Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Planning for the Inevitable

I love my mom.  Our relationship has not been a straight arrow of bliss.  I know what you are thinking, everyone has ups and downs with their mothers.  That might be true, but ours was a little different.
You see growing up with my mom was difficult at times.  Many times she was not the nicest nor the most nuturing figure.  Hugs and kisses were kind of rare.  And sometimes she was just plain mean for no apparent reason.  I remember how I would write in my diary that my mom was being a "bitch" and then scratch it out because if I became the President I didn't want them to look back at my old things and see what I had said (yes I was politically-minded from an early age).

When my mom became diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis her personality completely changed.  Now my mother is for the most part one of the sweetest most caring people I know.  Many times she cares more about others more than she cares about herself.  She always has a card ready for all occasions and even will sometimes give a card just to give a card.  She tells me "I love you" after every phone call, something I definitely didn't experience growing up.  She also is very funny.  However sometimes I cannot tell if she means to be funny or not.  She might have the occasional angry streak but they are more funny than anything.

This was quite the adjustment for me.  I had to change my attitude.  It took my a few years to forgive my mother for being the mother I grew up compared to the mother she is now.  What makes it even harder is that she doesn't even remember what she used to be like, much less any of my childhood.  I was able to get over it.  Yes I still struggle, a lot.  I feel guilty about my feelings of resentment and I feel guilty for wanting a normal "life".  However, I know I really have no choice.  I might complain or vent for a few minutes, but in the end I just carry on because that is all I can do.

While my mom has been stable for the past few years, I am starting to see slow signs that her MS is progressing.  This evokes so many emotions.  I am sad, that the mother I used to know is slowly slipping away.  I am becoming the soul keep of our memories.  But more importantly I feel anxiety wondering if I can truly serve as an sufficient guardian of my mother.  Every day I feel like I am struggling to stay a float myself.  I have doubts of whether I can take care of her completely by myself, not just financially, but mentally as well.

I suppose I have the fear that most people have when it comes to take care of their parents.  However the difference between me and most other people is that my worries started when I was young.  My mom is still pretty young herself.  So in my mind I wonder how can I plan for the inevitable.  Right now I can get frustrated with her what I am I going to do in a year or two?  How about if I have my own family or will that effect things?

I guess all I can do is plan what I can, and pray that God will take care of it.  People always tell me that by honoring my mother I will see my blessings.  I hope this is true, because I am in definite need of them.  I just trust in my faith that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, so I can handle this.  Right?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sexual Faithfulness

I remember back when I was walking around campus during my freshman year at the University of Maryland.  The orientation leader told us that if anyone graduated and was still a virgin that Testudo (our beloved terrapin mascot) would grow wings and fly away.  Let's just say that I made it through virginity still in tact and Testudo is still in the same place as the last time I rubbed his nose for good luck.  

I made a conscience effort not to go into too many details about the issue of me and sex.  Somethings need to stay personal.  I believe that I can still remain transparent, open, and honest without talking revealing that aspect of my life.  However, after church yesterday I thought that I should talk about it.

The sermon yesterday at church was on sex.  It wasn't your typical sermon though.  It didn't go into saying that sex is immoral or evil or a sin.  The sermon was more talking about the beauty and the unbelievable pleasure that you get from practicing sexual faithfulness.  Sexual faithfulness means being sexually faithful to God and your spouse.  After I left church yesterday, and still today, I have been contemplating this issue of sexual faithfulness.  To put in more recognizable terms," Should I remain celibate until marriage?"  

I am not sure if I am ready to make this commitment.  I am not sure if I even want to make this commitment. Right now it is easy for me to say yes.  I am not dating anyone seriously.  I see no good prospects in the future anytime soon.  But what if I do find someone?  Can I handle the pressure?  Will I want to?  I am scared that with the dating pool being so small as it is, that I might never find someone that it is a great person AND someone who would be willing to stand by my commitment to being sexually faithful to God.  And if I don't find that person is it going to be 10 years of celibacy only to feel like I have made a mistake?  What if I resent God after that?

I don't know.  I don't have the answers.  All I know is, that I want to grow closer to God.  I want to be a better person, I want to continued to be blessed.  And I want to get married to whoever God has in place for me.  For almost 32 years I have done it my way, maybe it is time for me to do it a different way.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dating Training

I just had an awful experience.  I met one of my last online guys (before I had again swore off online dating). I won't go into detail at this point (he might be reading this), but this makes me really wonder if men have ever been taught how to date.

One of my friends used to express her frustrating with guys and dating. She would tell stories about the guys who did not seem to know how to court a woman and how she wouldn't accept anything less than the best. At the time I didn't agree with her.  I thought well, maybe she is just being too picky and that she should cut the guys a little slack.  However, now I think I tend to agree with her.  It's as if guys have no clue.  Is it our role as women to teach these guys how to treat women?  Let me explain...

What's with the texting relationships?  Personally I love to text.  It allows me to multi-task.  Sometimes the phone makes me feel like I am in prison because I can't do other things at the same time.  I especially appreciate texts now that my phone is a little on the fritz, and I don't see the money to buy a new one coming anytime soon.  With this being said, texting and even phone calls are no substitution for actual face to face conversations.  Another one of my friends expressed her frustration with a guy she talked to on the phone for weeks but cancelled every time they were supposed to meet.  What's the deal?

Once we finally meet it seems to go downhill from there.  I feel like guys do not take into consideration being accommodating to women.  Historically, courting/dating was to woo the woman and not the other way around.  Please select a place that is either equal distance from each other or you come closer to me.  Don't make me go far out of my way.  And hanging out at your house or my house for a first date is never going to be an option.  That is not a date and it is not safe.  You could be crazy, I could be crazy.  Maybe it is worked in the past, but it is not going to work for me, and it is just going to turn me off.  If I chose to pay that is cool but I still think that women shouldn't pay at least the first few time.  If you can't afford the place pick a place that you can afford.  Not all dates have to be expensive.  One of my favorite dates was spent at the park and at the bookstore, it cost nothing.

Be respectful.  If I go way out of my way to see you I am going to need you to make time see me.  Please do not try to double book our time.  If we are getting to know each other please schedule enough time so you are not constantly checking your watch.  Maybe if we are meeting each other for the first time you should not pick an event at which you are working?  And please please please do not constantly check and/or respond to your text messages and phone numbers.  That is just rude.  When I am out with you I want to feel like I am specially and that you really care about getting to know me and spend time with me.  Perhaps if you are working at an event that should not be our first opportunity to meet.

In general my friends and I have the feeling that guys feel like women are supposed to do all of the work.  I am not sure if this is indigenous to the DMV area or not but it seems pretty prevalent here.  My friend thinks that part of the problem is that many men do not grow up with male figures to teach them what is right and wrong when it comes to how to treat a woman.   I think that may be part of it.  But the other part of me wonders if guys just don't even care anymore.  When I see the very professional men I have dated who have terrible manners, it just makes me think all men give little thought into how they treat us.

Women it is time that we stop settling for less than the best.  I am not saying that we need to be wined and dined at Ruth Chris for our first date.  All I am asking for is some thought and effort.  Make me feel like you are really interested and not that spending time with me is your only other option rather than going to sleep.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lonely Times

This week marks four months of no communication with my ex.  Before you roll yours eyes or you think in your head "get over it already" let me explain.  This blog is a way for me to put my thoughts to "paper".  Some of my readers have praised me for my transparency, so I don't feel that it would be fair if I didn't talk about it.

With that being said I still think about my ex.  Actually in all honesty I have been thinking about all of my exs/guys that I have dated.  I think it is a natural reaction to being lonely.  I go on a few dates here and there.  I meet new people sometimes.  But really it is not the same as having that intimacy that you have with someone that you have gotten to know over time and have found a real connection.

The good memories, the inside jokes, the places we have been together.  The other day I ran very hard into my bedroom door.  For the record I was completely sober and not even sleepy, just clumsy.  This is a story that I normally would have loved to share with my ex.  He knew all too well my level of klutziness and never failed to bring it up.  There are just times when I want to share things and I have no means.

Don't worry my dear readers, I am not about to contact my ex.  Even though it can be hard sometimes to not talk to the person who I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, I feel better.  Day by day I realize I did what I had to do.  Although it is hard it does get easier for me to realize that he wasn't the one for me and I deserve to be happy.  No amount of happy memories can replace the hurt and disappointment I felt.  I might be lonely now but I won't be forever :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Online Dating part UGH

Last week I decided to reactivate one of my online dating profiles.  One of my good friends tells me I should give up.  You see the thing is I get bored and I get broke.  Online dating provides me with a way to meet new people without spending money.  Even when it is at its worst I still have an amusing story to provide to my readers and friends right?

Speaking of amusing stories, I have one that just happened today actually.  I received a message from a guy on Saturday night, yet since I was out that night I didn't have a chance to respond until Sunday.  As I quickly skimmed his profile I thought it seemed ok until I got to the bottom where it said he was interested in only casual sex.  I then politely told him that I didn't want to waste his time because that wasn't going to happen.  He then wrote me back saying he made a fake profile that night to show that people are fake and that he was about to shut down his account and if I was interested to call him.  I should have seen this as a red flag.

I proceeded to send him a text message. And then I ended up chatting with him while I was on the way to meet my friend for lunch.  I shouldn't really say it was chatting, however.  This man basically talked about how all these dating sites are fake and that women say they want one thing and then act the opposite.  Then he told me that he told me (without me asking by the way) about his horrible experiences dating women with kids and that he would never do it again as a result.  Then he got into talking about his most recent ex.  I am surprised he even got in a breath as much as he was talking.  Luckily, my call dropped when I got to the restaurant and I told him I would call him later.  He texted me back saying that he would call me back when he was done painting, this was at 2pm.

I then get a call from him at around 9pm.  Since my two favorite shows were on (Drop Dead Diva and Devious Maids both on Lifetime) I did not answer the phone.  I decided I would call him back when I could focus.  It is worth noting that during our phone conversation previously he talked about girls not being honest because he would call on a Monday and the woman would not call back until Thursday.  I told him that people are sometimes busy.  I also said that with me sometimes I don't like to talk on the phone until I actually have time to have a real conversation.

I wake up this morning and see a message from him on the dating site saying that "it isn't going to work out and that he will delete my number."

I then proceeded to send him a scathing message saying that he shouldn't talk about ex's the first time he is talking to someone and that he should probably let them speak too.  And if he gets huffy because I don't return his call in two hours that he has the issues and that he needs to examine himself.  I also said that his behavior will turn off the good women out there because I am one and I was turned off.

Yeah, I never got a response after that.  It is ok though.  I guess I dodged a bullet with that nut bag!

***UPDATE****  So I woke up to go to the bathroom this morning and couldn't fall back asleep so I checked me email.  I had a message from this guy.  I will summarize because I was so pissed off I didn't want to curse him out.  In hindsight I should have save it so you could see it word for word.  Basically he said something like he is 8 years older than me and as a result he thinks differently than me.  He knew it wouldn't work out while we talked on the phone.  He also finished by saying that "my" generation is selfish, rude, and overweight.  And he said that he is a leader and knows these things.

My online dating is on hiatus once again. lol

My thoughts on the Zimmerman Trial

So the Zimmerman trial verdict came down on Saturday.  If you are not living under a rock you know that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of committing second degree murder and not guilty of manslaughter.  I knew that I wanted to write about this topic, but I wanted to give it some time to gather my thoughts.  Here they are...

  1. Everyone suddenly thinks that they are legal scholars.  I will tell you one thing I have plenty of student loan debt which I can barely pay to prove that I went to law school.  Just because you watch/listen to a case for a few weeks does not mean that you have the knowledge to make a legal opinion.
  2. There a lot of people out there who have internet balls.  Meaning, they can hide behind a screen name on the internet and say the most vile things that they want but would turn around and smile in your face if you saw them in public.  Please don't waste your time with them, it isn't worth it.
  3. Think back a year and a half ago when this crime took place.  Do you remember how originally the State's Attorney's office did not want to prosecute the case, but after protests they decided to file charges.  The legal system is designed to convict people beyond a reasonable doubt.  The prosecution did not meet their burden of proof and thus a guilty verdict could not be rendered.  If you look at the basics of the case it was really a he said/he said scenario, but unfortunately Trayvon Martin did not get to tell his own side.  I think I can speak for most of my attorney friends when we say that we were not surprised by the verdict.
  4. Between the Paul Deen scandal and Zimmerman I really never want to hear the word racist.  Racist is a very divisive term.  Everyone uses it interchangeably with the prejudice.  Instead of using the word racist or racism let's focus on the root of the problem.
  5. You don't have to be black to care about what happened to Trayvon.
  6. People think that we have a black President and that everything is ok in the world.  More and more we are reminded that while we have come a long way we still have a long way to go.  Issues of race have been constructed over hundreds of years and it will take hundreds of years to fix them. 
  7. I am about to take a very unpopular stance...I am tired of protests and marches.  I understand the sentimental value.  I know that it is a partially a way of honoring Trayvon.  I also know that it is a way of bringing people together to express their frustrations not just with the legal system but the constructs of society.  But in the end we can have a million marches and the same injustice will happen over and over again.  Let's move beyond the anger and beyond the marches and really accomplish something.  Sure we can change the gun laws, we can even repeal the "stand your ground law", but is that going to make the real difference?  If we really want to honor Trayvon we need millions of little discussions around the country, around the world.  Instead of hiding from people that don't look like us, talk like us, or didn't grow up the same way we need to have a dialogue about our differences and are similarities.  The only way we can start to heal and change the climate of this country is by dealing with our own prejudices.  And yes black, white, Asian, and Latino we all have prejudices.  Once we really admit that and work towards elimination that is how we can truly have justice for Trayvon.
  8. I will end with this point.  Before I started this post I received an email from my Pastor David Anderson.  I skimmed it quickly, but the part that stood out to me the most was to "practice Gracism not racism".  I may be unhappy with the results of the trial and with the state of our country right now.  But one way I know that I can rise above this and continue to effect change is by practicing gracism and continuing to love others because Jesus loved me.  You don't have to be Christian to show grace, love, and respect for others.  Let us be the examples for others to follow.