Tag Archives: partnership

YourFuture-12-2010

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YourFuture-12-2010

Originally uploaded by The Single Rider

The first couple of times I rode Spaceship Earth in EPCOT last week, there was something wrong with the interactive screen in my vehicle, so I didn’t really get a future to speak of.

In this one, they gave me a blonde cartoon chick as a business partner, since I was by myself in the vehicle. She seems agreeable enough, but I think she should lose the hair bow.

Anyhow, I’m going to have a grand career, designing surf boards from the comfort of my home and/or high speed magnetic commuter train. Cowabunga!

Why doesn’t she hear him? [video]

YouTube – Huey Lewis And The News – Do You Believe In Love.


This evening, someone on a forum was talking about Huey Lewis. Naturally, the conversation propelled me toward YouTube, one of the most time-sucking applications known to the interwebz. I looked up my favorite Huey Lewis and the News Song “Do You Believe In Love” – I don’t think I’ve seen this video in at least two decades! Anyhow, she doesn’t hear him. He’s right there in front of her, singing to her, loving her and she thinks she’s alone. How sad is that? But it’s such a happy, upbeat song! The contrast is really disturbing to me. Oblivion like that isn’t really upsetting to the oblivious – that is, until they figure out how clueless they’ve been and what they’ve been missing. I guess that would be a bit depressing, to realize that you’ve missed Huey Lewis wanting to “love you all over”.

When all is crumbling

New York State Route 231 by dougtone via Flickr
New York State Route 231 by dougtone via Flickr
Autumn, 1977

There’s a parade coming down the main drag that connects the hamlet where I live to the village by the bay. Down here in the village, the main drag has long since dwindled to one lane in each direction. This morning, it’s brisk with traffic, each vehicle racing to avoid getting caught behind the barricade that’s going up at any moment.

We need to be on the other side. My practiced eye looks briefly in either direction, assessing the traffic for relative distance and speed. This is going to be cake. Taking off at a sprint, I easily cover the two lanes well before the oncoming traffic arrives. I look around. I see my two friends still huddled where I’d left them on the curb at the other side, faces drawn taught with thinly-disguised anxiety. Finally, they feel it’s safe, and they hurry across.

[pullquote]If you aren’t bold, then you’re destined to stand a good, long time waiting to cross at that uncontrolled intersection. Waiting, wating… who has time for that?[/pullquote]

“OMG, I thought you’d be killed!” one of them exclaims.

“What?” comes my bewildered response. “There was plenty of time. Don’t you people know how to cross a street?”

I’d grown up in the city, where you take your crossing opportunities as they come, even on wide boulevards of four and six lanes of heavy, New York driver traffic. If you aren’t bold, then you’re destined to stand a good, long time waiting to cross at that uncontrolled intersection. Waiting, wating… who has time for that?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NYC Street by T. Ruette via Flickr
NYC Street by T. Ruette via Flickr

It’s a few years later, and I am on my way to see a friend perform in concert with his quartet. I am traveling from Long Island with the only other person I’m aware of who also has a ticket, but I don’t know him terribly well. He’s funny and nice company for the mass transit journey into the city. His eyes are fringed with those impossibly long guy-lashes that make every woman sigh and wonder, “Why can’t *I* have lashes like that?”

(A few years into the future, I would focus on those lashes while standing under the chupah, having random thoughts about anything and everything, just to keep myself from thinking about the reason we were standing there…)

Sweet by Maureen Lunn via Flickr
Sweet by Maureen Lunn via Flickr

He pulls the cord overhead to signal the driver. We de-bus near Lincoln Center and prepare to cross Broadway. My practiced eye looks briefly in either direction… my muscles are tensing in preparation for the sprint. Although we are not physically touching, I feel him hesitate beside me, drawn taught… Before he has a chance to balk, I grab his hand and give it an encouraging tug. We have ignition, we have liftoff, running hand in hand until we reach the opposite curb. His hand immediately releases mine, but for a while after, I can still feel the shape and the weight of it in mine. How odd…

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Otters holding hands by mindluge via Flickr
Otters holding hands by mindluge via Flickr

This had happened to me only one other time, the very first time I’d ever held hands with a boy. He was funny and his eyes were an impossible shade of blue; not even a color found in nature, I don’t think, and certainly not one I’d ever seen before or since. The first time our hands touched (accidentally-on-purpose), I’d gone directly for the interlaced fingers position, but he was having none of that and quickly shifted us instead to the palm-to-palm position. I was satisfied, pleased that he hadn’t rejected the idea of hand-holding altogether, but at random times for days after, I would suddenly experience the pleasantly terrifying sensation of his fingers filling the spaces between mine.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A moment of many by sarahpetherbridge via Flickr
A moment of many by sarahpetherbridge via Flickr

I wanted to be pleasantly terrified. I wanted to be gifted with the experience of someone filling in all the places where I am blank. I’m not sure how, but somewhere along the way “pleasantly” and “terrified” became uncoupled; unchecked, terror fills the blank spaces with something that’s drawn taught, something that drives me to flinch from the sprint, to wait at the corner until the signal changes.

Oh, for my days of the practiced eye, the ability to assess, the exhilarated sprint, fully confident that I would reach the curb unscathed. Oh, for the days!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Now playing – The Fray: Never Say Never

Selling out – w00t!

102320091313-WDW-DAK-Expedition-Everest-Single-Rider
Gonna put it in the want ads
(want ads!)
this girl’s in misery
Gonna put it in the want ads
(want ads!)
somebody rescue me….

I told mah sistas today that I’m selling out. I’m tired of the ups and downs of Corporate America, the endless cycles of re-orgs, mergers, acquisitions and the associated beheadings. I’m tired of the lies, the platitudes and the BS. I’m gonna find me a sugar-daddy, a millionaire.

WANTED: Impossibly wealthy, motherless lost boy to transform me into the SAH-Princess I was born to be. In exchange for being the only adult in the room at all times and attending to every minute detail of your existence, you must agree to participate in the hunt for seashells, be willing to provide shoe budget and support my blogging habit. DVC* a plus. Contact DoNotSpamMe@gmail.com

Wouldn’t it be lovely if it really worked that way? 😉

Don’t mind me. I’m just grouchy because I had to work late and I’m being re-org’d again. Same old, same old.

But actually, this reminds me that I did scrawl a sort of a “want ad” to the Universe late one night several weeks ago. It’s here on the desk, somewhere. It’s on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad. Ah ha, here it is:

What Do I Wish For?
I wish for my True Companion. With him, I feel safe and special and loved. There is a euphoria in his arms that is unmatched by all else. There is completion in our connection, a fitting-together of puzzle pieces that have long called out for and are now made whole by one another. There is laughter and healing in his company. There is fearless joy in my unabashed expression of love for him and there is gratitude for our union.

I don’t know that I’ve ever written anything before that was quite so… so sentimental and MUSHY, even. It was late. I was tired, yet sleep, that faithless, two-timing, backstabbing SOB, was not putting out for me. I guess there’s a vulnerability to late-night scribblings. But I’m pretty shocked that something like this came from MY pen. Hmmm, food for thought…

*Disney Vacation Club

The choice to be childless

Niece No. 2, aka my God-Niece, updated her status on Facebook this morning and has not been back to elaborate. Her status currently declares that she “never wants to be a parent”.

Never is a pretty long time. I’m intrigued, and looking forward to asking her what brought this on when I see her next. She’s coming to spend a week with me “doing nothing” on the beach next month. I’m sure it will be an illuminating conversation!

It started me thinking, though, about all the reasons I’ve had over the years for not wanting to have children. All these years, I’ve given the impression that it does boil down to that simple, declarative statement – I never wanted to be a parent. But in reality, nothing is ever that simple.

Growing up, my dolls were never really my babies – they were my friends. I never clamored to be the mother whenever the kids in my neighborhood played “house”. I just never had the drive toward motherhood when I was little.

I was babysitter of choice in my neighborhood when I became a teenager.  The kids adored me, and I them.  I wrote fabulous tales of adventure and heroism, and put them in starring roles in these epics.  I played the best games, and kept their secrets while still keeping them out of harm’s way.  I was their friend and guide – but NEVER their mother-figure.

In my late teens, I indulged in a little pipe-dreaming with a particular boy (yes, THAT boy) about “some day” and how it would be when we established our home and our family together – right down to “two cats in the yard”.  The scenario included a vague quantity of children, at least two judging from a sketch he drew for me one time.  At this point, though, I feel it fair to point out that for me, it really WAS dreaming; I felt very little real identification with the possibility that it could actually come true.  At 17-18 years of age, I’d already had a number of experiences that taught me the rug would be ripped out from under me as soon as I became comfortable and happy, so I don’t think I ever actually believed that “some day” would manifest into reality.

Later in life, I had what turned out to be an ill-fated marriage, to someone else.  But in the beginning, when I still had every intention of going through life with him, I picked out names; Julie for a girl (Julianna, actually, like the queen of the Netherlands) and Jordan for a boy. This was a nod to the name of the female lead in the musical Carousel. It was my first role after starting to study with Gloria, a radical departure from the roles I’d been playing – I’d learned how to sing like an ingenue.  I thought it was neat that “Julie Jordan” had two first names instead of a first and a last.  Anyway – eventually, I accepted that I was married to the wrong person, and actively sought to prevent the manifestation of children. I believed he would not pull his weight as a parent; he wasn’t pulling his weight as a partner, and I saw no reason to believe a baby would change any of that.  I already felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being an adult, having a household to tend to along with a full time job and a budding stage career.  I felt responsible for everything, and I didn’t see the sense in adding to those responsibilities.

I recognized, fortunately, that many men want children for the same reason they’d like a Porsche in the garage.  They love being able to brag about having one, but they want nothing to do with the maintenance.  I further recognized that a woman who is married to this sort of man is in for 18 years (minimum) of indentured servitude, self-sacrifice and subjugation of all her wants, needs and desires, always putting the needs of the children first, never getting an assist.

I grew up in a very restrictive environment.  I didn’t get to make the simplest of decisions for myself; everything was controlled to the nth degree.  I had no say in the clothes I wore, the way I styled my hair, the friends I was allowed to have…. no freedom of choice at all.  I was tired of external sources dictating every little detail of everything for me.  I wanted freedom.  The idea of living under restrictions again was not at all appealing.

I feared that, under virtual single-parent conditions, I would become resentful and miserable. This would leak over onto the children. I’d been on the receiving end of something similar. I knew what it was to really hate being treated that way.

Bottom line: I knew it would break my heart to have any child of mine hurt so badly that they would come to hate me.  I could not bear the thought of it. I’d been trying to prepare myself for a long time to not make the same mistakes my parents did. I started a diary at age 13 or so, for the express purpose of never forgetting what it is like to be a kid. I thought that would help me to be a better parent. Probably, it would have.  Definitely, under the “some day” scenario, with the right partner, it would have worked.  But once I piled the wrong partner on top of my fears that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… there was no way I was going to introduce children into the scenario.  They would only suffer for it.

So, all these years, many of you reading this have had the understanding that I didn’t WANT children.  That is not necessarily the whole truth.  As is typical for me, I knew far better what I didn’t want.  What I didn’t want was to feel used and trapped.  What I didn’t want was to make children who were destined to suffer and to resent me for it.  What I didn’t want was to gift someone with a Porsche that I would then be forced to maintain solo. 

God is good.  Some women who go through chemo lose their ability to reproduce.  I was 33 when they finally decided that those episodes whereby my head felt like it was spinning into orbit were actually hot flashes, and that meant I was entering menopause.  I was not a candidate for estrogen replacement, because that’s what my tumor ate for a living – estrogen.  Therefore, I believe that God picked the right person to visit with this condition.  It would have been a real tragedy if God had picked a woman who would have been devastated by infertility.  From that perspective, I’m glad God chose me.  And it really kind of settled the question once and for all.  Want or not want, it was moot – “can’t” was now the operative word, and aside from a mild twinge now and then, I’ve really been ok with it, with the finality of it.

All of this led to my ability to focus some individualized attention (not to mention disposable income) in the direction of my nieces.  And now I’m wondering if it also led to an example being set for them of an alternative option.  Even growing up in the 60s and being exposed to media coverage of “women’s liberation”, Gloria Steinem, fish having no need of bicycles, etc., I still had some notion that one grew up and got married and had children because that’s what one did.  I’m sure the extremely conservative way in which I was raised contributed to that; my parents often said that a young woman did not leave her parents house unless it was to move into her husband’s house. 

This hasn’t been true for my nieces, thankfully.  They actually get to leave the house and go away to college – without first having to get married!  Although I would never want to discourage them from having a family if that’s what they wanted, I do hope that my life has somehow served to let them know that a person can be legitimately productive and happy leading an alternative lifestyle, that there is another choice besides wife and mother.  There’s the choice to be childless.  When I ask about the mysterious Facebook status update, I might find that this is the case, or I might find that she was just in a very bad mood.  Either way – it’s satisfying to know that there are children in this world whom I love, that I’ve not made them suffer and they don’t hate me 🙂  So maybe it was the right choice after all.

Something to be said for being single

Celebrate The Single Life | Joyful Days.

Neat blog article on the benefits of being single. A couple of things that resonated with me:

women becoming more highly educated and finding it harder to find their equal– Not only is it harder to find their equal, but education leads to better paying jobs, which leads to independence. Women may have needed men at one time to survive, but this is no longer true. Financial independence means that there is no longer a material reason for the trade-offs and compromises that women have traditionally been expected to make in exchange for survival.

making all my own decisions and traveling faster – true and true. It is both incredibly scary and incredibly liberating to realize that there’s no one you have to run that by or with whom you must compromise. This saves time, and everything becomes much more efficient – travel is only one of the many things that can be accomplished in less time when you’re unencumbered by a second party who has a vote.

A song from long ago

sunshine“Daisy Jane” by America
I believe it used to remind someone of me.

Flying me back to Memphis
Gotta find my Daisy Jane
Well, the summer’s gone
and I hope she’s feeling the same.

Well, I left her just to roam the city
thinking it would ease the pain
I’m a crazy man, and I’m playing my crazy game
game

Does she really love me?
I think she does
Like the stars above me
I know because
When the sky is bright
Everything’s alright

Flying me back to Memphis
Honey, keep the oven warm
All the clouds are clearing
And I think we’re over the storm

Well, I’ve been picking it up around me
Daisy, I think I’m sane
And I’m awful glad
And I guess you’re really to blame
blame

Do you REALLY LOVE me?
I hope you do
like the sars above me
how I love you
When it’s cold at night
everything’s alright

Does she really love me?
I think she does
Like the stars above me
I know because
when the sky is bright
everything’s alright.

a Valentine essay

In response to an exchange between two friends who found themselves at odds with their partners on Valentine’s Day, I offered the following thoughts:

+++++

Mah sistas, you are onto something there. I am convinced that we are not supposed to be living with men, and we do them a great disservice by expecting more from them than they are capable of providing. Instead, we are supposed to be living under the conditions that existed in hunter-gatherer societies. Women lived in multi-generational, co-operative dwellings with their offspring. Some of them went out to hunt and gather (worked outside of the home) while others remained in the dwelling to care for the kids (SAHMs). No one had any guilt about whichever role they chose, and no one felt taken for granted. No hunter/gatherer ever had to come home and start a whole other 8 hour job over again. There were plenty of lactating women around, so no one ever had to exhaust themselves getting up in the middle of the night if they didn’t want to. Each child had a multitude of mothers to care for them, dote upon them and raise them right. In short, it worked just swell.

Occasionally, a cave man would drop by with a side of bison, thwack it on the dwelling floor, pound his chest and declare, “Me Thor! Me bring meat! Me want sex!”.

The cooperative would evaluate the situation and determine whether or not there was interest in Thor’s, um, meat. Their level of approval and interest would make itself evident approximately nine months later.

Other than these occasional and very necessary interruptions, the women held no illusions about the opposite gender, preferring to remain with the sure thing, the thing that worked – themselves and each other, there in the multi-generational, all-women-and-children dwelling.

This arrangement served womankind well for millenia, until the Thors of the world banded together to invent patriarchy, the chief purpose of which was to sell the women a bill of goods about another illusory invention of theirs – romance. See, they had fond memories of their childhoods amongst the women, and wanted to be doted upon and cared for once more, but needed to fabricate just the right lie that would lure the women into believing that humans are a pair-bonding species. (NOTE: biologically speaking – we’re NOT!). For whatever reason, their duplicitous plot worked, and here we are – expecting things of them that were either promised or implied, but which are seldom delivered. I know not why such a conquest was successful, considering how happy we all were in the multi-generational dwelling. Whatever could it have been that altered our thinking thus?

I suspect the use of chocolate was involved.

yeah, so I think you should both ditch your husbands and go live together in a cooperative. If one of them brings you a side of bison on occasion, and the meat is judged to be acceptable… well, I trust you both know what to do!