The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Love Jones, Lions and Loyalty

The other day I told you I would be real-er and honest-er. I want those who come to this site to have a good idea of who I am. In attempting to be more open-book, I imagine in some instances I will be toeing the line of making a fool out of myself. But everybody plays the fool sometimes. There is no exception to this rule. (Hmm, that sounds familiar.)

I am not saying I want you to know me so well that we have to be BFFs or anything. But I think when you read you should offered the context of me. Of course you will not get it all in one sitting. I can’t go that deep. I can give you a little something. In terms of subject matter, there are three places I can start. Things I’d really rather not tell but would rather it be me than someone else, things you should know about me and things I’d like you know about me. So I put together this quick, preliminary list.

I absolutely, positively and wholeheartedly love these two ladies with all my heart and soul.

The Babies

The Babies

I am not foolhardy enough to think my relationship with each of them will always be happy-go-lucky. I know plenty of grown women who are estranged from their fathers for one reason or another. I hope The Babies and I are spared this fate. 

I won’t always understand them and they will not always understand me. They will not always like me. I hope they will each forgive my past, present and future f’ups and foibles. One thing is for certain, I’m going to work my rear end off to always let them know I love them and would do anything for each of them no matter if we’re together or apart or wherever else our lives lead each of us.

I smoked marijuana when I was 17 years old and never touched it again. I didn’t get what the big deal was. I have never done any other illegal drugs, I don’t smoke and I rarely drink alcohol. I have to admit though I think smoking and drinking are kinda cool looking. I defy anyone to tell me Humphrey Bogart wasn’t smooth as silk in every movie he ever did. He was chain-smoking and binge-drinking in every one of those movies. Legend has it he was smoking and drinking like it was going out of style in his personal life too. Apparently, it’s what contributed to his death. He was probably smooth as silk in the coffin too. Yeah, I think I’ll continue to stay away from the drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

I have been arrested twice for unpaid parking tickets. I have worn the orange jump suit and everything. It was horrible. It was my own dang fault. There is no overnight parking on the streets in my town. But laziness and defiance got me locked up for a night (the first instance was just a few hours). I won’t go into details but a battle of attrition ensued over a long period between my ex and myself over who was going to move the cars off the street. She won most of the time as my car was usually the one getting the ticket.

I am a bibliophile. I own at least 1,000 books, have read most of them in their entirety and the others partially. Half are on the subjects of investing and personal finance.

I am afraid of moths and only slightly more afraid of lions. I’m the first one to admit some of my fears aren’t rational. Moths freak me out. They’re furry and they fly erratically. If one gets on you and you brush it off they leave like this crazy moth dust. I have no idea what that stuff is but it’s disgusting. Once i saw a microscopic picture of one. Moths are without argument the ugliest creatures on earth. I hate moths.

Lions though are a different story. They scare me for different reasons. I have had several dreams over the years featuring lions. Don’t ask. I have never had the dreams analyzed. Maybe I should. In each dream though, the lions were always one step from having me for dinner. For some reason, in the dreams, my fear seems only slightly more pronounced with the lions than it is with moths. Go figure.

I’m a ride-or-die-guy. I am extremely loyal and value this trait in others. Have my back and I will definitely have yours. You don’t have wonder if I’ll be there for you. I will. Some have said to a fault. If it’s a fault, I’ll live with it. I like this about me.

That’s enough for now.

Update (June 1, 2009):

In the quest to strike the correct balance of being open, telling too much and protecting others I’ve decided to delete one of the above items (formerly shown). There was a turn for the better in a personal relationship of mine that I do not want to undermine by what I published here. I struggled with this and actually sat on this decision for a month. My decision to remove the piece of information was not necessarily to protect me. There wasn’t much more damage that could have been caused from the “public” knowing. In the end my decision to remove it was more about protecting someone else. Many of you have already read this post in the original form, so you have that one bit of information. Can’t take that back. But going forward it’s simply better to keep that one close to the vest.

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1 E.Payne { 03.26.09 at 7:16 am }

This actually made me think about the one piece of business I’ve never shared online. I’m not sure I ever will.

Now that you’ve crossed the line with yourself, you should feel at ease. You don’t have to go here anymore. It’s up, it’s out in the open and anyone who wants to read this down the line can always look it up in your archives.

Go forth and blog.

2 Mamie-Louise { 03.26.09 at 7:26 am }

Warm as a mug of peppermint tea laced with honey, this declaration of love and loyalty thrilled my heart and put a big smile on my face. Thanks, Ben.

3 Ben { 03.26.09 at 7:35 am }

@E.Payne: You’re right E. It took me three days to push the publish button on the post but I feel good that I did. I don’t know what it will all lead to but hey man, it’s real and it’s honest. That’s all I can say. It’s what I want The Babies to be. So it’s what I need to be.

4 Racquel Perry { 03.26.09 at 8:55 am }

What a wonderful role model you are for your daughters! They will without a doubt be extremely proud of their Dad! I wish you and your girls (all three of them) nothing but the best.

5 Sharma Chambers { 03.26.09 at 2:18 pm }

Ben, that was absolutely beautiful….and courageous! Thanks for sharing!

6 Claude { 03.26.09 at 2:33 pm }

Benjamin, What’s up my brother! first and foremost I want to congratulate U on a beautiful family!!….I’ve also have to give U love on your posts…I’m not on here alot, but almost every post I’ve seen from U has been thought provoking substantive, and relavant to our times.

7 Wenylla { 03.26.09 at 3:35 pm }

So proud of you! That was great!

8 Mekalia { 03.27.09 at 7:17 pm }

Fear not. Stress not. “For a relationship to evolve it must go through a series of endings.”

9 Ben { 03.27.09 at 10:30 pm }

@Mekalia: I do know what I want but like someone wise once told me, it takes two. Thanks for your perspective and the spirits.

10 Duchess { 03.28.09 at 2:10 pm }

I’m still thinking. Maybe I’ll read again and post something later.

11 Holly { 03.28.09 at 6:30 pm }

Happy for you. A lot of things make sense now.

12 Sterling { 03.31.09 at 6:04 pm }

As I have traveled in different circles, this “authenticity” that you exhibit here is something that I associate with my Lehigh brothers more than with any other group from any other time period in my life. It’s what’s most memorable…Looking forward to catching up on your next trip to DC. Big fan of your blog!

13 Mocha Dad { 04.01.09 at 7:26 am }

I commend you on your courage. Although it’s tough, it ultimately feels good to get some things off your chest and out into the open. Now, as E. Payne said, go forth an blog.

14 Saadiq { 04.02.09 at 9:14 pm }

Ben the Your Love Jones, Lions… blog warmed my spirit. 3 words came to mine. Intense unimpaired purity. You have given this woman hope. Thank U for sharing w/Us.

Just opened your heart and filled mine.

A friend of mine shares my sentiment.


15 treazure { 04.23.09 at 4:06 pm }

I am very proud of you and I will always have your back because that’s how we do. Any woman lucky enough to be in your life is truly blessed.

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