Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let Me Hold Your Crown, Babe...

This Sara Bareilles chick...listening to the lyrics of her songs...yeah, she's been in my head.

I hate to break it to you babe,
but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?

All my life
I’ve tried to make everybody happy

While I just hurt and hide
Waiting for someone to tell me it’s my turn
to decide

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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Reason Why I'm Still Single...

When I have a few minutes to kill, I venture over to my Google Reader to peruse all of the online goodies that I enjoy reading or browsing through.  Today, I came across a post from Hooking Up Smart, written by Susan Walsh.  Many of her posts hit home.  The one posted today titled, "Getting Over A Total Player" totally hit home. Hard.

In it, Susan describes three types of players as follows:

Player I

The most benign kind of player is the guy who knows he is good with women, and considers himself lucky. He is among the most desirable males, and enjoys the privileges of his rank, but he isn’t out to hurt anyone. He may be a genuinely good man who is responding to his good fortune. He grew up knowing how to please, and has smooth moves. Two generations ago, this young man would have “gone steady” with a pretty girl, and enjoyed the envy of his peers due to his regular access to sex. Today, he is free to hook up with as many women as his calendar allows, within reason. Often, little effort will be required on his part. He is naturally socially conspicuous, and he need do little more than respond to the sexual aggression of young women. He does not promise women a relationship, or imply a future connection if he knows that he is not interested. He is the only player who may be perfectly friendly the weekend after a hookup, even as he has his arm around someone new. He has nothing to hide, and nothing to be ashamed of. Women will know him for his high number, but not for his douchey behavior. This makes him somewhat dangerous to women, because they may feel that he would be the perfect boyfriend if they could get him to commit. Men who learn how to be successful with women, and apply their knowledge ethically also fall into this group.

Player II

More common is the player who adopts a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach. He will generally be evasive about his friendships, relationships, history with women, etc. He understands that most women would prefer a relationship, and his goal is to get in and out before drama ensues. Drama is likely with Player II because he leads girls on and implies an emotional investment on his part when there isn’t one. Indeed, this type of player is often pursuing several women with this strategy at the same time. His goal is “multiple,” so he must juggle the rising expectations of women and manage the rumor mill so that his supply of sex with any one of them is not cut short. His goal is to maximize his sexual variety and experience, and he has little concern for the pain of others. Many of the men who fit into this category are not naturals, but have worked their way into the ranks with attitude and determination. Here you will also find the naturals who did not develop good character, either due to a lack of proper instillation of values, some kind of family dysfunction, or both. He’s best avoided, and is known for hurting women. However, he often has good guy friends, who will assist him by reassuring young women that he’s a great guy. He often misuses his friends, having them advocate for him with women, convincing everyone that this time he really, really likes the girl.

Player III

The worst possible sort of guy to get involved with, this player is an all-out cad. He has no inhibitions about lying to get what he wants, and has zero empathy for the women who fall into his trap. In fact, he enjoys ridiculing and demeaning his conquests. He may profess feelings of love and pursue a woman ardently, only to turn on a dime and lose interest overnight. He may be incredibly charming, but can turn ugly in his demeanor when challenged. He is manipulative and narcissistic. The worst of these players are true sociopaths. Men who dislike or even hate women, usually due to some early personal experience, generally fall into this category if they have natural or learned womanizing abilities.

Me?  Well, I perpetually fall for Player I.  Here's why:  I usually start off as friends with them.  They may have other intentions towards me, but it always (ok, almost always) starts off as a friendship.  I know their game.  They know I know their game.  We discuss.  I call them on it.  They respect being called out on it (most of them), and then the flirtation starts...because they start calling me out on my crap too. I don't play around.  I barely even date around. But I inevitably allow myself to be signed up for this game.

Early on, I could blame naivete on my willingness to take part.  It was exciting being the girl that was chosen by the guy that everyone wanted.  (I didn't know it at the time, but according to the males in my life that confessed to me later, apparently I was pretty wanted myself.) He flirted with everyone, but wanted me.  Even when he moved on to the next girl, he wanted to keep me around.  Not necessarily as his bed buddy (though it wasn't from lack of requesting on his part), but he could have a certain intimacy with me on an intellectual level that he didn't have with latest girlfriend(s).  The other girls were very much aware of my presence and were threatened by it.  Rightfully so.  I was the "other woman" without technically being the other woman.

Why did I allow myself to be in this pseudo-relationship?  Besides being naive and not valuing my worth as much as I should have, I definitely got something out of it.  The guy would go from girl to girl, and yet I was the one he kinda sorta wanted to keep. I felt important.  I felt special.  I felt connected.

Fast forward about 15 years (and a few players in between), and I find myself in somewhat the same position.  I've got myself a Player I on my hands.  The other girls may not know about me, but I'm very aware of them.  He may not agree on the terminology, but after reading that description from the blog about 20 times this morning...well, there's just no other way around it. 

In the beginning, I could feel myself turn back into the 19 year-old from yesteryear.  Hormones, emotions, actions, language - the whole she-bang.  A funny thing happened the morning after the morning after (yes, that was intentional) though.  I started wondering whether or not "I" had become a Player I.  Familiar emotions emerged...I mean...I still wanted to "mean" something to him.  I wanted to know I was special.  We all want that, right?  But I didn't want to mean that something was going to change from what we were just a few days before. 

Honestly, I'm still kind of weirded out at feeling this way.  What scares me the most about what I'm feeling or not feeling right now is wondering if I can allow myself to really fall for someone again.  Although my heart was in somewhat of a constant state of being hurt or broken, it was comforting to know that I could keep opening up my heart to be wounded.  That I hadn't become numb.  That the chains weren't so firmly wrapped around the gate to my heart that no one could get in.  Feeling the way I do now, I've either gone in with eyes wide open and taken the necessary precautions to protect my heart, or I've shut myself off from being able to fall.  Either way, if this Player ever actually wants to choose me, he's going to have to prepare for battle because I don't know if my heart is willing to lose this war.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Work In Progress

On my 20 minute walk up to the office from the BART station here in SF, I stopped into one of the Starbucks on the way up. It’s not the one I normally go to, but it’s a warmer morning than usual here, and I was jonesing for my iced coffee a bit early. Besides noticing that the staff at this particular location was not on top of it as my usual stop, I turned around to find a pair of eyes glaring me down. Usually when this happens, I’m very well aware of what I did to cause such a reaction. In checking myself this time, I realized there was no possible way I could have pissed off this blond uptight suited chick. When I walked into the store, I was the only customer there. It wasn’t until I was waiting for my coffee to be prepared that I turned and suddenly there was a line at the register. And there was this chick in the middle of the line glaring at me. For no apparent reason. Her glare followed me as I crossed behind her to get cream for my coffee and stayed with me until I walked out of the place. WTF? The only thing that came to mind is I had to have looked like someone else she had a beef with and thought it was me.

A week or so ago I was having lunch with a close friend at a restaurant. The day was gorgeous and we were seated outside by the water near the outdoor bar. Towards the end of the meal, my friend mentioned the bartender checking me out. Uhhh, wha??? Really? I was perfectly happy with the company I was with and had not noticed at all the attention of anyone else. Even after having it pointed out to me, I still hadn’t noticed anything different subsequent to that, but my friend sure did…and he was not a fan of my “fan.” While I enjoyed the bit of jealousy that this attention spawned, the encounter this morning raised an interesting question linking the two situations.

Why is it that we tend to notice the negative attention more often and much more quickly than the positive attention of everyday life? Now I could have totally stayed in my own little bubble like I normally do in the morning as I walk to work , but this woman’s glare broke through. When I was being checked out by the bartender (or so I was told…I’m not convinced of it), I was completely oblivious. Those looks weren’t even close to being a threat to our bubble…at least not my bubble.

I thought I had stopped looking for the negative reinforcement of my own insecurities. It’s obvious. I’m still a work in progress. And I’m okay with that.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Current Soundtrack....

I'm not sure if recent events have had these songs on replay in my head or it's because these songs have had some heavy airplay on the radio lately, but I am SO digging this music.  And if it is spurred on by recent events, to the person that I think of when these songs hit the airwaves...in my head or on the radio...thank you. :)

One of the most amazing live performances I've ever seen.  I had goosebumps watching this on TV.  I would have probably had tears had I been there to witness it.  This is P!nk's 2010 Grammy performance of "Glitter In the Air."

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don't care?

This is a new debut from Bruno Mars called, "Just The Way You Are." Obviously, replace the "her" with "his," "girl" with "boy," etc. for my purposes. :)

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Any Boy Can Buy A Stone...

I was driving to the office with my co-worker this morning when we heard the DJ talk mention how he’s not a fan that Jennifer Hudson went from a size 16 to a size 6. He thought she looked better when she was a little bigger. That comment prompted a quick little conversation where I recalled… okay, complained… okay, whined… about when I was in high school. I was around a size 8 or 10 depending on the season, and I always felt like one of the bigger girls in the school. When I got out of high school, it seemed it was no longer intimidating to the boys (including the ones I had crushes on during school) to reveal to me that they have had or had crushes on me. They thought I was beautiful. More than once I asked, “Well then where the hell were you when I was single? Why did you not talk to me? Ask me out? Ask for my number?” Not one of them gave me an answer more than a shrug.

Not two seconds went by after that last sentence left my mouth that my co-worker said this to me:

Any boy can buy a stone, but it takes a man to dig deep for a diamond.”

You always get what you need when you need it. When I had been laid off from my job last year, I devalued myself professionally. I hung my head and sat with all the other stones in the rock pile. Until right this second as I’m typing this, I’m realizing that I had been devaluing myself on a personal level from high school…maybe even longer than that. I had been looking for validation outside of myself to determine my worth.

The one area I could hang onto was the professional side of me because I had some control over that… until that rug was pulled away too.

Maybe I needed that to go away so I could hear what people have been trying to convey to me. Maybe I needed that to go away so I could hear what my soul has been trying to show me. Maybe I needed that so I could finally shine… like a diamond.

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