Tag Archives: Sex and the City

I See You See Me

I wouldn’t say I stopped writing per se, more like a hiatus – a mental vacation from the rigors of both dating and writing. My life has undergone some major changes. Not bad or good necessarily, but different. I’ve found myself as a mid-life entrepreneur and quite frankly, it’s taken up pretty much all my mental and physical energy these days.

Initially, I became frustrated with blogging and it had nothing to do with the writing but more with the forum. You willingly put yourself out there for the world, and then the nature of the internet, which can promote and entice anonymous cyber bulling, name calling, judgment and ridicule all take effect, and I suddenly found myself defensive and more sensitive than I had realized. Despite the fact I had far more supporters than detractors, (why one would continue to read and subscribe if they truly thought I was an idiot and didn’t enjoy the blog is beside me), it really bothered me when the occasional scathing response would appear.

Question was, did it bother me that someone didn’t like me or thought my actions were foolish, or was it that I wasn’t seeing myself for the truth? Or perhaps I wasn’t relaying or expressing things accurately? Or maybe they were just too fucking stupid and missing the point? Or the fact that this was all supposed to be humorous in a dark, snarky sort of way and nobody was getting the joke?….Or perhaps a little bit of all of the above.

I recently read “Otherhood” by Melanie Notkin that had me thinking about all of this. The book is about a successful, attractive and intelligent 40 something woman in New York City who finds herself single with no kids much to her chagrin and surprise – and then spends about 350 pages to complain and whine about it. My first reaction when I heard about the book was interest, figuring I could likely relate and find it refreshing to hear this from someone else’s perspective. I started reading and was immediately taken by how annoying and trite she appeared. Not to mention, I found the story quite depressing and uninspiring. Even though we had so much in common (in addition to some mutual friends), I had a difficult time getting through the book and forced myself to finish in a drudging chapter by chapter quest for the ending.

When I went online to see what other readers were thinking I was blown away at the negative reviews and scathing commentary. Other women, both single and married who just simply didn’t get it, and didn’t get her. Comparing her tales to Sex and the City was not considered flattering or entertaining, and the consensus seemed to feel she had knowingly and intentionally created this life so shut the hell up. I understood the backlash, but I also empathized with her. Here I had been living a very similar life and yet I could barely get myself through the book and was already disliking and casting judgments upon someone I didn’t know despite the fact she’s probably lovely in real life.

This brings me back to my blog. I realize there will always be critics of one’s life, not to mention one’s work. If I, who should have been Ms. Notkin’s prime audience, didn’t enjoy or relate to her musings, how would the rest of the general population that hasn’t lived in the shoes of a single woman living and dating in Manhattan do so? I wanted to feel bad for her in a way, and then I realized she at least had a published book! My reason for writing was and has always been creative self-expression. The purpose of the blog was to entertain. If I’m not accomplishing both of these why bother?

Although this entry has little to do with dating, and may or may not serve as entertainment, perhaps I do miss the expression aspect of writing and sharing. I recently lost a dear friend who served as a confidant, cheerleader and fellow single datehater. I miss her, and swapping our stories, several of which have been shared in one way or another in previous posts. Nothing can beat the love and support of a friend; only a fool would seek such things from a cyber community of nameless, faceless followers.

We all walk in our own shoes and no two paths are exactly the same. I may regret things I’ve said or done regarding the dating choices I’ve made, but I don’t regret the paths in life I have chosen – I’m simply not programmed that way. As long as I can learn and grow from mistakes, enjoy my experiences, laugh at the less pleasant ones and make some friends along the way, I’ll be just fine.

My Existential Moment in the Back of a NYC Taxicab

I always thought wanting it all and having it all were simply by-products of hard work and determination. What scares me is, now after all these years of life, I’m really wondering if that entire concept actually exists. Or if it is supposed to be a concept we use as a tool to constantly strive for something. Something more…or something else.

For pretty much the entirety of my adult life, I have found myself seeking and searching for something I don’t have and yet still want. I think Carrie Bradshaw once remarked about how New Yorkers are always looking for a job or an apartment….or a man. And if she didn’t say that, then perhaps it was me – because it has truly been the story of my life. One out of three. Two out of three. Two and a half…..no wait, I hate that fucking job, we’re back to two. What do you mean you think I’m great but you don’t want to be in a relationship asshole? Whoops…..back to one! Is it me who can’t seem to have it all or does everyone go through this? Or do most normal people not torture themselves with this and just have lower expectations? Am I tortured by my own hopes and dreams? Quite possibly yes.

So I’m in the back seat of a cab, making the long trip home after an exhausting day at work, looking out the window, at all the sights and lights of the city – feeling like I should feel happy and grateful and yet I find myself feeling worried, anxious, stressed, tired and wondering if I can have my cake and eat it too. Can I and will I ever have the career, the man, the relationship, the security, stability and the “things” be it material or emotional, that I’ve always longed for? I yearn for balance of work and personal life but I seem to merely swing like a pendulum back from one extreme to the other.

Work= stress=money=no life/no time.

No work=free time=stress=no money=feelings of inadequacy.

Fuck me! I swear the people I watch on tv seem to have it all, why can’t I?!

Some days I enjoy the hopeful prospect of meeting new people in the search for the man…well the man I’ve been searching for. Other days I’m just so spent I wish I could simply come home to someone to cook me dinner and rub my feet. Instead I have to figure out how I’m going to look fresh and act enthused about a first date I don’t want to be on with someone who doesn’t know a thing about me. I work all day and then have to put on my Meryl Streep to appear all breezy, fun and just so full of enthusiasm with someone who’s life story I’ll be subjected to over the course of a glass of wine and nachos.

I’m not sure if I’m feeling down per se, or simply reflective. Maybe I’m just too complex to be happy. Maybe I need better meds. Maybe I need to start drinking. Maybe I need to start studying eastern philosophy. I worry too much, I think too much, I care too much and I put too much pressure on myself. These qualities are reflected in every pore of my being at work and in my personal life. I am truly my own worst enemy.

I know I’m lucky in many ways, but that doesn’t ease the stress. Does writing help? Sure. And I don’t have time for real therapy anyhow. Will tomorrow be a better day? Who knows. All I know is I’ll feel better about it all for about 10 minutes when I get home and open up the box of new boots I ordered online.

Men Behaving Badly

In addition to watching and reading female oriented material like Sex and the City, Tough Love and yes, I’ll admit…Fifty Shades of Grey, I like to get into the male brain every so often, just out of curiosity. Before I go off on that tangent, I’d like to shamelessly plug the new HBO series “Girls” an original (albeit somewhat derivative of SATC), as an entertaining and more realistic version of single young women working, drinking, dating and finding themselves in New York City.

Although I’d hardly describe it as gritty – writer/director/producer/star Lena Dunham, a 24-year-old wunderkind, puts herself out there emotionally and even physically, exposing her insecurities and far from perfect body for all the world to see. As much as I applaud her bravery, I certainly could do without the weekly ass-fucking scenes. Although I don’t know what it’s like to be a recent graduate in this economy, trying to find a job, no less yourself, but certain life passages never change. Hardly glamorous, these “girls” may be sexually independent, while financially tethered to their parents in order to get by. It’s both awkward and funny, and I’m hooked.

On the flip side, I recently read the book “The Average American Male” and rented “I Melt With You” — both very good (or bad) examples of men behaving very badly. The book, supposedly a fictional account (although this is highly disputed by the alleged ex-girlfriend of the author), accounts the life and times of a 20-something misogynistic L.A. douchebag who can’t seem to think of anything but how big his girlfriend’s ass is and when he’s getting his next blow job. Once I got over the initial asshole factor, I found myself actually amused and entertained. I will admit however, at the disappointed of the lead character not being run over by a bus or contracting a rare strain of genital warts. In the end (spoiler alert) he realizes every girlfriend of his turns out to be the same and he actually can’t do any better and there actually isn’t something better around the corner waiting for him.

I saw the trailer for “I Melt With You” while watching some indie flick and to be honest, I had no idea what it was about, only that it told the story of four college friends getting together after 20 years and three of them were Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane and Jeremy Piven. (Sorry, unknown fourth guy)

This movie was awful. And I’m not sure if I was offended more by their ridiculous behavior or the ridiculous plot of the story. 2 drug over doses and 1 suicide after a few nights of debauchery, excessive drugs, teenage girls and what we’re supposed to accept as general “boys being boys” even at 47 was neither amusing nor entertaining. I thought they were idiots, and if that is a true account of what happens when guys get together, well then thank God I’m a woman!

And if this still interests you, check out the trailer.