Monday, September 05, 2011

Stop wanging my girly thoughts

News flash for the dudes out there, at least the straight ones: Your significant other is a girl. That means that, no matter how good she is with a chainsaw or a sewing machine, a front-end loader or a Kitchen-Aid, chances are she has girly thoughts. And because she likes you, she probably has some of these girly thoughts about you.

Because visual aids are so useful, I will offer an infographic of what girly thoughts look like:

That's right: hearts, rainbows, unicorns, glitter. You name it. A woman's girly thoughts are often accompanied by sighs and sweet, fluffy daydreams about holding hands, soft kisses and cuddling. Norah Jones is optional background music.

Guys, we throw out clues that we are having these thoughts. Phrases like, "I was thinking about you," or "I want to feel you close to me" are dead giveaways. If accompanied by a shy smile, pay attention. And do not, I repeat, DO NOT, wang our girly thoughts.

What do I mean, you ask? Let me demonstrate with a simple phone conversation in which a woman calls her beloved in the afternoon:

Man: Hey, what's up?
Woman: Not much, just wanted to say, "hi."
Man: Hi
Woman: I was thinking about you today.
Man (Beavis and/or Butthead start laughing in his head "huhuhuhuhuhuh."): Oh you WERE, were you? What were you thinking?
Woman (still oblivious due to pink fluffy thoughts): I was just thinking about you, and about how much I like being near you.
Man (Beavis screeching in his head "We're gonna SCORE!"): Huh-huh-huhuhuhuh. You wanna have sex tonight, don't you?

That boys, is wanging our girly thoughts. It's taking our pink fluffy, sigh-laden romantic thoughts and blowing them into oblivion with your heat-seeking missiles. Not OK.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The flip side of being prepared

I took actions today that I had prepared myself for, at least as much as one can prepare oneself for something so gut-wrenching. And when I took those steps I had practiced until they were rote, I did so with a calm that comes from such preparation. Still, as I sit here on the other side, perhaps the numbness is the most disconcerting of all. It seems like it should feel differently, like I should be doing something. It's odd, like someone grabbed ahold of reality and bent it slightly. I am conflicted. Perhaps practice isn't everything.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sticky snow

My friend and I were bemoaning the difficulties of life earlier today, commenting that 2011 has already shaped up to be one that tops the previous year in the "suck" department. Though the scenarios are different, the common theme seems to be that the waves just keep crashing down upon our heads, often just as we feel we have regained a toehold in the sand. She pointed out, rightly, that both she and I have experienced some great victories in the last few months as well. Yet it still seems difficult to find something approaching "smooth."

Here's where I start mixing metaphors, folks. Brace yourself. We're going from sand to snow.

In the springtime on the ski trails, sometimes the snow gets so wet that it becomes like glue to the bottoms of my skis. Even an application of Maxi-glide doesn't correct it. And the miles of trails become this disjointed experience: I glide smoothly, quietly for a few strides, calm with the hush of the forest around me. Then the snow grabs my skis, trips me, turning my glide into this stuttered struggle to remove the impediment to forward motion.

That seems to be both my experience and hers as of late. I think we both would appreciate it if things would cool off enough to bring back the glide. Miles of sticky snow is no way to ski.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011


It feels like something is about to happen. Perhaps it is just the changing seasons. I have always been prone to hypersensitivity to such things. I can't quite identify when: a couple of days ago, a week, maybe. Something flipped, an internal switch. So I'm waiting with a touch of existential breathlessness ... and smiling.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Please leave a message

I realized somewhere around the third or fourth "call me back" that, for me, relying on a telephone as a primary means of communication is akin to rubbing sticks together to build a fire. It might work eventually, but it will take twice as long as it needs to.

I got my first cell phone six years ago. I got a Gmail account about four years ago and have been on Facebook and Twitter for less than three years. I finally broke down and bought a smartphone a little over a year ago. And with all of these things at hand, when I am limited to the telephone, I feel a bit like I am using the Pony Express. Call. Leave message. Miss returned call. Listen to message. Call. Leave message. Two days later, "let's go have a drink" is relayed.

Not really sure whether it's a good or bad thing, really, but this exercise in telephone-only communication has proved that I am not so good at waiting, either to relay or respond to information. Curious, that.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I made the mistake of visiting my Gmail archives tonight. And one set, in particular, was akin to a visit with a ghost: hundreds and hundreds of conversations, laden with obvious affection and affinity. As a whole, they are the chronicle of a valued friendship, the words of someone I love. And they are all that's left.

I feel sad tonight, for in its absense from my day-to-day life, I had forgotten how much I loved this friendship, this person. I should not have read them. They are too much a reminder of that empty disappointment of someone who was supposed to be here.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010


Last week, my teenage son broke up with his girlfriend. Apparently, at one point, the process involved her calling the house over and over and over and my son telling his sisters to tell her he isn't home.  Half of me was saying, "Good lord, honey, put a damper on the crazy behavior, you are making yourself look foolish and reinforcing the hysterical stereotype of women." The other half of me was saying, "Oh hell, what did he DO? Women don't go nuts like that unless men have pulled some sort of noncommunicative, game-playing bullshit. Tell me my son isn't one of THOSE guys."

As in all things, it's probably a little from column A and a little from column B, especially given the lovely combination of general clulessness and raging hormones that comes with the teen years.

Still, I figured it was a teachable moment that I ought to seize. I struggled for a moment with what to say, though, with how to explain to my son something I've found beyond the grasp—purely innocently in most cases—of most of the men in my life, friends and lovers. Call it Mars-Venus or whatever, but it just doesn't seem to compute.

I hemmed and hawed and stumbled about the conversation for a moment until I remembered the many protective comments my son has made in reference to his younger sisters. Epiphany. It could be summed up in a short statement: "I don't know exactly what happened here, but I want you to consider, in any interaction with the young women you date, whether your behavior toward her would be something that you would be OK with if a boy acted in a similar fashion toward your sister. If not, then you should probably adjust your actions."

He seemed to get it. Later that evening, I was thinking about our conversation in the context of my own experiences. I hope my son gets it, but I have my doubts. Most men don't seem to. They are fathers and brothers and sons and demand the highest level of consideration for those women from other men and, in most cases, from themselves. Yet in their romantic relationships, they do the very things that they have deemed "not good enough" for their sisters and daughters and mothers. I wonder why. I wonder if women do the same thing. Does sex really change things that much?

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