Friday, September 30, 2005

Another Entry For the "She NEVER Learns, Does She?" File

I have two, count them TWO, new and exciting wounds from my ongoing love/hate relationship with scooters.

You may recall my last painful debacle. I STILL have a half-dollar sized bruise on the front of my left shin from THAT one. Obviously though the memory of the pain has faded even though the signs of injury have not. Good enough for me. Apparently.

So the girl and I walk our happy little kindergartener to school the other day. And by "walk" I mean "I walk and they ride their scooters". Well after Captain Kinderoo gets dropped off, I now have a scooter to get home.

Yes, yes, you see it coming don't you.

I would like to say in my defense that I DID NOT FALL OFF this time!! What I DID do is get off it to step off a curb and when I lifted it up to set it down in the street to cross the intersection it viciously (and, I believe, with malicious forethought) swung around and smacked evilly into my right heel. RIGHT ON THE BONE part too. I'm pretty sure I heard chortling.

Scooter 2, AJ 0

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Vaya Con Dios, Amigos

We just had some good friends here visiting from Houston (aka seeking refuge from Hurricane Rita - which turned out, thankfully, not to be so bad in their area). When we lived in Arizona, we had three couples that we frequently did things with (as well as many fringe friends that we saw on bigger occasions like birthday parties, poker nights, Super Bowl parties, weddings, etc.) This couple was our favorite.

The guy and my husband have been friends since seventh grade. I LOVE his wife (she thinks I'm hysterical and laughs at everything I say - how can I NOT love her?). Plus our husbands are so much alike that we can bemoan our identical plights. We wanted to pick them to be surrogate parents to our children in case we both were killed by a hurtling meteor or food poisoning or something, but they already were "on record" with a couple of other couples so we had to go to Plan B (which we STILL can't figure out).

We had such a good time while they were here. The kids (ages 3, 3, 5 & 9) played mostly nicely together. We went out to eat, laughed, and talked and talked and talked.

When we discussed the possibility of moving here, we knew it was going to be hard leaving our friends. The hub had lived most of his life in AZ and had friends from grade school, High School and college that he interacted regularly with. My best friend married a good friend of his via our hooking them up (in retrospect - NOT a good match, but hey, they are still married so what are you gonna do?). We have been with these people through weddings, pregnancies (full-term and tragically otherwise), promotions, moves across town, job changes, divorces, and so on.

When you are an adult it's HARD to make new friends. It's not like when you were in school and had a ready made group of peers floating around you all day. Your only chances out here in Adult World are hooking up through work or through your kids activities. Since we moved here we do things mostly with the people in our neighborhood (through HOA sponsored activities) but that's about it.

We didn't realize how much we missed that until this past weekend.

Or as James Jones says in From Here to Eternity: "...it seems like life is made up of saying hello to people we don't like and good-by to people we do."

Monday, September 26, 2005

AND I Have a Silver Platter!

It has recently come to my attention that Mike & Carol Brady were married on the SAME DAY I was (albet 29 years earlier).

(aka today)

I'm am still trying to decided how I feel about this tidbit of information.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dear Hurricane Rita,

I realize you are currently huffing and puffing your busy destructive self towards the coast of Texas, but I thought you might consider a detour.

If you could bypass all those nice folks in Galveston and Houston and save your mighty powers of chaos and wetness for a DESERVING target, say the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles? I know you could level that evil entity with your heaving bosom of terror and 100+ mile per hour winds. Please oh please!! PRETTY PLEASE! I'm not even asking you to spare lives as I have YET to come in contact with ONE SINGLE ARTICULATE BEING within that Satanic, sadistic, communal-I.Q.-of-gravy, oh-don't-we-make-the-government-proud, festering, miasmic, vomitus barrel of creatures culled from the very depths of the dark underbelly of society.

If you would grant me this one teensy favor, just between us girls, I would soooooo be in your debt.

I hope you give it a little thought & I will be watching The Weather Channel with fingers (and toes) crossed.

Sincerely and with love,
A J

Monday, September 19, 2005

Viva la TV!

Why is it that we, as mothers, feel as though we have to apologize for letting our children watch television? I recently, within the same week, read in an article AND a recently published book where a mother is putting her child in front of the TV because they have to get something done (in the article she had to make dinner and in the book she was killing a demon). In both instances they felt guilty and apologetic. They felt like they have to validate their decision by saying things like, "At least it's educational" or "Just a half hour won't damage him".

Why is it not okay to just want a little Mommy Time? You should NOT feel guilty if Barney is the only thing that gets grubby mitts off your pant leg long enough that you can actually fix a meal (even if you are just opening a couple of cans or dialing the phone). You shouldn't feel guilty even if all you do during that time is slump on the couch in your pajamas (at 3pm) and sip a little Merlot.

When did TV get to be so evil? TV rocks! There is a plethora of kids shows nowadays and almost every last one of them has some sort of redeeming value. Even Spongebob taught my kids his own version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Cartoon characters teach morals, values, letters, numbers, history and foreign languages. Sure, the songs are a little on the get-stuck-in-your-head side but, damn it!, we all have to make sacrifices.

I have alphabet and number flash cards in my car. I have never failed to point out left shoe and right shoe even when my child could do more than drool on said shoe. I brake for weird bugs and pretty fallen leaves. We count out loud going up and down stairs. But you know what? Sometimes enough is enough.

When my husband bought me TiVo for my birthday two years ago, I cried tears of joy. At last, Max and Ruby could be on ANY TIME I WANTED THEM TO BE ON. Oh the joy! The pure sweet liberating JOY of on-demand kids programming. I want to start a program where the hospital just GIVES you TiVo, right there in the delivery room.

"Congratulations! It's a boy! And TiVo!"

Sunday, September 18, 2005

March of the Blogs

*NEXT BLOG*

What is that in the toilet you ask?

*NEXT BLOG*

I guess when they included his cocktail shaker in the credits, you knew it was going to be interesting.

*NEXT BLOG*

I should not speak to people.

*NEXT BLOG*

I have a feeling these girls werent bullied enough in school.

*NEXT BLOG*

i've always been one that doesn't have to go the bathroom until we're driving in the middle of nowhere.

*NEXT BLOG*

After all, screen door companies must know that the tiny plastic lock is a vital element in keeping their customers safe.

*NEXT BLOG*

do you like me?
circle yes or no

*NEXT BLOG*

I should have spent more time around the Love Canal in my youth so I could have grown a couple more atrophied (but ultimately helpful) limbs.

*NEXT BLOG*

People are not warm-hearted beings of love; they are discrete units of logic.

*NEXT BLOG*

I LOVE YOU, JUSTIN. But not as much as Jesus.

*NEXT BLOG*

Every time I see a carcass lying on the road, I close my mouth, lest I ingest a fly that’s just been gorging on rat.

*NEXT BLOG*

Before I knew it, I was fully engaged in an arm wrestling skirmish with Steve Austin’s Spawn.

*NEXT BLOG*

Marmite isn't really a food. It's a chainsaw lubricant/axle grease.

*NEXT BLOG*

I think she's more like 'relatively' the hottest teacher, because the rest are like miniature dinosaurs or giant fossils.

*NEXT BLOG*

Believe it or not, we called the local Klan about 2 weeks ago, and they actually admitted that they don't do anything anymore, because they are broke

*NEXT BLOG*

It wasn't bear season, and the bear had neither been run over nor had it died of a heart attack.

*NEXT BLOG*

Humans are stupid, lying, greedy, slimy beings, and I'm a perfect example of that.

*NEXT BLOG*

Questions: 1. Why would someone invent a tricycle with a dozen LOUD sound effect buttons?

*NEXT BLOG*

And he's also right when he says something to the effect that if you care more about what gays do in private than in the melting of the polar ice caps, you're part of the problem.

*NEXT BLOG*

age is wisdom, people, and all the fogies (and me) roll where cost-effective home-meal replacement is nutritious and delicious

*NEXT BLOG*

I'm not so proud of the fact that I've told you people I can give myself an orgasm simply thinking about cans of cheese whizz and an ice cream scoop.

*NEXT BLOG*

It's even better than watching Augustus Gloop.

*NEXT BLOG*

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Not only do I NEVER look at myself in a mirror if the room is dark, I pretty much don't look at myself during the day either. Oh sure, I have to look when I'm getting ready in the morning, but then that's pretty much it.

I could be in the bathroom a dozen times a day, where there is a GIANT most-of-the-wall mirror behind the double sink vanity, washing my hands, tending to kids, etc and I just don't look at myself. I can wash said mirror and every other mirror in the house and still not look directly at my own reflection. If I accidentally catch a glance at myself in a mirror (or a window or a toaster or a spoon) my eyes shy away like they have suddenly spied a live sex act featuring livestock.

Why? I have no earthly idea.

I don't hate myself. I don't think that I'm ugly or terrifying. I think that it's just that I really don't CARE that much. Hey, I TRIED to fix my hair this morning, if by, oh say, 1 p.m. it is sticking out like an angry weasel is lost in there or it is flatter than a pancake, cest la vie. I'm not going to do anything about it anyway, so why bother looking? Is my eyeliner slowly working it's way south? Bummer. I'll wash it off before I go to bed.

I have never been high maintenance. I don't even know why you'd want to be high maintenance. After all, that requires so much effort and, um, maintenance.

I'm not a complete slob. I CARE about my appearance enough to actually paint the picture every morning (well, ALMOST every morning) but once I'm done, it's on it's own. No re-touching. No adjusting. No fine tuning. Fini.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Candyman?

I have such a phobia about looking at my reflection in a mirror in a darkened room that I can't even MAKE myself do it. The other night, when I was taking one of the monsters to the bathroom at even-god-is-asleep o'clock in the morning, I TRIED to do it (why? I don't KNOW why, sometimes I just try stuff). But the minute I lifted my head, my eyes snapped shut and refused to open.

If I've messed MYSELF up this much, what the hell am I doing to my poor impressionable children?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hi, My Name is Pollyanna

I have a problem (okay, you know I have many problems, but let's focus).

My problem is that I ASSUME (yes, yes, horrible word) that people will DO THEIR JOB. If I drop clothes off at the dry cleaners, I ASSUME that they will be ready a day or two later when I go to pick them up. I ASSUME that when I call my husband's gym and tell them that they charged us twice this month, that they will promptly credit our account. Most of the time, in my blissful world, people actually DO what they are supposed to/are paid to do.

Here is my trouble.

I assume that people will ALWAYS do what they are supposed to do / are paid to do. Even when, yes I know I am a capital F Fool, when I am dealing with a motor vehicle department. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Especially when I have already wrangled with these people before.

*flashback*

We bought our car right before we moved to Oklahoma. My husband's new position included a company car so we decided it made a lot more sense to trade in both our current vehicles for a new car in AZ than to transport BOTH cars to OK and do it there. Right? Right. We tell them we are moving out of state & will register it there. They give us a 30 day plate. Again, makes sense, right? Well, you'd THINK!

When I get to Oklahoma and try to register the car I discover the foolishness of my actions. In OK when you buy a new car, you pay the sales tax when you register the vehicle. In AZ, you pay the sales tax when you BUY the car. So OK won't register it unless I pay them the sales tax (not an insignificant amount). AZ won't give the tax back because I bought it there. I wrangle back & forth for D.A.Y.S. Both sides telling me the other side is wrong. I finally just called the dealership & had them order me plates, which, thank the heavens, they did.

*back to present*

For reasons probably relating to the brou-ha-ha above, I never received a copy of my registration. Since my tags are expiring, I go to the Arizona Department of Tranportation website and try to print out a duplicate. Surprise, surprise, it doesn't work. So I have to call.

Interesting note - ADOT (and probably many other Arizona governmental offices) use convicted prisoners to answer phones. They tell you on the recorded message not to divulge personal information until you reach a Level Two employee. You know this because they TELL you they are Level Two. What a system. I'd complain, but at least I could understand them.

Turns out that AZ had sent me a letter asking to verify my insurance coverage. I have to take their word for it as I have no such letter. When I did not respond, the suspended my registration. I call my insurance agent & they oh so politely (I LOVE my insurance agent's staff, they are lovely women) get the letter faxed off right away. I was told it would take several days to get reinstated. Of course. Whatever.

Today I try to get the info on line again. What a shock! It STILL won't come up. I call ADOT again. After almost an hour on hold I speak to some dolt who tells me it was never entered. *sigh* I have to call my insurance agent AGAIN. She remembers me (because she told me the first time they had never had to do a letter like that before - lucky me) and apologizes even though it wasn't any fault of hers and when I tell her this she says, "I'm just so sorry for the hassle you are going through." Sweet, hunh?

When I asked the dolt on the phone how long it would take until I could get a copy of my registration she said, and I quote, "Oh they enter that stuff right away when they get it."

Un-hunh.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Seriously, I LIKE This Girl

Yet again, we visit our heroine, Olivia, from yesterday's post.

"Olivia's theory was that you could divide women into two types: those who were on the Girls' Team, and Undercover Bitches. If a woman was on the Girls' Team, she could be as beautiful, intelligent, rich, famous, sexy, successful and as popular as fuck, and you'd still like her. Women on the Girls' Team had solidarity. They were conspiratorial and brought all their fuck-ups to the table for everyone to enjoy. Undercover Bitches were competitive: they showed off, tried to put others down to make themselves look good, lacked humor and a sense of their own ridiculousness, and said things which sounded okay on the surface but were actually designed to make you feel really bad, couldn't bear it when they weren't getting enough attention, and they flicked their hair. Men didn't get all this. They thought women took against each other because they were jealous. Quite tragic, really."

On The Team - Julia Roberts
Not on The Team - Zsa Zsa Gabor
On The Team - Jamie Lee Curtis
Not on The Team - Pamela Anderson
On The Team - Cameron Diaz
Not on the Team - Paris Hilton
On The Team - Fergie (Duchess of York)
Not on the Team - Fergie (Black Eyed Pea)
On The Team - Helen Fielding
Not on The Team - Mary Higgins Clark

I think it's time for a team party, and I'm NOT talking Pizza Hut.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

As in the Unit of Kinetic Energy

Just finished reading Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding (author of Bridget Jones's Diary). Olivia is a hysterical character. This book had lots of interesting ideas to spring-board off of, but for now I will share with you...

"Rules for Living by Olivia Joules

1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think.
2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you.
3. Never change haircut or color before an important event.
4. Nothing is either as bad or as good as it seems.
5. Do as you would be done by, eg., thou shalt not kill.
6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?"
8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure.
9. Be honest and kind.
10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.
11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination.
12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side and, if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4.
13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
14. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
15. Don't regret anything. Remember there wasn't anything else that could have happened, given who you were and the state of the world at the moment. The only think you can change is the present, so learn from the past.

As you can see by #5, she is one of my flock.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Glamour - ous Me

Glamour magazine recently published (well, sort of re-published) a list of "30 things every woman should have and should know by the time she's 30".

Seeing as how I'm now closer to 40 than 30, I wonder how I'm doing (you know, according to the Glamour Queens).

By 30 you should have:

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you've come.
How about an old FRIEND I can imagine going back to and having as a boyfriend? ALL the boyfriends remind me of how far I've come.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family. In fact the only piece I own that HAS been previously owned are a vanity that my grandfather made for my grandmother (which is in the closet in the guest room because it just doesn't "go" anywhere). Just about everything else has been acquired since I've been with my husband.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour. Yes to the first one and the man of my dreams would think I looked fabulous no matter what I was wearing.

4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you're not ashamed to be seen carrying. No (but I AM going purse shopping in a couple of weeks for my fall purse), yes and all the umbrellas in my house have either Spiderman, Dora or Care Bears on them.

5. A youth you're content to move beyond. Yep. I LIKE getting older. You couldn't make me 20 again for A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

6. A past juicy enough that you're looking forward to retelling it in your old age. Yeah, I guess, but I'm NOT going to be boring future generations about it no matter HOW juicy I think it is.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age - and some money set aside to help fund it. The women on both sides of my family tree live to around 100. I've got MANY years ahead (runaway busses aside). Money set aside? I have children I'm planning on being a burden to, does that count?

8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account - all of which nobody has access to but you. No to all of the above (ah, the sharing of marriage!). But I DO have a blog!

9. A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded. I was always too chicken to pad my resume. I have paranoia induced honesty.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry. My friend "T" almost ALWAYS makes me laugh. I don't know about the crying. I'm kind of a closet crier.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra. I can NEVER find tools because the hub is horrid at putting things away. Does it have to be lace?

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it. I don't buy ridiculously expensive things for myself. Who does that?

13. The belief that you deserve it. Hell yeah I do! I just don't feel the need to prove it by buying ridiculously expensive things for myself.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don't get better after 30. I REALLY need to be better about taking care of my skin, but I am honestly just so overwhelmed with all the products that I just do nothing instead. I do exercise though - yeah me!

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better. If I NEVER have a "career" that would be okely-dokely with me. I am liking working at the library though, so that may grow as the kids get older. Relationship questions make my head hurt.


By 30, you should know:

1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
I think this comes with learning how to care less about what others think of you and more about what you think of others.

2. How you feel about having kids. Since I had to clean up an unholy mess of poo smeared ALL OVER the toilet, underwear, little legs, the tile floor, the carpet, the sink, two towels and a Batman cup, I'd say you don't WANT to know how I feel about having kids right now.

3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship. Well let's see, I became a stay-at-home mom with no career, got married and moved several hundred miles away from my friends. Does that mean I'm GOOD at that stuff or monumentally bad?

4. When to try harder and when to walk away. Maybe I have and maybe I haven't, but I HAVE learned how to not beat myself up about it. I HAVE learned how to ditch the guilt and keep the lesson. Am I trying to hard to reply to this one? (Sound of walking away)

5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn't like to happen next. Um, yes. Yes I do.

6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town. Condi Rice (I cheated & Goggled), Mary and I don't want "the best" I want "the second best" who doesn't charge as much.

7. How to live alone, even if you don't like to. Ohhhhh, I am daydreaming about this! Don't toy with me!

8. How to take control of your own birthday. What the hell does this mean? Plan your own party? Declare you no longer have one? This one is weird. Besides I have to "control" everyone else's birthday, I don't WANT to control my own.

9. That you can't change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents. You CAN change the width of your hips (just generally not for the better). When do your parents learn that they can't change YOUR nature? Ever?

10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over. I was just thinking today that if I owned a company that I would have mandatory recess for my employees including a swing set, monkey bars and that big spinny thing that you only find in old playgrounds. It's not over until I say it's over.

11. What you would and wouldn't do for money or love. This changes on a day to day basis. I don't like to draw big lines in the sand because then I just have to sneak out at night and move them.

12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long. I was smug about this one until I got to the flossing point. Damn floss.

13. Who you can trust, who you can't and why you shouldn't take it personally. I am deeply jaded and suspicious and completely gullible all at the same time. But I don't take it personally.

14. Not to apologize for something that isn't your fault. According to the hub, I don't even apologize for things that ARE my fault.

15. Why they say life begins at 30. Who says that?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Protect Me From Your Followers

Hold hands people, we are broaching the "taboo" (blame Kris because he brought it up).

I was raised in a Christian home - Lutheran and Presbyterian. Once we lived in town, we were fairly frequent church-going people. We did the midnight Christmas service and walked around with ashes on our heads (I do admit, as a child, being thrilled when, twice a year, my parents would space day-light savings and we would either arrive too early or too late for church and decide to go to breakfast instead). I even taught Sunday School when I was in high school (occasionally having to brightly tell the little ones "I'll be right back!" then rushing out the door to go throw up in the bushes after a particularly bad night of partying). I know all the stories and a LOT of songs (my particular favorite - feel free to sing along - "Noah he built him, he built him and ark-y ark-y, Noah he built him, He built him an ark-y ark-y, Built it out of *clap* gopher bark-y bark-y, children of the lord).

Sometime in my early 20's, things started to change. I actually started to THINK about my religion as opposed to just following where my parents had led. I had developed a bad taste in my mouth when the pastor at our church left and the new guy was just an complete and utter asshat. I couldn't believe that I had to LISTEN to this guy. He seemed much more focused on trying to get the church to get him a mini-van than he was about "tending his flock". I also read this book. What made me think the most was when he described that no matter what religion the person was during their life, when they died, they all went to the same place. I also came to believe that your religion is almost completely based on your geographic location at birth. If you are born in Central or South America, you're going to be a Catholic. India - Hindu. China and Japan - Buddhist. Middle East - Muslim. South Africa - Tribal religion. 99.9% of the time, you are the religion of your parents.

I became more of a "spiritual" person and less of a "religious" person.

The more "open minded" I became, the more distressed I was that "religious" people I met were so unaccepting. Each religion seems to ingrain in its followers that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Mormons don't get along with Baptists who don't trust Jews who dislike Catholics, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Since we moved to The Bible Belt, it has been particularly hard. I feel like I have to hide. I'm "in the closet", so to speak. Two of my neighbors are very involved in the same GIGANTIC Methodist church. They used to ask us to come along, but the invitations get less and less frequent. I think they are on to us. I think they are worried about us.

If I were to start my own religion it would be The Church of the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." That's it. Period. Would you like it if someone stole your car? Then don't' steal theirs. Would you like it if someone slept with your spouse? Killed your dog? Spray painted on your wall? Cursed you out? THEN DON'T DO IT TO THEM. It would be a karma based religion.

I was behind a car in traffic recently. On the back were not only a metal "Jesus fish" but also a WWJD sticker (to which I say ha and ha) and her license plate was something religious as well. A truck was trying to enter our lane from a parking lot and she kept scooting up to the car in front of her to make SURE he couldn't get in in front of her. I wanted to get out of my car, go pound on her window and yell, "What Would Jesus Do? He would let that poor sod out in to traffic, you cow!" I, of course, let him in. That's what I would want someone to do for me, after all.

Maybe it should be The Church of Everyone is Watching and Grading Your Performance.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fact is Sadder Than Fiction

Every time I see an advertisement for that movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin, I think of a friend of mine. Let's call him Matt.

I met Matt my Freshman year of high school. He was a Senior. I was in a play that he had to go see to get credit in a class he was taking. I don't know how he wound up at the cast party, but he & I and a couple of friends ended up hanging out all that night together including driving around town in his huge beat-up truck with surgical masks on all our faces laughing like hyenas.

I think what solidified our friendship that night was when we drove by a house that had a Gremlin parked on the side. I said, "Those are the UGLIEST cars. Who in the WORLD would own one of those??!!" He said, "That's my house. My brother & I drive it sometimes." Of course I busted up laughing and so did everyone else (do you know how hard it is too continuously laugh your head off while wearing a mask and not suffocate? I think part of the hilarity was due to lack of oxygen to our brains). The next time I saw him the first words out of his mouth were, "Hey! You know that Gremlin? Well sometime that night, someone STOLE it!" I said, "Holy crap! How hard up for a car do you have to be to steal a Gremlin?!" We both doubled over with laughter (he never saw the car again).

I met him at the end of a run of party years for him. He had been a heavy party drug user and drinker. The death of a friend had sobered him up & he never touched a drop of anything again that I knew of. Which, at the time, was great for us because we always had a designated driver. He was completely happy to accompany us to the party and laugh at our drunken antics and make sure we all made it home in one piece. He was then,and is now (for a rainbow of reasons), a great guy.

He wasn't particularly religious when I met him, but he became more and more so as the years progressed. At one time he even discussed attending seminary school, an idea I whole heartedly endorsed because it just seemed so "right" for him (and y'all KNOW how I feel about organized religion). Somewhere along the line, I have NO idea where, he decided to "save himself for marriage". That's right, remain a capital "V" Virgin until "I do" meant he could "do IT".

I KNOW, for a fact, that he has had , ahem, dalliances along the way. One particular episode revolving around a variety of produce that I won't get into. But he never actually went all the way. He was very Clinton-esque. We, typical teenagers, joked about sex all the time. He was ALWAYS making cracks about how big Mr. Johnson was and that he actually only had one leg but Mr. Johnson was so big that he just stuffed him down a pant -leg and into a sock and shoe (which may be true because I never saw him in shorts - ever). But the older he got, the more serious he became about finding "the one" and the less the good times rolled.

The years went by and the criteria seemed to become stricter. She had to be a good church-going woman was the big one. Did I mention he has lived in Las Vegas for the past, oh, 15 years or so? Yeah, the odds are not exactly in his favor in 'ol Sin City. Last time I checked he wasn't requiring the woman herself to be a virgin (he has even "dated" a couple of single moms), so that may be helpful. He has a top secret job that takes him out of town to some "base" somewhere for most of the week. Now, his elderly parents live with him. I'm pretty much coming to the conclusion that he should just join an order and become a monk. He's basically already there anyway.

It makes me sad really. Here is this wonderful man, who would make a great husband and father, that has made the road so unbearably hard for himself because of some self-imposed rules and ideals. How hard is it to find Mrs. Right when you don't even get a couple of Mrs. Wrongs in there to help you figure it out? How much had he missed?

Now I know my whole vision of him is colored not only by my fondness for him but also by what I feel and believe. When you are a big fan of sex and all it's inherent dirtiness and sloppiness, it's hard to understand how someone could put it all on a shelf marked "sacred" and only take it down and open it under the most reverent of situations. I tend to agree with Ayn Rand, who said in The Fountainhead, "There are two things we must get rid of early in life: a feeling of personal superiority and an exaggerated reverence for the sexual act."

I know there has to be a balance between "giving it away cheap" and hoarding. I don't condone teenage pregnancy or sexual addiction. I DO think that anything that happens in private between two consenting adults is okay-dokay. I also agree with Laurell K. Hamilton when SHE says (in Narcissus in Chains): "You share so much more than just your body during sex, it's one of the reasons you should be careful who you do it with." It's taken me YEARS to fine-tune this wishy-washyness people. YEARS I tell you!

If I had a time machine, I wonder if I would go back and seduce him just to, you know, break the seal? Set him on a different path? "Save him"? Nice of me, hunh. Again, maybe I'm just all wrong for wanting to save an endangered species - the male virgin. I just can't get over the feeling that he sold himself short. Cut himself off to so much life and living.

Maybe I'm the freak.