OK! Let me get this straight: extending unemployment benefits (UI) for those Americans most at risk of getting kicked to the curb is bad because we need to "balance" the budget. Never mind that it represents .004% of the budget you idiots, or that for every $1 spent on UI, there's a return of $1.60 in economic activity and actually saves and creates jobs.
Of course, the Bush tax cuts, which have largely benefited the top ten percent of the population and has driven a hole through our economy, should be continued.
Good thing we have neoconservative logic to help us through one of the worst financial disasters in our history.
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-=[ Men & Relationships ]=-
“When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping.
Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.”
-- Elaine Boosler
OK, before I start this one I need to make it clear that I’m starting from the assumption that I’m talking about reasonably well-adapted men and women. I know both sides of the Love Wars will stare blankly, but it’s true: there are evolved men and women out there -- somewhere.
Secondly, when I speak of masculine essence, I’m not exclusively referring to men. Similarly, when I speak of feminine essence, I’m not speaking exclusively about women. Though it is true that most men are of a masculine essence and most women are of a feminine essence. It really doesn’t have anything to with sexual orientation.
Think of yin and yang…
There are times in your life where you really hear something. I mean really hear something and it stays with you, changes your perspective. Sometimes it’s negative and sometimes it’s something positive. That’s why it’s bullshit that words (or text) don’t hurt. It does. Language is a powerful tool.
One day I had such an experience. I was involved in a long-term, committed relationship (yes, someone dared LOL!). My partner had been going through a particularly difficult phase at her job and it was really taking its toll on her. My ex was the type that internalized life situations to the point that sometimes it made her physically ill. As the good and dutiful husband, I was there for her when she came home and needed to vent or just talk. You know the deal: you’re in a relationship and after dinner and the dishes have been done, and the house monkey(s) put to bed, you lay together and you go over the day. It’s part of being married and probably something what many people miss (I don’t! LOL! kidding!).
During a period of time, my ex’s job issues had dominated those late night discussions and I honestly didn’t mind, it felt good that I could be there for her. But this went on for a while, and “we” (really me) had had some “solution-centered” discussions. Still, the problem at her job was firmly entrenched.
One day she called me from work nearly in tears and started telling me about some new horror and I really felt her pain. It made me crazy that she was going through all that insanity. So I did what many men do: I went into a long, detailed, well-thought-out analysis of her problem complete with escape clauses, solutions -- well everything I thought her problem needed. I was so happy, because I felt as if I had done something really great. And truth be told, I had given this a lot of thought. I had “fixed” the problem. I was beside myself! I was hard, I was so excited!
Then I noticed that there was complete silence on the other end of the line. Hello, are you there hun?
Now, I admit to being extremely dense but I know silences -- especially female silences -- and this wasn’t a good female silence. This wasn’t an “I-took-her-breath-away-with-my-brilliance” silence. This was a foreboding silence, a “you-ain’t-getting-no-poosie-tonight-(or ever)” silence. So, I did the next thing most men do in that situation and asked if there was anything wrong. My ex answered in a somber, almost exhausted, patient tone usually reserved for the clueless we all love, and I never forgot what she said. Don’t get me wrong, I had heard similar things from other women, but for some reason this time it hit home. Her words were, If I had wanted to call someone to fix my problem, I could’ve done that with a number of people. In fact, I’m a professional and despite what you may or may not think, I can handle myself quite well. I called you because I wanted to call someone to be there for me, not fix my problem.
Perhaps for people reading this, the above may not seem earth-shattering, but for me it was a fuckin' epiphany. I mean, all I had to do was listen? Be there for her? Not fix anything?! I never knew!
Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic here, but her response did take me for a loop. You see, as someone with a masculine essence, my deal is to fix things. That’s what I do, I solve problems. Fuck all that talk shit, honey, let’s go break down some doors and take no prisoners. LOL My ex didn’t want to be fixed. In fact, she hated when I went into “fix” mode, as she put it. What she wanted, I realized, was to feel my love, to experience my acceptance, to feel my caring for her. Instead, what she got was my probing, looking for a loose screw here, a stuck emotion there.
That lesson is one I’m still learning. What I learned is that when the masculine truly understands the feminine heart, the need for questioning and problem-solving is put aside. Instead, maybe a caring embrace is called for, or I might dance her around the room, or gently stroke her cheek, or say how much I love her. What I learned is that giving a woman my playful love and sensitivity opens her heart and she eventually radiates happiness. Then, if there are details in her life or the relationship that we need to deal with, we can do so without the confusion. Rather than trying to fix her, I can apply my masculine sense of mission and direction to dealing with our lives in the world.