Monday, December 5, 2016

Here I go again.

I am weak sometimes.
I am not even sure were to begin on this one. Honestly I am feeling a bit down and don’t know what to do but vent and write about it. It is hard to explain  to anyone who is not a teacher because they have no idea or reference to what I am talking about.

Today I found out that my test scores for being evaluated happens to be a 1. I know, to the average person that means absolutely nothing at all. To a teacher in my state though, it means that basically none of the kids in my classes showed any growth with what I taught in class. One hundred and eighty days of dedicated lessons that were presented with all the enthusiasm and tenacious drive that I exude like sweat on a hot day pretty much didn’t translate at all to the kids knowing anything on a test that is supposed to measure all the stuff I taught. Yep. They did not learn anything according to this test.

On top of that, being evaluated by a person who just scores a bit on the low side kind of deflates me a little. Now this can be a bit of moaning and groaning but seriously – basically I was a 2. Again, means nothing to the average Joe. Basically, being told that I scored a 2 is telling a teacher that they are just above incompetent. I am just a little more than a warm two legged human like babysitter that happens to share the same space as the students. The evals are completely subjective even though they have a check list to be able to make it objective.

I think that what the issue is, I guess, goes back to two things – moral and fear. How can a teacher have good moral when being beaten down so much? Really. I have a lesson every day and I give it the good ol' one-two. I am enthusiastic and motivated to do the best I can and to hold the course. I am giving the best way to remember and solve problems in the only way that I can. What more can be asked really?

Oh, but you do not understand how education works – it is never enough. NEVER. There is always more to ask and to do and to fill out and to jump through and to be beaten down with. . . . and . . . and. . . .and . . .

You see?

No. You cannot.

Not unless you are a teacher.

Fear though, that is my crutch right now. I have already had it on my mind: the whole losing my job thing. I have reminiscing about the one who, with deliberate effectiveness,  was able to remove me from his school. I look at this #1 and think how easy it is for them (the education department) to create an opportunity to have hard core data to offer a principal to release me from my job again. It was really easy to do. Fail at getting tests together for the state, crash the whole system on line, wait until a week of useless testing has past, and then give the test last on a Monday after 5 days of meaningless tests. On top of all that, let the news broadcast that they test don’t count towards anything that will affect the kids but in silent glee make sure it still counts to teachers.

So I fear that this 1, this simple number that means nothing to the average person, is taking over my thoughts and emotions. It is lurking in the back of my mind whispering “incompetent. . . incompetent . . . incompetent.” My rational mind is resisting the silliness of this background noise. My rational mind is telling me that there are many many in my boat. My rational mind knows that my principal knows this is not a true measure of me. The little child that sits in the back corner that had been beaten down, though, is whimpering. That little part of me that still remembers is trembling. That is the part that is peeking around the corners and tickling the flutter buttons on my heart. And I hate it. I hate that it is still there and that it still affects me. I am ashamed of it a bit.

I know that I have no reason to feel this way. I know that I am better than average and that I am solid with my style and pedagogy. I know that most will think what I am thinking and feeling silly. I know all this in my mind. But then, it is hard to hide from my past and my feelings. It is a prison inside with my own mind and fears and trepidations. I fight and reason with them but in the end, how do you reason with feelings? Feelings exist with no reason. It is a losing battle to fight against feelings.

So I am going to carry on. All will be alright. I am sure it will all blow over just like in past years with failed attempts of “authentic” evaluations.

But then again, that is not the issue in the first place.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Reflections of an Old man on Veteran's Day

Today is veteran’s day. I find myself again thinking back to my grandpa and the few stories he would tell of his service in the war. He served in the army and was stationed in north Africa and south Italy. Grandpa never told any stories about battles or the darker side of the war. He never wanted to relive any of it and he felt that it did us no good to tell us the horror he went through because we were kids.

There were times, though, that he talked vaguely of some of the trials he went though. It seemed that he just let his guard down a little and would reminisce a before he realized what he was saying. Then he would stop talking about it. One day he absently said that the .32 caliber pistol that he had coated in nickel was pointed at him before he came to have it. When I asked how he got it to not point at him, he just mumbled something and changed the subject. He mentioned once about how he got grazed by a bullet across his stomach and that if he was as fat then as he was now, he would have gotten it for sure. Then there was the time he told me that I needed to be careful waking him up in case he might try and hit me as he came awake. The look in his eyes when he said it was hard to take because I saw the fear that he felt at the thought of mistaking me for someone else in the drowsy time of waking. Like I said though, these times were very fleeting.

Most of the time, he talked of the good times he had while he was in the war. In one story he describes how his band of guys picked up a couple of baby rabbits that they had come across in their travels. They kept the rabbits as pets for quite a while until the rabbits did what rabbits did best – they bred. Grandpa said that they ended up having quite a few cages that were really stuffed with rabbits and they had to finally do something about it. They didn’t want to care for them anymore so they decided to butcher them all about and have a grand feast. That is just what they did too.

Grandpa was quite the ingenuitive person. People of importance seemed to come to him with problems they needed solved and to find inventive ways to repurpose things. One day, a Colonel or some other higher ranking officer came to him with a specific problem they were having with a missile. He was told that these missiles were designed to be hung from a fighter plane and used for air to land purposes. The problem was that the wires that fired the missile were run on the outside of the launch tube. When the missile was fired, the back wash of the missile would burn the wires off each time so that they had to be replaced every single time that they were fired. What they wanted was to somehow turn these missiles from air to land use to land to land use.  Grandpa was more than up to the task.

First he decided that he would run the firing wires in copper tubing so that they would not be burned each time the missiles were fired. Then he formed the tubes into a double row so that there were about eight to ten in each row. Of course he attached all this to a platform that could be moved. Finally, he wired the firing mechanism to a dial he call a rheostat so that he could just turn a knob one click to fire a missile.

So he relates the story:

“”The officer asked me to demonstrate the launcher for him and I was more than happy to show him.”

“Fire a missile Sargent,” he said and I turn that dial once and off it went. It struck the burn down range right where I wanted to.

Then he said, “Fire two of them.”

I turned the dial two click and the missiles flew out one right after the other. The Officer saw how fast I launched them and asked, “How fast can you fire those?”

I said, “Would you like a demonstration, sir?” and he said get on with it.

“I took hold of that dial and just spun it completely around (he made a motion with his hand that looked like he just spun a top). There was fire all over the place and when it settled the hill I was shooting at was practically gone!”

With a sly smile he said, “I turned to the officer and said, ‘would you like another demonstration, sir?’ and he turned to me and said, ‘Jesus Christ Sargent NO I don’t want another one!”

I have my Grandpa’s medals from the war and now I have his jacket. There are not enough words that can be said to explain how much they mean to me. No person can understand the depth of his character and his mentorship. No one can truly know the price he paid with his life and duty. All I ask is that if you would like to protest something about our country that displeases you, do it in person or in the form of votes and freedoms of speech. Keep it civil and educated. Keep it peaceful and with honor. But please – please – do not disrespect our flag. Our flag is a symbol of our country and our countries values based on the constitution. Maiming it or destroying it or abstaining a pledge to it is not protesting an injustice; it is protesting the values and the freedoms that you are exercising. In a way, you are insulting all those people who fought, like my grandpa, for the values our national flag stands for. Your problem is not with our values and the constitution. It is with people.

Happy veterans day to all those who have served and who are serving.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Love story - nightmares

Nightmares are not my thing. Honestly I am one of those people that just don’t remember my dreams. I sure am fortunate with this. When I go to sleep at night, the next thing I know is waking up in the morning.
Well, today I remembered my dream. Here is what I remember:

                I do the same thing every day. I got up early, just like always. I make my coffee, just like always. I watch the news just like always. As I watch as if disembodied, something seems amiss. It seems different this time. I . . . He is just sitting there kind of disengaged with . . . well everything. He is watching the news but seems not to hear it. His eyes are not focused and his hand seems to just drift as it reaches for the coffee. He sips the coffee but not in a way that looks like it is enjoyable or that he really wants it at all. He looks like a zombie almost as I see my dream self just go through my habits like I always do. It is funny to be talking about myself as if I was some stranger but in a way this dream person is me and yet not me at the same time.
               Then is it light out and I am wondering how much time has passed. I see my dream self come in the house from outside. I guess he had just been in the shed working or doing something outside. I have my junk clothes on. Those are the clothes I don’t care if they get ruined or not. He moves towards the bedroom and then I am suddenly in the bedroom able to see what he is doing.
                The room seems odd to me. Everything seems to be there like it always is but then again different. It suddenly comes to me that there are no shoes on the shelves next to the door. My wife’s dresser is empty of almost everything but a few bottles of perfume. There are not books and binders lying on the floor. Actually, come to think of it, there is not one sign that my wife is there at all. I then notice there is nothing on the bathroom door that is hers. There is usually a night gown or a robe or something of hers hanging there.
                I watch as my dream self moves to the dresser and picks up a perfume bottle. I recognize this one immediately as the White Musk my wife wears that I love. He takes the cap off and sprays the perfume in the air a little and then he gives the pillow on the bed a spray – my wife’s pillow. Then he walks out of the bedroom and gives a spray to the couch and the air once too. After this, he goes back into the bedroom and then comes back out to sit in the living room again. He turns on the T.V. and Star Trek the Next Generation is on. He just sits there and watches it.
                The back door opens and my two boys explode into the room like a party popper going off. They are loud and rambunctious like always excitedly talking about a movie and acting out their favorite scenes. I see my mother and father-in-law come in after them and they move towards dream me on the couch and sit. He sits next to me and she sits in the recliner next to the couch. I notice a glance between them but my dream self didn’t catch it. The boys have his attention instead. He asks them how they liked the movie and they start in on all the parts they liked.
                “You should have came with us daddy!” the youngest yells. He does not have a normal voice.
                “You know I had work to do outside and it is hard to do when I am alone and you two boys are not supervised,” I said back.
                “Maybe next time?”
                “Maybe, boy.” He responds softly and his son moves off to play with his brother. “Were they good for you?”
               “The same,” my father-in-law says.
                “That bad huh?” He responds. My dream self just smiles a little. The boys are pretty had to handle even being normal. It seems a little fake to me for some reason, maybe a little disconnected.
                “Did you have a girl over?” my mother-in-law asks.
                Instantly I see the response of my dream self. He grimaces. It was only an instant before it was gone but I saw it clearly. The lines showed in the middle of his forehead and his mouth became tight. There was a squint of pain that creased his eyes and he almost made a sound as if he wanted to grunt in pain. I saw it as his stomach muscles flexed. And then it was gone in an instant. I am not sure if the In-laws saw the reaction or not but I could tell this was not the first time it had come up.
                “No.” He said flatly. It was clear that he was not going to expound on this.
                “I just thought that since I smelled perfume that you might have had someone over while we were gone,” She said.
                “No. I was working outside. I had to get the trees trimmed before they budded.”
                “Oh. Ok,” She said and made a glance at her husband who gave her a look back but that was all they said.
                Then there was an uncomfortable silence, but it was not long for my mom and dad suddenly pulled into the drive. I could tell this was unexpected since the boys came running out of their rooms whooping and hollering making for the door. They ran up to the car as their grandparents pulled in and they gave them the usual barrage of questions and stories which is a cacophony only boys can make.
                “What are you doing here?” My dream self said as he walked up to them.
                “What? Can’t a boy’s parents visit him without making appointments?” Mom said to him with that fake look of incredulity she always wears when getting questions like this.
                “I just haven’t had a chance to make sure I have enough food and the house is a mess. . .”
                “We will get food and your house will be fine. We just wanted to come and see you,” Dad said. It never surprises me that he would just pick up and leave to come see one of his kids. He has done it several times in my life. It was his way.
                I am not sure what happen next but the scene changed for me in my dream and it was later in the day maybe during night since it was dark outside. The in-laws must have left since they were nowhere to be seen. The boys couldn’t be heard either. Ma and Dad were sitting at the table with empty plates in front of them and my dream self had a piece of pie in front of him but he just played with it using his fork to move it all over the plate but not eating it. There was no talk for a moment and everyone seemed to be in their own reverie or just keeping their thoughts to themselves.
                Ma then turns to my dream self and says, “When are you going to start seeing other women?”
                “Jeanathon,” Dad says to her in exasperation.
                “I told you, I am not,” my dream self said. I could hear the irritation in his voice.
               “You have to move on, she is not coming back.”
                “I know but I am not going to look for a replacement. I will not find one and I just don’t want to,” He said like he had said it a hundred times.
                “Stop this. He has told us all this before and it is his choice,” Dad said.
                “I know but he still sprays her perfume in the house and on his bed.”
                “I am sitting right here you know. I understand what you are saying,” my dream self stated.
                “Well, it is not right that you have not done something with all her stuff. Don’t you think it is unhealthy to spray her perfume all over? On the pillow next to yours? I bet it is the actual pillow she slept on isn’t it? You still have her stuff on the counter in the bathroom the way she had it. It is like a shrine. There is nothing right about that. What about the pictures?” She was talking fast now.
                “That is enough!” he yelled and stood up to leave.
                “What about your boys?” She asked. “What do they think about it? What do you say to them?”
                “I don’t want to talk about it.” He said pausing by the door to the bedroom.
                “She is not coming back,” She said. “It is time to move on.”
                “No. No, it is not,” he said flatly. “Do you think I don’t know that she will not come back? I am not stupid, you know.”
                “No one said . . .” she started but was interrupted.
                “I know she is not coming back. I just need to remember her. I need to have something of her around to remind me so that I don’t lose what she looks like or feels like in my head. God knows I have gotten rid of a lot and that was hard enough. I know it has been years. Hell, if you really want to know, it has been 2 years , 150 days, 12hrs, (glancing at the clock) 16 mins, and  5 seconds. Call me crazy. Send me away. Get me therapy. I don’t care. I am lost and sad without her. I made a deal to be hers and only hers and I am not going against it. You want me to start seeing other women and start to get back to a ‘normal’ life? Well, the day I asked her to marry me, my life stopped being normal and started to be extraordinary. How could I go back to normal again? I can’t. So if you want me to start seeing others. . . .well, I’m not. And that is final.”
                My dream self walked out of the room into the bedroom and my ma and dad just sat there.
And that is all I remember. I am not sure if the alarm went off or if I slept long but the images are so vivid this morning that I can’t get them out of my head. Hell, I don’t even know what happened to her. I guess I either forgot or it was just not in the dream.
Is it normal for a person to dream of the loss of their loved one like that? Tina has them all the time about me dying or that I will cheat or leave. I am not sure but this dream really hit a chord for me. If the horror of the loss of me would happen, I would not want my wife to deny herself a new loved one if the chance came along, but in truth, I would not do that. How could I tell her the same?
This is a hard topic and only in the deepest fear of the far corner of the recess of my mind will it be remotely touched. Did I say that I am fortunate that I don’t remember my dreams?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I Offend people

I am sure that I offend people. I think about some of the things I say and believe and I am positive that they would offend people. Here, think about this.

I think homosexuality is wrong and it is not biological. I have seen the studies and have a pretty good knowledge of how the body works. It is a socialized learned behavior. I think that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I think that abortions are wrong. If you don’t want your baby (pay attention to my wording), then you should have had the will power and sense in your head to make it not happen. I think that if you really wanted a job, you would find one – any job. You may have to suck up your pride and get what you can take – do that job the best you can – and thank the Lord you have a job at all even if it is cleaning floors and wiping toilets. I believe there is only one God and it is the one in the Holy Bible. I think that divorcing your spouse is wrong. If you agreed to marry them, then you thought long and hard of what you are choosing and you need to stay committed to that choice. I think that bleach blondes that have dark tans look horrid and go against genetic possibility. They are freaky looking.

These are just a few. I bet that even those I am close to are a bit surprised at these proclamations and are feeling a little offended right now.  I am not sure if people really know what it means to offend another person but it means to cause resentment or hurt the feelings of another person. I would guarantee that I would receive a lot of comments that I am not a very offensive person but that would be from those I associate with and you now, ducks of a feather . . . But in reality, I am sure that there are a lot of people who if they asked me what I thought of some situation or another would not like what I said or be offended by what I would say back to them.

I have friends that may fall into my generalizations or stereotypes that I am perpetuating. I am hoping that you know me well enough that I believe in the human spirit and that there are exceptions to all situations. I should really say “for the most part” or “generally” to tell the truth. In the end though, I pretty much treat other people’s past as being in the past and what they are doing now is a true measure of them as a person. Sometimes a person is handed a bad wrap or they have a misstep. Maybe they truly believe they are in the right. That is not for me to judge. I am not sure what I am saying but I am not purposely trying to offend a person. I may not agree with some choices and I have lived with some of mine to be sure.

In reality though, why are people offended in the first place? Because their viewpoints and beliefs are challenged? Because their own guilt or shame has been validated by another person? Because they have been told something that contradicts what others have said to them? If you are offended, you are resenting what someone has said or done and have hurt feelings over it. It sounds to me that their needs to be a little thicker skin. Would it not be true that there would not be offense if people would be fine with their beliefs and defended them or just not be in denial with their choices?

So, if I happen to offend you in some way by what I have said or done, know that it is not a personal attack on you or your beliefs or actions. I am not going to change those views or tell you I think they are okay. That would be asking me to deny who I am to be like you. I am not you. I will accept you as you are because we are not the same and I will consider our difference in opinions as a challenge to be debated if the time comes. Having these differences in opinion helps us to be resolute in our own identity. So I say this, don’t be offended. Be resolute in what you think. That holds respect. Do not ostracize others for their views or actions. In a lot of cases it is only one dimension of a multidimensional spirit. And keep treating others as Jesus does in the Bible. He really knew how to treat people.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What do you say to a teens about sex?

As a teacher this is a hard topic in class. Where is my place to be putting my views of this to teens? Parents should be talking to their kids about it but sadly this is not the case. I was fortunate enough (or would it be embarrassed enough?) to have one of my parents – my mom – that would answer any question I had about any topic even if it was about sex or how the body works. When I say any question . . . I mean ANY question. Honest to goodness, she would talk openly about anything using the correct words or slang if she needed to. She never really gave any sign that she was embarrassed or put off at all. Looking back, it was a very rare choice for a parent.

Sadly, most kids struggle with this topic of sex and relationships. Sadly again, their role models are much to be desired too. How can a kid get good solid mentoring about having kids or sex when their mom or dad are kids themselves? How can they get good guidance when their mom or dad have had several divorces with unhealthy relationships and lots of step children? Who do they turn to with questions if their parents are too shy or uncomfortable to even bring up the topic? I am sure that there are many who are reading this are screaming in their heads – Yeah! Where were they when I needed them! It was hard for me even when I knew I had Ma to answer anything I was curious about and I was really embarrassed to ask much. I can’t imagine the kids with all those other situations. It must have been a long tumultuous lost time in their lives. Maybe it still is.

Well it came up again. It usually does once in a year with freshman. They want to know with someone like me who is so outspoken about my commitment to my wife and my obvious happiness what I think about sex as a teen and relationships. Today it stemmed from a conversation about getting Herpes from a toilet seat. Can you see how this can lead to the whole topic of teen sex and right and wrong? It can’t be avoided.

So a kid asked me what I thought about teens having sex. So, in my usual straight forward way that I always answer a question given with true intent, this is what I said to them:

Personally, I think that teens should be doing the Abstinence thing. Abstinence is not having sex at all. (background noise and obvious disagreement) Yeah, I know. Telling an average teen this is like telling a baby not to eat candy. But, I am a realistic person too. I would be stupid and know this view to be unrealistic. So this is what I really need to say - for goodness sake be protected. I will say this – and I am talking to girls mainly because I am a dad– if a guy is trying to talk you into unprotected sex, he is not one to be trusted and stayed with. He obviously does not care about your health and safety. Someone who loves you does not do that. He has no sense of consequences and will not be responsible for his actions. He does not think of future struggles and hardships and is only thinking of the moment. I am serious. You need to drop him and just do without a boyfriend awhile. It is a hard thing to hear but I believe what I say. You can mull it over and decide for yourself.

Now that got a pretty quick response. After the response and cluttering voices died down a little, I told them that I have been around a long time and have seen a lot and witnessed a lot. I am positive of my opinion. These kids are inundated with the whole consequences thing - everything from babies to STDs. I usually talk feelings and relationships. Feelings are what drive these kids and if I can pair feelings with a bit of common sense, maybe I can make a connection for them to make good choices.

I may get some calls from it but most likely not. Kids don’t usually talk about these types of conversations outside of class. It does not matter though for me. I will stand by my words since I truly think that they are true to form. I am promoting wise and cautious behavior. How can that be frowned upon? It can and will because some people can’t stand that their kids are going to hear talk that make them – the parent- uncomfortable or that they may have their baby hear something that they may lose some false sense of innocence with. As a 9th grader, all that is a moot point to me. If they ask I will tell them what they want to know and I will promote abstinence first and protection next. I will also promote healthy relationships with a respect for the other’s body and health. How can I not do this as an educator?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

My love story - Part 4

Too crazy for me.

I am a twin.

Yeah I know, right? The number of times that I have heard the phrase – “There’s two of you?!” have riddled my life for decades. It is not funny just to tell you. I am me and my brother is . . . well not me. Being a twin is not really great material for being a comedian thank you very much. Being a twin is for the most part full of pros and cons. Mostly cons but I am not being objective now am I?  We are fraternal twins which helps since no one really can tell we are twins unless we let them in on it. We are night and day. This goes also with the whole girlfriend thing too. Where I was hopelessly single and Friend Zoned, my brother had a steady girlfriend in high school. Of course it was not all holiday either.

My brother had a girl friend that dominated his high school years. Boy did I learn a lot by watching this one unfold. She was a petite little girl probably not even 5 feet tall. She had hazel eyes with glasses and light brown hair that was cut to just above the shoulders. She had a slight lisp when she talked which made her voice and the way she talked always remind me of how a toddler would speak. She was pretty smart making decent grades. On all accounts she was cute. She was adorable really.

I know I am forgetting something though. Let me see. . . I am trying to put my finger on it. Oh, yeah! And she was psycho.

At first I really didn’t pay attention to the whole brother having a girlfriend thing other than he had one. I was not one to really be bothered by it other than the fact that I really could have used one. I was doing the whole ignoring so that I didn’t focus on pathetic me all girlfriendless and lonely thing. As time went on though he began to show signs that all was not going well. As it turns out, this girl was quite a piece of work.

First of all, she was an emotional game player and she had all of the trump cards when it came to my brother. Saying he was being controlled would have been an understatement. She was a puppeteer and he was just dangling on her strings. She would take hold of his emotions and mold them as if they were clay into what she wanted, crush it flat and reshape it into something new. She put him on a roller coaster that was soaring up and then would do a death drop into the pools of tears he shed only to whip him back and forth along sharp turns and endless track.  Getting the picture? She was a crazy woman.

The most favorite game this girl would like to play is to get mad at him and break up about a week or two before a holiday of some sort. Then after letting my brother wallow in sorrow and shame for a week, she would make amends (usually with some compensation from him) and all will be back on track just in time for the holiday. Imagine that! At first I thought it was humorous to see him all taken in like that but after a year or two, it became a bit sad. Well, pathetic. What makes girls, or guys even, do stuff like that? Is it some kind of skewed view of romance? I just have no idea where it all comes from because I have seen this kind of thing a lot.

I know one thing; there was no way that I would let any girl do that to me. I decided very quickly that if I called it quits with a girl, or she called it quits with me, that would be it. I have held to that since I have decided, not that I was making the choice that much anyway. I was never going back. The whole trampoline thing was just too stupid for my liking. Since then, I am sure of this one fact. If a couple calls it quits once, I have never seen it work out if they give it another go. There was something that causes it to fail and it would fail again. I am not saying it can’t but I was not going to fall into a trap like that.

There is even more that made this girl straight up cray cray – she was on the lookout for another man when she was not around my brother. She even made passes at me. I didn’t really care for this because not many other girls seemed interested in me like that and . . . well . . . she was seeing my brother. Honest to goodness, this girl got a job where I worked and she was definitely trying to get me to notice her. She even went so far as to tell me to “give her a chance.” Cha, right! First, you treat my brother like a bouncy house in which you can bounce out and back in at your will. Then you are not being committed to your relationship. And on top of all that – you are still crazy! Seriously. Needless to say, I really was not comfortable around her. She was a whole book on what not to date. Looking back on it now, I think it is obvious that she was not really sure of what she wanted.

I don’t remember what caused my brother to stop seeing her but he finally came to his senses. As for me, I learned so much of what I would never want out of a relationship that it would impact my dating perspective for life. Really, she was psycho. It is amazing what you can learn from someone else’s problems. I didn’t even have to be in this relationship to learn a lot from it. Most of the time I was thinking that hell would freeze over before I let a girl do that to me.

In case you are wondering, my brother had wizened up after that and is now happily married with three daughters that are beautiful and bright. His wife is a great woman who is intelligent and good for him.

And she doesn’t make passes at me ***wink***

As an end note, I believe that this girl is not this way anymore. Let me make this clear. She is not that way anymore. I am also positive that some who may read this will know who I am referring to (if you know me and my brother) . It would not be fair of me or those who read this to have this view of her now -  over 20 years from when this all happened. Time has a habit to turning people straight and life will inevitably teach its own hard lessons. I am sure that we all can look back at our youth and think – man I glad I grew out of that stage! Or – I sure was a different person so long ago. Everyone changes and grows into the person they are now. She was definitely not for my brother when they dated all those years ago and basically that is all I really have to say other than I learned a lot about how I didn’t want my relationships to be. This post is just to add another layer to my search and path to my wife. I feel that it was an important piece to the puzzle.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My love story - Part 3

I was that guy.

You know the type. I was the one that was nice and kind to all but not that kind of guy that would be boyfriend material. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I am talking about. I know. I have seen it many times. But, there will be more on that later.

Let me just say that it was not a great time in my life going through the whole puberty and raging hormones thing. Of course, I would doubt that anyone that looks back at their life as a teen would say it was great and full of roses either.  I had a hard time for lots of reasons. Actually, it was my own little piece of hell most of the time.

First of all, I went through a huge change in a very small amount of time. I hit my growth spurt early around 7th and 8th grade and have not really grown since . . . well not taller anyway. Rounder? Well that is another story. I was awkward in every sense of the word. My limbs were long and unfamiliar. I was tripping on flat ground for goodness sake! How embarrassing is that? My voice dropped to a resonance of a creepy stalker which made me feel like a stranger was usurping my mouth when I talked. And most of all, girls confused me. No really. I did not understand how they thought, how they decided anything, or most of all – how they chose to be a girlfriend to anyone. For a guy who had a body that was a complete stranger to his mind, this was a nightmare to have all these wants and needs but have a body that rebelled by shear change in hormones. I . . . was . . . hopeless . . . and lost.

To add to this, I really hated how the whole process of getting into a relationship worked. It was complete craziness to me. There were times when I watched how these guys played out their role in getting girlfriends thinking that I was watching two roosters fight over hens. For guys to have these competitions over a girl seemed liked the stupidest type of male silliness that there was on the face of the earth. I just didn’t get it. Then there was the whole idea of the girl actually provoking the behavior even more. It was insane. On top of all this were the couples that abused each other with purposely hurting each other’s feelings with either deception or gossip or some kind of obsessive control. All of us know that kind I am positive. In the end it seemed as if they would be on a trampoline bouncing in and out of a relationship falling apart and getting back together when to every outside sane observer it obviously was not meant to be. In some ways it was like watching a movie that had no plot or a game show that had no prize with everyone losing.

Well, I was not boyfriend material obviously. I learned early on that girls just did not like me in that way. I did not see relationships like other kids did. To me it was not a game or a competition. It was emotional and should be intuitively simple and straight forward. I talked to them to see if I liked their personality but to them it was too subtle I guess. I was not aggressively pursuing. To be honest, I had no idea how those guys in my school actually got a girlfriend in the first place. It was not like there was a book laying it all out for us. I honestly thought being nice and kind was the way to get a girl to like you. I guessed wrong. Then I saw how these guys treated the girls and I was sure that the world was insane.

And then there was the my annoying habit of being extremely shy. No one who knows my teacher personality would describe me as shy or introverted, but I am, and it was to the extreme back in my teenage years. I have gained a lot of confidence and esteem over the years with my wife but back then, nothing made sense to me. I had a hard time talking to girls and asking them if they would like to spend time with me. I would be the stag in the herd that hung out on weekends separated while the rest were all hooked up. I would say only a couple of words when spoken to or stumble my words. I was embarrassed easily and girls giggled at the way I acted. I was that guy.

It was not until junior or senior year of high school before I actually had the nerve to ask out a couple of girls. And that is when I learned a phrase that I would hate and loath for years – “You’re nice but . . .” I was not the kind that girls wanted to date or were interested in. I was the kind that was a good friend and nonthreatening. I had no ulterior motives nor was I looking for more or some such stuff that put all girls on their guard. I was just the nice guy. Trust me it only took a couple of times before I knew I was blackballed in my school. I had no chance. I mean really – we only had 90 some kinds in my whole graduating class. Think about it. I had no chance what so ever. I was a permanent “friend Zone” kid. Ugh, it was depressing.

It was hard to even decide who to date. With such a small class in school, there was a very limited amount of choices. The girls were either too freaky or scary or they were the very essence of Mean Girls, or they were too snobby. The girls that I considered good were seeing these guys that were treating them bad. I thought they deserved better but darned if I knew how to change that. Man, my teen age years figuring out the whole girl and guy thing were an exercise in confusion and lost causes.

I had all the same wants and needs of a teen too. I wanted to be close to a girl and be a boyfriend. Hey, I am a red blooded boy after all. Damn if I could figure out how to get out of the stigma I was in. I had crushes like normal kids where a look or a word from a girl would set my tummy fluttering. Of course my shyness was my enemy and I had no idea how to respond or get the girls to notice me in some other way than “friend Zone.” I was pretty hopeless and I am sure that the adults around me just shook their heads. Have you ever seen Big Bang Theory? Yeah, I was like Leonard – all hope and too much nerd. I just couldn’t figure out what the other guys did to get girls. Even if I did, it would not be my style so I would not have done it anyway. It was all just too complicated for me.  

I guess I really never changed from that guy in high school. I am still very much like that. I am still pretty shy and would never know what to do if I was looking for a girl. Just the thought of dating again sends fear wracking my insides. I lucked out though that my wife saw in me the type that would be faithful and steadfast. To this day I really don’t know what it was that drew her to me. I was still that geeky nerdy shy guy that was stuck in the friend zone. It was meant to be I guess.

I learned a lot about the motivation of people and how they really didn’t know what they wanted. I remember thinking that girls sure do like to be sad and misguided a lot. I just was not one of those people that wanted to get into all that drama. I wanted to find a good girl and stick with her awhile. Even though I was lost most of the time back then I did know one thing – I was not going to change who I was to join in on the craziness I saw all around me. Not that anyone was that interested in me anyway. I was that guy.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Marriage roles - an unpopular view

Why does my marriage seem to work so well? I seem to get this vibe a lot from my friends and those I am around. I mean, to an outside observer, I would guess that they would view my marriage as “perfect” or some closeness to that. Well, as I sit in church I understand that I have naturally gravitated towards the way the Bible describes the roles of husband and wife. It takes bit to really internalized what the bible is really saying about the jobs of the husband and wife. The problem is that the normal procedure with this topic is to pick and choose what verses gives one or the other more power and control in the scheme of marriage. What a death stroke to a marriage right off the bat when a couple takes this route. Context is the key here.

 First of all, I cannot stress to you enough that diligent, proactive, and deliberate choice is essential to start a marriage. Know what you want and expect out of a marriage before you choose your wife (I will speak as the male perspective). It is the guy that needs to make the choice and to ask the girl to marry. It is the choice of the girl to accept (because she has been doing the same diligent and deliberate choosing too, you see). I cannot say this enough that the beginning of successful marriage begins with the choice and the knowledge of oneself before you need to add another self to the whole thing.

 Probably the most used verse that is mutilated in meaning that is known to many is the whole “wives submit to your husband” and the “husband is the head of the wife.” That is only part of the story. If you read further down the passage, it says basically that husbands should treat their wives with the care and consideration as they would treat their own bodies. This I think is where the real lesson on the roles in marriage lie.

 Men, be the head of your marriage. This is a very deep and meaningful statement. It holds quite a bit of responsibility. A man needs to be a leader in his marriage . . . NOT a dictator. We as husbands are commissioned to make the decisions and the choices that will affect our lives. Some may feel this is too old school but I think it is more out of protection for the wives we hold so dear to us. When the husband makes the decisions it saves the wife from the guilt and inner pain of making decisions that don’t work out. It also gives them comfort that someone is doing something. It is a way for husbands to show that they taking care of their wife and protecting them. It is a way for us to show our love. Leading a family is done out of love and not out of control over another.

 By now it may seem that I feel wives have no part in a marriage other than to be bare foot and pregnant. Far from it! Men need to listen to their wives as they listen to their bodies. How can you carry on in life if you don’t understand how you feel and trust that your body is giving you information you need to carry on? Men need their wives to talk to. To bounce ideas off. To have  a second view point and perspective. Wives need to be supportive and trusting but also they need to be honest and up front. They should not be silent if they have concerns and misgivings. They need to express their worries and insight with their own knowledge and experience. The husband would do well to not be put off by this and be defensive but to use the person they should trust most to guide those decisions. One of the thousands of reasons I chose my wife was because she has strengths where I am weak. That is a big asset to our marriage and an advantage to us working so well together. Besides, it just adds more for me to admire with her being able to do with such ease what I find so difficult.

As I reread the above couple of statements, it is a hard to come out and just say that each person in a marriage has a job because gender roles are an unpopular concept now days. It is vital though. It is absurd to say that men and women are the same. They are not - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That is the point I am making. How can a marriage be strong if men and women were the same with no differences to meld and complement each other? I feel that when one person uses this idea to smother the other that it is what will kill a marriage or a person’s spirit. Reveling in the differences and adding them to ours is where the strength comes from and that is the secret. Do my wife and I have our roles in our marriage? You bet ya! And we respect and cherish these roles because we depend on each other to make sure we are always adding and never taking away our importance to our marriage.

Monday, September 12, 2016

I am NOT ready to forgive. Not after what he did to me.

The topic came up again – forgiveness. It came up in discussion again. They asked me if I had anyone that I needed to forgive.  “Yes,” I said. And then they waited for me to say that I would forgive them. I just told them that I was not going to. They looked at me with surprise that I quickly declared that I was not going to forgive. Me. The mentor and co leader of our little group was not living out what I was teaching. Yes, I am not going to forgive that man who did me so much wrong.

I will not forgive the man who fired me from my job . .  . the only job I was fired from.

People who know me have a hard time believing that I was fired from my first teaching job. They look at me with blank confusion because they consider me a pretty good teacher. I am not the best, I will admit, but I can get the job done. Anyway, if you really want to know, technically I resigned. But in the back ground my other choice was being fired and my license being revoked. What choice would you make?

The guys at the table did their best to guide me into forgiveness but my clichés were in full force today. “You don’t understand what he did to me.” “I deserve to feel this way.” “You would feel the same if it happened to you.” “He put me through Hell.” Just bringing it up was like reliving the whole time in my life. We are not talking about a day or two or even several weeks. We are talking about a methodical and persevered process of getting enough evidence and case to actually feel like you can have a legitimate reason to fire a teacher. I mean come on; it was just vindictive to do this to a person who was trying to do the best job they could. I was not a bad teacher! It took years . . . years, for him to do what he did to me. What did I do to deserve this?

To this day, I still don’t really know. I never will. Maybe that is part of why it is so hard to forgive him.

Here, let me help you with what kind of hell he put me and my family through.

Let’s start with the first evaluation that changed my life. I came into the office with no idea of the boulder that was about to be laid on my shoulders. I sat down and he calmly expressed that I was doing alright and that I will receive “needs improvement” on my evaluation which meant that I had a few things to work on to make my teaching more effective. No problem, I am always up for constructive criticism and wanted to be better at what I chose as a career. I didn’t see his façade until the next year. So, I went through the whole year going to conferences and weekend developments gaining new things to use in my classroom.

Then when the next eval came up, I received another “needs improvement.” But this time was different. It came with what was called an “Improvement Plan.” This was a set plan of things I had to do that were required or I could be released from my position. Let me tell you, It was close to turning me into a slave. It had lesson plans that were lengthy to fill out and had to be submitted two weeks in advance, it had premade logs to enter all contact for students and parents and even other teachers. To put this improvement plan in perspective, it went as far as requiring me to wear a tie everyday (in which no one else was required) and the types of shoes that I should wear. And then I was told by my representative from the union that this was basically the last step the principal had before firing me.

Well, the year went by with me spending about every last minute with school and trying to keep a family and home going. I left every morning to get to school an hour and a half early so that I would have time to complete the mountainous paperwork. I would stop at a Micky D’s to get a coffee every morning so that I had something that would keep me from getting drowsy. The woman who worked there was a real angel. She would even have the coffee ready for me when they weren’t quite open yet. She would just wave me around and not charge me some days. I am not sure she realized what she was doing for me.

In the end though, it was not enough. I remember sitting in the chair out of sight in a conference room while I had my dignity and decency stripped away as he so calmly stated all the things that I was not able to do correctly. Then he stood up and said that I was going to be released form my job and walked out while I sat stunned and broken inside. I had more classes to teach and there was no way that I was in any condition to finish the day out. That is when the union rep said to go home and he would take care of it. I went home in my broken state and waited. I waited to tell my wife the most humiliating and worst news of my life – that I failed to keep my job. I failed to hold the essence of providing for my family.

The fear I felt is beyond anything I have ever known. The fear of losing my ability to provide for my wife and 2 year old son was suffocating. I promised her that I would care and keep her was fleeing from me and I had to look her in the eyes and tell her that I failed at keeping my promise. I will never get the image and time to fade into a lost memory. Ever.

I ended up moving states, my wife developed depression, our finances were unrecoverable, we were cut off from the life support of our families, we felt like nomads, and the stress of learning a new culture, a new job and new environment was uphill all the way. This story can go on for pages but the end will still have me in the same place . . . Forgiveness.

I am not forgiving him. I am not. I have a lot of hurt feelings and the fear of that time was worse than anything I had ever felt. I was debilitating. The suffering I had to endure and especially my wife is what fuels my anger and feelings. For goodness sake – my wife’s chemical balance was permanently changed because of it. She will for the rest of her life be on medicine for depression. I forced to move my life, home, and sever all ties to where I was settled and ready to live out our lives. I know that forgiving is the thing to do and it is not for them. It is for me. I just can’t do it though. I will not.

The pain is still too real for me. I just can’t. I am not ready to forgive.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My love story - part 2

Dad’s lesson

It is needed to have a couple of sections devoted to my dad. Dad had a profound effect on me and how I not only treat my wife but women in general.  I have also seen how important the man is for the raising of children in the house hold. Don’t get me wrong, personally I feel that in order for a kid to really be steady that there needs to be both a mom and a dad in the household. Ma always said if you want to know how a guy would really treat their girl, look at how he treats his mom. I can write a whole book on the man that is my father. He is truly a man that is a model for all men. I am just touching on how he taught me to be a husband but he has taught me so much more.

The first thing I can think of with dad was a day in which he and ma were in a fight. You remember that they are pretty loud and heated. This one was and the yelling was in full stride. Grandpa was there working away with his usual indifference. As a side note, grandpa (dad’s dad) did odd jobs around the house all the time when I was growing up. He would just carry on as if there was nothing going on when ma and dad were arguing. To him, it was their thing and he had no business getting into it. His just did what he was there to work on. I bet it was a philosophy that a lot of your parents had, huh?

Anyway, dad and ma were getting heated when dad called ma a bad name. I really don’t remember what it was and probably didn’t even know it was bad or a cuss word anyway since I was so young. What I did know was what grandpa did. He was not a very loud person but he sure carried a big stick. He stopped what he was doing, looked up at dad from his kneeling position, and said, “Boy,” in a very even steady tone.

In that instant, both ma and dad were silenced with the shock that grandpa had broken into their arguement. Dad responded quietly with his head hanging, “Yeah pa?”

“You will not call your wife names.”

“Yes, pa.”

He gave a short glance at ma with a red face of shame. Then he left the house and ma left the room. Since that day, they still argued but I never heard him call ma another bad name or even cuss at her again. That was quite a strong lesson for me. In my mind it seems like it was recorded in hi-def. I realized then without knowing it that you never ever said anything you didn’t mean to the one you loved. I would not have been able to tell you that day that is what I learned but I have stuck to this since that day.

Honestly, I have never said any word to my wife or even about my wife that I did not mean. I don’t say anything to anyone that I don’t mean. Of course I have been told that I can sometime be too straight forward because of it. I feel that verbally attacking a person out of anger is really an out of bounds thing to do . . . just like grandpa did. I also think that if dad did not react to the browbeating  grandpa gave him, that I would not have gotten the message so clear. As an adult, I have no idea why I would do such a thing. I know though that when a person has their feelings hurt so bad they will lash out to hurt the other’s feelings in retaliation. It seems like a perfectly understandable reaction to a lot of people. It does not to me. I would rather say that my feelings were hurt but I love you anyway. I bet that would get a reaction.

Grandpa may not have known it but there were two boys that day that got a lesson loud and clear.

My love story - part 1

My parents.

A kid’s first view of what real love is comes from their parents or those who care for them. If you disagree then you are just kidding yourself. Denial is the first stage they say. Do you ever think – I wonder what they feel about my relationship with their mom? If you have kids, you know the next thing I say is the gospel – Kids observe, hear, say, and mimic everything they see. It is actually comical to see how well they can see and hear one thing and apply it, in context, in a whole other situation.  I remember when my wife and I were at a stop light with our boy in the back. A car cut us off and my wife smacked the wheel with a hiss of frustration. That is when a small 2yr old voice drifted up to the front, “Damn it. . . Dam it. . . Damn it.”

My parents are where I begin my love story. My parents were my first model and example of what love between two people was supposed to be like. As I look back at how they treated each other I realized that they truly taught me a lot about what true love was. I am not sure how the outside world saw them because hey. . . .I was just a kid. What did I know outside my bubble of trying to get what I wanted at the time I wanted it? I observed much though and I still do.

As I look back though, I realize that I did notice a lot. One of the things that seemed weird to me is how my friends seemed so nervous around ma and dad when they were fighting. My mom and dad had big yelling matches where they really were getting their point across (Nice way of putting it, eh?). It seems like it was a lot when I was little but then I don’t really think there were that many now. They were loud and they dragged on and on. Ma would cry and dad sometimes got to the point where he would hit something – but NEVER ma of course.  It was pretty terrifying to someone that had not grown up in our house. They would eventually lose steam and part ways for a while. Then they would be fine later that day or the next day. They would make up and it would be over. It was just the way they did arguments.

I didn’t realize it at the time but the friends I had looked differently on this from their point of view. They saw fighting as a precursor to divorce or discontent in the household.  For me and my siblings though, we never considered it. All my siblings and I knew from experience that they would make up and settle up and reconnect. I knew then that there is one thing that superseded everything else. They were married and they needed each other.  Fighting was normal but they loved each other and working it out was just part of their way. They never said anything that would hint to not wanting to be with each other. They never took their anger of the fight out on us either. To my siblings and I, the just fought over it a bit and then. . . well it was over.

I learned a couple things about this that I keep true to me today. Fighting and disagreeing is normal because we are talking about two different people who have feelings and those feelings can be hurt. It does not mean that you don’t love each other or that you bail over a disagreement. I also feel that reconnecting is important. Making up even when you still disagree is part of acknowledging the other’s need to be loved no matter what. It is also a way of saying that they are still important to you even if you are still mad or still disagree.

I also had decided that I never wanted a shouting match fighting style with my wife. Even though I was confident that ma and dad would make up and that they just had to get it out of their system, I personally didn’t care for it. So it seems weird to others when I say that my wife and I don’t fight. We really don’t argue or raise our voices at each other. It is kind of a weird concept to others. But I guess that when they see me with my wife they eventually understand. There are times nagging and complaining happen but those are justly deserved and we both start to carry our weight like we should. But as for the yelling . . . it is just not for me.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Fight Box

Have you heard of this?

 Gather a wooden box, a bottle of wine, and two glasses. Write love notes to each other explaining your feelings as you prepare to start your new life together as husband and wife. Seal your letters without letting the other read them.

During the marriage ceremony, put the letters, wine/glasses, in the box and then take turns sealing it shut with nails. Agree to keep the box sealed for 10, 15, 20 years or when you hit a “rough spot.”

I saw this on Facebook and there were pictures of the bride and groom doing this to go along with it. Of Course this had copious amounts of replies and comments of what a great idea it was and how it was romantic and on and on.

For me though, it rubbed me the wrong way to be honest with you. I think it just shows how today’s thinking and teachings about marriage are not where it needs to be. It is almost as if people are saying that either 1- you need to be reminded why you are married in the first place or 2- a “rough spot” is inevitable and it is likely your marriage will not survive it.

This is absolutely ludicrous to me. First of all, I don’t need reminding of the purpose I married my wife. Every day I wake up next to her I am reminded of how much I enjoy sharing my life with the person I chose to marry. I am comforted by the fact that no matter how I feel or think, I am loved unconditionally. Being married was one of the single most deliberate and purposeful endeavor I have made. I knew that I needed to be married and would find my love of my life. I don’t need some silly box for a “recharge” or reboot.

As for the “rough spots” in our marriage: There are no rough spots in marriage. Is it inevitable the every couple will question their marriage? I suppose this is the way a lot (majority?) of the public feel. I don’t know. This, however, is not true for me. I have never once ever had the slightest thought remotely centered on why I was married and if I even wanted to be married. To me it is stupid and unconscionable. Even the thought of being without her is like thinking of severing off a hand and living without it. You realize. .. this is after 16 years of marriage too.

To me, rough spots are more about life’s challenges. Being married is what gets you through those rough spots instead of questioning your marriage. It is the fear of the outcome that stresses the marriage. It is sad to think that a bad deal in life, which we all have, would make someone want to throw in the towel on their marriage instead of having their marriage actually carry them through it. Hell, that is one part of my marriage I depend on! Trust me; I have had stretches of my life where I probably would have been broken if it were not for my wife. It is hard to imagine but it is absolutely true.

Fighting too is what I don’t understand. Fighting is just an exercise in hurting your wife’s feelings. Really, what is fighting between two people who love each other? It is the venting of hurt feelings. In the process, feelings only get hurt more because our primal selves can be vindictive and vengeful. (wow, that was an intensely deep sentence, huh?) Talking it over and listening is more of a solution if you ask me. If it is something other than that, then maybe some reevaluation needs to be in order. I don’t think love notes in a box can fix it.

I understand the whole Fight Box thing, really, but on the other hand, there needs to be a better intent in getting married in the first place. In needs o be more purposeful and deliberate. Preparing for the “inevitable” is on the front end more so than some box that is waiting to be opened. I just don’t like the tone this puts on the wedding from the beginning.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Is love all infatuation or romantic?

      I am going to stick to romantic love because I think this is where you are going with it.  After being married for 15 years, this is definitely an interesting set of questions. I would say that if people were honest, they would say that there are some attributes of their loved ones that they don’t particularly care for. At the beginning of a relationship though, these characteristics are masked (or ignored) by the “puppy” love that is experienced with all new relationships.

      As time wears on, this infatuation that makes someone blind wears off and they will start to notice those undesirable attributes more. There is a choice then that they need to make – they love them with those “flaws” or they let the flaws be a deal breaker. This is when you see people that are breaking up due to pet peeves and irreconcilable differences. If they end the relationship it is usually because they may think that they didn’t really love that person after all or they fell in love for the wrong reasons or they were not the person that they thought they were and a whole host of other clichés.

      You know me though; I love my wife with an infatuation that will last a lifetime. I would not be honest if I didn’t say there were things she did or said or was a habit that I didn’t care for but, paradoxically,  I love those things too. I can truly say that I love all aspects of my wife – inside and out. This includes personality, morals, beliefs, and physically. Yes, even the undesirable stuff too. I believe that a person can love their spouse completely and wholly. Everything my wife does is part of who she is and I have grown to love them all – even the things that I don’t care for because they are part of her. In a sense, if those attributes happen to go away suddenly, she would be a different person. On the other hand, people are unwilling to accept that the person they marry will change and not be the person they first married 10, 15, or 50 years in the future. This change is part them and their perception, and part is the journey of life experiences. But this idea is for another time.

      It is difficult to love a person just for personality. If men and women were honest, then they would admit that personality, desire, and attractiveness are all linked together. It depends on which one holds the most pull for each person at first but in the end they all play a part. It is like a good friend of mine said one day, “You know, I used to think that Cathy Ireland was so hot . . . then she opened her mouth.” A girl can be very attractive but be nasty and mean or not very bright and suddenly you wonder why you thought they were attractive in the first place. This holds true for a strong relationship and true love. The stronger and deeper my love for my wife grows, the more attractive she is and the more appealing all of her traits are. Those that enter a relationship with a “wishful thinking” attitude may not really be ready for the love they are looking for. They are starting by looking for faults already. Maybe that is the problem in itself. I think that people are not making sure they know what they want to begin with. I don’t think that a person can truly fall in love with a person on personality alone and not start finding themselves being attracted to them physically or not believing the person is attractive. They would just stay close friends instead.

      I have heard the song from John legend called All of Me, and sometimes lyrics can be too paradoxical or demeaning for me while others will think it is romantic or have some deep truth to them. I think that the song is pointing out all the things that he sees that is negative attributes and then saying that he is okay with them. Personally, I really don’t see any negative aspects of my wife. There are some things she does that are not my way or quite my style but they are not negative aspects, just different from me. These things really are a benefit for me since they can help. I am more like the “Just the way you are” by Bruno Mars. This is more of a song that says that the girl sees all these “flaws” in herself and the guy doesn’t see them at all. He loves her and loves everything about her no matter how she feels about herself. Actually it has a tone that it doesn’t matter to him (other than letting her know that no one else sees such things either) because they are not flaws to him. Perspective you know.

      In the end, I just want to put out there one more idea - the idea of romantic love being an infinity emotion. I know I am not old yet but I am old enough and have observed enough of relationships that there is no one love recipe that will cement a lifelong commitment. Every single person has their own unique idea based on wants, needs, desires, preferences, and a host of other criteria. It is almost amazing that any two people can ever have a lifelong marriage. But then again, when they do fall for each other, it is inevitable that the idea of love and what they develop will be much different than what they thought it should or would be. At this point is where that false expectation comes in. The most import thing to realize is that when you criticize another for their relationship , remember it is not yours. Yep, they may be fine with theirs just the way it is just shy of anything that is destructive or illegal. I call romantic love an infinity emotion because of all the variables that inhabit the emotion and the number of people who all have their own unique ownership of their romantic love with their companion. Add to that the gradual change and maturation of the emotion over time and . . . well. See? It is an infinity of possibilities.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

My love story - The Preface.

A love story. When I think of this idea, a lot of romantic movies and novels come to mind. Things like the Thorn Birds, soap operas, the Twilight series and Nicholas Sparks come to mind. I mean – I read a couple of chapters into Twilight and thought “Wait a minute! This is a romance story disguised as a vampire story!” Sorry, I have strong feelings about that. Moving on, these stories send a discordant vibration through my mind and feelings. I shudder when I see this type of romance perpetuated and wonder - How can these modes of media have such a skewed view of love? Why are they so touted on as being so romantic with fluttering women wanting their relationships to be just like them? It is far from the reality of what I have expected out of my relationships. It boggles me.

I have decided that I am going to tell my love story. It will be how I found my wife and the whole struggle to get to this point in my life where I contemplate why my marriage and relationship with her is so strong and steady. It will be boring compared to these over dramatized and unrealistic views I have mentioned. Mine will be inevitably comical and too real for it to be interesting. You see, I feel that my love story started way before I even knew what I thought love was. It does not start the first day I met my wife or the first date I went on in high school or even when I hit puberty. My love story started when I was just a toddler. So that is where the story will begin. A bit unorthodox I know but if you really think about it, you will realize that everything you know about love started long before you even realized it.

There is some wisdom out there that resonates with me in which the person we are today is a culmination of all the experiences up to this point. Insert Captain Kirk, “I need my pain!” It makes you wonder how different a person you would be if you did not have some of those experiences. My view of love is a culmination of my experiences with this weird elusive unpredictable emotion. Most of it was picked up unconsciously when I didn’t know I was learning something but my mind and soul did. People seem to wonder and marvel at my views of my wife and our marriage sometimes when I am talking about her and what I do for her and such. I don’t feel my actions and thoughts or words are that special. To me it all makes sense in my realm of this love idea. I am not sure if they really know how far back I go in my search of lifelong love. We will see if this story is worth telling by the end. Until then, more will be coming.