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.