Posts Tagged ‘relationships’


Broken Toys

September 1, 2015

If you could somehow corral all my exes into a small stadium, you’d have enough crazy to power the Eastern Seaboard. Realistically, you wouldn’t even need a small stadium. I’m not that much of a stud. You could shoehorn all the participants of my romantic career into a small kitchen. Too sexist? Okay, a studio apartment. It would be a dangerous endeavor, because odds are that if you threw them all into one room, they’d eviscerate each other by lunchtime. My love life has been a lightning rod for psychosis, rage, irrational behavior and flat-out silliness. No less than four of the women I’ve been with had diagnosed mental illnesses either before, during or after our relationship. Someone told me once that ‘Hurt people hurt people’. I prefer to say that the damaged manage to find the damaged. I actually never said that until the previous sentence. I have a profound appreciation for the female race, but somehow I always draw whack jobs.

I firmly believe that there’s a wide chasm between the people you attract and the people you’re attracted to. Occasionally both categories converge, but that’s a statistical rarity. Admittedly, I am attracted to the erratic, the illogical and those who have simply gone around the bend a long time ago. My little brother likes to say “Crazy in the head, crazy in bed.” He’s right. Sex is seldom mechanical or clinical when you spend your time with women who are “a little off.” That’s being too generous. Let’s go with “totally fucking nuts.”

In my 39 years, I’ve dated a stripper, a massage therapist, no less than two former Catholic schoolgirls (who, to my great regret, did NOT hang onto their uniforms), an actress, a deejay, two nurses, a former Playboy Club employee, a marathon runner, a witch, two poets, at least two women with daddy issues, two women with mommy issues, a self-styled hippie, a philosophy instructor and a girl who had a collection of porcelain fairies. No less than three of the aforementioned were bisexuals. I will also gladly go on the record by saying that I will never date a poetess again because their brand of crazy far exceeds any other classification, genus or subspecies of the female race. I can’t really tell you approximately how many women I’ve been with because I stopped counting after eight, which was around the turn of the century. I suppose I was grateful that eight separate women took their clothes off for me and let me do things to them, and assumed that anyone else who wound up with me henceforth was gravy. So let’s just say that I’m in the low double digits for those of you keeping score at home.

To their defense, I freely admit that I have issues. I’m bipolar, I’m a Scorpio and I’m actively enrolled in recovery. Any one of those red flags would fall effortlessly into the category of ‘high maintenance’. The upside to this is that most of my subjects graduate to Muses (or, depending on your point of view or the girlfriend, comic relief) during our time together, so they reap the unintentional benefit of being written about. The downside to this is that (long after the pairing is terminated by either party) I will continue to write about the aforementioned subject long after we’re together, and it probably won’t be in a positive light depending on the conclusion or loose end we left off on. With my objective point of view, I can assure you that the end of every relationship has been the other person’s fault. Moving on, then. Not all women are attracted to me, but the ones who are tend to fall pretty hard. I had to break up with one in therapy and yet another sought inpatient treatment after our relationship concluded. Still another (rumor has it) became a lesbian after I broke up with her. I am neither proud nor ashamed of that. Good for her, though!

I’m not very good in a relationship. It’s safe to say that there’s plenty of room for improvement. Like, well, ALL men, I expend an inordinate amount of energy into the initial chase and capture and lose momentum and/or interest on the follow through. Guys (at least every guy I’ve ever known) are all about the conquest and after that, they lose interest. It could be a biological imperative, genetic encoding, Nature V. Nurture, or it could just be that most men are assholes. I will not dispute that I’m an asshole. It’s fortunate that women fall for assholes.

I wasn’t always an asshole. Like most assholes, I began life as a nice guy, and morphed into an asshole after slowly and systematically having my soul and spirit crushed by women in something that resembled a co-dependent particle collider. I do have a deeply rooted sense of romanticism and chivalry but there are multiple tectonic surface layers of assholery that have to be excavated before reaching that soft candy center.

Most of the women that I’ve been with are not the types of women that you bring home to mom. Quite the opposite, in point of fact. They have been a special breed of wrong, being impulsive, pierced, experimental, daring, exhibitionistic, well-outfitted and highly sexual. All of these traits harvest large net gains in the bedroom. Using an investment portfolio as a metaphor, there is no profit to be had over the long term, though. However, life was never boring with the majority of these girls. Thunderous sex and calamitous fights I can work with. The aforementioned is much more interesting than, say, a stable, healthy relationship with minimum peaks and valleys.

Now that I’m coming out of a five year marriage which was part and parcel of a ten year relationship, I wonder if I will sustain the same classification of woman not if but when I get involved with someone again. I’ve changed and grown emotionally in the last ten years, so perhaps the sort of girl that I wind up with next will be different. Perhaps not. I married the woman I married because she was an exact opposite of virtually every woman I’d ever been with. On the surface, she appeared to be sensible, logical and practical. This translated into an incredibly boring human being and an even more boring partner. Trust me when I say I’m not speaking out of bitterness but rather as an assessment in relation to my other subjects. In the end, it turned out that she was crazier than almost all of them after the relationship rather than during it.

Unfortunately, I am back on the meat market after ten years with no experience in the field. Times have changed, women have changed with those times and dating rituals may be different. As I approach forty, I’m faced with two options: 1.) Date someone younger in an effort to deliberately pick up where I left off emotionally ten years ago and also to avoid very real baggage or 2.) Date someone my own age and get used to dealing with, carrying and encountering great goddamned airports full of very real, very dog-eared, demolished and weathered baggage. I’m bringing quite a bit of my own to the table. I am now a proud single dad, divorcee and actively enrolled in recovery. And there’s that pesky Scorpio thing, if you actually subscribe to astrology.

By some quirk of fate, I’ve leap-frogged into a stratus of women (based on a cursory glance at *Popular Dating App*) that contains cat lovers (possibly multiple cats) who have never been married, early adopters to the stereotypical old maid (also rumored to be cat lovers), women who put their careers first before worrying about starting a family who missed the deadline, bible nuts who can’t find a date in their flock, soccer moms, angry divorcees, women who have something seriously wrong with them under the surface and as a result have never had a long-term interaction with the opposite sex and the dangerously young who are obviously supplementing their steady diet of daddy issues.

Full Discloser: I own one cat.

Fuller Disclosure: He’s also an asshole.

These are dangerous demographics, to be sure, but if history is any indicator, I should be able to cull the crazy out of that flock with relative ease and grace. Do I still pine for a dysfunctional pairing? I suppose on some level I do. Would I like to find out or am I even capable of a healthy, fulfilling, meaningful relationship? The Magic 8 Ball informs me that it’s ‘Highly Unlikely’. I’m drawn to interesting women, and to some extent (as a creative person), I’ve always gravitated towards creative partners.

Today is the first day of the rest of my love life. Note to self: buy a new pair of handcuffs.


Alternative Thinking

February 25, 2009

In light of recent events, I thought I’d approach the subject of homosexuality. It’s a topic that (as an essayist), I’ve always wanted to weigh in on but haven’t had the proper context to discuss it with. Until now. I didn’t want to approach it from the wrong angle and risk offending people where this lifestyle is concerned because it’s not an issue to take a waffling opinion on or an essay that can be written with my usual screwball demeanor. After 33 years, I think I’m finally ready to write about the gay and lesbian culture in a way that properly explains my position.

Despite what many may think, I support the gay and lesbian subculture wholeheartedly for a number of reasons. For starters, the odds of two people finding each other on this planet, falling in love and making each other happy are infinitesimal enough as it is. If two people can find each other and help take a little agony and hardship out of each other’s lives by doing so, then what the hell is wrong with that? To take it one step further, if those two people are consenting adults and they happen to be the same gender, why should it be a big issue? Happiness is one of the most limited resources we have and it’s in far shorter supply than natural gas, coal, diamonds or any other known quantity in the universe. Call me pessimistic in thinking that way, but look at modern day relationships and prove me wrong.

We live in a world rife with climbing divorce rates, spousal abuse, infidelity, failed marriages that soldier on for the sake of children born within (and out of) wedlock, rampant pedophilia nationwide, co-dependant pairings that end in mutual self destruction, sexual addiction, gambling addiction, entire families destroyed by alcoholism, and five billion other maladies that occur intentionally (or by accident) when two people join into a relationship, move in together, or walk down the aisle together. There’s a strong possibility that gay and lesbian couples may actually be capable of teaching us how to maintain a healthy relationship with another person without letting it fall apart at the seams over the duration of the partnership. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

The very notion that same-sex relationships are wrong, forbidden, or singled out by any society in terms of progress is flat-out ridiculous. Quoting the Bible isn’t going to win any amens on my end, either, because the majority of the tenants brought down in the Old Testament were guidelines for health or complete crocks of shit. If you want to take up that argument with me, consider the possibility that perhaps sodomy was taboo over two thousand years ago for disease and health reasons rather than morality issues. It’s been postulated that the removal of Pork from the Jewish religion was set forth as a dietary guideline, so it’s not that far out of the ball park to claim that homosexuality was singled out for the sake of propagating a growing species and avoiding death by disease. A million other religious postulations have been overturned, thrown out or forgotten by organized religion and this is a belief that should have gone out a long time ago with the others. So take your scripture where this is concerned, roll it up and shove it in your mouth, because I don’t want to hear it.

If anything, we’re more overpopulated as a species than we have ever been, so from a survivalist standpoint as living organisms, it’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world that some men and women are pairing off with each other with no desires or plans to have children of their own. If our planet didn’t have so many inhabitants, we wouldn’t be running out of natural resources at the unnerving rate that we are, not to mention the fact that many committed same sex couples adopt, so on a very large scale, they’re helping straight people out on multiple levels. If heterosexual couples the world over used protection more often or made the decision not to have more than two children total (replacing only themselves from a mathematical standpoint), our resources would be in much better shape. There is no logical reason why couples should have four, five or eight children when you consider our survival and our evolution going forward as a species and same sex couples are helping a great deal where this is concerned.

No one can blame the disintegration of the nuclear family as an ideal on homosexuals because as a former value ideal, the breakdown is a hell of a lot more systemic than that and we’re all to blame, and who’s to say it’s an issue that’s deserving of blame? We have evolved and splintered and our culture has made room for multiple variations and alternate options in addition to the nuclear family. Single parent families. Same sex marriages with or without children. Children raised by their grandparents instead of their biological parents. These are all variations on a core value that’s no longer the standard to the way life really is. Hanging on to an ideal that doesn’t apply overall anymore is a losing battle and it’s best just to accept that we have more alternatives to growing older with our without a significant other and/or children of our own.

We’re also well aware some twenty years later that AIDs was not created or perpetuated by the gay and lesbian community. Heterosexuals have done more than their share of spreading this fatal disease since it was discovered and any theories to the contrary are false from a scientific standpoint. If anything (from personal experience), I’ve seen more cases of straight men willfully and maliciously spreading the virus without telling their partners than any other subsection of our culture. I would almost assume (based on the free programs and availability of protection within the subculture) that gays and lesbians are more protective and more sensible where the AIDs virus is concerned.

And I can understand (but wonder why) there’s a double standard where gays and lesbians are concerned. A lesbian lifestyle is held up on a pedestal in American pornography, marketing, advertising and in popular music as a fantasy designed for men’s enjoyment while gay men (on the other side of the coin) are often the victims of hate crimes, school hazing incidents and other forms of homophobic cruelty. I’m not saying that lesbians aren’t also the victims of homophobic brutality that is one hundred percent avoidable, but on the whole, this is how the subculture appears from a heterosexual’s point of view in our society.

As far as the lesbian fantasy/myth, it is exactly that. Not all lesbian women wear lipstick and garter belts 24 hours a day in the event that a man is watching. Odds are that lesbian women really don’t give a shit what men are watching. It’s not wrong to find two women having sex appealing, but there is a strong difference between what we see in adult film and pop videos versus how lesbians actually live their lives. It’s called reality, and to a greater extent, a three dimensional lifestyle. White males still influence the landscape of modern advertising and marketing because their consumer buying power holds that much sway, but that might not last forever either. A hundred years from now the gender and the race controlling our advertising dollars could be a whole different ball game. That’s if we make it another hundred years.

As someone who is firmly entrenched in an artistic community of writers, poets, journalists, musicians and other creative types, it would be foolish for me to take any other kind of stance when it comes to same sex partnerships. I’m a Republican, but I’m not a Republican from the Stone Ages, for chrissakes. One of my best friends growing up told me that he was gay some time around high school. Many of the friends that I have (or have had) in my life have been gay or lesbian. I’m also an Elton John fanatic, so it would be hypocritical to take an anti-homosexual stance when it comes to the people I talk to, the friendships I have, or the beliefs that I defend.

I’ve honestly never had a problem with it, and often wonder if the people who are most homophobic might have personal issues of their own to resolve before they project them on other people, if you know what I mean. Assuming that every gay person is going to hit on you (as a man) or that every lesbian woman will attempt to convert you (if you’re a girl) is narcissistic and false. Gay and lesbian people are not sexual werewolves with no impulse control and it doesn’t work that way. You’re ’safe’, so don’t obsess about homosexuals going out of their way to convert you. They’re not Mormons and they don’t have a vested interest in intentionally growing the population by recruiting people who aren’t interested. Think about it.

Love is the bottom line where relationships are concerned whether it’s heterosexual or homosexual. If you love someone and they love you back, where is there a problem? There isn’t one, and it shouldn’t be for anyone else involved, either. End of discussion.

Off the fence on another argument,

Tom Waters


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