I am not sure if I ever told you about a particularly embarrassing 15 minutes of fame I had a while ago. This happened in April of 2014. I was watching this news program and one of the topics of discussion was a female school teacher that had been accused of giving an under-age male student a lap dance.
I had posted a comment on their Facebook page acknowledging a double standard in these situations. Male sex offenders are always treated more severely than their female counterparts. The former often have the book thrown at them, whereas the latter often receive probation and very little jail time, a slap on the wrist by comparison.
I think the reason for this double standard is because every red-blooded male that remembers his depraved youth has probably been “hot for teacher” at least once. We have a hard time accepting 15-to-17-year-old boys as “victims” because deep down we wish we could have had such an experience at that age.
Unfortunately, I did not employ the best choice of words when trying to make my point. I came across as a but sarcastic in tone. I believe I said something along the lines of it being every school boy’s dream to be seduced by a hot teacher (or words to that effect).
After I submitted the comment, I quickly forgot about it. That is, until the following week when the revisited the topic. The producers selected a few of the Facebook and Twitter comments to read on the air. Only one was from a male audience member. Guess who?
When you love someone, even if it is only a friend, you give a part of yourself to that other person. The tragedy is, you do not even realize it until after they leave your life and you are left feeling incomplete. Their absence affects you. In vain, you spend your days in search of something or someone to fill that void (for me, it was talk radio). They say that time heals all wounds. I do not agree; the only thing time can do is make the pain easier to live with.
I am a hopeless romantic (with emphasis on the word “hopeless”), but I have always been dumbfounded by this idea that each of us has a soul mate. As much as I would love to believe such childish nonsense, the logic simply does not pan out. To believe there is one person, out of an estimated seven billion people, that is destined for us is, to borrow from The Princess Bride, “inconceivable.” The reality is, we choose our partners based on what is available to us. Sometimes we choose wisely and that person becomes our soul mate; sometimes we choose poorly.
Do I believe that some couples are too quick to throw in the proverbial towel? Of course. Relationships require a lot of work to maintain. Those that would abandon ship at the first sign of rough seas are probably not ready to be in a relationship. That being said, I also believe that many choose to stay in unhealthy relationships out of fear of being alone.
The head and the heart are in a constant game of tug-of-war. When you follow your heart, sometimes you get hurt. Unfortunately, as I have learned, when you let your head take the lead, sometimes you end up hurting worse. That’s all I have to say about that.
There is an old proverb that says, “Home is where the heart is.” If that is true, then I do not have a home. What I have, to quote the comedian George Carlin, is “a place for my stuff.” That’s what my apartment feels like: a place for my stuff.
It is disturbing when the house you grew up in no longer feels like home. It is the same physical building, but everything about the interior has changed. When I step inside, it feels like I am walking into someone else’s home. I am.
My mother passed away in 2007. The home I grew up in now belongs to my father’s new wife. (Note: I mean this figuratively, not literally or legally). Don’t get me wrong. I am happy that my father has someone new in his life. I genuinely like his new wife and I get along fairly well with her family. Still, I cannot help but feel like a proverbial third wheel when I spend certain holidays at home.
These days, the only time I really feel “at home” is when I visit with my family in Oceanside at Christmastime. If I didn’t have any emotional ties to where I am, I would consider moving down there and start a new life for myself.
I am not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions. However, I have made three this year.
I am going to pay off the remainder of my car loan. This should not be terribly difficult. All I have to do is call the bank and get it done.
I am going to buy a house. I have been renting an apartment for about four years and, at nearly $1000 each month in rent, that is a lot of money has has gone down the proverbial drain. I know nothing about home-buying, unfortunately. This may prove to be a daunting task. There are so many questions. Foremost on my mind is: Is it better to take out a loan or pay cash? I have enough in savings to buy a home. I do not like the idea of being in debt. I am completely debt free except for my car loan and I would prefer to stay that way. This is something I will have to think long and hard about.
Finally, for better or for worse, I am going to make a more conscious effort to keep in touch with those I care about. I have lost touch with a good number of friends in my travels. Yes, I have made some new friends along the way, but I still have emotional ties with a select few from my youth. Thankfully, through Facebook and other social media sites, I have been able to reconnect with most.