Mad Passionate Love, I Say, Mad Mad Mad

Trust myself in the process. Through the process. Have faith in another person’s choices. Because if it weren’t possible; if people couldn’t change for the better (or potentially even the worse) all the psychiatrists on this wide universe would be out of business. Side of the road. Luggage in hand. And let me tell you, I’ve known and conversed with quite a many, and none of them have empty pockets.

Because it is maddening. Going against your best judgments to go beyond what you know you’ve been conditioned to be thus far. Because it has to fully unteach you what every other bad experience has taught you. It has to be the feeling with your heart that says ‘go slow’—but the feeling in your mind that says ‘you still have to go.’

Because it has to be the big hugs for the small reasons.

The consistencies. Never wanting to leave.

It’s got to be wide and mad.

I don’t know how to feel it anymore, do you?

 I don’t know I’ve really felt it before.

If I Would Have Known That Inviting You Into My Bedroom Would Make You Turn Down The Invitation To All Of My Other Rooms I Would Have Never Been So Hospitable

I started writing on this site for a few reasons, but mainly to share. Sharing has a way of coming around full circle—but not always in the way one might expect. This is nonfiction so as a preamble I tell my friends and family that they might all be written about, although I never use names unless I’ve made them up. So, now, after having lost two people I cared about due to the content of my blog, I’ve decided to write even more personal shit. Ta-daa.

Topic of discussion today is sleeping with a man/woman too soon, which has been written and re-written, but probably not as ridiculously. I feel like the Salesperson that indubitably gets sold, but here go I:

The courting process is built on assumptions. ASSumptions that change with conversation and habits. I’m a woman, and generally, we are creatures of habit, but that can be said for some men as well. If I go out on a date with a person, I’m immediately wrestling with ASSumptions, because we use them to make good decisions about strangers. So, if the man I’m on a date with keeps darting his eyes across the room and not making good eye contact, he either has a girlfriend that’s a high profile detective, or he’s trying to see who will witness him killing me. I’m going to assume my ass to the bathroom and never return.

The same applies to the habits that form if you were to make it out of that date alive, deeming him an ok guy. Next you have the text messages. Now, I’m all for text messages, but a lot can be said about text tone, and so much more about a person that picks up the phone and uhh, calls me. It’s damn near like receiving snail mail, now-a-days. Score! But secondly, and more seriously what we are learning about in between this time, is if we can build trust in a person or not. This is synched with the building of memories. We are finding out what a future (if there is any) will be like with this person, and we are building rapport. This is why sharing about one’s past or talking about childhood at any point is important to friendships. Building on those foundations—just as important to relationships. Or standby to get separated into a box marked, “for now.”

Jozen Cummings of Until I Get Married wrote about this very topic a few weeks back and said “If you sleep with a woman too soon, and you suck, she will leave you. Wait for her to fall for you emotionally first, then deliver the sub-par performance you’re capable of.” So real.

But from a woman’s perspective, and only because my besties and I were speaking on this very situation… if we like you and you suck in bed, we’ll try again, and sometimes even again, just to make sure it wasn’t something we could’ve worked with. All of whom shall remain nameless (yes first hand my friends and I have vouched for these shenanigans) men have sex for thrill, for the happy end, for the fact of doing it. Sometimes they’re really into you, sometimes not so much. Women? We have sex, mostly (not always, but definitely mostly) for love. We want it to go somewhere. Maybe not to the moonlight and back, but we want it to go somewhere. 

“Men, they jump for money. Women, for love.”

Man On A Ledge, Movie 2012

What I said it! Women are emotional beings. I mean occasionally you get the girl who has conditioned herself to separate the two—lust, love. But even in doing so, a woman is a liar if she says to herself that she wasn’t hoping for that good guy afterwards. We ALL are. Get that fellas? All of us are still counting on you, so no this is not a male bashing party.

So when is the right time, you ask?

Ah, we can go into vibe, conversation, I’d usually measure for commonality. Discussing value can go on and on… every situation was different. A guy friend of mine said he’d slept with a girl after a drunken night, a stranger, and said that afterwards—that awkwardnesss, he felt her embarrassment, for her. He said when he woke all he could think of when he looked at her was, and in his exact words:

“I don’t think I would like to do that ever again with you.”

Another of my friends has trouble with caring at all emotionally thereafter. She said her proof is in the days to come. My sister married her high school sweet tart, also the father of her children—and still to this day will claim she wasn’t pregnant with her first child when she rushed to the altar. I slept with a guy for a year and a half and kept telling my friends he was “a one night stand.” Eventually, my bestie said to me, “it’s been a very loooooooong night then, dontcha think?” I didn’t leave him because he didn’t commit to me, I stopped calling him because he wasn’t honest with himself or his feelings.

I’m saying all of that to say this: The theory is you have to kiss a few frogs. Or, err &*%#. Which is personally frightening for me since my emotions aren’t controlled by anything physically (only), but rather uncontrolled when taken into oblong loops and upside down dances. I find that when taking chances, my best judgments elude me. Especially in moments like these:

“I respect you,” he murmured. “and your views. I think of you as an equal. I respect your brains, and all those big words you like to use. But I also want to rip your clothes off and have sex with you until you scream and cry and see God.”
—Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

The point I want to make is that it isn’t the sex on the first, second, or thirty-ninth date that matters. It’s the intimacy in the moments that develop far before that. The part that keeps your thoughts twirling, even after whatever excuse isn’t given. Even after it’s all lost and over and you know you knew better, but you didn’t do any better because you knew too much better. The part you maybe should’ve fought for, but pride—she got in the way, and then when she didn’t it was too late. The part that’s shy when approached now, fumbles, foibles. The part that doesn’t understand why it crumbles so quickly, wait a year—no bueno. Wait weeks, months, days, hours, give each other raunchy looks across karaoke bars. Doesn’t matter, much, the outcome has all been the same when measured against others’ experiences. I’ve asked men, women—randomly—strangers, friends. When is it a good time to invite a man into your bedroom, with the hopes that he doesn’t turn down the invitation to all of your other rooms? A bust. It’s all subjective.

I’ve heard the typical, ‘a person looses interest, when it wanes, and if they do it wasn’t meant anyway.’ I’ve heard as long as you know their parents’ last names, I’ve heard that if you hope enough, fairy tales come true. I’m waiting on the latter. Well, first the tiff, then the kiss:

“I was just thinking if the sex with you is one-tenth as fun as arguing with you. I’ll be one happy bastard.”
“You’ll never find out. You——–”
He kissed me.
—Lisa Kleypas, Smooth Talking Stranger

What classifies the Good Girls from the Bad Girls, really? The ones whose partners can be counted on one hand? Love might have me mistaken, but I can rest assured I’ve never slept with anyone I couldn’t see myself with permanently—not planning showers or picking out kitchen tiles, but I’ll admit, I am a force of romanticized nature. Is it ruining me? Us all?

“For women especially, virginity has become the easy answer—the morality quick fix. You can be vapid, stupid, and unethical, but so long as you’ve never had sex, you’re a “good” (i.e. “moral”) girl and therefore worthy of praise.”

—Jessica Valenti, The purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

Yes, there’s the treasure idea. The “kept” woman, but at what point does it start to matter less about how fast a person jumps in the sack with another person, and more about the two people individually and how they work together? More about the way they trust each other, and understand each other. What about the married people I asked that both said “you never really know your husband/wife anyway, but we just keep trying?” What about the couple I asked that’s been married eight years and they both (without consulting each other) said “we make each other the best versions of ourselves” Or the homeboy who said he would never still be with his girl if the sex wasn’t sOoO good? Or the girl I went to undergrad school with, who said she always sleeps with a man the first night and it’s never not become a relationship.

Or sometimes I wonder if I can’t always do better than what’s in front of me? Is it all just a ploy? Drake said “all those other men were practice.” y’know?  My best girl and I fought over the double standard: that a womanizer is whatever, but if a female has three partners she’s a, what’s that called now, “ratchet?” I keep hearing it.

I’ll put it this way, for me:

“Sex isn’t good unless it means something. It doesn’t necessarily need to mean “love” and it doesn’t necessarily need to happen in a relationship, but it does need to mean intimacy and connection…There exists a very fine line between being sexually liberated and being sexually used.”
—Laura Sessions Stepp, Unhooked

There’s tons more to dating than sex, but sex is the part that makes the difference in loopy or comatose. A little turned around, or head across arm on the steering wheel. A little flutterbye in the tummylovely, or I swallowed a sick whale flapping in there.

Ah, lesson learned.

illustrator weheartit, quote from yours truly.

People I Have Met, and How They Have Proceeded To Disappoint Me

Now that the epilogue of my memoir is complete, I’m going to continue the re-re-re-vising process and attempt to pitch to agents. Experience is the most  poignant yet clear-cut teacher. I’ve been inspired for a new book… well,  I’m keeping notes to form the premise. How’s this? Hahahahahahah!

Have a happy Wednesday and thanks for the requests, the emails, and the lurking!

Picture origination unknown

Flaws

…was just a label. dreams are just that. promises were meant to be tweaked.

you said the flaws were what you loved most.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
—Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club 

Should I Answer?

Some days, I just don’t feel well. And those days, are most days, these days. I wonder when luck will buck. When the sunlight will beam through the wall I’ve probably built too high. What have I lost since I’ve come undone? How much of me? If there’s a break, will I fall through it—or receive it? Albert Camus said “A work of art is a confession.” Maybe I’m done bleeding. What. Was. I. Thinking? Where were you when you were needed? How come you couldn’t see through that? What’s going to be the difference? Nothing is for better or worse—that I’ve seen yet. If you keep pretending it might get better, it doesn’t move at all. I should have played with more dolls when I was little, more easy bake ovens, more puzzles, more role-playing. Less pens and composition booklets. I’d be more equipped for the real world.

And then again Camus also said:

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
—Albert Camus

How come when it rains there are no gutters for me? There’s no “safe word,” there’s no “Easy Button?” How come when he speaks in my dreams does it still sound like a lullaby? And I’m a big girl. With a soft blanket, that’s been watching Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit for five days straight, and I still feel sorry for myself. Every time I wake up, my characters are still asleep. How I will manage? Who cares enough? If any of this was ever worth it? How do you know when your sacrifices were worth it? When do I give up if they weren’t?

Where is my fucking broomstick and when Ryan Gosling will call me. When he does, should I answer? This is what I think of.

Picture from Pinterest. Thank you.

I said “I like butterflies,” he said “I’m more of a ladybugs kinda guy”

Have you ever played This or That? OK. The game’s intention is to get to know the other person and to arouse conversation about certain subjects that wouldn’t normally be discussed. It’s great to use with potential love interests, long-time boyfriends (if the relationship feels stagnant) or interestingly quirky friends. Here’s an example:

  • Honey or Sugar?
  • Salad or Fruit?
  • Love or Money?
  • Passion or Compassion?
  • Blazing Hot or Snow Storm?
  • Butterflies or Ladybugs?

There’s no “right,” or “wrong,” necessarily. There’s just the asking, and in that asking you find out if you would have chosen the same or not, and you ask why. The point is you build comfort, you talk, and eventually, you get to the raunchier or more seriously morbid questions. You get a view of someone’s thinking in ridiculously hypothetical situations, similar to the game “Would You Rather?” The Twisted Sick and Wrong Version. Only they’re in short comparisons or weird juxtapositions:

  • Top or bottom?
  • Fast or slow?
  • Mentally or emotionally?
  • Terminally ill or paralyzed?

How much of getting to know someone is “opposites attract” until opposites don’t attract at all? Until, you’re just two people physically attracted to each other that don’t have much else in common—really? When is it best to let go?

My mom used to say “You stay until the bad start to outweigh the good.” She also used to say “You ain’t had enough yet, ’cause when you’ve had enough, it’ll be enough.”

I’ve had relationships like this, sometimes even friendships, where I find myself offering all the “let’s hang out,” “why don’t we go and talk,” “how about we get together and…” I’ve been the initiator, the person that sustains the bond, and the digger in finding more commonalities or differences we can laugh at. I am tired… of friends… and people like this. Of people who not only don’t make valiant attempts at “getting to know” or “maintaining a friendship” but of one-sided companionships and “orange-squeezing”courtships altogether. I usually quit them soon enough.

“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”—Dr. Wayne Dyer

When you fight, argue, “debate” if you will, what comes out of it is emotions. I’ve found that there are some people I can hold my ground with, and then there are others that because I am seemingly suspended in air—I’m unable to articulate myself the same. Because the conversations are held (to me) on a higher echelon, I can get my point across very little, if at all. Not because I am afraid to lose them, because a loss is sometimes inevitable, but because I am trying to learn from them. I am trying to study what makes them, because I am quiet—I am recording. Sometimes to prevent the same issue, other times to do what most have the hardest time doing, really listening, present in that moment.

Never in my life have I ever been told at the beginning of a conversation what the outcome will be, and then still gone through with the conversation. It was sort of like being told “if you eat this monstrous bag of gummy bears you will have a tummy ache, a toothache, and gain 10 lbs.” only to then, be forced to eat it, all. Because I’m doing a “happiness project”, and for my own self-improvement and overall well-being, I decided to let this fly. I came to find out that what my intuition felt about the conversation and the reality of the situation was one in the same.

Recently at a gas station I had a misunderstanding get to a point of screaming, only to realize, when a person is proving a point by using an example, it’s generally an example they’ve learned from and there is something you’ve said or done, that causes them to feel like they need to give exactly that example.

This is in the same way I wouldn’t offer a student in my workshop, (or the virtual writing center, or the tutor center I work in) help with commas and punctuation, if I didn’t feel they needed that. I would also humbly preface that I struggle with run-on sentences, overly flowery language, and creative licensing—just for comfort.

We are all not perfect in this big bowl of melting. We all have our flaws, but like I was once (and there are many variations of this) told:

“When you pick people to be around you, you have to pick the people whose flaws you like the best.

When did I let go? From the second I didn’t feel like I had any choice anymore if I’d held on.

I Regret You and Your Mama Too!

I regret “spooning,” I regret his over-excitedness about daily regurgitating tasks, I regret the handholding—the squeezing, I regret all the big dreams about French doors and ponytails. I regret going along with it all by thinking I’d grow into it.

I’m 28 years old and I’ve never been in love. I’ve only been in regret.

I can explain. You meet someone and you fall impeccably, dancing around lampposts “in love” with them, their smell, the habits they have that you initially think are cute. Wait for it…

You meet their Mom and you’re sold. She’s nice, which is the best word to use about any man’s mother you just met. You meet his kid(s). I once fell in regret with a man who had two little girls. Prettiest peaches ever. No, I mean impossibly, selflessly, itching under my skin to be around him and his kids. It wasn’t as hard as some claim to get children to “like” you, but again, this was only one experience, and only my experience. I was pushing the four year old on the swing and the seven year old was coloring with me at the park in no time. Cake. The issue is, the moments you remember most—like a movie, those moments that incessantly replay, aren’t the moments of fancy dinners or dotes, but are the moments you had to catch your breath with overwhelm, the moments you’ve said to yourself “I want this.”

Thing is, when you fall, you fall hard for their families too. I recently watched “How to Lose Your Lover” on Netflix. A funny chic fling movie about a writer convinced he’s over LA life, so he does everything he can to rid himself of excess LA baggage, including women. He goes off about pissing everyone in his corner off. He shoves his love interest into uncomfortable positions such as meeting her parents and his friends on the first and second dates. An interesting concept indeed. I think this way now. I’ve realized that so many people wait the three months, six months or years before they meet the friends and family of their significant others only to find it plops. People don’t realize that when you date a person (for the most part) you date their loud ass mom, their overprotective dad, their sneaky sister, their ignorant ass friends, and their horribly annoying children.

If you think you can handle it, you should know sooner rather than later about the people you might love regret.

Case in point: when you love, you love the bad about a person sometimes even more than the good. This wanes and regrets once it’s over, often while it still is. Gretchen Rubin says in “The Happiness project” a book I’m currently reading “I knew that my combativeness and pedantry in this conversation came not from petty irritation but from a desire to protect myself against false hopes.” I completely agree with her. False hopes.

I regret not learning how to “fight right,” as in, pick my battles. I regret not loving myself enough to love anyone else. I regret having to admit that I went crazy before I got this half-right. Only half. I regret the growing up process and all the short sticks I give and get. I regret the shit out of not getting to know a person enough not to regret the whole damn thing.

I’ve never been in love, only regret. Funny what you regret is what could be what you’ve loved the most. Funny what you regret is what you’ve learned the most from.

How Can We Be On The Same Page If You Ain’t Reading Out Loud?

If you’ve been following, Red said that to me the other night. In agreement of understanding as I carried on in “know-all” about the ones I love, conveniently, not listening.

 

I tend to read out loud. Now, whether or not you’ve heard me or not is a different story.

 

I’ll say a “subconscious-unconsciousness of” — too damn much. For instance if the person in front of me says he doesn’t like women who shop… all of a sudden I’m a thriftily shopping mo-fo. He doesn’t like tea? O, I only dabble in tea sipping, pinky finger flailing, honey sticks, and lattés, just dabble, lol.  Similar to Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride when it was all she could do to match her counterparts, she forgot herself.

 

I read, a lot. I read people. I speed read. I read attachments. I read magazines, marketing material, interviews, the internet, but mostly, I read out loud. I tell a person what’s wrong, generally, like most of us do — before telling them what’s right. I’m proud to recognize this, and acknowledge myself as a work in progress.

 

I write my toot off. I stay up wee hours of the night reading. Studying. I put it first when at times it should come second to some things like taking a few minutes to make the people I love happy.  Ma calls me up the other day, exhibit #1:

 

“Where da hell you beeennnnnnnn?” Her southern accent, a cheerily bit ghetto. She asks of why I haven’t called her.

 

I go on explaining and rambling off about deadlines, genre workshops, reading group, and submissions and halfway through my summary of absence, this broad is not listening. At all. I’m talking about not only not listening, but in full conversation with my niece in the background.

 

“Maaaaam, did you hear me????  You not listening! You never listen, how you gon’ ask me a question then go all off talkin’ to someone else?!” I shriek.

 

“Awhl, shiiiiiiiit, leme call ya later honey, these children are on my nerves.” She hangs up. I laugh and shake my head. Like I said, I read out loud, no one listens.

 

Example 2: an ex of mine came over about nine maybe ten one night o clock a few weeks back to listen as I read a few pages to him for proofing. After all, I can credit him for catching a lot of my run-on sentences, verb tense issues, and grammar ridiculousness. He also fully believes in my work and I love that. This particular time no sooner than shortly after his arrival did I read into about the fourth page, and I found that he had apparently took the drug opposite of No-Doze. He was full-on asleep, light snore and all. Naturally, I’m human, I was hurt.

 

He exclaimed that he was tired, which I believe he was, and that if he’d only had the pages in front of him (like his own copy) he would have stayed up. The issue is, when someone gives an über quick reason for falling short, the explanation loses its weight. A simple “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” would have sufficed. Practice with me: “I’m sorry it, won’t happen again,“ the most important words in language, since “I love you” is overrated and everyone loves everybody.  I’m really sorry, I won’t read a damn thing to you, ever again. HAhahaha!

 

Him actually using those words might have gotten us on the same page. Simple acknowledgement and reassurance that it (hopefully) won’t happen again. Although Ma still hasn’t said a word about her tangents of rudeness, and my ex and I no longer talk, I still feel I’m learning how to better express myself, and I continue reading out loud. I just wish the right people would listen.

 

Picture taken by moi from “be happy: a little book to help you live a happy life” by Monica Sheehan.

One of the best quotes ever

“If all we can ever know comes filtered through the lens of our own experience, and if we are readers, some part of our very selves will be the result of what we have read—this is obvious enough. Good writers not only have read widely and deeply, but they continue to do so—not in order to be better writers, but because for them the act of reading is as inseparable from living as writing is.”

-Carl Phillips

Everybody. I’m drowning: in books, new gig, and end of project period responsibilities. I have sooo much work I’m doing a lock-in… for the entire weekend.

Wish me luck, I’m definitely going to die trying. & so it is.

picture from peculiarpoetry

Gargoyles and Gargantuan Predators or In Case of Emergency Run Like Hell!!!

The person this story is about hopefully isn’t following everything that I write. But, I run that risk writing nonfiction. It’s over, who cares. For the sake of not getting a trillion emails I will change his name to “exhibit A” and not give the year or time, but other than that—story is real.

He had horrible breath. But, that was because he was the only man I knew that drank heavier than a gurgling hyena that passed out mid-sentence. I thought it was funny. Puerto Rican, with the most beautiful eyes—corner pocket I’d fall in love. Or what I wish to this day wasn’t ever strong enough to pose as love.

I can pinpoint all of my mistakes. It was a one-sided friendship, which usually turns into a one-sided relationship. He had friends that lived in my area, but he resided what maybe was an easy hour away except for his “gramma’s house,” which to this day I don’t know if it was ever his real gramma or some friend’s house that he made up. Back to how adorable he was: The kind of man most women assume will be chased, but still keep the hope that even if he chases others he still shows up at her door. Seriously, if he showed up at my door tomorrow I would purposely forget this story I am about to tell you. Not really, but I’d sure entertain what he’d say, and that ladies and gentlemen is how terribly gorgeous this man was.

I met him at my x best friend’s birthday party. I looked at him and knew no way he I was leaving without talking to this fool.

His pants slightly baggy, his hair wavy, his eyes glossy-dark, his voice boisterous enough for me to not miss, even in my own screaming, “happy birthday!” It was indeed a celebration. We were in a hotel. A patio called “Glo,” in Marina Del Rey. There were imitation fire lamps speckled across the court-yard and cabanas that made every section look private. I wore what I can now remember as my cute “freakum dress” tied off with halter belt worn high, everything was love.

I first noticed “exhibit A” as the event was ending. We flirted and I found that he was a friend of a friend’s friend. It was far down the line of I somewhat know you. Fast forward this night to the morning when we’d all apparently passed out in the hotel room floor after waking to a knock of room service bringing me a $70 breakfast I’d drunkenly ordered on my way to lalaville. O, I was young indeed. I remember leaving the hotel the next morning after having spent a whopping $470 and some odd dollars. Like I said, good times.

I was happy as a honeybee zizzing albeit hung over. Exhibit A and I began falling in lusciousness right away. I was invited to hang out. After a few long conversations, consistently driving back and forth to his house (yes, me and my horrific driving skills paved the road) I considered myself to be in “love.” Ha.

Exhibit A and I were inseparable. The early stages of infatuation is so intoxicating. Thinking about this made me realize how much I alone contributed to the friendship… and how that has affected my later relationships and life experiences.

He ended up disappearing for weeks not responding to calls or text messages. A month into the absence and just when I was ready to jump from a balcony somewhere all dramatic and pretty he calls saying something about some family issue, a failed test, and someone trying to hurt his sister. What? Random. He had excuses bigger than an execution day. It was only after I called bulls*it, that I found out he’d met another girl who coincidentally had the same name as I did and they were all over each others’ social networking pages. To this day I can’t remember any other disappointment being so much fun.

I’ve been on guard of one-sided friendships/relationships ever since. I’ll try for a while, and if I see I’m the only one trying… I let go. I’m always waiting for the rug that gets pulled. Or in my case, the whole damn floor.

I’m writing this for a friend who happened to call me today with what I see as a similar situation. I’ve learned it’s not nice to cut people off with your story that trumps their own   so this one is for you, ____, I love you. I know that much like me, you like to believe in the good that each person has. But you also fall for the best gargoyles and gargantuan predators. Unfortunately or rather fortunately my gargoyle wasn’t much worried about me, and I honestly hope you are as lucky. I mean that in the best way. It’ll sting for a while, but you’ll be ok. Sometimes, I’m learning… it’s best to cut your losses.

Recommended reading: You Lost Me at Hello, by Jess McCann.
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