Tagged: passion

Growth

Some of you know I started a side-project blog with a singular goal. It didn’t pan out. I’m shutting it down today. I wasn’t going to mention it here again, but the experience really helped me in a specific way. The life lesson was kind of a nice end-cap to the year while the bigger paradigm shift is less than a month away.  And, as usual, I think by sharing my experience others might be able to learn from it too. Backstory in a nutshell is I hear about a female blogger here in Denver that dates a lot and never pays for the dinners. I tell her I’d like to date her, but we have to split the tabs. She balks. I create a blog to woo her. She still balks. I contemplate everything for quite a while until it happens–growth.

Dear C-,

A couple of things. First, I took a personality test once that revealed my personality falls under the larger category of “Guardian”. Ooo. Makes sense, what with serving in the Air Force and all. Second, I love The Matrix trilogy. Do you remember the second one? The scene with the architect and the word ergo? Neo has to choose between saving his one true love, Trinity, or the whole of Zion. It’s a bigger philosophical point, of course. Most of the time, in my life, I choose to defend Zion, the group. But defend is what I do in any case. Ergo, while I found your voice and personality on the radio that morning many weeks ago very appealing and believed this may mean you would like to play, I have since concluded that my intentions with creating this blog and writing you have not been pure.

You sound sharp. You write well. But I’ve realized that this whole thing (split tab condition/blog) was about defending men. It took many of my closest friends and family members telling me that I’m wasting my time to finally come to this conclusion. However, I should’ve known this just from the fact that I told many people that I thought what you were doing–getting so many free dinners–was criminal. And if in my little brain you’re the criminal, then it naturally follows that I think the men are the ones under attack and in need of protection. Rather than just say this outright (defend), I created a blog and attempted to stir your emotions (offend). That was wrong.

C-, I do think what you’re doing is hurtful. Date away, I say. Find your white knight. But don’t hurt the guys. You’re better than that. In any case, it seems an apology is in order. Here goes:

C-, on behalf of all men, I’d like to apologize for my actions. Your dating life is your dating life. I shouldn’t have treated it like a game. You’re a real woman, not a voice, not a picture. “Life is immense” (Legend of 1900). I hope you achieve the happiness that your writing indicates you desire.

Pete

PS – I’m not ducking you. You know where to find me.

Candid Conversations With George, Did You Smell That?

So every once in a while I post a scene from a day in the life with George. For organizational purposes these post’s title will now be prefaced with CCWG. I also added a CCWG category at the bottom of the page for easy reference to past conversations. On with it!

The driver and passenger doors shut near simultaneously as the two men got in the car.

“I didn’t want to say anything during the service, but did you smell that?” Pete asked, starting the car.

“Hmm, no,” George answered without confidence. “Smell what? What are you talking about?”

“Back in the church. I kept smelling something pretty rank. I even kept my mouth closed in an effort to eliminate the possibility it was just my own breath,” Pete explained.

“Ha. No, I can’t say that I did smell anything.”

“Weird. I felt bad because A- was right there too and he had invited us and all. A lot of people were lifting their hands in the air, so I guess it could’ve been just the B.O. from that,” Pete said.

“Yeah, it’s always possible. That was a lot of people in there,” George said.

“But it was pretty awful. As predicted, there were a lot of women there too. And you know how bad their farts smell,” Pete suggested.

“Oh yeah. Women’s farts are the worst!” George said. Pete couldn’t help but notice George’s energy go from zero to a hundred in an instant. “It’s all because they hold them in for sooooo long!”

“What? This is great,” said Pete, laughing.

“Yeah. They hold it and hold it and hold it. And then you let them into a large auditorium like that and they let them rip. They figure nobody will suspect them,” George articulated. Continuing the flawless rationale, he explained, “My older sister used to never fart. Never. She actually had me convinced that women don’t fart.”

“Come on,” Pete questioned.

“Dude, I was like seven,” George clarified. “Anyhow, one Christmas I heard her just rip one. She couldn’t deny it, so then she convinced me women only fart one day a year–Christmas.”

Don’t Look At Me, She Started It

And now another challenge to myself.

With one singular purpose in mind I created a second blog. You can view it here: petewooscammie.wordpress.com

I am not going to mention it here ever again (unless to announce wedding bells), but today, and today only, I’m posting writing from that blog. The About page comes first. Then my first post. If you enjoy what you read, please help a fella out and like and follow that blog too. While I’m making requests, ladies, if you could add comments that include the idea that you wish it was you receiving the attention, and gents, if you could likewise promote the general mood that Cammie would be silly to pass me by, I’ll owe you one big time. Thanks. You’re the best.

ABOUT

Cammie wants to meet a man and live happily ever after. To do this, Cammie is dating men in Denver. Besides many, many, many free dinners Cammie has not had much luck. Read about her experiences on her blog:

CammieDatesDenver

Pete heard about Cammie’s plight on a radio show that featured her heavily read, though young, blog. Pete has his own blog, Captain’s Log, and decided to see if he has what it takes to capture Cammie’s attention.

Unlike other suitors, he has two conditions. First, split the tabs and second, no matter what, no making out.

Her response: “Pete, I haven’t paid for a dinner in months, you’d have to be pretty special for me to start now!”

Believing that he is pretty special and hoping that she proves worth the effort and wait, Pete has decided to woo Cammie.

WOO:

verb (used with object)

1. to seek the favor, affection, or love of, especially with a view to marriage.

2. to seek to win

IT STARTS

Me: How do I get on the list? I’ve only ever met maybe two women worth competing for. You think you’re that high of quality? I like that. And I write too. Check out Captain’s Log. Might be good material for both of us. Oh, conditions include splitting the tab, and no matter what, no making out.

My Queen: Pete, I haven’t paid for a dinner in months, you’d have to be pretty special for me to start now!

Me: I wouldn’t let a woman pay for our first date no matter who she was. The thing about free is that you don’t know what you really paid until it’s gone. Most of the time free takes a portion of your soul, at least that’s been my experience. Your posted experiences seem to concur.

A quick survey of my brother and brother-in-law resulted in an opinion that you wouldn’t be worth the time it would take to pursue you. But they haven’t heard your voice.

WordPress Stats indicate that you likely clicked on my blog today and despite this, still replied. (Google+ referrer.) Were you bored or curious? You’ll find every reason to not encourage my pursuit if you read much of it, but this post will tip the scales one way or another for sure: On Breeding.

The Object of My Desire: Pete, do you have any idea what I look like or just hopeful? Also, I enjoyed your writing. Good stuff. But why did your family suggest I wouldn’t be worth the chase?

Me: Can we agree to only be honest on here? I’ll lead the way. On the radio you described yourself as tall and blonde, and you made it seem like a burden. So, while on the whole I prefer brunettes, I didn’t quite imagine you being repulsive. Plus, you have written that you’re going on four dates a week. That’s generally not a feat homely women pull off in the world of online dating, no matter how reasonable their cleavage makes them sound. Then, there’s you using your real name (why?) and a blonde woman working in Denver possessing a LinkedIn profile with the same name. However, I would like to add that I recently watched Beauty and the Beast for the billionth time. And it occurred to me that peers of ours would have to be pretty effing dense to not be aware of the “…warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within” concept.  I, for one, breathe the concept. The point is hair can be dyed.

I wonder if you know how rewarding you complimenting my writing will be for you.

Why you wouldn’t be worth the chase? Two things. First, every vibe that your massive and complicated dating life sends out includes a resonance to “high maintenance.” Second, I think they were thinking about me being a divorced dad and because of, not despite, their high opinions of me and hopes that I find a good woman, I imagine they were nervous about you eventually hurting me.

In any case, I’m a big boy. And everyone knows that winners don’t focus on the bad things that might happen. They focus on Cammie. At least I do.

My Online Dating Profile

Sometimes I like to dare myself. Recently my hopes of actually finding a like-minded soul online were dashed again. Shortly thereafter it seemed fun and yet inconceivable to share something as intimate as how I sold myself. I could preamble this for forever but will stop here. You will never know how much pleasure writing this and imagining womens’ reactions to it brought me.

ABOUT PETE

Can you handle truth? Here goes. I am a divorced father who works a goofy two-weeks on/off schedule on an oil rig. Before that, I was an Air Force pilot. I usually have my daughter when I’m home, but her mom gets her for a few nights. I’m looking for a pump and dump. Well, at least the pump part. The dump part is up to you.

What are you looking for? Are you looking for spontaneous? Are you looking to laugh? Are you hoping to find a guy who isn’t interested in breaking your heart? Perhaps you’d like to finally meet a guy who makes you feel special? That’s me. Promise!

Ladies: No matter how nice you think I am or if I ask you the most interesting question you’ve ever been asked on here, please don’t message me if you’re not interested in meeting in person. A pen pal has no appeal to me. A woman, though, a real woman? Now that is the most appealing thing I can imagine. If you read at all, to give you a flavor of what she looks like read this post I wrote: A Jaw Dropping Woman.

Also, you should know that people probably don’t use the word “kind” to describe me. That’s good, because I’ve never even wanted to be kind. Instead, I’ve always aimed for things like a huge heart, a great sense of humor, edgyness–sometimes crossing the line–and pretty sharp. Other things that I wouldn’t think to say out loud (but am learning I need to) include great father, hard worker, and uncommon integrity. Though it seems most people can’t even discern those qualities’ value until it’s too late.

As a final note, if you have “finally ready to settle down” on your profile…well, I think Danny Kaye in White Christmas says it best, “My dear partner, when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting whatever it is you’ve got left.” The point is “finally ready” sounds depressing as shyat to me. A “thanks for giving everyone else in your life the good stuff. I guess I just get leftovers.” No thank you.

Lastly, I’m not fat; I went to college after high-school and graduated in four years, and I am not all tatted up. Couples look like each other. Have you ever noticed that? Then again, I don’t put stock in checking boxes, so maybe you think you have what it takes and have sleeves. I doubt it, but would love to be wrong here.

FIRST DATE

I pick up the tabs, you put out.

(I’m laughing so hard. If you’re not, allow me to welcome you to earth.)

The end. 

Vulnerable and Mature, A Counterpoint Review of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. People generally wouldn’t say MJ was a mature man. But then again, no one really knew him, did they? Just like no one knows Sam Smith. So, taking their respective singles as simply stand alone art, I see no reason that the man who built Neverland for real shouldn’t get a fair shake.

Have you ever read the lyrics to the number one single “Dirty Diana”? I feel like I have memories of watching the video from childhood, though I can’t place from when or where. I know I certainly didn’t know what the song was about until about a decade ago. Then I was shocked. Who knew he ever sang about such things?

Contrary to Smith, MJ’s masterpiece lacks introspection or self-reflection. It starts slow, builds, and then reaches a climax all the while admitting a terrific weakness of character. For my money, it is perfect art for the precise reason Tolstoy was leery of music’s power. Tolstoy once wrote, “Music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time.”* (Since reading that, I haven’t been able to get that concept out of my head. Good art makes the listener/viewer feel the way the creator felt. Nice. Simple.)

And just like Smith, there is something in MJ’s voice that sounds personal. These are two clearly torn artists. But unlike young Smith, not-quite-as-young Jackson didn’t feign insecurity or doubt about his station in life. He knew the score. And that was in 1988, which was a few years before Smith was born. Point being, when will we ever learn? Jackson didn’t want to do it, but did. Smith did it and now questions his decision. Me? I’m with MJ on this. At twenty-two, Smith is too old to waffle. Ignorance is not bliss. You knew what would happen. Grow up. Everyone has to.

I guess I’m just bothered because I liked the song. And I wasn’t alone in liking it. But then I saw that it wasn’t what I thought. And I don’t like being taken. Argh!

*Tolstoy, Leo. Master and Man ; The Kreutzer Sonata ; Dramas. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904. Print.

Correction to Friday’s Post

A mellow friend of mine informed me that Sam Smith is gay. The interwebs confirm this is true. So, in my last post about his song, I’ve gone back and edited three words. In the third paragraph, the word “girl” is now “guy” and “her” is now “him”, and then in the fourth paragraph “her” is now “him.” 

Please accept my apologies for this error.

Vulnerable or Immature? A Review of Sam Smith’s Hit Single “Stay With Me”

We all know the feeling we get when we find out a singer isn’t black. It’s really quite humorous that we think we can tell people’s skin tone by the sound of their voice. And Sam Smith is the newest artist to shock the masses and sell a few more records along the way. I bet most of you didn’t know that I’m black. Just kidding.

Smith’s new single “Stay With Me” has been hogging air time for at least the last month. It’s catchy. It’s all heart. Men I’ve never heard sing have sung it. And that’s because it’s edgy. A simple three verse song, “Stay With Me” is a request for a groupie to not leave in the morning. I imagine most male listeners claim to identify with the feeling because they think women find Smith’s vulnerability appealing, and yet these guys still get to maintain their man-card because they could only identify with the song because they’ve had one-night stands themselves. If I’m right, everyone is mixed up. Here’s an attempt at order.

First, as a friend of mine’s dad once told him, “Be grateful for the sex you’re getting. It’s more than you deserve.” Second, while the brutal honesty the song portends is no small feat, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a valuable confession. It only works if it’s in response to the idea that guys who have one-night stands are supposed to kick the ol’ belt-notch to the curb at first light. Right? Smith is basically winning his version of a rap battle Eminem-style. Some real-large-type arse-hole picked on Sam for calling the guy back the next day. Instead of defending his action (which would be weak) he goes one further and admits that he never wanted him to leave in the first place (which is a fatal blow in these contests it seems). Good for him. But we can’t let uncommon vulnerability distract us from the truth. His actions which trigger the song demonstrate that he is not a man. He is a boy. And boys shouldn’t be listened to.

Men–real men–do not have one night stands. They don’t. How do I know? The same reason you know. Because it’s the way it is. Smith wonders why he’s so emotional the morning after, and then advises himself to gain self-control. Another good friend of mine would tell Smith he’s emotional because “the inner man isn’t one with the outer man.” You want to stop crying over him, Sam? Too late buddy. You’re crying because you just caused the two of you pain. And pain hurts. The good thing is that the pain wasn’t lethal. You can learn from it. We can learn from it. But learning is defined as a change in behavior caused by experience. A change. And no fellas that doesn’t mean that you learned if you don’t get weepy next time.

In the end, the world could use a whole lot more and a whole lot less Sam Smiths.

The Morning That She Didn’t Put Up A Fight

They had finished bathing the baby. She was asleep in the pack-n-play. The dog’s constant pacing made the temporary apartment feel smaller than it was. Not that it mattered now. The seller had accepted their latest offer on the house, so only a month remained until they closed and would be reunited with their own stuff.

“I care about you,” she began to answer. He couldn’t remember what question he had asked. “But I don’t like you,” she concluded.

She wore the same resigned look he had grown tired of seeing for the past two years. Ever since the stripper.

“I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with this information,” he said. “Why would I want to live with someone who doesn’t like me? I’m glad you care about me, but to me that’s not as noble as you just made it sound. I’m taking the dog to pee. Is the trash full?”

Without their separate beds he let her have the covers and slept in his sleeping bag. Sleeping bags added a level of fun to any night so he didn’t mind. He was all out of fight himself as well, especially over something as trivial as sheets.

The closing was uneventful. He tried to stay positive about the new job that didn’t pay as much as they hoped. She tried to not stress about shift work on the weekends. With each passing day his walk to the bar seemed shorter; her options, fewer.

She went out with a co-worker after he returned from happy hour with a friend. Waking by himself at two-thirty he figured she was on her way. At three his worry hardened into a decision. He was never going to feel knots like those in his stomach again. Never. Four am will forever sound to him like a door handle, the bathroom fan, and the plop of vomit into toilet water.

After the baby went to sleep the next night they were finally alone. He raged. She sat as he lectured. With each non-response he raised his volume.

The following morning she behaved as if the fight was over. For her, the cycle was complete. For him, the marriage was. Some cycles should never be repeated.

She followed him out of the house for a few steps after he said divorce. He answered the phone thirty minutes later. She told him her parents had two attorneys ready to schedule a consultation.

He now lies to himself that the hurt has decreased since that morning–the morning that she didn’t even put up a fight.

On Breeding

Everyone knows that Mormons and Muslims make babies with world domination as their goal. But what about the rest of us? Why do we end up breeding?

If magazines with the word “journal” in their title are to be trusted, then there is at least one well-documented theory. We breed because we’re dumb. That came out wrong. The data doesn’t show that breeding is dumb, it shows that the less educated and lower paid we are, the more children we have. Want the same sentiment in a more positive tone? Try “children are the wealth of the poor.” Aww.

If we put stock in casual conversation, middle-class couples have children because they bought a dog a couple years earlier.

Back on the research front, we know that foreigners who are new to this country breed like bunnies, but that only lasts a few generations. By the third generation (statistics show) they only want one or two children. And those little guys probably won’t talk funny anymore anyhow. Yawn.

But these sweeping generalizations are only scratching the surface. I want specifics. I want to know how individuals make the choice. More than that, I want to know why this topic seems taboo to me? If I tell you that my parents told me that I was “unplanned”, it feels like they wouldn’t be happy that I’d shared that information because it makes them look “bad”. (For the record, I’m pretty sure that my older sister was the reason for the wedding, my younger brother was unplanned, and that I am a gift from God.)

It seems that in the past people had a lot of children because children meant workers, which meant wealth. Adam Smith (of 1776’s Wealth of Nations fame) wrote that a widow with a bunch of kids was very attractive to men back then. Seems like that couldn’t be further from the truth these days. And then in the past babies died a lot, too. So there’s that to take into account. Today, with not so many youngsters passing while on the trail, couples just don’t seem motivated to risk pregnancy’s dangers as much. Or some such reasoning.

And we can’t forget birth control’s far reaching consequences. How many people wouldn’t be alive today if latex was self-lubricating?

I’m curious how many of you have ever asked individuals why they had children? I have. Well, I’ve asked men. (Where are you ladies hiding again?) It’s shocking to me. Tied for the number one reasons are “it felt too good to pull out” and “We(/I) were drunk.”

Never experiencing it myself, sadly, according to locker room tales I’ve heard that some women have an ability to really make mixing the baby batter together seem desirable as the last of the sweat forms. And I know a few fellas who have described their primal finish to be the same as how a shark’s eyes roll back when they go for the kill. Where do these men and women learn this behavior? Maybe it’s genetic?

It feels weak to admit that I want more children. I think that’s because if I admit it, and then don’t have anymore, it will be known that I have an unfulfilled desire in my life.

Why did I do my part to create H-, you ask? Because it was what married couples do. It was time. You know, the dog thing.

Why do I want more children? Because when we were camping the other night and alone in the tent I awoke to the sound of her giggling while in a dream. I just pictured her brain creating fantasy images of her stuffed Twilight Sparkle tumbling through the air; no on a rainbow! Yeah, Twilight Sparkle would likely be around a rainbow or two. Maybe Pingu was there too. And then, later that night, as I started shuffling around to see a man about a tree, H- wakes up and says, “Daddy, if you’re ever scared-” pause “-if you ever need anything, I’ll be there for you.” Good to know. And I hope so H-.

Mel Gibson was in a movie about depression called, “The Beaver”, a few years back. One of the previews on the DVD was for a movie centered around immigration whose title I can’t remember. But in the trailer there was a scene where a teenage son asked his father why he ever had him. The father said, “To give life meaning.” I’m with that dad. What else gives life meaning? Work? My passion? Writing? Spreading the gospel? No, when all is said and done, life is about people. That’s why we keep creating them.

Wide Effing Open

Lance wore sunglasses inside. That was the first thing I noticed about him. Second, he had the ability to achieve perfect clarity in directions. He destroyed meetings. Management guru Peter Drucker would’ve been proud. Who hasn’t been in meetings whose end is marked by the sound of shuffling fabric accompanied by whispers containing sentiments like, “So, what are we doing now?” Lance was a meeting destroyer. It really was something to behold.

He was also a man who loved to laugh. I’m talking about joy here people! When the man wasn’t modeling the art of focusing a group of men on a singular action, behind those sunglasses Lance was just itching to break out in laughter. He embodied these qualities in a way that was generally reserved for the most likable characters in great novels.

Now, history is full of men who have tried to categorize men like Lance, their point being to take away or re-allocate the credit. Their efforts proceed to pigeonhole men like Lance into being nothing more than the result of their circumstances, but I refuse to believe it. There was only one source, one natural spring from whence flowed the strength and skill, the judgement and wisdom that Lance displayed day-in and day-out. That source, of course, was Lance. The casual observer had no claim on Lance. Lance was the one who had to wake up every morning. He was the one who sat for a moment on the edge of a bed and stared out at the same equal-parts-bleak-and-bright world as he pulled his pants on one leg at a time. He was the one who reached for his boots as he decided what kind of man he wanted to be; what kind of father, what kind of leader. He was the one who everyone looked to for direction during the meeting before work began, and rather than buckling under the pressure or taking the road more traveled, which is paved with pride and foolhardiness, he was the one who on cue said, “Guys, today we’re going to run waa’d effin’ op’n.” He was the one whose example ensured the work got done. He was Lance.