Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Tower, My Mind, My Prison

I can feel another sleepless night coming on. I'm hoping that if I can get some of my thoughts out that my mind will allow my body to go to sleep.

I feel like I have been living in a fog for several weeks now.  The semester is starting to wind down...and by wind down I mean we are approaching finals and thus we are entering the most intense part of the entire semester.  With 2 more semesters to go before I achieve what thus far no other child in my family has done, I find myself unable to even rest for a moment to congratulate myself for getting through this past go round of classes.  So much these days I just feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. And then when I think about the fact that in order to do what I really want..(ie) teach at a collegiate level, I will have to endure several mores years of graduate school...it can all start to seem a little overwhelming.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE school. In all honesty, I pretty well feel like it is the only thing keeping me anchored to this world in so many ways. Well school....and this blog of course.  But for as much as I love learning and plan on spending the better part of my life continuing to do so in one way or another, I can't help but ask myself....what's the point? Why am I working so hard, going into debt, losing sleep, becoming socially removed, all for the sake of obtaining a piece of paper that proves I am worthy of....whatever.

To better myself...is one answer....because what else are you doing with your life?...is another. But still...as much as I hate to admit it...I think I am starting to realize that I could probably get 100 master degrees and yet ultimately feel the same way I do now....Empty.

All of my life I have lived inside my mind.  When I was a child I had an incredible imagination. Nobody  could entertain me the way I could entertain myself.  Give me my bedroom and a village of stuffed animals and barbies and I could create an entire world with characters that rivaled anything Stephanie Myers could produce. I preferred that world to the world in which I actually lived...and to some extent...I don't know that I ever really left my mind.

There have been occasions..........people..........who have brought me out of my the safe haven of my mind.  They made me want to come out. There was something about them that made me feel like it was safe to come out....to engage in life.  When I was around them, I had no need for fantasy or the ever constant humming of my ever pondering mind. The stilled the madness...they quieted the storm...they made me want to live in the here...in the now.

But in one way or another those people left...and like a damsel who finds the world she has so longed to join a little too harsh for her liking...I retreated to the safety and familiarity of my tower.....my mind.

And so here I sit in my tower. The walls are tall and they keep people out quite well.  I have plenty of visitors and I often engage them in conversation.  I may even venture out from time to time when the invitation is extended to me...but often and most always I find myself quickly retreating once again to my tower.

It's so lonely up here....IN here...but it's all I have known. I know these walls and the sounds the floor makes.  I want so desperately to really engage someone and yet I either find I don't know how...or they do not compel me to even try.  I honestly don't know what it is about a person that triggers that something inside of me that compels me to want to come down and stay down.  Sometimes I fear that I've grown so despondent that nobody will ever be able to get me out of here for more than a couple hours at a time.  I feel myself detaching from the world...like a balloon that has come untied from the bunch and is now beginning to drift upwards.

Lest you worry...I'm in no way suicidal. I will remain on this earth until my allotted time is over.  But there is a marked difference in being here and being here.  I haven't been here for a long while...though I've grown quite good at faking it.  I withdrew into my mind many years ago...after he died...but probably before that. I had retreated before that...but he made me want to come out....to stay out. All he had to do was ask and I would have burned that tower to the ground...and went he left...when he died...it felt like whatever was holding me to this earth lost it pull.  I don't know where I've been since that day...somewhere inside myself I suppose.

So here I stand...inside of my mind...wanting so desperately to be loved...to be engaged in the world...to be engaged with people...but I just.....can't.....

I feel like I am waiting for someone...but maybe that someone doesn't exist...or maybe that someone is me. Maybe the one who needs to compel me to come down from the tower is me...but I don't know that I ever will if left to my own devices.

So here I stand...a willing prisoner of my own mind...desperate for love...but unable to connect...

I hope any part of that made sense....I think I can sleep now.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I'm Not Married...And so can YOU!!

Ah Thanksgiving.

That magical time of year when we gather together as family to share a delicious homemade meal and good conversation.

And for those of us who are single...it is an opportunity to be interrogated ad nauseum  about our marital status.

Now...Being an almost 30 year old unmarried Mormon female living in Utah, you can imagine how many times I have had to answer this question. In fact, if I had a nickle for every time someone asked me "How is it that you are still single?"....I would have enough nickles that I could put those nickles into a sac and bludgeon all the people who ever asked me that question over the head...until they died....by bludgeoning...with nickles...that I acquired...from all the questions...

So over the years I have become quite creative in how I have answered this well meaning and totally unsolicited inquiry.

My Thanksgiving gift to you...A list of perfectly viable excuses for all those inquisitive loved ones.

Why I'm Not Married

1. I would love to be married...but apparently that "growth" on my body is a deal breaker.

2. I'm waiting for that whole immaculate conception thing to come back in style...(in order for this to work I must never "know" a man)

3.  I don't believe in marriage...the same way I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, Unicorns, and the Dutch. 

4. My doctors at the institution have advised me that there is a 50% chance that I would kill my spouse were I ever to have one. (But there is also a 50% chance I won't)

5. I hate men.

6. I'm barren and no LDS men want to marry a tree that can't bring forth good fruit.

7. I'm Asexual.

8. I believe marriage to be a socially constructed institution that has nothing to do with God and everything to do with big brother trying to turn a dollar.

9. While traveling in Chezwannastan, I contracted a rare tropical disease that renders me paralyzed when I come into contact with male sweat secretions. 

10. I'm a secret agent.

11. I'm an angle. 

12. I'm one of the 3 Nephites.

13. I'm not fully transitioned yet.

14. I'm not real.

15. I was going tot get married but then the love of my life decided he was going to go on a peace keeping mission to Chezwannastan, promising that he would return for me as soon as he cured cancer among the pygmy hedgehogs, but tragically his plane went down somewhere off the coast of Fiji, though I still hold out hope that he is alive and I often see him in my dreams walking along the shore of a deserted island whispering... "I know she'll wait.....I know she'll wait."

16. I'm really hoping to land that whole attending/administering angle gig.

17. The thought of creating my own world just seems like too much responsibility...and I'd rather not.

18. You know those people who always wait for everyone else to go through the food line before they go and get food?...Yeah...I'm like that...only with marriage. As soon as EVERYONE else goes...I'll go.

19. I AM married...and not you...or anyone else has the right to tell me that me and Joe my avatar 10th level sage elf husband any different.

AND

20. I like girls. 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Why Animals are NOT Role Models

"You and Me baby ain't nuthin' but mammals so....."..............so what?

A little while back I took a course in Formal Logic...it hurt my brain. But one of my favorite parts about the class was learning about all of the fallacies that people use when they are trying to argue their point of view.

According to Wikipedia (the giver of all knowledge) a Fallacy is defined as:

"In informal logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an error in reasoning often due to a misconception or a presumption. Some so-called fallacies are not rhetorically intended to appeal to reason but rather to emotion, or a more nuanced disposition. An informal analysis of rhetorical patterns in fallacies should not be confused with rigorously formal arguments in logic, because rationally persuasive arguments require neither to be successful."

There are a laundry list of Fallacies out there which are fascinating to learn, however I have found that people are rarely impressed when you point out that they are employing fallacy in their logic. 

That being said.....

I'm getting just a wee bit irritated by people who like to justify Human behavior simply because this same behavior can be commonly observed in the animal kingdom.  

Now I don't know if this fallacy already exists...but if not I would like to name it The Nature Fallacy...and I would now like to show exactly why this argument is complete and total bullshit.

Let's first start with an example of my oppositions argument:

"Biologically speaking...most animals are not monogamous...ergo...it is ridiculous to presume that Humans should be expected to be monogamous."

This is a classic one right? And in a way...it makes sense if you totally shut off your logically thinking mind when you hear someone say it.  

If I may, I would now like to counter this argument with my own using a list of common occurrences we can easily observe in nature. As you read these examples, I would ask you to consider the argument from the other side and ask yourself...how much weight does that hold now? I like to call it:

The Messed up Crap we Observe in Nature:  

1. Many female and MALE species of insects, scorpions, and craps (to name a few)...we engage in what is known as Sexual Cannibalization before, during, or following sex.  That's right...you heard me. 

Imagine if you will...

You are just an innocent Praying Mantis minding your own business when all of a sudden some hot piece of green starts giving you the come hither look. You, being an attractive and capable young male Mantis who's sole interest is in the preservation of your own species, decide that this little lady is in desperate need of your love juices and so you oblige her request for a little afternoon delight.  But just as you conclude giving her (arguably) the best 37 seconds of her life (which is relatively short to begin with) you are shocked and horrified to realize that instead of offering you a smoke, she is instead consuming your face.  



"Well that's a fine How-do-ya-do!"

Imagine this practice taking place in the Human world. It does. We call it Cannibalism...and as I come to understand it...."But Your Honor....Insects do it all the time!"  has never got anyone off the hook for making a meal of their mate.

Recall if you will a one Jeffery Dahmer....


Now I here what you are saying....You are saying Come on now....an insect is nowhere near a human and therefor you can't really compare their behavior to our own. If you are going to make a viable argument then you need to pick an example that has a brain larger than the size of a grain of sand.

All right then!

2. How about THIS guy?

Adorable right? AND!!!...it is widely accepted that Dolphins are one of the more "human like" creatures in the world as far as intelligence and emotional aspects. 

But did you know........

That there is research out there to support that Flipper here has been to known to Kill other creatures simply for the sport of it? That's right...our friendly fin(ed) friend here KILLS FOR FUN.

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/bizarre/news-bottle-nosed-dolphins-only-animal-kills-fun

Need I say more?

There are humans out there that kill for sport....

No....not those humans...But kinda...actually....Meh... I digress

I'm talking about those messed up individuals who actually go out and kill just for the sake of knowing what it "feels like" to kill someone. I am not going to post any real life examples...We all know an example...I'm not going to give those people any more press.

Now...even though I have given you several viable examples as to why we ought not look to the animal kingdom as a example of social propriety or decent human behavior...I can still tell that there are a couple nay sayers out there that are still not convinced. You think that in order to make any kind of REAL case for my argument I need to use an example of a creature who is one evolutionary step away from driving cars and drinking Star Bucks....

Very well then.....May I present my 3rd and Final example:

3.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGvD5OSkJ_Q

OR


Never trust a Species that throws its own Feces....Need I say more?

Look to our tree swinging ancestors my friends....they will lead the way into the new age of enlightenment.

Try this tactic in the boardroom next time the business negotiations aren't going you way....and be sure to let me know how it all turns out for you.

I rest my case. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Physical VS. Sexual Attraction: The Debate Continues

I have loved reading all the responses to the question I posed about whether there is a difference between Physical vs. Sexual attraction.  I have to admit, I expected a little more consensus on the matter. What I also realized that a lot of what seems to be in disagreement is really just semantics.  What I mean by this is that 2 people may be using the same word, but it means something totally different to each person.

So when I ask if there is a difference between physical and sexual attraction, some replied absolutely not because in their minds, both words mean exactly the same thing. Like one person put it....

"Well duh. LOL how could I be physically attracted to someone that I didn't want to sleep with?"
-Jesse-

I must concede, in a lot of ways, this is exactly how I see it as well.  So maybe what we need to do is break down these different scenarios in an attempt to make sense of what I believe everyone is trying to express. Keep in mind however, a lot of what I am about to say comes from my own observations, and I would love to hear what you think of my theories.

1st Scenario:

You meet a person who you find physically appealing, so you ask them out or, accept a date from them.  If you were going off of only looks (AS SOME DO)....then whatever proceeds that initial physical attraction isn't going to matter all that much.  You aren't going to be detoured or "turned off" because that person turns out to be vapid, shallow, boring, selfish, Mormon, and so forth.  Because for these people, their attraction to another person is based almost entirely off of the physical composition or appeal of said individual. So in this case, there really wouldn't be a difference between Physical and Sexual Attraction, because to this person, Physical attraction IS Sexual attraction.

Exhibit A: Trophy Wives

This makes life pretty simple as far as dating choices, but I personally would never want to be in this kind of relationship...nor do I fall into this particular mindset.


 2nd Scenario:

Laboring under this mind set, you would might meet someone who you find physically appealing initially...that is to say that before you get to know them you recognize that you are at least attracted to their looks/physical appearance.  However...once you get to know them a little better you come to find that there is something about their personality that is so off-putting that you couldn't possibly picture yourself pursing any kind of real relationship with them.  At this point, our Scenario 2 actually branches off into a couple of possible sub-scenarios:

Scenario 2A:

You realize that this is not the kind of person that you would opt to spend the rest of your life with, or even the rest of the week with.  That being said, your physical attraction to them remains intact, and so you choose to use this person for physical/sexual gratification.  You may even try and convince yourself that all those abhorrent characteristics of theirs aren't really such a "big deal" and maybe just maybe if you stick around awhile they will begin to grown on you....like an STD.

Here is a good analogy of this situation I think...Trying to date a person you are physically attracted to but personality wise are unimpressed by, is like wearing a pair of really expensive shoes that are painful as hell simply because of how good they look on you.  You can't lie to yourself that you are totally miserable, but some certainly try....some even marry these kinds of people only to realize years later that they had been blinded by the physical appeal and never really stopped to consider the reality that they actually detested pretty much everything else about them.

In this scenario, physical attraction and sexual attraction could be classified as 2 separate things...but it doesn't really matter much until the person doing the beholding opens their eyes.

Scenario 2B:

This is the group of people who find themselves under the heading of Scenario 2, but who are unable or unwilling to lie to themselves that looks are enough.  These people, even if it isn't a conscious choice, won't pursue someone who they don't find appealing on more than just the physical level.

I heard this dilemma expressed by several of the men who replied to the question. As one man put it...

 "I once went out with a woman who I considered to be a total knockout. Completely, totally attractive to my senses. Unfortunately, when we got out on our first date, I discovered that, instead of not having much in common, she just failed to engage me mentally, which made me sad when it never developed beyond that. Still, I think I dodged a bullet by acknowledging that, despite the fact that she was one of the most stunning women I've ever met, our mental connection was nonexistent." -Aaron-

Essentially what we are seeing here is what could be considered a distinction between Physical and Sexual Attraction, only in so much that a person must poses attributes beyond the physical in order for a person to find themselves sexually drawn to them. But this doesn't necessarily validate the theory that physical and sexual are separate, all it does show is that for some...the physical is simply not enough on its own for them to pursue something sexual. 

In this way we see the stark difference between people in Scenario A and people in Scenario B. The main separating factor between the two is where they place what we might call Sexual Value.  For the first group, the physical attraction is enough to drive the sexual desire and the words might as well be one in the same.  The second group however is being influenced by factors outside of the physical which either inhibits or enhances the sexual desire.   

In this group, we may often find those who wish they could be in group (A)...but will someday realize they were mistaken or flat out lying to themselves.  

Scenario 3

Of the three categories (including the 2 sub categories)...I believe this is the one that happens the most often. Or rather, this is the one that happens most often in my dating life.

This is the situation when you meet someone who you find tremendously engaging and enjoyable...but unfortunately you aren't really physically attracted to the way they look.  Often times these people will get thrown into the "friend-zone" and you will end up thinking to yourself..."Man! If only I was physically attracted to him/her this would be the perfect relationship!! WHY?? WHY?? Curse my superficial nature!"

 Because after all, aren't we all ultimately looking for our best friend who we also happen to want to sleep with? Unfortunately though...it would appear that no amount of awesomeness in the personality department can make up for a lacking in the libido response.

Looks Matter.

Nobody is more disappointed about this than I am...on both sides of the fence. I have dated AMAZING men who I couldn't ever picture myself being sexual with due to lack of flat out physical attraction, and I have been "friend-zoned' or flat out rejected by men who found me practically perfect in every way, but just didn't have that lovin' feeling for me.

It sucks. It's painful. It isn't fair. It isn't right. It probably has less to do with biology and more to do with social conditioning. But be that as it may...it remains the harsh reality of our society. So unless you can crest that hill of acceptable physical attraction...there isn't much else that you will be able to do to win over the affections of the one you desire.

However.......

Scenario 3A

Rarely....and more often in the case of a woman evaluating a man...a person who you were not initially struck by physically can increase in their overall sexual appeal once you get tot know them better.  Like I said...this rarely seems to happen with men in consideration of a woman. But if you don't believe me, listen to what one of the men who posted a reply to my question had to say...

"I have often called this the "date-able list" and the "non-date-able list". This is a list that for guys is made subconsciously and is based almost entirely on attraction. If a girl is placed in the "non-date-able list" the guy will not ask her out and rarely can she move from the guys "non-date-able list" to the "date-able list". On the other hand girls that make the "date-able list" can easily be moved the the "non-date-able list".
-Tyler-

Personally, even though I concede that a man can become more attractive/sexually desirable given factors outside of his physical appearance, there still has to be enough initial physical attraction that you give him the chance in the first place to increase his standings.

Think of it as having to at least breach the Earth's atmosphere before you can even consider jumping into hyper-space.

Conclusion:

Like I stated earlier...ultimately we all have to be attracted to a person in order to be motivated to pursue them.  Where you place your value of what is and what is not attractive is a subjective process that is unique to each individual.  In the end however, if whatever is missing for that specific person is missing, then the relationship will end...or it won't even get a chance to get off the runway...let alone get taxied to the runway....let alone even leave the hanger.

Love is a battlefield.

 
  

   

Monday, November 12, 2012

Physical Attraction Vs. Sexual Attraction

So what is ironic about this post is that I actually wrote it over a week ago but decided that it wasn't relevant enough to share at the time. And then...as fate would have it...I had two separate and impactful experiences that pretty much sum up that unshared post. Apparently the universe is trying to tell me to share...because after all...sharing is caring is it not?

Lucky for us, this fits right in with the November theme of Attraction.

I think we all can agree that attraction is critical when it comes to forming a romantic relationship.  For most of us, this begins with physical attraction.  You spot someone from across the room and think...Hmmmm...they ain't bad lookin'....I think I would enjoy staring at their face some more...maybe even over a plate of meat and vegetables. So you endeavor to learn their name and ask them out and then ask them out again and then again until the magic day arrives where you drop down on one knee and secure your bond with a bit of white gold and a beautiful blood diamond. 

Simple right?

If only....

Turns out, there is a lot more to attraction than just the physical.  And as it turns out, there is also a marked difference between physical and sexual attraction.  What is odd is that where you find one, you won't necessarily find the other.  What I am saying is that you could very well be physically attracted to someone, but not sexually attracted.

I use to believe that this was merely a feminine issue.....not THAT kind of feminine issue.....jeeeeeeze.

What I mean is that I have always labored under the assumption that a male wouldn't even ask a girl out unless he could see himself....for lack of grace and a better term....doing her.  Turns out...I may have been wrong. Also, on the scale of importance, I would think that physical attraction would be more important than sexual attraction.  Without getting too crude here...what I am saying is that I know guys that will make out with anything with breasts and a pulse if he is feeling the need, but that doesn't mean that he would spend any time in the daylight with her. Make sense?

 Or, it is possible that the male that broke this stereo-type for me is just a bold faced liar. Allow me to example-a-fy:

Recently I met a guy who I found attractive and intriguing and therefore decided it was worth seeing if something could develop.  While on our first date I could sense that something was off.  This is the blessing and also the curse of having dated as much as I have. I have developed a pretty keen gauge of interest.  True...sometimes I am totally wrong, but most of the time I'm pretty spot on. And thus was the case with said boy. After the date we happened to run into each other and I more or less called him out on it.  To his credit, he admitted that I was correct in my assumptions and that even though I was "one of the coolest girls he had ever met", that he unfortunately felt no "spark".

No spark?........hmmmmmm ok.

Here's the thing.

People like to throw out these cute little buzz words like "Spirituality" and "Compatibility" and "Spark".  The common trait all these words share is their Greek root word....Bullshiticus...which....roughly translated means total and complete BullShit.

So! When a man tells me that there is no "spark" I assume this means no physical attraction. I didn't probe any further with this guy since it had only been one date and I wasn't invested in the prospect at that time.  This would be a good place for the story to end...but alas...tis not the case.

For you see...several weeks later said same boy called to inform me that he might have made a "mistake" or perhaps had been a bit "hasty" in his original verdict.  He expressed a genuine interest in a romantic relationship and asked if I would be willing to go out with him again.

I was skeptical to say the least. In my mind I was thinking....Are you not the same guy that told me only a few weeks ago that there was no "spark"? But against my better judgment I decided to give him another chance.

Oh. Stupid girl.

Several weeks and multiple dates later, Mr. No Spark had gone as cold as a the Loch Ness Monster and twice as elusive.

Now.....I could have just let it go...let him fade out like so many before...like I myself had faded out on so many before. But for some reason, I wasn't going to let the slow fade out happen this time. So I called him, and in a very polite and non threatening way expressed to him my observation of the situation and then asked him if my assessments were correct.  He admitted that he had indeed lost interest but that he still thought very highly of me.  And then I did something that I have never done before....I asked him point blank why he had changed his mind.

His reply.....

While he found me spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and yes Physically appealing, he for some reason was not "chemically" attracted to me.  He used the word chemical, I use the word sexual. He went on to make sure I understood that he did in fact find me physically pleasing, but apparently that was where it ended.

To be fair...all the tells were there. He never wanted to touch me or hold my hand or cuddle. I gave him the benefit of the doubt of course because each persons physical comfort levels are different, but ultimately I should have just gone with my gut. And what was my gut telling me?

HE's JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

I told you I had 2 experiences.

The other one involved a nice young man who I went out with on 2 brief dinner dates and then when he asked me out again I politely informed him that I had decided I wasn't interested in pursuing anything of the romantic nature with him. He apparently needed to know the reason why I had made such a choice and so I admitted to him that in all honesty I wasn't really physically attracted to him. He is not a bad looking guy by any means, and he was at least attractive enough that I accepted the initial date in the first place. But this is not the point of the story.  The point of the story is that ultimately...the biggest reason why these 2 potentially successful and meaningful relationships didn't work out were due to simple physical/sexual attraction.

That sucks.

Side Note: I still don't know if I buy the whole I am physically attracted but not sexually attracted to you. At least not from a guys perspective. So I would pose this question to all the men out there...Have you ever been physically attracted to a girl but ultimately not sexually attracted. Or do you think that it's just another line?

Discuss!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

You Can Thank Me for Your Husband

I often hear my male friends gripping about the fact that they are spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars "feeding other men's wives."

What they mean by this is that it irks them that even though they are ones putting in the time and money with these girls... that ultimately some other guy is going to end up with her.

I can see where they are coming from. This blows. Dating is expensive, if I were a dude...I probably wouldn't have been able to date much. As I have stated before, I owe my life (quite literally) to the efforts of selfless men who took pity on me and offered me a free meal every now and again.

Some did it because they were hoping it would lead to a serious relationship, some did it because they were hoping that it would lead to a serious make-out session, and some simply did it because they knew I had probably not eaten anything else that day (save it be popcorn) and were just wanting to do an act of service.

Words can not describe my gratitude for these men.  They are generous in a way that I at times struggle greatly with being myself.  Maybe this is why I admire it so much....They are examples of the kind of person I would like to be when it comes to sharing my means with others. This is of course more difficult to do when you have little means, but the principle remains the same.

Even though I may not have monetarily contributed to the betterment of someone who will ultimately end up as someone else's spouse...I believe that I still understand the frustration of these men.

Allow me to elaborate....

You know the old saying..."You Reap what you Sow?"...well I believe that in some cases...this is total malarkey.   

By way of example I present a former relationship of mine.

And thus we see the folly of he who hath therefor chosen to engage in romantical relations with yon female.  For truly, his deeds shall therefor be known to all the world of wide web. Yea verily.. Be ye therefor warned....

I once dated a boy 5 years younger than myself. When I met him, he had just turned 22 and I was...older than 22...
People are fond of saying that age is just a number...but this is a slight simplification...don't you think?

True, sometimes age doesn't matter...unless it does...and then it does...and in this case...it did.

Without going into too much detail, I can pretty much sum up the whole experience using the analogy of a garden...

Let us picture a seasoned gardener who sets herself to work on a small but beautiful plot of land.  She sees that all of the raw materials needed for an exceptional garden are already in place, and all she must do is spend a little time and effort working the land. 

And so she does.

As she goes about working the land, she begins to see that there are a lot more rocks in the soil that she didn't realize were there when first she surveyed the land.  She also notices that there are some deep roots running through vital parts where seeds need to be planted.  This of course causes the gardener no end of strife, but she is determined to press forward, all the while telling herself that the fruits that she will inevitably harvest will more than compensate for all her energies spent.

As the YEARS go by, the woman starts to see the fruit of her labors begin to show their first signs of life.  The woman is overjoyed and begins to make plans for the delicious harvest that must certainly await her.

But the harvest...it seems...is never to come.

And it isn't that the garden never produces a harvest....oooooohhhhhhh no.....quite the contrary actually.  As it turns out, the woman was spot on of her original assessment of the untouched land.  It was indeed rich and fertile soil capable of producing a bounty that could sustain an individual for a lifetime and possible beyond.  

No. See...the problem...as it turned out...wasn't that there was no harvest to be sown, but rather, that once the pruning and weeding and tilling and attending were through, the garden decided that while it was "eternally in debt" to the kind gardener...he no longer felt a need to keep her around.  

Brilliant.

As you might have guessed...I am in fact the gardener.  And as the one who spent all those years in constant toil and strife while I labored endlessly in the garden that was my former partner...shaping and directing and ultimately turning him into the beautiful bounty baring garden he is today... I have just one thing to say to whoever he ultimately ends up with.....

You are Welcome.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Attraction and Social Construction

Attraction.

Such an ambiguous term...don't you agree? So subjective...so....intangible.

What I find attractive in a person, someone else might find odd.  But like people are often fond of pointing out...

There is someone out there for everyone 

My jury is still out on the matter.

I am currently taking a class on Social Construction. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, allow me to sum it up as simply as possible.

In general...Social Construction is the belief or theory that everything about the way we think, speak, act, interact, and so on, is all a direct result of how we have been taught by society to do so.  To put it another way...think of yourself as a computer, and then think of Social Construction as the operating system or software under which you unconsciously function.  You are independent of the operating system, but you are still totally at it's mercy as far as how you exist in this world.  You may think that all of your thoughts, feelings, insights about the world are genuine expressions of some sort or higher mind, but in this reality...you would be wrong.

It only gets more complicated from here so I will leave it at that. Needless to say...I am not here to declare my endorsement of this theory...well...not my total endorsement anyway.  I actually believe that there is a great deal of truth in this idea, but like most things in life, when people try to pass them off as absolutes, I often find they take that one step too far. I believe that this is the case with Social Construction.

That being said, I find it very interesting that we could take a concept as universal as sexual/physical attraction and find within it more of society than of biology...

There is plenty of research out there that supports the idea that who we find ourselves sexually attracted to has deep roots in our biological/genetic makeup and is...in great part...a subconscious process. Simply put, you can't really help who you are sexually attracted to.

Bummer.

Let me throw a small monkey wrench into this theory for just a moment.

I have a dear friend who's parents were both born and raised in Malaysia.  They came to America to attend University, met, and were married shortly thereafter.  Their 3 children, including my friend, have never lived in Malaysia, they are products of the United States of America. My friend speaks perfect English and enough Chinese that he can still communicate with his parents who still prefer to speak their native tongue.

Side Note: If you ever want to witness a truly entertaining conversation, just listen to my friend talk to his Mother in perfect English while she refuses to speak to him in anything but Chinese. Good times.

Now...If I were inclined to believe that sexual attraction was all about perpetuating your own gene pool, then I would obviously draw the conclusion that my friend is going to be predominantly attracted to other Asians. The logic here is that even though he has been raised in a mostly European/Caucasian society, his biological urge to preserve his own people would override the social influences.

See where this is going?

My friend, as it turns out, has ZERO attraction to women of any kind of Asian descent. So what are we to make of this? Is this merely a case of   Xenocentrism? (In short: A person who prefers the aspects of other peoples cultures and races more than they do their own. The opposite of Ethnocentrism)

   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenocentrism

Fun Fact: The term Xenocentrism was actually coined by a professor at BYU. Good times.

I don't believe that my friend hates his own race, I believe he has just been Socially Conditioned to be sexually attracted to girls who fit the stereo-typical "American" look.  After all, that is what he has been raised around, those are the women he sees in the movies he watches and those are the pictures he sees in the magazines he reads.  I freely admit that there could be plenty of other explanations or contributors to my friends preferences, but I think that at least in part, it opens the door for discussion on what really is driving our attraction for one another.

I think I am going to devote most of November to this idea of Attraction. And since I could write about a million posts on the subject, you should anticipate quite a bit of new and useless reading material. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mormon Man Eater

OK...no more hiding...it is time to come clean

Rumors of my true identity have been circling around for years. And now...in the interest of honesty I have decided to reveal my real self to you.  For some, this may come as a shock...for others...it is likely that you will be thinking..."Yeah...I've known this for years."

But before I divulge, I feel a wee little bit of back story is required. After all...this is me...and I don't do anything without a healthy dose of exposition.

Growing up I was never particularly..."desirable"...if you will.  Even as far back as grade school I can remember the boys flocking in droves...away from me. I don't know why this is, but I assume it was because I wasn't attractive. I was that freckled face kid with the ears that were too big for her head and teeth that were more akin to a large rodent than a small child. Granted, a lot of kids go through an awkward stage...mine just lasted a bit longer...

Junior high and High School weren't much of an improvement.  I think I went to a total of 4 or maybe 5 school dances...and 4 of those were girls choice.  I wasn't popular, in fact, I was bullied from the time I was very young. I still remember my very first day of school when while riding the bus home I was relentlessly taunted by an older boy I had never even met before. I remember sitting in my seat while the tears welled up in my eyes and I actively avoided his gaze. I don't know why he targeted me...maybe it is true that bullies can smell fear. Or maybe he instinctively sense that I was the weakest of the pack and therefor saw me as an easy kill.

I wish I could say this remained an isolated indecent....oh how I wish...

So for whatever reason, it became clear to me at a very young age, and then confirmed to me over and over and over again for all the years that followed, that I was never going to be that girl. Not to be confused with those girls, but that is a different post.

I knew I was never going to be the girl that turned all the boys heads when I walked into the room. Unless of course it was to say.."Bah!! Good heavens!! What IS that thing??"  I was never going to be homecoming queen or even asked to homecoming...(true story). No, my fate as it turns out was to become "the funny girl". I was to be every guys friend and NO guys girlfriend. The unintended side effects of this, as it turns out, were several fold.

FIRST

To this day I feel more comfortable with men than I do with women.  I relate better to them, I enjoy the conversations I have more, and I love the low level of drama that men seem to maintain...for the most part. There is definitely a certain amount of man-drama to be found.

SECOND

Because I never had a boy telling me how pretty I was, or placing value on my appearance, I decided that in the world of physical currency, I wasn't going to be worth much on the trading floor. Instead,  I decided that I would have to just develop other aspects of my personality...and so I did. I became well-read, I learned how to articulate with words and language, and I developed a wicked dry sense of humor that seemed to keep the people laughing. I also honed my performing abilities including singing and acting. All the while however, I knew that all of these things weren't going to mean a hill of beans when it came to getting asked out. I'd like to say I made peace with this reality...but that would be a total lie. I hated it, and I spent many a night crying myself to sleep while other girls were dressing up like Cinderella and being shuttled in Limos around the town by handsome boys in rented tuxedos.

So now flash forward to the present day...well...more like the past 8 years we will say.

At some point (Don't ask me when), I became desirable to the opposite sex (Don't ask me how), and men starting asking me out...a lot of men...(Don't ask me how many, I have lost count).

Living in Utah didn't hurt this phenomenon. I live in the Mormon Mecca of Dating. You can't hardly throw a jellybean without hitting another single LDS person.

So as you might expect, I became a dating machine.  I liken it unto a child who has been playing with sticks and bits of twine for most of their life and then one day someone takes them to Toys-R-Us and tells them to go hog wild.

Along the way, I have met and been on dates with men from all walks of life. I have dated Pilots, Cops, Lawyers, Doctors, Actors, Students, Joe-Shmoes, Musicians, Gold Miners, and even Circus Performers.  I have dated men older than me by as many as 11 years, and men younger than me by as many as *mudder mudder* years.  I have dated men that towered more than a foot above me and those who I felt as though I would be able to pick up and cradle like a child.  I have dated blonds, brunettes, gingers, and men with little hair left in general.  I use to prefer the blue eyed ones but I have come to appreciate a pair of deep brown eyes.  I could go in more detail but I think you are getting the point. If not...here it is.

I have been on A LOT of dates with A LOT of different men.

I could lie about this, but why? I guess because it isn't kosher to say that I have done this. But the way I see it, it's not as if it is something I can personally take credit for anymore than chocolate ice cream can take personal pride in being selected out of the 31 flavors. To me, this situation is neutral. I'm not attributing any of this "success" to myself...I'm merely stating facts, and the facts are that I have been on A LOT of dates.

So what has this done for me?

Well for starters I have manged to stay alive and healthy due to all the generous men who have bought me meals. Someday I hope to pay each of them back. Can you imagine receiving a reimbursement check from every girl you ever took on a date years later? Obama tax breaks would have nothing on that refund.

Also, lest you think I am some sort of using hussy, let me clarify that a free meal is never my motivation for accepting a date. I would much rather starve than go out with someone I know I am not interested in.  That being said, I'm sure there has been an occasion when my starving belly spoke louder than my logic. However, in these cases I made it abundantly clear to the gentleman that I was not romantically interested him. There are some good men out there who will take pity on a starving student even if they know it is just one friend doing another friend a favor. These guys are quality.

Moving on.   

I have also had my heart broken a couple of times. Two that stand out in my mind...well Three...but one of them wasn't really his fault. Still, I can honestly say that I have been "in love" before. Or rather...whatever I imagined being "in love" to be at the time.

Here is the thing though...out of all of the...let's just say numerous guys I have been on dates with, I can count on one little hand how many of those I could honestly and legitimately see myself wanting to spend the rest of my eternity with.  So now it becomes obvious that at some point either I or the other party involved ended the dating relationship before we could get to that point...since I am clearly as of yet unwed.

While it is true that there have been a decent amount of men that have chosen to not pursue anything further with me after having taken me on a couple dates...I am here to admit to you today that those make up the minority of the total sum.  In truth, it has been me that has ended the better part of my dating interactions.

So there you have it. After all this time I...your Anxious White Virgin confirm that the rumors are indeed true. I am....in reality....a Man-Eater.

Or at least...this is what my track record would indicate.

Could there be more to the story though?

But of course.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why So Serious?

It's late....really late...but I can't sleep.

Maybe it is the insane amounts of sugar and carbs I have consumed tonight.  Maybe it is because I am just a little angsty after seeing a certain somebodies photo on the Facebook.  Doesn't really matter...I can't sleep, and so I am going to write.

As I have mentioned before, I recently ended a 2 1/2 year long on-again off-again/let's be friends/oh wait/ we can't be friends/I still love you/oh wait/just kidding/oops that can't happen again/I must now engaged in expensive therapy to figure out why the hell I can't just walk away from this... relationship.

We've all been there right?

But this isn't what I really want to talk about. What I really want to talk about is laughter.

You see, for as great and wonderful and blah blah blah as my ex was...is....he is still alive...we never really laughed together.  I know it sounds strange for anyone who knows me; and if you don't, let me tell you that it is strange that I would stay so long with a person who I couldn't share that with.

I have lived my life in the world of comedy.  To be honest, it takes a special kind of individual to legitimately make me laugh. Maybe not so surprising is the fact that the people I find the most amusing are the people with similar senses of humor as myself.

I think the reason I was able to overlook the obvious lack in my last relationship was the fact that I am literally surrounded by comedians in my every day life.  I suppose....in a way...I was able to get my "fix" from the people I worked and performed with enough so that coming home to relative seriousness didn't seem to bother me all that much.

Still....looking back on it now I realize how stifled I felt.  And yet, I was perfectly willing to place that aspect of my life aside for the greater good of the relationship.

The issue was that he didn't really get my sense of humor which tends to be of the dry, British-y, quick-witted, and cerebral sort....the kind you expect from someone who has made comedy a part of their lively-hood.  His humor on the other hand...tended to lean more towards the college frat boy, bathroom, and yuck yuck and or whaka whaka sort....which doesn't do much for me.  But then again, most of my humor was totally lost on him so it's not as if I was the only one who wasn't enjoying themselves in this regard.

The way I justified it at the time was to tell myself that stuff such as your partner being able to make you laugh couldn't really be that important.  I mean...don't those "other" things matter more? You know, like love and mutual respect?   The answer to this question is yes....and but. Yes those other things matter a great deal...BUT as I came to realize, life is hard, and part of the reason we chose to engage in relationships is so that we can have someone to help lighten the load as it were.  Laughter, obviously, is a great way to do this. Without it however, a relationship can start to feel a little...heavy.  And so it was with me and my ex.

Of course this is all clear to me now through the glory of hindsight....and also....having something to compare it to.

You might say that I have met someone who has reminded me what it feels like to spend time with a person who I can genuinely laugh with.  I find them funny and from what I can tell, they seem to find me amusing as well. And I gotta tell ya...it's nice.  Interestingly enough though...I think I enjoy the fact that I make them laugh more than the fact that they have the ability to make me laugh.

So what does this all mean?

I don't know.

It just feels good to laugh again. But at the same time, I am having a hard time making such a stark shift in dynamics.  I imagine it's one of those situations where you have become so use to your crappy reality that you have a hard time accepting a new one even though it is right there in front of your face. It's one part you don't trust it...and one part not knowing how to proceed in such a fashion.

Still...it does feel good to laugh so hard that your whole body shakes....and it is nice to feel understood in that way after feeling so misunderstood for so long.

It's as if I decided a long time ago that I had to put away a big part of myself in order to gain the attention/affection I desired.  So I tucked it away and became someone who resembled who I truly am, but who I guess I felt like it wasn't OK to truly be.  And now...I find that a person has come along that seems to be calling to that lost part of me I put away and inviting her to come out and play.  The problem is, she has been away for so long that she feels hesitation to emerge from the corner I thrust her into how ever long ago.

All this being said...I find myself asking....myself......"Self....is it really and honestly possible that a person...a good, decent, normal-ish, attractive, desirable person could ever really love a silly kind of goofy, quirky, albeit intelligent and deep albeit deeply flawed individual such as I?"

The jury is still out...but it is certainly something to think about.