Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Are we becoming the men we want to marry...

Tuesday evening my friend Alexis noticed a particularly interesting "thought" on her 'Deep Thoughts' daily calendar. She immediately emailed her closest friends a thought-provoking email with the deep thought du jour in the subject header. It was: “We are becoming the men we want to marry.”

A man? Moi? But I had little time to think about it as I was running late to boxing class. I picked up my sweaty 12 oz. gloves and felt my stomach to happily acknowledge the progress of my six pack. Hot—I was almost as tight at Matthew McConaughey. It never dawned on me to think of this as masculine. Can't muscles and dripping sweat be sexy on a woman in a Charlie’s Angels kind of way? Or did I resemble a testosterone infused beefcake?

Across town a much more femininely attired Mazz was debating restaurants. She was on date numero dos with Mac, and wanted to pick a place with the right ambiance and cuisine. It never occurred to her that HE should be the one picking the restaurant. In fact, given her Napa and Sonoma IQ, she expected the waiter to hand her the wine list as well. However, although Mazz was sure of her ordering savvy, she wasn’t sure what the new rules were for paying the bill. If we are assertive on the Syrah selection are we expected to be equally aggressive at grabbing the check? Are the days of females being romantically wined and dined coming to an end?

And somewhere between Mazz and myself, Eva was celebrating closing another big business deal that rivaled her husband’s. When they had children, would it make more sense for the family to have a stay-at-home dad or a stay-at-home mom?

I realized that somewhere the tables had turned-women were taking on roles traditionally reserved for men and doing a damn good job at them. Do we do this because we cannot find a man to do this for us? Or do we actually enjoy (the once deemed) masculine roles? And if we do, does this make us less feminine?

"I still want to be the girl," protested Mazz.

"And I can't help but act like a girl, even when it annoys me," responded Alexis. Indeed, I noted that even my most sure and powerful female friends still get girly and estrogen induced needy at times.

No matter how assertive we may be on selecting the venue for a date, we still turn into a quivering mass of pathetic-ness of the guy doesn’t call us the next day.

And no matter how strong our muscles are, we would be traumatized if they were larger than the those of the men we were dating. “I shouldn’t be able to beat up my boyfriend,” one girl commented, "he needs to protect me from the dangers of the world."

And although women like Eva gain glory from career success, they still are hesitant to take on the bread winner role in the family. “Is it wrong that I want to conquer the world yet still have someone take care of me?” another girl chimed in.

How do we balance our new-found Type A achiever goals with the pleasure of remaining feminine and nurturing? After all, romance is based upon deep sighs, wistful stares, and the feeling that we are beautiful and worth protecting. Romeo’s lines were NOT

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the alpha female dominatrix
Arise, fair alpha, and kill the envious moon with your boxing and powerpoints….”

No no…..Romeo was inspired by a fair maiden with eyes like the stars….and deep down we all want to be that type of inspiration to a man… while conquering the world at the same time!

Friday, March 6, 2009

When to Do the Deed

I was having a typical Friday happy hour in San Francisco—sipping overpriced bubbly and talking to well-heeled girls about dating wows and woes.

Jackie was perplexed. “I really like Alex,” she said. “We have been out several times laughing and smiling…but I am very hesitant to spend the night with him. I am fearful that once we sleep together he will lose interest.”

What?! Even though Jackie’s loins were aching to give Alex more, her carefully guarded mind wouldn’t let her for fear of being regarded as an “easy target” and immediately dismissed from relationship status.

But why? If two people are having fun, why wouldn’t the man want that to continue after sex? And if the sex is good wouldn’t that be all the more reason to come back for more?

Why is sex a trump card that can potentially end the game?

Alexis told her, “Jackie, I think you need to stop worrying. It seems like he genuinely likes you. And if you are aching to get naked, by all means give in to the seduction of the moment! I bet he’ll want MORE of you.”

I chimed in, “Yes, we shouldn’t have to deprive ourselves just because some an old fashioned woman with cobwebby loins wrote the book 'The Rules' and frightened us to frigidity.”

But I later realized that my words were only vacant mutterings.

With all our bags of experiences, giving in to the moment is increasingly challenging.

My 3rd encounter with an unnamed young man ended at my place at 2 in the morning. I was very excited to get this hot specimen all to myself. Now exactly what to do? Plan A: Show him my shoe collection. Plan B: Attack.

Plan B was initiated before we even closed the door. After all, weren’t walls invented to be slammed up against? However, executing the plan beyond the wall slam maneuver was easier said then done. Sometime during the bedroom tussle, my sex savvy faltered as Jackie’s words entered my mind. I was trapped in a scene from the movie “Love Actually” where the neurotic woman finally gets the hot guy (Carl) in her bedroom…only to be overly distracted from lovemaking by the constant chime of her phone ringing.

I had my own phone ringing—the crazy wheels of my mind. Although I appeared to be kissing I was really writing a list of profound questions in my brain.

1-What would happen the next morning? Would I still be able to make my morning spin class? Or would there be lingering? Is there a breakfast obligation?

2-Was I giving in too soon? Is a hot 2am hookup really saying sayonara to any form of relationship? But did I even want a relationship?

3-And regardless of relationship, if I were going to "do the deed" what was my assurance that it would be any good? What if he was a “wham bam thank you ma’am” type of guy? I certainly didn’t want to add another notch to my bedpost for a one-time 4 minute encounter.

Sigh. I certainly wasn’t going to solve the world’s problems that night. But the next day I made a new commitment to myself. Shut off the brain. Enjoy the moment. And pretend you are in love—even if it’s just for a few hours. If the man still leaves after an evening of sordid seduction, he wasn’t going to stay in the first place.