Tag Archives: love

Jezebel

Look closely, love.

She’d invited me to dinner. And she was striking. We met on an elevator in the downtown Sanford & Sons, Inc building. The doors opened on the 16th floor and there she stood, looking down and to the right. One brilliant face in a sea of blurred eyes and noses and mouths. They mattered naught. Obviously uncomfortable, she had tear-stains barely noticeable in the corners of her eyes. A beautiful sight. Poor thing. Weak and distressed. Perfect. I chose to occupy a space beside her. How could I not?

“Take this,” I whispered as I pressed a small handkerchief against the outside of her left hand. She pulled away slightly, paused, then turned her palm open to mine, and accepted my small gift. Connection. No one else in the elevator would’ve even noticed her delicate movements. She dabbed the sides of her eyes with swift precision, as though she’d done it before….many times. The memory of those first few moments are as sharp and piercing as, well, the final.

Her skin was like the finest velvet, the passes of blush on her cheeks danced just ever so slightly on her supple skin. Her eyelashes were like tiny palm leaves, but thick, languid…and dark. But her lips, her lips, they were like something carved from marble. Full, curved, red, inviting. And yet…they were attractive in an unusual way as well. Attractive in their…familiarity? We left that elevator, the quickest descent I’d ever experienced, together. And we walked. I stayed by her side and she never flinched. With each step she staightened further, her steps became less inconsistent and she gained confidence. Her shoulders pulled back and her chin raised. She lifted her lashes in my direction.

“Well”, she breathed “I suppose we should at least have a coffee”. I nodded. Coffee. A walk through central park. A movie. Another coffee. Lunch. Dinner. Another dinner. And by this time our third day of acquaintance had arrived I was yearning, dreaming, enveloped in the thought of those beautiful lips. Her warmth and attraction was inexplicable. I wanted her. The decision was made and decisions aren’t made to be retracted. She invited me to her place for dinner.

The table was set beautifully. Champagne awaited us. Her dress, though, my goodness, it was exquisite. White and slender, gently wrapping her curves in a halo that only silk can achieve, she occupied every thought, every moment. I was drunk at the very sight of her, but accepted the champagne with a welcome pause. She asked me to be seated while she prepared final touches. I could think of no better thing than to remove myself from an upright position, I was already afraid of stumbling. This woman, so foreign yet so familiar. The mystery, her beauty, her mystique…I was dumbfounded.

“I made your favorite,” she cooed from the kitchen her back to me. I could only muster a murmur of acknowledgment. I was fixated on her visage. She turned with two plates in her hand and smiled. I almost died. She set her place first, then came sround to serve me. The plate came into view, and so did the harrowing glisten of a medical-grade syringe. But her movements were too swift, and it was too late to question, to jerk away, to do anything…the steel tip had already found a home in my side. I winced…and slumped. She returned to view in front of me. Her chin up, and eyes piercing downward from under those incredible lashes. She pulled her long gloves from her wrists and I saw them. The answer to the questions that’d been swimming in my head for these few days. The reason. The explanation. The tattoos.

This was the Jezebel I had tried so hard to avoid. This was the woman who, deep down, though I avoided the thought for knowing it’s truth, I knew would always be the end of me. This was her sister. This was the woman she said would hunt me down for all of my indiscretions. Here she was. Staring. Her sweet smile turning sinnister. Sickly. She was looking at her one hatred. She pulled a photograph from under the table and opened it before me. I could feel myself fade, whether from shock or the drugs, it didn’t matter. The energy of my life was rushing from my body….each second a decade of life, gone. There she was, the photo, my ex-wife. I had had it taken before I’d done the deed. I wanted something for her family to have, after all. How haunting it was to see her now. How haunting it was to see her lips on the paper as well as before me, pursed and seething. But they were so beautiful… “I want you to see her face as you die,” she growled. “I want her face to be your last and everlasting thought. And consider it a favor, you sick pig. If it had been anyone other than Daisy I would’ve dismembered you section by section and had you watch your own body be fed to dogs”. I looked at her, imploring. No speech. No words. Nothing left. This was my due. This was that moment. Her lips curled upward. Her lashes lowered…and she looked down and to the right.

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Valentine’s Day’s 8 Most Annoying Single Women

– said the happily in love person

Valentine’s Day is stressful when you’re with someone and annoying when you’re not. Here are the 8 single women to avoid on V-Day.

1. The Pre-teen:

So awkward. About as awkward as wishing your friend’s mom a Happy Mother’s Day. (Oooh shit, I mean, ah! You’re not my MOM!)

Obviously far too concerned with the IMAGE of being single, rather than singleness itself. Will probably skip half of 5th period to go cry dramatically in the girl’s bathroom and leave mascara stains strategically placed in the corners of her eyes so her friends will fawn over her with attention for the rest of the day. Voted most likely to not actually want a Valentine.

2. The Recently Single-d:

Well…you’re in luck!

Voted most likely to send her ex a drunk text by the end of the night. Then call you to cry about how much she both misses him as well as what a total asshole he was.

3. The Subtle Hater

Got it. No dead, limp things on V-day. Please.

Voted most likely to be the angry drunk at last call in the bar tonight. Also see: May be found man-bashing with an also-single lesbian with ulterior motives.

4. The Sarcastic Commiserator:

Denial. It’s a coping mechanism.

Voted most likely to spend the day texting, talking, emailing and cornering other single people to support their cause. After feeling like they’ve triumphed, they’re most likely to be found crying over Ben and Jerry’s and watching Made for TV romances on Lifetime.

5. The Fisherwoman:

Well if yer screamin’ it at people, yeah, yeh will be…

Casting a net of sympathy responses as wide and as unabashed as Honey Boo Boo’s mom. If you respond, you’re feeding her low self-esteem. If you don’t, you’re feeding her low-self esteem. Good luck. Voted most likely to be single next V-day as well.

6. The Flip and Twist-ers: 

Oh for the love of….

These folks will manipulate a negative situation into a positive one or SO HELP THEM! They are also voted most likely to consciously or unconsciously seek a one night stand. Luckily, the Flip and Twist is also a pretty effective sex position. Git it onnn.

7. The Brazen Vixen

Whoa there, turbo. No really, does it have turbo?

This girl was probably asked out on quite a few Valentine’s Day dates and denied them all because she can. Voted most likely to end up in bed with another woman. Because there’s no time to experiment like the present…

8. The WTF?

I’ll celebrate Hans Solo any ol’ day….

WHY this chick doesn’t have a boyfriend? No one knows. She’s the diamond in the rough. The creme dela creme. The perfect combination of hotness, low-maintenance, sporty, sexy, chill, awesome that haunts every boy’s wet dreams. If you find one of these on V-day, do one of two things: 1) ask her out, or 2) see option one. Voted most likely to have friends who secretly resent her.

For the rest of us “sane” ladies out there, single on this hallowed of days, I wish you all the best!


Leftovers: An ex’s last letter

Whether it be a final text, the last phone conversation, or a well-written tome of an email – the final, parting words to an ex are often a difficult, drawn-out, and emotional experience. It’s not easy choosing those words, especially if the relationship ended poorly (which, come on, even when a relationship ends on the best of terms, it’s still not ideal. The relationship, you know, ended!). 

I’ve been fortunate enough in my love-travels to’ve been the bearer of both the beautiful, heartfelt goodbye as well as the “fuck off you disgusting prick, I don’t ever want to hear from you again” screaming match (…what. He deserved it). I’ve received these letters and phone calls as well; and they’ve been sweet and sorrowful, desperate and upsetting, cruel and vindictive, and short and matter-of-fact.  They’ve all been difficult to deal with (anyone who claims to’ve endured an easy breakup is lying to you and/or themselves. If it doesn’t hurt at all, then you really never fully committed. And if you didn’t really fully commit, you weren’t in a relationship… you were tolerating another human presence in your life). But they’ve all been eye-opening. They’ve forced me to be honest with myself and my decision-making. Which really, when it comes down to choosing a partner, the success of that relationship bears heavily on how much we know about ourselves and our values, which in turn clarifies what we seek out in others, and so on. 

Now, while I did get a degree in counseling, I’m not a counselor; I have no access to studies and data to back this up, but I would venture to guess that there is one universal truth about those “final words” between ex’s. And that is: we always hope that they will reveal some profound understanding or epiphany about the relationship. We hope that the parting words will make the breakup more bearable. And we hope that in that moment, the pain and heartache will be at it’s worst, and that it will dissipate from there.

They never do, it never does, and it never is. 

This can be explained partially by the old cliche “when God (or whomever) closes a door, he (or whomever) opens a window”. The “parting words” are an attempt to close the door, to end the chapter, to bandage the wound and other vapid cliches as well. But in blurting out your heart, your deepest emotions, your truths and your secrets as a last ditch effort to separate yourself from someone, you’ll likely end up opening a window – a window of “why the fuck did I wait until this whole thing was over before I said all that”?

This also explains why our “parting words” rarely ever truly are our parting words. 

Though we wouldn’t like to admit it, most of us (myself very much included) have re-contacted the recipient of our “parting words” for another “parting conversation” or “clarifying conversation” or worse: the “I’ve been thinking a lot about what I/you said and maybe we would work things out if we give it a shot” conversation. And honestly? That’s fine! It’s normal (shit, it’s almost expected)! It’s part of the process of understanding ourselves and our decision-making. Why wouldn’t we seek more information, more clarity, and a better understanding of what happened so that we can learn, grow, and make more informed decisions in the future?

Why wouldn’t we? Why?

Because those realizations can really suck. They hurt. We almost KNOW that they’re going to hurt and yet we still venture out there and ask. We reach back into the pot and scramble around hoping to find anything left of any hope or happiness, so as not to feel like the time spent with this person was a waste. 

And ultimately, THAT is the lesson to be gained from the whole experience. “Parting words” can feel like a funeral dirge. They can feel so wrong, so upsetting, so hopeless; and almost as though they negate any and all of the beautiful aspects of the relationship prior to that. But parting words are just a complicated goodbye. And while you can certainly learn a few things in that final process, MOST of what you will have gained from that relationship happened when you weren’t overthinking it; when you were just experiencing life with that person and exploring the relationship. 

So… I say with reverent irreverence, let’s let leftovers be leftovers. Or at least acknowledge them for what they are: the crust crumbs on a pie pan a week after Thanksgiving; they’re simply not going to satisfy. 

 

 


Love and Hesitation: The kiss

It didn’t matter that the sun had set an hour ago, I was melting. And sitting in the back of the truck, legs dangling, the cool steel soothed the fire in the air. This dress might be too short – I thought. Too late.

“This is some view, huh…”. His voice carried off, almost dreamily, into the warm high desert air. And he wasn’t wrong. The city skyline blazed before us, all lights and energy, set off by the vague outline of the desert mountains behind it. It was a bold frame. His body was close to mine, he had been inching himself nearer for the better part of the last hour. And not unnoticeably. My brain was whirring, like it always does. The romance, the beauty of this moment was undeniable. My own loneliness, also undeniable. His heart and genuine personality, a catch. And yet…my hesitation. It was present, it was palpable, it meant something.

“You’re incredible, you know that. I’ve never met someone so beautiful. And I can’t even find words for how you look tonight…” his voice trailed. I wasn’t used to men like this; men who expressed their emotions so freely. Not that I didn’t like it or want it, I just didn’t know quite how to accept it, or process it. “…you’re just so beautiful.” His eyes went from mine, to my neck, down to my legs and back to my eyes.

He wants to kiss me. 

And so my brain became a snake caught in the claw of a hawk. So squirmed the thoughts of a girl torn between the beauty of a romantic moment, and the realities of her heart. I didn’t want to be with this person. He wasn’t for me. I wasn’t all that physically attracted to him. That was the brutal truth of it. But every other aspect of the moment, down to the spreading blanket of stars above us, his endearing smile and sweet half-sentences, had me caught up and ready to compromise. Was I a terrible person to think this way? Was this misleading? Am I that person right now?

The silence lasted too long. My thoughts had dissociated me from him and he felt it. He jumped down from the truck and stood in front of me. I grew anxious. Yep, this dress is definitely too short.  I put my hands in my lap to cover what else I could. He pulled my legs from my feet…bringing me closer to him. His hands made their way from my ankles to my calves, but his fingertips hesitated just above my knees.

“Your legs are absolutely amazing”. His hands traced them, his face was innocent and focused. And I, well, I just laughed…nervously. Do I want this? Should I rationalize my impulse to say no and chalk it up to just being nervous? Could it be that I’m just being hesitant to get back into the world of dating? His hands began to go further up my thigh, and when they reached the point where my legs met the steel of the truck, they stopped. He pulled his hands down, let them take a place on the truck on either side of me, and leaned forward.

He was no longer tentative. I had really counted on his hesitation matching mine. But it didn’t. He surprised me. Crap.

He pulled my eyes to his and locked them there, softly. With no expression, he let one hand slide behind me and rest on the small of my back. He lightly maneuvered his body so that I opened my legs and with a quick surge of strength he pulled me close to him. Oh, and I melted. I melted and the hesitation evaporated in the heat around us. I hadn’t counted on that. I hadn’t counted on a burst of passion.

His lips brushed against mine. What wisps of second-thoughts I may’ve had…were lost in the swarm of new, more powerful emotions. We kissed.

I let go…

And for that moment I was in heaven. Giving in felt like, undeniably, the right thing to do. Letting his words calm my nerves, letting his touch breathe new life into my skin, it felt so right. And I clung to that moment, that swarm of new emotion for as long as I could. And yet soon the firefly I’d found, so bright and instantaneous, wondrous and beautiful, began to slip away. I could feel doubt creeping back in. And then guilt. Guilt. The true gradient by one can decipher one’s actions. That manipulative little devil had found her way inside and latched onto my conscience.

I am that person right now. I swallowed hard, pushing that bitch, guilt, down into my gut where she belonged. He was ready to continue. His eyes had closed, he was leaning in again. I put a hand on his chest, stopping him. His eyes opened. And I’m sure he saw mine, pained.  He must’ve understood. His body relaxed under my hand and he drew away, but only slightly. He wasn’t giving up entirely.

And I realized…”letting go” had led me to fall down a Wonderland-like hole: confusing and complicated, and my responsibility to fix. Such a brief moment in time, and so important. It was a lesson that stuck in my heart, guilt’s menacing scar, a brand that I’ll always have as a reminder of the importance of even small actions. And that there are no small actions when it comes to love.


“Deal”-ing with my deck of cards

I’m not usually one for cliches (puns, on the other hand…), but yesterday I spent what was probably too much time (in retrospect) thinking about the phrase “everyone’s dealt a hand in life and it’s how you play it that counts”. One of my prefrontal cortex neurons must’ve sizzled, flickered, and then snapped into its A-game because this little cliche really rang true.

Up until just a few months ago, I was a young and carefree, well-educated, very blessed individual going places and making a name for herself (or was I? More on that, later). And out of the blue, a very serious and yet-to-be-diagnosed health problem struck me from my place in life and left me scared, a shell of my formal person, removed from life and suddenly questioning every decision I’d ever made. My deck of cards had changed, I’d been given another card…one I hadn’t thought to prepare for, nor did or do I really know how to deal with. But it’s there, and I’m forced to “play” the card in reference to my life.

My deck of cards is really the afterthought in this particular musing of mine, because REALLY what I came to realize is just HOW much respect I have for those people in the world who are forced to play their bad hand, and the succession of bad deals thereafter, for their entire lives. To be born into poverty, to not have a secure and stable family for support, to feel trapped by your circumstances every day, to deal with emotional, physical or sexual abuse, to be the living relative after tragedy takes your loved ones away, there are so many situations that are impossible for me to imagine. And yet, there are so many people who take them in stride every day. I cannot begin to express my admiration. And as a point of comparison, it leaves me humbled and sickened by my own whining.

Those cards make my deck look like a glowing beacon fueled by promise, hope, and really good luck! So…who am I to complain? I shouldn’t complain. And I feel so much guilt in feeling like my deck of cards is unfair. In comparison, it’s not. But it’s also not perfect. My deck of cards starts off well-enough: I was born tall and beautiful (though I still don’t “believe” it) to a family who loves me and would support me in any endeavor. I have extended family who feel and act like best friends. I am well-educated and was given many opportunities there. I am athletic, creative, and funny. I am driven and independent and always seeking new ways to grow.

I also suffer from severe anxiety and depression, brought on partially by hormonal imbalances and partially through dealing with the (really, really) negative consequences of making (really, really) poor decisions while in that unbalanced state. I have worked for years to develop a love of my self, but have instead found myself focusing only on my negative qualities. And the degree of self-loathing I carry with me has permeated every relationship, personal and professional, since it reached it’s peak 6 years ago. I deal with an extremely frustrating eating disorder brought on by the anxiety and fed by the self-loathing. And I cannot connect with people to save my life. I have never felt more isolated than I do today.

So there’s my deck. The good and the bad. But like the cliche says, it’s how you PLAY the cards that counts. So when it comes to my random, life-altering illness…I chose to deal with that with humor. I’m trying to see positivity in every blood test and doctor’s visit. When it comes to the anxiety, depression, self-loathing and eating disorder…things get a little tough. It’s almost like the chicken and the egg conundrum. Which came first? Which caused what?

I’ve taken, these past few months, to trying to a) focus on my positive attributes and to become more self-loving, and b) to focus my thoughts outward, not inward. The more I try to figure myself out, the less I can. And the more frustrated and anxious I get. Which makes me depressed. And so on…

Perhaps the ony thing wrong with this cliche is that it leads you to believe that your deck of cards is dealt and final from birth. That you’ll never have another card, nor that you’ll ever be able to toss one out. While I have yet to toss one out, I have been the recipient of a new one. And it really taught me how to play this “game”. So, perhaps one day in the near future, I’ll have played out the usefulness one of my negative cards (because, I know that as negative and as hormonally-influenced they are, they’re also coping mechanisms and have a purpose in my life, however maladaptive they may be) and reach for a better one…

..or simply play the ones I have now with certain skilled, positive prowess. =)

 


February is a bitch

Minus the short days, the frigid air, this bipolar mountain community that either wants more pow-pow or less, the seemingly endless couples who’ve paired up for a long winter’s snuggle, and the lack of legitimate holidays to look forward to, February is pretty great! In fact, February might be my favorite month of the year – sarcasm – and here’s why:

There’s nothing more uplifting than being reminded that you’re STILL single. Even though, yes, you’ve made it through the holidays having brought no one to the half dozen Christmas parties you attended. Even though you answered the truly callous “really? You’re still single?” inquiries with grace and poise (something like *insert sarcastic mootone voice here*: “because I fucked every guy in this town plus I’m having low self-esteem issues and I think I might be attracted to women). And EVEN though your New Year’s resolution not to text a single man out of desperation had, until this point, been a success, it’s still NOT ENOUGH for the gods of poorly-timed holiday succession. No, you see… now you have to lick your emotional wounds while watching everyone else fucking flourish. February….goddamn you.

And while February certainly sucks for single folks, she’s also kind of a bitch to everyone else, too. There you are thinking you’ve made it through the season of romance when February comes along and says: “your significant other is expecting you to display how much you love him/her in a few weeks. Do NOT disappoint.”

And you say, “but I just literally spent my entire year’s savings on his/her Christmas gift! And he/she absolutely loved it! How the f*ck am I gonna top that?!”

February says, “do I look like a relationship counselor to you? I just enforce the holiday, I didn’t make it up. Quit your whining and concoct a brilliant gesture of romance that is neither cliche nor under-par.”

This, I’m convinced by the way, is why so many men begin to think of us as impossible to please. They exhaust their romantic minds to the point of breaking for what they THINK is the most important holiday, only to be bombarded by one a few weeks later. Valentines day, a day that most every woman realizes is a big marketing scheme. A day which, prior to it, most every woman will say something like “I hate Valentine’s day, it’s such a gross manipulation of the concept of love and commitment. Like candy conversation hearts and cheesy pink and red balloons are going to make me feel any more secure in my relationship? It’s such bullshit”. Oh yes, prior to it she’s all cynicism and anti-Hallmark, but come Valentine’s Day, if her man hasn’t whipped up some grand gesture of love that tips the romance scales, blows her mind, didn’t but looks like it cost a fortune, and is one massive surprise? Well, you’d better believe that…. shit….will hit….the fan. I’ve seen it happen.

Perhaps, then, I’ve been lucky to’ve been spared this ordeal. At least it’s comforting knowing that being single doesn’t exempt me completely from the emotional shit-show.

This year, like the last 5-10, i’ll be avoiding restaurants, Facebook, romantic comedies and couples in general. Because February already plasters this crud on every marketable surface, and as a single woman… I don’t need to go looking for more misery than I already bring myself. Because that’s what February will have you believe, right? That singleness is just one step away from suicide? So perhaps I’ll avoid the Do It Yourself guide to Self-Mutialtion websites as well.

Ah yes, February, like a Ruby-red bloodstain in the crystals of snow, YOU are the gem of winter.


A love memory – on the road

When we used to drive together, I’d wait for that perfect song to come on over the radio. I never searched for it. It had to be random. It had more meaning that way.

We could drive for hours before that perfect song would trickle in, the first few notes sending a tingle up my spine and a smile to curl on the edge of my lips. The song was always different. Just like every drive.

I’d let the smile widen on my face. And I’d peek out at you from behind the dark locks of hair I let slide down from behind my ear and to my neck. There was always a certain short period of time where you had no idea I was watching you. I loved you so much in those moments.

At some point, you’d turn to me. And you’d smile, realizing that I’d been admiring you. I’d reach for the hand you always let rest at your side and take it in mine, squeezing it lightly. We’d smile. And my blue eyes would lock in yours…just briefly.

The song enveloped us. Whatever song it was, and whatever the intention the artist had in its creation didn’t matter, it became our song. Those were notes meant for us and our happiness.


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