Sunday, October 28, 2012

I Am an A**hole and Other Interesting Insights

After Vito Corleone dies Michael Corleone became the Don of the whole Corleone Crime Family. It was a responsibility he did not relish. He fought it for as long as he could, but in the end he accepted his fate without regret, except for the murder of his brother Fredo, which he would never forgive himself for. Sometimes we are assholes. 

The unfortunate part for me is that Michael Corleone is fictional, and even as a fictitious character his fate was forced upon him. Me? The Queenpin? I did this to myself. I'm an asshole and it's no one's fault but mine.

Today I look up studies that scientifically supported what I want to say, but most of them I found didn't quite summarize what I have heard from most of my women friends: Women want a man who is smart, kind, funny, and not afraid to commit. Women want men who are who they say they are and accept the women they're with for who they are. In the end, especially once a woman is past 30, the nice guy wins.

Except with me, because I got what all women want, and then I pushed him away, told him I'd never be that into him. I wrote a careless blog post about it. Then woke up with a horrible case of regret. Regret is a sharp, sharp knife that has stabbed me ever since. 

I killed Fredo.  What an asshole. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Boyfriend is On a Date With Another Woman and More Updates

Except he's not my boyfriend. I haven't actually thought of him as that until I sent him on a date with another woman. Once I did that he became my boyfriend because I thought it sounded funny to say, "My boyfriend is out on a date with another woman". Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the world of Queenpin dating. It is wickedly screwed, but everything else is roses.

Life is actually really good. Things are looking up and my path is clearer everyday. I am so enamored of my beasts and so exhausted by them. This week I returned home from 50 hours of acupuncture clinicals. I hit the ground running with work and 2 sick beasts who seem to flourish during the day and cough all night. One or the other has ended up in my bed every night this week with coughing and kicking and sore throat and a back that needed to be rubbed and fevered head that need to be kissed. The Queenpin has not slept for shit. As I write this I have only had about 4 hours of sleep and it's going on midnight. 

I started smoking a few weeks ago and sadly, my depression got much better. As soon as I lit up that smoke I started to feel so much more relaxed if not more stinky. I haven't quite figured out what I'm doing about this, so I've laid it out for The Committee. I've been putting lots on their table lately.

We're moving and that's a big deal. We have this delicious little neighborhood we live in and we're leaving it. We're moving a mile away, but it's time. My sweet mama has let me rent a house from her for 3 years, but the Queenpin is FINALLY feeling like she can stand on her own two feet so we've found a place just for us. My beasts and I. Our perfect little family. I am terrified and excited at the same time. Life is moving forward. I am not the half person I felt I was after the big DIVORCE. I have found my other half and man, is she hilarious and very fierce.

So now to dating. That topic is interesting, at least to me. I met a man online. It's the Beer Now? guy. He is such a great guy. We have good chemistry. Things are EASY. We laugh a lot, we enjoy each other, things are good, so I sent him off to date other people. I think I might be a nut, or maybe the sanest I've ever been. There seems to be such a thin line between the two.

When I was at school this month I sat with a friend and talked commitment and marriage. I just don't want it. Not right now for the commitment, not ever for the marriage. I just do not believe it is for me anymore. I am in love with the beginning. I am in love with first kisses. I am in love with sexual tension and flirting until you think you can't stand it anymore so you pull back and take a breath and start all over again. I'm 38 years old. I've been married twice, and in long term committed relationships since I was 19. Why not play the field a little? Except then there's a nice guy who I have chemistry with and I want to keep him in my life and play the field too. How will that work? Will he call me today after his date? Maybe, or maybe he'll choose this woman. I am refusing to act out of the fear of scarcity. The fear that if I live this life I will never find a partner. I am choosing to see this as an opportunity to redefine how I experience relationships. I'm not committing to someone out of fear. I'm standing my ground even if it means letting someone go.

This week I read a great blog post by Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy, The Unbroken Heart; The Marriage Container; The Marriage Trap . She addresses much of what I have been thinking about with relationships. Things change once you get older and you've been divorced. Ideas of marriage, and commitment evolve for some of us into a new way of being. The standard did not work for us (or 50% of the population) so we redefine what does. It is also freeing and terrifying. Like moving to a new house, this new way of dating is a step into independence and the unknown.

Getting ready for bed tonight I shut off the lights before I got undressed, but I was at the opposite end of my room from my bed, which was a problem. I thought, "Oh shit. I know I'm going to step on something in the dark. I haven't unpacked from my week at school and shit is everywhere." And then I literally did a little dance as I removed my jeans, singing to myself, "Because it'ssssss, mmmmmyyyyyyyyy roooooom and I can throw my crap where ever IIIIIIIIIII waaaaannnntttt to." And then I crawled into bed all snuggled with my own self and began to write an update about my life, and my beasts, my dating misadventures, and my journey. My journey to live this life in a way that works just for me. My mom often shakes her head at me, smiles and says, "Honey, you sure make life hard." and I smile and say, "I know." because for me what is born from all this soul searching struggle is a beautiful rose, blooming from the root of my heart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Super Bad - Part Two

So I went to meet a man about a motorcycle. I found the bike on craigslist, but serendipitously the seller and I quickly realized that I had worked with the man's wife for years when I was teaching. She is one of those bright lights that would let me come in her office and say the F-word a lot. I think I actually said Mother Fucker most often.

I drove up to the seller's house in the dark and there in the garage was the bike. Beautiful, shiny, well built. As soon as I saw that sweet bike I knew she was Jezebel. The owner walked around the bike and told me all about this 1983 Fuchsia Honda Shadow 750. I nodded my head as if I knew what he was talking about. I learned this skill early in math classes. Nod, be quiet as if you are pondering and no one will find out that what you actually are hearing is the teacher from The Peanuts: Wah, wahn, wah, whan...

I was mesmerized by Jezebel. Her strength and her beauty. Her deliciously well built seat. I was also afraid of her. I barely touched her. During the sale I only sat on her briefly. I let the owner ride her out of the driveway and then back. I took a deep breath. Then I wrote a check and asked the kind, kind, man to deliver her to me later in the week.

On the way home, I was still exhausted and still really tender. I was sad because ever since I hopped on a motorcycle I kept thinking of my Sweet Escape, and though we are done, it still makes me sad. I also felt a deep sense of failure. I had just tried really hard at something and I did not succeed. My ego was hurt, my confidence (so very fragile) was shaken. But driving home after writing a man a check for a motorcycle that I was afraid of I thought, "Damn, I really like the woman that I have become. I am a 38 year old single woman who just tried something and failed, and then went out and bought a motorcycle ALL-BY-HERSELF." Giggle, I'm super bad to me. Soon after that I called my friend Joe Cool: "I just bought a motorcycle. I failed the class. Would you give me a lesson?" We set a date.

Jezebel is parked in my mom's garage. The Original Sassy Queepin has a circular driveway which straightens out and slopes down to a quiet street. Perfect for practice. I took my beasts over the afternoon before my lesson and I just sat on the bike. I started her up. I switched gears. I shifted my weight on her. But with the beasts all of this was performed as if I was in bag of microwave popcorn at its peak popping capacity. My kids are in their wildest ages. I could not focus. So I got off the bike and I went home. Jezebel and I had met. We had shaken hands. There was no hugging.

I told Joe Cool I felt like I had bought a tiger. I was afraid. He told me riding is not for the faint of heart so I should be fine. Hahaha. He's a good guy. On Saturday we met. He rode his beautiful Harley Sportster Mavis. He stood in the driveway and gave me tips as I rode round and round. He is passionate about riding and he is smart about it. His eyes twinkle when he talks about it. I learned from him, but then there was nothing more he could say. I had to ride ALL BY MYSELF. Validation time was over.

After Joe Cool left I rode down my mom's street and back up. I rode around the circle. I fell in love with Jezebel. I became less afraid and I also realized that this is all me. The art of riding a motorcycle for me will be faith in myself. Joe Cool can not do this for me. My Sweet Escape can not encourage me through learning this. I have to do this on my own. There is no student driver car device where someone hits the break and calmly talks me through the turns. I have to be my own coach, my own guide. I have been given all the tools I need, but now it's up to me to have faith in my ability to use them. This knowledge both terrifies me and liberates me. It is the way I felt when, as a Buddhist, I learned: "Question everything and find your own light." It is how I feel each time I make a major decision regarding my beasts. It is the ultimate loneliness and the most beautiful strength. It is life.

The day after the lesson I woke up nestled in my lover's bed. Cold rain hit the windows and I snuggled deeper into the warmth of this man and the exquisite softness of his comforter. Eyes closed I longed to get back on Jezebel. Like another new lover, I look forward to spending time with Jezebel, exploring how we fit together, finding out what makes her purr. Taking the time to learn to keep us safe. Today I'm hoping to have a little time to climb on her back and ride. Around the driveway, then down slope, venturing out into the street where it will be just me on a motorcycle named Jezebel. Alone, and fierce. Afraid and brave. Having faith that, in this miracle of life, I can reach into my soul and find my own light.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Super Bad - Part One

I have a soft spot for people who are larger than life. I reference Don Corleone often in this blog. I compare myself to Rizzo from Grease. I am not satisfied with praying to one deity so I chose three plus one bad ass mama. With these hints you can probably imagine that my personality might be big. Some say over the top. I would like to think I'm Super Bad. Like James Brown without the misdemeanor charges and tax evasion, but with the cape and the attitude. Notice I say, "I like to think..." not, "I am..."

A few months ago I began to realize that I wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I talked to people I knew who rode. My Ex-Sweet Escape and I started shopping for bikes. As soon as I picked one he was going to teach me to ride, but then after painful months of being in-love but not dating we stomped that friendship to death and I was left with a big ole biker shaped hole in my soul and no coach to teach me how to ride.

Shit. What's a woman to do? I realize that before me, (and long after me) women have jumped on motorcycles and taught themselves to ride. There's actually a great book where this happens called The Flaming Iquanas which I read in my mid-twenties when I had no intention of owning a motorcycle.

The best advice I had gotten was from my therapist. We spent a whole session looking at bikes online and talking about them. He still had big scabs and pink spots all over his face, hands, and arms from a motorcycle wreck he had weeks ago. He limped downstairs to meet me for my appointment. "Get a 250 cc (very small bike)," he enthusiastically told me, "and then work your way up. Before you take the motorcycle class at the local college (which is the easiest way to get your license) have someone teach you the basics." But I was afraid, stubborn, and feeling a little sorry for myself. So as any dramatic mama has the ability to do I said, "Fuck it. Fuck a damn duck it" and I signed up for the class at the local community college called Motorcycle Safety. Fuck asking for help.

In true super dramatic fashion I also picked out a bike on Craigslist and made an appointment to see it after class on Sunday.

Taking this class is no small feat: you pay $135, and give up 3 hours Friday night, 6 hours Saturday, 7 hours Sunday. My babysitter had canceled so I had to call on Savior Single Mama to help with the beasts.

I walked into the class on Friday and it was clear that I was the one with the least experience. I don't ride ATV's, no seedoo's at the lake, no mopeds around town, no riding on the back of a bike. My Ex-Sweet Escape had a bike, but it was a chopper not made for two. The most we did was zip down the block. The last time I had really been on a motorcycle had been 20 years ago. A small Honda my boyfriend owned. But what the hell, I'm super bad right? How bad could it be? And more importantly I am proving a friggin' point. I CAN DO THIS. I can learn how to ride a motorcycle Bad..SELF.
We were not given the smanschy matching coats. 

Friday night went great. We were in a classroom. Easy, peesy, Lemon, squeezy as one of the the instructors liked to say. Saturday actually also went well. I was scared of that teensy 250 cc bike. I wobbled. I shook. I did not fall down, I don't think I actually went over 15 miles an hour either, but I loved it. I loved swooping around the cones. Gliding through the parking lot. I loved being on a motorcycle.

On Sunday I came to class ready. I got a 100 on the written test. I had on my riding gear. I had an appointment right after class to buy a bike. I was stoked. Until the first exercise. The dreaded figure 8. That is when my new favorite phrase became, "I will not run over my teacher." as he skibbled out of the way, and though that saying started during the figure 8, it continued through the exam. Those men are practiced skibblers. I did not rev the engine and jump forward or lay the bike down. I didn't do anything crazy like that, I just meandered a little and got too focused on the art of shifting and then braked too late. There is a lot of shit to learn when riding a bike, and apparently too much shit for this super bad woman.


Really. I failed the class. The coaches felt so bad when they told me, but I said, "That's okay. I will learn to ride. When can I take the class again?" I blew it off on the outside, but on the inside my super bad self was crushed. I'm just a human being. I failed a beginner's motorcycle class. I am not super bad. I was exhausted and I felt like shit, but I had an appointment. I hopped in my car and I drove an hour away to see a man about a bike. I sang sad love songs to myself at the top of my lungs to my tender little self and lamented the fact that James Brown, Rizzo, and Don Corleone would have passed that motorcycle class. They are Super Bad, me I'm just human and sometimes I just hate that about myself.