It all started when we met on April 1st of this year (of all days). I was trapped in a relationship with someone and A* was just coming off a nasty break up. It was several days later that we caught up with each other over IM.
Our IMs turned into phone calls. I knew something was going on but the reality of all of the miles between us was daunting. I did, in true high school fashion, make a mix CD. My lord, she said yes to me? She must be crazy.
We talked for hours each night. It did not take long for me to realize what she was becoming for me. I asked her to meet me in Vegas in May. I had to go for work. She said no... then weeks later changed her mind. She came to Vegas.
Everything we felt over the hours on the phone not only translated to real life... being ACTUALLY together was the greatest single thing in my life. I knew in Vegas she would become my wife some day.
I flew to NYC, she flew down to FL. Back and forth and our feelings only grew.
In August I started to casually look at rings. Um.... I guess engagement rings are a type of trial or test for a man. It is all a swirl of the four "C"s and the three zeroes. Good lord.
As our plans formed for New Years I knew it was the time.
I got the ring last week.
I gave it to her yesterday.
She said "yes" and I am the happiest and luckiest man you (almost) know. She will be a wonderful wife and an amazing mother. I cannot believe I get to be the husband and father.
Currently there are no "kids" in our family. My brothers and I lamented that Christmas is not the same without kids in the family...
Christmas with out kids is like....
... watching "Good Times" reruns on mute ... watching "X-files" after Moulder left the show ... playing Yahtzee without dice ... trying to explain "Saved by the Bell" to someone born after the show was cancelled ... MTV without music videos (oh, wait, never mind) ... every Van Halen album after Roth left ... paying to see Ringo Starr in concert ... trying to make cosmos when you're out of cranberry juice ... Black Sabbath when Ronnie Dio was the lead singer
I look forward to the day when all of us are married and have children so we can have Christmas back.
I've aquired a hate-complex for the fools that wear their bluetooth earpieces around. The mall was full of them. I had hate in my heart for each one of the cyborgs as I shopped. Are they lazy or just trying to impress? I might need to seek help.
Best Buy was closed and Circuit City blows.
Tonight it is only me, Youngest and Craftsman. Sister and my father come in tomorrow. This is the first Christmans eve when we are not all together. The odd thing is it makes me really miss Mom. So much would be different if she was still with us. It hurts a little more right now. Nine years passing does not make it hurt less.
Youngest landed a PHAT job as a business coordinator for a HVAC company. What a home run! The best part.... it was the first company he interviewed with.
A* is in South Florida as I sit here in North Carolina. She comes up this Wednesday and that cannot happen soon enough. I miss her too.
I did well with my shopping without destroying ye ole bank account.
"I, Hofzinser, come to this forum to declare a public apology. Upon my last visit to Las Vegas I failed to find time to meet up with paige or vegasgustan.
I was exhausted and in bed early each night. This does not excuse the lack of phone calls to these fine people. I stand here, in the square, asking for judgement as I have no excuses."
The crowd stirs after my voice falls silent. The crime is understandable but no less a crime. The light roar of whispers floats around the forum. Everyone shares their thoughts to each other in hushed tones and glances. The judgement of the masses will soon rise and make itself known....
"Yea, hi. It's me again. Call me when you get this message" "Hello? Are you OK? I'm starting to get worried" "What the hell? I've left you a bajillion messages. Are you never calling me back?" "Fuck you, asshole. I can't believe it is ending this way. I'm never calling again." "OK, last message. What happened? Can you at least tell me that?" "Hello? Are you there? Pick up!"
This is the eighteenth installment in the "Why do Men...?" series inspired from comments on this post.
The queen of everything disco Wordwhiz asked: Why do men.... dump women by avoiding them like they were carrying a deadly disease? Why can't they just be honest? I'd much rather get the truth than be sitting by the phone or checking my email every 30 minutes. Be a man!! Give it to me straight.
It is all in our wiring. This is the explanation, not the excuse. Men's minds are designed to compartmentalize and store. We can isolate things, box them up and shelve them away.
This is in stark contrast to the female mind. You ladies keep everything connected at all times.
For us, forgetting to take out the garbage means I forgot to take out the garbage.
For you, I did not take out the garbage because you overcooked the Mahi-Mahi last week (even though we said it was cooked perfect) which was, of course, a direct result of me being thirty-minutes late coming home which made us late for your friend's baby shower which resulted in you having one too many drinks the following night at dinner because I was too nice to the waitress because I think you look fat in that skirt which makes you twist the toothpaste from the top, not the bottom, which is why we stole the covers one night in November of '98 after you had a tough day at work because of that bitch boss who, of course, wore the same blouse as you to the Christmas party the following year which led to me not noticing your new haircut because I forgot to call you the Thursday after my business luncheon which means I hate how your mother never calls before she comes over. I forgot to take out the garbage because of your mother. How can I not see that???
It is very easy for us gents to emotionally isolate things in our life. This is a good skill to have in business, finance and in relationships with other men. If we catch our best friend hitting on our girlfriend a simple "Dude??? What the fuck??" answered by a "Sorry, man.... my bad" closed by the buying of another round and a man-hug; conflict over, best friends forever... who wants a shot?
This skill is not so good when it comes to our relationships with you ladies.
When we realize we no longer want to see you things tend to get messy in our brains. We don't want to see you cry, we don't want to explain why we don't want you anymore and we don't want to be told what we did wrong and why we will never be happy, we don't want to tell you what is wrong with you and us and we don't want to hurt you.
For some of us, when faced with this mountain of an emotional confrontation, we pull out the mental tupperware. We take you and all of our relationship, drop it in the plastic bowl, seal it up and store it in our emotional cupboard over our mental fridge.
Once sealed for freshness, it does not affect us. In our strangeness you are out-of-sight and out-of-mind. We only need to do the "not" for a few days/weeks. Not call you back, not answer the phone, not read your emails and not think about the hell you are in by our silence.
Over time you will give-up and we both will move on. You will take our crappy exit out on the next man you date and we will think about "that move" you use to do in bed while we sleep with the next woman we date.
This, again, is only the explanation, not an excuse. You ladies have wanted to just walk away from a relationship before. You understand the desire to avoid the "big talk" and hurt our feelings. Sometimes you've gone as far as taking the passive-aggressive path of being a pain in the ass so we will break up with you instead (or, at least, you considered it). We just stop answering the phone.
What help is that, for me, Uncle Hof?
Simple.... if a dude does this, don't be "that girl". If you make two calls, leave two messages and they are not returned, stop calling. Don't chase. We men are most interested in the women that seem the least interested in us. Want him to call you more? Stop calling him.
If a man pulls the fell-off-the-face-of-the-earth dump on you he was likely not into you enough to be a future something. Your time with him is over and he turned out not to be what you hoped he was. Don't go searching through the cupboard above his fridge for your tupperware. It won't burp when you open the seal... it will only smell and make you queasy.
Unlike my trip in October to Vegas, this has been for work. Yesterday I taught a seminar and spent the whole day with customers and attendees. So freaking exhausting! I was in bed and sleeping before 8pm!
Mr. Boxer leaves today on the red-eye. He has a painful day of poker yesterday.
I teach again today. I hope my good night sleep gives me more energy today. I would like to play in the $125 poker tourney tonight at the MGM....
I am rarely surprised and she got me. I had no idea.... I am told, "you should of seen your face".
With her around, this past weekend was wonderful. She nursed my thrown-out back. Sexy, gorgeous, smart, funny AND a healer. What else can a man ask for?
I've never had back problems before. Yanking a muscle in my back was one of those, "Yer getting old, you old oldie" experiences. Am I really old enough to throw out my back? Fucking depressing is what that is.
Her surprise visit was my Christmas gift. I knew I would be buying her jewelry for Christmas but I was not sure what. OK, I knew it would not be THE jewelry that is delivered on one knee. We are not there.... yet. I realized I got my present early so I decided to give her's early... and let her pick it out.
We went to the mall and she found a really nice pair of 1/2 carat diamond earrings. She told me long ago she always wanted to own a pair of nice (read: real) diamond earrings. I bought them on the spot. Merry Christmas, my dearest, your ears are sparkling!
I'm in Vegas now. As usual, I hit a slot for $250 (can't start a Vegas trip without a nice slot win). I also played a lot of poker... and, as I hoped, I am up. Way up. Hundreds of hundreds up. Today is the big one, though. Today I play in the $300 No-Limit tourney at the Wynn. First prize is usually over $12k.
My mad poker skillzz are on. I am ready. Are they?
Tonight I will go out with Mr. Drinker for a night on the town. Have not spent much time with him (or anyone fun) lately so I look forward to good times (the kind legends are created from).
Tomorrow night, Mr. Boxer and I start the Getting the Hell out of South Florida Heading to Vegas world tour. It will likely not be pretty. We will be at Scooby's saying farewell to all that are not getting on a plane Sunday night for a week in Las Vegas. So sad for them.
Sunday is football finished with a late-night flight to my home away from home. We will be in Vegas by 11pm pst and I am there all week. I am teaching some classes but it is all smoke screen for more hours at the poker table.
Speaking of poker, I've broken another ceiling and really have taken my game to the next step. It is a new game and I look at the whole endeavor unlike before. The more I learn, the more I play and the better I get... the less the game has to do with the cards. I am meticulous in tracking my results and the data backs up my feelings.
Last trip to Vegas did some damage to my poker confidence and my wallet. I'm coming back into town, sheriff and I got a brand new pump-action shotgun and she is loaded and shiny. I left some of my money in your pocket, Vegas, and I am back to collect. God have mercy on their chip stacks.
I am addicted to reruns of Law and Order:Criminal Intent. DVRs be damned. Vincent Donofrio is great and Kathryn Erbe has grown on me. It is complete brain cheese. The show is formulaic, predictable, schticky and I cannot watch enough of it.
Never seen Vincent in Steal This Movie? You should. Not a great movie but he gives a great performance.
I was submerged in the rich life this past weekend. A quick day trip to the Bahamas for lunch on the private jet.
I figure our hamburgers, when you average out the total cost of the trip, ran around $450 a piece. Sunday I went with the CEO and friends to the Dolphin game. We, of course, took the company's 30-ft limo bus (including the 62-inch mounted flat-screen TV with DirectTV mounted in the back) to the game.
We, of course, watched the game in the club-level suite on the 40-yard line. Fully catered and stocked with all of the booze and beer one could keep down. We spent a few hours at his mansion on the intercoastal to finish off the fun.
Whenever I am surrounded by that lifestyle it makes me very introspective.
We snorkeled at Thunderball Grotto on Friday in Exuma. I remember standing, Ahab-style, at the front of the chartered boat as we sped to the site. I looked around at water as clear as a pool. A December day pushing 90 degrees. The sun and the wind pounding my skin making me feel more alive than ever.
I looked back on the boat at our captain. He must of been in his late forties. A born and bred islander that claims his family first set up shop in the islands in the 1700s when they decided being pirates became too dangerous.
In the face of the opulence I had only one thought. I want the simple life. I want to spend days that become weeks that become years with A* with nothing to do but whatever we felt like doing. I will need money to do this but not much. I don't need the symbols of success. I need time to spend with the love of my life, time to read, time to paint, time to learn. I would need a little time to fish as well.
Unlike many men (and women) in my generation, I've discovered that work is what I do and not who I am. It could be one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. The funny thing is, when I lost my career obsession... within a year I shot up the ladder to Director and my salary tripled.
Last year you win the entire March Madness. Last year you prove that you are the best team in the country.
Within weeks you lose ALL of the top seven scorers on the championship team.
Everyone recognizes that the 2006 season, with only one returning scorer, will be a rebuilding year.
Last week you play the team that you beat for the championship. Unlike you, they only lost a few of their starting players from the year before.
You are not ranked, they are barely ranked out of the top ten.
You stay in the game for both halves. You don't look like a freshman team, you don't even play like a freshman team. You lose the game but it is not the blowout it should of been.
The next Saturday you have to travel and play your first road game. You must go to Kentucky and play the tenth-best team in the country on their court. Everyone knows it will not be pretty. They have the talent, the coaching, the crowd and the experience.
You take the lead half-way through the first half and surprise the world by ending the first half with the lead.
You play the second half and never lose the lead...
You play like you are representing the greatest college basketball school in the history of NCAA basketball.
You play like defending champions and you win the game...
Yes, you win the game.
Who are you?
You are the University of Mutha-effing North Carolina.