Posts Tagged Integrity

Water Finds Its Own Level

There I was, with my good friend Don Julio on the rocks in hand, mingling amongst a couple dozen movers and shakers at a low-key event on a Downtown L.A. rooftop lounge…and I saw something spectacular that stunned me frozen like I just got tasered. What did I see? Quite frankly, I saw one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever observed – so smoldering, so breathtaking, that I thought for a second that if I didn’t look away, I might forever burn my retinas (where is that cardboard with the a pin-hole when you need it?). I had Michael, my main Musee (those who I muse and inspire) with me and he immediately spotted the same thing and knew exactly what just captured my attention. However, it didn’t take long to notice an extremely evident flaw. No, it wasn’t bad fashion because she was dressed impeccably! It wasn’t BO or halitosis, for her scent was as fresh as Chanel No.5 and Binaca. Nor was it body-art or multiple piercings because this Ferrari had no bumper-stickers or dings! She was like a fine automobile should be: 100% factory stock, fully loaded and showroom glowing.

Yet, she had one flaw that quickly surfaced and was impossible to ignore. This poor heavenly body seemed to have an abnormal growth; it probably just started as an innocent Stage 5 Clinger but soon must have mutated to a full-feeding sycophant. Yes, this beautiful creature had a guy sucked onto her like a pesky Remora that was able to hitch the ultimate ride on a Blue Marlin. I didn’t quite understand it…she being darn near flawless had this stooge who seemed to be tethered to her by a 2-foot invisible umbilical cord.

Now, don’t peg me as a superficial ass just yet. I support and have given many an average guy mad-props when he has reached far above his orbit to snag some insane catch; but usually I admire such guys because they seem to be oozing a certain charm or personality and carry the swagger of an Adonis even though their mere physical appearance would not reflect it. Although they may outwardly appear like a mortal plebian, they possess a certain j’ne sais quoi that can captivate and woo, the most militant evil woman. However, this fellow in question didn’t seem to boast any redeemable trait or skill that could convince me of worthiness. He didn’t seem to be holding a scholarly conversation with anyone, he wasn’t David Blain entertaining or cracking any jokes, there wasn’t any indication of any bit of deep intellectualism and didn’t seem to have the physical prowess to impress even the average soccer player.

I was curious and wanted to shake his hand, introduce myself and strike up a little convo, but the only place his right hand seemed to have any interest in being was clutched firmly around her right shoulder; and I mean clutched…you could actually see his knuckles flushed white from the kung-fu grip he had on her upper arm. She turned, he turned. She took a step, he took a step. She went to the bar, he went to the bar. She walked to the heater, he walked to the heater. She went to the bathroom, he waited at the door! Seriously?!?!? Throttle back there Terminator, that ain’t Sara Conner! I imagined him observing the surroundings through the eye of a Robocop/Terminator type heads-up display, scanning his environment for potential threats to his catch, for he seemed to act in such a manner.

As my Musee and I stood and observed this incredible display of body language, her stock plummeted from a hard 10 to a soft 6. All of a sudden, I couldn’t help but become a little judgmental, jumping to the conclusion that she must be a 49er with shovel in purse and found her man-mine. I don’t know what it could have been…maybe that multiple karat rock the size of a small meteor she was sporting? Or maybe, could it be that she saw this Armani Exchange, Ed Hardy Skinny Jeans wearing fashionista as the rock of stability and security? He really could have been a great guy…but I sure wasn’t seeing it. Then something my mother used to tell me came to me:

“If you want to see the content of someone’s character, look no further than his/her friends.”

I’ll take it a step further and say: your significant other should be the ultimate reflection of yourself; after all, he/she is not referred to as a “better half” for nothing.

With all these observations and thoughts swirling around my dome, I turned to my peeps and remarked, “Water seeks its own level.” Michael looked at me with a perplexed expression on his face. (Being an etymologist and the ultimate wordsmith, I’ve never seen him get stumped when it comes to the English language, although my jive always jacks him up.) I explained that regardless of the size of a container, with all things being equal, water finds a level that will be the same no matter where in the container it is poured. So the level at one end will be exactly the same level as the other end…be it a lake or a bath tub. Metaphorically speaking, in a liquid social container, the superficial ones will find a match of their level; those with depth usually end up with other profound ones. This could be either physical, intellectually or emotionally, or more likely an average of the three. And, for the most part, it is a subconscious thing – Like attracts like.

The reality is, so often we see couples that esthetically or on the surface do not match, however it really doesn’t matter how different their surface appearance might be. I’m willing to bet that their depth and substance are usually a pretty good match. To put it in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: that smoking hot gold-digger usually ends up with a shallow cheese-monkey; that silicone botox status-jumping Barbie eventually finds that Time-Warner exec on Wife 4.0; that Snookie J-Wow Chanel Guidette winds up with that juiced-out Jersey Shore gym rat. We attract who we are – not merely based upon our outward appearance – but more so based upon our inner-self. So when we keep on wondering why we end up with the asses, the crazies, the wall-punchers, binge-drinkers, etc., check yourself, recalibrate and step your game up…Eagles don’t hang out with pigeons!

There are two points that I feel I must address. First off, it may seem that I’m not a huge fan of Public Displays of Affection but that isn’t completely accurate. There have been many of times and relationships where I have enjoyed and embraced PDA. True, some of it really depended on whom I was with, but what was more important was whence it was coming. Meaning, if it felt like the clinging and petting was coming from a place of possession, insecurity, neediness or territorialism, then I would begin to feel uncomfortable, smothered and turned-off. However, if it came from a place of genuine love, affection and desire, then it wouldn’t bother me (unless it became inappropriate, full-fledged macking at table P7 at STK). Secondly, when I walk into a room with my girl, it doesn’t offend me, threaten me, nor make me uncomfortable if every guy in the joint checks her out and mutters comments. I want them to look and gawk. If they speak or act inappropriately, then it’s curb-stomp go time, but I like to think that I’m secure enough in myself and my relationship that I won’t lose my mojo over some random. I feel bad for the guy who displays either—or both—of the aforementioned points…because it’s going to be a long, difficult, paranoid life spent c-blocking the world.

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Decoding Man Code

After watching Monday night’s show The Bachelorette Men Tell All, there was so much talk about “Man Code,” I was inspired to write this.  Which is saying something since, up until now, the only thing that The Bachelorette has every inspired me to do was puke; but since I had a buddy on the show, I found myself watching it – more than I care to admit.  However, as the show’s Velveeta tractor beam overcame my defense shields, I became overwhelmingly frustrated on how bad a rap Man Code received and how improperly men were depicted.  Man Code was portrayed in a byzantine “bros-before-hos,” machismo-sexist, “Go wash the dishes, bitch” unspoken manner.  Either I’m off, or my fellow brethren on stage were not able to articulate an appropriate synopsis of what Man Code truly is.  I hope not to be out of line and speak for my fellow men on the show but I feel Man Code needs to be defended and have it’s reputation restituted. 

Man Code , defined succinctly, is simply owning things and having the scrotal circumference to man-up when it’s go-time.  The simplest examples would be:

  • When a round of shots come out for the group, you either drink it or say, “No thanks guys…I can’t right now,” or something to that effect. Dumping and out and then feigning to drink it is in violation of Man Code because it isn’t owning the moment.
  • When you “know” someone has a girlfriend and is “playing” the girl who you are interested in, you don’t shove a stick in his spokes without knowing all the facts and/or confronting him FIRST.  You approach the prick and let him know that either a) he tells her or b) you will, because it’s not fair to her if she doesn’t know the truth.  Then she can make her own decisions from there.
  • If you are some douche with ulterior motives, a lady back home (girlfriend or not) who’s twine you are still wrapped up in and you think getting air-time is going to get you the publicity that you desperately crave…then you don’t have much Code to begin with. You might be a habitual violator.
  • Men don’t have any issues with someone who is “too perfect” or who doesn’t fit into the group when it seems sincere, genuine, and unrehearsed; but when it all seems scripted, then the good-boy thing gets old quickly.  For every woman who says that is the kind of guy she wants: you wouldn’t last three dates with a Don Automaton like that.  Ask Jillian…she dumped the Boy Scout and keep the country crooner obnoxious bad boy around.  Is she a dumb ass?  Nope…she’s typical.  Most women want the unavailable, edgy, mystery man with some spontaneity that isn’t so mechanically “on” all the time.  I’m willing to bet my pimped-out, one-of-a-kind, beach cruiser on it!

In summation, Man Code isn’t being some pre-historic grunt or chauvinist playboy.  It’s being a gentleman who isn’t going to get all gossipy and Jerry Springer within the community.  It’s not low-bridging someone when you don’t have all the facts or don’t know the complete story.  It’s having the intestinal fortitude to back-up your actions and confront the issue – instead of tucking tail and back-tracking when you’re put on the hot seat.  It’s manning-up.  Man Code is about integrity…well, that may or may not be Man Code, but I’d like to think it’s my code.

See Man-Up

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Sometimes I wonder where all my writing will get me…not necessarily looking for fame and fortune but would probably welcome it. I would like to think that I entertain some with it, that maybe others actually take away a message from it, and hopefully a few really grow from it. I don’t mean that to sound condescending, but truth be told, the more I’m able to verbalize and share things I experience, the more I grow as a person – so I figure this could be some kind of group therapy. Although most of what I put down tends to be fairly light hearted, very rarely do I leave it void of some deeper meaning. As I find myself in certain situations and predicaments, I can’t help but analyze things and want to put in my 10 cents when I see something that I consider blatantly wrong.

One of my favorite words and virtues has to be INTEGRITY. For me Integrity is having a sense of honesty and sincerity born of a moral foundation, which guides your actions to be congruent with your words. Basically, say what you mean, mean what you say, then do it like you said. As we all surf and check out profiles all over cyberspace, the word gets more play than J.T. and Kanye on 102.7. The word is popular, catchy and a solid hook…I’m attracted to it myself and use it regularly.

So often I become many friends’ sounding board. I like trying to be a good friend and I know that sometimes requires listening. I don’t really like to offer too much advice, for I believe most problems carry the seeds of their own solution and most people know what they need to do they are just looking for someone to hear them out and give reassurance. I’m also a big pattern person. I believe in behavioral patterns, and often see things systematically where others might see randomness. Maybe like this blog…but trust me the randomness will soon come together.

In listening to so many people and having past experiences of my own, I’ve noticed a pattern of so many spineless people. This isn’t about anyone in particular or anything that has happened to me recently but I come across constant examples of a total lack of integrity. Actually, consider this to be an open letter to those men and women out there that lacked the scrotal circumference to be upfront and honest when they are dating one of my peeps and I have to hear how they just got low-bridged.

From the time people have their first date to the time it becomes “official” there are many stages and steps, but no steadfast set of rules. However, there comes a time where I believe you owe something to that other person you’re “courting” – the truth. Now, I understand that if you’ve gone out with someone a couple of times and things just didn’t gel…you can just walk away…no phone call, no text, no explanations; it’s usually all good and understood. It might even be a little weird if you call a sit-down with a person you’ve only been on a few dates with to explain why it didn’t work out. Yet, when you’ve been casually dating for a few months and crossed certain physical lines I would think it’s time to “Man-up” and let the person know where you stand. Just going mustang or pulling a Keyser Söze doesn’t cut it. Nevertheless, I see and hear about countless examples of random shadiness that people pull. I would think that at a certain age and level of maturity these shenanigans would stop. I mean we don’t handle other aspects of our life this way.

As adults, when something difficult presents itself or isn’t going the way we anticipate we usually own-it and get it straightened out. Now, I’ve been guilty of just not being that into someone and pulling the rip-cord, hoping that it will just wither on the vine and dissipate. But I eventually learned that however difficult it might be, putting the truth out there goes a long way. It’s never really that easy, but then again doing the correct thing usually isn’t. It blows to be the one having to say it and it sucks having to be the one that hears it, no pun intended. “I’m sorry, I think you are wonderful but you are just not my ‘it,’ ‘pancakes,’ ‘type,’ or whatever” is probably all it takes. No need to sugar it up too much or draw things out. I’d venture to bet that any person hearing that they’re being cut would appreciate that person’s honesty and probably give them the huge bump in respect points. I know if I were about to get the boot I’d want to be told that I’m being put on waivers instead of being strung along, and I would venture to guess that most others would too.

The fact is that most of us know what needs to be done and for those who don’t it’s fairly simple but not so easy…Be honest and give others the respect you’d want yourself. It’s called having integrity…MAN UP!!!

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