Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Yes There Is A Santa Claus

I remember very clearly the day I came home and told my mom that I had heard that their was no Santa Claus...

She was standing at the kitchen sink working on something for dinner...I was in there talking to her about my day ...Anything and everything that had happened.. Things to which she always listened to and joined into the conversation..Everything from "Are teachers supposed to smell like that? To... "Will paste really make your insides sticky if you eat it"?

These are all serious questions when your young..At this age, you realize that all the things you learn on the playground may not be completely accurate, but there is probably some grain of truth to them..

So when I ran the whole "No Santa" issue by her..I expected a stronger reaction than the one I got...Her lack of shock and or surprise all by itself made me curious...First of all let me say..I already suspected this was no rumor...I was getting to that age where I was looking at things from a more logical point of view..And the whole Santa story just didn't add up in a lot of ways. But I was also..Not wanting to look at it to closely...I was still content with the idea of Santa and Christmas.

I had thought about just letting it slide since mom really didn't comment much on it...But curiosity..Which has always been my downfall got the better of me. Soo I asked her..."Do you believe that's true"?

This is what she told me...

She said that Santa was there for children...And that when children got older and grew up sometimes they stopped believing in the same things they did when they were little...

BUT...(and here's the loophole).....As long as a child believed in Santa...That they continued to get presents from Santa..And when and if they stopped believing, they still got presents..It was just that they got them from their Mom and Dad....
(A HUH..Wheels turning)

Ok now...I wasn't the brightest kid...But even I could do the math on this one.....Santa + Mom and Dad....Or just Mom and Dad....HMMMMMMM.....This seemed to be a no brainer....So that's when I decided that I was going to continue to believe in Santa regardless of the stories or evidence to the contrary..

To this day if you ask me is there a Santa....I will tell you "OH YES THERE IS"!!
And if we can get the bats out of the chimney...Ill be looking for him again this year.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

When Its Real

When its real how do you know? This is what I think.

When its real, it shouldn't be hard. It should be something that's easy, that you don't have to struggle to make work each and every day.

It should be something that gives you an inner peace. It should be something that leaves you with no doubts.

It is a friendship that has caught on fire. It gives trust, kindness, respect and love and in turn, expects nothing.

It should lift you up, make you feel as though you can do anything, because they believe you can.

It is quiet patience and understanding for the small human flaws we all have. It is not selfish. It puts you first as a priority.

It is a fire that is fueled by a mutual practice of all these things. It provides a strong base for the rest of life to be built upon.

I suppose not everyone in the world is looking for the perfect something...There are plenty of people out there right now content with their singleness. I see no problem with being single. But there also seems to be a large group who are looking...Looking for that perfect someone...... That perfect relationship...... That perfect something to make their lives complete.

I will be the first one to tell you I am a hopeless romantic. I am sentimental to the core..I save every movie ticket, every dead flower, every card, etc. Because to me these are the real things. Its not the "Stuff" we think we have to have from others, that's supposed to say "I love you" when given or received. To me the birthday card that had a hand written heart felt message, with added illustrations was more precious to me than any "Stuff" I could have received. But this is me.. And this is what matters to me and what I consider real.

There are so many different personality types in this world. Not everyone wants the same types of things from a relationship or a partner. Is it wrong because some do not want the romance of it...They prefer the security of the material or monetary. To them having someone provide them with the comforts of life is a show of affection or love. Just because its not what I would look for, does this make it wrong?

I am coming to realize that everyone has different needs and wants from life. What those happen to be, are based on how we were raised and our life experiences. What may seem as a deal breaker to me, would not seem so to another person.

I still have no sympathy for the BUNNY BOILERS out there who are cutting huge swath through the single population. Laying to waste those with good kind hearts and forever changing them into the mistrusting and bitter. I hope someday they find a cure to your type of virus and people will be immune to you.

But until they do I hope that those of you out there who have had to deal with those train wrecks in your lives...I hope that you don't let those people ruin your hearts. Its difficult not to harden, to protect yourself, in case there is a next time. But if you do this...What else do you keep yourself from? Possibilities? What if you have to be open to hurt before you can find the real thing?

If that's the case...Isn't it worth it? To me it is....What about you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

From The Inside Out....

What is it about a person that makes them attractive to us? Is it their eyes, their smile, their legs or chest? What if we weren't able to see someone and get a first impression from the way they looked to us?

That may sound like a shallow question. But I have had both males and females tell me..While its true they want someone with a good personality, there has to be that physical attraction.

Does there really? This is my thinking..

You are walking down the street..You see this incredibly beautiful female...In your eyes she is very attractive...So you take the next step and make eye contact or try and speak to her. If she seems receptive, then you possibly proceed to the next step. Which is what? Talking or maybe even asking her out? But what if this goddess opens her mouth and speaks and you find out she is the most rude, self centered, airheaded, B*tch.....You have ever had the pleasure of talking to. Is she still beautiful? Or did your feelings and opinion change because of how she behaved?

Or you meet another girl on the same street. This girl isn't scare little children ugly, but more of a plain Jane. Not the you light up my life beauty of the first girl... She passes you on the same street, but because she's not really your type...You don't bother to make eye contact or try and say Hi. In short, you don't take that first initial step toward meeting and speaking to find out who she is and what she's like. But what if girl number two is incredible? She's intelligent and funny, kind, caring, respectful, has good morals, and values. She loves sports, is into all the things you find enjoyable. And last but not least....She wants all the same kinds of things you want from life and views the world similar to the way you do. But because she wasn't you're type you never ever said the first word..Hi.

I have to wonder if it wouldn't be better if we all had the chance to meet backwards. I know a woman who met her husband online. It was a chance meeting and I wont go into all those details now.. I will just say that they met and hit it off immediately. They found after chatting only a short time that they had quite a lot of things in common in the way they viewed the world. To the point of almost finishing each others sentences. They both spoke pretty frequently over the next year. Pretty much every day. It wasn't until they had known each other a while, that my friend got up enough nerve to exchange photos with this person. It wasn't so much that she didn't want to share her photo...Although that was part of it...But she also wasn't sure if she wanted to know what he looked like. Its like reading a book and then seeing the same book made into a movie.. Sometimes you get disappointed because the characters in the movie are nothing like the way you pictured them to be.

But this chatting back and forth about everything under the sun had started some deep feelings for both of them and she felt as though she were falling in love with this person..And he had similar feelings for her. They finally exchanged a few photos...And to be honest...He wasn't an ugly guy by any means but....he wasnt exactly her type either...If he had passed her on the street I do not think she would have said "Oh Id really like to meet that guy". And truthfully...I think it was pretty much the same for him too...Not the type of female he was usually attracted to. But they had already grown to care about each other. Past the point of it really mattering that they weren't their ideal physical types.

Long story, short....They spoke online for a year before they met each other in person...They lived about 1500 miles apart. Then after the first face to face meeting...They continued to meet...Traveling back and forth for another year....Before becoming engaged...Then they did this again for another year...Before actually getting married. After the marriage he relocated himself to her state where they live now and have been for the past 4 years...Happily married...

The thing that always strikes me about this story is...She used to tell me that she met her husband backwards...She met him from the inside out.....That idea got me thinking...How many people do we pass on because the first view of them says they are not our type?...Or for that matter how many crappy relationships do we get in and stay in because we are physically attracted to the other person enough to be infatuated with them...And convince ourselves its love?

Maybe its not about the physical at all..Maybe true beauty is within...Maybe we need to try and meet a few people backwards.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Dumbing Down

I will admit there was a time I was uncomfortable with the way I spoke. When I was a kid my parents never spoke down to me..They spoke as if I were an adult and would understand the big words they used. If I didn't, they took the time to make a statement and then say..What this means is.......And maybe use a more simple way of phrasing it. But guess what...In doing this, I developed a better than average vocabulary.

The problem is when your with you're peers and most of them don't speak in complete sentences let alone big words. You get a lot of "Huh?" What does that mean? For a kid who liked blending in...It got a little embarrassing. So I would dumb down my conversation skills.

"Like you know, I just took out all the big words. Then like people understood me better. Ya know?"

One day my mom said "Why are you talking like that?" So I explained my problem to her..She said never be ashamed of being intelligent enough to understand the meaning of words or things. She felt that part of the problem with some of my friends wasn't lack of intelligence on their part, but laziness and bad habits. If you don't use it you loose it, sort of thing.

I thought about what she said and I realized she was right. I looked at a few of the girls I knew..I know what classes they took..They were in the same honors classes I was in..They made good grades.. I knew they weren't stupid..Yet they wanted to talk like they were. I also noticed it happened more often when they were around the opposite sex.

Well that's when I said " Screw it" I am who I am..I talk the way I talk..And if they don't like it oh well, so be it.

I have heard talk of lowering the standards for our testing system so that little Jimmy's self esteem wont be shattered when he fails a test. To me this is the most stupid idea that has ever come out of our educational system and that is saying something.

To me the entire point of education is to raise the bar..To push ourselves to take in more knowledge. The point of testing on subjects is to see if the knowledge being taught is being absorbed by the student...If all we worry about is that little Jimmy feels badly because he hasn't passed a test on material he hasn't been able to grasp for whatever reason. Then in my opinion we do a bigger disservice to him than hurting his little self esteem.

Isn't it far more important to understand that not everyone learns the same? That we shouldnt have some sort of cookie cutter method of teaching. Not everyone can grasp material in the same way..Sometimes it takes a creative approach to be able to get a student to understand the information. Teachers, because they are teachers should be willing and open minded enough to explore other methods of exposing their students to this information...After all isn't that the main purpose of being a student and a teacher...TO TEACH AND TO LEARN.. Why should the method matter as long as the end result is there.

In school I usually made fairly decent grades. If I didn't there was usually a reason why. It could have been the subject being taught...Math and I are not on good terms....It could have been me screwing around instead of doing my work....Or it could have been the teacher not connecting with the way I learned. I personally am a visual learner......I need to be able to associate the information with a picture or idea in my mind so I can recall the fact at a later time. If I am sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher drone on and on with facts and figures with out this visual association being made...The information is completely lost on me.

Its not just the responsibility of the educational system alone to provide a child with knowledge...Its also the parents...Maybe even more so than the teachers...Because as a parent I think you have a larger stake in the outcome of your child's education than anyone else in this world.

I believe the fact my parents took the time to read to me, and speak to me the way they did had an effect on me, one of the end results was that I had a pretty good vocabulary. While strangely enough, reading is not my thing.... I do like writing.

I wont say that I still don't use slang when I speak. Occasionally I do, but I'm not worried if anyone thinks I'm weird any longer because I know some words with more than four letters.

Whats wrong with having a brain and not being ashamed to use it?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Prejudice: An opinion, favorable or unfavorable ( more often the latter), formed without a fair examination of the facts; bias, v.t. to bias, to influence, to injure.

We hear the word prejudice and we automatically assume race is involved... But this is not necessarily the case. Prejudice can be about many things...Such as a persons education or lack their of.. Are they rich or poor..Are they fat or thin..Are they old or young...Male or female, gay or straight? We have literally hundreds of prejudices whether we want to see them as that or not..

Lately some of my fellow bloggers have posted some really good posts regarding this issue...Without trying to wear out an already discussed topic..It has provoked me to start thinking about what makes a prejudice and why we feel this way.
One blogger...Jenn, from her blog Jenius...Says in the last line of her post..."Racism isn't born its taught"..

The more I thought about this the more I knew she was completely right. But how do we get through life with out some sort of prejudices? We are taught not only by our parents and families, but also through our peers. We learn from our surroundings...And we form views based on our experiences in life. Most of us are taught to try and be considerate of others differences no matter what those differences happen to be...

But I still think no matter how hard we try...We still deep with in us hold onto some prejudices. I'm not sure there is a way to be completely free of them no matter how open minded or how tolerant we are..

The question is..If we could do this...Should we? Should we be tolerant of those groups that as individuals we find morally offensive to us. Such as those who advocate hate? Should we be tolerant of those who instill fear in us of another group because they are different in thoughts, words and deeds? Or are these not real prejudices because we are making opinions based not in bias but informed views?

What do you think?