Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Men Are Like Waffles

...Women Are Like Spaghettii..." is a statement that changed my life. I don't think I read the whole book but I read enough excerpts different places to get the gist of it, and I agree completely.

Particularly since my mind is a a huge bowl of spaghetti.

I actually started this post two weeks ago and didn't get to finish because my life is so jampacked there's not a whole lot I can do at one time. When I take something new on, invariably something else gets dropped even though I don't want it to. But I've learned it's just the way I work. There are only so many hours in the day... and whatever I do I do wholeheartedly and you can't do everything wholeheartedly. Which is why stuff gets dropped. It's awful. It disorients people I deal with, it fucks up projects I'm working on. But see, this is why I write. Because I started this post two weeks ago to explain the debate BigMan and I were having, and I'm glad I held on to the thought in writing because it's actually a pretty good way to remind myself of what I was thinking. But this actual post is going to be a little different, I think, than how it started out.

And I just realized, while writing the above paragraph, why I have such a hard time with continuity.

So to finish the epiphany I was having... I've stopped writing as much because the BigMan has entered my life and taken up that space/time I had to write in. And I don't mind... I like him. But I miss writing everyday. But there's just no time. And I have projects due but haven't been able to finish them because the time I would have spent obsessing over some project or another, I've been obsessing over my photography.

The payoff is that even I can say my photos are pretty good... and I am truly my harshest critic. I've recalled some things about my years in the darkroom, and the books I've read about Ansel Adams or Weegee or Cartier-Bressont or even my dad, and used them to a.) take better pictures and b.) "process" them better. I've gotten better at making them feel like old silver-gelatin prints, rather than digital. I'm happy with that.

But the downside is I owe two people who paid me work, and it's haunting me. And I know they are pissed as fuck. That "all-or-nothing" thing has a downside. And the ADD/OCD combo thing is tough to manage... because I'm obsessed until I'm distracted. And then I'm obsessed till I'm distracted. It sucks. I'm trying to manage it better; at least I realize what the problem is. And it's why I needed a groundwire. I prayed hard to the Higher Power to send me someone who could be tolerant of my isms, who would love me and who I could love (because love makes you hellatolerant of shit), who was patient, not intimidated by me enough so that I could fly unfettered, who was solid enough in his own security to not get upset when I flirt (and I only flirt for a purpose--a picture, a job, a drink). I realized I couldn't live life by myself anymore. The loneliness was killing me. Not that my life isn't full, because it is. Not that I don't have people who love me and who I love completely, because I do. But I needed a groundwire, I needed the balance of a man's mind and I have to say that for about 95% of what I needed, BigMan fits the bill.

But I'm still not consumed by him. I very rarely feel "mushy" about him or dream about him when he's gone (which is rare at this point but enough so that I can breathe). I like him; he's definitely getting under my top layer in a very comfortable way. But he's still a man, and he thinks like a man. And even though I'm obsessed/distracted, it would seem that I put things in a little box but I don't because the whole time I'm obsessing about something, it's just the sauce. Underneath that sauce those spaghetti strands are still looping and twisting and are all connected to each other, and I'm still subconsciously following those strands until one of them pops up in the top layer of sauce and I get distracted and move on to that thing. I like that BigMan doesn't have all that shit going on in his head.

I got into a discussion about the Waffle/Spaghetti thing yesterday with LilacBlue and ManCandy. ManCandy (probably named something else somewhere on this blog) is the father of a bunch of kids at the Sun's school, one of whom the Sun is pretty good friends with. ManCandy is fine. He knows it, too. He makes butch-ass women giggle. I've seen him do it. After awhile you get used to him and might even think "ah he's not that cute" but fuck that. There's something about him that sizzles and it's not just his looks. He has that jitter juice. He's also a famous womanizer which has caused his Wife to be a little um, what's the word... well she tracks his ass like the Armed woman she is. Meaning, she carries a gun as a profession. But anyway, I digress...

The first thing I've noticed about people when I say that Men are Like Waffles and Women are like Spaghetti is that most women want to claim they think more like men. That they can; that they are the exception. But it's bullshit. I understand that feeling of not wanting to be labeled. I resent it, as I say frequently. But the Professor is a social worker and she one day made the sweeping statement that people--all people--generally fall into one of a few categories. Of course that pissed me off. And I argued with her that no two humans are exactly alike. You look at two people's hands or fingerprints and nothing will make that clearer to you than that. By the way, that fascinates me... that the lines on one person's hands will never be EXACTLY the same as the lines on another person's hands, even if they are identical twins.

And it's true... no two people are alike; there is a wide variance in the category. But the facts remain that a.) people generally fall into one of a few categories, and b.) men and women do not think alike. Women tend to find that things are connected, and men frequently do not see the infinite ways in which things are connected. There are some men who do... and there are some women who are very compartmentalized. But generally, the more I make my way into the world, the more I throw myself into all these different scenarios the more I see that men and women just are different. EVEN those women who go into boymode. And I've seen a lot of those lately. A whole contingent of them. And as butch as they may appear on the outside, underneath the boyclothes and inside the manshoes they are still chicks... and their relationships with each other--even if one is wearing the pants and the other is wearing bright red stilettos... they still act like a bunch of chicks.

Which made me remark to BigMan one day that on the one hand, I totally get the attraction to women. In fact, there are some women who are just beautiful. Or who aren't beautiful, like StarStripper, but have the jitterjuice. And there are some women you can love fiercely and with all your heart. Women are cool. 80% of the time I'd honestly much rather spend my time with women than with men. Because they can follow me on the spaghetti strands--even BestGirl on her best boyday can follow me in a way that the BigMan can't, cuz I've already had that experience with them.

But there's no way I want to be in a sexual relationship with someone exactly like me. Women can be tiring. I need the balance of a man's mind.

There's still some stuff that needs work. There are still sometimes I wonder if I want to spend the rest of my life with him. There is still a part of me that misses certain elements of certain other people, and every so often what I miss hits me right in the heart. But of all the men I've dated or married or had a child with, no one has ever said to me "Are you really my girl?" "Huh" I asked? "I guess so, why?" "Because sometimes I can't believe you're really mine. I look at you and you make me feel good."

...sigh... I laughingly told him that flattery will get him everywhere but inside I melted, I admit... the whole quietly genuine way he said it got to me. Things like that will get a bitch hooked.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Holy $%!#

...two weeks. OVER two weeks and I haven't written. That sucks. I saw LilacBlue today and she told me it wasn't good for my mental health not to write.

It isn't. Though my mental health has really been pretty good.

My major malfunction was needing a groundwire. And I have that, now. And even though the rest of my life is perilously close to a complete wipeout, my mental health is pretty OK. Except for my mental block about looking for a job but that's another subject I have to get into later.

I hate not writing regularly because I always feel I have to backtrack and explain where I've been rather than the experiences. Cuz where I've been has everything to do with my experiences. And I've had a bunch of experiences lately that have given me all sorts of shit to explore and write about. But I keep thinking that if I just jumped into the subject, the reader would be like "what tha FUCK!?"

I don't like to be defined--by people, by experiences. I was just saying that over on my friend's blog in response to an ultimatum posed to her (well it could have been a suggestion but had it been presented to me it would have seemed an ultimatum): "You can be this, or you can be that". Which is a very "man" thing to say, by the way. And a choice I would present to the Sun, for instance, cuz he's a boy and his mind works that way. Because "Men are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti." I totally get, as a woman, that you can be BOTH things plus a few other things. It's easy. It's like putting on clothes cuz none of those things are you, yet everything is. It's the way women are built. We are built to be mothers/wives/sister/daughters/lovers/nurturers/fashion plates. We function in different roles depending on what is required of us. We take pride in being able to be all those things.

At least I do. I have my preferences of who I'd like to be, of course, and usually that means not being any one particular thing.

In order to keep that freedom, it means throwing myself into new experiences on a regular basis. And those experiences can be vastly different. But they give me very interesting perspectives on life, keeps the juices flowing, gives me new ideas to try on, other ways of being. Or not. So that if I choose not to be a particular thing I know why I'm not choosing it... cuz I've put myself in a situation to test out my taste for it.

For instance, two weekends ago, I went to BigMan's BestGirl's birthday party at a strip joint. A Black strip joint. And last weekend I went to an SCA event in which everyone dresses as someone from medieval times, particularly (with this host group) the era of Genghis Kahn. There were 3 "Black" people there, not counting my bi-racial kid.

Oh, but I need to backtrack because I haven't written in two weeks. Almost three. BigMan and I are still going strong. I could feel icewater creeping in my veins and could feel shit shutting down, because in manfashion he'd had an "incident, got through it and put it in a little box and said he wasn't going to discuss it anymore. But there was shit I needed to say about it cuz the whole way it went down pissed me off... and he said he wasn't going to let me say it cuz it had nothing to do with me. I told him him not seeing how it DID affect me and WHY it pissed me off was going to be a major problem. And it wasn't something I wasn't going to get over, not being able to express why I was upset with him. I told him, honestly, that I had spent far too long in a relationship where I had to grit my teeth and not say what I wanted to to avoid drama, and I refused to live like that. Ever.

In his mind, his incident had nothing to do with me because it was a business deal gone awry. But it had everything to do with me because it showed me how he handled his business. And how he got bailed out affected me. And pissed me the fuck off... and in order for it not to fester he needed to know these things.

I tried it his way a day or two, not discussing it. But I felt those gates clanging shut and my insides raging and I knew that wasn't going to work--I told him if you don't let me talk to you about this it's not going to go well for you. And I could feel the barbs on the tip of my tongue and the steel in my eye and I don't want to be like that. So finally I cornered him in my kitchen and just started talking. And he listened. And that was that... that was all I needed. I needed him to know I can't be made to feel like I'm being shut down. Because I'm an all-or-nothing chick, and I'll just shut down all the way.

The next day I explained to him about the Spaghetti/Waffle thing, and he listened. I told him it's why it might seem I'm coming out of left-field with a conclusion or a declaration about something, but in fact, I'm not. By the time I actually say something about a subject--especially if it's something that gets under my skin for whatever reason--I've been poking around that bowl of spaghetti, following strands, looping over and under in my mind till I've reached the end. And I told him if I stopped to plot out out how I got from "A" to "B" I'd either confuse him or bore him, or he might seize on a point and distract me, so to avoid that I try not to say anything until I've reached a conclusion. But once I have--it needs to be said. It has to come out. I told him I respected and understood his need to box stuff up and put it away, but he had to respect and understand my need to follow the strands.

So we made it through that hurdle. And then a few days later BestGirl got suddenly VERY girly and started having some issues with having to give up her hold on him. At least that's how I feel about it. But I've got nothing to prove and nothing to fight for so I could just hang back and let her feel what she's feeling. I mean, she is entitled. He came after ME and made declarations about what he wanted, so it's not like I'm fighting for his attention. But I kind of felt for him, watching him deal with the emotional BS. So I guess that leads me up to her birthday party at the strip club in which she went back to boymode.

I've no problem with homosexuality, really. A while back on this blog I explored how I felt about that, coming from the spiritual background with Jewish tendencies, my own feelings about God and the laws of living I've personally chosen to follow. My own personal declaration is that I am decidedly hetero, and somehow that has freed me to be able to love my women friends fiercely, and even be jealous, but I'm not gay. And I don't really care what people do in their own personal love lives. I don't. But I have a small issue with bisexual people because I find they tend to be poly-amorous, and I'm an all-or-nothing chick. And it seems to me that for a lot of people choosing this lifestyle, they're kind of playing both ends by the middle... keeping their options open. And it confuse things for the rest of us who aren't.

And for me personally, it can be a little disorienting to deal with BestGirl, cuz there are times she's REALLY in boymode and I can deal with her in that way, but then she switches to clingly girl mode and that's an issue. Cuz like I told BigMan, there can only be one headbitch in a relationship, and that headbitch is me. At the moment, I don't feel the need to pull rank cuz I'm new to the relationship and am willing to give him time to sort it all out. But the time is approaching when this isn't going to work.

So the birthday bash was interesting because during birthday bash BestGirl was in full boymode, but previous to birthday bash she was in girlmode, needing him to follow her around while she shopped and drive her here and there--although she was shopping for boyshoes and clothes. For herself, I mean.

Birthday bash was interesting. I'd been to a strip club before, but one frequented by mostly white patrons, during business hours, and it was a laid back affair with mostly white girls writhing rather boredly along mirrors or poles to classic rock, the men sitting mostly watching and not allowed to touch.

Huh. Not this joint. The first thing that struck me most about this particular place was the amount of girls in it. Young girls, mostly, between the ages of say, 18, to maybe 30. All different shapes and sizes, mostly brownskinned, almost as many Hispanics, very few white girls. No Asians. There was an army of waitress girls in black thongs and white corsets, and then there were the hostess girls and greeters in gold corsets and then there was a whole slew of other girls in various attire that ranged coverage from "some" to "um, what?" On the one hand, it was a pretty interesting experience because not every chick was beautiful, and not every chick was cellulite-free. But the men didn't care cuz there was something for everyone. On the other hand I was amazed that someone could actually walk around that scantily-clad (carrying a large handbag to scoop up cash) and not feel ridiculous.

And most of the girls didn't mind being touched. There was a particular duo or two who were engaging in some rather acrobatic "if-it's-not-real-it's-a-pretty-damn-close-simulation" to oral girl-sex on a stage, a crowd of young man gathered round like they were watching a cock fight, throwing money and patting asses.

Lapdances were plentiful, for both men and women. In fact, there was a pretty large female patronage, though most of them were in boymode. CNC had been invited and was there with me, and it's rare to see her look uncomfortable about anything sexual but she, like me, is not into group sex so she looked pretty uncomfortable. Which was mildly amusing. She left before the BigShow.

I had debated myself about not going, because while I have no problems with BigMan going to a strip club or having a lapdance, I definitely have problems watching. Cuz I'm not a sharer. It's that all-or-nothing thing. I told BigMan I was going to have issues, and I could feel them coming on but luckily there is such a thing as tequila. And the place had 1800 which is so much smoother than the usual Patron, so after about three shots I could tolerate the atmosphere and by four I was comfortably numb. BigMan was actually pretty cool about everything, turning one rather insistent girl in neon yellow away, and mostly acting as host and caretaker to BestGirl.

Who decided to follow her crush, StarStripper on an "E" trip. StarStripper is fascinating. She's the same age as the Diva, a full-time college student by day and a featured performer by night. She's young, not particularly beautiful but has a fabulous, well toned body. She reminds me very much of young Josephine Baker, with all the accompanying craziness and narcissistic tendencies. She's at the top of her world. And BestGirl is madly in love... except StarStripper lives with a rather large female affectionately referred to as "Big Daddy." BigDaddy is the one who acts as bodyguard and cash-scooper when StarStripper performs.

And perform she did; she put on a pretty good BigShow. No doubt, the girl's got skills on a pole, and a some dance moves and a flair for the performance. She likes what she does. She enjoys the male attention but declares that she's gay. Except by the end of the night she told me how she had enjoyed seeing pictures of my Sun and would like to have a man to have babies with one day.

BestGirl didn't do well on the E trip, and by the end of the night was crawling around on the nasty floor, declaring she couldn't get up. StarStripper declared that since it was her birthday (she and BestGirl have birthdays a few days apart) she expected WebShowDude to treat her and her entourage to breakfast. WebShowDude is the guy that BigMan and I take pictures of on Wednesday nights. A likable hustler-turned-webshow-host, he had been invited to the bash and made the mistake of informing everyone he was going to IHOP for breakfast. StarStripper decided he was treating her and her entourage which consisted of Mom (who was decidedly butch), GrandMa (decidedly not butch and a little perplexed but "supportive"), another performer, BigDaddy, myself and BigMan and a slave. Yes, a slave.

I'm not exactly sure what the slave does, exactly, other than sit passively and smile and follow StarStripper and BigDaddy around. I'm not really sure I want to know.

So at 5:30 in the morning I found myself at a jampacked IHOP in Harlem, with WebShowDude claiming he'd left his bankcard at home and had no cash so he wouldn't have to pay, watching StarStripper take pictures of herself with her camera and BestGirl claim she was hungry but couldn't eat because the E wouldn't let her. The slave sat passively, the other performer sat and talked on her phone the whole time (at 5:30 in the morning!), and Grandma wondered why she couldn't do something else with her life. "You're beautiful, baby" she said "you don't need to do this". To which StarStripper replied "but I kept my top on, Granma!" BestGirl ended up paying for every one's breakfast but let StarStripper believe that WebShowDude had done it.

I couldn't wait to get home. My brain hurt. But it sure was entertaining. My conclusion to the evening was that there are an awful lot of damaged girls in the world. An awful lot... and I frequently wonder how much molestation of little girls really leads to bisexuality since at least three women in that group were molested, abused or exposed to that kind of behavior as little girls.

I wish I could have taken pictures but it seems only StarStripper was allowed to have a camera--at least in the club.

And since this got long I have to write about the Mongol Horde in another post...