Marriage, the poem

Marriage is a delicate dance of give and take
It’s more than finding a suitable mate
It’s love
It’s friendship
It’s work
It’s silence
It’s talking
It’s thinking
It’s taking a walk
It’s not ridicule
It’s not selfish
It’s not all about you
It’s sharing
It’s laughing
It’s crying sometimes
It may create frustration
or anger
but it’s also forgiveness
Marriage is commitment
It’s prayer
It’s I really like you
It’s work
It’s play
It’s not just today
It’s a future
It’s them
It’s together
It’s worth it

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When I grow up I want to drive a…

The other day I was driving on home on the highway and looked over at the person next to me. It was man driving a minivan. I had a funny thought. When he was a little boy and pretending to drive on two wheels around a curve or when he asked for a remote control car, or when he looked at cars on the road and dreamed of sitting behind one of those cars, did he pretend it was a minivan?

When I was married, we had a minivan. I understand the logic. We had four children and two of them are only 15 months a part. It makes sense when you are taking road trips or need to walk to the back of the car to get to a crying baby. We carried double strollers, baseball bags, soccer balls and lots of groceries to feed the Fantastic 4. We needed the space and the convenience.

What that gentleman represented to me was family, sacrifice, love and selflessness.

If you currently drive a minivan, drove a minivan in the past or are contemplating driving one in the future. I salute you. It takes a real man to lay aside his dream car for a practical car in order to make sure his family is safe and comfortable.

Decoding women speak

I’m not willing to speak for all women everywhere. I will, however, speak for some women somewhere. Communication is the key to good relationships. We keep hearing this over and over and over again. If communicating was that easy, we would have it down by now. There are books, and videos, seminars and webinars degrees and professions all focused on communicating effectively.

I’m not charging for this. I am providing free advice on decoding how some women speak and what she means when she says some things.

First and foremost, if she asks you to do something she wants it done right now. More than likely she thought it should have been done days ago but she was waiting on you to take the initiative and get it done. But you walked past the overflowing trash can, the pile of clothes, the sink full of dishes and the dirty car among a long list of other things. Since it appears that you can’t see the obvious, she has no choice but to ask you. Highlight this part, she wants you to do it now. Right now! Not later, definitely not tomorrow and if you wait until next week expect to sleep next to flannels. The exceptions to this are if she gives you a specific date, “will you do this tomorrow?”

If asked what you are doing later, this can be interpreted in one of two ways depending on if you are single or married. If you are single, it means she is free and you should ask her out on a date. If you are married, there is probably a honey do list coming next.

I don’t feel the need to address the, “do I look fat” or “does this make me look fat”, the answer is always an immediate no. Not to quick because then she will think you are lying but without too long of a pause cause that makes it seem as though you are contemplating. You never contemplate the fat questions.

If you are having a discussion and she says, “fine”, just know it’s not fine but she’s just tired of talking about it right now. She is putting a pin in it and will bring it back up later. Trust me on that one.

When she says she’s tired and has had a long day, that means I’m not cooking or preparing a meal. You are on your own. If you want to earn some points, have a meal prepared and rub her back. Do not rub her back with any ulterior motives. Just rub her back because you care.

If she says anything that ends in again then you should rethink what you just said. Are we going there again? Are you watching football again? Are we eating there again? Are you wearing that again?

Here is a pop quiz. What does she mean when she says she has nothing to wear?
If you guessed all of her friends or the group you are hanging with have already seen the clothes she is considering, you are correct. It doesn’t matter if she has a closet full of clothes and some with the tags on them. She wants something new. You can get away with wearing the same khakis and white shirt. She cannot wear the same dress over and over again. She just can’t. It’s in the women’s handbook that you don’t know exists.

If you take my advice on one thing, let it be the one about doing what she asks immediately. She will appreciate you for the next 5 hours. You know you need to renew her gratefulness on a regular basis. If you do several things at one time, they all expire at the same time. They do not roll over nor can you use them in succession.

Consider yourself in the know.

The cowardly lion

I am not sure who to give credit to for the picture.

I am not sure who to give credit to for the picture. From the Wizard of Oz.

I hope at some point in time you have seen the Wizard of Oz. If not, please add it to your list of movies to see. My focus is on the cowardly lion. We know is nature, the lion represents the king of beasts. He is supposed to be the big man on campus. He gets the big piece of chicken. He gets the honor at the head of the table because of his courage and willingness to sacrifice his life for his pride. At any point during the day, he could run into another lion who wants to challenge him and take over his pride. His job is take on the challenge and win. The lion has a sense of duty, honor and country (pride) that seems to be missing today in some.
I have a friend who graduated from West Point many moons ago. I had the privilege of attending the ceremony. I remember seeing the words Duty, Honor, Country and they were forever engrained in my memory. At West Point they are holding to a tradition that used to be common in our households.

Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Duty- expected by moral or legal obligation, action or task required by a person’s position, an act or expression of respect
Honor- honesty, fairness or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions
Country (pride or family)- state, nation, land of one’s birth (taking creative liberty- the people you have promised to love, honor and respect or who you should feel an obligation towards due to their status in your life)
Back to the Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion was going to see the wizard because he lacked courage. He doesn’t stand up when he’s afraid, he cowers and hides. We all have time in our lives when we want to run and hide. But, I am saying to you don’t give in to the fear, especially when it comes to your country (pride or family and your really good friends). Face the situation head on, dig deep within you and give out the biggest roar you can muster. If that doesn’t work, let the battle ensue. But, it’s better to stand for and represent duty, honor and country than to cower and run. The battle doesn’t have to be a physical battle. It may be a mental, verbal or prayerful battle. The battle is not always against someONE it could be someTHING.
(Spoiler alert!)As they discovered at the end of the journey to Oz, it was always there. He always had courage, he just didn’t recognize it in himself. Recognize the courage in yourself. Be ready to take a stand when it’s required. Other wise, enjoy the big piece of chicken you earned because you are proven and willing.

Sacrificial Love

I was talking to someone and they were saying they believe love is measured in sacrifice, the more you sacrifice the more you love and the more you love the more you will sacrifice. I am not sure that I completely¬†agree with that thought. Sacrifice alone is not enough. If your words and actions don’t align with your sacrifice then you still end up at zero.

Does love spill over from one day to the other? Is love renewed and proven on a daily basis?

When I was married I honestly thought if I said I love you today then you should just assume I still love you tomorrow unless I said something different. I now realize some people need more. There is nothing wrong with showing, saying and sacrificing on a daily basis to confirm your commitment and love to those in your life.

There really is not a greater love than to lay down you life, agenda, pride, fear, guilt, preferences or plans for another.

A little bit of love goes a long way. I little bit of inconsideration goes further. Forgiveness bridges the gap between the two.

Do you remember?

Do you remember the song that was playing during your first slow dance? This is not mine but I like this song. I will just listen to this as I try to think back to the seventh grade dance. I wore a pink dress with a white lace collar. I went alone because I was too young to date although I did like somebody. I can’t say we really slow danced as much as stood close to each other and moved in sync to the music. Yes I know this song is more appropriate for a wedding but I’m not reflecting on that memory at this moment.
Take it away Randy!

Dating Advice

* Make sure his or her dream is bigger than your reality.
* Clingy may be cute early on but not so much years later.
* Love is a four letter word that deserves its own category.
* If you are making excuses for their behavior early on, back away slowly then run.
* Take your time to get to know each other.
* Chemistry is a class you take.
* Believe what they say and do.
* Expectations are not a bad thing.
* Show the day to day you early on.