Lay it Bare

"Honesty is a fucking aphrodisiac." - c. Me to the delightful Huny

When I talk to my girlfriends, one of the biggest complaints they have about dating is seeking honesty.  It seems like such a simple thing.  We talk. You ask me a question, I give an honest answer.  I ask you a question, you give an honest answer.  But somewhere in the realm of relationships, we develop this fear of letting that person see who we are.  We color our personalities, avoid mentioning certain frailties or failings, and avoid angering that person like the plague.  And that’s not real life.

Fear of revealing the same frailties and failings is why we lie.  We ALL do it.  Being honest about our shortcomings requires a certain vulnerability that we aren’t always comfortable revealing.  It takes a lot to admit to anyone, and especially someone we love and respect, that we totally fucked up.  I hate admitting it.

I’ve learned that in dating, most people are going to tell a few of what my friend Melissa calls “baby lies,” lies that you know they shouldn’t tell, but it’s not that big of a deal.  They’re frustrating because when they’re over something so small, you wonder why they bothered to lie in the first place.  Sometimes, people tell baby lies about things that they think won’t come up again, and it’s done just to keep peace.  On the occasions that things don’t go according to plan (as is often the case), that baby lie morphs into hydra of deception.  That’s hard to own up to.  But the point of this post isn’t really to examine why people lie.  I’d much rather tell you why you should tell the truth.

I can deal with absolutely anything a person has to tell me, if they shoot from the hip.  It might hurt and I may not skip off into a meadow, but it makes the situation easier for everyone involved.  There’s no dark karmic cloud hanging over you.  That’s really the worst that can happen.  You don’t owe that person anything else after you’ve offered honesty.  If they constantly hang it over your head, or throw it in your face, well take that as your cue to leave them alone.

But as for me, I just want the truth.  As I mentioned, honesty is an aphrodisiac.  There is nothing like being brave enough to lay all your shit on the table, because I thrive on trust.  A lack of fear in showing me your seedy underbelly tells me that you trust me enough to handle the heavy shit.  I don’t want to see the knight in shining armor.  I want to see the bruises, scars and ultimately, the soft underbelly.  I’m flawed, bruised and scarred my damn self, and my soft spots are plentiful.  Throwing down the honesty gauntlet at me lets me know that I can do the same to you.  And that’s bigger and more important than any mistake.  Be imperfect with me. Turn me on by giving me your personality in panoramic view.  That’s sexier than any façade.

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New Year, New ?

I’m optimistic.  I love beginnings, because at the beginning, everything is possible.  New days, new weeks, new months, new years.  I try to approach it with how I can be better.  Over the past year, I’ve realized that I was a little too kind to myself.  There’s always a reason floating in the ether for me to have deserve ten more minutes of sleep, a late night bowl of ice cream, a night to party, one more drink.  Self-indulgence is my achilles heel, and I’ve often joked about being a closet hedonist.

As great as 2011 was (and it WAS great), I became overwhelmed with this huge anxiety about what 2012 would bring.  More specifically, do I have the stuff it takes to bring my goals to fruition.  I look at the goals that I accomplished and wonder if I put in more work, could I have doubled that.  What is it about me that gets to a certain point and stops?  Fear?  Coasting on my abilities?  Laziness?

I’ve felt so angsty lately.  What if I’ve waited to late to fulfill these goals?  What if I screw everything up?  What if my kids feel neglected in my pursuit for…whatever I’m pursuing.  WHAT THE HELL AM I PURSUING??  I don’t know how I went from the land of “everything is possible” to utter doubt, but it bugs me more than anything.

Maybe with my tiny victories, I get to push myself to see what I’m really made of.  The thing is, I like myself.  I’m not unhappy with who I am.  I just know that to an extent, it isolates me from my family.  That’s still a hard pill for me to swallow.  What if I’m living my life all wrong?  I hate being afraid.  It’s the reason that I’m so impetuous.  I do things before my fear response gets to kick in.

If you don’t hesitate long enough to let the fear register, you don’t get the chance to be afraid.  It’s the reason I walked out of my marriage on the way out to work; the reason I booked my ticket to DC the moment the idea hit me; it’s the reason I blurt out I love you as soon as I feel it.  That extra second it takes could be the difference between altering my future and wondering what might have been.  Is that foolish of me?  Had I given myself the chance to (rightfully?) be afraid of pursuing a relationship with the ex husband, sure I could have avoided drama.  I also would have avoided bringing two of the most awesome kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing into the world.  If I hadn’t walked out that day, how much worse would things have gotten?  If I hadn’t gone to DC and put everything on the line, I wouldn’t be missing out on so many family events, but I also might still be struggling to get published.  As far as telling a person I loved them, well, there is nothing in this world that makes me feel freer, even if they don’t feel the same.

I just want to be a good person, and do the right things for my kids.  Maybe be the type of person that my family can look up to, and not see me struggling all the damn time.  Right now, my refrigerator is dying, I don’t have use of my car, and I just can’t seem to get anything right.  That has me feeling hella defeated.  I KNOW it’s gonna get better. I KNOW I’m just going through a bad spell, but you’ll be happy to know that I haven’t cried ONCE.  I’m just having a teeny tiny moment.

For those of you who I know are going to pop up with words of encouragement, be it through comments, IMs or tweets, thank you in advance.  I appreciate you more than you can possibly know.

The Quest for Inspiration

Today is one of those days that I have to remind myself that writers must write.  I’ve long since abandoned the necessity to be inspired, and therefore have a plethora of unpublished material.  This year, though I planned to enter the Boston Review short story contest, I wasn’t satisfied with my progress, so I’m looking at other options.  Of course, my goal is still to become published.  Though I could have pulled a Hail Mary and entered it, I think I started falling flat and losing my way.  I suffer from being my own worse critic.

That being said, I didn’t let “not so great” ideas stop me.  My project has its own fair share of “so not gonna use that” in it, but it has a whole lot of good.  Good enough that I won’t let it fall by the wayside, and I know it can be a catalyst to something more for me.

It’s not that I don’t have a whole lot to talk about: I’m a single, black woman raising two children in the United States; the topics are endless.  But tonight, I just wanted to be who I was.  I’m not any one thing, but more than all others, I’m a writer that still struggling to find her rhythm everywhere, but didn’t want to leave you guys hanging.

Smooches

Let’s Meander

I have a stress pimple.  It comes in the same place every time:  on my right cheek.  Of course, this is days before my baby’s son’s graduation, I can’t find the concealer that I use specifically for my pimples.  I’ll just have to wing it.

I found the CUTEST dress on Old Navy’s website.  Here’s the thing about cute summer dresses that I find on their site:  they’re irresistible, and I feel as though I look irresistible in them.  When I am in such an irresistible dress without a gentleman’s arm draped across my irresistible shoulder…well, that just does something to my spirit.  This is one of the downfalls of summer in my royal opinion.  Ugh.  Being a girl is fine.  Being so much of a girl works on my nerves sometimes.  Especially when it comes to relationship silliness.

I’m up this late because my mind is heavy, so I feel somewhat pressured to post something substantive, but I can’t bring myself to do it.  If I really broke down what was on my dome, I would send a few of you running and screaming.  The others, you’d just wag your heads continue to read to see how much of a raving hot mess I’ll actually become.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad honestly. I do believe there’s such a thing as bad publicity, which is why there are certain topics I either do not cover here, or give only the skeletal (yet true) version.  Call me weird.  It’s like J. California Cooper said, I want Some Soul to Keep.

Or, maybe…

You ever feel like life as we know it is slowly chipping away at our humanity.  It’s as though the things we bear during our voyage on this plane occasionally conspire to strip from us all that we feel, know and believe.  I’m not trying to go too deep, but it’s just a little hard to breathe sometimes.  This isn’t the typical black girl blues (they’re valid, I just ain’t singing that tune tonight).  What I’m talking crosses race, gender, and spirituality.  The little things that make you wonder what the fuck you’re doing and why the fuck you’re doing it.

Within the last year, I’ve developed a hardness that has become hard to shake, and I feel it everywhere.  I’m not trying to be a superwoman.  I’m just trying to be human.  I want the life that allows me to be asleep at 4:30 in the morning.  Where I’m not trying to figure it all out for the trillionth time.  I want to have at least a few of the answers.  I’d like a sliver of certainty.

I’m rambling, and I know it, but that’s because I feel like even here, I’m beating around the bush with myself, because I refuse to show vulnerability.  Ugh.  This is too much.

Okay

The pity party has been in full swing.  For months, I tell ya.  Months.  Part of my highs and lows, you have witnessed on the very pages of this blog, and I would always profess that I was on the upswing of a down slope.  Yeah.  I’m sort of a liar.  The truth is, I’m still pretty sad.  Who knows how long this will go on?  I’m hoping it ends soon, but I’ve been trying to mind fuck myself into thinking I knew the answer.  I don’t.  And that’s because there are about a million reasons why.  It’s not as simple as suffering from chronic depression.  I have a whole bunch of things currently going on in my life that make me wish I could stay in bed for about a month.  Taking a pill will not help me cope with any of these issues.  I need…I don’t know what the hell I need.

I’ve recently discovered that the kids’ father is terminally ill.  Thus far, the outlook has not bee positive.  Regardless of my issues with him, I wouldn’t wish something like this upon ANY person.  Additionally, I set free my baggage with him long ago, and outside of him doing things to directly impede the day to day happenings already in place, I treated him with casual ambivalence.  This however, is a little different.  I’m really praying for the strength to help my kids through this time, and the compassion to treat him like a decent human being.  He, of course, does not make it easy, but I remind myself that I can only do what I can do.  It’s up to him to express interest in spending time with the kids at this difficult time.  My feelings on that are by no means easy, either.

I’m not a pill girl, and I have yet to make time for a therapy session so I’m really focusing on my prayer and my meditation.  It helps some, but it doesn’t always combat my blues.  Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in my own clusterfuckery.  That’s heavy when you are drowning in yourself.

No.  I need I would like companionship.  Like, for real.  But the nature of my personality tells me that it’s gonna be a HOT minute before that happens.  I summed it up in an emotional vomit session with one of my friends:

Me, I’m a rubix cube as far as dudes are concerned.  In the beginning, it’s fascinating that everybody doesn’t “get it” so there’s something admirable about taking a shot at the title, in a manner of speaking.  Until he realizes that he doesn’t get it either. So, subconsciously or not, the resign themselves to the fact that I’m not meant to be gotten. How many times have you ever even seen a completed Rubix cube after it’s been jumbled?  Only freakish weirdos.  So I get the speech: that I’m a unique and special person, and SOME dude is going to be SO LUCKY, and as much as he WISHES he could be that dude, he realizes that he just CAN’T. I’m convinced there’s a “Break up with Melanie” template somewhere (*look down now* *sigh here*).

And rather than set loose my apocalyptic anger, because I don’t want to be branded as an immature chick who throws a tantrum when she doesn’t get her way, I eat something…or everything.

As extroverted as I am, it’s come to my attention that I sort of exist on the fringe of everything.  I’m not a neat and tidy, hospital corners type of chick.  I don’t limit myself on “this” train of thought, simply because I feel a certain way about “that.”  It just doesn’t work that way with me.  Sometimes, I feel a certain way about a thing simply on the strength of feeling that way about it.  It can’t get no deeper than that.  Hence, making me a little bundle of contradictions.  And bundles of contradictions don’t always do well in the dating world.

And yeah…it’s coming back to that, because who wants to do this shit alone ALL the time.  My family and friends are great.  My kids…jeez, they’re rock stars.  (I never group them in with “family,” not because they aren’t family, but because they ARE me, and therefore, have their own category.)  But there’s something to be said about having a person to walk with you through the muck that is your life – and walk with them through the muck that is theirs – in semi-matching boots.  Is that too much?

For a long time, I bucked against the idea of that, because for a long time, there was no space in my life for it.  Even when I was kicking it with the Chupacabra Hunter (whom I did, and for the foreseeable future will, love), there was a certain separateness that we each guarded, where we went through life in relative close proximity, but through our own respective mucks.  I’d like to meet a fella interested in muck-puddle jumping.  And occasionally being, and having, brief comic respite. Oh…and sex. I would like to have sex please.

Even the biggest, toughest battleships have harbors.

Man, Fuck Prop 8, Part II

Oh but I
Need some time off from that emotion
Time to pick my heart up off the floor
And when that love comes down
Without devotion
Well it takes a strong man baby
But I’m showing you the door

– “Faith” by George Michaels

So tonight, it is so late, and I am so awake.  I’m just sitting here thinking.  About all kinds of things.  Things that make me happy, things that make me sad, who’ll I’ll send my first letter from overseas to (because an email wouldn’t be sufficient).  Somehow, I got to thinking about how I feel about this whole Prop 8 biz, and just the entire idea of same sex couples in general.

I’ve said often, that this life is for the strong and the rich.  Lots of folks ain’t rich.  And these days, lot’s of folks ain’t so strong.  And sometimes, when you’re not strong enough, you need somebody to hold you up.  Or hold you down.  Or just fucking hold you.  And not with the view that they will tell you that everything will be alright.  Not with the view that their holding you will make everything alright.  Sometimes, you just need someone to hold on to until you’re alright with things not being alright.

When a person has that need, I just don’t see myself as qualified to tell them where they should turn to satiate it.  Baldwin once wrote about seeking false and meaningless physical comfort, and how doing such impedes love that’s true and real entering your life.  I just don’t see how one could be doing themselves any favors if they are seeking love from a source they don’t want.  I know how taboo it is.  I know that I have dear friends who will adamantly disagree with me.  But I also know what it’s like to need the deep void filled.  I just think that life sends us so many curve balls, pit falls and brick walls, sometimes, you’ve gotta grow a pair and break the rules a little for some respite.

I’ve been thinking alot about my parents; the traditional heterosexual, Christian conservative values couple.  They had been married 18 years.  Eighteen years of struggling, raising kids, worshipping together.  She passed away one afternoon in a long ago November.  My father was engaged to one of her “dearest” friends that January.  Now, I had to go through a lot of forgiveness with this.  Because my father is the only parent I have.  His wife makes him happy.  But there is  part of me that is still so raw that in 18 years, he didn’t even get the chance to miss her.  After 18 years, he erased her and pulled the next number.  And that’s Christian love?  That’s what the big fight is to preserve?

I remember being married, and still going to church.  When it was discovered that i had left my husband, that scheduled a meeting with us to counsel my “family.”  When I ran down the abuse that I had dealt with, physical and mental; the indignities that I had to cope with, including the fact that he had fathered another woman’s child; and that I felt as though no one would really understand me, they proved my assumption to be true.  The same people that gave my father congradulatory pats on the back for all but scorching the earth that held my mother’s remains, told me to pray that I could frogive him because preserving my marriage would be pleasing to God.  How?  Or for that matter, what marriage?   I can’t think of five minutes of that ordeal, that would qualify as ordained and holy.

Sometimes it just seems that there are the rules for us, and then there are the rules for those who make the rules.  When you have tears that won’t stop flowing, feel alone, feel forgotten – in those moments, I know how priceless a well placed hand on the cheek can be.  There are far too many other battles to fight, to legislate just how that hand should look.

“Missed it by that much” (c) Maxwell Smart

I* almost let a day pass without blogging or writing.  Still not sure if I’ll be able to get my write on, but I’ve gotta at least blog.

Who saw South Park last night?  “Celebrate Good Obama! Come on!”  Did he really sing “Obama” to the tune of Mandy?  Like, for real?  It’s beyond hilarious.

I believe my children are now losing their minds.  For the last couple of days, I’ve had to repeat myself three times.  Now, I put great effort into not being a shreiking harpy 24/7, but tonight I told them to scrape their plates and brush their teeth.  Nobody budged.  This was after nobody budged when I told them to take the garbage out while I was cooking dinner.  I didn’t go shreiking harpy, but I did put my “I will snatch a knot out your ass,” voice on.  First of all, I have NO earthly clue how one goes about snatching a knot out of someone’s ass, nor do I know how one would get a knot in their ass.  I just know that when my mother said it to me, I got the feelng it would end with me on life support?

There was a report about childen being safer staying with their grandparents as opposed to daycare.  So, on the one half of the argument, there’s “duh”.  The only person that could come close to taking care of a kid than mama, is mama’s mama.  Plus, if you’ve got grandparents like mine, the kid won’t be around anything sharp, won’t watch anything above a G rating (it doesn’t even matter if you’re 25), and will be pumped so full of bran, you’ll be able to set your watch by their bowels.  Daycare is expensive as hell, so typically, if a kid is in daycare, that means that the parent probably doesn’t have the option of grandparent care for one reason or another.  Who funds these studies?  I’m goign to conduct a study.  If you take laxatives, you’re gonna poop.  A lot.  Fuck you.  Pay me.

The puns on CSI are positively abysmal.  No story there.  I like certain aspects of the show, but, ugh.

So, I was planning to go to to South Africa next year, possibly around Christmas.  Nine days in the Motherland.  It would give me a break between my other vacations.  However, since I don’t want the schedule of others, I’d have to go alone, creating a considerable expense.  Combine that with the shitty economy and my employer telling me that I will not be receiving a bonus this year (and I’m presuming a raise next year, I’m no dummy) as a result of that shitty economy, and you have a postponed visit to Table Mountain.  I was also going to spend the day in Zambia and see Victoria Falls.    Correction, I AM going to spend the day in Zambia and see Victoria Falls; it just may be postponed.  That being said, I’ve peeped out a charming hotel within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower that would look delightful wrapped around me.

The exciting reaction I had over the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game was embarrassing.  i got so geeked, my kid looked at me and asked, “Do you really care about stuff like that?”  I’m fairly certain ones kids should not outgrow them.

I love teh Brooke Sheilds Routan commercials.  Priceless.  it’s like she’s saying “Suck it Cruise!”

You know what word I like for genitals?  “Junk.”  Especailly when said with the right inflection.  Yeah…junk.  Heh heh.