Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 16: Into the wilderness

I've just finished reading BrenĂ© Brown's latest book, Braving the Wilderness. I marked so many passages I wanted to go back to I had to go ahead and order a copy for myself. Add $2 in library fines to the cost of the book, because I didn't want to give it back and they made me. I'm going to write more about some of what she said in the book later in the month, but I have to be up at 4:30 AM -- yes, that's AfuckingM -- to catch a flight, so I'm keeping it short tonight.

I have made a decision to go into the wilderness, because a place I loved for many years is no longer that place. It's a hard thing to accept, and I'm grieving. Some would say I'm still grieving someone who died recently, and that's true. I am. But this grieving the place, the community, is a separate grief. One did not have to cause the other, but .... well. Spilled milk and all that.

The last few lines of the book spoke so hard to me, much as the entire rest of the book did, as she wrote about what it means to be connected by going into the wilderness, as she calls it. Alone. I'll just share these words tonight, and I'll have more to say about going into the wilderness in the future. Or you could just read the book yourself.

"There will be times when standing alone feels too hard, too scary, and we'll doubt our ability to make our way through the uncertainty. Someone, somewhere, will say, 'Don't do it. You don't have what it takes to survive the wilderness.' This is when you reach deep into your wild heart and remind yourself, 'I am the wilderness.'"

I am the wilderness, and I am in the wilderness. It can be a lonely place. I'm looking forward to being held in the actual physical arms of my family tomorrow. I'll try to get here to write every night, but don't hate me if I can't. Family comes first for the next few days.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Day 14: Go ahead. Hack my vagina

I don't know if this makes your blood run cold or if, like me, you simply wouldn't give a shit, but if you use a WiFi-connected, $200 dildo called the Siime Eye, someone could actually drive around your neighborhood scanning for your dildo and hack your vagina. Or your rectum, depending on where your dildo was inserted. Apparently it only took some guy who knows about this shit about five minutes to hack into one of these dildos and take over the camera so he could see, if he wanted to, some random strange woman's most intimate, hidden tunnel of love. Like this. 

And apparently among people who know about this shit, that's a big problem. One that you should consider before you start sending videos of the inside of your vag all over the place with your $200 dildo. Let's just hope the Republicans don't get wind of this.

I don't know about you, but I have no fucking idea why someone would go to all the work of driving around until he found someone's WiFi signal and then hacking into her dildo just so he could see ... that. Is that sexy? Do men crave seeing a woman's cervix? I mean, this is some Master and Johnson shit right here. Sure it's creepy if a guy wants to sneak up on that and watch it stare back at him, but it's not like spying on someone soaping up in a shower. It couldn't possibly be a turn-on for most people.

Back me up here, ladies. I wouldn't know my own cervix if I had to identify it in a lineup. I've never seen it, and I don't need to see it, and neither does anybody else. But furthermore, I have 100 problems and some hacker looking at my cervix isn't one of them.

Not that I intend to stick a camera -- did I mention this thing costs $200? --  in my vagina and give him (does anybody think a woman would do this?) the opportunity. What am I missing here with this thing? Is this supposed to be sexy? Because I suspect if you think too much about what a vagina actually looks like -- a tunnel of meat -- it's not going to arouse anyone's passions. So why would I want a vibrating camera up in my hoochie? And who would find that sexy anyway? Hey, baby, send me a dick pic and I'll send you one of my vagina. The real thing. You don't get to see my cervix until the second date though.

OK, supposedly the thing vibrates and the point of it is to observe a woman's mounting excitement and the resulting orgasm. I hate to bring Debby Downer to the orgy, but it's the rare woman who will orgasm from a vibrator inserted into her vagina. Not even with a camera on it. Not a penis either, for that matter.

Maybe I'm just too old for this shit. I'm not saying I'm not adventurous, but if someone asked me to masturbate with a vibrating camera while they watched on a laptop or a phone screen, I suspect I'd become bored very quickly. Frankly, it's an activity that can't compete with The Great British Baking Show. Paul Hollywood is exciting. Watching my cervix is not.

Let's look at Paul Hollywood. 
You feel me?

I'll bet Paul Hollywood doesn't drive around scanning for vag cameras.

Also did anybody else see "Siime Eye" and read "Slime Eye"? An unfortunate name, that. I find nothing appealing about the Siime Eye, so I guess my vagina and cervix will remain safe from slimy prying eyes. If you do like showing off your inner lady bits though, just change the password that came with your dildo camera and all will be well. So glad I could divert that disaster.

In conclusion, if you were thinking about getting me a vag cam for Christmas, please take that one off your list. I'll be posting my list for Santa soon, and this won't be on it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day 13: If we were sharing a bottle of wine

I haven't done one of these in a while. The original idea was for bloggers to write a blog post about what we -- you and I -- might talk about over a cup of coffee, but I write at night, and I don't drink caffeine. Also I do what I want. I can think of a few things I might talk about. Maybe you could write what you'd talk about in the comments.

I'm sitting on my couch in the middle of my living room as I write this. I pulled it out earlier and cleaned behind and underneath it. Yuck. Where does all that dust come from? I understand the socks, colored pencils, markers, and almonds, but the dust? It's disgusting.

After I finished vacuuming and mopping back there, I couldn't bear to put the couch back, because it looks so good. I will before I go to bed. I don't know what possessed me to do that at 11:00 at night, but I am glad it's done.

When I was a young Air Force officer's wife, I struggled with a dirty little secret called depression and anxiety. At the time I was awfully hard on myself about it, but looking back I can understand why that young woman struggled. It's not an easy life, being a military wife, and I was very young. I'm not going to talk about that though. Cleaning behind the couch reminded me of one of the things I did that kept me sane during my husband's weeks- or months-long  TDY's (temporary duty).

I'd give myself one job every day that was not a daily chore. Like cleaning behind the couch or sorting out the sock drawers, going to the commissary or alphabetizing the pantry. OK, I never alphabetized the pantry. But I might clean and organize it. Having that one job to do every day got me through some lonely days when college classes didn't take enough time and kids were in the future. It's a shame I wasn't better at building a life back then.

These days, I could make a list with 15 of those kind of chores on it every day here in my big old Victorian and never run out of days. How I wish I could split the work up more evenly over my life. Maybe that's why I rarely get depressed or anxious these days.

If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd ask you what you've done to keep yourself sane and above water. If you don't have any tricks, I have a list of chores you could help me whittle down.
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd tell you I miss some of the courtesies people used to offer each other. Coraline and I were driving home yesterday and we came to a traffic light that was green, but the cars who had the green light weren't going through. And the cars that had the red light were driving on through it. It was a funeral procession, of course, but since they didn't have a police escort, it took me a second to notice the little flags on some of the cars and figure out what was going on.

It was a long procession. We sat through 3 or 4 green lights before the last car passed by. A couple of people honked and tried to get the line of cars to go through the green light, but most either knew what was happening or didn't want to go against the majority.

When I was a kid growing up in a small town, people would pull over and stop their cars as a funeral passed by, but I don't see that very often these days. I'm not sure it's a thing any more. Letting the procession go through a light, yes. Stopping along the other side of the road, not so  much.

I miss it. And I think it's not a bad blessing: May your funeral procession be long enough to cause the  drivers in the cars going the other way to honk their frustration.
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd say my granddaughter Coraline and I are going to Iowa for my mom's 80th birthday soon. I wrote already that we're flying. It's her first time, and it's been so long since I've flown it might as well be mine too. I always drive, but my little brother talked me into flying so I wouldn't have to spend 24+ hours driving through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. The I states.

It's been 3 1/2 years since I've been home. I always worry about the same things. I just know everybody is going to notice how much fatter I am than last time I was there. And I got a shitty haircut last Thursday that I need to try to get fixed at another salon before I go. It's hard to take the risk again with another new place, first because I could just get more shitty haircutting. And second because I hardly have any hair left to cut. Bitch really chopped a lot off. Also, haircuts are fucking expensive. At least on my budget. So I need to lose 40 pounds and get a decent haircut out of what's left of my hair before I go.

I also need to move my couch back against the wall, and I can predict with reliability which is most likely to happen.
 It's not a joke, those 40 pounds. My 3-year-old standard poodle Crow Cocker is too fat, according to his vet. And I'm too fat. Hmmmm. Seems like we could work on that together, but one of us is too lazy and too busy, both at the same fucking time. Pour me some more wine, will ya?
If we were sharing a bottle of wine, I'd ask if you've noticed things are so fucking serious these days. Remember when we could go days and not think about politics? I do. I tell myself almost daily I'm going to pull the fucking Facebook IV out of my arm and get my life back. But what I really want to do is take a break from politics. I want to keep the personal stuff that connects me to my friends and get rid of every political article on my feed. No offense to anybody who shares political articles. I do it too sometimes, although I've backed way off on that. It's preaching to the choir.

I've never had one of those vacations where you just lie around on beaches and stroll through quaint cities and other people take care of you. I need one of those.

I also need to move my couch back against the wall, and I can predict with reliability which is most likely to happen.
Neither is a fuck buddy going to happen, although somebody commented the other day that I needed to write about that. Ugh. I will, but not tonight. I tried it once, mostly because my daughter Elvira insisted I needed to, and it wasn't as easy as you'd think.

By the time somebody makes a decent fuck buddy robot, I'll be too old to give a fuck. I can almost see the appeal though. Almost. OK, not really.
I'm going to bed now. The wine is gone, and I'm craving potato chips. Sorry this has been kind of a boring ramble. I'm boring these days. I need somebody to entertain me .... and yes, I DO mean like that. Next thing you know I'll be trolling Craigslist again.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day 12: Masturbation for the win

Now that All the Sex Monologues are over, I thought I'd share one of the monologues I wrote for the show. We held a couple of writing workshops in between our two shows, and at one of them we brainstormed ideas for monologues we'd like to see. Someone said they'd like to see one about teaching kids about masturbation. I decided I had enough experience to write that one, unflattering as it is.

After I submitted it, and it was accepted for the show, I sent it to my son to get his approval. He said it was OK, but it wasn't really how it went from his perspective. He was pretty angry with me the day in question, but he decided he'd better just take control. But he said I should go ahead and perform it, because it absolutely was true from my perspective. So here it is. One of my "bad mommy" stories that I turned into a triumph, in my own head and on the stage.

Note: I wrote this to be performed, and I don't think it's nearly as entertaining as a written piece. But a number of people who couldn't come to the show wanted to read it, so I decided to share it anyway. And with no more excuses .... 

Masturbation for the Win!

When they were 12 years old, each of my kids took a comprehensive and somewhat controversial sex education class through our UU church called Our Whole Lives (OWL). When I say comprehensive, I mean they learned more about sex than I know every today. When I say controversial, I mean Jeraldo Rivera did an expose on OWL, and he told the entire country what perverts we were for giving our kids all the information we could about human sexuality.

One snowy night as I was driving my son home from his Sunday session of OWL, I asked, as I always did, if anything had come up that he wanted to talk with me about. He said the topic that night had been about masturbation.

Easy peasy, I thought. Not nearly as scary as oral sex night.

“OK, tell me about masturbation, if you want to,” I said. I knew he was already doing it. Nobody needs to shower for that long.

“They said most people do it. And it can’t hurt you …”

“True,” I said. “Otherwise why do it, huh?”

“And they said it’s OK in some families to do it, but not in others. So they didn’t really say it was OK to do it. It depends on your family.”

Like that’s ever stopped anybody, I thought. “At least you don’t have to wonder about that,” I said aloud.

“Well …. yeah, but I do,” he said. “I’m not really sure if it’s OK in our family or not. We’ve never talked about it, so … I’m just not sure.”

“I guess you’re right. We haven’t talked about it.” I couldn’t believe I’d missed that one. We talked about everything else. Sometimes my kids begged me not to talk about topics of a delicate nature. I had just assumed he’d know masturbation was OK.

“Not only is it OK,” I said. “I’d worry about you if you didn’t do it. It’s a pretty basic human need.”

“They said some parents might get mad if they caught their kids doing that,” he said.

“That’s true, I said. “But it probably won’t stop their kid from doing it. Anyway, in our family it’s OK as long as it’s done in private.”

Mooommm! I knew that. Jeez.” We laughed.

“It’s not just that it feels good though,” I said. “When you get older, and you’re more interested in girls, masturbation can also help take the edge off. So you aren’t so eager to have sex that you make mistakes that have adult consequences. Like babies.”

“Yeah, OK,” he said. “Can we stop at McDonalds?”

I knew the conversation had gone far enough for now. “Sure,” I said. “I could eat some fries.”

Masturbation wasn’t a topic that came up often in our family. I probably only reminded him one more time, when he started to show an interest in dating, that masturbating could make being with a girl -- and by that I meant simply sitting next to her at a movie -- more comfortable. And it could help him make better decisions about whether he was even ready for sex with another person. I hoped I might raise a son who wasn’t as desperate for sex as most of the boys I dated in high school.

I wish I’d gone further and told him to vary his grip when he masturbates, like sex advisor Dan Savage recommends. Savage advises men to use a light touch when they masturbate instead of what he calls “the death grip,” so they won’t ruin their ability to orgasm under gentler circumstances, like in a vagina. It’s good advice, and if I could go back in time, I’d tell my son that too.

Fast forward about three years from our conversation in the car. I’m talking with my sister on the phone. My son is suppose to be mowing the yard, but he’s been in the bathroom for at least half an hour. At least. It’s a common problem, his hiding out in the bathroom instead of doing his chores. I’d already yelled up the stairs a couple of times.

“Hold on,” I said to my sister. “I’m going up there. He’s probably in there reading a book, and the yard will never get mowed.”

I stomped up the stairs and stopped at the bathroom door. “I’m coming in,” I warned as I opened the door and stuck my head in.

He wasn’t holding a book in his hand.

“Sorry,” I mumbled as I closed the door and ran. I mean I literally ran down the stairs and through several rooms to the sunroom furthest from that bathroom.

“Oh, shit,” I whispered into the phone. “Oh my god. I should not have done that.”

Why?What happened?” she asked.

“He wasn’t reading a book,” I said. I was pacing the floor, my stomach churning with embarrassment.

“What was he doing?”

“What the hell do you think he was doing? He was whacking off!” I whisper-shouted. “He was sitting on the toilet …. whacking off.”

“Oh, no,” she said. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to hide here in the sunroom just like I’m already doing until he grows up and moves away. Then I’m going to offer to pay for his years and years of therapy.”

“You’ll have to come out someday. What are you going to say to him? Is he horribly embarrassed?”

“I would assume so. I know I am! How could I have been so stupid and rude? I’ve probably scarred him for life,” I whispered. (BEAT) I didn’t hear my son until he was in the room.

“What did you want, Mom?” His tone was matter-of-fact, as if I walked in on him masturbating every day.

I scanned him for signs of crippling psychological damage. “Did you remember you said you’d mow the yard before dinner?” I decided to follow his lead.

“Yeah, and I will. Was that all?”

Ummm, no. No, Yes. No …. Yes, that was all I wanted.”

“OK, I’m going to go do it then.”

“OK. Thanks.” He left the room and I let out the breath I’d been holding since he’d walked in.

“Did you hear that?” I asked my sister.

“I did,” she said. “Did he look really embarrassed? Poor kid.”

“No, he didn’t look a bit embarrassed. He didn’t even care that I caught him beating off. You know what that means, don’t you?”

“No, I’m not really sure, and I don’t want to guess,” she said.

“It means I win. It means I raised a son who’s not ashamed to do something that is natural and feels good and should never have been stigmatized. I’m embarrassed and freaking out, but he’s not! I win the parenting award for masturbation!

Later …. quite some time later, when we …. OK, when I was able to talk about it, he said, “Of course I wasn’t embarrassed. You told me it was OK to do it. Should I have been embarrassed?”

“No,” I said. “You should not have been embarrassed at all.”

And, I thought. Neither should I.