Does this man look good to you? Are you wondering where you can find someone like him?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Does this man look good to you? Are you wondering where you can find someone like him?
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Nora couldn’t get the name of the bar right to save her life. It was “the Red Hexagon.” “The Red Parallelogram.” “The Red Circle.” It ended up being fitting. Madison couldn't close her tab without another shot of tequila. We came full-circle from drunk to drunk.
If they have a live DJ, it is probably the best place in Burlington to dance, other than at a show at High Ground or Nectar’s. The sleeze category of Lift or Rasputin’s stays at Lift or Rasputin’s, and the place is smaller, more intimate. Dress ranges from 30-something women in their J. Crew “going out” dresses to college students who wander in in the same tank and shorts they wore to North Beach earlier in the day. The waitresses are good. Capable. Veteran. They have to be.
Bouncers are another story. The bouncer looks at my ID, then back up at me. “You just made it,” he tells me. I want to fist my hands in my hair and scream. It’s been this way for the past few days. Kind hostesses wish me a happy belated birthday; bald and beefy security men eye me up and down and offer me a gruff “Congratulations,”; and these tall and weedy pricks at the trendy bars make a huge fucking deal about the fact that 2, 4, or 14 days ago, they would have gotten to bounce me out on my size 6 ass. I want to tell him I was probably drinking before he was. (It could be true.) Instead, I smile tightly and slip into what Alli has dubbed the “heinous bitch” demeanor.
Over a week later. Same bar. Could be the same bouncer, but then again, they all look the same, as if their high school basketball starting-forward days were the best they ever had and ever will have. Same dilemma. “So how’s it feel?” he asks me as I retrieve my ID from him and start to slide in the front door. I decide this jig is up and I’m tired, like so lately in life, of being continuously run over and pretending to not care.
“Well. I just came back from 4 months in Italy, so the bar scene is not new. And I figure, I just now legally get to do everything I’ve been doing since I was 14, so, it’s no big deal, right?”
He looks confused, like he wasn’t expecting that much information, and then just nods. “Yeah.”The problem with the Red Four-Equilateral-Sided-Shape is, it’s where everyone wants to see and be seen under the mortician’s red lighting. The seats that spill into the alley and onto Church Street are prime see-and-be-seen territory. Some of my older friends, who I used to consider helplessly cool and aloof and just slightly affected in that way that all college students hope they come off as “worldly”, become much more human to me as I watch them shell out three bucks for a can of PBR and perch on the wrought iron chairs, trying, and failing, to look like it still isn’t a big deal. They are, like me, much more at home in the darker, quieter, wood-paneled bars, but if you are over 21, and if you’re in Burlington, you still feel this inexplicable need to go to Red Square, where the drinks are overpriced, the cocktails are almost too heavy on the liquor, the lighting is atrocious, and yet, you can’t help but wanting to be a part of it all.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
I was in Borders (aka: where I have been living lately without internet,) with a friend the other day, scoping out movies after I recalled, from some distant, vague, groggy middle-school memory, the gem of a movie "Someone Like You" and decided I could not live without it. Girls being girls, after I had my copy in hand, Trish and I lingered among the DVDs, pointing out our favorites and asking if the other had ever seen them. We agreed that "Valentine's Day" was cute and likable yet replaceable; that the "Ugly Truth" got a far worse rap than it deserved as we both really liked the truths in it; and then moved on to the slasher flicks. But as we wandered down the lane of "Shutter Island" and "Midnight Meat Train" (NOT a porno as one might expect-- as Trish said, "When I watched it, I was just waiting for some huge black dude to bust in and be like, 'You can't handle my meat!'"), one last movie caught our eye: "He's Just Not That Into You."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Women still, and will always, at least want, if not need, a man in the picture. We keep dating and putting ourselves out there against the odds, because, at the end of the day, it's nice to go home to someone. It's nice to know that you have the ability to make a "What are you up to?" call. It's nice to have someone other than a down comforter or a body pillow keep you warm at night. At its most base, there are only so many solo-gasms you can have before it's just not fun anymore. And at its best, having a partner brings out a new side of you. The side that isn't a blossoming CEO by day, but the side of you that is still a girl who has needs and a desire for companionship and intimacy.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Situation 1.) When you give us disappointing news, the silence on the phone line is not a bad thing. We are not trying to make you feel any worse (...slightly). We're just trying to juggle our disappointment with the fact that we know you already feel bad and try to temper our instant bitchy and self-centered response with something that sounds more like, "Well, that's really a shame," instead of "This is all your fault!" Because we actually know what's fair and what's not, and when you've tried versus when you're actually not trying. If you're not trying, we're bound to be a little more insistent and lay on a little bit of a guilt-trip, but if you've done what you can, we're taking time out to not be a bitch about it. We really hate being a bitch to you. Really.
Situation 2.) It's only been 24 hours, and my name has popped up on your phone not twice, but 4 times. I know how this looks. This doesn't look good. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this qualifies for what is known in the vernacular as "blowin' a G's phone up." But hear me out. If you weren't quite so hard to get a hold of, and if I wasn't calling for some really, really pertinent and time-stamped information, we wouldn't be having this problem. I am not purposely trying to be annoying. I am not trying to hunt you down over Verizon's phone lines, though, it's starting to feel like it at this point, even to me. Women are warned off their entire life so being so persistent, as we're told it often comes across as "needy." But the deal is, I don't necessarily need you--although that would be nice-- I need the answers that you hold. Please accept this as an apology, and call back ASAP so I can stop looking like I'm about to boil a bunny at any moment and you can get back to being un-harassed by me and thinking, "Wow, she's actually a really cool girl. I haven't heard from her in awhile. Maybe I should call," and not "Oh god, it's this crazy bitch again-- she can't get enough of me. I'm turning my phone off NOW. Die, bitch, diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!"
Situation 3.) It's The Morning After, roughly somewhere between the hours of 8 and 10 AM. We are currently undressed, unwashed, just awake, and the remains of yesterday's make-up are smeared in 20 directions from center. From the instant our eyes open, we are aware of 4 things:
1.) You have other stuff to do today than entertain us.
2.) We were sleeping with our mouth open, which I'm sure was incredibly attractive and winning.
4.) Saying goodbye is going to be awkward. There's always the Great Hug vs. Kiss debate.
We are also then aware of the next 4 following things:
1.) Certified, we will have no clue where either our bra or underwear have gotten to. (Always check under the bed!)
2.) We cannot stumbled onto the street looking like this. It's a small town, and there are children and possibly people who know us around.
3.) We're going to have to commandeer your bathroom for about 10 minutes to get presentable. We hope you don't mind or think we're taking a massive shit.
4.) It's rude to just fuck and run, so what's the most well-mannered way to execute this morning? Is this a "breakfast included" affair, or at least a lukewarm cup of coffee? We're not looking to stay for lunch, but a cigarette would be nice. A half an hour to an hour of waking up, lounging, fixing everything north of your neck and checking out the situation south of the border is in order, and some casual morning conversation is not completely out-of-line. We're aware. We're not staying forever. We know you would like us out at some reasonable point. And we'll be gone with nearly everything we came with in about an hour, as long as we can actually find the underwear that has been spirited away to the Twilight Zone.
(Side-note: If she know the roommates, she's gonna be in there a little bit longer. It's just rude otherwise.)
Situation 4.) When we tell you what we really want. Be man enough to ask rather than jumping to conclusions. Be man enough to listen. Be man enough to care. Because when you don't, that puts you in a situation in which you become a Massive Dick, and, in fact, totally null and voids us from being a Crazy Bitch when we call your ass on it. It's kind of like how a red-card throwing a player out of the game negates his personal foul.
There you have it. Realign that thinking.
“It’s kind of like men,” my roommate said. “You hope it remembers where it gets fed.”
“But look at my track record,” I argued. “And you expect me to have faith in a cat?”
Upon further thought, we agreed that I actually may have better luck retaining an un-run-over cat in the city than an un-committed man. Which is just sad. But I really feel, deep down, that it’s kind of like sharks and blood—if a man can smell the fact that you’re not sure if you really want to be committed or in a serious relationship, what’s to stop them from having the same proclivities, too? When I came home, I was pretty sure of what I wanted. I quickly realized, in fact, that what I thought I had wanted and what I quickly found out I really needed were two completely different things. Which resulted in what was roughly the emotional equivalent of leaning over a galvanized barrel while throwing dynamite in to kill the fish swimming around inside. Shrapnel flew, and what remained wasn’t even enough to make sushi anymore. Life picks up the little scaly pieces of the debacle and shrugs.
Watching SATC2, I spent a good deal of time wondering if I liked it or not. Ok, so the clothing, yes-- I think the overwhelming reason for making that movie had to do with that fact that there has been so much gorgeous fashion lately and the public needs to see it on SOMEONE, so hey, 4 women we spent over 6 years staring at isn't a bad choice. In fact, it's a pretty shrewd one. Speaking of shrewdness, the other predictable part of the movie was the relationship drama. But, in this case, I'm not sure it brought up the right questions or fell flat of the mark.
Maybe I sympathized with Carrie too much on this one. In one scene, like many in the movie that star her and Big together, she stands in front of the TV, their clichéd instigator, and asks, "Is this because I'm a bitch wife who nags you all the time?" To which Big replies, "No. I feel like I'm disappointing you."
As Carrie found out, with any disappointment in life, there's only so much one can take before you start to think, "Well, fuck." Exactly that-- fuck. Or kiss. Or look elsewhere for what's missing at home. While her (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!) kiss with Aidan didn't quite warrant a massive freak-out of transcontinental proportions, though, yes, I do agree she did the right thing in telling Big about her indiscretion. I always prefer when I'm told about matters like that, as I'm sure you are, as well. No one likes being in the dark. No one likes being left fuming and guessing and jumping to horrible conclusion after horrible conclusion. Believe me. I lived it for a number of months.
Speaking of jumping to conclusions, now that I'm back from Italy, everyone is looking at my left hand and the same diamond that's been there for the past 3 years and saying, "You're engaged, I see," like I took the opportunity to run away and madly seduce some rich Italian count with a charming villa somewhere on Lake Como. How do I respond to this? Half of me-- the half that believes that childbirth is a totally unnecessary pain to go through when there are already millions of other children who need families on our already over-populated Earth, and would never, ever drop her last name for matrimonial bliss-- wants to say, "No, and hopefully never," and but the new blasted biological tick-tick-tick-bitch wants to reply with a sigh and a "I wish." I'm settling for a nervous giggle instead as of late. When I get scared, I giggle. I can't help it. Just the idea confounds and terrifies me. What man would want to put a ring on me, anyway? I feel like that's a huge investment risk. Beyonce may preach “If you like it, than you shoulda put a ring on it,” but as the authors of “The Ethical Slut” argue, "A ring around the finger does not cause a nerve block to the genitals" (15).
Hindsight being 20/20, the problem is that running away to Italy to seduce a count (or a pro soccer player) and live foodily ever after would not be so unlike me. My attention span with men has been likened to that of a crack-addled Rhesus monkey. I also have legendary "man-dar"-- if there's a good-looking one within a two-block radius, I know about it. I literally will go on point. I've got a nose for these things, and it's good because I'm like a kid in a very grown-up candy store. I figure, you can look; you may even touch-- just don't let it melt in your hands.
"We may not always know what fits without trying it on, so we tend to be curious and adventurous. When we see someone who intrigues us, we like to feel free to respond" (The Ethical Slut, 5-6). As a flirt, I agree with this sentiment. But as someone who is often a half of a relationship, I can tell you that I am not complacent with being “one of.” I am the sort of person who deserves to be “the one.” Just like you deserve to be “the one” to someone else, and not “one who sometimes comes around.”
This thinking puts me highly at odds with my actions at times. I am highly monogamous as a rule, right up until the point I’m just not anymore, which is what makes it so unexpected or dangerous. There have been times I have found myself in someone else’s bed while not quite out of a relationship with another. There’s no simple flip-switch for this kind of thing, and yet, it can be instantaneous. No one ever can prepare for the connection. Which renders us as helpless as fish in that dynamited barrel. Not flattering when you’re trying to maintain a mysterious, independent persona.
So have I been cheated on? More than twice. Have I been shattered by it? Yes. But have I also been a cheater? Yes. Have I be a co-partner in other’s infidelity? Yes. Does this make me the same wicked bitch of the North-east like I have imagined other women to be? No. It just makes me human, with questionable taste in men. The difference, to me, is that I always ask myself, what are the risks being taken for all involved? Is anyone being purposefully hurt by these actions? Empathy is a huge part in maintaining what is an honest lifestyle. If you wouldn’t want to put in the situation in a reverse role, than my feeling is, don’t do it. But my definitions of some things might be a little skewed. And the problem with my "problem" and my logic is this-- the same men I hunt out have a tendency to be just like me, too. It's one big, dangerous, flammable ball of trouble. Like Carrie found with Aidan, playing with fire can get too hot to handle sometimes. Problems at home-- be it differences in living habits; differences in desires and personalities that get in the way of the partnership; a feeling of constantly needing to "mother" or be "mothered"; miscommunication, or NO communication-- can lead to problems outside of the home.
"Hollywood tells us that 'love means never having to say you're sorry,' and we, fools that we are, believe it. The myth has it that if you're really in love with someone, you never have to argue, disagree, communicate, negotiate, or do any other kind of work" (The Ethical Slut, 18-19). But anyone who has ever partnered with another person for any period of time can tell you, it doesn’t work like that. There will be times when nothing someone is doing seems to be right. You will get annoyed, and frustrated, and brow-beaten, and more than a little convinced that the grass is greener over on that other person’s lawn. Tapping out is an option, but actually putting in the time and effort is the higher road. That’s the beauty of relationships—in the best ones, both you and your S.O should be working for the common goal not only of fulfilling desires, but also of stretching each other while trying to help the other be the best person they can possibly be. That’s what relationships are—challenging.
There’s no perfect code to this; no Rosetta’s Stone to dealing with monogamy or your partner. As Carrie said, "Can you ever expect anyone on the outside to understand what goes on between two people?" No, I don't think you can. I think that every relationship is a tiny little universe in and of itself, and that no matter how long we talk about it with our confidants; no matter how many times we play the movie reels of memory and conversations over and over and over inside our minds; no matter how much we write about it and expand on it; and no matter how enlightened or entitled we think we really are, we will never understand our own relationships, let alone those of the people around us.