Saturday, July 11, 2009

Long post about love and why feminism is on my list of stuff that can kiss my ass

I’m not done talking about Julie over at 47 and Starting Over. She is one ballsy chick, which is why I love her. Julie’s fearless about sharing her opinion; she tells it as she sees it, even when it comes to her own emotional landscape. She lays it out there for all the world to see.

In a recent post she wrote

I am so lonely it's palpable.

I miss dating. I miss intimacy. I miss flirting. I miss hand holding, and making out like teenagers. I miss sweet text messages and phone calls and surprise flowers. I miss...well, you know what I miss the most. *That* goes without saying!

The bottom line is, I miss being in love.
You know, it takes guts to say that. It takes guts for a woman to admit that she’s lonely; it takes guts for a woman to admit to the world that she misses being in love.

Ever since the 1970s, beginning with that stupid fucking “I am strong, I am invincible” song, women have been conditioned to believe that they shouldn’t have to “need” a man.

You must be independent.
No one else can make you happy; happiness comes from within.
A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle

That’s such bullshit!

I know a little something about living the life of the strong, independent woman. I also know what it’s like to be in love, and I’ll take love any day. Not that they have to be mutually exclusive.

Let me give you a timeline. My first husband, Chris, and I split up in May 1994. I met Bastard Husband, infamous star of my book, in May 2000; we got divorced three years later, almost to the day. I’ve been with my beloved boyfriend, Mike, for a little over six months. If you do the math, you’ll see that I’ve been unattached for 11½ of the past 15 years. Yeah, I’ve had boyfriends—all truly lovely men—but none were what I’d consider to be relationships with long-term possibilities.

I spent 5½ of those “alone” years here in Las Vegas. If you read my book, you’ll see I do pretty well as a soloist. I make friends in no time and I’ll go anywhere by myself… to the movies, to check out live music… hell, I’ll even go to biker bars alone. But I’ll tell you, it does get old.

Bastard Husband: A Love Story chronicles only my first year in Las Vegas. What you won’t read about in that book is my post-divorce relationship with B.H. Believe me, we did not split up due to lack of love. We had a wonderful life together (until his thirteenth beer) and were crazy about each other (probably literally), but as I say in my book, it was clear that his path was wide enough only for one and it became increasingly unhealthy for me to stay married to him. He’s been living in New Zealand for the past several years now, but he’s come back to Las Vegas several times. To see me.

The last time was in January 2008, when he stayed for two weeks. He was on his best behavior and I loved every minute he was here. He even came to my writer’s group meeting. We walked in separately and B.H. stayed under the radar since, of course, everyone there had heard me read about him week after week and he would have been a bit of a celebrity. We laughed about how we felt like we’d really pulled something over on everyone. We had a great time together—we went to the movies and checked out bands and I realized how much I missed having somebody to do things with. I missed the companionship, and I missed being in love.

I almost left Las Vegas last October to join B.H. in New Zealand when my lease was up. If you look at this post from back then, you’ll see I meant business—I hated my job and felt there was nothing for me here. But I didn’t go. One night we were instant messaging about the logistics of my trip, and I heard something in the tone of his IM that told me, don’t do it. Even though I was getting just plain fucking tired of living alone and that whole independent woman persona, which, by the way, I pulled off quite well, I heard something that told me that I’d be making a big mistake. So I renewed my lease and stayed put. And I decided to back away from that relationship for good. Finally.

Within a couple of months, Mike and I got together. Our relationship is healthy and I love him with all my heart. I intend to be with him for the next 50 years—I’ll shout that from the rooftops and I’ll put that in writing with my own blood.(Wouldn't it be funny if, after I say that, he breaks up with me?) (Ironic funny, not ha-ha.)

My point is, for years I held onto B.H. I held onto the fantasy that he could overcome his demons and we could live together again and enjoy each other’s companionship and live the life we were meant to have. But it really was a fantasy.

There’s a lesson here: you have to get rid of the old to make way for the new. You have to release what no longer serves you in order to allow fresh, new energy into your life. I believe that with all my heart. If you’re holding on to a relationship that no longer serves you, release that person with love. Yes, you may go through a period of alone-ness and the period of transition will absolutely suck, but I believe the universe hates a vacuum and that someone else, someone more suited to your authentic self, will soon come into your life.

But getting back to the feminists who say we shouldn’t have to need men… yeah, they can kiss my ass. I’ll take being in love anytime.


linda said...

I love men. At least the ones I come across - I know there are rotten ones out there. Even though I am married I still enjoy the attention of all men as well as my husband. That they open the doors for me, give me compliments, do and say nice things makes me feel special. And, it is in my nature to be nice to them as well - as nice as a married woman is ever allowed to be, if you get my meaning.

If I even became single by some hideous happening, you can bet that I would always want a man around because I think it is a nice thing to be in love with someone special. It is worth the effort even if it takes a while to find the right one.

This is a good post. Honest and true.

The Peach Tart said...

I loved this post and I agree with you 100%. I have been single for years on a stretch and in relationships on a stretch.

I'm wired that I prefer being with a partner. I like to share things we both enjoy together. Yes I can be alone but believe as humans we are meant to love and share and enjoy others. A best friend who loves and accepts you because of and in spite of who you are.

Anonymous said...

I have to admire you and your sister. The problem with the feminazi's is that they feel the world will be better without men. Most womens libbers actually feel that men and women should be equal! Let me tell you, we are not equal. I think the important part is that both sexes are equally important to humanity. Keep writing and stay feminine.


classicrockforthesoul said...

I sooo enjoyed reading this.

You are right, women who don't think that they need men in their lives are only kidding themselves.

I actually read an article recently about one lady (in the northeast somewhere) complaining that men are still opening doors for her. She was actually bitching about that. Like... seriously?! I love it when guys open the door for me. It shows respect.

Anywho, I'm glad you've found happiness. You and your boyfriend look super cute together :)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Linda: I'm with you--it's wonderful to be in love with somebody special!

@ Peach Tart: Interesting concept about "being wired." I do think some people are wired to be soloists, or rather, they've become wired that way. But I wouldn't be surprised if people are inherently wired for partnerships. That seems more like human nature to me.

@ ISe: Julie at 47 is my soul sister, not my blood sister, though I'll bet you anything Lori Biker would agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for the comment--the guy's perspective is very much appreciated.

I should say that I don't think it's healthy for women (or men) to feel that they absolutely cannot get by without being with another person--that's when you make poor choices and end up with someone who's no more than a warm body. That does no favor to either party involved.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Classic Rock girl: I was hoping you'd weigh in on this. Since you're only 19, I was wondering about your stance on the topic. I'm with you--men who open doors are awesome, and women who complain about that are going to reap what they sow--a life of loneliness.

oksana said...

I agree. It's great to be strong, but how many women go a little overboard? If Cleopatra could be both powerful and feminine at the same time, so can the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

-- Some English guy's take on Cleopatra.

Another Lou, my friend "Strong Box" Lou, put it succinctly:

"Women and men need each other."

I think "feminism" went off the rails when it went beyond promoting equal opportunities for women and further off when it merged into the pro-choice movement to the point of intolerance for pro-life women, of whom there are quite a few.

Good post. Your man resembles my cousin Ralph, who is generally considered an attractive man in his own right.

You should get back into standup!

Chris A k.a. Elvis.

travel girl said...

I am not a feminist but I do believe that I don't "need" a man.
I WANT a man. He doesn't have to be perfect, just perfect for me.

I spent 3 years in a relationship with myself so I could get to know "me" better. Best.Thing. I. Could. Do. I found out what made me tick.

Most of us spend our lives never know the one we need to know the best: ourselves, so we can be the best for the perfect partner for us!!

I loved your post. You are a beautiful writer and person. I feel blessed to have met you!

Hurricane Mikey said...

Well said, Miss Linda... Truly the gift of a good writer is to put into words that which many others are already thinking...

Tania said...

I courageously left a marriage after 16 years when it was no longer what I wanted or needed. I fretted and stressed over the decision, but only because of the children. It was my daughter, actually, who snapped me out of my purgatory.
-"Mom, you don't laugh anymore. When are you going to laugh again?"
When I get the fuck out of this marriage.
So I did and have not been happier.
I was alone for almost a year til I unexpectedly met my beloved boyfriend. The rest, as they say......

The Peach Tart said...

Oh and btw...if that's your honey..he's HOT

Sous-chef said...

Just because one is capable of living alone doesn’t mean they should. I admit I want love but on my terms. Frankly I want to be able to run towards someone and not from the fear and loathing of being alone.

I am of the mind that when it comes to love you have to be able to count on the basics honesty, trust and respect. Sadly for many in our society these qualities are missing from their character, and that is true of both men and women.

I am on record as saying I’d rather be alone forever, than with the wrong individual for any length of time. It’s not a matter of feminism, but rather how can I be true to myself and others if the person I’m with is so selfish he doesn’t even provide the basics of common courtesy and decency.

When its right there is nothing better than being in love; both parties are stronger, happier and fulfilled. It’s this ideal that keeps me going, and why hope will always spring eternal in matters of the heart.

Congrats on running towards someone worthy....

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Oksana: Definitely! And I think women who are both powerful and feminine are real turn-ons for men.

@ Chris: Get back into stand-up? Hmmm... someday, but right now I just want to get my damn book out!

@ Travel Girl: You're so sweet! You make a good point about taking time to get to know yourself--how else can we possibly know what or who is right for us?

@ Mikey: Thanks, my friend!

@ Tania: Yeah, people who stay together for the sake of the kids can actually be making everyone's life more miserable and are just prolonging the inevitable. Lucky that you only had a year until you met beloved boyfriend!

@ Peach Tart: OMG, I think Mike is amazingly hot. And for such a super-smart guy, he's a lot of fun and is so down to earth--I'm a very lucky gal!

Julie D said...

I am on my way home from Chicago and what I have to say takes way too long to type with my right thumb on my iPhone. Just know I've read this and I'll be commenting in my honest-yet-ballsy way!!!! Love ya!!

Anonymous said...

Linda: I am so glad that you are as happy as you are.You deserve it.Love is extra special when it is with someone special .I should know.
With deep regards,
Sue bodow's alan

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Alan: Yes, you sure do have a great woman there!

AmyK said...

I read through all of the comments before I posted my thought looking to see if anyone felt the same way I do. Someone does. Travel Girl said the vey thing I was thinking. I too had a bad marriage that I got out of when I realized I don't "Need" a man. I was single for 6 years. Then I realized I "wanted" a man to share all of those things. Then I wantd to be treated like a diva too. We're still working on that.

raydenzel1 said...

Special is hard to define but you know it when you feel it and it is returned in kind. When you lose it, there is an emptiness that needs to be filled to feel whole once again.

Stephanie said...

So well writted. Mind if I print this and show it to a girlfriend who is torturing herself on a daily basis about her ex??

Fragrant Liar said...

I have been trying to catch up on my blog reading and my eyes were drooping and telling me to STOP IT, BACK AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP, when your blog title caught my eye from my blogroll. I had to come straight over for one more before I hit the hay. And I'm so glad I did.

What a great post! And they can kiss my ass too!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Sous-Chef: Sorry, I just found your comment in the moderation list. Very eloquently worded--thank you for commenting!