F ather’s Day 1991. It’s 12:47 a.m. In the Sonoran desert skies, three planets align to form an ultrabright “star” in the western sky. It just adds drama to the already dramatic events taking place with me, in me and around me that night.
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I have been married for 10 years on my second marriage. I love the man I’m married to and see us together for life. I am also having an affair with another man.
My death is not very interesting. It’s likely the least important part of my life. And the circumstances of my death might be less interesting than that.
They say, sometimes, of a baseball pitcher, “He’s gonna waste one.” This means the pitcher has reason to deliberately not throw a strike. The pitcher is going to throw around the strike zone. It’s a chess game. His purpose is to test the batter. To lure the batter into the pitcher’s game. To see if the batter will expose some tendency or intention. To keep the batter off balance. So the pitcher “wastes one.”
I remember when Mary Poppins conjured a strong wind to literally blow away the queue of applicants for the position of nanny to Jane and Michael Banks. One moment, there were 20-plus proper English women standing in line, waiting to be interviewed.
A friend tells me about his therapy and his therapist. For session after session — weeks, now — my friend has tried to explain the history between his brother and himself. He has taken great pains to describe the great pain he carries about the relationship — chronically disrespectful, disdainful, scornful, critical and bullying. Never physically abusive, but emotionally cold and sometimes just plain humiliating. Since as long as my friend can remember.
When I was a child, my father more than once threatened to get a baseball bat and etch “Steven’s Attention Getter” into the wood. He told and retold a story about a farmer plowing a field behind a stubborn ol’ mule, the punch line of which had to do with the stick the father carried on the plow — the mule’s “Attention Getter.”
For years I’ve argued that “love is not how we feel but how we act” — with “argue” too often becoming the operational outcome — and you develop that concept insightfully and eloquently. But does your parenting example validate the claim that no difference exists “between a love you can’t show and not being loved at all?”
So, if I said to you, “I’ve opened a bank account in your name. The account contains a balance of $5 million. To access the money, you’ll need the PIN number, which only I know. And I’m not going to tell you.”
When we set a value or a goal, we incur an obligation to move toward that goal. Most people think of the process of moving toward the goal as a set of transactions. Actions that move us toward the goal are credits. Actions that move us away from the goal are debits.
When is the right time to introduce the children to the new mate? This is a question that I always ask myself.
I know a businessman in a lifelong love affair with Japan. He studies and admires the culture and history. He studies the language, the customs and traditions. His relationship with Japan reminds me of my maternal grandmother’s cosmic “crush” on Mexico. These are the kinds of people who make you want to believe in previous lives.
As I read your comments, you are in favor of “diluting and/or distorting” the institution of marriage.
In 1960, Random House published “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. I was 3 then, and it is the first book I ever remember reading.
Recently, I offered up some speculations and musings about gay marriage in America.
Apparently I’m the last to hear about any cyberspace phenomena. A little research suggests I’m the 27-million-and-ninth person to see The Dove Beauty Sketches. If you, too, are a member of Not Cyberhip of America, you can watch the video right on YouTube.
Interesting article and actually a pretty popular and mainstream view on the issue (“We can work hard, but our starting point influences our fate,” Human Matters, April 14, 2013).
Here’s how I read the sociocultural tea leaves: If you’re fighting in the army that’s waging war against gay marriage, or, said another way, if you understand yourself to be fighting to protect and preserve the institution of marriage from being diluted, distorted or otherwise offended by including homosexual partners well, I strongly encourage you to run a white flag up the flagpole right now. Stop the metaphorical scorched earth bombing runs. Give up. Quit.
A man that I met loves your words, and I was grateful to you to have helped him through the most difficult time of his life.
The single weightiest and greatest predictor of outcome is the starting point. That’s what all the social scientists say. And they are correct. Statistically and otherwise.
I’ve heard you say that a spiritual gift is not chosen, precisely because it’s a gift. So then, would you consider chastity a gift?
Rex crafts and tells stories the way a jukebox plays music. Except you don’t have to put money in Rex. Just sit with him awhile and he’ll tell you a story. Actually, I don’t think he can help it, in much the same way as Robin Williams can’t always decide when and where to erupt into stand-up comedy. Rex’s gift (amongst many gifts) is to see the human experience in stories. He sees the world in parables.
The last article I read of yours talked about being happy. Contentment and peace. It reminded me of a question I would like to ask you. What do you think of the author Deepak Chopra? And his philosophy?
Shooting to the top of my list of “The Five Culinary Proofs for the Existence of Satan” is Peeps. Peeps are evil. They peer at me with innocent expressions through the cellophane on the box, suggesting warm nostalgia, joy and friendship. But I’m not fooled. It hurts my teeth just to look at them.
And what do you do when your spouse is an active alcoholic, refuses to admit that she is alcoholic, goes to AA to please others but hates the meeting because all they talk about is God. Lost her job because of drinking and is getting unemployment and refuses to seriously look for employment, probably because she’s drunk.