wedding season

going backwards in time just a tad from going away to "mission college". very recently my brother shared some pics of his family. this month he's celebrating his 17th wedding anniversary. the year he married he returned to college and finished his baccalaureate degree. he also gained admission to a law school in texas and after getting married would move there.

you know what this means he's getting married and i have to join his wedding party. it was expected i suppose, but never something i wanted to do. perhaps it was the introversion as i knew eyes would be on me. well not entirely but my family both sides definitely had their expectations.

funny party was that i danced with someone at the wedding and cousin natalie who came up for the festivities just decided to force herself to giggle at every unfunny thing i said. wasn't in the mood for her no matter what. even funnier still no one laughed at a random remark she made upon learning i was going to a bar to meet with an uncle – who for some reason was absent from my brother's wedding. and i wasn't going by myself my mother and two other uncles were coming. i was still underage at the time.

now to set up what happened way before the wedding my brother and i had been at odds. my time in community college was a bit of a struggle, i wasn't working and my brother chose to ding me on both at the time. he saw something wrong with the picture. perhaps there was – and yes he was coming on too strong – at the same time well i was a bit aimless at the time. my brother never gave me something to work with at the time, no one did other than their expectations.

my mother during this period randomly suggest "don't you want to join the national guard?" not sure where this came from and besides i wasn't sure what i wanted to do, got this college thing stuck in my head. though ironically enough i did speak to the navy that summer, but never made a move at all. funny thing is we did discuss this and she was somewhat involved with my meetings with recruiters from the armed services, however, her expectation as wrong as it turned out to be at the time was that i'd be very successful in college.

soon the wedding was over and the "pretensiousness" of the new couple were moving to a whole other state. no more ceremony, pomp & circumstance, family, or even snooty bridesmaids. time to get back to reality.

which reminds me, during the course of that year after my brother and i had a serious falling out wholly unnecessary might i add i called an uncle who lived in virginia. we talked for a couple of hours and suggested at random that i come out there – perhaps a week, perhaps a summer. then i told my mother. became a whole drama that in small ways i attempted to quell.

didn't happen that way! my mother brought it at random to her sister in-law when i told her to "keep your mouth shut". then we went up to visit a great-aunt in wisconsin and it came up again. this time i said nothing but i really had no intention on talking about it. but it was something very exciting and again another expectation that i would go out east to visit with him.

my mother even told people at work and as i handed her my resume to look at just quickly changed subjects saying "you won't do what i ask you to do" quickly pivoting to making reservations to head out east. she mentioned someone at work asked her about the trip and my mother well had no answer as i was still at home and the summer was almost over.

my thinking on why i didn't just go out to visit my uncle. it may have had little to do with the fact that my mother starting talking about it. at the time i thought about money i had my savings account but it would be my first trip without my mother since my dad passed away. she would've paid for the ticket to go out there, however,, what else would i have to contribute. i suppose the random mentions of this when i least expected damped my interest…

one finally coup de grace was claudine my retired military officer aunt who started to take an interest in this. early that summer – before my brother's nuptials – my mother met claudine and her daughter in our southern hometown. at the time claudine lived in maryland and she was already talking about sites we could visit there.

and my thought really was i was out there to visit my uncle not you. what are you doing getting involved with me going out there and trying to convince me to come out. claudine even went so far as to note "you better come out here, the summer is almost over". she wanted me to come out there and made the same level of effort as mu mother.

meanwhile my uncle was silent we never talked about me coming out there at least since the phone call. he didn't encourage me one way or the other he put the idea out there and the women in the family after knowing about it started working on me. essentially it didn't work as i wanted to discourage this behavior.

btw, i never figured out how claudine found out about it. perhaps her and her brother talked about it or perhaps my mother brought it up to her at random. she decided to put on her own pressure. other than that the summer of that wedding, was laregely uneventful

no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.

masks

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natalie has been a feature of this blog off & on since roughly the beginning. natalie is my first cousin whose first post was regarding nicole – a young lady I met at “mission college” who attended the all-girls “hillman” – though that post was more about her asking about this fabled young woman i had told some family about. but nat making a whole deal about it made that situation ultimately uncomfortable.

the main reason i’m writing this post was to talk about a story my mother told me about natalie as a child. thanks to my rather cold and distant relationship to her – and believe me my reason for that is quite petty to be honest – i feel shitty for learning about this episode. i blow her off for my own reasons and now i recognize once upon a time she needed someone to reach out to her.

well not to disappoint you guys, but even though for the most part this blog isn’t known to my immediate family it would be in bad taste to tell the story relayed to me. there is a reason natalie told my mother whenever that was and not me. who knows who else knows this about her other than the other individuals involved. regardless i have little idea who else she told as my mother clearly hadn’t known.

what i can say is that in that initial post i noted that nat had a rough childhood and developed nicely as a wife and mother working in health care. that rough childhood involved a mother suffering from mental illness and natalie herself was raised by her grandmother in the family’s southern hometown. nat has a sister named tasha – with whom i had been far more close – found herself in the same situation except she ultimately remained in chicago to be raised by one of our aunts.

natalie developed to work in health care, get a college degree in nursing – from a southern college, and married with husband & children. my mother told me she had been at one point introverted and considering her background this makes sense. the nat i know and has been illustrated on this blog overtime is often extroverted or gregarious.

so i note that often in the moments where she can come on too strong trying to relate to me she may force herself to laugh. she may even force herself to get excited to see me and often i’m not feeling the same way. at some point she learns to back off – the story about nicole from “hillman” is one case. now i can see this gregariousness as a mask, she’s probably still suffering some pain from her childhood.

my general relationship to her will likely not change, but my view of her will be significantly different. it won’t be pity, but with the realization that her mom wasn’t in a stable mental condition to raise her daughters i know for sure she had a rough childhood. furthermore, now i somewhat understand her better now than i had ever. often she’s just a happy family member who seems to seek attention, now she has a truly sympathetic background. which now helps me feel quite sh*tty for our relationship.

when i learned this story i wanted to publish it immediately and then i realized it’s bad karma but my decision was to let some time elapse. now it won’t see the light of day and the post i wanted to write was overwritten by the post you see now. it’s good karma to keep this to myself.

BTW, let me clarify something. this blog isn’t known to my immediate family although names have been changed on this blog, the stories seen here are base on true stories. it important for me to take some pains to not allow anyone who knows me to connect the dots as to my identity however i do what to fudge the distinction as far as what character written on this blog represents as far as a real life person.

family reunion

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the reunion was something of an awkward affair actually there have been quite a few awkward ones over time. i briefly told about how my aunt laura was trying to talk to me early one morning – and while i was still half-sleep – she just decided she had to go in on me quickly. it turned into more of an ordeal than she really and a bit before she finally recognized i didn’t really want to talk.

in fact on two occasions she had little problem asking me for a mint or a piece of candy. she just had the need to ask just to get something out of me, i complied silently just to keep it moving. otherwise she finally recognized that i wasn’t feeling it.

incidentally there are other situations with her i had where her awkwardness is just apparent. for example in her interest in trying to talk to me she has little problem getting close to my personal space, especially since i’m trying not to show any interest in talking to her. some people have the need to force the issue especially if someone doesn’t want to be bothered.

since i had attended “mission college” there were some people bragging and without many details i let on that i didn’t do that well. to which one of my uncles just outright blurted out to other family and they start saying we got to fix that. of course upon hearing the action almost always never happens.

my uncle richard i have a bit more of a close relationship with and i express interest in joining his frat. though often he seems busy so perhaps he’s not that accessible and also i had to remember that he has his own family too. he definitely is big on we got to make sure you do better in college.

for the most part i wasn’t particularly sociable during this reunion other than with those i’m most comfortable. you still have natalie and her husband nathan – who was very quick to force a handshake and a quick “thank you for stopping by” after we found ourselves at their mcmansion in the suburbs.

then soon it was time to return home to chicago and then figure out how i’ll go back to “mission”. first my mother soon will go on a cruise and after that sets her expectations somewhat randomly and that means she expects me to go back to school to finally attain my associate’s degree. soon i will tell that story.

past tense: the ride back to “mission”

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right now i’m in the mood to reminisce. tonight jack v discusses again the period of time after his first semester away at “mission college”. let me assure you the above image doesn’t entirely reflect how i view the situation.

the summer after i went away to school at “mission college” there was a family reunion. i briefly told one story about attending a family reunion planning meeting hosted by my aunt laura. this meeting was where she decided to see if i wanted to speak where i briskly said no and she jumped in her seat as if i struck her with lightning.

my aunt nadine had picked me up at “mission” and then brought me further out to a local restaurant for this meeting. after the meeting nadine went home and sends me back to “mission” with cousin natalie. had no choice in this instance as i didn’t drive myself needed to go back to campus and my aunt does a lot of driving so perhaps she was tired.

unfortunately with natalie & her husband nathan this ride wasn’t going to be a quiet one. natalie wants to have a conversation and i likely wasn’t that interested. probably was tired myself as it’s a long ride to where the restaurant was. as often as she could both her and her husband forced themselves to laugh at whatever weak witticism i seemed to have. i tried to be funny, but honestly i was in an uncomfortable situation and was unwilling to adjust to it.

she tried hard to get me to talk about the women i met from “hillman college”. if you remember natalie tried to get me to talk about essentially “nicole” – who i actually met during this first semester away from home – almost two years or so later. when i return after a year-and-one-half absence i attempted to make some moves and it didn’t work out for me – may tell that unfortunate story one day.

as for this particular period of time with my roommate introducing me to women at “hillman” i was a long way from establishing anything remotely resembling friendly relations with the ladies. unfortunately my cousin wants know about my romantic life it was her primary expectation. however if she was starting to decide if i was going more and more anti-social perhaps she was wondering if i wasn’t able to form a bond with women as i was unwilling to bond with her as a cousin.

here’s the thing, natalie likely knows that i was close to her younger sister. she tried to really stir something up in me with regards to her. at first mention, her husband responded.

nat: tasha is coming to town later this week.

nathan: oh yeah?

nat: jack?

yours truly: yeah?

nat: tasha is coming to town later this week.

yours truly: i heard

you know to explain i can’t remember if my aunt or mother told me she was in town or i just heard this for the first time from natalie when her husband responds. the fact that she brings this up is trying to change the dynamics of the conversation hence when her husband answers she merely calls my name and repeats what she just said.

in a few short minutes we arrive at my dorm. nathan wants to know – likely being nice – if he should drop me off in the back. i tell him he dropped me off in the right place….in haste. get out and acknowledge because they were expecting me to wave and they drive back to the burbs. meanwhile after that adventure near the end of the term back to reality and finish my semester as it turns out not so strongly.

perhaps another time, i’ll discuss the family reunion. there will certainly be more to say about this particular summer. especially before eventually talking about my senior year of high school.

virginity problem in japan

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i’m learning japan is starting to have a sex problem as many are remaining virgins into their adulthood. japanese men & women aren’t dating and they aren’t having sex. if men and women aren’t dating nor having sex they also aren’t getting married and having children. as a result the birth rate is declining

what’s going on over there. a japanese comedian said he thought women were scary – really? well that’s what he said basing his feelings off of rejection by women. rejection is a jarring response to his interest and that’s something i can relate to though i’ve had a few.

but what makes women scary? well nothing really, i have trouble forcing myself to express interest in a woman mainly because well i could get rejected. or i may not like what i see – on the other side when you finally get that woman she may also decide she doesn’t like what she see. women in and of themselves are not scary, but dating one and building a relationship that could turn into sexual interest or more can be scary

i see that porn has been blamed for why men and women in japan are remaining virgins into their adulthood. in my humble opinion that is a cop out. you’re reading the blog of an adult virgin who has watch his fair share of porn over the years. regardless as opposed to watching adult performers have sex for my enjoyment i still long for my own partner to experience sex. merely watching sex on a vhs tape or an online flash video is no fun.

indeed for me at least i’ll know how sex is between two people even if it’s basically a performance. if it’s not a way for a virgin to educate themselves about the various aspects of sex then certainly it’s a way for a person – who is lacking in the sex dept – to please themselves. even then please yourself all you want you’re still not getting any from a compatible mate.

then also a stagnant economy in japan! perhaps that’s somewhat closest to my situation. i have student loans and for a good period of time as i entered my 30s my job prospects weren’t getting much better. i remained at a minimum wage job hoping for the best and waited some time before i finally found a better job that paid more, offered more hours, and provided benefits. even if there were available women who would date me being in such a situation caused me to stay out of the dating scene because i couldn’t believe a woman would be interested in me romantically.

perhaps that leads up to self-esteem. perhaps i had my own issues with it and not only counting the fact that i’m still a thirty-something virgin. i could talk about yours truly as a twenty-something virgin. perhaps you have to find a way to not define yourself or others according to whether or not they’ve had or hadn’t have sex. whatever your status there is something your proud of and regardless there has to be something that would attract a mate.

perhaps i struggle with this. no quirky interest or hobby could attract a mate. or perhaps that same quirkiness could attract the right person who is quirky themselves. and i certainly have developed some quirky interests/hobbies that may not interest available women.

who knows what has stunted the dating scene in japan right now.

friend request

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remember cousin natalie? someone referred to her as fake in a fairly recent comment to a post where i discuss one episode years ago about her. well she sent me a fb friend request.

huh???

i didn’t think that would happen i noted one of our last interactions. point the finger at me for both of them, but i already knew i wasn’t feeling it. however, due to her rather gregarious personality she thrives on trying to reach out to me.

what probably doesn’t help is that my mother is now retired and also a year ago had her hip fracture which put her out of action a bit last year. regardless no message no warning just send request, although i didn’t always give warning when i sent a friend request. 😛

all the same because i’ve essentially decided i need not connect with her online her request will remain on the backburner. if i did accept i will take great pains to block her from seeing my timeline – not that there’s much to see. also she won’t see what i’m really into.

that’s what i have done for my brother and his two sons for example.

sorority-sisters

anyway another tidbit cousin natalie and aunt laura are sorority sisters and have been very close. however as natalie is considered far more gregarious while laura’s personality is much different. as a result laura’s attempt at closeness with me is even more awkward.