What Would You Have Said?

After a wait of about 20-minutes, they called my 84-year old neighbor, originally from Spain and France, back to a patient room. She was there to see the neurologist about pain shooting up both arms into her neck when squeezing things with either hand or both hands, like her steering wheel when driving. This is why I took her to the neurologist.

For several minutes there in the lobby waiting room I was alone, with the exception of the receptionist behind the glass. It was a peaceful, quite relaxing few moments. I quickly browsed some of the WordPress blogs I follow and did a few “Likes,” but no comments, yet. I’ve learned not to comment while in places such as the doctor’s front waiting room. Often too many interruptions by elderly small-town folks, or younger, friendly country people; all strangers of course, at least to me. And the interruptions cause me to lose track of my train of thought. An old habit of mine surfaces too easily: I always give my undivided attention to those engaging me socially. A bad habit, I suppose. 😉

Several minutes later a car with a handicapped tag hanging from the rearview mirror pulls up to the lobby door outside. I watch to see if whoever might be getting out—in a wheelchair?—might need assistance with the two double-doors always wanting to close simultaneously on you while trying to enter. You know, not enough hands to hold both doors AND manage a wheelchair.

No need. The elderly lady who got out was ambulatory and stable. She grabbed her very nice red-n-black shawl out of the back seat then came into the lobby to check-in. I smiled and nodded at her as she sat down to wait. She warmly and politely said hello to me. I responded in the same and told her that I liked her eloquent shawl. She thanked me, saying she sometimes shuts the car door on it, not realizing it until she tries to walk away. We both chuckled, “Your car is very attached to you, huh?” She laughed, “Yes, something like that or I am too often absent-minded” she replied. I guessed she was in her late 70’s or early 80’s, but had good wit and humor about her that I appreciated.

Being the only two people in the lobby, we chatted some more. It was pleasant, short chat with humor sprinkled in. She shared that getting around now without her late husband—a war veteran of no less than THREE wars: WW2, Korean, and Vietnam—was slower, but quite manageable. She slipped in to her story that “God took good care of her and her husband in his last hours alive in her arms.” He had suffered the effects of shrapnel pieces in his head while in combat in Vietnam, then followed by a tumor and lymphoma cancer.

Fortunately, for me at least, the nice lady with clever wit never got on a preacher’s pedestal which all too often here in rural, Hill Country Texas far too many climb on while in public with total strangers, no matter the circumstances. A slight, serious pet-peeve of mine. I enjoyed our brief chatting. She was very well-mannered, kind, polite, and respectful of my own, unspoken beliefs and world-view, despite never asking me what they might be. I am fine with that lack of intrusion. It shows class in my opinion. If I want to boldly share MY own source of happiness—which she had no idea did not include God—then I can speak up. And I certainly would have had I chosen to do so. I can be equally bold and audacious if the situation requires it. I am not shy about it knowing full-well my beliefs, world-view, etc., are VERY unpopular and uncommon in this area of Texas and the South. 😈

I did not however. My better judgement told me to keep this all pleasant and respectful when among total strangers.

But all good things must come to an end, right?

Ten or fifteen minutes had passed and the lobby began filling up with 2-3 other elderly ladies followed by an elderly couple, the man/husband was an obvious showman. He jokingly told the receptionist that he just tags along with her; she’s the boss. And finished the comedy show at the window saying they were “newlyweds.” This got chuckles from all the other ladies in the lobby. Sharing how long they had been married, one lady responded: “Ah, so you’re oldy-weds then.

This is the type of small-town country “friendliness” one can usually expect here. But beware. It has a double-razor’s-edge to it and can just as easily do a 180 on you. And sure enough our luck, my luck had run out in that peaceful, pleasant lobby chatting with the kind, classy lady.

The bold showman that just entered and sat down with his wife of near 50-years, quickly latched on to the polite lady I was having such an enjoyable time talking with. She was warm and engaging; that’s why he immediately seized the opportunity.

His opening line to the lady was a setup line for his next two audacious questions for a total stranger, and I quote:

  1. Do you believe in God?
  2. Do you believe in Jesus?

He closed his self-made pedestal introduction with “You need God, you need Jesus to get through this life.” And the man never even spent just two or three minutes simply and courteously speaking with the classy, well-mannered lady and listening to her at least twice as long! Had he just done that, he would’ve quickly realized the sheer stupidity of his first two opening questions to her—which ironically bordered on interrogation, in my pissed-off opinion with his lack of basic etiquette!

The lobby waiting room was turning into this…

As I sat there grinding my teeth, biting my tongue listening to this Snake Oil salesman, I said to myself, Mister, you better not address me with your presumptions and scam-sale, because if you do I am going to QUICKLY put you in your place and make you look dumb!

Just about that moment my delightful 84-year old neighbor who speaks five different languages fluently and reads/writes them as well… came out. She was finished with the neurologist, or the neurologist with her. I was literally SAVED by Rose! We call her Spanish Rose, because she is a wonderful firecracker of a tiger she is. 😄 Rose is very refreshing with her raw honesty.

I was so relieved she came out at that moment; my patience, blood, and blood-pressure was rapidly rising listening to this evangelical non-sense from this man. Believe me, my readied salvo-response to him would have silenced the entire lobby and office, including stunned looks from the clerical staff behind the window.

Here is my question to all of you. What would you have said (or not) had this total stranger of a loud-mouthed man asked you those two above questions?

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

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Build for Life, Not for Fixes

full-body-castMy previous post was a bit of a fumbling crash-test-dummy wreck. After four long days of intensive care, in quadriplegic static-slings (in stasis?) and frequent bed-pans, I begin my rehabilitation in this way. Luckily, perhaps miraculously, I had a wonderful female human being, who despite my masculine Homo erectus “verbage” — I think she called it, but repeatedly with an odd angry French accent — she foolishly remains my friend and offered this TEDxAmericanRiviera video that literally explains to my kind… “what it’s all about.” Even better, the presentation is by a woman who knows something about it.

ludovico-techniqueAs prescribed, I watched so intently the highly impatient German nurses kept giving me eye-drops while grumbling what I couldn’t quite make out was “Nicht-Augentropfen, aber Fett Einlauf in den Arsch!” If I’m honest, it sounded a little frightening. Does anyone have that translation?

Without further babbling, I present Sheila Kelley

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The proverbial light-bulb — admittedly more like a flickering miniature Xmas-light — lit up bright, and shown through various unmentionable orifices cared for by my German nurses… it was truly an Ah HAH painful moment, but with one minor tweak I would offer. It is this:  instead of the exact quote from Joseph Campbell, I’d perhaps say…

“Woman is life and Man is the servant of life.
The Male’s job is to protect [that service
so that Woman may freely give more life.]

— currently, Professor Baboon

You see, some/many women can protect themselves quite well. There’s no need for us men to prematurely step-in, unless she asks us to do so. Then the VALUE of collaboration, protection, service, all varieties of love, and the culturing between Woman and Man that Sheila Kelley is urging, is increased exponentially as BOTH are more empowered equally. Well, at least that’s my take to her fantastic presentation.

My dear female rescuer then sent me on my way with a reminder, “Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After marriage, the “Y” becomes silent. And we are excellent housekeepers. Every time we get a divorce, we keep the house.” I believe she called that The V Empowered. She said one day I’ll understand, if I don’t real soon.

— I’ve since realized that I should have clearly indicated in my last paragraph (above) that we/my friend and I, were joking-about/mocking local social norms; i.e. not uber serious and purely between the two of us, laughing about my own personal history with women/ex-wives and by default my neophyte entry into sexism vs. feminism. I see now she was comfortable with/about me to do that but may not have done it publicly with strangers — one man who you know pretty well, versus several unknown men and women. But I don’t know now if that was the case. I do see today how my last paragraph could easily be taken offensively by those who were not present. My sincere apologies.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Addendum #2 — My blogging-buddy Swarn, at Cloak Unfurled, has given me permission to link his outstanding, poignant, gut-wrenching TRUE post, “The Long Silencing of Women“. I felt it was an excellent addition/temporary-conclusion to this, my crude male attempt on the subject of Feminism-Sexism. He agreed. Many thanks Swarn! It is well worth the read.

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Imagine For A Minute

I am temporarily stepping away from my current blog-series “Untapped Worlds” to write about a well-known touchy, deservedly sensitive subject. I think it is a very important subject and I want to present a variation of it to my male audience.

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The Aston Martin Rapide

Imagine for a minute Sir, you are at home — your home that you have constructed or refurbished or added-on by your hard-earned money — enjoying your comfortable couch or recliner in front of your 110-inch flat-panel HDTV with stereo surround-sound. In back…your quality-landscaped swimming pool and backyard with multi-level BBQ grill and pit. Behind there, your very own workshop/garage complete with a mechanic’s and carpenter’s dream inventory of high-end tools. Inside the three-door garage/workshop, your very own Bugatti Veyron or Aston Martin.

Up in your bedroom closet, complete sets of high-end business suits, a tuxedo for annual charity balls, 3 or 4 sets of the best men’s dress and casual shoes that money can buy, dress-ties and so on. Obviously, this type of living, home, and possessions are indicative of your wealthy salary: $200k – $500k per year or more? If I’ve forgotten any other lavishing items, please add them to your imaginative picture for a minute.

Then you hear some laughing outside in the back. A big splash soon follows. Then smoke slowly moves across your 8-windowed back living room wall that offers a spectacular vista into your luscious oasis around the pool and 1-acre lawn — the smoke is coming from your BBQ pit. No one is home but you; your fabulous wife of 17-years is out for the day with your 3 children! You quickly walk out the backdoor to find complete strangers using and obviously enjoying all your backyard amenities. How would feel? How would you react?

MacAllan ScotchOr what about another scenario. Imagine for a minute you have been out to a nice upscale 5-star restaurant with valet parking. After 2-3 hours of superb cuisine you and your wife decide to leave, walk out to the valet-station to have your Aston Martin brought up, and the Supervisor tells you and your wife, you must wait…wait for 10-15 minutes because four other valets just HAD to take your phenomenal wheels out for a spin themselves. How would you feel? How would you react?

Here’s another scenario. Imagine for a minute you’ve allowed some of your college frat buddies to come over to your palatial home to hangout, drink, and watch a game against your bitter college rivals. A few hours later you notice one of the guys is wearing one of your expensive dress shirts as well as some of your expensive jewelry and watch! Another buddy has found your basement wine cellar and popped-open one of your vintage bottles of wine, or best MacAllan scotch, and neither were upstairs on the kitchen counter with the cooler of beer! How would you feel? How would you react?

Men, I could come up with many more scenarios with your workshop tools, or even precious family heirlooms, or irreplaceable photos, but I hope you’re getting the idea.

What It Feels Like?

The above scenarios I have just described are pretty much how it feels to a woman when she is inappropriately spoken to, inappropriately touched or “grazed,” or sexually harassed by a man lacking proper gentleman’s etiquette, let alone ignoring common above-average respect for a woman. It is uninvited. Period. Some of the time the circumstances MIGHT be grey, vague, or appear grey/vague to YOU, but if there’s any level of uncertainty, what is your best course of action preserving her dignity? Are you aware of your own, how it appears?

When I’ve talked about these types of awkward or inappropriate situations, “violated” is one word I’ve heard women describe most to me. There is very little difference (if any at all) in their feelings of insult than what WE MEN might feel about our “precious stuff” at home or at our jobs. Get the picture?

I bring this subject up because I’ve encountered many men (particularly in the U.S. south) who implicitly or explicitly view and speak of their girlfriend/spouse or women in general as property they’ve “bought” or trying to buy, and subsequently own the Title-Deed. Sadly, to continue the analogy, this behaviour and thinking is WORSE when a woman’s “Title-Deed” is available or unpurchased, on-the-market; i.e. unmarried.

Men, this mentality must change! In all its forms and subtleties, the barbarism must stop.

And for you/us chivalrous gentlemen out there, WE must have consistent courage to firmly, tactfully, and in prompt dignifying ways step-in when a woman’s dignity is being grossly disrespected. Otherwise, by sitting idly by you perpetuate the problem for future women…possibly for your own daughter(s) and grand-daughters.

Post-script — I welcome any suggestions or further comments/additions to this post from my female readers. Please feel free to share them with us.

Addendum — the comments below will show that my approach to this subject could’ve been better, but for the sake of the topic — from my subjective perspective — and honesty, I believe I am going to leave my original content alone and allow the discussions below to help out. I hope it is constructive.

Live Well — Laugh Often — Love Much — Learn Always

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A Woman’s Point of View – #1

As part of the Alternative Lifestyles blog-posts migration over to the new blog The Professor’s Lifestyles Memoirs, this post has been moved there. To read this post please click the link to the blog.

Your patience is appreciated. Thank you!

Ten and Counting

AerialFlareGun loaded, aim straight up, pull trigger…BANG! The loud hiss and white smoke follows the red-glaring shell. S.O.S. flare explodes, and begins its slow descent. Is anyone out there?

It’s been 10-days now and still no Likes or Comments on my previous post. Nothing. Zilch. This is a little peculiar, if I may humbly admit, given the controversial subject of sexism and the previous discussions. I’m surprised a little over the complete silence. But there’s a flip-side. Let me re-evaluate what happened when I clicked the “Publish” button, ironically on April Fools Day.

We are over 1,700 miles or 25-hours apart: WordPress headquarters in San Francisco, CA, myself in DFW, TX. Many things can go wrong within that distance and time. Electronics have proven time and time again — especially WiFi — they ARE NOT 100% reliable 100% of the time! Duh. While finishing my previous post “Do You Have A Condom?“, my laptop WiFi symbol bottom-right never indicated the signal was lost…even while clicking the Publish button. That doesn’t mean something didn’t happen somewhere between those 1,700 miles of which I was unaware. Then there is the possibility in WordPress’ constant monthly updating and “improving” of their product and features, of which it is impossible for most busy hard-working amateur bloggers to keep up with, and the problem was an HTML writing error between a status of Published or Pending. It might also be that within that status, the post was another Password Protected post, offering more complications. There is still a third or fourth possibility: the WordPress Notification system — during the publishing moments of April Fools Day — messed up as a result of any number of these noted possibilities. Can you say, “Wha-dee-wha-dee-wha-dee… What’s Up Folks!?

Porky-PigBottom-line, problems were present during publishing and now after 10-days and counting, there are still no Likes, no comments. I’m slightly perplexed and therefore writing this follow-up S.O.S. post. If everyone is simply disinterested, I completely accept that. It may be a suspended subject now. But if it was a WordPress issue, then I want everyone to receive at least another notification of this post and more importantly the previous Password Protected post: Do You Have A Condom? If you would like the password to read it, comment below with your request and private email address or send me your request to professor.taboo@gmail.com.

In advance, thank you all for your understanding and feedback! Otherwise, time to move on, huh? 🙂

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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