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The Machine & Fierce Women

3x1wupaksuqncThe Machine and How it Works….an interesting string of thoughts in a book by  Thomas L. Freidman, Thank you For Being Late. Basically he talks about a writer being certain or at least having a theory about how the world works.

After dating someone I would consider to be a privileged male for a while, it’s clear to me that The Machine works way better for him than I. Dating a hearty feminist has not been easy for him, what, with me calling him on his sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant misogynistic bullshit.

But this isn’t a post about relationships. Not in the romantic way anyway. It’s about how the machine works for women. A shout out to my non-binary friends here; The Machine doesn’t work in your favour either.

What got me thinking about this was the suggestion that I provide a list of the cosmetics that I prefer to use.  This, after squeezing my belly fat and asking when I was going to the gym.

Answer to the first; whatever’s on sale. Answer to the second; none of your fucking business.

What does all of this personal interaction tell us about The Machine? The Machine is rigged to keep us submissive. It takes more energy (in the form of money) to buy our basic grooming products (soap, razors, feminine hygiene products).  We bear the judgement of society with regard to child-rearing, house-pride and keeping ourselves looking unrealistically young. And that’s just the beginning.

I shouldn’t say “we”, because I count myself and many of my friends among the witches and wise women; I honour my age and my experience, and I have no fear of poking a stick in the gears of the machine in order to bring your attention to it’s flaws.

That the leader of the free world was elected after condoning sexual assault, only reinforces the fact that The Machine works for the privileged male and the women who slip silently into their role as concubines to the system.

This Christmas, don’t let someone shame you because you don’t spend your hard earned dollars on cosmetic products with a label that do the same thing as those you can buy at the local store (if you use them at all). Ask for books, hell, ask for whatever you want, just don’t be a slave to The Machine, and don’t be a slave to fighting it either.

Instead, continue as if The Machine doesn’t exist. Live freely, with grace and integrity, but don’t be afraid to give the world the finger every now and then either. Being fierce is a feminine as it gets.

 

 

 

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She’s Just Too Much & The Man Afraid to Love Her

christmaslaughingwomenLots of women are too much of something in someone else’s opinion.

I’ve been accused of being too much: too fat, too independent, too courageous, too strong, too driven, too kind and too silly. I’ve even been advised that I’m  too intelligent, and that makes men uncomfortable.

Pul-eaze!

As long as too kind is included in a ‘too much’ description of someone, then they’re ok in my books.

You see, long, long ago  I came to understand that I will never be perfect. Shocking, I know.

Let me let you in on a little secret; women who are accused of being ‘too’ anything are usually women who live life so fully and fiercely that they scare the hell out of anyone living comfortably within the soul-destroying status quo.

They’re just jealous darlings. Don’t pay them any attention. Step over them and move one.

Wear the dress, put on those shoes, drink the bourbon, leave red lipstick prints on the crystal, and for the love of all that’s good and right in the world, speak your peace.

The world needs more of women who are too much.

Women belonging to the Too-Much sisterhood share these things in common;

  • They’re good at what they do.
  • They’re educated, have informed opinions, and feel comfortable having a hearty debate.
  • They carry themselves with confidence, regardless of what size the tag on their dress says, or what they’re wearing.
  • They indulge in decadence; food they can savour, lip-smacking wine, clothes that make them feel and look good, a hearty belly-laugh, the kind of sex that leaves you spent and sweat-soaked, last-minute holidays and cheering on their favourite team.
  • They spend time doing whatever makes them happy, and they don’t feel guilty about it.

If you are a woman who has been accused of being too much, feeling too much, being too strong, too weak, too big, too small,too true to herself to really give a rat’s ass about what anyone else thinks, I tip my hat to you.

For the men afraid to love them, well, that’s your loss gents. A woman who is too much really knows how to have fun, and that might just be what the doctor ordered for you.

This holiday season, go ahead ladies. Be too much. Be you; be too in love with life to care.

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncorked Part 2: If a little Her-Heming-Way Becomes Her, So Does An Entire Bottle of Chardonnay

IMG_7058Ah yes, Part Deux of deux.

The prerequisite for reading this post is Uncorked Part 1.

Pour a glass of your favourite tipple darling, and snuggle in. In fact, just bring the whole damned bottle with you.

Two Christmases ago (is that even a word?…anyway), my friend, the Determined D. gave me a very heartfelt gift. She was very familiar with my love of fine wine, and my love of not-so-fine men.

Determined D presented me with a beautifully, purple organza wrapped bottle of Chardonnay. When she gave it to me she said, with sweet, wistful, Disney-like-fairy-tale, earnestness,

” I want you to open this with the love of your life. I just know that this is the year you will meet him.”

I really, really, really wanted to believe her.  So, I took the bottle (still wrapped), and placed it with my stash of vino that I keep on hand should I have the good fortune to keep the company of a wino with expensive taste, such as my own.

…and I waited….

And waited. And then I met Mr. Wonderful-Love-Of-My-Life-Everything-Just-Clicked! Ok, so it took a few months longer, but still! The Determined D was right!

I poked my head into my secret wine stash. “There it is!” I thought to myself. I’m going to open this on the big day when everything is official. Given the discussions we’d had, I figured that would be September sometime. Maybe October. You know, perfect weather for a little autumn al fresco dining.

Keep in mind darlings, that I’ve been single for the better part of a decade and a half. Not a year and a half. I’m talking a DECADE.

Long story short, he turned out to be the adult-equivalent of my high-school sweetheart stomping on my heart with the whore whose dad was the town dentist. Oh boy did it hurt.

After a bit of a parade of useless men during the past few weeks, and a really bad week on other fronts, I decided that tonight was the night that I was going to uncork my hopes and dreams of meeting the love of my life.

So, what exactly does a lady do when she officially surrenders? When she knows that there is never going to be the love-of-her-life to share that special, thoughtfully and beautifully wrapped bottle with?

She takes herself out to one of her favourite places. Mine just happens to be a world-class art gallery, with a Member’s lounge boasting an award-winning chef. She orders a tall glass of something boozy, a mouth-watering meal and stays to hear the world premiere of a piano concerto written specifically for the current exhibit.

She then get’s somewhat loose, toasts a grand good-bye to the lying, cheating, multiple-personality, whack-job, dickwads that have broken her heart, and goes home alone (listening to classic 80’s rock so loud the car shakes) to a fabulous bottle of Chardonnay. That’s my guess anyway….

Tonight I went to my go-to feel-better place. I stared out the window into the darkness of the November night, into the beauty of a city fully alive. I meandered the gift shop and decided to forgo buying a guilded acorn that Nordic legend holds will ensure a long life.

You see, the way things have been going, I don’t know that I want a long life. I want a happy life, a simple life, a life filled with love. An acorn isn’t going to give me that.

Neither is the Chardonnay, but at least it’ll get me though the night.  See Part 1.

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Monday; When OK is Excellent

It's the little things..
It’s the little things..

Too often people hope for big successes, you know, spectacular romance, an enviable job with an outrageously generous salary or  luxe stuff.

Most days I’m just really glad I wasn’t killed during rush-hour traffic, that I manage to get through a day without losing my patience or crying in public.  I’m also pretty proud of myself when I have time to pee during the work day (that in itself is a small miracle), and find that I have neither put my panties on inside out, nor backward.

What I’m trying to say my darlings, is that life is a series of small victories day-after-day, hour-by-precious-hour that we completely take for granted.

At a function this evening, a woman whom I met years ago during a post-grad course asked how my book was coming along. Not in the nose-turned-to-ceiling way that people who are too scared and uptight to express their creative spirit might ask while holding a cocktail wienie in one hand and the latest douchey cocktail in the other. No, she asked it in a kind way, genuinely interested in what I was working on. We discussed her young child, and the joys of parenting.

Surrounding myself with good people whom I call friends and acquaintances is much more a victory than a brand new car, a two-carat statement of love, or mortgage I can’t really afford.

Re-connecting with this wonderful person, was one of the things that were OK today. As were;

  1. Getting to an appointment on time.
  2. Having time to listen to a much-adored  high-school chum unload relationship el-poopo.
  3. Eating one of the first fresh apples of the season
  4. Not getting a run in my pantyhose.
  5. Hot, fresh coffee at 2:00 p.m.
  6. Happy hour under twinkle lights on our little patio after a long, long day.
  7. Talking to my sweetheart.
  8. Having time to be silly with my friends on social media.
  9. Concocting a new recipe and having success!
  10. Not crying in public.

Wishing you a day of things that are ok, because ok is what makes a life. Ok can be excellent if you allow it.

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Dear Emotionally Ambivalent Male & You too Girl!

poke the bearTonight one of those smarmy articles popped up in my newsfeed. The hook was, Dear Emotionally Ambivalent Male.

I almost read the damn thing, but stopped short. You see, all women have experienced the emotionally ambivalent male. Read; emotionally unavailable, angry, fearful or man with his head up his arse. I do concede that men have experienced the same of women, and everyone else who has entered into relationship with another human being.

As a passionate Scorpio, ambivalence is akin to sporting tangy, unbreathable B.O., that makes your eyes sting and your throat close. Ambivalence is lazy, without passion, or any kind of zest for life that is attractive or sensual. Ambivalence is a sin against the nature of our spiritual selves.

Ambivalent Men; We know them, and we love them, just as they know us for all of our strengths and weaknesses.

But hold on here.

All men are not emotionally ambivalent, unavailable, angry or  fearful of showing emotion. Nor do all men find themselves breathing the stanky air of their colon when they become verklempt.

Ladies, when was the last time you bumped in to one of your school chums? You know, the male kind who used to do all kinds of silly stuff in school, didn’t mind getting muddy at recess, or that his sock was soaking wet and dangling off his foot like a dead sea creature. These are the men whom you will always remember as the class clown, the boy who carried your books home, or was single during everyone else’s double-dates.

Well, of late I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with an old school chum. Ironically, it’s at a time when the man-o-my-dreams is doing a smashing job at clamming up.

If you’ve had the good fortune of having a good chat with one of your little-boy-all-grown-up-into-a-man classmates, you’ve known them since you were a kid, pre-bra, and pre-adult-life-sure-isn’t-all-it-was-cracked-up-to-be. They remain in the platonic way, completely emotionally available and not emotionally ambivalent at all. They are generous with their time and opinions, sharing their life stories, and they give you the old go-get’em pat on the ass that we all need sometimes.

After some chats with men you’ve known since they sported Underoos, you can rest assured that one thing is for certain; Men and women both struggle with regard to having the courage to be vulnerable. For my pals out there who do not relate to binary relationships, let me be crystal clear; Anyone involved in a romantic relationship is afraid of rejection, stripping themselves down to their emotional birthday-suit, and standing in the spotlight of authenticity.

When I’m faced with an emotionally ambivalent, unavailable, man-cave-dwelling partner, my instinct is to poke the bear. If he comes out on his hind feet pawing at the air and growling a frothy growl, I fight back. In a loving way of course. Some people run like hell, but that’s not gonna do any good now is it darlings? Nope.

So here I am, all ready to get naked (in the existential sense of course), waiting

I don’t have the answer to emotionally ambivalent partners. I don’t have an answer because I don’t think that there is one. There is no such thing as emotional ambivalence. Emotion is what makes us fully human. To not feel is to despair, and in the words of the great L.M. Montgomery, ‘To despair is to turn your back on God’. If you don’t believe in God, it’s the same thing as turning your back on humanity.

For those going through the dark-night-of-the-relationship-soul, do not despair. Feel what you feel deep down to your bones until it seeps from the soles of your feet back into the earth where it will be filtered and washed away by the rivers of life.

If there’s one thing that my conversations with my old chum have taught me this week, it is that there are people out there who believe in love, in life, and that the best is indeed, yet to come.

Ambivalence, schmivalance, someone get me a stick!

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What’s So Sexy About a Man & Four Pounds of Bacon?

baconmyheartThere are some things that men just do better than women; revere bacon,  for example, or enjoy standing over a hot grill on a blistering hot July day (see: Chicks Shouldn’t BBQ), nursing a cold beer or two and contemplating the state of….whatever.

As I type this sparkling gem of wisdom, I have a man cooking lunch in my kitchen.

No, it will not be the beautifully plated jasmine and chicken-that-took-hours to catch, pluck, butcher, marinate and pair with a white burgundy that I was accustomed to in my early years of man-tertainment.

Lunch today is a bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich, which has been researched, coveted and shopped for by the Y-chromosome carrying members of the household, and I’m not going anywhere near the kitchen. I have a manosaurusrex loose in there, and I’m just going to stay outta the way darlings.

Am I ok with it? Am I ok with men being men and the gender stereotypes that straighjacket us into believing that boys will be boys; irresponsible, insensitive, sloppy and a never-ending succession of stupid decisions that they can’t be responsible for because they’re fathers never loved them enough? No. I am not ok with that. Mostly because I’ve given birth to, and raised a boy.

Men and women are equally responsible and irresponsible, sensitive and insensitive, sloppy and tidy, and both make a considerable number of bad decisions until they grow up enough to realize that maybe, just maybe being loving and kind isn’t such a bad thing.

So what does this have to do with bacon?

Bacon seems to be the BBQ of manliness to the modern man. You know the ones, right my sweet little peaches? The ones we’ve kicked the metaphorical shit out of by unraveling the male psyche and fluffing it up with metrosexuality, cosmetic lines for men, and horror-of-horrors educating our women to rule the world of not only home, but work too.

Yes, yes, yes, I know this is a binary analysis of the sexes. We all exist on a continuum of gender. I just happen to live by the wonderful grade-four French slang; Chacun a son gout.

My gout just happens to be for the manly, never-been-touched-by-GQ Magazine-seasonal-fashion-must-have-anxiety, hairy-chested, red-hot-pulsing-slice-of-testosterone-propelled-man-steak-who-thinks-bacon-wrapped-grilled-cheese-lunches-are-a-good-thing-to-do-for-his-woman kind of man.

Ok, so I get that  he’s not doing it for me, but he’s got a grin on his face beautiful enough to light up the room. No, I’m not hallucinating as the smoke from flaming bacon grease fills my lungs. He is smiling and he is happy and he’s willing to share that with me. What more could a gal ask for?

If you are a  bacon-loving man’s man, do not try to be anything else. We love you just they way you are.

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Thresholds

The truth can be seen from many doorways.
The truth can be seen from many doorways.

During recent months, I have come to some sort of peace, having I suppose, learned a lesson or two during my prolonged and regular attendance at the famed, School of Hard Knocks.

Go figure. Who knew that it would eventually pay off?

I’m kind of famous for being chatty, friendly, and a little folksy from my country-upbringing. I like to think of it as my own personal brand of charm. What most people fail to observe behind my bubbliness is that I do a lot of observing. Ironic, but true.

Some of the ‘isms’ I spout have been appropriate as of late. It’s almost as if there is a theme running in my life, and I’ve yet to learn the full lesson.

Recurring themes seem to be;

1) Just because I’m kind, does not mean I’m stupid.

2) You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

3) The truth can be seen from many doorways.

Quite often we meet one another at a threshold; our interactions are a constant balancing act of give and take, talk and listen, lover and beloved.

Thresholds happen to be the place where  most conflict is likely to happen. Thresholds are also the most likely place of transformation and personal growth.

Think about it, the last time you had a tiff with a loved one, you were likely at a doorway, or trying your hardest to get there.Thresholds offer the promise of escape and of safety. They can also be scary and crossing over one means you’re stepping into that frightening abyss of the unknown.

thinkingEach day we bring our selves to the world, and meet everyone we interact with at their threshold.

Think about that one for a while. Let it marinate in your lovely heart.

I’ve come to the conclusion that our personalities can be bright lights promising a welcome, comfortable place to interact as human beings, whether it’s the conversation you have at the grocery store checkout, or  part of a meeting with professionals.

We can also offer a threshold that is ever dark, foreboding, and menacing to approach. Of course there’s always the middle way as well, sometimes light and sometimes dark.

In work and in life I have often been criticized because I like to see the potential in everything, but after living with myself for so long, I’ve decided I’m ok with that.

I’m nobody’s fool, and I’d much rather swing wide the door of my compassion to the world, than barricade it with iron.

Decorate your thresholds accordingly my lovelies, you never know who may be seeking shelter.

P.S. Bringing a bottle of wine doesn’t hurt when you’re knocking…