Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This is what venting looks like....

This is by far the scariest, most sad thing that I have ever published.  At first I was venting, but when I told my friend I had written it, she told me to publish it…without even reading it.  To my friend reading, I love you and I am sorry that you were not supported more and that you can’t go back in time,  but you are a beam of sunshine regardless.  Don’t quit believing in your wonderful spirit.

One of my very good male friends called me a few days ago and said that he read my blog (two blogs ago, about time) and said he liked it but that he was jealous of my optimism. Although he is right, I am an optimist, I sort of laughed because it’s not like I smile 24/7 and my optimism does not exist from being blind like it did when I was a little girl, so there is no reason to be jealous of it.  Being positive no longer prevails from naiveté, but instead from faith and having witnessed things work out in my life and others’ when it seemed unlikely that they would. Honestly, I think the world is a greedy, dirty, violent place and that human beings and their disgustingness are the only reason it doesn’t look like a Bob Ross painting.  That being said, it’s a blessing once you learn to accept this.  Once you stop being shocked when people are a disgrace, you can focus on when people are not a disgrace, what is good in the world, those who need help, what is possible, and you start dreaming from a place that is much more realistic—I think this all starts with your attitude, your words, and the belief that you are capable of more than you think.  You have to tune the world out while at the same time, acknowledging that it is there. 

Even though it is our forced responsibility to screen incoming negativity, I really wish people would think first before spewing their negativity and cynicism all over each other because it really and truly can be influential.  Look at the effects of being bullied. I’m not sure who started “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me” but whoever it was has a lot of explaining to do. Of course our words and attitudes matter to another person.  We leave imprints on each other; sorry to disappoint the oblivious ones, but we do.  I am going to admit, I am angry and brokenhearted right now because I was not able to protect someone I care about from others’ negative input.  I am a person who believes that I go through things so I can help someone else.  I wish I could transfer my experience directly into another’s brain.  Literally being able to do that would be amazing because then when I say “I know how you feel and I promise you’ll be okay,” they would believe me. 

I want to make very clear that this blog is not about whether abortion is right or wrong, but instead, it’s about being supportive of the people we love or “love” and watching what comes out of our mouths, especially toward people who are feeling weak and scared.   I never talk about abortion and I have avoided writing about it in the past purposefully for two very specific reasons:

1.     Because I was young when I had my first set of twins and I don’t want those who have had abortions to take my choice to have Logan and Lindsey as a judgment on them because I am not judgmental.  But seriously, how can I explain why I made the choice to have them without making them feel like I am judging them, especially if my reasons are directly related to my moral beliefs?  I can’t, no matter how hard I try, so I just don’t. 

2.     Because a lot of people (not everyone!!!!) who are pro-life refuse to accept or even acknowledge that we live in a broken society that makes it very difficult for a young mother to choose life.  People throw around morals because they sound good and yet they do nothing to show compassion, which would be understanding that single mothers are THE poorest people in our country—especially politicians, and that those children are going to be the most vulnerable to poverty and crime.  Be opinionated, but have a damn solution to the problem or sit down.  You simply cannot scream that you appreciate life when you are cruel to the life in front of you.  If you are dense enough to abandon and cast judgment upon a young, unmarried woman who was brave enough to be judged in order to save that life, well you and I aren’t ever going to see eye to eye.  I think you are a fraud.

To be blunt, there are a lot of people on both sides of the argument who annoy me, so I just stay out of the discussion altogether, until now.  I know firsthand how you get treated when you get pregnant at a young age and what you are up against and I probably should have spoken up long ago. 

I found out I was pregnant during my first month of college.  I did not have ONE college credit.  I was not married. I had never had a job before.  I had never cooked anything but macaroni and cheese and hotdogs.  I was nowhere near ready to be a mother.  I had been having severe anxiety attacks for a year, but I said to myself “It isn’t about you anymore, grow up.” The attacks went away because I told myself I couldn’t have them anymore.  (I know, weird.)  I told everyone I was pregnant and that I was going to keep what I thought was one baby at the time.  People automatically started telling me to have an abortion, to give them away, that I must have meant to get pregnant (no, I was just immature and thought I was invincible) and I got angry and silent and prayed for strength.  I found nice ways to tell people to fuck off, but their pressure and words hurt me and it would have been nice to have support, or just silence.  Silence would have been sufficient to me while I sorted out the stress.  I cried every night because I felt alone.  Then I had an ultrasound and found out there were two.  The people who originally wanted me to have an abortion then changed their minds to adoption, because you know, it’s not ok to abort twins, but a singleton, that is your free pass, so never mind, Britt.  Now give them up.

Facepalm.  I lived this and didn’t end up in jail. 

I held my kicking tummy at night, let people have their judgment, and decided to let the cards fall. My revenge was making good grades and being a good mother and making everyone eat their words.  I clung to those who DID support me, let the deadbeat go without a fight, and now they are 15. It was not easy and I attribute the strength I had to the fact that God is indeed with me.

I recently saw a reflection of myself in someone else and I won’t lie, I am having a very hard time with the anger and sadness I am feeling because I couldn’t protect her.  I also cannot write everything out of respect for her.  She is like a little sister, she is young, she was pregnant, and she wanted to have it but she was also very scared.  It turns out that there weren’t enough words to convey to her that I knew how she was feeling and that it would be okay when the baby was born. She told me over the weekend that she had aborted it and she is not okay.  I talked to her as much as I could this past month about her pregnancy. She was scared, she was crying every day, and not one person supported her when she said she wanted to keep the baby.  She was basically told she was not fit.  There wasn’t enough optimism surrounding her because I was literally the ONLY one telling her she could do it on her own and I was out of state. I am angry that no one listened to her literally crying, her body language, her hyperventilating on the table when she was about to have the abortion. I am angry that she was bleeding from having done something she didn’t really want to do.  I am angry that the people around her told her that they knew what was best for her.  It was HER CHOICE, and while she did ultimately make it, having been there in that dark place and understanding how horrible that heaping pressure feels on your shoulders and how much doubt there is to succumb to, I am angry with the people who were in her ear. She immediately wanted to take it back and she can’t and she said that’s the worst part. I wish I could have been more comforting.  I wish I could be now.  I worry about her emotionally.  What will this do to her since she didn't believe in her decision?

We need positive people.  We need optimism.  We need people to tell us that things are possible and that we are capable of doing them. The world sucks, guys.  Don’t succumb to it.  Get angry, stay silent, and believe in yourself and the good things to come.  

And when you open your damn mouth, freaking think first.  That's all. I am pissed.  Stop tearing people down.  Be supportive, dammit.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Loft


I thought an update was due since most of you know that four months ago, I made the decision to sell my house.  It was a huge decision, one that I got a lot of support for and also one that sent a lot of snide, judgmental comments my way because I was doing something, well I guess, not normal. I am settled and into a routine since the kids are back in school, so I have finally found time to post some pictures.  I have not posted the boys' room because it is messy and I am not completely finished with it, and the two bathrooms because frankly, that would just be odd and unnecessary. I am posting pictures to illustrate what I did to maximize our family time, in case someone else feels the same way I did when I was in my house.

For those of you who don’t know, I had very specific reasons for selling the house.  Yes, the market was great, but I also began to take a personal inventory and decided that I was not living the way I wanted to, nor raising my children the way I wanted to. I work a lot, which I can't really get out of because we can't just starve to death.  And because I am not at home with them all day and our weekends were crammed with playing catch up, there was very little down time no matter what I seemed to do.  The kids' childhoods weren't looking anything like what I wanted for them at all.  I was disturbed when I thought about what kind of adults they would become by having this type of childhood, one filled with walls and technology and privacy and alone time.  I pictured uncultured zombies who have no critical thinking skills, who don’t go outside, who are detached from society, who are egotistical and insecure online.  We have no idea what the effects of all of this technology will be on these kids, but I think it's safe to say that if adults have become this way already, adults who have had limited exposure, our kids are in trouble.  Anyway, I feared what was happening, but I couldn’t find the time as a tired, stressed single mom to correct it.  The to-do list that I could not catch up with no matter how hard I tried, in fact, I fell more and more behind with all the time, was making me resentful.  I worked all day to provide them with things that I hated and I had to fight more and more for family time because I was competing with these mindless machines (the technology, not my children.)  I was beginning to hate paying and arranging lawn maintenance for a yard the kids wouldn’t play in.  I hated having to drive everywhere (we live in Atlanta, everyone does) and listen to them fight while I was trying to just do something nice together.  I hated that I was the only person in the house who couldn’t work any of the electronics and therefore, I couldn't control any of it.  I was just done, but when we were together, the last thing I wanted to do was fight and discipline.  I was like a hamster on a wheel.  So I sold the wheel.  Add to the fact that I woke up in a fire in that house, even though it was rebuilt beautifully, I still could not sleep without having horrible anxiety and it wasn’t improving. It was simply not where we were supposed to be. I prayed. A lot. And I decided to leave. 

Those who were judgmental, their opinions never mattered to me because the questions they asked were predictable.  I started to ask people when they would press me “Why do we need all of this stuff? Does it make you happy? Do you die with it?  Why do kids need their own damn suites to grow up in?  What’s worse, why do we think they do?”  Look at kids around the globe.  We are not the norm. I downsized and it’s been amazing.  To each his own, but it’s not for me.  And I may buy again one day. Or I may not. I have no clue because I keep surprising myself and the one thing I have learned about myself is that I covet the freedom and time to grow as a person and I know I can’t do that when I am drowning in mundane details and upkeep and bullshit responsibilities that I don’t really need to have. The more you have, the more maintenance.  Simple as that.   

Life is more manageable now.  My commute is shorter. I order my groceries on Instacart, which saves time and helps me plan and not buy things that end up going to waste.  I once ordered a heating pad and it was there in an hour!  I don't have to worry about fixing anything when it breaks.  I kicked the HOA to the curb because they SUCK.  I don't have to feel bad that I suck at growing flowers because I don't have a yard.  The bug man comes and I don't have to call him.  It's WONDERFUL!  I could really go on and on.  But really, the best part is that my kids are right there next to me in the living space because I set it up to be the heart and the bedrooms are just the limbs.  I SEE them more closely.  I can SEE how they are relating and responding to each other and I have been able to correct them in a more patient and loving way.  I have made it easier for them to choose wisely about how they are spending their time, rather than rotting in front of some device.  I have less errands, less cleaning, etc., and that's freeing up tons of time with them and now I am maximizing the time that I have when I have it. 

Here are the main things I did to change our environment and it’s ending up suitable for us:

We have ONE TELEVISION and absolutely no technology in the bedrooms. Bedrooms are for sleeping. 

Those little violins are the first I played as a child

We used to have 6 televisions/blu-ray players/every game system.  Why? Probably because I work all the time and I felt guilty and wanted to make them happy at Christmas.  I sold all but one when we moved.   The kids have their Wii and Playstation but they aren’t allowed to play on Sunday and they have to earn their time every other day.  They also have to play together or take turns, which forces them to socialize and work it out.  If we are watching something on TV, we pretty much all have to decide together, and if someone doesn't want to, they can read a book or play with a toy. 

I made jars and got coin rolls.  Each coin represents the minutes they earn to play.  For example, if they get ready for school and don’t give me grief, they get a quarter.  This has actually worked for them, and the amazing thing is that they think about when they want to use it. Carson likes to save his coins for the weekend and therefore, he reads with me at night.  (If we have time.  I didn’t say I have loads of time.  I work in Buckhead and still get home late.)


They are learning about music.  First of all, I won’t be buying crap, so they will be exposed to musicians who ACTUALLY PLAY INSTRUMENTS.  Also, I am hoping that they will take time to learn about the process of playing music before it was digital, look at the artwork, bond with the artist, develop nostalgia…as opposed to hearing some shitty song, pressing download, and having no appreciation for who they are supporting as an “artist.” Carson asked for me to put on a record last night and we danced for 20 minutes. He learned how to spin and dip me.  It was awesome.

Their Violins are out and easily accessible 

Speaking of music, they started violin and the reason is because, I won’t lie, I played violin and it’s good for their brains.  I can also practice with them.  They can play whatever they want one day; I am just trying to expose them to playing and creating music.  Anyway, I hung hooks for their violins so they would be more inclined to practice, rather than sayyyyy, playing Playstation.

One of my favorite things about my walls is my art, however, I hung all of these and then
set up the table and now have to recenter all of it. RRRRR. 

There is plenty of room to play in the living area with toys

Their room is plenty big, but they never play in it.  They bring their toys out and play where I am, which I like. 

Reading Areas

There are two places in the loft dedicated to reading and sitting quietly.  One has twinkle lights, which they love.  This is Lindsey’s favorite area. 

And just a little reading chair and table under the loft.

Lindsey’s Crib

Lindsey was the biggest variable in whether I did all of this, so I talked to her first.  The boys are small and young and they are happy no matter what right now.  Luckily, she loved the idea of having a bedroom up in the ceiling.  She loved the idea of climbing a ladder to get to her bed and since I made it clear that our new rule was that our bedrooms were only for sleeping and reading, she was on board.  I explained to her that I was trying to be more connected to them and change our direction.  Originally when I looked at the loft, we were going to build her room up over the kitchen, but there wasn’t an access point, so I improvised.  I knew I needed a lot of bookcases, so I designed this and had a carpenter build it.  My teenage daughter used to lock herself in her bedroom, she was on some kind of technology all night and even when I would take everything away, it seemed she would find some other device to mess with.  She also does not have walls…so I guess she won’t have a boyfriend until college. I totally didn’t mean to do that!

The Books

They can't say there is nothing to read.  Neither can I. 

My Room

My room is like a cave.  No windows.  No television.  Just a bed and the stuff I need to get ready.  It’s amazing, and dangerous.  I have to have an alarm clock or I could sleep all day. 

When I first told them we weren't having televisions in the bedrooms, Lindsey freaked out.  But then I told her that I was following the same philosophy and rules. I told them that we would all sleep better if we removed the technology.  It’s true.  We do.  

Never can have enough Alice pictures on your walls. 

Work Area

Lindsey sat here for 4 hours doing homework last Saturday. Poor thing.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is smaller and the kids eat on barstools; this is much more my style.  At my old house, I sat the kids at the table and I stood standing next to the kitchen sink shoveling chicken into my mouth as quickly as I could just in case I didn’t have time to eat before they finished. This habit started after my first set of twins.  I didn’t dare sit while the twins were eating because I was constantly preparing myself for a nuclear disaster-spaghetti flying everywhere, someone choking, etc. 

We have a family dinner once a week on the square; they take turns choosing the restaurant.  We walked to church for the first time this past Sunday, which is just awesome.  Dylan’s favorite store is an antique store on the corner. There are theaters, playgrounds, ice-cream shops, toy stores, and candy shops—they really like it.  The farmer's market is there every Saturday and Sunday, which is nice.  My favorite thing to do is have brunch because brunch is the best.  Plus, they have a cappuccino the size of my head. 

When Lindsey is in a bad mood, I tell her to take a walk or go to the rooftop deck, which is right above us.  The train that we are practically living on top of must be soothing because she comes back another person.  HA!  Speaking of the train, I used to wake up when I heard a tiny creak in the floor and now I sleep through a train (and it’s seriously LOUD) and sirens.  We are next to a hospital, the police station and the fire station and for me, this is comfort crack.  If something does happen, they are right there!

We also have a pool and a gym, which is very nice.  

Anyway, that's it!  If you are thinking about refocusing anything in your life, I assure you that it is worth taking the leap.  This was really scary, but I am SO much happier and so are my children! Someone came by when I was first moving in and he said "You felt closed in in the house, didn't you?" And I sort of dropped my jaw and said "Yes. How did you know?" And he said "You just seem like the type of person who needs room to breathe." It was so poignant, I wondered if he knew just how much.  This place is smaller and yet I can breathe better.  Go figure.  

Oh Look! Another Alice picture!  They are everywhere, I tell you! 

The only thing I wish here is that the door were magnetic. That would be sweet. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Shifting Time

If there were a rehabilitation center for Podcast lovers, I would definitely be a candidate.  I am completely and shamelessly addicted to them, especially NPR’s TED Radio Hour. My poor kids beg for music in the car, but I am relentless and voracious for the information that waits for me on the other end of that beautiful, purple app on my phone. I understand them being bored by NPR and I feel better by telling myself that because my kids are passively hearing this information, one day when they are in class learning about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, it will sound familiar to them and therefore I am doing them a favor.  However, yesterday one of my 7-year-olds asked me on the way to school what a Nazi is and I realized that it might be a little much for 7:30 in the morning on the way to 2nd grade.  Whoops.

Yesterday I listened to a TED from the archives called “Shifting Time.”  It re-aired on August 5th and I can say that as interesting as it was, I am relieved that I did not listen to it on that day because August 5th happens to be my birthday and I would have thought too much about aging and would have upset myself.  Of course, it is highly stupid to be upset about how old you are because we are always aging.  We are aging right now, with every second—while you sit and read this and while I sat here and typed this.  Aging never ends and a birthday only serves as a reminder that 365 more days have passed and marks the fact that maybe you have a new ailment since last year and have learned a new lesson, or maybe that you didn’t.  We all know this, but we still can’t wrap our minds around our relationship with time, which is what the podcast is sort of about.

I won’t tell you everything about it, but to sum it up, it answers the following questions: How can time be so predictable and yet become so different depending on where and who you are? Why is summer so long to a child but it flies for an adult?  Is what we think of as time even real? When did time begin?  What IS time?

Cesar Kuriyama had an animation background and began working on an app called 1 Second.  The concept of the app is to film one second a day, every day for a year, and by doing this, time somehow seems to slow down. By watching a video of a second filmed every day, you can SEE time passing, as opposed to say looking at a picture of your first day of school next to a picture of your last day of school.  You can SEE where you have been.  Kuriyama says his understanding of time becomes far more finite than it’s ever been after watching his video at the end of the year.  This sounded mesmerizing to me—so mesmerizing that I spent $4.99 on the app.  I am still learning how to use it.

My first clip is of Dylan sitting at the counter eating cereal this morning.  He flips the calendar that hangs on the wall to his left from August to September and shouts “It’s September 1st!”  I packed up our things and got ready to make the drive to school.  We saw a beautiful sunrise on the way and I thought it would have been a nice clip.  Then Dylan asks an intelligent question about the sun rising.  I think to myself that I would like to remember that forever; maybe that should have been my clip.  We see a Remax hot air balloon and Dylan shrieks because he is so excited, something he won’t do at 15.   Then I pull up to the school and he gets out of the car; I tell him I
love him and he waves with one hand and the other is on the door.  He says in a sweet voice “Bye” and closes it.  I would have loved that to be on tape too, even if it looks the same every morning.  He is getting taller and his voice will change eventually and maybe he won’t stay as long at the door one day, adoring his mother, because his friends will be watching. 

I thought about how all of these moments are immediately into the past, tiny and meaningful, and how the moments are adding up to days and those days are adding up to months and the months are rolling into years.  I suddenly felt like calling my grandma.  I told my grandma that she has always been right.  Time flies.  I know I can’t slow it down, but I am appreciating and respecting it and I have recently made HUGE changes in order to do so.  I asked her how she and my grandpa are doing. She told me she is doing well and that I won’t really be old until 87, which is how old she is, and that I should write everything down so I can remember things when I am her age.  I walked up to the gym feeling very happy that I had used my 15 spare minutes to call my grandma in Indiana.  It is 900 seconds, after all.

I think what I find most surprising about being conscious about these seconds in my day (and just the ones before lunch) is how many amazing moments my life is made up of, every single day.  I immediately want to thank God for every day that I am alive.  Everything I do seems so small in the grand scheme of things and when you feel that way, I think it’s very easy to lose sight of the importance of what you are doing day to day.  In reality, the big picture really is made up of all of the days you live and all of the little things you do from moment to moment, day to day, month to month, year to year…and they matter.  Not every second is detrimental, but some seconds are.  Not every second is beautiful, maybe instead they suck and they exist as tiny slivers of what will become a larger lesson.  Some seconds are with us always, and some will evaporate because they are insignificant to us.  Never underestimate the power or length of a second because it is the present. 

I am learning over time that all big goals and big dreams are actually very organic and feel very small.  Everything we decide to do, everything huge that we want to accomplish or experience, can’t come into fruition without tiny little movements.  Are we using our very little free time wisely? Are we positive or negative?  Are we in control of our emotions and our thoughts or are we overrun by negativity?  Are we using crutches that enable us?  Are we concentrating on the bad things that happen in the day rather than focusing on each marvelous second?  Because all of the things I just mentioned are daily activities that paint a larger picture, mood, habit, and attitude. Maybe if we all had this app, a year in our life might look different just from being present in the moments we are in.   Maybe by actively seeking and then recognizing the moments to capture and document, we could see just how many things are worthy of remembering and worthy of attention.  For 5 bucks, I am going to find out.

This was from a second in my life last night.  He has been read to since he was a baby and
maybe all of those seconds that he was read to led to him picking up a book on his own and
reading in bed while I did the dishes......

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Note to My Guy Friends.....

When you become a parent, you are the one who is supposed to have all of the answers. I like to think that my perspective is pretty sufficient for my teenagers because I have already gone through what they are going through, naturally, and I have learned a lot in life thus far.  But occasionally, my children show me something and they have no idea that they have done it.  My 14-year-old son, Logan, is starting to deal with an issue that I am only now starting to understand and work through in my 30’s and I am a little mind blown by the perspective that he gave me on Friday night.  One minute I am a parent being protective of my child, and then the next, I am just a girl again thinking about the flip-side of what he is saying and hoping it’s not my fault that he’s going through it.

Parenthood has me really thinking that the Friend Zone is bullshit, as odd as that sounds. 

When I was 15, I became the teenage girl who only dated assholes who made her unhappy.  Eventually, a pattern emerged.  I became an adult who was doing the same thing and it was clear that I was a habitual offender; I was always devoted to the wrong guy and wouldn’t walk away until I was so depleted and exhausted that I had nothing left to give and I didn’t care anymore.  I was angry that I was treated badly, but I was used to it, so my relationships always ended with me leaving and wondering what I was doing wrong.  Long story short, after a lot of pondering and some therapy, I finally figured out what the pattern was about and I only partially blame the guys I have been in relationships with because I had no idea I was with them to fill a void in the first place. I am not letting anyone off the hook here for treating me badly, but I am saying that had I taken the time to understand my childhood and myself, none of my relationships would have gotten as dark and scary as they did.  I can’t fix anyone else, they can’t fix me, and the desire for that to happen can lead to very dysfunctional situations.  I am happy to say that I have figured all of this crap out.  I can also say that I have many, many guy friends who never would have treated me badly.  And it's sort of bullshit. (Watch how many times I say that word in this post.) 

Throughout my life, starting from the age of 14 years of age to now, I have always had male friends telling me I am better than the assholes I have chosen.  I would basically nod, say thank you, love you, and go back to what I was doing because whatever they said never really resonated.

My son is very open with me.  He is deep, sweet, intelligent, and cares about people.  He told me about one of his girlfriends who is in a bad situation with a guy.  I got all of the information about the girl because it’s my job as an adult to make sure I don’t need to get involved, but I also just listened to him and tried to give him advice.  He described the girl as innocent, different from the other girls, said she reminds him of me (big red flag for me that we pass this crap onto our kids) and he is upset that she is putting herself in a stupid situation.  They are obviously very close because he wouldn’t even tell me who she was in order to protect her.  He is trying to be there for her but she won’t listen.  He is mad at the guy and can’t say anything.  He is frustrated that he is taking the time to give her advice and then he has to watch her ignore it and continue to hurt herself.  It dawned on me that my son is “the good guy,” the one that this girl may never learn to appreciate, the one who gets “friend zoned” while she continues to date assholes, the one who will have to repeat the same advice to these girls, over and over and over, unless I can explain to him that it’s the girls’ issue, not his.  As a mother, I would rather him be the good guy than the asshole and I am proud of him, but I also don’t want him to attempt to save every broken girl because I know how that ends.  As a mother, I want him to put his time into a girl who is capable of loving him back and not get hung up on the ones who will make him crazy.  As a mother, I know he deserves a girl who knows herself.  I don’t want my sons to love girls who love assholes.

I have a lot of guy friends; I always have since I was in middle school.  (Some, most, all, none) of them want to sleep with me.  I don’t know.  I am sure that it varies just like the depth of every relationship.  But whether or not they are romantically interested in me or have been at any point, I realize now that I have probably really upset them from time to time because some of my stories have been upsetting.  Women often talk to their male friends about their relationships to gain a perspective that they can’t get from their girlfriends and although I have always heard my male friends say “You deserve better than that,” I never thought about how I made them feel every time I ignored their advice.  Women can be protective; I am very protective of my friends, but it is inherent for a (good) man to want to protect a woman.  My son is 14.  He is protective of me, he is protective of his sister (even when he can’t stand her) and he is already displaying concern for girls his own age.  What I haven’t considered when I talk to my male friends about how another “man” is behaving is that maybe I can’t talk to them as if I am talking to my girlfriends.  When I listened to Logan, I realized how upsetting it could be.  First of all, if they are good guys, they will never be okay with an asshole.  Secondly, they sometimes feel like taking action and when you don’t let them do anything and then go back to the situation, it’s very frustrating.  What if their need to protect me has actually upset them more so than it would one of my girlfriends and by treating them the same, I have made a big mistake?  I once told one of my guy friends over the phone what a boyfriend had done after I broke up with him and it got quiet.  He had put the phone down in order to punch something. He came back and I apologized.  I don’t want a girl upsetting my son like that. It's bullshit that I was with the assholes. 

Every single one of the good guys in my life has a mother and if I were that mother, I would have told them not to be as patient as they have been with me in the past, but as a girl, I am so grateful for the men in my life who have told me I am a catch, that someone will treat me well, and that I deserve a guy who will give me the world.  I think about the patience they have had with me over the years and I am beyond grateful, but I am also very sorry that they have had to watch me suffer.

Women make a lot of jokes about how men don’t listen, how they aren’t empathetic, how they only think with their penises…but it’s not always true.  And it is also not always true that being this way gets you friend zoned...but it seems true sometimes.  

I just want to give a shout out to all of my male friends who have loved me so much, who have listened to my bullshit, over and over and over and over and over on repeat, like a broken record and not really gotten the same in return all the time.  Thank you for being awesome men and not little boys.  Thanks for telling me over the years that I deserve a good you. 

I usually have some end paragraph that ties together everything I have said, but I just don’t.  I think I am just curious as to what the men have to say about this.