Throwback Thursday — In My Dreams

31 07 2014

On this Thursday, I’m hitting you guys with an oldie but goodie! It’s a post I wrote several months ago, but it’s pretty near and dear to my heart and kind of reminds me of the days I used to write poetry when I was younger (it’s not a poem, but it’s closer to that than a regular blog post).

Hope you enjoy (and enjoy the rest of your week/weekend.) I’ll be continuing to traipse around Washington, DC with my sister and our oldest niece for the next few days — so basically the exact opposite of relaxing, but so much fun!

Without further ado — here you go!

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In My Dreams

In my dreams, we are happy.

We are both filled with hope and expectations, enjoying just the mere presence of each other’s company.

Just us.

Me.

And him.

We are laughing heartily, because that’s what we do when around each other. But we are not laughing out of obligation. Our sounds come roaring out of us like water from Great Falls — booming with power but unable to stop the flow.

Our hands are sometimes entwined, fingertips dancing along each other’s skin. Embracing the other without even having to envelope because the slightest touch is intimate.

We are close. But not invading either person’s space. Our limbs have no concept of needing room from the other. At times, we are simply quiet. Breathing the other’s air. His chest lifting when mine does. Our heart beats synched to a perfectly timed beat. At others, we are again boisterous, giggling from the inside jokes only we know.

At no point are we scared.

Instead, we are comfortable. Comfortable in our skins. Peaceful in our happiness. Sure. Sure of the purpose we hold in the other’s life. Certain that God put us together for a reason. Maybe even a lifetime.

This is what I see in my dreams.

I see his eyes staring into my soul. His nose breathing in my scent. His lips curling up into the slightest, contented smile. I see us throwing caution to the wind and trying out this thing neither of us knew we wanted. Any hesitations halted by the pure joy we experience when we are in each other’s arms.

What I don’t see is a utopia. This is not a fantasy. It’s a real, living, breathing choice we’ve made to trust and honor and be open. My dream is not about frolicking in the meadows or traipsing across the country. It’s about two people who realized, somewhere along the way, despite what hardships are sure to come just living life, they are happier when life includes the two of them. I am happier when my life includes him.

We are free in this dream. Free to laugh, love, and be in the moment.

We are simply… us.

Just me.

And him.

Blazing our paths through this crazy world and grateful to have the other along for the ride.





GUEST POST — Dancing the Night Away: A Shoe Story

29 07 2014
Photo: black patent leather pumps from Nine West

Photo: black patent leather pumps from Nine West

Today’s guest blogger comes to us from the blog, Cake and Eggs. Brenda is a an aspiring author, occupational therapist, introvert, foodie, voracious reader, and someone I’ve been wanting to get on here to do a guest shoe story for quite some time now. (So glad she finally agreed!!) You can check out her blog by clicking the link attached to it and/or follow her on Twitter @cakeandeggs.

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By Brenda, Guest Blogger

“Hey, I’m Martin.”

“I’m Brenda.”

We met the night before at River walk. He was the groom-to-be’s friend and too damn cute for his (or my) good. We didn’t speak much past the basic pleasantries, but I spent a lot of time looking. He was tall with broad shoulders and impressive biceps, a football player’s body. My favorite part though? His smile, it was almost shy.

I was not supposed to go to the wedding reception; I was simply on vacation and roommates with the bride’s cousin. Last minute — and I mean super last minute due to flaky guests — I found myself at the reception, seated a few tables away from my new crush. I was dressed a bit casual for the wedding, the dressiest thing I had with me was a short black and white flowered dress with a deep V-neck that I paired with my black patent leather nine west heels.
Back then, I wasn’t a big dancer, not in public anyway, but surrounded by my roommates I felt more uninhibited.

Plus this girl was trying to catch the attention of a certain man.

It’s hard to remember which song brought me to the dance floor but while going wild to Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback, I whirled around mid-shoulder shake and found myself face to face with my crush.

A slow smile spread across my face before I could stop myself. We stared at each other for a long moment until I blurted, “I love this song ” over the music.

“Me too!” he yelled back. This was our entire conversation that night. It was not about the words, it was the connection and the dancing.

After a spirited dance session, things slowed down a bit for the bouquet toss. I have always been an overly enthusiastic participant in this tradition because why not? I was a hopeless romantic .

The bride tossed her bouquet in the air and without even trying; I caught it.
Guess who caught the garter? It was like a scene straight out of my favorite Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy. We posed for pictures, his arm draped around my waist, and later, I danced with him while winking at my roommates over the vast expanse of his shoulder.

Three hours later, the DJ announced the last dance of the night.

Before this wedding, I could not even tell you who sang this song but on this particular night, they were reading my mind. He put on (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life, and I danced with Malik as if it was my last, belting the lyrics at the top of my lungs. I was sad to see the night end knowing I might not see him again.

Once the song faded, I walked over to the table slightly limping after hours of dancing in heels and began gathering my things. I pretended not to watch him greet his friends and saunter out of the room without saying goodbye. I swallowed back my disappointment and pretended not to care.

That is until I felt someone tap my shoulder, and I turned around thinking it was one of my roommates.

Instead it was Martin. He smiled that shy smile of his again.

“Can I have your number so I can call you sometime?”





The Easiest Way to Guarantee Less Sex from Your Partner

24 07 2014
A view of the spreadsheet in question... Photo via NY Post

A view of the spreadsheet in question…
Photo via NY Post

If you were to happen to be wondering what the easiest way is to make sure your partner wants to have as little sex with you as possible — I’ve found it for you! (Not sure why you’d want to do this if you’re not celibate or a virgin or taking things slow… but you know whatever works for you.)

Create a spreadsheet detailing all the times you’ve asked her for sex over the past few weeks and she’s turned you down. Oh, but don’t forget to send it to her as she’s heading on a 10-day trip. AND you can’t leave out the fact that you won’t miss her on those 10 days, because it’s not like if she were there, you’d be having sex anyway.

Oh…. what’s that you’re saying?

That’s not something you’d actually like to do? Hmmm. OK. Because I mean I thought that was the goal… no sex for you and your lady. No? Oh.

Listen, I get it. I’m sure this guy was super frustrated mentally and physically about the lack of sex in his marriage. I would be too. And I also get that asking your partner for sex is something that leaves a lot of people feeling extremely vulnerable.. and then to be rejected almost every time he asked — I get it. It’s not a good combination.

However, this spreadsheet business won’t produce the effect he’s looking for. Shaming your wife into more sex never does.

And really, what they should be getting at is why she doesn’t feel comfortable having sex with him anymore. Could it be because he sounds entitled to her body? Or not at all interested in the fact that she’s admitted to feeling less secure because of recent weight gain?

I’m sure it’s a combination of those and more. And while I initially laughed at the craziness and audacity of the spreadsheet, the more I thought about it, the sorrier I felt for the wife. From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem as if she has the most supportive husband in the world. Maybe he is — but that spreadsheet doesn’t show it. It shows all the times he made note to himself that she didn’t fulfill his needs.

But here’s the thing. It’s no secret that guys want sex (ladies do too, but we’re talking about the guys here for a second). So if your lady is constantly rejecting that, you have to know there’s a deeper reason behind it. She’s not actively trying to not fulfill his needs, but I’d be willing to bet she felt like he wasn’t concerned about hers.

Wouldn’t it have been better for him to say, “Hey babe — I noticed that you haven’t really been eager to make love these days. Is there something going on? What can we do to get our connection back?” I mean, c’mon — that would have been so much better! And guess what? It probably would have actually gotten him what he wanted, because she would have felt like he was so sweet for being concerned about her.

This spreadsheet, on the other hand, was an attack. A hurtful attack by someone who felt rejected, but not anything that would actually help their marriage. I hope he’s learned that by now. At the very least, Reddit users have told him so.

Have you ever done something like this before? Not necessarily creating a spreadsheet of all the times your partner rejected you, but acted out in anger and hurt and realized later that a better way was available? What did you do to resolve it? Maybe we can give this dude some suggestions too, because he’s got a lot of making up to do.

 





America, Please Step Away from My Vagina

22 07 2014
Pretty much says it all...

Pretty much says it all…

Here’s the thing, America — me and my vagina, we have what I like to call an intimate relationship. And yet, you and your compadres are always trying to be the third wheel in this situation.

Put another way, my vagina and I have A and B conversations that you (Congress, Supreme Court, the loonies, etc…) are always trying to C your way into.

Why is that? Can someone explain?

I mean, I get it — I’m a pretty fascinating woman (or so I’ve been told), and she’s a pretty fascinating organ, but damn — back the hell up why don’t you? Give us fifty feet!

You know what you’re like, America?

That random person that butts into a Facebook conversation that spontaneously began on someone’s wall. This person has no knowledge of the details of the conversation and can’t be bothered with finding out the background, but simply saw that a convo was occurring and felt the need to chime in.

Basically, America, you’re trolling the walls of my uterus on a constant basis.

Let’s just look at some of the ways this has happened in the past few years.

1. Of course, there’s the recent Supreme Court ruling that said corporations can determine what forms of birth control I use for my body. (Well, technically, it said the corporation could determine what forms its healthcare pays for, but try getting birth control without insurance — that ish is expensive!)

2. Then there was the time the governor of my great home state, Louisiana, made it his personal mission to rid the state of any legal facilities that perform abortion. He’s winning by the way.

3. And let’s not forget Virginia’s attempt to force transvaginal ultrasounds on any women contemplating an abortion.

4. And the Republican Congress’ mission to destroy Planned Parenthood.

These are but a few examples of the way in which the American government has gotten involved in the intimate details of womens’ bodies, but there are more. So so many more.

It’s frustrating. No, actually it’s infuriating to think that men and misguided women who know nothing about me, about my life, and about my body, believe they can make medical decisions for me. That they can decide how and when I choose to procreate.

And let’s be real here — procreation is a big effing deal! It (or the lack of it) literally changes lives of women every single day.

So now that I think about it, I was wrong when I gave my initial Facebook analogy. America, you’re not just that annoying friend who butts into a Facebook conversation without knowledge of the details. You also then attempt to mandate when and how I decide to have the course of my life changed while you’re at it.

And that’s just not okay. In fact, you sound a little loony tunes. And it’s making me think I might need to get a restraining order out on you (because that’s what you do when crazies won’t stay away)… or you could just, you know, go about your way and mind your own business on your own. That would help too.





I’m Not a Player, I Just Date a Lot

17 07 2014
Real question -- Is ol' girl a "player" or just keeping her options open? Photo: joshtaoofbadassreview.com

Real question — Is ol’ girl a “player” or just keeping her options open if these are different men? Photo: joshtaoofbadassreview.com

The other day, I found myself in a conversation with a young man that went a little something like this:

Young Man (YM) — Will you be with your other boyfriend?

Me — My OTHER boyfriend? I have no boyfriends. I am very single.

YM — You are player of the year. I saw your trophy in a museum recently lol

Me — Nope. Just a single girl, trying to live a happy life. That’s all.

Now what caused this young man to characterize me as a player? Just the fact that I’d been honest with him when he asked me if I was dating other people weeks before. I guess it didn’t help that I also told him I hadn’t planned on changing that anytime soon. I mean, I also said that I was open to seeing where life took me with any guy I was dating, too. But maybe that was still too honest? I don’t know.

I found it funny that the player title came up eventually (albeit kind of jokingly), because it has come up in the past when I’ve actively chosen to date multiple guys at a time. But also because it reinforced my theory that men are typically okay with the concept of dating multiple people at a time until they are the one who ends up on someone’s “team.”

Either way, my response to him was more important than his statement, I believe. When I looked at it later, I was shocked at how accurately it described me right now, especially considering it was really just a knee-jerk response to him.

To break it down a bit, here’s what I was in essence saying about myself:

I am a single girl — and therefore have all the rights and privileges that come with this designation (so don’t question me on who I am spending time with, ahem).

(implied) And happy with that (for now) — A lot of people either fall into the miserably single or “I can be single all my life! Damn it!” categories. I’m not either. I’m good with where I am now, but I am open to allowing  for changes in the future (maybe near… maybe not lol).

Trying to live a happy life — which right now, for me, includes working on my career, volunteering, working on my book, spending time with family and friends, and dating (maybe one, two, or three guys at a time). One thing I love is that I am clear on what makes me happy these days, and I am constantly working on leaning into those things.

That’s all — nothing more; nothing less. It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it.

What none of those things says about me, however, is that I’m a player. Because as I later informed the young man, player, to me, implies that there’s dishonesty occurring. That I’m making any one person feel as if he is my man.

Clearly, I am not.

But I think when women make the choice to give themselves options in the dating field, they get stuck with titles like player or worse.

When really, it’s just that we’ve decided to take advantage of the buffet of guys to date before us. Of course with that, there’s going to be times we don’t like what’s offered or we think something will be good, and it turns out to be too sour or too sweet. But that’s the beauty of dating (and eating at a buffet)!

Bottom line though, what I was saying to him was that I’m not complicated, and he should stop trying to figure me out — I’m simply a girl who is dating (and taking advantage of her options) and making sure to have as much fun as humanly possible at all times. Nothing more; nothing less.

I’m glad I was able to say it so succinctly. That tells me I really do know myself now — something that 25 year old Darby probably couldn’t have honestly said.

But what about you? Do you agree with his implied definition of player? Also, if you had to describe yourself in 20 words or less, could you do it and what would you say?





I’m No Carrie, But Everyone Always Thinks I Am

15 07 2014
Carrie from Sex and The City in a tulle skirt Photo via Sex and The City

Carrie from Sex and the City in a tulle skirt
Photo via Sex and the City

During the height of the popular show, Sex and the City, almost every woman in America attempted to figure out which character she most embodied.

Was she a Charlotte — the sweet, unassuming, homebody who had very proper ideals, but also silently dated a lot of men?

Was she a Samantha — the brash, devil-may-care woman who treated her men like her career — something she had full control over.

Was she a Miranda — the career, no nonsense woman who often found herself lacking in the guy category (compared to her peers) because she spent so much time climbing the career ladder, but who also managed to be the first one out of the bunch to get married and have a kid.

Or was she a Carrie — the naive, hopeless romantic who was always searching for deep, passionate, complicated love and annoying the hell out of everyone in the process.

As you can tell, Carrie was not my favorite. But I also didn’t truly identify with anyone else on the show either; as far as I was concerned, I was a Samantha/Charlotte mixture.

But not according to anyone else (which kind of says everything you need to know about the difference in how we see ourselves and others see us). To them, I was always Carrie. Always.

And I get it. She’s a writer. She writes about relationships. She loves shoes. She works against herself in the dating game. But ugh — she was also so damn whiny too! And never, ever picked the right guy. (I’m still angry for Aiden — ugly ring and all.) And she very rarely worked off of logic — it was always feelings. Feelings 24/7 was how Carrie rolled (something that annoyed me even more than her horrible dating choices).

Well, I was reminded of all of this recently when taking one of those “Which Sex and the City Character Are You” quizzes. Know who I got? Damn Carrie. And that was even after I avoided picking the things I thought were her!

Which is when I realized it was time that maybe I stopped fighting it. I do adore my shoes like they’re my babies. I do write about relationships. I am perpetually drawn to unavailable, complicated men even when so-called “good” guys are staring at me in my face.  I even probably have someone in my life who some friends would compare to Mr. Big. And I do absolutely hate the idea of not leading a life full of passion and excitement.

Plus, I’m allllllllllll about a tulle skirt these days!

So I guess maybe I am more Carrie than I’d like to admit after all. Though, I’d still choose a whiskey/bourbon drink over some stupid Cosmopolitan any day, and I would have never dropped my book gathering in Paris to go hold the Russian’s hand for five minutes in that art gallery. Hmph.

What about you all? Did you ever identify with one of the characters? And did it match up with what your friends said about you — or was it the exact opposite, like me?





Vulnerability and Asking for What You Need

10 07 2014
Image created based on Brene' Brown research. Photo: http://www.theispot.com/whatsnew/2013/8/zara-picken-daring-greatly.htm

Image created based on Brene’ Brown research.
Photo: http://www.theispot.com/whatsnew/2013/8/zara-picken-daring-greatly.htm

“Asking for what you need is inherently vulnerable,” says Brene’ Brown. “But I think… it’s incumbent upon [us] to reach out and say, I love you, and here’s what I need from you.”

When we think about vulnerability, we think of things like professing your love to someone first, going full swing ahead with a creative and/or business idea, or dealing with a loss and admitting the pain. Things like that.

Or I should say, that’s what I think of when I think of discussing the concept of “being vulnerable.” (I also usually think of pure dread and tend to equate it to jumping into a waterfall head first with no life jacket, but you know that’s just me, and I’m a work in progress.)

The other day, however, I realized something else that should be added to those examples — telling loved ones and potential partners what you need from them… to feel loved, to feel appreciated, to feel wanted, to feel protected, to feel good, to feel acknowledged… whatever.

When you think about it, it makes sense that this would be a completely frightening thing to do for some of us (us meaning I’m totally putting myself in that group).

First, it forces you to admit that you actually need something from someone. For control freaks (or planners, which is just a nice way of saying that), admitting you need something from anyone else is tantamount to crawling over broken glass. Sure we’ll do it if absolutely necessary, say to get out of a burning building, but it’s not something we would ever want to engage in outside of those factors.

Second, it demands that you be honest about what it is that you need, which means bearing your inner thoughts to another person (yes, those quiet thoughts you barely want to admit to even yourself).

More broken glass crawling.

Third, it leaves you open to that person either denying your request or not addressing it with the care in which you would like, which basically gives him or her all the power (at least in your mind).

I mean, for control freaks planners, this is the trifecta of doom right here.

But what I have learned about being honest regarding what you need is that while it is scary and definitely takes being vulnerable, it’s absolutely necessary and freeing, too. Brene’ Brown says that allowing yourself to be vulnerable (even while kicking and screaming like yours truly at first) necessarily frees up your mind from the worry and shame that come from not opening up, and let’s things like joy, creativity, love, and innovation in.

I completely agree with her. And I’m learning that expressing those needs to the ones you love/want to love also invites those people to be able to fulfill them. That’s right, instead of worrying about that person rejecting my need — I’ve tried to focus on the good that can happen when they accept it with their own open arms and then tell me what they need from me as well.

Now, is it as scary frightening as I thought it would be? Heck yes! But it’s also more freeing than I could have ever imagined.

What about you all? Have you ever had a problem asking for what you want/need in your life?








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