Thursday, July 31, 2008

For the guys

If you're going out this weekend, fellas, I suggest you study these moves first. Because this is HOT:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Important Information About Kissing...While Peeing

*Editors' Note: This guest submission came to us from Deor, who left us ROFL out loud. Thanks Deor!*

I am currently in a relationship with a particularly slippery siren of a woman. She refuses to be tied down, not wanting to give up her autonomy, her yet-unknown dreams. She has told me repeatedly that she wants a relationship in addition to her life and never central to it. She has also told me that I may want to cut my losses and get out of the relationship while I still can (occasionally she’ll do the push/pulling away thing—so irritating). Never in my life have I met anyone that I’ve adored more than her. This is the most challenging, loving, educational, open, intimate relationship I’ve ever been in and now you all know it.

So my story selection takes place in my bathroom. My lover and I live seven blocks away from each other and sleep at one or the other’s house mostly every night. One night we are both in the bathroom getting ready for bed—teeth-brushing, face-washing, that kind of thing. We finish brushing our teeth at about the same time and we start making-out a little bit. While we’re making out she unbuttons her jeans and awkwardly sits on the toilet…while we’re still kissing. My lips are still locked to hers as I follow her down to her sitting position on the throne. She breaks the kiss off as soon as she starts peeing.

“What?” I say.

“I don’t know. That’s weird,” she says.

I hadn’t given the weirdness of the situation any thought so I say,


“Yeah.” And she makes a grossed-out face.

So I put the question to my fellow bloggers: is it strange to make-out with someone while they’re peeing? Or taking it from the other side, is it strange to make-out with someone while you’re peeing? I can understand the inelegance of kissing while you poop—the straining, the ploppity-plops, and the eventual smell, but while peeing? I didn’t have a problem with it and she certainly didn’t have trouble dropping trow in front of me. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t mind kissing someone while I was peeing, seeing it as more of an experience to be had than a situation to be scrutinized, but that’s just me. Is it a privacy issue? If so, why didn’t she just kick me out of the bathroom? I think this was a first for both of us so we didn’t know our boundaries on this one.

Mental Note: Before you kiss your partner while they’re on the toilet (doing whatever) make sure you check-in with them first before you start gettin’ busy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

You’ve got to love a quality text message conversation.

I’ve had dwindling feelings about Tex for a while. Every word out of his mouth makes me cringe. Our conversations are mindless and pointless.

We actually hadn’t spoken in more than a month, which is why what happened a few weekends ago came as such a surprise.

It started with “1 new message” after work.

“Tex is in town.” It was from Tex himself. Yes, he texted me in the third person.

My answer was short since I already knew what was coming. Some time went by and I got another message.

“Where are you?”

I’m at home fucker and you’re not coming to see me.


I had to keep up the theme of one-word answers to get my point across, and I felt like being passive aggressive about it.

“Can I come in your back door tonight?”

I get the double meaning but he did, in fact, mean it literally.

Damn, how do I answer that in one word? No you can’t come here tonight, or any other night. Those nights are over.

“Nah. How long are you in town for?”

“I’m sleeping in my car tonight and leaving early in the morning.”

What?! Were you so sure that I was going to let you come see me that you chose not to find another place to stay? You thought if you waited long enough to tell me you were in town that I would feel guilty about you sleeping in your car? No way, Buster. It’s your own fucking fault that you’re now sleeping in your car. There are other places for you to stay.

I ask about his friend, and why he’s not staying with him. Nothing. The next remark came later in the evening and jarred me the most.

“Can I sneak in through your window?”


I relay this to Big A, who’s been getting a play-by-play. His remark amuses me. “You mean like B & E?”

It humors me so much and I’m so annoyed at this point that I decide that the remark is the proper response to Tex.

“You mean like breaking and entering?”

He was either passed out or not as amused as I was because I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the night.

Monday, July 21, 2008

May you live in interesting times. ~Ancient Chinese curse.

In the course of my ridiculously long, off-and-on single life, I’ve been on some pretty interesting first dates. One in Pennsylvania ended up with me fighting for my honor on a deserted country road. Another, on Vancouver Island, started with 6 bottles of vintage Champagne and an egg-sized chunk of Afghani hashish (and ended after 10 years of marriage and two exceptionally cool children).

There was an egotistical MLB player; a horny transvestite; the Mexican model known as “Big Rod”, who picked me up in his Yellow Cab; a warlock (who picked me up in a hearse) and an assortment of bastards who each admitted over cocktails that they were unhappily (sniffle, sigh) married. The usual stories. But one date, “Allium”, occasionally still haunts my olfactory memory, and it, rather than he, deserves to have the story told.

Caveat: This will run long. Like any sadder-but-wiser person, I feel compelled to offer unsolicited advice.

I met Allium at a party. He had big, dark eyes, a cool accent, a long ponytail, and he stank of rancid garlic. I assumed the stench came from the guacamole or something and wasn’t a permanent condition.

Dating Tip #1: Never assume that a repulsive aspect of another human being is temporary. Whether he or she is married, lame, drunk or stanky, you can bet the problem is just the tip of an unsavory iceberg.

Recommendation: Run away.

So, Allium and I talked about Australia, peyote, travel, politics. Interesting guy! He invited me to join him the following Friday for dinner in the City. He’d pick me up at my office in the financial district.

Dating Tip #2: Avoid dating people who randomly and inexplicably smell of any member of the Alliaceae species, including, but not limited to: leeks, shallots, garlic, Walla Walla Sweets and chives. I once dated a vampire and learned that garlic perfume does not prove that your date is not a bloodsucker.

Recommendation: Go for the Ivory soap or the Old Spice.

That Friday, I dressed up for work so as to look good for the dinner date: bitch pumps, little black dress, red lips, fine perfume, jewelry, the whole shitteree. Allium arrived at my office in torn jeans and a stained Grateful Dead tee shirt, and was still mysteriously reeking of ancient aioli. But, hey! It was San Francisco—always a laissez faire, come-as-you-are town—so, I figured, no big deal, I’d go with the flow.

Dating Tip #3:
Never go with the fucking flow. If a potential dating prospect invites you to join him for a hot weekend in Vegas, ask for details. It could turn into a series of rattlesnakey, side-of-the-road pup-tent campouts, interspersed with tearful hitchhikes through the Mojave.

Recommendation: First class air; Bellagio.

Allium grabbed my hand and said we’d have to hurry to make it in time for dinner. It was a particularly warm evening, and I was wearing especially high heels, but we ran down Sansome Street. An early reservation, I reckoned.

As it turned out, we were running for the bus. He used his monthly pass and found a seat. I dug through my purse for change and paid my fare.

When we got to the designated dinner site, Allium held open the door for me. That’s when I realized we were entering the Union Gospel Mission, where dinner was just being scooped up into plastic trays. “You have to get here early,” Allium explained, “or all the meat gets eaten.”

I was a good sport. I stood in line in my designer dress and Italian pumps. I got my tray of grayish meatyballs and flabby pasta product, served up in a piquant sauce of Elmer’s Glue-all. I grabbed my slice of Wonder bread and an unbreakable glass filled with something vaguely brown, and joined stinkboy at the table.

Dating Tip #4:
Never be a good sport on a first date. Never. Better to just spit at the offending party or bonk him over the head with something and make a run for it.

Recommendation: On a first date, always carry a purse large enough to hold a granola bar, a roll of quarters, Kleenex, a small flask of whiskey, a Billy club (can be substituted with a taser for formal events) and a pair of flip-flops.

Our fellow diners, several of whom, coincidentally, wore stained Grateful Dead tee shirts, glared at the greedy redheaded bitch in the jewelry and fancy clothes. “Yeah, look at that rich whore, gobbling up all our food!”

As if I’d eat any of the vomito con le sfere on that tray. Oblivious, Allium smacked his no doubt redolent lips with gusto and used my Wonder bread to soak up the stray Elmer’s on his tray. I inspected my warm glass and gripped my purse, all the while scoping the place for shivs and fire exits.

Over dinner, I asked Allium why he always smelled of goddamned garlic. He allowed as how he took garlic supplements for his blood. Gah.

Dating Tip #5.
First off, never drink (or sniff) the brown liquid at the Union Gospel Mission. In fact, if fate lands you in any similar soup kitchen, try not to inhale at all until you get about a block away.

Recommendation: Don’t take garlic pills. Better to smell of wet ashtrays, angry ass, desperation, moldy gumboots, overnight Pampers, anything. Even if not taking garlic pills causes you to form blood clots the size of Oregon huckleberries. If you do take them, you’ll get used to the insidious smell and won’t recognize the horror of it. Oh, but I will, gentle reader. I will.

After dinner, I told Allium it was past my bedtime (6:15 pm), and I’d have to be catching the bus back to Marin. Somehow, he convinced me that we should stop in at a great party going on at his place, just a few blocks away: lots of liquor, tasty treats and assorted illegal substances.

Ok, I used to be an idiot. But I was curious and, by now, starving, and really wanted some Fritos and a cocktail, maybe some mushrooms, to tide me over during the long bus ride home. So, we walked to the party.

I was startled at the appearance of the house. It was huge. Immaculate. A sage-green Victorian with leaded windows and an exotic garden. Most shocking was that Allium’s key opened the door.

It all made sense! He was an eccentric millionaire! Maybe he’d been testing me with the bus and the stench and the soup kitchen! Maybe I could use the rest room with impunity! Maybe this would turn out to be a decent Friday night after all! Woohoo!

Dating Tip #6:
Your creative spirit is admirable; but save that overactive imagination for arts and crafts. Use it poetically to pull sappy metaphors out of your rear end. A first date is no time to let delusions and high hopes get the better of you.

Recommendation: If you should ever believe the worst date of your life is going to morph into a surprise party in your honor, take a deep breath and yell: “Taxi!”

We entered the house. Beautiful. Spotless. Intriguing artwork, great design, rich fabrics. I followed Allium as he walked straight through the atrium, then the living room, past the dining room, into the kitchen and out the back door.

In the backyard, a tent was pitched under a tree. Not one of those big, white lawn party tents. No. It was a small, grubby, tattered tent you might pitch by the side of the road on your way to Vegas. Allium grinned proudly, and said, “Well, here it is! Home sweet home.”

A gentleman to the end, he held open the tent flap. “Come on in and meet my wife—she’s been waiting for us to get back from dinner so we can party!”

I never got to meet the little woman. Instead, using both hands and one stiletto-clad foot, I pushed Allium into the tent and, shrill as a banshee, screamed “FUUUUCK YOUUUUUU!” Then I high-stepped it to a bus stop that would get me to a friend’s house in the Avenues. There, I partook of a fine veggie curry and a cozy evening, compliments of Patrick. I refer to Patrick of the John Lennon smile, enormous brain and liquid turquoise eyes. That Patrick. And thus began the first of many amusing evenings and a fine friendship.

Dating Tip #7. Fuck it. If it weren’t for the Patrick happy ending, just writing this down would make me want to smack somebody hard in the crotch. The memory of the stinking date kept me from eating hummus for months, and I love hummus. Swedish meatballs still give me the dropsies. I figuratively (and often literally) retch every time I pass through Gilroy. It’s a miracle I can look at a Caesar salad, never mind eat half a loaf of tasty garlic bread in one sitting.

Moral: Your best date ever may be just around the next shitforsaken corner. Regardless, may you forget it as quickly as it happens, remember it fondly, or hold it close to your heart forever. May you find it boring, scintillating or promising; but may you never look back on it as "interesting". When it comes to first dates, interesting just sucks.


Dan Savage* has a term he uses called GGG. Good, giving, game. A GGG partner is all about being open to his/her lover’s sexual quirks. All he’s saying, basically, is give kinks a chance. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it. I think it’s generally a good way to be. Hypothetically, anyway.

I try to be GGG. You wanna suck on my toes? OK. Try it. I might accidentally kick you in the face in a paroxysm of ticklishness, but I tried, right? Whoa, in the dressing room? I dunno. Shhh. There’s someone in the next stall. Hold your breath. Let’s see.

But I’ve found a few of my limits over the years. Among them: Dudes in lady underthings. OK, I know what you’re thinking; I’ve only experienced it with one dude.** So the plural is technically not correct. But I think that this is one of those things, like, say, a lover with a tail or a tendency to punch you in the face. Maybe you’ve only tried it once, but you know whether you’re in or you’re out.

So Mopey and I had been together awhile. How long? Long. We’d tried some things. But when he started dipping his toes into the lingerie bin, I had to stop short. No thanks.

I thought he, too, was OK with the arrangement. The “I wear the panties in this relationship” arrangement. Delusional? Perhaps. Well, wait, apparently, yes. Delusional. I discovered one day when I was browsing through the digital camera we shared. Apparently he’d had a private photo session. And forgot to delete.

So what’s a girl to do? I decided to check in with Dan.

Dan’s advice? In a nutshell, “If you don’t love it, leave it. He’ll never stop.”

I did, eventually. I did. I made a huge mess out of the whole process, because in my attempt to be “GGG,” I made it seem as if I’d forgiven the whole episode when he played it off as “curiosity.” Hey, I’ve been curious. Taking pics of my ass in a thong and garter curious, not so much. And I already own those things. But I hate being judgmental, generally. While I might Judge you for wearing socks with sandals, I try to withhold judgment about what you do in the sack. Although, in the end I realized that it's totally OK to judge what someone does in the sack with you if he's your boyfriend. And for me, cross-dressers need not apply.

*If you don’t read Savage Love, you’re missing out. I have never, ever, read a single bit of advice from him that I didn’t agree with. Which in my book basically translates as “100% accuracy.” Because I’m really never wrong either. I’d put a gold stamp on my ass or his.

**You weren’t thinking that?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Exes and Their Text Messages

I dated a guy who was a bit of a handful. His emotional stability varied hour by hour and often swung wildly between loving euphoria and numbed depression. We broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together ad nauseam for more than a year and a half. It only recently ended when I received several text messages asking for my hand in marriage.

"Taking new course, trying somethin new. Marry me. I love u, want 2 be with u 4ever." Sent 6/22/08 at 3:32 A.M.

My response:

"Um. How is that helpful? We can't even talk without fighting." Sent 6/22/08 at 9:15 A.M.

His response:

"Nono. We fight cause we're not 2gether. When 2gether, all good." Sent 6/22/08 9:21 A.M.

My response:

"No marriage. We learn how 2 talk 1st. B friends." Sent 6/22/08 at 9:45 A.M.

Nothing for a few days, then a phone call...We tried to carry on a normal conversation, how's your day what've you been doing blah blah blah, but it inevitably nose-dived into the dreaded territory of us and why I "won't step up and be his girlfriend." The call ended in tears and "have a nice life" type of ironic sarcasm.

Loving him has been a bit like loving bread with a gluten allergy. I know I shouldn't talk to him, text him, or see him and can go several months without...long enough to forget the queasy, painful feelings leftover from our interactions. Then wham! I take a bite and it's heaven. At first. We laugh and do the silly giddy talk you do when you first fall for someone, playful, coy, teasing, sexual, etc. But that only lasts so long. We've gotten to the point where it takes 20 minutes or so for our conversations to turn ugly. We made it about 12 minutes that call before it went south. A new record for us.

A week later, the really fun texts started:

"Fuck u whore." Sent 7/4/08 at 11:48 P.M.

"Eat shit and die. U slut." Sent 7/4/08 at 11:50 P.M.

"When u finally get AIDS u'l desrve it. Fuck u." Sent 7/4/08 at 11:53 P.M.

"U'l die alone. Deserve 2." Sent 7/5/08 at 12:48 A.M.

"Ur a stupid whore. U never loved me. Ur full of shit." Sent 7/5/08 at 2:32 A.M.

That pleasantry continued steadily for three days or so. In total I read about 30 texts about my alleged promiscuity, inability to love and selfishness, among other not-polite-for-public-blogs topics. Then nothing. I went solo camping the next weekend to clear my head and returned to some more texts:

"I want u 2 no this plan of u hating me sucks. I've been puking for 4 days." Sent 7/13/08 at 1:49 P.M.

"Can't stop puking. Stomach hurts." Sent 7/13/08 at 1:49 P.M. (I turned the phone back on at that time, so got them all in a row.)

I didn't respond and a day later, I received a text saying his dogs said hello.

At least they're still nice to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Exes and their wives

I was visiting with an Ex (from long, long ago), meeting his son and Baby Mama. Fortunately, the baby was adorable and drooley, the Baby Mama was a friendly, charming hippie and I was way, way cuter than her. Couldn't be more delighted about that.

We spoke about our plans for the summer and then Baby Mama said, "Oh, Ex told you about the wedding, right? Can you come?"

"Uh, no, I hadn't heard," I stammered.

"Oh, come! It's going to be fun, it's going to be at PDX Farm!"

Hm. I think maybe there's a reason that Ex didn't invite me. He seemed to have gotten over drunk dials at this point, drunk dials in which he suggested I leave Poster Boy, he leave Baby Mama and he and I go make our own baby batter. But perhaps there was some other reason he hadn't mentioned it? I was hesitant.

And while I did eventually receive an invitation, albeit an e-mailed invitation that began "So, the wedding. You should come," and ended with "It's a western theme, so feel free to wear western wear, and if you bring your tent you can camp there," I decided against attending.

Monday, July 7, 2008

not dating

i didn't get too far into this round of weird dating before meeting Mr. Wonderful, who set off the full range of timpani, pennywhistles and a complete holiday season of parti-colored lights in my noggin, etc.

interestingly enough (and not in the Chinese-adage sense of the word), we've pretty much bypassed the dating stage altogether, after an inauspicious first dinner date.

we set off from my doorway toward his car, happily heading for a Lebanese restaurant. however, whilst admiring my charming new Rack footgear and engaging in the typical interior mindchatter, i fell, ass over teakettle, down several of my cement front steps.

from my stunned, twisted and unattractive position on the ground--head in the grass, body on the pavement--my open (and still, apparently, functioning) eyeball followed his rangy frame cartwheeling over me, so as not to cause further physical damage (or follow me down).

Mr. W. helped me up to assess the damage: i'd slammed into my shoulder hard, scuffed an elbow and torn the skin from both knees.

i felt like a kid again. a dorky, redfaced klutz of a kid.

we dusted me off and went to the restaurant anyway. the food was fine, although i was distracted by the blood warmly oozing from the knees, gluing them to my pantlegs.

these days, wise Mr. W. keeps an eye on me whenever we traverse from higher to lower ground: stairways, sand dunes, curbs, etc.

anyway, this was more than a month ago, and he still likes me. plus, the incident made me believe he'll forgive me and help dust me off in the future, when i'm sure to do something equally inelegant or ridiculous.

the damned Nordy reject shoes went to the dumpster. but he's a keeper.

(for those who may be curious: no, he's not from the British Isles. a Yank, he is--a very rare Yank, indeed.)

(needless to say, he's a fine musician.)

In Europe

Poster Boy and I backpacked Europe. We had a romantic, crusty view of what that meant. So we washed our socks in hostel sinks, we slept on the floor in train stations. We weren’t quite cool enough to leave our copy of Let’s Go Europe at home, but we tried very hard to travel light and live cheap.

One bit of advice in that guidebook (which now sits, battered and dusty as a trophy in our bookcase) that we ignored: Pack your own sheets. Specifically, they tell you to sew up a sheet so it’s like a little sleeping bag. Seriously? We didn’t even really consider it. We were backpacking for chrissakes—we drank cheap wine out of the bottle in parks in Prague, we filled my purse with lunchmeats and breads at continental breakfasts, eating them on the beach in Nice later, after the cheese had warmed and softened. We certainly weren’t worried about sleeping on some stinky sheets every once in awhile.

Then, in Florence, out at dinner, Poster Boy noticed a few red bumps on my neck. Hm. Hives? Weird. But I have that tragic white people skin that bruises and reddens with a change in barometric pressure. I took a swig of wine, shrugged, and continued eating the most delicious slice of veal I’ve ever had in my life.

When we went to bed that night, I noticed Poster Boy had the same rash. He does not share my naturally rashy skin type. But there, crawling up his back, was a small colony of red dots. I wondered if I was imagining the itch on my neck. Like when you see an aunt trotting across the picnic table and you’re suddenly sure there’s also one running up your leg.

But no. The next day, the rash spread. And it itched. We both had it. I had a feeling I knew what it was. A trip to an internet café confirmed my suspicions: Scabies.

I won’t go into the whole story here of the rash’s progress, how we had to move on to Rome and stay in an incredibly crowded hostel, how I had to wear fingerless gloves to hide the rash on my wrists and a scarf around my neck at all times lest we be discovered and kicked out of the hostel, about the misery of the day we had to wash everything we had with us (including our backpacks) in hot water and then carefully wrap it all in plastic without touching it, or the part where we go to the hospital in Rome, confused by the fact that we don’t have to bring any money, and spending hours being bumped around from doctor to doctor before we were told that the one we should probably see wouldn’t be back in until after the weekend.

Eventually we got the medicine we needed, with very specific instructions. It was clear we couldn’t do this in a hostel, so for the first time since we’d been on that side of the pond, we got a hotel room. A decent one.

In the anonymous, beige room, we started by taking off our clothes and bagging them. Next, we emptied a vial about the size of a bottle of Visene into a plastic cup, which we topped off with water. Then we washed our hands, and using cotton balls, systematically applied the milky liquid to every inch of skin on our bodies. We each did a lot of the work alone, but there are areas that are difficult to reach, you know?

When Poster Boy was standing stood up on the toilet seat with one leg on the tank, and in the fluorescent light I was painstakingly smearing a funny-smelling liquid on all of his bits and pieces, I was reminded that there are times that being in love is awesome. This was not one of them. But this was a time when having someone by your side, someone who’s already seen your asshole, is really fucking useful.

I don’t know why the woman at the pharmacy didn’t mention what would happen 20 minutes after the application. Maybe we looked like the sort of people who like surprises. But what happened is that every inch of skin on both of our bodies turned candy apple fucking red and BURNED. Yes, interwebs, it burned so badly that I had to go cap lock on your asses. It burned everywhere. We poured giant cocktails, turned on the TV and lay on top of the clean white sheets (I know, you’d think we would have learned), trying not to touch anything.

Oh, and 12 hours later, we did the second application.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Up For Debate

Which would you find weirder:

A. Guy who asked for your phone number from one of your male friends and then started texting you out of the blue.

B. Male friend who gave a stranger your number.

This happened to me a few weeks ago. I began receiving texts from a nice guy whom I had met in passing. I didn't know him nor how he got my number until I ran into my friend who admitted to giving out my digits.

The one relieving aspect of figuring out how he got my number is that I didn't give it to him in a drunken stupor, which is what I assumed happened.