Thursday, December 29, 2005

Defining Love

It’s difficult when you have to deal with shallow-minded people who have absolutely no tolerance for anything unfamiliar. Again, it’s all about ‘the unknown territories’; the fear of opening up to a new world, or learning about someone else’s lifestyle. Why should they? They’re comfortable in their walls of seclusion—not desiring knowledge of other lifestyles and cultures. And that’s “okay”.

Then you have the people who cross those lines. Those very thin lines of respect can be easily confused as ‘innocent questioning’ or ‘remarks’. Most of the time, it’s not so innocent, due to their approach.

Madelene and I have been known to be the itinerant bar hoppers back in the day---okay, okay, we still are. We love talking to everyone and anyone. Most people I meet at the bar are men, and they’re just so interesting to talk to. We never get ‘weirded out' or feel awkward when men approach us, because if you’re sitting at a bar, you have to realize that it’s a social setting. If you’re not looking to converse with anyone, then get a table. That’s my theory behind that one.

I never forgot the time, Madelene and I were sitting at a bar having a drink talking, when someone taps me on the shoulder.

“Debbie?”
“Yes?”
I turned around, and it was an old boyfriend I dated back in high school.
“Oh my God! Anthony! How are you?” I said, as I hugged him & introduced him to Madelene. Anthony was with his brother, and it was so nice to see them again. We talked about old times, and reminisced about the good ol’ days.

A few drinks later and a couple of shots down, the inevitable question lures in the air.
“So are you dating anyone?”
“Yeah, I am…and you?”
Thinking that would settle the weird, ‘You’re a lesbian!!!’ shocker.
“No. Single…So, does this guy treat you good?”
“Yes…I’m happy.”
“So what does he do?”
“Sells cars.”
“Oh yeah? So how did you meet him?”

This was going back and forth like a bad tennis game, except the ball didn’t drop so quickly. I had to end this volley—now. Madelene just sat there entertained with the anticipation of my next answer. I think she was actually enjoying the torture I was being put under. I’m not quite ‘open’ willingly to certain people, because I know their point of views with certain lifestyles, and Anthony was an ‘old fashioned’ type of guy who wouldn’t be so open-minded. At this point, he was being intrusive asking way too many questions about ‘my boyfriend’.

“Anthony, this is my girlfriend Madelene.”
“Yeah, you introduced me to her Deb—have another shot!”
“No. Anthony, we’re dating.”
“Huh?”
“I’m gay.”
“You can’t be.”
“I am.”
“We dated though.”
“I know.”

He looked straight ahead, with this blank stare on his face. It almost looked as if he was going to cry. It wasn’t as if I was the love of his life or anything, we only dated a few weeks back in high school, so I didn’t think this was going to be such a heart breaking event here.

His silent censure had me concerned. It wasn’t a normal response. The loud silence became almost unnerving. He turned his back and began speaking to his brother.
“Well that’s just disgusting.” He said to his brother who was sitting at the end of the bar.
“How can do girls be together? That’s ungodly and an abomination in God’s eyes!” He said louder, knowing that I heard every word.
“What a shame, and such a pretty girl too, you know?” Now he was talking about me as if I wasn’t there at all.

“What’s a shame is that I dated you! That’s the shameful part of my life Anthony.” I said, as I picked up my jacket to head to the other side of the bar. There was nothing shameful about my scenario. Here I sat, with this beautiful woman—which was unavailable to all men. He sat there, with his brother, criticizing my life. It was actually sad to see his response.

On another note, let’s head back to ‘the family life’ at home. When my mother finally accepted my lifestyle, she always gave me these words of wisdom.

“Debbie, never, ever, ever, start looking like a ‘dyke’. Always look feminine and keep up with your appearance.”

Ah, the words of an accepting mother. It was the first step of her accepting me—of course with stipulations. I had to look like a girl if I wanted to play with the other lesbians. Lovely.

There have been plenty of times where I would speak to men or women, who would simply say, “Why? You can get any man you want!” I love that remark most of all. That one is actually flattering, because I know in fact; I can’t get any man I want. It sounds a bit pretentious; nevertheless, flattering.

“I wish I could get any woman I want! Now that would be a better scenario!” I always respond. Their eyes widen as I open them up to a new world.
“But you’re such a pretty girl, that’s a shame.” Then it goes back to that ‘shameful’ part. Is it a matter of them being ashamed of me? Or do they think that I’m embarrassed by my lifestyle? I don’t quite understand their statements.

Now the best ‘reaction’ that I love so dear, is the one where a man is interested in me, and then goes for that execrable suggestion.

“Well you haven’t found the right man.” With one eyebrow raised up high...(Ugh)

Oh—you have to love that one. I’ve found plenty of men that are beautiful, intelligent, funny and loving. To me, my preference goes beyond gender. It’s all about the person inside. Who’s to say years down the road if I were to be single again, that I wouldn’t date a man? It’s possible. Anything is possible. Right now, at the present time, my heart belongs to Madelene. She’s a woman, and she’s an incredible one. She is the ‘right’ woman for me.

Here’s another look at ignorant judgments. One of my best friends, who I grew up with, comes from a Jewish background. Jessica’s parents are very strict upon who she dates. Our families were very close for many years. Jessica is only allowed to date “Jewish men”. It’s a tradition. I’ve heard of this before, and that’s okay—as long as that person is happy with their choice. She informed me that she just got engaged too. I was so happy for her. We lost touch for almost a year, and when I met up with her again, she invited me over to her house. Her mother answered the door, and asked me to come in.

The first words out of her mother’s mouth were, “You know Jessie’s engaged, right?” I immediately looked into her eyes, and saw disapproval right away. I sensed it. The tension in her voice was alarming.

“Yeah, I’m so happy for her.”
“Yeah well, wasn’t what we expected, but I guess she’s happy.”

This started to confuse me. I didn’t understand why she was saying this. I never met Jessica’s fiancĂ©, but she sounded so happy. I saw Jessica’s eyes when she told me she was engaged. I saw happiness.

“Well, you do know he’s black, right?”
“Oh. Well, he treats her good, right?”
“Well, yeah, but that’s not the point.”
She said, as her eyes were impossible to make contact with.
“They’re both in love, right?”
“Yeah Deb, but that’s not the point.”
“Then what’s the point?”
“He’s black Deb. What if you came home telling your Italian father that you were engaged to a black man?”
“Mrs. G—I’m engaged to a woman. I think he has enough of his own battles to deal with.”


Once I said that, her eyes made immediate eye contact. She stared at me. Her eyes were almost glistening. In that very instance, she hugged me. She never really hugged me ‘sincerely’ before. It was always an ‘air kiss’ and a fake hug. This hug was one that said, “Thank you. Thank you...” I’ll never forget that. She realized that you didn’t have to get married to that perfect mate with the big house and the white picket fence. You marry “the person” you love.

I found the true meaning of what love is. If you have this--then nothing else matters. I found this in the first Corinthians...

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bottoms Up!

It never ceases to amaze me. Every single time I am with friends & family trying new drinks, everyone wants to take a sip out of my cup to see what I’m drinking. Why? Can’t you pour your own and just leave my cup alone? Especially in the midst of the flu season---lay the hell off my cup! It actually reminds me of that Bugs Bunny episode where he keeps telling the gorilla, “Stop breathing in my cup!”

Oh great, different wines from all over the world. Everyone gathers around the bar at my house to try these fantastic wines out. I pour a small dab of Chianti in my glass, I swirl it, and then take a sip. Hmm. It had a bite to it—probably needs to breathe a little longer.

“Oh! You got the Chianti, can I try it?” Sis asks.
“Sure.”
“Oh that’s the Chianti? Let me try?”
Mom asks.

I sat there staring at everyone who was taking a sip of a small puddle in the bottom of my wine glass. Madelene knows my dilemma. She sees it in my eyes. I nod—indicating, ‘it’s okay to get me another glass—but do it discreetly.’

Not for nothing, but I’m not fond of lipstick marks left on the rim of my glass and having to catch someone else’s cold. It’s just not for me. This is one of the major reasons I stick to beer. What are the chances someone’s going to walk up to you and say, “Hey, can I try that?” And believe me, it’s not that I’m repulsed by the people who ask me, it’s just my ‘OCD’. I promise you that.

Occasionally---oh hell---every week, Madelene and I will stop by our favorite bar and restaurant to have a drink and a bite to eat. Sometimes in the middle of the week, we’ll sit at the bar, and drink a few beers, and a few shots. Our favorite shot is Belvedere vodka. I order one from Paulie—the owner and bartender.

“Sure, you want that chilled?”
“No!”
I said, knowing (as a bartender myself) it gets chilled with other things that have been mixed prior. You end up having this fruity taste to your shot. Either they don’t wash it out good enough, or you end up drinking the last bit of someone else’s apple martini.

“There ya go!” Paulie says, as he slides the two enormous shots to us. These shots were more like four in one.
“Be careful.” I said to Madelene, knowing that she is now drinking a very strong beer—no light stuff tonight, and on top of that---shots.
“I’m okay.”

We both said cheers and down went the Belvedere. Or did it? Wait. No. What’s this? This is not-----this is Smirnoff! I started to fume. I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I’m a connoisseur of good vodka. You cannot take a rail drink and pass it off as top shelf to me. I’ll know instantly. Os will even vouch for me here. I know that a lot of bars water down their vodkas. That is illegal to do. The one thing I feared the most, was Madelene getting sick on this stuff. Madelene is very weak when it comes to cheap vodka. She can handle the Belvedere, Ketel One or Grey Goose—but give her Smirnoff, and she is off to see the porcelain God.

“You know what Paulie? I’m gonna go with the Ketel One.”
“Sure, anything wrong with this vodka?”
“Yes, it’s Smirnoff. You might want to check who’s replacing it with the cheap stuff.”
“Smirnoff? Impossible.”
“Possible. Believe me.”

Paulie comes back over, and pours us two shots of Ketel One. We both down it.
“Hmm. Fruity, almost peach-like.”
“What is this?”
Madelene asked. Now, if Madelene has to ask, you know that there’s a problem. She’s good with her vodkas as well, but her taste buds are a bit off due to her sinus problems.

“Paulie, listen, I’m a bartender too, but whoever is working when you’re not, is replacing this stuff with the cheap stuff. I would look into it if I were you—or you’re looking at someone ‘bigger’ than myself who will recognize the same problem. Believe me--it happened to a bar I used to work at. My boss would fill the bottles with half water and half vodka.”
“Uhh, okay…I’m sorry about this.”
He said, as he put back the bottles full of cheap vodka back on the top shelf. It was evident someone made a huge mistake and put peach Stoli into the Ketel One.

Remember, if you order a martini—especially a dry martini straight up, and you think it tastes ‘off’—tell them. If you don’t, you might as well just brown bag some cheap vodka and sit on a park bench somewhere. That stuff will kill ya!

Bars market their liquor up to 300%. You pay $5 bucks for a good shot of the top shelf. Make a fuss if you don’t get what you want. It’s you who’s paying for it. I wonder how many times I was too drunk to even notice it.

Bottoms up!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Walking In a Liquor Wonderland

Champagne streams, are you listening?
In the land, my family’s drinking
A beautiful sound, we’re happy & loud
Walking in an liquor wonderland

Gone away, went my sanity
Here to stay is calamity
I sang a love song
The vodka was strong
Walking in a liquor wonderland

In the meadow we can make a gimlet
And pretend that he is Bobby Brown
He’ll say: Are you married?
We’ll say: No man.
Then you can do my wife while you’re in town

Later on, we’ll perspire
Drunk and nude, by the fire
To face the unafraid
Turning the lights on is brave
Walking in a liquor wonderland

In the meadow we can make a cocktail
And pretend that we are circus clowns
We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman
Until the batteries start wearing down

When it snows
Ain’t it thrilling?
Another drink, and I’m willing
To frolic and play
The S&M way
Walking in a liquor wonderland

Walking in a liquor wonderland
Walking in a liquor wonderland

~By Deb

Lovely, isn’t it? I think it’s the first song lyrics that I wrote on my own for this blog. Talent isn’t my strongpoint, so you’ll have to excuse me.

Christmas Eve came and went. I emphasize on ‘went’. The nicest thing about the shindig was that my friend Tamar, who celebrates Hanukah, celebrates it on Christmas Eve with us. She has been coming over to our Christmas Eve parties for five years now. I met her from my old job working in telecommunications. She was the one who taught me everything I know. We got along as soon as we met, and remained friends from there on. Tamar is a wonderful person. My family and anyone I know absolutely adore her. (The picture above is Madelene, Tamar & my mother.)

The funny thing is, when she asks me, “What should I bring over?” I usually say—“Oh nothing, just bring yourself!” This year, I requested something that I have been craving ever since she introduced it to me. Gefilte fish. She knows that I don’t eat shellfish (because I'm allergic) and that I don’t go near foods packed with pork or other mystery meats. I think I converted into a Jew! In fact, everything about the Jewish culture, I love. The one thing that separates me from being Jewish & Christian, is my love for Jesus. Other than that, bring on the Gefilte!

It was an interesting evening to say the least. Each person that walked through the door requested a drink immediately. Of course, I was initiated ‘bartender’ for the night.
“Oh, Deb’s a bartender anyway--she makes the best drinks, tell her what you want.” It’s like fricken reverse psychology they pull on me. You know when someone says, “Oh but you’re so good at it! Why don’t you do it?” You know there are selfish motives behind that statement.

Drinks were pouring freely. A lady that happened to walk in requested a dry vodka martini—straight up. Fine. She would not eat dinner until she had two martinis. Perfect gathering for an AA meeting. They were all getting prepared. For what? The kids to arrive. All the kids came through hoping to see Santa with margarita in hand. After a few hours of sad faces on the children, I told them to go upstairs, because the elf brought them a few presents they could open up. (The elf being me of course--shush!)

Only two came with me. They climbed up the stairs like little munchkins and went into my living room.

“Wow! Look at the presents under the tree!”

I handed each of them two presents each. They were excited, and I knew it was something that they wanted. I handed my niece her dinosaur she’s been asking for. Then she opened up her light sabers from Star Wars. She looked up at me with an angry stare, and said, “Where’s the mask to these???” An unhappy customer.

As my nephew opened up his Thomas train tracks along with a little train wash I got for him, he immediately said, “Thank you Debbie, oh thank you so much Debbie!” As he kept digging deeper into the box, he turned around and said, “But Debbie, where’s the train and the stand to it all?” (Which his mom has under her tree at home.)
Another unhappy customer.

I decided to give my mother her present. She has wanted a new oven/toaster for a while. The one she has is like thirty years old, so I gave her the top of the line one. You can fit two Cornish hens in this puppy! She opens it up. She stares at it. She puts it on her counter.
“Do you think it’s too big? How do you work this? Look at all the knobs! Is this going to be too complicated? Why does it have a ticking sound while it’s toasting?”
Another unhappy customer.

Then I thought, dad is going to love my gift. He has an old crummy cappuccino maker. The froth nozzle is covered in an old milky crust from fifteen years ago. Yeah, it’s time for a new one. So he opens it up.

“Oh wow. You didn’t have to get me something so expensive. This is nice.”

He stares at it. He opens it up. He starts trying it out--to only have it spit coffee in his face due to not tightening the nozzle enough. It wasn’t a mechanical problem—it was an ‘operator problem’.

“Ya not gonna like dis’Rose!” My father yells out from in the kitchen. He didn’t think I could hear him…but I did. Needless to say, another unhappy customer.

It’s now sitting on my desk in my office. A little Christmas gift to myself.

The only happy customer was Madelene. She got what she wanted--she even appreciated it! I got her perfume by Chanel and a dinner at her favorite expensive restaurant. Being together during the holidays with Madelene is the best gift to me. We have so much fun together. She’s my best friend, as well as my life partner. I think when you have that foundation of friendship—it makes it that much better. Thank you Madelene!

When has Christmas become such a greedy holiday? If someone got me a present that I wasn’t too crazy about, I would say ‘thank you very much’, and not make such a fuss over it. I wish Christmas was like Thanksgiving. You spend time with loved ones, eat, drink and just enjoy one another’s company. No, it has become such a stressful, greedy, 'I want I want’ holiday that you need gallons of wine and liquor in order to stay sane.

My little niece walked over to me and gave me a present.
“Here Debbie, this is for you!” She says, as she hands me this big box in a bag. She waited until I opened it, and to my surprise, it was the best gift of all. It was a glass bucket with six beakers in it. You put ice in the glass bucket, and fill up the beakers with vodka. A chilled vodka holder set. My three year old really knows what to get Aunt Deb for Christmas. I’ll never forget this. It brings tears to my eyes that my little niece accepts my alcohol problem.

After Christmas was winding down, I found myself in the grips of a major anxiety attack last Sunday evening. It was so bad, that I had to take two ativans to relieve it. That didn’t even work. I had to do it the way my family does it----I guzzled down a few beers along with it, and I went to bed.

Now that the holidays are ‘almost over’, I’m calming down a tad. New Year’s Eve is always a fun thing, because you don’t have to get anything other than champagne and a lot of booze.

Ugh. I need a drink.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Unknown

Everyone knew, except me. I was always in the dark about everything. Maybe I just chose to ignore what was right under my nose. Being a teenager living home, my friends would come over with such enthusiasm. I remember one particular day when my two close friends came over. Steve and Corrine were sitting out in the living room, while my father had his workers in a nearby room talking about work. My father was always in the construction and excavating business. In fact, he held two jobs. He owned a fish market at the South Street Seaport, as well as the excavating business.

All my father’s workers would gather around a table over demitasse coffee and talk for hours. Funny how they all were so dressed up, as if they were attending a ‘family function’ or a party. They all had dress shirts, jewelry from head to toe, and all smelled like strong pungent cologne. If I were to guess what occupation they were in, I’d say ‘car salesmen’. I guess I was clueless.

“Deb! You gotta listen to this! Don’t you know what they’re talking about?” Corrine said, with this frisson of excitement in her voice.
“Huh? What do you care—it’s excavating crap.”
“No Deb, listen. It’s not excavation they’re talking about.”
Steve said, in this low whispery-type way; as if one of the workers were going to overhear him.

As an ‘in the closet’ lesbian, yes I did date boys back then. They didn’t last very long, because I always chose my gal friends to hang out with instead. For some reason, I always dated Latinos. I was just more attracted to them. My father, being an old school Italian from Brooklyn, I was forbidden to see anyone of a different background—God forbid they were black. And yes, I did go against my father’s wishes. My parents had quite a time trying to ward off people of different cultures walking through the front door. Ironically enough, it’s amazing how their daughter ends up dating a girl, and on top of that, a Puerto Rican too.

I’ll never forget the day I brought home my boyfriend Raul. He was Puerto Rican. He was gorgeous—quite a head turner. He came inside my house, and introduced himself like a gentleman to my mother. He was all dressed up, because we were holding a function at the house. My father wasn’t home yet.

“How dare you bring this guy into our home!” My mother says, as she whisks me aside to talk to me in private.
“What? What’s wrong with him?”
“You know…You’re fatha’ is going to be fuming over this!”
“Ma, he’s a clean cut guy and comes from a very respectable family.”
I…don’t…care. Get him out of this house now.”
She said, talking through her teeth at this point.
“Oh and that’s not going to look obvious? Maybe if you stop being so damn prejudice, you wouldn’t have so much anger.”
“He has a beeper. He must be a drug dealer.”
My mother suggests.
“Oh yeah, that’s it mom.” I said, as I walked out of the room to join Raul and the rest of my family & friends.

Needless to say, the relationship ended due to avoiding the fact that he couldn’t just drop by anymore. He knew what it was all about. He wasn’t a stupid kid. I felt bad. I always felt bad when I had to turn away a friend of a different culture. It hurt me. It must have hurt them as well.

I remember one Friday evening after school, I invited a few friends from the neighborhood over. We would all hang out, play kickball and then head inside to play video games or watch TV. My friend Joey asked if he could bring his cousin Tom over. I didn’t mind. His cousin was staying for the weekend and Joey felt bad leaving him at his house all alone. Joey was Italian, and my parents liked him. When they came over, to my surprise, Joey’s cousin was black. It was his cousin through marriage. When I walked inside to get some drinks for my friends, my mother was standing right near the window watching them.

“Who is that Debbie?”
“Ma, it’s Joey’s cousin—through marriage.”
I explained.
“That’s not his cousin. Is this your new boyfriend?”
“Ma—no, his cousin is staying with him for the weekend, so he asked if it was okay if he brought him.”
“Well it’s not. Get him out of here.”

Embarrassingly enough, I had to call the little gathering off. I was so angry at my mother, that I actually explained to Joey why she was making me do this. I didn’t care at that point. They all left to go to Joey’s house instead. I hopped on my four-wheeler motorcycle and headed there as well. I ended up liking Tom very much. In fact, we ended up dating. Of course my mother heard wind of this, and I was forbidden to see him.

At the age of sixteen, I witnessed my parents being taken away by the FBI. They were indicted for money laundering of a nearby garbage company. My father had to go away for six months at a federal prison in Allendale, PA. My mother was released. This was all a surprise. I was always in the dark. I gained knowledge of my father’s background as well as my mother’s. They weren’t perfect.

My father told me stories of his stay at the federal prison. We always went up to visit him. It was more like a country club than anything else. Golf course, good food, and of course old friends he hadn’t seen in a while. My father, ironically enough roomed with a black man, who coincidently was dating a transsexual in a nearby cell. He was forced to live with other people of different cultures and much different lifestyles. I think it was a blessing in disguise.

Today, my parents have a new respect for people of different backgrounds. In fact, they consider their lifestyle to be very similar to those of Puerto Rican descent and other nationalities, due to large close-knit families and values. They also accept me 100%. They love my girlfriend who happens to be a lesbian—and Puerto Rican. They consider her family now.

Right there, you can see that people are afraid of the ‘unknown.’ It wasn’t that they didn’t ‘like’ these people before---it was because they didn’t give them a chance. They were both brought up by parents who also held the same mindset. When you only go by outward appearances and stereotypes, you force yourself in a world which only you create. It’s called ignorance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Question That Had to Be Answered

Each morning when I open my email, I’m surprised to see so many of you who read my blog and email me with comments and questions. There are more people who ‘lurk’ instead---and that’s okay. When I first started this blog, I never got a comment and never received an email from people who read my posts. Sometimes, I open up my mail, to find thirty to fifty emails waiting to be opened from loyal readers. These people are usually the 'lurkers' who do not comment. Different questions or comments can range from various topics. Some ask me about my ‘mental disorders’ and if they are real, some ask me about my lesbian lifestyle and if I have ever been with a man, others ask me about my family life and upbringing. Most ask me, “Is this all true?” The answer is, yes.

Each post is disgustingly all truth. Sometimes I even have to ask my family members, “Is this okay to post?” I have other people asking, “Why do you display your life out on the net?” To me, my life is a comedy. I always told my family, if I ever got a deal where someone would want to make my life into a movie, I would go for it right away. I mean, the irony of being raised in an Italian family in New York that consists of organized crime, drinking problems, mental illnesses and the youngest daughter (me) being a lesbian—it has to be a comedy. If I can’t laugh at myself, I’m going to be one miserable person. I’m sure my beautiful sisters would be worried about ‘who’ would be playing their characters. Women can be so catty.

This morning I got an interesting email from a friend and blogger named Bryan. He always has interesting questions for me—and he’s always respectful about his approach. He asked me what were my views on “Deb’s Mini Poll”—“Do you think gay & lesbian couples should have the right to get married ‘legally’?”

I’m all for civil unions. I do believe the concept of ‘marriage’ goes back to biblical times and should be held sacred for a man and woman to create a family. I’m not saying that homosexual couples cannot have a family. Of course they can. I just feel it should be set up in a different arena. I think they should have rights as far as protecting possessions in case one partner should pass away. It’s important that the community has the same opportunities to make their commitment ‘official’ and have similar benefits as heterosexual marriages; however, we should recognize what’s being lenient, and what’s being too lenient in the matter of holy matrimony.

This brings me to another topic. Gay and lesbian cults. I should better reference that to, gay and lesbian groups, who only have one opinion, for a number of 200+ people. They gather in large groups; and yet, criticize others for their lifestyle. For instance, if you’re bi-sexual, you’re an abomination to ‘their community’. I’ve seen this happen so many times. Being bi-sexual is yet—“another preference”—just as being homosexual is. I’ve found numbers of these gay communities bashing bi-sexual people---yet the gay and lesbian community want to be accepted so badly by society? Some seem so hypocritical to me. Do we have to place a gender on our love for someone? Is that the rule? If we say we’re ‘a lesbian’, does it mean that we’ll 100% no doubt, end up with a woman when we’re old and gray? There are no guarantees who we’ll end up with. Why put rules and regulations upon love?

There’s another group forming in my community called, “The Orange Pride Group”. I referenced to them once before on a previous post. They hold events such as pot luck dinners, poker night, bowling night, and other miscellaneous activities. They recently just emailed me asking my partner and me to join them in a New Year’s Eve bash. The only problem with this is, I like to spend it with my straight friends as well. It seems to me like these women want nothing to do with the heterosexual world whatsoever. I understand they want to form a group that is dedicated for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, but to congregate only with your own kind seems redundant to me. It’s almost as if they’re hiding out.

I feel more accepted by the heterosexual community than I do with the gay & lesbian community. I don’t fit their stipulations. I was once told that I was not a “real lesbian”. Well tell me then, what is a real lesbian? Yes, I have dated men in the past, and yes, I do wear make up and do my hair, but does this categorize me or set a permanent label on my forehead? It seems so unfair. When they ask me, if I’m a “real lesbian”, I tell them to ask my partner of twelve years. She’ll tell you. In fact, I don’t even like to be labeled.

Then you have lesbians who are ‘man haters’. Oh how I despise that. I mean, think about it—how the hell did you get on this earth in the first place? As soon as a man approaches them in a bar or in another forum, they simply withdraw and give them a nasty attitude. They go on automatic defense mechanism to ward off this male specimen as a friend. To not even consider a heterosexual man as a friend??? Yet again, another prejudice—and they want to be accepted in society? If they don’t start acting like ‘humans’—no, they’ll never be accepted in society. Respect and love for all is needed, in order to get along with anyone. Do you disagree with that?
Another beef I have with the lesbian community is the ‘gay advertising’. The amount of gay pride bumper stickers, rainbow rings dangling off their necks and pink triangles on their t-shirts are utterly effusive. Now, here’s an interesting scenario…What if straight people walked around with t-shirts saying, “Proud to Be Straight?” If a heterosexual had a bumper sticker that read, “Straight Pride”, would that offend some gay and lesbians? Sure it would. These ‘in your face’ attitudes are what separates us.

I want to thank my friend Bryan for the thought provoking question that stimulated this post for today. I also want to tell all of you how much I appreciate the feedback---even the ones who ~lurk~ and don’t comment; yet throw me an email to share your thoughts. I didn’t realize that so many of you were out there reading my blabber. Please feel free to email me anytime you have a question or concern. If I don’t respond right away, I definitely will get back to you within a couple of days. All questions and comments will be kept anonymous.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Thank God. A trip to the psychiatrist should do the trick. He should be able to calm my nerves and make me feel a little better this Christmas holiday. This is exactly what I need before I go into Toys "R" Us and Walmart to be trampled down by overstressed mothers trying to get the latest toys for their kids. Psychiatry was on my ‘to do’ list. Shopping is definitely a sign of love. I absolutely hate it--what an oxymoron!

My girlfriend was so gracious enough to come to the doc’s office with me and wait there like a mental patient watching all the other wackos in need of help. She doesn’t mind. She sticks her nose in some weird magazine for a good hour. While sitting with Madelene waiting for the doc to call me in, Madelene pointed something out to me. In the New Yorker Magazine, it showed Jessica Coen making $30,000 per year just by blogging. Her stats show that almost 2,000 people visit 'per hour’. Holy mother load of bloggers! I know that $30,000 per year isn’t a lot--but just for blogging? How many of us have careers already and yet still blog? Unreal, huh?

So now doc calls me into his office. I walk into his dismally lit hallway into his office. We always do the routine ‘sit and stare at each other’ for about twenty awkward seconds. This guy has had it. I mean, I’m his last call for the day—he’s drained. The poor man doesn’t need to hear me bitch and moan. I should have printed out my posts and called it a night. My doc was tired. The bags under his eyes were almost reaching down to his chin.

“So you're still writing?” Doc chooses his first opening words to me. I start going into paranoia mode thinking, “Shit! He reads my blogs? Does he know my web address? Can he find this out? Does he know I think he has a personality of a rock?”

“Yeah.”
I said, scratching my head out of nervousness trying to erase my paranoia.
“Doc, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety lately.”
“Of course you have—it’s the holidays.”

Okay, obviously this is going nowhere. Maybe my approach is wrong? Anxiety is ‘too generalized’ for them these days. Tell them something they don’t hear. I look around the office and noticed that my framed photos are plastered on his walls. I was really flattered about this. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to gloat. Was he trying to make me feel better ‘during the stressful holidays’ by hanging up my photography? Meanwhile, after I leave his office, those puppies go back in the closet of ‘gifts from psychopaths’.

Don’t you wish they would just say a magic word, and your stress would fizzle into a bunch of nothingness? All of his blandishments to induce cognitive behavior therapy are all meaningless words. They seem so wishy-washy. I can sit and rant and rave, but I walk out feeling like I did when I walked in there. I anxiously wait upon his prescription of relaxation, and make my way out the door.

“How’d it go?” Madelene asks. ”Eh, you know.”

Those are the words that are always repeated when I step out of doc’s office. I bet you anything those words will become a residual haunting for anyone who sits and waits there like we do. ~How’d it go…Eh, you know…How’d it go…Eh, you know…~

Madelene and I head off to Toys "R" Us. As soon as I walk through those doors, I get instant tunnel vision and my chest starts to feel heavy. Everyone is the ‘enemy’ while walking through the mass crowds.

“God damn it Andrew! Get back here! Stop it now!”

Mothers all over screaming bloody murder at their children and tons of people on cell phones bumping into you because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing. You say ‘excuse me’, and they look at you as if you did something wrong. Then you have your fricken nimrods that stand in a small isle and don’t move. Oh—they know you’re behind them, but hell if they’re going to budge.

“EXCUSE ME!” I say- in an aggressive tone. And they move—instantly. I run over to get the last of my presents for my nephew. He wants pieces for his Thomas train set. I got him more tracks and a little train wash for him. Let me tell you- these pieces weren’t cheap. I get to the counter, happy to get the hell out of there. I start joking with the cashier because my little ‘pet rescue dog’ for my niece started crying out loud. It wouldn’t stop. I didn’t even press the “Try Me” button. It was evil- this thing was alive!

“I’m tellin’ ya, this thing is going to drive me nuts on the way home.” I said to the check out girl. She started laughing because it kept going off each time we spoke. I was dreading the ride home now.

Oddly enough, the ride home was quiet. When we arrived home, we unpacked our things to notice we were missing two bags.

“SHIT! This would only happen to me—and now I have to trek back out there to pick them up! They probably stole it! This is horrible!” I went on and on and on, now starting to slam doors and punch walls. Oh, yeah, it was a scene to be ‘seen’. I couldn’t have thought of the rational technique that Madelene used, could I?

“Hi, we just got back from your store, and left two bags full of toys in there……………..really? Great! And can I have your name so I can refer to you? Thank you, Janice, I appreciate all your help and I’ll be there in the morning.” Madelene says as she hangs up the phone and gives me this, ‘you need help stare’.

I need a drink.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dysfunctional Christmas

Christmas Eve at my house can get quite exhausting. My father is old school—and still plans on making every single fish on the face of the earth. It’s an Italian heritage. He’ll cook two days before—no lie. He even spends all night till 5am cooking shrimp, lobster, crab legs, baked clams, squid, scungilli, and crab salad. He usually gets highly exhausted, and being that he is a very large guy with health problems, it’s just too much for him. My father doesn’t want to disappoint everyone, because this has been the tradition for decades. In other words, he’s fricken stubborn.

Here’s where it gets a bit comical. Half my family is now allergic to shellfish. I won’t go near it—in fact, when I smell it, my throat starts to inflame. The aromas that come wafting up, in through the vents are enough to make my lymph nodes scream bloody murder. My sister Cathy is extremely allergic. If she touches the stuff, she blows up like a tick.

Logically it would be a good idea to make a traditional meal, where everyone can enjoy the Christmas dinner. No. We can’t upset my ‘fatha’. He’ll be so disappointed. Come on now people! Wouldn’t he be more disappointed if no one’s touching this stuff?

“Ya’fatha'z been doin’ this fer years now. It’s a tradition.” Mom says.
“Ma, no one eats the fish, and then you let it decompose in the fridge for approximately two weeks—leaving the house smelling much like South Street Seaport!”

The edible items left for us to eat are listed below:

Pigs in a blanket
Filet of yellow tail (not shellfish)
Antipasto
Cheese & crackers
Lots of liquor

Pure and dysfunctional, my family piles into the house, ready to grab a drink, because it’s going to be a long haul. Now that we have a nephew and two nieces, it can get chaotic if one or two OR three get cranky. If one of them starts to run around the house, one of the parents is running behind them. Balancing your drink like a circus side show has now become an art. Never, ever drink a martini in one of those ‘V’ shaped martini glasses. Just don’t.

Madelene and I usually flock to the bar in my house, where we can see everything that’s going on—yet not be ‘quite in there’ with them. We even eat our dinner there as well. Everyone grabs a plate, and it’s more of a buffet style—thank God. My two sisters come with their husbands and kids, and my other sister comes with her boyfriend de jour. Each year it’s fun to see who the lucky guy is.

“Debbie! You gotta try dis! It’s really sumptin’!” Dad says, as he tries to put scungelli on to my plate.
“Dad, I’m allergic to that…I’m sorry.”
“Den—try dis, I made it wit’lotsa’ garlic!”
He says, swooping up stuffed clams.
“Dad? It’s all shellfish I’m allergic to, but thanks.”
"Oh da hell wit'ya den...ya crazy!"

He gives me a disappointed look. I know he cooked all night for this…but why? He then badgers the other allergic victims. Think about it, my father’s a diabetic, but you don't see me running after him with a huge ball of cotton candy saying, “Here eat dis!”

It doesn’t end. Each purse is packed with a box of Benedryl, just in case some shellfish made its way onto our plates. I mean, not for nothing, but if I was holding a Christmas Eve party for my family, I would be making things they loved—not things that can possibly kill them.

“Here hold the camera.” My sister says, as she throws a camcorder in my lap so I can take pictures of her kid opening presents. Joy. A billion boxes unraveled and paper everywhere makes my OCD go automatically into high gear. I end up cleaning everything because I have to--because I want to--because if I don’t, my OCD will kick into panic mode! Then I head for another drink…or two…or three. God forbid these kids get some contraption that has loud frequencies---the party will end. I will make sure of it. Either that, or Madelene and I sneak off into another room to enjoy our cocktails and some weenies in a blanket. Mmmmm….

Feeling bad this Christmas holiday? Don’t. I assure you, if you want to see how lucky you are, come over and join the madness. I'm always dressed in a santa hat and ready to make the kiddies laugh. I encourage you to come over especially if you are highly allergic to shellfish. There’s enough for everyone.
And there it is. The Christmas tree from Walmart that my mother put up in her living room. It's not the 'size' that matters--right?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Come On Get Happy!

As we all know, this time of year can get us a little gray. Psychotherapists and pharmacies make a bundle during the holiday season. Hell—they make a bundle regardless. Now you can sit on the couch and bitch and moan about your life to a psychiatrist. Your doc will write your scripts and you’ll end up heading out to the next tavern to wash down your problems, but there’s also other ways to lift your spirits.

Food. No, I’m not saying to chomp your way into obesity. I’m talking about certain foods that hold the same chemical that’s in anti-depressant medications. There are so many natural ways to overcome depression—besides taking it out on your loved ones. (Poor poor Madelene)

Bananas: This is a miracle fruit. I remember my friend saying to me, “Oh I gotta take my Prozac for the day.” I was like, “What?” She told me about bananas, and I did a little research to see if it was true. Bananas are rich with magnesium and potassium. The magnesium helps aid in sleep and decreases anxiety—which anxiety as we all know, leads into depression...or a trip to the local pub.

Chocolate: Got PMS? Need a little ‘pick me up’? Substances in chocolate as well as caffeine can cause a stimulant effect---giving us that ‘happy feeling’. On the other hand, it is also rich in carbohydrates, so it has a calming effect as well. There were reports of chocolate helping to reduce heart attacks, but unfortunately, it is found mostly in the chocolate used for baking and cooking—the bitter kind. Ah well.

Turkey: Memories of last thanksgiving still has me wearing my fat jeans. As we all know, turkey has that ~sleepy~ potion in it, which is also referred to as tryptophan. Trypophan increases our serotonin levels, which make us feel calmer. Anti-depressants alter the chemicals in our brain to increase our serotonin levels. Why not do it the natural way? Hey, it’s not like I’m giving you bean sprouts here- this is good stuff folks!

Walnuts: Super rich in selenium—which is another ‘feel good chemical’ that enables a positive mood within us. You can also find this in beef, fish and whole wheat breads.

Milk: Of course, is another huge source of tryptophan---which increases the serotonin levels. I sit there, and watch my niece with her 'ba ba' full of milk and amazingly, she gets all drowsy and wants to take a nap. Sometimes when I’m having trouble going to sleep, I drink warm milk—the old remedy.

Of course there are other ways to ‘get happy’. I find that exercise makes me feel better. It also releases the endorphins that make us ‘feel good’. Not only that, you feel better about your appearance, as well as you do physically on the inside. There’s no doubt that exercise has proven to be one of the most effective ways to increase your happiness, and reduce anxiety & depression levels.

Need a laugh? Look to the right at my picture… (ha) Laughter is another way to not only help increase your happiness, but it helps boosts your immune system as well. It’s also known scientifically as, “psychoneuroimmunology”. Don't ask me to pronounce that word with a few cocktails in me...hell--don't even ask me to say it when I'm sober! Laughter has so many positive effects. Mentally, it’s a ‘wonder drug’. It battles depression, and just makes us feel good in general.

Another helpful aid in assisting my depression days are through prayer and meditation. The more I draw near to God, the happier I am all around. I realize that I’m not alone. Praying to God and relying on Him has salubrious effects on my moods and emotions. It seems to calm me down a great deal, and I become more patient.

I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. ~Psalm 31:7

I realize another thing, which makes me feel a little better about life. We’re not always going to get what we want, but if we can learn to enjoy the journey ‘getting there’-- I think we’d be better off. Okay, so we get the dream job we want…only to complain about it later on. We want to get a promotion after that first year. We always want ‘more’. It’s good to want more, but we’re too steadily focused on the future, that we’re missing the best part—the present time. We also dwell too much on the past, which doesn’t allow forgiveness to take place in our hearts.

Another evil which keeps us from being happy and content, is holding anger and resentment in your heart. This leads into other negative physical effects on the body as well as the mind. My chiropractor told me that my backache may be due to emotional stress. That’s where we seem to store it. We also see it forming in other ways; such as migraines, chest paints and even our immune systems seem to fail on us.

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace of the world gives. So don’t be trouble or afraid. ~John 14:27

I’m not perfect. I’m trying to keep positive and focused on ‘what I have now’, rather than, ‘I wish I had this or that’ or ‘I wish I was there already’. It’s a blessing when you can truly enjoy who you are with, enjoy your family, and be happy living where you are---if you can.

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” ~Hebrews 13:5

I’m writing this semi-serious post, because I see a lot of you a bit down lately. I see a lot of my family & friends a little on the down side. I’ve been that way myself. I’m trying to be positive the best I can.

These are the things that help me ‘feel good’. What are some of the things that lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Royal Flush

(Plumber's crack dream)

“Good morning sunshine!” Madelene says to me, while I’m sleeping. She always has this habit of screaming out ‘good morning’ when I’m in a deep slumber. I think it’s some sort of weird resentment on her part that I get to sleep in a bit. Of course I wake up and grumble at her a little, to let her know she succeeded in waking me up.

She rushes of to the shower and goes about her daily regimen. It usually takes her a good hour to just shower up, dry off, moisturize every single cell of her skin, and then get dressed.

Slowly but surely, I rise up from my bed like a corpse, and head into the bathroom. I usually do this when I know Madelene’s about to get out.

“Don’t come in here!”
Madelene screams out, as she hears the doorknob wiggle.
“Huh? You’re getting shy with me after twelve years together? Open the door your freak!”
“No!”

I open it—and I feel the immense pressure of water flowing over my feet. Did she know she was using too much water? I know sometimes she likes to take baths, but for the love of God—this is crazy!

“What happened?”
“The pipes froze and busted.”
Madelene says, as she is swabbing the floors with a broom-like squeegee. (Did I forget to say nekkid?)
“Well how did you take a shower if the pipes froze?”
“I use the hot water only.”
“All hot? Are you crazy? You can give yourself third degree burns that way! What’s wrong with you?”
“I always take showers in extreme hot water.”
She says.

Mom comes up.

“Is your toilet running?”
“Ma! There’s a leak and we have no cold water, plus, it’s a river up here.”

Now, this is what gets me. Every time we call a plumber, they are never available. Never. He said that he had three other appointments and may not get to the house till tomorrow. Tomorrow? We’ll sink if he doesn’t get here by noon! This guy is a real winner too. Everything that you would expect a plumber to look like. On top of that, he thinks he can just ‘chitter-chatter’ with you and not work…then charge you for that hour of talking. He also quoted us $3,000 for our new oil burner. We ended up paying $4,000 for it. He never warned us about the extra grand that his ‘labor fee’ was going to incur.

The water started leaking out into the hallway trying to make its way into my living room. I was swabbing so fast, I think I lost about twenty pounds already. I turned the water off, and the leak stopped. Now I can’t use my own bathroom, I have to go downstairs and utilize theirs.

Before Madelene left for work this morning, she gives me these words of wisdom…

“If it’s yellow, let it be mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.”

Lovely. These are the rules for flushing. I have a wonderful day ahead of me. Now to wait for Mr. Chatterbox to come fix my pipes.

Meanwhile, I'm watching my little niece who doesn't understand the words, "No! Don't step in that! Stay there! Sit---don't move!" Her expressions are priceless as you can see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Psyche Ward

As you all probably know, I’m a little too close for comfort to the parental units. Yes, mom and dad live downstairs from me. My mother is retired, so she usually takes care of the grandkids or goes shopping, but she gets depressed a lot due to not working. She used to work in retail with lots of people—so this was a big life change for her.

Now there are a whole lot of advantages to living in an apartment above mama and papa.

1. We’re all like best friends, we love to make martinis and hang out.

2. Being that I work a non-conventional type of job, I get to take mom out to lunch, and we always remember—it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

3. Mom is a great cook. We get invited for dinner often- hell we just go down there when we smell something good brewing. She loves company—actually craves it.


4. I don’t even make my own coffee, she brews her coffee in one of those old peculators that Alice had on her stove on the “Honeymooners”. It’s so good that I can’t go back to regular coffee.


5. The rent is cheap, the view is outrageous, and my friends who have visited us usually refer to our house as a bed & breakfast.

All those wonderful qualities, and yet I have another list of disadvantages. It’s not that I am unappreciative, but they are valid points, and anyone who knows me, including family who read my blog will get a chuckle out of it…because they know how true it is!

1. I was once caught ‘about to have sex’. No lie. My mother came bashing through the door, and I was in my living room being attacked by my girlfriend. I’m going to therapy for that one.

2. We have the same pipes going through the house. I always get calls upstairs, “Deb---dad’s taking a shower.” The thing is, I sometimes get them two or three times per day. I’m glad my father is such a clean guy.

3. Ring! Ring! “Is your water running? I hear water running…is your toilet broke again?” My mother doesn’t realize that Madelene also takes showers. This happens frequently.

4. My parents are smokers, so I can sometimes smell the smoke through the vents of the house.


5. My mail sometimes gets sorted out by the little lady of the house. Yes—she has opened my mail quite a few times.

I’m much like a gay man. Total mama’s boy, but in this case, ‘mama’s girl’. I mean, I can sit here and kvetch about every little thing, but I’m sure my mother has her list of complaints as well.

The other night, Madelene and I took mom out for dinner and drinks. We enjoy doing that with her. She’s a lot of fun to take out. My mother has a huge pet peeve about waiters or waitresses hovering over you like a fricken UFO, to see if you’re done with your dinner. Meanwhile, you have a ton still left on your plate, and they seem as though you’re being rushed. We were talking about that before we left to go out to dinner.

As my mother was in the middle of her dinner, the waiter came walking towards us.
“Oh good- another glass of wine for me!” I thought. No. My mother says to him,
”Go away!”
“Ma! What are you doing?” I asked in horror.
“Big tip! Don’t worry!” I yelled out to the waiter.

I guess it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She had it. She was fighting back. No one was going to rush her.

“I’m going outside to have my cigarette.” Mom says, as she whips out her pack of cigarettes and heads for the door. I paid the check, gave a 50% tip---yes---that’s how embarrassed I was about it, and then headed for one more drink at the bar. Our waiter was also the bartender. I apologized to him, and explained the pet peeve my mother had.

“Well I saw your glass empty.” He says.
“So did I…I almost cried when she sent you away.”
“That’s okay--at least you know your way to the bar.”
“It’s that obvious, huh?”

As we were driving home, my mother starts lecturing me about what I should tell dad when we get home. I didn’t understand this—he knew we were going out to dinner.

“Don’t tell ya fatha’ that I had a few drinks.”
“Ma, we always have martinis together, you think he’s gonna believe that?”
“Ya fatha’ gets upset when I go out to have drinks.”
“I’m not saying anything.”

Oh yeah, I can just imagine my ‘fatha’ thinking that my ‘mutha’ is out having some wild affair at the age of sixty-nine. She’s a beautiful woman, but come on now! I brought her inside and my father was sitting there, smokeless. He didn’t have a cigarette in his hand, and his living room didn’t smell like smoke at all. I was expecting to walk into a thick cloud of fog. Nothing. Nada. Nothing but clean air.

“Dad? Are you okay? You’re not smoking.”
“I’m tryin’ to quit—ya mutha' smokes around me all da’time. No support at all.”
“Wow, I’m proud of you dad!”
“Ya mutha’ bugs me about it, so it stops da’naggin’.”

My father has emphysema, he had a heart attack at one time, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This is another reason why I don’t feel right about leaving them alone. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night, and I get a phone call from mom asking me to come downstairs.

I walk into his room, and he is hooked up to a plastic tube for his oxygen. He gives me a look as though we were all crazy. Whenever we call an ambulance for him—he refuses to go every single time.

“Ya mutha’s crazy. It’s just gas.”
“He’s having chest pains, should we call Carla?”
(my sister)
“Well yeah, after we call an ambulance, don’t you think?”
“He won’t go, believe me.”
“Ma, he can be having a heart attack. How about I drive him to the ER?”
“I’m not going anywhere you freaks! You’re all crazy I tell ya!”
My father yells out, laughing.
“If you don’t get out of this room, I’m gonna light a cigarette and blow up this oxygen tank!”
“Oh---let me do the honors dad!”
I said to him—as he chuckles so hard, he forgets about his pain.

My sister Carla usually comes rushing through the doors. She’s not a doctor, but let me tell you—she knows ten times more than a surgeon at times. This is like a ritual with us. Dad has chest pains, we all come to help him—he refuses---and then we sit there trying to make him laugh and reconsider going to the emergency room. It’s getting more and more perfunctory each day. I’ll be the one making living arrangements at Shady Pines for them.

Dysfunctional? Are you kidding? It’s like a psyche ward full of alcohol and oxygen tanks. He was threatening us with a suicide bombing scheme---him---a lighter---and an oxygen tank. I bet a million bucks, he’ll definitely be disappointed about the lack of virgins waiting for him in heaven. I’d be disappointed if 72 virgins did show up—I want my women with experience!

Maybe I should just print this post out, and mail it to my psychiatrist. It’ll save time and I won’t have to talk as much. Sorry to ramble on about my crazy life here. You have better things to do.

Go on! Get out of here!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not For Nothing...

Not for nothing, but when I admire a woman from afar, I look for certain qualities—or the unique traits that one already has. For instance, I love a woman who has curves, more on the voluptuous side—not necessarily someone of much avoirdupois. I look for woman who carries herself with confidence; someone who is not afraid of letting their hair down—but of course, done with class. I love the femininity of a woman; a woman who relishes in ‘being a lady’. This quality, I found in Madelene.

When Madelene and I venture out on the town, we both love to admire the beauty of a woman. We even say to one another, “Oh look—she is so beautiful!” We are aware that we’re both sexual beings, with eyes—so why fight it? It’s actually really interesting to sit at a bar and see who piques our interests.

Now, as you all know, last Saturday night, we went out for our anniversary. After dinner, we headed over to this new bar that opened up. It was this old looking, country western looking type of bar. We were there to meet a bunch of old friends that we haven’t seen in a very long time. As the night went on, and the band starting playing really good music, the bar started getting crowded. As I watched people rush in, I noticed that most of these people were under the age of twenty-five.

Here’s my concern. I caught myself numerous times eyeing up girls that were about ten years younger than me. I felt like a complete pedophile—because they looked like they just got out of high-school. Let me tell you, some of these girls looked like models. I slowly turned my head towards Madelene and asked, “Is it me? Or do these girls look a bit young?” Madelene laughed. Then I noticed something else alarming. These girls had absolutely no rear end. Their asses were as small as an eight year old boy’s. (I think some women actually try to achieve that look.) I’ve heard of that expression before, and was shocked. Why would a woman want an eight year old boy’s ass? You could have put your hand around their waistline, and closed it into a fist. That’s how thin some of these girls were. They almost appeared anorexic.

The dam finally broke after a few beers, and I headed off to the bathroom. Two stalls, a small sink and ten girls surrounding the vanity was like a 50% off sale at Macy’s. I waited amongst these very frail ladies to get into a free stall. My turn approaches. I go in expecting cleanliness—since it is a new place that just opened up. No. I was wrong. The floors were so wet, that I had to watch myself carefully, or I would have pulled a “Kathi”. Seriously. I would have fell on my ass and sat in someone else’s urine. To make this experience even more pleasant, there was a sign on the wall.

“Please use the lever to flush the toilet. We are out of parts right now. We’re waiting for them to be shipped in from China. -Management”

I swear—no lie, the sign said this. Anyone who has read that sign, will know which bar I am speaking of. So to flush the toilet, I literally had to reach my hand inside the back of the toilet to push down a lever. Beautiful! Now that’s class.

I walk out of the stall, and there are women literally on top of each other, trying to get the next available toilet. I walk over to the sink, wait my turn, and then wash my hands. To my horror, they ran out of paper towels.

Shit!

I stand there air drying my hands off, and wiping the rest on my jeans. Now I’m thinking, “Oh God…it’s flu season, and I didn’t get my flu shot yet.”

“Oh, come here! Let me give you some lotion since there are no paper towels and the soap smells like shit.” A young frail (very pretty) girl says to me.

She walks up to me, pulls out my hand, and squirts out this fragrant lotion. She starts massaging the lotion into my hands, almost erotically. If I was a man, I definitely would have been pitchin’ the ol’ tent here. I felt like a pervert because I was enjoying it way too much.

“Oh my God, I’m a pedophile. Oh my God, this girl is not even twenty-one years old. This is so bad. Wow this is such a turn on!”

The pretty girl smiles at me, and sends me on my way. I walked back into the bar and sat down with the rest of my friends. I explain my awkward situation to Madelene, to only get laughed at. She knows how particular I am about people touching my hands—especially during flu season. I almost wanted to go back to the sink to wash up again, but that would have looked rude. My anti-bacterial gel was in the car. I needed another drink to make me forget.

As we all watched the ‘young adults’ dancing around to the live music, we noticed this eccentric lady. She was dancing around almost ritual-like, forming a circle around the crowd. She was heavyset, wearing a dress bedizened with a million tassels, and colors that would nearly blind you. It was almost as if she was in her own trance, dancing around erratically, carefree and more confident than any of these little beauties prancing around in size zero pants. Although it made us all chuckle a bit, I was more impressed with her confidence. She had more self-esteem than any one of these girls—who were absolutely stunning.

Are young women so caught up with trying to look like models that they forget about the sexiest quality—confidence? If these women go out looking ‘less than perfect’, do they sink into a hole of depression? I was really concerned about the health of these girls. I am not exaggerating when I state that some of these women were no more than a hundred pounds each---or less!

Not for nothing, but give me a woman who knows how to eat a steak and drink a good ale any day!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Our 12th Anniversary?

Gracefulness is not a word I would use to describe my girlfriend Madelene. Although she is a beautiful woman with feminine qualities, she has this certain abruptness about her approach. As I mentioned before in another blog, she bruises herself frequently from just walking into walls. No, she’s not a drunk—she’s a bit clumsy.

This morning she wakes up around 6am to prepare for work. For the most part, she stays within the bathroom to get ready. Today, she was galloping all over the house like a trapped horse. She works for a car dealership, and whenever it snows, they make them all wear work boots and heavy gear so they can clean off the cars. All I could hear while I was all comfy in the bedroom under the covers was, “Ga-ThumP! Ga-ThumP! Ga-ThumP!" Back and forth on the hard wood floors. She usually makes a few trips back into the house because she forgot something, but today it was different.

Ga-ThumP! Ga-ThumP! Ga-Thump!

Of course I got up to investigate why she’s trotting all over the place like a stallion in heat. It took so much effort to get up off that bed. I was so warm, under a huge goose down comforter, piled on with two extra blankets. The heat was on full blast, and I felt like I was back in mama’s womb. Yes—I’m working this out with the shrink—stop worrying.

“Hey.” I mutter out.
“Good morning sweetie!” Madelene says, as she corners me in the hallway, while I try to make my way into the bathroom.
“Yeh—good morning.” I start chuckling, thinking she is absolutely nutty at this point.
“Good morning honey!!!” She says, all excited.
“What’s wrong with you?” I ask, laughing at her bizarre behavior.
“Happy anniversary baby!” She blurts out as she hugs me tight.

SHIT!!!

“Yeah! Happy anniversary!” I said back to her. What the hell am I going to do? Wait—I can go to the store real quick today since she is working and pick her up something---shit---wait, I forgot---I don’t have a card for her. I didn’t wake up on time to prepare her breakfast. What a lousy girlfriend I am!

As she lets go of her firm grip, she still has me entangled in her embrace, now looking at me. Lovely. I have pillow marks all over the side of my face, my pony tail is now cocked to one side of my head, and my eyes are squinted to little slits—eyelashes stuck together from God knows what. Sexy, huh?

I look over, past her shoulder into the living room, and notice a dozen red roses and a beautiful card sitting there. Now I feel like a pile of manure. What has happened to me? I used to be the most romantic person. I never forgot an anniversary—ever! I always sent flowers to her job, surprised her with a piece of jewelry that she never would wear anyway-- or even write love songs to her. Now? I’m like this big fat football loving man who only cares about his beer and wings. Have I become what I've truly tried to get away from all my life?

You know what’s really strange? This morning---like 3am I had this dream. I went to the local jewelers (who I happen to know), and bought Madelene this amazing diamond bracelet. As odd as this dream sounds, the jewelry store also had a bar. How convenient! Get drunk enough to buy your sweetie something expensive. It was such a fun dream. Anyway, in my dream, the woman placed this beautiful diamond tennis bracelet in this flat square box, with a padded lock on it. No I didn’t hit the lotto—it was a dream for the love of God!

Forget the dream for now. The reason why I am posting this story is because I need your advice. What can I do for her? I’m trying to think of something more creative than buying jewelry that she never wears, or purchasing another set of roses that are piled upon my coffee table.

I need your input!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Normal?

Someone put me back in my padded room. I’m done. I’ve had it. I can’t take it no mo! Yes, I said it that way. Sad, huh? I’m dragging ass today, feeling like a pile of crap. Is it seasonal affective disorder? Is it manic depression/bi-polar? Can I be going through a weird sort of depression and not know it, but yet—know it? Insomnia kills my sleep. Sleep kills my ability to wake up. I’m stuck. I can’t get out of bed. I’ve fallen asleep and I can’t get up! Why is Madelene so effin’ cheery this morning?

“Good morning sunshine? How you feeling today?”
“Mmm. Good.
” I mumble; hoping she finds her way out of the bedroom before I scream.
“Do you want me to bring anything home for dinner tonight?”
“Ughhh…I can’t even think of dinner right now.”
I slur out of my lazy mouth.
“Want me to cook? Want some Chinese take out? You want some---“
“NO!!! I want some sleep! I can’t think of food 6am for the love of God!”

She gets off the side of the bed and starts getting ready for work. Wait—isn’t it snowing like ten feet today? She can’t get off this hill that’s a mile long—no one even plows.

“Madelene! How can you go to work when the hill isn’t plowed?”
“Oh don’t worry, that truck is good in the snow!”
“Ugh.”
I flop back into the pillow as if I were exasperated.

I struggle to get myself out of bed and head downstairs to surprise Madelene with breakfast. Eyes half closed and my sweatpants’ line on my ass has shifted somewhere near my hip. My hair is tied up, pulling it all the way to the top of my head—looking much like a nuclear mushroom. Lovely. Maybe this explains my non-existent sex life?

Why can’t she be a simple girlfriend and drink coffee like the rest of the world in the morning? No, she has to drink tea. So I boil a tea for her, and I brew myself coffee for me. I start cracking my eggs. It’s like they don’t want to cooperate with me. They all break, or leave some sort of mess on my stove. I managed to finish everything in sync, and head upstairs with our breakfast.

“Sweetie! This looks gourmet! Wow! Thank you!”
“Mmm…yeh.”
It was all I can get out of my mouth. I was too fricken lazy to talk.
“It’s snowing.” I said, as we watched the news together and of course the snowflakes falling outside. NO shit it’s snowing genius! This is what I had to say to her??? Hmm.

“It’ll be alright, I’ll just go into work early, and by that time, it will fizzle down into nothing.”
“Can’t you call in?”
“No.”
“No?”
“No. They’re a bunch of cry babies over there. I have to go.”
“No one’s gonna buy a car today in this weather though.”
I try and discourage her.
”Well I have one guy coming into pick up his vehicle.”
“We’ll see about that.”
I said, pissed off that she was about to take a risk in this weather and leave me here with an anxiety attack.

She leaves, and of course, I get an anxiety attack. I have anxiety normally. Wait, normal and anxiety do not go together in a sentence. I have frequent anxiety attacks. There, much better. I have suffered with them for many years, and it has really affected my quality of life at certain times. After the anxiety is gone, the exhaustion that sets in afterwards is nothing to fight against. I give in. I then pass out. No, not pass out and drop to the floor—I simply just fall asleep wherever the anxiety attack left me sitting.

Now people who know me personally, know I am a chatty sarcastic lil’ psycho. Lately, I’ve been stuck inside my head. I can’t get any words out. If I do have words to say, they remain inside. It’s not like me. I don’t feel like myself anymore. It’s a struggle to even have a conversation with me.

Last night, Madelene and I went out to dinner at our favorite place, and sat at the bar. We know all the people there, and they usually come sit down with us, and talk. I said nothing. All I could do was sip my soup and drink my beer. Madelene was Chatty Cathy last night, talking up a storm. She’s usually the one that’s quiet. My friend quickly noticed this and asked if I was feeling okay privately. No, I’m not.

“I’m fine. Thanks.” I said to her. She just gave me this deep intense look as she tilted her head somewhat---like if she was analyzing my freakish behavior. She always knows when something’s up. I can tell she wanted to talk to me more, but I kept staring over at my lonely beer over at the bar.
“I’m fine, really.”
“Okay, you would tell me, right?”
“Of course—just tired from shopping.”
Meanwhile, haven’t shopped for a thing yet.

I’m not even answering my editor’s phone calls. He tried calling me twice this morning. Not interested. My book? What? I wrote something? Oh…whatever. I’m tired. I’m too tired.

My darling chiropractor was fixing the last remains of my painful back. He was stretching me and trying to press my back down.
“You feeling okay, Deb?”
“Uh-huhhh.”
I said, as my face lay flat on the table—of course padded with extra paper.
“Are you stressed out or something? Anything bothering you?”
“Just life.”
“Well Deb, life can be very challenging. As I see it, we create our own anxiety and fears. Did you know you have two different shoes on right now?”
“What?”
“You have two different boots on. One’s from Nine West and the other, I can’t tell, but one heel is chunkier than the other. They’re totally different boots. Are you okay? Do you have anything on your mind?”
“Doc- you’re not my shrink!”
Then I began to laugh of how ridiculous I felt about wearing two different boots. What an ass I am!

Doc felt the tension in my back and started giving me a massage. He does this periodically when he feels that I am too tense. It was the first time I felt at ease in a long time. He talks to me, he understands me, and he even tells me personal things about himself. I really like this guy. He’s so compassionate and caring. Why is he single at the age of forty-seven? That has to make you wonder.

“All done sweetie, I will see you Tuesday then?”
“Yep!”


I get up, and accidentally caught a glimpse of his waist, and noticed that he was pitching a major tent. Okay, okay, this is normal for men, right? I mean, I have nothing to worry about—right? He didn’t do anything perverted or insinuate anything other than getting my ‘back better’. I walked out of there with this fuzzy look on my face, and Madelene was sitting in the waiting room. As I paid for my visit, I noticed he was hiding his waist under the desk somewhat, and writing out my next appointment.

I am now about to grab my bottle of wine, and lay down. I’m so tired. Someone give me suggestions here. I’m running out of fuel and believe me---I have had blood work done, I have had people analyze the hell out of me to come to the conclusion that---

I’m normal!

Imagine that.


~Now back to my padded walls, where I belong. Talk to you all later.~

"Nurse! Nurse! Come back here with my meds!!!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Envelope

Patience. I absolutely have none. I never did. Patience. That word irritates me. Needless to say I have no virtue. Patience gives us more character. What kind? The kind that waits, and waits, and then…waits.

When will my time come? God, why isn’t it happening ‘now’? I want things ‘now’, and nothing seems to be progressing in that area.

Then God spoke:

“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:11

What then, do I have to do in the meantime? Wait. Be patient. Maybe my life is out of control. Maybe my life needs a time to relax, and wait upon whatever it is, to enter my life.

“When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” ~Galatians 5:22

Do I not have enough trust? Do I have enough faith in God to say, “Here, take control of my life, and I’ll sit here and wait.” It seems whenever I do that, I get bored; impatient, and then I get frustrated when things don’t go my way.

Control freak.

I’m definitely a control freak. I need things done in a certain way; a way done by my means. Maybe I’m not giving up my reigns---I’m holding on too tight. Even when you hold on to a loved one too tight, they eventually slip from your grip. Do I have to sacrifice everything in my life God? He sacrificed His life---and I’m whining over miniscule matters.

Is this a test? I feel like I’m being constantly tested. Life is an experience, and sometimes we need to develop character by a test from God.

“God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterwards they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” ~James 1:12

When will I know when the test is done? My constant questioning is evidence enough that I have no patience. What do I need to get more patience?

Today I heard a message from Joyce Meyer. She said, “Ignore your problem and enjoy your life—regardless what’s going on in your life.” Hmm…sounds difficult, huh? Do I just run away from problems and go out with my buddies---while other things are brewing at home? I don’t understand it—yet I do.

Things aren’t happening fast enough. The devil brings people in my life to torture me--to test my ability to restrain self-control. Why does God let that happen? Does God work hand-in-hand with the devil for the sake of my final exams? It doesn’t seem right, does it? Is it a test of faith?

Definitely.

Let go, and let God. Give Him your cares; give Him all your problems. The one problem is, I have a hard time giving it completely to Him. I give God this huge envelope full of my problems, and say, “Here God, please, take my problems.” Then as I hand him this envelope full of problems, I’m still holding onto it—tightly.

“Let go Debbie.” God says.
”I’m scared.”
“You can’t do this on your own, don’t you trust me enough?”
“I do trust you, but what if, what if, what if…”
“LET GO!”

And I do.

“Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” ~Matthew 11:28

Did you ever realize when there is nothing else you can do, you call upon God? All you can do is pray---all you can do is pray---you hear it all the time, right? “All we can do is pray.” But, are we praying ‘just in case’ he hears us? Or are we fully trusting in God to do His work? Do we believe that He is there with us, always?

I’m having that problem today. I know I can’t fix or solve every problem in my life, but today, I gave them up, and gave them to God. I hope that He hears my prayers, and I trust that He knows my heart, and hears my cries.

Today, I finally let go of the envelope.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Life Is But a Dream

“Come with me, let’s go Deb.” An androgynous voice calls out to me.
“I can’t leave here, what if I don’t make it back on time?”
“You must come along now, while we can still go. Come along, Debbie.”
The voice suggests.

Still kept within my body, I wondered how I would manage to get out of this heaviness; this shell that kept me from flying. In an instant, the person with the androgynous voice lifts me up, and holds me securely as we start flying upward. Looking down, I saw my own body sleeping in my bed. I saw Madelene curled up beside me. It had to be close to 3am, and we didn’t have to wake up for another four hours or so.

“I have so much to show you! Let’s go!” The voice said, as we made our way up into the sky. We were flying above the clouds at this point. My body was no longer with me. The heaviness was gone, and I had no pain.

Pain? Yes—pain. It was then I realized that humans, in their physical bodies build up a tolerance to pain. We just don’t know it. For example, let your arm go loose. Ask someone to lift it up. Don’t help them. Your arm is very heavy. Imagine the rest of you? My chest—there’s no pain. Our chest and our diaphragm makes us feel even heavier; forcing ourselves to breathe. Involuntarily, our bodies work at no request, pumping oxygen and blood into our systems. There’s a lot of work involved with being in the physical nature.

Feeling weightless and carefree of worries that rummaged through my mind everyday, I was flying with this androgynous entity. When I looked on the sides of me, I realized it was an angel. It wasn’t anything other than a non-gendered angel. I couldn’t tell if it was male or female. The voice was almost like my own, but with no gender overtone.

“Hang on! There’s just so much I need to show you—we don’t have that much time left!” The angel says, as we swoop down from the clouds, and follow a road that was in the middle of a field. We were out in the Midwest somewhere. It was a paved road with telephone lines going through it. This was amazing. The wind rippled through my ears, as we flew faster, and then went back up to our original level.

Now I saw the world in almost a satellite view. I was lifted to see the United States and part of South America.

“Look, here’s where the problem is going to start. The plague that has already started is going to reach the US. It’ll make its way into California first, reaching down into the Midwest, and eventually to the east coast.” The angel said, pointing to each area he/she was referring to.

This angel was telling me things in the future. Was he/she suggesting that we were going to have a major plague?

I felt my spirit rush me. I can’t explain the feeling, because it’s not of a physical nature—it was about ‘knowing’ more or less.

“I have to go!” I said to the angel. “Send me back! I don’t have much time! I won’t make it if you don’t send me back!” I said, in a frantic attempt for the angel to fly me back home.

I don’t quite remember the trip back, but I do remember the last part of it. I was flying so fast, I could hear that wind through my ears fluttering like a butterfly trying to escape desperately. My soul was like a magnet to my body. I saw the apartment I was living in—went through the ceiling and practically slammed back down into my body.

“GASP!” I woke up, trying to breathe in. It was so hard—the air had a difficult time getting through my windpipes. My body was about to shut down. I knew it. When I landed, I heard the wind in my physical body for just two seconds. I made it just on time.

“You okay, Deb?” Madelene says, as she woke up due to my asthma-like gasp.
“Yeah.” I said. How was I about to tell her what I just went through? Plus, I didn’t want to bother her with my freakish experience.

Was it all but a dream?

This was something that happened in August of 1997. The only one who knew about this "dream" was Madelene. I know people have different views regarding astral traveling and if dreams are really 'just that'.

What do you think?