Archive for April, 2013

04/30/2013

Sheer Indulgence

“All the things i really like to do  are either illegal, immoral, or fattening.”  – Alexander Woollcott 1887-1943

04/29/2013

The Avid Flirt: Do I Still Got It?

As I’m riding back on the last week on a day off, a conversation I had with Andrea popped back into my head that made me smile.

Back when I first met her, Andrea was as she likes to say “free, single and disengaged”. She was a tremendous flirt. What has made us great friends is that we instantly saw each other as kindred spirits and as such, I found those great feminine wiles to be harmless. Now, don’t, get me wrong, she is a smart, independent woman who knows how to get hers. But it was our conversation about flirting about three years back that still makes me shake my head to this day.

She goes: “even though I’m married, I still like to flirt from time to time…just to see if I still got it.”

Now some people reading that might say, this girl is asking for trouble. But having dated her husband for 8 years before marriage and being married for another 8, I’d say she does have a clue what she’s doing. Now, I can hear the penny section that says she is still young and their relationship is as well. You may be right, but here’s why I remember that conversation.

“Flirting never really leaves your system,” Andrea added. “The problem most people have is drawing the line.”

People still like to feel attractive and appealing, no matter how long they’ve been with their partner. You cannot blame them either, since this is a culture that is sexually driven and relationship busting is commonplace (marriages included). The pros are always on the prowl and can sense an opportunity at any point in time.  Sometimes a healthy flirt is the boost one need during a shitty point. Perhaps one isn’t getting attention at home, or the job is just depressing. There’s nothing that gets those new rush hormones flowing like a good flirt, just as a reminder that they are still appealing. There are days when I’ve done it myself – had a good flirt with some girl on the street and went home and bent the lady of the house into all sorts of shapes and letters.

Where people, get into trouble is like Andrea says, they don’t know how to draw the line. If you’re not comfortable with your own, essence then you may send signals you don’t mean or the flirting may get to a point where you’re in too deep and all choices are painful. It is no joke when home wreckers or conquistadors are on the prowl as some a re good all they need is a perceived sense of unhappiness or weakness to reel one in hook, line and sinker.

Still, the real good ones often do what Andrea calls “bowing out gracefully”. That’s when you’ve hit your line and you need to call it quits. But, since it takes two to tango, you need to have the person know it’s over but to also leave in good terms. Often times people are too good at starting the flirtation but not know how to state that it was merely a tit-for-tat

So how do you do when to do that? Well, it takes knowing yourself – including your intent and limits – and reading the other person well first. Some people out there are playing for keeps and don’t take no for an answer too well. While it is not the easiest to weed those folks out, the wise would say…don’t do start it if you don’t know how to finish it. But hey, some us of like the thrill of thinking we’re always in control.

Well, have fun out there, and when in doubt, let the gambler’s words be your guide…

04/28/2013

Love and Life

to live is like to love – all reasons is against it, and all healthy instinct for it. saumel bulter 1835-1902

04/27/2013

Playing With Fire…

Jeni. S. asks: “Why people like to play with fire so? Dem nuh realize seh Dem hand can get bun up anytime?”

People always think the reward justifies the risk, no matter how high the risks are and how small the rewards may be.

We live in a contemporary society that places a special emphasis on successful risk taking. Everyone has seen the stereotype of the river boast gambler or that crazy risk taker that was rolling in the fame and cash after beating the odds. While that looks cool and all, people forget about the simple fact that for all those people who were successful like that, many flamed out and failed.

It is always the same…whether having unprotected sex and not thinking about pregnancy, std or broken hearts if cheating on a partner/spouse; skimming cash and or pilfing supplies from the job; fudging resumes to get employed; cheating on tests; robbing people or banks…its all the same. People take risks and often do so with the mentality that they wouldn’t get caught or will get what they want every time.

Sometime pursuits have more immediate consequences than others. I was watching an episode of Locked Up Abroad with an Englishman who was locked up in Arizona for running a drug ring for 10 years. The amazing part about it was that he walked away from the trade for a few years after being threatened by a rival gang. He thought he was in the clear…then the cops kicked in his front door and he went to one of the toughest American jails for six years.

Sounds to me like you never really get away with anything in life, especially the serious offences.

But who really thinks about risks in situations where they feel they need to roll the dice? I guess we all should but sometimes our situation and how we feel about what we want forces us to take some chances we may not ordinarily do. I can’t say I agree with such choices but I can empathize with such an approach. Some of us are risk takers by nature, and that won’t change. But the thought is I guess it is still about being clever as, opposed to playing smart. I try to do that as best as I can, since I like to sleep at nights with a clear conscience based on my own actions for the day.

After all, who really wants to deal with burns if you’re playing with literal fire in the first place?

04/26/2013

Growing Through Passions

a man that has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.  – carl gustav jung 1875-1961

04/25/2013

The Cheating Game: Rules of Engagement

Here’s the last comment that stood out to me at the end of my conversation with Andrea: 

“Remember, it is often about the fantasy…when either cheating or pursuing someone in general,” Andrea mentioned. “Sometimes we project and see what we want in the other person as a means to fulfill our desires. One has to be careful how you play the game…sometimes holding the prize just out of reach and maintain the chase longing enough is the best way to tire out the pursuer and have things end before they start.”

It is crazy how much things can snowball when cheating happens. Many people report feeling a sense of guilt and shame afterwards – but in the actual moment, it was more like a release or an awakening. Maybe not that much different from the first pure high someone may get from using an illicit drug, the buzz from doing something “forbidden” can send a person on a chase that Delbert Boone would effectively call “Chasing the Dragon.”

What is at stake gets forgotten in the beginning stages, especially if the partner doesn’t pick up on the tells. Everything is new and exciting with the side piece and the problems at the home front get more exaggerated. Some focus on the

One can tell when you’re “leaving the relationship” the moment you decide to cheat. Even that spouse who doesn’t know what is up can noticeably feel the cheater’s absence. I remember seeing someone and had an admirer after me at the time who knew I was taken. So my admirer and I talked things out one day when I walked her home (she lived nearby a place I was staying at the time). As we were talking, I felt my focus shift from my girlfriend at the time, where in that moment I didn’t care about her as much…I was just focused on figuring out what was going on with my admirer. I guess you can say the temptation was greatest then, because even though I didn’t hook up with my admirer, my mindset was different that evening. How was I going to handle my girlfriend and “get away with being in this situation”? I can remember talking to my girlfriend at the time and giving some half assed reason for my distance from her that night – and not even caring whether she accepted it or not. I also felt like I emotionally left for a brief moment.

As unsettling as it felt for me that night, I can only imagine the toll and cost it would have taken to cheat and maintain something ongoing as some others do…especially when families and professional reputations get entangled into the affair.

It is amazing how the terms and conditions people can agree to when they choose to cheat. For some it is a trade of companionship and sex for the trappings, with the focal person being in complete control. Some stay because they think they will move up from “side piece” to “wife” at some point if they stay long enough, or give more. Some take great pride in those moments they have with the cheater. Some may view the cheater as “just another person in my Rolodex that lets me get the finer things in life”. Oh, the layers and reasons can be as diverse as any other aspect of human nature.

For some men, they have to be in control. They have to have the wife and the side piece – and will refuse to be in the situation without having a say. When it is the woman as the focal point of the triangle though, things often take a different feel to it, but still that need to be in control will persist. Some cheaters try their darndest not to invest too much into what they are doing. but, like creatures of habit, the longer the affair persists, the more likely one person is to “catch feelings” and be “unsatisfied with their standing”. No one really always wants to be “Number Two”.

“Women think about sex just as much as men and are just as likely to cheat as men. It is just how they go about doing it that can be so vastly different.” – Andrea

Guess it is words like those above and the ones Andrea spoke in the beginning that makes one realize that it is when “selfishness” kicks in – either in the beginning when someone cheated, or during the troughs of an ongoing affair when one tries to have it all with the “number one ” and the “side piece” – due to human needs and feelings go awry, no one ultimately wins in this game.

04/24/2013

The Power of A Good Teacher

a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. henry brooks adams 1838-1918.

04/23/2013

“What, Someone ELSE is leaving?”

I’d be the first to admit that the grass isn’t greener here in the US as some of my friend and family back home may think. While there is comparatively an improvement in some aspects, the cost is just as great.

There have been an increasing number of casualties in the work of attrition happening at my 9-5. Working in a health care setting is grinding enough, but working with young people can be as mercurial as the youth themselves. There is a lot of need we see walking through our doors, and sometimes that need can take its toll on the staff.

Here’s the part that is getting stressful. There is this kinda informal tradition at the job – that goodbye card that you sign, and amongst the people who worked with that person closely, a sendoff lunch or drinks at the bar of the person’s choosing. Usually people don’t pick like crazy expensive places, but for the last 3 weeks in March we were off on a Thursday to do to the goodbye drinks (Fridays are bad for people where I work). The ones that always get to me are: “hey, can you sign this card? Joe/Mariann is leaving and her last day is the end of the week.”

So any sane person would ask: who else is on their way out? And more importantly, can I survive all this drinking after work on a weekly basis?

What’s made the recent go around in the war of attrition especially tough is that at the monthly All Staff meetings, the room looks a little smaller and the faces looking different each time. I swear, sometimes it feels like if we’ll get to a point where you need the “Hello! My name is _________” name tags. The “veterans” who are still around look more tired in each All Staff, kinda like people counting down the days to their own vacations or exit strategies. Of course, management isn’t replacing people fast enough – it takes a bit more time in specialized places like medical facilities – and in the interim is spreading the workload around at the same pay rate.

Yes, it is the time-tested recipe to boost morale – hand out more work and same (or less) pay.

I’m sure this is happening across the board in this toilet filled global economy. It seems like every week you read in the news of some country’s government needing a bailout. The stock market index here in the US looks robust like it did in the Clinton years, but yet you don’t feel that “wealth” or “prosperity” among the common folk. But you really cannot blame folks for shuffling the deck to feed their families and taking care of themselves in these hard times. It’s kinda like grocery shopping for fruit and all the fruit are battered and bruised and stale looking – you kinda have to pick the “lesser of the evils you can stomach”.

So what do you do? Go back to school, take a pay cut, reduce expenses and hope for the best. Still, even as we ride out these times, we shouldn’t be discouraged by others when they move on. Perhaps we can use this opportunity for us to take stock and make our needed adjustments to not merely just stay afloat, but to thrive in these times.