I have been sleeping with a guy for 3 months now regularly and I think he might be sleeping with other women because we agreed that this was just hooking up. About two weeks ago, I told him that I wanted to be exclusive and he said that he wasn’t interested. I know how much he likes me. because we’re perfect when we’re together so I don’t understand what’s holding him back. We are perfect and is there anything I can do to make it easier for him to be able to give me what I need? I texted him a few times this week but he hasn’t responded and I don’t understand what’s happening. What can I do? I miss him so much! Thanks!
Dear Oh my God I Don’t Know What To Do With You (OMGIDKWTDWY) -
Oh honey, I want to give you a hug whilst simultaneously slapping you across the face. Let me be the first to say that the bridge pose is one of my favourite yoga poses, during yoga. It is not something I am fond of emotionally for any extended period of time unless I know that there is a strong man’s hand beneath my back providing support. In order to even get there, however, a man has to earn and prove that he is worth his salt rather than having it bestowed upon him by me for no reason. (For the record: His sleeping with you does not, in any dimension, amount to worth earned.)
I want you to keep in mind the following generalization which has stemmed from much research: Men fall in love far more quickly than women (on average, a woman takes about 14 dates to a man’s 3 dates to consider herself falling in love). Additionally, both men and women are far more intrigued by that for which they must work. A booty call hook-up requires a few words typed out on a smart phone and then maybe 6 minutes in bed. No one is in to impress the other and though you may believe that you have a magic v@gina, it will not make him fall in love with you. Unless it can sing; then…well, I might fall in love with you, too.
The scenario in which you find yourself is simple and shouldn’t be complicated: He was just into you for the s/x. If he was interested in you for anything above and beyond that, he would have made it clear (likely before you, according to research). That you have told him you want more and he has hit the Avoidance Button is not complicated. Really. He’s not sitting around with his mates pondering the Pro-s and Con-s of being with you. He’s not having sleepless nights wondering if this will work long term. He is definitely not crying into his coffee mug wondering what he might do to “to make it easier for [you].” In fact, he has made it unequivocally clear: He’s. Not. Interested.
You know what he might be doing? (A) Not thinking of you at all; and (B) Texting other women and solidifying another booty call or calls scenario.
I am giving you a hug, because I know that hurts. In fact, it sucks the big one that the boy whom you like isn’t the boy who likes you back – we have all, absolutely every single one of us, been there. Do yourself a favour and don’t wallow; instead, have a few good cries with your girlfriends and then get back out into the dating game. Ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, one boy isn’t such a big deal. Rather, he is a footnote to an end note in the story of your life. In order that he is a big deal, the feelings you have must be reciprocated from his end with equal force. Trust.
Be selective in your choices, most especially in this realm of relationship. The more you value yourself, the more with-value you will be treated by a proper gentleman.
Let’s take this a step further and break down your sentiments. First, that you believe you are “perfect”. Wrong. I mean, clearly: Wrong. If you were perfect for one another, he would have invested in the relationship above and beyond some slapping around of fun-bits.
Second, you “don’t understand what’s holding him back”. What’s holding him back is that you’re not the one for him. Again, I am giving you a hug. Don’t rationalize this beyond what he has said to you; don’t read into this more than is necessary – if he cared about you, and he was a man worth his salt, he would do whatever was needed to be with you. This is the proper behaviour of people who care about one another; there are no stop-obstacles, but rather challenges to be overcome in order that people may be together. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lazy of mind and spirit; and, they haven’t yet learnt how to love enough.
Third, you are curious to know if there is anything you can do to make it easier for him. Yes. You can cut him off. This is easier for you and easier for him, though it may cause you a little bit of pain now, it is far better than excruciating pain down the line because this will only get worse.
Already, there is imbalance between you and while the ebb and flow of imbalance is natural every once in a while, you have hit tidal wave levels from which there is no recovery. One of you wants more, the other clearly wants nothing.
This is what we call an impasse, a non-negotiable starter and you must choose from one of the following three scenarios: (1) with grace, accept what he has told you and cowboy-up, walking away; (2) keep texting and messaging him while he ignores you. Unless he is Jason Bourne or on the run from the law, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be messaging you back. Ask any man and they will state the obvious – when they care about a woman, they will always find a way to communicate; or, (3) go back to sleeping with him and de-valuing yourself in the process. De-valuing because you have already made it clear that you want more, and he has made it clear that he’s not interested. So if you go back to sleeping with him, your message is this: I am willing to take your scraps, not receive what I need, and still let you f/ck me. Also, I am wishy-washy. (I’m not sugar-coating this because I have seen one too many of my girlfriends place themselves in this position. Beyond any reasonable doubt – most men and women, unless they are cut from a character of stone – will respect others only as much as she respects herself.)
In preparation for future engagements with other men, ask yourself if you’re interested in being anyone’s booty-call. In this age of free and fast hook-ups, it is almost expected of women to be “cool” with this. To that, I say: F/ck this expectation. It is not for me, and any man who wishes to engage me will understand this. It may not be for you either, but in order that you might communicate that efficiently and rationally, you need to be solid in your self-awareness. Know where your red-lines are with a man and engage them accordingly.
With that, please remember what I have written before – each of us, we are a variation of the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond and unless you treat yourself according to that strength, and with humility, no one else will.
Best of luck; I’m in your corner,
Image courtesy of I Know That Girl Yoga.
Editorial note: The following is from a very dear friend and so I have much more information than she has provided in the letter. In order to understand my response, what you need to know is that her last substantial relationship was an emotionally devastating one; to finally exit said relationship, she needed to break a cycle of emotional abuse levelled at her over the course of years. This abuse was intended to do two things in a domino effect: (1) belittle who she was and what she represented, rendering her person never good enough; so that, (2) she did all of the work to be “good enough” so that he would love her “enough”. The reverberations of this abuse continue.
This is how it happened.
Monday – last day of texting.
Last evening before going out I decided to write him and tell him [some v big news] that we should celebrate over drinks. He wrote back congrats and suggested tonight.
SO- I sort of asked him out. Which I hate. I mean, he initiated the whole thing…but I put pen to paper. That makes me feel vulnerable in a way that I dislike immensely.
He did volunteer to come all the way to my hood which is far – and nice of him.
That’s a bonus.
I don’t know…I just need to remind myself that it’s a meeting of two people nothing more. He has to charm me just as much as I have to charm him.
I just feel like I like him a lot already based on our chemistry last weekend and I want it to go well.
Thankfully we are meeting at 8:30 so I have time to do [...] prepare. He [does something I like] TOO! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! See? I have a problem.
Alright. So…I think that there are a few things going on here. Before you dive in, I want you to know that I want you to have everything of which you dream, including a man who pursues you all across the board. (Here, I listed all of the ways in which the above man did very clearly pursue Juliet.)
That said, I have a sense that the pendulum for you has swung in a fierocuous other direction after the last time you cared deeply about Mister X. In that scenario you were the one left to hustle and hustle alone in order to receive approval. I believe that the consequence of this is that your headspace now finds itself on the complete other side as a means of self preservation, having convinced itself that it should never ever be the one to make any move. That you will never be the one who seeks approval, negotiate, sacrifice, make a change. That none of the work required will fall to you.
Because he is the first man about whom you have shown a genuine interest since Mister X, I understand completely and entirely your fear of engaging anyone in a way which would place you back into the same sitch as the one with Mister X. With this in mind, and after establishing that he has in fact pursued you thus far, I want you to be alright with sometimes doing some work (to meet him half way), while other times doing none of the work, and some other times not letting him do any of the work.
Babe, in order that you may engage in a healthy relationship, here’s what you need to remember for both this man and the ones who follow, until you find your Person:
1) The only relationships which are one sided are the abusive ones. If you sit back and refuse to do anything, then you have turned yourself into Mister X. Further to this, imbalance is not fair – it does not give you the room to give generously, and it does not afford the new man the room to receive with equal grace.
2) Mister X is one dude. He is not every dude, he is not some dudes. He is merely a dude who – if you let him bleed all over other men – will continue to be a factor in your life. To treat other men from the starting point that they may be Mister X diminishes from who they are in direct corelation with giving Mister X more power and presence in your life still. To keep both the power and presence of Mister X in your past, with him, is an extremely difficult and challenging thing to do (I know, because I have struggled with this exact scenario myself, as has every single woman on the planet who has dated more than one man.) This is a little bit of a jihad – where you actively fight the impulse of painting all men with the sick wierdo behaviours of Mister X.
3) Open yourself up to this all the way. YOU LIKE A MAN!!! YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT A MAN!! YOU ARE WORRIED THAT HE WILL NOT LIKE YOU AS YOU LIKE HIM WHICH IS…YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT BEING REJECTED!! (I am not yelling, by the way, I am really super excited and all I can think to express that is caps!! BECAUSE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU LIKE A MAN THIS WAY SINCE MISTER X!!).
4) Don’t let this possibility scare you. Be open to everything and anything all across the board starting at this is just “a meeting of two people and nothing more” all the way to “this might be my person” and then let the chips fall where they may. Just two nights ago you told me not to plan, but rather to let things happen organically. This was excellent advice of which I am now reminding you.
5) I am so excited that you are going out with a man about whom you are excited. It has been years, my love, and you deserve this excitement. It is right and it is healthy and it is necessary because it is the Universe telling you all of these things and it is a sign of moving forward (not that you haven’t already, but you and I know that this is different). Please don’t overshadow this excitement with fear, and should the worst happen then we’ll deal with it at that point.
I understand and hear your fear, and you may choose to sit back and remain in a safe space without engaging for the rest of your days. Thing with that is, you are self-inflicting isolation but you will still eventually get hurt – if not by your own actions, then by a million other things which will come at you, not relationship associated. Hurting is a part of life, and the end goal can not be happiness and security, but rather living which entails feeling as many of the things which this world’s emotional spectrum has to offer.
I have said this before and will remind you of it – this man, the one with whom you are going on a date? He may turn out to be a complete sh/t. He might have bad breath, bad manners, or simply a bad attitude. The man after him may be a Conservative. The one after that might still live in his mum’s basement at the age of 42. Chances are that you will go through several more men before you finally find your Person (and I know how much you want to find said individual). There are a plethora of reasons for which he and the men to follow may not be your Person.
The good news here is that this is about you, not them; more important is that this is about you, not Mister X’s residue in your world. So, every one of these men, should they not work out then your rear-view mirror must view them as a set of training wheels and nothing more. As with Mister X, there were many lessons learnt and your choice at every junction was to use those lessons to either become a kinder heart, or a more hardened one.
I think that a majour component of life’s struggle is the direction in which we choose to point our hearts. Jaded, scared, bitter, angry, kind, understanding, open and vulnerable, are all directions in which you choose to point your heart. Several studies continue to show that most deathbed regrets are centered on all that which people did not do (for fear, for shame, for a multitude of reasons). Keeping that as the foundation on which you place your heart, then carefully choose in which direction you prefer and run with it. So that when you’re dying, you won’t regret it. Like, on your death-bed dying and not just a metaphor for your dying. When your ahunret or something. For serious.
All my love,
“Jills! I need a big favour on your way in — I am having a makeup emergency!!” was the first of many hysterical text messages I sent to Jills this morning. I CAN’T FIND MY MASCARA!! She resides atop a pharmacy and because I am a tool, it turns out that I have a slight addiction to mascara, and also lipstick. But the lipstick doesn’t leave my purse and so is always on hand for application. My three go-tos / go tos / go-to-s (?) are mascara, kohl eyeliner, and red lipstick. Not bad, considering
how pretty I am, please and thank you.
Also, because I am a tool, I am my own best competition. Normal people like to beat their ‘best time’ while running this marathon and that marathon as I cheer from the sidelines eating cookies and the occasional hot wing. Me? I like to beat my ‘best time’ while donating blood. Two days ago, I was willing my blood to pump faster. Harder. FASTER, G-D DAMN IT while the beat in my head was the Rocky theme song. If you know me enough, you know that I am not lying; rather, I am really this awkward. My goal was to beat my last time of just under 7 minutes. It didn’t work — I was just under 8 minutes because I had not drunk enough water. I shake my fist at dehydration.
I jumped off of the seat faster than anyone else and looked around smiling and wondering if they noticed that I at least beat them, but everyone was too busy being drained to notice anything, including the large man who was seated at the after-drainage-cookies-and-juice bar.
It is not a buffet. TAKE YOUR COOKIE AND GO.
Which appeared to be the way I was running my life since last week, until one of my beloveds last night pointed out: (1) the full moon was on Saturday, baby! Don’t you remember what you said? “This shit will make you crazy,” which it does on a normal day, now imagine it being coupled with (2) The Periods. We have talked about this before, dear Reader. Unless you have a magic fun-bit, you too have The Periods. And frankly, may I be blessed enough to have it until I am 65. Ameen. (There’s a prayer I never thought I would issue, but never say never.)
Completing the triad to this week’s crazy is the heaviest of all, which is (3) that my dad will be bouncing off and out of the country for a while as of tomorrow. Silver lining? I get the Mercedes. Other two silver linings? He is to soon marry one of the most amazing women in the world, and I will get to travel across the world to hang out with them both (for which, you know, he’ll be paying because that’s what poppas do for their little girls).
I have struggled with this for a few days now, that I will not be able to pop over and squeeze my baba regularly. Something I actually never do. Instead, we plan dinner dates and talk politics and shop and he lectures me and I stare at him in stunned silence and then I usually make fun of him and he laughs because I am the only one who may make fun of him without getting some sort of a verbal check.
Like this past weekend when he called me FOUR TIMES in the span of under 15 minutes to tell me random bits and pieces of items for my edification. And when he hung up the fourth time, he said “have a good night, baba” and I responded with “I’ll expect your 5th call in under 34 seconds. Please don’t fail me now” and he giggled because he is part crazy, too.
The struggle is over. My girlfriends (including Maxi) have been pulling me out of my funk for the past week, not allowing me to be alone for even one second and not for a night until later next week do I have one free evening but rather dinner dates and art events and hikes and social gatherings punching me at every turn. (My friends, they are amazing, yes?) Since day one when he became engaged, I have been caught between an unbelievable joy and deep sorrow. I will miss my baba lecturing me, and I will miss the fact that I can, though I don’t, go over just for a hug. And while I am in my, ahem, over 35s, a woman is never in fact anything but a little girl to her baba. Equal parts, I am over the moon for his next adventure.
Please send your prayers and best energies to my baba and BB. Please wish them the best of luck in their next adventure. Please pray that the bumper does not fall off the Mercedes any time soon, and by any time soon, I mean when I accidentally bump it.
First, let me start with what happens to me physically. Yesterday, I started feeling that the left side of my face was sore to the touch, the entire area around my eye. Whenever I have been depleted, it has manifest itself physically as a sinus infection — during uni and quite literally the day after exams, I would be checked by a sinus infection that put me in bed for at least 5 days, forcing me to rest and recover. I yesterday came home and snorted enough salt water to kill a small elephant.
I also f/cked up the recipe, adding two teaspoons of salt to a half cup of water and snorting like a proper George W Bush at a Rangers game, only without the hookers. I am still stunned that I didn’t burn my entire sinus off of my face, dropped straight into the kitchen sink. Once the snorting was complete, I updated my Facebook status to say that — in order to replenish — I would be taking a rest from the internets until Monday, then I watched the two latest episodes of Sons, wept over Opes, and fell asleep at around 8.30pm.
When I woke up this morning, nearly 13 hours later, my head was cleared and I was parched because of my olympic salt snorting. I knew that what I needed next was a day of sweat, and sweat it out I did. All of it, in fact. And when I was done and sat down, I had to face the emotional reasons for my depletion.
I am dementedly self-aware and know that my sinus infections are always brought on by emotional depletion which I have actively ignored. The depletion gets all eye-rolly when I ignore it and it extends itself to my body, forcing my hand to pay attention to it because it’s needy like that. No two ways about it, I had to take stock of what was depleting me and what I actually do need to replenish and what is my action items list, please and thank you because I am not fun when I am depleted. So I have my list, hurrah, and just having it has made me feel a little more replenished.
Aside from all of the above, however, is something else. I am dumb — I keep telling you this but you don’t believe me often enough. Really, I am dumb. When I shut off my internets access, I still expected my telephone to work (see? dumb). Obviously, it did not because this is a smart phone which is as dumb as I am.
I had to turn it back on to ring my mum and when I did, there was an avalanche of email messages and texts from both people I know and love dearly, and from people whom I have never met. People with whom I have built friendships on-line because they have been readers of this site for years (each of whom I have video-chatted or spoken to in real time and so are not fake (you’d be surprised), and where I have not done so we are Facebook friends and I have watched their lives and their children and loves grow for years).
That was this morning and I am still goose-bumply this early evening. People are amazing. You are all amazing and your messages and kindness have replenished and restored the balance I have been missing for some time, and which was slowly turning me into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Thank you. Thank you for reading, and for writing and for messaging and for sending warmth and goodness and all manner of love this way. I honestly can not express enough how much you bring to my life. Thank you for keeping my heart afloat on days such as today.
“Also, I would like to thank God and my girlfriends. You know who you are…”
Your movement, as your language;
Hushed like curtains
back-drawn and passed through
Whispered into antechambers
that you’ve dressed before the dawn
with offerings and incense
or the tap of bare feet
on marble intricate as if
through girded iron interlaced
smoke were woven
and the swish of silk
about your heels
and something carried
high and in your hands.
…every girl should have one: a poem inspired by her.
Me, I thought it was because I can sometimes be a bona fide crazy person. Turns out that above and beyond my natural brand of lunacy, there’s an environmentally inflicted one as well.
Take yesterday for example. When at a light and I am turning left, I move my car’s ass right to the middle of the intersection so that people behind me will also have a chance to make the turn before the light turns back to red. On a normal day, when the twat in front of me isn’t moving his twat-vehicle up to the middle of the intersection, I might get a little edgy.
Yesterday? Yesterday, my mum had to physically put me on lock-down because I wanted to get out of my car and knock on the driver’s window of the twat-vehicle to ask him if he was experiencing some sort of a twat-seizure and is this why you let us miss three green lights while you kept your twat-car behind the white line, Twat?
Here’s what you can expect to happen, emotionally:
- You are quick to lose your temper
- You have less ability to be rational
- You are more likely to succumb to emotional stress
- You are not so motivated
Basically, we turn into irrational, non-thinking, asshole sloths or something.
Dear Head of Science,
I think you should allow me to re-write all of your conclusions. You are free to pay me in steak and cookies.
Which. Imagine this coupled with being a female and having your period.
Pause. Are you offended that I reference the emotional upheaval experienced by women who have the periods? Are you shy to discuss that you have the periods, though you have a magic vagina? Because if you are either, then you are best to stop reading and maybe instead go visit a slightly more grey shaded website.
Play. Imagine this coupled with being a female and having your period?
What happens to you during the first 48 hours around your The Periods? Me, I lose all hand/eye coordination and start perceiving that things are in fact closer than they appear. This last sentence is not a metaphor, analogy, simile, or fucking (<-- see that? That's my short temper) allegory. Rather, I literally see things closer than they actually are.
Like also yesterday when I placed my completely full-to-the-brim coffee cup on my desk. Only I didn’t. I placed it on nothing and so it fell all over myself and keyboard and chair and ground. Coffee everywhere but on my lips, because I saw that the desk was in fact closer than it actually was.
I bump into things, bruise my arms and legs and generally lose a sense of space when in that 48 hour span. I also become sad. Very very sad. Now add to this the emotional crazy of a heat wave, and you have the makings of a failed serial killer who is stabbing far too far from her target and likely very slowly because she is a sad monkey-person.
With that visual, may you have a lovely rest of weekend.
Yesterday, my girlfriend and I were talking about boys (not to be confused with the male species as defined here). She mentioned how an interesting boy saw her in some situation and her girlfriend clocked him looking at her, considering whether to approach, and then didn’t approach. And so at least he was looking and thinking.
Not “at least” anything.
We do this all of the time, and I am as guilty as the next. Conversations had with my girlfriends all of the time about this exact same scenario, or a variation thereof.
“He said he was going to call me.” (But didn’t.)
“He responded to my text message a few days later because he said he just saw it.” (While he’s practically got his blackberry shoved up his nose, he’s so attached to it.)
Listen. I get that both men and women do this, but for me there is a heightened level here because I am so drawn to one particular type of man: The Action Oriented Action Figure. I can be pretty severe about this sort of a thing because I have a very distinct taste in men and because I am a very distinct flavour of woman who is surrounded by men of this caliber. Almost all of the men in my family are Action-ers, as too are the women. When the time is right, we don’t fuck around and while that has its down points, it is also a very good thing because you will always know where you stand and you will never be played.
That said, I also know that this sort of behaviour is rare, and again, mummy is likely right now frantically sending me smoke signals saying: THIS IS WHY YOU ARE SINGLE. I am alright with this. I am alright being single until Action Man comes along and throws me over his shoulder (with my permission, natch).
Also, I know that it is an on-going struggle not to say “…maybe he was thinking this…?” because unless he tells you. Unless he pushes you against a wall and kisses you. Unless he pulls you in close (remember fellas: Don’t be a rapist.) then “Which. No” because talk really doesn’t cook rice and everyone needs a little carb action now and again.
There is a saying in Arabic of which my momma reminds me always: Don’t get tangled in ropes hanging from the sky. Basically, it means that we shouldn’t get hung up on things which are not anchored properly or safely or even in view. Words until actioned are ropes hung on God knows what, but usually you can not see the anchor. And when you play in traffic, then it should at least begin with a partner, and not started as a solo sport.
Remember that book He’s Just Not That Into You? Why have we all forgotten this book which, believe it or not, I think is a really simple and clear set of guidelines asserting that if a man digs your ass, he will also cup your ass (metaphorically, of course. Mum and dad, I have never had my bottom cupped. Promise).
It’s really so simple: If they like you, they will action it. Full stop.
This isn’t to say don’t have mild crushes; it is to say, don’t get hung up on the mild crushes and keep yourself open to other dating opportunities and other men who will take action. Eventually, the non-bottom-cupper will fade away because he was never meant to be in the first place.
Keep yourself to a higher standard than “maybe he got busy” or “I’m sure he really wanted to come BUT…” Forget the but-s, and forget the excuses because you have enough shit on your plate for which you must answer and you definitely don’t have to answer for his inaction. If he wants you, he needs to be secure enough to make a play for you. And where your patience is shot to shit because of uncertainty in what in the fuck is happening around you, then ask him out and put it to bed. If he’s game then he’ll play. If not, then please make a run for a long pass with another man.
On this note, why aren’t men asking women out anymore? When did “let’s hook up” replace “Would you like to have dinner with me, can I pick you up at 8?” FYI to whomever changed the rules: I don’t like them. I don’t hook up. I like proper date questions and proper dates and a man who will say to me “I really look forward to sharing this with you…”
Why is it so hard for men to do this? Best answer I ever received from a man was: Men are fundamentally insecure. Our egos are so fragile. I think women — in the world of relationships — are far more courageous.
Is this true, dear Reader? Do you agree with this assessment in general terms (while recognizing that not everyone can be washed with the same shampoo)?
Last point is that which both men and women need to remember, regardless of the gender specific nature of this quote: “Fortune is like a woman – if you miss her today, think not to find her tomorrow.”
Napoleon said this. A man who though small in stature, was apparently a rock star sexing phenom. Also, big on occupation, war, and interesting jackets and so perhaps a troubling Friday night date.
Image from Dating D.C.
BREAKING! The ants in my pants are no more, and I miss them.
I am entirely bagged. I have a tension headache that I can’t fix, since Tuesday. It came with my keys.
I have barely eaten, and being the crazy person that I am, I didn’t check the weather before packing away my clothes, and so am left with a week’s worth of really lovely summer pieces entirely useless when it’s -8 outside.
I need a massage, a hot bath in salts and lavender, and a home-cooked meal. None of these things will happen until Saturday night.
Right now, I just wish to be moved in at home with some quiet, scented candles, and warmth. It honestly can’t happen soon enough.
P.S. If any of you have a home remedy for my headache, please send it my way. Thank you x
Last week, I was on course for work. When introducing ourselves, we were asked to name our hobbies. After I listed approximately 32 items, one of my fellow classmates shared that he collected toys. Specifically, they are toys from the 80s.
A few days later, I was still thinking about this revelation and too eager to contain my excitement.
Did he collect Care Bears?
Cabbage Patch Kids?
My Little Ponies?
“DOES YOUR ROOM SMELL LIKE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE?”
“CAN I COME OVER AND PLAY?” I kept wanting to yell across the classroom, with hysterical abandon.
But I am an adult, and so I instead bottled everything in and sat on my excitement for three days. Until Wednesday when he sat next to me for lunch and I nearly stabbed him with my soup spoon because I was so excited and scared and curious all rolled into a ball of certifiably crazy energy. Honestly, I spilled my soup because I was shaking with excitement.
When opportunity presented itself, I brought up my queries. It went a little something like:
“Do you think they’re going to bomb Iran?”
“Mmmmm….I don’t know. WHAT KIND OF TOYS DO YOU COLLECT?” spill soup, spill soup, spill soup.
“YOU SAID THAT ALREADY!! I DEMAND TO KNOW WHAT KIND!!!!!”
“If I were to come over. Or, if you were to have your friends come over, would you let them and me play with them? Or are they on a shelf behind plastic?”
“They’re mostly collectors items, so I don’t really play with them.”
“BUT THEY’RE TOYS!!”
“They’re collectors items.”
“BUT YOU CALLED THEM TOYS!!”
“Right. So back to Iran.”
Soup spill. Soup spill. Soup spill.
“I COLLECT BOARD GAMES. For my friends, of course. When they come over, I ask them if they want to play board games.”
“Yeah. It’s fun. I have a lot of games. But I am trying to find the original Battle Ship. All of the new ones are electronic and they confuse me because they blink a lot. But I can’t find an old one.”
And so the conversation trailed off and I cleaned up my soup, a little saddened that Colin didn’t have toys with which I could in fact play.
Cut to next day lunch, when Colin walks over and says “I have a surprise for you,” and out from his man bag he pulls a traditional Battle Ship game.
He had gone to a sacriligeous store in which people chuck “old” things, many of which are toys. He went to look for a Battle Ship. For me. Just for me.
And he found it, and he bought it, and he gifted it.
For no other reason than because: Colin is a nice man. A thoughtful, kind, sweet man, well raised by his momma.
Thank you to all of the Colins of this world. You are appreciated beyond measure, and you raise the bar. Thank you. Thank you and thank you for the soup spill. Soup spill. Soup spill. Soup spill.
More specific, and because I have recently been witness to little wee man hands, I realize that: I have a fetish for large male hands. (#notaeuphemism)
For me, a man with wee little hands has pulled the genetic short stick.
Whereas large man hands say I will protect you and your uterus, bear down the right amount of pressure on your body, be strong, and perform regular household chores with efficiency, little wee man hands weep I might need you to cut up my steak, I will likely drop our seedling on its head, and in case of emergency please call a man with large hands.
Look. I didn’t make the rules, rather I just appreciate and respect them.
This preference is entirely and completely primal, having started the moment our daddy placed his hands on our shoulders and we were made to feel safe, to the moment that the men in our lives cupped the back of our head in one palm, and covered half of our back with the other.
Purely, totally, and unequivocally: Base primal instinct.
If you’d like to pop psychologise this a little further before you head out on your Friday evening, recall that whereas troops of male baboons are drawn to the physical body parts of the female, the female is in fact drawn to what we call the Alpha Male, with characteristics: leadership, confidence, dominance, and humour (the ability of a man not taking himself seriously is characterized as “alpha” because when one is truly confident, one can handle self-deprecation).
Although some argue that we have “evolved,” the reality is that the root of these characteristics are entirely physical. In hunter / gatherer societies, the Alpha becomes as such primarily through physical strength. Little man hands might be great in some instances (like crochet work), but do not lend themselves to the requisite strength of hunting with brute force tempered within strategy (required to maintain your status as leadership).
Large man hands: Good.
Wee man hands: good for some things, but I don’t want them touching me
because they’ll feel like a spider and I will get goosebumps for all of the wrong reasons, though I am sure you are a lovely man and would make a lovely friend.
Ladies: Am I right?
Very often, women are pitted against one another, so many represented as not being “a girl’s girl.” You know these women, we all know at least one woman around whom we are uncomfortable when they get too drunk and start show-boating for male attention. The woman who would justify sleeping with the man on whom you are crushing because “it’s not like he was into her, and why shouldn’t I? If I avoided every man who every one of my friends liked…
, there’d only be 30 billion more…”
You know her. And she turns your stomach. And you should pity her because usually, her self worth rests entirely in the realm of how men react to her. And woah is her when her looks shift.
Listen. I too need attention from men. When I don’t even know I need it, and I suddenly get it, I would be a lying liar who lies were I to lie: It doesn’t affect me, I don’t even notice it. And when it’s from a boy I actually like, even better. I am overrun with a hysteria that amounts to a mass email / text to all of my female friends, and where my phone is broken, I will send smoke signals that HE SMILED AND SAID HI AND DO YOU THINK MY OUTFIT IS OKAY, SMOKE SIGNAL LOOKS A LITTLE BLOATED, etc.
But for a normal healthy woman with her self-esteem recipe in good shape, this comes in measured doses. It is not a daily thing, but rather a once in a while thing. Our self-worth is composite of an awareness of what we bring to the human table, rather than what we bring to — specifically — the male table.
That girl mentioned above, contrary to what media keeps trying to shove into my head, is not the norm. Or maybe I have just been blessed with most of the women in my life. (And I hope that you are, too.) She is not the norm.
The norm is women who love one another deeply.
Women who love one another even when we want to punch the other one in her stupidity.
Women who support one another when there is nothing left to say, but only the deepest most heart stopping pain to manage.
Women who tell one another that they are better, that they deserve better, that they can do better, that they will do better, and that they don’t have to show their boobs to get there. But if they did, “then I’ll help you get the right bra, but I would just like to raise my hand and say that I don’t think you need to show your boobs to get this. Let’s go shopping! I love you.”
That is the norm; these women, are the norm.
And if you don’t know these women, then you need to seek them out, to learn from them, and to become one of them. Trust that they will enrich your life, as they do mine.
All of the above to say, please read this article by Emily Rapp, an ode to the beauty and power of female friendship, the love story that all too often goes unsung. A snippet: I was that desperate mother now; it was my baby who was going to die, and soon. It was already too late. I literally could not bear it. I asked for help and I got it. My friends stood with me in the middle of the scary, sky-howling road I was on, knowing they couldn’t take away the pain of the experience, but promising to be there when I emerged on the other side of the grief tunnel when my child would be gone. I feel them, every day, standing there as I stumble through the blissful, heart-breaking hours with my son whose brain and body fail him a little bit more each day. It is not an exaggeration to say that I would not have survived – that I will not survive — without my women friends.
Share it with the women you respect and hold dear. Share it with your daughters to lead by example, and to remind them that their strength is not in how men react to them, but also — if not more importantly — in how women who know them, are women who respect and love them.
Thank you for your friendship.
**As balance to the earlier article about when to pull support from friends, this is a necessity.
Do you love women? Do you respect women? Are you against sexualized violence? Abuse? Hate? Manufactured realities? Profit over people?
Then you need to watch the following riveting two part video, and you need to internalize every single thing said by the brilliant Jean Kilbourne, and then you need to share this with everyone you know.
By Baraka Blue
To those mothers who buttered sandwiches
and lit loves lanterns when
sweet dreams turned into nightmares-
and cloaked us in radiant safety net bear hugs under covers and
sacrificed many a-night sleep like a coat over a puddle so our pillows stayed dry
and evaporated tears when we would cry, and
smiled at the clouds till they bowed gracefully to a blue sky
and answered all the times we asked, “why?”
to all those mothers who allowed faces to hide in pant legs
when we were shy
from strangers or neighbors or distant
family members who just wanted to say, “hi”
and who explained with true amazement
the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly
to those mothers who peanut buttered sandwiches,
and read books… over.. and over… and over again.
until she could noose Dr. Seuss
but when that, “please, mommy, please” eyes plead mouth squeezed chubby cheeks… gapped teeth
her heart melts and she reads….
just one more time.
and those words become sweet in her mouth because that warm
ball of innocent trust in her
curls up on her shoulder and she knows no sound sweeter than hearing him breathe.
and when the breathing gets deep… she looks deep into that glowing innocence and her heart weeps with overwhelming mercy-
for she is accessing the feeling nearest to God a human being can experience.
unconditional mercy… compassionate love.
true selfless, gentle, nurturing, life giving, soul cleansing, spirit raising,
for all those mothers who buttered sandwiches
and taught young boys in a society so sick and deprived of Love- to Love
and young girls to find Love deep within themselves and watered seeds to full flown flowers unfolding petals gracefully in concrete habitats and old rusty ramshackle shacks in any desert or countryside anywhere and everywhere that mothers…
or split coconuts, or make curries, or milk goats,
or steam rice, or warm bottles on stoves, or microwaves,
or hang clothes on lines in the sunshine
this is for those mothers…
who raise children to be lovers
and let youngins hog all the covers
and go to sleep last
making school lunches
and wake up first making breakfast and assembling outfits
who struggle and strain and bear the pain and don’t complain…
this is for mothers
who had to be fathers…
and had to hide tears because there was no time for her own
when she was wiping away everyone else’s
this is for mothers… who never knew selfish
and never felt they deserved a congratulations, or a celebration, or a high station, or a standing ovation
but you do….
all of you.
and this is for mothers who bore abuse…
both physical and mental… from men who…
had mothers too… who raised them like you
but forgot what you taught…
and this is my pledge.
I promise I will not. ever. forget.
for every woman is a potential mother… and is a daughter who was an innocent ball of trust
who was held by a mother
who buttered sandwhiches…
if she was lucky.
and if not, all the more reason to treat her
like a mother would treat her….
who loved her
and peanut buttered sandwiches.
and this is for my mother. the one i owe love to.
because you are the one i know love through.
you are the closest thing I’ve ever known to purity.
to sincere over-whelming, overpowering, unconditional love and mercy over flowing
from your heart through your eyes when you look at me.
everything good in me
is from you.
and it is such an understatement to say….
but it is the most powerful thing language can display….
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
Every day is mothers day. Happy Mother’s Day
your baby boy
I have noticed a disconcerting increase of late, an unprecedented display of self-pornification. Young women sexing the camera, or sexing one another. Mouths are open and inviting, tongues are licking, eyes are bed-roomed, breasts and asses are popping at interesting (and I can’t imagine comfortable) angles.
Any way you slice it, each of the images is a message of sex. It is not heart, nor conversation, not warmth nor intelligence, but rather pure and unapologetic pornification which reads “I’d like to get fkd by you, or her, or them, or that camera, or that homeless guy in the corner, or I’ll even take on The Republicans because I hear they’re pros at fkng people.”
They are pornified, and have not been told the two simplest secrets between a man and a woman: (1) there is nothing sexier than what happens behind closed doors; and, (2) sexy’s acme is when brain chemistry is set off before our bodies are.
Imagine how a young woman must feel when the bottom line is that much of her identity, if not all, is premised on her own self-pornification and self-objectification?
Imagine how a young woman must feel when the bottom line is that much of her identity, if not all, is falsified in order to please the gaze of men?
Imagine what we are teaching our young men, when these are the images we continue to project of ourselves?
This is where — though we have so much to thank of the North-American feminist movement — the feminist movement has failed us. At the very intersection of itself with the sexual revolution, it was derailed, and as central focus took the female body, rather than the female mind.
Pursued relentlessly was a woman’s right to do with her body as she pleased. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a necessity. I believe very strongly that a woman should have the right to choose what she will do with her body, while fully aware of the consequences and possible repercussions to these choices. Equally, I believe a woman should have the right to choose how she will exercise her mind, and where she will work, and what she will study, and whether she will raise a family.
What I do not support is a world wherein a woman feels that representing herself as pornified object is her only means of self-expression. That it is her driver, her identifying factor, the only face available. Because this? This, once again, alienates women from their right to choice.
And women’s rights must always be about choice.
Reality is, there is nothing more facile than getting laid. And where we once fought the male gaze as it pornified the female, we are now doing it to ourselves on their behalf.
There is nothing exotic or unique or mind-blowing about this pornification. This? This does not set you apart; but your heart will, and your ambition and your love will. Your ability to care and be kind and gracious and understanding. Your loyalty and devotion and commitment to right? These are the things which set you apart more than anything in this world.
Ask yourself why it is that young girls aged 6 have eating disorders because they are dissatisfied with their body “image.”
Ultimately, presenting oneself as nothing but a sex object is not self-respecting oneself (please. Please argue with me, if you will. I would love nothing more than to take up this point with someone foolish enough to argue that sexualizing ourselves is the road to self-respect). The flip-side to which is how can we demand respect of men if we can’t demand it of ourselves?
To recap: Fk and pornify yourself all you want; just don’t kid yourself about the reality of the world in which we live. Also, don’t tell me it is ‘empowerment’ to get laid. Empowerment is a body of multiplicity; it is having the right to education, to work, to safe and clean living, and to do with your body at a physical level what you wish.
Empowerment is the freedom to choose, while knowing that an alternative to this choice is ever available. And where young women are learning that self-pornification is the only road to self-actualization, there leaves no room for empowerment.
**It’s important to here state that when in a committed, monogamous, and loving relationship, the enjoyment of losing oneself sexually (in such a safe environment with one individual) is not to be misunderstood as ‘self-pornification’. With your man, and only your man, you should have free reign to do as you wish for and with him.
She was holding on to her father’s hand and hanging, legs and arms limp, then swaying, pulling, dropping her bottom back and her feet up, but never falling, occasionally looking up at her father and laughing in that way which only children can manage so casually.
The honest one that comes from deep inside their tummies.
She believed that grip was the only thing in the world she required to make her happy and safe.
I watched this little girl knowing that my father is the wall which protects me from the winds, the floor which protects me from the mud, and the roof which protects me from the rain. Once we become parents, the onus rests squarely on our shoulders to be the protectee rather than the protected. Recently, I have wished and prayed that I possessed the ability to be the reflection of this to him, but I could not; as his daughter, I will ever be swinging on his hand laughing.
Selfishly, I sometimes wish I could pass before my parents as I am incapable of understanding a world without them. And I guess this is where Faith kicks in strongest. Today, my parents too are children hanging and swinging from the hand of God…which is where I will eventually be, once they have crossed the bridge into Truth.
I love you, baba.
RIP Poppa Lloyd Wilson; may God’s embrace and mercy be all that our collective imagines it to be, multiplied by a million.
An interesting conversation has been brewing and cross-cutting among all of my girlfriends these past few days, in which the following is injected: “….yes, feeling beautiful comes from the inside, yada-yada-yada…I totally get that. I know I’m beautiful and no one can mess with that. BUT F*CK, can’t he just say it out loud? Like, there’s nothing worse than a man not telling his woman he thinks she’s smokin’. It places such a huge dent in me when he doesn’t say it, when he doesn’t acknowledge it, and it’s actually starting to turn me off because I don’t care if he stares at me, I need to know he loves what he’s staring at. OUT LOUD, already.”
Did you catch that boys?
This isn’t about her knowing she’s a hottie (that’s the inside part), but rather, it is about her confirming (yes repeatedly) that you, the man she digs finds her a hottie.
Crystal clear is the memory I have of the first man who ever told me I was beautiful. At university in sweats, runners and a t-shirt, with my hair a mess, I walked past this dude while he was working the bar at Oliver’s on campus. He pulled me over and simply said “I just have to tell you that I can’t stop looking at you. You are so beautiful.”
I stood dumbfounded.
No one had said that to me (except my momma) prior and so to hear it from a man set off an avalanche of squees and near nauseau throughout your WebMistress.
A feeling that has not subsided; a feeling which happens every single time I hear those words from a man, but most importantly, from a man for whose attentions I am vying.
That goes for all women I know; the ones who just started dating their men, and the ones married for 10 years. Even though every single woman I know has an unbelievable reserve of self-awareness both in terms of ability and beauty, each one of these women – myself included – also has a natural inclination to insecurity with regards our looks because we exist in a culture that places so very much emphasis on a woman’s beauty (and know full-well about the male inclination to visual.).
It seems that recently, there is an epidemic amongst the women I know, and one which is centered around their men not engaging these simple words or these simple acknowledgements.
Gentlemen, and on behalf of the Sisterhood: tell your woman out loud that you think she’s hot, because if you don’t, another man will and he will get big points (since the off-set of you never mentioning it actually works to heighten his comment).
If the reason that women like it and so appreciate your attention to detail isn’t enough of a reason for you, then let me break it down and make it all about you instead: When you tell your partner she’s gorgeous, it will turn her on. (Women? We’re selfish that way; maybe you can relate.)
Right. So for your edification, take a read through this article and note that: She needs to hear out-loud from you that you notice her and admire her. And, chose words like “sexy” or “beautiful” or “amazing”; women like words like this because they are bigger and make it seem like you really are thinking they look incredible at that particular moment. Stay away from bland and generic compliments like “you look nice” or “you look fine.” And one compliment that most women really don’t like is “you look cute”; she is not a puppy, she is a woman.
Sidebar: To the women who would say that the above is a slight to women, and women don’t need a man’s accolades to feel good. And to those idiot self-help writers who tell us that everything must come from within or else it is meaningless. You are lying liars who lie and exist in a perpetual sea of self-delusion.
Originally published 10/08/06.
I loved him ferociously. Else, I would have never stood inside of a thorny bush to spy on him. Maybe I would have done this and thought it normal if my emotional development had been retarded at the age of eight, or if I had water on the brain, neither of which is the case (though some would argue the contrary), and so really, I must confess that I loved him severely ferociously.
I was going to surprise him with a birthday cake and a belated gift, because he had just come back from a two week holiday during which he had his wallet stolen, and days before he left for his trip, he and I had forgotten that we were broken up and we behaved based on that forgetfulness, and so I believed that the words uttered then (“I love you and miss you”) meant “I am yours forever and, like, ever, and p.s. I have castrated myself in honor of this love.”
Lunatic that I am, I decided that I would hang the cake and gift on his front door as it was a Friday night which he usually spent kicking and smacking at his friends in a kick boxing studio.
But alas, that was not to be.
Instead, I pulled up just as an alleged girl walked up the stairs and allegedly walked into the house comfortably and naturally / allegedly, clearly having been there so very many times before. So I kept driving (to circle back), believing maybe I had mistaken him for the alleged female…that he had managed to go from very little hair to very long hair, and sprout breasts since we last saw one another. My imagination is riddled with potential.
My choice was clear; pay a random stranger to knock on the door and pretend they were looking for someone (clearly not there) and then report back to me as to who was inside…or stand in the rain, inside of a bush, while my feet became muddied and as I held my breath and tried very hard not to blink because blinking was very loud.
Naturally, the “just go home” option was nowhere in sight because my mind was screaming He just got home! We were together days before he left! ERGO! He was with her when he was with me the day we forgot we were broken up! This rain is really going to fuck up my hair! He is a lying liar who lied! This rain is really going to fuck up my pedicure, too! He told me he only turned the ‘special stars’ on for me! Why are bushes so leafy? Why don’t I carry binoculars? Is my mascara waterproof? Is my hair going to get tangled, and am I going to get stuck in the bush because of the tangles?
Recognize I was not at all worried about being caught because really, I mean, if someone had offered me the Invisibility Cloak, I would have rocked the shit out of that cape and perched my, on this occasion, clinically insane ass inside of his house to confirm that I had in fact seen a woman enter. Also, in my invisibility cloak, I would have probably started throwing random objects around his house.
Because I am clever, I decided to get a little closer, and so I left the bush and shimmied quickly and stealthy-like along the wall in full and plain sight, then dashed across this lawn to hide behind a tree.
Because I am clumsy, my right flip flop dashed much faster than I across this lawn and so suddenly, I wasn’t merely a crazy person, but rather I was also half barefoot in plain sight behind a tree 1/3 my size.
I stopped to contemplate flip flops or barefoot?, but didn’t to ponder normal or insane?. Really, I was thinking I was some Smooth Criminal and that this behavior was acceptable. (The people with whom I shared this tale never questioned my sanity either, except for one, only she doesn’t really count because she’s an adult and adults are smart like that.)
I decided to return to the trusted bush so I removed my flip flops and ran for it, as any Smooth Criminal would have done. Back in the bush, I found the perfect viewing spot for the crazy; I stood, like a torture victim water dripping on my head, legs bent at a 27 degree angle so I could look through this one perfect spot and see nothing.
Because nothing was precisely what I was staring at – I was merely waiting for the body or bodies to make their way from the kitchen to the living or dining room. What I was waiting for was confirmation that I had in fact seen a second party enter the premises and this creature was of the female persuasion. I wasn’t interested in seeing them do anything or stare at them like a sad little mime as they watched television; in that moment, I just really wanted and needed confirmation. Obsessively. Compulsively. The drive and need were overwhelming. Luckily within a few minutes, I received the confirmation. First he walked into the dining room with a plate and a glass, and then a long-haired woman followed with the same. The ‘special stars’ were a romantic edge; I knew this and so had no misunderstandings about the nature of what I was seeing.
The moment I saw, I sloshed my bare feet out of the mud, and said my thank yous and good byes to the trusted bush. I walked barefoot back to my car, took out the cake and the gift and gently placed each one beneath each of the front tires of my car, and drove over them before continuing directly on to my best friend’s house sopping wet, broken flip flopped and hearted, and with terrible hairstyle and fucked up pedi.
My best friend wiped my tears, wrapped my hair in a towel, and fixed my flip flop, all the while as in shock as I about the news. The news that he was with someone else, not the news that I was a crazy person Smooth Criminal.
Editor’s Note: Since the night in question in 2007, Miss One Female Canuck has neither returned to the scene of the crime nor has she attempted to bushwhack. Furthermore, she has not since driven over a baked good and wishes the “he” of this story only the best in everything and hopes “he” finds the truest and most fulfilling of loves.
Originally published 10/03/04.
By ‘One’, I mean her very own personal British Special Air Service Officer, their motto Who Dares Wins. I found Mine in Beirut – he is of the Air Troop variety, flying out of planes, a.smashing things and people, and then somehow super-leaping back to the airplane.
I nicknamed him ‘Killer’. Only I didn’t tell him about his nickname, for fear that he would parachute into my hotel room, Killer me, and then leave without a trace. (He’ll know now that it’s on here; Hi Killer!)
How to meet and nab an SAS Boy for yourself
Obviously, you will need to be located in a war torn region. Look for the boys jogging and smiling as bombs drop around them; quite likely, they are of the SAS variety.
If you are really adventurous, hang out near cubby holes where ‘insurgents’ (but only those defined as such by the lucky few not belonging to The Axis of Evil) hide and make sweet chai.
If you are not too adventurous, there’s always the internet café of said war torn region. Spy the only boys who are reading neither the news nor the most recent updates titled Where Can You Hide Today?; they will be wearing shorts, t-shirts, sporting a tan and using a British tongue nearly incomprehensible. If you listen closely, they will make subtle ‘vrooming’ sounds as they move their mouse. #notaeuphemism
My Own SAS Boy and I met in the business center of his hotel (my hotel sat across the street with a sick internet connection). I didn’t know how to work the computer, he helped me manage and we got to chatting. He had seen me the night prior – a memory I do not hold – when I was lost and asked him if he was Australian. In my proper defense, I was told that we (Canadians) were to be hanging out with them (Australians); I saw a blonde, heard an accent and so approached. Simple but little did I know the level of treachery I had committed when I asked a Brit – an SAS one, to boot – if he was an Aussie.
On the physical size of The SAS Boy
They appear small (please don’t Killer me) – My Own being perhaps 5’9”, but they’re packed with strong fiber goodness which allows them to take out a man thrice their height and ten times their weight. Upon great reflection, I do think the compact nature of the SAS has to do with the agility required to leap tall buildings and propel oneself from planes, landing squarely in cubbyholes 10,000 feet below.
They are, for those of you interested in knowing, rock hard. I threw random items at Killer and they bounced off as though hitting a brick wall. Eventually, Killer asked me to stop being a child throwing random objects at him. I mumbled and pouted and he finally let me throw one final tire at him as a farewell to the activity of throwing.
On the character trait of The SAS Boy
These are not Boys with whom one should mess about. While walking around Beirut with My Own SAS Boy, I can tell you that I felt very safe. Very safe, indeed; the safest, in fact. There’s something about their line of duty that makes them radiate an aura of complete and total blanket safety (unless, of course, you’re their target). I guess that would be: because they’re trained assmashing killers.
The word hesitate does not exist in their vocabulary, and for that they are to be admired, as it runs into all aspects of their lives, not just the physical embodiment of their work. Case in point: Within moments of teaching your BlogMistress how to work her computer, Killer asked to take me for a coffee. Right then and there on the spot. (I thought: If I don’t accept, he may Killer me…and so I accepted.)
After coffee was over, he asked to take me for dinner. Right then and there on the spot. (I thought: If I don’t accept, he may Killer me…and so goes the rest of the story.)
Nothing stands in their way and if an SAS Boy wants something, he does what is needed to make certain he gets it. And this I mean literally; nothing stops them, neither physically nor mentally — it’s a pretty spectacular thing to watch as it drips from them and engages all aspects of everything they do and touch.
On the nature of conversation with The SAS Boy
You will not be surprised to learn that among one of the first lines of conversation I had with Killer was
So…do you ever wonder if what you’re doing is wrong? and then
So…uhm…will I, like, one day be sitting in my living room in Palestine and you’ll fly through a window and Killer me MEANING you may one day get wrong orders MEANING have you ever wondered if you’ve already received wrong orders MEANING have you ever Killered anyone who might be innocent?
Lucky I that Killer has a sense of humour and answered all of my questions, even if it was a mere “I really can’t answer that!” which I think is code for That’s The Line That Wins Most Chicks. But I’m relentless and he nicknamed me ‘Unnie Ot’ which is Canadian to the British ‘Honey Pot’. I stared in wonder and confusion, looking for a translation on the wall, the floor and even the window as I had no idea what that was. Nowhere was there closed captioning for the British Hearing Impaired. (Stupid Beirut.)
Killer was nice enough to finally tell me that Honey Pot is a term of endearment used to describe someone who can pull secrets from people very easily. Upon hearing this definition, I smiled and asked: So, was it you who caught Saddam? And can you fix the World Cup?
On the reliability / loyalty of The SAS Boy
Apparently, SAS Boys have to be at the ready at the drop of a pin, throw of a hat and wiggle of a bottom. They all have a special beeper that, when it beeps, they have to meet at a certain location, are given their orders and then flown out. My Own SAS Boy was riding his motorcycle when he got beeped; he had to leave it and his keys with his friend so he could fly to Beirut within two hours. This would mislead one to believe they are unreliable to anyone but Her Majesty. As I can attest, I’ve had Mine since 2006 and we have not yet lost touch for any extended period of time. In fact, he has always been kind and pinged a Hello email from whichever part of the world in which he finds himself.
I have already secured the following from Mine, as he graciously accepted the responsibility should the need arise (and to which he is beholden until I drop dead). If ever I am in a state of terror and I need to be saved, then he shall do the saving. Because if we’re talking true loyalty, it never hurts to have that loyalty come from a friend who knows how to disentangle a b*mb, make one, crash through a window, leap off a building, outrun and outfight most all other men, make ‘vrooming’ noises as he uses a mouse, ride a motorcycle, and wear the shit out of both a suit and a tuxedo. (I knew you’d agree.)
P.S. Specifically, he is of a ‘sabre squadron’ skilled in parachute insertions (HALO, HAHO, static line etc). Yah…I don’t know what HAHO is either and wonder if it’s pronounced, like, Hey Ho how much?
P.S. Update 2011: Here’s how amazing he is — I recently received an email telling me he was in a particular part of the world (an entirely different continent, some continents away). I too was traveling and would I be around on this same continent within this time-frame so that he could pop over for dinner. Amazing. I might propose.
During uni, and for a little over five years, I was the manager of the most expensive lingerie boutique in Ottawa, carrying only the best lines Aubade, Chantelle, and Lejaby. A regular bra sold within the range of $120 – $175, panties & tangas upwards of $75. I was spoiled then and I continue to be so today; last bra I purchased was a Rigby & Peller — my favourite brand — at over $200. Being the lush that I am, this is one area in which I truly indulge.
With problems like war in the Middle East, famine, poverty, the concept of globalization, the US’ potential bankruptcy, right-wing lunatic fanaticism, Enrique Iglesias and Anna K, an ill-fitting bra should not be added to this list.
First, you should know that an excellent quality bra is made up of over 120 small pieces. As such, you really should pay a little more attention to the items holding your fun bits.
Second: there is no magic size, but rather that every bra and every material may mean that you will need a different size. Any salesperson who tries to tell you otherwise is an idiot who knows nothing about either a woman’s body or the delicate make up of an excellent bra.
Generally, there are two varieties of (natural) breasts. Here are my sad pathetic attempts to illustrate them:
Whereas ‘A’ looks best in a demi horizontal cup (usually called a ‘balcony’ or a ‘half-cup’ bra), ‘B’ looks best in a demi diagonal cup (usually called a ‘plunge’ bra). The reason this is so is because the different bras highlight the natural shape and contour of your breasts.
With ‘A’, you should be working on creating cleavage that looks as though it fell out of Hugo’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, whereas with ‘B’ breasts, you really should be working on creating a more plunging neckline feel, either which suits those days when you’re inclined to unbutton an additional button, you hussy. (CALL ME!!)
Ten Tips For Buying a Bra
The digit corelates to the circumferance of your rib cage, while the letter to the size of your breast. That said…
.1. Take your best friend, because she will tell you when your breasts are falling a little too close to your armpits.
.2. Bring a tight t-shirt to the shop. When you’ve tried the bra on, wear your t-shirt over it and make sure you like what you see.
.3. The wire of your bra should never poke you in the armpit. If it is, then you’re wearing the wrong cup size.
.4. Your wire should sit completely flat against your rib cage. NOT ONE PART OF IT should be cutting into ANY part of your breast. The wire is supposed to “cup” your breast, (hence why it’s called an A, B, C, D, etc “cup”). If it’s cutting into your breast, you’re wearing the wrong size and should move upwards on the alphabetical scale.
.5. There should be no ‘extra’ material in the cup. This means there should be no puckering in the cup. Instead, the cup should be stretched perfectly across your breast.
.6. The band of the bra should sit at the tiniest part of your back, the area directly beneath your breasts. It should wrap around your body evenly and so where it sits in the front is exactly where it should sit in the back. To confirm this size, measure the area and add 2″ — the end number is your number. If the back of your bra crawls up toward your neck, it means you need to try a size smaller number.
.7. One breast will be mm larger than the other, making a huge diffrence, and so when trying on the bra keep this in mind and adjust the straps accordingly by loosening the strap of the slightly larger side.
.8. Move around. Life your arms, move them over your head, bend over; make sure you’re comfortable in the bra.
.9. When you try on a bra, buckle it on the loosest hook and place your straps at their middle point as well. Like anything made of material, your bra will give with time, and this must be taken into account when you make your purchase.
.10. If it comes in a box, just don’t bother coming back to my blog. You need to buy yourself one bra that’s hanging on a hanger. Just once in this lifetime indulge yourself and you’ll understand my fetish.
And here’s a free bit of advice: Never let a man loose to buy you a bra on his own. Teddies, panties, garters, tangas, ok, but for the love of God, not a bra. If he must, then you have to accompany him in order to ensure it’s the proper fit, because one last time for the record: There is no such thing as a magic size.
Please share this with your girlfriends.
Here, I have always found that there is no urgency in action and no reaction that isn’t slightly languid. On summer evenings, this turns everything sensual.
More warming is that, for the most part, no one is shy in their displays of affection.
Watching couples walk by, I couldn’t help but wonder What is it that draws and then keeps people together?
I polled my friends, both male and female.
Almost certainly, all answers began with something akin to “sexual chemistry, obviously…”
When I asked what that meant, no one could go beyond the words “physical attraction, obviously.”
Beyond my immediate distaste for the word “obviously,” I started thinking about sexual chemistry. The reality is that there’s absolutely nothing obvious about sexual chemistry. That it is ambiguous never really occurs to anyone, but rather, they focus on its necessity.
And, it is most definitely a necessity. I don’t believe that anything long-term can transpire if there is no immediate and almost caustic sexual chemistry. It won’t happen all too often in our lives, it may only happen a number of times; it goes beyond visual appreciation and reaches into something much more palpable. The more urgency there is in that initial explosion, the more likely the relationship will at least begin on the right path. Where it will end is anyone’s guess.
If it were a means of physical attraction and nothing more, then we’d be drawn to thousands of individuals in our lifetime
or maybe I am just some sort of good-times hooker, no one in particular standing out. No one unique and nothing sacred.
I can’t imagine that sexual chemistry is only about wanting to tear one another’s clothes off as that seems relatively pedestrian and a little bit of a bore.
At the sake of sounding like a hippie wanker (this hurts me more than you), I think what’s key is to look for a certain energy in which you want to be enveloped. If you’re any level of mature, then you should be able to read the energy of the person in front of you; if you find yourself relaxed, attentive, attracted, attractive, loved, welcome, intrigued, intriguing and wanting to share in that energy then don’t let that person walk away from you. (Also, don’t be a rapist. When someone doesn’t want you, you know, and you need to let go because it means that they’re not feeling as just mentioned. You will find someone else who feels these same things and who heightens your own perceptions of these to the nth degree. Trust.)
All with whom I spoke agreed that it’s equally important to recognize the difference between healthy and non-healthy sexual chemistry. One is shallow, physical, finite — your emotional needs are unwelcome, and you walk away feeling as a burden, an obligation, something to be avoided unless the other person needs something from you. (Bad! Unhealthy!) The other is when both parties are just as amazed and intrigued by one another always and on-going — it is this sexual chemistry which has the potential to flourish into something deeper. (Good! Healthy!) Something more meaningful and into which we should dive in order to work through one another to reach our individual as well as our combined potential. Since we can never reach our complete potential, this process should remain unbroken and take the suited lovers with it. Always.
Note: I believe in deep and great true love. Deeply bitter individuals incapable of opening their hearts to the potential vulnerability of great love will likely call me naïve…a label I am quite happy to wear because better here than in their blackened and petrified hearts.
.1. Would love to hear your definition of sexual chemistry (email if you are too shy to comment). Additionally, dl Natacha Atlas’ Something Dangerous and listen to ’Quand je ferme les yeux’ before any of the other tracks.
.2. Image courtesy of the incredible jeremymasonmcgraw.com
After posters of Don Johnson, Kirk Cameron (pre fundamentalist Christianity) and Jason Bateman finally came down from my walls, it was Erté’s Girl on a Swing (a greeting card, believe it or not) which I decided to have framed and displayed as a young teenage girl.
She was also the first to be hung up on the walls of The Treehouse and she is the last to have come down.
About an hour ago, I surrendered my keys to The Treehouse; keys which I have cherished and toward which I have whispered sweet nothings these last 12 months.
The recurring commentary from my friends was that The Treehouse (nicknamed by Janey because my front porch propped us up into the tops of trees) was warm, comfortable and welcoming, trying to scoop visitors up and keep them for as long as possible within its walls.
Beautiful and warm, he was my first home on my own.
Because it was such a pivotal move for me on many levels, I am marking its now placement to rest with a thank you for the gracious past 12 months which it gave me, and also a thank you to each of the wonderful friends who shared in its space with me.
(Psst! I am now a proper home owner, and the new place is currently being built. No nickname yet, but Janey’s working on it.)
S (about whom I have here frequently written) said it in this way: “I thought…what would it have been like for me to meet Maha while we were children?”
And so came to life the character of Muna Khalifa in his just published Muna Khalifa & The Rainville Pops short story, which you can find at The New Quarterly (Canadian Writers and Writing) magazine.
Support S – and Canadian writing and writers – by grabbing a copy; see what I look like as a child through his gifted eyes and magician’s use of words…
(Thank you, sir.
Although a child, she had better be badass.
Also, don’t say I didn’t warn you about this entry.)
On behalf of a very large group of women who are too shy to express the following, please note that the root of this entry is a conversation with a girlfriend whose husband expected her to remain as slim and trim and gorgeous as the day they met, while he slowly turned into a beached whale. Not because of a physical condition or handicap which stood in his way, but rather because he became lazy. Disinterested. Not caring enough about the relationship or her to do otherwise.
Until they got divorced, one of the reasons for which was the fact that she was no longer attracted to him physically.
If you are a man looking for a “fit & slim” female, and making it abundantly clear that this is the case, then it should go without saying that you too should be someone who – at the very least – is a fit & slim individual.
Secondly. If you are a man married and demanding that your wife remain “fit & slim”, then you too had better be hitting the gym, and hitting it hard.
Doesn’t that seem fair? And if some of you find this entry insulting, then please feel free to label me, as well as every single one of my friends, “fittest”. We will be able to sleep just fine tonight, thank you.
Consider us a no-fly zone for Double Standards; body size and fitness not withstanding. (And if you are willing to engage in double standards where – literally – your ass is concerned, I can’t help but wonder whether you’re likely willing to engage in double standards where many other things are concerned; all of which is unattractive.)
And for the record:
Spare tires? Chubby.
Triple chins? Chubbiest.
Unless you are a small infant, “chubby” is not a way you should want to be described – not if you are demanding that your partner be the opposite.
For the record, I want my partner to look a certain way and so bust my ass to keep it a certain size – otherwise, I would never have a particular idea of the body-size I want in a partner.
To every single woman I know, this is not attractive, and many women shy away from saying this out loud. I am one of the women who is not attracted to the triple chins, the spare tires and / or moobies, and I don’t have a problem saying this out loud and even putting it into print.
Are we fighting?
I’m typing this while seated at Austin’s best coffee ‘house’ – which is, in fact, more like an open air wooden wanna-be-bar. Really, Jo’s looks as though it has the dream of being a bar when it grows up, only its growth (lucky for all of us) has somehow and somewhere along the line been emotionally stunted. Instead of being a bar, it sits as The Place That Serves The Greatest Fkn Chai Latte Ever But Has High Hopes It Will One Day Spike That Damn Chai.
Taste gracious as that may be, I’m not drinking chai. Instead, I am drowning myself in chamomile citrus tea and a truckload of honey because today is the first in four days where I have started recovering from some perverted disease that began as a throat / ear infection, then took its gloves off and quickly became a chest / sinus motherfkr. Also, I’m eating a jalapeno pepper cheddar cheese scone, which tastes as great as anything can taste when one’s sinuses are taking a nap at the bottom of their feet.
Point is, I made it to Austin.
I am here. Hurrah.
(And tomorrow I will be seated at the FORTY YARD LINE SECOND ROW.
Have I mentioned this yet?)
On the trip here, I was witness to some of the…fanaticism?…which will surround me tomorrow at the FORTY YARD LINE SECOND ROW. There was a couple on my flight – they were in head to toe matching Longhorns gear (Longhorns have foot gear, made of – can you guess, ma? – leather). For those of you living under a rock, or just in Canada, the Longhorns ‘color’ is pumpkin orange. These two were completely and conspicuously geeking it out in their pumpkin gear.
They were seated directly across from me in the wait lounge and I thought to perform my own secret Longhorns-specific handshake, but boarding started (I place my index fingers next to my temples and pretend I have longhorns – I plan on doing this every time someone looks at me during the game tomorrow).
You’re an asshole.
In preparation for tomorrow, I took it upon myself to learn some interesting facts about Football. They are:
the game is played on a field with white lines;
there is a ref or two;
at least two coaches – one of whom is Coach Eric Taylor married to Tami Taylor;
there is a booster named Brad Leland pretending to be Buddy Garrity, only I am uncertain as to how he spells his last name and too damn lazy to Google (I’m sick!);
here in Austin, people dress as pumpkins;
I know the secret Longhorns handshake; and,
People like me.
No doubt these facts are enough to get me through the few hours seated next to strangers staring at a field of men in tights with huge helmets that make them look like bobble-heads.
Tonight, we’re off to The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que Restaurant for some seriously traditional Texas (can you guess, ma?) Bar-B-QUE.
I am excited, as equally as the cows would be my guess.
.1. A few choice pics from my Hotel San Jose and Jo’s.
.2. I will do my best to update daily, but considering how lazy I am, don’t bet your first born on that actually happening.
.3. Comments are still on moderation so will show up either late at night or early in the morning, only (Berry’s off and internet only at the hotel or Jo’s).
I wish to travel with the carnivàle, any carnivàle. Only, unfortunately, I’m not talented, so this is not at all a possibility. Instead, I can live vicariously through trips to random carnivàles, the world over.
Laura and I spent nearly six hours at the Carnivàle Lune Bleue, I coveting all who worked there and the undoubtedly sexy and hedonistic lives they (must!) live.
Everything about this particular Carnivàle is sensual, seduction dripping off of every costume, southern accent, musical instrument, and constant sense of freak-show danger and threat.
The first three people we met were a belly dancer, a little person (their language, not mine) and a woman atop stilts. The music was burlesque in flavor and floating past our taste buds were clouds of popcorn, cotton candy and candied apple sticky sweetness. I was immediately stoned on happy and couldn’t stop laughing the entire night through.
Our first stop was at Carnival Diablo, where we saw a woman jump over shards of glass, lay atop a bed of nails and be beheaded; where a man drank boiling water, pounded a nail through his nose, ran a hook through his (unusually large) tongue, hooked it to a mesh bucket of stones and raised the stones from the ground; where another man bent a steel rod with his teeth, had darts thrown at and tacked into his skin, sat in an electrical chair, placed his hand in a mousetrap, smashed a can of dog food over his finger (if ever there was a true fetishist, it is he…); and, where a third man swallowed swords (at which point, L started coughing in solidarity with) and fire.
Nikolai Diablo (the MC) was derangedly sweet, making me unsure as to whether I should cry or smile when he chose to focus on me while someone prepared something behind him. He pointed me out and then just stood at the edge of the stage and stared…and stared…and stared…before he stared a little more. He later came over and gave me the “head of the bottle” that he broke into pieces in preparation for the Countess who would walk through the glass. No surprise, he handed me the “head” from the crotch of his pants.
No matter that L and I laughed our way through that which didn’t make her gag, this is not a show for children, but one which I highly recommend to the rest of you.
Running out of Diablo, we rode the carousel and the old-fashioned ferris wheel before we skipped into the Cirque Maroc tent. While on the Ferris Wheel, I took this for you, so that you might join us on the ride:
…and while on the carousel, we attempted to take pictures. Have you ever tried to do this? It is, to say the least, tricky as you are never at level, hence this wonderful photo of L and I looking as though she is two storeys beneath me:
Cirque Maroc is a visual and auditory feast, with two MCs, one of whom I wanted to bring home and make my best friend (the slightly pudgy funnier, softer, cuter MC). It was, much in the spirit of Cirque du Soleil, an absolute wonder, with two women of particular note: one who plays with / slides up and down / contorts around a hanging rope, and another woman who creates majic when her body collides with a hamster wheel for humans. I know it’s not technically a ‘hamster wheel’, and it is in fact a ‘german wheel’,
leave it to the Germans to come up with what is possibly a torture instrument or a fetishist’s fantasy a rather massive rolling wheel made for people.
L had her fortune read as I made fun of the cards (“…are those refugees crossing a river? Is that a British ‘bobby’? Is your fortune teller high? Do you believe this shit? I think he’s high…awesome…”) and sat in the bus. This bus. Which still runs. And is, in fact, the real bus from the Nightmare on Elm Street films:
We ate dinner beneath the tent, at The Cookhouse, L feasting on thick orange soup and I on Moroccan chicken while listening to The Unsettlers, whose music reminded me of the genius that is Polish punk band Gogol Bordello. I was mesmerized by the combination of their music, the cool air, the spicy food, the woman on stilts, the man playing with fire, thinking to myself that these people must be having sex with one another randomly and everywhere and all at once and what a strange and free and unusual and extremely seductive world that is the Carnivàle.
I loved it.
And to perfectly illustrate the strange weather one walks into at the Carnivàle Lune Bleue, watch and listen carefully, with particular attention paid at around the 56 second mark:
Two special shout outs to two of the carnis, first to the woman wearing a hat and glasses ushering us into the Cirque Maroc tent, you are hilarious and brilliant with your stuttering naivete, and I can’t help but wonder if you married your cousin who is also your mum’s uncle and best friend, and to the young gentleman who runs the shooting game, you are simply perfect at your job.
Two further recommendations: (1) go immediately; and, (2) then come again next year. I most definitely will.
Find the official Carnivàle Lune Bleue site here, please.
All photos from L & I’s adventure found here.
The Unsettlers (they are brilliant and I can not stop listening to their cd)
.1. Janey’s movin’ to Hali. Felice is already in VanCity, moving into a place in Yaletown, joining a kazillion of my friends out on the West Coast. I’ll be heading all across Canada from East to West very soon; exciting.
.2. I’ve decided to support a local artist this year and so purchasing my yearly piece from one brilliant Amy Alice. Please find her works here; I will let you know on which I decide.
.3. Often enough, I receive emails about product, skin care specifically. Apart from a combination of olive oil, honey and water, I don’t often use anything on my skin as it makes me clausterphobic. Make-up, too, so I stick to kohl, mascara & gloss. Recently, though, I began using coconut oil and avocado on my face.
Consider the three following recipes as tried, tested & true for those of you who have dry skin such as myself.
Buy rolled oats in the cereal section of your supermarket, then stick ‘em in that contraption that will eventually turn them into flour (a blender or a food processor, I can’t remember which). Keep the oatmeal flour sealed and when you need to exfoliate, just place a little bit in your palm, mix with water and exfoliate away.
1 teaspoon of apple vinegar
1 egg white
3 teaspoons of olive oil
Mash up the avocado, beat the egg white and then throw all of the ingredients together and apply; wash off after 20 minutes.
Coconut oil. Slather it on your face, straight & simple.
I never bother with any of the crazy expensive nonsense; everything God gave us is all we really need for the pretty. Also, don’t forget to work from the inside to the outside by popping the world’s most gigantic vitamin pill: the omega 3-6-9.
.4. Happy and lovely long holiday weekend, kittens.
I am on the softest and thickest bed buried beneath and inside of warm white sheets.
Three walls are pale orange. One wall is a window. There is only one dresser of old dark wood, whose shared and kept the secrets of many more than I can imagine.
It’s grey outside and pouring. Rain’s fingerdrops are playing music on my window.
I’ve found a little pocket of heaven inside of Toronto, it seems.
I hope your weekend is as lovely as mine…x
Fell free to make your own (the list doesn’t have to compiled of 25)…
.1. I count things; all things as I compete with myself to count them before I walk / drive / cycle past them without slowing down.
.2. I write things out with my toes. I’ll be thinking of something and then I’ll spell it out with my toes (I don’t hold a pen or anything…I just write it out with…my toes…).
.3. My books are in order first by genre, second by biographical info (my own).
.4. When it comes to emotional fight or flight, I choose the later…extremely. For all of my openness, I shut down and out when I perceive a threat to my emotional well-being.
.5. I am the not-pack-rat; I throw everything out.
.6. My favourite olive is a green olive stuffed with one tooth of garlic.
.7. Post grad school, I decided to become an artist. So I did. With one art show that sold out. But then I got bored.
.8. I get bored very easily.
.9. I am writing a book.
.10. The first game I ever learned to play was chess at the age of 3.
.11. I don’t need to have the last word if I am confident that my actions were the proper actions in that situation.
.12. My favourite food is watermelon accompanied by a feta cheese sandwich.
.13. I am at my most peaceful when I am near water (not, like, a toilette…but a real body of water).
.14. I have hundreds of acquaintances and count, at most, 10 as ‘friends’.
.15. It’s only when I write about something – map it out with a pen – that I understand it and then can tuck it away.
.16. My lowest math grade in high school was 98%. Until I did grade 13 calculus, which was taught by our high school’s football coach. He gave me an additional 2% so that I could pass the fkn class.
.17. I cry during sport movies; all of them. They are my favourite genre of film.
.18. I can’t read only one book at a time; often, I am toggling between 8 – 10 books so as to keep my attention (see # 8 above).
.19. Literally, I don’t get it. I don’t really understand the difference between $1,000 or $100,000. The concept of money is entirely lost on me. I am an economist’s worst nightmare.
.20. I prefer letter writing to email.
.21. I have zero desire to go to any part of East Asia. Not even for free, can you get me there. (I don’t understand it, either).
.22. I throw a killer left hook; one that split a bag recently.
.23. I hate all forms of instructions (on boxes, on bags, on people…).
.24. I love and trust immediately.
.25. But can walk away just as easily.
Some stories love to be told and some stories will fight you if you try to tell them. Part reality and part perspective, there are no ‘new’ stories and every story is universal, having already been spun across different cultures, religions and eras. Within each of us sleep the exact same stories; the difference being that whereas some of us live them and are provided the circumstance to realize and tell them, others are not.
Stories come together when actions are organized just so. When telling a tale, these words fall into the proper order and arrangement in their effort to communicate what the universe has chosen as experience.
Before a story is told, her words vibrate inside of us. Love knows when she will be used alongside Tenderness as equally as she knows when she will be used alongside Betrayal, reminding us that intuition does not belong to humans alone.
When these stories are not being told, they are weeping because they know. They know their turn is coming. They weep for each and every single storyteller past, and they weep for each one to come. They weep because human nature will never change, no matter the trauma we so readily inflict upon ourselves and others.
Words, in their infinite arrangements know that extent of humanity’s cruelty…
& since the world’s stories have all been told, they know us better than we know ourselves.
These are the secret stories – no matter that they have been told repeatedly throughout the history of worlds – that never want to be told. It’s these stories that, when we try to tell them, fight us. They pray that with each telling, it is the last. They beg to remain unnoticed, for unlike other stories, they have no ego. What they have is a reserve of pain, and because pain always has heart, these stories don’t want to force that pain onto their storyteller.
Quietly, these stories sit. The anticipation of the story itself we perceive as a knot in our stomach; the first sign that a very small gust of wind has skimmed the story, and it starts to become undone, anticipation growing in anxiety. As a wave, this anticipation grows in height, and is pushed faster and stronger with each rise, becoming more destructive the closer her words comes to the surface of experience and breaking through to telling.
While it tells itself, it does not do so in a harmonious manner but is composed suddenly of several interfering stories and feelings communicated at different frequencies and speeds.
As varying structures of vocal tracts conspire to speak, beyond control the words chosen articulate a betrayal, a trauma inflicted on our hearts and spirits. Once this begins, the storyteller is no longer in control. The anxiety of the tale is all consuming and the fight between individual and story is always lost to the later.
Depending on the weight of the words, a variation in the air pressure inside the person is experienced. This pressure pushes other words into corners and creates gusts of violent wind hitting the sides of our brains and hearts with such force that we can not but let the words crash against one another as they tumble out of our mouths, our eyes, our entire body’s expression. Friction and energy are created. Words crash and rub against one another and through a bloodied birth, earthquakes shake our bodies as these stories tell themselves.
Frenzied, the words chosen rip out in a fury. They have teeth and claws and razor edges; they bite at our tongue, stab at our gums, saw into our teeth, and use their letters as tenterhooks against our lips because these stories are dripping with the shame that is testimony to human weakness. In their haste to escape this all-consuming shame, they fall out one after the other, one pushing the other, one running over and flattening the one before.
And as they tell themselves, the storyteller’s body and heart and spirit are left peeled and hanging by thin ropes of flesh. We are torn and we are bloodied because we must allow for the trauma of this telling. The story tells itself and we become displaced.
We must allow for it…
For it is only after her telling that we can once again breathe. It is only once these stories have broken to the surface that we can then offer our bloodied insides the time to heal.
Once this story has fulfilled its destiny, we are calmed.
With time, the words chosen in the telling of this story are replaced with softer, gentler, more understanding words. The tale is no longer filled with jagged edges and razors, but rather one that has come to words of understanding and forgiveness and kindness…words that reshape its edges, remould its spirit, cut out its claws and file down its teeth. This reshaping cleans the stains, removes the poison and carries the older tale, dead, to its proper burial.
This is the story that hides.
We all carry at least one, and I’ve lived mine; she no longer leaves my lips shredded and my tongue torn on her surfacing.
I pray that yours doesn’t either.
It’s my birthday today and I have had the most exquisite 11 hours thus far. Officially, I was born at 2.05 a.m. EST (though, really, I was born at 8.05 am in Libya).
In fact, I have to let you in on a little secret: The reason I haven’t been blogging is because my life is so supremely exquisite right now, that I would like to focus solely on her, and not on anything else…not even the occasional blog entry… (Keep the secret and protect her; I will be back to regular blogging once the euphoria of coming completely back to life has settled a little bit…)
To celebrate my birthday and the fantastical year that’s sprinkled sparkle all over me, I will be eating cupcakes in a far away land from here for the next two weeks…
My love to each and every one of you.
His name is Daemon (Scott) Fairless, and he recently married Lyana, a beautiful and brilliant gynaecologist (as Scott says: “It’s nice to have a shared interest”).
Scott was the first boy I ever loved, though I never told him that. Being the first boy I dated, it was complicated and unclear at the time.
We met while he was working as bartender at Oliver’s on Carleton University’s campus. He was 6’2″ and quite possibly in the most prime shape of his life, with green eyes and sandy brown hair. He made me laugh to the point of peeing myself, was a reader and a boxer and so proved the most beautiful combination for me.
We were both children then and I loved him the only way a 22 year old Maha knew how: Stupidly and confusedly. We argued about religion – he was then an atheist, though now believes in God – and poetry.
He read to me, we had dinner with his step-mum and father who called me “gregarious”, he read to me some more, he had dinner with my mother who called him “handsome” (he is, to this day, the only man whose met mama), we argued more, he read to me some more, we had dinner with his mother and he attempted to play the guitar only to find a condom wrapper inside of the guitar throwing us into a hysterical frenzy of laughter.
He cooked, we read, I cooked, we argued even more, his love of Johnny Cash rivaled my love of Madonna, we made fun of each other, I was confused by him, we danced to really bad and fast pop music, we watched ER, he wrote his number on a piece of paper I had kept for years. He was beautiful and brilliant to me and he introduced me to Vietnamese rolls for which I am eternally grateful.
Essentially, it was exactly what two 22 year olds look like in a relationship.
Among the memories I hold of Scott, there are these two following particularly vivid spots in time: First, Cathy and Dino had come to meet me at Oliver’s for a drink and to meet Scott, who was working that evening. I was walking past him when he pulled me over and whispered “you are so beautiful” to which I couldn’t respond because I didn’t know how.
I was 22 years old and I’d never heard it from anyone but my mother because, essentially, I am a muppet. (In fact. Up until that point there had only been one other boy who’d ever referenced my looks, and that was George Logaras of Brookfield High School in Ottawa nearly 7 years earlier: He’d called me ‘ugly’ and ‘fat’ (I was a size 12), and referenced my ‘four eyes’ (glasses, yes) and my unibrow WHICH I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE HAD! I have never plucked between my eyebrows. The unibrow misobservation dumbfounds me to this day. He was a real dream boat, that one, aged 18 to my 15.)
Second, he was the first boy to hold my hand and when he did, he was making eye contact and I very seriously almost projectile vomited, because that’s what muppets do.
Right. So, anyway, 22 year old Scott was also a self-absorbed idiot who didn’t know how to communicate with my 22 year old self, loved Walt Whitman (snoooooooze), made fun of me for believing in angels, spent way too much time reading and believing Nietzsche (and then making me read Walt Whitman and Nietzsche), writing poetry and sulking in the way only a 22 year old boy can sulk. The world revolved around Scott, and if it didn’t, he forced his mind to perform acrobatics so that the world became about him. In hindsight, he was a 22 year old puppet to my muppet, and I loved him for it.
Needless to say, 22 year old Scott and I ended and then he started dating a woman much too soon after me. His actions didn’t set off a nuclear bomb because he neither deceived nor misled nor betrayed me; but his actions were indeed idiotic, hurtful and mean.
(I must here be mean. Note that their relationship started by him cooking her dinner; she came over with a Tom Waits CD, flowers and her flute. SHE PLAYED HIM THE FLUTE. Likely, she went to band camp. (I still remember unveiling the news re ‘the flute’ to The Girls who proceeded to gawk at me as though I’d suddenly sprouted a second head and tipped forward due to the sheer weight of the new head combined with my existing head.) When he told me about their date (we were trying to be friends) I told him I was no longer interested in being his friend and that it was too soon and too hurtful. I hung up, went into my closet to find a lantern which he’d gifted me and then promptly propelled it down the garbage chute with enough force to knock down the entire building.
For approximately two months after he and I stopped speaking, I used to imagine taking a bat to his legs and burning her flute.
From what he tells me, he stayed with her for a couple of years, and it was the “worst relationship of his life.”
Yes. I’m not above admitting that it made me feel good to hear this.
I’m being mean because I’ve suddenly lost interest in my 33 year old self and found my inner 22 year old instead.)
Six years ago, I received an email from Scott after he “Googled and found [me]“. He contacted me to apologize for all of his shit behaviour years back, as he should have. It wasn’t something I had waited around for, as 22 year old Maha wasn’t the same as 27 year old Maha nor was she the same as 33 year old Maha who is currently thinking that speaking about herself in the 3rd person is really strange and so Maha will stop.
I accepted because his apology was honest and clear and true, appreciating the fact that it had played on his mind for five years (look: if a boy becomes a man at 27, then that’s pretty damn impressive).
Since then, we’ve remained in contact at a relatively good level – though it’s not regular contact, it is worthy contact when it happens (quality here, in fact).
For the women who live here, I wish to share something with you, sent to me by Scott about men nearly a month and a half back. My mind was experiencing a logjam, and he forced me through it. (There is something to be said for those who knew our hearts intimately, no matter that with Scott it was 11 years ago. As with very very few others, he will always have an edge.)
Take the following with you and keep it somewhere safe so that you may access it when you need it (this is something I’ve always believed and expressed without hesitation, but it’s nice to have it confirmed and backed by a man):
“Fact is, guys suck most of the time. I don’t mean to sound flippant but it’s true. They are hard to trust. Their dicks are serious liabilities. It’s that simple. Even the guys who don’t want pussy want pussy. They’ll go to great lengths to rationalize their actions but it really is that simple. The only guy you can kind of trust is a guy who is honest about that. I really think you can’t ever fully trust what a guy says. At least until he’s got one hell of a proven track record.
Also, guys tend to be kind of autistic and so they don’t really understand how their actions affect others, at least not in the same way women do. (Again, I’m not being flippant. There’s a male-autism-lack of empathy thing that’s pretty well studied).
In my mind, there’s a divide: males who know this is true of themselves can be called men. Males who aren’t yet aware of this are called boys, regardless of age. A gentleman takes care not to harm others whether by taking precautions not to act on his biological imperative or not lying to himself or others about his inability to keep it in check.”
Love that he’s willing to step beyond the Male Code of Keeping Their Shit Secret and stand next to a girl who was once in his life to clarify a few points.
Love that it comes from the same man who “once made [his wife] lunch and included a can of beer so that when she opened it in front of her colleagues, they’d think she was an alcoholic“.
Love that it proves that even at 22, I knew how to pick a good man…even if it took him six years to become that man.
Every girl should have one (and Scott is mine): The Stand-Up Guy to whom The Girls and you throw back as you discuss the m(e)n in your lives.
Really. I love it.
Every evening, I walk past the Jason Duval Sussex Studio, and covet the work of a particular artist by the name of Marcelo Suaznabar.
The ingredients of his work are:
2 cups Pure Fantasy
3/4 cup Sinister
2 tbsp A Hint of Creepy
pinch of A Childhood Nightmare
& with garnish of a very slow cello
And I’ve not been able to help but savor each and every single drip and drop’s thickness, sweetness and lushness.
I used to stand outside The Studio and stare through the window at this one particular piece because it took my breath away:
I’ve always known that I wanted to invest in art, and as of yesterday, I am officially the owner of Suaznabar’s Caballo, Spanish for ‘horse’. Notice how he’s (being an oil painting) lacquered with (a) resin. Once he’s framed, I’ll post another picture for you…
He’s Mine, he’s Mine! My very first piece of art work! I can’t begin to tell you how excited and happy I am! HE’S MINE! Mine! Mine! Mine! I’m officially an owner of a real and true and precious piece of art that I love love love and about which I will probably have to call the insurance company. Miiiiiiine!
(I know that you’re thinking how that last paragraph is a clear indication of my maturity – a maturity that deserves to be invested in a piece of art.)
Aside, but not really: Jason Duval
Whenever I stood outside and stared at the above duck / chicken, I always imagined that Jason Duval was an old man. A really old man – the kind of old man that frowned upon younger girls purchasing art because they thought it was ‘pretty’.
Yesterday evening, I discovered that Jason Duval is in fact a 33 year-old BOY! Check out how he impressed me: We met briefly on Thursday evening, and on Friday afternoon I rang back to discuss
MINE! Caballo. Before I told him who I was, he recognized my voice because he said he recognized the energy. So not only is he interesting in terms of his business sense, but he also holds a unique ability to recognize ‘energy’. (A big Bravo! to Jason for this 7th sense.)
Actually…Jason’s two younger brothers are equally interesting as they own the gym at the other end of Sussex Drive, atop the Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant and through which’s windows you can see people bobbing up and down on gym equipment (I usually watch them while seated across the street enjoying a latte and reading a book).
If ever you’re in Ottawa, I strongly encourage you to drop into The Sussex Studio and enjoy the beautiful works and the even better service. You’ll thank me, I promise…
Two of my cousins are in town from Denver this week. These boys are the closest thing I have to brothers and they have never once let me down. Naturally, we get into fights, as do all family members…but 99% of the time, we’re solid.
We share sibling mothers and so are quite aware of the attempted emotional terrorism and torment the sisters often wield; this serving as a special bond, much like the one shared by POW survivors. (I have to say here that I have an edge because mama’s changed dramatically these last few months and is still doing just that; it was either that or further fragment our relationship. Maybe one day I’ll post about this point in particular…I’m not sure yet.)
This is Homer (Omar):
He’s had a pretty rough year about which I will only say that I, Alhamdulilah, am so thankful and amazed to see him so well and vibrant and healthy and back. I love this kid to death and I’ve yet to meet anyone with a heart the size of his.
He’s finishing up Business something-or-other and he’ll own half of Denver some day – he’s a hustler of the first order and can manage and charm anything and anyone. He also grows the world’s tastiest tomatoes.
This is Major (Maher):
Currently working construction and soon to begin pre Med in January, Inshallah. It’s been interesting having him around because he’s matured so very much in this last year and a half and it’s an absolute pleasure to talk politics, religion, family, friends, relationships and life with him. He’s a sponge for knowledge, and I can see him in ten years being such a strong and solid man in the lives of those lucky enough to know him.
The only one that’s not here at the moment is this guy (who you may remember was the first boy to ever send me flowers), Rock (Ragheb), the soon-to-be ‘Homo Doctor’ (currently in Tempe, Arizona studying at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine):
…this being my favourite picture of him because he’s not even posing.
Needless to say, women tend to drop trou around him and I’m sure the girl who took this photo passed out as soon as she went Click. (Re the beads, I think in Tempe there’s something similar to Mardi Gras and chances are he started with a U-Haul of those necklaces.)
He’s here receiving a special blog entry because of how much support he’s given me these last few months, and how engaged and patient he’s been. He is my touchstone and my comfort blanket. Period. (When we’re not chatting on the phone, he’s offering me support via email such as found here.)
I can only here discuss him because the other boys are still developing who they are; I have no doubt that within the next few years, they’ll be the same calibre of man as Ragheb…God knows they’re well on their way. Also, I’m going to talk about Ragheb because it’s to him that I’m closest. (And he knows all of my secrets.)
There are two things I admire most about Ragheb – apart from his obvious willingness to listen to me for hours and actually pay attention to what I’m saying and then provide feedback.
First is that’s he’s a fighter, and from this comes a fierce confidence. I’ve never known him to back down, to be scared of anything, or to ever simply stop. Ever.
Nothing to him is unattainable and it is amazing to learn just how engaged he is in this life. Even when he’s f*cked it up – which we’ve all done – he’s immediately stood up and forged a different road to get to where he needs to be. His only fear is one: God.
Second, he never imparts blame and instead takes full responsibility for his actions, absorbing the repercussions of his choices without so much as a sigh of protest.
I am reminded of this at every conversation and I am pushed to be a better woman because of it. I’ve recently discovered just how critical it is to acknowledge all of the errors I’ve made as an individual and that find me where I am today. The moment we blame others is the moment we say: I am not responsible, I am not accountable.
There’s a fine line here between moments in life where we are truly not responsible, and those instances where we actively cede responsibility because it’s the easier thing to do.
The bottom line is, we live and we learn and we make mistakes – for most of which we are responsible – and we move forward still. (I think the choice here is that we live our lives either blaming everyone else or acknowledging our engagement in the composition of who we are and where we are. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that people don’t wrong you, because sooner or later someone most definitely will, it just means that apart from you dealing with that particular wrong, those people are of no concern to you – your concern is your own character and how you treat people, even when you’ve been wronged.)
Back to My Favourite Boy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: the woman to whom he will be devoted is blessed, because for all of his fierceness, the core of him is of unshakeable devotion and loyalty.
I LOVE HIM.
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me-eeeee
Happy Birthday to me
I was born at 8.04am years ago today.
(Pretty picture courtesy of This Next.)
“It is good for a woman to keep her sense of humor intact and at the ready.
She must see, even if only in secret, that she is the funniest woman
in her world, which she should also see as being the most absurd world of all times.”
- Maya Angelou
(Thank you K’s dad.)
So here’s the trail…
Every few weeks, and when I’m in need of a good laugh, I head over to The Superficial. Until recently, I was under the impression that it was one guy who was blogging. Actually, I was fully convinced it was the husband of one of my best friends (the one who, while we were standing on a street corner one evening trying to decide where to go, recommended we head “up [his] bum”). Apparently it’s not, and I never claimed to be a sleuth.
I’m not sure I get it yet, but it appears to be several individuals, a sort of community of bloggers who post absolutely the most hilarious and insane commentary about stars & starlets and all those in between. The Superficial is to Hollywood what The Peanut Gallery was to The Muppets.
I can’t check that site at work because I laugh too hard. Besides, were I to close my door and continue to smother my laughter, it would sound as though I were watching snuff porn. And I don’t even know what snuff porn means, but I know it’s not good. I’m pretty sure it has to do with turkeys.
Two days ago, I finally took the plunge and posted one tiny comment at The Superficial.
And from that, I have received hysterical emails from three of the boys, pointing me to different locations where these same bloggers congregate. The two sites are C*ck-Ninja and also Angry Ferret. One of them mentioned his age, but I think he’s not being truthful because his sense of humour is too young. I’m guessing this group is in their early thirties.
Here is what one of the C*ck-Ninjas wrote about me, which is such a nice thing to say considering…I don’t even know considering what…considering the kind of stuff they post on their site and the comments they make about folks in general. I am so completely flattered; this is the best formulated compliment I have received:
A special surprise guest, our newest member of C*ck-Ninja’s Fun Town, one Miss ‘Just A Girl’. One fu*king hot girl I might add. A Palestinian Canuck who wowed us with her famous fully-clothed and veiled strip-show, teasing us by showing bits of her gorgeous face. Shouts of arousal and phrases like, “Show us your face” and “Get that nose out there” were heard. Thanks for coming out.
& one post script to the gents: nudity has nothing to with seduction, gentlemen.
.1. It looks like I no longer have the time to pull together more than one solid article a week.
.2. Work is reaching extraordinary expectations and leaving me without much time (last week I put in 12 hours of overtime) for politically-specific brain power in the evenings. Between the long days without lunch, the only thing I look forward to is the gym because it serves as my only release…politics will have to wait until the weekends, and hence the once a week article rule that is now in effect.
.3. I was serenaded today by my taxi driver. He was an Eastern music major in University and decided to turn off the radio and sing me to my destination.
As I was leaving, he said “If you don’t find a man who gonna treat you like the Queen, you got to kick him in the back to the corner. And if I was him I gonna cry like a fool on the corner.” Sadly, I think that may just be the sweet thing I’ve heard in a long time.
.4. Notice the tone of this day’s RPMs is slightly morose. Have had a very taxing couple of weeks, and an even more exhausting week that has yet to end. Am looking forward to tomorrow evening, though, because it’s a dear friend’s bachelorette party and we’ve decided to do it in Montreal.
A much needed weekend of shopping and R & R is ahead of me and I am already digging it.
.1. If you are speaking at a wedding, and if you happen to be the sister of the bride, you might want to rethink a speech that begins with “…remember when you were a little girl and wanted a horse more than you wanted a husband?” and ends with “…tonight you’re getting married and so I hope that you know the difference between a husband and a horse…”
The reason you may want to avoid this is because the joke at every witty table will begin with “…sorry we couldn’t get you a horse…” and end with “…but look: we found you a jackass!”
.2. Men should wear red. All men. All the time. There’s something to be said for a man who can wear a red shirt and pull it off. Erm. The style. Not the shirt. Well… not on this blog, anyway.
.3. The Euro cup 2004 is behaving oddly, and I am slightly troubled.
.4. The other day, a brilliant poet named T. Anders Carson asked me if I was a writer, and I hesitated before giving him an honest response. That answer felt wonderful.
.5. If you have been genuinely betrayed …I would suggest waiting for karma to find its way back to them. A few years back, I was one very strong advocate for the ‘make your own karma’ camp, but after this weekend, I am a firm believer in letting karma take its own course.
I was betrayed – the sort of betrayal that leaves you paralyzed, in fear of human interaction because there’s this gigantic gash in the side of your head from someone you trusted, a gash based on complete and total lies, and one that had no meaning or intention except of malice. The kind of betrayal short stories are written about, the sorts of betrayal that make your skin crawl and your stomach turn, and from which not even your mum or dad can protect you. The type of betrayal that could potentially ruin you, should you allow it to.
Well…folks, this Friday past, I was at a wedding (see point 1) and had the absolute and complete utter pleasure of seeing the three faces that had actively worked to help me understand the meaning of betrayal (as well as pathology, and sociopath) as I describe it above.
That good type of karma, the one you let find its way back to those who did you harm…if you let it take its course, it does a few things to people:
(1) It doesn’t allow them to age well…be it the introduction of a fat ass, a hairy female face, and/or an overall look of stupidity and dumbfounded-ness plastered across said hairy face;
(2) It makes them dress really poorly and inappropriately for body type (read: fat ass) (i.e. large heavy satin wraps over even larger satin gowns, or fishnet over unflattering colors…because if your ass isn’t fat enough on its own, this kind of karma will convince you that it is best to highlight it with all the wrong cuts and fabrics, whispering sweetly “…shiny sateen is flattering…I promisssse”);
(3) When they look at you (every single moment they can, over every dance and through all of the dancers), the good karma makes the envy in their face drip down the fronts of their sateen, the green shades so obvious to everyone, including those unaware of the betrayal; and finally,
(4) That fabulous God-sent karma makes you feel like the million dollars that you are, and makes the rest of the people sit up and agree (most obviously, the husbands of said c.nts).
.6. Sometimes, being petty and cruel is a really wonderful feeling. And right now, I feel great.