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D-Rated Romance

I like to tell people that I'm a lifelong learner. If I'm interested in something, I'm going to do what it takes to learn as much as I can about the topic. I've found this to be a pretty noble quality until recently, when I realized that I might need some help in an awkward area: romance. Otherwise known as intimacy. Or even, ahem, sex life.

Now this is hard for me to admit given that I just cried again watching Luke and Laura get married for the second time and I could easily shed a tear while watching Mahogany or She's Got Mail. I really thought I had mastered this area until they came — you know, the children.

I don't know how women (or men for that matter) can get help in this area unless they talk to someone else with children and that can be so...awkward.

"How's the children?"

"Great, and yours?"

"Great, and how's your sex life?"

Hmm...how do you think that would go over?

I find it interesting that the more mother-like I've become, the more ignorant I've become about the likes and dislikes of my spouse. I could tell you which one of my children doesn't like his vegetables to touch his meat and which one prefers the syrup on the side of the pancake rather than on top, but I couldn't tell you what my husband's favorite meal is.

Now, in all fairness, my husband is not really a big eater and he much more prefers cheesecakes and poundcakes to dinner anyway, but you understand my point, right? I could beat up on myself about this, but then that would be a double-standard. Consider the postion most women find themselves in:

"Do you think your husband knows your favorite dessert or your favorite color?"
"Yeah, because I just told him this week so that he can buy me what I actually want for Christmas!"

Okay, next person.

"Do you think your husband knows your favorite dessert or your favorite color?"
"No, because I don't even know myself. All I think about is what the kids like."

So I don't think I'm the only one who has issues here.

To learn more about the "romance" topic, I go to my favorite place: the library (well, the Internet is my favorite place, but I was too nervous to pull up articles on this particular topic. You never know what you're going to get). I went to the appropriate section, and after finding some books that I thought would be helpful, I went to the checkout desk. If you had seen the look in the eyes of that librarian, you would know that there is a conspiracy to keep married people in a bind and other people on the loose. I put the books on the counter, gave her my library card, and she began to laugh.

"Oh, you're laughing at me." I said it in a jovial manner, but I was actually kinda disturbed.

"I'm laughing at the books. I'm laughing at the fact that you have a teacher card, but I don't think you'll be teaching the kids this stuff."

I started laughing too, because when I thought about how I'm going to have to put the books in a couple of black bags and hide them in the car, what else could I do but laugh? I mean, we're not talking about drugs or guns, but do I want my kids to see what's in the bags? No! After a little laughter with the librarian, I did feel a little less awkward about it all.

Once I got home, I strongly encouraged my husband to help me get the kids to bed early so that we could discuss my library books.

"Why do we need to talk about your library books?" (I hadn't told him that I'd decided to get an additional degree in personal romance.)

"Yes, my library BOOKS." (accompanied by a wink...he was still confused. Maybe I need to take him to the library with me, huh?)

"Okay, if you say so."

Once we got the kids to bed, I realized it takes a lot to get back on track in your relationship, especially when you have a large family. Finding the right books was the easy part. Turning the TV off and getting the kids to bed sooner wasn't so impossible either. But the next part — the part with me and the spouse and no distractions — that was the difficult part and it was just beginning. Good thing I'm a lifelong learner!

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