The Body Fortress Goliath to my standard hotsauce David.

Well, it’s finally happened.  My skinny, indie-band-guitarist-looking boyfriend has brought home a vitamin bottle full of powdered protein bigger than my head and announced his intention to Buff Up.  It’s been a while coming.  His best friend is a highlighted gym bunny, two of their good mates are professional football players with tree-trunk thighs, and another is elite Special Forces with a chest like the side of a barn and the alleged ability to maim with his big toe – not that any of this affects their collective smoking and drinking regime.  The rest of their boy gang are regular blokes with varying degrees of fitness, and Boyfriend has coasted comfortably as the Good-Looking and Sensitive One for years.  He’s got strong legs and more than held his own in the weekly five-a-side, but lost his niche a bit when he left everyone behind and relocated to London to move in with me.

I knew it would all change when we started partnering in hand-to-hand combat class and he discovered I could punch harder than him, as well as tote him across a gym in a fireman’s carry.  Actually, no, he likes these things about me, and since we found out I’m three pounds heavier, he will jokingly accuse me of throwing my weight around whenever I’m being bitchy.  Oh, the fun we have!  It just proves I could save him in a war zone or an emergency.  If I felt like it. (more…)


So yes, a very nice thing has happened to me lately. Completely unexpected and filled with sweetness and light and laughs and tenderness. Which, of course, is making me anxious as hell — I have practically chewed one of my thumbs off. But anyway, I think that it has dawned on me that it might be something special due to the following symptoms.

1. Instead of trying to turn him onto my music, I am getting heavily into a lot of his.
2. Even when he briefly played air drums while we were driving, instead of inwardly cringing, I thought it was adorable.
3. Twenty-four-hour pregnancy scare = giddiness on both parts, with potential names that included Murky, Blank and Dim due to the fact we had foggy memories of actually doing it.
4. Even wild stories of his hedonistic days of sex, drugs and all-night raves enthrall me.
5. Everything he says = utterly fascinating.
6. I feel sexy around him even when I am without makeup, clothes or dignity.
7. When he talks about his exes — a couple of whom really hurt him — rather than feeling jealousy or annoyance that he’s talking about them, I wonder why they were such fools to let him go.
8. Inability to stop touching each other. It is endless caressing, clothed or unclothed.
9. Delight in one another’s drunken behavior. I got really messily drunk on New Year’s Eve, and realizing I was “spectacularly off the rails,” he got us home on a long subway ride and giggled the whole way due to my drunken antics with various other drunken revellers on the train. He was also much drunker than me last week and all I did was laugh and rejoice in him.
10. A renewed belief that good things can happen to good people.

It certainly feels good, if scary at times just because of the potential for pain if it doesn’t work out.

Tell me, what are your tell-tale signs that you’re in love?

This is what I got as thanks for my nuanced and thoughtful narrative of yesterday on loathing and loss:

From: Mom (2:12 am)

I did NOT throw away that trashy old t-shirt!  You are taking literary license too far.

 mom xoxoxoxox

From: Me (5:25 pm)

You totally tried to throw it away once and I caught you.  No lie!

Consequently I will be BURIED in it.  Not really, I just like it because it’s so thin and soft, but I don’t really wear it outside the house.

From: Mom (6:10 pm)

I do not recall such an incident with that shirt although I really disliked it; you must have dreamed it.  I learned my lesson early, when you were about four, when you looked in the trash and saw that I was throwing away something that you weren’t ready to let go of.  I had already had similar discussions with your father who also likes to go dumpster diving.  You retrieved it and acted so hurt that I would discard something so precious to you.  Who knew?  I learned to put stuff in the bottom of the bags I dumped used kitty litter in – sneaky, huh?  I’m glad you still have the shirt if you love it so much, and if you die first, I will see that you wear it in your open casket and are then buried in it.

Please note the cunning use of Mom-guage (that’s like language, but with moms!  Think it will catch on?) present here.  In the first email, we see the harmless tee-shirt described as “trashy” (foreshadowing after the fact!).  I have also taken things too far, as in “give a kid an inch and she’ll take a yard, and then wear something slutty at the same time.”  Classic mom stuff.

In the second email, she denies memory of – and therefore responsibility for –  the incident.  She turns it on me nicely with, “you must have dreamed it.”  I am a confabulator, see, and my own memory is not to be trusted.  Next, we understand that I am an irredeemable packrat practically since conception, just like my father (again, denial of responsibility, due to a fluke of inferior genetics passed down on the patriarchal side.  You reproduced with him, Mom!  You knew what you were risking going in!).  (more…)



Recently I have been cursing my tortoise-shell cat. She is too in love with me. Everywhere I go, she follows. If I sit or lie down anywhere, she is soon at my side, 0r climbing on top of me, usually  gazing deeply into my eyes with a look of sheer, demented love on her face. I give her lots of love but she won’t let up. It gets to the point that if I glance at her, she goes crazy with the purring and the rubbing and the writhing. For this reason, I sometimes force myself not to look at her, because it will continue for hours.

If I have my iPod on and start to absent-mindedly sing, I feel the vibrations on my legs of her purring and look down to see her once again staring back at me drunk with love, the sound of my voice having set her off. When I get home for work, she literally comes running down the stairs to greet me. When I leave the house, I look back and there she is, sitting in the living room window watching me go.

Sometimes it is off-putting.

There have been four living creatures who have loved me this much. My son when he was a baby. His eyes would follow me wherever I went, and if I walked out of the room, he would cry. My daughter as a toddler could not get enough of me, and never wanted to leave my side. An old boyfriend who still loves me with the same intensity as my tortoise-shell cat. I have seen that demented look of love on his face many times.

Which brings me back to the cat. Today I told some of my closest girlfriends my tale of woe.  It is something I carry with me but don’t talk about much because I assume people won’t understand it. Of course, these amazing women did, and it was cathartic and weepy. And tonight, I sort of felt scared and alone after telling it, and there was that sweet little cat, pressed against me, purring and gazing up at me with all the love in her little kitty heart. And I was very grateful for her. No one and nothing can ever love you too much.


Welcome back to Married With Buttercups!, where we answer all your questions on dating, mating and marriage-berating from four unique viewpoints — the twice-divorced Trixie, the avowed single Tailfeather, the married-with-an-attitude kadinsky and the blushing newlywed, BiscuitDoughJones.




BCP Reader Befuddled in Brooklyn writes;


Dear cherished Buttercups whose relationships are more successful than my own and whose wisdom I wish to absorb,

My boyfriend and I are seriously in love, and I have no reason to expect he won’t be a really big thing in my life, either as a long-term friend or a long-term partner.  So the fact that this seems like a relationship that might, in the best of worlds, go somewhere, makes it even more important that I figure out what to do about his mother.

We finally met this Thanksgiving, and she gave me weird vibes from the start. Normally I’m a total parent charmer. . But she was prickly and domineering over the holiday, criticizing my smallest behaviors, like how I filled her kettle to boil water. I was intending to help her with the Thanksgiving cooking, and contribute some dishes of my own, but she didn’t seem interested in helping me find the right (basic) ingredients (or even in helping me get to the store in an unfamiliar city) and warned eerily that on Turkey Day her oven, and every mixing bowl she owned, were scheduled down to the hour, so I ended up not making anything. I felt awful. Worst of all, she waited until my boyfriend was out of the room to pepper me with questions that were borderline hostile. (She broached topics to do with weight and body image, as well as how much money I make. “So, you sort of live hand-to-mouth, then? That must be strange.” Etc.) I’m game to talk about almost anything with someone I expect to have an important quasi-familial relationship with, but she seemed more snarky and passive-aggressive than motivated by genuine curiosity or friendliness. I tried to parry the assault politely, but I was very uncomfortable. (Whenever my boyfriend came back into the room, she would stop.)

So, I suppose my question is, how do you set boundaries with your in-laws? What strategies have you employed in similar situations, with what results? I feel like now is the crucial time for determining the patterns and scope of our future interactions, and looking back on last week, I think I just failed, big-time. I rolled over like a puppy in the face of her questions, when my instinct was to tell her politely to mind her own business. I had no issues with my boyfriend’s dad. He was awesome. But what can I do to get off on the right foot with his mother, without feeling like I’m making myself her patsy? How do you each negotiate these delicate maneuvers? I’m at a loss.


Befuddled in Brooklyn

(P.S. The boyfriend, for what it’s worth, is completely supportive. He warned me his mother could be a little difficult, and whenever she made any comment in his presence that struck him as even slightly disrespectful or undermining, he dealt with it very well, quickly changing the subject or saying, “Come on, mother,” or something similar. But even though he makes an excellent proxy, I need to know how to relate to her myself.) 


The Buttercups give their thoughts, after the jump (more…)


How sweet is this picture? He gave her his jacket!!!!!!!



The man in my life is a girl. I mean, he’s a man, but he possesses so many girlfriend qualities that I sometimes can’t believe it. When I told him I bought a cute shirt recently in Ann Taylor Loft, he squealed: “I LOVE that store!”

Tonight was yet another example of his girliness. We have a game where we send each other the lyrics, out of the blue and often in mid-conversation, of some obscure ’80s songs. I have yet to stump him. Last night it was: “Call me good, call me bad.” He immediately knew it was I’m Your Man by Wham, although we were soon quarreling bitterly because I think that song is a pop masterpiece and he think it’s total shite.

Tonight I thought I had him, and texted him the following in the middle of a discussion about Caroline Kennedy: “We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder.” I thought this was such a girl song that he’d never get it. His prompt reply: “Weeeeeeee belong, we belong, we belong together!”

In honour of him and you Benatar-loving bitches — you know who you are — a little early New Year’s confection:

And just because I love George Michael and think no man has ever sung a pop song with more exuberance, there’s this (there is a needlessly long intro to this video; the music starts at 1:20):