Crush

Crush: (n) a brief but intense infatuation for someone

I have always wanted to sit down and rehearse the little speech.

I’m speaking of that gentle wording necessary to let someone down—someone who has a crush on you, who perhaps is too young, or it’s inappropriate in some other way, or maybe you just don’t share the infatuation.

I’ve considered my speech. What would I say?

Certain lines I would want to put in:

“Golly, if it was just another place, another time…”

“I love you too much as a person to just like you as a girl…”

“You’re the best, and someday you’re going to meet someone, and they’ll know you’re the best, just for them…”

Of course, if the person was persistent and found my speech adorable, then I have a whole different list:

“Because of a war wound, I cannot return your affection.”

“I snore—and not just when I sleep.”

“I am betrothed in marriage to a Bolivian coffee worker.”

I always thought it would be great for someone to have a crush on me. To have her think that everything I did was magnificent, and that my only competition is Jesus or God.

What a great blast of blarney.

I’ve had a crush or two and discovered very quickly why they call them crushes. When I tried to move on them and express my feelings, I ended up…

Well, crushed.

I think every one of us, once in our lives, needs to be the center of another person’s undying, wistful, overwhelming lust for us.

We may find this temporarily with our partner, husband or wife. Ah, but eventually it comes down to the point that we both know where the socks are supposed to go in the drawer.

Goddammit, I want someone to have a crush on me.

And I don’t want her to make it up now because she feels sorry for the loser.

I don’t want pity crushing. I can see it coming, so don’t fake.

Most of the people I had crushes on in my life have moved on, and probably don’t even remember who I am.

Because of that, I can tell my children and grandchildren that they counted as one of my girlfriends.

 

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Convent

Convent: (n) a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.  

 I’ve never been motivated by fear, even when some of it may have been legitimate.

I cannot stand to be intimidated and frightened just so somebody will believe that I’m adequately aware of a pending horror.

I have been a fortunate man because my journey has taken me every place I wanted to go, and many places I did not envision going but ended up benefitting me.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I once found myself, along with my family, staying for two days at a convent. It was an experience. Let me tell you the difference between “experience” and “blessing:”

A blessing is something you wish would go on forever.

An experience, though initially pleasant, is something you are overjoyed has an expiration date.

The women living in the convent, serving God, praying, and taking vows of both chastity and poverty, were some of the sweetest, gentlest and kindest souls I had ever met. But after about thirty-six hours, I discovered that their profile and practices were initiated through a fear of being displeasing to their Master—their husband. God.

Over breakfast one morning, I shared with these lovely souls my intention to write a novel on the life of Jesus, with him telling his own story. I felt confident that they would be moved by such an adventure. The intimacy we had shared over the stay made me relaxed, and I was forthcoming about details.

They were shocked.

They were offended.

Matter of fact, they pleaded with me to not write such a book, because it would “be offensive to God.”

Honestly, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was argue with nuns—especially on their home turf, the convent. I listened patiently to their objections, and for the rest of my visit I remained quiet, eager to get back to a world where poverty is not preferable and there is a God who welcomes scrutiny instead of feigning offense.


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Cad

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Cad: (n) a man who behaves dishonorably, especially toward a woman.

Consider the following three statements:

  1. “Women are too emotional to be placed in positions of authority.”
  2. “Happy wife, happy life.”
  3. “I don’t know why women want equality–they’re already better than us.”

All these statements are chauvinistic.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a word like “cad” in our present vernacular to describe such cavalier attitudes. For the truth is, women are not too emotional and they have just as much responsibility to make a happy husband–because they are not better than us, just equal.

Let me give you another three prototypes:

  1. “I always buy my wife presents because she deserves consideration.”
  2. “Women are greedy gold-diggers.”
  3. “All women need from men is respect.”

Once again, all chauvinistic–the dialogue of a cad. Because after all, it’s not exactly what you’re saying that makes you a bigot, but rather, what you’re implying.

And if you think women deserve the best just because they’re female, it’s similar thinking to the guy who considers women to be gold-diggers because they want the best. And that means that women need monetary evidence before they consider themselves respected.

Although the approaches get slicker and the dialogue has a more tender nature to it, cads still roam the earth, eyeing the ladies in the herd, trying to figure out how to woo them … just enough to screw them.

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Better Half

Better half: (n) a person’s wife, husband, or partner.

Dictionary B

I am willing to giggle at silly things until they become dangerously stupid or prejudiced.

I have gone to a comedy club and heard a black comedian joke about his heritage and community and laughed along with him, realizing that if the jokes were told by someone with a more pale complexion, they would be radically bigoted.

But I have grown weary of the ignorance being promoted in our society by the little quips thrown out by men and women, seemingly attempting to praise the other, while obviously lamenting a hidden dilemma.

Things like:

  • “Women are smarter than men.”
  • Or “I do what she says.”
  • Or “I’ll have to check with my wife.”
  • Or the notorious aside: “This is my better half.”

Actually, men and women are so ill-suited in their naturally confused culture of gender bias, that they should be quarantined from one another.

Because the true better half of both men and women is the soul.

The heart and the mind are in great conflict: the heart feels, the brain pumps out training.

When that happens, you have the climate for war.

It is in the soul that we find the arbiter.

It is the soul that says, “We have more in common than difference.”

The soul tells us, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

The soul gently nudges us to realize that “in the Kingdom of God, there is neither male nor female.”

My wife is not my better half.

But we have a chance of getting along with each other when we allow our souls to enlighten us … and alleviate the half-witted skirmish between our hearts and our brains.

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Aka

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.

 

Adept

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Adept: (adj.) very skilled or proficient at something: e.g. he is adept at cutting through red tape; an adept negotiator.

Beware of titles that require follow-up.

I often come across individuals who want to quantify my abilities or value by assessing names or positions to my talents. We all are tempted at times to tout our value by putting some sort of signature on it, which is supposed to communicate our qualification or aptitude.

  • Lieutenant
  • President
  • Senator
  • Manager
  • Father
  • Mother
  • Principal
  • Reverend
  • Husband
  • Wife

Well, the list goes on and on–an unending collage of words that are supposed to scream out our uniqueness, so people will give us respect in the foreground before they check too much into our background.

Matter of fact, without these accolades, we sometimes feel that we’re just human beings, God forbid. But when we insist on such bravado in front of others, we take away the element of surprise, which allows people to surmise our lack of worth based upon our appearance, only to be proven wrong by the tally at the end of our endeavors.

Sometimes I don’t even like it when people ask for a resume. I always hated it in a job interview when the question was posed, “Tell me a little about yourself.” An impossible inquiry. If you stumble or act humble, people will say you lack confidence. If you go on and on about your personal achievements, you certainly will flirt with arrogance.

Yet for some reason the human race is convinced that carrying our “blue ribbons” to the starting line is confirmation that we will win the race.

The beauty of life is also the most frightening part. For after all, what I did yesterday is worth very little if I plan on screwing up this morning–and calling me by some regal proclamation only increases the pressure or takes away any praise I might achieve by exceeding expectation.

Am I adept at things? Probably. But I will never tell you.

  • Tell someone you’re adept at writing and they’ll critique your paragraphs.
  • Adept at love-making? God help you.
  • Adept at comedy? Be prepared for the audience to stare at you, waiting for the funny.
  • Adept at parenting? Watch your neighbors scrutinize your children very carefully.

“Adept” is one of those American words we use to attempt to impress before we actually perform. Sometimes it’s just better to shut up, do the best you can and surprise everybody when you actually have … some game.

 

 

Accomplish

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accomplish: (v.) to achieve or complete successfully.

Is it permissible for me to slightly disagree with a definition?

Because I have to be honest with you–I feel like I have accomplished things in my life without being successful. I think placing the term “success,” tying that word to every endeavor, is a great way of discouraging people from launching into activities that might fall short of expectation.

Sometimes I accomplish what I am able to do, but I don’t think anybody would brand it a success. When you take away my sense of accomplishment because I don’t meet our culture’s definition of achievement, you not only rob me of personal satisfaction, but you also greatly tempt me to avoid taking on anything that is risky enough to fall short of the “glory road.”

Sometimes we accomplish without ever seeing success.

Every once in a while, we find ourselves in a garden of despair, praying alone, fully cognizant that we are exactly where we need to be, even though it seems that running away would be a better alternative.

Every once in a while, the criticism nails us to the cross, as it were, where we declare that our work is finished, even though it looks like we are on our last legs.

Not everything is as simple as people make it, or even as Webster dictates. There is a season when ideas must be pursued, even when the prejudice and anger of the world around us dooms them to obscurity. There is a certain amount of bravery necessary to accomplish your mission, without receiving any badge of merit.

No, in this case I have to disagree with the dictionary. It is very possible to accomplish an intricate and essential task without ever being rewarded.

  • It is completely plausible to be a good parent and have lousy children.
  • It is possible to take care of your car and accomplish all maintenance requirements and still break down,
  • And it is certainly in the realm of reasonability to be a good husband or wife and end up in a divorced situation.

If we’re going to use superficial qualifications to have joy in our lives, or if we’re only truly happy when accolades are sent our way, we will eventually steer our ship toward safe, still waters.

Maybe that’s why mediocrity is now accepted as normal–and our world suffers in the malaise.