Friday, September 18, 2009

A ‘Johnies’ Guide To. My Views...

Following on from my last two posts about relationships and how to make your way through the mind field that is love, I thought I would add my views and experiences... (Brace yourselves; this could be interesting to say the least.)

In my experience, I have made some huge mistakes. Ranging from things like not having the confidence to ask a guy I like out, right through to being the “other woman.” In some form or another all these things have shaped me, and in many ways it has given me a more rounded view of life. But by the same token in some respects it has shown me how naive I can still be too, teaching me that I still have much to learn about life and relationships.

Some of my experiences have been for the better, I mean the things I can do with my tongue and 6 ping pong balls are out of this world... just kidding if you are reading Mum!

Some have been for the worst; I still cannot stand the smell of baby oil and am never allowed in Superdrug or Boots anymore! Almost kidding there if you are reading Mum, it was only Body Care!

I have found things out about myself that I never thought I would, not all of them are good mind you! Though like I have always said, don’t knock it ‘til you try it ~ with only a couple of exceptions; everything should be tried at least once in your life! My advice, for what it is worth; is as follows: ~

  • Go into every relationship as if it is your first time. In other words, everyone is going to be different; like different things; and want something different... act accordingly.
  • Do not rush into anything. Take your time in everything you do and every choice you make.
  • Be safe. And be sure... try not to fall for the married ones!
  • Be confident but not cocky.
  • Be comfortable with yourself and in your own skin. YOU are beautiful as you are!!!
  • Never be afraid to dance to the beat of your own drum!
  • Dare to be different... challenge the world to change the way it thinks and not the way you see it.

I have learnt that life is way too short and because we only get one chance at it, we should enjoy every single moment of it and life every day to its fullest. These are my very humble and honest view of life, love and the Rules of Relationships! Please feel free to comment and share your views with the world too...

A ‘Johnies’ Guide To...

Just how wrong is it to “shit on your own doorstep?”

Over the past few months I have been thinking more and more about this, I guess going through the whole “getting a crush on a married friend” thing does that too you! It makes you think more and re-evaluate your life and how you act; nothing can have you thinking more than a crush on married goods! Just for the record, it was just a crush; nothing came of it (or would) and I am over it now!

While conscious dictates that we should follow the right paths and that cheating is indeed wrong, is everything really that black and white and so easy to define? While physically it may be wrong, is it always wrong to flirt when you neither have any intentions of going “there?”

Pulling away from married men for a bit, (wives will be pleased there...) let us look at other forbidden fruits if we can. Is it wrong to fancy your boss or manager? What if you are both single? Is it just a case of if your company allows it or is it down to the two individuals concerned? What about having a relationship with an under manager or supervisor if neither of you have anything to gain from it, is that still deemed as wrong; and if so why?

Is it wrong to look twice at a friend’s single parent? And what about a family friend? Just why is it wrong for two single people to be together should they wish to be together? Where did this “moral righteousness” come from in these matters? Why is it that love seems so hard to find and seemingly has so many hoops to jump through? Can it not just be about love and how they treat you and make you feel, does it always have to be such a big thing?

What about falling for your friend, there always seems to be such a stigma attached to the friend thing; it makes me wonder just why it all seems such a big deal? After all, are we not all searching for someone to be our lover; partner; better/other half and best friend anyways? Isn’t that a dream we would all like to achieve, a little fairytale successful conclusion of their own?

We have all heard about (and sometimes been or had) fuck buddies right? But just when do these buddies, become fuck buddies? When you meet a nice boy or girl or whatever and become friends, is there a moment when it all changes from “potential life partner” to “fuck buddy?” Or do you class that as the “getting to know you” process? I suppose I am trying to ask just when do you make the choice to be “mates” with someone and when do you make the choice to be “more than that?”

In an ideal world, when you met your soul mate; sparks would fly, birds would sing and all other manner of “sickly ~ sweet stuff” would occur. They say that when you truly fall in love, you don’t need to ask questions; you just know. But is this really the case, or is it some claptrap made up to sell more hearts, flowers and cards? When you are stood at the alter with the man/women/whatever you think is your “one and only,” why isn’t there a moment when someone says; “you know what... are you SURE?”

In my experience, I always thought that it was love when they made you feel like no one else in the world. As such, I have to date; fell in love at least four times... and three of them have been this week alone! None have been my “boyfriends” and nor do I think any of them would ever have been... (Or will be) so just why did I think I loved them?

Because they made me feel something different from the others! Not that it was always a good thing mind you!! But that’s another story; and one best left for another time!!! One guy was someone I could see myself having children with, all well and good had he actually been someone I could have spoken too! One gentleman, treated me with such a respect it would have been almost impossible not to fall... his wife must have been so proud of him! (Again, another long story!)

I know I am not perfect, and probably have crap taste in men; (sorry to the guys I know) but is it really all me getting it wrong? On the one hand, you are told that you are not doing enough to meet someone special... but then in the next sentence, you get told that you are doing too much to meet someone. Just what is the right amount of searching or looking for the one?

In the post below, Michael poses the question; why doesn’t everyone really find their soul mates when we are made to believe we will and that their is someone out there for us all? Clearly if people die alone and unhappy, not everyone finds their “other/better half” right? But then, someone will say; there’s someone out there for you! I, myself have had all the lines pulled out by family and friends who wish for me to be happy...

I’ve had the; “he’s just round the corner” talks, and the; “you’ll find him when you are not looking” lines too... Which, although I know are meant with my best intentions at heart; rarely make me feel any better. Maybe it is me being impatient, maybe I actually do know better; or maybe I have lost my faith and belief in love and romance... whatever it is, I know that something is not right in my life!

Now this line of question has a lot of side roads, which I will save for the comments after etc. I know it is going to be a long post anyway! (Sorry about that; you know me... I like to muse!) I’ll round things up by saying that, in my humble opinion; I feel like being a “nice girl with a heart of gold...” (Thank you to the guy who sent that in a text to my friend btw... no names but thanks!) is just no longer enough!

So here is my question; just what are the “Rules of Relationships?”

Just what advice can you offer? What experiences have you been through that have shaped the way you think, act and deal with life? What in hindsight would you change and what would you keep as it is?

As St. John members we often have to give and take advice to do our job better, life is much the same; so what help and advice can you offer people in the mind field out there called love?

I am asking everyone for their advice and opinions, if we get enough comments (anonymously of course!) I will look at getting them printed up and made into a book... all proceeds will go to St. John Ambulance and one other charity; to be chosen by the Mayor of Northampton, England. So, have a think and join in! Post comments here or e-mail them to me direct or via facebook... we’d welcome comments from everyone and anyone, the more the merrier in fact.

FOUR FAGGOTS AND A FUNERAL... Now I have your attention!!!

I know this will be ANOTHER very long post... but this time it is not my fault ~ honest guv! This was written by Michael Mclarty, a friend of mine on facebook... this is all his work, so any credit must go to him!
The reason I wanted to post it, especially before I posted my own next blog; was it said much of what I have been thinking and indeed feeling, but of course I could never say it so eloquently!! I hope no one was offended by the title, it was purely to gain your attention!!!
It is something he has, himself been thinking about for a long time. I hope I can throw it out to a few more people, views and comments on this would be much appreciated; and I shall make sure he gets them all... anyways, on with the show!

One draft of this was titled 'FOUR FAGGOTS AND A FUNERAL!', the humorous/outrageous title being the 'hook' that drew you in. Then I'd chastise you for not finding the word 'faggot' offensive. 'If I had used the word 'nigger', would you have been offended', I was going to ask?

And as intros go, I suppose there is some merit to the 'shocker'. It's my usual schtick: angry, foul mouthed liberal juxtaposed by my lowly blue collar status. It's a contrasting canvas I'm comfortable painting my words into.

But I eventually decided not to go that way. Not because I don't like shocking the prurient or wielding my beloved profanity overhead like a sword. I don't think I'll ever tire of those two ephemeral friends.
No, I eventually decided to just be honest and write from the heart. You're an adult. Take my words and disregard them or agree with them as you will, but this conversation is not me yelling from a bully pulpit. This is just me being a human.

A fragile, often scared, more often confused, human being.

As I'm writing this from my recliner, I look over to the couch where my daughter is sleeping. She is five, will be six next month. She and her brothers are the light of my life. 'Light of my life.' So cliche' we use it by rote these days for everything from our family to washing detergent. It is true though, because before they came along I was in the dark. I never knew the love I was capable of giving till my family began.

It didn't begin with them, though. Surely, they are the largest, cutest part of it, but they're the second part of the story. The first part was when I did one of the few smart things I've ever done in my life and married my wife, Tess. I've said it before and it's worth repeating: I married much better than I had any right to. Most men do.

I remember with a nostalgic wistfulness our early romance. That giddy/sick feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when it feels like you're holding a beautiful snowflake that might melt away if you breathe wrong. It's a tightrope act with no net, and you're the star. Each reunion is a big top event, no matter how how short the intermission. You want to hold them always. Your body yearns to be near that other body that raises from your deepest core emotions both wonderful and conflicting.

I wouldn't call it love, but it's still a nice ride. A hell of a nice ride.

Well, that passes. No candle can burn that bright forever, and thank God. Thank God not just because the early stages of a romance are emotionally draining, but because what comes next is even better.
In time the heady whirlwind slowly transforms into a more solid, albeit less sexy, refreshing and dependable breeze. Perhaps at times you take each other for granted, sure. You do share the same bed, same meals, same TV shows after all. As a couple you share your dreams, and you also share the sad times. The times where your heart is breaking and the world is collapsing and the best you can do is hold onto that one person you know is there, who won't let you sink into a morass from which you might not be able to escape from.

All humans have those moments. Stronger men than I, perhaps, could weather them alone. But I never claimed to be a strong man. And with Tess by my side, I don't have to be. Not all the time, anyhow. Sometimes she has to be the strong one. Other times she needs me to be.

We always got each other's back though, and we always know when to step up, when to speak out, and when to just sit there and listen. Sometimes even when to simply walk away and give the gift of solitude.

I hope everyone has someone like that in their life. Yet even as I write that, I know not everyone does. I've known great gals and guys who just never had the luck I did. They were and are good people. They paid their taxes, worked a solid 40 plus every week, played by society's rules. I'm speaking of moral people. Friendly people. The type of people who would feed you if you were hungry, donate toys every Christmas, and go through life with smiles on their faces even when the cards they were dealt added up to nothing more than a bad hand.

Why is that? Why didn't those people find their 'special someone'? I think it's the same reason some people who would make great parents never have kids: there is no reason.

It just doesn't happen for them. They miss that bus where they would have sat down next to their soul mate and struck up a conversation. They have to cancel the blind date their friend set them up on because they caught the cold, and the opportunity is lost. They're looking one way while walking down the street and that person they would be perfect for just happens to be looking the other.

It's sad, and it's tragic. Love is not easily found. Those, too, are parts of life. Part of the human experience.

But we all want that. We want that connection. Every one of us wants to love, and to be loved. It is the most powerful force in the universe, love. Hate may be more prevalent, but love is stronger. And that's why it always wins, even if the victory isn't readily apparent.

We all want that.

We all need that.

I would even argue that love is the meaning of human existence. It's certainly the only thing that outlives us. Hateful deeds and words shine bright upon the temporary stage light of history, but their acts are eventually forgotten, their legacies stunted and buried. Sure, hate can change the world, but love will always, eventually, fix it.

Sometimes even for the better.

Love is so important that I would further argue that the founding fathers of The United States of America had it in mind when they so famously wrote:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What is the pursuit of happiness if not chasing after our dreams, doing what we love, being with those we love? If you can't do those things, can you really be happy? If you are legally blocked from that pursuit, is that not in contradiction of the principals this country was founded on?

Of course many would disagree with my interpretation. Words can be twisted, slanted, turned around like a kaleidoscope until you don't really know what they mean anymore. That preamble above didn't stop anyone from buying a slave, or denying women the right to vote. In fact, it condoned those things in many arguments.

So did the Bible. Or the parts picked out to support those arguments, anyhow, when viewed in a certain light.

But to me, they mean just what they say:

We're all equal.

Because we're human, we have rights.

We have the right to live. The right to live free. And finally, the right to live as we see fit.

Of course we take that for granted these days. Or at least people like me do. As a white, heterosexual male, I've never been society's whipping boy. I got mine, no doubt. You take any part of the Constitution, and it's there to protect me, and any other white male with an eye for the ladies, from losing those big three: Life. Liberty. Happiness.

And that is simply not enough.

It's not enough for many reasons. For one thing, white males may not always be in the catbird's seat. People like me better be making sure that the playing field is equal for all those white, woman-chasing males yet to be born. That edge of discrimination can cut both ways, it all depends on who is wielding it.

But more importantly, other people not having the same rights I have simply isn't fair. Me, you, that guy down the street, the bag boy at Kroger's and the crazy woman who collects cats, we're all human. We all pay our taxes. We all do our part in our own way to make our country better, or at least to help keep it running.

Last I checked, homosexuals paid taxes as well. They pay taxes to run and maintain schools for children they are not ever going to create. They pay taxes to support a military they are discouraged from joining and reaping the rewards of service from. Their tax dollars pay the salaries of elected officials who then denounce their lifestyle as evil and immoral.

That doesn't sound fair to me. Not even remotely.

Those same elected officials who denounce homosexuality as evil and homosexual marriage as a threat to the sanctity of marriage certainly don't turn away the homosexual dollar. I guess the money from the Gay's wallets meets their moral criteria. The fact that many of these same politicians then use that money to pay lawyers to help them divorce their old wives so they can upgrade to newer models doesn't sit too badly with them. In their mind, God is flashing them a big thumb's up.

The truth is, if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, the 'sacred and holy character' of legal union, those same politicians would outlaw divorce. I haven't seen that bill proposed before Congress, though, and I never will.

Because it's a sham of an excuse, the 'sanctity of marriage'. It's a set of nice words that make a nice sounding phrase that still, no matter how you fervently you recite them, mean that some people in this country should be denied their own pursuit of happiness while others are free to go about their business.

I don't think that's right. I think it's pretty wrong. I think it's damned wrong.

Who is the man that can see into another man's soul? Show me that man, let him prove to me that one man cannot love another nor one woman cannot love another woman. That man does not exist. Yet some people pretend to be him and millions of others all too willingly agree to believe the lie he portrays.

Why? I don't know. Ignorance? Fear? The desire to possess that which another man may not? I don't claim to know, but I do know that whatever the catalyst, it's not born of the better angels of our nature.

Nothing that denies happiness to a man who has done no wrong can be right.

So all I'm asking you to consider is this: let each man and woman go after their dreams as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. A homosexual marriage in no way lessens anyone else's. Giving legal rights to people who help to maintain the infrastructure that creates those laws is fair. Don't deny someone their pursuit of happiness simply because you don't approve of their chosen lifestyle. Don't hold another person down because you think it lifts you up. In truth, when you are holding someone down, you can't be any higher than they are.

Finally, lets just all admit we're hopelessly, innately flawed, every one of us. That's the price we pay for enjoying the gift of life, to be lucky enough to watch a sunrise or enjoy a cool breeze, to laugh and smile and hope, to be blessed to relax in our homes while we watch our children chase sugar plum dreams.

Lets shake hands and agree that we're all way too human to judge each other or claim some ethical high ground. Let's acknowledge that we all chase the same ultimate prize and have the right to claim it if we're lucky enough to catch it:

To love. And be loved.