Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Woman's Neurotic Mistake

This goes much further than social networking sites, the demise of committed relationships, men cheating and women wearing neurotic like badges of honor. Men cheat. I’m stating the obvious. I’m not making generalizations. I’ve known more than one “man” to cheat and thus can correctly state that the plural man cheats. Men cheat. The “men cheat” conversation is exhausted. I am exhausted with hearing about it and I’m sure men are exhausted with defending it. Yet, I’m perpetuating the fatigued rhetoric when I spew more concern with what a man does with his heart, genitalia, or combination of both while in his exclusive relationship. Well, I’m not here to perpetuate it. Not exactly.

As of late I have had three female friends reveal what must have become a common trend in relationships. While I have been out of commission to the exclusivity aspect of a romantic relationship something horrific has happened. If discretion was a suicidal woman on a bridge prior to social networking sites, the woman’s brains currently lay scattered on the pavement. I’m not discussing the negative affects social networking sites have on relationships, that would just be obvious.I hate obvious. The negative affect social networking sites have had on our generation, at large, has been discussed at nauseam. I took a stab at it last week, trying to bring a fresh take here. It is almost expected that the integration of an enormous social phenomenon, any social phenomenon, would greatly affect our lives. Yet, as I sat and listened to how three of my female friend’s relationships have been affected, almost compromised, by the phenomenon it left me speechless.

This is how it seems to be happening: girl and boy are in relationship, girl does not trust boy (for either a merited or unmerited reason), girl finds crafty way of getting boy’s facebook or email password, girl proceeds to hack into his facebook or email, girl confronts boy on all of the rubbish she finds during her investigation, boy apologizes, boy never changes password, girl continues to snoop for the duration of their relationship, boy knows she is snooping, boy proceeds doing suspect stuff.

This scenario is so problematic that I could use three separate posts to address all of the dimensions. To me it’s highly problematic but my three friends, who relay some variation of this scenario, carry such nonchalance to their undeniably invasive ways that I wonder if I’m the one out of the loop. I’m from the school where you try to trust your significant other or at the very least pretend to. To my surprise, couples aren’t even pretending anymore. Instead, they are switching facebook and email passwords like it’s a rite of passage or way to prove trustworthiness.

More problematic than the girlfriends who purposefully and aggressively look for incriminating evidence are the men that allow it to happen. What has happened to men? The man that is socially conformed to be dominant and non-tolerant of a constant question of his loyalty. I listened to these three friends share their private investigative anecdotes and if they all had told me in a room together I wouldn’t have believed any of them. I would have secretly devised that each was egging the other on and that none of it was true. I can’t say this though, these three women told me similar stories, at separate times, none of them knowing the other. All to say, the similarity in their stories metamorphose from lie to coincidence to trend each time I hear a new rendition of it. As I listen to these women tell me about their boyfriends I am flabbergasted that the seemingly more dominant gender has quietly let this betrayal of trust become the norm. And so I marinated on this for a few days.

And now I have some perspective. From the untrained eye it would appear that women have finally gotten men by their figurative balls. Lets re-examine the aforementioned scenario though: girl and boy are in relationship, girl does not trust boy (for either a merited or unmerited reason), girl finds crafty way of getting boy’s facebook or email password, girl proceeds to hack into his facebook or email, girl confronts boy on all of the rubbish she finds during her investigation, boy apologizes, boy never changes password, girl continues to snoop for the duration of their relationship, boy knows she is snooping, boy proceeds doing suspect stuff. This new age display of distrust is not one that women should brag about. Yes, men are showing a high level of density when allowing themselves to be tricked into relinquishing private passwords. However, women are quite misguided too. Women are mistaking a man’s indifference to them knowing about their bad behavior for the man being afraid to confront them about it. Let’s be honest: It would be completely appropriate for a man to be outraged by this type of invasive conduct and if he’s not there lies the larger problem.

The truth is a woman’s blatant prying does not reform her man’s actions. Contrarily, it creates an environment where the man feels betrayed by her invasive antics, acquires a defense to it by becoming indifferent, deliberately does unacceptable things in her face, and all the while his misbehaving conduct becomes more acceptable, evidenced by both party staying in the relationship. Sadly, a woman’s neurotic mistake and the continuation of that mistake is not propelling her into a more esteemed role in her man’s life, instead its downgrading both her role and status.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In My Head

Not a good place to be

My thoughts have been all over the place today. I will spare you a sloppily done post and start a new series of (que drum roll): Random Thoughts. My thoughts are generally all over the place but I am typically able to filter them into some kind of organized logical rationale. Strike that, how can I judge the soundness of my own thoughts. Of course it’s logical to me. Anyway, here are five random thoughts.

1.The older I get the more I think about babies. I say in a high pitched voice almost daily, “I want a baby!!!!” Actually I whine it. Maybe the whine is an indication that I don’t need one. More to the point, is this what they call a woman’s biological clock. My thirty year old friend who I think has some kind of omnipotent knowledge base (that description doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m about to say next) says that this baby yearning gets worst as you near thirty. And so this is where the random thought really comes in. Where I go from a random thought to an even more obscure connection to that random thought. See watch. Does the fact that every five minutes I hear black women aren’t getting married make me want a baby more? Maybe, this yearning isn’t the natural ticking of my clock but instead just the forced one that these people are shoving down my throat. I equate baby to husband and if there is a risk of no husband then maybe that means no baby. Now that I put that down, that’s a rather enlightening position. I should have done a post on that. Oh well.

2.Why do we purposely listen to sad songs when we are feeling somber? It makes no sense. No one wants to feel sad, yet, we will do something that almost facilities the feeling. Then we are listening to this sad music and crying and it’s just all so dramatic. For what? When we could have put on some feel good type music and tried to turn our clichéd frown upside down. Maybe we like stewing in our own self-deprivation. (que: the sad song I’m listening to now).

3.Where’s Lauryn Hill? That is not a random thought. I have this thought all the time. I ask friends like she might be hiding in their shoe. So maybe this inquiry has gone from a random thought to a recurring one. Does the frequency of a thought change its level on the random-o-meter?

4.Which takes me to my next random thought. (That was such a sentence fragment). What is a random thought? Any thought is the result of situations and circumstances. Situations and circumstances are random occurrences that God or the universe or someone puts before us. So, at the very least life is random. The sperm choosing the random egg that created us is the start of our lives and it’s as random as it comes. Next time someone tells me I’m random, I’ll be sure to let them know this little random tid bit.

5.Is it normal in the middle of a “cry yourself to sleep night” to have this very lucid thought: that maybe I should not make a night of this heavy, noisy, crying because if I do then my eyes will be puffy the next day and I’ll just look a sad mess all day. I don’t think that’s normal. Definitely not.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four Middle Age Ladies and a Camel

That’s what they should have called the movie. I haven’t gotten one of those special people “before the movie comes out” viewings. I’m not famous or infamous enough. Not, yet. My analysis comes only from the trailers I’ve seen. The trailers are enough, however, to say that there sure isn’t going to be a whole lot of sex or city in this one. We should just call it Four Middle Age Ladies and a Camel. I think that would pretty much sum it up.

Analysis on the Sex and the City series is enough to fill the pages of both the old and new testaments. There are countless critical essays on it. I have both favorable and unfavorable thoughts on the show. As a feminist I pay close attention to some of the behavioral patterns the women have displayed over the years. I regard the seemingly liberating capture of female sexuality as an unfortunate failure. The portion of the show's aim to free women from the bondage of sexually subservience was sloppily executed. I understand the struggle. It is nearly impossible for a television show to disrupt the complex societal dichotomy of women either being angel or whore. Moreover, a show on women, sex, and a city are certainly not going to have many teaching points. I digress.

With that said, as a young woman that loves fashion and the allure that comes with New York, never having been, I giggle like a little girl when I sit before Carrie Bradshaw and her three friend's hilarious antics. During college when I began my Sex and the City obsession I would return to my dorm at the end of a day, or when I needed a quick sex pick me up and for thirty minutes that was my equivalent of being a little boy hiding beneath his covers flamboyantly reading Vouge. So sinfully delicious! I called the four women "my girls". I was able to identify with each of them on a fashion level, sexual level, and an emotional one. The writers beautifully created and evolved each woman. Each woman tragically flawed, yet, strong and defiant. The vulnerabilities that were present transcended both race and class. The show created and maintained a formula that will quite possibly redefine television forever.

I speak with such esteem for, what many may call trash television, to prove my loyalty to the brand, to the sensational actresses that are the voice of that brand. The show is so much more than just a show. It’s a life style. Thus, in no way is my criticism from a place of not understanding the "hype" surrounding the phenomenon. I get it. I understand why on the May 30, 2008 premiere of the original Sex and the City film women all over the nation slipped into their very own five hundred dollar manolo blahniks, upper east side-esq outfits, and lined up at the theater. I get why cosmopolitans are the drink of choice when a woman sits at a chic lounge and wants to feel equally as chic and "fabulous" as the decor around her. I understand the sentiment that this sensation has created.

My understanding and appreciation for this original HBO hit is what makes me ask, "what the hell are they doing?" I mean, what are these writers doing to “my girls”? The writers have taken the formula and multiplied it by two and the number just equals something very odd. I appreciated the Sex and the City series finale. The viewers got what they wanted, Big finally telling Carrie she was the “one”. Perfect ending. The finale was an obvious nod to Carrie fans. It was in the first season that Carrie asked Big to just “tell me I’m the one”. Carrie becomes the Cinderella she has always wanted to be on the finale. Carrie Happy? Check. Fans Happy? Check. Obvious? Very. I would have appreciated the finale consisting of Carrie and Big having a tearful “one last time” goodbye and the screen fading to black. I guess the writers had to give everyone the “Happily Ever After” they wanted. I guess everyone isn’t as dark as me. I understand.

I took issue with what “my girls” were turned into in the first movie. Women that were supposedly breaking rules on marriage, babies, and domestication were now conforming on all accounts. The movie , very well written, colorful, wardrobes to die for so I let my skepticism slide. When I heard there was to be a second movie, however, I threw in the towel. Enough already. Then I saw the trailer. Double enough already. They have “my girls” talking about menopause out in the desert, on camels no-less. Carrie, who has loved Big from season one, has now become a sexually frustrated housewife that cheats with safe and boring Aidan. How has Carrie’s life become so mundane that she has to cheat with a man whose normalcy use to make her cringe. I am not impressed. I didn’t really expect to be impressed with a second movie. There was nowhere for the chronicle of these women to go after the conclusion of the first one.

Hopefully when I go to the premiere on Wednesday night my mind will change. At the present moment, however, I will just keep calling it “Four Middle Age Ladies and a Camel,” because those certainly aren’t “my girls.”

To Be Continued…

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love Fades As Distance Grows

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I remember the first time my mother told me this. I think it was when I was in tenth grade and had got broken up with for the very first time. My heart literally hurt for weeks. It was awful. At that time I believed my mother’s cliché because it was much better than the alternative. The alternative being that distance doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, that it just makes it forget. Eight years later I see that she lied. And I appreciate the lie. I appreciate it because I was much too young for the harsh reality. I appreciate the lie because the alternative means that the thing that I advocate most in relationships doesn’t really work. The alternative: love fades as distance grows.

I love long distance relationships. Correction: I loved long distance relationships. I believed in them the way children believe in Santa. I was aware of the challenges but confident the benefits far outweighed them. I saw it as an avenue that surprisingly strengthened relationships. It allowed couples creativity in keeping that spark ,which was losing its luminosity, alive. It switched things up. It added mystery, when both parties had become complacent. They were forced to actually, really, get to know each other. There was only conversation to fill the distance. No longer was physical presence a distraction. Instead of hugs, kisses, and sex there was an added element of innocence to their reintroduction. They were like children, finding out what his favorite color is and what she wants to be when she grows up. And when they were reunited both stupefied that this distance, in fact, brought them closer.

And then I grew up and I understood that there was no man coming down my chimney and that as soon as me and the person I care for part, it’s positively the beginning of the end. I was rudely awakened that unless I am in his face he will have selective memory, unable to remember who we were together, how good we were. But maybe I’m just forgettable because two attempts and two failures tell me so. And I would be alright with that. I would understand that there is something wrong with me or maybe even the men I choose. I could still believe in the distance, still find solace in it. I wish absence just didn’t make his heart grow fonder. I could accept that.

I want to believe in it so bad. I want to believe in it the way Southerners believe in God. I want to believe because even if marriages fall apart, and people die, and the world is corrupt there’s still hope in this basic level of goodness. The world can still offer this. There’s still hope in this basic level of dedication. There’s still hope that even in a generation where we are indulgent and accustom to luxury we will still go through hardship because the person we care about is worth it. We fight for the people we care about. I want to believe in distance because then I can believe in love.

And now I am hopeless. Now I don’t believe. Not because of my failed attempts. I mean, I pick complicated damaged men so I can’t really expect much. I am hopeless because she deserved so much more. My friend picked the right guy, grounded, upright, nice, political, intelligent, capable of love, and three weeks ago she tells me that yet again another long distance relationship has failed. The saga continues. It happens this way every time, just as I have completely lost faith in the distance I had formerly prayed to, a friend starts their own journey through it. I silently call them a fool to try. I wait for the inevitable day when they tell me it’s over. Weeks go by, then months. The relationship is still in tack. The relationship, stronger than ever? I stand corrected. I get a continuous stream of stories on travels across state lines. I listen and live vicariously through their glow. As my faith is building, however, their relationship is secretly waning.

This is a tragedy that is occurring every day. The tragedy? Couples are allowing something as flexible an inconsistent as distance and space dictate their hearts. Presence is only a figment of our imaginations. Instead of blaming the distance maybe we should become more imaginative. I cannot comprehend allowing someone that the universe has given me go because it becomes inconvenient. I cannot want someone in my life that cannot battle distance to have me in his. I want to go through distance with a man because then I know he loves me even when it’s inconvenient. And that’s the kind of man that I will love forever, a man strong enough to love me inconveniently. I am honored to go through this with him because there are so few men that resonate the joy in my spirit that makes distance a gift.

But for now, I guess I will just ebb and flow with everyone else. I will believe what they tell me. It doesn’t work. And when my friend, one of the best women I know tells me that she is going to move to Toronto Canada because that’s where her love is I instinctually want to tell her not to. I want to tell her that she is gorgeous and amazing and that the distance should only make them stronger and if not he isn’t the one. I don’t tell her that though. I’ve lost faith, so instead I ask when she’s leaving.

Friday, May 21, 2010

And We Are Running

It’s sad. Quite honestly one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. Running, running, running, and all in vain. I want to advise him that this kind of heavy-breathing sprint is worthless. I want to advise her of the same. Instead, I say nothing. I remain silent because the cut is much too deep. I remain silent because I understand the impulse of putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. I remain silent because I don’t have the right to speak. What’s the purpose of speaking rationally to someone who is delirious from that kind of shock, anyway? There is none. So, I don’t say anything and they keep pushing forward. And it’s so clear to me that one day when they are much older or maybe even when their life’s journey is ending they will see the purposelessness of their determination to run. The person goes on, however, oblivious. And it’s all quite sad.

Fatherhood is probably a pretty difficult task. I draw this conclusion because there are so many people, men and women alike, that complain about theirs. Some people choose to believe that apathy is the cause of a father’s failure, the reason for his major flaws. I choose to believe otherwise. I think it’s much more intricate than this simplistic dismissal. I choose to go back to the cycle of running when we should have remained still. I choose to believe that it’s the tradition of proving that we will be better than him that provides the problem. We run from his mistakes, just to repeat them.

I’ve seen too many men bogged down with the past of their fathers, creating defenses that only get them that much closer to a replica of the man they despise. The hatred. I’ve never seen hatred to compare with that of a man towards an imperfect father. And so that man puts himself on a pedestal. He says he will never be like him. He will never make those same mistakes. He fiercely advocates for himself, even though he hasn’t been asked to, just to show that he already is more of a man than his father ever was. I smile. I smile because this man standing before me doesn’t yet comprehend that everyone is better in youth, when they’re starting out, than when all is said and done. I smile because this man’s father probably spat upon his own and made promises that he clearly was unable to keep. I smile because the irony of it all is unbelievable but so sad that if I stop smiling I’ll probably just, cry. And so he runs instead of looking at his father with compassion. He runs instead of getting beneath the surface and understanding the sins of his father. He only has a surface level understanding, and he runs with that.

And then there are mothers. Let’s not forget the tangled web that mothers and daughters weave. Relationships between women are complex. They are volatile. Women are quite temperamental. In most relationships between women there unfortunately lingers an element of jealousy and lack of trust. I’m inclined to believe that this element is present in many mother-daughter relationships. I fortunately was not witness to this kind of dynamic with my own mother. I understand it though. The dynamic and the reasons for it are complex enough for another entire post. Daughters may not display the same kind of hatred that men showcase toward their fathers. The dynamic still stifles the potential of their relationship. And it isn’t until much later that she acknowledges that she has grown into exactly who her mother was. Many times because she was making a conscious effort to be the complete opposite. The cycle continues, and now her daughter looks at her with contempt. All because she ran instead of looking at her mother with compassion. She ran instead of getting beneath the surface and understanding the sins of her mother. She only had a surface level understanding and she ran with that.

And she who hates her father marries someone just like him. And he who hates his mother marries someone just like her. And we are running. And we run right into the arms of someone just like our parents. There is no issue with acknowledging, having a deep understanding, of the fragilities of our parents. The problem lies when we hate them for it. The problem lies when we fail to realize that they are people and that people generally make mistakes and have problems. The problem lies when we finally realize all of this and they are both gone back to the earth, to the heavens. We then realize that it is much too late to apologize for running from them when we should have been running to them. And then we stop running. But it's much too late.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We Want a Wedding Dress

I passed a wedding dress boutique last weekend. Then I turned back around and returned to it. I stood outside the window like a little girl, face almost pressed to the window, looking up at the couture wedding gowns on display. The street was empty. The stores all dark inside. I stood there and at twenty-three wanted so badly to wear one of those dreamy white dresses. I was mesmerized. I pulled myself away from the window just before the lurking sadness was able to completely seep in. I left before I turned into “David’s Bridal Crazy Lady”. Why a feeling of sadness? Simple. I want that dress and it’s the only thing in my life that isn’t guaranteed. I can work hard for every other aspect in my life but me wearing that dress is not contingent on any of that hard work. Please don’t misunderstand though. I don’t want to get married. I just want the wedding dress. The man, the husband, well he’s just a means to an end. And so I began thinking about wedding dresses and women’s pursuit of it.

This is not a continuation to the woes of single womanhood. I have no interest in spitting out single black women, and single white women statistics. I’m talking about wedding dresses. I’m talking about women’s fascination with wedding dresses. I want to talk about what has been left out of the conversation on women’s craze to get married. There has been an exhaustive amount of discussion on women’s desperation with getting married. The men having this conversation, unfortunately, don’t understand our true motivation for matrimony. We don’t even understand it. We want what comes with a wedding. We want a ring, a bachelorette party, a wedding planner, a honeymoon, a slew of gifts. More importantly, we want the dress. That dress that take people’s breath away. The dress that makes us look like a dream, more beautiful than we’ve ever been before. We are told our entire lives that we can never look more beautiful than on that sanctified day. The husband’s importance? Yeah, not so much.

I have had many conversations with single women. Most of my friends are single women. We undeniably talk about men a lot, a whole lot. We discuss our desires to have someone in our life that is exciting but “chill”, intellectually stimulating but a typical guy, attractive but not intimidatingly so, complex but simple, charismatic but not a whore and a laundry-list of other contradictory traits. We, however, have no interest in stability and normalcy. Exactly what it takes to have a normally functioning marriage. Most women will take inconsistent and passionate over the aforementioned on any given day. Yet, there is all this talk about women being on the fast track to the actual “happily ever after” component. Well, that’s just not the case. How can that be the case when many times women carry the same intimacy issues men carry? Take me for an example. I say I want marriage. However, when I think about the union of it I can’t get pass the wedding day. I envision this glorious day and then after, I draw a blank. And when I attempt to stretch my mind to see the everyday normalcy of marriage I almost have a panic attack. I feel trapped and boxed in. I feel stifled. I feel complete claustrophobia. That invisible ring on my finger gets real heavy. One person, and that’s it…forever?

I have too many friends that have intimacy issues. I have too many friends that say that they will get married just for the sake of it and that divorce is always an option. So, if women, the sex that supposedly promotes marriage, equates divorce to it then why are we so fixated on the union. There are many reasons, I understand. There are reasons much more psychologically and societal based then what I am bringing to the table; however, strike up a conversation with a woman about a wedding dress and she’ll know precisely what she wants.

This precision in understanding the dress is what created “David’s Bridal Crazy Lady”. My friend recently worked in David’s Bridal. While we were out at dinner she gave me a recap on the encounter she had with a very crazy lady. The woman came into the store and was looking at dresses. Typical. My friend, good sales associate that she is, probed about what kind of wedding, the fiancé, that whole bit. “David’s Bridal Crazy Lady” says she hadn’t been proposed to yet. Oh, so maybe in a long term relationship, I ask. No. No. No. This woman had just recently started dating someone. My friend and I laughed that night about this “crazy lady” and how ridiculous she was. When I think about this lady now, though, I realize she isn’t much different than most of us. Maybe she’s a little more crazy for actually going in the store and looking at the dresses as if newly engaged. This woman, though, is just like many of us. Instead of flipping through bridal books she is being proactive and flipping through gowns. The man, the prospective husband, isn’t anywhere in sight as we flip through those pages and as she flips through David’s Bridal collection. Why? He isn’t important. The husband is not important. The wedding isn’t about him, we could really just call him a seat filler. The dress, now that’s what's really irreplaceable to us.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Am So Incredibly Sorry

I am so incredibly sorry. I was so wrong. I have been preaching from my pedestal for years. I can’t help but cringe now that I think back to my ignorance. “The justice system is not just...” was a favorite line of choice as I concluded a soliloquy on my concern, rather disdain, with the justice system. Not only should I be apologizing for the lack of originality in that rhetoric but I apologize because I had no clue what I was talking about. I spoke about something that I had only an amateur understanding. I grew up around attorneys, practically in a law firm, but I was looking at some very complex issues very simplistically. I was omnipotent, to let me tell it, but really knew nothing. I was passionate and everyone else apathetic. Well, screw me, because I didn’t know squat. As I sat in my cushiony privileged life surrounded by protection and shelter I looked with contempt at all the players of the justice system, who I thought were destroying America. I held contempt for all the judges, all of them. I held it for the district attorney’s office. For lackadaisical public defenders. I held a special place of contempt for legislatures because I was just sure that they were passing laws placing the poor at a further disadvantage. I held contempt for every person that, during our conversations on the justice system, would look at me with eyes of “Erica this problem is bigger than you.” They were right. I was wrong. The problem of the legal system is much bigger than me and my superficial understanding of it. I am so incredibly sorry.

The problem isn’t that the justice system is not just it’s that life isn’t just. Therefore, any institution in this imperfect world is going to be tragically flawed. The justice system is flawed, yes. But it is not a complete failure. I pegged it as a failure. I propositioned that an entire revamp of the structure of our legal system was needed. I, little ole me, was put on the earth to single-handedly fix this corrupt system. I was to fix this system which imprisoned black men at disproportionate rates, destroyed families, and was only a means for a racist society to leave blacks oppressed. I went to law school with the notion that because I was interested in fixing this problem that it would be fixed. Again, a reflection that I have been protected and sheltered enough to think if I want something I can make it happen. Bump all the people before me that have tired. It’s a wonder that today as I sat across from a fifty year old white inmate at the county jail and had this epiphany that I did not have a complete nervous breakdown and my head blow off. In that moment and every moment since Monday when I started my first legal internship my notions about criminal defense have been disrupted.

I sit for most of the day in courtrooms that are fair. I have yet to see blatant prejudice. People who have committed crimes get chance after chance. Crimes aren’t just felonies most are misdemeanors and for those crimes people are working tirelessly on both sides to try to get plea deals for minimum sentences. Judges aren’t cold and indifferent, they seem genuinely concerned. They empathize. District Attorneys they cross the aisle and are sympathetic to a criminal’s circumstances.

I am mainly exposed to the workings of public defenders. Sadly this is where I think the problem lies. Money is green and life isn’t fair. There are much more criminals who need court appointed attorneys than ones that can actually afford a private one. It’s not the justice system that dictates this it’s just simple money, power and position. The people that need the most help, need the most attention receive fifteen minute interviews with their public defender the day they are to appear in court. They receive this kind of attention not because of an unjust system but because money talks and they don’t have any. In correlation to their economic situation, they are more likely to engage in criminal activity, violate great plea deals that their public defender gets them and end right back up in court. The public defenders are overworked, underpaid and quite frankly desensitized to all the bullshit their clients give them. They see the same clients over and over again. It has nothing to do with what happens when the impoverished criminals get in court, nothing to do with the justice system, it’s all based on the unfairness of life. It’s just life. So when a public defender said to me today “it doesn’t matter if he did it,” there lies the problem. She doesn’t care because she doesn’t have time to care. All she has time for is to see if she can get the man “time served “so she can go back to the revolving door of her two-hundred person caseload.

So, I am sorry justice system because you get a bad rep. I am so sorry to the judge who had every right to throw a bad attitude young woman in jail but didn’t because she wanted to give her one last chance to get things right. I am sorry to the district attorney who gave a young girl advice on not letting a man take advantage of her, went on to hug her as she cried after being sentenced to pay a large sum of money for a poor decision. I am sorry public defenders because you bust your asses every day and don’t see any real progress. I am sorry legislatures because instead of being informed on programs like STARR program which tries to help inmates with addictions, giving them treatment and lighter sentences, I was busy pointing my finger. I am sorry to any person that I have engaged in conversation about this and they listened to me sitting in a very ignorant position, preaching. I am sorry to myself because I am much too smart to label superficial rationales as profound. I am so incredibly sorry.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out of Touch

We have completely lost touch with reality. I have been aware of this for quite some time but realized the magnitude firsthand as I recently sat with friends attempting to watch a movie. I had already seen the movie, loved it so much that I wanted to make new memories watching it again with friends that I thought would appreciate it. I should have just watched it by myself. The memories probably would have been better. I don’t blame them. I’m not sulky about it. I wouldn’t even call what they did inconsiderate. They, like myself, have just lost touch with reality.

The reality is that in December of last year Shellie Ross, a mother of a two year old, lost her son in a drowning accident. The reality is that this little boy died in a pool all alone, cold, and struggling. He will never have the opportunity to enjoy life. He will not grow up and fall in love. He will not grow up and fall out of love. The reality is on that day a baby died. His mother’s reality…twitter. One minute prior to her older son calling the authorities to report that his brother, her son, was drowning Ms. Ross was tweeting “Fog is rolling in thick scared the birds back in the coop.” Reality is while her son was drowning she was tweeting. Approximately thirty minutes later as the boy was dying she was tweeting about the incident. She was asking for her followers prayers nonetheless but still she was tweeting about it. Five hours later she was once again putting all her followers on notice that her son had died. I sat in amazement as I read this story. What mother tweets about her son’s death? I am not a mother but I imagine if I were to lose a child it would bring such immense earth shattering pain that I would be curled up in a ball, not on twitter.

The reality is that my friends, glued to their cell phones texting during an entire movie, and Shellie Ross are just representations of a generational trend. We have lost touch of reality by ironically staying in touch with our tech gadgets. I have no room to point fingers. During the day I cradle my blackberry in my hands like a newborn baby. At night I prop it up on my pillow like a lover. When I awake its right there, literally the last thing I touch at night and the first thing I touch in the morning. In some ways I am sure my blackberry relationship displays being out of touch with reality. However, I am not just talking about slight astigmatism here. I am talking about full blown loss of visibility, loss of touch.

I don’t have a twitter account, took myself off of facebook about a year ago. I don’t have anything against those sites. I did not like my specific facebook relationship and what kind of person it was creating and therefore eliminated the problem. There are people who don’t lose grip of reality while using these social networking sites and to those people hats off. I just don’t think I will be taking my hat off to the vast majority. I don’t take my hat off to those whose every thought, and I do mean every thought, that enters their mind must be tweeted. We are living in such a fantasy land that we think our every move is groundbreaking news. I don’t take my hat off to facebookers who spend endless hours consumed with what someone else is doing, staring at someone else’s’ pictures. No hats off to those of us going out because a new profile picture is needed. And although we may be having a miserable time, out with people we really don’t like, whenever a camera flashes we are suddenly happy and alive. The reality is that we are creating moments for the purpose of artificial websites. For the vast majority I will keep my hat securely on my head.

What happened to solitude? No more is there sitting at the house and reflecting on our day because if we even try we are distracted by tweets going off, facebook messages popping up, gchats popping up, gmails, emails, text messages chiming, BBM, and then the obsolete telephone calls that we occasionally get. It’s just so exhausting. And while all of this is occurring we are missing something. We are missing a sunset or special moment with a loved one. We are losing grip on the important things. We are so consumed with all of these extraneous devices that we don’t know what is going on right before us. We are out of touch with reality.

Do you ever feel like being so connected is really leaving you disconnected to reality?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Car Sessions

And We are Both Naked

I call them sessions because that’s what they feel like. They feel like therapy sessions. Both of us revealing way too much, falling too deep way too fast. Sitting in that car on that spring /summer night trumps all. I mean, it is so good. Orgasmic good. It is better, in the sense of falling into the pits of intimacy hell, than any date in the best low lit perfect ambiance restaurant that Atlanta, DC, NY, Cali can offer.

I have engaged in these multiple times. I am a car session junkie. The cars change. The men change from bad to worst but the feeling remains the same. Typically it begins right as the real date ends. I guess I should have run like hell in the house, in the apartment, wherever but run as fast as I could just to avoid these sessions of nudity. All I know is that when I lay my head on my pillow in the wee hours of that morning all I can remember is the car session. I remember nothing else about that night. I smile and drift off to sleep and am full of hope. I mean, hell, that session is probably the most intimacy I’ve had in months at that point. Windows rolled down whispering in the smell of a warm night, me comfortable in the passenger’s seat, talking and him listening, him talking and me listening. And as soon as I get out of the car the spell is broken and I think “gosh I revealed way too much” and the truth is I probably did, but it’s the nature of car sessions.

Never and I do mean never have I ever gotten honesty from men to match the honesty that I get during car sessions. For every man that I have ever felt any real connection with I can point to when it happened what prompted this completely over the top in sync feeling. Every time a car was involved, stars overhead. If I were asked to surmise the reason why, I would say the answer lives in the nocturnal.

At night, defenses are lowered, maybe even non-existent. As fetuses we took comfort in the dark wombs of our mothers. As adults we curl up in that same fetal position turn out the lights and are able to coax ourselves into a deep sleep. All in the dark. We feel safe. As children we play peek-a-boo. Someone covers our eyes and we think we can’t be seen, that we’ve disappeared. Maybe that’s what takes place in our romantic lives during adulthood. Are we playing grown up peek-a-boo? It’s dark and therefore safe to be honest, safe to share our innermost thoughts, aspirations and fears. For we can’t be seen. It's dark and the street is still (the kind of still that only the night brings) and it feels like the two of us are the only ones in the world. For the duration of that car session we both forget that we are batting for different teams. The presupposed expectations of male/female disappear. He does not have to make sure he is saying everything right in the hopes of, at the least, sex by the end of the week and I don’t have to be skeptical of his every word. We are just two people, both with emotions, insecurities and fears. It’s dark and gothic and we sit in our respective booths and “Bless me Father, for I have sinned…” isn’t what we say but we confess. And here, in that moment, is the only time I truly begin to see the potential of who we could be together. Who me and this man could be, having more moments just like this in and out of said car.

And at the end of the relationship between him and I--(which if there was a car session is probably messy, emotional and unnecessarily painful) I might think that he is the biggest liar, mass manipulator, miserable excuse of a human being but that car session is untouched. I either will not allow myself to believe or that moment much too real for even me to tamper with in anger and disgust but I cannot question what took place during our car sessions. There is something that happens in those minutes sometimes hours that regardless of all the dysfunction we later create, in the midst of lies and broken promises it still doesn’t disrupt what we created in those sessions. I guess it’s just the magic of car sessions. At the end of a very interesting affair, I looked at a young man and then at his car and I couldn’t say I loved him because I wasn’t sure but what I did know I said. “Gosh, I loved that car,” I whispered. He didn’t understand. That’s where the magic happened.

Have any of you experienced the magic of car sessions? Is there a place where this kind of magic happens for you?

A Flame

I've always wanted to blog, envied others who have the courage to do so. Some may say there is no bravery in blogging. I disagree. Revealing one's self through words is a vulnerable place to be. There are no pretenses when you write from the heart. Through this blog I hope to conquer a fear, create a space of complete honesty in a world full of superficiality. I hope to inspire someone, anyone. So sit back and light a candle. Let this be your first thing in the morning place or your after all the bullshit place to go at the end of the day. Just make time to light a candle and be honest. Enjoy.