Life... Or Something Like It

I took the day off today. I haven't had a weekday off in a very lon time, so I'm trying to cram all the things I need to do during business hours during the week in one Monday. I travelled out of town to visit my family and even though I drove 2 1/2 hours away, it feels as if I've gone to some exotic destination for vacation.

A chance of scenery has done me some good.

There's a multitude of issues going on for me right now. I'm trying to figure out how to navigate adulthood, career opportunities, and changes in my personal life all at one time. When I was younger I was under the impression that once you finish college everything will just fall into place. Who knew that it took actual work to settle into adulthood?

Sinking In,

P. Manolos


I usually take time to share coupon stories on my blog, but today I felt the need to express my thoughts on other pressing subjects going on in my life. If you know me personally, you probably already know that I am a spiritual person. I believe that God takes us down different paths in life in order to teach us a lesson, help us grow as individuals, and bring us closer to his presence. I have many friends who do not believe in God, and while the secular arguments against his existence can be somewhat compelling, I cannot ignore the mountain of evidence that there are some things in life that happen without explanation.

Each evening, before I go to sleep, I talk to God about all of the things that are going on in my life. Friends, family, love (or lack thereof) and how I am grateful for the blessings he has brought to me thus far. I also spend time reading my Bible and I use a 1 minute student bible study guide as a way to get additional affirmations of faith in before I retire for the night.

Last night's verse made me pause for a second as I thought about all of the obstacles that I've faced in the past few months. It's from the book of John and it's his account of one of the many miracles of Jesus. Jesus and his disciples stumbled upon a blind man during one of Jesus' ministry trips. His disciples asked Jesus, "Teacher... why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins, or of his parents?"

Can you imagine being the blind guy listening to this question. I couldn't help but step into his shoes and think how pissed off I would be if a bunch of scruffy, smelly religious zealots came beaten down the dusty road into my hood and told me it was my fault or my parent's fault for not being able to see. Can you imagine spending your entire life unable to wake up to the sunshine on the window sill or watch the floors bloom at your door step? Spending your entire life relying on others to be your eyes and to lead you around by the hand to do basic activities like eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom. The pain of hearing hat perhaps it was your own fault you can't survive on your own must be so unbearable.

What was Jesus' response? Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him." Jesus then spit into the ground and wiped his muddy fingers on the blind man's eye and told him to rinse his eyes out in the river. The blind man rinsed his eyes out in the river and he was healed. 

I wonder how he felt seeing his world for the first time. Perhaps he was doubly pissed when some dude came by and put muddy spit into his eyes. He probably was only pissed for a moment before his anger turned into ecstasy. He could now see the plants, trees, and the warm sun that he could only feel for so long. His life of darkness suddenly faded into a life full of opportunities, light, and self-actualization. 

I felt a strong connection to this verse because I too, feel like I am blind. Lately, I can't help but hear the voices asking whether or not the obstacles in my life are of my own doing. If I had "tried harder" in school, perhaps I would have a career by now, or if I had tried harder in my personal life, perhaps I would have a family by now. All of the cracks, the surrounding darkness, or pain is of my own doing and there are days where those voices can often drown out the only voice that matters. Not unlike the blind man, they become the relentless darkness that pervades my every thought and movement. 

A care pastor at my church told me that all things will be restored onto you. It's a verse from the Bible I've heard many times, but taking it to heart has been a mighty hill I still have yet to climb. Restoring the friendships and the dreams I've had since I was young is a pretty tall order. All I can see are the obstacles in the path and how impossible it seems for any of those dreams to come to fruition at this point in my life. 

I keep reminding myself that Jesus had given up his life for me so that I may live life and live it more abundantly. If spitting in the ground and mixing it with mud could make a blind man see, I can only imagine what his death on the cross and a little bit of faith can do for me. The only way to stop seeing what is in front of you, both metaphorically and physically, is to shut your eyes and give in to the blindness. Only when you stop seeing and start believing will God be able to show his power in your life.

Eyes Wide Shut,

P. Manolos


My mother came to see me this weekend. She drops in on me even more than usual because of her own insecurities about my health and safety. A lot of turmoil has occurred in my life the past few months. Break ups that felt like death, lost opportunities and feelings of stagnation seem to rise up with me each morning. I've come to the point in my life where I look around and wonder what it all means.

She sat down in my kitchen and moaned endlessly about my lack of groceries. Of course all of you are familiar with my style of grocery shopping. It's a weekly trip to the store for whatever is on sale at the time paired with a coupon. I never have extra, just enough to get through a work week without having to run out or worse, spend money at the money pit known as the work cafeteria.

As I was saying, she sat across from me in the kitchen moaning about how hungry she was and my lack of food. In her opinion, a proper meal consists of a giant portion of protein, heavy starches, and a few veggies thrown in for good measure. I'm not knocking her style, I grew up a healthy, buxom young woman in her household, but as I get older I feel like I need less and less to survivor.

I also feel like I needed less and less of her endless moaning. As I began to get to a boiling point, I suddenly thought again about stagnation and the age I am in life. As my life progress, so does my mothers and the moments we have with each other are way too precious to take for granted. Not too long ago she sat me down in her living room and asked me to decide between myself and my two other siblings who will have medical power of attorney over her in case something were to happen. She didn't ask my father, brother, or sister, she had asked me to have this discussion.

My first thought was the conversation we were having at that moment was uncalled for, not to mention a bit macabre. Yet, it sunk in for me that this conversation wasn't at all inappropriate, it was just a part of life. A messy, terrible part of life we all must go through eventually. One that many of us hope to go through after we've said all that we have wanted to say to the other person.

So when my mother came this past weekend to bitch and moan about not eating for six hours, instead of falling back on my youthful impatience, I just absorbed the moment I was spending with her. I want to remember it.

There are so many things I want to remember with her. She mentioned how I hated her childhood storybook voices because they were scary. I didn't remember thinking that at all, but then again my childhood is one huge blur right now.

I do remember one thing. How much I hope she will be able to meet my life partner. How I want to fight with her about wedding details and guest lists. I want her to coach me through my first marital spat and see me have my first child. None of those things are guaranteed to happen in our lives. That's pretty much what life is about, unpredictable memories we tend to stumble upon when we least expect them.

P. Manolos.

Good Deal on Napkins This Week

Just got back from my bi-weekly jog. I'm dog sitting a for a friend, so I try to get home as quickly as I can from my daily workouts. It's nice to have a friend over for Zimba, I don't feel as guilty leaving him home everyday. Then again, Zimba seems quite content to be by himself. He doesn't even get up from the couch sometimes when I open the front door.

I wanted to share a fantastic deal with everyone. Giant Eagle regularly has a "dollar savings" deal and this week's deal (starting Thursday) has Bounty napkins listed for a dollar pack. If you have your .50/1 coupon from the P&G Saver a few weeks ago, you should be able to snap up some FREE NAPKINS.

Who doesn't need free napkins?

BTW- Mangoes are also on sale 10/$10 (you don't have to buy ten). That's a pretty good deal for fresh produce IMO.



Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the Dads out there. I had a great day with my Dad. We went shopping and ate a so-so hot dog joint (the menu blew me away online only to disappoint me in person). We went to church and I went to the alter for prayer. So many things have happened in my life, things that have hurt me to the core. I made my way to the alter and the prayer deacon told me the following message.

God will restore everything to you.

God has given me so much to be thankful for. Twenty-Seven years and a few odd days ago, my father became a Dad for the third time. My parents never planned on having baby #3, but when he found out my mother was pregnant at the age of 35, he was thrilled to have another child. My Dad went to every sporting event when I was in high school (aka watched me sit on the bench), he went to every concert, graduation, and one of my proudest moments, when I walked across the stage at Ohio Theatre and got my license to practice law in the State of Ohio.

Thanks Dad for always being there for me. No matter who or what I've lost in the past few years, you've been my rock and part of my restoration.



Today's Obsession

Zimba went to the dog park today. He barely said a word to any of the other dogs at the park. I guess I should be grateful, at least he isn't one of those dogs that bite and snap at everyone.

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Monday

I scrapped my knee for a second time shaving this evening. I have super expensive Venus Razors and I used one to scrap my knee. Usually the nice razors leave your skin feeling soft and prevents the occasional nicks, but I was careless and ended up with quite the gusher on my hands. Luckily, I have fantastic Nivea lotion to help the skin soften and heal faster. If you haven't used Nivea before, you're absolutely in for a treat the next time it goes on sale. Best lotion ever, hands down.

But I digress from the original reason why I've spurred myself to write after a long hiatus.

Last Friday, I found out I passed the bar.

A momentous occasion marred by a series of bad luck that would make Job look like a four-leaf clover. My mother always told me, that whenever troubles come your way there must be a blessing around the corner.

Speaking of my mother, my parents are celebrating their 40th year wedding anniversary this month. Can you imagine being married to someone for 40 years? I can't even imagine being alive that long let alone being with someone else for that amount of time. Think about it for one second. My parents have been married longer than they have been alive. My father still flirts with my mother and my mother still tries to play hard to get even though she thinks the world of him. He still wraps his arms around her when she's in the kitchen cooking and she still makes him dinner every night. She's been quite sick lately, so he tends to cook more often than he would like. But at the end of the day, she's his best friend and his entire world.

My mother used to be rail thin. She's what many people in the black community would call "high yellow". When they first met she had short, curly brown hair and naturally blush cheeks. She told me she was working at the Cleveland Clinic as a nurse when a young black orderly just wouldn't take no for an answer. She finally accepted a date with him and they've been together ever since. Never mind the little white lie my dad told her when she asked him how old he was. She would find out after the ink was dry on their marriage certificate that she was four years older than him. Frankly, I don't think my dad cared at the time how old she was. I don't think he cares now. She's not thin anymore, after three children, a hysterectomy, congestive heart failure and a bad back, she doesn't have the energy to move as much as she did in the past. She no longer dyes her hair black like she used to when I was a child. I can remember jumping on her nightstand and getting into her hair dye because I wanted to be just like her. Her hair is now a soft silver interspersed with white roots.  Even though the younger woman is gone, my father still looks at her as the same hot babe in the nurse's uniform checking in on patients and scribbling down notes in a notepad.

I think that's why God gave us hormones. He knew that as humans, we're a vain species and in order to get us to mate, we would have to have some kind of attraction to each other. That initial attraction, the beating of the heart when we first lay eyes on each other is what helps bring us together. It is also the sweet memory of years of history and chemistry that keeps us together for forty years later when our bodies are soft, our hair turns white, and a fast heart beat is a signal of something bad instead of good.

In a weak moment, I texted my father earlier last week and told him I envied them for what they had and wished to have my own forty year old moment in my life. In the past few years, I've learned a lot from my parents about love. I've read books on break ups and coping mechanisms, but nothing has taught me more than the two people my DNA was based upon. For starters, love isn't perfect. In any given relationship, two people can be wildly different in so many respects, but absolutely well suited for each other. It's whether two people are willing to work towards bettering each other that either makes or breaks a couple. I truly believe the divorce rate is high partly because we have created such high expectations of what a marriage should really be.  It's as if we set ourselves up for failure by placing demands that are partner can never hope to obtain.

 I spend each night praying to God that I could be humble enough to understand his journey for me and how I can become a better person. I pray that he will help strengthen my own shortcomings and he will bless me with my own forty-year wedding anniversary.

Speaking of commitment, the dog just came in from outside and he's soaking wet. I still can't help but cuddle him like I birthed the little dirt bag.

P. Manolos

Back to Home Back to Top Pink Manolos. Theme ligneous by Bloggerized by Chica Blogger.