“Hoping that he’s bent for more than arguments and failed attempts to fly…”

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2018 by A♠

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I share the following email regarding my book ‘The Holistic Guide to Suicide’ because I believe the message says a handful of things that may prompt other men to give my work a chance they may otherwise forgo offering it.

 

My sincerest thanks to the author for his permission to share it in its entirety.

 

Hi Charles,

I appreciate the care you have shown me in sending me your book. Perhaps it would please you to know that I have already read it one and a half times already. There is a lot of useful wisdom found within, and fresh perspectives worth pondering. I will certainly consider its finer details for the foreseeable future, and continue to use it as a reference for navigating personal troubles.

Seeing as you spent a great deal of effort to write this book, I feel it would be fitting to provide some personal feedback, to let you know how I have interpreted your work and share with you my opinion on it, for what it’s worth. Seeing as it would be my pleasure to do so, I have written a somewhat lengthy response:

It is somewhat interesting that I finally decided to purchase and read your book when I did. After all, I first became aware of it about a year or two ago after discovering your blog, which I visit from time to time when I want to some insight into life that I can’t find elsewhere. I believe the reason I decided to finally get your book, was a matter of necessity and courage. In all honesty, I am not a happy person, and this cloud of depression has left me essentially friendless and in limbo in a world that I find increasingly hard to make sense of. I needed outside help, and judging by the quality of your blog (which is unequaled in insight in my humble opinion) your book looked like a promising information source.

Many points you make in the book about how modern life is a combination of comfort and helplessness strongly resonated with me, and your explanation for personal anxiety on a societal level is spot on, in my opinion. Issues surrounding pride, and viewing suicide as a way to maintain honor in the face of social ostracism, hit far too close to home.

My initial hesitancy to read your book, despite its admittedly alluring title, was out of fear I might learn something about myself that could push me over the edge; a concern that reading yet another manual of platitudes would convince me that there really were no genuine coping strategies for suicidal ideation and feelings of worthlessness, thereby exacerbating them to a terminal degree.

I see now that hesitation was misplaced. I believe your coping strategies are both poignant, and valid. Where you mention that over 80+ countries have no death penalty for any crime, reminds us no matter how large our perceived failings, we do not deserve to die for them. More importantly, if suicide is over a question of honor, who in this broken world deserves to be the judge of our own execution, let alone judge ourselves so harshly?

I am no stranger to suicide. I had a close boyhood friend who committed suicide about ten years ago when I was a college freshman. His case was a feeling of shame, inadequacy and depression caused by incurable childhood diabetes, which had progressively worsened his health. His suicide note mentioned he didn’t want to be a burden any longer. How many people feel this way? I certainly do sometimes, as I do not live up to expectations. But you got me thinking for the first time… where do these expectations come from? I know mine are external to myself, from an overbearing father, or jealousy of successful peers..

I had another friend, whose father killed himself by overdosing on pills. His shame of being divorced, separated from his kids, and appearing as a failure, motivated him to take his own life. Yet if he could see the absence his passing left on his son, and its everlasting effects, would he have still done it? You said that suicide is surrender, because it doesn’t solve any of the problems, it just prevents you from seeing them. I think this understanding creates resolve, and determination to do everything we can to change our situations for the better. I will certainly share this advice.

Lastly, as men, I feel we are told it is basically unacceptable to voice feelings of inadequacy out of fear of social ostracism. Yet when we are truly vulnerable, we need comradeship more than anything. Yet as the years go by, my friends have moved or drifted away without explanation, almost as if I’m living in a Twilight Episode and the script is my life. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, only that I once had lots of friends and was happy, and now I have no one to confide in. I so dearly wish to have brotherhood, but I just can’t figure out how to fit in. I wish I still was close with my childhood friends. Their intentional distancing pains me the most, and I don’t know really pushed who away. I bring this up, because you say we need to acknowledge our desperation, yet I feel if I do so, I will be worse of than before because I’ll be ostracized (at the very least privately) for my weakness. Yet for how many have so felt like I’ve been underwater, desperate for an outlet, just to scream at people and beg for an explanation, anything to rectify the situation.

There is much more I could say and discuss about this book, and I would be glad to do so. I will continue to reread it and let its contents digest in my mind, so to speak. If it was wrong of me to reveal too much about myself, I don’t mean to apologize, as apologizing doesn’t justify bad behavior. But I told you what I did because, even though I don’t know you at all, what you write in your book and on your blog, resonates with me, and if anyone could make good things from what I’ve said, it would be you. Thank you for the book, and for your time. I will continue to eagerly follow your blog and try to figure out this thing we call life.

Sincerely,

Jeremy

 

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“…all he left us was alone…”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2018 by A♠

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Some time ago, I briefly, vaguely, touched on the impact one’s parents has on future mate choice.

 

“Men date women much like their mothers.

Women date men much like their fathers (especially if they didn’t really have one but that’s for another day).”

 

Since I tacitly said I’d address my meaning later, I believe now is as good a time as any.

 

For whatever reason, the imprint a parent leaves on a child is frequently ignored in dating/mating discussions.

 

 

 

This has always puzzled me since it’s the first – and arguably most powerful – influence in one’s choices down the road.

 

Mothers/fathers provide the example – good or ill – for the romantic relationships in which we find ourselves.

 

They create the expectations we end up having.

 

The methods of communications we’ll anticipate.

 

The manners in which we’ll seek to be treated.

 

The punishment/reward systems to which we’ll respond.

 

So deeply does this initial imprinting affect us, it simply baffles me as to how it gets lost or glossed over in conversations.

 

 

 

Keep finding yourself with critical, unhappy, impossible to please women?

 

Look carefully at your mother.

 

Keep finding yourself with abusive, dismissive men?

 

Look to your father.

 

I guarantee you’ll spot more than you’d expect.

 

 

 

So powerful is this paradigm, so omnipresent, so all-encompassing, it takes conscious effort and action to notice it.

 

As the old saying goes:

 

A fish doesn’t know it’s wet.

 

And, as I mentioned earlier, an absentee father is no escape.

 

In fact, I posit that it’s even more impactful than one that is present.

 

 

 

As evidence, I offer just how pestilential absentee father epidemics are.

 

Once they get even the smallest foothold in a community, they spread like the most virulent of plagues.

 

Why?

 

I suggest a few reasons:

 

1} A present father can give looks at a spectrum of behaviors. Good and bad; positive and negative. An absentee one teaches only a single lesson: men are meant to breed and leave. Expect nothing but sperm. In fact, if a man stays around, he’s not a real man simply because men (in the girl’s experience) don’t stick around; only boys do.

 

2} An absentee father triggers the need to prove resilience in a massive – though negative – way. She needs to show she “doesn’t need a man”. She can handle life without such. Of course, this only opens the door to countless disasters but it’s too late by the time the error is realized. Additionally, later errors further trigger the need to prove resilience even more, thus digging an ever deeper hole.

 

3} The absence of a father causes her to default to her most basic programing of mate selection. She’ll choose the lowest, most easily read denominators: potential for violence, fierce independence, arrogance, et al. Now, this is not to say these things are not sought by perfectly healthy women. I’d be a fool and liar to suggest such thing. However, healthy women are infinitely more likely to seek those denominators with positive nuances that are missing in the cases of an unhealthy female search. If it helps, think of it as eating: dining from both dumpsters and restaurants will feed a person. But one is a much healthier choice than the other.

 

 

 

As a related side note, this leads me to a major reason I try to impart the lessons I do rather than simply teach pick-up lines and techniques; why I teach the physics, if you will, of it all rather than the “actionable advice” so often demanded.

 

But that’s for another day.

 

 

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“As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive…”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2018 by A♠

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I confess, no one ever asks me to “smile more.”

 

Throughout my life, I’ve been described as “dark”, “brooding” and “intense”.

 

In fact, those who didn’t know me well have categorized me as villainous from the outset, seeing as I resemble the antagonist (far more than the protagonist) in most literature and film.

 

This caused me no end of frustration and consternation for decades.

 

Until, however – after a great deal of effort, I managed to put it to work for me in aid of an anti-hero/outlaw persona.

 

Thus, bringing a tremendous amount of peace to my daily existence.

 

Yet all of the above only increases my consternation when women complain about being posed the same request I mentioned in the opening line.

 

 

 

See, no one expects me to be happy.

 

And even fewer care if I am.

 

(Truth be told, those two facts form a bit of a viscous cycle if one considers them both for more than the briefest of moments.)

 

Why grow angry at being asked to “smile more”?

 

 

 

Now, I understand no one wants their mood dictated to them.

 

Nor does anyone want to be denied their sorrows, when they occur.

 

Agency of emotion is an important thing to any person, women especially, I’m sure.

 

Yet ire at such a request seems foolish to me, for a few reasons:

 

1} Few make the request of someone for whom they don’t care. So, at least mildly decent odds suggests they have concern for you.

 

2} Few make the request of someone for whom there is obvious reason to avoid doing so. So odds are they perceive life has been generous enough to give you reason to do such.

 

3} Few make the request of those with poor/weird/creepy smiles. So it’s likely they believe you’ve the looks to make it work.

 

 

 

I’m sure there will be those who feel my three reasons are insufficient or naive.

 

Perhaps there are even some women who feel it’s sexist to be asked such.

 

Which I’m compelled to say, may be correct.

 

But for the wrong reasons guessed.

 

 

 

See, what gets forgotten is a critical point of female mate value is their ⁂ resilience ⁂.

 

Perpetually scowling, frowning and other exhibitions of displeasure could very well indicate:

 

1} A lack of fortitude to deal with the suffering dealt by life.

 

2} A chronic state of dissatisfaction and, potentially, an inability to be pleased.

Frankly, I’d be hard pressed to come up with less desirable traits in a female companion for any man.

 

Which is very likely why so many men shun and bemoan the deluge of miserable-looking women they encounter with staggering frequency both online and in their daily lives.

 

It may also be why those very women seem to only spiral downward further and faster, the more they rise up against such sentiments.

 

Additionally, as the lyric I’ve chosen as this post’s title states and ⁂ any dog knows ⁂, just the ability to give love goes a surprisingly long way in female struggle for survival.

 

Thus, the suggestion to “smile more” is, when seen from this perspective, extremely good advice.

 

 

 

Of course, none of this is to condone disingenuousness.

 

Nor concealment of powerful, well-founded emotions.

 

Rather, to point out what is being conveyed.

 

And how the message is being received.

 

 

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“The way that you treated me… I know I’m not to blame”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2018 by A♠

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First thing tomorrow, I want you to go out and buy grape jelly.

 

Then send me a photo of it.

 

 

 

He thinks I’m joking.

 

Or crazy.

 

Or both.

 

When he called 20 minutes ago, asking advice regarding a spat he just had with a young lady, I’m certain this suggestion was nowhere among those he thought he’d receive.

 

 

 

“Wait. Are you serious?”, he asks.

 

I reply:

 

Very much so.

 

You told me your place is a mess and your roommate ate all the grape jelly you used for sandwiches.

 

Am I correct or did I mishear you?

 

“No, I said that. I mean, I said both things, yeah.”, he confesses – still somewhat confused.

 

I tell him:

 

Good.

 

That proves I’m listening instead of waiting to hear my own voice.

 

So do as I suggest, then clean your place the best you can.

 

For now, forget about her.

 

You have bigger problems.

 

For one, you’re out of jelly for your lunches this week.

 

For two, your place is a mess.

 

Don’t make her moods your third.

 

 

 

Once I clarify with those words, he chuckles a bit.

 

I imagine he’s sensing I may have purpose with my odd demand.

 

The next morning I awake to a picture message of grape jelly.

 

I respond with a simple thumbs up.

 

He goes on to let me know she sent him a message that she misses him.

 

I tell him:

 

It’s the jelly.

 

 

 

He laughs and writes “she could sense I bought jelly and conceded”.

 

I immediately let him know I’m not really joking.

 

I mention my post about women ⁂ ghosting ⁂ .

 

Then write:

 

It’s the jelly.

 

You were busy getting your shit together instead of putting her moods first.

 

 

 

A few minutes pass, then he closes the text exchange with exactly the following:

 

“You were right. But even if you were only half right or wrong, you still hedged your bets. Taking your advice was the best course of action regardless of outcome. My day has been productive and I wasted only a fraction of the time worrying/fuming…

So bravo. And thank you.”

 

7♠

 

“Lady Luck never smiles, so lend your love to me awhile…”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2018 by A♠

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When I started this “one post a week” challenge to myself, I made the comparison to ⁂ gambling ⁂.

 

Specifically:

“Like a deck of cards, some will be worth more than others.
 
Don’t blame the dealer for that (it’s the nature of the game, after all).
 
Since, in the end—
 
It’s up to you to build a winning hand with them.”

 

 
It’s not by accident I did so and that I chose the handle “Ace of Spades”, years ago.

 

Nor that I write books under the pen name “Charles Spadille” [“Spadille” being the French word for “ace of spades”].

 

Life is gambling on so many levels as to be impossible to delineate properly.

 

Thus, with that firmly in mind, while speaking with frequent commenter Wald, I realized I’ve never addressed how to build a winning hand with “friendzoning”.

 

On its surface, being “friendzoned” is agonizing, disheartening and – to most sufferers – inescapable.

 

Yet being the inveterate cardsharp I am, I feel obliged to offer some assistance to men in the situation.

 

 

 

As I’ve been gently ribbed for not providing “actionable advice”, I’ll uncharacteristically provide such:

 

1} Understand your position. You’ve been declared unsuitable mate material. Railing against it or falling to bitterness will only hurt you. The female in question will only gain victim points if you punish her for her choice (which, frankly and fairly, is entirely – and rightly – hers to make).

 

2} Realize she has extended the offer of “friendship”, which actually puts her in a much weaker position (play-wise) than is readily apparent. She has willingly made herself available for reasonable social requests. If she has made the offer honestly, great for both of you. If not, she’s unwittingly sacrificed the game for a single hand. Either way, you’re set up to take the pot, down the road.

 

3} When the offer is presented to you: allow yourself nothing more than mild disappointment. Quickly smile and be grateful. Sincerely, since she’s just revealed her hand.

 

4} A week or two later, invite her out somewhere public. Make sure it’s somewhere she’ll feel safe and can easily excuse herself, should she wish to do so. Continue to invite her every few weeks until she attends or passes three times. If she passes three times, delete her number. In the unlikely event she contacts you after that, very mildly guilt trip her about not being a friend and ditching you so often. Decide if you wish to continue talking to her, since the ball is solidly in your court now.

 

5} If she takes you up on it, treat her like she were a male acquaintance [not a close friend]. Tease her gently; pay for her if and when you feel like it but not a whit more. Most of all, be sure to flirt with women in her presence. Be bolder than usual but don’t overdo it. Go for phone numbers of other women, even if you doubt you’ll get them.

 

 

 
All that said, why do I recommend that course of action?

 

1} It puts preselection to work for the man in question. An unromantically involved woman willing to be seen with him is better than none.

 

2} It forces her hand in the game. She can decide they are Truly friends, help him move on and share a good time out on the town. Or, she can excuse herself from his life, freeing him from further social obligation.

 

3} Lastly, yet not of least importance, it may (just may) cause her to reconsider her position. He certainly isn’t being clingy or cloying; he is taking charge of his situation.

 

 

 

In the event it must be mentioned, I’ll do so:

 

The key factor in all of this is genuine behavior.

 

Do not do this in hopes of winning her.

 

After all, she’s not a prize.

 

She’s an opposing player.

 

And it’s the role she chose.

 

 

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“Cryin’ won’t help ya; prayer won’t do ya no good…”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2018 by A♠

5♠

 

 

 

 

“Guess what it is.”

 

His military experience makes the words sound like an order yet his omnipresent affability soften them to a palatable level.

 

Especially for a knee-jerk iconoclast such as myself.

 

 

 

It’s whiskey, I can recognize that much.

 

Lord and liver know I’m intimately familiar with that delightful poison.

 

But just seeing it in the glass is obviously insufficient.

 

So, upon his cue, we toast and sip our respective drinks.

 

 

 

“Well?”

 

This time it’s an outright question, if not necessarily stated.

 

I reply:

 

Maker’s Mark.

 

He laughs with only mildly exaggerated exasperation, saying:

 

“Damn! I can’t fool the oinomancer on anything!”

 

I smirk and laugh along with him.

 

 

 

For the next few hours, I’m blessed with good conversation and a fine meal.

 

My friend’s ample affability is outclassed only by his generosity, I’m lucky to mention.

 

Yet, something has bothered me about the exchange ever since that evening.

 

It was nothing he said or did.

 

It was my reply.

 

 

 

Yes, I guessed correctly.

 

As I said, I know my whiskey.

 

But it was the way I responded.

 

I almost asked as much as I guessed.

 

Not quite.

 

But close enough to bother me.

 

 

 

The unintentional reluctance to own my supposition irks me more than it would most.

 

Hell, most would’ve forgotten it already.

 

Not I.

 

See, nothing in my uncertain tone would’ve bought me a reprieve, were I wrong.

 

My answer would be correct or incorrect.

 

The lack of faith in my course would be of no help whatsoever.

 

In fact, it may have made me look less knowledgeable than I really am.

 

 

 

Thus, I’ve taken a lesson from that brief moment.

 

Weigh the evidence.

 

Use a reasonable amount of time to draw a conclusion.

 

Make the best decision possible.

 

Then act.

 

And realize:

 

By the time action is a necessity, uncertainty is a poor ally.

 

 

5♠

Voices

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2018 by A♠

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My computer died this week so, rather than miss a deadline, I decided to post something (even if it isn’t what I’d originally intended). The following is a message I received some time ago and felt it might be worth sharing.

“An observation I have about your writing, especially that clinical, super-objective, research-thesis-like style.

When I read it, I have to force myself to hear you saying the words. Once I do, it all clicks back into place that you’re just a man, a mortal man.

Because if I didn’t know you, (and to be fair, I’m really only beginning to know you), if I couldn’t hear your pronunciation of the words, your meter, I would have difficulty not believing every single thing you wrote at face value. And I mean, everything.

I know I’m not the best example; we already reviewed my levels of gullibility and trust; but when you lay things out in that careful, correct and well-researched manner, it sounds more than professional, it sounds like the words of a Prophet.

Now, God, please forgive me my blasphemy. “

– a regular reader

 

* * *

 

Regular Reader,

I very much appreciate your kind words. However, permit me to point out you haven’t blasphemed. All of the prophets were “just mortal men”. That’s where humanity defeats itself. They expect prophets themselves to be divine. They aren’t; their message is. That tone you hear is Truth. It’s so unfamiliar these days it’s understandable why it would seem almost supernatural. You should believe what I tell you; especially when I take that tone. You’ll come to find you’d likely get to many of my conclusions on your own, regardless, after significant time and effort.

 

Sincerest best wishes,

A♠

 

 

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