Now it Matters

It never mattered before.

It’s always been a stupid holiday for stupid people in love, it was never for me. I never had a boyfriend on Valentines Day or even a date. I was never anyone’s Valentine. No pity parties allowed because never receiving a gift means never having to buy one. My glass is always half full- with booze of course.

Being forever alone wasn’t THAT bad.

My Mom bought me gifts as a child but that doesn’t count. It’s like taking your cousin to a dance. No one may know you’re cousins but you know and it’s enough to make you feel like a loser.

My Mother has always been an amazing gift giver. Every present from her is perfect,  it’s exactly what you never knew you wanted, and you have no idea how you ever lived without it. I loved her gifts but yearned for more from the boys at school.

By the time middle school rolled around other girls were getting gifts from their boyfriends. Small boxes of chocolates, cards, balloons and some were even lucky to get stuffed animals. But that wasn’t me.

Even in high school I didn’t have many boyfriends. There were more friends who were boys than there were boyfriends. I wasn’t a complete loser but I never had a guy lined up on Valentine’s Day.

My ex-husband bought me a gift once. I can’t remember what it was so therefore it doesn’t count. The gift was overshadowed by him spending the previous night at a strip club in Tijuana. I was infuriated that my gift may have been accompanied by herpes. In lieu of the events leading up to the present exchange, his gift is irrelevant. In fact, let’s just consider the whole marriage null and void.

One disappointment after another.

But it all changed for me in 2009.

That was my first Valentines Day with Brandon. Jaelyn was 14 months old and I had been dating Brandon for about 9 months.

We lived together, we worked together, we had the same days off, so we spent all our time together. Love was in the air.

Brandon could have given me the prize out of a Cracker Jack box and I wouldn’t have cared. My expectations of the holiday were at an all time low. I braced myself for the worst.

But It’s still one of my most favorite holidays we’ve spent together.

Brandon gave me flowers. The roses were hot pink with veins showing through on each petal giving them a zebra print  pattern. I walked by similar roses a millions times in the stores and commented on the pattern. The hot pink flowers were always my favorite.

Brandon listened to me.

The chocolate was in a frilly red heart. Ferrero Rocher a personal favorite.  What’s not to love about a delicious little ball of chocolate filled with a wafer,  creamy chocolate and a hazelnut? They melt in your mouth with just the right amount  of crunch. Its amazing.

Brandon gets my love for hazelnuts.

The card was sweet. His personal message on the inside brought tears to my eyes. Such sweet and innocent words from a man declaring his undying love for me. No one had ever wrote sweet words to me and about me before. My heart smiled  for days.

Brandon knew what I needed to hear.

The actual gift was perfect. A pair of white gold open heart earrings from Kay Jewelers. I had been admiring them on the commercial for months. I love everything the Open Hearts Collection stands for.

“If you leave your heart open,  love will always find a way in.”

Brandon understands how important sayings like that are to me.

It wasn’t the gifts that meant so much to me. It was the meaning behind each one. They all held special place in my heart because of the hope they carried. Hope that I found someone who understands me, listens to me and wants to give me everything I want.

Brandon gave me hope, hope of a sweet forever spent together.

That year started a tradition. We ordered a pizza and watched a movie because that’s the kind of people we are. Neither of us need a fancy restaurant or expensive gifts, we just need each other.

We have spent every Valentines Day since, eating pizza and cuddled up on the couch watching whatever movie sounds good that particular night.

On that Valentine’s Day in 2009 I knew every year for the rest of my life I needed to be his Valentine.

I need to know someone understands me, listens to me and loves me- besides my Mom.

It never mattered before but it matters now because I’m one of those people who are stupid in love.

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The first Valentines Day card from Brandon.

 

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Chiny-Chin-Chin

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The Beard, Brandon

Brandon would give me anything in the world, but he won’t let me see his chin.

We have known each other since we were 14 and 15 years-old. Back then he didn’t have a beard, for obvious puberty reasons. It seems like a lifetime ago, which is prolly why my memory has failed when it comes to what his chin once looked like.

While mentally visualizing a younger Brandon, recalling some facial features is easy. His eyes were soft and innocent but have hardened over the years and his once chubby cheeks have slimmed down but my mind is blank when it comes to his chin. His face is a puzzle and his chin is the missing piece.

We have childhood pictures of him. In almost every one it’s not a front face view. His head is turned to the side or his chin is tucked towards his neck. There are even some that have a shadow covering his chin. Brandon has probably made every chin picture disappear, like the Bearded Mafia would reject him if they ever saw his chin. Is this a conspiracy theory or am I paranoid?

When first realizing the memory of his chin had slipped away, my heart had broken. How could I forget what my husbands chin looks like? My love for him is deep and passionate. Countless hours have been spent yearning for his body and yet somehow a piece of it has slipped away.

Since Brandon has declared numerous times the beard is here to stay, no one will ever see his chin. To beard or not to beard has never been an issue. My love for him is beyond physical appearances, with or without it he owns my heart, always and forever.

But that beard though.

He has such a sexy beard. It has a unique color. There’s red, brown and even blonde strands swirled throughout it. Each strand is thick and coarse but when pulled together it feels much softer than it looks. It’s long enough to twirl with my fingers and play with. Every time I stroke it, he closes his eyes, tilts his head back and moans. His response to my touch makes the beard stroke experience much sexier.

Lineup 5 bearded guys and blindfold me. Allow me to touch only their beards and I could tell you which one is my husband. I know his beard like the back of my hand. 

The memory of Brandons chin may have slipped my mind but only because I have so many fond memories of his beard.

I’ve stroked his beard in other states. I’ve tugged on it jokingly. I’ve swirled it passionately. I even held it while we had our first kiss as a married couple.

Long live the beard and his chiny-chin-chin.

 

Motorboating Urns

 

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Thinking about life without Brandon every day is sad. No Brandon quirks, no gawking at my boobs, no pinky promises, no goodnight kisses, no random gropes, and no beard to stroke.

That’s devastating.

Our love is one of a kind. It’s deep, passionate, everlasting, forgiving, kind, sweet, honest, gentle, and pure.

It’s amazing. 

If Brandon was buried in a cemetery his grave would be a campsite. Don’t put it past our love.

Life would stop for me.

Days would not be the same without talking to Brandon. He doesn’t have to answer, he doesn’t have to voice an opinion, he doesn’t have to agree with me. He lends his ears when needed and that’s enough.

Listening has always been enough.

Brandon can be around for pillow talk, someone to turn to when the sky turns gray, or when a heart smiles. He can be there through it all -forever- if he’d agree to be cremated. 

He wanted to be buried. 

Brandon is allowing cremation if he gets flashed daily. He needs to gawk after death. 

I will motorboat his urn.

First Love

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What is love?

 I know what love is to me. I know there are different kinds of love. There are different stages of love. It’s not just a feeling, its more than that. I also had to ponder what kind of love to write about; either the first family bonds ever created or the romanticism kind I often fantasize about. I’m a true romantic at heart.

I looked up the definition of love. I needed to know what society had determined was the generic, impersonal definition. There I was with the online Merriam-Webster definition right in front of my face. That impersonal and generic definition I was looking for was no where to be found. Why had I never looked this up before? It took me 30 years of hard lessons to determine what I read in five seconds online. I really should read more often.

The dictionary shows how there’s different kinds of love. I dont believe for one second that any given person in this world only has one first love. With every relationship I’ve been in, its always been a first love. I never dated the same kind of guy twice. They were all different in their own ways and each taught me something new about love and about myself.

 

Their was my first puppy love. He lived across the street from us. My mom, sister and aunt swore he admired me for years before I gave in. He was always mean to me throughout middle school. But the summer before my freshman year he started to look different to me. The boy was actually kinda cute.

That boy was my first kiss, first hug, first REAL boyfriend and the first guy I ever went out on a “date” with. He was the only date I ever had to ANY High School dances. Despite only being together for a year and a half, I consider him my high school sweetheart. It wasn’t until after we had broke up that we decided to loose our virginity to eachother. He will always have that part of me. A decision I have never regretted. 

We have remained friends over the years. The opportunity had arose to rekindle our flame but neither of us were interested. I don’t know his reasoning but I didn’t want to ruin what we already had. Adulthood brings a lot more drama than childhood. Having him as my high school sweetheart was and always will be enough. Besides, his last name rhymes with my first name. No way could I go through life as Jenny Denney.

When I was 16 I met this 19 year old online. (I lied about my age of course) My connection with him has always been a mental one. When we finally met it was an instant physical attraction that neither of us could deny but it always remained mental for me. He always knew the real me. I know if need be I can talk to him about anything. He’s older and wiser. To this day I cannot define our relationship. We have went months and years without talking. But when out of blue contact is made; after a quick catch up, it’s like we never stopped talking.

We had rough patches in our journey but no hard feelings were ever harbored. He’s always been a secret voice of reason to me. He’s always respected my relationships and understood my decisions. I’ve never been quit sure what I am to him and honestly it doesn’t matter. Whether he wanted to or not he taught me a lot about love. He was my first older and wiser love. Even if we were both young and dumb at the time.

This is where I would describe how my exhusband swept me off my feet and showed me unconditional love. But that’s not how his role in my life played out. When walking away from my other relationships I never felt inferior. That wasn’t the case here. He was my first love, that never really was love. 

Then there was my bad boy first love. My family hated him and there were times I did too. He was like a drug to me. I couldn’t get enough of him. We were a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. At one point in our relationship we both had warrants out for our arrest. Mine were no where near as bad as his and despite him being in and out of jail, I never was. I have never spent any time in jail. My family saved me from him. I needed saved from him.

The love that came from my relationship with Jaelyns biological father was strange. I was never in love with him. But I did and still do have some kind of love for him; he gave me my first born. I do not respect him as a person, a father, a son or a brother. But without him Jaelyn wouldn’t be here. He was my first baby daddy love. That was and will always be the extent of our relationship.

I could spend the next 96,139 words explaining the love I share with Brandon. He was my first I gave it my all love. He’s the father of my youngest two and stepped up as Jaelyns daddy as well. I have put everything I have into our relationship and plan on maintaining it forever. He may not be the first man I ever fell in love with but I guarantee you he is my last.

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Guilty Pleasure

 

What’s your quilty pleasure?

When I was 17 years old I met what I thought to be an amazing man. He wasn’t but boy did I fall hard and fast for him. He was in the Navy (it was the dress whites) and I was in high school. It was doomed from the get go. It was the most humiliating and degrading relationship of my entire life.

We lived in Connecticut. He got orders to leave around Valentine’s Day for a new duty station in California. I didn’t know where those orders left me but I knew that when he left we were pretty much over. My mom told him that. He proposed before he left and I accepted. I guess we weren’t over yet. I was young and dumb.

We were married one month after I graduated high school. Two months after our wedding I was living in California with him. I had no family or friends anywhere near me. (That changed quickly, I made two of the best friends a girl could ask for) My ex husband was in and out of port all the time. I had no idea being a Navy Wife meant being alone. I was willing to spend the majority of my life alone and away from family if it meant I got to be married to him. I thought he was amazing so it was devastating when it all slowly came out that he wasn’t. He was addicted to pornography.

I remember the first incident like it was yesterday. My ex husband was out to sea. I went to check the mail and received my first cell phone bill since I moved out there. My ex would have duty days where he had to be ON the ship for 24 hours and I would give him my cell phone so he could call me in privacy instead of using the ships phone. When I opened my cell phone bill it was over $700. This was before Smart Phones; when cell phone bills were easily $29.99 a month. He had called 900 numbers and charged them to the phone bill. I was devastated because if he wanted to talk dirty to someone he could have called me. Oh wait, he did call me. He would call me and tell me goodnight and then 2 minutes later he would call the 900 numbers. What was wrong with me that he couldn’t turn to me for that? I cried for days. I was so hurt.

The phone bill was just the first of what turned out to be two years of a non-stop Pornography addiction. Thousands of dollars spent on it. I hated porn. It was ruining my marriage. It ruined me. I hated everything about it. Why couldn’t I be like one of them girls? Why couldn’t my ex-husband turn to me instead of them? What could a phone call to them do for him that I couldn’t? I became very depressed. I had friends to talk about it with but it was never enough. No one knew full heartedly what I had to live with on a daily basis. I took it out on myself; I hated myself. I wanted to be someone I wasn’t, I wanted to be loved and needed. How could someone who vowed to love me and promised to forsake all others, do this?

After two years of living that kind of life, I was fed up. I kicked him out and I moved on. I hated porn after that. The situation with him gave me a complex that took what felt like forever to come to terms with. It was him. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t porn, it wasn’t the girls, but it was HIM. He had a problem and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help him. My pain wasn’t enough for him to stop. That’s his problem, not mine. I’m normal, he was the fucked up one.

I didn’t watch porn for over a decade. It made me uncomfortable, made me think of him and made me feel inadequate. It wasn’t until I met Brandon and we were married that I was comfortable enough to even talk about what I had experienced with my ex and the porn industry.

Brandon showed me how men should behave and use porn respectfully and responsibly. He opened my eyes to a side of it that I had never seen. It’s not something that’s dirty or meant to make me feel inadequate. It is a tool we use to break the bedroom silence; a wonderful tool. I don’t just mean Video pornography. I mean the WHOLE SHABANG; games, toys, lotions, oils, pictures, movies, EVERYTHING.

When Brandon and I first became intimate it was an instant spark. There was no awkwardness; we were completely in sync. I had never experienced intimacy like that. What I thought to be amazing at the time has turned out to be some of our least intimate moments.  Over the years we have had some of the most mind-blowing sexual encounters you could think of. A lot of those include Pornography. It helps both of us open up and discuss things. Pornography brings an added sense of enjoyment to an already blissful experience, for both of us.

I don’t want to go too deep into my sex life but this is for sure one guilty pleasure that I think all would enjoy if done properly and tactfully. In my first marriage it was all about him, it was not shared, it was a secret. Brandon and I don’t have secrets like that. If there’s something either of us wants to try, we do it.  We manipulate the situation to where both of us are getting what we need to get out of it, and are comfortable in doing so. Brandon doesn’t NEED porn and I don’t NEED porn but it’s fun to watch it with him. We talk about what they’re doing or not doing and get ourselves in the mood. It’s fun to play racy games and dress raunchy for him.

I feel like I shouldn’t enjoy something that once brought me such pain. It was an inner struggle that I had to deal with in order to move on; now that same inner struggle is one of my favorite past times with my husband. I’m not addicted but I’ll tell ya what, I love watching porn with Brandon; it’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

 

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Brenny Tips

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These are solely MY beliefs. Things I have done and things that work in OUR marriage. Every person and every marriage is different.

Many people comment on how good of a relationship Brandon and I have. Like any good relationship we have had our ups and our downs. We fight, we yell, we get mad and we ignore each other but one thing is always for sure; the love is always there. No matter how much crap that man puts me through, I will always love him and I will always have love for him. He is the father of my children and has given me everything I have ever wanted. He has loved me unconditionally when I didn’t even love myself. No matter what happens between us he will always be the love of my life and he will always be a part of my life. With all that said, I have picked up a few tricks along the way that help me be the best wife I can be.

1. Not everything needs to be called out. If you catch him in a white lie or some kind of shady business; if it’s not that deep just let it be. Guys don’t always call us out on our bullshit and you can’t deny that. We regularly toss a bunch of white lies together and hope they don’t catch on. Depending on how smart he is, he probably already knows the truth. I can see it in Brandon’s eyes when he knows I’m telling a white lie. Sometimes if I’m in too deep with it I let it ride out and avoid eye contact at all cost. If it’s something funny or obviously a lie, we instantly laugh about it. He gets me, I get him. No need to constantly be one upping or calling each other out. Don’t us females get that enough in our peer relationships? Don’t bring it home to your husbands.

2. Don’t let your husband in on your beauty routine. Pluck your eyebrows and your facial hair elsewhere. Don’t even think about applying makeup in front of him. It’s one thing for him to have mental before picture but to watch the transformation is a completely different experience. It took me a while to catch on to this one. It may be one of the harder tasks to follow. I understand everyone’s time is crammed and sometimes housing space or kids don’t allow for much alone time. But you have to try your hardest to do these things alone. He doesn’t need to know you pencil in your eyebrows or have hair on your chinny chin chin. I’m not saying you need to wake up 20 minutes before him and apply makeup. Screw that. Just shut the bathroom door next time you get ready. And trust me, the look on his face when he sees the end product is completely worth the privacy. I like to use the time to get ready on my own also as a break from the kids. A lot of times, the kids reaction to mommy all fixed is just as amazing as Brandon’s. Two birds, one stone.

3. Do NOT pass gas in front of your husband. Brandon and I have lived together for six years now and the only time I have passed gas in front of him is in my sleep. Every one farts, true; so get your hinny up and fart in the bathroom. I’ve always been scared that if I rip ass in front of Brandon, he will start seeing me as one of the boys. I don’t want to be friend zoned again. Took me a decade to get out of the friend zone last time. Besides as long as you never fart in front of him, there will never be a shart in front of him. That’s an epic win in my book.

4. Always make them feel special. Sometimes as women we assume we are the only one who wants to be swept off their feet. We can’t expect to be the only one who’s pampered. Now don’t bring flowers home ALL the time. Men feel special in different ways then we do. You have to find something that your guy likes and play off of that. Brandon enjoys getting flowers but it’s not a realy a manly thing, and I know enjoys other things. I like to bring him home some of his favorites when I go to the store or I write him a note and place it in the car before he goes to work. One time I picked out all the green Dots and gave them to him. Remember the little things they tell you and always take a moment to show them that you remembered that about them. He needs to feel just as special as you want to feel. Men like to keep things simple.

5. Touch him all the time. A constant physical connection with your spouse is amazing. I am not a hugger at all. I don’t like touching or hugging people but Brandon brings that out in me. I can’t get enough of him and to be honest, he can’t take his hands off me either. Whether it’s a 5 minute hug, a quick peck or a swift booty touch; we are constantly grouping each other. It keeps the romance alive. When the kids see it, it shows them how much their mommy and daddy love each other. My kids will never doubt the love we share. They see it and they can feel it.

I want Brandon to always look at me the way he did when we were dating, with that fresh new relationship feeling. I always want to be that girl to him. I know that it’s an awesome feeling to let your hair down, not wear spanx and poop with the door open, but at what point do you lose the femininity that you dangled in front of your mates face while dating? Unless you did it when you were dating, please don’t do it now that you are married. Men always say we change. Don’t let them be right.

Paper, Rock, Scissors

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Every one knows how to play paper, rock, scissors (PRS) right? Best way to determine whose the lucky one, on any given crappy situation. Winner determines who does what. Some times the win gives a good reward, other times it saves you from being the grunt.

 

 

When Brandon and I first moved in together and it was just the 3 of us, (Jaelyn, Brandon and I) PRS determined everything from shitty diapers to who gets to sleep in on days off. I remember complaining about having to be the one to get up at 8 am. I would give my left boob to sleep till 8 am now a days. (Not the right one, that one gets a lot of loving from Brandon, can’t give that up)

 

I remember the look our coworkers would give us when we PRSed for a task at work. Some would laugh, others would roll their eyes. We always had fun at work. We were getting paid to do a job but we got to do it together. We were having the time of our life and everyone around us knew it. That made the majority of the people we encountered feel good and enjoy being around us. Every one has haters, Brenny (us) was no exception to that.

 

 I always lost at PRS. I don’t know if im just predictable or if Brandon is just that good. Either way after a while PRS was discouraging.  Brandon could see it in my eyes. After a win he would still end up doing the task because he felt bad. So was I really losing at PRS or was I just using what my momma gave me, to get me out of a few poopy diapers? The world may never know.

 

It’s a good thing we’re more of a bargaining or “pay me to do it” kind of couple now. That sulking crap gets exhausting over time. Now we either just blatantly ask the other one or we sweeten up the deal. By sweeten up the deal I mean there better be a sexual favor or a money exchange involved for it to be considered. Those are usually reserved for the, “I know you really don’t wanna do this, but I really don’t wanna do it MORE” type of things.

 

Brandon once paid me 50 bucks to run up to the gas station. Technically all money in our possession is OUR money but him giving that to me was a “no questions asked were this gets spent,” gesture. Heck yeah I rolled up to the gas station, giddy as all get out.

 

We also used to play thumb-war all the time. I was over that method fast though. For as tiny as his hands are (think the guy with the small hands on the Burger King commercial) he sure has freakishly long thumbs. It’s pure bullshit. I got short, stumpy, little sausage thumbs. They’re no match for his thumbs. Screw thumb war.

 

I sure do miss they PRS days; but they’re long gone. We can’t use that method anymore. There’s always more than one task to complete.

 I consider myself lucky now a days if Brandon’s home to help out. So instead of being a full-time jerk and declaring PRS for every task. Probably would lose them all anyways. I say “this or that.” You either do this or you do that, your choice. He always picks the easy task. That’s ok though, especially if it could result in a huge mess. I’ll do it because its harder to complain if you’re the one who made the mess.

 

I miss playing PRS, but I don’t miss loosing all the time. Maybe when the kids are a little older we’ll start playing again. You know, when there’s not so many shitty diapers riding on it.  Maybe then Brandon will be too incoherent to cheat. Boom, the ether. YEAH I SAID IT.  Brandon was a PRS cheater.

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