I've spent a good portion of my "adult" life thinking about if I were ever reborn and had my pick of gender, if I would like to come back as a woman again or instead choose to be a man. The practical part of my brain says, "Duh, be a man. Then you would know what it's like to live as both woman and man." You know, just to get the full range of human experience. And then I think, "Shmeh... boring. No high heels? No short dresses? No fun haircuts? Pass."
Ha. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did just reduce gender to people who wear ridiculous clothing and people who do not. But in all seriousness, women have it harder in life. Sure, so do all minorities; gays, blacks, Latinos, transgendered people, Asians - everyone who isn't a white man in America - has it harder. But I present the argument that of all these groups, the women therein have it even harder. A few points.
1. Childbirth. I mean, WTF? Really. Completely ridiculous.
2. Periods. I can't complain too much, because mine aren't terrible, but it can be fucking inconvenient to plan your sex life around them. Provided you actually have a sex life.
3. Balancing a career and a relationship. I've been thinking about this one a lot recently. In my experience, men do not see this as a difficult choice, or even as a choice at all. To them, work "naturally" comes first - or so they want us to think - and we ladies are just supposed to accept it. When A got promoted, close to the end of our relationship, he got a BlackBerry and I warned him that if he used it obnoxiously - at meals, in the middle of conversation, really any time when we were together (since we we were together so infrequently), I was going to be upset. He continued to use it, pulling it out in the middle of convos, and when I asked him to stop, he would inevitably put up his "hold plz" finger and respond with, "HoldonasecondIjustneedtocheckthisonethingforworkitwillonlytakeasecondOKthanks." Um, no it's not OK. Women are naturally expected to put relationships first and career second. Well, I'm just gonna say it: this whole dynamic is some classic bullshit. I don't even have a problem putting my relationship and my partner first, but only if he is willing to do the same - and so far, I haven't met one who is.
4. Being pretty. This is probably not the argument you think I'm going to make. I'm not going to complain about allegedly being pretty, and say that it impedes me from accomplishing as much in my life as unpretty people - instead I'm going to say that it's not fair that men get to have the outsider experience of all the prettiness in women. They get to fuck us, and touch our hair, and feel us against them, and watch us put on makeup and slip fabulous heels onto our pretty little feet - and we get to watch them... shave? Brush their teeth? Fix their hair with their hands? Even lesbians can't experience women the way men do, because they are women too; only men have the unique experience of such amazing, beautiful creatures from a standpoint of not actually being an amazing, beautiful creature. And most of them don't even appreciate it. For a while, when the relationship is new, you can see that spark in their eyes when they look at you; but after a while, they're no longer enchanted and seem more bored than anything. Unacceptable.
5. Sex. For women, sex can be a very complicated thing. It doesn't *have to be, but it can be. Sure, there are women who have sex like men - with no emotional attachment, no care about who the person actually is, and disregard for having any semblance of an actual relationship. But for the rest of us - myself included, I think - it's not that easy. Sex for a woman is innately so different because you are - quite literally - letting someone else inside you. Straight men don't know what that's like. Well, not the average straight man anyway. Lolz. I hope it doesn't make me a non-feminist for saying that; I just know that the older I get, the more complicated sex gets, and I'm kinda over it.
6. The pregnancy scare. This might be right at the top of the list. In fact, I'm not sure why I didn't list it first. Guys, you will *never know what it's like to think there might be another (unwanted) person growing inside you. Sure, you can know what it's like to get dat late text, dat "I think I'm late" text - in the words of Weezy - but yeah, it's not the same. Even if your girl sends you that text, I'll bet you aren't counting the days, the hours, the minutes, that her p is late. Cuz yeah, that's how it is. And buying a pregnancy test in a Wal-Mart in podunk middle of nowhere America? Yeah, a low point.
7. On that same point, birth control. It's simultaneously the best and the worst thing to happen to women in the last 50 years. Sure, it's awesome; it gives women a control over their sex lives they never had before, and it's certainly something we should all be thankful for. But it can have some fucking nasty side effects, some of which I have experienced: extreme mood swings, severe depression, suicidal thoughts, hair loss, breakouts, weird spot bleeding. Sure, they're working on male birth control, but how soon will we really see it? Come on, science.
I hope this post doesn't come across as too bitchy/whiny, but I just wanted to share some of the frustrations I've been having recently. A lot of them probably come from my own insecurity in my identity at this point in my life; I told y'all I was questioning everything I thought I knew about myself, and gender is not excluded. As far as my potential rebirth is concerned, the jury is still out.
But, women get to do stuff like this*, so I think you know which way I'm leanin.
Until next time.
*The fact that one of her background dancers might actually be a dude is irrelevant
I watched Breakfast at Tiffany'slast night. As cliché as it is for me - a 20-something female living in New York - to like that film, I still openly really, really like that film. I didn't much care for it the first time I saw it, but it's grown on me with each viewing. I've also read the short story, which I actually like even more - think better writing, no happy ending - but there's just something about the film that calms me down when I'm feeling restless and crazy and anxious. Something about watching Audrey Hepburn, so beautiful and graceful and classy, get drunk at a speakeasy and retrieve her phone from her suitcase and pull shoes out of her refrigerator; it somehow reassures me that maybe everyone goes through these crazy stages in their lives, where nothing seems to be in its proper place, and even all the glamour and parties and amazing New York experiences somehow seem to come up short.
At the end of the film, she and George Peppard are riding in a cab and he tells her he's in love with her and she says, "So what?" His response is so poignant and true and beautiful. And God I sound like such a cliche of myself but I don't care because it really spoke to me last night when I watched it. I'm pretty sure if a man ever said anything like this to me, I would marry him on the spot.
"You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, 'Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness.' You call yourself a free spirit, a 'wild thing,' and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."
No matter where you run, you just send up running into yourself. If the past six months have taught me anything, it's that. So it's time for me to figure out who I am, and love that person, and find my own happiness.
I'm in Birmingham for a few nights. I have mixed feelings about it. It's obvs really nice to be home and see my momma and my dad and Queen B., and to sleep in my own bed and hear the crickets chirping at night - I forget how loud they are - and smell the rain. Nothing smells like the South after a good rain.
But being down here brings back a lot of good memories of me and A, ones that are too painful to think about since our recent breakup. We're doing that weird post-breakup thing where we both know we need to be apart, but neither of us is ready slash wants to let the other person go. We keep texting and e-mailing and leaving voicemails and dragging this thang right on out, despite the fact that we broke up more than two weeks ago. Not that two weeks is all that long or anything, it's really not. It just sucks that we both keep leading the other person on when at the end of the day the truth remains: now is not a good time. It's not a good time for me to commit myself to him, and it's not a good time for me to split my life between two cities. It's not a good time for me to be able to trust him. It's just not the right time, which sucks because we still care about each other a lot.
So much that really letting the other person go is something neither of us seems to yet be capable of. Secretly, I'm okay with that. Because I still feel happy when I get a text from him, or when he calls me his girl, or when I hear his voice. Ugh. Turns out love isn't enough to keep a relationship alive. No one tells you that when you're little.
Still, I feel thankful and am trying to focus on the amazing things in my life. My one true love, New York, and my newly budding love for Harlem. My family. My friends. My job. My blog. Summer. Loving myself. Life.
jaded (adj) - made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by surfeit
That's about right. I'm feeling very dull, apathetic and cynical about love, relationships and men. Some questions I have:
- What is love? - What does it mean to be in love? - Can a man ever love me as much as I love him?, i.e. do men have the emotional capacity that women have? - Sub-question: Could I ever be in love a woman? (Yeah, I said it.) - Will I ever be satisfied? - Do I demand too much? - Is love an illusion created by old Hollywood movies, society, culture, etc? - What is the point of relationships? - Is it ever possible to really know another person? - How can you ever truly trust another person, when people, by definition, are imperfect, unpredictable and more interested in themselves than anything else?
I have amazing people in my life. One of these people is Jenny Anderson, sweetheart, fellow Ole Miss grad and budding photographer. All her stuff is amazing, and this weekend she took my portrait while we were in Battery Park. I love it. I'm not wearing any makeup, I had been swimming and lounging in the grass and was all-around pretty dirty. But somehow this is one of my favorite photos of myself, ever.
Here's a preview:
And here's the link to her blog. Girl is talented. She also took the photo I'm using in my redesign.
Life in New York just keeps getting better. The city and I have a rather contentious (is that a word?) relationship at times, and it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that I have experienced some really unhappy times since I moved up here. But I've also had some really happy times, and since (thus far) July has been a much sunnier month than June was - literally, since it rained pretty much everyday in June - I have been able to do a lot more stuff and the city is really opening up for me.
Stuff I did this weekend:
- Went to brunch at this place in my hood, where they always charge you for only one mimosa, irregardless of how many you actually order lolz - Went swimming at this pool I found near my house last week; it's free! Free I say. FREE. - Lounged in Battery Park and sat on the water that looks out over the bay where Lady Liberty lives - Had an epic dance night that involved a fountain - Moved a new, smaller bed into my room; sleeping so well now that I'm up off tha flo - Wandered around Harlem and ate at a diner by Z's house - Took lots of cabs
Additional, awesome things I've done in the past week:
- Discovered this park by my house, complete with bridge over the highway that connects to a walkway by the East River - Laid in the park to listen to a free concert by the NYC Philharmonic - Laid in the park to listen to a free concert by the NYC Metropolitan Opera
I've said it before and I'll say it again: summer in NYC = the best thing ever. I fall more and more in love with Harlem every single day; I love my apartment, I love my street, I love my neighbors, I love the culture, I love that my two best friends in the city also live here. When I found the park, I envisioned raising my kids around it, bringing them to the pool in the summers, watching them play on the swings. Basically I never want to leave.
Sometimes when I come back to my blog after being away for a while, I can't believe how long it's been. June 23?? REALLY? Today is July 12. That's, like, almost a month. It's been almost a month since MJ died. Can't believe it. If any of you out there have aspirations to live in New York, one of the first things you will learn is that time means nothing you thought it meant. A week is a blink of an eye, and a month feels like a week. I wonder if it's like that for "adults" everywhere, or if it really is a New York thing. Either way, it's bizarre.
Sartre wrote in his play No Exit that "hell is other people." I've read it--depressing--basically this guy dies and finds himself in a room with no exit, trapped with like three or four other people for all eternity. Of course gradually they start to hate each other and go insane. What would be worse, do you think? All eternity in a room by yourself, or all eternity in a room with a few other people you hate?
I'm single again. It was more of a mutual thing this time. We each had our own reasons I guess. It's amazing how after being with someone a year, you still feel like you don't know them at all. Is that normal? Is that par for the course in serious relationships? Like, it's the big secret no one tells you, oh yeah, a year is nothing, you still have a lot to learn about the other person. I don't know, but I really hope not. I don't want to feel like I know someone, only to learn that I don't really, over and over again over the course of my life. Why can't people just fucking be honest about who they are from the beginning?
I'm being very vague on purpose, but suffice it to say that I was in DC last weekend and found out something that made me feel like, oh here we go again, I think I trust someone and then he shits all over it. Well, I tried for a year. I mean, I think that's pretty good right? Off and on, but I tried for a year to put my full trust in one other person. And it didn't work out. Time to move on.
I'm gonna try not to let myself get ruined. I want to stay in tact, be the Meghan I used to know and love, so that one day I can wake up and suddenly be ready to date again, and meet someone equally awesome and we can truly love and trust each other. But as of right now, I'm really over it. I spent a year trying to make something work with someone, and when I think back on it now I see one struggle after another. That really sucks, because we had some good times, but right now I just want to be alone. At least when I'm alone there are no expectations, no games, no failed attempts at communication. It's just me and my apartment and the city and my friends and all of y'all and my family, way down South.