Between Love and Hate

Watched her as she wiped her eyes
You don’t make me sorry
Now I know that you never listened, listen

Thinkin’ ’bout that high school dance
Worrying about the finals
Yes I know, you’re feelin’ lonely, oh lonely, so lonely

Never needed anybody, I never needed anybody
I never needed anybody, I never needed nobody
Don’t worry about it, honey, yeah, I never needed anybody
I never needed anybody, it won’t change now

Am I wrong?
Don’t sing along with me
I said I was fine
It’s just the second time we lost the war

She’d be in the kitchen, I would start the fire
Oh, those days are gone
But you know I can’t give up, give up

P.S. if I may ask why, when will they get tired?
We stayed up All night tryin’, tryin’

Never needed anybody, I never needed nobody
I never needed anybody, I never needed anybody
Don’t worry about it, honey, yeah, I never needed anybody
I never needed anybody, it won’t change now

Am I wrong?
Don’t sing along with me
I said I was fine
The second time we lost the war

A gem from Christmas past…

“The Constitution says your right to privacy is only protected in situations where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy. It’s a well known fact that Santa is watching us all the time.”
 
 
Most Southwest Oklahomans would never tolerate finding a bearded stranger in the middle of the living room late at night rummaging through a sack of valuables. A hasty call to the police would ensue or, in the home of the Make My Day law, a firearm might even surface.
 Just last week, a woman in Comanche County called sheriff’s deputies after she found a woman in her home without permission. The visitor said she dropping off a Christmas present, but the homeowner promptly ordered her out and called law enforcement.
 So how has Santa managed to escape prosecution for so long? Are we so drawn in by the prospect of receiving presents that we don’t even question whether Santa is nothing more than a hardened, or rather a softbellied, criminal? The guy dresses like a gang member; he’s perfected the art of slipping in and out of a home undetected and operates under multiple aliases — “Saint Nick” and “Kris Kringle,” to name a few — and he essentially bribes people into being “nice.” But everybody loves the guy, aside from a few teary toddlers at the mall.
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Maybe those teary kids aren’t being naughty; maybe they have an extrasensory perception that Santa is, in fact, a lawbreaker. After a little research and consultation, it appears as though Mr. Claus could be jailed, ticketed, sued or even thrown in federal prison for anything from trespassing to illegal possession of exotic animals for his yearly rounds.

 The way Comanche County Assistant District Attorney Mark Stoneman sees it, the milk and cookies are Santa’s “get out of jail free” card. By putting out the plate of sugary goodness, Stoneman said, residents make it hard for prosecutors to establish “mens rea,” or Claus’ criminal intent.
 “Those cookies would lead Santa to believe he was welcome in the home,” Stoneman said. To arrest him for breaking and entering after he was invited in could be entrapment.

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Basically, an intruder must know that he is not authorized to be inside a place for him to be guilty of a crime. So if there are no cookies, is Santa committing a burglary? Burglars have to break and enter into a structure or vehicle with the intent of committing a crime. Most thieves are prosecuted for entering with the intent to commit a larceny, or take goods away from the property, but leaving valuables at the home isn’t a felony. It isn’t even a crime, as long as the gifts aren’t illegal or able to be construed as harassing or violations of public decency.
 

 So then it would just be breaking and entering, right? Not quite.
“To break and enter, you have to actually open a door or window; a chimney is just a hole in the top of a house,” Stoneman said. The law doesn’t specifically state anything about whether a flue constitutes a door or window.
  Before any potential perpetrators start trying to shimmy down the stack, be r e m i n d e d that countless criminals are r e s c u e d each month across the country after they find themselves stuck in a chimney.
  Oklahoma law does state that any person “under circumstances not amounting to any burglary” who enters any structure with the intent to commit malicious mischief is guilty of a misdemeanor. The statute does not say that decorating a Christmas tree without consent or filling socks with treats and toys constitutes malicious mischief.
  “I suppose if someone didn’t want Santa there or didn’t know he was going to be in the house, they could file trespassing charges,” Stoneman said.

 Santa wouldn’t likely be required to appear in court or post a bond for a trespassing or breaking and entering complaint, but he might want to hire a lawyer. Defense attorney Kenny Rhoads said he would gladly take Santa as a client — for a small retainer fee.
 Rhoads said if the benevolent gift-giver found himself facing charges, he would craft a twofold defense. First, he said, he would ask for an in-person line-up, complete with costumes.
 “There are literally thousands of people who share characteristics with my client, especially at this time of year. How would they know they got the right guy?” Rhoads said. “I’d love to see 1,000 Santas at the Coliseum. Good luck pinpointing which suspect is the real perpetrator. I’ve heard the same ‘ho, ho, ho’ thousands of times and it all sounds the same to me.”

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Second, Rhoads said, he would ask for a competency evaluation.
 “We’re talking about a guy who claims he’s capable of motorless flight, can teleport or bend the rules of time, and has a constantly jovial demeanor, which is contrary to most people. I think there’s definitely some sanity concerns,” Rhoads said. “Or ‘Santa’-ty concerns.”
 Nevertheless, Lawton police say they would never arrest the real Santa, and Stoneman said the DA’s office would never prosecute the big guy for fear of winding up on the naughty list. Plus, tying him up with legal proceedings might prevent him from making his deliveries on time. If the “crime” were discovered after Santa was gone from Comanche County, extraditing a suspect from the North Pole might prove to be impossible.
 “Also, I would be ethically obligated to disclose every gift I’d ever received if I had to consider filing charges,” Stoneman said.
 It isn’t just entering millions of homes in the dead of night that should raise eyebrows. Claus better have proper licenses if he wants to bring his reindeer to Lawton homes.
 Animal Welfare Supervisor Rose Wilson said it would be legal to keep and raise deer because they are indigenous wildlife, but Santa must have a state license to do so. The deer would have to be current on all their vaccinations and adhere to the state health department’s regulations regarding livestock.
 Rudolph, however, would be an exotic animal, which are illegal to possess. When was the last time you saw a group of red-nosed reindeer grazing the fields of Southwest Oklahoma?
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 Plus, eight reindeer kept as pets would surpass the three-pets-per-household limit for Lawton residents, unless Santa had a special license.
 
 
 Speaking of licenses, Lawton Municipal Airport Manager Barbara McNally said the Federal Aviation Agency should have a pilot’s license on file for Santa Claus; otherwise he would be illegally flying his sleigh, which is also subject to inspection. While Santa’s bowl full of jelly and spectacles are part of his charm, Mc-Nally said, if Santa cannot pass a yearly physical exam his license would be suspended.
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 Even with the proper licenses, landing a sleigh on the housetop is definitely a violation of FAA regulations. McNally explained that craft flying over populated areas must maintain a minimum altitude of 500 feet. Any lower and a pilot could be fined.
 “If a complaint is filed and the FAA follows up on it, the aircraft would likely be tracked with a tail number. I bet Santa’s sleigh doesn’t have a tail number,” McNally said, so it would be difficult, if not impossible, to hold him accountable for the infraction.
 As far as restricted airspace, McNally said Santa has been in the business of delivering toys for so long he probably is well aware of the areas he can and cannot fly.
 Violations of air-space rules could constitute federal offenses, but McNally said that without a slew of cases of bad pilots on the books, she couldn’t say exactly what punishment Santa might face.
 
It may not be surprising that Santa has not been arrested, but it’s downright amazing nobody has sued Mr. Claus.
 Lawton Municipal Court Judge Nathan Johnson said manufacturing of toys at the North Pole could violate patent and trademark laws because the products usually have the brand name stamped right on them. Recently news outlets have covered cases brought in international courts by Apple that have resulted in orders for companies to cease the sale and distribution of similar products.
 “If Santa is making smartphones, he better not make them too much like the iPhone,” Johnson said.
 Unless Santa has contracts with every company in the world making him a licensed manufacturer and distributor of their product, a court could easily rule against him, even if the products aren’t being sold. Essentially, the meeting of the minds between children promising Santa they will be good all year and leaving him milk and cookies in exchange for the gifts is the equivalent of Santa receiving something in return for the goods.
 “Well, if that’s the case, what if you were nice all year and Santa doesn’t bring you what you ask for? Would you then have a civil claim against Santa Claus for breach of agreement?” Johnson asked.
 Since Santa’s workshop is where the toys are made, if someone injures himself or herself with a defective or dangerous toy, Johnson said Santa could face a product liability suit as well. But with what court would one file such a claim? Normally, claims are filed with the court that has jurisdiction where the incident occurs, but what court has jurisdiction over the North Pole?
 Johnson said a claim could be filed in the appropriate U.S. federal district if Santa had minimal contacts with the people within that district. If Santa advertises his services in Comanche County or accepts letters from residents here, he most definitely could be sued for faulty products here if they were manufactured elsewhere.
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 The list of possible infractions could continue on and on, branching into immigration questions about crossing borders without identification, homeland security issues regarding customs claims or searches of the sleigh, or even constitutional rights to privacy. How can Santa keep files on every boy and girl’s behavior without violating their rights to privacy?
 “The Constitution says your right to privacy is only protected in situations where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy,” Stoneman said. “It’s a wellknown fact that Santa is watching us all the time.”
 Perhaps the biggest question remaining is how has he been able to escape any legal hang-ups for so long? Nobody wants to be the one who stops the flow of presents. Nobody wants to end up on the naughty list. Nobody wants to be the one that turns on “Old Saint Nick.” So does that make us all accessories or conspirators?
 
According to Stoneman, it may not even be possible to bring Santa into court because his status as a diplomat from the North Pole makes him immune from criminal or civil litigation.
 I, too, have a fear of the naughty list and am not advocating we wage a legal battle on Santa Claus. I think it’d be safe to say the joy and cheer that can be traced back to Santa would make throwing him in jail the real crime.
 So until then, we’ll just keep turning a blind eye to the happiest crime spree in the world, if it means millions of little smiles on Christmas morning.
 

 

Status quo, GO!

Fruit ripens when conditions are right, not when we’re hungry for a bite.

So it was brought to my attention recently that in the midst of my soul searching re: my feelings about a friend I’ve been spending time with, that I should ask him how he feels about me.

Well duh. That would be something normal people do.

I was a bit ashamed of the fact that I’d been spending so much free time with this man and essentially laying down all the “rules.”

I didn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend, I told him. But I liked him a lot and wanted to continue spending time together. Of course we were free to see others and whatnot, but I wasn’t ready to jump to another man immediately after another crushed me.

Ive recently realized that im not super comfortable with the idea of him seeing other people. I haven’t been seeing anyone else, but I never really thought about how I would react if he said “I can’t hang out with you tonight, I have a date.”

When you get to that point, you have to start reevaluating what it is the two of you are doing…what you hope to achieve from the input of time and money and effort.

In my case, as I stated before, I just want someone to want to be with me and understand my baby has to come first. It’s been difficult to say the least to find any men in this town who don’t view a child as an added burden rather than a blessing.

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Well, I was ready to ask my object of affection on a date this weekend, but Mr. Frost beat me to the punch. “we have somewhere to be at 8 saturday, so ask your mom if she can watch blondie.”

I was excited about the date, and the fact I had no idea where we were going. The evening was a successful string of spontaneous destinations, a Christmas choir (see precious entry), dinner, ice cream, beers and a little TV. A perfectly wonderful evening. I really had a good time.

So I was really confused about what I wanted to do. It was time to at least ask him, and I was surprised by his answer.

I knew he’d been alone a long time, and when we went our separate ways before, he seemed very hurt by the situation. One I still regret.
He said he was kind of in the same boat as me…floating down the river of “I’m not sure I want to be in a relationship” nut enjoyed having me in the boat next to him. In his mind, any realistic role of a girlfriend was already filled by me, and honestly it would be fair to say that of him. I don’t talk to anyone else and spend most of my free time with him.
I was a little disappointed, though. I think I kind of wanted to hear that he wanted me for himself. But then i thought what was so “wrong” with just enjoying this boat ride? I like him. He likes me. We get along and have fun. Why does anything need to be changed? Wouldn’t we still be happy like this?

And why was I in such a rush to move things along? It’s been three months! Most people can’t decide what they want for Christmas in three months, let alone decide how they feel about possibly dating someone.
Am I that much of an emotional whore I want to just rush right in? As Elvis said, only fools do that.

So I suppose status quo, it is. But I’m not unhappy about that. Fruit ripens when conditions are right, not when we’re hungry for a bite.

Messiah: bring yo tissues

Mr. Frost surprised me with a trip to see Messiah, the most somber Christmas celebration in history. I was sad watching it, not even knowing what they were saying in ANY of the musical numbers; I know a story is being told, but since they’re singing, it’s incomprehensible.
I just couldn’t help it, I felt upset. Like it was a sad storyline.
The choir sounded beautiful, though. And my man Mark Stoneman rocked his solo.
But I was a little distracted by the single red dressed woman in the sea of black and white ensembles. Frost and I were dying to know what happened to her in her child hood to warrant this type of attention seeking.
I was more intrigued by the skeleton in an oversized blazer next to the lady in the red dress. She seemed to encompass the overall feeling of the performance, sad and lacking something (other than a healthy diet).
It was good to have the perfect partner for the show, however.

To be or not to be…

I think it becomes natural to want them to be yours. Only yours.

I’ve been wondering about this somewhat wonderful young man the last week who evokes a sense of wonder in my son’s eye and does wonderfully wonderful things for me. Wondering whether it would be better for us to keep things the way they are, meaning no official commitment, considering I was just crushed by a weak man who was too spineless to tell me the truth about his feelings.
I like this guy a lot. I have from the first day he walked up my driveway from the laundromat. He’s kind. He’s interesting, and we have similar views about life. But I have been trying to stop myself from liking him.
Nobody’s girlfriend. That was the goal.
I’ve been avoiding the potential happiness he could give due to the real potential of yet another shattered heart. Plus I wanted to spend more time with my son.
But I was thinking today… It’s going on the third month I’ve known the guy and been hanging out with him. If I’m not tired of him yet, I think I like him more than what I want to admit. Not that I don’t want to like the guy, I just made a promise I wouldn’t date anyone. But when you want to spend each minute of your free time with a person possible, I think it becomes natural to want them to be yours. Only yours.
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I haven’t talked with anyone else since I met him. I haven’t dated anyone. All I want to do is spend my time with him! Why am I fighting this so hard? Just because I said I would? Or am I really that scared?
Well a certain non-boyfriend of mine has invited me to accompany him on a secret date (if it must be labeled as such) tomorrow, and I couldn’t help but smile.



Not only because it’s a date, but because I love secrets (except the “oh I reconciled with my ex-wife and didn’t tell you” secrets).
I haven’t quite decided whether I’m ready to say, “make me your one and only” (and it would be horribly conceited to assume he would just say yes), but I am ready to say fuck it. I like you a whole lot, and I hope you feel the same. Forget all this faux soul-searching: If you like ’em, you like ’em. And I like this one a lot.