Tuesday, February 21, 2012

White Girls Can’t Zumba

November 2011

Yes, you may start laughing NOW! Where is U-Tube when you need them? Several months ago I bought the Zumba workout kit. Why? Well, almost every woman I saw who had lost a significant amount of weight AND looked toned said-in a very Latin/sexy tone of voice-"ZUMBA BABY"! From my sister-in law, who is Hispanic to my girlfriend in Houston who is Indian (from India) Zumba has hit home in las casas todos!
Me and my Julio Iglesias loving-I can sing all of his songs IN Spanish-self figured since I was so in-tune with the Hispanic culture I should be able to Zumba. After all, I lived in Spain for a whole month, have salsa danced for years as a tweenie (someone in their twenties) and saw Ricky Martin LIVE in a Bull-fighting arena for the love of all things Latin! Piece of Cake! Let's just state here that I am now clear a man will tell you ANYTHING to get you to color outside the lines. Clearly, even tell you you can (salsa) dance. If you want to know whether or not YOU can salsa dance-I have the bench mark test...Zumba Baby!
So, after a twenty minute ordeal of figuring out the DVD system, which did NOT count as a workout, I was plugged in to the newest craze for Las ninas Flacas everywhere! When the rhythm started and I saw all the people on the stage I was ready! Then their bodies started moving and I fell down. Luckily I heard someone say, "Now that you have done the basic video-please make sure you do the basic video first-you are ready for the Zumba LIVE workout"! Ariba!
Holy $#!t! What BASIC video...hold on...Whew! There it was, like a tortilla next to barbacoa. Quickly, before my husband noticed, I switched out the cd's and was calmed by a less rhythmic tone. Just 16 beats/second! But still, it didn't help my coordination look any more Latin. More like a duck skating on ice for the first time. "Who am I and where did Crystal go?" I asked myself while looking at my reflection in the TV and stumbling over my feet. What has happened to my rhythm? Maybe I'm just feeling under pressure to perform in front of the three hot Latin chicas on the DVD...I really do want to make an impression so they will invite me back to the live performance but I'm afraid the impression I'm making is more akin to rednecks taking a city slicker snipe hunting. I'm just sayin'.
This all started b/c one of my girlfriends and I are going to start taking salsa lessons. I'm white and she's black. We're going to be in a salsa class. Does ANYONE have a video camera we can borrow? Oh, and don't think cuz she's black she has any more rhythm than I have. She does not. The stereotype ends here. I know. I was shocked too. And if I can get a couple more runs through the video before our first real class I can look a little better than her. And really, isn't that what working out is all about? Looking better than your friends?
And if that IS the goal, I suggest you take your first Zumba class in an enclosed environment or in a foreign county. Cuz if your friends see you doing the booty circle or the body roll for the very first time...I"m just sayin! No muy caliente!


5 October 2011

Hello again readers. It's been awhile since I've written my own column...have to be inspired. And I was. During a recent visit to the dermatologist I was thumbing through Cosmopolitan magazine and found an article titled "Winning the Dating Game". Then as I read a bit further I realized they were talking to the WOMEN! What? Yep. Right there in the very first sentence they said "There's nothing better than hearing an enthusiastic 'yes!' after asking a GUY out."
First of all, you (ladies) do NOT, under any circumstances, ask a GUY out. Nope. No way. Not a chance. Not on a Wednesday. Not ever. Hopefully ladies have been faithful readers and put into practice what I've been telling you. You may not sprinkle pixie dust on the rotation of the love universe. Men hunt. Women are hunt-ED. Period. That is, of course, if you want a strong man. Now, if you want the wimpy man, go ahead, ask him out. Take away his manhood, if he ever had any. Let him use you (cuz chances are he will) if that's your game. But, if you want a real relationship let him do the asking.
What is about yourself that you find un-worthy of following the traditional rules? Because that is the exact question he is going to ask himself. The HuntER/HuntED thing has been happening for EONS for a reason! It works with the order of the universe! Don't you want a man who wants YOU? Of course you do, in the long run. Otherwise, you'll just be calling all the shots all of the time and that would be B.O.R.I.N.G. And when he does ask you out make sure you are GOING OUT. Not going to his place to "hang out". That is not a date. My friend Richard said to be different. Do something no other woman is doing. WAIT!
Once upon a time in a town far away my famous UB visited me. We went to Clear Lake and looked at all the wonderful sailing boats and at some point I had to open my trunk. UB noticed a set of golf clubs and a tackle box among other goodies in my trunk. He asked "Who's is that?" Well, who's car is it? It's mine. "What's in the tackle box?" Uh, TACKLE. "You have a set of golf clubs AND a tackle box, with tackle in it, in the trunk of your car and you're still single?" Why, yes, I am. At my own choosing.
Now, the golf clubs and the tackle box are long gone but the message is still fresh. Men want an independent woman with hobbies AND a mind of her own. They want a woman who can hang with the guys but still be a lady. None of that = you asking HIM out. Period. No way. Not a chance. And if you read He's Just Not That Into You you'd know that asking a man out is not ok, not even during an Eastern Seaboard blackout. If you’ve been paying even a little bit of attention to the way things actually WORK then you know a man who wants a woman will move heaven and earth to be with her. Now why on earth do you, o woman, want anything less? Don’t be desperate. It’s NOT attractive.
Men are simple. They want to loved and adored but not chased, for long. If you chase him you may catch him. If you catch him you may marry him. But, chances are that he will not really respect you. Men tell me stories ALL the time of how THEY caught their woman. When they did the hunting and their wife was being hunted the men tell their stories with pride, admiration and respect. When it's the other way around the stories are quite pathetic really.
Make a stand ladies. Wait. Do NOT ask a man out on a date. Just because they do it that way in New York, doesn't mean it's cosmopolitan!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Written 04 August 2010

by Crystal Laramore Lutz

My friend, Alta Gibbs, gives a whole new meaning to “My Square Friends”. It’s a working title to a book I’m writing about the women who own business’ on the Courthouse Square in Coldspring, TX. This little nugget of information will make some women squirm in their girdles, some will retain lawyers yet cause others, like Alta and Peggy, to hurry me along so they can sell the book in their shop!

Alta and Peggy’s shop is called Studio on the Square and it’s FABulous! Today I walked over there, across two streets and down the road where it is nestled perfectly in the middle of a long row of buildings; snuggled right up against an innocent tree that was almost murdered. They just bought it and are having a blast, those two! Alta defined the term “Fashion Icon” at some point in her life I am sure. She is a very interesting woman with very interesting friends. Namely me. Snicker. Alta is a gifted painter, a mother a grandmother and an entrepreneur. She is unstoppable and I really love her spirit. She is a no-nonsense kind of person. You know if she likes you and it’s hard to not know if she doesn’t. Reminds me of…

Alta and Peggy carry fabulous furniture, lamps, vases, jewelry, art, etc. My husband and I have bought some unique pieces of furniture from Alta and Peggy for the new amazing house we are building. He and I both have loved every piece I’ve picked out and that says a lot about their taste. I’ve turned on all my girlfriends to this shop. My best friend Scarlett and my other friend Scarlett and so on all love the store too. It’s like I find something new every time I go in. You just gotta go! Call me for directions.

When I walked in their shop today to give them some MORE of my money for some fabulous metal outdoor wall fish etc., Alta was unpacking yet more goodies and screamed from the back “Hey, Crystal! Have you read Eat. Pray. Love. yet? Come look, I’ve got a whole display here for this book. I love it!" As I made my way to the back I realized that indeed, she truly MUST be inspired! She had prayer beads EVERYWHERE. In EVERY size. I bought 8 sets. She had three copies of the book laying about and all sorts of wares from India and Indonesia. I can only giggle when I think of what Peggy must think on a regular basis about her spirited partner. Peggy is calm. Alta is the opposite. Alta is the hurricane. Peggy is the Island that the hurricane swirls around; makes for a great partnership!

“Oh my gosh! I love this display! Eat. Pray. Love. I'm all about it! When did you read the book?” I asked. “I haven’t finished it yet” she said. “Where are you? I’m in Indonesia.” Alta said “I’m just through the first chapter. I LOVE it!” I just laughed until my peach tea came out of my nose. Inspired indeed. By just that first chapter? I cannot wait to see what the shop is going to look like when she finally gets out of Italy, through India and into Indonesia. Get ready Peggy!

Alta told me she’s already ready to head out NOW. I shared with her my Eat. Pray. Love. story. I’m sure there are as many of these personal stories as there are women who have read the book. I told Alta that I had actual possession of the book for over a year before I cracked it open. Not my typical M.O. A book doesn’t last long just hanging round my house not being read. However, this book lasted longer than most just hanging out and visiting other people. That is something else I usually do not tolerate where my books are concerned. They are not allowed vacations or sleepovers with anyone but me. I’m over-protective like that. “You want a book? Go get your own. This one is mine.”

However, I had loaned out my Eat. Pray. Love. book to my sister, Jacqueline. We are blood. And not only that, I forgot about it. Shut up! I know! About a month ago I went to visit Jacqueline and she gave it back to me. It was just rudely shoved into my hand without a proper re-introduction. It made my heart skip a few beats. Oh! THAT book. The scary book. The only book I can recall making my palms sweaty BEFORE I read it. Why? Because I KNEW what was IN THERE…I KNEW the basic story. I KNEW she was my kindred spirit. I knew this silly, tiny, harmless book would awaken the desire in me to go travel again. As if my desire to travel needs nudging. Maybe I should wait another year???

But the dam movie is out! My bff, Melanie, told me I HAD to read it because we WERE going to the movie to see it. Which means popcorn so I was kinda glad to be holding EPL in my sweaty palms after all. I slept on the sofa at my sister's house that night with EPL right by my side on the coffee table. Waiting. Taunting.

Look, I was a happily confirmed bachelorette until HE showed up. I had really, truly had it (in a bad and final way) with men and their lies and their wishy, washy ways. And then HE showed up. And he showed up in big way. Kept every promise and then some. Swept me off my feet and put me right back on them on a beach in Hawaii with a wedding band and the promise of love everlasting. And he has been a wonderful husband. The perfect husband for me.

But still. The yearning to travel is the greatest yearning my soul has ever had. Not children. Not marriage. Not a great career. Not money. Travel. Just travel. I do love my husband dearly and completely. I do love my daughter that came with my wonderful husband. I love both of my businesses. I love a lot of things and a lot more people. But I yearn to travel. To marvel at God. To look what he made for all of us. To feel what God must have been feeling when he designed the beautiful oceans, mountains, forests, rain forests and all the people of the world. Sadly, my husband is perfect and funny and smart and gracious and loving and tender and manly and DOES NOT LIKE TO TRAVEL. AT ALL. He likes to be at HOME.

Travel is almost the be all end all for me. It was necessary for me to eat all the tropical fruits/foods of Thailand, pray on the beaches and tour the war museums of Vietnam then walk among the spirits in 800 BC castles in Cambodia and touch the walls so many have touched before me. Deep breath. I’m ready. I can do this. I’m settled in my marriage. We are truly in love and have a great committed relationship. And, he doesn’t care one bit if I take off for two weeks to parts unknown.

So there I was in a good place in life, marriage and motherhood, getting ready to go on a 10 hour drive with my family to Missouri and decided it was time to dig in. It was the perfect escape. And then he asked me to read to him…“Oh, I’m not at a good place to read to you right this second. Wait till the next chapter.” No. Read to me baby! I wanna know what is so intriguing about this book….“OK. You asked for it“…I was at the part where she was on her bathroom floor…feeling the need to…travel. “That woman sounds just like you baby!” Right! Which, is why it's taken me so long to crack it open. (Don't want to spoil the book by saying another word. Remember, Alta is only on the first chapter!)

Isn’t God funny?

Ex Marks the Spot

Written 28 July 2010

When I look around at all the Great Women of America GWA (hereto after referred to as GWA) out there dating a Richard who is hung up on an ex relationship that was so bad it ended I just want to scream. It seems like you guys need the conflict so you can have conflict resolution. What good is a relationship if it doesn’t need fixing? Right? I am man. Hear me settle...
So Guys, help us understand. Why, oh why do you chase after relationships that are full of turmoil, chaos and basic unhealthy ingredients? We GWA really want to know.
In the last several months I’ve run across a number of Richards who can’t seem to get their emotions in check concerning their ex’s. Additionally, I’ve ran across a couple of Sophias who are dating some of these Richards or have male friends who are going through ex withdrawal.
Now, mind you all of these men did the leaving. Not one of the stories I’ve heard in the last several months was about the man getting dumped and hence having rejection blues. No, this group of Richards had the foresight to know a bad thing when they saw it. All or part of the relationship was poison and they left. But now, but NOW they are looking back wondering if maybe they were at fault, maybe they could have done something more. Maybe she was -insert verb- b/c he made her that way. Yeah, that’s it!

mis*take (noun)

1. incorrect act or decision
an incorrect, unwise or unfortunate act or decision caused by bad judgment or a lack of information or care
2. error
something in a piece of work that is incorrect…(relationships are a piece of work)
3. identify somebody or something incorrectly
to identify somebody or something incorrectly…(it’s ok. Correct your course)
4. choose something incorrectly
to choose something incorrectly or injudiciously (take your time and
choose wisely)

in*san*i*ty (noun)

1. lack of reason or good sense
extreme foolishness or an act that demonstrates such foolishness (going back to a hurtful relationship)
2. repeating the same process and expecting different results (My personal favorite but not found in ANY dictionary)
We have all gone back at least once, to a bad relationship and where did that get us? Further behind. When I say bad relationship I’m not covering the entire relationship with the “bad” blanket. I’m covering the whole of it. Are you with me? If 98% is right and 2% is wrong it depends on what the 2% consists of. Sometimes that 2% is SO significant that when it’s wrong it wipes out the 98% that is good. I’ve been there, I know.
When we leave a relationship we’ve been making the decision for a long time; sometimes weeks, months or for the slow-to-go, years. If we have thought that long about leaving, then it is most likely a mistake to return. Yes I know, we all get lonely and our routines change and memories flood in and out of our minds and hearts and we yearn for the good times. Time erases a lot of bad memories.
But we must remember the basic, fundamental reasons we left. We need to reign in our anxieties and wait. Returning to the basically unhealthy relationship is insanity. Look for the sign that says “No U-Turn and take time to grieve.
Ex. There’s a reason we call them ex’s. Embrace the word ex. Hold onto it. And don’t try to change it into present or future or repeat; as in repeating the same mistake. And should you find yourself experiencing a temporary lapse in all things sane, talk to your buddies. They know you best.
Don’t try to work it out with the new flame. First of all, she does not know you inside and out and second of all she does not want to hear all about the great qualities your ex had and then how bad she treated you. Opposing views and all makes one crazy and builds insecurity right up front. Hint: if the relationship was great it would not have ended hence you would not need to go to your buddies for advice in the first cotton-picking place. Guys, get into and stay in the right relationship!
Sometimes men find themselves playing house and going through the motions of life then suddenly they look around the place (their place) and realize “Oh, she’s all moved in. Hmmm. Wonder when that happened?” And then they go shoot some hoops with the guys to relieve some of the stress. When they’re finished they come home to a clean house, clean clothes and a hot meal and think “Hmmm. This isn’t sooo bad”. I asked one of my male friends “If you didn’t ever ask her to move in, how did it happen”? His reply? “One bag at a time”.
And time marches on. There are several areas that are bad, really bad. But she loves you. Never mind she treats your family, and heaven forbid your children, with disrespect. She loves you. And the sex is great. Let’s not leave that part out.
I have a particular friend going through some turmoil/withdrawal at the moment. He has lamented to me for weeks about the reasons she’s now called ex. I’ve listened, tried to give sound advice and ask him pertinent questions that only he can answer (it’s the Out
Loud Test: If it sounds crazy when you say it out loud-here’s your sign.)
Now to be respectful and understanding she was great; just not great for him (in his very own words). Sometimes Richard and Sophia have great chemistry but the fundamentals are all wrong. If Richard leaves and meets Tammy and Sophia meets Federico, they are blissful. Who knows why that is; maybe it’s chemistry-like real scientific reasons. Maybe it’s God saying we took the wrong path and he needs us to find our way back. Again, who knows?
Listen, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, it doesn’t matter. When you’ve shared a significant part of your life with someone the separation is NOT easy. One of my dearest friends was married for eleven years and when her relationship ended it was devastating for her and SHE IS the one who walked out. He was no good for her.
There were pieces and parts that were good but in the end she just wasn’t happy. And it took her a long time to get past the hurt and rejection. Rejection you say, but she left him! Ahhh, yes and here’s where it gets interesting. If he had not rejected her, she would not have left. Get it? Here, let me try it this way. If we are being loved and cared for and nurtured and supported there is no reason to leave.
We leave because the rejection is too great to sit day by day and lay night by night next to someone who does not believe in us. Our greatest desire is to be appreciated. As Mary Kay Ash would always say “Everyone is walking around with an invisible sign hanging around their necks saying “Make Me Feel Important”. It became known as the MMFI rule.
Men, if your partner is not making you a better man, you know-all that you can be-, then she is not the one. And the same goes for you ladies. If the most significant person in your life is jealous, controlling, non-supportive, judgmental, selfish, non-understanding of your wants, dreams and desires or insert your favorite here, then you need to go find the one who is or is not all of those things.
When a relationship disintegrates into ashes you should sweep up the mess and bury it in a nice place in the back yard. Preferably the pesky neighbor’s yard and not your own. Revisiting the insane asylum is, well, insane.
When a relationship ends it’s kind of like death. You have a grieving process you must go through; through intimates who will get you to the other side. And on the other side are wonderful treasures like peace, passion and happiness; support, caring and nurturing; respect, loyalty and deep love. I recently told my friend Richard “You get one shot at life. There is NO reason to settle. You can have deep passionate love and you can have peace. At the same time”. Again, grieve.
Now during your grieving process and your thoughts of relationship suicide (going back) what happens if you meet someone, maybe even the one? You take it slow and you practice BLUF (bottom line up front {a former Army Ranger friend taught me that acronym and I thought it was, well, kinda hot}). Anyway, I digress. You get it all out on the line and you tell the new person where you are and if you’ve had intimate relations in the last few days or weeks. You should be prepared to let that person know or at the very least keep your boxers on.
Full disclosure in a new relationship is not always necessary but have some respect for the unsuspecting GWA and either practice BLUF (so she can make an informed decision as to continue with you at a slow pace or run at a very fast pace) or practice celibacy for awhile. Give yourself time to ready your heart, mind, soul and spirit for the great adventure that awaits you. Get comfortable in your own skin again before you go getting up in someone else’s skin…
The GWA are self-reliant, self-assured and independent. We’re not jealous of anything you have, we are proud of you for achieving it. Hell, we’ll even help you do better if that’s what you want. We’ll not complain if you want to watch the Pistons and the Lakers fight it out in the playoffs. We’ll sit by you. We may fall asleep on your chest, but be rest assured we won’t take you away from that kind of mind blowing excitement.
We’ll treat you, your friends, your family and, above all, your children with respect, love and dignity. We will not degrade you in public or private. We will be at the finish line cheering you on. And we will demand it all in return. We are kind but we are not weak. We will look at our man with love and respect and do our best to make him want to be a better man because he is with us.
If we all took a soulful inventory and did not settle there would be less divorce and more forever after.
And when, not if, you are lucky enough to find the one, hold on for dear life. You’ll be glad you did! Elton John sings one of my favorite love songs called, you guessed it, The One. There’s a verse that says “In the instant that you love someone, in the second that the hammer hits, reality runs up your spine and the pieces finally fit…and all I ever wanted was the one, like freedom feels when wild horses run…” Hello! “That’s what I’m looking for and I will not settle. How about you?

Update: The One did find me and I am holding on for dear life!

The Bachelorette

Written 14 July 2010

Ahh Ali, still has Roberto in her sights...
Thank goodness I'm almost over my bachelorette, reality TV, crack-like addiction! Just two more weeks to go. It really should be over next week but they have to do a "Men Tell All" special, blah, blah, blah. I want to know who she picked...if anyone.
From the beginning I've said Roberto. My bff, Deb, concurs. She’s addicted to those Latinos! Just the way the rrrr rolls off your tongue...plus he's muy caliente and muy guapo! That's almost enough to get you through 80 years of marriage but he's also very sweet and charming and tender and loving and hot and sexy and ...oh wait, I think I already covered that.
So the three dudes left at the beginning of Monday night's telenovella were: 1.) Roberto 2.) Frank 3.) Chris; listed in the order, I believe, matches Ali's personal order. There they are in Tahiti, romance in the water, and no sharks, save one...dunt, dunt, dunt...FRANK! NO! YES! Turns out the whiney, wimpy, self-deprecating, Frankie is in love with Nicole. Who's NICOLE? His ex. Right, me too...Only after leaving Nicole to pursue Ali did he realize that Nicole is, after all the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Poor Frank has been in such turmoil over all the feelings he has for Nicole and also Ali. But in the end he thinks it is Nicole he really, for real this time, no kidding, wants to marry. Nicole is good with that. RUN NICOLE RUN. Frank is a tortured soul, a creative genius who still lives at home and is reaching for something/one, anything/one to make him feel like a man. He needs to look within instead of impulse purchasing. But that is an Oprah show.
As the Bachelor and Bachelorette go, all crises must be filtered through Chris Harrison, the host. First Frank does go ahead and fly to Tahiti instead of ending it all in Chicago. Silly Nicole is too young to know that letting a man go who can't seem to know when to stay is a recipe for disaster. Anyway Chris was "blown away" as he often is. Poor Chris. He's gotta watch this sniveling, wimpy man and the whole time I bet he's thinking "If you were doing this to MY daughter I'd bust your lip right about NOW!" So, Frank makes the manly decision to tell Ali himself. Bravo. Fast forward to Ali arriving. They embrace and she's all chipper and Ali-like and the Frank says "Ali, we need to talk". They walk outside and sit and she stares at him a long time and he doesn't speak. Then he says he's nervous. Then finally he tells her about Nicole. She starts crying and wiping her tears away and all I can't think is "Honey! Don't pull on your eyes like that! You have no idea the long term damage you are doing that tender skin. Besides girl, you've still got two GOOD, ahem real, men here who need to see you at your best...and Frankly speaking (totally HAD to get that in, sorry, I amuse myself)...not puffy eyed over another man.
Best line of the night? Ali said "I've given up everything to be here." To which sniveling dumba$% said "I've given up everything to be here too." To which Ali, my new hero (with a little training) said "Apparently not everything." Cha-ching! Slam! *&^%#@! And then, when the wimpy, selfish, Frankie saga was almost over she failed me as a sister, she went down the rabbit hole of self-pity and pathetic behavior. She said, through tears, as many other noble women throughout history have, "I don't want to leave because I know I'm never gonna see you again." I was so hurt by this statement I didn't really hear what Frankie said but he was asking for forgiveness as all cheaters and beaters do and then, then she got up, walked around the ottoman (waaay tooooo much effort wasted on him! Here's where I scream "Get the Bit$h Books Ali! GET THE BIT$H BOOKS!) to get to him and long-embraced him bye. My life flashed before my eyes. She should have just flung herself on top of the sword for Pete's sake. Hell, at least Frank was crying.
Poor, poor Chris Harrison. He's already listened to Frank snivel and now he has to listen to Ali; talkative, chatty, crying, heart-broken, pis&ed-off Ali. At some point she tries to get him to psychoanalyze her by getting him to tell her what is wrong with her. I bet he's thinking "I don't get paid enough for this Shi!." She said "What's wrong with me? Maybe I'm too....or maybe it's....I just don't know why (which is my all time favorite whine)...and now I'm wondering if I can trust my own judgment...and...
Chris just sat there at a decent distance away and carefully rubbed her back and said NOTHING. He needs a raise.
Since this is Hollywood and they always have alternative endings I have a few in mind. Bear with me as I may actually be releasing some of my very own, carefully thought out with vengeance-and-malice-in-my-heart alternative endings...
1. When Ali meets Frank at the hut on the water in Tahiti and after a few seconds embrace says "Ali, we need to talk." She should have straightened her back bone, took a few steps back, squared her shoulders, looked him in the eye (the left one for gravity) and said "Talk." Not moved one freaking inch. Then, when he was finished slobbering all over himself said "OK." and walked away. THEN fell apart. ALONE. She gave him too much of herself. A part he did NOT deserve. He would be having nightmares right now wondering where HE went wrong and why she wasn't more devastated...blah, blah, blah. Again, my life flashing and all...
2. When Ali meets Frank at the hut on the water in Tahiti and after a few seconds embrace says "Ali, we need to talk." She should have straightened her back bone, took a few steps back, squared her shoulders, looked him in the eye (the left one for gravity) and said "Talk." When he was finished slobbering all over himself she should have said "Boys! (there's always a camera crew around and those guys are probably in love with Ali too. They would've done her bidding.) Throw his sorry a$$ in the ocean and do not fetch him out until I get back with Chris and his plane ticket home. Oh look! Shark!"
Alas, neither of these things happened but a lesson was learned nonetheless, by the audience if not by Ali. Frank was a sniveling weasel and I’m certain we’ll read about him in a few months when Nicole dumps him for still being weepy over his decision to leave Ali. What did we learn? Don’t take it personally when you run across sniveling weasels who can’t make up their minds if they love you or they don’t. If they love you they KNOW it and SHOW it! End of story.
The issue was not Ali even though she took it personally, as a blow to her ego and to her powers of judgment. No, the issue was entirely Frank’s. I gotta tell ya. I don’t know a single woman who REALLY, in her heart wants a snively man. Most of us don’t even want a sensitive man. It kind of freaks me out when I see men get too emotional. We want our men to be in charge and decisive. Deb just called and said she wants him to be Roberto! He’s a real guy who really cares. And the bonus is that he’s way easy on the eyes!!
Ladies, be confident. Buy the books, for Pete’s sake! Read and learn. Then practice on the next available man. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your relationship! He WILL be attentive and loving. If he’s not, then drop him in with Frank and the sharks!!

Rebounds Abound

Written 14 July 2010

Well, finally the issue of dating a ‘married’ person has arisen. When discussing sex, relationships and human beings this topic was bound to emerge. This article is not gender specific.
So, back to dating the married topic: By ‘married’ I do not mean living together and experiencing the All-American dream. I mean separated & not divorced or newly divorced (still married emotionally), married by paper but not emotionally yet still going through the motions, and absolutely 100% not living together. If they still have the same POB, run Forrest run!
One of my favorite lines is (my very own quote, of course) “We’ve all made mistakes and you just hope you don’t do in your 30’s what you did in your 20’s and you hope you don’t do in your 40’s what you did in your 30’s and so on.”
Marriage is one of those institutions I have not had much luck with. I called it dating with an evil twist b/c it lasted such a short amount of time. So I have no background with successful marriage. But how many people do? I’ve known a lot of people in long-term marriages (reminds me of long-term health care…) but not many who are happy. My friend Richard says that familiarity breeds contempt. I think he’s right. No matter if it’s a marriage relationship or a working relationship.
So should we be dating ‘married’ people (Remember our earlier definition of married.)? No. I’ve done it before. Ok, so shoot me. But if you shoot me you have to shoot everyone else who has done it and you’d lose most of your friends and maybe even your very own spouse, if not yourself.
Most people I know have done it before and it does not go in the direction you want it; for long. If they are not divorced, not divorced for long or still being manipulated by the spouse-it’s not a good place for you to be hanging out. There are as many reasons people divorce as there are fishing lures at Bass Pro Shop or eyeliner at Dillard’s. But none of them are your business. If you forgot how to run like Forrest and you are determined to try and beat the odds (you really should just come here and play Texas Hold ‘Em on Thursday nights instead-your odds are MUCH better) then do yourself a favor and make your partner go to therapy. DO NOT take on that role; unless you can garner some cash out of the sessions??? Damn capitalists! Oh, I digress…
For this particular article I’ve gotten some feedback from several people; both people dating the ‘married’ person and the ‘married’ people themselves. Here’s what I gleaned from all of them:
When people have been married for any length of time they know just the right buttons to push in each other. These buttons range from guilt to anger to memory lane to obligation to religion and so on. Not to mention if the spouse/children find out about the new love. Lucky you, you get to be the focus and the reason and the blah, blah, blah. Now add jealousy, self-pity and self-denial to their list of negative emotions that will swirl around YOU. No matter what the wedding vows say and no matter the intent with which they were said, when the word divorce enters the arena-all bets are off. It’s sad to see people self-destruct or do their dead-level best to destroy the other, but it happens. You should not be around. Not even for the great sex.
SOME people end their marriage well. But mostly, when people are going through a divorce they tend to push each other’s buttons. If you are in the middle of this button pushing war you will constantly be listening to negativity and playing the role of comforter, psychologist and sex partner. When the smoke clears, your partner will either go back to the ex for various reasons (which will eventually not work again and so repeats the cycle) or suddenly feel free, except for you, and begin on the journey of dismissing you. The most famous line is “I need to find myself”. Well, who wants to be with someone who doesn’t know where they are?
Think about it. If someone has been in an un-healthy relationship for over a decade and suddenly (b/c even though the freeing process has been going on for years-it feels sudden to them) find themselves divorced, how do you think they feel? Free. They feel free. Separated for years does not equal signatures in dried ink on paper. The word divorce has a sudden finality. They are free.
And you should let them be free (of you) and, more importantly, you should be free of them. Just move on. If you find yourself dating a married person, separated person or a newly divorced person, pick up your self-esteem and move on. It’s a toilet bowl of negative energy that you don’t want to get flushed down. The tidy bowl man is NOT good company. The rebound person is a real person. And if you are the next person they “date” (and I use that term very loosely in this context) your new name is ‘Rebound Person’. And the ‘Rebound Person’ is usually just for sex and healing aka sexual healing.
Marriage is a commitment of great moral character. Having a good marriage and being a good spouse is probably harder than parenting. There should be medals.
However, a handful of couples come quickly to mind when I do think of happy marriages; my publisher and his wife is one. Two of my customers are others. And I have a pair of really great friends who have been in love forever. When that happens, it’s a beautiful thing. I love being around them and watching the interaction between two people who are best friends, lovers and partners. It’s also fun to watch them spar!
I’ve never been quite sure why people do it
Written 23 June 2010

Last Monday, during a menopausal, hormone induced rage I called my doctor and told the office manager, Poor Mary, "Hey, this is Crystal Lutz and I only have THREE thyroid pills left! I need to make an appointment this week to get these pills refilled. I'm serious. These tiny little pills control my weight, i.e., my state of mind, self image, attitude, the stability of my marriage and my child's overall well being, etc." She said "ok" and forwarded me to the nurse. I told the nurse I could come in any day but Tuesday as I have a newspaper to put out on Tuesdays. She said "ok" and she'd call me back. They didn't seem as concerned and I about my critical situation. On Wednesday I realized, during a menopausal, hormone induced rage that I only had ONE pill left and NO appointment. I called my doctors office and told Poor Mary "Listen, I CALLED YOU PEOPLE ON MONDAY AND TOLD YOU THAT ... AND NOW I ONLY HAVE ONE PILL LEFT AND I'M ON MY THERE! Poor Mary said "ok" and transferred me back to the nurse. The nurse very calmly told me to go ahead and come in. I said "I AM!" When we hung up God played it all back to me in my mind and I sound precariously like a crack head. Whatever.
When I got there the staff was fine, very lackadaisical actually, but I was all a twitter (there's that crack head behavior again...) wondering if they were going to take my blood and GIVE ME MY PILLS! Or, call in the mental authorities (are crack heads paranoid) ...they just took my blood and gave me my pills. I love my doctor! I felt better and decided to get a spray tan too. Tan fat looks soooo much better than white fat!
Armor Thyroid is what I'm taking and you'd think after 3 months I would have lost the few pounds I gained before I realized...but nooooooo. I had to get on the treadmill for 40 minutes to an hour every single flipping day! Oh, the pounds just fell off...not. Then my knee started killing me and I was limping around like a...middle aged woman or something so my husband banned me from the treadmill. Humh. My husband prefers the extra few pounds over the excessive moaning, groaning and endless belly-aching. Not to mention the poor fella has to wait on me hand and foot while I prop up my injured knee. (Ok, some of the whimpering could be a dramatization but the pain IS immense.)
The night sweats came back last week then left again. I really wish they'd make up their twisted mind. Maybe they have to share their time with another middle-aged woman. Speaking of "middle-age", when and how did I go down the rabbit hole? Speaking of rabbits; Mother Nature has YET to visit me in over 3 months and I hear the best time (in the middle of your life when the last thing you want is a new born baby) to get pregnant is while going through menopause or taking thyroid medication. And BAM! Just like that! I'm 2 for 2! For the record, if I get pregnant my doctor is going to have to prescribe a lot more than thyroid meds. I wonder if Brookshire Brother's Pharmacy carries Psychotic ...I'm just sayin'.
Anyway, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around (anything actually) the fact that I still feel about 28 (except for the bad right knee, the night sweats, the tanking thyroid, mood swings (see, the word swing intimates fun, but no.), the endless supply of reading glasses surrounding my life-I swear they self multiply) but I'm actually 45. Really? I mean I still want to go salsa dancing. Well, in my mind I do anyway. I haven't actually gone salsa dancing in several years, but I want to. I also want to water ski and roller blade. I haven't actually gone water skiing and roller bladeing but I want to. I really do. Oh, oh, oh-I did ride in a boat last Wednesday.
I guess that’s the long and short of it these days – the mind wants to dance and the body wants to sit this one out. Is THAT what middle age is all about? I think it’s a cruel joke that we feel one way inside – that would be young – but the body is beginning to put on the brakes. I don’t think I like this sudden turn of events, so what do I do about it? Well, my bff says she’s going to fight it all the way. She’s going to keep salsa dancing until she drops – and she actually DOES dance, by the way, and she’s MUCH older than I am! Hey, I think I just dissed myself. I’m bellyachin’. She’s dancin’. Hmmmmm……
I keep hopin and wishin and prayin, that all this will just go away and I’ll wake up with the firm skin, flat belly and energy level I had just a few short months ago. I’ll be able to sleep through the night without waking up drenched in sweat. I will not longer yell at people willy nilly. Oh wait, I’ve always done that. Snicker. I’ll be able to bike and run and dance to my heart’s content. Yeah, it could happen. Why just this morning my dahling husband said "We just need to ride our bicycles. We have a great path at the country." naturally, he said it in an elated, slightly euphoric mood donated by the great cup of coffee in his hand, the early hour and the lush, leather recliner he was sitting in releasing all his pheromones at once. I just can't wait to go home tonight and load up those bikes and hit that "path". ROFLMAO!

I’m gonna get “Bark OFF” for him!