Archive for April, 2013

Get Your Ron Here!

A friend inspired me to write this commercial about Ron.  Happy Ronday!

“You’ve read about him online, you’ve seen him in your dreams, now you can have him all to yourself – for only 19.99! Get your homeRon today!

“But wait there’s more! If you call in the next 30 minutes you’ll get: his sexy Burger King uniform! His gold-rimmed sunglasses! His partially-used pack of Magnum condoms! His fluffy white kitty named after the porn star! Now how much would you pay? It’s still only $19.99!!

“But wait – how about if we include his cherry bondo-covered Camaro for FREE? Deals like this don’t come by ever day! Act now before they are all gone!”

[legal disclaimer: $19.99 does not include shipping & handling or insurance & registration for bondo-covered Camaro. Impound and ticket processing fees billed separately. Camaro would be trademarked but they would prefer not to be connected in any way, shape or form with homeRon so spoof it all you like. Not legal US tender. Cause Ron never liked it tender. ]

A Cherry Ride

Ron is real.  I know, he’s just so dreamy, it’s hard to believe.  Happy Ronday!

(So, to refresh – Ron and my sister had broken up but now she was suddenly in posession of his cat. Which I had “forced” her to lie to me about )

Ron knew he was on my list – and not in a good way. Although I couldn’t stop my sister from dating him, I didn’t have to hang around him myself.

My sister came over to my house for the day, but Ron was picking her up that evening for a date (a grand affair consisting of dinner at Burger King and a DVD, I’m sure) and he wanted to come and pick her up at my house.

Not comfortable with the thought of him in my new home, I suggested that the backroads were tricky, and that I would bring her down to the local shopping plaza close to my house instead. (Incidentally, the same plaza where she used to sit for hours waiting for her roommate to finish working. . .)

My sister relayed that he was excited to show me his “new ride.” I gave her a small smile but said nothing – already dreading the experience.

His “ride” was as I had imagined – a dinged-up black camaro type thing complete with matte-finished bondo paint and ruby red rust. He sat in it, waiting for us, his gold-rimmed shades hiding his watery blue eyes and his arm resting on the opened window ledge.

He saw us and got out after giving us sufficient time to presumably admire his ride. He came over to my side of the car and tapped on the glass – expecting me to roll down my window in the crisp winter air. Realizing he wouldn’t go away and nauseous at his pants standing so close to my face, I reluctantly rolled it down.

He immediately leaned in – thrusting his head in to my car – his eyes making me glad I wore a turtleneck that day.

“Whaddya think?” he asked proudly.

I thought many things, but didn’t feel it very christian to repeat them at the moment.

“I bet it was a beauty in its day.” I said instead.

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’m just trying to decide now whether to register and insure it now or spend the money on repainting it. Cause it’s a sweet ride and will be so cherry with a new coat of paint.”

“It’s not insured?”

“Yeah, but it’s fine. I used my ex-wife’s old license plate and the renewal tag on that is only a few months old so the cops won’t care.”

I looked at my sister at this point. “Would you like me to take you home instead?”

She laughed at me. “It’ll be fine, sis – we’ve been riding around in it for a few weeks and nothing has happened. Besides – he’s going to get it insured – he promised.”

So I watched as she got in his car and drove away, feeling like a bad parent of some sort.

Later that night, the car wouldn’t start. A friendly cop stopped by to see if he could help – and then impounded the “sweet ride.” Ron couldn’t pay the impound fee and several tickets associated with it and last I knew, his “cherry ride” was still there.

Evidently, cops do care.

A Shout and a Whisper

On Tuesday, I had the honor to participate in “Shout Out! Against Sexual Violence,” an annual event hosted by the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.  It was the first time I had ever publicly read something out loud about my childhood molestation, and although I was told my voice remained steady and strong, my right hand was trembling like a leaf.  I was glad I hadn’t worn any jangling bracelets or big rings or I would have been a personal music factory.

I admired so many of the brave women and men (did you know that 1 of every 6 men are also a victim of sexual violations?) that got up and shared their stories.  Some did it through music, poetry, art.  Many got up and read something they had prepared, others with tears in their eyes just spoke from their hearts.  Some spoke on behalf of themselves, several shared on behalf of others. 

After it was over, 4 of us went out for dinner and it felt good to laugh and be silly after the intensity of emotions.    But invariably, the conversation ended with us circling back to the sexual harassments and abuses we have seen in the community and talking about what can be done to help. 

One of the harshest realities was how many religious communities, and particularly women, will shun the victims of abuse.  One woman was told that her rape was her fault because she had put herself in a position where she was alone with a man. Another woman was told that she had brought the sexual harassment upon herself because, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”  Many were encouraged to be quiet and just get over it.

It’s hard to wrap my head around – that these acts of victim blame are still perpetuated today.  Haven’t we come further along than this?  Are we still so quick to protect the guilty and blame or discredit the abused?

In contrast, this morning I met behind closed doors with others who asked to hear my story.  To speak above a whisper about the abuse and perceptions and teachings and attitudes I knew about.  To not name names as much as to communicate failings and areas which need to be improved.

To come from an evening of such openness and then recall events so shrouded with secrecy was heartbreaking.  To boldly discuss a place of opportunity that had often been a place of judgment for me and others. Where I found myself to be found wanting in so many areas, and unable to entrust those I should with my hurt, pain, and emotional struggles.

It was liberating to tell my story to this group as we sat in this private conference room.  To unflinchingly discuss things I’d been told I shouldn’t.  I know that others told stories beyond what I had experienced, and that what I said was on the periphery of the core information they sought.  But if I helped to explain the picture just a little clearer, and to show that I had made it through to the other side, maybe I had helped.

I confronted my molester almost a decade ago, and have worked my way through to a place of healing and forgiveness now.  There are those who may read this and be worried.  Don’t be.  I was telling my story, not yours. 

When I was done, one of the interviewers leaned forward and asked me, “What do you hope to see happen as a result of what you shared?”

I thought about it for a minute.  “I don’t regret what happened to me – it has made me who I am, and helped me to understand and help others.  But I hope that maybe in the future there won’t be so many who need to be helped.  And maybe making it easier for there to be open communication, that it won’t be just brushed off with a ‘these things just happen sometimes’ shrug.  I’m not seeking to hurt or punish anyone – but to help others from having to go through this in the future.”

I’m not trying to be a  hero when I say this.  I’m just thankful I’m a survivor – and want to make sure others survive as well.

So Say We All?

Walks on the Beach

True online OKCupid encounter* commences now (I even left in the typos):

He:  How are you?  If you were walking on the beach and saw someone laying there buried in the sand, completely, with only the face barely peeking through, just enough to breathe, would you step on their face or walk around?  Lol.

(long pause)

Me: Umm, is the tide coming in?  And am I barefoot or wearing shoes?  Cause they might bite.

He:  Well tides low probably and ya might have flip flops on, why? youed step on it? lol.

(pause)

Me:  Would you?

He:  well Honest, I would try the being buried part face peeking through but I do have alittle trample fetish, so id dare you if it was my face.

Me:  Lol.  I’m not in to trampling that much.  But that’s an interesting conundrum.

(pause)

He: would you do it?

Me:  Step on your face?  Probably not.

He: yes, and OK, know anyone that would?

*results may not be typical.  Consult with a physician before starting any new dating plan.

A Tale of Two Kitties

Ron is Real.  And someone who puts up with him is called a Ron-duh.  My sister was a Ron-duh.  Happy Ronday!

As you may recall, we last left my sister living on the most dangerous street in the county with no phone and no car, walking to work amidst johns and prostitutes, while Ron was living high on the hog in the city, staying with his ex-wife and sleeping with her, but it was all fine because he was just doing it to get her pregnant.

This finally convinced my sister that maybe Ron wasn’t the man of her dreams after all, and she broke things off to the jubilation of her friends and family.

So she moved back closer to us in a one-room studio in a small suburb of the city with lots of jobs close by and the support of her friends and family.

Things seemed to be going really well for sis and I was hoping her Ron days were over. When suddenly a cat appeared. A surprisingly familiar cat.

“Wow – is that Ron’s cat?”

“No, it’s not” replied my sister.

“My bad,” I said. “I guess it’s because it’s a white persian just like Ron’s was.”

“I know,” she said. “But this is a different cat entirely.”

“What’s its name?”

“Chrissy.”

“Wasn’t that the name of Ron’s cat?” I asked. I remembered because he had explained to me that he had named the cat after one of his favorite porn stars.

“Yes, but it’s not the same cat!”

I backed off at that point – and went back to helping my sister clean her apartment. I was putting some things away in a drawer, and right on top was a copy of a very recent veterinary certificate of good health for a cat named Chrissy – owned by Ron . . .

I didn’t say anything for a while. When we finally sat down and cracked open a few sodas, Chrissy jumped up and started scratching the couch.

“Y’know, I just can’t get over how much this cat looks like Ron’s cat. I mean . . . it has the same name, it’s a white persian, same eye color, everything . . . what’s the chances of that?”

My sister looked me dead in the eye. “It’s not the same cat. I promise.”

I shrugged. “I think you should know that I saw the paperwork when you had me put the towels in the drawer.”

My sister popped up and looked in the drawer, then slammed it and glared at me.

“If you knew it was Ron’s cat, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LIE TO YOU?”

I still scratch my head over that one.

Hold On Tight

The night my sister died, I was alone.  Sully was out having drinks with his best friend Pete.  I called him several times, but he didn’t answer, so I called Pete and soon Sully was on his way.

I had seen my sister just a few days before when I flew back for Easter.  At that time she had asked me rather earnestly to let her join me out in Denver.  I had said no, that this was my time to get myself together.  I was going through my divorce, learning how to be me again, and I wasn’t ready to share yet.

Now I was desperately wishing I had said yes, realizing that even that probably wouldn’t have stopped her from dying.  But the guilt was overwhelming.  So was the aloneness.  Looking out the bedroom window between the concrete buildings, wishing Sully would get there faster, it started to snow. 

Normally, snow might indicate peace and calm.  But for me, snow meant complications in flying from Denver to Boston – one more way that I wouldn’t get where I needed to be.  Then Sully finally arrived.

I cried while he held me, but it wasn’t enough.  I needed to feel closer and closer, to be enveloped in something bigger than me and my pain.  I kissed him hungrily and drew him over to my bed. He looked at me and said, “Are you sure?” and I just nodded and whispered “Please.”

Tears and kisses and caresses and pain all tumbled in to one and I clung to him like a drowning man clings to a jagged rock.  The waves of emotion that swept over me and clawed at me made me hold on tighter.  I didn’t want to think or feel anything but that moment and just find escape. 

When we finished, I could breathe again.  The pain was still there, but I could face it now. 

Sometimes, it’s not about having sex or making love.  It’s about feeling connected to the world again.  About not feeling out on the ledge by yourself.  I’ll always be grateful to Sully for giving that connection back to me.

The days, weeks and months after my sister’s death brought me to one of the darkest times in my life.  I lost my sister, than my job, than my home, than my boyfriend.  I hit rock bottom and had to crawl my way back up.

But I survived because of the people who stood by me no matter what – that sometimes understood that words were too much, that sympathy was not enough.  Sometimes you just have to hold on tight.

High Maintenance

I used to think I was low maintenance.  I don’t need expensive gifts, uptown dinners, wear a lot of makeup, spend hours on my hair, and dress in designer outfits that cost more than some small countries spend on food.  I considered myself kind of the geeky girl next door.

I was kidding myself.

You are high maintenance.” Taximan told me back when we were dating.  “Not in things – but in emotions.  You want words, thoughts, feelings, communication.  Sometimes, we just wish we could give you money instead.”

 It’s true.

Any guy who dates me has to like to communicate.  I like to talk, chat, share.  I want to hear from them on a daily basis.  I want to know that they are alive and thinking of me. 

I want to see them and spend time with them at least once a week.  I want them to make plans with me, and not just wait for me to make plans for us.

I don’t want to be last place on their priority list.  I realize I might not always be first, especially if someone has kids, but I don’t expect to be 7th either.

To expect all that, plus chemistry and romance too, well that seems to make me very picky.  For a free love kind of girl, I seem to throw a lot of applications on the rejection pile.

I’m okay with this.  I got spoiled by being exposed to some very solid relationships in my life.  I want the same for me.  I’m willing to work at it, but I want someone who has equal investment in the situation. 

If that makes me high maintenance, I own it.  HMJP, that’s me.

Ron Logic

Ron is real.  And that’s just scary.  Happy Ronday!

Ron had been hard to get a hold of. As readers may recall, he had moved my sister to BFE, and was supposedly staying with friends in town to save on gas. After several attempts to reach him, and several suspicious explanations, my sister was finally told the truth: Ron was staying with a woman.

It was a purely platonic relationship, of course. Only, Ron was sleeping with her.

“He’s what?!?” I asked.

“He’s sleeping with her. But it’s okay – he’s just trying to get her pregnant.”

“HE’S WHAT?!?” I shouted in to the phone at my sister.

“Well, she said he could stay with her if he got her pregnant. But it’s okay – it’s just his ex-wife.”

What Might Have Been

I try not to think about
What might have been
‘Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can’t go back again
There’s no use giving in
And there’s no way to know
What might have been

(What Might Have Been, as sung by Little Texas)

This song has been going through my head a lot lately, and I finally broke down and bought it from iTunes.  It’s already been played several times. Okay, a lot of times.

With my birthday a few days away, and a lot of meaningful dates floating on either side of them (anniversaries, birthdays, milestones, etc.) it’s easy to reflect about people in your past and how the roles have changed from then to now.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had several encounters with ex-boyfriends and even my ex-husband. I’ve learned about changes in their lives and experienced some of my own. 

When I became single again last fall, I was able to find comfort in the arms of my friend Rocker.  Five years ago, he and I had dated briefly but it soon became clear that we were in different places in our lives.  When I moved on to other dating opportunities, he understood and wished me well. Our friendship continued, but he always flattered me by telling me that under different circumstances, he would have never let me go. 

This time, he was there at a time when I really needed a friend, and helped repair my bruised heart. But once again, time and distance played against us and I found myself moving on.  He understood and wished me well.

I met a new friend – Radio – and upon first meeting I knew he was not yet ready for a relationship with someone like me. We walked in to our friendship with wide-open eyes.  Radio was newly out of a marriage and it was easy for us to talk openly and candidly about things.  I felt like, in many ways, I could help repair his bruised soul much the way that Rocker had healed mine.

After several enjoyable weeks, I could feel myself on the cusp – either moving forward, or moving on.  Dating stinks, and not having to date and yet still having the comforts of a Platonic Plus relationship (aka FWB) was an attractive distraction.  But I also knew that there were a lot of things that still didn’t work, and the fact that I was willing to ignore them and move forward was not healthy.

I forced myself back to POF and OKCupid, and stumbled across a photo of a man that immediately caught my eye.  I waited to contact him, suddenly shy, but Hiram responded back and after several days of great conversation, we met and it has now blossomed in to something with great potential.

As soon as Hiram and I had started chatting, I let Radio know that I was going to have to downgrade our relationship to just friends – and he took it somewhat in stride.  I knew he was struggling through his own personal issues, and I knew the timing was not ideal.  But because we had been open from the beginning, he respected my wishes.

Radio and I still chat – and I hate all that he is going through.  Knowing that he has to deal with so much alone, while I am moving in a more positive direction, makes me feel guilty.  I know I don’t need to feel guilty, it’s just a side effect of who I am. 

And that’s what has happened.  I’ve looked back at past loves, past relationships, and thought about what might have been.  Most are in better places, some are in worse, but all have moved in different directions.  And I wish them all well.

In these days of no regrets
I keep mine to myself
And all the things we never said
I can say for someone else
And nothing last forever but we always try
And I just can’t help but wonder why
We let it pass us by
When I see you now I wonder how
I could’ve watched you walk away
If I let you down please forgive me now
For that beautiful goodbye

(Beautiful Goodbye, as sung by Amanda Marshall)

The Rondom

Ron is a real person, and not an April’s Fool Joke.  He dated my sister and invaded our lives for a portion of time.  Maybe you have a Ron?  or Ronette?  Or know a Ronulian – someone who is Ron-like? or a Ron-duh – someone silly enough to put up with him?  If so, I empathize.  Happy Ronday!

So, given some of my previous encounters with Ron, I was more than dismayed when my sister announced that they had recently had a pregnancy test done. I tried to point out the facts as plainly as I could and convince her that getting pregnant might not be the best idea right now.

My sister agreed but confessed that they did not use condoms and in fact had never used a condom. I immediately offered to rectify this situation. I picked up my sister and we made our way to CVS. My sister stood in the condom aisle with a blank look on her face.

“How do I know what to get?”

A horrible image flashed before my eyes – I was involuntarily picturing Ron naked! I threw up a little in my mouth and had to swallow it back down to ask, “Well, umm, is Ron a, uh, eww, uh big guy? or a little guy?”

My sister then told me that he wore a size large shirt.

“That’s not what I mean. Does Ron (*wince*) have a big member or a little member?”

“Oh!” my sister said. “Ron has no problem in that area. He’s quite large. In fact, his other girlfriends often tell him that he’s the biggest they’ve ever had.”

At this time, the gag reflux was in full throttle so I just grabbed a box of magnums and hurried her to the checkout counter.

After awkwardly explaining to my little sister different ways to apply a condom (after all – this is my LITTLE sister!!) I sent her on her way – trying unsuccessfully to banish the image of her and Ron getting it on.

I woke up screaming several times that night.

A few days later, my sister called and I asked her how it went.

“Well, we had problems getting it on.” she confessed.

“Why?” I asked. “Did it still not fit?”

“No,” she answered. “It didn’t fit right at all!”

I cringed at the thought of having to research extra-large condoms for a man who already made my skin crawl.

“Every time he put it on,” she said. “The darn things just fell right off! No matter how big we tried to make him – they were just too loose!”