Sarah Palin doesn't like Polar Bears?



Palin fought safeguards for polar bears with studies by climate change skeptics

United States - The Republican Sarah Palin and her officials in the Alaskan state government drew on the work of at least six scientists known to be skeptical about the dangers and causes of global warming, to back efforts to stop polar bears being protected as an endangered species, the Guardian can disclose. Some of the scientists were funded by the oil industry.

In official submissions to the US government's consultation on the status of the polar bear, Palin and her team referred to at least six scientists who have questioned either the existence of warming as a largely man-made phenomenon or its severity. One paper was partly funded by the US oil company ExxonMobil.

The status of the polar bear has become a battleground in the debate on global warming. In May the US department of the interior rejected Palin's objections and listed the bear as a threatened species, saying that two-thirds of the world's polar bears were likely to be extinct by 2050 due to the rapid melting of the sea ice. Palin, governor of Alaska and the Republican nominee for US vice-president, responded last month by suing the federal government, to try to overturn the ruling. The case will be heard in January.

Though the state of Alaska has no polar bear specialists on its staff, the governor's stance has pitted it against the combined scientific fire-power of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey, and world experts on the mammal.

In its lawsuit, Alaska said it opposed the endangered label partly because the listing would "deter activities such as … oil and gas exploration and development". Oil companies recently bid $2.7bn (£1.5bn) for rights to explore the Chuckchi sea, an established polar bear habitat.

The threatened species status might also impede the building of an Alaskan natural gas pipeline, which Palin has called the "will of God". In a letter last year to the US interior secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, she said she believed the polar bear population was "abundant, stable and unthreatened by direct human activity". She opposed the call for the listing because it "did not use the best available scientific and commercial information".

Her own Alaskan review of the science drew on a joint paper by seven authors, four of whom were well-known climate-change deniers. Her paper argued that it was "certainly premature, if not impossible" to link temperature rise in Alaska with human CO2 emissions.

The paper, entitled Polar Bears of Western Hudson Bay and Climate Change, has been criticized for relying on old research and ignoring evidence that Arctic sea-ice is melting at a quickening pace. Walt Meier, a world authority on sea ice, based at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, said: "The paper doesn't measure up scientifically."

One co-author of the paper, Willie Soon, completed the study with funding from ExxonMobil — which has oil operations in Alaska's North Slope — as well as from the American Petroleum Institute. Soon was a former senior scientist with the George C Marshall Institute, which acts as an incubator for climate-change scepticism. The institute has received $715,000 in funding from ExxonMobil since 1998.

In May, ExxonMobil announced that it was no longer funding Marshall and other groups linked with climate-change denier views. It said this was to avoid "distraction from the need to provide energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions" and stressed that the company did not "control the research itself".

Another co-author of the document was Sallie Baliunas. In 2003 she and Soon were criticized when it was revealed that a joint paper had been partially funded by the American Petroleum Institute. Thirteen scientists whom they cited issued a rebuttal and several editors of the journal Climate Research resigned because of the "flawed peer review". A third co-author of the polar bear study, David Legates, a professor at Delaware University, is also associated with the Marshall Institute.

The citation by Palin and her officials prompted complaints from Congress. One member, Brad Miller, dubbed the polar bear study phony science.
Palin told Miller: "Attempts to discredit scientists...simply because their analyses do not agree with your views, would be a disservice to this country." Miller now says that Palin's use of the paper shows she differs greatly from John McCain, the Republican presidential contender, who has pressed for scientific integrity. "Turning to the cottage industry of scientists who are funded because they spread doubt about global warming is not integrity," Miller said.

Palin's submission consulted J Scott Armstrong, a specialist in forecasting, who regards the global warming issue as "public hysteria".

Two other climate change deniers were cited. One was Syun-Ichi Akasofu, formerly director of the International Arctic Research Centre, in Alaska, who argues that climate change could be a hangover from the "little ice age". He is a founding director of the Heartland Institute, a thinktank that has received $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

Timothy Ball, a retired professor from Winnipeg, is cited for his climate and polar bear research. He has called human-made global warming "the greatest deception in the history of science". He has worked with both Friends of Science, and the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, which each had funding from energy firms.

Kert Davies, research director at Greenpeace US, said the state of Alaska under Palin's leadership had relied on scholars who argue the opposite view to that of the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community. "It shows that she is completely out of touch with the urgency of the climate crisis."

Last month Palin agreed that the Alaskan climate was changing but added: "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made." She later tried to retract the statement.

I knew there was something about her I didn't like


A note to all by Anne Kilkenny

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up.

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks.

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached.

Thanks,
Anne

ABOUT SARAH PALIN

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
won't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a "babe".

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
for seven months.

She is "pro-life". She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't take positions; she just "puts things out there" and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She's smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative". During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.

These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city.

As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she
proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's
surplus, borrow for needs.

She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as
Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State's top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated" her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure
and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn't like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the "old boys' club" when she dramatically quit, exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the "bridge to
nowhere" after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative
action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork".

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a
fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and
experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together a package of legislation known as "AGIA" that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state
initiative that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State's
lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.

There have to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

CLAIM VS FACT
*"Hockey mom": true for a few years
*"PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
*"NRA supporter": absolutely true
*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconstitutional).

*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
*"Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation

*"Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state ofAlaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on
supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
*political maverick: not at all
*gutsy: absolutely!
*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
*"a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.

*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.

*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla's history.
*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny +
Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that "Bad things happen when good people stay silent". Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will
cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

CAVEATS
I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall--they are swamped. So I can't verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my "about 5,000", up to 9,000. The day Palin's selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90's.

Anne Kilkenny
annekilkenny@hotmail.com
August 31, 2008

SecuROM Bad


I am a bit of a gamer. One of the games I enjoy playing is The Sims. Right now it is the Sims 2 for PC.

The Sims 3 is set to be released February 2009. When I first heard about The Sims 3 I was very excited, but the more I hear/read about SecuROm the less excited I get.

The New Securom: Why It's Fundamentally Flawed

Postby Secret Jerk on Mon May 12, 2008 1:03 am
Many gamers out there are asking a very important question: What's the big deal?

It's a fair question, and we hope to answer it for you. First, let's give an overview of the new Securom and how it differs from the current Securom:

New Securom:
- CD will not be required to play.
- Game will be authenticated on installation, PC will be "authorized" as one of three you are allowed to install on.
- Reauthentication will be required when patching or downloading game content.

So the new Securom doesn't seem too horrible, right? I won't need the CD anymore? It sounds like a good thing! Not quite... There are some very important things to think about here.

First off, this is basically, more or less, just another form of DRM, and any form of DRM that requires connection with an "Authentication Server" like the new system EA is proposing is something no consumer should agree to.

The Pitfalls of Authentication Servers:

Scenario: You try to install your game, get to the "Online Authentication" step, and discover that the servers that are supposed to authenticate your game have been turned off by the company...
This is not at all an unlikely scenario. In fact, it has happened in the past. Just take the example of what happened to customers of the now defunct MSN Music store:

Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it's done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.

As shown in the other link above, this is not the first time this has happened. Companies that are pushing DRM systems like this usually insist that they'll keep the systems going forever...

The new system will apparently be used in all future PC releases from EA. In response to concerns that owners of the PC version of the game will not be able to play it once the validation servers are pulled down, French wrote, "It does not take any effort to keep the servers running, because it's not just for Mass Effect, it will be for Spore, and all the other PC titles coming up. In fact, it would take more effort to shut down one PC title than to keep them all going."

But let's face it: nothing is forever...

Scenario: 10 years from now, you're digging through an old box of computer stuff. "Whoa cool! I remember this old game! I should give it a whirl again just for the fun of it!" You stick in the CD, go to install the game, only to find that the Authentication Servers haven't been shut off, they physically no longer exist...

Look at all of your old games and think of all the classics that you can still play: Lemmings, SimCity Classic, Scorched Earth, Doom, Transport Tycoon, Theme Hospital, Starcraft, 1803, Dinosaur Tycoon... the list goes on and on and on... Yet, how many of the companies that made your old games are even still in existence?

Sure, technology changes but nearly any old game can still be played given the right compatibility settings, an emulator, or even WINE, which can run many old games that may have run on DOS or Windows 3.1 but can't be run on XP or newer. But imagine not even being able to INSTALL these games to attempt to play because the company that made the game isn't around anymore, and neither are their authentication servers...

Scenario: You get a shiny new gaming computer and want to have nothing running in the background so that your games run as fast as possible. No anti virus programs, firewalls, chat clients, anything. Then you go to install this new single player game, only to discover that it requires the internet to be installed.

This isn't as likely anymore, but many people still have their gaming computer separated from their "online" computer and therefore would not be able to install without hooking up an internet connection to the gaming PC. There are also many in the world who do not have reliable access to the internet at all, or very slow access. Some I know personally have to go to Internet cafes on laptops to download patches because they are stuck on dialup at home, and now with this new system of activation for installation and reactivation for patches and other content, they will no longer be able to do this.

Other Scenarios: While not nearly as glaring as the first two scenarios, other scenarios exist. The authentication servers could be slammed on release day by all the players trying to authenticate their games, and, if the server is to be shared as French suggested, then any time a major game release is made or when many people receive new games around holidays, you may be waiting and making many attempts to authenticate your game, none of which work.

The "Three Installations" Rule:

There has been a great deal of confusion over this rule, and there still is. Some articles say that it means you can install it on up to three computers at a time. Others say three installations, period, including reinstalls. However, EA has stated that:

Q: Will EA or BioWare take any personal information from my computer during an authentication?

A: Absolutely not. We do not take any personal information from your computer. The system simply verifies that a valid CD key has been provided and assigns that activation to that PC.

Therefore, there is no way for this new SecuROM activation system to know whether or not the computer that the game is being installed on is the same computer that it has been installed on before unless information is saved on the computer that isn't removed when the game is uninstalled. Even if the information is retained after the game is uninstalled, it will not be retained when the computer is reformatted. Finally, EA has given us no information to lead us to believe that we will be able to "deauthorize" a machine if we decide to get rid of it and install the game on a new one instead.

In the end, regardless of how this system will work, it is bad. Period.

Scenario: You install your game on two of your computers. After a few months, you have to reformat one computer and you reinstall the game. Then, your other computer crashes, completely. Time to buy a new one! Only one problem: you've used up all three "installations", and you now can't install the game on your shiny, new computer.

EA says that in the case of a situation like this, you simply have to call customer service and get permission to install the game on the computer. However, as we well know, being on hold with customer service is about as fun as watching paint dry. Additionally, there are no guarantees they'll even GIVE you permission to install the game:

This solution allows gamers to authenticate their game on three different computers with the purchase of one disc. EA Customer Service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.

Historically, when a person has bought games, they've had the right to keep playing and using them for as long as they want, with no restrictions on the number of times they install. Why should this change now?

Scenario: A pirate downloads an illegal copy of the game and uses a keygen to generate a key code for their game that just happens to match yours. Oops! Looks like you just lost one of your installation authorizations...

While the chances of this are slim, it is a genuine risk. And with all the companies telling us that piracy is huge, why shouldn't we expect one of the myriads of pirates out there to generate a key that is the same as ours?

In The End...

In the end, as you can see, this new system does nothing to help the consumer. Those who buy the game legally and put up with the SecuROM system are hit with frustration after frustration and are treated by EA like criminals rather than loyal customers. Nobody should put up with such a system, and we should all vote with our wallets: Don't buy anymore games made by EA or any other company that contain such a restrictive system that is so degrading to actual customers.

Why I went natural

The last perm I had was in January 2006. I was going to visit by boyfriend for a few days so I decided to get it relaxed. Up until then I was wearing braids or when I wasn't wearing braids, weaves, etc my hair was texturized. A day before I left to see my boyfriend I got a relaxer. About a month or two later my hair began to break off like crazy. I tried deep conditioners, shampoos & conditioners for damaged hair, that carrot hair oil, I tried whatever I could to stop the breakage and nothing seemed to work. Or they would work for only a few days .

And that is when I made up my mind to never relax my hair again. While I was growing out the perm, I went back to wearing braids and twists. My aunt is the one who does my hair for me, so every time I went to get my hair done she would cut off some of the permed hair. My mom began to perm my hair since I was in grade 3/4 and around 14 I began wearing braids so I never really learned how to properly care for my natural hair. So during this time I thought that it was time I learned. It was also then I discovered some very good sites such as Napputrality. What I found very helpful was and still is YouTube. One day I decided to do a search for natural hair and it turned up with a lot of results. I was amazed at how many people were on there talking about their natural hair journey, products they use, how-tos on hairstyles, etc. One of my favorite YouTubers is ladykpnyc She has good information and hairstyles to try. The video posted at the bottom is one of hers and if you liked that video, please go check out her channel.

I am so glad I went natural. My hair is definitely thanking me for it.

Googling Interracial

By ABC

If you put in the word “interracial” in Google, you get porn on the top and dating sites at the bottom. When you’re clicking on sites on the results page be careful. The titles seem unassuming in and of themselves but with the wrong click you’d be viewing nothing but pornography. Pornography has been prevalent on the web since it became accessible to the masses.

I’d like to state here that I’m open to adult material for ADULTS. Nothing is more natural. The problem I have is that they are presenting the material as a fetish. They spout about how black on white sex is so hot. Primarily these sites are filled with white women looking as if they like nothing better than being abused by something black and huge.

These sites reflect the attitudes of society that interracial relations are for the most part taboo. They market on peoples’ stereotypes to a tidy sum. There are no victims of course, but if someone was curious about interracial dating this is not the impression I would like them to get.

I hope in the future more sites will be created about interracial dating/marriage from an everyday perspective. The more the truth is presented the more people will share their experiences and take comfort that they are not alone. In the meantime I keep searching the web being careful of what I click on.

Experiences with White Women

Or Why Assumptions Are a Bad Thing

By ABC

There have been several instances when white women have flirted shamelessly with my husband in front of me. This can happen to any woman when she is with her boyfriend/husband in public but their approach was unusual. They would first scope out my husband from afar. They approached him and started up a conversation about nothing at all. Ice break technique. When I step forward to join the conversation, the woman attempts to weave an invisible shield between her and me leaving my husband and her in their own zone.

I know it sounds melodramatic but it’s how I feel. In my life I have ignored people so I know when I’m being ignored. The woman’s effort to make me disappear is only matched by her assumptions based on prejudice. She ASSUMES that we are not a couple or that I just happen to be talking to him when she approached. The more I try to interject my presence into the surrounding space the more persistent and annoyed the white female in question becomes.

It’s as if the woman senses there’s something going on between us but her attitude prevents her from entertaining the idea that we could be a couple. In most cases if the man you’re interested about is in the company of another woman laughing and talking one of the first thoughts that should come to mind is “Are they a couple?” You want to know what you’re up against. You would probably try to find out if they are dating, married, or friends. It natural to be curious, but these cases they don’t WANT to know.

The more my husband tries to shrugged them off the more persistent they become! Usually I can catch when a women has scoped him out. When this happens I usually start calling him honey and baby. Other times my husband takes the initiative and “volunteers” to get something we don’t need from another aisle or department. I agree and give a quick glance to the woman in question. She realizes that the show was for her benefit and she moves on.

It makes want to bite and scratch when this nonsense happens. Here’s a few reason why:

  • A) They assume since I’m black we’re NOT a couple.
  • B) Before we met, these women wouldn’t have given him a second glance.
  • C) The attention received was not prompted by my husband nor encouraged.

That’s why when I am out with my husband in public I assert my role. We hold hands and even kiss. YES WE KISS. Once my husband kissed me as we parted lips I saw a young black man with his jaw hanging, dumbfounded. I used to be passive about the behavior of these types of women but I know I have to make it clear that I’m NOT going to take the bullshit anymore.

Never Felt So Black

By ABC

When I was a teenager I was a loner. Not black enough for black people, but not fit for white consumption. My situation comes in second to a zebra who was born with no stripes. People couldn’t figure me out. I listened to KRS ONE but I liked Guns N Roses. I loved southern cooking but I wasn’t against eat dishes that were not on the approved black list. I love black people but I didn’t feel as if I had to run to every pro-black rally and sign every community petition.

Since I had no real friends and didn’t fit in, I did my own thing. I am who I am. I am black woman. I was born from one. No getting around that fact. Unfortunately, I was never able to pull off being accepted as black because I didn’t act, dress, or speak the way black people are “supposed” to (whatever that means). Go home and change your clothes they’d say, only white people wear dat kinda shit. You need to stop reading those “white books” you’re being brainwashed, they’d say. Why you talkin like you’re white? After a while I just gave up and tried to be as “black” as possible, but I was never able to satisfy the blacks I tried to befriend.

In the end I resigned myself to sit at the fringes of black society and eventually society as a whole. For many the next logical step would of been to hang out with white people and try to be “white” so I could have friends. Ha! Like many people when you’re a teenager who do almost anything to fit in. In my case that wasn’t a solution. I knew that there was prejudice among white people. There was no guarantee that I wouldn’t have put with it on a regular basis just so I could say I had “friends.” It was pointless. I really wanted to be accepted for I was and not to have to pretend to be something I wasn’t.

Then I met my husband. For the first time in my life being me was a GOOD thing. I was always of the opinion that I was fine the way I was and now I’d met someone who felt the same way. I admit it sounds like narcissism but its true. I discovered that he possessed all the qualities I found desirable in a man and in myself. We we’re able to quickly get past any awkwardness.I know you will find this shocking but my husband and I discuss race (GASP!). I know, but its necessary for a marriage that has to deal with racism and bigotry. It’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page about how to deal with prejudice when confronted with it.

Since I married my husband I get dirty stares from black folks. I can’t see why they’re so upset I wasn’t “black” enough before. Seems strange to me. Because of the attitudes my husband and I have to face I know all too well that my skin color is being used as marker of why I’m with my husband and the nature of the relationship.

My Marriage Doesn’t Affect You

By ABC

There are many times when I wondered why many people feel threatened by a white man married to a black woman. I’m speaking from a personal perspective, but there many other interracial combinations that people associate with being subversive and a threat to the fabric of our society. They claim that traditions will disappear and cultural identities will be lost.

I’ve never been a fan of fear mongering. No need to fear, what is happening is natural. You’re witnessing something that has taken place in societies for thousands of years. When two or more cultures co-mingle for a long enough period of time, multicultural and interracial marriages take place despite any deep social conflicts. Interracial dating and marriage will take place whether you approve of it or not.

Laws have been created (Miscegenation Laws Dating Back to the Late 17th Century!) and made null and void (Loving Vs. Virginia Ruling - 1967) in the face of this reality. I find it strange that people had such a strong opinion about something that really doesn’t concern them or affect them personally.

If you find couples who want to build strong relationships and families offensive simply based on their skin color then what do you stand for? Isn’t it everyone’s wish to find someone who will love them and will accept them for who they are? There’s nothing subversive or unnatural about a woman picking a man that she’ll be happy and content with.

I’m happy with my marriage and I’m not hurting you or society no matter what you may believe. I think opponents of interracial dating and marriage need to search their feelings. Do you really believe that you’re only looking out for society or your culture’s best interests? Or are you speaking from fear, ignorance, or bad blood? Some of the people that are against interracial relationships have NEVER been in one themselves!

If that’s the case, I don’t see why I have to listen to your rhetoric about the evils of dating and marrying outside my race. When it comes down to it the world won’t stop spinning if my husband and I raise children, maintain a household, and grow old together.

The College of Segregation

By JeffG

Growing up in a culturally mixed school, I was very accustomed to being around people of all races. To me, this was normal. From elementary through graduation I had a diverse group of friends, so I wasn’t expecting what I found when I started college.

I began my college career at the University of Delaware. In the brochures they always have this big mix of people, just the right number of token [pick a race] people to avoid suspicion, always smiling and generally convincing you it’s a great place to be. This, I found out later, was utter bullshit. Granted, my upbringing was an exception. As a white male, I was a minority in my school. I understood that this wasn’t the case in the country as a whole, but I was at least expecting to see some folks of color.

What I found in my first week of college, was that I was surrounded by white people. I know, how shocking. No, really, it was. This was the culture shock of a lifetime for me, and was even more so when I realized that the school was not only predominantly white, but also very racially segregated. Black people didn’t associate with white people, and vice versa. I found this out the hard way.

One day, in my second year on the campus, over the initial shock, but still quite dismayed, I was handed a flyer for a concert on the lawn. Rap group “Da Truth” and a female freestyle duo called “InVersus” were going to be performing on the North Mall park area. I’m thinking cool, I don’t have anything else to do this afternoon. In hindsight, I probably should have found something else to do.

When I arrived at the concert, I was one of two white people there, one of whom I believe was the campus coordinator or something because nobody was looking at her funny. When I pulled up a seat, however, I’m pretty sure everyone in the room (well, large tent actually, but whatever) looked at me like I was lost or something. I tried to ignore it and just enjoy the music, but the folks made it pretty damned difficult. Seriously, is it so hard to believe that white people can enjoy rap too?

After a while the looks of “are you lost?” turned into something more like “why don’t you leave already?” To make matters worse, a girl I was friends with from high school was there and when I tried to say hi and ask how she’d been, she tried to pretend she didn’t know me! She was completely uncomfortable in the fact that I was even addressing her, and everyone at the table is looking at me like “how the fuck you gonna act like you know her?”

Let me be clear on something. This girl wasn’t just some casual acquaintance. She was close friends with my ex-girlfriend from high school and early college, and we were good friends ourselves too. We even referred to each other as “cousin,” and in fact, worked together at the same job for several months after high school. This was a pisser. I don’t think I’ve talked to her but twice in all the years since that concert, and only on random occurrences that we’ve run into each other. I make a point to not bother. You don’t do that shit to adopted family. You don’t do that shit to a friend. Therefore, we must not be friends.

Suffice to say, the early years of college were uncomfortable for me. I endured that concert, partly to make a point and partly because it was genuinely good local music. But I never attended one of the concerts after that. I know when I’m not welcome. The trouble is, I didn’t feel particularly welcome anywhere. I didn’t fit in with white folks, I had a black girlfriend and wasn’t some lily white spoiled something or other, and I was apparently too white to be allowed enjoy the company of black folks.

For the most part, I stopped bothering, eventually finding friends in unlikely places, mostly folks like myself who really didn’t fit into any particular “clique” like myself. This was fine by me, since I’ve never been one to follow the crowd anyway, but I never forgot the lessons of segregation and intolerance that I learned in my three years at University of Delaware. I bid good riddance to the place, and my only regret was that I didn’t leave the school sooner.

Bigotry is a Learned Behavior

By JeffG

Nobody is born racist. They are taught to hate. Bigotry is not inbred, it is a learned behavior, and is typically learned from prejudiced parents. Most bigots keep their opinions to themselves, and many try to raise their children to be open minded, at least to some extent, despite their own irrational fears and beliefs. Unfortunately, parents can’t pick and choose what habits their children learn from them. Typically, children are more apt to learn from what you do, not what you say.

Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine. This friend’s father “became” racist one day. Many years ago, he was assaulted by a group of black men. It wasn’t specifically targeted, he could have been anybody. They were just a bunch of thugs who decided to attack him because they could. After this event, the father targeted his anger at those men toward the entire black community. It wasn’t a group of hoodlums that attacked him. In his eyes, he was attacked by a group of black hoodlums.

The man chose to be a racist. Fortunately, my friend saw beyond this prejudice; I’m glad for this because if this friend was a racist, we wouldn’t be friends. Upon hearing the story I asked a question: “Do you really believe he just ‘became’ racist? Or was it perhaps just a validation for a prejudice he already held?”

See, no one simply “becomes” racist on the spot. This man was attacked by a group of black thugs, but had they been white thugs, would he hate all white people? Generally people don’t have an answer for that question. In my eyes, an isolated event like that is no excuse to condemn an entire group of people just because they share the same color of skin.

Let me tell you another story, this time it’s my own. As I’ve mentioned here in the past, I went to a culturally mixed school, though primarily black. Well, there were a group of four young men, who made my life a living hell my first year there. I got my first taste of racism when I was only eight years old.

These boys were all twice my height, they were a year or two older than me, and they beat the living shit out of me on a daily basis. When they weren’t busy beating me up, they were finding other ways to torment me. Due to this, I had a lot of anger and self esteem issues in my youth, many I didn’t overcome for many years, even into adulthood.

I knew then, and still know now that they picked on me because I was different. I was white, I didn’t fit in, and I was smaller than they were. This was enough reason in their eyes to send me crawling to the infirmary on a regular basis, to kick in the stall door on me in the bathroom, to take anything of mine they could get their hands on, and in general, to torment the fuck out of me.

I hated these boys for years, even years later, when we were older I refused to accept apologies from one of them who realized how much shit he and his cohorts had put me through. But I never saw any reason to hate them for being black. See, four pieces of shit do not equal all black people. I continued to go to that school through graduation, and many of my friends were black and of other races and cultures. Knowing people from different backgrounds and cultures opened my eyes to a wide variety of experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

My wife recently made a post about personal responsibility. That subject rings especially true in this case. Your open mindedness is your personal responsibility. If you are a racist, it is because you choose to be a racist. And because of this choice, you will be coloring the views of your children, either toward people of the culture you are biased against, or towards yourself once they open their eyes and see you for what you are.

As I’ve said, bigotry is a learned behavior. So is acceptance. You may not be in control of every situation you find yourself in, but you always choose what mindset and what feelings and knowledge you take with you from the experiences in your life. When you are a racist, you are only teaching your children to hate. Whether they hate you or they hate an entire race of people is their choice. All people come to their own feelings in time. But really, is either option a weight you’re willing to bear?

How I was exposed to my own color-blindness

By JeffG

Part One

To be honest, I didn’t see a lot of race issues growing up. Growing up in a melting pot boarding school led to a safe, but very closed environment. Me being young and naive, I didn’t realize that when my friends went home on the weekend, and I went home on the weekend, we were entering two different worlds.

At school, everyone generally got along. Regardless of our different cultures and beliefs, we all learned to get along because it wasn’t like we could get away from one another anyway. It was an ideal environment that didn’t reflect the cruelty and the hard knock lessons that the real world provides on race and racial identities.

In twelfth grade I started dating a black girl. It was the first “real” relationship I’d ever been in and at the time I didn’t see it as a big deal. We’d been friends for years, and we had a common group of friends that we associated with. In school this was fine. It didn’t matter that I was white and she was black. Hell, to be honest, I wasn’t even aware of it consciously.

When I was younger I was typically unaware of race issues. With the upbringing I had, plus a dash of naivety and a pinch of idealism, I thought everyone was equal. I believed in the constitution. I thought adults always had our best interests in mind. I thought the world was a fair and just place. I thought a lot of things in my childhood and teen years that turned out to be untrue.

My naivety led to color-blindness. I didn’t realize that out in the real world the fact that I was white would be advantageous over being black. I didn’t know that most places today are just as segregated as they were thirty years ago. And I didn’t know that dating a black woman was just asking for trouble. I knew there would be problems and that some people wouldn’t like it. I just didn’t know there would be so many.

At first it was just family. Specifically my step-dad approached me privately about the matter while we were driving to work. It went like this:

HIM: “You know I don’t approve of what you’re doing…”

ME: “You know, I don’t give a fuck what you approve of, and frankly, if I wanted your opinion, I’d have asked for it.”

Yeah, did I mention that felt like the longest car ride ever? Well it was.

My mother did her best to be supportive, I guess. Pretty much everyone else just thought I was nuts, not only because I was with a black girl, but she was also a big girl. What can I say, I guess I’ve alway been attractive to bigger women; I like curves.

In any case, I knew there would be pressures from society in general but I didn’t expect it from my own family and friends. These were the people I loved; how could they judge that way? Little did I know that this was just the beginning. The people around me didn’t have to be racist. Simply being colorblind was enough for them to offend, whether intentionally or not, and wipe their hands clean of any culpability, simply for “not knowing any better.”

And pretty soon it wasn’t just the people close to me. Pretty soon I got a taste of what prejudice was all about…

Part Two

As I said, the behavior of the people around me was only the beginning. Whenever we went out in public we were glared at, particularly by black men. There were even times when these men would go as far as to try and flirt with my girlfriend right in front of me like I wasn’t there. A few of these occasions got so hostile that we had move seats, and on one occasion even to get off the bus and wait for another to avoid physical conflict!

On the other hand, her mother loved me. I mean, absolutely loved me. For a year after we broke up she’d ask this girl when we were going to get back together and have babies. Actually, she was constantly pressing us to have children when we were together, which I thought was odd since at the time we were only in our late teens.

It was during that time that I came to understand the color lines that separate not only white and black people, but also light-skinned blacks and dark-skinned blacks. More personally, I came to understand that her mother wanted a light-skinned granddaughter. Both of her own daughters were very dark-skinned black women.

I didn’t know there were issues there. Before that point I’d always though white was white, black was black, asian was asian, etc. I learned otherwise. My friend Huy was Vietnamese. Phannaro was Cambodian. They both were offended if you called them Chinese, Oriental, etc. This I knew, because when we were younger I’d been confronted with it. But until I dated a black girl, I didn’t understand the dynamics of black culture.

I found out there were Black Hispanics and White Hispanics, and neither really like to be considered white or black. They have their own cultural history. I learned there was a difference of opinion among all different folks between light-skinned black people, dark-skinned black people, African Vs. Black people, et cetera. I learned that lumping a group of people up as “black” really didn’t cover the bases.

After all the time I’d been at a multicultural school and thought I was open minded, I was still on some level holding onto stereotypes, or if not that bad, I was at least generalizing. It would be like plopping a man from Sicily next to me and calling us both white, when really he’s Italian (and sub-culturally, Sicilian), while my roots are a third of a world away in Ireland and Scotland primarily. On top of that, if you stood me with a Scot or an Irishman from those lands and compared us, they’d be offended as well because they’d view me as “American.”

I guess the point of all this is that by being “color-blind” and saying that you don’t see race or choose to ignore it, you are actually denying the existence of the subgroups that exist within cultures. Not only are you then ignoring the differences between different cultures, you are also ignoring the subtle dynamics within different cultures. You are watering down a group of people to fit into a classifiable mold, and then pretending that the mold has not been cast.

Doing this is not only offensive, but also foolish, because until you can accept that differences exist, you will never be able to accept those differences. Until you can do that, you’ll keep claiming that race doesn’t matter without ever understanding why.

This Is Like, The Worst Area!

By JeffG

On Wednesday night my wife wasn’t feeling well. She asked me to stop by the 7-11 up the the street from us for some comfort food on the way home from work. On my way out of the store I was…I don’t want to say accosted, but…we’ll say I was approached by a woman. As I’m starting my car and getting ready to drive off, I see her running up beside my window, where she stops, wringing her hands and motioning for me to roll down the window.

She tells me her car broke down and she needs a ride to the general area of the Pat’s Pizza. Mind you, I’m nowhere near Pat’s and neither is she. I’m several miles from there and it’s 10:15 at night with me going home to comfort a sick wife. Plus, for some reason the chick gives me a bad vibe. Anyway, I told her I couldn’t help her. I’m still not sure if this was bad for my karma or a life saving decision. I’m not a big fan of picking up hitchhikers, though I have done it on a few occasions. In any case, her next words made me feel justified in my decision.

As I’m pulling out of the space, she tries to plead with me, saying “please! C’mon, this is like, the worst area!” She looks genuinely wigged out. I look around. There’s a few black girls hanging out by a van, three or four guys hanging outside the store, this crowd’s nothing more than the usual rabble. Nobody’s causing trouble, but when you’re broke, what else is there but to hang around and bullshit with your people? Talking and hanging out on the corner is free. My friends and I did it all the time when we were younger, wandering around, hanging out with nothing to do.

I look around me; everyone is black. That’s why this is “like, the worst area.”

Lady, the state troopers pull through here every five minutes, you’ll be fine. As I’m driving away, I see her run up on another car, pleading with the only other white person in the lot for a ride. She doesn’t even make eye contact with anyone darker than a sheet of notebook paper. As I drive off, one of the black girls by the van shouts “you better watch out for her white boy!” Watch out indeed. I don’t stop for bigots, nor for paranoiacs.

Marrying the family

By JeffG

When you start a serious relationship, relatives and friends, and later in-laws become a factor. They will attempt to exude influence in your relationship. They do this for many reasons:

  • They’ve known you longer than your significant other
  • They think they know what’s best for you
  • In some cases, they have a vested interest in your future
  • They don’t like your lover
  • They are control freaks

There are more reasons, but these are the primaries. Often, your family is looking out for your best interest in their eyes. Unfortunately, they don’t always know what your best interests are. Your family can be possessive at times. They’ve known you a long time, have raised you/grew up with you, and they generally think they know you better than anyone else. Then your spouse or lover came into the picture and ruined that fantasy. If you are that spouse or lover, try not to take it personally.

While the input of loved ones can be helpful, generally take it with a grain of salt. In some cases the advice given can be bad. Other times it can be a matter of self interest. Now that you’re all hugged up with your favorite person, it’s likely you’ll be spending less time with everyone else. Marital/relationship strife may cause you to spend more time with relatives and friends, and they typically want to be in the know.

Speaking of this, if you have an issue with your partner hash it out with them. Do not sound your issues off with family members and friends without discussing the matter with your partner first. You may find that you’ve worked it out, only to have a family member bring up a private issue very publicly when you get together again, picking the scab of a recently healed wound. If your mother casually brings up that nasty yeast infection your spouse had last month, or how his erectile issue is faring, you’ll probably be sleeping on the couch for a while. If you’re saying to yourself “why the hell would I tell that to anyone…” you’re already smarter than most people.

A relationship is a private thing that many people would like to see made public. The tabloids are enough proof of that. You need to maintain dominance in your relationship or others will only cause problems. Even if their intentions are good, their results are usually anything but.

However, all coins have two sides. If everyone is pointing out issues with your lover/spouse, and they seem to be hitting on the same points, you might want to evaluate your situation. It’s often hard to look at one’s own relationship objectively. I’ve been a a few bad relationships myself where I could have avoided some heartache if I’d only listened to the people around me.

All in all, just be yourself, and don’t let other people control your choices. You know what’s best for you, and it does nobody good to miss out on the love of a lifetime simply because a few people got rubbed the wrong way. Be true to yourself, have confidence in your decisions, and take control of your own life and everything will be fine.

The Excuses of Black Men

A Broken Record Or Why I Don’t Listen To The Excuses of Black Men

By ABC

All my life I’ve seen black men walking out on their children, leaving women to apply for welfare and other services. My mother used to refer to the governor of the state as “Big Daddy” because his signature endorsed the welfare checks. One day she received a letter from her social worker. She was to attend a meeting at her local welfare office the discuss future benefit eligibility.

Forty women, my mother included, were herded into a room and told their welfare benefits would be cut off. The women yelled about children that needed milk, fathers who were in prison, missing or dead-beats that refused to pay child support. Others stated that they were that they were still in college, it would stunt their job choices. The man informed them that individuals that were still in college would have to attend a job readiness classes and find work; my mother fell into this category.

The man who had given the grave news turned and wrote two words on a large drawing board in front of room. It said “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.” More questions were thrown at the man but he refused to respond verbally. With every question, he simply pointed. “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.”

My mother said this went on for another half hour or so until the women were told that the meeting was over and they dispersed. My mother came home and gave me the news. I was told that there would be no more medication or therapy sessions for me. My health benefits would end effective the last day of the month. I was already depressed, so this was no shock. I was seventeen years old. To me it was more of life’s unfairness in action. I only had 4 months until I wouldn’t be eligible in any case.

From the way I saw it these women were being informed that the state would no longer pay for their bad choices in men. A broad brush was being applied to the issue. My mother was incensed. She even traveled to the state capital for a rally to repeal certain aspects of the welfare reform bill. I don’t blame her for it. The situation was being handled poorly. When I was in technical school there were many young women who were being forced to attend to become “medical assistants”. The penalty of refusal was termination of their welfare benefits. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been weary of going to the hospital unless under threat of death.

My mother remarked that when she attended the rally there were few black men in attendance. The story she told stayed with me. I knew of men who took care of the children but where I lived these men were far and few between. In time I would close my ears to the excuses of black males that didn’t think they should pay support for children they claimed as their own. How “White America” was locking them out of the job market. The excuses go on and on like a broken record.

Let me state plainly and clearly how I feel about this. There is NO EXCUSE for a real man to NOT take care of their children and to leave the women who bore them to fend for themselves! I don’t care what statistic you pull out of your ass! As an adult your mantra should be “PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.” Period.

The IKEA Conflict

By ABC

My husband and I went to IKEA for a bookcase. We had become regulars to the store since we bought our home. We LOVE shopping at this particular IKEA because we get a few glances but no dirty stares. We were in the storage and shelf department when another interracial couple crossed our path, a black man and a white woman. The man was smiling and agreeable until he laid eyes on my husband and I.

He doesn’t have a problem with us, does he? I thought. I glanced at him then looked away. As I moved on to another area of the department I noticed that he kept glancing over at my husband and then me. I realized that my first impression was right. He did have a problem with it! Fuckin’ hypocrite, I thought. He can’t be serious! He’s with a white women and he’s got the nerve to look at me as if I had done something wrong!

I looked at from the corner of my eye and saw a frown appear then disappear. In the man’s defense, it was apparent that he was suffering from an internal conflict. He KNEW that he shouldn’t be bothered by what he saw, but he couldn’t help himself. His girlfriend/wife was making comments about the sizes of shelves and different tables that she liked, but he wasn’t paying attention to her.

After a couple of minutes he starts to pretend that my twin and I weren’t there. He starts to looking around everywhere except at my husband and I. Considering the circumstances there’s nothing he could have done. It was obvious that he was agitated and in a hurry to leave the department, but his girlfriend/wife seemed completely oblivious to his discomfort.

After we lost sight of them my husband shook his head. I wanted to bite and scratch something. I couldn’t believe that he could so prejudicial (YES I THINK BLACKS CAN BE RACIST,PREJUDICED,AND BIGOTED!). I learned that day that he probably isn’t the only black man who has a problem with black women dating outside their race, all the while dating and marrying white women himself. Personally, I don’t think that most of these men give any thought to a black woman doing the same until confronted with it, and when they are confronted the bigot in them comes out to rear it’s ugly head.

You're So Strong Willed

By ABC

Have you ever been called “strong willed?” The phrase that in itself can be considered a compliment on the surface, but can be insulting, especially if you’re a woman. The term usually implies being unreasonable and in some cases a bitch.

Most women wear this label as if it was a badge of honor. Some women fear it because they don’t want to be seen as being less than “feminine.” I am a strong and willful. I know my own my mind and if someone is unfortunate enough to ask for my truthful opinion they’ll get it (laughter).

Let me tell you my thoughts on the term “strong willed.” Nine out of Ten times it is NOT a compliment. When I worked for my former employer I was told I was “strong willed” by my reporting supervisor during a performance review. I lost what little respect I had for the man when he used the term. I wanted to claw and scratch the man eyes out of his head. (*Note: My former supervisor was creepy. He made the skin on my skin crawl. -shivers)

Being “strong willed” is what got me through the hard times when my ex-husband was sent to prison. Being “feminine” didn’t add to much when I was left alone, jobless, and had to apply for public assistance. I realized then that had to be tough to get through life. He was remarking in subtle way that my hard nose attitude was an unattractive quality for a woman.

Being self sufficient and responsible are qualities that all functioning adults should have, so why do many men find them UNATTRACTIVE in women? For some men they find a strong women threatening. even frightening. For other men, it’s a breathe of fresh air to have woman knows her own mind and is not easily swayed by others. Needless to say that a man that doesn’t want you have your own mind and purpose isn’t worth bothering with. Too many fish in the sea I say.

Open letter to NBC

Heroes and the portrayal of minority roles

By JeffG

Dear NBC,

A part of me didn’t want to write this. I started watching Heroes near the end of the first season and was immediately hooked. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, and was an avid comic book collector in my youth. I am this show’s core audience. Your writers have taken all the joys and wonders of those books from my childhood and made them new again, with twists and plot turns so good that at times left me breathless. Your actors and special effects team have brought the story to life.

The show is amazing for it’s ability to invoke emotion and leave the viewer in a daze, begging, desperate for more. I love it. I wish it was on everyday. But…and this is a big but…I’m not happy in it’s portrayal of minority roles. You’re walking on a slippery slope.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m looking too deeply into it, but most of the minority roles on the show seem very typecast, and it seems like they’ve all gotten a pretty raw deal in terms of storytelling. For example:

  • Monica Dawson, a new character from season two is a New Orleans resident. She’s a young black woman just getting by at a fast food job, desperately trying to make a better life for herself, her grandmother, and her (apparently fatherless) son. I really want to like this character and I think she has tremendous potential. Unfortunately, she’s been given hardly any screen time and is left undeveloped and portrayed as the stereotypical single black mother as of this time.
  • Mohinder Suresh is a brilliant scientist from India. Because on TV, everyone from India is either a scientist, or a PC technician. This indiscretion aside, Mohinder is fantastic, and very human. But you still went there.
  • D.L Hawkins - a black man who happens to be a former gang member. Was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Once his innocence was proven, he worked hard to be a role model for his son. Thought to have been killed protecting his family at the end of season one, he actually survived a gunshot wound, only to be murdered at a club trying to bring his psychotic wife home after she went schizo. Granted, he’d have to have been killed regardless. He was becoming an ideal black role model, a good father, and he was married to a white woman. We can’t have black role models and we sure as fuck can’t have black, male role models. I wasn’t so angry about this when I thought he died protecting the people he loved, but when I saw how he actually died in the “Two Months Ago…” flashback, I was so pissed that I had to write this.
  • Maya and Alejandro Herrera - illegal immigrants from Mexico. Maya’s power seems to be to create a localized, lethal plague whenever she gets stressed out; Alejandro is the cure. They proceeded to illegally hop the border from Mexico to find a “Dr. Suresh” from New York in search of a cure for the “devil” inside Maya. Even putting aside the immigration issue, why must a Hispanic woman always be portrayed as either completely stoic or overly emotional, seemingly bipolar, and superstitious? She’s played up as completely naive and foolish. Alejandro, by comparison, seems very balanced and intelligent, but is entirely tied to his sister’s plot and is basically playing background to her role.

Ok, so those are some of my complaints. I know I’m being a bit hypercritical. It’s possible that the recent writers’ strike is leaving gaping holes in the storyboard. To date, the new characters this season seem undeveloped regardless of their screen time, and don’t seem to fit into the general plot. I hope this is resolved.

You, NBC, should get your head out of your ass and pay them what they rightfully deserve. Without them, you’d be nothing but a jumble of shitty reality programs, just like everyone else. I also hope the writers get their heads out of their asses, plotwise, but that may have to do with them not getting properly paid. Either way, the series could tip to either side of the fence currently, it’s up to you.

We’ve seen from the progression of the series that these writers can create strong, believable characters that extract strong emotions from the viewer. They are capable of this. Unfortunately, while the cast is fairly diverse, the writing seems to stem from a very “white-centric” point of view. The stereotyping isn’t extreme, and is much better than some shows. Also the typecasting could be much worse. My problem is that it exists at all.

I know I seem very negative about the show, but I’m surely being overly critical. Because the show resonates so strongly with me, the idea that “with great power comes great responsibility” sets in. I want to believe in this show and the characters in it, and I hold it to a much higher standard than most. Much as the characters have had to stuggle with their powers, so must the writers struggle with their character development. Heroes, it is because I think you are so awesome that I hold you to such a high standard. Please…get it together, NBC, for the sake of your viewers.

P.S. - since you’re dealing with the realm of comic books, find a way to bring D.L. back to life. D.C. did it for Superman, Marvel did it for…well, almost everyone; surely you can do it for D.L.

Sincerely,

The wide-eyed inner child inside your fan.

A few reasons why I married a black woman

By JeffG

My wife is beautiful. Not in the sense of American standards of beauty, rail thin models with fake tits and botox; she has the essence of true beauty. She has a powerful spirit. She’s smart and funny and I can talk with her for hours. She’s a big woman. Not fat, at least not to me, I suppose that’s in the eye of the beholder. She has gorgeous curves, deep, chocolate colored eyes, and the most glorious smile I’ve ever seen. My wife is a big, beautiful, black woman.

The thing is, I can’t help thinking about the standards of what “beauty” is. Ask five people and you’ll probably get five different answers. Thinking about this, I’ve come to realize that one’s idea of beauty usually stems from one’s upbringing, and what you are exposed to throughout your life.

To me, it was never strange to date outside my race. I grew up in a bad neighborhood, so my mom sent me to a boarding school to get me off the streets. This school had a very mixed population, it was a free school for under priviledged children, kids from single parent and poor homes. Hell, it doesn’t come as a surprise to me it was mixed, there are poor folks of every color and I was one of them.

In any case, the school was very mixed, but primarily Black, then White, Hispanic, Asian etc. Maybe 70% of the school was black, primarily because of it’s location near many predominantly black neighborhoods. At an early age I was exposed to people of many races, so it was never really strange. By comparison, I went to college at a very segregated, primarily white school and it felt like a culture shock.

As I was saying, it never occurred to me to only date white women. Hell I only got out of school on weekends, so if I only dated white girls it’d be on the weekends, or my pick of the two white girls in my class who probably weren’t interested anyway. My first serious relationship was with a black woman. I’ve dated other women as well since then, but in the end I find black women the most attractive women hands down, maybe followed by asian women.

To me, dark skin is healthy skin. When I see a woman with pale, white skin, I see a woman who is, in my eyes, unhealthy. Also, I like bigger women, curvy women. Unfortunately, if you were to place a curvaceous black woman next to a white woman with a similar build, the black woman would be appealing to me, while the white woman would look like varicose veins, saggy tits, a big gut, and cellulite. Black women are just built bigger, they were made to have curves. And I like a soft, curvy woman.

For some reason, again, this is just my personal preference, I don’t like pink nipples. Okay, that’s not true, I love all breasts, but I’m not really aroused by pink nipples the ways I am seeing some dark breasts with nice brown nipples. Also, tying back to the generally larger build of black women, one out of ten thousand white women may have a nice round ass like a black woman. I don’t know what is in these genes, but I like what’s in those jeans.

I like black hair, especially natural hair. My wife has a beautiful, puffy afro, her hair is natural and soft and she’s not ashamed of it. I think it is beautiful. I like running my hands in it, I like the way it smells and feels. I love black cooking. I would eat soul food all day long and keep eating it as I die of a heart coronary. I know it’s bad for me, I just don’t care. Just shut up and pass me those fucking collard greens and sweet potatoes.

Finally, I like black women’s attitudes. I’m generalizing a bit, but in my experience, white women talk, black women do. Too often I hear about white women in bad relationship, I had a lot of female friends in college who would bitch about boyfriends treating them badly and generally abusing them. I rarely hear about black women putting up with this. Hell, there’s ben a few times when my wife and I have gotten into big spats and she’s threatened to leave or told me to go back to my mother’s. Granted, while this wasn’t an appealing option, I like the fact that she speaks her mind. She’s straight forward and doesn’t play games or deal in riddles. If she has a problem with me, she tells me, and I fix it or we compromise. As I’ve said before, I value honesty over nicety. Honesty makes a relationship work, niceness just prolongs the inevitable breakup.

These are a few of the reasons I married a black woman. See, I’ve never viewed my wife as black so much as I just saw her as a woman, a wonderful, strong, and opinionated woman. I don’t want a fucking trophy for a wife, I prefer real women, thank you very much. I married a woman who listens to me, and who I listen to in return. She’s a woman who is willing to compromise and work to make our relationship and our bond a strong and unbreakable one.

The fact that she’s black is a non-issue, at least to us. She’s black, I’m white, and the only people who care about that are the ones who sneer at us in public. Fuck them, if they don’t like it they can go somewhere else. They’re not in the relationship, I am. The most important thing for me is that she’s a woman who loves me and who I love in return.

How ABC and JeffG Met

Whirlwind Courtships With Added Complications

By ABC

Her Part One

I remember the day my twin arrived as a new contractor at the help desk I was employed at. I looked up from my desk and saw a group of new contractors they had brought in to help for the upcoming corporate merger.There must of been 15 people there but he stuck out. It could of been that his head was shaved or that he had mean look on his face that indicated that he wasn’t there to make friends or take prisoners. The next thought I had surprised me. “Hey he’s kinda cute but he looks like a loner. Shame.” I paused for a second. Did I just scope that guy out? I dismissed the idea. I was a married woman, borrowed goods. The most I could have hoped for was a bedroom companion. After three and half years of sexual abstinence I knew for a fact that sex wasn’t everything. It certainly wasn’t anything to get myself in trouble for. Inter-office relationships were frowned upon though there no rule against it until later. I’ll talk about that in another post.

The next time I saw him he was being trained by a another co-worker who sat behind me. I remember looking over every so often just out of curiosity. After a while I stopped glancing over because I didn’t have the time. The merger was in full swing and we were getting a lot of calls. About month later I had all but forgot about the bald and mean looking loner when a name started being mentioned among the new people who were on the phones. A newbie — or new agent — can go a team lead if they needed help. If they are busy assisting someone they can go to an available seasoned agent and ask for assistance on a call but the call volume was extremely high. Not only were team leads taking calls but so were the supervisors.

I kept hearing someone’s name being mentioned when the leads or supervisor were asked by a newbie for help. At first I didn’t pay any mind but then I started to hear it more. A couple of days later a newbie who sat directly behind me stopped a supervisor to ask for assistance with a user. The supervisor mentioned the name of a person and pointed the aisle behind me and to the end. I followed her finger to where she was pointing. I saw hints of red hair but that was all. The supervisor told the newbie to go this person for help.

The newbie ran up the aisle and returned with a man with red hair and glasses. The man spoke with authority. He was intelligent and assured. He wasn’t simply assisting, he was instructing them on how to handle the user. I was impressed. It takes a lot to impress me. There was something about him. He never wavered. If he didn’t know something he admitted to it. It seemed that there very little they he didn’t know. I got to talk him a couple of days later. I ran into him out in the office smoke area and we chatted. It had to be the most intelligent conversation I had with someone in a while.

Her Part Two

After the first conversation my (future) husband and I had I didn’t see much of him for about two weeks. I was heading for my morning break when I ran into him when I with a couple of co-workers. He didn’t acknowledge me, but didn’t he didn’t have to. Our eyes met and I felt warm,welcomed and in the presence who someone who knew me well. I was lost in my own world when a coworker mentioned that we were 5 minutes into our 15 minute break and hadn’t a had cigarette yet. We all parted ways but a part of me was still there in that moment. I walked the smoke area and lit a smoke. With the first inhale a sense of being out of place overwhelmed me. I fought to clear my head. I put my cigarette out and went back in to work. On the ride home I berated my for losing my senses over a man that I only had conversation with once. I decided that I would get myself under control and reevaluate why I was acting this way. The next morning I decided that going more than three years without sex had short circuited my brain. There was no indication at that time that he was attracted to me so there was no reason to entertain the thought.

I started to see more of him and decided that he was a really cool guy but it was better to keeps things the way they were. We worked well together and he was quick to learn so I was able to teach him concepts and he applied them well and I learned things from him in return. He would send me messages occasionally via IM to ask for help or advice and I was glad to help. One day he IM me frustrated about how many calls they were getting about people not being able to get into email. I messaged him back informing him that there was a mail server migration and people only need to be given their new server to get going again. His response was amazing. Mail Migration?, he wrote. I thought all the servers had migrated south for the winter already. I started to laugh out loud. It was funny not because of the pun but because I wasn’t expecting it. After that we IM ‘d each other more often, but only if he initiated it. I didn’t want him to think that there anything funny going on. Previously I had acquainted myself with another male co-worker (white) who I believe got the wrong idea about how I felt about him, but that’s for another post.

So It went on this way for another two months. Meeting out in the smoke break area, instant messaging each other, and drawing stares. Looking back it was obvious that we wanted to get involved with each other. We both admitted later that we wanted to get together but the fact that I was married was a sticking point. After a while I started to notice that his demeanor had changed. He seemed pleased to see me, but he wanted to keep the encounters short. The instant messages become sporadic as well. I thought I said something to offend him but I shrugged it off. A week went past and he still wasn’t going out of his way for him and I to be in the same area for long. At the end of the week I ran into him coming on his way back from the smoke area. He was holding the door for someone one. I stood in front of him but he wouldn’t look at me. After a long moment our eyes locked. In that moment I knew my life was about to change.

Her Part Three

A week passed since the last time I saw him and my head was in a tailspin. I started to think about him everyday. I looked constantly at where he sat in the department. My heart warmed by just seeing hints of red hair peak over his cubicle. My ears strained to hear his voice. The bad part of it was there another female coworker who was caught in line of sight of my searching glances. I know that she was feeling uncomfortable. Imagine every time you look up you’re meeting eyes with someone halfway down the aisle. Who knows what was going through her mind during that time? I confess that I simply couldn’t help myself. On some level I knew it was wrong but I needed to see him. Later in the morning I got my chance to see his face. His stood up and his eyes caught mine. To my best account this what happened. I literally felt my heart jump out of chest. My hand went instinctively to my chest and I turned away from his gaze. I realized where I was and regain my composure. I thought to myself, “What the hell was that?!?!?!” I’d like to sidetrack for a moment. To this day I still thinks it was pitiful that even after that this incident I that didn’t think I was in love! I thought I was having heart problems. Well back to the story.

We started instant messaging each other again. We even tried to time our breaks so we would we be in the smoke area at the same time. It was wonderful to be in the presence of someone I felt like I could myself with. My twin and I was out in smoke break area one day when I first the impress that we may have been offending people. My husband and I were talking and laughing when I caught out the corner of my eye a woman sneering at us. She put out her cigarette unceremoniously and walked back in the building. “Did you see the look on her face?” he said. Yeah,what was up with that, I replied. My twin started to imitate the look the women made and I burst into uncontrollable laughter. My twin referred to her as “grimace lady” due to how many times the said above incident occurred. We started drawing more looks from co-workers and other employees in the building. We catch people staring but when my twin would make eye contact with them they’d turn away.

For about a week new people started to “disappear”. This is my term for being fired. My twin had a hard time keeping his attendance between school and work. There were days when he didn’t even show up for work. Let me make it clear that my former employer was heavy handed when it came to firing people. People were trimmed like fat from meat at the butcher’s shop. So for the first time in three months was afraid that he’d be fired and I would never see him again. So around Christmas I decided that the moment was now. I was leaving early for the day so I strode around to his desk to say goodbye. He was on the phone with a client so we couldn’t talk. I starting to lose my nerve but then as he was explaining something to the person on the phone when I grabbed a piece of paper off his desk and wrote down my phone number. By this time I realized I was in love with him and despite the circumstances that there was nothing I could do about it. He looked from his PC screen and looked down at the piece of paper and his mouth dropped but before he could say anything I left.

Her Part Four

He called me!! I can’t believe he called me! I tried to keep the excitement out of my voice but it was hard. We talked for his whole lunch break. It was the first time we had talked that long to each other. I lived in another state at the time and work was the only place we interacted. He called me again on New Years Eve. We talked about our interests and various subjects when my call waiting clicked on my line. It was my soon be ex-husband on the other line. Shit, I thought. I click over on the other line and heard the usual message that I was receiving a call from a state institution. I press 0 on the phone pad to bypass the message. My ex-husband came on the line and told him to hold on. I clicked back over and left him on hold. Fuck it, I thought. We don’t have anything important to talk about.

I continue the conversation with my twin. After a another ten minutes or so he said he had some friends over so he would have to cut the conversation short. Afterwards I felt bad in a way. I wondered if I could go about this another way and try to talk to my ex-husband but I realized it was hopeless. I had fallen in love with someone else so that was that. I didn’t see the point of trying to fool myself into thinking otherwise.

Later on that week and I asked him to call me in a coy way. I stated that I got bored when I got home so he offered to call me that night. Cool, I said. Inside I was jumping with glee. As promised he called later on that night. We talked about school and he didn’t know if he could keep paying for it. He stated he was tired of studying for career when he need to be making a living. “There has to be another way,” he said. “I’m tired of working and not getting ahead.” “Sounds someone who need to work for himself,” I said. “Maybe,” he said. We talked a little bit more then he stated that his class was about to resume, so once again we had the cut the conversation short. My resolve broke. “Do you promise to call me later?” I asked. As soon as the words had come out of my mouth I knew I had left my senses. There was silence on the phone for a long moment. “Yes, Honey,” he said in sarcastic voice. “I’ll call you later.”

I hung up the phone and began hitting myself with it. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I thought. He definitely not going to call you back now! I went and work on a side web project, killing time until I went to bed. Around 9:00 he called me back. I was overjoyed! His voice was a mixed of satisfaction and irritation. “I can’t believe this,” he said. I’m checking in with you, this practically a relationship! I smiled to myself and we both laughed. We talked into the wee hours of the morning, barely finding time to sleep. The next night it was the same deal, up all night talking and neither one of us got any sleep that night either. It was about 4:30 in the morning when he broke the subject of attraction. It was obvious we were attracted to each other and we admitted it. I figured that would be it. We’d start having sex and interesting times and neither one of us we be worse off for it. We called each the next night but things didn’t take the turn I thought. Our conversation was cut short by a long silence. I thought he had fell asleep. ” Admit it,” he said. “Admit what?” I said. I knew where he was going but feeling it was one thing admitting was another. ” You’re…” he said. “Just stop,” I said. We don’t want to do this. I started to shake my head. “In love me aren’t you?” he finished. I took a moment. “Yes,” I said. “I love you too,” he said. I sighed.“What are we going to do now?” I said. “Be with each other and love each other,” he said. “You make it seem so simple,” I said. “It is,” he said.

Her Part Five

Being up all night talking started to take a toll on our performance at work and our sleeping habits. We decided that we needed to resolve the issue. The only way to take care of it was for me to move closer to him. At the end of work week. I went home with him to look at apartments and spend some time together. We arrived at his house after a 20 minute drive. I met his mother and her boyfriend. His mother had never had heard of me before this visit. After a hour or so we were left alone… finally. We started making out of course I was still a bit nervous I hadn’t had sex in over 3 1/2 years. He sensed this somehow and started to tell about his love for me. How wonderful I was. He went on at length about my hips,thighs, lips,intelligence, humor,and strength. He made me understand that to him I was beautiful. Later on that night we went to his room and we made love into wee hours of the night. Afterwards he kissed my face and told me over and over that I deserved to be loved. I fell asleep in his arms afterwards feeling like 24 karat gold.

We woke later that afternoon so I could go look for an apartment. I found an apartment and filled out an application. My twin and I returned to his home to talk over plans for my upcoming move and talked more of our love. Later on that night he kissed me and held my shoulders. (I like to note that he the most kissable lips of any man) There was strange look in his eye. “Don’t be scared,” he said. I looked at him concerned. “What is it?”, I said. “Marry me, he said. I looked at him hard. “Yes, I’ll marry you,” I said. He kissed me passionately. I smiled and that was that. He told his mother at the first opportunity. His mother seemed pleased. Actually she reacted as if a child had just said something cute. I don’t blame her. The whole thing seemed crazy. My attitude was that if he was crazy enough to go through with it I wouldn’t make him regret it.

The next week he announced he was moving in with me at the beginning of February. Two days after we moved in with other he told his friends of his plans of marriage they thought he had lost his mind. He had made arrangements with his mom to move his stuff out over the next couple weeks. His mother realized that two people in love the way we were didn’t need to waste time with a gradual move. Too much trouble. So she called him three days later and him asked to have all his belongings out by the end of that day. Mothers usually know what’s best for their children. All the better for me. By March 2006 I had received my divorce papers! That was the longest three months of my life! We had been shopping for rings but the time had come to get the rings and plan for our wedding and honeymoon.

How We Met: The Male Perspective “…I was kind of a dick.”

By JeffG

His Part One

I don’t know how my wife and I ever ended up together. For all intents and purposes, I was kind of a dick. Mind you, this wasn’t intentional, I was just a very angry person at the time. I was a dick to everyone I didn’t have to associate with. At the time we met I was 22, bitter, and very, very uninterested in meeting anyone.

In the past I’ve been in a few bad relationships. Probably nothing that anyone who’s dated in their life hasn’t experienced, but at this point in my life I had decided that I was just going to concentrate on school and work and not complicate my life with another relationship. I was tired of the drama and bullshit that came along with being in a relationship. All the relationships I’d had in recent past ended poorly, and I’d come to the conclusion that if I was going to have a successful one, I’d have to work on me. So I stopped dating for over a year.

Around the time I met my wife, I’d been single for over a year and had actively avoided the opposite sex. I worked out vigorously, hung out with the guys, continued my studies, and generally filled my time however possible while trying to figure out what my next move was going to be. I can’t say it was a particularly good time for me, but I was just doing what I had to to get my head straight and get over the past.

Eventually, the retail job I was working at wasn’t cutting it, since I was partly financing my education on credit cards; this was a bad move but I digress. I started looking for work in my field of study, Information Technology. Eventually, after several months of searching, I landed a position at a help desk for a large and heretofore unnamed banking institution.

This, as they say, is where it all began.

His Part Two

I met my wife in a very uneventful fashion. A little under two months into my tenure at the previously mentioned help desk I had gotten a pretty good feel for the job and my direct supervisor had been sending new recruits to me for assistance. The team leads were constantly busy taking calls and manning chat rooms. At this time, the company was going through a merger, a takeover in my opinion, and we were completely slammed with calls. There was a young man there who constantly needed help. He wasn’t a bad agent, he was just very unsure of himself. He always asked for assistance, even when he thought he knew the answer. So here I was at this kid’s desk helping him with an issue when I was first introduced to my future wife.

Now, at this time I didn’t know she would become my wife. There was something about her though, something I couldn’t explain, but it made something in me light up like a 100 watt bulb. We’d talked briefly outside when our breaks coincided, but usually in groups, never one-to-one, and I’d never really paid much mind to her before this moment. Still, there was something about the look in her eyes. She watched me helping the other agent; after I’d finished fixing the problem the three of us bullshitted for a few minutes, chatting while trying to ignore work, but the help desk was queued up massively and I had to get back to my desk.

Over the next few weeks, our breaks coincided more often than not, and we would talk about issues we were passionate about, or just talk about whatever was going on that day. Nothing in particular. We were both pretty closed off. After all, at the time she was as icy as a glacier, and I was raging inside with anger burning hotly. Suffice to say, we both probably said things early on that hurt one another, whether intentionally or not.

In my time, I’ve been known to be a cocky son of a bitch. I can be arrogant, though I do try to rein it in. Don’t ask me why I said it, but one day, we were out on break and I turned to my future bride and said “I’ve decided to associate with you. I don’t associate with many people, so you should feel honored.” Like I said before, I was kind of a dick. I meant every word of it, I have few friends and rarely confide in people. For me this was admitting to her that I was willing to trust her, that I’d like to be friends. However, the way it came out, I probably sounded like a complete jerk.

Any sane woman would have stopped dealing with me right then and there, but fortunately for me, my wife must have a touch of the crazy or something. We only grew closer. I think somehow she understood what I meant to say, and took it for that, instead of just taking what I said at face value. In November, we sat together at her desk during our Thanksgiving luncheon, and just talked and laughed, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. She carpooled into work, and always stopped at McDonalds for a steak bagel and apple pie, and she started bringing me pies in the morning. This should have been a tip-off that she was interested in me, but I am a very dense man when it comes to the opposite sex.

I really appreciated that pie. It sounds kind of stupid; I know it’s just a fifty cent apple pie, but given my schedule with school and work, and the fact that due to school and bills I was commonly what you’d refer to as a “broke ass,” those pies were the only thing I’d eat all day until I got home around 11 o’clock at night. I was very appreciative. And one day she handed me an apple pie and without even knowing what I was doing I leaned over, thanked her, and gave her a kiss on the cheek. We both blushed a bit and blew it off as a friendly peck, but as she walked away, the inside of my brain freaked the fuck out.

I kept asking myself why I did that, what the hell was I thinking, et cetera, ad nauseum. She played it off like nothing happened, but I knew that was bullshit. Something had happened. In the few months that we’d known each other, I realized that I had completely fallen for her.

His Part Three

As things went on my soon-to-be wife and I ended up talking more and more. Actually, that’s not entirely true. For a while after the kiss we avoided each other. By “we avoided each other” what I mean is I avoided her. It wasn’t really an intentional thing, my brain had just kind of gone into shock. I kept finding myself thinking about her, I was often distracted, and I was generally freaked out. Adding to the issue was the fact that she was married at the time. This was a touchy subject as she and her husband were estranged, he had been in prison for several years, but regardless of that fact everything inside me screamed that it was a bad idea to get involved with a married woman. Or any woman, for that matter.

The thing is, I couldn’t get her out of my head. Given the close proximity that we worked in, the avoidance thing wasn’t going to work for long, and of course it didn’t. One day while I was heading inside after my break, she was walking out. Mostly we stared at the floor awkwardly, or maybe that was just me. But for a moment, our eyes met and that moment felt like an eternity. I felt like I could sink into those beautiful brown eyes, just dive in and take a swim in them. I felt like I was falling off a cliff. I knew right then with that one look that I wanted to be with this woman.

Finding more time to spend together wasn’t difficult. See, I was a bit of a problem child at the job. Hell, I’ve been a bit of a problem child wherever I’ve gone, it’s a wonder that friends, family, and employers have put up with me for this long. Basically, my philosophy is to fuck being nice, honesty is a lot more straight forward. It’s gotten me into a few scrapes before, but those are stories for another time. As I was saying, finding time to talk wasn’t difficult. The merger was winding down. At this point it was December and many people were taking vacation time for obvious reasons, so our call volumes had dropped significantly. She and I were IMing each constantly, and our breaks were finally coinciding again. Then one day several managers and team leads stopped to talk with me on the same day.

On this day, she was leaving early and had noticed all the attention. I found out later that she thought because of all the people stopping by my desk and because of my “problem” status that I was going to be fired, but really they were just being chatty. Bored I guess now that the help desk wasn’t so busy. Before she left, she tried to stop and talk, but I was busy on the phones, and could only make hand gestures and shrug. She grabbed my notepad and wrote her phone number in it. Then, without a word, she rushed out and was gone.

His Part Four

After she gave me her phone number I was in a state of shock. I watched her walk out in a rush and completely forgot the client on the phone. I just stared at her walking away. That day she was wearing really tight, form-fitting jeans. I already thought she was attractive, but seeing those jeans hug her big, curvy thighs and her beautiful, round backside made my jaw hit the floor. She was more than attractive. She was stunning. Literally. I know this part makes me sound like a lecherous man, but I have two things to say in my defense: 1. I’m a man, we’re all lecherous, we just don’t all admit it, and 2. I’m pretty sure she was intentionally shaking her hips more than normal when she ran out. By the way dear, when you read this, I don’t have to tell you it got my attention. ;)

After a few moments, though long after she’d gone out the door, I remembered the person on the other end of the phone and finished the call. Then, I’m pretty sure I broke some sort of cardinal rule or something, because I called her as soon as I got a break. We talked for a bit, then disappointedly ended the call when I went back to work. By this point we’d become inseparable at work, and now we were inseparable, period. It was the holiday season, we talked for a bit here and there, and I promised to call her on New Year’s. I did, and we probably talked for a hour or nearly so before I had to go, what with friends coming over for New Year’s drinking and the usual festivities.

In any case, we only became closer to one another. We started sharing our feelings and beliefs about anything and everything, our passions and goals. We could have talked about the most mundane topic for hours. A few nights we spent nearly all night talking, barely sleeping for one or two hours before having to get up and work again. Finally, I broached the subject we were both avoiding. So far we had talked about every subject known to man except for the one that mattered: how we felt for each other.

I already knew I loved her. I knew she felt the same way about me. However, I knew that given the choice, she’d have kept that to herself forever and suffered for it if I didn’t press the issue. So press I did. All things told, I practically forced her to admit she loved me. She’s written about it already, and probably remembers it in better detail than I, so I won’t reiterate. But suffice to say, it felt good. We finally admitted our feelings. Feelings that had been bubbling and brewing for months were now finally out in the open.

She had decided to move to be closer to the job, and since I was already in Delaware, she decided to stay with me the following weekend to look for apartments. The first night we were together my family went out and we made out on the couch for hours. Finally, we went upstairs and made love. It was awkward at first, but that didn’t stop us. We’re both passionate people, in bed and otherwise, and being together was wonderful. I’d had previous relationships, but this was something different all together. I loved this woman passionately and wanted nothing more than to be with her. I still do.

The next night we went to bed together and made love for hours. The time passed by like it didn’t exist, and maybe with a touch of the crazy, I proposed the very next day. I guess she figured to catch me while I was crazy, and said yes. The next month we moved into our first apartment together. A few months later we were married. We’ll probably talk about that another time.

Everything moved so quickly, We were married before we were together for even six months, but to be honest, it all just felt very natural. I wouldn’t change any of it. Recently we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary and in January we’ll have been together for two years. Regardless of all the obstacles we’ve had to face with family disapproval, public stares, and outright malice from some people, I wouldn’t have done anything different. In the past two years that we’ve known each other, I can’t ever remember being happier in my life. I look forward to loving my wife everyday. I love waking up to her and going to sleep with her. I love being with her, and I love our bond. I want to grow old with her, raise children, and watch our children raise their children. Our life together has only just begun, and I am grateful for every moment I am with her.

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