Love While You Can

The most unfortunate thing about my mode of thinking is that every once in a while I have to turn and face what society forces me to accept as reality. On one of my trips back to what we call the “real world”, I realized that if the conditions under which we live continue in their current direction, the possibilities of growing peacefully to old age are slimming each passing day.

Pessimism is not my forte. However, being aware of factors that could effect my wellbeing is indeed my forte.Read More »

You Live the Good Life… And Don’t Know It

I know a lot of people. Between my family, my friends and their families, coworkers, classmates and whoever else, I know a lot of people. I’m sure the same goes for most. If I had to write out the names of everyone I knew, I would be writing for hours… And would still forget a few names. Now out of all those people that I know, there a quite a few of them that I know pretty well. From that few that I know pretty well, many of them I know intimately.

What I have recently noticed about most of the people I know, and myself, is that we have pretty good lives.

If we had to sit back and consider the things that matter, we would actually have to put more effort into finding something to complain about than we realize; at least from the Christian point of view. From the general point of view, most of us are healthy, with somewhere to live, food to eat, too many clothes and surrounded by loved ones. With those things we should all learn to be  content with, Christian or not. The other things that we may find ourselves complaining about are only additives to what the enjoyment of life should be based on. Those things are usually only more of what we already have, bigger of what we already have, or even slightly different from what we already have. If you can’t learn to be happy with those basic things, you will never be happy.

As a Christian though, we have so much more than the comfort of shelter, food, clothes, health and loved ones. Like I said before, those things are more than enough looking from the general point of view, but from a Christian perspective, our comfort should extend past the point of even losing all those things. With God being the source of all of our joy, our well-being, our futures and every possible outcome that our future has to offer, we shouldn’t even worry… Ever… About anything. I know that this is easier said than done, but we should make it common practice to check our complaints as they come to mind, and give thanks for what we have. So often we lose sight of the good things that we’ve been blessed enough to see, and complain about meaningless nothings. Instead of complaining about not making enough money, try being grateful for having a job. I guarantee your quality of life will increase with just a few minor changes in your perspective.

I was actually having this conversation with someone not too long ago when they pointed out that all of this is easy for me to say because of the life that I grew up with. I grew up with both parents, a bunch of siblings, hosts of aunts, uncles and cousins, a good church and always had whatever I needed; maybe not all I wanted, but everything I needed. Without hesitation, I agreed to his point. I grew up pretty carefree. Unfortunately, there could be a couple drawbacks to explain that. First, maybe I’m the type of person that could not handle any other type of life. Maybe growing up in a single-family household would have caused me to err in ways that other people did not. Maybe I’m one of the people that God knew that anything less than the life he gave me, would be too much for me to live a life fit to be called a Christian. To be completely honest, I haven’t even done as well as I should have to begin with; so it would be very difficult to try to take credit or judge someone else. So if you’ve lived a nice easy-flowing life, consider the fact that maybe that’s all you could have handled before boasting on it.

Another way to look at it is that maybe I will need every good memory, every good thought and all the easy, good times that I have ever known in order to get through whatever obstacles that may lie ahead of me. Now, I pray that this is not the case, but He has already promised that I wouldn’t be tempted above that which I could bear. So if I were to find myself in times of hardship, I should be able to be at peace knowing that God will see to it that I am taken care of. This type of confidence won’t come by simply wanting it though. I will have to be confident that I have lived accordingly to be taken care of by God. This does not go for just me, because I know quite a few people who haven’t seen much hardship in life. We who haven’t should be thankful for that and be ever conscious of the fact that it is not by our will or our family history or anything else that has allowed such comfort. If we recognize that it’s God holding things together now, we can trust that He will hold them together if they ever seem to be falling apart.

Basically, all I’m saying is that, if you have a phone or computer to read this from, you are probably in pretty good shape. Be thankful for it. I am not a fan of clichés, but “it could always be worse.” As for anyone who reads this and are not given over to the Salvation of Jesus Christ, there is a peace of mind and a fulfillment of life that can only be experienced as a Christian; and it maybe something that you want to look into. As for anyone who reads this and is a Christian, try not to get lost in the negatives and the have nots of life. Focus on what God has already provided you with and what he has kept you from, even when you were undeserving. I have been living every day with the understanding that the joy of the Lord is my strength. So no matter how bleak or discomforting of a situation I may find myself in, I know that my hope, faith, and future lies within God and he will not let me down.

My perspective to you… So if we ever meet in person, hopefully my optimism won’t get on your nerves. 🙂

Mama’s Boy

If you ask me if I’m a mama’s boy, you probably couldn’t even give me an accurate definition of what that term means. It will probably be vague like, “You do everything she says” or “You tell her everything.” What I have done is defined the term in to four categories; two of which are healthy, and the other two, not so much.

The first thing that you have to realize is that under normal circumstances, the mother is the first woman that a guy will learn to deal with. Every standard and view of a woman that he will have, will initially be from what he has gathered from interactions with his mother. So in turn, if a guy loves his mother (which most guys do), the girl that he chooses to date or marry will more than likely share some characteristics with his mother— even if it’s simply physical resemblance. So if he chooses to pursue you, then you are already in a pretty good place— unless he has been pampered into adulthood. If that’s the case, you may be being viewed as another mother.

What a lady should try to figure out is not whether her guy is a mama’s boy or not. What she should try to figure out, is whether he’s the good kind or the bad kind. Every man should have a healthy relationship with his mom. I’m pretty sure every (normal) woman would like to have a man who shares a healthy relationship with his mom. I think what most women want are non-expressive independent mama’s boys.

I have put together a pretty simple chart that breaks down mama’s boys into four basic groups.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.27.27 PM


The type of family and the man’s placement in that family will weigh the most in determining which one of these categories that he will fall into. I have also broken the type of family placement for the man down into four categories with slight variations. They are the only child, the only boy, the youngest child, and the eldest child.

Placement in the Family

Only Child:

The only child is almost a given. He and his mother will be inseparable. That is her only child so every bit of maternal instinct that she is possible of providing will all go into him and his well-being. By the time he is old enough to date, I believe it’s a natural defense for her to be suspicious of any other female coming into his life. By this time I think it is safe to say that the young man will have learned to trust completely in his mother which will make it extremely difficult for any woman to get close to him. When you have a boy that has been raised as an only child, he will typically fall under the category of captive expressive.

Only Boy:

The only is a tricky one. He will definitely be used to being catered to. Sisters will have some of the same characteristics of a mother has, so the effects can be pretty bad. More than likely he will probably fall under the captive category… And the expressive category. Even though the only boy would still commonly fall into the captive expressive category, they are still pretty rare.

Youngest Child:

I think the youngest child is a wild card. It’s almost impossible to determine what category the youngest child will fall under. This category is the only one where the other two factors (which are discussed below) outweigh his placement in the family.

Eldest Child:

The eldest child will definitely be expressive. Whether or not he is captive or independent will depend on the other two factors discussed below. The eldest child is just that. The first that the mother will do anything with. The first that the mother will learn to parent. And the eldest will immediately become an extended right hand helping the mother as responsibilities grow, especially with added siblings. The bond between the eldest son and mother is almost the same as the only son and mother.


Two Key Factors

The Father:

The first of the two key factors outside of child placement in the family is fatherly input. What type of role the father plays in raising his son, can tilt the scale in any direction. Just to give a personal example, when I was 16 years old I went to work with my dad one day. My met us at work to join us for lunch. Since we were riding in my dad’s pickup truck, I got in before my mom to let her be on the outside. My father told my mom to sit next to him and let me sit on the end because I was “learning to be a man.” Back then I thought he just wanted my mom to sit next to him, but it made me feel like tough stuff.

There was another instance when I was about 19 or 20 years old. A friend of mine was on her way to pick me up one night. With me being the eldest child, my mom automatically did not care too much for the young lady. On my way out my mom talked about how she did not think I should be hanging with this girl and how she just rubbed her the wrong way. If my dad had not been present, I would have stayed home to make my mother happy. My dad ushered me out of the door and said, “Have a good night and be home on time.” It clicked for me then that, I have two parents that I have to consider and get input from when making a decision. Looking back at those two simple gestures of fatherhood saved me from being like Terrence J from “Think Like a Man”. From growing up with a father, I have learned to take suggestions from mother and strongly consider and value each and every one of her opinions. However, if dad says “Yes” or “No”, then thats what it is… because mama can’t teach me to be a man.

Number of Siblings:

The second factor is the number of children the mama’s boy is raised with. This is where having a lot of siblings come in handy, especially for the younger boys. When I started getting older and bringing girls around, it was the saving grace of my father that I could even talk to them. I was the oldest boy and this was my mother’s first time having to deal with “outsiders”. Being the oldest of seven, and five of which are boys, my mom didn’t have much time to spend on saving me from strange girls. Now that she have four boys of dating age, she’s used to it. She secure with me being responsible in who I choose to be with, while only gently guiding the younger boys. It was a learning curve that she too had to go through being taught by life, her own boys and her husband. Overall the more children a mother has, the more it dilutes the effect of the mama’s boy syndrome. By the time all of my brothers are grown the term mama’s boy will be something that my mother will find amusing. She will probably be tell some younger mother, “You have to learn to let them grow up.”

Hopefully this can be somewhat of a guide to figuring out what type of mama’s boy you have. If you take into account his placement in his family, the role of his father, and the number of siblings he have, you can just about stick him in one of these categories. Another thing that you can not leave out is what you see. You know what you see and what you hear, from him and his mother. Don’t make excuses for him. The wrong type of mama’s boy will have you caring for his mother and neglecting your own.

So the answer is yes. Yes I am a proud independent expressive mama’s boy. I’m also a daddy’s boy, a brother’s boy and a sister’s boy. So don’t let the term mama’s boy frighten you. More than likely if you get a good guy, he is going to be a mama’s boy to some degree, but just like anything else, there has to be balance.

Relationship Failure Theory: Revisited

After speaking with a few people about my previous post on relationship failures, something became apparent to me. It seems as though I have placed all of the responsibilities of the relationship on the man.

“See, Reggie, that’s what I’m talking about. I wish all guys thought like that.”

Well there’s only one thing about that; when you meet a guy who thinks like that, he will be expecting the same mode of thinking from you. Just because a man has the criteria set for the relationship, and has everything together for a comfortable life, you still have to be able to compliment him. For example, if he has spent the last ten years working hard and saving money, he will probably choose from the women who have done the same. The women who have spent the last ten years partying and spending money, should not expect a hard worker and money saver. It is just not fair.

I wrote the last post from the perspective of what the man should do to secure a sound relationship. I did not anticipate that it would excuse the woman from all responsibilities on her end. I was not writing from the female perspective, but from the males’ point-of-view and what we should do.

Now, for men and women alike, if you are satisfied living a three-star lifestyle, you should be satisfied with a counterpart with three-star criteria. I am not one to tell anyone what they deserve or should have, but I do know that you will work for what you want. You will be disciplined and dedicated to that cause. Now if you are happy with a life with no God, no morals, no values and no money, the one-star route may be the way to go. When the Reverend announces that you are now man and wife, you can both punch each other in the throat, so that the entire congregation knows that you both have a clear understanding of what you are agreeing to.

Please understand too, that the criteria set does not have a dollar amount on it or beauty scale. I hold my religion, morals and values as the primary set of criteria. After that, the most important things would be how many children she wants, physical appearance, and what your food tastes like. Does this consist as five-star criteria? For me, it does. I know that there is a lot more that goes into choosing someone to spend the rest of your life with, but that is where my checklist begin. The rest of the details will be ironed out. For example, there is a 10 and a 7 (we all know what the number scale is), and the 10 wants two children, but the 7 wants five; I’m going with the 7… Hands down. The important things that life will actually be centered around, outweighs the vanity that will only last for a few years. It’s up to every individual, man and woman, to set that standard though. The criterion is not for one-half to set and the other to simply follow and/or be carried; there is a balance that must be met.

Men are called chauvinist or shallow for wanting a good-looking girl who can cook and clean and wants to raise children. Women are called gold diggers for wanting a nice man with a good job, house, and car. How about we decide that those things are all needed to make the typical dream relationship work, and drop all the labels. The labels intimidate both sides into stating what it is that they want from a partner. If you don’t want to raise children, don’t call me a chauvinist, just understand that we have a different set of criteria. I won’t judge you if you will only date a guy who makes a certain amount of money. That is what you require for yourself and it’s okay. Whatever it is you want though, you are expected to play your part in attaining it.

There is one thing that I did not consider though:

“You don’t know what it’s like trying to find a good man out here these days.”

Honestly, I do not. I have never been out looking for a good man. I don’t know what to tell you. That’s when I run out of things to say. I don’t know what a woman considers “good”. It seems like I know a few “good” guys myself, but they all have the same story. It usually goes something like, “she said I was too nice”, or “she said I was boring”, or “she said I don’t make enough money”. I’ve been that guy (typically to unholy women, so it’s fine). The baffling part is when you have to sit and watch her go to a cheating dog of a two-star man simply because he drives a hot car. The “nice guy” will be sitting there thinking, “What the heck just happened?”  The hot car may not be the reason the girl went to him, but that’s all the good guy will see.. Because he’s obviously what you, the woman, have already labeled a dog. So I don’t know how to set the criteria for women, so I didn’t address it. Understanding women has already been said to be an impossible task. So the only one that I will even attempt to understand is the one I marry; and from what married men tell me, I will never even figure her out.

All I can tell you is that everyone should be what they are looking for, and that you shouldn’t expect any more than you put in. It’s just that simple.

Southern Sundays

Monday through Saturday is just about the same all over the United States. You start the week waiting to get to Wednesday, or as we like to call it, Hump Day. Thursday is the preview to Friday. When we wake up on Friday, we are normally already on a countdown until five o’clock. Then it’s the weekend.

Saturday is the day we shop and relax and do all the things that we did not have the time to do during the week. If you have children, you have probably planned something with them to that they can unwind from their progressively intensive school curriculums. For the single people, they probably spend Saturday morning recovering from partying Friday night only to do it again in a few hours. Couples have the day planned to spend time together. They have had to suffer all week without doing all of the mushy things that make single people sick and married people laugh; pet names and picnics and the like. Generally speaking though, Saturday is an overall pretty good day. I think even the people who work on Saturday find a way to enjoy some of the activities and company of the Monday through Friday people.

However, when it comes to Sunday, I cannot help but think southerners do it best. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday may be the same, but not Sunday.

On Sundays, I remember waking up to old-school choir music on the radio while the smell of breakfast encouraged you to get out of the bed. The rules were to wash up and get dressed, but don’t put on your shirt. That was because before leaving home, you were going to spill something; so wore your t-shirt until right before walking out of the house. Mom and dad got the family together and we made our way to church.

At church we listened to the sermon because someone was going to ask you what did the Pastor preached about, and you had better be able to give an answer. They don’t call this the Bible Belt for nothing. I’d go as far as to say that the moral state of the entire country is based in the South. This is because generations and generations back and countless of people like me can recall Sunday mornings like these. This is where we learned respect, discipline, friendship and love. It was the other family.

Now I am in no way saying that Sundays are only like this in the South, but I just find it hard to believe that they would be as good. Is it a biased view? Definitely! I’m a fan and the South is my team.

After church, the boys would tear off their clothes and get together to play. The little girls would prance around in their dresses and do whatever little girls did together. The women would talk about whatever woman talked about, usually the kids and such. The men would stand together and talk while facing the churchyard of women and children as if watching their accomplishments. Slowly we would all break away a family at a time, only to meet at each others’ houses for dinner.

Southern Sunday dinner was the glue that brought it all together. The people, the food, the love; what we like to call fellowship. The hosting house may be small, but there would always be enough food and that was pretty much all that mattered. The women would take the living room and do what women did. The men took the living room and watch sports, and the boys and girls played in separate rooms with the parents taking turns checking on everything.

I like thinking of Sundays in a reminiscence because it was so fun and innocent then. I was unaware that there were actually bills to be paid. Sometimes the dinners were to help out another family. I’m older now and I still enjoy my Sundays, but not with that same innocent view; it’s just a part of growing up. When I look at my younger siblings and their friends, it makes me remember what I felt like going all week without seeing my brothers and then getting to spend all day Sunday with them. Every Sunday was a mini-holiday.

Again, the rest of the country may be able to attest to having Sundays like this too. I’m only saying that church probably wasn’t as good. The people probably weren’t as nice and hospitable either. The tea wasn’t as sweet; the girls’ hair wasn’t as pressed and the mens’ shoes weren’t as polished. I honestly believe everything that anyone would encounter on a Sunday, would just be better in the South. Biased? Definitely!

Sunday in the Bible Belt surrounded by southern hospitality is going to be a hard experience to beat.