How to Avoid Love: A User’s Guide

I have become an expert at masking feelings, not showing all of my cards, or just not having an ounce of emotion flowing through my veins. In sports it’s a good thing – “that boy has ice water flowing through his veins;” in relationships, uh, not so much. Let me preface this article by stating that I am not a SME [subject matter expert for non-corporate types] nor have I ever slept at a Holiday Inn proving that I’ve gained some universal knowledge about the subject. I just simply like to think out loud and capture that shit in a blog.

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I’ve noticed through various exploits and other accidental mishaps that I’ve become a stone of a man. Maybe it was all of the Jägermeister I drank, drunk, consumed throughout my life but somehow I seem to have become devoid of feeling. Now I don’t mean feelings for my kids or my mama don’t creep up every now and again, but feelings that are expected in relationships. Don’t get me wrong – I want to have these feelings percolating through my being but they just don’t seem to be happening. Therefore, I thought it best if I just prescribe how I deal in hopes of providing some kind of guide to the other misguided and disenfranchised men out there in dating land. NOTE: in the words of the great Jimmy V, “don’t ever give up, don’t ever give up,” (even though it might appear that I have by writing this column).

The Guide

  1. Avoid prolonged and unnecessary eye contact when out on a date. She’ll give you those puppy dog eyes and next thing you know you’ll be buying rounds for the whole got-damn bar!
  2. Do not engage in small talk after work. I get it. You’re tired, you wish you had someone to talk to. You want to be heard. But, don’t give in. It’s better to stay silent and go into listening mode rather than engage in the fact that your co-worker is an ass and it’s getting on your last nerve.
  3. Ignore compliments – even though they feel reeeaaaalllll good. Let’s face it men, we’re like women in this way in that we want to hear how good we look, how strong we are, or how well we screw. Those are all compliments that get the best of us. And before long you’ll have a hoop through your nose while being strung along like a pregnant mule. But hey, if you’re happy about that I’m not one to judge.
  4. Say stupid shit. Like this blog. And you’ll be sure to avoid any possibility of love seeping into your heart and you being captured like a wild boar. Image result for roasting boar cartoon Roasting over a flame. In the middle of a jungle. Lost.  Damn, that imagery just sucks.
  5. Never, and I mean never, bring your kids around. God knows, she’ll do some nice stuff, the kids will be impressed, then you’ll hear about her for a long time to come. Better to keep the kids guessing.
  6. Get a job! Shit, any job. Three jobs. Stay busy. If you just do that you’ll stay lonely like a mutha. (Just buy a lot of those magazines like The Source or Smut.)
  7. Follow the relationship advice of our male compadres. We don’t usually fare well in this arena so it would only make sense that you’d listen to the gibberish coming out of the mouth of your bro; because your bro is so knowledgeable about sport’s and statistics it makes sense he knows about the opposite sex.
  8. And finally, don’t be such a mama’s boy. How can you turn your back on a woman you damn near fell in love with if your mama says, “so-and-so is such a nice girl?” Before you know it you’ll be saying “yes, dear” for many years to come.

And finally, follow Steve Martin’s “Lonely Guy” for further advice.

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Go well and with non-love good peeps.

I Done Peed My Pants (or How I Mastered Mind over Matter)

Have you ever had to go to the bathroom so bad that you begin doing the antsy dance the closer you get to the urinal? You know that movement we have all done where we are jiving and jerking our way as we approach the stall. And when we are close it feels so far away. There is only an additional few seconds needed to completely loosen our belts and buckles, unzip or pull down, and squat or stand – thanking the Almighty that you didn’t pee on yourself. Whew.

And sometimes we aren’t so lucky.

I’m not talking about as how I might not have been as lucky as a grown man but as a young boy. I recall walking home from school years ago and I was experiencing the moment of truth. I was rushing as fast as I could that was humanely possible for an 8 year old to get home. I recall I was only steps away from my home when I couldn’t stand it no more. BTW, I’m talking having to use #2, not #1. Alas, I was unable to make it all the way. (Insert sad face)

Shame spread across me and I felt I couldn’t face my mom. I was so nervous going home I desperately tried to figure out how to explain what occurred that afternoon. My mind raced as my pants – well – were soaked. This memory sticks with me today and I vowed to never do that again.

So I devised a technique for control. I implemented the mind over matter concept to achieve this greatness. Mastering this feat is no small task and only the manliest of men or the womanist of women should take heed. This is only for the strong. You ask how? Let me tell you how…

  1. Deep breaths – as you feel you are approaching the moment take deep breaths. This does wonders for slowing your body down.
  2. Alternate your thoughts – think of something else besides doing the do. Whether its baseball or other fantasies find something that takes your mind to another place.
  3. Relax – as you find yourself relaxing you gain control of your body.
  4. Pep talk yourself – YOU CAN DO IT! Okay, you have to do it. If you don’t it won’t be a pretty sight.

These are just a few things that I have done over the years. Unfortunately, the urge to pee comes to grown men and women as well so the techniques are good for a lifetime. However, let me state that these techniques are useless should you a) find yourself drinking all night, b) have bladder issues [go see a doc, cuz!], c) constantly forget to go pee, or d) find yourself traveling with no rest stop in sight. Good luck to you.

Don’t be ashamed should you experience “leakage.” Yeah, it’s not cool but sh*t happens. Otherwise, carry around a pack of Depends and call it a day. There are worst things to overcome in life.

Go well and with love good peeps.

Snowmageddon 2015 – A Short Story

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Day 23 and no signs of life on the tough streets of Chicago. My food supply is low and my liquor is depleted. Oh, the humanity.

My journey home was horrific as I had to wait for the #4 Cottage Grove bus in blizzard-like conditions as I left my Super Bowl party. (It was quite fun I might add.) The bus approached and I gingerly boarded holding tightly onto what little belongings I had left as to protect them from the other tired and angry riders. As I approached my stop after the 3 minute commute I could see my street into the distant. I was nearly home. I looked up into the night sky and exalted, “My God, Thank you!”

My hope was not lost as I dredged through the knee-high snow toward my humble abode. I shivered as the cruel snow repeatedly slapped me in the face. I hoped for deliverance as the final 1/4 mile loomed through the frozen over-priced condos of the Hyde Park neighborhood. And it happened as swiftly as my thoughts came rushing, the connecting bus sped past me while I was lost in my pain. No!, I screamed as the local Jeffrey zoomed past the snow drifts like they were small speed bumps that had outgrown their usefulness. Why? Why?

I was now dejected. I was ready to lie down and let the elements take me in my current form: pathetic, hurt, and disenfranchised.

But HOPE did happen.

And out of the night sky a light reflected in my eyes. No, not an oncoming vehicle but the street lamp of my block. I mustered up the little energy I had to endure the elements and make my final steps towards that light. It’s warm glow fueled me and I headed in that direction. I finally came to rest on the steps of my pad, frozen and broken but alive. My journey during Snowmageddon Chicago will forever remain in history as the day I found the strength to overcome. I smiled and let out a sigh of relief.

Next time I’m gonna drive. Screw this.

Go well and with love good peeps.

I am a Whore for LIKEs

It started out innocently enough. A simple phrase, a quote if you will, coupled by back and forth banter that produced my first LIKE. I became excited about the idea of someone actually LIKING my post. There was a little Sally Fields in me as I accepted this newfound appreciation. The euphoric feeling was similar to the time I first spotted my own name in the Michigan State student directory – I was overcome with emotion! I had arrived. And now, the LIKEs I began to receive catapulted this addiction to another level. Every waking moment, every breath I took, was propelled by the fuel I was taking in because of my popularity. And then I realized as I sat in the middle of my room – alone – shivering – and destitute. I had become a whore for LIKEs. My name is Daniel and I am addicted to LIKEs.

My life didn’t start out this way. I was never a big attention whore. In fact, I was somewhat reserved. I wasn’t the type of person to blatantly display a desire to be noticed. But the technology made it so easy. Now there are LIKE buttons everywhere, they are unavoidable. Each new application insists on creating this sense of competition by allowing each of us to cast our votes on a minute by minute basis. Do you LIKE the restaurant? Do you LIKE my pic? Do you LIKE my posts? Do you like my YouTube of my bouncing on the edge of a cliff? Argh! It’s overwhelming. Help!

In the beginning I would make sure I rationed my guarded inventory of LIKEs so that I would not waste them. I didn’t know at the time that the companies allowed for an infinite number of LIKEs available for my disposal. Thus, I was careful to provide my opinion to only those posts that really mattered.

Then I became sucked into the attention machine. That’s when things began to unravel for me.

I quickly realized the success to gaining more attention…ahem…LIKEs was to reciprocate. If I was generous with my LIKEs then I might have others provide for me the same. And boy was I right. I used my mother for LIKEs, my nieces and nephews, my kids, even my dog! However, I can’t turn back the hands of time and the phenomenon is out of control. I dread the day when applications add a DISLIKE button. What if my posts end up on the higher side of DISLIKEs than LIKEs? YIKES!

At any rate, I vow to get this addiction under control. I believe we should be able to express ourselves however we like to – no pun intended – and not have to worry whether someone is paying attention to our thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you like to take pics of your food, show Fluffy the cat doing backflips, or provide deep thoughts like Stuart Smalley. Just be true to whom you are and screw everything else. And if you are fueled by the popularity bug in social media then so be it – just be ready that the bug could come back to bite you should our life patterns change. You, too, might find yourself in a help group for addictions.

In the meantime – please LIKE my post! I appreciate it!

Go well and with LIKEs good peeps.

My Non-Bucket List (or Things I will Never Do In My Lifetime)

Ah, life, filled with such joys, mysteries, and pleasantries. I want to get out more and more these days and enjoy these moments as I have become wiser with age. My eyes have experienced many things, my ears have heard the essence of beautiful music, and my senses have been brought to life because of my surroundings; therefore, I thought it would be good for me to reflect on some things that I promise myself I will never do at this stage of life. You do with your life as you desire, as for me, these following things will never make it in my book of life upon its completion.

  1. Become the next RAP/Hip Hop sensation – I’m quite certain I missed my calling back when I owned my beatbox, 2 turntables and a microphone. Sad to know I sold them at my garage sale.
  2. Skydiving – naw, I’m good here. Even if I live to be the ripe old age of 100 I will not have any desire.
  3. Eating deep-fried grasshoppers – really?? Do I even need to explain?
  4. Visiting Liberia – well, unless I join the missionary.
  5. Discovering nano-nuclear energy – technically I can still do this, but I’m having too much fun avoiding school at this juncture.
  6. Shooting zombies – I think I would get great pleasure blasting some zombies but what if it was someone I knew, like the guy I’m friends with in Accounting? I hope it doesn’t come to that because I’m sure he’d still remember the screwed up financials I provided him. My bad dog.
  7. Bungee jump off a bridge in the Amazon jungle – see Skydiving explanation above.
  8. Become a Texan – not even sure how this could be remotely possible, albeit it this is one thing that COULD very well occur given my employment. I’m just not cut out for wearing cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and a cotton shirt with a big ass Texas flag across the front. Oh brother.
  9. Time travel – I know many of us are waiting for Marty’s return to the future but I’m guessing most of my generation will not see time travel come to fruition. Besides, who wants to end up like Jeff Goldbloom in “The Fly?” That would suck.

Yes, I know my list is fairly exhaustive and of course anything can happen. I won’t necessarily count these things completely out but I am 99.99% sure they won’t happen; although, I can really see myself as a shining rap star – kind of a cross between Kanye and Jay-Z perhaps? Only time will tell but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

Time to Face the Change, Cha-Cha-Changes…

This is a significant week for me in terms of my transitions. My life is about to take another turn, albeit a welcomed turn, but a turn nonetheless. It’s MOVING DAY! Yah!

I hate moving. It’s annoying, tiring, and never seems to be worth the effort.

I can’t end my procrastination (hence my writing and avoidance) when it comes to preparing for this inglorious day. However, I have moved so many times in my lifetime you’d think I was cool with this (at least 30, but hey, who’s counting). But I’m not.

I remember my college days when my roommate and I moved when I got off work – at 10 PM! Yes, we went until about 4 AM. Let’s just say a lot of beer was consumed during the time.

Then there was the time I moved into my first house some years ago. My friend and I had to move an old, heavy 10ft couch and decided the best spot for the couch was the trash. Unfortunately, the small access areas throughout the old Chicago apartment complexes caused us some difficulties in throwing it off the back stairway. The couch got entangled on the back fence after we tossed it from the 3rd floor. This forced us to do acrobatic tricks in untangling the mess we created. It rained cat hair and loose change for an hour.

There was the moment of clarity when I felt “I’m getting too old for this shit” when I literally had two full 18ft U-Haul truck loads to complete. My small army of volunteers was exhausted from the full day battle. However, I did provide libations at the end of the day and we even had one for our fallen homie who had to “cut out early because of family.” Grrrr.

I finally reached moving nirvana when my employers moved me (multiple times – sweet!). I sat back and watched the magic occur. However, I did have to supervise as they would have packed my sleeping cats if I hadn’t stated “those aren’t statues.” I remember unpacking one of the boxes and it was my kitchen garbage can full to the brim with trash. Talk about being thorough.

So here are my pointers to consider for your DIY move:

  1. Plan as much as you can ahead of time. This is easier said than done but it will prevent you from stressing.
  2. Take a moment and pack a box here and there throughout your hectic week.
  3. Make lots of friends; and then enlist them when the time comes. It’s not manipulation but it is investment for your future.
  4. Get rid of shi…stuff. I know it’s not easy but we are all guilty of holding onto stuff. Like you I’m always hoping there’s that six-figure check I misplaced and happen to find during the move.
  5. Stock up on your favorite beverage to keep you motivated. This includes beer, wine, whiskey, Diet Mountain Dew, or whatever your heart’s desire to help you make it through the event.
  6. Make sure your beloved pets stay clear of packing hands.

Have fun! Regardless of the pain of moving, both physical and mental make it an outing to cherish. It not only gets you through the time but it will become a cherished memory itself.

Go well and with love good peeps.

COMMITAPHOBIA (kuh-mit-a-foh-bee-uh) –noun

1) A man’s irrational fear of being in a committed relationship; 2) Fear of “settling down” for a man; 3) Usually a condition found with men, difficulty being faithful; 4) A man’s emotional state when dreading the thought of only being with one female companion over and over and over and over again.

Sentence: Jason had been stricken with commitaphobia as he contemplated his future with his main squeeze Sheila.

We all have heard it a thousand times. Many of us have lived through it numerous times. And some of us men have been stricken by this disease in our lifetimes. How does it manifest itself in our lives and what can we do about it?

I have studied this disease among my male compadres and am puzzled by the same results – the fear I see in their eyes as they try to live a rich, deep, meaningful life by committing to the woman of their dreams. It doesn’t matter what walk of life this poor man comes from but any man is capable of contracting this condition. And once he gets the condition it is virtually impossible for him to recover. Or at least we know it will take him some time.

Symptoms of this ailment are usually the following: a) the inability of a man to focus on one single woman; b) a man backs out of conversations that deal with commitment when initiated by said female companion; c) the desire to sexually conquer a female – ALL females; d) lackadaisical attitude toward female companions when prompted for emotional intimacy [also known as “the arm’s length syndrome”].

Studies have shown more than 50% of men deal with this affliction yet help does not seem to be readily available. Some statistics have shown 2/3rds of the male population is screaming for assistance due to the onset of this terrible state. These numbers increase dramatically after divorce or over age 30. It is a serious epidemic in our communities. We need the government to take action and provide assistance – like mandated health care.

But wait; there is help for this affliction right around the corner!

I have personally enlisted the help of various psychologist and medical professionals to understand, dissect and learn more about our disease to see if there is a drug, similar to Viagra that can help a man overcome this fear. There seems to be hope on the horizon. I have found many times the affliction can be treated by mental stimulation. Other times it is best to wear a man down. It is also treated by constant catering to the man’s desires. Other sure proof methods show a way to a man’s heart (which is one source of this issue) is by his stomach and this still stands true.

Do not despair my female accompaniments. And do not act rash by switching gender teams (not that there is anything wrong with that). Instead, work with us men to eliminate this awful condition. Most of us men don’t want to be stuck with commitaphobia and are willing to go through treatment.

However, our studies need money. There are ways you can help. For the price of a cup of coffee a day you can save a man from this dilemma. You can help him find his way. Or you can adopt a man to wean him of his commitaphobia. It will take time but believe me it can work. I know this because I, too, was afflicted by this disease. I was a commitaphobe.

Be Blessed.

Next topic: Why are men pigs?