Love and Stuff

When I think of love and how it has often played out in my life, this photo really kind of says it all…



A gross exaggeration maybe, but not completely.

Entering into a love relationship when you’re not emotionally ready is a lot like swimming in shark infested waters wearing a swim suit made of chum.

I’ve spent a lifetime doing just that.

After all these years of falling in love and failing at it miserably, I know one thing for sure: that I know nothing at all about it.

Oh yeah..sure– you can read all the books like “The Rules” and “Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus” and you can even read “He’s Just Not That Into You” and apply what they say. You can live by their every line and treat every word like scripture if you want—but you shouldn’t because when the books are wrong, when you’ve let them lead you astray, to whom are supposed to turn? Huh? Who?

These books assume that every man is alike and that the blanket stances they stress regarding ways to handle yourself and your man will work in every relationship. Well, they won’t. Every relationship is idiosyncratic. Lump sum dime store self-help advice won’t always work.

Dr. Feel McGraw is finding that out the hard way and on syndicated TV, no less.

Sure, all men rose from the same gender-based primordial goo all those eons ago and as a result, they do share some of the same psychopathy. They have similar hard wiring. But one man’s view of the world is just that–HIS VIEW OF THE WORLD!! Every man is different. I learned that in an earlier post. I asked men for their perspective on a few situations that had happened to me and a few friends. I walked away feeling even more confused. I asked eight men and got eight different responses. Men are all so damn different! Hell, the only thing that the men in my life had in common was a penis…except for Jeff. I’m not sure WHAT that was!!??!??

The reality is that women have to walk a rickety, narrow path that’s fraught with obstacles. We’re supposed to keep emotional distance WHILE trying to establish some semblance of close intimacy with these men. How impossibly passive/ aggressive is that?

At this stage of my life, I AM NOT in the mood to pretend I don’t care when I do and feign being busy when I’m not because being otherwise, might step on the toes of some hard and fast law of testosterone. I’m talking about the one concerning man not being happy unless he can chase and pursuit his female prey.

I can hear what you’re saying–then prepare to be alone, LK. Blow it out your ass, THEN submit that argument elsewhere, Skippy!

At my age, it’s damned ridiculous! Hell, half the men I’d even be interested in can’t physically stand up that long, much less waste time pursuing me or anything short of the exact location of the nearest restroom.

I’d throw my hands up in the air and give up, but I’m not hardwired for that. So, instead of relenting and in my frustration, insanely agreeing to start pinch hitting for Rita Mae Brown’s team, I’m in the midst of learning about love. It’s a life course and I’m taking it pass/fail. Really, there’s no other way to do it.

And it has been educational.

So far, I’ve learned that love is elusive for many. It’s also wonderful and at times, incredibly painful. It can sometimes be quite easy and sometimes, it’s extremely difficult. I’ve learned that contrary to Eric Segal’s ridiculous drivel, love never negates the need to say “I’m sorry” and it is never, ever blind.

Not really, anyway.

Life is such a classroom. We can learn so much if we allow our memories to form the quill; our experience to become the ink.

And what about love? Where does it come into play? Well, after the quest for riches and libidinous satiation, love is one of the most sought-after intangibles known to man.

So the question then morphs in to this: how do you know when you’re in love?

Really, how do you know?

That very question was posed to me a few days ago. I thought about it for a second, then I drifted back several years to recall one instance. Minutes later through the miracle of Vodka, I was whisked back 36 years for the other time I knew real love and for a few fleeting moments, I remembered how it felt.

For some, it could be that you get light headed. Maybe your mouth gets all Sahara-esque or your nipples harden.

For me, it’s different.

It usually requires looking into his eyes. At first, I feel a tightening in my solar plexus…that means it’s preparing itself for the gut punch and/or kick that love will invariably dispense in the coming weeks.

Then, I wonder what this man looked like as a child.

Lastly, if it’s love, real love, I suddenly realize that my life is no longer just about me anymore.



Then six months later, he leaves me for someone younger and thinner and I end up wishing him perpetual penile flaccidity. Even in the midst of my anger, I find that always “softens the blow”.


Well, for him anyway…

God, I’m funny!


  1. You always have to look at the water…even the stuff you just swam in. That can be just as important as surveying the water you’re about to dive into.

  2. I agree with you that one of the hardest bits is getting to know a bloke as a person. I also find it hard to remember, when they do something which hurts you, to apply your reasoning around the person in question, rather a highly cynical and uncomplimentary sort of blanket generalisation about men generally. In other words… I think all of us do this.

    I hope you fresh waters are well… if not shark free, populated the kinds of sharks which will swim off when you give them a biff on the hooter!



  3. BC,

    I’m not sure what you said, but I think–I THINK—you’re wishing me well and that no matter where I end up, the metaphorical waters will be– if not shark free, at least rife with the kind of sharks that will swim off when I bite their penises??????

    Do I have that right?


  4. Laurie, the story you just wrote was truly a wonderful peice of work. But, by God, you are one strong and great lady! Who ever finds you, will be the must LUCKIEST man in the whole world!!!

  5. Laurie… I have a theory.

    I think our great grandparent’s generations often had better ideas. That we should only date ‘suitable’ people. That we should judge suitability based on character, on personal and family history, on whether we have common acquaintances.

    I recommend: 1) First make sure a guy is honest and loyal; 2) get trusted advice before a first date; 3) Sexual attraction is often the most powerful driving force bringing two people together, but is the most unreliable. Instead, wait for sex until you have already check that he measures up against standards of integrity and compassion. Lastly, don’t make any commitment under the influence of sexual signals – no visible piercings, no ‘sexy’ garments, no perfumes or colognes, no makeup, and no provocative motions or gestures.

    Trusted advice – You introduce him to your parents, and after your parents believe they know him (not just introduced!), they think he would be OK to date. Or introduce him to your friends, and five (5) of them, once they know him, think he would be a good date for you or for them. A ‘trusted’ friend is one that will be designated driver, and you trust them to not touch a drop from 12 hours before until after the group event. Or one parent and three (3) trusted friends. Note this means that you have reasonably close relationships with your parents and at least three to five friends. And I think you need the friendships before you need to worry about finding a guy.

    Find a guy that handles children and animals well, is disciplined in his life and habits, and you will likely be able to overcome any problems with energy or technique in the bedroom. Spend lots of ‘close’ time – time spend in close quarters with no colognes or perfumes or incense or candles or smokes. Let your bodies exchange pheromones through shared breathes, and begin to adapt to each other’s chemistry. Or, if he isn’t the one, your body’s reaction will tell you quickly that he isn’t what you need.

    If you find a guy that is attracted to your hairstyle, how will you hold him when you decide to cut it differently? If he adores your hair color, or breast shape, what happens if that changes? Find a guy that delights in your thoughts, your beliefs, your values, and you have much less chance of losing his interest. My folks’ friends often had trivets on the wall, “Kissin’ Don’t Last, Cookin’ Do”. Cooking isn’t the defining skill of a wife anymore than it ever was. The notion, though, that sexual attraction isn’t a reliable way to draw people together. If character and skills match and attract the other, though, that is a very good long-term basis for life-mating.

    When you pick a guy that is suave and practiced at picking up girls – you have a guy with a life-skill that will *not* go away the morning after. He will not lose that skill in twenty years. Instead, pick a guy that shows character, and do the connecting yourself.

    At least, that is what I think needs to happen.

  6. Brad,

    Thank you for this. I needed to read it.

    It’s brutally honest and should be required reading for everyone with genitalia.

    Seriously, this is one of the most accurate portrayals of all that love and dating and attraction is (and isn’t) that I’ve ever read.

    It seems so easy too, but I know it isn’t. It’s not textbook, though I wish it were. Still, I thank you.


  7. damn this touched a chord. a minor diminshed chord i might add…
    i still can’t still getting over the last guy in my life and it’s been almost 3 months. another case of the mysterious (and double-standard) “i-love-you-but-don’t-want-a-real-relationship-because-i’m-a-guy-who-needs-his-space-but-we’ll-spend-5-days-out-of-seven together”.

    love doesn’t hurt.
    love sucks ass.

    great post!

  8. Laurie: I’m going to set my cynical, sarcastic side down on the floor for a minute and speak seriously and from the heart. Ok, here goes–although the heart doesn’t actually control anything you say or do it is just a ….crap–okay, NOW I’ll be serious:

    Having been through the ups and downs of relationships and counseling numerous friends and family on the same subject I’ve discovered a couple of things:

    1. Love is not an emotion–it is SOLELY a decision. A person must decide to love someone–if it is based on emotion only it will die when the emotional tide shifts. If the guy you are with doesn’t seem to love you when you are at your worst–dump him. If (in a marriage) a guy decides to quit loving you–he has decided to dishonor his committment and there is little you can do about that–and you certainly can’t beat yourself up over it.

    2. If a guy is not giving 100% of himself to you and elevating you as the most important person in his life (over his friends, mother, pet racoon, etc…) (sorry a little sarcasm creeped in) then dump him. You deserve, as all women do, to be treated as #1 in his life—period. Conversely, if you are not willing to do the same for him–dump him because it can never work unless you both are committed to giving all of yourself to each other.

    3. All guys are not pigs–but many are. There are plenty of times in my marriage that I have thought–“I can’t believe I have to do (fill in blank–paint the house might be one of the fill-ins) this instead of (watch the game—sleep, etc…)” But I have to remind myself that the reason I am doing something she wants is because it is important to her, she is most important to me, therefore I have to DECIDE to want to do it. Thus–love is a decision even in the little things that go on.

    Hard to find a person like this–easy to find one that is not willing to decide to love you all the time. The great thing is–if you are honest with yourself–you can spot the ones not willing early on–just have to have the courage to dump them and wait for the guy that is willing to give all of himself to you.

    Enough of my serious rant–hope this helps–I sense that you have been burned a few times and I sincerley hope that never happens to you again.


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