Archive for September, 2010

Well, I’m screwed again.  Apparently, I am so not getting remarried.  In fact, I can’t believe I even managed to walk the aisle the first time around.

The University of Texas has released a report suggesting the romantic lives of curvaceous women are destined to revolve around one-night stands, extramarital affairs and general whoredom.  After interviewing 375 males and females, the research team concluded “men categorize women with attractive, curvy bodies as short-term partners, whereas a woman with a pretty face would more likely be considered for a long-term relationship.”  Something about fertility.

Curves?  I got ‘em.  But my shape is only numero uno on the list of strikes against me.  I’m also a woman of color, which we recently discovered means I’m more likely to provoke yawns than proposals from the average dude.

Studies similar to U of T’s have long confirmed smart women make rotten marriage material and are even considered less desirable by some guys.  Then years back, a Forbes writer came along begging men to steer away from career-driven women with degrees because they suck as mothers and screw around.  Professional goals and college education?  Guilty as charged.

Man, what was wrong with my first husband?  What kind of freak wants a good-looking woman with a nice shape and personality?  My only hope is that his next wife is an ugly dog with a brain the size of a salt granule.  I’m thinking of going down to the next Tea Party rally to see if I can find him a date.

Fortunately, I’m in no hurry to retie the knot.  But when I am ready to convince Mr. Right to marry me, I now have a plan: get a breast and butt reduction, grow a mustache and hit myself in the head with a hammer to snuff out the smarts flitting around my brain.  That way, my man can appreciate me for the scrawny, average-looking dipshit I’ve always longed to be.

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If I crossed paths with the devil and he asked for my soul, I should give it to him only if he made me the greatest writer who ever lived.  But I have a hunch I might ask ol’ Lucifer to make me the greatest lover instead.

See, when I read about Jonathan Franzen’s elevation to literary sainthood, there’s an envious twinge in some distant part of my soul.  But after reading anecdotes from books coming out about French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, all I feel is total and completely annihilating jealousy.

I mean, how awesome to be so fantastically sexy and sharp you could whip a cad like Mick Jagger?  Supposedly, Mick was ready to leave Jerry Hall for Carla until she told him, ‘no dice.’  This, after she’d dumped rock god Eric Clapton to be with him.

Through the years, internationally renowned artists, business leaders and politicos have all fallen under Carla’s spell, including an esteemed French publisher and his married son.  Seems once Carla wraps her limbs around her victim, she sucks out and swallows his power.  Thus, she has gone from supermodel to socialite to critically acclaimed songstress to political wife.  If the bios are true, Carla joins a long list of women clever enough to gain power by untangling the egos of great men, then tying them back together using themselves as rope.

And that’s cool…er, right?

As pubescent girls, my friends tried to validate their budding sexual selves by landing the most popular boys in school.  Me?  I wanted to become Mata Hari, making history as the mysterious, though secretly brilliant, lover of the planet’s most influential men.  Even better, to be an artist’s muse, the kind of woman whose peculiar intelligence and allure make the Picassos and Lord Byrons of the world compose masterpieces in her honor.

Of course, one should be immortalized by his or her own accomplishments.  But man, if there isn’t something titillating about toppling a nation because some prime minister thinks you’re the cat’s meow.

Carla and her kind are nothing like the bootylicious gold diggers we’ve come to know and despise.  These women are muses, femme fatales, legendary social climbers.  Like Lady Caroline Blackwood, a siren who claimed celebrated artists, composers and poets, including Robert Lowell, as husbands.  Or Patti Boyd who had Clapton and George Harrison fighting over her with tunes like “Wonderful Tonight” and “Something.”

One can’t be a dumbass and get world leaders to turn state secrets.  Not just any pretty girl can get under a creative man’s skin.  So, what is it about these dames?

Is it sex?  Supposedly, Carla shocked Michelle Obama by confessing she and Sarkozy were once late for dinner with the Queen because they were making love.  She’s also easily “bored with monogamy.”

Is it because these women are the mean bitches or emotional messes certain men adore, like Roy Orbison’s wife, Claudette, who cheated on him even though he wrote “Pretty Woman” for her?

Is it ‘you want what you can’t have’ malarkey?  An ex of Lady Caroline claimed she “was always the one to leave” her lovers.*  Or is it how perfectly these women fit male fantasy, like Caroline’s “breathtaking beauty and inexplicable silences [that] forced men to fill in the gaps?”*

In spite of my best instincts, I still think it’d be rad to have the leader of one of the UN’s Big 5 countries want to hand you the keys to his kingdom.  But I wonder if it’s worth it.  Is this really all Carla Bruni wanted?

Supposedly, Lady Caroline was an unwilling muse, who “wanted to be creating her own things.  But she did inspire and initiate men in their creativity.”*

Come to think of it, I’ve had many muses.  Men I’ve fallen to pieces over, men who’ve inspired me to write sappy love poems while crying into my beer.  Only after the love affairs were out of my system did I realize these men were blank slates.  Enough existed in their personalities for me to “fill in the gaps” and tell a great tale, but it was I who projected onto them their characters.  Each guy fueled my ambition and creativity, and so appeared to be the center of my universe.  But in the end, the real story was about me.

So maybe I’ll never be a Carla because I’m not sexy enough.  Or maybe it’s because I’m just too damn real.

*Mistresses and Muses / Famous seductresses of artists reap riches, notoriety and on occasion, a postmortem miniseries, June 30, 2001|By Cynthia Robins, SFGate.com

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If only my friend Maria dug bondage, she’d have boyfriends coming out of her ears.

In three months of dating online, Maria has been asked by a stranger if she likes spankings and watched a man whip out his johnson, unsolicited, in the midst of a conversation on Skype.

The kicker was a guy Maria started crushing on after they’d emailed a few nights in a row.  During an innocent chat about favorite films and restaurants, the guy suddenly wrote, “I want to lick you from head to toe.”

Maria recoiled and started typing out a livid response. Then she got another message, saying “I am into kink, rope and bondage.  I’m learning and enjoying putting women into rope, playing with bondage and learning many newer things BDSM related.”  In a snit, Maria instructed the guy never to contact her again.

“Pity,” he typed.  “You’d look delicious in a rope dress.”

I know Maria.  I see how men react to her.  They talk about how cute and shy she is, how sweet and dare I say, wholesome.  There’s nothing about her demeanor or even her flirting techniques that say, “Tie me up, big boy.”  I’d call her personality more “prom gown” than “rope dress.”

Maria and I pored over her online content and pics to make sure there was no veiled raunchiness she’d inadvertently included in her profile.  But after talking to other friends who date online, we came to an important realization.  It’s not us, it’s them.

“Them” being the weirdoes, pervs and fetishists who dwell online.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being weird and pervy, though I’m lukewarm on the fetish thing.  But judging from my friends’ experiences, the chances of coming across a deviant quadruples when you meet him or her on the Internet.  Seems the freaks come out online.

Like the girl who sent a nude picture of herself to my friend Corey after their first coffee date.  Or the guy whose initial email greeting to my colleague Rose was “so, you’re from the Caribbean.  Does that mean you know how to back that thing up?”

Then there was my friend Carla, a black woman who started communicating with an older white gentleman on a dating site.  Sensing a possible connection, Carla agreed to meet said gentleman for a drink.  When she arrived, the guy told her he’d brought her a gift.  Nervously, the guy reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, dark, strangely shaped chestnut.

“What’s this?”  Carla asked.

“A chestnut,” the man answered.  “It reminds me of your black booty.”

Carla, needless to say, was speechless.

Arguably, the upside to these premature announcements is the certainty their dates can have about intentions.  If all you want is someone to chain you to the bed, why not put that out there tout de suite?

It’s also kind of interesting to see what manifests in yourself and others when hidden behind the anonymity of online communication.  If you’re commenting on someone’s blog, you can call her every name in the book without having to look her in the eye or let her identify you to retaliate.  If you want to relieve yourself of your erotic fantasies by spewing them at strangers, it’s much easier if you’ve got an outdated photo and sign off under the name “KeepItFunky69.”  Be offensive, be disgusting, hell, create an entirely new identity.  Online, there are no repercussions.

People ask why I’d never date online.  I say I’m too much of a romantic so don’t like the coldness.  Besides, I can’t even stay on top of my email inbox, let alone manage winks and pokes and whatever else online daters do.  But now I think the best reason not to date online is to avoid having freakazoids ask whether I’m naughty.

At least until the first date.

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So, there’s a handsome guy sitting a few seats away from me on the subway.  He’s got a polished, suited up Javier Bardem look about him.  At the station, the man steps off the train, follows me up the escalator and tells me in gorgeously accented English, “your hair is beautiful.”  He says he’s from Costa Rica and owns his own cleaning business.  Barely can I get a word in edge-wise as he’s boasting about the luxury hotels and skyscrapers his “people” clean, the mammoth initial investments he procured, the colossal profit he now makes.

Though I’ve hardly said a word, the man wants to know me better and asks for a way to make contact.  Because he’s left his cell at home, he says he’ll write down my number then proceeds to pull out a wad of hundred dollar bills from his pocket.  Flabbergasted, I watch as he writes my (fake) number on Ben Franklin’s mug.

Eagerly, I make my way to work to share the encounter with my colleagues but one of them has a story that trumps mine.  Seems a guy at a bar once peeled a fifty off his own roll of bills, wrote his number on it then slid it across the table and instructed her to call.

Immediately, I regretted giving Mr. Costa Rica a fake number.  As a writer, I mourn lost opportunities to unravel the thinking behind kooky situations.  If I had the chance, I’d have asked our good man what guys like him expect from these money shows.  Did Costa Rica truly think this the best way to plant the seeds of love?  Does the unfortunate fellow think money is all he has to offer a woman or does he actually want the kind of girl who’d only dig him for his cash?  And what kind of shallow wench would she be?

Maybe when men who’ve never had money finally get some, they think flaunting it is the only way to attract a higher echelon of women.  Although, what would make Señor Money Bags think that I, in my second-hand dress and CVS flip flops, was from that echelon?

Whenever men do weird things to appeal to women – feign indifference, brag about work, yell out of car windows to gals whose asses “be tight” – I assume the approach works on some women, otherwise they wouldn’t make the effort.  So there must be women out there who say, “criminy, look at all that money” and go right for the guy’s crotch.

I wish I was impressed by money.  I’ve got student loans to pay, exotic cities to visit, beach houses to live in while writing Great American novels.  Being impressed by men with creative talent and personality may only get me a dingy apartment and a trip to Cleveland.  And, dang it, I’ve already been there.

An ex-friend of mine was determined to marry a rich man.  At an Obama fundraiser in ’08, she even went so far as to flirt with a member of the Kennedy clan who was speaking at the event.  Admittedly, if I was the type to go for money, it would be Kennedy kind of money; that fabulous, East Coast liberal wealth, or even better, old money European riches.  This way, I could travel, send my kids to good schools and spend my leisure time building charity organizations in small African villages.  All I’d have to do is lounge at the compound and cultivate an addiction to pills.

Alas, as I told my friend at the fundraiser, making eyes at a Kennedy will not lift us commoners from the fray.  I guess I’ll have to stick with cleaning moguls still forced to ride the subway.  But perhaps these lesser rich boys would impress me if they tried something more useful to flirt with than money.  Write your digits on the new Franzen novel or peel off a Whole Foods coupon from your cash wad and put your number there.  If you’re like most guys I’ve dated, you could simply scribble it onto an unemployment check or the back of a comic book you don’t want any girl to know you read.

My colleague said her mother has a superstition about taking money from men.  When you do, mom says, it steals your spirit.  I may not have my beach house, but I’d give it up to keep my soul.

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