Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And Now I Will Say Something that is Unpopular... though that were any different than half the offensive shit I say here on a regular basis.

Before I start, I will hopefully quantify the statements following and reduce the amount of people who want to crucify me by saying this;

I am overweight. Far more than I should be, thanks to a medication I had no business taking, depression and emotional eating. The previous three things are not excuses by the way; much of my weight gain is my own fault for seeking unhealthy ways to deal with the things I don't always wish to confront.

I wasn't always overweight. I have been healthy-skinny (eating right, working out regularly, etc) and I have been what-probably-should-have-been-diagnosed-as-a-complex-eating-disorder-skinny (weird eating habits, 6 to 8 hours of exercise, a torrid love affair with diet pills that made me feel like I was dying). I admit all of those things to say, I have been on all sides of the weight issue.

Last night a friend called me, complaining about her love life or lack thereof. She whined for about 30 minutes (during which time I watched "HawthoRNe" on low and muttered, "Mmhmm," during the commercial breaks) while she went on and on about how shallow men are and how all men are dogs (anyone who knows me knows that any gross generalization, especially of the "Men are dogs" variety will be met with a blank stare of epic proportions) and finally she came to her thesis...

"I think men just don't like me because I am fat."

*record screech*

In the interest of transparency, I will admit that my dating life has changed as I have gained weight, but it certainly isn't nonexistent unless I choose it to be. Plenty of men still approach me; sometimes I even like them. I go out on dates and I have by NO means been celibate.

No means.

To be clear.

At this point I am torn; I know that no good will come of this situation if I tell her that it is not her waistline that is likely keeping men away or turning them off. Rather it is likely because she gives off twenty feet of Eau de Desperate to Have a Man and bathes regularly in Clinique Clingy.

But I guess in her world, those things are neither here nor there.

I tried, as delicately as I could, to say that maybe her assumption was incorrect, but I am pretty sure she got off the phone with the same singular thought as before. But really, I needed to catch the last 30 of HawthoRNe so I didn't care to try to explain it.

I have heard it often among some of my friends who are overweight; somehow ALL their problems with work and men and friends and health must be tied to the number on the scale. (Maybe the health part is valid.) It somehow becomes a scapegoat for all their issues and cloaks all their destructive behaviors. That might be more dangerous to me than the weight they are carrying.

I mean, what if they lose the weight and the issues are still there? What if they haven't channeled those bad habits into healthy things or natural growth and progression? What happens then?

For me, I recognize how I have contributed to the deterioration of my own health. I can look in the mirror and see how I have been, quite literally, carrying around the misery of the last few years. But I am also very clear about the fact that whether I was skinny or fat, it was hardly the source of any of my issues. Rather, it was usually just an outward indicator of what was going on inside. It was the symptom; not the sickness.

And now, I will say the thing I am not supposed to say because we live in a world of happy and rainbows and glitter…

Let's be honest; there are some men that will immediately discount a woman based on her size. That doesn't make them terrible, low down, shallow amoebae that live under moist rocks. It makes them human. Just like I have seen women turn down a perfectly handsome, funny man because he is a garden gnome who comes equipped with his own booster seat, both women AND men often dismiss a perfectly nice person because of their weight. Have I had less men approach me since I gained weight? Sure. But I also used to have an abundance of men cat call my sizeable rack before. I am not missing much. Come on; no one approaches someone across a bar because they seem like they have a sparkling wit and shining personality.

I understand the emotional, hot button nature of the conversation about being overweight, especially with America being the fattest country in the world. But I don't think that any person, on either side of the scale, can afford to demonize someone else based on their ill informed assumptions about someone else's motives.

My friend will go on thinking that men hate her for her size, not because she mentally moves into their place the first time she visits. That is her journey, I suppose. And there will be tons of overweight men and women who will sneer at the potential suitors they perceive have slighted them because of their weight and recite the mantra that anyone who loves them will love them for exactly who they are.

Which is true, to an extent.

But the only thing I know for sure is this; I want a life fit for myself to live. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. And I know that I will never be perfect, but I believe I can be better. And that is the person I want people to fall in love with.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Girl got a Girlfriend

I remember when I wrote this and then later revealed this, I got a few emails from readers who ranged from shocked ("Omg! Who knew?!") to, well, men ("Do you guest star regularly? Me and my fiancé...")* One of the emails I received stayed with me long after I read it;

"I have struggled with my attraction to both sexes for a long time. I have usually only been comfortable exploring it when a boyfriend has wanted a threesome. Cuz then, it’s for him, you know? How is it that you are so matter of fact and OK WITH IT?"

It puzzled me for the longest, and I will admit that despite the fact that I try very hard to respond as timely as possible to reader emails, I had to sit with that one for a few days. It confused me because I once I was very clear about who I was, I WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHO I WAS. For me, trying to deny my sexuality was much like trying to deny the fact that I have (unruly) curly hair; I could do a ton of things to change it, disguise it, hide it or make it look different but underneath it all, it would still be curly.

So, no; I never had any particular problem with being "okay with it", nor did I regard it as a big deal. There was no huge, looming, "coming out" moment. I was blessed enough to not lose any beloved family members or friends (although when the subject was broached, many said they figured as much and weren't shocked...? Could y’all have told a bitch? I mean, damn), and really, I woke up the exact same person the next morning as I was the night before when I told my mother; the dog was putting her cold nose on my forehead to signal that she had to pee, my equilibrium was all messed up cuz I was still half sleep, my favorite color was still red and I still thought that Kahlua in morning coffee shouldn't be frowned upon.

In short, nothing was changed.

I replied to that email with (what I hope was) a long, thoughtful response that was as middle of the road as I could manage that made one very important point: no matter who you do, you are still you. (I like for my advice to rhyme.) And maybe, that was the root of my calm and matter-of-factness: I recognized early that my sexuality was as authentically a part of me as being female and southern and black and anything else; I could be me in secret or I could be me out loud. I chose the latter.

Because I’m lazy. Secrets are hard.

That was really great right?

Also, totally not the point of this post.

Having been with less women than Queen Latifah likely has (#shade) but more than many of my readers, I want to pass on a little bit of wisdom that I have learned via my Sapphic exploits…

These lesbians ain’t playin’ with y’all out here.

I know, I know. It’s totally in style to kiss girls in bars. And every week a new celebrity is touting her purported penchant for pussy as evidence of how “edgy” she is (we see you Christina and Fergie and so on). On behalf of the entire bisexual community let me tell you; we are full.

The last few years, I have watched the onslaught of this new type of fetishism become more main stream. Back in the 90s, the Thing to Be was black and Asian; it was “exotic”. Now, apparently it’s a girl who likes girls. It’s all over ever form of media you drown in everyday and not even just your guilty pleasure trashy reality show or favorite faux rapper’s club anthem anymore; now it’s commercials for selling vastly unrelated products and in pop music.

And everyone knows once it is all over pop music charts, it is no longer avant-garde or trendsetting. Kinda like an electronic/dance/pop fusion (*waving at Aguilera’s “Bionic”).

Sadly, it isn’t even some sort of artistic movement towards the acceptance of one’s self (and by extension their sexuality). Rather it is about fulfilling some rappers’ threesome fantasies and making him look like the man to other men who apparently are not rich/famous/well endowed enough to get two women to go down on each other just for the chance to blow him. (Don’t even get me started on the fact that not all lesbians look like Megan Fox, despite what Maxim would have you believe.) Now it is just the attention grabbing stunt you do to be ‘It’ girl in the club. It’s the 2010 equivalent of accidentally vadge flashing the paparazzi. Much like that particular brand of unintentional porn, I want it to die. Painfully.

And don’t try to call one of these barsexuals on their same sex marketing ploys. Well then, THEN you’re just trying to define them and they don’t want to be boxed in, and they TOTALLY didn’t mean that they ACTUALLY sleep with women (cue: “Go Hard”).

Perhaps that is the saddest part of this all; that somehow what could be a vital and potentially life changing move towards normalcy for a group that is often marginalized in both gay and straight communities, is even more marginalized by girls who play act the role of Angelina Jolie to make boys notice them (I totally believe Angie’s heart is purple, by the way).

I get it. I really do. It’s hard out there. Marriage rates are declining. Women are getting married later, having children later. There is a man shortage, supposedly. Add to that the much hyped plight of the lonely, never married black woman (*HARD eye roll*) and I understand; you are in this game to win a husband and you will do what you have to do to gain the competitive edge.

But for real though, these lesbians ain’t playing with y’all.

They don’t think you’re funny. They don’t appreciate you playing with them and touting your supposed lesploits out for you boyfriends so he thinks you are sexually exciting enough to sleep with for the rest of his life. Remember that time in college that you and your best friend Stalked and Slashed because the guy you felt so strongly about strung you along? Yeah. Except now you have crazy College You with Adult You resources out for revenge after the realization that your “curiosity” was just for the sake of winning back your ex-boyfriend.


Have a seat.

Maybe you actually have questioned your sexuality, and this entire “my girl got a girlfriend” foolishness is giving you breathing room to explore your attractions with substantially diminished fear of judgment. Maybe I don’t get it because I didn’t particularly struggle with it despite my own religious upbringing and it wasn’t all that scary to me; it just was. Maybe I don’t understand because I am prone to side eye anything that encourages female sexuality to be used as a tool of manipulation and satisfaction for men.

I seriously doubt that shit though.

Long story short, I’d appreciate it if all you Real World rejects kissing your bff in the bar when Katy Perry comes on would have a seat. It’s insulting, really. My life is not your foreplay. And promoting the idea that it is only ok to like girls if your boyfriend wants you to like girls is so incredibly damaging to people like the girl who sent me that email way back when. Explore your sexuality if you truly desire to do so but do it like the rest of us; when you are living in a fairly gay city far away from family and friends


*actual quotes from actual emails

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Know, I Know...

Right in the middle of this whole, epic, soul searching situation, I just disappear.

I warn you, I can be flaky like that, lol.

But I SWEAR I had a good reason (this time).

I was almost homeless, y'all! Home. Less. Without home. Sleeping in my SUV using the dog as a pillow.

Not a good look for the kid.

So I had to handle that. And I did, never fear. I am no longer homeless, but rather in the possession of a rather cute apartment that I am currently in love with and dying to decorate. Granted, I will be too broke henceforth, now, and forever more to decorate it, but so long as I'm not Boxcar Kid-ing it, it is all good.

Expect many, MANY stories about the terrors of living alone. There are many. I have experienced them. And I moved in all of one week ago.


Circling back around to some semblance of sense, I have been thinking alot about a conversation I had a few weeks ago with Michael. I think, generally, he indulges my particular brand of crazy because, well, let's face it most times it's hilarious, but during what was most likely a light hearted conversation about family fails, we got on the subject of allowing people to be who they are. In a rare moment of sobriety clarity I said to him, "I have learned that people will be exactly who they are and I can't change them, but I haven't quite learned how to forgive them for not being what I need."

Michael says, "Come on nah. You're 26. It's about time to learn that lesson."

Hate when he's right.

Sure, sure, he said it as nicely as blackberry messenger can allow one to come off without benefit of tone or tact. But he's right. And it stung.

Once upon a time, I remember a friend calling me "Slayer of Everything that Moves" upon the dissolution of a friendship or relationship. It was really funny at the time, but when I started to think about it once I was sober, it's really quite true. It usually takes me quite some time to decide that I am done with people in my life, but once I do, I am DONE. They are dead to me. Not moving. A distant mirage that I might recall for comedic effect or I might pretend never existed. It really just depends on my mood. But that is mostly because I don't particularly thrive in the gray area.

I don't know what to do with that friend who is no longer a friend because you can't really trust them, but they a tree with deep roots in your history. I am never sure where to step with a lover I am no longer sleeping with who inquires about my day. I can't handle that. I don't know how. And in all honesty, I am not sure if I want to know how.

Not because these types of changes in relationships are particularly difficult to navigate. But rather because I am Slayer of Everything that Moves; I don't want to be looking at a Something that use to be an Everything, being simultaneously reminded of all the good things we shared and all of the unique, intricate ways they hurt me. Rather, I want everything to STOP MOVING. So I can get up outta here.

Otherwise, I just don't know where to put it.

Seemingly, superficially, this has worked for me up until this point. But I also recognize that there are people I can't extract from my life, who still drive me crazy everyday and who, as Michael said, I would benefit greatly from learning to just allow them to be them, without that being in tangent to recalling how being them has meant for the injury of me.

I am gonna work on that. In the meantime though, I slay everything that moves.

That includes the varying collection of bugs I keep finding in my apartment abutting the woods. Wtf?!?!