Of Always the Entertainer

“Let me entertain you, let me make you smile.” – Gypsy, Stephen Sondheim

Nicolas Cafe Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is the ultimate holiday of emotional abuse – at least, commercially. It’s the day that puts extreme pressure on those in a relationship whilst beating up the singletons with an emotional whip. No matter where you are in your love life – Valentine’s Day is gonna get you. It’s essentially the sniper of holidays.

As a single person, there are two types of advertisements that are geared in my direction:

  1. You are a strong independent female, you don’t need a man, not like those other weak girls with boyfriends. Pssh! Girl power!
  2. You are clearly desperate, lonely, and in need of some good lovin’. Here’s how to power through the day until your sad soul finds a man to make you complete.

The common thread here? Men are awful, BUT you kinda need one to be your best self. Not only do I not relate to these male focused ads because I’m a lesbian, but also because I disagree with HOW the men are supposed to function. They are either dooming the women, by making them be less than they are. Or they’ll rescuing the women, by pulling them out of their despair and into the light. Neither seems like a healthy start to a relationship, at least, not to me.

Here’s what I want in a partner: someone who will put on a show with me.
Silly, simple, and slightly nonsensical isn’t it?

I find that because I have a loud personality, a lot of the dates I go on feel like a performance. Which is not a fun feeling. I don’t enjoying having to interview someone in order to have a conversation.

In short, it often feels like this:

The women I’ve truly been smitten by have put on a show with me. The conversation flows easily and it’s clear that this person wouldn’t pull me down, nor life me up, they’d meet me in the middle.

Which, in my opinion, is how it should work. Of course people will have their ups and downs – that’s just common sense.¬†But if you’re gonna be with someone, they should be your equal. Not your savior or your baggage.

So to the currently yoked people.

  • Ignore the advertisements, you don’t need to spend a thousand dollars or whisk your partner away to paradise island. Just spend the evening together and dim the lights.

To the single people.

  • If you’re struggling, call your friends and celebrate yourselves. Bake something, play a game, build a fort, and just have fun.
  • If you’re not struggling, then you already know what to do. ūüôā

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Of Awkward Ex Encounters

Ex Couple

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Okay, so we all have ex’s. Or at least, most of us do.

  • With some, the relationship ended amicably and you remain close buds.
  • With others, the end was so dramatic that seeing their face still brings extreme sadness to your soul.
  • With a select few, there’s no emotional pull at all. Being around them is akin to standing in a room of strangers. Just this stranger, you happen¬†to have been intimate with momentarily.
  • With most, one of you is more hurt than the other, more attached, more likely to sit there and pine over the thought of, “What if?” A very dangerous question, mind you.

Everyone has ex stories, and I would love to hear all of them. Seriously, post them in the comment section, I will read each and every tale of lost love. I don’t care if you wish to share a story from when you were together or after you parted – I just love a good story, Hell, I even love a bad story on occasion.

Here, I’ll go first:

Recently the only man I’ve ever dated contacted me. And I think it’s important to clarify that we broke up over two years ago. That we were not a happy couple. Also, that I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation.

Anyways …

The situation was the sort of predicament that everyone wants to avoid – a former lover declaring that they miss them and want them back. And then, to inform you that they can’t afford to eat because they call out of work in efforts to avoid you.

Seriously? Don’t blame me for your hunger.¬†

Little is more uncomfortable than having someone you’d rather not talk with, cry about you over the phone.

But I was very polite, making grand statements like, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do to make you feel better.”

Then I got¬†a handful of text messages. Granted it’s not seventy messages in two days like a different situation of mine (but that’s a whole different story – if you want to hear it, please let me know).

The first basically said, “What if I stop picking my fingernails?” –¬†Huh? I don’t remember that being a problem.

The second asked me to think about what I’d done. Said, “It was nice to hear your voice the way that I remember it,” and urged me to take a couple of days to get back to him with why we can’t be together – Yeah, I’m not gonna do that. I think it’s VERY VERY obvious why I don’t want to date you again.

And the last accused me of rudely texting him in Spanish – I don’t even know Spanish.¬†

So there’s my most recent story. While my current dating life is quite stale, so much so that it’s borderline¬†pathetic. It seems my past wanted to stir up the unwanted drama in my life.

Which is just … annoying.

Okay, now would you be so kind as to tell me a story?

Of Uncomfortable Chairs

Today’s post is slightly different than usual.

___________________________________________

MRI Scanner

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You’re sitting. Your body is forming a temporary indent on the square of foam attached to the hard wooden chair. As you look around you think,¬†I’m too young to be here. Your face is now free of blemishes. Your bust is no longer like a child‚Äôs, it hangs and moves as you walk and dance, held firmly in place by lacy fabrics and under-wire. You own business skirts and wear heels to work. You trust a middle-aged woman with a dragon on her arm and a rhinestone above her lip, like Marylin Monroe’s mole, to tame your mess of thick dark hair. You are old enough to vote, join the army, and get a cocktail with your friends, but you‚Äôre too young to rent a car. I’m too young to be here.

You try to avoid eye contact with the old man across from you. He’s shriveled and hunched over, his skin hangs off his cheeks in waves pressed down by a tube that crosses his face and reaches into his nose allowing breath into his weak lungs. His wife sits beside him; the beauty of her youth still resonating and sparkling in her hazel eyes. She is holding a green tank in her left hand as she kept his hand in her right. With them you sit alone, not talking, in the white room decorated with odd wooden carvings of indistinguishable figures and paintings of flowers. The eerie silence allows for the echo of the clickty clack of hidden keyboards behind a wall that reached your belly button when you checked in. Only five minutes ago? The patter of the buttons fills your ears as you try to focus elsewhere. You text your friends, but no one answers. You would listen to you iPod, but you forgot your headphones. So you grab a dated copy of People magazine and sit in the uncomfortable chair reading about celebrities who wore the same gold dress, are going to rehab, get their own dry cleaning, and drink Coca-Cola. Supposedly that makes them like you. Because they eat fast food. Because they go to the beach in their perfect bodies whipped into shape via the power of fitness trainers. Because their flaws are zoomed in on, called fat because they are now a size six. Accused of aging poorly even though they are beautiful. Your eyes glaze over the hundreds of gorgeous young faces. Until you hear your name.

As you stand up you feel the wrinkled couple‚Äôs eyes follow you. The receptionist who called you was a woman wearing a suit that sat squarely on her shoulders, if she had a womanly frame it was hidden behind various shades of pink and polyester. Her skin was tight with Botox and her hair appeared to be lightened by chemically induced tiger-like streaks of blonde. She asks for your date of birth, where you work, and to see your insurance card. Then a nurse dressed in blue comes to have you follow her. She looks about your age. Color filled her cheeks and her dark brown eyes communicated a level of empathy not given by the receptionist. The nurse cheerily asks you how your day is going. You say it‚Äôs fine as you think what a stupid question. She leads you through big red double doors. Hands you baby blue one size fits all pants and a nightshirt and leads you into a changing room composed of curtains. Your slender body could barely fit comfortably in the stall; you wonder what they do for fat individuals who can’t squeeze into the tiny spaces. You struggle to tie the shirt around neck without choking yourself. Fumbling with the string behind your back until eventually its comfortable ‚Äď enough. The nurse instructs you to place your belongings in a cubbyhole, locks the door, and gives you a key to hold on to.

Once more you‚Äôre being led towards red doors. These doors led to more white, more aged people dressed in outfits like your own. You follow quietly as you are led further and further down the hall. A man, probably in his early thirties, comes out and shakes your hand. He was dressed in light blue scrubs, his body towers over you, thin and gangly. He reminds you of a lamp-post. He smiles and asks you how your day is going, you say fine as you think it’s terrible. He opens a door that led into a big room filled with medical instruments, some you have never seen. The walls are gray instead of white and the air is cold, very cold. There is a big glass window where a fourth wall should be. Through it you see a computer and numerous screens. In the center of the room is a big white tube that is shiny and narrow.

It is almost time. The reason why you came here is finally happening. You wonder why you’re not more panicked.¬† Shouldn’t you be afraid, or at least concerned with what the results of this day could mean? Tomorrow you could be told that you may not live as long you hoped, perhaps you do fit in with the aged sick people around you, at least in terms of life span. Or maybe the suspicions of the doctor were wrong. You had to think the last thought. For the sake of sanity, you had to think everything was going to be okay. The man in blue is just double checking that everything is okay.

The man tells you to lie down on the tongue of the tube. The width of which was barely wider than your body.¬† The surface was hard and covered with a white cloth. He places headphones on your head that aren’t playing music and begins to place a white cage, similar to a football helmet, in front your face locking your vision forward, eliminating the option of looking from side to side. A stress ball attached to a thin wire is placed in your right hand with the instruction of squeezing it should you need him to stop. Suddenly soft rock is playing against your ears as the tongue is slowly pulled into the tube.

Slight paranoia fills your chest as you are engulfed into the tight white space. Through the headphones the man talks to you. He tells to lie completely still and relax, that this will take about twenty or so minutes. Then music is back; some guy bitching about his cheating girlfriend. Outside the headphones it sounds like an animal has declared war on a garbage disposal. Loud cranking noises, reee reee reee, thud thud, high pitched eeeeeekks, and a low boom boom boom take turns trying to overpower the music. Now a woman is singing words you can hardly understand under the loud machinery that you can’t escape. You breathe, trying to focus on the music. But the machinery was getting louder, all that could be heard was the groan and processing of the medical instrument that you were now a part of. Suddenly it is silent. You relish in the moment, thinking it is over; soon you’ll be put back into the world. Away from white tubes, blue scrubs, and red doors.

Then thud, thud, eeeeeekk, boom, reee, reee, and now a machine gun appear to be trying to attack through the shield of white. The background music is interrupted by the man‚Äôs voice asking if you’re doing okay. You say yes wondering where a microphone is that allows him to hear you. He informs you that there‚Äôs about ten or so more minutes to go. The faint music is back. As you lie still all you want in life is to move your body. Normally you fidget through the day, tapping your toes, running your hands through your hair, cracking your back. Movement. You miss movement. Lying still might as well be torture. You remember watching your mother punish your little brother, not through spanking or grounding, but through holding his arms still pressed against his tiny body. When you were a teenager you thought that was silliest punishment ever. He was never held for more than a minute. You haven’t been naughty. But you are being punished for a hell of a lot longer. You can feel you limbs cry out and ache with the desire to move even if only a flinch. Just the ability to know that they can wiggle, that the tube hasn’t taken away the ability to use muscles. To dance, to walk, to fidget. You cave, letting your big toe bend. Your anxiety lessens for a moment, and you once again force your muscles to remain still as a dead body.

Finally the tongue begins to move away from the tube. The man comes and takes off the white wires. You sit up and hand him the stress ball swinging your legs over the edge of the tongue, cracking your toes against the hard floor, stretching your muscles, reaching your arms out as far as they could as you turn your body in various contortions. It’s over. You’re led back to your cubbyhole. Back to the curtains. Back through red doors.

The wrinkled couple no longer waiting in the room of uncomfortable chairs.

Of a Single Lady Lover

Santana and Britney Dancing Gif

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Normally I’m the type that avoids romance like it was a steaming cup of gasoline¬†being poured down my throat. I’ve dated a bit, been in one actual relationship, and several of those we-act-like-we’re-dating-but-we’re-not-together situations. I don’t come from a family that prizes emotions. We praise wit, humor, apathy, and intelligence – emotional needs (and heaven forbid crying) are considered weakness.

But I’m just gonna say it, I want a girlfriend. It’s true. I’m not a detached zombie, I’m a human being damn it, and humans tend to long for all that cheesy bullshit they see in romantic comedies. I’m no different in that aspect, my issue is that I’m so accustomed to pushing away feelings that I don’t have the slightest idea how to begin a relationship.

I spend most my time with my co-workers or dancing buddies, all of whom I love dearly, all of whom are straight, and all of whom do not attract me in the ‘romantic’ sort of way. I don’t have very many gay friends anymore, considering that they are all spread out across the country, coast to coast … literally.

But my biggest problem is that I have a faulty gaydar, and secondly that no one thinks I’m gay. Even when I talk about women, wear rainbows, or make jokes, they are still surprised when at some point in a conversation I actually say the word. I’ve accepted that coming out will be a never-ending process.¬†I need to learn how to actually meet someone, a dancer if possible, but a sense of humor is a must – I have no interest in dating anymore incredibly serious people.

So yeah, I want a girlfriend, but meeting someone and then having the guts to actually go for it – are two events that probably won’t occur in my near future.

If anyone has awesome tips, I’m listening.

Of the Meaning Behind “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

The song, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, is currently a massive hit. Turn on any pop radio station, and within thirty minutes odds are you’ll hear it. Go to any night club, and at some point during the night the DJ will work the tune into the mix. Go on a road trip with me, and I guarantee you I’ll play the song because it’s damn catchy. If by some miracle you’ve yet to hear Call Me Maybe I put the music video below, it’s kind of adorable, just saying.

The songs popularity or the fact that I walked around downtown Bellingham with my friends belting this song at the top of my lungs last Sunday night is not my point. Seriously folks, this song is hella deep. So now, an in-depth look at Call Me Maybe:

“I threw a wish in the well, don’t ask me I’ll never tell,”¬†okay, noted, I will not ask you what you’re wish was Carly. I can respect that.

“I looked to you as it fell, and now your in my way,”¬†what this tells me is that Carly was trying to make her wish, that it was important pertaining to her future, maybe her career or grandparents health was dependent on it. I don’t know, I promised I wouldn’t ask. But this guy was in her way, forcing her to sidestep the purpose of why she was at this magical well.

“I trade my soul for a wish,” that’s just a bad idea.

“Pennies and dimes for a kiss,”¬†come on, surely your kiss must be worth at least a dollar!

“I wasn’t looking for this,”¬†people do always say that love finds you when you’re not looking for it.

“But now you’re in my way,”¬†again with the in her way, clearly she needs to take a step back and figure out how to get passed this male obstacle that just showed up in her life.

“Your stare was holdin’, ripped jeans, skin was showin’, hot night, wind was blowin’, where you think you’re going baby?” Here she finally says why this guy has such a hold on her, but from what I gather it’s all quite superficial, there’s absolutely nothing about his personality mentioned. Plus he tries to walk away, meaning, he either understood that he was in her way, as she mentioned twice already, or he simply is not interested. Maybe he’s taken, she’s not his type, or he’s gay, regardless he tried to walk away. Red flag Carly, red flag.

And now for the chorus, she starts to get repetitive here:
“Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?” This isn’t so bad, how are you supposed to get to know someone without sharing contact information.
“It’s hard to look right at you baby, but here’s my number, so call me , maybe?” Apparently he’s so pretty he’s blinding her. I also think it’s a little soon to call some baby when you’re just now giving them your phone number. Even if this is the second attempt at sharing digits.
“… And all the other boys try to chase me, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?” This just seem shady, bragging about how everybody wants you is not the way to win a guy over. And seriously, you only have to ask them to call you once, multiple¬†inquiries¬†is not going to help your cause.

“You took your time with the call, I took no time with the fall, you gave me nothing at all, but still you’re in my way,”¬†it seems quite obvious to me that he’s not interested. Perhaps he’s just playing hard to get but that seems unlikely, he’s showing you no attention. The key word here is still, he’s¬†still¬†in your way. This implies that some time has passed by, enough time to make his presence blocking her switch terms from now to still. What we don’t know is how long has it been: a day? a week? a year?

“I beg and borrow and steal,” woah woah woah! Carly, now you sound crazy. No wonder he’s not paying you any attention, he’s terrified of your and your stealing antics. My guess is that you borrow without asking and that your begging is profoundly annoying.

“At first sight and it’s real, I didn’t know I would feel it, but it’s in my way,”¬†now I’m a little confused, is she talking about the first sight of him or of the stuff that she’s stealing? And what is¬†it¬†exactly? She doesn’t seem to want to clarify.

So now she repeats what she likes about this guy, nothing changed he’s still pretty and trying to walk away. At this point she’s delusional in her endeavors. He doesn’t seem to care about her, and I don’t blame him, she straight up admitted to stealing. Then she uses the chorus to once again try to give him her number. He’s not calling you! He doesn’t want to call you! He doesn’t want your number! Take a hint, right now you’re inches away from a restraining order.

“Before you came into my life I missed you so bad, I missed you so bad I missed you so, so, bad … and you should know that. So call me, maybe?”¬†You can’t miss something you never had. However, that day at the well, when he was in her way, she realized that maybe her wish wasn’t exactly what she wanted. She wanted the pretty boy, that’s fine, love is supposed to sneak up on you (that’s half the fun). But she never progressed beyond that. When he didn’t show interest she didn’t return to the well, walk around her obstacle, and toss her coin in. An action that might have granted her wish that may have stopped her from turning into a begging, stealing, crazy lady that chased a boy who wasn’t interested instead of following her goals.

Message of the story: yes, he may be cute, but if he’s in your way he’s not worth the effort. He’s going to drive you to a point where you’re not your best self and honestly you’ll probably lose all your friends who get fed up with your childish ways. You have to find somebody who will work with you and support you instead of block you. Someone who has more than just physical beauty. Someone who doesn’t need you to¬†give them your phone number over and over again. Someone who actually¬†wants to call¬†you. Aka, someone who wants you.

See? I told you this was a deep song. So … call me, maybe?

Of the Prince Charming Epidemic

James Marsden in Enchanted

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Lyric’s come into being because someone felt, remembered, or dreamt something. As I’ve gotten older it these songs start to bare weight. I’m not saying that they make me nostalgic or that they remind me of better days. None of that sappiness. What’s irritating me is that I have one, count it one, person to link all the love songs to. Well, I dated a little in high school. But those relationships were far from meaningful. I don’t count those.

So … yeah … one.

By no means does this thought make me want him back and by no means do these memories make me sad. What it does is make me want a new, um … “special someone”… so to speak.

I’m officially over the single thing. Problem is – I’m a bad dater. I don’t notice when men flirt with me (unless they set off my creeper radar). My friends (and mom) tell me, “he was totally hitting on you” and I reply, “I had no idea.” I’m terrible at letting my feeling be known, even to myself. I lie to my brain thinking “Nooooo not him, I don’t like him.” Of course once it’s past the point of opportunity that’s when I realize “Huh, yep definitely liked him. Damn.” Then there’s my extreme independence. I do like being on my own. I’ve never been boy crazy – still not boy crazy (I don’t understand hyperventilating because a semi-attractive human being with a penis walked in the room). And regardless of horniness, I respect myself to much to sleep with a stranger or someone I am not interested in dating. That behavior just doesn’t mesh with my personality. If I were to suddenly be boy crazy and started sleeping around. My friends would worry. Though if that’s you’re personality power to ya, as long as your safe (condoms and such).

Thus I don’t actively pursue romance. Rather I wait and hope it comes floating by, glittering in the sky. And I’ll see the something shiny (all girls love shiny things) and grab it.

When I was younger my list of things required for a potential mate was crazy long. The shallowness of a Christian youth. Now that I’m older and “he has to love Jesus” isn’t on my list I really only care about four things: handsome, taller than me, funny, and willing to go Blues and Swing Dancing with me. End of list. I don’t think it’s impossible. I’ve met versions of him. Of course, he’s always taken but it does provide hope for us ladies. Settling is never an option.

Purpose of this rant: I’d like to have more than one human being to link songs to. I’d also like to stop day dreaming about the impossible.

Face it ladies. Prince Charming doesn’t exist. Fuck you Disney!

Things don’t turn out like romantic comedies.

And I have no idea why so many of you love Pride and Prejudice, personally I can’t finish the book (I’ve tried three times, never got past page 50). But I did watch the four-hour movie with Colin Firth and frankly Mr. Darcy doesn’t exist either. Why would you want him to? I’m sick of this “he’s so romantic and such a gentlemen” bullshit. Okay let us review: he thought he was better than the Bennet’s, he was cold and rude, convinced his friend to dump Elizabeth’s sister, made a rash proposal insulting Elizabeth in the process, but girls love him … I guess because he paid their families way out of ruin? I don’t know. P&P fans out there feel free to defend your precious Jane Austen. Just know that I will never agree with you. One of my dearest friend’s has a Jane Austen action figure complete with desk and quill – even she has never convinced me that Jane Austen is amazing.

Yep, definitely ready for a new romantic phase in my life. Not Prince Charming. Not necessarily Mr. Right.

Just Mr. Right Now.

Of Friends With Benefits

No Strings Attached, Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher

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Not long ago I wrote about being friends with ex’s, I reached no particular conclusion. Other than¬†that there is no clear answer. In regards to being friends there isn’t an obvious yes or no. It’s a gray area. Couple by couple basis.

However I would argue that friends with benefits cannot exist.

Former couples and individuals who are attracted to each other can be friends.

And a strictly benefits relationship can be¬†set up, though it is bound to be fruitless and disappointing if you’ve ever experience sex in a love relationship.

But friends with benefits is a guaranteed¬†fail. Emotions, even if slight, are involved. Traditionally the argument is that¬†someone is bound to get hurt. Meaning that one person will want more than the other. While yes this is probably true, in my experience that wasn’t what caused the hurt.

Recently my friends with benefits relationship with my ex came to a crashing halt. Not because he or I was wanting our relationship back. More because of the imbalance we were feeling. There was an emphasis on benefits over friends¬†in our situation which made sex essentially a hit-and-run. And that recurring¬†bang-and-be-gone, is what made both of us feel dirty. Last night, yes Valentine’s day, after cashing in on the benefits we discussed this issue.¬†This led to an heavy¬†but not heated conversation. Just being friend’s is tricky, we have to¬†switch our¬†routine out of the¬†rut we were in an a couple.¬†Because as a couple we weren’t¬†good for each other and arranging benefits was simply our way of subconsciously¬†clinging onto the past.¬†Though he admitted for him¬†it was conscious.

I feel good about the decision we made to stop the benefits. I also don’t feel bad that we continued our sexual relations after we broke up. We joked that we had break-up sex five times. It was part of our transition process, and I think we’re both in a better place now.

Of Friends with Ex’s?

Broken Up Couple

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When I propose the idea of being friends with an ex-lover I always get a varied reaction. I’ll sit and listen to cries of NEVER,¬† it’s hard, there’s too much history, you’re never really over the person, it complicates things. From the person who is still emotionally attached in a I-want-him/her-back kinda way. I’ve been told NO he’s an ass, I don’t want to see his face ever again. From the person who had a messy-heated-I hate you-(possibly) abusive relationship. Then there’s the¬†YES it’s definitely possible. I did it, we were better off as friends anyways. From the person who had a peaceful breakup. Sometimes the response will be a combination of one or more of the above reactions.

I’m sick of all this binary talk of emotions. Relationships current or previous, while they end, the remains don’t just disappear into the woodwork. Yes not seeing them will make it easier, and that time apart is essential to getting over someone. But the problems won’t magically fly into the heavens just because you’re boycotting another human being. Especially if some of those problems are self provoked. And just because with some ex’s you’re friends, doesn’t mean with all ex’s you can be friends.

I believe that everything in life is a matter of perspective, a case by case, person by person, there isn’t one solution, one answer. Life would be much simpler if it were.

All hail the mighty gray confusing area! Hear hear!

This topic occurred to me because I recently saw my ex for the first time in a month. I was expecting extreme awkwardness, spitefulness, sadness, tension, reigniting of feelings. You know, at least one of the above. What happened was different. It was comfortable. Almost like it was when we were together just without physical contact. What it made me miss wasn’t my ex-lover, it was my friend. I miss my friend. It’s a shame that sexual tension lingers around long after we want it to. We both want to be friends but life makes that a little more complicated. We basically have to start over as friends. I assume we’ll follow the typical Washingtonian formula for friendship: chat over coffee. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Coffee is the Washingtonian way of mingling. Going to a bar is to date like, or it might set higher expectations. Coffee is chill, relaxed, and homey.

I really wish befriending ex’s was simpler. I figure there are a select few elements which every ex-couple should consider: why do we want to be friends?, are we sure we can be platonic?, is the history too painful?, were we ever friends in the first place?