Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! I'd like to start by saying that we love your contributions to Group Therapy, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nelson emailed us… he has been dating a girl for the last three months, and he loves everything about the relationship so far. Things are pretty serious (they've said "I love you") but there's one nagging thing: the girlfriend shares custody of her six-year-old daughter, but she hasn't introduced the kid to Nelson yet. He's totally prepared for that to happen, but it's not happening as quickly as he would prefer.
Recently, Nelson said that he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend AND her daughter, but she says she's not quite ready yet. Nelson can understand her protective nature, but he's starting to wonder if she feels as strongly about the relationship as he does.
Nelson…man, I guess I'm a little bit surprised by how quickly you're moving. Three months in, and you've already dropped the L-bomb? How can you be sure this soon? Maybe I'm just not the romantic type, but this seems a little quick for a grownup relationship.
Let's see if your fellow Rock-A-Holics feel differently. Give this man some advice about his "daughter dilemma", won't you?
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
There is an angry beauty about New England in the fall. Rolling thunder bounces from dark cloud to darker cloud, and the Atlantic Ocean turns colder and more unsympathetic, whipped into frenzy with wind gusts that can make small people suddenly do their best Mary Poppins impression. The humpbacks begin their journey to the Caribbean, as the little town of Rambling Harbor becomes clogged with boats on trailers straining to make their way around roads barely wide enough for two cars to pass. It's Rambling Harbor getting ready for fall, the season of mysteries that always enshrouds old New England towns, especially villages on harbors and oceans.
There is folklore that crows are attracted to shiny objects. I say folklore because apparently crows are just plain attracted to things, and any thing that might glitter would catch their eye. Based on that legend, I lovingly called my wife Crow Woman, one of many nicknames, and this one loosely based on some Native American idea. If she were walking down the street, a $500 bill on the pavement would not catch her eye as quickly as a shiny bobble in a window. Price was never the point, shiny was.
I love Ritz Crackers. During the first spring after my wife died, I found myself standing in the backyard, very early one quiet, beautiful morning. This was not a place I usually went. I was taking care of my landlady's plants while she was away. Suddenly a crow landed on a nearby lawn chair, left an almost complete Ritz cracker on the arm, and flew away. I was stunned and when I regained some of my senses, I went inside to get my camera. It took me a couple of minutes, and I figured this thing-loving crow would have returned for his Ritz. It's that Ritz in the picture. The crow never returned.
Maybe it's the early darkness, the angry sky, and the raging ocean, or maybe it's just being in old New England that makes us so aware of the possibilities. What could be more perfect than a New England fall, bursting with color, spirits, and mystery?
There will be more stories of hauntings and mysteries and of course a rock-and-roll timeline on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
Hey there, Rock-A-Holics! Let's get into some Group Therapy before the weekend starts, shall we?
Mark plays on a coed soccer team, and he ended up having dinner with a female teammate after their game was canceled. He has a girlfriend, but she was out with her friends that night, so Mark decided to carry through with the dinner plan; after all, he is NOT attracted to this teammate, so he didn't see the harm in it.
Unfortunately, a friend of Mark's girlfriend secretly spotted the two soccer chums at dinner, and sent a picture of them eating to Mark's girlfriend. Naturally, the girlfriend was furious, and has now accused Mark of "emotional cheating" with this other woman.
Wow, this is some serious drama…and strangely enough, the females in this situation have generated it all. Hell, the chief architect of this nonsense isn't even "in this situation" – she's just a nosy friend who wanted to get in on some trouble. Just a reminder, folks: people are stupid. Give 'em a chance, they'll prove it every time.
Mark says he's innocent, but the girlfriend says that dinner with someone of the opposite sex is cheating, plain and simple. Do you subscribe to that notion, or do you side with Mark? Your opinions are welcome, so fire away…
Alexis needs some help with her ex-boyfriend…because he is now her best friend. They have no interest in getting back together; in fact, the ex-boyfriend is now dating someone new.
Alexis wishes him well in his new relationship, but she's not too happy with his request that his relationship with Alexis remains a secret when she meets the new girl next week. He begged her to carry through with this deception, and even went so far as to ask her to rope their mutual friends in on the deal!
I realize I'm famous for my stance on women and men having post-relationship friendships (DON'T DO IT), so nothing I have to say about this will come as a surprise. That's why I'm turning it over to you, the Rock-A-Holics who offer up advice to their own. Should Alexis let her ex-boyfriend (and current best friend) drag her into a lie for the sake of his new relationship?
Do you hear wedding bells, gang? Maybe that’s the sound of a cash register. It’s so hard to tell sometimes…
A Rock-A-Holic named Will is trying to tell the difference between “bing-bong” and “ka-ching” at the moment, because he gave his daughter some money for her wedding, and she spent it…on something else. Did we mention that the amount he gave her was FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? No? Well, now you know.
Will’s daughter was supposed to spend the money on a lavish wedding, but the happy couple has decided to elope. Now, the dough is financing a trip to Australia that was never part of the plan. Will and his wife disagree about the situation, with the wife defending the daughter and her husband-to-be; Will feels like he’s been the victim of a swerve, and he wants his money back!
This is a tough one, folks. I can really see both sides of the coin here, so let’s hear what you have to say! What would you do if this was YOUR hard-earned money?
Hey-ho, Rock-A-Holics! Today’s session of Group Therapy almost feels like it should start with the classic line: “I can’t believe this happened to me…”
Needless to say: this one’s for the grownups…ironically.
We heard from Candace, a 19-year-old babysitter who recently had a concerning encounter with her customer. The couple she was sitting for came home from a wedding, exhausted and partied out. The wife passed out in bed immediately, leaving Candace to wrap up the transaction with the husband. Just as the man was about to pay her, he suddenly kissed her on the lips. Candace doesn’t deny that she kissed him back. He seemed to suddenly snap out of it, and then said “we’ll call you if we need you.”
Now, Candace feels bad about the whole thing. She usually deals with the wife in this couple, and now she feels like she can’t work for them again. The problem is having to explain exactly why she feels compelled to stay away, and she’s not sure how to handle that,
Candace, I suppose you’re okay in my book, especially because you admitted to kissing him back. There was alcohol involved on the man’s part, and this was certainly an uncomfortable event. You were sober, and you liked it, so there IS that aspect. Maybe staying away from that situation is the best idea. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth ruining the guy’s life over a stupid little kiss, but that’s just me.
Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:
With the beginning of the so-called season of the witch, I thought I would recount an old and true tail of spirits. I like the term spirits instead of ghosts.
The old one stands proud and beautiful in the moonlight. Such great beauty often hides deep secrets. Softly she rocks on the water, her bones groaning but still strong. The very bones are the timbers that rejected the British cannonballs in the war of 1812, defeating four of their best warships, the timbers on which 308 sailors lost their lives and gave their bones to mingle in Old Ironsides forever. The voices of those long gone have been heard to speak in whispers, and visions of a young cabin boy have been seen. Do souls still linger on the ship they loved and died for? Many say they still walk the planks of Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution. It is reported that some sailors refuse to descend into the lower decks at night, fearing that would send them hurling through time and space into her resting past—or is it resting?
While sailors may be reluctant, I have a group of friends who went running hell bent (pardon the expression) to investigate these bumps in the night and disembodied voices, the vision of the boy and the eerie knowledge that these souls were indeed still protecting their beloved ship. My friends are well known as S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England and are the only crew who has been allowed to spend the night on Old Ironsides. While investigations of this type never contain absolute proof, I know this group well enough to believe they have probably experienced what the sailors who would rather stay above deck fear. You can check them out here: http://spiritsofnewengland.org/
My friends believe that the souls they encountered were as curious about them as they were about the spirits. Curious about them, hmm, curious about them—it makes me wonder if there is truly overlapping time. Are these souls people just living in their own space and place in whatever grand design there is? Could it be we are the spirits and don’t know it? Is our time being visited by those from some distant future or past world? Are they paranormal investigators, hundreds of years into tomorrow, trying to understand why there are voices from the 21st century? Are we the present, the past, the future, or all of these at once?
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells was instrumental in moving the concept of time travel to the forefront of the public imagination, but it is well known that Einstein, in his theory of relativity, cited that time travel was possible. Einstein said he wished he could ride a lightning bolt, and then he would move fast enough to travel through time.
Perhaps there are no so-called spirits, just different people living in different periods in the illusion of a man-made system of counting minutes, hours, and days called time.
I hope you will spend a little time on the shores of Rambling Harbor with me as we continue to explore spooky October and other scary stuff like life.
It’s a real team effort here at Group Therapy, but we know you’re all in it for the love of the game…right?
Michelle recently learned that her best friend’s boyfriend is only in the relationship for one reason…SEAHAWKS TICKETS. That’s right: Michelle heard, from a friend of the boyfriend, that the guy doesn’t really care about her friend; in fact, he would have broken up with her already, if it wasn’t for her family’s club level season tickets for Seattle’s one-and-only amazing football team.
Michelle isn’t sure what to do, because she’s afraid that her source of evidence (second-hand friend information) won’t seem legitimate enough to convince her friend that this guy is only after one thing. She doesn’t want to risk their friendship over this jerk, but she doesn’t like knowing that her friend is being used.
This is tough one, Michelle, because your friend doesn’t seem to have enough self-awareness to catch on to her boyfriend’s secret motivation…but what if she does? You don’t always know what’s at play on the inside of someone else’s relationship, so this could be more complicated than you realize. Then again, maybe not…
Let’s hear a 12th Man level of feedback for Michelle. Should she be a team player, or interfere with this guy’s contract situation?
If you have a problem with Group Therapy, just remember: it wasn’t MY fault. Blame Migs…or Vicky…or Rev…or literally anyone else. I’m not taking the heat.
Okay, I’m obviously joking about that. Honestly, I’m trying to lighten the mood in advance; because today’s Group Therapy case is the kind that really bugs me.
Roger wrote to say that he really screwed up, and his buddy’s kid has ended up taking the blame for his mistake. There was a party at the buddy’s house recently, and Roger snuck off with his girlfriend to fool around a bit. They ended up in the master bedroom, but nothing happened…because they knocked over a lit candle, which ended up burning the carpet. There was not a serious fire, and Roger and his girlfriend quickly got back out into the party, leaving not long after.
A few days later, Roger spoke to his buddy, who said that he had grounded his son from attending a birthday party “because he burnt the bedroom floor with a candle.” Yeah, that’s right – this class act not only damaged his friend’s home, but a kid has been forced to take the blame. Apparently, the son had previously been caught sneaking in and taking a little something from the change jar, so he was deemed guilty because of his past misdeed. Great work, Roger!
Roger, you’ve set some nasty crap in motion here. Not only did you act like a juvenile (what adult sneaks around to play grab-ass at a friend’s house during a party?), but you’ve caused a rift between a parent and a child, not to mention damaging trust within a family. That’s not to be taken lightly, and only a jackass would let it happen.
Act like an adult, and fix this. When you’re done, make a personal policy to act like you have some sense, and stick to that policy.
It’s time for Group Therapy! Bring a friend…and tell them to bring a friend, too!
Speaking of which, it’s the subject of an extra warm body that is currently on Olivia’s mind. She and her boyfriend were out at a bar recently, and the alcohol loosened up their lips, as it has a tendency to do. They hit the “bucket list” topic, and the boyfriend mentioned that he had accomplished his Top Five already…including a threesome with two women.
This was years before Olivia got together with her man, but she’s feeling more than a bit uncomfortable with this revelation. They have a great sex life, and their relationship is strongly committed, but she worries that she’ll never live up to the thrill of that kind of memory.
We live in an age where everything is documented in one form or another, so the past is an open book for most of us. That kind of information availability can lead to some harsh judgments, especially as we move into higher age brackets. As a serial overreactionist (is that even a word), I can definitely teeter-totter on Olivia’s reaction: maybe she’s totally within her rights to be insecure about this, or maybe she should take a deep breath, live in the now, and let the past be the past. Everyone has their own comfort level.
What advice do you have for Olivia, gang? Is this something worth getting worked up over, or should she let it go? Bonus Honesty Points if you speak from experience on this topic…