The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘love’

Toastmasters Entertaining Speaker #5

The idea for this speech is ‘Speaking After Dinner.’ It’s an 8-10 minute speech. So uh … enjoy?

The Precise Moment

Who here has a hobby that they love?

(Wait for answers.)

Ok, what is it? Are you good at it? Does it take work?

Who here has someone that you love?

(Wait for answers.)

Are you good at loving that person? Does it take work?

I think the idea of ‘love at first sight’ is silly. SILLY! You can look at someone and at first sight know the answers to some pretty simple questions like, ‘do I like looking at this person?’ Yes, this is great, I’m soon going to be entering creepily staring territory. Or maybe it’s a no, not so much, how can one person look so creepy?

But LOVE at first sight? Love can’t be reached so easily. That’s diminishing what love is, in my opinion. Love is work. Love is enjoyable work, but it is work. You have to KNOW something to love it, and you can’t know something with a look. I’ve heard that you can’t know if you love someone until you experience the four seasons with that person. Those aren’t literal seasons but emotional ones. Have you gone through ecstatic highs, or heart-wrenching lows? Some people could be easy to love when they’re in a certain place, but people don’t stay in one place.

Now, switching from my emotional side talking to my engineering side – here is an interesting question! What was the exact moment you fell in love? Because there WAS an exact moment. You probably didn’t catch it, though. There you were, however many months into knowing this person and they grab a straw and pretend to be a unicorn and boop – there it went, the switch flipped from ‘not in love’ to ‘in love.’ That unicorn impression was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yes, there were many long conversations, many rounds of putt-putt, maybe a vacation where you joined his or her family that preceded that unicorn impression but all of that stuff just got you 99% toward in love. And now here you are, officially, actually, really and truly IN. LOVE.

And maybe some of us are wise, and intuitive, and forward thinking and we can see things quickly and say things to ourselves like, “I’m going to marry this person.” But I would suggest that people think or say that BEFORE they’re in love, they’re just looking at their emotional histogram.

(Draw histogram)

And saying ok, yep, the results are clear, I will eventually end up in love with this person so I’m all clear to say something to my best friend like ‘hey this person and I are gonna get married.’

BUT, say you have only uncovered two of the four seasons at that point and you are soon going through one of those seasons, we’ll call it fall, and it turns out this person only eats Cinnamon Toast Crunch. WOAH. RED FLAG. Not cool. You broach the topic, ‘hey sweetie, hey darling, hey potential love of my life, you’re 30 now … so I bought you a cereal that is just a teensy bit less unhealthy because I don’t want you dead at 40.’ And the person throws a table over and then consumes a whole family size box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a coping mechanism.

Yikes. Marriage daydream cancelled.

But I posed a question that I like. What was the MOMENT you fell in love? Does anyone care to share?

(Wait for answers)

Or, perhaps an easier question, what was the moment you realized you loved someone?

(Wait for answers)

I can tell you the moment I realized I loved my wife, and it is definitely indicative of my engineering side. I think it was early in the year, maybe around this time of year even, and I was thinking about what I’d be doing. SxSW? A music festival in Houston in June? California with my family in July? And then I realized. Wait. A. Minute. Lauren’s not a conditional! Previously when I thought about plans in the future I would think, ‘if Lauren and I are together then this will be the plan … if we’re not, this will be the plan.’ Sounds cold, but I was factoring in when she would or wouldn’t join me on trips. But here I was thinking about all of these plans and Lauren was there, there was no question in my mind. I HAD to conclude that I was in love. Woah. Unexpected. And then, of course, the next natural step was to ask her to marry me because there was no sense delaying the tax advantages.

Now you have to figure out … did I really think that? Am I that kind of person? I’ll leave that to you.

In college I actually asked my family one of the questions I’ve asked you – what was the EXACT moment you fell in love? I was fascinated by the idea that there was some particular moment in time where you went from 99% to 100% … My mom tried to answer but said she remembered realizing when she was in love, but not the exact moment. My sister and brother-in-law both talked about moments when they realized things. My dad walked in the room at that point and I asked him the same question. And I’ll add, my dad is not a touchy-feely type, he is much more of a smart alec type. Remember that when you hear this answer. When asked, ‘do you know the exact moment you fell in love with mom?’ He replied without missing a beat, ‘it was the first time I saw her topless.’

Ah. Cherish these family memories.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Tonight, find someone or something that you love and think about how good and nice it is to have something to love. Cherish that, work at that, and that hard work will only pay dividends.

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I Love You So Much That …

I’m going to let you suffer.

That’s right. I’ll know you’re suffering. I know I’m DEFINITELY suffering hearing you suffer. And we’re just going to sit here with this. And sit. And gnash teeth. And chant to myself about this is for your good in the long run.

Recently on my young journey along interstate parenthood I had a weird realization – true love is letting someone suffer.

Stay with me.

Remind yourself of a friendship or a past relationship where you really liked the person. But love? Eh. Not so much love. Or maybe you even felt some love toward this person but it wasn’t … you know, twist your heart, Of Human Bondage love.

OfHumanBondage.jpg

By Source, Fair use, Link


If there was a decision that needed to be made with that person and it would require some hurt on your part, and that person’s part … would you make that call? Would you choose the harder right over the easier wrong? Maybe it was a conversation with a friend who wants to marry the wrong person, maybe it’s a young son who sits at his first soccer practice crying the whole time, or a young baby who is STILL a pretty terrible sleeper and so you’re revisiting sleep training which involves the sleep wave (i.e. lots of crying on that baby’s part).

If you love someone, really love someone, you’re likely going to make them suffer. Because your spouse / best friend / whatever is about to make an important career move and (shhh, you can totally tell it’s the wrong move!) or any of one million more examples.

The wise reader has probably learned that my wife and I are once again trying to get the kiddo back on track in regards to sleep. The last few nights I have whispered lovingly to him during the calming period before bed about how I love him so, so much and he’s going to suffer for it. It’s a really swell chat.

So go forth, reader! And choose that harder right, and suffer with your loved ones!

Love is Blind(ing)

Recently I gave a Toastmasters speech, my first one in a long while. I started on the ‘Pathways’ path so it was an icebreaker. My second one! This speech went along with about 6 pictures, so … apologies on that front.

 

Love is Blind(ing)

A little more than two years ago I gave my first icebreaker speech where I described myself by describing my ideal weekend. It involved a long jog, some reading, hanging out with buddies, some downtime.

Now I’m giving my second icebreaker, and this time it’s not about my ideal weekend, but about the newest version of myself – me as a dad.

The speech is called ‘Love is Blind…ing’ and I’ll give you three cases of love being blinding. One from a physical perspective, one from an emotional perspective, and one from a somewhat literal perspective.

I

This is my son when he was born. He was born early, about 33 weeks, and was a tiny, tiny fella.

He is almost a year old now and looks a little different.

Before I had my son I was of the opinion that pretty much all babies look the same. They can have different skin tones, sure, but they were all just amorphous blobs of goo oozing liquids and solids. Romantic outlook, huh?

My outlook quickly changed to view babies as tiny little packages of adorability and love and snuggles … but then … as time went on … I’ve kind of come back to viewing newborns as blobs of goo.

My wife and I have a few different friends with kids a few months younger than our kiddo, and one day a friend sent me a picture. I responded with an, ‘aw how cute’ but in my head I thought, ‘man that is one weird looking child.’ With the ease of technology I pulled up a picture of my own son at the same page and, what do you know, he was a similarly weird looking child at that time. It was just the big, weird-headed phase of life for a baby. See, look at this little mobster. Adorable, yes, but a bit of a blob of goo?, also yes.

Love changed my perspective, blinding me and tricking me into viewing this pooping, non-sleeping machine as the greatest thing ever.

II

Now let’s talk about how love has blinded me emotionally.

When my sister had her son I remember visiting her and thinking – THE WORK. THERE. IS. SO. MUCH. WORK. We decided to head to the grocery store which, I think, took about 7 years to do. She had to get him dressed, and then he was in the car seat and he threw up on himself, so she got him changed again, and then car seat again, and on and on. All I noticed at the time was the hard work it is to be a parent. I didn’t notice any sort of love fest.

I dreaded that work. And there has been work.

<the kiddo> has not been a good sleeper. When friends talk about their younger children sleeping through the night my wife and I hide our looks of disgust and envy. How dare their child be such a good sleeper.

And yet, it’s also a bit of a gift.

One night, it was 2 or 3 am, or who knows what time, and our son began to cry. I went in to comfort him, so I picked him up out of his crib, held him close, sat down in the glider to wait for him to get into a good sleep and then listened to this tiny, adorable, quiet, sweet, soft voice cooing in my ear, ‘dah dah dah … dah … dah …’ The little fella was feeling chatty, and despite the sleepiness, despite the night after night of sleepiness, I couldn’t help but smile and give the gentlest little squeeze to this little creature.

There is still work, but there is so much more joy than I ever would have guessed at that the work quickly fades from memory but the love stays like a branding.

III

Last, but certainly not least, is the somewhat literal case of love being blinding.

I mentioned that <the kiddo> is not always the best sleeper, and about two weeks ago the kiddo woke up too early on Monday morning. I got him out of his crib, went downstairs, and sat with him while he started to play. He was a bit fussy, so I picked him up and sat down on a chair with him, thinking I would read to him.

His crazy, flailing baby arms had other plans. A hand came up and he managed to get me in the eye. It did not feel good.

I wandered slowly upstairs and handed the fighter off to my wife and sat with my eyes closed in the darkness for a while. After a little while of that I felt ok enough, so I got ready for work and drove to a doctor’s appointment I happened to have that morning. At the office I could hardly check in, I couldn’t keep my eye open and it watered non-stop. I went ahead and kept the appointment (a mole removed, don’t worry guys, it’s benign) and my wife came and got me and drove me to an eye doctor’s. We were fortunate enough to get an appointment first thing.

The doc started by dripping some numbing drop in my eye which was heavenly, and then looked at me with some very bright lights.

‘Oooh, he got you good.’ He showed my wife, ‘ahhhh! YIKES!’

Hmm. That’s all encouraging.

I am a wuss about eye stuff. It really freaks me out.

That week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday … I went to the eye doc. He wanted to check on me frequently to make sure it was healing ok (it took a while) and I changed eye drops often. One of them was this thick, viscous substance which was soothing, but I made the mistake of seeing how thick it was and then that freaked me out that I was dripping that stuff onto my eye. Blech.

One thing I learned in all of this is that there’s no better person to inflict pain on me than <the kiddo>. If my wife had poked me in the eye, an innocent accident, you can bet I’d be very annoyed with her. But <the kiddo>? Eh, it’s fine.

The next morning <the kiddo> had a surgery to get ear tubes to address his frequent ear infections, the docs at the hospital probably found me strange, one eye leaking, not making eye contact, randomly putting on sunglasses … but when the kid needs comfort, I’ll do what I can.

***

As my wife once said, the pool of love is deep and intense. And I can tell you that my blinding love is a gift, and a joy.

I remember a number of math classes where the teacher or professor would explain a concept and it was no more than nonsense to me. Absolute gibberish. And then, poof, something would click, I’d get it, and now everything was translated.

That same idea could be said for <the kiddo>. Before him I saw amorphous blobs, hard work, and crazy people obsessed with a little bundle of fiscal responsibility … now, I see that, sure, but I am at once blinded to it and able to see so much more.

But Darling, They Say it Won’t Work!

Love at First Sight

From the Houston Museum of Natural Science. In the Hall of Love That Burns so Bright it Blinds You. (One of those is a fact, the other is not.)

Modern Day Love Letters

In some college, right now, there is a young man who will one day be regarded as the greatest American novelist since (insert name here). He shows signs of his brilliance right now, but he’s a little too concerned with college-y things to really be the novelist he will one day be.

But, in the future, his books will come out and shake the world. People will read and fall in love with him. They’ll have this desire to know more and more.

Somewhere, some publishing house will think, “well, why not give them more? We’ve got books that are the letters of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, why not him?”

Below is a sampling of the types of notes this book would contain.

The Facebook Love Letters of (so and so), 2011 – 2014

Note 1:

Hey what’s up. Last night was a ton of fun. We should get drunk and make out again. Just kidding. Well, about the getting drunk part. Unless you have to get drunk to make out with me … which I’m sadly very ok with.

Note 2:

Man, it’s crazy. I don’t just want to physically bone you, I also want to emotionally bone you. That’s never happened before. You should come over so we can physically bone, then emotionally bone, then physically bone again. Then take a nap. Then get some burgers and do some more emotional boning. That’d be awesome.

Note 3:

I didn’t know holding hands could make me so happy.

I miss you.

Note 4:

That halloween party was so much fun with you! You looked super hot as a sexy criminal defense attorney. I’d commit crimes just to be with you. What? Yeah, I’d break the law for you.

Note 5:

Every time I kiss you, it just makes me want to kiss you ten times more.

Which reminds me, could you pick up some chapstick for me next time you go to the grocery store?

U.S. Army – Wrecker of Love

The end of sixth grade was coming fast, and with it, a move. This time I’d be going from Leavenworth, Kansas to West Point, New York.
School would finish, I’d go to Arizona to see family on summer break, and then on to NY. Life was going to roll on by pretty quick for a while – but not before an important life event.
My first girlfriend.

At school with about a week of school left I was stopped by a girl.
Would I want to go out with her best friend?!
I did some quick thinking. The obvious answer was: no.
I didn’t want to go out with anybody.
I’d found girls pretty, or at least appealing since I was young. I’d just never wanted to date a girl. Really, I didn’t mind not talking to them. I liked it a lot if they found me funny, and I liked to imagine dating girls – but reality is much harder to control than my imagination, so I stuck with that.
I had no confidence. I was a romantic conspiracy theorist. Why did that girl just smile at me? Oh, it’s a joke! That’s so mean! Any thing that should’ve been perceived as a girl having a crush on me I saw as some attempt for me to lower my guard, only to then be made fun of.
But if this girl wanted to date me until I moved, whatever floats her boat.
Thus began my romantic life!

You’d think – with me ‘going steady’ (that’s just funny to me), that my life would change a lot.
I’d have to sit with the girl at lunch, or nearby her at class, or walk with her in the hallways – but no, none of this happened. Looking back, I probably was supposed to do these things.
I assumed our relationship was just in title, not in deed. So she could say, “yeah, that’s my boyfriend over there … He’s so … Oh … Don’t look at him, he’s trying to figure out how much of his peanut butter sandwich he can fit in his mouth at once. Gross.”
Unfortunately, I didn’t know until then that middle school girls love the telephone.
“Hello … may I ask who’s calling? … Oh! … One second! … BRAD!”
Who would call me? I thought, Why is my mom grinning?
“Hello?”
“Hey Brad!”
What? First, who calls me? Second, a girl?!

I came to realize it was the “girlfriend.” And her friend who had asked me out.
I got the cordless and headed to my room. Once I was in my room I was sure a family member (possibly several, led by my mother) would creep up and eavesdrop. Fuel for making fun of me.
I didn’t want to be talking on the phone – it cut into my video game time. Or TV time. Or playing with my dog. Or anything-but-talking-on-the-phone time.

One day the two called and they sang me a song. Yes, they sang to me. At the conclusion of the phone call I applied my best charm to say, “Yeah … well … it stinks about my going to New York, huh?”
“Huh?”
“Ya know, New York …”
“You’re going on a trip to New York!!”
“Ha, no! I’m moving … there …”
Uh oh. Had I forgotten …
“… What?”

I had forgotten to tell everyone but my closest friends that I was moving. And my closest friends didn’t include a single female. I hadn’t thought much of it but this was especially bad because we lived off-Post in Kansas so my friends didn’t up and move like clockwork. What a weird concept!

My budding love came to a screeching halt. All blame, of course, goes to the U.S. Army.
How dare you, wrecker of love!

DumbFunnery Doles with the Best, Part I

Dear DumbFunnery,

My girlfriend and I are debating taking our relationship to “the next step” and I’m not sure what she means. I mean, I think she might mean sex, that seems like the obvious thing. But she’s really never said more than “the next step.” I want to have sex, but I’m afraid it might mean marriage. Is it worth the risk?

Madly in Lust,
Des Moines, Iowa

.

Dear Madlust,

Holy cow dude. That is really personal. How am I supposed to know? And seriously, you’re writing about your sex life to a stranger? What a weird guy you are.

Hope this helps.

.
.

Dear DumbFunnery,

How do you tell someone you think they smell like cabbage, without coming across really mean?

Hates Cabbage
Sunshine, Alaska

.

Dear Cabbage,

This is such a classic problem I’m not even going to address it.

Next time give me a challenge.

.
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Dear DumbFunnery,

ohm y God. im crying. i am hartbroken how do you get over the luv of your life?

lost wthout love

.

Dear … You,

With time.

On a lighter note – your letter conveys clearly that you are stupid.

All the best,
Me

.
.

Dear DumbFunnery,

How do you go about deciding if what you’re doing is worth it? I enjoy what I do, but I feel like

sometimes I’m doing things just to please other people and not at all for myself. How do I even start

with trying to figure out what is best for myself, and others?

Confused and Trying

.

Dear C&T,

I’m not a doctor and this is a bit unorthodox but I think your lymph node is swollen. Please get it checked out soon.

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