Monday, August 17, 2009

one more relationship epiphane

where did august go?
it's like it left the house to buy a pack of cigarettes then got waylaid by a floozy, never to be heard from again.

i was going to write a whole snarky post on nearing 40 and growing carnal appetites that are slow to be met but i'll take a page from a more discreet life and just say that it is ... unfortunate that men and women are such different sexual trajectories. what's the biological imperative in this difference?

my mom didn't have a chance to tell me this. (and i don't think my dad ever noticed, and if he did he certainly wouldn't choose that as a topic of conversation to have with his daughters. though he has no problem telling me about his prostate issues.)

mom also didn't tell me about the various sexual anxieties men have. this is sort of a surprise to me. once again, the horribly inaccurate picture i have in my head of the clueless, confident Modern Man has led me down a path of assumptions that was about to set me off on a diatribe about 'getting the job done' instead of actually, you know, thinking about the other person as a person.

it's weird. i've rarely ever thought of men as people. (there are exceptions.) women are people. people are complex, complicated; they are onions to be peeled; they have layers. men don't have layers. they have...behaviors that have been programmed by a sexist and patriarchal culture and such behaviors are to be controlled and/or avoided for the benefit of one's personal safety. most of their layers have been erased by the time they are 20; the layers remaining are labeled Sport, Sex and Collectibles.

well, glad to say i'm on my way to correcting my thinking. yes, i can begin to admit that, indeed, men are people. i was wrong: they have anxieties, worries, insecurities, fears and the whole shebang of layer-itude that women have.

whaddya know. men are like women.



Songbird said...

It's true; it's true.

liza said...

Hahahahahaha. This is a version of what I went through when I found out I was having a BOY. I mean I had worked out men are people--thanks Sion! But, I went through this whole thing that went: OMG how am I going to raise a boy??? How am I going to teach him to be feminist, etc. What did Audre Lorde say about raising sons? I need to read that again... And then of course, I realized: oh. yeah. boys are just children with little penises. It did seem especially embarrassing when i said to Sion: OMG we have a white boy. How am I going to raise a white boy????--since you know, he's a white man.
And yeah. I do need to find that essay Lorde wrote about raising a son.

ding said...

a friend says that my current thinking about dudes is because i didn't grow up with a brother. she said that having a brother humanizes men.

maybe so.

maybe the adverserial (though loving) relationship with my dad contributed.

and yes - how are you going to raise a white boy?

No Nonsense said...

"i was wrong: they have anxieties, worries, insecurities, fears and the whole shebang of layer-itude that women have."

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that too. I grew up without a father and for the most part positive male role models. The image I had conjured in my mind about what a "real man" is suppose to be like was different that reality. I think it contributed to a lot of unwise choices and bad relationships. Anyway as I matured I realized that men are people too, vulnerable and not perfect.

Thank God!

liza said...

Here's my plan: never let him see a mirror. That and raise him to only be white on the outside--in other words, he's just a light-skinned Chicano, un guerito like my dad. My family's pretty intent on it too, so who knows, it might just work. I'm actually less worried about his racial privilege than his gender privilege.

ding said...

@liza - ha ha! never let him see a mirror...or you could put a teeny little hood over...nevermind.

@no nonsense - i wonder if men see themselves in similar ways, i.e., no different than us?

Kari said...

Oh jeez - I would never have examined this feeling or been able to put this into words, but this is exactly how I feel about All Men I Do Not Already Know. I can move men into the category of people - but really only if Someone I Already Know presents his bona fides. And even then the movement is accomplished in my mind by some sort of 'yes, he is a man, but he is Different' alchemy.

ding said...

isn't it weird?

while i readily accept Women/People into my life, i shove Men/Not People into a box until i can effectively neuter them, turning them into a virtual 'woman' in my head, and so acceptable as a person to me. it's a complicated, neurotic, freaky thing to do.

It's like men have been walking cardboard types my whole life.

Anonymous said...

You voice this realization once every year--how long will it be before your short term memory loss can eliminate your long term programming? So, so wrong. It's amusing to think that you didn't think of your father as complex. The man is a maze of crazy. I dealt with my dad because I had a brother to teach me that men are burdened by their responsibilities, expectations, and insecurities. Sting in the wound is that they can't talk about it/work it out without getting emasculated. I feel bad for boys. Says the girl who wants everyone to be her buddy.....

ding said...

you *know* i forget everything.
i forget what my favorite foods are!

so, yes. i have this epiphane every year - but this year it's in the context of a relationship that's getting a little bit more serious faster than i thought!

my need to understand the foreign world of men has a greater urgency than before!

especially now that he has dropped the L-word.

that's kind of a game-changer.

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't change anything. He communicates with his little pile of magnetic words, and you communicate with your little pile of magnetic words. That's it. You can't be bullied into using your magnetic words for something you don't want/care to say. A bigger vocabulary will not change the meaning of the paragraph. Capiche? Your pace is your pace. If it's not happening for you, then it's Give yourself a fricking break, lady!

ding said...

it could be happening...but sloooower.