A Woman’s Virtue

Back in March, there was a report of a young man who was shot and killed while standing in a female’s bedroom. This was the bedroom of the shooter’s daughter. The father asked a couple of questions, the young man reached for something, the father shot him. When she was initially questioned by her father, the daughter said she did not know the young man.
Deep sigh.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/03/13/houston-dad-fatally-shoots-teen-inside-daughters-room-report-says/

When I first saw this article I pulled my oldest two children aside and spoke to them about a woman’s (female’s) virtue. The Teenager was 14 and Honeygirl was 11. This article broke my heart for all involved but created an opportunity for some real conversations between them and me.

I told them what happened according to the article. Then I went on to explain a woman’s virtue. You see, a woman, girl, female will do or say anything to protect her perceived virtue. She will lie, deny, accuse or blame if needed.

Right around this time, the Teenager had done something immature to one of his female friends. He unknowingly embarrassed her in front of her mother and siblings. She quit speaking to him after that incident. We talked through the scenario and I explained his missteps. He created an awkward moment for her in front of her family. Her virtue wasn’t at stake but it was a good lead in to our conversation. She may have reacted differently if her family hadn’t been there but they were.

During our conversation about a woman’s virtue I said, it is your job not to put yourself in a position with a girl when afterwards, she has to lie, is embarrassed or feels ashamed. In secret, she may allow you to do anything to her but when people find out, she will feel the need to protect her virtue. She will choose her virtue over you going to jail or losing your life. Most girls don’t want anybody to know they go all the way or even part of the way, especially not their dad. My advice to my son, if you can’t walk through the front door of her house, don’t go. If you need to wait until her parents are asleep to meet up with her, don’t go. Now I understand getting caught up in the moment and the excitement that goes along with being invited into a girl’s room. I get it. But understand the risks. It’s not worth being accused of rape, breaking and entering, and it’s not worth your future for a moment of pleasure. I also advised him not to kiss and tell. Let her keep her perceived virtue.

To my daughter I said, don’t lie. Own your actions and decisions. If you don’t want anybody else to know, don’t commit the action then there is nothing to tell. I explained the ramifications of a lie to a young man’s life and his future.

I would love to have my children remain pure until marriage but just in case the offer is too good to turn down, I want them to understand the consequences. It could be a matter of life or death.

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First Date Do’s and Don’ts

I met this guy a few months ago. We’ve talked and texted since then but due to our schedules and let’s face it, lack of any real effort we went out for the first time recently. After I write this article I really should write one that helps you determine if the person is date worthy.
I’m not new to dating. I’ve had several first dates that never led to a second date. I’m not a serial dater but I consider my time valuable and can’t see spending hours with a person I never want to see again, because they seem nice but have no substance or are self-absorbed. First dates can be awkward. But there are things you can do to lessen the awkwardness and increase the chances of there being a second date.

Shall we number these? Sure, why not?

1. Resist the urge stare at your date – seems like a no brainer right? If it wasn’t occurring I wouldn’t add it to my list. My last two dates sat across from me and stared. One with the intention of making me uncomfortable. He was trying to, “see my soul through my eyes.” It reminded me of staring contests I would get into with my honeygirl when she was a toddler. She had uncanny ability to not blink. I always lost therefore I never accepted that particular challenge from anybody else. What’s the point anyway? Heck, I like blinking. The other person was much more smooth with his staring and even gave me a line upfront, “I’m not staring, I’m observing.” Call it what you want it still results in making your date uncomfortable.

2. If you are going to insist on the other person selecting the place then don’t complain or worse wait until you get to the restaurant to let them know how much you dislike their selection. “Why didn’t you say something two hours ago when I made the suggestion?” ” I didn’t want to offend you.” I can fully appreciate not wanting to offend someone, irritating them is a much better option.

3. Allow the other person to talk. I know you and your life are fascinating but there’s something so engaging about dialogue. If you don’t ruin the first date you might get a second one and can use that date to tell the other person how smart, talented and wonderful you are.

4. Keep your assets to yourself. I’m not using that as a metaphor. Unless you are looking for a gold digger it’s not necessary to list all of your assets on the first date. I understand you want to appear successful but unless you are giving out one of your many houses or putting my name on your large bank account, I honestly don’t care.

5. Don’t talk about your ex. I had one guy insist on taking me out for my birthday as our first date. He spent an hour ranting about his ex whom he had been divorced from for three years. Another one actually called his ex and the mother of his children a bitch. If you will call her a name what’s to keep you from calling me one? We aren’t friends and I’m not your confidante. Get over your ex or at the very least don’t disrepect them in front of your date.

6. Be yourself but not all of yourself. Save the revelation of fetishes, quirks and anything else that may abruptly end the potential relationship until the third date. Those things may seem charming and eclectic instead of weird and strange by then.

7. Hold off on the selfies or usies. I don’t like the thought of my face being plastered all over someone’s social media outlets. Call me old-fashioned. Let’s add, don’t take unauthorized photos either. One of my friends mentioned something about a guy taking pictures of her toe cleavage without asking her and it was on the first date. Had he waited to reveal his foot fetish until the third date who knows what could have happened between them.

8. Be “normal”- Use your active listening skills. Make brief eye contact, smile and even laugh a little.

9. Enjoy the silence. Every moment of a date doesn’t have to be filled with conversation. It may seem awkward at first but give it a try. This is not an opportunity to manipulate or intimidate the other person. “I’m going be quiet and stare at you until you talk.” It’s givng an opportunity to chew your food, enjoy the music or think about something intriguing you just said.

If you have any others to add feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks for stopping by.

She called him Pookie

She went on dates with one or two

Yet others she only spoke to on the phone

She referred to them as sweetheart 

Their names escaped her memory

She was only humoring them not really interested

Then she met him, if you want to call it that

They knew each from around the way

Sharing mutual friends and memories of days gone by

He was different 

So, she called him Pookie

Saying the name made her smile

Talking to him made her laugh

He wasn’t just another name to forget

She knew his first, middle and last

She could have referred to him as one of those

But instead, she called him Pookie

It didn’t fit him at all but that didn’t matter

What do you call a strong man?

How do you refer to a man with a heart of gold?

Which word describes a man of integrity?

She couldn’t think of one single word that adequately described him

So, she called him Pookie

 

 

Excerpt from, A Real Life Drama

She was excited. He hadn’t asked her to go on a date in a while. Then, out of the blue, he asked her. Of course she said yes. It had been a long time since the two of them had spent time alone. They usually did everything as a family. He was big on family time. But he wanted to have dinner with her, alone. He was very casual in his approach. She tried not to show her surprise when he asked. He selected the restaurant. It didn’t matter that is was not her favorite place. He decided on the day. It didn’t matter that she would have had a long day at work. The only thing that mattered is they were spending time together. She was hoping they could talk and maybe laugh a little. They needed this time. It was important to her to build a solid relationship. After all, they were going to be in each other’s lives for a life time.

When they pulled up to the restaurant he got out of the car and opened her door. He was just that kind of guy. She never asked him too. He did it on his own. As they walked to the restaurant, she softly asked him, “is it okay if I hold your hand?” He’s not the affectionate type, at least not in public and rarely at home. He gave her the look. You know the one that says, “you are kidding me, right?” He asked her why he should hold her hand in public. She replied, because that’s what you do when you like someone and you’re on a date. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and started walking a little faster. She picked up her speed and grabbed hold to his arm. He didn’t pull away. She considered this a small victory. She silently prayed, “let my seven-year old find a wife who can look past his rough exterior to see his tender heart.”

(A date with the Stud Muffin)

and it was good

In the beginning:

There were long conversations and lots of laughter

and it was good

Guarded shows of affection

and it was good

Compliments abounded

and it was good

Seeds of hope were planted

and it was good

Today was lived and tomorrow was planned

and it was good

Anticipation of time together mixed with sorrow of time a part

and it was good

The question was asked and I dos said

and it was good

Life changed as children were born

and it was good

Living life and facing trials together

and it was good

Working towards the common goals

and it was good

Reminiscing of times past

and it was good

Nearing the end with your friend

and realizing life was good

 

 

 

Oh my gosh!! If I see another post on Facebook about what a real man will do, I might just scream. Have you seen them? A real man will: change, love you better, not do this or become that. So many women jump on the “what a real man will do” train and give virtual high fives to author of the posts. I question personally whether or not the author’s of the post have ever met a “real man”.

Perhaps I’m hypersensitive because I have three real men in the making in my household. Here is my list of things that will increase the probability of you or your daughter getting a “real man”.

1. Take a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental inventory of yourself. Where are you hurting? What is lacking in your own life? Where does your healing need to occur? What kind of wife, friend or mother of his children will you become?

2. Ask yourself why would you consider being with a man who needs to change? I know everybody has room to change but why would you knowingly enter into a relationship with a man who has a long list of things you think he should change? I can hear you saying, I just want him to stop cheating, drinking, smoking, cursing, hitting me, doing drugs, calling me names, divorce his wife, pray more, dress differently, rub my feet daily, give me money, get or keep a job and start going to church. What’s wrong with that? I can’t say anything is wrong with it on the surface but go back to #1 and ask yourself why are you dating the type of man who doesn’t currently meet your standards and you might find the real change should occur in you. (side note, if you don’t have any standards go back to # 1 and create some when you are done with your inventory)

3. Stop giving ultimatums.Who decided it was a good idea to give ultimatums? Let’s take a quick poll, how many of you stuck to the action you threatened to take if he did not change? How many ultimatums have you given? When are you going to actually leave or stop tolerating the rest of the things that are on your list?

4. Ask yourself, what do I bringing to the table? I mean that literally and figuratively. I have a young male relative who is in his 20’s. A female asked him his name and he asked her if she could fry chicken. I laughed out loud when first heard about that conversation. He refused to give her his name if she couldn’t fry chicken. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and shaking your head but I’m giving him a fist bump because he has requirements and isn’t willing to compromise, give ultimatums or enter a relationship that doesn’t meet his expectations. What are you offering other than your body and the privilege of being in your presence? I am not just taking about material possessions.

5. Are you willing to change? Are you willing to become the person he needs so he will want to come home and love being there? Are you ready to stop complaining, nagging, manipulating and whining? Are you willing to cook, be his friend and not his mother, compliment and encourage him?

6. Be patient. Desperation doesn’t look good on anybody. I know you are ready to find Mr. Right and begin a life with him. He’s looking for you.  Keep doing #1 until he finds you.

My ex and I are doing the very best we can to raise men who will become good husbands. I am sure a woman will come along some day and tell them all the things they need to change. I will be there to tell them, if she can’t accept who you are today she is going to make you miserable tomorrow.

Looking for Mr. Real Man

Lessons I’ve learned since the divorce

I’ve been divorced for almost four years now. In that time I’ve done a lot of soul-searching, reviewing my choices, and thinking about my life then and now. Every story has a few authors. My failed marriage will be authored by him, the kids and me. Since this is my blog and I hold the pen, you will receive my version. Now, this post is not about my marriage per se but more about the lessons I’ve learned. I’m a contemplator so I’ve thought about this, I’m a woman so I’ve discussed this, I’m a believer so I’ve prayed about this and I’m a student so I’ve studied this.

I try my best to speak well of my ex in front of our children. He is the father of our four beautiful children. If I can’t think of anything positive to say, I revert back to the old teaching and say nothing at all. If out of anger or frustration I say something and the kids are around, I apologize to them. They love their dad and I want to provide an environment where respect, love and honor are encouraged (insert required). Vent to your journal, counselor, friends, coworkers, bartenders, clergy or even the person sitting next to you on your commute but not your children. Besides, the more time you spend talking about people you are mad at, the less time you have to do something positive. There are only 24 hours in a day. How many will you spend on negativity? That was my first lesson.

Respect is not earned it’s given. I’m reading a book titled, Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. A couple of months after my divorce was final I attended a marriage conference at my church. I truly believe that if we had attended this conference or read this book before we got married or early on then a lot of the decisions, thoughts and actions would have been different. When you know better you do better, right? Society has taught us that love is the key to relationships. We freely provide all the love one needs. However, we are also taught that respect is earned. That is simply not true. Respect should be given as freely as love. Men want and need to be respected. I know some of the women reading this are about to tune me out. Keep reading! Don’t start listing all the reasons he doesn’t deserve your respect. Think about this, what if in the heat of a discussion with your man he turns to you and says, I respect you but you will have to earn my love. Pump the breaks! What? Think about the number of times you’ve used the opposite phrase, I love you but you will have to earn my respect. It has the same devastating affect on them. Respect is not earned just like love is not earned. I didn’t know. I was having a discussion (argument) with the ex one day and he said the first time he called me a horrible name was right after I told him he was not a good provider. When he called me that name that was the ultimate in disrespect and zero love in my mind. It was the same for him only I couldn’t see that. He worked long hours so I could stay home with the kids. We struggled financially at times but he was trying. When I told him he was a terrible provider I’m sure he saw me as ungrateful and disrespecting. I didn’t know better at the time but now I do. I’m very conscientious to acknowledge anything anybody does for me. I’ve shared these principles with women who have come my way wanting to discuss divorce. I always ask, are you showing him respect? If not, try this…and I provide examples of what respect looks like, according to the book, to a man. That was lesson two.

I am not superwoman or every woman. I love the songs but in real life, I need help. I don’t allow my pride or ego to keep me from receiving or asking for help. A few months ago I was taking the Stud Muffin and Little Dude to their athletic games. I drove two blocks and realized I had a flat tire. I turned around and went back home. Apparently a neighbor saw the flat and pointed it out to her husband. He jumped in his truck came to my house and filled my tire with enough air so I could get the tire repaired. In the mean time I called their dad who met me at the tire repair shop so he could take the boys to their games. I have roadside assistance because I, quite frankly, don’t know how to change a tire. I could have told the neighbor I didn’t need his assistance and the boys could have missed their games so I could keep my independence or pride. Whatever! Those action do not bear good fruit. Asking for and accepting help takes more inner strength than not. The boys saw this neighbor helping their mother, they saw their mother receiving assistance and they saw their dad and mom working together for their benefit. That’s good fruit and lesson three.

Dating post divorce with young kids is doable but should be done with caution and wisdom. I’ve mentioned online dating in some previous posts. I met and dated another guy but that didn’t work out either. I realize that I want a relationship. After all, we were created for relationship. But I don’t want to date a lot of men. When I say date I really mean date as in go to a location such as movie, restaurant or hear a band play. I don’t bring strangers to my house and they don’t get to meet my children. I am a mother bear when it comes to my children and our home. When I created a profile for the online dating site, I used a completely different city in a different county. I also always meet at a crowded place and made sure to never drive straight home. I would stop and park at several places and take a back road home to ensure I was not being followed. A healthy amount of paranoia is okay. I have a friend that would only date her now husband if they had a chaperone. They were both divorced and had children but they were determined to have a courtship and keep to themselves until they were married. Determine your dating requirements and stick to them. That concludes lesson four.

I have also come to realize I have the capacity to trust again. Do not take that lightly. Trust is difficult when you have experienced heartbreak and when people have disappointed you. I have a cousin who taught me a valuable lesson years ago about trust. It was Mother’s Day and right after church service the family members were all discussing where they wanted to eat. I looked over and this cousin was standing to the side not voicing her opinion. Her husband was a part of the discussion. I walked over and asked her why she wasn’t giving her input. She said, “I trust my husband. He’s not going to take me anywhere I don’t want to go.” Whoa… what?!? I was reminding her of that conversation yesterday and she said, “where ever he goes is where I want to be.” Hhhhmmm. I like it! There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and there is nothing wrong with expressing your preference. The topic here is about trust. Focus on the trust she was exhibiting in him. One couple I know, when they first started dating, would order dinner for each other. This was their way of getting to know each other and building a foundation of trust. Trust is a small word but has a huge impact. Lesson five.

I have lots of other lessons that I’ve learned along this journey to healing but I will save those for another day. Spend some time contemplating these five.

Be well, healthy and whole.