When hormones outtalk common sense

I’ve been thinking about Monday’s “Bachelorette” TV show. Did you see it? Kaitlyn, the bachelorette, and Nick, one of her suitors, made out all over Dublin, even in a church. It was embarrassing to watch. I kept yelling at the screen, “Nick get your hands out of her dress!” but he didn’t hear me. Then they went back to her hotel suite and had sex. We didn’t see it, but we heard the sound effects, and it was all over the news on Tuesday. Shooting in Charleston, Kaitlyn does Nick. It could all have been staged, but clearly those two were in that zone where common sense goes out the window. I’ve been there. Have you?

In her voiceovers, Kaitlin kept saying that when she gets together with Nick, she forgets the cameras, the other guys and everything else. I know the feeling. Maybe you do, too. You have just discovered this person. Your hormones are going crazy. Suddenly nothing else matters. You will do or say anything to keep the relationship going. You’ll move, you’ll quit your job, you’ll shut out the advice of everyone in your world, and you’ll ignore that little voice in your head that says, “Hey, wait a minute.”

Then the initial fire cools. You look around and think, wait, I don’t want to change my whole life. I like my job. I like my home. He’s not as cute as I thought he was. Suddenly he or she says, “About those babies . . . I’m not so sure.” Now you’re committed and in a jam.

That’s where most of the folks here, including me, end up. I hear it over and over. Yesterday, an anonymous writer sent a four-part comment about her situation. She’s 38, he’s 40. She’s sure he’s the love of her life. She moved in with him a while ago. He was okay with baby thing before, but now he’s saying he doesn’t want to have a baby. She’s freaking out, she’s starting counseling, she’s not sure if they can stay together. What do I think she should do?

I never know what to tell people in this situation. The old lady in me misses the days when people didn’t jump into bed or move in together so quickly, when you had to commit to marriage before doing the horizontal polka. Or maybe people were just sneakier about it. We all do it. I slept with Fred early on and moved in with him before we got married. Luckily, I got a good man and I have no regrets, except for not having children, but it doesn’t always work out that well. I could have skipped my whole first marriage if I had listened to the wiser woman in my head.

Don’t ignore that little voice. It’s like when I quit my excellent job and gave up my apartment in 1983 to sing with a band that had a contract to tour the U.S. All I ever wanted was to sing in a band, and here was my chance. We were going to be rich and famous. Our sponsors went bankrupt in two months. There I was with no home and no job. I moved back in with my parents and started over. Wiser members of the band had kept their jobs and had something to go back to, but me, I jumped headfirst.

It’s the same with relationships. I know how it feels to be crazy in love. The rest of the world just disappears, but don’t let it. Do whatever you can to get a clear head, whether it’s prayer, a hiking trip, or a long talk with a friend. Listen to your loved ones, listen to that voice in your head. Don’t burn any bridges until you’re sure it’s going to work because sometimes it’s perfect, and sometimes it turns into a disaster.

Have you been in similar situations? Have you dumped everything for a man or woman and then regretted it? I would love to hear your comments.

Regrets?

After yoga class yesterday, three of us got onto the topic of children. Nancy and I don’t have any offspring. Lynne has two. Do you have any regrets, asked Nancy as she smoothed her wild hair. Well, said Lynne, if I had it to do over, I don’t know. She explained that once you have kids, you always feel responsible, always worry about them. Her daughter is 40, and she still worries about her all the time.

Nancy, the only one of us still ovulating, said she really does not regret her decision to remain childfree, except once in a while when she sees a little brother and sister together. Then she feels a twinge of emotion–but not enough to change her mind.

How about me? I looked up from tieing up my mat. Well, yes, I have often regretted not having children. But lately, dealing with my six-month old pups, not so much. They laughed. I went on to detail some of the dogs’ recent exploits, including shredding the hot tub cover, destroying the screen door, eating the paint off the walls in the laundry room, and smearing mud all over everything while it was raining and they got bored.

However, I noted that I did wish I had adult children to hang out with and to help me with things. Nancy rapidly reminded me that many children don’t get along with their parents, aren’t around to help, live far away, etc. I know, I know, I know. But if I had children, they might be worrying about me the way Lynne worries about her kids.

But as for little ones? I think I’ve grown out of it. While we were doing our final relaxation, I heard the gym owner’s tots chattering in the other room. At that moment as they interrupted my meditation, I wanted to vaporize them. :-)Then I put them into the background with the potato chip delivery truck outside and went back to pretending I was a rock in a river on a sunny day.

Whatever we feel about childlessness, yoga tells us to focus on our breath, live in the moment and find that calm, peaceful place in our hearts. Breathe in, breathe out with a nice long ommmmm. What is, is.