Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank you Blogosphere

When I think about the challenges I face. From the tiring, work-a-day tasks, to the awkward to the truly unpalatable, the sad, hard or heartbreaking choices I have to make. Nothing consoles me more than the thought I can write it out here. When nothing else remains, I will still have writing, and for this I am very grateful.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feminism, the sisterhood, bitchy women and the games people play

Once again life with my SA partner has called me up short on how I see the world.

In his mind, all his ex's and FBs had mental health issues. In his words, they were MAD!.

They called him in the middle of the night MAD!
They tried to get revenge by torching his clothes MAD!
They ranted about feminism MAD!
They wanted more, and simply could not accept his "deal" MAD!
They clung on when it was well and truly over MAD!

As far as I can make out some of these are a bit deranged, some of them could be construed as love or infatuation. And his response to that? "I told them I was only in it for sex, if they wanted more they were perfectly at liberty to leave"

And what I read in all these comments (eventually) was "You, Neil, are a toxic, woman hating mysogynist" It is also a very easy way of covering up a rogue sms or phone call. "SHIT it's that MAD! woman calling me again. Can't believe how many times I have told her to sling her hook"

Now there is a beautiful post on MAD! women over at woman of experience, which completely explains how all this fits in with your sex-addict-woman-hating-mysogynist-fuckbuddy philosophy...

But suddenly I begin to see a different angle on this. Which is that if not mad, many women are bitchy and do play head games with men. And if men like them a bit mad, truth be told they also like them a bit bitchy. In my clumsy forays into dating I have found the old addage of "treat them mean, keep them keen" (which I always hated) has worked inadvertently more than I could possibly have imagined.

I hated that addage because I thought it was disrespectful to men. If you love them, let them know, if you don't let them know also. Treat them with the openness you would expect yourself, and through mutual respect build a loving partnership. I remember some nerdy young fellow who had been chasing the prettiest girl in my stats class saying to me "the thing about you Fiona, is that you are so, SO, er...straightforward" I took it as a compliment. Likewise regarding the sisterhood. I would never talk disparagingly about another girls physical attractiveness to a man, put another girl down, sleep with another girl's boyfriend...

But hang on! I actually don't think men want a straightforward girlfriend. Seeing from this middle age vantage point how very very much young men want sex and what they will do for it. Playing them, and trading up could have very serious advantages for a young attractive girl. Plus they love the thrill of the chase.

I see little girls doing it to their Daddys. They won't smile until they get what they want. They keep him waiting, they pout and cheat and lie to get what they want, and the Daddys fall for it every time.

And frankly I wish I had more than that. If men are going to be nasty manipulative mysogynistic bastards. Sock it right back to them. All's fair in love and war.

Monday, June 21, 2010

You'll never walk alone

Last Wednesday I set out on my bicycle to my friends house, about 5 miles away for an evening with the girls, it was a lovely warm evening, and the bunny rabbits were hopping in the long grass as I took the path across the common and down by the river in a secluded spot behind the golf course. When I came to ride home in the dark, it was a different matter. I heard every fox rustling in the undergrowth and every cow ruminating and shifting its bulk as I took off across the meadow on a damp moonless night with only the rasping of my ancient dynamo light on my bike to light my way. In a word I was petrified. I was so delighted to finally get home around 11.30pm I nearly kissed the earth.

Then two days later I was driving to the doctors when a song came on the radio "You'll never walk alone" sung by Siphiwo Ntshebe. He was going to sing at the world cup but died of menigitis. He was in his early 30s and a magnificent African tenor. As I listened my eyes filled with tears. That Siphiwo has been taken from us, and that I feel as though I am very much walking alone as I return to the other side of the world to carry on my life, away from my family. In fact it feels very much like plunging into that dark, dark forest with all its unknown assailants and associated terror.

Friday, June 04, 2010

INFP: The Idealist

Reposted from The REAL Personality Types:

I am and INFP and am starting to wonder if this is the problem. I am attracted to ITSJs in a predator-prey type of way (with me being the prey)

The INFP is a dreamy, imaginitive, idealist, capable of finding the good in anything or anyone, even something as foul as Newark, New Jersey. INFPs are sometimes dangerous to the well-being of society as a whole, as they are prone to adopting subversive and destructive ideologies like "The world should be fair," People should treat one another well," and "You know, 'Friends' is a really, really stupid television show."

These irrational thought patterns may sometimes cause INFPs to run off and join the circus, the Resistance, or the Rebellion, where they tend to do well in any position requiring excellent hand-eye coordination or mastery of the Force.

COMPATIBILITY: INFPs and ISTJs generally exhibit a natural predator/prey relationship, which, though it might appear harsh and cruel from the outside, is all part of the natural cycle of life. In fact, were it not for the predation of the ISTJ, the population of INFPs would soon grow to unsustainable levels, overwhelming the ability of their ecological niche to support them.

Famous idealists include that girl in your sixth-grade homeroom who got the teacher fired for saying that girls aren't good at math; that guy in the cubicle next to yours who got the manager fired for saying that women don't make good employees; and Anais Nin.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Limited Liability Love

I've just been to see sex and the city 2, and yes story-wise it probably is as bad as the reviewers claim. Maybe not like being lobotomized with a pink plastic teaspoon....... as Hadley Freeman of the Guardian would have it. However the insecurity that Charlotte feels surrounding what her husband might do with the Nanny whilst she was away got me thinking.

If not exactly triggering, it made me return to my own experience of infidelity and how I might handle it differently next time. The train of thought went something like this:

I will never demean myself by getting into such a state about my partner and another woman
I will trust him implicitly.... hang on....
I could never trust any man implicitly
I will keep my own counsel and have enough going on in my own life not to waste time obsessing about this....
Whilst at the same time loving him appropriately and giving him enough attention so he doesn't want to stray.... and if he does I will love him enough to forgive him....
but hang on, all this love and forgiveness... will he do it for me?
or will he waltz off with my home, my child, my savings....
I will be hurt
Best not to go there at all
Best to just have an arm's length lover
...And won't "having enough going on in my own life" and "giving him enough attention" be mutually exclusive?

It seems in love there is no compromise. As I seem to recall the archbishop of Canterbury saying a couple of decades ago (before I got married).

If we love on a limited liability basis, we limit our ability to love at all

So I feel that all this self protection and boundary setting will ultimately be futile. If you love you need to do so fully. It is not inconsistent with having a really healthy self esteem however. In which you know you can survive whatever happens and you only rely fully on one person - yourself. It's a tough call.