Dating in the modern world…

I’m an old-fashioned guy. In short, I look to a previous time for guidance in how I conduct myself. I have an eclectic approach, I’m not stuck in the past, but I do believe that previous generations possessed a code of conduct that worked and is lost on younger generations. I keep it alive because I’ve seen it in action, I believe in it and I do believe it is ingrained in me.

I suspect that I’m much older than most of my readers and I may be talking about an unfamiliar topic. For the sake of this writing, the old-fashioned values I cherish are as follows:

  • respect for elders
  • honoring your word
  • a firm handshake and direct eye contact
  • be tolerant and accepting of other’s viewpoints
  • holding the door for a lady

Did you double-take on the last one? Yes, I am a guy who holds a door for a lady. Not for a chick, a broad, a ho, bae, some strange or a side-bitch. A lady. And I will not apologize for this. I am fully aware that a woman can open her own door and I make no assumptions of dominance nor intend a lack of respect when I do it. It’s a nice gesture and I do it. I believe there are women, and a lot of them, that long for an old-fashioned guy. If they’ve never met one it’s about time they did.

Last night my mother opened a video sent her by one of her dating site connections. It was titled “Does this turn you on?” She opened it, it was a 74-year-old man jerking off for the camera. Facepalm…I thought an older man would be better than that. Mom does too.

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Dating has always been a game. Even though I’ve been in an exclusive, faithful relationship for 25 years I know that the game has changed. Dating is very casual. The conventional “relationship” has changed on both sides. Monogamy is considered an almost outdated construct. Sex is much easily obtained with a lot less effort and commitment. The way I knew it was a lot of work and few guaranteed results. Now, a man has to put in a bare-bones effort and is almost guaranteed to score. Women like hounds apparently.

I get it, it’s a by-product of the times. We live in a time where we are entitled to everything, hard work is not valued and instant gratification is awesome. We talk to each other through screens; we use text messaging to avoid conversation; we compromise our own integrity in the interest of cheap pleasure. There has to be something between my Grandfather’s day when a man “went a’ courting” his best gal and today’s man texting “‘sup bitch, wanna hook up?”

I don’t just want a woman that I can respect, I want a woman that respects herself. Sex is not a true victory, it’s just her letting a man into her pants. A true victory is when she respects you for how you treat her and she then lets you into her heart. Sex is great, but what are you going to talk about after?

I’ll continue to hold the door for a woman. I’m pretty sure when she’s done being offended she’ll find herself just a little turned on.

Country music

I was watching a show the other night that mentioned the 80’s urban legend about playing music backwards. Supposedly some weird things would happen. I was intrigued.

I’ve been listening to a lot of country music lately so I gave it a shot and played a country album backwards.

I’ll be damned if I didn’t get my house back, my job back, my dog back…

Labels are for boxes

Superman is about to delve into previously unchartered waters…Politics. I briefly touched on it in a piece I did about civil war, inspired by a wonderful post by Bojana about her experience in war-torn former Yugoslavia. It’s amazing by the way check it out. here https://bloggingwithbojana.com/2018/03/07/welcome-to-absurdistan/

I have largely stayed away from politics in my blogs. After 9 months and almost 200 posts I now feel that I have established myself as a reasonable, civil guy and I have a confession to make. I am a Conservative…of sorts and I voted for Donald Trump. I believed in enough of what he wanted to accomplish to give him my vote. Immigration reform, crime reform, smaller government, a balanced budget, a secure border and the future of the Supreme court matter a great deal to me. On those, he secured my vote. Let the unfollowing begin. Or let cooler heads prevail. If you read to the end, you will likely agree that I am not a typical Conservative at all. Here’s the kicker, I’m not looking for your approval I’m just going to stimulate some conversation here.

I know some beautiful, smart and compassionate people that voted for both Donald Trump and Hillary. I love them all and I don’t judge or hate. I am in the minority. Our country is hopelessly divided. We have always had an ideological divide, but it has become intensely personal. If you are on FB you will see nothing but Vitriol spewed on both sides of the spectrum and it is so unhealthy on so many levels. My generation taught me that there are certain subjects never to discuss, but I disagree. Religion, sexuality, and Politics can be discussed if we were also taught the art of rational, intelligent discourse. Repeat after me, “I disagree but I respect your opinion.” Instead, we close our ears and raise our voice. We rear back on our heels and defend, for fear of losing, when instead we should be chin on hands, listening to each other. Tragically, we care more about “our side” than we do about real change.

“My side” is traditional William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan conservatism. I revert to that point in history because if you use the word “Conservative” now you will likely invoke the iconic MAGA hat worn by the “Trump Supporter.” The very words ”Trump Supporter” are hissed by liberals in the same manner that the Pope may utter “Contraception”. The words have become synonymous with Racist, Xenophobe, Nazi, Fascist and Bully. That’s not me, I’m happy to report, but it is a reality that a lot of Trump era conservatives live up to it and it’s a shame. I am tolerant, empathetic, polite and educated enough to agree to disagree with someone without shouting them down, closing my ears when I should be listening, or ignoring or exaggerating “facts” in order to win one for my side.

I am saddened that I have to avoid the subject of politics altogether for fear of being attacked. I’m actually pretty liberal on social matters. I believe in love between two people regardless of gender; I believe in immigration if it is done legally. I believe in law and order but not martial law. I believe in concealed carry but see no reason for anyone to own an AR-15. Go ahead and try to force this square peg into a round hole, you can’t do it. Criticize me, I can handle it. Just do it constructively, don’t shout and pay attention when I speak. I deserve that courtesy.

Roughly 24% of Americans identify as Republicans, approximately 30% identify as Democrats. What is left is the Independent voter. I identify as an Independent, despite the federal govt’s alternate term of “undecided voter”. I share this political distinction with approximately half of the country and I would like to think that we are independent because of our insistence on thinking for ourselves. We reject party politics and hate labels. But labels are all we have now. Whether it is driven by the media, George Soros, Hollywood, a basic lack of education, short attention spans or the absolute lack of critical thinking but we are mired in labels.

Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Liberal, Tea-Party, and Right-winger. Labels, Labels, Labels. Despite the numbers I stated in the previous paragraph, I see 15% of the country at the very far right, 15% at the very far left and 70% right in the middle, forced to pick between two candidates that seem to satisfy enough of us. But the extremes have defined Republicans and Democrats and forced those willing, not me, to be forcefully compartmentalized. Those unfortunate voters are the true Republicans, the true Democrats, and the Independents. The 15% on each side quarrel over extreme ideology and the rest of us vote our conscience and our wallets, the order of those 2 is up to you.

At the end of the day, it is all bullshit. Neither party of our broken two-party system stand for what they used to, the lines are so blurred and the aisle dividing the houses of Congress is as wide as the ocean and it doesn’t matter because no one is reaching across it. Fulfilling campaign promises and getting reelected take precedent over real legislative accomplishment. There used to be moderates, who believed that there was a compromise to be made for the better of all. They’re either gone or too afraid to stand up for fear of reprisal. If you watched the SOTU you clearly saw that when the President had his applaud moments, entire sides of the rooms respectively stood or sat with their arms crossed. Some Democrats were so resistant to standing for anything the president said they sat even when families of murdered children were honored. It was disgusting, and it said it all. Fear of breaking labels, that’s all it is.

What is a typical Democrat and Republican after all? Where does being a Democrat end and a Progressive begin? Where does a Republican end a Tea-Party Conservative begin?
Democrats, commonly known now as “Liberals” have always considered themselves the party of the working man. They opposed corporate greed and the Industrial Military Complex, and strongly focused on social issues. Today, the Democrats have become the party of bloated government, high taxes, massive regulation, and throwing tremendous amounts of money at problems in hopes that they go away. The focus of some extreme modern democrats on trans-gender bathrooms, abortion, open borders, the suppression of speech that offends their beliefs and the eschewing of religion has earned many to the far-left the label of “Progressive”. A progressive believes in social engineering, “hug-it-out’s” for terrorists, legislating income redistribution and, generally speaking, dwell on utopian ideals. I find great hypocrisy in the Democrats of today. Example, how can you champion yourselves the party of equality, while at the same time propping up Muslims who routinely deny women the most basic of rights, subject underage girls to marriage and stone homosexuals to death?

Republicans were traditionally known as the party of “family values”, believed in a strong military, a market economy, personal accountability, and were strongly aligned with the Evangelical Christians. Republicans are no better than their Democrat peers in their obstructionism, failure to reach across the aisle and to adhere to their core principles. I contend, despite my own identification as a Conservative, that the Republicans have drifted farther off course than the Democrats. Today, the Republicans are completely off message. They are trying to solve the complex problem of immigration through massive arrests. They are as guilty of allowing jobs to flee this country as the Democrats. Their alliance with the extreme-right Evangelicals is shameful. Their refusal to stand up to their major campaign donors, the NRA and the Pharmaceutical industries and their lobbyists have left them ineffective and blatant hypocrites who are blocking even the discussion of real reform on major issues. Also prone to hypocrisy, they lost me when they cut benefits to Veterans while touting themselves as the supporters of the military.

Instead of fixing the problems before them, the powers that be distract us by telling us what to hate and who to blame for it. Hence the labels. I for one am tired of it. I am a Conservative that was forced to vote for Donald Trump. It took every fiber of my body to do it, I almost skipped the vote altogether. I find that he cares about some things that matter to me while Hillary represents nothing I believe in. So I again voted against a candidate and not for one. I am not a Nazi, a Fascist, a Racist or a Sexist. But I stand to be labeled as one.

https://endsandbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/ a blogger I admire, posted recently about a reaction to Conservatives and their bad behavior, in particular, being called a “typical liberal.”
https://endsandbeginningsblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/typical-liberal/
I commented on the post, not realizing that I was having a visceral reaction to the post. I do disagree with a lot of what was said, but I felt like I was being called out. That wasn’t the case and I gave a balanced response along the lines of what I have written here. At the end of the day, I wanted to convey that  I am not a “typical conservative”. Even if that was the case, why do I care?

Because we are living in a fractured, divided culture and we are all on edge. Half the country is yelling at the other half and nothing is being resolved. The big picture is that the division in our society, as manifested in our behavior towards each other is based on all of us feeling that we are not being heard, so we speak louder.

My mother always said, “when you are speaking you are not listening.” I would further extrapolate on that and say if you are shouting you aren’t helping. Step out of your comfort zone, step out of our compartmentalized belief system, question what you’re being fed by the media, embrace another’s opinion. They’re not wrong, they’re just different. No one is smarter and no one is dumber. At least it looks that way until we speak. The way I see it, if we reshape our ways of communicating, it’s possible our leaders will find their lost direction in our new one.

Labels are for envelopes, not for people. We’re better than that. One love, baby.

Kayaking

Yesterday was quite a day. I got out of bed at the crack of 7:30 and went downstairs for the morning caffeine infusion. My mother, on cue, was making a pot. Something was missing. “Where’s your boytoy?” I asked her. The boyfriend stays with us almost every weekend and he was there when I went to sleep the night before.

“Gone,” she said. “He got a little too handsy this morning and when I told him to knock it off. He got pissed, packed his bag and left. Want to go to Church with me?”

What I wanted to say was Gee Mom I am actually headed down this morning to see a couple of friends before I stop by wifey’s and have cake with the 2 oldest kids for a belated birthday party so I can’t. But what came out was “I’d love to.” There was no way that she was as ok as she acted and I knew I needed to be there to support her today. I would go down after church. Besides, I needed to know what happened.

As we prepared for church I got the story. Being the Trump supporter that he is he tried to grab her by the…well you know where I’m going with this. Apparently, he woke up a little “Randy”, popped a Viagra, rose to the occasion and attempted to park it somewhere…at 6 AM.


Mom was just a little busy sleeping when the countdown ended and it was a failed launch attempt. He and Mr. Johnson were rebuffed with extreme prejudice. Knowing that he’s a golfer, I’m just a bit surprised at his lack of etiquette. You always give a heads up before you try to play through.

The church was delightful as always. As I am still in my Undefined-Spiritual-Transition-Mode I sit there and I people watch. I know the people now, The congregation consists of some wonderful, giving people. And then there are those few that have that ethereal my shit don’t stink because I love God so much that I’m going to heaven and you’re not face and I know that they’re completely full of shit. Fine by me, it’s their journey, not mine. I then caught the eye of Linda, my new buddy from the food pantry. She mouthed “hey you” to me and I smiled for the first time that day.

Linda is an attractive, happily married older woman who I am very drawn to. In the classic sense of the word, I want to be around her. It’s not sexual but exciting nonetheless. She’s educated, smart, extremely charitable with her time and in her actions and I love talking to her. Linda was present the day I told my food pantry volunteer pals my theory on religion. I was asked in front of a room full of people why I don’t attend church often. I told them:

Religion is sitting in church thinking about Kayaking. Spirituality is sitting in a kayak thinking about God“.

It’s not original but it sums me up so well.

The service closed with a prayer. Not participating in the ritual, rebel that I am, I said my own prayer of the agnostic.

Dear whoever you are. Without putting too fine a point on things please make this earth a better place. If you can’t then please show us how. Take care of the poor, don’t let babies die of cancer and punish the dicks. I don’t care how you do it just put it higher on your list than who wins the next major sporting event. Your humble servant, Amen or bye for now or whatever. Forgive me for I know not what the fuck I am talking about.

We then adjourned for the St. Patty’s luncheon out back. Mom was serving so I grabbed a plate of food. Seeing a bunch of set tables and a row of chairs I chose to sit on a straw chair. That would allow groups to have the tables. I had picked a perfect spot to people watch and that is just what I did. A few people approached me, some who I haven’t yet met introduced themselves and some that I knew, asking me why I was sitting there lonely. I assured them that I was where I wanted to be. After all, I was. I was writing my next blog in my head after all!

Linda approached and sat down next to me, smiled and said “Kayaking?”

“What do you mean?” I asked her. She couldn’t possibly be referring to the conversation we had weeks ago.

“You know what I mean. It looks like you’re Kayaking right now.”

“I can’t believe you remember that. Nice catch. Yes, I am. Always. You know that’s not original right?”

“I know”, she said. “But I liked it and you own it.” We talked for a few, I met her lucky husband and she went off to socialize with someone else.”

Who knew that my own words would come back to me someday?

The rest of the day panned out as planned. I made it down to MA to see my friends and family and made it home by 10 and made sure Mom was ok.

As of today we haven’t heard from Trump Jr. I guess we’ll see if the voters choose to let that “locker room behavior” slide.

 

 

In my element

I managed to return to work this week for a glorious 2 day stint. I have been away for 2 weeks. School vacation with the kids, a minor concussion from going ass over tea kettle in my icy driveway and about 60 fucking inches of snow have kept me close to home. Fortunately, my head is fine…my head is fine… my head is fine …slaps forehead…yea my head is fine and despite a sore back, I made the trek to MA on Thursday.

The CFO was really happy to see me. Apparently,  she sees the contributions I have made. No one else seems to make them in my absence. So I have a niche. The rank and file were also happy to see me. It seems that morale sucks a bit lately, which confuses me because the owner is a super nice guy. They are very busy and a bit short-staffed so I suppose it makes sense. They need comic relief, which I always provide. Any role is fine, it’s just nice to be somewhere you are appreciated. The worst thing to me is to be the guy who took 2 weeks off and no one noticed.

I am starting to expand my role a bit, taking on tasks that nobody wants or can handle due to time constraints. Most in the building are not aware of the extent of my expertise in the business, they just think I’m some guy the owner knows. But I have jumped right in and handled some delicate stuff of importance, some of which involves the dreaded phone. Most people hate the phone, and a lot of those who don’t really aren’t that good. Myself, I’m like Michael Jackson on the playground, I’m in my element. This week my coworkers saw a new side of me…phone me.

One of my tasks was to call customers who had recently purchased a motorcycle and introduce our company, review the contact information, go over the contract and answer any questions they may have. It usually consists of about 50 calls, 35 that go to voice mail and the remaining 15 can go any direction from a hang-up (they think I’m a telemarketer) or a cooperative call. I have fun with those. I don’t just ask a bunch of boring questions, I talk to them about their bikes. I build excitement by establishing a bond. It’s so easy for me. As I was making calls, I saw that some of the people in the room were taking notice of what I was doing. One call, in particular, was with a gentleman in Texas. His mother raised him right, he was friendly, courteous and didn’t treat me like a schmuck. So I had some fun with him.

“Mr. Beegle, how are you enjoying your new Harley Soft tail?”

“Well, I’ll tell you what buddy, if I was any happier I might damn explode!”

“Great news, enjoy it.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. See my hot little girly, see she’s a Latina. Fiery little thang. She don’t much like riding on the back of it.”

“Mr. Beegle, I want you to listen carefully, ok?”

“Sure, Bill.  Go ahead” he said.

“Mr. Beegle, women are easy to find, but the right bike comes along just once in a lifetime.”

I’m pretty sure he pissed himself laughing. We completed the call and I put the receiver down. All eyes were on me. My CFO said, “Did you just say…?”

I looked at her and said. “Yes, I did. But if it helps, I had absolutely no control over my mouth so it’s not my fault.”

My cell phone rang, I turned around and answered it. I recognized the number.

“Suicide hotline…please hold.”

I’m going to Hell, but for now, at least I’m having some fun. To imagine I’m going to be dating again soon…

Weight loss

Today I found a miraculous weight loss program that can be accomplished in 2 hours. All you have to do is walk into an arbitrators office at the City Courthouse, answer a bunch of questions, agree to everything and sign on the dotted line. Boom! Divorced. I’m down 135 pounds. At least that’s how much I think she weighs, I haven’t touched her in so long I really don’t know.

That’s what I get for introducing her to a magic food that made her sex drive disappear 22 years ago…Wedding Cake.
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