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Archive for the ‘dating is fun!’ Category

New American Cool Girl (part 2)

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Part 1.

Part 2: The things a NACG does (again, even though she knows better). (Btw: I’m going to belatedly acknowledge that this is totally heterosexually based. I’m not familiar enough with the ins and outs of queer dating to speak to where this may or not apply there.)

There’s at least a few categories here, so bear with me.

Pretending to want less
We all know what this looks like. The NACGs truth might be: I like him, I love him, I want to call him, I want to text him, I want to see him more than once every two weeks, I want to be monogamous, I want I want I want. She tells him: ‘oh hey, sorry, I was busy’ (turned off read notifications and waited four hours to answer), ‘oh, hey, yeah, Sat should be ok’ (she kept it free for him), ‘hi, can you remind me about that brewery/song/book you told me about’ (and lbh if she likes those things she probably already knew), ‘can’t friday, have plans’ (no plans, just doesn’t want to seem to available), etc. This seems normal and actually kind of expected, right?

Hiding physical femininity
Every woman in a sitcom whose husband opened the door while she was bleaching her mustache. Every woman who goes through a crisis when a hot date and her period coincide. The girls who are mortified when they drop a tampon in a high school hallway, and the menopausal women who carry frozen water bottles through the office to keep the evidence of their hot flashes on the dl. Insert your own story here, we’ve all done it.

‘Not like other girls’
Ugh. You guys.
This is the most egregious and the most insidious.
This is something boys say to girls, and sometimes something men say to women. What they inevitably mean is ‘there is a flag of womanhood that I find irritating/boring/scary and you’re not waving it at me’. Or, more succinctly, ‘you’re like a dude, but I’m attracted to you’. (This phrase is a close cousin to ‘oh my ex was crazy’.)
I’m not going to address the dude part yet. (Part 3?) The problem here is when woman start using this phrase to describe themselves. (I’m a retread, as usual.) But women do say this, and what is usually means is ‘hey baby, I’m a New American Cool Girl – anything about other girls that you haven’t liked ain’t what I’ll do, promise’. It can mean I won’t be like your mom, I won’t be like your ex, I won’t be like your best friend’s bitchy wife. It always, always means that the woman who says it feels the need to separate herself from a half the population to be attractive.

This is different from the women who used to follow The Rules, btw. The NACG will 100% ask a guy on a date and be willing to pay for things. She will, potentially, burp when she and a dude are doing a beer tasting. She might send nudes to a Tinder match. She’s not a lady, is what I’m saying. She’s just…

well, let’s return to my thesis.

She’s unconsciously sublimating her femininity because we’re all taught women are inferior to men.

Part 3: who the hell knows. Seat of my pants nablopomo here, guys.

new american cool girl (part 1)

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Full credit for all of this, of course, goes to Gillian Flynn, yeah? You remember, from Gone Girl (book or movie):

Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding…Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl.

The full monologue covers a lot more, but holy shit did this resonate with my general cohort when we caught wind of it. Because, yes. This expectation is not nearly as much of a joke as it probably sounds like if you’re either dating or friends with daters.

I talk to my friend J- about this a lot. I may, in fact, have angrily accused her of being the New American Cool Girl more than once and over text, she thinks I’m complimenting her.

Here’s the problem. The heroine of Gone Girl is a fucking psychopath, and she thinks that all women are like her. In her monologue, the underlying (and stated) assumption is that Cool Girls are pretending to be what men want. Why? For some … unknown reason. She herself pretended to be the cool girl when she met the guy she’s married to in the books, but she’s very iffy on why. To get him to love her, obviously, but what was the end game? In her case it was a long con that involved faking her own death, but in the case of a normal woman what does buying into the cool girl mythology actually earn us? Is it a sitcom marriage where we’re mad at our husbands for thinking they were marrying the cool girl? Super.

The expectation is so accurate (overstated, but accurate) that the problem of motive has gone largely unaddressed.

Here’s my version, so cleverly titled.

New American Cool Girl

The difference between the Gone Girl Cool Girl and the NACG? NACGs FUCKING KNOW BETTER.

For the NACG it’s not about seeing what a man wants and molding herself to fit that, for some future potential payoff (in the form of a diamond and/or a faked murder?) It’s about the unconscious and unavoidable sublimation of the feminine due to the misogynistic training we all, men and women alike, receive our entire lives.

Yeah.

I see it all the time, and every time I see it I get meaner about it. It’s amazing any of my single girlfriends still talk to me. Especially since if you asked Crockett, I probably did plenty of it myself.

I admit, I’m have perhaps swung further in the opposite direction than most women want or need to go. Example: last night, I was at a beer+yoga event in Denver. With yetis. Life is strange. After the class, there were contests, and a woman won the first (which happened to be headstands). The dude who was on the mat next to her, and got beat by her, walked by J- and I afterwards and said to a friend ‘I can’t believe a female won’. J- literally straightarmed me like we were in a crashing car and said NO, because the woman I am now may or may not lecture that dude on a whooooole variety of things. Starting with how dehumanizing it is to refer to a woman as a female.

But my personal crank levels aside, there are behaviors that smart women who know better still engage in because we just. cannot. help. ourselves. We’re the NACGs and we know better, and yet.

That should, hopefully, be part 2.

 

that one time I was psychic

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I had this fella when I was in college and for a couple of years afterwards. (I believe I potentially referred to him as Jumpsuit here previously, but let’s just go ahead and pretend this is a new grown-up woman’s blog (one where the blogger doesn’t give men she planned on marrying stupid ass nicknames – we’ll call him M-, like the mature adults we now are, right, guys?)). His name was M-, and I loved him and invested in him like WOAH.

Like, we lived in a house his parents owned, and my little brother and one of my best friends were our roommates. I managed at a liquor store his brother owned while I was waiting for pastry school to start. I had my car, and our dog was pretty definitively mine (luv u 4ever Clo), but if I’d walked away that’s basically all I would have had.

This ^ is unnecessary backstory, because at my most psychic moment, M- and I were doing super duper and my reliance on him and his family were very far from my mind.

It was Friday evening at the liquor store. We had these random busy times, and I hired my mom and dad to come in for a few hours and help me out to avoid having to do big real part time hires. Also because when it goes unchecked, nepotism is real and thriving. My mom had come at 4 and was supposed to leave at 6 when M- arrived from his full time engineering job, and then he and I would work the Friday night close together. At about 5:15, I started getting … twitchy? Nervous? Panicked? I tried to call him a couple of times, because for whatever reason it felt like he was very late.

Not late, guys. Wasn’t even supposed to be on the road yet when I made these calls.

Didn’t answer, didn’t answer, didn’t answer.

Cop answered.

M- had been in a car accident a few miles from the store. He’d left his other job early.

He was fine, but I drove my ass to where he was and to this day am pretty sure I was actually aware that something bad was happening to him.

On the morning of the eclipse, this year, I had the same feeling. Twitchy. Nervous. Panicky. Like someone was very late for something. I called my mom, my brother, texted my dad, I had eyes on Crockett – everyone was fine. No one later revealed that the morning had been a disaster in some way.

So, like. How reliable do psychic powers have to be? Is 50% good enough, like baseball, or do we have to write the first off as a fluke?

Also, I know you don’t believe me and that’s fine. I love you anyway. Welcome to NaBloPoMo.

If Dean Winchester Were Your Boyfriend

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Pouring one out for The Toast.

  1. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his shirts would be your shirts, whether he liked it or not. “Babe, we haven’t hit a laundromat in weeks”, he’d say as you wrapped yourself up in one of his flannels. “You smell great,” you’d tell him and mean it.
  2. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, most of your meals would be eaten on the road. For your health, your brother-in-dating Sam would constantly watch what you ate. If you ordered a burger and milkshake, he’d detour to the kitchen and make sure the shake ended up with a few handfuls of spinach in it. When you found out, he’d ask how you thought Dean made it to 40 while never willingly ingesting a vegetable.
  3. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d teach him the names of older musicians he’d never heard of so he could use them as fake names when he ran out of 80s musicians. He’d pretend to just take the information as handy, but later you’d catch him listening to Dead Man’s Curve on youtube.
  4. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he would tell you that you never had to worry about being attacked by demons or witches. Every time you bought a new purse, though, you’d find almost immediately that a knife had been sewn into the lining and an anti-hex hex bag had been tied to the handle.
  5. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, you’d get the kind of attention in bars that you’d previously thought was a myth. The two of you would walk into anywhere and every server in the room would see him and be available all night for your every need. He’d tell you he thought you were teasing him when you told him most of the world didn’t get that kind of treatment, but then he’d wink at you and do a shimmy to whatever song was playing on the jukebox.
  6. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the first time you got a panic attack because you met an angel he’d bring you a beer and a quarter of Xanax and tell you to play checkers with Cass. “You can’t be scared of angels once you see they have no sense of humor,” he’d tell you, and then he’d punch you in the shoulder and mouth ‘be yourself’ to Cass behind your back.
  7. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d use his hunter network to set up an elaborate birthday surprise for you. Every place you stopped on a road trip would have a booth reserved and a different colored balloon tied to your seat. You’d suspect it was partially Sam’s idea, but that wouldn’t matter because Dean would grin every time he saw your huge smile.
  8. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, his mom would try to make you tough and Dean would get mad at her every time. “She doesn’t need to know what it feels like to slice her palm for a blood sigil, Mary,” he’d say. “I’ll always be around.”
  9. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, he’d learn what ‘woke’ and ‘kyriarchy’ mean and you’d sometimes hear him explaining them to other people. Afterwards he’d tell you dejectedly that he wasn’t sure he’d overcome his buddy’s idea that women make less money because they don’t know how to ask, and you’d kiss his neck and take him out for a piece of pie.
  10. If Dean Winchester were your boyfriend, the world probably would have ended by now. If it did, though, he would have been thinking about you while he did something insane to try to save it.

 

loss

Friday, June 30th, 2017

(There is nothing fun or funny to follow, so … move along if that’s what you’re here for.)

I don’t mean loss in the way that people *lose*. Not a parent or a spouse or a child. I’m talking about those losses that, when you explain them to other people, they rate like a splinter. ‘Oh, bummer’, and then moved on from, never to be considered again.

Or worse, those losses that you don’t feel justified mourning. My personal examples are just that … the best I can think of that I’m willing to share are things like when I sent my book to a few very famous agents and none of them were interested. Overall: pipe dream, best I can expect as far as sympathy was a nod and a smile. Still, internally, I mourned. I love my book like a baby, and I thought it was meant to be. And it was, but under different circumstances, and that makes sense to everyone who hears this story. But to me, it felt like it was meant to be with who I had in mind and everything else was just treading water.

Or worse, when my Clo died. Cloey was a terrier but also my best friend and the companion who grew up with me, from college graduation through breakups and apartments and a house that belonged to just me and her. People understand when your dog dies, but most of them in an ‘oh bummer’ way. I railed and cried and missed her like a person, but … ‘oh, bummer’.

The thing is, everyone tells you that kind of thing feels better later. Wait it out, etc, etc. My losses of men from my younger years (the kind of thing that hit hardest when I was a baby person)? YES. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’m not the girl who was with Andrew in college, when he realized he’d always been in love with Andre. Or how glad I am that I’m not married to Monte, who now has beautiful twins and a lovely wife.

Of course, in retrospect, Monte did make out with the girl who is now the woman he’s married to while we were in the process of permanently combining our lives. And Andrew … I don’t know, man. I want to pretend my gaydar was good, but it wasn’t. He was cute and I dodged a bullet, that’s where that lies.

My book, though? If I’d been tough and tried harder, more times, maybe I would have gotten what I wanted. If I’d been braver and strong enough to let Cloey go through chemo at the animal hospital up at CSU, maybe I would have had her for longer. (I checked the archives and this post is the closest I got to writing about how hard it was when Clo died, but suffice to say my choices there are some of my biggest what-ifs.) There are losses that are just that – losses. They are things that make your life less for the lack of them. I have them and know I’ll have more, but it doesn’t make them hurt any less.

I miss the things that I think should have happened, the things that belong in my life but aren’t there.

(In other news, sometimes I’m a fucking drama queen.)