Saturday, January 27, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I'm very selective about the people I let into my life. I know what kind of friend I am, how seriously I take the word and the obligation of friendship. I also know this is what attracts people to me who want only to feed off that which I am. I know the world is full of people who have issues, who have dramas, who are on paths that will eventually grow them into actualized human beings. I also know that I've put in my time helping some of those people walk that path at the expense of my own sanity at times, and that I will continue to do so.
But the years have also taught me to be selective as I told a new acquaintance. We were sharing a cup of tea on a cold rainy day. The conversation was wonderful with just that touch of danger an underlying attraction can take on. We agreed politically, mentally, about love and friendship and all the cornerstones that form a solid connection. When he left to go home I experienced a momentary sense of sadness that so much potential wouldn't be developed further.
He left angry. I won't see him again. It's a conscious choice I made the minute he started to talk about his marriage, his kids, his frustration with his job, the gray that was taking over his hair, his fantasy of just bagging it all and buying a motorcycle and traveling the world before it was too late.
In other words, he just told me that he was offering me the typical friendship a woman has with a man in his mid to late 40's...months of dependence on me every time something went bad at home or work, gratitude for listening without ever saying much in return, an intertwining of his life with mine so complete that all that was missing from a total bonding was the sex that would never be. (The reason for that is simple. I don't mess with married men. It's disrespectful to the women and there's always complications.)
Nothing is simple with a man, especially friendship. They are either actively hunting a mate, in the throes of raising children and therefore not available unless it involves "the children." Or they are about to go bat shit crazy starting in their early to mid-40's when the children become teenagers and their marriages start to tighten around their necks.
In the last few years I've let myself get caught, for the sake and honor of friendship, in the whirlpool that was created by these men experiencing all the typical symptoms of a full-blown mid-life crisis. It always starts the same way. The woman they've been with for a decade and more is suddenly dragging him down, making too many demands, stopped loving him, is gaining weight, and becoming boring. If it wasn't for her, there's so much he could do, but now it's too late and it's all her fault because SHE makes him unhappy. And the children hate him, want him only for money and expensive presents, and as a chauffeur if they aren't old enough to drive themselves.
Think I just know some strange people? Well, I do. But I'm not the only one. Many women have been stunned to hear out of nowhere that their husband of many years suddenly wants a divorce.
I've been on the other end of hysterical phone calls at least twice a year now for the last few years as I tried to explain to my distraught women friends that it wasn't all their fault, that maybe it wasn't even the man's fault, that they were just caught up in a psychological whirlpool so intense they couldn't fight their way out and survive.
Sadly, it usually does end in divorce and even though the men always swear the girlfriend came later, she was usually in the picture when things started to go crazy. She became a symbol of all that was wrong in their lives. She became the unattainable Goddess they could have if only if only if only. And worst of all, these men often do end up with the Goddess who ends up becoming their new wife. It takes about 18 months for love and lust to become ordinary. This is after maybe another child has been conceived or since she is always younger than him, she often brings young children into the new relationship.
And the man finds himself in the exact same situation he escaped from. But instead of the bliss, he often has less money because now he is supporting two families on the income that was barely enough for one family. He often goes from having teenagers to having infants and young children in the home. Instead of more freedom he suddenly has less. Most of these new relationships end within two years and the man is left with nothing. Two of my friends became suicidal. One ended up killing himself for, as he put it in his suicide note, "Throwing away a beautiful family and a wife who loved me."
So what has this to do with me and friendship with a man in his 40's? Actually, quite a bit. You see, as the Patron Saint of difficult people, I draw these fools to me like bear to honey. I start out with friends who are couples and end up with two friends who won't be in the same room with each other and who spend most of their time trying to make me take sides. If the friendship is solid enough, I'll risk it.
Why risk? Because in the end, I'll still have the woman as a friend. We'll still stay in touch frequently. We'll call each other all the time and share emails. At first I have this with the men too...until one day the calls stop coming, the emails go unanswered, the voicemail doesn't get returned. Then I know he has begun the next relationship and I cease to exist. I become insignificant, an annoyance, that friend who becomes an obligation whose call he must answer as he and his new love giggle privately as he rolls his eyes to take my call. I become part of his past, the friend of his ex, the one who knows how low he went and the throes of his despair. I know too much about him. It doesn't matter squat that I gave him the depths of my friendship, that I cancelled appointments because he needed to talk, that I listened to him for hours on end go on and on about stuff that was essentially boring and tedious and annoying because I'd heard it so often from men before him. My friendship didn't matter anymore than it matters to him that his wife gave him her life, her youth, love and support for all those years.
And that is why I am acquaintances with men in their 40's and save my deep heart connections for men who are at least in their 50's and have already gone through all that nonsense. I'm a good friend. I have a lot to give. And I don't believe in wasting anything, especially my time, my love, and especially my friendship.
So, he left mad. He'll probably call me in a few years and say, hey you know what? You were right. Let's meet for tea, and I'll happily agree. Maybe I'll even invite his ex to join us.
Design from Ursinelogic. Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Bush is either completely delusional or this is a big fat distraction to keep our eyes off his hand...which is busy trying to start shit with Iran and Syria. The scary thing is that it is probably both...he is delusional AND he wants to start shit. If you haven't called your congressional representative, now is the time to make those phone calls and demand they make Bush come to Congress before taking military action in Iran or Syria. If we've learned anything in the last few years it is that our freedoms and rights do not disappear overnight. They leak away in hidden bills, legislation passed when no one is watching, and those insidious signing statements.
The War on Terror is just another excuse to make us subservient and cowering victims of Bushco. It is a badly refurbished version of the War on Drugs, and we all now how successful that was. All it did was make criminals of recreational users. The big drug lords are richer, more powerful, and have tons and tons of merchandise now more than ever. I would not be the least bit surprised if cocaine and heroin were once again raising money for illegal wars. After all, most of the people from Iran-Contra are now in privileged Bushco positions, and we all know how that funded that one.
As much as Bush disgusts me, what absolutely terrifies me is the idea that someone like Cheney could become President if Dubya is suddenly incapacitated, or worse, if Cheney resigns and Bush appoints someone like McCain as his replacement.
You have to look at these bastards for what they truly are: obsessed with power. Do you really think if Cheney or Bush starts to go down that they don't have an odious backup in place? Now is the time to find out exactly who those backups are, and it is also time to let Congress know you are paying attention. Make those calls now and demand that Bush must go before Congress BEFORE he can "bring democracy" to any other country. After all, 2008 is not that far away. You voted them in and you can vote their asses out the same way.
Design from Ursine Logic. Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Visit Ursine Logic for more designs.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
One of the many things I enjoy about being a Cafepress Shopkeeper is the community that congregates on the forum boards. We talk about how good or bad our days and sales are going. We encourage and support each other. We share our births, illnesses, dysfunctional families and relationships. In the year I've been there I've learned so much and made some wonderful
friends from all over the world.
There's a section of the forum where we can chit chat about anything.During one of these conversations one of the shopkeepers described how she packed up her cheating man's stuff in black garbage bags and set them outside. Of course we had to run with this. Thus was born the Freeloader thread and the following designs.
Do check out the various shops and bookmark them for future birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. I can vouch that your money goes to support some really nice people who are raising families, growing themselves as individuals with new confidence and skills, and creating original art that you will not find anywhere else.
This design is from Ursine Logic
This is what the designer has to say:
Has that unwanted house guest started to stink yet? Have they ignored all your invitations to move on? Instead of using a regular garbage bag to throw their stuff to the curb, get designer on them! Text says: For those whose welcome ends up bagged and tossed to the curb.
The Freeloader insult shirt Ash Grey T-Shirt
This design is from The Eclectically Incorrect Shop
This is what the designer has to say: Can't get rid of that bum? Give 'em a gift and shame them out the door. Or, just quit cooking with cheese.
This design is from Scott Designs
This is what the designer has to say: Heal thyself...kick the freeloader to the curb!
This design is from Evil Genius Comics, T-shirts and Gifts
This is what the designer has to say: Broken heart and garbage bags full of his things with caption: My valentine's day gift to my freeloading boyfriend: his stuff by the curb and the locks changed!
This design is from Circus Valley - Funny T-shirts
This is what the designer has to say: Spiders do help us get rid of pesty insects. Why not give your freeloading friend or relative this not so friendly hint. Text: FREELOADER at the back of shirts.
This design is from missingnebraska
This is what the designer has to say: From Western Nebraska, I'm having a ball at cafepress. I've learned a lot, made a little money and a bunch of great friends. Humor is my main venue, as I think we all need to laugh more
This design is from The Hot Tees
This is what the designer has to say: Are you living with a freeloader? Have all of your hints fallen on deaf ears? Tired of finding an empty refrigerator.... a messy house.... cigarette butts ground into the carpet... a lazy freeloader lying on the couch watching "Dr. Phil"... It's time to take a stand!
Wear this tee and let them know the party's over.... Garbage can in the middle of this design with text that says, "Get The Hell Out Or I'm Packing The Freeloader Suitcases!"
And do check out the comments because I've invited the other shopkeepers who made "Freeloader" designs to post them in the comments section if they missed out getting them in the actual post.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
In the last couple weeks filled with holidays that focused on family gatherings, there's always this small bit of sorrow in me that I didn't have those joyful memories. I come from the original dysfunctional family. It was dysfunctional in so many ways that I can't even begin to describe it here. I tried to write a book about it once. I even finished it. It's in a drawer along with other memories that are worth hanging on to for the educational value: love letters from old and dead relationships, long expired student identifications and driver's licenses and other bits and pieces of officialdom that have been replaced by the digital age, photographs of a youthful me that I'm always surprised looked kind of cute. I always saw myself as painfully ugly then. How perception changes!
What isn't there are many family pictures. We never took many. Most of the time we were too poor to afford a camera for more than a few weeks at a time. It lived mostly in the local pawn shops of whatever town we were in at the time. And film cost money to buy and develop. And who wants a record of domestic violence, alcoholism and poverty as mementos anyway?
Yes, my childhood sucked and I've had to spend a lifetime climbing out of it. But then as now there was something that kept me from taking one of my father's weapons and blowing my head off with it or one of my mom's happy pills that would let me sleep forever without waking up to them screaming at each other, and that was my friends.
There is an old saying that you can't buy friendship. This is probably because you can't put a price on it. Friendship is truly priceless. When I think of my childhood, it is filled with memories of friends who sheltered me, helped me talk through my anger, fear, and tears, who held me instead of hit me, who accepted me no matter how bad a person I thought I was and who saw me as beautiful no matter how ugly I thought I was. They kept me alive.
As I grew older I moved a lot and finally found a place to stop. I chose the place because of the people who came into my life in this place. They were the people of my childhood, the open and accepting arms, hearts, and minds. From the beginning they sheltered me from the other elements in the community who saw my vulnerable neediness and looked for ways to exploit it.
Some did and they live in the memory drawer with my family pictures. But the ones who are outside that drawer taught me that love is stronger than hate, tolerance is more powerful than bigotry, and love means being there when you are needed. That is why for this holiday like many of the others, I spent it with my friends. It's going on a couple decades now and it's because of them that the wounds are finally starting to heal.
Design and many others available at: Ursine Logic
Changing minds one t-shirt at a time. Limited coupon offer! DES140 will get you 10.00 off your purchase. (If it expires before you get a chance to use it, you can grab the current coupon code for 5.00 off at the top of my store entrance. There's a link that will take you to the coupon code site.)