Archive for September, 2011

To My Sons

September 20, 2011

*A friend of mine who passed away years ago wrote this so I thought I would share it.

TO MY SONS: THOUGHTS ON WOMEN, LOVE, AND PAIN

The least valuable commodity in your life is fatherly advice. When I was a young man, I was bludgeoned intolerably with advice from my parents, all of it bad. You can reasonably expect no better from me. And yet, you must indulge me in the fatherly sharing of some things I have learned about women. Even though it certainly smells like advice, believe me, it is not. You have no obligation to follow it, and I harbor no expectation that you will. The fact is I respect you and have the highest regard for your ability to make intelligent decisions on your own. It will be enough for you to drag this out from time to time and ponder it for a few minutes on the offchance that some particle of it may ring true and have some vague application to a situation that may be troubling you.

Women are, quite simply, the very best part of life. Of course, there are many things that are important to us, but you will find no more powerful source of astonishment, pleasure, pain or confusion than a woman. You will never experience more intensity of feeling than the surpassing desire to have or be rid of the women in your life.

In most areas of life, it is assumed that in order to play the game, you must understand the rules. In your relationships with women, you will learn, often painfully that, mostly, there ARE no rules. What few rules there may be are ALWAYS determined by the woman, typically on a moment’s whim and almost always without a needtoknow on your part. Do not attempt to understand these rules. They almost never work both ways anyhow, and are unlikely to apply more than once, and never in identical situations.

The best a man can do is to be aware of some key words that may help him deal with these adventures when they overtake him.

RESPECT
A woman deserves your respect. Remember, every woman has an agenda. If you want to be even a small part of it, you must genuinely respect her point of view, and let her know that you do. It is not necessary or even likely that you will agree with all of it, but it is as important to her as yours is to you. Remember, a person’s point of view is neither right nor wrong. It just is.

Respect has another aspect you’ll consider, if you’re wise. Although nothing really compares, a reasonable analogy might be water. Tantalizingly beautiful as poured into a crystal glass, deliciously comforting as a hot shower after a long day, yet malevolently deadly as invisible ice on the road in the dead of night. A woman is like water, she can satisfy your most desperate thirst, then drown you without remorse in the next moment. A woman is a formidable force. She deserves your respect.

VERACITY, SIDE A
There is NEVER a justifiable reason for doing a woman wrong. Do not lie. Whatever happens, you will always have the knowledge that you didn’t deceive her. She needs to know who you are. If you lie to her and she is attracted to who she THINKS you are, she’ll make you (and herself) eternally miserable when she finds out who you REALLY are. If you tell her the truth and she walks, you’re both better off. Nothing is more depressing than trying to get along with a woman who isn’t satisfied with who you are.

VERACITY, SIDE B
Water’s wet, the sky’s blue, women lie. Believe it. Get used to it. Nothing changes. This is not an indictment of women. It’s my view that women in their hearts are much more honorable than men. Nevertheless, NEVER bet the farm on anything she says. That way, you’ll only have pleasant surprises. Even if she doesn’t tell you overt lies, she will allow you to labor (apt word) under a misapprehension, sometimes for YEARS without telling you the truth, then blow you away with it after you’ve wasted half your life and hers trying in vain to make her happy. Above all, never feel guilty. (refer to Veracity side A.)

SEX
Some people will tell you that, in a relationship, sex isn’t everything. Bullshit. Sex is the ESSENCE of a relationship. Sex is the evidence that a relationship exists. If you think communication is more important, try defining an orgasm using words. Sadly, most men think of sex as something that relates to their penis, their orgasm. Such men deserve what they get, and the women who tolerate them deserve the same. Learn to be a GREAT lover. Forget your orgasm. Admit it, you can give yourself a better orgasm than almost any woman can. Don’tblush. You know it’s never been a problem. HER orgasms are the ones that count. Learn how to make her come and come and come. When she says, she can’t take any more, remember Veracity, side B, and give her a few more. Then start thinking about yourself. Enjoy the pleasure of giving pleasure. Make her love it. Make her crave it. A woman who has a hohum attitude toward sex has a hohum attitude toward you. If she doesn’t want it from you all the time, she’s the wrong woman for you. If you don’t want it all the time from her, you’re the wrong man for her. The woman in the most happy, welladjusted couple I ever met told me the secret of their success, she said, “He fucks me any time he wants…And any time I want.” Communicate after.

MARRIAGE
Marriage is a waste of time unless you want to have children. If women are the best part of life, for some of us, children are the nextbest. Your own children, that is. In my own life, my children are a very close second indeed. Not because you’ll carry on the family name. Big deal. Who cares? Certainly not me. I’ll be dead. Not because you’re good kids. (You are.) The fact is, I am at a loss to explain it. Suffice to say that you guys give me an overwhelming sense of pleasure and satisfaction, just knowing you’re living your lives and being yourselves, which is the best possible thing you could be. You could, of course, just have some kids without bothering with marriage, but I’m not sure that would be giving the kids a fair shake. Your call. If you choose to get married, it could take a long time to find the right woman, and in the unlikely event you find her, there’s no guarantee she’ll have anything to do with you.

At the risk of making what sounds like a shoppinglist, here are some things you’ll want to look for in the mother of your children. First, you’ll want a woman who knows who you are and is satisfied with it. You’ll want to know her in the same way. You’ll want to know how she feels about sex. You’ll want to know how she feels about children. The one overriding factor to remember if you’re considering a longterm relationship is: PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. Nobody’s perfect. Think of the thing you hate most about her and consider living with that for twenty or thirty years without it ever getting any better and insist that she do the same with the things she hates about you. If you can say honestly to yourselves, Yes, I can live with that, You may have a chance. The only thing you can be sure of is that she won’t change and you won’t either. Don’t kid yourselves. You are who you are.

Don’t waste your time on fidelity, and don’t expect it from her. It could happen that the two of you could be so perfectly matched that you’d never have any desire for anyone else. It could happen. Right.

I’m not suggesting you spend your marriage chasing “unauthorized ass”. If it happens, it happens. Don’t pass it up. She won’t.

LOVE
Love is something God does. He loves me. I can tell. Love is something you do with your children. It has always been easy and relaxed and fulfilling for me to love you. Love is what you feel about some of the things you do. You can love sex. You can love playing your instrument. You can love driving fast in a good car. You can love pizza. In any other context, love is the major incompetency of the human race. If you are looking for love, you will find pain, whether you find love or not. If a woman loves you, you will hurt her. You don’t even have to try. She will hurt you the same way without even knowing it. Love is something you can NEVER get right. Love is pain. Love is misery. Love is nearly always wasted.
Physical, relaxed, demonstrative affection is wonderful. Fondness is joy. Love is the worst kind of hellonearth.

Enjoy your life. Enjoy women. Flee love .

Semblance of Closure

September 20, 2011

During a memorial dinner we had for my father, where well over 100 people were crammed into our tiny mosque, I was asked to say a few words about him.

I tried to come up with a “speech” the night before but that seemed tacky and crass. So instead, I committed a few key words to memory and rolled with it the best I could. Here is a transcription of what I came up with…. At least what I remember of it anyway:

“My father was an imposing man, wasn’t he?

From the way he talked to the way he carried himself-

When I used to visit him at his office and catch him walking down the hallway I would say to myself ‘Damn… that is an impressive dude.’

And he really was no matter how you looked at it. He came to the United States from a pretty lousy country (no offense) with next to nothing after graduating med school and became a successful doctor saving lives and healing the sick. In fact many of the people he helped are in this room today, or have worked beside him while he worked his magic.

Whenever I would think of everything he had accomplished, I would be in awe and consider him to be slightly more than human. And, like many parents, I’m pretty sure he expected the same for me but I took a different path and I think that’s why there was always this tension between us. Of course I loved him – he was my father and gave me an excellent life and I would like to think the same is true of his feeling for me, but it never quite went past that.

Then he got sick.

But because he was this larger than life character for me, I figured he’ll have his surgery, pop some antibiotics, and be back to playing tennis and scolding me for some reason or another: No big deal right?

I held on to that belief, regardless of what my family and the doctors would say. I never argued it, but in my head I would simply say ‘Whatever -he’ll be fine.’

I held on to that belief until his last breath. Then the denial and disbelief and all those other psychological terms started to kick in. I refused to believe it happened because I had so many questions. I had so many “whys” that needed to be answered and he left without answering them. I was lost…

But something – odd – has been happening in the past week. The stories I had no knowledge of started rolling in. Stories of my father’s generosity, his kindness, his sense of humor and laugh. Stories about families given the opportunity to do things never even DREAMED of because of my father’s altruism. And they were coming in from all over the globe via email, phone, and even Facebook strangely enough.

So… With that being said I would like thank my brother and sisters for being infinitely stronger than I have been to help me through this and to help arrange everything in such a short time. I would like to thank my mother for being the rock that has held us all together.

And finally I would like to thank you: For even though I may not have had my questions answered, the stories you shared with me helped me understand my father more than I thought I could and that helps more than you can ever know.

Thank you.”

After the obligatory handshakes and hugs after my words, I had to step outside to get away from the congestion of depressed bodies.

While outside I saw Kay, a middle-age woman who I didn’t know very well but had worked in my dad’s office for many years. She approached me, eyes red and watery to the point where she was about to break down, but for a completely different reason than I expected:

“That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard.”
“Thank you Kay… “
“But there is something you should know.”
“Oh?”
“Your father was so very proud of you. He told all of us.”

I tried to fight back this swelling that was happening in my mind. My jaw was clenching. My chin started to ache and quiver. My eyes filled up and nose was starting to run… It was time. The only words I was able to get out were: “He was?”

She hugged me and I lost it… It was the first time since it happened and I think the timing was probably just right. She told me to never question how my father felt about me or any of us because there was no question.

It was just the answer I was looking for.