Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ole Fashion Love

I cried; and I'm not one easy to tears.  But I did cry during and especially at the end of the movie The Notebook starring Gena Rowlands and James Garner.

Initially, I had no intent to see the movie people were raving was so special.  In fact it was 7 years after the release of the movie before I decided to take a look (this was only because all the good movies had been taken).

When the movie opens, I'm already thinking this is the "same ole soapy love story" and ya da ya da ya da.  But within minutes, I realized The Notebook was not going to be that "same ole soapy love story" because the main characters are not buxom, no longer brazen, nor beautiful 20 something actors.  The main characters are tried and true older actors, well-known and recognized for their long and successful careers, and it was element that made The Notebook worth raving about and crying through.

Seemingly surreal for Hollywood, as well as to the general public, is the idea that aged people, "old" people were once young and in love; remember, know and still experience being in love.  Why we as a society don't know or don't want to know love exist not only for the young, is silly because, if things work out - we all get old(er).

Without giving too much away about the movie, I will say that it is a very lovely, loving, love story about ole fashion love and paints a picture of hope that says, "You're never too old for ole fashion love."



Friday, March 16, 2012

Prisoner to Love

People are just amazing!

I watched a news/mystery show that focused on a woman who said she would wait and work to free her "wrongly" convicted husband for as long as it takes. And I thought, people are amazing (actually I thought crazy, but realize that's a bit judgmental). The woman's unwavering support of her husband who was sentenced to prison for 15 years to life for cold-blooded murder, amazed me! The story got me to thinking about how amazing it is - as in unbelievable - so many women commit to be a "prisoner of love" when they choose to marry a man committed to prison.

"Could you support a friend who wanted to marry a convicted prisoner?"
Although this well-to-do couple had been married some years before the prison sentence, I wondered in amazement of this woman's devotion which is similar to those women who disregard family, friends, clergy and good sense to marry a convicted rapist, murder, child molester in prison who may never see the light of day again outside those prison walls.  It begs the question, "What would possess a woman to marry a man in prison?"

According to websites for/about/in support of prison marriages there are several standard reasons (desperation, citizenship, attention, etc.)  Yet, unlike most of my blogs, I provide no link to these sites because my intent is not to present a discussion, but to clearly state my opinion without any hint of  doubt.

"No, I would not support a friend who wanted to marry a prisoner." 

Short and to the point, "prison is not supposed to be pleasurable" as rights and privileges are revoked once you are convicted and sentenced to prison.  I am not advocating inhumane treatment, brutality or denial of basic human rights - even to prisoners. However, to support a friend who wants to become a "prisoner of love" is not loving on my part.

I know love is powerful.  Love can heal.  Love can change people's heart.

I also know that love, true love does not lead us astray, does not put you in harm's way, is not desperate and certainly true love would not make you a prisoner in any way.

To be continued...


Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Mother's Man

In the 1967 hit movie, The Graduate she was called Mrs. Robinson, today she is called "cougar" as in older-women-who-date-younger men.  These women are at least 8 (often 10-15) years older than the men they date and are called "cougars" because of their so-called stalk-and-ambush predator animal nature. And there are tons of websites devoted to "cougar" pursuit (or pleasure) depending on your point of view; as well as the popular TV shows like Cougar Town starring Courtney Cox and its predecessor the Reality TV show Kept, which starred Jerry Hall.

The growing popularity of shows like Cougar Town and Kept undoubtedly help people see the once frowned upon older-women-dating-younger-men scenario in a new, perhaps more neutral light.  However, there are still (and always will be) relationships hurdles, humps and bumps.

For example, what happens when your mother brings home a man who is not only your age, but it turns out "your mother's man" used to be your man some 6 months earlier. I know it reeks of daytime soap opera drama, but there's no need to make this stuff up.  I myself have been privy to a few personal stories just like this. Suffice to say, this will be a very interesting dinner gathering.

It's fascinating talk but can be quite awkward when your mother is dating someone your age that you dated (and yes, I mean a guy you've already had sex with).  So what's the protocol when the door opens and "your mother's man" used to be your man?

1.  Keep on doin' what you doin
At this point, "it is what is" - so there's no need for you to loose your composure and not treat this man as cordially as you would any other man your mother may date. Stay in the now.  I know it might take a minute to regain your composure, but be your best you.  Smile and put aside your surprise, confusion, anger and possible disappointment (considering your mother got the guy you couldn't keep).   Likewise, I hope he will also keep on doin' what he's doin' - stay in the now - greet you cordially.

2.  Don't do him
Even if your mother leaves the room for ice, to refresh drinks or get the dessert, don't do the "what the hell are you doing with my mother" look. Don't do the "what the hell are you doing with my mother" silent whisper (mouthing the words with contorted face).  And certainly don't do the under the table hanky-panky with "your mother's man" because you want to rekindle what you had when he used to be your man. 

3.  When the time is right, talk about it
There are two schools of thought when it comes to talking it out.  One perspective advocates putting it out there to your mother, talking about it and getting it out of the way so all parties can get beyond the fact that "your mother's man" used to be your man.  The second thought cautions you say nothing to mother (or him) about the fact that "your mother's man" used to your man.  Here the thought is "let sleeping dogs lie" (not that guy is a dog), what your mother doesn't know can't harm her and ignorance is bliss (after all the relationship may fizz in 2 days and you and mom might have a good laugh together about it).

Either way, I think after you've weighed it, given it considerable thought and thought it through, you'll know which avenue to take when the time is right to talk about it.  Most importantly, I think the situation should be handled with the Hippocratic Oath to "first do no harm" to the relationship with your mother.   

So if one day you open the door to find "your mother's man" used to be your man, after you take a deep breath, remember that "cougars" - women like your mother - are just like most women - ISO, looking for,  the hunt for love.

To be continued...


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Text the Love

Keep the voice, I like "text mex" which is what I call text messaging.

But then I've always been more a writer than talker. But before text messaging, I wrote letters and lots of love letters. And I received lots of love letters, which I still have and hold dear. In fact, it was those letters that kindled the relationship with the love of my life.

I remember the day we met so many years ago. I was reluctant to even show up for the date, because, well I wasn't sure he was "my type" - and he wasn't. But it didn't take long for that to change, not long at all. However, as life would have it, no sooner did we fall deeply and madly in love, we were separated. His mother lived all the way cross the country in California, beautiful San Diego and she needed him. And he needed to go to her as their relationship needed mending and this - as grace would have it - was an opportunity to create balance for mother and son.

So the love of my life had to leave; but he didn't want to leave me, I didn't want him to leave, and neither of us wanted to leave the relationship. Instead we promised we would stay in touch until we could be back together. And we did, he did.

He wrote me love letters; beautiful, long and passionate, caring and intimate, love letters. And although, I was the writer, he was the master of words when it came to love letters. And love me he did.

So intimate, so expressive, so sincere, his love letters kept me; kept me from listening to all those silly thoughts that sometimes seeped into my head. His love letters kept me, kept me from wondering if he really loved me as he said he did. His love letters kept me; kept me knowing that we were supposed to be together, he would return and we would be together. His love letters kept me; kept our love.

In this walk down memory lane I was thinking about how today's "text mex" might compare to those love letters that seeded, nurtured and bloomed our relationship.

Can you "text the love" and bloom a relationship as you can when you "write the love" in a letter?

Absolutely not!
Love letters is something technology can not replace.

Sure, go ahead do online dating and get matched to meet him. Let your friend "friend you" to her. Or even get linked through a network site. I get with technology on meeting someone through either of those connections. However, don't kid yourself into thinking you can develop intimacy with 140 characters; you can't - and without intimacy, how loving can a relationship be?

Love letters, unlike "text mex" go inside, dig deep and come passionately.

Try it for yourself.  Take the forefinger and the thumb off that tiny touch pad. Get a pen and a lined paper pad and "write the love" in a letter. Seal it, send it and see the difference. One page, two pages, three pages - doesn't really matter, but the fact that you "write the love" in a letter will.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Too Fat for Love

People are always saying "Beauty is only skin deep" as if there's something wrong with being beautiful. There isn't, and if true be told we all love beauty and want to be beautiful. There's nothing wrong with being attracted to someone because of the way they look, after all, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." But what happens when the "Beholder" no long finds you beautiful because you don't look the same?

Is it fair to break up with someone who has gained so much weight you consider them too fat for love?

On the surface most people would probably say it isn't fair to break up with someone just because they gained too much weight. However, underneath the fear of reproach and closer to the core of honesty, I think many would consider it is fair to break up with someone because they gained too much - and I for one would agree. That's right, I think it's as legitimate a cause for break up as any other  reason.  And before you get way offended, let me tell you why.

An overweight lover is setting you up for big disappointments - because being overweight is unhealthy, costly and limits one's quality of life. Quality of life means the opportunities; options and choices that can help you create a happy life. However, if you have an overweight lover, he/she will limit their opportunities, options and choices for quality of life - as well as your.  But think about the ramifications of being overweight; it's not rocket science and it's not being mean.

(Note this is not a discussion about people with health related reasons for overweight - and no one should be skin and bones). 

Yet, on the most basic level if a person is overweight they may not want to be active, that can mean anything from strolling hand-in-hand through the mall with you, taking a nice stroll through a park or along a moonlit beach together. Chance are an overweight person just won't feel up to it because being overweight depletes energy, not to mention makes the heart work harder and that can be painful. So who wants to be with someone who doesn't want to do stuff? And what about something like travel? Do you know some airlines charge extra for an overweight person to travel? No, it's not legal to charge extra for the ticket, but airlines do charge extra for the seat attachment overweight people require to fasten their seat belt. Yes, that affects quality of life in very legitimate way - money. And what about the overweight lover...if you know like I know...making love is best when both people can put energy into it. And as unloving as it might sound, an overweight lover can not put as much energy into making love - and that definitely affects my quality of life! These are just a few basic examples to help you see why I say you may have legitimate reason to break up with someone who is overweight - because being overweight does have a negative affect on quality of life.

But in putting the case to you in such heavy-handed terms, I hope you recognize I'm not "just" talking about being overweight.   I'm talking about health, taking care of one's health and creating balance. Because although, I may think it's a legitimate reason to break up with someone because their overweight issue has a negative affect on quality of life for you, I'm not saying it's the most loving choice to break up with someone "just" because they gained too much weight.

Thanks in part to the dynamic work of First Lady Michelle Obama, the word about too many Americans being too overweight and the consequences on health is getting out. Likewise, the First Lady is helping Americans take proactive steps to create better balance with weight, in order to improve their health and quality of life - which I think can also have a positive affect on your love life.

Likewise, what I say here is intended to be heavy-handed because I want the words to carry weight when it comes to understanding, seeing, realizing how being overweight can be too heavy on an intimate relationship. My stance is heavy-handed because I hope that if you are ever on either side of the issue too fat for love that you might visual these scenarios and consider what you might be able to do to help lessen the burden on the relationship toward a better quality of life and balance before you decide the overweight person you're with is too fat for love.

To be continued...


Monday, March 12, 2012

Love or Friendship?

You have to make a choice; which would you choose?

Love of Friendship?

It's awful, but now you have to make a choice because you feel something happening between the two of you or perhaps it's been happening for some time.

Except one of you already has somebody and that somebody is your friend or perhaps your best friend; which can make things even more complicated. Either way a feeling is happening between the two of you and it's about to cross the line where you will have to choose love or friendship?

What to do?

A friend had me ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) because she said even if I owed her a lot of money and I stopped by to return it but she wasn't home, but her man was home - alone, she told me, "Keep the damn money and stay the hell out of my house if my man is home alone!" (Note she used a stronger explicative). But in any case, I was rolling on the floor laughing because it sounded so ridiculous, "What's the difference if you are home or not?" I asked.

The difference is, she replied with no humor in your tone, "That's how s___ t starts! Because you have no business in my house, with my man, if I'm not home! Period!"

Well, I couldn't believe she was serious and asked again. "Why would you even think anything would happen between me and your man? First of all, I know he adores you. Second of all, no offense, but you know he's not my type. And last, but not least we're friends! Do you think I'd mess up my friendship with you for him?" I protested.

"Listen, all that is well and good," she said, "and no, I don't think you would do anything like that because we are good friends. But damn it, s__t happens like that all the time and the best way to prevent it, is to avoid it."

It was LOL again for me because I couldn't believe what she was saying. But it was no laughing matter for my friend and it got me to thinking about how those situations do happen.  You know that awful situation when a friend is attracted, spending too much time with or already sleeping with your partner and when the s___t hits the fan, a choice must be or friendship?

Again, I don't see putting myself in such a predicament because first of all I respect myself too much to even imagine it's within the realm of possibility I would/could do that to a friend. Secondly, I respect friendship too much to even imagine it's within the realm of possibility I would/could do that to a friend. And thirdly, I respect spiritual law too much to even imagine it's within the realm of possibility that I would/could do that to friend. my friend said, "S___t happens!" And there are too many real life reports, so many movies and a bunch of reality to shows to confirm her point of view. And of course there's the high divorce rate which clearly indicates people do become attracted to other people - even if they are with someone else at the time.

So although, having to make a choice between love and friendship because I want my friend's boyfriend isn't something I ever imagine doing, the question is one of reality.

Thus, the answer may be right there where I started; with my friend's suggestion, insistence, directive that one should avoid putting one's self in a situation where such a predicament might, possibly, maybe have a chance to ignite.

I also think the answer can be found in my perspective that for the sake of friendship if, somehow, you do realize that spark of attraction for your friend's partner, you need to immediately nick, douse or snuff it before it ever has a chance to ignite (i.e. don't encourage anything, do distance yourself and last, but not least - get your own partner).

But what if the spark does ignite and you find yourself at a crossroad to choose between the love for a friend's partner or the friendship you value; what then?


This is where spiritual law comes in.  And no, I'm not talking about religion or whether you will go to heaven or hell or even whether you are a good or bad person. In the most basic sense spiritual law is natural law, ying/yang, that balance thing I always come back to.

You must know that when you "take" something that isn't yours to take, do something you have no business doing, or behave in a way that disrupts balance, you are breaking spiritual law. And as you know, breaking the law always has bad consequences.

So if you put yourself in the grievous predicament of having to choose between love and friendship, consider this 1, 2, 3 process to help extricate yourself.  And yes, I do realize that perhaps suggestion 1 might not help you avoid creating the dilemma,  and maybe steps 1 and 2 won't help you unravel the mess you've made, but if you put 1, 2 and 3 into action, there's a good chance you can redeem yourself AND won't have to make the awful choice between love or friendship.

To be continued...


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hold Onto Me

How long do I get to hold a grudge?

It's your birthday and he forgot; no perfume, no flower, not even a box of candy from the local CVS. You're hurt and you won't forget this!

She brought another $500 comforter set, when it was agreed the next purchase would be your car stereo. You're pissed and you won't forget this!

You had to work late, so there was no way you could make to the in-laws for the dinner party. You're embarrassed and angry and you won't forget this!

Whatever it is that got you so angry, hurt or disappointed the fact is you're there now - holding a grudge and it doesn't look like you're going to budge from that holding point anytime soon, not even a nudge.

So how long do you get to hold a grudge?

You don't.

Cut the grudge.

Make it as short as possible; try to nudge it out of your system as soon as you can because your inability to budge on a grudge will get you nowhere...literally you become stuck.

You know the feeling; perhaps you can remember as child 6 or 7 or being 12 or 13 and your parents pissed you off and you got mad and you intended to stay mad for as long as it took to show them! You would show them what happens when you don't get your way; show them how bad you can make them feel when they're so busy at work earning a living for the family that they forget you wanted the red sneakers and not the blue; you would hold that grudge as long as it takes to make them sorry. Yes, you would show them how long you could hold a grudge when they said couldn't spend the night at your friend's house because no one over 18 would be there to chaperone. And that time they grounded you for poor school grades, you were really going show them and hold onto that grudge so long it would hurt so much, your parents would cancel the decision to ground you. Yes, you were going to hold onto that grudge!  And as you remember it worked ...right?

No, of course it didn't work (at least not at my house and my mom wasn't even the punishing type).  But eventually we learned (and then unlearned) that holding a grudge doesn't get you what you want - and it certainly doesn't make things any better for you. And this is especially true in grown-up intimate relationships - holding a grudge doesn't really get you what you want, it isn't a magic talisman that can reverse what happened, and if you're honest, it doesn't even make you feel better.

Of course when something doesn't go as we plan or when someone can't meet our expectations, we are disappointed, hurt and yes, at times even angry; that's human nature. And it's probably a good thing we have those feelings - instead of denying how we feel, stuffing it and letting it fester into something worse. And that's the point - cut the grudge short because you don't want to hold onto a grudge and let it blister into a big argument, or time missed you could have spent together, or drive a wedge between you so wide you can't come back together. Its like Colin Powell said, "Get mad, then get over it."

Don't hold on to the grudge.

Hold onto a good memory of being together, hold onto each other, and hold onto why you love and want to be with the person, but cut the grudge.