Part 2: On lonely girls and broken hearts

writing

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……

pon and zi3_large

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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 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