(that's me in the black tee and Nike Tempo's- the BEST car travel clothes)
Or this one:
(I look awful-this is the way back, can't you tell?- in the green)
We went to some leadership training classes and an awesome event where we ended the night singing "Amazing Grace" outside City Hall in the "Hate City" with a large diversity of over 5,000 people. It was a monumental occasion for sure. And it wasn't bad to see all the southern boys in their Sperry's, flatfront shorts, and croakies. <3 I don't get to see that all the time in Florida.
Me and The Boys (this trip was greatly lacking testosterone).
The Ladies on the trip
This is only the front section of the after-party outside City Hall. It was nuts; the mayor, police officers, news crews, and MTV (who were there filming a new series called "Reborn") were worshiping and singing with the masses.
We had a fun dinner at The Cheesecake Factory where I had some delicious grilled chicken with roasted peppers, asparagus, and green beans. I opted for mango & passionfruit iced tea and Kaluha cheesecake.
I'm so not happy with Hipster for ruining this picture. It was my favorite from the trip of me, mostly because I love love love my green cardigan.
We decided to go for a swim at our hotel. So the boys (a hipster and a rapper) agreed to meet us there in a few minutes. We went and enjoyed some time in the pool when we realized the boys had never come down and joined us. We went looking for them and found them climbing this water fall behind our hotel.
We joined the adventure. They had already named various levels of it "The Origin" and "The Fort." These boys are well over twenty one years old mind you. They were beyond pleased that we were willing to be a part of the adventure they had started. On this trip, I saw a lot of principles I had been learning about the male species actually play out. The first being that men want women to be a part of the adventure, not be the adventure.
We decided to find some bigger waterfalls and set out for Oak Mountain State Park (the best $3 I spent on this trip). This is where my greatest lesson in male-dom came out. I've always prided myself on understanding men, and lets be honest, being able to manipulate and catch a few good ones. Which lately, I've come to realize my entire approach was all wrong even though it worked. I highly recommend the books Captivating and Wild at Heart to really understand yourself and then the men in your life. You may think that you already have a good handle on it all, but I promise these books will blow your mind with their insight. And I also promise its nothing like "Men are from Mars... " or whatever those books are called.
My revelation started when I was staring over the edge of what was basically a cliff and Hipster decided instead of taking the trail to the bottom like everyone else, he was going to scale the wall.
He gained quite an audience as other hikers stopped and offered advice and just observed. I worried and told him to be careful. Rapper watched impressed, and clearly debating on joining in on the adventure. After about 20 mins, Hipster reached the bottom of the 40 ft rock face. Grinning and impressed by his own gall.
That's when this quote from Wild at Heart echoed in my head: "Invite him to be dangerous." That is in response to a woman asking how to get her husband to come alive again. But that is the core foundation to what men need and want from us. Hipster saw the invitation and chance to do something he didn't normally do and took it. The adrenaline of knowing he could seriously injure himself and the admiration of onlookers was only icing on the cake. He did it because his very nature called him to.
Now I'm not talking about doing something complete stupid but simply offering him the chance to display and exercise his god-given need for adventure and danger. As a woman, your best bet at finding a real man who appreciates your gentle nature as a woman and at the same time will step up and be a man, is to offer a man the chance to fight for you, protect you, and be dangerous.
People who know me, know I am very anti-feminism, as a matter of fact I think it's part of the reason our society is so messed up. BUT, I am not saying that women can't do things on their own. They can and there are even things that we can do better than a man. That doesn't mean we should. In the same way that we want to be needed, a man wants to be needed too. We just want to be needed for different things.
A small example of what I am talking about is opening a bottle. I am fully capable. However, I can't tell you the last time I opened on when a man was in the room. It sounds silly, and a guy may even give you a hard time when you ask him to open it, but I promise you its a subtle way of inviting a man to protect you. And he will always open it for you. Small things like opening bottles, opening doors, giving you a hand down a large step, helping you into a car, placing your order for you, carrying your books/luggage/shopping bags, are all things that open the part of a guy that is often suppressed. Now, don't expect it every time and be all upset if they don't; be appreciative when they do and tell them. Our goal shouldn't be to "whip" guys into shape, but to find and invite men to be the southern gentlemen we value so highly.
There is so much more to say on the matter of being the kind of woman who attracts the kind of guy she is looking for, but I'll save that for another day. But pause next time you go to open that bottle of water and remember that you should always find ways to invite the men in your life to be dangerous.