Friday, December 31, 2010

Retrospective and Resolution

It’s the last day of the year, and it’s only natural that today we all take a few minutes to think about our accomplishments and the lessons that we have learned in the past 12 months as well as set in order new goals for 2011. Let’s see what of the bits and pieces of knowledge that I gathered can be made relevant here on Mischievous Sweethearts.

One of the things that I have learned this year is one of the golden paradoxes: “If you can’t have it, you’ll probably fall in love with it”… or at least think that you have fallen in love. This lesson is how I started 2010, followed up by a close “Everything is possible if you want it badly enough”, which I now tend to reconsider because it’s too many times that we think we may want something when, in fact, our whole being is in complete disagreement, which takes me to my third and maybe most important lesson of this paragraph: “Think before you act, and if the answer comes straight up, make sure to think about it again”. At this point, all incurable romantics will think it’s wrong. I beg to differ. Even though I’m all for trusting your intuitive feelings, one must seriously think about all consequences, because if you decide to go for it (whatever “it” may be), you shouldn’t end up whining about not having known the possible outcomes. If you really think things through before throwing yourself at them, you gain power of anticipation and a moderate armor towards the things that will ripple hurtfully from your action (in case that’s a possibility).

Another thing that I have learned is that music is the perfect rebound partner. Ever. Music has the ability to pull you out of spiraling down to your doom and make you feel happily in love again. Music can seduce your mind and send you spinning through the greatest of fantasies, it is the perfect ally, free for everyone to discover!

In an experiment of my own, I learned that men are indeed intimidated by stronger and smarter women and that they prefer to have something that looks pretty,  is mildly retarded (also known as “normal” to some) and is in perfect agreement with her man. My experiment was that of a change in style in a controlled environment where I could very well observe my subjects. That lead to another interesting revelation… It’s really easy to make the average man stutter, yet it is really disappointing to notice when one treats what you consider real values, as third hand trash. Do not get me wrong, not all men are like that, and I have had the rare opportunity to meet amazing specimens, yet at that very point in my life, it was a lesson worth remembering.

Moving on:  one can learn a lot from dogs! Whenever a dog does something dumb, you can’t get pissed off at it, because it’s not the dog’s fault, it just does not know any better, and it’s best for everyone if there is no anger involved. If you do get angry, the dog will not understand a thing, and you lose precious time, energy and neurons on a creature whose maximum potential has been reached at a level way beneath your own. You simply have to understand, move on and maybe pet the poor beast for at least trying. Generally speaking, if you have the IQ of a strawberry, you can’t get angry at one with the IQ of a peanut. It’s just such a big waste! In this regard, people (yes, I believe both sexes have this issue) are the very same. You can’t ask of a person to live up to your standards, if they can barely make up decent standards of their own and live by those! You shouldn’t be angry when they fail, because that’s just that, they can’t do any better! Also, you shouldn’t get angry when you set up goals for yourself that are astronomically too high, and fail. Let’s all just be realistic about life and try to look around and see things as they really ARE and not as we’d like to have them imagined. Leave that part for dreams and fantasies, but know that in the real world, if you aren’t focused on reality, you might end up sinking in quicksand while chasing after make-believe leprechauns.

I learned that sometimes, when you think you’ve hit rock bottom and when more failing is just too much beyond too much to handle, sometimes miracles happen. I love my Prince Charming fantasy because it is a fair challenge to try to find that or at least part of that in the men around me and, for a picky person as myself, that is indeed one hell of a challenge. Another real challenge is trying to figure out what “happily ever after” means, which leads us to our next lesson learned: “The very best idea and most exhilarating experience now, can very well not mean the same thing anymore after it has fulfilled its purpose”. In other words, miracles are the small or great revelations which give you wings to fly, be it artistically, intellectually, or romantically. The point is, once they have fulfilled their purpose and those wings are spread, there’s really no other way around it.

One of the latest things I’ve learned, or better said, remembered (and perhaps one of my very favorites) is that “If you want your life to change for the best, you have got to do something about it!” Just sitting there and waiting for something to happen out of the blue, will NOT do the trick! And let’s say that even if something DOES magically happen out of the blue, you won’t be able to use it to your advantage or maybe even see it because you’re just sitting on your couch of self-pity and false hopes. And I’m saying false hopes because if you don’t have the decency to get off your ass and do something in your favor, then maybe you don’t really want change and you enjoy the condition you’re in… subconsciously… in an extremely sick and masochistic way. Turns out it is a matter of choice, of real, strong, determined choice. If you truly chose to make a change and that choice is real enough to resonate within your whole being, ‘just sitting there’ will not even be an option! Maybe all of this sounded like a huge ‘captain obvious’ statement, but it’s something that I don’t think people completely realize in full depth.

This pretty much sums up part of this year’s lessons which I wanted to share with all of you. If you have anything you’d like to share from the immense wisdom of 2010, feel free to post in our Comment section.

As for the New Year’s Resolution, to put it as general as possible, I hope 2011 will be a year in which we will all really make the choice of becoming better than we are now, I hope it will be a year of awesome opportunities which we will actually see and go for. May we advance in our careers, discover or re-discover amazing people and, of course, get to know ourselves better. We here at Mischievous Sweethearts wish you all the best of luck in the upcoming year, an amazing party tonight and a complete lack of hangover in the morning!


Walls people build

Some chick once said we don’t build walls to keep people away, but to see who are the ones brave enough to climb them. I believe it’s the other way around. The simple logic and basic functionality of fences and walls is their ability to separate. Man from the cold, garden from annoying neighbors, town from invaders. To keep away. Now, the only place where trespassing is portrayed as acceptable and even desirable are fairy tales. Like when Sleeping Beauty’s prince goes through all that trouble to get inside the castle to wake her up. Or when some Prince Charming fights the monster to save his princess. (I may have a thing for underdogs, but I sometimes cheered for the monster. Nobody asks them why they steal beautiful girls. Maybe they’re lonely, maybe the chicks dig their bad boy attitude. I see the symbolism, but in real life there are more than monsters and princes. Sometimes you even get both in the same package. But next time on fairy tales.)
The thing is, we need these walls. They are a natural protection against all evil. The more trauma, the more walls. Some people are so damaged, they have multiple-layered walls. Out of steel. Some have pretty walls and towers and all, in order to be inviting to passer-bys. But always being advised to tear them down is just stupid. In order to let people in, humans have invented these interesting things called doors. There is a name for climbing up the walls in order to get in, and that is invasion. You want in, stand there, in front of the door, let yourself be seen, knock and wait. Social protocol was designed for a reason, it’s supposed to make our interactions easier and decrease the risks of conflict. So the way I see it, walls should be cherished and boundaries respected. To those who have built them, they bring warmth and safety.
And when you are allowed in, there’s so much to discover that was not visible from outside. Sometimes we like what we find and we move in if invited. Sometimes we even make alliances and exchange keys. Sometimes we walk around for a while but get bored and on to another adventure. Sometimes we are terrified by what we see inside, run outside and never come back. We may come visit from time to time, we may be there just once. We are individuals, and individuality comes with boundaries. Getting to know somebody will always happen on their territory and the other way around. Being too invasive might make them feel threatened and show you out. Being stubborn about meeting them on neutral grounds will only allow you a short glimpse of what’s actually there.
So when you are invited in, take the chance. Even if only out of curiosity. And when you want in, do it the right way. Knock. Wait. And when the doors have shut behind you or might never open, let it go, move on, the adventure is probably elsewhere.
I’ve tried for years to bring my walls down and I’ve been pushed to do it so many times but now I believe those people were just lazy. Or had no understanding of what walls are made of and why. Stone after stone makes us who we are. From an early age we learn to see ourselves as distinct individuals. The songs we sang, the little pleasures and scars, the people who’ve stopped by to help us put on another stone, that’s how we build. We don’t just build to keep away. We build to stay inside. A place from where we can observe the world and try to make sense of it. Of course we go visit others as well, we travel, we explore. But we always need a place to call home. And I believe we like to have friends over. And lovers too. So trust me, people who want you over will keep the doors open for you. It happens sometimes that they’re taking a bath or singing (more like shouting) to the Rolling Stones in their pajamas and can’t hear the door bell ring. But check your pockets, you might have the key.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Teasing, Fetishes and the Biggest and Mostly Unexplored Sexual Organ

 “I watch as the others focus their attention on something apart from what my mind is set on. I smile. His hand touches the base of my back and slides its way slowly up between my shoulder blades while his breath rushes down my neck. I close my eyes briefly as I feel his lips beneath my right ear, yearning to kiss it or maybe bite through my very flesh. The well defined shape of his body presses hardly against mine and I can feel his very essence yearning for my every moan and growl of pleasure. I turn towards him, barely uttering a repressed “I want you” between my clenched teeth as he closes in enough for me to feel the scent of his longing, killing me softly with a look that would devour the very senses of all muses that have ever inspired me, seducing the beast within.”

Sounds familiar? Teasing, dear friends, is the ultimate prelude. It can go on for days, weeks or, in some special cases, even years. Tension is built through specific gestures, looks, apparently innocent touches that progressively gain depth, well weighed words meant to always hit that specific chord which gets women wet and wondering and men hard and wanting. This very tension, amplified by the infatuation factor, is a key element to amazing relationships (if maintained) or just amazing transitory sex (if consumed, without being maintained). How does it work? It’s quite easy, once you accept that the largest sexual organ that humans have is none other than the brain. The human brain has the potential to enhance every and any stimuli into being the next best sexual arouser. The brain is responsible for all possible fetishes, for all possible interpretations of all possible situations, all melding into the yearning of manifestation in a romantic or sexual way.

A woman who is socially dominant could very well desire for her man to firmly grab her and press her against the wall while having his hands run over her body, or would even desire to be dominated in a way in which she would feel she lost all control and, for once, left herself completely, body and soul, in the arms of one of her own choice. Sometimes, a man who wields great social power will yearn to be controlled and maneuvered in such a way in which he’d renounce his free will and his body to the decision of his female counterpart. True, I haven’t met a whole lot of powerful men who would submit to such sexual behavior, but, to my surprise, those whom I have met are men who are very conscious of their own value and strength. It came to me as a surprise, since the antourage to which I got used to, used to classify this behavior as gay. They always used to view a male who explores losing control as a fag… which, as I came to find out, is completely wrong. Actually, the males I’ve met with this kind of a fetish are what everyone would call “the REAL men” in real life, because they always seem strong and in control of the situation, a true Alpha. This very paradox is something that haunts every person and becomes proportionally more acceptable with the loss of inhibition. The more intense of a behavior one will express in real life, the greater desire of experiencing the opposite in a way that would sooth the tension gained in the subconscious. Sex, just as dreams, can be a way of releasing extra steam from the deepest of our psychological grounds. Fetishes, just like dreams, can very well be completely irrational, but always have a meaning and a purpose of their own.

What do our deepest yearning say about us? To what extent are we in charge of them? It is said that our subconscious takes in all that our conscious mind chooses not to deal with and turns it into vivid dreams and sexual desires. Thus, a dominant person who is a consecrated leader in the social community can very well be sexually submissive, just as a working class hero would feel sexual gratitude in whipping multiple orgasms off of their partners’ backs. How much of ourselves do we really know, how much of ourselves would we really accept and how much of ourselves can we discover by looking through the very distorted mirror of every other person’s psyche? Why do we choose to repress so much of our yearnings and why does the fear of unknown also touch the fear of fully knowing our own selves?

A fair answer to that always seemed to be religion, the social convention of normality and the obvious fear of being judged by family, friends, the world and, last but not least, being judged by our own frustrated selves. It’s like we repress a bit of ourselves every day and bottle up as much as we possibly can until it all ends up exploding in the most sincere of all manifestations, which we end up bottling up again under the label of “oh, I had too much to drink”, “it was a mistake” and “it’s just a phase” or “it simply came over me”, anything to find an excuse not to look ourselves straight in the eye. But what if we renounce that label and have the courage of saying “this is part of who I am, there must be more to it” and see these experiences as means of knowing ourselves better?

How can we say that we truly understand who we are if we can’t accept our deepest and maybe even strangest yearnings as factors which have a word to say about distinct aspects of our mind set or behavior? So what if the definition of normality doesn’t represent us 100%? We must have the courage to face the fact that we are all different and we must somehow have the balls to look in the mirror, to Accept and embrace ourselves for our all our strangely delightful weirdness. Maybe once we learn how to properly do that, we’ll also be able to accept others as they are, instead of going on a rainbow hunt for the imaginary person we’d want them to be. Maybe in this way, we could actually expect others to accept us as we are.

Through fetishes, the subconscious mind lets itself be teased by conscious circumstances. The immense tension in teasing is proportional to the immense freedom, since not having chosen one specific finalization, it leaves the road open to anything, and suddenly, our best sexual ally, our brain, takes all those paths at once and in our head we may experience multiple types of pleasure from hypothetical realities that flow from an innocent touch, or a strong grip, or the feeling of nails discretely running along the back of your neck.

So next time you lock eyes with a potentially-special-someone and shyly touch his knee to get closer and whisper whatever in his ear, know that even though he would chose not to show it or even notice it consciously, his brain is automatically generating new and diverse possibilities of having the situation evolve. Thus, we should all be careful at what such messages we send and to whom and also, we should keep our senses open to be able to actually notice such subtle communication when it is being addressed to us. After all, once you understand and conquer the brain, the sky is the limit!

The one that got away

                              Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet. (Andy Warhol)

Things we wanted badly and never got have an underlying power of growing in our minds up to where we see them as perfect. So do people, especially those who play a temporary role in our lives, but leave us with a sense of missing out on something bigger. At some point, we all have in the back of our heads the one that got away. That one person who would have been perfect for us, who none of those we actually had can compare to. The one that got away is our standard for perfection and our hallmark of nostalgia.
I met mine when I was still pretty young but not that innocent. I had known him before, when he caught my eye, but it was only a few months later that we actually met. He was supposed to entertain me for a few hours while I was transiting a new city. Maybe it was the sunset or the soon-to-be-summer weather, maybe it was just me and my soft spot for really smart guys, but it took a couple of minutes and I was hooked. Our sense of humor blended perfectly and we were amused by the most random things. We talked for hours and I wished it would never end. We saw each other two more times that week and it did feel like it would never end. But then I went home and e-mailing just didn’t do it. I never even held his hand, although I dreamed about it for months. In the end, we both fell in love with other people and let it go.
But every now and then I keep wondering whether I could have transformed that story into a love story. Whether we would’ve been great together if it wasn’t for the distance. I now dare to say it’s better the way things turned out. We all need that hope that comes with knowing you had that perfect thing right in front of you and you let it go out of not wanting to spoil it. That hope that makes us believe giving up is not always a bad thing.
I don’t believe we search for perfection in our relationships, I think we all look for a match, a match that would fit our own flaws, one that is insanely wrong and feels so good. We want things we can eventually let go of, not life-changing indispensable love. That kind is left for our imagination, for that amazing place where all the magic takes place.
So while keeping the wonders of meeting the perfect man in the back of our heads, let’s celebrate the other ones. Let’s raise a glass to complicated and weird and sometimes annoying, to the ones we have to learn to love and the ones we have to forgive from time to time, the ones we want to murder now and revive the next minute. Perfect is great, but wait until you meet the damaged. The real deal.
The one that got away will always be that one thing we wanted from life but never got. We might not think about it every day, we might even forget for a while. But one day, when we’re grandmas, we’ll open a box and look at a postcard and the whole skip a breath feeling will come back to us. Because fantasy love never leaves us. Never having to end it has made it part of us. Never even doing it has given us the power to write the story of what could have been in our heads over and over again and living it in our imagination protected it from all the darkness and dirt it would have faced in the real world. So we do live our own fairy tales, and Neverland is not as far as you might think.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Relationship Architecture

Relationships: the good, the bad and the awkward. I’ve recently been put face to face with the subject of relationship architecture and, for some reason, after such a talk, you end up with a feeling of both liberation and “WTF”. As Daisy said previously, relationships used to seem so simple back then. There’s always a “back then” in which everything seemed simple and, believe it, in the future we’ll look back on today and call it “back then”, but right now is never a moment that will seem like it’s a piece of fresh cheesecake.

Things are a lot easier in your head, at a dream-stage, than they prove themselves to be once they hit construction in the ‘real world’. A relationship at a mental stage can meet perfection since love is untainted, sexual fantasies are raw and perfect and have no room for disappointment and the antourage will always act according to what the love-smitten-one chooses to imagine. No right minded person in Love will ever willingly fantasize about a weak emotional-chicken, with bad social skills and a sad, broken tool in bed. We take advantage of the perfection we can cook up in our minds and, when the tension is too much to bear, we try to build the same perfection in real life. Brick by brick, stone by stone, after a short while (or longer for some), you look around yourself and feel like screaming “Wait a minute.. I’m a doctor, what the frick do I know about architecture?!”.

What is the architecture of a relationship? How can we successfully build the perfection we so easily dreamed up? This specific building game is like Magical-Lego, where you try to build something nice and sturdy, but all the Lego pieces spontaneously come to life and start a movement of their own, hindering or sometimes helping the new building structure’s construction. The only way to win this is to be Focused enough to set all the crazy pieces in place, to be Motivated enough not to run away screaming from the game and to be enough of an artistic Creator, so that the game never gets boring, you always find something to add that will make it better and you end up loving it more each day. Sounds good? Easy? Then I must’ve forgotten to mention that Magical-Lego is a building game in which losing burns more than just setting building blocks aside and walking away. If you can’t control the magical pieces, they’re going to progressively beat the living daylights out of you like an army of angry gay pixies with nukes. Once a relationship’s basic structure goes unstable and acts according to chaos (instead of harmony and order), there is no way of getting out of it undamaged. It’s like building a 10 storey building on a foundation of pebbles, mud and the occasional dog shit, then expecting it to stand. And while you’re up there, sipping Martinis at the 10th floor, all of a sudden you feel your building of sticks and stones tremble and rumble, you feel it coming down from under your feet and, let’s face it, you’re Not going to be able to make a decent run for it. It’ll be all just coming down in one big nasty pile and guess who will be in the middle?

Building something takes a real architect, and in all our past years we’ve been in relationship-architecture school. And for once, all we want is to pass that exam, build that perfect structure within which we may feel safe and secure and perfect, ready to take over the world, if we must! Yet we are unable to do that unless we have all our lessons learned, unless we become masters of architecture. How would a master do it?

Tired of having found myself one time too many beneath the ruble of my own 10 storey illusive dream building, I decided to try to go with a more rational approach. One of our biggest mistakes in setting the foundation for a solid relationships is assumption. We assume the other person also thinks it’s normal not to date other people, you assume the other person will just Know how much attention you need and when and how to give it to you (and by give it to you… I mean give it to you), that they will know exactly how affectionate you are and how you like to show that and to have that be shown to you. We assume the other person is that somebody we love to dream up in our perfect, imaginary world of wonder. But then reality comes along and suddenly you realize your man has completely different concepts about seeing other people, has no idea in the world about what you want from him and thus makes up his own assumptions and ends up treating you in a way in which he thinks you’d like to be treated, but which usually ends up being extremely far from what your desires really are. Communication could either fix these problems or at least make both partners realize it’s a mistake before having built a mega-structure out of hay and kidneys.

So, at some point in my past, I decided to give it a try, laying everything on the table. Sure, I’m an open person, I’m all for perfect strategies, let’s just have an open conversation and set out boundaries for a relationship. Where does it begin, how far can it extend, where does it end. What is acceptable and what isn’t. How would we view seeing others, potential social burdens, territoriality and all other basic “if – then” possibilities and tactics. Up to a certain point, I felt on fire! Had I discovered a way to dissect the very notion of relationship-architecture into the most perfect building blocks? Halfway through my hope for finding revelation, it hit me! I had missed out on the one most important aspect, and in all my will to do the perfect war tactics, I had forgotten… we were not at war. And then the pieces of Lego started moving on their own, because of the only thing that can overpower rational thought, no matter how perfect it might have been planned: Feelings. Truthful, raw, pure feelings.

The relationships we build may rise or may fall, yet what is most important is to always keep aiming higher. If your hut made of hay and kidneys fell to bits, learn from that and next time build one of sticks and liver, or even better, one of brick and bone. Going from that to gold and emerald isn’t a three-step-path, but it is only up to us if we make it in ten steps or in hundreds. After all, we’re still in school, learning to be the best architects of our own lives.

Oh, young love!

Back when I was young, things were different. Boys didn’t text you, they wrote you letters. They didn’t pick you up with their ride in the middle of the night, they walked with you hand in hand in the sunset and then showed you the moon rising. They bought you flowers, not drinks. Yeah, when I was young, things seemed so much easier. Just that they weren’t.
As time goes by and we get jaded, we forget what it was like to be in ‘can’t breath without you’ love. How we spent nights dreaming about one look or touch of the hand. How our knees went soft and suddenly we grew butterflies in our stomach that move chaotically. But how did we get jaded? Where did we cross the line where we can laugh at the guy who says ‘forever’, where writing our names in the sand is corny, where just catching a glimpse of the other doesn't tingle all of our senses anymore?
I keep saying to myself whenever I get nostalgic that things were never as complicated as they are now. And it’s never true. Let’s be honest, suffering like a dog because a boy who didn’t even know your name had a new girlfriend was just plain stupid. When you were lucky enough to have him return the feelings, neither of you knew what to say or do and most of what happened in that relationship was just in your head. Not that things have changed much in this area ever since. Oh, and when one of those blitzkrieg loves came to an end, it brought weeks of tears, guilt trips or crushed self esteem, “omg, my life is over, I will never love again”. It wasn’t easier. It just seems more exciting from where we’re standing now.
But there was this particular thing I really miss. And I sometimes feel like I don’t have it in me anymore to go there. It’s summer romances. That amazing feeling of freedom you get on vacations, the arousal brought about by the smell of salty water or pine tree resin, all that energy you’ve canned for a while burst into these wicked fireworks of passion. It’s funny how the first few times we think it’ the real deal. We’ve met the man of our dreams, “but dammit, we have to go our separate ways next week”. That can only happen to pure spirits, those who still believe that letters can patch up a real relationship, to young souls in search of love. I know people have them at all ages, but I’ve grown to like things plain and simple and summer loves are a different cup of tea.
Young love has its perks. At least for a while, you can go guns blazing into something and not fear the consequences, because you are sure that this is it. You can say the big words and not choke laughing. You can be just as crazy about somebody as you can without the risk of being considered the stalker kind or a hysterical bitch. And most of all, you can give it all. After you’ve taken a few punches in the face from lady love, you’ll never be that open again, never invest as much, never confide as much in its power.
Of course we all fall silly in love from time to time, some for years, some for days. We may not be able to sleep or eat or think of other things, we’ll itch to get it over with. But we’ll invest so much less every time, because we now know what we didn’t know then. That there is no such thing as forever, our hopes and dreams are not safe with him and we’re eventually bound to lose one way or the other. I guess the only thing left to do is remember that feeling of invincibility from time to time, to lose the grip just like we used to and to learn a little trust in love and the ways in which it makes our lives better. If it does.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Communication vs. Intimidation

I used to date this amazing guy. He was tall, handsome, well built, went to two colleges (thus I thought to myself he must also be really smart) but had one issue, one major issue. He did not feed my thirst for good conversation. It was something I didn’t notice at first, due to the whole infatuation, but something that eventually chewed on me for the rest of the relationship. I just didn’t get it. Was it me, was it my fault? Was it him? It seemed to me that he was handling talking to other people just fine, it was just me with whom he made those awkwardly long pauses between words, it was with me that he tried to begin a subject and just lost himself in the middle of it to such an extent that he’d have to stutter and stare for a minute or two at whatever inspiration point on a wall (or even more annoying, on my face!) to be able to resume a complete different idea. I craved for good conversation.

At first I thought it was all in my head. Then I realized it was a real problem and ended up wondering… was this guy intimidated by me? To what degree does intimidation make us refrain from showing our partners how great of a personality we have, and instead have us wallow in an image of self pitty, the very self pitty of not being able to get over that very intimidation? Is it a vicious circle that drives us away from the one person we want to be closest to?

The stereotype of intimidation mostly covers sensitive women, but that’s mostly because you’d hardly ever hear a male admit he’s been intimidated by a female. Doing that would be like kicking their ego in the balls and losing one of them in the process. Men are intimidated by stronger women, by women whose careers are more successful, women who earn more than they do, women with a higher prestige or, more generally put, women who overshadow them or make them think they are being overshadowed by, in any and all reasons you’d imagine would make sense to a man. Is this why men usually like to pick women they consider weaker as their partners and prefer to keep the ‘better lot’ around for friendship? Would a man label himself as ‘emotionally retarded’ in the eyes of a woman by chickening out from a relationship just because he hasn’t figured out the maturity to deal with the intimidation he’s feeling? Is intimidation even in the male vocabulary, or is it one of the top notions that’s been repressed by the male ego and surfaces as strange passive-aggressive behavior (at least)?

Communication is essential for a relationship. Without it, it’s just two lonely people that try to play a role written by society or religion. Yet I’ve met the strangest of situations this week. In one of my nights out with the girls, I met this couple. Each of these two was a great person with whom you could have great conversation, extremely open to all subjects I tackled that night, quite talented in bringing up interesting subjects of their own and simply the kind of people with whom you start talking to and just don’t realize how time flies. I went to sleep at 6AM because of the curiosity it stirred in me. Because both him and her, individually told me how unhappy they are in their relationship even though they deeply care about eachother. They gave me all these arguments I won’t go through here, but all I could say is “Look, I appreciate you telling me this, but have you told him/her?” And the shocking answer from both of them was “Oh yes, sure, he/she knows!” Then what the hell is so difficult? How is it that two people who have this amazing communication and end up talking about their core issues, with perfect skill of setting things in order one way or another, how come these people both feel so very alone with eachother?

Five glasses of water and three and a half hours of sleep later, I was wondering about my own cravings in good conversation and deep communication. What if it’s not enough to hold together the complexity of a romantic relationship, as it didn’t help my two friends at all, yet just made them beat around the bush until they got completely lost? And if that’s not it, then what is the glue that does hold all that together? If beyond any absurdly intense craving there’s always another bigger one, where and when do we stop?

I’m thinking it’s a matter of choice. If two individuals can sincerely lay all their issues on eachother’s table, then they should be perfectly capable of making a decision, sticking to it and have the maturity to change it if they both agree it’s not in their mutual and individual favor anymore. It’s all a matter of choosing between fear of the unknown, which leads to incapacitation, or curiosity of the unknown, the urge to conquer the unknown, which has a better chance at evolution than the first option.

Intimidation and communication issues go hand in hand. Don’t we all at some point get intimidated by the shiny dreams we’d want to achieve and thus manage to sometimes block ourselves from getting there? Fear of failure can cloud the brightest of minds and make them seem like they’re retarded. And we wouldn’t want to give that impression to anyone, not to ourselves and not even to that possible Mr. Right we might know or might not even have had the courage to dream up yet.

The grass is greener...

In my long trip through the forests of singleness I’ve come across so many stories about relationships I can’t help wondering whether they were lessons send by the universe to learn at the right time. So I thought I’d go through some of the things I’ve learned from people from the other side of the tracks.
First of all, I’ve learned never to assume. People may hook up with someone and give it a week or think it’s the love of their lives, but you never know. Treating every relationship with the care and respect it deserves is something we owe to ourselves. Of course those first few weeks are amazing and all, but infatuation does not guarantee success on the long run, it’s a battle and we should never forget it.
Talking about battles, it’s a hell of a tough one to get to know the other. And one thing we should learn when being with someone is that we are two different views on reality that meet. And that don’t have to merge in order for the thing to work. I’m so tired of seeing people trying to tailor their partner in order to make him or her be just what they were looking for. People have a past and it might come to shatter the current relationship. Or it might just help us better understand the person next to us through the lens of their life experiences. Those we say we love deserve to be appreciated for who they are and not an image we have in our heads.
A third thing that’s always coming up in conversations is cheating. People cheat whether we like it or not and it’s not that easy to predict what leads them to that. They can cheat while holding our hand and they can cheat and we’ll never find out about it. I now believe it comes to happen when people start looking for excitement outside their relationship. It does not mean they may not still be in love with their partner. It means they want something else for a change. It sounds light, right? Well, it’s a lot more complicated than that. As I’ve noticed lately, commitment is about being able to make plans with the other person, about being able to assume they’d be there for you in certain situations. Now people say cheating wrecks trust, and I think it mostly wrecks that certainty that you can count on your partner. Of course, there’s also our ego and it would never accept other puppies eating from the same bowl. Just like in the case of having a hard time accepting the other’s romantic past, fear of cheating feeds on the ego. And it transforms people.
Another thing that transforms people is distance. Distance freaks us out because it increases this uncertainty that is incompatible with commitment. Because we feel it increases the likelihood of cheating and because we start fearing that we might become less and less relevant to the other. Distance changes people in that it makes their ego inflate and with it all those slimy parasites we call jealousy, fear and anger. I’ve known amazing couples who can fight it. It’s usually patient people who have come to terms with how they can make it work. As for the rest of us, we can barely keep the boat floating when we’re together.
And when that boat sinks, we may spend some time asking ourselves what went wrong. But breakups are a power race. And somebody gets left behind. The funny thing is some of the champs may eventually regret it. And remember taking things for granted was a retarded thing to do. I met this amazing woman who was crazy in love with her boyfriend and they eventually broke up due to some of the reasons above. And now she’s fighting to get him back, but he’s stringing her along because there is no guarantee he won’t get dumped again. One thing I’ve learned from most of my “coupled” friends is that taking things for granted is the wrong way to go. Whether you take for granted that that person’s always going to be there or the fact that you are bound to be cheated upon or left, relationships are just as complex as the people in them. I must set these words aside and read them when I’m with somebody, because we so often think in a box about our relationships, we pretend we know so much about where we stand and what we want from them that we forget we’ll always be scared little children in the face of love.
Oh, I almost forgot about love. Or what we may call ‘coup de foudre’ or at least infatuation. Now this is a lesson I want to pass on from this side of the fence. It’s an incredibly rare thing and it makes people so fragile and yet gives them this crazy strength to outdo themselves. Of course we could talk about it forever. But what I’m saying is, when you’ve lost your head, enjoy the weightlessness, because pretty soon all those other demons I’ve been writing about will come to bite you in the ass.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The "Stud-Wall"

Phone rings. I pick up. Hot male voice at the other end.

“Hey! What’s up? … So, are we still on for tonight? … Oh, sorry to hear… Yeah, tomorrow is great… Alright, you call me then and we settle the time and place.”

Tomorrow: phone rings. I eagerly pick up. Same hot male voice at the other end.

“Hello there, what’s the plan? … Oh.” Please note how spontaneously changing voice tone while saying that short, retarded “Oh.”, together with the sudden drop of enthusiasm already gives away the rest of the conversation. “Well… tomorrow might be alright, but I thought we were all set up for tonight…” I was meaning to go on with an “Oh sure it’s ok, it’s not like I waxed my legs and lady parts, did my hair nicely, put on some awesome make-up and neatly arranged some of my hottest clothes for this, including those mind-blowing tiny red panties.” (…which I did), but telling him all of that would just have made me sound like an eager puppy and put him in charge of something we never want men to be in charge of… our dignity.  “Well then… tomorrow it is.”

It has happened to all of us to have to postpone a date we really wanted to go to because of other higher-priority plans that just happen to come up. Is there an etiquette about how many times you can do that without giving the other person the wrong impression? It’s like there’s a very dumb, yet complex game going on between men and women at this dating stage. Seem relatively uninterested, keep your cool, maybe even a hint of indifference and the law of paradox makes the other person suddenly be more interested, have a senselessly stronger craving. Is it really necessary? Every male that puts up this wall and does manage to enter a relationship, if he starts getting emotionally involved, he’s going to progressively lose this barrier in time and give way to the behavior of a young puppy that’s just dying to hump that perfect new pillow covered in satin and lace. Then the obvious happens: she says he’s not the man she fell in love with, he says it isn’t true, insisting that that is the real him. You end up raising an eyebrow at the ex-macho, teenage-puppy you now have and say you don’t remember hooking up with a total fruitcake.

But if a man were to try to pick up a lovely lady without having that studly impenetrable macho illusive wall going on, who would date him? I hear women all over saying that they want a sincerely sensitive guy, one with whom they can connect with, share their most intimate feelings and have him do the same. But I don’t know how many of these women would actually go for the guy who comes up to them with big puppy eyes and a slightly trembling lower lip, telling them how vulnerable he feels in their presence and how the slightest hint of attention from them would so validate his manhood. No man in his right mind would do that and no woman in her right mind should take such a character in.

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely for sincerity and I am completely for being able to share intimacy and feelings, but I don’t need a guy that pours his soul out in a bowl of tears, I don’t need a guy that gossips like an out-of-control hormone bomb. Of course, they have their own uncertainties, they are indeed vulnerable to some extent, but what makes a man – a man is how he deals with these things without making a complete fool out of himself. In a moment of our own vulnerability, we don’t want a guy that’s going to start crying hysterically because of how sad whatever situation is. We don’t need a scared and insecure pup that can only amplify our own stress and nothing more. No, in those moments we need a strong, hard pillar, a strong and well balanced personality who can snap us out of whatever hormone-raging fit we’re going through.

This isn’t something those who know me would hear me say often, but I’m quite sure they don’t have it easy either. Yet this challenge, the male’s challenge of actually being a man is what separates real men from those who don’t really seem to deserve their Y chromosome.

What happened to the guy with the phonecalls? Turned out something really had come up and he made sure to compensate nicely for his absence in the following evenings. Knowing men have that before-mentioned ‘stud-wall’ around them can sometimes make it tough for a girl to decide if he’s just playing it cool or really being an uninterested asshole. But know this, there are signs that can give away his nature, so keep your eyes wide open from the very beginning and you might just catch a preview-glimpse of what lies beneath.

Just friends

When I was a little girl my best friends were boys because all the chicks on my block were whiny little bitches who always ran crying to their mommy if I tried to show my infinite appreciation for them by throwing dust to their faces or tripping them and what not. Boys were always more of my kinda guys. They lived dangerously. Climbed trees, jumped off swings in motion and build forts out of carton boxes or snow. However, I knew then what I shouldn’t have forgotten now. We can’t be “just friends”. One of my closest playmates was this adorable little boy who would walk around pushing my doll’s toy stroller and talk to me about how we would get married when we grow up. Almost twenty years later, that perspective still freaks me out.
But I keep forgetting. And I start the same old creepy dance over and over again. I meet this guy who’s really cool and I could talk to him for hours. However, I have no romantic interest in him and I convince myself he doesn’t either. Which is likely to be true, but not to stay that way forever. So then I’m like hey dude let’s hang out, I love it I can do shots with you and not worry I’m gonna end up in someone’s bed the next morning, cause you’re such a good friend who’s gonna care for me. I invite him over to watch movies, share my heartaches with him and keep asking what’s wrong with guys and why don’t I have then figured out by now. He’s never going to provide an answer to that. Moreover, he’s soon going to be the reason I’m asking it.

I used to think there are barriers that can’t be crossed and that would keep things between us at the “just friends” level. Having a girlfriend or a wife does not stop your friends from eventually hitting on you. Neither does being friends to your ex-boyfriends, ex-boyfriends of your friends or being your own ex-boyfriends to whom you’ve made it perfectly clear there’s no sexual anything left between the two of you. Explaining to your friend how messed up you are or how you’ll never fall for him will only give him more reasons to become infatuated with you.
Spending a lot of time with the other sex is bound to eventually create tension. Especially when you’re hot and all of your friends are at least fairly attractive. Although, after the right amount of time, I believe the mermaid effect takes its toll on each of us. This is one of Barney “Awesome” Stinson's of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ theories and it says that no matter how uninterested you may be in someone, after the right amount of time, especially when you’re “on dry land”, they begin to look really attractive to you.

So now I’ve done it again. I think it happens to me quite often, and it’s mostly because I always remember the good times of crashing toy cars and crossing wood swords with my childhood friends and I keep forgetting what terrible tragedies my friendships to the opposite sex eventually bring along. You’d say I’m exaggerating, try explaining it to those girls whose boyfriends not only whine to me about how they’re bored in their relationships and how they cheat and how maybe they’d leave it all behind if I gave them a chance. And then to those really nice fellas who’ve waited for me to jump on board until they got rejected in a really unpleasant manner and eventually grew to hate me. Or to the ones who at least figured it out on their own, never had the balls to say anything, eventually ended up with some girl who makes them miserable and every now and then they ask themselves “what if”.
I’m not saying it never happened to me. It’s hurtful and annoying and it makes you ask yourself what’s wrong with you if that person likes you but not in that way. It’s something nobody deserves being put through and especially not someone you consider a friend. So next time I feel like I’ve been spending too much time with a guy I’m not really interested in, somebody should come over and remind me that boys and girls cannot just be friends. I give exceptions their fair “hats off”, but as far as rules go, it’s safer to stick with this one.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Next time somebody sends me an obviously romantic ballad without a real decided-upon sincere romantic reason, I’ll refrain from being pulled into the feeling of the song and sigh like a teenager and, instead, figure out a way to shove that slow music up their ass.

It’s stereotypical how men think they have women all figured out. A few compliments, to show they take interest in them physically and also that they can focus on details (who are we kidding?), eating out at a nice place (and offering to pay for it), proving they have the initiative, sharing a bit of personal information to give the feeling that they are open, offering the seductive look, asking a few questions about the woman’s life, to seem interested. And, of course, throwing out links of good music meant to help with the whole heart-melting sensation. Apparently, they do have everything figured out. And, coincidentally, women appreciate all those mentioned above. Yes, a man must have the initiative, the social standard, the charm, personality, interest and that hint of artistic spirituality to potentially become fatally attractive to women. But, since this is all too easy for some to simulate, how can you tell a faker from the real thing?

I was looking at Danielle Peck’s video “Finding a Good Man” the other day (and several other days) and couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to actually have such a pair of glasses which reveal men’s real nature, written right on their foreheads. Could we actually handle the truth? Would we ever find someone to really settle with? Surely, all men are flawed, but which are the flaws we can live with and for how long? And why? Looking around at females across town and also at my dear friends, I think somehow we end up accepting a variable degree of illusion (consciously or not) because it helps paint the exact picture we would want to see.

In the initial part of a relationship, one usually focuses on the good side of the partner and amplifies qualities to abnormal degrees. Then, as time passes, we realize that the partner can’t live up to these awesome imagined expectations and we inevitably begin focusing on their flaws, getting angry at ourselves for not having seen them before, or accusing the partner about hiding them in the beginning, just to lead us on. In all this equation, we end up feeding the illusion. Feeding the illusion could very well be called “being in love”. Can we perceive someone we have fallen in love with without distorting their image into something that fits our liking? Can we still say that we’re in love once our perception is that of a cold-blooded killer, profiling their next victim?

It turns out we need this. Every little girl has that perfect image of Price Charming that subconsciously suffocates the reality of ever finding a truly perfect man. And what is perfection, anyway, if not an ever-changing notion that shifts with our needs, our mood and our current achievements. Perfection = the BEST and the best = always better than what we already are or have. Are we on a never-ending journey to finding Mr. Right before going over our thirties?

I saw a funny picture a while before and it put a big smile on my face and made me instantly nod in agreement. It said “Porn movies and Disney are responsible for the most frustrated human beings I know” and it had a little girl and a little boy sketched underneath this text, each asking a question that has probably infested the minds of everyone at least once, at least for the briefest of moments.
Where the hell is my prince charming?
Where the hell is my insatiable whore?

In a world in which we’re not even sure what a Prince Charming is, or hardly ever hear of a “happily ever after”, what is it we are really searching for? In all this haze, we can just hope that the person we chose to have romantic music shoved up their rear end isn’t the one person we could have had the perfect fairytale life with.