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Young Love.

4 Sep

I hated him the moment he walked through the door. He looked older than his very young years. Not old; mature, distinguished, chiseled, even with a slightly round face and Great Pumpkin head. He was clean shaven and deeply tanned. He wore an aqua-green polo shirt and acid-washed jeans. His hair was close cropped and “brown” wasn’t an accurate color description; “bronze” is perhaps the closest. The same applied to his eyes: just when you thought they were nothing special, a simple turn of his head made the rich forest green hidden within the iris sparkle. He smelled like a deodorant or cologne that had the word “breeze” or “wave” in the name. He had a perfectly formed yet honking schnozzola and over-plumped pillow lips sheened with what I assumed was a balm of some sort, but soon discovered was just plain-old saliva from his habitual lip-licking. He was absolutely monstrous. In a few months I’d be head-over-heels in love with him.


I am surrounded by youth. Sometimes I forget how young they are, but I’m reminded every time I fall in love with them. It’s not as disturbing as it sounds: I work at a university. They’re all, with the exception of one 16-year-old genius that I did not love, at least 18-years-old. I know; it’s still pretty bad. But how could I not love them? Everything is so important all the time; every relationship will last forever; sex is terrifying and dangerous and no big deal; secrets abound; gossip is nourishment; fashion and music and ever-changing slang and adventures and unnecessary risks and always tomorrow and the next day and the next. This is what it is to be age 18 – 30 and in college. I’m counting the older end of the student spectrum because something happens to you when you’re surrounded by newness and the promise of something, anything and so much hope. It changes you. It does not always make you better.


“I can’t believe you guys hired him! He’s such a jerk. He talks back to professors, when he’s not interrupting them.” Good, another reason hate him, and from a reliable source, him with his dumb face and dumb hair and dumb voice.

I wouldn’t talk to him, outside of giving him work orders, this cretin who so blatantly disregarded the hierarchy of academia. “Who do you think you are?” I thought, glaring at him over the top of my computer’s monitor. Him with his sweet, minty breath, perfumed by the gum he constantly, loudly chewed, his juicy lips endless smacking away. “I hate you” I’d whisper to myself. “I hate you and your fuzzy-duckling hair and humungo nose that still seems perfectly suited to your face.”

“I hate you,” I thought. “You are dumb and awful and I hate you.”


“We should go to lunch! We’re both off that day. Come to my place for lunch.” Her place is a retirement community in a moderately wealthy town. She is my work friend, a Chinese woman that never wears a bra and brings me tuna sandwiches and oranges that are always too ripe for my taste.

She’s older than 50, but younger than 70. I think. She’s married to an older white man, hence the retirement facility, even though she works two jobs. Three, if you count the slaving away she does for him. She tells me all the time how young I am, that there’s plenty of time, but to be careful. Be very careful about men. They will ruin your life if you choose wrong. She chose wrong. She left a man in China that adored her but didn’t want to move to America. Years later, after his broken heart mended, he married. He adores his wife. Everyone talks about what a good husband, what a good man he is. My friend’s husband is not a good man, but he is stunningly handsome and robust, despite terminal illness.

She says that I deserve someone nice, a good man. I do not tell her that I think I am in love with a horrible boy in his twenties and am in complete denial and don’t want to meet any other men and have, therefore, already chosen wrong.


“Have you ever seen Key and Peele’s East/West College Bowl? It’s a skit about- here, let me just play it for you.” I finally started to talk to him. I can’t remember why.

I somehow learn that he plays football. He plays a position that I pretend to have heard of. I am immediately embarrassed by my attempt, that seems to come out of nowhere, to connect with him. He makes me uncomfortable, mostly because he’s not as ugly as I thought, once I really took a good look at him.

His very presence reminds me that I am old and yet, under-experienced.  The students always think I am 10-15 years younger than I am actually am. I hate correcting them, but lying feels desperate and foolish. His beauty – because, I have to admit, he was, in a way, beautiful – reminds me that I’m fat, and that maybe it was a bad idea to stop straightening my hair, and that though my face looks young, it is only marginally attractive, and only sometimes.

I show him the Key and Peele skit, my hand trembling over the mouse as I click on the screen. He’s too close to me. As the clip plays, he starts to giggle. Not laugh. He giggles. The way a baby does when you tickle its belly or make those loud kissing noises on their neck and fat cheeks. My friend once told me not to make those kissing noises on her baby because the sound of them was too loud and would damage his hearing. We aren’t friends anymore.

I was shocked that this lip-licking, gum-smacking, football-playing, so-ugly-he’s-actually-handsome cool kid was giggling with abandon. It was gross and horrible and probably what made me fall in love with him.

To Be Continued. . .

 

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Signs of Progress.

13 Aug

After 26 million years and An Incident™, Bob the Therapist has threatened to discontinue watching me ugly-cry a couple of times a month if I don’t start to show signs of progress.

What kind of progress does Bob the Therapist want to see, you ask? [Sidenote: why didn’t I introduce Bob the Therapist as a character back when I started this blog? Why didn’t I focus solely on dating/romantic escapades and failures as my essay topics/themes? I mean, the name of this blog is I CAN SEE WHY SHE’S SINGLE, not LOOK AT ME WRITE A THINK PIECE ABOUT DEATH AND DESPAIR BECAUSE I SAW A BUG FLY INTO A LIGHT. Should I go back and delete all posts unrelated to said topics? Why haven’t I updated in two years? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.]

You’re thinking that he probably wants me to present to him an updated resume as a first step towards fleeing the hellscape that is my current job. Or maybe a meal and exercise plan that’ll put me on the path to wellness. How about before and after pictures documenting that I’ve finally moved what remains of my grandparents’ belongings out of the house and even cleaned it up? Nope. Bob the Therapist has asked for tangible proof of my attempts to date and copulate. I hope I’ve partially misunderstood him as I’m not sure what kind of tangible evidence of that second one he’s expecting. Gross.

Bob the Therapist says that my chronic, severe depression (oh boy, here we go) and crippling loneliness (yikes) has not been very good for me and in order for me to not feel so devastatingly awful all the time I need to create healthy, reciprocal relationships with people who are not terrible. What a groundbreaking concept. I can’t believe that kind of insight only costs me a $15.00 copay. How is he only Bob the Therapist and not Robert the Psychiatrist?

That was mean. I’m sorry.

Bob the Therapist says that the average person of my age has married, maybe more than once, and has had children, perhaps even childrens. Bob the Therapist says that I belong in a relationship, that I’d do really well as part of a pair, that I’d thrive, even. Bob the Therapist says that I need to make friends, real friends, and express to them my need to meet someone, that they’d even be happy to take on the insurmountable feat of setting me up.

I was at a bar with this guy, and I asked this guy if any of his many male friends would be interested in meeting me. He said “I don’t know” while chuckling awkwardly and looked into his beer, so I chuckled awkwardly and changed the subject. I was out to dinner with this girl, and I asked this girl if any of her many male co-workers would be interested in meeting me. She awkwardly stammered an “I’ll see what I can do” type statement and looked into her cocktail glass, so I awkwardly stammered something that might have been “Okay, thank you” and looked into mine.

Bob the Therapist says that these conversations, however brief and awkward, were very good and to keep trying. I reminded him that I didn’t really know anyone else and that I also did not want to do it anymore. Bob the Therapist yelled at and wrote something mean about me in his notebook.

I explained to Bob the Therapist that I’d have to, yet again, give online dating a try. I don’t know anyone in real life; no non-homeless man has approached me in years; and the men I’ve approached FREAKED OUT and were never to be seen again. He said something about eHarmony, as everyone always does. I reminded him of my fear of marrying, or at least settling for, the first guy I go on multiple successful dates with. I reminded him that people that use eHarmony are Serious About Meeting Someone. I reminded him that I’d like to just casually date a variety of people, even be a little slutty. It is very hard to be casual and a little slutty using eHarmony.

Bob the Therapist is a luddite, so I told him about Bumble, Tinder, and OkCupid. I told him that since I’d actually gone places and done things this summer, I had full-body pictures that I felt pretty good about. Bob the Therapist said that that was all well and good, but if I wanted to continue to tell him mean secrets while he scowled at me over his reading glasses in his sour-smelling office, I’d need real proof. I’d need to plan a date with some weird stranger that really loves to hike (THEY ALL LOVE TO FUCKING HIKE). I’d have to swipe through pictures of him at a wedding (how great would it be if it were his own?!); the always disappointing to see shirtless pose, and him cuddling a cute dog.

Maybe I should just offer my walking/sitting services in my profile. We all know that’s what I really want: regular access to a dog.

I’m really angry and resentful about having to use the App Store to find someone willing to date me. I don’t know anyone else that has. No one, including Bob the Therapist, can or will tell me why I can’t and don’t meet anyone in real life. Bob the Therapist says that I’m blind to the affection of others. Bob the Therapist says that I could date whoever I want. Bob the Therapist says that he’s confident that people have been in romantic love with me, even though no one has ever told me so, and that I must be too shallow or cruel or narcissistic or stupid to have noticed. Bob the Therapist says that it’s all my fault.

I’m supposed to see Bob the Therapist on Friday. I, surprisingly, have three inboxes full of messages from middle-aged white men I could never imagine kissing. I could write back to them all and show him my progress. Bob the Therapist says I’m supposed to use people, whether I want to kiss them or not, as practice because I don’t know how to date. Bob the Therapist says I’m supposed to cut to the chase and ask Bill or Todd or Jim out for coffee. Bob the Therapist says to stop screwing around. Bob the Therapist says time is running out.

I could cancel my appointment with Bob the Therapist. That might be the biggest sign of progress of them all.

My Funny Valentine.

21 Feb

Last Valentine’s Day, I got dressed up (all black everything in honor of the day of love), beat my face, and took myself out to eat at a fancy restaurant I rarely get a chance to go to.

I was the only chocolate chip in the vanilla ice cream and the only solo person, so people stared. Just openly, chin-resting-on-their-palm, stared.

A waitress, I don’t recall if she was mine or not, came over and gushed about how beautiful she thought I was, and didn’t want to embarrass me, but wanted to know if I’d be interested in modeling for her mom’s Mary Kay demos. She gave me her mother’s card. I never called.

One of the staring men, when his wife went to the rest room, asked why I was alone and said that he felt like he ought to buy me a rose. Did I want a rose? No, thanks. I did not.

This year, I again made my reservation for one and had a lovely and somewhat uneventful dinner. A rowdy table of four convinced one of the waiters to sing A Capella. Singing in front of an audience is, to me, the most terrifying thing a person can do, so in an act of solidarity, I kept my nose in the same book that I brought last year and hadn’t finished. Let’s explore diabetes with owls by David Sedaris, if you were wondering.

One of the rowdy table dwellers came over to mine. “Honey,” he said. “Honey, he’s gonna sing. Five minutes, okay?” and motioned to my book. I smiled – it was probably more of a grimace – and closed it.

The man asked the waiter what he wanted to sing. The waiter didn’t know; he was so nervous. Rowdy Roddy Piper, now back at his table, shouts over to me and says “Honey! Pick a song! What do you want him to sing?” I shook my head and put my hand up. “Oh. You don’t want to pick a song?” He put his hand on his chest, mildly shocked by my refusal. I tried smiling again and softly said “Too much pressure.” The waiter looked at me and nodded. “Yeah! Too much pressure!” I hoped this would be the end of it and that I could get back to my book and fazzoletti d’aragosta. Of course it was not.

When someone unexpectedly bursts into song and you’re made to watch them, what is the proper etiquette? Are you, as my own audience did last year, expected to put your chin in your hand and stare at the impromptu performer? Turn in your chair, fold your hands, and slowly nod along to the music, an example of both your inherit rhythm and approval or support of the vocalist? Broadly smile, showing all your teeth, and loudly whoop at random intervals?

The few diners that remained did these things. They also recorded the performance with their smart phones. I slunk down in my seat and cast my eyes to the floor because I was in the shot. Of course I was.

I turned awkwardly in my chair, folded my hands, nodded my head, smiled broadly, pretended to make eye contact with the waiter by staring at a point directly above his head, and put my chin in my hands. I did it all except for the whooping. The restaurant had real linen napkins and tablecloths. What am I, an animal?

The waiter sang “I won’t give up” by Jason Mraz adequately enough. But he sang all of it. Including a reprise. My face and neck was starting to hurt from all the forced nodding and smiling. I hadn’t thought about that song in years. I’d be a happy person to never hear it again.

It eventually ended, as most things do. I was able to order the restaurant’s perfect pistachio cake and savor it while the rowdy table drunkenly name dropped and one-upped each other. “Well, I’m in Manhattan all year round and just can’t get away!” “Really? Because we have a working farm with cows and chickens and everything and we manage to get away pretty often.” “Huh. Anyway, I didn’t see you at Wealthy Locally-Famous’ annual ball. You don’t go anymore? Absolutely everyone goes.” “Oh, well, I guess it’s just not really our thing. Speaking of balls, my husband has the smoothest, biggest pair of testes I’ve ever seen. Harvey, stand up and show them your balls.”


Earlier in the week, my thoughts weren’t on Valentine’s Day at all. Instead, they were consumed by the Squatty Potty.

I was looking into buying one as I’ve had. . . issues. There may also be a connection between straining and uterine health? Some women have claimed that the squatting position helped relieve fibroid symptoms over time, which is questionable to me, but hey. I can use all the help I can get.

I’d been trying to talk my dad, a colon cancer survivor, into getting a Squatty Potty. He was aware of their existence but was totally not convinced of their necessity or effectiveness. “Go and get yourself a stool from the Family Dollar. If you want something that’s better quality, Christmas Tree Shop is having a sale.”

I argued for the “ergonomic design” of the Squatty as opposed to some regular old stool that didn’t have a sticker of a smiling, squatting, barefoot white woman slapped on the front. “Hmmph. Well, they sell them at Bed Bath Beyond. Get one of those coupons before you go.” “And you’ll get one too, right Dad?” “Hmmph. We’ll see.”

I was at work when my father and I had this conversation. A student was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t have her Squatty Potty with her as she lives in on-campus housing and didn’t want to seem “weird” to her roommates. You know, for having a piece of furniture specifically designed to help her shit. When she sang the praises of the Potty, I called him right away.

Later, I went out to my car on my dinner break and noticed something in the driver’s sea. It was square and wrapped in a Bed Bath Beyond bag. A pink envelope sat on top, my name written in red ink, the ‘i’ dotted with a heart.

It was a Squatty Potty. It was from my dad. He signed the card as if it was from both him and my mother, but this had him written all over it.

Someday, I’ll fondly tell this story to my rescue cats and dogs, about the day on which I got a stool to help me effectively move mine as a surprise early Valentine’s Day gift from my father.

I took a picture of the card my dad sweetly included because it wasn’t just hearts and flowers and good wishes. Nope, that would be too boring and mainstream for my father.

valentines day 2015

 

In case you’re having trouble reading it, here’s what he wrote:

We love you!
God loves you!
Now go with the flow 🙂
Mommy and Daddy

And there you have it.

I can’t and I won’t complain. It was a kind and thoughtful gesture (By the way, it works like a charm).  It is also an improvement over the Valentine’s Day he and my mother sent flowers to me at work and signed the card with the initials ‘JR’. For more than an hour, at work, I thought I had a secret admirer or that a guy I’d briefly dated with those initials was trying to reach out to me. Just to be clear, my father’s initials are RS; my mother’s are MJS. You should now be able to solve their terrible puzzle, and probably well before I did.

This, again, had my dad written all over it though he’d dragged my mother into it too. He did not see what the big deal was. “I didn’t want to embarrass you, sending flowers from your mom and me to you at work. We know how you get: ‘Ew, my parents are so embarrassing!’ So we mixed up our initials. Thought you’d figure it out.”

Oh, dad. I love you too.

The Ambrosia Project.

7 May
Image

I blame you. Source

*August 13, 2017: (very brief) AUTHOR’S NOTE AT THE END*

Hey.

So, I’m back.

I’m not going to talk about where I’ve been. Mostly because it involves TMI about my uterus and the fact that I write an awful lot of fan fiction.

What I do want to talk about is the fact that last night, the season two finale of “The Mindy Project” aired. It was wonderful. I laughed. Out loud. I also cried. Quite a bit. There was screaming. The good kind. I love the show and wish very much that my life mimicked it somehow.

I mean, I wish that about a lot of media. I’m an intelligent only child; like, 75% of my life has been spent daydreaming and inserting myself into television, film, and book plots. And half the time, I’m not even the star. I’m the wacky, foul-mouthed side-kick with a heart of gold. That’s usually because in these dreams of mine I’m too busy with a successful pop/soul/R&B career to commit to being the star and head writer of a hit sitcom.

It has recently dawned on me that in my elaborate fantasies, I am Justin Timberlake. Well, I have Justin Timberlake’s career. Unlike him, I’ve embraced my curls and I can’t see myself settling for Jessica Biel.

Anyway, with all the daydreaming and fantasizing that I do, you’d think that I’d realize that sitcoms and movies and novels are just that: someone else’s daydreams and fantasies brought to life. In other words, these aren’t stories to measure one’s life against. They aren’t even real.

So why do I feel so horrible to have made it to almost 35 years of age without ever having been told “I love you” in a romantic context?

If all that stuff is fake; if it’s just a bunch of made up stories, it shouldn’t really bother me so much that I haven’t had that particular experience. I mean, I love the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” franchise. I don’t curl up in my recliner and weep inconsolably after the midnight viewings because a gang of dwarfs still hasn’t shown up unannounced at my door to recruit me to be their robber so they can take back their mountain kingdom from an evil dragon. That’s just as made up as a sitcom about a chubby, almost 35 year-old, dark-skinned, Indian-American OBGYN living and searching for love in NYC.

The answer is obvious; one is based on some version of a totally plausible reality, and the other is the stuff of legend and religious allegory and maybe a metaphor for World War II (I don’t know; I haven’t read the books yet, okay?).

No one is expecting me to go off on an adventure with Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield (He’s been mentioned twice on a single black woman’s blog. That’s got to be a record or something. And that was probably racist? Eh.). But people do wonder why I don’t date. And by people I mean me. I’m even wondering if I could at this point. It’s been almost fifteen years since I’ve been in what I thought was any sort of committed relationship or had sex. At this point, I’d be less surprised if Bilbo Baggins invited me over for Elevenses than if I was involved in a sexual relationship with a man.

And that’s not normal.

I don’t know what to do to change this. I’m in therapy. I’ve been in and out (but mostly in) therapy for the last fifteen years. I’ve gone on dates with two men, the last time around the summer of 2011? 2012? And they were both terrible. Pretty sure they felt the same way about me, but we all thought “Well, he/she went to college, and is a sentient being, and I don’t know. This is what people do, right?” That’s it.

There’s nothing normal about any of that.

From what I’ve gleaned from my mass consumption of media involving interpersonal relationships, one either dates around unsuccessfully until finding the one that was always there all along or finds the one at just the right moment or some shit; or is tragically knocked up or widowed and walls their heart off to protect against any future heartbreak, but they’ve got the tragic story or the dumb kid, so there’s that. Or there are the lucky ones, who find someone and it works out and they go along on the suggested path of mortgages and wedding registries and baby showers and date nights and blah blah blah.

There are no stories about weird freaks who got maybe a little bit raped in college and then got fat and then woke up and realized they were 34 and infertile and crying hysterically because Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina just have so much chemistry and overhear some girl – hardly even 21, for fuck’s sake – refer to 35 as being “kinda way up there” and said that a different 35 year-old woman needed to “hurry up and get on the boy thing” while you think to yourself “I wouldn’t even know how and every time I’ve tried the guys have literally run away in the other direction” and you wonder what the hell is wrong with you if every form of media featuring people your age shows them either married with kids or in some weird friend-group-living situation or dating all the time and you don’t have anything, nothing and you can’t even have a one-night-stand because you don’t know how and even if you did what about AIDS and sexual assault and your gross body?

But you’ll always have your – hopefully quirky? – knack for stream-of-consciousness run on sentences on your semi-abandoned blog, right?

I don’t even know what the hell I’m trying to say anymore. It’s almost 5:00am. I’m almost 35. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with me. Please don’t tell me that there isn’t. The number one wrong thing is that I am not Mindy Kaling, for starters.

I mean, look, I’m at the point where I’m thisclose to consulting an astrologist? Astrologer? I don’t fucking know. And this sort of wacky, desperate bullshit would make for wonderful prime-time sitcom television, but the depression and self-loathing and blackness and fatness and fact that men find me absolutely disgusting makes it super hard to pitch my “story”.

Shit, I don’t even want to watch it and I’m the showrunner.

*Aug. 13, 2017: For Very Important Reasons, I stopped watching the show, and being a fan of Mindy’s, about two years ago. I was going to take this post down, but re-reading it provides me with a sense of bittersweet nostalgia which almost drowns out the embarrassment.

Triage.

12 Aug

My needs have not been met.

I feel like a jerk for dwelling so much on the fact that a big part of the life that I dreamed about may not come true, which is weird, since I haven’t even had two weeks to process it. I suppose I feel this way because I’ve been under the impression that I’m to just suck it up and move on when it comes to the little tragedies and heartaches I’ve faced.

It has started to dawn on me that I’ve been trying to function for years and basically failing and beating myself up about it. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t simply be normal and thin and do laundry and put on makeup and make my bed and pack a lunch and be on time and take showers and not scream at my parents and stop fantasizing about killing myself until I finally realized that I’ve been wandering around throughout life for the last decade plus three years with a gaping, festering wound that hasn’t been properly dealt with while adding other wounds around it that don’t fully heal and it truly is a wonder that I’m anywhere at all.

I’ve tried to make people understand the screaming void I feel inside, going without any sort of physical intimacy or love for more than a decade. And it isn’t just about the lack of sex. I see single people who’ve gone without sex for a very long time but have children, and perhaps I’m making a huge and incorrect assumption, but I don’t believe that they suffer in the same way because they can hold their child and kiss their child and feel that incomparable parent/child love and know that they are needed and wanted. I imagine that this is not the case for everyone, but it is still something that I do not and possibly will never have.

To never have been held out of romantic love, to go without feeling someone’s lips against mine, a hand in my own; to not feel the pleasure that another’s body can bring mine and to not know if my body can do the same, to continue to go on without these common human experiences year after year after year and to be expected to feel okay and to function normally? I’m starting to figure that that may have been an expectation too great for me to meet.

Perhaps it would be different if we were talking about three years instead of thirteen. Maybe if there had been a kind and gentle lover or two for me to look back on and fondly remember instead of one man-child whose pleasure was derived from the pain he caused me.

How do I make anyone understand what it does to my feelings of self-worth to admit that the only man to see my naked body mocked it? The only words he uttered were meant to criticize and deliver his displeasure? “Find your beauty from within!” everyone screams! “No one is going to love you if you don’t love yourself!” “There is more to life than sex and relationships! By the way, did I tell you all about the fabulous sex I’m having in my feminist, kink-positive, poly-amorous relationship?”

I would just like someone, for once in all this time, to acknowledge my wounds. I don’t want to be handed anymore band-aids or children’s Tylenol in the form of “Well, let’s redo your Match.com profile!” or “What you need to do is organize your closets.” I need wound care. I need stitches and sutures and cauterization. I need major treatment.

I don’t want to hear that no one knew what was going on; that they couldn’t have helped me because I didn’t say anything. The Ambrosia most people knew died 13 years ago and a zombie has been walking around in her place. I don’t know if there’s anything that can bring her back. She’s probably a long lost cause. But I’m here. Try with me.

When I was around, I don’t know, 22, 23 years old, and the wounds were far more fresh, before the gangrene had started to set in, I went to a counselor on my college campus. A black woman. She’d understand me. She’d see the blood, the tears in my flesh, how the wound wasn’t clotting even after two or three years. I don’t know how far how I got with my story. I was telling her about Christmas, about the gifts he’d demanded, and how I’d nervously driven all over the state to make sure I found each thing on the list, worried about what psychological trauma he’d inflict on me if I failed. I might have even told her about my visit to the emergency room in the middle of the night that he wouldn’t take me to. “If you’re gonna go, you’re going alone” he’d growled. She’d rolled her eyes and thrown her hands up in the air. “He was a 19 year-old boy” she interrupted. “That’s how 19 year-old boys are. I mean, really, what did you expect?” That I years later dated and was rejected by her son only added insult to injury.

Though I don’t want the focus to be all on him, I do want it to be understood how hard it is to feel normal and unbroken when the last relationship you’ve had and the only physical intimacy you’ve known is with someone who was so cruel to you, no matter their age. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out that this has been the black cloud I’ve been under for so long. And every time someone said that boyfriends and sex were overrated and that I didn’t want one anyway and did I really want children and that I had to focus on loving myself and that I wasn’t trying hard enough to meet people and maybe it was because I went natural or put on weight or didn’t smile enough or lived in the wrong city, they dug their dirty finger deep into my wound when they should have wrapped their arms around me and said “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. You need to heal. You need to rest. ”

In the meantime, does it mean that while I heal, I must still go without physical, emotional, and sexual intimacy? Do I have to continue to starve? When you starve a thing it dies and I’m afraid that my ability to give and express love and intimacy is in fact dying.

In the meantime, while I heal, can I be brought back to life?

Retrospect.

8 Aug

I was struggling with what to write about tonight. I decided to take what was originally an answer to a question I received on Tumblr about what my first “real” relationship was like and repost an edited and expanded version of my answer below:

I’d had lots and lots of boyfriends before I met He Who Shall Not Be Named, but I “lost” my virginity to him. I was away at college and we lived in the same dorm, so that added an additional “grown up” element to the whole mess because no parents were around.

I was 19 when I started dating him and 20 when I lost my virginity. I’d grown up in a very religious household and really wanted to wait until I got married to have sex. He basically threatened and coerced me into having sex with him. There were elements that I realized years later that were kind of rapey. But once he “talked me into it” – by quoting Telly’s lines to me from the movie “Kids” which I realized with a sickening clarity while he laughed as he made me watch it after one of the first few times we had sex – I continued to sleep with him because I thought I loved him and wanted to keep him interested in me.

I was a MESS myself when we were dating: suffering from untreated depression, totally directionless in college, my dad was fighting cancer. I feel like he preyed on my weakness. He’d isolate me from my friends and family and tell me that they didn’t understand me; only he did. He told me things like “Love is an illusion” and other nonsense that basically meant “I am going to cheat on you often and generally treat you very badly.” Other girls would come to his dorm room, where I was practically living, day and night. He even tried, and failed, to set it up to have me and his ex-girlfriend fist fight over him in front of our dorm for the entire student body to witness. He did this by forging letters, arranging secret meetings. He thought he was in a Nazi spy drama.

He’d tell me that I was spoiled and “bougie” and that I needed to “learn my place”. He thought it was funny to hit and pinch and slap me to the point where I was crying from the pain. He hit me twice out of anger, once in the face. He threw me down the porch stairs in front of his house during an argument. When he bit a chunk of my flesh from the back of my hand to keep me quiet during a movie I was having a hard time following, I simply wiped away the blood and obeyed. He wanted me to do “wife” things like cook for him, clean for him, take care of him when he was sick. When I did them, he’d ridicule me and tell me I did it all wrong and that I was worthless. If I did something “right” he was surprised.

I’d pretty much shut out everyone from my life at his recommendation (translation: orders), but when I’d try to talk to him about how deeply depressed I was, he’d laugh and say I was crazy, that I was one of those nuts that wore aluminum foil helmets and heard voices.

Basically, he was cruel, he was a drunk, and he loved the way he was and did not love me. He showed me who he was right from the beginning and I chose to ignore it, thinking things with me would be “different”. I’d change him. He’d love me. We’d live happily ever after. We did not. I did not. He broke up with me over the phone; he’d simply tired of me just shy of a year. I’d served my purpose. He had no use for me anymore.

From what I gather, he’s doing just fine. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in 13 years. He was in the military, I think, and may now be a cop, maybe even for the NYPD. He has a child. If I remember correctly, these were things that he really, really wanted. He got what he wanted.

I wonder if he ever got what he deserved.

I’m full of shit.

7 Aug

The more polite, scholarly way to say that is there is a great disconnect between what I say I want and what I actually want.

I suppose I’ve always been that way. I desperately wanted siblings or for there to at least be children that lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up, but if that happened, then those other kids wouldn’t let me play “Orphanage-World War II Rescue-Glitzy Musical-Dramatic Death Scene-British Street Urchin-Let’s See if We Can Catch a Frog We’re Too Scared to Actually Touch”. So maybe it was better that I spent a lot of my time alone because I got to do whatever I wanted.

Now I’m an adult female type person that says she really, really wants to catch the eye of a man that is a suitable substitute for the rapper Drake. There is a part of me much larger than I’d like to admit that thinks I might actually have a chance at catching the actual Drake’s eye and whatever STI he may or may not be carrying when I attend his concert in October. I’ll be in the seventh row, I have a vagina, big boobs, a butt that is/looks big depending on the outfit I’m wearing, an okay face (if you like Bruno Mars), and Rihanna-ish hair. I seem to meet his general criteria.

But the thing is, if I’m to believe Black urban gossip blogs and Instagram and twitter and tumblr and the amount of times I’ve been pushed out of the way in nightclubs, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him. If I’m to pay attention to the discomfort I feel when I watch twerk videos on YouTube or try on bodycon dresses or wear lots of make-up or try to take selfies or pretend I care about designer shoes and handbags, I don’t actually want Drake or any guy who thinks he’s anything like him.

I set an alarm to remind myself to watch the televised announcement of the 12th Doctor on BBC America. I’m upset that I still haven’t been able to get my library card since moving, but relieved that my voter registration was taken care of. My favorite article of clothing in the whole wide world is the cardigan; I was going to wear what I think is a sexy dress to the concert, but I was thinking that maybe I’d wear what I wore to work today because I felt cute and sexy in it: a cropped cardigan, baby-doll top, and skinny jeans. I walked out of a top designer outlet in disgust at the ridiculous prices. I have no business setting my sights on a rapper.

I feel like if I were a better, more exciting, more normal Black woman, I’d be sexy and fashionable and good at taking my own picture and then I’d have a sexy, fashionable boyfriend and have sex and be normal and wouldn’t have to have a blog or care so much about things and I’d finally lose weight and be beautiful again. The end. I feel like my life was very much headed in that direction many years ago. If I’d stayed on that path I’d maybe be a popular Instagram “model” and figure out how to take those pictures where you stand to the side to show off your plump ass and how flat your stomach is and pout your lips just so and get, like, 1,000 ‘likes’. But instead I got fat and depressed and didn’t have a choice but to work on my intellect, but I’m lazy and not good at math or science so I only got so far.

My problem is I still want what 19 year-old beautiful, thin, popular Ambrosia was entitled to in a man. I’m afraid of ending up with what 33 year-old uglyish, fat, lonely Ambrosia deserves, which is apparently nothing, or some tragic Al Roker/Wayne Brady hybrid. I want sex and excitement and danger and also thoughtfulness and stability and a face I think is so handsome and biceps that are strong and a belly that is smooth and cute and a booty and intelligence and so much laughing.

I’m just really terrified of settling for the first nice man that takes me on a date. It’s back to that whole childhood want again; I desperately want to be loved and desired, but if it’s by the wrong guy that would be so terrible. So I set my sights on an unobtainable celebrity and focus myopically only on meeting 6′ tall Black men of a certain complexion with facial features that have to be just so in order to avoid dealing with my overwhelming fear of either ending up alone or with some Nice Guy that I’m not attracted to, don’t love, but that there isn’t anything actually wrong with and TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

I know that this post was all over the place and perhaps poorly written and awfully hard to follow, but I needed to attempt to get these thoughts and feelings out. And now I have. So I am a little less full of shit than I was before.

Queen of Southern North America.

3 Aug

The Canadians did not recognize me in my true form.

When I went to Toronto, I was under the impression that the moment I stepped off the plane, Canadian men would begin to fall at my feet and worship me as an exotic queen come to them from a far away land.

Instead, a drunken man who repeatedly bragged that he was retired and had breath that stunk of stale cigarettes violently rubbed my back and hair before vomiting into his beer glass on my second night in town.

A few days later, I played dress up in an H&M. My local store had closed, so I was feeling nostalgic. On my way out of the dressing room, my arms full of clothes, what appeared to be a young adult male gazed at me longingly; his ear gauges stretching his lobes to just the right level of droop; his hair swooped and spiked. He smiled at me, the hoop in his bottom lip gleaming under the fluorescent lights. “Beautiful choices you’ve got there” he cooed. I smiled and thanked him, totally confused as to whether he was trying to pick me up or get me to let him try on the stuff I wasn’t buying.

There was the African cab driver who put his car in reverse to yell something in a foreign tongue and angrily gesture that I get into his vehicle immediately after I got out of a car at a Tim Horton’s. Oh, and the group of 13-year-old boys that whistled and shouted “Excuse me, Miss!” as I walked to the CN Tower.

I was almost and finally recognized as the majestic beauty that I am by a handful of altogether inappropriate and eclectic male suitors and all I had to do was apply and pay for a passport, take a week off work, book a flight, pay for round trip tickets, and arrange for transportation to and from the airport to do it.

 

So, I dated a guy who looked exactly like Drake.

7 May

Well, to be clear, he looked exactly like this version of Drake:

image

Only his hair was slightly worse and he had a gap betwixt his front teeth and was 34 years-old. Yes, I dated a grown-ass man who looked like this.

I had hopes that I would make my Unfortunate Drake fall in love with me and then convince him to cut his hair and change his wardrobe and take a shower and fix his teeth and get contacts and basically become a totally different person. I now realize that this was evil and nasty and horrid of me, but I was, in a fucked up way, trying to help him.

I would show him pictures of Drake and tell him that he favored him in the hopes that one day he’d look at me with tears in his eyes and say “I want to go to there.” I’d know what he’d mean and I’d take his hand and lead him to the shower and then to the mall and then to the orthodontist and then the barber shop and I’d have my very own Drake and be in love and ignore the fact that Unfortunate Drake and I had almost no chemistry and that he was kind of gross.

This did not happen, of course. Instead we went on six awkward dates before he told me that he wasn’t interested in me romantically. BURN.

I mention all of this because this picture of Drake

image

just came to my attention and at first I laughed because he’s just so awkward with his mouth open and his derp eyes and his little elbows. And then I got sad because oh my god, he looks SO MUCH like Unfortunate Drake here and I was reminded that I could not keep the interest of a 34 year-old virgin who was heavily involved in Star Wars cosplay and creative anachronism.

So thanks a lot, Aubrey, for totally ruining my Tuesday afternoon by posing for candid photos with your mouth open and somehow accentuating the fact that your arms seem to be too long for your body which sadly only makes me that much more attracted to you.

Asshole.

For Yomoba.

I can see why I’m single, too.

11 Feb

Hey. So, life’s been rough. At least the one that I live in my head. All I want to do is eat cookies and play The Sims and sleep, so I’m probably a tid-bit depressed, hence my lack of posts to this here blog. I shaved my armpits AND am updating my semi-abandoned blog today; that’s probably the most I’ve done since Christmas.

Anyweiner, I have a month left on that gotdang Match.com and I just discovered that a muscular, well-dressed, silky dark chocolate colored black man just wrote me a nice message. If you know me even a little bit well, you’ll know that I promptly farted on that guy’s hopes and dreams (and my mother’s) and blew him off. He’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not my type. But I did so in a way that was unflinchingly honest and that amused me, so I figured that I’d post it here in lieu of any new content while I get myself together. Please to enjoy, and thanks for hanging in there with me:

Re: Robot

Hahahaha! Hey! You’re certainly not the only one to robot (I’m using it as a verb) in public. It’s fun and awesome.

So M____, I’m a little surprised to see that you wrote to me. I am no vegan and to be perfectly frank, find the idea of veganism exhausting and ridiculous. I grew up in the Pentecostal church, but I chose to walk away a few years ago. I like booze. I don’t drink a lot, but I drink. I haven’t purposefully exercised in probably more than a year. I’m fat; fat is just an adjective to me, so I’m not being “one of those girls” in saying that I’m fat. Basically, I’m a fat, meat-eating, booze-drinking, agnostic-ish, far left-leaning, nose ring-wearing, would-rather-watch-TV-than-do-a-distressingly-long-list-of-things kinda chick who realizes that she dresses a lot of the time like a hipster lesbian and is okay with that.

I say all of that to explain why I don’t think we’d be a good romantic match. I would roll my eyes way too often at your food choices and Bible scripture quotes. You seem like a nice dude with a lot going for him. You’ll find someone. You’re probably dating some nice lady right now that you’re not sure about. I bet you she’s great. Give her a chance! And if she isn’t, you’re a muscular black man; you won’t be alone for long.

Thanks for your email. It made my day to meet another robot aficionado.

Take care,
Ambrosia

Yeah. So in case it’s not clear, I can’t with this fine fellow because:

  • He’s a VEGAN.
  • He might be a Mormon.
  • He’s most likely a Born-Again/Evangelical Christian.
  • He has on a bow-tie in one of his profile pictures.
  • He quotes the Bible repeatedly in his profile.
  • He’s looking for a woman who’s into “eating healthy and exercise”.
  • HE’S A VEGAN.
  • He was like, super shiny in his pictures. But in a fancy way. Like, he probably searches the Interwebs for Kanye West’s skin care regimen so he can get tips on taking his look to the next level and typing that has made me want to punch everything in the vulva.

 

Le sigh. I’m totally going to have a commitment ceremony with a rescue dog, aren’t I?