Friday, May 25, 2012

Gentlemen, Don't be Lame- A Gift Guide for Men

I have been inspired to help guys buy gifts for their ladies. Now, I'm sure not all men out there are lame gift givers, but we do have a few that have trouble remembering and getting gifts for their women. Now, sometimes it is because you are just plain forgetful, some of you may not really care, others may be super cheap or broke, while others may actually just be plain clueless.

Men should know that a lot of women are thinking about what to get you for your anniversary on the first date. Yes, it is kind of creepy, but women are just built differently. If you click they generally have hope. If you end up being a scum bag loser - well, depending on who you hurt you might want to disappear for a few years. Just so you know, women have long long memories. While women have more than likely purchased gifts for men months ahead of time, most men procrastinate until the very last minute.

Idea 1: Get a Clue
If a woman is looking at something and says, "Oh, that's nice." Or if she shows you something and says, "Don't you think that would look good on me?" Those are pretty much anvil on the head hints. Take note. Don't just nod as you think about the women in the short skirt walking by or on television, or just grunt as you play your video game. Let that little light bulb turn on above your head and take a note. You may have just given yourself kudos for the next year that could possibly get you out of being nagged for at least three weeks. That's practically a mind vacation. Take advantage of it.

My suggestion: Buy it right away so you don't forget. Hide it when it comes in. If it is in super early, don't worry. Even if you forgot you purchased it once she says, "You didn't get me anything?" You may actually remember and be able to say, "I did! I've had it for a while." Then you can go get it and have an evening of mind boggling sex. (Sex is not guaranteed here. It's just something that I assume may happen. I claim no responsibility in your mate's willingness to comply.)

You don't have money? No worries. The next steps will help you with free to practically free gift ideas.

Idea 2: Flower Power
Flowers for women have been the old standard. Men have used cut flowers for years to impress their dates, whether they marry them or not. Along with them sometimes came a box of chocolate. Now, if you have been married for a long period of time just the flower may be enough. But be warned. DO NOT GIVE FLOWERS IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVING THEM AS GUILT GIFTS. Never give a guilt gift as a regular gift. She will be wondering all night long and those stares will not be stares of appreciation. They could be stares of concentration on how to commit the perfect murder. Believe me, women can be dangerous.

Now for the cheapskates out there that don't have $50 or more to spend on the wife you can always get a small bouquet at grocery stores. These range around $5 - $15. For most women size doesn't matter - when it comes to flowers. It's the thought. And for those that usually don't have anything to show for them except a smile and an expectation that you're allowing her to have your body for the evening is enough - believe me, she'll be shocked and thrilled.

For those that are not willing to or just have no desire to even fork out that little bit of money (and I'm not judging - much,) you still have floral options. Check in the dumpsters behind your local flower shops or stop along the road and take advantage of mother nature. Just a small hint from someone on the receiving end of such a gift - look out for bugs. You may need to wash them first.

Idea 3: The Power of Poetry

Now here I am assuming that your lady has seen something in you at some point and time. Perhaps you have convinced her that you do indeed have at least one romantic bone in your body - and the "boner" does not count here, gentlemen. Poetic and pornographic are not synonyms.

Write her a little verse of poetry. If you have to resort to the "Roses or Red" version, perhaps you should go back to Idea number 2 or refer to the Idea number 4. Now, poetry does not have to rhyme. You just put down a few thoughts and feelings. This is a very romantic gift for a woman, and something she will treasure.

Perhaps poetry is a bit out of your league. Writing her a letter is just as good. It's something she can refer back to when she has those moments of time when she wonders why she is with you in the first place. Just remember to make it heartfelt and avoid words such as burp, fart, and any words that substitute for other bodily functions. Keep it heart felt.

Still at a loss for words, try this site: It has a form where you can fill in the blanks. You may not even need a spell checker this way.

Idea 4: Women Love Coupons

Women love saving money, buying things on sale, and saving time. Make a coupon book for her. My husband made one for me one Christmas and I cried. It showed that he actually took time out and thought of me. For me that was the greatest gift ever!

Now what to put in the coupon book is the question. Do not put anything in there that she has to do for you. Avoid things like, "This coupon requires me to come home an hour early from the bar," or "This coupon means that you will make me breakfast on just Sunday instead of Saturday and Sunday." Be a bit more thoughtful. Try things such as, "This coupon entitle you breakfast in bed." The expectation here is, of course, that you will bring it for her and not that she can make it and eat it in bed.

Avoid putting down things that you have no intention of doing. It won't be as thoughtful a gift if you just wrote it out to make her happy for that night. Follow through is actually expected.

The plus side of this gift is that it shows her that you care, that you are willing to help out, and it's free. Who doesn't love a bargain?

Okay, now that you have the gift ideas in place just remember the date! You will want gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas at the very least. If you can remember Valentine's Day that is a bonus. (And you can actually just buy some of those corny candy hearts and she'll be thrilled.)

Put a message on your phone, on your computer, and perhaps even have a friend or relative call you with a reminder. Don't procrastinate and wait until the last minute because you may be empty handed yet again and find your name permanently above the dog house door.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Be Gay or Not to Be Gay - Is that the Question?

I was reading an article on MSNBC about an underground and anonymous gay group at Biola University who want to be heard but not seen. They would like to debate being Christian and Gay and look to change the college's ideas about homosexuality. In one sentence they say that they love the university and support it, while on the other hand they place flyers and launch a website stating: "We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola's students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola's diversity."

Now, with that said, I am not God and therefore cannot declare if a person is Christian or not Christian. It is not my place to judge someone. I do well to keep my own affairs in order. In my personal opinion we should support one another even if we do not agree with one another. I honestly don't think we fall in love with a sex - we fall in love with a person (except those few people that fall in love with appliances, furniture, and shoes, but that's something I may never understand anyway.) But in the same regard, I respect a private organizations right to have their own doctrine and belief system. For instance, if a Church does not like the fact that I have  foresight into people and am "psychic" and feel that it comes from Satan and not God I am pretty sure that Church is not for me. I'm not going to launch a campaign in order to get them to change their doctrine. I have better things to do than be emotionally crucified by people. I also do not want to shake the faith of someone gaining some type of comfort in this life. It is not my place.

On this same token these people fear that they will be expelled if they come out of the Biola closet. Honestly, I don't know how they can enjoy time there, being Christian, and living a lie. How is that loving where they are when they have to hide who they are? I find that heart rendering. Surely there are places that would accept them.

Many years ago when I lived in Tulsa, OK, still very much in the Bible Belt, and long before all the news attention of today - there was a Gay and Lesbian Christian Church. These insightful people lived as Christians and were out of the closet. Now this was even when coming out was not as socially acceptable, and yet they did. They welcomed everyone into their Church to worship with them. It didn't matter what color you were, what your sexual orientation was, or even if you had holes where God didn't expect people to ever want a hole. The idea here was to just worship and love one another. 

I understand wanting equal rights politically and for the government to stay out of the business of marriage. It is, after all, a religious union more than anything. Therefore, if a Church or religion will support a union that is all that should be necessary. But, expecting a church or organization to change their entire doctrine is not the same thing. Forcing someone to swallow what they have believed all their lives will only cause them to dig in their heels and stand firm leaving a bad taste in their mouths and knocking a cause further down. 

In my humble opinion, which is worth about ten cents with today's inflation, these Biola students should stand together. They should unite and not be afraid. They entered a school they knew would not accept them with the expectation that the school should change to suit them. That isn't the way things work. Hiding and causing discord isn't showing respect and love. 

I would suggest that if you are Christian, Gay, and Proud (yes, I deliberately capitalized those words,) you should go somewhere you can be supported and be happy. This website might help you

Not that anyone asked, but I believe each of our spiritual lives and paths are very personal. I would prefer to be somewhere I was accepted. If you believe in the basic fact of "God is Love" you should also realize that love is not discord. Plus, showing that you can live happily without being smitten, struck by a bolt of lightening, or otherwise possessed by demons might be the perfect way to prove your point.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teenagers are our future... Really?

We all grew up thinking about teenage angst. We may have even done some rather stupid and crazy things growing up. Shhh...we don't want to talk about that - that was so long ago.
Honestly, I was  a really good kid growing up. However, I wasn't perfect. One time my parents were out and I had a few friends over. We hit the liquor cabinet. In order that they wouldn't know we took anything I made a mixture of different liquors and placed them in our soda of choice - easy choice really since we only had one soda available - rootbeer. What came out was something between castor oil and cough syrup. It was not at all good. Nonetheless we drank it. It was potent. It was so potent I threw up.
My friends went home. One mother found out he had been drinking and gave him the third degree. He told her the truth. She called him a liar. After all, I was a the good child. I would never do anything wrong.
Okay, so mixing liquor today seems rather mild. A lot of kids drink. A lot of kids do more than just drink. If, when I was a teenager, it was unheard of to have my nose or my nipple pierced. I would never have wanted to do that anyway. But it's not what you do with your body or how you look that really defines a person. What defines us as people, even teenagers, is how we do things and how we react to things. Looking around at today's teenagers can be very scary. They are our future?
Today I got a call from a teenage girl. She had driven about 120 miles in a car to take a friend to meet a boy that just got out of prison. Her car was not running well. Half the time they were afraid she wouldn't be able to make it across town. She has no job. She has no money. Her father gives her an allowance on a prepaid credit card. The girl she was taking didn't care if the car was running. She didn't offer any money to help her pay for the trip. Between the two of them they literally had $5 and a broken car.
Here is how the conversation went:
"Pasty, my mom gave me your number. I'm in trouble and I need help," says the girl. "I'm stuck in Milwaukee. My car broke down. I think it overheated."
"Did you put fluid in it and try to start it?" I asked.
"Yes," she said, but it wouldn't start.
"What is it doing?" I ask.
"I don't know," she answered. "It's 27 miles from me right now. I left it on the highway. I hitchhiked to where I am now."
"You hitchhiked and left your car?" I asked, thinking to myself that she shouldn't have just left her car on the highway. There are things that could have been done if she had stayed with the vehicle. But okay. That's not an option now. Let's move on.
"I need you to come and get me," she said.
"I don't have a car to come and get you," I answer. "My car is in the shop."
"What about your other car?" She asks.
"I don't have a car."
"Where is your car?"
"Okay, listen, I don't have a car to come and get you. How much money do you have?" I ask.
"I don't have any money. I brought a friend down here."
"How much money does your friend have?" I ask.
"I don't know. Let me put her on the phone," she responds.
"Hi. I was just asking how much money you have so that we can see what you guys can do to get home," I say.
"I have $5," she responds.
"You guys went to Milwaukee with an iffy car and only took $5?" I start laughing.
"Hey, I don't know who you are, but I don't need you laughing at me!" She hands the phone back to the teenage girl.
"You went to Milwaukee in your car that you knew wasn't running well and you only had $5 between you?" I asked her.
"Yeah. She said. Can you get a friend of yours to come and get us?" she asks.
"I don't know of a friend that wants to drive 100 miles or more to pick up two people they have never met for only $5," I say.
"What about your car?" she asks again.
"I don't have a car." I respond.
"Hold on." I hear a shuffle. Then some man gets on the phone.
"Hello?" he starts. "You should come down here and pick us up."
I'm laughing. This is getting ridiculous. "I don't have a car," I say. "It's in the shop."
Now I'm thinking, two of these people I don't even know. Have never met them before in my life. They think that because I know the girl that took them there I'm obligated somehow. Nice.
"Well," he says, "Go take it out of the shop and come down here."
I'm laughing harder now. I can't help myself.
"Wait a minute," I respond. "First off, even if I did take my car out of the shop it wouldn't make it down there, and if, by some miracle, it did all you would have is another person stranded with you. So, no. I won't do that."
"Okay," he says. "What do you want us to do?"
Now this is my problem? Seriously?
"You are telling me that you had those two girls come down there in a car that they knew didn't run well with only $5 between them and now you expect someone else to run down there and rescue all of you? Well, I don't have a car. I don't know anyone that would come down and pick up three strangers for only $5 to drive them more than 120 miles. I'm sorry."
"Well, yeah," he says, "Okay."
I call the girls mother and find out they had been there since last night. The teenage girl's father knew already.  He didn't go get her. None of her relatives had gone to get her. Now, being the type of person I am I priced a Greyhound ticket. It would cost them each less than $20 to get back to Green Bay.
A few things dawned on me about this particular incident:
1.  A real friend wouldn't ask you to drive in a breaking car to go and meet a guy with no consideration or plan.
2. An intelligent plan was not thought out. After all, she could have called and sold the car for some cash - $100-$300 depending - and asked for a ride to the bus station. Now her car was probably towed by the city having been left for hours on the highway. Instead she will get a $350 towing and storage bill.
3. She had no ideas of her own or any viable way to help herself. She wanted to be rescued, and her friends were not coming up with any relatives, friends, or plans of their own. They were expecting her to fix it since she drove.
Not all teenagers are like this. I know for a fact that my teenage son would never have agreed to drive down there with a bad car and no money. He wouldn't be afraid to tell a friend no, and if that friend got hateful he would have the sense enough to realize this wasn't a true friend. My son is very secure in himself.
Many teenagers are not so self-assured. They think that being liked and popular is the most important thing in life. If they don't have a social life they don't have a life. This is so untrue and unfair to them. Simple facts of relationships have been lost on today's youth.