The Karate Kid, YouTube and Life Lessons

Fun fact about me, I love scripted television, maybe it’s the writer in me or maybe it’s the fact that nothing is quite as rewarding as not having to wait a week for the next episode. This past weekend YouTube Red, which is YouTube’s original content and streaming service, was offering a one week free trial of their Karate Kid reboot. For some reason I thought it might be interesting and I wasn’t wrong.

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Cobra Kai is set thirty years after the Karate Kid but the way they wrote it and tell the stories you don’t feel like it’s a sequel. It actually stands alone and that makes it ten times better. They add the social media bullying and midlife crisis story lines that appeal to both young and older viewers and more than that, almost every one of the main characters is likeable.

This doesn’t happen often by the way. No one feels stale or inserted into the story line for no real reason. I’m not a TV show critic so I won’t give you a breakdown of each episode or what hits or misses but I will tell you I love the life lessons in this series.

Everyone Has A Story

One of the really cool story lines in this show is that they take us back to 1984. They tell the story of both Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Anyone familiar with the movie knows Daniel is the poor kid from the single parent household and Johnny Lawrence is the popular rich kid with the pretty girlfriend and likes to bully. The show takes you behind the scenes to where he was coming from. An abusive step father, a mother that died when he was young. Feeling threatened by a kid that was constantly trying to take his girlfriend. You don’t feel sorry for him but you understand him. This applies to sooo many situations in real life where each side has a story and they believe their story 100%.

I Feel Sorry For People That Peeked In High School

There’s a theme in this entire show that revolves around individuals that had the biggest moments of their lives in high school. Daniel has built a successful business using his karate championship. Johnny is a drunk and has no ambition but constantly has dreams and flashbacks of his glory days in high school. He even drives the same car that he had in high school. Both men have a scene where they’re sitting in a bar looking at the Facebook page of the woman they were desperately in love with in high school. Both wondering where she is and is she happy in their own way.

Be Careful Of the Energy You Feed Children

The secondary story line of the show revolves around high school kids. The rich kids that are bullies and the poor kids that are getting picked on. Through karate the kids love to defend themselves but the part that’s scary is what they become. With miscommunication and constant training that teaches them to have no mercy and strike first the kids become mirror images of what Johnny was in high school. He doesn’t see it until it’s too late and by then the train is off the tracks. Even his own son gets caught up when he realizes his father is teaching these other children but hasn’t been there for him.

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Overall it’s a great show with tons of life lessons and if YouTube continues to put out content of this quality, they’ll become a force to be reckoned with in these streaming streets.

“I’m Not Your Ex, I’m Not Your Father, I’m Me” Words Every Woman Should Hear and Feel

People are the sum of their experiences.

Let me say that again, “Human beings are the sum of their experiences.”

How can a man expect a woman to have faith in him if every man before him has let her down? Not specifically dating but in life. Imagine being a little girl and your father breaks your heart by not being there, making promises he didn’t keep. Imagine having brothers that you love to death and they didn’t protect you, used women, lied. These are her experiences with men and this is all before she even starts to date.

Women love on a level that men rarely do.

Women love on a level that’s selfless, there’s very few conditions past being loyal and nice. So think about it, you’re this woman that’s trying her best to be a good girlfriend or wife and what happens; your trust is broken.

So we’re talking men she’s grown up with letting her down and men she’s dated letting her down. I haven’t even touched on the guy friends. The ones that pretend they want friendship or the best for her and then when she gets a man or goes on a date he flips. Decides to bare his soul and hate her because she should have known he was in love.

So let me say it again, “Human beings are the sum of their experiences.”

That brings me to my original point, how does a man expect a woman to have blind faith in him when all she’s ever known is disappointment from men?

You can’t. It may be frustrating, it may be annoying, it may feel as though she doesn’t know you. But the simple truth is, you’re going to have to show her. You’re going to have to keep being the man she wants but isn’t expecting. You can’t let pride get in the way.

If every guy she’s ever trusted has ran, not kept his word, she’s protecting herself. If her friends and family have experienced the same thing, she’s protecting herself. She’s thinking about what they’ve been through and what’s she’s been through. Maybe she sees something in you that scares her, that reminds her of men in her past.

Ease her mind, her fears, be the guy that shows her rather than argues with her.DSC_0341(1)@authordwhite on all social media platforms.

Holidays, Social Anxiety and Being An Introvert; the Gift That Keeps On Giving

Do you know anyone with dyslexia? It’s not that they can’t read or write it’s that they literally see the words differently than we see them? They learn differently, interpret differently. If no one takes the time to diagnose them they could spend their entire life feeling like they can’t read or that they’re dumb.

That’s what being an introvert is like, it’s being in a room where everyone is reading and writing and you want to learn, you want to read but you see the words differently. Whether it’s being around people or hating crowds or noise you never get comfortable.

I’ve been a loner most of my life. I remember turning eighteen and my mom bought all this food and a DJ and when no one showed up to the party she looked sad for me and I felt so bad telling her that I didn’t tell anyone. The two friends I had that showed up looked at me like I was crazy, “Why didn’t you tell us? Everyone would have come.” Even then I just liked being alone, at least that’s what I thought it was.

Now here I am years removed from that moment and it hasn’t gotten any better. I don’t really maintain friendships well, my body language is horrible and even when I have to talk to people I can come off as cold or uncaring.

 

Something I rarely write or talk about is the perception people have of me. Since I was a child I’ve been called everything from gay to arrogant to mean to stuck up to anti-social, even crazy; the list goes on. I usually ignore most of it or use humor or insults to push back. The truth is though, often times all I wanted was to fit in. To not be the guy that walks into a room and doesn’t talk to anyone or tries to start conversations and people feel as though you’re mocking them or uninterested.

It’s as if you’re locked inside of your own mind. You know the right things to say and do but your hands and face and energy give off this vibe that betrays what you meant. I’ve spoken to people for hours at a time and even with that I can tell they aren’t comfortable around me.

What makes it worse is that I’m smart and funny. I don’t say those things in an arrogant way, I say them because it’s confusing to people. How can you be an introvert when you don’t have a problem talking to women or making a crowd laugh if you’re talking about your book or giving an interview? How do you explain to people that you have to force yourself to do those things? That your heart is beating out of your chest and you find solace in the quiet after the storm.

Holidays just amplify it, even family look at you as though you think you’re better than them. They wonder why you don’t come around or leave early. Everyone takes you so seriously that even when you joke it’s taken as sarcasm or being an asshole.

I’ll end this with a story. It was a couple years ago, my grandfather passed away that January and I took it hard. There wasn’t anyone to talk to or grieve with, everyone just sort of assumed I would be okay. A couple months later my aunt died and after the funeral I just didn’t want to be alone. I went over my cousin’s house because I knew that’s where a lot of my family would be and literally everyone there was surprised to see me. People I’d grown up with and had sleepovers with acted as though it was the weirdest thing ever. I listened to inside jokes from years of them hanging out, I watched people speak to me as though I was their neighbor that went to college and was coming by to give my condolences. How do you make a situation more awkward? You tell people, “Hey! I’m right here! I’m trying!” I wasn’t going to do that. That’s what my world is like.

That ladies and gentlemen is a rare glimpse into unfiltered Demez. It’s wanting to stop by a friend’s house on a Sunday afternoon and not, it’s looking at your phone all Thanksgiving and realizing not one person text you to say ‘Happy Thanksgiving.’ It’s calling someone to say “I’m sorry for your loss” and they laugh at how uncomfortable you are. It’s knowing there’s a good chance most of your relationships will fail because your tormented by the need for affection and the curse of isolation. It’s seeing people enjoy life and wondering why you weren’t invited knowing that if you were there, they wouldn’t be having the fun they’re having.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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Memories Cast Over A Perfect Sunset

   
 
What’s in the perfection of a sunrise? Is it the majestic nature of the light rising over the horizon? Is it the promise of a new day promising new opportunities and new chances at redemption? I suppose for me it’s all those things but one thing specifically. The perfection of the sunrise serves to remind me of the perfection that is the woman I’m sharing that sunrise with. 

I wish I could say my last night in San Juan was this epic Hangover type of night where I dragged myself into the airport with red eyes and no luggage. Actually, I don’t wish I could say that at all. My last night was spent eating a dinner on the balcony, sharing a bottle of wine and going to sleep at about 10pm. Waking up at 3am to go for a stroll on the beach holding the hand of a woman I’ve come to realize I want to take a hundred of these trips with. Because she was working 90% of the time this morning in the pre-dawn hours was the only time I got to hold her hand on the beach and it capped off a magnificent week filled with travel tales, great food, cobble stone roads and an ocean that told me to keep believing that my dreams will come true. 

There’s no place like home. Texas Forever is in my heart but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be room for new places in my heart. New memories to be shared and cultivated that add not only to the man I am but to the man I drive to be. 

In my hotel there was a butler that was born in San Juan but moved to Philadelphia when he was just several months old. He was going to move to Victoria, Tx but couldn’t find a job so him and his wife settled on Puerto Rico. He told me, “We don’t have a lot but we live good. We have a stove, money to buy the things we need and a view of the ocean whenever we like. We even have a mattress; the temperpedic kind off the commercials.” Seeing his excitement about luxuries I take for granted every day made me smile. 

I’m sure I’ll take dozens of other trips in my life but San Juan will always be in my head because it was the first time I took one with her. It was the first time I let myself be free from the shackles of comfort. 

~ Demez F. White

Till Death Do Us Part

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Melanie

Looking at his reflection in the elevator, the way his eyes were burning a hole through my ass. I just closed my eyes and fought the desire to cry, to scream, to hit every button and get off at the next floor and run! My body was a resource, a tool, I wasn’t the first woman to use it to get what I wanted. What I needed.

I wouldn’t be the last.

Everything was happening in slow motion, the key card sliding into the door, the lock slipping. As soon as I heard the door slam I felt his lips on the back of my neck and his hands sliding under my skirt. The room was dark, my face and hands were on the wall, only one tear fell. I wouldn’t let anymore fall. His hand was on the back of my neck, he spread my legs with his thighs and bent me over like I was being frisked. I could hear my panties being ripped and his zipper coming down.

I could hear the ripping of the condom wrapper, his grip tightened around my neck. I was too dry when he pushed himself inside of me but either he didn’t feel it or didn’t care because he wasn’t taking his time. The harder he stroked, the harder he squeezed my neck, he pushed me down further so that my back would arch more.

His breathing, his grunts, my hand hitting the wall trying to brace myself was all I could hear and then it was over.

He stepped back and I stayed with my face against the wall, pulling my skirt down and leaving my ripped panties on the floor. I wanted to turn around but I couldn’t face him.

“I’ll keep the account with your company. If you want to branch out on your own I’ll back you.” He opened the door, the light from the hallway came blasting in. I didn’t even want to go to the bathroom and clean up. I picked my purse up off the floor and held my head up, forcing myself to look him in the eyes.

“Thank you.” I didn’t recognize my own voice. All I recognized was the throbbing between my legs and pulsating pain through my wrist.

I stepped into the hallway, he rubbed the back of my arm and I turned around. “I’ll expect this arrangement to continue once a month and next time I want you to look me in my eyes when I’m inside you.” He let the door close and I knew things would never be the same.

But did success come without sacrifice?

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told…

imagesCA455K2P Most people have these really detailed and sincere memories from childhood, they remember the first time they rode a bike or the first time they kissed a girl. I can’t say that I don’t remember those things but I can say they don’t matter too much to me. What I do remember is the first time I saw her.

Stepping out of a Porsche truck, looking like one of those women that you didn’t actually see outside of Instagram or a movie. Thick hair, flawless skin, laughing at something or maybe making someone laugh. Men like me didn’t approach women like her, steel toe boots, needing to shave, only in the Galleria to change my sisters tire while she had a back seat full of bags.

Before I knew what I was doing I was walking towards her. Her shorts were short and her blouse was loose but her shape was one that told me men never stopped coming. My goal wasn’t to get her phone number or ask her out, not that day. My goal was simply to make her smile. That’s the sort of woman she was, making her smile was equilivent to another woman stripping for you.

“Hey, I’m sorry to bother you but I can’t let you pump that gas while using a cell phone. You might blow all of us up and I’m starving, I’d hate to die hungry. Let me get that for you.” Before she could stop me I smiled, swiped my card and started to pump her gas. I’m not going to lie, it killed me putting supreme in someone else’s car but I was getting my smile.

“Hey girl, let me call you back, I don’t want to blow myself up.” She smiled and threw her phone in the truck. “So I don’t know if I should thank you for the gas or thank you for saving my life.” I liked that, she was gorgeous but she didn’t take herself too seriously.

“How about we just call it even?”

“What exactly makes us even?” I couldn’t hesitate, if I said something corny she would get in her car and I’d never see her again. If I said something funny she’d chalk it up to me just being a nice guy. I needed it to be more than that, when I walked over I was happy getting a smile. Now I wanted more.

“We’re even because I’ve been working around sweaty guys all day, I skipped lunch, I had to change my sisters flat and I’m probably going to be stuck in traffic but I got to chat with your pretty ass for a minute or two so all this was worth it since it got me here.”

As I talked I never took my eyes off of her. When she didn’t look away I knew I had a chance.

“You’re far too good with words Mr. Stranger to look so scruffy. My name is Cece and I have the pleasure of talking to…”

“I’m Adam.” Putting the gas pump back, trying not to stare at her neck and lips I knew this would be my only chance.

“Look, I’m really not looking forward to getting in this traffic, in thirty minutes it’ll die down. Why don’t you come have a drink with me? I’m not exactly dressed for Morton’s but Grand Lux will have me. If you don’t drink, let me buy you a couple of cookies.” I could see the wheels turning in her head, I was expecting her to say no, I’d already accepted that.

“I’ll follow you but just so you know, I may drink you under the table scruffy.”

And just like that, that’s how it started. That was the beginning of the rest of my life, that was the beginning of the greatest love story that would ever be told.

To be continued…

Two Word Stories… Her Lips to My Soul

imagesCA4RUXG1Hold Me– Fresh out the shower, skin moist, towel wrapped around her petite frame. Sitting in my lap, her head in the crook of my neck, “Hold me,” are the two words that come from her lips. She’s shivering but the heat is on, she has goosbumps on her skin but her body is warm. Hold me means more than hold me, it’s a two word story that means protect me, that means keep me calm. Hold me is I don’t want you inside of me tonight; I just need us to connect tonight. Hold me is the most calming of the two word stories because it’s the most sincere.

Touch It- The lights red, the dinner was good, the concert was great, the company was even better. I can look in her eyes and tell she’s tipsy, I can look at her dress and tell she’s feeling sexy. Accelerating onto the highway, seventy miles an hour going south I can see her raise up off the seat. I feel the panties land in my lap, purple lace on my thigh. “Touch it,” she demands more than she asks. Taking off her seatbelt, raising up the consul, sliding over I can hear her body responding to my touch. My hand on her knee, my fingers tracing pelvis, touching everywhere but where she wants. “Touch it,” her voice grows more demanding. I go faster. “Touch it,” is the nastiest of the two word stories. It’s the beginning to the story, the starter to the ignition. “Touch it,” means I want you to do more than just touch it but for now…

Marry Me- Watching her barefoot on the hardwood floor, red panties and a white tank top. Dancing to the music, grilled salmon on the stove because she says I eat too much fried stuff. The dishwater steaming because she says her mother didn’t raise her to use a dishwasher. Perfect shape, French tips on her fingers but always a bold color on her feet; today it’s a Tiffany’s blue. Hair in a bun, lip gloss the only makeup she wears on days when we’re being lazy. Watching her be perfect without even trying to be perfect, her lotion and candles flowery and sweet replacing the smell of pine soil and pledge in my bachelor bad. In my mind I’ve thought of a hundred elaborate proposals. Everything from Italy in the winter to Napa in the spring. In front of our families at Christmas or in front of our friends at my next book signing. But watching her I know in my heart that no moment will be more perfect than right now because the coolest two word stories can’t be scripted, when you know… you just know. “Marry me…”  The ring box sitting in a crock pot on the counter because I know she’s too impatient to ever cook with it. Her smile bright, her eyes watery, her lips soft. Her answer is yes because this two word story can’t help but have a happy ending or I should say beginning.