Childbirth Memories: 2006

mpinkinitialtrpng_square_canvas_pillowBack in early 2006, my wife and I found ourselves at a childbirth class. Now, I had seen about a bunch of them, but only on TV shows, and usually those shows were treating the class itself in a comical light. Sometimes there were slick watermelons, or fathers fainting while watching the birthing video, and always there was an animated instructor who seemed like she should have been teaching a Zumba class instead. Things were a little different in real life.

For one, the class was in Cooperstown, which is an hour and a half drive for us, so we didn’t sign up lightly. We were both completely on board since it was our first pregnancy, and since we were both just a little bit nervous about what would happen when the time came, when labor started. My wife had read all the books (she always reads all the books) but reading about it and going through it are two entirely different things. We figured it would be helpful to go through the process of learning along with several other couples at the same time.

So we took the drive on a frigid late January morning, with two pillows in the back seat and an open mind for whatever was going to occur. When we got there the building looked a lot like an old church to me, minus the steeple (and the priest). Other couples were already there milling about on the lawn, carrying pillows, so we figured it was the right place. Then the instructor arrived, and we found out pretty quickly that she was a registered nurse who had been through about a metric ton of live births. We were in good hands. Continue reading “Childbirth Memories: 2006”

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The Empress’s New Clothes

c11a534828a6aa32af46551a8b61fe58There are some times when I honestly wonder if people just don’t look in the mirror before leaving their houses in the morning. Yes, I get that it’s very warm today in upstate New York, but that really isn’t an excuse to wear the smallest thing in your closet. Especially when you’re going to work, or if you’re going to be around other human beings who have eyes. A bikini top is not a shirt, and shorts that show your cheeks are not shorts. They are an excuse for underwear.

And no, I’m not just talking about the people who are out of shape. That’s a whole other story. I’m talking about the fit people too, the ones who have actual defined musculature, who have stomachs that don’t overlap their shorts. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets into an accident because a woman was walking down the street without a bra on. It is a distraction, and definitely hard to focus when people are half dressed out in public.

I know what they would tell me, too. If I got it, why not flaunt it? Which is fine and well in theory, but as a practical matter it doesn’t hold up. It’s like those guys who wear the pants hanging down around their ankles. Would you want to do business with someone like that, whose underpants you can see without trying? The same is true of someone showing a lot of skin. And yeah, today I saw an awful lot of skin.

Maybe I’m just a prude. I have been accused of that in the past. It’s their own business what they do with their bodies, others told me. I’m sure it’s a lot more comfortable than what you’re wearing, they would comment while judging my jeans and slightly over-sized button down shirt. Perhaps they’re right. I hardly ever wear shorts no matter how hot the day is. I figure I shouldn’t subject people to the sight of my legs. Maybe I just have image problems.

Whatever the case I know from historical evidence that this was just the first of many days I will be subjected to all kinds of body parts in public. Most times I discreetly look away but sometimes it is so overwhelming that I can’t help but stare. It’s like when you see a car wreck by the side of the road and you slow down without even realizing it. That’s exactly what it’s like.

Time and place, people. The beach is for swimsuits. Not Target on a weekday morning.

Sam

God is Just Like Me

“Yeah, I found God and he was absolutely just like me. He opened my mouth, looked down my throat, and told me I was thirsty.” -Ed Kowalczyk

I thought I knew who God was, back when I was little. My parents taught me to pray to this supreme being, this ruler of the universe. They taught me that God was always there for me, that He answered my prayers, even if sometimes the answer was no, or wait. And I couldn’t wrap my brain around someone who wasn’t able to be seen, who didn’t speak to me like my friends spoke to me, but they told me that He was my best friend, and that He was to be honored at all times, through my actions and through my words.

The first time I said a bad word I thought God was going to knock me dead right there on the spot. And when I snuck out to the movies with my sister against His teachings, I thought the world was going to come crashing down on my head, because not only did my parents teach me that God was there for me, but they told me that He was also firm.

Of course the Bible did nothing to dispel either one of these primary assertions, either. In the Old Testament the God I saw was unyielding, the firm God that was liable to strike me down for swearing or for sneaking out to the movies. While in the New Testament the God I saw was represented by his “son,” Jesus Christ, who was for the most part non-violent and spoke in a quiet but effective voice. Which one was the real God, the tough one who took no guff, or the one who was slow to anger and who believed in second chances? They were both supposed to be, but I could never reconcile it.

Interestingly enough, no one else could reconcile it for me either. And I asked everyone. What I did get from all the searching was that God is simply unfathomable, in both who He is and in why He does what He does. Simply put, that means don’t question Him or His motives because we will never know. I found it ironic, though, because God supposedly gave us free will, and a questioning nature, but when it comes to Him we aren’t ever going to know. And we should be alright with that. Apparently.

“I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for his reputation if he didn’t.” -Jules Renard

For a while I honestly didn’t know if God existed. I bought into the whole idea that people wouldn’t be dying in Ethiopia or Chicago if there was a God who truly cared about them, that women wouldn’t be raped, and that there would be no hardships in life. If there were a God, and if that God honestly loved everyone as the good book says, then why did bad things happen to good people? And it all came back to free will. Continue reading “God is Just Like Me”

Why Guys Cheat

cheaters_car-13287Uh, because they’re stupid? I mean, I don’t want to dumb it down for you, but at its core that’s the honest-to-goodness truth. Look at the “good guys” out there and you’ll notice a recurring theme. Most of them are happy. They are expressive with their significant others. They smile more often than not. That comes from being fulfilled in their relationships, and it’s pretty obvious to spot. The guy who spends so much time complaining that “his woman” makes him do this and that, that’s the stupid guy who is probably going to cheat.

  • Cheating takes two people.

I’ve heard that one enough times, and it’s absolutely true. It takes the cheater and the cheatee (the person being cheated on), because obviously something is missing from their relationship. When your relationship is fulfilling your needs, there is much less temptation to look across to that green grass that you might think is greener than yours. And the issue that comes up most often when needs aren’t met is that the person feeling slighted goes elsewhere to get those needs met. When of course what needs to happen is communication, but for some reason the cheater communicates with others instead. That creates a bond that just spirals out of control after the fact.

  • Why buy the cow?

This has always seemed like a rather crass phrase to me, one meant to trivialize an important fact: that many people simply don’t want to take responsibility for themselves and for their own actions. And it goes beyond sex, but to emotional connections outside of sex as well. If there is someone willing to connect with you either physically, emotionally, or both, and that person is not your significant other, ask yourself one question. Would you feel comfortable talking about what this person does for you to your significant other? If the answer is no, then you’re drinking milk, my friend, and there is no cow in sight. Continue reading “Why Guys Cheat”

Recognition

blankstare“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

There’s just something about faces. You know, the juxtaposition of eyes, nose, and a mouth, ears on the side, and whatever type of chin someone possesses. I have seen a plethora of faces in my lifetime. They come and go quickly through my periphery, but for the most part they aren’t forgotten. In fact, I remember most faces I’ve ever seen, which is really no exaggeration. Sometimes I’m proud of that fact, and other times it makes me dreadfully sad.

I saw a man today who I haven’t seen in over five years, but I recognized him right off. However, I didn’t approach him to catch up on old times. For one, we were merely acquaintances way back then, and for another, he obviously didn’t remember me. I used to take that personally, wondering how someone could just forget me like that, but admittedly I wasn’t a huge part of his life, and/or memorable enough to make the list of people he would automatically recall. I could have taken the time to refresh his memory, but what would have been the point? “Oh yeah, I know you now.”

What makes me sad, though, are the times when I see someone who was significant to me in some former life but who has no idea who I am when we pass. Sometimes I even say hi, and they look at me like I’m a total stranger, even though for a solid block of time we were as close as two peas in a banana peel. For some people is it just easier to move on and forget, and is that a positive or a negative thing? Continue reading “Recognition”

Strange Frequencies

amaz_abstract73I am two human beings
One who dreams of change
And finds solace in silence
Another who stands still
Who screams at the sky
Waiting for answers
That never seem to come
Arguing with the other
To find relevance in sin
To cross transgression
In order to come out clean
That’s what we all want
With our enraptured lives
And strange frequencies
Tuned to the ebbs and flows
That characterize existence
But also doom us to fail
With our dichotomies
That bemoan a certain progress
Willing us to rise above
To fall in line like army ants
One after the other
Hating what we’ve become
In the name of separation
And the space between dreams
Where we are perfect
In our imperfection.

Sam

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