Is Your Husband or Boyfriend Playing Grand Theft Auto 5? Here’s How to Calculate Your “Lost Husband Time” Compensation.

Gaming widows. I’m one of them. This is the time that Calm-ass Husband will abandon the marriage to play hours on-end of a game. He will fill a Costco basket full of so much junk food, you’d think he was preparing for the apocalypse. Then he will play. And play. And play. Only stopping to eat, use the bathroom, and occasionally, sleep. I’m just thankful he’s not peeing into a Dr. Pepper bottle to save time.

TGPMA, or, Temporary Game-Playing Marriage Abandonment, is a serious problem. Especially surrounding the release of a new game. Such as Grand Theft Auto V.

Grand Theft Auto V will turn adult men with well-paying jobs into adolescent boys who depend on their parents. If your husband or boyfriend is anything like mine, he will take a week off of work with the sole intention of spending every extended waking hour playing this game.

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By the way, if you are married, or dating, an adult man who does this and does not have a well-paying job, it’s time to re-evaluate your life choices. There has to be some sort of pull that levels out the fact that he spends an inordinate amount of time playing this game. Here is a quick check you can do.

Note: If he’s your husband, he must possess all of Column A and can only possess 1 of Column B. If he’s your boyfriend, the only trait from Column B he can possess is the first. If he possesses any others, run. Run away and never look back.

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Important note: You don’t want a guy who ACTS like Don Draper. Or Jesse Pinkman, for that matter. Altough, arguably, Jesse does treat women better than Don Draper. If you can find a guy who looks and dresses like Don Draper, but treats you the way Jesse Pinkman would, then you’re golden. Like a shower (that was for CAH, who I know would have finished it that way in his head. That’s love, bitch). Then again, Jesse does have a tendency to get loaded on meth and have marathon gaming sessions. Hmmm….this might warrant a later post with a side-by-side comparison.

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Of course, if you’re on Pinterest at all, then you’ve inevitably seen this little gem floating around:


The only exception to these rules is if you are actually dating Don Draper, AKA Jon Hamm. If you are dating Jon Hamm, he can live in his parents house, playing video games 24/7, and dress like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad circa season 1, and you should still date him. Have you seen his bulge?

The number of times I've added an image to my computer labeled "Jon Hamm's bulge" is nothing short of astounding.

The number of times I’ve added an image to my computer labeled “Jon Hamm’s bulge” is nothing short of astounding.

Now that we have that out of the way, you are either ready to set your terms, or you’re packing your bags for greener pastures.

When it comes to setting terms for your time as a Grand Theft Auto V widow, be clear on your objective. Do you want compensation for husband-time lost? Do you want compensation for lost help around the house? Having a clear objective in mind helps you to better prepare for setting your terms.

Once you have your objective in mind, you need to figure out exactly what it is that you want in terms of compensation. Luckily, I have come up with an equation to help you do just that:

1. Take your husband’s salary and convert it to his hourly wage.
2. Take the average number of hours you spend per day in quality time with your husband (be honest, no fair inflating this number).
3. Multiply the average number of hours you spend per day in quality time with your husband, by his hourly wage. You now have your Daily Compensation Dollars (DCD).
4. Now multiply your daily compensation dollars, by the number of days you anticipate your husband will be playing Grand Theft Auto V. You now have your Grand Theft Auto V Compensation Budget (GTACB).


Let’s say your husband’s salary converts to $40/hour. Let’s say that you spend an average of 4 hours of quality time together, per day. 4 x $40 = $160.

$160 is your DCD. Now let’s say your husband wants to play for 5 consecutive days. Your GTACB is $800.

The beauty of this equation is that, the more days your husband plays the game, the more you win. If he wants to pay you less of a GTACB, it’s entirely in his control. He just needs to play less. This is really a win-win solution for all involved.

By the way, TGPMA does not allow for you to get a temporary side-husband. I asked and it almost called off our negotiations, and nearly threatened my stakes. So learn from my mistake – don’t ask for a temporary man-mistress.


Overcoming a Workout or Diet Setback: From Just a Plain Old Girl Who Deals With Them, Too

I am by no means a workout or dieting expert, which is why my advice on overcoming a workout or diet setback may work. I read so many articles about setbacks in working out from fitness instructors that are written from the point of view of someone who works out for a living. Don’t get me wrong, I know that many fitness instructors are former out-of-shapers, but most are people who are naturally driven to workout. They were thin and active all their lives, or just had an athletic inclination. Hearing advice from them on dealing with workout setbacks is like hearing a male ob/gyn talk to you about menstrual cramps and childbirth.

I’ve struggled with weight and food most of my life, even when I didn’t need to do so. My first weight issue began at the age of eight, when I was still in ballet. I was dancing the Nutcracker Suite with the Empire State Ballet in Buffalo, NY and the monstrous choreographer, Barbara Striegel, told me I was too fat and had to lose weight. I remember being crushed, going home and telling my mom, who promptly flipped her lid and went down to the ballet studio to give Ms. Striegel* a piece of her mind. But it was too late, the damage was done. Looking back on it now, I realize how idiotic her statements were. I was petite, lean, and had excellent muscle tone. Oh how I’d kill for the body I had when I was still dancing. Other events occurred in my early life that left me feeling like I had no control over it. My way of controlling things became food. When I learned that other women controlled situations with food by *not* eating it (anorexics), I became insanely jealous that I had not gone that route instead (hey, I never said my relationship with food was healthy).

Needless to say, I’ve had many setbacks when struggling to eat properly and exercise regularly. But it was only through growing up and learning more about myself that I was able to start managing these setbacks in a healthy way. So here is how I do it:

  1. Don’t indulge the baby when he falls – We’ve learned that gushing and cooing and being overly-dramatic when a newly walking baby falls only teaches him that it is a big deal. So what do we do instead when baby falls? We brush it off with nonchalance and a “Get up, you’re ok.” Stop indulging your inner-baby when you fall! Have you missed your workout the last few days? Eat an entire chocolate cake last night? Drink a little too much wine (guilty!)? Stop indulging yourself with gushing, cooing and being dramatic. Next time you fall down, give yourself a simple “Get up, you’re ok” and move on. Once you learn how to do this, you’ll be surprised at how liberating it feels to not beat yourself up. It has helped me learn portion control because not getting into “self-trouble” has made over-indulging feel far less “fun” and “rebellious.”
  2. Recognize if you are a perfectionist – I am a total perfectionist and it sadly took a long time for me to recognize. Why? Because I am the type of perfectionist where, if I am I am not over-achieving, then I won’t try at all. I realized that this was sabotaging my workouts. As always, I loftily planned ridiculous workout goals, and then when I didn’t achieve them because, uh, I have a full-time job and a life, I just stopped all together. How silly! There IS a middle ground. Find it and be happy with that.
  3. Ignore the people on Facebook – If I read how about how many burpees someone did on Facebook one more time, I am going to find the sound clip of Christian Bale shouting at the lighting guy, “Oh GOOD FOR YOU” and put the link in the comments section. Then I’m going to start posting status updates of how many satisfying hump-seshes I had with CAH that week, or posting obnoxious pictures of my feet on the beach. With the exception of those who are truly fitness professionals, those other people are just looking for a pat on the back – so ignore them and don’t feel like you have to do what they are doing. Also remember that doing anything in excess, including working out, is often a way to avoid something else in their lives that is paining or bothering them. Kind of like how guys workout more when they are trying to get over a breakup, or how women clean their house from top to bottom when something is stressing them out.
  4. Go back to basics – Has it been a few days since you’ve worked out? A week? TWO weeks? Remember that going to the gym, or working out in other ways, is a habit. We are creatures of routine and if we break that, we have to start again. If you haven’t worked out in a week and you think about hitting the gym as hard as usual, that might actually unmotivate you to go back. So start again with a scaled back workout, even if it’s a walk on the treadmill. When I do this, 9 times out of 10, once I start my workout I feel inspired to give it my all. And when I don’t, I’m still much happier that I went to the gym rather than staying home.
  5. YOU know YOU – I’ve been given so much crappy fitness advice by “professionals” over the years. I’ve also been given great advice, but ultimately, it comes down to knowing myself. Remember that the goal of fitness professionals is to get you in shape – they are not your therapists. If you know that there are mental and/or emotional reasons that are keeping you from making a habit of working out, then be sure that you are addressing those.

That being said, I have come across some great trainers who, not only have the goal of getting you in shape, but know how to work with the emotional/mental blocks that keep people from reaching their goals. If you find that trainer – CLING TO THEM WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.

*In writing this article, I found out that Ms. Striegel has since died. I am not totally without feeling, even towards such a vapid person. So Rest in Peace, Ms. Striegel. I hope whatever demons made you such vitriolic, vile person, died before you did, allowing you to find peace in your life.

6 Things Your Guy Wants You to Wear (or Not)

So I asked CAH for five trends in women’s beauty that, from a guy’s perspective, he wishes would die (among them: oversized sunglasses, skinny jeans and floral print). However, he was much more keen to tell me things he loves on a woman. So here it is, a dude’s perspective on what we should (or shouldn’t) wear, courtesy of CAH:

(P.S. This is CAH’s professional picture for his firm. It kills me every time I look at it. What a ham.)

  1. Nothing. (He wasted no time on that one) CAH says, “The best thing a woman can wear is her natural self”
  2. Dangling earrings. CAH says, “It says you have both class and taste”
  3. Perfume. CAH says, “It’s unseen. But wear something subtle and not too sweet – somewhere between what my little cousin would wear and what my grandma would wear”
  4. A nice handbag. CAH says, “I like a unique handbag over a name brand handbag. Stop being materialistic.” His favorite picks? The mesh bags from Whiting & Davis that I tend to favor, and he thinks the concept behind Miche handbags are the coolest thing around.
  5. Subtle, but powerful makeup. CAH says, “Stop caking it on and having it look like you’re a clown. Add it where you need it, not where you want it. If your eyes pop, let them pop. If your lips don’t, then maybe help them out” (That was profoundly more insightful than I would have ever gave him credit for)
  6. Natural boobs. CAH says, “We are over Baywatch and no matter how good your doctor is at making them natural, we will find out. We are guys, when we are with a chick we love boobs no matter what. When we are with other guys we may talk about big boobs, but by ourselves, we’ll take anything.”

5 Things Every New Husband Should Know

Do you have any friends who tend to be more materialistic than you? I have a couple. It hasn’t bothered me so much, but it did recently when one made a comment to CAH that I did not appreciate. It did, however, inspire me with things that I think every new husband should know.

When CAH was in grad school, not working, he did not have a lot of money. For Christmas he taught himself to make wire-wrapped jewelry and made me a bunch of jewelry. The jewelry was gorgeous, but more than that, it was overwhelmingly touching. He told me that, someday when he is working, it will be “real” jewelry. But honestly, nothing he ever buys me will be as valuable as that homemade jewelry. It means the world to me.

Flash forward to a few months ago and me, a friend and CAH were in the car. We passed a jewelry store that her husband frequents, which she pointed out before informing CAH that, now that he had a job, homemade jewelry wasn’t going to cut it. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I quickly told CAH that this was NOT true. I did NOT want my husband’s sweet mind indoctrinated by the “Mantra of Materialism.” It takes much more to make jewelry than it does to plunk a credit card down on a jewelry counter.

Part of being newlyweds has been observing the marriages of our friends. This is what I have observed from my friends who have difficult marriages: they do not acknowledge the good about their partner, and instead focus on the bad. And more specifically, they fail to acknowledge, *and show gratitude for*, the role that the other plays in the relationship. This has particularly struck me with my husband as I see him work towards becoming the husband that I know he wants to be.

My husband has had a hectic year: he graduated from grad school, lived financially independent from his family for the first time since being in school, got a new wife, moved us to San Francisco for a new job and became head of the household. Talk about stressful! What I’ve learned to understand and respect is that he has his own standards of who he wants to be in this marriage, independent of what I think, and that it is important that he achieves those standards. And that makes me love him even more.

My husband has been tasked with managing the finances. I asked that he take this role in the marriage because I am terrible with money, and fully acknowledge that it is my weakness. At the same time, he hates telling me “no” if I want to buy something, and also feels like he is failing to provide for me. This is why that comment from my friend particularly struck me. I do not want my husband to feel stressed out all of the time because he feels like he needs to live up to these impossible materialistic demands from his wife. So it got me thinking about it, and I realized that this is probably not uncommon for other newlyweds. As I started thinking of all the things I wish I could drill into his head, I figured it was something that many new wives (and maybe even old) wish they could drill into their husband’s heads. So here it is:

  1. Part of being a good financial provider is learning to say “no”. Just because you cannot buy your wife all of her heart’s desires, does not mean that you are not a good provider. Making smart financial decisions that benefits the family is what makes you a good financial provider.
  2. Showing us how much you love us goes way beyond diamonds. As many of you have seen with CAH’s “Love Notes” campaign, there are so many wonderful ways to say “I love you” that are better than what little children in some far off country have died to obtain. And trust me, women who are worth a lick will melt over sweet gestures more than jewelry. The rest we call “Plaintiffs”, and they will perpetually be miserable because they’ll never find true happiness.
  3. Remember, *you’re* who we fell in love with. While we always want you to strive to transform and grow in your life, it is you who we fell in love with – as you are now. You will get promotions, make more money and buy fun toys. But we love *you*, and ultimately, the other stuff does not matter.
  4. As long as you are trying your hardest, you are not going to let us down. We may get disappointed at circumstances, just like you, but seeing you try your hardest to be all you can be in life and the marriage, shows us how much you love us (see number 2). And we will admire your always striving and trying. Truly.
  5. Never stop making us laugh. Because your ability to make us laugh is the most bankable currency you’ll ever have.

And ladies remember, these go both ways 😉

Please Stop Abusing the Pinterest Audience

Well it is time. Those of you who did your homework and read the “About Me” section know that I occasionally get on a soapbox. So here it is:


The only exception to this rule is if the photograph is professionally done and really cool. And even then, let the photographer pin it.

If I cannot saute it, paint it, glue it, bedazzle it, aspire to live in it, hope to visit it, make my lashes look huge with it, put it in my hair, make my nails look pretty with it, or use it to lose weight (or be inspired to lose weight), it has no business on Pinterest!

I am going to tell you something about putting your kids on Pinterest, and it’s going to sting. And I know it is going to sting because it stings me as a dog-mom. No one else thinks your baby is as cute as you do. I do not care how many ridiculous, over-sized fake flowers you plop on that little bald head. We do not know you, we do not know your kids. We are not personally invested in either one of you.

I know, I know, the truth hurts. Trust me – my dogs do some crazy-cute things and I would love to post them on Pinterest. But again, nobody cares if my chihuahua or doberman, who look like every other chihuahua and doberman out there, strikes a cute pose. You know why? Because nobody on Pinterest knows them enough to be emotionally invested in caring about said cute pose. If they do know them well enough, they will see that cute picture posted on Facebook.

So please, stop polluting the Pinterest feed with random candids of your kids. Stick with the glitter shoe tutorials.

Best Home Tooth Whitening System for Cheap! Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening System

This is absolutely my favorite home tooth whitening system. I had seen it a ton of times whenever I was at the drugstore and perusing the home tooth whitening systems, but never even thought to try it because it was so inexpensive. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. Well my views changed when I happened upon all of the rave reviews for it at Makeup Alley. I decided to go right out and give it a shot and I got the entire whitening system for under $10.

This is my holy grail tooth of home tooth whitening systems! It works SO well, and seriously makes your chompers white! I mentioned it to my dentist on a recent trip when he asked me if I used any home tooth whitening systems. I sheepishly told him that I used this and then cringed, expecting a lecture on how it is bad for my teeth and I should come to them for their $300 treatments in the office. He just shrugged and said, “Yeah that is a pretty good one – just remember that anytime you whiten your teeth, your teeth are exposed during the treatment so if you have any coffee or wine, or other staining beverages or food, you are feeding that right into the teeth and it can be counter-productive. So hold off on those until your treatment is complete.”

Wow! Thanks Coolest Dentist EVER! So there you go, an awesome home tooth whitening system and a tip on the process!

Best At-Home Tooth Whitening System for Cheap

Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening System : Plus White.

Rose Water Use; Burn it Like Scented Oil!

Many of us want to try rose water but do not know a great use for it. I love to mix it with fruit juices and other sweet recipes. A few drops to complement your morning orange juice is another great rose water use. I recently opened a bottle of rose water and forgot to refrigerate it. Hubby voted to try it anyways, but I tend to be easily scared off by items that have not been refrigerated when the label says to do so. Not wanting to toss such a lovely-scented water, I decided to see what happened if I threw some in my essential oil burner. What resulted was a pretty, light rose scent, wafting through my house. At $2 a bottle, this is a steal over regular rose essential oil. I’m sold!

Rose Water Use – Rose Water 10 oz..