Tag Archives: couples

Love via the thermostat

It’s a long standing issue with Mrs. Poolman and myself, that we are comfortable at different ambient temperatures. Being post-menopausal, she is prone to hot flashes and definitely likes a lower room temperature. During the winter, she’ll be sitting in the family room in scrubs or a tee shirt, while I’ll be wearing sweats and have a blanket wrapped around me.

“Are you cold?” she’ll ask.

“No,” I reply.

“Well why do you have a blanket on?”

“Because if I didn’t, I WOULD be cold.”

On the other hand, she is much less tolerant of warmer temps in the summer. I’m happy with the AC set at 78. She needs it around 74.

That brings us to today’s story. Mrs. P left work early because she wasn’t feeling entirely on top of her game. She came home, called me and told me she was home, and then layed down on the couch and took a five hour nap.

When she woke up in the late afternoon, she thought there was something seriously wrong. She was hot and drenched in sweat. She was ready to call her doctor and tell her that something was seriously amiss.

Then she checked the thermostat.

82 degrees.

When both of us are at work, I reset the thermostat during the heat of the day. I get home a couple of hours before her and reset it to 76 or 77 before she gets home.

I didn’t think to tell her and she hadn’t thought about it.

On the good side, it’s a lot easier to just reset the thermostat than fix your hormones. Or so she tells me.

‘Why don’t I have a mother?’

Last week it was same-sex-marriages. This week it is same-sex-parents.

I heard on NPR this morning that actor Neal Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) and his partner have gotten together with a surrogate mother to produce a set of twins (who are yet to be born.)

Neal Patrick Harris (l) and partner David Burtka

I’m not a homophobe. I really couldn’t care less what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom, so long as they aren’t hurting someone else. That’s the problem I have with this trend of gay and lesbian couples having children. There is potential harm.

I believe both mothers and fathers matter to children. Children absorb and learn different things from the different genders. In this case, why would you go through an incredible amount of effort and expense to create a child who will not have a mother? Did your mother not play an important part in your life? Why would you deny your child the benefit of having both a mother and a father?

The nephew of some of our friends went through the same process about a year ago. The two guys ended up with twin girls. While I’m sure these two guys will love and care for their daughters to the maximum extent of which they are capable, but they are limited biologically in what they can provide. Neither is female. The two girls will be raised without a mother or mother-figure. How will that affect the girls? I don’t know, but it can’t be ideal.

It seems like an incredible act of self indulgence. The same-sex parents get a baby to play with, but the child is the one who is missing one parent.

Of course, in today’s climate of “starter marriages,” “no-fault pregnancies” and high rates of divorce, missing parents are all too common with “straight” families.  The difference is that, usually, the parents do not plan to make it that way from the outset.

I feel the same about single women who elect to have a baby without benefit of a functioning father?  I don’t understand the benefit to the child of not having a father.  I guess some mothers really think you are going to be so good as a parent that they can fill both roles. Some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, many parents I know feel they stretching their abilities to handle one job, let alone two.

It may sound contradictory, but I don’t have any problem with gays or lesbians adopting children. Why? Because usually they are improving the lot of a child. By adopting, they are providing a child with a set of parents. While a male-female set of parents would be ideal, same-sex parents are better than no parents at all.

The question is simply this: In the grand scheme of things, is a would-be parent’s desire to have a child of greater importance than that child’s need for both a mother and a father? It’s something to think about.

Ironically, Harris is also the star of the CBS sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother.” That is one story he won’t have to tell his real-life kids.

Sometimes I hate it when I’m right

Mrs. Poolman frequently claims that I am arrogant, opinionated and judgmental. My response, somewhat tongue in cheek, is that it’s not an opinion when I am right. (Ha!)

The subject came up this weekend in the context of a young man who is a contemporary of our children and very well known to us. He has part-time custody of his school-age child. He moved the two of them in with his girl friend and her child.

I expressed the opinion (just to my wife)  that a couple should not enter into a “living together” arrangement if there are children involved, unless it is intended to be permanent (ie: marriage.) What adults do to each other is their own business, and as far as I am concerned they can mess up their lives as much as they want. However, when children are involved it is another story. They do not control their lives. They must go with the whims of their parents. Casual live-in arrangements that are “here today, gone tomorrow” do nothing for the child except cause unneeded anxiety and insecurity in the most basic foundation of a child’s life, their family unit.  (If they are involved in this kind of situation to begin with, their family picture is already fragile.) The together-part may be fine, but the break-up has got to suck.

We got a call last night. Our young friend and his girlfriend had a big fight this weekend. He packed up his child and moved them both back in with his mom.

Sometimes I hate it when I’m right.