Posts Tagged 'gregory stock'

JANUARY 24, 2010

(This was originally posted as A DRUNKEN POST, on January 24, 2010)

Seems that a drunken post is a rite of passage for bloggers–at least those who drink.  So here’s mine.  I don’t drink daily, nor do I ever drink alone.  So when I drink, I make up for lost time.  I missed my singles group’s dinner last night, because of my still-twisted sleep cycle.  But tonight I called Delbert–my only friend in Singletons, and we went to Millers Ale House.  It was my choice–I’ve been pursuing a twenty-something gal there named Tara, a hostess, for over two years.

Tonight I asked that she stop by our table.  She did, and I was amazed–she was cute, though not nearly as gorgeous as I remembered.  But isn’t this typical of guys–to put gals on a ridiculously high pedestal?  Anyway, we went ahead and ate–and then stayed till after 2 a.m., just talking.  Delbert doesn’t drink, but I just put down one Foster’s (Australia) after another–I must have had at least ten, good thing he was driving.

Delbert is the only member of my singles group who’s an intellectual, like me–who enjoys deep discussions, and very intelligent conversation.  Only difference is that he is primarily left-brained, while I’m primarily right-brained.  His best subjects in school were math and science–while mine were English and history. Still, we get along well–it’s so damned good to have someone with whom I can really talk.  I even told him once that I wished I could find a woman like him. Maybe I have.  Cathy, the woman I mentioned in a previous post, has agreed to meet me for another lunchdate, on February 3rd.  And she is primarily left-brained (most men are primarily left-brained, most women are primarily right-brained–so she is an exception, like me).

I did most of the talking–centering mainly on politics and religion.  Yes, Delbert is the only person with whom I can discuss the most taboo subjects.  He claims he’s not intellectual, because he doesn’t read as much as I.  But he listens, and learns–and this is every bit as intellectual.  In fact, one’s desire to learn is far more important than his or her level of intelligence.  Intelligence is just a prerequisite–the desire to learn is the key to gaining knowledge.  And he enjoys learning, just as I do.

Anyway, I just sent an email to Tara, once again asking for her phone number. Odds are she won’t respond, but that will be nothing new.  Still, I remain undaunted.  That’s one area in which I wish women were a little more like men, if I may be politically incorrect.  Most women get rejected by men once or twice, and distrust men the rest of their lives–while most men get rejected by women, over and over, and still keep trying.  Reminds me of My Fair Lady, and Higgins’ song, Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?  In fairness, however, I’m sure women often wish a man could be more like a woman.

The fact is that, even though men and women differ genetically by only three percent, they are quite different from one another.  My friend Joseph, who (though somewhat shallow) brought me out of my shell, as a teenager, once said, “Girls want us because we have something they don’t have, we want girls because they have something we don’t have.”  And that’s one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard in my life.

Still, I often wish we weren’t so profoundly different.  And the Creator might laugh, and reply, “No, you don’t–the amount of difference is precisely what you want!”

Well I’ve got a headache, of course (the Janie Fricke song, Jose Cuervo, You Are a Friend of Mine is going through my mind)–and must cease writing, and sleep this off.

I may decide to delete this post, but probably not–since a blog is about the real blogger, naked, without pretense.  And if I’ve misspelled anything, gimme a break.

P.S.–If you want to Google Singletons and/or Millers Ale House, feel free–I’m not bothering to conceal them.  U.S. Singletons is an interesting group, and Millers Ale House an outstanding restaurant, so you can tell either entity Scott recommended it.


You know it’s been a long time since I’ve had any alcohol when I can remember the last month I had any alcohol–and thereby find out what number this drunken post is to be via my archives!

How’s that for a run-on sentence?

(If you’re viewing this post via a mobile device while driving, walking, or bicycling, please put it down–it can wait.)

While listening to “Baba O’Riley” by The Who, drinking Irish coffee in my living room earlier, I thought of a particular wild-though-harmless drunken escapade at Auburn University (I wasn’t driving–freshman weren’t allowed a car on campus)–and I thought of how I set myself up for a crash, while attending Auburn by having my expectations too high.  And I share this personal information as a warning–especially for teenagers and twenty-somethings.

After graduating from Murphy High School in Mobile, in 1984, I decided to attend Auburn University.  That’s where I had attended my first college football game, where I had danced with a girl for the first time, and where my sister Elaine had met my brother-in-law Jeff.  And I very proudly told everyone in the high-school graduate reception line at my church that I was going to Auburn.  There was no problem with that, at all.

The problem was that I had three unrealistic goals for myself, beginning with my first quarter at Auburn University–summer of 1984.

I expected to be a straight-“A” student, from the beginning.

I expected to join a fraternity in my freshman year.

And I expected to have a girlfriend in my freshman year.

Let’s take a look at these:

The only one of these goals that was in my control at all was to make straight-“A”s from the beginning.  Yet I had never been a straight-“A” student in high school.  And this was college–even more difficult.

So I didn’t make straight-“A”s in my freshman year at Auburn.

Joining a fraternity was not in my control at all–I had to be accepted into a fraternity.  I went to rush events for more than one fraternity, though the most promising was the Farmhouse.  The Farmhouse was a non-alcohol fraternity.  A typical social fraternity with that one difference–no alcohol allowed at social events.  That was cool, I didn’t regularly drink anyway.  And I had a good chance at being accepted–my now-brother-in-law Jeff’s best friend was a member of the Farmhouse.  I attended the rush party, and made a very good impression.  But I wasn’t accepted into the fraternity.  I found out why, later–I was seriously considered, but one of the Farmhouse brothers’ actual brother was rushing, and he was accepted instead of me (they could only accept so many pledges at a time).  Looking back, I’m not really sorry I wasn’t accepted into a fraternity–being the non-conformist that I am.  But I didn’t realize I was such a non-conformist then.

So I didn’t join a fraternity in my freshman year at Auburn.

And having a girlfriend?  That was even less in my control than joining a fraternity.  I didn’t even get a date that year.  I tried to attract girls the best I could, but they simply weren’t interested.  Maybe I tried too hard, maybe not hard enough–but of course there was no way I could control the hearts of young women.  There is no way anyone can control the heart of anyone else–there never has been.

So I didn’t have a girlfriend in my freshman year at Auburn.

Still, the summer of 1985 was the best summer of my life.

In a previous post–an answer to one of Gregory Stock’s questions from “The Book of Questions: Love and Sex”–I described a girl named Melanie.  I didn’t love Melanie, of course (I hadn’t gotten to know her well enough), but I was really in love with Melanie.  And on her last night in Mobile, I ended up in the backseat of my car with Melanie.  And we made-out, big time–but she simply wouldn’t let me have sex with her, despite my verbal expression of desire.  Her reason?  She was too old for me.  It was really ridiculous–she was only five years older than I, but that was her reason.  And I certainly wouldn’t force myself on her–I cared about her.  But I did cry like a baby–and this ruined any future chances with her.

And I returned to Auburn University in the fall of 1985–broken-hearted as hell. And I missed class after class–I couldn’t concentrate.

I did find a following of freshman disciples who looked up to me, a sophomore now–but that wasn’t enough.  I was determined to find a girlfriend right then.  I told my mom, over a payphone at the dorm, that I would leave Auburn if I didn’t find a girlfriend in a week.  She told me that wasn’t realistic, but I wouldn’t listen. And of course I didn’t find a girlfriend in a week.  And I can still see the faces of my freshman friends in a window of the dorm as I left–they would miss me.  Yet it would be over twenty-five years before I would miss them.

And in November, 1985, I ended-up in a psychiatric hospital in my Mobile hometown, having torn up my parents’ kitchen while they were at work (never knowing why I did that).  That was my crash, my breakdown–the time when my mental illness surfaced.  And thirty years later, I still haven’t recovered from it.

Yet I know I set myself up for it–with three unrealistic expectations:

To be a straight-“A” student.

To join a fraternity.

To have a girlfriend.

All in my freshman year.

And I would give my life to be back there, at Auburn University, in the fall of 1985–to be able to stay there, with the knowledge of what I’ve learned.  I’d be an “A” & “B”–with an occasional “C”–student.  And I’d have some good friends.  And I’d have a girlfriend before I knew it–might even end up marrying her.  And to hell with a damned fraternity–I’d know I didn’t need one.

It’s good to have goals–but your goals must be realistic.

Please keep that in mind, whatever your age.


Dorothy Dandridge 1Dorothy Dandridge 2Dorothy Dandridge 3Dorothy DavisDorothy Dwan 1Dorothy Dwan 2Dorothy Dwan 3Dorothy RevierDorothy Sebastian 1Dorothy Sebastian 2Fay WrayGloria GrahameGypsy Rose LeeJoan BlondellKitty Carlisle 1Kitty Carlisle 2Kitty Carlisle 3Kitty Carlisle 4Kitty Carlisle 5Kitty Carlisle 6Kitty Carlisle 7Laya RakiLilian Harvey 1Lilian Harvey 2Lillian Bond 1Lillian Bond 2Mae BuschMyrna LoyPat PatersonPatricia Roc 1Patricia Roc 2Patricia Roc 3Patricia Roc 4Patricia Roc 5Patricia Roc 6Patricia Roc 7Patricia Roc 8Patricia Roc 9Patricia Roc 10Patricia Roc 11Patricia Roc 12Patricia Roc 13Patricia Roc 14Patricia Roc 15Patricia Roc 16

04 Feb 1946, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Original caption: 2/4/1946- Hollywood, CA- Lovely English actress Patricia Roc, first "Lend-Lease" film player to come to this country for a role in Universal's "Canyon Passage", poses her first cheesecake art. --- Image by © Corbis

04 Feb 1946, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA — Original caption: 2/4/1946- Hollywood, CA- Lovely English actress Patricia Roc, first “Lend-Lease” film player to come to this country for a role in Universal’s “Canyon Passage”, poses her first cheesecake art. — Image by © Corbis

Patricia Roc 18Patricia Roc 19Patricia Roc 20

by Ted Reed, bromide print, 1947

by Ted Reed, bromide print, 1947

Patricia Roc 22Patricia Roc 23Patricia Roc 24Patricia Roc 25Patricia Roc 26Patricia Roc 27Patricia Roc 28Peggy Cummins 1Peggy Cummins 2Polly Ann YoungPolly WaltersSherry Britton 1Sherry Britton 2Tempest StormVeronica Lake


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

You are leading 100 people whose lives are in danger, and you must pick one of two paths.  One will save 95 people but 5 will die; the other has an even chance of saving everyone, but if it fails everyone will die.  Which would you choose?

I would choose the path that had an even chance of saving everyone.


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather live in a country where people can get rich if they succeed in business but might wind up destitute if they fail, or in a place where there is little opportunity to achieve wealth but a strong social safety net in place?

I already live in a country where people can get rich if they succeed in business but might wind up destitute if they fail.  This is of no consequence to me–I have no interest in business.  Yet I wouldn’t rather live in a place where there is a strong social safety net in place.  Before answering this question, I looked up the definition of “social safety net”–and found that it didn’t mean what I was hoping it would mean.  I was hoping that “social safety net” meant help within one’s family and one’s community.  Instead, “social safety net” means governmental help. And I don’t want to receive any more governmental help than I have to. Because–generally speaking–you can trust your family and community more than you can trust your government.


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

What do you like best about your life?

My amazing mind.


My oppressive circumstances.


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Have you ever disliked someone for being luckier or more successful than you?

Of course I have.  Who hasn’t?


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather have success and everything material you want, but few friends; or little success or material well-being, but lots of friends?

Bearing in mind that success doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with wealth–and that the more friends one has, the more impersonal his friendships are–I would definitely rather have success and everything material I wanted, but few friends.


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

If you could take a one-month trip anywhere in the world and money were not a consideration, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d go to Ireland, England, Scotland–and Germany, if possible.

I’d visit the big cities, like Dublin, London, Edinburgh, and Berlin.

But I’d make sure to visit the megalithic sites–and touch the stones, if I could.


Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

For $5,000, would you be willing to stand up in a crowded restaurant and obnoxiously berate a server about some trivial problem?


If not, is it because it would embarrass you or because it would hurt her feelings?

Because it would hurt her feelings.

Do you think a server would rather have you forgo the bet or split the money with her later?

I think she’d rather have me forgo the bet.