Invalidating Affection


Cooking for someone is probably one of the most spritual and fundamental things you can do in a relationship.   That warm and fuzzy feeling you get when enjoying a meal together prepared at home probably has some serious anthropological roots.   Thousands of years ago ,when we existed as hunters and gatherers, we brought back our kill to the family or tribe and took pleasure in the consumption of an animal which would sustain us nutritionally and even possibly clothe us.   Every part of the animal was utilized for our sustained existence and so it’s no wonder that sharing a meal with someone you care for, references some pretty ancient behaviors  and feels pretty darn good.

However this same connection to food and meal time can also bring great discomfort in relationships.  Fights during mealtime seem especially painful, especially when someone walks away from the setting.  Most people aren’t expecting to fight during a meal, so your defenses and guard are down.  Ever sit at a restaurant in anticipation of someone arriving for a date?   The level of sheer embarrassment and emotional pain is arguably much worse than that same individual not showing up at a theater or other venue.    Now imagine the pain associated with someone that uses meals as a way to completely invalidate your affection?

One of my favorite meals to make for myself…because I’m worth it.

I’ve experienced this first hand and I have to say it’s pretty painful.   I love cooking for those I love and I’ve been in the situation more than once where it’s been brought to my attention during an argument that “I never asked you to cook for me.”   Ouch.  Holy shit that hurts.   Not only are those words showing a great lack of manners and gratitude, but it’s a hurtful and often successful attempt to undermine the love and emotion you put into a meal.    Anyone’s who’s ever enjoyed cooking knows that a part of you and your energy is expressed in these culinary creations whether it be a simple hot dog or a four course dinner.   To have that turned around and mutated into something of an emotional weapon is tortuous.  It’s completely invalidating your affection and something you created from a magical place… your heart.

So how do we prevent such painful experiences from occurring?   You don’t.   I know that may sound crappy but in the almost 50 years I’ve been alive I’ve noticed humans will almost always take advantage of a week spot when it’s to their advantage and they’re trying to defend themselves physically or emotionally.  Unfortunately it’s just human nature.   Even more unfortunate is when you’re predisposed to suffering from this kind of wound because you make yourself vulnerable to it.  If you put your heart and soul into everything, then expect your heart and soul to feel the brunt of criticism, verbal insults and unjustified attacks on expressions of affection.  It’s part of being who you are.  It’s part of having a passion for something others can’t grasp or understand.


“It’s okay to want to do things for people and make them feel good, but not to the point where you make yourself so vulnerable and allow them to hurt you needlessly.”

You might also try changing your perspective and realizing you’re not responsible for anyone else’s happiness except your own.    The next time you make a wonderful dinner, do it for yourself and be willing to share it with others.   They will most certainly enjoy your efforts, but you will enjoy it so much more knowing you did it for yourself…. they simply have your permission to participate.   Yeah! And while your at it, make something special for yourself and hide it from them or better yet, eat it in the kitchen while you’re slaving away, completely unbeknownst to them you’re actually savoring freedom.

I hope you can see and appreciate my humor here.  There are no easy answers, but the middle ground is a good place to start.   It’s okay to want to do things for people and make them feel good, but not to the point where you make yourself so vulnerable and allow them to hurt you needlessly –  always create from the appropriate place.  Everyone needs to realize that when you’re wounded emotionally, part of the blame lies with the afflicted.   In some way or another,  we allowed it to happen… we gave  someone the power to enter our psyche and deliver the offending blow.    Doing things for yourself and allowing others to join in the fun makes it much easier when… and it will be a when,  someone tries to flip the tables and make it seem your efforts were unsolicited.   Not only would they be right, but they can use this little self esteem boost to help carry themselves out the front door and out of your awareness.   

Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong

Astrology is the practice of observing the movements and positions of celestial bodies and making predictions based on this information.   For example, a new king will be born and a new era will begin when this star appears in the East.   Sound familiar?  Heaven forbid you actually practice the very art form that foretold the coming of Christ.   They just needed astrologers for the story and then they were all stoned to death I’m sure.

The level of hypocrisy I’m seeing with organized religion is astounding and it’s only getting worse.  Common decency and morals are thrown out the window when convenient, sexual predators are adored with a cult like following and serious crimes are dealt with internally and not referred to law enforcement.

Within its own construct, religion itself can’t even come to a conclusion.  There are over 800 versions of the Christian bible in English alone!  Does anyone remember the violence and discrimination in Ireland between Catholics and Protestants?  Seriously?   Their small differences in beliefs, although for the same God, were enough to justify murder.  Once again, all morals go out the window when it’s convenient.

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You Either Have Freedom, Or You Don’t.

Last weekend I made myself a really nice grass fed steak dinner and then sat down with a bottle of wine to watch a movie.   I would normally do this with my partner Eric, but since he was working on Saturday I resorted back to a ritual coined in HBO’s Sex and The City as “secret single behavior.”    This is a practice you perform over and over again when no one is around, and cooking myself a really nice dinner is one of those things I love doing… even when alone.    I was really in the mood for the something British, as I often am, and while scrolling through NetFlix I discovered a film called “The Duchess.”   Starring Keira Knightly, this movie chronicles the marriage of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, to her husband William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire.   Early in the film, the Duchess states during a dinner party “One is either free or one is not, the concept of freedom is an absolute.”  This in response to a statement made by one of the Duke’s guests.  It got me thinking… and it’s still working its magic on me days later. 

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The Lesson iPhones Teach Us

If you find yourself with nothing to do one day, take a little fiber optic field to trip over to ebay and do a search for Commodore 64 computers.   Some of you might not even know what a Commodore is, because by the time you were able to suck your thumb, they were stashed away in your family’s garage or attic, like some heirloom, sharing space with wedding dresses and photo albums.    It’s also quite possible that your parents don’t even know what a Commodore 64 is, since it’s been 35 years when they first appeared on store shelves, being one of the first affordable home computers of their time at around $600.    The 64 doesn’t stand for bit or gigs by the way,  it stands for kilobyte.   To put that in perspective for all the Glee kids out there, it would take over 120 of them to have enough RAM to store an average song from iTunes, or 256,000 of them to have the same memory as a pathetic 16GB iPhone.   Like OMG WTF?  Like, who buys a 16GB iPhone anymore, like whatever.     Yet the most interesting fact about these 35 year old machines with lots of moving buttons and springs on their keyboards, is they still work as good as the day your family brought one home.     Which is why you can still buy one and they’re pretty popular as collectibles.

photo credit – gabtavian1, ebay user

Around the end of the millennia (holy fuck I’m old), I was attending a training class in Melbourne, a racist part of Florida otherwise known as the Space Coast, for a new content management solution we were deploying at work.   During my initial visit I learned that many people there were connected with the aerospace industry in some way or another, which made perfect sense considering their proximity to Kennedy Space Center.    After all, that’s where most of the Space Shuttle missions were launched.   I also learned that Taco Bell in Melbourne closed at 9 PM on a Saturday night and that yes, I do look Latino, so much so that the very smiley and very nice lady at the Deli counter in Winn-Dixie stopped being so nice when she turned and looked at me, angrily asking “can I help you?”   When I took my purchases prepared by racist white lady to the young cashier, I was told in a creepy horror movie sort of way “you’re not from around here are you?”  Okay so I’m losing myself here… where was I before this took a Stephen King turn… oh yes… I also learned that NASA was buying old IBM PC computers on our friend ebay, because they needed the chips for the fleet of aging Space Shuttles.  Yup, they needed spare parts and turns out, computer chips last a pretty darn long time.  

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When Mom Gets Old

I’m getting to be that age, you hear it often around the office almost on a weekly basis, someone’s parent is ill or has suddenly passed away.   I’m very blessed because my mom is still around, about to have her 81st birthday.    My mom isn’t in the best of health, and I often worry about her and how’s she feeling.     It’s difficult for her to catch her breath and she’s constantly connected to a variety of oxygen machines, concentrators they call them, and they sustain her life.    When she walks out the door, the gentle hum of the machine she’s carrying can be heard underneath her words.   She’s a talker like me, that’s where I get it from, and I often have to stop her and say “breathe through your nose” so she can get some O2.   You can probably guess I love my mom very much and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Mother’s Day With My Mom
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Instant Pot Whatever You Have Geek Stew

The first time I made this delicious and hardy beef stew recipe, I barely had any vegetables on hand.   I decided to go for it anyways, inspired by one of my favorite childhood stories Nail Broth.  So this recipe will vary slightly depending on what you have.    The basics are the same though… kind of like making vanilla ice cream.    Using organic veggies increasing the flavor exponentially.

Thanking the cow for its service to you is also and awesome thing to do.  🙂

Geek Stew!

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We Are More Than A Party

When I first realized I was gay I was 17 years old and terrified.   Although I was sexually attracted to other men, I was frightened to become a part of the stereotype I saw on television and magazines.    Of course times were different and what you saw on television was exactly that, a stereotype.    As I began to meet other gay people I realized we were a diverse crowd of Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics and any other ethnic category you could find on a college application.   We celebrated our diversity because we needed to, our sites were set on fighting the AIDS epidemic, acceptance and equal rights.    I quickly realized the scary images I saw in my youth were no where near the Gays and Lesbians I had come to know.

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Good Nutrition Is An Uphill Climb

Each day, consumers are offered more and more ways to make better choices and eat healthier, which will hopefully lead to a longer life with less visits to the doctor. Organic versions of our favorite foods are increasingly popular and available, even foods that you didn’t even think could be organic are showing up on supermarket shelves.   While walking through the beautiful pristine isles of Target recently, I spotted an organic version of Capri Sun fruit drink.  Yes, the sugar and chemical mix of yesteryear is now organic.  But is it any better for you?  Healthy labels may sound great, but more choices actually means more research for the person trying to do the right thing.   As it’s often noted, food has a story and you should know the characters involved and the journey its made, before it ends up in your stomach.

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Wake Up – Your Thumbs Won’t Save The Planet

It’s a rainy day and you’re sitting comfortably on your couch, wrapped up in a snugly blanket you bought from an ad on your Facebook feed… a nice cup of chai tea latte is right by your side.   All is well in your world.   Suddenly and without warning, your eyes magnetically focus and zoom in on the horrible video displaying on your screen, your heart begins to palpitate as you rush to un-follow or block the person that posted this gruesome message regarding animal abuse in a land far far away.    They have succeeded in not only invading your cozy little space and destroying your perfect zen moment, but they have also damaged you temporarily as you struggle to get these images out of your head.    Their reasoning?    You should sign on an online petition and stop what you just witnessed!  Yes!  How dare you take one more sip of that chai tea latte, while animals suffer needlessly, before your thumbs do all the work of filling out that digital roll call of those with moral and just values.    Jumping into action might also help erase what you just saw, and you can return to your kindle, tea, and life of ignorance…yes this thought actually crosses your mind.  But did you ever realize what’s actually occurring behind the scenes of these online petitions?    Do you think someone actually manages servers and technical infrastructure for free?  Of course not. Hang onto your chai tea latte because online petitions are actually a multi-million dollar business and those ugly videos are helping people to make some serious money.

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Taking A FaceBook Vacation

Sunset in the Florida Everglades

When’s the last time you had a vacation?  Before you start describing your most recent trip to a far off place dotted with palm trees or ancient buildings, let me be more specific… when’s the last time you vacationed from FaceBook?  You know, that wonderful destination you hold in your hand that you escape to while on the train, laying on the couch or even dare I say in the bathroom?  When’s the last time you dared to disconnect from all the noise, the pictures of friends enjoying dinner without you, the cat videos, the ads for things you’ll never use, the secret data miners collecting analytics designed as clever surveys, and the people you didn’t realize were Trump supporters?   Have you ever even thought of it?

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