Recently, I attended a bachelor party held for a guy I knew from years ago. The event was supposed to be extravagant. The host flew in from overseas to organize it here in Chicago. Personally, I wasn’t particularly excited. This guy wasn’t a real friend of mine, and I’m not a fan of the host, in the least. In fact, I predicted the host would come here in a thinly veiled and vulgar attempt at self-aggrandizement; it was a plain and predictable consequence of his financially successful year overseas. He did not disappoint.

While the bachelor party was terrible, it was great to see my best friend. He came in town because the future groom is a former close friend (or rather jealous friend) of his who fortunately has drifted from him in recent years. He stayed with me, and as individuals, we actually had a great time. Then again, no matter where we are on the planet, we're gonna have a good time.

The party itself was a different story. The host was an ass all night long. I must admit, I do feel a bit sorry for the future groom. That was THE worst send-off a guy could have. But hey, when you rely on a Little Big Man to organize your bachelor party, mostly in his own honor, that’s what you get.

No wonder I skipped all the events for Friday and Sunday, and most of Saturday’s.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… in my experience, women are not all that fond of The Stag Party. At least the women I know. That might be with good reason, but based on my experience at these things, the future groom usually doesn’t cross that line from raunchy fun to actually doing something he should regret. And if he has TRUE friends, they keep an eye on him.

But then again, it’s still kind of hard for some women to handle. I guess the same can be said for men. I’m not all too enthusiastic about the prospect of an erect penis gyrating in my lady’s face… or worse.

Yup, I can do without that.

But come on, these things are suppose to be “Send-Offs”. The truth is there’s nothing that happens at a bachelor party that can’t happen on a business trip, a day off work or a night out with some mischievous buddies. We have to have faith in our partners. Otherwise, the relationship is doomed anyway.

For instance, my best friend has a wonderful wife. She is definitely a sweetheart. But she spent far too much time worrying over nothing when it came to him attending a bachelor party. She was greatly concerned he would do two things she deems outrageous:

1) Sex/A sexual act with another woman.

2) Smoking cigarettes (yeah, she puts smoking almost on the same level).

Neither of these things happened. She worried and worried over absolutely nothing. I’ll bet she didn’t sleep a wink that night. I hate to think that she troubled herself over nothing. It's bad for her piece of mind, and it's bad for his.

I though it was a bit excessive, so I talked to a woman who knows me well. She agreed with me that the concerns of my friend's wife were unfounded... at first. Then, she abruptly began interrogating me about the party. She tried to be nice about it, but her curiosity was too much. I laughed a bit, because I realized she had the same concerns. She was actually concerned about what we were doing at the party. I was a bit surprised.

I suppose my question is this: Ladies, how much do you REALLY worry about bachelor parties? And if you have concerns, why are you fooling with a guy like that in the first place?

Perhaps it’s fear of the unknown, but generally, a bachelor party is only a reflection of the guys there. If your man is shady, then he’ll most likely be shady during the party, after the party, and after you break up too. If your man isn’t, then the chances are heavily in his favor that he won't become a shady dude. But hey, nothing is guaranteed, and I can’t speak for what ALL men do.

But now that I think about it… I’ve never been to a bachelorette party. What’s goes on at those things??? Maybe I should find out.

Time to break out the trench-coat and funny glasses.

Peace and Love,



Note: The following post is about men, women and relationships, please do not get side-tracked by any political sensibilities due to the opening material.


World War I formally ended in 1919 with the signing of the Peace Treaty of Versailles. After the Allies defeated the Axis powers, the world was more than sick of war. Legions of innocent millions died in the tragic events of World War I. Humanity even witnessed the use of chemical weapons as an unpredictable tool of war.

As the Axis powers, lead by Germany, learned painful lessons about losing a modern international conflict, the Allied powers learned very important lessons about the burdens of peace-making.

In hindsight, Winston Churchill, in Volume 1, “The Gathering Storm,” of his Six Volume account of World War II, “The Second World War,” in reference to the terms of the Peace Treaty of Versailles, explained:

The economic clauses of the Treaty were malignant and silly to an extent that made them obviously futile. Germany was condemned to pay reparations on a fabulous scale. These dictates gave expression to the anger of the victors, and to the failure of their peoples to understand that no defeated nation or community can ever pay tribute on a scale which would meet the cost of modern war.

Over the course of the two decades that followed the end of World War I, a humiliated German people looking to recapture their dignity and rebuild their economy under impossible economic constraints, and legendary Hyper-Inflation, found themselves seduced, spell-bound and smothered under the crushing boot of the Nazi regime.

In retrospect, many historians have attributed the demands of the Peace Treaty as creating fertile ground for Nazi radicalism.

All of this comes to mind because of a conversation I remember having with my father. He once told me: “Son… you never take a man’s dignity. You always leave enough change on the table for him to catch a cab home. You don’t need to have life-long enemies.”

Although I try to life my life by those words, even when I’m angry, I still find that I’m a work in progress.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… It’s important to understand how we make peace in our lives. Sometimes, the conditions we set to make our world safer and happier have unintended consequences that do just the opposite.

I find that sometimes, people use “being hurt” as an excuse to poison or attempt to control/put constraints on future relationships. Some costs are too burdensome to demand, even if there are reasonable explanations for the demands; and even if that hurt was so bad that it left your world burnt to the ground.

After being hurt, sometimes we are seduced into the “Independent” fantasy. Though a good deal of personal autonomy, and a healthy sense of self-interest, is a good thing, there is no real “Independent” person. We all need each other in some way. The goal of being TOTALLY INDEPENDENT is a self-defeating goal, life is about cooperation.

In relationships between people, unilateral demands and attempts at control will only last for so long before they foment resentment and anger; and soon, in some way, that anger will find its expression in actions, either passively or actively. And those actions are sometimes more destructive than we could predict.

The pain of World War I caused the Allied powers to impose constraints that were untenable in the name of Peace and safety. In relationship terms, after we’ve been hurt, we can sometimes impose conditions on future relationships that are neither viable nor practical.

For instance, I have once or twice had the unfortunate displeasure of being the recipient of the past pain of a young lady or two who believed that since she had been hurt in the past, the way to prevent pain was to be in “control.” So unfortunate. In life, we prepare ourselves to deal with as many foreseeable eventualities as possible, we control very little. Vowing to never be vulnerable is not the Golden Bullet many of us may assume it might be.

When I think to myself, I wonder if I have made demands upon women I have dated based in past hurt. I wonder if in my attempts to be my own peace-maker in my relationship-world, that I have made impossible demands.

Mercilessness, in any relationship, has unintended consequences that are far from foreseeable. The people with whom we deal (the same goes when we are the offending party), who trespass against us, be they a former partner or a current one, have to atone for their actions when they have done wrong. But no matter what they have done, if the choice is to continue a relationship, the burden placed upon them cannot be impractical; they cannot be asked to pay for their indiscretions or violations in perpetuity.

Now, I’m not advocating a position that would let someone walk all over you. What I’m asking is whether or not we understand the way we choose to make peace in our lives. Sometimes, our attempts at peace, lead us into greater peril than we imagined.

Bottom line: Of course it’s possible to gain great strength from defeat. But truth be told, I wonder if we really understand the impact of our well-intentioned efforts at protecting ourselves through peace-making, and more importantly, their unintended consequences.

Peace and Love,



Note: Due to the fact that I have no children, the following post does not even attempt to account for relationships where children are involved.


I’m not completely sure if I believe in ghosts. I mean, once, some years back, I had an experience that really moved me. I can’t forget it. But that’s in the literal sense.

Figuratively speaking, we all deal with ghosts. There are people who were once in our lives who are no longer with us. There are loved ones who have gone beyond the living world. There are friends who have fallen out of touch, some due to conflict, others due to the failure to maintain a proper relationship. And there are past loves that are no longer there.

Ultimately, these ghosts are much like living memories that sometimes haunt us and our relationships.

How does this pertain to men and women’s misunderstandings of each other?

Well… As time goes on, I see more and more that relationships are absolute. They either exist, or they do not. While we may sometimes use various euphemisms to denigrate and qualify the definitions of our conflicting conceptions of a "Relationship," it's important to remember that we are even in a relationship with that "Buddy," we see off and on. Perhaps it's a mind game to try and justify abusing others, or an attempt to keep from offending our own dignity. Who knows the true motivation? These days, I'm trying to organize life in a manner that is a bit more simple.

Only the nature of relationships vary, not whether they exist. There’s good ones and bad ones… weak ones and strong ones… superficial ones and spiritual ones… loving ones and hateful ones… life-long ones and good ol' one-nighters, but they are ALL relationships.

Letting go of the past is tough, we all know that. But come on, that old ghost of a girlfriend/boyfriend (or person briefly dated) we are tempted to hold on to probably isn’t going to be there in 15 years (maybe not even in 2), especially after family, children and life take root. But a true friend or mate, who is part of your life and has a future, will certainly be there if humanly possible.

So what of ghosts? What of the memories that permeate through our lives of people, places and things, long after the events/people that created them have now passed into the distance?

I wholeheartedly recognize that there are some serious realities to accept. I mean, come on, it’s unreasonable to think that our mates, friends or loved ones have no ghosts. For instance, the mother of a friend of mine had a boyfriend murdered by organized criminals. His memory is still there, though he has been dead for decades, and she has been married for over 30 years. His ghost is still with her.

I don’t have a problem with the existence of ghosts. What I have a problem with are “GHOSTS” who come back from the dead. Unless the Messiah has come, then spirits that have passed-on, should remain passed-on. Ghosts interfere with the business of the living. And relationships, like life, should be centered in the living and the current, not memories and fantasies. Clinging to these destructive apparitions is often founded in a false sense of security and a fear of being alone or unwanted. These feelings can allow us to create situations that allow ghosts to appear.

There are other tough realities to accept as well. Some ghosts are more unreasonable than others. I don’t think it’s reasonable to maintain ties to old lovers, especially when those ties are still strong. Life has to have purpose. And sometimes, we have to ask ourselves: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE? I have my doubts that “feelings” or “just friends” or possibly that worn-out “been through SOOOOO much” excuse, are adequate explanations to stay connected to a ghost.

Ghosts do funny things to people. Sometimes they make people feel safe, like an angel. Sometimes they are just restless souls who have not been allowed to fade into the past. Sometimes they represent a hope for something that can never be. Either way, I think they are MOST problematic when we hide them. Because when we act alone, and in secret maintain ties to the past, ghosts can push us to do things we later regret, or maybe even place us in situations that cannot be healed.

Have I hidden a ghost before… yes. Have I found that ghosts were hidden from me… yes. Was there always an excuse as to why there was a need to maintain these useless ties… HELL YEAH there was, and plenty of them. Should there be any excuse (of course, mine included) for not disclosing that kind of information… HELL NO!!!

My best friend’s mother is a brilliant psychologist. I still call for free advice when my heart is heavy. She once told me that when you hide things from those you love the most and know you the best, you often do it when you’re afraid of the truth. This couldn’t be more true when you hide secret ghosts who haven’t really vanished.

Relationships require sacrifice. That’s obviously not a one-way street. Both people have to endure the pain of severing ties with ghosts. There is nothing unreasonable about that sacrifice. It's tough to not be selfish by clinging to a past safety-net. Relationships are often like walking a tightrope. And sometimes, you have to work without a safety-net. It’s hard, because nothing is promised. But there are things we can do to cut down on the risk. Most notably, practicing physically and emotionally healthy habits.


Why damn a potential future, with a broken past? Fear? Loneliness? Selfishness? Manipulation? Inability to move forward? Want to eat your cake, and as much cake as you want to eat too? User of people? Foolishness?

If those relationships weren’t meant to end, they wouldn’t have. Perhaps sometimes, we are not as ready to move forward as we think.

Bottom Line: Let the sleeping rest. Life is for the living.

Peace and Love,