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For Jerry


While TTMM is enjoying a little down time this week to revamp some items and trip down memory lane with previous articles and features, we-his friends and family-wanted to celebrate Jerry a little.  This is the perfect week to celebrate Jerry because today is his birthday. So please allow us this indulgence of taking over TTMM for a day to look at this special person on his birthday.  

For my darling husband, 

j outsideCommemorating someone’s day of birth can be a daunting task, especially when that person is so near and dear – like you are to me.  I found it to be an awesome walk down memory lane that provided many laughs, smiles and “aww” moments.  

In high school, you were Kim’s boyfriend and that guy that hung around with Margie.  At our 10 year reunion, you were that really awesome guy that managed to escape Jeff County and make something of himself.  And boy had you made it!!!!  I was impressed.  You were the most interesting person at the reunion.  You were Marilyn Manson before Marilyn Manson (or at least that’s how I felt – you were exotic to this country chick who hadn’t managed the escape herself).  You had the balls to throw the mic down and say f– you guys.  I remember talking to you, liking you and giving you my contact info …. All right in front of my then-significant other.  Not too much happened between the 10 year reunion and the infamous MySpace message (despite your numerous attempts at getting past my mother, the telephone screening nightmare).  “Hey, I think we went to high school together.”  Oh hey!  Jerry Benns, I remember you!”  You were interesting then, even as a non-love interest.  I remember getting back in touch with you after a year-long hiatus of messages.  The more I learned about you and heard from you, the more interesting you became.   It wasn’t long before we switched to email and text.  But I didn’t want to hear your voice until I saw you in person – how weird am I?!  I guess I knew the score, even early on.  Agreeing to meet you for a date, even though I was late and late for not such a great reason, was one of the best decisions I have made.   The monkey t-shirt, shorts and sandals …. I remember it all.  It was an awesome conversation and I was shocked to get an invite back to your place.  Sitting in your lap (shame on me), the black chairs in the living room to separate us, laughing, smiling – and the evening culminating with “if you keep looking at my mouth, I’m going to kiss you,” what a great line!  We rushed through dating with emails back and forth, filled with color and formatting, response after response, story after story.  To move in or not to move in, to wait or not to wait, those were our questions.  Those questions progressed to WHEN to move in – before school starts, or wait until Christmas.  We threw caution to the wind and after a whopping 5 week romance, I moved from my childhood home into your home.  Seven people in a house with one bathroom, not enough bedrooms for all the kids – YET WE MADE IT WORK!   

You’re an awesome dad to all three of our children.  They all have their unique personalities, quirks and needs; you provide them with exactly what they require, want and need.  You offer them strength, insight, a listening ear, a crying shoulder, an interesting perspective or just quiet solitude.  

I find myself loving you, in love with you, and happy to have you by my side, through all of life’s joys, sorrows, laughs and screams.  You are always striving to be better at everything you do, and your family comes first.  That is the sign of a great man.  I’m thrilled and lucky to have you as a husband, partner, friend, housemate, teammate, and all sorts of hats under the sun.  You wear them all well, including your Indiana Jones hat.  My love for you is endless, though trite as that may sound.  

For my best friend, 

j in rioWhen I think of the word “friend” your beloved face is the first to come to mind. We have been friends for what seems like forever. But wasn’t it just yesterday we sat on the bus and you asked me if I ever heard of Bon Jovi? From the first time we sat on the bus listening to music and talking I knew we would be close friends. Who else would wait patiently to drive me to school, or make sure I had my work schedule, or write notes to me every single day? I have always been proud to call you my friend. Even in high school I knew you were special.  You always tried to do the right thing, even when I tempted you to the dark side. (Btw the few times I got you to visit the dark side we had fun- although I think you are still grounded.)  I’m pretty sure we ran your poor Toyota truck into the ground-I still miss that truck. We talked endlessly about everything. I guess some things never change.  While we have had some years apart, we always found a way back to each other, then picked right back up where we left off only to get closer each time.  I’ve seen you go from the quiet boy on the bus to this wonderful brilliant man. 

I admire you so much. You work so hard every day, putting in 100%. You are always learning and trying to do better or be better, whether it is being a loving, devoted husband and father, good friend, or writing, you never just sit back, you always want to do more. Even though you are pretty fantastic, you strive to be better.   If asked to describe you, some of the many words I would use are kind, caring, compassionate, giving intelligent and strong.   You have a kind soul and genuinely care about people. I have seen dozens of acts of your kindness manifest in your everyday life.  One of the greatest traits you possess is being such a good listener and that is because you care. Your compassion shines through whether you are explaining something to a child with hurt feelings or comforting a loved one through some hardship they are facing.  No one can feel alone with you there. You are giving of your time, support, effort, and strength.  You will put aside work to have a conversation with your family. You set aside the book you are engrossed in to read to your daughter. You stay up all night to comfort a friend when their world is falling apart. I love so many of the articles you write in which you open up give a small glimpse of your soul.    You have the ability to relate to others by sharing your own hardships and experiences-a very special quality. You share the strength you possess and are able to connect to people on a deeper level. 

No one could ask for a better friend than you. No matter what I tell you, how much I whine or complain or cry, you never judge, only listen and offer some sage advice.  You would never say “I told you so,” and I know no matter what I can always count on you.   You have great shoulders and never hesitate to share your strength.  Your passions and eclectic interests fascinate me. Some qualities you posses that I admire are that you can have an intelligent conversation on a wide range of topics. You can cook, have an obsession with your lawn, are an avid reader, and can bring people together.   Not only do I owe my music collection to you-the good stuff- but we can spend all day talking, jumping from one subject to another.  Your enthusiasm is infectious. You pursue your dreams fearlessly. Your love of reading and all aspects of writing lead you to strive to learn constantly and step closer to achieving your dreams. I hope you know I am your cheerleader as you work towards reaching your dreams.  

You have a wicked sense of humor.  You can find humor in the most mundane situations and you tell the greatest stories.  It is a joy to see you smile.  I love how your humor finds its way into your writing.  Whether in a short quip or a piece that is an all-out rant, you are funny (yes I said it and it’s in print). Reading the blog is a lot like sitting down and talking to you (one of my favorite things to do).  We had a whole conversation about bumper stickers before it ended up in an article. While often times you poke fun at yourself and exaggerate a character trait others can relate to, your humor is never mean-spirited.  You have the ability to make people laugh.  

I could continue to tout how awesome you are but I think you get the idea.  So today, on your birthday, I want you to know I am honored to be your friend and I wish you every happiness. 

three amigos xmasHappy Birthday Jerry! 

Love, 

Christine & Margie

xoxoxo

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Family

 

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Life of a “Facebook Drama Queen”


“Well, it is official. He didn’t pay the child support again. Time to take him to court. Why doesn’t he see that I love him so much?”

Yes, it is time for another entertaining day reading Facebook posts. Somewhere in the not too distant past, civilization has lost its sanity. Social media allows users to take their drama to the world stage in ways never thought possible before. Daily, users vent their frustrations about their ex-spouse, relationships, and work. Nothing is sacred from the quickly typed (and usually misspelled) mental vomit. The only requirement is access to the internet, a Facebook account, and enough self-loathing to have all of your dirty little secrets exposed for your entire friends list. It does not matter that a majority of the “friends” on that list are strangers added to fulfill your conquest on Farmville.  Some Facebook Drama Queens are so entertaining it is difficult to bring oneself to “unfriend” them out of fear of missing what will come next. (NOTE: This same fear is why it is nearly impossible to change the station when TMZ comes on the air. Admit it- if you see more than a minute of TMZ, you are sucked into the whole show. Drama Baby!)

Not all Facebook Drama Queens are created equal. Life would be boring if Drama Queens came in a one-size fits all package. We need variety to spice up our lives. Facebook users give us endless supplies of spicy goodness. Let us look at a few common categories of Drama Queens.

Victim of the Player

Being a victim is not easy. Hopes and dreams of the perfect future hang on the person of your dreams. You spent the morning sharing how magical the night was when you met. How it was love at first sight, you are so meant to be together. The insignificant facts that you met that person at sleazy bar the night before, after a massive quantity of chocolate vodka martinis, and they were gone before you woke this morning, might be an indicator that your need to re-evaluate your standards. But hey we are talking about “the one” after all.  So then, after your daylong profession of love, your status messages start to take a darker turn when he or she does not call you. Over the next few days, you spiral from the love-struck statuses to the hate filled insults we so enjoy.

The “Victim” will entertain us for days until they finally come to the realization that they are better off without the “loser” who is not good enough for them. This realization is usually applauded in the fifty comments from other “victims” who plan an outing to celebrate the newfound independence. The celebration usually leads to meeting another “person of their dreams” and the cycle starts all over again.  

Crazy Stalker

“It is so amazing, our eyes met across the liquor store. We shared a night of blissful decadence.” What follows are weeks of happy status messages, that is until the inevitable breakup post makes everything interesting. Messages that read like the Facebook version of a Jerry Springer show fill the newsfeed. If we are lucky, it is a two-way fight where friends on both sides join in on the bashing. Eventually, one of the scorned lovers will drop out of the verbal boxing match. However, the fun is far from over.

Facebook fights worthy of the Springer show.

Facebook fights worthy of the Springer show.

The “Crazy Stalker” is similar to the “Victim” only they do not ever seem to reach the point of letting go. Weeks turn into months as the “Stalker” seeks out and post comments to every friend of his or her obsession. The Status updates read like a play-by-play of their stalking prowess bordering on the illegal. The subject of the stalker’s interest is usually strangely absent from the exchange, but that cannot be said of their friends who take up the charge in the status wars. All can have fun, as we are reminded of how interesting and torturous it is to be single.

Eeyore

When looking at the proverbial glass as being half-full or half-empty, Facebook Drama Queens wonder who drank their water. Nothing is every bright and sunny. Whining is the not only the norm, but required with every character typed. How they have the motivation to actively participate in the world around them is nothing short of amazing. It is time to introduce the most depressing of our Drama Queens, the Eeyore.

We all have "Eeyores" on our friends list.

We all have “Eeyores” on our friends list.

If ever you need a reminder that your life is not that bad, just look up the “Eeyore” on your friends list. You know who I am talking about, the person whose status messages almost make you want to jump off the nearest bridge. While reading the status message, you almost hear Eeyore’s mono-toned voice in your head droning on about how their car broke down or they are “stuck” at home again on a Friday night with no money, no friends, and no future. Eeyores typically hate their job, their family, or just about everything in existence. Not all Eeyores are hypochondriacs, but those that are post every ache and pain. Oh, the horror they must endure from that fungal infected toenail.  After reading a few posts, you will be thankful for whatever life has dealt you.

The Compulsive “Over-sharer”

For the record, no, we do not want to know about the new sore that appeared on your little toe. Nor do we wish to hear about the exact ingredients of your dinner, how it well your new colon cleansing routine is working, or the mystical answers you have found in inspirational memes. Yet, we seem to be fascinated by our last entry on our list of Facebook Drama Queens, the “Compulsive Over-sharer”.

As a rule, the Over-sharer is on the fringe of the Drama Queen spectrum. Most of their statuses are reposts of every meme on the internet, however in the process, they feel the need to update their friends on even the most minute aspect of their lives, their thoughts, and personal hygiene. Over time, we know more about the Over-sharer than we do about our own lives. Though not as fun as some of the others on the list, we know exactly what the Over-sharer is doing at any given moment. Sometimes, this knowledge should not be viewed before dinner, bed, or first thing in the morning. You never know what you might read.

WARNING: Attention all Facebook Drama Queens!

You may currently be on our friends list, however it is only a matter time before we remove you. If you wonder why we are not friends anymore, read The Friendship is Over…Just Ask Facebook. That should clear things up for you.

Do you have Facebook Drama Queens on your friends list? What are some of your funniest stories based on Facebook statuses?

Until next time…

jerryb.

©2013

 
11 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Humor

 

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The Friendship is Over…Just Ask Facebook


In our current culture, Facebook dictates who we like and recognize as our friends. If you are not on our Facebook friends list, then you must not be someone we consider worthy of such a title. Never mind that we talk on the phone, at work, or when we get together in person; if you don’t make the cut on the almighty Facebook, you are not really my friend. I am truly sorry to break that news to you so publically on the internet. I would have notified you via my status update, but you wouldn’t see it because my Facebook is only for those people who are my friends and since you are not on the list, you wouldn’t have been given this little tidbit of wisdom. I know you were once in the know and on the elite list of friends but found yourself banished to obscurity without a warning or reason. It could have happened for one of many different reasons and I feel that I owe you an explanation about why you were kicked out of the cool kids’ crowd. So here are some of the reasons you have been defriended.

  • For the love of the game: It seems that you had a whole lot of time on your hands to play online games. You filled my screen with your little achievement updates, and requested help building your barn, finding a stone, or kicking another player’s ass. I, however, do not have the luxury of time and have had less time due to having to sort through multiple pages of your game posts just to find something interesting from people who had something real to share. Sorry, but you have been deleted from the list and I truly hope that barn of yours burns to the ground.
  • Breaking the chain: In the beginning, there were chain letters. Then came chain emails. In our new world, we have chain statuses. Like their predecessors, they do nothing more than piss off the people who feel guilty for not complying with the requested response. Thank you for the notification on the little girl that is suffering from a fatal acne breakout. I am sure that it will clear up after we re-post the story in our status. Well, I for one desire to live a guilt-free life and am willing to close my eyes to all of the suffering in the world to make it a better place for me. In honor of my new outlook, or lack thereof, I am purging you from my friends list in order to be a happier me. I feel better already.
  • Drama class: I for one like a little bit of drama, as long as it is happening to someone else. The Drama Queens who display their drama for all to see can be quite amusing. However, when you constantly share your relationship issues, your pitiful life, or your hatred for your job, you cross over from the realm of amusing to pathetic. If I wanted to see that every day, I would watch reruns of the Jerry Springer Show. Your life is too depressing even for me. I highly recommend you should consider seeking help outside the electronic world.
  • Manic moments: On the opposite side of the depressing drama are those of you that are chronically upbeat and cheerful. After reading your status messages every hour (because you post your joyful messages frequently), I almost wonder if your high spirits are a result of rainbows coming out of your ass. Your words of uplifting prose probably make you feel warm and fuzzy, but for those of us that live in the world of reality, you are obnoxiously manic. No one is that merry all the time; hence your deletion from the pool of friends. Call me cynical but I have no room for someone that is not honest with me on how shitty your life has truly become.
  • Who the hell are you?: Just because you happen to be related to my second cousin by marriage and you have the same last name as I do does not mean that I know you. Though we attended the same school, church, or worked at the same fast food place doesn’t make us friends. In a moment of weakness (and curiosity) I accepted your friend request. I have since realized that weakness is not the way to live and have rectified that moment by deleting you out of my life. I feel stronger already.

I hope this clears up any questions that kept you up at night regarding the change of status. For a brief moment, we were thick as thieves and part of a greater societal circle together. May you go on to find friends that appreciate your uniqueness. I, for one, am not that friend.

Looking back over my friends list, I see a few members of my family, a few people that make me laugh with their posts, and a handful of people who are my only link to a life that is long past. I have come to realize that I must not be a good person as I have fewer friends than I thought. Maybe they deleted me because of the constant promotion of my blog. NAW, they love me.

Until next time…

Jerryb

© 2012

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Humor

 

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