I cannot imagine what gays, minorities and women must feel like on a daily basis.  And I certainly don’t try to pretend like I do.  I suppose some common stereotypes we imagine are “women are objects” or “gay guys are fairies.”  However I am sick and tired of being stereotyped or generalized…and I have been generalized BY Gays, Women, Men, Minorities, etc.  And what am I?  You’re thinking… “Joe, what the hell are you talking about?  How could YOU be generalized!?”

I get tired of defending my individualism.  People ask me questions and I answer honestly.  Let’s take a few days ago.  I went to the Britney Spears concert.  In fact I bought tickets the second they came out, got the VIP package complete with backstage tour and Pre-party, and took off work months in advance.  I made a day out of it by driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh!  I own every album, including bonus ones and have been to every concert tour she has ever done.  Do you honestly think I’d spend that kind of cash…just because I think she is “hot?” 

I have taken it all of my life!  YES I like gardening, poetry and Britney Spears.  I can’t be a straight male in the 21st century and enjoy those things?  I mean, the main culprits are my male co-workers or friends who basically sit there with their jaws dropped.  Once I told everyone what concert I was going to…they were like “Oh, I guess your girl likes her?”  Then I explain that I am the fan.  The next response is usually like “you think she is that hot, huh?”  WTF?  I’m gonna spend 1,100 on tickets to see her on stage?  I can pay 10 bucks to go down to Club Risque in Philly if I wanted to pay to see a hot girl!  Or even better, tear my girlfriend’s shirt off at night for free (may get slapped). 

It goes on the opposite end as well though; one of my favorite places to eat is Hooters.  I have been to dozens of them around the country.  They have some of the best wings, curly fries and quesadillas I know of.  When I tell people I go to Hooters they automatically think I am some sexist pig that enjoys ogling girls.  Look, I like staring at cleavage as much as the next guy…but I am not going to a frickin’ restaurant just to see a girl in a tight shirt!  You think I’d pay for bad food over and over?  Give me a break!  Yeah, the waitresses are attractive girls in short orange shorts…but it’s a job.  I am not naïve to not know some of them know how to work it for tips by bending over and giving you a nice shot…but they are not whores!  I am not giving them a twenty for a BJ.  They bring my food out, have a bubbly personality and then give me a check.  That’s it.  I go because it’s a fun atmosphere and I like the food.  Not to mention its 4 minutes from my house and a great place to watch a game.  I get tired of defending myself.

We live in a world where I am persecuted for going to Hooters because I am a stereotypical male.  But because I like Britney I am “gay.”  The best was when a gay co-worker of mine even had a good laugh at me going to see Britney!  Gah!

When I first started dating Michelle I had a friendly debate with her sister over my “manliness.”  She did not seem to think a guy who majored in Creative Writing was a real man.  You had to work in a factory or be a lumberjack to get the “MAN” title.  I laughed it off because I love Betha, but instead I wrote her a little poem about me.  I mean, what better way to show how much of a man I am then by writing a poem:

Grease on my shirt; Ink in my Pen

By Joe McDonald

Dedicated to Betha!

 

Oh Betha, a real man does not have to paint or clean.

In fact they don’t even have to be loud or mean!

 

No, real men aren’t afraid to think or write,

And I think I kick ass; you know I’m right!

 

I used to grease brakes and race cars,

I even threw down and gave out scars.

 

Every sport I play I come in first,

And I hate guys who wear pink shirts.

 

 A real man can drink, dance and fight,

And I have done all three in one night!

 

Still not convinced?  Let me list more!

I like playing games, but I love to score!

 

I can use tools and know how to change tires,

Plus I like pyrotechnics and causing big fires!

 

I hope this changes your mind about men being puppets,

Because I like English, but I am no Muppet!

 

So I may not be a mechanic or work in a zoo,

But I still think real men can write poetry for you!

 

The point is…why do I have to defend myself for being my own person?  We are all hypocrites in one way or another.  I like the things I like because…I like them.  I hate conformists who constantly must be the latest trend setters.  BUT I hate NON-conformists just as much if they avoid those very trends to be their own person…yet they all basically group themselves together, sit in dark rooms and learn to play bass (haha, that would be me being a hypocrite and generalizing). 

I am the type of person who likes and dislikes things because of my own personal reasons.  When Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” came out I fell in love with the song.  Because thirty million other people did at the same time, does that mean I did it because it’s “cool?”  Hell no!  I just liked the song!  Sometimes we confuse being conformists and…liking things because they are good.  An individual is a guy that wears a pink shirt because he likes the color pink.  A conformist is a guy who wears a pink shirt because he saw ten other guys do it. 

This is a ridiculous subject to write about because everyone generalizes, stereotypes and is a hypocrite.  I am no exception to the rule and I am one of the most accepting people I know.  I have close friends that are gay, black, latino, white, etc.  I look at them all as people.  Someone at work thought I didn’t like blacks because I didn’t look at them right away!  I was a bit miffed and had a stern talk with that person.  Some of my closer friends in High School and College were black, and I took great offense to that.  I cannot stand racism and was hurt because a black girl thought I had a problem with blacks.  After our talk we are closer than ever!  If people just talked they would understand so much more. 

I rather not have this cover race, gender or creed, etc. because I am a white male and I constantly get stereotyped.  Hell I get stereotyped for being a white male!  I was born that way my peeps.  Love it or leave it.  But my point in this blog was more on the individuality of a person.  I couldn’t give a damn what color your skin is because its 2009 and I feel we should be so far beyond that.  I think it’s laughable some people didn’t vote for our President solely on skin color.  It’s a shame we as a country still act so ridiculous after so many years.

But anyway, I got off topic.  The point is…be yourself.  I may not get totally accepted at times…but I do get respect.  I am real.  Classic Joey Mac is allowed to love Britney Spears, gardening, cooking, big boobs, coconut rum and cars…at the same time.  I don’t have to be a greaser or a fairy.  I don’t have to be Rambo or Napoleon Dynamite.  I can be both!  I read comic books and great works of literature.  I can stare at the Mona Lisa and Miss July in Playboy.  I can listen to Eminem and Duran Duran.  That is who I am, albeit a small sample.  I am a complicated person who treats everyone equal.  I do not assume things about people because I think of myself and how I hate when people think things about me without ever asking me!

Some may feel I am whining.  Be my guest.  But it hurts just as much when people assume things about me.  Group stereotypes get so much attention because large groups of people get generalized.  I am fighting the fight for the individual and how people get crucified for being themselves!  The peer pressure at College and High School is insane.  Every girl has to be stick thin with curves.  Every guy has to be well built with gel in their hair.  Everyone must get drunk to be cool.  The End.  I never got drunk once in College and High School.  And I suffered.  I never had a one night stand in my life.  In fact I never had a girlfriend until I was 20.  But you know what…I wouldn’t change any of my decisions.  I didn’t need a six pack to get friends.  I was happy being me.

You don’t need to bend to society to be happy or cool.  If you enjoy wearing low cut shirts, go for it!  If you enjoy drawing crazy cartoons, keep it up.  If you are male and enjoy the color pink, who cares?  Do not compromise who you are for anyone…because you can’t change how you feel when you are alone, no matter how fake you are.  And don’t worry about what others think…happiness comes from within.  I may get tired of defending my interests or who I am…but I much rather go through that then be someone other than me.

“Nobody's telling me just what what what I wanna do, do
I'm so fed up with people telling me to be
Someone else but me” ~ Britney Spears; Overprotected
 
 
Lately I have been feeling nostalgic, which is no surprise…they call me “Classic” for a reason, folks.  My younger brother and only sibling is quickly approaching the end of his senior year of High School and I am standing on the sidelines, watching objectively.  Through watching and even talking to him or my father, it’s been conjuring up old feelings about the last days of my High School, and also that whole process and transition of going to college.

I can safely say age 12 – 22 is an absolutely insane ten year time period full of emotions, feelings, critical events and a boat load of highs and lows in one’s life.  I was certainly no exception to the rule.  I am an encyclopedia for my own life, able to recall conversations, emotions and events from my past with a quick thought.  I am a big believer in remembering my past…as I grow older, I’ve learned to appreciate it.  A few blogs ago I spoke on remembering the times with my Ex-girlfriend, and how those were precious times because I was happy.  Why should I block those memories?  Because we aren’t together?  Even on the subject of these old High School memories I’ve been having…I really didn’t enjoy that time of my life much, but I can’t help but think on them and reflect.

They say you “live and learn,” which is unfortunately true.  High School was mostly missed opportunities, awkward situations and dreams shattered.  If I knew then what I know today I’d have been oh so much happier.  I suppose all of us can say that and time travel is not an option…yet.  But in reality, I also view life as pretty cruel in some respects.  I learn life’s hard lessons in the first quarter of my life and try to pass my knowledge down to my kids…only to have them shrug off anything I say because I’d be a figure they can’t connect with because “you don’t know what it feels like to go through this stuff NOW.”  How many of us ignored our parents at that time of life because we could not even fathom them having to go through OUR problems!?

And here I am at age 24…High school six years behind me and fatherhood a few years away as well.  I am in that ridiculous phase of life that no one talks about…the one where I can relate to that kid who shoved his father’s advice aside, but also can now start to see where his father was coming from.  The “invincible” stage is over.

I know this could be a gross generalization…but am I wrong?  Will everything I just learned during those hormonally fueled emotional times be wasted when I go to pass the knowledge down one day?  Sure, I learned a bunch of shit.  I missed my prom and looking back feel like an idiot.  I didn’t go out for as many clubs or sports because I felt drained due to my home life.  I didn’t take as many chances as some people did and lost out.  But I can’t go back and hit myself with some knowledge.  Instead I carry what I call “Permanent Life Regrets.”  I don’t sit there and dwell on these regrets, but they are there.  You can’t block them or get over them because you are over them.  They just kinda sit in your brain and take up space, occasionally popping up while watching game shows or sunsets.

This is all coming up because, to reiterate, I see my brother making the same choices I did.  I missed out on several things because I did not want get rejected or take unnecessary chances.  Instead I’d sit in class, look at a girl I had a crush on every thirty seconds and hoped she would get a psychic message that I was interested…which never happened.  And even if you hate High School, you only go through it once.  There are no re-dos.  I guess the saying “you live through your children” or however it goes just came into effect with me looking back on my life through my brother.

I also notice the conversations I have with my Dad go farther than him saying something and me screaming at him.  Now we can relate, talk civilly and I learn a lot because I am listening to his advice instead of shunning it.  Growing up is a scary thing.

Despite some miserable times, I have to say I miss that age range of 12-22 because every day was an adventure.  God, how many songs do I STILL listen to because they are attached to some unforgettable memory.  A criticism I often hear is that I live too far in the past…so far I can’t see the good things going on presently or in my future.  That of course, is not true.  I am extremely aware of the present, and can certainly see into the future.  I guess I have always had a problem with the set up of an average life:

For 20 or so years we live, learn and go through an insane amount of highs and lows that become the foundation for life as we know it.  We go on through the education levels, stopping whenever we choose to, then find a job and work for 40 years.  When we are close to being decrepit we retire, try to do a list of things before we die…then die.  I’m sorry that is just not fulfilling.  And I get that I am leaving out having families, traveling, seeing your kids grow up, being in love, etc.  I get that.  One thing I am not is an ignorant generalist…anything I write or leave out is for a reason.  And maybe some of this is coming because I AM 24 and not 70 looking back on my entire life.  Remember, I’m not just a blogger who thinks he knows everything…I’m a 24 year old kid with an imagination and a view point that is trying to look back and forward at the same time.

If there is anything I’d want taken out of this, it’s more for the people that are in that 12-22 age range now.  Don’t be afraid to take some risks, explore feelings and above all…enjoy life.  I am sure having children, getting married, etc. is plenty fulfilling and do not want to demean that stage of life.  But…right now I have been working after college for close to two years.  I work for the weekend, wasting over ten hours every day during the week at work going in and out of day dreams in-between phone calls and emails.  After fighting traffic, I go home and do mindless things because my brain is fried from work.  Then I sleep.  Repeat this five days a week for the next forty years…and that is a good chunk of my future.  Obviously I am ignoring the impact I have at work helping children and adults that are MR/DD…but for the sake of this blog I am being a bit selfish and talking about my life’s impact on ME.

All of a sudden I watch my brother going through High School…and I realize there is no point in looking back on my own days, cursing under my breath.  I appreciate the fun times I had at Hooters with the guys, the movie trips and the way I felt when the hot girl winked at me in the hallway.  That is why I say I can never truly delete the regret of not going to the prom or not going out for baseball…because those are just additional times I’d be able to enjoy then and look back on now.  They don’t hurt me like a true regret is supposed to…they just are emptiness that could have been filled.  Take it from me kiddies…I’m not your 45 year old Dad…I’m a 24 year old guy who is only a few years removed from what you are going through now.  The only measure of life in my eyes has always been happiness. 
 
 
My friend emailed me this question and said it was ok for me to blog on it.

“I was chatting with my friends, one of whom is also a single mom. The question is when do you tell a guy that you have a child and how do you approach it. I got all kinds of responses but really feel like this is a question worth exploring.”

Whoa boy!  My buddy sure gave me an interesting topic to talk about in the latest and greatest edition of this so-called blog.

There are really only two perspectives to this question, at least in my eyes.  Let us start with the male point of view.  I won’t even lie and say I represent the generic malepoint of view, but at least I am a man.

As guys we automatically believe every girl has some sort of secret they are hiding.  I seriously think we have trust issues, especially when we are looking for relationships or JUST starting a relationship.  Even I can say that when I was on Match.com and Eharmony.com…I was screening those profiles for red flags.  Would I say a young woman with a child is a “red flag?”  Absolutely not.  However I am telling you now ladies…if you have a kid at home and you aren’t up front with that, it will not be good.  As a guy I would want to know that information pretty early if not right up front.

Is it wrong that a guy needs to know that info, even if you are just in preliminary talks…not even dating?  I’m a believer in communication and also not breaking hearts.  What if you feel that “spark” the first few dates?  Then you tell the guy you have a kidand he walks?  That is setting you both up for a sad night.

To a lesser extent…I’d be upset if the girl I was going on a date with never revealed she was a smoker, and then lit a cig up every five minutes on our date.  It’s just better to be upfront.  That way you know the guy you are going out with is accepting of you.

Let me also play Devil’s Advocate though.  I’m sure a lot of single Moms are thinking “Yeah Joe, but what about the fact that it seems like no guy wants to get with a girl who has a kid!”  Fair enough…but I think you decrease the asshole guys who think that way if you are upfront about it.  To a guy if you wait a few dates before telling them you have a child…they are going to think you are hiding other things.  And most guys are paranoid creatures of the night.  There is no reason to make them go madwith suspicious visions of distrust.

Let me also add a tirade to this though.  Ok guys, I’m not saying every one of you need to change whatever your standards are…but I do know some of you are so obscene about even going near a single mom.  It’s downright pathetic, as if those girls haveleprosy.  Also there is a difference between a whore who doesn’t take care of her children and those that love and care for their kids.  I grew up in a place where girls used abortion as a contraceptive.  I knew too many girls who couldn’t keep their legs closed, had a few puppies and made their parents raise those kids.  I get it why some guys have a wrongful stereotype on single moms…But it’s you assholes who plant the seeds!  It’s a two part system!  I also love the guys who bang the girl and walk out of her life when he finds out they are pregnant.  You idiots should be shot.

The fact is…it is a vicious, vicious cycle.  We stereotype all young women with kids as “whores” which is just a damn shame.  Having a child is NOT a bad thing.  It certainly should not determine if you should continue dating a girl or not.  Being a single mom is not a deterrent.  Should it be disclosed up front? Absolutely, but don’t you dare runas soon as you find that out.  You are only proving that are an ass with no feelings.

I realize I am bashing my own gender hard here…but the fact is most girls didn’t look at me because they distrusted all guys…and I am not anything like a stereotypical fratster.  So idiot guys made it hard for THIS nice guy to even have a chance out there.

The question was:  “When do you tell a guy you have a child and how do you approach it?”  The bottom-line answer is you disclose early in talks or on first dates.  I’d approach it as if it was just another fact about yourself.  Don’t be scared or ashamed of it.  The way I see it…if you are a good mother to that child than you should be proud, ladies.  You are Moms and we guys should respect that, maybe even commendyou for being stronger than we are as young, single Mothers.

As guys we should be respectful of Single mothers.  We should not turn in disgust or run away after hearing the facts.  Does this mean we have to never screen out single moms?  No; some young guys want to start clean…and I don’t know of a better way to put that.  Some guys would rather start a family from scratch.  This does not mean we need to treat single mothers like lepers, damnit!  Everyone has a preference and avision for their future life.

As I write this I realize this is more difficult than even I thought.  It is so complicated because the issue runs deeper than just approaching a guy with being a single mother.  Every guy is different.  Some guys would be open to you having a child.  Some would be worried.  Some would unfortunately be disgusted.  But I feel like thebest thing you could do is be up front about it.  If a guy walks away then he is a douche’ and not worth your time anyway, ladies.  In some ways it may even be a good screening tool.  If a guy is open to the idea of you having a kid…that may mean he hasa shred of decency and cares about his future.

However I do know some guys are not interested in Single Moms because, like I said, they would like to only bear their own children with a girl.  That is when it becomes a gray area.  If a guy turns you away because they are a dick…then they are bad seeds.  BUT…what about those guys who don’t scorn you, but would rather find a girl that does not have children so they can have just their own?  Are they bad people?  That’s a touchy area.  I can’t sit and say “every guy should be open to being with a girl that already has a child.”  In the end I suppose it truly is a personal choice.  My biggerproblem is the wrongful stereotype most guys have of single mothers.

Girls…always be proud.  Never, ever be ashamed of having kids.  The right guy WILL be open and love you for you.  If you tell a guy early enough, that is all you can do.  I don’t want to make it sound like you stick your hand out and say “Hi, I’m Jennifer and I am a single mom.”  All I’m saying is…it probably should come up in conversation on a first date…maybe somewhere in the middle of it.  Connect first, then disclose as theconvo starts getting deeper.

This is my take at least.  I knew, literally, dozens of single moms as I grew up from a teenager to my twenties.  So I do think I have a decent amount of knowledge on this subject.  Am I infallible in my opinions?  No.  But this is my blog and this is how Ithink.  You can agree or disagree.
 
 
I had heard about a website that listed the last meal requests of those on death row.  It goes into detail about what food they wanted, who the prisoner was and what they did to get onto Death Row.  Interesting indeed.  The website is as follows.

http://www.deadmaneating.com/dmearch.html

I found the requests fascinating.  I tried to understand the psyche of the person that was requesting their meal…but it is difficult.  Cherry Cola and Walnuts?  A basket of Fruit?  A dozen Chili Dogs with the works? 

One, we must understand these are stone cold killers.  They are about to die and basically the only thing standing between waking up that day and certain death is what could be an outstanding meal.  Some take advantage of this, and who is to blame them, and order like a dozen things to eat.  These people are given about a week to decide what they would like to eat on their last day.  So there is certainly thought that goes into this decision.

Some refuse the special meal.  I imagine this is in protest, or perhaps they do not care since they are about to die. 

After reading the meal requests and doing research on the subject, I was forced to give pause.  If I was on Death Row and knew I was about to die…what meal would I request?  Would I put a lot of thought into the request?  Or would I not even care because I would know that meal doesn’t mean anything…and I’m going to die anyway.

I like to think that I would put thought into my meal request.  True, a part of me would think it silly since I’d be dead and the stupid meal wouldn’t save me…but then again I’d want my last few hours to count.  What the hell would the point be just sitting on a cot counting down the minutes? 

The last meal of a person could be their last chance at a legacy as well.  Would I want to be the guy known for JUST killing some people…or would I rather people remember me for my last meal?

I obviously cannot put myself into the position as if I was pretending I was going to die on Death Row and get into that Psyche.  BUT…I can at least think about a potential choice as my last meal.  Drum roll please…

My last meal would be a hot plate of Manicotti, a quarter pounder with cheese from McDonald’s with lettuce, onions, ketchup and Mayo, two Apple Cider donuts, a large order of French Fries, Onion Rings, a slice of cheese pizza, a bagel with cream cheese, a glass of Chocolate Milk, a cream soda, A Pepsi, a banana daiquiri, a strawberry frosted donut, a slice of Sweet Potato pie and…two packets of creamer. 

Food for Food…I can’t be TOO sure if that is exactly what I would order, but close enough.  Again…if I was going to die in a week, I can’t be sure how my decision would play out.  But knowing me, I’d draw on the things I KNOW I would love to eat.  I believe I’m the kind of person who would rationalize making that meal the best meal of my life…because it would be my last.  There is a certain self awareness or rationality that would most likely take over my entire decision-making process…and FORCE me to eat things I like.  Who knows, I could get nostalgic and ask for a PB and J sandwich with cheese curls and a tall glass of strawberry milk. 

The truth is…we can’t give an answer to a hypothetical such as “if you were on Death Row and about to die…what meal would you request as your last?”  Because as logical thinkers, most of you/us would respond saying “there are more important things to think about than a damn meal!”  However…that last meal is not only the last thing you eat…but the last decision you make on Earth.  Just like these inmates CHOSE to gun down an elderly couple once upon a time…they will have to make one more decision that shall affect them for, literally, the rest of their life. 

I have no problem with you all giving opinions on the death penalty, but I’d really like to have your thoughts on the following:

1.   What would you potentially order as your last meal?

2.  Is the last meal as important as I am saying?  Does this LAST decision really matter?

3.  Is it just me…or is the meal choice of a notorious killer really that fascinating?

4.  Joe, why are you so handsome, etc…
 
 
Note:  I wrote this February 2009 and want to archive it here. 

------------------------------------------

Hmph.  This jackass is TAKEN and he has the coconuts to talk about the difficulties of being single.”  Survey Says…YES! 

So maybe it’s because I come off intelligent, innocent, naïve or foolish…but many people have been emailing me with stories, questions or concerns.  I am ecstatic at this because this is exactly what I was hoping for.  I do not pretend to be a know it all.  I clearly do not know all.  BUT I am always here to help, and I enjoy sharing my experience with people.  I am all about helping.

Specifically, I have heard a lot of people complaining about being single.  I thought I’d address that in the latest version of this so-call blog.


First of all…being single is NOT a disease.  C’mon people, don’t come off desperate.  No one NEEDS a man or woman in their life.  Love should never be defined as “needing” someone.  Love is about showing affection and wanting someone freely.  You’d want to be with the person you love because you have an emotional relationship with that person.  That person is special.  You didn’t pick someone out because you NEED to be with someone; it’s ok to be alone.


I know, I know…I’m a hypocrite.  It’s easy for me to say all this because I really do have someone.  But I still have my “me” time.  Even those madly in love as I need their free and alone time.

Ok, you came off a bad heart break.  The answer is not to go out looking for a new person in your life.  Collect yourself!  Get your life in order and start the search when you are emotionally ready.  I never liked the idea of being with someone I knew I had no future with.  What is the point of going with someone short term, knowing there is some heart break in your future?

My Ten Tips to Single-itis:


1.  Heart broken?  Time cures all as cliché as that is.  Let it course through your system and don’t rush it.  Talk to friends, write down your thoughts and do what you have to to therapeutically get through it.  I have kept a mini tape recorder in my room for years and have an ongoing audio journal to release my inner demons.  The first step to recovery is to get all of the emotions out of your mind so you can start fresh.  Don’t be rash and start ripping up pictures or throwing out CDs…or at least try not to.  Remember this is about you and even though Heart Break is the worst feeling in the world (I know)…you will and can get through it.

2.  Tired of being alone?  Fair enough.  Maybe it’s time to put yourself back on the market.  But do it smart and make sure you can succeed.  There are a lot of douche guys out there that are looking for one night stands and to play you, ladies.  And guys, there are plenty of gold diggers ready to tug at your heart strings.  The fact is it is a vicious cycle.  So many great men and women get played and end up becoming man-haters or chauvinist pigs.  Don’t put yourself in a position to get played early or your confidence will dwindle.  Take it slow out there! 

3.  Is a dive bar really the way to go?  I have been to enough crappy bars to know I never could find a girl that I’d ever want to be with there.  Does this mean bars only have idiot guys and whore girls?  Absolutely not!  But when you mix alcohol with a serious search at love…I doubt it will work out long term.  Chances are someone gets hurt that night after some bad sex.  Why not try looking in places that are classier or maybe even a place specific to finding people?  Match.com, People.  I am one of their true stories; I found my present girlfriend on there and we will be celebrating one year this weekend.  GO THERE! 

4.  Being single is not a bad thing!  Love is the ultimate proverbial “icing on the cake.”  You do not really need “love” to survive in the world.  Love produces perhaps the highest and lowest emotions one can experience…but you do not need them to get up in the morning.  If you accept your singleness, you may be able to achieve a great deal.  Take the necessary time to fix the structure of your life before looking for someone to date.  Concentrate on your dreams, goals and maybe even external issues you are dealing with.  Want to lose some weight?  Want to go back to School?  Go for it!  Being single is the best time to evaluate your life.

5.  Separate lust and love.  You do not need to be “taken” to have sex.  Do not confuse that you need someone in the sense that you are horny…and that you need someone because you are truly lonely.  Some singles have the hardest time realizing that they want a night of passion instead of a lifetime of happiness.  Sex is healthy, but I am by no means promoting being a whore.  All I am saying is…make sure you know what you want if you are single. 

6.  Be yourself!  It’s not going to help your cause if you act like something you are not.  You may be able to fool a girl for a few hours…but you’ll never last in a relationship if you are pretending.  If it’s “meant to be” than you’ll be accepted for who you are in the right relationship.  I believe there is someone for everyone.  Thank God my girlfriend accepts my antics!  I pushed the limit when I went to kiss her and then faked her out Ric Flair style.  I got slapped, but she laughed a second later! 

7.  Don’t be desperate.  Again…you do not NEED a partner.  If you feel it is time to look for someone, that’s great!  Be open, screen dates carefully and go for it!  But never EVER try too hard because no one wants to be with someone who will take anything. 

8.  There is no need to try to impress anyone here.  Physical attraction is at least half of the first meeting.  As a former single dude I’d try to lock eyes with every girl I thought was hot.  If they were interested you’d know!  BUT don’t judge a book by its cover.  That hot guy that dances great…he may be a coke head that like wearing pink lace under wear.  Talk about simple topics and get to no one another slowly.  You have nothing to lose when you are single!  Don’t be so arrogant that you are too good for everyone either…you’d be surprised to find out that sincere guys and nice girls do exist.  But you need to get to know them!

9.  Physical attractiveness does say a lot.  I like a view of balcony cleavage as much as anyone, but if the guy is single and looking for something long term…he may be turned off to the drunken chick with the one inch skirt on.  And don’t trust those pink shirted, collar poppin’ fratsters.  They aren’t even legit.  Bastards.

10.  Single?  Don’t stay in and listen to depressing songs in your room alone.  Go out with some friends!  And get advice from truth worthy opposite sex friends.  One of my best friends is female and boy did she help me out a few times when I needed advice.  There are going to be times you feel lonely if you are single.  Keep that chin up and keep moving!  You’ll find someone eventually. 

Hope some of this helps.  I’m here to answer questions if you have any.  The main message is…Single does not equal Bad. 
 
 
Note:  I wrote this blog March 2009 and want to archive it on my own site.

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This is more a personal reflection, than a blog.  I’m sorry if it bores everyone else but I need to write.


I just found out that the last girl I went out with is finally dating someone after me.  It took her over a year, but she found someone.  The circle is finally complete.

It took me two months after we broke up to find someone else.  I am happy to say I am still with that wonderful girl and on March 1st I will be celebrating a year of love and happiness.  However on this night I have spent the last 30 minutes reflecting on my Ex and the memories we had in the past.  In fact I called my present girlfriend to see if this was normal!  She said it was.  Michelle is very smart and supportive.  This is the “final chapter” as she put it.

Let’s be honest, you are only so far in your love life as your last relationship.  I was still in some ways linked and worried about my Ex because here I was happy…and she was still alone.  I know that sounds crazy, but she was my first love and it’s hard to just turn your brain off like that.  We ended badly, but months later made peace.  I was fortunate enough to have Michelle to lean on.

I was “over” my Ex as it may be put, but I never forgot those times or memories.  I have no regrets about things ending; obviously both of us moved on and are happy.  It was important to me that we mended and did not hate one another.  I was truly heart broken when our relationship ended…but I found the love of my life because of it and I became a stronger person.  That heart break turned into boundless love for my Michelle.

But in order to truly complete the circle…I needed my Ex to go out with someone after me.  And now she has and well, it brought a lot of different feelings in me.  Happiness for her, some confusion, sadness and anger.  I have never had to deal with this…I never had to watch an Ex date anyone other than me because I have only been in two relationships.  It’s harder than I thought to see it happen because you almost feel like…didn’t those times mean anything?  YET I was in a relationship way before she was LoL!  And yet I still felt that way.  I have been truly happy and in love for almost a year now…and here I am for thirty minutes feeling like “wow…it really is over.”  That’s the ability to be human I guess.

I can take refuge in the fact that we patched things up.  I am extremely happy for her.  Her new man will find out how wonderful she is.  And so I sit here with my drink held high in toast.  This one is for you Laur.  I look back and I see a young couple that needed to grow, and we did together.  It was only fitting that our band was “Young Love” because it defined our relationship so well.  I always said I would rather you be happy…and I hope you finally are.  Congrats.  <3

I am so proud that I can say this to my Ex while I am dating my own wonderful girl.  When relationships end we usually dwell on the heartbreak or anger…and I did for the longest time.  It’s not worth it.  More memories are blocked in society because usually when a relationship ends all those good times…are gone.  I know so many people who break up and act like that relationship never happened.  Such wasted memories…

I can’t describe how happy I am now in life…where I can say that relationship was great and the ending led me to the love of my life, Michelle. 

Your first love is special.  It can never be replicated.  I have moved on from the 21 year old guy sitting on the playground at the park, talking with his girlfriend about naming their daughter “Jubilee”…but I won’t forget him.  Or her.  It made me the person I am today.
 
 
Touchy subject, and yes, maybe even a bit personal.  I think those who are healthy enough to have sexual intercourse and are NOT trying to get a girl preggo are smart enough to use a condom (I hope!).  Condoms are the miracle elastic that help couples to control the world’s ever growing population; though nothing is guaranteed, a condom is still a safer bet than nothing at all.  And Birth control plus a rubber usually equals a safe go of sex.

Condoms don’t grow under pillow cases or secret boxes under your bed.  Can anyone else relate to the embarrassment that is “buying condoms?!”  Especially alone, and god help you if you are a male. 

Again, I realize this could potentially cause unwanted visuals, but forget what happens after you check out of the Pharmacy or wherever you buy your condoms of choice.  I want to speak on the sticky situation one goes through before even thinking about engaging in sex.

I still remember the first time I was alone and got the call.  “Oh by the way, we’re all out.  FYI.”

That was the hint that I was the one who had to get a box…alone.  I stopped by the local Genuardi’s because that was the only thing in between my house and where I was on the road.  Everything felt normal because it hadn’t sunk in that I would need to grab a box of condoms…and get in a checkout line.  They didn’t have a self check out! 

I grabbed the box and then it finally hit me.  Was I being irrational?  I am usually so laid back or I stick my middle finger up to the world and do whatever I wanted anyway.  But for some odd reason…I was afraid to go to a cashier and have them ring up a box of condoms.  As if I didn’t want them to know what my business was.

I panicked.  I HAD to buy something else!!!  In my mind it would not make me look like a horny, stereotypical male that was gonna get lucky at some dive bar that night IF I bought something else.  So I grabbed what any normal person would.

A box of Lucky Charms. 

I confidently strode up to the cashier, a teenage guy who had the look of a high school jock that didn’t want to be working on a Friday night.  I put my two items down…and as if on cue, he giggled as he saw what my purchase was to be.  He tried to hide it…but I knew.  This jackass thought it humorous because I had a box of condoms and a box of Lucky Charms as the ONLY two items I was buying on that eve.  He probably thought “ wow this guy must really need cereal and to get laid this weekend!”  Stupid punk.  I paid, grabbed my stuff and rolled.

Here I am cursing under my breath because he thought it was funny, YET it was I who had the ridiculous desire to buy something with my condoms so it didn’t look like I was desperate.  Being a guy is tougher than you all think.

That was months ago of course.  I have now gotten used to buying the rubber…and I always grab a box of Lucky Charms now to go along with them.  Bonus points if it comes with a prize!  The two items have become my “lucky” charms. 

Can anyone relate, or am I nuts?  Guys, do you feel uncomfortable buying them alone?  Girls, do you feel uncomfortable…or do you know what it is like for us?
 
 
Note:  I wrote this February 2009 and am uploading as a way to archive on my own site. 

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If there is ever a topic I am passionate about it’s got to be Valentine’s Day.  In addition to being born on it (turning 24 this Saturday), I am also a HUGE proponent of the holiday.  There is no holiday, at least none that I know of, that gets so much negative publicity by people than Valentine’s Day.  It’s sad.  Scratch that, it’s pathetic!


Allow me to paint a picture.  From my early teenage years up until I turned 21 I never had a Valentine!  NEVER.  Not even a girlfriend for that matter.  Does it suck being alone on both your birthday AND Valentine’s Day.  You bet!  But though I may have been lonely, I constantly preached to my friends “Celebrate and show love to your significant other.” 

I admit that three of the last four Valentine’s Day, including this Saturday, I have been fortunate enough to have someone to spend V-Day with.  Was it Fantastic?  Of course!  I was so excited in 2006 to go out with someone and celebrate.  I am eagerly anticipating this weekend with my love, Michelle. 

That all said, Valentine’s Day gets such a bad rap.  I HATE when people call it a “Hallmark” holiday.  Grrr…the ignorance of people.  The true meaning of St. Valentine’s Day is showing love. 

The origins of the holiday vary.  The most famous of all stories would be that of St. Valentine of the Roman Empire.  Emperor Claudius, at the time, ruled over the empire and waged may unsuccessful wars.  He called upon all men to fight these futile wars for him…the problem was that most men did not want to leave their significant others.  This angered Claudius.  He banned Marriage and cancelled all engagements. 

St. Valentine, a priest at the time, secretly married couples anyway.  Wedding people in secret was quite a risk for a priest to take, and eventually Claudius found out and imprisoned Valentine.  Val died in prison, but was at least given a proper burial.  Valentine is a martyr of love…he felt passionate enough about the sanctity of love and the sacrament of Matrimony that he risked his life to continue to wed couples.

Valentine’s Day is not about buying expensive gifts or trying to impress others.  It’s certainly not about going out to a bar with the intention of getting laid either.  It’s about expressing love.  How can that be a bad thing?  It’s especially a tragedy when single people trash the holiday because they are feeling envious.  I was single for so long…lonely, depressed and confused.  YET I still knew the roots and meaning of Valentine’s Day and could take solace in knowing that many others were enjoying themselves on that eve. 

Instead of being miserable, go out with some friends that are also single and comfort one another.  Or go out and try to find a “Valentine” to talk with and just have a fun time.  I know, easier said than done…but it beats trashing a holiday that is VERY meaningful because you are jealous or upset.  There is no reason for anyone “hate” the day because they are alone.  Yeah, it does suck but there are other options!  Do not let loneliness take over!

Look, I know I am a child of Aphrodite and all of that.  I don’t just support the holiday because I was born on it either.  I Believe in it.  I believe in its meaning and I believe in showing love.  Instead of fancy gifts like rings or watches, try cooking your girlfriend dinner or giving your man a back massage.  I also understand the sexy side of it as well.  Stalking chicks out at the bar is not what Valentine’s Day is all about.  However a wild night of passion with your lingerie-clad girlfriend is conceivable. 

And yes I am stupid enough to admit that was a hint to Shelly.  LOLz!
 
 
Note:  I wrote this February 2009.  I am uploading a few Blogs from myspace as a way to Archive on my own site.
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So Alex Rodriquez has admitted that he too has taken steroids.  This hurts; it hurts me, Major League baseball and probably millions of ball fans.  I can’t say A-Rod was the most likeable superstar in the MLB, but compared to arrogant jerks like Barry Bonds, he was worth rooting for.  I never really was a personal fan of Alex as a baseball player.  I will admit though I was secretly rooting for him to break all homerun records that way a truly “clean” ballplayer could once more regain the glory of old.  Alas…that will not be happening.  If A-Rod breaks the all-time Home run record…it will only put a darker cloud on the record.


With A-Rod’s credibility now diminished, what is left?  I pose this question to you internet world…WHAT IS LEFT?!  Who do the fans of baseball root for?  There is no one left!  No one else has a chance to break the Home Run record.  And at this point every time a new Superstar admits steroid use, more and more of us suspect every star between 1987 – 2005 was juicing.  Was it illegal?  Up until 2003, no.  But what about the moral issues, damnit.  I had to watch Roger Maris’ historic record shattered by that FREAK Big Mac. 

I’m realistic to know that not EVERY player that was great in the 90s was on steroids.  But it has become increasingly obvious that many more were than we all originally suspected.  I feel bad for people like Schilling, Maddux, etc. that have many legit records in that era…and only time will tell if people just ignore the 90’s baseball era all together.  There is such a dark cloud that legit players will not get the respect they deserve.  And sadly…we don’t even know who really is legit anymore.

I give Alex credit for fessin’ up…but he broke the hearts of many.  He will never be looked at the same now and all we can do now is hope a natural talent will rise from the ashes and dominate baseball.
 
 
Everyone is different, but sometimes I don’t think we take enough time to know who we are.  Consider this your homework:  Take your name (full or nickname) and write an Acrostic Poem using only adjectives that describe who you are.  Make sure you leave them in my comment section.  If you are down or sad, it’s good to remember who you are and what makes you special.  Here is an example:


Joker
Observant
Stunning
Easy going
Pro
Hip


Modernistic
Clever
Danceaholic
Odd
Nostalgic
Amusing
Loud
Determined