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Archive for the ‘dating is fun!’ Category

brace yourselves, this is going to hurt

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

This is the worst breakup I’ve ever had and I’m not doing a very good job with it, you guys. Like, if it were a job, I absolutely would have been fired. If it were a relationship, I would have been dumped. Oh, wait.

So I have some things that I’m working on to try and help myself get and be better about the whole fucking mess, and they are serious, but I also thought it wouldn’t hurt to remind myself of things that hurt before that are now just things that I write about on the internet. As in, some day, in some context, this whole thing will be something that I write about on the internet. Hopefully.

In the order which they occur to me, rather than most to least painful or vice versa:

  1. In high school Andrew, this ridiculously tall fellow who was a grade below me (but my actual age), didn’t want to be my boyfriend even though we totally KISSED ON THE STAIRS. Like, laying down. That shit hurt my back like you would not believe. I don’t remember how I found out he didn’t want to be my boyfriend. I might have asked. I do remember someone telling me that he liked Courtney better and that I shouldn’t worry about it because she was ‘a dog’. That was the first time I’d heard that in the context of calling someone ugly, and I was embarrassed because I thought Courtney was really pretty. I cried a lot. (We’re going to let this story stand in for Brady and Jason and whatever other dumbass boy didn’t want what I wanted when I wanted it too (because he was a person with his own needs etc but it hurt me at the time and that’s what this post is about OK GOD), because if we didn’t this would just be a list of boys who I thought broke my heart at the time). Also, Andrew smelled like dampness, and not in a good way (if smelling like dampness in a good way is a thing that is possible, I’m not really clear on that).
  2. When I was a sophomore (high school theme, I know), Rose got the role of Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie instead of me. You know how many musicals have altos as leads? Like, two. Bye Bye Birdie is one of them, and she’s a co-female lead, but still. I did end up getting to sing a song at a little metal cafe table while wearing a poodle skirt with several of my best friends.

    In the middle. In case there was any confusing between me and the blonds and the redhead.

    In the middle. In case there was any confusion between me and the blonds and the redhead. We’re all wearing We Love You Conrad pins.

  3. I was in science class and Jessica called me a cunt. I don’t remember why but it was certainly the first time I’d heard that word out loud, and I was simultaneously mortified and heartbroken. Also, she was one of FOUR Jessicas in my class, and I don’t really remember which one she was. I might be facebook friends with her now? It’s not clear. Too many Jessicas.
  4. When I finished my first book (she says casually while the third languishes, ignored, in a window behind where she’s currently typing), I submitted it to the agents of my five favorite authors. Form rejection letters, all around. That is a thing that happens to writers, but goddamn that shit hurt. Then, instead of trying harder, I published it on amazon and felt better. Finding agents that were not already representing world class authors was too hard.
  5. That one review on amazon. I would link to it, but that would require me to go read my reviews and after that one review I’m never going to do that ever again. It’s funny now, sure, that she was so upset about all of the drinking in a book that is literally NAMED CORKED AND HAS A PICTURE OF A WINE BOTTLE ON THE COVER, but the fact that I’m yelling actually maybe seems like it’s not funny. Nope, not funny. Not upset about it anymore either, though.
  6. I made 300 cupcakes for a wedding, the only time I had ever made that many outside of a professional bakery setting, and it was 95 degrees and they did not look good by the time the wedding started. I took the money anyway and felt nauseous every time I thought about it for several years. The cupcakes didn’t end up in any of the photos.

See? And that’s not the serious things. That’s not that time I (and several doctors) thought I might have had MS (didn’t). It’s not the loss of Cloey, or my grandma. And I don’t cry (very often) about those things anymore either, right?

Oh! I forgot one. My best friend’s boyfriend, on whom I had a ridiculous thirteen year old crush i.e. I was pretty sure that he was my future husband and the only man I would ever love and the only person who would ever truly understand me, tried to kiss me but for reasons that are unclear we were laying in a pile of hay in a parking lot (Nederland is weird, y’all) and I was surprised and rolled down and hit my elbow and then tried to climb back up to kiss him but I couldn’t find my footing and I pulled down like half the pile. We never got to kiss. When you’re thirteen, that shit is life ending.

So. This is not those things. But this is a thing that will be ok, eventually. And then I will write about it on the internet.


Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I met Crockett for delicious wine and a tasty lobster roll at The Empire after work today, because that’s kind of how we roll on Tuesdays post breakup. (Minus the lobster roll, because that’s a short term thing, per the head chef/owner (I asked)).

(I love lobster rolls.)

I wonder, now, what I would think of Crockett if we were going on a first date. When we met we were younger. (Duh, dummy, whatever.) I was coming out of a long period of time of being alone punctuated by really really terrible decisions. I dated that guy who was a friend’s younger brother, for example, that I barely exchanged words with and yet somehow we became boyfriend and girlfriend and then I kept canceling things and he got mad. Or those other guys. Whatever.  This is not that post. This is a post about me making new friends or failing to do so.

I started to make a new friend recently, but it didn’t go very well. In this case, I made some serious comments about the implications of men calling women they date crazy (actual mental issues are serious business and not to be made light of. ‘Crazy’ as usually used by men in that context means that a woman has wants and needs that aren’t in line with his needs or aren’t within the boundaries of what a woman traditionally expresses on a date) and the difference between that and women calling men creepy (also not particularly fair, but when a dude presents as putting his desire to be near you above your own desire to be not-near him, that can turn non-safe faster than most men would believe possible, so early labeling is to a large extent a safety issue for us) and it wasn’t received openly. My prospective new friend thought I was lecturing/yelling/something something and said that I would be more convincing if I WAS QUIETER ABOUT IT.

The thing is, I was totally lecturing/something something. (I was not yelling). These are things that I care strongly about, and things that I will never talk about the way that I’ll talk about TV or that tick that turns people into vegetarian zombies or whatever. There’s not a place in my future where I’ll stop lecturing/something something when I talk about that stuff.

I was a grown up when I met Crockett, but I became the person I am now while I was with him. (Most of that is documented here, actually.) I wonder, if I met him now, if we would even be friends. I think we would, but I also think he would say some things that would make me mad. And I would say some things that he would think were stupid. And I would make him mad. But I would see that he is smart and funny and currently underutilized in his whole life. And he might see that I’m …. whatever I am.

My work friend, Coastie (see the recent post where he laughed at my dumb joke and no one else did), is sort of an exercise in opposites when compared to the friend who thought I was a yeller. He’s not aware that women calling men creepy and men calling women crazy is even a thing. He doesn’t know what reddit is. I could explain the crazy/creepy phenomenon to him and he would agree, because he wouldn’t understand that there was a subset of people who think that doesn’t make sense. My across-the-hallway-coworker, who has been online dating a lot, would think I was making a big deal out of something that doesn’t really exist. We are not going to be real friends. My friend Chewbacca would not necessarily agree with me, but would engage in honest discussion and would never accuse me of taking it too seriously. Most of my other friends (girlfriends) just let me say things and nod and smile and sometimes ask me to intervene when some dumbass is saying things like ‘yo that girl I met last week was crazy’. I don’t know what Crockett would have done if he hadn’t grown into this version of me with me.

I’ve been watching too much Sex and the City. But the question is: when you’re a fully formed adult person (in as much as that’s a real thing which come on, we’re talking 50% fully formed for the best of us), how much compatibility can you expect from the people you love? How much are they expected to agree with you, how much to humor you, and how much can you disagree on?


post about actual Emma sex

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

I was going to say ‘golly that title isn’t that interesting sorry but I was going for honesty so you can move right along if you don’t wanna hear about it’ but who am I kidding.

It’s also kind of a lie, because no. I’m not going to talk about actual sex that I’ve had.

What I am going to talk about is an article that was recently shared by a facebook friend of mine and liked by several others.

Five Reasons You Should Have Sex With Your Husband Every Night

I’m not even sure why I clicked on it. It wasn’t shared by feministing (as if) or even Jezebel. Or even xoJane, my favorite hate read. It’s HuffPo. Love ‘em but not exactly a bastion of clear feminist thinking.

Brief unpacking.

Reason 1: Being a mom is unsexy and exhausting.
Issue: Too easy. OH THE ASSUMPTIONS. The article never said ‘your child’s father’. So your number one reason has to do with procreation. Those of us without kids are still having regular sex? (Here’s where the title comes in.) That’s not a terrible assumption. I certainly had more regular sex than my child having compatriots. However, what about adoptions? Or fathers who are primary caregivers? Or men with husbands who clicked on this?

Reason 2: “If you want your husband to act like a man, you need to treat him like a man.”
Issue: COME ON. The second line is ‘Hold the eye rolls’, but come on. Fuck you. The paragraph that follows is a summary of all of the things you always hear paired with this statement. He’s more loving when he’s having regular sex. He works hard all day and wants to see you naked. Essentially, you don’t have to be into it, he deserves it.

Reason 3: Connect.
Issue: Eh. None. In a typical heterosexual relationship I do think sex helps you connect unless you are intentionally working around it for any or all reasons.

Reason 4: “Sex relieves stress.”
Issue: If you’re not having sex, it’s likely not going to stress you out LESS to force it into your schedule or what have you. Counterpoint, masturbation.

Reason 5: “Sex is fun.”
Issue: Counterpoint, masturbation.

Look, I think regular sex between two people who are into it is one of the best, most funnest things. The problem here is that this (I KNOW, not written by a professional or whatever) article puts the onus on us havers of uteruses, and I think that happens too frequently. The assumption is that our dudes are always ready for it, and so any time we’re not having sex it’s because we, the ladies, are choosing not to. (See spreadsheet guy for a sense of the expectations around hetero cohab sex.)

‘We’re not having sex because’. I don’t feel sexy. My toddler is taking up my time. I’m just not feeling it.

YES. Then say those things and don’t have sex. And reasonably expect that your partner will, at some point, tell you he’s just not feeling it either. The idea that women can get laid whenever they want and men always want it isn’t good for any of us, y’all. Articles that encourage women to have sex for any reason other than ‘I felt like it’ consistently undermine our right to do just that – have sex where and when we want to and at no other time. And they make men feel unjustified in EVER not feeling like it.

And if you are able to have sex and think it might be kind of fun even though you might take some warming up and part of this article speaks to you, then by all means, have sex with your husband. Whether he feels like a goddamn man afterwards or not.


the worst way to waste a lip balm

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Last night, for no reason that I’m able to pinpoint, I was thinking about the first boy that I ever kissed that I didn’t particularly want to kiss. This is not a terrible story, have no fear. At worst you’ll leave it shaking your head and saying ‘Oh Emma, honey’.

I was fourteen or fifteen and his name was Seth and we were in a play together in Boulder. Weekdays I would walk a mile down the side of the mountain that I lived on and catch a bus, and then I’d walk another mile to the theater where we rehearsed. It was an old building, a round one that looked like  the top half of a geodisic dome, and it had no air conditioning.

Seth had lived in Hawaii before he came to Boulder. I think his father may have been in the military? He wore camouflage clothes (can I repeat, I was fourteen or fifteen) and had red hair and that’s all I remember about how he looked, but I was crazy about him the way a young teenage girl can be crazy about someone with no actual reason. He flirted with other girls in the play, but somehow, one day, he called me at home and asked if I wanted to go see a movie with him.

This part still embarrasses me residually. Like, I don’t think it SHOULD have been embarrassing, but I was so ashamed at the time that it’s literally still with me a little bit. He said the movie was at 9:30 and asked if I could get a ride, and I thought he meant in the morning because I WAS FOURTEEN AND WHO GOES TO A 9:30 PM MOVIE? I asked my dad about getting a ride and he was a little surprised at how early the movie was, so I looked it up and discovered that of course there was no 9:30 am show of whatever the heck we were supposed to see. So I called Seth back. I don’t remember what I said but I lied. For sure. Whatever I said had the gist of ‘I can’t go out at night after all let’s hang out during the day’. And then blushed for the next ten hours straight just thinking about how wrong I’d been.

So we met at Scott Carpenter park in Boulder instead and hung out and when we were in the trees by the river I realized he was going to kiss me and I didn’t want him to. My stomach felt bad – not flippy bad, but dread bad. I didn’t know what to do, so I let him kiss me.

He wasn’t my first kiss, but he may have been my second. Chris, in eighth grade, was my first kiss. The order from there gets a little fuzzy.

After we kissed (probably chaste and quick, I certainly don’t remember otherwise), I told him I actually had to leave and I walked a bunch of blocks to the mall and went to a department store and bought a four dollar tub of flavored lip balm because I didn’t want to feel like I was kissing him anymore. Four dollars was a serious investment for me.

We never went out (and definitely never kissed) again.

Here’s what I think about now. I wonder which part and how much of what happened had to do with whatever expectations I’d already fully internalized? Did I feel guilty about being attracted to someone? I was a goofy, poorly hair-cutted, badly dressed kid, and I hadn’t had a lot of experience with someone liking me back. It’s possible that I was feeling the beginnings of what actual desire would look like and it freaked me the hell out.

Of course it’s also possible that I realized that I didn’t actually like him for whatever reason. Any reason. And that I couldn’t say no because I didn’t know how girls did that. I’d certainly never seen it happen in school, or movies, or on tv or in books.

I didn’t have Katniss kissing boys or not kissing them and being ok with both. (I also didn’t have Bella being literally THE WORST. Who knows what would have happened if I’d embraced her as a role model.) I didn’t have the internet, so I sure as hell didn’t have or even Rookie. I’m sure my mom would have given me strong advice, but I didn’t ask.

I used that balm almost compulsively for the whole rest of that day, and then could never bring myself to use it again.


datey mcdaterson

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about online dating recently. Partially because of being recently single and how everyone says things like ‘but oh my god have you tried online dating because my best friend’s sister met her husband online and he’s just the best‘, but also because my nearest (physically nearest) friend at work is fully committed to it right now, and one of my best guy friends has been doing it for several years, and one of my other girlfriends seems to have recently given up on it.

I was online briefly, about three years before I met Crockett. I don’t remember if I ever met anyone in person that I also met online, which should tell you about the quality of that person if he existed which I’m not sure he did. My profile was lazy, if I remember correctly. It was the kind of profile that was designed to say ‘I’m that kid at the back of the classroom wearing sunglasses and ignoring the teacher’. That didn’t work particularly well for me in school when I tried it, and I suspect it wasn’t the best approach to online dating, but there was something about trying that seemed … well, yes. Uncool.

This is going to sound so cliched that I can’t even believe I’m about to type it, but I don’t actually mean uncool for other people. I mean uncool for me. I 100% support anyone going whole hog. I would only judge them if they half assed it, like me. Somehow, though, the whole hog thing felt embarrassing when I tried to apply it to myself.

My coworker is going out with literally anyone who asks, but isn’t initiating contact with anyone. Her theory is that even if she thinks she has a type, she might be wrong, or missing out. She’s open to absolutely anything, with one exception. She’s a little bit older than I am, so she’s particularly sensitive to divorce and kids, and she has never wanted kids so she doesn’t want to date someone who has kids who live with him. That seems totally fair and very self aware to me.

So far she’s been on a lot of first dates and no second dates. In a lot of cases they spend a considerable amount of time discussing why they’re online dating and how it’s been going so far, which she says almost always puts a damper on the ambiance. She’s run a little low on people that meet her criteria, so her dates are slowing down.

My guy friend is also open to most dates, with a minimum bar for physical attractiveness. He has a fair amount of second dates but very few third dates. I suspect that in his case he’s falling prey to the ‘but what else is out there??’ issue, but he’s never said he stops seeing people because he thinks there might be someone better. He just can’t find the right person. He seems to have a never ending supply of prospective dates, though.

My girlfriend that just gave up on it has actually dated a couple of people in the last year. When she and the first broke up (wisely, due to basic incompatibility), she decided to go online. A bunch of girls (myself included) helped her write her profile, and she …

Well, she’s aiming oddly. She’s only interested in men that have a lifestyle that is at it’s heart different from hers. It would be like me dating someone who plays video games with the windows closed to prevent glare all day. (Nothing against video games, literally everything against closing blinds. I haven’t closed the blinds in my apartment since I moved in. (Third floor, facing an unoccupied farm.)).

Of course, one of my oldest friends met her husband online. She signed up, saw him, saw a note that said he was out of town for two weeks, PAID FOR THOSE TWO WEEKS WITHOUT MESSAGING ANYONE ELSE, and then messaged him and they went out and fell in love and got married.

I think the moral might be that you have to pick someone? But that’s sort of the moral of romantic life in a monogamous society anyway, so. You know. Online daters. They’re … um … all of us, apparently. Of course, the other moral is that based on my sample size men are sort of dominating the decision making process, which isn’t good and is ALSO sort of like society. Swell.