Friday, February 26, 2010

Waiting For the Crazies

I can’t quote Billy Currington’s song here because I don’t necessarily believe in a god and I definitely don’t drink beer. But one thing is absolutely true.

People are crazy.

Every last one of them. (Yeah. Including me.)

In some way, to some extent everyone is somehow a little bit crazy.

Whether you’re dating someone new or considering a business partnership it is very, very important to know a person long enough to find out in what way(s) they are crazy and how badly before you commit yourself to a legal binding contract with them.

Crazy isn’t always necessarily a bad thing.

Some people are strange on purpose. They usually make a career out of their eccentricities and it pays really well. Maybe they’re just working the oddities of their natural personality or amping up coping skills they developed as insulation against their early life experiences.

Other people are just extremely unique in how they think, act or look and people are drawn to them for reasons of fascination, for entertainment or enlightenment.

Socrates come to mind. (Aristotle is another.) This philosopher was one of the greatest thinkers of his era. And I assure you, the vast majority of people who were unable to understand him or unwilling to suspend disbelieve to take in his radical ideas- considered him stark raving mad. Ultimately his uniqueness cost him his life. He was judged by a trial that found him guilty of "corrupting the minds of the youth" with his radical ideas and philosophies, and guilty of "not believing in the gods". His sentence? Death by poison.

Very creative and gifted people tend to become famous for those very abilities that caused or at least contributed to them becoming crazy.

It would be impossible to overlook the deeply artistic but mentally self tortured individual Vincent van Gogh. His style of painting may have influenced his peers and every generation afterwords, but his name is practically synonymous with whatever creative gene that causes a person to self mutilate.

Shakespeare is another case of brilliance teetering precariously on the perch of “somewhat bazaar”. No one can argue with the clever way he crafted angry religious and political satire into flowing ribbons of eloquence. But along with great wit and talent he exhibited some very disturbing behavior in some of his writings.

And then there are some people who are for whatever reason just not right in the head. They do extreme things either to gain attention or to differentiate themselves from others perhaps to visually ostracize themselves to mirror the way they already feel emotionally and socially ostracized. They’re generally considered “social deviants”. It's no longer politically correct to state the obvious, but the fact is, normal, well adjusted people do not feel the need to call THIS much attention to themselves 24/7 by the entire world.

The fear with these kinds of people is that their craziness doesn't just stop at their physical appearance. A perfect example are people like Jeffrey Dahmer who are normal in appearance but clearly disturbed in every other possible way.

The average person though isn’t quite as extreme as any of these examples. They just have small quirks and personality ticks that make them funny or familiar to some and irritating and strange to others.

Ultimately though, most people get to know another person slowly and over the course of time. People reveal themselves a conversation at a time. Evidence of their character comes through a series of actions, verbalized opinions and personal choices. And unless a person is overtly “in your face” about who they are or exhibit frequent and vicious mood swings which would be hard to hide, most people faults and crazies can remain hidden for upwards of months.

And so it’s wise to wait. Allow time and situations as they present themselves construct a clearer picture of the person you’re getting to know. And it will come out eventually. Then you can decide if their version of crazy and the level of their craziness is something you're prepared to deal with.

Because as we can all agree:

Everyone is a little crazy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Do I NEED Thee?

According to Wikipedia this is the meaning of need.

Need: A need is something that is necessary for humans to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause a clear negative outcome, such as dysfunction or death.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chocolate Covered Loneliness

It just started off as a simple scoop of 'half the fat' Fudge Tracks ice cream.

Innocent enough.

But a Hershey syrup bottle tempted from the refrigerator rack.

And container of Carmel left over from a birthday was immediately next to it compelling me to add it to the mix.

Then a liberal sprinkling of mini baking semi-sweet chocolate chips topped what was supposed to be a small treat but rapidly evolving into a caloric nightmare.

Before I could consider adding some mini-marshmallows I’d bought to accompany hot chocolate from the previous snowy week, I stopped to look at the loaded down dish of decadence before me. What was I doing?

I’d wandered into the kitchen looking for…something and wound up with a bowl containing enough dessert to feed several people my size.

Is this what I’d wanted when I came to the kitchen? I brought a spoonful to my mouth and savored the different rich flavors and textures. The cold sweetness filled my mouth and overwhelmed my senses for a moment. As it slipped down the back of my throat I paused. Waiting.

No. This was admittedly good, but not what I was looking for. I stood there for a few moments rolling around in my head various alternatives. What did I want?

After nearly half a lifetime of clean, healthy living, I’m pretty in tune with what my body does and doesn’t like and what it’s asking me for when I get a feeling something is missing or not quite right.

The Carmely-chocolate concoction sat like a cold rock in my stomach. I wasn’t even hungry. But I was looking for a sensation that feels a bit like being full and getting a sugar rush.

A few moments later it dawned on me.

Love. I was wanting to feel loved.

Scientist have known quite a while now that chocolate contains three chemicals that release “feel good” sensations in the brain. Theobromine, Caffeine and Phenylethylamine all give the body a quick push of feeling perked up, content, energetic and an excitement similar to the sensations felt when falling in love.

Foods and substances are so chronically used to self-medicate by people who are lonely, depressed, unhappy or single it’s a complete cliche. I’m not sure why it was surprising to identify that in myself.

I put the bowl down. After identifying the problem I could think of two better alternatives to a chocolate binge. And alternatives that wouldn’t wreck hazard on the proper fit of my sexy wardrobe.

First, I needed to get some adrenaline. Now!

Physically demanding activities (such as manual labor and exercise) and dangerous sports (like white river rafting and sky diving) also release feel good chemicals into the brain that stimulate and temporarily satisfy a need for that elusive something I identified as feeling loved.

Statistics show that people who are very physically active tend to crave salty foods instead of sweet ones. Since they're sweating and need to replenish their body's salt levels and they're getting a regular dose of adrenaline which could replace a need for chocolate, it makes sense.

The second thing? I needed to find someone to bestow attention on. Since I'm not in a relationship and don't have that connected regular feeling of giving and getting love with a romantic partner, I needed to strengthen the feelings with someone else in my life. A friend or a family member perhaps.

I needed to find someone to connect with using my top one or two Love Languages so I could feel loving and loved. And since I've already identified my order of The Five Love Languages, it wasn't hard to figure out how to make that happen.

I headed off to the gym after making a few phone calls to set up some plans.

Thank goodness I'm an educated, cerebral person who can identify my own problems and then deal with them appropriately in productive and effective ways.

If not, I have a feeling my solution to wanting to feel loved would have entailed devouring that bowl of chocolate covered loneliness and then buying a cat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Internet Dating for Dummies

What TO do.
What NOT to do.
And where to look.

To read some Internet Dating Stories.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Blues

A day for the lonely and the broken-hearted.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You Don't Know What Love Is

So you think you can love someone? You might even think you're good at it.

Chances're wrong.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dropping The L Bomb

The 10 Worst Times And Ways To Say "I Love You."

1. The first day you met. “Hi, my name is …and I love you!” No. Definitely not. Unless you want to scare your date witless you shouldn’t even think about uttering those three words any time in the “getting to know you” phase. This includes the first week and even the first month. You don’t know them. You can’t love them yet. Saying that will just make you seem incredibly desperate or stalkerish and obsessive. If you can’t control your urge to say something, try “I think I really like you.”

2. Said as a text message. Certain conversations deserve the honesty of being face to face. Break ups, marriage proposals, saying “I hate you” and confessing “I love you” should never, ever, ever be sent as a text message or a voice mail. Don’t be a coward or a pussy. If you feel THAT strongly about a person, have the balls to say it to their face.

3. Hoping to get laid. “Yes, I love you. Now can we have sex?” If you love them, then tell them. If you just want sex, admit you just want sex. But don’t tell a person you love them just so you can get a piece of ass. Not only will that bring all kind of new “relationship” problems, but you’re just asking for bad karma.

4. They demand to hear it. If the other person has to threaten you with a fate worse then death to get you to say those three word, save yourselves the trouble of saying it. Love can’t be forced, bought, sold or bartered for. It will just be a big fat lie you’ll have to either constantly defend or finally admit to.

5. During sex. Passions run high during the heat of the moment but if you spill your guts during the act of sex the other person will always wonder whether you really meant it or if you were so high on endorphins from the experience that it’s what you tell everyone when you climax.

6.To stop a breakup. “Yeah I said you’re a stupid b-tch but don’t leave me…I love you!” One or both of you are going to need psychotherapy after a fight like that. Play fair in fights and break ups. Don’t trash talk because you’re angry. Don’t manipulate with words that should be said lovingly. If you’re not good together it doesn’t matter who’s fault it is and it doesn’t matter what you say, it won’t fix the problem.

7. Incredibly bad timing. Maybe it’s in a football stadium with 10 thousands of screaming fans drowning out your declaration, or just after they had dental surgery so their mouth is numb and they can’t say it back. Or saying it in a foreign language they don’t understand. Heck maybe it’s even when one of you is sitting on the pooper. Since announcing your love to someone for the first time can only be done once and never repeated, put a little thought into. And before you open your mouth, be at least reasonably sure they feel the same way. Bad timing will be the least of your worries if they announce they don’t love you!

8. When it’s an affair. People in love don’t sneak around behind their partners back doing sexual acts with other people. End of story. So clearly you’re not in love with the person you’re committed to. Relationships that start when one person is already involved or married are tainted from the start. Even if a divorce/ break up would be messy or there are kids involved- end one relationship before trying to start another. Unless of course you just love drama and misery.

9. After getting caught cheating. Saying I love you is not a band aid. If you have screwed up in an unforgivable way, saying it is NOT going to make everything all better. Don’t rub salt in the wound by saying that kind of f’ed up ish.

10. As a way to dump them. “I love you but it’s over” is only slightly better than saying I love you and then leaving them never planning to call or see them again. Don’t do that. No one deserves that. Well, unless they just pulled a # 9 on you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What a Kiss Reveals

“Eight out of 10 women believe that the first kiss will tell them everything they need to know about the relationship”
~ Hitch Movie Quote

Whether or not this statistic is true the fact remains that a kiss can reveal more about a person than they realize.

In addition to kissing indicating body chemistry and levels of attraction between a couple, a person’s personality type often matches their kissing style.

How an individual approaches life and their personal behaviors are indicated in how they express affection and passion. How a person kisses suggests how they will act in a relationship.

Are you playful and teasing? Serious and passionate? An aggressive go-getter? Are you into slow seduction? Or do you just want to get in and out and get it over with?

Kissing styles also indicates a person’s sensitivity level, their ability to be warm and generous and whether they’re a giver or a taker.

If that person is full of longing and desire to be close and affectionate with their partner; is their approach to love is casual and based more on friendship and common interests; if they put others first or have a violent nature, can be revealed by a kiss.

Whether or not someone will want to dominate the relationship, whether they get bored easily, if their intentions are honorable or they’re just out to get laid, all can be indicated by kissing.

There are many, many ways to kiss. It would be impossibly long (and just impossible) to list all the different kinds and ways. But it is possible to translate the actions of kissing (and love making) into the character traits that cause them. Generally, it’s pretty intuitive.

Hard-line lip locking, a sometimes painful grinding of mouths that may or may not include vigorous tongue prodding or lip nipping strongly suggests that person is a taker who likes to be in control, holds even their loved ones at a distance and views gentleness as weakness.

Hesitant dry kisses with no tongue and little variety are the trademarks of someone who’s either extremely nervous and inexperienced at kissing and relationships or someone who’s reluctant to share themselves with others. They won’t want pillow talk, won’t be open with their feelings and dreams and either doesn’t know how to contribute to an intimate relationship or doesn’t intend to.

Sudden sucking or blowing into a mouth, and doing something bazaar like licking teeth is typically done by someone who compensates for their insecurities by doing comical or outrageous things. This person either was the class clown at their school or they really wanted to be. And judging by their kissing they haven’t outgrown the mentality or improved their self image. Since they’re not enough in their own eyes they’ll either need to keep their partner feeling inferior too, or use them as a trophy to keep their own self esteem higher.

A kiss that starts out with nuzzling, a flick of the tongue tip and evolves into an intermixed soft and hard press of lips indicates a playful and sensual nature. This person enjoyed variety, teasing that delivers with a big finish but who is inclined to linger with the generous pleasure making.

An over abundance of saliva with sticky, gooey kisses are often accompanied by a tongue that just will not quit the oral examination of the other person’s mouth are pushy obtrusive people who cannot mind their own business, tend to be suspicious of other people’s motivations even when they’re good and are clingy and jealous.

Some people just don’t enjoy kissing at all. A quick obligatory peck with a spring back reflex away from the physical contact is all someone can hope for with this person. These people tend to be germaphobes who are meticulously neat, and frequently selfish. They will use a ruler to cut slices of pie and will skimp on foreplay and anniversary presents alike. If you like anything kinky or anything that involves bodily fluids, ever intend to have children or pets or want to genuinely feel loved an accepted- run like hell in the opposite direction.

Soft, sweet kisses tenderly bestowed indicate a care-taker who wants to really cherish someone. These gentle souls tend to get hurt often or deeply because they wear their heart on their sleeve but in a relationship they will do whatever they can to make the other person happy.

There is a shocking amount of information about a person packed in the smacking of lips. Before you pucker up next time, you might want to consider what you’ll be telling this person about you. Chances are it could make or break their opinion about your relationship compatibility.

A kiss is as individual as a fingerprint and just as revealing.

It is true that some people just haven’t had much experience kissing and the rawness of their inexperience will smooth out with practice. Hopefully they save their kisses for someone who will be understanding and nurturing so they can explore and perfect their personal style of physical contact.

Kissing can be a pleasurable experience and as most women would agree, tells an entire story about the person they are kissing: who this person is and what they will be like in a relationship. As it turns out, a kiss is not just a kiss.

And then there is the question of what a person does with their hands while kissing…

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Needing to Be Needed

In the early 80’s Disney put out made-for-tv shows called The Disney Sunday Movie. Some of them had surprisingly impactful values and morals mixed in with the humor. One such movie was called “The Last Electric Knight.” (Also known as "Sidekicks".)

In the movie, an ill and elderly Asian martial arts instructor who immigrated to the United States with his young grandson is pressed by a social worker to find a replacement parent for his black belt grandson when he dies. The grandfather explains urgently but gently to the social worker that it’s not enough to find someone who will just provide for his grandson.

Social worker: Mr. Lee, what will happen to Ernie when you die?
Grandfather: He will morn for me.
Social worker: But who will take care of him?
Grandfather: The Creator! He takes care of us all.
Social worker: Mr. Lee, I think you know very well what I’m talking about. By law I am required to make certain recommendations. Unless you can give me something else to go on, I am going to have to recommend that he be placed in some kind of foster care with someone who can provide for him.
Grandfather: Take Ernie away from me?
Social worker: Provide for him.
Grandfather: Might I not have some time to…as you say…give you something to go on?
Social worker: How much time?
Grandfather: Enough time to find someone who will need Ernie when I am gone.
Social worker: (interrupting) No, not someone who needs Ernie. Someone who can take care of him.
Grandfather: Ernie does not need to be taken care of. That is self evident. Ernie needs to be needed. We all do. Do you not need to be needed, Ms. Blake?

The fact is humans have certain needs. Beyond the physical needs for food, water, air, semi-regulated temperatures and sex, there are emotional needs.

Humans (and some other mammals like dogs and dolphins) legitimately need for their emotional stability and happiness: Social outlets, creative expression, independence, to give and receive affection. They also need to be needed.

That is, they need to feel useful. To feel like their life, their efforts matters. That they are contributing to someone or something bigger than themselves.

It’s a very important trait that separates us from self serving and often cold blooded creatures. You never hear about an alligator dragging a person from a burning building to save their life. And snakes aren’t exactly known for their warm and generous natures.

People on the other hand are born with an urge to do for others. Often this is to draw attention to themselves or for self serving reasons. But not always. Some shun the limelight except to draw attention to a genuine need.