Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Washing Machines = Divorce

Study finds washing machines leading cause of divorce!!

That would make for an interesting article, wouldn't it. To my knowledge, there's never been a study like this. But, I absolutely believe it to be true.

Yeah... I know... you think I've lost my marbles...

Humor me for a moment.

One of the great things about BBC television is the series "Victorian House" and the many spin offs it created, "Frontier House", "Colonial House", and the others. One of the things that really stood out to me was absolutely how much work and time it took to maintain a household. From washing the clothes, to preparing the meals, to collecting the food, to keeping things clean, the fire going, clothes made and mended... THAT WAS WORK!!

It reminds me of the fairy tale of the farmer and his wife trading jobs for the day because neither of them thought the other had it very rough. Well, by the end of the day, the farmer didn't have the wash up on the line, the cow milked, the goats were on the roof... the moral of the story is that the farmer didn't know how good he had it going out into the fields every day. (not that that was an easy life!)

Less than one hundred years ago, a span of 3 generations, women played a vital role in every household. Men worked hard, women worked hard. Both had a role to play and both roles were very important. Men needed women, and women needed men.

But then came the industrial revolution...

With the industrial revolution came inexpensive, labor saving devices. Both for men and for women. By the 1950's, only a fraction of time and effort was needed to maintain a household. Washers, blenders, dryers, refridgerators, self cleaning ovens all promised to make life better, giving women more time for other things, children, etc.

The unspoken consequence is that all these things diminished the role women played in maintaining households. In a sense, they diminished the value women added to the relationship as an individual. Diminished how important they, themselves were to their husbands.

But, not at first...

Men, for the longest time, didn't know how to cook. But now? I know more men who can cook than women. The same is true for other household chores. Men don't need women anymore.

And what was the battle cry of the seventies? A woman doesn't need a man for success/fufillment/[insert appropriate adverb] anymore! As the cigarette maker said, "You've come a long way, baby." Women were told (and rightfully so) that they could make it on their own. No men need apply.

But this is where we get to the root of the problem. (yeah, I know, I took my sweet time getting here)

Men don't need women. Women don't need men. (and no... sex is not a need)

Think about it.

How deep can a relationship get when both parties don't need the other? How easy is it to walk away when you're not dependent on the other person? Mutual dependency is a key ingredient I observe in many healthy long term marriages. Not in the "I need him/her to be happy" kind of way. That's just obfuscating your responsibility for your own happiness. True mutual dependency creates a sense of appreciation for the other person. It confirms the importance of that individual in your life.

But that's scary as hell. Dependence = trust = vulnerability = huge potential for pain. Perhaps my greatest sin in my marriage was that I didn't need my wife enough. I'm extremely self sufficient as evidenced by being a single father for the last nine years.

Part of true satisfaction in life comes with the knowledge that you make a difference in someone else's life. That your existence means something to someone else. That their life is fuller/better because of you. And... I took that away from my wife. Because I could do it on my own. Because I didn't need her.

I did some laundry over lunch...

Self sufficiency ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

American Woman

R from one of my recent finds Diary-A has written a fantastic post about American women.

It's an honest examination of feminism and modern day women.

One of the things that has always confused me about women (and believe me, there are many things that confuse me about women) is this seemingly schizophrenic approach they have towards relationships.

"I want a man who is confident and takes charge!"

"I want a man who isn't afraid of a strong independent woman!"


Oil and water, my friends... oil and water.

The "strong confident man" is ultimately despised as controlling and selfish. A man "who isn't afraid of a strong independent woman" is ultimately despised as weak and cuckolded.

Have women been sold a bill of goods by feminism? Maybe so, maybe not.

Perhaps Mel Gibson knew what women want, but I'm not so sure that women know what they want, themselves!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Through the eyes of a Pizza Dude

For three years after my divorce, I worked as a Pizza Dude.

Thirty-five hours every weekend almost every weekend for three years while my ex watched the kids. (I have them through the week) It wasn't something I was especially proud of, but you do what you gotta do to keep the mortgage paid and food on the table.

Everybody likes pizza.

Doing something like that, I think, gives you a different perspective on life. I suppose that's true with most any service industry job. So, I saw a little bit of everything, from the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor. A few of them still stand out even today.

The Drunken Gay Man. Probably the funniest delivery I had was to a drunken gay man. It was funny because he earnestly hit on me the moment I got there till the moment I left. I think all heterosexual men should be hit on my a drunken gay man. Puts a little perspective on what it must be like to be a woman in a bar.

The Crack House. The scariest delivery I made was to a crack house. Now, by all means, I'm not a small guy, but I was frikk'n scared. I didn't know it was a crack house until after the guys had me come inside to pay me the money. All I could think of was, I've got over $200 in my bag, and I want outta here!

The Weird Kids. I made several deliveries to this house. It was weird because there was a bed in the living room and more than once it looked like the kids (10-14) were messing around under the covers.

The Half Naked Woman. I feel bad about this one. It's not like it first reads. As I was making my run on a cold winter evening I passed up this woman running in the snow with no coat on and very little else on. I thought that was pretty strange until a block later I saw a man walking in the same direction. Yeah, she was running from him. I should have stopped somewhere and reported it, but I didn't. And by the time I got back to the store, they would have been long gone.

The Wife Beater. Another one I'm not particularly proud of. Walked up on the porch to see through the crack in the curtains a woman being thrown down on the livingroom couch. I didn't quite know what to make of it until the guy came to the door, angry, and demanded to know how long I had been there. I knew exactly what was happening then.

(to my credit, I did report a bunch of kids beating the crap out of another little kid)

The Hooker in the Hotel. Don't know for sure... the other drivers said she was. The hotel security didn't leave us alone long enough to find out any different. (definately a good thing)

Unfortunately, I didn't get The Woman whose Bikini Top Fell Off, that was the other delivery driver. He had a knack for getting all those kinds of deliveries.

But then...

He never got hit on by The Drunken Gay Man... Ha ha ha... In your face... Score!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

No no no.. you're doing it all wrong

Wanna know how to write a good blog?

Eat this!

Instructions for Life

My parents got in trouble.

My parents told me last night they got in trouble for feeding their grandson popcorn.

Why?

Because my sister read somewhere that feeding popcorn to little children is harmful to them.

That's a new one to me. I mean, I'm all for keeping kids safe, but come on... really? Popcorn? I looked up what I could on the internet this morning about the dangers of popcorn. All I could find is a possible danger to factory workers who inhale the butter fumes of microwave popcorn, but nothing about popcorn being bad for kids.

Why is it when we read the latest email warnings they're taken as gospel? Did you hear about the gangs who were putting aids infected needles in gas pumps? What about the one where Bill Gates will send you money for forwarding his email?

Because it's written, because someone said it, it must be true, right?

Why is it when we read the latest self-help book, everything else is thrown out the window? Where would my life be if it weren't for Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, Dr. Joyce-Brothers, Dr. Spock, Dr. Atkins, or any other plethera of appointed experts specialized in the art of living?

I admit, I've read my share of 'experts'. Some have interesting insights (usually the ones I agree with) on how I should live my life. Is my life better for it? Yeah, I don't think so. Maybe for awhile I think differently about things, but for the most part, I am the same person I was before I read the advice.

So, what's the point?

Why are we like this? What is this need for an instruction manual for life?

When I get it figured out, I'll write a book about it.

In the mean time, please pass the popcorn.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Blog flavors

I find that I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want to post.

I mean, what can I possibly have to say that would be of interest to anybody outside of myself or my immediate family (God forbid they read this).

Interesting blogs usually follow the format learned in Creative Writing 101, that is, drama or conflict. Which is fine, people like to read drama and conflict, but that's not really me.

You see, I live a pretty mundane life. Actually, I'm kinda proud of that. I've worked hard at making my life as uncomplicated as I can. Not to say that I don't have drama and conflict. It's just boring drama and boring conflict. (actually, that's not entirely correct cause some of the conflict is pretty out there and I'm so consumed with ensuring that complete strangers have such a good opinion of me I hesitate posting it because it would make me look pretty strange) (ie:how does one punish a 9 year old who held a knife to his sister's throat)

If I had a different sense of humor, I suppose I could write that kind of blog. The problem with that is that my humor tends to be deadpan. Meaning, I play off the moment, make an outrageous statement with a totally serious face. That only works if you know me pretty well. Otherwise, people end up thinking I'm pretty stupid. ('cept for the people who know me and think I'm stupid already in which case it doesn't really work too well there either) Oh, to have biting satire and a quirky outlook on life...

I do spend a lot of time contemplating human behavior and trying to understand why people do certain things. Occasionally I think I have some insight/opinion which may be worthy of comment, but then I have that nagging tendancy to get up on my soapbox and pontificate which gets old rather quickly.

So... in the end... I fall back on Creative Writing 101.

Write about not knowing what to write about.

Friday, June 18, 2004

For my father

My dad is a great dad.

He's not rich. He's not famous. He's not acutely handsome. In fact, if you were to meet him on the street, there really isn't anything about him that would distinguish him from anybody else.

My dad is great because he taught me that the question to answer as a parent, isn't "Would you die for your children?". The hard question you must answer as a parent is "Would you live for your children?".

Not the mamby pamby let your kids dominate every aspect of your life kind of way. But in the "I'm responsible for human beings who depend on me" kind of way.

It's not something he ever told me. It's not something we discussed.

It's something he lived.

It was in how he taught me how to whittle a stick without cutting my finger off. Coming to every game of our losing basketball season. Teaching me it's ok to pee outside when nobody else is around. Being there when I need him, listening even when he didn't know the answers. Playing catch with me. Working through vacations so that we could have them. Being involved in the community giving me reason to be proud. Proud to say that he's my dad.

My dad isn't perfect, but he tried his best.

My dad lived for his children.

Just your average, ordinary, everyday, kind of hero.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The lies we tell ourselves

I find, that many of the lies I tell myself start with two little words... "If only".

If only my wife had wanted to work on the marriage more... If only I was more attractive... If only I had more money... If only people were more trustworthy...

If only...

They feel like truths at the time I think or say them, but they're really not. They are lies. They're lies because the state of my life, the quality of my life really and truly is not dictated by those things outside of me. The external. The state and quality of my life is what I choose it to be. It is my choice. Nobody else's.

So much pain and suffering are caused by those lies.

Marriages break up. Crimes are justified. People hurt.

"If only" lies paralyze. Prevent action. Stifle solutions. Stuck in the quagmire of what could have been or what could be.

When I was young, I was taught not to lie to others.

If only I was taught not to lie to myself...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Blog that fascinates me

Blogs are interesting things.

I mean, what are they really? There are many different kinds. Some attempt to be news portals for whatever that person takes an interest. Others are "newsletters" for their friends and family. But others are windows. A glimpse of what life is like for someone else.

What is it like to be a prostitute? Gay? A teenager? A pregnant mother? For a few moments each day, I can "put on someone else's shoes" and experience the emotions and thoughts afforded by anonymity.

Two-way mirrors has an intuitive insight into this. Her blog really is a two-way mirror. A reflection of who she is, on the inside. There is no way to leave a comment on her blog, so she is never certain if anybody sees her. Never quite certain if someone is on the other side... looking in.

Fascinating.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Weird time of life

In terms of relationships, I find that I am in a weird time of life.

Ok... more weird than normal...

I'm in my late 30's, soon to be 40, single, unattached (kindasorta). I keep finding myself attracted to women much younger than myself. Not in a perverted sort of way. These women tend to be in their mid-20's, which in itself is not weird. I've always been attracted to women in their mid-20's. In my mind's eye, I still feel like I'm in my mid-20's, so it kinda makes sense.

But then I get to thinking...

Should I ask her out? The mental math starts ticking. If I were her age and a guy my age asked me out?

I start grossing myself out.

But then there's the women my age. And there are a number that are attractive. But the problem is, they're starting to look like my mom. At least how I picture my mom in my mind's eye. And I gross myself out all over again.

Yeah, this is weird...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Ok...

I admit it, I'm a Blogaddict...

The problem is, that there are so few blogs out there worth reading.

Blogs I hate-

Blogs that take too long to load.
Blogs that put their posts in small little boxes.
Blogs that aren't in english. (notthatIhatenonenglishspeakingpeoplemindyouits
justthatIwishIknewwhatitwasthattheyaresaying)
Blogs that do squirrely things with the mouse or exits.
Blogs written by husbands who whine because they aren't getting more sex.
Teenybopper blogs.
Blogs written as though their child/pet are making the posts.
Blogs that complain about other blogs.


Blogs I love-

Blogs written by people who know how to tell a story. (even if it is about boring everyday crap)
Blogs that go balls out telling it like it is and making no apology for it. (sorry about the balls thing)
Blogs written by women. Ya'all drive me nuts, but I like what you have to say.

&

Blogs that entertain me. Cause that's the whole purpose of everybody writing blogs. Keeping me entertained.

This is me

the place to say things I don't say...
the place to think things I don't think...
the place to rant...
the place to goof off...
the place to cry...
the place to moan...
bitch...
complain...

don't you just hate those kinds of blogs?