Monday, June 30, 2008

My weapon: The Remote

"What time are you taking me home?"

"I dunno, around 930, is that okay?"

"Sure," I said, followed by a theatrical pout. "I'm just a little bit scared..."

"Of what??!!!" He demanded.

"That BTK guy, that's all."

"But they caught him YEARS ago!" was the"sensitive" response.

And although that's true, and I learned that very fact from the creepy "Life of a Serial Killer" made-for-tv documentary I watched last week, I was still afraid, of something.

And while I take precautions and live as safely as possible, that "BTK" guy got me feeling vulnerable.

Because he looked normal.
Because he chose victims seemingly at random.
And because he would stake out a female's home in order to know when she was alone.

"How can you be afraid of the BTK guy, when he's been caught?"

Easy. I thought. Because he's only one of a thousand creeps out there.

And in reality, because nothing makes me feel more vulnerable than being in a relationship.

Having a boyfriend is like having a bullet proof vest.
You have a legitimate excuse for telling new guys you're not available.
You have a bodyguard in the bar.
You have an umbrella in the rain.
And you have a security system in your apartment...

Unless of course he's no longer there.

The imprint he leaves on the couch cushion is like a big, black, hole for your feelings of safety to fall into.

Instead of his man-muscles, you have to use your own... but finding your single-girl-wits post relationship is harder than it looks.

Because the safety you found in his arms only makes your before-him life seem full of vulnerabilities.

You can search for that old confidence and maybe even eventually get it back... yet it seems a long road to recovery.

And after months of trying, all I know is the first step...

Turn. Off. The. Damn. TV.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Negative is best

"I'll take the full gamut of tests!" She exclaimed.

"Including HIV???" asked the nurse.

"Absolutely," was the response. Fear hidden in confidence. Shame tucked away inside her johnny coat.

She was ready for the blood test. Even though she'd hated needles, she was geared up to give a vile for the betterment of her life and the quality of her health.

But suddenly, the nurse had brought out a tiny swab and instructed her to wipe it gently over her gums, top and bottom, left to right, before putting it into its appropriate lab-safe case.

"What was that?" the girl asked.

"The HIV test," the nurse replied. "The results only take 20 minutes now, so you'll know before you leave."

"Great!" came her squeaky response and the girl was left alone to wait for her doctor, a head full of fear in a room full of HIV pamphlets.

Deep breaths.
Eyes closed.
Positive thoughts.... well maybe negative thoughts were better.

Did she have someone to call if there was bad news?
Did she have a plan of action?
Did she have enough wine at home to drown her disease ridden sorrows?

But just like that, 20 minutes passed.
What felt like a lifetime was shorter than the average reality tv show, and the girl was promised her tomorrow with a clean bill of health.

Legs shaking, the girl dressed, a crooked smile on her face as she finally made a promise.

She promised to love herself everyday, as much as she loved life in this very moment.

And she promised to love monogamy, even more.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When to say when

17 Girls are pregnant.
And by the looks of commentators, blogs, and newscasts lately, it's all their fault.

Funny, how an act that has always taken TWO people, brings shame only to one.

As Juno's father so typically pointed out, “I thought you were the kind of girl who knew when to say when.”

Because, it's apparently only up to the girl to say no.

It's up to her to have all the best intentions in the face of a young boy, or young man who wants one thing. A boy she may love, a boy with whom she shares a similar past and life experiences, but a boy who, in this instance, she must be smarter and stronger than.

His one track mind, his gentle coercions mean little, because as the woman, or girl, she is supposed to know, when to say when.

But when is it going to be time for character to be demanded of both parents?

When, will we ask boys to say when?
When will we curse them for dropping their drawers rather than shame the girls because they couldn't "keep their legs closed?"

"I have no idea what kind of girl I am," Juno replied when her father chided her.

And how could she?

She thought she was normal, she thought she was like her boyfriend when she decided to say yes.

A word that meant nothing for a father, and everything for a mother.
A word whose burden is heavier than a 9 month pregnancy.
A word that changes an entire life, for her.

But not for him.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rent without the ring

A quick glance into the web-world this morning brought me to the following question that a woman just had to ask...


I'll toss aside my assumption that a woman who has to ask the ether-world this question rather than her man might be up for a disappointment and instead focus on the hauntingly honest answer she received from two other men.

THE JOCK said: Nope. More often than not, it just means you have cleaner sheets and a fuller fridge than me. Guys are pretty simple.

THE PLAYER said: No way, baby. Have you ever heard the expression, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"? And moving in might even be a deterrent to marriage: once we're living with you, we have no incentive to go buy a ring!

I'll agree.
Guys are pretty simple.

But are they really willing to give up their bachelorhood freedoms for a full fridge and some bleached cottons?

I myself have been in the "we share rent sans a ring" situation and while there was plenty of dairy in that full fridge of ours, I don't think it was the cohabitation that led to our demise.

But, maybe I'm wrong... the past only continually proves me unenlightened.

If it doesn't bring a ring any sooner than it brings the end...
Then what does living together mean?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The things I learned along the way...

1. Men who ask you to dinner, and then insist on sitting at the bar, are either afraid of looking you in the eye, or afraid of looking like they're on a date. Neither sounds very promising.

2. Nice guys exist, they just aren't found in the company of not-so-nice guys. If all his friends are in relationships, he's single because he's picky. If all of his friends are single, he is single because he wants to be.

3. Men like long hair. The number of compliments I've gotten on my hair far outweighs any other characteristic.

4. Men with long hair, are afraid of commitment. If they can't commit to the idea of losing their "identity" with that "haircut" how do you expect them to commit to you?

5. Men who ask for your phone number after they've kissed you won't call, men who wait for the kiss, will call everyday.

6. The men who seem shy are the nice guys. Men who seem oh-so-confident at the get-go, aren't.

7. You'll know when a man loves you, but that doesn't mean he will be able to admit it.

8. Some things are worth the wait.

Friday, June 20, 2008

G-L-A-M

I can't remember the last time I did my hair before going out.

My Friday nights as a single chick involved an hour of primping, pre-gaming with friends, and a trip to the local hot spot for some flirtation and fun.

Now, my Friday nights consist of an hour of primping for the eyes of one man only. No one gets to see my "glamorous" look, and it's usually replaced by a sweatshirt and a pair of his boxers within an hour or so after dinner.

Where I once searched the city with my sexy friends looking for a karaoke bar, now I belt out the lyrics to my old 80s favorites in the comfort of his own living room (courtesy of the American Idol game).

I put my tousled locks up in a pony tail rather than smoothing my bangs in the bar's filthy bathroom mirror.

And I eat chips and dip with abandon (as long as he does too) unconcerned with the possible indigestion that may result from too much salsa... because I know I'll be getting a kiss goodnight no matter what.

So while my "sexy look" goes unnoticed by some, and it only lasts an hour or two rather than well into sunrise on Saturday morning...

I've never felt happier.
I've never felt more at home on a Friday night.

And regardless of my midnight ponytail and oversize hoodie...
I've never felt so glamorous.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex-Free

While watching an old episode of 20/20 late last night, the topic turned to sexuality, or rather... a lack there of.

Apparently, there is a movement "Asexuality.Org" that works to help people with NO sexual drive to understand themselves and the world around them.

These people claim that they have no interest in any form of sexuality, and they are just fine with it. Some asexual people are married to other asexual people, some are married to sexual people, and some worry about their loneliness.

And while I consider myself open minded, and I have no issues with sexual orientation whether it differs from my or not, I have trouble understanding this particular circumstance.

How can a person, be asexual?
Is it not repressed desires that one may be afraid of coming out?
Are the "relationships" they find themselves in contingent on the other person's sex? Or would an asexual female date another asexual female without giving it a second thought?

I wonder if it's a hormone imbalance, or a choice rather than an orientation.... one based on a fear of true intimacy rather than a lacking sexual urge.

But, maybe I'm wrong.

So what do you think, are asexual people beginning a real movement, or just going through a phase?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Checking it twice

After discussing wedding planning with my favorite bride to be last night, I realized that having no idea what you want is much worse than having your big day planned since childhood.

With all the bridal magazines, blogs, and television shows out there, it's pretty easy to be overwhelmed and constantly in search of the "perfect" answer to your party plans.

Whether its the favors or the flowers, the options are limitless.

But after a few minutes of overwhelming conversation, I asked her, "Have you sat down, without all these magazines and distractions, and made a list of what's really important to you on your wedding day?"

Because to me, that's what matters most.

The list of importance doesn't include "The perfect favor! The perfect font for those invitations! Or even the perfect dress for the occasion..."

My list is short.

Him, me, and those close to us.

But in light of all the world of advertising has to offer, that list can seem like a ticket for the smallest wedding, rather than the most memorable....

With such a short love-list, am I oversimplifying an extravagant affair?
Will I be disappointed that I didn't make the most of my "big day?"

And if so... then tell me this:
What's on your list?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eco-Love

"I just need to get a few things at the grocery store, do you mind coming?"

An hour later, I'm holding a second basket, arms aching, wondering how much more stuff he can fit in there.

And a quick glance tells me, we... don't really need anything in those double baskets at all.

Maybe it's because of my tortured past where I considered groceries luxuries, or my hatred for fluorescent lights... But I'd honestly like to avoid the soda, candy, chip aisle at any cost.

When I see the convenience of 100 calorie snack packs, and 12 ounce bottled water... I can only envision the huge landfills that these tiny things are perpetuating. Seriously. Little bags add up when every person trying to lose weight is eating 4 snack-packs a day.

The grocery store, for me, is a reminder of how much we want, and how much marketing makes us think we need more.

So what's a girl to do, when her better half, can't resist the half-off personalized packs of peanuts, in spite of a pantry full of them?

As if relationships aren't hard enough...
Maybe, like children, and marriage, and finances... our eco-compatibility is important as well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Immortalized Me

I walked down the hall of my high school passing out copies of a comic-book zine I drew, featuring a mock superhero called SuperEmily, who battled thinly veiled versions of my grade’s reigning mean girls. In college, I sent out an all-student e-mail message revealing that an ex-boyfriend shaved his chest hair. The big difference between these youthful indiscretions and my more recent ones is that you can Google my more recent ones.

After recently throwing away 3 years worth of passed notes, pictures of ex boyfriends, and "memorabilia" I realized I should try to forget rather than keep, I realized it was easy to pile them up in a garbage bag and lug it to the dumpster.

It felt good to see the big, black, plastic coffin of memories tumble down into the depths of the garbage, knowing that the things worth keeping were right where they should be. In my life.
Today. Not tucked away in shoe boxes from the 1980s.

But once I disposed of my past in this way, I realized that the relief was only fleeting, because the real memories I should try to forget are the ones I've immortalized on the web.

Like the quoted writer, you can also Google my mistakes.

There was a time that a simple search of my name would bring up videos my friends and I had shot in my own apartment, giving the whole world a glimpse into my personal life. They knew how I looked at 2 a.m., they knew what sort of pictures I hung on my walls and they knew how infrequently I vacuumed. Strangers were invited into my home without my real approval, but instead with my lack of concern for privacy.

But if it took nearly ten years to rid my closet of those old shoe boxes, how long will it take to rid the web of me?

I sometimes want to delete Web-Me and start over. Save my pictures in photo albums rather than Photobucket. Call my friends on their birthdays rather than leave them a Myspace comment... and write in a real, leather bound journal rather than this blog.

But something always brings me back...
Maybe it's the technology that is so accessible. Maybe it's exhibitionism. Or maybe it's carelessness.

For each and every post or upload or tagged photo, I am creating a one dimensional, living log of my life.

One that will never fit neatly in the dumpster, no matter how many mistakes I make.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Us

"Oh my God that's so US!"

I lost count of the number of times the estrogen laden audience said that very thing. They whispered "Look at those shoes, oh my god! Look at that dress!" They whimpered "Awww Aidan," and they cursed Carrie's feathered accessory on her big wedding day.

And unfortunately, they proved the critics right, and little ol' me, wrong. Very wrong.

While I promise that not ALL of my future posts will involve the Sex and the City Movie, this one will.

Because after claiming that it doesn't "objectify women."
After insisting that it's not "all about labels!" and crying that I watch it for the friendship not the f......

The audience proved me wrong.
They wanted shoes and labels.
They wanted Mr. "Nice Guy" Aidan.
They wanted to get the very things from the movie that I considered extraneous while watching the show.

I wanted love not Louis Vuitton (I had to look up how to spell that by the way).

And so I wondered... were they the exception?
Or was I?
Can women really be so predictable?

Because if that's so US... we need help from someone other than Hollywood.

Monday, June 2, 2008

And then there was one.

We used to share practically everything.
We loved warm evenings on the deck, stoli vanilla in tall glasses, movies no one else understood, and a time we were inadvertently wishing away.

We shared a hope for a future. A future where we weren't in need of one another, but where we'd still be there anyway with a promise.

A promise, that no matter how much things changed, we wouldn't.

But like a hawk, he swooped down into our tiny world of miniature happiness, and made her happy... for real.

He became her friend in a way I never could, with the appropriate prefix for permanence.

He carried her away, ending our shared everything and creating a new one for her.
For them.

And so I now carry our miniature happiness on my back, glancing up to make sure she's safe in his wingspan and assuring her she has a familiar place to land if she needs to.

But I'm also hoping she never does.





***CONGRATULATIONS TO MY GOOD FRIEND BRI ON HER ENGAGEMENT!***

The F Word

I'll admit this now.

I've already seen the Sex and the City movie, twice.

Midnight showing and then again not even 24 hours later. And I loved it.

I loved it because I loved that show...
Not for the shoes, or the sex scenes, or even the naked men.
It wasn't the high priced labels or even the love that made me go back and watch old episodes over and over again.

It was for the friendship.

My favorite line, however corny, cliche, or crazy it sounded came from Charlotte. After a particularly exhausting search for the perfect man, she had an epiphany.

"Maybe we could be each other's soul mates,"
she said. "And men could be these great nice guys to have fun with."

It's not the most profound statement, nor the most realistic.
But it is the most hopeful. It takes men out of the equation and turns friendship into something even more powerful than finding love.

And as the movie ended...
It wasn't the fact they'd all finally found love that seemed most important to me.
It wasn't the men, or the shoes, or the marriages that I coveted.

It was that one big, F word.

Friendship...
that turned my eyes green with envy and caused my heart to break.

Because finding love is easy.
Finding real friends... not so much.