Mr. Manners

Children in Jerusalem.
"Don't fart in front of that guy, he'll get pissed..."

Derrick wrote:


I’ve been dating a woman for the past three months and things were great.  She has a child whom I recently was introduced to (she found it important to wait a bit and I can respect that), but that child is an absolute monster.  He is 6 and has no manners,  still throws tantrums, leaves messes, sasses back to his mother, and pretty much does what he wants.  The worst part is that his mother lets him do it.  On the past two occasions with the two of them, she’s made no real attempt to stop his behavior (other than yelling at him from across the room) and she simply told me, “He’s just a little wild.  I can’t really do anything about that.”  This is a HUGE issue for me because I’d like to think if we eventually had children that she would be doing a better job at parenting than this, so I am wondering how to talk to her about this.  Do I just lay it out there and let her know her current style is a deal breaker?



Yes, I’d just lay it out there, but also take some time to explain how it can be fixed.  It’s one thing to let her know of an issue, but it’ll be better for the both of you if you have some ideas as to how to fix things.  Don’t be demanding, jut offer some suggestions and explain your point of view.  Explain to her that your parenting style is different and ask how she developed hers.  Try to understand before offering your viewpoints.

I think in the grand scheme of things my daughter is as well behaved as they come and it’s because of my parenting style, but I’ve dated a few women with kids that seem to feel they have no control over them and it’s really sad.  One woman let her child eat Doritos and have Coke as a before bed snack (then he’d go to bed without brushing his teeth because she said he “didn’t like doing that”), one woman let her child sneak out of bed and stay up until midnight, and another one would let her child be disrespectful and stay up until midnight.  It’s stressful enough dating someone with children (I’ve been on  both sides), but to be dating someone with no parenting skills is even more stressful.  Good luck with your conversation.


Pretty fly for a gay guy.

Aberdeen, South Dakota
Aberdeen, South Dakota..where I grew up. Small town.. I'd probably know the driver of that SUV.

Tim wrote:

I am a homosexual male living in the lower midwest and I am wondering if you have any tips for good places to find dates.  I don’t do the club scene (too many queens), I don’t like bars (I don’t drink), and the online scene seems to have the same old people always on there.  I would like to think I have options, but it seems as though my town may be affecting the size of the dating pool.  Any pointers?



I can’t really tell you where to meet guys, so I’ll tell you where I’d meet women, ok?  Assuming I was in a hetero version of your life and all of those criteria above were a given, I’d look elsewhere.  Maybe there is potential at the grocery store, the library, or the gym?  What about concerts or other events?  What about a cute server that brings you your steak on lunch?  If all else fails, you’ll have to search outside of your area.  Living in a small town (I am assuming it is here) can really limit your choices if you’re straight, so I can’t imagine how drastic of a limitation it would be as a homosexual.

Just be yourself and keep an open mind (but clear ideals) about what you are looking for.  Don’t be douchy when striking up conversation, and just seek to get to know people..the rest will come in time.


Red sky in morning, sailors take warning..

A Ship Wrecked in a Storm off a Rocky Coast
Image via Wikipedia

The title of this post refers to a sailing creed.  “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailors delight,” is how it reads.  It means if you (other than in the tropics) see a red sky in the morning, you’ll be heading into a storm, but if it’s red skies at night, it’s already passed.

Signs in our lives are the same.  We often see those red skies in our relationships and choose to take no warning.  We go on, full sail, and are often blindsided by the storm.  We are tossed and turned by the waves of sadness and frustration until we find ourselves washed up on the shore of singledom again.  From there, we take stock of what we’ve got and start building a new boat.  What we fail to realize is that we SHOULD have prepared for the storm.  There were signs, we saw it coming, and there really was no surprise…we just chose not to react.

The reasons we choose not to react are varied.  For some, it’s part of a passive/aggressive approach to life, for others it’s the hope that things will just work out, for others it’s stubbornness, and others see the oncoming storm as something out of their control.  Whatever the reason, the final choice to react or not to react is up to us.  Failure, in this instance, doesn’t go beyond anyone but yourself.

The next time you see the red skies approaching, prepare yourself.  You just may weather the storm with your ship intact.

Not noticed..

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
Hey..don't walk away from me when I'm talking..

Melissa wrote:


I admit, I’m behind on your blog and I’m trying to catch up.  I just read the post about your bet with Andy.  I have something similar going with my boyfriend, but I think he’s not keeping up on his end.  Here’s why-

1.  He says he’s lost 17lbs but he looks the same.  At 6 feet 3 and 375 lbs, you’d notice if someone lost 17lbs right?

2.  He makes time for the gym but is back in under an hour (we go at different times).  Our gym is 10 minutes away.

3.  He says he changed his eating habits, but we have a joint checking account and I see he still eats fast food, pizza, and see him drinking pop.

4.  He was really excited about the bet at first, but now he doesn’t even talk about it.

It’s disappointing because we both really need to lose the weight.  He and I were having a good time in the beginning of our challenge and really pushing each other, but now, it seems that I am the only one who is trying.  From what I’ve said, do you think he gave up?  What do I do to re-invigorate him?



I certainly do think he gave up.  The fast food, pop, and short gym trips are the first sign that he isn’t taking things as seriously as you are.  Yes, you’d notice even a 5lb weight loss on someone bigger, and if he’d toned it up and added muscle, you’d notice that too.  I know people that have bragged about weight loss, but haven’t shown improvement, and it’s saddening to see they’d rather lie about it than actually go through with it.  It seems as though your boyfriend is faking his success because HE’S given up but wants YOU to succeed.

It’s tough to say what you should do to re-invigorate him.  Personally, I think fitness is important because if I am with someone, I’d like to know that their health isn’t going to be a problem later on in life.  Yes, there are things out of anyone’s control, but all of the things that CAN be controlled, should be in order.  There is no excuse for allowing yourself to fall into poor health.  Some may say time is an issue, but if your boyfriend is lying about his fitness progress, think of all of the time wasted on that lie that could be spent exercising.  Others don’t like being sore, but soreness is simply a reaction of the muscle that is part of an adaptation to a new movement.  It is basically microscopic rebuilding of the muscle, and can be treated (not eliminated) with supplements, stretching, and upping protein intake before and after exercise.

If you’re looking to get him pumped up about your challenge again, I’d have a sit down conversation with him and explain that you’d like him to get excited about things again because you’d like to have many happy AND healthy years with him.  Hopefully that gives him a good reason to get back to the workouts.


Hamburger helped.

Ad Lie from Hamburger Helper
I always wondered why a gardening glove was the spokesperson..


Still no good night’s sleep.  I had about 4 hours of sleep last night and am still feeling weird.  Maybe tonight’s the night?

It feels like forever, but I had some Hamburger Helper for lunch today and it made my day.  I remember looking forward to dinner as a kid when I knew we were having it, but I got way too sick of it in college (that..and ramen, and Busch Light..) and swore it off for awhile.  Eating that for lunch today was like a flashback in my mouth.

I had a ton of emails yesterday on my post and I thank you all for writing in.  Yes, I am fine.  No, I am not going to lose the house (that I know of).  No, I’m not in failing health.  I am simply stressed, and sometimes stress can be a nasty bed partner.

I’d trade armor for sleep.

Have you been so stressed that you can’t sleep at night?  You lay there in bed, tossing and turning..unable to complete that journey into sleep.  It’s almost maddening as you lay there, unable to clear your head enough to drift off for a good night’s rest.  I am dealing with that right now.  It’s not one particular thing though, it’s a bunch.  Repairs were more costly on the house and I need to find a part time job (and I’m having NO luck), more repairs are needed, Olivia was promised a trip to the Dells this summer, and there is a pile of other issues I can’t even deal with yet.

I don’t freak out when I’m stressed.  I’ve been through worse and I do what I always do..what I see my parents do..just keep going.  Most of the people in my family are good at dealing with stress.  We have our freak out moments (some more than others), but we usually find a way to deal with things.  For me, it’s to just not stop going, which sucks when it’s time for bed.  It’s then that my stresses seem like a zombie movie.  I’m trapped there in the bedroom of the house and I’ve emptied a box of shells at the zombies (stress), but they just keep coming, pushing against the walls.  It’s draining.

No matter how much sleep I’ve had, I get up every morning, make the lunches for everyone, get ready and go to work.  I come home, clean, do laundry, cook supper for everyone, and try to work out or relax.  I am a powerhouse when it comes to getting things done.  It isn’t because I WANT to get things done, it just needs to get done…which also helps alleviate the stress for a bit.  All in all, I can take the punishment for now, but I just keep hoping something comes through.

I have thick, armor-like willpower, and I know this too, like all stressful moments, will pass.  However, I’d gladly trade my armor for a good night’s sleep.

Center of the universe feedback..

Anonymous wrote:


The friend just really seems self-centered.  Why should Rhonda end the friendship because her friend is self-centered?  I don’t get it.  Can’t people be different?



I am sure most people would agree when I say there is very little room for being self-centered in any sort of relationship.  If you’re constantly overlooking commitments or the needs of people other than yourself, you’re a burden..plain and simple.  I have very little tolerance for self-centered people and people that don’t follow through on commitments, because it’s a waste of time to constantly have to babysit them for the sake of friendship. Now, you may say THAT is self-centered, but if you look at it from the perspective of me wanting to spend time with people that want to spend time with me (and seeing the self-centered people are simply wasting that time), then it’s not self-centered at all.  My time isn’t ME’s WE time, almost all of the time.

And again, I am not saying to take the first chance to throw away friendship.  If there is something larger here (like depression), then a real friend will help see the other friend through.