One of the first things that I appreciated about Facebook (FB) was the rejuvenation of a connection with my large extended family, including 7 siblings, dozens of first cousins, and a growing collection of nephews and nieces coming of age.
This past fall my oldest nephew posted photos of himself sprouting a mustache. A succession of posts followed, requesting donations for this distasteful growth, but as is often the case with my younger FB friends, I couldn’t follow the line of thought.
Imagine how relieved (and shortly after, concerned) I was, when a group of women, some my age, illuminated what my nephew referred to as “Movember.”
Had I known better, I would not have pushed play on this You Tube clip while my ten year old was in the same room, but I lacked some savvy when it came to the internet given that we had long been limited by a dial-up connection until recently.
Boy, did my child get an earful before I pushed pause and ushered him out of the room. But it left a lasting impression–on both of us–which weeks later came in handy.
You see my husband and I had been increasingly challenged by the aging of our children, namely because they continue to go to bed later and later which dramatically affects our alone time, and the kind of things parents do when they’re alone–like have a complete thought or even a short conversation, read half a chapter of a book, watch an entire movie in one sitting, and last but not least (though maybe the least frequently)–have sex.
This may be what attracted us to the provocative title, Mating in Captivity. We were so charmed by it that we formed a couples group to explore its message together–namely that keeping passion alive–in life and in love–takes attention and heroism.
The author shares case studies of couples who have taken on that challenge and those who have failed. One story that left an impression on me was a woman who looked forward to sex as a delicious escape from the day-to-day of tending young children and home. Her perspective inspired me to enrich my view of marital relations, from yet another responsibility, to a gift of self love.
Another parenting couple intrigued me by the way that they met the age-old challenge of privacy. On Sunday mornings when Marvin Gaye was playing in the bedroom, the kids knew not to knock.
I was fascinated by this transparency of sexual relations in the home, as I had recently stumbled into a bit of this on my own when my teenager arrived in our room at ten o’clock for several fertile nights in a row.
In a moment of exasperation, I broke it to him that his father and I needed to have sex once and awhile to keep our marriage alive. Surprisingly, he didn’t jump up from the end of the bed where he had been babbling on about his life.
I swear he seemed to be frozen, in mind-expanding consideration, and I could see the cells reformatting before he stood up silently to leave.
We didn’t chase him away forever either. We just opened a door to the idea of closing the door for a certain kind of privacy when we wanted it; but otherwise we looked forward to our precious late night connections with our teenager, and he continued to return–when the door was open.
The ten year old was another story. Until Movember.
If like me, you are so out of the loop that you don’t know what Movember is, here’s what I’ve learned from FB (which isn’t always a reliable source of accuracy by the way): Movember has something to do with men growing mustaches as a fundraiser for cancer.
What illuminated this cause for me, was the You Tube clip that encouraged women to support the cause on November 18 by sleeping with men who had mustaches.
Fortunately for me, my husband was sporting one, so I could legitimately participate. That left my ten year old son and the necessary factor of his cooperation–which given his unintended viewing of “Have Sex With a Guy With a Mustache Day” is how the code name “mustache time” was conceived in our home.
Though he squirms each time I say it, “mustache time” has greased the hinges of the door which separates “children” from their “parents”on certain private occasions, so that “families” can stay together.