Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

I wonder sometimes if it's just me, my hard-ass Capricorn nature, that has left me void of warm and fuzzy memories of childhood. Honestly, I hear people talk about having felt safe and cozy and cherished while doing the most mundane things and I think, "huh?" I just don't have that. Seriously, feeling loved and SAFE? IN MY HOUSE? Excuse me while I laugh my ass off. Be back in a sec.

Ahhh. That was rich.

The closest things I have to warm fuzzy memories of childhood are few and far between. They are more often associated with pets, or books, or movies than people. If I think hard about it I can isolate people-related moments that might qualify, (and they are literally MOMENTS - we're talkin' a minute or so) but if you have to delve deep down to find them do those moments count? Not to negate those moments, ya takes what ya can gets and all that, but I wonder if people who have these readily available moments of *ahhhh* accessible to them without effort really HAD more than me or if I was too isolated to appreciate them when they were happening. I like to think I'm pretty damned observant (hyper-vigilent actually) and I don't think I entirely suck at seeing what is really happening around me yet I do wonder if I missed what was there when I was a kid.

Truthfully I don't believe I did. I was brought up in a very chilly environment with precious little in the way of interpersonal relationships and affection. It's hard to connect with your family when they are primarily loaded, closed off, in denial and determined above all things to keep secrets. A child in that environment becomes more of a piece of furniture than something to be nurtured.

My maternal grandmother was honestly the only person who was physically affectionate with me and I saw her, maybe, 4-5 times a year - if that. God knows I ate that shit up, and to this day the hint of Jean Nate makes me long for a hug from my grandmother. While I am grateful for that much, it's hardly enough, is it?
That's my Confirmation - my Grandma was my 'sponsor' into the 'life of Christ'.
What a riot.
FYI: that is a floor length dress. We were specifically told to wear nothing longer than knee-length or our robes wouldn't cover it. Tee-hee and F-U, says I.

I DO know that there are kids who had, and have, it much worse than I did. I was never physically abused, never hit (my Father didn't DARE hit me, I carried a knife from the time I was 8, so Mom was the punching bag at our place). But I never felt there was someone taking care of me, never felt safe, never felt wanted. That's not the worst that someone could have happen to them growing up, I know, but it still sucks. It sucks because it leaves you looking normal. Seeming unscathed, when in fact you are unimaginably damaged.

I am very, very lucky to have survived - and I remember this every day. I was emotionally damaged in ways no one saw or understood (even if I EXPLAINED it!), inheriting the delights of a chemical imbalance was just icing on the cake. Today I am so much healthier that it astounds me - literally on a daily basis. But there are times I wish I had something warm and fuzzy to pull around me when I feel a little blue, or lonely. And I really don't. Not from way back, not enough to fill a void that is decades long.

On the other hand, people who have had [relatively] happy upbringings may be at a disadvantage. Or maybe that's just something I tell myself. But if you think about it, someone whose happiest, most carefree days were in childhood can find the 'real' world a tougher place than someone who grew up in a big ol' mess. When your life is harder when you're a kid, things are easier as an adult. Simply because you've been through worse. I know people who live in their past to such a degree that it seems pathological to me. Attempts to relive 'happier days' keeps you stuck in the past. So in that way I'm supremely lucky. In no way would I want to return to my past. It sucked - it can stay in the past thank you very much. I'll take the NOW over the THEN any minute of any day. Yeah, I'm still a little envious of other people's happy memories, but I have my happiness now. It may not be exactly the way I'd like it to be, but it's 100% better than what it used to be. Maybe someday it will be 110% better, but for now I guess my warm fuzzy moments will have to remain in the present.

After all, there's really no going back.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Party Phobia

I'm pretty sure I've alluded to my party phobia here at some point. I'm proud, and amused, to report that I actually managed to get my ass TO a party last Saturday. This is huge doin's for me as I will often optimistically accept an invitation and then bail at the last minute in abject terror. I have been completely prepared to go to parties: fully dressed, make-up to rival my current sexual fantasy, Eddie Izzard, and even a Xanax to calm me down, full directions printed out, phone numbers input to my cell and I have still bailed. I'm talking put on my coat get out in the hallway, lock the door and freak out! (and not in the fun Chic way), go back in and send a million page email of distressed apology to the host or person for whom the party was being thrown explaining what an awesome lame-ass I am. This is followed up by hours, days, weeks of endless guilt and anger at my own cowardice.

It's been a problem.

Last weekend, however, I managed to get a gift and card, get out the door, FIND the place and actually attend a party! Granted I only managed to stay an hour - but for me that's HUGE!

Naturally, because it's me, there's more to the story. And that story will prove that to some degree my party phobia is not simply neuroses, but necessary self-preservation. By the way, party phobia only applies when I am to attend one, giving one is a WHOLE different kettle of fish, barrel of monkeys, ball of wax and so on. This is about attending.

This party was for a friend of mine who was having a big birthday and whose party two years ago was one of the many I have done the above described bailing on. I felt compelled not to do it again. She came to the party I had in October, and this was a big birthday, and most importantly, I couldn't be a coward AGAIN.

I was delighted that I had a vague idea where I was going, even though it was in the West Village. This is thanks to the fact that it was not far from the Red Lion which I could find with my eyes closed I've been there so many times to see the Niagaras. So despite the fact that it was on the West side, where I can get lost without taking a single step, I actually knew where I was heading. Knowing where I was going was a big plus. Hell, the fact that I got to the subway was a big plus! I found the bar where the party was being held with no problem whatsoever. Off to a great start, Joy! You go! I need to note here that I was wearing my contact lenses. These bits of plastic are good purely for social occasions or sex. My vision correction with contacts is never great due to my extreme blindness and astigmatism, the contacts I'm using are two prescriptions old. You do the math.

When I got to the place I saw the birthday girl sitting at a table right in the front window! Hurray! Another note: the only person I really knew who would be at this party was in fact the birthday girl. So I was incredibly relieved to see her in the window like that. I went into the bar/club which is really, really small - very nice, very intimate, wildly DARK. You go through the glass door and then through a velvet curtain - turn a sharp left and there's that front window and my friend. She was talking away, very engaged with chatting with a guy. I stood next to them for a few minutes, waiting for a lull in the conversation. Polite, dontcha know. She looked at me a couple of times but showed no recognition whatsoever. That seemed odd to me until I remembered that the last time I saw her was November and that was before I'd gotten my hair chopped off. Finally she paused, looked at me and said, "Did you want to join us?" "Yes, of course I do, silly!" I said, all merry and cheery, like you do at a party. Or like I imagine you do at a party.

That was when I realized.

It wasn't her.

Oh dear God. WAIT! I knew her cousin would be attending, I haven't met her but there was a family resemblance (remember - blind as a bat in a dark club). "Are you Kate's cousin?!" still as cheery and merry as one could want.

"Uh, no, do I look like her," she said.

"I dunno, I've never met her," I said.

Yeah. Like that.

Then she said that if I was looking for the party it was in the next room.

Welcome to my total, insane embarrassment. Oh. My. GOD.

Luckily Kate was easily visible in a wicked red dress and tiara so I literally ran to her and, naturally, spilled the story. Seems she too had encountered the woman in the window, and thought she was there for her party! Oy.

The rest of the evening was just fine, I mean, the next hour was fine. Then I left and it became clear that all the good luck I'd had finding the place had dissipated. I should know by now that if my instinct is to turn left I should always ignore it and go right. Alas. I walked and walked and smart-assedly made a turn that I was positive would take me where I wanted to go. Uh. Not so much.

I couldn't see a street sign until I was on top of it and when I saw a street name that was familiar to me it was familiar because I used to work near it. When I worked at the South Street Seaport. If you don't know Manhattan, and clearly, I don't, here's a map of my little after-party walk.

In the midst of this, once I realized I was just going the wrong way altogether, I ended up stopping on a street corner waiting for a light and popping those damned contacts out and putting on my glasses. That's something you don't see every day. At least you don't if you're wearing contacts that don't correct your vision. The one thing that was clear was that if I wanted to get home and not live a 2008 version of After Hours I had better grab a cab. So I did.

I'm glad I went. I don't know how the next one will go, whether I'll pull myself together enough to go or bail again, but at least I managed to go to this party - maybe it'll start a trend. Maybe not. Maybe I should get new contacts first. Yeah. That's the plan.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

...and maybe this is why

Perhaps the reason I have yet to find the 'perfect man' is because I have unusual tastes. I like men with a bit of... shall we say style. Show me a straight man with the balls to wear eye-liner and nail polish - and I'll show you a man with style. They seem to be few and far between.

Yes, my friend Josh is laughing as he reads this. Peacocking. What can I say? I like it. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cupid, my ass

Am I too butch? This is a question I ask myself from time to time. I wonder: do I come off as incredibly butch, or incredibly fey? I know this is typically a question one might ask oneself if one were, say, a man, specifically a gay man, yet this is the kind of thing I think about. And I'm a straight woman. Though god knows we're all, as a friend of mine once put it: a little bit gay, and we all have a smoosh-up of yin and yang, I know my inner gay man is often times flaming - but he's also very good with power tools. Still, I wonder what people SEE when they look at me. If my outward appearance is quite what I think it is....

I did a production of Macbeth (4 million years ago). I was one of the witches, double, double, toil and trouble and all that fun stuff. One night after a rehearsal a few of us went out for drinks. I was still in the midst of my many and wondrous mood swings back then, and naturally I was 'up' at the time (one tends not to audition nor be on stage when in the throes of Depression) - so yeah, let's go out!

After a few drinks our Macbeth, a very handsome and serious, intense fellow (good casting there) sits next to me and asks: are you a lesbian? Me: Umm... not so much no. Okay, truth be told there was that woman in college, but other than her, I gotta say: I love me some boys.

Apparently however, the boys not be lovin' me quite so much as I would like. And no, in response to the next logical question: the girls don't either. Except that one chick at a Niagaras show who hit on me excessively one night... which was flattering and all - hey, she was beautiful, just not what I'm looking for. So I do spend a fair amount of time wondering what it is about me that is so off-putting. Yes, okay, a few extra pounds - but I know for a fact that there are far heavier women than me who get plenty of attention (from whatever sex they're interested in), so much as I'd like to blame that, I really have to be honest and face that it isn't that.

I can literally count on one hand the number of times I have been asked on a date. Seriously. Now by date, I mean a DATE, not a merry sleepover, an actual 'let's go out and get to know each other' sort of date. I can also, sadly, deduct a couple of those because they were guys I had actually pursued for long enough that it wasn't like they just out of the blue asked me out - and then we ended up in relationships that lasted years... so it was more like inevitable than a 'date'.

One of those guys told me (after we were together for 2 years) that he had NO CLUE I 'liked' him before we went out. Oy. You might think, oh what a dim bulb he must have been - but the truth is I can see it... I guess. I tend towards the 'cool' for the most part - at least I did back when I was younger and sicker. And of course that comment made me wonder - how do I come off to people? Here I felt I was literally throwing myself at this guy on a daily basis and apparently what he saw was "oh hi, gotta run". Kra-zeee!

So I wonder: am I unapproachable? Given the fact that I am asked for directions by strangers on a daily basis - literally - I have to believe the answer is I'm imminently approachable. A couple of weeks ago I was picking something up from a friend at his job. I have been there before so I didn't recheck the address before I went. Brilliant. Joy of the "I get lost if I leave my block" goes somewhere without the actual address. I had to call my friend to ask where his office was - people, I was LITERALLY across the street from it LOOKING RIGHT AT IT and left my friend a voice mail saying "I don't know where to go!!" Yeah, I'm the one to ask for directions. But while I was waiting for him to call me back not one but THREE people stopped and asked me for directions. Oddly enough I was able to tell all of them where to go. I'm like a directions-savant for other people, yet I cannot use my super powers for my own personal gain. So sad. But it also proves that I am infinitely approachable. Just not in any 'hey baby' kind of way.

What is all this is blather leading up to? Oh hell, work it out people! I'm am, as is typical, alone on Valentine's Day. *sigh* Of course I always have me, which is fine. I'd rather be alone than in a relationship that wasn't fulfilling or fun or passionate. But still... be nice to get flowers, ya know? It's been a long time.

Screw that fat little cherub and his arrows any way! Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I want to go to Mexico - NOW

I believe my subconscious and conscious are in agreement on this one. For a change! Last night I had a wacky-assed dream that was sort of a Dynasty meets The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with special guest stars: the vicious cell-phone eating ALLIGATORS.

Yeah. Well... you know... the Lunesta and all.

So as I've been doing whenever I allow myself (which is frequent) I did my internet search for a new destination in Mexico. I'm pretty much into the idea of going to the West coast (Pacific) this time. God knows I'd go back to the Yucat√°n in a heartbeat, but Mexico is huge and I want to see ALL of it. And life is short. The funny thing about my 'net surfing is I found a place that sounded interesting and in the 'information' section they mentioned the proliferation of CROCODILES. Noting that they have had no reports of attacks on humans; though no mention was made of cell-phones, so I'm leery there. Yes okay, sticklers, alligators are not crocodiles. I know that. My subconscious however seems not to differentiate.

Clearly Mexico is calling me. JOY, GET THE HELL DOWN HERE. NOW!

It's time.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Remember to Vote!

If your state is having a primary today and you are registered to vote (and you should be!) then get out there and VOTE!

You have a voice, take it seriously. We can change the world - but we have to get out and make it happen.

Polls don't close until 9pm. You have time. GO!

Remember: if you don't vote, you don't get to complain about whoever eventually wins. If you vote, you have earned the right to bitch and moan all you like!