Talking ‘Bout “My Girl”

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.

When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May…

My girl, (my girl), talkin’ ‘bout my girl…”  -The Temptations

Such a simple thing. Hubby comes into the kitchen, brushes past me, and without eye contact or emotion says,  “You are one hard-working girl.” Not a hard-working lady. Or hard-working woman. Or even hard-working chick.

Before our marriage, during his career as a professional musician, my husband played that song hundreds of times- often several times in a night. The crowds loved “My Girl” then and the world loves it still. But, why did it pop into my head today as if for the first time? I realized that in thirty-nine years, (That’s how long we’ve been married.) he’s never referred to me gender-wise with any other term. Of course, I’m also those genderless names of Honey, Sweetheart, and Love. But mostly, I am “his girl.”

He would even tell the kids, “Don’t you cross my girl. She’s your mother and my wife.”

As I thought about his consistent use of the tag, I wondered if it’s made a difference over the years. What if he’d used just the other terms of endearment? Or called me by my name or “The Mrs.” These questions brought up a distant memory from VBS teaching days (my mid-forties) when a misbehaving six year-old referred to me as “you old lady.” I immediately burst out laughing, it sounded so crazy. Seems I have been affected by my husband’s pet word, for a long time. But how?

Self-Esteem

Since reality says I’m way past girlhood, being called Girl has affected my self-esteem. I don’t mean self-worth. I find my worth in God’s view of me. But when women pass the girl stage of life, they may tend to feel “past their prime.” The term “Girl” evokes a sense of freshness, radiance, and warmth. When he calls me that, I feel all those things, even if only for a moment.

Attraction

“My Girl” speaks of security and belonging. His “Come here, Girl,” sounds more alluring than “Come here, Woman,” or Lady or Chick. Now I admit there are times when the latter references might “stir things up” a bit quicker. But normally, when he draws me into his arms with this playful name, I want to move toward him. I think it’s because I sense he wants me for me. Not for what I have to give him.

Sense of Aging

As hard as it is to admit, I feel more like a girl because that’s exactly how he sees me. Always has. Here I am in my sixties, but besides having (a bit) less agility, the mirror is the sole conspirator against my sense of “girlness.” Denial? Self-trickery? Maybe.

However, doesn’t love see everything in its best light?

If your husband hasn’t used this reference to you lately, and you haven’t thought of yourself this way, here’s my advice to you:

         Keep the attitude of being your husband’s girlfriend. You are your husband’s lover, wife, and business associate, all in one package. Concentrate more on the girlfriend part, and tell him you love being his girl. Call yourself a girl when referring to yourself. “I am one tired girl!” “This girl really likes you, Mr. Hunk!” You get the idea. Don’t call yourself Old Girl, though. That’s an automatic penalty.

         Finally, think of your grown daughters as your forever girls. My oldest daughter just turned thirty-seven, and she is still my girl. I will always be her mother, and she’s the mother of her own brood. We belong to a sisterhood of girls- for life!

What’s Up?

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A new class! Hillside Fellowship Church in Bulverde, Texas recently began a class called Autumn Women Engaged. For short, A.W.E. We are thrilled to announce both the classes at the church and the local library, along with an important survey. Today I’d like to share a little bit about both.

The reigning mindset of many autumn women regarding marital intimacy is “Been There, Done That, Stashed the T-shirt in a Box in the Garage”, or “I am full of busy days with work, grandkids, and church activities…lived so long without lovemaking, I hardly remember what it was like.”

Our class purpose is to challenge women according to God’s word in Hebrews 6:12 “…..so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

As far as I have studied and read about the metaphor of Christ and the Church, His Bride, lovemaking in marriage doesn’t have a shelf-life. Instead it becomes more and more necessary as the years go by- that is, if we are to keep from killing each other either with kitchen utensils, or boredom. Really, no amount of travel, or material stuff, or grandkids can fill the void of a lifeless marriage.

So, the challenge becomes, if it’s been a long time since you were interested, earnestly ask, “Is this really what God wants?” And then ask, “Is this what Hubby wants, too?” Have you even asked either one? Or do you think you just know?  If he doesn’t seem to care, how does it make you feel? Relieved? Rejected? Or maybe, if the truth were told, his complaint actually is, “It’s been way, way, too long…” And he has more or less given up by default.

Do you have any idea what’s going on out there? Like in other homes of women your age? While most men and women still sleep in the same room at night (I know of many who don’t), they often retire at different times and get up at different times. They have their own side of a huge king-bed and their own regimen of reading, pillow plumping, and drifting off to sleep. Sound like your house? So we have added an important survey to this site. The women involved in A.W.E. would be so grateful if you would go to that page and take the survey. We truly want to know what issues to address in our classes. Link to our survey HERE.

We want to put the left side of the brain into action- the cognitive side, as opposed to the right, creative and emotion-driven side. When it comes to lovemaking we often think that if we’re not in the mood, we are “dead in the water” and nothing is going to happen. Especially if we just don’t want to. We are actually ruled by the “don’t wanna, ain’t gonna, can’t make me” mindset. And if I were to jolt you out of that mindset, I would have to do it on the left side. The side where facts rule, not emotions. So getting the flow of love back into the marriage may have to be considered a mental, emotional, and spiritual discipline. Often we must choose to love a naughty child. God chose to die for us even knowing we have all rejected Him and gone our own way. Can you decide to go to the left side of the brain with me even in this difficult topic?

If so, where would we begin?

Let’s begin by making one basic assumption. Our husbands need respect just as we need love, and respect means many things, sometimes words of admiration or love. But for many respect is spelled s-e-x. If you are willing to accept that premise, even if he shows signs of disinterest**, this class is for you.

Here’s what our classes will be covering. You are invited to read, think, then add your comments.

  1. First, we’ll cover some of the many benefits of this part of marriage- physiological, emotional, and practical- facts we forgot or never knew. Working on the left side of the brain means using my will to “do the right thing;” but I have to be convinced of the facts. We’ll also learn about the Three R’s from the left side.
  2. After accepting the benefits of lovemaking, what comes first, a discussion or “making a move?” You’ll decide which, then, based on the Three R’s we’ll help you plan the discussion. Here is where “priming the pump” gets practical.
  3. Then, how do I “make the move?” This will not be a graphic “how to.” It will be a plan any woman can implement up to the point where a normal husband would gladly take over.

**Some of you suffer with feelings of rejection. I hope to do a series on the problem of a husband’s lack of interest. Right now I can assure you that you must get out of the right side of your brain where anger and pain rule. That is your beginning. We have more to talk about and that’s what our classes will do. We’ll keep a keen eye on what can happen with a new attitude.