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Archive for the tag “truth”

You Sir, Are No Gentleman

I met him about 40 years ago. He was a funny, handsome (by some/many standards), charismatic young man. He was my friend, AND I kept him at-arms-length. I was married but even if I had not been he could not have ever been more than my friend. He was involved in a serious relationship and then there were the others. Oh, how he enjoyed the others. His horrible mantra was “8 to 80 blind, crippled, or crazy…” Now I know one might read this and already think they know my friend. One might wonder how/why I would call him my friend. One might wonder why I am even bothering to write about him. Well, the first thing that must be conveyed is my friend is merely a metaphor for a particular type of man and this is the story of how we can all find ourselves involved with this guy in a fashion one would have been willing to wager, would not/could not happen.

He walked onto the workroom floor in a way that let you know he was trouble. Then he’d flash his smile or pick up a heavy package or hold the door. You’d find yourself thinking and or saying, “You are so sweet”. I laughed as I saw my co-workers fall for him one by one. He had his pick, and he was by no stretch selective. He was an opportunist’s opportunist. Due to his nature, he did try his tactics with me. He did find I was a person of my word. He did not have time to alter who/what he was. There was a plethora of opportunity around, AND they were FAR less trouble. Thus, we became friends. He and I had philosophical discussions of the ills of his behavior, treatment of women, and his disregard of relationships. In my 20’s I pegged him, I also pegged his kinder, more subtle counterpart (the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing). Yet, through-it-all the reality of the situation, was we were all friends.

Years later, miles apart I discovered my friend had passed away from a heart attack. I found out from his counterpart, who continuously denied being anything like his buddy, all the while demonstrating he was exactly the same guy. It was no surprise (to me) that I did end up being personally involved with the “wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing” once I was widowed. I walked into it with my eyes wide open. I did fortunately escape. Even though I did not really want to escape. Nothing would have pleased me more than to be the one that captured the “wolf”. However, because I had been so “close ” to him, I could NOT ignore the signs.

As I fast forward, as I look at yet another archetype…I do wonder HOW I found myself involved with a new “wolf”! Too old, too smart, too sophisticated, too experienced for such nonsense to take place…yet it did. I can happily and not so happily say, I got out with minimal damage. I cannot help but send out the warning. It is as in all situations, someone doing something bad makes it hard for a righteous person or one trying to do the right thing. Somewhere out there a true gentleman, a true romantic, a truly good guy will have to be subject to scrutiny and suspicion Additionally, possible good relationships will be jeopardized and ultimately fail because of these bad actors and the need to protect our hearts, souls and purses. Be safe out there ladies, the wolves walk among us. They can appear to be sweet, chivalrous, good, kind, and yes church-going-fellows…BUT they are by no stretch GENTLEMEN.

Just Somebody I Used To Know

I was about 18 years old and madly in love…with a young man who was NOT in love with me. One day while I was sitting at my job looking sad, likely just finishing my daily cry, one of my friends who was quite handsome himself, came to me and asked what was wrong. I told him of my lament. He sweetly told me, all you have to do is stop letting him have the power to hurt you, all you have to do is let him go. While that sounds like it is almost too simple to work, it was good advice. He was right. That’s another story, however it sets the tone for this piece.

In the wake of political decisions that seemingly are hurling us into our backward pasts, our friends, family, associates are polarized and vocal. It is happening in places and with individuals you could never imagine. Mine occurred in a subtle, innocent conversation with somebody I used to know. What started off and was, I believe was intended to be a casual, friendly talk and possible meet-up/reconnect became an eye-opening startle. The arrogance and entitlement came blustering through. I guess he thought he was being funny and cute. He may not even be aware that he was coming off offensive to me, for it was the undertones that came blaring out at me, even though he was not exactly directing his smug thinking at me.

Perhaps he had a bad day, maybe it was a direct encounter that prompted the talk. He could have been coming to someone he felt was close enough to in order feel something other than what he conveyed…end result is he unwittingly, unknowingly showed me something that made me feel quite happy we were no longer involved, and our contact was sporadic. Furthermore, he made me know that we cannot be ANYTHING even on the most miniscule level. I don’t even want to be in the same room with him. In my “eyes” he is a cretin. He disguised himself well, but the truth is any one of us can behave ourselves for a short period of time. What I find so ironic is that he did not consider the consequences of him revealing himself to me or affecting me in such a way that was not positive. Therefore, he had no reason to think I would not want to be in his presence. He clearly sees nothing wrong with what he said and that makes “us” having interaction even more ridiculous.

I thought maybe being around me, my ways, my points of view made him consider things outside his norm. There did not seem to be any communication issues, we talked a lot. However, once we were no longer involved, he was allowed/forced back to what was his comfort zone, the small narrowminded spaces he occupied along with the same type of people overtook him and returned him to something he had considered venturing away from.

I wish I was a big enough person to want to “pull his coat-tail”, I wish I could get beyond my being offended to try to inform and enlighten a once seemingly good person. I am not, all I want him to do is go back where he came from, no longer invade my space and allow me to forget I ever met such a human. Then if I ever by chance run into and cannot avoid him completely, I can tell myself he is somebody I used to know, with a question-mark.

Perfect For Me

Okay the universe has jokes. I am quite serious here and furthermore it’s sense of humor is in poor taste!

One minute you are moving along ready to finish a good night’s sleep, when you are awakened to find yourself in the throes of a nightmare…a nightmare that you cannot awake from. Spiraling and spiraling until finally you do wake only it is to an existence you have no knowledge or recollection of.

In this new place you are beginning to pull yourself together, you have been successful in dodging the new obstacles put in your path. Now you are at a point where there is “light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel” and in he walks.

He is simply, more of everything you think you want. How is that possible? You go from not truly believing he actually exists, to thoughts of “how nice it is going to be to settle down…at least for a night or two. Here it comes another obstacle, the perpetual curve ball. You now get to watch him slowly walk away and disappear into the same light you thought signaled an end to the bleak and sad places you occupy.

It is one thing to experience the disappointment in finding out what you thought and believed you want/need in a mate is a step away from a sheer “fairytale”, it is quite another to come face to face with it in human form virtually inches from your grasp. The truth is both scenarios yield the very same results, and it is not a “happy ending” for you.

We spent hours eating and then just talking. The lunch menu changed to the dinner menu. He must have left a generous tip because we were only met with an occasional glance as folks lined up outside awaiting a table and we occupied one that would accommodate a group of 5 or more people. Unable to get beyond this encounter and wondering could it be possible the universe was at last going to allow things to be righted for me. This is where I get to convey it felt like it went well, but common sense told me this would never happen. for the obstacles were REAL.

All in all, I had met a nice guy, a new friend but still I was to be plagued with the “what if’s”. What if I had never moved, what if he lived closer, what if we had met before I moved, what if I move back… the possibilities were endless. I daydreamed about this being the one I longed and wanted for. I also shook myself back into the realm of reality… the other state felt so much better.

Driving back home I thought of song lyrics…”a taste of honey is worse than none at all”. I was happy and sad this had not gone farther with the one who checked all of my boxes. Barring the really important one.

Happy Endings

Are there such things? What does the title say to you? I think to figure the endings out we must start with the beginnings. In the spirit of where many of us are let’s address this as a result verses a consequence. On the road to connecting with a partner/ companion/ love interest we encounter many obstacles.

Our age group being a huge factor. We can lie to ourselves and say, “age aint nuthin but a number” but in actuality age is far more than a number. With one’s time on the planet we gain certain things by virtue of mere exposure. Some of these things we keep, cherish and utilize. Others we carry like heavy baggage waiting to be unloaded.

For me treading these “murky waters” of senior dating clearly (forgive the pun) there have been far more failures than successes. I am being kind; for the plain truth is they have all been failures. This is not a blame game either. I do believe they have been simple mismatches, well at least the majority of them. Yet with that in mind, it is still not easy to tell someone This is NOT working. People take that statement personally in the most negative of ways and that is NOT always the case.

Like I said earlier we need to examine the beginnings. I have experienced some seemingly great starts. Good conversationalists, intelligent, attractive, tall… most of the ones that have not worked out, I am thankful have ended in very early stages. Not a lot of time, effort, or emotion vested. With this particular “relationship” type things usually just drop off, the calls become less and less until there are none, you look up and months have gone by, and soon you realize YOU have gone on. Then there are the “ghostings” a bit more of a sensitive subject and covered briefly in prior piece. I will again state sometimes there is just nothing to say, no case to be made, but when it happens the party being ghosted does not understand. Why not just take it as… if this is all they have for me there truly is nothing that needs to be said. However, we are human; rejection does not sit well with most of us, we are curious and sensitive. There IS the need to know “why”. This writer is challenged by this very thing as well. I have to say I should follow my own advice in these cases. I am certain there will be more not-so-pleasant breaks. I also feel like we have to be subjective in the way we view what a happy ending if. Sometimes you are lucky you get the one you want, and everything is good. Other times you do not walk away with the intended party and that too is a good thing. Just a couple of brief examples and in either case, the respective endings can still be happy.

Because I Live Here

On the heels of Earth Day, one may find themselves in activist mode. It certainly seems that way for me. I look around the community, my street and I see signs of folks that are selfish and unconcerned. That distresses and annoys me. I remember a time, not-so-long ago when the airways were flooded with warnings and pleas for US/Americans NOT to litter. While in many places I travel to as well as where I live littering is NOT a huge problem one has to be aware that it wouldn’t take much for the scales to tip the other way.

Why should one take time out to concern themselves with such a matter? I will tell you as I tell strangers and neighbors alike when they see me picking up trash “out and about“; simply, “Because I live here.” Look I do NOT enjoy picking up after others, but the flip side would be to let the trash and debris sit there or blow around. It takes away from the aesthetic of the area and it sends other offenders the message it is okay to toss their trash out in this area too. Thus, the problem becomes unsightly and unbearable, when one can provide a quickfix. We have to feel responsible for the place we live in, not just our small little space on a street, but in the grand scheme of things, for the planet. My hope is not just to get others involved in the clean-up but that the perpetrators will simply stop adding to the breakdown of civil awareness and civic duty. They will see first-hand that someone does actually care even if they don’t. The human subconscious is a peculiar thing, guilt, remorse and responsibility can work together in order to produce the desired effect and/or being. Now this may not work everywhere, it may not be for everyone, but so far it is doing what I want to do for now.

One cannot be sporadic or easily discouraged, this is a battle which will not be won overnight. However, the cause is worthy, and everyone benefits. Be it your neighborhood, the office you work at, or a public park; these places are ALL a part of the community of the planet Earth, and after it is all said and done, we live here too.

And the Oscar Goes To….

What can one say when they bear witness to something but have only a few facts? Are we to trust our very own deceiving eyes? Can we believe our betraying ears? What could we have missed? We speculate, we listen to the so-called experts, critics, and fans. In the end the conclusion is as varied as the individuals that draw them. Therefore, let us begin…

For decades now I have made it my business NOT to take in the pageantry, tradition, grandeur and fluff of award shows. This is a far cry from what I once did. From the red-carpet attire to the acceptance speeches, for years I was captivated. Oscar’s, Grammy’s, Tony’s, Emmy’s, SAG, American Music; I made time for them all. I may have not watched from beginning to end but I took in a good part of them. I knew the main players and recipients of the biggest bounty.

As time went on, as it happens, many things changed. People stopped holding these events in high esteem; the events seemed to be losing momentum, the attire was the first to fall on the wayside and the behavior was the next casualty. I recall watching in utter disgust as a band came forward to accept their award and one of the members spat as he walked toward the stage. This was the Grammy’s, and it was held inside with carpeted floors and upholstered seats. We won’t even talk about how they were dressed I had seen enough. It was not a surprise that I no longer held any interest. Thankfully, things improved, and the award shows returned to what they resembled in past years. I, however, was scarred and to me they lost their zeal. The advent of the internet allowed me to get the results without having to dedicate hours to watching the entire event(s). Problem solved.

It pains me to write this, but as with countless others I feel I have something to say. I have an opinion…and we know what is said about opinions. I was positively appalled by Will Smith’s display Sunday March 27,2022. One can argue he cracked, or he was defending his wife’s honor. Henceforth the record will show a black man assaulting another black man on stage, televised around the world. What a pretty picture, Will. As you broke through a barrier you trashed the area around it with stereotypical behavior. You showed the world violence and foul language, in an instant and no one took into account the possible reasons why.

Many things should have prevented this from happening. Where was security at the event? Why was Will permitted to calmly walk up on that stage assault Chris and walk back to his seat and stay to accept his award later in the show? Academy FAIL.

Why did Will take offense to a joke (no matter whether one feels was in poor taste or not) after he was seemingly seen/filmed laughing at the same joke, to the point the felt compelled to behave in such an uncivilized manner. Under the guise of being disrespected he demonstrated disrespect. Under the guise of protecting, he unmercifully attacked. Though he later apologized to everyone EXCEPT who was physically harmed. And no one was fooled by a publicist version of an apology to Chris the next day. Will Smith FAIL.

As unpopular as this may be let us shine the spotlight on the so-called catalyst in this situation…Will’s wife Jada. Jada, who was so deeply hurt and saddened by Chris’ unkind words (NOTE coming from a comedian it is called a joke) regarding her alopecia, she could not find the strength in her very own character to stop her husband/her protector from putting himself in a very questionable position? For as it has been noted, all it took was a look from Jada to prompt Will’s assault, it is very possible/probable a touch, a word could have prevented this chain of events that took place subsequently. Jada Pinkett-Smith FAIL.

Finally, we must examine the man who was the ultimate target, Chris. Chris is NOT a saint. Chris IS a comedian, a comedian charged with hosting an award show, and he did it with the tools of his trade…JOKES. He is not the first comedian to tell jokes at the expense of others, he is not the only comedian to tell jokes at the expense of others, and hopefully he will not be the last…. This IS what comedians do. Actors act, singers sing, dancers dance…. See a correlation here? What Chris did do was, demonstrate class and professionalism under conditions many of us may not have. Chris Rock PASS with honors.

I have heard and read; it was staged, Chris got what he deserved, and let he without sin cast the first stone.

This writer’s take away… have RESPECT and don’t take yourself too seriously. In a joyous situation allow the celebration to take center stage and IF you understand the concept/definition of RESPECT all situations will be handled appropriately.

Tribute

For as long as I can remember, she was tall and strong. She commanded respect, you had better NOT cross her. She was my mom/our mom.There are four of us and each of us had a unique experience with her. So we can think of her collectively and as individuals. I know a great deal about her, yet there are mysteries that I will never be able to explain.

I watched her work by my father’s side, even though her wanted her to stay at home. She put the family first;  if he needed help he did not have to look far and it was the same for her. When we had cookouts, he manned the pit, but she was in the kitchen doing prep work.If he was under the hood changing the oil, she was holding the tools. If he cut the grass, she had the edger. She told many clients where they might go, when they tried to be unfair or avoid paying them. And her words were not empty/idle threats. A woman who only went to Jr. College in Kansas City, she knew her way around law and business. I could see her holding off  the klan with a shot gun ( for imaginative purposes only). She and my dad taught us what a marriage should be, and made the standard pretty tough to live up too by virtue of exposure to theirs.

Mom taught me things without ever saying a word, but I understood the lesson. I could tell her anything and  I did.She told me I was independent and self assured, I merely followed the example she set forth for me. Even when I did not believe I could do something I tried because I knew she expected that from me. I had never seen anything different from her and I knew she was watching me, if only in spirit. I tried to make her proud of me because I loved and admired her more than I have words for.

We lost her last year on October 30th 2015. I have not stopped crying, though I am told I will. I know I will forever miss her. I try to be happy and move on because she clearly thought I was strong and brave like her, but that was an illusion. I could be as she imagined I was, when she was here nearby here on Earth. More of the illusion. Now I am left to fly solo, and if you think that just because you are 50+ years old you do not need your mother you are grossly mistaken. Therefore, on what would have been her 83rd birthday I would like to pay tribute to my mom, Lorene Cates. You were the smart, strong compassionate, loving and beautiful woman I aspire to be. To this day, Mom I am in awe of you, my love is everlasting.

 

 

 

 

Still Explaining Himself

Okay, our President was in Britain this past week.The Mayor of London, THE MAYOR remember this, criticized OUR President for something he is so obviously ill equipped to address, beyond personal opinion. Britain’s possible departure from The            European Union. This “mayor” suggested that President Obama should not be urging Britain to stay in the EU because (and I am paraphrasing here people) he removed a bust from The Oval Office. Wow. That makes perfect sense for a “National Enquirer, tabloid style remark. He went on to suggest The President being part Kenyan makes his dislike for Britain clear. Our President once again demonstrated why He is The President and the likes of Mayor Boris Johnson is NOT!  Take time to view The Presidents remarks regarding the Churchill bust.Winston Churchill’s very own grandson stated Boris’ remarks were inappropriate.   Once again racism knows no bounds. When challenged or even if it is just a simple opportunity to TRY to be relevant the small minds of racist jump at a chance to be seen. Too bad “The London Fog” could not mask it’s mayor’s  narrow mindedness and stupidity.

And You Appear To Be Normal

I think one of the more challenging things about having a loved one with dementia        ( trust me there are a host of them) is their appearance.  We are so arrogant in what we deem to be basic knowledge;  when a condition or disease or situation presents itself to you and when you are personally involved, the logic flies out the window. You reach for anything that will help you feel better, because you are hurting. You are hurting when you don’t even know it. One day you will , and chances are it will come crashing down on you.

I was scanning through some very recent pictures of my mom, and while she did not look great she did not look like the person she is now.  She has help with personal things like dressing and hygiene. Little things like combing her once beautiful hair, has to be assisted or she will INSIST, her hair looks fine.

I am not dealing with it realistically, I can escape reality because I am not right there. However, when I am there physically, I am still not where I should be. I am putting on a strong face, because when I think about what is happening, when I allow myself to  accept my mom is not going to get better, it makes me so very sad and I weep. I cannot allow myself to sink into that place, because the business of life must go on.  I am grateful she is not deathly ill in a hospital. I do question quality of life matters. She is able to stay in her home with the help of my younger brother. You must understand there is so much more going on though.

Therefore, fair warning and a reminder “Things are not always what they appear to be.”

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet

Once-upon-a-time I carried mail; I was a pretty good carrier but I had several pretty nice routes in Los Angeles, California. I no longer work for the USPS, but what I have witnessed lately has me shaking my head with disapproval and disbelief.

What I have personally witnessed is mail delivery at night and I mean DARK OF NIGHT and mail delivery on Sunday!  What’s more is these are not outside incidents they occur regularly and they are happening in totally different regions. The night delivery happened in Inglewood, California. The Sunday delivery happened in Duluth, Georgia. This tells me there is a problem and it is NOT on a small scale.

Now maybe I missed the memo, but what my last communication talked about was the possible elimination of Saturday. There was no talk of replacing the Saturday delivery with nighttime or Sunday delivery, which is incidentally preposterous. When i was hired in 1985 “Special Delivery” carriers were being phased out. These were the carriers who delivered on days and at times the average carrier would not/did not. Also there were generally NOT delivering REGULAR mail.

I will start with delivering regular mail at night, it is dangerous and with the limited vision “misdeliveries” have to be at an all time high.When you see a carrier with a miner’s cap on walking door to door, you have to wonder what the manager is thinking. If someone walked up to my door after dark, making all kinds of noise that sounds like the are trying to compromise my security, calling the police would be the least of their concern.

Then there is Sunday. Okay this to me indicates the work load is out of control and/or poor planning, plus insufficient time management. Look at things from this standpoint, what business is really conducted on Sunday?  Therefore, where is the urgency? It is only urgent because that mail has been delayed.

This is a “pet-peeve” of mine, as I still utilize the U.S.Mail for small jobs, but I still expect to be dealing with a professional agency. I  still have friends that work for the USPS, I am not trying to discredit the agency, but I do see problem. I don’t want to read about a carrier being injured or killed, because of  an unsafe practice.

Therefore, if you see a carrier walking the streets at night or dropping mail off at your house on a Sunday, bother to take time out and write a letter to the USPS first, and if you don’t get a response your congressman next. Let it be known this is UNACCEPTABLE. If you don’t expect anything from an individual that is exactly what you will get, NOTHING. The same goes for agencies and industries. Expect and DEMAND more!

 

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