I have a feeling, evolved or otherwise, military men and I aren't going to cut it. I don't follow direction and I don't read minds (OK, to some extent I do actually read minds but I'm not going to follow those directions either, I don't care HOW loud you're thinking them in my general direction). I need to remember something my father pointed out not too many years ago; the suitable for me pool is sort of small. That used to make me kind of sad as in the sort of sad that had me wondering what the hell is wrong with me but I got over that. I think the pool is small for many of us, men and women and as we get older the pool gets smaller. It isn't that the pool of available men and women is smaller, if anything it's rather large, what with all these mid life divorces, it's that who we are compatible with becomes more specific. I think the key or just one of those niggling things is we hear it like it's a female sort of problem. Ninety gazillion men and a bunch of not so fitting in the box women. Nope. Sorry, guys. (and any of you ladies buying into this crap) I'm going to flip that right over on you. (which is wrong, wrong, wrong but I'm going to do it anyway)
Ninety gazillion women and a bunch of not so fitting in the box men. Good God but it's tiresome! Can you imagine how tired we are? No? You can't? Trust me, it's bloody exhausting.
When I was dating Portnoy (in order to protect the innocent and the cranky, I'd like to establish right up front that Portnoy is an entirely fictitious character) the feminist (no man is a feminist but I can't really take that away from you if you're convinced you are) I was lulled into a false sense of security or this belief that anything or most things that came out of his mouth would be pretty damn close to squeaky clean and if it felt funny or off it was probably just me or my stuff and I'd need to have a look at that. It wasn't until I was watching an episode of Big Love last night that the whole thing came crashing down around my head (I'll explain the thing in a minute). It's not as if I hadn't dug into this a bit (this thing), it's just that I never got past my defensiveness which means I never got past believing somehow that he might have been right. See, the thing is, when you reach some level of clarity, the defensiveness goes away and is replaced (if you're good and pissed) with righteousness. I never got there.
One day Portnoy and I were driving by the reservoir (I'm scared, can you tell) and he made some offhand statement about the fact that I would never have worked if I didn't have to. The words have burned, seared, crisped, and branded themselves into my grey manner. I think for a minute I was afraid I might black out and I wish I could remember which of us was driving at the time. You know, years of fighting that particular battle and this comes out of the mouth of my feminist boyfriend. I nearly puked.
I'm pretty sure I was working hard on gentle when I made my case for why I chose to work (made my case) because anything less than gentle would have resulted in WW III but I'm not sure how many weeks or months it took before this sunk in or before I was allowed to have this without being a bad mom. All those years and it was the mothers I fought, not the dads. Not until Portnoy.
So last night on Big Love I'm watching this very young mother speak to a group of women about having it all and she reverses the statement (we do this quite a bit these days but this is the first time I've heard it this way):
When was the last time you ever asked a man how he could possibly have it all?
So how is it that just because I have a vagina, a uterus, and a pair of ovaries and know how to use them and you have a penis, testicles, and those nifty swimmy guys I'm the one responsible for the care, feeding, and 85% nurturing of the offspring? How the HELL did that shit happen? OK, I get it. I have breasts. Whatever, there are ways to deal with this. Elizabeth was fed solely breast milk for damn near close to a year and while I technically had seven weeks leave I was back in the office ASAP. With Elizabeth for a good while but afterward with a pump. And who was she with when she wasn't with me? Why, her dad, of course. He and his testicles took care of the baby. Granted, he in no way, shape, or form was 'having it all'. He was actually having a very bad time of it and eventually we had to put Elizabeth into day care two days a week just to cut him some slack and get her socialized a bit but this has no bearing on his gender and if any of you are going there, stop right now. He wasn't cut out for it and neither am I. Does that mean we shouldn't have children? Nope. Based on results we're doing a fine job. Is there a percentage of the population I'm never going to convince? Yes. Do I care? No.
It's the other stuff I care about.
Portnoy. Really? How is it you've managed to have a child and a job and a house and everything else you've got and hold it all together? Seriously. How do you sleep at night? (I don't mean to give Portnoy a hard time; he's taking it on the chin for men (and a shitload of women) in general because of some knee jerk statement he made before he ever had time to think about it from a different angle).
Back to the very small pools. I don't take direction. In 2017 you'd be stunned, as in STUNNED at how important this is. I speak in the declarative voice. Where once this generation could tolerate this, even found it oddly attractive, whatever baggage they carry today, the declarative voice from a woman has become anathema. I imagine them collectively rising up on their haunches one last time to do battle with the she beast who would dismount and unman them, taking their swords and shields, making off with their reptilian chainmail, and leaving them quaking in their long undies and hobnail boots. One man described women as beautiful, witchy creatures to be avoided at all costs. Why are you out here, I asked him? I am hopeful, he responded. You've said everything you don't like, will you say what you do like? No, I can't, you're beautiful and witchy. Oh. I see.
Of all the men requesting carry on baggage only, I want to tell them to change their age range from 37 - 57 to 18 - 28 because that's what it's going to take. We have carry on at 18 and slowly (or not so slowly) accumulate it as we move through time. I wonder why they think they only have carry on and what it is they're hiding. I fail to ask because those are the profiles I avoid like the plague. I do appreciate the round about honesty though.
So the pool is small. I can't even define the pool, I can only define what is not the pool. Oddly enough, all dates begin in the woods. Is that a thing now or does that have something to do with my profile pics and what I wrote? I'm going on another hike at 9 tomorrow morning and I can't even get excited about it other than the fact that I'm going on a hike in a new place I haven't been before and I have company. Yay.
I really need the damn tattoo to finish healing so I can get back in the hot room. I distinctly sense a bad attitude.
Lastly, in case there is any question under any circumstances, should anyone feel like suggesting otherwise:
I have had it all, I continue to have it all, I will most likely always have it all. How have I had it all? It was really easy, I reached out and took it. Also, given that I author my god damn life, I get to decide what having it all bloody well looks like and it doesn't look like the state of my kitchen floor (which you will stick to if you stand there for very long because I clearly don't care about the state of my kitchen floor - because it's BORING)
(OK, it was never easy, not for one minute but if you sit a successful guy down and ask him if it was easy I suspect he'll tell you, no, not so much, no)