Saturday, April 3, 2010

Loving Ain't Always Liking

We've all got friends who constantly date jerks. Girls that date the guy who is always high-fiving someone when "barely legal babe" porn flashes across the screen, or who spanks the girl and demands a sandwich, or the guy that drinks way too much with his buddies and when his girlfriend tells him to cool it he heels over laughing. I have a few friends like this, friends who do not like and do not actually respect their boyfriends.
The closest one I've been able to observe is my sister's. She is always smacking or punching (on the arm, of course) her boyfriends for something. "You Would Do That" is her favorite term. And she is always dating a guy who gives her plenty of reason to say it.

"Why are you dating him?" I asked a friend like this once and she said "At least he's honest. I Know what he's thinking."

And I realized, these girls may think this type of guy is their only option. These girls may think that all guys are thinking "YaaaAAH!" when that porn flashes on the screen, so they may as well date the guy who actually says it. That way, the girl has the reason to smack him. I realized these girls may think all guys deserve to be smacked, and they are just doing their duty by finding the ones who put themselves up to be smacked.

"At Least He Is Honest" ??? !

For God Sake, I hope my guy isn't actually like these other ones---but just...silent.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In The Middle of The Highway

I was driving on the freeway today. It was busy, but traffic was smooth. Everyone was moving along at at least 70 mph, but there were still enough of us, so many of us actually, to make the two men standing on the side of the free way particularly noticeable.
There were two large islands of overgrown grass that were separated by an off ramp. The grass was blowing constantly, but slowly like in a tropical climate and it was tall enough to reach a knee. In fact, the grass did reach a knee, the knees of one homeless man, and another. The two men stood on separate islands of grass and one moved slowly, with difficulty against the wind, to leave his island and cross over to the other island. I watched this from half a mile away and up until we passed it. The one man who was moving, his cheeks were pulled back by the wind and he was straining his eyes.
He must be making his way to the other man, I thought. There is such a fight in him. He had on a leather biking jacket and a backpack and had white hair, the man standing on the other island had on a grey sweatshirt and had long dirty blonde hair. I just could help but think, what are the odds of two homeless men being here, separately, in the middle of this dangerous highway? At least, if they are separate, they must want to speak to each other. They must want to know one another’s story.
At the time our car passed the scene, the one man who had been walking reached the man on the other island of grass who was standing still. And he passed him. It was like watching two different movies play side by side. The one man looking pained, and struggling so much. And the other just loafing around. Looking into the ground, scratching his arm. The two never looked each other in the eye, or even in the direction of the other. I was shocked, but then I realized, maybe I shouldn’t be.
Maybe there is just an understanding between the two men, between many homeless people, for that matter. They probably pass each other and just silently say (in their heads, but they know the other one is saying it)
“I’ts been tough for you. And I can’t help you. Good Luck.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Don't Want To Eat McDonalds In A Dumpster!

I wish I could say this is were a post promoting environmental consciousness, but it is not.

This is a post about what keeps a relationship good, and in my experience, it's simply that everything else is good, and their are no stresses. No bills struggling to be paid, no illness taking a toll on the physical relationship, no ego issues due to a job demotion, or bad grade etc..

It's not a healthy way to be, I know. That is not a sustainable relationship. But i'm realizing I've had a few that were that delicate.
I dated one guy in a band who took me backstage and in the VIP rooms of nightclubs in hollywood where there were always drinks, always outrageous outfits to wonder at, always charm. I've dated a guy who ran a pot brownie service so...there was an infinite supply of that to keep us happy. I've dated a guy with whom...well...the sex was just fantastic.

But the band guy--his band broke up. The pot guy--his business got shut down. And the last guy--lost his libido!

I did not, I repeat did NOT date any of these guys for the reasons listed, but only after those factors were removed, I simply realized they were what kept us together.

So now, I am constantly on the look out for what is and is not sustainable.

And my guy would like to go to Europe this summer. Do I have money for my own ticket? Of course not, he knows this.

And I'm worried, ok, I am. The memories, the moments, the emotions that could be created on such a trip and it's just not--Sustainable. My guy can't be paying for me to go to Europe every year, or Puerto Rico or wherever.

"You're being silly!" My dad exclaimed over lunch when i told him this.
"When i was your guy's age, I had plenty of money too. And if i wanted to go on a trip, and I wanted my girlfriend there, then I was paying for her. That's it"

Perhaps I am being silly. But in all honesty I've just really fallen for this one and am desperately trying to strip away all elements that might be non-sustainable and might be giving a false air of love, of ecstasy, to all of this.

Sometimes I get antsy just being in his apartment for too long because it is so nice! Maybe that is adding to my feeling of a high around him. Eating at nice restaurants gets me antsy too.

"What? DO you want to eat McDonalds in a Dumpster?" My friend asked me when i expressed my concern. "And then you'll REALLy know you love him!"

I suppose she has a point. And her image of us eating in a dumpster really pointed out what this is all about--fear. And i can constantly be looking for reasons to be afraid. And at the moment, that constant search, is keeping me from possibly passing up a trip to Europe!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dr.Phil Wouldn't See My StepDad

Before getting into this post I have to say that I do love my stepfather and, yes, even have grown to like him quite a bit.

But when he first hailed from his country of Sweden and set up house in my home, I didn't get him.

He was very into tea parties. Okay, it was coffee, but i'm calling them tea parties because he would set up tiny little saucers and delicate cups from the China cabinet that had only been for decoration my entire life, fold napkins into flowers more complex than ones you see in on covers of National Geographic, and even put little figurines down as center pieces, whatever he could find. There have been little plastic children dancing the waltz, a porcelain knome, and a santa claus made out of twigs. when it was nowhere near Christmas.

And, of course, after all this tedious preparation he would ask me to "Yulia (you witch the J's and Y's in Swedish) please don't do your things here."

And the "here" area was set up days before the tea parties would even take place!

The man also is not a big fan of burps. When i burp he pats me on the shoulder and says "oh you free American Girls."

Do females not have digestive tracts in Sweden? Am i just a "free" liberal American girl that went out and bought myself one? Just another form of our crazy, "free" plastic surgery i suppose.

He is also uncomfortable with gay people. If he sees two men or two women holding hands when we are out he just raises his eyebrows and says "hmm. interesting."
I really don't remember Sweden being so lacking in such common things as intestinal tracts and homosexuals but, maybe he is from the Country there. And i've only been to the capitol city.

Now my grandmother, she could tell I wasn't particularly warming to the guy. it could be because i picked up the plastic figurines of the dancing children at our first tea party, im sorry, Coffee party, and made the little plastic children do obscene things.

I thought no one was watching!

Anyways, my grandmother also likes to give a lot of her opinions, or advice. She also watches a lot of Dr. Phil.

That, and the News. I came over one day and my grandpa informed me my grandmother was upset and not coming out of her room. "It's nothing," He said softly to me.

"It's not nothing!" She shouted from her bed, "There was a hurricane in Oklahoma today. And an earthquake in China. Things are changing. Things are changing."

We live in California.

So anyways, this particular advice came from Dr.Phil.

My grandmother said today's show had been on wife beaters.
"Ten of them on the stage!" She counted for me.

“you should be grateful your mother doesn’t have a husband like that!” is her moral of the story.
I didn’t realize those were the only two options: Extremely straight-laced, conservative, slightly homo-phobic and very judgmental, or a wife-beater. Things look very promising.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Business of the Soul

I love the way my piano teacher and I talk about the act of playing piano, as though it is a business—something very necessary, very serious.

“Now, if you hold the middle peddle down lightly, very lightly, just half way, you see like this? The sound will stick to the walls around the room. It coats the whole place. You hear that?”

She halfway closes one eye as if looking at something far away and holds a finger in the air for me to watch. As though my watching her finger means I’m hearing what she is hearing. She is not strict, never strict. Just serious about the music.

(I love the way all these paintings look--like the people are studying something very meticulously, with so much care, as if every detail were crucial, like a science)

I like this because piano is clearly something for the soul. We would still be living and breathing without it, as we would without all kinds of art. But that is all we would be doing—living and breathing.
The “necessary” or “practical” majors or fields of study, I have never had much interest in those. Don’t get me wrong—I did just have a colonoscopy last week for goodness sake—I know I need the people who engineer new kinds of medicine and what not. But I’ll leave that up to them. I just wonder if they know they need us? “Us” being the artists—if I can go as far as to call myself one. While I don’t engineer or do mathematical proofs, I do still have to go to work, go to school, stand in line at the bank…do the humdrum stuff we all take a pause from our lives to do in order to be alive. But, my soul has to be in the right place in order for me to do all the other things I do simply to keep my body alive. That is why I love people who take the business of the soul seriously, like my piano teacher.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Depression's Out the Door, and I'm all Ready to Cry ??

Do you know anyone who's biggest problem is themselves? I mean whether it be physical illness, depression, anxiety etc.. all their efforts, all their energy and time is put into dealing with that problem?

I used to be very much like this. I struggled with what i self-diagnosed as depression for two years, then an eating disorder for another year and a half, then back to the depression when that was over. I was my own biggest problem. My main relationship was with the gym and my strict eating regiment--it controlled me, I would leave a party, and take a twenty minute subway ride across town to make it to the gym before it closed.

Then with the depression, everything had to be scheduled around therapy appointments, I was seeing different natural doctors to try and 'get things in balance' of course i was dabbling in yoga too.
The point is, I was always controlled by something, but the other morning, everything came together for me, I felt complete freedom, and I didn't know what to do with it.

Of course it didn't happen over night, it has taken years to get here, but my eyes just happened to be wide open in this moment and i realized how drastically different it was from any i'd had in the previous years. In fact, how impossible it would have been for me to have had such a moment before.

I was sitting at the table next to my mother's swimming pool with my guy. We were eating pancakes, eating them slowly and playing with one another's hands.

It was a simple moment, really it was, but it never would have happened two years ago.

Two years ago, I scrambled all my clothes together off my boyfriend's floor at 5 in the morning to rush to begin my morning workout and make sure i got to eat the same goddamn high-fiber, high-protein, ZERO flavor cereal i had at home.
One year prior I would have just been laying in my bed staring at the blank tv screen for an hour thinking, "do i have to do today? I dont want to?"

None of this moment by the pool would have been possible. A love, pancakes, and just staring at the pool rather than feeling guilty for not swimming laps in it!

I told my guy, "I feel so happy this morning, that I am sad."

And I realized, all those problems i'd had (or indulged) for the previous few years, had kept me from looking outside myself.
And now I could. I had all the health and power to look outside myself. Life was no longer just a struggle to breathe! I had reached that plateau, and once I was standing on it, I didn't know what to do there.

Our "problems", be they self-enforced, real, false, whatever...keep us from facing happiness. And What the hell do you do with that? Isn't it the same as facing mortality? When you're no longer struggling just to be alive, what do you do with your new found life?