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Sex and Money: Vulnerable Conversations


There are many reasons that people cheat, and usually sex and money are two things that are high on the list of reasons for someone to step outside of their relationship. I’m taking a step back in advising you on how to get beyond the hurt of finding out your partner, straight or gay, has cheated on you. When you get wrapped up in the emotions of love, there usually isn’t a conversation about money. You’re probably already engaged in sex, so no conversation is usually needed unless you aren’t open minded to new positions or you’re just lousy at it. (There are people that are lousy at sex.) You can get so involved in the emotional part of the relationship that you forget about your own needs because you’re usually more involved on making your relationship work, which means you’re being accommodating. This is a big mistake. You can’t keep it up, and as time goes on, you’re going to feel very unfulfilled.

Sex should never, ever be a one-way street. You want your gratification just like you’re try to give gratification to the other person. When you forgo your needs to please someone else, you are asking for a huge problem as time goes on. Sex needs to be part of a conversation you engage in, so you know that mutual needs are being met. If it’s bad, but you really feel that this person is someone you would like to invest time and energy in, then you have to speak up. No, it’s not easy to say to someone, “You should do this or that to satisfy me,” but think about it, if you don’t in the beginning, then as time goes on, you will be looking for this gratification outside of your relationship. Then you will want to have the conversation that you should have had months ago. You have to introduce the sex conversation slowly, and doing a show and tell is a perfect way to approach the subject. There’s also the after sex glow, when you’re both relaxing and enjoying the moment; a perfect time to have the discussion. Intimacy is not sex, but intimacy can lead to sex. Make sure you have intimacy. Intimacy would be kissing, holding hands, anything short of actually engaging in performing a sexual act, therefore you can be naked and have intimacy going on. You just have to realize that intimacy is also the ability to have delicate conversations that may hurt the person’s feelings, coming from you in a way that is loving and shows that you understand how that person is feeling. How would you like someone to break it down to you if you were on the other end of such a conversation? 

Money is a very, very, very hard conversation for two people to have. Unlike the sex conversation, which should happen in the beginning of any and all relationships, money should be discussed as soon as you feel that this person is the one. There’s no reason to do this with every person you get involved with because then your business will end up just out there to be talked about by everybody. (If you’re rich, you might not care.) If you feel every relationship is the one, then you have a problem that needs to be addressed before you have any relationship. The only way you will know how to progress in your relationship regarding financial items is to discuss what each of you are bringing to the table. Actually, if you’re going to the movies and dinner, who will pay? A conversation does not need to happen until you know each other well enough to know that no one feels that he/she is being taken advantage of. This conversation is much different from a what you have in your bank account conversation. That’s a deep conversation that exposes you financially, so you must be so sure that living together or marriage is on the horizon before having this conversation. If you’re giving, giving, and giving, and the other person is just taking, this will almost certainly lead to cheating. The person that’s taking will be the one that cheats because that person doesn’t have to work on the financial aspects of a relationship. The giver will not be the cheater because all of their time is spent trying to keep the other person financially happy. There is, for certain, a financial aspect to a relationship. If there isn’t, how could you buy things like a house or have any type of living arrangement? 

No one wants to feel used, and if you get nothing in return, either in sex or money, that is how you will feel used. It might take you some time to actually realize what’s going on because you are so busy trying to keep the relationship going that you get blindsided when the truth of what’s really going on hits you. Conversations in the beginning of a relationship can save a lot of heartache as the relationship progresses. It is not easy, and the longer you put it off, the more vulnerable the relationship will be.

Blogs
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating
Breaking Out After the Breakup

Next blog: Dating After The Breakup.

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Breaking Out After The Breakup


Are you ready to leave your shell? I talked about giving yourself time to learn about you in “Surviving The Art of Cheating”. When you are getting over a breakup, especially one that involved cheating, you have to take all the time you need to heal. The mind and heart battle is hard, and it’s grueling. You can’t rush it or you will end up back in the same place of blaming and trying to go back to the cheater. There is no race. You will know you’re ready to break out of your shell and face the world when you can evaluate your past relationship with honesty and not fall apart at the mention of the cheater’s name. 

Try to think of this whole process like a turtle. You go into the shell for protection to evaluate the situation, and then you slowly stick your head out to test the waters. And finally you move ever so slowly to a new place to be comfortable and hopefully find love. When you break out, this is when you start to slowly mingle with others and try to get your life back in some order. There’s nothing wrong with going out as long as you go home alone. This is not the time to be dating. You need time to get to know you what you like, what you want, and what makes you comfortable. This is best done alone. If you involve someone else, it wouldn’t be about you but would be about us. And that’s a big no. That’s not the best right now. Stay away from places you used to go to with the cheater. Stay away from mutual friends as they have nothing to offer you at this point. And if they are really your friends, they will understand that you need time. This isn’t forever, just until you are emotionally strong enough to hear about your prior relationship. 

You have to realize how far you have come from finding out your partner was cheating to being able to see the relationship for what it was. There should be some clarity before you decide to break out. Again, I’m going to tell you it’s not easy. Actually, it’s hell going through the process of a break up and then adjusting to being alone. There are some people that feel they can’t be alone. That’s bull. Each of us can be alone and thrive. It’s just so much easier with someone else, but you can do it alone. It is just a matter of you taking your time. You breaking out is the most important person. 

The first time you go out into the world, go with a purpose. You go out with confidence and a determination that you know you can go forward in your life. You go out with a smile that you never turn into a frown while you’re out. The point is even if you’re not ready to go a mile just go half, or hell go a quarter, whatever you are comfortable with. Do something that consumes your thoughts with anything but where you’ve been. Again, its not easy, and hell it’s hard as hell. But you can do it, just don’t give up so easily. You take every little step you can forward because if you go back, what’s there? Nothing but heartache. 

Breaking out after a break up is challenging and mentally exhausting, but you can survive. You have good friends. Talk to them. These are your friends, not your mutual friends. You talk to your friends. Be honest with them, and hear them when they give you a different perspective on you, not your previous relationship, just you. We all need a different perception on who we are sometimes. The way we think of ourselves is sometimes not how others see us. That outside the window person can give a clear view into that inner person that we sometimes ignore. You should listen and think about what they are saying and give it some real consideration that maybe this is a part of me that I din’t acknowledge. Give their perception time in your healing process. 

You’ve broken out after the break up. Just exhale and smile.

Blogs
The Art of Cheating
Surviving The Art of Cheating

I will discuss the two biggest reasons people cheat, sex and money next.

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Surviving The Art of Cheating

Surviving The Art of Cheating 

You are ahead of the game and you don’t even know it. It takes a lot of strength to get out of a cheating relationship. Surviving takes a lot of time and though the first thing you might think of doing is something impulsive like having sex with the first person available, it is the wrong thing to do. You just want to feel something, anything that will make you forget about your cheating partner;, you want to forget that feeling that is slowly eating you alive, you want to stop the fight between your heart and your mind, which are both trying to control your emotions. But getting involved with someone else, even just for a night, is not the answer. It would be a selfish deed, because no matter how hard you try to justify it, all you would be doing is using another person – not healing yourself.

Your unhealthy relationship is over, and it’s time to heal yourself even if you don’t know where to start from. It’s okay to be angry, but you need to channel that anger; you cannot simply dismiss it, because that is what would happen if you were to engage in one-night stands – you may think it would help, but it would only be a numbing, useless harmful practice that definitely would not assist your recovery. You need to address your anger, and direct it at the cheater. Don’t fall into a trap, do not harbour that vicious feeling unless you somehow physically or mentally contributed to bringing that into your relationship. I want to explain what I mean by that. Did you really, deep down in your heart, know that the relationship was nearing its end, but couldn’t voice your emotions and say you were not happy out loud? Does this entail that you consequently stopped to actively participate in the relationship? The only thing you knew was that your partner had stopped caring and all you wanted was to get that person back. If you’re angry, throw something, scream or watch a lot of mindless TV. Reality shows are good for this. I wouldn’t even recommend you tell your friends about what happened yet, because what they are going to do is bash your cheater, but that would not benefit you at all. You have to be like a turtle, with its head tucked in its shell – wait a little longer, there’s no rush to get out of that shell. 

That shell is your shelter, it’s where you can’t get hurt, where you can let your feelings flow freely. It’s where your heart and mind fight. And the battle is long. The heart wants you to find any excuse to call the cheater and to take the blame for this situation. The mind tells you it’s okay to move on, it tells you that you knew what was happening but you didn’t do anything to solve the problem. The mind tells you that it tried to warn you, that suggested you get out, but you would rather listen to sugarcoated lies than to the bitter truth. This is a fierce battle, but that’s all it is – the war is yet to be won. Stay right there in that turtle shell and let you heart and mind battle it out until you can declare a winner on your terms. When you are ready, you will slowly come out and face the outside world. It won’t be easy. The first thing you might do is just taking a shower or zapping from channel to channel on the television. The point is that you do something, no matter how insignificant it may seem. And if doing those little things is not enough and you feel like going back inside your shell, that’s perfectly okay. You just weren’t ready as you thought, but don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying and every time you will get a little farther out of the shell. One thing you should be able to do before you are completely out of your shell is thinking about that person without bursting into tears or getting so angry that it makes you want to do something stupid. You have to be able to say the person’s name and look at your situation for what it really was. When you decide to get out of your shell, it doesn’t mean you are necessarily whole again, but it does mean that you will survive. Breaking up, for whatever reason, is hard, but it has happened or will happen to each of us. What matters is what you learn, not just from surviving the breakup but from the relationship itself. There are lessons to be learned from every situation, you just have recognize each situation and act upon it. 

The Art of Cheating is the first blog post you should read before getting to this point.

The next blog post will be about facing the world as a survivor.

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Retirement: Introverts vs Extroverts

Retirement: we can’t wait for it. We count the days, the months, and in my case, the years. I didn’t have a monthly calendar; I wanted a big yearly calendar so I could see each day as it went by. When we are young, we start thinking about retirement when it cuts into our activities at night. It’s hard as hell to go to work after partying into the night. You end up dragging yourself to work, only for the boss to yell, “You have to stay late because you’re late!” The years go by, and retirement is front and center in conversations at the water cooler. Retirement is the reward after spending years having a boss to tell you what to do. 

We can’t wait for the retirement party and the well wishers wishing you good luck. Then one day, it’s time. You gather your belongings, and off into the retirement world you go. 

We hear all the time about the money aspect of retirement (“you need x amount of money to retire”), but we don’t hear a lot about the mental aspect of retiring. Retirement is great for the extroverted person who has lots of friends beyond work. It’s great if you are a social person who likes to go out on a regular basis. Retirement might not be so good for the introverted person whose only social outlet is work, whose coworkers are their only friends, and who at the end of a work day is going home to a lonely house. That person who can’t wait for the next work day should maybe pump those retirement brakes. The retiree who lines up at the bus stop for that trip to the casino could just be lonely, and that is their only way to be around people. The casino-bound retiree might have never gambled a day in his life, but sitting on a bus surrounded by people is better than sitting at home all alone. You can usually tell these people because they start a conversation with anybody who takes that seat next to him/her. This does have ramifications because gambling can put a retiree on a fixed income in a financial crisis. 

The main conversations we have while working are about work; we talk shop. When we retire, that conversation stops; you aren’t in the loop anymore. The people you worked with could have moved on, and there are new people at the job whom you don’t know. One day, you realize the telephone is no longer ringing from the people you worked with, so you call. The conversation is strained; these’s a lot of silence. This is when you realize that your relationship with your work friends is over. For the extroverted person, this is no big deal because they have an outside life, but for introverts, this could be a horrible realization. You think, “What should I do now?” You clean the house on Monday, you clean the house on Tuesday, you clean the house on Wednesday, you clean the house on Thursday, you clean the house Friday, you clean the house on Saturday, and you clean the house on Sunday. The house is white-glove clean, but with nothing else to do, you start the ritual all over again. The next week, you watch every show you had meant to watch but couldn’t because you were working. There are times you wish you never retired because this isn’t all people make it out to be. 

Retirement is hard on the introverted person. If you know someone who was a introvert at work, more than likely that’s not going to change with retirement. It’s not some much that the introvert wants to be alone as that the person has to get comfortable in a new setting. If they start to go to the casino, the first time might be awkward, but as he/she goes more often, their comfort level increases, and so do their interactions with other people. The conversations might be casino-related; for introverts, that could be all that’s needed to make themselves comfortable. 
I’m just using the casino as a example, but it could be senior groups, YMCA programs, cruises, anything that can that bring about social interaction. 

Retirees have enough to worry about, like money (unless you’re rich) and whether Social Security will be around for their entire lifetime. Money is a big issue because it comes monthly instead of biweekly or weekly. You have to stretch the dollar to last for a month, and with the price of food, there’s no room for goodies, just the necessities. Your savings start dwindling because the price of everything keeps going up and your check goes down faster. There are also more health issues as you age, and dealing with those alone is never good. You begin to realize that death is a closer reality than life because the people you know are passing away at an alarming rate. There is an overwhelming sense of loneliness if you’re an introvert.

Retirement is great if you’re an extroverted person who is very sociable, but if you are an introvert, think about it. You should prepare not just financially, but also mentally. You need to think about what you are going to do, and start doing that before you retire. If you don’t have a hobby while working, it doesn’t just come about when you stop working. Start pursuing that hobby while you’re still working. Join a club, or better yet, create a club. Join a group to get the feel of what it’s about. You should visit family, but don’t make yourself a pest. Take care of the grandkids until they get on your nerves. The point is to plan ahead and be honest in your assessment of yourself and what you’re capable of doing. There’s only so much house cleaning to do.

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Pull Off The Label

We are not cans of vegetables in a store that require a label to be stacked in the same area. We are people, so why do we need so many labels? There are so many labels that seem to define people that I’m starting to think that it’s made up. I’m black, female, gay, and married, but none of those define me just like those words or similar words don’t define you. One of the reasons you label vegetables is so that when you open them, you know what’s inside. Labeling people tells you nothing about the person inside. Labeling is very broad way of saying “This is me”, but why do you need to say that? It would be so nice if we could pull off the labels and people were just that, a person with a name for identification, and that’s it. “I am Anita” – that’s my identification, and that has nothing to do with who I am inside. We have got too hung up on these labels without knowing the person who is assigned a label. When you meet someone, you should look at the person, not if he is gay, straight, transgender, or anything else, just the person. We have a superficial world that looks too much at looks before seeing the person inside the body. It doesn’t matter if you are beautiful or ugly as hell if what’s inside should count more than what you look like and what label should be attached to your person. Why is it so important that you give yourself a label or a label is given to you? Does that label tell the person about you? I hope not because this world is worse off than I thought if all we are is a bunch of people trying to fit in a label like string beans in a can. When I was a kid, I saw these two people walking down the street. They were gay, I assumed. I wondered why people can’t just love who they wanted, as they were not hurting anyone. I learned as I got older that labels are used as a way to hurt people, and labels are used to define people as a certain sexual being. Again, why do you need a label to describe your sexuality? If you’re transgender, great but I rather know the person inside that transgender body. I don’t care if you’re transgender because that’s not what drew you to me. It’s that person inside that body that I want to get to know and love. I’m just saying I would rather just know your name. This doesn’t just apply to gay people but straight people as well. I don’t care if you’re straight, I just want to know your name and get to know that person inside. We are all different inside, and that is what makes us special. If you were to put all the Anita’s in the world together, we would still be different because of the person inside: there is no need to label that Anita as straight or that Anita as gay, what is the point? I really hope one day that people will stop with the labeling because it’s a false way to define someone.  It would be so much better if we pulled off the labels and just looked at the person. Maybe that would make the world a better place. It might help with all this divisiveness that is going on. It might help people to truly understand the next person without making assumptions. It could put love in the world and get rid of some of the hatred we have for certain groups of labeled people. Please take the time to pull the label off and look at the person inside before you judge. The next time someone says I’m pansexual, ask them who are they really inside without the label.

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No Shame in Going to a Trade School


For some kids, the stress of whether to go to college is a pressure cooker waiting to explode, especially if they do not want to go. College is not for every kid, but parents often put their ambitions for their children on them. We are well aware of the extent some parents go to to get their kids into a university. Is college for the kid or for the parents? There was a time when the military was the go-to source of jobs for kids, especially African American kids. Parents looked at the military as a way out of the ghetto, which could eat their kids up and spit them out on the nearest-drug infested corner. That seems to have changed somewhat as military standards have changed. It wasn’t so much that parents didn’t want their kids to enlist; rather, it’s more that kids weren’t being accepted so readily.

There is an alternative out there that most parents fail to push, and that’s work that’s done with your hands. These are the construction workers, electricians, and plumbers, just to name a few. These jobs offer good salaries with much less cost to the student. I believe it’s how these types are jobs are perceived that makes them seem on the surface less important than the professions of a doctor or lawyer. Doesn’t it sound so much better to say “my child is a lawyer” than “my child is a garbage man”?

There are many kids out here who have no desire to attend college, but feel that they have no other option, so they go. Years ago, getting an associate’s degree was a sign that you’d made it, but that is no longer true. You need a bachelor’s degree, and with some occupations a master’s degree, to have a chance of getting that high-paying job. There are also cases where high-paying jobs still elude students because they haven’t scored high enough for Corporate America to even consider them. For some of our next-generation kids, high school is all they can see; they see nothing beyond that. It’s a strange thought that when you were a kid, you wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, anything that was glamorized on television. When the drug craze came about, television started to glamorize that quick money, and then kids started to go in that direction. I’m not saying this happens to every kid, but enough kids get drawn into easy money and a flashy lifestyle. Then the technology craze hit, and now we have some kids sitting in front of a screen before they can even talk. In a sense, they are raised by screens. They have little if any ambition and college, is a definite no-no. 

My grandson is in the eleventh grade, and I often ask him, “What are you interested in”? Because everything I suggest is a NO! When he was small, he had dreams; what happened to them? He isn’t a bad student, but is an average student who won’t be getting into any Ivy League school. That’s OK because there’s an alternative: a trade school. A trade school occupation is something to be proud of; it’s like building a house, something you put your back into. In this type of profession, you can look at your hands, and see the ability to take something from nothing and made it real. There are trade school jobs that aren’t labor-intense, like web developer or dental hygienist, that a person can learn to do, and they can be proud of what they have accomplished. 

Parents, I think that you have to be honest in evaluating your child. Don’t try to make your child a college student when they have shown no desire, or when they’re just barely making it out of high school. It should be about giving them choices, and trade schools should be among the options that are discussed. I checked online, and these are some of the best jobs for trade school graduates: 1. Elevator Installer/repairer, medium salary $77,806 2. Radiation Therapist, medium salary $69,504 3. Web Developer, medium salary $58,448 4. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, $55,106, 5. Electricians,$52,527. These salaries aren’t too shabby for a person not going to college. 
College is great for students who are going for themselves, not for their parents. However, college often involves a lot of debt, and offers no guarantees that graduates will be employed in their chosen field after they’ve sweated for multiple years to earn their degree. A trade school involves a lot less debt, and offers better chances of employment are better in one’s chosen field. Don’t sell your child short; give him/her every opportunity to succeed, even when college isn’t in the equation.

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My Secret Is Out

There’s this concept online called crowdfunding. In basic language, crowdfunding is a group of people that buy into another individual’s/company’s idea. I mean buy as in money and buy as in you like what they are selling. I actually can’t tell you how I got involved, but believe me, it had to be something I saw online that made me say, “Wow!” I was working then, though money was tight, but what I saw made me say, “I’ve got to have this!” The problem was my spouse, who wasn’t my spouse at the time, but we were dating and living together. I knew that spending money on a watch was not going to fly. Yes, the first geeky item I pledged to was a watch. This watch connected to your phone and you got notifications. This was before smart watches were the rage. What I did was to first talk up the watch by saying how it could keep me from missing messages on my commute from New York to New Jersey. Well, that didn’t work, so I did what I knew was fail proof: it was an early birthday present to myself. While I was wheeling and dealing with my spouse on this watch, I went to a newfound website of geek items and saw another watch. This time, not only could I get notifications but I could talk into it. Dick Tracy here I come! Now, I’m talking about two watches. Well, I only have one birthday, so how could I get her to see things from my point of view? Nope, it wasn’t going to happen, so I did the unthinkable and just kept my big mouth shut. The website that had grabbed my attention that I was not mentioning was Kickstarter. 
Kickstarter

Kickstarter
was started in April 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. The Kickstarter headquarters is located in New York City. Kickstarter is a very user friendly site for project owners and backers. Kickstarter responds to questions and problems about their site very quickly and you can communicate with the project owner by clicking on the comments section or emailing him/her through the website. The comments area is also a place to interact, not only with the project owner, but with other backers, during the course of the project.
Kickstarter has a global community of people from more than 220 countries and territories. Roughly 35% of successfully funded projects now come from outside the United States, as do 45% of backers. Together, these backers and creators use Kickstarter to reach across borders and shape culture into what they want it to be, rather than accepting it for what it is. And as ideas from different cultures collide with one another, they inspire new conversations, creative approaches, and cross-cultural connections.
 

Kickstarter Project Manager 
I will discuss the technology area of Kickstarter; however, there are many types of projects that you can back, such as films, music, and books. The Kickstarter site enables people to discover and back as many projects as they believe will become a reality. When a person, or groups of people, decide to start a project on Kickstarter they must first build a project page, which includes a video with a description explaining their project. The next step for the project owner is to provide information about their budget and a timeline from beginning to end of the project. The project owner must then decide what kind of rewards they will offer backers, such as a choice of item color or engraving the item with the project name and year. These rewards are given when the project funding reaches certain milestones. Project owners have to keep in mind that they pay for all of the rewards offered to backers. When project owners think about the funds necessary to bring their project to fruition, they must consider everything because Kickstarter will not let their project become a reality if the funding goal is not met. A very important part of the project is promotion. A project needs active promotion because a project no one knows about will never get funded. Kickstarter’s fee is 5%, with an additional 3 to 5% for processing payments. If the project owner doesn’t meet their funding goal, they owe nothing.

Kickstarter Backers
There are different tier amounts that a backer can pledge. When a backer pledges early there is usually a perk from the project owner as a way of thanking a backer for coming aboard early. The different pledge tiers not only tell you the item, but an estimated month and year that you will receive the item. The shipping information will also be listed in each tier box, along with any accessories that might be given. Once he/she has met the project funding level, the project owner will give their backers updates as the project develops through each stage. Backers like to know they’ve made a wise decision in backing a project and hate it when shipping has to be pushed back time after time. My experience with Kickstarter is that projects are always pushed back for different reasons. The project owners try to give realistic shipping estimates, but often a project of this magnitude is new to many of them and they are not prepared for the problems that arise. You, the backer, have to be aware that there are also scam artist that will go through the motions of creating a project, but once funding is met and they receive their money, you never hear from them again. There is really no recourse for backers when a project owner takes the money and doesn’t fulfill his/her part of the deal. Kickstarter backing is partially about being first to get an item that no one might know about or have even envisioned. As I stated, not all projects make it to the backers. An example of this was a watch that I pledged for my daughter. It was supposed to be the thinnest watch out in 2013. The company wasn’t able to make the watch because they encountered too many hurdles that they weren’t prepared for. I recently received a letter informing us that after liquidating all of their assets, there was no money to give to backers

Some might think this is throwing money away because these projects aren’t cheap, and if a project fails you can’t get your money back. I think of it like this: It’s no riskier than the lottery or going to the casino. You never know when you’ll hit the jackpot. There is a certain rush you get as the months go by waiting for your reward to make it from the project owner’s vision to you.

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The Art of Cheating

Cheating, similar to a painting, needs all of the pieces to come together to create the perfect picture. There are three people involved in cheating: the cheater, the person being cheated on, and last but not least, the person being cheated with. That basically sums up the triangle of cheating. I would guess that most of us have been in one part of the triangle or another at some point. The person being cheated on and the person being cheated are just like an isosceles triangle in that they are equal in the hurt that can come from a cheater. 

There are signs; however, it’s a matter of whether you, the person being cheated on, wants to acknowledge the signs or not. There are always very subtle signs. It’s a sign that if you blink too fast, it will be gone. Cheaters very seldom in the beginning of a new relationship do obvious things that are easy for you to pick up on, but they do unobvious things that are small, so you have to be observant. If you have been in a long-term relationship that is meaningful to you, then you know your other half. You know if the person stops kissing you when he/she leaves the room or comes home from work. There may be times when that kiss that usually comes every day starts becoming every other day or every two days. You understand now what I mean by subtle? 

I know it may be hard to think of the person who is being cheated with as a causality in this triangle as much as the person who is being cheated on, but I believe he or she is also a victim. There are a lot of people who feel that the person who is being cheated with should bear the brunt of this triangle because that person should have just said no to the relationship. That person is looked upon as a third wheel for entering into a relationship that was solid. Actually, I guess it wasn’t as solid as it was thought to be. I argue that this person could not have infiltrated your relationship without there being some kind of hint that said it was “OK”. Again, the hint is usually very subtle. It doesn’t matter who puts out the hint – the cheater or the person being cheated with – it takes only that small acknowledgment of acceptance to start cheating.

The cheater is the big fish because both of the other parties of the triangle are being held together by this person. The cheater is not only cheating on the person that he/she has the direct relationship with but also the person he/she is cheating with. Yes, the person being cheated with has as much invested in this triangle as the cheater and his/her partner. The cheater is a bandit who is stealing feelings and emotions from the other two people in the triangle. Have you ever noticed that the drama that comes with cheating becomes stronger once it’s out in the open. The cheater and the side person’s relationship becomes closer, and this is because they have a common denominator, which is the dislike for or uncertainty of the person being cheated on. That common denominator pushes the cheater and the person being cheated with closer and closer until they are so close that they truly believe they are in love. I often wonder, without that common denominator, could that side relationship work? 

The triangle doesn’t care if you are straight, gay, or a martian; its all about you and how you treat someone. The person being cheated on has to dig down deep in their emotions to confront the cheater. I know it is easier said than done. I really believe that confronting the cheater as soon as the hint is in view is what should be done. No, don’t blink and hope it goes away. No, don’t try to do more until actions from the cheater match the words that come out of his/her mouth. The longer it takes to confront the cheater, the harder it will be. That’s a fact. You need to get the information, resources and finances together and just put all of that away somewhere for when you need it. The person being cheated with, it would be very easy to say just say no, but I know it’s not always that easy, especially as you get closer and closer to the cheater. I think you already know it’s wrong to get in between any sort of relationship, but there are times when the cheater presents such a good view of why this is ok that it’s like being hit by a Mack Truck. It happens before you know you’ve been hit. I’m definitely not saying that it’s ok to be the third wheel in the triangle. What I’m saying is that there could be a good reason why that person is involved in a relationship. For the cheater, there are so many reasons why he/she cheats, from you can’t cook to you can’t satisfy him/her. These things get ballooned in the creator’s mind once the cheater feels that there is no way to fix the relationship. Or it could just be that the person finds the need to have more than one person, like a polygamist. Even if the cheater comes back, it will never be like it was before, when you laughed at the same things or snuggled in bed watching a movie. The trust is gone, and, once gone, trust is hard to get back. It’s hard to forget that all of that occurred when the relationship grew from two to three people. 

You, the person being cheated on, has to be honest and open with yourself. Can you look past the hurt? Can you believe his/her words that come out of his/her mouth? Can you release the heartache that comes with having a third person in the relationship? The person being cheated with thinks that once the cheater is out of the relationship, they can be together. That’s a bunch of poop. You might lose out just like the person being cheated on because you will, in fact, get that title. I don’t get it. Just because the cheater is out of a relationship doesn’t mean you will be the chosen one. It just means you were there and were used to break up a relationship, and that’s all it means, nothing more or nothing less.

Honest communication is the only way to stop the train wreck that will come from cheating. This honest communication has to occur before the third person is brought into the relationship; otherwise, honest communication becomes lying communication. There will be times when honest communication will lead to a relationship breaking up because you may find that you two have grown apart or maybe one of you has fallen out of love. It might happen that breaking the bond between the two of you is the best thing and maybe neither of you can see it at that very moment, but down the line you both will wish that you could say to the other person, “Thank you for being honest with me.” 

I hope that anyone who is currently in a relationship and is not happy, that you stop and talk to your partner/spouse before things get sloppy from involving a third person.

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My Dog Hates To Poop

GG

Mason


I have two Shih Tzus, GG and Mason. While Mason is a pooping machine, GG hates to poop. I realized when GG was a puppy that she is a very stubborn dog. I had to leave the house at 3am and would put food and water down for her, and when I returned home—usually around 6pm—her food and water looked just as I left it. When I came in the house, she would look at me with her big eyes and turn her head. I knew she was mad, but I had no choice; I had to work. I did work at home at lot of the time, but when I came home that was my punishment: she ignored me. Once, I had to go to Boston for a conference. I had to board her, and after inspecting and checking the credentials, I settled on Best Friends for boarding. I loved that place. I paid for her to go on a shopping spree in their store, ice cream, one-on-one playtime and bedtime stories. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible for the 5 days she would be there. I would call every day to find out she would eat but wouldn’t poop. I was scared if she didn’t poop soon she might get sick, so I cut my trip short. When I picked her up I felt so guilty that I cooked her a steak which she gobbled up. Who wouldn’t? She still wouldn’t poop. The next day I was ready to take her to the vet when, while walking, she stepped down on her leash to let me know that was as much walking as she was going to do, and so we turned around to come home when she finally pooped. It was big dog poop. I mean German Shepherd amount. I felt like jumping for joy. I noticed that pooping for GG is a matter of how she feels. GG is 17 years old and she is defiant in some things—and pooping is one of those things. When I take her out, I have to give her some sense of privacy. She squats and I look up into the sky. If I don’t, she squats and just looks at me with those big eyes of hers and nothing comes out. I learned this after many years of trying to figure out why she would poop sometimes and not others; it was a long process it get to that point. With GG being an old girl now, I am fanatic about her pooping because it is harder for her to smell and the amount of food she eats varies. I have tried Metamucil, but getting that in her was not working at all. I would find the Metamucil on the floor when I thought she had swallowed it. The next thing I tried was pumpkin. I mixed it with her boiled chicken, and for a while it worked, but then she got smart. She would smell Mason’s food and, because it didn’t have any pumpkin, she would try to eat his food. The next thing I tried (and still do) is smearing pumpkin all around Mason’s plate so his plate would smell the same as hers. This worked for a while, but she got wise again. She now smells his plate and goes back to her plate and only eats the boiled chicken pieces that have no pumpkin; the rest she throws on the floor next to her plate. It’s frustrating that on a daily basis I have to figure out what will and won’t work. I keep a WeeWee pad on the floor so when the weather is bad or I can’t take her out, she could go; however, she doesn’t like going in the house and would rather hold it until she can go out.

Mason on the other hand poops like a caulking gun; what goes in comes out in the next hour. It’s unbelievable that a 17lb dog could have so much poop or pee in him. I mean, he can pee outside until nothing comes out and come in the house and pee again. It’s ridiculous. When Mason finishes eating, he heads straight to the WeeWee pad and poops. I wonder how the food can digest so fast that it comes out after the last bite. I don’t know whether the fact he eats like a vacuum cleaner has anything to do with it. Mason does not chew his food, he just sucks it down. While GG hates going in the house, Mason will go anywhere at any time, sometimes three or four times a day. We, after 3 couches, have had to wrap him up before we go broke with our peeing fountain of a dog. 

They are definitely two different personalities of dogs. GG is more independent, and Mason is more of a baby. There is a 6 year difference in their age, and Mason seems like most boys: slow to learn. I think by me not being home, she learned to deal with things like thunderstorms. They don’t bother her at all, and we’re in Florida where some of the thunderstorms are very loud. Mason has great anxiety from thunderstorms; he shakes, poops and runs around chasing his tail. We tried everything like turning up the television and closing the blinds; nothing works because Mason can tell bad weather from miles away. He’s our weather dog. When we see him starting to get anxious, we know there is bad weather someplace because he picked up on it. I would check my phone when he started getting anxious and, sure enough, there was a lightening strike 5 miles away. He never fails in his weather forecasting. 

I’ll keep trying ways to keep GG going, and it is not easy. She has started something new recently of pooping only when I let her wake up on her own. If I wake her up, she is grouchy and she just walks around outside and steps down on her leash meaning, “That’s it, take me back home.” She’s an old girl now, and I let her do whatever she wants because I don’t know how much time we have left together. She’s in good health except she can’t hear so I’m grateful for that. If anyone has any more ideas of things I can try, please let me know.

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Bullying Straight Up No Chaser


Think back to when you were a child, I bet there is a fair amount of people who were bullied. We seem to forget that bullying is nothing new. Bullying is about power, it’s about making the bully feel good as much as it’s about making the bullied child feel hopeless and worthless. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that in this age of technology bullying has so much power that it could make a child commit suicide. The computer is not the problem, the problem is that people hide behind a screen and feel entitled and empowered by this sort of protection to say whatever they will – their words are the real issue. I’m one of those who don’t believe it’s guns that kill people, rather it’s the person behind the gun that’s the problem. Growing up, when you were bullied you told your parents, you had a fight or you just hid behind the other children to stay out of sight. Now though, virtual words typed on a keyboard have so much strength that they make a child feel there is nothing else they can do but tie something around their neck and hang from the highest point they can get to. Have we birthed children that have no backbone? Have we neglected our duties as parents so much that we can’t see the signs? Are we not able to hear our children calling us for help? I believe that technology takes away the ability for children to learn how to socialize. These days, when you look at kids, even when they are in a group, their eyes are constantly on their phones so they don’t really socialize anymore. This new generation of kids take it as the norm to be isolated rather than to socialize and make friends with their peers.  

There must be signs that parents don’t see when their child gets to the point where they feel hopeless and alone in their fight. I imagine the signs are there but they are hidden behind a façade of happiness. Maybe they try to be happy. If they are introverted within their family circle, they all of a sudden become extroverted outside of it. A child who doesn’t talk much becomes loquacious, whereas a talker becomes suddenly quiet. There are always signs, but we are missing them because we are so wrapped up in our own lives. No-one can accept the fact that an adult has contributed to the death of their child. Nevertheless, it’s time us parents take some responsibility for sticking a phone or a tablet into our children’s hands as soon as they can hold them. It seems like phones and tablets have become the new pacifier, one that takes away some of the parental duties that kids need the most and which should come in the form of interaction. Interaction is very, very important for a child’s growth as it gives them the confidence to deal with all types of situations. Interaction is a confidence booster that the new generations lack more and more and this lack means that parents see their children but they do not really know them. The distance between parents and children is wide and when parents realize what is going on with their children it is too late. The children have buried themselves into so much grief that pulling them back out would require a miracle. Miracles do happen, but how often? Not too often.

I truly believe it’s our duty as parents to ensure that in the future technology loses some of the power it has gained so far. We must teach our children exactly what the power of words is. Children must be told of experiences that parents have had, so they know their folks can relate. Parents must find the time to interact with their children on a regularly basis and tell them they understand their challenges and are open to discussing them together. Is that going to be easy? No, it won’t be a simple task, but you have to keep trying. Children have to know their parents won’t be judgmental, but understanding, so they can try to find a solution together. It’s easy to take away their computers or monitor the time they spend online, but that doesn’t mean they will get enough attention from you. Where is the interaction? Parents, you must be ready to bare your soul to your child and keep trying over and over again. A child needs to feel all the attention they feel they aren’t getting from you. A example of what I’m talking about is when your child comes home from school and you ask “How was school?”. You don’t just settle for “Okay”, that is not good enough because what does that tell you? Nothing at all. It will take time and you will get frustrated, but you have to keep trying, without pushing too hard. Don’t give up. I just don’t want to read about another child taking their life over some words they found on a computer screen. Remember that bullying can only go as far as your child lets it and it’s really up to you to equip them with the tools to fight back.

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Unique Ways to Find A Spouse

 Times have truly changed when it comes to dating and marriage. It used to be that you went to church functions or you met people through friends. The most popular, and still popular, Match.com is a leader in bringing people together. I can personally tell you that I met my spouse on Match.com and we’ve been together for 12 years and married for 3 of those years. The computers age changed everything. It gave you the ability to meet people all over the world. The new computer age didn’t just give you the ability to meet people in different countries, but it also allows you to meet people in your area that you maybe would have never met. Television has taken the step to meet people even farther, with shows like 90 Day Fiancé, 90 Day Fiancé Before The 90 Days, and 90 Day Fiancé The Other Way, and then there’s Love After Lockup, a show on Wetv, which shows another way to meet with the end result being marriage. These shows may seem crazy and you might just be saying, “Not me,” but these shows are uniting many couples for marriage.

90 Day Fiancé premiered in 2014

90 Day Fiancé is a TLC series about an American who goes across the country to meet the person he/she hopes to marry. The American has usually visited websites that are specific to what they want in a person, such as a Cuban dating site to meet a Cuban woman. The couple has just 90 days after getting a K-1 visa to decide whether or not to marry. The K-1 visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring his/her fiancé to the United States. The couples get to know each other mainly through FaceTime and texting. The couples are often of different ages and a few couples have a 20-year separation in age. They do get paid to let cameras into their lives from the time they start communicating through their whole courtship process. As noted previously, their communication is mainly through FaceTime and text messaging. What a way to get to know someone. The participants in the show are paid $1000 to $1500 per episode and $2500 if they appear in the tell all show at the end of the season. That sure seems like a cheap amount to put your emotions and life out there for public scrutiny. There is a 90 Day Fiancé casting group on Facebook for you to apply and get more information. You can go to Auditionsfree.com to get information about casting. The person going to the foreign country has to pay for traveling to the foreign country and the K-1 visa. This is not a cheap way to find love. The show does give you a look at the way other countries’ values in love and marriage are dealt with as well as the foreign person trying to understand the American ways. 

Love After Lockup premiered in 2018

Love After Lockup is another unique way to find the person of your dreams to marry. It brings together one person in prison and one person out in the free world. The person not in prison writes to or responds to letters from the inmate. It is through these letters that the communication grows into wanting to marry the person in prison and wait for him/her to be released from prison. The camera follows the couples as the prisoners are released and adjust to their new freedom. We get to watch the ups and downs of dealing with the prisoner’s restrictions and learning of how to maneuver the free life. The person who is not in prison usually takes care of all the prisoner’s needs, both in prison and once they get out. The participants are paid $2000 per episode and if they appear on Life After Lockup they get $3000 per episode. That’s not too shabby for a convict just getting out of prison. If you would like more information email to: LOVEAFTERLOCKUPCASTING@GMAIL.COM.

These ways of finding love might seem too far out to imagine, but to a person that’s looking for love, these shows offer a viable alternative. The participants in both shows are often of different races, religions, ethnicities, and ages. There hasn’t been a gay participant in either show, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. These types of shows highlight the fact that finding love is not easy, but some people will do just about anything to find that perfect somebody.

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Fibromyalgia Sucks

I am 62 years old and have had fibromyalgia for the last 20 years. Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. When I was first diagnosed, I was told it wasn’t lupus and no other information except to see a rheumatologist. That was the beginning of a life I didn’t want. Then it was test after test and so many different medicines that it made my head spin. One day, about 15 years ago, I was out walking on my lunch break in New York and as I was walking, both of my feet started hurting. I mean, they hurt like I was walking on glass. I struggled to get back to my job. I went to see the rheumatologist and my pain was given a name: fibromyalgia. I was somewhat relieved because now maybe I could get a medicine that would help me. I was wrong. I now know that I was having a flareup, which made diagnosing it much easier. It was tired of being a medical experiment. The years went on. Sometimes I could take the 90 minute ride to work, but there were plenty of times that I couldn’t motivate myself to get out of bed. It was a daily struggle. I got married and there were many times we would have to cancel plans because I just couldn’t go. I stopped making plans. It was better to be spontaneous. Fibromyalgia doesn’t just affect you; it takes a toll on each person that is close to you. My spouse is understanding, but I still feel bad because she didn’t sign up for this, being in the house most of the time. It got to the point that I just didn’t have the energy to go commute any longer, so I retired. She retired two years later and we moved to Florida. I thought Florida would be better because the temperature stays constantly hot. I would have a flareup every time the seasons changed in New York, so Florida seemed like a good idea. Wrong move. I forgot about the humidity, so I’m still in the house most of the time. I can’t take the heat. She tells me it’s okay, but I feel even worse now because we are both retired and we can’t do the traveling we wanted to do when we retired. There is no cure for this disease, so the most I can hope for is what I have right now. I take things one day at a time. When I feel good, we get out and just enjoy being out. It’s wonderful.

Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness. There are other symptoms that are also associated with it such as fatigue, low energy, trouble sleeping, headaches, and tingling in your hands and feet. Fibromyalgia usually affects both sides of your body, such as both of your arms or feet. This is one of the ways I know it’s not lupus, which I was diagnosed with later. 

Treatment for fibromyalgia once it is diagnosed is hit and miss. There are drugs for the pain, such as hydrocodone. There is medical marijuana, which I now use. The doctors here in Florida try to wean you off of pain medicine, with the marijuana taking the place of dosages of the pain medicine. My problem with medical marijuana is sometimes the marijuana is good and sometimes it seems like I’m just throwing money away. Tai Chi is supposed to help because of the gentle movement on the body. I tried yoga once and was in bed for two weeks from all of the poses that I put my body in. I have tried going to the gym many times and each time I end up in bed with a bad flareup. A flareup is when the disease gets ahold of my body and beats it up. I still try to exercise though, but very slowly and I time myself so I can gradually work myself up to at least 30 minutes of cardio. I prefer exercising at home so I can shower and lay down right after without driving anyplace. The plus about exercising at home is that I don’t have to get dressed, so I can look any way I want.

Relationships are hard. I know how I feel when I can’t do something. It’s very frustrating. But for my spouse I feel worse. We haven’t been to any support groups, but now I feel we should. We both need support to understand the feelings we have when a flareup occurs, which as I’ve gotten older, is more frequent. It’s important that you and your partner sit down and talk about everything about this disease. It takes a lot of understanding and patience. Thankfully, she has shown both. It might not always be this way, but for now, I’m just happy that she loves me and takes up the slack when I can’t do my part. I sometimes get mad and lash out at her for no reason whatsoever except I mad at this disease and she’s here. She’s learned to just let me be and I calm down after a while.

You know how your body feels and never let a doctor tell you it’s nothing. Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose, and after seeing doctor after doctor, you might start to think that what you are feeling is not real. I went through that in the beginning, with doctor after doctor and trying this medicine and that medicine. I started to wonder if I was losing my mind. There is a doctor out there that can help you. You can only do what you can do. Don’t push yourself because that only makes things worse. Be good to yourself.

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Stop – Stand Still – Raise Your Arms High above Your Head


We are in a crisis in this country. A crisis that involves our young African American boys. What is happening with our young boys is a problem that doesn’t seemed to be addressed by the people that are supposed to serve and protect. How do we protect that group of males when we can’t get an acknowledgement that there is a problem? How do we protect our young males when they can get shot whether they comply with police or not? What you see that’s happening in the streets is a war. A war that is between police and African American males that doesn’t seem to get any better, generation after generation. How do we get more color to our police departments when all you see and hear are negative words? There is nothing for African American boys to strive for in law enforcement. There is nothing that calls out for them to become part of the solution; a solution that as of now still eludes them. I have three grandsons and I fear that one day one of them might be stopped by a policeman. How should I tell them they should act when there are trigger happy cops that only see the color of their skin not the person inside that skin? There was a consensus in African American neighborhoods that to keep our boys safe they are taught not to run from cops, just stand still; don’t touch a pocket, don’t pull up your pants, just stand there. That is no longer what we can teach them because the wrong cop in the wrong mood will still get them killed. What can we say now? I’m not saying white boys don’t get stopped or shot, but the situation for them isn’t plastered in the media as frequently as what goes on with African American boys. Yes, I will admit that white kids are more involved in mass killing, however this is of their own doing. They aren’t being killed for sometimes doing absolutely nothing. That’s an apples and oranges comparison. Some will blame it on parents; that African American boys aren’t taught any better, they aren’t civilized, they aren’t disciplined, they have no respect for authority. The list can go on and on. I have heard people say that they deserve it because they weren’t going to do anything with their lives anyway. Cops these days are judge, jury and executioner because of the power that they have. What chance do my grandsons or any boys have when they can’t fight against a society that barely acknowledges their existence? Are African American cops so brainwashed by their white brothers in law that they forget where they came from? How do African American cops stand there and not do something to instill fairness in the very communities that raised them? Do African American cops just want to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters of color? It has become obvious that right now, at this time, when generations of children of all colors are supposed to be color blind, that this is not true. This generation of kids don’t stand a chance of making any change when they still see that the color of your skin still matters in this country. If they want to get ahead, they have to follow the status quo and not buck the system. This system has been passed down through so many generations that knowing anything different is a time well forgotten. Is there a solution? Yes; that solution is getting mental help for those cops that seem like they are racist. Racism comes out sooner or later in everyone in different forms. We have to reprogram our thinking. That will take a very long time. It won’t be easy but I see no other way. It has to start now. We can’t wait. I don’t want any of my grandsons in the newspaper obituary section because some cop didn’t see who they were, just the color of their skin. We have to do better. Not just parents, but this whole country. A country were immigrants flock but can’t police their own policeman. It’s sad, very sad. What will I tell my grandsons now if stopped? Stop – stand still and raise your arms high above your head. It might not change the outcome but I don’t know what else to say.

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Is A Like Really A Like?


When you like someone that means you like being around the person and entertain the same thoughts and values of that person. The word like seems to have grown feet and marched in a new direction with the computer age. A like in the computer age seems to meet those same values as before, however the importance of a like has now grown in meaning. When you like someone’s website, you are giving that person the feeling that what they say has value to you. The person that you are liking gets a euphoric feeling of success in that they have reached someone with their thoughts. The more people that click on the like button, the more people you feel have accepted and agreed with you. The number of likes lets all that view your website know how other people have enjoyed your content. If there are no likes or very little likes to your website it makes it harder to get the next person to engage in your website. It is as if the number of likes validates your popularity to the public. When we put something out there that we want confirmation on, there is no better way than to get likes. You may not know the people that give you a like, however just this small gesture is a confidence booster. The bad side to this is the question of how do you really know whether the person giving the like actually read or engaged in your website at all? You don’t. There are people, usually family and friends, that give a like just to boost your website. They boost your website and in turn other people will stop to see what all the likes are about. When you give a like and don’t really care how good the article or website you are liking is, it only hurts the person whose website you like when it’s not an honest like. A like is like a review but it’s easier to show your enjoyment. A review takes time to write, while a like just takes the click of a button. The ease of clicking a button causes more people to click like on a website, even if they don’t have a clue what the website is about. The practice of ‘I give you a like and then you, in turn, are supposed to give me a like’ is absolutely wrong. First, why would you just like something to get a like in return? There isn’t anything honest about that. A like should only be given when you have honestly engaged and enjoyed the website or article. A like should not be automatic. I like a lot of things I read and websites I view, but that doesn’t mean they are ‘like’ material. I have seen where people are practically begging for likes because they need the validation that what they are doing has meaning. The problem is that most of the time they don’t care what you feel about their work, they just want a like. YouTube has views, which is similar to a like. The more views, the better the chance that some advertiser will want to pay you; the more likes, the more views, the more money. It’s always about money, isn’t it? When you like something, be honest about it. Don’t do it just because. Take the time to read, look at or engage the website. You never know, your like might help someone do something really great. Giving a false like might give that person a false sense of greatness that isn’t really there. Why would you want to hurt someone? Like everyone, I treasure when I receive a like, but I only want a like if it is honestly given. I appreciate any time you spend reading my blogs: Retirementanddogs.blog, Uniquethings.blog and blognewsmyopinion.com.
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Sneakers or Shoes – What Are You Wearing?

Sneakers have become a million dollar business. It is not just the big companies, such as Nike and Under Armour that are making money. Kids are making money by reselling their sneakers and even adding drawings and other items to sneakers to make them stand out in the crowd. I was recently introduced to Stock X, a sneaker website where you can buy or auction your sneakers. It is amazing when you realize that sneakers have separated themselves from shoes in the footwear industry. There are all types of people that wear sneakers, from the great-grandmother to the sports star. There are all kinds of sneakers for different needs, such as cross trainers, walking, sneakers that can track your steps and calories and Ecco. There are some sneakers that can cost a bundle of hundreds. That’s insane. Sneakers have seemed to replaced shoes for dressing up an outfit for occasions. People wear sneakers to weddings, funerals and anywhere else they might go. There is a certain comfort to sneakers that you just can’t get from shoes. Shoes, whatever happened to shoes? I think the most famous person was Imelda Marcos, who was the First Lady of the Philippines. When she fled her country, over a thousand pairs of shoes were allegedly found in her closet. That’s a lot of shoes! If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, you wore shoes to occasions such as Christmas, church and Easter. These shoes were usually patent leather. There were stores like Pay Less that sold shoes off a rack. Pay Less was very reasonable when you were poor. There were a lot of shoe stores that used the Pay Less model of sales to get people into the stores. It was less formal and more customer open. This model let people come in and get their shoes off a rack and try them on at their leisure. I think that’s when the realization arose that the shoe industry was in trouble. Sneakers were making their move slowly into being a force in the footwear industry. I grew up loving sneakers. When I was being shipped overseas to Germany in the late 70s, I took a suitcase with just sneakers in it. The airline consequently lost my suitcase and I was never to see those sneakers again. Now, there are all sorts of sports figures that endorse sneakers that sell for big money. There is a connection between a sports figure and his/her sneaker in that we, the customers, reason that by buying a certain sneaker we are all for that figure. Sneakers represent a style of cool relaxation. I’m a senior now, but I still love my sneakers; maybe not for the cool and relaxed effect, but just for comfort. I very seldom wear shoes now that I’m not working, but even to go to work I wore my sneakers and changed into shoes when I got to work. Shoes still serve a purpose, such as when you want to go on a date. There is something about sneakers that doesn’t seem right on a first date, but that too I feel is changing. It takes a lot of work to keep sneakers in pristine condition. When I washed my white Nike Air Max, I took the shoe laces out of the sneaker and put them in an old pillowcase. I washed them with borax and detergent and turned on the washing machine and hoped for the best. I was quite surprised at the end of the cycle, when I took them out of the pillowcase, they were white, like new white. My grandson told me to use an old toothbrush to clean them with, but I thought that was too much work. That’s when I decided to try the pillowcase method, and for me it worked. You can take away my shoes, but please leave my sneakers alone!

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Throwaway People

We know of the people that we see on the streets that have been thrown away, by choice or circumstance. There are also throwaway people much closer to you, maybe in your very own home. These throwaway people can be given this label because we have mentally thrown them away. These people are isolated, just like the people you see on street corners or lurking in the dark shadows of the night. Who are these people? They are people who are ignored, bullied, abused, and isolated. Comparing these people to the homeless – they both need help. We, as a society, ignore throwaway people. We look at them and keep walking without a thought, but when you close your mind to those closest to you, you are doing the same as if that person was sleeping on the sidewalk. When we mentally throw away a person, it’s like they don’t exist. We ignore them. We turn our heads. We isolate them by not interacting. I feel that mentally throwing away a person is worse because these are the people you know and love. I often hear people say, “I tried,” or “I’m tired of trying,” when it comes to how they can mentally remove these people from their lives. The killings, to which we are becoming all too accustomed, could be the result of people been thrown away. The rapist could be the result of being mentally thrown away. The child bully could be the result of being thrown away. The reason I can say this is because we have the best babysitter in TV and video games. These things isolate our children, but parents throw their kids in front of a TV or a computer from an early age. The child grows up only interacting with a screen; it becomes a way of life. The child becomes an adult expected to live and act as an adult socially, but he/she doesn’t know how. The adult world shows no sympathy for that adult. When there are young people with weapons and stockpiles of ammo in the same house as the parent, I can only think that the child was mentally thrown away. When you have children killing themselves due to bullying and parental neglect, I have to think they were thrown away. I say this because no matter how tired you are and how many times you try, there is always something else you can do. It is hard to believe that there is nothing else. Can we honestly turn away from a problem that we ourselves might have created? The young person in your house who is on drugs – how can you throw them away mentally? The mentally ill child showing aggression – how can you mentally throw them away? The wife who is being abused – how can you throw her away? It’s way too easy to throw them away mentally. All you have to do is turn off the part of your brain that says, “I care, I love you,” and turn it into “I will not reach out to you.” All it takes is a flip of the switch in your brain and they are gone, even if they live in the same place as you and no matter the age. The answer to the problem is it’s not easy to keep that switch on when there are so many reasons to switch it to off. We, as a society, have to do something, and at this point anything is better than nothing at all. The heart and the brain sometimes have different approaches for how to deal with problems. Is one more right than wrong? I honestly can’t say. If you are waiting for me to give you a solution, then keep waiting. Honestly, I think each of us must take a look at our lives and ask ourselves: “Did I mentally throw away somebody rather than reach out to them?” I think you have to limit television, computers and video games and stick with it. You have give your time, which is not easy for a lot of people. We are so busy with our own lives that we swear we don’t have time. There’s always time! If it’s kids – you spend time, you listen, you relate, you be empathetic, and most of all, you keep that switch on. You might try having specifically designated family time each day. You can try family reunions, so you can get more of your family involved. These are just a few things off the top of my head. I just hope that we stop mentally throwing people away. And the next time you see a homeless person, don’t turn away, but show some empathy.

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My Opinion Snippets 8/5/19

The snippets for today include the weekend.

1. Mass Shooting – What can you say these types of crimes that are committed by young people. We all have to bare the failure of these young people.My opinion we need to better as parents, neighbors, friends and as a country. It’s all our failure not. I still believe that guns to don’t kill people but people kill people. Yes, there should be more regulations for guns, however I think education should also be part. The walmart in Florida is the same one I frequent, , though they did get the person attempting to shoot up the walmart in Gibsonton, Florida. I had to pause because that scenario could have gone bad in so many ways. People we have to get better our young people are crying for help and there’s nothing to wipe away the tears so they turn to anger.

2. Banana Milk – I never knew about banana milk. I going to try it and give you a review.

3. The stock market – Stocks look to tank again with trade issues getting flushed. How long will 45 let this continue before he says something to turn the market around. My opinion is 45 will this go until he thinks he’s lost to much money.

4. Tom Brady got a huge boost to his pay. My opinion is sports people get paid to mush and there should something better to do with money when you see all the problems going on. I understand people want to get paid but there should be a limit. The pay sports people get is ridiculous, nobody is worth that many millions.

5. Kids and. Preschool – Kids are getting put out of preschool at a alarming rate. This is because schools are not prepared to handle troubled kids. My opinion is schools need more education on dealing with this kids because those same kids might end up being a shooter later in life. Again, it needs to be a joint effort from schools and parents. I sometime think parents expect kids to get their guidance from schools. Have parents forgot what their role is and that schools are suppose to educate not take on their job.

6. Whose Steve Harvey dating – I hope its not who I’ve read about. My opinion go on 90 Day Fiancée if your pool of dating is used up. I am not condemning anyone from dating younger or older. What I hate is that damage can be done to the younger or older person when it doesn’t work out, which more than likely it won’t especially 20 year differences.

This is my opinion for day. What your take? Thank you in advance for your support and likes. It’s not about agreeing with me, but about you being heard.

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Gender Identity, Really

I am a senior lesbian, but gender identity is something I just can’t believe in wholeheartedly. When I hear about kids as young as three going through any type of gender assignment, I wonder what has gotten into their parents . 
When I decided to write this blog, I had to look up gender identity to see at what age children start to know about gender. I was shocked to find that the age is 18 to 24 months. I mean, at that age, kids are not expressing themselves and are barely toilet trained. Children’s thought patterns at that age are not developed, so how can they understand gender? Then as they get older, when parents say, “My daughter likes to play with trucks or my son likes to dress up,” I can’t see that translating into “My child isn’t comfortable with his/her gender.” There is no rationale, even if your child stomps around the house protesting to play with toys that their peers are playing with. If a three-year-old boy likes dolls and dressing up in girls’ clothes, that use to be considered normal and something they will grow out of. This is a different time now, where everything is unisex, so how do you know the child isn’t just going through a phase? A young child emulates the people around him/her; therefore, if parents don’t give the child a chance to grow into him/herself, they are pushing their fears and thoughts onto the child. Parents, I’m sure, take the child to doctors and therapists before starting any type of gender change. I’m also sure it’s not an easy thought that your child might not be the right gender, so how can you think the child knows what gender he/she wants to be? This is the same child that is barely using a folk. I can see how an older child, say maybe twelve, may start to feel his/her hormones and have questions about his/her identity. I can see that child as a teenager engaging in bisexuality for a period just to experiment. When I grew up, experimentation was a part of growing up, whereas now it’s a gender identity problem. There is a problem with the problem. The other issue I have with gender identity regarding young children is, what happens when the child grows into an adult and now thinks he/she wants to go back to his/her birth gender? It’s not like the child can just run to the nearest doctor for a reversal. The same confusion they have as young children about gender identity will be the same confusion they will have as an adult about gender. What he/she feels it was a mistake. I have watched Jazz, and I’m not saying that for some kids maybe it is an issue, but not for kids of a very young age. My grandson, who is age five, has long hair and sometimes people mistake him for a girl. If he played with dolls and ran around in my daughter’s skirt with heels daily, I wouldn’t encourage her to think that he has a gender issue and let’s run to get therapy. I just can’t believe that at age five he knows he wants to be a girl. My advice to her would be to let him grow into himself. Kids go through all kinds of phases, and some phases can last a long time. I would encourage her to expose him to both genders of children. I know this is a highly debatable subject, which is understandable because the suicide rate for children has risen. I do love that television is bringing to light gay issues that can give a better understanding of issues young children may encounter. Parents should look at themselves to see if they play any part in gender identity issues with their child. Remember, it all starts with the parents’ shaping their child’s world. That doesn’t mean there aren’t children out there who have gender identity issues. It does mean that maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t be so quick to put a label on your child at such a young age.

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My New Boyfriend

You have a new boyfriend?

Yep, yummy like a cold glass of water

What does he do?

Make me happy

Where is he?

In the closet

What’s he doing?

Standing up

Can he come out?

Only at night

What’s his name?

Dick

Can I see him?

Under the covers

Is he any good?

Yep he has three speeds

Can I try him?

Unsanitary get your own

How big is he?

As big as you want he can grow

Where did you meet him?

The store

How often do you see him?

Almost Every night

Is he married?

Nope single and always free

What’s his color?

Midnight black but there’s other colors

Other colors?

Yes black brown and pink

Pink?

Can’t leave out the other folks

Other folks?

Yep white and bright

Where’s he right now?

In the closet

Again with The closet.

Dick can you come out please?

He can’t talk

Can he walk ?

Not on his own

How tall is he?

About 10 inches

Is he a midget?

Nope long and lean

Can he kiss good

Nope but he feels me up

Does he have a friend?

Nope, single

Does he have his own place?

Yep, in the closet

Can you please ask him to come out?

Nope, only at night

Is there anything I can know about Dick?

Yep, puts a smile on my face. SEE!

It’s time to take from the back of the closet an boldly put in out front in your bedroom. There’s no need to be a shame. Do you remember your old boyfriend? The one that you had to cater to, had to cook for, had to do laundry and had to put yourself aside so he could feel like he is the man. Your new boyfriend comes with none of those headaches. The biggest thing is he doesn’t talk and there’s no morning breathe. You don’t have to pretend to be satisfied when you need more. You can just push a button and get more. Your new boyfriend carries none of the baggage of old relationships because he’s fresh out of the box. You no longer had to deal with I’m tired on a night when you want Dick. Maybe you should have bought dick out of the closet when you had that old boyfriend. Maybe just maybe you would still have that old boyfriend. You will never know since he’s now you old boyfriend. Your new boyfriend is always ready. You know what shout it loud I Love Dick and then scream it even louder. Don’t be shy. You might be surprised how many people have Dick hidden in their closet. Break the ice and you’ll see Dick is satisfying many people. You never had Dick? It’s never to late the stores where Dick hangs out are open late. You’ll be surprised what you might discover when you go inside, Dick has many sizes, shapes and colors. You don’t know how to use Dick? There’s instructions. What do you have to lose your old boyfriend is gone. Try something new (less headaches). You need to smile Dick can do that. Don’t let nobody make you feel bad about Dick. They are jealous. Who knows they might have a Dick in their closet and just want to throw you off. If you need a new boyfriend or maybe you just want some me time then consider Dick located in a sex store. Dick is hanging out in front for all to see. I hope when you finished smiling and glowing in the aftermath that you pass this around to your friends and see how many also have a new boyfriend named Dick.

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America The Beautiful or The Bruised

There are caravans of immigrants clamoring to get into this country. Why? Because there is no country that will give them the liberties that this country does. The immigrants know one thing for sure: America is the beautiful place that will save them from the stifling country from which they came. I see that America has become a bruised country. We hear a lot about a country divided, but were we really ever together? We are a divided country much like cheap cement that falls apart with the slightest wind. The cheap cement that has held us together, as we can see, has easily separated us. Can we blame anyone but ourselves for the lack of unity? No, we can’t. We have someone who pushes the envelope just like television pushes the envelope with sex. It is no wonder the two are equated. I didn’t vote for many years, maybe into my 40s, because I felt as if my vote didn’t make a difference. When the election was over and the candidate I would have voted for (if I had voted) lost, I thought I would see that my vote wouldn’t have mattered. I have since learned not to look at it in that view but to view it as my vote could be the one vote that could have taken my candidate to the winner’s podium. I vote all the time now. How many of you have that view about not voting? Another reason to vote is because people withstood a lot to make voting a right for everyone. A lot of blood has been shed to give citizens voting rights. I had not appreciated those who came before me and actually saw the importance of voting. I bet immigrants, as soon as they are given citizenship, run out and vote. Immigrants seem to appreciate this country more than the people who were actually born here. We are a bruised country by the very same things that immigrants see as America the beautiful. I’m talking about words like freedom, equality, and the things we take for granted. As for the politicians we elect into office, sometimes I wonder if it is some kind of Ponzi scheme where the head person brings in a person and every person has to keep bringing in people to keep the game going, along with money to keep it going. It might not be money that keeps the game going but rather the laws based on whoever is in charge. The game changes every four years, and unless you’re rich, the laws seem to keep feeding the upper rungs of people. Do immigrants know about this or do they even care? I doubt it because some of their governments will kill people for going against the government, whereas in America, they just change a law or get more tax money from the people at the bottom. We are a bruised country. We are a country that needs healing, but how do we heal a country that was never whole? I was in the military in the late 70s. It was during peacetime, and I hate to say this, but our military was ill prepared to continue its fight. The military then was more like a country club. It seemed like we were tired. My spouse just retired, and, in talking to her, it seems the military has changed. It had to or we could not scare other countries into believing in our strength. The immigrants see this country as a cover of protection, while some of us hope that we can keep fooling other countries about our power. It’s a sad situation. Immigrants come here for equality, but that is a blog by itself. I will say that the equality immigrants seek is just anything, because they have never really had the type of equality and freedom that they can have here. Do they realize that many people here don’t want them in this country? Do they know that they will become a minority class, that Americans will look down on them? Hell, we Americans look down on each other, so why would we welcome immigrants? The times have changed … or have they? When immigrants came here many, many years ago, they were stuffed in neighborhoods where they were all the same. The purpose of this was to keep them under control. That has been the case throughout the centuries. The immigrants still come to America the beautiful. I sadly feel, however, that we are a bruised country that can only be healed by starting all over again from the top to the bottom. I mean instituting new laws and getting rid of outdated laws. We need laws that reflect the times in which we live. There should be freedom and equality for all, no matter how much money one has. Everyone should be on an equal playing field. Why do we have rich, middle and poor classes? What is the purpose other than to divide and make one group stronger at the expense of the other? Let every man and woman, regardless of their class, fight for a job on an equal playing field. Immigrants will continue to use any means possible to get to America, while some of us here will use any means possible to go somewhere else. As bruised as the country is, maybe it’s time to heal it. That job, I hope, will come from our future generations. Hopefully, they can join together and strip away the scab on the country and let it heal.

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A Grandmothers Dilemma

This is my dilemma: I have three grandsons; the oldest is 16, soon to be 17, and it seems the relationship I had with him has faded. How many of you find that as your grandchildren have gotten older there seems to be a disconnect?
Every generation strives to be better parents and grandparents to the new generation. It is not easy. I grew up in the age when being outside was the thing to do. You met your friends and went to the club and danced the night away. Now, with cell phones and video games, there’s an isolation that seems to be happening. While some still go to the club when they are of age, just as many are content to stay in front of a video game or have their face in the small screen of a cell phone. I can see that happening with my grandson. The oldest has very few friends. I mean the kind that you meet in early grades and you stick together through college and beyond. He has what I’d call acquaintances; people you meet haphazardly in school. He seems content being in his room and only going out for meals and occasional interactions with his brothers. The point is, we have just about the same amount of kids staying in and being isolated as going out and being sociable. As a grandparent, I want to help, so I ask: “What are you interested in?” The reply is usually, “Nothing,” and that’s the end of our conversation. I can tell by the silence on the other end of the phone that he wants to be anyplace but on the phone with me. This is the same kid who, just a few years ago, was drawing and talking with some ambition. Where did he go? I speak to my daughter, but as a grandparent, I have to be diplomatic in my approach. I mean, I try to be tactful by first saying what a great mom she is, which is true, she’s a parent that I never was. I then proceed to ask about each of my grandsons’ wellbeing and finding out what they are up to. I don’t want to target just him. That might not go over well. I then say how I feel that he is unmotivated and has no interest in anything.; silence is what I get. That’s the end of the conversation. I went online to find classes for him for the summer, since he applied too late to be considered for a job. He applied in June and all of the summer jobs for kids are taken by then. I told my daughter in February to start researching for summer jobs and have him apply. I found an online program with Jam.com. They offer all kinds of online courses such as drawing, photography, animation, and more. You get a 2-week trial before having to pay for the course. I was excited. Surely something there would spark something. He did the two-week trial drawing, but he wasn’t interested in the full course. What can I do now? I guess what upsets me is when he needs $200.00 sneakers, his parents can’t afford, he becomes the sweet kid I used to know. I’m a grandparent, not his parents, so what I say is I wouldn’t say dismissed, but not given the full consideration that I might know what I’m talking about. Maybe I’m so removed from his generation that I don’t fully understand about communication with his generation.
I will tell you one thing: I’m a grandparent and love all of my grandsons. I will continue to put myself out there, knowing that sometimes his distance will hurt, but hoping one day he will become that same kid that I was close to as an adult.

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Let’s Talk

This is the post excerpt.

We don’t talk and conversate anymore. I want bring back the art of conversation. My blogs will be to stimulate conversation not just with me but with each other. If you have a topic email me and I’ll write a blog to get the conversation going. The sky’s the limit on topics. If you have something on your mind let it out relationship, gay matters, politics, religion. You had a argument with your spouse or the kids aren’t listening put it out there right here. Let’s get started.

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