Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hard To Get

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I was talking (which means, complaining) to a friend the other day (which means, back in September) about relationships and dating. "WHY can't people just tell each other how they FEEL?" I lamented. "Why are there all these tricks and "codes" and signals and secret handshakes and "blink twice rapidly if you want to go on a second date" things?" He was sympathetic. "How did you meet your girlfriend? Was it simple?" I asked. Oh, she wouldn't even TALK to me at first, let alone date me. Hold the phone. I was aghast and not even because I had a crush on the guy at the time and was like "you should let me love you, let me be the one to, give you everything you want and need." That was definitely not why I was aghast.

Something about the whole thing bothered me, and, apparently, still bothers me. I know that if I was attracted to some guy on a basic level, but he was purposely treating me like I didn't exist, my friends would say something along the lines of Forget about him, gurl. He doesn't know what he's missing! Now lets drink. They wouldn't encourage me to pursue him as a challenge-mode to be felled (and seduced). The opposite seems to be true for guys, though. I mean, I can't count how many movies show decent guys falling for emotionally unavailable or just downright uninterested girls. Of course, there's generally the trusty best friend, a girl, who secretly loves the boy but SHE'S JUST TOO NICE FOR HIM. The lack of interest is viewed as an obstacle to overcome, not a deterrent.

From my impressively-extensive television and movie-watching experience, I've been taught that I am supposed to be hard to get, a tough cookie, aloof. Now, if you know me, at all, even slightly, you know that I am not aloof. A loofah maybe, but not aloof (No, I'm not going to apologize for that). I've always been of the mindset that feelings should exist outside of your head and heart - they should be shared and voiced and poem-icised and turned into simple, bad ukulele songs. If I like someone, why should I pretend not to? That's never made sense to me, but it seems to make sense to so much of the world. I came across this quote on tumblr (I know, I know) that was by, I think, good old F. Scott Fitzgerald, and was something along the lines of, "The girl really worth having isn't going to wait for anyone." And hey, I almost reblogged it. That sounds good, you know, I am a strong independent woman, I WAIT FOR NO MAN. But then I found something nagging me about it, the same naggy discomfort I felt when my friend told me his girlfriend wouldn't even talk to him at first. The girl who doesn't give up on someone she cares about, on something she believes in, is for some reason less valuable than a girl who isn't willing to "wait" for it/him/her, whatever "waiting" means? Though a little different, it was the same idea from the romantic comedies I grew up watching, repeated in a story written by someone writing in the 1920's. WHAT?

Obviously not every relationship starts with one person pursuing someone who has flat-out turned them down, and not every person who's turned down is going to be like, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. But for the whole of my "romantic" life people have been telling me how to "hook a man": play hard to get, unbutton the top button of your blouse (that was my grandmother, btw), chew like you have a secret, don't give too much away, don't kiss him on the first date, don't ever SAY that you like him. I've never understood all that much of it, though. Not that I have, uh, much authority here, but I think some of the last things that should be involved with feelings and relationships are games and tricks and sorcery or whatever. Some strategy? I get that. I've pulled a Ted Mosby or two, and you probably shouldn't tell someone you love them on a first date. But liking someone and telling them, and showing them? Shouldn't it be as easy as that?

According to my blog, I only wear this sweater. I'm alright with this depiction of myself.

Dress: Madewell, Sweater: Urban Outfitters sale, Belt: Some pair of pants,
Shoes: Ruche, Bag: Elanor, Sunglasses: Target, Eventual hat: Dad's

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Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old School

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I spent yesterday afternoon with my good pal Kerri (who some of you internet folk may know) at a rehearsal of a John and Hank Green show, that also included a guest performance by Kimya Dawson (I know, I know). Before hand, though, we decided to grab some lunch at whole foods. Amidst fawning over Thorin, Fili and Kili, discussing a mutual distaste for loud chewing and our inabilities to sleep at night, and more fawning over Thorin, Fili and Kili, we stumbled onto the topic of my writing. Or, rather, she just asked me about. I mentioned in my last post that I was trying to write a sonnet sequence, so I started to tell her about it, too. As I was talking, though, I kind of rambled my way into a fear-laden rant about whether or not anything I do creatively "matters." "Does anyone even CARE if I'm writing a heartfelt sonnet about a lobster? Am I ADDING anything meaningful to the world of poetry?" I was about ready to dramatically throw my prosciutto panini at the loudly chewing man behind us (ya'll know I'd never actually do that, I love food too much to just waste it like that) when she was like, "GURL." And I was like, "I am bereft." But then she was subsequently like, "Of course it matters. Are you just not going to make a movie because someone else in the world's made a movie? NO. You are going to put your spin on an idea, and that matters."

I think she's right. Well, CORRECTION. I know she's right, I just fully haven't convinced my naggy little neurosis gremlins that my work matters. But it does. One of my favorite things about literature is its ability to remind me that the human experience transcends time or culture. Homer was writing about longing and love way back in ancient Greece. Lord Byron was writing about wanting to bang all the fine-ass ladies of the 1800's. Emily Dickinson struggled with the themes of death and anxiety long before I did. So, why should I not write love poems, or any other sort of poem, just because people have been doing it forever? Why should I not write for the exact reason that I love writing and reading so much? I think that being passionate about something, whether it's a person, a dwarf, or a creative outlet, requires vulnerability. There's something about writing that makes me so scared, and so uncertain, and so fearful that I'm doing it wrong, or that I'm not "worthy" of being a writer, like I'm doing an injustice to Homer, Lord Byron, and Emily Dickinson if I even try to write a sonnet. And it's because I care so much that I know I have to keep going.

This tale is from yesterday, but these photos are from today. I've been wearing these jeans pretty much non-stop, and this back-pack was a Christmas present I'm very excited to use. I just feel like a cool prep-school punk in this outfit, and I really like it.

Oh, and by the way, you may have noticed a new link in my sidebar. Catch a Tiger By the Toe is my 365 poetry project, that I started to keep me on my toes about this sonnet sequence. I try to write at least one line a day. Follow along if you like.

Jeans: JCrew, Blouse: Old Navy, Sweater: Urban Outfitters sale, Backpack: Herschel

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Until tomorrow,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Wanting Comes in Waves

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You guys are great. Really. I'm not just trying to flatter you or anything. You're really great! Over the past year especially, I've wanted this blog to become a safe place for me to overshare, and for you guys to share your stories if you feel inclined. So, I just wanted to thank you for your kind words and inspiring stories on my last post. I mentioned in that post that my main goal for the new year was focus. I haven't been all that focused lately, but I have been thoughtful about what I want, and that's at least something. Around the end of December, I came up with this silly idea for a sonnet sequence. I think I was, like, on the express bus coming home from a day in the city when I thought of it, or something very ordinary like that. One of the many things that makes writing difficult for me is this idea of "inspiration." I'm in no position to declare what the "most important" thing you need to have in order to be a real deal writer is, but I will say that I've learned discipline is at least on par with inspiration. Maybe I'm just inclined to say that because it's also one of the most difficult parts about writing for me. As convenient for me as it would be for "inspiration" to just happen, there's work to be done. I think my brain always needs to be turned on to poetry. It's got to be searching for and recognizing what can be a poem, a first line, a metaphor. It's hard work, and I forget that (or ignore it) too frequently. So, giving myself this project, and not "waiting" for something to "speak to me" (oh my god that was like the worst thing I've ever typed), is terrifying. I'm not giving myself any sort of deadline, and even if nothing comes of it, it's something I need to try. It's easy, or at least easier, to write something when you're in a class, and it's required. There's a push there, and it's nice to have a force of motivation. But, I'm graduating (very very very, oh my god, very) soon, and I'm going to be the only person there to push myself. So, here goes a test run!

Another goal, like I said, was to get comfortable with my body, and figure out how to use my old clothes to dress myself in a way that feels good. I used to be more into experimenting with my clothes, spending late nights putting outfits together in front of my mirror. And while that's not too much my thing anymore (that may be a lie), I think a bit of creativity could come in handy in figuring this out.

blouse: Levi's, Tee: Threadless, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: Clarks

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This is how I dance (not really) (really).

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Until tomorrow,