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Friday, November 30, 2012

HORSE DOWN, FEET DOWN

Wow, what a week! This has been a week with so many ups and downs for me it’s like watching a saddle bronc rider at the rodeo. But, I’m sure we’ve all had those. And if last night is any indication, it looks like I may end the week doing the old ‘flyin’ squirrel’ bucking horse dismount made famous by the great Monty “Hawkeye” Henson… Remember him? As they say: horse down, feet down! (Just hope I land on my feet like he did.)

Today, I celebrate my friends that have helped me through the bronc ride that is my love life – especially this last week. I absolutely know that no matter what, they have my back and I hold onto that like that bronc rider holds the rein. I love the fact that they always seem to know what to say (and sometimes more importantly what NOT to say) when I get in these moods.
 
 I have no illusions that I can be difficult at best from time to time to deal with. So all the while they’re telling me “it’s okay, you’ll get past this” or “don’t worry, it just means there’s someone else out there” I know somewhere deep down inside they’re probably resisting the urge to say things like “if you don’t straighten up I’m gonna put a boot up the chute” or “you’re so lucky; at least when you snore there’s no one there waking you up to tell you to stop”.
 
So, thank you dear friends for all of your kind words (spoken or not). You’ll be glad to know that this is today’s exercise for me:
 
STEP ONE:  
Cross the arms...
STEP TWO:  
Grab ears...
STEP THREE:         
Pull head out of rear. (If you hear a little pop, that’s success not a pulled muscle.) And I just heard a pop that was more like a Macy's Day parade balloon bursting... Oww!
 
As my workout idol Jane Fonda is famous for saying: “No pain, no gain”. Don’t you think that’s appropriate for the dating workout too? If you think about it - they both can leave you mentally and physically drained except for brief moments of endorphin highs... if you know what I mean!
 
HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL!!!
 
 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

WHY WOULDN'T I?


Well, so, yesterday’s blog got me all kinds of comments, likes and, to be honest, a few dislikes apparently. I got one email from a guy I know (but to be quite honest have them nestled in the ‘friends’ category) to inform me that I'm being too picky because they were a ‘good guy’, they would be more than happy to cook me dinner or help me with the horses or whatever else I may want or need. They would be there, ‘willing and wanting to help’ (their words not mine). They offered what any woman would love to hear, including myself. So then why DIDN’T I want to go out with them?
 
It made me stop and think. Why wouldn’t I? Apparently I made such a big deal about searching for a nice guy that I overlooked a key part of the quest – desire.  If they’re not the one you can’t wait to get home to see or the one that makes you catch your breath when you think of them, then it’s about as believable as Lindsey Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. And trust me, at some point you and the producers of that film will be asking exactly the same question: “What was I thinking?”!
 
Now, before you go getting all "don't go looking a gift horse in the mouth" on me, hear me out. I take back nothing I said about nice guys and how I'd like to find one of my own. I simply mean you have to be realistic about what it is you are looking for.
 
I guess in horse terms you can put it like this: it’s like trying to find that perfect balance between a halter horse (known more for looks), a reining horse (known for excitement) and a ranch horse (known for practicality and dependability). Now, if you could find me a guy with all of that it’d be like hitting the equine jackpot of love!
 
Again, for me anyway, it’s about balance here. After all, there is cold food and hot food but, when it comes right down to it, you can’t really have steady sustenance if you don’t have fire.  And that’s true of food AND relationships.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

They DO Exist!

You know that holiday commercial where the M&Ms and Santa Claus stumble onto each other and give each other the “He does exist”… “They do exist”… and faint? Well, that’s kinda how I feel when someone tells me their “Hey, can you believe my sweetie cooked me dinner and then did the dishes because I was working late” story.

Apparently, some of you think I have somewhat of a ‘jaded’ view of men these days… Wonder why. Never mind – that dead horse’s been beat enough.  Now, where was I? Oh, yes, my reminder. You see, I was chewed on like a cribbing horse on a carrot juice soaked post for lumping all men into that one ‘all men are pigs’ category (the old ‘the few pay for the sins of the many’ thing). Huh? What’s backwards? It’s important to say here however that the ones who were kind enough to point out that some men are good are those who are in relationships with them.

Don’t go fainting like the M&Ms now when I say this but here goes: “They DO exist.” Yes, I said that with a straight face. Even I know it’s a statistical improbability that you can lump the entire male species into the ‘jerk’ category. If you could, there’d be no reason for OB-GYNs to hand out pills because men could simply use their personality as birth control. Come to think of it, I do know a few that really should.

So, to those of you good men who ARE in the category of Santa Claus and talking M&Ms, I applaud you. To those of you women who are in relationships with them, I envy you. If there are any of those good men who are by chance single, please let me know because my flying reindeer need a landing strip.

Monday, November 26, 2012

THAT WAS YOUR 'ICE BREAKER'?

Yep, I’m at it again.  While my friends have been surfing the web since Black Friday for shoes, electronics, toys (for their kids) and even jewelry, I’ve been using it to net a different sort of gem. And boy have I seen some doozies and floozies!

Having had a couple of days now to reflect on the events of last week has given me a much better perspective on things… not to mention more writing ammo! No, I CAN’T help it – not when what some of you guys send is so bad that for me it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

And, as for some of your opening lines well let’s just say that you want to be careful what you write to break the proverbial ice – you could end up going through it instead! I mean really – whose bright idea was it to send someone you don’t know a message that actually read “Hey, I really liked your ‘pic’ so I thought I'd write to break the ice. I was wondering how you would look in Victoria’s Secret rather than jeans. Honestly I wonder how you’d look out of Victoria’s Secret?” Really? You write something like that as an ice breaker and don't expect me to use it as a 'something else' breaker? Then by all means keep writing... I'm taking notes! 

On the up side, after what happened last week, I needed a different sort of a ‘pick-me-up’ (no not the 2 am lights on at the bar kind thank you very much). I honestly was just looking for giggles and grins and, like a Disney movie, considering the messages like the one I just told you about, the computer didn’t let me down. What’s that? Did I answer that one? What do YOU think? Ummm. NO!!

And while we're on the subject of 'shopping'... if there’s one thing I can put on your level in the context of the holiday shopping season it’s this: we’re NOT ‘Toys R Us’. We’re not here for you to take off the shelf in Aisle 8, only to handle us for a bit then toss us back on any old shelf in Aisle 10, because you just found the newest doll!

Seriously, that Victoria’s Secret doll you just picked up may be cute but odds are her idea of camping out is the Ritz Hotel without hot water. You realize the cost of that stay is about the equivalent of a downpayment on that bass boat you’ve been eyeing?... And in rough wake, you know you can count on that boat!

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

GAME CHANGER

QUESTION: What does it mean when you break up with someone and you suddenly feel like a truckload of wet, molded hay was just lifted off your shoulders? MY ANSWER: It means the person you were with was about as good as that molded hay.

Guys, I’m gonna do you a little favor here… No not THAT kind of favor… mind… gutter… Ok, back now? Good. Oh, yes, favor. Now, here’s another question: What do you do when your girlfriend says “Would you rather watch to game or be with me this holiday?” If you’re hearing the Jeopardy theme music while you’re thinking, then that molded hay already looks better than you. IT’S A TRICK QUESTION to some guys apparently.

Guys, if your girl asks that question, there is only ONE right answer – anybody know what it is yet? Good for you! That’s right – the answer is “I can tevo that game and watch it anytime I’d much rather be with you”. Anything other than that and you’ll find yourself in the burn pile right along with the molded hay. 

How do I know? This happened to me, fairly recently, too. I was in a relationship with someone that I really cared about and thought for awhile they cared about me. Little by little, I was starting to see signs that something was ‘rotten in Denmark’. But, I really, really liked this guy and wanted things to work out. But, he DID choose the game over me and city girls would call him something like a “schmuck” or a “putz”. (Here in the country we call them much worse and believe me – I DID.)

Guys, do you have a clue how hurtful something like that is to your lady? What you see: “I just wanted to watch a game”.  What we see: “You chose tv over me so you must not want to be with me”.  Same picture, two different views.

Now, to the ladies, I must warn you: DON’T ASK A QUESTION YOU MIGHT NOT WANT THE ANSWER TO! Think about that very carefully. What you must put into perspective is if he’s showing signs that you feel the need to ask that question in the first place then odds are that football game is the least of your worries.

What did I do? Really, do you have to ask? Have you been reading my blog? I gave him the boot. Was I hurt? Of course I was. What girl wouldn’t be? I was extremely hurt to realize that the man I had fallen for was just a shell.

Moral of the story here:
 
GUYS: If you really care for your gal then show her - tevo the game and be happily by her side knowing you can go home and watch that game 3 times if you want to. And, I assure you, she’ll be very happy and thankful (if you know what I mean). But, if you're foolish enough to choose a game on tv with absolutely no merit to you over the one person who actually enjoys your company in real time, then your team's loss is nothing compared to yours.
 
GALS: If he chooses that game over you then I'd say that gives the phrase 'game changer' a whole new meaning. But, if he records the game and chooses to be with you, don’t take that for granted because you have no idea how lucky you are.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

THE SIDEARM AND THE TURKEY


Ok, so you knew I had to do it didn’t you? I just couldn’t resist the urge to touch on the Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelly saga. Sorry but when it’s right there for the taking, resisting is like trying to keep a shopaholic home on Black Friday.  (You’d have better luck with the shopaholic). 

 Now, if you’ll just give me a minute to adjust my soapbox here… That’s better… Now, where was I? Oh, yes, right – the good ol’ three way. Shooters sometimes refer to their pistols as their ‘sidearm’ or their ‘side piece’ meaning that it’s just hanging there, at their side waiting for the chance to be used. Well, I can’t think of a better expression to use when talking about Paula Broadwell or Jill Kelly – can you? (And Kim Kardashian thought she had the market cornered on that!)

I know the debate has been raging on about whether or not the General’s private affair should be considered a matter of national security and to me, I’m kinda torn on the issue personally.  YES: he was the head of the CIA and should’ve known that he’d get caught – although it turns out that came about more as a matter of the old ‘hell hath no fury as a woman scorned’ scenario, ie, Paula Broadwell’s email to Jill Kelly. NO: it’s a wide creek to cross from bedroom to war room and I highly doubt when he was with Ms. Broadwell the war room was what was being discussed (if it was then he had a lot more serious problems to worry about given the looks of Paula Broadwell)!

Is it ever right to cheat on your other half? OF COURSE NOT! But at what point do we in this social media, papparazi hungry society draw the line? I was always taught you knock before entering someone’s bedroom. There is no more ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’. The sooner we all realize that the sooner producers of shows like “Cheaters” will realize they’re being replaced by Facebook (gives new meaning to ‘check in’) and Twitter (a little birdie tweeted that).

Moral of the story here is: If they did it with you, they’ll do it to you… and they usually do.  So, if you want the only turkey in your house to be the one on your dining room table on Thanksgiving, I suggest you cater only to your partner’s dressing!

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

THE SECRET INGREDIENT


I’m not just talking about the sugar in your Mamaw’s cornbread or the beer in your Papaw’s hushpuppies. And no, I’m not even talking about General Petraeus’ squeeze – although she does give new meaning to the phrase ‘soldier’s sidearm’ … that’s a whole other blog… coming soon to a sarcasm theater near you. This time, I’m talking about something a little closer to home. This time, I’m referring to that one thing you can’t put your finger on that just seems to be missing from someone.

Now, let’s go back to the sugar in the cornbread and beer in the hushpuppies analogies for a moment. Let’s say you have 2 pans of cornbread in front of you – one with the ‘secret’ ingredient and one without and you’re asked to do a taste test and see if you can tell the difference… Well, duh… of course you can (especially if you’re from the south). You see, while they’re both very good, the one with the sugar just has a little something extra, something that makes you go ‘mmm mmm mmm I’d like some more of that!’ It’s that something extra that is so good you’ll risk reaching for it if the lights go out with one slice left on the plate and everyone but you is armed with a fork.  Yes, been there done that, got the fork holes in my hand to prove it!

Anybody see where I’m going with this yet? I knew you were smart. Of course you do… relationships. Just like those secret ingredients, there’s something we’re always looking for in that special someone in our lives. Whether it’s an extra dedication to work, or the person who always seems to have a little extra time for their kids or their parents or close family members.

For me, my sugar is compassion. It’s that person who has the heart of little “Cindy Lou” as opposed to the “Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Without compassion, children can’t be cured from cancer because no one would care to give. Without compassion, soldiers returning home from war would all be homeless and hungry because no one would care enough to see them and take them in. I look for someone who cares for more than just what’s in their immediate vicinity – for that shows the true depth of their heart.

To me, compassion is the sugar - the secret ingredient in a relationship. Like the cornbread with no sugar, if it’s missing, it isn’t good enough to keep me wanting more. There’s a saying that the most important ingredient in a recipe is LOVE. And here in the south that ranks right up there with the lard that goes into our homemade pie crusts! Why should it be any different in a relationship?  Without compassion, love is sugarless cornbread.

This week, especially, how about we all use a little extra sugar… and not just in the cornbread!

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

SHHHH..... DID YOU HEAR THAT?


Ok, get ready ‘cause my soapbox has had a good rest and I’ve got a good lesson for today! Now, this is something I’ve touched on in the past but I believe it bears repeating. Today’s message: ‘actions (or inactions) speak much louder than words. Yes, guys, we DO notice those things too.

Generally, it’s been my experience that if you want to get to know someone you ask them questions. To me, in fact, that’s a very good gauge for how much someone is interested. When I meet someone that I’m really interested in, I enjoy finding out about them, their life, what they want from it, that sort of thing. No, not like a job interview... although, I guess it could be considered that way. If I’m not that interested, the questions are about as plentiful as Coastal grass in the desert. So, naturally, I look for those same indicators from the person I’m with. You see, you can actually find out quite a bit more about someone by what they DON’T do or ask than what they DO. For instance, if they’re more interested in what you do for a living and why, if you can do more, things like that than what you are looking for in a relationship and out of life, well that should be a huge red flag. 

Another indicator – that they have no interest in your friends, family or activities outside them. If ‘something suddenly came up’ when you extend an invitation to them to join you and your friends somewhere becomes a recurring theme – you should probably subscribe to the Bill Ingvall theory of “here’s your sign”!

Now this is for those of us who are not married obviously but I suppose to a certain extent it could apply to all those, too. Let me set the scene for you: you’re having a conversation with your significant other… What’s that? Where? It doesn’t matter…Anyway, like I was saying, conversation.

Like Edith Bunker to Archie on “All In the Family”, you ask one simple question: “How was your day?” And with that, like Archie’s typical long-winded, one-sided response, they’re off. Then you’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes now listening to them go on and on about their day, their co-workers, their family, their life and it suddenly hits you - you’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes now listening to them go on and on about their day, their co-workers, their family, THEIR life. What about yours? So, when they stop to take a breath you interject a little tidbit that you think is equally as interesting from your day (I wouldn’t suggest leading with the office gossip about the party girl that sits next to you though) when suddenly, without warning, they’ve turned it back to them again. How did that happen? 

So, if you want to know if someone is REALLY interested in you, listen for what’s NOT being asked… You just might hear what's actually being said.

Friday, November 2, 2012

NATIONAL DAY OF THE BFF

What do you mean 'that's not a holiday'? It should be don't you think? Seeing as how my soap box has a touch of laryngitis and may take til Monday to get better, I thought I’d continue on yesterday’s theme about friends. We’ve all said this phrase at one time or another I’m sure (I know I have): “We couldn’t be closer if we were blood-related”.  This expression got me to thinking. (I’ll wait while you get through with your ‘oh, so that’s what that smell is… I thought you were burning bacon’ comments.) All good now? Ok then.
We all have people that come and go in our lives, co-workers, significant others, acquaintances. What about those people, though, who seem to be able to stick with us inspite of us? You know the ones, those that have run to us moments after getting the text about the most horrible break-up you’ve ever had (even though it’s 1 am), or reached out to you even after you forgot something significant in their life just to see if you’re alright. They don’t do those things because of any blood relation, they do them because of a love relation… A true friend’s love.

I myself, as I said yesterday, have been blessed with very good friends along my life’s path. Some of from decades ago, some of them in this millennium.  But, all of them have one thing in common – they all are people that I know are genuine, kind, strong people (male and female).  One of them, my best friend Barbie, is just such a person.

She and I met about 8 years ago at a time when I was on another soap box (it was the first cousin to the one I have now but it had to retire due to stress fractures – I stressed and it fractured).  I knew right away the first time we spoke she was just one of those people that once you meet them, you never forget them. She’s not only a great friend but she’s also a great person and a fantastic mom and is a beauty inside and out. She’s absolutely one of my main role models for life. One thing I so very much appreciate about her is the fact that you don’t hear her putting other people down (umm, I know, I know, I could learn a few lessons there). Oh, don't get me wrong here - she most definitely will tell me what I need to hear not just what I want to - another hallmark of a TRUE friend - and I'm very glad she's that way. It's kept me from hitting more than one ditch over the years... yes, that IS ditch with a 'd' not a 'b'... although..... oh, sorry, that's another blogpost. Suffice it to say she's saved my bacon more than once! 

What was that? Is she taken? What do you think? Of course she is. She's fabulous isn't she? And I'm here to tell you, together they exemplify what a REAL relationship is. My observance of them over the years has served at times as a renewal of the hope that I too could find someone and for that I’m eternally grateful.  (You ever notice that the letters ‘r-e-a-l’ are in relationship – just a little mixed up?) Hmmm. Interesting…

Anyway, as I was saying, through all the years of ups and downs, life and loves, Barbie and I have been there for each other. Today is her birthday and yet I’m the one who feels like I got the gift – the gift of her friendship. 

If you have someone like this in your life, make this your “National Day of My Best Friend” and tell them “Thank you for the gift of your friendship and consider this my 'will be there' RSVP of mine to you”.

 

 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

UP AGAINST THE WALL


TODAY’S POST IS DEDICATED TO THOSE FRIENDS WE HAVE THAT HAVE REMAINED WITH US OVER THE DECADES, KIDS AND DIVORCES.

Now, I know we’ve all heard that saying “up against the wall” and it’s one of those sayings that can have many meanings, usually something like you’re in a tough spot.  For me, it transports me back to the spring of 1980, my senior year in high school. Let me paint you a picture here – I think you’ll like the subject…

Like any other high school senior I was looking forward to 2 things – prom and graduation. You see, that year, I had a boyfriend… one I could actually take home to meet my mother… and he had agreed to take me to my prom. On top of that, I had many college scholarships offered to me so entry into college was secure.

The cherry on top of that triple scoop of ice cream was the fact that I had a couple of really good friends.  One of them (Paula), was definitely one of those people you want in the trenches with you if things got 'dicey'. (I think we hit it off because we were both a bit ummm outspoken.) Another of them was a guy (Greg) I had met that went to a high school across the river from me in Monroe, Louisiana. Greg was just one of those guys you could always count on, day or night, good weather or bad, to be there for you.  (I believe he was the original prototype teddy bear.)

Even back then going muddin’ or four-wheelin’ was the big thing to do (and you kids today thought you invented that) and he had a four-wheel drive that was a blast. So, we spent a lot of time riding around, talking about life, where we wanted it to take us, (not really caring how we got there). You know, the normal things teenagers that age think about when they’re too ‘old’ to consider themselves teens and not old enough to realize that’s exactly what they are.

Anyway... this particular friend... well there was just always something a little extra special about him and a week before my prom, he reminded me why. Remember that awesome boyfriend I was telling you about? HE DUMPED ME DAYS BEFORE MY PROM. I was a wreck.  

Deeply depressed, I cried loud and long on my friend’s shoulder. I don’t know if it was the fact he wanted to help me out or that he just wanted to stop my wailing but, whatever the case, in his usual quiet way, he said he’d be happy to take me to my prom. As usual, he had swooped in on his white horse (umm, more like a four-wheel drive) and turned my devastation into delight. 

We went to my prom and it is still one of my most cherished memories from my senior year. As we were leaving, the last song that was playing was the Jerry Jeff Walker tune “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”. It may not have been the most romantic song but it was certainly fitting for where and how we grew up. Being there, with my REAL friend, I believe is what made it so special.

Greg and I remain friends today, I’m proud to say, despite the Texas-Louisiana border. I know some say women can’t be friends with men or vice versa but I’m here to tell you that’s about as wrong as picturing Santa Claus in a thong at the beach!

Let me tell you something, people: having a friend like that in your life, someone you can count on, cry on and, still to this day call on, is worth more than any stock investment. (After all, you’ll see plus and minus signs next to stock investments while friendship investments are ALWAYS positive - with interest.)