Monday, August 17, 2015

Open and unafraid

I have always hard a fairly liberal attitude towards sex.  I was young when I started exploring my body and asking questions, and I developed a sense of sexual aesthetic early on.  My dolls and action figures had an active sex life, and I had an active imagination, populating my fantasies with ideas inspired from the inevitable exposure to sexualization that every American kid enjoys.
When I was older, and began to fully understand what sex entailed, I became more conservative in my expectations.  I began to experience the dark side of sex, being bullied for my perceived sluttiness in the way I later learned many lower income girls with curvacious figures are singled out, despite having almost no actual experience.  I decided in junior high that I would wait for marriage to have sex, and in high school adjusted to waiting for college.  When I met my first boyfriend I decided that waiting for love was enough, because he and I were going to go to college together anyway, get married, have kids and start our own Montessori school.
After we broke up I waited a year before developing feelings for someone else, and eventually had sex with a second person.  when I first started sleeping with my high school boyfriend, the enjoyment of sex had been a revelation that led to insatiability.  The second partner was a new revelation; legitimate orgasms, and the realization that sex could improve my mood!
After that the flood gates opened and I developed a "just say yes!" attitude to most sexual experiences, learning a lot about what I did and didn't like, and slowly and fumblingly teaching myself about my own value through the backwards process of seeing how various partners treated me.  It was heady and enlightening and regularly awkward.  My early twenties were filled with experiments that yielded hilarious anecdotes and a couple of romances.  By the time my heart was broken again, by the second boy I loved, I found I couldn't go back to the same adventurous coupling.  I slowed down, looked around, and started that long searching dance all us monogamists do.
At twenty six I fell in love again, with a charismatic narcissist.  We raced down the aisle in secret, and I spent five years learning what it meant to be married, to blend family traditions, and to see the same dang penis day in and day out for year with no end in sight.  I had always been worried I would get stir crazy with out the adventure of finding a new experience to add to my list, but it turned out my wild twenties had done exactly what they were supposed to; I could cozy up with my memories and feel satiated, content in the knowledge that I had tried a little bit of everything, and could make it a netflix night without fear of missing out. 
When that relationship did finally devolve into broken hearts and splintered belongings, I knew exactly what I wanted.  Monogamy, which had terrified my 20 year old insatiable self, sounded like retiring on the french riviera, relaxingly decadent.  I fell in love with a new man, whose stable quiet strength calmed me.  We talked about sex openly; it had been years since I felt any shame about my past, and as a recent divorcee I felt like my monogamy credentials were in order.
A recent work trip has clarified that for me when I spent the better part of the weekend explaining to my calm, level-headed beau the details of an evening out with friends.  His suspicion, laid out with mathematical precision, was based on a society of sexual liberalism, my own personal open-mindedness, and my personal history of both liking sex a lot and, when single, pursuing it actively. 
It took me a long time to figure out that I was hurt by his accusation.  I still maintain I did nothing wrong, but it took me a while to remember how it felt to have to defend my choices, even my past choices, to someone.  Especially to someone I love.
But, the fact remains, I do love sex.  And I love monogamy.  they are not mutually exclusive, and my past is not my present, nor is it my future.  I have no reason to feel guilty about my past.  I own it openly and honestly, and I will not let anyone else color it with their shame or misunderstanding.  I am an adult woman, and my sexual history is part of what has made me who I am. 
Take it, or leave it.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Time on My Side

Today, I am mad at society.

This morning I awoke to the realization that I feel an undue pressure to couple, quickly.  Because I am not getting any younger.
On the surface, that's not society's fault.  Time generally progresses in a linear, forward-moving fashion that I've gotten used to over the years.  But I am not, actually 'running out of time', in the sense that i still have more than half of my life ahead of me.  So why do I feel this way?

There's the biological reality of childbirth, but first, many babies are born healthy and happy to mothers in their thirties and even beyond.  Truthfully, having a genetic child has never really been that big of a deal to me, except in that I think I have decent genetics (healthy, intelligent family...good stuff to share with society's gene pool, etc.), so even the fact that I want to have a baby doesn't explain this pressure.

The feeling of running out of time comes from the idea that as I age, as a woman, I am becoming less and less value.  I peaked some time around 24, and am quickly wasting my "Still Fuckable" years finishing my PhD and starting my career.  the idea that, as a youthful and good looking woman in her early thirties I have managed to sneak by, but am living on borrowed time and will inevitably wake up on day, 39 and a useless husk of a human, no longer marketable or of interest.
I've read opinion pieces about how 'smart women are too picky' and listened to all the supposedly tongue-in-cheek sitcom comments about women in their thirties. And it is soaking in.  The women who star across from actors older than me are starting to look (and actually are) younger than me.  I am looking right at you Jeniffer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  They look great together, but dude is FOURTY.  She is twenty five.  Let's be real about this for, like, one minute.
That kind of stuff perpetuates this nagging feeling that I am not as valuable as I was when I was in my twenties, that I am some kind of sports car you drove off the lot, or a piece of fruit with a short shelf life.
This feeling persists in direct defiance of reality; I am not one of those woman who looks back with jealousy of nostalgia at photos of a younger, more attractive me.  I was an awkward ass teen and young adult, and have only in the last six or seven years really blossomed as a stylish, attractive woman who dresses well and manages her eyebrows effectively.  I have gotten objectively hotter in my late twenties and early thirties, I even lost some weight!
I've also become a better person, through years of therapy and challenging relationships and experiences, I have become the kind of person I want to be.  I am nicer, more honest, funnier, more helpful.  I am more pleasant to be around, and frankly it is more pleasant to be me.
These are, of course, my opinions, but I think most people close to me would say it's true.  I am absolutely certain about the eyebrows thing, and dudes, it makes a difference.  The final factor is my value to society, and that is undeniable.  I am currently increasing my earning potential at a much faster rate than when I was younger, bouncing from anonymous office job to meaningless office job.  Now I am developing my career in a satisfying, challenging and in demand career that will have a positive effect on the world around me.  Soon I will make a solid salary with fantastic benefits and a flexible schedule, making me the idea trophy wife for anyone wanting to pursue their own interests.  Plus there are my qualities that don't age; I like to cook and entertain, and can be helpful in a bevy of social situations.  I am generally a pretty decent catch, and all signs point to me becoming literally more valuable as time goes on.
So this dumb idea that I am running out of time, that each day I exist somehow mars my value, is absolute bullshit.  I knew me at 22, 24, 26.  I was kind of an asshole, or at least I was confused, and often drunk and topless.  Today I am the good kind of fun, that stays up late drinking wine and then makes a frittata for you in the morning. 
And soon I'll be able to buy you something pretty, too.

To the Woman Marrying my Ex-Husband

To the woman marrying my ex husband,
First and foremost, congratulations.  In the whirlwind of the last nine or ten months since you met my ex-husband, I never got to congratulate you on your engagement.
Weddings are a time of joy, a celebration of love and/or settling, and spending way too much money on catered food.
I know you wanted to meet for coffee, and pick my brain before agreeing to marry the man who forced me to sign divorce papers one year ago.  At the time that idea was overwhelming; I didn't know you at all and had no idea how honest to be.  I didn't want to subconsciously sabotage your relationship, but I also didn't want to do you a disservice by not telling you what might save you years of emotional pain and psychological anguish.  So, I did the safest thing I could think to do, and backed away slowly with my hands in the air, hoping you would interpret it in a way that served you best.  Or chickened out, either explanation works.
Now mutual friends tell me that you are getting married on Sunday.  I've even seen pictures on Instagram that make me hate myself for ever learning what the fuck Instagram was.  Or looking at your Instagram.  again, either works.
I am still happy for you; I am a giant sucker for weddings and love and happily ever after, and the idea of someone somewhere getting that thrills me.  But I was married to that man for five years, lived with him, shared holidays with him, and loved him.  So I may still have some insight into his personality that you may not be privy to.
When we first got together it was very similar; whirlwind romance, overwhelming attraction and swift commitment.  We were married within six months of meeting.  The romance and passion were heavy from the start, which leads me to Lesson One: with the highs come lows.
All those wildly passionate kisses and gestures were matched by heated arguments peppered with increasingly hurtful personal insults to me, my character, and the characters of those I love.  Threats of violence came slowly, but punctuated the really passionate fights in ways that still color my memory.  Violent actions became a kind of relief from the building tension of verbal venom, and I found myself waiting for a moment that would finally cross the line into Undeniably Inappropriate, so that I could rationalize leaving this man whom everyone loved so much.
Which dovetails nicely into Lesson Two: He is a textbook narcisist.
I say this clinically and lovingly, because I found it to be true.  While enthralled, I believed he was better than even he thought himself, and repeated in my own voice his words, that I would never find anyone as good as him.  Even after breaking his hold and going off on my own, I lived in fear of confessing that I'd actually left him certain that scores of mutual friends would instantly shun me as the inferior half of the couple.  Making friends again on my own, something I used to relish, was one of the hardest and most terrifying things I had to do after leaving him.  Second only to actually leaving him, which leads to Lesson Three: When his calm rational breaks, you will realize he is capable of anything.  And I mean anything.  I have pre-dialed police phone numbers into my phone, and received pictures on my phone that haunt me to this day.  I do not pray much, so I hope against all hope that you never learn what his limits are.
Lesson Four: You may never be enough.  Speaking of limits, I was stretched to mine within the context of that relationship.  It was a blessing and a curse in that I found out I was stronger and more capable than I ever believed, but I faced some of my darkest moments, too, when pushed beyond my limits to that dark empty space where your soul can't reach.  I hosted holidays with limited resources during finals week while working.  I slept 8 hours a week to complete tasks, and made international phone calls at 1 am while he rested.  Maybe it was my personality, but no matter how much I gave it was never enough.  I caution you against giving away yourself.
He loves well, with his full heart, but he pushes people away.  He demands absolute compliance with his plans, and perfection in execution of anything.  But if you can give him this, you can both be very happy.
Above all, he wants to be cared for and laugh, and enjoy the good things in life.  So, if you can give him those things without questions or qualms, you both may be very happy together.

And I wish that for you.  But also, hold tight to your sense of self, lest it wander away some late night and you have to spend months seeking it, as I did.

I'd like to tell you to call me anytime with questions or concerns, like I tell my students, but let's be realistic.  You will never read this, and just as you will never fully understand my failed marriage to your future husband, I am certain I will never understand your relationship.  But still, into the void of infinate ears and eyes that is the internet, I shout, "Good luck!"

Most Sincerely,

The Woman Who Left Him For You to Find

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Love Letter...

I fucking love you.
It's crazy, but it's true.
In spite of the odds and facts and reality, I close my eyes and think of you.
I fucking love you,
And I want to be with you.
I want to hear laughter break out of your mouth like a bandit, I want to tell my stories to you.
I fucking love you,
And sometimes it makes no sense,
But every day your arms seems more like home, like acceptance without pretense.
I fucking love you,
And it surprises me sometimes,
That I found you and you found me, that there was still magic and music and fruit left on the vine.
I fucking love you,
And I have no idea what tomorrow brings,
But I am ready and open and waiting to face it, I am ready for anything.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What to do when...

What does one do when informed that your ex-husband is getting remarried?


  1. Freak Out.  This is news.  Not that you didn't know he was impulsive and lonely, but dang.  You've been apart for less than a year, divorced for less than 10 months.  And he just met this chick.  you've been dating your new dude for twice as long as he's been with this woman, how is this even possible?!
  2. Contemplate doing something ridiculous.  Personally, I thought about getting a tattoo, buying an international plane ticket, buying a bottle of scotch, taking out an advertisement to declare his penis size to the world, and emailing his new fiance a list of his charming faults.  It is imperative to be in a semi-professional or constrained location when this happens, so you can't do any of these things.
  3. Talk yourself off the ledge.  Sometimes literally.
  4. Call your BFF.  Literally, or via any of the ways we can tell each other these things.  The point is, find someone who will tell you unflinchingly that you are amazing and he is the devil.  This is essential to the healing process.
  5. Write letters you won't send.  This is your opportunity to get all of the vitriol out without any of the consequences, so write a few letters or emails that you have no intention of sending, just to clear out the first round of hate, anger, shame, frustration, aggravation, surprise, and general crazy.
  6. Consume.  Whatever makes you feel better, now is the time to put some of it in front of you.  Cookie dough?  Wine? Ham?  A large supreme pizza and a side of bread sticks?  Maybe you just want to go
    nuts on pretzels and peligrino, or maybe you want to drink a bottle of gin and a box of thin mints.  Now is the time.
    Drinks with girl friends, popcorn on the phone with your old roommate, wings with the person who's seen you through it since the beginning, or a fro yo date with someone who has no idea what's going on, so you won't have to talk about it.  Put something in your mouth to cover up those feelings for a little bit.  Laughter is not the best medicine, hiding your pain under a meatball sub is.
  7. Laugh.  Funny movie?  Reruns of your favorite sitcom?  Something that is guarenteed to make you laugh and forget, for a moment, what is happening.
  8. Cry.  It's going to happen eventually; even though the guy is essentially toxic waste in designer jeans, you will eventually have to let some emotions out of your eyes about him putting a sparkly ring on someone else's finger and promising to love them forever, the same way he did to you.  Cry it the fuck out.
  9. Be rational.  Now that you've freaked out, remind yourself why you aren't with that person anymore.  There were good, solid reasons why you left him, there was real pain, and you decided you'd rather be alone than be a part of that shit show.  Stand by that decision, and hold fast to your sanity.
  10. DO NOT CONTACT ANY CURRENT OR PAST LOVE INTERESTS.  Proposing to your current b.f. is not a way to hold fast to your sanity, nor is looking up old exs and asking them if you were easy to get over, or if they still love you, or anything of that sort.  The desire to do anything of the sort means you are back at step 2, contemplating something crazy, and need to go through step steps again.
Repeat as needed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grabing vs. Holding

There is a great picture of me and my main dude rolling around, and I love it.  we're all sunshine and smiles, and we look like us.  Attractive, happy versions of us.  It is the ideal picture, and we look like our ideal, happy selves.  We look in love.

He even has his arm around me.  It is not resting there flacid, nor is it gripping me, it is just holding me, firm yet gentle.  I keep looking at the image of that strong hand holding my arm, and it occurs to me.

My last dude gripped my arm like the last damn life line in every old picture of us.

Seriously.

Squeezing my arm fat into a second arm sometimes, it often photographed like a painful grab, like I should be left with claw marks on my arm.  It always bothered aesthetically, but I never though much about the subtle, meta-implications until now.  There was need, hunger, and desperation in that arm grab.  Love, sure, but a crazy, wild love that could be driven to madness...

Which, in the autopsy of the relationship, proved to be accurate.  The ex wanted to possess and control, it was the kind of love that made me crazy slowly and completely.

Now, I look at this happy restful embrace and I see the contrast between it and the desperate grip of a person who needed control.  It is a lesson, and a metaphor.  Love it not meant to be gripping, grabbing, hungry or aggressive.  It is supportive, it is warm, it holds with out crushing or distending.

Read Rilke, ladies and gents, and then come talk to me.



Thursday, April 02, 2015

Table for One

Sometimes you wake up and find you've been missing an integral part of yourself for a while, and hadn't even noticed.
I, just today, realized I've lost my sovereignty.  No one took it, but I got caught up in my relationships and work and life and the thousand usual things that occupy our time, and I left it somewhere.  Like, on a street corner or something dumb like that.  Which is ridiculous, when you think about it, to leave something as vital as one's sense of agency and independence out in the cold without a second glance or thought.  Luckily it is easily regained.  I fought for it hard the first time, but now I know where it goes, how to get it.  I can build a new sense of sovereignty easily enough with a little time and effort.
Tonight, my darling imaginary readers who do not exist except in my own vanity, I'll be taking myself out to dinner.  I deserve a nice date night out, and feeling pretty and dressed up in the style of my liking, eating the food of my choice.  So I'm getting that, all of that, all by myself.  And sitting alone at the table by myself, I am confident that my sovereignty will mosey over and join me, and we can chat and catch up and leave together in the best of spirits.

Easy as one.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oh, Really?

Trust is a funny thing.  It can be blind, based on faith and hope and optimism, or it can be based on some actual facts.  Like a relationship, a contract, or what economists like to call repeated iterations.
But let's be honest, shall we?  It's always about hope.  Because in life there are no guarantees.  ( I am noticing a trend in the last few posts...but I'll leave that for someone else to discern.)
So just because someone promises or hasn't betrayed you before, there is still an element of hope and faith in any trust.  Trust definitionally defies an absolute guarantee.

I started a career in academia years ago specifically because I sought a certain type of lifestyle I'd seen modeled.  I saw my step dad, a English professor then approaching retirement, living a fairly luxurious lifestyle.  He went to the movies and out to dinner several times a week, spent time reading for pleasure and bought a nice car every few years.  Bills were paid on time and college was assumed.  That was the life I wanted to have for myself and my family.

Fast forward almost ten years from when I first started studying for the GRE and prepping for grad school applications, and the academic job market is tight, competitive, and a little wasteful.  Many great teachers hobble along on adjunct pay for years, bobbing around the poverty line.  Grad school faculty are self interested brats, fattened on the teat of the previously luxe system and drive by narcissism to abuse student collaborators at the drop of a poorly funded hat.  Increased specialization and increased competition, and  there is less money out there in terms of loans, grants, fellowships, etc.  My perception of a supportive yet challenging system of education that would push me to my limits and then reward my hard work has been tainted by the reality that connections still, even at this level, matter more than talent, intelligence, or effort.
And in the event that you do gain the opportunity to be on a project you care about with some funding, I've found things can easily degrade to middle school lunchroom tactics, and my trusted professor/mentor can steal my work without giving me any credit, pay, or recognition.

I type these words with fire in my blood; there is nothing more enraging than seeing the words you wrote on a paper submitted by your 'trusted' professor with four other peoples' names on it.

Pit of god damn snakes.
Trust, even within the confines of the so-called ivory tower of academia, with people who have sympathetically told you they want to help you, is really just ill-informed hope.

And, my sweet darlings, hope does not pay the bills.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

...And Taxes

Nothing in life is certain.  Nothing but death, and death is the thing we expend so many of our precious resources trying to tame.  With little to no result.  We put the collective and several resources of all of our greatest sciences to the task of cheating death, staying it's hand, understanding it's motivations and lessening the unfathomable maw that is its inevitability.
We wear seat belts and take multivitamins and go to church and pay our mortgages and get annual physicals and eat blueberries to keep our fragile fleshy physicalities healthy, striving to keep death at bay.
Because we know it can be around any corner.  You can slip and fall in the bathroom and be dead tomorrow, or live to be 100, cursing all those weekends at the gym for ruining your precious joints.

Which is to say that even the only sure thing in life is still infinitely unknowable. 

And yet.  We bash our thick skulls against the wall that is uncertainty, begging it to be other than what it is.  Uncertainty is uncomplicated, plain and undeniable, and yet we beg it to alter itself, to give us a hint, to show us its hand before we have to play the game.  We human beings, with all of our biology and chemistry and philosophy and sociology are always trying to bend uncertainty to our will, to make it its opposite, to make it certain.
It will not be certain,  nothing will.  Not even in death will the certainty we strive for wash over us like a cooling balm.

There is a Talking Heads song in this vein:
Heaven, Heaven is a place; A place where nothing, Nothing ever happens
The song goes on to describe common situations repeating themselves endlessly for all eternity in heaven.  This song generally makes me cry, because I can understand the appeal of imagining a heaven where nothing ever changes, where nothing happens.  The sweet embrace of absolute certainty.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

What do you want to do?


I keep thinking about what someone recently said, about the biological motivations of creatures in comfort and creatures in discomfort: creatures in discomfort seek infamy and I immortality, creatures in comfort reproduce.  I no longer seek immortality or infamy; it is time for me to find a comfortable spot to settle in.  It is time for me to finally answer the question of what it is I want to do with my one wild and precious life. 
Who do I want to be?
Pressing up against that question is uncomfortable.  It makes me want to run and fill my mind with nothings.  I don’t want to work very hard…I want to live simply and happily.  That has always been my answer, and I thought I was moving towards it, but now I am not so sure.    
If I have to chose, career or family, which do I want?  All of this must be decided, of course, within the new context that nothing in sure, nothing is secure.  There are no guarantees in life, and I have seen that every step.  Marriages end, loved ones die, friends fade away or stop speaking.  Nothing in life is certain but it’s own ending, and even that is bathed in rich uncertainty. 
I used to say I wanted to be the chair of the Federal Reserve, but now I know that was never true.  I never really truly wanted infamy, I don’t think.  I just saw it as a short cut to love I didn’t trust myself to find on my own, be worthy of on my own.  So I sought stages, platforms, used my mouth as a bullhorn.  All in the pursuit of the love I didn’t feel worthy of. 
But that’s changing, and I do believe I am capable and worthy of a great, safe love.  I dearly, truly, whole-heartedly hope it is right in front of me, and that all I have to do is move forward into it.  And so again I dive in head first, head finally cleared of the concussion I earned from my last dive.  Fingers crossed, I make the next series of life-changing, future altering choices that push and pull and tear at the fragile fabric of normalcy, reminding me that it is only a thin veneer covering the chaos and turbulence of real life, of living actively and with awareness. 
What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I want to live it with only a little fear, I want to push at the seams and the boundaries and find territories others were not willing to visit.  But I want to find them within myself.  There is no great exploration to be had outside of me.  The world is replete with the footprints of the explorers who’ve already come through.  What wilderness is left exists within my own mind, within whatever makes up a soul.  That is where my infamy can live. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Don't Worry, There's Wine

It is one of the most human things we do, one of the most common things. 
We assign meaning to the mundane and arbitrary minutia of our daily lives.  It's how we balance our sense of self importance with the reality that we are tiny specks of cosmic dust with no real role to play in the scope of history.  Every day the universe reminds us of this in small, crushing ways.  When we just barely miss our train or spill coffee on our shirt before  meeting, the universe tells us that our needs and wants are insignificant in the face of cosmic forces like gravity.
So we talk about luck or astrology or jinxing things, to try to assign meaning to the frustrations of life, so that we don't have to face the real reason why these things happen.  We are not important, we are not special, we are not the center of the universe and these things are happening to one thousand other people around the world all the time, and that our day is ruined is of absolutely no consequence to the cosmos.  Black holes and red-shifting light waves do not care about my missed train, your coffee stain, your brother's surgery, you aunt's 401k, hunger, political unrest, war.  None of it maters enough for the even the universe to shift its mighty gaze. 
We are important only to ourselves, and the tiny circle of other carbon-based creatures we pull into a tight circle around us so that we don't notice how cold and unfeeling the cosmos is.  Space is a cold, dark place.

But, to paint a silver lining over the whole thing, this world has wine.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Philosophizingasdfjkl;

Sometimes, in life, it takes another person's perspective to get clarification. 
Which is of course a very broad and obtuse way of saying that today I got a fantastic, cut you to the bone, touch your heart and heat your blood compliment from a friend I'd lost touch with.  And it gave me a sense of rightness with the world.
Not because I have a giant ego and need that kind of vaildation regularly.  I hope...
No, because it speaks to the thinks that I hold on to personally in times of strife, conflict, and uncertainty.  Not being particularly religious or full of faith, I tend to hang my hat on the fairly flimsy hook of the nature of the universe in dark day.  Somewhat less comforting that some great omniscient paternal figure promising me goodies for following the rules, my ideas about the nature of the universe are ill formed and personally conceived.  So they are much  easier to dismantle in times of stress. 
I mean, if I mentally constructed a fragile world view using scraps from physics, statistics, and a smattering of other religious and spiritual ideologies, how reliable can it actually be?  Especially when I'm the joker that got me into whatever mess I happen to be in this minute.

So when a close friend I'd lost contact with for the last few years tells me that watching me love people helped her find the love in her heart that she wanted to give and receive, and how has with her significant other...well, shit.  No amount of iced coffee is going to keep this bitch from crying.

Fragile world view?  Validated. 

Which just serves as a reminder of the absolute necessity of perspective.  You cannot see everything when you're right on top of it. Whether you're talking about personal life, work problems, or paintings by Seurat, you occasionally need to back away, take another perspective, perceive things differently to truly see and solve them.

In my humble opinion.  But I rarely hear of epiphanies derived from endless hours of obsession.  And it is so dark up close.  Step away, get some light, some space, some laughter.  Take the opinion of someone farther than you can go, consider it in the sunlight, and decide how it suits you.  That's my personal advice, derived, like most of my philosophies, from smatterings of science, art, philosophy and old fashioned life experience.   I truly try not to wax philosophical in public, where people who have no interest in it can be unnecessarily exposed to my mental wanderings, but it was a really good compliment.  And she was a really good friend.  And, truth be told, it's been a pretty hard year.

open letter to my co-commuters

Dear People of the Metrolink train,
The following is generally considered unacceptable behavior on public transportation:
-clipping your finger nails
-putting your feet up in the seat so you can recline fully
-removing your shoes and putting your get up on the seat so you can recline fully
-arguing loudly about how you don't need a woman who won't pay your rent

Woman weeping and negotiating on the phone,  I'm going to give you a pass on the off chance you're going though some real shit.  But if I find out you did something basic or dumb you're going on my list,  too.

Cheers,
Andrea

P.s. yes,  dear reader,  this was all on the same ride, just today in the last 15 minutes.
P.p.s. Woman on the phone,  the fact that you've stopped crying and are now demanding your phone friend tell you when and where makes me think this is some basic bullshit.   You're officially on notice.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sex, Love, and Romance in my Thirties

Is it wrong to want to break up with someone because you want more sex?  And also, who exactly am I supposed to talk to about this.  All of my fabulous, hilarious, insightful girlfriends are in other time zones.  So I rely on you, the interwebs, to answer my burning and deeply personal questions.

I thought it was silly to worry about sex.  Of course, in my last relationship it was never an issue.  Sex was something that could happen up to three times a day if I was game, and I ended up bored, tired, and frankly spoiled.  Now I'm lucky to get laid three times in a week.  And I thought it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but my libido seems to be building up a resentful store of excess sexual energy.  I feel like a teenager, eager to rub up against the next hot piece that walks by. Which is really not me.

Of course, I had my twenties, during which time I pulled down more ass than...something that pulls down a lot of ass.  2002 to 2006 was my golden age of hooking up and getting laid.  But then I settled down, got my heart broken a couple of times, and got married.  Monogamy suited me, and I rarely found other men and women attractive.
Newly single for the first time in 6 years, this summer was full of tentative flirting and my first hook up in *years*.  Which turned into a relationship when I wasn't looking.  I realize now that I kind of resent that; I missed out on a short period of wildness and experimentation by settling down with the first dude I hooked up with. 

So what's a gal to do?  First thing, as an adult, is to bring the subject up.  Awkward though it is, as grown ass adults who engage in adult behavior, we owe it to our partners to be honest and open with them about our needs, wants, and desires.  It's called a conversation, have it.
Then....we play the weighing game.  Weighing the pros and cons, doing the relationship calculus to figure out how much these things matter, when compared to the positives.
It is a strange thing to feel uncompromising in one's thirties.  I continually expect to feel like I am out of time, and should be grateful for what I can get.  And sometimes I do, but more often than not I find myself basking in a confidence that was unknown to me in my twenties.  I know that I am rare and odd and wonderful and pleasing in many ways.  I am a catch, crazy and all, and so the idea of compromising seems defeatist, weak, and small minded.  I actually find myself believing that there is such a thing as the perfect guy, and that I can find him, deserve to find him.

Crazy.

All of this makes me feel a bit like a whirling dervish of  affections, seeking, sex, and romance.  Doors fling themselves open to me, and I open and close them, rechecking the contents contained within against those behind the next door.  Obviously it's unsustainable, but it's fun right now.  Crazy, confusing fun.