Last week The Vet(erinarian) and I met up at a fancy restaurant by his place for a drink. We sat at the bar – not far from where we sat on our second date – and laughed and talked and ate. Our glasses kept full by an attentive bartender.
Plates of decadent food later and with a deep, warm buzz we looked at one another when she asked if we wanted more.
“I’m down to go for it,” I said. “Is it ok if I crash on your couch?”
“Yeah! Of course!”
So off we went deep into our cups, jokes, and disagreements about the intimacy of “ripping a huge, juicy fart” in front of your partner. I didn’t feign my disgust even as I laughed uncontrollably.
Tipsy past the point of what could be called responsible, he paid our enormous bill and we left.
Back at his place, on his giant leather couch, I would eventually and quietly lean over away from him, close my eyes, and sleep. Alone.
As the sun rose in the east and painted the sky with pastels he padded out into the living room in his underpants and a t-shirt. “You could’ve slept in my bed,” he said. I told him I was cool where I was.
We talked for a while and then I walked the long halls and rode down 10 levels to the garage. The truth was, I’d made a promise to myself that if I were to fuck him ever again, it was going to happen sober, and had I gone in that room with him I don’t know what would’ve happened.
As close to him as I felt, as safe and appreciated, it didn’t come close to feeling actually wanted by him in a deliberate and mindful way, and these days – when it comes to him, anyway – I want to be a choice, and not a happy accident [for his dick].
I want more than that. Dicks are a dime a dozen and I’m a precious mother fucking gift.
My finances are better than they’ve ever been in my life. I can no longer count myself among the lower middle class/just above the poverty line. It’s disconcerting and terrifying being “successful” and I’m trying to enjoy it, but it’s a lot harder than you might imagine.
I could get fired at any moment – that’s always a possibility. Someone could get pissed at me or think I’m a hack and say, Hy, you’re outta here. I always feel one bad decision or project failure away from living under a bridge. That’s a scarcity mindset, by the way: that even in the face of abundance I feel like I might lose it all in the blink of an eye [because I don’t feel worthy of the success].
I have (not) insignificant personal debt and that’s my main focus this year. Now that my career seems stable* and my bosses more invested in me than ever I’d like to knock out that bullshit. Grad school debt not included. I’ll be paying that off till the day I die, or I could live like I was making half as much as I really am and knock it out in 10 years, but that seems like a really unfair choice. Money is to be enjoyed and shared.
It’s weird, though, I still identify as a poor person, not a successful one. I never had that great of a job in my 20s and chose to pour my money into my therapy and nights out rather than my school debt or travel.
When I look back on where all my money went as a young woman in the aughts it was $300/month to therapy, not a travel fund like my friends who were jetting all over the world. I was exploring the depths of my own mind rather than the planet. I don’t regret it in the least, but it did create a deficit in my funds.
When I left my husband who had a 6-figure income I was making a big, fat 0-figure income for what felt like forever. My entire 30s I was either dependent on him, my divorce settlement, or the kindness of my family.
In my 40s I have clawed my way to a more-than-enough income and it feels like I’ve broken through the clouds at the top of the mountain. I’m really not sure I belong here, but I sure as hell don’t want to go below that cloud line again.
My 2020 goal is to clean up my debt and recognize that after years of denying myself little creature comforts now is still not the time to over-indulge… too much. Tickets to Eroticon and some nice clothing and home furnishings notwithstanding. A girl’s gotta feather her nest and preen a little, after all.
Also, if I can convince myself to leave the house and spend the energy, I now pay for my dates’ drinks. What a power move.
Nothing more humbling than a four legged alien who’s plotting to kill you.
Or a 27-year-old man who thinks he knows what’s up.
Picture this: A Bumble match with a very tall, lanky muscular fella whose profile says that he’s there because the girls on Grindr are too hairy matching with me, a mid-40’s woman who says she’s not interested in men with “outdated views on sex, women, and the world in general.”
He asks me what that means, so I decide to throw caution to the wind and really dig in, throw the whole damn book at him.
The misconceptions that sex is all about erections, women who fuck on first dates aren’t worthy of more, and how it’s a man’s job to perform for the pleasure of all.
He’s diggin’ it, parrying beautifully. I’m intrigued, excited. I tell him all my philosophies and he’s right there with me. And then…
“So… I feel like now is the time that I ask to see you naked,” accompanied by a couple of kissy faced emojis.
I balk, say that this is why I don’t go there with men because it can be confusing and I ask him how I gave him the impression I would send such images before meeting him.
He calls me rude, condescending, and pretentious.
I am laughing in my kitchen, phone in one hand, coffee in the other. The boy’s feathers are ruffled, but I don’t want to let it go. I press my case, point out his defensiveness isn’t beneficial to our discussion. He apologizes and I explain my point of view. He apologizes again. I still want to fuck him, but now he says he’s too scared.
He wants to bang, but now he’s afraid because he’s intimidated even through the ether and what if – God forbid – we get together and he can’t get hard.
It’s like he never heard me. I don’t care about a man’s hardon, but I care about him caring that I’m in the room. He doesn’t get it, can’t get it, won’t get it.
I might still see what happens over a drink. Let him see my short, curvy stature, a deep line of cleavage and my piercing glare; maybe take his hand and let it rest on my thigh. See what happens.
Or maybe I’ll let him watch this ride coast right on by.
Two years ago during February Photo Fest a similar picture nearly made me cry, but I posted it anyway because it was still me. Not “sexy,” but alive and worn in the best possible way. It made me feel honest to a fault and closer to you all. It also challenged me and my idea of what was allowed for my body.
This photo is similar: my silvery stretch marks form a little constellation on my hip, my pooch pools just a little in my lap, the crease in my back cuts a dark slash across the pillowy cream of my skin.
Now I’m sounding like a dessert.
And it’s real and vulnerable, a photo I might have hesitated to text to a man once upon a time, but today I wouldn’t. I’d send it with an air of defiance. I dare you to not love this, dicknose!
The older I get the more I think about the back half of the mountain and how I want to feel in my own skin. Strong, worthy, virile. Nothing about looking 25 again because I’m not 25 – I’m nearly twice that age now – and because of that I have no interest in turning back the hands of time. I’d rather clasp them in my own and do the waltz all the way to the beautiful end.