Disclaimer: Please forgive my mindless banter. This post was started around, oh say three in the morning. It is now 4:30 am. It was my hope to clarify why I don’t write romance, which is a question I get quite a bit. In this piece, I take you from Point A to Point Z and somehow get back to Point A again. But it’s so late, it’s like my keyboard is on cruise control and I’m not sure where and when any transitions occur.
Thank you. And I approve this message!
I’m sure a few love scenes make their way into my stories at times. It’s just one of those aspects of human nature that can’t be ignored because it’s so everyday and real, so mundane but blissfully sweet when you have that infatuation with someone. If we go back to being thirteen for just a moment, I’m sure every one of us can remember that feeling. Maybe you can even go back to that time in your mind with your spouse before bills and all those boring adult responsibilities started to cause tension and fights and sleepless nights and “I’m sorries.” For the most part I try not to make those lovey bits about romance; I want to write horror with a realistic feel, and real to me is infatuation.
My friend and I were talking a few weeks back about my (lack of) love life. I am not interested in finding love because I’m of the belief that it will happen when it happens, IF it happens. She flattered me by telling me how “stunning” I am (Stop laughing! Yes, she said “stunning,” which reminds me I have to call her again to get another booster shot to my ego. Friends are great, aren’t they?). She said that I could have my choice of “gentlemen callers” (I’m using a term from Blanche Devereaux here in case you aren’t a hardcore Golden Girls buff). She talked about all of the things in a relationship that I’m missing out on and was curious as to why I didn’t want that in my life. The shared memories, having someone to talk to who cares when my day is bad (or good for that matter), being there for someone else. Just the general feeling of being close to someone that you love and who loves you back. In a perfect world, everyone would have his or her true match and everything would work out just like it would in the perfect romance novel. You’d get home from work and neither of you would be too tired to talk about how your day went, and someone else would actually listen to, not just hear, your problems. There would be this open line of communication and you’d just be able to pick up whenever you want and go out and do something fun without being too tired or having stress or jealousy interfere. But again, that’s assuming it’s a perfect world, and sadly it isn’t. I would rather be alone than be with someone who just isn’t right for me. And I wouldn’t want to be with someone who is so intent upon finding love that they automatically fall for me because I’m there. To really love someone, and to be able to be a good fit, I think you have to know their dreams, goals, and their heart.
My answer as to why I didn’t want all those seemingly wonderful things at this point in my life was pretty simple (including my reasoning of wanting someone who isn’t in a rush to fall in love). But for the most part, I was lucky to have had all those things in someone. At least I thought so. Not many people can say that. It was only in retrospect that I realised things weren’t peachy-keen, but in that time when happiness was mine, I lived in the moment. When I think about it, I’d never want to go back because I wasn’t happy and I know that now, but I can at least look at the good times and know what it felt like to have had those things, even if I have to remove all the questions and doubts in my mind that I didn’t piece together until after things crumbled. There were many times when I wasn’t happy, but sometimes a long talk or watching a movie together seemed to make me forget about the negative aspects of the relationship. It wasn’t true love, and I can’t even say we were soulmates. I think of a soulmate as someone who comes into your life when you need each other. It may not be for life, or even a whole day, but in this situation, I don’t think we were really connected at all. It was just all about that illusion of love and happiness that kept me in it for so long, not to mention a few of my own perceived shortcomings. I guess you could say it was a sort of self-induced infatuation, because infatuation is all about imagery. It’s all about what you see, feel, and believe in your heart, and none of it is real. And honestly, having had that mirage, even if it was just in my mind, was more than enough for me. Sidenote: The whole experience also helped me to realise what I seek in another person, even if it is a strictly-friends scenario without the potential to ever become anything more. I want someone who won’t try to change me or isolate me from friends and family because I want someone who is fine with me being a part of the world and won’t try to cut me off from it. I know that I have to be happy first because no one can make me feel that way. If someone has that much power over your emotions, they also have power over everything that you can possibly feel (and can use that to his or her advantage)! True happiness should be found within oneself before pursuing true love.
I may not have experienced love in a pure or true form, but it was something like it and it was close enough. For several idealistic yet miserable years, I stuck around and am glad to have ridded myself of that chapter in my life. I often wish I’d seen all of these things sooner, but sometimes we have to see things for what they truly are before we can really move on. If I’d gone through life believing that I’d left a good thing behind, I would still be hung up on all of the “What If’s?” If I’d never met him at all (as sometimes I wish I hadn’t!!!) I wouldn’t be able to say that I knew what it felt like to love or be loved even if it was all a facade. It’s all a part of the growing process as a person. It’s the same thing with any other mistake or personal epiphany. It’s when we don’t learn from our past when it becomes a problem, because we will end up in the same cycle on repeat.
Back on track. Where was I? I’ll just pick it up from a random place since that’s what I’m pretty much doing, anyway. I have come to realise that sometimes the times in our lives that hurt the most are the times we wish we could go back to. Maybe we forge a bond with someone and we long to feel that closeness to someone again. Maybe it reminds us of simplicity during our struggles and despite all the hardship, how much easier it was in some aspect or another. It could just be the realisation that things weren’t as bad as they seemed at the time, or possibly how remembering the bad times allows us to appreciate the NOW (though the present may not be as great and wonderful as we would like it to be).
I think those feelings of “love” are real, but while it may not be real love, I believe that real love does exist. I often see people who just get so caught up in the drama of real life that they don’t stop to appreciate not only the material things, but the people in their lives. I’ve heard romantic little stories that are said to be true, but I have yet to have seen it myself. The cynic in me wonders if a night of wine and roses might be followed up with a day of screaming matches over something someone said or a credit card bill that was overrun. That cynicism also makes me wonder if all that sweetness is to compensate for guilt or to cover something up. And maybe that’s the reason I’ve never had romance in my life. I’m just simply not open to it as anything more than a fictitious concept and a possibly deceptive decoy to distract from something else.
That’s also the reason I can’t write strictly romance. When I write anything that resembles mush, it’s usually followed up with an unexpected twist of horror. I may not have had anything that I would consider “romantic” in my life, but when I write about love, I try to convey those emotions of youthful carefree infatuation to replace it because those feelings are real. When you just want someone to love you that you think your world is going to crumble, and when they reject you your world just ends and you spend a few days picking up the pieces of your heart…Until you find someone else to replace them, and you’re suddenly riding high on life again. You got that little extra bounce in your step. You sing in the shower. You watch sappy movies and put yourself into the lead character’s role with your One&Only as your supporting role. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about even if you act like you don’t. *wink wink*
But the short of it is that I don’t believe that romance. As a concept, yes, but not as a reality. In some of my previous attempts to write romance in the past, it came off as cheesy and forced. That’s how I feel about it. Cheesy and forced and fake. Which is somewhat ironic since I can more easily write about monsters and horror and creatures that go bump in the night better than I can write about love. I just feel more comfortable with it for some unknown reason. And I might not know about monsters first-hand, but they’re in my zone of comfort because I was interested in it ever since I was a kid.
But somewhere, there are some in-print anthologies with some sappy little love stories circulating out there written by me. They were awful. Just awful. The tone was very naive and it was under romance. I had written true love stories, as per prompt for a contest. That naive tone reflected so much of what I have talked about here. About how everything was just a facade. Things are as we want to see them. If I’d known they’d have been in anthologies, I would have changed my game up a little more. I can just say that I’m thankful that they are likely out of print. That, and that I used another name to write them. Thank goodness for small miracles, right? I wouldn’t want to be associated with the same sap I no longer believe in.
“Tell me another story, Joey!” cried the middle sister as we sat outside in the evening air. The oldest was inside watching a movie and playing on her phone. I think she’s gotten to an age where it’s not cool to be seen with her lame aunt.
Once I get started with a story about something funny that happened to me, or sometimes about something that irritated me, the middle one always wants to hear more. I think it’s in the way I tell it, because the stories themselves are not so interesting, but I inject a little enthusiasm along with my afterthoughts on the situations that make the little ones laugh like crazy. Bear in mind, most people probably wouldn’t find my stories funny and would quickly tune me out, but the little ones think they’re hilarious. So I began to tell another story, and in between breaths, the little one kept popping up with her own stories. The older one was upset because she wanted to hear more Joey stories and kept trying to shush her little sister. But we listened to one of her stories and for a moment, I thought, Wow, I don’t remember anything like that happening when I was in Kindergarten! And I wondered what crazy things go on that I haven’t heard about because they don’t think enough of it to tell me. Sharing gum? Picking things off the floor and eating it? Shoving things in their noses? I wouldn’t think to tell anyone of those things, either, if it were just an everday event. Nothing special or peculiar about that stuff in the mind of a kid that age.
“And I threw my hair on the floor and everyone was looking at it saying, ‘Is that your hair?'” she said, laughing. To give a little more detail into how it actually sounded from her lips, her pronunciation of certain words is still like that of a younger child, with her “r’s” like “w’s” so that to spell it out phonetically it would be something like “hayew.” And “floor” would be “flow.”
“It’s blonde and you have blonde hayew, and I said, ‘No, no, dat’s not my hayew!'”
I can imagine the look on my own face. It was a mix of amusement and confusion. “So let me get this straight. Your threw your hair on the ground?” I know I asked a billion questions before getting the whole story.
“I was wunning my fingews thwough my hayew and some came out and I thwew it on da gwound and Alex picked it up and said, ‘Eww! Is dat yo hayew?’ and I said, ‘No, it’s not mine! It’s not mine!’ and evwyone said, ‘But it’s blonde like yo’s and I said ‘No, no, it’s not mine! It’s not mine!'” She repeatedly stressed the part about how she denied the hair was hers. And then she repeated it again. And again, each time laughing and sticking her tongue out as she tried to pronounce her words in between giggles, shaking her head with her long blonde hair tossing from side to side. There was something in the way she said it that made me laugh even harder. And made me hope she’d never grow up.
“EWWWWW! HE PICKED IT UP?!?” cried the older tot. And myself. Almost simultaneously.
We all laughed. It was a mix of pure hilarity, horrified disgust, and sympathy over the poor tyke’s embarrassing situation. Sure, she might only be in Kindergarten, but I thought for a moment how many times I had found myself in a situation like that, and if I would have pulled it off with the “grace” and assertion of that little Kindergartner.
Now that I have your attention, I’d like to talk about the topic at hand. And it segues into something that happened to me about four years ago that I’m just now talking about publicly because I found the entire situation embarrassing.
A few weeks ago, after getting stood up on a date, I decided I wasn’t about to let a good makeup day go to waste. So I made a Youtube video. Then I got a message talking about how big my boobs are. Needless to say, I decided henceforth that I would be more aware of the camera angle. I assumed my weight would overshadow all else so I thought nothing of it. But when I made the resignation to position the camera just above my chest, I felt like Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Now, I know there are some people who are so judgemental that they think I’m deliberately taking photos from certain angles to show them off. I’ve heard this said about other girls, so why should it be any different for me?
While I’m fully aware of my size, be it my weight or my chest, I generally don’t think much about it. I’m just me. At the same time, I don’t want other people focusing on it, either. At one point I was a little more guarded when I took pictures, because it came with a catch. Sure, I could hide my breasts in photos, but that would also mean I wouldn’t be showing my weight. So, when people saw me in person, or when they saw me in other pictures where both were obvious, they seemed a bit taken aback. It made me even more insecure because as someone who has struggled with my weight, I also felt like they might have been more shocked about that. I felt like I was making myself prone to weight jokes if people were to be caught by surprise by my actual appearance, because I’ve heard every weight crack in the book and figured it would be better to just put that out there. Sadly, most of the “fat” comments were (and are) from the people that I should rely on not to say those things. In a way I got into a thinking-pattern that I’m just fat and disregarded the size of my bra because my weight was the focus of the people I knew. It wasn’t like I was built like a model, so I didn’t think my boobs would be a big deal. Until I started getting every big-breast comment until I’ve heard just about every single one. While the people around me made a big deal about my weight, creepsters on the street that I’d never met before were talking about my chest!
I don’t make much of an effort to cover my acne, and a little scarring, because that’s a part of who I am and while it gets me down, I minimise it by not making it an issue. But if someone were to give me friendly advice, I would take it in the light it is intended even if I’ve tried their “sure-fire” remedy already. However, I don’t feel that it warrants anyone to come up to me and just say something about it to assuage their own spiteful sense of Shadenfreude. Nor would I feel my weight should inspire anyone to take it upon themselves to be rude to me about it. And I definitely don’t think my chest should be the subject of concern to complete strangers.
Men are always judging what kind of breasts they like, condemning some for being too small, and others for being too saggy. I find it irritating because I understand that people have a preference with things, but there is a thing called “science.” Biologically, a woman’s breast size is determined by her estrogen receptors. And no matter what the size, there is a thing called “gravity.” And I apologise that nature is getting in the way of someone’s ability to achieve sexual arousal. And then they talk about how women dress like sluts because they wear a tank top, or possibly something slightly revealing. Or maybe because they wear a tight top. And they say that these girls want guys to look. And the slut label isn’t only given to females who are taking birth control or like to dress a certain way, but also to those who have higher estrogen receptors.
And to all the women out there who have helped to stigmatise the male-dominating and female-depreciating attitude, I can’t thank you enough. I hear women talk about how other women shouldn’t dress in such a way if they don’t want a guy to look. Or comment. Or…worse. And there is a big difference between someone just looking and someone being rude about the situation, but what if someone, say for instance, has a bad case of acne? There’s a difference between our intrinsic human nature of “stealing a glance” and the rudeness of “gawking.” I understand that people are going to look, whether what they’re seeing is pleasing or displeasurable to the eye, but most people would have the good sense not to stare at someone with acne. So what makes breasts any different? But as far as clothes, I also feel like that’s saying I can’t wear what I like, or what makes me feel good, or what is suited to the Texas weather, and if I do, then people have the right to treat me however they wish. Would people say the same because I choose not to wear foundation to cover up my imperfections for fear that I might forget it one day and I’m afraid people would be shocked at how I look without it? And despite clothing, I’ve received commentary no matter what I wear. Even if I wear something oversized and baggy, like my favourite Marilyn Manson shirt! So the argument on “people are going to look” is null and void, and that applies to any situation in my opinion. How can we say it’s wrong to stare at someone’s “imperfections” because they don’t cover it up, and why should they? But on the other hand, it’s okay to stare at someone’s chest!
And yes, I’m familiar with a thing called, “Modesty.” I understand that there are some ways that wouldn’t be considered appropriate, but I also feel it’s a little unfair because the thing is, on me, some clothes might make me stand out (no pun intended) a little more than if I were an A-cup. It might even be a little more noticeable on me than if I were a C-cup. But I wear what I like, and sometimes I feel I’m persecuted for the misconception that I want to show them off!
Now, I have to give a little background. I don’t always dress with the utmost modesty. I do try to accentuate my curves a little since I’m trying to detract attention away from my waistline. But I always try to dress nicely. I wear things for myself, and while people may think I’m trying to get attention because I dress goth, or because I may wear something that is more revealing, I’m just being ME. But this is where things get rough, and the stigmas don’t help matters.
This happened around four years ago. It was around my budgie’s birthday, and I was trying to decide on some gifts to buy for her. I’m quite shy unless I’m in a one-on-one or feel comfortable with the people I’m surrounded by. It verges on social anxiety. Anyway, as I stood there I could feel my shyness coming over me. I was in an isolated aisle and thought to myself, “No one is going to even bother paying attention to you! Stop being so self-conscious!” So, I calmed myself down. And a man came up and introduced himself with an air of importance so I wondered what was up, but there was something that didn’t feel right so I gave him the name “Jo,” because if he was as important as he’d presented himself I wouldn’t really be lying, and if my instinct was right that he was a threat, he wouldn’t know my whole name. He offered to take me out but I declined, and he pushed. So I said I had a boyfriend, which I did at the time. And he continued to press me to go out to lunch with him. That went on, and finally he asked for a hug and said he would leave after that. I don’t remember if I answered but the next thing I knew he hugged me. I stood completely still, as if it were a primal instinct to camoflauge myself somehow. I felt a little uneasy, but it was over before I knew it and I thought things were going to be fine. Until the whole thing started up again, about how he’d like to take me out despite my firm stance that I was involved with someone. He asked for another hug and by this time I just felt a bit more violated and intimidated. I’m a bit short, and he was pretty big, and I kept thinking maybe I could just side-step him because I didn’t want to isolate myself because of where I was standing in the aisle. And finally, he asked for another hug. And that time he groped me and proceeded to ask humiliating questions. Just how big are they, and what are their names? Then he gave me a pen and paper to write my email address, so visibly shaking I started to write a couple different ones and scratched them out after jotting the first few letters, and opted to write an old address I had and I changed my information on it as soon as I got home.
I was really upset, and my mom, who was in the store with me that day, called my cell phone. SAVE! Because he backed off a bit and his disposition changed from what I felt as threatening to pleasantly conversational. I’d read up enough on this kind of thing to know that predatory types will often adopt a suddenly likeable attitude after victimising someone. But I was in such a panic at the time because I didn’t want to upset him for the sole purpose of what little safety I felt in that moment. I giggle when I’m happy but particularly when I’m nervous! I didn’t report him because I thought, if there were security cameras, it would look like I didn’t say anything in my own defense and that I was inviting him into my space by smiling. And what if they couldn’t find him? He might retaliate. I don’t know that I could have even described him in my fog. And sadly, I also knew the mentality of men (though there are some stand-up kinda guys out there who wouldnn’t have condoned that kind of treatment toward anyone!), and because I also knew some women would feel the same. I was really shaken about the whole thing. Plus, I asked myself, was it really that bad to file a report? I mean, he only grabbed my chest. It wasn’t like he did anything more, and maybe I did invite him by not specifically saying, “No,” so maybe it was my fault. How could I report someone for not making my stance clear? And yeah, I’d heard everything in the book and while simliar things have happened to me, to a lesser degree because I’d been around people or I’d had close shaves to where there was no opportunity, this instance really scared me. And confused me. And embarrassed me.
I told some people close to me about it. The first question they asked was, “What were you wearing?” I even got that question from a girl-friend of mine. Maybe it’s just me. But I would never. Ever. Want any girl, at any age, to feel that they can’t report someone because they brought it upon themselves because of what they were wearing. But just what was I wearing, for those inquiring minds who have to know?
A Snoopy shirt I had just gotten for my birthday. It was the first time I had worn it. It had a more modest fit than some of my clothes, and I had a sweater jacket over it. My chest was not being flaunted, although admittedly a little accentuated because of the style of the jacket.
In the time that followed the incident, I would have panic attacks in stores when I found myself alone, as if just having a little social anxiety isn’t bad enough. When I’m in that same store I still have even worse attacks when I’m near that area, and I didn’t wear my Snoopy shirt for a long time after that. Mentally, the situation ate away at me. I didn’t speak up because he had made me feel so intimidated. That was also part of why I didn’t report it. And another reason I didn’t report him was because I thought people would say I invited the attention somehow. That it was my fault for not speaking up to begin with, or something that I did to make me deserve it. And I was afraid that the whole thing would be written off and I’d run into him again. But what made it worse?
I didn’t stand up for myself. I let it go, because I didn’t think highly enough of myself to have spoken up to him in my defense, or to remedy the feeling of helplessness after that by making a report. I wondered so many times what I would have done if things had escalated, and it was frightening to think that I would have ever allowed something like that happen. I think part of why I didn’t have the confidence level at that time was attributed in part to my boyfriend at the time. In the several years I was with him, he had managed to bring me down. I had to rebuild myself after our breakup and didn’t realise how the way he treated me had taken a toll on me as an individual.
Nowadays, it would have been a different story. I would have pepper-sprayed his ass. Then I would have filed a report. I know now that if someone invades my space, even if they seem non-threatening, I have the right to politely let them know. I don’t really even have to be polite about it if I don’t want to. I have every right to let someone know if I’m feeling uncomfortable, because sometimes you have to be your own advocate. And I think if this had been in a more isolated area, and given half a chance, he would have tried to take things a step further. It bothers me that I know in my heart this logically wouldn’t have been the first time, nor the last, that he would have attempted something of that sort. And how many times has he gone unreported? How far has he taken it with other people? Because someone who has the audacity to grab someone in a public place, isolated or not, is obviously of a predatory mentality.
And upon reflection, I was and am upset at the attitude society has taken upon women. On one hand, I feel like people are judging me and my intention because I take a picture that doesn’t try to hide the size of my chest, even though I may be wearing a tee shirt. And on the other hand, I’m upset because this same stigma of “deserving” or “leading someone on” or just of being a female, had become so ingrained in me that I didn’t do anything about the situation.
And while getting drunk at a party to a point where you have no idea what is going on isn’t a wise choice, it’s still not her fault that someone decides to assault her. How many times do we hear stories of guys getting into drunken arguments and they get into a fight that ends up in a death? We don’t say, “Oh, well he should’ve known better, he was drinking and got killed but he put himself in that situation so it was his fault.” People are even more protective over material things than women! If you leave your cardoor unlocked and someone steals it, or you don’t lock your house before leaving, however unwise that may seem, it’s still theft. It’s not like the crime is written off because of an unwise decision on the victim’s part.
So imagine for a moment that you find out that something terrible has happened to someone you love, and that they chose to keep quiet because they are afraid of being judged or because they believe something bad that happened to them to be their fault. It would break my heart to know that a loved one, or anyone, felt that way. We can’t have that attitude unless we want kids learning from the things we say. Not only are young girls going to adopt an air of submission when something bad happens to them, but what message would we be sending to young boys?
“Work it, Girlfriend!” she said as she snapped some random pictures of me. Then she snatched the visor off my head. “No one wears these anymore, Joey!” her voice stern as she tossed it aside. My face was frozen in shock for a moment after having a nine year old tell me I was out of style. She calls me Joey. I don’t know how that started, but I don’t remember her calling me by any other name, either.
“Okay, now stand like this,” she said, showing me how to pose, but when I failed to mirror her properly she had to manually pose me like a Barbie doll. One foot here, my arm bent like so, and don’t smile! “Now try to be cool!” So…I tried. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. “You’re trying too hard! Don’t try. Just be! Like me!”
From there, she proceeded to explain to me how you don’t try to be one thing or another. You just let it sort of flow through your veins and manifest as coolness somehow, at least that’s what I’m guessing because I couldn’t get it right then and I can’t get it right now.
So the moral of this story is, no matter how cool you try to be or think you are, there’s always a nine year old out there to tell you otherwise. Or sometimes a five year old. Or a twelve year old. And they also like to make fun of you in front of the really cute waiter at the restaurant to where you’re blushing and laughing so hard that you want to just crawl under the table. “Oooooh, I see you looking at him!” “You’re trying to act all girly!” “Oooooh, he gave you extra candies ‘cos he likes you!”
Just deliver my plate down here, under the table. I’m too humiliated to face anyone. Too humiliated, but too hungry to pass up the meal. Oh well…The extra Andes mints helped heal some of those emotional wounds from that embarrassing day.
Have you gotten your copy yet, or can you handle it?
If you love horror, you shouldn’t be without this book!
It’s Valentine’s Day. I’m happily single, but as I was up listening to some music I somehow started watching country on Youtube. I couldn’t resist when I saw this one; Dwight Yoakam on stage in his prime in that adorable sequined outfit! So, having nothing better to do this early in the morning on Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d reminisce about some of my celeb crushes in no particular order but I am saving my #1 for last. And since I already mentioned him, let’s start with Dwight.
Dwight Yoakam just had this major appeal. Just that certain something. He really knows how to make a country girl swoon. Or a goth girl, in my case.
Fabio. He makes my heart melt like “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter” on a hot summer day. (Um, sorry for the cliche simile-upon-simile. Southern much?)
Milli Vanilli. Rob and Fab were insanely gorgeous, but Rob had the most gorgeous eyes!
Johnny Depp. Need I say more?
Robert Smith. I think it was all in the eyeliner.
Kevin Corrigan. I loved the mystique he exuded as Uncle Eddy.
Prince William. When I was younger I posted every little newsclipping with his picture to my wall.
Marilyn Manson. The chrome grill in his Tainted Love video did it for me, not to mention his mis-matched eyes and the makeup.
Steve from Blue’s Clues. I took a lot of ribbing over that one and started a Blue’s Clues collection out of nostalgia. Turns out a lot of the BC merchandise is actually worth a little money! Now I’m into DJ Lance. I don’t know whether to give you bonus points or demerits if you know who that is.
John Leguizamo. The man has something about him that I can’t quite place…that je ne sais quoi.
The boy that worked at my local grocery store: He was too old for me then.
Kevin Costner. When I saw him in Robin Hood I fell in love! Never saw The Bodyguard because I didn’t like sappy movies even back then, and I still haven’t seen it. Maybe one day I’ll finally get around to it.
Dion. In his prime, he was too cute for words!
Jesse Bradford. I begged my mom to take me to see that Yellow Dog movie. I don’t think she really knew I’d outgrown animal movies and was more into boys at that time.
Bon Jovi. That smile!
Leo. I wasn’t into him when he was big, but he has this immense talent and
James Dean. He was adorable with that coy little smile but it always looked like he was up to something.
Robin Wilson of The Ginblossoms.
Prince. He has that swag where he thinks he’s gorgeous so it doesn’t matter what you think. In fact I think he brainwashed a vast majority of people into seeing himself as others see him. As he says in his STYLE lyrics, “Style is lovin’ yourself ’til everyone else does, too.”
John Cena. He looks so much like Marky Mark.
And here is my Number One, as if you didn’t know: Marky Mark. I saw The Happening and got the cassette for maybe .49 cents at Goodwill right around the same time. I had to listen to it a couple of times before I liked it and somehow I fell in love, but I don’t know if it was his music or his demeanor in the movie that captivated me. I never refer to him as Mark Wahlberg, much to the chagrin of my hipper friends. And I’m sad to hear that there will be no Funky Bunch reunion. I missed a chance to see The Fighter because as much as I had talked about it, my then-boyfriend opted to take his friend instead and when I expressed some hurt emotion, he said he thought I was joking! Joke about Marky? Never!
The fact he had left me at his grandma’s house and had taken his friend to see the movie sort of ended our relationship. Not to mention that he had taken his other girlfriend to see The Other Guys which I later found out about by my discovery of the ticket stubs.
So that’s my post for Valentine’s Day. Hope yours is a happy one! 😀
I’m neglecting all professionalism in this piece, and normally I don’t like to get this personal. But something happened that was kind of funny that inspired me to write about this ironic little twist that has haunted me for the past three years. Some things happen that come back around to you, and in retrospect after the proverbial (or would that be metaphorical?) storm has passed, you find yourself looking back in a passive state of reflection. When emotion no longer rules your thoughts, it’s easier to process everything and just say, “It is what it is.” Thanks to friends and family and forcing myself to take some time before moving on, I can laugh about things now and I was able to get through it all with a more positive attitude. Here’s the story.
I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of the details. The past is past, and well, quite frankly, kinda boring. I’ll merely brief the salient points. The short of it is, I was in love with someone that just wasn’t right for me. I felt like the chemistry was gone and I couldn’t really be myself. But at the same time I couldn’t really just walk away because it was sort of a high school sweetheart type of thing. He had this stuffy uptight air and I would often ask myself if sacrificing who I am, along with my own personal happiness to make him happy, was worth what I *thought* we had.
He decided to go to college which ended up in the remainder of our relationship turning into a long-distance thing. So I was back with my folks and we’d watch America’s Got Talent all the time. Well, the host brought Train out to sing that irritating “Soul Sister” song. I just could not see the appeal! My parents wondered why they had them sing that particular song. I explained that was their most popular and I don’t think they believed me. Then, on The Medium, it was played throughout the entire episode in clips. My mom and I cringed every time the first couple of notes started up. I think the song was even used in a car commercial, too. It would come on the radio and I’d call her in my room so she could listen to this “really great song” that I thought she’d like. At least, that’s what I told her. “You called me in for this? she’d ask, annoyed. Either that or she’d give her characteristic “Mmmmm” sound of vexation which, coming from her, says more than any spoken word. So it was a bit of a joke between us because we both hated that song equally and I couldn’t resist using it against her. And we’d often crack Train jokes.
Now there was a particular song that I loved and when it would come on, I knew, I just *knew*, everything was going to be okay. It came on when I prayed and asked for comfort in a certain situation, and although I’d heard it many times before, it was rarely played at that point. Guess it just sorta grew out of style. But it was like, I’d say a prayer and BAM! It was on the radio! Another time I was about to put a Smiths CD on right after praying but thought I’d wait to see what the next song on the radio would be. It was MY song! The one that let me know that EVERYTHING was gonna be just fine! The first time it happened I thought, lucky timing. The next two times, I knew there had to be something more to it.
So one day, I went on my then-boyfriend’s Facebook page to post something I thought he’d like and some girl posted on his wall. Then I did some detective work. Not hard, since he didn’t try to hide anything. He was friends with her mom, too! I asked him about it because we had a date on messenger that day since he had the day off from school and he got upset with me, saying he didn’t know her, she randomly added him and he was upset because he didn’t know he was going to be harrassed about someone he didn’t even know. Then he deleted his Facebook account. That’s when I knew for certain something was up.
Out of desperation I contacted the girl because he refused to talk about it. She wasn’t the nicest person. I just felt like I had to know whatever it was that he’d been hiding and she was just mean about the whole thing. But I did check out her Facebook page to see if she’d posted anything about him. And there it was. A picture of a fancy dinner he had taken her to as well as another enthusiastic post about how Soul Sister was her song! In another post she said it deserved a Grammy and was surprised it didn’t get anything. I, however, wasn’t. Then I found out Train also sang Drops of Jupiter.
So it was a good long while until I was able to listen to that song again without feeling that typical relationship trauma that we’ve all been through. It’s nothing new, and I’m sure everyone out there can understand where I’m coming from. Whenever that song came on I would struggle to get to the radio so I wouldn’t have to feel that way or think about the pair of them. Now I can listen to the song for what it is: Horrible!
Remember I mentioned that song that gave me hope? This was a couple of years before the break-up incident. I never went out of my way to look the song up because it was one of those chance things. I didn’t want to interfere with that and I didn’t want to know who sang it, nor did I want to hear it so often where I would learn the lyrics because I felt it would lose all meaning. When it was a chance thing it felt more like a sign of sorts, like it was speaking directly to me. Well, when I prayed and it came on the radio, I had prayed for angels. I wanted to know they were there and I needed to find comfort in that to know that I wasn’t really alone. So there I was, and as soon as I finished my prayer, and the first line of the song comes on. “I need a sign to let me know you’re here.” I think it’s called “Calling All Angels.” That happened three times like that. There was only one other time during that span of several years that I heard that song when I needed a boost and there it was.
So today, I wanted to fill my thoughts with positivity so I played stuff like Lennon’s “Imagine”, Youngbloods “Come On People,” and MJ’s “Man in the Mirror.” And I decided to find my angel song on youtube, having no idea who sang it. And as it turns out…It’s TRAIN!
That band, unbeknownst to me for so long, was once my rock! Then they put out this completely obnoxious anthem that played everywhere I went, which became symbolic in my mind of such a crazy time in my life when I felt so alone and frustrated, and made me think of this girl’s smugness and mean-spirited treatment toward me. Not to mention the whole situation with my ex-boyfriend. Soul Sister no longer holds any negativity for me except for how much I still hate it only because of how it seemed to stalk me, and because of how terrible it sounds. And then I find out the one song that helped me to really connect with my spiritual side is by the same band!
I could have gone without knowing who sang it as I had before, merely because I wanted to know when that song came on, it was all about timing. I wanted to feel like it was no mere coincidence, but something a little greater. Something real. I guess it gave me something to believe in.
I think it might have been better if I had not known who it was, because now I can’t get past knowing who sings it. It’s like having a really great meal and realising it’s made with one of your most hated ingredients! You never want to eat it again. Ever! Or maybe a more appropriate allusion would be that it’s more like finding out the meal was prepared by someone who doesn’t believe in washing their hands.
It’s hard for me not to find the humour in the whole thing. Not to mention the irony, if I am in fact using the term correctly. But when we really look back, it’s funny how we can see that through so many other instances in the everyday scheme of things. I see it happening to me and around me all the time. But this time, I stared in disbelief for a moment, and then I rolled my eyes and sighed with a smile.