Of identity crises and I’ll laugh about this someday

Last week, I finally made the decision to give up dance for good. I went to class last Monday and before class was even over, my knee was screaming at me. It’s not just the patellofemoral pain, it’s also the leg with the poorly healed groin injury, and the side with the formerly pinched sciatic nerve. In short, it’s a hot mess. I’ve been told multiple times that I need to find some other option for exercise. This time, I finally decided to listen. I did the movie cliche of getting in the shower and crying once I’d decided it was time. I felt like I’d lost who I am once and for all. I promised myself when I extracted myself from Will that I wouldn’t give it up again. I wouldn’t let someone take it away from me. It’s the last shred of who I was before. It’s the last shred of the girl who got lost that day.

I find myself, once again, with an identity crisis. I gave up dance for the betterment of my own health. It wasn’t taken from me. I know I’m doing the right thing. That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I’ve gone back to my cave analogy. I find myself sitting outside the cave, not sure how to get back down there. I’m not even sure what’s down there to see.

I had an honest conversation with my friend who has morphed into this odd mix of big brother, dad, & friend. I’ve kept him actively involved in my adventures in online dating both for his take on the situations and entertainment. I asked him what drew him to me in the first place. He told me that he remembered seeing a picture of me he thought was cool & decided to start talking to me. As he got to know me better, he appreciated my wit & (funnily enough) maturity that he didn’t see in people his own age. In the past 6 years, we’ve come and gone in the other one’s world, some times less fucked up than others. True friends, he said, always stick around. He loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt because I lost sight of the fact that I’m worth more than who will sleep with me. That, unfortunately, is a nasty side effect of not having a solid grip on who you are. Fortunately, I have his voice in my head (and his texts on my phone) to remind me.

“Dancer” is really just an adjective. It’s not the core of my personality. I was rather fond of that adjective. I’m sorry to see it become part of my past rather than still in my present. I like to think that this will leave space for something, or someone, to fill the gap.

I am not a victim of life. I’m an active participant. I’ll just keep repeating that until I believe it.

XOXO!

Of Game of Thrones and trying not to throw up

Warnings before you enter this entry:

SPOILER ALERT: REFERENCES TO GAME OF THRONES EPISODE THAT AIRED 5/17

TRIGGER WARNING: SUBJECT MATTER FROM ABOVE NAMED EPISODE

I’m not a rabid Game of Thrones watcher largely because I don’t have HBO. After an unfortunate incident in one of the early episodes that gave me nightmares for a week, I read the synopses before deciding whether or not to watch an episode. I hadn’t yet read the synopsis for this week’s episode when I saw that Twitter had exploded with references to a rape scene. If you haven’t seen the show – quick & dirty character summaries.

Ramsey is the sociopathic sadist who gets off on chopping off people’s junk & “hunting” women by literally letting them loose in the woods and killing them with a crossbow. Sansa is the oldest daughter of Sean Bean’s characters family. She’s still technically married to someone else, but since she’s the (assumed) only living heir of this particular tract of land, she’s forced to marry Ramsey because he & his dad want the land. Theon, the third member of our party, was the one who had his junk cut off by Ramsey. He also grew up with Sansa.

In one sentence, after they’re married, Ramsey rapes Sansa while Theon watches. I literally got nauseous when I read the summary. When I was raped, Will let someone watch. He actually invited him to watch. That’s the sticking point for me. Not that rape scenes don’t phase me, but this one hit a little too close to home. I refuse to actually watch the episode because I know I’ll be in tears & have nightmares for days. What made it worse was seeing comments starting to pop up about “Well, she never actually said no” or “She knew what she was getting into when she married him!”. I have never, so badly, wanted to scratch out the eyeballs of a total stranger on the other side of a computer screen. Never. They justify it by saying that it’s a fictional character, so it’s not as bad.

Newsflash: Yes it is.

I dare someone to look me in the face and say “Well, I don’t see why you’re upset. It’s not *real*. It’s not like what happened to you really happened to her”. Go ahead, I’ll wait. No takers? I thought not.

It’s bad enough to endure something like that. It’s bad enough when it’s just you and him (or her) in the room. Add in another person and it’s something I would never, ever wish on anyone, real or fictional. There was someone who witnessed it, knew I said no, & didn’t do anything about it. It’s no small wonder that I tried to tear myself apart over it. It’s not just that feeling of helplessness that comes with the act itself. It’s not just one person who doesn’t give a shit about you, it’s two. They could do something to help you and they don’t. For the rest of the day, the thought of anyone even touching me made my stomach turn. I went to dance, I shook it off, and I should actually be able to sleep tonight.

I’m not sure how that will alter her story arc, but I really hope she’ll pull a Lucrecia Borgia and poison his sorry ass. Team Sansa.

In summary – I don’t care if it’s reality or fantasy. Victim blaming is never okay. Ever.

XOXO!

Of concerts and the things we learn

This weekend has been a case of “Let’s hose Emily’s sleep schedule”. I’m okay with that.

Friday night, I went solo to the Butch Walker show. I didn’t try and talk myself out of it at the last minute. I had my hair done, I put together what is definitely one of my favorite outfits now, and hopped in the car just like I would if I were meeting someone there. They’d covered the pit and put seats there, so I ended up being 11 rows back. It was still a really good seat. The show, as with all of his, was amazing. I probably looked like I was having a really shitty time. I was perfectly happy to just sit / stand and take it in. People watching later in the show when the booze started to kick in was equally entertaining. There was a girl about 3 rows in front of me wearing a dress that looked like a lamp shade. She started jumping up and down and all of us behind her got a free show. There were 3 guys in the row in front of me & two were clearly more drunk than the third one. They kept swaying back & forth like drunks do & the third one was giving them the “If you make me spill my beer, I will cut you” look. I didn’t end up getting back until 1a and crawled into bed around 130a. For those keeping score at home, that’s a good 3 hours after when I normally go to sleep, even on a weekend.

He played a bunch of my favorite songs and went easy on the newer stuff. I think someone may have advised him that a lot of the songs sound the same. He ended with the song he wrote for his dad & had everyone crying as we walked out the door. He got me up front with “ATL”, so I was one of the few not pretending to not cry. He got so emotional that he had them kill the stage lights while he was singing.

What did I learn? I’m totally okay with going to something like that by myself. I didn’t need someone standing next to me in order to enjoy the show.

Last night, I went on a last minute date. When I say last minute, I mean I left the house a little before 11p. Again, about an hour past when I normally go to sleep. We’ll call him Not Creepy. After a bit of confusion over where we were meeting, we had a good time. When Taco Mac kicked us out, we moseyed over to Waffle House. Only the best for a first date. We spent a good portion of the time laughing & figuring out we had A LOT of overlap among people we knew. We’re the same age & he went to the public school closest to my high school. He went to Georgia Tech & it turned into “Oh, did you know [person]?” “Yeah I totally knew them!”. For being a major city, Atlanta can be a very small town. I ended up staying out until 3 this morning. It was fun, though. A second date is somewhere in the future. I paid for Waffle House, so he owes me. :P

What did I learn? First dates don’t have to be awkward. And it’s okay to bring up some things that may not be “first date” topics of conversation.

What did I learn (sidebar)? The recommendation that women should initiate conversation & are more likely to get a reply is total bullshit. Of the few times I’ve started a conversation, I never got a reply. This is only messaging people who also expressed an interest in me. On the flip side, if he opens with a line about my tattoos, then it will devolve very quickly. Not Creepy said he considered it when he first messaged me, but decided against it. Good plan, my man. Good plan.

Today is the bowling event for the MeetUp group. I got an email earlier saying that over 100 people (!!) had signed up. If that’s not a good opportunity to meet people, I don’t know what is. It doesn’t start until 6 & ostensibly goes until 9. I’m going to give myself an hour. If I’m not having fun or falling asleep standing up, then I’ll leave. If I’m having fun, then we’ll see if I end up staying the entire time. I do feel like I need to get my sleep back in line, though. Of course, that’s what Benadryl is for.

What will I learn? Who knows

Another thing that was driven home last night / this morning was that everyone has their burdens. As much as my mom & I don’t get along, she’s been carrying a lot of weight with her. I felt bad for sniping at her over stupid stuff. She drinks because she’d rather do that than cry. I suppose I can relate to that. Except that I was physically incapable of crying. I want to try to remember that when she’s driving me nuts, it’s not personal. She’s got enough worries in there to last all of us a lifetime. Maybe I need to start using my airhorn app for that, too.

On a more superficial note – I got sucked into Urban Decay’s new line. I got one of every new product they have. I normally don’t wear blush, but I think I’ve figured out how to apply with without making myself look like a circus clown. I got a little bit of a darker color than I have currently. I think I like it better, especially when I apply it with my finger rather than a brush. I’m also slowly mastering brow powder. It’s something I didn’t really consider before, but it helps in pictures. I’ve been taking a lot of those lately courtesy of selling myself on various dating sites. ;) My hair even still looks good from Friday. I’ve found a favorite stylist. Since I’ve got another long weekend next weekend (It’s Memorial Day for those of us in the States), I’ll get myself another blowout. It’s seriously 1000x better than a mani / pedi.

I hope everyone else has had a kickass weekend. If not, you still have a few hours to make up for it. As always, I appreciate you, fair readers.

XOXO!

Of adventures in online dating and dicks up your ass

So you know how I said online dating isn’t for me? It’s still not. Observing human behaviour on the Internet when it comes to mating rituals, on the other hand, is entertaining as all hell.

Until not one, but two, guys somehow come to the conclusion that tattoos = being okay with having a dick (or something else) up your ass. I wish I were kidding. I also got not one, but three, dick pics. Same dick from 3 different angles. Guess he wanted to make sure his buddy got his best side? I literally laughed out loud when I saw the pictures. Penises are just funny. It doesn’t matter what size or shape or status they are. They provoke laughter pretty much every time. I’m sure I’ve unintentionally ruined a few guys’ self esteem. Sorry. My profile now says to not message me if they’re under the impression that tattoos do somehow equal anal. It appears to have worked so far (famous last words).

I’ve also come across both a former one night stand and one of my co-workers. I was tempted to “like” both of them, but I decided against it. It’s easier for everyone that way. A friend from DragonCon also found me. Apparently he and his wife are poly. They weren’t asking me to be their third, though. :P I’ve had a few not creepy conversations, but mostly idle chat until one of us gets bored. I highly doubt anything will come out of any of them. It’s metaphorically getting me out of the house.

I’ll be literally getting out of the house on a Friday night for the first time in God knows how long tomorrow. I bought tickets to see Butch Walker way back in March. My dad is usually my date, but he’s going to be in Minnesota this weekend with my sister. I asked pretty much everyone I could think of if they wanted to come along. No dice. Originally, I was just going to sell the tickets & not go. The reviews had been pouring in on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that this was a mindblowingly awesome show. He always puts on great shows, but this appeared to have a lot more glowing reviews than usual. I decided fuck it, I’m going by myself. I refuse to miss what will be an amazing show just because I don’t have someone to sit next to. I did end up selling the other ticket, so some poor sucker will be stuck sitting next to me. Who knows? I might make a new friend. At least I already know we have a common interest. :D

I’m a grown woman and I deserve a fun night out. I’ll be my own date, dammit. What’s that cliche? You can’t love someone else until you love yourself? Treat yourself the way you’d want a partner to treat you? Both? I’m taking the day off work. I’m getting my hair blown out. I’ll pick out a cute, but relatively practical, outfit. I’ll take myself to a nice dinner somewhere, then take myself to the show. He won’t take the stage until sometime around 9, so I don’t have to bust my ass to get there when the doors open. I know it’ll be a lot more fun than sitting around in sweatpants watching more Criminal Minds.

Here’s to the best date I’ve had in years and not having some guy threaten to put a dick in my ass. Cheers!

XOXO!

Of Jesus Christ and What the Fuck?

If you can’t handle profanity, then skip this one.

Last week, my friend Elizabeth and I somehow got on the topic of when we use certain profanities. I have a mouth like a sailor, so foul language is nothing to me any more. As I thought about it, I use certain words in very specific situations. Because I love lists and it’s a good laugh, here’s what expletive is appropriate in what situation:

  • “Jesus Christ” – If you surprise me (I don’t so much count this as a profanity, but some people do).
  • “God damn it” / “Damn it” – If I drop or spill something.
  • “Jackass” / “Asshole” – If you cut me off in traffic.
  • “Dickbag” / “Douchcanoe” – A descriptor for a particularly irritating male.
  • “Bitch” – You did something stupid. Usually accompanied by an eyeroll.
  • “Shit” – I forgot something / messed up something. Typically comes in groups of 3.
  • “What the fuck?” – I have absolutely no idea why something just happened.
  • “What the hell?” / “The hell?” – The former translates to “Hey! Why not?”. The latter translates to “Seriously?”.
  • “Mother fucker” – A exclamation of frustration.
  • “Bastard” – An intractable inanimate object.
  • “Kiss my ass” – My original admonition & only saved for special occasions.

The story, which my mom still loves to tell to this day, came about when I was in 8th grade (13 years old for my international readers). I rode the bus home from school in the afternoons. We had assigned seats with the oldest being in the back with a same sex seat mate. My seat mate, a 7th grader, only rode every other day. When she wasn’t there, I would sit sideways with my legs stretched out across the length of the seat. One afternoon, one of the 7th grade boys got it in his head that he wanted the coveted back of the bus seat next to me. I was reading and he came up to me and told me to move my feet. I ignored him. He told me to move my feet a second time. I ignored him again. He told me to move my feet a third time. I looked up from my book, waited a beat, and replied “kiss my ass”. He promptly tucked his tail between his legs and sat back in his assigned seat the row in front of mine. He never bothered me again.

I hope all of you have a fucking awesome rest of the weekend. ;)

XOXO!

Of boxes of kittens and ways we could have handled this differently

I legitimately dislike the news.

Why? It always has to be something more terrible, more tragic, or just flat out more. For the past two days, every time I look at a TV or glance at Facebook’s “trending” column, it’s all about the riots in Maryland. Earthquake in Nepal? Sure! Natural disasters sell, right? But people looting and beating each other intentionally? That’s way better! Get the cameras, kiddies! Good news, simply put, isn’t interesting. It isn’t sensational. It doesn’t sell. People don’t want to see pictures of someone rescuing a box of kittens when they can watch someone get shot in the back.

I’ll probably offend people with this, but this isn’t about a black guy dying in a holding cell. It’s a convenient excuse, regardless of race, for people to throw a violent and illegal temper tantrum. Martin Luther King Jr. changed views on race in the country, especially the South, without taking a baseball bat to a cop car. His non-violent approach allowed people to understand his point much better. All these crazy people are doing is solidifying beliefs that they’re degenerate criminals. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to listen to someone who, instead of trying to explain their stance on an issue first, goes straight for the sand filled rubber hose. You’re racking up a list of felonies, then expecting authorities to concede your point? That’s just stupid. I don’t care what color you are. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to want an explanation. It’s okay to expect full disclosure. It’s not okay to take it to this kind of extreme. The great equalizer is stupid comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, and genders.

The sad part is the good things in the world do get drowned out in favor of the above. What about the people who are trying to do something positive in spite of all the poor life choices around them? What about the box of kittens that was rescued? What about the person who rescued said box of kittens? Most people in the world are good people, but positive things rarely get the air time they deserve. When you have to natter on for 24 hours a day about “news”, a box of kittens just won’t cut it. It’s unfortunate because the good in the world should be recognized more than it is. The people who are working to make the world a better place should get the same air time, even if it’s just their corner of it.

From an expert at throwing epic tantrums – excuse yourself, go scream, punch pillows, cry, call someone names, then pull yourself together, & go deal with the situation maturely. It’ll get you a lot further in life. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

XOXO!

Movie Review: Unfriended

My dad & I went to see this last night. I rarely see horror movies in the theater, but I thought I would give this one a try. It’s another “found footage” premise & appeared to be this generation’s Blair Witch Project. I admit, I was a little fuzzy on the inciting incident.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

A teenage girl, Laura Barns, was the victim of bullying, apparently for a protracted period. A video was posted of her presumably at a party where she was passed out and the implication was she had been raped. Laura then ended up shooting herself on school property. I had a hard time making the connection between the video and how that related to the bullying. The best I can figure is she was somehow blamed for the rape because she was drunk. The story begins on the anniversary of her death.

Five friends, Blaire (Laura’s former BFF), Mitch (Blaire’s boyfriend), Adam (random friend #1), Ken (random friend #2), Jess (random friend #3), and Val (random friend #4) are in a video chat. A mysterious 7th user with a vague handle and no photo appears, too. Blaire determines the account belonged to Laura. At first, the suspect is Val. When she’s added to the call, it can be seen she’s not the one typing. Pictures of her getting wasted are posted and tagged on Facebook supposedly coming from Jess. Jess claims she didn’t post them and is unable to delete them. The mysterious user continues to reveal more pictures of Val, then allows Jess to delete them. They’re warned not to hang up. Val hangs up to call the police. When her video feed comes back on, she’s staring blankly at the screen. A bottle of bleach is sitting next to her. The other ones yell to try to get her attention, but she still doesn’t respond. When the cops do show up, she’s pronounced a suicide. The mysterious user explains this is just the first step at exposing all of their secrets they’ve kept from each other. One rule – don’t hang up.

Ken is the first to make the poor choice of hanging up. The mysterious user shows a video feed that’s coming from Ken’s closet. He hangs up to investigate. When his video feed cuts back on, he has his arm stuck in a blender, then the blades cut his throat. Freaking out ensues. Laura then forces them all to play “Never Have I Ever”. The loser dies. Jess started rumors about Blaire being anorexic. Blaire and Adam are exposed as sleeping with each other after Blaire claims she’s saving herself for Mitch. Mitch ratted out Adam for selling weed. Both Blaire and Adam get printed messages (my printer goes haywire all the time, so there you have it). Mitch tries to get them to show them what the messages say. Blaire finally caves in an effort to placate Mitch. The message reads “If you show anyone this message, Adam will die”. Adam then shoots himself in the head.

Jess goes next with a curling iron shoved down her throat. Mitch stabs himself in the head, and that leaves Blaire all by herself (presumably how Laura wanted it in the first place). Mitch was the one who posted the video, but Blaire refused to say anything until the last second. Blaire tries to show Laura the good times they had growing up. Laura refuses to forgive her and the lights cut out in Blaire’s house. A set of mysterious hands snap Blaire’s laptop shut & she’s heard screaming. The end.

As horror movies go, it was middle ground. It wasn’t terribly graphic which I liked. I thought the curling iron was an interesting weapon of choice. It was also under an hour and a half which was a good idea. Much longer than that and it would have been boring. They relied heavily on the jump scare. I’m a jumper, so they got me there. It was a combination of screwing with your head & seeing the “monster”. The director said that he wanted to address the issue of cyber bullying and how this ain’t your mom’s bullying. It was a cautionary tale for the asshole teenagers who think it’s okay to do shit like that. Frankly, all of them deserved what they got. I ended up rooting for Laura after they started to believe it was really her spirit.

If you have some free time & you’re looking for a slightly updated BWP, I’d go. Otherwise, this isn’t a run to the theater now and see it.

Moral of the story: Don’t post compromising videos of people, then act like it didn’t happen. The vengeful spirit will come back and shove a curling iron down your throat.

XOXO!