Joy, Hope And The Plasticity Of People

At a social meetup called “Coffee and Conversation”  I had way too much fun last night (if coffeconversationthere is such a thing as too much fun). It made me think a lot all the way home.  I thought about 3 things: My brother in law’s visit,  what made this MeetUp gathering so much fun and that there might be hope for America despite what appears to be the immaturity of Millennials.

I was given the opportunity of hosting the social meetup, because Mike (the usual host) was not available for personal reasons and Marty who founded the group asked if I would help. The meetup is simple. All those attending are asked to write a questions on provided paper squares (like secret messages we passed in middle school) and add  the folded surprise questions to one of two ziploc bags labeled:  “Current Events” or  “Fun Topics.”

The host (me last night) then passes the bags to a person next to them who gets to choose a question from either bag.  The host then times them giving them 2 minutes to respond. Others just listen and do not comment. The Same Question, goes around the table where all are seated and each person gets  up to two minutes to comment. If they choose not to comment the bags of questions moves on to the next person. When it gets back to the person who chose it originally, the floor is open to for discussion should the group desire. There is one unspoken rule…. treat everyone and their opinions with respect whether yrespect.jpgou agree with them or not! What is this event? Is it a game? Is it rules for polite conversation? Is it a social gathering? Is it conversation for intellectuals?  To me it is a little of all and more as it engenders a lot of fun and a  potential creation of friendship and camaraderie among all types of interesting informed people.  It seems to attract a wonderful variety of people whose tolerance and respect for others in conversation, should be a model for our nation’s future growth.

One question, at last night’s gathering, that took me by surprise read “What was the best thing that happened to you this last week?”  I could not answer it at first, though I picked it from the bag, so I chose not to answer then  but to pass it to my left to Gerrie and then answer it when it came back to me and I had more time to think (another rule: you may pass on a question if you wish).  Listening to my companions share their experiences reminded me of what I would like to share (attitude) so I did when the question finally came back to me. I talked about my Brother-In-Law, Jose.

This is what I said in response to the paper question: About four years ago, Jose’s wife had a stroke. It left her with a paralysis of the left side of her body (she was left handed) and it motivation-2084506_640left Jose with a major challenge at nearly 70 years of age. However, Jose is a model of the potential plasticity of human beings (their resilience) and, to me, one of my heroes in life!  Jose and his wife Margie came to stay with us for a weeks invited vacation at our cozy 2 bedroom villa in Florida (they live in NJ).  When we took them to the airport a week later, on the way home I had trouble not crying. I already missed them too much!  Jose, who always loved people and being an entertaining host, taught me a lot about enjoying life, every day.  Jose never complained about the extra work he had to assume to help his wife dress, walk, shower etc., no he actually made it mostly fun.  Jose and I like to cook so we cooked nearly everything (we never ate out) together in the kitchen and had a great time together doing it (I was the sous chef).  We took long walks together,  when my wife gave Jose a break  from his well accepted responsibility as she spent time with her sister (his wife). We had a lot of fun talking as we walked for miles around our community. We had a dance party one evening at our community social center and there you could see the magic that Jose had created.  Though his wife could not truly “dance” fluidly (as she had to drag one leg and hold on to him for support) he got her up on the dance floor many times and held her hand while dancing with twice as much enthusiasm. He had his joy reflected back at him by the unceasing laughter and smile on her face.  When she was tired and sat one out or if the music was just “too fast,”  Jose often got up on the floor near her and danced with her walking cane (without being shy)  and made her and everyone around laugh with his very apparent enthusiasm (at making his wife smile).  His enthusiasm for life and joy in living was contagious!  By the end of the evening, out of the hundred or more people at the event, many had come up to ask Jose to move to the community as they needed him there!  Others had asked us to see if we could talk him into moving to our community. I wanted him and Margie to move down here too!  It was no wonder that when we left him off at PBI airport and drove home, the air seemed to have been sucked out of the room in the car. My wife and I have a good relationship and we have fun neighbors and what I would call a good life. We are blessed; however, Jose had taught us all something. It was the plasticity of enthusiastic people who rose to the challenge of what others called pain and suffering and turned it into joy. Not that he does not get tired, not that he does not have challenging  moments; however, he has chosen joy and surely makes that his life!

So what made the MeetUp fun?  It was the attitude and intentions of the people sitting at the table with me. Like Jose, they decided that life would be fun, they chose to not let unity-1767694_640anyone’s opinions be cause for negativity but rather an opportunity to learn. They chose to treat each other with respect and Always Be Positive (an unspoken rule). They chose to talk from their heart with integrity and in so doing engender trust and respect from others attending.  They chose to be light hearted and find the best they could. At that particular meeting, I don’t believe anyone choses “current events.”  We were all tired of the political divisions that the media and elitist celebrities have been beating America with for months, since Donald Trump’s election.  It was a good decision for all of us.  However, even when we do choose “current events” which is most often the choice,  this group has learned to discuss important issues in a positive and respectful manner.  If anyone cannot follow this rule (and that is very rare), they are politely asked to change their attitude or not return. In 6 months of attending, this has only happened once.

Finally how is there hope for Millennials and America?  From what I have seen of Millennials (in my case being a senior citizen it is mostly from the media) they are not impressive. They seem to have lost the “Power Of Positive Thinking”  and dwell in fear, anger, anxiety and frustration. They could use a lesson from Jose about how to deal with change in a positive way,  one that too many parents and college professors seem to have let die years ago. Yes, a reward for “showing up” is illogical!  They don’t seem educated despite attending educational institutions for that purpose. They also don’t seem to have the communication skills and social graces to lead a nation. They cannot even talk to each other over dinner  as they would rather text each other while sitting at the same table.  On the other hand, each generation seems to be molded by the challenges of its times. It makes them often look odd and clumsy to their older fellow Americans,  those of the last generation.  This made me think about how my father could not understand my generation, which seemed infected with the dream state of the “The Hippies.”

Driving home from the meetUp, I thought about how odd the millennials were from my perspective as a baby boomer. Some that I knew told me they did not date, Yikes that shocked me! They did not have girlfriends, they did not “go steady” and they did not plan on marrying or rushing to have kids as we did.  Instead they met on social media and sent message to each other painted with Pound signs like ” #BORED,   what should I do?‘ ”  On the the other hand the millennials have adapted to change with plasticity that is inborn in youth and fought for by adults.  They use social media (despite its horrific illusions and deceit) to form groups and keep in touch in some ways.  They use their phones almost like a rudimentary telepathy to track and share what is going on in each others life so they don’t ….miss out.  Many of them still “go out” in groups and dance together, though that millenials-smartphonemay be becoming more of a GenX phenomena.

Years back, Orson Scott Card wrote the Sci-fi book Ender’s Game. It was a story of how a teenager who was good at playing war games was seduced by the military to join a “competition of gamers to end all games.”  In reality the war game he thought he was playing on simulators was a real war and the alien race of insect like creatures (the misperceived enemies) he succeeded in annihilating were a real live civilization!   In essence, his growing up a a nerdy gamer, empowered his civilization to win a war against what was perceived as dangerous enemies.  The lesson?  Growing up different is a way to adapt to a changing technological and cultural environment.  Because it is different from the last generation does not make it wrong or weak, it just makes it strange. Yes they do appear as cry babies but we will see what happens when push comes to shove and they must make it in the real world (out of college).  I would not write them off too quickly.  On the other hand, in Ender’s Game the reality was that because of barriers to communication and cultural misunderstanding, Earth did not recognize that the Aliens were capable of  peaceful interaction with humanity. We missed out on an opportunity to expand our horizons and share knowledge with a whole new life form. It concerns me that communication via FaceBook, Twitter and other media may do the same for our nation, especially as it is more and more in the hands of Millennials. At the same time, if we baby boomers could detach from our TVs and TV Dinners to date, dance organize and keep America running, perhaps the same will be true for the most recent generation.  Keep your fingers crossed and be positive!


Feelings, Friends, Fancy And Love

deathofafriend I wonder if as you reach your late 60’s you start to think more about “feelings” and less from your head?  My second optician, who was a friend for 35 years, and 10 years younger than me, just died of cancer tonight.  I knew it was coming but it is still surrealistic. I am pondering lots more, as I become more conscious of my age and the loss of friends, if I made good decisions? I did in being his friend and am thankful he was mine.
     We all make decisions where our head overrules our heart and I wonder if that is the best we can do?  I have always believed it but began to doubt it 20 or 30 years later. Not that I know that the alternative was better. I just wondered,  what if?
I am experimenting with communicating, in writing, more from my heart and less from my head.  It has made me think a lot more about the touching emails, I have received over the years from friends,  both men and women.  I wrote an essay on feelings,  as experienced by a long married man, seeing his wife leaving for a 5 day trip to Fla  to do some work at their vacation home. It was an attempt at more feelings and less intellectualism but it ended up being both.  I thought it was an honest projection of what it might be like and what the implications are.  I have been divorced once and married now twice so I have learned something, I hope.
A week after writing the essay,  I was thinking about an email from an old college girl friend (45 years ago) who said dating in the 60'sshe was trying to share more of her feelings with old friends but not ready to do so yet.  Then thinking about her email comment,  I looked at the one picture I have of her, at that age, and tried to recall if she looked like that.  On my computer,  I tried to enhance it to look more like what my memory struggled to recall.  It took about 20 minutes and then I went to sleep, unsatisfied with my foggy memory and the still somewhat unfamiliar photo.
I had a lot of interesting dreams that night. I saw, symbolically,  the relationship I had with this pretty red haired lady, and an  “old girl friend” that I had dated a bit before meeting my wife.  There was a third one too but, I cannot recall who the third one was as it was a dream state. As a result of these symbolic images, I now better understand my feelings for all of them, in the past and now in the present.
Despite what some people claim,  I find that it is hard to believe that, years later,  you don’t still love the people you have truly loved.  I suspect that deep in my heart I still love them as much as I did then.  What is interesting is that I can be truly be happy for them being with the partners they chose,  which I could not have felt for them years ago.  It is now like being their brother rather than a lover.  Would you not be happy for your sister if she married someone perfect for her? Well, that is my experience or so I think it is.
There is also the lady I left a year before I met my wife.  It is fascinating to me that I made the right intellectual decision leaving her.  But like my college girl friend, she was my best friend in a time when I needed a special friend.  I talked to her by phone a few times months ago and I tried to learn why she looks at life so differently than I do. That was of course why I left her. I mention her in my previous essay above as she was the lady who was in real estate. She did not believe in marriage commitments and I did and still do.
I think I have always been a bit of a “boring” intellectual, who finds work, books, and time alone to learn, great fun while people were more of a  challenge, as few shared my  interests. I have gotten better however from a diversion in life spent selling products almost door to door, for 5 years. I learned to “be” more relatable and even enjoy almost anyone I meet, at least for short time spans.
  memoriesIt is an interesting time in my life, a time to try to understand “relationships.”  I am sure I will not ever understand relationships but I will understand more about them. I have never valued money greatly. I did not know until recently what I really valued.  You cannot take money with you,  but I believe you can take memories you are proud of and happy with.  I will joyously celebrate that wealth which I have acquired.

Missing A Women Scorned

This story is fiction and the names are fictitious. The experiences however are based on those that have been shared with me with utter honesty and confidence. I will not break that confidence here but I share the experiences for the light they shine on the human soul, much of which is apparently composed of sex!

Missing A Women Scorned

I was 18 years old when I returned to Miami, Fla to visit my hunting buddies in Coral Gables. I had no idea, I was going to have an almost “dream date” with  Linda.  I was  about to learn how different men and women look at the world and  I would also learn what it means to say “Hell hath no fury like a women scorned!”Yellow lingerie

Jim, Richard and Jerry were the guys I had grown up with, my hunting buddies.  It was good to see them after a year away at the U. Of Fla up in Gainesville.  None of us had changed much in a year.

My wavy dark brown hair was still down below my shoulders then and though I did not know it, the girls thought I was really hot.  I had no concept of hot because I was a nerd.  I was a nerd before the term was ever used, but I passed well for a Hippy which everyone understood (I thought I was one too, mostly).

I lifted weights to try to look good for the girls because I was shy and needed to have girls come to me as I was afraid to go to them.  I had found that muscles and a tan made chicks come to me like moths to a lit candle.  Of course even without the weights, my swimming and hunting kept me pretty fit and I always had a dark tan.  But I had no idea that I was attractive to the opposite sex… that was part of being a nerd and 18, I guess.  It took me at least 15  years more to discover that girls found me good looking, perhaps that is normal.

I did not have a summer job that year and we were having a blast getting drunk at Rich’s house, hunting, fishing and occasionally smoking something other than cigarettes.  I did however miss the frat parties and my new girl friend, Nancy.  My new college friend Harry had dragged me into the frat house to help raise its grade point average.  In the process I found out what a social life meant; however, over summer in Miami there was now a sudden painful vacuum of girls and social life. However help was on the way and Harry was the answer.

Harry was rich,  had a big fancy home, stocked frig,  a pool and so we soon had parties. He lived in Miami, 20 minutes from my home.  If we had a party at his home,  his mom, Mrs B.,  would disappear after a few martinis. His dad, Mr B.,  worked late and never seemed to come home.  If he did come home, he did not care what we did, as long as we did not trash the house and soil the sheets on the beds. He too disappeared, conveniently. 

We were learning about sex and most of us, even though we were in our first year of college,  had never “done it.”   Okay we had played around in parked cars at the drive-in or in lovers lane but we had never done the real thing. I certainly had not.  It was the beginning of the Hippy Era and that would soon change but,  at that time, we were the transition phase; we started the Hippy Era as the “Beats” faded into the workforce.  As for me,  I was so naive that  I did not even know that people french kissed.  But, there were other things we were learning in our cars and that was good enough for most of us.  It turned out that Linda wanted more but not the more you would think about.

It was at Harry’s party that I again met Linda. She had been my High School girl friend before college.  She was now in secretarial school and she looked even hotter than in H.S. if that was possible.  Linda had big brown eyes that were even big by Margaret Keane’s Yellow lingeriestandards.  Looking into her eyes made my legs feel wobbly and blood flow from my head to somewhere else, you know.  That was just the beginning.  Linda’s lips were full and sexy, her nose could have been used as the model for those thousand dollar nose jobs and her skin was flawless.  Behind that beauty surrounded by long wavy brown hair was a real intelligence and personality.  Linda was fun to be with and her happy personality attracted everyone.

I guess I am still not telling you much that is important to this story  because, I forgot to mention that if you were a teenage guy,  below her neck had a magical impact.  Looking at her was kinda like pressing a remote control for male body sex organs.  I don’t know how big her chest was but it was more than enough to make a guy breath funny. The rest of her body was perfection and though I had never seen all of it at once, little did I know that I was about to.

When we saw each other a year after I graduated H.S., at Harry’s,  Linda and I instantly ran to each other and kissed and hugged.  We had great memories from H.S. and lots more to make it seemed.  We danced, swam in the pool and touched enough to make it hard for me to get out of the pool.  After that night we started dating regularly.  I saw Linda at least 3 or 4 nights out of the week.  Yes it was the era of free love but no we did not make love in the traditional sense. In fact not even according to president Clinton’s standards.  It was enough for me though.  I was not sure why we did as little as we did but I had never given it enough thought.  I was just happy to be with Linda.

It was summer!  I was happy to have time to play guitar, read sci-fi and go the the Art Movie Theater to see  Sydney Portieir in To Sir With Love and other great flicks. Of course  my friends  and I found lots of time to hunt in the Everglades, and spear fish off Crandon Park. Jim and I had build a small flat bottom boat in H.S. and we used the battery from his car to power its weedless electric outboard motor.  It was not impressive but it was fun. We took it out on Crandon Park and anchored over the coral reefs which were plentiful back then.  We could float over the reefs in our snorkeling gear for hours and just enjoy being in another world. There was no sound other than the occasional buzzing sound of a powerboat’s propeller at first loud and then  fading into the distance.  Surrounded by schools of parrot fish or clouds of angel fish, it was like a trip to another planet.  It almost beat girls; well maybe not. I brought back lots of amazing catches from the ocean at Crandon Park.  Most of them seaweed.  The colorful fish we saw were not edible but occasionally we did spear some lunch.

We had a great summer that year back in ’65 but it went fast. Suddenly it was the end of summer vacation and Linda called me unexpectedly. I usually called her. Girls did not call guys much back then.   She said, “My mom and dad are out of town seeing my grandma up in Orlando. They won’t be home till nearly midnight and I am lonely! Could you come over?”  If miracles ever happen, this seemed to be the day for one.  It was late afternoon and I had no trouble getting cleaned up and over to her place in under and hour, with lots of cologne on.   I was a bit nervous as I parked in front of her garage, looking for signs that her parents might have come home; but unfortunately I could not see into the closed garage.  I walked up to the door with my heart beating faster than normal and rang the bell.  In seconds the door opened and I finally got to see all  of  Linda.  She wore a see through baby doll nightgown that covered absolutely nothing.  My whole body was suddenly burning as if I had been out in the sun too long.  I looked at her big turned up breasts and pert nipples and even for a nerd, knew what she was thinking.  Then I looked up at her face and saw a smile that said she knew she owned me. There was something too mature in that smile but I did not then  know how to put defining words to that observation.  I went in through the door hoping no one else had seen what I had seen.  I looked back over my shoulders to be sure; but, there was nobody in sight.

She kissed me in a way I had never been kissed before, yes she new about French Kissing.  Then she led me to a large spacious couch surrounded by burning candles, incense and two bottles of wine.  The glasses were already full as she was wasting no time.  There was music playing softly.   Somewhat unconsciously  I was beginning to realize that I had no idea what I was getting into.  My head kept my mind from thinking and the wine helped too. Little by little she took off my clothes as we kissed, hugged and touched.  I was afraid to take hers off as there was really nothing to remove;  besides my hands had learned well from Helen Keller.   At this point the wine had done its job and I had stopped thinking with my mind.  Linda helped with my indecision and took off her transparent wrap. She pulled me down onto her as she lay upon the couch, kissed me passionately and pulled me towards her by holding my butt with both hands.

For some reason, I have never quite understood, a light went off in my wine soaked brain and I pulled back and said, “Linda, I have no rubbers!  Do you?”  She said, “Don’t worry, odds are nothing will happen other than fun!”  The light got brighter but the brain had no real cue what was going on and would not for years to come.  I pulled away feeling real pain between my legs,  I got my clothes and started to put them on;  which was very hard in my state.   Linda glared at me from the couch, now sitting up and looking like she was a cat about to pounce on a mouse.  I stupidly said, “Linda, I love you and do not want to take a chance on getting you pregnant.”   With that said, I was out the door, into my car and on my way home.  Little did I know that she did not really appreciate my concern for her long term happiness; she felt scorned.  As you will soon see, this had consequences.  It took me many years later to understand how Linda had felt and only because Nancy told me about it!

That was not the end of my interaction with Linda however. There was to be one more episode.  I did not see Linda for the next two weeks.  Then I left for college without a word to her or from her.

A couple of months into my second year I got a call from Linda.  She wanted to come up and visit.  It did not occur to me that she might be anything different then the girl I had known before in H.S.; but,  her visit was about to be a big surprise to me.  I told Linda I would be available to the next 3 weeks but on the fourth I was going up to Orlando to visit my parents.  She said she would let me know when she would be coming.  I did go out and buy some 4x rubbers, just in case.  However,   I never heard from her and frankly I was so busy with school and Nancy,  I forgot about the conversation.

When I got back from Orlando, late Sunday night,  my big brother, Ted was there to greet me.  Now Ted was a great guy without a mean bone in his body.  He was only 5 foot 5 inches but solid as a rock from weight lifting. I was 5 foot 9 inches and I wore boots that made me nearly 6 foot tall.  Ted stopped me as I walked through the crowed entry room where everyone was hanging out, drinking and  listening to the Jukebox.  He had a funny look on his face.  He shook my hand and said he was glad to see me.  Then he asked, “did you not remember that your girlfriend Linda was coming up this weekend?”  I was shocked for a moment and then I recalled that I had told her specifically that I would be away in Orlando.

Ted continued, “She came up Saturday afternoon just before the party and told a few guys who she was.  She asked where you were?  We told her you were away.  She then said that you were a nice guy and she would miss you but with a frat house full of guys, she was sure she could have a fun night! Then she said,  that she wanted to stay for the party and asked if they would mind?  She is really hot and who could say no?  Well she got pretty drunk and decided to test her oral sex  skills on nearly every guy in the house!”

At that point, I forgot who I was talking to and rage ripped through my heart!  I pulled back my right arm ready to punch his lights out but he caught my hand easily and held me frozen.   Ted said, “Joe, you know better than to do that!  I may be shorter but I am way out of your class in a fight; not to mention that you are not really mad at me so calm down.”   He was right of course but  I was angry.  I thought for a moment and I just could not understand  why would he tell me such a lie!  Ted grabbed my other arm, pulled me over to the hall and led me down to my room.  We went in and I was pleased that he closed the door to the laughing faces, who were looking at me,  and the music of the Jukebox which was now no more than noise.

I threw my bag on the floor and sat on the bed feeling depressed and angry.  Ted sat across from me on my roommate, Steve’s bed.   I said, “Why would you tell me such a story, it is not funny! ”  Ted said, “It is not a story it is the truth and I wanted to tell you before the rest of the guys did, so you would be prepared for the teasing you will be getting.  I stopped for a moment to think and looked into his unflinching brown eyes.  There was no malice there and what I saw was my old friend again, my “big brother.”

It took me a moment to get my courage together and I said, “Thanks Ted,  I am sorry I lost my cool.  I just cannot believe she forgot what I told her and came up when I was gone.”  Ted smiled and said, “that’s Okay Joe,  now hang out in your room,  if you need to,  and it might be better if you just went to bed early.  The guys are all drunk and they will just say stupid things to piss you off, even though tomorrow they would regret it.

Tomorrow will be a busy school day, everyone will be busy thinking about academics and they will quickly forget Linda while some new fantasy arises.”  I thanked him, shook his hand and gave him a bear hug.  He was a good friend. I took his advice too.  I had a couple of shots of Jack Daniels Green Label and went to bed.  My roommate Steve must have come in late and I never heard him.

The next evening was Monday and we rarely partied on a Monday night but Ted had arranged to clear the dining room after dinner and have a Wesson Oil party.  Everyone got drunk and many of my crazy frat brothers  slid bare assed across the dinning room floor as our house mother, martini in hand,  looked on (she was nearly 70 and had no problem with us as long as we did not set fire to the house).  There were a few girls who had come for dinner with their boyfriends and they joined in the nude sliding  too.  There was now some new hot sexy news!  That was enough to distract everyone from Linda’s activities and create new stories for the next few days.  Linda was soon history and I put it out of my mind when I saw Nancy’s beautiful face the next Saturday night at our weekend party.  Life went on. There was something new that I discovered in Nancy, that previously I could not have named.  Linda was hot; but, Nancy was not only hot, she was special.  Though Linda was my dream image of sex, Nancy was my dream image of someone I could spend my life with.  Not only was she pretty and sexy but she was intelligent and compassionate.  There was a warmth that came from within, something that would still be there when we were 80 and looking like prunes.  Something that would grow with the years and get better rather than fade.  I could not have explained that then but I can now.  Nancy and I never quite made it to the hitching post as things happened but we never hurt each other as Linda did to me.

Twenty years later, when I was living up in Chicago,  I got a call from Linda.  I had forgotten all about her coming up to the Frat house, getting drunk and doing what she did.  I was married to Anne.   Linda wanted to see me for old times sake.  I was not sure I wanted to see her as I was happy with Anne and could see no reason to meet.  I asked Anne what she thought and she said she was fine with it,  if I was.  I asked Anne to come with me and she laughed and said, “If you really are curious go by yourself and stop being so shy!”

I am not sure why I went but I did meet her for lunch at Tad’s steak house.  She brought her daughter, Susan, who was just finishing H.S.  It was to say the least, uncomfortable.  I had nothing to say to Linda and I was not very adept at small talk.  I was not sure why I was there and I was not sure why she was there. She smiled and was pleasant but she had gotten old.  She was no longer sexy and there was just “nothing” for us to share.  She was not attractive to me at all.  I was very happy when she said she had a train to catch and left with her daughter.

Twenty more years passed and my college girlfriend, Nancy,  who lived in Fla still,  had found me on Facebook.  We had taken up corresponding a bit now and then.  We were both lots older and somewhat wiser and it was fun to occasionally have an opinion on life other than Anne’s.  You know how it is; it is sometimes easier to listen to a casual friend than your wife. At least sometimes.  Anyway,  being in touch with Nancy reminded me of all my long lost friends. We got to messaging and I mentioned the story about Linda. I had not thought about it in years and I still could not quite put the pieces together.  I was however  reading an article in the psychology magazine I had agreed to edit and there was a similar story there.  So it reminded me of Linda and I told that to Nancy,  which I never had done.  She wrote me back and said, “Beware of a women scorned, you never know what she will do!”

Well 40 years later,  I had acquired some wisdom and it suddenly made sense, with Nancy’s help.  Linda did not forget what weekend, that I was going to be away; no, she planned on being there when I was away and showing me that she would get every guy around to want what I had turned down!  She wanted to hurt me as I had unintentionally hurt her!  She has succeeded to some extent but at a cost, I cannot imagine.  I was not angry but I did feel sorry for her.  I learned later that she had apparently gotten pregnant by the guy who came after me and, of course,  “by accident.”   That was her way of getting what she wanted.  She did not get me and I am happy it turned out that way.  I have often wondered what made me get up and leave.  Any sane teenager would not have done what I did.  I figure God had another plan for me as I could not credit myself with such intelligence or strength against such hot sexy beauty.

It just amazes me, even at this age, that our world is so driven by sex.  What is more amazing is how dumb we guys are and how easily we are  manipulated by the “weaker sex.”

Janr Ssor.

Pain May Lead To Pleasure

This morning I read a great blog by Prego and The Loon.  You may want to read it!  It inspired me to share a comment with its author.  Then, I thought, it was worth sharing with everyone. So here it is:

In the Davinci Code, when the albino monk shoots Jacques Saunier who is now in terrible pain, he said “Pain Is Good.” It is a cruel comment from a psychopathic killer. But, in looking back on life, there can be truth in this saying when applied to painful events that do not kill you. My wife is much more “spiritual’ then I, my friends believe. I was not sure what that meant long ago. However, in times when I was feeling “pain” she did not, because of her faith in God. She just knew what was happening was for the best and would soon work out that way. Short days like that she called “Personal Growth Days.”

A few days ago, to see what this really means I looked back on my life and mentally reviewed the painful experiences I had, those that lasted months or even a few years. In the long run, they were all in one way or another positive! I was a bit amazed to note this. I was more amazed to note that had I been able to enjoy her attitude, I would not have had as much pain. She had shared some of those events with me, since our marriage, and in some of those experiences, I had made myself miserable while she enjoyed her life. It was true that in some cases, I was fighting the battle and she was cheering me on but, what if I had expected more positive as she did?

When we learn to roller skate, most of us fall a few times and if we are little people we may cry and feel physically and emotionally hurt by our failures. Eventually, if we persist, we learn to skate and are elated. The pain (sized by our expectations) led to joy.

One of my favorite peaces of classical music is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. It is a triumphant celebration of mans intellectual achievement and conquest of nature (or so I am told and feel when I listen to it). Each experience in life is not what it is but what we make of it and take of it. My divorce led to my new marriage and my new marriage led to a much more fulfilling life (though not free of pain). Looking back it was the best thing that happened to me. But not on the day, I shut myself in the dark closet, sat in a corner on the floor and cried, wishing I was dead.