A Question For the Ladies, a Tip For the Gents.

My son was enjoying an animated film this afternoon. “Hey, Dad, watch this part – these two characters GET in love.”

BrockSky

I knew what he meant and I gently corrected him. I appreciate how some words get twisted coming out of the mouth of my (now) six-year-old. It makes me smile and sometimes teaches a lesson.

Falling in love just happens. A void of emptiness gets filled with a magical chemistry. If you’ve felt it, you know what I mean. All of a sudden that special someone occupies your every thought and motivates your every action. You can’t sleep at night and you look forward to the next opportunity to chat or be together.

Then, over time, love matures. It evolves into something “different.” If you have a long time companion, you’ll know what I mean. If you are not careful, boredom and complacency may set it. My love grows deeper as the years pass by, but the “magic” feeling takes some work.

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” ~Bruce Lee

Let’s call this process “GET in love.”  Falling in love is mostly passive, “getting” in love is active. This is where the work comes in. This is where you ask your lover for a hint at how you can best make their heart skip a beat. Maybe you already know the answer. Are you doing it?  How often?

To the great husbands and fathers out there, I salute you – keep it up!  Truth is, some of you gentlemen might not want to ask for a hint because you’ll get smacked in the face with Waldo. Let me save you some trouble, or at least offer a few considerations born out of observation (and sadly, it doesn’t take a whole lot).

(1) If your heart and eyes are elsewhere, reign them back in. This includes flirtatious behavior with so-called “friends.” As a matter of fact, that friend might be cancerous to your marriage.  If you’d rather spend more time with someone else than your spouse, that’s a problem.

(2) Are you a deadbeat dad? Do you read to your kids? Do you have one-on-one time with them – daddy daughter dates? Do you help with the homework? Do you teach them hard work? Manners? Cleanliness? Or, is your video game more important? Maybe you’re more in love with watching sports or nurturing a bromance.

(3) Do you help around the house? Do you take out the trash? Help with the dishes or laundry? Do you wash the car? Do you offer to pump the gas? Do you hold the door open? Do you go out on dates or is romance dead? Would you rather pay for the date or the meal?

QUESTION: Ladies, what would you add to this list?  Give the men out there a hint…what can we do better?  Leave a comment and pass it along.

Say Cheese

The fear of public speaking is common knowledge. But I have been pondering a not so common apprehension, that of having a picture taken.

It is fascinating that we live in an age where cameras are as commonplace as people, yet some folks manage to go years at a time without having a photograph taken (at least consciously).

For whatever it’s worth, fame is associated with photos. Watching a press conference these days is unbearable. Each reporter sprays a camera as if it were a machine gun. I wonder, is it possible to make a massive global impact in the modern era without being subject to some mug shots?

On the flip side of this coin are the BILLIONS of selfies taken each year. To me, this is an alarming statistic. Selfies are a counterfeit attempt to turn inward. The camera may be facing the user, but only for a brief moment, and ultimately in exchange for the selfish currency of “likes, shares, comments, and downloads.”

“Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths.”

– David Foster Wallace

As a portrait photographer myself, I naturally find portraits to be the happy medium. I love to look at photos of my grandfather where he painstakingly set up a tripod and timer to capture a memory on film for the sake of influencing future posterity. A couple of these images are worth more than 1,000 selfies.

THE CHALLENGE:

(1) When a camera is pointed your way, “say cheese”.

(2) If you point your camera towards yourself more than at other people, consider evaluating your life and motives.

(3) If you are out for a payload of fame, remember that as fame increases so do the flashes in your eyes. Eventually, you’ll need a few kazillion photos – taken by other people. Google your name, if you find a bunch of pics that you took yourself…I have some bad news. Try redirecting your efforts to add value to society FIRST and THEN see what happens.

(4) Find something to say “no” to. Determine where you draw your line in the sand. If people can go a lifetime saying, “get that camera out of my face” you can too. Maybe your “camera” is debt, an unfavorable habit, or egocentric behavior. Whatever it is, act immediately, and tell it to get out of your face!

Photo by John Lucia