Category Archives: crazy little thing called love

Facebook Engagement Fatigue

I’m not sure what it is about chilly weather, but all the sudden diamond rings abound on my Newsfeed.

marryme

I should start this by saying that I am happy for people who want to get married and then get asked to be married, and that I hope everyone is successful in their relationships, and anything else they put their mind to for that matter. I always feel defensive when I talk about being irritated or annoyed or uncomfortable with this stuff, because folks assume that I am man-hating/bitter/hate love/unromantic, etc. But that’s categorically untrue.

That being said, all the hand photos, to show off the ring, and the #isaidyes hashtag and the really large bridal parties and the floofy dresses and the stuff… I don’t know guys. It has me feeling…. itchy.

mindyno

I think my itchiness comes from the fact that so much of what is shared is steeped in traditions that I find deeply problematic. Rather than coming up with new traditions, making room for alternative partnerships and lifestyles, we are creating hashtags and crafting cute announcements that show just how pretty and fabulous and romantic the whole event it using our iPhones and social media presences. But it’s the same old story (emphasis on old). I think most people’s journey is a lot more interesting than a photo of your hand with a new ring, or a new hashtag, or a new name…

a smattering of results from an #isaidyes search
a smattering of results from an #isaidyes search

Ah yes, the issue of names. On Facebook this is particularly apparent, because all of the sudden your friend from high school that you used to skip class with and drive around with and yearn for college with isn’t searchable under their name. Same with the girls who lived on your dorm floor in college. They have a new name. I can never think about these old friends as anyone other than the name I met them with. I can’t be the only one for whom this is disconcerting (can I?). It feels so retro, so abrupt. It seems so serious, so fundamental. And I guess maybe that’s the point, but who the fuck can keep track of all these old girlfriends, with their new names?

who?

I know people who are excited about changing their name, and that’s fine. But when you look at it in cultural context, I think this tradition sucks. I know this question isn’t exactly earth shattering, but why should women have to change their identifying name, their family name? Think about growing up, being part of your family, but knowing that one day your last name would be different and that you would, symbolically, be part of a different family and no longer your own. That’s fucking weird. I can’t imagine having a name that is different then my name now. It feels right, my name. It has a rhythm, I have a catchphrase, and I’d never wanna be anyone else. I think your name is a large part of your identity and personality, and like it or not this tradition places women in a cycle of having first their fathers and then their husbands determine this identity marker. Oddly enough, I don’t feel strongly about my own future child having my name because they will be their own person, a little monster with their own identity and personality. But I do feel strongly about my name, my ties to my own 3 person original family unit, and no matter what my family looks like moving forward I wish to always have my name to bond me to them and to my memories.

tradition-o

I know people like tradition. And I’m not really against a person changing their name to symbolize a new union. But why not have both parties change it, to maybe a hyphenated name (ugh, I hate hyphenating) or some kind of hybrid, or I mean it could be anything at all! Your drag queen name or an allusion to your favorite poet/character/musician or the street your grew up on or that you met or WHATEVER. Why does it have to be so literal, so patriarchal? And all those other traditions that are played out too, like why are all my girlfriends waiting for a ring presentation when these kinds of decision can (and arguably should) be made together? Why a diamond ring when we all know that tradition was invented and sold to consumers by the diamond industry itself? Why a white wedding dress when that color upholds virginity as the ultimate female virtue, and anyway not everyone looks good in white? Why not rethink all of it? I wish we could all think outside the box more when it comes to unions and love and partnerships.

blaineproposal
Homoerotic, but heteronormative. #justsayin

So yea anyway, love is great and I’m glad people are finding it. But just a heads up, no one’s hand looks pretty in those ring photos. It’s weird. Post a photo of you and your partner and your smiling, joyful faces. That’s what it’s really about anyway, right?

The ‘B’ in LGBTQ

Do you know anyone who identifies as bi-sexual?

Do you think they are greedy? Indecisive? Are they lying or seeking attention?Perhaps really just gay and not ready to take the full leap yet?

Check this classic Sex and the City convo about Carrie’s young  love interest (sorry for the bad dubbing, that wasn’t me and youtube is not trying to give me what I want!)

That conversation may seem dated, but I know plenty of people who’d still describe that as ‘real talk’. Which is why this excellent article from the New York Times, regarding a new push to ‘prove’ that bisexuality exists, wasn’t shocking to me. The writer describes various studies, all collecting physical data and hoping to measure arousal levels to compare with personal identity statements. I can only imagine that this push for scientific legitimacy is happening because folks who identify as bi are actually super likely to be met with ire and mistrust. In some cases, this pushback is more than a gay or lesbian person would get, because lots of folks think that bi-sexual isn’t a real identity.

idontbelieveyouGIF

This situation is a clear example of the problem with linking sexual preference to identity. Actually linking any choice with identity, at least a large group identity. The way that the mainstream LGBTQ community has managed to gain access to rights such as marriage and non-discrimination laws is by a savvy combination of ‘I was born this way’ and ‘we’re just like you.’ And the idea that people choose who they are attracted to is actually super dangerous to this fight, because hateful idiots would use that as ammunition to discriminate and withhold inalienable rights.

sighneneGIF

But sexuality and sexual preference only exist as an identity marker because the culture demanded it. I used to joke that ‘gay people didn’t exist before 1960’, and that’s actually not completely inaccurate. Folks who wanted to sleep with same sex partners before that was culturally acceptable did so in secret, or in the semi-open as more of a lifestyle choice. Lesbians, in particular, got away with this a lot because it wasn’t seen as a threat to men (because how could sex possibly happen without a penis??) Because these folks were not organized and asking for legitimacy in society, they were less visible. And their sexual choices were what they did, and not exactly who they were.

I do, of course, think it is important that folks are able to live openly, without fear of violence or prejudice and with the full range of options for how to live their lives. However. The more categories you create, the more boxes you draw and the more pressure everyone feels to fit in a box. And we do love boxes don’t we? Male or Female. Gay or Straight. Chocolate or Vanilla. PICK A FLAVOR!!!!!!

banana

But these boxes, these binaries, are reductive and exclusive and they breed a lot of hate and misunderstanding. And bisexuality is an interesting example, because even folks in the traditionally maligned group (gay/lesbian) and their allies are distrustful and ignorant. The same could be said about transgender folks, who face discrimination even from other liberal or oppressed groups. The inbetween people face the most antagonism.

Why is this? What are we all so uncomfortable with? I remember learning about the word queer in grad school, reading about queer time and queer space. I felt so saved by the ideas I learnt about, ideas that gave a name to life trajectories that don’t follow a heteronormative path and a world view that is more circular and leaves room for error. I wanted to exist in those spaces, outside the world of marriages and jobs and the lives that so many choose without choosing. I wanted to exist on the page, at dusk and dawn, living a path of otherness as many had done before me.

And actually, I rejected the term bi-sexual. It was another box, and felt strangely surgical to me. As though that word, bi-sexual, split me into two parts. As though those parts were competing with one another. But there are not two parts of me, just one whole self. And as I learned how to love, I did have experiences that I felt took me out of the ‘hetero’ category. But I don’t, and have never, liked any of the labels I heard as options. So I thought to myself ‘I love at dusk’, and I left it at that.

iamcomplicated

The studies being done now do shed light on the variations and complications intrinsic to our sexuality, our sexual preferences, and our experience of our own sexual identity. There is a reason why people think that bi-sexual men don’t exist because they are all secretly gay. It isn’t, however, because men can’t be bi-sexual. It’s because we live in a culture where women are believed to be more fluid, and men are given less freedom to experiment. Less wiggle room. And so, it stands to reason that men are less likely to explore desires that could make them vulnerable to a label they are not comfortable with. And that sucks. And it sucks that lots of young women who come out as bi are told ‘it’s just a phase’ and that ‘they’ll grow out of it.’ And it sucks that if you are bi, it can be super hard to find same sex partners because they are distrustful and fear that you will leave them for a hetero relationship. And it sucks that in order to be recognized as a human worthy of respect and rights, you must draw a line in the sand and say ‘I exist, and there are others like me.’ The more categories of folks that come forward, the more we miss the point: That sexuality is a continuum, a path along which we are all traveling. It grows, it evolves, it changes. And our sexuality doesn’t define us. And no sexuality could possibly negate a person’s right to be treated with respect and live a full life.

samwatersonGIF
here here

Although, I do kinda like this definition quoted in the article:

I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted — romantically and/or sexually — to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way and not necessarily to the same degree.

That shape feels large enough, with flexible enough edges, that I may just be able to dance in there comfortably, with other folks on similar adventures. Cause we are all just trying to be who we are, really. I think this grumpy pug in a unicorn costume illustrates our collective struggle to metamorphize into our most magical selves.

unicornpugGIf

Never stop trying. The struggle is real, haters gonna hate, the journey is long. Find other folks wearing unicorn outfits, love those people for their whole unique selves, take care of them and allow them to take care of you. One day it won’t take scientific data for folks to accept the truth about who we all are and who we all love.

V-Day Love

This post is just to say Happy Valentine’s. Check out VDay.org, celebrate love in all it’s forms, and first and foremost love and be kind to yourself.

Here are some of my favorite words about love by e e cummings:

i-carry-your-heart-with-mei-carry-it-in-my-heart

And here is a lovely Mary Oliver quote shared by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls:
maryoliver
And finally, here is a message from someone important in all of our lives:
hughGifHi iloveyouhughGIF happyvdayHUGHGIF

Happy Galentines Day!

galentinesGIF

You might be asking? Well, according to Amy Poehler

bestdayGIF

Galentine’s Day is the answer to the oh so traditional and stifling Valentine’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate your fucking fabulous lady friends, because single or coupled we all need our friends and women should be celebrated for being unique and amazing people and not just for being pretty arm candy.

awesomeladiesGIF

So text your besties and remind them how incredible they are. Plan a date where you can celebrate each other and your special relationship. Take some suggestions from this amusing Buzzfeed article. Cause lets face it, we are all gonna need each other when we’re in our 8th or 9th decade and the world is an even scarier place. Case and point:

So here is a public declaration of my love to my most special ladies. I already sent this via group text (duh) but I’ll say it again: You all inspire me every single day.

galentine

Alright, alright. I’m done being sentimental. For now. Ish.

If you are looking for an excellent way to celebrate tomorrow, check out the V-Day website. The V-Day organization was started by Eve Ensler, most famous for her play The Vagina Monologues.

V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery… In conjunction with the 15th anniversary, V-Day launched its most ambitious campaign to date – ONE BILLION RISING. The concept of the campaign is simple. If you take into account the statistic that 1 out of 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime, you are left with the staggering statistic that over 1 billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence. On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence.

Watch her inspiring monologue about her ultimate dream: ending the sexual violence epidemic worldwide.

Remember, Valentine’s Day is just another day. It is culturally laden with heteronormative gender roles and expectations, but that is all complete bullshit. Celebrate whatever love you want, whenever you want. If you want roses, get roses. If you wanna do the planning, tell your partner you are taking the reigns. If you want gifts, well giddy up and exchange gifts. Think outside the box. Have fun, no stress and no pressure allowed. Don’t let the media make you feel bad about your current romantic situation or about your relationships or desires. Do you. And if you are feeling a little down, find a V-Day event near you and get inspired. Or better yet make a Galentine’s pact to take action! All of the love in your life is important, and we all take it for granted too often.

Yea, just, celebrate all kinds of love, everyday.

XO-Beyonce-gif xodanceGIF

(S)he’s back!

I LOVE HARRY POTTER AND NERD REFERENCES!
I LOVE HARRY POTTER AND NERD REFERENCES!

This is a post to announce that I’m going to post more from here on out. It has been a long and arduous hiatus, but I think that talking to you guys again (whoever you are…) is just the creative outlet I need. I still have lots to say (shocking) and now that I have a new-ish big girl job I think I have the time to put thoughts together and share. And luckily the internet allows me this opportunity. I’m amped. I hope you are to. Stay tuned ’till tomorrow for my ground breaking post on a topic you are all already sick of hearing about but which you will still read about because it’s that fucking fabulous.

(Special thanks to my partner in crime Pepper for encouraging me to find a way to write, and as always to my other cohorts in crime both here in NYC, back in good ole’ Delaware and even down in Florida shout out to sugar bean!)

Dis-Continuity

The definition of continuity, from Merrium Webster:

1) uninterrupted connection, succession or union

2) uninterrupted duration or continuation especially without essential change

I really like the idea of continuity. It feels comforting. When things can stay the same for awhile, at least a few things or maybe even just a couple details. And I think that lately I have been experiencing a distinct lack of continuity, in all aspects of my life. It occurred to me recently that perhaps this problem is not unique. Then it occurred to me that of course its not unique. In fact, its a distinctly modern problem.

Let me clarify. I don’t mean that people in the past did not feel a lack of continuity. That’s what Fiddler on the Roof is about (duh.) But there has been a huge change in how quickly this happens. In todays world, its normal to move around more often, leave your home town, communicate in an ever growing number or digital ways. I have lived in 4 apartments in 5 years (not counting dorms) since I’ve lived in New York. I certainly don’t live in my hometown, and this creates all sorts of interesting relationships. You have your home friends, the kids who knew you before you could drive and while you applied to college. And then you have your college friends or your job friends, the people you interact with in this life, this pseudo (or very) adult part of your life. And your home friends will never really interact with you this way, and the newer ones will never know that adolescent person you used to be. And neither one is really better, they are just different. And of course you miss your old friends, and try to keep in touch even though usually you get further immeshed in the new place and new routine.

And what about this new routine? Sometimes I marvel at how different I feel from the girl I once was. Because life is moving so quickly, and sometimes you have to do things you don’t really want and give things up that you never thought you would. Sometimes this happens in one big tragic moment, sometimes things just fade away. I sometimes look around, look at my schedule and my reflection and my apartment, and I wonder how I even got here.

I’m not sure what to do about this, this fragmented feeling. I know that my parents don’t have this exact feeling, or at least they didn’t at my age. I want to figure out how to slow down the stuff I can slow down, how to make sure I don’t give up things I truly want to keep. I want to be able to remember who I am. Because when you start to get mixed up about that its really hard to stay positive when the economy is bullshit and work/school is stressful and people are unreliable and the world is such a hot filthy mess. And we’ve gotta try and stay positive. Not only for the good vibes, but because otherwise your new friends will get annoyed with you and no one will listen to the crazy theories about modern life you’re constantly espousing. Or something like that.

Spooning!

Ok, let’s jump right back in.

Black and white, basic spooning example

I want to talk about spooning, which if you don’t know is when two people lay on their sides, facing the same way, so one person is in front (little spoon) and one person behind holding the other (big spoon.) Spooning is by far my fave way to cuddle. Recently I was having a lighthearted discussion with a cuddle partner about spooning, because this position (like most sex roles) is gendered. Usually, girls are the little spoon. We both agreed that sometimes its nice to switch it up. I like being the big spoon because I like the idea of holding someone else, and I also happen to think that shoulders are really sexy so I like looking at them. And then he agreed that sometimes its nice to feel like one is being cuddled rather than doing the cuddling.

Art-sy spooning

This convo I think illustrates how pervasive all this stuff is. A person, no matter who, will from time to time feel vulnerable and in need of support. Sometimes you just want to feel held, like someone has their arm around you and wants to take care of you. Why would that only be true for girls? And why wouldn’t girls want to give support sometimes?

AAAAHHHHHHH! SPOONING PUPPIES!!!

I guess this seems pretty trivial, but if you can’t get what you need from spooning, can you really express what you need in other areas? And if, on the whole, men are afraid to be vulnerable and take the little spoon position, aren’t their much larger implications for their lives and relationships? I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men (Seas 4 on DVD is the bomb dot com), and Don Draper is always making me think about masculinity and how men have to keep up their manliness. This character is seriously afraid of letting people in, telling people too much, relying on others and being seen as weak. But no man is an island and everyone needs support in moments of crisis. I think, when spooning, its ok to switch and even more ok to ask for whichever position you prefer in that moment. Small considerations and requests like that can certainly reverb into larger, more important conversations.

(For the record, right now I need to be little spooning. Preferably while watching Don Draper strive to be a better man, but more on Mad Men later…)

This is Don Draper. He is NOT spooning :/

What I Learned from a Wedding & Swedish Furniture

I went home this weekend, and it was very love themed. I attended a wedding, and spent lots of time with my parents, who are approaching their TWENTY NINTH wedding anniversary. Sweet god. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a rant about marriage, although the actual ceremony in the church was kinda rough. But I digress.)

I have been considering lately how relationships work, or rather, why some work and some don’t. Some of it seems to be magic or unknowable, but this is a seriously unsatisfying conclusion (I’m a Scorpio after all, we like to get to the bottom of things.) On the way back from IKEA (had to buy a new bed because I just moved. It’s been a busy/stressful/exciting few weeks) I was talking to Mommy and Daddy about relationship stuff, because I mean shit, they managed to do it successfully. They both agreed that they were very naive when they met, and in fact ‘didn’t know what we didn’t know.’ They said they figured it out together, grew together, and learned together.

I sat there thinking how nice that sounded, to learn along with someone about myself and about each other. And I ended up saying something that I think is really important, that I’m going to have to keep in mind. I said, “My idea of an ideal relationship is basically a friendship, that functions with a romantic twist.” Ken agreed with me, and Patricia seemed to concur.

So now, lets clarify. I think that relationships are given this super privileged status, and we all freak out about them and do weird things and treat lovers/significant others/ect. differently than our friends. But I think this is silly. First of all, you should never put your friends on the back burner because that is just lame and also dangerous. Bros before hoes, as the saying goes (rhyme swag.) But even more than that, you should treat romantic relationships with the same consideration, honesty, and trust as your other friendships. Everyone you love deserves equal time, so don’t be up your crushes ass all the time. Communicate with them the same way you communicate with your friends, be honest (brutal when called for, gentle when necessary.) Do things you both like, compromise with who travels and who goes out of their way. Have fun together, do silly things, take time apart when you need a minute. It doesn’t have to feel so serious. It doesn’t have to be so complicated.

I mean listen, maybe this sounds crazy. But basically, with everyone I like, I want to walk around the Alphabet and listen to bands we like and drink iced coffee and talk about Sparkle Pony and cook in the apartment and go to mexican food happy hour and lay on the roof and go to Sunday brunch and wade in the Washington Square Park fountain and dance/yoga and have late night chit chats. You should always tell the people you love that you love them, remind them how great they are, support one another’s endeavors, and challenge them when you think they need a wake up call. I hope that all my relationships function like this. The only thing is, with lovers, you have romantic moments. You see each other naked, wake up together, kiss hello and goodbye. And I think, maybe, that my official ruling is that the only difference between loving your friends and being in love is that being physically affectionate with someone adds that drop of magic that changes chemistry to alchemy and creates a bond that’s hard to break.

So maybe, the reason we are having such a hard time finding the line between friends/lovers/significant others these days is because the lines shouldn’t be so defined. We should stop treating relationships as different, or sacred, or scary. We have to be who we really are with the people we crush on, not make someone up so they’ll like us. And we have to talk to these people like they’re people, not weird romantic partners that need to be lied to or protected or kept in the dark. Doesn’t a friend that you can chill out with, see just often enough, and be relaxed around all while getting the added perks of sex and romance, sound fairly excellent? Knowing the bride pretty well, I do think that the union I witnessed this weekend has a good shot. I know they don’t put on airs for one another, and I know they are each other’s best friend. While I don’t see myself walking down an aisle anytime soon, I do like the idea of a best friend, with benefits.

Grey Areas, or That Small Middle Sliver in a Venn Diagram

Bet you thought I was gonna post about NY passing gay marriage huh? Well, I’ve already espoused my views on that topic in a post you can read here, but I will say that I am pretty thrilled for those who this law affects. Everyone deserves safe sex and expression of pure love. I stamp it. Go head kids, put a ring on it!

Today I am thinking a lot about grey areas, or undefined relationships. In my own life, these kinds of relationships are the norm. I have only had three boyfriends my whole life. The first one, I broke his heart. Sweetest kid I’ve probably ever dated. Not an auspicious start. The second one was slightly more complicated, but again I was the heart breaker. The third was one the real douzey, when we were long distance and talking about forever and pretending to almost be engaged. In this last case, I got completely blind sided, shattered, toe’ up. Think about the worse case scenario and then double it, and thats about where I ended up.

The thing is, I was never really the girlfriend type. I have always valued my freedom more than any one person’s affections. And to this day it seems to me that labels and statuses just raise the stakes unnecessarily. Also, becoming monogamous or exclusive seems like a really arbitrary step. There are so many ways to show someone to care about them, this one particular limitation just doesn’t feel important to me. I’d rather someone choose to show up because they want to, not because they aren’t allowed to date or hook-up with anyone else.

That being said, I find that I am less and less confident in these sorts of relationships (which, since b/f #3, are all I really engage in. I won’t give you the exact amount of time it’s been since I was wifed up, but trust, it’s been awhile.)  I think that maybe when I was young, I had all that naive optimism and confidence that comes with an absolute lack of heartbreak. I should maybe mention that I’ve been in love exactly four times, and only one of those was a boyfriend, and (you guessed it) it was that last one that broke my heart. Maybe ambiguity is easier when you are young and distracted and just, more carefree. I think also it should be noted that when I was just a kid, these kinds of relationships were the exception and not the norm. Other girls my age wanted boyfriends, and I went to a small school where one kiss meant boyfriend/girlfriend (and all manner of alternative relationships were taboo.) Now it seems that everyone my age is over traditional exclusive dating, and that despite an overwhelming desire for companionship and intimacy, everyone wants to stay single.

I think this is where I start to get itchy. I still firmly believe in keeping the pressure off and options open, but with everyone being so cautious it’s hard to read how people are feeling. And feelings do happen, and they matter, and they are beautiful. And what fascinates me is that everyone I talk to wants the same thing, but people will actually end relationships with people they really like if they think it’s getting “too serious.” But really, what good is that? Wouldn’t it be better to talk it out, see if you can’t set perimeters that everyone is comfortable with before just disappearing. Or better yet, why set limits at all? Why not just float together for a little while, see how it starts to take shape, try and listen to how you feel and not worry about how the culture says relationships should develop or the bullshit accepted rules. Because at the end of the night, its just you and them in a room, enjoying being close. I for one just want to see what happens next, to ‘let go let flow’ and maybe even fall in love and not worry about those details that other people deem relevant. I want to pick and choose what goes in that middle section of the venn diagram, I want to feel out which shade of grey feels most comfortable. It’s not about updating a facebook status or PDA or espousing rules. It’s about being sure of one’s feelings, and trying to be with people who will work with you to find that perfect shade. This will only work, though, if we all swallow some pride and feel despite fear and talk to each other like friends. It only works if we allow ourselves to care for one another and act in a considerate manner. Otherwise, we just become reckless and destructive, and that perfect shade of grey will be forever elusive.

Maybe its just me, but that’s probably why this is the second movie coming out that’s written about grey areas. I’ll be interested to see how this one turns out… Slash I just can’t wait cause I love J Time. Enjoy.

Womanizer Woman-Womanizer (Boy don’t try to front, I-I know just-just what you a-a-are)

Breaking news: A rich, successful, powerful man commited adultery and fathered a child out of wedlock.

Shocking.

It never ceases to amaze me the firestorm that this kind of story creates. The latest in this rich and cherished tradition is none other than the Governator himself, Arnold. I love how we are all so shocked, everytime, like we just didn’t see this coming. Before I get into my personal opinion, lets look at some of my favorite adulterers who got caught with their pants down.

Ask not what your country can do for you...

Well, JFK was the man as far as I’m concerned. But homeboy had a guy on his staff whose only job was to find him one woman a day to get naked with. We all know he was gettin’ busy with Marilyn, whom I consider the absolute. He learned this charming behavior from his father. Now John lived in a different age, an age of discretion, so his business wasn’t put on blast until after the fact. But the tales of his conquests live on in infamy.

I did not have sexual relations...

Oh Bill. Good ole’ Bill. I was growing up during this administration, and times were good. Especially if you were this guy gettin’ head in the Oval Office. Who could hate? Most people now say it doesn’t matter and they’d take him back as Prez. I would. Poor Monica, homegirl is going down in history for those few minutes on her knees. Doesn’t seem fair.

I don’t know any famous Eliot Spitzer quotes, but this guy was seriously into hookers. Not only was he a frequent customer of high-class call girls, but he had previously taken out a whole prostitution ring. Hypocrite doesn’t even seem like a strong enough word. He was a brilliant guy, on track to run for President. Oops.

Super model wife? Not enough.

Well, this guy isn’t a politician but his story is a great example. Tiger Woods is a world-class athlete with a super model wife. But, SURPRISE! He too is into hookers. And freaky porn stars. His story blew up after his wife found a voicemail and took a golf cart to his car, and from there the other women were just coming out of the wood work. And the media was eating it up, like it was just the most shocking thing ever.

I could go on, but I won’t. Its all too annoying.

And now Arnold, whom I can’t even bring myself to post a picture of, it admitting to fathering a child with one of his household staff members. And you know why they all do this? Because they can. Because power and money are sexy (to some women), and because men have been making and breaking the rules all along. Boys will be boys. What a dumb phrase. As if men like sex more than women, like they are more entitled to multiple partners and fun and admiration. A man who cheats gets a pass because thats just his nature. The rules aren’t the same for women. Now it is true that some men ruin their careers and lose their families, but usually they bounce back (at least they end up better off than their wives.)

I can’t say enough times that I blame our media and our culture for all this crap. I mean, why are any of these guys married? I wanna be like “Tiger, you wanna bang porn stars? Great, probably some part of all of us wanna do that. So go ahead, have at it. JUST DON’T GET MARRIED!” But its not that simple, because we as a culture expect these men to get married and have families. I doubt we’d ever elect a president who was single, and part of the being in the public eye is about being a role model and we still consider that to include a wife and kids. There is something about the idea of maturity, that being a grown up means settling down. But we don’t require that men settle quite as much as women. We love the drama, the impossible standards we hold everyone to while we wait for them to slip up. We love to set em up and then watch em fall. Not everyone is into monogamy, and that doesn’t mean that they are immoral. I personally don’t think marriage as an institution is working at all. But once you make a promise to someone, especially once there are children, then its not about sex it’s about family and trust. And ultimately its the women who suffer most. I don’t think that a successful marriage is impossible, and love is real. There is hope. But for men with power, men with money, I don’t see this pattern ending anytime soon. Not until we accept the idea that maybe a monogamous marriage isn’t right for everyone, and not until we stop letting men off the hook with a wink and a smile.