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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Straight Outta Convent

Today is my baby girl’s tenth birthday.  Essentially, I have no more babies, which is totally strange to me.  With each year comes a new set of concerns and responsibilities for me as a parent.  They have stronger personalities, more concrete opinions, and even new sensitivities.  (I remember my own puberty, when breaking into tears at previously harmless jokes told by my parents was the order of the day.)  It also means having to occasionally deal with difficult questions:  that includes being on the delivering AND receiving end.  Last night’s cannonball was fired by her:

Mommy, are you trying to be a nun? Then why don’t you get married?

On  another day, that would have gotten me all up in my feelings.  I’m not always loving the single life.  Frankly, I’m not always loving my life.  These streets can be rough on a girl.  There are days when I feel like Atlas, and there’s some fool that keeps punching the back of my knees.  (Yes, this makes sense.) Even though my kids are of age to take certain responsibilities, I still want them to have a certain carefree nature that comes with being kids.  So this requires me to be Atlas, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Elastagirl.  In my down time, I get to play Medusa, but we won’t harp on that.

Suffice it to say, a partner would be lovely.  Not just to “help me carry the weight,” but just to shoot the shit, watch movies and play Scrabble.  Not this new age Scrabble, where you can be in Boston and your partner can be in Bahrain.  I mean real in your face Scrabble.  Break out the paperback dictionary, turn up your lips, “that ain’t even much a word, yo” Scrabble.

But, I’m a mom.  I’m past the notion of hiding behind my kids because I’m afraid of relationships.  (I have.)  I’m past feeling the need to do everything.  (On the cool, I can, but that doesn’t mean I SHOULD.)  I don’t even believe that their happiness trumps all, but it is a weighty portion of the equation.  They want me to be married.  They want another little brother or sister.  They want a cool dude around to balance my womanly craziness. I’ll even be daring and opine that somewhere in all of this, they even give consideration to my own happiness in having a partner.   I just happen to know that forming and maintaining relationships just doesn’t happen to be easy.  I can deal with stealth breakups.  I have a habit of ending things before they even start, and my kids are none the wiser.  I’m loathe to even have conversations with men that are romantic interests around my kids unless we are actually “going somewhere.”  That way, should things end, there’s nothing to explain.  I’m not crazy about the idea of people disappearing from their lives.  I’m not searching for perfect, but healthy and stable is non-negotiable.

But I’m also not blocking myself.  I’m getting out more, meeting more people, and I have my eye on a hottie (or two…a girl needs options).  I’m not searching for a relationship.  I enjoy my autonomy and desire companionship in equal measure.  I’m praying that when the right person comes around, I’ll be smart enough to happily tip the scale in his favor.

So, don’t work on your rendition of “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Melanie” just yet.  I’d be a shitty nun.

Whirlwind

So I’m back at work, and as expected, I am suffering from the exhaustion that comes with spending the better part of the last two months taking the easy road.  Not that it wasn’t well deserved.  I mean, I did lose the ability to walk for a brief period of time, but all in all, I made out okay.

I made it to work two full days, and today, my body kind of went cuckoo.  I had to pretty much stop everything and go to the doctor’s office.  They ran a couple of tests, and I should have the results no later than Friday.  Hopefully, I’ll be back in fighting form tomorrow.  I discovered that my beloved pure cranberry juice is an absolute no-go, so I was a little bummed about that, but I needed to get my water game up anyway.

Walking around with these damn crutches is putting its foot in my hind parts.  My arms are sore constantly, and lately, so are my feet.  I’m not getting to the gym, of course, but I am really getting a minor workout in due to how much work navigating the big city with crutches requires.  I have really been slipping with my eating for the past two weeks (it started with a delicious birthday dinner with one of my oldest friends).  It’s funny how we convince ourselves that we’ve “earned” the right to eat all the wrong things.  Delusional rationalizations.  Tsk tsk.

I miss the lil’ chirren so much, but I am in the process of deciding if they should spend some extended time with my sister and brother in law.  I also happen to struggle with the ramifications that may arise as it relates to their father.  It would help me to a certain extent, but it would also give them time with a stable male influence in the home.  I’m not getting married anytime soon (nor am I chomping at the bit to do so…most of the time), but I think they are both at a crucial age where they need to know that there are good men in their family who love them, and this past year has made me realize they need a little reassurance.

I’m looking to diversify my topics on Wreckless Endangerment, so please email me at wrecklessendangerment@gmail.com if there’s a topic that you would like me to address.  I want to be a better blogger for you!

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.

Reality Bites

Charismatics and soldiers.  When you get right down to it, that’s what the world is comprised of.  Some folks just draw you right in, and the chips fall their way with little more than a smile on their part.  It’s both a gift and a cultivated talent.  These are the individuals that get under your skin and make you want to do things for them, spend time with them, cater to them, and you have no idea why.  Then there are the folks who spend every moment clawing and scratching.  They battle easy credit ripoffs, temporary layoffs AND the chow line.  Battle, and WIN.  The ability to survive is a gift in its own right.

No prizes for where I believe I fit in.  I don’t say this in a way to toot my own horn.  This gift I have, sometimes I abuse it, as my ability to survive occasionally makes me careless.  I think, “Well, I’ve made it through everything else – what’s one more thing?”  As there are drawbacks with being a charismatic individual, being a soldier can also be a bit of a curse.

The very core of the soldier is the story.  You’ve been battle tested and proven worthy; who doesn’t love a tale of triumph?  Unfortunately, there is where you find the practical joke of this whole soldier lifestyle.  The soldier’s story comes with a very weighty obligation.  It goes without saying that stories of bravery are welcomed.  A soldier can tell of being wounded or trapped.  Our scars always hold the deepest and most meaningful of stories.  If the circumstances meet a certain criteria, a soldier is even allowed to die, and it is celebrated.

What you can NEVER do as a soldier, however, is be tired. No one wants to hear the story of the tired soldier.  It makes one uncomfortable to witness a moment when their champion is neither brave, valiant or wise.  It makes their own vulnerabilities that much more frightening.  I remember being young, and my mother being exhausted and overwhelmed, and when she finally went off, I was terrified.  It was not because she was not well within her rights, nor was it because she was abusive, but when the lynch pin weakens, what are the rest of us to do?  Later, even in her illness, she did everything to minister to the minds and spirits of everyone who came in contact with her.  If you were not in her immediate company, you didn’t know she was ill.  When she lost the ability to do that, it shook us all, not because she owed us a debt, but because we felt that if someone that strong could crumble, we didn’t stand a chance.

And now, it’s my turn.  When I buckle, people have become so accustomed to me fighting through, displays of vulnerability make them uncomfortable.  The make me uncomfortable.  Sharing too much makes me feel like a complainer.  When I falter, it all goes to shit.  Everyone has problems, and I’m sure most of those problems are bigger than anything I will ever experience, so I try my best to keep moving.  My ability to fight is my color purple, and I believe to disregard it would piss God off.

But the truth of the matter is that being strong is so damn hard; and frankly, I’m honestly not convinced that I’m all that strong.  I fear that were anyone to tiptoe through my thoughts, they would label me a fraud.  I actually hate the idea of dating for this very reason.  On the inside, I’m a mess.  “Hey Awesome Guy, you know how you kind of thought that I was confident, collected, wise and beautiful?  Yeah, that’s all kind of a crock of shit, and I’m actually just a regular ass chick.  My bad.  Will you accept me anyway?  No?  Okay, well I’ll just go back to suppressing the fact that this has bruised every one of my internal organs, and I’ll wish you well.” I pride myself on being functional, but I think it’s been almost a year since I’ve felt that I was really living life.  I don’t even know what to do with that, so I wouldn’t dare subject a life partner to these shenanigans.

For the time being, I’m working on answering the question, “Well, if you’re such a hot mess, why should anyone listen to you?”  There’s this gaping vortex at my center where I believe my purpose used to live.  Outside of being a mother, I have no idea what my purpose is.  I don’t know that I ever had it.  I’ve always walked on the fringe of everything.  Not that I’m a fence rider, but rather, I don’t let anything box me in.  I’m the consummate eclectic, so it’s hard for me to fit anywhere.  It always has been, but that’s a separate post entirely.

So, starting in this very moment, I’m spending the next year pioneering my happiness.  Lord knows how that’s going to work out, but since nobody is gonna give me my free, I’m gonna have to air out the nina and take that shit.

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.

“Even though the birds ain’t singin, and the sun ain’t shinin…”

“…it looks like a beautiful morning.”

– “Beautiful Morning” Little Brother

So, I discovered Friday night that there is a major setback in my routine.  A setback that would usually reduse me to tears and cry out asking why I have been forsaken.  But I know my life, and I know that for whatever reason, the universe has to keep me on my toes.  Considering our economy, I’m sort of glad that I know what it’s like to be focused on my grind and make a dollar out of fifteen cents.  Your girl can DO the damn thing with some beans, ya heard me.  I won’t even talk about how I can get down with some chicken thighs and lemon pepper.

I should totally be asleep, particularly considering that I like to watch reruns of “The Practice” early on Sunday mornings, but I typically wake up early anyway.  I feel so accomplished, because i did everything that was on my list today.  It kept me busy, but I don’t have the beat-down feeling I was anticipating.

Quick!  Five things worse than that movie “The Cookout?”  Wasn’t it just DEPLORABLE.

While we’re on the topic of public tragedies, GARY BUSEY!  Holy shit.  I talk to my kids about drugs regularly, and my children being my children, ask me the whys and wherefores of why drug abuse is bad.  Gary Busey was on television.  I pointed to that.  This dude has been off coke, according to him, for longer than my son has been alive, and yet he is still totally off his nut.  Astounding.

I think it’s time to go to sleep now.