* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our one clear goal is to end the age-old war between men and women, and our secret weapon is Samantha Rodman.

My Interpretations Of Obviously Meaningful Remarks My Husband Makes

By: Samantha Rodman

1. I like that red shirt.

Translation: Throw out all the shirts that don’t look like that one. Although I may not often express preferences, when I do, they are subtle and only someone as attuned to me as you are truly understands what I mean. And red is the color of passion, which I associate with only you.

2. Sure, let’s just stay home.

Translation: If we cancel this sitter, we will really be sinking the last nail into our coffin as middle-aged parents who do nothing fun ever. I could obviously suck up being tired and rally, why can’t you?

3. The sitter is so great with the kids.

Translation: Did you notice her breasts? I did. Did you notice me noticing them? Are you ever going to make any effort with your appearance again? When I travel for work, women hit on me nonstop. Sometimes they give me their panties.

4. Where did your blue shirt go?

Translation: I am just making sure you got rid of that piece of detritus that I previously implied looked like a Swiffer cloth on you and highlighted that your breasts are not as appealing as the babysitter’s.

5. No, for real, where did all your other shirts go?

Translation: I appreciate that you recalled my admittedly coy remark that I liked your red shirt, which obviously indicated that I am repelled by the rest of your wardrobe. You get me, girl.

6. What the hell is this credit card bill about?

Translation: Sweetheart, I know you bought all of these clothes to look good for me, and I value your commitment to the marriage. I have stopped visualizing the babysitter’s breasts when we have intercourse.

7. I wish we didn’t end up going out last night. I’m beat.

Translation: Not as beat as I’d feel if you had taken me at my word and cancelled the well-endowed sitter who allowed us to feel, for a fleeting evening, like the couple we were before kids. I felt we had a magical connection, especially when we were discussing if Madison has more of your mom’s stubbornness or your dad’s temper, and when you asked to share dessert and then ate the whole thing yourself.

8. Why do you keep mentioning the sitter’s boobs? She’s like 17.

Translation: Just a test. We both know she’s 19 and a sophomore and having issues with figuring out her major and dealing with her pothead boyfriend. I listen when she talks to you, although I pretend to play Xbox.

9. I don’t know, what are YOU thinking about?

Translation: I’m too shy to take the reins of this conversation. Please help me by steering the topic toward my insecurity about growing apart at this critical juncture of our marriage, when we are parenting two small children and seem to have not much to say to one another. I must somehow show you that I am both in this to win it and also completely open to anything you think might improve our romantic connection. But tragically, I am unable to verbally express my own feelings without your gentle guidance, likely because my mother was unemotional and self-absorbed and unable to teach me how to truly connect with an intimate partner.

10. What the hell are you talking about?

Translation: An open ended question! Conclusive proof that, all along, I’ve been reading those relationship self-help books that you left on my night table. Let’s settle in for a long, romantic talk. I know how much you’re yearning to connect to me on an emotional, vulnerable level, and I want to meet you where you’re at. God, I love you.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, your only hope for sanity in a world gone mad. With winter temperatures below zero in much of the US today, we think it is high time to start talking about lingerie. Well, actually, we're going to let Samantha Rodman do the talking. We know therapists are supposed to listen for the most part, but today she's talking. So listen up!

Lingerie Shopping With Your Therapist

By: Samantha Rodman

Well, Karen, it’s so kind of you to have invited me on this journey. I hope we can have a productive time together today, and I’m ready to work as hard as you are to make the most of our hour together. And let me say that I’m truly impressed by how vulnerable you’re making yourself here. It’s hard for me to recall a time when you were more uninhibited and present-focused! Except for the time when you went home with that stranger after the salsa club. That worried me, as it seemed to be an unconscious repetition of your mother’s unfortunate tendency to get involved with emotionally unavailable Latin men. But it was only a one night stand, thankfully.

Do you think this one is attractive? I think it’s a very flattering shade. I know you’ve historically had an issue with the color, stemming from when your father painted your room pink in his new house with Margie, passive-aggressively refusing to acknowledge that you were in a goth phase. Which was, of course, an overt statement of disillusionment with traditional femininity, as you subconsciously linked it to your abandoned and tragic mother. But, I think our work together has left you more open and flexible, and making a proactive choice to wear pink may in fact be an emotionally corrective experience for you. Yes, I like the Tanga cut. Sassy!

Hmmm, if we dig a little deeper, what might be going on underneath your decision to go with the Maxxxi push-up bra? It might be useful to explore the duality of your feelings here. On the one hand, you share week after week that you yearn to be desired primarily for your mind and heart, but on the other hand, you are considering a bra that puts your sexuality, as it were, on open display. For years, we’ve been trying to reconcile these two ideas: that a woman can be both sexual and powerful, and even powerful in her sexuality! Unlike Margie, or your mother, of course. Kudos to you and the Maxxi!

Do the rhinestones encrusting that thong speak to your past in any way? Well, I was just remembering the story you told me about Margie’s extravagant engagement ring and how you felt so distraught at the prospect of having a stepmother only ten years older than yourself. You got involved with your English teacher in retaliation. And then your poor mother went on that drinking spree. Very difficult times for a 16-year-old girl on the cusp of young womanhood. No, get it if you like it.

Boy cut shorts? As we’ve discussed, psychological androgyny is a powerful development as we age. No longer do you have to feel constricted into a two dimensional idea of what women can do, feel, or think! You’re maturing, and you don’t need to buy into society’s definitions of gender and what it supposedly entails. Forget about the old molds you learned from your macho yet desperately insecure and overcompensating father and your emotionally lost mother, who found solace in conventionality. You go, girl! I would choose the blue. In for a penny!

Well, it looks like we certainly spent a productive hour here today! I hope my guidance was helpful, and I really enjoy working with you to realize your true potential. You have the capacity to live the life you want, if you stop looking backwards and embrace your many strengths and gifts! Hey, is that robe transparent? What an apt metaphor for your increasing comfort with putting yourself out there emotionally. Brava! Now, you have a wonderful day. Same time next week?