This elephant's wearing lingerie

Once upon a time I blogged at other places, magical places like Weddingbee (Hiya, Mrs. Cheese here) and Not Quite Betty Crocker (my personal blog for about a year).  Some of those posts were near and dear, so I’ll be reposting them periodically (hopefully with slightly tighter editing and slightly fewer parentheses).  This one was originally posted on February 5, 2009.

It’s time, dear friends, to talk about the biggest elephant in the room, the one we don’t talk about because HELLO it’s the internet and who’s nutty enough to be that honest? That would be me. What can I say? I’m a sucker for talking about the things nobody talks about, and it was pointed out recently that this is the biggest one of those.

{If you’re related to me, I’d highly recommend that you stop reading now. Really.  Really. I’m about to talk about doing the hibbidy jibbidy.  In fact, I’m going to believe with 100% faith that you will stop reading now so that I don’t feel weird writing the rest of this post.}


My guy and I both like to “play Twister,” if you know what I mean. Really, who doesn’t like a good game of Twister? It’s fun, it makes you feel good, you get nice and close to each other, don’t have to think much, and it’s a stress reliever. However, he likes to play Twister much more often than I do, which I think is typical of men, especially men in their 20’s. And he often wants to play Twister late at night, when I’m drowsy and ready for bed, or early in the morning, when I’m groggy and not yet out of bed.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to play Twister (I think I’m pretty good at it, thankyouverymuch, and the mister is very good, let me tell you), but sometimes I’m not naturally motivated.  My husband doesn’t mind too terribly if he has to convince me sometimes, but if he has to convince me too often, he starts to feel rejected and unloved. I don’t want my favorite guy to feel rejected and unloved!

Here’s the thing: in relationships, in life, we do lots of things that we don’t want to, because we should, and I consider Twister to be no different. If we’re both exhausted and I ask for a back rub (no quotes around back rub, by the way), my husband will happily comply. In fact, many times he’ll offer before I ask. Is that his favorite thing in the world, to give a backrub? Of course not! But he does it for me. So, when I’m all dozey and ready to go to sleepy, and the mister’s restless or (let’s not sugar coat here) hinting, I think, “Ugg, I’d rather sleep, and what am I, a Twister-toy?” On my less balanced days, I’ve been known to think, “Is this all I’m good for? The physical release?”

But of course, that’s not true; there are many, many easier ways to get a physical release than dealing with me and my oh so charming personality traits. He does things for me that he doesn’t like (read: clean the kitchen, deal with the litterboxes, listen to me talk and talk and talk), and unlike those, I get some benefit out of this Twister thing too. I also try to remember that for many men, Twister is how they show their love, how they feel connected, how they (literally) come together with their favorite woman. And, okay, sometimes it’s all about the physical, but so are the backrubs I like.  And, not to overstate it, but IT’S FUN.

So, I sometimes play Twister when I’d rather be doing something else or just when I’d rather not. I think of it like going to the gym: it can be SO hard to actually get your butt in gear and start your workout, but c’mon, it’s not so bad, and you feel so good when you’re done! And because I love my guy, I try very hard not to seem like I don’t wanna. In fact, the less I want to, the more likely I am to be the one to break out the board (yea, yea, analogy’s falling apart, but I trust that you can insert your own innuendos by now). Playing Twister is a great stress reliever for the mister, who reports that his brain shuts down and he gets a break from all of the associated stressful thoughts. I’m terribly jealous, honestly, because I don’t seem to have that immediate shut off switch. Don’t worry, my brain will eventually shut off, but it takes me a while to relax and stop thinking. If I can help him get that kind of break, I will.

Short of an actual physical reason for declining, I’ll play Twister 95% of the time that he suggests it. I’ve also noticed that my natural inclination is to say no — not just in Twister, but in life — so it’s a nice lesson to be learning, too. Ah, yes, and ya know how sometimes, we smart women might imply that we’ve also finished the game with him when we’ve clearly not? Don’t do that. It’s not worth it. Sets you up for unsustainable expectations from your guy, and deprives you of some fun. Sometimes, you’ll let him win and not worry about winning yourself. But most times, you should find a way to both win, even if it takes you a little longer and you get a bit less sleep.

The only Twister-related conflicts we have anymore happen when something’s going on and we haven’t played Twister in a few days and he feels like he’s entitled to regular games, but we get through those times better now than we did before. We’ve figured out how to talk about it. I’ve accepted that I’ll have to broach the subject, and do so very delicately; even then, we rarely talk our way into a solution, but at least we understand each other better.

And ladies? The Twister issue will come up throughout our lives, so better that we learn to deal with it now rather than when things are extra tense, like when we have kids or get older. Yes, someday you’re likely to have to have this talk with your man. He’ll get older, his innate desire to play Twister will suddenly lessen, and for the first time in his life, HE’LL be the one forcing himself to go to the gym… er, Twister board. Any kindness you find in your heart now will pay off for you then.

I don’t suppose I’m terribly progressive in saying that unless I’m not feeling well physically, I’ll buck up and play a game in spite of my reticence, but c’mon, it’s not like I’m not getting something out of it, right? Do you and your guy have different expectations in terms of Twister? For heaven’s sake, I’m going to have to find a better analogy….


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