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The "Sun"
December 29, 2004
2:46 pm
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These are some exerpts from a magazine called "The Sun." I can always find something interesting there. I think there will be a lot of us who can relate to some of these exerpts. At the very least, they make for interesting reading. All these stories are true...

Ren'ai

December 29, 2004
2:49 pm
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"Unable to nudge my husband of eighteen years out of our married routine, I went to work as a secretary to relieve my boredom, but I didn’t fit into the corporate world. My homemade polyester clothes and my short, cropped hair screamed misplaced homemaker. I owned three pairs of dress shoes — black, navy, and beige — all with practical low heels. Neutral in appearance, opinions, and feelings, I blended into the background of life.
One afternoon, some friends from work invited me to join them for happy hour. I’d never been in a bar or even tasted alcohol, other than Communion wine.

“Come on,” they said. “It’ll be fun. You can order a Coke.”

Fun: I tried to conjure up the concept from deep in my memory. I must have had some adult fun during my thirty-eight years, but I couldn’t remember it. I decided to go with the group, at least until my 6:30 class at the nearby community college. The Peppermint Lounge at the Holiday Inn had a fifties theme. Hula hoops hung from the ceiling, and pictures of Elvis, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe covered the walls. The wait staff wore red-and-white cheerleader outfits complete with bobby socks and saddle shoes. Loud oldies tunes and smoke filled the air.

My friends suggested I try a Seven and Seven, so I ordered one, then another, and another. By six o’clock, I was feeling lightheaded and asked one of my friends to drop me off at the college. I made it to class without falling down, although I did weave from side to side in the hallway. (Thank goodness for those low-heeled shoes.) By the end of class, I had sobered up enough to drive home, but my car was back at the hotel parking lot. Carl, an older student, but still younger than I by several years, offered to take me to it.

When we located my car outside the Holiday Inn, Carl told me it was just like his mother’s. How nice, I thought. His mother is probably sixty-five years old.

As we stood in the parking lot between his car and mine, Carl said, “I knew you had been with smokers tonight because you don’t usually smell like cigarette smoke.”

“Oh?” I said, surprised. “What do I usually smell like?”

“Watermelon candy,” he replied without hesitation.

A man I hardly knew remembered my smell. At first, I felt violated; my smell was an intimate part of me. But then I found it flattering that someone could remember my smell.

“Must be my shampoo,” I said.

That night, curled comfortably on my side of the bed, I asked my husband to describe my smell.

“You don’t stink, if that’s what you mean.”

“That’s not what I mean. If you had to describe my smell, my usual smell, how would you describe it?”

“What is this — twenty questions? I’m trying to read.”

The next morning, I went shopping and bought a bottle of Estée Lauder and a bag of watermelon candy. My husband was angry that I had spent fifty dollars on a bottle of cologne. He said it wasn’t necessary. Oh, I thought, but it was.

Susan Price Harvey
Charlotte, North Carolina

For some years, I could not (or would not) have sex with a guy unless I was drunk or high. But I drank a lot, so I had plenty of lovers. One night, I was out with a guy who was smart and funny and seemed to like me. I drank my usual three or four margaritas, maybe a Cointreau to top it off, and we went back to my place. Once on the couch, I went straight for his jeans.

“You’re pretty aggressive,” he said, but he wouldn’t let me undress him. So I put on one of my slinky nightgowns, and we crawled into my king-size waterbed.

When he made it obvious that he wasn’t going to play my game, I gave up and fell asleep — or passed out.

Morning came bright through the jalousie windows, and I could smell the salt of Biscayne Bay just down the street.

Awake, he pulled me on top of him, sliding the turquoise nightgown above my hips. It wasn’t great sex, but it wasn’t drunk sex either. The next time, it was great. It’s been that way mostly for the past sixteen years.

Pat MacEnulty
Charlotte, North Carolina

COPYRIGHT © 2000 The Sun

December 29, 2004
4:45 pm
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C'mon, people. Good stuff here. Give yourself the gift of time and take a read. I don't think you'll regret it...

Ren'ai

December 29, 2004
6:30 pm
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You're right Ren'ai! Very good reading and thankfully, something I figured out almost 10 years ago!!!

Thanks for the reminder!!!!!!!!!!

December 29, 2004
7:34 pm
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You read the Sun?

This is becoming more and more awesome!!!

Ren'ai

December 29, 2004
7:57 pm
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Ren'ai,

Thanks for sharing these great stories. Excuse me for asking, cuz I am just trying to get caught up in life here, but where do you get the 'Sun' from? The internet? Or a mag or what? I never heard of it before. Thanks, and please don't laugh at my lack of knowledge here.

Sew

December 29, 2004
8:13 pm
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No Ren'ai, I am reading from your posts!!! But, if you post a web address, I would love to read more!

December 29, 2004
8:13 pm
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Ren'ai

Just saw your post up in Libs threads and I guess that answered my silly question. Thanks for posting the information, I will try it on line.

Sew

December 30, 2004
12:41 pm
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You can check out http://www.thesunmagazine.org for more reading from the archives, or current issue.

I'm glad those of you who read this thread enjoyed it. I hope more will check it out!

Love to all,

Ren'ai

December 30, 2004
12:45 pm
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Thanks Ren'ai!

January 5, 2005
4:31 pm
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From "The Sun Magazine" Readers Write about Debt:

I have no debts: no mortgage, no car loan, no student loans - nothing. I have accomplished this by living well below my means, but the roots of my thrift run much deeper than simple common sense.
I learned the value of being debt-free from my family. We never bought anything we couldn't pay for up front, and, if we didn't have the money, we either figured out how to make what we wanted or learned to do without. Thus, my family grew or raised fruit, vegetables, and livestock, and made furniture, clothes, bread, canned goods, and even soap. This was all commendable, except that it continued far beyond the point of necessity.
I left home when I was seventeen at the insistence of my father - who, I suspect, was becoming anxious that I might turn into a permanent drain on the family's "meager" coffers. Although, by that time in my life, I had certainly learned how to do a lot, I did not really know how to take care of myself. What life inside my family had taught me was not to accept anything from anyone else, lest you find yourself beholden to that person. As a result, I was both as naive and as untrusting as it was possible to be at the same time.
I went on to make many bad choices in life: a distant marriage; jobs I took only for the money and the (false) sense of control; friends who weren't really friends. I finally went into therapy.
It's been five years now, and I'm still learning how to trust, love myself, and relate to others - all to the tune of a hundred dollars an hour. My family would be horrified, not just at the price tag, but at the very thought of throwing away good money on something so intangible as a new perspective on life.
My parents are now at the end of their lives, and my siblings and I are well into middle age. Looking back, I can't help but think that a little indebtedness to others, a little neediness, would have been good for all of us. A small amount of financial debt is a lot better than a life of emotional bankruptcy.
Name Withheld

My friend Josh and I first met ten years ago in New York City, when we were both young, handsome, carefree - and poor.
Since then, I've returned to college to obtain two master's degrees. When not enrolled in evening graduate courses, I typically work two or three jobs at once, moving quickly from one to the next as I ascend the career ladder. My business card lists a veritable alphabet of degrees, licenses, and certifications.
Josh dropped out of community college shortly after we met. He worked as a stock boy for seven years, but was never promoted; he was too irresponsible, his boss said. He eventually quit and stayed home for nearly a year, living off his savings. When he was completely broke, he took a night job as a doorman at an expensive Manhattan apartment building, where he still works.
I own a small co-op apartment in Manhattan, a cabin upstate, a twenty-one-foot sailboat, and a four-wheel-drive Toyota - or, rather, my name is on a worrisome stack of mortgages and bank loans that legally bind me to these possessions until I have paid them off in full. In addition, I have bills for telephones, electricity, cable television, Internet service, gas, water, insurance, registrations, parking, and storage. I also balance a precarious house of credit cards.
Josh has always lived at home with his parents in Brooklyn. He occasionally contributes to the household economy by paying the cable bill, which he does in person at the local office. (Without a checking account, it is difficult to pay by mail.) He has never had a credit card. He cashes his paychecks at a storefront check-cashing place on Sixth Avenue. When he wants to save some money, he gives it to his sister, who puts it in her bank account.
I have made only two or three friends over the past decade. I don't bother socializing because I presume that I will soon be moving on to bigger and better things, leaving those around me behind.
Josh is still loved by the gang at his old job, and the wealthy residents of the building where he works all exchange pleasantries with him as they pass him in the lobby.
Around my eyes, I have dark hollows and the first traces of crow's-feet. My hairline has begun to recede. I'm thin, pale, nervous, and unkempt. By Friday, I walk with a tired slouch and look stricken, even destitute.
Josh looks well rested and neat. He has gained weight while sitting by the door of that apartment building. His skin is elastic and plump, and he has the hairline of a fifteen-year-old boy. You might even say he looks prosperous.
William J. Harrington Jr.
New York, New York

My oldest sister, Veronica, understood the importance of having a male around for protection. Whenever we moved to a new place - which was often - she would befriend a popular boy and thus secure for her younger siblings a safeguard against teasing or worse.
One time, we moved to a small town in the Midwest. All six of us kids stayed in a rented two-bedroom cottage on the lake while our parents looked for a bigger house. The cottage came with a rowboat, and for fun we would take it out on the lake when a storm was brewing and the wind had whipped the water into a fine chop. The bow of the boat would rise on each rolling white crest and then dive into the trough. It was our way of dealing with the prickly terror of starting over.
On one of our voyages, a handsome boy in a speedboat came alongside and asked if we were ok. Within a week, Veronica was dating him, and we all had easy access to water skiing and a higher position in the school pecking order.
There were some nights, though, when Veronica would come home late and cry softly into her pillow. We pretended not to hear.
Later, as I got older, I heard stories about Veronica swimming alone with groups of boys at all-night parties. I said nothing, did nothing to defend her. Even when we no longer needed protection, she went on with this game she had gotten so good at playing.
Looking back, I see that I owe her big.
E.T.
Tucson, Arizona

When I was nineteen, I cut my wrists, and my estranged father came to visit me in the hospital. I hadn't said ten words to him in my entire life.
When I found out he was coming, I called my sister and told her I didn't want to see him.
"If you don't let him into your life now," she said, "when will you?"
I had no reply.
And so he came, dressed in a black pinstriped suit. I was wearing a hospital gown. He said I could come live with him. I told him I wanted a cigarette. "Now is the best time to quit," he said.
Two days later, he picked me up and drove me to my apartment. The first thing I did was smoke a cigarette. He never said a word about the blood on the countertop and the bed. Then he brought me to his house, where I lived for six months. He hugged me those first few mornings, and when the dreaded phone calls from my mother came, he was my strength.
When I was ready, my father helped me move away from there, driving all the way to Alaska with me. I didn't agree with his hunting or his politics, but he was always kind. I am used to yelling. He never yelled. I am used to fists. He never raised his to me.
I do not know how my father knew I needed him, but he did. He came just when I needed him the most. He saved my life. I want to know: how does one begin to repay such a debt?
H. Middaugh
Anchorage, Alaska

End of Excerpt

January 14, 2005
2:08 pm
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Pulling this up again, hoping some others might check it out...

Love to all,

Ren'ai

January 26, 2005
6:07 pm
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Still stuck on it...

Love to all,

Ren'ai

January 26, 2005
7:10 pm
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I wish I had the time, so don't think I/we are ignoring you on this. Only have time to read it when you post something good. So still be stuck with it and share if you can.....

Sew

January 26, 2005
7:20 pm
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I don't feel ignored, especially by you, Sew. You always seem to be nearby, and that gives me a feeling of comfort, by the way...

The reason I keep bringing up this thread is because some of the stories are just so intense and moving. They are genuine--stuff that life is really made of.

I keep hoping that someone will get something out of one or all of them...

Love,

Ren'ai

January 26, 2005
7:30 pm
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ok, then just clip and paste!!!!
(((hugs)))))

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