On Being a Bitch

domestication, Love, social awareness, soulfood, therapy

Take a seat, let’s chat about this, it’s long over due.

One of my many muses Erin Brown posted a snippet from her most recent book about not being afraid to embody the word bitch because no one knows what it means any way.

I have had a very different experience with this word. The meaning is always contextual. And I’ve been called it a lot. It comes in two varieties, “You’re being a bitch” and, “You’re a bitch”.

Being a bitch typically comes from those around me who are more emotionally evolved. They distinguish being because they understand that I am a person with a myriad of ways of being, hats I wear, tasks I do, and conversations I have. What they unconsciously know is that being a bitch indicates a behavior or behavior pattern. We are not our behaviors, simple. Our behaviors are our personality, and our personalities are the vehicles for our souls. 

Please consider this next time that you think someone is bitchy or a bitch. Actually they are acting in “that” way. It’s the “that“, that’s subjective.

[Sorry to nitpick the semantics, but words have power.]

So, let’s talk about that.

First we have to understand that our ways of being are adaptive to our environment.  Personalities are the way that we have found that works for us to show up in the world and receive the feedback that we want and need. From this place we can unpack the bitchy behavior.

Yesterday, I was asked to conceptualize my family of origin as a square, and each person in it took up their own organic shape with their personalities (i.e., means to met needs) My shape (and your shape) is thus the negative space. Here’s a little drawing to help illustrate the point:

Today, I wanted to stretch this a little further. Imagine the box as our entire society. Now sprinkle in patriarchy, gender scripts, financial power, politics, our education system, opportunities, shame, sisterhood, joy, race, your neighborhood, your inner dialogue and every single interpersonal relationship that you’ve ever had. Dang that box is crowded.

And where are you? You’re (I’m) that squiggly blue bit trying to make sense of it all, integrating, wanting to be seen or not seen at all. We accommodate and respond to every single thing around us in a fraction of a second always!  You might be going with the flow, you may be making waves and you might be chillin’ under the surface of the water. Or if you’re a human you flex in and out of doing all three.

These are usually unconscious decisions. We’ve laid down these patterns in early childhood, solidified them through our teenage years and are carrying those shells everywhere with us as adults. Seeing that can be insightful, it can be painful, but it can also be liberating.

Here’s what I know to be my truth. Sometimes people perceive me to be a bitch. And that’s their assessment of me that I’m not concerned with changing. Because I know all of me. I know the expansiveness of my soul. I know all of the roles that I step into on a given day and I hold loving space for each of those. So, when the environment is just so and I feel the impulse to express myself in a way that is strong and firmly rooted in what I believe to be true I do so. I step into my power. I’m not afraid of it and I’m not afraid of what “you’ll/they’ll” think of me when I do. 

The goal in life is not to be liked by everyone. I have a laundry list of other goals that will always, always be vastly more important than this one. 

Here’s the second part. Yes, we all wish that our childhoods were more ideal. Wish that our past and current situations demanded less bitch power and more along for the ride. But, you can come to respect that those and this situation were not that.

Many members of my family worked doggedly to break me down. Strip me of my opinions. They were massively confrontational. I spent too many of those formative years at war, screaming, hitting, crying, fighting for my voice and space. Fighting to simply be in a way that aligned with my conscious.

In those early years  I didn’t just learn to fight, I also learned to choose my battles. To be impeccably informed. To spit facts like fire out of my mouth. They taught me to tap into a deep well of inner strength. I also learned a lot of coping strategies that I’m actively dismantling. Yet I respect them, because they got me to where I am now, in tact.

The girl who you may call bitch, know that she is so much more. She is a fortress and a butterfly. She is who she needs her to be. She is perfect. 

You’re Rubber I’m Glue

domestication, soulfood, therapy

I’m a jacket with Velcro closures, stuffed into an over packed front load washer. A detergent of Do The Right Thing carefully measured, poured atop. Fabric softener skipped, we’re cutting back on household expenses.

This damn washer screams a piercing beeeeeeeeep, at the end of every cycle. Okay, okay, I hear you.

Pulled out, heaved in to the dryer above. Stuck to me- the sock, the scarf, all of the soft things. The tear of fibers enmeshed akin to nails on a chalk board.  Torn apart, heaved and hung. I’ll dry out. I’ll keep you warm then.

And you’ll breath in the soothing scent of the freshly laundered made even sweeter, because you didn’t do the washing.

________________________

Today I was reminded that the spoken and written word are always open to interpretation. Try not to be too attached to them. Let them from your fingers and lips freely. Hush your ego when it want’s to jump to their defense. Those words are no longer yours, they live outside of you. Just observe.

 

 

 

My Post-Christmas Era

domestication, pretty things

Are we living in the post Christmas era?

I developed this hypotheses while droning through another semi-holiday special on a couch in a town where I once lived.

I could go on about the capitalism of Christmas. The loss of the true meaning – giving and thanks- but I’ll spare you.

Instead I shall in an equally depressing fashion eulogize Christmas and  family past. 

Family – that’s really the problem. Eight and a half yeas ago I stood dumbfounded as my personal Christmas spirit was lowered six feet into the ground. Honestly, Christmas died years earlier with a family rift and a collectors addition Barbie given a year late. The sting of heart break on the holidays never really dulls.  (Also, apparently 6 feet is a myth it’s totally not that deep anymore).

There was one person in my family that held everything together. I suppose we all have them. The one who hosts, cooks, wraps, chats and makes all things cheer. When the babies grow up, the children move away and our loved ones die so does the spirit of Christmas. Thus is getting older I suppose.

It’s three days after Christmas 2015 and I can guarantee that Ever is excited for Christmas 2016 already. She starts a serious countdown to her birthday and Christmas about July. I’m envious. To be fair this was a good year for my personal fervor- two time in particular, once this fall for Mexico and again for my the birth of my precious baby nephew. I should chalk it up to a good year.

Also, note worthy this holiday season were all of the times that I rejoiced in the early morning shrills of Ever finding Snowey doing something silly. We read The Night Before Christmas a few dozen times in an attempt to memorize a few more lines. I made ginger bread houses with my baby and sat idly as she decorated the Christmas tree all by her self. Yesterday as I prepared Santa’s packages I added a few more ornaments that I found in her backpack haphazardly to the branches. Our little ten dollar plastic tree draped in popsicle sticks and cardboard ornaments is absolutely beautiful. I’ll miss our sequined stockings, the lights, the anticipation until mid October when it will surely be back in full force. For a few more years at least.

My embittered spirit must be partially because my daughter looks at least three years over reality. To sound clichè just yesterday she was toddling around the Christmas tree. This year each of the little milestones felt less and less like soccer mom duty and more and more like the good days flying past me. I drop her off places and watch from the sidelines as she carries on like her own autonomous human. Da fuck. It’s true time is speeding up.

This Christmas I dropped in to see my baby for 30 minuets or less (she was at her other grandparents house), like you would an old high school friend turned acquaintance. My heart broke. Not because I won’t see her in a week and not because she doesn’t need to spend time the rest of her family but because she is my portal to the magic and merriment of the season. 

Is that sick? It’s true for all of my childless friends out there. Your babies will be your happiest and heaviest burden and when they are gone you are lost and broken. When they happen to be gone on a day that is already stripped of joy it’s hard not to seep into a puddle. 

Ahhh well I feel better I just blamed my Christmas blasè on Ever. Done.

But really it’s so much more. It’s not belonging to a family. It’s not having a family of my own. Yeah- yeah- family are the people you choose. Yes, I have choose some amazing people to share my world with. Some of those people I was able the spend the last few days with and that was and is always the best part of coming home. But still I can’t shake the bah humbug.

I’d like to officially blame everyone but myself.
Starting with the industrialized world. The increasing isolationism of our society. The lack of social connection. Living beyond our evolutionary scope. All of those things.

And *ahemmm* me. For not making some fucking lemonade. Short of one family’s holiday that I crashed a couple of years ago everyone else has gotten it wrong. It seems at all of the other family Christmas function that there’s a sliding scale from just barely tolerating each other for dear life to the exchanging of mildly amused times. No one is really having fun. Experiencing each other. It’s just fucking lame.

For the first time in my life I’m unabashedly jealous of those few insane people that I know that have had way too many children and are doing it right. Their homes and hearts look full. Yes that’s me stewing in envy on the other side of my mobile device. What I wouldn’t give to be surrounded by the people I love.

One day I’ll have the privilege of family again, if I have to birth them myself.

(I should also note that last year Christmas in Santa Fe was magical. Not only was I surrounded by some of my most favorite people but the whole town comes out and goes on a farolito walk around the plaza. Everyone gathers and sings Christmas carols. People set up bon fires and pass out pasole and hot chocolate. It’s everything that is still good and right in the world. That’s where I’ll be on December 24th from here on out, you can come too).

The Truth About My Boyfriend and I

domestication, Ever Sophia, Love, soulfood

By now I’m sure you all know how Julius and I’s love story goes. Some of you have lived it with me. Others heard it recounted over and over.

Today in my ridiculous amounts of spare time that I have completely squandered away (and am trying not to feel guilty about) I went through all of the photo booth images on my computer. They chronicle the spring though winter 2014. The summer that I spent in Lawrence crash coursing a relationship that I wanted so badly to be real.

The truth. Well the truth is that I fell in love with Julius hard. Really-really- unadvised hard. And all before I had any remotely romantic interactions with him in person.

When our long distance flirtationship was born I had just been romantically steam rolled by another man. Flattened and stunned I gathered up all of my guts that I could muster and took a leap of insanity. We’ve talked before about how I don’t do particularly well alone. I CAN do it but life just sucks without a partner. I hear the many of you that lust for your bachelor days of yore, it’s just not my cup of tea. So here I was, heart broken, reeling and totally smitten with a man three states away.

Yada, yada, yada. I show up to Lawrence for one weekend a month before I was to stay for three months. Julius and I had a chaotic, confusing, weird couple of days that ended in a lot of uncertainty. But you know how I like to cling. So we resumed skyping and writing for the gap month.

Then Ev and I returned for what would become a very very long 60 + days. That first weekend I invited him to be my date to my best friend’s wedding. At that juncture I didn’t know which was worse to be a date-less maid of honor or to have a pile of pictures with a man that I briefly loved way back when and blahh blahh tragic break up story to haunt me until the end of time. This is real shit that women (I) think about: Do I want to invite you to the family Christmas photos? I can’t undo documenting you in all of my magical moments that I would like to fondly reminisce about one day. Trust I have plenty of jpegs in the don’t open ever folder. Eventually you become more discerning.

I invited him despite my hesitations. It had to be exceptionally awkward for the poor sweet man but he made social butterfly lemonade and we had a swell time. Yes, there are pictures to document that indelible limb that I went out on.

Today, I scroll though a mess of selfies and videos of Ever being a total goon. There they are– those sweet, sweet pictures and videos of Julius and Ev being silly when our family was just a newborn baby.

Photo on 6-28-14 at 12.33 PM #2

Julius and Ever got thrown into the ring together without much warning. It wasn’t easy for either of them. Ev was insufferable. Completely defensive about a new man in addition to the general stress of turning our regular routine on it’s head. I -then and now- make a lot of concessions for the fact that for every break up that I’ve endured in the past seven years so has she.

Those first months were terrifying. The weight of fucking up your kid’s life any more than you already have sits like a lead vest on your chest. Things were pretty tumultuous between Julius and I. All kinds of stressors compounded with some major trust issues that my darling bug a boo mercilessly projected at me. We had a lot of long painful let’s call it quits shall we conversations that summer. I was sure that I was back in the old familiar place of self-dreamt delusions about a love that you only wished were real.

The love was real. The logistics were just fucked.

Yet, there he was on the other side of the lens immortalizing himself into a photographic memory that is harder to swab clean than your own mind. I’m excellent at forgetting, it’s the reminders that get me.

I stand by that the first year is the hardest. Fuck the first few months are the hardest.

But we both kept coming back together. Kept gambling on a love that we didn’t have any futures on. We were simply unable to let go. Over and over and over. Honestly it wasn’t until spring 2015 that I was sure that what we had was a safe bet. And still for a full year we kept participating in each others memories holding a lump in our throats that one day we may look back in pain and anger.

Why didn’t we walk away all of the times that it was really fucking hard? Some combination of: Fait. The fact that’s it’s really hard to undo what you’ve done. All of those magical moments where we flooded every dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin receptor in our brains. Because both of us are really tired of starting over. Because there’s a baby involved. That at the end of every day, beneath all of the layers of shit, that we genuinely liked each other.

The other day a friend posted an instagram picture of her beautiful children that were born really close together and said something to the effect that she couldn’t believe that she ever doubted this. That’s a universal truth if I’ve ever heard it. That the scary things- the big things- like creating a new life, embarking on new love, taking a new career path, doing what ever it is that is terrifying are the most important. Maybe they don’t always work out but some of them will. When they do you might want to look back to two years ago and see the pictures that remind of a time when you weren’t sure. Because they remind you that you won’t be sure again but that time will march on and that certainty has a way of finding you. It’s the nature of things.

So, the truth is that I thought then that we were crazy. That we were doomed. That I was hurling myself towards a wrecked heart. That I was jeopardizing the little stability in my daughter’s life that I could give her alone. The truth is that I was unsure about my boyfriend. The truth is also that I was wrong. It turns out that he’s a pillar of stability, that every picture is better with him in it and of that I’m sure.

How I Found My Daughter a New Dad —- and why saying that is taboo

domestication, Ever Sophia, Love

I get asked,  “Are you going to have more children” a lot. I don’t mind answering it’s too complicated for a cut and dry no so I start talking about how Ev would love a sibling but I really can’t justify it right now or rationally any point in the future.  Every now and again a fellow mother will respond with,
“My oldest child was a single child for ___ years. The whole time all they begged me for was a brother(s) or sister(s)*. So, I found a man**, got married and had __ children. They love their siblings but they still aren’t happy. There’s nothing you can do to give them what they want.”
A couple of weeks ago that exact conversation happened at the pool and ended with. “Well now she’s 19, moved out of the house and I have a 2 and 4 year old that she see’s once a month or less and only refers to them as my kids”.

*Ev personally wants 100 sisters, no brothers. We’re still crunching the numbers…

**I don’t completely buy that that woman ran out and rustled up the most convenient man to settle down with and start popping out playmates for her oldest. But what I do think is like all single mothers she felt inadequate. She felt like she started a family, the circumstances of the failure are irrelevant, all that matters is that she failed. Other than the desperate women who resort to one night stand “gotcha babies“, here’s an instructional guide if that’s your bag. [Sane] Women do not get pregnant and follow it up with a cozy I’m going to raise this child by myself declaration. It’s not how we’re wired biologically. It makes no practical sense. If you’ve ever had to figure out rent, gas, groceries and $700 worth of daycare a month on once income then you understand. But more than the money and logistics of what in the f am I going to do when little Timmy catches the flu and I can’t find a babysitter, it’s a matter of the heart. 

So we set about the world recovering emotionally from the truth of our failed relationship or our failure at planning, clad in the abundant love and joy that our child brings to this world, searching for a partner. 

This time we’re looking for keeps. 

Here’s the dichotomous nature of those intentions. Everyone in the position to comment on your life, has a million opinions about who you should date… marry and how that should manifest. For me all of the ineligible bachelors thought hey you’re attractive can’t you just bat your eyes, wave a magic wand and find a sugar daddy? Okay, sugar daddy isn’t really PC but let’s be real you need to get P-A-I-D, killing two birds with one stone. Go on, just bibbity boppity boo already, treat yo self.

Some thought. Oh courageous one. Your life is so cute with just you and your daughter. It’s basically like having a sleep over every night and someone to love you unconditionally. Now, let’s be honest a solid man comes around once in a blue moon, let’s not exhaust yourself finding him. Just be content. If it’s meant to happen then it will, but seriously though your like the poster child for cute single parenthood. Why would you want to miss that photo op?

Photo on 2013-05-24 at 10.48 #6

It’s true we’re fucking adorable with or with out a man or father in our life. But do you want to know what is also true. At the time that I took this picture, I was working full time, going to school full time, living with my mother (a state of existence that no adult should have to endure… love you mom but God damn we do not function under the same roof), I was exhausted, lonely, stressed and very unfulfilled. I was also a crappy mother because of all of those things. Ev was shuffled around between me, my mom and her dad’s parents. Nothing was stable for her. Yet, I was doing the damn thing for her sake. To make a better life for her. Here’s the trouble in making a better life, the future may very well be exponentially worse than the present despite your best efforts. We have to invest in the present. That’s all we’re guaranteed.

I didn’t know that then. I’m barely learning that now.

Back to my point so you have two camps:
1-find a man, let him fix it all
2- Come on girl rally, read some Virginia Woolf gather your mothering instincts up and fearlessly trudge into the future without the worry of a man

Maybe that works for you. It doesn’t me.

I hesitate to call myself co-dependent. I don’t need a man. But I am my best self when I’m in a healthy happy relationship. I am the best version of Momma that I can be when I have the support of a caring partner. I’ve known this for all of my adult life, I can’t suppress the need or fill the void with something else when it’s missing.

I went about my life looking for a compromise.

Here’s the conundrum. At least in my age bracket you can’t very well go out to a club and proposition someone to be your surrogate baby daddy. Well you can and then systematically have every man in the place slowly back away and then run. So instead you put on your heals that you’re liable to break your neck in, you find some perfume labeled sex kitten in lieu of the pheromones that you should actually be roller balling all over your body. And you go out. The selection of potential male suitors is always grim if you’re as picky as I. If your efforts aren’t entirely in vain you’ll find one guy that’s worth nestling up to the bar with. You’ll give him doe eyes and exaggerated laughs at things that probably aren’t funny. Maybe you’ll take a few too many shots and fuck him that night. Maybe you’ll take the high road and simply exchange numbers.

Best case scenario you’ll exchange snap chats and quips about sports or some shit that you’re not even vaguely interested in. If your lucky you will be offered a real date like you’re a real girl. At which maybe you’ll break the I have a little babushka ice. You slip it into the conversation over the appetizer like so,
“Hhahahahha, ohh that’s funny. Speaking of funny things earlier today my daughter said the darnedest thing. Hahaha”. Ohhh solemn face. What? I didn’t look like I have kids. Was that on account of my still intact vagina? Or because I don’t have a ‘mom’ haircut? I’m a little confused. But really having a kid is no big deal. Hopefully one day soon I’ll feel comfortable enough to introduce you two. You’re going to love her, she’s brilliant, funny, charismatic. Basically the most incredible human to grace this earth….”
“Well except that she’s going to want you to die. Absolutely die. It doesn’t matter if you bring her lollipops or a unicorn your still an intruder. A “new one” and she doesn’t like your type. But then you’ll overcome that and we can buy a cute little bungalow and ride bikes to the farmers market on Saturdays and go on vacations every summer. She’s really a blessing in disguise. I mean shit. I didn’t mean to say any of that out loud.  What I really meant is , like, basically she’s like a puppy. She just wants to play and she naps a lot and totally doesn’t get in the way. You won’t actually have to be her father, she already has one, you’ll just have to come over for ice-cream and say hi. Then we can have sex. It’ll be great.”

UHHHHHHHHHHH.

That was not an exaggeration. That conversation is so painful. Straddling the line(s) of
-I’m inherently flawed because I have a child(ren)
-I still have to present my self as a completely self-sustaning single parent
-convincing them that they are primarily going to be a romantic partner to me and just vaguely a part of the kids life
is some kind of shitty position.

I used to fantasize about meeting a single dad at the park whose ex-wife had ran off with the circus leaving him with his 1 or 2 children. He would be so stoked to have serendipitously found me. We would start this beautiful stock photo worthy blended family. It would be magic.Despite all of the hours logged on park benching, prince charming never swept Ev and I off of our feet. So, I was forced to improvise.

My solution. Date older men that already know me in the context of being a mother. Bammm awkward conversation (it’s bigger than a conversation, maybe life proposal) adverted. This way they would know before the first wink and smile what they were getting themselves into. [Read here about how my daughter is not and will never be baggage.]

What happened? Well, the plan wasn’t fool proof. There were a couple of less than great decisions that I made in relationships. But they were part of my journey in discovering what I needed in a relationship and what I had to give. Why did I stumble so many times? Because they weren’t ready. And  because they weren’t my one.

Finally my ode to Father’s Day.

The other day I wrote about how pragmatic that J and I were about our relationship at first. Maybe I was being slightly unfair in my depiction of how our relationship started.  We were both really cautious. With good reason we had just come out of really fucked up relationships, we lived in different states and there was a child involved. At one point early on we exchanged these excerpts from emails (modern day romance, am I right?)
__________________________________________________________

4/27/14
J:

[This isn’t really relevant BUT float into my lap like a dandelion…. put a fork in me]
Do you know what its like to search for love for years? To grind and toil over it, sweat and labor searching for it, getting knocked down again and again until one day it just floats into your lap like a dandelion in the breeze? Sometimes I think you’re a mirage, and that I’m still in the desert, deliriously chasing a figment of my own imagination, but in reality stumbling to my own death. [He goes on to sugarcoat likening me to death and then:]
I don’t even think about my future anymore. I think about ours. My short goals all revolve around getting to you. My long goals all revolve around taking care of us…of building a family with you.
R:
I don’t know how to say this without sounding like an asshole. So, I guess I’ll preface it with in my heart of hearts I feel like you are different. But, every guy that falls in love with me sings the same song— your the greatest girl in the whole world, I’m going to marry you, here I have the stars and the moon tucked in my pocket just for you—-. Granted you say it the most beautifully and the most convincingly. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m just having déjà vu. That somewhere between early infatuation and the doldrums of a ruined love, you’ll realize that I am not Helen but merely a siren. Thus far everyone has destroyed their ship on my shores. Regardless of how much of that was their own doing it’s still hard to watch. To have no mercy. To withhold the urge to save the next poor fella from himself. From me.

J:

I love your pragmatism. I’m a mess, your a wreck but that’s just human being-ness. And let me be equally pragmatic. I don’t think ur a Godess or siren…I have no pedestal to prop you up on. And I also fear the bottom. But I don’t fear you. All of my fears are the ghosts of relationships past hahaha. It takes quite an effort to remind myself to keep the past in the past.
And I’m certainly not promising you the moon, the stars…green clovers, blue diamonds or any other lucky charms 🙂 My head is not in the clouds, my feet are firmly planted. What I know is pretty simple.
I enjoy us.
But I do have one fear about us, just one. I don’t fear Ever, I don’t fear the possibility of putting my goals on hold to help you achieve your grad school dreams. My only fear is removing the distance buffer….
Well let me assure you. I know exactly what i’m getting myself into with you.
____________________________________________________________
My response 14 months later
6/21/15
R:

I fell in love with your words before I fell in love with you. Can you blame me? Those emails were like reading a well written romance novel were I was the lead character. [ Pro-tip fellas girls dig that shit, unless you can’t make coherent sentences than spare us.]

I don’t actually think that either of us had any idea about what we were getting into. We didn’t anticipate having an incredibly intense summer in Lawrence that was anything but the picture-esq get away that we had dreamed. We didn’t anticipate that I would drive away at the end of July  with no hope that you were actually ever going to move to New Mexico. We didn’t anticipate how hard it was for all of us when you got here.
We didn’t anticipate all of the disagreements. We didn’t realize how intense it was going to be to find middle ground to parent Ev from. I don’t think that you anticipated that you were going to have to be such an unwavering pillar for me and that little girl. We didn’t anticipate how intense our love for each other would be. We didn’t anticipate how much fun we would have together. And we also didn’t anticipate how easily that we could both bring each other to our emotional knees. That’s the magic and might in resonating so deeply with each other.
Having/being a family then seemed like a buzz word. It sounded nice. We weren’t living it. We weren’t fighting for it. I’m still not sure if we know for sure what we’ve gotten our selves into.
IMG_0570
But I do know that this is the greatest love of my life. In it’s multifaceted dimensions. Sharing an existence with my two soul mates is trial and error but always the greatest privilage. Day and night, last minute runs to the pharmacy, bed time stories, cheers from the crowd as our baby crosses the stage, staying up way past bedtime, report cards, dance recitals, discipline, breakfast lunch and dinner. All day, every day. We are a family. You’ve made us that.
We’ll forever be making it. Together. Happy Father’s Day, I’m so happy that we’ve found us.
Love
-Reg

I’m dating an adult

domestication, Love, science says

I’m in a *realisticship  with an adult  *(autocorrect that couldn’t be more poignant). Yeah, yeah I’m an adult and so are you. But J is like really an adult when it comes to his emotions and it sucks a little.

In the past 5 days I have watched (I promise not in a creepy way) two people transform from mostly strangers to madly in love. In 5 flipping days. I have written before about how if I were a man or a lesbian that I would be swimming in a sea of ladies because simply: I know what women want. Let’s explore shall we.

In psychology of human sexuality (probably my most interesting and enlightening college course to date) we learned about satisfaction in relationships based on gender. Based on real evidence found in academic textbooks that I’m too lazy to dig out and cite and a completely AMAZEBALLS book The Evolution of Desire lesbians are the happiest together in terms of matched long term relationship goals, matched libido,  monogamy and communication.

Yes, we can all debate gender norms. Yes, I would like it if we lived in a world where everyone felt no pressure to conform to a prescribed identity. However, for the sake of science lets all lay down our arms and accept that for the vast majority of the population we fit a physiological biochemistry that express its self in predictable male and female patterns.

Here’s some fun research that all comes from the final chapter of The Evolution of Desire. All of it has footnotes that I’m really too lazy at this juncture to look up and report. So, you’ll have to trust my note taking abilities or don’t. If you’re interested in my academic writing sans profanity and blatant not giving any fucks then go here. Otherwise check this improperly cited information out from an evolutionary and biological explanation for human sexual strategy:

-Hypothesis: Same sex relationships are the expression of male and female preferences. 

-Given that: Gay men are more likely to engage in extra pair coupling, are more likely to have casual sex, are more sexually precarious. Verses lesbians who often confine to fewer sexual partners and have longer more committed relationships.
(That is not to say that the typical male sexual prowess gay or straight does not dramatically change with age, read testosterone changes, because it does becoming more monogamous and less sexually driven).

This working theory claims that being in a same sex relationship is either a hyper masculine or a hyper feminine relationship style.

The more controversial aspect of this is that having both partners matched with the same ideals for a relationship makes lesbians the real winners in the battle for deep meaningful monogamous seriously invested relationships. And yes I am about a hairs width away from signing up (I’m a little sorry if that offends you but let me explain how being bi woman or lesbian is a choice more so than being a gay man).  This same book presents super interesting research into how males sexual orientation is predominantly static over time and female’s are much more fluid. Straight women are sexually aroused much more equally by provocative imagery of the same and opposing sex than straight men are. In suite we are more likely to be ‘bisexual’ than men are who tend to choose either straight or gay more exclusively.

So, here I am essentially a cultural anthropologist and scholar in evolutionary sexual theory reaffirming said research in the wild… ok so it’s the mostly mundane world of interoffice relationships.

-Field notes: 

Young female enters work place.

Assumes vivacious flirting behavior towards all females regardless of previous or current sexual orientation.

Probably all kinds of interactions took place not visible to researchers vantage point with one other female specifically.

Lunch was bought, candy delivered. We can assume pleasentries were exchanged.

[(My) Real Life: I developed a level 10 crush on a guy in highschool because he reached out and brushed some hair out of my eyes, that’s all it took. We homo sapiens are hard wired to leap into lust and attraction.]

Bam. My electronic resources inform me of #gaygirlinlove #mygirlfriendishotterthanyours.

They went from zero to dinner with both sets of parents, mind you one of them was ‘straight’ last week, in 5 days or less.

Have straight people done equally as hopelessly romantic things– of course. Is that the norm– I argue no.

Let’s give an example that is near and dear to my heart. I met the man of my dreams two years ago (time flies) at my work place in the next cubicle over. I thought he was a total babe. He thought I was 12 (I swear that I’m of consenting age). He leaned over my desk to enter a password or some shit, mostly he leaned right across me. At some point that summer at work by boob just jumped out of my dress and he sweetly told me to put my ish away. We laughed and talked about everything, seriously everything, not sure that I needed to hear your old funny hooker stories from back when you lived in D.C. when my impressionable mind was still trying to make up and down of you, but I did. With in two months I had this sensation that he was someone that I was supposed to know. I didn’t know what that was going to look like but I knew that I needed to keep my thumb on him. Mean while he had no sensations what so ever, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I feel like he plays up liking me in the beginning to make me feel better now.

And so it was. Well it was on Facebook. I liked the pictures of him and his then girlfriend wholeheartedly, I was so happy that he had found happiness. I sent him messages once every blue moon to check in on him. Then he contacted me, over 9 months after meeting this dude. For you mathematicians that is exactly 268 days longer than the adorable lesbian couple at my work took to express their resonating like/love/feels for each other.  To be clear it took me at least 268 days to get this man to say hey girl I might like you in a slightly non-platonic way but let me be very vague about all of it as to not get your hopes up at all, because it’s probably nothing. 

Da fuck.

In all seriousness this is the best case scenario, for any man that you don’t pick up in the back of a shared cab home from a nearly black out night of drinking. Plus, I’m a fucking catch if I do say so myself. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, but for real. That’s why I advise all 16 year old girls to go ahead and get that creepy promise ring, lock that shit down. There is a small window in your life where the boys are a knocking (pounding down your door) and most of them are emotionally stunted and immature beyond measure. If you find a descent one snatch that shiz up.

It doesn’t get easier but it does get better.

hangout_snapshot_0

Us laying in bed together then…… in high def

bed

And now….. still in high def 🙂

How do I explain this. Keep in mind that we are talking about the man that I wrote this about: Surprise I’m Getting Married and Having a Baby!  about. In the beginning of our  mostly cyber relationship, I’m sure I’ve explained that before. If not then in a nut shell we lived 3 states away and skyped as our primary form of interaction. Yes, we fell in love over Skype. That’s some You’ve Got Mail est. 2014 screen play gold for any of your aspiring writers, you’re welcome. In the beginning, read multiple weeks into exclusively conducting ourselves as friends with absolutely no mention of any thing relationship bound he sent me this one very vulnerable, emotionally monumental email. Basically saying that he wanted to cut the shit and say that he liked me. It was a fucking milestone. In all seriousness I absolutely treasure all of the things that he USED ahhhem write me because they are total magic. But it took logging hundreds of hours of talking to this man about the weather and politics before he would let the I L-I-K-E you cat out of the bag. 

My point is that, that I LIKE YOU breakthrough was a year into knowing the love of my life, my soul mate. Was it worth waiting for— yes. Had he been a woman would it have came out in the first few days or weeks of knowing each other I’d like to think so.

Which is why yesterday I gave J one of my signature only half kidding ad lib joke lectures about how he seriously needs to step up his romance game on account of me eye witnessing of these two ladies lapping up the joy of each other daily. Is it new and exciting in the beginning for everyone regardless of sexual orientation? Of course. Can you move major pragmatic hurdles between two people embarking on a course of love together in that short amount of time with a man? I’ve yet to see it, this ‘aint my first rodeo and I’m easy to (fall in) love (with). Granted, man, you have earned your stripes keeping me around.

Maybe I should have entitled this I’m dating an adult MAN. It’s bittersweet. And yes my love, you are very nice to me, you do all kinds of nice things for me and I love you with every fiber of my being. But, you could be significantly more enthused and bring me those yummy toxic sour sugary candies every now and again. It couldn’t hurt.

the time that I watched 20 episodes of Girls back to back and questioned my entire life

domestication

At the intersection of newly acquired streaming HBO and a plague that has fallen over my house I have watched three seasons of Girls back to back. Now, I’m going to be honest the kind of emotional life breakdown that I’m having right meow isn’t nearly as bad the two back to back seasons of OITNB that twisted my reality to the point that I needed to be a lesbian and seriously reevaluated my life on the outside. I mean minimum security prison is really mostly like a big sleepover with fewer bags of cool ranch doritos. But, it is still one.

I’m stuck. Maybe we’re all stuck. Stuck between wishing to fulfill the dream that has resided in my heart of hearts for all of my conscious existence and fulfilling my dream to put dinner on the table, raise my daughter in a respectable way and be in a supported relationship.

I don’t even know if I can put my finger on exactly what I want (ed) to be. I wanted to be the president of the United States, an astronaut, a supreme court justice, the edgy female version of Ken Burns, a writer, an artist, a Smithsonian curator, a surgeon, a public health advocate, an Art History professor at a community college and the owner of a really bohemian tea shop next to some water somewhere that smells really nice oh and I really want to wear pretty dresses every day and I want to go to the opera in a fancy fucking dress at least once, oh and I don’t want to wear a bra hardly ever.

Yup that’s what I want to be. Maybe specificity is my issue.  No where on that list is an occupational therapist, an medical office administrator, a frazzled mother, an OCD house cleaner, dog wrangler, an amateur blogger and political commentator to an audience of 2 (my boyfriend and my daughter……. mommmy what does the electoral college mean? Okay, but I’ll take listeners where I can get them).

But here I am. The rock is my obligations on this earth as the creator of another human being that needs nothing more than to have someone with their shit together navigating her ship of life for the next twelve years. The hard place is that I could literally throw a dart at that laundry list of things that I would actually like to be pursuing but am not and be significantly more fulfilled than I am currently.

I don’t know if you understand the kind of misery that I live. 8 to 6:30 Monday though Friday I put on business casual, leave the house and shape shift into a professional woman who is inquisitive, compassionate, easy to get along with, outgoing yet refined, polite, well mannered. I don’t cuss. I don’t tell people to take a flying leap. I don’t correct people when the make absolutely ludicrous declarations about politics, science or morality. I smile and nod. I fucking smile and nod and give half hearted fake chuckles and tragically unfunny things.
I also tell none of them about this blog, because that would be outing myself.

Here it is. Very few people in the ‘real world’ are actually intellectually stimulating, progressive or remotely interesting. And I really don’t like them.

Maybe the issue is that I’ve done nothing but make soup, do dishes, cuddle my baby and clean up a thousand piles of barf and shit in past 72 hours. So, yeah, life can’t  really go anywhere but up.

A Note On Reproductive Decisions

domestication, Ever Sophia, Love

Two things on babies that the internet made me say today:
1) I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again. Do not collect children like chotchkies. No I don’t believe that we should go all China on you and charge 7 years worth of wages because your family planning methods are shit. I do believe that your body is your decision. But that you should act reasonably about it. Are you unable to afford the children that you have? Are you unhealthy or creeping up there in age? Do you have fertility issues because of chronic illnesses? Was your last pregnancy an utter nightmare because of how high risk that it was? Is getting pregnant putting your own health and wellbeing in jeopardy?

These are all deal breakers. Maybe not for your first child, or hell I’ll give you the first two. But if you have two or more existing children and it is very dangerous for you to have another, or if you cannot guarantee the health and wellbeing of your future larger family. THEN DON’T HAVE ANOTHER GOD DAMNED KID. Yes, I think babies are a blessing. Yes, my ovaries explode overtime that I get with in 60 feet of an infant. But you don’t see me popping out babies every year because I think that some how my life would be more fulfilled. And I’m young, healthy and financially responsible for my family.

SHIT.
If that offended you for personal reasons, then it’s you that I’m talking about. Not sorry. 

2) Incase you missed the announcement of the year. My best friend is growing a little baby bear in her beautiful womb as we speak. I’m a little excited. 

About this time years ago for a multitude of reasons and cosmic destinies I peed on a pregnancy test for the third time in 2 weeks and two little blue lines stared back at me. A long exhaled FUCK is about the best description of that feeling. I was 20 years old, full of false optimism about the trajectory of my life and my ability to be a parent. Up until that point everything that I had ever put my mind to, or wanted bad enough always worked out. That was of course all a direct reflection of me, my personality, my intelligence, my sticktuitiveness. Naturally. I was pretty great. And I could totally handle 1 baby. I mean yeah, it’s just 1 baby. Single mothers everywhere have 4 plus babies. Slaves gave birth to babies in the cotton fields, strapped them to their back and continued working. It’s not that hard. I could handle it.

I just needed to have a silent panic attack, walk my dog for an exorbitantly long time and get my shit together. Gulp. Well that went well for about 1 day. Then the skies opened up, the first bolts of baby daddy reality struck and the shit storm that would be the next 3 years of my life blackened my skies.

I strapped my self and the blastocyst that would become bouncing baby Ever in the car and drove to my friends house. I can’t remember which came first Ari or Laura. At Laura’s I ranted about my life to her and the unsuspecting bystanders. She was rational, collected, her friends were always in a life predicament. And then I went to Ari’s. Sat on the front step and broke down in completely sobs. She held me. She made all kinds of unsupported assertions about my superhuman capacity. She told me that she would help me raise it.

Life went on. 8 short and excruciating months later Ever became a shitting, screaming, vortex of happiness, love, loyalty and conviction.

Dysfunctional though it was I had a village in Kansas that allowed me to be a full time student, a fully time employee and a part time mother. It was love and support. It was also piecemeal parenting. No one wanted me to give up on my dreams, no one wanted me to miss rent on any given month and everyone wanted to be the best ______ to their granddaughter, niece, daycare parent’s kid.

Most of them did. But it was no substitute for a real family.

The concept of a real family is always on my mind. I’ve written about it, grappled with it, thought and twists in turns about it.  Maybe that’s what you do when subconsciously your soul is trying to make the sum of the parts a whole and complete family and not just for yourself anymore- though that would be nice- but because that’s the most absolutely fundamental thing that you can provide your progeny.

I couldn’t find the footing at home that felt right. Infact it all completely unraveled which is enough torment and then the skies turned green and purple and hailed down deceit, danger and mostly heartbreak.

I had to leave.

On an unassisted, parachute free, leap of faith I decided to move to New Mexico. Ari was there and it was far enough away. Those two pros out weighed all of the cons.

And she helped me raise it.

aribaby

lovessss

Somehow despite the bumps in the road the pieces have fell in place here (for now, I’m getting less naive). I’m learning to trust a path that I can’t explain and never understand in the moment. But on that road every day are the two most beautiful gals in my world, Ev and Ari.

Ariel- I probably won’t have to be the pillar in your parenting adventure that you’ve been for me, but when you need me I’ll be there. When you need a cheerleader that boldly exclaims that if Sarah Smith can do it than so can you, I’ll be that person. When you want to put that baby in the microwave (jeez I never actually did that) because you will, I’ll find you a bottle of wine and turn on Shaggy, I know how that makes everything better. And if for any reason your path gets knotted, unruly and incomprehensible I’ll hold your tinny little hand and walk blindly into the future with you and these beautiful children that we’ve created.

I love you and yours. Forever and Ever.

Surprise: I’m getting married and having a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

domestication, Love, silly goose

Well, technically, no. I mean not yet. I mean, maybe not ever. I mean I grew a pair and confronted my boyfriend in an email (I’m an adult) saying,

“Hey bro, just so you know getting married and possibly having another child is in my life plan and for the record I’m not getting any younger. You down?”

To which he replied. 

“I’ll move out”.

Ohh. Shit. Well, that didn’t really go to plan now did it.

For the record this is how that conversation is supposed to go: 

-Complicated female creature that loves you and is trying to be honest about her life intentions that have been drug out into the light by this little thing called “a new year” and the chest crushing pressure of society and all of the things right in this world to itemize and prioritize her life says:

“Heyyyyyyyy, I know that we just got in a semi-huge fight, so naturally I’m going to use it as an opportunity to say all of the things that I normally would never say to your face. No I’m not drunk. So do you wanna spend the rest of your life and the eternal afterlife with me and at some point in the near-ish future *even though I look like I’m 13 my eggs are nearing the 30 years old mark* wanna put a baby in me? I mean who doesn’t want a baby… with me, right? So yay or nay?”

-Handsome, charming, temporarily in an asshole trance but suddenly shaken into a deeply moved spiritual and love filled place boyfriend replies:

“Okay, sure. I mean yes. More than yes, absolutely! Let me work up some very thoughtful and romantic way to propose to you. We’ll streamline the whole wedding planning thing. It’ll be simple, elegant and expedited. Right after we’ll start making babies. Well, probably just one but hey you’re a level headed human being completely above the sabotage of your hormones so I’ll let you make that call, you always know what’s best.
P.S. I’m sorry for everything that happened earlier, again you’re right (I really can’t tell you that enough), I love you darling. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’ll be home straight away to reassure you all of the above mentioned things to your face and I’m brining wine, so that the next passionate and love filled email that you send me can actually be because you’re drunk.”

But things never go my way. I have absolutely no idea why. It just doesn’t make sense.

I’m accepting, flowers, cards, heartfelt condolences and these:

unicorn

Couldn’t hurt.

The silver lining, I like to send J emails of really horrid weddings that I see online and say things like, “Hey babe, I love you so much that I’ll let you wear a mad hatter outfit to the alter”. He never replies. But he doesn’t reply no. And when I whisper about it in his ear right before he falls asleep, he says, “Ohh what you’ve set a date?” I think he might be being sincere, like he really just wants me to take some initiative. Yeah?

Right after our “pillow talk” I started whining about how we needed a kitten, a puppy, 2 sea stars and a baby (those are all real things that I really really really need and they need me, especially the sea stars). He said, “Oh what are we just going to go pick up a baby? Maybe we should get a red headed one?”
It’s like he knows that I can’t stand red hair (don’t get all hurt and offended I’m sure that your red hair is to die for).

So, in conclusion. I really think that he’s starting to come around.

J, I love you. Eh? No? You didn’t like this one? Whoops. Really big smile. Does that work?

God Fearing Wo-man

domestication

First let’s all take a moment to honor the existence of pinterest. It teaches me all of the things.

A couple of times now this has happened where one divergent pin leads to a blog and then a website and then endless articles about how good Christian women become and remain just that. I embark on it as an anthropological experiment more so than anything else. “Wow, this exists. People think like this. It really makes them happy or something.”

Yet, in the midst of my bewilderment I am always a little fascinated and slightly enticed. Like, well you have a good point. My life without eternal salvation and the comfort of putting it all in someone else’s hands does really suck. Man, you’ve got to be onto something.
Well minus the whole organized religion bit and you know the big man in the clouds. But to each their own.

Tonight I had to resist marching up my stairs and turning myself over to the sweet Mormon girls. Take me with you. Teach me how to knit and can things (for the record I’m an experienced canner and I didn’t learn it in sunday school). Show me your ways. Give me the book. Highlight all of the passages. I shall read them, memorize them and recite them every time that I want to murder someone. Especially because those someones are always the people that I love the most. Plus you’d probably insist that I ripped out my inter uterine device and start abstaining from sex. Word on the street is that’s how you really lock a man down. And the extra perk is I’d only have normal crazy girl hormones to navigate. (Quick aside: yay birth control!)

In all reality. I read what the nice Christian ladies write. Because they know the (some of the) ways. They’ve got the whole nuclear-family, super-hero, potluck going mom bit down to an art. How they do this you ask?

The snarky response:

-62 ways to show respect to your husband. (Just pretend like nothing bad ever happens and apologize profusely… preferably buy him gifts but what ever you do DO NOT ruin the budget.)

-5 passages from Leviticus that keeps you from putting the baby in the microwave.

-3 conversation starters to convince your husband to beg for forgiveness for premaritally taking your virginity and making you hate yourself for decades because of which.

-Why God and the Bible want you to be a super hott sex kitten for you Bible thumping man.

The sad part is that I’m just paraphrasing REAL life articles that I read this fine eavening. Don’t shoot the messenger people.

The less-snarky response:

-They do this really crazy thing called budgeting their money. It’s like you actually figure out how much money that you make. And then you figure out all of the things that you need to spend money on.  And then you do math and such. In the end of it you have money to save, buy houses with and at least 7% for tithe. HUM. Well I’ll be damned.

-They stay at home. Their good Christian men also read their Bible verses that said get your ass up off the sofa and bring home the bacon. Thus they donned their pearls and kitten heals and started vacuuming and making Jello molds. To be completely honest. I’m fucking jealous. Please make me your house wife. It’ll sparkle I promise.

-They know all of the couponing ways. And they freeze everything. I am only half the man that they will ever be.

-They didn’t “waste” 50,000 dollars on their college education that ultimately gets them a nice cushy job at Kohl’s check out lane 3 or you know anywhere else that only requires a GED.

-They had a lot of babies. And let’s face it they also fucked up the first one. Hell maybe even the first two. But after 3 you’ve got this in the bag. The babies just pop out of your vagina and the Duggard effect sets in. Shoot no, I’m not getting up to make you breakfast. Go find you sibling ‘buddy’ their big enough to see over the counter. Also, there’s some laundry to be folded. REALLY it’s just a little army of servants. Sure you’ve got to have a Jim Bob self-made millionaire to finance the whole bit but really you just need to put your feet up (you are on bed rest after all) and let the minions handle the rest.

Okay, now I’m going to try and say something nice. Try. I can’t make any promises:

-They actually invest time trying to be a good partner and have a fundamentally healthy relationship with their husbands.

-They think positive thoughts.

-They have a social support group.

-They have a higher calling. Something that they truly believe in and that something happens to always be watching. It’s like the perpetual threat of Santa Clause on small children during the month of December. THOU SHALL BE GOOD FOR I KNOW WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING, I KNOW WHEN YOU’RE AWAKE! We don’t sing that song as creepily as possible in our house or anything. Never.

*formerly seen on love begets lovely