Irreverent Mama

Friday, November 30, 2007

"And then one of the kids hollered, and I ran down the hall, totally forgetting I was just wearing the panties and the boots."

Yep, she really said that.

She'd been getting undressed, see, and was down to her fancy new knickers and her boots, and one of the children cried out in their sleep, and she just had to race down the hall, catching her husband's attention -- he was uploading pictures from his camper to his computer -- and then (imagine that!) he chased after her, this vision of near-nudity in high boots, with his camera.

But she didn't set that up. She didn't intend for him to take her pictures! Oh, no, no, it was completely unintentional.

Why do women say stuff like this?

Granted, she's about ten years younger than me, but that puts her in her mid-thirties, not her mid-teens when such sexual self-deception is excusable, or even her mid-twenties, when it might still be lingering. In my mid-thirties I wasn't playing those kinds of games with my own head. I might play them deliberately with a willing partner, but neither of us believed the pretence. It was for play.

But she seems to expect that I believe it was unintentional. A child cries out in their sleep, and she MUST race to them. Immediately. Wearing nothing but a pair of silky panties and high boots? What will THAT do to the psyche of a nine-year-old boy?

Honest to Pete.

Silliest thing I'd heard in a long while. And while this is a strong example, I hear this sort of thing a lot. Women who just can't allow themselves to take ownership of their sexuality. Women who pretend they're not courting male attention, women who just don't know how they managed to end up having sex. Come now. Unless you were unconscious, you have to have cooperated a little. (If you weren't cooperating, you were raped, and no, you were not complicit. At all.)

But I'm not talking about rape. I'm talking about women like my friend who set up sexual exchanges, but pretend they're not doing so. Women who manage to have articles of clothing removed "without realizing" they were being peeled off their body. Women who stare at a fellow across the bar and then react with outrage and disdain when he approaches.

I don't get it. I'd far rather be party to what happens to my body, far rather play together with the man, than be played with.

But no. She races around the house 2/3 naked, but it has nothing to do with flaunting her gorgeous ass and long, lean flanks to her husband. Not at all.

"He chased me down the hall with the camera! Can you believe it?"

Well, yeah, I can. What I find harder to believe is your wish to pretend you had nothing to do with it.


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"You're only as old as you feel," says my mother. She's 67.

"True enough, until you catch sight of yourself unexpectedly."

We cackle down the phone. We've both done it, of course. Walking down a street, you look into a display, and instead of the items inside the store, you see yourself mirrored in the glass. Unexpected, your response is as to a stranger. For a split second, you're not seeing yourself through the filter of your consciousness, your self-perception.

This can be a rude jolt. A bakery has a large mirror on the wall behind the till. A quick glance up, "my GOD, that woman looks severe." My God, it's me. How mortifying. Paste a smile on that face, you forbidding harridan.

In from the cold, glance towards the window, encounter a mirror I didn't know was there. My SKIN. What's happened to my skin? Isn't the cold supposed to shrink things? Shouldn't it make my face smoother? Another ten years, I'll have jowels, so help me. Gawd.

But sometimes the jolt is a good one. Just having had my hair done, I glance to one side to speak to the friend beside me, and see myself in the mirrored pillar behind her. "Wow. What a gorgeous woman." And it's ME. Ha!

Which has me wondering: what is the face I expect to see? If I'm only as old as I feel, what age is that? My self-perception and reality are obviously a few years out of synch. How many?

I suspect about ten years. I think were I to see my 35-year-old face smiling (or, as the case may be, glowering) back at me, I wouldn't be at all startled. Which, were I suddenly blessed with my 35-year-old face, would be rather startling.

Would people react differently to me? And if they did, would it be an improvement or a diminishment? Would people see the younger woman as more vibrant, more vital, more "with-it" and thus more worthy of attention? Perhaps, but I have my doubts.

The younger woman certainly got more sexual attention, more global, universal awareness, but the 40-something me gets her fair share. Just from a different, more specific audience.

My perception is that I get more respect now than I did ten years ago, but perhaps that's a function of my increased self-confidence and greater depth of wisdom. (Yes, I think I have some small store of wisdom, accumulated through the years.)

In which case, I am as old as I feel. Which is my real, my chronological age. My well-earned, well-lived, well-considered age, with its gray hair (diligently covered), its wrinkles (signs of the life lived within this skin), its occasional hot flashes (power surges?). And its very rich interior: the experiences, the memories, the time spent thinking, evaluating, reading, learning, considering, the richness of perspective, gleaned in bits down the decades. The interior. Which, in the end, is far more significant than the exterior.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wendy has tagged me for a meme:

"List one fact, word or tidbit that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your first or middle name. You can theme it to your blog or make it general. Then tag one person for each letter of your name."

Since I've "come out", more or less, I'll use my real name.

I - Irreverent, of course. I chose this word as my blog name because I've never quite taken the status quo as my guide; I've never quite meshed with common expectations. As I mature, I've increasingly stood outside the norms -- motherhood, marriage, ambition, aspirations, morality -- with a slightly crooked grin on my face. Not that you would necessarily be aware of that at first glance. I'm a quiet type in real life. Several of my favourite memories revolve around the astonishment on someone's face when they've discovered that I've done or said or thought something that they had considered far outside my supposedly conventional, even demure, character. Heh.

L - Loyal? Probably not ... though not precisely disloyal, either. Loveable? To a select few, but not widely. Likeable? To a larger few, but I'm not awash in friends. Luscious? Sometimes I manage this spectacularly. Other times, not so much. Limpid pools, my brown eyes? Depends on who you ask. L, L, L ... I'm stuck.

O - Ontario. Though I love to travel, I've always lived in the one province. And yes, you can fit the entire UK into it five times over, supposing such a thing were possible, but still. One part of one country, my whole life long.

N -Naughty. Distinct thread in me, in which I take great pleasure. A bit of an iconoclast (could've used that for "I", couldn't I?) Occasionally biting, often mischievous, deliciously bawdy bytimes. An aspect of myself that has gained me friends and lovers, and, I suspect, lost me a friend or two. (Not, I hasten to clarify, because I mess around with friends' lovers, but because there are an astonishing number of easily-shocked people out there.)

As a young mother, I once cleared a sandbox of fluttering mummies who were complaining about their husbands' lack of sexual sensitivity, by making clear (and, I thought, relevant) reference to cunnilingus. Within moments, it was me and my toddler, alone at one end of the sandbox, and all the other mummies and their tots at the other. Pfft. Squeamish bunch. If this can send them scurrying away, no wonder their husbands are "insensitive". I roll my eyes at them ...

A - Ambitious? Nope. Avaricious? Not so's you'd notice. Amiable? I suppose, but it's being damned by faint praise, I think. NOT American: Canadian, thank you. There's a difference. Artistic? I'm a competent pianist, have played about with other instruments in my time, have a pleasant enough voice ... Auditory!

That's it. I'm auditory. Sound is important to me. Pleasant sound -- music, melody, wind, birdsong, rain, running water, the steady tap of my keyboard -- bring me pleasure; unpleasant sounds -- angry voices, excessive volume, certain electronic noises, the tick of a clock late at night -- cause me distress beyond what is reasonable. I use music to mold my mood: calming music for times of tension; powerful music for times of uncertainty; driving, rhythm-intense music to see me through a boring but necessary task.

Wendy! This was far more difficult that I thought it would be when I started. But there, it's done, and I hope I haven't bored you all to death...

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Bekah's iPod was stolen from her locker a couple of weeks ago. She hadn't secured her combination lock sufficiently it seems, and a brisk shake was enough to loosen it. (This, at any rate, is the theory of her two older siblings, who have more recent experience than I with high school lockers and combination locks -- which, evidently they're not making as well as they did when I was in school ...)

So, the girl has no iPod. She loves, loves, loves her iPod. Listens to it all the time. Is never without her music. So, not surprisingly, she asks for one for Christmas. The new one. The iPod Touch. Which, having seen one owned by one of Daniel's friends, is a very snazzy gadget indeed. One can see the appeal. Hell, seeing the thing has me, who has never owned any kind of MP-3 player, wanting one, just for the extreme coolness of the thing. So sleek, so well-designed, so very clever.

However, a little quick research tells me it costs $330. Before taxes. Which puts it solidly outside my Christmas budget. I might be able to manage that for one, but not for all three of them. Bekah suggests a compromise: "It can be my only present, and I don't need a stocking." I try to picture a Christmas with one gift the size of a thickish credit card and nothing - nothing! - else. Besides, I've already bought stuff, so it's too late anyway.

We sit on my bed and have a Serious Talk, in which I explain why her suggestion, generous as it is, doesn't really resolve the difficulty, and how I just don't feel I can spend that much more on one child than I would be on the other two. I ask if she has any other ideas. At this point, however, she is mute with despair. Possibly anger. Definitely mute.

"Well, love, I'm going to go do the dishes now. You think about it, and in a little while, we can do some brainstorming." Perhaps I got a nod, but perhaps that was just her head wilting a little closer to the bedspread.

As I do the dishes, I suffer. I want to buy the damned thing for her. I have a couple of ideas, in fact, as to how it could be managed, but I'm keeping them to myself for now. I don't want to leap in and solve this problem for her. I want her to face the reality that satisfying this desire of hers would result in injustice to her siblings. I want her to wrestle with it.

But I don't want her to suffer! And I have a possible solution or two! And I could just run up there and fix it for her right now! And I sternly tell myself to Knock It Off, and I finish the damned dishes. And tidy the kitchen. And clear the dining table. And sweep the floor. And mess about with bits of paper on the end table. All the while one ear is cocked to the upstairs bedroom. I don't hear any slamming of doors and drawers. I don't hear any sobbing. Is this good or bad?

Just as I am about to pop with maternal angst, I hear her on the stairs. She swings round the newel post to face me. Her face is not blotched, though her eyes are a bit puffy. And she is smiling.

"I have decided I don't want the iPod." And she proceeds to lay out her new idea for her Christmas gift, a clever, creative, grown-up one. (Which I will not describe at the moment, so as not to distract the flow of the narrative.) And the iPod? "I can save up for one and buy it in the new year. If I get any Christmas money, I can use that towards it, too."

Imagine. A fourteen-year-old, denied her heart's desire, does not scream and rage, does not slam doors, or hurl things about her room, nor even stomp on the stairs; she does not rail against the injustice and hate me for not making enough money and her siblings for stealing resources that might otherwise be hers. Instead, she faces facts, changes direction, and comes out with a different, creative solution.

I am so proud of her.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Someone out there thinks I have a penis. Quite a few someones, actually. Moreover they firmly believe it's insufficient, or at the very least, it's malfunctioning. Often both.

It's an interesting peek into the world of male insecurity, these Get a Bigger Dick ads. First of all, it is universally accepted that anything less than -- what? 6 inches? 9 inches? a whole fucking foot? -- is wholly insufficient. It is a Problem that must be resisted with every fibre of your manly being: never accept your small d'ck as the inevitable.

It's unacceptable, and seriously detrimental to your quality of life: yo yo, dn't let your tiny cock rule your life. (It is, however, perfectly acceptable -- appropriate! Required, even! -- to let your huge cock do just that. Because Big Cocks RULE, dude!)

And it must be fixed! great way to increase the size of your penis is here for you. Now! If not sooner! not tomorrow, not next week, enlarge your cock today. There is not a moment to lose hurry to accept this unique offer, because it means your s'ex'ua well-being. (We shall not dwell on the inherent contradiction of dozens of identical "unique" offers.)

You see, if you purchase whatever mysterious lotion, potion or mechanism that effects this wondrous enhancement, your girlfriend will be amazed at your new gigantic penis. See, though she's never said as much, your a long way from really satisfying her. This lack of satisfaction has nothing to do with your lovin' style or complete and utter lack of foreplay, it has nothing to do with your obsession with your manly bits. No, she's frustrated when you make love so why don't you give her more meat. And we're not talking steak.

You want proof? Just listen to the testimonials from satisfied customers. my friends ask what my secret it, and I say it's in my pants.

Yes, indeed. Once you're packing a solid seven, eight, ten manly inches into your pants, women will be yours for the asking. You don't have to improve your conversation, you'll never have to learn the fine art of eye (as opposed to nipple) contact. No worries about namby-pamby stuff like time, attention, patience and nuance. Shit, no! Get yerself that giant dick you've always dreamed of, and women will be having orgasms in your wake as you walk by.

If only life were really so simple...

And thank GOD it's not.

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