I have to agree with you on some of these issues, Greg.  Women today have gone nuts.  We live in a society that bombards you with messages of sexual equality, yet the differences and expectations of either sexes are mismatched greatly.  Women expect the world, and aren't happy with anything less than that.  You are right in implying that women don't appreciate a man for not just who he is, but what he does.  Perhaps that's why I'm still single at 32 and still in no hurry to settle down.  Perhaps it's the other woman in my life (her name is "music"), and I refuse to quit our relationship. 
 
In college, my best friend was a female, so I inevitably ended up spending time with more females than males.  In some of our more involved conversations, these girl-friends of mine would often tell me that all they really want is security.  Hmmm... I always wondered if they were telling me the truth.  In actuality, I think they were telling me a half-truth.  It seems to me that women in this day and time want a prince, and there is a infinite shortage of princes.  Hey, not everyone can be the king!  Unless, of course, you're Mel Brooks...  
 
Women do want security...  But it comes in the form of diamonds, an expensive car, a nice house, nice clothes, social status beyond what they've experienced in life...,  you know, more than what any average man can give them.  I recently dated a girl who was a former dancer and her ex-husband was a mafia boss.  (Yeah, I was nuts for even THINKING of dating her...), but she had a good heart.  There was a lot of junk in the way, and a lot of ideas in her head that needed to get cleared, but I was willing to explore the possibilities of the whole thing.  She told me time and again during our brief relationship that material things do not make her happy, yet she loved to have the nice clothes, the leather boots, the cologne that you had to drive over an hour away to purchase just because no-one else around would likely have that brand.  (WTF???  Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too...)  She was torn between knowing that material things wouldn't make her happy, and thinking that those things were still a necessity in her life.  She once said something to the tune of, "I deserve better than this."  She was referring to where she was in life.  My question is this...  Do any of us deserve what we get?  It truly is sad, because nobody is thankful anymore.  We live in the richest country in the world, and we are a country full of whiny bitches.
 
After reading your email earlier today, my mother and sister and I were talking about relationships over lunch.  Everyone wants "true love" and that "fantasy" relationship..., but what everyone fails to look to is the future and what happens after the butterflies are gone.  More often than not, I think love is a choice.  There are those relationships where the two involved are madly in love, and remain that way for a looong time - but those are rare occurrences / relationships.  Even so, the two have to work out little things, like who gets to use the bathroom first thing in the morning... which side of the bed to claim... which restaurant to eat at tonight... whose parents' house to spend at Christmas-time, and the list goes on.  It is a compromise, and it is work.  No one wants to choose work, but that's what it takes to be successful.
 
Being a single guy of no marriage experience, I probably have no right to speak on such things, but I have listened over the years and tried to learn from others' mistakes.  I personally know of at least 3 musicians who have been in relationships - or are in relationships - where their girlfriends / spouses put their foot down soon thereafter the relationship is established, and refuse to let their guys play any more music.  Now, the reasons are varied, but it all seems to boil down to the issue of trust and control.  Why would someone who loves you want to control you, especially if they trust you?  It doesn't make any sense.  I would never want to control someone I love.  If I am 'with' someone, then that is a choice I make, and the other person's choice as well.  Unfortunately, we live in a world with many incredibly insecure people.  There is not a lot of trust in the world anymore.  If I can't find someone I trust, I will remain single.  Also, if I think I'm playing second fiddle with someone, that immediately will not fly with me.  Too many people are always looking for the greener grass on the other side.  We are either the center of each others' worlds, or we aren't.   
 
I was not impressed with the Grammy's last night.  Well, it's not like I have been in the past anyway.  Here recently I've been faced in my life with decisions about playing and how I want to continue to live out the rest of my musical life.  Do I want to continue chipping away at local gigs, possibly ending up with a group of guys who may actually end up going somewhere?  Or do I want to continue at my current rate in life - working in the family business, saving my money to add to my home studio, as well as upgrading all my horns and adding a few other toys to my arsenal?  Well, I'm 32, not 22, and although I'm still young, I have lost that desire to go out and hit the road or catch every gig that comes along.  Actually, I desire to stay at home and compose more and more.  I still get studio gigs from time to time.  I may be recording in the old legendary Capricorn studios in Macon, Georgia here soon.  That will be a treat.  My long-range goal is to be the best known and respected multi-instrumentalist and writer in the mid-south Georgia area.
 
I suppose in every musician's life there's a point at which you achieve a level of performance and confidence that transcends those around you.  When you reach that point, you become less and less impressed by others.  It's somewhat depressing and exhilarating at the same time.  This is where I'm at personally.  The only regular gig I truly enjoy is with my local oldies / classic / southern rock combo that plays every other weekend.  The reason I enjoy these gigs are because of the fellows that I perform with, the camaraderie involved, the group effort and none of the "one-oneupmanship", and also the crowd reaction.  Sure, it gets old playing some of the same old tunes exactly like the originals were performed, but these guys put forth a great effort and truly enjoy performing the music that they love.  Not only that, but there's a lot to be said about the interaction with those in the crowd, even if it isn't in the style of music you may prefer (jazz, blues, funk).  Relating to the audience is vital, and often times addictive. 
 
Getting back to where I'm at in life...  My current direction is to build my home studio - and I don't really care if I ever use it for anyone else's benefit - although I'm absolutely sure that most certainly will happen.  As a talented multi-instrumentalist in my rural area, I get so many calls and requests to come and perform or work on projects, and just in the past few months it has gotten out of hand.  It's sad in a way, because I've always been able to "go and do" and not be stressed or pulled upon too greatly.  Now, I've come full circle to the point that I have to tell people "no" and I have to schedule my time.  This is a good thing.  I am being forced to move up  to a level of professionalism that I previously didn't have to operate within.  I say all that to say that there comes a time in an artist's life, I suppose, where he or she can now demand that those who require certain things must come to them, instead of the other way around.  So, now that I'm getting my studio up and running, I can require a bit more of folks who want me to do things for them.  Ironically, I have the excuse to say "no" now.  Humorous, huh?  Yeah, I'm one of those who has a hell of a time saying that little word "no". 
 
Getting back on the subject of women, I have just recently been in a "friends with benefits" relationship with an older woman.  I'm 32, she is 50.  She doesn't look or act her age.  We have this good monogamous relationship and we both trust each other.  This has not turned out quite like I'd hoped, however.  First of all, I should have known that no matter what she said, at some point she'd get attached because of my age.  What woman wouldn't want a man nearly half-her age?  Secondly, if you're good in bed and can relate emotionally through physical contact, then the woman starts thinking seriously about relationship items.  In my situation, this woman saw that I was a man that could actually be trusted, and she hadn't had that before - even though we were in a monogamous sexual relationship.  We had told each other at the beginning that neither of us wanted a committed relationship -just an honest sexual relationship.  Well, we - or rather, SHE - ended up thinking we were in one.  Dammit, didn't want to go there.  Oh, well...
 
So, we've had talks and I've had to remind her that this was a "girl-toy, boy-toy" relationship, which we both initially agreed upon.  For those of you thinking that this might be a terrible thing, well, consider that although this was (is) a pre-defined sexual relationship, there has always been the trust there, and neither of us have ever given the other reason to mis-trust in the 10 months we've been together.  I guess I say all this to analyze what's happening in her life.  Here's the low down...
 
She has the ability to have multiple orgasms... (bonus)
I have the ability to go all night... (bonus)
She trusts me... (bonus)
I trust her... (bonus)
She gets too involved, and starts thinking that maybe this is something real... (negative)
 
Hehe, I don't know why I'm sharing all of this relationship s**t...  I guess to say that women are strange creatures.  If you want a relationship that means something, then they will want the opposite.  If you want a relationship that is just physical, then they will want to take it further.  In my life, I have friends who are genuinely good women, but they are attracted to the most useless, abusive, ignorant pieces of human feces that exist.  And I have yet to figure out why.  I'm sure if I were an ass, then I could attract more women, but what's the point?  Drama attracts drama.., this I'm learning.  Maybe that's why I'm still single (outside of my physical relationship) - because there are no women in the world anymore who don't have a whole dump-truck full of drama and baggage. 
 
I remember in high school when girls would often date the most abusive and dishonest (cheating) guys in school because they were either cute, or semi-cute and had money.  It was all about the physical, or shallow, and not about the character of the person.  It boggles the mind to this day.
 
Really, I must say that there is true love out there.  Granted, it is getting harder and harder to find - seemingly.  I don't mean to sound negative, but Greg has seen a light that relatively few of us serious men have seen.  I truly want to be someone's knight in shining armor, but women don't want a knight.  They want a prince with an unlimited bank account.  What about honor, trust, loyalty, and the like?  Do women think that will happen with the jerks that they try to date?   It's depressing, I know...
 
Well, Greg, I've rambled a good bit.  Seems like I do this to ya once every couple of months or so.  I'm sure I could rant on, but I do enjoy your newsletters when I get them.  It's interesting to see other folks' views on life, love, the opposite sex, music, etc.  Try not to let it get you down.  You sounded a little 'down', but remember, life is a roller coaster...  there are ups and downs, valleys and peaks.  We don't always stay in the valleys. 
 
  theglassone2002@yahoo.com  }Like to send the writer e-mail?!