Tag Archives: relationships

Run, don’t walk

Greetings, readers. I recently, on Facebook, changed my relationship status from single to it’s complicated. Yes, I am in a relationship right now, but its dynamics are quite bizarre. I’m going to keep her name out of it for obvious reasons because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Here’s what is going on.

One evening a couple of months ago, a female friend of my ex-fiancé knocked on my door and hit me with some news. She told me that she had a crush on me. Then she prepared me for more. She told me that she was in love with me. While flattered, I still felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t know how to react. You know me, readers, I tried to be as gracious as possible and said something like, “Oh, that’s nice. Wow!” Apparently her love had been growing for several months, even while I was engaged to my fiancé.

I talked to Traci, my ex-fiancé, about our mutual friend. I asked her if she knew about the feelings of said friend. She said no. Once I learned that, I felt worse. What to do, what to do? I decided to play it very cautiously and very, very slowly.

After a couple of coffee dates, and one home cooked meal at her place, it quickly became apparent that my new love interest had more feelings for me than I did for her. This is a huge problem. I’m not going to settle just because I want to be in love, but I’m also terrible at hurting people. I already feel like I strung her along a little bit and I am afraid that when I end it, this nice woman’s feelings will be crushed. That’s not going to be pretty. Unfortunately, I believe it has to happen. If only one of the two people in a love situation is actually in love, it’s never going to work. I’ve heard that the Lord tests people, and if this is one of those tests, it is not funny.

I’ve talked to a number of friends about this, and they all agree. Run, don’t walk. A friend whom I had dinner with last night told me that exact phrase. She said the woman came on too strong and that I do not have the same feelings. It just won’t work. I’m going to take this advice, but it will still be hard for me, because again I hate hurting people. I’ve been dumped many times before and I know how painful it is. Tact, planning, and luck will be all needed here. I say luck, because I do not want this love interest to turn around and take her frustrations out on Traci.  I don’t think she will do that, but you never know.

I know dear readers I don’t usually get this personal. I tend to talk about TV, the weather, or sports. But if anybody has any suggestions on a good way to proceed, I’m all ears.

I was not going to mention this, but I’ve decided to. Several years ago, I took a very good friend of mine who I was in love with on my Christmas Eve light ride. Afterwards we stopped at McDonald’s for coffee, and I professed my love to her and she reacted the exact same way I did the other week. Now I know how she felt. Trapped, scared, and not knowing what the hell to say. After learning that I was being rejected, I kind of mentally closed the rest of the evening out. It didn’t ruin the light ride, thank goodness, because we were on our way home after coffee anyway.

I’m taking a personal day tomorrow for an appointment. Rebecca and I will be back with you next Wednesday. This should be the last Thursday off for me in a while. Time will tell. One of us will post a new blog entry tomorrow. Until then, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Our Souls at Night

There is a new film on Netflix streaming that I have been watching in parts for the last week and finished today, called Our Souls at Night. It stars Jane Fonda as Addie Moore and Robert Redford as Louis Waters. It is a gentle slow-moving story of two people connecting to one another after decades of living in the same town. It is based on a book by Kent Haruf, which I see our local library has in its collection.

Our Souls at Night starts with two lonely people who have trouble sleeping at night, until Addie knocks on Louis’s door and asks him over to sleep in her bed. She isn’t proposing sex, just that they talk and keep each other company in order to fall asleep. He needs some time to think about it, but then agrees. It is awkward at first, but as they eat dinner together and lie down in the same bed, they begin to talk about the events of their lives and the choices they made. They become friends and companions. The town starts to gossip about them, and they brave it out. Partway through the film Addie’s grandson Jamie arrives to stay with her, played by Iain Armitage (the actor who now plays Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon on CBS). Having Jamie living there changes and adds to the relationship developing between Louis and Addie.

There is not much action in this movie, just the two main characters interacting with each other and other people. The big actions in the story come from decisions contemplated and emotional risks taken. There are no shouting matches, smashed dishes, or dramatic reveals. Just mature adults in relationships with the various people in their lives doing the best they can. By the end of the film, they have both faced mistakes from their pasts, and worked to make the damage better. The performances by Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are strong, understated, and good, from the first awkward pauses to the last comfortable conversation.

I plan to recommend this film for Joe, given his love of On Golden Pond. The films are very different, but they do both have as a plot point an older couple taking care of a boy for a while. In On Golden Pond, Jane Fonda played a character leaving the boy with her parents, and in Our Souls at Night, she plays the mother agreeing to take care of the child. I think Joe would appreciate having the same actress portray two sides of the same event.

I know not everyone has subscribed to Netflix’s streaming service. My thoughts on the various streaming services and the shows that some people have access to but not others might be a good blog topic for another day. But for now, if you do happen to have access to this film, I do recommend it for anyone who enjoys a gentle film about a developing relationship between two mature adults.

Until next Wednesday and a blog entry from Joe, I hope you are comfortable in whatever weather you have, take care, and happy reading.

An unusual Saturday entry

Greetings, readers. Here in State College it is a rare, mostly sunny day, yet it is cold. The wind has been blowing on and off in varying intensities, having an effect on my comfort level. Some people love the winter time. I am not one of those people. I love sunny and warmer. I know, I know, skiing enthusiasts would tell me to move to Florida. Rebecca and I switched our Friday workday to today, making today a rare Saturday at work.

I am in the process of reading a romance novel as research to get ready to begin my own. I was only ten pages into it and already it was getting a little bit racy. The book is called Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas. Even though I am not a huge reader, I must admit the book had no trouble holding my interest. I even got through the prologue – ha ha. One of the reasons I am doing research is that early in my writing career I wrote things such as a play and a first draft of a movie script. Obviously, these two projects were strictly dialog. I must become more proficient at writing prose. I must make readers see what I am seeing in my head. I’ve never had any trouble watching that movie in my head. During some of my insomnia nights I’ve “watched” scene after scene. My big problem is getting it down on paper or the computer.

On to another mini-topic, readers. Over the last two years, I have formed a friendship with someone living here in State College (name omitted). Tomorrow, at approximately three in the afternoon, I get to find out whether or not that friendship is still intact. In the small community where I live, nestled deep in State College, privacy is at a premium, and the words of others has sparked difficulty between my friend and me. If the friendship does go kerflery, I will take full responsibility. I was looking to go to the next level and I doubt very seriously whether my friend was. I have put undue and unwanted pressure on her and if that is what will cause the friendship to fail, rather than other people’s gossip, I will truly feel upset with myself. I jumped the gun. To end on a happy note, on Wednesday a blog post from Rebecca will be put up.

Take care, have a great rest of your weekend, and happy reading.

As Paul Harvey would have said, stand by for news

Greetings, readers. We only have thirty minutes to do this blog entry, so like a pair of underwear, I’ll be brief. To give you a quick update, 2013 for me got off to a nice start, fairly quiet. That is just the way I like it. New Year’s Eve I was at Panera Bakery enjoying a cup of coffee, or two or three or six, while pondering my next writing project idea. And did indeed narrow it down to a choice. I’m going to take my first attempt at a steamy romance novel. This comes from someone who has had a love life which has been beyond embarrassing.

With the holiday season now over, and present buying, parties, and all other such festivities again behind me for another year, I can concentrate on my work. Yes, I will still blog, but now that the new year is here it is time to put my butt in the chair and get to work. First it was my Beatles performance, then came Christmas, I just couldn’t concentrate. Now I have no more excuses.

To close this short blog entry today, I leave you with my New Year’s resolution. After recently going through a relationship problem, my resolution is to promise myself that the next woman whom I court will be the one for me. No more miscues. I will take it light and gradual to start and believe me I will not pop it into second gear until both she and I are damned good and ready.

Until quite soon, stay healthy, enjoy the warm weather if you are in a place that has it, and happy reading.

The positions we sometimes find ourselves in

Greetings, readers. I pondered this entry today very carefully and came up with the above title. I have recently been placed in one of those positions that a person never likes to find oneself in. And the question is which friend do I chose? Now before we begin a new paragraph I must state that no names will be used.

About a week or so ago, I did one of my famous, I’ll be there for moral support good deeds, and through no fault of my own, the outcome was less than satisfactory. Words were exchanged and apparently their friendship is over. Both of my friends insist that I am not to blame for the outcome, nor do I think that I am either. However, it puts me in a position that I do not like being in. Do I choose one friend over the other, or do I do my best to keep a peaceful coexistence, being separate but equal. I must say no!

I have worked too long and too hard developing both friendships to allow this incident to make me feel uncomfortable. Somewhere there must be a way that I can live in happy coexistence without either one of my friends believing I am choosing sides. One time many years ago, I was forced to choose one friend over another. I didn’t like it. As a matter of fact, I despised it. I vowed then and there that I would never do it again. I suppose what I am saying is, if push really did come to shove I would release both of them rather than sitting on the rickety white picket fence.

No blog entry on Friday due to a no-work-day. The big performance is that evening! The next blog entry will be from Rebecca, next week. Until then, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Two films about father and son relationships

I spend a lot of time at Schlow Centre Region Library every week after my work hours with Joe. Schlow has a collection of DVDs that I browse through a lot. In the last couple of months, I found two films there centering around father and son relationships. I feel blessed to have a library where I can find character driven independent films like the two I am writing about today: The Music Never Stopped and The Thing About My Folks.

The 2011 movie, The Music Never Stopped, stars J.K. Simmons as the father and Lou Taylor Pucci as the son. Based on a real case history that was published in An Anthropologist on Mars by Dr. Oliver Sack, the movie is about a father (and mother, played by Cara Seymour) who reconnects an estranged son who recently had brain damage. The son will only respond to the music of the 60s that he grew up to as a teenager, and it is through this therapeutic tool that the father begins to hear his son speak and see the painful events of those years through his son’s perspective. It is a good film, and I highly recommend it. Especially if you like the music of the Grateful Dead – it is the son’s favorite band.

The 2005 movie, The Thing About My Folks, stars Peter Falk as the father and Paul Reiser as the son. Paul Reiser also wrote the screenplay. The father and son relationship is explored on a road trip they take together, after the mother has left the father with a note on the refrigerator. The father, owner of his own business until he retired, was away a lot and distant when the son was growing up. The son felt resentment about that and it is one of the many issues they work out on this trip. The acting of Peter Falk and Paul Reiser add believability and humor to material. The movie never felt mawkish or trite.

These films are about people learning that what they thought they knew about their family wasn’t the whole truth, and how they respond to that new information. I enjoyed both of them.

Does too nice = stupid?

Hi, all. Recently I’ve been pondering this question. At least four times in my life I have been called, “too nice.” At first I thought to myself, in today’s world of war and strife, how can someone be too nice? Well, after many girlfriend break-ups and other personal problems, I have come to realise that too nice, perhaps, might be another phrase for stupid.

So I began to think about this long and hard. I am of at least average intelligence, and can conduct myself in a grown-up manner more times than not. Every so often, however, I will overextend myself and Mr. Too Nice will show himself. Usually with disastrous consequences.

For privacy reasons, I shall try to keep to generalities. I have a tendency to give people money, even in times when I really can’t afford to, I have offered people early morning rides when I knew I was too tired to do so, and it just seems that anytime someone says, “could you help,” that the word no is not in my vocabulary.

Most of my examples stem from my girlfriend woes. I was always more than generous with girlfriends, from my high school sweetheart right up to my current girlfriend. I just can’t say no. Perhaps I have a fear of rejection.

Also, as a young child, I didn’t have very many friends. I was shy and awkward and, just like Hermey the Dentist from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I just wanted to fit in. That is probably where my too niceness stems from and has now grown like a weed.

If I had gone the Mr. Scrooge route, I am certain I would have ended up either friendless, or having friends that weren’t good for me. Plus, I would just feel like a nasty person all the time, and that is not how I want to feel. Moreover, that’s not how I was raised. My whole family gave of themselves. That’s just what we did.

In the final analysis, I feel that it is better for me to have that extra nice quality. Stupid is probably not the right word. It’s actually more like gullible. That is something I am going to have to work on. There must be a way for me to retain my sweet personality, yet not have Mr. Gullible or Sucker stamped on my forehead.

Take care and until next time …

Life doesn’t have a reset button

How many of us have ever wished that there was a reset button in life? Obviously there isn’t. What I am about to share with you is something very personal that happened in 2006. My divorce became final after a very short marriage. Though I was with the woman I loved for a year and a half, the marriage only lasted eleven months. Pity, I didn’t even get to celebrate an anniversary. I’ve actually pounded my head against a wall a couple of times, going over events that lead up to 2005 and right through when the final divorce papers were delivered in my mailbox.

If I had a reset button, it would have been worn out by now. I would have constantly tried to change my life, undoing the mistakes that I made. Did I love my wife? Of course, that’s why I married her. Did she love me? I think so. But we had problems and it just didn’t work out. Some of my friends tell me that if I had a reset button I should have pressed it when she first arrived.

I was born with parents and grandparents who worked very hard their whole lives and were lucky enough to make the right choices at the right times to become financially stable. Not that I would have used that money as a crutch, but what money was left to me is now gone, due to bad choices I made. Some friends of mine have said that, “She stole from you.” I say, unequivocally, “No. We spent the money together, trying to get a business going.” Here is where I would have hit the reset button the second time. No business venture!

The more I think about it, I actually could have hit my reset button in junior college with my girlfriend at the time. I was shy and awkward and one terrible evening I got scared of the whole situation and suggested that we break up. I shall never forget the hurt look on her face. I had completely misread her thoughts and feelings. Apparently, she loved me and was just as scared and shy as I was. My attempt at reconciliation failed.

People say that hindsight is 20/20. If at ten years old, I had decided that every time I get a quarter in my change I’d save it, and I did, imagine how rich I would be now. I’m going to be 47 this July. That would have been 37 years’ worth of quarters. Do the math.

Well, readers, obviously there is no reset button in life. There is only something called good judgment. That is something I have lacked for many, many years. I keep telling myself every New Year’s Eve, that I shall make my resolution to be more frugal and less “too nice.” In other words, stop being a sucker. But that resolution lasts about three days. The only thing I can do is to try to better myself each day and make fewer mistakes as I go through my life. I guess that is what they mean by people get wiser with age.

A brief word about what’s coming next. I plan on sharing some updates about my writing as to how camp book 2 is coming along. Also, if Keekee does anything spectacular, you’ll be the first to know. Until next week, take care.