Women, Ladies Night, Sex on The Beach, and No Laundry, Please!

j0399866 What kind of person are you?  Do you have a high need to be with other people all the time, with noise, conversation and sound bouncing off walls and filling your home?  Or are you the kind of person who can turn it all off and exist happily with no other person around and absolutely no noise other than the sounds of the silence enveloping your abode? I love crowds, the hustle and bustle of the city, the cozy cramped feeling of a trendy little joint packed with bodies listening to the cool reggae tunes of a live band passing through the area.  I am at home in a crowded realm.  I am also just as content to be solitary and silent.  I can move through both worlds with ease, but I have to admit, I like my solitude.

Solitude or Isolation?

j0442993 I don’t mind my own company and there are times when because I’ve just done so much wish granting for other people that when the weekend rolls around I don’t mind being alone and simply being. I do have the tendency, at times, to retreat from the world in an escapist fashion.  I can tend to isolate myself if I’m not careful. 

I was planning on that last night. It was going to be a quiet evening of introspective contemplation as I worked out and reassessed my focus and direction in life.  You guessed it, I didn’t have a date. 

At the last minute, as these things tend to happen, a good friend of mind came into my office at the end of the day and asked if I was going to go to the get together after work.

I sighed.  Memories of the last time I got together with my party friends swam before my eyes.  There was a vision of something vaguely reminiscent of broken drinking glasses and a missed chair or was it the floor ended up being where the chair should have been? I couldn’t remember.  Well, I could, but I didn’t want to.

“You know I think I’m probably just going to go home.”  Another memory like the ones I already couldn’t remember, memories of crazy, pain laced celebrations in the days and months following my divorce’s finality was not something I wanted to add to my thought processes.

My friend, sensing I wasn’t exactly on my game somewhere, came in sat down on a nearby stool and we chatted for a few.  We shared. We caught up.  It’s been months since we got together and pondered the deep questions of life and single parenting and dating.  In fact, the last time we did that, I distinctly remember dropping my cell phone in the hot tub. Yet another interesting memory and one we laugh about now.

A Single Mom’s Loneliness

j0440327 She’s feeling much of what I’m feeling these days it turns out.  Her single mommy life is taxing her in many of the same ways mine is.  We both love our freedom and our independence and all the many conveniences that come with being in the driver’s seat of our lives.  Yet we both are missing the connection that comes when you have another very special person in your life to plan with, to dream with, to consult with, to disagree with, to make up with, to make out with, and to wake up to in the morning. 

While I am often alone, I am not usually lonely, but I was in one of those very rare places where I was actually feeling alone and lonely.  My friend sensed this and as she tends to do, she was right there for me. We ended up deciding to hang out together last night.  It was a decision I’m glad we made.

I think it is easy for women to become disconnected sometimes, especially if we are single moms.  We spend so much of our time making sure that the needs of those we love and who depend upon us are met that we forget about our own needs.  Maybe it isn’t so much that we forget, as it is that, by the time we get around to being able to think about ourselves, we are simply exhausted and ready to collapse.  We end up putting ourselves on the bottom of the priority pile.  We end up too exhausted to want to make the effort to connect with the other women in our lives.  For me, that includes the other single moms I know in my face-to-face world who have walked with me down the single parent road these last few years. 

Women Friends

There is also something about being with another woman instead of a man on occasion.  Now, don’t hear me say that I prefer this over company with men all the time. Both types of company are valuable, but they sometimes meet very different needs.  At times, the company of a good same sex friend (because I’m sure men feel this way too on some levels) just can’t be beat.  I don’t have to do the work of getting to know someone, because all that history and relationship has already been established. It’s comfortable.  We know and accept each other.  It is enough just to be together.  It is also very nice sometimes to have another female perspective confirming for me in so many ways, that I’m not crazy, that I am just a busy single mom and that we are all feeling this way, which is most of the time stressed or tired.  Especially of laundry.

j0441034 It doesn’t happen often that we can all get babysitters or be child-free on the same evening and also have money to pay for our cover charges and drinks but last night the stars aligned and we were able to make it happen.  It started out with just my friend and I, and we added one of our new colleagues to the mix.  The laughter, the conversations, the self-revelations and the discussions that ran from the serious and intellectual (okay, sort of serious and intellectual) to quite tawdry, decisions to have Sex on the Beach but no Slow Comfortable Screw, while wondering who in the bar was there with who else, these things made up our night like a montage in a movie. From the comments about the cute guy in the hat dancing by himself in the middle of the crowded dance floor, to whether the guy in the suit was single or not, to refusing to pick up two guys who tried to convince us to let them in the car with us, to the older retired teacher guy who regaled me with stories while I waited for the others to complete their powder room break, it was simply something we all, for our own reasons, needed to do.  We just needed to put our concerns and stress away for a few hours, to forget we were single moms, to forget that we cared about that.  We needed a Ladies Night Out. We needed to just have fun.  

We most certainly did that!

Not a glass was broken.

Not a chair was missed.

Not a cell phone fell into anything liquid.

And not one of us thought once about the laundry.

…but I am wondering where I left my shirt.

Conversations With Men…and Some Women Too

Christmas Day, 6:00 a.m. 

j0440978 I wake up, stumble through the house turning on the Christmas lights on my way to let the dog out for her morning romp in the back yard.  It is a frosty, cold, foggy 28 degrees in Southern Oregon.  I change the laundry, start another load of the eternal never ending chore and move back into the kitchen automatically, thoughtlessly, still somewhat groggily to begin the task of brewing coffee. 

My house is silent except for the soft sound of heat being forced out through the furnace and the low rumbling purr of my cats who float ethereally in and out of rooms.  Noiseless vapors appearing and disappearing of their own catlike determination. Once the coffee is brewed I pour a cup, add a bit of cream and a touch of the homemade peppermint schnapps a colleague gave me for Christmas.  I pad silently to the living room couch where I plant myself, laptop on lap, facing the tree centered in front of the large picture window which looks out onto my quiet street. My mind and my heart are filled with thoughts and feelings. You would think that these thoughts and feelings would center on the fact that I am alone this Christmas without my children to share in the traditional holiday festivities.  Such is not the case, because I know I am not alone in my being alone on this day.  All over this country there are many men home alone without their children or families with them.  This is the ugly sad side of divorce.

Men are often denounced and disparaged as being focused on sex over relationship.  Women on the other hand place relationship as a higher priority than sex.  These are broad generalizations and there are many exceptions to every rule, but just go with me here.  Men, in general, are often villanized for being so very sexually oriented. 

I’d like to suggest a different idea.  I’d like to suggest the idea that men are every bit as interested in relationship (that deep, emotionally gratifying connected relationship) that women are touted as desiring.  I just think they go about it differently.  I don’t think that the differences in approach necessarily presume a difference in desire or ultimate goal.

j0402650I’ve been divorced exactly two years and four days now.  In that time, I’ve had the freedom to meet, have coffee with, have drinks with and converse with many members of the opposite sex.  I’ve had more freedom to engage in these conversations than I would have had I not been single even though many of these conversations have been completely platonic. I’ve learned a lot in these conversations with men.  While most of them have been single, some of these conversations have occurred with men in relationships with other women, while the woman was there of course, and other conversations have occurred with men who are still married but separated (a definite indicator that the relationship will never be anything more than platonic where I am concerned) and still others have been casual encounters at Christmas parties or social gatherings with husbands of my colleagues and friends.  These particular conversations all have one thing in common.  They have at the core of them the question, “What is it that men really want?”

One thing becomes clearer to me, as I have these conversations.  We really do all want the same thing.  Some of us are fortunate, we’ve found it, we enjoy it, we are grateful for it.  Others continue to look and wait and hope that someday we too will experience it or will experience it again.  Still others of us have given up hope that this reality will occur for us and some of us might even now be in the process of giving up hope that we will ever experience anything like it. 

What is it?  What is this thing we all want?  I suspect it is the same for men as for women though the sexes have very different and often opposing ways to go about getting what they want. This thing is love.  This thing is trust.  This thing is relationship.  It is relationship that is deeply, emotionally intimate and fulfilling.  The relationship that continues to be such after time, and change, and aging have taken their toll. 

j0440312 So as I sip my morning coffee and think about all the conversations I’ve had over the last two years and specifically some of the conversations I’ve had recently I want to extend a big hug to all my dear friends, male and female, married or single who’ve walked part or all of this journey with me these last two years.  Thank you for conversing with me.  Thank you for sharing your lives and your hearts with me. You’ve certainly enriched me.  I wish you all the love you seek and all the joy that comes with that love.  If you’ve found that in your life I wish for you a lifetime of experiencing it with that one special other. May you always be grateful for what you have in each other.  If you still await that experience then I hope, dear friend, that 2010 is your year! 

Merry Christmas!

The Wild Mind

“When the world says give up, hope whispers try it one more time” ~ Author unknown.

Authenticity vs. Cosmetic Surgery: Which One Wins Out in the Battle for Real Love and Lasting Relationship?

I was over at one of my favorite bloggy friends homesites today checking up on what she was thinking about things and she wrote a bit about cosmetic surgery and a better sex life.  Okay, I wanted to comment…but I totally didn’t want to take center stage with it.  Instead, I left some smart ass tongue-in-cheek comment that, hopefully, made people think but didn’t take over the conversation. My response as posted was:

Geez,
All those 80-year-old people in the retirement homes who are getting married these days are sunk without plastic surgery. How can they possibly have a fulfilling, rewarding sex life if they simply just don’t look the part of our plastic, superficial, Hollywood driven, hedonistic, entertainment oriented culture? Sucks to be them I guess!


I was responding more to the other commenters than to BigLittleWolf’s post.  My friend, BigLittleWolf, has some great things to say…and she’s way more diplomatic than I am. She said some really important things here and posed some great questions…in a far more diplomatic way that I would have.  I so wanted to call bullshit on some of the people leaving comments. You’ll just have to go there and read her post and make your own decision.   Her post clearly touched a few nerves with me because here I am, posting a response.

First off the issue of visual stimulation being a male phenomenon was presented.  I wanted to call bullshit on that because nothing could be further from the truth.  I can’t tell you the number of times my panties have gotten wet because the fireman on duty down at Fire Station #4 a block away decided to flex his muscle during a presentation to the school children.  Men don’t have a corner on the visual stimulation market.  They just have better marketing and a bigger market share at this time. Women get turned on my a guy’s good looks too.  If you want me to do the research I can, but, seriously, you can do your own and come to the same conclusions.

Second, the reason women don’t have the reputation for getting turned on by the visual in quite the same way that men do is because it simply takes a bit more for us to jizz in our pants than a pretty smile, some big biceps and a bulging set of boxer briefs. We are, after all, the ones being penetrated and encroached upon.  A deposit is often left and sometimes that deposit develops into an account that requires regular deposits and close supervision until it matures. If Mr. Bulging Boxer Brief decides to take his leave of what is now not just me but us, then who’s going to be left taking the responsibility for this new account?  She is. It behooves us to be extremely picky about those we allow to make deposits in our bank.  Looks simply can’t be the be all end all in relationship…for a woman. We need more than just a nice “vision” to make sex the best it can be.  (Note: how many men are getting penis extensions these days?) We need old school things like trust, connection, intellect, respect, loyalty and responsibility in order to feel safe enough to give up our most vunerable self to another for the long haul.

Finally, the entire cosmetic surgery and the whole recreate yourself from the outside out  trend is conspiring to undo authenticity and relationship in our country. Nothing is real anymore and most of us don’t even have our original teeth let alone our original body parts. This preoccupation with how things appear at the expense of seeing things and people as they really are concerns me.  After all, I still believe what my mama told me, “Beauty is only skin deep.”  I don’t care how big the price tag that beauty has on it.  Ten  years after those implants have been implanted and I’m going to have to be looking at further surgery am I going to be any better person for it?  Will my relationships be better because I have size 38 DD boobs in spite of the fact that I abuse my lover and mistreat the waitresses when we go out?  Will my life be greatly improved over the long haul because my muffin top over my size 3 pants is less that it would be hanging over a size 10 pair of American Eagle jeans?  Do I really need to have that reconstructive foot surgery to make my feet a size 6 from their original size 9.5 just because little feet are prettier?  Really?  Are my smaller feet going to make me more sensual, more considerate, more giving and more kind in bed or anywhere else? 

I don’t know.  The whole preoccupation with our physical appearance at the expense of becoming really quality people worth knowing bothers me just a bit.

Can you tell?  

Will Men Become Obsolete?

Articles like “Will Y Chromosome Go Bye-Bye?” really get me thinking.  Actually, articles like this give me a headache.  My ADD tendencies just want to go crazy with this one  by tossing out ideas and questions without the discipline to think clearly and follow any to their logical and usually flawed conclusions.  Add to this that my multiple personalities begin arguing amongst each other as  to who is correct and you have a migraine that requires a month’s supply of codeine to put down. Even so, the article is interesting and in spite of the headache I’m going to attempt to deal with this one in some fashion. 

In the most simplistic analysis the article discusses the discovery that Chromosome Y (the chromosome responsible for everything male including the reproductive paraphernalia that men sport in one particular area of their bodies) is losing genes at a far faster rate than the X chromosome is.  That’s alarming! 

One I instantly thinks thought, “So that’s how God has planned the end of the world!  He’s just going to eliminate men on a gradual basis so we all think it is evolution!  One day it will be a world without men, no sex, no babies, no further human race once all the women die out.”

Okay, other than being over the top silly (remember what I said earlier about “flawed conclusions”) this just not going to happen for so many reasons. 

The first reason is that we now have the technology to reproduce human beings without either of the two biological parents being present.  All we really need is a few well maintained cells and a warm healthy uterus.  No men needed if the sperm bank’s accounts are full.  For some of us, “No Men = No Problems” so this kind of existence would be a welcome one and as near a Utopia as one could want.  I personally, have a difficult enough time dealing with three females in the same household at a certain time of the month, I can’t imagine an entire female only planet.  If nothing else, men are at least different if completely incomprehensible and often smelly.  They at least add comic relief to our world.

Oh and don’t go all funny on me here and say “Well, without men how would we have and enjoy sex?”  Peeps!  Do NOT even go there! No!  Not with modern technology and alternative lifestyles.  It is simply not a discussion that needs to happen. Women have gotten around this one for ages. 

The article stated that evolution favors survival.  It also stated that the genes the Y chromosome is losing are genes that are no longer needed.  The evolutionary process and all, I guess.  If we consider that as our daily existence changes over time and that existence impacts the human body, how it operates, functions, survives, deals with the changing environment then, okay, the genes that make up that body must necessarily change or adapt over time.  The ones that aren’t needed go bye-bye and other ones stay.  Whatever.  What would interest me would be knowing which genes exactly are disappearing and what they were specifically responsible for in men. 

Like, I wonder, is intelligence implicated here? Or is the gene for discussing bowling, fishing and hunting and the best brand of chew or microbrew replicating itself in exponential proportions?  Personally, if science wants to contribute to humanity it should make the Nascar gene  disappear. 

Is courage and the ability to walk up to a woman and ask her out on a date implicated or has that gene been lost?  Now all men are able to do is give out a number and hope a woman calls or tell her, “Hey, when you get some time and want to do something call me!”  If that gene hasn’t been lost, I suspect it is disappearing.

I suspect that over time, with the overwhelming aversion to body hair continuing into the next several centuries we might see the body hair gene disappear in both sexes.  That would save so much time in the shower and pain at the spa!  Maybe science can figure out a way to speed that process up a bit. 

What I really believe is going on here is that the human body, like everything else in our world is downsizing.  It, like the rest of the world, is moving toward a simpler more efficient existence.  Therefore, to adapt to this more efficient world the irrelevant is being discarded and the human body is simply adapting. 

Simply put, men are already obsolete and evolution is just cleaning up the riff raff. 

Something to think about anyway. 😉