Wednesday, January 28, 2009

They got a word for girls like me

A publisher friend and I are in the process of defining and developing my “brand”, the what and wherewithal, the keynote to the wondrousness that is me. Or more to the point, who I am in a sentence or less. My foundation, my Miss America platform. The purpose, promise and image.


We agree what I’m not, that being anything “Sex and the City”-like. I’d rather have a cheese grater bikini wax followed by a lemon juice bath. The goal isn’t the ring or the man (truth told, I find SATC a rather backwards, male fantasy of American feminism.)

I’m pop culture, absolutely; the blog is sick with it. I shy away from the “fat like me” only label, seems like an easy gimme. Besides, both Stephanie Klein and Jen Lancaster (as well as loads and loads of women) have already tread that treadmill – Klein telling tales of growing up fat, Lancaster facing an adult love of cheese to drop 50 pounds and gain a third book proposal (she never gives up her numbers, however, a big WTF? in her memoir.) Both tempted and trepidatious to explore sexuality, the fervor and gusto and joy after a lifetime of hiding under layers, liberally sprinkled with pathos, cheeky observation, self-doubt and self-love. Power to the pussy, right on, but that’s a box one could become easily trapped in.

Am I a “tardy juvenile” (a term quickly eschewed by the publisher friend who wants to go deeper, more soulful.) An ode to ladies in their 40’s, enjoying the spoils (and dealing with the occasional the bed’s-to-big-without-you lonely) of running the other way from the ring and the pacifier?

Am I simply a boy crazy girl in a woman’s space? Am I panting after true love or simple male energy, a cadre of man friends to drink and commiserate about the opposite sex with, to show me how to use power tools and whose masculine scent I can breathe platonically in a sex and romance draught. Men energize me, and the flirty girl persona has gotten in the way when lust for life is taken as merely salacious (which, considering long-time invisibility to and fear of the opposite sex is both amusing and ego boosting.)

Sometimes the best F is simply Friends.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Own Worst Enemy

Sometimes it’s dangerous to peek in doors.

It’s easy to imagine every coupling as a cozy duo. Making the coffee and enjoying a lazy Sunday for two. The sex better every time. A Valentine card. Choo-choo-choose me.

Wish I could wear a bikini top, scattered freckles soaking up the sun and Vitamin D without layers of regularly reapplied SPF. Never have (well, tried once). I envy her in tank tops.

How much more money does he make, what's the price tag on his creativity? The wife stays home with the kids; glimpses of the house and yard in happy online photos show a life so cozy, so Crate and Barrel. So worth more.

Fierce independence aside, I want to be a girl he'd sit on the couch and listen to music with. There’s a fine line between saucy and salacious, one I straddle often and usually sans panties. Want the love reward too.

He tells tales of self-loathing and doubt and desire and it reads like poetry. There's no worry they'll think him any less worthwhile once the dark passes. And they won't.

I want to be like oxygen, the room a little dizzier and alive when I enter. It’s who I think I am. It's who I want you to think I am.

"'Cause every now and then I kick the living shit out of me."

Friday, January 23, 2009

What You Need

Having a bit of a Michael Hutchence fixation of late. INXS plays constantly in the car and I spent hours last night watching videos and old interviews on Youtube.

He’s the sexiest man dead.

My ex-sister-in-law once told me Prince heralded the beginning of all things sexual for her. His music and erotic persona peaked just around the time she discovered that sliding-down-the-rope-straddling-a-balance-beam in gym class special tickle. Michael Hutchence was mine. Beware your possible spit take reaction, but I matured sexually very late. I had pretty boy vapors (Shawn Cassidy was my favorite), but teen idols then were bred to look like girls, soft and pretty. You wanted to hold a teen idols hand, not smell his balls. I was both fascinated and somewhat repulsed by Leif Garrett and the package that burst at the seams of pink satin pants in a poster of him I’d pulled from Tiger Beat. I had no use for or frame of reference about what lied beneath.

That was until circa 1982, MTV and “The One Thing." Soft and slippery, lean and sinewy, Michael Hutchence exuded sex to me. I wanted to hold his hand and everything else. He had a mop of angelic curls and a tiny lisp. He was barely 5’10 with a 28-inch waist at best and feminine featured. He loved women, you could see it, sense it, I bet smell it. He gave me a funny feeling in my tummy. Still does.

I saw INXS play live only once, at Red Rocks (an outdoor amphitheater) in the pouring rain. The vintage beaded estate gloves I wore were mostly ruined that night (we dressed pretty in the day, boys in eyeliner, girls in lace and not much else). Had my ass (and damn near vulva) groped by a complete stranger.

One of the best times ever.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

No secret Diablo Cody is a creative inspiration, number one girl crush and who I most want to be when I grow up (although I’m several years older). From her filthy-sexy first memoir, born of a blog, which begat Juno and her little brother Oscar®, I've wanted to breathe in her fire and balls and hutzpah and refusal to wear million dollar encrusted shoes for the red carpet in favor of dime store ballet flats. I want(ed) to be a genuine storyteller too. I am.

She regularly blogs over at MySpace. A recent post read in part:

I hope you're all doing exactly as you desire and tuning out the static. For those who are unsure, static sounds like this:
'It's a very competitive field. You will probably never be (insert goal.)'
'You need something to fall back on.'
'You need to be more realistic.'
'You can't be (blank) and also (blank).'
'You blew your chance.'
and my personal fave,
'You're not talented enough.'"

I’ve not been lucky in love or relationships. Or blessed (yes, I said blessed and I never say blessed, a word that owes too much to chance and hocus pocus) with family not splintered like a wet toothpick chewed past its prime. I’m at best average looking with a shiny and well-maintained top coat. So maybe my luck is I believe there's nothing I can't do with my talent. I just need to move from my comfort and try. Static is the music of those too afraid to try, and jealous that you might.

No one thought I'd ever be more than a fat girl.

No one ever thought I'd put myself through college with no home and no money.

Maybe no one ever really thought I mattered as much. Used to think that. Sometimes still do.

I knew better. I know better.

I don’t believe in Zimmerman or Beatles, I just believe in me. And that's reality.

And thing is, I do believe in love. I just haven’t found the match for this. Hopeful there's one and if not, I'll simply change my definition of it. Love that is.

Woman on the edge (of my coffee cup)

Starbucks does this thing called “The Way I See It." According to their Web site, “notable figures” (or really anyone with an opinion and an asshole, far as I can tell) share thoughts and expressions of “how they see it” in an effort to spark coffee house gab.

Stamped on my morning take-out cup is #76, authored by Anne Morriss (double r, double s, which is how I would always introduce myself were that my last name). She describes herself as an “organization builder, restless American citizen, optimist.”

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”

Sounds like a woman yearning for other hands down her pants.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And be there when I feed the tree

The trimming service came yesterday to prune for the winter. The trees are shockingly bare now, all grayish and jagged hard edges where grand limbs were snapped and removed. Trying to remember if they grow back, fully regenerate and renew, returning every year to full bloom.

I’m fine single, it’s the alone part of it that has me sad today. I wanted to be Mary Richards, tossing a carefree beret into the air, apartment cozy with wacky characters, dates with men who wear suit jackets. Or Carrie Bradshaw (albeit less needy) and a circle of four, women always there, similar yet different.

Online friends aren’t flesh-and-bone, ‘round the corner for a drink, cry on the shoulder real. Real friends have commitments and the social security of family. And family is a concept that’s lost most of its meaning.

And actually, taking care of me feels empowering and smart and sane. Just wish I had more genuine company on the weekends. Especially this one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Super (Clean) Freak

Further proof free-time pursuits are evolving from salacious, purely hedonistic and primal hobbies*, I ache instead in anticipation of the UPS man and a big package. My Dyson is coming, a clean machine with 12 amps of suction power and patented cyclonic technology.

I’m a clean, clean girl. The towels in my master bath are folded like those found in a vacation hotel, perfect creases and leveled hems. Fresh carpet tracks get me hot, so does the smell and crispness of just washed sheets.

Not certain where this near OCD obsession came from, but I’ve long suspected it had to do with living in small spaces. With one girl and three boys in the family, I had my own bedroom growing up, complete with white canopy bed and Bay City Rollers poster. However when the parents split then divorced, I shared a small apartment bedroom at Mom's with my younger brother and was relegated to the living room sleeper sofa at Dad’s.

Yearning to break free from Mom and husband two of three, my first solo apartment at 17 was spacious and luxurious; I had my own ‘fridge and tub. Soon though, I was sharing room 222 Libby Hall on the campus of the University of Colorado. Dorms are boxes, really, a perfect square of tile flooring, one wall composed of mostly heating vents and twin beds separated by mere feet. A virgin at the time, I was somewhat amused, mostly embarrassed, by the groans and grunts coming an arms length away when the roommate had an awkward boy over.

I found a pretty, pretty roommate, his daughter, and a pretty, pretty condo in the paper a few months after graduation. My private room included a balcony and jetted tub. Hymen still intact, I wholly embraced bubbles coming from four directions; my roommate must have thought me a very, very clean girl. He and the kid moved to Cali, I to a little flat over a pub and around the corner from Boulder's best tattoo shop. I loved it there, close to work and close to alcohol, the only downside the Saturday morning crescendo of glass when the recycling truck came for a weeks worth of pick up. Again I lived with a man, a roommate with other potential, but stayed (technically) a virgin the duration of the lease. It was the first time sharing a bathroom with a grown man and I must ask, why all the pee? I get sometimes the penis acts like a garden hose laying in the grass turned full blast, swinging and writhing, but if you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be sweet and wipe the seat (or the wall or floor or hamper behind you), yes?

My current three-level, home for eight years now, is starting to feel small. I pant at the thought of a private home office, spare bedroom, garage. A garden.

I know, more to clean.

*to change at my immediate discretion and mere enjoyment should the situation and man arise (dirty)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

Strangest thing happened today. After the gym and a shower, went to a bagel shop in the ‘burbs. I’m hating the suburbs; the vanilla just doesn’t tingle the taste buds of a girl who's strawberry swirl in a sugar cone. I'm too big now for how little it's become. Everyone looks the same (white), dresses the same (too casual, too light washed jeans). Everyone is the same. There’s a glint of gold on the left ring finger of every man sitting with a woman not even trying with lip gloss, hair in a pony.

But that’s another Oprah.

Having finished the morning paper and lox on bagel, I gather my things to leave. Heading out the door, buttoning up my white fitted pea coat, I spot a tiny, almost-toe-headed-with-a-touch-of-amber girl on the sidewalk outside. She’s two or so, just old enough to stand wobbly in one spot in front of a non-descript SUV (“Sport” my ass; the “S” means “Suburban”). I immediately realize and understand a parent is nearby, and from peripheral vision see a man wrestling an even tinier girl from a car seat in the back passenger side.

None of that is the strange.

The second I emerged from the shop, this little creature on the sidewalk locked on my eyes and said, “Mommy. Mommy.” Half statement, half question, over and over again in a sweet voice so soft the man couldn’t hear her. I couldn’t not look at her, turning as I walked by, smiling the whole way.

“Mommy? Mommy?”

There was no woman in or around the car. Did the man have no wife, single Dad, widower? Did I represent or portray the softness and beauty and nurturing of a woman that strongly to that girl? Maybe her Mom was/is a tall, caring and loving redhead who smiles back at blue green eyes.

I’ve never seen Mommy in me. I don't want to be the Mommy. Yet those seconds broke and warmed my heart, that reflection back from a factory fresh, cleanly scrubbed soul.

I don't know if I ever felt more alone.

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