THE LAST STRAW — A new poem…(and yes, I’m gonna try to be better at blogging regularly!)

Don’t play with my emotions,
because I’ve been there before.
Don’t think you’ll hurt me and just go.
You won’t make it to the door.
Don’t touch me, hold me, or make me care,
don’t make my cold heart thaw,
then turn around and rip it out.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’ve told you how it’s been for me.
I love too hard and strong.
And sometimes I needed to let go,
and I stayed around too long.
I know some men chase girls for sport,
And they’ll chase harder when the girls withdraw,
but they’ll run when the girls give in to them.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’m asking you not to tell me lies.
Don’t chase space in my head
when all you really want from me
is a good time in my bed.
And when I ask how you really feel,
don’t stutter, hem and haw.
Don’t treat me like some stupid chick.
Please don’t be my last straw.

I’m telling you right here and now,
I’m at the end of my rope.
I’m tired of being all alone.
It’s so hard for me to cope.
If I find this was just a game to you,
I’ll break every single law
to make sure you feel the pain I feel.
So don’t be my last straw.

I will call all my cousins,
play cousins, brothers and uncles too.
Trust and believe they’ll teach the lesson
that I couldn’t teach to you.
You know that gun I got? When I’m real pissed
I’m real quick on the draw.
Too many men have done me wrong!
So baby,
please don’t be my last straw!

And fellas, always keep in mind
how much a woman can hide.
You never really truly know
what storms might rage inside.
So call her a crazy bitch
when she tags your car with a chainsaw,
but maybe she was just fed up;
maybe you were her last straw.

 

–Petula Caesar

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My strange Valentine’s Days these days…

This time of year is my busy season as far as my performing goes (in case you don’t know, I do erotic performance poetry with a band). What I do is very popular around Valentine’s Day. Since 2005, every Valentine’s Day I was on stage someplace performing; in some cases I wasn’t even in Baltimore. The fact that I’m usually so busy this time of year helps distract me from the things that bother most single people during the Valentine’s Day period. I don’t really have time to think about whether I’ll get flowers or candy or asked out on a date because I’m rehearsing, or picking out performance outfits, or finalizing travel arrangements. And this year won’t be any different – I’ll have several shows this year around V-Day, including performing at a popular local radio station’s speed dating event. While I do appreciate the distraction, I do see the irony in the fact that for the past 5 years, though my own love life has been strangely stagnated, I provide entertainment for lovers or potential lovers. They look to me to add spark to their celebration of their intimate and personal feelings for each other. They expect me to help them see each other through new eyes, to generate heat and passion between them for at least that night, and I try to do that. My Valentine’s Day sets are a combination of sensual and sexual pieces. I do a relationship piece here and there.

I try to have at least some new material each year, so I don’t bring the same show back to places where I am appearing for a second or third time. That means I’m writing and memorizing at least 2-3 new pieces in preparation for my shows throughout January up until the events. Now that I’ve started doing covers (which means I perform work by artists), that does help me create new shows because now I put at least one cover in every show I do. But that means my band is constantly learning new music. A new show also means new outfits to wear onstage. At some shows I do acapella sets, and at some shows I perform with a full band, so I have to rehearse different versions of my show to accommodate different venues. If I’m traveling, I have to pack, get to the airport/bus station/train station, get to my destination, check into my hotel, try to get to the venue a little before my show so I can get a feel for it and watch the crowd come in (that’s how I make a final determination on what I do in a set – by watching the crowd). By the time February 15th rolls around, I’m exhausted.

In many respects I am thankful for my new Valentine’s Day rituals. Granted they are not at all what I thought they would be at this stage of my life – I find myself in the strange position of putting on some of my sexiest and most revealing lingerie and attire for a room full of applauding strangers instead of that one special someone. But it does help take the focus off myself; I am focused on other people, which is a good thing. Instead of wearing myself out worrying about love, I worry about performing. I don’t have time to wallow in self pity or self doubt, to wonder why I’m alone or visit my mental cemetery of dead relationships. I don’t make random phone calls to any of my exes, trying to get closure where there is none (something I’ve done in the past). I don’t have time to wonder about unrequited loves from my past, present or future. I have to work, and that’s what I do. Work. I throw all my energy into my work.

But I do wonder if I would be depressed if I weren’t so busy. If I really had to feel the sharp little needles of loneliness so many unattached people feel this time of year, how would I handle it? Though I’ve never been one to be big on holidays and expressions of affection dictated by the calendar, it is still difficult to totally ignore a world draped in red and pick, smelling of roses and chocolates with words of love dripping from its lips. No matter how much reason and logic you apply to the whole Valentine’s Day thing, you still can’t help but feel an occasional pinch of sadness – and I think that’s especially true of women, who often put so much more obvious emphasis on relationships and being with someone. Or I would feel bad that is, if I weren’t so busy. Performing is the anesthetic I pour on my heart during this Valentine’s Day season, but what would I be like without it?

Of course I have to appreciate Valentine’s Day, because it is the month when I earn the most money as a performer. I sell more CDs and downloads between January 25th and February 15th than almost any other time of the year. I can count on a bunch of performances that pay pretty well, and are a lot of fun to do. The shows I do during this period always lead to other bookings and expose me to people that help me in other ways. And I sell a lot of merchandise during my Valentine’s Day shows. Love and sex is thriving business for me the first 2 weeks of February, and I take full advantage of it. I start looking for Valentine’s Day bookings in mid-December, and by late January I’m all set. I plan out my wardrobe, load up on product to sell, make arrangements for someone to keep an eye on my kids – between rehearsals and shows I’m not home a lot this time of year. During these two weeks alone, if I’m careful, even after expenses, I earn a very decent amount of money. But if I slowed down – would the pain catch me? Would I be lonely? Would I notice that there is no “special someone” who comes to my shows to support me, to admire me, to care about me and what I do? If I stood still, didn’t write the poem, put on the makeup, lace up the corset, pull on the stockings, would I look up and notice there isn’t anyone wishing I didn’t have to work on Valentine’s Day so I could spend it with him? Over the past five years no man has said to me “can’t you take off this year” or “do you have to work so hard”? Would I really notice the couples in the audiences I entertain, would I see them and wonder why I am not part of a couple someplace? Would I envy the couples that come up to me after shows who buy a CD, get it autographed by me and quickly take a picture before running home (or wherever) to make love, while I go back to an empty hotel room, or go home alone to my kids and kiss them goodnight?

For the moment, I don’t have the answers to those questions. Between today and February 15th, I have six definite performances and two possible ones. I start rehearsals next week. I have two new pieces I need to get to two different groups of musicians I’m working with. I have a new piece I’m committing to memory, and while I’m not doing any major traveling this year, I will be in D.C. with the band for a few shows. Again I’m too busy to really notice the celebration I so actively participate in and profit from. And it’s probably better that way.

Don’t get me wrong — it wasn’t always like this. I have had extremely romantic Valentine’s Days in my past. I remember gifts. I remember perfume. I remember flowers, candy, jewelry, shopping sprees, and romantic dinners in beautiful restaurants. I remember getaways to quiet sexy places, satin sheets, and massage oil. I remember bubblebaths for two, bottles of champagne. I remember lingerie worn for only one set of eyes. I remember love letters and love poems written for me, instead of by me for others. I remember hands, a man’s hands, moving across every part of me with tender and sensual dedication. I remember scented candles, rose petals on my skin and passion in my heart. If I strain really hard I think I can even remember love, which made the lust much more potently powerful. Men in my past have showered me with love in its most luxurious, decadent, generous fashion in my past.

But these are my memories, not my realities. And the ocean between the two is dark with pain, regret, and probably even fear that the tide has turned away from my shores for good, and these things will never return to me.

So perhaps my present is a blessing. From where I stand onstage, I can at least acknowledge that these things do still exist, though they aren’t in my world. I can look out onto the sea of love, though I may never dive in again and ride those waves to wherever my lover and I end up. It perhaps is enough that for now love welcomes me on its sandy beach, offers me a special place to sit, tickling and teasing my feet with splashes now and then. It may be just as well, because I probably have forgotten how to swim in that powerful current anyway.

Having said all this, I must go now. I have a poem to memorize!

Peace!

Jump Offs: The Myths, The Realities

I cover a lot of different topics on this blog. But for the next few entries, I am going to be focusing on relationships, especially the more intimate and sexual aspect of relationships.

There is a lot of discord going on between men and women these days, and much of it is because of a lack of honesty — a lack of honesty with each other, and even worse, a lack of honesty with ourselves. I want to stimulate TRUTHFUL, open, mature discussion about these matters. I want to generate discussion that doesn’t seek to make one gender feel superior to the other. I want to generate discussion that isn’t focused on proving who is right and who is wrong, which is one of my pet peeves about these types of conversations — they are often divisive and more about finger pointing that helping us identify our issues and resolve them so we can treat each other better.

I want all of us to stop making ourselves feel better by looking down our noses at how other people behave in their personal relationships. But that’s not easy. We don’t like to face our own internal ugliness head on. It is much easier to observe others, criticize others, talk about what others have done that we never have done or would do, berate others for tolerating things we say we would never tolerate and so on. But more often than not, most of us have, in some form or fashion, have engaged in most of the behaviors we criticize others for. So it is my hope that those who read this won’t have the politically correct knee jerk response. That’s too easy. After you read what I have to say, Just think about it, ponder it, and don’t judge.

Having said all that…let’s begin!

The topic of today is “the jump off”. I want to get into so real talk about jump offs, the myths and realities of the jump off scenario, people’s attitudes about jump offs, and even jump off etiquette.

Now for some reason many people feel that being a jump off is demeaning, degrading, etc. Women and men speak in a condescending, even a disrespectful manner about this arrangement. But let us be honest and clear about exactly what a jump off is in an attempt to understand that negative attitude.

A jump off is situation in which one has a relationship that is solely sexual in nature. It is an entirely physical interaction. The exchange in and of itself doesn’t have to be cold and unfriendly, but it does have to have a certain amount to detachment to work. People should always be courteous, hospitable, and pleasant in these circumstances; what is absent in these scenarios is a connection between the two participants beyond the temporary merging of genitalia.

Now, I don’t know why this arrangement is met with such derision by so many. So often I hear women say with much scorn and disdain, “well, she’s just a jump off” or “I ain’t trying to be just a jump off”, or men will say “she ain’t nobody, she’s just a jump off”. Why the negativity people? Is it really necessary? If two consenting adults mutually agree to engage in such an arrangement and are honest with themselves and each other about it, what’s the harm? Why the attitude? Why is it so bad?
Why do men feel compelled to accompany the jump off arrangement with a level of contempt, though they still willingly participate in it? Why is that necessary? Do men find it impossible to respect a woman who enters into this situation; are they only capable of having jump offs that they don’t respect on some level? Why the verbal harshness in referring to them? Why is the jump off role in one’s life minimized and trivialized instead of being looked at objectively and honestly? And ladies, some of you seem to equate participation in this kind of thing as something unladylike, that its an indication that something is wrong with the woman that does this, that it means she has low self esteem and doesn’t want more for herself besides jump off status, because of course she MUST want more. Why can’t it be that the woman made a clear decision about what she wanted and is getting exactly that — no more, no less? And why does this mean the man is some kind of man-whore with no respect for women, or no ability to deal with a “real woman” in a “real relationship”? What if he really only wants the sex, and isn’t misleading, hurting, harming or disrespecting the woman? Why the snobbery when it comes to jump off scenarios, especially when a large majority of us, if you reach age 25 and are still single, have either had a jump off, been someone’s jump off, or both, at least once — whether you knew it or not or are willing to admit it or not?

Having said all this, I’ll let you in on an important truth. For the most part, jump offs are myths. They don’t genuinely exist to the extent that rumor would have you to believe they do. True, actual jump offs, where the two parties are just sexual and nothing else are rare. That level of detachment where one shares their body without sharing themselves isn’t easily accomplished by men or women. It is a genderless condition. Very few people can honestly manage it for any extended period of time, and there is a very simple reason why.

Human beings are wired to seek out connections to others. Now please read that correctly — that doesn’t mean they are always seeking romantic love. BUT being human is about the connections we make to other humans — our family, our friends, etc. Those connections are how we know we are alive, they validate our existence, they allow us to find meaning in the time we spend here on Earth. The inability to successfully make those connections is a sign of a greater psychological disorder that we don’t have time to get into here. Now we may get hurt in our relationships, or find ourselves in abusive circumstances that injure our spirits and souls in a way that make it hard for us to reach out to others. In some cases we are so damaged we actively avoid involvements with other people beyond the superficial and necessary. But no matter what we say or do, we still usually stumble upon someone who attracts us, who stimulates our interest, our curiosity, and we attempt to make a connection, even if the connection is just sexual. We may do it badly, awkwardly, or subconsciously. We may do it in a thousand tiny little ways that no one understands but us. But no matter how successful we are at it, we do find ourselves reaching out to connect when we come across people that ignite an undefinable spark in us in the hope of lighting up our cold dark lives, even if we fuck it up because of our own issues.

Because of that, jump offs work like this:

You and said person become sexually involved, and agree that will be the limit of your involvement. Cool. Jump off etiquette requires that you and this person have minimal contact that is not sexual. So you meet, perhaps politely converse while undressing, fuck, and part company.

Now if the sex is not particularly outstanding, it is possible that the jump off status can remain intact for a time. The lack of mind blowing sex makes it easy to keep the contact sporadic and inconsistent, two other key elements to a genuine jump off. A jump off is never someone you fuck regularly, consistently or frequently. As soon as a jump off consumes that much of your time, they are taking up space in your head as well, because if you fuck someone a lot, you think about fucking them a lot. Anyone who takes up that much space in your head isn’t a jump off anymore. They may be a lot less than a boyfriend or girlfriend, but the detachment that is part of being a jump off is gone.

But if the sex was just okay, its not going to hold your interest or attention for long. At some point, whether it takes days, weeks, months or years, you’ll find someone else you like fucking more, or someone else you just like (or someone else you came to like because of fucking them, which we’ll get into in a minute). No matter how it happens, waning interest will usually cause the jump off to die a quiet death.

Now let’s say you like the sex. Let’s even say you love it. The earth moved and the angels wept, etc. If that was the case, you are not going to be willing to make hooking up an occasional occurance. Something in you was touched; you have been moved. A connection was made somewhere inside you, even if it was made in your sex organs…those connections count too. So now you want to spend more time fucking this person. Spending more time with a person, even if its spent fucking, invariably leads to more opportunity to get to know a person. And getting to know a person can often lead to getting to like a person. Liking a person has a way of leading to finding ways to spend time with a person. And when that happens, its clearly no longer a jump off. Again, it may be less than a spouse, but its no longer a jump off.

The space between jump off and committed relationship is a huge one. It is the largest gray area in all of human existence, and truthfully, it is the area a lot of our personal relationships operate in. Many of us have that person we are intimate with, who has clearly stopped being jump off status a while ago, (even if this hasn’t been verbally acknowlewdged by either party), who has yet to fully, openly, and willingly shoulder all the burdens of a committed relationship. They might appear to in their actions at times, but the “out” is always there — the “out” being that the person never agreed to a change in their status, and you can’t change a person’s relationship status without their consent. That “out” is the single most frustrating thing about this vast gray area in which most relationships exist. So these gray area living/extended and remixed jump off situations become like giant relationship waiting rooms…the places where people pass the time hoping their conditions improve.

The other big myth surrounding the jump off scenario is that it can’t change. That isn’t true at all. In my experience and observation, a situation like this has just as much of a chance of surviving as any other kind of relationship. But if it is going to change into a more “official” relationship, one of the parties involved is going to have to request a change in relationship status. And making that kind of request is a huge risk; you must be prepared to forfeit everything you already have with this person. It is truly an “all or nothing” proposition. Because if the other party doesn’t agree to the status change, the relationship is over, or will be over soon. Why? Because one party has made it known they aren’t satisfied with the current state of affairs, and the other party isn’t going to wait for the dissatisfaction to make itself felt in other ways. Most people are cowards, and just ride along, sorta kinda mostly cool with how things are but still secretly hoping that one day they are offered all the keys to the kingdom.

My finals words on the topic are simple: never let anyone make you feel bad about FEELING something for someone else, even if it is the wrong person. As long as you have it in you to care about someone else, all you need to adjust is your selection process. That is a much easier task than the alternative; it is much harder to teach someone to feel once they have lost their ability to do it. And while jump offs may not really exist like you thought they did, what does exist is a world full of people looking for shelter from the unforgiving harsh world…people who want to care who have lost their way…people who carry heavy loads, manage deep searing pain and hide ugly scars the best way they know how. Sometime they may seek temporary shelter from their most personal storms in your most personal space if you allow it. They may decide to stay. They may not. But no matter what the case, don’t lose sight of who you are in the midst of it all. Because at the end of the day, you are the only you you’ve got.

One of the worst dates I ever had…

This is about one of the worst dates I’ve ever had.

DISCLAIMER: Before we begin…I feel a bit weird because the person I am writing about in this blog entry will probably read this. The events that took place on this night happened about nine years ago. He and I have discussed it a few times over the years since, and we both know why this date went so badly. We’ve even laughed and joked about it so I feel its okay to write this. And if you are reading this – please don’t get mad, because really, you have turned out to be a good friend.

And now…the story.

I used to be part of an online community called “Black Singles Incorporated” (BSI). It was basically a big chat room where single black men and women could meet and talk and so on. I thought it might be a good way to make friends, so I signed up and began chatting in the room regularly. Eventually I got to know the people in the chat room pretty well, both online and in person, because we’d occasionally have get-togethers and such. I met a guy who lived in my area. We struck up conversation, just casually. He seemed nice, and I knew several of the ladies in the room were interested in him. He was single, no kids, intelligent, gainfully employed, home, car, etc. He was a catch in the chat room, where sometimes the guys weren’t always really nice, or working, or even single.

But one thing this guy was adamant about – he would not seriously date a woman who had children.

Now I had children. Two in fact. I made no secret about it to anyone. So I ruled him out for any kind of serious dating. And as I talked to him in the chat room, I did feel a bit bad about that initially. This man seemed to have some qualities that I admired and would have enjoyed in a man, in my man. He was intelligent and articulate, things I have always found attractive in men. But kids were a deal breaker for him. Now some other ladies in the chat room who had kids still tried their luck with him, perhaps hoping they could sway him with their charming personalities, or other qualities, skills or talents they might possess. I have never been one to try to change someone’s mind once they made it absolutely clear that they don’t want their minds changed, so I didn’t even bother trying. And in spite of the other things I liked and respected about him, a part of me was a bit troubled by how ADAMANT he was about “no kids”.

I’d never met a man who was totally against kids from a previous relationship. Most men I’d met would at least consider kids, depending on the circumstances and conditions surrounding them, and how the woman was dealing with the situation. Most men just didn’t want the kids to be badly behaved, or didn’t want the mom to have drama with the children’s dad, that kind of thing. Most men I’d met, while they might prefer childless women, wouldn’t totally rule out women with kids if there was not major drama attached. Plus most men I knew had kids themselves. But not this one. He had no kids, and wanted no part of a woman who did, and had no interest in evaluating women with kids on a case by case basis. When we would talk in the chat room I told him I felt it was a bit unrealistic of him to expect a woman in the age range in which he dated (thirty and up primarily, he was approaching his late thirties at the time) to not have children; I didn’t say it to sway him, but I just didn’t get his line of thinking since I had never encountered that attitude before. But he stuck to his guns, and spoke a lot about not wanting to shoulder another man’s responsibilities and such. And while I understood that intellectually, a part of my heart still felt it was just a kind of cold, unfeeling way to be. It struck me as kind of judgmental, sort of harsh. It seemed to indicate a kind of rigidness in mindset and opinions that I didn’t care for. And it seemed like he didn’t care to consider that he could perhaps be a great blessing to some woman’s child who might really need a positive male role model in their lives. So he did lose cool points in my book for that; not that it really mattered, because I wasn’t dating him.

But then he asked me out on a date.

Now I didn’t get why he was asking me. I had kids. He knew this. I never asked him to consider dating me in spite of my kids. Yes I had discussed his views on the subject in an attempt to understand his point of view, but I finally accepted that I’d never get it and let it go. And here he was, asking me out. I thought about it. I mean, clearly he couldn’t be trying to date me because he knew I had kids. But we had become friends in the chat room by this time, and so I figured there was no harm in engaging in a bit of social recreation as friends. It would probably be fun. So I agreed to the date.

We met at a restaurant in Columbia, near the lake. I had just gotten this beautiful lavender and burgundy silk dress with 4 ½ inch stiletto suede sling back pumps that matched the dress perfectly. I looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. Now the shoes were new, so I was still “breaking them in”, so I was tipping around after I parked my car, hoping he wouldn’t be hard to find. When I got to the restaurant he was already there. We’d never met in person, but we had exchanged pictures. He was a tall guy with glasses, with a neatly trimmed beard and moustache. There was a bit of grey in the beard. He had a very deep booming voice. So there were no major complaints about how he looked.

The first thing I learned about him was that he smoked, which I really didn’t like at all. Smoking is a deal breaker for me. I didn’t know people still smoked; I hadn’t met a smoker in ages. It was like seeing a dinosaur. But it wasn’t really my concern since I wasn’t trying to get serious with him, so I didn’t give it too much of my energy. After we ordered our drinks and began looking over the menus, I figured I’d get to know him a bit better. So I began asking him a bit more about himself; things I didn’t know about him from our previous conversations. I asked about his job and what he did there to open up the conversation. He had what sounded like a very interesting job to me, and I did genuinely want to know more about it. But as I did, he stopped me. “That’s now how we’re going to do this,” his said in his booming voice.

“Do what?” I asked.

“We’re not going to do this question and answer thing, like some kind of job interview.”

I was a bit stunned. I paused, first trying to grasp the idea that he had interrupted me mid-sentence, and then not quite sure how to continue. He went on to say that he didn’t like those “question and answer” types of conversations because that wasn’t really the best way to get to know a person, etc. The only way to really get to know a person was to be around them, spend time with them, etc. He shook his head and said “so, none of that interrogation stuff.” Now while I did agree that spending time with a person was a way to get to know them, you had to get to know things about a person in the beginning to determine if you even wanted to spend additional time getting to know even more things about a person. And I have always felt you could tell a lot about a person by the things they did not say in their responses to questions as what they did say. And I mean, a first date is in part about exchanging information. So I asked, “well, asking questions is a part of getting to know a person, right?” He said, “no, we’re not doing this.” I paused again, not wanting to debate the point and trying to get what he meant by this. “So, you’re saying if I want to ask you a question, I can’t?” “Yup,” he said. Then he added, “trust me, it will go much better that way.”

Now I felt this was extremely rude, for him to attempt to dictate how I should interact with him on this date. I really wanted to leave then, but I didn’t because I was really hungry, and our food came to the table.

The rest of the evening was spent listening to him talk about his beliefs, his ideals, his convictions, and so on. I said very little. I did learn he was a strongly conservative Republican (another close to deal breaker in my book at that time in my life – I am more open minded and tolerant these days), but I did cut him some slack on that because he joined the Navy during the time when Ronald Reagan was President, and Reagan took very good care of military staff during his terms in office, so I could almost understand why he was a Republican.  During dinner he asked very little about me, which at least gave me the opportunity to really enjoy my food, which was wonderful. But I didn’t feel like I was participating in the date; I was just an audience.

I was really confused as I sat at the table. I felt bad too, because I had really liked this man, and I don’t like a whole lot of men, and now my opinion of him was changing right before my eyes. I kept trying to explain and excuse and understand his behavior in my head as he talked. I couldn’t believe he had become such a jerk so quickly. It was disappointing, and a part of me just couldn’t believe it and kept trying to rationalize it. So I made plans in my head to tell him later how much I had disliked the date, how I felt he was extremely self centered and dull, and how I found his politics as offensive as his smoking. There was an arrogance about him during the date that I really found unappealing.  I did decide while sitting there that I wasn’t ever going to see him again socially, though I figured we would still talk in the chat room. We just wouldn’t hang out anymore. And maybe I was being unreasonable in some way. I figured I’d let the date play itself out. It might get better as the night went on.

As the check came, he said to me, “let’s take a walk around the lake.” Now first of all it was a chilly, slightly breezy night. I had not worn a coat or jacket, so I was already a bit cold, and the date had done nothing to warm me. Plus I had on new 4 and a half inch sling back pumps that weren’t really conducive to a walk. So I said “no, thank you.”

“Oh come on let’s walk,” he repeated. “It’s a nice night. Let’s walk around the lake.” As we left the restaurant and went outside toward the parking garage, I pointed out to him that I had no coat and I was a bit cold. I also pointed out my heels, and explained they were new and not ready for that kind of activity. I was a bit surprised he hadn’t noticed how I was dressed in relation to being outside and strolling, but I just chalked that up to his arrogance again.

“Oh come on,” he said with a chuckle. Then he smiled, continuing with “you Black women never want to take walks. Tonight you’re gonna walk.” And with that, he grabbed me by the arm, pulled at it, and pulled me over to the pathway that circled the lake. “But…I don’t want to walk…” I said. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I wasn’t used to being treated this way. But he ignored me. And so, with his arm encircled in mine, he pulled me onto the path and began marching along the path, pulling me alongside him the whole time. I stumbled, shivering cold, totally angry and embarrassed as people passed by us. We walked around the lake for a bit, looking totally ridiculous. He pulled me along and I was clearly an unwilling participant. But he seemed not to care. He was looking straight ahead, stepping quickly, holding me tightly, and I did my best to keep up, angry because I had to lean on him for support to keep from falling, praying I wouldn’t fall and ruin my new dress, and hoping it would be over soon. Fortunately it was, and he offered to walk me to my car, which I let him do. Hell, it was the least he could do. As I got into my car, he said, “I reserved a room at the Marriott.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “What did you say?”

“The Marriott down the street. I thought maybe we could stop over there, spend some time, you know.”

“Ummm…no,” I said. I peeled out of the garage, hoping I had run over his toes with my car.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Peace!

I think I have commitment issues…but I am a woman? What da hell??

I think I have commitment issues. If that’s true, that is a problem. But I may have a greater one. I am a woman with commitment issues!

In case you didn’t know, only men have commitment issues. Women are just sitting around waiting for love, romance, relationships, marriage, boyfriends and husbands. They’re just dying to be all “booed up” with some dude. They’re just waiting for an opportunity to love a good, strong, honest man to take them off the market and away from the cruel cold world of singleness. The only thing keeping them away from “happily ever after” is men’s unwillingness to commit.

To hear them tell it, men don’t want to commit. Men don’t want monogamy, and the monotony that is often a part of it. Men want as many women as they think they can handle, they have no interest in maintaining faithfulness to one. Men are dogs running the street, unwilling and unable to settle down. And because men are unwilling to commit, and women are just beside themselves with excitement waiting for commitment to happen, there is always this great sense of unbalance in the universe. Because men won’t commit, thousands of lovely women will never have their “happily ever after”.

But what am I to do when I think I am on the opposite side of the fence as most of my gender?

All my life every woman I have ever known wanted to get married. That didn’t mean they didn’t want to get their educations, or pursue their careers, or accomplish other things. But marriage was always in there, always an integral part of their plan for themselves. When I was a young girl, my girlfriends would dreamily plan their weddings, taking their Barbie dolls down imaginary aisles in their rooms with their older brother’s GI Joe’s. Even if their mother’s told them “girl, men ain’t s**t”, (because some mothers did do that), the girls still held onto their dreams in a little corner of their heads. I never planned my wedding as a child like my friends, and my dolls never got married. They were single I guess, dating the Ken dolls and whatever other toy male representatives I could find amongst my toys (I didn’t have a brother.) I never imagined marriage really. When I did think about my wedding, my main concern was always how much fun the party/reception would be — what music would the deejay and bands play and what kind of delicious food and fabulous drinks would be there – you can see where my priorities were, even then.

As an adult, most women I’ve known really wanted to get married. Sometimes they were in a relationship with their boyfriend that had gone on for years and they wanted to “make it official”. Sometimes they had kids by this guy, which was all the more reason to “make it official”.  Sometimes they were under pressure from their family (“girl, you ain’t married yet??). Sometimes they wanted financial assistance (“somebody needs to come help me with these bills, plus I need more income to get this mortgage!”) But whatever they reason, they wanted marriage. It was important to them. It was a burning desire they would not turn away from. It just had to happen, it just had to be.

I am still waiting for my burning yearning to begin. Even in the cases of my children’s fathers, I never felt like the children we shared was a good reason to get married, much to the chagrin of my family, which has a long illustrious history of “shotgun” weddings – more women in my family have gotten married pregnant than not. But I didn’t do it.

I have never experienced that burning desire to get married. Even when I have been involved with men that I wanted to marry, that I thought I would marry, it never burned inside me. It was never the most important thing to me. It never kept me up nights. I never ached to be wed. I ached to be with them, yes, but not as a wife necessarily. Being with them was my primary focus, not the marriage part. Now don’t get me wrong…I did want marriage yes, and I wanted it very much, but…it just never seemed to inflame me like it inflamed other women. And in every case where I was involved with a man I thought I would marry, at some point I ended the relationship.

In some cases, I sabotaged the relationship with unrealistic demands, and when the mere mortal of a man failed to meet them, I ended the relationship. Sometimes I was unfaithful, and when I started doing that I knew I had to go, so I ended the relationship. Sometimes I knew the man would never be happy and satisfied with who I really was at the core of me, and I ended the relationship. Sometimes I felt like he just thought it was time (“well I’m getting older, I don’t wanna be the old dude at the club so…let’s do this!), and to me that was never enough reason to get married, so I didn’t do it. I have returned engagement rings, cancelled appointments to look at dresses and the whole nine. All this leads me to wonder if my fear is commitment.

I have had good men in my life – gainfully employed, college educated, smart, good looking men who wanted to marry me, and I didn’t do it. Men with homes, men with cars, men with ambition and dreams, men with substance mentally, emotionally and spiritually, men who treated me well. As I write this I can think of four men with those qualities who I could call right now who would be more than happy to seriously date me, and if I put my mind to it I could be Mrs. Somebody in six months – maybe less, with a bad ass ring to seal the deal. But I don’t make any of those calls.  Even on the days I complain about being single, how I wish I could find love, and more importantly, acceptance in the arms of a man who would cherish and honor me, I can’t help but taste the hypocrisy in my mouth as I think about the men I keep at arms length for whatever reason.

Sometimes I think my biggest fear is being forced to be something I don’t want to be. In a lot of my past, I have dated men who really thought I was perfect, except for one or two things they wanted me to adjust. Unfortunately, the things they wanted me to “adjust” were things that were too much of a part of my essence. It always seemed like there was something wrong with me when it came to these men, and I always left rather than cut off pieces of me to fit. And right now, I can’t imagine it would be easy for a man to want me for a wife. I just don’t look like, sound like, act like, anyone’s idea of a wife I guess. When men picture their wives, a woman like me doesn’t pop into their heads. Men always seem to want their wives to have these very obvious “good girl” traits, even if they discover later it wasn’t as “good” as they thought it was going to be. My “good girl” traits aren’t obvious. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I have them, but from the outside looking in it isn’t the first thing you’ll notice about me. I don’t have a problem with that; I enjoy my many layers and facets, but many men do have a problem with it.

Sometimes I think I fear getting into something I can’t get out of easily. Marriage is hella hard to get out of, and the longer you’re in it, the harder it is to get out. I know you shouldn’t enter into something immediately looking for the exit and trying to plan your departure strategy, but this is what I do. I am a planner. So to me it makes sense that you plan how a relationship would end if it ended, because it’s better to plan that now while you like the person than later when you hate them and are gonna be all about cutting his balls off. But I know if I get married, there will be no divorce UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. We may part and go our separate ways but there will be no divorce. And I always worry that I might choose a man that I’d have to separate from, and that would hurt.

Sometimes I think my biggest fear is failure. I don’t like not succeeding at things, not being good at things. I work hard to do everything I do well, exceptionally well. And in most cases, I manage to accomplish that. Everything I have ever failed at haunts me endlessly; I revisit the grave of that failure, pondering over what I did wrong, trying to never do it again. If I failed at something as important as marriage, I don’t think I could deal with it. I think I would never forgive myself. I would blame myself, feel ashamed and hurt and sad and defeated. And knowing me, I would marry someone who was my best friend, because I genuinely believe you have to have that kind of love that exists in close friendships as part of marital love. (You know how when you get totally fed up with your best friend, they’ve made you totally sick and you’re disgusted with them, but you know good and damn well they will always be your best friend no matter what? That kind of thing is what I want in my marriage.) So if the marriage failed, I would lose my best friend too. That would tear me up more than anything. I don’t know how I would handle that.

Sometimes I tell myself I am too honest to get married. I hate to say this, but some marriages seem to involve some degree of coercion on the part of the woman. She had to threaten to break up with him, or nag him into it, or get her family to nag him into it, or get pregnant, or pretend to get pregnant, or something like that. It has always been my dream that a real man would get to know me, love me, carefully consider all his options, and decide that having me as his wife was what he wanted more than he wanted to be alone or with some other woman/women. I want him to volunteer, completely and totally, heart and soul, ten thousand percent. I don’t want it any other way. If I have to employ trickery, or use my womanly wiles, or get him drunk or drugged, I will not do it. But very few men seem sure enough in their choices to pursue them actively once they make them. Oftentimes they just don’t make them at all, and wait for some woman to drag them into it. And the women never seem to much care, as long as they have their husband.  That I cannot do.

Sometimes I think I am selfish. I mean, every time I have ended a relationship I have said to myself in consolation,“well, I guess I just love me more”. And as much as pop culture talks about self-love, to really make marriage work both parties have to, on many/most levels, care more about the other party than themselves. And this has to happen all the time. For marriage to work everybody has to be serving the needs of the other person and the union 24/7, and not their own needs. Ideally, if everyone is always serving everyone else and the needs of the union, everyone will get most of what they need and want.  And hardest of all, you still have to do this even when the other person isn’t. But in the relationships I ended, at some point I decided he was not serving my interests; he was only serving his own. And I decided I didn’t wish to serve his interests anymore. That kind of selfishness has no place in a marriage, so I guess it’s good that I ended those relationships.

Sometimes I think I just haven’t met Mr. Right.  I do so want to find someone and create a place and space for us where we can be our most genuine authentic selves, and improve on ourselves individually and as a couple. I sometimes worry that my man will hate me once he finds out about the real me. I don’t want a man to fall in love with “my representative” when we are dating, only to discover me and she have NOTHING in common. I want him to love me, all of me, me as I am today and me as I will come to be as I improve and grown in the sunshine of his care. And often I tell myself I haven’t found that evolved man who can appreciate my domestic side and my workaholic side and my imagination and my creativity and my sexuality and my tendency to be overly analytical and critical and nitpicky and sometimes self-deprecating  and all the other vastly contradictory things I am.

But mostly I think I’m just afraid of commitment.

My parents were reasonably happily married for over 40 years, so I had a good example of a solid marriage before me. Many of my family members are married, and have been for many years also – ten or twenty plus years in some cases. I am the oddball in that I have been single so long, just raising my kids on my own, and pursing my own interests without even a regular guy in place to bring to family functions. They kind of see me as this slightly off-center, artsy type that they don’t quite get, but they love me because I am family. They have stopped trying to fix me up, because it never works.

So I write this now, as a single woman who may be afraid of commitment. Occasionally I attempt to talk to other women about it, but they all look at me like I’m crazy. That lets me know how messed up I am, because I am supposed to want this like a man in the desert wants water, and I just don’t feel that way about it. I am not prepared to give up all of me for it. I don’t want to pick the wrong man. I don’t want to be hurt, or taken advantage of, or live a life of misery with some man because I chose out of desperation. I don’t want my sex life to dwindle away into nothingness (I hear that’s what happens in marriage, and sex is wayyy too important to me to have that happen). I say I want a man of my own, and I have options if I were to attempt to exercise them. I’m not sure if they are the options I would choose if I did the choosing, but I have them. I could at least explore them, find out what they have to offer. What is my problem?

Am I afraid of commitment?

So…today’s blog…

is a poem I wrote that I am posting cuz I felt like it…

PEACE!

When loves’ slave catchers

throw their chains and traps

around me

I will chew off

pieces of my heart

to free myself.


During these sex-filled struggles

I lustfully bite

my pursuer

as I fight the ties

that seek to forever bind

me to him.


I sensuously swallow

pieces of him

during the battle of wills.

But I am always the victor,

and I greedily devour the spoils.


As for the love warriors

who rise up

attempting to rule my

personal internal  queendom

and who always fail,

they now will spend

the rest of their lives

trying to get back

the pieces they lost to me

in the battle.


The pieces

become part of

the fiber of my being

and the marrow of my bones.


These leftover spirits

invade me and

teach me how

to be the hunter

and still seem like

the prey.


Now I chase others

by allowing others

to chase me.


To attract them

I strip my brain bare

in their presence

and

mentally masturbate

before them.


A psychological exhibitionist.


They watch me

and want me

while I wonder why

the presence of love

has always meant

the loss of my freedom.


And I must fly

until I die.

So, catch me if you can.

But know

that even I

haven’t caught me yet.

..

Find Your Sexy – Live Your Sexy – Love Your Sexy…PART TWO

As promised, today I am finishing up the blog entry I started Thursday. This is PART TWO of “Find Your Sexy, Live Your Sexy, Love Your Sexy!” If you didn’t read PART ONE of this blog, you probably should check it out first by going tohttps://misstula.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/find-your-sexy-live-your-sexy-love-your-sexy/.

If you try any of these things, please comment and let me know how they worked for you!

ENJOY PART TWO!

PROPER MAINTENANCE IS SEXY

Keeping your body well groomed is as important to your sexy as a strapless bra. Now what that means is up to you. It could mean shaving. It could mean waxing. It could mean threading eyebrows, dying hair, getting hands and feet done. It could mean exercising. But whatever it is, keep it up, no matter how you feel, what kind of demands are on your time, or anything. If you’re on a budget, there are usually DIY versions of pretty much everything a woman wants to do to maintain her sexy, and if you need to become proficient at these things to save money, do it. The point is that you should never say that its not important to do your maintenance.

Your maintenance should always include moisturizing your skin. Smooth soft skin is extremely sexy. If you do nothing else, get hold of some Shea tree butter or aloe or whatever you choose and rub it on your skin, especially your knees, arms, elbows and lips. Soft lips are very sexy. And don’t skip your breasts and ass, because they should be soft too.  Even toned skin is also important, so take the time to use cocoa butter to make your skin look its best. 2% milk and honey in a hot bath are great too. Moisturizing should also include your face. Keep the skin on it looking as good as you possibly can too. Touching any part of you should be a soft, silky experience.

Now before you tell me that you already have a man so you don’t need to do all this, my question to you is this…why wouldn’t you want to? If he is so wonderful, doesn’t he deserve you at your soft and supple best? Too busy you say? Think about all the things you want your man to do and how angry you get when he tells you he’s “too busy” to take care of them. Do you want to make him feel the same way? Trust me, its not worth it. And most importantly, you’re not doing this for him actually. You’re doing it for YOU!

STOCKINGS ARE SEXY

Another personal suggestion of mine is to occasionally forego pantyhose in favor of stockings or thigh highs. I would tend to recommend stockings, because I have never seen a pair of thigh highs actually stay in place worth a damn. I would tend to recommend this more for a date situation than just general going out, but that’s your call. But the flash of a stocking top with the garter fastened to it is a mysterious, unexpected kind of sexy. Its something most women don’t do anymore. It suggests a hint of exoticness, and you only need to flash it a little bit to drive most men insane, especially if you have nice legs. So, just for fun, get a pair of stockings and a garter belt, and wear it under your dress on a date. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  And a small addition to this…

DRESSES ARE SEXY

Pretty much any woman, in any size of body or budget can find a flattering dress. Whether you do short, long, loose and flowing, tight and fitted, or whatever, to me a dress says sexy., and it is easier to find a good looking dress than good looking pants. Plus, a dress always suggests to a man that maybe, JUST MAYBE, you’ll get a little freaky in the parking garage on the way to the car, or in the car on the way home or in the hallway of the apartment building, or all three! Not saying you have to do any of this, but the possibility of it is something else that is sexy

GOING OUT ALONE IS SEXY

It takes a certain level of confidence for most women to go out alone. Women often have (legitimate) concerns for their safety. Sometimes it makes them feel lonely, uncomfortable, or that they are these pathetic creatures that no one likes enough to spend time with. But going out alone is sexy for this very reason. Because it isn’t something you see women doing often. It is unexpected. It shows a sense of security within oneself; it shows a willingness to expose yourself to the public because you don’t have your friends or a companion as a buffer. And most men are extremely reluctant to approach women if they are part of a group. So if you’re looking to actually find decent conversation with men, I recommend putting on a little of your sexy and heading out to the bar of your city’s most popular high end steak and seafood restaurant. Make sure you find the places known for great steaks, because where there are great steaks, there are men!

SLIGHTLY SUGGESTIVE IS SEXY

This is for the more modest girl who doesn’t want to display her sexy by displaying her body. To these women – I know a lot of times you feel outmanned and outgunned when you go out because everywhere you go you see skin and you don’t feel you can compete and still be true to yourself. But if you are going to take a more suggestive, less obvious approach with your sexy, you need to first firmly get the idea in your head that your sexy is personal, it is an expression of who you are, it exists for your pleasure first and foremost, and for the pleasure of your partner secondarily. It is not just about a competition with the next chick to see who can be more naked. You should not feel uncomfortable when you’re around a bunch of scantily clad women, and you should not feel pressured to be scantily clad if its not your thing. Because again, sexy ultimately is about confidence. With confidence, your head held high and a smile in place, you can rock a flowered housedress (like grandma used to wear back in the day?) with style and attitude, and you will not go unnoticed. The fact that you aren’t scantily clad is intriguing for many different types of men, and even with more modest dress you can still be sexy.

The key is the silhouette. The silhouette means wearing clothing that softly outlines you without defining you a lot. This is one of the best things about sundresses and other similarly shaped dresses  they are often billowy and gauzy and their flowing quality can skim the body, gently nestle against it without making you feel like you’re trapped inside a sausage casing. I know for myself I love the way sundresses make me feel when the fabric moves around me, the way the hem skims my knees or toes (depending on the length). And if you have a good relationship with what you are wearing and it makes you feel good, it will automatically be sexy. There are others ways to do the silhouette; You can also do a straight dress, like a sweater dress, a kimono or a slim pencil skirt; these things just skim over your body and over your curves gently without revealing much skin. The outline of you is present, but the details within the outline aren’t provided. This can be very sexy if done right, so try it!

GETTING INTO A MAN’S IMAGINATION IS SEXY

Ultimately, sexy is a balancing act. And if you are out and about with your sexy with the intention of attracting men and perhaps engaging them in conversation, you have to learn to find the place between your presentation and a man’s imagination, and exist in that place.

This is why I recommend the “show a little, withhold a little” style of dress. The idea is that you want a man to use his brain to admire what he sees, and to plug his imagination into the equation and think about what he doesn’t see. If your intention is to get a man interested in you, you have to plug into him on both levels. If you have most of your body exposed, he doesn’t have much to imagine in relation to that, and now he has less to do. And you always want to give a man’s imagination something to do where you are concerned.

The minute a man thinks there is nothing more to you…nothing more to see, or say, or find out, or chase, or enjoy, their interest in you wanes. Men can go a long time on the possibility of things when it comes to a woman, and it is important that the possibility of something else, something more, something he hasn’t seen, exist. Now this doesn’t have to be anything big. It could be a small thing. But the possibility of discovery is sexy, and sexy is…well, sexy!

While I’m sure there is lots more I could say, I am going to stop here. I am sure with the information I have provided for you, you are well on your way to being a sexy beast in the best sense of the phrase!

Got things you want to add or say about your sexy, or sexy in general? Looking forward to your comments!

PEACE!

PS: And I did not forget ladies…HOW TO MEASURE FOR A PROPER FITTING BRA!

http://www.ehow.com/video_4404544_measure-bra.html

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