Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Turkey Day Power Play

Thanksgiving is a holiday I look forward to, mostly for the food and fellowship…in that order. It seems it is a difficult time for any relationship I might be in as well. In recent years the Thanksgiving holiday has coincided with the serving of divorce documents; a date embarrassed me in front of close friends then asked for money to fight her pending drug conviction; and now this year the girl I was seeing backed out of long-planned event and had the feast with someone else! Oddly enough, I still think of this holiday as one of my most favorite days of the year.

My most recent Thanksgiving adventure began back in July when I made plans to have the big meal with my very good friend Lenny and his family. I planned to take my kids and my girlfriend. Everyone involved was informed and eager to go. The first obstacle was presented by my ex wife when she declared that the kids could not go as long as I was “taking that woman” with me. I expressed my disappointment, but didn’t argue with her decision (since I knew that was what she was ultimately after anyway).

In October, my girlfriend and I had lunch with the couple who was hosting the upcoming meal. My girlfriend even volunteered to prepare a dish for the feast. Everything seemed in order for a great holiday as we entered into the later part of November. Then, just one day prior to Thanksgiving, the girl I’d been seeing since January asked what I was doing for the holiday.

“Going to Lenny’s house of course.”

“Why do you always go to his house?”

“Well, for one, there ain’t no food at my place; and two, he invited us and I guarantee there will be a whole lot of really delicious food.”

“I don’t want to go.”

“Why not?” I asked with surprise.

“Because I want to spend the holiday with you.”

“That’s perfect, I’ll be at Lenny’s.”

“You’re not going to spend it with me?”

“If you come with me you will. What’s the problem?”

“I don’t know why you can’t just spend the day with me. But you’d rather go to your friend’s house.”

“Why are you acting like this? This has been planned for months.”

“You never told me about it.” She stated.

“What? Of course I did. It’s been on the schedule since July. Lenny and his wife even told you about it when we had lunch together over a month ago.”

“No, this is the first I’ve heard of it” she insisted.

“Okay” I relented not wanting to argue over something so stupid “I promised to go and I’m going.”

“You’re not going to spend Thanksgiving with me?”

“Not if you’re staying home. I’m going to eat with my friends.”

I went home that night sort of expecting her to call and change her mind. She didn’t. On Thanksgiving day I went to my friends’ house. The girl called about 5:00pm and asked if I was coming over.

“I’m at Lenny’s house and we havent’ eaten yet.”

“You still haven’t eaten?”

“No, not yet. I’ve been waiting all day and am starving. I think we’re waiting on one last person to arrive, then we’ll begin the meal.”

“Well I already ate” she informed me.

“Really?” I asked. “What did you have?”

“Turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and some desserts.”

“What?!” I asked in surprise. “Did you cook?”

“No. I went to a friend’s house.”

I now had another confusing clue as to why she’d refused to come with me today, but I didn’t want to discuss her alternate plans at that time.

“Are you coming over later?” she asked.

“I don’t know. We haven’t begun the meal yet and I won’t want to leave right after. Plus we are having a few drinks.”

“I want to see you.”

“Well, I’ll give you a call when I leave here and if it’s not too late I’ll stop by. Are you working tomorrow?”


“Okay, I’ll give you a call later.” I promised.

Later came quickly. We ate a lot and then had a few drinks. When I realized it was nearing 8:00pm I tried to call, but my iPhone wasn’t working. The screen was frozen in the on position and my attempts to reset it by tapping the menu button didn’t work. I tried the power button on top, but the phone still didn’t respond. I assumed it just needed time so I stuck it back in my pocket and returned to conversing with friends. An hour later I pulled it out and found the exact same thing. I showed the guy next to me and told him it had been in that state over an hour. He removed the iPhone from its case and holding down both the power and menu buttons successfully reset the device. After a restart I was going to make the call, but saw that it was now nearing 10:00pm. Knowing that she had to work early, I decided not to call and simply sent a quick text explaining that I was still at the party and had been unable to call earlier because my phone was frozen. I realized that it would sound like a poor excuse, but I thought telling the truth would be better than neither calling nor texting at all. I never received a response.

The following day I called and left a voice message in the morning. About lunch time I sent another text since I assumed she was busy at work. I never heard from her again.

My reading on the situation is that her weird refusal to participate in Thanksgiving Day plans had nothing to do with her lack of interest in the holiday and everything to do with her attempt to pull a power play. She wanted to see if I would turn my back on friends at her request and forgo my long planned activities just to spend the day with her. She got her answer, though I’m certain it wasn’t what she expected. I got my Thanksgiving meal and it was exactly what I was expecting, though I was disappointed that two crazy women had interfered with my hopes to spend the day happily with friends and my kids.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Difficulty with Breaking Up

I have a tendency to remain too long in relationships even after realizing it isn’t going in a desired direction. I’m more passive in a relationship and will go along just to avoid conflict and keep the other person happy. I’ve been accused of being too nice by some friends. Eventually my discomfort builds up and I require an escape.

Maybe the girl becomes more attached than I intended or realized and before I know it we are skewed in our efforts to enjoy each other’s company. When our hopes and desires don’t match, then every conversation is dominated by suggestions of how we can fix it and what else we might try to create something that we both realize clearly isn’t present. This of course makes spending time unpleasant, uncomfortable and ultimately undesirable. Communication wanes and the whole thing eventually dissolves; often without solid closure.

I had a new thought though: maybe it is I who is the clingy one. Even after repeated failures I continue trying until frustration eventually overthrows the most intense efforts and interests. There are women who I dated years ago and some I haven’t seen in decades, but I still remain in contact with their close friends or immediate family members. Is it odd that twenty years after ending a relationship with a young lady I’m still sending greeting cards, talking on the phone and sharing meals with their father, brother, sister, cousin, niece or grandparent?

If I’m clinging to anything then I’m sure it is the good memories I have from youthful days. But could the extent to which I maintain an attachment be considered obsessive?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Marriage: Yes or No?

I saw a report on television a few days ago concerning a survey which revealed nearly half of Americans questioned reportedly could not see any true value in marriage.

Legally, it is skewed.
Emotionally it can be tortuous.
Financially, it is quite often disastrous.

There is far more to lose than to gain. Clearly the negatives outweigh the positives.
Married men are not even afforded the same opportunity for hope frequently given to convicted felons: the coveted chance for early parole or sentence reduction.

Most of those still holding out hope for a legal union being the answer to it all are simply too unfamiliar with the world to have a grasp on things. They are young, inexperienced with relationships and still fantasizing about such fairy tale possibilities as a prince riding a white horse rolling onto the scene of a gorgeous young maiden laid out on a slab in the wilderness all his for the taking.

Did you ever notice that most of the older people cast in major roles in fairy tales are not ones who children would wish to emulate. They are often cruel or sad figures representing the evils of fading youth. The malevolent king, the evil stepmother, the old wrinkled witch, the sad old lady living in a shoe, the hungry old cannibal lady who is so hungry that she tries to lure lost children into her home and eventually into her oven.

Who wrote these horrible stories and why were they so adamantly against mature folks?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are You Hosting?

A tick embedded in your skin is always with you. But this companion is neither friend nor an equal partner. It takes from you what it needs to live and gives you nothing in return except possible severe illness.

Unmolested, it will remain with you as long as you permit it to do so: sucking you dry for sustenance. The tick will always be a burden to its host.

It has no special feelings for you and will quickly latch onto another should you become unavailable, unwilling or unworthy.

There are people who behave just like the tick. If you find yourself as a host, wise up and pluck the parasite off immediately.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Divorce provided the opportunity for me to reconnect with my parents

A child matures towards adulthood and seeks to expand his horizons, make his own decisions and experience a long dreamed of freedom. It is completely normal that we depart the home of our parental figures and seek to develop and create our own lives.

After the divorce, I began talking more to my parents. My mother worried about me as well as my young children so I tried to ease their minds by greatly increasing the frequencies of my telephone calls and visits. It was a positive experience that as an adult I had the rare opportunity to reconnect with my parents. My parents clearly enjoyed the increased communication, visits and vacations together as well. All of those experiences most likely never would have had occurred had I continued on the original path of matrimony.

It was a coming home of sorts. It helped me and my parents as well through a difficult time. The resulting closer relationship with my mother was a Godsend; for us both. Dr. Freud would surely have had something to say about that comment, but then his mind ran on a single track. Wherever life took him, his train always circled back to that single station of perverted thought.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Men and Women Don't Hear the Same Thing in Silence

This once again exhibits the extreme difference between men and women. A man
can sit quietly on the sofa, in the car or relaxing on the patio with his preferred female companion without a word being spoken. The silence allows the man to relax and his comfort is definitely enhanced by the knowledge that he has a lovely, faithful companion beside him. These are the times when a man can ponder
how wonderful it is to actually be in a relationship and appreciate the fact that he
has found such a woman with whom he can share such a feeling of partnership. But that same woman, sitting so very near to that relaxed, content man, is not experiencing the same comfortable bliss. Instead, her female mind is racing through scores of scenarios concerned with why he isn’t talking:

Who is he thinking of?
What is he angry about?
Is he going to dump me?
Does he have another woman?
Is he unhappy here?
Is he feeling trapped and is now searching for a way to escape from me?
Is he thinking of something I did which upset him?
Is he remembering the time I didn’t do that thing he wanted me to do?
Is it because of something I said?
Is it because of something I haven’t yet told him?
Is he wondering how much I spent on this dress?
Does he think this dress makes me look fat?
The list is probably without end, but I am working with a man’s brain so I can only must a short compendium of similar worries I’ve heard previously.

I was myself in just such a situation once and it pains me to admit that it was actually me who broke both the silence and the sentiment. “My favorite time with you is when you’re not talking” I said sweetly. Being the astute ladies man that I am quite well known to be, I actually employed this very line on a young lady. Needless to say, it didn’t go over very well. You can pour a half-ton of sweetener of your choice on a pile of crap, but it will never convert it into a desirable treat.

But I’d like to take this opportunity to explain to you the true meaning behind the statement which I never had the chance to explain to my fleeing ex lady friend. What I actually intended was a compliment. It was meant to be an observation that our relationship had reached a point where we didn’t feel the constant need
to impress and entertain each other. We were comfortable with the knowledge that we were both where we wanted to be and we could share a moment of silent togetherness that clearly expressed, even with the absence of words, our devotion and contentment. That was when I had to open my big mouth and ruin it by interjecting my totally unnecessary words of not-too-well-thought-out wisdom.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Controlling, Bossy Woman

I am not a fan of the overbearing woman. That is not to say that I might not occasionally enjoy being dominated by an aggressive woman, but my particular tastes are focused more on certain intimate occasions on which I shall dwell no further at this time. What I am addressing right now are the women who are unwilling to restrict their overpowering tendencies to private quarters and instead insist on treating a man like a rough chunk of stone just waiting to be sculpted at their fingertips. Real men are meant to be rough and jagged like a stone. Too much grooming and refining will eventually convert a man into a
creepy sort of metrosexual with all the masculinity and personality of an ostrich egg. In my relationships, I desire to be the wielder of the chisel.

A strong, independent woman can be very attractive. In fact, that is exactly what I crave for the long term. But the problem arises when a woman takes on a man not as a partner, but as a project. From the onset she is less focused on who, how and
what he is than who, how and what she believes she can transform him into. It’s the classic princess desiring the frog story in which only she has the powers to lift the ugly that nature cast upon him and reveal his true elegance and potential. In short, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

The truth be told, there are many men who do enjoy being kept. And by kept, I don’t just mean being provided for; heck, I think I could deal with that one if the opportunity ever came along, but this is more about having every aspect of your very being dictated to you. Still, there are plenty of men who enjoy just that. I guess it does free you from the burden of decision making when your partner never asks your opinion and never considers your input. But that just ain’t the thing for me.

There are men who consider the woman’s constant tinkering and perfecting as signs of affection. They will gladly sit up, roll over and perform her every command as if in the throes of canine obedience training; perfectly content with the attention their lover is bestowing upon them. They consider this attention
as true proof of her interest. I believe this view is misguided. If her every effort is meant to alter his behavior, then is it really him that she wants? It seems to me that if she’s trying to cast him in a different mold, then maybe he had better snap out of that pheromone induced trance and consider who it is she is trying to make him emulate. Check it out mate…it is detrimental to your present and future to understand where her motivations are coming from. Clearly she must have an end result in mind and that may be one of a man that she has already had or desires to
have in her life. If a fellow requires such extensive training and changing, he probably isn’t the real man she desires anyway. A ball of clay requires a whole lot of manipulating before it ever reaches the point where it will be placed on display, shown off and bragged about. I’m just saying that if a guy is serving as her clay (not necessarily restricted to guys with the name ‘Clay’) then he ought to have a little concern regarding what she imagines the masterpiece will look like before he completely turns himself over for remaking. Some fellows might never recover from being thrust forcefully onto the spinning knob of that contraption used to form clay. I mean, clearly such an experience can cause serious harm to a man; mentally as well as physically.