Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pizza and porno

When did Pizza Hut become a Hooters?

Have you SEEN this commercial?

It grosses me the heck out. The kid is like what, 13 years old? Jessica Simpson is a ho with obnoxious articulation. And in the version I keep seeing on TV there are muppets, yes, muppets involved as well. Miss Piggy is about to get all kung fu on Kermie if he doesn't stop looking at Jessica or the pizza or whatever the hell is being sold in this commercial. I wish Piggy'd get all kung fu on Ms. Simpson. And while she's at it she should smack the boy's parents. What the hell?!

I LOVE the muppets. Why oh why have they been enslaved into selling porn...er...pizza. Jim Henson, I am so sorry your legacy has come to this.

It's so sleazy getting green...

Hope-oscopes and PMS

My Hope-oscope today says "If you reach your boiling point today, don't fly off the handle! You will regret it."

This is particularly helpful because today and yesterday I am in the throws of PMS. When I have PMS I get really annoyed. Like I just want to scream at the woman outside my office for any small noise she makes. She can have a Mardi Gras parade any other day and it doesn't bother me but throw in a couple of hormones and I want to strangle her for throwing away a piece of paper.

Here's my theory on PMS. It sucks but sometimes it's necessary, kind of like a forest fire - you gotta burn some stuff before you can grow. Sometimes it takes raging hormones to get you to actually say things that have been bothering you for weeks, if not months. Granted, you often say them in a way that is less than productive, but at least you have let them out. I'm referring mostly to experiences within my previous relationship. It's probably not good to bust out the crazy annoyance in the beginning of a relationship but once you are pretty well established, vent away.

Guys - Never, ever say anything condescending or even jokey about PMS, especially when the person you may be referring to is currently entrenched in it. We hate it as much as you do. It is beyond our control which pisses us off even more. We know we are slightly crazy, moody and hard to deal with. However, we are also more honest (or at least less able to regulate what is coming out of our mouths). Pay attention if she is saying something with the word "you" and "toilet paper doesn't refill itself", "hamper has a purpose," or "give me chocolate." Even better, bring her chocolate before she even asks.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Addendum to last post

Scroll down to the bottom of the truck nuts link in the last post and you'll see you can get yourself your very own antenna stripper - a plastic lady who pole dances on your car's antenna. Darned if I won't go out and trade in my antenna free car so I can have a use for this classy accessory.

P.S. Hello Iceland, South Africa, Sweden, Amsetrdam and the Czech Republic!

Gonadal Truck Accessories

Have you seen these hanging from any of your friendly neighborhood testosterone laden trucks lately? Folks, I do not need to see fake plastic nut sacks while I am driving. No, scratch that, I do not need to see fake plastic nutsacks EVER. Anywhere. The first time I saw one it took me a long time to figure out what they were. I turned to my X and said, what is that? Is that boobs? What is that truck driver trying to say? My X had to tell me what they were. At first I was amused, sort of, like the first time you saw the dancing Santa or that stupid singing fish. Then I was kind of grossed out.

I think I may just get a set of plastic boobies to attach to the front grill of my Forester in protest. Except I think that's stupid too.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Being Alone versus Being Lonely

Even though I find myself more alone now than I have ever been in my entire life I find myself less lonely.

The worst kind of loneliness is what you feel when you are not alone, i.e. when someone else is actually physically present and yet you can't connect. I don't even know if that can be called loneliness. It's more like abandonment.

I went to a 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. I learned a few things.

  1. Many of my relatives are NH hicks. As in Nascar, you wanna go out for a smoke, NH hicks.
  2. If I look as good as my Mom at 53 I will not be doing too bad.
  3. I need to stop eating like a pig if I don't want to look like my grandmother when I'm in my 70s
  4. I would have been depressed at the same event if it had been held last year. Why? Because I would have been wondering why I wasn't happy in my marriage and how I was going to last another 43 years to get to where they were.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Oh me oh migraine

auras - check
numbness in fingers -check
headache - not really.

It's like I had a stroke only it went away.

You've enterered the Twilight Zone

As if my life is not weird enough, Friendster Guy, High School Guy, and X may all be meeting each other next week. And it's my own fault. And I'm kind of looking forward to it. Sick? Perhaps. I'm not sure why I'm excited. Maybe because they all know about each other already so this will just make it more solid and stable and everyone can just get along and move forward.

I'm not sure if it is a compliment to them, to my taste, or to me that I think they will get along. Probably a combination of the three. If you're a cocky asshole, I wouldn't want to be your friend and I certainly wouldn't want to introduce you to my other friends. None of them are cocky assholes. They are all nice guys with a common thread - some sort of interest in me. Maybe that's why I'm excited, it's sort of a bizarre twisted harem. I can't help wanting to be the center of attention. I'm a Leo after all.

Anyway, X and High School Guy have both requested help tapping into the single girl (and young professional people) network here in the Upper Valley and I am happy to oblige. I'm also happy that Friendster Guy is planning to be there as well so I have a non-single gal base. It's much more fun to help people connect when you are already connected yourself, and can prove it.

I'm playing hookie

That's right, I took this afternoon and tomorrow off. I haven't had a day off in awhile and I felt I needed it so I took it. Then things worked out where my sister, niece, mother and grandmother will be coming by for the day tomorrow before my mom, grandmother and I head north to a 50th Anniversary party with relatives I haven't seen since I was 5. Should be a blast. Or something. I'll at least get more people to interview for my thesis.

I had a great conversation with Friendster Guy last night. I got over myself (and insecurity and fear of rejection) and finally told him about this blog (and some other stuff). His main reaction was surprise that he hadn't found it already, until I told him that it was anonymous. I told him some of the content, and how it started out as a journal of my life as a single girl and therefore chronicles the early days when we met. I said I'd be happy to let him read it but if he went into the archives he'd have to promise me he'd keep reading because otherwise he'd only get bits and pieces of my feelings right at that moment in time and that wouldn't be fair. He agreed and said he understood. He said he wasn't sure he wanted to read it because he didn't want to change the art of the thing. See, he totally gets it. He keeps surprising me that Friendster Guy.
I told him that what I write has already changed out of respect for him and our relationship. He laughed when I said he had a fan base and people rooting for him.

I asked him to tell me if anything I wrote affected him in a negativeway. He seems to be a much more private person than I so he might not appreciate some of the things I've written. Or he could continue to surprise me and thinks it's all hilarious. It's a little bit of an experiment I must say. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Out of the mouth of babes

My neighbor, his 4 year old daughter, Friendster Guy, and I pulled into my apartment's parking lot at the same time last night. Here is what transpired.

"Sassy Pants, what is it?" the 4 Year old asked me, pointing at Friendster Guy.

"That's my friend Friendster Guy. It is a person."

"Oh."

We all went our separate ways for a moment until Neighbor knocked on my door to return something he had borrowed. His daughter likes to figure out ways to get tours of my "department" so she trotted on in and said, with no preamble:

"Where does your boyfriend sleep?"

Despite being mildly embarassed on two levels (One being presence of male neighbor/friend and two the use of the word "boyfriend" in front of Friendster Guy) I said "At his house." You can't exactly split sematic hairs with a four year old.

Later on Friendster Guy and I were laughing and rehashing the episode and he said "Where does your boyfriend sleep? Anywhere he wants to."

Cute. He seemed pretty comfortable with the word "boyfriend."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Intimacy issues

Welcome to my pity party. I've entered a mild funk brought on by the sudden exit of Friendster Guy from my apartment to go fight a fire. The hazard of dating a public servant I guess. I know I shouldn't take it personally but for some reason I am. It's very stupid I know. Logically I am very happy, and even proud, that 1) he's around to go save people and their property and 2) he really enjoys his job. I wish I enjoyed mine half as much as he does. However, illogically, I'm disappointed he had to leave. I guess really that's not illogical. Disappointment is a valid response. I'm not sure exactly why I've been swept into a funk though. No, that's not true either. I'm disappointed in myself. I was trying to work up the nerve to tell him about my blog and some other topics of conversation and I just got all stupid and self-conscious instead. And then the call came for him to leave so I didn't get an opportunity to finish working up the nerve. I was left in the middle of my uncomfortable moment without the ability to get out of it. No closure on my stupidity if you will.

I think I have intimacy issues. I'm sure we all do on some level but mine are currently coming to the fore and affecting the way I am interacting with the person I would like to be intimate with.

If you'd like to see the following intimacy related information without my color commentary, go here. (Thank you Coping.org.) Otherwise, procede with caution. I'm doing a little self therapy for the benefit of myself and anyone who is reading this. My comments are in this color.

Table of Contents
What is intimacy in a relationship?
How can you recognize intimacy in a relationship?
Obstacles to establishing intimacy in a relationship
Negative consequences inability to handle intimacy
Beliefs which prevent establishing intimacy
Behavior traits needed to handle healthy intimacy in a relationship
Steps to improve intimacy in a relationship
What is intimacy in a relationship?

Intimacy with another person is the:
Unmasking of yourself in order to make yourself vulnerable in a trusting, loving, secure relationship.
Sense that you have a special, unique, and distinct bond joining you and another person.
Sense of closeness, proximity, and being "in tight.''
Sense of oneness, unity, and uniqueness.
Sense of being exposed, undefended, and fragile.
Sharing of tenderness, caring, and affection.
Sharing of secrets, hidden tales, and private thoughts.
Free will offering and receiving of each others' generosity, giving and sharing.
Sense of being in a non-punitive, non-abusive and non-coercive environment.
Mutual respect, recognition, and approval of each other's need to be a sexual being. In a marital relationship this shared sexuality ultimately results in loving sexual intercourse. We'll ignore the antiquated notion that only those in a marital relationship have loving sexual intercourse and get to the good stuff.

How can you recognize intimacy in a relationship?
The following ten statements describe intimate relationships:
1. Continuous, honest communication and contact with one another exists even if the contact is not in person but is by phone, mail, or some other form. So far so good re: Friendster Guy and I.
2. A mutual task to carry out at home, school, or on a job is willingly shared, discussed, and enjoyed together.
3. An affinity or attraction to one another exists to the exclusion of others. So far so good.
4. The company of one another is sought even when you both have a wide selection of other individuals from which to choose. Yes. At least I think so.
5. A sixth sense, ESP, or other extra perceptual facility develops with which you can communicate at a nonverbal level, with no need for words to clutter or detract from the communication. Not yet.
6. A sense of humor, sense of play and casualness develops in which you enjoy "give and take'' and are relaxed in each other's company. Yes
7. A protective sense of privacy and guardedness about your relationship exists; it is not subjected to public scrutiny, criticism, or judgment. Um, no. I've got a secret blog for Pete's sake.
8. The relationship is a productive enterprise resulting in mutual satisfaction, reward, and reinforcement for each other.
9. The relationship has a purpose, direction, and order to it that is reasonable, realistic, and healthy for both of you. This is a problem. I don't know the answer to this because I'm not sure our direction or purpose quite yet. Or at least it hasn't been verbalized.
10. A firm commitment, agreement, or contract exists with each other to be mutually supportive, understanding, and accepting of one another. I definitely trust him and he's been supportive and understanding. I think the crux of the isue is the word "accepting." He probably accepts the heck out of me but I'm too self-conscious and self-deprecating to be aware of it.

Obstacles to establishing intimacy in a relationship
The following behavior patterns or feelings are barriers to establishing healthy intimacy in a relationship:
Inability to develop trust in one another Fine
Chronic sense of insecurity It's not chronic. I often think I'm fabulous. But when it comes to intimacy I am insecure as all get out because...
Fear of failure A little
Fear of being vulnerable to being hurt or subjected to pain You betcha!
Inability to take a risk Sort of. I took many risks at the start of the relationship - asking him out, doing so again after I'd told him I just wanted to be friends - but now that I'm settling in to a relationship I'm unable to take a risk because I feel too vulnerable.
Inability to let go of hurts and fears from previous relationships I'm perfectly willing to let them go but they aren't letting me go.
Lack of role models for healthy intimacy Interesting question. Divorced parents who have been married to other people for over 20 years. I don't see a lot of intimacy in their relationships. I see it more in friends of mine.
Inability to recognize or accept one's own problem in handling intimacy I'm trying!
Inability to control the impact of anger, hostility, or resentment in the relationship This is not an issue.
Fear of losing the other in death or some other calamity Nope
Fear of being successful in the attainment of intimacy Hmm...no. I'd love to get all intimate with someone.
Inability to accept one's own responsibility in developing intimacy in the relationship No.
Inability to handle conflict within the relationship No.
Poor problem solving between the partners Nope. At least not yet.
Fear of loss of approval; fear of rejection Yessiree Bob. Absofreakinlutely. Fear of rejection! Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
Chronic defensiveness No
Over aggressiveness or passivity between the parties No
Power struggles between the parties for control of the relationship No
Competition between the parties No
Poor communication No - except for when I am unable to talk because I am afraid of rejection or am feeling insecure.
Blaming each other for problems in the relationship No
Fear of being too exposed or being found out for whom you "really are'' No. More of a disappointment at myself for not being who I really am.
Fear of claustrophobia or being smothered in the relationship No.
Desire to be left alone, isolated, and ignored No.
Mental or physical health problems that impede the relationship's growth No.
Fear that the relationship will become sexual in nature (especially if the parties are not married) No. Crossed that bridge already.
Fear of loss of identity No.
Inability to show affection, tenderness, or caring No. More like an inability to accept or feel I deserve affection, tenderness, or caring.
Inability to be open, honest, and forthright Yes and No. Depends on the subject. Being in denial about needing help No
If the parties are married or are sexual partners, other obstacles include:
Fear of sexual intercourse No
Fear of impotency, premature ejaculation, or no ejaculation No
Physically based sexual problems No
Lack of candor, openness, or honesty concerning sexuality maybe
Unwillingness to be creative, explorative, or imaginative sexually No, but there is fear of rejection when bringing up the topic. It happened with X. When you finally get up the nerve to talk about sex and you are shot down point blank, it doesn't exactly make you willing to do it again.
Embarrassment with one another in the sexual arena No
Poor body image and discomfort with nudity Yes.
Hang ups due to moral, religious, or value beliefs No.
Lack of appropriate education regarding sexuality Hmm...The older I get the more I realize that I got a heck of a lot of sex education but no sexuality education. I knew the parts and how things worked physically but not mentally. I'm still working on that part.
Unwillingness to establish a healing environment No

Negative consequences inability to handle intimacy
If a person has a problem securing, establishing, or maintaining intimacy in a relationship (in or out of marriage) that person is most likely going to feel (I changed the color of the ones I am currently experiencing on one level or another):
unwanted, pessimistic about the future, uncared for, depressed, undesirable, anxious over personal performance, lonely, inadequate, isolated, confused about sexual identity or adequacy, abandoned, not "good enough.'' rejected, left alone, unloved, low in self-belief, unattractive, unwilling to get involved, angry, resentful, or hostile

Beliefs which prevent establishing intimacy

  • If I open myself up to another person, I am bound to get hurt and/or taken advantage of. I agree. I disagree with pretty much everything else below unless otherwise noted.
  • People with whom I have been involved with in the past have abused, neglected, and mistreated me. How can I expect it to be different in the future?
  • People have said to me "I love you'' and "I hate you'' in the same breath. I get so confused. How can I ever believe anyone?
  • If you open yourself up to trust someone, they will always take advantage of you.
  • I am a worthless, useless, piece of junk. How could anyone ever care about me?
  • You are a slut, a whore, or a pig if you delight in sexual escapades with your husband.
  • You are a failure as a man and a husband if you ever fail to satisfy your wife sexually.
  • A women's role is to be subservient to men in all respects.
  • All men are out to rape or violate you.
  • All women are out to seduce, grab, or chain you into a "jail'' called marriage.
  • It is impossible to have a close friend of the opposite sex without the relationship becoming sexual in nature.
  • Married men and married women should never seek out friendships with married or single people of the opposite sex. It doesn't look good and people will never understand.
  • People who have close friendships in which they exchange signs of physical affection (like hugging and kissing) with partners of the same sex must be homosexual.
  • It is a feminine trait to be openly affectionate with another.
  • No one can keep a secret, so keep your personal business to yourself.
  • Intimacy always means sexuality and sexuality always means sexual intercourse.
  • It is impossible for men (or women) to remain faithful in a relationship.
  • Never get close to the people you work with!
  • Whenever you open yourself up to intimacy, you are bound to lose your friend through death or some other form of disaster.
  • I can take care of myself just fine. I don't need anyone else to clutter up my life.

Behavior traits needed to handle healthy intimacy in a relationship

In order to secure, establish, and maintain healthy intimacy in a relationship you must:
Develop self-confidence in your ability to handle a relationship
Believe in your self-worth, your goodness and abilities Easier said than done.
Let go of your fears Ok. I'll click my heals together and do that.
Open yourself up to trust in the goodness of others
Accept your body and body image Getting there
Learn to take a chance, take a risk
Have knowledge of the required attributes of a healthy relationship
Resolve feelings about past hurts, pains, and failures Working on it.
Handle disagreements, conflicts, or fights
Forgive and forget past hurts
Work out anger, resentment, and hostility over the past
Work out blocking irrational beliefs about relationships
Maintain mutual assertiveness in the relationship
Problem solve, make decisions, and execute plans to correct, rectify, and enhance the relationship
Reduce competition and the struggle for power and control in the relationship
Loosen up and show signs of physical affection and love to others This is not bad advice.
Improve communication to an open, honest, and productive level I'm trying. I really am.
Address the sexual issues in the relationship
Recognize the need for professional help and obtain such assistance Maybe.
Work out hang ups, resistance, and objections to healthy, normal sexual relationship with your partner How do you do that without making the other person you've only known for 3 months run screaming from the room? Baby steps.

Steps to improve intimacy in a relationship

Step 1: Before you can improve the level of intimacy in a relationship, you need to identify those with whom you already have an intimate relationship and those with whom you desire to develop a relationship. Answer the following questions in your journal (or your blog if you have no shame.):
a. In reviewing the ten statements which describe an intimate relationship, identify which people in your current life you (1) have an intimate relationship with at home, on the job, at school, or in the community, and (2) have the desire to establish an intimate relationship with (but to this point have been unable to do so).
b. For each of the persons identified above, review the obstacles to establishing intimacy, and identify the obstacles present that impede the intimacy between you and each person.
c. For each of the persons identified, review the negative consequences. Identify those negative consequences present due to the lack of intimacy you have with each person.
Step 2: Once you have identified the persons with whom you have intimacy problems and those with whom you desire to be intimate, identify those beliefs blocking your growth in intimacy with each of the people. Develop a replacement belief for each of the irrational ones.
Step 3: Once you have developed the replacement beliefs, identify those behavior traits you need to develop to correct your intimacy problems. To do this, review the behavior traits; list them in your journal.
Step 4: Now that you know you have problems in intimacy that need correcting, review the Tools for Coping Series tools and identify the ones that will be useful in correcting your intimacy problems.
Step 5: To help you overcome problems or enrich your intimacy with a person, try one or both of the following activities with the person:

Activity 1: Secret Telling Game
Directions: With a person who is in an intimate relationship with you, sit back to back on the floor with backs touching. You are to alternate turns.
First: You share a secret you have been told by the other. In telling your partner the secret, relate when it was told to you, how you felt and reacted once you were given the secret, and how well you have kept the secret to yourself. Each of you shares secrets with one another until you have exhausted the secrets shared between you two.
Second: Face each other knee to knee while sitting on the floor and discuss the following questions:
1. How confidential have we kept each other's secrets?
2. How freely have we shared our secrets with one another?
3. What hinders our ability to share secrets in this relationship?
4. What can we do to improve that sharing of secrets in this relationship?
5. How comfortable were we sitting back to back in this exercise? What made us nervous?
6. How comfortable are we sitting face to face, knee to knee discussing this activity?
7. Why is sharing secrets so important in establishing intimacy in a relationship?
8. How have our past lives affected our ability to share secrets in a relationship? 9. What other areas of our relationship do we need to address in order to improve our level of intimacy?
10. What are we willing to do for each other to encourage mutual growth and intimacy?


Activity 2: Draw A Person Game (This one scares me. Telling perhaps.)
Directions: With a person who is in an intimate relationship with you, sit back to back on the floor.
First: Each of you should have a big sheet of clean paper and crayons. While sitting in that position each of you is to draw a full body picture of the other person. Be as true to life in the picture as possible. Make it a front view of the person standing up. Be very exact in all details in drawing the body parts, face, eyes, mouth, etc.
Second: Once the pictures are completed, you are ready to take turns describing the pictures to each other. Face each other sitting knee to knee on the floor. In sharing your descriptions, discuss the following:
1. Why I think you look this way.
2. How I see you in comparison to me.
3. What parts of your face and body are attractive or appealing to others.
4. Why you are an appealing and attractive person to me.
5. What I would change on your body if I could.
Third: Once each of you has shared your pictures with these descriptions, discuss the following questions and record your responses in your journal:
1.How comfortable was I when you described my body in such intimate detail?
2.How accurately did we picture and describe one another?
3.How open and willing were we to listen and accept the descriptions of our bodies?
4.What did this exercise tell us about each other's body image?
5.How important is body image to intimacy in a relationship?
6.How comfortable are we with our bodies touching during this exercise?
7.Were we anxious in doing this exercise? Why?
8.What does each of us need to change concerning our personal body image?
9. What are we willing to do to help the other with body image?
10. What did this activity tell us about the level of intimacy in our relationship?
Step 6: If you still have problems developing intimacy with specific people, return to Step 1 and begin again.

There you have it. My issues are insecurity and fear of rejection. Now figure yours out, then go and get all intimate with each other.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

When is a friend not a friend?

When is a friend not a friend? More specifically, when is a male friend not just a friend? Is it, as Harry puts it in When Harry Met Sally, impossible for men and women to be friends? I disagree. Unless of course one person just wants to be friends and the other person wants to be more than friends. But how can you tell if someone is just being friendly or if someone is being "friendly"?

As you know if you have been following along and playing the Sassy Pants home game, I have decided that High School Guy is just a friend and Friendster Guy is more than a friend. Both High School Guy and Friendster Guy know about each other and the contexts of our relationships. My X is also in on this crazy loop. (Someday they are all going to be at the same place at once and my head is going to explode. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Yesterday, Friendster Guy was working so I brought High School Guy to a graduate student semi-formal. We had a good time. He met a bunch of my friends and didn't seem uncomfortable, except when the band had moments of sucking (High School Guy is a musician so paid more attention to the band's prowess than I did). We danced, in a friendly way, no bumping and grinding as the kids do these days. Very above board. He even ran into some people he knew and introduced me. The strange part of the evening actually came before the dance when I went to pick HSG up. When we were about to leave he said, "Oh wait, here." And handed me a CD. "I got this for you for Valentine's Day." "Really?" I said, not sure how to take it. "You went out and bought this for me?" "Well, not really, I stole it from the radio station. [He's a DJ] but I looked around for something I thought you'd like."

Now, is it just me or is it weird for a male friend to be giving a female friend a gift (legally obtained or otherwise) for Valentine's Day? Especially one who knows you have something of a boyfriend? I think I need a reading on this. He also called to wish me Happy Valentine's Day on the day itself. He sang it like Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday Mr. President (I had done that to him on his birthday). At the time I thought it was hilarious (it was) but now I'm wondering what he's thinking. Now that I am no longer available to him does he want to be with me? Or is he just being a nice guy? I'm not sure.

What I am sure of is that more and more I consider him just a friend. I had no urge to be anything more than that at the dance, where usually things like that occur. Blame it on the base or what have you but things happen on the dance floor that do not happen elsewhere. Despite the atmosphere, I did not feel drawn to him in that way. We even discussed who he found attractive at the dance hoping one of them would be a friend of mine I could set him up with. All I know is that I'm going to continue on our friend trajectory and until he does something that is not ambiguous I will assume things are kosher.

I need to introduce him to Friendster Guy and soon. It's easier to back off or know where you stand if you have tangible proof of a significant other.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

You happy now?

My admission to the world that I hadn't vacuumed my apartment in almost 6 months horrified me (I hadn't realized it was that long until I did the math) so I broke down and pulled the vacuum out of storage. Actually, it was kind of blocking my pathway between my bedroom and the living room so it wasn't really being stored. Just ignored.

The last time I used it I noticed it had totally lost suction - another reason I hadn't used it in awhile - so I had to jigger with it's rusty innards for awhile. (They aren't actually rusty, but being a Star Wars fan, the word "innards" can't help but be preceded by "rusty" As in C3PO saying "What message? The one you're carrying inside your rusty innards!" when R2D2 won't play Leah's message for Luke. Yes, I am a geek. I just hide it well more often than not. )

You don't know this about me but I'm really good at fixing stuff. Mechanical stuff. Usually I don't know exactly what the hell I'm looking at or doing but I just "get" the way the pieces fit together and can see when they aren't right. (I also have the way of the Fonz about me. I kind of smack things and they start to work.) The vacuum was a no brainer though because when I pulled a piece out part of it said "this end up" and that wasn't the end that was up. No offense to my X but it was probably something he did. I'm just better at that stuff than he is. I always scored in the 99th percentile for spatial relations on whatever the hell tests we took back in the day. You know the ones where there is an unfolded box with symbols on it and you have to figure out what it would look like folded up again?

I still know nothing about cars though. I'd really like to know more about them. I've looked for courses before but haven't found one close enough. Oh well. At least my rugs are clean.

Male ego runs seriously fucking amok! (Pardon my french.)

I Blame the Patriarchy linked to this article at TheSmokingGun.com. It's a must read. Once you start you won't be able to stop. Here's a brief summary. (I can't even list all the highlights because, as The Smoking Gun admits, there are just too many.) A certain Mr. Frey is a whack job and has created a Wifely Duties contract complete with the exact length to which she may trim her pubic hair, including how often, and also on which special occasions (like monthly photoshoots) she must shave even if it isn't on the schedule. She must be naked within 20 minutes of when the kids go to bed, she can only wear thong underwear (unless she's menstruating - how accommodating), and her birthday present to him must be a sex toy of some sort.

You gotta love a guy who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to ask for it. "Love" in this context meaning "wrap your fingers around his throat and tightening until he stops flailing around."

Mr. Frey and I would not be a "match" for the simple fact that I enjoy shaving almost as much as I enjoy vacuuming.

Ignoring the content for a minute, please note the larger letters beginning each section. I believe they are illustrations of the sexual persuasion. Where can I get that font? Seriously.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Goddess? Yes. Domestic Goddess? No way!

I moved into my apartment in October. Since then, I have yet to use a broom or vacuum. I just used my new (circa Oct.) iron for the first time last week and it was for a sewing project, not because my pants were too wrinkly.

Pretty much the only things I'm doing are dishes (when I can't stand it anymore, run out of dishes, or someone is coming over), laundry, and cleaning the toilet. I'm very tempted to hire a maid to come in and make sure things at least get the once over once a month. I just can't be bothered. I'm not a dirty person. In fact I'm the opposite. I'm just lazy. If I can see it, it bothers me and I'll do something about it. However, being only one person and never being home because I'm too busy out socializing, nothing gets all that dirty.

I'll make a horrible wife someday. : )

Which is why I think I am adopting the word partner in any new relationship. "Wife" has implications. Wifely duties and all that. When my X and I went to the town hall to get our marriage license they handed me (not my X) a parting gift - a bag full of cleaning supply samples. This was 1998. Albeit in central Pennsylvania but 1998 nonetheless.

I think since then I've just been subtly rebelling against the idea of housework. I can live with dust. Hell, I'm too short to see most of it anyway.

Pass me a bonbon would ya?


P.S. Sassy Pants has infiltrated all continents except Antarctica! Hello Nigeria!

Downsizing & Diabetes

This blog is not supposed to be about weight loss but now that I am happily entering a relationship I have been letting my good eating habits slide. That assumes of course that I had good eating habits to begin with. Trust me, I've always been good at eating. Whether what I was eating was good for me is not really up for debate. The answer is no.

With Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes on both sides of my family I have to be careful about my health. A reader educational moment: Type 1 diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes but can strike at any time. My father had to go to the hospital on Sept. 11, 2001. Talk about depressing -b eing hospitalized and the only thing on any channel is coverage of the terrorist attacks. Anyway, the main difference between the two types of diabetes is that in Type 1 you do not make any insulin so you are insulin dependent and must give yourself shots. My father had pancreatitis and so developed diabetes when he was in his late 40s. My mother's father got it in his 30s. Obviously neither were "juvenile".

Type 2 means you either don't make enough insulin or your body is confused and doesn't know how to use the insulin you are making. Both my grandmothers developed Type 2 later in life, sometime around 60 or so.

I am also blessed with the genetics that lead me to be apple shaped. Even though it doesn't feel like it to you perhaps, it's much better to have a big ass than to have a big tummy, at least healthwise. A waist of over 35" for women and 40" for men increases your risk for several things like heart disease and diabetes. My waist is 36". I am thick in the middle people. Thick in the middle. This is not surprising given my genetics. If you lined up all my closest relatives you'd see a lovely display of people who could pass for pregnant if they weren't so old and/or male. The only anomaly is my aunt's big 'ol heiny. She's kind of a giantess anyway while the rest of us are petite little things (with belly bulge) so we'll just ignore her.

So yes, this blog is not supposed to be about weight loss but really, attempting weight loss and dating often go hand in hand. I'm not overweight. I am finally at the weight I should be for my BMI to be in "normal weight" category. I was securely in the middle of the "overweight" category about 3 years ago. If I lost 10 pounds I'd be right in the middle of "healthy" instead of skirting the line. Right now, if I gain 1 pound I am back in "overweight". Folks, I can gain one pound between the time I get up and the time I finish my shower. Without having eaten. It would be nice to be more safely ensconced within the "healthy" section.

I'm not saying I should lose weight because some arbitrary number would make me happy. I could care less about the number. Most people are actually surprised I weigh as much as I do at 5'2". "You weight 135! Wow, I never would have guessed that!" (Here at Sassy Pants Inc. we (I) feel the need to be truthful about age and weight.) If I could just look like I lost 10 pounds while only having lost fat and gained muscle that would be cool because fat has been slowly creeping back onto my abdomen. This is not good for my self image. It is also annoying because there is a super killer awesome six pack nestled snuggly underneath the fat layer. I teach a class several times a week at my gym that's all abs, just abs. I can do crunches until the cows come home. Unfortunately those cows have been bringing back milk, cheese, and ice cream. Not to mention some whoopie pies, cookie dough and fudge as accompaniment.

It's not that I can't lose 10 pounds. It's that I won't. Why?
I. Eat. Too. Much.

We'll see if I can manage to eat less. Not a diet. I don't do diets. But perhaps passing on the second (let's be honest here - third and fourth) piece of fudge, or deciding on the small fries/mocha/nuggets instead of the large. I'm going to focus on the tiny little choices that add up over the course of a day and week. We'll see how it goes. I did turn down a whoopie pie the other day. I walked right past the store and took a walk at lunch instead. Go me!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Vagina Monologues

Tonight I watched a local production of the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. They are put on all over the country on Valentine's Day (now reclaimed as V-Day) to shine a spotlight on violence against women and to bring a voice to the voiceless. If you have not seen it performed, you must go see it. If you are female, it will empower you. If you are male, it will educate you (it also educates the ladies). It's a book too.

A running theme throughout the monologues are questions posed by Eve Ensler to various women across the country and the world. Some answers from the show are in green. My answers are in red. How would you answer?

1) If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear? Beret, leather jacket, silk stockings, milk, a pink boa, glasses, an electroshock device to keep unwanted strangers away, sweatpants. Nothing, it would bask in the sun and get a tan.
2) If your vagina could talk, what would it say, in two words? Slow down, Feed me, I want, Yum Yum, Oh Yeah, Not Yet, Let's Play, Stay Home, Be patient.

Here's an except (I think it's from an introduction, not an actual monologue):

"I never once heard the word clitoris. It would be years before I learned that females possessed the only organ in the human body with no function other than to feel pleasure. (If such an organ were unique to the male body, can you imagine how much we would hear about it-and what it would be used to justify?) Thus, whether I was learning to talk, to spell, or to take care of my own body; I was told the name of each of its amazing parts except in one unmentionable area. This left me unprotected against the shaming words and dirty jokes of the school yard and, later, against the popular belief that men, whether as lovers or physicians, knew more about women's bodies than women did." Excerpted from The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, copyright© 2001 by Eve Ensler.

-------------------------------------------------------------


Oh goody, finally a reason to be happy I'm turning 30: Fact #1: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17.

Fact #21: Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing a rape or sexual assault (DOJ 2001). For more "fun" facts, go here.


[I see you Chile, Norway and Italy!]

Spontaneous and Heartfelt Action - or lack thereof

Dr. Nik said this in a comment to the last post -

"...As for Valentines Stepping up Romance? Screw that. Romance step up isn't a day. It's a mindset....It's all about spontaneous and heartfelt action. Not About prescribed motions."

Since I started to write a short comment back but then it got long I figured I 'd do a post instead. So...
Dr. Nik, I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, my experience has been a complete and utter lack of spontaneous and heartfelt action. I'm definitely one of those people who would scoff at Valentine's Day had I been in a relationship full of surprise romantic gestures. Alas, I was not. However, I believe I may have now entered one and I am looking forward to giving and receiving those gestures.

For my Friendster Guy fans out there, here's another thing you can add to your list of "Why Sassy Pants should keep seeing Friendster Guy". (For the record, I agree). He brought me flowers yesterday, at my office, in person, because he had to cancel our date tonight. His (very old and not very healthy) grandfather passed away and he'll be gone the rest of the week for the funeral. What? His grandfather dies and he thinks of me?! I'm SO not used to that sort of thing. My friend B said "Marry this one as soon as possible" I don't think I'm going to do that but I thanked him several times for his thoughtfulness. And then we went out to dinner. Etc...

I'm going to miss him while he's gone.

TMI: Nuvaring, Part Deux

Short and simple: The Nuvaring does not get in the way. In the moment it is forgotten 100%. It does however provide comic relief when you are explaining it to someone.

By the way, sex is funny (not to mention funny looking). If you are not laughing at some point you're not doing it right - or with the right person. I only recently (post-X) discovered this. Then again, it could just be me. Humor is my biggest turn on. It diffuses a situation where you may be nervous, and laughing releases endorphins. Who doesn't like endorphins?

P.S. Someone found my site by typing in "Malaysian gigolo office". That amuses me. Much more frightening is the person who found me by typing in "sex with under 10 year old girl movie". First, how would that lead to my site? Second, why would someone be looking for it? (I don't want to know the answer to that) And third, I hope to god he/she doesn't find what their looking for.

P.P.S. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Isn't it romantic?

I have been called onto the carpet by a male friend of mine who took offense (or something a little less than offense) when I said Valentine's Day was all about the ladies. He said it should be about celebrating a relationship. Yeah, yeah, maybe so. But in reality the woman wants to make sure the guy is into them and the guy wants to make sure he doesn't fuck it up.

Maybe I am jaded from not having had a romantic gesture thrown my way in 10 years. Literally, when my X and I were at the end of our marriage we discussed my needs (we didn't discuss his because when I asked what they were he said he didn't have any) and one of them was romance. I mentioned he hadn't been romantic in years.
X said "What about the time I gave you that flower I made out of a pencil?"
"Dear," I said, "that was in 1996. Before we were married."
He thought for a second and hung his head sheepishly. My point was made.

I always thought I was a bad guy for that being the only romantic gesture I could remember. Turns out, it was the only romantic gesture either of us could remember. Because it was the only one. You know what romantic gestures I did for him? After 2 years being Dungeons and Dragons free I walked into a comic book/gaming store and asked the guys behind the counter if they knew of any games my X could join. Not a lot of women over 21 enter those stores alone let me just tell you. I also brought him and his gamer friends cake and milk on X's birthday since he was spending it at a gaming store playing D&D for the evening. A total surprise. You know what I did on my birthday? I made reservations for myself because he never did.

Yes, romance runs both ways. Unfortunately for me it was a one way street. Unfortunately for Friendster Guy I now have issues. I am trying to remember that Friendster Guy is not my X. But I also don't want to get screwed. (Well... not in the negative way anyway.)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"This one's for the girls who've ever had a broken heart"

In honor of all my single friends or anyone who at this moment is unhappy that everywhere they look they are reminded that their life does not include romantic fulfillment (despite the fact that their lives are fulfilled in other ways but they have to be constantly reminded of a perceived inadequacy because they do not have someone with whom to share it or if they do have someone to share it with, does not think it's worth being romantic), Happy Anti-Valentine's Day (Thank you Girl With a One Track Mind)

The level of romance that I will be experiencing is yet to be seen. I did send an email to Friendster Guy making a Valentine's Day proclamation.
The Proclamation:
No matter what we are doing or where we are going, I will not be cooking on Valentine's Day.
End of proclamation.
I wanted to make that clear since I had invited him over to my place for the evening that day. I do not want to set up any precedent in case there are more Valentine's Days together in our future. Plus, I hate cooking. And if truth be told, Valentine's Day is all about the ladies. As a lady, I think I have the right to refuse to cook. So I did. Pblttt. (tongue sticking out sound effect)

He said, she said

I just had the strangest, weirdest, most odd and yet wonderful conversation anyone has ever had with their recently ex-husband ever. I've already told you our divorce was amicable. We've now crossed the line from from amicable to best friends forever territory. But not in an 'I want to get back together' way. More like he's a really good friend who I tell stuff about my relationships to and he does the same. Only until December 1 we were married so it's very strange to be talking about what we talked about.

Today he came over to my place so we could exchange music files and both have our complete CD collection. Then we went to get my kayak from our old condo place. We had to use a hack saw because neither of us could find the right key to the lock. All we were missing were black ski masks. We totally could have been arrested if someone gotten the wrong idea. We laughed and talked and the conversation turned to new relationships.

Over lunch we discussed me and Friendster Guy, and X and his new girlfriend. And we didn't talk superficially. We talked about first kisses (where, when, the process leading up to it), dating, and baggage we are each taking into these new relationships (baggage that we got from each other I might add). We even talked about the fact that it wasn't weird to have sex with someone new. Who talks like this with their X husband? No one I know. We both admitted to our new habits of brutal honesty at the expense of saying too much and how it's actually working pretty well for us. Unfortunately for X, he and his gal pal are on the rocks. He feels like he has been "punched in the stomach" because she's not sure they should be together anymore (she's got some baggage of her own that she's dealing with. We all do.). I honestly feel bad for the guy. I even volunteered to invite him to a mixer some of my gal pals might be planning. He said he'd let me know if he needed some help "networking". His circle of friends is too close for comfort. He definitely needs to branch out.

I'll tell you what, I didn't marry (or divorce) an asshole. X is a genuinely good guy. We had our issues and we shouldn't be married but we have both learned a lot from the experience. It's absolutely amazing that we can be so open with each other. It's sad that we weren't that open when we were together but we'll take that into our next relationships. It's all about communication people. Open your mouth, or write it down, but if you need it or feel it, say it.

P.S. Totally off the subject, Did anyone watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last night? Did you notice how bad the camera work was? You couldn't tell what the hell was going on. It was chaos. I turned it off less than 10 minutes in after the cow people (photos #8 and 12 in this slideshow) and went to bed at 9:30.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I is po'!

With my surprise tax bill of $700 I decided to look into my finances to see just how well I am doing. Turns out not as well as my recent spending sprees would lead me to believe.

People, why didn't you tell me money doesn't grow on trees?

I am a fiscally responsible person. Nay, I used to be a fiscally responsible person. Nay again, I used to be a fiscally anal-retentive person with serious non-spending issues. You've heard of buyer's remorse? I used to have it before I even got to the store. I went to college with $100 cash. I had leftover cash when I entered my second semester. That's right. I didn't even spend $100 my entire first 14 weeks of college. So, my recent, less anal-retentive, spending habits are actually a good thing in the grand scheme of things. And my spending sprees really aren't that bad as spending sprees go. Just a little more than should have been happening perhaps.

Interestingly enough I am not stressed. You know why? I think it's because I have 100% control in the situation. Not OF the situation, but IN it. I don't have to answer to anyone else about my money (or lack thereof). Some people might feel the opposite. "Shit! I have no one else to blame? It's all MY fault?" and commence fetal position. Me, I'm cool as a cucumber. I have no idea where I will be getting the $700 but I'm sure I can find it somewhere. I've got plenty of canned goods. I probably don't need to go grocery shopping again until the very end of the month.

Seriously though, I am going to have to stop eating out so much and really budget. How in the world did my X and I survive on $24,000 combined when we were in grad school? I make a lot more than that now and yet I'm strapped for cash? Hmm...

One thing I'm not going to do is lower the amount that I'm sending to my 403B and my savings account. Pay yourself first they say. Plus, one of my New Years resolutions was saving $5000. This is the only way I'm ever going to do it. May not pay off my car as fast even though it's also a resolution of mine. Aw hell, I haven't learned to juggle yet either and that was last year's. I can live with the disappointment.

My Funny Valentine

You know what I've learned? I've learned that honesty and cheesiness go a long way. So does asking for what you want.

When you ask a man if he will be your Valentine, there is no better response than this:

"I will certainly be your Valentine!"

Gosh I like that Friendster Guy.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A bunch of stuff

1) Still no date for Valentine's Day but I plan to email Friendster Guy today about it. (Addendum since I started drafting this post. I have very cheesily asked Friendster Guy via email to be my Valentine. Don't worry, it was preceded by text letting him know I was ok keeping VDay low key and just another day but that I wanted to spend it with him whether we celebrated or not.)

2) I owe $700 in taxes. Bolux! So much for my vacation plans. I have recently gotten an offer to go to Japan while a friend is there this summer. I have always regretted not going to China and Africa when I had friends living there so I may just take him up on it. It might be worth a little credit card debt.

3) I recently changed the "I'd like to meet people for" section of my profiles on MySpace and Friendster to no longer include Dating or Relationships. Why do I still get messages from people like this?

Note: I believe "arrnest" means "honest" in this context.

"I like what you wrote about you and what you are looking for and you are arrenst about everything and i like that in a person.like to here from you.I am going through a divorce right know it was done on Jan.27 06 and i hae 5 kids and it herts alot.Hope to talk more to you."


I always knew I was intelligent and well educated but I didn't realize that some people got out of school with so little absorbed into their brains. It almost makes you want to become a teacher and make some sort of difference. But then you realize they had teachers who probably started out all excited about molding young minds and then just got jaded by bureaucracy. My favorite teacher in high school refused to eat lunch with the other teachers because the gossip and bitching just got him down. I think that was a good call on his part. He was much more happy to be there imparting knowledge than some of his counterparts. Even though the subjects he taught - physics and math - were my least favorites, he was still my favorite teacher. I think it's time I write him a letter saying so.

4) Shit. I just realized I left a recognizable as me post on a blog I sent my mother because I thought she'd like it. I was logged in as Sassy Pants and it links back to this blog. She's SO going to find her way here. I hope she lets me know so that I can at least put mom disclaimers and apologies before things she may not want to read.

5) Hello to Portugal, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Canada, and Iraq (so that's where Iraq is! How pathetic is my knowledge of the geography of that region. It may be Kuwait though - it's hard to see where the dot is - so hello to you too.)!

6) If you'd like to see pictures of my high school and those horrible halls I describe in this post, go here.

TMI re: Nuvaring

Let's just state right up front that this post is going to contain too much information. It's about birth control, the prescription kind. Any modern straight gal must think about it unless they like playing russian roulette with their ovaries. (Thanks N for correcting my previously heterocentric sentence.) There is nothing fun about birth control except that you can kind of have sex without freaking out that you may get pregnant. Of course you may get pregnant anyway (joy! rapture!) simply because the gods are not smiling upon you and you are the one in 100 for whom the statistics suck.

Pros of birth control:

  • You are less likely to get pregnant.
  • Sometimes your skin clears up.
  • Less severe cramping.
  • You have control of your own destiny, sort of.

Cons of birth control:

  • If you are on the pill you have to remember to take it every day.
  • Sometimes, as in my case, it can make you think you are bipolar, even at a low dose.
  • It's just a general pain in the rear end that makes you paranoid. Like trying to figure out if you left your iron on in the morning (N, you know who you are.) Did I take it this morning? Did I get my prescription refilled? Do I have to visit the doctor and have her renew it soon?

I have not been on the pill for a couple of years. I felt like I had manic depression the last time I was on them so my X and I used good old condoms. Technology has changed slightly in the last couple of years so I decided to give BC another go. This time around I did not want to take the pill. No, that's not exactly true. I wanted to take a pill but I wanted to take Seasonale. You've probably seen the ads. Instead of taking a set of pills for a month and then getting your period you take the pills continuously for 3 months and only get your period 4 times a year. What's not to like about that? Well, I got myself a prescription, went down to the pharmacy, and was told my insurance wouldn't cover it so it would be $50 a month. I used to be able to get a three month supply of regular old BC for $15 so $150 was not an amount I was willing to spring for.

I trecked back to my doctor and discussed my options. I had been curious about Nuvaring so she wrote me a prescription for that, and just in case that also was not covered by my insurance she gave me another prescription for your garden variety low dose BC. My insurance did cover it but it was still $30/month. I will describe Nuvaring below and you can decide for yourself whether the convenience is worth the cost. I decided to give it a whirl.

You remember the 80s don't you? Neon mix and match socks, Hypercolor, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go? Do you also remember jelly bracelets? Well, Nuvaring is like a clear one of those that you insert in your vagina (here at Big Girl Underoos we try to use the real words for girl parts even though "HooHa" is fun to say.) and over the three weeks that you keep it in the hormones disperse and do their thing through osmosis. You then take it out for one week, have your period (joy! rapture!) and then start all over again.

Unlike the pill where your partner can remain blissfully unaware of the process by which you are preventing procreation, the Nuvaring has the potential to be noticed. In other words, you kind of have to tell the other person before they find it themselves and wonder if you have a tumor. I think this is more of an issue with phalanges, not phalluses. I just started this on Sunday so I have yet to, um, take it out for a spin. This means that I must have an awkward conversation with whoever I'm with.

"By the way, so that I do not have your unplanned child I have inserted a...um... do you remember jelly bracelets? Yeah, a medicinal one of those in my you know. If you find it while you're in there please know that it is noht ah tumah. Oh, and please leave it where it is. Let me know if it bothers you."

Just so you know, the ring does not sit in such a way that a penis is playing hula hoop. It sort of leans agains the side and hopefully moves out of the way when necessary. I'll let you know. God, the things a girl has to do to avoid having kids.

"A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't."
- Rhonda Hansom

Hope-oscopes

I don't usually put too much stock in horoscopes. They're pretty much gobbledegook until they tell you what you want to hear. If however, they inspire someone to make a much needed career or mate switch I'm all for them. Marie Claire put out a Horoscope Special a few months back giving everyone their predictions for the year. Here's what they said about my love life.

LEO - Your Love Life: "If you're single, you will meet a new lover in an
atypical way. At first you may not feel an attraction, but be patient. This year will also be about letting go of old fantasies and tumultuous feelings so you can heal."


The first part is dead on. Can you say Friendster Guy? I met and hit on him via Friendster and our first date was the day my divorce was final. I'd count that as atypical. Also, at first I thought we didn't have any chemistry. Then he turned on the flirt and it's all good. Plenty of chemistry now.

The second part? I'm not sure about the old fantasies - perhaps my role as a spouse? I think that's stretching it. My real fantasies involve someone who is attentive and interested in me and I'm sure as hell not giving that fantasy up. I am all for letting go of tumultuous feelings so I can heal though. I think the last few X bashing posts are getting me on the road to recovery. I feel a little bad talking bad about him in this forum simply because he is a good guy. But, he is a good guy who was wrong for me.

I also encountered an "Are you compatible?" horoscope. They try to make everything sound good because really if you are looking at a horoscope you are trying to find out if things are going to work out. They should call them hope-oscopes. When I compared my X (Cancer) and I (Leo) there were plenty of positive affirmations. However, this one section struck me:
"Cancer is a Water Sign, and Leo is a Fire Sign. Leo strives with an ardent energy toward praise and appreciation [too true], while Cancer yearns more for security and stability. Both Signs like to take charge, but they come at a leadership role from very different directions. No small number of disputes can rise from this difference. As long as Cancer and Leo never take for granted their relationship, as long as they reassure one another in practical and romantic ways that this relationship is important to both of them, they can usually find a happy medium."

Whoops. We forgot to reassure one another in practical and romantic ways that our relationship was important. Our happy medium is now lost somewhere in the past. It's what I needed to hear.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Valentine's Day: It ain't for sissies

I'm sure when Valentine's Day started out it was a really good idea (and not just for card companies). I still think that in theory it is a very good idea. What's not to like about a day when romance is the theme? Well, the problem is interpreting not only what romance is, but what your significant other interprets as romance. And if you don't have a significant other, forget it. Here's an article entitled Why I Hate Valentine's Day.

My last Valentine's Day was spent hosting a 5 hour Dungeons and Dragons Game at our home (I went shopping for most of it and was then banished to the second floor like Rapunzel). After the orcs, trolls, and wizards had departed we went out to dinner somewhere I had made reservations. The odd thing was that the majority of the D&D players were also married. Did none of them realize it was Valentine's Day? Did none of them realize that there is one day a year for you to step up the romance - especially if you never do so on any other day?

I'd love to be the kind of person who doesn't care about Valentine's Day but when you are in a relationship completely devoid of romantic gestures it's the one day you hope will melt your spouses heart like Cindy-Lou Who and the Grinch.

I say we bring back the old traditions. This is my favorite (from here).

In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year.

I can just see boys running through the streets of Hanover and Lebanon with bloody goat strips. Makes a cheesy box of chocolates downright appealing.

Diamonds (and vacations) are a girl's best friend

When you are married and planning to take a vacation by yourself you feel adventurous and even scandalous. I heard a lot of "What?! You're going without your husband?" when I went to Europe and Africa a few years ago. When you are single and planning to take a vacation by yourself you feel pathetic. It's the difference between choosing to be on your own and not having a choice. I am turning 30 this year. I want to go somewhere cool to celebrate. Anybody want to go on vacation with me?

I will be coming into a little bit of money sometime in the nearish future. I am in the process of selling my engagement ring. It's actually quite hard to feel good about it. Especially since I know what it cost to buy and I'm only getting a third of that by putting it on consignment. I go back and forth on the pros and cons of doing so. The pro is that I'll get some money with which I can turn the memory of my marriage into a new one on vacation. The con is that sometimes we (I) get a little attached to things. The pro is that by getting rid of it you (I) lose that attachment. The con is that it is a gorgeous diamond ring. I'm sure someday I will get another, or something else that has even more meaning behind it. Until then however I keep thinking I should make it into something else or save it for someone, like my niece. But I don't wear diamond jewelry (except in engagement ring form) and my niece should get her own with no tainted divorce memories involved with it. So, all in all the pros outweigh the cons.

Now I just have to figure out where I'm going on vacation. Any ideas? I need the most bang for my buck (under $1500)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And you may ask yourself

I own a book called The Book of Questions. I have purchased this book several times for people just about to enter a marriage. I don't think it helped mine at all but it's an interesting book nonetheless. It makes you think. If you answer the questions with someone else it makes you wonder what they hell they are thinking and if you can possibly be compatible. Maybe it isn't the best book to buy for couples starting out afterall.

Here's a sample at random: #77 Do you feel ill at ease going alone to either dinner or a movie? What about going on a vacation by yourself?

It's funny that this was the question I picked (and yes, it was at random). I think for a long time I was in training to be a single woman. I went to the movies by myself - once my X and I went to the theater together and then saw different movies. That didn't work out so well as they were different lengths and he had to wait awhile for me to get out. And then he sighed like it was my fault my movie was longer than his was. Anyway, I actually like going to the movies by myself because I don't have to worry about the other person's comfort. And it's not like you should be having a conversation anyway.

On the other hand, dinner by yourself is awkward if you don't have something that allows you to look like you are busy, like a book or paperwork, but I have done it. I did it for the first time at a Denny's. Go me.

I have gone on several vacations by myself. The commencement of these solo vacations was the beginning of the end of my marriage. My X did not like taking vacations. Or rather, wouldn't take time off and certainly wouldn't have planned any vacations himself. So it was up to me to not only plan the vacations but also to beg, force, and cajole him to take time off. It doesn't exactly make you feel good when you are forcing someone to spend time with you. He of course did not see it that way. He thought every day he took off was one more day he was adding on to the end of his degree program. Let's not mention the many months his committee added to his time as a graduate student. The following two sentences came out of my mouth more than once:1) "You know why my parents got a divorce? Because my Dad wouldn't take time off." And 2) "If you don't spend time with me now, you won't have me to spend time with in the future." I was anything but subtle when I was trying to save my marriage. Sadly, it didn't work.

But I'm not bitter or anything.

Note to couples: It's ok to spend time alone or with your friends but make sure there is enough couple time to make it worth being a couple. What's the point otherwise?

A recap for those new to Big Girl Underoos

In 200 words, more or less.

I am a 29 year old divorcee (who cannot figure out how to include accents in her blog). I was on a dating frenzy during the months of December and January after having been married since I was 21. I have slowly and only recently narrowed down my relationship choices to one person, ironically the first person I went on a date with on the day my divorce was final. His name, for our purposes here, is Friendster Guy. He has many things in common with my X including name and many major upbringing things such as he is from NJ, an only child, and was raised catholic. He is nothing like my X in most all other ways. The biggest one being that he actually wants to spend time with me.

I also often mention High School Guy. He graduated with me but I did not meet him until 11 years post-graduation when his brother started working in my office. (The world is a very, very small place. Watch yourself.) High School Guy and I had a little fling but he has a commitment issue and I discovered having fun and hanging out now and then wasn't enough for me so we've decided on just friends.

This blog began as a place where I could regale the world with my new singlehood and either bitch about or celebrate my various adventures in dating. I must say, I did not have a single date I regret. I met some very nice men and I learned a whole lot about myself in the process. It ain't over yet of course. I'm not sure what turn this blog will take now that I find myself with someone starting to resemble a steady boyfriend. I'm still wondering how to bring up the blog to him. How would you feel if the person you had been dating had devoted multiple posts to your relationship? I think I'd be kind of annoyed. Hurt? I don't know. Since we met on-line I know he is internet savvy and down with the whole blogosphere but reading blogs and being the subject of posts are two very different things. I think I'll wait until we're a little more defined and my posts about our early relationship are a little further into the archives.

Ok that was closer to 400 words.

I've arrived! And other stuff.

I've been linked to via Technorati to my post on the bathroom assaults. Unfortunately I have also been found by someone searching for "ladies fuck young boys" Ewww. I can assure you there is nothing like that in this blog. Nor will there ever be.

I had lunch with High School Guy today. I am slowly letting him know that I am seeing Friendster Guy. I don't want to say flat out "Dude, I have a boyfriend" because, for one, I don't know if that's exactly true and for another, I am cultivating a friendship with High School Guy. If he is to be my friend he needs to hear the same things about Friendster Guy that my other friends do. Which is mostly me giggling about how cute/nice/sweet/understanding he is. I've toned it down somewhat to take into account that High School Guy (HSG) is a male and doesn't need quite as much giggling as my gal pals do. So far it's working out pretty well. HSG thinks it's cool that I'm seeing someone. And I think it's cool that I can tell HSG I'm seeing someone.

When it comes to relationships, I've always gone from friendship to more than friends and then back to friendship again (sometimes this last transformation takes awhile but we get there eventually). Until HSG I had never had the opportunity to start as more than friends and then downgrade to just friendship. It's new territory.

Speaking of friendship with former "lovers" (for the record I hate that word, but "partner" is growing on me), I'm having lunch with X this weekend. We're using his portable hard drive to transfer our CD collections to each others computers so we both have the full set of our CDs. Very amicable of us huh?

I think Friendster Guy may have called me "honey" yesterday but it may have just been in jest (something along the lines of, "settle down there, honey" when I was getting too silly at dinner). Either way, I liked it. hee hee (giggle giggle)

Monday, February 06, 2006

And you thought trade magazines were boring.

From the Chronicles of Higher Education, a Dear Abbyesque article on academics dating. This describes my ex (an academic soon to be a professor somewhere) to a T.

"Ms. Mentor suspects that academics distrust the idea of fun. They tend to be introverts, and academe allows people to be nerds for their entire lives. Scholars are supposed to be strong and individualistic, without emotional needs.
Some grow so used to lecturing that they utterly forget how to listen -- and so they lose out on one of the wickedest and most delightful activities ever invented. Ms. Mentor urges all frustrated romantics to do what she does so well: close mouth, open eyes, hunker down, and begin eavesdropping."

I'd like to think I am "strong and individualistic", but I am so no longer at the expense of my emotional needs. I had to learn that "need" is not a four letter word. "Needy" is, but there is a difference between the two.

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In other news, Big Girl Underoos continues it's march toward world domination. I have been read, or at least clicked on, in four continents! Countries include Australia, India, The Philipines, Great Britain, Greece, Spain, Finland, Mexico, Germany (or maybe Belgium or Austria), and Malaysia.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It's ok to be vulnerable

In my fourth or fifth post to this blog, way back in October, I said I want someone to touch me like they meant it. Last night Friendster Guy did just that and I started to cry. We were lying in bed doing that pre-sleep snuggle when you're hands are just kind of wandering lightly with no goal in mind and he started to stroke my hair and run his finger down my face. And all of a sudden there was a crack in the wall I had put up for so long to protect myself from the lack of intimacy in my marriage. My eyes teared up and I got very quiet. He noticed right away but let me show him in my own time, just in case I didn't want him to know.

"Are you ok?" he asked, looking me in the eyes through the dark.

"Yeah... I don't know what my deal is." I shook my head against his chest. I struggled with wanting to tell him everything I was thinking and my inability to spit it out. "It's just that...I'm not used to tenderness." A pause while I hid another round of tears in his arm. "You stroking my hair makes me want to cry." I finally managed to say. And then quickly, "but I like it."He continued stroking my hair.

"Sorry." I said.

"There's nothing for you to be sorry about." he replied, holding me tighter, stroking my hair with more intention, and then kissing me on the top of the head.

Sigh...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I'm not saying I have a boyfriend but...

...the closest thing I have to a boyfriend at the moment, Friendster Guy, is taking me out this evening to the theater. HMS Pinafore by Gilbert & Sullivan as a matter of fact. Since I had no idea this show was happening in my area when he invited me I wonder how much thought he put into the date. Did he see the ad and think, Gee, I'd really like to see a Gilbert and Sullivan production? Or did he think, Gee, Sassy Pants likes musicals, I wonder if she'd like to see a Gilbert and Sullivan production? Either way, he gets bonus points because 1) it's a Gilbert and Sullivan production, and 2) he invited me. In fact, he invited me a week beforehand. Bonus points again for forethought. So far, my sister and a friend of mine have both given me Seriously? looks when I told them what I was going to this evening. I'm not sure if the look was a reaction to their disinterest in seeing a G&S show or their curiosity/disbelief as to why a guy would. I don't really care.

I think it's great. It's nice to know he's cultured and even knows who Gilbert & Sullivan are, or at least what they do. I'm looking forward to it. I've even gotten all dolled up. I have on nylons and a dress people. This is not an everyday occurance. Even though I have great legs (if I do say so myself) I choose to wear pants most of the time. I just can't be bothered with keeping a no run stock of hosiery. I go to the gym most every day, sometimes twice, and having to get in and out of nylons is a pain in the tookus. Plus, if truth be told, I'm not the most consistent shaver in the world. Luckily I am blessed with soft, fine hair so I can go a couple days and no one would even notice. Unfortunately this soft, fine hair is also all I have on my head so I'm stuck with very few hair cut options. Thank goodness I can pull off a pixie cut.

Gotta run kids. Time for my date. : )

Friday, February 03, 2006

Betcha your guidance counselor never told you about this career path

N and I went to the bookstore yesterday and purchased ourselves copies of the book The Good Girls Guide to Bad Girl Sex. For $5 why the hell not? (A tiny sample for the curious.) I also bought Little Women, The Secret Garden, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in spanish. (I want to see if I can improve my language skills using a story I already know.). All for under $10.

So, I'm reading the introduction of the Bad Girl Sex book and the author is saying she is uniquely qualified to write this book because she used to be a "good girl" and now knows what is necessary to become a bad girl because she was trained and worked as a surrogate partner. What is a surrogate partner you ask? It sure as hell isn't something your parents would have wanted you to aspire to be. I find it absolutely fascinating that this is someone's job.

On the one hand I'm shocked and appalled. On the other, I think it's pretty cool. We hire people for all the other things we need help with: personal trainers, accountants, nutritionists, mechanics. I guess if you need a little help in the sex department, well, hire a professional.

You learn something new every day.

Beast of Burden

Read this only after you've read the last few posts so you know the context within which I share this. It's a non-fiction story I wrote a year or so ago.

Beast of Burden

As a high school senior, everyday after lunch I would head down the hall in the opposite direction of most everyone else. Our high school was so large it required two cafeterias and three different lunches. I'd walk by the smaller cafeteria and past the gaudy orange entrance to the men's locker room where various groups would often congregate. In the empty corridors that most students never entered except during special events, I'd navigate past the janitorial storage area, the school's TV studio, the theater and finally arrive at the band room. The band room was my homeroom, my study hall location and where I spent the middle of the day, playing my clarinet with the band. I'll readily admit that I was a band geek. President of the band for two years running, thank you very much.

My school was very diverse culturally. With its equal percentages of Caucasian, African American and Hispanic students it was more diverse than most and I embraced it. Besides being a band geek I was also the only white person on the African American drill team. I became captain. By drill team I do not mean girls in skirts twirling flags or even guns; I mean stomping, whooping and clapping rhythmically. It was great fun and a different way for me to meet new people and experience something completely outside of my nerdy existence.

Because of some perverse joke the administration enjoyed playing on its students, or so it seemed, my locker was not only on the entire opposite end of the building as far from the band room as possible, but it was also 3 floors up. Given such an inconvenient location, I ended up carrying almost everything for the day with me. On certain days that meant a larger than normal clarinet case that could hold non-folded sheet music; a gym bag, usually plastic, usually Walmart; a backpack with AP and honors text books in it; a purse; and finally a box of fund raising candy for the annual band trip. I was an adolescent sherpa.

After lunch, everyone else was herded into the academic section, a three storied square with stairways at each corner. Student were easily and often driven to irritation upon realizing they'd taken the wrong stairwell up and now had to walk the entire length of two halls to get to their classroom on the opposite side of that section of the building all in the span of 2 minutes. The pushing and shoving of hundreds of other hormone crazed teenagers in the same predicament did nothing to ease the strain. Because of my beast of burden status, I left a very wide wake. Unfortunately, not being very intimidating I did not warrant such a wake in the eyes of my peers. There was never something so insulting to another student as the accidental bump from someone's belongings. I could have gone out for the football team as a wide-receiver, bobbing and weaving through the crowds, but never touching. No, never touching. Even a soft brush of a back-pack against another person could illicit angry looks and expletives. I assimilated my varied luggage as part of myself. Shifting, tucking, lifting and stretching my way down the halls to my destination, wary for any perceived aggression on my part.

Whoever designed the building decided to color code the floors. The first floor was mostly white and orange, in slimming yet vertigo inducing vertical stripes. It housed the administrative offices, in-house suspension, special-ed, and the shop rooms. Having a distinct aversion to trouble I spent very little time in that section of the building and limited it only to an occasional art class or a group excursion to the library.

The second floor was also orange but in place of white was yellow, a yellow that held no cheer, no sunny disposition. It wasn't even school bus color. I'm fairly convinced the architectural firm held a contest for its employees to choose the color that resembled the majority of the worst bodily excretions and this color won. The lucky dwellers of this floor were the humanities: languages, history, social studies. It could not have been good for the psyche, this vomit yellow and bright orange color scheme, again in stripes.

Luckily for me, I spent most of my time when not in the band room on the 3rd floor in the science and math classrooms. The third floor was like entering another world, an underwater world. Everything was varying shades of blue. It was dark and calming. The stripes were difficult to discern because the two shades of blue were so similar. Students swam in this cool darkness from class to class.

The band room, besides being physically removed from the academic section, was removed stylistically as well. This section near the theater was the more public face of the school. Instead of the white painted cinder blocks, the hall walls were brick. The doors of the auditorium however could not escape their destiny or the wrath of the designers. They too were orange. I would not be surprised to hear that the architectural firm hired an outside consultant to design the band room because, in a bold move, the designers broke their design scheme. With the exception of the exit door, there was nary a sign of orange. The tiered floor was covered in a carpet of deep red with black speckles. It was the only place in the school where you could, and wanted to, sit on the floor.

One day toward the end of senior year after 1st lunch, I shouldered and picked up my myriad bags, left the cafeteria, waved goodbye to my friends all heading in the opposite direction and headed for the band room. I turned to the right and between me and the boy's locker room was a large group of black guys, probably 10-15 strong. My high school had unsanctioned fraternities, especially among the African American population, and this looked like it might be one of them. Despite considering myself fairly cosmopolitan it gave me pause. But I thought, this is just like any other group of people in the hall, don't be so prejudiced. This did nothing to alleviate my concern given that most large groups of anyone foreign to me; male or female, black or white, jock or nerd, made me nervous. I may have been brave enough to try new things with new people but those moments before mingling becomes acceptance have always been nerve wracking for me. Still, I decided to walk right through. I didn't want them to know they scared me. I didn't want to be scared. Or prejudiced. What's the worst that can happen? I thought, it's the middle of the day, a fairly populated hallway, teachers right over there behind me.

So I began my walk. Quickly, and with purpose, but not with fear or any telltale clutching of the purse. I had so many bags I probably couldn't have found my purse even if I'd wanted to clutch it. I walked through proud of myself for facing my fear and proving to myself that first impressions are not always correct.

And then it hit me. Or rather a person hit me. Or rather a person grabbed my hands and pushed me against the wall face first. My arms and their contents were over my head, pinned by someone else's hands. My face was against the white painted cinder blocks, the paint that never feels cold or warm, just clammy, pressed against my cheek. All I could see was white. I still clutched my clarinet in my right hand. The corner of the case hit me on the side of the head as my assailant began to press himself against me. He rubbed himself against me. His penis was against the top of my buttock, the small of my back. Humping. I learned that word when I was in second grade. I was mocked by a more worldly second grader when I asked her what it meant. Now I knew. I knew. And not just because I was told by a child many years ago. I was helpless against a wall being humped by someone I couldn't see. Time sped up and slowed down. I was fully clothed yet naked. Dirty. Knowing that all around me were other men, boys. They were watching. Watching this happen to me. Watching out to see that no one came to help me. Did they all have similar intentions? I didn't even have time to ask myself. I was let go and pushed in my initial direction. I never dropped any of my baggage, but I had picked some up.
I don't know how I built up the courage to do it, I doubt it was courage, but I stole a quick glance as I ran away from them and into the isolated hallway. Shit, what if this is the way they wanted me to go? I'm alone. What if there were more of them? I'm alone. What if they were following me? Am I alone? I realized from my quick glance that I knew one of them. He was in my Chinese class. I had made eye contact. There was no recognition there. He knew me, I know it. But recognition was nowhere in his eyes. I was a nameless, faceless female he and his buddies could use and throw away in some fraternal initiation rite.

I continued on to the band room, shocked. I could still feel him on me. His presence was palpable. I touched the small of my back to be sure he was gone and shivered. The first person I saw was C, a friend of mine I felt fairly close to. I told him breathlessly, "I've just been…" What? What have I just been, I thought? Attacked? Assaulted? I didn't know the words for this type of thing. I laughed nervously and said something about being pushed against the wall and rubbed against. Embarrassed. I laughed again and smiled, not knowing what else to do. He smiled back, no clue as to how serious this was, reacting to my reaction. I desperately needed someone to get mad together with me. To say, we're going down to the principal's office right now. I wasn't going to do it myself. I didn't do it myself. I saw the band director and told him some version of the story. C laughed and made some kind of joke. I found my voice and said it wasn't funny. Mr. C agreed and asked if I wanted to go to the principal's office. "No…no, not really," I replied. Of course that's how I replied. No one wants to go down to the principal. I didn't want to say out loud what happened, what really happened. I'd left out the humiliating details, the humping, the sexness of it, in my retelling. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to tell but I wanted to be rescued from the telling. I wanted someone to say "We're gonna get those bastards. You just sit tight."

I dropped off my bags and went in search of more friends, sympathy, anger. I didn't know what. In order to find anyone I had to walk back down that hallway. The hallway. I peered around the corner. No one. I breathed a sigh of relief and scurried, now weightless without my parcels yet heavy with my new burden, to the small cafeteria. I found just who I needed. Two or three of my closest male friends; L, who had been an early boyfriend of mine, and another, S, whom I hoped would be. I told them I'd just been attacked in the hall and pressed against the wall. Again, I spared them, as I hadn't been spared, the sexual details. S stood up, his fists clenched, and growled fiercely "Where are they?" I had to grab him. "They're gone now, they're gone," I said, surprisingly happy with his response. I knew that if he had been there I wouldn't have been alone. If he'd known he would have helped. Someone else was now angry, and protective.

L asked if I was OK. He was always very sweet and concerned. I said yes, suppressing a shudder as the ghost phallus pressed itself against me. "You should tell someone," he added. "I know…I dunno," I answered, "Maybe." No one pushed me further. Self-conscious now that the drama had faded I stood up and went back to the band room.

That was it. It's an unfulfilling end. It isn't an end. Maybe if I'd encountered a female friend or teacher first things would have been different. Maybe in the calm blue halls of the third floor away from the scene I would have been able to articulate my experience better. In the midst of delusions of grandeur, I think maybe I could have swung my clarinet case around and knocked the guy out, scattering the group in fear. Maybe. I never went to the principal. I never told anyone else until years later in college and then only in vague references. My ex-husband knows, but not really. My parents have no idea. I had added another piece of baggage to my already overloaded burden. One more thing to carry through life.

When I finally told my story in more detail I was in a Master's class on gender and power, and it was 10 years later. I began strong enough. I had a point to make. I was taken by complete surprise, as I was that day on the first floor, when halfway through the telling my voice caught. I felt a warm swell of emotion start in the pit of my stomach and wash up over my body in a wave. Without warning, I was uncontrollably sobbing in front of 20 pseudo-strangers. I couldn't speak. One of my professors came over and held me. I loved her for that; for both the comfort and the shield from my classmates' eyes. When I regained composure I felt lighter. Part of the burden was gone. I had shed some of the weight I didn't even know I had been carrying.

My second telling of the story was 6 months later in a similar class. My voice wavered on the edge of tears but never lost control. I'm on my third telling. I am calm, like the blue underwater world of the third floor. I am weightless, my cases and candy and clarinet left in the past.