No Means No
I had an epiphany this week. Long story short, my ex-wife of 7 years is holding H- hostage. I haven’t seen my daughter in almost a year.
This all started when I called to say I got a new job in a different state, a much, much better job. Instead of saying something normal like, “Congratulations,” she said, “You’re abandoning your child! I get 100% custody!” (Keep in mind, I wasn’t and she doesn’t. Custody is not even a word in Family Court in our state.)
Naturally, the big picture is a classic “he says, she says” situation. And naturally, she has an attorney who makes her feel incapable of child abuse. But, make no mistake, she’s actively committing child abuse—for what else can kidnapping be called?
Anyhow, the point of this post (did I mention it’s over 7 years after the divorce?) is to highlight the epiphany I had. And this is it.
My ex is still in love with me.
Crazy, right? I know. But it’s true.
Why else would a woman create a parenting plan which requires communication between us in order to coordinate my parenting time? As in, she could have said, “Father picks up daughter on July 16th between 7:00am and 7:01am and returns daughter on July 23rd between 7:00 and 7:01am and if Father doesn’t make these windows, then he forfeits that time or the following time.” But no. She develops a plan which requires that I coordinate every trip with her. In other words, I don’t see my daughter unless I talk to my ex.
If I wanted to talk to my ex, I would’ve said, “I want to talk to you,” not, “No matter how much it costs, no matter if I lose my daughter’s childhood, I never, ever want to talk to you again,” which is the thematic equivalent to, “I want a divorce.”
At first I thought this requirement of the parenting plan was about control. That’s an easy to make mistake, right?
But now I see she’s still in love. It’s sickening, really. She can’t let go after 7 years? And this after having obtained an attorney within 30 minutes of me saying, “I want a divorce”?
Believe me when I say that I am quite a catch. But no means no.
No means no.
And no means no especially now that you’ve revealed the level of commitment you’d stoop to just to get me back inside you. You’re pimping your own daughter. You’re an abomination.
No means no.
Writing So Good You’ll Want To Quit
I’ve been reading Tolstoy’s shorter fiction and almost each story contains writing so good that I want to never make the attempt again. Here’s a few examples.
From The Death of Ivan Ilyich:
Ivan Ilych knows quite well and definitely that all this is nonsense and pure deception, but when the doctor, getting down on his knee, leans over him, putting his ear first higher then lower, and performs various gymnastic movements over him with a significant expression on his face, Ivan Ilych submits to it all as he used to submit to the speeches of the lawyers, though he knew very well that they were all lying and why they were lying.
From The Kreutzer Sonata:
“What is wrong with education?” said the lady, with a scarcely perceptible smile. “Surely it can’t be better to marry as they used to in the old days when the bride and bridegroom did not even see one another before the wedding,” she continued, answering not what her interlocutor had said but what she thought he would say, in the way many ladies have. “Without knowing whether they loved, or whether they could love, they married just anybody, and were wretched all their lives. And you think that was better?” she said, evidently addressing me and the lawyer chiefly and least of all the old man with whom she was talking.
From The Devil:
During coffee, as often happened, a peculiarly feminine kind of conversation went on which had no logical sequence but which evidently was connected in some way for it went on uninterruptedly.
Well done, Count.
As for myself, I had a coffee date with a young lady the other day, something I have not made an effort to do in years. As is often the case in situations like mine, I told myself that I was willing to re-enter the dating world for several clear and distinct reasons. Firstly, it is not good for the man to be alone. Secondly, the idea of sexual congress with a woman has not yet become altogether repulsive. Thirdly, and ever present, there is in me still some remnant of fire, quite incapable of scientific scrutiny, that wants to prove–or fail trying–that I might yet possess some quality desirable to a member of the fairer sex.
As for her, she was highly educated, well-spoken, and cultured. And beautiful. On these points there would be no dispute. Not wholly unlike the much publicized cases of celebrity progeny, however, her parents’ more modest wealth still seemed nearest the root of her inability to properly arrange cause and effect. On this point there may be dispute.
Ladies, It’s Time To Put Your Pants Back On
“Yes,” I am aware that I am a hypocrite. But “no,” that is not going to deter me from changing my wicked ways and speaking truth to power (that’s right, ladies, you are powerful).
I cannot remember precisely when it began for me, but if I give it a thought, it was probably when I first headed from little pink house-Lenexa to the Rocky Mountains to ski as a teenager. It may have been the drastic difference in how you appeared on the mountain versus how you appeared in the restaurants, that is, the change from puffy snow-pants to form-fitting leggings.
Or maybe it was the cheerleaders’ underskirt attire during cold-weather events. Aren’t cheerleaders the rightful leaders when it comes to fashion?
Whatever it was, as a young man I wasn’t going to say “no”–if you weren’t. More form-fitting clothing, more of the time, I said!
But now, after two or so years of all y’all–no matter how short, tall, fat, or thin–wearing nothing except leggings, I’m telling you it is time to put your pants back on.
Oh, and here’s a tip for the next time this trend surfaces: I maybe could have lasted for a few more months if you wouldn’t have started wearing leggings that have massive patches of fabric missing around your not-naughty bits.
Here’s the tru tru. I have a daughter. As you know, I cannot fight every battle and win the war. So help a brother out! She deserves better from you.
Review of Sicario and The Heart of the Sea
These two movies had piqued my interest when I first heard of them, but the mainstream critical reception was off-putting enough that I hadn’t take the time to view them. Finally I had a minute. The critics are wrong.
If you liked Miami Vice and Zero Dark Thirty, then Sicario is for you. My only real problem with Sicario is that it would be ruined if the cartel horrors it depicts were not based in the historical record, but I am too afraid to confirm that they are to do any fact checking. Depressing stuff.
If you have read Moby Dick, then The Heart of the Sea is for you. This one’s reception is especially baffling. Critics can’t say anything good about it, but as far as ocean voyage movies go it is much better than Master and Commander, which wasn’t bad. I loved Moby Dick and so I can’t say how much of that influences my enjoyment of The Heart of the Sea. What I can say is that if you know that Moby Dick is not about a whale, then you’ll like this movie. Conversely, if you are asking yourself, “Moby Dick isn’t about whale?” right now, skip the movie.
Leave It To The Motherland…
And now, from the country that ended the slave trade, a little article unafraid to put ignorant youngsters with great personalities in their place.
‘Clean food’ is a dangerous fad: The trendy nutritional advice that’s more likely to make you ill than healthy
Dating Status Update
It’s official. I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen in love with myself. You read that right. I’m officially announcing my new dating status: confirmed bachelor.
Now, I don’t exactly know what this means, but I feel like some very attractive men have made this claim in the past and that makes me want to be a part of that group. God’s honest truth, though, is I hope it means that I don’t ever have to break up with another woman. Breaking up is no fun, and I like fun. Fun is good; no fun is not good. It’s that simple. So I’m a bachelor for life. Neato burrito.
One lady in the medical profession, who fell in love with my blog personality back in the beginning of the year, emailed me. I emailed her back. Steamy words were exchanged. Then she felt guilty and asked if I was running a “predator site”. Wow. I was shocked and angry. But I took note. Was/am I running a predator site? Was my blog and my expression of myself some indirect way of luring unsuspecting women into giving themselves to me, albeit in digital form? Obviously the answer was no. But I have been thinking a lot about the whole scenario and realized that me expressing my problems on this blog is really not the way to go. I don’t need any help. I’m not weak. I don’t have PTSD. I don’t have women problems. I’m not looking for pity. Sometimes I’m pretty angry at how life is unfolding, but in reality I’m good.
Recently I haven’t been writing because I feel like all that I want to say falls under the I-can-help-this-man-if-he’d-only-give-me-the-chance predator-ish category. Today, however, I had this confirmed bachelor epiphany, so I’m running with it.
Yet, I still am a man and fantasize about meeting the perfect woman. I’m going to share these fantasies in an effort to help demonstrate why I am declaring my confirmed bachelorhood. The newest one came to me while at the gym. I noticed a few female members giving it their all and realized that while their bodies and energy and focus and dedication were extremely attractive, the truth was that I don’t want a woman who has to put effort in to maintain a desirable figure. Nope. I want a woman who looks great in workout attire as she waves around the rubber coated two-pound weights that literally accomplish nothing. That’s my dream woman. If it takes effort to keep her figure, then that scares me. What happens if she gets lazy? Seriously. No one wants that.
Anyhow. Just a random thought that leads me to conclude single-hood is the way to go and rightly so. Happy Monday, as they say.
How To Online Date — It’s Not Difficult, But It’s Not Obvious
(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)
Whether you reside under a rock or not, you’ve heard of online dating. It seems so easy, so natural, so smart. Just post a few pictures of yourself, answer a few personality questions and that’s it. Wedding bells will be ringing soon enough. The problem is that it isn’t that easy. Lucky for us, I’ve finally figured it out. No, that doesn’t mean wedding bells are in my future, it just means that after nearly two years of online dating in some form or fashion I’ve finally developed a “how to” guide.
The number one difficulty with online dating is pushing the idea out of your head that someone can be captured by a photograph or a profile. They can’t. It’d be nice if they could, but it is not possible. Just like cameras don’t steal people’s souls, pictures don’t contain them. Neither do words. Bodies do, however. Real human bodies. So that’s the starting point, that’s where we’ll begin. We’ll begin with human bodies.
No matter what site or app you’re on, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?” It sounds base, it sounds dirty, it sounds disreputable, but it absolutely must lead the way. If it doesn’t, then you’re being dishonest with yourself and the other person who may or may not be sitting with you some day. By starting here we also cut right through idealizing the person behind the profile. Who cares if you read the same books or love the same lord? What gal doesn’t write that she prefers jeans and a t-shirt, but dolls up really nice too? And what guy doesn’t like sports or movies or video games or hunting or reading? Is anyone not passionate about their job? Seriously, there’s not that many options in life. Again, look at the pictures and ask, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”
Next, skip everything to do with pen pals and make time to meet the other person. Then from the moment they arrive, stick with the sex question in its new, modified form, “Do I want to have sex with this person?” Not “would I?” or “what would their personality have to be like in order for me to want to?” but a chemistry/spark type unquantifiable feeling of attraction. If you don’t, if the attraction that was there isn’t there anymore for whatever reason, then politely thank them for meeting with you, but explain that it is in everyone’s best interest to not waste any time pretending. If on the off-chance you do desire them sexually in that moment, keep the moment going for as long as you can. Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to weeks, etc. Or whatever. I have no idea how to maintain a relationship. This post is about how to online date, not how to be in a relationship.
My point here is to simplify all the bullshyat that confuses online dating into something it can never be. We’re people first. People who are attracted to other people. In everyday life the physical attraction comes before the date. In online life it seems like there are other factors to consider. But that’s a lie. Physical and sexual attraction must be there. So trust in it and run with it.
Instructions for How To Online Date
Step 1 — ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this picture?”
Step 2 — If the answer to Step 1 is “Yes”, then MAKE time for a date. If the answer is “No”, then MOVE on.
Step 3 — SCHEDULE a date.
Step 4 — At the date ASK yourself, “Do I want to have sex with this person?”
Step 5 — If the answer to Step 4 is “No”, then immediately–though politely–END the date.
Step 6 — If the answer to Step 4 is “Yes”, then I guess you at least know what you want to do, so DO it.
What’s fascinating about eHarmony’s take on online dating is how NOT according to these steps it is. Take for instance this pop-up that appeared when I took “white” off the list of races I was interested in dating.
Really, eHarmony? Really? After you’ve taken my money upfront and not given me any women with whom I seem remotely compatible, now you’re going to tell me that if I don’t feel like seeing anymore pics of white women’s dogs (is the dog interested in a date?), now you’re going to tell me if I don’t feel like seeing anymore ridiculous pics of white women being photographed while surrounded by non-white, third-world, presumably just converted heathen children, then I should stop and reconsider my tactic? Really? And what’s with the save button being grey’d out like it’s not even clickable? It’s like you are doing everything in your power to keep the races pure. That makes you my enemy, I think. And I thought you were supposed to be helping. Oh well. Just under two more months of fun. I can’t wait.
Hot and Bothered
My son’s shoulders were red and his tank top was drenched with sweat. He smelled bad too and though I didn’t want drive away–not yet–I couldn’t help but think how if I didn’t, his car seat would get sweatier and sweatier and probably never not stink again. Only the very top section of his hair was not plastered to his head and was standing straight up as if he was still running around with the other kids. If you looked close enough, you could almost see little chests sticking out of each of the hairs as if they were proud to be counted among the few who held out to the end of the battle.
“Mommy, what’s funny?”
I didn’t raise my head from the steering wheel where I had just placed it. As for me, I was warm for a different reason and in a different place. My shoulders were red from the sun except for where my spaghetti string tank top had only slightly covered each of them, and now that I was away from the man I could finally allow my face to fully flush and match the hue. But I didn’t want Billy to see and comment. Not expecting nor suppressing the giggle that erupted, I deliberately focused on memorizing every feature of his face, physique, and sense of humor. He was perfect. I did not want to forget him. And yet I forgot to give him my number. Dammit. What was his name again? Steve? Brian? Eric! Eric. His name was Eric. Whew.
I did consider raising my head when I heard a knock on my window followed by “Mommy, the man from the park is knocking on your window.” Shocked and not wanting him to see me in this state, as I raised my head I kept my hands where I had had them at the ten and three and I tensely looked away. There was a second round of knocking and a second round of Billy announcing the knocking. For a moment I wondered how long he would stand there and for a briefer moment I wanted to test him–only partly playing–but I didn’t. Finally, turning my head with no small amount what-I-knew-would-be-an-enticing flash of my shoulder length, cute, jet black hair, I looked up at him, smiled, and attempted to lower the window. I had hoped my skin’s normal color had returned to my face, but as I pressed down on the window button, I was certain my face regained whatever red it had lost, this time due to embarrassment. I had forgotten to even turn on the car. No wonder I was so hot. Poor Billy, I chuckled to myself. I could hear the local news’ coverage already: “Local boy and mom rushed to the hospital earlier today. After recovering from a mild case of heat stroke, the mom admitted she had become absentminded after talking to a nice man for the first time in years and subsequently forgot to turn on the car after getting in it to drive home.”
Luckily, the car started and I had the a/c on and window down in no time.
“Hey-” I began.
“Hey-” he interrupted.
“What’s funny, mommy?”
He didn’t seem like he would start again so I finally said, “Yes-” right as he did begin again with, “So-”
We laughed again.
Billy laughed from the back seat.
We laughed harder because of it and Billy kept laughing.
“Should we ro-sham-beaux to determine the order of speakers?” Eric asked.
“Ro-sham-beaux?” Billy repeated.
“No. I’m sorry. Please, go ahead,” I insisted, looking right through his only lightly tinted, tan designer sun-glass lenses and into his remarkable and piercing dark brown eyes.
He looked back at Billy, waived, and then said, “Before you go, I just thought you might want to see this,” as he handed me his phone.
“Can I see, mommy?”
I almost gave the phone right back to him as the screen did not have whatever I was expecting, which I guess I would have to say was another cute meme like the ones he had already shown me. Only a moment before that awkwardness, I realized what he was doing. He was so considerate. He had given me his phone on the “Add New Contact” page with my name so that I could give him my number without the kiddo knowing. He remembered my name. You better believe I triple checked the number, even going as far as texting myself and checking my phone to see that I got it before handing his phone back to him.
“Funny,” I said finally. Turning to Billy, I said, “Not this time, sport.”
“Well, it was my pleasure. Nice to meet you, Billy. Be good for your mom.”
I then watched as he stepped back a ways and stoically raised his open right hand. I would’ve kept looking at him, but when he coolly smiled and winked, I couldn’t keep a straight face so I pretended to clear the passenger side of my reverse.
Complimenting Women And Why I Won’t Do It.
For a long time I worried that I hated women. As I’ve re-read many of my posts on the subject, I’ve concluded that I never actually hated women, I just fear them. Why do I fear women? Because they have a power over me that I don’t give to men. However, this power that they have isn’t merit based, unless being born is difficult, hence the fear. Allow me to explain.
Except for maybe TC, I have never looked at a man, no matter how attractive he was, and on the basis of his looks alone, thought, “I would like to be his friend.” With men, I size them up. What have they accomplished? What is their personality like? What obstacles have they overcome? What are their goals? And on and on.
But with women there is this very difficult to describe feeling that comes over me based simply on their appearance. You might call it an erection. If a woman appears a certain way, all the criteria I normally apply–all my choosiness–goes right out the window. And for what? The possibility of breeding?
How does my refusal to compliment women fit in? Yesterday’s examples of my icebreaker line stylings evoked several responses that suggested or made mention of the use of compliments as a means to advance my endeavor to meet women. Well, ladies, I won’t use them. And here’s why.
First, Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” Likewise, I don’t care to be with a woman whose heart flutters at a stranger’s compliment. I can’t think of anything more difficult than discerning the truth of a compliment. As a rule, then, if a stranger pays me one, I fight off every instinct to ask for another, politely accept it, and then immediately discard it. You should too.
Second, one commentor in particular (my mom) offered that my style of “line” signals that I’m only after one thing [punany] and that’s why they are falling flat. Is that a joke? We’re saying that clever attempts to make a woman laugh indicate that I only want sex more so than telling a woman she’s beautiful? Than making an assertion that I can’t possibly know to be accurate? Please. It’s more like I expect women who find themselves among big people to acknowledge that men don’t approach women whom they can’t imagine sleeping with in some scenario or other–and then get over that fact.
Third, while the historical record may lead you to believe that I’ll sleep with any woman who wants to sleep with me, I don’t really care to sleep with a woman that is not first my friend. And I have high standards for friends, especially regarding their ability to laugh at life. So I test women, not compliment them. If I say something so ridiculous that I think they should fall over laughing at the entirety of the scene, and instead they think I’m serious, then there is no way in hell we’re going to get along in this lifetime.
Lastly, in defense of myself, I am shocked at the comments which seemed to imply I was earnestly giving advice to the ladies I approached. Seriously? After everything I shared you thought I was concerned with helping the women? Sorry, but no. I care about making people laugh, not about how people exercise. That’s my favorite part about gyms. All of us can be the disasters we are and it has no effect on any of our results. By way of example, compare the folks in a gym, even the staff, to, say, an aircraft and its flight crew. People in a gym can be utterly wrong and misaligned and it doesn’t affect me in the least. More reps. Less reps. Half reps. Forearm exercises. Tweaked shoulders. Recent surgeries. Shirt-matching shoes. Butt-hiding shirts. Headbands. Wristbands. Earbuds. Dr. Dre’s headphones. Cardio then Costco. None of that has anything to do with whether I get results. Whatever your preference, just do it.
Let it be known, women. I am afraid of you. I am a lot of thrust just waiting for a vector. Yet, I’m certain that with the wrong one of you at my side, I might not recognize the fast rising earth soon enough to avoid disaster. So I’m not going to make this easy on you. Want a compliment? Impress me. To begin, I’d lighten up.
Making Friends At The Gym
One of the reasons I joined the mega-gym in town was to be more social and hopefully meet some new people. It has not gone well. I can’t quite put my finger on why not, but I think I am beginning to see a bit of a pattern.
First, and foremost, I am often motivated to talk to female members because I watch them talk to other men and everyone looks like they’re having fun. And especially of late, I’ve been more bold in striking up conversations with people that I’ve wanted to, regardless of my estimation at success. For your enjoyment today, I’d like to share three examples with you.
Before we get going though, I wonder how many of you have ever read Ben Franklin’s letter to a young man about a mistress? I doubt many of you have, so I’ll post the meat of it here for easy access. It’s well worth a read. I promise.
…then I repeat my former advice, that in all your amours you should prefer old women to young ones. You call this a paradox, and demand my reasons. They are these:
1. Because as they have more knowledge of the world and their minds are better stored with observations, their conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreeable.
2. Because when women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their influence over men, they supply the diminution of beauty by an augmentation of utility. They learn to do a 1000 services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old woman who is not a good woman.
3. Because there is no hazard of children, which irregularly produced may be attended with much inconvenience.
4. Because through more experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an intrigue to prevent suspicion. The commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the affair should happen to be known, considerate people might be rather inclined to excuse an old woman who would kindly take care of a young man, form his manners by her good counsels, and prevent his ruining his health and fortune among mercenary prostitutes.
5. Because in every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the fluids that fill the muscles appears first in the highest part: The face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are grey, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.
6. Because the sin is less. The debauching a virgin may be her ruin, and make her for life unhappy.
7. Because the compunction is less. The having made a young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflections; none of which can attend the making an old woman happy.
8thly and Lastly: They are so grateful!!
It’s difficult to write after reading something as great as that. Anyhow.
Still with me? Good. The point of including that advice is to say that there is this older woman at the gym. I noticed her straight away one morning and couldn’t help but think to myself that she had a very natural beauty to her, the kind that is possessed by women who don’t know they have it. One day I introduced myself and we had a brief chat. The following week, her daughter was with her. Besides receiving all the important genes from her mom, the daughter appeared to be equal parts college student and cross-fit games champion. As such, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the pair. Suddenly, however, I was struck by something funny. On this day, unlike all others, the mom was going balls-to-the-wall as they say. Her daughter was spotting her every set and it seemed like some real results were nearby. This was rather silly to me. Nonetheless, my brain filled with what I thought was a good enough line to use to open the door to conversation. So I went with it. I finished watching them double team a machine from the close by station I was at and then walked over and said, as if delivering a useful secret, “I don’t know if you two know this or not, but the gym kinda frowns on two people using one machine at the same time. Something about liability.” Only half way through the delivery did I notice the daughter had in her ears the smallest, most invisible of ear-buds, which left the mom to be the lone recipient of my charm. And despite outstanding delivery on my part, which concluded with my beautiful smile, she responded with, “What?” And like a fool, I repeated myself. It was hell. No laughs either time. I walked away tail tucked between my legs and later apologized. Oh well.
Next, I have seen the same employee lady nearly every day I go and sometimes she even smiles at me. I figure to myself that gym employees, like all employees, would always prefer a fun day to a boring day. Boy was I wrong. This particular day I see that she’s helping a lady who talks like the Champion of Everything but appears to struggle daily with at least one thing. In any case, I happen to notice my girl enter a one-handed battle with a weight rack for possession of a 45lb plate. Again, leading with a tip-giving countenance, I offer, “You’ll find it takes less than half the time if you use two hands next time.” Crickets. I might have broken the no running policy to escape that real-life example of awkward.
Lastly, I see a lady with whom I’ve nearly successfully delivered one of these singular conversation starters in the past. She’s on the lying down leg curl machine. It’s the only one in the building. I would like to use it. Trouble is, she’s doing some other fandangled exercise on it. However, the exercise she’s doing on it is so wrong, that it must be right. Or, put another way, she must be intending to do whatever she’s doing. As an ice breaker after which I’ll ask to work in with her, of course resetting the machine for her after every set of mine as gentlemen do, I say, “So when I’m not sure how to use a machine, I usually look at the diagrams posted on it. For instance, you’ll see pictures right here. And if I’m still not sure what to do, I-” She cuts me off, asking, “Are you serious?” I continue unphased, saying, “-I then move to the written description of the movement. And, like everything, read left-to-right, top-to-bottom.” Another “Are you serious?” later and I smile. Minor conversation starts and I determine that the only reason she was a willing participant is because she has very, very low self-esteem and figured such a demonstrably wise man as myself might add himself to the list of men who award her daily validation from here on out and that’s just not my game. Conversation over.
And there you have it. I know I’d be friends with a guy or girl bold enough to deliver these lines.