Oh! So I look on my calendar this morning and see that it is Kiss Your Mate Day. I had to look up to see if this was a US Kiss Your Mate Day which would entail smooching up a domestic or romantic partner or if this was some sort of UK or Australian festival where you get to kiss all your friends. I find that it is all about the romantic partner. Intent to rekindle a daily kissing habit. So here I am requesting that you celebrate! Smooch up your honey! If you don’t have a sweetie or if that person happens to be missing this evening, I opt to go the UK route. Kiss your friends. If you are not normally kissy face with your buds just grab them and kiss their foreheads. Its safe, no worries. Alternately you can do the European kiss cheek of the one two or three sides alternating variety. Four is just excessive keep that in mind. I forget whether two is Italian and three French or vice versa. Either way, get at it people. There is little time left as it is already over in Europe. But you folks in LA, yes you who have its complicated as your facebook status and are continually talking about being separated and moving out. Forget that and smack those lips together. You can let me know how it goes too (well if you want.)
Archive for April, 2008
The idea of attraction has been puzzling me lately. Well not the idea of it, the actuality of it. As an idea things are just dandy. But the reality of it messing with me for sure.
In looking around I see people who are drawn to a particular type. One person I dated, after hooked up with a petite woman with red hair that has color of the box help variety, funky glasses and a slight body that is dressed with a put together style that is similar to mine, but frankly she carries it off better. Did he not have enough of the funky bottled redhead? When my friends saw who it was one said “wow, I guess he definitely has a type”. Rebekah is drawn to noses that could be categorized in the huge schnoz category. She waxed on for an entire hour after meeting AgentY, even mentioning specific things to do with a nose like that. A slight problem as he was MY date. Another friend whose name I won’t mention because she was embarrassed when I reminded her that she had said this said that her type is “someone who usually makes a lot of money because I like to go to nice restaurants and stuff.” I have heard many a shallow conversations similar in content to this in ladies rooms and I find them equally revolting. But that matches perfectly with evolutionary biology theories that men look for youthful healthy women who can reproduce and women look for men with status and resources as caregiver. Ahhh the unsightly practicalities of the breeding crowd.
There is a theory of genetic matching for future babies, opposites attract, similarities attract, proximity is important, or maybe reciprocity can explain it all. I often see this with men- she likes me so I will go with it. That seems to fly really well before the bed has been christened. Someone once said to me that he received advice to always choose the one who loves you the most. An important plan for this particular guy since she would have to overcome his infidelity, thoughtlessness and Olympic sized ego. Theresa once tried to explain a theory that she read that it is something about nose size and ear shape. But Rebekah has a very cute smallish nose and would cream her pants for a Pinocchio of the not so honest variety, especially is he was bookishly pale and wearing glasses. For every theory of attraction I can personally and around me find examples to negate it.
I read a book that started off by enumerating all the theories of what draws people together. There was the alpha male theory, which can be renamed to the nice guys finish last theory. But the author refuted that by saying that in modern society only big-wig bankers would be getting any skin. Not exactly true and there are some unemployed playboys in my town who prove and reprove that frequently. This book then proposed that we are somehow attracted to an amalgam of our parents or early age care givers and we repeat this troublesome dynamic trying to recreate or resolve early childhood care issues. This was the most interesting to think about. And although I could come up with examples this theory falls short with on the parent variety the whole theory also that the attraction can have components of other significant people from childhood and is loose enough then to just always apply.
So first off I know that I am not a “type” kind. Unless “smart” is a type. After serious and scientific contemplation of all these theories and I still puzzled over my own inclinations. I am alarmed at the intensity and sometimes ridiculousness of the people I am powerfully attracted to. I wish I had an off button to it. My calling myself a yoga nun right now is the closest thing I have to the desired power switch and it doesn’t really work very well. Where there was that super charged energy, it is all still there. This seems to be the case even if I don’t like the person, the person has shown no real interest when given the opportunity or it is completely inappropriate.
Here is the place in this post where the intention was to list off exactly how tenacious, ridiculous, and opposed to my best interest this bizarre thing called physical attraction is. But every attempt was erased because I was either being catty or admitting things I just shouldn’t.
Instead here is a list in no particular order of things that I wish would trigger the (nonexistent) turn off button in my attraction section of my brain.
Alcohol consumption upon wake up
Serious slob behavior that includes moldy food in the kitchen (actually this one succeed in killing my attraction to someone, but only for about six months)
Being far far far too young
Preferring a gender other than mine.
Blowing me off
Untreated personality disorders
Unwillingness or incapability for basic communication
Distance that involves flying to see them
unaware or adamantly denied passive aggressiveness
Alright I may have just ruled out the entire world. Trying to put a button on my bod that will stop unhealthy attraction is like trying to not blink when the eye doctor is about to do that glaucoma puff test. Not gonna happen.
Saturday was the kind of perfect day that happens only after a long harsh winter in both the environmental and emotional sense. I leave Saturday behind feeling more like myself than I have in the last month. The dregs of winter flotsam are going away from my mind and my yard. The feeling that I am just a pooh stick being tossed into a river is abating, I am regaining solidity.
I awoke after a full nights sleep and did my ninth day in a row of yoga in the morning. This time with four new songs on the mix that were perfect for flow vinyasa. I went longer than I had over the week, both because of the total lack of time constraint and the cold was gone enough to finally breathe well. After, I am in that slippery blissed out place and patter around eating, drinking and getting the deck back into summer lounge mode. I put away the snow shovels, dispatch the things that winter wear ruined, pull out the cushions and I lay in the sun. I start to rake here and there, uncovering the herb garden, stacking the last bit of wood from the tree that fell in the yard in March. Not wanting to start off the season striped, I walk to the store to see find someone to apply sunscreen to my back. I have guests for a while and feed them lemonade. I turn the loveseat with its back to the road making complete privacy from dog walkers, bikers, and driver and sunbathe until I am sweaty. The sun on my skin is delicious. I feel like I am burning off the chaff of pain I have been wearing, molting mottled darkness and back to a shining self.
There are sweaters to dye blue making me go down in to the cool cave atmosphere of the basement to stir and then emerge again to the bright of day. I change my facebook status a record number of times as everything feels perfect and announcement worthy. In the afternoon when it is far to hot to yard putter Theresa comes over with the intention of taking the canoe out. Too much effort, so we romp down to fiske pond. There is a family I know about ready to leave and then the place is ours alone. The water is a glimmering invitation. Although I know, since it is April 19, that it is inviting me to scream as I try to get then likely whimp out. Then I think why not, ditch the clothes and go in up to my knees. Oh yeah it is cold but doesn’t quite hurt and the sun on my chest is too hot. I go in up to my waist and think ok that is enough but am overtaken with a desire to feel deeply, even the painful cold of the water and I go in. Then I hoot and try to get out but it takes me far to long and I am calling “Oh oh oh it hurts it hurts” to Theresa who declares that she is not sure she will go in since I am declaring the pain of it. I lay on the grass and watch as she perfects throwing an arc of water to get the perfect cold splash on her body. The sun glitters the droplets that dazzle brightly against the shadows of the forest on the other side. Theresa is smiling, glorious and stunningly beautiful.
Later there is a ride to Walpole NH to dance to Rumblestrip. I don a breezy dress, put mint in my water bottle and feel divine. On the ride up we chatter about people we adore dancing with for various reasons. My favorites are those who can safely spin me into a transcendence that I am no longer in my head, Diba’s are those who tie in to a sexy connection. Right now Jan’s favorite is anyone who can sway in once place at a pace proper for her casted leg. The music was lovely. I got to dance with Ralph who is a shameless flirt. So I followed suit in the shamelessness, when he told me I look beautiful, I told him it was all because I went skinny dipping. Then I enjoyed watching that sink in to his octogenarian brain. At one point the band brought out a steel drum, three times they were singing. The music was enveloping, I had delicious dances and got nicely sweaty. I ended the night in a waltz and being sung to which added a layer of sweetness to it all and a fine top off to the day.
Sunday arrived with the same delicious weather and I headed to Bhava class. With big delusions, I thought that practicing every day would make it so this class wouldn’t kick my ass. Wrong. I am rubbery the whole rest of the day and tired. But there are three poses I have never tried and the attempt was fun. Baddha Trivikramasana was tough on the balance and keeping the bind with sweaty hands. It wasn’t as hard as it appeared once I realized I could use the pressure of the bind to hold the balance. Then a revolved pigeon which was so comfortable I could sleep in it. The end poses of this class somehow bring all my emotion to the surface and I am crying for corpse pose – sort of silently but with a big lump in my throat. Other than not wanted to wreck everyone relaxation in felt good, a release. So after there is napping in the sun games, BBQing and more games. I am still glowing from the sun Saturday, feel like I am twisting out remaining nightmares on Sunday and still have today off to enjoy.
Here is a story that Lori told me while walking back from lunch the other day.
An old man is sitting outside the city gates and along comes a young traveler. The young man tells the old man that he is looking for a new place to live and asks about the people in the city. “What are they like?”
“Well I will tell you, but I am not certain how to respond to a question like that. First, can you tell me how are the people in the place you are leaving?”
The young man then goes on at some length about how awful they are. He enumerates several of their faults like meanness, back stabbing and cranky nature. Then goes on to say that he wants to live in a city where people arenâ€™t really like that. The old man leans over â€œYou will find the same sort of people here. This town is full of that type. Good luck with your search.â€
A little later a young woman approaches the man. She inquires about the city inside explaining that she is shopping for a new place to live. Much like before, the old man asks about how her last city was. She explained that she really loved all the people in her former city and although she needs to move on she will really miss everyone. The old man leans over and says, â€œYou will find the same sort of people here. This town is full of wonderful people. Check it out”
We then had a discussion about expectations and results related to the work environment. I left my last job horribly unhappy. I was treated unfairly; I had done my best work for the most ungrateful boys club known to me in my career. Then I came here and it felt like Oz. Still, I find some of the same patterns following me. For example the best work I do here goes largely unnoticed, but I am thanked profusely for doing something like plugging the sound cord into an iPod before a presentation. One time I was even given a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for changing the slide order of a power point presentation for a visiting artist for another department. It took me longer to walk across campus to help them than to actually fix what was puzzling them. However, if I find some ingenious way to fix a coding problem that I am really proud I get at best a more subdued response. If I am doing cartwheels in the hall because of something lovely, and tell my coworkers about it, I get a puzzled look and an sincere but unknowing good for you. Ah well, my work is not a techy place, I don’t expect them to get my uber geeky triumphs. When I worked for five weeks without a day off to manage the data migration for a big software cut over people knew I was working hard but they couldn’t fathom the what for. They couldn’t offer real appreciation and instead would tell me to slow up and give myself a break.
The funny thing about this is that although the same dynamic seems to have followed me from place to place I am still feeling like for the most part this is Oz minus a little glitz. Maybe I am getting closer to the be like the woman in the story. My wish is to also be like the old man.
I had a friend here who was from Minnesota. He would constantly complain about the cold mean style of New Englanders, for which I would take great offense and tell him to just go back to Minnesota. I love the people here: love that I can easily tell where people are at, love their aloof bright smiles, love the familiar challenge of connecting. When I lived in California for a while it took me a full 18 months to learn how to discern the friendly chatter from a real desire for a larger conversation. When I arrived back in New England it was like coming back into the familiar signals. Nice. I would try to give him pointers as to how to read people here that he might not see as a foreigner. He would then tell me horrific stories of how strangers driving, to display some sort of spite toward him, threw a whole coffee at his pretty white Jetta. Grumbling, he then had to wash the car. He would list off instances of people being intentionally cruel to him, clerks ignoring him, sighing at the gall of his presence, rejecting him. Shocking. More so because this just wasn’t my experience with people here or anywhere. Since then he has moved back to Minneapolis and is happy there. He seems happy there and has not since mentioned people being nasty to him. It makes me wonder about people place fit or if it is all just attitude.
I have adorned this post with an image of what my living room has been looking like at 7am. For the past week since I can not sleep I have been getting up early and doing yoga. The past couple of days have been to the sun shining dots all over the room from the mini disco balls on my window sill. This I call “disco ball time” and I thought it only happened in the afternoon, and once, magically in the moonlight. Enjoy!
Saturday morning I tromped out of the house in my pjs to get the mail. First I am deliriously happy to not have even donned a jacket for this short endeavor. The sky was dappled with rain threatening clouds that were being overtaken by the sun and best of all it was only slightly chilly. Although nothing in the mailbox there was a lovely box in a plastic bag next to the plow beaten post. I was expecting this box which I knew contained my contributor gifts for both submissions and the actual printing of Robin’s third version of Handmade Life. The gift was a small hand sewn journal, a maple tree seedling that I have a premonition I will kill and so will give to Theresa’s student to nurture, and a little cut out paper temple thing. Additionally because Robin knows me so well she included a new CD for me and a plain white innocent looking envelope. Inside the envelope was the following poem about my mom. For anyone reading this that knew my mom I am including the warning that wasn’t on the envelope. Go get a tissue, put yourself in the right place and then go forward, you may ball your head off.
A Grotesque Despair
This ravenous river
Snatches what wanders its banks
Button boxes turned sheets
Tunnels choking her throat
Sleeping on the grieving mat
Of the waiting room floor
The huge rage that splits fissures
Angular shadows bleach and the singsong
Melody of the machines
Humming the blind dirge
Of this strangled finish
Crowded spaces, pressed nurses
Reaching, reaching for the woman
Who is ready to leave
Who has mourned herself and her children
Still shirking surrender.
This too the river takes
This and the rage and the grief.
This and the long-gone unmuddied days
Of her clear love
The still pools of her grace
When I told Robin later how I had cried and cried from it she said. “Yeah, I thought you could use that.” How wonderfully lucky I am to have people who know me so well they simply know that I can cry for frustration and anger but have such a hard time with sadness. People who can kindly silently guide me where I can’t get myself easily, to where I need to pass to stay somewhat whole. This is all without a lick of manipulation and with a whole lotta love.
Lucky doesn’t begin to describe it.
Robin is one of my longest and dearest friends. Ages ago she told me that when you cut yourself shaving, while getting ready to go out on the town, it is a sacrifice to the lust gods and you are going to get lucky and be smooching a sexy someone soon. The track record for this lusty voodoo has not been logged in a ledger and runs rather in the myth genre I am sure. But later that day in the shower I go to rinse off my leg and there is a telltale sting at my ankle. It made me think of this funny idea we used to muse on. So lucky I think, and then promptly think not. um.no.way. I am far too fragile at the moment to start any such endeavor and am for the time being going to make myself a yoga nun (thank you lovely Claudia for coining that phrase.) So instead the evening proved highly lucky in another regard. I had a potluck dinner at some friend’s of Jan’s. Their friends most of which I had never seen before showed themselves to be lovely entertaining people who I would adore seeing again. Every one of them. Among them were hilarious movie critics, jugglers, musicians basically people who made me feel comfortable, welcome and fascinated. At the contra dance later I got to dance with most of them, the ones new to it held an unstoppable joy of the soon to be addicted. If I am lucky I will see them all again, so I am hoping the voodoo works to that end instead.