Tag Archives: men

Wasting My Youth, C’est La Vie

3 Nov

There are a lot of things that my mother has been right about over the course of my teenage years. Now, a month short from turning 21 years old, I am beginning to question if this is one of them.

I would love to argue with her and tell her that she is wrong. Tell her that age is just a number and that he loves me. But honestly? I’m over that. I’m over telling her she’s wrong, even though I want her to be wrong so badly.

I am currently dating a man who is seventeen years older than me. He is divorced and has two lovely daughters, ages 13 and 9, whom I have come to care about very much, yes, I can even say I love them. We have been together for almost two years. In those two years, I have grown to love him, love him more than I thought I could ever love someone. As a person, as a friend, as a lover, I just love all of him. We connect in a way that leaves me at a loss for words,(which is a rare occurrence for someone like me). We even spoke about  getting married sometime in the future, and even though I didn’t let him know it then, just the idea of spending the rest of my life with him has motivated me more to finish school and get my career in motion.

After having lived with him for about a year, and recently moving back to my parents’ house about a month ago, it would be a stretch to say that we have had a “normal” relationship. However, not being “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean that we haven’t been happy. Or so I thought.

On average, he sees his girls about once a month, twice if he’s lucky. Recently they’ve been asking to see more of him but it’s hard because of time, money and the distance between their house and his. With good reason, my boyfriend is terribly upset by this and for two days now, has only answered one of my phone calls and one of my text messages.

At the risk of sounding selfish, I am angry that he is not answering my attempts to contact him because I need him too. I know that he’s having a hard time, and I really wish I could help him, but part of being in a relationship means that we can rely on each other. Be each other’s rock.

Moving back to my parents’ house has been really hard on me. Crying every night when I try to go to sleep without him, crying every morning when I don’t see him next to me. And let’s not forget, crying every time I go to his house and I have to leave. He has never not listened to my bitching, but this month has been particularly difficult for both of us. I feel alone, lost, and now, questioning how or if this is all going to work out.

While the relationship has brought me lots of happiness, it has been a constant struggle between my head and my heart. It could be that I am looking too far ahead, or maybe that I was never looking far enough ahead. At the moment I feel stuck, or really too pressured to fast forward through my twenties to make someone else happy. I’ve often thought about my future and there are many things I have always thought of doing before settling down with someone. Travel, graduate, make a lot of stupid mistakes that I can tell my kids about in the future (haha), and hopefully make money before I decide to even have a family.

My mom says that I am wasting my youth by dating an older man who already has the responsibility of children. She says I have to “find myself” and “live”. And for a long time I’ve been telling myself that I am “living” the way I want to, but today as I wait for my boyfriend to answer my phone calls I realize he’s already “lived” and has his reason for living; his girls.

Though I cannot blame either of them for wanting what is best for their children, I do want to know where this leaves me.

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I wrote the above about a year ago while I was in a very serious relationship that may not have been ready for at the time. I had originally titled this post “Wasting My Youth”, but now that I look back on it, I don’t know if I was. After all, it was not a bad relationship. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and most of all LOVED a lot. The problem was that I questioned the relationship too much and if you can’t trust yourself to know what’s right, that’s enough to drive you insane.

The right decisions aren’t always the easy ones. C’est la vie.

Please Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful – How I Feel

8 Sep

“I understand that we live in a culture where “beautiful” and “female” have a long and complicated relationship. I know that women want to comfort each other through the hurt of living in an air-brushed, surgically-enhanced, Top Model, Cover Girl society. I also know that the word “beautiful” can be used to describe the inner person and not just their looks. But I have to wonder if we’re really doing ourselves more harm than good when we insist on giving beauty such a dominant space in the sphere of women’s lives and conversations. Even in “acceptance” movements, beauty is a central theme.

Why is not okay to be un-beautiful? Why is it so painful to admit a lack of objective beauty where it may not, in any objective sense, exist?”  “

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“Why does the matriarchy feel so drawn to steeping itself in assurances of beauty? Not that I’m using men as a role model, but they don’t tip-toe around the subject of physical attractiveness, stopping to console each other that their beer bellies, balding heads and scarred faces are really, truly beautiful. They don’t insist on denying their realities or the realities of other men by promoting the concept that all men are “handsome” in their own way. Instead, they have come to take for granted a patriarchy where “handsome” may be a gift, but unattractiveness is really not that big of a deal.

I wish we’d get there. I suspect that when women quit focusing so much on beauty, theirs and other women’s — whether physical or in the broad sense of personality — that we will be able to change our real-world consequences. We will be more truthful, more realistic, more effective and therefore more tangibly helpful to one another.”

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“We’re never going to make it okay to not be physically beautiful if we don’t get off this beauty kick we’ve been on for so long. We’re not going to change our futures and those of other women as long as “beautiful” remains a priority. We’re not going to change the culture that places such an inordinately high premium on female attractiveness as long we keep promoting beauty myths through the lies we tell ourselves and each other.” 

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These are all quotes from Jane Devin’s Please Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

Usually I am the first one to say that every woman is beautiful, even if society says they aren’t. Devin however, gives a different take on the situation. I don’t think she’s wrong at all. Maybe the American culture isn’t wrong, maybe it’s just us women who take it too seriously. 

It takes a strong woman to know what she is and what she isn’t. It takes a strong woman to know what she can and cannot do (because most of us think that we’re Superwoman). And lastly, it takes a strong woman to know what she deserves and when she deserves better whether it be in love, career, and just life in general. 

Maybe, we should start caring less about what our “culture” is, and start taking ourselves more seriously.

Thoughts? 

“Hey Shawty”

1 Sep

If there is something I hate more than creeps undressing me with their eyes on the subway, it’s creeps that feel the need to “holla” as I’m walking past them. 

I don’t get why they never get the hint and they generally catch me at the worst times. I’m usually rushing to class or work. As if that’s not stressful enough, they have to get real close and say something ridiculous like “I like the way you hold that pole.”

Katie J.M. Baker just posted something on Jezebel with her most hated cat-calls. Here’s a snippet: 

5. Baby

“Baby” may be the most annoying pet name in the minds of Siteopia’s survey-takers, but I think it’s the least annoying catcall because it’s so inoffensively banal. “Baby” is like the vanilla of catcalling. It feels almost half-assed. If you’re going to try and assert your masculinity over me in a public space, can’t you try and be a little more original?

Alternatives: Babe, Baby Doll

4. Sexy

It’s gross whenever a stranger yells “SexXxXy!!” at you — particularly when you’re not trying to look sexy for anyone, like when you’re wearing sweats and a T-shirt with stains on it en route to get your allergy prescription — but at least it’s straightforward. A “sexy” is so obvious that you don’t feel the creepy pseudo-intimacy that comes along with other names further down the list…

Alternatives: Sexy Legs/Lips/Insert Body Part here, Sexy Mama

3. Princess

PSA: You should never call any girl a “princess,” but you should definitely never call anyone over the age of nine a princess. Unless she is actually a princess. Which, unless you hang out near Buckingham Palace, she is probably not.

2. Sweetie

“Sweetie” is a few notches ickier than “sexy,” because it’s not just your looks that are being ogled: it’s your personality. A “sweetie” said in a lecherous tone sends (the wrong kind of) chills down my spine because it infantilizing, patronizing, and connotes little-girl subservience. The worst part is that people sometimes think you’re weird for being offended by a “sweetie,” because it’s, well, sweet. So the catcaller gets to be all butt-hurt and think you’re a bitch if you don’t respond well to his “nice” sentiment.

Note: I have friends from the Midwest who don’t get offended when they’re called “sweetie,” because they say it’s more commonplace there. Maybe it’s a coastal thing? Few strangers say “sweetie” to adult women in California (where I’m from) without iffy motives.

Alternatives: Sweet Thing, Sweetie Pie, Honey

1. Whistling/Kissing Sounds

THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN THIS because it makes you feel like you’re not even a woman, just a barnyard animal, or maybe a piece of furniture. Maybe even worse: that teeth sucking sound.

Extra Credit: “Smile!” NO I WILL NOT. 

I especially love the extra credit.

And you know, as much as I want to blame these creeps for making poor choices in their pick-up lines…it may not be their fault. The #2 song on the charts this week may explain it all. 

“can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby”. 

Gotta love Flo Rida. 

If I Can’t Touch Me, Why Can You?

7 Aug

I’ve been feeling a little risqué lately, so instead of putting on some daring red lipstick ( ‘cause lord knows I don’t own any) or trying a new dare devil-once-in-a-lifetime- extreme bucket list activity, let’s flesh it out here. Let’s talk about the unspoken pleasure, an event I’m sure we’ve all taken part in, but are waaaay to “lady-like” to admit it…a lovely term we all know as masturbation. I know, I know it’s gross to even read it on the page, but why is that? A deed that is as natural to us as breathing? Why do we soo quickly negatively judge the safest sexual activity (speaking in likeliness if STI’s) there is?

Throughout the course of history, women have been lead into developing certain kinds of relationships, very distant relationships, with themselves and with their bodies, uncomfortable ones at best unsatisfying ones at worst. For as long as there has been an America there has been a strict and rigid format women had always been expected to follow. In America’s early years, recreational sex was never an accepted “code of conduct” for women. Those who deviated from it were women who were no longer “ladies”; women who were open about sex and pleasure techniques even till this day are criticized and condemned to an extent.

The only time I’ve ever seen female masturbation being glorified is when it is done for the sake of a partner watching. This reinforces the ostracizing of women from their own beings because the only time it is deemed ok to make YOU feel good, is for SOMEONE ELSE. If doing this is supposed to be for your own pleasure why does someone else have an agency over your body that really is only entitled to you?? Now, I am a feminist at heart and of course a lot of my sentiment and drive lies within the unjust effects our society has on the mind of us as women,but I do think it is also important to look at the stigmatization of masturbation for men as well. They have it rough. This may be one of the ONLY categories that men may be more distressed and misunderstood in than us ladies. You want to know why? It’s gross. Plain and simply put, it is nasty. Or at least that’s how mainstream media portrays it. The man who does that is usually a perv who is incapable of getting laid. At least for us, it has an appeal of being sexy to an audience. There are not many cases that I’ve witnessed or heard of where it’s attractive to see a man “taking care of himself”.

It’s immediately associated with derogatory images and events. First ones that come to mind for me are cheating, getting caught watching porn, and Pee Wee Herman, you remember him. The guy publicly jacked off inside a movie theatre? It all barrels down to very embarrassing conclusions: he’s desperate, he’s a sex addict, he has no “game”…. It’s looked at as an insult in a lot of situations. Why the hell is that? Funny how the male sexual desires are acknowledged but yet in the physicality of it, masturbation is every bit as shunned for men as it for women.

A proposal for it? Hmm, I really wish I had one. Why is America, a place where sex and masturbation in all its kinky forms raids and lives within its media and the minds of its public audiences so offended and disgusted by something so seemingly minute as this?

By the always clever and entertaining Sam Hogan.