Monday, May 21, 2012

Who's your Daddy?

Mosquitoes love me. I don't know exactly why. I always assumed that I had a "sweet smell" from possibly my light perfume, body oils/lotions or just an au naturel plain and simple sweetness that I would exude. But after being victim again this past weekend to another mosquito feeding frenzy, I had to do a bit of research on the subject. Enter Google. While there has been much study done on the subject, one common theory is that mosquitoes are attracted to certain blood type markers that we humans release. Studies have found that people with Type O blood suffer more bites than those with AB blood types because of these odorant markers they emit. And since I have the O blood type, this makes me an especially hot commodity. Even though type O is the most common, it still seems I get bit much more than my fellow O-ers. And here all along I thought it was that I just smelled so good, so sweet, so irresistible, only to find out it is just about the blood, always has been just about the blood, nothing more.

Besides finding out about the O blood type, it was interesting to discover that only the female mosquito feeds on humans (great, like the other side needs any more ammunition about how brutal we females can be), but in momma mosquitoes defense, she needs the blood in order to produce her eggs. We are nothing more than mosquito sperm banks, apparently we have been fathering many mosquitoes without our consent. So can't fault her on this one, we all know how strong the maternal instinct can be.

But for some reason within the last few years my markers must be distinctively higher. I always seem to be the one at the garden party who wakes up with a mosquito injected hangover. I sit at the candlelight outdoor table, trying to be inconspicuous as I swat at my arms, then my ankles (which seems to be their entree of choice) gently pulling down the sleeves of my shirt, and as I suffer in a silence (except for the swatting sound), I patiently wait for the hostess to say, "it's getting kind of cold out here, want to go inside?"

This seems to happen wherever I go. In St. Helena, Sacramento and most recently, Marin County. I came back to Santa Barbara last night with my newly mosquito bitten tattooed legs relieved to know that I haven't seen a mosquito in Santa Barbara since, I can't remember when. The itching was so intense I ran to CVS to buy some Cortizone-10 to help me ignore this mosquito saliva infested annoyance of mine. Ready to call it a night, I applied the gel, put on my pajamas and got in bed to read (okay, I'm lying, to do a little Facebooking), when lo and behold what do I see, a mosquito flying, hovering over me. This can't be! I started to panic, wondering if he came with me in my suitcase, my computer bag, where on earth did he come from? I tried swatting at him a few times, then he was no where to be found. I couldn't go on this hunting expedition all night. I was tired.

Not having access to any mosquito netting, I pulled my covers up to my chin, trying to expose as little of my sought after flesh as possible and hoped that my assumption was correct, that this little fellow, was in fact a fellow. Only then would I would be able to fall asleep peacefully.

Monday, May 7, 2012

All is fair in (Facebook) Love & War

This past week I personally experienced for the first time the power of Facebook and what all the debate is about, the claims that it is making us anxious, and in fact, in spite of all of our "friends", lonelier.

We have come to believe that Facebook is a barometer of how well we are doing in life as far as our popularity and desirableness go. We add friends to our page like the Tanning Mom adds hours of time to her tanning booth. Many more than we need. The term "friend" takes on a new definition. These friends are not necessarily the friends we would invite out to dinner, to our daughter's baby shower, to our son's wedding, well in fact, most wouldn't even merit an annual birthday or Christmas card. They are friends in name only.

We post photos that show us happy, enjoying life, adventurous, making sure we are the envy of our "1546" friends. Checking back frequently on our status to see how many have "liked" the photos, how many great comments we have received. And if in those comments we find remarks like, "you look great", "you have never looked better", or "way to go!", we now feel complete, we can sleep much better. It is our new modern day version of being loved.

I joined Facebook in 2009 at the urging of my daughter. She is in a band and would post photos and show updates. "Go on Facebook Mom." And so I did. Adding a few friends as the requests would come in, but I never went looking for friends to add. I admit I do love Facebook for the mere fact that I can stay in contact with past connections that I really want to stay connected with. For example, my lovely and adorable exchange student that lived with us in the early 2000's, now back in her homeland Germany, I can keep up with her. I love that. If it wasn't for Facebook I am sure the emails, written letters and phone calls would be few and far between. What I don't love is the friends who are not friends. I guess if you are using it as a business networking site, you should have many many friends to communicate with, advertise with, keep abreast of what you are doing. But true friends? Do I really want everyone to know where I am at this weekend, where I had dinner, what my thoughts are about Amanda Bynes and the trouble she has found herself in? I think not.

When Facebook is used properly it can be invaluable. Keeping up with real friends and distant family. But there are some of us who have taken advantage of this medium to provide us not only knowledge and entertainment but even "get back at cha" tactics. A good friend of mine recently told me she had been having Facebook wars with a semi-ex-boyfriend.  They are not quite over and not quite on, and yet they both seem to want the other to know that the other is doing just fine and dandy on their own. He will post where he is dining out, what events he will be attending and photos of friends and family. She will then turn around and make sure to post a photos of herself in situations where she is having a good time. Take that. It is similar to the combat sport of fencing, but photos and comments have replaced the bladed weapons. A large part of Facebook seems to be about one upmanship. I'm sorry, how old am I? How old are you?

But what I really noticed was how much I too, have come to rely on the pats on the back that Facebook can provide. On this recent landmark occasion (landmark is a stretch here), my birthday in late April, I woke to not one Happy Birthday message on my Facebook page. Ouch! Years before I had many happy birthday wishes before I had even woke up. They came from friends overseas, friends on the other coast. This birthday morning, nothing. There was a private message from my daughter, "Mom, I tried to post on your wall but you must have your privacy settings set so that no one can post on your page". I nearly panicked. What? We need to fix this STAT. How else will I know how loved I am, how thought of I am on this special day? Even surrounded by the people I really adore, my true friends on my birthday, I wanted more. I wanted to be recognized by all of these "friends" who would receive their daily Facebook reminder that it was MY birthday. Need to inflate the ego a bit. And even though it is lame, you know they only know it is your birthday because they got the notice, it still is validation of our existence, our importance. Yuck. This is scary.

By the time we had figured out that indeed my settings were set to private, I managed to rake in about 18 birthday greetings. Not great, not in the Facebook Hall of Fame scheme of things, but it was something. And in this world of dog eat dog, Facebook eat Myspace, that is saying something. I need to make sure that those settings are never set to private again. In fact, I might even go to the "find friends" app just so I can have an ample supply of likes, comments and birthday wishes. Thereby ensuring a future full of very Happy Birthdays to me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

One mans wart is another mans beauty mark

Warts. You want to remove them immediately. They are unsightly, gross, and feel like something alien growing out from your body. Witches have warts, old fishermen have warts, we all have warts, not only physical but in our personalities, our behaviors and mannerisms.

You know a wart when you see one. It can be a women with a mustache, a man with no chin, a bad habit like interrupting, spitting when you speak, not thanking the waitress when she serves you, opinions we have about life, religion, politics, cutting your candy bar with a knife and eating it with a fork. A wart is really nothing more than what we have determined deviates from proper etiquette, proper bodily maintenance, the standards of our society. The norm. And when we do, say, or have something that doesn't fit that norm requirement of acceptance, they become warts, something others don't want to see, something we try to hide. At least until someone knows us better. Until someone loves us. And then we can put the Compound W Fast Acting Liquid back in the medicine cabinet.

That is the true beauty of love. Freedom. Acceptance. Even more than acceptance, there is a certain affection that becomes attached to the actual wart. You've heard people say things like, "he may be an idiot, but he is my idiot" ~ yes, they actually become almost charming defects, comfortable in our own skin. The woman rubs her husband's Buddha belly and declares "how cute it is". All of a sudden, when love is in the air, hairy backs aren't so repulsive, thighs dimpled by cellulite, a double chin, crooked toes, receding hairline, all things that have been assigned to the less than perfect category by our society, become more charming, become ours. And this, is why love is so important. Like a mother's love, we are blinded and only see the perfect imperfections in the people we love, they actually become quite endearing, things that others might find disgusting, we now find adorable, or at the very least, non-repulsive, almost non-existent.

So what I am wondering, is if we were to show our warts off, right from the start, would that prevent us from attracting love? Would we still be kissed to see if that frog might turn into a handsome prince? Do we have to put those warts of ours behind lock and key until enough time passes, when we feel a certain guarantee, we can now share the combination to the safe door? Do we really have to fake our way into a relationship that can lead to love once we have successfully pulled off a magic trick or two? That critical first impression that we have always been told happens only once, no second chance, a first impression can not be made on our second or third encounter.

I've seen it it action. Exposed warts lead to speeding ticket worthy fast car drives home. They lead to phone calls and emails left unanswered. They lead to made up stories about how busy we have become. I guess the wart highway really should be leading to any corner drug store. Get the Compound W working early and hopefully there will be no warts to expose later. Hmmm, that's a fairytale right up there with Snow White. Oh well, I guess we just have to pick and choose which warts we and hopefully others can live with and apply the daily wart removal liquid to all the others and hope they fade away.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dropping the Ball

I have always had a mind that bounces from here to there and as much as I have tried to tame it, slow it down, I have yet to succeed at doing that. I have tried meditation, long walks by the beach, exercise, deep breathing. Focus. Something I don't have and something I often lose sight of.

As a woman, it is somehow inherent and natural for us to be able to multi-task. Because of this ability we seldom stop to notice how much we are doing, all that we are trying to accomplish at the same time. Well, while this might work when it comes to tasks involving our homes or our workplace, it definitely doesn't translate well in the dating world. At least not for me anyway.

I've been trying to date. Real live dating. A few people at a time. I never felt it was the right thing to do, but there were no commitments being made, it was more of a "getting to know you" type of thing. But I found that these dates, even if rather mundane, were still affecting me on an emotional level, and even though very doable on a physical level, emotionally it was becoming a serious juggling act.  You don't need to try this trick for long before you realize that when you attempt to juggle too many balls at once it is only a matter of time before you drop them all.

I've dropped them all.  Purposely.  Some slipped right out of my hands while I desperately tried to catch them before they hit the ground, but now, with a new birthday just days behind me, I have decided to let them all go.  I'm too tired.  And what energy I do have, I want to place on other matters, not matters of the heart.  I need to get serious about life.  Serious about myself.  To settle.  But truth be told, the only thing that has ever settled me in the past, was a relationship, a man or a child.  Now without either to ground me, I need to do it on my own. Quite the challenge for me.

I've been out of town for the past 12 days and have had plenty of time to view my life from the outside looking in.  And as is my modus operandi, I seem to put all of my energy into relationships, except the one with myself.  I am like the girlfriend that you cancel plans with at the last minute when your love interest calls.  That is how I have treated myself.  Always them before me.  I made a conscious choice while away to get back home and put my focus on home and work.  Fall in love with that instead. I remember years ago, a psychic that I went to told me that if I had put just half the energy into my work as I had the men in my life I would be a very successful, wealthy woman.  Years later, now knowing what I know, seeing what I've seen, I believe her.

With my good intentions of giving up on relationships and focusing on me, just one day later, Tuesday to be exact, I had slipped into a tarot card reading.  It was accidental.  I didn't seek it, it came from a friend who I had no idea was using this practice since 1978.  She actually belongs to a group called "the little witches" ~ so of course when she offered to read my Tarot cards I couldn't say no.  I have always been fascinated and intrigued with any type of fortune telling.  It was a great reading.  There were lots of Pentacle cards (money related) and then of course, bigger than life, was that powerful man entering the picture.  The last card drawn was "Wheel of Fortune"  which was directly across from my "Lovers" card.  Now I know nothing about this, but my reader said it was powerful and quite significant.  Definitely a man coming into my life that would change something about my life, and a positive change at that.  How refreshing!  All in all, a reading full of opportunity, money, and possibly love, or at the very least, a strong partner in business.  But damn that love, I don't know how to escape it, or if I truly even want to.  I am a hopeless romantic.  That love card always trumps my CEO card.  For now I will try and focus on work, on self, but just to be sure, I may need to put in more time learning how to juggle.

From out of hiding comes the Fool, into the sunlight, as if being pulled up from some low, dark point on a wheel. It is time for a change. Staff in hand, he heads back out into the world, expecting nothing. But, strangely, things seem to happen to him as the hours go by, good things. Wandering by a water wheel a woman offers him a drink in a golden chalice, and then urges him to keep the cup; as he wanders by a windmill, he stops to watch a young man swinging a sword; when he expresses his admiration of the weapon, the young man presses it into his hand, insisting that he take it.

And finally, when he comes upon a rich merchant sitting in a wagon, right over one of the wheels, the man hands him a bag of money. "I decided to give this to the tenth person who walked past me today," explains the Merchant, "You're the tenth." The Fool hardly thought he could still be surprised, but he is. It is as if everything good that he ever did in his life is being paid back to him, three-fold. All luck this day is his.