Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What is this respect thing anyway?

I used to have an idea about what respect meant to being a man. I thought I would be happy to be married to a woman that didn't insult me, or to one who didn't always think that I was stupid or that I was wrong all the time.  All I cared about was a woman that didn't have negative feelings about me. As long as she didn't think badly of me, I imagined that I would have been ecstatic with her. In the back of my mind disrespect was the opposite of respect so to not show one meant the other. In other words, you show me respect by not disrespecting me.

But it recently occurred to me that this idea is too... uh... "post-modern".  Disrespect and respect are in fact not opposites. You can refrain from disrespecting someone you do not respect. You don't even have to think negatively about someone and still not respect them. You may not have any feeling about someone at all and still not show them disrespect. But do you respect them?  Probably not.

It's also possible to respect someone and to disrespect them at the same time.  You may respect someone and talk badly about them behind their back, especially if you are angry with them.  Think back on your teen years.  Even if you respected your parents, you no doubt did many things that you knew were disrespectful.  So in fact disrespect and respect are really not all that related.

Disrespect is an action.  Respect is an emotion.

Respect is more than not arguing in public, or not insulting a person. To respect a person you MUST look up to him. A wife should think that her husband is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If she doesn't feel this way, then why is she married to him? She is not fulfilling his desire to be respected and he is obviously not fulfilling her desire to be with someone who is worthy of her. Husbands and wives are more than roommates with benefits. They are lovers and best friends. They have searched the ends of the Earth and in the end forsook 3 billion other people so they could be with this one single person forever. Choosing a spouse isn't simply inviting that person to be a part of your life. It is also EXCLUDING all other people from the intimacy in your life. To get that feeling and to ensure that no one supplants the spouse a deep desire must be maintained throughout the entire relationship.

We can think of our relationships with the opposite sex by examining our competition with the same sex. Men compete with other men with strength, intelligence, and power. Women compete with other women with beauty, charm, and style. So to win a Woman's heart, show her that she is the most beautiful, charming, fashionable person in the world.  To win a Man's heart appears easier.  Simply look up to him.  If he is the man for her, this should come naturally.

Before a woman marrys a man, she must in her heart replace her Daddy with the man.  She must stop looking to her Daddy for protection, guidance and support and begin to look to the future husband.  If she didn't grow up with a Dad, who does she look up to? Who does she turn to for support and guidance? Who does she look to for protection or answers? Her Mom? Her friends? Herself? That is the right of her husband. He deserves to fill that role first. She must look up to her husband.  THAT is respect.  Feeling that he can do anything, even if he can't.  Knowing that he has all the answers, even if he doesn't.  She should be so blind to all common sense with regards to him.  THAT is love.  I really think that women want a man that does this to her.  Correct me if I am wrong.

Maybe I'm being a hair "melodramantic" here, but there are relationships like this.  And they seem quite nice.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Movie Review: Fun with Dick and Jane

Now THIS is crisis management for couples!

So Fun with Dick and Jane was my Christmas movie this year. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged. I heard some critics say that they found it difficult to root for a couple that would rob small businesses. But really the movie was so light hearted that it didn't take too much suspension of disbelief to excuse this minor slip-up. After all, they could have just as easily robbed big name gas stations and big name coffee shops. And in the end the robberies' role in the movie wasn't all that big. Besides, the couple commented that they would try to give back to society, which they did in the end, sort of.

I went into this movie thinking that it would be all about these two committing dozens of robberies, like a comedic Bonnie and Clyde duo. But it was actually more about how they coped with the Enron like situation they were in. I felt that this movie illustrated very beautifully how a husband and wife should cope with hardship. Now understand that I don't mean that couples today should start robbing neighborhood mom and pop shops. What I mean is that couples should look to each other for strength. The beauty of this movie was that no matter what happened, the couple remained unified. Very refreshing for a Hollywood movie.

Everything that affected one spouse affected the other spouse. Each situation that came up, they handled TOGETHER. When Dick got his promotion he encouraged his wife to quit the job she hated. It was so beautiful. I felt such love when Dick brought this up. And she was so appreciative that he could provide that for her, even if it didn't work out in the end. Hmmm... Why couldn't she get her job back? They didn't explain that. But let's get back on topic.

The couple showed more and more love and unity the more desperate the situation got. The most disconnected the couple were was when Dick robbed the neighborhood lawns of patches of grass so he could have his own lawn back. But this event actually displayed an already strong sense of unity. When Jane woke up in the morning and Dick showed her their new lawn, he treated the entire grass crime spree as if it was a wonderful present for his wife. It was almost as if he did it all for her. It was a very touching moment. And she loved the new lawn, even though we as the audience knew that it looked utterly horrible.

And finally, later on when Dick decided to go rob a store for the first time, she jumped out of bed to tag along, jokingly saying, "I have to see this. You need a wheelman don't you?" Hilarious. It might seem a bit thin of an excuse to explain why the wife tagged along for a robbery when most wives would try to stop her husband. But really it wasn't so out of place. They really laid the groundwork... they spent good time to develop the desperation necessary to convince me that this couple WOULD resort to crime to pay the bills. It took only a small leap to force them over the edge. Granted, Dick's leap was a bit more dramatic and logical and Jane went over the line much easier when most wives would be more resistant, but really it didn't bother me all that much.

My only real complaint is that the bad guy didn't get it in the end. Yeah, he lost money, but he wasn't arrested or even embarrassed. He was actually a hero in the end. Not good. He's the bad guy for goodness sake! Oh, also Dick and Jane didn't really seem to make amends for their crimes.

To sum up, this movie was about a strong unified couple dealing with crisis. It used a rather Cliché device (Enron) to give the story some rather unnecessary relevance, but I'm sure many victims of the Enron scandal got a lot of release by watching it, and it did give a good backdrop for the story. The flaws were few and minor and overall the feeling I got from this movie was very positive because the duo and chemistry between Dick and Jane was very good. I believed that they were married. I believed that they loved being married to each other and I believed that they would grow through struggle. 7 stars from me. And that's pretty good for a comedy.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Almost chopped off my toe!

Heh. What an adventure I had last night. Yesterday after going to church with Schon I had a nice afternoon movie visit with my Dad. We saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Not a bad movie, but that's getting off the subject so if you'll forgive me I'll forego the movie review. After my Dad left I got a tad tired and decided to take a nap, knowing that I had to get a court thing out of the way early in the morning.

See, wow, so much to tell..... I got a ticket like 2 days before Rita hit and had to leave town which kept me from getting my car inspected so the cop was a real jerk by giving me a ticket at midnight on the Rice University campus when no one is around at all. Thought school cops were supposed to be nice. Anyway... This is all related so just hang tight...

Oh I forgot, just around this time I got rear-ended. The guy who hit me was very calm. Gave me his information. Wrote it all out on his own note pad. Didn't complain or argue at all. Really a nice guy, well... except that he HIT MY CAR! But anyway, my car is still drivable, but it has a broken reflector on the back. The lights even still work so I could even pass inspection, I think. But now I get to take my car to the body shop so they can fix my back end, but it's actually pretty good because the bumper really needed to be repainted anyway so now it's going to look much better than it did before. Now I just need to get someone to hit my front.

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah. Well, a month or so ago I was on my way to work and I kind of thought about the ticket I had received and kind of pissed off about it all I decided I should probably finally take a look at it and find out the day I had to go to court. Heh. You know exactly what I found out, don't you? Well, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THE DAY BEFORE THEN, JERK! I could have been prepared. I could have told my boss the day before that I had to go to court THAT DAY! Can you imagine my suprise and panic when I found out that I actually had like 2 HOURS to get to court? Luckily I work about a mile away from the Houston courthouse. Praise God. So I told my boss and did as much as I could to get him ready for his meeting, (Yeah, THAT'S great for my career.) then I went to court.

They didn't call out my name. They lost my information. Whoopee!!!! Automatic dismissal, right? That's what I always heard. Think again. They made me sign a paper telling them that I am perfectly willing to inconvenience myself AGAIN when the cop decides he wants to send in my ticket information. So a few days later I got a notice in the mail telling me that I had to come back to court on November 22nd. Yeah, you guessed it, that's tomorrow. But I wanted to fight it, especially since they lost my info. I had gotten a letter from some ambulance chaser like a week earlier and I decided that I would probably be best served by paying them the $75 (actually it's $125 now) instead of paying like $300 to the corrupt government. But I thought I would have to go to their offices and I've been putting off the meeting with them. So this past Friday as I left work, I thought about the date and, whoops! Court is on TUESDAY! I would have to go talk to the lawyers on Monday and that would again get me in trouble with my boss because I didn't let him know ahead of time, plus I would have court to go to. Meanwhile the body shop for my car would want me to pick up my car today and tomorrow I have an orthodontist appointment. I might as well not go into work at all. I'd be out of the office attending to personal matters more than I would be in the office actually working! But I had no choice.

So yesterday evening I decided the nap would do me good as it would allow me to wake up early and go to the body shop and get the court stuff out of the car so I could run over to the lawyer's office later in the morning. Well, I woke up around maybe 11:00 PM last night and wanted to see if I could find the lawyer's (THIRD) letter. I looked on my kitchen counter, but it wasn't there. I looked on the shelf over my bed. Not there. I thought it might be around my couch so I started to shuffle through the papers there and I took a step and kicked a glass, well, kicked is the wrong word. More like knocked a glass over with my foot. I heard it break and felt something like a bruise. It was like someone punched my big toe. Didn't feel like a cut at all. It didn't burn. It felt more like someone hit me with a small hammer. Wierd. But I knew what it was.

I immediately held my toe, prayed to God that it wouldn't be that bad, and hopped carefully (so as not to get blood on the carpet) to the bathroom. Well, you can imagine my suprise when I found out that God answered my prayer in the negative when I looked at my skin peeled away from the muscle. Yeesh, right? Yeah, sorry about the graphic text. Well, my heart was racing and I knew I would have to go to the hospital.

But it's moments like these that give you a break. The world shuts down and allows you to get yourself taken care of. It was truly a relief. I had so much to worry about before I cut myself, now I only had to worry about going to the hospital. So I told myself to calm down. Relax. Look for my first aid kit. Of course it's inside my car at the body shop. So I grab toilet paper and wrap it very messily.

But anyway, I actually calmed myself. It wasn't as difficult as you might think. I was pretty much okay. The cut didn't hurt too much so I was able to get dressed and I put on my sandals (yeah, it's cold outside too.) Oh, first I rewrapped the cut with some more neatly folded TP. Then I grabbed my keys and started to leave the apt, saw that I left my bathroom light on as well as my computer monitor and yes, I actually walked calmly to turn everything off. (We only have one planet you know, and I have TWO count 'em one, TWO! big toes.) Really, I wasn't in any danger, as long as I got to the emergency room fairly quickly.

Well, I got in the rental, kept it in 2nd gear (I hate this rental so bad so I am redlining it all the time.) ran a red light and made it to the hospital in like 3 minutes. It's only 4 minutes away so don't get all judgmental on me, you bastards. (Besides, you're more dangerous driving 85 on the freeway than someone who treats a red light like a stop sign.) I then drove into the handicapped parking lot, turned around and parked in the normal parking lot. I considered bringing in a book to read, decided against it, and hobbled to the check in desk. Had to sit down and fill out paperwork (sheesh) and was finally taken back by a nurse, Michelle.

Well, I was actually having a good time. I was joking with the nurses and asking them where they went to school and I told them that I teach dance. One of the nurses told me that she was at SSQQ Friday trying to sign up for Cumbia class. I didn't even know they had cumbia classes at SSQQ, but she said it was in Leisure Learning so there you go. I'll have to take the class some time. But I told her that I teach salsa and she said she goes out salsa dancing all the time. So I asked the nurse if she wanted to dance. She said no. Stuck up beech. LOL Anyway, the experience in the hospital was pretty great. Kind of fun. Oh, except for when the doctor gave me a shot in my foot. WOWEEEEE! I was so screaming. But I didn't cry. Heehee. After that it was mostly smooth sailing.

So now I'm on... uh... 50MG of tramadol and life is sooooo grrrrreat! Look at me I'm Tony the Tiger. Heheh. Oh, two big plusses. I got my tetanus shot, which I have been avoiding like for 15 years. And since I'm on antibiotics I should finally get my nasal infection cleared up. Oh sorry, TMI again, huh? Anyway, today when I woke up I found the lawyer's letter ON the couch (not beside it) haha! Of course. And I gave them a call. No office visit necessary and they are going to appear in court for me tomorrow.

God is so awesome isn't he? Really! Lately I've been feeling very down. I mean, look at my friends. Jorge, yeah he's a friend. Confided in me last week about a big life decision, but he's been acting very jerky to me lately. I wonder is it actually me that is being unfriendly? And there's Keith, who I haven't spoken to since after Rita hit. He didn't even invite me to stay over for the hurricane. Didn't worry about me at all. Is that a friend? So I've been wondering how much of a friend I have been, feeling like I'm not friendly and I'm not fun. I don't drink, I don't eat meat. I don't go out to pubs and I don't hit on strange women. Other guys at work disappear for lunch, and it's no wonder since all I do is sit there and listen to their conversations while I eat. So I've been feeling totally worthless lately. Then I had to go to the hospital for whatever reason, I actually became the real me: Fun, funny, and friendly, as I am getting stabbed with needless and stitched up like an old sock. And I was still concerned and respectful of the other patients. I am actually a great guy. So really, this wound has been a great experience. I love God and his mysterious ways.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The decline of the birthday.

I learned something this past week, the importance of celebrating one's birthday, especially in this me-centered world. I learned it because my birthday barely registered a blip on the radar screen. No one really cared. I got a total of 4 verbally expressed "happy birthday" wishes. The first two were from two girls I work with who have crushes on me. The second came over the phone from my Dad (who on Saturday came over to celebrate my birthday), and the last came VERY late at night from a good friend (who I also work with), long after I had become depressed. This wasn't a very good birthday for me. But it's not because few people cared, it's because ONE person didn't care. No birthday wish I received or did not receive mattered to me like the birthday wish I did NOT get from my girlfriend¹. She didn't even call. The only communication I got from her came at 10:00 pm over instant messenger, her favorite little word, "meow". I didn't respond. Maybe I should have. That was the last word between the two of us, so far. "Meow". It's my favorite word too, especially when it comes from her lips. I love it when she says this. She sounds just like Spongebob's little pet snail Gary. But because it was clear that she had forgotten my birthday, even after I reminded her a couple of days earlier, the word was a dagger in my heart. To her, it was just another day.

Her birthday wish was so important because she is so
VERY important. I have invested OH soo much in her. And she seems to have invested so little in me. She is very self-centered. I give so much to her every day of the year that this day had to be my vacation from her selfishness. And she chose to make this day the first day in which she would change her life. Earlier in the day she posted on her blog that she was changing her life. I didn't take it that she was dumping me. Even she wouldn't do that on my birthday. My first girlfriend already did that 20 years ago. This one had determined that she would be changing something about herself. She had forgotten my birthday even in the morning. She spent the whole day thinking of herself when it was MY day. I really needed to hear a "happy birthday" from her. I really needed a phone call from her at work. I really needed her to want to spend time with me that night. I really needed for her to give me a gift. Nothing big. I didn't care what, just something to tell me that I was important to her. The gesture was all I wanted. She's always told me that birthdays were not really celebrated in her family. Considering the personality of her family, I'm not at all suprised. They are each one of them extremely self-centered. And that is exactly why a birthday celebration from her would have been so special.

So I learned why a birthday wish is important or not important. The two girls that have a crush on me, I didn't care that they wanted me to have a happy birthday. There is nothing between us. The birthday wish was more important to them than it was to me. Maybe you think that I am too self-absorbed or something, but you see, THAT is what the birthday is all about.
The birthday is the ONE day of the year in which a person is ENCOURAGED to be selfish. And for good reason. It's important for SOCIETY for each of us to celebrate our birthday. It's a celebration of togetherness. It's the one day of the year that celebrates what we do for others. We spend all year long giving to other people. Even if we are selfish, we still give just by being alive. By simply having relationships at all, we give. So our birthday is the one chance for all of the people we serve throughout the year to say to us, "Thank you so much for being born. My life is better because of you. You are important to me. Sit back. Relax. Today it's YOUR turn to be selfish." You see birthdays are NOT about selfishness. They are about selfLESSness. They are a celebration of what we do for our fellow man. They are a celebration of our relationships with other people. If you don't have a relationship with someone, then the birthday wish isn't as special. But if you do have a strong relationship with someone, the birthday wish is EXTREMELY important, unless you are too self absorbed to appreciate that someone else cares for you.

In this "look out for 1" world, people forget the importance of the birthday because the modern world is so very selfish. At best a birthday is an excuse to party, often in the middle of the week. Again, the birthday is more important to the people throwing the party than to the person for which the birthday party is thrown. We don't care anymore, because the rest of the year we are so selfish. I hear a lot of people say things like, "we shouldn't celebrate birthdays because birthdays are about selfishness." Or "we should treat EVERY day as if it is someone's birthday." These people that say this make me laugh. EVERY day
IS a birthday for them. THEY are selfish every day. Of course a birthday isn't going to be important to them. It's just another day to THEM. But if you give every day, you need one day of the year to be just yours. And THAT is the reason the birthday is so important. It's not about selfishness. It's about people coming together to tell us that we are important to them. It's about US serving THEM. It's about people recognizing and appreciating that WE serve EACH OTHER. The birthday is about unity and community.

So the next time someone's birthday comes along, consider your relationship with them. Are they really important to you? Are you important to them? Do you want to continue having a relationship with them? If you do, then
you had BETTER celebrate their birthday.

¹ I call her this just for simplicity's sake. Though in fact, even though we haven't defined it, she really is (still) my girlfriend, whether she likes the term or not.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Whenever you have trouble with someone you love, you can either stop loving them, or you can love them a whole lot more.

-Paraphrase of Colonel Sherman Potter

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Truth

The Reason I want you
is that all the reasons we aren't together are lies,
           all the reasons we lost what we had are lies,
                the reason we could not believe are lies.

Truth didn't tear us apart. Circumstances did.
The Truth is that we convinced ourselves of the lie
 that the other wasn't who we wanted them to be.

Had we known the truth from the beginning...
 Had we believed each other
 and listened to the unsaid
 we would have known it

 that we would be together true
 and apart false.

And nothing would have kept us apart.
Because we are what we want us to be.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

WANT, but do not HAVE.

A healthy premarital relationship is composed of two people who WANT each other, but know that they do not HAVE each other.

If a person HAS another, then they take the other for granted. If they WANT the other, then they work at the relationship. If only one wants and the other has, then the relationship is unbalanced. Work at wanting and never think that you have someone. Because the moment you believe you have them, that's the moment you won't anymore. And then you'll want them all the more.

This is also applicable to pre-marital sex. The foundation of your life-long relationship should be built on desire, not lust. It needs to be built on WANTING the other not HAVING the other.

Of course once you exchange vows, it all changes.  But you still must be careful to keep from taking each other for granted.