Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To Have & to Hold Another Wife...

While having breakfast with Mad this morning, she said something very interesting commenting on a discussion we were having regarding a very combative friend of ours. “It’s not what they say - it’s what they don’t say.” I thought about it for a moment, since one of my friends typically says what’s on her mind, to where most of us would just remain quiet about it. It can lead into some heated debates and even some unnecessary arguments. I told Mad, “Well, I’m glad she says what she thinks and doesn’t hold it in, but at the same time, it can be surprising when she spews out her thoughts as well.” But then Mad went on to say even slower than before, “It’s not what they say - it’s. what. they. don’t. say.”  I finally “got it”. The basis of her words were set around motives; the reasoning behind the madness of someone being “too comfortable” telling you what’s on their mind at any given moment.

I’d like to think that I’m pretty intuitive when it comes to people and their so called “motives”, but I’m not. I’m completely clueless at times and I don’t see what others may see when it comes to dealing with different people. More so, I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to my friends. I don’t like to read too much into what someone says or does, but lately, I have to. There have been way too many mishaps, arguments and debates because of miscommunication and ----the lack thereof. I think that’s the main reason why I keep most of my friends at arm’s length. It feels so complicated when it shouldn’t be. As I grow older, I’m realizing that there are women out there trying to ‘sew their oats’ before they turn a certain age. When I was younger, I never had such complicated friends before. It seems odd.

Let me explain a bit of my situation that we have going on here. A good friend of ours has always acted a bit on the ‘strange side’---let me say it in nicer terms----just a tad “different”. She’d get upset over a comment made and had gotten jealous over me having lunch with another friend. She has known Madelene and I for a while now and completely acknowledges our marriage and that we are very much in love. What surprises me are all the sniping attacks I get out of nowhere sometimes. The saying, “It’s not what they say - it’s what they don’t say” has come to an end. It’s what she has said that led me to write this post today.

She sat me aside and explained in full detail of her concerns. The first words out of her mouth were, “I love you, dearly.” I took that as a friendly type of love. But when I heard, “It hurts me to see you with other women”, I had to take a step back and wonder what she was talking about. As she was shaking while speaking to me, she explained how this made her completely jealous and how it’s different with me being married to Madelene. She didn’t mind that. “She didn’t mind that”----I keep saying that in my head. Well, I’m glad my marriage is something she doesn’t mind. To make a long story short, she basically told me she was very jealous over the women I spend time with. She made me out to sound like some escort service. I have close female friends that are just that-----friends. But, she doesn’t believe that. She thinks that there is more to it and she wants to be the only one besides Madelene to be “close with”.  That’s one helluva’ way to tell someone how you feel about them. “STOP HAVING FRIENDS!” But what’s more interesting is how many women love to date or try to date women or men who are already married.  With two women being platonic friends, even though there is no intimacy, there is a great deal of complicated emotions that can take a turn for the worst if the two are very close. So, in actuality, it does become "intimate" on an emotional basis in some cases. 

With that being said, I had to break off all ties with this person. I’m afraid I just can’t handle the “complications” of other people’s feelings for me. I am completely flattered, but completely taken back by the desire to control me and the assumption that I wanted...another wife. Maybe polygamy is an option. Maybe I’ll convert to Mormonism. I’ll set up a huge compound of all my wives, and hopefully, they’ll be no cat fights amongst the sister wives.

One can only dream.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby Talk

Apparently I’m known to change my mind faster than a leprechaun drinking a pint of beer. I prefer to call them “second thoughts” or the “what if syndrome”. I think it’s pretty normal, but others find it peculiar, and downright annoying. I call it “just being me”. There is always a major decision in your life that you’re faced with, where you either have to say yey or nay - there’s no other choice and if you make no choice at all, you have made one indeed. Basically, whatever you do and whatever you don’t do - time will make the choice for you.

My clock’s ticking. My life’s aspiration was never to be a soccer mom or even remotely close to being a parent. I have my own thing. Call it being selfish, call it what you’d like, but I am not a caretaker unless it’s my wife, and she’s pretty low maintenance. It all started roughly three months ago. We were talking about getting a dog. We’re both highly allergic to animals, and were looking at non-hypoallergenic small dogs, like a Shih Tzu or perhaps a Yorkie. My mind raced over to wee-wee pads and little “mistakes” on our freshly cleaned carpet, and of course, my OCD problem. I don’t want to eat where my dog shits. The smell alone would make me dry heave. My condo is small enough as it is, no less have a dog that defecates anywhere it pleases. I have plants. I’m happy with that.

“When are we going to start our family?”  This question loomed over my head like a huge anvil waiting for the last tiny thread of the rope to finally snap. It’s all set. We have our donor: her brother who looks exactly like her. Of course I’ll be carrying since Madelene had a partial hysterectomy a few years back, and I had promised her that if we were to ever have children, that we always had my bread basket. It was more on the lines of my uterus locked up in some volt that had a label saying, "IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY - BREAK GLASS!"  I still don’t know if I could even have kids, but I do know that her brother whom I love to pieces is more than happy to help us. There are plenty of other options, however I have more chances of winning the Mega Millions than adopting a child here in our own country. How sad is that?

And now, I unveil the curtain of my mind. I warn you, it might not be pretty, so prepare yourself for “Deb’s Thinking Process”.

* I need to lose weight before I gain weight. That sentence sounds really bizarre, but if you think about it - it sounds perfect.

* Do I really want to raise a child in a 2 bedroom condo for the first couple of years? Does it matter?

* Where will my office be?

* Where will my treadmill go? It's a great clothes hanger.

* Where will my musical instruments be stored?

* Oh muy GAWD - I have to carry the baby up and down those horrid stairs.

* I will bitch slap the next person who tells me to breast feed.

* Postpartum depression - God forbid! I’m a mess as it is now.

* Will I ever have sex again?

* No more romantic getaways...

* Nine months without a drink???

* “Mommy I want the iPhone!”

* “Mommy I want a computer!”

* Minivans

* What the hell am I going to do with my sports coupe now?

* I have no time for a mid-life crisis.

* My mother suggesting if I do have a baby to bring them up with pets. Ugh, clean up in aisle 1 please!

* Where can I find an
affordable nanny/maid/butler/cook for one small condo?

The “talks” are still in progress. I have not made a concrete choice. Being that in a couple of weeks I will be 36 years old (which is my baby cut off time), I have to make the choice soon. I have so many projects ahead of me and feel like if I do go ahead with this, then all of those dreams go down the drain. Having a baby means diving headfirst into a pool of complete submission to your little bundle of joy. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe that’s the type of love I need right now - the love of a child needing the constant undivided attention of their parents that will put their lives aside for their family unit.

I’m still semi-against this entire ‘baby thing’. I can’t bear seeing myself being some soccer mom in a maroon minivan wishing I was on some private beach ----alone. I see what other moms go through. They are superwomen: amazingly attentive and patient. I don’t know if I can be like them. They say everything changes once you have a baby. It’s a life-altering change. I’m finally at a place where I can truly say, “I love my life”---but maybe that’s a good time to think about starting a family?

This is still in the ‘talks’, but I’ve decided that instead of telling people, “Hey, I’m pregnant”, after three months of already knowing, I want to be public with my choices as well as the “trying processes” and results. It should be an interesting journey if you want to follow this. And please don't forget, a woman has a right to change her mind. God knows I change it often. I hope I don't change it when I'm 8 months pregnant. 

Any suggestions or things to think about from other parents out there? 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Favorite Bar & Grills

Last night I originally planned on taking Madelene out for sushi in the city. We were going to walk around, window shop and take in the vibrant energy of Manhattan. Since she had a customer that held her up, we were running very late, so I suggested a local place, perhaps even an entire different type of place. We went to this bar & grill called The Savory Grill, (more so an expensive upscale restaurant with a pub inside) and sat at the way end. It’s not your typical “pub” either. Mad had a sandwich, while I had a burger plus a few drinks to boot, and it costed us about $60 bucks- but this place is so worth it. We’ve known the owners and employees for years. This place is hopping on a Friday night with such an interesting array of people, ages ranging from late 20’s well into the late 90’s. That’s why I love this bar so much. It’s one of the few establishments that has been around this area for more than 20 yrs. Most places usually close down after five months or so because they just can’t compete, whether it’s due to bad location or simply, just not good enough.

I used to love “fine dining”, until I got older and realized that fine dining is right in my own home. Now I prefer simple bar & grills that offer a cold beer, bar food and guaranteed good times, meeting different people from whatever age range. It’s not so much the food anymore as it is the company for me. This is another reason why I would move to Provincetown in a heartbeat, if it weren’t for the dreadful winters out on the Cape. Their restaurants, even if it’s “fine dining”, offer a pub on the side where you can eat dinner and talk with everyone around you. I guess with the process of maturing, I have become more secure with myself, where I don’t need to hide from people and sit at a table. Different strokes for different folks I guess, but I find it so much more fun when my wife and I can sit back and get the entire bar talking as a group. The energy of getting people out of their shell is just amazing. There is this one bar & grill over in Provincetown, MA called, Bubula’s. We usually watch the Yankee's kick the Red Sox’s ass on their big screen, and then get our own asses kicked by the Bostonites who are drinking with us later on in the evening...just for being New Yorkers. Just think, you can have carpaccio with capers or salmon tartar while nursing or guzzling a cold one watching the game. It doesn’t get better than that. I think more restaurants need to mix up the “high end” and the “low end”. People like their beer, people love their exotic foods - why not mix it up?

Even back in the day when I was a bartender, the most important tip I’ve learned in order to have customers return to your establishment goes back to the old song from “Cheers” - “Where everybody knows your name...” Eye contact - huge! If you don’t know the person’s name, look at their credit card when they hand it to you. Listen to their conversations while serving drinks. A good bartender hears EVERYTHING. It’s not all about serving drinks, it’s about knowing your customer and remembering what drinks he or she prefers. Remembering their name and their “usual orders” means “they care”.  I have gotten to know a great deal of personal data through "listening" to my customers. Be careful what you say sometimes, because bartenders have bionic ears just to learn more about you. We're trained that way. I have three places in my area that I know of, where I would feel completely comfortable walking inside to the bar area, having a drink by myself and not feeling the least bit awkward about it. I know without a doubt, there will be other regulars in there that I’m familiar with as well as the staff to get a good conversation flowing. To me, when you can do that at a bar & grill, you know they’re doing something right.

Well, my entire point of this post is that I had an awesome time having dinner at the bar of The Savory Grill last night. If you have never been there - check out their website and try it out. Every single thing on their menu is to die for and their pub is just a nice cozy place to socialize and meet other great people. Ask for Jennie and tell her Deb & Mad sent ya!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Exposed

Most knowledge comes from life experiences. The best thing a person can learn is what ‘not’ to do. They know better. It sometimes takes many trials and errors to figure out what does and doesn’t work, what should and shouldn’t be in your life and what you love, as well as what you dislike. And sadly, there are some that just don’t seem to learn no matter how hard life smacks them in the face. There are no wake up calls for that person, just the same day over and over with the same expectations and outcomes. They go around the same mountain a million times and expect to view a different scenery each and every trip. It has to get redundant. Believe me, I know... I’ve gone around that same mountain quite a few times. When I finally stopped and said, “no” - would you believe there were people traveling along with me begging me not to leave them? I hadn’t realized they were traveling with me this whole time.

About a year ago, I became friendly with a person who I thought was bright, intelligent, funny and had great insight to many things I had interest in. When asking for advice, she was there to help. Little did I know, and soon found out (just recently), that her entire life was a lie. With little information I can provide on this post, I will just say that sometimes, the people we think we know are the very ones we have no clue about. In fact, when confronted and asked politely about what was found out about her, she vowed to silence and said, “Don’t make things worse than they already are.”  She admitted that she was a fraud. Through much embarrassment and pangs of anger, she tried to bite back with spreading lies about me. It didn’t get too far because I know the truth, and thankfully, the people she had told all knew it wasn’t true, plus, who would believe the source anyway?

“Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow. Putting confidence in an unreliable person is like chewing with a toothache or walking on a broken foot.” ~Proverbs 25:18-19

Ironically enough, the person had fabricated stories about me which were all mirrored of herself and her entire life. Insecure people who lash out at those who they are extremely angry with use, psychological projection. They use the very things they hate about themselves to hurt other people, because they themselves, are hurt by their own faults. I used to be affected by people like this. I really felt they thought all of these horrible things of me when actually, they were only trying to push my buttons out of revenge. It had little to no affect on me whatsoever in the long run, but it still hurt to hear a “friend” talk so negatively about me; how someone can turn so violently against me. I couldn’t understand it. Even having gone through this a few times, it’s still a shock to my system when “friends” or acquaintances behave like this. My friend’s last attempt at ‘pushing my buttons’ was an attack on my marriage - saying it wasn’t “real” and how we really weren’t married at all, even having seen all my wedding photos with her own eyes. I now figured out that she meant, we weren’t married in the eyes of the majority of “people” because we were gay. She also stated that by the length of our relationship, being that I have been with my partner for approximately 14 years, that we couldn’t possibly still have the same spark we once did and how unhappy I was.  She stereotyped our relationship just to anger me.

“When arguing with fools, don’t answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are.” ~Proverbs 26:4

Think about this: why argue with someone, when you already know that they are only stating these awful things to just push your buttons? By knowing their motive, it’s pointless to argue with them, because they themselves already know the truth. They just want to see how far they can push. Either laugh at it, remain silent, or simply just walk away. Staying there trying to defend what’s already truth is senseless. I’ve only come across two very bitter friends who have dug the knife deep into my back and gave it a little twist or two. I admit, I was a fool to trust another person in the same way, but as I grew older, and with more lessons learned, I have a couple more brain cells (not much more) to know better.  I’m not saying not to trust people, but when something doesn’t quite jive or make sense, it’s usually a lie. I can pick up liars in a second. I can pick up a person with undesirable motives in no time. I guess without the experience I have gone through, maybe I’d be running around that same mountain.

“Truth stands the test of time, lies are soon exposed.” ~Proverbs 12:19

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To Keep A Friend...

True friendships are rare and beautiful. Some are unconditional, while most are very conditional. There are friendships that are easy-going and ones that are very complicated. I used to develop friendships that were “too close”; close enough to the point of where they felt too comfortable blurting out the most outrageous comments or opinions without thoughts of repercussions on my end, and of course those people who have tried making the friendship more intimate than it already was, platonically. Through many trials and errors, I have learned to to keep a select few close and far many at arm’s length.

Boundaries. It sounds like a rule book when you say it, but, regardless, each friendship needs boundaries of many levels. One of my biggest boundaries is mixing friendships with money or business. If they are already in the same line of work as me, then of course I’m going to be friends with them - but I never mix friends before business. A few years back I had lent some money to someone who was just starting off in New York. Long story short, she ended up resenting me because she felt as though I “owned” her. That wasn’t the case though, it was simply a loan to where she had to sign a promissory note of paying the money back. This was my first time doing this for anyone. Before that incident, I had always told people, if you’re going to lend out money, you might as well think of it as a gift because most likely, you will not receive that back. Luckily, the friend paid me back, however very grudgingly. Inevitably, the friendship ended. This person still resents me.

Through lessons learned, and not from being a stubborn sonnovabitch, you will never see me lending or giving money to a friend. Two reasons: 1. Because lending money, again, is a ‘no-no’ because that person will resent you. 2. If you give money to a friend, most likely they will ask again and possibly take advantage of your good nature, which will end up in your resenting them as an outcome. If you want to really keep your friends, generosity starts by being a “good friend”, listening to your friend, being there for emotional support and making sure you’re there when they need you. That’s all I ask of my friends and expect no more. My financial charity goes to anonymous poor people or disaster type of situations - not friends. However, if a friend needs a place to stay, something to eat or drink, my home is always open to them. This is as far as I go.

And that’s the best way to keep a friend in my book.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Continuous Nightmare

Who cares? What does it matter if we make it to the top or we stay within our mediocre limitations in life? We. all. die. What does it matter if we’re too rich, too poor? We can’t take our money with us when we die. Who cares if you’re too thin, too fat, too short, too tall? In the end, our bodies turn to ashes anyway. It’s all meaningless... or is it?  Some of us have easy lives, some of us have harder lives, regardless, it’s what we can do with what we have right “now”. Some people feel they can’t give to charity because they’re not “rich”, yet they’ll go out and buy a Starbucks coffee for $5.00. It’s our right to make choices with our own money; our decisions are our own and nobody can say otherwise. Maybe somehow, persuasion can be a revelation for some, making others realize how fortunate they really are.

"Again I observed all the oppression that takes place in our world. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and the victims are helpless. So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. And most fortunate of all are those who were never born. For they have never seen all the evil that is done in our world. Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind." ~Ecclesiastes 4:1-4

“Oh well some people choose to live that way.” I refuse to believe that load of crap when people say that. Cards are dealt and sometimes, fate is all you have, whether fortunate or not. Sometimes, it’s all they know. People are born into poverty and live in countries that are extremely unsafe and unsuitable for living. Did you know that there are only three doctors in Haiti for every 10,000 people? For us, it’s a matter of picking up the phone and making an appointment with our family doctor, sometimes within the same day --and minor things such as a cold, the flu or for a small cut or bruise. The people of Haiti don’t have that luxury. They deal with their sicknesses, cuts and bruises on their own most of the time.

If each person gave $1.00, that in itself could make a huge difference. But most of all, give what you can. You don’t have to be rich to donate, you just need to have a heart for other people and know that it’s only a voluntary choice.

There are many websites and text messaging options that you can donate to. The website I donated to is Partners In Health. A simple click HERE can send you straight to the easy to follow donation page.

“Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing.” ~Proverbs 28:27
“Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” ~Ecclesiastes 11:1

For the people of Haiti, their nightmare is still with them when they wake right next to the rubble that has swallowed up their precious loved ones.  Imagine for just one second, feeling and witnessing what they've gone through. 

I can't imagine...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Best Medicine

While walking out of the supermarket today, I had noticed a woman pushing her cart toward her car, which happened to be parked next to mine. She couldn’t be more than 35 or so, but what I noticed were tears streaming down her face as she placed each grocery bag into the trunk of her SUV. She didn’t appear to be sobbing - just tears that fell lightly down her cheek. I tried not to look so much, but my heart was breaking. Maybe this was the only time she could let out her emotions before she came home to a houseful of screaming kids or perhaps, a demanding husband. I was trying to imagine all sorts of scenarios in my head. Maybe someone in the supermarket insulted her? Maybe she just got a disturbing call on her cell phone? Regardless, it was none of my business. I felt the need to go up and console her, but she’d probably shift into her self-defense mode and insist that everything was okay. I hate to see other people hurting.

Have you ever felt like there was absolutely no outlet for you to ‘let it all out’? Have you ever wanted to have a good cry - for whatever reason, but the environment wasn’t suitable? And it’s not to say that your family and friends wouldn’t be there to help you, it’s just the mere privacy of your emotions. You don’t want to explain “why” you’re crying or conjure up something possibly untrue. Some people take offense if they see their partner/spouse or best friend crying, yet seem to get no explanation of why. Thoughts trickle into their heads with distrust of the friendship even to possible secrets being kept that may include them. People are insecure so they get more nosier by the second if they feel it’s about them.

Approximately a year or so ago, I found myself ridden with sadness over a friendship that had  ended. It had to end regardless because the conflicts and fights that had taken the place of the fun and laughter was just unnerving. I didn’t want to upset Mad over it so I went into the shower to have a good cry. I have a hard time closing the door to grief sometimes, which is a flaw of mine. I’ve always wondered how people could do it so easily, or do they just bottle it up and save it for a rainy day? With the way I am, I’m also afraid that I’m not going to be “well equip” to handle news which would emotionally kill me. I once saw a show on the body’s way of protecting itself. Our bodies are magnificent machines and knows only what you can handle, which is why many people say they feel “numb” after a breakup or death of a person. It’s the body’s way of protecting itself from the severe blow of grief. So many people handle unfortunate circumstances differently. Some don’t show signs of grief till days, weeks or even months later, while others show grief immediately, letting it all out so that later, they’ll be fine. I’m not sure which is better, but involuntarily, I guess we have no control how our bodies and minds cope.

Instead of just pushing my cart back into the slot, which was over on the other section of the paring lot, I had asked the women who was crying if I could take hers as well. She smiled through her tears and said thank you. I then told her, “It’s my life's aspiration to be a shopping cart attendant”, as she glazed over at me, and then let out a huge laugh.

Laughter is the best medicine sometimes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When Friends Morph Into SPAM

It’s certainly no big secret that I tend to speak my mind. I usually say what I’m thinking (and repressing) when someone pushes me far over the edge. I try to express my feelings as tactfully as I can, but sometimes you just have to wonder: when is it a good time to pop your cork and tell em’ what you really think? I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I know that some people have their own ways, but here’s where I draw the line...

Over on my Facebook account, I have about 600 “friends”. Maybe 20 close friends, 3 siblings, a few ‘friends of friends’ and probably 200 acquaintances. The rest of the bulk are networked people through my line of work. I don’t mind when I get an event invitation or 500, because it’s their business, it’s their line of work. I “get it”. Some I attend, and some I just say no to. Some, I have to attend. No big deal. There is one person, who happens to be an old friend of mine. I’ve known her since forever. We'll sometimes bump into one another and exchange “hellos” and catch up a bit. She’s also a writer and creates pseudonymous blogs for many seminar buffs and motivational speakers. Like I said, I don’t mind receiving event invitations - I’m fine with that. What I do mind are all the inbox emails from 100 different accounts that I am not even “friends” with.  See, when you send an *inbox* invitation, people respond to it, which makes my BlackBerry flip the feck out with tons of notifications. Not only do people respond, but the SAME PERSON responds with different accounts to seem “enthusiastic” about this particular event. It’s a smart, savvy way to get people to join the seminar for a mere $500 bucks or so, but it’s also very sly. I had written numerous emails on separate occasions and asked politely for "them" to take me off "their" list, even though knowing all the while it was just one person. "They" kindly obliged until I got another slew of them.

Getting back to my old friend, she’s a great business woman, however she mixes up her friendships with her businesses, which to me is kind of tacky. We have another friend who recently opened up a restaurant nearby. Again, she helps her out by sending out invitations and getting the word out on Facebook, which is excellent, but I received a comment on my wall that I thought was a personal invite just to socialize. She had typed out, “Hey there! Psychic night at the restaurant, Deb ! Are you guys free? Want to meet there and have readings and appetizers? I'll bring the wine!”

I was sort of looking forward to just socializing, even though I had no desire to see some scam artist psychic steal my money to only tell me what’s in my past history and present time. For some reason or another, I wasn’t able to attend, and emailed her thanking her for the invite. No response. Then the restaurant owner had explained to me, “Oh that was just to create a buzz to get some of your people over to the restaurant.”  This happened twice. I even sent out over 400 invitations for the restaurant to my own people to help out. No response whatsoever. Not even a thank you. I felt kind of hurt. Did they want to be my friend or did they just want my money instead?

I think advertising on your Facebook wall is wonderful. Do your thing and if people don’t like it, they can block your updates. But don’t shove your business down other people’s throats and send 100 different emails from 100 different accounts. It makes others feel as though they’re being used to only place a few dollars in your pocket. If these people were a bit more business savvy, they would already know the limits of mixing friendships and businesses together. They just. don’t. mix...period.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Thick" Minded

To me, the world is like a big garden with a vast array of flowers, each unique in their own way. Not one flower is “prettier” than the other - they’re just different. People pick flowers according to their liking, not necessarily according what’s “best” in other people’s eyes. There may be a few weeds in the garden to pull some of these beautiful flowers down and make them feel less desired, but that doesn’t mean they were any less than the ones that were picked out to be placed in a beautiful bouquet. Each flower has their own scent, their own shape and size, and their own color and texture - all beautiful in a very different way. None can be compared to another.

Society and especially the media has put much emphasis on being a size 0, or at least, as skinny as a rail. More and more teenagers as well as adults are developing eating disorders whether due to people judging them or because they have body dysmorphia - they see a fat person in the mirror while being at a healthy weight. Some, even feel that they are ugly in other people’s eyes. For me, it’s not about outer beauty so much as it’s all about inner beauty. A person can be stunningly gorgeous on the exterior, and be frighteningly ugly on the inside. It has to do with the “whole package”---not just what someone looks like. After it’s all said and done, what do they have left but themselves as a person?

As a kid growing up, I remember putting on weight and struggling with it. My mom always and still does cook up a storm and had us “lie down” after dinner, not “go run and play with your friends” instead. It didn’t help much that my dad bought me motorcycles since the age of 8 years old, so my desire to ride a normal bicycle went down the drain. I was always “thick”, not necessarily heavy or fat as one would say. Oddly enough, I never had a low self-esteem and I was always out and about with friends and had many boys pursue me. I never ran to my room and cried because I was bigger than the rest of the girls. I cried sometimes because I didn’t want the boys, I wanted the girls. (A whole different topic for another day though.)  After 30, the pants seemed to get a bit snug and it was harder to knock the weight off. I saw personal trainer after personal trainer and my weight seemed to fluctuate like a bouncy ball, but somehow I managed to maintain healthy vitals, but more so, a healthy self-esteem.

Tomorrow, my wife and I are going back to the gym to get back into shape, but not only for the physical sense of it, but more so, for the heart-health benefits. We’re not spring chickens anymore, (even though she lies and says she’s still 29), but we’re doing this so we can grow old together. Why people are so stuck on superficial aspects of people is beyond me. Even when I was single and dating, I preferred women who had a bit more meat to their bones. Confidence in a woman is like a aphrodisiac for me. I’m still attracted to voluptuous women who hold themselves nicely. It’s all about the way a woman carries herself, the way she presents herself and her entire persona and demeanor - not because she’s a size 0.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Surfaced

3 o’clock rolled around and it was time for my morning jolt of a double espresso. I walked into the local bakery instead of a Starbucks or a Duncan Donuts chain, and bumped into an old friend from years ago. We talked for a while and even had our coffee together to catch up a little. Earlier in the day, I had gotten into an argument with someone close to me. It definitely showed on my face and my friend isn’t the type to hold back not say anything. She called me out on it. Within a matter of five seconds, I tried to conjure up any excuse, “Didn’t sleep at all last night”, “Just getting over a cold”, “Sinuses”, “I just didn’t age well”, and the good ol’ “I’m just hungover.” I used to tell this friend every single thing about my life, but today was different. Today I felt censored. Today I was reprimanded by someone who had read my blog and basically threw a tantrum fit over my feelings. They were feelings of the past. Regardless of anything, I feel like my words, my actions as well as my writing are all being analyzed by someone who claims to be “nonjudgmental”.

Years ago, my writing started to become a bit tame, not as raw and “tmi-ish” as I am now. I had an influx of readers email me telling me what they had thought. One in particular said, “I still love your writing, but it has become a bit more surfaced lately, is there anything wrong?” The feeling of being censored and judged is awful. My question is: should we even care? This is “me” - I’m a writer and if my material becomes surfaced, then to me, my writing isn’t worth shit. Aside from writing for entertainers in comedy, my own personal style of writing is from my heart. It’s “me” being poured out on ‘paper’. It’s an outlet that lets me be me. Without that, it’s just words that don’t mean a fecking thing. Totally surfaced.

I did however use, “I have the worst allergies today”, to respond to my friend’s inquiry about my puffy eyes. I wanted to tell her the entire story because my life is a complete opened book by choice, but the censorship nazi slapped me in the face. With that being said, last night while out with a friend having dinner, we were discussing those ‘happy-go-lucky nothing ever goes wrong in my life how are you today’, type of people. Typically, these people are found in the sales fields trying to conjure up more business and more fake smiles. I had told my friend sitting with me that I used to know this woman who worked with me about five years ago. She was all happy and giddy everyday and encouraged us to “smile because people can hear it over the phone” type of shit and she also was a motivational speaker. She helped many people, but in the process, her inner core was deteriorating little by little. I said to a co-worker, “Can’t you just see her snapping one day and flipping the feck out?” We both laughed at the thought, but not even two months later, she was sent to a mental psychiatric center for having a nervous breakdown.

Is it worth keeping our feelings in, especially to someone we care about, a friend, a lover, a spouse or even to a professional? When we start repressing our feelings, words and actions, we start building up a time bomb within ourselves. We start removing the cap off the grenade hoping to throw it fast enough so we don’t get sizzled in the aftermath. “Toss aside those feelings and suck it up” we tell ourselves. “Nobody wants to hear how we feel.” Totally the opposite. People who truly care about you would love to know what’s on your mind and heart. If they are only after monetary or superficial type of things and only pretend to care about you - they will look for reasons to call you out on your complete honesty and courage to let it all out. I’ve seen many writers shut down their websites because of complete honesty being offered. Granted, there is a time to shut yer’ mouth, but if it has to deal with you and your feelings, then nobody has the right to censor you.

Never be surfaced. Nobody likes the sound of it, nor wants to read it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Morning's Epiphany

Have you ever woken up to the most amazing idea or had an ‘ah-ha’ moment? Many thoughts and ideas come to me through my dreams. Usually, it’ll be something to write about or in the past, song lyrics since I use to be a songwriter. These days it’s been quite different though. I haven’t had one of these ‘ah-ha’ moments in a very long time, but let me first explain one thing... It’s usually when I’m hungover. Don’t ask why - I haven’t got a clue, but it just happens. I find it funny, because I’m quite the chatterbox whenever I wake up from a night out of fun. Maybe it’s equivalent to those great philosophers and artists who scheme up their best work while being under the influence of God knows what.  ...Nah. I’m nowhere near that, but I think you’ll find this little idea interesting though.
While watching TV the other day, they were discussing how the government is trying to get everyone vaccinated for the H1N1 virus. I’m totally against it and will not be taking it. When doctors ask if I got the vaccine, I simply say, “Yes.” End of story. I have my reasonings. Anyway, my thought is, what about if we can simply change things around, particularly in our school systems, since the bulk of the swine flu traffic is targeting them? Remember back in high school when the bell rang? What did we all do? We huddled up like a bunch of sheep and bottlenecked every single crevice of that building shoulder-to-shoulder heading off to our next class - and to sit where? At another student’s desk that had just been used. By using so many desks within one day, we’re spreading the virus much more rapidly. What if the teachers went class to class and the students remained in the same room with the same desks? Voila - the virus has immediately slowed down. Granted, it’ll still be out and about lurking, but in a much slower pace, maybe even slow enough to see if we can get rid of this thing once and for all.

The huge problem is, every student takes different electives and whatnot. Maybe just have students remain put for the same subjects studied and then go to their preferred subject of choice. It’s about changing the entire curriculum so that students aren’t “moving” so much. Student moves/virus moves. It’s simple math. Isn’t it worth it to try it out for at least one year? Think about it: so many schools have closed down because of this virus. Now think about your workplace. Maybe you work in an office environment. Not many people in the offices contract the virus as much as the schools do, because they’re not moving from desk to desk. And God knows whatever germs are left at a kid’s desk - gum stuck under the desk, kids picking their noses, the list goes on and on and on.

I know- not one of my “deep” posts, but at least it’ll make people think. Maybe I’ll send a letter to Obama. Less money spent on vaccines, less people getting sick, money saved for the economy, or...would it simply mean less money for healthcare? Hrmm.

Your thoughts?

Monday, January 04, 2010

SAD Tendencies

Have you ever noticed a drastic change in your mood either due to your environment or the lack of daylight that you get in one day? Usually this time of year drives me insane because I start to develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which many people have and they simply don’t know about. During the winter months, the days shorten, which leads to less sunlight, less vitamin D and of course, less endorphins to give us that “happy jolt” in our brain. I’ve written about this many times, which is why it still amazes me that I wonder why some days I’m feeling extremely low, and other times I’m feeling extremely high. For instance, yesterday was freezing outside. We have a slight draft coming in from the sliding glass door near the living room area. I tend to close the blinds hoping that it’ll help keep things a bit warmer. I also have skylights in the living room, to which I close the blinds on those as well in hopes of a warmer home. This leads to a very dark, yet cozy condo. I don’t mind, I usually like it that way so I can watch movies better. What I don’t realize is, that the affects of the darkness gets to me later on during the evening.

My home is very bright. I have windows all over. Whenever I have all shades opened and the sun is beaming in - my mood changes a great deal. Last night I went to bed cranky. Madelene was very quiet as well. Her “bad moods” are just being quiet and zombifying herself out on too much cable television. We were deprived of sunlight and it got dark way too fast for our liking. I found myself nitpicking at the smallest of things & basically, being a total pain in the ass to poor Madelene. When we woke up in the morning, I quickly shuffled into the living room, opened up all of the blinds, skylight shades and let the sun come beaming inside. I brewed some fresh coffee and prepared breakfast for Mad. My mood instantly changed and so did hers. When she came out into the kitchen area, I got a, “Good morning honey”, followed by a huge hug. We chatted over breakfast and we left things on a much better note. The light totally made a difference.

Later today, I will be forcing myself back into the gym for a workout and slipping into the tanning bed for 15 minutes of a good dose of “happy jolts”. Tanning beds have ultraviolet rays which provide vitamin D. Everything in moderation, right? If you cannot get to a tanning bed or stay in a bright environment all day, grab yourself some vitamin D supplements. This is the worst time of the year for depression & suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. I’ve had two classmates already attempt suicide and sadly, succeeded at it during this past month. On Christmas Eve, I had to visit the emergency room for chest pains. There were over 20 people inside getting treated and having their stomachs pumped for attempted suicide. It can happen to anyone. It can happen to the people you would least expect it from. Never take a suicidal threat lightly. It’s either a threat that will be carried out, or at least, a cry for help.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

There are days when you just feel like closing the door to the world and crawling back into your cocoon of safety. Everyone and everything seems to be crushing the last nerve of your patience. Everyone has an ax to grind. People are bitter over things that no longer matter anymore, and others simply get offended over things that you’re simply not aware of sometimes. They silently stew over unaccounted and untold actions, deliberately giving you the cold shoulder. As a new year resolution (which I normally detest), I have made a promise to give the gift of forgiveness - true forgiveness which involves “forgetting” as well. True forgiveness means never bringing the issue back up again. It means totally leaving it in the past. True forgiveness also means forgiving yourself and leaving everything in God’s hands. You never know, it may be too late when you finally decide to give the gift of forgiveness. Life's too short.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” -Ephesians 4:31-32

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous new year, but more so, I hope everyone has a peaceful & more forgiving new year. Sometimes making a resolution to be “healthier” in the upcoming new year not only means physically, but emotionally & spiritually as well.