Imagine that a dashing charmer sets his sights on you. You’ve known this man for a while. You’ve watched him, even wondered about him, but you’ve also intuitively read him, and he’s packed away neatly in your “beware box.”
Until that moment when the energy shifts. You are too irresistible…bewitching…he wants to spend some time with you…and so decides to crawl his way out of beware and into bedazzling. Decides to set his sights on you.
He pursues you very cautiously over the next few weeks. He doesn’t hide his attraction to you, but tiptoes around intimacy, and is subtle and tentative with physical contact.
There are red flags. He tells you he doesn’t date and doesn’t know why. He has left a trail of broken hearts, and he lets you know it. He hopes you will hear him when he says he is not to be trusted, but not so loudly that you won’t also hear him silently begging you to see the good in him, to give him a chance.
He tells you he wants a family, and asks if you’d like children. He brings up kids again the next time he sees you, and at some point during that very magical day declares it a date. Mmm…it’s getting real.
Then comes the dinner date, complete with dessert. Your tongues dance…respectfully so. Along with an “I want to do this with you for a long time.” And he sets the next date for two days later. It’s on.
But then…on date day, the energy shifts. Something is up. What could possibly have happened in a day and a half’s time? For fuck’s sake…he was right there with you. Totally in the moment, totally engaged…just right there.
Your mind tries to find answers: there’s someone else he likes more…he’s not as attracted to you as he thought he was…it’s obvious you go deep and he’s not ready for that…his internal struggles have been activated—who the fuck cares. It has nothing to do with you, on that you are clear, but you are also intensely aware that something has changed.
You make it through the date. The flirting is lukewarm. He waits four days to contact you, and invites you to go walking with his dogs. He tells you he’s been depressed. He holds your hand on the ride to the park. He feels comfortable enough to ask you for a ride to the airport. Maybe the energy is shifting back to electric after all?
Three days later, you take him to the airport. He gives you a hug and a friendly smooch on the lips. Tells you he put you on the emergency call list for his dog, because he “trusts your heart with his dog.” Well that’s progress, right? And then off he goes for six days with an “I’ll make you breakfast in bed when I get back.”
You get a brief text nine days later. NINE. DAYS. LATER. And it comes the day before an event with mutual friends. You can’t help but think it’s damage control to avoid any awkwardness when he sees you. But, you have a prior engagement and don’t show up that night anyway. Phew. For him.
The blow off…the fade out. As if it will sting less or we won’t notice the blatant disregard so much if it is a gradual disappearing act. Both genders are guilty of this. And perhaps it’s become so ridiculously common that there’s a place for it when two random people have gone on a first date, even a good first date, and then one or the other of them have decided they aren’t feeling it.
But when it’s someone you’ve established a rapport with, especially someone you’ve known for a while, the blow off is such a cowardly act. Because they aren’t just saying, “I’m not interested in you romantically.” They’re saying, “Oh and by the way. I could care less about your friendship and hold you as a human being in very little regard.” Why? “Because I’m emotionally immature and unable to handle confrontation. So ghosting you is easier for me.”
Is it difficult to confront someone you thought might be a potential love interest with the truth? To say, “I just want to let you know I’ve enjoyed your company, but I think we’d be better off just as friends, with no romantic undertones.”
Sure, you run the risk of hurt feelings, tears, anger, possibly even getting hit by a vase or a coffee mug or whatever else is handy to throw, but you have a hard head, and surely you can hold space for a few tears. Tears are just emotions running through us. We’re washing you out of our system…so man-up, hold space, and let us get clean if need be.
Ultimately, by acting with integrity, standing in your truth, and sharing your clear intentions, you’re saving us both so much energy. Granted, it’s not your responsibility what we do with our energy or our thoughts of you, but consider this the next time you’re tempted to ghost someone: It’s much easier to get over the idea of you if you just tell us it’s over, rather than leaving us wondering when or if you will ever reach out. You save us both the awkwardness of having to pretend nothing ever happened between us and it’s all good when we see you next.
Because it’s not all good.
You treated us carelessly when you could have treated us with respect, acknowledgment, and decency. Had you just been upfront, YOU carry no blame, and WE carry no resentment. And if we do feel resentful, that’s not your problem, and it’s certainly not your burden.
You alone are responsible for your actions, and we alone are responsible for our reactions. So, even if you think we won’t like what you have to say, we still deserve to hear it. And from there, it’s all on us.
By choosing not to pursue us, you aren’t doing anything bad to us. You aren’t causing us sadness or pain. We might feel it, but how strongly we feel, react to, and let our emotions guide us, well that’s our responsibility, not yours.
Your responsibility is simple: Stand in your power, acknowledge the person you’ve gotten to know, speak your truth as gently but clearly as possible, and then leave us be to deal and heal if need be.
And let’s keep it real here. We aren’t healing from you. We’re never healing from you. Because as much as WE aren’t the cause of your disinterest, YOU aren’t the cause of our pain.
We just need a moment to wash away any hope of you, our almost lover, and the desire you ignited, the wishful thinking doomed to never bear fruit. We’re healing from the idea of you we’ve created in our magic mind. And it will blow gently away on the wind until the next almost lover comes…perhaps, dare we still hope, to stick and stay.
So, for those of you who think radio silence is an acceptable way to let someone know you’re done, do me a favor?
At least for the next one.
And for those of you who have been ghosted, please, my loves, keep the following truths close to your healing hearts (and egos, because man it’s a blow).
- Their ghosting is not a reflection of you. It’s a reflection of them.
- You did nothing wrong. Sooner or later, they were gonna bail. Thank Goddess it was sooner.
- You have not been the first person they’ve ghosted. And you will not be the last.
- They have the emotional capacity of a pea…and the emotional maturity of…well, there’s not an equivalent. That’s just how emotionally stunted people behave.
- They are incapable of real, authentic relationships…at least at this point in their lives.
- They are rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. But they are also wounded. Send them love, because you’d better believe they probably don’t like themselves very much. Not at their core.
- Chances are, they didn’t intend to hurt you. They didn’t intend not to, but their ghosting wasn’t malicious. They just aren’t all that evolved and can’t deal with confrontation. Their vibration is low, if you know what I mean.
- For them, disappearing is easier than telling the truth. And they’ve probably convinced themselves ghosting is the “kindest” way to let you down.
- You are being protected. The way is free and clear to call in a decent partner, baby! One who will treat you with the love and respect and caring you deserve.
And the most important thing: You are ridiculously lovable. And don’t you ever forget it.
For more information on ghosting and tips for dealing with it, read my post at the Glad Lash blog.
There’s a movement brewing…like witch’s stew. A rising up of divine feminine energy that is equal parts peace and take no prisoners action. It is feminism with a spiritual purpose. A reclaiming of those sacred feminine aspects that have been overshadowed by the patriarchal pulse that has ruled for millennia. It is a response to the Dalai Lama’s prophecy that “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”
And what is the Western woman doing about all this? She is shedding the testosteronic energies she has willingly stepped into in order to be seen and heard and witnessed. There is no more need to be eclipsed by the masculine, and more and more of us are deepening our feminine natures.
We are embodying Lakshmi so to speak. Lakshmi is the Indian Goddess of Abundance and Good Fortune. She personifies refinement, elegance, and beauty. At its best, Lakshmi energy is contentment, sufficiency, and gratitude. At its worst, it’s an over-attachment to material goods and an extreme focus on outer aesthetics at the expense of inner beauty.
Lakshmi is certainly a bridge to the divine feminine, but as we step more into her energy of abundance and luxury, are we falling too far away from the Divine, and too far into a victimizing feminine?
Amethyst. Rose Quartz. Emerald. I soaked in the healing energy of these Goddess crystals, awakening to purpose, pleasure, and possibility. Because that’s one of the ways Western women awaken to the divine feminine, by attending crystal gong baths and feeling beautiful, Lakshmi at her essence.
My friend and I shared the same thought while immersed in crystals and singing bowls…to some day host a crystal gong bath for our nearest and dearest.
“We’ll do that one day,” my friend affirmed. “With our husbands’ money.
“No…what? No,” I said, confused. “With our money.”
“With our husbands’ money.” She was adamant.
A few weeks before, I was hiking with another friend and she proudly admitted that when she dated a man she never paid…for anything…EVER. She refused to go Dutch, wouldn’t pitch in for vacations, never treated him to anything, and wouldn’t be doing so for her future husband either.
“But what about his birthday? Or Christmas? Don’t you buy him presents?”
“Sure,” she said. “With his money.”
Rewind to a few months before that. I met a woman at the gym. She came over to chat me up because, “I was gorgeous, had style, and maybe we could meet men together.”
She needed to meet a man fast because she had just split from one who’d pretty much supported her for the past 10 years—bought her a condo, paid for her gym membership. She was used to a certain lifestyle and being a hairstylist wasn’t going to “cut it.”
She had a temporary solution—a man from the gym who paid her ridiculously expensive monthly fee, took her out to dinner on Friday nights, and bought her fancy gadgets, like watches.
“So, you’re dating him…like sleeping with him?” I asked.
“No, I’m not attracted to him. We’re just friends. He likes my company. And so he pays for it.”
Apparently, I am naïve, and this is not an unusual arrangement.
I met another woman in the hot tub of the same gym. She told me about a “friend” of hers. A bit geeky, married, and utterly crushing on her, undeterred (or perhaps ignited) by the knowledge that she’s a lesbian. Whenever they hang out, he gives her a couple hundred. Her time is valuable, she has lots of friends, so if she’s going to spend it with him, he needs to make it worth her while…with money. On a teacher’s salary, she’ll take what she can get.
Are these women owning their inner Lakshmi fully…does their beauty, their intelligence, their companionship entitle them to a man’s money and “care”…or are we falling so completely from our masculine energies and our true feminine power that the Suffragettes themselves might rise from their graves and behead us all?
I am curious not in condemnation of these women, but in concern that my own inner Lakshmi might be so buried that I am unable to fully receive the gifts of the universe…and of men…unless I have worked diligently and personally for them. I can accept gifts graciously, because I likewise give them with grace—and my own money. But to be taken care of completely and financially by a man is an arrangement that in contemplation I find nauseating. It attacks my feelings of self-worth, my extreme comfort with independence, and my integrity, to the point where, yes(!), I admit it…I feel a tinge of judgment when a woman expresses her desire for financial liberation via men.
I want to protect men from these women…because why should they get a man’s hard-earned money when they are perfectly capable of making money for themselves? And then I realize: Men enjoy taking care of women. A man doesn’t mind spending money on his beauty, because it is in a man’s nature to be caretaker in that fashion. Man as benefactor isn’t an arrangement that men typically have a problem with I suppose. So shouldn’t it be a woman’s divine right to be a gracious recipient of this generosity?
The key word here is gracious. Many women mistakenly think that the amount of money a man spends on them is the degree to which he loves them. Case in point: My friend started dating a man just a few weeks before Christmas. He was a wealthy ad exec and had just bought a multimillion-dollar house in Malibu. At our Christmas party they exchanged gifts, and each gift he bought her was touchingly well thought out. Jewelry made not of diamonds, but of stones with personal and unique meaning. Even the wrapping was made of sustainable material because she had told him that the environment was one of her causes. I was impressed. She was not. She felt that if she really meant something to him, he would have spent more on her, gone with precious rather than semi-precious stones. Even after a mere three weeks of dating.
Money is indeed an essential part of the equation, but it has nothing to do with love, and certainly nothing to do with a man’s capacity to love. Money = control, and we’ve fought hard for the ability to make money—and are still fighting for equal opportunity and pay—and yet it seems that some of us want to send women back to the kitchen to make pies and spend a weekly salary as determined by our men. Scratch that. These women don’t even want to make pies. They just want to spend the man’s money on things like crystal gong baths.
To be clear: Women who have made the choice to be mothers and not work while raising their kids, I am NOT talking about you. Please channel the Great Mother and make pies and beautiful babies and raise them well while your man brings home the green bacon. Likewise a woman who is pursuing an education or her own business and being supported by a man while she manifests, I bow to you in sisterhood. You are pure Lakshmi energy. But a woman who feels entitled to a man’s money just because she is…well, a woman…stirs stuff up in me, which is never a bad thing, and if this is you, then I love and appreciate you for shaking me up and making me muse.
Perhaps it is a matter of celebrating choice…that we have one. A woman can choose to be “kept” or a woman can choose to carve her own castle.
I do wonder, though: do these uber-Lakshmi women want love in the form of a benefactor because deep down they just want to be “saved,” or are their feelings of self worth so strong that just being their fabulous, glorious, Goddess selves is enough to warrant abundance, whether it comes from their own hard work, the luck of the universe, or a man?
The answer, of course, is found on a case-by-case basis, and a willingness to look with scrutiny on our ambitions, or lack thereof. If we truly want to delve deeper into the divine feminine—a desire I believe resides in every woman to varying degrees (some experience it as a violent whirlpool of longing, others feel it as a slight nag that gets mistaken for emotional indigestion)—if we truly want to wield the spiritual sword of the feminine, then we must make sure our Lakshmi love is pure.
There are women who, without a doubt, are living with “Cinderella syndrome.” Overwhelmed by the realities of life as an independent woman they crave security…a respite from hard work, and overdue rents, and un-manifested dreams. Calgon might not be able to take them away, but surely a man could, right? The desire for Prince Charming is certainly understandable. Imagine a life where your only “stress” is deciding what flooring to put in the entryway—marble or wood…or porcelain! It makes me want to sign up for a millionaire matchmaking site and snag me a cash cow right now.
But if you’re looking for a caretaker, understand you will come upon other stresses. The stress of keeping your benefactor interested, engaged, satisfied with keeping you financially afloat, but, more important, the stress of keeping yourself interested and engaged with life. Because that divine feminine ember inside you can’t stay aglow unless you stoke its fires and fuel it with an ambition that goes beyond comfort and security. We never did get a glimpse into Cinderella’s happily ever after, after all. Perhaps she spent the rest of her days shining her prince’s boots? And we all know, Cinderella wasn’t just content to clean…
And then there are women who truly luck out with Lakshmi. But these women aren’t just enjoying Pilates and spa dates and lunch with the girls; these women are disseminating her energy into the world. They are raising children, they are writing poetry, they are volunteering, funding charities, and using their Lakshmi love to help change the world for the better.
Hopefully, the Dalai Lama’s prophecy is true and the Western woman will save the world. But first, we have to save ourselves…and sometimes, that’s from ourselves. So as we delve deeper into the divine feminine, let’s help each other keep it pure; and by that I mean, make sure it’s Lakshmi’s ambition for abundance and good fortune that’s motivating you, and not fear…fear of failure, or poverty, or separation, or hard fucking work. Use Lakshmi to help you luxuriate in the privilege of being an independent woman whose every ambition can be followed, whether it’s using her own money, or a man’s.
One of my friends called me sobbing the other day. I knew boy troubles had her blue because that’s typically the only time she calls. For adventures and events, she texts.
Here’s the abridged version:
Sorry you haven’t heard from me. I’ve been dating someone for six months. A guy from my spiritual community. I think we have to break up. Sob. Sob. Sob.
Here’s what I learned about the guy:
- He is pudgy.
- He is not fit and huffs and puffs.
- He is baldish (or maybe that’s just the image I created in my mind as she was talking).
- He insists she stops drinking.
- He insists she stops smoking.
- He insists on a lot of other things.
Sob. Sob. Sob.
Here’s my abridged response:
If you want to change for you, then great, but changing for him is just going to cause resentment. And honestly…he doesn’t sound like that great of a catch. Why do you want to keep hanging on?
And here’s her truth:
Because if this relationship doesn’t work I AM A FAILURE. I will have failed once again. And everyone will know it.
This got me to thinking…
Is it REALLY possible to FAIL in a relationship?
I’ve certainly behaved badly in relationships. Acted out. Done things I’m not very proud of. Did my poor choices contribute to the downfall of my relationships? Absolutely. But did I fail?
Perhaps it’s my resistance to living with regret, but I’m going to say NO! The person I was at the time did the very best she could with the tools she had. She learned, she grew, she harvested a better, less reactive personality. I’d say she flourished not failed. But in retrospect, none of my relationships were ever intended for forever. So whatever I helped mess up, was supposed to get messed up.
“Failure” is an intrinsic part of many of the relationships we embark upon. Not because humans are inherently hopeless, but because humans are necessarily fluid. We aren’t fixed and rigid, but constantly shifting. That’s not to say we flow gracefully all the time, but if, despite our most courageous efforts, we just can’t sustain a free flowing love with our partner, then that’s not failure. That’s our best effort.
That’s what relationships are about, aren’t they? You meet someone. You get to know them a little. You make a commitment. You get to know them a little more. And sometimes you discover that as much as you like that person, love that person, respect that person, want to be with that person…that person just isn’t your match.
So then, you try to change them, or try to change you—and I’m not talking about fine-tuning or compromise but fundamental changes to your way of life and being— rather than recognizing it’s just not a fit. That’s not failure. That’s just dating, and having the wisdom to move on when you discover your lifestyles or mannerisms just don’t jive. Let me repeat: that’s not failure, that’s success!
Failure: lack of success
Because the end…the end of anything…doesn’t mean a lack of success. It’s just an ending. So that there can be a new beginning. So go get yours!
Marlon Brando’s “STELLA!” had nothing on my primal call. I’d been scouring the streets of West LA all afternoon. The edges of my big toes were smarting with blisters, my throat was begging for a tune-up and my eyes craved tears that had dried out hours ago. Twilight was coming. If I didn’t find my bird soon, I wouldn’t find her at all.
“Jo-Jo. Where are you?” I sobbed. The wind shifted and I turned, but instead of being greeted by a familiar squawk and dainty cockatiel talons on my shoulder as I’d hoped, I was mauled by kisses from a Berenese Mountain dog.
“Mufasa! Get back here!” The voice belonged to a tall, shaggy-haired LA hipster, the type who always has a guitar or a PBR beer in hand.
Crap, I thought. If only my mascara weren’t smeared and I had color on my lips. Because Mufasa’s owner was just how I liked my men. Artsy, appropriately dirty and dark skinned enough to transmogrify any imperfections into handsome.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.
I’d rescued my cockatiel from an I-405 off-ramp six years before. After a bit of discussion she crawled up my hand and onto my shoulder where she happily perched…until the day my cleaning lady opened her cage, stole her eggs and sent her flying out the door in fright.
Two months prior to my bird’s vanishing, I had ended a tumultuous relationship made up of equal parts manipulation and passion. My ex hated my bird and insisted I get rid of it. I didn’t, and the irony that I no longer had the man—or the bird—was not lost on me. Which is why, even in the midst of my turmoil, I was so aware of my instant attraction to this shaggy-haired stranger. Maybe he would bring some meaning to it all?
“I lost my bird,” I choked, as he came to collect his dog. “If you could keep an eye out for her.”
He tossed back a long, drawn out “sure,” his eyes quizzical, as though he didn’t know what to make of me.
A few days later I received a text. “I’m the musician with the dog. I saw your flyers. Did you find your bird?”
My heart beat faster than my fingers could type and the messages quickly escalated to the “romantic” kind. I was cautious but encouraged the texting tete-a-tete. He was effusive…
“You took my breath away. When I saw you, I couldn’t speak. It was like seeing a part of me from another life…like seeing my old liver.”
He thought we could be soulmates. He described the meals he’d make me when he got back to town…the adventures that awaited us. A trip to the desert, a lifetime of love.
And I indulged in that fantasy. Perhaps there’s a reason why my bird flew away? A greater purpose she is leading me to? Perhaps it is this man!
There were, however, a few things niggling at me. Not that he compared me to a liver from his past life—I thought that was pretty romantic—but that he never once picked up the phone and called. Of course, I make him speechless, so perhaps that’s why, I reasoned.
And then there was the age thing. It’s confusing in Los Angeles. The women always look younger due to Botox and fillers, and the men always look older due to alcohol, drugs and facial hair. If we truly were soulmates, then what’s a decade between us, right?
Wrong. A decade took me from soulmate to “neighbor lady with benefits” in just one text.
Imagine someone tempting you with a peanut butter-filled cheesecake all whipped up and pretty, and then snatching it away before your first bite.
I was determined to get my bite, so when the musician came back to town I invited him over. He didn’t ring the bell until 3 am, and he smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. We hugged, his body soft and undefined, definitely not my preferred “cheesecake.”
We sat on my bed and he strummed his guitar. He fiddled with his pack of cigarettes as he told me how he’d had cancer as a teenager and almost died. I wondered why he kept tempting the Devil.
He asked for a Tarot reading. I pulled three cards: The Devil, The Hanged Man and Death. I wouldn’t be able to spin this reading positively, so instead, I kissed him, suffocating under all the softness, the nicotine and the beer-tinged breath. Once I drew the bases, he suddenly became worried about his dog.
I saw him out, thankful for the taste test. At least I had closure and there would be no if onlys. Was there something to learn from our meet-cute? Yes, keep it real. And smell a man before you invite him into your home.
As for my bird’s disappearance, perhaps there was no greater purpose. But I like to think that she’s like Elliot from Pete’s Dragon, and when our time together was up, she flew away to help another Angeleno in need. So, if you see a cockatiel perched in a tree, tell her thank you for me… and that I miss her. Who knows? Perhaps she’ll lead me straight to you.
Most evenings I take a twilight stroll with my dog. I try to time it just right, when the sun has slipped below the horizon, but people haven’t yet registered the darkness. Their lights snap on but their blinds stay open, and I get to peek into their worlds.
What I love most are peopleless rooms flanked by hallways that extend to the unseen parts of the home, like intimate body parts underneath well-tailored clothes.
Walk half a block and we have the living room with the plastic folding chairs and huge-screen TV. People gather and eat cereal and I’m quite certain it’s not a specific person’s home but some sort of meeting place. A support group for women with selfish husbands.
Walk another half a block and we have a small kitchen made smaller by an assortment of hanging pots and pans. Follow the kitchen to the dining room decorated with a fern potted in a wicker basket and a painting you’d find at Goodwill. Every wall of the living room is painted red as though its inhabitants are living in a giant beating heart. I’ve seen them. They are too young to pot plants in wicker baskets and hang Goodwill art. Or perhaps they are hipsters making a statement. They, too, have a big-screen TV.
One more block and two stories up is a dinner party. Six twenty-somethings around a circular wood table. I don’t like the wall trimmings in this home either, but I do like the laughter. So much of it peeling through the open window that I can feel it fill me up and carry me down another block, and another…every window boasting a large screen TV, which seems to have replaced any hint of tasteful art, at least in West Los Angeles.
I love to see how other people live, both as a means of connection and as a reflection from which to view my own life. I love to watch as a man cooks in the kitchen and a woman chats at the dining room table while the TV blares in the background. I wonder why they’ve just purchased a million dollar condo but have hung curtains that are way too short for their floor-to-ceiling windows. I imagine they are newlyweds too busy with their brand new life together to worry about appropriately sized curtains. I envy them, not because they are newlyweds, but because I will always worry about appropriately sized curtains.
Peering into other people’s windows is a wonderful way to get your judgment on. And I wonder what people think when they walk by my windows at twilight and see a black cat peering at them through the window as a petite woman works at her computer (or cries at sentimental YouTube videos), with a white dog on her lap and a pea-sized 16-inch TV that’s never on. Maybe they notice I’m alone a lot…maybe they think I’m writing a book since my hands are almost always jamming on the keyboard…maybe they think I am lonely. But I’m not…because I have you to keep me company, I whisper to the couple peering into my windows from the sidewalk below. They smile, lock hands and walk on.
A Facebook quiz that tested “How much of a BITCH are you?” recently made the rounds. I took it, not because I was confused as to my degree of bitchiness, but because I was curious as to what questions are used to determine bitch magnitude.
Questions ranged from “How often do you complain about traffic?” to “What would you do if a kid shoved your kid at the playground?” The answers were pretty fair measures of your reactionary levels…from the “I freak out at the tiniest little thing, Bitch” to the “I’m calm and know how to speak my mind, Bitch.”
I was a “Balanced Bitch” as I knew I would be.
What surprised me were the reactions men had to these bitch quizzes popping up on their Facebook feeds. A 50% Balanced Bitch would get several comments, like…
50% is way too much bitch!
A bitch is a bitch, and no bitch is good!
Why do women feel they have to act like a bitch?
Why do women think being a bitch is a good thing?
So, I thought I’d write this blog post to answer just those questions. Let’s first start with the meaning of the word bitch.
Bitch originated as a noun used to describe a female dog, wolf, fox or otter. It morphed into a derogatory term used to describe pretty much any woman who pisses you off.
According to Merriam Webster, a bitch is: a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman—sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse.
“Bitch!” he screams, as he throws you out of his car.
“Bitch!” he yells as he punches you first in the stomach and then hard across the jaw.
“Bitch!” he taunts as he breaks your heart…and your bones…in two.
So, is it any wonder that women are taking this word…this dirty, defamatory, humiliating word…and reappropriating it as a term of empowerment?
To the enlightened woman, bitch is no longer a nasty nickname. Bitch means, baby you’ve got balls.
When you call me bitch, I hear foxy lady.
We are reappropriating the bitch, and she is confident, outspoken, articulate and expressive of her opinions. When someone insults her, she doesn’t just smile pretty and take it. Oh no, she steps up to the plate and hits a home run.
When we say bitch, we aren’t talking about the sister who’s malicious, vindictive, mean or spiteful…we have another word for that. We are talking about the sister who stands up for herself in a mature, womanly manner.
So men, when you ask, “Why do women feel like they’ve got to act like a bitch?” here’s why… because sometimes we REALLY DO HAVE TO. The world is not as safe for a woman. We are routinely talked down to, stripped bare, taken advantage of, and altogether not taken seriously. And while I always recommend starting nice, if a lady isn’t getting what she needs, then it’s time to add some spice to that nice.
Let’s face it, sugars…sometimes, we’ve got to get our bitch face on. Let’s wear it with pride!
And fellas, don’t make your woman feel ashamed for upleveling her bitch every now and again. That just means you’ve got a good woman who knows how to take care of herself.
I’ll never forget the look of scorn my then-boyfriend gave me when he saw the book, “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women” by Elizabeth Wertzel, sitting on my coffee table. It’s not a book about how to be a bitch; it’s just a collection of essays exploring what it means to be a sexual woman with a feminist bent in today’s world.
Seeing the disdain flashing warning signals in his eyes, I remarked, “My roomie is reading it.” Which was 100% truth.
“Really?” he said, not believing me. “That doesn’t seem like her kind of book.”
Ouch. A metaphorical kick in the stomach. So, in other words, a book titled “Bitch” seems like my kind of read…and she’s what…an angel?
At the time I was hurt. My roommate and I had very different moral standards and reactions, and I was definitely more the angel!
My roommate believed it was okay to steal a man from another woman. BITCH IN A SERIOUSLY BAD WAY. My roommate likewise held that cheating was acceptable. CHEATER. My roommate could not hold down a long-term relationship past six months. EMOTIONAL RETARD. And who slammed the doors when they were pissed? SHE DID. But yet, I was the bitch?
I didn’t say any of this out loud…my bitch had lost her bark. I just smiled and took it. 😳 It’s easy to do…when you’re in love with the wrong type of guy who doesn’t appreciate your va-va-voom bitch.
So here’s my bitchy truth: My roomie may have pulled the book down from the shelf, but it was my book, I owned it, just like I own the word bitch.
As for all those other demeaning meanings of bitch…well, they really just apply to one scenario. Prison bitch. I’ll let the boys have that one.
I have some shocking news. Not every man wants me. And I’m totally okay with that. Which is why I’m always surprised when men take it so very personally when I don’t want them. Let me start with a little bit of history.
Once upon a time I dated a man who wasn’t really attracted to me. He didn’t like my petite figure, my auburn hair, my skin so white the veins showed blue. He wanted Salma Hayek. An exotic, olive-skinned beauty with black hair, huge double Ds and a booty to match. And when I realized his strong preference for women utterly unlike me, I didn’t take it personally. I didn’t think he should learn to like me or adjust his desire. I wished him well, happy to go on my way so I could snag a prince with a soft spot for little ole, pale me.
If I meet a man I’m smitten with, but he doesn’t see me in that way…let’s say he happens to mention that he loves big breasts…I do not feel sad, I do not feel bad, and I certainly don’t get upset with him. I do not think that he will NEVER find a woman as wonderful as me, or that he is passing by awesome opportunities because he’d rather not fiddle with small boobs. I believe everyone deserves to get exactly what they want.
This easy-going tendency doesn’t seem to be returned by men. I once had a male friend who was shorter than me, probably around 5’4”. When discussing the opposite sex and what we were looking for, I happened to mention I like men taller than me (I did not say “I like men taller than you”). He was livid. So disgusted at me for saying that height was important. He never got over it, and we’re no longer friends.
I was recently contacted online by a man who didn’t realize he knew me. We had studied acting together eons ago (when I was dating the man in love with Salma Hayek).
His message, however, was not of a neutral tone. He wrote to me, because he was offended by something I said in my profile. I happened to mention that an athletic bod is a requirement. This is not just me being superficial. This is a lifestyle choice. I am active and fit. I want a man who can beat me up a mountain and who can bench press me all night. I want a man as physically active and fit as me. And a beer belly and man boobs ain’t gonna cut it.
In his message he wrote, “So, you’re really looking for someone who is perfect?”
I normally wouldn’t have replied to his message. He is not my type. Older than I’m looking for. Not the physical specimen I’m comfortable with. And to be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t want to wake up every morning to his face. But because I knew him, it felt natural to write back and say, “Hey buddy! We know each other! Remember me?” And at the end of my message I said, “You’re right. I’m looking for someone perfect for me. I wish you the best of luck in your life and love search.”
This did not go over well. He wrote me back and very clearly told me the “things I must already know,” and they went like this:
“You will NEVER (caps are courtesy of him btw) find someone who will love you if you don’t look beyond their biceps and pecs.”
“You WILL (again his caps) miss your soulmate.”
“Obviously it hasn’t worked for you before because you’re still alone. The men with good bodies will always put themselves first.”
Oh…I see…so I should date YOU instead, is that right? Learn to be attracted to you?
First of all, that’s a heck of a lot of assumptions this man is making. He is basically saying that all the hotties out there are incapable of having loving, loyal relationships. Hate to break it to him, but I’ve loved lots of hotties, and the majority have been great to me. It ended not because they were selfish or narcissistic or horrible in some way, but because it just wasn’t a forever fit. And I have many male friends with awesome pecs and biceps who have proven themselves wonderful and perfectly capable of mature, loving relationships.
So what is this instinct some men have to relegate the women who don’t want them to spinsterhood? To feel brave enough to tell these women that they won’t find their soulmate? That they need to do things differently…see people differently?
Well, it all comes down to their own insecurities, I guess. When a man doesn’t want me, I’m secure enough to know that it’s just that man, not ALL men who don’t want me. The man who sets limits on the woman who isn’t interested, who professes to know what’s best or be concerned for her well-being because, well…she’s not into him that way…he hears the lack of interest from her as a rejection from ALL women.
But we aren’t all rejecting you…just me. And I’m pretty insignificant. There is a wonderful woman out there who is waiting for a man just like you. Someone to wrap her up in his unselfish love, and make her laugh, and give her a beer belly to rest her head on. Just like there’s a man who loves my see-through veins, my auburn hair, my compact frame…and that man WILL be fit, handsome, and perfectly capable of putting me first when the time is right. And you can rest assured… I WON’T miss him.
A couple of weeks ago I was shoe shopping with one of my long-legged beauties and she was telling me about her latest dating escapade.
“Remember that guy from my gym I was telling you about?” she asked.
“The one who wasn’t wearing any underwear and you saw clear up his shorts and got a full-on view of his package?”
“Yes! That one!”
“Yeah, I don’t forget stuff like that.”
“Well he contacted me on Tinder!”
Tinder. It’s this new app my friends are crazy for. It sends you alerts of datable people in your nearby vicinity and if you give them a thumbs up the connection is on. You can easily pass on datables who don’t interest you. I am NOT on Tinder…yet. Mainly because my friends keep sending me photos of men who post penis pics—we’re talkin’ hard-ons through their clothing. WTF?!
“So…have you gotten an in-person look yet?” I asked.
“We just went on one date. I don’t think he’s my guy, but he’s cute and a little nerdy and bookish and I liked that.”
“Why don’t you think he’s your guy?”
“I just didn’t get that feeling. But I was looking forward to a second date to get to know him better. And then I never heard from him again.”
“Aw man,” I said. “Because you are wonderful and too beautiful to look at sometimes.”
“Yes, I think I was too dynamic for him.”
“Without a doubt. You stunned him dumb.”
She continues on to the point of the story. “Then yesterday, I was masturbating. And right as I was orgasming I started sobbing and I cried out, “I’m never going to get married!”
The only way to respond to that is to laugh. So we laughed for a good 30 seconds. And then we broke down the crygasm.
I had never heard the proper terminology for it before, but I’ve certainly experienced crygasms, and would say most emotionally in touch women have.
Urban Dictionary defines the crygasm as: An orgasm so powerful it leaves you with tears streaming down your face. Usually happens when two people are in a heightened state of emotional and/or physical connectedness.
Gosh. That sounds wonderful. But I’ve only ever had the pleasure of a crygasm when I’m alone…just my lucky fingers and me. I will orgasm. It will be powerful and wonderful just like the fantasy that accompanied it. And then, right after, a single tear will fall and travel down my face and I’ll catch it with my tongue. I will sigh. And then I will get up and wash my hands.
Perhaps technically this is not a crygasm, as I don’t cry precisely during the orgasm. The tears do not fall because the orgasm was so powerful. They fall because following such an intense release comes a pervasive vacuum of loneliness. It’s that second between an inhale and an exhale that gets you.This emptiness can be felt even when with another, and sometimes more intently so.
Ah…wait. I have had a crygasm during intercourse with a man once. I was leaving for a year to study abroad and we were having sex for the very last time. I cried because I was so very very sad. I cried through the orgasm. I cried through the car ride to the airport. I cried walking onto the plane. The stewardess had to help me to my seat I was crying so hysterically and could barely hold myself up. That was a worthy crygasm.
I’m not saying that a crygasm only expresses discontent or disconnection; I’m certain many happy tears have been shed when two people are in the throes of passion, especially if one person happens to be impotent and successfully completes the deed…at last.
I guess what I’m saying is that crygasms are perfectly normal. A once and a while crygasm for the single gal is healthy. You are taking care of your needs both inside the bedroom and out. And you are acknowledging your emotions.
But honeys, if you’re crying every time you masturbate, then we gotta fill that life up…with adventure, with laughter, with success and gratitude so that the space between breaths doesn’t catch you so off guard. Because when your man swipes right to like you on Tinder (and he will) you don’t want to be all swollen-eyed. So whaddya say? Maybe it’s time for some Tinder action? Right after that crygasm, of course…
I used to flirt with yoga every Sunday morning and enjoyed attending Self Realization Fellowship. At some point during the monk’s sermon, I’d inevitably get distracted. When I’d attend the Self Realization Hollywood Center I’d be disturbed by the ancient white-haired monk whose words barely carried over wispy breaths and whom I was certain was going to topple over the pulpit and into death at any moment. I never sat in the front row because of this fear.
Whenever I’d attend Lake Shrine Self Realization Center in the Palisades, I’d get distracted by the younger, more handsome monks, wondering how they swore off women so completely. They were still virile after all, and could probably snag a Palisades princess easy enough. They’d share stories of their days before monkhood, when they were ordinary civilians on a non-spiritual path, and I would ache for their lost sexuality, feeling they must be missing out. What is life without love…or at least a lover?
I felt this same way about Jane Austen and Mother Teresa. These poor women who went years without the touch of a man. I simply could not understand why anyone would chose love of the Divine—a sterile love that calls for restriction and abstinence—over human love and companionship, an expression of the Divine!
Years later, I find that asexuality has tapped ME on the shoulder, and I no longer feel sorry for those who choose a loverless path. I applaud them. I understand them. I relate to them.
You see, I have lost all interest in sex. I have lost all interest in the opposite sex. And there’s been no desire to swing in the other direction either.
Perhaps asexuality has come calling because my rhythm is tuned so precise, there is no room for an alternate drum beat. Perhaps I’m dancing with the asexual because I’m more successfully living in the present, and there’s no room for desires that don’t feed my present moment. No room for desires fueled by imagination and the promises of a pretty future filled with roses and Chardonnay.
I recently went on a retreat to Mexico. Before I left, my girlfriends encouraged me to “take a lover…or two.” I turned my nose up (which is hard to do because it’s already pretty high in the air). I was physically revolted by the idea of being intimate with a stranger (with anyone really, but I didn’t share that with these sexually charged beings).
“I won’t be doing that.”
“Why not! Have fun! You deserve it!” they cajoled. “It’s healthy!”
I agree that it’s healthy to give and share love when you feel so inclined. But it’s not healthy when you’re in an asexual state of mind.
When you’re all dried up.
Having sex with a stranger wouldn’t make me happy, it would leave me drained, depleted, raw.
My asexuality has put a kink in some of my friendships. Girls talk about boys. A lot. Girls would rather focus on boys and boy trouble then on their own blissful selves. Boy talk = female bonding, and it’s a wonderful source of engagement.
These days, I find myself less understanding of this boy talk. It’s not a subject that interests me much anymore, and I really have to concentrate to stay focused on the convo and in the interplay of energy.
I want to say, “Why bother with men? Focus on yourself and become asexual like me! There’s no drama and everything is breezy!” But I know you have to be bit by the asexual bug yourself in order to appreciate its comfort and convenience.
I must admit: I’m a bit worried about wearing my asexuality too snuggly. The energy I put forth in the world is no longer sexual, which is fine, but I fear I am losing my femininity as well. My softness is fading alongside my sensuality, and that will not do.
I no longer wish to dance, and that makes me sad. My limbs no longer swim around me with grace, but move instead in a functional nature. They are too long for mere function and will atrophy with waste, and that is a shame.
I am happy in my asexuality…but that doesn’t mean I am comfortable with it. But tossing it aside would be inauthentic, and I’m entirely comfortable with my authenticity. So asexual I will remain, hoping that one day, someday, I will feel like dancing again.
Give a hoot if you’ve ever heard (or used) some version of the following:
“I can’t settle down right now. My career isn’t where I want it to be.”
“I can’t get married yet. I’m not making enough money.”
“My life is all about my “art” right now. And a relationship will get in the way of that.”
Some people (ahem men) hold wholeheartedly to the delusion that a relationship will take from them…keep them from success…get in the way of their dreams…and that until they’ve reached their pinnacle, they have no room for commitment.
I’ve known my fair share of men (friends and lovers alike) who cherish this particular version of the commitment excuse. I’ve never understood it, as I’ve always believed that a relationship (correction: a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship) can help further your dreams. I believe in the adage behind every great man is a great woman, and vice versa, and looks like I’m right.
Married men and women get paid more, hold higher positions, have better mental health, are happier, and live longer. Those are FACTS.
In other words, married folk are a shitload more successful than their single counterparts. (And I can say this without backlash because I am chronically single.)
So the excuse holds no real truth, and at its foundation is flawed. BUT…we can’t really be too hard on the men (and the few women) who swear they can’t achieve success while tethered to another human being. After all, they have two of religious history’s biggest role models to validate their flimsy truth.
Let’s take a look at the Buddha. The Buddha was thrown into an arranged marriage at age 16 (okay, so he was set up to fail, I’ll give ya that). He lasted until he was 29. Here’s the math for you number-phobes: that’s 13 years of marriage—5 years more than the average length of a marriage that ends in divorce….so by modern standards Buddha did pretty good.
Buddha and babe had a baby. Upon seeing his infant child, the Buddha declared, “An impediment has been born; a fetter has been born.”
Dictionary Definition: fetter; a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner, typically placed around the ankles.
Oh. My. Gosh. I think we can safely say, the Buddha was tired of being ball and chained. The Buddha hightailed it out of there, declaring that he could not be enlightened while encumbered with mother and child and that he’d come back to visit once he’d achieved Buddha status. In other words, once Buddha became a rock star, then maybe he could honor his commitment as husband and father.
Let’s take a look at my favorite prophet: Jesus. Jesus fares better. He understood his limits from the get-go and left no mother or child abandoned (that we know of). Instead, he achieved Christ Consciousness while remaining forever single (that’s assuming we take our folklore from orthodox Christian sources rather than gnostic gospel, which has him cohabitating with one of his Marys). Christianity (Catholic and Protestant) depicts Jesus as the Son of God untainted by worldly desires. Unfortunately, such a depiction has not only spawned a breed of religious child molesters, but also a species of man who truly believes he won’t attain success—or whatever version of godliness he clings to—while attached to a woman.
I’m not saying we go the way of Mohamed and collect thirteen prepubescent wives. But let’s give the man some credit. With all those women (or might we be bold and say because of those women…or at least one) he managed to create quite the following—around 1.6 billion and counting. That’s rock star status, people. And he did it while in a relationship(s)!
I’m not suggesting a relationship is for everyone. But I am saying this particular commitment excuse is BOGUS! There’s a reason behind it, and if you’d just dig deeper, you’ll figure out the true source of your commitment anxiety. So I challenge you…don’t hide behind an excuse, but dig up your true nature, examine it, and then own your choices.
Take a deep breath because I’m about to quote scripture. In Mathew 19:11, Jesus explains that not everybody can accept marriage. Maybe they’re a eunuch and were born that way, or maybe the path home truly is a celibate one for them. C-E-L-I-B-A-T-E. But, Jesus says, “The one who can accept this (as in marriage), should accept it.”
The Buddha couldn’t accept marriage…can you?