So here's the great -and odd and occasionally troubling- thing about being a dating and relationship coach: people you know and don't know love to pull you aside in unexpected settings and tell you their business. They think you've heard it all before so nothing should shock you OR they know you’ve heard a lot and they want to shock you.
I consider most of what they say in these conversations off-limits to write about because even if it's free advice and I'm not using names, I'm being solicited in the capacity of a coach. I draw a line at discussing private client business.
Anyway, the story I'm telling today isn't from a client, but from a cousin and his wife, so I guess it's cousins plural.
When I was a kid, I lived in Houston for a few years. A family-- who actually turned out to be blood-- sort of adopted me and my folks in their city. There was a daughter and three younger brothers. The two youngest sibs were around my age and I spent the most time with them. The two older sibs-- 8-10 years our senior--made sure we didn't kill ourselves. The daughter was my baby sitter.
So I go to Houston, which I haven't been to since I was 16-- as part of OraQuick + Essence's healthy relationships tour. I'm only in town for a day and ask my family to stop by my hotel to say "hi." We don't have much time together, so after we catch up and take a few pics, the eldest boy, my "Cousin-brother", offers to take me to the airport since he and his wife live out that way anyway. Perfect.
I'm thinking this will be a "normal" ride where people who have known me forever tease me about all the dumb ish I did as a kid. But nooooo! Cuzzo and his wife have other plans for this 45-minute trek.
It starts when we pull out of the parking lot and he says, "so who this n----a you fixxinta marry, D?" And then everything goes hilariously left from there.
Cousin-brother and his wife are in their 40s and have two children together. They've been together 22 years and married for 14. They are joyously happy in their relationship-- my assessment, not their boasting-- and they want to offer me some marriage advice. Great.
After the curveball, the conversation starts easy enough. Cousin-brother says you never stop dating your wife. They're married, but they make a point to act like boyfriend and girlfriend.
Okay. I've heard that before. I can get with that.
He says that's how couples keep the romance going. That, and having sex every day.
"I'm sorry, what?" I ask. I couldn’t have heard that right. Daily?!
He repeats himself like he doesn't think I heard him.
I flip around in the front seat-- his wife insisted I sit there-- to look at Wife. She nods and co-signs, sorta. "Well, not every day. Last year, I counted and we missed 5 days."
Me to Wife: "you had sex. 360 times. In ONE YEAR?"
"No, no, no," she clarifies. We had sex 360 days out of the year. It was more times than that."
She's looking at me like this is the most normal thing in the world. He's driving along like this conversation isn't a joke. I wait for someone to laugh. I'm clearly being "Punked."
But nope. They're forreal, forreal. This is their normal.
Cousin-brother fills the silence since I am at a loss for words. "Every night, some mornings. But at night she likes to dress up."
He says that every night, Wife fully does her hair and make-up and slips into lingerie. I turn back around for her to verify this. She nods.
"If we had time we could swing by the house and give you a bag full," he says. "We have drawers and drawers of it."
I'm not thinking about it being odd to wear another woman's undergarments even if they're clean. I look at his wife. I look at me. She's maybe a 4. I am a 10, tops.* There's no way.
She knows what I'm thinking. "I’ve lost 97 pounds. We have some in every size."
It took her a year and a half to take the weight off. You know how some folk lose weight and start to look bobble-heady. She looks like she's always been skinny.
I wonder if it's from all the sex. I can deal with the treadmill to work out, but I'd enjoy the sex more. Maybe there's something to this sex everyday theory...
She reads my mind. "We work out all the time."
Cousin-brother pipes in. "All we do is work, work out, and have sex."
Wife says she knows this all sounds a little off. They're very open about their sex life-- they gave details I'm skipping over-- and their friends all have my "really?" reaction.
Cousin- Brother: “And I'm like "really? Ya'll don't have sex every day? It's good! Why not?"
When referring to them as a couple, their friends call them “The Humps”, which I find friggin hilarious.
I inform him that 15 percent of married couples have not had sex in six months, according to a story I read in the NY Times. And surveys say that the average married couple has sex once a week. Under 30 marrieds have it about twice a week.
He swerves. If she was wearing pearls she would clutch them. I laugh.
"Do you think people would be interested in us?" Wife asks as we pull up to the airport.
Oh, she has no clue. They are made for TV.
I suggest they start a blog about their lives to gauge interest. I swear to her it will be an immediate hit.
Check it out: here