Friday, October 26, 2012

175 Days - I Used To Like You

I’m here in front of you, looking at your hardened, gray face, trying to remember what it was I saw in you in the first place. I once thought you were the most confident person I had ever known. I once believed that you couldn’t be broken by any person, thing, or situation. But you’ve given up – at least, most days it feels like you have; on me, on yourself, and even at times on those kids. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think anymore, or what I’m supposed to say to you. But I do know that we can’t keep travelling the road we’re on; it’s narrowing and heading into the woods, and as the time goes by, it’s growing dark.
I used to like you. There was a time when I felt that I had found everything I ever needed in you, and a time when I believed that unhappiness was a word only used in made-for-T.V.-movies and dollar-store greeting cards. I loved how your hair felt on the pillow at night, and how your laughter was genuine and your smiles plentiful. I remember catching glimpses of you from time to time and being overwhelmed by a sense of pride from all that you had become, and all that you were to so many, including me. But I can’t even touch you now. I can’t hold your head in my hands while you cry because it does nothing but make me resent you. I can’t run my fingers over your chest because I know that it’s where your changed heart lives. And I can’t touch you with my eyes because they see you as differently as they ever will, and the person they see is not the same as they once were.  My eyes can’t touch you anymore, because there is no you anymore, there is just a shell of who you used to be wearing the clothing I once bought for you, and even that doesn’t look the same.
One can only believe in so much in their lives. One can only hold on to something as long as it wants to be held, and it feels as if the hourglass that once contained the grains of joy, sacrifice, determination and respect has not only run out, but has fallen to the hard tile floor, shattering pieces of you in places that I can’t reach or can’t see. I can’t fix you. No matter how many sad songs I listen to, or brainy quotes I read, I can’t fix you. You’re broken, and you’re shattered, and I’m afraid that one day a piece of you is going to cut me when I least expect it and I’m tired as fuck of bleeding over you. The hour has passed and time is no longer a privilege.
So you have a choice. You can choose to travel the wooded, darkened road you’re on; your feet cut from shards of glass and covered in the sand that once was the foundation of your beauty and your soul, or you can turn around and walk in my direction. If you go forward know that you are going there alone. If you turn back, know that I will be waiting for you with shoes. Forward means solitude. Back means support. Forward, a figurative death awaits. Back, an actual life awaits. But I can’t make this call for you... this one thing, you have to do on your own.
I used to like you, Me. I used to like the things you did, and things you said, and who you were. But I don’t like you anymore; in fact, I hate who you’ve become. So, change. For us both. All one of us. We need you to.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

178 Days - The Day My Mind Arrived

Yesterday was my good friend Brian’s 39th birthday – which I forgot. The same good friend who last year sent me a Barbra Streisand CD in the mail to make up for a slight misstep on his part when my birthday rolled around, and who this year spent God-knows-how-much-on a fat, sweaty Elvis to sing Happy Birthday to me in front of colleagues at my place of work. The same friend who at the age of ten crafted a goodbye card out of orange construction paper and Philadelphia Flyers’ logos which he gave to me before my family moved, changing neighborhoods and schools. The one who confided in me when he was at one of his lowest points and who, despite being unable to drive, took public transportation across a massive city just to be on time for my daughter’s baptism. Yesterday, I forgot to tell him that he is a friend I hold very dear to me, and that I am a better person with him in my life. I forgot to remind him of how special I think he is and how much I love having him as a confidant, and I forgot to wish him a wonderful year ahead. I acted selfishly in many ways yesterday which is neither a reason to forget nor an excuse of why I did, but rather recognition of where I went wrong.

One year ago yesterday, we laid to rest my husband’s father – which I forgot. I forgot how Todd stood in front of a room of family and friends and expressed his grief in a very Todd way. How when the service had ended, our family changed into clothing appropriate for a beautiful autumn, cloudless day in the city of Orlando and walked along the edge of Lake Ivanhoe where we shared thoughts, cried tears, grasped hands and leaned on shoulders. I didn’t tell him that I was feeling pain alongside him yesterday as he smiled his way through everything that came at him because I didn’t know he was hurting, since I didn’t take the time to know, or even take the time to care. Yesterday, I was paying attention to my accounts and stressed about being with my boss and I put my focus on the debate and looking attractive and feeling confident and smashing my husband’s truck which I did in grand fashion. Yesterday, like so many days, I wasn’t thinking of the truly important things like those I love, and those who love me. I was just thinking about me, sadly, yet again.

Yesterday, Police found the body of twelve-year-old Autumn Pasquale after they along with neighbors, family, and strangers – including some friends of mine who lived in Autumn’s neighborhood in South Jersey – searched for days through woods and trailer parks, knocking on doors and handing out fliers. A community of people put aside their lives and whatever duties they had to search for a girl in the hope that a situation like this would have a positive outcome for a change. They were selfless, determined and filled with hope and they let those three things guide them through the days and nights that followed. But their search in the end only turned up the inevitable: another young child taken from her family and friends. A girl who would have one day been a woman taken from her future husband and future children way too soon. Another potential world-changer gone, but not at the hands of those determined to find her as those people understood Autumn’s potential and despite whatever was going on in their worlds, worked long and hard to try to save that potential, as well as that precious little girl.

To my friend, Brian: Happy Birthday, a day late. I love you. You are my forever friend, and I’m sorry that I didn’t *make* the time to tell you that yesterday.
To my husband, Todd:  I am with you today in spirit and I am here if you need me for anything at all. I will drive across town to bring you a muffin and my shoulder if need be, so please use me in whatever way you must. I’m sorry I didn’t remember.
To the family of Autumn Pasquale: I am so sorry that the world and I will never get to see Autumn’s full potential, but I will work hard to act as selflessly as those who searched to find your baby in my own life to honor hers that is now, sadly, over. My prayers and those of my family are with you and yours today.

A wise person once said that finding the time and making the time are two entirely different things. Go make the time today that you didn’t make yesterday.
I just did.

My pal Brian and Me

After Stan's Service

Another life gone too soon. Rest in peace, Autumn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

184 Days - These Breasts Are Mine, and I Want to Keep Them

When I was twelve years old my underdeveloped breasts were inappropriately touched by someone very close to me. It had never happened before and did not happen again, and since a lot of alcohol was involved on their part it’s tough to say whether or not they had all of their wits about them. Nevertheless, the act affected me years down the road – well into my thirties; even dissuading me from breastfeeding either child – and brought heightened awareness to a body part I hadn’t thought of until then. At twelve, I was only just starting puberty. My menstrual cycle hadn’t begun but I was starting to feel the tinglings of pre-teenhood and this, well, this occurrence, gave me a whole new outlook on my developing breasts…
It made me hate them.
Over the years my disdain barely diminished. It would take a near act of God, a bite of my tongue, and a fighting back of tears for me to allow a boyfriend to get to first base. The memory would come crashing back and it would take all of the strength I could conjure not to run out of whoever’s bedroom we were in crying or worse, vomiting. I hated how they looked; uneven and small, but mostly, I loathed having them touched by anyone; man or woman. Even into my twenties as my relationships became more serious and I became more sexually active, that area was usually the one that my lovers knew to steer clear of though they never knew the real reason why. “Why can’t I suck on your breasts?” was a question often asked in the midst of a heated make-out session. “I just don’t like it, okay? It doesn’t turn me on. It kind of freaks me out if you really want to know” is how I would usually respond and for the most part that response was enough, but it took my first husband to finally draw the real reason out of me which is likely when I started on the path of healing.  
In time I began to both appreciate and embrace my body as a whole more than I ever had in my teens or twenties. As I closed in on my thirties, my sexual desire monumentally grew and I was able to mostly compartmentalize the phobia I had as it pertained to my mammaries.  I decisively opened myself up to allowing them to be a part of my sex life and even looked forward to having them licked, teased, and kissed, which meant I finally, finally, could look at them in the mirror without thinking of a time when I couldn’t. I knew their shapes, and their differences. I knew which was tenderer when a certain time of month rolled around. I welcomed their size, enjoyed their color, and decorated them with expensive bras and the occasional nipple clamp. These breasts were mine – they belonged to me, and no one else. They never did, they were always mine, and I loved them… I wholeheartedly, irrevocably loved them, and still do.
Next month I will be going in for my first ever mammogram. I knew this day would come sooner than later since I will be exactly six months away from my fortieth birthday on Friday. I had always assumed that it would come earlier for me since my maternal grandmother died of breast cancer in her forties but my OBGYN insisted after every past breast exam that I had nothing to worry about and that I could wait it out as long as possible. But now, the time has come, and there is a part of me that is just a little bit afraid having only been reunited with my breasts fully and happily in the last decade. I’m not ready to lose them, and while that’s a bit of a hyperbolic statement I can’t help but have this fear that they’ll go away before I know it, and I don’t want them to. I’m not ready for that, yet. I want my breasts and want others to want them too. I mean, I haven’t visited enough topless beaches in my life. I never flashed them in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. They still can’t hold up a pencil. Fuck, they’re not even pierced.
I guess what I’m saying to you – to the world, and even to my breasts – is that I’m sorry that I abandoned them for so long and that I hope that they can at least understand my reason, but that I’m here for them now and I will fight forever to never have to let them go again, so bring it… bring it on. Bring on the machine that will squish my boob to an inch of its life because I can take it. They can take it. Believe me, because they’ve taken a hell of a lot worse.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

197 Days - An Astrology of Exes

I figured enough time had passed since you all had a good, fun-loving post from yours truly. It seems I’ve been filling the minutes of your day with deeply sappy posts consisting of torment, heartache and romanticism, so let’s all agree that that’s enough of that shit, shall we? This post is about one of my favorite, FAVORITE, FAAAAAAAAAAVVVVVORITE topics.   
It was not so long ago (yes it was) that I would take my bald-headed, frock-reddened, Mock-Marten wearing self down to a little hippy book store on Philadelphia’s famous South Street by the name of Garland of Letters. I would walk the two miles at any hour of the night to be able to spend some time alone sitting and reading on the floor of the only section I had any interest in at the time: Astrology. And while I consider myself to be fairly bright – even quite brilliant at times (fuck you) – this is probably the one topic (actually, scratch that, because I still believe in God)… this is probably one of the two topics that makes people roll their eyes at me when I say it’s an interest of mine, and you know what? I’m okay with that, because it led me to the idea for this blog post.
Without further adieu, I present to you, An Astrological Breakdown of my Exes. Just so you are aware, the Exes mentioned below will consist of the following categories: boyfriends (non-lover), boyfriends (lover), fiancées, husbands, and just plain old lovers. If you are stalking me and reading this and fall into one of the above categories know that I am definitely talking about you, so don’t kid yourself. I hope that you all enjoy and/or relate to and/or contemplate your next sexual or life partner after reading what I’ve written, and feel free to leave comments below if you’re either in agreement or disagreement or in the case of some of my exes, if you have the balls to.
ARIES (March 21 – April 20):
The first official sign of the zodiac is Aries, or, The Ram, and heaven knows that pretty much sums up the lovemaking style of the men under this sign. Aries men like it quick and dirty but don’t get me wrong, as an Aries woman I am pretty much the same way. You see, Aries rules the head (insert school boy giggle) so the thing with Aries is that there has to be a mental connection, but the other thing with Aries is that… well, frankly, we just like to fuck. Cuddling is considered blasphemy. Why cuddle when there are more fucks to be had? It’s quite simple, actually, and it’s something that I never held against the couple of Aries lovers that I had in my life. I got them – I understood them – so it never bothered me when they wanted to roll over because when the sex was happening, it was often pretty goddamned mind blowing. The first ever non-on-top/non-oral orgasm I had was with an Aries man (in case I never said it, thank you) and when the relationship part of it was good, it was verrrrrrrry good, but… BUT… if you cross an Aries man you better be ready for a heavy exchange of verbal abuse, potential stalking and a non-existent post-relationship friendship. It’s not the way they work. If you’re in it for the sex only, let them know up front, because once you’re in their head and heart, you’re pretty much fucked when it comes time to bail. I had an Aries man pack a lunch and wait on my doorstep for eleven hours once while I hid inside of my apartment. I’m not shitting you… these fuckers are crazy.
TAURUS (April 21 – May 21):
(yawn) Sorry, did you say something? Oh, were you talking about Taurus men? That’s probably why I got so drowsy. I would rather be forced to watch seventy-two straight hours of Sarah Palin talking about hunting antelope with a crossbow while riding bareback on an ox than date or have sex with another Taurus man for as long as I live. If you’re a Taurus and we haven’t had sex, don’t take offense. If you’re a Taurus and we have, do. You assholes are boring in bed, terrible at relationships, and don’t know when to shut your fucking mouths. One Taurus boyfriend I had when I was nineteen actually told me that I was fat. FAT. I was nineteen at the time and probably weighed no more than 120 pounds soaking wet (I’m 5’10”) and this Greek piece of shit said to me… “I don’t know, I think you need to lose a little. You’re kind of soft. You should be more muscular.” I dropped him faster than Jay-Z drops a mic and purposely put ON five fucking pounds immediately afterward. The best part was he was actually eleven years older than I was which made him thirty. I can’t even imagine saying to someone when I was thirty that they needed to “lose a little.” Who the fuck dates a nineteen-year old when they’re thirty anyway? Idiot. They’re all idiots and they suck in bed. Unless of course I never slept with you. I’m sure you’re just fine in bed if that’s the case (eye roll).
GEMINI (May 22 – June 21)
I don’t have an actual sexual experience with this sign although I did have a Gemini boyfriend when I was younger and still a virgin, and, well, he cheated on me, left me, and started dating a girl who wasn’t a virgin, had sex with her and then left her a year later when he found out I had finally lost my virginity. I spit in his face. That’s the end of my Gemini story. So, uh… good luck? Oh, well, he did kiss pretty well and as far as feeling up goes, I guess that was pretty good, too, so…. sorry. That’s all I got.  
CANCER (June 22 – July 23)
I made a promise to myself when I was very young that I would never date a sign that was also a life-threatening disease, so, I got nothin’ here. Both of my brothers fall under the sign of Cancer and I would never date either of them in a million, trillion, quazillion fucking years so… moving on.
LEO (July 24 – August 23)
You probably all thought that I was never going to get to a sign that I didn’t bash, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU? Don’t deny it! OUT WITH IT. Well, you were wrong. Leo is a wonderful sign. I have only dated men under one other sign more (keep reading) than I have dated Leos in my life and there are plenty of reasons why that is so. Leo, firstly, and like Aries, is a fire sign. They are passionate, and headstrong, and with the Lion as their representative, brave. The sign of Leo rules the heart and when you’re with a Leo you not only feel like you’re the only woman alive, but you genuinely believe it. Their lovemaking is sensual, sexy and bold, and in a relationship they can be faithful and adoring. I have spent powerful nights, physical afternoons and passionate mornings in Leo’s company, but beyond the bedroom it rarely ever worked out for the long term because when they decide they want out or they lose interest, they can turn into a dick. But that’s okay, too, because the moments had were usually enough to make me look back fondly years later.
VIRGO (August 24 – September 23)
Worst (period) Sex (period) Ever (period)
LIBRA (September 24 – October 23)
I like Libras. I do. They’re cool, even keeled, usually a lot of fun and they think rationally. They’re pretty much the opposite of everything that I am which is why I like them. Seriously… my best friend is a Libra and since Libra is exactly six signs away from Aries, they are, in effect, my Bizarro World sign. Unfortunately, I never had actual sex with a Libra. I went on a few dates with one and thought “Hey… I might like to have sex with this person at some point down the road” but it just never got to that point, which is weird because I’m intrigued at what it would be like to have sex with the anti-me. So what I can say here is, Libras are great at dinner and conversation. Oh, and walking.
SCORPIO (October 24 – November 22)
You’ve all been waiting for this one, haven’t you? Come on… you know you’ve all had a Scorpio at one time or another and you’re waiting…. You’re just WAITING to see what I’ve got to say about them. Well, I hope I won’t disappoint you with tales of my own personal Scorpio men, so here goes:  I loved them. I loved them all. Scorpio is both my oxygen and my Kryptonite. It is what I need to survive but eventually is also what’s going to kill me. The majority of men that I have been with since the time I was fifteen years old have been Scorpios. All three fiancées were. All two husbands were, too. And in between those were vivacious Scorps scattered about. Why? Well, that’s a tough one, because Scorpios overall are pretty damned intense and highly fucking difficult, and I think that’s the exact thing that draws me to them in the first place. One thing about Scorpio that gets my juices flowing is that they will cut a bitch. No joke. My ex-husband wouldn’t hesitate to clock someone in the face if they looked at me wrong, and my Todd? Jesus Christ, that man has gotten in more scuffles standing up for my honor than Lancelot did for Guinevere. Scorpios are highly sexual – sometimes too highly (did I just say that?) – Since their ruling body part is the genitalia. They like to be in charge; to dominate, which can pose problems if you’re a dominant Aries like I am, but if you’re going to have problems, these are the ones you want to have. They are masculine and quick-tempered and my God I want to go wake my husband up right now. But the most exceptional characteristics of a Scorpio male are these: loyalty, integrity, and honesty. They are the ultimate knight in shining armor no matter how rusty or worn that armor gets over the years. So go on… go get your own. Mine is off limits.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23 – December 22)
This started out as a good, fun, sexual experience which then turned into me crying on the floor of my stand up shower for an hour and a half. I can’t talk about it anymore.
CAPRICORN (December 23 – January 20)
My overall take on Capricorns is that they are big on “little white lies” which could be for one of the following two reasons: A.) They genuinely don’t want you to hurt and so they think that lying to you by saying their phone died or they must have had no reception instead of just telling you that they were out with someone else is better than watching you suffer or cry or make you not trust them, or, B.) PAIN AVOIDANCE which is another way of saying that they just don’t want to hear you nagging them and so they’ll tell you whatever they need to in order to make you just shut the fuck up. The sad part of it is, Capricorn has this (what they believe to be) cunning way of making you feel guilty for calling them out on the exact thing they’re doing that they’re not supposed to be, which is pretty fucking shitty. I mean, you could be standing there holding the DVD recording of him with another woman and he will still deny that it ever happened and you actually start to question yourself. It’s amazing, and I never use that horrid word. AMAZING. Oh, and they’re hyperbolic, too. You will be the most gorgeous woman they were ever with and the best sex they ever had, until you aren’t. And when either you or their heart packs up and leaves, you’re guaranteed to have been the douchebag in that relationship. Nnnnnnnnext!
AQUARIUS (January 21 – February 19)
Super nice guy. Tiny, tiny penis.
PISCES (February 20 – March 20)
I like to refer to Pisces as the slightly sexually demented sign of the zodiac as it pertains to men born under it. The times I’ve had with Pisces were all fairly "interesting", but, mostly in a good way. They’re creative – I’ll give them that. And they keep you guessing! Oh boy! But so did the show “Lost” and let’s admit it, folks, didn’t we all lose a bit of interest in it once the initial shock wore off and the story line got way out of whack? You get my point.
So there you have it. I know that some of you out there might read this and think “Jesus Christ… how much sex has that woman had??” and you’d be right to think that and the answer is, tons. But I’ve been having sex for 25 years, and so I’m not worried about being judged by anyone other than the man I married, and since that particular November baby grew up as a drummer who looked like this (see picture on the left), there is no cause for concern, because that was one pussy gettin’, Scorpio-bein’ motherfucker, right there. And he’s allllllll mine, baby.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

198 Days - Forty Years and Forty Ways to Explain What Love Really Is

  1. Love is a mess.
  2. Love is never using spaghetti sauce from a jar.
  3. Love is removing the “Fox News is Bad For America” bumper sticker from your partner’s car when you know they’ll be travelling throughout the Southeast region of the country.
  4. Love is a glass of wine poured and waiting when you come home.
  5. Love is staying even when sex takes a back burner.
  6. Love is never leaving your partner behind… not for a job, or a career change, or for school.
  7. Love is not taking the furniture with you.
  8. Love is not being with someone because you think they’re your only chance at getting married; they’re not and you’re only being unfair to yourself.
  9. Love is genuine excitement at an email that has nothing to do with a bill that needs to be paid.
  10. Love is not having to show everyone on every form of social media that you love someone.
  11. Love is telling your mom.
  12. Love is trying to work it out if the other person was unfaithful.
  13. Love is trying to work it out if you were the other person.
  14. Love is bravery in the truest sense.
  15. Love is its own muscle relaxer.
  16. Love is spending what you earn, no matter what the consequences.
  17. Love is dreaming of where you’ll be in five years and smiling.
  18. Love is naivety even for those who are wide-eyed and quick thinking.
  19. Love is walking your partner to their car at 4:15 am when they have a 6:30 flight to catch, no matter how much you love sleep.
  20. Love isn’t lazy so don’t be lazy with it. Use the "I" in "I Love You" and spell out "You." It’s love; it deserves the effort.
  21. Love is the greatest form of hurt you can feel.
  22. Love is remembering but more importantly, it’s forgetting. 
  23. Love is not being the rebound.
  24. Love is NOT sharing a love story with someone that you shared with another before. That’s not love; it’s lame. And it’s fake. And it’s wrong.
  25. Love is being honest, up front, all the time. It’s having the balls to tell a person what’s going on with you, or your feelings, or something that you did. It’s trusting that they will love you enough to forgive whatever it is.
  26. Love is never looking at a person’s past but always looking toward their future.
  27. Love is waking up relieved that you’re next to the one you’ve waited your whole life for... again.
  28. Love is discussion, debate, and sometimes debacle.
  29. Love is the realization that you really aren’t ever going to find better.
  30. Love is a candlelit bathroom that only you see.
  31. Love is never calling yourself a “hopeless romantic.” That term shows nothing more than a lack of creativity.
  32. Love is knowing when to let go no matter how painful or seemingly unjustified.
  33. Love is admitting to foolishness and yet still believing that things can be different.
  34. Love is feeling nauseated when your future is uncertain.
  35. Love is fighting tooth and nail, and never giving up. It wants you to hold on… you just have to show it how hard you want to.
  36. Love is gray eyes, full lips, strong shoulders and warm embraces. It’s knowing that you’re small in a world so very big.
  37. Love is watching the Presidential debates with wine and cured meats on a couch that you bought in a house that you own on a street that you love in a city that you never want to leave.
  38. Love is coming with me to see Dead Can Dance.
  39. Love is humbling, and rewarding, and sticky, and mind numbing, but it’s better than the best fuck you ever had in your life.
  40. Love is… well, it just is. But mostly... it's this...