Sophomore Jinx

In baseball when a pitcher is doing well (striking everyone out) they say he is in a zone. His fastball, curve ball, split finger, slider are all probably working for him! He can do no wrong. He’s got the right stuff. When a pitcher is getting lit up (hit on) they say he’s lost his stuff, no zone, throwing up junk. He typically gets pulled for a relief pitcher. But if a pitcher does get lucky enough to stay in a zone for 9 innings, 27 batters, 27 outs, no walks, they say that pitcher has pitched a perfect game. In the history of baseball few pitchers have ever thrown a no-hitter and even fewer have ever pitched a perfect game and no pitcher has ever pitched two consecutive perfect games in a row. Never. Ever.

For some men perfection can be a curse. A ghost they end up chasing for the rest of their lives. Others just quit rather than face the certainty of constant disappointment. Without question the quest to the top of the pyramid is certainly much more enjoyable than defending the crown. Consistency in achievement on or off the field can be paralyzing to men. The bedroom is no different.

At the beginning of every relationship a man is attempting to throw his good stuff. He goes all out. He stands up on the mound, winds up and tries to put one over home plate. Right in the pocket. Flowers, dinner, massage, foreplay, doubles, triples, homeruns. Sometimes, and I mean rarely, it’s magic, euphoria, time stops and even the gods give a standing ovation. For that moment the man was perfect. The perfect lover! Now keep in mind the male is proud of himself but somewhere deep inside regardless of how happy he is with his performance anxiety quickly sets in. “Oh my God! What if she thinks I can pull this off every time?! What if she thinks this is just my run of the mill day to day stuff? I’d kill myself if I had to try and pull this off again!” Panic has taken over the man. He has become his own worst enemy. “Why in God’s name did I have to set the sexual bar so high?! Should I run or confess? No, better that she think I’m a sex god than admit I’m human. I’ll run.”

You know what happens next? Nothing. The phone doesn’t ring, the man doesn’t call. If it’s the beginning of the relationship it becomes the ends. The confused gal whose world was rocked thinks she was just played when in reality the man just has sophomore jitters or is afraid of a “Sophomore Jinx.” All men know that no pitcher has ever thrown two perfect games and the likelihood he’s going to be the first is slim and none. The sad part to this story is this couple actually did have magic, did make time stop but now it’s lost because most non pig-headed men who care about a woman’s feelings at some level are insecure. It’s that insecurity that allows boys to be heroes, fight wars, become scholars, become dads, become men. Men do great things to squelch insecurity and as we get older it gets smaller but it never goes away entirely. If as a woman you can see through our bravado there might be a few relationships you can save before it’s too late.

If you’re dating and perfection shines on you in the bedroom, make a point to let him know as a reward next time he gets to sit it out while you take charge. Men, whether they admit it or not, love to be made love to. We don’t always need or want to be in control.

If you’re in a relationship already and you sense signs of performance anxiety, take the bull by the horns (literally) and relieve a little tension. Men don’t get headaches in the bedroom, it’s just sometimes they don’t feel like going nine innings. It’s your job to be the relief pitcher every now and then.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Snuggler’s Blues

I’ll be the first one to admit my wife has Snuggler’s Blues. Snuggler’s Blues is when a snuggler marries a non-snuggler and feels deprived. You see, there are a lot of us men that are two pillow men. When we go to sleep at night, we have one pillow to hold and one for under the head. Snugglers want us to nix the snuggle pillow and snuggle them. Here are the males’ problems:

The dead arm: When we enter into an official snuggle (spooning) inevitably a man’s arm gets pinned under his mate’s body where it quickly falls asleep, becomes numb and goes into shock.

The inferno: A man is generally carrying around a few extra pounds of insulation and when his body comes into contact with another body, he heats up. Look, bears go into hibernation because they’re cold which then allows them to get a good night’s sleep. Heat up a bear and he won’t be able to sleep. A man is no different. Some of the biggest fights my wife and I have are over what temperature to keep the thermostat in the house.

Incapacitation: Men need to alter between three positions during a good night’s sleep (side to side, belly flop and flat on the back). If a snuggler ambushes a non-snuggler during one of these positions, he feels trapped. Trapped in a position that any moment he may decide needs to be changed and he will find himself unable to escape. Trapped position equals no sleep.

Now it may appear to the average observer that being a non-snuggler myself, I’m trying to defend my position (no pun intended) and you’d be right. But I am not unsympathetic to the snuggler who equates snuggling with intimacy and non-snuggling with being a jerk. Look, us non-snugglers are just trying to get a good night’s sleep. Obviously there needs to be a compromise so I think I’ve concocted a plan. Fifteen to thirty minutes of snuggle time prior to lights out, then break to separate corners or possibly set your clock thirty minutes early in the morning and snuggle then.

I want to live in a world where snugglers and non-snugglers can come together as one and live as happy people. I want to live in a world where a man is not judged by the color of his skin. Oh, wait a minute; I’m getting carried away. How do you solve Snuggler’s Blues? Compromise.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Second Hand Men

I was at an antique store the other day browsing. As I walked in I saw a line of beautiful mahogany curio cabinets, chest of drawers and a roll top desk that would have taken anyone’s breath away. As I continued my stroll, I saw an 18th Century four poster canopy bed, hand carved and meticulously taken care of shining under a chandelier.

“Looking for a bed mister?” the old spunky sales women asked.

“Nope,” I said.“Just looking around.”

“You know that bed has quite a history behind it,” she replied.

“Oh really?” I said, “Fill me in.”

She was delighted that she had peaked my interest. “Rumor has it Roosevelt himself slept on it!”

“No kidding? How do you know that?” I asked.

“His initials are carved into the head board,” was the quick reply. Sure enough, plain as day you could easily pick out the T.R. hidden amongst the scrolled pattern once she pointed it out. “Also take a look at this. You see the slight cracks in the wooden support slats that held the mattress?”

“Yeah, I sure do,” I said.

“Well, that about cinches it don’t you think?”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Hell, sonny everyone knows he was a rough rider!”

I fought hard from breaking out into laughter, but lost the battle. “No, no that’s okay maybe if you just let me look around.”

“The bed goes for $25,000,” she whipped back, “but I’m willin’ to deal.”

“No ma’am that’s okay, just let me…excuse me what’s all that stuff under the MUST GO sign?”

“That’s junk nobody wants, can’t give that stuff away,” she sniffed.

“Mind if I take a look?”

“Go ahead, it’s all 75% off.”

As I stumbled through the broken rockers and silver plated candleholders, I saw something that caught my attention. “Whatcha want for the lamp?”

“It’s broke, don’t work. Fifty bucks and I’ll wrap it up myself.”

“Seems like a lot for a broken lamp.”

“Okay, okay $35, but you wrap it yourself.”

The lamp was pretty, probably a knock off, would need rewiring but what the heck, the leaded glass “Dragon fly” pattern was pretty. “Okay I’ll take it.”

As it was being wrung up, I noticed a curious but rusted old stamp underneath the base of the lamp: “Tiffany Studios.” The lamp was later appraised for $80,000.

I tell this story for a reason. Most assuredly Teddy Roosevelt didn’t sleep in that bed and a broken down lamp in a junk pile can shine again and be worth a fortune. Men are no different. To some degree, we are all second-hand men. We have pasts and futures and stories to tell. None of us comes to the antique store new. The question for the woman is, “Which of our stories are false and which ones are true?”

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Necessities

I think we can all agree that there are some basic necessities we must all have to survive: food, water, clothing and shelter. Now whether your food of choice is caviar or a burger and your beverage, a beer or Don Perignon has a lot to do with our value system as well as personal taste. Personally, I’m a blue jeans kind of guy, but have enough Georgio Armani suits hanging in my closet to keep my wife happy.

It’s so easy to get caught up in a race of one up man ship. “Keeping up with the Jones.” I’ve seen men motivated by a lot of things. Fear of loss certainly is a big motivator in our society. As a couple creates a union there are some things I think had better be ironed out before the knot is tied; and that’s necessities.

Before I ever got serious with a woman, my list of necessities was actually quite small. An apartment seemed just as good as a house and a couple pounds of bologna, a few loaves of bread and Kraft macaroni and cheese could sustain me for weeks. I remember one time I ate nothing but Taco Bell tacos for dinner for six months straight. (My god, do you know till this day, you can still get two tacos for 99¢.) What to wear, how to look, what to eat seemed like decisions low on the totem pole of life compared to striving after my real passion: work.

Success consumed me, not the trappings, the winning. There are many men that are no different. Einstein wore the same slacks and shirt practically everyday of his life. Now he had a lot of black pairs of the same pants, but he’d made a conscious decision that certain decisions weren’t worth worrying about day after day. What’s for dinner? What am I going to wear? That kind of thing.

If it weren’t for women, there would be a lot of men living very happy lives in huts. Women changed all for a man. For the most part, women raised our necessity bar to a new level. Women add humanity to men. Women create necessity. I think most women by nature have an appreciation for beauty that most times has to be taught to us men — us cave men.

When a man loves a woman he’ll want to lasso the moon for her. A task I’ve tried many times, only to fail. I think it’s important when a woman makes her lists of needs and wants and preferences and wishes, that she do so very carefully. Preferences can turn into needs and needs into necessities so a man can become overwhelmed very quickly. And when possessions take priority over your relationship, you’ve lost the war.

Necessities are necessary but please don’t make the list too long or you may get what you desire but lose us in the shuffle. “Possessions usually mean less once possessed,” a famous man once said. So don’t stray too far from the truth. It’s one thing to have a house as a home, but does a palace have to be your roof? If a couple can’t see eye to eye on what are priorities and what are preferences, they’re in for a rocky marriage. Not every man wants to be a multi-millionaire and not every woman would sacrifice time with her husband to live in a mansion.

The road map to a successful marriage lies in two people wanting to end up in the same place. So you’d better make sure you’re on the same page and for that matter reading the same book.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

An Eleanor Rigby

“Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face
that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for”
-Lennon/McCartney

 

The alarm clock next to Patricia’s bed read 6:02 AM. The alarm was set to go off each morning at exactly 6:05, but her eyes always popped open automatically at least 3 minutes early. She wondered why she never waited for the alarm to wake her. She knew the answer immediately; she didn’t trust it.

In the kitchen she poured coffee from the same automatic coffee maker that she’d owned for ten years. It was dingy and stained. She had seen the new coffee makers in exciting colors with great timer mechanisms, but couldn’t see any reason to buy one. Nobody else saw the coffee maker anyway.

As Patricia finished her shower, the phone rang. It startled her. Nobody ever called this early during the week. She briefly thought about not answering it, concerned it could be bad news. The caller ID said it was from her brother in New York. She hadn’t heard from him in weeks. Her heart was pounding as she picked up the receiver. “Robert? Is everything okay?”

“Whoa, Patty. Settle down. Everything’s cool. Just called to say hey.”Bobby was five years younger than his 30 year old sister, and was usually good about checking in with his over-protective big sister at least once a week.

“Don’t be patronizing, Robert! You never called last week. I was worried.”Her heart slowly returned to a normal rhythm. It felt great to get caught up, but she cringed at the thought of his living in New York–muggings, rats, crowded subways. Robert had stopped asking her to visit.

After the brief conversation with Robert, Patricia walked back into the bedroom. The first thing she did was make her bed. She smoothed the sheets very carefully, then fluffed the comforter and placed it neatly over the top. The pillows were also fluffed and positioned against the headboard in their carefully assigned positions. Large king-sized pillows in the back, medium-sized pillows next, and small throw pillows decorated with lace and ribbon in the front. As she stood back to admire the well-made bed, she remembered that it was Wednesday. She washed her sheets every Wednesday.

She quickly put the sheets in the washing machine and returned to the bedroom. She stared at herself in the mirror for about 30 seconds. She imagined herself with shorter hair, carefully shaped eyebrows, colored contact lenses, a sexy dress, red lipstick. Each day she added to the list of things she would change about herself if she had the courage. But like yesterday and every day before that, she put her shoulder length, naturally brown, straight hair in a low pony tail and brushed an ever-so-small amount of pink blush on her cheekbones.

From the closet she chose one of the four pair of grey slacks hanging to the far left. Next hung the khaki slacks, then the black ones–all of them a bit too big. She then reached for the white turtleneck from the turtleneck shelf and the black cardigan sweater from the cardigan shelf. Finally, she slipped on comfortable black loafers and headed out the door of her small one bedroom apartment.

Patricia walked quickly to the stairwell. She had never been in the elevator. It would mean standing close to people, or maybe being forced to have a conversation with a stranger. (All of the tenants of the building were strangers to Patricia; she had never met any of them.)

She scooted quickly down the five flights of stairs to the parking lot and her trusty 1988 white Ford Taurus. She would have to hustle to get to the library in time to finish the last chapter of Valley of the Dolls before she had to unlock the doors and begin her daily routine of shelving and reshelving books. She loved coming into the big empty building early in the morning—the sound her shoes made on the marble floors, the feel of the heavy oak chair as she pulled it from beneath the table, the slight echo of the pages being turned as she read. Seldom did she take books home from the library. Reading them in the library made it seem less like killing time and more like a hobby…less like escaping from her loneliness and more like part of her job.

She was content reading before and after work from books right there on the shelves, just waiting for someone to read. Books like Valley of the Dolls, The Stepford Wives, Maneater, The Nanny Diaries always appealed to her. But she also really enjoyed the classics…Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe, Grapes of Wrath, anything by Ernest Hemingway. But for the last two weeks she had been lost in the world of Anne, Neely and Jennifer. Their climb to the top in the entertainment world, their dive to the bottom of drug addiction and their sexy lifestyle was the epitome of escapism for Patricia. She gasped out loud enough times to be thankful the library was empty.

Her boss, Lilly, had offered her promotion after promotion during her ten years at the library. Lilly would have loved to have Patricia at the counter helping patrons or in the main office handling employee and volunteer scheduling or inventory. But Patricia couldn’t imagine dealing with people at the counter or with other employees. She was content pushing the metal cart full of books around. If she piled the books high enough, she could make her way up and down the aisles without being seen by anyone.

Patricia finished the last page of Valley of the Dolls at precisely 8:00 A.M. She made her way to the front, unlocked the doors and opened them slowly. She was startled to see a young boy and his mother standing just outside the door. “Good morning,” said the woman cheerfully. “Do you work here? How silly, of course you do. Are you open now? We’re here for story hour. We saw it advertised in the paper last week. It starts at 8:00, right? Ryan, say hello to the nice lady.”Ryan complied with an unenthusiastic, “Hi.”
“Uh…I don’t know. I mean, no. Sorry. It starts at 9:00. “Patricia quickly stepped backward into the library and let the heavy door swing closed slowly. Why was she so nervous about answering a simple question? She wondered if she should see a therapist.

As Lilly and the other employees began to filter in, Patricia collected books from the return bins and filled her cart. She always tried to be done at the counter before Lilly and the others got settled in. Although she liked them, Lilly especially, seldom did she engage in any small-talk. A half-hearted smile and an uninspired wave as she walked away were usually all she gave…or received.

Her morning went as it always did; reshelving books, non-fiction, periodicals, children’s, straightening shelves, finding the occasional book in the wrong section and taking it to its proper location. She always saved fiction for the end of the day. Today she needed to choose a new book to read. Maybe a horror novel; Stephen King. She quickly changed her mind, and decided to find a good classic or maybe a romance novel instead. Being scared wasn’t her idea of fun. She wondered what her idea of fun was. She couldn’t think of a single thing. The remainder of the morning was uneventful…just as she’d hoped.

Patricia had just finished her work in the non-fiction section when Lilly approached her.

“Patricia. How was your morning? I haven’t seen much of you; must’ve been busy.”
“Yes. Very busy,” replied Patricia as she looked at the floor.
“Anyway, a few of us are going to the new Mexican place on Smith Road for lunch. I think it’s called Juan’s. Would you like to go with us?”
“No, thank you. I have plans for lunch today.”
“Plans? Wow. That’s great. Good for you, Patricia. Have a great time and I’ll see you later. Maybe we’ll have lunch another day.”
Patricia wondered if Lilly thought that Patricia had a date for lunch. She felt a bit guilty for being inadvertently misleading, but she really did have plans for lunch–the same plans she had every day: Tuna fish, potato chips, two dill pickles and a large iced tea at Murphy’s Deli down the street.

She walked through the door of the deli and was shocked to see almost every booth occupied. She had never seen Murphy’s this busy before. She approached Seth, the host, and asked for her regular booth.

“Hi. It’s Tricia, right? How ya doin? I can seat you right over here. I know it’s not your regular booth, but I hope it’ll do for today.”
“That’s fine. I mean, if that’s all you have available.” And then, as she followed Seth to her booth, she mumbled under her breath, “My name is Patricia.”
“I’m sorry, did you say something?” He replied quickly.
“Never mind.”
She slid into the booth and indicated to Seth that she didn’t need a menu. He smiled, poured her a glass of water and motioned to the waitress. She came right over and said “Hi sweetie. Tuna salad on toasted wheat, chips, two dill pickles and iced tea. Right? Anything else today?”
“No, that’s all. Thank you Sandy.”
As she waited for her lunch, she looked around the small deli and was quite relieved that she had gotten this last booth. She’d been eating lunch at Murphy’s for almost three years, and she couldn’t imagine eating anywhere else. Even just the thought of it made her nervous.

“Excuse me. I hope you don’t mind my asking, but do you mind if I share this booth with you?” Patricia looked up to see a beautiful young woman standing over her table. “I only have thirty minutes before my next appointment, and I’m hungry enough to eat a whole cow. Waitress,” she motioned to a busy Sandy, “can I please get a salad with Italian dressing and a cup of vegetable soup? Thanks. “She was talking fast; almost panicked that she wouldn’t get lunch today. Patricia empathized.

Patricia answered, “Actually, I just told the waitress to bring my lunch to go, so you’re welcome to the booth. “She grabbed her purse and slid out of the booth quickly. She tried to look casual and nonchalant in her desperate effort to escape the uncomfortable exchange. She found Sandy near the front of the deli and asked for her lunch in a to-go box. It was only a matter of minutes before Patricia was on her way to the park. She would have rather gone back to the library, but she’d already told Lilly she had plans.

Patricia finished her lunch, and began to walk the block and a half back to the library. She walked on the opposite side of the street so she wouldn’t have to walk past Murphy’s Deli. She didn’t want to risk running into the bubbly woman who hijacked her booth. Patricia was amazed by what she saw in the store-fronts. A beautiful oak table in the antique shop; a red silk dress in the consignment store; a tray full of fresh pretzels and rolls in the bakery; sparkly diamond rings in the window of the jewelry store…she couldn’t remember the last time she had walked on this side of the street.

Back in the library, she walked past the front counter and heard Lilly and her co-workers come in the door behind her. They were laughing and joking about something that had obviously happened at lunch. “That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen! Did you see the look on his face?!” And then from Lilly, “OK guys, keep it down. Remember? Library? People reading?” More quiet giggles, and then they returned to their positions behind the counter or in the office. Patricia quickly piled the books high on her cart and let the aisles envelop her like a warm blanket.

At the end of the day, Patricia pulled into the parking lot of her apartment complex. Home just in time to microwave her leftover casserole before the evening news came on. She set the table with a plate, a full set of silverware (even though she knew she only needed a fork), a napkin and a glass of iced-tea. She sat down at the small table facing the television and served herself a healthy portion of the somewhat dry, two-day-old, casserole. She decided that she would make lasagna the following evening. She would freeze half of it and the other half would last the rest of the week.

As she walked from the kitchen to the bedroom, she thought she heard a faint knocking, but dismissed it quickly. She certainly wasn’t expecting any company. Again, she heard knocking at the door. Who could it be? She tip-toed across the floor and looked through the peep hole. It was her neighbor from down the hall. She was pretty sure her name was Melanie. A nice girl who always said hello, but Patricia thought she was a bit pushy. As she stood looking at Melanie through the peep-hole, it suddenly occurred to her why she was there knocking at her door—the flyer. Melanie had caught Patricia looking at a flyer she had posted near the stairwell last week. “GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS! COME TO MY PAD FOR A COCKTAIL PARTY…” The only other thing she remembers about the flyer was the smiling, winking frog at the top of the page. “I hope you’ll come. “She had said to Patricia. “Don’t you think it’s about time we all get together?” Patricia had nodded, smiled and quickly walked away. And here she was, standing at her door in a simple black dress, probably looking for people to come to her party. Did anyone else show up? Maybe she just needed to borrow some ice or something. “Don’t move…don’t breathe…floor might creak…she might hear you.” She thought.

Melanie left a few seconds later, looking rejected and sad. Patricia felt bad, but not bad enough to answer the door. She didn’t know anyone in her building. She didn’t even own a cocktail dress. She sat on the couch, reached for the remote and hoped that Melanie was okay. She watched two hours of television and went to bed.
Next morning as Patricia opened her eyes, her clock read 6:02. I need a therapist, she decided.

“Please, sit down.”
“Thank you.”
“It’s your hour…”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Why don’t you start with your name?”
“You know my name.”
“Pretend I don’t.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Humor me.”
“My name is Patricia Stevens.”
“What do you do?”
“I’m a librarian; assistant librarian.”
“Do you like it?”
“I’ve been doing it for ten years.”
“Do you like it?”
“Maybe assistant librarian is an exaggeration. I restock the shelves when the books get returned and, of course, I find a place for the new arrivals; new books.”
“Do you like what you do?”
“It pays the bills. You know, ya got to keep a roof over your head.”
“Marital status?”
“Single. It’s just me and, of course, Snow.”
“Snow?”
“My cat.”
“Why are you here?”
“I’m sad. A lot. Don’t know why.”
“Have you had a checkup recently?”
“Yes. I’m okay…physically. Dr. Greenberg is the one who recommended you.”
“I know.”
“Of course you know. I’m sorry. Don’t mean to waste your time.”
“It’s fine. Let me put it to you like this: Why do you think you’re sad?”
“I don’t know. I have a job, my own apartment (I sublease), and a kitty who loves me.”
“How old is your cat?”
“What difference does that make?”
“It’s just a question. That’s what I do. I ask questions. How old is your cat?”
“Thirteen.”
“If you had one wish, what would you wish for?”
“I don’t know. That’s a tough question.”
“Wishing is a tough question?”
“I would need time to think about it. I haven’t wished in a long time.”
“When was the last time you were happy?”
“I don’t know.”
“Where do you want to be in five years?”
“I don’t know. Where do you want to be in five years?”
“I’m the one asking the questions.”
“Sorry.”
“It’s okay. Look, in less than a couple of minutes, sum up your life for me.”
“I told you, it’s me and Snow. I go to work 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday and 9:00 to 3:00 on Saturdays. I like to read and sometimes go to the movies.”
“That took you less than ten seconds.”
“What do you want from me?! I told you, I’m sad! I don’t know why! I do the same thing over and over—day in and day out! I can’t tell one day from the next! I don’t know where I want to be in five years! I don’t know what to wish for! Is there some Fairy around here granting wishes?! ‘Cause if there is, I’ll get in line! I’m here for you to fix me! I’m here to be happy again, even if I don’t know when I last was! That’s what I’m paying you for!”
“Can I ask you one more question?”
“Go ahead!”
“When was the last time you did something new?”
“Like what?”
“I don’t know; changed your hair, bought a new dress, drove a different way to work, talked to someone in an elevator…”
“I don’t do elevators.”
“Right. I’ll mark that down. We’ll deal with that later. When was the last time you did something new?”
“Are you telling me that I’m paying $150 an hour to have you recommend I buy a new dress!?”
“I’m sorry. Your time is up.”
“What?! I just got here! Where are my pearls of wisdom?!”
“Fine. When growth stops, decay begins.”
“What is that supposed to mean?!”
“Everyday that you decide to do the same thing over and over; everyday that you decide to play back your yesterdays; you stop growing. You want to know why you’re sad? I’ll tell you. You’re sad because, at some point in your life, you stopped taking chances. At some point in your life, you threw in the towel. I didn’t throw in that towel—Snow didn’t throw in that towel—you did. Every time you settle—every time you decide to ‘sit this one out,’ you decay a little bit more. You don’t want to be sad any more? Then do something about it. Sadness—loneliness—it’s a decision. I asked you when you first got here, over and over, if you liked what you do. You never gave me a straight answer.

… Start with that.

“Eleanor Rigby, died in the church
and was buried along with her name Nobody came
Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt
from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved”
-Lennon/McCartney

by Julie Seitz and Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

A Reflection of You

I remind couples that they will spend more time, ten times more, talking to each other than having sex. While this may not be true of your relationship when it ignites (you bunny rabbit couples), it will, I promise you, eventually be true.  Nobody can wanka-wanka non-stop without, at the very least, taking a break for: bread, water, chit chat, and a restocking of lubricants. Think that’s funny? Take the oil away from an engine and see how long before it seizes. You get my point. Seriously, what is or should be the most attractive feature of a woman to us men? 

Wrong answer if you’re thinking “Breast men,” “Ass men,” “Legs men,” and “Face men!” The other day I overheard an ignoramus say: “That’s a butter girl” she’d be hot ” ‘but her’ face is whack!” Any man who doesn’t realize that a woman’s most beautiful quality is her mind is out of his mind! But, who is to blame for all the “Ass men” and “Breast men,” etc. out there? Look, if I stripped butt naked (stay with me here don’t be scared) and lit myself on fire, I bet I could get a lot of people’s attention. But is hurting myself really worth the attention?

WOMEN, LISTEN UP!!! YOU’VE GOT TO STOP HURTING YOURSELVES IN ORDER TO GET ATTENTION! YOU LADIES ARE CAMOUFLAGING YOUR BEST ASSET: YOUR BRAIN! Following is a list of the top ten things you do, that while they get our attention, won’t keep our attention, and some of those things that you do to try to hook a man, bring much pain and discomfort. Moreover, do you really want a man that may be nothing but a bottom feeder or do you want to catch someone who will love you and not the equipment you just got installed? I’m getting side tracked. Here is the list of the top ten things YOU do everyday but most men would never consider doing them for YOU in a million years.

1. Put so much makeup on, that your skin can’t breathe and your face breaks out:
Then, when it does breakout, you put on concealer and twice as much makeup to cover it up! That makes no sense! The makeup caused the problem, so let’s put more on? There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has just washed her face and radiates a fresh, clean scent!

2. Long fake nails that snap off during sex and lay hidden in the carpet, like thumbtacks, ready to take us out at 3:00 A.M. when we are on our way to the bathroom:
Why am I screaming and waking your ass up in the middle of the night? ‘Cause I got a three-inch splinter jammed under my big right toe and as I jumped around in pain, I ran into the dresser! When a man sees a woman with three inch long fingernails, there is only one thing that goes through his mind: “There goes one lazy chick!” Ain’t nothing good a woman can do in this world with giant claw-like nails except maybe scratch your back!

3. Butt crack jeans:
I know I’m going to take a lot of heat from my brothers-in-arms on this one ’cause there is nothing in this world a man appreciates more than a nice butt crack on a beautiful girl. But, the people selling butt crack jeans aren’t checking what kind of butt is going in these jeans! A little butt crack is one thing, the Grand Canyon is another! Ladies you don’t need to moon us in order to get us to love you. The goal is to “catch and keep,” and not “catch and release.”

4. T-backs:
Commonly referred to as “THONGS.” My God! How uncomfortable must they be?! I’ve been on the receiving end of a wedgy or two when I was young and I can tell you, I didn’t like it! Why would anybody sign up for this? Panty lines? Who cares?! The little fellas that I really feel sorry for are the little dust mites that are on the dental floss before they go deep, deep, deep under cover! There can’t be a dust mite alive at the end of a long, hot day when that thong finally hits the hamper! Ladies look: a nice ass is a nice ass is a nice ass! Panty lines, no panty lines, an attractive backside will be noticed if that is your goal. But seriously, do you really want us talking to you and making eye contact or craning our necks to see some junk in the trunk?

5. Footwear:
I don’t understand the idea of putting anything on your feet that is uncomfortable — pumps, spike heels, platforms, anything! If God wanted you to be taller he would have made you taller. Walking around on your toes all day hurting your feet for a few inches is ridiculous. You want to fix something, fix your posture! I’d rather eye ball a short girl in flats with good posture than a short girl in pumps with a humpback looking for a bell to ring. I like Jada Pinkett- Smith (wife of Will Smith). She is short but walks tall! Real men see high heel shoes as lack of confidence or someone they could blow a C note on for a good time! Stop throwing tons of money away on shoes that hurt your feet. If you stop buying them, they’ll stop making them.

6. Push-up Bras:
Most men aren’t Isaac Newton but we know about gravity and we know that breasts don’t magically point and lift themselves up towards the sky! Why would you lift and separate and then throw over them a low cut blouse for the world to see? They call the device that makes small breasts look bigger the “wonder bra.” What wonder? It’s a mirage! It’s false advertising! When the bra comes off, everything goes back to where it was! No mystery here! More of a disappointment! Even if you lure us in by raising and squeezing your breasts together, no man wants to stop there! There isn’t a victory dance till’ the bra comes off; then your gig is up! You might as well stuff your bra with Kleenex or those little spongy filet cutlets! If you’re going to lie about a couple of boobs then what can we believe? Why do women with small breasts want to look big and women with large breasts want to look small?  That is one thing I like about runway models; whatever they got, big or small (and they are mostly small) they are proud of them! I may not know the secrets to the universe but I can tell you that if you hate even one part of your body, that hate will eat you up like a cancer ’till that’s all you see. Love what you call your “imperfections” because they look perfect to us.

7. Fake Breasts:
I can’t leave out breast implants. WOMEN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! WHY WOULD YOU GO UNDER ANY ELECTIVE SURGERY THAT COULD JEOPARDIZE YOUR LIFE? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS SURGERY IF YOU KNEW THERE WAS A 25% to 50% CHANCE THAT WITHIN 5 YEARS YOU WOULD REQUIRE CORRECTIVE SURGERY? FOR US? We’re not worth it! Any man that loves a woman MORE because she has fake breasts is an idiot! For yourself? Are you saying God made a mistake with you that needs fixing. This is crazier than all the previous six combined, changing yourself based on society’s perception of beauty? And when I say society I’m referring to all the marketing companies on Madison Avenue who want to make a quick buck at your expense by telling you how beautiful you could be! This one is real simple: Ladies, don’t let anybody cut into your body unless your life depends on it.  If everyone around you tells you that they don’t like you the way you are, then you need new friends not new breasts!

8. All other Cosmetic surgery:
Botox, facelift, butt lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, etc. AGAIN: Don’t let anyone cut into your body unless your life depends on it. If I have to explain how stupid it is injecting a botulinum toxin that paralyzes your face, then you can stop reading now! I got nothing else to say! Wrinkles? Since when are wrinkles something to be ashamed of? When I see wrinkles I see fortitude, wisdom, beauty, sophistication, grace, elegance, intelligence. Old you say? What’s wrong with old? Ponder the alternative. If you see wrinkles as anything other than beauty you need to get your eyes checked. Face lift, butt lift, liposuction? I’ll say this once more: celebrate your imperfections, don’t try to fix them! They are what make you look unique! Do you really want to look like everyone else?

9-10. Body Piercing and Tattoos:
According to New York University, psychology professor Paul Vitz (as is argued in his book “Psychology as Religion”) “Cosmetic mutilation has now been able to enter the mainstream culture only because of the revival of paganism and the eclipse of the Judeo-Christian ethic.” Hmm….well, I think that’s a stretch. But I do agree with his use of the term “Cosmetic Mutilation.” To punch holes and scar your body seems like the ultimate crazy act (besides suicide) to draw attention. Think about what this person is saying by their actions: “What I have to say, think, or do on its own merits isn’t enough to get you to notice, like, love, care for, or be with me, so I have to destroy and cover up my own skin.” People who have to apply meaning to themselves by putting artwork or symbols permanently on their skin can’t like themselves very much, if at all. Of course there are people that tell me it is an act of self-expression; a reuniting of the mind and body that has split; that a tattoo or piercing is a redefining of the self from the group so individualism or uniqueness can be created. Look, last time I checked we were all born unique. Unless you are an identical twin, there isn’t anyone else like you. To put on the same tattoos that other people have seems like a way to be more like someone else than it does about being unique. If anything, tattoos and piercing’s are a way to be more accepted for the person who feels alone. By getting a piercing or tattoo they can be a part of a club or a group of people that have done the same thing so that they can be accepted. Piercing’s and tattoos are more a cry for help than they are individualism. It is much harder knowing and learning who you are than taking the easy way out and changing your “book cover” so someone will automatically like you.  Even something as common as diamond earrings is just a way to receive compliments. Think about it. Earrings are the only type of jewelry that can’t be seen or appreciated by the owner unless they look in a mirror or get a compliment. 

On July 14th 2005 on the Today Show, Katie Couric said: “It is about time to show real women, real beauty. Not this unattainable, unreachable version of what we are fed beauty is supposed to be.” According to a recent survey (as reported on July 14th, 2005, Today Show) two thirds of women strongly agree that the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that women can’t ever achieve; and the impact of that is:  
  • Only 13% of women are very satisfied with their body weight and shape
  • Only 2% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful
  • More than half of all women say their bodies disgust them.

Ladies, all Ladies, I’m talking to you. This one is easy: If you love yourselves, we’ll love you.

 

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

The Wedding is Off!

“YOU SON OF A BITCH!!! How could you do this to me? How am I supposed to tell my Mother and Father? The church is full of people! Oh my God…I’m gonna be sick….” Mark stood silent, embarrassed, mortified, devastated, as Samantha ran across the parking lot toward the church, pulling the sheer flowing veil off of her beautifully coiffed hair with one hand while pressing the other hand tightly over her lips. He watched her run awkwardly away from him, across the muddy parking lot. Just an hour earlier she had walked across the same parking lot taking care not to let the antique white brocade dress come within five inches of the ground. As if the mud and dirt could somehow magically jump to the hemline. Now she moved so quickly with so much crazy emotion, that she didn’t even notice the $4,500.00 gown that she’d spent three months searching for, dragging through puddle after puddle. How could he have let this happen? How did it all go so wrong? Hadn’t he been a great boyfriend for 3 years? Hadn’t he helped plan the whole wedding? Hadn’t he offered an opinion on anything she had asked…invitations, flowers, dresses, entrée? He smiled through the whole thing. Shouldn’t years of support and love outweigh a stupid mistake? Now, here he was. Alone. With a church full of people waiting for someone to explain to them why they traveled from around the country for nothing. There would be no wedding.

As Mark slowly forced himself to take step after step toward the big double wooden doors of the church, he felt as if he were sleepwalking; like he was out of his own body, looking down at himself. The first person he saw upon entering the vestibule of the church, the church that Samantha had attended her whole life, was Samantha’s Father. “Steve…I…..I mean…Mr. McCoy…Let me explain…I never meant to…it’s all a big misunderstanding…Can I please see Sam?”
“She doesn’t want to see you, Mark. And I recommend that you turn around and walk out of this church right now. I don’t know how much longer I can contain my anger. I don’t want to deck you in front of your family or mine. And, God help me, I want to hurt you.”
“Fine! Swing away. I deserve it. But I need to see Sam. I won’t leave until you let me talk to her!” He felt his emotions getting the better of him, and he prayed that he would be able to keep from being the one doing the swinging.
“Mark, son.” Finally, a comforting voice from behind him. “Let Samantha have some time to herself. You don’t need to figure this all out right now. She needs some time.”
“No, Dad! I need to see her. I have to make her understand. Just tell me where she is! Where the hell is she?!”
“I don’t know, son. But you need to let her be. Come on; let’s go find your Mother. She’s very upset and wants to know what’s going on. I think she should hear it from you.”
“I’m sorry that Mom is upset, but I have bigger worries right now, Dad! I’m not leaving until I see her! Mr. McCoy, you have to…”

Steve McCoy, the dedicated father of Samantha and her younger sister, interrupted quietly, “You don’t understand, Mark. She’s already gone. Her Mother put her in the limo and they left. I don’t know where they went, and I won’t tell you when I find out. You created this mess. You broke my daughter’s heart, and I’m not going to stand here and listen to you tell me what I have to do. The only thing I have to do right now is figure out how in the world I’m ever going to help my daughter get past this. Now get the hell out.” He reached into his pocket and as his closed hand emerged, it seemed to be coming toward Mark in slow motion. He knew what was being handed to him. In that second he was suddenly back in the office of his jeweler, looking for the first time at the 1.5 carat, classic solitaire that he’d spent four months picking out. The ring that was supposed to be forever remembered as the symbol of their engagement, their beginning, was now being returned to him by an angry man, on a rainy day. Not a beginning, an end.

“I believe this belongs to you,” he said, as he dropped the ring into Mark’s palm and turned to walk away.
Mark was in a trance, staring down at the ring in his hand, when he was brought back to reality by the screechy voice of his Mother’s nosy friend, Cynthia. She was coming out of the church to where Mark and his Father were standing. The guests were getting restless and curious, and it sounded as if Cynthia had offered to get to the bottom of it. Her footsteps grew louder on the other side of the door.

“I’ll be right back. I’m sure everything’s fine. Maybe somebody forgot the rings at the house or something. I think I saw Samantha’s Father come this way.”

The mumbling of the 200 people on the other side of the door was suddenly deafening. He thought his head might explode from the thought of facing anyone in that church. He had to get out of there. He looked at his Father, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t try to talk him into staying and talking to anyone. He probably should stay and talk to the Minister. He probably should stay and talk to his Grandparents who drove hours to get here. He probably should stay and talk to his sister and her six year old daughter who missed her best friend’s birthday party to be here. He probably should go find his Mother…..his Mother…he almost couldn’t bear to think of the pain he’d caused.

His Father understood by looking at his son’s face. He always could. He steered Mark out of the door and toward the parking lot. He would drive him home, and they could face the world later.
“No, Dad,” Mark said quietly as his Father unlocked the door to his Cadillac. “I want to walk. I’ll see you at home in a while. I need to be alone.”

Mark walked the 11 blocks without ever lifting his eyes from the sidewalk.

So, what happened? How in the time it takes to snap your fingers did Mark lose it all? I’ll give you a hint—the bachelor party. What’s that you say? How could a little bachelor party destroy two people’s beautiful future? That’s not for me to say. It’s for you to decide.

Las Vegas has a motto: “What happens here, stays here.” Well, let me tell you something, that’s not reality…not in Vegas, not on a guy’s weekend fishing trip, not on guy’s night out in Anytown, USA. Who you are is not something that can be put on hold. There are no time-outs in life where the game clock stops and whatever you do is no longer part of the game for recorded history. There are always consequences to your actions.

What did Mark do? Maybe it was something as simple as having a bachelor party when he said he wouldn’t. Maybe it was one more oat that needed sowing—it could have been a million different things, but the moral is the same. In each of us lies a line we know we shouldn’t cross, a line where we become someone we aren’t. Where is it? It’s different for each one of us, but each one of us has it. The tale I just told is a fictitious one, but it could have just as easily been true. Want to have a bachelor party? Go ahead. But don’t let anyone force you to cross that line. Don’t let this story become your story.

by Julie Seitz and Fred Cuellar

Trade Up Syndrome

Is it possible that there is one single question you could ask a newly engaged woman that could predict the success of their upcoming marriage? Read on….

In 1988, 200 newlywed brides were carefully selected to participate in a clinical study. To participate they had to have never been married and received a newly purchased engagement ring during their prenuptials. There were 68 participants ages 19-29, 66 participants age 30-39 and 66 participants ages 40-49. In each age group there were approximately the same numbers of Whites, African-Americans, Asian-Pacific Islanders and Hispanics. Each group also was purposely compiled having the same number of people with certain educational attainments. (Less than high school, high school graduate, some college, bachelors degree and more).

The participants were all asked the following question:

“IF GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A BIGGER, BETTER QUALITY ENGAGEMENT RING, WOULD YOU TAKE THE RING IF IT MEANT YOU HAD TO GIVE UP (TRADE IN) YOUR EXISTING RING?”

Fifty four percent of the women replied no and 46% replied yes. After the question was asked and answered they were purposely misinformed that the reasoning behind the question was to help men in choosing the perfect engagement ring. They were told that men would be advised that if they believed their “fiancé to be” was in the 54% group then they should opt for a larger diamond (something she could grow into) since she was going to be wearing it for the rest of their life. The men who believed their new bride would opt to “trade up” should buy smaller since this wasn’t the “forever” diamond, but a stand-in until the permanent replacement or replacements would follow down the line. The participants were asked to keep in touch if they were going to move because the interviewers wanted to see if their attitudes changed as the years went on. Anyone who disagreed with the ground rules was replaced with a like person. It was agreed that all the participants’ names and information would be kept confidential.

Unbeknown to the participants, the study was not designed to study behavioral patterns in size preferences, but to track marital success rates. Interestingly enough, no correlation could be found on the way the question was answered due to any particular age, ethnicity or educational background. Just as many in each group was on either side of the fence on the question. Those in the 54% group had the same mantra, “No one’s taking my diamond! This diamond is priceless! I don’t care if you got a 10ct diamond in your hand to give me, it can’t replace the sentimental attachment this diamond has to me. I know it’s not perfect or the biggest rock on the block but its mine. My symbol! My love! My eternal love! I can tell you to the last detail everything about the day I received it. What my man said, where we were, what song was on the radio and the first person we told. Nope, I’m sorry if the deal that’s on the table is I only get the new one by giving up old faithful you can forget about it. Now if you’re saying I can keep my old diamond and introduce it to a new friend well, now, maybe we can talk. My diamond has said to me a couple of times it gets lonely.”

The 46 % group was pretty adamant on their side too! “Are you kidding?! Where’s the recycle bin?! If bigger and better comes along, you take it! Look, you don’t keep the first house you ever get. If I want a memory, I’ll take a picture! Where’s my new ring?”

Predictions
Not being a clinical psychiatrist myself I was curious what predictions a top, board-certified psychiatrist might have as to which group (the 54% romantics, the 46% materialistics) would have a better chance at happily ever after wedded bliss. Dr. Frank Montalvo M.D. Ph.D. predicted that after 15 years the materialistic group would be pummeled with divorce. Prediction: 15-18% would still be around to celebrate another anniversary and 82-85% would have already been through divorce court.

Prediction: The romantic group would stave off divorce far better. His prediction was that approximately 80% would still be together with 20% having left for greener pastures.

Results
Five Year Mark
At the five year mark it appears that the doctor is barking up the wrong tree. The romantic group has suffered approximately a 10% divorce rate and the materialistic group a 9.8% divorce rate. At this point there appears to be no discernible differences between the groups. The materialistic group is not on course to do any better or worse based on their numbers.

Ten Year Mark
By the ten year mark something unexpected happened. The romantics’ divorce rate had slowed down and the materialistics had raced forward. Fifty-two percent of those that would trade in were now divorced and 16% of the romantics, were divorced. While there had been a 60% increase of the romantics to divorce the materialistics numbers had increased five fold!

Fifteen Year Mark
When the final numbers came in I was dumfounded, and in awe of Doctor Montalvo’s remarkable, almost psychic ability to nail his predictions. Eighty one percent of the group that said they would gladly upgrade were now divorced while their apparently overly romantic counterparts enjoyed a 78% martial success rate! The only question that I had now was why? “The answer is quite simple,” said Dr. Frank Montalvo. “There are a great many of us, to put it bluntly that don’t like ourselves. They use the trappings of success as a cloak to disguise this disdain that they have to try to make themselves feel better. Selfishness is another reason. People that are always asking what’s in it for me with little regard for others, tend to make a poor mate.”
Finally, we have found that if a person is hard-wired to up-grade their ring for a bigger and better one; their car for a bigger and better one; their house for a bigger and better one; it is not too much of a reach to see that if a bigger or better mate comes along they won’t think twice about trading him or her in either!

Final Thoughts
Interestingly, as the years went by each of the participants were asked if they would reconsider their original decision. By the 15th year 79.1% of the romantics who said they would never consider trading in their original diamond had actually now reconsidered. While their emotional attachment towards their original rock was still quite high, they felt that it no longer represented who they were now. Many of them opted for new mountings (platinum settings) and others traded in the whole thing. (Half of the 79.1% kept and retired their old ring to be passed down to the next generation while the other half waved it goodbye.)

It appeared there was not an actual connection between trading in or upgrading the original ring. It was the initial belief that they could see themselves easily trading in the ring from the beginning that turned out to be the fly in the ointment. In other words, it signaled a lack of commitment.
The final head scratcher I pondered is, of the 22% of the original romantics that ended up in divorce, 97.4% never wavered on their original answer. Is it possible that a bride or groom that was unwilling to change their attitudes ended up stagnating in their relationship because they tried to hold on so desperately to that original love without allowing it to grow and mature? I don’t have all the answers. But what I can tell you is this. In the end those that anticipated a change and those that refused to change ended up in the same place. Back where they started.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

If

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream and not make dreams your master,
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to,
Broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out
Tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And which is more you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling
Volume 1, Issue 2
December 30, 2002

The Art of Lying to Your Wife

All right, I admit the title to this article doesn’t sound good. I’ll even use the words “deceptive” or “dishonest”; maybe “disingenuous” sounds better. But, if the male species is to survive we need to know the top five times a bold face lie to our woman is required if we are to stay in a long, loving relationship. How would you respond to the following scenarios?

Scenario #1:
It’s 11:30, lights out, you’ve just finished watching Leno and you’ve given your wife a good night kiss. A few minutes pass… you’re drifting off…when you suddenly hear your Boo Bear say, “Honey, if I ever died would you ever remarry?” What do you do?

A. Pretend to be asleep.
B. Tell her that “A love match like ours can never be replaced”.
C. Tell her that after an appropriate mourning period you would naturally begin to socialize.

Scenario #2:
You’re invited to your ten-year class reunion. Your woman squeezes into her old cheerleading outfit and remarks, “My goodness! It still fits! How do I look? Do I look fat?” Would you say:

A. Maybe we need to call Jenny Craig.
B. It’s like we’ve gone back in time. You’ve never looked so beautiful.
C. The word “Oink” comes to mind.

 

Scenario #3:

It’s your anniversary and your wife has surprised you with a candle lit dinner for two. As you cut into the Cornish game hen dust rises from the incision you’ve just made. As you take your first bite you’re reminded of the Sahara Desert. “How do you like it? I’ve slaved over a hot stove for four hours.” What do you say?

A. It’s a little dry.
B. It’s delicious! Are you related to Julia Child?
C. Even the contestants on “Survivor” would pass on this bird.

Scenario #4:
Your wife’s best friend just completed her thesis towards her Ph.D. Your spouse ponders whether her own accomplishments in life are as worthy and asks, “Honey, in the big scheme of things do I make a difference?” Do you say:

A. In this big crazy world we live in who’s to say what matters and
what doesn’t?
B. Didn’t you drop out after the 6th grade?
C. You make a difference to me and anyone else who is lucky enough to come in contact with you.

Scenario #5:
After your wife’s best friend receives her new Ph.D., her husband pops for a new rack and face-lift for her. Your wife is appalled and says, “I can’t believe it, first she tries to prove she’s smarter than everyone else and now she’s trying to look 20 years younger. Why won’t she just grow old gracefully? Honey, do I need a face-lift?” What do you say?

A. Does the Mona Lisa need a new coat of paint? Of course not!
B. No, I like the wrinkles. They show experience and wisdom.
C. What I think we’re dealing with here is a tear down.

There are five areas where telling the truth may be detrimental to your health. Discussing your wife’s mortality, weight, age, accomplishments or her cooking. Tread softly. If the truth hurts and it usually does, keep your mouth shut or tell a lie. While honesty is usually the best policy, staying alive and your wife’s happiness is a bigger priority.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Top Ten Proposal Mistakes

1. Proposing on a holiday or birthday: Consider picking a day meaningful to your relationship, such as the anniversary of your first date. Your girlfriend wants her day to shine—don’t propose on a holiday that can’t be yours as a couple.

2. Allowing other women to try on the ring: It’s smart to get a second opinion, but don’t use your fiancée’s friends as guinea pigs. Make sure your fiancée is the first of her friends to see and wear her ring, and let her enjoy the fun of showing it off for the first time.

3. Leaking the news: When you’re ready to pop the question, don’t spill the beans to too many “confidants”. Sharing the news with friends and family is more exciting if you do it together.

4. Forgetting her family: Pull your manners out of the closet and call the appropriate member of her family for “the talk”. According to a recent survey conducted by Korbel*, 42 percent of Americans feel the act of asking a woman’s family for her hand—whether it be her father, mother or even a sibling—is still a time-honored tradition.

5. Playing hide and seek with the ring: Imagine this; you’re about to propose to your girlfriend when she swallows the ring because you “cleverly” hid it in an ice cream cone or cocktail. Sending your fiancée to the emergency room might not be the best way to start your future.

6. Staging a practical joke: Minutes before the proposal, throwing your girlfriend off by convincing her that you’re in jail or that you won’t be ready for marriage for years could have unintended consequences.

7. Missing the VIP treatment: Do your research and you’ll find that many venues are happy to create a special setting for your proposal. For example, many theaters will schedule private screenings, restaurants can provide champagne toasts and amusement parks can offer private rides.

8. Exhibiting suspicious behavior: As proposal time approaches, make sure your behavior remains consistent with how you act on a daily basis. Repeatedly touching your pocket to make sure the ring is secure and coming up with off-the-wall excuses for your whereabouts can both be giveaways to the bride-to-be.

9. Acting like you settled: A surefire way to ruin any proposal is to start with any of the following statements;
  • “You win.”
  • “We’re not getting any younger…”
  • “In spite of what my mother says…”
  • “I have sowed my wild oats.”

10. Losing sight of what the proposal is all about: Your proposal will be perfect if it is honest, heartfelt and passionate.

Character

My dad always told me a gentleman does what’s right even when nobody else is in the room. If he starts a job, he finishes it. If he tells somebody he’s going to do something, he does it.

A gentleman opens a door for a lady and stands when she walks into a room. If he’s seated somewhere and there are not enough seats for everyone, he gives up his seat for her. A gentleman doesn’t use foul language in front of women or children. To be a man is to treat others how you would like to be treated. It means being honest; not 75% of the time or when it’s convenient but 24/7. It means standing up or speaking up for those who can’t do so for themselves. It’s fighting for the rights and opinions of others even when they don’t agree with yours. Do you think you’re a man? A man with character? Give me an answer to the following scenario. You’ve been to the grocery store, bought $300.00 of groceries and upon arriving home you realize you received $1.50 too much in change, what would you do? Wait! Before you answer I’ll share with you how 90% of the people answered who were asked the same question. They said they would keep it. It’s the lottery, not their mistake. Why should they be inconvenienced to drive all the way back? Seven percent said they would return it on their next visit. Two percent said they would call the manager and tell him or her what happened to make sure some cashier wouldn’t get into trouble for a simple mistake. Then ask the manager what they should do. One percent said they would get in their car and return the $1.50.

What would you do? Have you answered in your head? Good. Now, let’s raise the stakes; what if it were $10.00, $20.00, a $100.00? It’s funny how the answer changes for most people. One person I asked said at $100.00 “I’d have to return it because I couldn’t live with myself”. Does morality have a price? Should it? This question reminds me of the old joke where a guy asks a girl if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. Her response, “Ah, well, yeah, I guess for a million dollars I’d have to say yes.” Then he hands her a $10.00 bill. She says, “What’s this?” He replies, “I already know what kind of person you are, now we’re just negotiating price!

I guess my real question is does morals have an on/off switch? Turn it on when it suits us and off when it doesn’t? How about integrity, justice, fairness, honor? Are we allowed the same on/off switch with them? A lot of people I interviewed doing this article said there’s a difference between a little lie and a big lie. They called the little lies, “white lies”. Like putting a white cowboy hat on some lies makes them more palatable. “Keeping money that doesn’t belong to you,” they would say, “isn’t stealing until it becomes a significant amount.” That’s like saying someone is a little pregnant. As men if we are to be taken seriously we need to decide what represents us and take a stand. One man I interviewed told me it didn’t matter how much extra change they got. His answer was still the same, lottery, lottery, lottery. I’ll tell you this, I have 1000% more respect for that guy versus the weasels that say taking small amounts of money is okay but not large amounts. A lie is a lie. Stealing is stealing.

One of the last people I interviewed had the most poetic answer to the question, “What is a man with character?” His response, “A man with a conscience, a man with a soul.” A man that is smart enough to realize that what he takes from others he takes from himself and what he returns to others makes him whole.

My final question is to you; what kind of man do you want to be?

When is it Time to Marry?

When I was a teenager growing up there was a rock group I listened to called Three Dog Night. For those of you who haven’t heard of them they had over a dozen top ten hits like, “Joy to the World,” “One,” “Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Black & White” and “Never Been To Spain.” One of my favorites was “One.” The opening lyrics are:

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one

I used to love that song and believed its message; nothing can be lonelier than being by yourself. Two can be as bad as one or being with someone else can be as bad as being by yourself but clearly there is no hope for being alone. So when I ask the question, “When is it time to get married?” It almost implies a rite of passage we must undertake if we are to be happy. I mean who would ask the question, “When is it time to stay single?” Naw, that makes no sense since the song clearly states two is the only number that has a chance. But is the song right?

After a lot of reflection I realized that we live in a society where “one” gets a bad rap. Think about it, if a male or female friend of yours is single and getting up in age, nobody says, “Good for him, Mr. Independent!” No, everybody says, “What’s wrong with him? Doesn’t anybody love him? At least he has his friends.” Or God forbid a woman! Turn thirty and she should be sent to a nunnery or off to spinster pre-school. We are brought up believing in soul mates and not being completed till Mr. Right or Miss Right comes along. And you know what? We are wrong! Two may be less lonely, but two doesn’t equal joy.

For example, have you ever been with someone so long that you want to pull out your hair and if pushed hard enough you’d scream out, “Look I just have to have my own space!!?” I bet you have. Look at the Buddhists. Inner peace and happiness comes from within when we find our center, our purpose, our reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Look, I’ll repeat the question, “When is it time to get married?” Or put a much better way, “When is it time to share your life with someone?” That answer is simple. When you know who you are, know where you’re going and have some idea how to get there. Then you can figure out if someone is headed in the same direction and wants to share the ride of a lifetime.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

What Women Want

Many a man in a fit of rage has blurted out, “What in the name of God does my woman want?! I give and I give and I give and still she’s not happy!” I can relate. I’ve been trying to figure women out my whole adult life.

Heck, even the better part of my adolescence was spent on the question. And it’s always the minute I get close to the answer that I’d be sent blindly into a black hole of confusion. Women are a lot like a golf swing — just when you think you have mastered it, your next ball slices off the fairway. Women by definition equal confusion or that which lacks explanation. So hand in hand with the search for the meaning of life, I ventured out on this crusade to answer the one question which seems to defy logic. What do women want?

At the beginning of my search I had to accept the possibility that the question may not even have an answer. I mean certainly not all women think the same, so how in heaven can they all want the same thing? A single gal can’t possibly have the same needs as a married gal. A career woman can’t possibly relate to a homemaker. A teenager can’t crave what a 20 to 30 year old might or for that matter a senior citizen. Women are different so they must want different things. Right?

Well, kinda and kinda no. There are if you look carefully some common things all women want. How do I know? I asked them. Here are my results.

Women want it all or none of it. They want to be understood but not type-cast; they want to be happy but allowed to be sad; they want companionship but don’t need someone to be happy; they want honesty but seldom the truth; they want equality while being placed on a pedestal and most of all they want respect. Respect for who they are, where they’ve come from and where they are going. Don’t pity them, coddle them or treat them with kid gloves. Today’s woman is a woman of diversity and contradictions. What she wants today is not what she will want tomorrow because she is setting new goals. Why men can’t figure women out is because they are a masterpiece in progress. A woman doesn’t grow old; she just gets better. Wonder why you can’t put lightning in a bottle? Because it just moves too quick.

Just like women. Ask your average man what 2 + 2 equals and he’ll say “4” every time. Ask a woman and she’ll say “looks like a little get together.” Women are always one step ahead and always will be.

If we are to keep up there are a few keys to our survival. Number one, listen. Number two, listen. Number three, listen. See a pattern here? We men do a lot of hearing and not enough listening. Want to stay out of trouble? Listen. Want to be the man of the house? Listen. Want to have a long loving relationship? Listen. My God, listen till the blood drips from your ears; listen till you want to scream out a solution; listen until she has nothing left to say and when she’s done, shut up and listen some more. Women are the caregivers and if you want her to give, you’d better do some caring.

Number four, hug her. Hug her in the morning, hug her before you leave to work, e-mail her a hug and hug her ten times when you get home. A woman is a fire. Want to keep her burning? You have to fan the flames. You do that with hugs.

Number five, don’t lie. Don’t white lie, don’t sugar coat the truth, tell it like it is. A woman can forgive a lot of things but she won’t put up with a snake in the grass liar. If you screw up, lost your Christmas bonus at the track, forgot to take out the trash, catches you staring at another woman, give it up, take your licks and move on. I repeat, a woman can forgive anything, but she will not allow herself to be disrespected. Lie to a woman you are dissing her. Tell the truth, you live to play another day.

Six, structure. Every woman I talked to listed structure in their top three needs. A woman wants stability, balance, a sense of order. She wants someone she can rely on. You say you’re going to be home at 6:00, you be home at 6:00. Running late? Call. The hardest thing for us guys is to differenciate between support and total control. Creating a foundation and stability doesn’t mean trying to solve all the problems to the point you disempower the one you love. Your love is not a crutch but a bond. A bond where dependability is synonymous with trust.

Seven, love them. Love them most of all. Let it all out. Let it all out every day, every minute of every second of every day. Be love, crawl up inside of it and approach every problem with the question what would love do now? If you do this, fear will never enter your life.

What do women want? They just want to be happy like us. They just have a different way to show it. If you learn their language, listen when you’d rather speak, hug instead of just walking away, tell the truth till it hurts, be a man she can depend on and love her like you love yourself. You’ll no longer ask what women want, they’ll be asking you what you want and give it to you.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

So Long

If I wasn’t here
would you wonder
where I had gone

If I came home late
would you ponder about me
or your dinner plate

When the children cry
will you call out my name
so their screams won’t interfere
with your playoff game

Am I your reason for living
or a convenience in life

Do you think more of me as a maid
or do I still count as your wife

I still remember
when you dropped to one knee
you said you’d liberate me
you said you’d set me free

But all I’ve done
is replace one cell for another
you don’t want a companion
you want a replacement for your mother

So if you ever want me back
be the man you used to be
the man who put me first
the man who used to see

If I wasn’t here tomorrow
would you wonder where I had gone
you used to have me in your arms
but it’s time to say so long

Signed,
Taken for granted

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Comatopia

More than a few decades ago I was born in Kittery, Maine; the second child, the first and only son. My dad, a pilot in the US Air Force (later a wing commander) brought me up with a code of ethics that I still use today, “If a job is worth doing, do it right the first time.” “Be a man of your word.” “Be a gentleman.” There are a lot of life’s lessons he taught me but he never told me about “comatopia.”

True it’s a made up word but it does have its origin. It comes from the word, “coma” (unconscious, can’t wake up) and “utopia” (a country of perfection). The irony is “comatopia” is a perfect place to live but you can’t appreciate it because you’re out like a light. “Comatopia” is a land every man, young man or schoolboy will visit, is visiting or is stuck in right now. We did not buy a ticket there or were forced there against our will. We volunteered gladly.

Let me explain: When a man/boy meets a woman/girl, his brain goes through an almost instantaneous checklist:

¯ Face
¯ Breasts
¯ Booty
¯ Legs

Then a quick addition followed by a question that if answered, “yes” is a weekend pass into “comatopia.”

¯ “Would I do her?”

The minute a man asks and answers this question to himself, he not only has entered “comatopia” but will be stuck there till he gets kicked out, takes a cold shower or rounds third base. “Comatopia” is a state of mind where a man says and does things purely for the possibility of a booty call. Is she smart? Who cares! Is she kind? Who cares! Are you compatible? Who cares! Who cares! Who cares! I’m in combat mode, get the booty, get the booty.

Women, most of them, are more evolved. They have the capability of not just evaluating the book by its cover but they’ll even skim a few chapters. Women make educated decisions. Men make “comatopia” decisions. There are very few women who will sleep with a man they don’t like, but ask any man from “comatopia” the same question and he’ll snap right back, “What does liking somebody and sex have to do with each other?” I’m not proud that “comatopia” exists or that I’ve even visited there more than once. What I’m trying to do is make all men aware of it so they will stop making fools of themselves for superficial reasons.

1.) You don’t go out with a girl just because she passes the extremely low, low bar of “I’d do her.”

2.) Realize that big breasts do not compensate for character flaws.

3.) Ask yourself if this new person in your life meets the standards of going from an unknown to an acquaintance to being your friend before you even consider how hot she is or isn’t or whether you should do the horizontal shuffle.

4.) I know trying to act like “007’ may be fun but women can see through a phony in a heartbeat. Be yourself, at least if you’re shot down you won’t spend the rest of your life wondering if she hated the real you or your poor James Bond impression. It’s true the truth can hurt sometimes and it may be brutal but without it we can’t make adjustments at half time to be a better person.

The key for men in finding “Miss Right” versus “Miss Right Now” is to fall for who she is, what she believes in, not how she fills out a swimsuit. If on top of all that she’s beautiful too, you truly are a lucky man. But you know what? If you do allow yourself to get to know and fall in love with the person inside first, I guarantee the book cover won’t matter. Just look at us, how many Robert Redfords and Brad Pitts are among us? Not many, but we’re loved anyway. We can learn a lot from women and very little from “comatopia.”

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

Are You a Player?

1A.) Have you ever dated more than one woman at the same time?
A. Yes
B. No

1B.) If yes, did the women know or did you keep it under wraps?
A. Yes
B. No

2.) What is your favorite place to meet women?
A. Church
B. Through friends
C. Clubs at ladies night

3.) At the end of the evening would you rather end up at your date’s place or yours?
A. My Place
B. Her Place

4.) When dating a woman, which of the following phone numbers do you give her.
A. Home
B. Pager
C. Work
D. Cellular

5.) When on a regular date you try to spend little or no money?
A. $20 – $50
B. $51 – $100
C. It doesn’t matter

6.) Which statement best reflects you?
A. The truth is open to interpretation
B. A lie is a lie

7.) A player is:
A. Ladies man
B. Man’s man
C. None of the above

8.) Arrange in order of importance to you:
Your ride, your crib, your woman, your women

9.) I work out daily
A. Yes
B. No

10.) I enjoy wearing expensive clothes and suits.
A. Yes
B. No

11.) If forced to pick would you describe yourself as:
A. A lover
B. A fighter
C. Both

12.) When out with your friend do you:
A. Offer to pick up the tab
B. Offer to pick the tab but realize you don’t have your wallet
C. Don’t offer to pick up the tab

13.) Can a married man be a player?
A. Yes
B. No

14.) Once a player, always a player.
A. True
B. False

15.) Men weren’t born to be monogamous?
A. True
B. False

16.) Life is a game?
A. True
B. False

17.) Everyone has a soul mate out there?
A. True
B. False

18.) Marriage is for fools?
A. True
B. False

19.) When making a date, how much notice do you give?
A. Last minute
B. 1 to 3 days
C. 3 to 7 days

20.) Are you a morning person or night person?

Before we figure out if you’re a player, let’s make it clear what a player is and what it isn’t. First and foremost a player is a coward. A boy that never grows up and can never look past his selfish needs for self-gratification. A player believes that everything in this world was put here just for him, to be used up and tossed away like garbage. Players use women, many women, to try to fill a void in their hearts where a soul is supposed to go.

Are you a player? I hope not, but this guide to your responses should help you figure it out. Life is not a game and women are not pawns. Treat either this way and you’ll wake up one day to the sounds of silence and empty halls that lead you nowhere.

Answers

1.) Your teen years are for discovery, your 20’s are to spread your wings but if you’re still dating the whole cheerleading squad in your 30’s give yourself 10 points. (If at any point you lied to someone you dated about dating others, toss on an additional 5 points.)

2.) When a man goes to a place of worship to find a mate and places his trust in his close friends who know him best to find someone he’s not looking to play the field. Clubs are for notches in the bed post. If you’re a clubber, give yourself 10 points.

3.) Players like to score and run. That is more easily accomplished if the night ends at her place. A player knows it’s easier to leave than to get someone out of their house. Give yourself 5 points if you always find yourself at her place and another 5 points if you never spend the night.

4.) Players under no circumstances give out home or work phone numbers. They don’t like to be tracked down. Give yourself 10 points if your lady or ladies never at least get your home phone number.

5.) Take a dollar from a player and he’ll cry. Players only want to spend money on themselves. If most of your dates cost you less than $10.00, not only are you a cheapskate but you’ve gained another 10 points.

6.) To a player lying comes as natural as breathing. If truth is open to interpretation you’ll always be able to justify your deception. 10 points if you chose A.

7.) If you see being a player as anything but a user of people, give yourself 25 points.

8.) There isn’t a material item in the world that can replace the touch of a woman or a warm embrace. 10 points if a woman doesn’t list above anything material.

9.) Working out is good for you but give yourself 10 points if you catch yourself admiring your physique more than five times a day.

10.) Players like decorating themselves in the trappings of success mostly to hide from the world the scoundrels that lie beneath. 10 points if you dress to impress instead of dressing for success.

11.) Like I said before, players are cowards. 10 points if you didn’t choose B or C.

12.) Cheapskates don’t pick up the tab. 10 points for B or C.

13.) Trick question, a player can become married but a player will never act married. If you marked yes, give yourself 10 points. Only a player would be naïve enough to think they can do what ever they want without having to change.

14.) Only cynical people believe that you can’t better yourself and are forced into a single role for a lifetime. Give yourself 10 points if you don’t believe people can change.

15.) Players are cheaters, 10 points if you chose “true.”

16.) Life is a gift from God. To see it any other way would be to dishonor His glory. 10 points for the game players.

17.) If you can’t be open to love you’ll never recognize it when it comes knocking. You’ll know it surrounds you every day. To believe in soul mates is to believe in dreams. To not believe in dreams is not to live. 10 points if you’ve lost your faith in magic.

18.) A marriage is a promise. Promises bind and entwine two souls. Players don’t make promises they ever plan to keep that’s why they mock those that do. 10 points for the real fools.

19.) To be inconsiderate of others and only make plans on short notice are red flags to a player. Remember a player only loves himself and even that love is false. 10 points for A.

20.) Players play at night and night owls aren’t morning people. Give yourself another 10 points for coming home late.

Score

It’s pretty simple. If you’ve scored 150 points or more I’m sorry for you. But as a player extraordinaire you don’t care anyway.

100 – 149 points

You need help but it’s not too late. Try to go one month with out putting yourself first and maybe you’ll turn the corner.

Under 100

You’re a typical male no better, no worse. Show your test results to your significant other and get some brownie points. Congrats!

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

34%

In a recent survey of women ages 18-54 when asked, “What was the single most important factor in choosing a marriage partner?” Thirty four percent responded personal wealth.

Personal wealth? What in God’s name does money have to do with love, soul mate and forever? As males, should we be mortified that one in three aren’t looking for a sparkling personality or a winning smile but how fat our bank account is? Or on the contrary, should we be happy that at least the numbers are in our favor? We have a 2 out of 3 chance that who we are matters more than our purchasing power!

When I first read the statistic in a magazine I couldn’t help but take notice, “Thirty four percent!” To me it seemed high. In an age when Destiny’s Child has a number one hit with “Independent Women” and Jennifer Lopez belts out, “My love don’t cost a thing” then who the hell are these thirty four percent and how can single guys stay away from them?

Now I guess if you see yourself as a nerd or a wanna be Sugar Daddy in training you might not care. But it seems to me the rest of us want to know who these thirty four percent are. Maybe we could get them to wear buttons. You know something catchy like, “You can’t have this ass without some cash!” No they’d never go for that! Maybe, “With some money you’ll get lucky!” That’s a little better.

On second thought, it just hit me that they don’t want us to know because if we did we’d pack up our gear and head upstream. Nope, sadly the thirty four percent are destined to be secret agents. Only when it’s too late will their true identities come out.

Is the secret to act poor, and if they fall for us, then we can reveal we’re loaded? Or try to borrow money for a month from them and see how they react? Nah, I doubt it. I think man’s only ally is time. Don’t rush it, take it slow and be yourself. I imagine these thirty four percent aren’t very patient ladies (and I say that loosely). Yup that’s it: “Take your time and see if your relationship turns to wine or dies withers away on the vine.” Yeah, that should be our motto.

by Fred Cuellar the Diamond Guy®

How to Read a Woman

In 1963 I met my first woman. She was beautiful, kind and loving (still is). She’s my mother. As time went by as it inevitably does, I would meet many other women. They came in all sizes and temperaments. Some were flashy and glitzy like brand new cars; others not so shiny and glitzy but very dependable. As I reached middle age I started noticing distinct characteristics that some women had and some lacked. In my head I categorized women into types. When I was done, I believed, I had put a description on every type of woman that existed.

The only thing to do next was prove my hypothesis. So, over a period of quite a few months every woman that I met, saw on television or read about got plugged into my theory. After a little tweaking, seven categories of women emerged. They are presented here in no particular order. They are:

1.) The Beauty Queen
2.) The Amazon
3.) The Drama Mama
4.) The Vestal Virgin
5.) The Black Widow
6.) The Ugly Duckling
7.) The Girl Next Door

What I found was that while there are some women that are 100% one type; they are the exception. More the norm was that most women were mixes or blends. Dominant Amazon with submissive Girl Next Door and a dash of Vestal Virgin; or dominant Girl Next Door with an under current of Ugly Duckling. Every woman was one type at least 75% of the time and spent the other 25% dabbling in others.

I’ve put pen to paper to share my insights so maybe other men might find some solace in knowing who they are dating, married to or separating from. If my little system helps you, I’m grateful.

 

The Beauty Queen

For most of us the Beauty Queen is not difficult to spot. The title is a clear give away. She is first and foremost a sight for sore eyes; a beautiful face, nice figure and sex appeal to match. She’s the Ginger on Gilligan’s Island. What sets the Beauty Queen apart from just a regular beauty is the belief that her looks come with some sort of entitlement, special privileges. The B.Q. (Beauty Queen), as the title clearly states, feels she should be treated like a queen. She shouldn’t have to stand in line because she is a queen. She should wear the finest clothes, the most expensive shoes, the Fendi handbag and name brand jewelry (Cartier, Winston, Bulgari, Tiffany) because she is the queen. B.Q.’s live in their own special world where reality doesn’t exist. Price tags are for somebody else to worry about. Children are for nannies to raise but important to have to feel complete.

Marilyn Monroe was a Beauty Queen. Marilyn Monroe committed suicide. Most B.Q.’s are rarely happy because they live in a world of need and expectation. There is always something they need, there is always something they expect.

What blows me away about some B.Q.’s is how many of them think they are all that and a bag of chips, while most guys see them as nothing but tramps. The tramps should really be called “Wannabes”. They are easy to spot because the Fendi bag is a copy, the make up is a little too thick, a little too much hair spray and a total lack of class or demeanor. Certainly these “Wannabe” B.Q.’s turn our head but kinda the same way a traffic accident gets us to slow down. We just want to see what’s going on. These “Wannabes” believe that their beauty is the only card they have to play. Sadly, for many of them, it’s true. The “Wannabes” gravitate to the strip club, the street corner, and the local bar. Others land fifteen seconds of fame on the cover of men’s magazines or hard and soft-core adult films. Some one once said that what every man wants is a virgin who’s a whore. These women forgot the virgin part.

B.Q.’s, whether high class or downtown, do have that one thing in common–they all play the beauty card. As men we can’t be sucked in. We must determine if she’s holding any other cards. The humor card, the I.Q. card, the compassion card, the reliability card. Are all B.Q.’s bad? No, certainly not. Nobody’s judging here. There are a lot of B.Q.’s that are a staple of society; governors’ wives, senators’ wives, wives of celebrities. What makes them different from the “Girl next door” (to be explained later) is their lack of gratitude for anything and their demand that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter.

 

The Amazon

When most people think of an Amazon, a Linda Carter Wonder Woman- type probably comes to mind. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Amazon has nothing to do with stature but everything to do with attitude and assertiveness. Amazons come in every size, from petite to plus sizes, from gorgeous to something the cat dragged in. A woman is not categorized as an Amazon by anything but her personality. Amazons are the first to ask questions, the first to speak up, the first to sign up. They are extroverts, Type A personalities. If a meal isn’t prepared just right, back it goes to the kitchen. If someone cuts in line at the movie theatre, she’s the first to say, “Hey buddy, there’s the back of the line, now get there!”

Amazons I believe were on their way to being overbearing men in their mother’s wombs but turned into females at the last moment. Spineless men without pants tend to gravitate to these testosterone driven gals. Rarely will you find an equally brazen muscle-bound man who will team up with them. Amazons spend a lot of time proving they are just as good or better than a man instead of appreciating the differences. Amazon women don’t play games (probably one of their best features). They always get straight to the point. If you’re dating an Amazon, you’ll never have to worry why she’s mad at you, trust me, she’ll let you know.

Men who are very secure with themselves and don’t feel the need to tell their woman how pretty they are every fifteen minutes might want to choose an Amazon. They’re honest, straightforward and logical thinkers. If on top of that you get lucky enough to get looks thrown into the mix, hang on! You’re in for a fun but bumpy ride!!

 

The Drama Mama

Ever heard the expression, “Making a mountain out of a molehill”? Well, that is a Drama Mama’s battle cry. A Drama Mama can take any small insignificant thing and by the time she is done with it make it larger than Mount Everest. Drama Mamas have a skewed perception on reality. They are always at Def Con One with a missile launch ready to go at any second. Here is a classic example of a Drama Mama in action:

Wife: Honey, did you take the garbage out?
Husband: I’ll get to it.
Wife: Oh sure, that’s what you always say then we get garbage piled
for days. Next thing you know we’ll miss garbage pick up day
because you failed to take the garbage out to the curb. We’ll
have garbage piled up for all the world to see, then the dogs
will get into it and scatter it over the yard, THEN THE
NEIGHBORS WILL CALL THE POLICE FOR LITTERING!!
IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?!! IS THAT WHAT’S
GOING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?!! HUH? YOU WANT TO
GO TO JAIL? DO YOU WANT TO BE SOMEBODY’S
PUNK IN PRISON? DO YOU WANT TO BE KNOWN AS
THE TRASHMAN?
Husband: Honey stop, look, I’m getting up, I’m taking the garbage
out…

Sounds familiar? If there’s always drama in your life, you’re either married to a Drama Mama or are one yourself.

 

The Vestal Virgin

Mother Teresa, The Virgin Mary, Princess Di are all classic examples of Vestal Virgins. Vestals have your classic caretaker personality. Many of them are homemakers, mothers and humanitarians. They will do without until everyone else is taken care of first. Vestals are selfless almost to the point in some cases where it is sickening. In a word, Martyrs.

Vestals are usually not risk takers, conservative by nature and practical. Usually easy to spot because they rarely wear make up unless required. Vestals range in beauty from natural beauties to homely. The highest levels of Vestals have no problem with their self-worth but will always choose the best interest of the whole (family, society, country) versus the interest of the self. At the other extreme, low-level Vestals have a low self-worth and want to please others because they don’t feel they are worthy. Low-level Vestals have one of the highest suicide rates because they believe their life has no purpose.

 

The Black Widow

Also referred to as the Chameleons for their ability to take any form and any one of the other six personas. Black Widows are the most lethal and toxic women walking on the face of the planet. First and foremost they are takers, opportunists, destroyers. The only thing they care about is looking out for #1, themselves. Their motto is, “What’s in it for me?” Different than the bartering Beauty Queens who actually believe the more you need from someone the more you love them. At least Beauty Queens in most cases allow themselves the belief that they are in love with the person that is doing so much for them. Most divorces with Beauty Queens arise when their mate can no longer satisfy the B.Q.’s needs. While long-term relationships with B.Q.’s are forged, the bartering never ends.

The Black Widow should never be confused with the Beauty Queen because she never allows herself the emotional attachment. There is no bartering, just the illusion of it. There are a lot of Black Widows doing time right now because they couldn’t be patient and allow their elderly husbands to pass on of natural causes in order to collect their inheritance. Anna Nicole Smith is a classic example of a Black Widow (in my opinion, please no letters) who was patient and did her time to cash in. A lot of people would argue with me and say she was clearly a Beauty Queen but since Black Widows are inherently such good actresses, who will ever know if her crocodile tears at the funeral were just a stage show. Either way she’s worth more money than me.

A psychiatrist that I consulted for this article told me, just like men, there are women out there prepared to do what ever it takes to get what they want. The end always justifies the means. These women are Black Widows.

 

The Ugly Duckling

Ever see a beautiful, fit, sexy woman standing in front of a full length mirror talking about how fat she is? To a degree that’s what I’m talking about here but at another level. Ducklings see themselves through imperfect eyes. They see fat when everyone else sees thin. They see ugly when everyone else sees beautiful. They see stupid when everyone sees intelligent. Ducklings radar systems are broken. Most, if not all anorexics and bulimics fall in this category. Many ducklings are over achievers and seen by the world as successful only to return home at the end of the day to believe they never cut the mustard.

Different than the successful Amazons who know when they’ve crossed the finish line, Ducklings never measure up to their own twisted sense of perfection. Julia Roberts is a classic example of an Ugly Duckling. To the world she attempts to come off as the Girl Next Door or pretty woman with that contagious laugh while inside she hides scars from broken relationships and name calling from a childhood long since passed. Ducklings need constant reassurance that they are smart enough, pretty enough and successful enough. Needy, to the point of desperation, is the one word that best describes a Duckling.

This overwhelming need for approval is typically the deciding factor that pushes the ones closest to them out of their life. Another good example of a Duckling is Sally Fields. I still remember in her acceptance speech upon winning her second Oscar saying, “You like, You like me, You really like me.” My word, practically the whole world had loved her since the Flying Nun to Smokey and the Bandit but she was still this little girl trapped in a grown up’s body looking for approval.

On the plus side many Ducklings turn into swans and overcome their self worth issues and make the kindest sweetest people to live with but at some level never accept just how magnificent they are. One thing Ducklings should remember is the following quote, “I’m told I’m pretty, I’m told I’m ugly. I’m told I’m fat, I’m told I’m thin. Who’s right? Brace yourself, they all are! What I choose to be on any given day is up to me.”

 

The Girl Next Door

When I was in third grade I lived next door to Mary Vinci. We walked together to school, played together, studied together, got in trouble together. We weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend, heck, we didn’t even know what that meant. What we were, was buds. I could tell her my deepest darkest secrets and she would tell me hers. We stuck up for each other, looked out for each other. When I got older and moved away she would be the one I consulted about girls, even if it was by long distance. Our friendship transcended any and everything else.

As I look back at my relationship with Mary I realized I fell in love with all the same traits she showed me were possible to find in a woman; friendship, honesty, fairness, a sense of humor, intelligence, and inner beauty. Mary liked herself. I didn’t know it then but I know it now. All Girls Next Door aren’t trying to be something or someone they are not. They like their own skin. They like who they are. That alone should be their biggest attraction. Try marrying someone who doesn’t like themselves. See how far that gets you. But when you can find that woman who likes her reflection in the mirror and is all loving, my friend you have found The Girl Next Door.

Untying the Knot

You’ve met the girl of your dreams. You want to spend the rest of your life with this girl. You want her to be the mother of your children. You want to grow old with her. You’ve made a few visits to local jewelers, and planned the proposal in your mind. But, before plunking down the green for the engagement ring, you have a little “sit-down” with your parents.

“Mom, Dad, I’ve made a big decision. I’m going to propose.” You hold your breath waiting for a reaction as they stare at you expressionless. You finally see the smile on your Father’s face. He stands up, comes toward you with arms out-stretched and chest puffed out. As he squeezes you tightly, he says, “Son, I’m so proud of you. She’s a wonderful girl. Is there anything I can do to help? Do you need help paying for the ring?” You pretend not to notice the tear in his eye.

Before telling your Father all about the ring you’ve had your eye on, you notice that your mother hasn’t moved. In fact, she seems to have fallen into a catatonic state. Your father attempts to play down the awkwardness. “Honey, isn’t it wonderful? Our first daughter-in-law! Honey?” And then to you, “She’s so happy that she’s speechless.” You wonder.

She actually doesn’t hear either one of you. Your mother is watching a movie in her mind. She’s watching you take your first unsteady steps as a one-year-old. She’s seeing you get on that big yellow bus on the first day of kindergarten. She smiles as she remembers your first home-run during your second season of Little League. She watches as you drive into the driveway with your Father after getting your driver’s license. Your first date was a biggie for her–she sat by the window waiting for you to come home for over an hour. A tear rolls down her cheek as she re-plays your high school graduation on the movie screen in her mind. Her baby boy…getting married? Not possible.

Some of you may need to be patient with your parents, guys. Not all parents will warm up to the idea of you getting married right away. It might be difficult to understand at this time in your life, but the last 20-some odd years has been nothing more than a blink to them. You couldn’t wait to grow up, move out, and start your own life; but to them, you will always be their baby. They’re not trying to hold you back; they just don’t want to push you away so quickly. They want to hold on as long as they can. Tying the knot with your dream-girl means untying, or at least loosening, other “knots” in your life: Parents, friends, siblings.

When the shock wears off, your parents will realize that this shift in priorities is exactly what they have wanted for you. Your ability to commit, your dedication to your fiancé-to-be, your maturity, your capacity to choose the perfect person to spend your life with; all of these things are a result, to some degree, of great parenting on their part. Reminding them of this may go a long way in softening the blow.

by Julie Seitz

Who is Craig Michaels?

When I was a kid I dreamt about how cool it was going to be when I grew up. I could stay up as late as I wanted; get up when I wanted. I could open up my Cookie Monster cookie jar and gobble as many Oreo cookies as I wanted before dinner because I wouldn’t care if it spoiled my supper. I would wear whatever clothes I wanted and NEVER be forced to throw away a perfectly broken in pair of Adidas or Pumas just because it had front-toe ventilation. 

There would be no more homework or being forced to memorize useless facts to pass a stupid test that nobody cared about anyway. I would be able to have SEX! Lots of sex anytime I wanted. In fact if I wanted to have ten Oreo cookies, ruin my dinner, stay up late having lots of sex, it would be nobody’s business but mine. I wanted to grow up.

I’m 43 now and not much has changed. I still have to go to bed at a particular time or I won’t be able to get up when I have to. I’ve got the Oreo cookies but limit my intake to three because I have to watch my weight which is in charge of watching my cholesterol. I don’t wear what I want because my wife says I’ll scare people in my blue aquarium fish boxers and oversized t-shirt (I do get to wear these at home). Homework has been replaced by work; my tennis shoes last forever (they are making them out of some new space age material where 30 minutes a day use on the treadmill isn’t enough to break them in). Back in the day, I could take a brand-new all-leather pair of tennis shoes and have them trashed (i.e. broken-in) in less than a month. And the sex? Let’s just say I have access and availability but I’m too tired from all the other grown-up stuff  to think about it much.

I got what I wanted– I grew up. I was in such a rush to get here, that I didn’t spend much time looking around on the road to my imagined Nirvana. In hindsight I missed a lot, too many to go into now, but I do want to talk about one. The time after you pop the question and before you say I do. I missed “engagementville”. And I’m not alone. Every buddy of mine made the same mistakes I did. They saw those last few days of bachelorhood as the final drops of water left in a canteen during a trek across the Sahara. The invitations, the honeymoon planning, picking out china & flatware patterns: we missed all of it. With the exception of the bachelor party most men want to be involved in planning a wedding as much as they want to sign up for Chinese water torture. Men are in such a hurry to grow up that they don’t recognize the magic of a moment till after it is gone. A woman knows that a wedding is magic. That the preparation is sacred. And even up until now men just don’t get it. Men just want to rush when they should savor.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up, and could not put down, a book titled “Thirty to Wife: The Tell-All Groom’s Guide to Weddings-How to Get Hitched Without Losing Your Mind or Your Fiancé” written by Craig Michaels. I got to read about his last 30 days as a bachelor. His personal story, his anxieties, his questions, his panic attacks and his peace. I got to know about Deb. He let me in enough to show me a truly beautiful woman. 

Just about one out of three men will never find the love of their life and get married. Of the two that do, one of them will screw it up and divorce. That means only one out of every three of us will find the love we have in our souls and get to share it with another. I’m a gambling man and those are lousy odds. So, if you find yourself in “engagementville” and are in a rush to get out of town, take your foot off the gas and slow it down.

Who is Craig Michaels? He is you.