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Posts Tagged With: men

Lists in the face

I remember being surprised at being invited to that executive’s retirement party given we’d hardly interacted.  I was around 27 and, looking back, a bit naive.

The night of the party, one of the (ancient) executive’s pals, in his toast to the retiree, joked about inviting “pretty girls like __(me)__ so we all have something nice to look at.” Their wives looked horrified and sad, most men chuckled, and I can still feel the rage at being reduced to “something.”

I know and have loved many wonderful men – decent, kind and gentle men.  I’m fortunate I can easily rattle off a long list including Grandfathers,  Great Uncles, Dad and his brothers, my husband and our sons. But I also have known – and had to work with – creeps.  And, in my experience, the creeps spoil the well for the good men.

Now, as a Grandmother, my Spidey senses are on FIRE whenever I’m out with our grandkids – both grandSON and grandDAUGHTER — I watch them like a hawk even though they aren’t “babies” any more.    I’m hyper-aware of everyone around us; if one asks to go off to another aisle to “see just one thing” we all go; it’s not up for discussion.

I’ve talked with the grands about good people and bad people, about trusting their instincts, and if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe to tell any of us, and that they will never be in trouble for doing so.  I worry about Social Media and creepy perverts who lurk in shadows everywhere.  But, as many of us know, creepy perverts were in our churches, schools, and communities long before Facebook or SnapChat ever existed.

I made a quick list of how experiences with creepy men has impacted how I live; the list wrote itself in minutes.

  • I stay alert and pay attention to surroundings; if someone feels “off” I get away from them.
  • I never walk, shop for groceries or stop for gas in the dark.
  • I prefer to exercise in the house vs. in the neighborhood.
  • I wear a cross body purse, always and my cell phone remains charged and accessible, even at home.
  • I check the back seat of any vehicle before getting in, anywhere and in every light.
  • I rarely venture away from the hotel when traveling for business ~ Company (male) colleagues like to walk to restaurants for group events (because they never have to think about lists like this!). I prefer to take a taxi but will walk in a larger (mixed) group.
  • I never sleep on flights.
  • All windows and doors are locked  ~ if I find myself alone at the office (very off-putting) I take the cell phone with me to the copier or the restroom.
  • On business trips /outings I stick to water or (sometimes) order a cocktail I don’t like and sip it; whatever I have goes with me to the ladies’ room.
  • It’s Hubby’s deep voice on the answering machine.
  • I’m not thin anymore;  extra weight has lessened the burden of unwanted attention.
  • I never use parking garages,  valet where possible and expense it, and offer no explanations or apologies.
  • I don’t get on elevators with men, not even one.
  • I limit fluids during road trips which limits stops, and never use highway rest areas; Fast food restaurants only.
  • At company functions I employ the Irish Good-bye – excuse myself and don’t come back.

Your turn:

  • Can you relate to this post?
  • How have your experiences impacted the way you navigate your day-to-day life?
    • Any tips or thoughts to add?

 

“Men often ask me, Why are your female characters so paranoid? It’s not paranoia. It’s recognition of their situation.” — Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

 

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Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Grief, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel, Useful Information, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

On gardeners

google.images.com

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  – Marcel Proust

Who makes you happy? Who lifts your soul so much that it can’t help but blossom?

* * *

Me & Hubbs at our Garden wedding .. all those years ago. An emjayandthem.com photo

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Joy, Quotes, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

The first brick

I remember the first time that I knew, really knew, that Hubbs was the one for me.

It wasn’t the way he showed up early for our dates or the thoughtful way he listened when I had something to say.

It wasn’t the flowers that he’d sent, although he’d sent them often.

It wasn’t the tender way he played with my (then 5-year-old) boy, although that surely melted my wounded heart (and still does, just thinking about it.)

It wasn’t even the way he kissed me good night or how he always added an anguished growl as he left us.

No, it was all of those things and more: It was doing what he’d said he’d do.  Calling when he said he would. Showing up when he promised to be there.  He taught me, in his own quiet way, that before me was a real man, an honorable and dependable man,  a man with a deep voice, broad shoulders and a tender heart.  A man a girl could set her clocks to .. forever.

“Here’s something else to think about: calling when you say you’re going to is the very first brick in the house you are building of love and trust. If he can’t lay this one stupid brick down, you ain’t never gonna have a house baby, and it’s cold outside.”
— Greg Behrendt, “He’s just not that into you.”

*and I can’t write of bricks without adding in this classic Commodores hit!

How about you? When did you know that someone had built a foundation for you?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Growth, Quotes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Flying solo on Thanksgiving

source: johnnycupcakes

It was Thanksgiving Day, 2004 and we had just buried my Dad. My lovely, sweet, kind and wonderful Dad. Gone from us.

I had been home to see him about month before, when we knew things weren’t going well, and I had tried to say my good-byes. Sort of.  Because you’re never really able to say all that you want to say.   I told him I loved him, tried my best to thank him for being the best Dad ever, and clung to him until it was time to leave for the airport.

I hugged my mom and sisters, boarded the plane and headed back to the United States; away from the family farm in rural Saskatchewan.

It was Thanksgiving day and I never realized until then what a gift a light travel day could be.  What I had always imagined would be such a lonesome, awful thing to do turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The plane was nearly empty. I didn’t have to make small talk with anyone.

I sat alone.

I ate alone.

I read.

I slept.

I cried softly into the darkness.

It was on that plane, on Thanksgiving Day, that I was, once again, overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of a kind and loving father.  For 80+ years. Who gets that? I did. Lucky.

my Dad, Lloyd; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

You didn’t know my Dad, so let me tell you a little about him.  His name was Lloyd. He stashed cookies in his pocket & licorice in his truck.  He didn’t travel without his newest favorite cap or a little grin on his face. He loved people, but he had a soft spot for children.  He taught me where to find Saskatoon berries, to love and care for animals & appreciate the land we farmed, to be fearless, to drive a stick shift, to read the sky, and to dance while standing on his shoes. He taught me that real men cry, adore their wives, tickle their children, and are playful, gentle and loyal.  My Dad was a man of few words. He didn’t need them I suppose. His actions spoke volumes.  My Dad .. showed up.

6 years have passed since he left us and it never gets easier.

You never get over it. Time does not heal; that, my friends, is a lie.

We. Just. Get. Through. It.

I Miss you Dad, on this day and every day.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

It had to be you

me & the hubbs.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Happened across this song the other day and it took me back.  Back to living in Connecticut  where I met the Hubbs.  I was a divorced single parent of a 5-year-old boy; he was a well-traveled businessman from the midwest. I had a child. I did not date. I worked and took care of my son.  But a relentless girlfriend dragged me out on a Friday night and that’s where we met. He chatted with her (I thought he liked my friend) but, little did I know, he was working his way to me.  (foxy loxie that he is)

From the start, we had every obstacle in our way. Before we even had our first date, my employer announced we were relocating 6 states away.. in 4 months.  But summer was nearing and, cautiously, we started spending time together – the 3 of us – how’s that for romance?   Seeing a big shouldered man play with a teenage-mutant-ninja-turtled little boy softened my wounded heart.

One night we wrangled a sitter & decided to see the movie we were hearing a lot about, “When Harry met Sally.”  Understand, Mr. Hubbs doesn’t like movies.  Doesn’t go to movies. Didn’t know it then but he accommodated …me.

Can’t hear this song without thinking of him and that summer we fell in love .. over playdates with a 5-year-old, and day trips to New York City.

Update: we moved, he moved too, we married, had 2nd son, lived, loved and laughed together. And here we are … 19 years later.. and tonight’s “date night!” Think I’m gonna dig out our Harry Connick cds for later … And our 5-year-old boy? He’s now a grown man, married to his love who brought a 5-year-old boy to their marriage. That little boy.. you guessed it .. he loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, too.

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Life, Love, music, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Back to the days of Pooh

photo source: freeextras.com

Last night our baby boy (17 next week) received his first armed services recruitment letter.

 Don’t they know he’s just a boy?

 Don’t they know he’s our baby?

 Don’t they know that while he’s smart and brave and strong and tall … when we look at him we see that little wistful face, the boy who tilts his head to the side to sing and closes his eyes when he passionately makes a point? Don’t they know that this letter surely was meant for someone else? Someone … older?

 I want to find my way back .. back to the days of Christopher Robin.  Back to the days of .. Pooh.

Categories: Family, Life, Personal, Random observations, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The road to home

The road to home makes me think of advice my mother gave to me as a newly married woman, “Remember dear, every time he annoys you or does something you think is stupid .. he’s had the same thoughts about you.”

 Isn’t that the truth?  

Categories: Humor, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Opinion, Quotes, Random observations, Relationships, Useful Information, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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