Relationship Experiences Archives

How I Learned To Respect Women

I can’t remember exactly which summer it was, ’59 or ’60, but the rest is crystal clear. I learned a most valuable worldly lesson that day. It was an education and a humiliation. A lesson in respect and that old adage: never judge a book by its cover.

It is often said that in the repressed and carefree 1950s that kids didn’t know about sex. That’s not exactly true. We didn’t know what lovemaking was or how a baby was born, but we certainly had a primitive knowledge of sex appeal.

Little girls knew they liked boys who were “cute,” and try as we may to think of girls as “icky,” we boys knew we wanted to be near the pretty ones.

If a girl was pretty and also able to run and catch and kick like a boy too, then she was even more desirable to be around.

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The Mystery of the Appearing Pajama Shirt

My name is Gary Fraizer, and I am a fifteen year old sophomore in high school. I live with my family,  which consist of my mom and dad, my two brothers, a cat, a dog. Looking from the outside, one would have the impression that my family is just ordinary and that may be true, except for my brother, who is, extraordinary.

When he was five he was diagnosed with a disease called Aspergers, but despite that, our parents think he is the best thing since sliced bread. He wakes up, at six am, dresses and leaves for school by seven, returns at four pm and then spend two hours finishing up his home-work. At six pm he feeds and walks the dog, at eight he applies acne treatment and at nine thirty, he showers to be in bed by ten pm. The amazing thing is, all this is accomplished without any prompting from our parents.

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Maybe I’m not the only one who notices

My grandfather and I discussed writing. I told him how many novels I had to read for just one literature class in Oxford and he told me, “baby, it takes me so long to get through one page, stumbling through all those words. The only way I’ll ever read a long book is if someone finds a good, long western and buys it for me.”

He would read it just because someone had given it to him, if nothing else. He’d struggle through the small print and tedious scenic descriptions because he wouldn’t want to waste someone’s kind intentions. There was a pleasant pause in our conversation, and he sat rocking in his chair while I flipped through a magazine that was sitting on their crystal dining room table. That table always seemed so impractical to me, but it made my grandmother happy because it sparkled and made my grandfather happy because it made my aunt happy who had bought it for them. My grandfather’s arm shot up (in slow motion) and he shook his finger in the air a few times. “I have something for you baby…” he said. “I thought maybe you’d like to read it. I found my great grandmother’s journal. We were hiding it until her daughter died—she wrote some things about how they didn’t get along…Let me go get it.” I smiled. I smiled because I was genuinely too excited not to smile. “Oh really?” I said as he made his way out of the room. I was excited. I was thrilled, really—to read someone’s deepest thoughts. To find treasures inside written memories or poems or even an old “To-do List.”

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Beneath the Howling Stars

I inhaled the salty air of the ocean, a feeling of tranquility passing over me as I watched the red ball of flame set beneath the horizon. This was Ha Long Bay, the place of my conception. My family was vacationing in this fishing village for two weeks. People lived on floating houses, their simple lives sustained by fishing. I felt like I had never left, because the emerald waters seemed so familiar. I was not aware of a pair of brown eyes watching me from afar.

I was just about to stick my toes into the water when a boy’s voice called out to me, “Well, don’t just stand there. Try out the water!”

I turned, startled. It was a boy no older than eighteen years old. He wore a huge grin on his face underneath a mop of thick black hair. His eyes seemed to twinkle in the setting sun.

“I was about to,” I mumbled with a scowl. I snuck glances back, waiting for him to leave. He kept motioning me toward the water.

“You need to stop watching me!” I yelled at him. Suddenly, he ran laughing at me and before I knew it I was pushed backwards into the water. I screamed.

“I CAN’T SWIM! HELP! HELP!” It turns out I was just flailing like an idiot for five minutes in water that wasn’t even 2 feet deep. He couldn’t stop laughing as he pulled me out of the water. “My name is Loc, by the way,” he said.

My face was bright red the rest of the day.

Loc and I spent the next two weeks glued to each other’s sides. He was the son of one of the fishermen in the village. He taught me how to fish, how to swim, how to blow bubbles, and most importantly, he taught me how freeing love was. He gave me my first kiss in the rain.

After our parents were asleep on my last night, I met up with Loc at the secret hut we’d built. He presented me with a beautiful jade necklace. “I want you to always remember me. I’ve never loved a girl like I love you,” he said.

I hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go. I felt a warm liquid on my fingers. His back was bleeding. “What happened?” I asked in shock.

“My father beat me. I took some of our fishing money to buy you this necklace.”

I wanted to cry. I got a washcloth and cleaned the wounds. He caught my hand as I was getting up to leave.

“Ngoc, stay with me tonight… I don’t want to think about tomorrow.”

I lay down next to him on the blanketed floor. I rested my head on his chest; it felt so nice and comforting, breathing in his scent and listening to his heartbeat. “Loc,” I whispered, “I’m always here if you need me.” Somehow, it seemed so right, with the two of us lying beneath the stars and the moon and not a care in the world. I forgot that I was leaving the next morning, and that I would probably never see Loc again.

I lay there, listening to his rhythms breathing, feeling the touch of his fingers on my ribs, his salty scent drifting through my senses. I trailed my finger along the contours of his face, tracing every line, engraving it into my heart. I’d never felt this way before, like I belonged somewhere, right in the arms of this strange boy, who’d burst through my life like a giant tidal wave. Why couldn’t time have stopped? I was thinking what a magical night it was, and I thought I could even hear the stars howling above.

It was magical indeed. It was love beneath the howling stars.

The next morning I left Vietnam on a plane. I saw Loc again. It’s been five years, yet I can still smell the fish from his hands and feel his arms around me. Sometimes when the ocean wind blows by, I hear his words, “Anh yeu em,” (I love you), in my ears. And I clutch the necklace I still wear close to my heart.

Ngoc H. Le

The value of PEOPLE

I wonder if my kids understand the importance of cultivating, nurturing and maintaining healthy loving relationships. Do they understand that you can have a garage full of nice cars, big houses, fancy vacations, designer clothes but still be one of the loneliest, most unhappy people in the world. Think about it, if you knew your kids were going to be financially sound and have nice houses and cars but hadn’t talked to their sister or brother in a year OR worse yet even you, would it break your heart? We take for granted the closeness and tight bonds we have with them while they are young. We have control of this right now, but when they are grown whatever relationships we want to have with them might solely depend on them and what values we have imparted. And furthermore, what they have watched us do!

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A Southern Girl’s Reality

I know that most of these will have readers thinking a little about their behavior. These are based on my experiences growing up in the Heart of Dixie.
Lindsay Mulder

  1. Fat kids are only cute if they belong to someone else.
  2. Just because people don’t say that your children aren’t hideous doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Stop finding modeling agencies for your ugly kids.
  3. A politician’s wife supports him. She knows she’ll live in infamy for being married to an alpha male.
  4. You are only special to your family and friends.
  5. A hundred years after your death, nobody will care that you existed.
  6. Regardless of what they say, people don’t like hearing stories about your dog.
  7. If you are a woman and you join a predominantly male company, don’t whine when they won’t include you in their conversations.
  8. Women that file lawsuits because a man looked at them too long need to be fired for being too sensitive. Our husbands may work there. You make them uncomfortable.
  9. If you go out in a short skirt, halter- top and high heels, you WILL be looked at. Stop whining.
  10. If you don’t want to run the risk of being groped, think twice before heading out to a bar in the middle of the night and getting plastered Read the rest of this entry

Sorry, but your child will not walk

God allows miracles to happen when its least expected. March 23, 1991 my mother’s first child myself Jocelyn Marie Blake was born. When I was born they had discovered that I had run out growing room in my mother’s womb so my legs were not able to develop properly. My mother was happy despite my complication. However, because of this complication other problems had raised. The doctor told her that there was something wrong with the bones in my legs. My legs were severely bowed and my bones were too soft and I wouldn’t be able to walk. With a broken heart my mother took this piece of information and returned home. She refused to believe what the doctors had said and went on her own search. Read the rest of this entry

Bad Judgement

I think it was one of the most awkward moments of my life. He called, asked if we could hang out tonight, and i agreed, thinking it was going to be another nonchalant evening with one of my good friends. I was completely oblivious to his true plans until the moment his mom dropped us off alone at Applebee’s, and then she winked at you, and told us to “have fun.”

It was a complete set-up.

i have to admit my initial reaction was, ” Ohhhh No! ” Curse myself for not having common sense! I was on a date. Rummaging through my mind in panic, I was trying to think of every possible way i could have mislead him to believe i had any special feelings for him, or did something towards him inadvertently turning him on, or maybe I’d had misunderstood his intentions of the night in the first place.

So he got us a table and i could tell through his blundering ways of speaking he was nervous about the entire ordeal. To make matters worse, he made me guess who he liked, and he described every aspect of me down to the minute fact of how I laugh and then either clap my hands or smack something, making it easily distinguishable whom he were talking about.

Already i began foraging though my mind frantically searching for possible excuses that he might redeem satisfactory to my polite decline. I remember how in middle school, i prayed so forcefully for these “asking out” occasions to arise. Funny how one boy can screw that up for the rest of them. And then you dropped the bomb on me like you thought I had no idea and that excitement and jubilance would swell up from my soul. It didn’t quite work out like that, but I’m still in utter disbelief you would think i’d like you as more than friends. I told how i was sorry about the instant ‘No’ response. But geeze, it is not the way to a girl’s heart to manipulate her on a date!

I hope the night for him wasn’t a total calamity. Despite all that awkward moments, i did fancy hanging out with him, as friends.

Tell Before It Is Too Late

How often do we take the people around us for granted, especially those closest to us? Often I would say. Because they seem to be always around, we don’t think much about appreciating them and letting them know we love them.

Ever since childhood, my grandmother Susie had been there for me. she always gave selflessly and made sure we got the best things even though she wasn’t all that affluent. After I married, I moved to another state and busied myself with work and my immediate family. Susie couldn’t visit because of ill health, while I kept using my job as an excuse not to visit her. Just a year back, my aunt told me Susie had passed on quietly in her sleep. At first I didn’t believe it. But then it hit me. I wept bitterly the whole night. I realized that never once had I told her how much I loved her. All it would have taken me was a few minutes of my time to give her a call but I had not done so. Now I know how important it is to tell those you love how you feel.

The simple lesson – don’t wait till it is too late to tell someone you love him/her. What may seem so insignificant may haunt you for the rest of your life.

Breeze

My First Haircut

I remember being four. That age will forever stand out in my memory. There are days when the memories of that time of my life come back, and I get lost in the midst of what happened then. What I went through back then; my thoughts, how I felt, are still very much a part of me today. I reminisce, and think about wanting to do so many things that were constantly being denied to me. Perhaps I wanted so much to do certain things because my mother was so strict with us—her five children. Being the middle child with two older brothers and two younger sisters—I was the most defiant, and was in need of some extra attention. My mom had her hands full, but still managed to maintain control–even over me, the child who most openly resisted her.

My mother would repeatedly tell me, “You will belong to me until the day that you get married, and even then, you will belong to me.”

At times I would like when my mom would tell me I was hers–it gave me a sense of belonging. And then there were times when that comment would drive me crazy. Couldn’t she see that we were separate beings? I would fight my mother and say “No, I belong to me.”

So many instances come to mind when thinking of all the times I wanted something so badly and my mother would take it away from me. We were in a constant state of tug a war, and she was always winning; slashing my ideas and rejecting my aspirations. I longed to chew gum like the other kids, but my mother wouldn’t allow it. She would say that I didn’t need the sugar, and that it wasn’t “healthy”. What was healthy? I didn’t understand the meaning of the word. Whatever it meant, I knew one thing, that I did not like it. When I asked why gum wasn’t “healthy”, my mom would say “Stop asking so many questions. It just isn’t.” My mom didn’t like the fact that I asked so many questions. At times I wouldn’t talk at all, because I knew that my mother didn’t like that I talked as much as I did. I didn’t want to upset her.

I loved to play with my two older brothers, Eli and Mark, but they didn’t like to play with me. I was a girl, and wasn’t capable of playing like “a boy”. Mark was especially cruel to me, though he didn’t mean to be. We were a year apart. I looked up to him, and wanted to be around him all of the time. Mark couldn’t stand it. He didn’t want a girl, let alone his little sister, following him around. He used to push me away, but I would insist on staying. I suppose I was stubborn back then. Something about him pushing me away– his not wanting me to be around, made me want to stay all the more, just to stick it to him. It got to the point where Mark would really hurt me, but I continued to endure his abuse. I don’t know why.
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