My Darling "J"
The Unexamined Life
s Slave Resigns Himself
happiness, friendship, etc...
a Tiger Inside
your sweetheart and get loved for it
love to share true stories that illustrate love lessons.
Your Millennium message
was very moving. Thank you for illustrating your lessons for us
all with your life, and your joy in living.
Your essay on the
Foundation of Life was an especially poignant lesson, and you expressed
it with such respect and honor that no one could possibly read it without
being moved, and safely transported to love's higher ground.
I have spent my Christmas
holiday surrounded by books and listening to CD's I received as gifts.
My friends and family's gifts have filled my days with happy reminders
of the power of love -- through "Morrie", and "A
Love Like Ours" (Barbra Streisand), and "All The Way" (Celine
Good reminders for
us all to honor love, its process, its lessons, its gifts, its challenges,
its abundance. Honor it like our lives depended on it.
Thank you for your
wonderful gift of loving words,
My Darling "J"
Andrew Walters, a
39 year old lawyer, who was to his credit unwilling to give up on finding
his soul mate; placed an ad on the Net and met, His Darling "J".
Andrew described how
he never had a problem meeting the opposite sex. He had a great social
life. The problem was that things just weren't clicking.
Andrew one evening
explained that he was fed up, with his dead end dating game. Nothing was
working and he asked me for suggestions. I asked him what he sought in
a partner. The question stumped him, because he had never really thought
about it. I told him to write a wish list, compose an ad and post it on
In Andrew's words
here's what happened:
"I really thought
about what I was looking for and committed it to paper. The exercise was
a real eye opener and made writing the ad all the more easier. I took
your suggestion and posted my ad on the Net. Within days I was getting
mail messages from woman all over North America. I began corresponding
with a number of these ladies and found to my amazement the ease to which
I was able to communicate, openly and honestly. Due to the nature of my
work; I travel throughout North America and had the luxury of meeting
several very amazing women. One in particular really clicked, I call her
My Darling "J".
What started as a
simple reply to my ad led to months of communication and lighthearted
banter back and forth. Each day we would chat with several thousands miles
separating us, laughing and giggling, and getting to know one another.
We exchanged pictures and shared quite a bit about ourselves.
My business eventually
took me to Chicago her hometown. We had prearranged our first date on
my second day in town and we were looking forward to the event. I landed
in Chicago and as I was walking through the arrival area my cell phone
rang. Guess Who? My romantic and spontaneous correspondent. My Darling
"J". She asked me to turn around and there we were face to face,
cell phone to cell phone. Needless to say it was one of the most romantic
moments in my life. Her spontaneity did not go unrewarded, as we had our
first date that night. I know I have found finally the one for me."
I received recently
the following from Angie Anderson in Mississauga,Ontario, which I would
like to share with you.
"I have never
read something that I felt was worthy enough of everyone else to read
too. The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just
finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour
of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused
to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving,
he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door,
he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with
both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation.
His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children
and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed
the tree and my curiosity got theater of me. I asked him about what I
had seen him do earlier. Oh,that's my trouble tree," he replied.
"I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's
for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children.
So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then
in the morning I pick them up again." "Funny thing is,"
he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there
aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."Maybe
we all need a tree in our front yard ... Angie"I really enjoyed this
story because it brought out much of what I believe are the ingredients
to a loving life. The carpenter had his priorities in order when it came
to "Love". He loved himself enough to recognize he needed to
hang his problems out on the tree. Once he entered his home he was able
to give love to his wife and children. His work and the problems of the
day became very secondary, because he loved himself first, then his wife
and finally his children. His work and problems were brought to the bottom
of his priority list. This is a fine illustration of the importance of
priorities in our lives Thank-you Angie for your contribution; and I agree
with you that we all need a Trouble Tree in our front yard."
The Unexamined Life
loneliness make its way into our household?
When did the heart give up and how do I explain it to my
children when I can scarcely grasp it myself?"
By John Doe
At the sweet hour
of the night when the play has gone out of her and I've run out of tales
of wicked things I did when I was her age, the eldest of my three daughters
asks the question.
It is the question that has dulled her joy, and the reason she stays at
the end of her friend's driveway instead of going up to the door. The
answer to the question will explain why I've been coming home from work
at strange times of the day, why I've been given to wild moments of public
grief, and why her mother is now living in an apartment downtown.
My counselor said no matter how I'm feeling, make sure the children know
they're loved. "Your mother and I will always love you," I tell
My lawyer said these things happen with marriages all the time, so often
he's turning down clients. I say, "A lot of married people go through
bad times together." The look coming back says, Dad, you and Mom
are not together, stop starring at the night light and answer the question.
So I tell her the truth. I haven't got a clue how we ended up like this.
I still don't know how the ending started, when the drift began. Good
night, sweetie, I'll see you in the morning, we'll talk more tomorrow.
When my wife told me she would no longer live with me, we were sitting
at a booth in a Tex-Mex restaurant in a shopping mall. It was 3 o'clock
in the afternoon on a workday. We'd been to the restaurant once before,
a nacho thing before a movie. I don't remember what was playing that night.
I don't remember much of our rare dates, actually, except that after calming
the kids, leaving cell-phone numbers with the babysitter and finally getting
into the car, we were totally exhausted. Most of the time we'd look at
each other and say why don't we go to a cheap motel and sleep, just sleep,
A couple of months ago I was sitting in my office when an employee came
in, closed the door and said she felt her life was falling apart. She
needed some time off, maybe a month. I reminded her about the line that
no epitaph has ever read: I wish I'd spent more time at work. I told her
no one at the office could save her life but her, so go do it. She left,
relieved. I sat, stunned, my hands turning cold. The phone rang, Toronto
calling about a conference call the next day. I phoned my wife, but she
couldn't talk, had to do the dash.
There we were, two parents thrashing away at work 10 or more hours a day,
with three kids in elementary school, a fleet of brilliantly choreographed
caregivers, piano lessons, swimming, Brownies, a dog with shedding black
hair, a white kitchen floor, a cat with kidney failure, two cars, a hammer
lock mortgage, a cranked-up credit line, dinner at 8 or later interrupted
by kids who won't brush their teeth or another call from work, now here's
some cheerful person at the door wanting us to volunteer for something
or the other. For once, can't we just say no and feel good about being
bad citizens? Please say so.
My dear sleeping daughter, it occurs to me now, way to late, that these
years of madness have caused your mother and me to lose each other in
the crowd. No sitting in the hammock together and swigging a beer, or
shooting baskets at the end of the street. Just the other day, too late,
your mother told me she liked holding hands. I never knew that. I liked
holding hands, too. When was the last time your mother and I had the kind
of talk that keeps lovers together? You know, like, tell me again what
you were thinking the first time you saw me. That stuff. It's been years
since that stuff.
And so loneliness stuck its foot into our front door, put its shoulder
to it and, surprised by the ease of entry, sloped in. A benevolent observer
might missed its presence there, camouflaged in the middle of the family
room, hidden by all the action, all the industry built up around running
this household. But the same observer couldn't have mistaken the danger
in early exit from the company Christmas party and the dead silent cab
ride home. The truly astute might have picked that moment as the point
when the heart decided it wanted too badly, paid the fare, and went looking
somewhere else. Those with a sense of dram will know that that was where
innocence ended, and the true terror of separation began.
I remember a movie I saw when I was in university. It had an unpronounceable
Haida title that started with a K, but its subtitle was Life out of Balance.
There were lots of hurried up sequences of traffic, people in and out
of buildings and subways, clouds rushing past skyscrapers. I remember
feeling smug about all those people zooming through their unexamined lives.
The movie ended with a slow motion nuclear explosion. Been there.
Now there's lots of time for examining things. A whole lot of examining
going on now, yes indeed. I've walked around this suddenly half furnished
house a hundred times, a nice little circuit I've got going here. It starts
in the family room with a few chin quivers, goes up three stairs to the
dining room for a spell of forehead kneading, and ends in the kitchen
where the last name on the call display is usually your mother's, one
of you calling from her apartment to say hi, what are you doing Dad, and
what is the number before infinity?
Tomorrow night we'll have more of this bedtime story entitled, What The
Hell Happened Here? The emerging theme has to do with the dumb things
I hope you don't do when you're my age. The narrator seems to be overly
fond of the word "priorities." Some of the story I will never
tell you. It's to frightening for a man closing 40, never mind an eight-year-old
girl. Besides, there's a good chance I've got it all wrong. Maybe Dad's
just in denial, big time; as you might put it: Maybe Dad is just clued
out. Maybe the only thing I know for sure is that when you and your sisters
wake up in the morning, I'll need you all to hold my hand.
s Slave Resigns Himself
In Plato's Republic
The elderly poet Sophocles speaks of his waning sex drive as an "escape
from the madness and slavery of passion." At the age of 37, I am
a long way from such comfort. The trouble is, my wife is already there.
This is not to say my wife has no interest in sex, it's just that her
interest is realized only occasionally. Roughly once a month, coinciding
presumably with her hormonal cycle. Again, this would be fine if I were
like the elderly Sophocles. Trouble is, I'm the guy Camille Paglia was
thinking of when she described men as blazing guns. Once a month I howl
at the moon. The rest of the time I'm in a rutting frenzy. Once a day
would be good. Twice, better.
That's not to say I can't control myself. I'm monogamous by nature and,
along with the rest of my sex (regardless of what they claim), I've learned
ways to release the constantly building tension. Alone and in private.
But I long for something more. Millions of years of evolution have ensured
that I will never be completely happy unless I get to actually do it with
someone else. Even then, satisfaction isn't simply a matter of arriving
at orgasm. Sex is a journey of mutual discovery. Truths are revealed.
There is something about the intimacy of sex that lays open the guts and
bones of a relationship in a way that watching TV or doing the dishes
together can never approximate.
Of course all these beautiful sentiments are moot if one of the partners
is simply not into it. Desire is a fickle flame and therein lies the problem.
If the one for whom your flame burns bright emits barely a flicker in
response, it's hard not to feel a little wounded. Feelings fester and
an unhealthy dynamic takes hold. I want sex. She doesn't. I feel rejected.
My rejection turns to obsession. She feels pressured and even less inclined
and the vortex begins to spin. Then my one chance in the month arrives
and we make love on a tinderbox of expectation, frustration and anxiety.
It wasn't always like this. When we first met, we enjoyed each other as
only new lovers can. Like bunnies. Hormone cycles didn't matter then.
Sex was a giddy constant, broken only by work, sleep, food, and the occasional
movie. If I could encapsulate and preserve one period in my life, it would
be those amazing weeks and months when we first fell in love.
But I'm a realist. I know that kind of fevered obsession doesn't last.
In retrospect I should probably be grateful it lasted as long as it did.
In fact, were it not for the precipitous nature of the decline (that happened
some time during our fourth year) and its unhappy conjunction with ego-bashing
foray into joblessness, I may not of noticed it. But of course I associated
it with my recent failings and believed in my heart that she no longer
Several years later, we're still together and I no longer fear the loss
of her love. But I've had to acknowledge that the love has changed. Where
once we were lovers, we are now partners. It's a significant difference.
My wife doesn't see this as acutely as I do. While she's aware that our
sex life has faded, she doesn't mourn its passing. It's a change that
To her credit, she did try to accommodate me. She agreed to meet me halfway.
Once a week. Four times more than she wanted, eight times less than I
But then there came the excuses. It's too late. It's to early. I'm menstruating.
I'm ovulating. Tomorrow morning. Tomorrow night. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.
And let's not forget the charity sex. The resigned sex. The "you
do what you want to me as long as I can read" sex. It got to the
point where I was using my wife the same way Philip Roth's Portnoy used
I sought counseling in women's magazines (men's magazines offered only
short-term relief) and found that while many women shared my problem,
the solutions they offered didn't fit. My efforts to seduce my wife failed
to arouse anything more than suspicions. She would politely inform me
that while she deeply appreciated the candlelight dinner and the fact
that it was prepared in the nude, I still wasn't getting any nookie that
In desperation, I tried the reverse-psychology approach. Play hard to
get. Make her come begging for it. I soon found out she was happy to employ
the same methods of self-release that I had regretfully been forced to
use. And at a 60-1 ratio, it would take five years of celibacy for her
to experience what I went through in a single month. The old dynamic quickly
Which brings me to where I am now. Of the five stages of grief, I am now
at number four: Resignation. I know that no amount of cajoling, bargaining,
romantic endeavors or simply being really, really nice to her will make
the slightest difference. I will get laid once a month until her hormone
cycle changes at menopause. After that
This is not a terrible state of affairs. I have the comfort of knowing
that she is not, herself, sexually frustrated. I can trust that she won't
go elsewhere in search of fulfillment. I also have the comfort of knowing
that eventually I too will be released from the madness and slavery of
passion. I will at last reach the final stage of grief: Acceptance.
But not a day goes by that I don't mourn the loss of what we once had.
Like a blind man who remembers sight, I remember what it felt like to
. David Marsh
David Marsh is
the pseudonym for a man whose wife has assured him that she will never
have sex with him again if he publishes this under his real name.
happiness, friendship, etc...
SUSAN HERMAN wrote:
Maybe God wants us
to meet a
few wrong people before meeting
the right one so that when we finally
meet the right person, we will know
how to be grateful for that gift.
When the door of happiness closes,
another opens, but often times we look
so long at the closed door that we
don't see the one which has been opened for
The best kind of friend is the kind you
can sit on a porch and swing with,
never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best
conversation you've every had.
It's true that we don't know what we've
got until we lose it, but it's also
true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.
Giving someone all your love is never
an assurance that they'll love you back!
Don't expect love in return; just wait
for it to grow in their heart
but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush
on someone, an hour to like someone,
and a day to love someone,
but it takes a lifetime to forget
Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades
away. Go for someone who makes you smile
because it takes only a smile to make a dark day
seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart
There are moments in life when you miss
someone so much that you just want to pick them
from your dreams and hug them for real!
Dream what you want to dream; go where
you want to go; be what you want to be,
because you have only one life and one
chance to do all the things you want to
May you have enough happiness to make
you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough
sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make
Always put yourself in others' shoes.
If you feel that it hurts you,
it probably hurts the other person,
The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything
that comes along their way.
Happiness lies for those who cry,
those who hurt, those who have searched,
and those who have tried, for only they
can appreciate the importance of people who
have touched their lives.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a
kiss and ends with a tear.
The brightest future will always be
based on a forgotten past,
you can't go on well in life until you
let go of your past failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and
everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.
A TIGER INSIDE
by Michael Webb
I received a newsletter
in the mail announcing that our favorite recording artist, Loreena McKennitt
was releasing her new album. Her albums are the only ones we "collect."
She calls her style "world music." It is an amazing blend of folk sounds
from around the world accompanied by her heavenly voice. Loreena travels
around the globe, researching people and their cultures and paints the
experiences into her music. It is both moving and thought provoking. For
Athena and me, it is romantic. It is often the chosen music for our candlelight
dinners or our evenings of snuggling on the sofa, drinking hot chocolate.
I knew Athena would
be delighted to hear her new CD. While she was at work, I purchased the
album and created a trail from our front door all the way into our office.
The trail included Loreena's newsletter, some old fliers and the CD cases
of her other 6 albums we own. When I heard Athena open the front door,
I began playing the album on my computer (yes, CD-ROM's can play regular
compact discs) to continue to "lure" her to my office. When she collected
all the Loreena memorabilia and finally made it to my desk, she was beaming
from ear to ear.
I could have simply
bought the CD and handed it to her with a bow on top, but the few extra
minutes of thought and time elevated the gift from "that's great" to "that's
Michael Webb is the
best-selling author of The RoMANtic's Guide: Hundreds of Creative Tips
for a Lifetime of Love. You can order at Amazon.com or for more of Michael's
FREE tips, visit http://www.TheRomantic.com
YOUR SWEETHEART AND GET LOVED FOR IT
by Michael Webb
Who ever thought toilet
paper could be romantic? I never gave it much thought myself until the
other day one of those crazy ideas popped into my head. I don't even remember
what triggered the thought, but one day when Athena wasn't feeling well
I went into her bathroom armed with a black pen and a mission.
I unrolled about 100
feet of the toilet paper and began writing little messages on the paper
and rolled it back up for five feet and wrote another message until there
were 15 or so on the roll. The messages were simple. Nothing complicated.
Nothing too flowery. Just little thoughts to let Athena know I was thinking
of her and that she is very special to me.
She was surprised
when the first message came around the roll. And then amazed when the
2nd, 3rd and 4th ones showed up. She even admitted to me that she wouldn't
go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because she didn't want
to accidentally miss one of my notes.
Women sure are funny
- and sensitive. Guess that's why we guys love them so much. When you
are over at your sweetheart's place, it will take you all of five minutes
to do a number on his or her roll of toilet paper. He or she will wonder
where you get all your wacky romantic ideas. Shhhh. It will be our secret.
Webb is the best-selling author of The RoMANtic's Guide: Hundreds of Creative
Tips for a Lifetime of Love. You can order at Amazon.com or for more of
Michael's FREE tips, visit http://www.TheRomantic.com