Relax.

It’s called chivalry.

A gentleman should always hold the door open for a lady.

A gentleman should offer his jacket if a lady gets cold.

Is chivalry dead? Not unless the woman kills it. I can open the door myself, thank you. 

The person that gets to the door first should hold the door open for the following person.

Regardless of gender, anyone that wants to give up their coat for a someone that is cold is simply a nice person. Or maybe they’re just hot.

It’s a new era. The 2017 etiquette for men has new rules.

One rule, really.

Flowers are always nice.

No, forget the flowers.

The one rule: never say the word relax. 

I take that back – you can say relax to the brand new mother of your child when you hand her a gift certificate to a spa. “Here, you’ve been up all night. Go relax.”

You can say it on the beach as the waves pull your lover’s feet into the ocean. “You want to grab a slice of pizza and relax on the beach?”

You can say it inside a hot tub in the mountains as you hand your lady a glass of wine. “Here, I thought this would be even more relaxing.”

Hell, I don’t care, you can say it while you load up the kids in the car on a trip to the grocery store on your own. “I’ll run to Target with the kids. Sit here and relax.”

But the second you have an angry woman in front of you – you better start agreeing with whatever nonsense she’s spitting at you. Agree and talk about it later. Trust me. You do NOT – I repeat – you DO NOT utter the word RELAX. See also CALM DOWN. If you include the arms motioning downward, they will be kicked back up.

I will light the town on fire and tell a female cop I discovered arson because I was told to RE-LAX. Oh, hell no. Where’s my torch.

This isn’t a post about Scott and me. This is a post about a little girl finding womanhood.

Scott told Kate to relax.

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This adorable photo from the Daddy/Daughter dance shows a reserved 5th grader and her father. And then there’s the 2nd grader, chugging her childhood down her throat because the same father told her to relax.

Kate wasn’t even angry at Scott when it all started. She stomped in our room that morning and showed up next to my side of the bed with her arms crossed.

Kate: I’m mad at Emma.

Me: Just cuddle with us and ignore her.

Kate: No! Mom! But Emma…

Scott: JUST RELAX, KATE.

I felt a fury ignite in my stomach. It passed.

Kate: NO, DADDY! THEN I’M NOT GOING TO THE DANCE WITH YOU TONIGHT!

Scott: Fine, I’ll go with Emma.

Kate: I don’t care. You won’t be going with ME.

Kate stomped out of the room.

Scott: What happened to her?

Me: You told her to relax when she was angry. She’s me now.

Kate felt the fire inside her at age seven. It’s the fire every woman feels when a man tells her to “relax” or “calm down.”

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I had a chat with Kate woman-to-woman. I reminded her he did get her a corsage for the evening. Flowers are always nice. And he would love to have a date on each arm for the night. She must forgive his words. 

She agreed to go to dinner and the dance with Scott.

It’s called chivalry.

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Next year, she’s flipping off the camera.

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My date with Amy Schumer.

** Warning: This post is rated R. I’m not a G-rated writer by any means but Scott’s grandma reads this and I felt I should post a warning. It’s Amy Schumer, come on. **

I am not a lesbian.

Amy Schumer is not a lesbian either.

But that’s not going to stop me from calling Amy Schumer my date because my go-to male date was crushing on a male deer from a treestand.

Amy did everything right. She told me to put away my cell phone. She never picked up hers. She talked. I listened. She had the wit and delivery to send my ab muscles into spasms. I left wanting more.

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Amy Schumer has no idea who I am. I went on a couples date but it wasn’t that kind of date. I picked up an extra 4th ticket from a neighbor when she realized she had to miss Amy Schumer’s performance in Kansas City last night.

Things I learned on my date with Amy Schumer:

  1. Be brave. But if the media or your partner tells you “you’re brave” for showing your body, you have every right to kick their ass with your brave self.
  2. Some – but not all – mothers of sons can’t let their sons go on a date because they want to have sex with their sons themselves. I’ve said this for years, Amy. Mothers of sons are far more intimidating than fathers of daughters. Someone write a sad country song about that.
  3. The sex talk with daughters should also include the vagina smell discussion. Soup. It smells like soup. And that’s ok.
  4. It really isn’t fair to be a woman. Women care too much about what others think. We need to start thinking like a man. Let things go. Don’t let body image bother you. When was the last time you heard a man ask you if he tasted ok? Never, Amy. Never.
  5. Then again, it really isn’t fair to be a man either. You need to get hard. Stay hard. And do all the physical work of moving back and forth, front and back, in and out.  Women get the luxury of just laying there if they want to.
  6. If you want your relationship with your partner to grow closer, travel out of the country together and hope for food poisoning. One of you can shoot military-style -MC16 bullets mixed with a gallon of shit water out of your ass. And the other can push you off the toilet so he can put his face in the porcelain bowl of death. Scott and I went to Mexico once and we can confirm it brought us closer.
  7. We’re all the same stories during a drunken black out in our 20s. Or 30s. No one blacks out and wakes up in their bed next to a yoga mat and a cleaned house. No. You wake up on the floor and you can feel the hate for you radiating from your partner’s sleeping body. When he wakes up, he will tell you everything you did the night before because you don’t remember. Like how you ate a whole package of the “special gummies” even though you were told to only eat one. Then you decided to eat two sleeves of Ritz Crackers dipped in guacamole, only the “guacamole” was butter. Or baking two pizzas and slapping them together to make a sandwich. These are totally Amy’s stories, Scott’s grandma. Not mine, so not mine.
  8. Amy Schumer doesn’t like the Cleveland Indians because the word “Indians” insults the Native Americans. Amy Schumer respects the Kansas City Royals for not being offensive. I didn’t mention during my date that Kansas City’s football team is the Kansas City Chiefs and they play in a stadium named Arrowhead.

Some things are better left unsaid on a first date.

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Billie Holiday is a woman.

My last first date was 15 years ago.

Good.

First dates are awkward. You’re being judged. You’re judging. Everything you do and say is taken into consideration – what you wear, how you speak, maybe even how you smell.

Am I pretty enough? Did my comment about whiskey make me sound like an alcoholic? Say something witty. Talk. Say something. Anything. I should tell him how I almost died in a  flood last night. Wait, don’t be dramatic. Ok, he’s funny. He pointed out we’re both shy. That’s cute. 

15 years later, I still wonder if I’m pretty enough. I still dress up for dates. I curl my hair and I wear heels. Ok, I lied. I don’t wear heels because that makes me taller than Scott and he hates that. I know what Scott will order at a restaurant. And he knows I’ll never turn down a whiskey. And, no, that doesn’t make me an alcoholic. We don’t need to judge each other because we already know each other.

Oh, does the man still make me laugh.

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Scott: After you’re finished eating, let’s pay and get out of here. I don’t really like this band.

Me: Really? Jazz? This is old Kansas City. Don’t you feel like we’re on the Cosby Show or something?

Scott: I feel like I want to go to bed.

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I cold-walked in front of Scott in the parking lot. I couldn’t wait for the car heater to blast in my face.

Scott: And there she goes. Leaving me behind with the cold-walk.

Me: I’m freezing! Hurry up!

I opened the driver’s door and waited for Scott to catch up.

Scott: I know this is probably a dumb question but is Billie Holiday dead? He’s dead, right?

Me: Scott.

I stared.

Scott: (laughs) He’s dead! He’s old. Never mind.

We sat inside the car and I turned the ignition on. I tapped the heat button up and pulled out of the restaurant’s parking lot.

Me: Are you serious?

Scott: What? Did he die a long time ago?

Me: No. I mean, well, yes. I mean Billie Holiday is a woman. He is a she. And yes, she’s dead.

Scott: What, so she’s like Billie-with-an-i or something?

Me: Billie-with-an-i-e, actually.

Scott: How am I supposed to know these things? Billie Holiday is a woman? And how do you know who Billie Holiday is? Name one song.

Me: Oh, you know. That one song. It’s popular. It’s on The Notebook. Hold on, let me think.

Scott: Well, sorry I don’t watch The Notebook over and over.

Me: Ok, Ryan Gosling.

Scott: Huh?

Me: It’s a popular song in that era…hold on. You’re distracting me. I can hear it.

Scott lifted his phone. Billie Holiday’s songs started.

Scott: This one?

Me: No.

Scott: This one?

Me: No.

Scott: All these ringtones and none of them are it?

Me: Ringtones?

Scott: I figured her most popular songs would be a ringtone. This one?

Me: That’s it! I’ll be seeing you. I’ll be see-ee’ing youuu. It’s in The Notebook. You know when they’re old and dancing.

Scott: No. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen The Notebook once and it sucked.

Me: But Ryan Gosling.

Scott: What?

Me: Wait. Haven’t you seen Clueless?

Scott: Yeah, once. Like 30 years ago.

Me: When Cher is on that date with that guy – who ends up being gay – but anyway, he picks her up in the car and he asks, “do you like Billie Holiday?” and Cher says, “I love him.” and she flips her hair like this and he kinda smirks at her. You didn’t get that joke?

Scott: No, I probably thought she loves Billie-with-a-y.

Me: You live in Kansas City. This is a jazz town. You’re required to know that Billie Holiday is a woman.

Scott: (continues to play Billie Holiday music on his phone) This is awful. She sounds like…like, noise.

Me: Noise?! She had one of the greatest jazz voices that ever lived.

Scott: Her ring tones suck. You can’t tell me you like these ring tones.

Me: It’s not my favorite but I like it. Actually, it reminds me of coffee shop music. Or my grandma’s jukebox in her basement. This is like my grandparents’ music. I imagine my Grandma Crowder going on a blind date with my grandpa in Kansas City. This is what they listened to. It’s sweet.

Scott: It’s noise.

Scott played A Milli by Lil Wayne.

Scott: “Young money. Ya dig Mack I’m goin’ in. I’m a millionaire, I’m a young money millionaire…A milli…a milli…ah ah ah a milli.”

Me: This is embarrassing.

Scott: For who? (continues to dance and raps)

Me: Our grandkids. They’re going to be like, “Listen to this noise. A milli. A milli. A millionaire.” They’re going to laugh and say, “Can you believe our grandparents used to listen to this when they went on dates?”

For the record, Scott’s favorite genre of music is country.

Also for the record, Billie Holiday is a woman. And she passed away on the day Scott and I would get married, well before Scott and I were born.

I looked up how she died. I don’t know why, really. Other than this is one of those times this blog possesses a life of its own. A giant wheel, connecting everything together. Billie Holiday lived and died in the wrong era. We would have been great friends.

Billie Holiday’s cause of death: too much whiskey.

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