Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Open Door Sex

T.S. started off this week’s issues. “My whole family dynamic changed this weekend. The wife and I were having sex Saturday night when we heard one of the kids’ bedroom doors open. We stopped, and a few seconds later we heard the door close. I’m not really sure if they saw or heard us, but that’s not the issue anyway. The issue is this – when you’re having sex is your bedroom door open or closed? And if its closed, is locked or unlocked?”

Nap gave T.S. a look of pity mixed with horror. “My friend, you are wise to ignore the kids the next day on this one. Best to act as if it never happened. Of course, I’m guessing that after that it didn’t happen!”

Doc cracked up. “Its okay T.S., we’ve all been there, at least those of us who keep the door open. I’m one of those. Whenever I get lucky enough to get it I’m not worried about details like the door. I’m just focused on getting it.”

El Guapo chimed in. “Interesting Doc. See, I would have thought that if you weren’t getting it too often that on the actual blessed occasion you would make sure that there were no interruptions like poor T.S. suffered. While I wouldn’t say that I’m limited to a few lucky instances throughout the year, I still want to make sure that its all systems go from take-off to mission accomplished.”

Commish: “So you’re closing the door?”

“Closed, locked, dead-bolted and moving the dresser in front of it. For those 2 minutes and 47 seconds, I have no kids.”

Commish, laughing out loud: “Well there you have it folks. Any comments?”

TNH Guy spoke up. “Well, I would think it matters how old the kids are. Mine are too young to know what they’re walking in on. But in general I’m with El Guapo – I don’t want to know that the kids are in the house then. Of course, I don’t need to turn my room into Fort Knox in order to do that. Door generally closed will suffice.”

Nap: “My kids are older. They’d know what they were walking in on. Of course, they’re probably more scared of us walking in on one of them with their girlfriend. I’m keeping the door closed.

Commish: “So here’s an x-factor. Do you normally sleep with the door closed? Especially if you have older kids. Because if not, and its closed on Saturday night, they know what’s up.”

Nap: “We normally sleep with the door closed. On Saturday nights we tie a sock around the doorknob so they definitely know what’s up!!”

Commish: “Okay, so ____ and I usually sleep with the door open. More often then not its closed during sex, but there’s no rule. And we usually don’t lock it. I guess the bottom line, T.S., is that it could have happened to any of us. Except El Guapo, who only has sex in Fort Knox.

(Is your door open, closed or welded shut? Answer the poll on the right!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sex talk

Commish: So do any of you talk about sex with your "significant other"?
Cooter: What do you mean by "talk about sex"?
Nap: He means communicating in the universal language - talking is a misnomer
El Guapo: No, no - he means talking in the heat of passion
Utz: That's right - using the language of a 1-800-comealloverme operator
Commish: 1-800-comealloverme?
Big Dog: I need to write that number down
Commish: You guys are way off - I mean talking about it outside of actually doing it
Cooter: I'm sorry to say that I understand them better than I understand you
Hoops: I'll help you out - I think you mean talking with your spouse about sex as to what works and what doesn't - or stuff that you fantasize about
Nap: You're supposed to talk about that?
Cooter: With your spouse?
Commish: Alright, have you gotten the preliminaries out of your system?
Utz: 1-800-comealloverme focuses on getting other things out of your system
Big Dog: I really need that number
Hoops: I think the answer is no
El Guapo: I'll be happy to lead this one off
Commish: Finally
El Guapo: My wife and I definitely talk about sex
Commish: To what end?
Utz: That's too easy
El Guapo: Like hoops said before...about preferences, trying new stuff
Nap: No way, we're not talking about it
Commish: Are you doing it?
Nap: We're doing it - somewhat - but we're not talking about it
Cooter: We're not talking about it and we're not doing it
Hoops: Nice - We're talking about it a little
Big Dog: There's a doctrine for me
Utz: I'm getting the sense that the more you talk, the more you do
Commish: Sounds like what we're hearing - and you?
Utz: Well, we're not talking, but we're definitely doing
Cooter: So you don't need to be talking?
Utz: No, it's all in the doing!
Cooter: I'm striking out either way
Commish: I guess we're talking a little - like Hoops - and when we do it feels pretty good - healthy
El Guapo: It helps to get you where you want to be - I recommend it
Utz: How would it help me?
Hoops: It wouldn't - all you need is some Frank Sinatra and a semi-willing partner
Commish: That reminds me of another issue - when you're doing it, do you prefer to have music on, have the TV on, or to have no sound at all?
El Guapo: I'm all for TV - maybe even some Sportscenter
Utz: Are you working the sandwich at the same time as well?
Hoops: El Guapo, I thought you were really into music?
El Guapo: March Madness must be affecting me
Cooter: No noise for me
Nap: Does that count you and your wife?
Cooter: and the dog
Nap: Silence is golden
Commish: Anybody with me for a little music?
Big Dog: I'd be with you, but I've got to go make a call
Nap: as should we all

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If Old Flames Aren't Hot, Can They Still Burn You?

Last summer Commish and I were wandering around a street fair when I ran into a sort-of ex from college. It was pretty surprising because (a) she lives in NY (or so I thought - she had just moved to the Midwest) and (b) I had neither seen nor thought about her in at least 10 years. We exchanged small talk for about five minutes and went our separate ways. A few Thursdays later Commish asks "If you run into an ex-girlfriend, do you tell your spouse?"

Doc asked "Alright Commish, which one of your many exes was it?"

"Wasn't me - it was TNH Guy. And before we ask him if he did tell his wife, I want to know what you guys would do."

T.S. went first. "I need some more details before I answer. You guys only talked for a few minutes. Exchange digits? Did you make plans to get together for lunch or something like that?

"Nope. Well I got her cell number. She didn't get mine, we didn't make plans and to tell you the truth I didn't even think about it until Commish brought it up tonight."

"I can't believe you didn't make plans to get together," T.S. offered.

Commish interrupted, "That's another issue. But to the first one. Nap, you run into an old flame you haven't seen in 10 years. Do you tell your spouse?"

"Nope," Nap replied. "Why go there? You had your moment to play catch up. Leave it that."

T.S. spoke up again. "I'd say its a definite maybe. I don't think I'd bring it up out of the blue, but if for some reason it made sense in some conversation, yeah, I'd tell my wife I ran into her."

Doc chimed in. "I'll keep this progression moving. I'd tell my wife. What the hell? I don't think she'd be pissed. It would be an interesting conversation."

Nap: "It would be interesting alright. You'd end up on the couch."

"Why? It's not like I did something wrong," replied Doc.

"Did you run into your old flame?"


"Then you did something wrong. Next time run into your handyman."

Commish cracked up. "Okay TNH Guy, it happened to you. Did you tell your wife?"

"Sort of. I mentioned that I ran into a woman I went to college with and hadn't seen in ten years, but left it at that. We weren't that serious in school. Besides, I'm with Nap. Why go down that road?"

"But," said T.S., "let's get to the real issue. Did you make plans to get together?"

"Nope. I thought about it, but don't see what good it would do to spark up an old flame. It can't really go anywhere good."

"I don't know," responded Commish. "If I once had feelings for this girl - like she was my first real love - I'd sure be interested in reconnecting and finding out what happened to her."

"I guess that kind of happened enough in that 5 minute conversation," I replied. "Besides, she wasn't the one that got away.  In fact, she hardly happened at all, at least not enough for this college junior! Anyway, T.S., you brought it up, what would you do."

"I'm with you Commish. I'm not sure where its going, but I'd be interested in reconnecting. In fact, last year I ran into this girl from high school who I had a pretty big crush on back in the day. We grabbed a bite to eat, found out what was what and who was who. It was fun for an hour or two. Wasn't much interest in staying connected after that. But I'd probably do it again should I run into one of my numerous other lady friends running around out there."

Well, I never called her again; haven't really thought about her since then. As for the other guys, I'm pretty sure they all went home and googled their college exes that night. Would you have told your spouse if you ran into an ex?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Dine or Not to Dine

A buddy of mine lost his decent paying white collar job recently. This is, unfortunately, hardly news these days, though (as far as I knew) this was the first buddy of any of the TNH guys to get laid off. This buddy, "Mike", got a job as a waiter to have some sort of income to help tide his family over. My wife and I had plans to go out to dinner and thought about going to the restaurant where he worked, to show some support for him. Then we thought about it some more and decided to get some TNH input.

Nap spoke first. "Going over there is a bad call. Your buddy took this job to make ends meet, not because he always wanted to be a waiter. I think showing up there will embarrass him, despite your good intentions." 

"I don't know about that," said El Guapo. "If this guy is your buddy, I think he'll appreciate you showing some support. Shows that what he does for a living has zero impact on the friendship."

"But don't you think there are other ways to let your friend know you support him?" said Nails.  "Invite them over to your house for dinner or find something to do just to hang out that won't cost anything."

Commish spoke up. "I need a little more info. Is this restaurant nearby? On the other side of town? Let's say he took a job at a place way on the other side of town when there's a similar one much closer. That says to me he really doesn't want to be seen by people he knows. I'd also want to know what his state of mind about it is. If he's talking about it, he's clearly not trying to hide it."

Mr. X joined in after listening for a while. "Good points. Also - and while its different for everybody - if this was a few years ago, when nobody was losing their job, I could see feeling embarrassed, even if there was no reason to. But today, given everybody's uncertain job status, we all know that could be any one of us. If he's open with it, I think showing up is a nice way to show Mike you're thinking of him."

"Guys, I hear you, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one." Bubbles spoke up for the first time that night. "Even if he's pretty open about it, does that mean he's really comfortable with the reality of it, and wants to showcase his new position for all to see? Its not like I go to your jobs to see you in action.  Its one thing to talk about it, its another to serve your friends. Why take a chance?"

Commish agreed. "At the very least, wait a little bit, until you get a sense that he's really cool with the reality of it. Plus, I actually think it raises more issues, even if he's totally okay with it. What if you don't get seated in his section? Then you're just observing him. That's weird. What kind of tip do you leave? Potentially even more awkward. I say leave it alone and follow Nails' advice and have him and his family over for dinner or brunch or something."

Getting the last word in, El Guapo added "All good points fellas, but if its me I'm still going out there to show some support for my buddy. Hell, we'll make sure we all have a good time - him included!"

And that's where we left it. My wife and I ended up not going to the restaurant where Mike worked, and the more I thought about it, the more I think we made the right choice. Vote on the right and let us know what you'd do.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cheatin’ Colleague

Once everyone ordered food and drinks, one of the guys jumped right in with the first issue of the night. “I got an issue . . . and it involves sex.”

Doc piped in “It’s about time we had a sex issue – been way too long.  And really, are there any other kinds of issues? Okay, seriously, what have you got?”

“A colleague of mine asked me to, er, help them with a little project. This person is having an affair and is planning on going away next weekend with their side interest. The cover story is that its for a work conference and I’ve been asked to - should inquiries be made - affirm that indeed we are going out of town for a conference.”

Nails spoke up. “We need some clarification. Will you be called before the conference? During it?”

“Forget that. Do you know the spouse? Is this a good friend of yours? Seems like the answer shouldn’t depend on this stuff, but I guess it does.” Big Dog was usually pretty insightful when it came to spousal issues.

The guy who brought up the issue said “I told you everything pertinent. You need to make your own assumptions on this one. I’m not really sure that any of those details matter. What do you think I should do? What would you do?’

Nails responded first. “I don’t see how there’s any way you can say yes. It doesn’t matter if the spouse actually calls, it doesn’t matter if you know the spouse – cheating is just wrong and if you enable, or at least condone it, you’d be in the wrong too. I think you respond by encouraging them to seek counseling and not have the affair.”

Big Dog agreed. “It could be tempting, especially if this is a real good friend of yours. But I don’t think you want to get involved in something like that.”

El Guapo demurred. “I might be in the minority on this, but I think you’ve got to consider it. Think of the cost versus benefit. Chances are you’re not going to get called on it, your colleague will owe you big time regardless and what the hell do you care what this person does in their private life.”

I finally spoke up. “I’m kind of surprising myself on this one but I have to agree with El Guapo, though definitely not for the same reasons. Look, it depends on what assumptions you make. One, I’m assuming the person who asked you is a good friend, not just a colleague. Two, maybe their marriage sucks or maybe you know the spouse is evil and you never thought they’d be good together and you knew they weren’t going to last. Maybe you know the spouse is cheating. Who knows? But I’m assuming that this is a real good friend in a lousy marriage and you got to be there for your friend.  Like Nails said, encourage them to not do it, encourage counseling or a divorce, but in the end you got to be there for your friend.”

Most of the guys disagreed with me – felt the moral and ethical lines were pretty clear. In retrospect, despite my answer at the time, I’m not sure what I’d do, but I still think it depends on what assumptions you make.

Post script:  After everyone spoke up, the guy who brought up the issue revealed that (1) the colleague was a woman (I’m pretty sure we all assumed it was a man) and (2) he didn’t really know her that well and was pretty shocked to be asked. He told her he didn’t feel comfortable doing it. But he also told us that he could imagine circumstances where he might be willing to cover for a friend.