Category Archives: relationships

Respect Yourself

I’m tired of women who get into a relationship, lose all of themselves in the man, the relationship ends in a matter of weeks, they come apart at the seams, and it’s “Oh, I’ll never love again.”

Please.

Get serious.

And to moan and piss and whine like this publicly, on social media sites?

Please.

Get serious.

I’m not lying and saying I’ve never done that.

I have, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s been a few years since. I don’t respect myself for having been that way, but at least I know it was because birth control fucked up my estrogen. Even then I knew it was shameful, the way I was coming apart over this guy I knew didn’t really deserve me or my heartache, not now, not after all I’d come to learn about him.

It’s a few years later and I know now that, this dude I came apart for, I wouldn’t even date today. I’d be friends. I probably wouldn’t get turned on by him, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be having the delusions of marriage I entertained then, but maybe it’s because I saw how he became in times that got bad.

All of us are pretty undesirable when our lives go off the deep end. We’re not ourselves. That makes sense, it should be apparent to others.

Times get bad. Hurts happen. Sadness is inevitable. Anger bubbles up.

These are human elements and we’re at home with each of them.

But I draw the line at tolerating victims. I draw the line at anyone who thinks shit keeps landing on them on purpose and that they have nothing they can do about it.

In the last decade, the amount of shit that’s come my way — man, if I thought someone had it in for me and it was happening to me intentionally, I’d just cry. And I’ve kept my head on reasonably straight about this throughout more than one depression.

Just an example: This back injury that debilitated me for a year? Rehabbing it repaired most of my other long-ailing injuries, and taught me that I finally understood how to eat properly to maintain my weight, and gave me insight into really seeing what living a long-term compromised life did to others, and I think the whole horrible year made me a FAR better person.

Almost every negative that has found me — including my mother’s death — has resulted in incredible personal growth and insight.

Am I tired of the endless struggle? Fucking right I am. But am I feeling like a victim? NO.

I’m feeling like someone who’s woken up and realized all the fighting I’ve been doing just to survive has been completely misplaced — those energies can be better spent, my attitudes & goals can be refocused.

If anyone can do it, I can, and don’t you even think I don’t know it.

I know I’ve overcome incredible odds, but the odds I’ve overcome are the kind that HURT the bank account and HURT the bottom line, not help them. To the outside, I’m some underachiever getting by in an expensive town with a job that doesn’t nearly compensate me for my skills and talents, working too little to really get anywhere, with a stubbornness about “selling out” to get by.

TO ME, though, I’m an incredibly resilient person who’s been kicked somewhere new by life almost every 6 months for 10 years, but I still keep improving, I still get better, I develop more empathy not apathy, and I grow from every single thing that hits me.

I don’t need to be a social butterfly or the talk of the town. I don’t need a fancy car or pretty things. Like Atwood says, as a woman, I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

What do I need?

I need to respect myself and know I’m doing what a girl’s gotta do. That’s it.

I got that. I’m down widdat. On it like Oprah on a ham, baby.

I still like the directions I’m going in. I wish I could have more — I wish I had a man on this beautifully full plate of mine, someone to sink my teeth into and a relationship to take shelter in on weekends, but space to enjoy during the week. I wish I had the energy and money for friends and good times.

But money and love, they’re out there, and I’m getting to them. They’re usually the icing on your life cake, and patience is needed.

I know, deep down inside, that I’m changing at a clip I can’t believe. The last thing I need is to get into a relationship with someone who’s where they want to be while I’m going a mile a minute. I need some stability and some comfort with where I am before I think I can choose rightly as far as man-things go. The more of this “self” I enjoy discovering, the more I’ll have to offer in a month or two or three, as my newly changing realities take firmer hold.

A month or two? Yeah, I’m not biting at hooks TODAY but I’m looking as of now. Why not? What’s the worse that can happen? I love a little, get left a little, hurt a little? Okay. So be it. I’ll try.

Because I know, who I am has nothing to do with a man. My attitude, my goals, my abilities, my dreams, they’re all me. Would I like to share them? Sure. But no one’s co-opting them or taking over the driver’s seat. Not now, and hopefully never again.

I think, biologically & anthropologically, something in women hardwires us to pairbond for security and protection.

But what happens in 2010 when a girl’s forced, through economic & social realities, to survive on her own? To get her own security taken care of? To protect her how interests?

Then what’s she looking for in a man? What’s she need now?

Does anthropological history and biological predisposition still kick in? Or does a different quality of pairbonding happen? “I’m the queen, I’ll let you rule in my kingdom alongside me. You, your chair is there. Don’t even think about sitting in mine.”

I don’t know.

But I know I look at men differently now than I did four to five years ago.

And I know I’ve proven I’m a survivor of the kinds of things that most people would rather not test themselves through.

So, a girl’s got to wonder.

What am I really looking for, and what’s it going to take to get it delivered? (Grin.) I really don’t know. I really don’t care. ‘Cos I know I’m gonna find out. Don’t know how, but I’m gonna. So are you.

And if, or when, it goes south, since there’s 95% chance of that when every relationship starts, well, I’ll try to hold myself with a little decorum, because I’ll be pretty confident in the knowledge I’ve overcome bigger things than a boy.

Reader: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

I had a reader question a week or so ago. Pretty short and sweet:

I was wondering what your take is on couples who have a peaceful, mutual breakup (stay good friends) and continue living together until their lease is up.

What, in a nutshell?

“Good luck with that” is about what I think. Good fucking luck.

Yeah, okay, somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds sing and rivers are made of chocolate, and couples who break up really truly can be friends. Yes, Toto, they can! Even in Kansas!

In my twisted little worldview, though, friends after breakup is a whole lot easier said than done. There’s all those weird little remembrances you have to get over. Like, “watching a movie” means a whole other thing if you’re “just friends.”

“You mean I can’t start nibbling your torso when there’s a boring bit?”

Well, there’s always popcorn, honey.

We’re human beings. We’re silly things with opposable thumbs and convoluted ideas on what constitutes civilization. We want to pretend we’re all smart and brilliant when it comes to problem resolution. The problem is, this ain’t no problem to resolve. The death of a relationship is, well, a death.

It dies. Six feet down, all bets off. It’s not a simple change of state. It’s a change of being. You used to fuck in frenzies. You told each other everything. You had dreams and goals and plans. And then, one day, it all went poof in a little whisp of smoke. You sorta saw it coming, yet there you stood still in a state of utter disbelief.

Because that’s how it all goes.

Now you want to think that a little piece of paper that says you have a lease is going to be enough to keep it on an even keel. Let’s hope you’re right. In my world, it just doesn’t tend to work out that well.

I’m a smart person with big brains and long memory, and pushing aside a past in order to have a present seems to be one of those equations I have a difficult time solving. Not that I wouldn’t try to solve it.

But surprises happens. Luck tends to play its hand. And sometimes odds get defied. Me, I err on the side of probability and statistics. Numbers meaning what they do and all.

Should Irwin Have Changed After Kids?

So, earlier I asked if you have the right to ask a risk-taker to tone down their lifestyle once you get hooked to them.

My opinion? No. You do not. And if they tell you you can go ahead and tell them how to change; don’t. You’d fucking with what oughtn’t be fucked.

In a nutshell.

My posting was inspired by the death of Steve Irwin. There are those who apprently think he should’ve “settled down” since he had kids. Yeah, as a kid, the first thing I wanna know is that my father gave up almost everything he loved so he could raise me — sit in a fucking armchair with a remote and tell me how he “used to be like that” once.

Terri Irwin got a precious gift that most of us might never, ever, ever receive: She fell in love with someone who kept all the qualities that made him so loveable as the person he was when they first met. Bloody sweet, that. And she had it for a while. And then it got snatched. Love happens, death happens, it all is what it is.

Life’s a truckload of hurts some days and there’s no getting around that.

The point is, it’s hard enough to be ourselves in the face of everyday life. It’s harder still to remember who we are when we get lost in the arms of someone else. To be able to hang on to your identity despite your love for someone else and your wish to be with them, why, that’s as downright admirable as it gets.

To hell with those who think otherwise.

_________________

In other Croc-Hunter news, let me go on record to say that, while Germaine Greer periodically says something intelligent, I:

a) think she can be a complete twat who has done as much to hinder feminism as she has to further it. She’s arrogant, dismissive of men, flighty, inconsistent, hypocritical, and far too militant for my tastes. (Despite my believing I’m a feminist, thank you very much. Ain’t no fucking eunuch here, baby.)

b) think she’s a far bigger bitch than I’d thought before now that I’ve read her comments on the death of Steve Irwin.

I do not believe that to be a strong woman I need to demoralize men. I believe that, as a strong, independent chick, I can exalt men in my life and cater to them as I wish, because I fucking well know who I am when I go to bed at night (most of the time; we all get a little too lost in our relationships some of the time). I take no backseat to any man. But I’ll hold the door open for ’em if they’ll let me, because I have nothing to prove. I’m empowered by the mere fact that I don’t need to seek power, all right?

I’d get into my whole beef about how feminism has been executed, but I’m too tired and it’d take too damned long. Suffice to say that while I fight for my equality, I don’t think it needs to come at the cost of emasculating men. There’s room enough for us both, and I don’t think chicks like Greer understand that concept, but then I don’t like her enough to read her work. I listen to others gripe about her and praise her, so I’m ignorant, but by choice.

You asked? Some thoughts on "cuckolding"

I was asked a while back what my take on cuckolding is.

I didn’t ask what the reader’s interpretation of the word is, but there’s a historical definition of it meaning that the male in a relationship is faithful while the woman can do whatever or whomever she likes. It’s, I guess, a sample of “reverse” sexual dominance played out in a social manner.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m old-fashioned. I’m a one-guy/one-gal kind of chick and I don’t foresee that changing. Relationships are hard enough for me without throwing potential mind-fucks into the equation.

That being said, whatever the hell gets your rocks off, man. If you’re in a relationship and you’ve set ground rules that state Sunday nights you have mashed potatoes, Mondays are for football, and, oh, yeah, you can fuck whoever you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with your plans as a couple, then so be it.

I don’t really see where my opinion matters one damned bit. I’m sure there are people who make lifestyle choices and then feel awkward for living outside the norm and that they’d like someone like me to come along and say “Hurrah for individuality!” but the fact is, you got to find your approval from within, and what I think, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn’t impact you in the least. So don’t take offense but I think it’s all bullshit, myself.

I will never buy into polyamory as a lifestyle. I don’t think I could ever forgive a man for cheating on me. I have never cheated on a man – not even a kiss or a flirtatious email has passed from me when I’m dedicated to a lover. I will do everything in my power to ensure I remain faithful in any relationship I’m in. I believe in monogamy, and I think monogamy fucking rocks.

That being said, relationships are hard. There are times when they cause nothing but heartbreak, and times when being with that person can take you lower than you’d have thought possible, but that’s just more of what life really is. It’s adversity that’s occasionally peppered with greatness.

I think swinging, polyamory, and all that shit are ways people have conceived of to take the sting out of the difficulty that comes with monogamy. I believe they probably truly do love the primary person in their relationship, but that the hard times overwhelm them, so incorporating others into the relationship is their way of minimizing the emotional intensity. I think some people have issues with monogamy. I think some people simply have what society deems as loose morals. I think some people are just scared to be with one person, ‘cos if that person ups and walks, then what would they be left with? And naturally, some people are just scared of being alone.

Am I oversimplifying things? Oh, probably. But that’s what those of us who’ll never, ever understand it do. Am I judging them? I suppose you could make the argument that I am, but I’m not. I simply don’t understand those lifestyle choices and never will. I don’t think I need to apologize for my lack of comprehension, and I certainly won’t pretend to understand it when I can’t.

I’m no idealist. I don’t believe there’s only one person who’s right for me. I’m sure that with a little compromise and a lot of understanding that there are a lot of men I could make a life with. There is no one kind of man I fall for, and there’s not just one fit for me. I’ve fallen hard for more than one man in my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t commit to just one.

I think monogamy’s a pretty sexy journey – getting to know the little things that make someone tick can be a fun and interesting trip to take. And I’ve had my heart broken. Some days I feel like my heart’s been broken so often that I’m simply broke, and other days I feel like I’ve somehow Krazy-Glued it back together enough that it’s got some bounce in it. And yet I’m still willing to put all my eggs in one basket. I’ll take that chance.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. It bothers me there’s a term for a relationship in which a woman is the one who sleeps around and not the man. I was talking about the duplicity of women’s sexuality the other night with a chick and we reached consensus about just how much we both despised the word “cougar,” for example.

If you’ve been locked in a closet these many years, a Cougar is said to be a woman who seeks out younger men. I think it’s bullshit. Men are seldom ever called “dirty old men” unless they more than double the woman’s age. Otherwise it’s accepted practice that an older man sees a younger woman.

When I was aggressively playing the dating game last summer, fall, and winter, I definitely hooked up with some younger guys. (The funniest account is here.) I’m 32 for a few more weeks, and I got it on with a couple guys in their mid-20s, and I was labeled a cougar. What the fuck? A five-year age spread and I’m somehow some amoral woman with little regard for age?

Fuck you and your urban dictionary, buddy boy. I’m sick of sexual terms that distinguish women as being somehow amoral for engaging in the same acts that men have been committing for centuries.

Equality’s come a hell of a long way, but some things still need to change. This is the first and last time you’ve heard the words cuckolding and cougar on this site, people. Women are sexual creatures and it’s time we stopped apologizing for it.

Broken: Hearts, Minds, Vows, and Man

One of the things that’s simultaneously good and bad about this gig is that people tell me things from time to time they wouldn’t even tell their shrink.

Just the other day one such letter arrived in my in-box. As is sometimes my habit, I entered into a knee-jerk response and was about to tear the woman apart. Something made me stop and think, and instead of writing something savage, I sent her an email back. Her last question in her initial email was, “Am I a white trash whore?”

My response then was, in so many words, no, but you’re a liar and a cheat. I do stand by that, but with a massive, monumental, intergalactic caveat.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Due to the fact that there’s so incredibly much riding on her admission to me, I’m taking great liberties to change a good deal of the particulars that could identify who this poor goddamned woman is, because her life is filled with enough shit right now and I’ve no business adding to the pile by doing anything that could in any way come back to haunt her.

Here’s the gist of what you need to know.

  • She’s a mother.
  • She’s been married a decade-plus.
  • She’s in her mid-30s.
  • She’s been madly in love with her husband for all the years of their marriage, and still loves him, but things have changed.
  • He suffered a life-changing stroke of great severity that has rendered him child-like and frail. His mental capacity is nothing of its former self and his personality has been completely reformatted. Physically, he needs constant help. Sexually, he functions, but there’s no attraction left for her.
  • She’s been having an affair with a close friend of the family, in which the sex is incredible. Unfortunately, both she and he are married, and neither have the intention of abandoning said spouses.

That’s it, in a nutshell, that’s what a volley of eight emails has yielded to me.

Like most women under great strain, she’s perceived by others to be an incredible trouper. Strong, coping, able, yada, fucking yada.

The truth is, she’s coming apart at the seams. She hates herself for her betrayal of the husband she loved with all her heart, the husband she stayed with even though she learned he had cheated on her. She despises herself for loving sex with this other man. She’s angry about the loss of her love and best friend and the passion that came with. She doesn’t feel she’s able to speak to anyone about it. My guess is, she’s drowning in this life of woe she’s found herself enveloped by.

And my heart goes out to her.

Yes, she’s lying to her husband. Yes, she’s a cheating ho. But ask yourself: What would you do?

I know a lot of people would judge her for cheating on a guy who’s been sent into this horrible new reality by this unfortunate eruption of blood in his brain, but what about her? She’s still among the living. All of a sudden, she’s expected to give up everything that defines her life to provide 24/7 care for a man who can’t care for himself. She’s young, in her sexual peak, and what’s more, she needs an outlet for all the things gone wrong.

When my mother died seven years ago this week, I turned to books on grieving. I went through all the topics on mourning, everything from poetry to prose to essays, and I distilled from it a great deal of information on what to do to get through it all. The thing was, they said “mourning” and “grieving” are misunderstood. They’re not just necessary in times of death; they’re necessary in times of great change and loss of any kind.

For all intents and purposes, this woman’s husband died. When those blood vessels ruptured and filled his head with pools of blood, the soul of him just faded away. He’s but a shell these days, though he lives and breathes and walks and fills the space of their home with a friendly face and eyes that once mirrored the love she showed him.

With every moment in every day, she’s confronted by the struggle of caring for him, of helping him, of getting him through to the next day. Then there are the kids. And the doctors and medical procedures. Then there are the quiet moments. The moments in which she should be able to have the time to think of herself and her needs and the things she ought to do with her life… but that she can’t. Because every waking moment is spent caring for others and forgetting herself in the process, and when she’s not caring for them or coping, she’s formulating plans for keeping that circle rolling. In a life like that, there is no “down time.”

I believe one of the most important things for women (in particular) to do is to remember the them they’re forgetting, and to consciously make themselves more important in their scheme of things. But how does she do this? How is it possible?

I lived with my mother when she was dying of cancer. Any time I thought there was something important for me to do for myself, I consciously remembered that she came first. I couldn’t do that for myself; what about Mom? But then I was let off the hook. She died. My heart shattered to a million pieces, and one day I began to Krazy Glue myself back together. It took time, it took work, it took a conscious remembering that it was her that died, and not me.

This reader has none of that time, none of those options, and as far as I can tell, no Krazy Glue.

What’s the point of all this, of her letter, of this posting? I’m not really sure there is one. There’s no easy answer, no pat solution. It’s broken heart upon broken heart, and no matter what she decides, she’s in for a constant world of hurt because that’s her new reality. She can continue being sexually satiated by her lover, and lie to the man she loved but whose lights are no longer shining, or she can do the moral thing and give up the sexual release in order to do “the right” thing and continue caring for that shell of a man.

Either way, she’s in for a hard life.

So I say, whatever gets you by, sister.

The thing she needs to watch out for, sadly, is the fucking obtuse people out there who think morality trumps reality; those who just don’t get that some kinds of adversity just aren’t the kinds you can put your chin down to and barrel on through. Some kinds stop you up inside and make you hurt six ways to Sunday with no relief in sight, and this is that kind.

She could walk on him. Leave him hanging, and therefore no longer be unfaithful, but then what happens to him? Broken brain, broken body, plus broken heart?

Or she stays with him and gets her pipes cleaned by her new plumber man from time to time, and enjoys the illusion of affection and love, such as she once had with her husband?

I really don’t know. It’s quite possibly the original lesser-of-evils dilemma, and I’ve had some sad moments thinking of what her existence must be like.

I feel badly that she feels so alone, as I know I refuse to be the voice in the night that listens at all hours and says everything’s gonna be all right, baby, ‘cos I don’t even have a voice like that for me right now, so how do I provide it for others?

She’s not alone, though. She sees a therapist, but she’s too afraid of feeling like a failure and a liar in confessing her recent moral choices to him. I say she must. If there’s any one thing I do know, it’s that. She absolutely must confess to him, because he’s not a fucking idiot. He’ll understand, and he might even provide her with the closest form of absolution she’ll ever receive.

This is hard, baby. Harder than hard. It’s diamond-hard. Confess. Take a load off. Print off these emails we’ve exchanged, and this posting, and drop them off at your shrink’s a few days ahead of the appointment with a note saying, “These are a conversation I’ve had with a complete stranger. We need to talk. We really need to talk.” At least it’ll let you know the issue’s finally getting confronted, but it’ll let you sit back while he plays the ball that’s now in his court.

I wish I had a magical Band-aid for you, but all I’ve got is empathy. You do what you got to in order to get through. You may feel like shit and you may feel like a liar and a cheat and trash, but you’ve got my admiration. You’re doing what’s got to get done, and if it so happens that you’re a little human along the way, well… that’s just the way it goes.

But what do you think, readers?

RANT(ish): Fuck that Couch!

My couch is gone. My piece of shit, black vinyl couch is gone. In its place is a new, black-and-blue cloth (presumably piece of shit but thus far unproven as such) couch that I was given as a warranty replacement.

Also gone is its history.

All those nights spent cuddling with cute guys, the dirty s-e-x, the nakedness, the hinge-testing activities, the massages, the naked nibbling of foods and sipping of wine, the fumbling for protection hidden in the coffee table, the whispered jokes, restrained moans, gasping – all of it, gone.

My slate, and my couch, are clean.

I’m entering into this, “Fuck you, I’m single?” phase now.

I’m too fucking cool to be single. I’m good in bed. I’m cute. I’m a fucking fab cook. I’m doting. I’m expressive. I’m clear in what I say. I listen well. I empathize. I intellectualize. And I know how to laugh.

Single? Fucking hell, men!

I’ve been through the denial and the sadness, and now I’m into anger. Not at him, not really, but maybe a bit. It’s really, though, just “it all.” At myself, in particular. I shoulda fucking walked sooner. Now, here I am, the middle of summer, and no one fun to play with. The beginning of the relationship, great. The last 8-10 weeks, I was already practically checked out emotionally as I was certain it would end. I knew what was coming, I understood the mindfuck of healing, but he didn’t. Yet I was stupid enough to stick around, hoping, like an idiot, things would change. I knew better then, and I know far better now. But it is what it is. And now, here I am.

Single. Again.

I’m the original “love yourself, love singleness!” cheerleader, but, fuck, man, getting together with someone’s pretty cool too, and I was right to be optimistic. So, yes, thrown for a loop, collecting myself, and doing a bit of a mess of it, but I’ll get my shit together. I always do.

What really pisses me off, though, about singleness, is society.

It screams at you SO fucking loud. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep.

It’s a mindless fucking droning that is echoed by film, tv, ads, and music. Everywhere you look, it’s about “the one you love” and “forever.” Without someone, you might as well be nothing.

Me, I like dining out. Have you ever gone to a decent restaurant and eaten alone? I have. It sort of feels like the time I was in a wheelchair back when I had a leg injury and had to get around an amusement park for the day. Half the people eye you with respect and empathy, and the others eye you with some kind of sympathy and pity.

“Oh, she must have been stood up. No one eats alone.”

Yeah? No one, huh? Fuck you and your lame-ass stats keeping, buddy. I eat alone, and I like it. Catch up on my reading, you know? These days, I just do it in the kinds of places that “lonely” people are acceptable in – diners, coffee shops, the like. That’s a money thing, not because I’m letting the bastards get me down. But, these days, I don’t really enjoy fine dining without company. I can cook that well at home, and get great satisfaction in it, so if I’m spending the dime, I want some flesh on my arm and an ass by my side, you know?

I’m liking the new couch. I’m glad I no longer think of any of the guys I’ve been with on that couch. I’m glad the memories are, in a way, purged. I’m really fucking happy about that.

Along with the couch, I’ve also rolled up my area rugs and put them in the storeroom for the season. I figure there’s greatly reduced probabilities of rolling around in pursuit of carpet burn as I have dirty, naughty sex on the floor, so why deal with vacuuming and mustiness in the middle of a heatwave. Hardwood floors rock.

Yeah, fuck all this. I, too, dislike being single in a society that thinks I’m wrong to be this way. Being single takes time to adjust to, it takes much love of oneself, and a love for independence and spontanaeity. Going through hard times is not conducive to any of those things. As my life settles down, my love of being solo will return, if I don’t find me some masculine specimen before that.

I don’t want a relationship, I don’t think, right now, but I wouldn’t mind a little play time, if you know what I’m saying. So, I’m hatching a plan and continuing what I started a couple weeks ago in regards to getting back out into the world.

Life’s fucked right up, but it ought to settle on down soon. And then, I’ll be back.

Depress-o-meter: I’m, what, a 6 today? Got through the night with no dope, no drinking, not too much attitude. (Not like I’ve been drinking much, or that I ever do, but I have certainly been smoking dope. Waaaay too much!) That first night of “good behaviour” usually is sleepless, but I got six hours. The worst is over. That’s good. Now to keep keepin’ on.