Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Being Thankful

I had several long discussions with my mother yesterday via telephone. She sounded strong and like the old mom. This was such an encouragement to me since she has had to endure so much. Earlier in the week she was complaining about the chemo and the fact that she was going to stop it because it was useless.

I told her that she shouldn't give up...that she only had one more chemo treatment to endure. After that, I said, you can decide what to do.

Well, she calmed a bit. Yesterday they did a full body scan to determine what her body is doing and how the cancer is reacting to the chemo....and to the radiation that she has endured. Her new hip is great! She is walking now without a cane, crutch or walker. On top of this she is all excited about cooking Thanksgiving Dinner!

Both my daughters will be with me at the Thanksgiving Table. It means more than I can say having them there.

So, tomorrow, I will be making my journey to West Virginia. The girls will be traveling from Nashville and meet me there.

On Thursday we will pause to give thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this year: mom's successful hip replacement, the chemo treatments, the radiation treatments, the girls' success, my health, and the fact that we are all together yet another time!

These last few years I have learned so much. For instance, I've learned that as a young man I took so much for granted -- even at times when I thought I was being sincerely thankful for my blessings.

I really didn't know how to be satisfied with the little things.

But now I am.

I thank God for every breath I take...for every breath my loved ones are permitted to take....

I am especially thankful this year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Reported Death

One of my dear friends wrote me this note:

Dear Frank

I stumbled across the above obituary on Sunday night while reading the newspaper. What caught my eye is that the guy graduated from the same high school in the same hometown as me. When I mentioned it to my mom this morning on the phone, she said that when she read about his death in the newspaper recently, she thought that he might have died "from the AIDS" because years ago, the newspaper had a committment ceremony announcement for this guy and his male partner. My mom is a friend of this guy's mother, and it turns out that this brilliant young man had killed himself when his reconcilliation with his ex-partner had crumbled. They'd dissolved their civil union in back in 2005.

My mom tells me that the grieving mother hurts so badly that she hasn't been able to return to work. Although I don't know the deceased (he was eight years my junior), I can certainly relate to the horrible sense of pain and feelings of worthlessness surrounding the end of a long-term relationship. How sad it must be to reconcile with an ex, only to have that effort fail and then go through the pain of breaking up all over again. Perhaps it's just the connection to my hometown, or the eerie fact that my mom is friends with his mom - for whatever reason, I keep thinking about how sorry I feel for everyone involved in this senseless tragedy.

I certainly relate to these feelings of worthlessness at the end of a longterm relationship too. My one comfort is that I made it through the demise of my marriage. It was a very long journey. At times I thought I'd not get through it. But I did.

I continue to grow stronger.

I saw this growth first hand over the weekend.

In a very big way...

Lovey had me over to her mother's to help her and her family celebrate the holidays on behalf of our daughter Jessica. It was very interesting to be in their midst yet another time...but it was also rather relaxing to know that while I was there....the roles had changed and I was a guest. I wasn't expected to be "on" or to put up with a lot of the stuff I once felt that I had to.

There is something to be said for living a quiet, peaceful and single existence. It's quiet and really very relaxing. You don't have to worry about the demise of a relationship.

So, as I sit here...contemplating my singleness....dealing with the occasional swells of longing for a special man.....I am learning to be content in all things.


Thank You!

Thanks to all of you who have written to me backchannel to express your support for me. I know you're there and I feel your love and support, but I feel that I really need to clarify an additional point on this blog.

Picture it as a look into my head and how I analyze things. This is an opportunity for me to express my deepest thoughts, fears, and secret longings and perceptions. You, who read this, are privy to things that my closet friends and colleagues are not. This is not a sterile document.

It's raw.

It's unfiltered.

It's me...warts and all.


Today is my normal day off from the office, but I decided to save some leave and move this day off to Wednesday. Then take a day off on Friday.

I'm headed to my parents' house in WV on Wednesday. Jessica is leaving to visit her sister in Nashville tonight. They will drive up to WV on Wednesday evening. We'll all be together through Sunday. So it will be grand to spend time with my parents and to visit with both my "little girls" for a while at Thanksgiving.

I have so very much to be thankful for. I'm relatively healthy. I have my children. I have my dog....and I have stuff that helps me to survive from day-to-day.

Nothing new to report on my latest crush. I perceive there to be no real interest there and it is all one sided. (My side.) This is okay. After all, I'm very new to the dating thing and I am totally ignorant about it all.

I'm learning.

Perhaps one day I will meet the man of my dreams and I will have the good sense to know it's him when I do.

In the meantime, I need to focus my energy on my parents, my children, and my life.

Getting it all in order.

Wee Hours Monday Morning

This has been a very full weekend. Jessica has been in and out doing her thing...and I have been busy doing mine. I've gotten several things done around my house...I've checked in with my mother and father. I spent all day today in church.

It has been nonestop.

But it has been just the way that I like it...busy and productive.

I went to my old church this morning and got to see a number of my "old" friends. Gee it was so good to see all of them. They were warm and friendly.

Then I went to the church that I am now a member of. It's always good to see my friends there. Jessica got to meet a number of them. She really did enjoy the service and I am so glad.

We also have had time to talk about serious personal issues. Some that have bothered her for a while...and some that have bothered me for a while.

Gosh I miss not having her around.

I also met some new guys this weekend, some of which were so incredibly good looking. I was my jovial and friendly self. So, I'm not sure if there were any attractions at all. Aw...I'm not too worried about all that. One day I may find someone.....but it ain't happening at this time in my life....for whatever reason and I will continue moving forward.

I can'ty really spend so much time obsessing about it. All I'm doing is obsessing less and observing more -- watching potential boyfriends from afar and watching how they handle various situations.

Some have been a total turnoff and others are the exact opposite.

So, perhaps I'll never get what I want in a mate.

I'm learning to be okay with the fact that I may never find him.

Self Pity?

Let me get something clear for my critics out there:

The purpose of this blog is not to paint rosy picture upon rosy picture of my life. It is not air brushed. I am not perfect.

I use this blog as a means to process my feelings....whatever they are -- right or wrong.

I am sorry if you feel that my writings make me somewhat unattractive...but this blog is one of the few safe places that I have where I can let the ugly out.

If you can't deal with it...go read something else!

Plain and simple!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Cold Fall Day

It's a cold day and I am afraid that my mood is matching the weather.

My daughter, Jessica, arrived home from El Salvador on Friday night as planned, but she is sick as can be! She's been home for almost a week now, and it hasn't been much fun having her around. Poor thing is miserable, but she won't take her meds as directed because they don't taste good. I'm frustrated.

On top of this, I'm not getting much quality time with her because of the family on the other side. They have all descended upon her like vultures demanding pieces of her time. This includes the delightful Lovey, who is also playing doctor.

Inside I am very resentful.

Lovey spent over a week with her in El Salvador at the beginning of this year for goodness sakes. I've not seen her in almost two WHOLE years! Due to the fact of everyone else being on my payroll, I can't afford a trip to El Salvador for extensive one-on-one time.

The dentist even got some good quality time with her!

Then, coming into my office this morning I had a long discussion with my mother. Bless her heart. She is so discouraged about her chemotherapy, her illness, her lack of strength, and everything in general. She doesn't want anymore chemo.

I tried to put on a positive front. I told her that she at least should finish her scheduled treatments and see what the next scan reveals about her lungs before making any grand prounouncements of discontinuing the chemo.

So, yet again, I think I have succeeded in keeping mom on even keel.

I feel so helpless.


I know....here comes my standard whining mantra...:

I feel so very ALONE.

I suppose I am thankful for the near misses I have encountered recently of men who have shown some interest. But none of those worked out in the end. It's so frustrating....and so hurtful.... I am now paranoid about any man that is nice to me because I'm wondering if he is "interested" or just being "nice."

One man in particular is someone that I really longed to be with. He seemed to have some qualities that I really liked. I could be a good mate for him. I know it. I am familiar with his profession....and could provide encouragement in ways that I don't think he is even aware of.

But, alas, he has someone else.

I'm the chopped liver.

He is clueless.

Still, I try to remain optimistic.

The new guy that I mentioned in my last post continues to be "interesting." He and I shared a meal a couple of days ago. He's intelligent, nice looking, and a professional. He says that he wants to get to know me better. I expressed the same interest. He's been very busy...and we're making plans, quietly to share another meal and do some talking.

Stay tuned everyone!

Will Frank EVER find a mate?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Such a Long Day!

First, let me say that I had a great weekend. I got a lot of stuff done...including painting my front door where the dog had scratched the paint off of it. I got rid of about 6 bags of garbage. Cleaned out my closets. Shampooed my rugs. Identified clothing that needed to go to Salvation Army. Got the tags for my new car. Talked to all of my children.


my daughter in El Salvador comes home for three weeks beginning this Friday.

I am just so VERY excited. I don't know what to do!

Life continues to go on....and on....and on.

But there has been an interesting wrinkle.

A new man has appeared in my life. Well, actually, he has been in my life for a good little while....but he and I seem to be noticing each other more.

So perhaps I'll have something to tell in the next few weeks.

I won't have to camouflage....or hide....

I'm at least a little hopeful...

More later...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Morning

What a week.

Each day at the office has been an experience. I seem to hit the floor running....and it doesn't stop until I pry myself away from the place late into the evenings.

My dog hardly recognizes me!

So, today I'm going to write about the negative experiences I have faced this week as a middle-aged pathetic gay man!

Yup, that's how I feel right now based on the fact that I have been outright rejected.....I've been replaced......and I've been forgotten. These experiences have not left me in my "happy" place. 'm finding myself bitter, cynical, and feeling like there is no use to try and find someone special...simply because I don't fit the gay stereotype of being twenty-two, blond, buff, and somewhat empty between the ears.

It's so tiring to meet people....and feel and see their interest wither before one's very eyes.

Aw, one of my friends has advised me to remain positive.

Well, I try.

But having three negative experiences in one week is a bit much for me to handle in addition to facing my mom's illness.....and the ex whining in the background.

Yeah, Lovey reared her head again this week. She was mad with me because my credit union still lists her on my credit report as a co-owner on my credit card. This is something that I have attempted to take care of on at least three separate occasions....each time I am assured that she is off the account, only to find that she has not been taken off.

It's amazing.....and makes one wonder if it is due to ineptness in the financial institutions such as this that has helped to put our country in the financial mess it currently finds itself in.

(Didn't I tell you that I was going to be writing negatively..)

Finally, the experience that really takes the cake is this one: I joined another one of those online dating sites in hopes of finding Mr. Right. Well, I've gotten all kinds of hits to my profile and lots of email messages from folks of all ages. It has really served to balance out some of the negativity I've had......at least it did until I heard from BOZO in Brazil.

BOZO wrote to tell me how hot I was. He is not so bad himself. He then told me that he was going to move to my area from Brazil. I responded by saying something like "Wow!"

He took offense at that innocent remark.....and ripped me up one side and down the other.

I wrote him back and said, "Aren't you overreacting a bit?"

He then lectured me about not allowing him to do what he wanted to do.

I responded by saying, "What am I doing to stop you from doing anything you want to do with your life?

He then writes all apologetic and asks if we can start again?

Good Lord!

So, as you can see, I need this to be Friday. I have a four-day weekend that I will be using to get prepared for my daughter, who returns from El Salvador for a visit one week from tonight. I have much to do...including some time for me to relax....and to calm down and prepare for next week.

This too shall pass!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama


The election was something.

Here we sit on the brink of a new era -- full of hope and promise.

I hope now that things can totally begin a turnaround.

We'll see.

A Broken Chemistry Set?

I have given gay dating more thought.

I've also read the comments I have received on my last post and reflected upon them too.

The guy that I had the date with earlier in the week, (let's refer to him as "Mr. Wonderful) was an interesting guy. I didn't feel any "magic" with him. He is certainly not life partner material for me...I know that. So his apparent rejection of me was no great loss.


I see something in the world of gay dating that is very common and I just can't figure it out.

I have come to the conclusion that if a guy tells you: "Aw...if we don't have chemistry, we can still be friends. One can never have enough friends" that things are going to go south if he doesn't find that "chemistry" and the friendship will indeed be non existent.

So, why waste the breath to say all that when you know that you're not going to follow through?

I have met so many men who have had similar experiences. It's almost as if gay men can't be friends with anyone that they wouldn't have the "hots" for.

It's beyond me.

One of my commenters said that I'm going to have to kiss a lot of frogs before I find my prince.....and to view their rejection of me as their loss.

I try to remember all that as I meet people...and the chemistry is not there on either side.

But I've got to tell you, at times I wonder what the deal is? What am I doing wrong to experience such rejection on a grand scale? Am I that unattractive? Is my chemistry set broken? Do I not have any chemistry to offer anyone?

It's all so very silly. Perhaps one day I will become lucky in love and truly find someone that is wonderful in all respects.

In the meantime, I have to trudge throuh the swamp of life alone encountering all those frogs.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Frank Goes Out On a Date

It's a miserable, rainy night outside. It's dark and gloomy. But, I'm headed to a friend's house to view the election returns....and have dinner. It should be a good group of guys to spend time with.

On the mom front: she seems to be doing much, MUCH better. The nausea has evaporated. When I talked to her last evening she was cooking dinner for my dad in her kitchen. This is the first time she has done this in over two months. She sounded much like her old self. I was glad to hear it in her voice.

She also told me that her last remaining sister-in-law died yesterday afternoon. She was in her mid-90s, had been ill for quite sometime... So, her death came as a relief to many.

On my front...I have launched into the deep and started "dating". Yup...I've kissed off the office guy as a very lost cause. There is no reason to believe that he was ever seriously interested in me. So I have totally backed away....regardless of the fact that he still sends mixed signals....kisses and hugs.

In my research, I found another dating site. This one is for older gay men and "their admirers." Since I am "older"...I decided that it would be good open up my horizons. My other dating ads just don't seem to work.

So, I put another out there on this particular site. I've had almost 200 hits....and a host of emails and what are referred to as "gropes" by older men....and younger men in their early 20s. (Who knew?)

One particular guy was eager to meet me. To be honest, when I have a man that is that eager...I have warning bells go off in my head...and I just know it is isn't going to work out.

Last night's "date" was not a disappointment.

It was nice....and all.....and we talked and got to know one another a little. But when I got up to leave...I could feel that this wasn't really going to head any where. He did give me a hug. So, that's nice.

But no email follow ups....or phone calls or anything. I did write him to thank him for dinner and the nice evening. I wasn't going to be a clod about things.

It's almost funny.

I mean.

I meet a man...or develop a crush on someone because of the mixed signals I receive. Either they are gracious and warm and then I never hear from them again.....or I get dumped.....or the mixed signals happen and nothing really happens. That "next" step or next level just never seems to happen.

The last time I checked I didn't have an extra eye in my forehead....or horns sticking up out of my head...... It makes me wonder what in the heck I'm doing so wrong.

This shouldn't be so hard.....but I'm finding it very difficult.

I hope you all voted today. If not, please do.