Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cheater… Cheater… Pumpkin Eater

A while back, my friend Veronica, cheated on her boyfriend Dale. Veronica and Dale had been going through a rough patch, when she met a charming man who made her feel beautiful and wanted. In a moment of weakness, she slept with him. I remember Veronica calling me, hysterically crying and hyperventilating. She wanted to know what she should do.

She had already called a mutual friend and asked for his advice, and he had immediately berated her for her decision and called her every dirty name under the sun. He told her than she had 24 hours to tell Dale or he would do it himself. Veronica was beside herself, she could barely talk on the phone.

I had this moment of clarity then… I realized it was not my place to judge or to tell Veronica what to do. Every relationship is different, and you just don’t know what is going on unless you are in that relationship. It isn’t anyone else’s place to give ultimatums or threaten with exposure. It was none of my business whether she told or not, and I couldn’t possibly judge her for any decision she made. It was a mistake, and mistakes happen.

I think it’s these moments where everyone judges. We hear the word “cheat” and we draw conclusions that we have no business drawing. An outsider to a relationship will never be able to grasp the nuances and complexities of any given relationship, so it’s simply unfair to pass judgement based on a limited knowledge of the relationship.

Our readiness to judge others based on cheating is a result of our own bias. I have been cheated on, and I hate cheaters. The idea makes me angry, but this is a byproduct of my own experiences. When I hear the word “cheater” I think of them as people with huge and glaring personality problems. I think of weak-minded, selfish, and mean people. I think of cheaters as “takers,” the kind of people that take and take from you and that drain you of the desire to love.

But then I think about the men that have cheated on me… and I know they were not bad people. They were definitely not nice to me, but that doesn’t make them bad people. I know many people that have cheated on their significant others, and this does not make them bad people either. And, if I were being honest, I would tell you that I have cheated too and I still do not think of myself as a bad person.

This is not to say that cheating is “okay” or should be tolerated, I simply mean to say that cheating is not dispositive of the entirety of a person’s character. Instead… it’s something that is simply none of anyone’s business but the parties involved.

I’ll leave you with the rest of Veronica’s story as an illustration of this. Veronica told Dale about the whole thing… including our friend who threatened to tell. Dale? Well, Dale went around and told every single person that he was the luckiest man alive, because not only was he in a relationship with someone beautiful and smart, but someone who was brutally honest too. They are still together today. I always meant to ask Veronica how it all transpired to turn out that way, but then I remember… It is simply NONE of my business!!!

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The Four Thousand Dollar Girlfriend

Anyone else read this article by the NY Observer? The Luxury Rental Girlfriend.

Let me tell you. I read that shit four times. I also went through and looked at all of those links… including the one where the John’s rank their escorts. I also went and read posts by the girls advertising their services… mostly because I want to know what they look like and what they are advertising. The girls that advertise S&M are super popular, as are the blondes and Asians. I also noticed that the Asian escorts have excellent and professionally done photographs… whereas others simply have normal pictures and the requisite mirror pictures displaying breasts and asses.

All that aside, I have so many questions….Mostly for the $4,000/night girl. Girl….

  1. How do you decide how much you are worth an hour? Is it based on what the first dude you fuck is willing to pay? Or is it based on what kind of clientele you are trying to get? Because… let me tell you $4,000/night is ballsy.
  2. In the same vein… for $4,000 a night… can you say no to stuff the Johns ask you to do? Because, I’m not going to lie, if I gave you $4,000 I would want to do all of the weird shit I’ve wanted to try.
  3. How do you get paid? Is it cash? When you answer the door, do you say “Hi John. Please put the cash through the cash-counter?”
  4. What if your John stiffs you? Seriously. What if he only gives you $2,000….. what then? It’s not like you can call a collection company on his ass. Aren’t you worried the dude will write you a check?
  5. Also. Aren’t you worried about the Johns that show up? Because if they are willing to pay $4,000 for ass, I’m going to guess you have some really fucking twisted weirdos showing up at your “place of business.”
  6. Do you have an enforcer? You know… like a pimp… someone that makes sure you are safe?
  7. Also… how many people do you fuck in a year? How often do you see your gyno? Are you and your gyno besties, because if I was your gyno I’d judge you HARDCORE… unless your gyno is one of your Johns?!
  8. Also… there was a mention of a binder. Do you keep good track because it helps you get paid $4,000? Or are you a secret obsessive compulsive sex addict? Is this how you organize your “dates” or do you have some smartphone app?
  9. There was mention of you being really smart… Are you actually an intelligent human being? Or are you just a really successful sociopath that manages to exploit people’s weaknesses for money?
  10. Do your friends know what you do for a living? Because… I have a hard time talking about sex with my friends, so I can only imagine how weird it would be to tell my friends about getting paid for sex.
  11. Do you have a boyfriend? Does he know what you do? Do you keep it a secret?
  12. Aren’t you lonely? It sounds like a lonely existence with little emotional connection.
  13. What are your friends like? Are they all escorts too?
  14. Do any of your Johns fall in love with you? Do you fall in love with them?
  15. How busy are you? How many hours do you work a week? Is there a slow season?
  16. How discreet are you? Do you promise to never talk? What if a wife or girlfriend finds out about you? What do you do? Do you have confidentiality agreements with your Johns?
  17. How many condoms do you use? How about your repeat Johns? Do you let them forgo the condoms?
  18. What kind of birth control do you use?
  19. Do you want to do this for the rest of your life? What are you going to do when your physical appeal wears off? Do you have a day job???
  20. What do you act like with your Johns? Do you treat them like a boyfriend? Do you behave like yourself, or do you behave the way they want?
  21. When they solicit you for a “date” do you go over details on the phone? Like… how much it costs, what they want, the boundaries, all that? Do you talk about their “special needs” in advance or do you just roll with it as things come up?
  22. How did you get into escorting? Why?

….. seriously. My list of questions goes on forever. I’m fascinated by this subculture of people that engage in regular sex with escorts and the escorts themselves… because to me? I wouldn’t ever do it because it’s so taboo and I can’t imagine charging people to hang out with me.

I do have a good friend who openly talks about his use of escort services. Ironically his name is John, last name equally generic. But he once told me that escorts are fun because they know people… they know exactly how to have fun. He once chartered a weekend cruise from Miami to the Bahamas for his friends and flew 5 of his favorite escorts in for the party. Two of the girls came in from Vegas. Another from Paris. Two from New York… because they do group sex.  He paid each of them $10,000 for the 5 day trip. In addition to entertaining his friends, chartering the yacht, hiring the hookers, and what ever else goes into one of these parties…. the numbers made my head spin. It’s an expensive 5 day binge.

I remember John bringing an escort to a social event once. She was stunningly pretty and well dressed, but it was clear she was only there to be a good time. She gave vapid and rehearsed answers to questions about her personal life… she was simply a pretty facade on his arm. When I asked him why he brought his escort to the networking event, he responded so matter-of-factly, “Who else would carry the blow?” Which begs the questions… do these girls realize they are little, pretty drug mules? Because John brought this girl and stashed his cocaine on her so he could snort lines off her ass. Some how, the idea of transporting drugs so someone could snort it off my ass, and making me carry it so he wouldn’t be arrested for possession seems so…. something. I don’t even have a word for it. But the whole juxtaposition of John spending thousands to parade around escorts and blow seems so unreal and exploitative. I realize some people choose this lifestyle, but even then it just seems so wrong.

Thoughts?

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My Piece of Shit Phone

I recently got my very first smartphone. The shiny new iPhone 5. I didn’t feel the need… and for the most part, still don’t, see the need for a smartphone. It comes with a phone, a camera, unlimited access to the internet, and hundreds upon hundreds of easily accessible social media sites to let my friends and the world know what I am doing at every single nanosecond of the day. The camera part is what really enthralls me the most about my new phone because I grew up when photos were special. In fact, I remember learning to load film into a camera, careful to shield the film from exposure so I could take my precious pictures. I remember the great sense of anticipation after taking pictures and waiting for them to be developed. I remember rolls of film that only took 24 pictures, and when those rolls became 36 it was a big deal. I remember taking those pictures carefully, and only capturing those special moments… after all, you had to pay for each frame. I still have those pictures that I took and developed. They are neatly archived in plastic binders and labeled with where each was taken and when… because back then, pictures were precious and they were to remember those precious moments.

Now, pictures aren’t like that. In fact, most cell phones (do people even call them “cell phones” anymore?) have cameras, and everyone that has a smartphone has one click access to a good quality camera. People take millions of pictures with their smart phones. Even the precocious 9 year old that lives down the street from me has a smart phone… and iPhone to be exact. It was this 9 year old that tuned me into how different childhood is today. It was this precocious (just two letters away from precious) brat that took one look at my outdated black and white slider phone before whipping out her iPhone to take a picture to “Instagram” it to her friends and stating in her best “duhhhhh” voice that my phone was a “piece of shit.” The phrase has yet to escape my mind… in fact the pitch of her voice and the tilt of her head will forever haunt me. “Your phone. Is. A. Piece. Of. SHIT.” Followed by the ominous “click” of her iPhone as she uploaded the picture to her “Instagram.”

I marvel at my little 9 year old “friend.” She is NINE… Today’s 9 is entirely different from my NINE. I remember running around outside, climbing trees, and rolling down the grassy hills in the neighborhood. I remember chasing the ice cream truck and knocking on my friends’ doors to ask if they could come out and play. I remember collecting worms to creep out my older sister… and occasionally throwing worms at my friends. I still would, if it wasn’t frowned upon for newly minted attorneys to chuck worms at people they don’t like. But, 9 today is nothing like that. Today, 9 year olds tweet, text, and “Instagram” (a concept I still fail to grasp)… they play at an entirely different level which utilizes social media platforms, smartphones, and the internet. Nine years old today means mini-adults in skin tight jeans, neon t-shirts plastered to their ribs, sparkly smartphones and equally smart mouths to go along.

Walking down the street, the little kids are no longer interested in what happens around them, but what is happening in that little rectangular piece of technology with blinking lights in front of them. These phones are glued to their little hands… it’s amazing that children retain any shred of innocence at all. I saw this little glimmer of innocence when my little friend told me her feelings were hurt by someone being mean to her at school. Yet… the “meanness” was the result, again, of a smartphone. Her friend had taken a rather unflattering picture and immediately uploaded it to a social media page where all of her friends saw it. These smartphones given children an entirely new facet of bullying that did not exist when I was a kid… and when I was a kid? Bullying sucked. So I imagine that for my 9 year old friend that bullying today sucks even more. I can’t imagine the amount of stress that children must feel from this constant buzz of smartphone nonsense. I can’t imagine being a 9 year old and being worried about someone taking an unflattering picture of me. I can’t imagine having these types of concerns…. especially at 9 years old. That’s still elementary school age, when our children should be worried about whether it’s chicken nugget day at school… not if their friends are taking mean pictures.

In some countries (most notably, South Korea) all cameras are required to make an audible “click” when a photo is being taken. The purpose? So that the subject of the photo is being illicitly photographed doing something they would rather not have photographed. We don’t have these types of restrictions (and I certainly do not advocate them because of the Constitutional questions that arise from restrictions of freedom of speech and whatnot), however I wonder if the intent of this type of restriction was to lower the amount of stress the everyday individual has to be concerned about. I can’t imagine being a 9 year old and looking over my shoulder, concerned that a classmate is taking a picture that will make me the subject of cruel, childish torment. Children, after all, are creative when it comes to torment. I remember calling someone a “tin can” (I can’t remember how I got there) but I do remember making the kid cry. (I also remember being reprimanded harshly, before being dragged down the street to apologize to my victim in person and say sorry to his mother too.) I can’t imagine what damage a child could do with a smartphone at their disposal. I can only imagine the incredible stress that is caused by the ever accesible smartphone. Everyone knows the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the common reprimand “your words can hurt people.” So… if logic serves me correctly… if words can hurt, then a picture can hurt even more because the strength of those images is a thousand times stronger than a single word.

As a kid, I called another child a tin can and sent him home in tears… what happens today when a child takes a mean photograph of another? And then posts it in a social media site for hundreds of others to see… and all of their friends? What happens to these precocious children? Are they simply tougher than my generation? Or are they meaner, sadder, and more hurt?

 

 

 

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Forgone Conclusions

My friend, Lissa, and I were talking about finding our people. After a few hits and misses, she told me that she was ready to find her person, settle into being an adult, and having children… the whole nine. I don’t know if I’m in the same place that she is, but I have suddenly have this feeling that I should be searching for my person. I’ve been unable to shake the feeling, so maybe it is time for me to get serious about finding my person. I always believed that you know when you find your person. Not quite the fairytale we are all fed as children, but I believed that you meet someone, and you and that person just fit together. I don’t know who my person is, and I don’t know if there is just one… but “my person?”  He’s going to be the person that gets my shit, makes me laugh, and never tires of me.

While Lissa and I were talking, she asked me if I had anyone in my life. And I don’t… not the kind that are a story you want. I have forgone conclusions. I have these relationships with men where I already know the ending.

You know, those people who, if timing had been on your side, you would be together for the rest of time… except in some sick twist of fate, it fell apart. But… you and that person are still friends… still talk… and still remember that beautiful spark that you had once-upon-a-time. So, you are stuck in this little bubble where you and that person support each other, and are for all intents and purposes “with” that person… but you aren’t. You already know that the world threw you apart from each other, and that it simply won’t happy anymore. It’s these relationships that I manage to cultivate… even though I know they are forgone conclusions. I don’t love them anymore. They don’t love me anymore… but we are still here. In that gray area, where you aren’t with each other, but you aren’t not with each other either.