To Men Who Pose Shirtless In The Bathroom Mirror on Facebook

Dear Shirtless Sirs,

I guess I should be thanking you. Sure, your OkCupid photo is of you posing shirtless in the mirror, trying not to make it look like you’re flexing when it’s blatantly obvious to everyone in the world that you’re flexing, but it could be worse. You could be wearing an Ed Hardy shirt. How do I know that Ed Hardy is your style? Oh, just a guess, based on your jaunty little slicked back hairdo or the Axe Body Spray I see sitting by under the mirror, or the fact that your Ed Hardy boxer shorts are sticking out of Ed Hardy pants, held up by a belt buckle with a large, fire breathing dragon on it that I’m pretty sure is the work of one Edward Hardy. Also, because your screen name is EHardy4Life4Eva. Which, by the way, is redundant.

So you’ve decided to use, as the primary picture on your Internet dating profile, this self-taken snapshot of you and your abdominal. You’ve also posted that picture on Facebook, Myspace, and Pinterest – suggesting a wild misunderstanding of the sort of thing that is supposed to be on Pinterest. Look, I understand the thought process. You have a very nice physique. You’ve got a legitimate six-pack there and I have a one pack, built primarily of butter and jam. And so you thought to yourself, “I have this impressive body, and women are obviously going to want to see it. But how do I get the word out? I know! Photography!” But see, here’s the problem: women don’t really wanna see it. They like to know it’s there, and sure, in the confines of the bedroom, or at the beach, or any traditionally shirtless environment, they’re down to check it out. But when you’re standing in front of the mis-matched towels in your bathroom, not so much. I know, I know, you think that because you’d like to see a hot, random stranger without her clothes on that she in return would like to see the same from you. But sadly, EHardy4Life4Eva, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, Anthony Weiner wouldn’t have been thrown out of office, he would’ve been given his own TV show. And you would be getting the number of responses you expected. But that is not the case. Because there are so many of you shirtless minions, I’d like to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. So here are some questions I’d like to have answered.

1. Is there really no one else who could’ve taken this picture? Surely you have other friends, fine gentlemen who appreciate the necessity of a nude torso, right? If you say to one of them, “Hey Vic/Carl/Randy/Bro, snap a picture of my sweet ass abs!”, they’d totally be down. Or your Mom? Just give her the camera and tell her to surprise you sometime when you’re topless. Moms love that kinda stuff. There’s just something about you taking the picture yourself that lends an air of desperation to what is already, let’s be honest, a fairly desperate enterprise. Like you were having a shirtless emergency, and just needed it documented right that second. There are no shirtless emergencies, Ed, I promise.

2. Why The Bathroom? I mean, sure, there’s a mirror there. But there’s also a toilet. And grout you haven’t cleaned. I know you have other mirrors. Give one of those a shot.

3. Did you focus group this idea at all before taking it public? I’ve never heard a collection of women agree more enthusiastically on any topic than they do on the issue of shirtless profile pictures. They hate them. They all hate them. There’s disagreement on Katy Perry, Barack Obama’s politics, and the appropriate shoes to wear to a wedding – but not on seeing your pecs before they’ve even met you. Honestly, this letter is as much for them as it is for me. I don’t really care, I don’t ever look at your profile. I do come across your photos on Facebook every once in awhile and have a good chuckle, but it’s not affecting me one way or the other. But I feel like someone has to step in here. I mean, do you see the facial expression you’re making? You’re sort of smiling and sort wincing and sort of winking, all at the same time. Either you’re posing for a weird photo, or passing a kidney stone. Either way, the ladies are not impressed. I’m trying to help you, Ed, I really am.

4. Have the pictures ever worked? Has a woman ever felt guilty and said, “Well I’ve seen him topless, it seems only fair that I return the favor”? Or maybe been so overcome with lust that they ignore the cheesiness and asked you to be hers forever? “You’ve clearly spent a long time posing your stomach in just the right way. I’m thinking June wedding, you?” If so, I take back everything I’ve said. You can write an open letter in return to me. “To Men Who Write Jerky Things to Others Online.“ It’s fair, I would deserve it. But presuming that hasn’t happened, I’m begging you, shirtless Ed, adopt a new policy. Your dating profile is just like a 7-11: no shirt, no shoes, no service.


Difference between dating a man vs a boy and a girl vs a woman

When I was in my early twenties, if I acted aloof, called back only sometimes and showed minimal interest, alot of woman would get hooked. You could say they were addicted to the bad boy/ unavailable boy/ player. Basically, the theory explains that we are attracted to people who can wound us the same way we were wounded in our childhood, as our psyche tries to recreate the past void and save us by changing its ending.

“The child in us believes that if the original perpetrators — or their current replacements — finally change their minds, apologize, or make up for that terrible rupture of trust, we can escape from our prison of unworthiness. Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which hurt us the most as children.” – Psychology Today

So games used to work because 1) I had unresolved issues and 2) At the tender age of 20, I was trying to figure out who I was and to top it off, I was ridden with insecurity and a low sense of self-worth.

But somewhere in between the passing of a decade, something changed.

I learned to love myself. I became independent, confident, and started to value my self-worth. I went through hardships and heartbreaks and picked myself back up which built my strength and courage. Instead of relying on games as my source of empowerment, I focused on basing my empowerment on my intelligence, successes, values, contributions to the world and how I helped others. In a sense, I finally grew up. I went from being a boy to becoming a man. And as a man, you are attracted to very different things than you are as a boy

A girl is attracted to boys. A woman is attracted to men. Now, this has nothing to do with the actual age of a person. I’m referring to maturity, life vision and stage of life. In fact, some people regardless of their age, will never really grow up. You can switch the genders in this post and most points would likely still apply.

If you are a girl (lack independence, are ruled by insecurity, lack self-respect, throw tantrums, have princess syndrome, don’t have strong values or boundaries and can’t hold yourself on your own) then expect that you will attract only boys. However, if you are a woman (independent, ambitious, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a man. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers.

1. A man knows what he wants, and goes for it. A boy may have somewhat of an idea, but not really. He doesn’t think too much about it, and even if he does, doesn’t exert much effort to get it. A boy is passive, a man is assertive.
2. A man plans for his future and is working towards building a foundation and infrastructure in order to have a family (at some point in his life). A boy lives only in the moment and his plans are mostly around which bar he’s going to hit up on the weekend.
3. A man looks for a woman with intelligence, who is supportive, grounded and encompasses a shared set of values when choosing a partner. A boy cares mostly only for girls who are hot, wild and exciting.
4. A man knows a good woman when he meets one and will take initiative to get to know her. A boy may make an attempt if you’re lucky, but gives up before ever really trying.
5. A man has the courage to have uncomfortable conversations. He is honest with his intentions and lets people know where they stand. A boy avoids. He ignores confrontation or any serious talks about feelings. Instead of dealing with a situation, he runs away from it or creates drama or excuses to mask the fact he’s not that into you or a relationship.
6. A man knows when to invest in a woman and jump in with two feet. A boy is always “testing” – he doesn’t fully commit because he never knows if he is quite ready. But the truth is, because he is a boy, regardless of who he meets, he will never be ready due to the stage of life he is in.
7. A man knows how to have a good time and be social, but is often busy making strides in his career and building his life. A boy is getting drunk with his buddies at the bar every weekend.
8. A man takes the time to reflect on the type of man he wants to be, the example he wants to leave and the vision for his life. He has put thought into his values. A boy has not established his moral compass or values and consequently, is often inconsistent.
9. A man has integrity. He means what he says, and says what he means. He has follow through and actions his promises. And if he can’t he has the guts to tell you why. A boy makes promises but doesn’t follow through.
10. A man is afraid of rejection but will put himself out there anyway. A boy is afraid of rejection and acts passive so that his pride and ego won’t ever get too banged up.

Now, a lot of these differences require taking the time to know someone to figure out if the apple of your eye is indeed a man, or a mere boy. However, one of the quickest filters that you can notice from the beginning is this:

11. A boy plays games. A man doesn’t.

However, we can’t deny that there are some fundamental differences between men and women — from how we are socialized to the chemical and hormonal differences that naturally occur. Thus, I thought it appropriate to follow up with a post on the difference between dating a girl vs. a woman. Again, many points on this post would apply if you switched the genders around.

If you are a boy, then expect that you will attract only girls. However, if you are a man (independent, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a woman. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers:

1. A girl throws tantrums. When displeased, upset or angry, she reacts just as she did as a child when she didn’t get her way with her parents. This often consists of screaming, pouting, giving the silent treatment, being passive aggressive and/or punishing. A woman still feels the emotions of being upset/displeased, but has cultivated the skill of responding versus reacting. She comes to the table as an adult, and communicates clearly what is bothering her.

2. A girl perceives herself as a princess and believes people should treat her like so. She is entitled and feels that she is owed and therefore expects more than she appreciates. A woman, has standards (what she holds herself to) not expectations (what she projects on to others).

3. A girl uses her physical beauty as her currency and basis of value. A girl may be so used to feeling validated through her looks and sexuality, that she uses this as her primary tool to get what she wants in life. A woman, knows her worth is beyond her physicality. A woman bases her value on her intelligence, her strength, her integrity, her values, her contributions, her humanity.

4. A girl banks on a man to be her financial strategy. A woman plans to be financially independent — she banks on… herself. And if she so happens to enter a relationship dynamic where it makes sense for her partner to be the primary breadwinner, it’s considered a bonus, not the expected life line.

5. A girl sees the world from a place of lack and scarcity. She competes and will even tear down another in order to secure resources or a mate. A woman helps other women. She knows that there’s plenty enough to go around and takes the high road of integrity to get what she wants.

6. A girl cannot be bothered with anything domestic and is proud of the fact that she cannot cook or clean. A woman understands that being domestic is not a duty, but understands that it is one way of taking care of herself and others. She also understands that in the event she wants to create a family, having a person in the household who can contribute domestically is important.

7. “A girl wants attention, a woman wants respect. A girl wants to be adored by many. A woman wants to be adored by one.” -anonymous

8. A girl does not respect her body. She has not yet understood that her body and heart are sacred, and that it’s important to be mindful of how she treats it and who she shares it with.

“A girl cherishes handbags, diamonds and her shoe collection as her prize possessions. A woman cherishes her health, her sense of self, and her talents as her greatest assets.” – N. Mah

9. A woman takes the time to reflect on the type of human she wants to be, the example she wants to leave and the vision for her life. She has put thought into her values and what she stands for. A girl has not established her moral compass or values and consequently, is often inconsistent.

“After spending time with a girl, you feel exhausted because she takes more than she gives. After spending time with a woman, you feel invigorated, because she empowers you with possibility, and a passion for life.” – N. Mah

10. A girl has a checklist that prioritizes superficial qualities above anything else. Here is an example of how this checklist may look: Hot, popular, wears skinny jeans, over six feet tall, rich.. This is the checklist of what a woman may look for: High integrity, intelligent, kind, good communicator, emotionally available…

Now, a lot of these differences require taking the time to know someone to figure out if the apple of your eye is indeed a mature woman, or someone with an immature mindset. However, one of the quickest filters that you can notice from the beginning is this:

11. A girl plays games. A woman doesn’t.

General female Rules vs man rules or How to survive the storm coming your way Fellas !!!!!

General Female Rules

1. These Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification.

2. No MALE can possibly know all The Rules.

3. If the FEMALE suspects the MALE knows The Rules, she must immediately change The Rules.

4. The FEMALE is never wrong.

5. If the FEMALE is mistaken, it is a direct result of something the MALE did or said wrong.

6.The MALE must apologize immediately for causing said misunderstanding.

7.The FEMALE may change her mind at any time.

8. The MALE must never change his mind without the written consent of the FEMALE

9. The FEMALE has the right to be upset or angry at any time.

10. The MALE must remain calm at all times, unless the FEMALE wants him to be angry and/or upset.

11. If the FEMALE has PMS, all The Rules are null and void.

12. The MALE is expected to mind read constantly and act accordingly.

13. Any attempt to document The Rules could result in actual bodily harm.

14. The MALE who doesn’t abide by The Rules can’t take the heat, lacks backbone, and is a whimp.

General Male Rules

1. Anything we said six or eight months ago is inadmissible in an argument. All comments become null and void after seven days.

2. If you don’t want to dress like Victoria’s Secret girls, don’t expect us to act like soap opera guys.

3. If we say something that can be interpreted in two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other way.

4. It is in neither your best interest or ours to make us take those stupid Cosmo quizzes together.

5. Let us ogle. If we don’t look at other women how can we know how pretty you are?

6. Don’t rub the lamp if you don’t want the genie to come out.

7. You can either ask us to do something OR tell us how you want it done – not both.

8. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

9. Christopher Columbus didn’t need directions and neither do we.

10. Women who wear Wonder bras and low-cut blouses lose their right to complain about having their boobs stared at.

11. When we’re turning the wheel and the car is nosing onto the off ramp, you saying, “This is our exit?” is not necessary.

12. Don’t fake it. We’d rather be ineffective than deceived.

This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are right and you need to shut up. Never use “fine” to describe how a woman looks – this will cause you to have one of those arguments.
Five Minutes
This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it’s an even trade.
This means “something,” and you should be on your toes. “Nothing” is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has when she wants to cut you, slice you and cover you with hot bacon grease. “Nothing” usually signifies an argument that will last “Five Minutes” and end with the word “Fine”.
Go Ahead (with raised eyebrows)
This is a dare so don’t be an idiot. One that will result in a woman getting upset over “Nothing” and will end with the word “Fine”.
Go Ahead (normal eyebrows)
This means, “I give up” or “Do what you want because I don’t give a d*&#. You will get a raised eyebrow “Go Ahead” in just a few minutes, followed by “Nothing” and “Fine” and she will talk to you in about “Five Minutes” when she cools off.
Loud Sigh
This is not actually a word, but is a nonverbal statement often misunderstood by men. A “Loud Sigh” means she thinks you are an idiot, moron or troll at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here with your sorry ass, and arguing with you over “Nothing.”
Soft Sigh
Again, not a word, but a nonverbal statement. “Soft Sighs” are one of the few things that some men actually understand. She is content. Your best bet is to not to move, flinch or breathe and she will stay content.
Oh/No problem at all
This word followed by any statement is trouble. Example: “Oh, let me get that”, or: “Oh, I talked to him about what you were doing last night.” If she says “Oh” before a statement, RUN, do not walk, to the nearest exit. Run far, run fast and NEVER EVER look back. She will tell you that she is “Fine” when she is done tossing your PC, DVD player and big screen TV out the 11th floor window, but do not expect her to talk to you for at least two days. “Oh” as the lead to a sentence usually signifies that you are caught in a big ol’ greasy lie. Do not try to lie more to get out of it, or you will get raised eyebrows and the statement “Go ahead”, all followed by unspeakable acts so hideous they are unprintable.
That’s Okay
This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. “That’s okay” means she wants to think long and hard before implementing payback. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. “That’s okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow “Go Ahead”. At some point in the near future when she has plotted and planned, you’d better be ready. You’re gonna look like a Section 8 eviction, stuf all out on the curb. Check your mirrors for the next 6 months. “That’s Okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and in conjunction with a “Raised Eyebrow.
Please Do
This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to dig the hole you’re in even deeper as you try to come up with an excuse or reason for doing whatever it is you have done. You have a chance to tell the truth … but don’t. Lie like a rug and stick to it like Velcro. STICK TO THE LIE!!! But be careful you don’t get a “That’s okay”. If you do, stick and move baby, stick and move. Skillets and pots will be flyin.
A woman is thanking you. Do not faint or pee yourself; just say you’re welcome and don’t move the rest of the day.
Thanks a Lot
This is much different from “Thanks”. A woman will say “Thanks a Lot” when she is really about to “catch a case”. It’s ’bout to be on, up in here. It signifies that you have hurt her in some cold, callous way. She will probably call her 4 brothers to come over and mop the street with your brains. These words are usually followed by the “Loud Sigh”. Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the “Loud Sigh”, as she will only tell you “Nothing”.
You did WHAT?
This means she found out about that hoochie across town and you’d better crawl out the window and creep up the sidewalk like a cat. She’s about to get her piece, so step … and step hard. Forget your car, just run and hide. You can come back and get your ride. If “You did WHAT?” is followed by “you bastard”, hit the floor immediately, cause she’s about to set the chamber on that 9 that she keeps under the pillow.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings…

(obviously I HAVE gotten in more than MY share of trouble…lol )

75 great relationship quotes

•In life you’ll realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
•Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, enhance you, and make you happy. If you know people who do none of these things, let them go.
•Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off. It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.
•Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring – all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
•The most beautiful thing is to see a person you love smiling. And even more beautiful is knowing that you are the reason behind it.
•Choose your relationships wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
•Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not meanyou are alone.
•Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
•Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.
•You know you’ve found true love when you catch yourself falling in love with the same person over and over again.
•Don’t wait for the right person to come into your life. Rather, be the right person to come to someone’s life.
•The one who is meant for you encourages you to be your best, but still loves and accepts you at your worst.
•Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
•Some relationships are like glass. It’s better to leave it broken, than to hurt yourself more by trying to put it back together.
•Just because one person doesn’t seem to care for you, doesn’t mean you should forget about everyone else who does.
•Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.
•It is okay to be angry. It is never okay to be cruel.
•Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.
•Silence is often the loudest cry. Pay attention to those you care about.
•We don’t always need advice. Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.
•It’s not so much what you say that counts, it’ how you make people feel.
•A silent hug means a thousand words to the unhappy heart.
•Don’t mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.
•True happiness comes from within, not from someone else. Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.
•Don’t choose the one who is beautiful to the world, choose the one who makes your world beautiful.
•If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. Let go of people who bring you down, and surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you.
•Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.
•Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t expect others to read your mind, and don’t play games with their heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out. Half-truths are no better than lies. And don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.
•Lies help no one in the long run. So… 1) Don’t say “I love you” if you don’t mean it. 2) Don’t say “I understand” if you have no clue. 3) Don’t say “I’m sorry” if you’re not. 4) Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.
•Tell the truth, or eventually someone will tell it for you.
•Good relationships don’t just happen; they take time, patience and two people who truly want to work to be together.
•Falling in love is not a choice. To stay in love is.
•Love doesn’t hurt. Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.
•When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option but a priority. Loyalty is everything.
•A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.
•Jealousy is the art of counting someone else blessings instead of your own. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. The only person you’re competing against is yourself.
•Do not become possessive. The purpose of a relationship is to complement each other, grow together, and achieve your common goals as a couple. At the same time, you must each maintain your individual identity as a human being.
•Don’t ever change just to impress someone. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.
•Give, but don’t allow yourself to be used. Listen to others, but don’t lose your own voice.
•Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you.
•You don’t really need someone to complete you. You only need someone to accept you completely.
•Speak when you are very angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
•Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Let it go.
•As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.
•Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
•Respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, trust is gained, and loyalty is returned.
•Never waste a moment, it may be the last with someone you love.
•If you love someone, tell them. Forget about the rules or the fear of looking ridiculous. What is really ridiculous is passing up on an opportunity to tell someone that your heart is invested in them.
•Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be. But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities.
•Never stop doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.
•The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
•A real person is not perfect, and a perfect person is not real.
•To the world, you might be just one person. But to one person, you might be the world.
•Just because you have a past with someone, doesn’t mean you should have a future with them.
•No relationship is a waste of time. The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones.
•The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest.
•If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
•Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
•When the pain of holding on is worse than the pain of letting go, it is time to let go.
•If a friend is in trouble, don’t bother them by asking if there is anything you can do. Think of something appropriate and do it.
•Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not always need an intelligent mind that speaks, just a patient heart that listens.
•Be the friend that you want to have.
•There are times when family are like strangers, and strangers are like family. Both sets of people are priceless.
•In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
•Instead of judging people by their past, stand by them and help repair their future.
•Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be everything to someone.
•Let us remember that we can’t force anyone to love us. We can’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave and be with someone else. This is what love is all about. However, the end of love is not the end of life. It should be the beginning of understanding that love leaves for a reason, but never leaves without a lesson.
•When things fall apart, consider the possibility that life knocked it down on purpose. Not to bully you, or to punish you, but to prompt you to build something that better suits your personality and your purpose. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.
•Everyone wants a perfect ending. But over the years I’ve learned that some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing, embracing change, and taking a moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.
•In human relationships, distance is not measured in miles but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart. So stay in touch with those who truly matter to you. Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.
•Never neglect the people who are most important to you simply because you think they will always be there. Because one morning you might wake up and realize you lost the moon while counting the stars.
•True love isn’t about being inseparable; it’s about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.
•True friendship and true love do sustain the tests of distance and time.
•When someone gives you their time, they are giving you a portion of their life that they will never get back. It’s one of the most precious gifts you can receive. Don’t waste it.
•Good relationships are not just about the good times you share; they’re also about the obstacles you go through together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” in the end.

Getting a colonoscopy is better than sex…

Getting a colonoscopy is better than sex…
with an elephant. I would put it right up there among the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever had to endure, tied with having a root canal or listening to a life insurance sales presentation about the benefits of whole life versus term. Last week, I had a colonoscopy. It’s one of those milestone events in life that apparently you’re supposed to do every few years once you hit 50, like starting to think about retirement planning, only a lot messier and more humiliating.

If you have never had a colonoscopy, let me give you a preview of what you’re in for. It’s no fun. They call it a “minor procedure.” But there’s nothing minor about it if you ask my colon. A doctor shoves a 142-foot tube called an endoscope up your butt to check out your insides. Essentially, it’s the same as the Roto-Rooter guy, but without the clipboard and baseball cap, and in this case, the backed-up pipe they’re inspecting is your intestinal tract. And this is one serious tube they insert. I am not completely sure of the exact route the endoscope took inside me, but I believe it included a side trip to my spleen before moseying to take a peek at my left ear canal.

Most qualified colonoscoptologists (at least I’m pretty sure that’s what they prefer to be called) will take careful safety measures to ensure they don’t jam the tube in so far that it might come out a facial orifice. Avoid any doctor who refuses to make that assurance. Before last week, if you told me that I was going to voluntarily succumb to allowing a complete stranger to stick a tube the length of a basketball court up my back side and take pictures of my interior (probably to post on Facebook), I would have laughed my ass off. Perhaps I should have rephrased the previous sentence.

But here I was, in a flimsy patient’s gown with a lame butterfly pattern, with my backside completely exposed, waiting for my anal probe. I sure hope my doctor wasn’t working for aliens. Aliens love to do this sort of thing, you know. I’ve read about it in the grocery store checkout. But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part began 24 hours earlier.

First, you’re not allowed to eat any solid food the entire day before the colonoscopy. Then there’s this special elixir they make you consume the day before your procedure to clean out your pipes. It’s called MoviPrep. What a terribly misleading name – MoviPrep. The only movie that I was getting prepped for was a movie about the inside of my colon. And I wasn’t even allowed to have any buttered popcorn, raisinettes or gummy bears before the show. A more accurate name for this foul solution would have been ColonErupt or perhaps SphincterSpew. You mix two white powders with water in a plastic container to make 64 ounces of the most vile-tasting liquid ever created by mankind.

The employee behind the pharmacy counter lied to me when he said, “it doesn’t taste bad. It’s sort of lemony.” Yes, it does have a sort of lemony flavor, if by lemony you mean lemon-flavored car oil. A much more accurate description of its taste would be a combination of liquid Draino and strained cat intestines –
This was unquestionably the most disgusting concoction I have ever been forced to swallow – even worse than Old Milwaukee Bacon & Mint-Flavored herbal champagne. If our military is not currently applying MoviPrep to pressure captured Al Qaeda terrorists to confess, they are missing a huge opportunity to secure our nation’s safety. I would have confessed to stealing the Lindbergh baby if I thought it could get me out of having to take another sip of this God-awful crap.

I had to take not one, not three, but eight 8-ounce glasses of this stuff. But I still have not gotten to the worst part: what happens approximately 27 minutes and 35 seconds after you have consumed your fourth 8-ounce glass of this devil’s brew. Imagine Mt. Vesuvius erupting, only in this case, playing the part of Pompeii would be your toilet bowl, and the locus of the volcanic eruption would be your derriere. If you will recall your ancient Roman history, Vesuvius erupted not once but multiple times over several days. That’s pretty much the scene I went through, only in my case, it involved panicked, adrenaline-pumping sprints to the toilet for the better part of seven hours.

On the bright side, I’m pretty sure I lost six pounds that evening. FYI, if you’re looking for a weight loss plan that does not require any exercise or long-term starvation dieting, and you’d like to lose up to eight pounds in a 12-hour period, I think I’ve found your solution, so to speak.

I would like to shift my focus now to what happened the next morning in the operating room, as the doctor prepared to take a journey to the center of my bowels. But to be honest, I can’t remember a thing that happened after they started sedating me. The entire colonoscopy took about an hour. I have no memory of anything that happened during the procedure, or for that matter, the next two hours afterward.

My girl tells me that the first words I incoherently slurred when she met me in the recovery room – and I’m not making this up – were about the drug they used to sedate me: “Wow. They should give this drug to everybody, and no wars would ever get started.”

I am glad that this whole disgusting episode is behind me. Again, perhaps I chose my phrasing poorly in that last sentence. They recommend I have another colonoscopy in five years. The good news is that after my tenth colonoscopy, I just present my punch card and the eleventh one is free.

My point is that if you’re fifty or older and you’ve never had a colonoscopy, I urge you to get this done as soon as possible. Oh, not because it’s the medically smart thing to do at this stage of your life. Mainly, I would just like to feel like I’m not the only sucker who has had to endure this humiliating midlife rite of passage. On reflection, perhaps I should have rephrased that last sentence as well.

Real Men Never Leave their Children

Awhile ago I was upset sensing the hurt of a woman that was suffering the events in her life she cant control. I’m sure I’ll step on some toes in the process. I usually do. Frankly, I don’t care this time. Dads need to stop leaving their kids, and I’m tired of men not being the ones to say it. I’m tired of the world tip-toeing around these guys’ feelings. I’m really tired of society acting like such behavior is now “normal” or “expected”. I’m tired of the media making light of it. I’m tired of the emails and comments from endless mothers who’ve been thrown under the bus. More than anything, I’m tired of dads not taking their responsibilities and duties seriously. So I decided that even if it costs me some dollar. I am going to try to help someone find her “smile”

As far as I can tell, there are three kinds of dads who willingly “leave” their kids.

The first simply leaves. He packs up, he walks away, and he wants nothing to do with his child or his child’s mother.

This man is not a man at all. He is a coward. He is a lazy and an ignorant little child who cares nothing for those whom he has been enlisted to provide for and protect. His self-centeredness and narcissism rank him among the most selfish human beings on the planet. He is a quitter, a deserter, and a weakling.

Sadly, he’ll never fully realize what he left behind. His own rationalizations and reasoning blind him to anything but a life of justification and attempts to forget his wrongful deed. He’ll never know of the hundreds of Saturday morning snuggles that could have been his. He’ll never know of the hundreds of colorful drawings his child would have handed him over the years, made with tiny loving hands just for him. He’ll never realize that he left behind so many trips to the park or the zoo. He’ll never know of the camping trips, fishing excursions and soccer games that without doubt would have filled him so much happiness. He’ll never realize that his self-absorption caused him to leave behind every bedtime story, pancake breakfast, bike ride, and tuck-in.

Even more sadly, he’ll never realize that he left behind a tiny person that would have looked at him as his hero. He’ll never know that he left a child who would have trusted him and loved him more than any other person reasonably should. And he’ll also never know that he left a child who would have done anything to be like him. To be like her daddy.

He’ll never understand or take responsibility for the giant hole in his child’s heart that will never be patched. He’ll never understand the anger and tears that his child will experience as he tries to comprehend a father that would vanish, and without sensible explanation. He’ll also never understand just how much harder his child’s life is going to be because of his absence.

No, fathers like this never realize, understand, or comprehend any of it. They can’t. A person can’t miss what they don’t know they never had.

Maybe it’s wrong of me, but I have neither room in my heart, nor in my ability to understand these types of men. I have no compassion for them. In my best attempts to fathom their decisions, I have only found anger.

But there is another kind of father who leaves as well. This dad leaves in disguise. He works to make it appear that he’s not leaving at all. He, like that first man, cloaks himself in rationalization and reasoning. He shows up just often enough to pull off his ruse, and he goes to bed each night feeling good about himself as the dad that he thinks himself to be. This second type is the divorced dad who by choice becomes nothing more than a weekend or a summer dad.

I cannot comprehend fathers that do this. I don’t understand how they can be okay with their choices, and I don’t understand how they can be okay offering such trace amounts of time and support to their children.

A dad like this is okay being a dad every other weekend and a couple weeks every summer. He’s okay spending such minimal and limited time with his child. He’s okay letting his child’s mother do the vast majority of the raising, and he is often okay watching another man step into the picture and be the dominant father figure for his own children.
He doesn’t fight to constantly be with and near his child. He doesn’t fight to be a real dad to his child. He doesn’t really fight at all.Though, he probably claims that he does. He probably spends a lot of wasteful hours telling the people in his life that he did and is doing everything he can for his child. He probably has painted a picture so pretty that even he has started to believe it.

Many of these dads hide behind phone calls and text messages to their kids. They believe that a quick check-in every so often is sufficient enough to brand themselves as “there”. They lie to themselves, they lie to others, and they lie to their kids.

Many of these dads can be wrapped under the label of Disneyland Dads. They have their children so infrequently, that when they do, it’s nothing but fun and revelry. These dads really never parent at all. A dad like this convinces himself that as long as his kid is spoiled and happy when she leaves, he’s a good dad. He’s doing his duty. After all, his kid loves him.

Real divorced dads don’t do that. Sure they find ways to do all of the things Disneyland Dads do, but they also understand how important it is to be there as often as they possibly can. They understand that their kids need their fathers’ examples and discipline. They understand the unbalance that happens when their child is fatherless most of the time.

These dads, these real dads, they fight for their children.

They are not content simply stepping to the side during a divorce. They do whatever they must in order to maintain their parental rights. They fight every battle that needs fighting, and they spend every penny that needs spending, even if it means putting themselves into a momentary financial nosedive. Real dads make their kids the prioritizing factor in every decision they make. They make sure that nothing and nobody takes precedence over their children. If needs be, they give up careers, homes, and dreams to be where there child is. They do it, and they do it at any cost.

You see, they know the crucial role they play in their children’s lives. They know that nothing is more important than their children growing up with a fighting chance at life. They know that divorce has already stripped their children of countless fundamental necessities. They know that the reality of a broken home is a greatly lowered potential and ability for future success. So, real divorced dads do something about it.

They make sure they’re there, and they make sure they’re good men. They make sure they get equal amounts of time with their kids. These real dads are never satisfied with anything less. They never settle. They never cave-in.

And as much as they understand the role that a good father must play, they also understand the vital role of a good mother. They understand the nurturing and the emotional support good mothers will give. They understand the soft shoulders that their children will need to cry on sometimes. They do everything they can to support the mother of their children, and to encourage love and respect for her.

And let’s be clear about something. Real divorced dads never get caught up in parent-bashing with their children. Ever.

And, while they are simultaneously fighting for their share of their children’s lives, they never try to take a child away from a good mother. They don’t fight so hard that their children miss out on the balance that having a good mother will always offer them. They are invested in the health and development of their children, and they know that Mom is a vital part of that.

These real dads also never shirk their duties. They don’t skip out on child support payments or constantly find ways to get out of “their turn” with the kids. A man who does this is barely better than the self-centered deserter that walks away completely. He makes the mother of his child spend far too much time and money collecting child support or forcing him to spend time with his kid. He feels safe in the fact that she usually won’t have the time or the money. He is a selfish ass who in my opinion doesn’t deserve to be in his child’s life.
And strangely enough there is a third dad who leaves as well. He is the father who somehow leaves without ever leaving at all. He is the dad who leaves while he is married and present in his family’s life. He has no intentions of ever physically walking away, and why would he? Life is “good” for dads like this. They are content. They are fine.

Personally, I believe a married man has the ability to abandon his family just as easily as a divorced dad or a deserter dad does, and from what I have seen, such an occurrence isn’t exactly rare in our society.

These dads check-out mentally. They begin putting the bulk of their priorities on everything but their children. They leave the burden of their entire families’ routines on the mothers, whether it be getting the kids up and dressed, helping them with their homework, going to parent teacher conferences, or enforcing discipline. They don’t feel the slightest twinge of guilt as they sit happily in their apathy. And what’s worse, they often have no clue that they’re even doing it.

These dads find their children to be wasteful nuisances; pesky flies that are theirs for the swatting. These dads rarely speak kind words or use soft hands. They constantly gripe about their kids not being good enough, their kids not being smart enough, and their kids not being quick enough. They turn their children into wageless employees who are expected to be at Daddy’s beckoned call, or suffer the consequences. These dads are rarely appreciative of anything, and the power of praise is a at best a foreign concept to them.

There is no place for men like this in an improving society. There is no place for men who are found sitting in boats fishing, trying to perfect their bowling hooks, or swinging their new set of golf clubs with far more frequency than they can be found sitting at family dinner or helping their children build birdhouses.

Just like their abandoning equivalents, these men are not real men, and they certainly aren’t real fathers. They are selfish and weak. They are arrogant, coarse, and crude. They crush both the hearts of their wives and the hearts of their children, and they don’t give a damn that they’re doing it.

Real married dads, on the other hand, have no part of such horse manure. The very thought of ignoring, abandoning, or loathing their children pains and sickens them. The mere mention of a business trip or being gone away from home troubles them. They take no joy in the difficulties that their absence will place on their counterparts, and when they do leave, they count down the days to their return. Real married dads aren’t just there physically; they’re there mentally and emotionally. Period.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a married dad who leaves, a divorced dad who leaves, or some guy who had a fling with Mom. The truths of leaving remain. The greatest moments of life will be altogether missed and dismissed when a man does.

A divorced dad who leaves will miss out on the trust that is built when he is actually there playing the role of father instead of friend. He’ll miss the daily stories and struggles that his child will bring home and recount. He’ll miss the nightly bear hugs before bed, and the heart to heart talks of which he could have been an integral part.

A married dad who leaves will miss out on the thrill of being a true teammate with his child’s mom. He’ll miss out on the affection and appreciation that would have been his. He also misses out on almost everything the deserting father misses out on. The only difference is that his child sleeps in the next room.

It really doesn’t matter which kind of dad a man is if he leaves. It’s all the same. It’s all tragic, and it’s all wrong. It’s a man’s refusal to put God’s greatest gift before himself. It’s indolence at its finest. And it has to stop.

It’s time we stand up and demand more of the fathers of this world. It’s time we stop buying into their rationalizations and their sorry explanations. It’s time we give our kids a fighting chance.

Why is this not the number one topic being discussed in this world? Good fathers, and by that I mean real fathers who are there, have the ability to change almost every social problem we now find ourselves facing. I’d be assumptive enough to say that there isn’t a single type of crime or a single problem so big that it couldn’t be fixed or wiped out if fathers would just step up.

Hopefully, if you’re one of these dads, it’s not too late to be that real dad. I pray to God it’s not because your kids need you. Fight for them, dads. Give up everything for them if you must. Just be there. And do it now.

If you are reading this, feeling angry or saddened because you yourself have abandoned your child, do yourself the greatest favor you ever will, and assume that someday there still can be a place for you at the foot of your child’s bed. The road back to trust might be impossible. But, it might not be. Not if you make yourself a truly good man first. You’ll never know if you don’t try. And, try you must, even if that trust is never to be yours again.

If you are reading this and you are no longer able or allowed to have a part of your child’s life because of court orders or criminal activity, I pray to God that you spend the rest of your life demanding that other men step-up so that they never have to walk through the hell you now face. Think of the good you could do.

And if you are a mom who has watched your child’s father leave, my heart goes out to you. I also pray that you had no part in it. I pray that you didn’t make it impossible for him while he was there. I pray that you didn’t try and force him to live up to impossible expectations. And, I pray that if he is a good man and he wants to be there in his child’s life that you love your child enough to let him. Even if that seems impossible to you.

I’ll discuss more of that in an upcoming post. I believe a few more dads would stick around if we can all be real about how some good dads are pushed until they give up. Damn it, moms. If you want the father around… if you want him to really be there for you and your kids… you’re going to have to let him. You’re going to have to make some things possible. You’re going to have to let go of your pride and fight for it as much as he does. And dads, if you want the mothers of your children to want you around, you have to earn it. You have to be there. You have to be good men. How tragic is it any time an era of trust ends between two parents! How heartwrenching is it every time a man who was once thought to be a good man suddenly becomes an abhorrence or a plague to his family! How calamitous is it when men simply give up or take the easy way out!Married… divorced… separated… never together… what does any relationship status have to do with a man’s parental duty? Once you’re a father, you’re always a father. There is no you in the formula of life anymore. There is always at least one other person standing beside you in that equation. Always. Own that. And never leave that behind.

PS. I understand that there are millions of different and complex situations. I understand that this couldn’t possibly apply to every one of them. I understand that mothers leave their children too. I understand that some parents are dangerous and must be allowed no part of their children. I understand that some women have booted their man to the curb with every good reason she needs. I hope it goes without saying that this post is not about those men or those situations. This post is about men who have every possibility and potential to stay in their children’s lives, but for some selfish reason they don’t. That’s all. For them I have no feelings.