Part 4: On lonely girls and broken hearts

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Our friendship rebooted itself with pronounced enthusiasm. Although I found myself quite busy with school and work, there wasn’t a singular occasion when I could resist his call. Many evenings we were together, and if, by some chance, I wasn’t able to immediately confirm or otherwise respond to his summons, I would find on my phone beckoning pictures of steaming coffee cups with my name scribbled on them,  valiantly pre-purchased  and sitting somewhere next to him, in wait of me. I, in truth, was quite transfixed by the entire ordeal, revived and whirlwind as it was. A long time Lonely girl, I found myself relieved for a time of my cumbersome Bête noire and with it my moniker. It wasn’t merely that I no longer felt as alone, or that he wooed me in that obsequiously sweet and wordy way of his; there was also the beguiling lure of innocence to the whole affair. The combination was irresistible and so singularly unique that, against my better judgment, I started to believe we had the makings of something special or at least something that would keep.

Often, at close of evening, we would return to my humble Santa Monica abode and watch together some respectable television programming. I think, somewhat amusingly, the program we watched most of was HBO’s Big Love. My couch wasn’t exactly petit but it necessitated the sort of proximity that, in all honesty, was best suited to romantic entanglements. Said proximity though did, after a while, contribute to a blurring of those proverbial lines which govern physical appropriateness and its limitations. One night he held my arm across his lap and my hand in his, some random other I rested against his shoulder, eventually, on all the rest, we laid together, perfectly melded, without an iota of space left between us. Sadly, I do not think I had ever before been so close to another human being, or so at home. With my head cradled against his chest I listened to the alien mutterings of his heart and was, to my own surprise , conspicuously, completely satisfied. It went on this way for a while turning into a kind of ritual between us.

The obvious observation here would be that the relationship was transforming into something more than a friendship, but truly it was not. Our prelapsarian entanglement was for both of us a kind of experiment in intimacy and diversion. It was this alchemy too that drove us to the climactic eventuality of touching lips. Although the sacrilege of this act, conducted as it were between mere friends, was satisfying, I’ll admit, we both considered it a bit of a fall from grace. Of all the moments we shared, our kissing is not one I remember. I don’t remember it what so ever. I only know that it happened because I recall my subsequent thoughts and our discussion of it. I couldn’t even say if it happened more than once, although my guess would be that it did.

At some point he invited me out to dinner with his family, the patrimonial half of it anyways, as his parents were long divorced. I got the sense that it had more to do with paternal approval than the advance of our friendship. I think he needed a prop to reassure Father of his red blooded American maleness, however counterfeit it was. I didn’t mind, the night was warm and the situation interesting, albeit seasoned perhaps with a subtle pinch of dysfunction. I was by every definition as obliging an actor in that theater as I was an unwitting one in the other.

J treated me always with exceeding care and gentlemanly regard. He had no money, but still insisted on buying my lattes. When he wanted me to watch Pan’s Labyrinth, he got it for me on DVD. His enduring attentions along with many small acts of kindness relieved me eventually and completely of all my reservations. If it wasn’t a seduction, it was a markedly assiduous and well executed persuasion. Admiration grew to a kind of lonely girl love and friendship transformed into a kinship, for me anyways. When fumigation rendered my house uninhabitable, I was all set to move for a short while into my aunt’s home, but J interceded, inviting me to stay with him at his father’s domicile in the Palisades. The rest of his clan was at the time traveling elsewhere, so the house sat empty but for him. I occupied his little sister’s room the very next day, it was a perfect fir, Goldilocks would have turned green with envy.

I believe we cohabitated for about a week or maybe a little longer. A charming little vignette, we were like two odd peas marinating in their special pod. We were, by my estimation, closer than ever. He didn’t talk much about San Francisco or this mysterious crisis that sent him scurrying back to LA, but the one person from his previous circumstance that he seemed to yearn for was a certain Berkeley professor. As I understood, they shared a singularly special intellectual kinship. One night he showed me their online exchanges and emails, his reaction while he reviewed them was more telling than their actual content, which frankly was somewhat beyond my humble comprehension. To say that he admired the man would be an understatement. I considered that this professor was to him, what he/J was to me, or perhaps more. It seemed possible that their relationship was not entirely or even at all platonic.

Things went swimmingly it seemed, until one day I literally went swimming. The first and possibly only time he treated me with sternness and irritation was over his laptop. I had dragged it off with me towards the pool, and the discovery of its proximity to water agitated him completely. While it was a perfectly reasonable reaction, as computers and pools are in fact an ill advised pairing, for the first time he was towards me not very patient or kind, and it sorely surprised me. In retrospect it might have been the beginning of the end, but I don’t know, it certainly seemed like nothing at the time.

In the interest of factuality and not because I think the event was significant or consequential, I must add that during my stay with him we did haphazardly take up our alchemic experiment again. It was a coital effort as anticlimactic in its commencement as it was in its near instantaneous termination. Without getting into details too graphic for my blushing brain, we suffered technical difficulties, amongst perhaps some others, which resulted in hasty and permanent abandonment of the whole ill conceived scheme. It was the most awkward undertaking of my entire sexual history, especially as neither one of us was particularly interested in it to begin with. Regrettably, since you’re wondering, we were at the time stone cold sober. Did we technically have sex, in the strictest and most reductionist definition of the act, I suppose we did. Did we in fact HAVE sex, no, absolutely not. And again, although this piece of the puzzle might seem of note, because so often the involvement of sex is, in our case and in my opinion, it was in fact completely meaningless and changed none of the implied terms of our friendship.

After the laptop incident, there was perhaps a small but perceptible shift in J, I felt like he withdrew some tiny part of himself from me, the warmest part. I was never a daft person, especially in terms of interpersonal relationships, so I quickly noticed a subsequent change in his mood. Although there were no obvious signs, I could feel that he didn’t want me there with him anymore. I tested the water and determined that my suspicions were correct, he wasn’t exactly asking me to stay. Marked by his sudden disengagement, I could feel for the first time between us a kind of ocean. Although it was unexpected, I wasn’t worried about it because I understood well the prevailing urgency of solitude, being quite prone to it myself. I didn’t take it personally either and, in the interest of friendly consideration, packed with great urgency. I am a huge proponent of giving the soul exactly what it wants when it wants it, and so I did my darnest to oblige his.

In the moments before my departure I was more worried about J, than myself, I wanted to relieve him of my company and all of its supplemental obligations as quickly as possible. I had no reason to believe that something was wrong, but my heart did bounce around a bit. I remember how it beat erratically inside my chest for no evident reason when he was ushering me outside, and how I tried to will it into abject submission. Still it sank some, it really it did. Once outside, we embraced briefly exchanging sweet goodbyes. It was as normal a parting as any, except that I could tell he was a million miles away. I had no way of knowing that I would never see him again.

Go to——->Part 5: On lonely girls and broken hearts

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Part 3: On lonely girls and broken hearts

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Read Part 1 & Part 2 here

How do I squeeze into conventional terms a completely unconventional love. It feels a bit like trying to explain to an orange what it’s like to be a shrimp. Regardless, one important note I’d like to make is that I’ll be using the word “love” in this story differently from its usual application. The love I’ll be talking about is not amorous in nature; it is not fraught with romance, physical attraction, sex, vows, obligations, promises, valentines, commitments or hopes of some future together. It is a different kind of love, irreverent, somewhat indescribable and quite punishing in its end.

I ran into J again years later, completely at random. I was around 23 by then. To my Mother’s extreme jubilation I ventured north for a second date with a plastic surgeon, a Jewish one at that. Following our first lackluster outing conducted in my neck of the woods over a salmon kale salad and a hefty serving of decidedly bad jokes, the doctor invited me to join him on a yacht in his lovely homestead of Santa Barbara. It was a kind of a sailing fete hosted by some of his fancy doctor friends and, if nothing more, it meant for me an exceedingly picturesque drive up the coast. Scantily clad in my nautical best; stripes, shorts and of course top-siders, with Mother cheering at my back, I set out on my adventure into proper maritime society with an optimistic hope of, at the very least, a very merry time.

Two hours later I was almost there, driving into town. A car cruising in the apposite direction caught my attention and I spun my head around trying to get a better look at its driver. Although I barely caught a glance of his profile, instant pangs of nostalgia filled my stomach. I thought I saw J. But what were the odds really? It couldn’t have been him, so I shooed the idea away and moseyed on. A few minutes later, I finally arrived at the designated address, parked, hung my feet out of the car door and, as per my custom, surveyed my surroundings. Once again, my heart jumped, this time, unbelievably and indisputably, J was getting out of a car right across the street from me. I yelled out, he turned his head, our excitement to discover one another in this way was palpable. Laughter, hugs and all around gaiety were quick to follow. Our reunion was rousing but brief as we were both en route to other appointments. I scorned him a bit for falling out of touch, he protested, I gave him my email address and we dispersed, filling the air between us with promises of fast reunion.

From day one I knew in my gut exactly who J was. I knew to dispense with all expectations in regards to him, unless I wanted my heart broken and scattered in his wake, along with all the others.  I knew this because he was to me what I had on plenty of occasions been to others. He was aloof and inconstant and there was a part of him that few, if anyone, could reach; a kind of karmic taste of my own medicine. Years ago I had taken the necessary, conscious steps of steeling myself against him. Although I wasn’t completely successful at wrangling my attachment, I did manage to will my heart into a formidable check, so his departure didn’t much affect me then. Now i had to once again remind myself, that although he could mean everything to me on one day, he would as easily be gone the next. This had already been lightly confirmed by our history. Furthermore, I had to consider that despite the numerous, excited promises made on that sidewalk, I wouldn’t hear from him again.

But I did, I heard from him right away. Here is an excerpt from that email, it is the only correspondence of ours that I was able to find, luckily it’s just right. It set the tone for J & M version 2.0, our ill fated reboot.

“I’m living in LA and YOU are officially my only friend there— this entails for you a number of abject responsibilities, like hanging out with me regularly and pretending to adore me.  My old email address got overrun with vaguely pornographic adverts re: enlarging the penis, shrinking the dating pool, so I abandoned it years ago– guess I threw the M out with the bathwater. I traveled, then I went to Berkeley, then I lived in San Francisco and worked as the definitively MALE host at a transgender restaurant/bar, spent my time preening and flirting and being pretty obnoxious I suppose, indulging in different forms of wickedness… this stint eventuated in something crisis-like and I left the bar and city and scampered back to Father in the Pacific Palisades to be an innocuous, aerobically inclined non-smoker who doesn’t pay rent and eats well… I work for dad flexibly as a verbally adept pseudo-para-paralegal with almost no responsibilities and vast groves of free time. I have been reading more than writing but always with a view to writing– I’m going to take some writing classes at our paltry Santa Monican Alma-Mater this summer, one in fiction, one poetry workshop.  In the Fall I’ll apply to PhD programs in literature and, depending on my productivity this summer, maybe MFA programs. Most importantly, I’m in L.A. indefinitely and you simply must be my friend– I’ve missed you (you who stands out from and over a boggled vastness of less resonant memories and persons from my earliest twenties).  Anyways, i have to insist that less time separate our last meeting from our next, less time than our custom would have it– if you’re exceedingly busy, too busy for idle socializing, I’ll commission some tennis lessons.  Warmly, moi ”   

The quickest way to a lonely girl’s heart is through a perfectly crafted sentence that tells her how significant and singularly special she is, how she is not to be forgotten. This knowledge is not to be misused, as lonely girls are an endangered species, and playing with their surprisingly squishy hearts is not only ill advised but also strictly against regulation. To be fair though, no heart should be played with, as most are quite breakable and none, in fact, are toys.

J and I met that very night for coffee, the fire flickered from its artificial coffee house pit, words swam in streams, more fervent than before; we had both grown some and not at all. It was as if no time had passed between us, and once again, against my better judgment, I found myself teetering dangerously close to his edge.

To be continued in  Part 4..…….

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Part 2: On lonely girls and broken hearts

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These last few days I struggled trying to formulate in my head this “Part 2” of my “Lonely Girls and Broken Hearts” blog post, because it is the part where I gotta get to the actual story and stop waxing poetic about what a beautiful, special person I am. 😛 I find myself facing a few obstacles, one is that while I still have a firm grasp on the meat of the story, my feelings, my impressions, I no longer have all the bones i.e. the facts. I worry that I’ll be constructing a kind of tottering Frankenstein with no leg to stand on, slumping on a crutch engineered haphazardly out of fiction.

I knew J twice. The first time was over a decade ago, I think I was 18 or 19, he was 21 or 22? I met him in a community college classroom. Inexplicably there were numerous occasions when I took random classes at SMC while enrolled as a full time student at UCLA, I am not sure why I did this, but it definitely contributed to the extravagant 6 years I spent as a UCLA student working on a paltry undergraduate degree in comparative lit. J was there, like me, on an academic hiatus of some kind, but from Cal. He wasn’t someone who immediately caught my attention, admittedly because he just wasn’t at all my type. At the time I had a pretty specific penchant for men of considerably greater age, stature and accomplishment, so peers hardly ever registered on my discriminating radar. In fact I never dated a peer, never ever. I remember that when I finally noticed J it wasn’t so much he that caught my attention as it was the way in which he commanded the attention of all the other females in that classroom. His obvious sway over them was what really piqued my interest. Closer inspection revealed that, although to me he didn’t appear particularly attractive, he was by conventional standards quite comely. Medium height, well built, very athletic, with wild, curly hair, light eyes and a bright smile. Further examination was necessary and thoroughly conducted, it proved that he was wickedly bright, intelligent, ironic, self-aware, free thinking and completely, disarmingly, dangerously charming. Additionally, to my surprise, he was easily one the most literary people I had met to date. Despite all this I wasn’t quite sold on him yet.

I remember as I was getting to know him along with some of my other classmates, it became evident to me that he had spent time out of class with one of the girls who was in our shit-shooting group. The way she looked at him one day let me know that something had happened with them. He proceeded to make a comment to her about her alluringly transparent blouse, calling her an enchantress, she laughed and sort of blushed, but I knew then that she was in trouble. His compliment was executed publicly and jovially, playing to the audience rather than to her. I read that playfulness for what it was, a way to trivialize whatever had transpired between them. One thing about me worth noting is that I always spoke rather fluent Male-ese, the male agenda was as obvious to me as a circus parade, which is actually quite ironic given how the rest of this story unfolded. Later that day, the girl in question confided in me that they did hang out and that something sweet or intimate transpired between them, like he held her hand, and maybe there was a kiss? I don’t remember now. I also don’t remember how him and I actually ended up spending time together. I think he may have given me a ride home one night. When I later teased him about whatever had happened with that girl from class, he shrugged it off and steered the conversation elsewhere. It didn’t much matter to me, and really wasn’t any of my business. But I guess in retrospect I could assign it the metaphorical meaning of a tiny red flag.

As little time went on I became more and more taken with him. I was impressed with the way he thought, the things he said, the words he used. We were able to talk and talk and talk on the subjects of so many things, and although our opinions varied, I felt we always understood one another completely. I found a true counterpoint in him, as well as an intellect vastly superior to mine. Let no mistake be made though, it was a truly platonic friendship. I never for a second wanted more, in fact had he attempted more I would have been sorely disappointed and the whole thing would have gone left. Luckily, we were of a similar mind on the subject, he never indicated to me that I was of any interest to him as a woman, which flattered me rather than otherwise, as I got plenty of that kind of attention elsewhere. His friendship flattered me all around, he wooed me with it like a professional tamer of tigers and lonely girls, and before I knew it I was quite under his spell, purring like a kitten. I finally had a friend who understood me. It was as if I had dreamt him up and the universe obliged me by spitting him out in human form, but only for a pinch.

Our time together ended as seamlessly as it began, he went back to Northern California, back to school, back to some girl he loved and pined for and I continued with my lonely girl life. In the years to follow I frequently thought of him with great and rare fondness. I knew that he had backpacked through Europe for a few months at some point, I think this was something on his agenda shortly after going back to Berkeley. Our shared love of romantic poets meant that we were likely to have somewhat matching itineraries, especially in England, so when I went to Europe at a later time, I thought of him quite a bit. When finally I rode horses in Hyde park and visited Lord Byron’s grave, I wrote to him, J not Byron.

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It seemed like of everyone I knew J would best understand the revelry of those particular experiences. It also felt like the thing to do, whilst I was so inside literary history, to reach across time a little into a history of my own. The email went unanswered and, as I later learned, unread.

According to Exupery, we are responsible for those we have tamed, I subscribe to this religiously now, but certainly neither one of us knew it at the time.

I didn’t see him again for quite a while. We were reunited some three or four years later under strange and serendipitous circumstances. It was a true chance event that seemed to be imbued with special meaning if not for any other reason than its timeliness and randomness. It was a reboot of J & M, version 2.0, but don’t be fooled, the newer version is not always the better. Our reunion yielded a peculiar revival of our long lost friendship, transforming it and, in a somewhat dramatic fashion, ending it completely….

To be continued in  Part 3……

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Steven Bauer 57 and his 18 year old girlfriend, the world is aghast

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It’s all over the news that a 57 year old is doing it with an 18 year old. That rascal Steven Bauer. Their 39 year age gap got the world in a bona fide tizzy. I might be the only person to, in a way, advocate for this relationship. Oh well. Here goes. It starts with the fact that the audacity of anyone getting involved in the personal affairs of someone else has always baffled me. I know the parallel I am about to draw might seem radical, but this smacks to my mind of the kind of judgment received by mixed race couples or gays or whomever else society deems inappropriate at the time. Why are we still trying to wrangle “Love”.

They have many reasons, all noble of course, to justify their vitriol and their blatant intrusion into these people’s lives. Mostly though they say it’s because they worry for the well being of that impressionable 18 years old, then of course there is the status quo and the impropriety. What’s the world coming to..blah blah bladi blah.

An old man dating a young girl is stomach turning, it is an affront and a perversion? Ah, well the good news is that scenario is as old as time and at least so biologically/anthropologically correct that even Darwin would first approve then blush. Why? Because Steven Bauer has stability, experience, machismo and his 18 year old love has loveliness, some form of purity I imagine, fertility and possibly daddy issues. All that negative blather is just an excuse to judge, to gossip, to make a scandal out of an oddity. The fact that people still think they have a right to comment, to create intrusive, bigoted narratives filled with disdain and suspicion on the subject of others people’s love lives, is outrageous to me. And you wonder why I dislike my species. It is being said, in not so few words, that this couple is basically disgusting, well I heard that said about gay people too, so what’s really disgusting here? People are people, they lust, connect, spend time, learn, nurture and break away…whatever their ages, races, religions, or sexual proclivities. Will there ever be a time, we climb out from under that puritan rock that’s still smashing us into primordial goop? Maybe then I’ll rename my blog “Misanthropist On The Mend”.

There is lots of talking about how they have no common ground, which is why it’s sick or exploitative even.…Well then perhaps it’s just sexual, and how many people in “conventional” relationships have common ground anyways, in fact how many people do in marriages? This is 2014, is having just a sexual relationship suddenly wrong? Are we continuing the antiquated tradition of condemning people for their sexual interests? Whatever the reason for their compatibility, they are both, quite obviously, getting something they want/need out of it. She might just be kinky like that, or damaged like that, whatever it is, she has a right to vote and bang whomever she likes. And though he is old, his attraction to her is not so much perverse as it is honest, sorry, but most 30 year olds and 40 year olds and 50 year olds and 90 years olds are wanking off to videos of “Barely legal” girls, that’s just how it goes. The man is merely living the dream. Not that it matters, but he is not exactly decrepit either.

Then there is the whole age is just a number deal. Isn’t that the mostly popular platitude of all time? Well is it just a number or isn’t it? Are 60 year olds allowed to feel like they are 25 or aren’t they? Say she is mature and he is stunted, that’s how these things usually go between men and women anyways :P. Say they feel like he is a sprightly 40 year old and she is a precocious 25 year old at their hearts, the gap has just lessened, hasn’t it.

 He is corrupting her and taking advantage of a near child? Let’s stop deluding ourselves, most 18 year olds these days are as sexually mature as we’ll never be. The internet alone has made sure of that. So I’ll wager she is not being defiled. Is the healthy alternative for her to be banging college boys her own age, hanging out at keggers, having her heart stomped all over by horny juvenile imbeciles, maybe snapping up a venereal disease or two as a special bonus. Why is that somehow better or healthier? Oh because both parties involved are equally clueless about life and love? Sound logic that is.

The other thing they say to malign this unholy union, to make a story out of it, is that surely it won’t last. News flash, most things don’t, most relationships don’t, most marriages even don’t. Doesn’t make their “relationship” any more contemptible, any less legitimate or real, certainly not to them. Doesn’t mean he isn’t gentle or loving, or that she isn’t feeling loved or appreciated. Essentially it doesn’t mean anything. The fact that we would rather think the worst of them than anything else, tells more about us than it does them.

The truth is this is all about human nature. Humans, as a species are uncomfortable with that which they cannot understand. That which deviates they view as deviant. Deviancy is bad, the word itself denotes evil. Through the ages we have tried our darnest to eradicate it. Deviants break the rules that we have worked so hard to uphold, the rules which guide us through life, and qualify our goodness, our choices, our sacrifices and our morals. In other words when something doesn’t fit into our worldview or disrupts our cozy sense of social order, we feel threatened and respond by attacking it like agitated locusts.

The men who are whining about this situation are Just Jealous, sorry it’s such a cliche, but J.J. can be blamed for about 75% of human negativity. They don’t get to live out their pervy fantasies and neither should anyone else, plus they can feel superior while bashing the guy who does. The women who complain about this situation are simply scared, because if 57 year old men could successfully carry out relationships with 18 years old girls (sexual or otherwise) then what would that mean for woman kind’s already disadvantaged lot in life. Both genders can relax, this romance is not a harbinger of things to come, it is, like I mentioned earlier, a mere oddity. Most 18 year olds wouldn’t touch a 57 year old with a 10 foot poll, except maybe to check if he is dead. Most 57 year olds wouldn’t have the gull to mix it up with an 18 year old either. So all is well in the universe, but do try not to stare.

On Slapping

advice, humor, writing

To slap or not to slap..Or..Quit your whining, ladies

There are a few different kinds of slaps, the “I can’t believe I gave birth to you” slap, the “you’re a dumbass” slap (commonly applied to the back of head), the “I hate your guts” slap, the venerable and always entertaining “bitch slap”, the “genital slap” (if you never saw one drop by my house on Sunday), and the most culturally acceptable of all, the “lady lover slap”…The latter is on my mind now.

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The “lady lover slap” is usually delivered by a woman’s hand across a man’s face, always preceded or followed by a righteous, burning glare, choice words and either a retaliatory punch, a domestic violence charge or an ardent act of copulation. Either way, I’m gonna be a total stick and the mud, and say that it BOTHERS me. Today I watched two TV shows, Cedar Cove and Dallas (I don’t want to hear any smack, so I have bad taste in TV) lady slaps were delivered on both with the accompanying noise effects. If you watch modern day television, you know that this is completely common, can’t hardly flip through channels without seeing some poor chap get smacked across the face by a rosy palm. I consistently cringe.

What is that? Have any of my MALE readers ever been slapped? Does this still really happen anymore?

On Cedar Cove a boy tried to steal a kiss from a girl who was clearly depicted as having feelings for him, but wasn’t ready to admit it, SLAP. I felt for his face. When I see this flippant propagation of a vintage, backwards behavior from a time long gone, I am offended for both men and women. Some might see a girl slap a guy for stealing a kiss, and think it’s cute, harmless, romantic even. Some women might think it’s a deserved advantage, a concession due a woman, since historically women have been the ones on the receiving end of violence and mistreatment from men. It’s crazy stupid is what it is.

There is an evident cultural acceptance of women slapping men, but I think it’s linked in some way to the cultural expectation of men being cads to women. Let me be clear about my position, men being cads is not ok, (but that’s a whole other post) women slapping them in retaliation, also not ok. In fact, cultural acceptance and popularization of gal on guy slapping sets the feminist movement back decades. It’s not an actual advantage to accept women slapping men while unequivocally opposing men striking women. It’s a placating behavioral handicap (horse racing ref), which continues to place women on a dubious pedestal beneath men. We are weaker, we are more emotional, we are less restrained, so whilst we are flinging around our spurned phalanges, men patiently grin and bare it. To summarize:

  1. A) that’s just how crazy girls are (especially when they are on their period!)
  2. B) it’s not like they can do any damage
  3. C) I probably did something to deserve it, small price to pay

And then we wonder why men don’t see us as equals, why we are at a disadvantage in the work place and why they can’t imagine a lady president. 

Acceptance of slapping as a behavioral norm is in a way an acceptance of the behaviors which inspire the slapping. It’s the restitution offered to women when men do wrong by them. It’s a bribe! Slapping perpetuates the idea that men victimize women in interpersonal relationships. Women cannot take care of themselves & their hearts, so they are granted this one small exemption from the “violence is bad” rule, that’s the placation I spoke of earlier. Slapping is a victim’s reaction. I’ve never felt like a victim. I never felt entitled to hitting anyone, and God knows I dated an asshole or two. If said asshole was an asshole to me, I blamed myself for making a poor choice in man and exited the relationship without degrading myself by physically assaulting said assholeEveryone is just out there trying to get theirs, whether it’s just sex, love, or whatever the heck else. We are all responsible for our own happiness, MEN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR HAPPINESS < WE ARE. SO WHEN THEY FAIL US, IT DOESN’T ENTITLE US TO A CARD BLANCHE, whether it be one of a small act of violence or destruction of property.

The minute women stop acting like victims, stop exercising the ‘behavioral slack” extended to them by society in recompense for men’s caddish ways and accept responsibility for their unhappiness, the plight for gender equality will get a serious boost. To summarize, quit whining about every douche bag who ever broke your heart, running around with your romantic traumas like a chicken with an egg, and definitely quit slapping men & keying their cars.                                                                                   

The only way to get even is to get equal. 

In practical terms, the popularization of ladies slapping the gents is deeply irresponsible. Domestic violence experts assert that women who inflict minor acts of violence on their male partners have a higher-than-normal probability of being severely assaulted by those partners. Hmm.

Bottom line, I’d like to not see women degrade themselves on television. Wake up Hollywood.

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On Love

advice, love, writing

About Love..or..The only time I’ll ever quote the Bible..or..Meet Miss Love Doctor!

Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

This entry is inspired by my friend (you know who you be) and every woman (or man), who has been demoralized by dating and is fearful of a lonely loveless future. I am sorry that my alter ego, who so inventively calls herself Miss Love Doctor, is such an unbearable pedant. But here goes:

I’d say that ubiquitously, we, as a species, seek to make connections with one another. Even this here pastime of Blogging is arguably just another means by which people are trying to connect with each other. In life, these connections, whether platonic or romantic, are perhaps, as a general rule, the most crucial components of happiness. Relationships/connections are an integral part of human existence, the very conception of life is predicated on a connection, albeit just a physical one. The metaphorical structure of our lives is built from these connections. The first level i.e. the foundation of the structure is comprised from the family of origin. We are born connected to it, at the very least genetically, and since we cannot choose its members, we simply must learn to live with them, regardless of whether they bring us happiness or otherwise. The next level is friendships, we are able to choose these people for ourselves, they serve as excellent practice in the intricate art of creating lasting bonds. Those friends, who remain in our lives through the years, become a part of who we are. The next, most complicated and coveted level of all, is romantic love. It is like a roof, it completes this life structure, making it a home. It not only completes us spiritually and emotionally, but also leads to the fulfillment of our primal instinct to procreate, ensuring the birth of new families.

Love is a mysterious thing, although the spectrum of the human experience in this regard is pretty broad, we can for the most part agree that Love is as desirable as it is difficult to find. It has many faces, and responds differently to various circumstances. Commonly it is perceived as something which can be joyous, as well as incredibly painful, it can be simple and at times it can seem extremely complicated. One thing is for sure, we all, again, in our majority, strive for it. We go to clubs and bars trying to meet people, we let our friends set us up, we fill out internet profiles and spend an uncomfortable amount of time browsing through the profiles of others, at times we even work up the guts to approach an attractive stranger at the supermarket and strike up a conversation. We search for that connection far and wide, all the while bombarded by various ideas about what love is or should be, how we ought to feel about it, or ourselves for lack of it. Is it epic, is it common, is it forgiving, does it fizzle, should it last, can it hurt? Then, at a certain point, many of us who have yet to find the answers to all these questions, get a little concerned. After a number of failed relationships we often tend to find ourselves disheartened and disappointed, and just like that, we lower our standards. This is an anthropological mechanism, designed by evolution to ensure that we find a way to procreate even if the person/relationship we seek is failing to make itself available.

We often start rethinking our expectations, wondering if we had been brainwashed by rock ballads and romantic comedies. We begin to consider that there is no such thing as that perfect Love, maybe love is really about compromise. Sometimes, this way of thinking is appropriate, as it is important to have reasonable expectations, and to be able to dance the dance of Love in tandem with your partner. Other times, it is quite dangerous because it presents us with a slippery slope. How do we gauge the appropriate amount of compromise? At which point do we begin sacrificing things which are necessary and vital to our happiness? At which point are we just sacrificing ourselves? It’s all so confusing right?

And of course, there is this pressure coming from all around, our friends may be getting married and having children, while we are still wading in the singles pool. Our parents are starting to act like something must be wrong with us for not having settled down by the ripe age of say 30. More and more we hear conversations about that ever shrinking baby making window?! We are feeling judged and wonder if there isn’t something pathetic about our failure to couple up, what could it be? What is wrong with us? Sometimes we fold, we convince ourselves that we had found IT, we get married because it is time, because he or she looked good on paper, or because we feel we had wasted too much of our partner’s time to throw them back out into singledom.

A duty proposal, or a duty acceptance, is, I think, one of the most tragic occurrences plaguing the personal lives of too many people. But, this is an example of when we decide to just give it a go. Sometimes it works, sometimes we are just dutiful enough, just agreeable enough to make it last. More often than not though it’s a hard road, this road ensures job security for many marriage counselors across the nation. In these cases, people around usually start consoling us. They tell us that relationships and love are hard, that they require work, that a lifetime of marriage therapy is really not that big a deal. Many of these kinds of relationships, as well as others of course, culminate in separation. The incredibly high rate of divorce in the modern age serves as a testament to the fact that mankind struggles with the lofty aspiration of eternal love and lifelong commitment. A really good match is harder to find than we want to believe.

While a whole book can be written on the subject of all the necessary things one needs to increase his/her chances of authentic and successful coupledom, there are a few key elements which can be mentioned right here. Firstly we must KNOW ourselves. Honest self-examination is a key element in our ability to both SEE other people for what they are, and allow ourselves to be SEEN by them. Owning our flaws, identifying our deal breakers and our most urgent relationship needs, are just a few of the fruits borne of dedicated self-examination. We must then achieve a keen understanding of what kind of a person would make us happy long term, not to be confused with the kind of person we really, really want to sleep with. We then have figure out how to best attract THAT kind of person, without compromising who we are. And in aaaaaall that, we have to share with that person complimentary values, perspectives, ideologies, and relationship goals, as well as be in the same general place in life. Never you mind the sexual component of the whole ordeal, we MUST after all find one another attractive. And that’s just the short list. Seems quite impossible right? What happened to meeting a cute girl or guy at a farmer’s market and tying the proverbial knot 12 months later at a quaint Bed & Breakfast in Vermont? Well nothing, this is for all those people for whom that simply hasn’t happened or for whom it has happened but did not stick.

It seems impossible doesn’t it. Shouldn’t love be simpler than all this? No, I’d say it is definitely not at all simple. Lots of pieces have to fall into place for it to be BOTH good and lasting. Lots. I can say one thing with absolute certainty though, a good relationship, should not feel like work, should not require “work” and no, it should not hurt. NEVER should it hurt, not for a second. It should be based on a friendship first, a deep mutual respect, an understanding of one another and an open compassionate channel of communication. A good relationship doesn’t force a fit, instead the fit is organic, where each of the persons involved accepts the other wholly and completely, with foibles and without judgment. It is an intimacy unmatched by any other in a person’s life, filled with trust, kindness and equal measure of respect. It is in a word, a HOME, the safest place of all. Only in such a home do two people stand a chance of happily ever after. These are the standards to which you have the right to hold your relationship and your partner, and it is NOT impossible or unattainable. Believe that you deserve to be happy, to get as much as you give, and to be loved unconditionally. Remember that it is not at all easy to find and there is nothing wrong with taking your time, you have no one to answer to but yourself.

Love is the only gold. Lord Tennyson

Miss Love Doctor