Archives for posts with tag: women’s Desires

REFLECTIONS

A month of productivity and joy and then yesterday, Saturday, was a day on the couch watching yet another British Mystery Series. At 7:30pm I drank 2 glasses of Malbec, ‘fell asleep’ and missed the 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Sunday morning is now upon me, and I pause to ask ‘Why?’ and not to the reason for earthquakes, but the reason for my melancholic state. I know I will not evolve into The Other Woman, if I say to myself, “One day of laying around, eating poorly, having a couple drinks, is nothing, you deserve a break, some down time.” I am aware that I have a super charged work ethic when it comes to ‘Personal Growth’ and relaxation and fun are therefore, valuable experiences for me. But what I did yesterday was not fun or relaxing. The feeling I had throughout the day was one of disquiet and self loathing. This is the feeling I have whenever I try to burrow my consciousness into the bowels of the earth. The season of blooming is finished and I am descending into the dark. What lies beneath the surface? What faulty belief have I internalized, that begs to be revealed and subsequently released, allowing me to live closer to my heart?

I was then startled from this reverie by the ‘ping’ of my iPhone, alerting me to a new message…and here is the miracle of the Universe’s guiding hand! Below is the poem delivered via GoodReads….

The day misspent,

the love misplaced,

has inside it

the seed of redemption,

Nothing is exempt

from resurrection.

             -Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, the American Poet Laurteate, reminds me that there is nothing more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem…not the self, just the burden…just for a moment. She writes in her PJs too!

Creating in PJs

What am I to redeem from that misspent day? that misplaced love?

First I will reflect on my week’s virtual chats with men. A mere 7 days ago, I had not spoken to any man other than my husband and male friends, for 20 years. Thanks to Plenty of Fish, that has changed. Boldly, honestly and clearly, I have spoken from my heart. Amazingly, only one man out of the 11, has stopped writing to me. I have promised nothing, use only my pen name Between2Marys, and decline requests for my name, email address, phone number or coffee dates. I am creating a new me vis a vis men. I have liked the positive, ‘low-key’ attention from men. So why then did I collapse into a tiny ball of angst? Heavy sigh, deep breath….preparing to be honest…my life long lament…I’m not attractive enough for a man to love me for who I am, so I must transmogrify, from the Loathly Lady, into the lovely princess. Only then will I be loved. What this means for me, is, that I must subjugate my desires and attend to ‘his’, as a compensation for my physical lack. Sadly, I have believed this behaviour necessary, even when I was young.

Naturally this perception of the price I must pay for love was born out of my relationship with my father. I loved yet felt intimidated by him. He was unpredictable. I believed I had the power to lessen the parental tension in our home, by being desirable in my father’s eye. I believed that my father’s behaviour towards my mother and my brothers might improve, if he felt pride over his creation of me. I tried to be any and everything I thought he might value. My father was a man’s man, a good looking ‘bad boy’. My mother married him against the advice of her more refined family. He was not a philandering husband, except for his Irish lass, during the Second World War. But, he made no effort to stifle his ‘appreciation’ of a women’s exterior. His entire life, he whistled  with reverential glee at women who epitomized the 1940’s ideal; a thin hipped, well endowed, blond haired bombshell…as I remember him saying…again and again…oblivious to me standing before him with dark hair, average cleavage and above average hips.

Bad Boy Stan, My Dad

I could never have achieved his idea of physical perfection. My physical appearance, demoralized me from age 12, when he counselled me with the following bit of unsolicited, soul crushing, fatherly ‘advice’. “My dear, no man likes a woman with hips as big as 2 battleships.” Being a Navy Officer, he liked to use nautical terms, to drive a point home!

Me around 12 with my Brother

I never again looked at my strong, muscled thighs with any feeling but betrayal or derision. So began my efforts to compensate for my looks. I became attentive to the whims and desires of men, at the expense of my own.

This painful, yet liberating insight, is what I have redeemed from my misspent day, my misplaced love.

 I went into a funk, because I faced a dilemma. Can I continue to speak of my desires as boldly and freely as I have written them?  Or will I continue to compensate for my hips, by cloaking my desires in niceties and placations? Or more likely, will I avoid the issue entirely by burying myself in another British Mystery Series?

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 17 OF 52

CHANGING FROM THE LOATHLY LADY 

 In the Fairy Tale, ‘Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell, the loathsome Lady Ragnell, bargained with King Arthur. She agreed to tell him the answer to the riddle, “What do women desire above all else?” in order to lift the spell over his life. In exchange, she desired to be married to his nephew, Sir Gawain. He was known as the most handsome, skilled and compassionate knight at the Round Table. Sir Gawain willingly chose to marry the Hag Ragnell, so that his King’s life would be spared. The spell cast over Ragnell, had turned her into a loathsome Hag for half of each day, but left her as a lovely princess for the other half. When Ragnell asked her husband, Sir Gawain, if he would rather she be beautiful by day or by night, when she is alone with him in bed, he wisely gave her the right to choose, having learned that above all else, women desire the right to have sovereignty over their choices. Sir Gawain understood the greatest dilemma of any woman’s life. In giving the Hag Ragnell the right to decide when she would be beautiful, the spell was lifted, and she was beautiful all day long.

So now, in Week 17 of 52, I must have the courage of Lady Ragnell. She was transformed, not by the kiss of a handsome Prince, but by the pursuit of her own needs and desires. Ragnell symbolizes the journey all women must make to achieve a self-determined and therefore, fulfilling life. To this end, I will talk(on the phone) with a man, as myself, hips and all, maintaining the confidence I feel in a virtual conversation.

I want to acknowledge the wisdom of the Analyst, Polly Young-Eisendrath. For a more comprehensive elucidation of this topic, read, ‘Women and Desire, Beyond Wanting to be Wanted.

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

― Coco Chanel

REFLECTIONS:

Thank God for this Blogmoir. It became readily apparent to me over the course of this week that I would never have taken a step away from the comfort of Mother Mary towards Mary Magdalene, if I had not committed to it in Week 15’s post. In rereading Week 15, I nearly fell asleep… it was so wordy…full of intellectualizing gobbledygook. Obviously I’m more comfortable talking about becoming The Other Woman than being her.

Here is a quick synopsis of my progression towards my first virtual chat with a new man!

On Wednesday, the day I arrived back home in BC,  I chose a dating Website. The light and humorous site, Plenty of Fish had an appealing ring. I didn’t want a site that cost money or sounded too serious. On Thursday I began to fill out the questionnaire…where do I live,what is my age, ethnicity and hair colour…irrefutable facts… but then I stopped. I shut down my computer when I was required to create a minimum 100 word profile describing myself and my desires. Before I could do this I had to have a little cry and admit that this meant I was moving away from the dream of spending the rest of my life with ‘He Who Will Remain Nameless’. I felt defeated, as though I had received a failing grade in my ability to elicit love from the man I love.

Eventually though, I had an epiphany…I recalled a 15th Century Arthurian Ballad read to me by my analyst in 2005, called Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell. To save his life, King Arthur must be able to articulate “The one thing all women most desire.” A wonderful story unfolds, ending with King Arthur and Sir Gawain realizing that women want, above all else, sovereignty over their own life …the freedom to be self-determining. Taking this 500 year old advice, I too can be self determining. I now have the opportunity to arrange my life with my likes and dislikes at the forefront. For example, I can clearly voice my desire to be loved, and then find a man who willingly wants to fulfill this desire. It will no longer be enough for me to fulfill his desires, if mine are deemed less important, and remain unfulfilled.

15th Century Text from Bodleian Library-Oxford

Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell-The Loathly Lady

This version of the tale is not the best but it gives you a quick synopsis.  http://www.silver-branch.org/ssbcreations/GawainLL.html

In the past I attempted to compile an itemized list of men’s needs and desires, based on societal norms of desirability(tall, emaciated with a vapid expression)coupled with the characteristics gleaned from a close scrutiny of the man I was attempting to entice. I surreptitiously noted female traits that ‘he’ reacted to, and attempted to transmogrify into this bizarre creation. In a patriarchal society, women’s desires are often cloaked in niceties or seductions. My requests of men were prefaced by the placating “Would it be okay with you if I…” or ” When you get a minute, it would be so nice if you…”

Emaciated and Vacant-the Price of being Society’s Muse

Although unaware of this, I must have felt my needs and desires were onerous, unpleasant and/or unimportant vis a vis the man’s. As asking for what I wanted seemed forward and therefore unladylike, I hoped men would intuit what I needed, just as I intuited their needs. Feeling perilously unfulfilled by men throughout my life, leads me to believe that the men I knew either lacked intuitiveness or believed the fulfillment of my needs was not their responsibility!

Once this revelation was upon me,  I put on my new lipstick, drank a cup of tea from my pretty cup, and began to write about myself and my desires…boldly and from my heart. I did not deemphasize or devalue my intelligence nor my interests. I actually said that although I find people intriguing, I enjoy spending time with those who are self aware!. My closing statement of desire says…I would love to spend time with a man who has enough time and resources to share in some of my passions and introduce me to some of his!

REACTIONS FROM  the first 3 MEN using Goldilocks’s Scale

#1 TOO HOT  “Would you like to meet for lunch tomorrow (Sunday) in Qualicum? Afterwards, there is a piano concert there (Debussy, sp.?), but I don’t know how many tickets remain. It’s at The Old School House at 2:30 p.m. We could have lunch before the concert.”

#2 TOO COLD “BORING”

#3 JUST RIGHT  “Welcome to the Island!!! I live in the Comox Valley just north of you. Quaint little spot…Bowser. I know it fairly well and have friends living there. Also, welcome to POF…not as easy as it looks…Should you see anything in my profile that resonates with you I’d love to hear from you and if not…wishing you much success on your fishing expedition!!!”

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 16 OF 52

CHANGING FROM BEING THE OBJECT OF A MAN’S DESIRE

I felt both empowered and vulnerable in clearly describing some of my strengths and desires. The virtual world is a perfect place to begin the practice of being myself. Face to face I might be tempted to put his needs first, the second I noticed his interest wan. Or I might be tempted to shift my opinion, ever so slightly, if I felt what I’d said hadn’t resonated with him.

In these efforts to please myself, I must be strong enough to be rejected(90 men looked at my profile 10 responded)…to be told I am ‘BORING’ and still be confident enough to CONTINUE being me.To not be tempted to read any man’s interests and tweak mine a tad in hopes of attracting him!

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HOW I HAVE LIVED MY LIFE WITH MEN

So for Week 16 of 52, I will state my desires in a straightforward and direct manner, so that I will be known for who I truly am. I will stop being the object of any man’s desires and instead find a mutually agreed upon meeting ground for our minds and hearts.

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