Category Archives: Having It Both Ways

Dating project of the adventurous bisexual female trying to find love in the big city.

What does the fake Brad Pitt letter says about how we view love?

What does the fake Brad Pitt letter says about how we view love?

we are each others lightIf you haven’t seen the so-called Love Letter from Brad Pitt to his wife then check it out here.

One thing Snopes notes is that the sentence structure and linguistic issues indicate it likely wasn’t written by a native English speaker. That might also account for the cultural weirdness of the final sentence: “ And then I realized one thing: “The woman is the reflection of her man”"  A feminist like Angelina would have his balls in her claws in a heartbeat with a statement like this.

Our culture is a little more than obsessed with this idea of the fallen female in need of being rescued by the strong male who showers her with gifts and love. We focus on the stereotypical gender roles but also the weird belief that showering someone with gifts and attention could somehow fix anything …. which ignores pretty much any psychological convention about someone suffering from depression.

But let’s remove for a moment that this is about Brad and Angelina and let’s remove the gender from the final statement: ”A partner is the reflection of their partner.”

There is some truth in the idea that misery begets misery. When your partner is suffering from depression it can be easy to get caught up in the cycle of sadness as they work through their own issues. When I experienced my occupational burnout I lost my entire sense of self and fell into a pretty serious depression. I was lucky – it took me from about August until November to work though it and find myself again. Once I did, I was prancing around to Katy Perry, cracking bad jokes like I always do, and working out every day. But for most people it takes a lot more time, work and pharmaceuticals.

The true measure of a partner is their ability to stick it through and be emotionally supportive and be loyal.  Dudes don’t exactly have the best reputation for sticking around when the times get tough and they don’t know what to do. I think that’s another reason a letter like this lends itself to virality. We prize the man and frankly woman who “does the right thing” and stands beside his or her partner that is a shadow of her former self.  Hell there’s a whole Tammy Wynette song about it.

By that same token, a couple can also serve as each other’s light. There’s an old philosophical idea that when you look at other people you see a mirror of who you also are. When we notice positive attributes within another person, we are seeing the same goodness that resides within ourselves.  Likewise, when we observe negative traits within another, we are witnessing those parts of ourselves that we do not like. So, it’s a trade off. Sometimes you need support and sometimes you need to give support.  I’m not saying be co-dependent, but just like friendships, you celebrate each other and find the goodness.  And when you see yourself through your partners eyes you should be able to fall in love with yourself in a way.

Having It Both Ways: Will you blow in my…

Having It Both Ways: Will you blow in my…

a drunk date is a bad dateRead more about the having it both ways project here.  And feel free to submit your anonymous dating nightmares by submitting them on my tumblr here.

Since I started this blog I have all of these friends and acquaintances heck even colleagues who come up to me wanting to tell me their insane dating stories.  And let me tell you… these are doozies.  Let me start out with one of my most recent favorites.

A middle aged single woman was approached by a friend and colleague about setting her up with someone that worked with her husband.  Hilarious guy, real life of the party, fun, engaging, hardworking, someone everyone at the company liked who just couldn’t seem to find the right person.  So the woman agrees to it and sets up a date, time, place, to meet the guy for drinks and dinner after work.

She arrives at the restaurant and discovers that he’s been there a few minutes and already had a few drinks waiting.  They start talking and getting to know each other.  Turns out they’re right, the guy is hilarious, but primarily because he’s a drunk!  The dude proceeds to get completely wasted while on the date.  The woman is sitting there shaking her head trying to figure out if the whole thing is a practical joke.

Finally, its over and they’re both leaving.  She’s parked near the door and goes for the car but the guy says that his car is far out in the parking lot and asks if she would mind driving him over.  Reluctantly, she says yes.  Takes him over to the car.  Before he gets out he turns to her and asks, “So.. can I ask you a favor?  Would you mind blowing in my….” and at that point the woman says her mind is racing as to what this guy wants her to blow in.  He uses some technical term about an “ignition interrupter.”  She says confused, “Excuse me?”  He explains that he’s had several DUI’s and has what is basically a breathalyzer on his car that won’t allow it to start if he’s had something to drink.  “I mean, I’ve had a lot to drink tonight, so it’s not going to start, but you haven’t so maybe if you blow in it for me….”  The woman tells him not in a million years.  But offers to call him a cab or take him back over to the restaurant so he could make arrangements for someone to come get him.

She goes to work the next day and calls the friend asking – what on EARTH she was thinking, and it turns out the friend and her husband had NO idea that the guy was a drunk or apparently that he’d had several DUI’s.  I guess this is just proof that no matter how well you think you know someone… you may not ever really KNOW them….

Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

First Couple in freight elevator on Inauguration Night. Photo by White House Photographer Pete Souza.

If you’re looking for salacious stories of romance and torrid love affairs, I might share links to some at HavingItBothWays.com.

I was out having drinks with a bunch of Okies who now live in DC because a friend of ours was in town.  We talked politics and joked about people we all knew but inevitably the conversation turned to, “So… how’s dating going?”  But then the useful part of the conversation – the roommate of an Okie asked what I knew about online dating sites.  Ah ha!  My usefulness abounds!

The first question to ask is “What are you looking for.”  To which they all laughed, “A moderately sized bald man…” they joked. More laughter, “NO!” I said over them, “I mean what kind of relationship.  Just a random hook up, marriage, a buddy …. what do you want?  I introduced her to several different website possibilities that are free or cheap.  But then another of our friends told me I needed to set up a profile and run my “inspection” on BlueStateDate.com.

So… I did.  Here’s what I’ve got so far.  BSD seems to be a way for political staffers and like minded activists to come together around a mutual need to keep their love in the party.  Don’t go thinking its all inbreeding there’s a Red State Date too.  It’s like the Nation Builder of dating sites…. In any case, the profile is very political, asking you to go through and fill out a series of questions on domestic, social, and foreign policy to determine your level of conservatism.  It even asks you what campaigns you’ve worked on.

The idea is a great one – I’m all for it.  Especially if you buy a premium month now you get the rest of the year for free.  The downside?  When I searched for available people within 25 miles of me between the ages of 29 and 45 I got a whopping 7 guys… no women….. So that’s a fail.  I’ll play with it more and keep you posted, but at the very least I have a free year.

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

not having kidsCall now and you too can read more from the Having It Both Ways project in the comfort of your own home!

 

I have a handful of best friends.  We’re talking … people who knew me before politics, people who knew me “way back when” and who I have grown and evolved with over the years.  I called one such bestie the other day and she told me that she was about to call me because a recent trip to see her in-laws resulted in a discussion about when my friend and her husband were going to be starting a family and having kids.

This particularly bestie and I have long shared our mutual resistance toward having kids.  There was an interesting presumption with her in-law family, however, that it was her that was determined never to have kids.  Her normally easy going husband at one point piped up – “We’re not having kids…”  They were all shocked.  What Bestie realized about the in-laws insistence for them not to wait – was that they were way too old when they had children.  Such that the aunt had to endure huge amounts of hormone treatments and it was an all around nightmare to get their daughter.  Bestie said to me, “So while I’ve never ever wanted to have children, I realized I now have to either make peace with that or we have to talk about having kids.  NOW.”

We talked about how both of us have always been anti-kids.  Not that we blame other people of course, but many of the reasons that people say they want children are selfish reasons.  People want families for themselves, they want children that come from their genes not from the plethora of kids who don’t have good homes, we also talked about parents we’ve seen who love to live vicariously through their kids, or need someone to love them and idolize them.

We talked about how when you throw kids in the mix, your life is over.  Traveling for fun – forget it, picking up and going rock climbing on a weekend – turns out you can’t do it with a baby strapped to you, not to mention the first three years are filled with nothing but body fluids and screaming.  And the financial cost is tremendous.  The estimations once showed having kids was an investment, but now you run deficits with kids costing upwards of $250,000 from birth to their 18th birthday, and that doesn’t include college.  In the end is it more selfish to have a kid to complete you and your needs or is it more selfish to not have a kid because you have no interest in being a parent, raising someone, or disrupting your own life?

Remember back when I talked about The Professor and how he turned 40 and realized he needed to get married and have kids quick and to do that he had to find someone between 25 and 30?  I’ll never forget one of the people who commented on that blog post that I was a “selfish bitch” because I would rather not have a kid, which I still find hilarious.  There isn’t an argument for having a child that doesn’t involve someone being selfish and “wanting a kid.”  The fact is – people who want kids… want kids.  They want it for their own reasons.  While my Bestie and mine’s reasons for not having children are status quo – nothing changes with our decision and no one and nothing is impacted by a decision to not have a kid.

I’m at an advantage because no one asks me these questions because I’m not married and no one even sees me with a potential partner.  I still occasionally get the “when are you getting married” question, I don’t think anyone really expects me to have kids unless they come with a future partner.  But this whole discussion reminded me of the bizarre need for our culture to stigmatize couples who are childless, like there’s something wrong with them or one of them have bits that don’t work.  We’re so obsessed with this need to continue a DNA chain or have some image of what a family ought to look like.  The truth is, some people are different and want different things that aren’t traditional or typical.  If you want them, power to ya and have fun.  But all you Baby Boomer parents who are pissed at us because we’re not into it just need to calm the hell down.

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

washington dc kissingRead more about the Having it Both Ways project, just don’t tell anyone…..

So… something happened that took my breath away.  It’s been a rough week. First, I ate something that made me sick the other night… but the reality is for the last week I’ve been depressed about 50.  Not because it was a great loss, although I do feel a sense of loss, not because I invested a lot of time and energy in him, though I did, but more that I let someone get to me and I’m pissed at myself for being so stupid.  While talking with one of my best friends last night I explained where my “trust issues” originated, a story I actually haven’t ever shared with anyone before – not that it’s all that shocking, there are just certain times in your life where major events can impact you more and stay with you forever.  I digress…  So while talking to her about my trust issues I explained that it makes me want to shut down again.  It makes me want to hide and cower in a corner like a feral cat and scratch and claw at anyone who comes near me.  I know this is the wrong decision, but knowing what’s right and healthy for us isn’t always what we want.  Eat your emotional and psychological vegetables.

But then I got the surprise of my life.  I won’t go into great detail, but someone I’ve loved for quite a while that I realistically can’t be with but would like very much to be with… showed up at my apartment to surprise me.  It’s difficult to explain the amount of work that went in to making this happen and that I knew nothing about.  The email I got at 5pm read:  subject line:  come home.  email text contained a photo of the metro station near my house.  My eyes watered.  We’d been emailing all week about how angry and depressed I have been.  I really needed this.  I sprinted from the bar where I was meeting friends for drinks, ran across DuPont circle, leaping over the medians as the “don’t walk” sign flashed at me.  I slid through the doors of the train just as they were closing – then ran up the steps of the escalator… My eyes darted around looking but nothing.  Breathless, I took big fast steps walking fast up Connecticut Avenue.  I heard the voice behind me… and then the comfort and safety of our embrace……. and then…. of course…. the insane amount of making out that commenced in the elevator as we climbed the floors to my apartment.

I’m an expert at unrequited love.  I practically have a degree in it.  This is reciprocated love.  This goes beyond sex, although the sex is always great, it goes beyond trust although we both agree we’ve never trusted anyone more than one and other in our lives, and it goes beyond a mutual understanding that I’m much smarter (though I would argue not smart just more informed because I consume more information)…. there is such a safety I feel when we’re together.  I’m not afraid, or worried, or nervous, or anything – for once I can relax and let go.  Like when you were little and your grandpa told you to jump and he’d catch you.  I know I can jump … and fall softly in a lover’s arms.  And while we both know it never lasts long and we can’t be together; when we smile a goofy grin between kisses and talk of our dreams of the life we could have, nothing else anywhere matters.

Much needed surprise.  No one has ever done that for me before.

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Read more about the Having It Both Ways project here.

When someone you love gets murdered it fucks you up.  It’s more than 4 years later and quite honestly I’ve never dealt with my friend’s death, despite the fact that I think about it several times a week and I feel guilty I haven’t done enough with her foundation…

I never talk about her – most of my friends didn’t know about her until I did the blog post about emotional manipulation being a form of abuse and some of my closest friends told me they never knew.  I don’t talk about it beyond the “cause” element of it – which is just a way that I can put it in a nice non-profit box and pretend like it’s about someone else and not my friend.

But, the reality is that when my friend Jana was murdered it changed the way I view everything in my world.  I use to be so full of ambition and professional drive.  I use to want to be a big deal and had an ego that needed to be stroked.  I wanted my picture taken with famous politicians – and believe me… I have a ton of them… I wanted money and power and control and all of the things that most people in politics want.  When Jana was killed I realized none of those things will ever make me happy.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  In fact nothing does.  I use to want a convertible because I thought I would look cuter with big round sunglasses and the top down.  But the reality is that it isn’t the convertible I want – its the feeling of freedom I wanted… the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and that you feel like you’re going faster because the wind is swooshing past.  I just wanted the feeling of freedom.

For the past several years since Jana I’ve been floundering around asking myself over and over again “what the hell am I doing?”  Like I’m having a midlife crisis.  The only thing that matters to me anymore are people.  Not Bertha the big fancy TV that lives in my living room or my very nice Italian leather sofa… not having the best shoes or the nicest dress, not having the best job, not power, not recognition, not control…. nothing.  Just friends, experiences, fun, and happiness.  And its made me really really resistant to let new people into my life.  Already I had trust issues – already I didn’t let people close enough… now I’m even worse than I was before.

At the same time my normally cautious candyass ways have turned into a thrill seeking world.  I’ll jump out or off of anything, I’ll climb up anything, I’ll do anything once, twice if you’re lucky, and I crave adventure.  Grabbing life by the testies, eat sleep and be merry for tomorrow we may die….. because tomorrow we may…. we really might just…. because it happened to her.

I mention this because I split with another man friend this week.  It’s been a long time coming, but 50 has been so distant and non-responsive that I’m starting to feel like he was just going to use me without being a friend.  The thing about being a friend with benefits is you can trust your friend… its a friend… a buddy you have an honest relationship with.  Only… seems good old 50 just wanted to screw with no buddy.  I have trust issues… no friend… no benefits…. For the first few months it was all buddy… after that… nothin’.  So I didn’t respond to his latest email… and I’m not gonna.

When I think about him it’s so frustrating because… of all people who is wasting his life after not getting what he needed after years and years of being everything for everyone, it’s him.  You’d think at some point he’d wake up and go “shit… I’m getting on in years… I don’t have much more time I can’t do this, I really need to figure out what I want to get out of life before the clock runs out!”  I’m not talking about him doing this with me here – just … anyone or alone… anything.

I feel sad for him, everyone deserves to be happy, to do what they’ve always wanted to do before the die, or be able to have an opportunity to get what they’ve always wanted… within reason of course.  A chance to achieve their dream.  Who knows, maybe he’s already achieved his.  Maybe it was an occupational thing or raising his son… who knows.  I think it’s the Humanist nature of me to wish that everyone have a shot at happiness and being able to have what they’ve always wanted.  I wrote about him last week – I think he’s lying to himself about a lot – but I wish he could be happy and have all that he’s ever wanted.  I just have no hope that he’s reached a point where the experience that changes you into being an life grabbing adventurer. And he might not ever reach it.  I don’t know that everyone does – not that I recommend it because… it’s clearly fucked me up far more than I was before.

The worst part about 50 is that for a few months he was my buddy and I was stupid enough to trust I was his.  When the reality is of course I wasn’t…. of course… I wasn’t.  Whole thing just makes me feel like a trusting fool who was duped.

Having It Both Ways: We all lie to ourselves

Having It Both Ways: We all lie to ourselves

To read more about the Having It Both Ways Project, please visit here.

While I was home for Thanksgiving I went to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  The table was filled with new faces – all friendly, welcoming, and open-minded folks, which typically means its going to be great conversation.  As the sakki flowed, my friend introduced me and told them “She’s a blogger and writes about all kinds of sex, and relationships, and toys and everything!”  My inner southerner blushed a little, not yet use to people knowing me from my dating life and lacking love life.

The questions came and I told them about the Having It Both Ways Project.  I talked a little about the men I find interesting – and my bizarre fascination with infidelity and monogamy.  Within that context, I asked one of the men (married to an incredibly beautiful wife that was sitting next to him) “So explain men to me…”  What he said was so astute and interesting I actually reached for my phone to take notes under the table.

“Men lie to themselves about what they really want and need.  I mean, I try very hard not to, but most don’t even realize they do it….. They convince themselves that they have to do the manly thing which, in their mind, is synonymous with the right thing.  They have to take care of the woman … there are obligations… etc”

I was kind of shocked and amazed at what makes perfect sense about so many of the men, married or unmarried, that I know.  But then again…. I’m not entirely certain it’s unique to gender.  I think we all lie to ourselves.  We all convince ourselves of what we really want to be true or maybe what should be true; sometimes so much so that we actually grow to believe it.  And it isn’t unique to relationships either.  We’re happy in our jobs because… after all it’s a steady pay check with benefits, who am I to complain if x happens or y happens.  A lawyer should be happy in her chosen profession because she spent so much time and money to be a lawyer.  A couple should be happy because they have a big house and a nice fancy car because so many other people don’t have those things.

It brings a mind to wonder, the people who do lie to themselves, is it a form of survival or is it more about “fake it until you make it”?  I don’t want to advocate this idea that we should break up a family every time someone gets annoyed with their partner, but I wonder what our culture would be like if we all stopped trying to fit into a mold of what we’re supposed to be and instead of what we think we should be.

gallup happiness poll

Gallup’s poll of Happiness

 

Having It Both Ways: Last Night I saw True Love

Having It Both Ways: Last Night I saw True Love

I got you babeRead more about the Having It Both Ways Project here.

Last night I got back home after having been out of town for a week.  I managed to race from the airport and get to meet my friends for dinner after I landed.  We had a great night – fun times.  And as I was walking back to the train with my friend Ken, coming toward us was a couple (man and woman) probably in their late 50′s.  The woman was on her blackberry furiously typing away.  The gentleman she was with was holding her arm as she typed and steered hear as they walked down the street.

I turned to Ken, “Now that’s real love,” I said.  “Baby, I loves you sooo much I wanna make sure you don’t run into people or moving cars while you’re emailing and walking.”  That’s real love.

Having It Both Ways: Patrick Stewart’s Bootycall

Having It Both Ways: Patrick Stewart’s Bootycall

decent manRead more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

It all started about a month ago when I responded to a lovely woman who was looking for someone exactly like me.  She talked about an existing relationship she is in with a guy who fully supports her interest in the ladies and would be eager to have the three of us get to know each other.  So she forwarded me his information and we struck up a conversation about our history and interests.  I quickly learned that she in fact is not in a relationship with this guy, who… looks like a younger skinner version of Patrick Stewart, but instead she’s basically just his booty call.  Not to mention he has her come in and clean his house a few times a week.  So, she’s his booty call and his maid.  True story.  And now she’s being tasked with finding him essentially another fuck buddy under the guise of something else.

It gets worse.  After about a week of conversation with “Patrick Stewart” he wants specifics about what I look like. He’s seeking a “fit” girl.  My response – well I go to the gym a few times a week and in the last year I’ve lost about 40lbs with 20-30 more that I’d like to lose.  “You would have to go to the gym more.  I require someone who is fit” he says.  Ok – don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!  I could see a nice pathway to emotional manipulation with a guy who would constantly pressure me to be something I’m not and be constantly failing or falling behind.  I deal with that enough to myself – and I actually love myself!

So here’s my lesson to all you women out there, especially to those of you who have hips and breasts, for the love of god, don’t let anyone ever tell you there’s something wrong with you if you’re not X or not Y.  And if you decide to make a serious investment in losing 40lbs don’t do it because some ass cactus said you needed to.  Do it for yourself.

Interestingly, I also included 50 in on the conversations and when the final blow was dealt I turned to him for reassurance.  Fifty’s response “Well The the thing about [Patrick Stewart] is he sounds like a tool.  That woman who posted is at his beckon call to cleaning and sexual service for him.  They both sound pretty lame after talking to her a little.”  When I told Sophia about it she was flabbergasted and said she shuts that down right away.  Thank goodness the people I DO have in my life are rational.  I also told Sophia at this point some of what I feel like I’m doing is find the freak show.  That so many of these people are like that PT Barnam freak show that I find so fascinating that I keep coming back for more as if I need a closer look and only then I can figure it out or understand better.  And sometimes even after a second look… no, it’s still just weird – and certainly not my thing.

Having It Both Ways: Return of the Professor

Having It Both Ways: Return of the Professor

Read the original story about The Professor here and the rest of the crazy antics of my dating life at HavingItBothWays.com

Oh the plot thickens!  I got another email from The Professor!  He doesn’t know my real email address, my full name, what I do, who I work for… pretty much any details about my life are kept incredibly secret from the people I date UNTIL I decide whether or not I actually like them so he has no idea this blog even exists. So it wasn’t in response to this blog that he emailed.

It says basically “I still like you” and “I think we could be great friends and lovers or FWBs [friends with benefits.] This is what I was talking about when I said we’d get the others vibe and go from there.”

I replied:

XXXX,  If we had set this up from the beginning for this to be just about sex then I would have handled it differently and you would have been kept at a much further distance.  Now, feelings are involved and I’m not having a fuck buddy that I could develop further feelings for.  I’m up to my neck in random men who message me online and want to use me for sex – what I don’t have is someone that I genuinely care about who wants to be a partner as well.  You’ve made it clear it will never go there.  Why would I waste my time?  Why would I ever put myself in a situation where I might fall for someone that I could never be with?  For sex?  No.  I prefer to get that from a place that ensures more emotional safety.

My question to you, dear readers, is what do we do here?  Clearly, I’m not going to date this guy.  I don’t want to date this guy now.  But should I go out with him just to write something fun about it?  I’ve loved your responses on Facebook by the way.  Particularly the insight that this guy isn’t new.  That there are men all over the Beltway who prey on younger women with exactly this purpose in mind.  That is just WEIRD.

Second part of this is I got a really rude comment from someone on the previous post that I marked as spam because it was rude.  Basically saying that I was a “selfish bitch” because I wanted to do exactly what The Professor has done and screw around and have fun and work on my career.  And some day I’m going to wake up and want to have babies just like he does.  Here’s the thing… that’s not exactly how it works for women.  I mean, clearly this was a man that posted this comment because women know about the whole “child rearing years” thing.  If you don’t pop them out by 40 it gets dangerous.  Actually it starts getting a little dangerous at 35. And if I DID decide that I wanted that – I don’t need to get married or meet and use a man that is 25-35 to do it.  Women, as it turns out… are different… then men are.  We don’t need you.  Sorry if that’s news.  And your age doesn’t matter even if we want you.

I’ll be frank.  I don’t want kids.  I’ve never wanted kids, it’s not who I am.  And people who know me absolutely know and understand that about me.  It isn’t selfish to know yourself and realize that you’re not the right person to have a kid simply to pass on your DNA – THAT is selfish.  I have no problems dating someone who has children from a previous relationship – but I ain’t gonna be poppin out no babies.  Ever.  Why is it selfish to not want to have children and just enjoy your life with your partner and your family and friends and their kids?  That commenter seems to have a pretty traditional understanding of what a woman’s life is for and I’m a little bit more modern than that.  This is what it is to have a choice.  To support family planning.  To view women as more than a vessel for a man’s spawn.  And it turns out that as a person that has a choice (at least I think I still do I haven’t checked the news in a few hours) I have the right to decide what my future looks like.