Tag Archives: relationship

“To the Left, to the Left!”

The other midnight, while on Hollyweird’s no longer secret throughway of Fountain Ave,  I found my lil’ sporty car revving up its engine while impatiently crawling behind a clunker.  For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of sitting in traffic on this one-lane residential street running in between the freak-show of Sunset Boulevard and the parking lot of Santa Monica Boulevard, it is still one of the more reliable routes to take if you don’t ever wanna be the douche who walks-in late for a meeting — or an audition, or a dinner reservation — and says:

“Gosh!  The traffic!”

Oh really?  Traffic in LA-LA, eh?  Shocker.  Must the gay people’s parade out there, or something, huh?

Normally, when wasting my life in traffic, I’d resort to one of two choice:  either I swear colorfully enough to make the other drivers’ outer ears wilt, or I think of Eckhart Tolle and pretend to meditate.  But at midnight?

“WHY in the bloody, fuckin’ Dickens am I going at 3-fuckin’-miles an hour — with NO other cars in sight?!” I thought, and began to spew out hefty nicknames I’d call the driver of the clunker if ever that moron and I had a face-to-face encounter.

I was sitting behind him at a red light, waiting to make the left turn that would finally liberate me from his retarded choice of speed, when the passenger door flung open and a gorgeous creature leapt out onto the street.  She was petite, in some shiny, skin-tight Cat Woman outfit, with a bouncy bob of glossy black hair.  In twelve-inch heels, she jetted for the sidewalk, leapt up onto the curb and started walking.  By the temper of her strut, and the swing of her elbows, and the hesitant stall of the clunker once the light switched to green (the poor fucker forgot where he was going!), I quickly realized that I was witnessing a relationship dispute.

Now, a long, long time ago — this cat’s several lifetimes ago, to be precise — my love affairs used to have that sort of a dramatic feel to them as well.  Now, don’t get me wrong, my comrades:  Especially in the beginning, my lovers were always beautiful and love-worthy — of various nations and tongues, professions and talents, physical attributes and endowments, age groups and income; with unpredictable hairlines and bodily hair.  Oh, they were lovely!  Really!  But that’s, of course, until an affair would start going to shit (and let’s not kid ourselves:  we all know when a relationship does a one-eighty toward the unavoidable break-up); at which point, no matter how much I’ve tried to brace myself for grace and some degree of gratitude during the transition, it would always get dirty.

Not really a flaky or fearful partner (and because as an ex-Soviet, I accept suffering as part of the deal), I would still try to stick around “to fix it”.  But once there are cancer cells in the body of a relationship, most likely it is time to wrap-up all the loose ends and with a heavy realization of its unavoidable demise, just ask:

“Doctor?  How long do I have left?”

The mess that followed my departures (and I would always be the one to leave:  https://fromrussianwithlove.wordpress.com/about/) would take years to clean-up; often accompanied by astronomical phone bills due to all the sorting-out and the fishing-for-forgiveness conversations.  Or should I call them “fights”?  Hmm…  Yep:  They were fights!  Often unclean and unfair, loaded with lists of mutual grievances and tears; and a certain degree of my hyperventilation, because once again, I wasn’t sure where I had gone wrong…

Now, wait up!  Wait up a second here, V!

Actually, with enough honest examinations of my inner and outer selves, I have to confess:  I always knew when shit wasn’t right. Yep, I’ve seen the red flags and the signs of messy things to follows. Yet still, I would impatiently rev-up my inner engine and drive right over them — and into the arms of a man wrongly suited for me from day one.  And once in them — in those moderately or plentifully haired arms — I would continue to speed toward the Committed Relationship chapter of the affair.  More red flags would pop-up; yet I’d be in the zone, jacking-up my speedometer, Danika Patrick style.  And I would continue to stubbornly ignore my intuition — until the routine of the relationship would finally set in; at which point, I’d have NO choice but to slow down, eventually pull over, and collect all the self-violation tickets.

Okay, you get the metaphor, my comrades.

So, when the Cat Woman leapt out of that obviously ill-suited for her magnificence vehicle the other night, I had to remember my own stunts of jumping out of derailed relationships and my lovers’ moving chariots.  So, what did I do?  I U-turned, my lovelies!  (Illegally, of course!)  Because I too had suffered enough and could empathize with the Cat Woman’s Walk of Freedom.  And although I couldn’t help her with cleaning-up her poor choices and patterns, it was my civic — womanly — duty to ensure her safety that night.

Again, I sped, with my very ovaries pushing on the pedal.  But by the time I caught-up to our gorgeous kitten’s trajectory, she had already gotten back into the clunker.

“Well,” I thought.  “She hadn’t had enough yet!”

So, I said a prayer for our Cat Woman’s safety, hoping that she would always land on her feet; wished for clarity in her next life — and sped off home.

Single White She-Male

Ladies!

Let this wild cat on her eighth life tell you how it is:  A successful relationship is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Take my word for it.  For most of us, our lives haven’t been ravaged by war or incurable disease or poverty.  We aren’t oppressed on the daily basis into a category of borderline servants in a male-dominated culture.  We are free to choose the cities of our residence, the degrees on our diplomas and the length of our hair.  So, if you happened to live in the First World Country — such as this ever-so-fascinating experiment of the U.S. of A. — that allows for enough leisure time to entertain the concept of CHOICE, you’ve got yourself a complicated task on your hands.

CHOICE. My favorite word.  Ever!  Maybe it’s because in the country of my origin — my badass Motha’ Russia — I wasn’t granted too many of choices.  Or perhaps, the hellholes of my previous six lives have prevented me from making “love” my favorite word.  But to me, a choice is the highest privilege a free man and woman can have; and if it’s been granted to you by birth — well, then:  You’re one lucky mother fucker!  No, wait.  I spoke too soon.  Now that I’ve finally advanced my station in life beyond survival of a mere immigrant, I am starting to understand that one’s right to choose comes with a responsibility.

The very purpose of my humble existence, I believe, is too collect the stories of humanity — and then, retell them; and my favorite subjects — are the magnificent creatures of my own gender.  So, as one of those coolest Amazons I’ve adopted for a sister has once told me:

“It is our responsibility — to live a good life.”

She herself was born into a culture in which women better fit into a category of things.  Having been thrown around enough by her family, she got her wits together at a criminally young age (for, I believe, NO child should inherit the suffering of his or her parents!) — and she fled.  On the coast of her new and democratic country, she spent decades molding herself into an independent, powerful woman with an income that beats most men’s, allows her to explore the world and grants her access to every possible opportunity that arouses her curiosity.  Bare-handedly, she wrangled with her — ah, here’s that word again! — choices of partners, and to this day, has refused to settle for (drumroll, ladies!) less than what she deserves.

Say, you’ve finally found “The One.”  (I cringe here a little, my lovely ladies, because I would be so very, very, very careful with granting that title to anyone other than your self.  There is no more crucial relationship in life than THE one you have — with YOU! And if you haven’t invested in that honest and intimate and most important love of your life, then you will neither be a happy partner nor make a partner happy.)

So, back to “The One.”  You’ve done the legwork and the self-examination.  You’ve explored your choices.  You’ve suffered enough in bad match-ups to live up to your better expectations; and here you are:  coupled up with a partner that suits you best.  You’re done!  You’re on the threshold of your Happily Ever After.  Hallelujah!  Right?

Nyet!

I must break it to you, ladies, but the tale of your Happily Ever After will demand continuous commitment and work.  Here is my beef with fairytales:  After an epic search for love by their heroines, these tales we’ve lapped up as little girls cut-off abruptly once the match-up finally happens.  No one tells us about how Cinderella deals with moving into the Prince Charming’s bachelor pad and handles his messy living habits.  Or whether or not the Pea Princess welcomes all the other hard things her man presents in bed due to his insatiable sexual appetite.  Does Snow White agree to her in-laws’ demands to change her last name; and is her Prince chill with her having a multitude of male friends?  When Rapunzel pops out her babies, gets a job and decides to cut off her hair, how does that sit with her lover; and how do they get past the negotiation?  See what I mean, ladies?  The questions, the work, the communication and the diplomacy required for a successful relationship — are never-ending.

So, I wish you courage in pursuit of your fairytales, the gorgeous sisters of my gender; because courage is exactly what it takes to remain in love with yourself, another person, or this whole living deal. May you stay curious, continue changing and may your partner have the balls to keep up.  But here is my most crucial spiel:  Pah-lease, remain authentic to yourself in your own story writing. Don’t follow other women’s choices, especially if those choices haven’t been examined, but predetermined by fear, laziness or the majority’s dogma.  If you are lucky enough to have choices — don’t take them for granted. You are free to write your own fucking fairytales, my Amazons; and besides that being a privilege — it is your bloody responsibility to do so.


Boy-Crazy

Balls out, comrades!  My man met my boys!

Our magnificent rendezvous was purely accidental yesterday, yet perfectly timed; because right around now have my friends began to wonder about the player smooth enough to keep V intrigued and ballsy enough to make a regular appearance on this “little rant blog” of mine.  (Special thanks here to my ex-fucker for belittling my writing with the above-mentioned tag.  Wait until my boys flip it and berate that arrogant twat!)  Anyway:  In all reality, it was no surprise to have all my favorite men of LA-LA-Land gather at this casual Brazilian hangout; for way too many mutual tales spring out of that joint.  Boo and I, however, are still in the midst of writing our memories, stamping them with the places we’ve explored together.  Yet in that vicinity, we’ve met for the first time, years ago.

Unpredictably, in the midst of yesterday’s casual afternoon with boo, one of my boys stormed in from behind me, swept me off my feet with his wings—and I was airborne:

“V!  What are you doing here?!”

Defying gravity on the neck of this 6-feet-plus soldier, in an embrace of overgrown children, I could not be happier.  But then, for a split second, I began to wonder about the reaction of my partner; so over the shoulder of the only man in my life I’ve called “my brother,” I looked for my man.  Quietly, he held his ground while waiting for his introduction, allowing for this love to unfold in an uncensored manner.  The introduction did follow very soon, after my petite body was released from the soul-recharging embrace.

“I’m Freddy!” my brother thrust forth his strong brown hand, his always genuinely smiling face and his grace that, as I’m convinced, springs from the lullabies he whispers to angels every night.  In return, my man—did his man-thing:  the nod, the shake, the name.  He didn’t need my help here; and suddenly, I got hit with the realization that I was being granted a rare privilege to watch grown men in action.  They were men when it came to negotiating the ways of the world; yet each of them I’ve witnessed in their Peter Pan modes—but this was not the place to get into my mama-V mode.

“Rara!  Where have you been?!” the runner-up favorite male creature of mine has arrived late (as fucking usual!) and repeated the whole V Hangs off the Neck of a God in a Homecoming Embrace routine.  For hours, this Latin boy child—my darling “Jaime” Dean—has delighted me less than a week ago (https://fromrussianwithlove.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/zen-and-the-art-of-going-down/).  Yet, as always, he acted as if distance and sad marriages have separated us for years—so child-like was his thrill to see me! so deprived and hungry was his ear!

The negotiation of a shared meal happened right out front of the Brazilian joint, with the dust of the perpetual Sunset constructions and mid-day heat of the sun getting in our eyes.  Soon, I realized that my place—was to hang back; because when in the company of these world-treading, motorcycle-riding, women-worshiping, art-creating, ground-breaking power-players-in-the-making, I was no longer taking the lead (as I do when navigating in the company of women).  Here, I was meant to lean back and watch shit be taken care of.  So, in surrender, my comrades (a speed that took me three decades to learn), I followed my tall, exotic creatures to our table, assumed my seat, tangled up my feet in my boo’s thighs, and got ready:  to watch, to study, to lap-up these new memories in creation and to re-fall in love with my loves.

Comrades!  How do I describe the utter delight in the stories of my ever-so-cool gypsy brother visiting our formerly shared city for just a few hours en route to his spontaneous trip to OZtralia?  And where in the world do I summon my Shiva for the dance of gratitude; because my brother, my witness, my spiritual equal has seen me both fallen and resurrected—yet he never judged?  And how do I paint for you my spit takes as Jaime Dean repeatedly broke everyone’s composure with his breathy delivery and authentic metaphors that only foreign-language speakers can master up (because we don’t give a damn about the rules)?  And pride with which I watched my man hold his own, funny and at ease—how do I write that, when it fails in comparison in all my former experiences?  Because truth be told, this astonishing young creature is the first to teach me about the natural pacing of relationships and the mandatory checking-in of one’s ego.  (I mean, the player gave me a book titled Zen and the Art of Falling in Love!  And I thought I knew everything.)  And how do I voice my heart’s aching in a silent prayer—for all of them—for their guardian angels to shield them from the nth losses of love or inspiration?

The event—was life-changing.  Picking up on that?

Half way through the meal, our table was crashed by yet another gypsy:  an Israeli bad-ass sporting a shaggy look of someone who doesn’t follow everyone else’s clock-determined schedule.  But by that point—V was just a pussycat, purring and arching her back in the company of the big, cool cats who have already sized each other up and reclined in a manner of having jack shit to prove.  And it made me wonder:  How do men learn to navigate the world?  Who teaches them to accept a woman’s chosen family and behold their dignity with such calm esteem?  Is the responsibility of fathers to teach their sons the healthy competition sans having to overcompensate for their lacks and lapses? I knew no answers; for despite having claimed my expertise in gender relations, yesterday was the first time I was humbled by the beauty of men.  I knew:  I’ve outgrown my grudges toward the other gender.  I have forgiven the mistakes of the unknowing few.  And I have surrendered to my curiosity toward the source of their grace; and, for the first time—became their equal.