Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Men Love Bitches (Part Deux)

Circa 2006, I started this story and it’s a story that deserves to be finished.
After a day of being an irresistible bitchvia text and rendering all of his attempts at flirting unsuccessful on his part, the Professor proceeded to keep in contact that evening. I was out with friends and was having a good enough time though nothing was distracting me quite enough to keep me from occasionally glancing at my phone. Not wishing to seem impolite I had, of course, invited him to the ever dimly lit, smoke filled and badly serviced Biddy Mulligans of yesteryear for an opportunity to socialize with my friends, buy me a drink and perhaps attempt to seduce me in a real world setting. 

However, harboring hopes for nothing beyond purely physical, up against a wall, talking optional sexual encounters for the evening, as all commitment phobic assholes worthy of bitch-like treatment do, he rebuffed the idea of all such communal interaction invitation and instead gallantly offered to come pick me up and take me back to his place for a night cap.
I was growing rather bored with the exchange already, but when it became clear that he wasn’t even going to make the effort to come out and persuade me in person to come home with him, I went from bored to mildly offended. This man clearly had no interest in conversation or any interaction involving a greater amount mental or emotional exhaustion than one might have with a chocolate ├ęclair. 

Knowing that I was uncategorically worthy of seduction more mentally strenuous and than text message regardless of how attractive or tenured the man might be, I grew ever more resolutely obstinate, irritated and hostile with every click of the send button until I just decided to ignore him completely. 

Guess who ate it up with a spoon and couldn’t get enough?

That guy.

Why followed next is perhaps the greatest “why men love bitches” exchange of all time.
Professor: Good morning sunshine
Scarlett: (2 hours later) Good morning.
Professor: So, you were being quite to cocktease last night
Scarlett: Well seeing as how I had absolutely NO interest whatsoever in you OR your cock, I don’t see how that’s possible.

Thus was the unceremonious and immediate ending of our voluntary interaction. Apparently men, even the gluttons for punishment, don’t love bitches THAT much.

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*Side note: The image recorded is that of my favorite author, Elizabeth Wurtzel, on the cover of my favorite book, entitled none other than BITCH: In Praise of Difficult Women. I Highly recommend you check it out not only will the social commentary make you laugh, but as always, Ms. Wurtzel's prose feed the soul.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sagacity in Seattle

Ever have a conversation with someone so…epically unexpected and surprising that it makes your head spin? 
When someone without knowing you all that well has so much insight into your head without invitation or suggestion that it derails your train of thought? 
An interaction that makes you reevaluate the way in which you connect with the world. Reassessing whether or not you spend you time wading in the shallow end of the conversation pool rather than treading in the more uncertain, fluid territory. I’m not speaking of the TOPIC of conversation per say, but the texture of the interaction.
We met casually on the Friday before last. He was there from Seattle to play in a band. I was there presumably to hear the music while keeping my own emotional tone from derailing into a dissonant, chaotic key. His band mate, our mutual friend, mentioned to him offhandedly about the situation underlying that evening merely in passing. 
He friended me the next week, sent me a nice note and added.
PS I know you may disagree and I totally respect that, but I think you're prettier without make-up. I'm sure you get this all the time, but you have two of the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen on anyone. ;)
Very sweet.We talked at length this past Friday. He inquired after the Friday night situation, I filled him in on some very vague details and the fact that he never showed. His response:
“Wow! You looked like you were having a great time! I had no idea that you were running on a double track that night.”
“Double track?”
“I mean you must have had so much anxiety - waiting for him to walk through that door all evening and so frustrated when he didn’t show after putting yourself through all of that emotional expectation”
“Yes? I mean - Yes.”
I was just a bit stunned. Yes. Yes, Seattle. That is Exactly what was going through my head.
“That must have been incredibly draining”
Yes - yes it was - but who has the emotional radar to pinpoint that?
“Uh huh”
Keep in mind this man has NO background knowledge of who this ‘ex” is - could have been 5 years ago? 5 days? But….damn.
What gets me, or rather disturbs me the most is that it was a passing conversation. It wasn’t some dark, soul searching dialogue over hours of chatter and the hazy enlightenment which comes only after several bottles of Zin. It was instead, a passing tone of conversation that may, standing alone, be left unworthy of mention or afterthought. The ease with which he saw through the layers of emotion and bullshit sans gravitas or occasion - only passing brilliance. 
I suppose at the end of the day its really a difference between judging or responding to someone else’s story and really attempting to understand their experience. A difference, in short, between black, white and the spectrum of hues of which we may only note a fraction. 
Its amazing, isn’t it, the way in which a person makes us see ourselves, not by pointing out flaws, or even by painting the must beautiful portrait, believable or not; but by their own pure motivations and actions.
Its amazing how one person can make your see yourself, and particularly your flaws as starkly as if they were holding a mirror to your soul. Not through verbal admonishments but purely through their own selfless actions that, without intention, can highlight the distance by which one, and I in particular, routinely fall incredibly short. Knowing that I should listen more, judge less and once in awhile put myself into another girl’s Manolos just to see how really uncomfortable that last block might have been to walk.
Seattle consistently thinks in ways which seem so foreign and yet so dead on balls accurate that his statements routinely take my breath away. He relates to the world a completely purpose filled way that it leaves an immediate and meaningful resonance in, if not the soul, then surely the heart.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just Walked Away

I was prepared for the encounter on Friday.
I met w/ my therapist to discuss strategies to avoid an inadvertent slip and fall down the crazy staircase. I had my makeup professionally applied at MAC for some intense smokey eye/glowy skin action. I gathered a posse and I DO mean a posse of fabulously beautiful women that I knew I can count on for ANYTHING, to accompany me and serve as emotional linebackers. Donned a casual yet uber sexy dress, borrowed from Goldie giving me curves worthy of a Christina Hendricks Esquire photo shoot. 
I compiled a survival kit of prescription strength uppers, a bottle of Prosecco, and pout enhancing lip gloss in my purple patent leather clutch, and away I went: ready to face the monster in my closet and prove its non existence. Assuage fears and see the ex for the first time since he left me with a tear stained face, shivering in the middle of a Philadelphia train station platform over two years ago. 
And he didn’t show. The fucker didn’t even have the decency to show up long enough for me to torture him with aloofness coated in sexy and casual indifference dripping fabulousness.
Perhaps he simply was too much of a coward to face me. Perhaps he simply found a more enticing offer for the evening. 
Ironically though, while I was worried about this man walking back into my reality and giving myself a near ulcer over what this unsuccessful, unmotivated Peter Pan might think of my outfit, my waste line, my boobs, my hair, my smile, my eyes, my words - I saw three amazing bands, including my favorite, Atomic Shotgun - experienced the Red & the Black, a bar to which I had never been, and managed to make some new friends who found yours truly to be rather charming. 
Life truly happens when you’re making other plans. I’ll try to remember that when I’m spending time and emotional currency worrying about something and someone that truly means nothing and adds no value whatsoever to my world.
With that, I finally walked away.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Scream, Shout, Let it Out

I was having drinks, sitting in someone’s quiet living room, in a circle of laid back, care free conversation with friends. The room was light and airy close to the ocean, but I wasn't quite sure. A safer place could not be imagined nor could a more comfortable way to spend, what seemed like a lovely afternoon.

Eventually the tone shifted and a nagging, pressing feeling emerged and refused to be shook off. The mood of everyone present was unnervingly altered from casual and light to secretive and knowing. Worried glances exchanged from face to face communicating something I wasn’t meant to see or information no one wanted to share.

Gradual, vague recognition crept up and a realization set in. He was here. A seeming impossibility but it made sense - he knew these people. His family was here. After all this time, silence and separation the possibility propelled my stomach into my throat and then plunged it back into place leaving a painful lump of anticipation temporarily disabling speech. The comprehension that he could, at any minute, enter the room and become a part of my line of vision set my eyes darting about, searching for some kind of warning sign or herald that would somehow assuage an unanticipated appearance.

Panic then set in. Utter terror at the thought that in this safest of places, he could suddenly be thrust into my reality unannounced and uninvited. Disjointed thoughts about everything I had left unsaid and the rage I had yet to unleash face-to-face whirled around the growing confusion of my mind.

Alarms worthy of of a DCFD station clamored in my ears as the room spun before my eyes. The previously airy space seemed to be loosing oxygen with every passing second. I couldn't understand why someone, anyone wouldn't smash one of these wall sized windows before we all lost consciousness. I had to sit down.
I fixated on the beach below, staring intently on the point at which the surf rhythmically and calmly met the shore. Taking all the effort I had to stay grounded and present before the panic overtook me completely. It was too late. I could sense him walking into the room behind me. Even though I could barely see through the distortion of the moving room, there was no mistaking him even beyond the chaos pounding behind my eyes and blurring my vision.

It wasn’t rational. I didn’t think. Fight or flight they call it? I had been fleeing this moment and these feelings and this fear for so long that the fight, the savage, overwhelming fight was the only response my swirling brain could conjure. Even so, my body seemed at once too small to contain it. The tidal wave of grief, passion and rage crashed upon me a thousand times more fiercely than I could have imagined washing away all cohesion or sense. Nothing but an echo of screams, incomprehensible noise, filled the space.

Unaware of words, unaware of thoughts, unaware of anything but the explosion of exhausting emotion and a newly discovered capacity for rage erupting from within.
Hurling every remnant of sanity, feeling and self control at him one decibel at a time. Yet, he stood there placid. He seemed infuriatingly unphased at to the emotional explosion of atomic proportions to which he was seemingly immune and I longed to return to the flight strategy of before.

As I sobbed myself awake and realized that I had been screaming to the darkness of my apartment only and that this encounter had not, in fact, been real. The rage, exhaustion, and grief, however, truly did exist in an organic, almost tangible way.

It wasn't the first such dream I had had that had managed to break through the numbing effects of the tranquilizers, the Ambien and the Merlot all meant to keep my subconscious at bay. It was, however, the last such nightmare.

Nine months ago, I realized that you can only dam up a river so long before that dam collapses and the river swallows you whole. Since then I’ve let the water out, released the pressure, taken more than several deep breaths, put on my big girl panties, dug deeper, realized more and faced my fears. All but one.

Frankly, it is for that reason I feel I’m strong enough after two and a half years for Friday night. Because Friday night, I know I will
not be dreaming when I see HIM standing in the room.

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