty informative writing is key in winning the attention, the affection, and the business of your target audience.

 

~ Writing for fun.

~ Writing for creativity.

~ Writing for you.

Contact me at chickhughes@gmail.com

 

 

An alumni member of eager, starry-eyed children who once stalked the holiday season with the stealth of a hungry bear in a kiddie pool brimming with trout,  I learned, as a child, that the lighting of the tree brought with it three things consistently.  The wafting aroma of baked delicious Goodies, the building anticipation of commercialized Gifts, and the promise of perfectly timed maternal Guilt ~ a tool so successful in controlling young children (and adults alike), it’s outplayed only by some omnipresent athletically-challenged senior citizen who watches all gestures, naughty and nice, and visits every child on the planet in one night…but somehow needs a flying deer with a flashlight for a nose to do it.  I guess something has to drag his fat ass and tricked out sleigh from suburban chimney to inner city hood.  Believer, or not, no child takes lightly the threat of running into the living room to find lumps of coal where trendy iphones and 3DS gaming systems should be.  Nothing corrects unwanted behavior quite as well.

Nothing…except maybe the sad beaten down eyes of a loving mom who is resorting to good old fashioned guilt for the holidays.  She works so hard to give us everything our little hearts desire while we take, take, take.  I, of course, was no different from any other egocentric adolescent and, in all my child-like selflessness, wondered:

What should I give HER for Christmas?  Should I buy her something cheap she’ll hate, make her something lame she’ll love, or just wrap something from her room she’s surely forgotten she owned?  Children have limited resources, after all…

Assuming simply asking her was the most logical means to an end, that’s just what I did ~ foolish as it was.  As soon as I could peel myself away from the anytime, all the time fighting with my sister, who was ~ at all times ~ dressed out in boxing attire and ready to initiate a throw down, which she would later blame me for.  We fought over everything…which was the better daughter in the family, which was the worse daughter in her adopted family, who took the trash out last, who looked at who for too long and WHY, and why in hell one sister ever felt she had the right to touch, talk to, or talk about the other.

So, when we expressed interest in what we could do for the woman who tolerated us day in and day out, she was quick with her plea.

“I just want everyone to get along.”

And there it was…guilt.  All wrapped in pity and tied with a pretty bow.  Ugh…guilt dished, eyes rolled, gag reflexes tested, and sisterly war resumed.

As a kid, I always hated being served up guilt with a side of disappointment… and the shame that went along with it.  However, time has a way of altering one’s perspective.  Years have passed.  And I now have two feuding bundles of joy of my own.  A sassy 4 year old girl who melts all hearts who dare to cross her curly-headed, quick-witted path and an almost 11 year old boy who physically can’t survive unless he’s strategically positioned directly in her path wreaking havoc and doing everything in his power to top his high score in aggravation from the day before.  Luckily for me, I’m present for every little dig, every brotherly needling, every attempt at a frustrated whiny reaction from the curly-haired cutie…who, by the way, isn’t so cute when her head is spinning with fury.  But nevermind all that.  The holidays are here.  The tree is twinkling.  My bank account is dwindling.  And the gift of guilt is officially up for grabs.  I’m spending my days frantically searching for all the hot items Santa has been taxed with this year and gushing over my two beautiful, healthy, intelligent, gonna-take-this-world-by-storm future humanitarian millionaires…and my nights moonlighting as an unpaid, unappreciated referee for two barbaric sumo wrestlers who’ve turned my house, my car, and my mental health into a no holds barred, last man standing death match.

But, it IS Christmas, so my 10 year old was kind enough to break from his torment ‘n’ terror streak to ask me that all important question:

“Mom, what do you want for Christmas?”

At this moment, my childhood guilt flashed before my eyes.  The eye rolls, the gagging, the wondering why she couldn’t just suggest to me a gift idea I was actually capable of giving her.  Life had come full circle.  I finally got it.  There was NOTHING he could buy me, make me, or wrap from my room that would thrill me as much as one evening packed with peace and quiet and void of sibling war.  So, I said it.

“I just want everyone to get along…”  Yep, I wrapped it in pity, stuck a pretty bow on it, and re-gifted the gift that keeps on giving.  GUILT.

Only when we become parents ourselves do we empathize with the complete and utter desperation that breeds motherly guilt.  Only when we find ourselves locked in the bathroom crying because somewhere along the way, the shitter has become our safe place…and because sooner or later, the “others” will learn to pick the lock.  Only then do we get it.

And one day, when my grandchildren are using their parents’ sanity as a dart board, my kids will get it too…

And re-gift the guilt that keeps on giving.

But, as for now, his response to my desperation was…

“Never gonna happen, my friend.”

 

Chick Hughes  🙂

Technologically advanced guilt

 

 

And may your nearest redeemer for frequent flirter miles not be a 3 ft tall, grammatically challenged know-it-all.  Although, this little green ladies’ man seems to know his way around a flirt…and a skirt.  Once again, men are left scratching their heads as the whole concept of “size matters” is shot to hell by this image of a seemingly studly Yoda regaling women with tales starring the forceful magic of his “light saber.”   Tales so heroic, so sexually charged, they send women’s clothing plunging to a crumpled heap on the ground in a desperate plea of surrender.  Or so says Photoshop.

Captivating I am.  Seduce you I will.

Every Jedi knows the art of flirting is a mix of conversation, body language, and physical touch…and may just be our most vital form of communication.  It’s the foreplay to our foreplay, so to say.

We flirt because it’s a necessary road to reproduction junction.  It could be that the flirtee is just too hot to be denied our charms.  And it could be that it’s just fun.  Scientists say that flirting doesn’t necessarily mean attraction.  That, hot or not, we’re evolutionarily programmed to be sexually alert, on our toes, and prepared for passionate throes.  Married, single, or “it’s complicated” …our primitive libidos are in constant battle with modern monogamy.  So, even if we’re off the market, we flirt with potential buyers to humor our libidos…and our egos.  Met with success, or shaming mess, we flirt to advertise our assets…and remind ourselves we’ve still got it.  When we flirt, we display our creativity, our humor, and our intelligence…flaunting our stellar skills for withstanding whatever poo pies life may throw our way (selling ourselves as the optimal life partner).  But aside from our dung dodging skills, we spread our peacock feathers…display our bountiful (surgically custom) cleavage, our Baby Got Back bums, our Fabio-lously spray tanned flexing pecs, our firm afterglow-inducing light sabers.  Saying, without saying, “I got that good hit!  Don’t you want to bag me?”

We flirt.  We bag.  We ensure the survival of our genetic genius.  And we settle into family life.  We now have children to raise, mortgages to pay, bosses to mock, and spontaneity to block.  Burdened by an endlessly overwhelming list of chores and responsibilities that would make even the most devoted Family Guy pimp out his wife for a break, we don’t take time to maintain flirting fluency with our main squeeze.  The romance dies.  We’re merely roommates…without benefits…tending to chores.  Making it from one day to the next.  We get comfortable in the notion that our spouse isn’t going anywhere.  And realize…neither are we.  We’re in a rut.

It’s then that we realize that somewhere along the way, we’ve become biologically washed up.  With no sex life and no sex appeal, we’re no longer relevant to the circle of life.  We begin to feel unwanted and depressed.  We start to miss the flirt, the chase…the thrill of sexual possibilities.  Ironically, both spouses will come face to face with his/her own feeling of sexual loss.  However, neither will attempt to fill this void for the other.  Usually because we’re both too busy trying to maintain every other relationship in the daily grind…forgetting that a happy sweetie promises a different grind altogether.  We go out of our way to please other people.  Bosses, friends, co-workers.  Why?  Because we know that our bosses, our friends, or our co-workers can, and will, walk out on us at any time.  We don’t take these relationships for granted.  So we see the value in the work needed to maintain them.  But our spouses…we take them for granted.  We don’t work on the marital relationship because it’s the one place we think we can afford to get lazy and fall asleep on the job.

Divorce…and remarriage…statistics beg to differ.

The cold hard truth is…what we take for granted, someone just around the corner is all too eager to appreciate.

Whatever the cost to our social or family life, we’re drawn to flirty appreciation like an oompa loompa to shoe lifts.   It boosts our egos, stimulates our sex drives, and spices up our lives.  We need to flirt to feel special…to feel connected.  We need it emotionally and sexually.  So, if no one is flirting with us at home, we begin to feel stagnant.  We grow bored with our marriage AND ourselves.  And we’re all the more receptive to outside flirts.

Marriage is monotonous…on a good day.  If we want to keep it fresh and romantic, we can’t put away our dazzling peacock plumage just because we’re too lazy to strut it.  We need to continue displaying our assets.  Otherwise, life clouds our memory.  And we both forget why we fell in love in the first place.  The flirt, the tease, the challenge, the FUN…this is what keeps our spouse true and still believing in “I do.”

Why flirting with the one that matters…matters?

*  It’s adult play.  We never outgrow our need for play.  Make your spouse your toy.

*  It boosts both egos.  Flirting gives us a sense of power.  Whether we’re the hunter or the prey, we all enjoy a good chase. It validates our sexual worth.

*  It’s the language of love…promising the continual emotional connection we seek so ruthlessly.

*  It reminds our spouse that we’re still very much attracted to them…translation:  “I don’t take you for granted!”

*  It’s healthy for children to witness our playful love.  It provides them a sense of security and models a healthy, loving relationship.

*  It will eventually lead to sex.  Filthy, dirty sex…somewhere. 😉

Teasing Tactics:

*  Be witty and challenging.

*  Tackle a chore your sweetie usually takes care of.

*  Wear flirty clothes…or no clothes.

*  Snuggle…give back rubs or massages.

*  Engage in sexy, suggestive banter.  Remember, the brain is our most sexual organ.

*  Compliment.  Flattery will get you everywhere.

*  Send romantic/sexy texts or emails…either as yourself…or the sultry stranger who’s been lusting from afar.

*  Create a special hand signal (sign language) for a romantic/sexy message just between the two of you.

 

It’s our nature to follow the flirt.  When it comes to your sweetie, turn up your tease…

Lead the way.

Chick Hughes

“It’s not my fault that I fell for you, you tripped me” ~ unknown

 

 

 

 

Get your booty shakin’ and your sex life quakin.’  Or so say the sexperts!  It turns out exercise is good for more than buns of steel.  It also promises tons of squeal…in the bedroom.  Or maybe it’s the steel causing the squeal?  😉  Either way, that’s quite the incentive for squeezing in some sweat time.  But forcing that overstressed, overworked tired tushy to hit the gym and squeeze an hour of sweat from the sour lemon that is our day?  Not exactly ap-pealing.  The excuses mount, no?  No time.  No energy.  Too many chores.  Too little willpower.  But what if a regular workout routine were to increase our sex drive and deliver better orgasms?  Hmmm, squeezing a drop of sweat from that sour lemon of a day may just get us lemon-Laid!

Studies show just that.  Regular exercise does indeed deliver an enhanced sex drive.  Over a sustained period of time, sweating it out releases endorphins causing a “runner’s high.”  We feel good inside and out.  Working out elevates our mood and makes us feel calm, confident, and in control.  That confidence acts as an aphrodisiac giving us the gas needed to rev our engines and finish the race with a ‘bang.’  Men AND women who routinely exercise show decreased stress, enhanced sex drives, and better orgasms.  And the more intense the workout, the more successful the aphrodisiac.

After years of marriage, kids, work, and chores, we need all the self-seduction we can muster up.  Ruts and exhaustion make it easy to fall into a pattern of poor body image, lack of energy, and loss of sexual spark…especially for women.  Unlike men, women can’t pull rabbits from their hats (or snakes from their drawers) and forget all problems except a need for orgasm.  Every emotional issue and unresolved thought she has will accompany her into the bedroom.  Insecurity, distraction, depression, anxiety, chores, kids, that damn mosquito buzzing around somewhere in the room.  All flooding her brain leaving her little or no room for choreographing  and executing that strip tease she’d otherwise planned.  Bummer!

Perhaps one of the top sexual inhibitors is insecurity.  And women aren’t the only ones who bear the weight of a tubby devil on the shoulder reminding them of every imperfection.  Today’s men are just as body conscious…worrying whether they’re buff enough and up to snuff.  “Will she be satisfied?  Will I be enough?  Will she be disappointed?”  (Fellas, women are much less physically critical of their partners than men.  For her, it’s more about emotion and spark and less about six packs and rib-reachers.)  We all want to feel good about ourselves…good about what we’re bringing to the table.  And if we’re confident in that, dessert will be that much sweeter.

Research shows that vigorous exercise primes women’s bodies for sex.  That it gets us in the mood and makes us feel all hot and bothered.  Well, so does the sight of her sultry hubby vacuuming the floor or preparing dinner.  Now, that fantasy whopper could be a real panty dropper…if only it were utilized.  🙂  Clearly, exercise is hot…in more ways than one.  Not only do we feel more attractive and frisky when we work out…but sometimes, just watching taut sweaty bodies working it is enough to prime the most “out of service” sexual engines.  Then again…sometimes NOT!

Experts say the correlation between sex drive and exercise is the product of both physical and emotional stimuli.  Physically, when we exercise, we get our blood pumping.  We raise our heart rate and increase circulation…not only to our brains (which is the most sexual organ)…but also to the genitals.  With more blood pumping south, we’re open for business.  We respond quicker to sexual stimuli, experience heightened sensation, and are more eager to get it on.

Not only do we become more physically fit, more aesthetically pleasing, and friskier than usual…we also benefit emotionally…become more confident.  We FEEL sexier…more alive.  We’ve achieved eye candy status and we’re now confident enough to say “Eat me.”  Exercise is good for our self-esteem, our body image, and our state of mind.  It lowers stress, reduces depression and anxiety, and gives us a newfound love of self.  With a more elated state of mind, less stress to bog us down, and the empowering sense of sexiness, we become more comfortable with our bodies.  And therefore more open to new sexual endeavors and more in touch with our body’s sensations.  When the mind is free from stress and insecurity, it’s free to enjoy the body.  Inhibition demolition.

Promising less stress, less depression, more confidence, more sex, and better orgasms…exercise just rendered all excuses null and void.  It’s cheaper than therapy and the couch won’t be the only thing getting laid.

Arousal begins in the brain and travels south.  Working out makes us feel sexy and confident…and gets our blood pumping in all the right places.  If we feel sexy, we’ll BE sexy.

So feel the burn…and the yearn!  Shake it.  🙂

 

Chick Hughes

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” ~Carol Welch