Posted in The Old Days

High School Flashback…folding notes

Today, I enjoyed a day-long exchange with an old friend…actually my old high school boyfriend…mimicking the age-old tradition of passing notes…but Facebook style!

Yes, there are a few more exchanges, but only because he butt-dialed me and I heard the book he was listening to in the car.

But this all made me think about that classic way we used to fold our notes, thinking somehow that our “secret” folding technique made our notes impenetrable by teachers. I also remember writing backwards, again thinking that my teachers would be too stupid to figure it out and wouldn’t be able to read the note out loud and embarrass me.

So I grabbed a piece of paper from the copy machine and let my memory take over:

Fold diagonally from the top right corner to the left straight edge, matching up what was the top edge with the left edge and making a perfect point at the top left.

Fold the remaining bottom “tag” upwards.

Fold vertically from the bottom right to the bottom left, matching up the two bottom corners.

Fold horizontally and to the back so that the top point now points downward.

Fold that point back upwards over the front.

Fold the remaining little point tag down into the pocket made by the paper.

There were also variations on how to fold that final point into the pocket, sometimes making a pull tag, but that’s pretty much the gist.

Crazy sometimes the things you remember from high school. Crazier still that twenty years later a good-looking man can still make you blush by asking you to check yes or no to let him know if you like him. I mean like-him like-him ūüôā

Posted in Everyday Musings, God Loves Me!

Reflections on “New” Choices

The past ten days have been a smorgasbord of “new”-ness.

It started with me being terrifyingly spontaneous: I invited a friend to come live with me. And I live with my parents in the front “suite” of the house. To have someone stay with me, he/she has either to sleep with me in my bed or sleep on my love seat…at least until I can switch it out for my futon bed.

You see, a dear friend needed my help hitting bottom so that he could start new, fresh, believing in himself again. He had decided that disappearing from his home and family was the only way he could begin healing.¬† Thankfully, between his family’s love and my offer, he accepted my rash invitation…and my support. After a stay at the VA Mental Health Clinic–and I am soooo proud of him for taking that step–he is on the road to recovery.

You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, “It is hopeless”; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint.¬†¬† ~Isaiah 57:10

He is a “new” friend in my life, but one I’ve known for close to 25 years. In fact, he introduced me to a “new” feature of life way back when, as he was the first guy I ever made out with. But that’s in the past. He lets me be a “guy”…introducing me to all kinds of guy things that are “new” to me and that I find I love: dirt track, 4-wheeling, wicked horror movies (and funny ones too).

Two other “new”-nesses came to fruition this weekend. You see, since Christmas, I have been serving in the maid-of-honor role helping a “new” friend design the wedding she and her husband never had the first time around. To renew their vows for their 11th anniversary, she wanted to incorporate elements of the wedding she had to abandon 11 years ago.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.   ~Romans 6:4

To top it off, the couple built into the weekend the baptism of their younger daughter, a bright, precocious child of 3…I mean, child of God. The dedication of her life and soul to God is possibly the most wonderful kind of newness of all.

The family is a new one in my life, the wife/mother an acquaintance from my college days 15 years ago; she joined the “other” sorority. But we knew instantly when they moved to Charleston that God had put us into each other’s lives. We are still technically “new” to each other, but each time we learn something “new” in fact, we are neither of us surprised by the stories we hear but by the rightness of our friendship, this new wonderful connection.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.   ~1 Samuel 18:1

I marvelled just this morning…this Valentine’s Day morning…that I have had just two Valentines in my 35 years…two men I have loved in this life. They are both dear friends today, all of us having lived to find new loves and lives as God has led us in our journeys. I am blessed by their friendship and am¬†indeed knit “anew” with them!

Now, this month of February 2011 begins a new chapter in my life…and unemployed one. My official separation date from my old job was January 31, and I have no idea what’s in store for me. Except that God will show me what to do and when to do it. My prayer is for “new” sight and “new” hearing so that don’t miss His cues.

Posted in Everyday Musings

Milestones in Life

Today I have reached the end of a milestone counter…14 years, 11 months, 19 days.

Funny thing about milestones; unless you–the reader–know what the counter (or countdown) is for, you don’t know whether to congraulate or commiserate.

But here’s a hint:

  • a counter (adding up days, months, years) usually indicates that you have made a change by choice and you are tracking the time you continue to commit to that change; typically a counter marks the end of a bad choice and the beginning of a new and better choice in life
  • a countdown (subtracting days, months, years) usually indicates that you have an event or change in front of you, something yet to come, to anticipate or perhaps to dread

Counters are people like recovering alcoholics, divorcees coming back to life, heart attack survivors. Loss of the counter usually means a backslide into something bad…falling off the bandwagon.

Countdowners are people like students looking toward graduation, couples getting married, parents waiting for their baby to be born.

That would lead you to assume that the end of my counter means that I have fallen off of some positive life bandwagon, but that’s not so. Counters are also people who have lost or put away something, who can mark the last time they had it, and who have been patient and lived well through a long period without something they wanted but couldn’t have or chose not to have.

So I created a milestone event, somewhere off in an unknown future, knowing not if or when having that thing again would happen. For years I didn’t even think of it; it just wasn’t important to me, nor was it harmful in any way either. Sometimes when I did think of it, the milestone aspect was more intriguing than anything…how much longer can I go without it? Why do I still go without it? Was it for a good reason? The right reason? Is it still a good or right reason?

This was a milestone of self-denial, a created milestone, one of my choosing, which isn’t usually the way we think of milestones…a choice. And nearly 15 years of self-denial has afforded me a lot of time and experiences through which to explore things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise, including that thing I denied myself.

But one particular milestone has ended, the counter put away on this one. I have no need–inherent, created, or imposed–to start the counter over. I have accepted an old, wonderful thing back into my life…because I am finally ready for it.

And a new counter toward a completely different, but related milestone has taken its place.

Posted in Everyday Musings, Love Life

I HATE Sally

I have an awfully hard time just disliking someone, but a nearly impossible time actually hating someone enough that I really believe if I saw him/her that I wouldn’t be able to resist ripping them limb from limb. Oops, sorry, this is supposed to be a productive blog site at the very least, but I hate people who knowingly and deliberately hurt others. Well, I hate the ones who are so wrapped up in themselves that they only care about what happens to them and not the ones they use.

These musings are on women who destroy families.

Qualifier: what I’m about to write can certainly and easily apply to men, but I’ve really just about had it with women…no, girls…hurting wonderful men who love them and whom¬†I care a lot about. And in all but one instance, I’ve never even met these women.

Reason #1: Cheating women are children. Really. They have gotten stuck at some pubescent stage of growing up. I mean, think about it, they are like children at recess. Sally and Suzie are playing in the sandbox; Sally, who has been digging with a shovel, puts down the shovel, brushes off the sand on her clothes, and steps out of the sandbox to go swing on the swings. But as Suzie moves to pick up the now abandoned shovel, Sally gets all possessive. Now, we know that I’m speaking in metaphor here. Sally was dating Sam, but is now done with Sam and wants to go date Mike. But at the same time, Sally doesn’t want anyone else to date Sam either, so she keeps him. Remember, Sam is the shovel in the sandbox, Mike is a swing on the swingset. As far as Sally is concerned, those two have no reason to ever play together or know about each other. That’s the mentality that allows Sally to justify keeping two men who don’t know about each other or their competition for Sally.

The same thing happens in the cheating situation (we’ll stick with Sally, Sam, and Mike). Sally and Sam are married. But Sally sees Mike and decides she likes/loves him too. While I can’t completely discount the existence of polyamory¬†(where multiple partners all know about each other and agree to be part of a multiple partner relationship), the greed, envy, and secrecy that make cheating bad and sexy are the very things that made lying so attractive to the 5-year-old who discovered that sometimes if she said sister did it she might not get spanked…that reward rather than punishment for getting away with it. Very childish in my mind.

Reason #2: Cheating women can only lie: to themselves, to their children, and to the world. A byproduct of all of the lying necessary to cheat successfully is that at some point, she must begin to lie to herself. Not just the “getting away with it” part but the “this way no one gets hurt” part, followed by the inevitable “we’re all happier this way” part. You see, at some point, Sally will be able to justify keeping her husband Sam and dating Mike on the sly with a line of logic that goes like this: I love Mike and he makes me happy; if I’m happy from being with Mike, then I can be a nicer and better mom to my kids; and if I’m happy from being with Mike and the kids are doing well, then I can be a good wife to Sam. See, everyone is happy. At least that is what Sally has lied to herself about so many times that she now believes her own lies.

Reason #3: Cheating women deserve neither of the men they are with. Whether Mike knows about Sally’s husband Sam or not, Sally isn’t worthy of either of them. Here’s where some things might seem contradictory. But if you are Mike, and¬†you love Sally, and she has said she’s going to leave Sam for you, you want to believe her, right? And if you are Mike, and you love Sally, and she says she has to stay with Sam because that’s what’s best for the kids, you want to believe her right? You wouldn’t love her if she was easily willing to disrupt the kids’ life just for her own pleasures, right?

In my experience as a friend to both Sam and Mike, for Sally to make this work, she has to convince one or both Sam and Mike that he is not good enough to get anyone else, to make him believe that she is the only one who can love him like he needs, despite his many and heinous flaws. In fact, such a strategy protects Sally from exactly what she fears, that she is not worthy of either of them.

What I’ve learned from these musings is that Sally is possibly the best salesperson ever…until it comes time to close the deal. Again, in both Sam’s and Mike’s cases, when push came to shove, Sally ended up with neither man: neither her husband or her lover. Both relationships failed.

And finally, I must acknowledge a special class of women who I think must be mutant, because they can’t possibly be human. These are women who abandon their children. Now, I don’t mean women who determine that someone else can give their child/ren a better life than they can and adopt them out or even sell them; though I may not agree with the method, I can respect them putting their child/ren’s needs and opportunities before theirs. I mean women who simply up and walk away. Drop the kids off at a friend’s house and just never come back from the store.

Now I’ll clarify here, I don’t have children that I can claim on my taxes, nor have I ever been pregnant. And to be honest, I’d be perfectly happy with my life if I never do have any children. But I can’t even abandon a cat or dog on the side of the road, and am horrified by the idea of leaving my nieces or nephews in the car while I take the groceries inside the house first. Truly, I believe in the existence of and challenge genetic researchers to identify the mutant gene that allows mothers to abandon their children.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on what I think of court systems who will give those same women a second chance with those children.

What I’ve ended up with¬†are men friends who I’m pretty sure feel an immense hole in their lives, as if they will have missed some elemental life experience if they can’t find that one perfect love. (Note: I did not say perfect person.) They–the men–are the anti-players they were years ago when we were all younger, more carefree, not yet thinking of settling down but of living. Now they are worried…dare I say scared…that they’ve missed her and haven’t got a clue how to recover their opportunity, if there’s even one left. And, worse, they are scared to try again, to be hurt again. I hope I never get hurt so often or so badly that I can’t try again.

And, in case you are wondering, yes, I full-on friend love all of the Sams and Mikes in my life whom Sally has cheated on, whose children she has abandoned. Nearly all of my Sams and Mikes have been crushes, boyfriends, even lovers at some time, and have remained very dear to me. Thankfully, I can say that I have never been a Sally.