Making Our Dreams Come True…

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While listening to a vintage top 40’s radio show rerun, a song I had completely forgotten about reminded me of a Single Independent Woman (SIW) sitcom I watched often during my childhood: Laverne and Shirley.

Does this song ring a bell? (I apologize in advance if it gets stuck in your head now! Lol.)

Let’s look at the lyrics:

Making Our Dreams Come True

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight
Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated
We’re gonna do it!

Give us any chance – we’ll take it
Read us any rule – we’ll break it
We’re gonna make our dreams come true…
Doin’ it our way

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now
Straight ahead and on the track now
We’re gonna make our dreams come true…
Doin’ it our way

There is nothing we won’t try

Never heard the word impossible
This time there’s no stopping us
We’re gonna do it

On your mark, get set and go now
Got a dream and we just know now 
We’re gonna make our dream come true
And we’ll do it our way – yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
And do it our way – yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you! 

This is how Wikipedia describes the show:

“Laverne & Shirley (originally Laverne DeFazio & Shirley Feeneyis an American television sitcom that ran for eight seasons on ABC from January 27, 1976, to May 10, 1983. A spin-off of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley followed the lives of Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams), two friends and roommates who work as bottle-cappers in the fictitious Shotz Brewery in late 1950s Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From the sixth season onwards, the series’ setting changed to mid-1960s Burbank, California. Michael McKean and David Lander co-starred as their friends and neighbors Lenny and Squiggy, along with Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa, Phil Foster as Laverne’s father Frank DeFazio, and Betty Garrett as the girls’ landlady Edna Babish.

Noted for its use of physical comedy, Laverne & Shirley became the most-watched American television program by its third season [emphasis mine], and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1979.”

I found myself wondering how much this show affected my impressionable young mind, and the minds of other girls of my generation?

I also wondered what a follow-up would show? What would Laverne and Shirley be up to now? How did their plan work out? What specifically was their “dream” and did it come true?

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

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It’s Not (Only) About You

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For the past few decades girls and women have been encouraged to put their needs first. I believe the initial intent was to help women overcome being a doormat. But rather than come to the middle, balancing her needs with the needs of others, it seems in many cases women today think mostly of their own needs and little to none about the needs of others.

For example, I often see this in relationships. A woman will be talking about how she needs X, Y, and Z. She can pinpoint to the smallest nuance everything that’s lacking, wrong, or could change to make the relationship better for herself. And while this is good, what I rarely hear is a woman pondering what her partner may need, want, think, or feel.

In my previous post we find such a woman. And it literally destroyed her relationship. She was so focused on her own experience, she completely lost sight of the fact that the relationship did not exist solely to fulfill her every need, want, and every happiness but rather it was about BOTH of their needs, wants, and happiness.

It’s true that in the past women were often encouraged to think about others and what they might do to make them happier. But I don’t believe this was done to teach women not to think about themselves at all, I believe it was done to counteract the tendency of the female mind to see the world from her point of view alone.

If you find yourself ruminating, perturbed, or upset — try stepping back from focusing on what you need, feel, want, or wish and ask yourself what others involved may need, feel, want, or wish as well.

Healthy functional relationships are two way streets. Everybody gets and everybody gives. Sure at times one side may be giving or getting more than the other at a specific moment, but overall it should even out.

Balance. It’s not (only) about you.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

Attitude is Everything

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The tale of yet another relationship hitting the dust reminded me — attitude is everything.

Like many women today, this woman, who in this case had the opportunity to literally marry a millionaire, blew it all up with her attitude.

They met several years back. He was unhappily married, but was staying the course rather than divorcing. They kept in touch as friends, the attraction obviously mutual. She swore for years he was the one, her soul mate. And patiently she waited while working as a waitress, living month to month.

About two years ago his wife became ill, and then passed away. After grieving the loss he reached out to the gal, and they started a romantic relationship. It escalated rather quickly into them moving in together. He was overjoyed, ready to experience all the good and joy life had to offer. But rather than share his enthusiasm, she started picking everything apart.

She seemed to quickly forget how she had struggled before, how hard things were, what it was like to live hand to mouth, how much she worried about her future without a retirement plan of any kind. How she swore he was her soul mate, and hoped someday they could be together.

When I would talk to her after they moved in together, and she would complain about the loss of freedom, the lack of time to herself, all the “things” she had given up, I knew it was not going to work. And the thing was, he wasn’t asking her to give anything up, she was the one creating this odd self-sacrificing, self-limiting situation. Rather than see she was herself creating the lack, she stubbornly blamed it all on him.

Rather than appreciate the good, she focused on the bad. I never heard her voice gratitude for her sudden increase in her standard of living. Here she was living in a beautiful luxury home right on the river, seemingly not a care in the world, with a man who wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of their lives together, and to be happy. Instead from her it was complain, complain, complain. And not just in private, she would do it right in front of him!

Today I heard the news I knew back then was coming — he finally had enough. She’s now once again living in a rented apartment, with little in the bank, and no plan for the future. Now mind you, this woman is past retirement age! I am just not sure what on earth she is thinking!

Instead of a life of leisure, travel, fun times, and no worry she choose — willful independence.  Except she’s not able to be independent, truly. And the chance to build that is also quickly coming to a close.

Perhaps that reality has not sunk in yet. I wonder if in time she will regret her behavior?  For now, she insists she’s happier on her own. I can’t tell if it’s the single independent woman brainwashing talking, denial, or actually the case. No matter, the ship has sailed. I guess independence is going to have to work. It’s the only offer on the table.

I do know one thing, I for one will not be very interested in hearing her tales of woe once all this sinks in. And perhaps that’s really the problem — wanting whatever it is one doesn’t have, until they do, and then they want something else? Seems like a really poor life strategy. But unfortunately it’s one I see all too often.

Seeing the glass or half full or half empty actually is a choice, even if one doesn’t recognize it. Attitude can determine success or failure — which one are you choosing?

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

One Smart Cookie!

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As I may have mentioned, I live in a rural area surrounded by farmland and small-acreage “country estates/hobby farms” owned by people who want to live a country lifestyle.

My place is surrounded on two sides by a family that has lived and farmed the area for generations. The father, widowed after 40+ years of marriage and now in his late 70s, lives with his bachelor brother on the original farm. His two sons, in their late 40s or early 50s, both own 40-acre hobby farms. They are a good family, solid church going folks who are upstanding citizen types.

Recently, the grandson announced he was engaged, and will be married this summer on the family property. He, his mom, and his bride-to-be stopped by to say hello a few weeks ago, sharing their good news.

I was immediately impressed by this young woman. She’s tall and fit with a curvy but athletic build. Her long brunette hair is styled in natural cascading waves, and I was not surprised to hear that she sometimes does modeling work. She was dressed stylishly but modestly, in clothes that fit and flattered. (She was conspicuously lacking in the tattoos, wild hair colors, piercings, and other fashion choices many gals her age are making these days.)

She’s bubbly, graceful, and well mannered. By no means shy or a doormat, but she’s also not at all overbearing. She’s got a regal confidence, the bearing of a true young lady. Classy. His mom beamed at her with pride, obviously smitten with her son’s choice of a future wife. All good signs that I was happy to see!

The son is a strapping young man. Thanks to working around the farm plus having very athletic parents, he’s pretty much the physical ideal example of a young man. I could not help but notice this the other day when he and his fiance stopped by to check in on cutting my hay field. Instead of the long sleeved shirt he had worn during the prior visit, this time he was in a loose tank top. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before but his biceps and chest were huge, the boy is solid muscle!

As the two bounded off to check the field, he and his eager helpmate, I thought what a dashing pair they make, so happy and carefree and obviously in love. Like his parents and his dads parents before that, I can see them married for life, building a life, and starting a family of their own.

I did not ask their ages or what they do, but my guess is they are recently out of college, in their early 20s. While others in their age group are sowing wild oats, these two are pairing up and settling down.

I thought what a smart cookie she was to choose wisely and well, marrying into a solid family, with a bright financial future. I have no doubt they will have a beautiful and fairly easy life. Charmed, even.

Like many of her age, she could instead be on Tinder, swiping and matching, putting everything into her career, going out to nightclubs and bars, keeping her options open, telling herself maybe she’ll settle down, “someday,” but for the time being wanting freedom, independence, empowerment, and lots of life experiences.

I wondered how she had happened to take the path less traveled, if it was just blind luck or if she consciously sought to find her mate, a good man from a good family who she loved with all her heart, and happily marry young? My bet is that it is a result of deliberate choices to be and do different than most of her peers, choices that are now paying off.

In any case, I think she’s wise. And I don’t see her doing anything but building upon the firm foundation she’s establishing. Like his mother who herself married wisely and well in her youth, I see a relatively carefree and easy road ahead for this girl rather than one filled with pain, struggle, and strife.

It makes me happy to see it and to share the tale — sometimes you see it working out, despite the odds, and it gives me hope that all is not lost. I hope other young ladies (including my own girls!) who hear her tale see the wisdom in doing different, and take the same path themselves!

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

Father Insurance

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On Father’s Day, it seems like a great time to bring up some statistics that show dads do a lot more for their kids than simply contribute genetic material. Consider:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

To say dads are any less critical to raising healthy, well developed children is ignoring reality. So today, thank a dad for all they do for kids — and for society!

Happy Father’s Day.

What  do you think? Please share in the comments!

Ladies First

Lol, perhaps this poem from a book published in 1981 foretold the red pill:

Ladies First

Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first,’
Pushing in front of the ice cream line.
Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first,’
Grabbing the ketchup at dinnertime.
Climbing on the morning bus
She’d shove right by all of us
And there’d be a tiff or a fight or a fuss
When Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first.’

Pamela Purse screamed, ‘Ladies first,’
When we went off on our jungle trip.
Pamela Purse said her thirst was worse
And guzzled our water, every sip.
And when we got grabbed by that wild savage band,
Who tied us together and made us all stand
In a long line in front of the King of the land-
A cannibal known as Fry-‘Em-Up Dan,
Who sat on his throne in a bib so grand
With a lick of his lips and a fork in his hand,
As he tried to decide who’d be first in the pan-
From back of the line, in that shrill voice of hers,
Pamela Purse yelled, ‘Ladies first.’

by Shel Silverstein

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Careful What You Wish For

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I got some sad news yesterday that a couple I know has separated and is on the path to divorce. Their son is 11-years-old.

They did not marry until later in life, late 40s. He is a chemist with a well-paying job working for a large company, she was a former housekeeper and has been a stay at home wife and then mom since they married close to a dozen years ago now.

They hadn’t planned on becoming parents, so the news they were going to have a baby came as a shock. She was nearly 50 at the time, although both seem and act a decade younger. Their son is a very bright child, charming and well mannered. Even so I suppose becoming a parent by choice versus by accident is a different experience, and she struggled to be happy about it, or her marriage.

As far as I could see, a big part of their issues come from her attitude. She’s constantly focused on the negatives and has complained about the marriage and threatened divorce nearly from the start. Frankly, she’s a miserable person and difficult to be around.

One day, after walking me thru their home and describing all the remodeling projects she had underway, once again she started in on how she wasn’t haaaaapy, he wasn’t this or that, she was sick of it, and she may as well get a divorce.

Perhaps because I was a single mom she expected me to be on board. So I think she was a bit shocked when I pointed out how lucky she was that her biggest problem seemed to be what color of tile to choose while I was each and every month panicking about how I would pay the mortgage and other bills and not lose our home. I told her she had no idea how hard life as a single mom can be.  At the time she actually thanked me for providing some perspective, and I urged her to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. And to not create problems that were not there.

This was over a year ago. Unfortunately it sounds like she continued with the picking apart of the marriage and after years and years of it, he snapped. He said he was tired of the constant complaining, moved out to an apartment nearby, and has no interest in going back.

According to our mutual friend, it did not occur to the wife that HE might be the one to check out, and she is now desperately trying to get him to change his mind to no avail. She’s now panicking at the thought of being on her own, having to get a job, possibly living alone for the rest of her life. Easy street has come to an abrupt end. What color of tile to pick is no longer all she has to worry about.

I know several other women who share this same attitude toward their marriage, always picking it apart, never happy, constantly complaining. I suppose it is an easy habit to get into, but a very destructive one. They literally create problems that are not there. Only thinking about themselves, me, me, me. (If perhaps you have fallen into this trap, please stop it TODAY!)

For the record her husband is a good man. Smart. Faithful. Good looking. Steady. No major deal breaker flaws for sure. She could do a lot worse. Much. As far as I can see, there really isn’t any reason for her unhappiness except her own mental roadblock. And I would be willing to bet that mental roadblock will remain, she will continue to be negative and unhappy, but will no longer have the husband to blame. (Hopefully it will not then transfer to the son, who my heart breaks for having to go through all this.)

Ladies, happiness is an inside job. Don’t be foolish like this woman, tearing your house down with your own hands. That good man may just decide better to live in the corner of an attic with a leaky roof than spend one more day listening to a nagging, complaining wife. And at that point, as this woman has found, it may be too late.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

When Normal Is The New Weird

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I am not sure exactly when it happened, but these days it feels like normal is the new weird!

I realized this yesterday as I found myself at an event talking to a gal with multiple body piercings, tattoos (including a large green worm on the side of her face!), blue and purple hair, and jewelry that indicated her sexual fetishes and preferences.

As I looked around, I realized I might have been the only woman there without a tattoo, or body piercings (besides pierced ears), or unnaturally colored hair, or jewelry or clothing that didn’t somehow make a statement. Yep, I was a normie!

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with being an individual, or expressing oneself, but it struck me that in a world where everyone is desperately trying to be more edgy and individual than anyone else, and as a result are having to go to greater and greater extremes to do so, normal has become the new weird.

It made me wonder will a return to traditionalism be next? Will it somehow become hip to be square?

After all every reaction has an equal or opposite reaction, so they say. When nothing is shocking anymore, is the only logical way left to stand out to be not at all shocking? To be shockingly not shocking?

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

Is Feminism Sexist?

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An interesting contradiction I have long noticed about feminism is how anti-female it can be.

Consistantly female traits are discouraged while masculine traits are encouraged.

But isn’t telling women they will be more successful if they act more like men than women actually sexist?

And yet for years the equal rights movement has basically only been reinforcing the message that being a woman is NOT good.

Ironic? Wouldn’t it be better for a pro-women’s movement to actually be positive about being female?

I say better to really embrace and celebrate who you are than try to be a poor imitation of what you are not. And my observations have found women who are comfortable with their femininity are often more successful than those who perceive it as a negative they have to suppress or overcome.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!

The Power of Gentle

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Something modern culture seems to have lost sight of is how masculine and feminine power can be quite different.

Like much about being feminine, feminine forms of power were branded as weak and inferior by those advocating women act more like men, “in order to be taken seriously.” Thus feminine forms of power were largely cast aside as outdated.

Today its more common to see women opting for masculine power techniques, even priding themselves on being ballsy, brash, and outspoken. However, these masculine forms of power don’t sit well on a woman.

It may be counterintuitive, but for a woman there is far more power in being gentle.

Maybe you know such a woman? She isn’t loud but yet people listen. She isn’t demanding but is given respect. She isn’t pushy but gets far.

Gentleness is so powerful for a woman for exactly the same reasons strength is so powerful for a man. It is the essence of femininity just as strength is the essence of masculinity. Yin and yang.

Perhaps it’s projection at play here? Women might be confusing what they see as strength in men as what men would see as strength in women? But the reality is, they don’t. Just like women don’t see feminine forms of power as strength in a man, despite the common modern sensitive guy trope. It’s repellant vs. attractive.

If you want to be more effective in your efforts, try a gentle approach. You might be surprised how much further it gets you than a more forceful “masculine” method.

What do you think? Please share in the comments!