Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Summer Hours

Hey, everyone! I thought a better get a quick post up if only to move the “Weekend Open Thread” down and explain my absence. All’s well — I’m just taking some summer hours this week. It’s been a bit of a juggling act, squeezing in time to work with Jackson out of school, visiting family last week, hosting out-of-town friends the last few days, and our part-time nanny on vacation. So rather than make myself crazy trying to do everything, I decided to slow down, enjoy my time with the people I love, let some laundry pile up, and let DW go without being updated for a few days. I actually have about an hour to myself at the moment before I have to wake up Joanie from a nap and go walk a mile (and back) to pick up Jackson from camp, but instead of using the time to write a column, I’m going to read a book for a little bit and then just lie on my bed and stare out the window and enjoy the power of air conditioning. I hope you understand! I’ll be back on Thursday with a new column and some book recommendations. In the mean time, there’s always plenty of drama in the forums.

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I hope everyone had a great week. We just got back yesterday from visiting my parents in Missouri. That’s a picture from a moonshine distillery, Copper Run, nestled deep in the Ozarks, about ah hour from where my parents live, where I like to while away a few hours on a lazy afternoon when I’m in the area (here’s pic from my first time there). I enjoyed a strawberry mojito on National Mojito Day that I’m going to have to figure out how to replicate and do a Drinking With Dear Wendy video of soon. Copper mugs are usually reserved for Moscow Mules, but our mojitos stayed ice cold in their copper mugs for a long time even in 95-degree heat (and we sat outdoors on a porch without even a fan on us), so mojitos in copper mugs on super hot days from now on (these look nice and they’re over 60% off).

While I was away, I started reading this book, which I’ll talk about more next week, but for now I’ll say: If you loved When Breath Becomes Air, you’ll love this.

What do you all have on tap for this weekend? In addition to finishing The Bright Hour and maybe starting this, I’m taking today to catch up on some DW work, to grocery shop, and to get organized in that post-trip, post-2-year-old birthday way that most moms of young kids probably know exactly what I’m talking about (it usually involves an adult beverage of some sort, a lot of folding of clothes, and wondering where the fuck to put all the new toys). We’re also seeing old friends later this afternoon who are in town from LA (and who have a daughter Jackson’s age whom Jackson has only met once but thinks he might marry one day and a daughter a year older than Joanie). On Sunday some other friends who moved away a year ago (including Jackson’s BFF) are coming to visit for a couple days. Maybe if the weather cooperates, we’ll make a trip to Coney Island at some point. Still haven’t been there yet this season.

If you’re in a shopping mood, there’s a good sale going on at Anthropologie (sale items are marked down an additional 30%). I ordered these earrings, and this dress to try on. And now I’m kind of regretting not ordering this top.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

25 Famous Women on Confidence

Reminded me of our recent column on romanticism: “Here’s What This Asexual Homoromantic Couple Wants You To Know About Their Live”

A FaceTime Relationship Turns Face to Face

I thought this was a fun/funny quiz: “Only People Who Are Actually Best Friends Have Done 27/39 Of These Things”

The Tinder trick: Why women on dating sites take their selfies from above… and men from below

Another day, another comment from Trump on a woman’s appearance: “Here’s Donald Trump Telling the French President’s Wife She’s in ‘Such Good Shape’”

TV Actress Announces Her Pregnancy and Reflects on the Heartache of Miscarriage

New study suggests that motherhood literally ages a woman (all of us moms are, like, “no shit!”).

America, Take A Good, Hard Look At What You’re Doing To Working Mothers

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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My girlfriend, “Tonya,” and I have been together for around four months. She is great and I care for her a lot, but I am not attracted to her body, especially when she’s naked. I’m naturally athletic and in proportion, so I guess I expect my girlfriend to be the same and anything other than that seems unattractive. I don’t mind that she’s curvy, it’s just that her disproportionate body is unappealing to me.

We enjoy having sex with each other. And the things we do seem to be enough to make me want to sleep with her. However, I can’t make myself like her body. She’s 43, so I have to be realistic. She’s not going to have the body of a 25-year-old. At the same time, there are 43-year-olds who have better figures. I know I’m not perfect either, but at 45 years of age I’m blessed with a good physique (and in proportion). I guess I just want to please my eyes by looking at a better body. I like looking at a woman with an athletic body and in proportion.

I’ve dated many women, so I have too many women (with nicer figures) from my past to compare her to. And she actually exercises and goes to the gym, but there is no effect whatsoever. What I’ve seen makes me believe it’s her genes.

On the plus side, she’s attractive, smart, funny, and successful. I care greatly for her, but I don’t think I love her. In addition to body proportionality, we also differ on musical tastes. She likes R&B and hates rock. I hate R&B and like rock. Could this also be an issue?

I could let her go and take my chances in finding a new partner. But then I might discover my new girlfriend lacks some of the qualities my current girlfriend has. For example, she may be short-tempered or selfish or not as devoted.

My current girlfriend is a 7.5 and I’m constantly pulled to trade up for a hotter woman with a better body. Maybe a 9.5. The risk is she may not be as kind-hearted and good for me as my current one. I’m afraid that if I leave her, I may realize afterwards that I made a mistake. What do you think I should do? — Trade Up for a 9.5?

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Tom and I are 35 and 34 years old respectively. We have been together for two and a half years, living together for one and a half of those years. Tom was a great guy and everything was perfect when we started dating, and when he asked me to move in, I felt I was ready. Things started going downhill soon after we moved in. Tom stopped doing the things he used to do; he was getting so comfortable that I felt like we were roommates. Nine months after we moved in together, I was diagnosed with Stage 4B lymphoma. No one saw this coming. Tom never wanted to talk about it although I had given him the option to leave if he wanted to and had told him that I would totally understand. He never said anything except that “it is what it is.” We never talked about the disease, the situation, and the future. I sat him down several times to try talk to him, but nothing gave.

I went through aggressive chemo for six months. Tom never came to any of the chemo sessions with me despite the fact that I had asked him to spare a day off work to come. Tom never lost sleep when I was in pain and needed help. I had swollen feet from neuropathy and would crawl to the toilet while he was deep in his sleep. When I told him the next day, he never asked me to wake him up if I needed help. He never broke a sweat. He never spent a single night at the hospital all the many times that I was hospitalized. He would only come see me for one to three hours. He wasn’t interested in learning about the cancer even when I gave him material to read. I would ask him to massage me sometimes since I had chronic muscle pain, and during the only time he tried I asked him to apply more pressure and he said I was going to make him break his fingers.

Tom and I shared all our bills equally, but I was out of work for four months and he never chipped in. Towards the end of each month, he would always remind me to transfer the rent money to his account. I blew up my savings and sometimes my family sent me funds from overseas. At that time I was bothered by this, but I was more focused on staying strong, keeping the faith, and positivity and fighting the cancer to get better. At the end of the day what mattered to me was that he never left.

I finished chemo at the end of February, and I’m still in recovery but happy to say I am cancer-free now. Almost two months after my finishing chemo, the perfectly healthy and athletic Tom developed an upper back and neck pain for a whole week straight. That same week I was sleeping in the guest bedroom because I was ready to leave him due to the fact that we were having relationship issues, including his cheating on me twice, our lack of communication, and his selfishness. By the end of the week, his pain was getting worse and he developed other symptoms, such as urine retention, spasms, and muscle weakness, so I rushed him to the ER. A few hours later he was paralyzed and still is almost four months later.

It turns out he suffered a spinal cord injury from a mass that was found in his spinal cord. I can’t imagine what he’s going through, but I don’t know what quality sleep is anymore. I have spent so many nights at the hospital bed by his side, and I have missed work numerous times. Tom was discharged from rehab and he continues to be cared for at home. I am his sole caregiver because he has no family in our state. His mom lives in a different state and has been coming to visit and help on and off. I have had to hire private caregivers to help Tom while I’m at work since he is 100% dependent on care. I use a hoyer lift to transfer him in and out of bed. I work twelve-hour shifts, and when I get home, I pick up from where the caregivers left off.

Tom has to be turned every two to four hours every night. By the time I’m done caring for him, it’s midnight and I’m then expected to turn and re-position him until I have to get ready for work at 6 a.m.. I have post-chemo side effects among which is chronic insomnia and chronic fatigue. The doctor put me on sleeping pills, but I cannot take those because I have to be awake to care for Tom. It hurts me that I give 300%, but he never appreciates it. He gets so mean and disrespectful and doesn’t understand that sometimes I need to rest. When I ask him if he can let me try and sleep and reposition him after four hours, he says I need to re-postion him every hour.

Tom doesn’t want to do the exercises the doctors have instructed he do to prevent complications and bed sores, and when I remind him to, he says that I like arguing. His lack of concern has led us to the emergency room several times and all this is affecting my job. I’m afraid it’s going to get worse and I will lose my job. I have no life between my job, school, my numerous doctor appointments, his doctor appointments, caring for him, cooking, cleaning, coordinating his care, etc. The list is endless.

His mom has been in denial since the injury, and every time I have tried to talk to her about the situation she just shuts off. I asked her to come visit and help me so that I can catch up with some sleep on my off days, and she is flying down tomorrow. I have decided that I will ask her to take responsibility of her son and to make arrangements to take him back home. At home he will have more people to care for him and they care share the responsibility.

I believe that Tom is not worth my sacrificing my whole life considering the fact that I was ready to leave him before the injury and that he has always been selfish, was never there for me when I needed him, and my immune system is still very week and the stress and lack of sleep weakens it more. I need help on how to approach his mom and ask her to take responsibility and how to approach him as well after I talk to his mom. I know I will still be there for them, help with the transition and move, and help get them situated. I know I have to do what is best for ME and for him as well. Please advise! Thank you! — Cance-Free and Ready to Move On

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