Nov 14

Whatcha Got In That Box, Pandora?

fromthedesk

 

I have wanted to write this post for awhile, but I am always afraid of how some things will be perceived, even though what I have been thinking about is a legitimate concept from the perspective of any relationship.

I like to mouth off to others about ‘leaning into the discomfort’ of things, so here I go.

I have these friends who have a more alternative lifestyle. They are hands down some of the coolest people I know.  They have very different ideas about what constitutes love and marriage.   They are not monogamous, nor do they encourage the other to be.  In fact, they encourage each other to explore all sexual interests without prejudice.  It is an interesting idea from a theoretical viewpoint.  How can people learn to love freely and openly without jealousy or anger?  If we take out the part about not being monogamous, this is still a very legitimate question for monogamous couples.   As a theory, not as an argument for [easyazon_link identifier=”0991399706″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]polyamory[/easyazon_link] and its derivatives, the ability to love unconditionally is something that we should want to seek, regardless of our sexual choices.

2285660013_f9667ee1cb

See? People have been getting their freak on since before Christ was a cowboy.

I understand that living as a non-monogamous couple does apparently have some boundaries.  From what I gather, if any person in the arrangement starts to have feelings, the arrangement is redefined.  Feelings always indicate that someone is personally interested in the outcome of something.  If any either of my friends become uncomfortable, with any part of the situation, the situation is removed.  This conceivably lowers the possibility of deceit between partners.  Some will argue that they could end up falling in love with someone else.  I would reply that that could happen regardless.  It’s a matter of personal choice as to whether or not you enter into a deceptive relationship with  another person.  I don’t accept the argument that things just happen.  Things happen because we ignore growing feelings and allow ourselves to be in vulnerable situations, not because you have sex with people other than your spouse.  This happens in marriages all the time, and the blame always falls to the outside relationship.  It is more accurate to say that people will sleep with other peoples spouses without permission, far more than they will with permission, so let’s not get too judge-y here.

tiger-woods-cheating-meme

What a cheeky monkey…

I imagine the technicalities of a non-monogamous relationship would bring up some interesting conversations.  I love that they can honestly and openly negotiate such a difficult arrangement.  I have so much respect for the amount of trust and love needed to understand the real nature of unconditional love. The closest most of us come is the way we feel about our children.  We love them like an extension of our own body, one that we would die to protect.  The love flows freely from one to the other with the perfect understanding of trust and love.  That is the ideal, of course, and some days we only get a moment of the ideal, and the remainder a fraction of what we glimpsed.  However, we do feel it most for our children.  Why is it so unnatural for some of us to be unguarded enough to be able to love and be loved, so freely?

When we have been hurt sufficiently and learn to rebound back with our self esteem intact, and our understanding has improved, we are able to open ourselves raw to another.  We commit fully to the experience of loving and being loved, and take the chance of unexpected suffering later on, in order to take fullest advantage of our good fortune now.  The emotional and spiritual gains we earn are worth the pain we undergo.  When we look at each other with nothing but love and acceptance, we will begin to create the best partner we would ever want, and in turn create a beautiful process of self-fulfillment that will continue every day after.

"I love you unconditionally. And is that a train?"

“I love you unconditionally. And is that a train?”

There are many variables that have to be in place before a relationship like this can occur: complete trust, self-acceptance, emotional maturity, courage, physical attractiveness, mutual respect, agreement on fundamental belief systems and finally a desire for both to WANT something different.  If ALL of those variables are not met, the theory falls apart in lots of ways, and an alternative relationship will not be successful.  At any point, if one partner wants it more than the other, renegotiation is required.

Non-monogamous relationships are a hard-sell for most couples because of all of the variables that aren’t being addressed in our monogamous relationships.

Perhaps people think it’s more polite to say what someone else wants to hear, rather than risk offending.  Ultimately, we can’t possibly know someone who pretends to like the things we like so we don’t get mad at them.   If we aren’t being truthful with our partners in every way, then we are denying our mates the opportunity to know us intimately as people.   Being honest takes out the guess work in relationships.  You have to agree to be kind and fair, of course, but there is no reason anyone should be angry at anyone else for being honest about something they were asked.

Awkward-couple

I have to be honest. I’ve always hated that hat. And you.

One of the first times The Birdman asked me out, he offered to take me ***[easyazon_link identifier=”B015UMJZY4″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]bowling[/easyazon_link].  I almost said I would go, but I remembered that I didn’t want to go [easyazon_link identifier=”B000WFE3VU” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]bowling[/easyazon_link].  I would have normally said I would love to go, and just lied about hating bowling.  Instead, I said I just didn’t like [easyazon_link identifier=”B00K4MLXJQ” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]bowling[/easyazon_link].   I took the chance that he was grown up enough not to be angry that I didn’t like something he liked.  Guess what?  I WAS RIGHT.  The thing is, most of the time, it is okay to be honest.  If it’s not okay, that is a great thing to find out early in a relationship, so you can get the hell out when you see the crazy coming at you.   We have to have the emotional maturity, personal security and self-acceptance that we are not reduced to shreds every time someone doesn’t agree with us.  It’s a small example, but it’s not a small idea.  If you are not telling the truth about the things you love, and don’t love, you are only hurting yourself.  Also, pretending to love camping might cause you to be spending 3 weeks camping every summer for the next 25 years.  See if that makes you change your mind about transparency in relationships.

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B0041Q07EI” locale=”US” src=”https://changethetopic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/51vbO5vNSL.jpg” tag=”granligh-20″ width=”500″]

Some people might be angry that I blew open Pandora’s box, but I don’t really think that’s fair.  I am talking about real relationship issues that just happen to deal with friends who like to go to [easyazon_link identifier=”B0089OEEW4″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]sex clubs[/easyazon_link].  If we remove the sexual deviation from the equation, it is a completely valid argument that you could have at a crowded party.  I’m not saying I agree with them.  It’s not an endorsement of any lifestyle over any other.  However it is a fascinating study of how people relate to each other in a very grown up way.  I am not afraid to talk about ideas, even if they make people uncomfortable.  I’m not sorry if my ideas sometimes upset people.  My ideas are for people who sometimes have ideas of their own.  Why don’t you leave YOUR ideas in the comments?

Mrs. B

***I have just been informed that I remember the bowling incident as I WISH it had happened, and not as it ACTUALLY happened.  Apparently, I DID make a half-assed agreement to bowl at some point in the future.  I remember not wanting to bowl, and that we didn’t go bowling, so I assumed I had told him I didn’t want to. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t very much into being truthful when I met him, so I can see the irony of the bowling ‘life lesson’.  Well played, Karma.  Well played.

Aug 26

Saturday Night’s All Right

mindofbirdman

My cousin Ryan got married on the weekend and I was invited to share in his special day. I should probably say our special day, because for a few reasons I felt really happy and uplifted there.

For one thing, one of my favourite people in the world was at the wedding, and she got to ring the final bell at her chemo clinic on Friday. When I read Steph’s post, I immediately got weepy with tears of happiness for her family. They were kind of like the tears I’m crying now, only more of them and I wasn’t lounging in my underwear.

photo credit - John Bevan

photo credit – John Bevan

Anyone who knows Judy will tell you that she is one of the brightest lights in any room. Her smile is so warm and inviting that you can’t help but want to give her a hug, and if you get the chance, I highly recommend it. She hugs from the heart, that one.

I really don’t remember her when I was a kid, but as soon as I started hanging out in town she made herself known to me. I can’t remember the exact moment, but there was probably a party going on and she most likely said something like ” Oh I know who you are, Chris Bird. I used to live down the street from your mother. I also know your father and if you’re anything like he was, you’d better stay away from my daughters.”

I instantly had a crush on her. Still do, to be quite honest, and I know I’m not the only one. She’s a beautiful soul that’s wrapped in a beautiful shell, and I’m so glad that she’s going to be making the world a better place for a while longer.

Here’s to you, Jude. Keep smiling and we’ll keep smiling with you.

Another reason I was glad to be there was because I got to sit with my Aunt Audrey. She’s my Nana’s sister, and has always been a big part of our lives. We used to go across the field from Nan’s house and through the back gate to visit and swim in their pool. This was before the strip mall and the Sir Sandford building was there, so there were no obstructions in our way. She was always home. I guess we wouldn’t have gone if she wasn’t, but Uncle Mike was usually out somewhere being busy. He was really good at finding things to do. There was the odd time that you’d catch him home at lunch or something and that was always a treat, because he was one of those really loud guys with all kinds of jokes. He would keep me laughing with all of his crazy sayings and facial expressions as he listened to the old bitties talking. He was one of those guys that had a huge heart that matched his voice, so when Ryan and Danielle lit a candle for him during their ceremony, it brought a big smile to my face.

Chips off the old block.

Chips off the old block.

I really miss seeing him around when I go over for a visit or drive by the lot where I’d sometimes find him working on something or the other.

Anyhow, let’s not think about that, because this was a night of happiness and celebration, and Uncle Mike sure wouldn’t want anybody sniffling over him. We should just be thankful that we knew him at all.

Oh, I got to also hang out with two beautiful ladies that landed me in shit with the local liquor authority when they lured me outside for some fresh air. The dude who is in charge of making sure people aren’t drinking out of the venue told us we had to take our drinks back inside. I’m glad he nailed us and not the forty other people that were scattered around the parking lot drinking beer out of their trunks. He had to have seen them, but I suppose we were the easy targets as we were standing at the door, and at least he could feel like he was doing his job.

Normally I’d be pissed at the interruption, but seeing as it didn’t seem to be going anywhere with those two ;), so I welcomed the chance to sit down again and wait for the beautiful bride and groom to return from their photos.

This is almost too cute.

This is almost too cute.

Giddy up!

Giddy up!

Here’s to you, Ryan and Danielle. Thanks for letting me share the night with you and your fine friends and family, and what I hope are many years to come. When you marry your best friend, you have already made it farther than most. Congratulations.

After the wedding, I had to skedaddle over to Mr. and Mrs. Brady’s wedding reception at Shifter’s place. Things were in full swing when I arrived, so I was able to blend seamlessly into the food table where I enjoyed the fruits of many people’s labour.

Now that's a pretty smile.

Would you look at that pretty smile.

I had a great time shooting the shit with Stella and her pole dancing friend, and by the time Dora and Swiper were having a pong off for “favours” (he won), I knew the night had better come to a close soon. I don’t know exactly how many jello shots I had for dessert, but I knew it was too many to drive, so we crashed in the trailer with Jack there to make sure nobody tried to sneak up on us. I guess someone must have tried at around 5:30, because he was sure barking and letting us know that he heard something.

They say that karma’s a bitch, but looking back at all of the friends I’ve made over the years, I’d say that that’s not always the case. Yet.

Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair,

Birdman

 

Aug 14

I’m Sort Of Lucky

birdmandesk

I say “sort of lucky”, instead of “sort of unlucky”, because I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy and I’m lucky in the things that matter.

Take for instance, my marriage. It’s pretty fucking superb. Sure, I got laid off today, but I came home to a big hug and a firm “Don’t worry, it will be fine.”

It’s pretty hard to top that in my book. She’s the best partner in life that anyone could ever want. When I’m feeling down, she’s there. When I’m feeling up, she’s there too. She’s my balance, my light, and my safe harbour. I never have to worry about shit when I’m with her.

In my past I’ve been with people who would automatically freak out if my hours got cut in a slow period. I mean lose it to the point of crying and not being able to sleep, even though I was still working fifty plus hours a week. It was just a bad reaction to change.

crying

How are we supposed to live on full time hours? We’re going to starve to death.

It gave me pretty bad anxiety, but I’m all good now. 🙂

Oh yeah, I got laid off. Kind of sucky, but I knew it was coming eventually, and it lasted longer than it was supposed to, so I’m pretty happy about that. I really enjoyed that job, even though I had to physically work harder than I have in twenty years or so. I was learning new things every day, and I got to meet a shitwhack of excellent people. The salt of the earth, if you will. I also have a recall date for next spring if I don’t have a job by then.

I fucking well better have a job by then.

Even if I have to work odd jobs all summer, and head back to the patch for a few rounds this winter, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing something.

I was sort of contemplating doing snow removal this winter*, because I have a plow for the four wheeler and I’m picking up a snowblower for the tractor.They both have cabs for them, so it seems like the biggest part of the company is already started. I suppose I’ll have to register something and do a bit of door knocking to get the word out, but hey, I’ve got nothing but time now.

Totally not me.

Totally not me.

Whether I’ll have any time in the winter is another story.

* Give me a dingle if you’re in the Colborne area and need your driveway done this year.

These are just things I keep mulling over. Lucky for me, I have choices and possibilities. A lot of folks don’t get that luxury. I couldn’t imagine being stuck in a life that I loathe, just so I can exist on a molecular level. I know that there is always the hope that things will get better, but man, if I had lived my 42 years simply to keep breathing and working a job I hate, I don’t think I would have bothered.

Another way that I’m extremely lucky is my friends and family. They’re top notch, AAA people that I sincerely love to be around. I wish I had my own company with a big enough payroll to hire them all, but that’s a bit crazy. I mean, think about it. Who the fuck is going to pay us all to hang around the board room, playing absinthe pong, shuffleboard, and seeing who is the best at axe throwing? (I bet it’s Stanley)

You will never live a boring life, that's for sure.

You will never live a boring life, that’s for sure.

Nobody. That’s who. Unless there was some rich moron that just wanted to laugh all the time and go to fun parties, but didn’t want to take the time and effort that you would need to make your own friends to party with. I suppose that if such a person existed, they would gladly pay us our fee, because we are the funniest, most fun loving bunch that you shall ever cross paths with. It’s pretty nice that I can sit with any random assortment of my pals, and have an absolutely great time. I think that’s pretty rare. I feel like I won a life lottery or something.

Could you imagine being miserable all the time. How draining is that? I remember when I was younger, I thought that good things should just fall into my lap. When they didn’t, I was visibly upset. I couldn’t understand why people didn’t see how great I was, and why they weren’t just offering me a fabulous life. To counter-attack, I would do a minimal amount of work, because in my opinion, I was getting a minimal amount of money. I kept asking myself: Why did they all have to be such assholes? Don’t they know that I am destined for greatness?

Apparently they didn’t.

That was when I decided that I needed to change my work ethic. I noticed that when I was doing something I enjoyed, I would try harder to do a good job, to get better at it. This in turn, rewarded me by getting me raises, bonuses, and other fringe benefits. That made me want to work harder,.

You see the cycle here?

It took me a long time, but I figured out that you need to do jobs that interest you. If you don’t, you’ll be hating it within a month, and sabotaging yourself within six. That’s not fair to you, and it’s not fair to whoever hired you.

I’m not saying you have to absolutely love your job, but you need to be interested in it.

Anyhow, enough droning from me. Sorry that all of this didn’t end up with a point, but what can you do?

She’s got an alligator bag, top hat to match, dressed in black on black,

Birdman

Jul 04

Therapy Thursday

Hey! I forgot to do the Guardian Bell giveaway on the first post, so we are doing it now. You might as well go to www.guardianbell.com and pick out the bell you want, then put the name of your bell in a comment on this post.

 

newtherapythursday

 

Dear Therapy Thursday:

First wasband* down. Separated over a year with a child whose loving and caring for is a hands on job. I currently share expenses and custody. Did I mention that we still share a house? We are actually friends. Communal hippie living without the sex. For reals. It isn’t viable financially for me to afford my own space. I work full time, am edumacated  but underemployed living in a location that offers little opportunity and high cost of living. Yes, one of those beautiful places.

*

It's from urbandictionary.com, so you know it's true.

It’s from urbandictionary.com, so you know it’s true.

As it stands, I’m not down with being judged as a narcissistic parent looking to alienate a father and make everyone adhere to my agenda but I am aiming for more lucrative jobs in more affordable cities. An offer would include a long distance relocation with my son as I deserve the opportunity for equal earning power as opposed to battling for a settlement from a smaller pie to establish a second residence and merely exist.

As such, I have been pondering a potential journey back to my roots. Been far away from the homeland for half of my life. I’m applying where opportunities exist in the nearby urban centres. It would also present an opportunity for my son to get to know my family.

Did I mention this locale also affords me fantastic sex and love, love, love and shit, in what could only be dubbed as the high school bro-mance that never happened?

I know what you’re thinking. What a selfish bitch. Of course my son’s feelings are valid and consequential. As are his father’s. I take none of this lightly but I am not willing to stifle opportunity to keep peace in the house nonetheless.

Yes, after hanging out, rubbing uglies and plenty of lurid texting, I have a desire to be a part of the moment with a homeboy, not just remember, how he looks when he crinkles his nose at me or arches an eyebrow. That kind of shit takes a lifetime. And if you find someone who’s willing to invest that time, it’s a lifetime well spent.

The delusional cougar in me wonders why I’m a fool if I just do it for love but if I get the dream job then it’s okay because it’s about the money. Thoughts?

Betty

mindofbirdman

Hey Betty:

Wow, it sounds like you’re in a pickle. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I guess you just have to look deeper into your choices to be able to figure out your best move. I assume that this move will be in the vicinity of an airport, so maybe there is a possibility of your child flying to visit their father. I’m not sure of age limits, but I know people that put their kids on Air Canada with special provisions. The flight attendants sort of look after them for a nominal fee. You could look into that as a viable alternative, if your “dream job” affords you that sort of opportunity.

I know that I once dated a woman that couldn’t leave the province we were in, because the father of her child wouldn’t allow his son to be that far away. I suppose she could have went to court and fought it, but in reality, we weren’t going to last that long, so I discouraged the shit out of that idea.

As for the love thing, I think that you need to pursue the things in life that make you happy. I would, and have, travelled across the country for the possibility of finding true happiness.

Twice they were failed attempts, but the last one wasn’t, so if there is a chance for you to get even a slice of the love, happiness, and sheer bliss that I got on this last go-round, I would say that you should pack that kid up and head back home. Take a month or so this summer to at least try it. Your ex can live that long without his kid, and maybe would finally have time to bang all of those college girls he’s been dreaming about since school’s been done. (we all have) Fuck legality, and take the plunge, because you never know when a chance like this will come along again.

Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again,

Birdman

fromthedesk

That's my advice.

That’s my advice.

Mrs. B

SmartyTalks

Have you ever thought about getting your ex arrested for heroin trafficking or sex slave trading? It’s actually real easy and it pretty much allows you to do what you want with the kid for at least until he’s out of prison. Send me his address and I’ll get to work on making it happen.

Smarty

P.S. I’m also gonna need about $4000 and a gun.

 

Jul 02

One Thing I Love

birdmandesk

It’s when I am sitting quietly upstairs in the nook, and I hear Mrs. B talking to the girls. The topics range from them getting harangued to clean up their mess, to advice on how to get extra marks on a project, to why they have to brush their teeth all the time. It’s always entertaining, no matter if it’s comedy night, tearjerker night, or inspirational night.

Tonight was on how to accept compliments. It was inspirational.

I had noticed before that when there was praise given for a certain talent, it was automatically deflected to which of her friends can do it better. I had noticed it, but never thought to correct it.

This would be a typical conversation:

Me: Hey, that’s a cool poster. You did a really good job on that.

Her: Oh, you should have seen how good Daisy (I’m naming them all Daisy) did on hers. She’s a way better artist than I am.

Me: Oh that’s good for her, but yours is really well done too.

Her: Not as good as her’s though.

Me: Okay, but I like this.

bad art

I don’t care how good Daisy’s is, it will never match this.

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