Sunday, January 30, 2011

Helpful Hints

Dear Internet,

Let's talk about sex, baby grammar, puncuation, and appropriateness.  Which in my book gets you one step closer to sex because it turns me on when a man can string two sentences together and is polite enough to use spell check.  And I don't think I'm alone in this.  So here are some helpful hints for those of you who online date like I do:

  1. If you reread your email before sending it and the words, "I'm a poet and I didn't know it," come to mind you should hit delete and start over.  You might find your ability to rhyme lass with something other than ass charming but chances are all you're going to get is laughs.  And not in that with you but at you way.  Not the first impression you want to make.
  2. Fishin.  Hutin.  Readin.  Are not words.  Go ahead and add that G at the end.  It makes you seem more sophisticated.  In fact, let's just go ahead and spell all words correctly.  If you have any questions about that there's a friendly little helper you can use-spell check.
  3. Are you on adult friend finder?  Ok, then send that seven point outline of what you want to do to her shoes.  If you're not then keep that one to yourself until you're a couple dates in.  Fantasies, desires, wants, fetishes, are not appropriate topics to lead with.  If I wanted to be hit on like that I'd just wear a low cut top and go to a bar.  But part of why I pay for a profile is so I don't have to deal with creeps like you.  Keep it somewhat classy until I get to know you a little better.  Then feel free to let your freak flag fly as high as you want. 
  4. Do not use your profile to vent about your ex.  We've all had bad breakups but we're here now trying to find our match.  Let it go.  And if you can't then maybe you should take your profile down until you can. Because that tirade you went on about cheating makes you seem like a crazy person.  And crazy people don't easily get dates.
  5. Post a picture.  Answer all the questions.  The truth is going to come out eventually anyway.  Might as well just find the courage to be up front.  Saves a lot of time and heart break in the long run.  Plus, it's better assurance that you aren't trying to hide a third eye or serial killer past.  And if you want to meet in person I've got to feel like you're safe.  Knowing what you look like helps with that.
And yes these are all based on real life experiences.  I'll have to tell you about them sometime because aside from being kinda sad they are funny.

What did I leave out?


Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am a Woman, Hear me Bitch

Dear Internet,

If you know me from my previous blog and I know some of you do.  I see my stats.  My referring sites.  Then you know over there I was pretty open and blunt about my dating life.  Maybe even a little too confessional.  Here I've really tried to rein that in.  Out of respect for the other involved parties.  For privacy. Discretion.  And a myriad of other moral ideals.  But I'm having a hard time keeping my mouth shut because some pretty craptastic things have happened to me recently in that area of my life.  Things that have made me pretty disgruntled.  Disenchanted.  Depressed.  About modern dating.

This study only added fuel to that fire.  Really, girls?  Really, boys?  Frivolous sex and porn.  That's what I'm competing against?

Sometimes I hate the feminist movement.  Can't stand Sex and the City.  Am annoyed by MTV.  Because part of what they've all tried to tell us is that modern women should behave like men.  Should have multiple sexual partners at once.  Should do sex without love and commitment.  And that if we don't.  If we can't.  Then we're weak.  Then something is wrong with us.  And I'm not sure I'm ok with that.

To me feminism is not about denying female qualities in favor of more stereotypical males ones.  It's about being a woman.  Reveling in that.  Delighting in that.  Celebrating it.  Because it's a hell of a lot different than being a man, but it's just as valid.  And I shouldn't have to down play my nature to be considered equal.

Different can be equal.  It just takes more work.

And I think we do that work a great disservice when we try to pretend love, and relationships, and marriage isn't important to us.  When we try to be one of the boys.  Because really that's not how we are wired.  And if you don't believe me just read this book.

I don't think it's less than to want.  To desire.  To expect.  Commitment.  Love.  Devotion.  A house.  A picket fence.  And 2.1 children. 

I think it's less than to settle for less than.  To give it up when what you really want is love.  To be ok letting a guy be in when it's convenient for him.  But out when it's not.

And sure I'm more than this.  I have an education (a damn good one).  And a career.  And talents.  And hobbies.  And some of you are ok with the frivolous sex.  Or don't want the children.  And that's fine.

But to me a full life is sharing.  Is being caught.  Because I'm a damn good catch. 

And it takes a hell of a lot of courage to admit that.  To say-not only do I want to be loved.  But I fucking deserve it.  And I won't act like I don't just so you'll sleep with me.  I'm better than that.  And worthy of more.

But those are just my two very angry cents.  I know you have your own.  And I love that.  Because that's what equal is about.  Letting people be different and being ok with that.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Holding Up My End of the Deal

Dear Internet,

I'll never forget when I rounded the corner and saw you standing there flipping through the racks of sheets.  It was the prettiest I'd ever seen you.  You looked happy.  Comfortable.  Something that hadn't happened in months.

You smiled when you saw my face.  Said you knew it was me because of the way I walked.  You showed me your freshly painted nails and new wig.  Then made me tell you which ones I thought best matched the curtains.  Would be the softest.  Because you couldn't stand the idea of cheap and scratchy being the last thing you felt.

You laughed and joked.  And told the checkout girl when she complimented your hair, "It's a wig, but Lord knows I paid enough for it I'm calling it my own."  

I remember that day because I was able to briefly forget.  You weren't a woman with cancer.  You weren't dying then.  You were just someone shopping on a random Tuesday in June.  Someone buying toilet paper and dog food.  Like regular people do.

You would have been 57 today.  So, I bought a cake and made some chicken salad.  I'll watch To Gillian on her 37th Birthday tonight.  And I'll whisper to you-Do I tell you enough?  Do I tell you too much?

And I'll wish you were still here so I could tell you at all.  So, I could meet you at Target and pick out new dishes.  Or buy deodorant and shampoo.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lyrics I Like: The Decemberists

Dear Internet,

It happens to me all the time but I'm always amazed when it does.  When the perfect thing I need drops right into my lap.  This album is that for me right now.  This year hasn't exactly gotten off to the best start and blasting this on repeat has helped.

Songs I particularly love because of their relevant lyrics:
  • Don't Carry it All- "...and you must bear your neighbor's burden within reason/and your labors will be born when all is done/and nobody nobody knows/let the yoke fall from our shoulders/don’t carry it all don’t carry it all..."
  • Rise to Me-"...I am going to stand my ground/you rise to me/It will blow you down/I'm going to stand my ground..."
  • January Hymn-"...maybe I should just let it be/and maybe it will all come back to me..."
You should listen to it.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Fight Fair

Dear Internet,

Sometimes you get your panties in a wad.  Steam comes out of your ears.  Your blood boils.  You spit nails.  Other times you have to deal with someone else's steam, or blood, or spit.  But you don't have to be uncouth when you find yourself foaming at the mouth.

Here are some rules I try to follow when there's heat under a collar:
  1. Everyone just really wants to be heard.  So, zip your lips, nod your head, and give it a go.  When you can hear what's under the screaming you're more likely to be nice.  And no one can resist you when you're being charming.
  2. But try not to scream.  Take a deep breath.  Walk around the block.  Punch a pillow.  And bring it down a decibel.  You're much more becoming when you aren't so red.
  3. Don't bring up that one time, when he did that one thing.  True ladies really do forgive and forget.  So just stick to the issue at hand.
  4. As much as you want to call him a good for nothing scoundrel no good can come of that.  Bite your tongue and keep your swear words to yourself.
  5. If you get stuck say-I feel....when.... or go for broke and offer up an I'm sorry for...
  6. Lastly, a well timed joke or cute observation can do wonders for the conversation.  But be careful about how you play this one, ladies.
What did I leave out?


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Musical Time Line of My Love

Dear Internet,

There are some songs that are so intrinsically linked to the men I've loved I can't hear them without gasping...

The Southern Gentleman
He was captain of the soccer team.  Tan.  And beautiful.  He sailed and swam and I thought we'd get married and have two little girls.

We went to the river, to the beach, cooked dinners, drank beer.  It was easy and we were young.

He thought this song was perfect for me.  It became our joke.  Something he would sing to me while smiling because I was reckless and he was safe and that fascinated him.  Like striking a match just to watch it burn.

Meet Virginia-Train

But it couldn't last.  We were just kids after all.  Shortly after he went off to college, he broke up with me.  I listened to this and cried myself to sleep.


The Writer
He wore black turtlenecks and horned rimmed glasses.  We discussed Kerouac over red wine.  We dreamed of leaving our families.  Of breaking the rules.  Living off the land.  And growing old together.  It was tumultuous and passionate and full of fights. They way we thought artists should love.

When it was good he said he was going to sing this to me at our wedding.

Crazy Love-Van Morrison

When it went bad, I curled up in bed and listened to this album on repeat.  Specifically this song.  Because the irony that I was actually a painter was not lost on me.

Painter Song-Norah Jones

The Fling, The RA, and various other unnamed sins
They were brief.  And uncommitted.  Fueled by alcohol and late nights.  Mostly fun until they weren't. 

Do You Realize-The Flaming Lips

All is Full of Love-Bjork

Forty Days and Forty Fights-Badly Drawn Boy

Blind Love-Tom Waits

They all ended as such things do.  And when they did, they were only worthy of a few tears and my classic "breakup" song.  I usually played it for the week because by the weekend there was always someone new to briefly love.

Untouchable Face-Ani DiFranco

The Boyfriend
He was the first significantly older man I'd ever dated.  He had curly gray hair and wore trousers.  My parents did not approve.

He drank too much, yelled too much, made love to me too much.  He took me out dancing and to the country club.  We had little in common and rarely ever really talked.  But we were content with convenience and lust.  And for awhile, it was enough.

He'd wake up early, put this album on, and piddle around the house while I half slept tangled in his sheets.  And as the sunlight laid across my bare shoulders, I'd watch him through the cracked door humming and happy.

The King of Carrot Flowers, Part One-Neutral Milk Hotel

When he started talking about marriage I packed my stuff.  And while I knew it was for the best, I still mourned him.  But only when driving around in my car.

Samson-Regina Spektor

The Duke
I loved him.  There was going to be a ring.  Then all that changed when I had to leave Paris and care for my dying mother.  Our relationship and its ending much too complex for only a few sentences.

But lying in bed, looking at the Eiffel Tower, he would whisper this album to me.  I would smile and giggle and hold his face in my hands.  Content I'd found my one.

Surfing on a Rocket-Air

When we met our tragic end-and it was tragic-there was no music.  Only the sounds of beeping hospital machines, burning cigarettes, and desperate transatlantic phone calls.  Nothing was big enough to hold my grief.  

The Musician
It was good.  It was bad.  It was too long.

But when he first heard this song, he cried and hugged me.  And for a moment I really believed that he loved me.

Paris 2004-Peter, Bjorn, and John

When I woke up in the middle of the night and kicked him out, I didn't mourn.  I went out dancing.


The Old Guy
I've written about this before.

It started big and quick.  I thought I'd found another one.  Because he lit me up just like The Duke did.  We wrote each other love notes and stayed up texting.  He took care of me when I was sick.  And kissed me in all the right places.  We made plans.  I thought about being his wife.

He said this song made him think of what seeing New York with me would be like.

Taxi Cab-Vampire Weekend

After he left me brownies and a note basically saying-I can't, don't hate me-I cried in the shower to this song because I felt like I really had wasted my (second) chances at true love.

We Dreamt of Houses-The Awkward Stage

Do you have songs like this?  Ones that punch you in the stomach with remembering?  What are they?


Sunday, January 9, 2011

#112-Buy a Dyson

Dear Internet,

It's sleek.  It's expensive.  It's been in museums.  And no I'm not talking about Anna Wintour's sunglasses.  I'm talking about every hipster's wet dream-the Dyson vacuum cleaner. 

For a long time I thought it was the only redeeming part of having to register for wedding gifts and something it'd take me years to obtain.  But it turns out when you have a dead mother and a father who shows his love through extravagant Christmas gifts, you don't need a ring.

Just the balls to ask for the 500 hundred dollar thing.  So, I did.  And come Christmas day Santa delivered.  And I started cleaning.  It's been two weeks and I haven't stopped.  Because what they say is true.  This vacuum is the bee's knees.  The cat's meow.  The dog's bollocks.

And getting it got me one item closer to completing my life list.

Cheers to that.  And being able to vacuum the dog.

This year is going to be so clean.