Happy Sunday. This week, I am inspired by the men God has sent to me over the years who teach me about patience and the value of waiting for “my man”. I have several “man friends” who have supported me in tremendous ways. And they are very good men. They are good husbands, good fathers and good friends.
One such example, is a dear friend of mine who I met in my 20’s at a job. His unconditional support of my running and my blogging and all my “crazy ventures” is hard to describe. Right before my “Vagina Monologues” show, I opened a card in the mail from him with a donation for “Hope’s Door” – the charity protecting victims of domestic violence. The proceeds from our show went directly to this organization. His card made my Valentine’s Day. He has surprised me in this manner for years. With random acts of kindness affirming me and helping raise my self-esteem.
Another example, is a best “man” friend who was always there for me in my twenties when I needed help moving or needed a “male date” for a wedding, or I simply needed that “male perspective on dating advice. He never missed an opportunity to send me a card with a hysterical poem for my birthdays! Not only was he so good to me, but he was so kind to my best friends. We are all still good friends today. He has gone on to be a hugely successful professional, husband and father. I ADORE his wife and his daughters. They all came to my San Francisco marathon and cheered for me!
Finally, my most “prized man” example is my father. My best “man” friend and “rock”. I cannot even begin to share all the times he unconditionally was there for me in every way possible. He is also so very good to my mother and I suspect through my dating “nightmares” my mother appreciates him even more. They are approaching 50 years of marriage next year! Something I will certainly NEVER see in my lifetime.
I write this blog in a manner in which my Dad would approve. (even though he swears he never reads this). He did admit to me he shared my blog with a woman at his gym going through a divorce! So perhaps he may be reading this. I pray he does because he needs to know he sets the bar very high for the male gender and in my world he sets the “standard” for what makes a man…HONEST, LOYAL, DEDICATED, COMPASSION, KINDNESS, you name it. That is my Dad – I can only pray to reflect these values and one day find this in “my man”.
Thank you for reading.
Happy Sunday. I recently reconnected with a “boy who got away”. I was 23, met him in a bar in Hoboken, and he was very kind. He was so sweet, that he let me and my 3 girlfriends stay in his apartment in Los Angeles, California during our journey to the West Coast. We did the coastal drive and saw much of this gorgeous state. It was an adventure for 4 young girls.
We were not the best guests. We were all about partying and being selfish. He took great care of us. He took us out on his friend’s sailboat. He and his friends spent a lot of money on this boat to have it an entire day. Sadly, 3 out of the 4 of us got violently ill from seasickness as the ocean was rough that day. We were so ill that we insisted his friend turn that boat around and bring us back to land. They lost out on that day! His friend picked us up that night in his “California convertible” and took us on a drive down the “Sunset Strip”. They took us to a very fun and cool LA dance club. It was exciting. This year, on March 15th, I’m looking forward to running the LA Marathon down that same strip.
I, in turn, invited this boy to stay in my NY apartment and I offered to give him and his friends a “NY City” tour. We had a blast. I took him skiing upstate and got my first speeding ticket with him! I took him to some very cool places in the City with his friend and my friends. We had a blast!
So here is the “kicker”. Nothing ever happened romantically with this boy. I made sure of this. He was way too nice and way too good for me. I was (and am today) addicted to bad boys! So after all these years, he found me on LinkedIn and called me to say “hello”. Surprise, surprise – HE IS A MAN! He got his degrees from high-end schools. He is the CEO of a company. He is a terrific husband and father. I’m so very proud of him. And so kicking myself for being an “addict”.
But yet again, this is MY journey. It is what it is. I’m single and happy being single. For today. Oh man, oh man – where for art thou?
Thank you for reading.
Happy Valentine’s weekend. I’m writing this blog for this long Valentine weekend with some motivation. “Boy abuse” is a heavy topic. I find as I get older, I talk about my personal “boy abuse” stories less and less as I get happier and happier as a single woman. But many of you know I have a fun short reading in my churches’ production of the “Vagina Monologues” tonight. The charity we are fund-raising for assists victims in domestic violent situations. Since I consider myself a “survivor”, I find it appropriate to tackle this topic on the Sunday after Valentine’s Day and my play. It is difficult to talk about abuse because I no longer see myself as a “victim”, but as a volunteer. Today I am happy to report I no longer “sign up” to be around abusers (as much as I can help myself). Even today, when I speak to people (mostly women), I recognize clear signs that a boy is an abuser. And I’m well aware that for my sanity, today I choose to remain far away from these kind of boys. One day at a time and with God’s grace.
Sign #1: He exhibits controlling behaviors over you. He may want to tell you what to do and who to be friends with. He may tell you how to eat, dress, or act. He may need to know where you are and what you are doing every second of the day. He may want or encourage you to do destructive, unhealthy things like eat or drink too much. Keeping you down makes him happy.
Sign #2: Disrespect. This abusive boy trait infuriates me. Simply stated,
the boy makes you feel second best. You are not important in his world and your opinion doesn’t matter. You are to be seen and not heard. You do not have a voice. YOU KIDDING ME? No way and no thank you. Time to do your best and G.O. – GO!
Sign #3: He takes away your joy. Were you a happy person before you began spending time with him? You can have this happiness back again. It may be hard and painful, requiring a lot of courage, but you can formulate an escape plan and get away. NO ONE SHOULD STEAL YOUR JOY.
I know the signs because I have spent way too much time with abusive boys. I suffered with abusers through many dating experiences, long-term relationships and my failed marriage (which I consider my “marriage escape” to be one of my biggest successes today). I am living proof that you do not need to stay any place that is unhealthy for you. I live one day at a time and pray God continues to bless me with healthy people in my life who love me unconditionally and keep me going. This is the number one reason why I have the strength to have run 13 marathons and counting…
Thank you for reading. Hope you have nothing but love for yourself this Valentine’s Day. Love is all that really matters. And the unconditional love from the Divine is always there for you. As long as no abusive boy blurs your vision, reach out and accept this love.
Happy Sunday. Time to go “old school” and reflect back to my 20’s and tell a fun dating story. I was a young gal, only 24 years of age. There were no cell phones or internet dating sites, so dating for this young chick meant meeting boys in bars. My friends and I were in the City doing just that one Friday night. The night I met him, I had drunk way too much, so my memory of him was not very clear. Apparently, I gave him my phone number and he called by Sunday night to ask me out on a date.
He sounded nice enough on the phone and since he had no car, he was willing to take Metro North up from the City. I picked him up in my Civic (a daring move since today when I date I never get in a stranger’s car nor allow them to get into my car). I knew pretty quickly he wasn’t someone I really wanted to be on a date with. I think his “pleather jacket” with the fake fur collar was an instant turn off for me. But, he went out of his way to come to Westchester County, so off we went to my favorite dating spot back in my “pre-cell phone” days.
It was a popular chain restaurant that happened to have a pay phone in the ladies bathroom, so if I needed an emergency “friend rescue” I could have easy access to a phone. In fact my girlfriends all picked this particular place for the same reason. Being that this was the early 90’s, $20 was easily $50 by today’s standards. And I had a “rule” back then that if I didn’t like the boy, I wasn’t going to let him pay for my dinner. Since I wasn’t having a good time (I found his chatter to be really annoying over dinner, and my memory was that he spit when he spoke), I ordered an inexpensive pasta and a glass of water. He in turn ordered 2 scotch and waters, steak and shrimp, and a desert! I just wanted the date to be over and when the bill came I knew the max I had spent was $10. I specifically handed him my $20 stating, “this is all I have, I have no smaller bills” thinking he would either reject me giving him any money at all or at the very least return a $10 to me.
His response amazed me. He stated “thank you, that will do” and took my entire $20 and tucked it neatly into his wallet. And that was that. Needless to say, I couldn’t drive him back to his return to the city Metro North train fast enough.
I did have a fun p.s. to this story. About 6 months later a popular NY radio station announced that if you had a fun dating story to tell the listeners please call in and tell it. So I called and got onto the air. When I told the DJ my story, he ended my tale with “and Michael from NY City, please give Leslie her $20 back you cheap bastard!” I still have that recording tucked away in my closet on an old cassette.
Thanks for reading. Hope you are enjoying.