Monday, March 9, 2015

When Life is Hard, You Have to Change

If you're expecting some DubyaWife hilarity - not this week. On occasion I need to write about my feelings. For the sake of privacy. Sake of brevity. For the sake of not seeming to be a drama-queen. And finally, to make sure the tone of this post comes across as genuine and not as a "call for attention"  - don't worry. Everything's okay. Everything will be okay.

I've always been an optimistic person. Fairly level headed. Cool under pressure. And not prone to fits of wild anger, anxiety, or pessimism. Those who are close to me know my bouts of frustration or sadness are short lived. My natural state tends to always be somewhat cheerful, filled with joie de vivre. I was put on this planet to annoy pessimists. If you're Eeyore, I'm Tigger. If you're Squidward, I'm SpongeBob.  I bring balance to the dark side.

This makes me thankful. (And not thankful towards a higher power, or ultimate being.) Thankful that those around me have helped shape my life. That I've been born to privilege. Thankful that the circumstances which have made up my life to this point have always seemed to fall in my favor. I've had rare moments of strife in my life. That's the truth. I'm a upper middle class white woman - Starbucks was literally created for me. You're welcome.

It seems silly to ever consider one's current state of life as strife, or as "bad" or as a "tough time" when you look around the world and find there's those suffering intensely more. To quote my very smart teenager, "Saying you can't be sad, because someone is sadder is like saying you can't be happy cause someone's happier. And that doesn't make sense." She's a smart kid. My greatest teacher. If one thing is true it's that children are great teachers. I've learned more about myself through raising a child than any educational institution or therapist could teach me. I'll let you debate which one is more expensive.

So when faced with hard life experiences it is hard to know how to feel. From moment to moment (for me) I waiver between my natural state of optimism, to worry, to "stiff upper lip" decision-making, to withdrawn, to etc. etc. etc. the list goes on. You get the point.

Even more so, I have a responsibility that my mental and emotional state directly affects those around me. My little family relies on my strength as a wife and mother and therefore being "strong" helps them. A selfless act. And mothers do it on a day to day basis. Inherent in our nurturing skills. We can't fall apart. But what happens when you do. What happens when you're faced with something so horribly life changing that all reason goes away and you're left with nothing. You're left with no control. You fall apart.

It's infuriating to not know the best course of action. It's annoying to not know if you're on the right road (of life). And it's even more worrisome to know that the decisions you make don't just affect you, but those you love as well. It can be an endless mindfuck to focus on the woulda, coulda, shouldas of life. I generally tend to dismiss them and focus on the "stiff upper lip" decision-making. It's easier to feel the hope of moving forward than the guilt of regret.

Feelings run hard right now. In the simplest phrase (and if you can understand my meaning) "my head is swimming." Swimming in a sea of worry, emotion, guilt, shame, anxiety, hope . I'm faced with things that are out of my control and that means I have to trust others to help. After having fought so hard to be a tougher me and to have taken control of my life - this is probably the hardest lesson I've had to learn. 

Change is hard, but inevitable. And sometimes change is a gradual process that happens slowly and beautifully. Like a bud blossoming. Other times it's like fucking Godzilla crashing down skyscrapers. ("Fuck you, you're remodeling, bitch!" ...I digress.) More often than not, we all end up looking back on life changing events and say to ourselves "it all worked out in the end." And perhaps it did (maybe it didn't), but it doesn't help the aches and pains of getting there.

This post is getting long and I don't have a succinct and clear conclusion that brings this all together. I wish I could end this with more more clarity or leave you with some hope. Suffice it to say that this post clearly reflects the multitude of emotions that I face (and have faced). Life moves on and I'm lucky to be a part of it. I'm thankful for the reminder of what's important, no matter how it's revealed to me. I'm thankful for my little family. I'm thankful they love me and trust me. They are the most important facet of my life. Everything else is just lagniappe.

random jumping llama for laughs

Monday, March 2, 2015

How I Manipulate My Way into the Hearts of People

#humblebrag
I'm pretty awesome person to be around. And over the years I've developed many a friend and companion. Some are just happenstance, fellow gregarious people that instantly became close friends (friendship at first sight). However, there are others that need coaxing, need convincing, and need effort in order to drink my koolaid. Being the ambitious and self-centered person I am, I have, at times, purposefully manipulated my way into friendships. Just like dating advice, here's some of my secrets to making people like me...

Step 1: Be funny!
Everyone likes a comedian. everyone enjoys a good laugh. I have a silly and witty side. Like Cosmo Brown says "Make em laugh, make em laugh, make em laugh." A funny gif, quote a comedy, or simply a good TMI (fart jokes always work).  Class clowns always have friends.

Step 2: Boasting!
But being way over the top about it. That way it doesn't come across as douchebaggy but as super confident but in a funny way. ex: "OMG I JUST MADE THIS AMAZING BROWNIE, IT'S THE SHIZ!" You have to find things that are incredibly common place and then totally blow it out of proportion. The other person connects with you to the commonality of it all but then also laughs (see Step 1). So tell them all about how you opened the car door and hit the one next to you but no one was looking, so you got away with that shit "#winning!"

Step 3: Polite stalking!
Monitor social media and carefully plan interactions that are not too often, but often enough that interaction occurs on a frequent basis. The key here is not wanting them to forget about you, but no raised eyebrows and rolled eyes. Carefully plan your interaction that is seems natural and fluid and then pounce like a mother-fucking tiger. It's not stalking if they enjoy it.

Step 4: Troll the trolls!
Inevitably (due to Step 1) I'll get those who poke fun at me and sarcasm will be met with more sarcasm. Keep it lighthearted, grow some thick skin! This is where you have to put your money where your mouth is, take what you dish out (various other idioms) and fight fire with fire (okay last one I promise). Shake off the haters and embrace your inner No Fucks Given.

Step 5: Kindness!
"You is sweet. You is kind." Assholes don't make friends. Or if they do, they make more asshole friends and they all live in asshole-fantasy-land worshiping each other's assholes. Don't be an asshole. Be kind. Smile more. Live cheerfully. Enjoy life and just be a kind person to be around. And, more importantly, act on that kindness. Do nice things. Kindness is an action, not a thought. When in doubt on how to react - be kind.

Step 6: There is NO... step 6!

Step 7: More of you is always a good thing!
Get less concerned with what others want you to be, and more concerned with what you want to be. Isaac Asimov said, "Above all, never think you're not good enough. Never think that. In life people will take you at your own reckoning." Your. Own. Reckoning. People want to know you. And it's pretty fucking easy to tell the pretenders and those who put up fronts. Give more of your wonderful, beautiful self to the world. Don't give a half-assed version of you. Go full ass.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why Grown Ass Women like Erotic Novels

I really had no intention of writing a post like this. But given that Fifty Shades of Grey has achieved a comical commercial success, I felt like there are some divided opinions on the subject.  (I've read the books and seen the movie, my verdict on both - meh.) I've read quite a few erotic novels in my years on this planet and I just don't understand the hate or hush-hush about them. Perhaps it's directed towards one book (The Grey Series) but I felt the need to describe what I think are the reasons that grown ass women read erotic novels...

Eye candy. The men in these books are usually some ideal that doesn't exist or we'll never come across in our lives. I've found the descriptions of them are just vague enough for every woman to put her own twist on it. It's always "he had striking features and dark hair" or "his stature was strong and his smell intoxicating."  See what I mean? I can insert with my own projections to create my own fantasy. It's like astrology... which is a crock of bullshit too. Which is totally an Aquarius thing to say. 

Porn isn't romantic. This isn't rocket science. And I'm not downing porn. But let's be honest, it's not like it talks deeply to a woman's soul. It's a turn on, to be sure, but it misses a key component for women. There's a reason the romantic-comedy market has a niche. They don't even have sex in them sometimes and women flock to these types of movies. Why? Rrrrrrromance! I'm sure this is the part where all the men roll their eyes. And you know what, they're right. It sucks that we always want romance. Women are the worst, amirite? I mean we always want to be swept off our feet, made to feel special, to feel like our significant others are thinking of us and planning amazing things for us. I mean, why would we want that?

It makes us horny. Let's just be honest. That shit is hawt. And it's not just the sex part but the build up to it. We love the delicious tango of guy chasing after girl, or dom and a sub, or being rescued. Amazing mind-blowing sex and infatuation, come on, it gives women the "sighing effect" and the wet panties at the same time. 

We're bored. Not to say that we're bored in our marriages, or bored with life, but usually when I read these I have a half hour to burn before sleeping, or some free time to sit alone and read. Erotic novels are usually short, brainless, and easy to read. It's like a light snack. A light sexy snack. 

Fantasy is fun. Fiction is fun. And reading a story about a rich well built model-esque white guy falling obsessively head over heels for the common girl is totally fun. Any reasonable (and emotionally healthy) woman knows this isn't reality, but that it's fun to be led down the primrose garden for a moment and enjoy the smell. People enjoy all types of fantasy, sci-fi, hobbits, vampires, dystopian futures. So why is having a "young Duke captured while traveling in Transylvania to be raised as a sex slave" any different? Totally read it. 

It beats cheating. Sounds harsh. But it's true. Women's hearts are pockets of secret desires, secret wants, and secrets that they'll never tell. We want romance, but we won't ruin it by asking for it. It's so unfair, but so is life, isn't it. Reality is that any "fling" that we have built up in our head will never be as good as we think it will be. But in the novel our minds are allowed to wander free, we don't have to suffer any guilt, shame, or risk of divorce. We can "fall in love" with the 18th century Scottish highlander and still snuggle up to our farty, unshaven partners and be completely satisfied. 

Now if you Significant Others start to feel a twinge of jealousy, hate, shame, or guilt about your loved one reading erotic novels. First thing - remember that everyday your S.O. chooses you, not someone else. 

Love is a choice. 

But if that doesn't help you, here's what I want you to do - read an erotic novel. Do it. Seriously. 
You know why? Because couples should share the things they enjoy. It's a way to start communication, it's a way to reach out to your partner, it's a way to bond. It can start a talk about romance, love, sex, etc. Plus, it helps you get laid, so quit bitching. 

Side Note: I referenced "women" and "men" in the completely traditional sense in this article and for that I apologize to all my LGBTQ friends. I'm a horrible writer and for the sake of being able to throw this together I stayed with the common, stereotypical relationship. I know you play the pronoun replacing game constantly and here's another article doing the same thing, but rest assured it's not cause I'm trying to isolate you out - it's just that I'm lazy. #EqualityForAll