All that glitters…

In 1848 the California gold rush was born. For every precious metal or jewel, there is either a man-made or nature made duplicate. In the case of the gold rush, there was fool’s gold. Now, to the amateur and inexperienced people fools gold looked real. But the people who understood the qualities of real gold or who had been deceived by fool’s gold or who simply did their research knew the difference. The difference, once you knew, was unmistakable. Real gold is soft, it doesn’t smell like sulfur, the colors were different and the gold could be cut or bitten into without breaking your teeth whereas fool’s gold is brittle and hard.

In 1995, 147 years after the California gold rush, the online dating rush began. I have heard of some success stories in this arena I have also heard from both men and women the difficulties. The challenge is determining what is foolishness versus what is genuine. I joined a site after a friend told me I need to start dating again. I had a few dates but nothing to brag about. I mostly had a lot of laughs at the foolishness. I eventually let my membership run out. Then six months later a different friend suggested I rejoin. Why do I keep listening to these people? I don’t know but I did.

This time around has been a little better but again, lots of phonies, posers, pretenders, fake people and fool’s gold. If a guy says he is 5’11 I don’t expect to be eye to eye with him if I have on 2 inch heels. (I’m 5’6) You may be thinking, that’s not a big deal, guys tend to round-up to the next whole inch. It is a big deal. If you would fudge on your height, what else are you fudging on? One guy had a picture posted that was 10 years old. The date was on the picture. Come one…really? Other’s say they are single when they are actually married and yet others say they like going out and experiencing new things but when you talk, they rant about the price of a glass of wine at a restaurant.

The premise of this particular site is you fill out a profile about your self, height, age, body type, ethnicity, religion etc. They you write a mini biography about yourself. This is where you sell yourself to who ever is searching or checking you our in their daily list of people. In this mini bio, people list their best qualities and characteristics. I’m guessing this is the stuff their mother’s tell them or maybe something they would have seen in a movie. Some are witty, some are straight forward and some are blah. The real test comes during conversation or on that first date. This is when you determine if you have the real thing or not. Some people can pretend for a while but eventually they show themselves. I have found that after a conversation or two I can smell the sulfur.

Recently one guy looked really good on paper. He was saying the right things but there was something not quite right. He was saying too many of the right things. He was saying things that most guys don’t say after a few years of marriage let alone after a few conversations. Because I had a suspicion, I googled him only to realize a lot of what he said was lies. Gotta love (or hate) the internet.

Nonetheless, I am still on the site and weeding through the foolishness or at least having a hearty laugh with my girlfriends. I am glad that I am just cynical enough not to believe everything I am told but hopeful enough to believe I will find real gold one day or I will write one heck of a book. In the mean time, I will keep an eye out for the fool’s gold.

I am jealous

I have finally decided to admit to myself and anybody who cares to read this, I am jealous of men. I’m not jealous enough to try to become one but I am jealous enough to be a bit envious and well, jealous. Why you ask? Why am I jealous of men? I will tell you it has nothing to do with salaries. It does have everything to do with almost everything else.
First of all, they get to carry wallets. I know they sometimes stuff them full of things but all in all, it’s a wallet. Not the big satchels the stores make for women. Yes, I know there are small handbags and I have started carrying those. But even that begins to weigh down my shoulder. So just go get a wallet then, you might be thinking. Most of my pants and skirts don’t have pockets. Even the clothing industry is in on me not carrying a wallet.
Men don’t ever have to worry whether or not a pair of jeans or a dress makes their butt look big. You will never hear them ask if this swimsuit makes their thighs look big or if the shirt makes them look five months pregnant. Never! Beer bellies are fashionable for men.
Men don’t have girdles, push up bras, corsets or any of those other gadgets women squeeze in to hide their perceived flaws in their bodies. They don’t walk around sucking in their stomachs and clinching their gluteus maxiumus to give the illusion of smallness or tautness.
Men don’t look at and then judge other men. If you walk into a room of women, you will be scoped from head to toe and back up. Somebody will comment on your hair, clothes or shoes. Men don’t say look how his pants fit or can you believe he wore that shirt with those shoes? Women make it hard on other women.
Speaking of shoes, a man’s shoes will last for years, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of loafers. The quality of men’s shoes is better. Women are provided impractical shoes that will only last a couple of fashion seasons. But then, who would dare wear the same shoe for more than one season? I do but hey I have four kids and will only allow the pressures of the fashion industry control me to a point.
Men can sit down on the weekend and zone out watching or participating in their favorite activity. Women are still working on the weekends. We don’t get off the clock until we go to sleep.
Men don’t have to worry about their hair. Now I know there are some exceptions but for the most part, their morning routines don’t include curlers, flat irons, rollers, scarves, shower caps, gels, hair sprays or moisturizer.
Speaking of morning routines, men don’t feel the need to wear makeup. How did they get off not wearing makeup? Do you know what some people pay for lipstick and eyeliner? Who invented makeup anyway. Why is a man’s natural handsomeness fine but a woman’s natural beauty needs tweaking? I don’t understand.
Yes, I am jealous. I wish I could get away with a beer belly, no make up, a buzz cut and shoes that don’t coordinate with my outfit. But if I did that, a gaggle of women would cut me down and make me feel like nothing or worse.

Speaking of Education

I have just complete classes 5 and 6 towards my master’s degree. I have six more classes to go. I have never had a concern about my education. I always knew I would go to college. My dream was to attend law school and become a Supreme Court Justice. I distinctly remember standing on the porch of our house looking out over the horizon and having this thought. I was in the second grade. A lot of things have deterred me from that path but the desire is still in my heart.
I grew up and attended schools in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). I was always highly motivated to study and learn. We had Talented and Gifted (TAG) classes for kids like me. We left the regular classroom to meet in a different class to work on more advanced lessons. Looking back, I don’t know that we learned anything the rest of the class couldn’t have learned but I’m thankful for the experience. My elementary school teacher recommended I attend a TAG school within the district for junior high school students. That didn’t workout for many reasons. I was accepted to Law Magnet for high school. For many reason, I did not attend. Immaturity will cause you to make poor decisions.
I went to college, earned and bachelors degree and was accepted to a Master’s program at that same school. I didn’t attend. I moved back home.
Fast forward to today. I am in the process of achieving a goal of getting a Master’s degree.
When I look back on my education, I was never in a panicky state over whether or not I would have the opportunity to attend school. I never had to wonder if my school doors would be locked and all the teachers laid off. I never had to wonder what would happen if my school district could not afford to buy me a diploma or what they had done with the funds for my cap and gown. This story not only breaks my heart, it also raises some concerns.
What is going on with the educational system in some of our cities? Please note I said some. I know there are some fabulous schools out there. The ones my children attend are included in that number. My youngest attend a charter school and the oldest attends our local school. I appreciate the ability to have several options available for students in my state. We have the standard local and private but we also have a good selection of charter and a number of my friends home school.
I never had to worry about my quality of education. I don’t worry about the education my children receive. They attend a great school with manageable class sizes. The teachers care. The teacher’s talk to each other about the best way to handle the students. I know because the Little Dude who is in second grade still gets to visit his kindergarten teacher when he is having a hard day. She loves on him, talks to him, encourages him and sends him back to class. We love her! She referred to my youngest three as her personal fan club. She couldn’t be more right.
Back on topic. Not everybody has the educational opportunities we have. I don’t know what I would do if I had to enter a lottery or if I felt the need to lie about my address or if I just felt hopeless and helpless to do anything about the education my children were receiving. Reading stories and seeing movies/documentaries about children and their families wanting better but being caught up in other’s agendas and power struggles is appalling to me.
No Child Left Behind? That’s an untrue statement. There are lots of children being left behind. I am not even hinting at the government getting involved. I don’t think we need more of that. We do need more understanding of what is going on with our educational systems that are not working and figure out what’s happening.
I hear a lot of blame on the teachers. Their classrooms are crowded and full of kids who either think they are the class prince or princess or who are bullies and everything in between. Teachers are not miracle workers. They are humans who are undervalued and blamed.
I keep thinking about Laura Ingalls as a teenage teacher. Yes, I am referring to a tv show. What happened to the one room school-house where the students were taught the basics? The good old days.
I don’t have the answers to my many questions. I want to understand why we are falling behind. I want to understand why some of the teenage young men I know are uninterested in school. What is the disconnect for them? Why do young ladies start falling behind in science and math?
I am passionate about education. I want the best schools for my children. Who doesn’t? What do you do when the best is not available to you. What do you do when sub par is all that is available? What do you do when your child’s name is not pulled in the lottery and you can’t afford private school? What do you do?


When you think of your mother I hope you have fond memories. If you don’t, I pray you can find some peace. Mom is a title given to another human. We are not without fault or flaws. We make mistakes, we say things we don’t mean. Being a mom comes with a lot of responsibility. Some of us see motherhood as an honor. Some of us see it as a duty. Some, sadly, see it as a burden.
I understand some things seem impossible to surpass. Forgiveness doesn’t mean acceptance. It just means you have chosen to be free from anger, resentment and judgment.
Celebrate the life that gave you life. Please know your mom could have made a different choice. She saw you as valuable enough to go through up to 40 weeks of tiredness, sickness, weight gain, uncertainty, hope, joy, and love. Celebrate this day with a kind word or thought of the woman who birthed you.

A Country Mile

I would walk a country mile just to see your smiling face
I would walk the dusty road in my Sunday best
I would walk in the early morning and back again at noon
I would walk in the mid afternoon sun
As I walk my thought would be of you
I would walk by moonlight or candle light
I’d walk that lonely mile, I would
I’d risk dirt storms and lonely minutes
A county mile might take a while unlike but you are worth the time
Unlike a city mile, the only sites are dirt and grass a few houses in between
On my journey I would replay the last time I took this stroll
Remembering how you eyes light up and the warm embrace you give
I will walk this country mile until all I have to do is walk in the other room