Saturday, January 17, 2015

Just Get Awesome

I have been thinking about this topic recently, and I've been avoiding mentioning it because I don't want to fight with anyone in my life with children.

This blog, just before all of my mom-friends start getting upset, was not inspired by any of my own close friends or my cousins. It was mostly inspired by Huffington Post, actually, as well as by a conversation with my therapist that I'll elaborate on later.

So with that, I'm just going to say it. 

It's not my fault that you have kids and I don't. 

Say what??

I read a blog recently on Huffington Post, about all the reasons why those of us without kids need to be more patient with our friends who have kids, including that their life is just too damn busy to have a spare moment in the day. And while it was funny - and a lot of it true to life - I also found it really irritating. Because the simple fact is, whether you have kids or not, you don't get to be a shitty friend.

I know that you have kids because you want to. People have kids because they want to have kids; they want to raise a little human, give someone life, add meaning to their own lives, and any other myriad of reasons. People want kids. I totally understand that; I know the fact that I do not want children puts me in the minority among women my age. I also understand that your life, your priorities, and your routines change when you have kids. How could they not? Kids take a ton of time and energy! They make giant messes that you have to clean, and they have to nap at certain times and eat at certain times, and they are a bitch to get in and out of a car. They make you tired, wear you out, and despite all that you still want to spend the two hours between picking them up from daycare and putting them to bed, with them. Kids are a major time suck, albeit a pleasant-ish one. I get it.

When you become a parent, your priorities change - obviously. Most major life transitions require a change in perspective, a change in lifestyle, a change in time management. And as more or my friends and family have become moms, I have changed my expectations of them; I no longer expect that I can plan a cousin's trip to Vegas for my birthday, nor do I think I can drag them all out to a club every weekend. I spend a lot more time at birthday parties, at playgrounds, having quick dinners in. I know that I have to filter my conversations because of the little ears listening, and I listen to a lot more stories about what someone did for the first time or said that was funny. I watch more cartoons and buy more board games & puzzles, and I am understanding that for every ten things I invite these moms to, they attend (maybe) two. Again, I get it. The kid, the energy, the time suck - the struggle is real for moms.

That said, why are those of us without kids the only ones making the accommodation, making the sacrifice? Why are those of us who can spend every birthday out of town, who can spend every weekend out until three in the morning, who want to drink and dance and have an uninterrupted conversation about sex - why are we the ones who are made to feel like we're wrong, or needy, or demanding of our friends' time? In reality, we are spending a hell of a lot of time with your kids, just to get a minute with you; why don't you ever have to accommodate us in return? Why aren't you ever getting a babysitter and a caffeine IV drip and pacifying me by talking about guys and sex and staying out all night with me? Not even pacifying really, why aren't you still being my friend and making that effort because you want to?

After having an hour-long conversation with my therapist about it, I think the answer is pretty simple: it's because women in their thirties are expected to have young children, and since so many of them do, those of us who don't are just expected to deal with the fact that our friends had babies and started sucking at friendship.

Blogs like the one Huffington Post made viral are part of the problem; that post made excuses for why as a parent, you can act like a selfish, crappy friend and get away with it. If I were to start telling my friends, every time they tried to make plans, that I was too tired or too busy, my friends would stop trying. They'd stop trying because I'd be acting like a shitty friend - constantly being too tired and too busy for your friends, in fact makes you a shitty friend. Whether you're too tired because you were out all night hooking up with guys in bars, or because you were up all night with a baby, if it's consistently happening all the time, you're being a crappy friend for not making an effort. True friendship is a two way street. If I am always chasing someone down begging them to spend time with me, I am quick on my way to not being friends with that person anymore.

Ain't nobody got time for that shit.

I spend a lot of time hanging out with children, because most of my friends, and most of my cousins, are parents. And as much as I love spending time with the babies, toddlers, and rugrats in my life, I am also thrilled when my friends or my cousins can leave them home with dad or grandma to have a night out with me, to go to the beach or on a hike with me, or even to just talk without interruption for a few hours. With friendships, it is important to maintain balance, and it's important that efforts are being made on both sides. If you're a single, childless friend, it's your responsibility to bond with your friends' children, to hang out with them sometimes, and to make plans that are easy for your overtired mom friends. Their struggle is real; they live with those energy-eaters alldayeveryday. But - as is the focus of this post - if you're a mom friend, it is also your responsibility to get a little wild with your single friends sometimes, and to sometimes make plans that don't involve your children. Because really, if you're dragging your baby to every outing I invite you on, you're being a little bit of a selfish ass hole.

And though our struggle is different, the single woman's struggle is just as real.

What it all boils down to, is that to be a friend, you have to actually be a friend. No excuses, no bull shit. You can't have a constant excuse - baby or hangover - for why you're being a shitty friend. Make time for your friends, no matter what life changes are coming at you.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Like Your Dick in a Box

Last summer, I blogged about the importance of the two-night stand. It was (and is) my belief that since the first time you have sex with someone new tends to me the most awkward and not the best, you should give everyone you bang a second go-around, just to make sure. Because when you have sex with someone you've never been with before, there can be some stumbling and fumbling around, and just a general awkwardness in that you don't know what that person is into...and they likely are unaware of what gets your motor going best as well.

So, I stand by it; if you bang someone once, just go ahead and plan to bang them twice.

What I didn't touch on in that post, that has been the topic of my girls-totally-talk-about-sex-too-much conversations with my girlfriends recently, is that the first time you bang someone also tends to be just like opening a gift on Christmas morning. 

Think about it.

On Christmas, you're really excited about your presents, right? But then aren't there the occasional ugly sweater vests or footed jammies that end up a total let down? Sex for the first time is totally the same. Sex for the first time is exciting and generally much anticipated. Chances are, you've been out a few times (or at least a few hours). There's been flirting and tension, and in this day and age, possibly also some sexting, and it's finally getting to be about that time. You take him back to your place, where you have already stashed condoms within a lustful arm's reach of your bed. If you're smart, there's also lube nearby. You've poured two glasses of wine, the lighting in your apartment is on point, and you're excited because you know he's hot and you can't wait to unwrap his clothes off.

From here, first time sex can go one of two ways. It can be awesome, or it can be disappointing. It can be like when you tear into the Christmas wrapping on a box and discover an iPad or a new computer, or it can be like when you discover socks and pajamas. And no matter the amount of sexual tension leading up to the first time you bone someone, it can still end up a total let down - kind of like the build up of getting some fancy new amazing toy, only to discover that it's a Made in China piece of crap when you get it out of the box. 

Sometimes, the most attractive people, suck in the sack. And sometimes, the people who are a little shy or nervous, end up being the most amazing sex you can ever remember having. There's just no way to tell if someone you fuck is going to fuck you right, until you fuck them. And so by all means, fuck them. They could be the best thing to happen to you since...well, since last Christmas!

And now, I've got Justin Timberlake's "Dick in a Box" running through my head. Merry (belated) Christmas to you all!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cocaine and Gang Bangs

If you don't already know from prior posts, I work in property management. It's hard. It's emotionally taxing and on some days, physically draining. I currently manage a very demanding building, where I am yelled at daily, cursed at often, and treated very poorly by the people who live here. It's hard. And I've only been here 90 days. In that 90 days I have worked a lot of overtime. A lot. Most of it unpaid, and much of it late at night or on the weekends. So when I managed to get a five-day weekend over Christmas, I was overjoyed. Thank you, calendar, for letting Christmas fall on a Thursday this year!

I took Wednesday through Sunday off for the holiday, and was so glad I did. I spent Wednesday cleaning my much-neglected apartment and rearranging some furniture, mixed with some lounging on the couch and watching movies. I also had my parents and my brother over to have mimosas & snacks and to watch It's a Wonderful Life - that was a lot of fun and very relaxing end to the day. Christmas morning I got up and headed out to my parents, where we did Christmas gifts and breakfast, and then I hit the road for a 4 day vacation in Bend with my best friend. My cousin lives in Bend but was in Portland for the week, so she let us stay at her house, which was ideal and ended up being just awesome!

While in Bend, we were sure to get out of our element and try new things (not cocaine or gang bangs, despite the title of this blog post). Something I have been working on in therapy is branching out of my comfort zone, and part of my goals list for 2015 is to try something new every month this year. Keeping with that, we tried several new, amazing restaurants, slept in late, ate breakfast at noon (or later), and spent a very late night bar hopping with some great guys I went to high school with. We ate greasy bar nachos, did tequila shots and drank cheap beers. All very unlike us, and all very fun. It was a much needed weekend of having nothing to do, no firm plans, no obligations; and it was a reminder that it's okay for the obsessive-compulsive planner in me to just go with the flow and not make a single plan, believing that fun would be had regardless.

And fun was had - all weekend long - despite having not made any plans in advance.

All my life, I have been a planner. I have always worked hard and been responsible. I have always done the same things for holidays, and have always felt guilty when I had to miss things. In looking for ways to make the holidays more enjoyable, I was able to spend some time with my family - both immediate and extended - and still get to spend a long weekend doing what I wanted as well. For the first time in a long time, I felt balance and the holidays felt good. And I didn't have to completely withdraw from my family to feel that either; I was still able to do the lights at Peacock Lane (though let's be honest, that was kind of a fail), got to watch all the Stacey babies open presents, watched classic movies with my mom & dad, and took an obligatory Christmas morning selfie with my brother. At no part of the holiday season did I feel rushed or pressured, I just got to have fun with my family and with my friends.

Spending a long weekend in Bend was relaxing, enjoyable, fun, and a step out of my comfort zone, and I can't wait to go back!

And speaking of stepping out of my comfort zone, I had another long weekend the following week for the New Year holiday, and I took it upon myself to continue the momentum into that weekend as well. I went out on New Years Eve, got drunk, took shots, and danced with a stranger. I stayed out late and slept in late, and I ended the weekend by attending my first Winterhawks hockey game after being given box tickets from a vendor at work. I had a great weekend - even with the hangover - and was so glad I allowed myself to stay out of the office for two long weekends in a row.

Even though my job is hard, and even though it is demanding, I am learning that I am still only required to give it 40 hours of my time each week, and that I am still going to succeed if I leave my to-do list incomplete sometimes. It's the nature of the beast. I don't get paid enough to work off the clock, and I have to let myself have fun on my time off. And for me, weekends away from home, trying something new, catching up with friends I don't see often enough...those are things that are fun. Life is good, and things are exciting...I mean, they're not cocaine-and-gang-bang exciting, but I'm having a good time!

Happy New Year! Ask yourself, what are you going to do to make the year happy?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

There's Black & White, but Also Grey

Have you ever been asked to define cheating?

Until last week, I hadn't either. And until I was asked, I really hadn't ever thought about it. But being that it was my homework from therapy, I have been thinking about it a lot. 

What is cheating

For me, part of the definition of cheating came easy. Is intercourse cheating? Yes, of course. Is oral sex or erotic touching cheating? I believe it is, yes. Is kissing cheating? Yes, I think it is. 

Is flirting cheating? What about texting? What about hanging out? Is spending quality time together cheating? What about paying someone's bar tab, or dancing with someone at a club? Is letting someone buy you a drink cheating? What about snuggling through a movie?

Lines. Officially. Blurred. Open for interpretation, right?

Not all relationships are the same. Some of you reading this may have even already disagreed when I said I thought sex was cheating. Maybe you're in an open or undefined relationship; maybe you're in a non-traditional one. So maybe intercourse with other people isn't cheating for you. Basically, we're not all the same, and we're not all in the same relationships, so it's unfair of me to make assumptions and it's unrealistic for me to pass judgment.

I'll give you an example. I once (not too long ago) made out with a man who is in a relationship. *gasp* And I didn't feel bad about it because at the time, I actually didn't know about the girlfriend. But later, after learning of her, I still really didn't feel bad. But then I felt bad for not feeling bad - like I should have felt some guilt but didn't. So I chatted with him about it, and he explained that between the two of them, they don't have the same boundaries I would expect of a relationship, so I didn't need to feel bad. After all, he sure didn't. This was new for me, so I brought it up to my therapist, who validated that I had no obligation to feel guilty, or to feel responsible for feelings that weren't my responsibility. I'm single. I can make out with whomever I want; I don't need to feel any obligation outside of that. And honestly, I don't. Nobody was lying, nobody was acting shady; everyone had told the truth, so really, why would I need to feel bad? Her words were very validating: You are not responsible for the behavior or the relationships of anyone but yourself; you don't need to feel any responsibility for someone else. Touche.

I bring this up because people tend to get extremely judgmental of other people's relationships, and it's not a fair thing to do, because there is no set definition of the word relationship. What is appropriate to me in a relationship is not a universal or gospel truth. As I have written in the past, I tend to be relatively jealous, and therefore I may believe that lines are crossed at a much more innocent level than other people. And that's fine. It's also nobody's business outside of the people who I date, with whom I need to have that level of trust. The same is true both ways; I need to remember that it's not my place to judge, nor is it my responsibility to feel guilt, for someone else's behavior. The boundaries that you put in place for your relationship are not up to me, and I don't need to have an opinion of them.

People have tendencies to be very firm in their opinions, and to argue that they are right and if you disagree with them, you're wrong. It just isn't like that. Relationships aren't like that. Life isn't like that. Personally, I think sex is cheating - but I do know people who don't think so. Would I date someone who doesn't think sex is cheating? No, because I think it is. But I also don't need to debate with them about why I'm right and they're wrong. In their life, in their relationships, they're right and I'm wrong. Why fight about it?

Besides, shouldn't we really all just be having a little bit more sex anyway? It's more fun than arguing...

Monday, January 5, 2015

When a Baby Becomes a Weapon

At what point did we decide it was acceptable and tolerable to use children as a weapon?

But you don't have kids, Veronica, you couldn't possibly understand.

No, no. I do. I do understand. I understand the sick, twisted, fucked up manner in which parents feel they can control their ex by using their shared children as weapons. And I think it's disgusting.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you and your spouse, but be a fucking adult about it. You chose to marry each other - or at least you chose to fuck each other on a semi-regular basis. You chose to reproduce together. You chose to bring innocent babies into this world together. By doing so, you chose to raise said babies together for the next 18 years. At least (they now say that the age of actual independence from your mom and dad is more like 26, by the way). It is irresponsible of you to let your own heartache or anger change the way you promised to raise those babies.

Taking a step in reverse, I simply cannot imagine having to raise and co-parent a child with any idiot I've ever slept with. No thanks. But that's why I don't have babies (or one of many reasons). I likely don't have the mental capacity to remain civil enough to share custody with idiots, and I certainly lack the maturity level required to discuss the life and well-being of a child with someone I want to punch in the teeth. But again, this isn't about me; I don't have kids I am trying to share with someone else.

This is about you.

You, who refuses to be flexible with your parenting plan days to allow your ex to take your daughter to Disneyland for spring break. Because clearly your daughter would hate Disneyland and your ex is only trying to take her there to ruin her life and yours.

You, who blames every bump, bruise, scrape, fall, and owie on the inability of your ex to parent effectively. Because kids never fall. They are always pushed.

You, who publicly blasts your ex and their inability to do anything right all over Facebook and Instagram. Because it is really helpful in effective co-parenting to bash and belittle the other half of your equation. And it makes you look really mature and adult. It definitely does not make you look like a bitter, jealous, angry moron who takes to social media to destroy other people.

This is about you.

You, who refuses to drop your kid off to her dad when you're mad, or who refuses to bring your son back to his mom's house even though it's that day of the week, just because you want to assert your control. Because using kids as a means of controlling someone else is very effective and healthy.

Here's the thing (and I am aiming this at bitter women, because the reality is, the people who inspired this blog all happen to be bitter women): You did not get yourself pregnant. You did not fuck yourself, make your own baby, grow it alone, prepare for it alone, and get it out of your body alone. You had help, from day one. You had sex with someone else, making a baby that was 50% you and 50% someone else. This other person brought you ice cream, rubbed your feet, and quite honestly just put up with your grumpy, emotional, crazy ass for nine months, and then ruined his fantasy of what a vagina looks like by watching a baby come out of yours. Point being, you cannot make a baby by yourself. Making a baby is making a choice to procreate with the guy whose dick you just let inside you. So perhaps, taking another step backwards, you should reevaluate who you're fucking in the first place...and if he's an idiot, you may consider some effective birth control options.

People seem to think it's normal to take an innocent child, and use that child as a means of leverage, control, abuse, or other mind-fuckery against the child's other parent. Well the reality is, while sure you are hurting you ex, you are more deeply hurting your own child. You know, your child you wanted so badly that you made it with that idiot you hate now? Yea, that child. You are now hurting that child. Way to go. You get an A+ for being a five star, award winning, piece of shit. Your kid is the one who suffers most when you act like a selfish, jealous ass hole.

The next time that you say no to something or start an argument with your ex over something, try to stop and think - who are you really saying no to? By denying your kid's mom an extra day to take her to the beach, aren't you really just depriving your daughter of a trip to the beach? And when you refuse to discuss something from school or the doctor because you're being a self-righteous prick, aren't you really just damaging your own child's education and well-being?

Stop and think about it for five seconds. Get the fuck over yourself. You didn't make that baby by yourself, so you don't get to raise it by yourself. Grow up. Think of the kids first. They're not weapons. They aren't pawns. They aren't leverage. They're babies. They just want to be with their moms and their dads and their toys and their pets; they really don't care about much else. You're really the only one complicating the issue by being an ass hole.

And thus concludes another rant on how much I hate people. Seems to be a theme lately...