CPR on Chivalry

One of the topics that I don’t discuss enough is feminism. One because of the militant nature that most people associate with the word. Recently I have thought about the subject a lot more. Specifically about how women seem to be more cyber-bullied than man, also stalked and harassed because of what they post.

That certainly does not scare me, but it does bring up a point. I can still remember the day when I stopped holding doors.

A lady I worked with took offense to me offering to help her carry some heavy stuff she was carrying. I mean she was truly offended and was very vocal about it. I never meant to offend her, it was just the way I was raised. For a long time I stopped doing chivalrous things because of it.

Equality is a very nice abstract concept, but it is very hard to apply in actuality.

I believe everyone deserves the same opportunities regardless of sex. I also believe that I should be able to be chivalrous without it being perceived as sexist of a put down. I work with a lot more woman now than I have done in the past, and I see plenty of them in the elevator. Recently I actually carried some heavy stuff for someone all the way to their car. I said who gives a crap if someone will take offense at the offer. It made me feel good that she took the offer and was thankful.

I also got a kiss from my wife this weekend when I helped an older man in the hospital parking garage find their car. That made me feel good as well. I will continue to look for things to bring chivalry back into my life more and more. I think it should be part of being a man.

I Know You Hate Me

As much as some people would love a nice chunk of drama, this is not it. My life is surprisingly free of it. I guess the changes I have been making do make a difference. The moment you remove the noise and listen to the well tuned airwaves things seem to get pretty clear. This post is a little different, it’s more of a series of thoughts that have been floating in my head. I’ve had tons of crap floating in there lately. Some of them have to do with the terminal illness of a loved one and not really knowing how to cope with that.

This part is personal… very personal. So much so that even as I write it I wonder if it is mine to tell or not. I just don’t want to forget this. Not the pain part, but who I am right now and what I think about the situation. Reading back on post from years ago is a great little reminder of who I was back then, but better yet. How have I changed.

ALS is a horrible disease. I quit talking about it partly because of the things it was attracting… horrible human beings that want to promise a cure, but are actually in trouble with the law for scamming the sick and elderly from their hard earned life savings.

There were terrible things that I had to face, but nothing compares to what the person with the disease is going through. You know what the hardest thing was for me to take… the fact that shame had anything to do with the situation. Yes, shame. As in, I don’t want people to see me having to be fed. It was not simply the pride of someone that always took care of not only themselves an others. When part of who you are is being a provider, making that unwelcome transition to be the one receiving care is not an easy one.

I was very angry. My whole life I have fought the stupid shame monster. As I get older I care less and less what others think. I am better at not taking things personal. I can honestly say that if you don’t like me, I am OK with it. I finally understood that lesson, some people will just simply not like who you are. “I know you hate me, and I am totally OK with that.”

I don’t know how to transmit that feeling to someone else though. How do I remove that shroud of shame from someone else who has always been proud. I know I have personally seen an elderly person out on the road and said they should have their license removed… but what about when that is your last sense of pride and independence.

We live in the world of superficial interaction. I am sure your Facebook has people that you don’t know well, but either would like to know better or thought you knew at one point. I have heard from others that they hate “such and such type of update.”

“I hate the people that post every meal.”
“I hate the people that post pictures of their kids on different outfits.”
“I hate the people that take up working out and all they post about is their workout.”
“I hate the people that seem to only post about their new found religion.”
“I hate the people that post about their travels.”

Why do we have such an easy time hating others for what they share? Is it always some level of jealousy?

I have not had to do it a lot, but when I do get a negative comment to something I am excited about I am quick to point out that you can unsubscribe from me, or even unfriend me. I think that feature is golden. If I don’t like your noise, but like you as a person I can simply not follow your updates. Sharing things in the internet can make us seen one dimensional, but we are all complex being with tons of shit going on in our lives. From following my Facebook you would never know that I worry about people close to me having cancer, I have someone with a terminal illness and I see them deteriorating every time a little more… my close friends know that via phone call, I don’t need the empty sympathy of a comment or worse, someone liking a sad status because they are too busy to actually type a comment. (I have seen it done, someone posts something really sad and people actually click the like button.)

So even though I think I have conquered shame, I still don’t want to fall to.

“I hate the people that post about their relative dying.”

I am not ashamed of it, I don’t want to share it… I just hate the fact that my relative feels judged in some way because of his condition. I hate the fact that there is nothing I can do about it. Nothing I can ever do (besides curing him) will ever bring him back.

We are all complex creatures going through this journey of life. I like to think that if you get to know me you won’t hate me, but if you do… don’t waste your time. I am certainly not wasting mine.

Thursday Rambling

– I need to go see “bedroom eyes.”
– That is the nickname that Bea and I came up with for my barber.
– She could be my Grandma and is a sweet old lady.
– She also really likes my eyes.
– For whatever reason she found it appropriate to tell me I had “bedroom eyes.”
– I had never heard that before.
– So she became “bedroom eyes.”
– She is also Italian, but loves Mexican food.
– Yes she knows I am Colombian.
– She has questioned me on bean preparation.
– I don’t mind being a “beaner” I love beans.
– I finished the first book of the GoT.
– Awesome birthday present from DeGuia.
– My wife has not started it, but I think she will enjoy it.
– Did I mention I hate cruises.
– But I love my wife more than I hate cruises.
– So a cruise might be in my near future.
– We are also going to Colombia soon.
– And after that to Kansas… but not KC… its a wedding.
– Not too soon though, still weeks away… or is it months, I am horrible with time.
– Not really, I just don’t want you in my business.
– I am losing a loved one soon.
– Terminal illness is a bitch.
– At the same time, we are all going to die some day.
– Sickness scares me a lot more than death.
– Even though ALS is not hereditary I do think about it affecting me.
– Main reason I stopped red meat was medical.
– I think I mentioned it before, the great uncle that seemed to share the most genetic makeup with me died of a heart attack.
– But the thing that made me really cut back the red meat was actually gout pain.
– People talk about pains, but having pain on your toe to the point you want it to be chopped off is no joke.
– Cutting back a the red meat was not as hard as I thought.
– I wish it was because I hate GMOs
– or because Beef carbon foot print is the size of a hummer.
– But no it was totally because of a pain on my big toe.
– Bike riding is enjoyable.
– Way more than running.
– My workout routine now includes Kempo.
– I miss TKD and Kungfu.
– I miss my teachers more.
– I need to get to Michigan this year.
– And California, and Colorado, and KC, and Puerto Rico, and Tampa.
– I guess its not a bad thing to have friends all over the place that want to see you.
– The weather is too nice outside.
– There should be an automatic day off per weather niceness index.
– It would be good for the soul.

Let it ride!

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. This would be bike #4 in my life. By far the nicest bike ever. Bea and I are really excited about it since we have a nice paved bike less than 3 miles for us. We rode a bit yesterday and it made me think about the bikes I’ve had.

My first bike was pink. I am not kidding. It was a hand me down bike from my cousin when she moved here to the US. It was a banana sit type of bike. It looked something like this.

I rode that bike pretty consistently until I was around 8 or 9. I really did not care too much about the color of it… heck so me of the kids on the street a lived in did not even have a bike.

My second bike was a BMX type of bike and was red. It was not the sturdiest of bikes and I broke the fork on it numerous times. I probably rode it until I moved to the US myself. I probably did not ride it half as much as i did the pink one. It is weird to think of not going to far from home because you are scared that someone is going to steal your bike. That actually happened quite often. It was not an unsafe neighborhood persay, but bikes are one of those things that an older teenager can easily steal from a younger kid.

As an adult I bought a cheap bike from a big box store. I don’t even remember the brand, it was kind of a beige color bike. I literally rode that bike twice. It was sad to see it just gather dust and eventually rust. I never really got used to the sit and overall just did not enjoy it. It was more of an impulse buy than anything else.

The bike I have now was well researched and vetted by a lot of my friends. Most of them are doing road stuff and even some triathlons. I have to dig the pictures of us when they were wolfing down burgers with me. We are excited to start riding, the focus will be fun, the health aspect of it will simply be an added bonus.

Mid Week Rambling

– Wednesdays are my never-ending meeting days.
– This Wednesday Rocked! I felt like I got a lot accomplished… IN MEETINGS.
– I need to remember to get water before a 2+ hour block of meetings.
– I don’t like when the weather is nice out and I am stuck indoors with little natural light.
– This might be the year that sees me motorcycle riding again.
– While I was away from Chicago all my smoking, drinking and italian beef eating friends became health nuts.
– Not all of them, but most.
– We are both getting brand new bikes delivered to our local shop this week.
– It has been a while since I had a bike, but I am looking forward to riding one.
– Both the motor and not motored one.
– It is going to be in the 60s next week.
– That is really weird for Chicago this time of the year.
– When I had a motorcycle any time it got above 35 I would try to ride to work.
– My wife’s last visit to the Dr. went awesome.
– Proud of all her efforts and progress.
– Ever since I started my new job about 6 months ago I have been changing my diet.
– It has also been almost a year of greatly reducing the amount of beef consumed.
– Weird that all those changes did not feel like much until I started to seriously work out.
– Well, switching to filtered water did make me feel different.
– While I was away from Chicago our group switched places to meet at.
– This year we might go back to the place we used to meet at when I was riding.
– I miss those nights, hopefully we do go back there again for this season.
– There is nothing that like the feeling of riding in a pack of 50+ motorcycles.