Helen Sinclair: Two martinis please, very dry.
David Shayne: How’d you know what I drank?
Helen Sinclair: Oh, you want one too? Three.
I’m two weeks into a month long sabbatical from drinking and also on a mild cleanse which involves imbibing clays and powders and which is making me feel a bit fatigued. I have long been feeling some boredom with getting drunk, plus I want to break the habit of automatically ordering/drinking a certain quantity of alcohol just because I’ve become accustomed to it.
However, it has quickly come to my attention that my primary form of socializing involves imbibing liquor in shitty bars, and thus my social life is temporarily crippled. This will come as no surprise to my rotten sister, who usually calls and asks if I’m drunk before starting the conversation. So I’m feeling a litle bored as I’m staying out of bars for the time being unless there’s an express purpose for being there, like a band playing.
On top of being bored I am not experiencing the weight loss that I was promised by my non-drinking friends. Drew, who is also taking a month off, is of course. That fucker loses weight just standing there. And then as he stands there arbitrarily losing weight and building muscle he tells me about it while I lay on the bed struggling to zip my jeans. He also forgets to eat. What kind of person forgets to eat, I ask you? A person that’s skinnier than me, damn it! Sometimes it’s all I can do not to creep up behind him with a pillow and suffocate him.
On the plus side, not waking up with a hangover after a night out is absolutely lovely, and I fully intend to keep this in mind when back on the hooch. In the meantime I apologize to those of you who regularly depend upon me to shout “Whooo!” while showing my ass to a roomful of strangers. Who knew so much of my scintillating party personality was reliant upon the presence of Mr. Patron? My sister, for one.
Anyhoo, I have been having wine-free meals with people and had an interesting one with a girlfriend of mine who just got dumped. She is a physically beautiful, highly intelligent, and spirited person. Probably not the easiest girl on the planet, she’s got a lot of loony conspiracy theories rolling around in her head and she, like myself and most of my friends, is easy to rile and has a pretty strong opinion on many subjects. But she’s also very creative, sweet and loving and tried very hard to make her boyfriend happy, which apparently, she did not. I should add that she’s well out of his league in certain ways, though he is a nice guy.
She’s handling it pretty well, better than most, and we had an interesting conversation about the relationship. She did say some things that have got me thinking this week. First thing she said was, “I always felt like it was so important that I didn’t get too rowdy.” And the second thing was, “You know, aren’t I supposed to be a little bad? Isn’t that the whole point of going out with me in that he purposely chose someone slightly more unpredictable than he’s used to?”
Drew (that skinny bastard) and I talk about this all the time, the fact that so many of our strong girlfriends end up with guys that are initially attracted to their power, but then find they can’t deal and work to contain that energy by negating it or disapproving of it in some way. Women (in general) are naturally more willing to bend their personalities to a relationship but in this particular scenario they can end up losing themselves in an attempt to please and hold onto a partner. It’s happened to me, or rather, I’ve done it to myself, to the point where I really didn’t know who I was anymore. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life and the lives around me and I know I’ve written about it before, but I feel like I haven’t totally beat the subject into the ground just yet, so bear with me.
There are two angles to it: one, there are a lot of men out there who are attracted to, but can’t really deal with powerful women. And two, there are a lot of women out there who are afraid/unaware of their own power and willingly subvert it, usually in an effort to maintain a romantic relationship. These are generalizations, I’m sure there are cases where the sexes are reversed, or the same, but like it or not we still live in a patriarchal society where the former case scenario is most predominant.
The main confusion with this issue is that many of us do need to calm down a little. So it’s hard to know what to hang onto and what to discard while attempting to co-exist with another human being. For instance, I know that I’m a controlling maniac and that when someone tells me I’m being too domineering I have to heed that warning. But I also know that if someone tells me that my sense of humor isn’t “nice” (which has happened to me in the past), that I can’t stop naturally finding humor in certain things just because it challenges some guy’s ego, or a part of me will curl up and die a little (which has also happened to me in the past).
I only know these things now because I have a partner who is not bothered by my energy/power, is unafraid of my temper tantrums, finds my jokes funny (most of the time), and is not interested in hiding my sometimes obnoxious light under a bushel. This has freed me up immensely in many ways, and because I have been given this gift I feel an obligation to let people know that it is entirely possible to be loved for who you are, and that it is imperative that you seek out those who do love you for who you are (friends and lovers) rather than who someone would like you to be.
I am not saying that we can’t all use some improvement, and in many cases hours of therapy. I’m just saying I’m tired of looking at gorgeous, smart, powerful people across from dinner tables and dissecting where they lost themselves and why they weren’t enough. If you’re not enough it’s because he/she/it wasn’t the right fit. End of story.
Oh, and lastly, I’ll be heading out in a pair of hot pants this evening to face the dragons I discussed in the Orangutan Mama blog. If anything entertaining happens I’ll take notes.