December 18, 2007

A Tribute to Partners Terri and Bobbi

Filed under: Relationships — Mim @ 11:55 pm

I met Terri who was wearing a volunteer tag and assisting mobility impaired participants at a conference.  Six of us met at a restaurant while waiting for separate tables, and ended up agreeing to sit at one large table in order to be seated sooner. Terri explained she enjoyed serving as a volunteer in order to be able to attend parts of it for free.

Terri was quite a tomboy with her buttoned down shirt tucked into pants held up with a big black belt. She had a flop of straight brown hair that flipped back and forth over her eye glasses, and a bright, quick laugh reminiscent of the ungendered character named “Pat“ from Saturday Night Live.

But Terri soon proved to be a much more introspective person than her casual male attire hinted at. Terri explained how she had not seen her family since she left home twenty years ago at the age of 18 because, “she was different and her parents didn’t accept it.” She said, “I always knew I was different” but explained there had been no exchange of phone calls, cards, or letters with family since leaving.

Terri wore a wedding band and explained the special person in her life was named Bobbi, who sometimes used a wheelchair due to her having diabetic neuropathy. Terri and Bobbi had been together since Terri came to California over twenty years ago. Terri proudly explained she took care of Bobbi and the pride in her face showed she thrived on being needed and wanted.  

When I inquired about Terri’s job, she proudly explained, “I protect my synagogue.” She had begun working security part-time at the synagogue and had worked her way into a fulltime position. Terri proudly added that with her fulltime position, she was able to take care of herself and Bobbi.

Terri explained her conversion to Judaism which was in process, was due to Bobbi, who had fought constantly with her mother while growing up, but in the end, had left home and announced to her family she was claiming her father’s religion and was going to be Jewish from that day forward. Terri decided that she wanted to be the same religion as Bobbi.

Both women were then faced with which synagogue to join. Terri explained, “Out of the five local synagogues, we chose the one where the Rabbi had a partner. We felt it was our best chance to be accepted.” Throughout our entire conversation, no one ever used the words “gay,” “lesbian,” or “homosexual,” yet our communication was clear. 

I learned something important from Terri that evening during dinner. I realized the words “gay,” “lesbian,” and “homosexual” had taken on a negativity not reflected in Terri’s spirit. It made me wonder if the usage of these negative words was intentionally injected by the heterosexual writers for the news media?

Terri now has a mission in her life and a purpose. She is caring for Bobbi, protecting her synagogue, and making a personal decision to change her religion.  Terri is contributing to the betterment of herself and her community. Mazel Tov!

December 17, 2007

How to Stop Feeling Like a Loser

Filed under: Self-Improvement — Mim @ 11:55 pm

You are what you feel

You probably grew up hearing, “You are what you eat.” But did you know you are also what you feel?

It is true. When you feel lousy, you act lousy and you are a lousy person to be around. No one likes to feel lousy and no one wants to be around you when you are acting lousy. But when you feel good about yourself or something you have accomplished, then you glow, your personality glows, you feel good about yourself, and you are a good person to be around.

So why does your attitude towards yourself automatically change whenever someone at work, or a stranger in a store, or family or friend says something negative or hurtful? Why do you allow their ornery disposition to ruin your day and your good mood? The answer is – you shouldn’t.

But this is easier said than done. Your positive attitude toward yourself should not become negative because others around you are having a bad day and taking their frustrations out on you. You were not intended to be a mirror image of their bad luck day.

So what can you do to change this? You can start by feeling good about yourself. You do this by reminding yourself that only you can make yourself  feel good. Similarly, only you can make yourself feel depressed. While other people can say unkind or thoughtless remarks, it is how you choose to react to their comments that determines how you will feel about yourself afterward.

Only you can change you. A good example of this happened to Debbie my secretary. Debbie used to absorb everyone’s negative remarks and unhappiness like a sponge. If she came in to work bouncing and happy, she could be in tears at her desk a few minutes later if someone said something upsetting. 

Debbie was always fretting over what other employees were saying. One co-worker in particular was always upsetting Debbie. After the anticipated unpleasant daily encounters with Sandy, Debbie would end up with tears in her eyes, feeling angry and hurt by Sandy’s flippant remarks which Debbie took very personally.

While Sandy thought everyone was enjoying her zany wit, Debbie internalized Sandy’s remarks as something bad which typically would ruin the rest of the work day for her. Debbie rode this unpleasant emotional roller coaster month after month. 

After one of Debbie’s tearful outbursts about how upset she was with Sandy, I gently pointed out to Debbie that she could not change Sandy’s behavior and there was no sense in wishing Sandy would change. Instead, I suggested that Debbie change how she responded to Sandy.

I explained to Debbie that she could not change Sandy’s behavior, and the only behavior Debbie could change was her own. This included how Debbie chose to react to Sandy’s comments. Debbie could either continue absorbing each of Sandy’s comments as if it were a shock wave, or she could learn to ignore it. Time passed and Debbie’s attitude improved, though I would never have predicted what would happen next.

Several months later, Debbie and Sandy went out for lunch together at work. I was shocked even more when they went out together for lunch a second and a third time and then continued going out for lunch periodically. Then they started shopping together after work or on weekends.

Several years later, Debbie took a new job across town. I was very happy for Debbie’s promotion. On her last day of work, Debbie left me a farewell greeting card which said, “I learned a lot from you at my job. I learned that I can’t change other people but that I can only change myself.”

December 9, 2007

My Misadventures into Online Dating

Filed under: Dating — Mim @ 11:55 pm

Where the uninitiated dater soon learns how quickly the unexpected becomes expected

After being married for 24 years and single again, I found myself venturing into the world of online dating. After all, the ads on TV for finding that wonderful new man seemed so reassuring. I knew I would not fall into any traps normally experienced by pubescent teen girls suffering from anorexia or low self-esteem, who readily agreed to meet strange men at malls or motels and leave home with these Jack the Ripper types.

I decided to enroll myself in various online dating websites just to see what would happen. Initially, I found not much happens. There are chat rooms where status seekers are stroking each other’s brains trying to one-up each other with their wit and cleverness ta ta.

Then there are the bulletin boards where people post messages for help on topics such as asking where to go to meet the opposite sex, or wanting to know if there is anything wrong with the way their online profile or pictures appear. 

The online dating sites let you specify if you are a woman seeking a man or a woman and vice versa. There are no moral blocks preventing anyone from fantasizing about any sexual persuasion, but the main thrust is for people to contact each other directly using online tools.

However, not everyone is assertive in contacting a potential mate, so there are aids for the contact-impaired, such as hot lists, flirts, e-cards, double clicks or hearts that you can send the person of interest. Some of the teasers are anonymous, so if the person does not reply back, then they never knew it came from you.

But of course, the bulk of participants at the online dating websites are free members, which means they never receive your online teaser beckoning them for a response, leaving you feeling totally undesirable.  There are also the members who refuse to upload a picture of themselves, which they claim is for privacy from their clients, or who knows, maybe to hide from their wives.

The most frequent complaint on all the dating websites is the use of outdated pictures. Many pictures being uploaded are 10 to 20 years old. Men who refuse to post pictures are best to ignore. On several occasions, I asked these men for their pictures and nearly fell out of the chair from shock when their pictures arrived by e-mail as these men were truly unattractive.

 My first online date was with a man who said he had been divorced for 14 years and a member of online dating for 12 years. This surprised me as I had not known online dating had been around that long. We met at Panera Bread for coffee after dinner, but he did not like coffee and explained why. Then he proceeded to grill me with questions like, had I considered what it would be like to have sex with a different man other than my husband?

Perhaps I did not appear as responsive to questions about sex as my coffee date had hoped, but as we were leaving, I turned to ask him if he wanted to get together again, but he was already sprinting across the parking lot to his car.  

My second online date was at a restaurant where I had agreed to meet a different man for drinks and an appetizer. He said he was excited to meet a compatible woman like myself without having to drive long distance. He explained he had never been married, but a tryst a dozen years earlier had produced a child. After an hour’s conversation, he suddenly realized he knew my ex-husband and described several unpleasant encounters with him.

He said he had not been this uncomfortable since a transvestite had propositioned him. I was uneasy with the comparison to a transvestite, and realized our date was dissolving faster than I could finish my drink. He asked that we leave and never speak of this meeting again.  

My third online date was with a doctor who wore his sorrow on his face. He and his ex-wife were never able to have children and he tried to fill the weekends with occasional visits to a night club featuring line dancing. But he found it a very lonely experience and wanted to do nothing more than move back to New York to live and work near his parents. 

Although I sent out e-cards and e-mails and asked the various online men if we could have an instant chat, most of them did not respond. Later I realized it was because they were not paying members. But oftentimes, the paid members would ignore me as well. Without exception, the men who professed to be writers, editors, or journalists in their profiles, never wrote me back, and the men who wrote the short profiles were more likely to write back and want to open communication.  

The ones who responded wanted to talk on the phone, so sometimes we did. One man from Florida had figured out in our only conversation that we could stay at his house in the winter and live in my house during the summer. He asked questions about square footage and the value of my home and as I began to feel he was really a creepy character, the phone battery went dead and mercifully ended our phone call.

Most of the men who hot listed me or sent me flirts were in their 20’s or 70’s. It seemed the men inbetween were not inclined to utilize flirts as a means of contact. I asked my girlfriend why this was so. She explained, “The flirts represent men at both ends of life . . . the young ones for what they want and the old ones for what they can’t have.”

I even received an online flirt card from a woman. At first I thought she must have made a mistake, since if I had made such a mistake, I would have retracted it or sent an apology. But out of curiosity, I read her profile. Although she listed herself as looking for a man, she had never been married and worked as a doctor in youth camp programs. She looked like a really cute tomboy with a too short haircut. I decided the flirt was probably genuine though I did not respond.

Then I met Rob online in an instant message. He had initiated contact and was really interested in knowing everything about me.  Rob from Seattle  Rob knew all the right things to say and do. We had a four hour instant message that night, where he was polite and told me about his parents in Rochester, New York. He explained he had just moved to Seattle and was living in a hotel.

Rob was the first man at a dating website that I had spoken with who had a web-cam, so he would ask me questions and I would type my answers back to him.  He was reclining on what first seemed like a sofa, then I realized he was in bed typing on a laptop.

Rob was covered with a sheet which seemed to unobtrusively slide lower as the night progressed, though he never commented on it. Finally, I logged off to go to bed, but Rob had signaled me for one more instant message. But this time, the sheet was gone as were his clothes. Rob’s heavy panting came through my computer speakers as the web-cam was now pointed directly at his groin, where he was rapidly relieving himself. 

The next week, Rob sent many apologies for the sheet accident which I ignored, as it never should have happened. But venturing into online dating is like hunting for a man in a big city. There are good areas to look in and bad areas to stay out of, but online dating can lead you more quickly into unsuspecting troublespots than you can ever imagine.

Skeptically yours,
          Mim

December 1, 2007

Tragic Murder of NFL's Sean Taylor

Filed under: Sports — Mim @ 11:55 pm

Black Spokesmen Still Silent on Senseless Slaying of Superhero Sean Taylor 

Washington Redskins NFL player Sean Taylor died needlessly on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 from a fatal gunshot wound to his thigh. The Pro Bowl safety was just 24. The bullet ripped through a critical artery causing a tremendous loss of blood.  Sean Taylor  Taylor and his girlfriend were in bed in their Miami home when the 4 intruders thought they were buglarizing Taylor’s home while he was away. But the burglers were not strangers. One of the burglers had previously done some lawncare work for Taylor and there was an indication one or two of the others were at least familiar with Taylor or his property.

The murder of Sean Taylor is intolerable. The four males suspected of killing Taylor were all minorities under the age of 21. Doesn’t anyone realize this stupid act of murder by minorities against one of their own minority superheros, is actually fostering more hatred against blacks and Mexicans in America? The average American reads about murderous attacks like this and they immediately want blacks shipped back to Africa and Mexicans drowned in the Rio Grande River.

Assaults and murders committed by minorites against their own people, especially American sports’ heroes, only fuels the belief of middle Americans that minorities and illegals are all thugs and thieves who should be dead or in prison.

Here are photos from the Miami Dade Police Department of the four minority males allegedly involved in the assault on Taylor. The youngest male to be charged was only 17 and may get a lighter punishment due to his juvenille status.

4 Minority Males Involved in Taylor's Murder

So where are the outcries of this horrible crime from black spokesmen Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson these days? Suddenly these minority icons are the invisible men when it comes to not having any public commentary against the murderers of Sean Taylor. None of the popular black spokes persons have stepped forward and denounced the vicious act by 4 minority thugs.  Would Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have been on the news denouncing this horrible act of murder if the slayers had been white people? You better believe it! Are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson practicing reverse racism by their silence? 

Skeptically yours,
          Mim

Tragic Murder of NFL’s Sean Taylor

Filed under: Sports — Mim @ 11:55 pm

Black Spokesmen Still Silent on Senseless Slaying of Superhero Sean Taylor 

Washington Redskins NFL player Sean Taylor died needlessly on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 from a fatal gunshot wound to his thigh. The Pro Bowl safety was just 24. The bullet ripped through a critical artery causing a tremendous loss of blood.  Sean Taylor  Taylor and his girlfriend were in bed in their Miami home when the 4 intruders thought they were buglarizing Taylor’s home while he was away. But the burglers were not strangers. One of the burglers had previously done some lawncare work for Taylor and there was an indication one or two of the others were at least familiar with Taylor or his property.

The murder of Sean Taylor is intolerable. The four males suspected of killing Taylor were all minorities under the age of 21. Doesn’t anyone realize this stupid act of murder by minorities against one of their own minority superheros, is actually fostering more hatred against blacks and Mexicans in America? The average American reads about murderous attacks like this and they immediately want blacks shipped back to Africa and Mexicans drowned in the Rio Grande River.

Assaults and murders committed by minorites against their own people, especially American sports’ heroes, only fuels the belief of middle Americans that minorities and illegals are all thugs and thieves who should be dead or in prison.

Here are photos from the Miami Dade Police Department of the four minority males allegedly involved in the assault on Taylor. The youngest male to be charged was only 17 and may get a lighter punishment due to his juvenille status.

4 Minority Males Involved in Taylor's Murder

So where are the outcries of this horrible crime from black spokesmen Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson these days? Suddenly these minority icons are the invisible men when it comes to not having any public commentary against the murderers of Sean Taylor. None of the popular black spokes persons have stepped forward and denounced the vicious act by 4 minority thugs.  Would Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have been on the news denouncing this horrible act of murder if the slayers had been white people? You better believe it! Are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson practicing reverse racism by their silence? 

Skeptically yours,
          Mim