a man’s gotta be able to drive

…and by that, I don’t mean a car, necessarily, although it certainly helps in these parts. I mean he has to be able to grab hold of an opportunity and take forward action — not this lateral, side-stepping nonsense.

So, recently, when the magnum asked me when he could see me again, I replied to his text with “not sure. what do you have in mind?”

He replied:  “wine. dinner. beer.”

Me:  “ok. ask me on a date, then.”

Him:  “ok.”

Days later, I had heard nothing and I thought to myself:

  1. This doesn’t feel good to me. I want to be wanted, at least a little…pursued, if you will.
  2. I don’t like the way we communicate. Not once has a text or conversation between us stimulated my biggest erogenous zone, my mind.
  3. We’re in different places. I’m feeling myself again, enjoying my single life and thinking about being in an actual relationship with someone who’s also looking for a committed, life-long conspirator. The heart wants.
  4. It’s a terrible sign when a man doesn’t take the lead. Just think about being stuck in a relationship with someone who constantly leaves all the relationship-related work to you… Ugh! That was my first marriage! (My wasband actually said — without a moment’s hesitation — to a marriage counselor — when asked who was in charge of our relationship that it was me. Not us, as should be assumed in any relationship involving two or more people, but me, the person he expected would always take care of everything.)

A little more context:  the last time we’d seen each other, I mentioned that my ex and I were switching weekends so that my upcoming weekend was free — and, based on what he’d told me before, our child-free weekends were synched up. So he’d already had an open door to ask me out…if he’d wanted to. Over it.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re a guy, here’s your take-away:  a woman wants to be valued, asked out, planned for, picked up (if you know each other well enough for her to be comfortable with that), taken someplace special / thoughtful — where you have, of course, made reservations.

It sounds something like this:

“Hi, this is Chuck. I’d really like to take you to dinner Saturday night. Can I pick you up at seven?”

And your love interest, who will be exceedingly more intrigued by this powerful approach than the lame “when can I see you?”, responds positively and then you come back with: “Great, I’ve made reservations at [restaurant] at 8, and I’ll be wearing jeans and a sport coat, no tie.”

You’ve now told your date that you value her (or him) enough to plan ahead, pick her up and give her an idea of what to wear. Kudos. Great job! A winning approach.

It’s entirely true that I may not be representative of all women and not all women may be turned off by a lack of good communication. Some women even like to take the lead. To each her own…

And my own is not to waste more time where I don’t feel cherished.


besieged by emotional earthquakes

Not earthquakes, really; more like tremors. A shaking and unease where there ought to be some foundation. Anxiety about the mountains of work awaiting after the holiday, overwhelm about the housework, too much time cooped up in a house with only my children with the weather too cold to go out and enjoy it.

Seems I feel this way every year in the interim between Christmas and New Years. Not sure why, really.

This year I had insulation put into my walls — a messy proposition. The interiors of every exterior wall of our home had holes drilled every 16″ between the studs and insulation blown in. Then workers filled each of these holes with a styrofoam disk and slathered them in drywall mud.

After two days of dust, noise and workers, I was left with my belongings piled in the center of each room and covered in plastic covered with a thick layer of dust, patches that required sanding and some re-patching and sanding again, then priming, painting, cleaning and more cleaning. I’m still painting and putting things back in place.

The good news is that several consecutive ten to twelve hour days of cleaning took my mind off the existential tremors of insecurity about my work, my life, my finances, my future, etc.

Next year, remind me to go to Mexico instead.


i’ve taken a lover…a magnum lover

I know it’s a bit abrupt to start off just like that…because, after all, I haven’t really been forthcoming about what’s gone on for the past several months of my life.

Here it is:  I was in a relationship with a man who was kind, decent, generous and who wanted to make me happy. And I simply didn’t feel we were right for one another. Which I guess is to say that, where relationship work needed to be done, I didn’t have the passion for us to step into the ring and work it out together. With no detraction to him (or me or anyone else who feels this way), I wasn’t in love with him and I never felt as though he was in love with me. So I ended it. After probably letting it go on a bit too long.

And right around that time, someone who I’ve known a while and who has pursued me in the past and with whom timing or other circumstances has never aligned reached out and asked me out for dinner and a drink. We met, we talked and ate, and I cannot claim to have felt much. Even now, several weeks later, I am still processing my past relationship and the bizarreness of having such different emotional experiences for him and with him. But we’re talking about the new guy now…and that’s what you really want to know.

So I’ll tell you… We both have children and my ex, especially, has been a bit of a pill lately and not holding up his end of the parenting bargain, so we have a tough time finding opportunities to see one another. But, one night, after a particularly horny few days, I invited him over and he walked in and immediately pulled me to him, kissed me, began caressing and undressing me. It was fun to have someone want me in such a primal, unbridled way again. And it allowed me to feel sexy and uninhibited, as well. And practically virginal. That first time he felt so huge and I felt so tight and it was lovely, even as it was sometimes uncomfortable.

I’ve seen him just twice since and he still has that very primal desire going for him. Despite only a negligible age difference between us, his bedroom manner is young and coltish. He has technique but not exactly finesse. I know he would wish for me to tell you it’s the best sex of my life and, while it’s quite good, it’s not that. Please don’t think I’m complaining — I like that it’s a young, primal, animal energy and that it makes me feel so desired. And I love that he’s so take charge, yet listens to my feedback (or commands).

I also like that I’ve gotten more up close and personal with the wand making all the magic:  it’s larger than average in every dimension. The difference is most notable in my mouth, where I can’t possibly consume his entire shaft or even accomplish some of my signature tongue work while my lips are wrapped around him. My suspicion was confirmed when he pulled out a box of Magnum prophylactics. Safety first.

So what is this? It’s exactly what I need right now. I want a relationship, yet am entirely unready for a relationship and this fellow is not giving me a relationship. So what he’s giving me is some magnum-sized magic when I want it and making me feel like a total babe in the process. And it’s liberating.


here’s how I responded when a young person came out as bi

I suppose I should be flattered that a young person in my life approached me recently to tell me that she’s bisexual.

Here’s how I responded:

“All right. Do you want to talk about it?”

Here’s how I felt:

Freaked out. Because this youngster is only 13. And I guess I wasn’t ready to have someone in the same age range as my own children proclaim something about her sexuality. Not yet.

Here are some of the thoughts that ran through my head:

  • At 13, how on earth do you know something like that? Does that mean you’ve experienced something with someone? Already!? Or is it just a feeling? I mean, when I was young, we — meaning me and my friends, as far as I knew — didn’t know there was anything but heterosexual. I don’t recall being conscious of anyone around me being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, inter-sex or in any other way different from this so-called norm. Times were different. There weren’t television shows or movies with clearly homosexual characters. Of course, I now know of a few people from my small hometown who do not identify as straight, and I have many gay and lesbian friends.
  • Is being bisexual really a thing? Yes, I know, I know. I’ve heard that it legitimately is, but I can’t truly grasp it. I find women’s bodies beautiful. And I sometimes think about what a woman’s breast must look like or what it would feel like to caress it. But at the end of the day, I want a good, hard cock. I’ve always thought of myself as decidedly heterosexual. And sometimes also as bi-curious. But I’ve never thought of those things as mutually exclusive. Or of anything attraction related as mutually exclusive.
  • And because I’ve had this women’s-bodies-are-beautiful conversation with so many women in my adult life, I’ve just come to accept as normal that there is a fluidity to our sexuality and desires that flow across a spectrum. There doesn’t seem to be much sense in or need to label it.
  • Continuing from there… Is stepping into this label in some way harmful at such a young age? Is there a need to categorize oneself? Do others know? Will they persecute or bully? What land mines might await in her own psyche or in her experience as a result?
  • Is identifying as such a first step in coming out as gay or lesbian? Is this the get-the-adults-around-me-used-to-this-first approach?
  • In talking about it with this young person, I learned that a certain group of friends identifies as bisexual. So is this another one of those middle school things, like dying one’s hair or exchanging clothes, where they want to be like each other? Might it be a phase? Is it the cool thing to do or be? A dear older friend once told me about her daughter’s dalliance with a lesbian relationship in high school. This daughter went on to have a long term (now six years) relationship with a man through and after college. Will this young woman follow a similar path?

I’m certain many such musings paint me to be biased and ignorant. Truly, all of these ponderings flashed through my mind in the course of a couple of minutes. In the end, none of these things matter. As I told this young person, what’s truly important is to build loving, respectful, caring and healthy relationships with friends or lovers, in whatever relationships you choose, to honor your feelings and those of others, and to develop communication and other relationship skills.


a few observations

When you’re the one in the family who isn’t a serious hoarder, you always end up hosting your hoarding family for the holidays.

It’s important to teach your children how to manage their thoughts, to become their own best friend, and to cultivate a positive outlook. Especially a kid who veers toward anxiety. The earlier you can offer coping tools, the longer s/he has to develop those life skills while in your care.

It doesn’t matter how much you care for someone if you constantly feel stressed out in a relationship with him. You have to care enough for yourself to mind your own feelings.

Children should receive comprehensive, positive sex education that gives them the tools to speak their needs. More than being told to “just say no” to sex or drugs, they need practice developing the skills of how to say no, yes, faster, slower or a little to the left. I’m grateful my school has a solid curriculum and instructor(s), and I’m even more grateful to know that I’m surrounded by a community of parents who will take those conversations to the next level with their children.

It’s terrifying to raise a daughter in a world where an enormous population of girls’ genitals are still mutilated in the name of purity, where school dress codes are designed to make sure girls are not a distraction to boys, where colleges have no clue how to handle rape allegations, where lawmakers seem hellbent on standing between the reproductive decisions women should be making only with their doctors and loved ones, where slut shaming remains a rampant reminder of just how alive and well our gender-based double standards are, and where women are so frequently harassed or flamed for making feminist statements online. I have to regularly take deep breaths and ground myself just to stay sane, much less try to make sense of this crazy world for her.

Side note:  Jennifer Lawrence is right. The criminals who stole private images from her and other celebrities’  cloud accounts should be prosecuted for the sexual violations they’ve committed, just as they would be prosecuted if they’d been caught having stolen your banking information.

I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist. The resulting bruises on my body might suggest I’m the victim of a physical or sexual assault. On the other hand, cursing aloud at my practitioner does not seem to faze him. Therefore, I’m not sure whether to report him to some sort of authority or ask him if he’s single.

I can’t imagine dating someone with the perspective that birth control is a female’s responsibility, especially after children. If a man has sired as many children as he intends to sire, I firmly believe he should be willing to commit to that decision and have a vasectomy. Not everyone has to agree with me on this; likewise, not everyone has to date me.

Finally, when a young person comes to you and confides that she is bi-sexual and you say, “all right,” you have to wonder if you’ve under-reacted or dismissed the enormity of this thing she is telling you, while you simultaneously wonder about whether a young person should so readily embrace what might be a label, particularly given the fluidity along a spectrum that seems inherent among females. But the important part of responding was this:  “Regardless of whoever you choose, the important thing is to learn to build healthy, communicative, loving and supportive relationships.”

And OMG Bill Cosby!

All of these are things I’ve been thinking about in my long absence — and probably some are topics on which I’ll write more. But for now, let’s hold this space…this space in which some of these issues are just so big and overwhelming and controversial that they are difficult to wrap my head around. And let’s acknowledge that some are pithy or playful and, I hope, gave you a bit of a laugh.


the dog and the dragon

We were sitting in a Chinese restaurant one afternoon, musing on the paper place mat horoscopes. Turns out I’m a dog and he’s a dragon. So here’s what our Chinese restaurant place mat horoscopes say:

Dog:  Loyal and honest, you work well with others. Generous yet stubborn and often selfish. Look to the Horse or Tiger. Watch out for Dragons.

Dragon:  You are eccentric and your life complex. You have a very passionate nature and abundant health. Marry a Monkey or Rat late in life. Avoid the Dog.

As I began to read these aloud to him across the table in our little booth, I noted that we are both explicitly warned to stay away from one another. I began to play up this incompatibility when he interjected: “Well, that settles it — we’re never going to China!”

And this illustrates a number of the things I love about him — he’s quick-witted and genuinely funny (sometimes), and he doesn’t take much of anything too seriously.

 


the grass is getting greener

I’ve been seeing a fellow for a bit, and it’s such that he’s met the children and things. Folks around me use the word “serious” when they learn of this. I don’t know whether it’s serious or not, only that I feel cared for and loved as close to fully as I’ve ever felt. And that’s certainly a nice feeling.

One of the ways he cares for me is by being helpful, and he comes by it quite naturally:  he helps make and serve dinner, refusing to begin eating until I sit down to join him; he has the sort of handy skills that are transforming my basement and garage to vastly more functional spaces; he plans to paint a room while I’m away for a few days.

“It sounds like this guy really likes you,” my girlfriends have said.

He recently told me that I should anticipate having the greenest grass on the block this season.

For anyone who’s actually seen my block in the summertime, that distinction will be difficult to achieve; the DINKs have it won hands down. I’ve mentioned this double-income, no-kids couple before. They are workhorses, spending hours of work nearly every weekend perfecting their patch of urban landscape. She works tirelessly to plant and keep gardens, while his singular concern is the grass.

He of the DINKs spent years helping her fix up her home. The only way to enjoy a return on his investment, he teased, was to marry her. While he presents a sometimes gruff demeanor to the world, she enjoys a full-on adoration I’ve yet to witness in another couple. He is lavish in his affections, and spends two or three vacation days cooking, cleaning and preparing for her birthday party each summer. She basks in it and is grateful, and I am quite sure he needs no more than that.

So, back to the conversation at the bar the other night, during which my boyfriend claimed my lawn would look like a golf course. I thought of the DINKs down the street, a realization dawned on me, and I smiled.

“What are you smirking about?” he asked.

“You’ve yet to say so, but you love me,” I replied knowingly.

“Yeah.”

“Why haven’t you said so before?” I asked.

“I didn’t know whether you wanted me to,” he replied.

Our conversation went on for some time after that, and I continued to chuckle about the love equation at which I’d arrived:  green grass = love.

“I don’t want you to think the grass is greener somewhere else,” he said before he kissed me goodnight.


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