Living the life of a middle class, middle management, mid-atlantic spinster about Awesometown...Holding on desperately to the Handlebars of Fierceness!!!
**originally posted 2.22.11 on thehappyspinster.wordpress.com**
Birth control pills are credited with beginning the sexual revolution. Before that, women had to consult the local ju ju man and hope the twigs and berries provided an effective barrier to Jon Jon’s little swimmers.
Now I could get into the socio-political ramifications of birth control, the forced sterilization of women of color across the world, the dearth of active birth control use in African and African-American communities, the overuse of abortion as an active birth control method…but I’m not. Mostly cause I don’t wanna right now. Right now, I want to talk about why my cookie is being put away in the extra special cookie jar nowadays.
Birth Control. Thats it.
That’s the only reason. I don’t want babies right now. Maybe ever. I haven’t decided yet. Now, and only now, the lessons of abstinence and sexual repression of my Baptist/Catholic upbringing are coming to a head (no pun intended).
Now, I’m an 80′s baby in that I do not remember the 70′s being >2 years old. So I grew up with ready access and information to and about pills, condoms, IUD’s, Norplants, patches, and all other medieval forms of keeping Hotel Utero vacant. Even my Catholic high school had many and varied resources – mostly aimed at keeping the Gatekeeper and Keymaster apart.
So I began my sexual journey with lots of ammunition against those pin headed microcosms included in my current boyfriends junk. And I was bulletproof. Except for an unfortunate puppy love experience that left me in Paterson NJ with no car, no money, an engagement ring I bought myself and a two month resident in Hotel Utero who promptly got evicted, it’s been smooth sailing with me, men and my hormonal buddies. Those stories are for another blog post; suffice it to say “Mother Had LIIIIVVVEEEDDDD”!
For the next 10 or so years, I did what I wanted, when I wanted, with whomever I wanted, and made NO apologies for it. I learned to double up*, so I could control my own reproductive schedule. No man, and no faulty latex, would prevent me from remaining child-free.
I noticed something about 2.5 years ago. My constant hormonal buddies caused undue strife in my life when their purpose was the exact opposite. I begin reacting violently to the artificial hormones I was putting in my body every 3 weeks out of 4. And by violently, I mean disabling migraines and body shaking cramps and 100 degree fevers and crushing emotional break downs….Me No Likey.
My doctor and I discussed the alternatives, and I pushed for a copper IUD. No sooner than I’d had it in, than my side effects started….basically I became anemic among the REST of my other issues.
So I finally I had to make a choice: either continue to deal with all these life altering effects of using birth control, or let go and let some dude try and get through that condom God. In choosing the latter, I also had to review my selection of partners. I had to ask the questions of whether I would risk being tied to this man forever? Did I want him influencing any potential child? Did I trust him enough to do the right thing for a child? Would his career path and ambition (or lack of it) affect mine and how I raise my child? Can I afford to do this on my own if I needed to?
Invariably, the answers to one or more of those questions was negative. All of a sudden, sexy wasn’t enough. His swag and potential was less important than the education and current earning potential. The “bitch” jokes weren’t as funny, nor was the fact that he might not like his mother or sisters.
Suddenly every sexual relationship could be forever. How was I possibly more scared of the child than HIV? Crazy.
But this was my path. I’m glad my life worked out the way it did, because I wouldn’t want to be anyone else right now. And the smallest things suddenly make the biggest difference.
*double-up: meaning to use two disparate forms of birth control; usually defined as the use of a condom and the pill.
What happened to an acquaintance of mine on Saturday at an event we were at. Such food for thought. Reevaluating my situationship and the fear of losing something I don’t really have.
I always swore to myself that I wanted my writing to be as transparent as possible.
I’ve agonized over whether or not to cover personal situations in my life that I didn’t want exposed due to the fact it could really harm me in REAL Life. I use aliases to protect the innocent and the guilty.
But today’s story is going to be a little different.
Snapshot from Progressive is the devil. I mean bump Flo, her helmet hair, the rate comparison tool, and this bloody device. You can take your self-parking cars, your backup cameras, your RFID car communication and SHOVEL IT (Demolition Man, Sandra Bullock, #getyourgeekquotientup)!!! Oh, and F the DMV with the unacceptable view that slow driving equates to safety.
It’s one of those things were we are so scared of living that we regulate possibly dangerous activities into the softest form of itself so it no longer holds any joy.
I take pleasure in driving, I always have. It was the one aspect of adulthood that I wanted for as long as I can imagine. I don’t consider myself the best driver in this world, but I’m probably a better driver than you. And you . And you too. Driving a car is an activity that requires practice and skill. Logic and timing. JUDGEMENT AND CRITICAL THINKING! There are no tears in driving; there is no fear. You exercise caution, but you cannot be scared of buses and trucks or you will never ever make it.
What brings on this rant, you ask? SNAPSHOT FROM PROGRESSIVE. I signed up for my free trial, and realized early on that I will never ever have a discount from them. They will consider me an unsafe driver. Although I’ve been in exactly ONE accident in 18 years of legal driving - 22 if you count my youthful transgressions and lessons.
Dont get me wrong, I’ve filed several insurance claims. Like when the bus took the mirror off my parked car. Or a taxi passenger opened his door into traffic and my car. Or when the tree in front if my parents house let a large limb fall on my parked car. But with me being at fault? ONE ACCIDENT IN EIGHTEEN YEARS!! And only my well toned driving muscles prevented that garbage truck that blindsided me from causing more than a gash in my rear panel.
So when Progressive’s little tattle tale shows me to be an unsafe driver because I accelerate or decelerate more than 7 miles per second IN NEW YORK CITY, I take exception.
There is a certain level of gully that you must possess to make operating a car in this city a worthwhile endeavor. I stay avoiding people who seem to have no depth perception or ability to judge speed. Who refuse to figure out how to use rear view mirrors or peripheral vision. The reason I haven’t gotten into lots of accidents is because I was taught how to drive by a driver of cars - my dad. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
I really would like Progressive’s Snapshot to explain to me how to merge onto the BQE at 7 miles per second with a truck behind me and a jackass pushing his Benz at 70 MPH in the slow lane. It’s basic defensive driving, IMHO (but maybe I should take one of those classes so I really know what they are talking about).
I will not be part of this pussification of driving. I will continue to purchase cars without pussifiying technology and I’ll probably go back to manual transmissions. I will hold on to the old ways and derive my pleasure where I can…
The Happy Spinster
When you get to say “F&@k winter”….
About seven years ago I was dating a wholly inappropriate 42 y/o man. When we went to the movies, I usually chose the picture. My cinematic tastes are pretty wide and usually spot on. One day, he complained that I never let him decide so I acquiesced to the whining. His pick? Ghost Rider. Not the worst movie in the world, but a definite waste of $25. One third of the way through, he fell asleep. Everytime I’d wake him up saying “Baby, you’re missing your movie”, he’d reply, “Oh I’m waiting for it to get exciting”.
It never ever ever got exciting
The point of that story? I’m tired of waiting for my life to get exciting.
On my birthday, I sat in my living room dressed in my silky robe pilfered from the MGM Grand and sipping on a glass of chilled White Hennessy, I’m taking some time to evaluate the last 30 odd years of my life.
Last year was meant to be one of introspection and redevelopment. Instead I partied hard, studied less, and ended up back on the track of office drone with decent insurance. Comfort won without much of a fight.
I’m not sure if I ever had a life plan. When I was a kid, I wanted to do the things I thought I should want: doctor or lawyer or teacher. I loved to write and read and I wanted to act and sing and play music all of my days.
Suffice it to say I haven’t gotten very far with those particular childhood goals, but I do not consider my life one wasted. I have an army of friends, acquaintances and family who enjoy me and whom I enjoy. I don’t love my job, but I certainly appreciate it and all it helps me learn about technology and myself. And I love what my job allows me to do and experience out in this vast world.
I thought about being all weepy and introspective, but why? Today is a good day. I am learning to love myself without condition and teach others to love me that way too. I will book international flights and hotels all by myself and see things with my own eyes while they work. And I will sleep for long hours and revel in peace and silence because I need to.
I’m done waiting for life to reach its climax. It’s time to make it happen.
The Happy Spinster
I am a New Yorker. I was born here and grew up both in the city and the outlying suburbs. I’m also a winter baby - arriving in the coldest shortest month of the year. I remember a blizzard when I was five where my dad and I got stuck at my school/church and had to spend the night at my pastors house.
I recall the storm of 1996 where the snow was so deep that we couldn’t tell where the cars started. Pushing an eight year old Hyundai with electrical problems over the snow plow created mountains on my side street. I’ve been through terrorist attacks, super storms, earthquakes, hurricanes as part of my NorthEast metropolitan life.
And I am over it. As Gawker said today, this was the WORST commute ever. It supersedes the MTA strike of 2005 when I was the only one in the office since New Jersey Transit was still running. Or the blackout of 2003, when six of my coworkers piled into my Honda Civic coupe for a ride to Brooklyn. I had an easier time getting to work the DAY AFTER 9/11 than I did this GD morning.
Ice everywhere. Pools of dirty snow slush at every corner in midtown and not one sign of a plow of FIFTH FUCKING AVENUE!!! Beyond the crowded trains and the smelly natives that my $100+ a month give access to, I’m sick of being cold, wet, and stuck.
Let me figure out how to be a snowbird or something, cause my sanity, back, and Vitamin D levels just cant’ take it anymore.
The Happy Spinster
I hate my commute. I mean hate it with the heat of ten thousand fiery suns. It’s crowded and late and uncomfortable and makes for a horrid start to my day. Evil commutes are nothing new to New Yorkers. I’ve had to travel into the city from various points in area since 2000, and its only gotten worse.
Firstly, why do people smell? I don’t mean the poor unfortunates who have no regular access to homes or showers. I mean the ones who primp and plan and perfume themselves to within an inch of MY life. Do you seriously need to only buy the Eau Du Toilette? You know thats TOILET WATER in French? Do you buy your scents on clearance at the CVS?
There was a woman on the 167T from Teaneck, NJ to NYC who somehow managed to be on the bus with me at least twice a week. And she liked where I sat apparently; maybe she had a crush or something. Regardless, this woman wore so much J. Lo “perfume” that I literally had to put my nose in the vent by the window in order to survive the 45 minute drive through the Lincoln Tunnel.
After I moved to Brooklyn, I would take the “quick” to work. By quick I mean that it took less than an hour and less than two transfers to get to Union Square. However, this method involved the L train and lots of skinny musty strong coffee carrying hipsters working their way to account management jobs at a variety of quirky startups in the area. I found myself vastly preferring the relative ease of high school teenagers on the bus to being stuck in the armpit some skinny bearded transplant from Iowa who decided that morning to switch to natural deodorant.
Now I work near Rockefeller Center. No trees, no deals, no quirk. Just guys in suits who take themselves too seriously and ladies made cause they have to wear those shoes. The B train is the easiest way in, but this winter is making the bus route rather intolerable. And the B? Well, it must stand for ‘B’ annoyed, ‘B’ exhausted, ‘B’ crowded, ‘B’ a sucky day.
One day I will find a position that allows me to work from my living room three days a week. On the other two days, I will saunter in for meetings at noon relaxed and refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon in peace.
The Happy Spinster
As I walked into my doctor’s office building, the security guard asked me where I was going. I recognized his face from my last visit, but think this is the first time I actually looked at him. I noticed he was slight, slim and rather petite. He swam in his uniform jacket, kind of like a little boy…or a woman wearing her boyfriends jacket. And it hit me.
This man was in transition, female to male. I have no idea how far along in the process he is – truth be told its none of my damned business – but it’s now obvious to me that this man was not born a man physically. And I’ve been noticing female to male transitions quite a lot in the last few months.
I found out recently that one of my classmates from elementary school was transitioning female to male. Since we’ve been reacquainted with each other as adults, I can say that I wasn’t surprised by his revelation to me. Also, I don’t really care. He was cool as a she and will remain so as he becomes the fully manifested person in body and mind.
What is weird is that this uptick in “noticeable” transitions of physical women to the men they feel like strikes a kind of chord with me. No, I do not wish to become a man. But as a woman who has never taken well to “girly” things, I’ve always felt as though I wasn’t woman enough.
Another person in my acquaintance has also transitioned, this time male to female. This one was a shock and remains a talking point amongst those who knew her as him. In hindsight, the traces of makeup and womens underwear make sense – we wrote it off as some fetish when it was happening.
Now in 2012 New York City, are transitioning or transgender people really a talking point? Nope. One must do what one must to achieve mental equilibrium. And while I have no desire to be a man, I can understand the need to be at peace with ones body. Lord know I’m still trying.
The Happy Spinster
The realization that I attract the emotionally unavailable because I am emotionally unavailable. #takingabreakfromboys #truth