your taste in men is weird

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson from the Icelandic TV show, Trapped
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson from the Icelandic TV series, Trapped

Dear Internet,

After several episodes of the Icelandic tv series Trapped, the lead, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, has my current lustful admiration. When I declared he was my one true love to TheExHusband, he looked at me with a quizzical look — “Your taste in men is weird.”

Which I suppose is true.

If you’ve been hanging around me here or on various other social media spaces, you’ll see me often comment about my future husbands (and wives). This seems to make people uncomfortable with one of the biggest complaints of, “If you’re with $nameoflover, why are you lusting over other people?” Many saw it as some form of disloyalty because obviously I wanted more than what was being given in my current relationship.

This is poppycock.

Rebuttal 1. It’s a fantasy. The likelihood of myself partnering up with any of those people is about as great as winning the Powerball. Anyone who says they don’t fantasize is lying through their teeth.
Rebuttal 2. I can control the fantasy. Simple enough: When I’m day dreaming about  X, I control the what, when, and where (obviously we already have the who).
Rebuttal 3. It’s not so much the actor whom I’m lusting after but their character in a particular movie / tv series / whatever. All of them are gorgeous in their own right but it’s their portrayal in whatever I’ve seen them is what sets my heart aflutter.
Rebuttal 4. Men have been objectifying women since the dawn of time. While men continue to remain the ones in power, I have no qualms on turning the tables on them.
Rebuttal 5. It’s fun.


Here are a couple of examples of my current loves of my lives.


My darling Ólafur plays Andri, the chief of police in a sleepy, remote hamlet in eastern Iceland, in the Icelandic tv series Trapped  (which is currently available on BBC’s iPlayer1). The series is best compared to Fargo (the tv series). Throw in a blizzard, human trafficking, murders, a titch of romance and it’s obvious Ólafur has a lot to do. He’s 6’5 (always a plus), silent, clever, and brooding. (Brooding is always important.) But it’s not so much the tallness or the cleverness that pulls at my heart strings, whether it’s the simmering passion below the surface. The way he is passionate about his work, how he looks at his ex-wife, how he wants to do always do the right thing even if is at the expense of his own safety. There is depth that remains unexplored and ladies and gentlemen, I want to explore that depth.

(I’m not the only whose noticed Ólafur’s allure.)


Shawn Cortese from the TV series, Nothing Trivial
Shawn Cortese from the TV series, Nothing Trivial

I subscribe to Acorn, a streaming service that specilizes in British (and sometimes Australian and New Zealand) tv series with an odd movie here and there.2 Nothing Trivial3 is a series based in Auckland, NZ about a group of misfits who met via a weekly pub trivia quiz. Shawn Cortese, which I’m sure many would argue is hot in his own right as a silver fox, plays Mac, a staid advertising man going through an acrimonious divorce. His love for Katherine, another pub quiz member, is buried beneath their pretense on being friends. As one does, their love ruptures when they’ve been drinking and ends with, “No. No. We can’t do this.” In one particular scene where he and Katherine are in a passionate embrace, he throws her down on the floor and rips her panties off with his teeth which leant me to giggle lasciviously. (Well, he rips her panties off in a lustful manner, which is the same thing.)

At first glance, Cortese’s character is nothing what you would expect me to generate impure thoughts™. He wears button downs and khakis. He’s in advertising. He has a big boy job. He drinks wine for christ’s sake. If I saw him in a bar, I would grant he was attractive but dismiss him almost immediately. But all it took was that one second action that would have me throw myself at him at first opportunity.

I’m such a hussy.


henryrollingsMost of those I meet expect me to woo at men like Henry Rollins. Tattooed. Cranky. Obvious rebel. Creative. Amitous. It makes sense: I’m tattooed. Cranky. Obvious rebel. Creative and ambitious. But there is much more to this world than just obvious physical attraction. The older I get the nuanced my love gets. Primarily, I look for wit and intelligence4. How they treat their families and friends. What they are passionate about and what they are interested in. They need to have spirit and soul. The more intense the better.

There needs to be more than great thighs, big hands, and height.

(And may the gods help me if they look at me like they are going to eat me up.)

(Obviously accents help)

It’s not their physical characteristic that makes me crazy about them, which does help, it’s these characters that burns them into my soul. This is why I love these men with the fire of a 1000 suns.5


Rebuttal 6: Taking control of my sexuality and sensuality.

When you’re a fat girl, the stereotype that continues to perpetuate is no one will love you let alone find you sexy. You will never find a partner who is going to adore you let alone desire you.

When it’s drilled into your head by words, images, and media you will not now nor ever will be seen as the object of someone’s lust, you believe it. The self-loathing is so deep even masturbation is overshadowed by your own self-hatred and touching yourself is taboo. The longer you go without a partner, the more evident it is, to you, all of those fat girl songs are true.

And the adage of, “If you don’t want you, who will?” continues to reverberate through your brain.

The equation is: No one will find you attractive + your self-loathing of your own body = more proof no one will ever want to date you.

It’s a catch-22.

And if they do love you, desire you, lust after you, it’s because you are a fetish and not a person.

No matter my weight, for most of my life I thought this all to be true.

In my early 30s, as I ended a serious relationship and was starting a new chapter in my life, I started to harness the passion that was I knew was simmering below the surface. Everything was sensuous from the food I ate to the perfume I wore to the fabric against my skin. Everything was to be loved and it would love me back.

And it did.

That is when the world opened up in new ways — the more I loved me, the more others loved me. Despite the often crippling social anxiety tossed about with bits of self-loathing, I was not always lousy with others wanting me but this was different. The confidence I was slowly building helped changed me on the approach and reciprocation of relationships, platonic and romantic. The self-loathing was beaten at bay and with that came self-esteem and self-respect.

All of this is tenuous. Fragile. Delicate. That brief period when I not only was in love with the world and myself was short. All that hard work started to slide when I started dating TheEx and by the middle of my marriage a few years later, the idea of someone finding me desirous was laughable.

It took everything I had to hold a shred of self-respect.

Then as I was then, here I was now: No one was ever going to find me desirable let alone love me and all of this came crashing to a head in October 2015.

It takes everything to hold on to a modicum of self-respect.

From a stranger’s glance, you know this is not necessarily true. Within the last couple of years, I have (had) two men declare I was the love of their lives. I have had many tell me, without fetishizing me, how wonderful was my body. Everything about me has been adored in some fashion or another.

I shouldn’t feel unloved or not lusted after and yet here we are.

Self-loathing has packed its bags and decided I was a long term stay Air BnB. Any good that came out of that period when I was in love with myself has long left. When I look in the mirror now, it’s very seldom I see an attractive person in front me. Instead I see myself as fat. Ugly. Not the least bit sexual or sensual.

Much as I felt in my 20s and late 30s.

At the root, logically, I know this not to be true. i know if I can bring out the sexy goddess who lives deep inside of me once, I can do it again. It’s going to be a struggle. It’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be pretty, but I will rescue her now as I had all those years ago and this time she will stay for good

So yes, there will be much lustful conversations about what turns me on. This body, my body, does not contain an unsensual, let alone unsexual, persona. I keep saying logically, but it’s true, logically I know that what I believe is bullshit — it’s the emotional crap that fucks you up and beats you down so bad you’re part of the floor.

You may not find this to be tasteful or have a purpose or part of your mores, but this isn’t your life, it’s my life. It’s time to tell the naysayers and the evil voices who make my life miserable to suck it haters and I’ll bloom like a fucking flower.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. And dimples. Can’t forget the dimples. Also someone who can raise their eyebrow to give you a most stern look. No why that particular feat of muscular control drives me to lust but yes, yes it does.


1. I’ve been raving about the show after mainlining all 10 episodes over the last couple of days. If you can find it, I implore you to watch!
2. Acorn was the first service to have Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries long before it was on PBS or Amazon.
3. I’ve also mainlined Nothing Trivial‘s seasons 1 and 2 and am impatiently waiting for season 3 to show up on Acorn. Maybe if I sacrifice something? I’m on pins and needles here.
4. If you believe in such things, the average IQ score of my previous mens hovers in the 150 range.
5. The conversation with regards to my love life can be distilled to the two most important men in my life: TheBassist and TheExHusband. I loved the others as much as they’d let me but they never quite caught my heart as much as TheBassist or TheExHusband, especially TheBassist. The general quip I hear when I have said there will never be anyone else like him is, “Of course not! Those are separate people, etc etc.” To which I respond, “You poor soul. You have no idea do you?” Fuck ’em.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014

heavy like a loaded gun

Dear Internet,
First, one of my pieces, “Devil’s Advocate: Just Because I Divorced Him Doesn’t Mean He’s Not My Best Friend”, was published today at A Practical Wedding. I’m proud of this piece and as an update, after reading this, TEH said, “When you get married again, let me know so I can send you a gift.”

We may not get along romantically, and we’ve made those lines very clear recently, but I don’t know what I would do without him.


It’s a truth universally acknowledged when I start dragging out Elbow, some emotional shit has gone down. I’m not sure how much I’m going to reveal at this juncture (you can wipe your computer screen now), but it has hit me to the core. Just — when I’m now at my lowest point, things never do change, do they? I guess I can believe what I want, as it was reiterated to me, to make myself feel better but when the same thing said now as in the past to erase one’s own pain, well, despite all of my faults, you can’t argue the same thing was not done thrice.


 

Star Wars: VII trailer dropped yesterday and in honor of that, I wrote up my first experience with Star Wars:

Ex-Fiance #1 and I met in 1994, I was working at a video store. He later told me he hemmed and hawed for months before asking me out, which lead to one of first dates watching Star Wars on laser disc because I was 22 and never saw the damned thing. Yes, the first time I saw SW, I was an old lady and it was on laser.

Over the years, we went from being together to not being together for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into now. As the relationship petered out, as they always do, we remained just plain old fuck buddies. Somewhere in between, he found a woman we referred to as Lisa-lite. She could have been my twin, the resemblance was that uncanny, down to some of her interests. I met her when my then boyfriend and I double dated with them. My then boyfriend looked liked Ex-Fiance #1. AWKWARD.

The midnight romance ends at some point and a few years go by. I’m working at a bookstore, putting myself through my first Master’s degree. Who but shows up one day is ex-Fiance #1 with a big smile on his face. He and Lisa-lite had gotten engaged and he tracked me down to tell me that. I was selfish sleeping with him for a very long time, but this was downright cruel. Almost unbearably so.

He then suggested since he bought her a black diamond engagement ring, I should buy matching earrings. He then left while I ran to the break room and cried for a solid half an hour.

Every time I hear the opening music to SW or read the opening scenes to episode IV, I start crying like a maniac. It’s slowed down considerably over the years, and I’m no longer (as much) of a crying mess. Whoever I’m going to see VII with, I come with tissues.”


 

Please watch your step, naval gazing ahead:

As I was writing this, it got me thinking about how I handled my romantic relationships of yore. First Miguel, who I had a thing on and off with for years, when beginning when I was 19 and he 20. He is living in Guam due to family business. He calls me one night, drunk, to tell me he has been fucking someone twice his age. To gain experience, he said. I was still the love of his life, he said. I went back and forth with him in-between other exes — always him telling me I was the one for him, me falling for it, and then him doing something awful. And as time went on, he stopped calling and I stopped having to defend my no’s. He contacted me in 2012 and again last year, which lead to an interesting conversation. (If he’s anything, he’s at least predictable. I’ll probably hear from him next year, as he will then be due to profess his love.)

Next Alan, who dumped me for another woman but kept coming back for more until that faithful night when I, at a bar, she and I got into a fist fight and I had to be dragged off and out by bouncers. He’s living somewhere in Detroit, married, has kids. He once got in touch with me back in the early naughts, about a decade after we had last spoken, to see how I was. “I think about you a lot,” he says. “I miss you,” he says. But then I never heard from him again. Of course.

Then Danny a few years later. We date for six months, I have a massive panic attack about being stuck in suburbia so I cut and run. I come back. I cut again. I come back. At some point we went down to just fuck buddies (see above) and he marries Lisa-lite.

TheExHusband. We date for 18 months. I run. He tracks me down nearly a decade later. We get married. He stops treating me like a wife and more like a roommate. I threaten divorce. Nothing happens. I leave him after nearly seven years. After the divorce, he’s been contrite as to why he was hurting me. We’re slowly building our friendship back together. We’re not dating, just very close friends.

I split up with TheExHusband.

TheBassist tells me he’s got me.

TheBassist. Hoo boy. We date in 2005. He cuts and runs and goes back to his ex-wife. He contacts me six months later, they have separated again. He leaves me again. Flash forward to nearly a decade. He’s been leaving me love notes across the Internet during that entire time. Everyone in his circle knows about the Michigan Girl. Even his girlfriends know during that decade of silence. I am a force to be reckoned with, he says. No one has loved him like I loved him, he says. He was wrong, he says. He made a mistake, he says. I am the love of his life and if he can’t have me, he doesn’t want anyone else, he says.

“I know she doesn’t remember me, since it was about nine years ago now, but in Grand Rapids I made a very large mistake with someone else’s very important organ. I chose what was safe over what made me happy, and I proceeded to reprogram myself. Grand Rapids became my codeword for not choosing love over security, a monument to my own cowardice.”

My life is shit. I’m no mentally stable. I have no job. I’m essentially homeless. I never not believed in us, I just never believed in me. I cut and run. I come back. I cut and run. I come back. In between all of this, I run out of money. Then he cuts and runs with the same reasoning as 2005: He made a unilateral decision on what was best for me rather than letting me make that decision myself on what was best for me. (And trust me, I begged and pleaded for him to not do this again. “It’s like 2005 all over again,” I cried hysterically into the phone. “It is and it isn’t,” he says.)

“Are you going to love me always?” I ask later. “You’re a piece of my heart,” he responds.

(This time, unlike other times, all of this is verbatim from texts and comments spanning the Internet. Memories are rotten bastards but at least this time around I have primary sources to back me up.)

I’m as equal as anyone in what went down, but, when I’m at the lowest point of my life, to leave? Again? (To be brutally fair, despite my anger at him leaving, he couldn’t take the back and forth. “We’re always on pause,” he says. “I wait for you. It’s what I do,” he says. But it just hurts beyond human reasoning he leaves when I am at rock bottom. I am no angle in this world of ours, and I get that. But that doesn’t make it any less painful when he said goodbye on the phone.)

I’m a hot mess and also human. In the past I’ve bent the truth, I’ve blown things out of proportions, I’ve been a bitch. I’ve had my share of moments. Life is a fucking chaotic mess. Nothing is black and white. There are blurred lines everywhere. I’m constantly at war with my own self-esteem.

There is never someone who isn’t as in touch with their foils, foibles, and feelings like yours truly. Jesus fuck, I’ve been examining the human psyche via my own life for years.

It’s intoxicating being told you are the love of someone’s life and in the case of TheBassist, to reply that was true from me as well. But what does that mean in the long run? Do you cut your losses when shit hits the fan? Do you work through the shit? Why aren’t there any concrete answers?

I’m in love with love, and I freely admit it. Who doesn’t want that kind of intoxication? And I’m more in love with TheBassist than in love itself. Fucking bastard. He of the big words, lightening intelligence, and fabulous hair.

(I am not terribly surprised my comment from above, “I’m not sure how much I’m going to reveal at this juncture,” turned out not to be true.)

I want to take responsibility for my own actions. I want to see clear-eyed for the future to really think about what it means to be in love, whether TheBassist and I end up working shit out or not. Because if he asked me to, I would do it all over again.

I want to feel to be the center of someone’s world. I want them to be there when shit hits the fan and when I laugh as they drive around cloverleafs because that simple act makes me happy. I want my own life and be the part of someone’s life. And even when I am at my lowest, I won’t stop believing that such a love exists.

And if it’s not him, and someone else comes along (much) later on, I will still take that chance, foolish me, to give it 1000% and to love big. Love large. And when my heart gets broken, again, I’ll pick myself up and do it all over again.

Here are my mediations on love. Die trying.

I still believe in love, so fuck you.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2010, 2003, 2003, 2001, 1998

the end of the affair

Dear Internet,

I wrote the below on September 9, 2014, a week after TSTBEH and I had split up. What I was so sure then has changed dramatically over the months that what I’m so sure of now doesn’t look like below.

But if you’re curious as to the demise of a marriage and why, here is where you begin.

I’m sleeping on the couch we bought for $3K and imported from Italy, which is doing a fine job of jacking up my back and hips. I thought after decades of being poor and making less than $12K a year, the trappings of having a big girl job and disposable income would cure most of my ills. Because that is how it works. You get your degrees and your post-new-American Dream life, and your world comes easy. Because NOW you have money.

Except, they forget to tell you your friends find it awkward to hang out with you in your fancy house (or you lose friends because now that you’re “successful” you apparently wipe your ass with $100 bills). The same friends who were with you when you were poor, ditched you when you’re rich. The same friends whom after you announce your seperation, with the exception of 2, did not offer you any kind of help.

That your soon to be ex-husband wouldn’t take a vacation or go on vacation with you since your honeymoon 4.5 years prior because it would eat into his aggressive plan for retirement savings. And if you can only hold out 15 more years! We can live in Europe — that’s what is really important. We do not live for today, but for 15 years hence.

The same person who stopped having sex with you two years after you got together because they had already been down that road before, so why bother? Then claimed to be asexual, then told you you could have lovers on the side but knew you wouldn’t because you wanted the big love, not the casual fling. (But through all of this, still found it appropriate to touch you in a sexual manner and was, teehee, just joking and really Lisa, we’re both just too fat to have sex.)

But on paper, everything was grand! You were walking around with 0 balance $30K in credit in your purse, driving a $40K car, and owned two properties in beyond desirable locations. And so what if your husband wouldn’t fuck you, or go out with you, or meet your friends, or who told you after you tell them you are getting sued for standing for what you believe in, “Oh fuck, we’re going to lose the house!” OR a myriad of other things — life could be a lot worse.

I had big love 9 years ago and it went away. I swore to myself I would never go without again or settle. But I compromised and settled. Because we’re adults and that’s what you do. Big love is for Romeo and Juliet, not aging alternative hipsters. Then big love came back, with book in hand, and quietly tells you it’s only been you all this time.

There was never anyone else but you. And you know this is true because you’ve found big love’s notes, piling up for years, across the internet. Searching for you. Waiting for you, for when you’re ready. Figure your life out, big love says, and come to me when you’re ready.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2003, 1999