Thursday, July 31, 2008

Me Me Me and The Tragic Motif

UPDATE: I've added a helpful link to a personality test at the end of this post.'s Willful Grace, where you get all Pam, all the time.

Frankly, I'm ready for school to start just so I can stop obsessing over myself. My current train of obsession is puffing down the Myers-Briggs railroad. I have a love/hate relationship with Myers-Briggs profiling. Here's the part I love:

(i'm INFP, by the way)

INFP's may demonstrate a cool reserve toward others, but they are anything but distant. They have a capacity for caring which is not always found in other types. They care deeply - indeed, passionately - about a few special persons or a cause. On word that captures this type is idealistic. At times, this characteristic leaves them feeling isolated, especially since INFPs are found in only 1 percent of the general population. INFPs have a profound sense of honor derived from internal values. The INFP is the Prince or Princess of mythology, the King's Champion, Defender of the Faith, and guardian of the castle. Joan of Arc is the female prototype of an INFP. They are willing to make unusual sacrifices for someone or something believed in.

ok....that all sounds pretty cool.....and THEN....there's this:

INFPs seek unity in their lives, unity of body and mind, emotions and intellect. They often have a subtle tragic motif running through their lives, but others seldom detect this inner minor key. Their deep commitment to the positive and the good causes them to be alert to the negative and the evil, which can take the form of a fascination with the profane. They may live a paradox, drawn toward purity and unity but looking over the shoulder toward the sullied and desecrated. When INFPs believe that they have yielded to an impure temptation, they may be given to acts of self-sacrifice in atonement.

That part pretty much sucks. I want a new motif. The subtle tragic one has been much less than subtle lately. Well....actually, it's been about a decade of tragic motif for me and I'd like to trade this motif in for a new one.

So, I'm thinking about this and wondering "WHY does my personality bring about a tragic motif?" and then I realize that the tragic motif comes from being over-analytical about EVERYthing.

I'm screwed.

If you know your Myers-Briggs profile share it with me. I'm interested.

love and grace,

P.S. Tdub is an ENFP which makes him alot like me only less tragic and more peoplish.

Here's a link to a free YES/NO Myers-Briggs.
I took it to see if I still came out INFP, and I did.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Weird, Weird Dream

I've never been one to catalogue my dreams, although I do often get ideas for things in my dreams. But, I know people who keep a journal by their bed and immediately record their dreams upon waking. I'm not one of those.

However, I'm going to make an exception and tell you about last night's dream because it was so freaky and "telling" as to my basic thought patterns in general. I think. Maybe. Who knows?

As it turns out, according to this dream of mine, the apostle Paul wrote a great deal more than just a few verses addressing folks with sexual identity issues. There was an entire book (in the Bible, mind you...unfortunately, I never caught the name of it) dedicated to a lengthy set of "experiments" conducted on intersexed people back in the day.

The odd thing about that word intersexed is that I didn't even know that was a "real" word until I looked it up this morning. Obviously, I've heard it somewhere in my goings-about here on the internet, but I had to look it up this morning to find out what it meant. Don't click on that link if you are easily offended by the use of body part words.

So, in this dream of mine I'm back at church in Granbury and lo' and behold Tdub shows up there on the same day as me. Go figure. Furthermore, guess what book of the Bible we're studying on this particular Sundee mornin'? Yep. It's Paul-Does-Intersex day at the good ole Granbury CoC. Amazing.

The really weird thing about this Bible passage is that it's complete with drawings, diagrams and details about all these tests and experiments that Paul conducted on these intersexed people. As I reflect on it, I realize that Paul was actually none other than my good friend Dr. T. Imagine that! (I know he'll get a kick out of this.) Don't ask me how, but in this dream there's electricity and wires and stuff detailed in all the data that had been canonized after being collected and recorded by "Paul".

Our Bible class teacher is one of the ministers at the church; one whose daughter pops in now and again here at my blog. (crypto shout-out to miss A!) The action begins as I'm in the class, listening intently and, as is typical, asking lots of questions and making comments, when in pops a very outspoken (meaning loud and rather obnoxious) lady who is ranting on and on about the fact that Tdub is out there right this minute eating
DONUTS and drinking JUICE (it was clearly a dream, he never drank the juice or ate the donuts even though he did stand out there and visit all through Bible class which annoyed me greatly and still does even in this DREAM....TDUB!! hmmmph!) It's definitely "post-divorce" in the dream so I'm totally teasing about being annoyed. It's no longer any of my business if Tdub wants to stand outside class and visit while I, on the other hand, make every effort to "hear the word".

OK...back to the dream. The lady pops in ranting about Tdub and going on and on about how Exodus has proven that homosexuals can change and that God has made it very clear that all of them are an abomination. She says all this in a really twangy southern Texas accent which does nothing for her credibility. I start crying and defending Tdub and talking about how surely there's some grace involved here because at least Paul went to all this trouble of trying to figure things out and even though all of his studies were inconclusive the very fact that he studied all of it and wrote it in the BIBLE should mean that we need to be at least nice to homosexuals....right??? Pretty please??? Tdub is just standing there shaking his head and looking at me and saying, "See, I told you this is what would happen." And I'm all like, "No, wait, don't leave. Just give them a chance, they'll be nice...I just know it."

Then I feel something warm and wet and wake up to Emma licking me in the face.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

...and another thing

Another thing that really bums me out about this whole online dating thing and I guess dating in general, is the whole "getting to know each other" phase. I mean, it CAN be really great and I did have a great experience with that one guy. But honestly, at this point I'm so tempted to just say "Here's a link. Go spend all night reading this blog and call me in the morning if you're still interested." It's the introvert in me.

And one MORE thing. I'm amazed at the folks who DON'T Google. I'm serious. The FIRST thing I do when I get a person's name is drop out of whatever conversation or email we're in and head STRAIGHT for Google. I guess I'm the only one who does that??? For me, the day Google came online is like the 8th day of creation. God woke up from his rest and said, "oh, and one more thing....Google."

Another teensy tiny problem I have is the right-brained random side (which is more like a side and three-quarters in me) that forgets to whom she's said what. This is why, up to this point, I've determined to only "date" or communicate with one person at a time. Anyone who knows me very well at all knows that I'm not the greatest at multi-tasking. In fact, I tend to hyper-focus on one thing at a time to the exclusion of all else. Which is NOT conducive at all to dating.

I've got this friend who is doing the online dating thing as well. That girl amazes me. She sees 2 or 3 guys at once all the time. She told me about meeting one guy's family over a dinner and then leaving there and going out with the other guy. I'd not be able to do that for one simple reason. I talk too much. I can't imagine not having at least ONE good story from the family dinner since family dinners are usually wrought with good stories. Here's one of my favorite fictional family dinner stories. That particular dinner only got better. When those sorts of things happen, and I tend to attract those sorts of things, I'm talking about it with the very next person I see.

Have a great weekend blog and internet friends! I'll try and make some good stories to tell.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Online Dating Game

I'm beginning to sense a theme here. Oh well.

Ok...I promised when I started this to blog about some of the ridiculous things one can see when venturing into the world of online dating. There's actually a huge part of me that's sort of relieved that I suck at online dating. I mean....the whole thing is pretty cheesy. And yet. I'm trying it. *sigh*

So. Let me give you a sense of the online dating experience from my viewpoint.

#1 I attract cowboy types. UGH. Either that, or cowboys types are attracted to anything with reasonably coiffed eyebrows and a vague promise that there might be boobs involved. I mean, I state in my profile that I pretty much despise country music and consider "boot scootin" to be the downfall of our society. (Believe me it's not the gays, it's boot-scootin that will be our ruination.) I guess cowboy types don't read much....ya think?

#2 Old men are gross. Seriously. And you know, I think that's all I'm gonna say about that.

#3 Insert motorcycle dudes with tatoos into every place in #1 that says cowboy types or boot-scootin'.

#4 The number of men who think a confederate flag makes a great backdrop for a photo disturbs me greatly.

#5 Most of the guys who talk about being Christian in their profile, also list "The Left Behind Series" as the most compelling thing they've read lately. Many of them even go into detail about how they are so glad that they now have such a great idea of what the book of Revelations is all about and what to expect at the end of the world. OH. MY. GOSH. Words escape me at this point to describe how incredibly ignorant I find this to be. I'm so judgemental sometimes. I admit it. It's FICTION, people, and it's not even barely good writing! They may as well list that they learned all about Jesus from reading "The DaVinci Code".

#6 Just after "The Left Behind Series" in popular book reading for men, we have Joel Osteen's "Your Best Life Now". aaaaaaaauuuuuuuugggghhhhh!

#7 There are certain recurring statements and phrases in profiles. "no game-playing", "no head games", "looking for serious relationship", and one even said "don't piss on my foot and tell me it's raining" HUH??? I understand the sentiment contained in these statements, but come on. Just because everyone you're interested in doesn't "click" with you, it doesn't mean people are playing games. And, I do know that some people do "play games" on dating sites, but it seems really ineffective to me to try and deter that behavior by stating those sorts of disclaimers. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that you've got to expect a certain amount of disappointment and frustration when you get involved in something as open-ended as online dating. It reminds me of teachers who spend countless hours complaining about poorly behaved children. Everyone's gotta do some venting, but HELLO, you're a TEACHER. That's kinda part of it.

The bottom line is that I'd much rather bump into that perfect guy at Barnes & Noble. We'd spill latte all over each other as we tumbled to the floor surrounded by the armfuls of books we're carrying on subjects like literature, theology, and history. Oh. And world travel. Let's not leave out the world travel. And possibly a little technology. I love technology. (can you hear Kip from Napoleon Dynamite right now?)

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Dating (again)

Ok. I suck at this dating thing. Really. My problem is my transparency. I think. Who the heck really knows?

I think I'm overwhelming to the sort of man to which I'm attracted.

Also, I have a problem with self-control. I admit it. Just take that for whatever you want to take it can't be much worse than my reality.

I also think I'm a bit weird. And so, that means that I don't match with a lot of "normal" people.

You are probably wondering....what happened???? I thought you'd met this great guy and you were sure he was someone with whom you wanted to have a serious relationship? Yeah...I did....and he was. But, as fate would have it....he's not sure about things which basically means a big fat NO in datespeak. Datespeak, you like this.......anything less than "i'm crazy about you" means "oh my god, get away from me you loser" Well, maybe not quite's better to be on the safe side in these situations so you don't end up looking more like a complete idiot than you already do after you've made a total idiot of yourself.

It's weird, though. I'm not like all completely devastated or anything. I mean, I know what I felt...and I know there was a connection....and it IS mostly just puzzling just like I thought it would be in the beginning if it didn't work out. I'm hoping that we'll remain friends because I really did like his dogs.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Heartache and Joy

Hayden (tdub's youngest) spent about 10 days with Drew and me in Sulphur, and I took him back - meeting halfway - yesterday. The night before Hayden's departure he and Drew pulled an all-nighter. One final, brotherly "last hurrah" before parting ways for another stretch of months. I'm sure they completed at least one task that I likely won't hear about until they're in their twenties. They are just now starting to reveal some of the incidents that occurred when we were all together in the crooked old house. One of those stories involves a police dog who peed on one of them as they hid behind a tree. Quite the "near miss" wouldn't you say?

Hayden slept soundly all the way to the meeting point and we hugged good-bye without much fanfare. It's always bittersweet to say goodbye. The heartache came later after I arrived back home. Hayden sent me a text saying, "I miss you being my mom all the time." And my heart just broke in two. Again. And yet, there's a huge amount of joy contained in that message. The part that says "you being my mom" fills me with such gladness.

This is the part of the whole ordeal that could cause me to become angry and bitter if I'd let it. I've been asked before, "when are you going to get mad about all this?" And while I admit to bouts of anger now and then,(a few select friends have seen flashes of it) I simply choose not to live in that place. It's not productive. The thing is this; wallowing in anger and becoming bitter at Todd for breaking up our family and ultimately leaving Hayden at a point where he ends up sending that heartbreaking message he sent yesterday, doesn't do anyone any good. The only thing there is time to do is to get back up, brush myself off, and get on with loving those who are dear to me. I believe with all that's in me that the very best thing I can do for Zach and Hayden is to continue to love and honor their dad as my friend. This honors THEM. It may not be something that they can verbalize at this point, but it's a very real and integral piece of the commitment I made to them when I married their dad in the first place.

And so, I'm going to focus on the joy in Hayden's message. Sure, it hurts. It hurts like heck, actually. But I can turn that hurt on it's head, very much the way Christ did when he gave his life for me, and experience pure joy. Heartache and joy. 'Tis the stuff of life.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Scary. Scary. Scary.

Yes, it's happened. I've met someone who meets all my criteria for serious relationship. I mean, I have not had ONE even TINY moment when I've thought....weeeellll....oookkkaaaayyy...i can get past that one little thing. I don't have any of that "I can deal with that" sort of exception. It's pretty crazy.

At the end of an email I'd written to him detailing my marriage history (a necessary part of truly getting to know one another) I wrote this:

"From the first marriage I learned that being friends is absolutely the bedrock of marriage. If you don't value and honor that person as your very closest friend in all the're sorta sunk before you ever get started.

From the second I learned that even being best friends is not enough. There's some sort of wiring in your brain that clicks and connects with the wiring in the other person's brain that makes you desire them in ways that only being married can ultimately fulfill. There's got to be a physical connection as well as an emotional and intellectual one."

So, in the middle of Tdub's blog drama and Kurt's mom dying and Hayden being here for the week (had i mentioned that?)...I've had this super, outrageous, awesome, and incredibly scary beginning of a relationship thing going on. I'm fully aware of the fact that I could end up getting hurt. But, I'm not so sure that's the scariest part of the whole thing. I think the scariest part, for me, would be how puzzling it could be if things ultimately don't work out for us. Because, I'm not kidding, this guy is incredibly well-suited for my personality and temperament. And, that brain wiring click thing that makes you attractive to each other is there as well.

He lives in the OKC metroplex so the distance will help a great deal with the whole "diving in and screwing everything up by taking things way too fast" factor.

Yesterday, I took the boys to see "Get Smart" and as we were making our way to the correct theatre Drew said, "we're going to see a movie with mom's boyfriend in it" and Hayden immediately followed, "i KNOW, that's just what I was thinking! he's just like him."

So. There ya go.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Prayers for Kurt

Please pray for Kurt. He has experienced a sudden and tragic loss. I'm not sure how much detail he'd want to divulge so I'll leave it at that. He is traveling across country to deal with it. So, prayers are needed. If you are Catholic, I'd ask that you light a candle for him. That's what he always does for me when I need special prayers.

love and grace,

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Thursday, July 10, 2008


A bit of a drama has unfolded over at Tdub's blog. That actually makes it sound a lot easier than it is. It feels more like a bunch of us have this massive wad of stewing gunk in our stomach and it's finally starting to belch it's way forth. Sorry for the graphics, but that's how it feels.

And I, in my "gracefulness" have made an idiot of myself by calling out a brother in public for an offense that should have been dealt with privately if I were going to deal with it at all. In which case, the brother is exactly right, "a blog is not a good place to heal."

So, JB, I'm sorry. And I don't mean just a little bit. I mean that I'm crying as I think about it and I feel sick inside for not extending to you at least the same length of grace that's so graciously been extended to me. I screwed up. Big time. I'm sorry.

And maybe I don't really think it SHOULD take longer for the rest of you to heal than it has for me, but you know what, it's not my place to lawd over you guys, "hey, look at me, I'm all cool with Todd...what the heck is wrong with you people?" That's just silly and wrong. The root of the issue I have with all of it comes down to the boys. One of the reasons I had to "get with the program" so to speak was for them. I love Zach and Hayden and I love their dad if for no other reason than because I love them. And I was just hoping that a few more than what have seemed to have done that could belly up that wad of gunk in their stomach and take one for those boys the way I have. But you know's okay. It is.

This is all very tough for ALL of us. And's particularly difficult for me to see other people JUST NOW beginning to deal with this stuff and only because Todd is becoming public with his story. And I hope and pray that people aren't just being defensive when they go over there and read his stuff....thinking he's going to start bashing the church that picked him up from the BASEMENT of life many times over during the course of just the years I was married to him.

One of our young friends, a different Ashley than the one involved in the little blog drama, suggested to me privately that it may have been better if Todd had remained anonymous until he sort of had his "blog legs". And when I first read that suggestion I was like "what? That only reaffirms the very issues he's having right now. He shouldn't HAVE to be anonymous, he should tell his story and they should just be able to finally LISTEN to what the guy has to say." And then I realized, about the same time I realized what a jerk I'd been to JB, DUH, PAM, you were anonymous for a long time and didn't even tell Todd about your blog at all until you'd written enough copy to give him a picture of what you were all about with the thing. I was really worried that he'd think I was going to write a "let's b*tch, moan, and whine" sort of blog about being married to an SSA struggler. So, again, I'm wrong because I'm listening with something other than my ears of grace. I'm listening with those ears that tend to form knee-jerk reactions to things and that also tend to get me into all sorts of trouble where I end up needing to make public apologies.

At this point, I believe Todd (weird to write his actual name here) should move forward with the blog as is. He's probably going to say some things that will make "the church" cringe, but it's not because he's set up some sort of vendetta over there. Not at all. The guy is just trying to work through this stuff. Just like I did.

And....not only do I apologize to JB, I promise from here on out not to go over there like some rabid mama bear and lay into any of you who decide to comment. I promise. After all, it is HIS blog and not my place to really get into it.

And Todd. I'm so proud of you for coming "out" again. I promise you'll be better for it. Because even though a blog really may not be the absolute best place to's what we've got. And I'm proud of you for taking the talents God has given you and using them to help yourself and others. Blog on, brother.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My funeral

First of all, I want to make it clear this is kurt_t, occasional guest blogger, not Pam (AKA "Grace"). I know how easy it is to get confused about that. Just remember kurt_t is the gay quasi-Catholic cat person. Pam is the gay-friendly crypto-Orthodox dog person.

Now, about my funeral. First of all, I am from San Francisco, and in San Francisco, they are very particular about the disposition of one's earthly remains. Nearly all the City's dead people, including such luminaries as Emperor Norton I, were dug up and moved to south to Colma in the 1930s due to the scarcity of land. (San Francisco, bordered on 3 sides by water, is only 7 miles square.)

Now one thing I love about the Catholic Church is you're allowed to choose your own readings and music for your funeral mass. For my Old Testament reading, I've decided on the Prayer of Jonah. That's right after Jonah's been swallowed by Troutzilla, and he's trying to bargain his way out of it. That is so much my spiritual life right there. It always reminds me of the time I went on the death-defying Giant Dipper roller coaster in Santa Cruz which I'd promised my Mom I don't know how many times I would never do. And I thought for sure I was gonna die. I kept saying "Just get me through this one, Lord. I'll go start an orphanage in Calcutta!"

And then after my funeral I want my friends to sneak out to Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway in the middle of the night and scatter my ashes under the Doggie Diner head.

Great plan, right? People will always know where to find my final resting place. I mean, you can see the Doggie Diner head from blocks away. And there's always parking out there.

Well, then I'm at Mass last Saturday night, and they have these brochures on a table by the door, and I pick one up as I'm leaving Mass, and it's a brochure from Catholic Cemeteries of America, and it's all about how you're not allowed to scatter your ashes. Or even keep them in your house! You have to deliver them to nearest Catholic Cemetery so they can be reverently stowed away.

I can't win for losing here!

So now I'm thinking if I can't be scattered I at least want a Doggie Diner head on my tombstone. I'm gonna call Holy Cross in Colma and ask them what's their height limit.
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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I've joined a dating site. Crazy, I know. But where in the heck are you supposed to meet available men when you live in Sulphur??? For that matter, even if I lived in OKC (the biggest city here which is still smaller than the 4th largest city in Texas)....even if I lived in freakin' DALLAS....where am I gonna meet available men? A bar? A mega-church? I don't think so. Those places appeal to me in about equal amounts although at least at the bar you can get a pina colada.

I started this post because I was on that site and thinking about the fact that I'm twice-divorced. And honestly, I think I should get a "by" on the 2nd one. I mean, really, does the 2nd one have to count? Come on, being married to Tdub was MORE than a marriage and so much more than a typical divorce. It was like a super-intense church camp on steroids sort of thing. Honestly. Think about it, because I am. *wink* I came out of it better, stronger, more full of grace, more focused on being Christ-like, and more prepared to face the next challenges life has to offer. I'm being completely serious and even though Tdub will probably have to pause before he can accept this as a compliment, I'm being complimentary of the entire thing. The fact that I feel more love for Tdub in more healthy ways than ever before is certainly a testament to the fact that it was ANYTHING but typical. When does THAT happen in a marriage/divorce situation? And so quickly?

Truly, my first marraige and divorce was SO typical. We married before we were "grown up" and as we grew up, we turned into people that were crazy to have ever married in the first place. We had kids because it seemed like that might help at the time (sorry...that's just what people DO...and we did it like so many others do it). Instead of submitting to the Lordship of Jesus and allowing him to heal our friendship, thus keeping our marriage together, we each behaved in ways that made things worse. The biggest difference between the two of us was that he looked like a jerk and I still looked like a poor, pitiful, put-upon wife. But, we were BOTH at fault for the fact that it ended and that our boys endured the pain and heartache of a broken home. This is the typical story of divorce. This one counts against me.

The thing with Tdub. Well. I have absolutley no regrets about it and, tough as it was, I'd do it all again, if for no other reason that the fact that I'd never have the relationship I have with Zach and Hayden otherwise. I love those boys. I love being their mom.

The point of all this rambling? I forget. Oh yeah. I'm on that dating site and it doesn't seem fair that I get "dinged" with two divorces. *sigh*

Later, I may gather up some of the more "interesting" (by that i mean hilarious in a way that makes you wonder what in the HECK they were thinking) profile entries and post them for your entertainment. If you're really bored and have an extra 20 bucks....some of the reading at these dating sites is pretty priceless. Or, you can just keep reading my blog and I'll show you the really good stuff. *heehee*

love and grace,

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