Thursday, August 23, 2012

Communication in Marriage: How about an App for that?


To:  Diane 
From:  Tony

did you take care of that rsvp?

From:  Diane  
To:  Tony

Hi, honey!  How’s your day going?  I’m good – thanks for asking!  Stacked with the usual round of posts, articles, blogs and web content, and I dropped off the kids to school in tears after one of them told me I was the meanest mom ever.  But overall, I'm good!

Anyway – no, I hadn’t taken care of the RSVP.  But I’ll do it right now.  Have a great day!

(That’s our nickname for each other. Remember?  From Seinfeld?  Those were the days, watching TV on Thursday nights for three blissful hours back in the days before our "babies" took over the roost.  And I'd never go back.   But I digress!)

So you get the gist of the problem here.  Yes – the word count in my response email weighs in by just a few more than my husband’s.  Even in the beginning my beloved warned me he didn't, "give good phone," and I admit, he doesn’t like email much better.  To him, such media is simply a delivery system for critical information – just the facts, ma’am.  For me, they’re opportunities to connect.  Talk.  Share. 

Guys – are you laughing?  Ladies – can you relate?  (Not to be sexist.  It’s just that I find most women yearn for a bit more conversation then their beaus.)

After reading my response, my hubby didn’t get mad per se, but he did gather the men folk in his office to dissect our communication conundrum.  And, devoted problem solvers, they devised what is sure to be the next big buzz in technology – an APP that tailors email communication between spouses automatically.  Brilliant! (I really do love that guy!)

So, for example, the APP would add a bit more text to my husband’s original email.  Something like this, Hi, honey – how’s your day going?  By the way – LOVED your curried chicken last night – thanks!  Hey - did you get a chance to send in the RSVP?  Thanks.  I love you, and hey, let me manage homework tonight.   You get the idea.

Conversely, the APP would remove some of my wording.  You know – just deliver the facts.  That’s all my hubby really wants to know.  So the APP would parse my text to read, Hi – didn’t get to it; but I will.  Oh – and I’m open to the idea of sex later.

Now that would be an email my husband would love.  Do you think he’d even need an APP to respond to that one properly??

What about you?  Would you buy the APP?  And what would you name it?  Share your ideas with me!

Timeless Wisdom:  "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."  Proverbs 25:11

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign: Girl Power for the Rest of us

They’re sprinkled in my hair like jimmies on an ice cream cone.  Wiry, gray hairs - just a smattering for now.  And you know what they’re telling me?  (No - not that I'm getting old!)

Actually I've decided those strands of salt signal that I've finally arrived.  I wouldn’t turn back the clock to my smooth, taut, purely brunette twenties.  I’m happy with who I am and where I’m heading.  I welcomed a sweet dose of new found confidence when I turned 40 – and it’s been a gift that’s kept giving.  Crow’s feet, laugh lines, squishy-back-fat and all – I’m loving life and just getting started.  Really!

So I don’t mind the gray hair.  Popular wisdom says it makes men look distinguished and sexy.  I say it makes women look wise and accomplished.  There!

So instead of washing that gray right out of my hair, I’m using Dove shampoo to keep my silver stylin'.  I guess you could say I’m a marketer’s dream, because I bought hook, line and sinker into their “Real Beauty” campaign.  You've seen the ads featuring voluptuous, smiling models.  It's likely they don't decline the frosty cupcakes at their kids' birthday parties.  You go, girls.

I’m not being paid to show my affection for Dove products - I'm truly smitten with the message and I happen to like their stuff.  But I love their campaign because most of the real women I know aren’t uber thin (OK - true confessions; I've never had to struggle much with my weight - but trust me when I say skinny girls are NOT exempt from body-bashing) or flawlessly made up or perfectly coiffed hair.  And I say we embrace that.  Perfect is over-rated.  Plus – my husband clued me in on a little secret.  Ready?  

What most men really dig is confidence.  It isn’t always easy to come by when so much of what we see and hear tells us we’re just not quite enough.

And I don’t know about you – but I’ve got two young daughters who are bombarded with images of the skinny ideal every day.  Part of becoming a woman is finding fault with their bodies, and I want to usher them into womanhood stacked with confidence – because they’re going to need it.

It might be easy for Beyonce (who is perfectly curved, God love her) to proclaim that girls run the world, but most of us mere mortal women struggle to achieve such rock solid empowerment.  I’m not talking about the stiletto-wielding femme-fatale sort of confidence – but one that showcases an empowered humility, generosity and grace. That’s real beauty.  Right, Dove?

So I say, rock what you’ve got.  Stay healthy, embrace life, and pursue your passions.  Stave off the negative voices in your head and utter sweet nothings to yourself.  Smile.  Give compliments - and receive them - freely.  Learn what you can from constructive feedback and let go of criticism from others.   Take joy in the little things, like when your delicious, smiling 6-year-old tells you you're the prettiest mommy on the planet.

That’s girl power for the rest of us.  (Oh - and go tell the ladies in your life about Dove!)

Enough about me - I want to know what's on your mind.  Chime in with your comments and tell me - what's your version of real girl power?  And for the gentlemen politely entering the Powder Room - what say you?  Do you want to share a little secret about what men really think?