Monday, November 22, 2010

Wisdom from "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not a promulgation of promises and eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
Attributed to St. Augustine

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wisdom from "90210"

"History is largely told as a chronicle of great people doing great things. But, for most of us, life is not made up of big moments; it's made up of small moments. And, with every small choice, every small decision, we are defining ourselves. Are we honest? Are we faithful? Are we proud of ourselves or are we disappointed by who we've become? Life rarely turns out the way we plan. The unexpected happens and it surprises us with new and exciting possibilities. But sooner or later reality hits you in the face.

When the unimaginable happens; adapt, find strength, move on. I hope when my life doesn't go as I plan, which it certainly won't, I can handle myself with grace and strength."

Some small paraphrasing in the second paragraph to make more sense.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Wisdom from When Harry Met Sally:

". . . when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Autumn...

As I enter the autumn of my fiftieth year on this big round ball, I can feel the melancholy growing. I know I've written about this before...maybe last year, more likely two years ago, but I can't find it. I wrote a while back on the feelings coming up with the "empty nest" syndrome. All of those feelings are conspiring against me as I enter this season of my life.

Career √
Father √
Grandfather √
Husband - yeah, not so much

Last year at this time, I was cruising the Caribbean with my daughter, who had just turned 18. We had a wonderful time. We saw things I'd always wanted to see. We climbed a waterfall and she swam with dolphins in Jamaica, and we ate very fresh conch (I love conch) and swam with wild Stingrays in Grand Cayman. It was the trip of a lifetime for me, made that much more sweet by sharing it with my little girl. We shared a beer at Margaritaville Grand Cayman, and she had the hot Jamaican dude pour the drink down her throat at Margaritaville Ocho Rios. I'll never forget that trip.

I think because of that experience, the transition to Fall passed me by last year completely, but my disdain for the season has been growing with each passing year, to the point where this year it threatens to overwhelm me.

For the last few years, this has been a pattern. The shorter days, the longer shadows, the darkness, all remind me that another season, and another year, are coming to an end. I love the holidays, and I'll almost certainly be out of this funk by the time Thanksgiving rolls around ... although I can't be sure because there's a new variable in the mix this year.

You see, as I've talked about in my empty nest posts, I'm looking at a future alone. I know some of you jackasses (if any men actually read this) are thinking I've got it made ... no one to answer to, no one telling me what to do, no questions . Dude. You have no idea what it is like to go to bed alone every night. You have no idea what it is like to not have someone to share life with. If you're married, LISTEN. I know what I'm talking about. She LOVES you or she wouldn't have married you. If you're not married, and you're thinking "why does he go to bed alone every night?" ... well, the answer is ... fuck it, close this window now because if you're asking that question, you won't care about my answer.

Married dudes ... be the man she married. Take care of her. Take care of your babies, if you have them. If you married her and she had some other dudes' baby(ies), take care of them, they'll weigh every other man in their life against YOU. Take care of yourself. Be a MAN.

I hear it now ... "She changed." "She doesn't care about me." "She bitches at me all the time." "She used to dress sexy and now she just wears house dresses." Man up. Get out from in front of the football game and ask her to go for a walk with you. Offer to do the laundry. Take her car and get it washed. MAN UP. God gave you testicles for a reason. You are the leader of the household. Take the lead. Don't dominate, lead. Lead with compassion, and understanding, and love. Remember the girl (woman) you married? She's still in there. She wants you to be the man she married. BE HIM.

Unmarried dudes ... it's not about the next conquest. It's not about a score card. It's not about how much fun you can have with how many people this week. Take it from one who knows. I've been single for 16 years. More than half of your life, I'll bet. It ain't all wine and roses. No one who gives a fuck when you're sick, no one there when your Mom dies, no one there to hold one side of the fucking lock when you're trying to install a new deadbolt. Dude. I'm here on the south side of fifty telling you to find a good woman, court her, woo her, and ask her to be your wife. Then MAN UP and be a good husband. Continue to be the man she married. Always and forever.

Edited to add: See parts two and three here

A reprint from earlier this year...

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries. Avoid all entanglements: lock it up in the safe casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation."

-C.S. Lewis