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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We are all damaged

It's true-we are. Every single one of us. Even those who lived the most sheltered of lives,those who are relatively young and those who seem blissfully happy and content on the outside.
Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Sometimes the damage is obvious,sometimes it becomes apparent as you get to know the person deeper.
Not everyone admits to having it. We all want to look "perfect" for other people,employers,prospective partners. But sooner or later it all comes out.
True damage is not merely a re-enactment of past turmoil,but part of nature,part of our cellular structure. That's why it's a good idea to stretch each morning to be aware of where in your body the damage is lurking.
It's all about how you manage and handle your damage. You wake up every morning and then do those things you have to do to find your best self. Some days it works better than others.
It's up to us to attempt to heal ourselves daily and to bring that better self to our partner each day.
A lot of people make a common mistake: they meet someone new and they think that person is the one to heal them,that they are starting "clean slate",that it is/will be different this time. Usually,in those first "honeymoon" stages damage is asleep,like a bear in winter,it's in hybernation. So we tell the new person about it,even lead them to the damage and show it to them,saying "Shhhh,let's not wake it". But,inevitably,spring comes and damage wakes up. Sometimes sooner,sometimes later, but it always,always does. And then the cycle repeats itself:off we go in search of "the one",the "soulmate" that will make it all better and make all hurts of the past go away.
Everyone doubts at one time or another that our partner is "the one"-the one who will make me happy,make my loneliness go away,take care of me and build me up when I'm down and who will remain hot forever. In reality, we are sometimes hurt or disappointed by a partner,but we have this notion that the right person will never cause us negative emotions or pain,and,therefore,we start thinking that maybe she/he is the "wrong one".
Even the most loving and nurturing partners are not always there for each other. They also misunderstand each other,get angry,feel out of sorts and feel hopeless from time to time. Nobody feels like "the one: all the time. She/he is no doubt a complicated human being just like you are.
Let your partner see the "real" you-flaws and all. You want to feel accepted for who you are,not for the image you present. the paradox of this is that the more you reveal your flaws,weaknesses and less attractive qualities-and continue to be loved and accepted by your partner-the more you feel safe and secure in the relationship.
The goal is not to find someone who is perfect,but rather to find someone whose character you respect-and who can either recognise her faults or accept feedback so she can be better in the future.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My first introduction to penis

It happened when I was 6.
I was staying with my favorite,"good" grandma-my Dad's Mom. She was amazing,self-less person,a survivor who raised 3 kids on her own during WW2 and achieved quite high status in her career during the time when women were not at all considered "management" material in Russia AND in a Muslim dominated city as well,where women (even non-Muslim) meant to "know their place"- raising the kids/cleaning/cooking/looking after their husbands-that whole "barefoot and pregnant" mentality.
My grandma's name was Evdokia and she is and always has been my role model and inspiration. In fact (and I realize this sounds a bit silly), I firmly believe that she is "watching over me" to this day, trying to help me through all life's trials and tribulations.
She died young-in her late 50's,working overtime and giving her all trying to help her children. She deserves a separate chapter,which I will definitely write.
The flat where my grandma lived was somewhat typical of Russian housing of that era-it was originally build in early 1900's, rectangular in shape,2 stories high,with flats/rooms running around the perimeter and forming a courtyard in the middle. There was a big ornate iron gate at the entrance into the courtyard. Before revolution it was probably some sort of boarding house/ rental flats. After the revolution it was appropriated by the government (like everything else) and individual flats were given to citizens.
 Although,thanks to the old design, all flats were roomy and had very high ceilings (4-5 meters) and large windows,many were not equipped with private toilets. There were  communal toilets/showers downstairs for everyone. My grandma  (and many others) used a bucket for toileting purposes and then just took it downstairs and emptied it into one of the communal toilets. Grandma even had a special wooden stool build, with an opening in the middle and nice soft padding around it,so you didn't have to crouch over the bucket-just sat on the "throne"!
To get to certain flats,one had to enter the "main" door,then go along the corridor,where other flats were located.
Clearly,because of the design of the building,everyone knew each other and each other's business. Friendships and alliances were formed.
One of my grandma's best friends (a woman about her own age) lived in a downstairs flat with her husband. The two visited each other often to "borrow some sugar",exchange knitting patters or just for a cuppa and a chat.
One evening Shura (that was friend's name) was over at my grandma's place. I was playing and women were looking at some knitting. Shura realised that she needed something from her flat and my grandma sent me to fetch it.
It was winter, 7pm, already dark outside. I run downstairs and knocked on Shura's door. Her husband (whom I've met on many occasions previously) opened the door wearing boxer shorts and a "wife-beater"singlet. I told him that I was sent to get whatever it was (I honestly cannot remember). He invited me in.
 As he led me deeper into their flat,the feeling of uneasiness grew inside me. The flat was dark, no lights were on and he had very funny look on his face and the smell of alcohol on his breath. But I was only 6 and brought up to respect and obey my elders,so I followed.
Somehow he maneuvered himself behind me and,before I knew it,his hands were under my dress,caressing me,sliding down and rubbing me over my panties. I froze. He wasn't hurting me and he wasn't restraining me, and  he was an adult and authority and I didn't want to be rude, so I didn't know what to do and how to act.
He kept saying something about "playing a game",asking me if I like games. I said yes. He then slid his finger under my panties,touching me all over,but not penetrating.
And then it happened:he pulled out his penis and asked me to touch it. And he forced my hand on it. It was revolting!! Big and hairy and smelly! It looked huge and scary to me. I was only 6 years old. I was terrified and helpless.
I kept trying to move forward,out of his grasp,but he held on to me. He then proceeded telling me that it would be fun to see what happens if he put "his thing" into "my thing". I just vigorously shook my head and tried to pull away. He said "OK,OK", but still forced my hand on his penis again and kept rubbing my vagina.
That went on for a few minutes, until I asked for whatever it was Shura needed again and he must have realised that someone (his wife,most likely) will come looking for me if I'm not back soon.
He told me not to tell anyone and that this is "our secret" ( pedophiles are so repetitive:this line must be used millions of times all over the world).
I grabbed whatever I came for and run out. I was shaken. I didn't know what to do. I kept thinking that if I told my grandma and Shura,I would be in trouble. I sensed that what happened was wrong, but I thought it was ME who's done something wrong.
I went upstairs and just sat on grandma's couch quietly. After a few minutes she asked me if I was alright. I said yes and pretended to watch TV.
I've never told anyone about that episode. I know now that my grandma would,in all likelihood,kill (quite literally) that bastard and go to jail for it. So in a way, I'm glad I didn't. I avoided any situation where I would be alone with that guy again,which wasn't hard,as I didn't live with that grandma (I lived with my other,evil one,on the other side of town),only visited occasionally.
Men are predators by nature. And as such,they have what I call "a point of no return". That is when their ugly self-serving instincts completely take over and they are absolutely unable to stop. They know what they're doing is wrong,that there might and will be consequences,but at that very moment all they can think about is satisfying their primary urges and serving their dicks. Nothing but brutal physical force can stop them when it's happening. No amount of begging or reasoning. Their brain is shut down.
I am a woman and pride myself on the fact that I can stop at any point. It doesn't matter how intoxicated I am,how horny or overcome with lust and what stage of coitus I am in. I understand that someone can change their mind unexpectedly and inexplicably at any time "before" or "during",as humans are very complex beings. "No" means "no" to me.
I've had sex with quite a few people, but it was always,always because they really wanted to be in bed with me. I don't take advantage of drunk and emotionally vulnerable. I would never "trick" someone into having sex. In fact, I hardly ever initiate sex-I wait for the other person to clearly indicate (with either words or actions) that it is,indeed,what they want.
 I also don't have "recreational" sex (you know, when you do it "just for the heck of it") with women,because for me to truly enjoy it, I need to have an emotional connection with the person,otherwise it feels just like work (as in what I do for a living)  and I never want it to be like that with women.
That's what separates me from the predators that are male species.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Husband # 1

I've been married (legally and formally) 4 times.

Here's the story of the first one.

I was in High school-my last year. I lived in my hometown (Baku) still.

For most of my childhood I actually lived with my maternal grandparents,as both of my parents had very busy successful sports careers that took them out of town quite a lot for extended periods of time.

The kindergarten was,literally,in the courtyard of my grandparent's building and the school was across the road, so it made sense that I stayed with them all the time,even when my parents were in town.
I would visit my parents on weekends and school holidays.

By my last year of school my Mom's career has eclipsed and she became a coach for a teenage volleyball team located at the Navy base in town. She decided she wanted me to move back in her flat so she can "supervise" my studies.

My mother is a neurotic control freak and we never had a good relationship (in fact,it's at its best now, when we are a world apart and speak on the phone only once a fortnight).

Mom was always pressuring me to get nothing but straight "A"s and be the best at everything. It is a bit funny,as she was never any good academically and barely managed to graduate High school. The only reason she had a college diploma is because she went to "Physical Education College" and at the time was a lead player in Soviet National Volleyball team. They just pushed her through without her needing to make any studying effort-back then Russia was all about winning the Gold and proving to "capitalist" world that we are the best.
My Mom certainly delivered as a volleyball player of highest calibre and college just passed her through all the exams,so she can have a diploma.

Anyway, so I was living with Mom. Being watched 24/7. No dates were allowed, no going out or parties,no make-up...

All through my years of school I WAS,in fact, straight "A" student, so all this was totally unnecessary, but Mom was worried that the competition to enter the University would be too fierce (and it was) and she firmly believed that I need to study even more.

Back then in Russia everything was owned by the Government (including all schools,colleges and universities). Education was free. As in absolutely free. In fact, if you maintained high marks, government paid you a monthly stipend to insure that you focus on the studies and don't have to work. It was NOT a loan-it was just like a salary.

Anyone was free to enter any college or university.

Trouble was, some of those were a lot more popular than others. So while "Geology" barely had one applicant for each 2 spots available, University Of Foreign Languages (my school) had 5 applicants for each vacancy.

To enter  any college or university, one had to pass entrance exams. There were four: one would be relevant to the future course of studies (English Language in my case) and the other 3 varied, but usually it would be:
 a)Composition -where you were offered 3 subjects ( related to Russian Literature) and you were given 3 hours to write a 6-page essay on one of those (free-hand,as we had no computers back then:)
b) Russian history
c)Russian grammar.
If you were trying to enter Polytechnic School, exams would include chemistry,physics or math.

Only applicants with highest marks would be admitted. Each year each school had "passing score"-it was determined by a number of applicants for each vacancy. The more applicants, the higher the score.

As the highest mark in Russia was "5" (equals "A" in Western World), the passing score for my school was consistently 19 (out of 4 exams you were allowed to get three "5"s and only one "4"-anything less than that threw you out of competition).

As entrance exams were spread out throughout about a week's time and scores were posted after each one,everyone knew whether or not they stood a chance:if you got "3" for your first, you were clearly out of the running-there was no point in going through the stress of taking the other 3 exams. Still, a lot of people hoped against hope and persevered.

Entrance exams were extremely stressful. Students started preparing for them at the beginning of the last year of High school. A lot of wealthy parents hired tutors for their kids with explicit purpose to get them ready for those.

There was at least one publicised case of 18-year old having died from stress-induced heart attack during entrance exams at a very prestigious University.
The whole ordeal was not for the faint of heart,that's for sure.

There I was, studying hard,getting ready for the exams.

By that time my Dad lived in Moscow. Him and my Mom were still married, but he finally managed to get a government apartment there and that's where Russian Sport's Committee and Russian Olympic Committee were based, so he spent all his time there when he wasn't travelling for practice/competition.

Mom was going to join him later and myself later still when my University situation was sorted out.

In the meantime Mom was coaching girl's team located at the Navy Base. There she met a young guy (he was 24 at the time and Mom was 40) and fell in lust with him.

It was rather painful and embarrassing to watch. As it was a small town and even smaller,tight knit neighbourhood, everyone knew every one's business, so she couldn't really blatantly carry on an affair.
Plus,winter/spring romance was not an acceptable thing back then when a woman was a "winter" (of course, men could  do whatever they wanted and it was all good).

So Mom invited that guy over to our flat and kept telling neighbours that him and I were dating. I tolerated that. Then she told me that she wants me to marry him! Yes, actually marry him!

I was appalled and in a shock. Truth is, back then we were brought up to respect our elders and we pretty much did what we were told. Also,  tricky housing situation and restrictions on one's movements imposed by the government were making it very difficult to just walk away from one's home/parents: you would literally have no place to live and won't be able to get a job because you had no place to live. Catch 22.

I was in a state of quiet panic. I most certainly did not like that guy, was not at all attracted to him in any shape or form and it was apparent to me that him and my Mom are shagging each other. But I was trapped.

As a last ditch attempt to remove myself from the situation, I asked my then "real" boyfriend (whom my Mom hated with passion) to marry me. I explained to him what was going on and told him our marriage needn't be "for real". I just wanted to get out of my Mom's house. Dimitry (boyfriend) clearly didn't care about me enough and flatly refused to help me,saying he had "other plans for himself".

I can't resist a side note here: fast forward 8 months: Dimitry was kicked out of the military academy,as I carried him through the last 2 years of High School academically,letting him copy my tests,writing his essays,etc and he only got into that academy because his father (Navy general) has thrown some weight around. But even his father couldn't do anything about his academic ineptitude.

 Fast forward another 3 months: Dimitry was now in the Army (mandatory 2 years for all males back then in Russia,unless you are already enrolled in military school).

Fast forward another 4 months: Dimitry is back in town for his mother's funeral,dirty,looking like hell,telling me about horrible treatment fresh army recruits get from older soldiers.

Fast forward 4 years: Dimitry's father kicked him out of their flat,as his new wife didn't want a grown son "cramp her style". Dimitry found himself in exactly the same situation I was 4 years ago: no place to leave,can't get a job because he has no place to live and no money,because he can't get a job. The reason I know all that is he wrote me a tearful letter  (I just moved to US), begging me to take him back, help him move to the States and organise visa/tickets/job,etc.

I honestly was in no position to help him-I was in the country on a visitor visa myself, but karma is a bitch,ain't it!

Sorry, I digress: suddenly all these memories come flooding in. Back to my first husband story.
My Mom DID make me marry him. It wasn't any kind of special wedding-she just put  him and myself in a taxi,took us to the City Hall and,just like that,we were married.

That guy,Victor his name was, had an agenda (aren't they all..LOL..). He was originally from a small town in Siberia. He was in our beautiful sunny city for 2 years serving his mandatory Army/Navy requirement.
He happened to be a good water polo player,so his "service" in the Navy meant he played water polo for the local Navy team. But all that was about to come to an end and he would have to go back to Siberia.. Unless he got a stamp in his passport saying he lived in Baku (my home town).
One of the ways to acquire the stamp was through  marriage. So he was enjoying a nice shag with a cougar (my Mom) AND hoping to get all sorts of fringe benefits out of it as well (it didn't escape his attention that my parents were well-off financially).

For a while the three of us lived in this studio flat. I slept on the couch and my Mom and Victor slept on the floor (we'd put mattresses away during the day). They didn't shag in my presence,thank God,not even when I was asleep, but I'm sure they did plenty of that during the day when I was away at school.

Oddly enough, my Mom kept encouraging me to "like" Victor and made a lot of thinly (VERY thinly) veiled suggestions that I should have sex with him. I think it was because she wanted to hang on to him and keep him around and she thought if he was kept "interested" by having sex with both of us, it was more likely to happen. She also prohibited me from dating anyone and going out.

To his credit, Victor never forced himself on me.

 I really didn't like him and deeply resented the situation I was in and often expressed my resentment verbally.

I freely admit: I have a temper and a very sharp tongue. When people treat me with respect,they get the same in return. However,if someone does me wrong, I can be a nasty piece of work.
I have a knack for hitting (verbally)where it hurts the most. Now that I'm older, I control it most of the time. I realise that I can seriously hurt people.
Sometimes,though,when I'm hurt myself, I loose all control. Just a few months ago,for instance, I was hurt and angry with someone whom I actually liked and respected  and who meant a lot to me. What she's done was not good,but, using a gun analogy, I could have taken out a 22 caliber pistol and take a shot-that would have been sufficient.
Instead I pulled out  Glock semi-auto and laid on the trigger until the clip was empty. I very much regret doing it now, but at the moment I was seeing red and there was no stopping me.

One time during a similar verbal session with Victor he grabbed me,threw me on the couch and got on the top of me. He whispered menacingly in my ear:"If you don't shut up right now, I'll stick my big cock in every hole you have until you bleed from all of them". He was  very big and very strong  (water polo players usually are) and I could hardly breathe under his weight. I went quiet until he let go of me.

Meanwhile my father was in Moscow,having a pretty good idea of what was going on back home, but he really didn't want all the extra stress of confronting my Mom.

At some point I talked Victor into getting a divorce (event marked by a stamp in the passport,just like marriage,in Russia).
As my Mom routinely went through my things,bags,wallet,etc,she eventually saw the stamp.
Oh,the hell I had to endure. She actually bribed the passport officer and told him that I've lost my passport and got a replacement one with marriage stamp only! Can you believe it?! It did,however, help me out unexpectedly later on (having 2 passports).

All this went on for almost a year until my Mom had to move to Moscow herself. I stayed in Baku,as I couldn't transfer to Moscow Language University and back to Siberia Victor went.

I found out later that my Mom invited Victor to come visit her in Moscow when my father was away. Dad returned home early and found them together. So he had to confront them,after all. It wasn't pretty. Victor went back to Siberia and I never head a word about him in our household since.

I think (this is a speculation based on certain observations and things my Mom let accidentally slip in conversations) that Victor got my Mom pregnant (hilarious,right??) and she had to go get DNC (also referred to as mini-abortion or "vacuum cleaning").

There WERE two good things that came out of that marriage. One was that Victor bought my Mom and me a puppy at one stage (my Mom wouldn't let me have a dog before,but it was OK when her boy-toy brought it home).
It was the cutest black-and-tan daschund. I named him Julian. He was my constant companion. Mom prohibited me from taking the dog to bed, but Julian would crawl (yes,crawl -very quietly and slowly) to the couch when everyone was asleep and I would pick him up and hide him under the blanket.

The other one was that I could get a visa from US embassy to go to America by producing a passport with "married" stamp.
Americans were not very keen on granting visitor visas to young single people for fear of "overstays", but as it looked like I was leaving a husband behind and,certainly,would come back home to reunite with him (assumptions,assumptions..hehehehe), I got my visa.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do not "settle"

A lot of people are afraid of being alone. They crave company (especially intimate company)-that's why my chosen trade continues to thrive.
People are in constant search of a companion,someone to be with. For different reasons,however.
Some feel the pressures of society-if you are alone,un-partnered, then something must be wrong with you..
Some are used to having people around all the time (grew up in large families) and feel unhappy with no one around.
Some want to have a partner so they will be taken care of-emotionally,financially.
Some want to have children and don't want to do it alone.
Some,like on of my exe's, validate themselves through other people, so need constant companionship.
One look at the dating websites (and the sheer number of them) and it's clear that majority of the population is on a quest for coupling/partnership.
If you read through the profiles, main theme emerges: almost everyone requests "no game playing" and "honesty".. Hm mm.. Yes, we all want honesty and clarity. Then why do we constantly engage in above mentioned "game playing"? For any number of reasons, main of which is insecurity, I think. We want to be liked,accepted,we want to be appealing to a potential "soul mate". So we pretend to be someone we're really not. Or we embellish a bit here and there...It's not a good strategy: it all comes out in the end. Truth finds the way out.
We all have our "ideal partner" image in our head. It's different for each individual.
Trouble is, when we take a close look at all the qualities we require in a partner, we realise that,although it's possible to meet such person, it is, realistically, not probable. And the older we get, the more that probability dwindles.
So we settle. We meet someone with maybe a third of the qualities we want and tell ourselves that it's enough or think that we can change the other person, or that we can put up with the rest of it, if even one good quality is present. It's a delusion and a very dangerous one at that.
People don't change. We are who we are. Yes, one can pretend to be someone else, but it doesn't last AND provides a false premise for a relationship.
As it is, relationships are not destined to last forever (at least not happily) and by lying and pretending, we are making their span even shorter.
In hetero relationships the most common point of deception are children:one partner wants to have them (sometimes quite a few of them) and the other doesn't. The first one thinks that once they get married,the other will change his/hers mind and all will be good. Not so! I, for instance, knew with every degree of certainty that I do not want to have children since I was 18. I've never changed my mind and never regretted that decision. If anything, I am grateful that I didn't sway under the pressures of my ex-husbands and society.
In gay relationships it's often main earner/bread winner situation. One partner is hoping to pretty much live of the other while doing "soul-searching" or "exercising artistic freedom" while the other is putting the bread (and butter and,sometimes,caviar, on the table). Bread-winning partner is deluding himself thinking that the other will eventually get a job and start pulling his/her share. Nope. What you see is usually what you get-things don't change much and this situation will inevitably result in resentment/fights/break-up.
"Settling" will only result in disappointment,hurt,heartbreak. One feels un-fulfilled and starts questioning herself as to "what's wrong with me" or "why do I attract these kinds of people" (oh, a million dollar question :).

My "ideal partner"'s image changed over the years. As I grew older, different qualities became important. I now know exactly what I want, what I can live without and what are a definite deal-breakers.
As jaded as it sounds, love fades... Looks fade... Sex becomes boring and repetitive.. At the end of the day,it's whether or not you can put up with each other's shit. Indefinitely. Think about it for a minute. Indefinitely.
All the romantic stuff comes and goes...You can get laid fairly easily... But will your partner "have your back"? Will she/he be there for you on your darkest day,when everything went to hell and world turned it's back on you?
Good relationship should be easy. Yes, of course, there are always arguments,disagreements,fights. Every relationship requires work from both parties. But if it's too much work,if it feels like an uphill battle all the time or you feel that you're the only one doing all the work, then probably it's time to get out.
In a good relationships things just "flow"-whether good or bad things. Obstacles get overcome,problems get solved and both you and your partner are moving towards a mutual goal . You have similar values and are on the "same page", so to speak.
You don't have to work extra hard to appease your partner. In a recent interview Portia Di Rossi (DeGeneres) said something that stuck in my mind. She explained that for the first time in her life, Ellen (her wife) made her believe that she (Portia) is "perfectly good enough" just the way she is. She doesn't need to be thinner,prettier,smarter,whatever.. It made her feel safe,accepted and was a huge step in overcoming her bulimia.
Ellen and Portia's relationship is,actually, my dream. I highly admire and respect both of them. They have such courage.
I would like one day to meet someone who respects me and accepts me for who I am. Who will stand by me no matter what.
I wonder what it would be like to be with somebody who listens and laughs with me and puts her arms around me and tells me that she loves me.
I am 42 and no longer seem able to put the energy into dubious undertakings. I want stability.
The problem is, love has it's own truth:you know when you are in it and the likelihood of the success or failure of it has nothing to do with the fact of it.
When you love, you put your own needs aside for the betterment of something or someone else.
I got burned so many times doing it! I keep telling myself I've learned my lessons. Only time will tell if I've actually had.
It's easier for hetero couples,as men are simple creatures,by and large. Simple in their motivations,however depraved. Mostly driven by their dicks.
Women are harder to fathom. They are colder.More dispassionate (not to be confused with "emotional"). Precise.Methodical.Quiet in their strategies.
Just a few month ago a woman who is much younger than I played me like a violin. I can't say that I was absolutely oblivious-I suspected that something was afoot, all my previous experiences told me that something wasn't right, but,after 2 miserable years I was craving something nice,easy,beautiful,meaningful and pushed my doubts aside and opened my heart. I wanted to believe. In short, I settled. And,yes,I ended up hurt.
Granted, I was a victim of unfortunate timing,more than anything else, but it doesn't make the bitter pill easier to swallow.
"Settling" for anything less than you need/deserve is unhealthy and will not bring you happiness.
You might think that it is what you want right now, but,ultimately,it will make one  or both of you profoundly unhappy and will destroy the relationship.
Be patient. Wait. Sometimes it takes months,years,even decades (I know,depressing thought :).
But it will pay off. You will be fulfilled. You'll appreciate and love YOURSELF more.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Men are driven by their dicks

Thought I'd post something lighthearted and entertaining after all the hard/heavy stuff :).

The other night I was working "on call". The woman who owns a parlour where I work trusts me,as I am very professional,reliable and trustworthy and let's me be elsewhere instead of sitting in the parlour all day and night waiting for a client. The city where I live is pretty small and I have a car, so if she calls/text me and tells me she's got a booking for me or there is a "walk-in" customer waiting, I can be there in 10 min max,usually 5.
I live just 5 min away from the parlour as well.
I don't, however,like to work late,as I do need my beauty sleep. Usually if there is nothing going on by 11pm, I call it quits. I normally text the owner to tell her that I'm going to bed, but on especially slow days,when I don't think anything is going to happen anyway, I just go to bed and she knows not to call me after midnight (which is when she goes to bed herself,usually).
So the other night it was just past 11pm when I decided that it's safe to change into my flannel PJ's-yes, very UNsexy and UNflattering, but,ooohhhh, so warm and soft and comfy. I'm single, so have no one to impress at home.
I put on the PJ's, took my make-up off, slathered cold cream all over my face and rolled my hair into a "nana bun".
I had warm woolly socks on (it was cold that day) and fuzzy slippers.
I was online checking my emails.
At 11:30pm my phone rings. It's Lilly (the owner). She says there is a client waiting. I was none too happy,but said OK and went to the bathroom to remove the cold cream. Lilly calls back:"never mind,he left" she says. I'm overjoyed. Back on goes the cold cream.
5 min later the phone rings again:it's Lilly! Not only the client came back, he already paid her and she stuck him in the shower!
I thought:bugger that! I just put a coat over my PJ's, half-wiped the cold cream off and drove down to the parlour.
So here I was: hair in a nana bun,no make-up,remnants of cold cream on my face, flannel PJ's with the pants that are a bit too short, woolly socks and fuzzy slippers...
Do you think client cared?! Not one bit. All he wanted to do is get his rocks off, absolutely driven by his dick. He could care less what I look like,what I'm wearing,etc. Had no trouble whatsoever getting it on.He didn't even mention the outfit-just couldn't wait to get his hands on me.
That's why I get so annoyed when  clients call and tediously ask for descriptions of the girls,whether or not girls wearing lingerie/high heels,whether their boobs natural or enhanced (mine are, but most clients cannot tell even upon an intimate inspection)...
None of it really matters. All the clothes come off in the first 2 min,anyway. And most of the time they don't really see the face: massage is done with them face down, they lay on their backs with eyes closed during the blow job,then they suck your tits while you're on the top (tits preventing them from seeing the face), then they lay on the top of you breathing hard into your neck, then they do you doggie-style- and can't see the face at all!
So what's all the fuss about??
In my opinion (and I am vocal with it to all clients) all that matters is nicely shaped body,tight pussy,good tits and,most importantly,great skills.
Face,clothes,hair are all unimportant and hardly ever come into play.
In fact, sometimes, when Lilly calls me on my day off and I have no make-up on, I open the door wearing G-String only. Client's eyes go to the boobs immediately and stay there.
 I'm yet to loose a booking because I wasn't dressed/made up to the 9th :)))

Monday, March 7, 2011

The One (Lesbian love affair)

I think it's the most controversial subject EVER: is there The One and only, the love of one's life out there? Or  is it just a myth, a chimera?
A lot of people (both men and women) spend years searching for The One,the soul mate, the extension of themselves,"the other half".
Yet others deny the notion completely,supporting plural partnerships and defeating the idea of monogamy as "unnatural" to human and animal kingdom.
I think The One exists,except it's not always a good thing and not at all pure romantic/sexual bliss,walks on the beach hand-in-hand and candle light dinners.
The older you get, the more valid is your perception of The One,as you have enough experience and romances/affairs/marriages under your belt to compare against and evaluate your feelings objectively.
My One was very much lamentable experience. Quite honestly,if I had a choice, I would much rather not had it, but,of course, there is a plan for all of us, we cannot "shortcut" our paths, nor do we have the power to change the course of destiny. We need to be put through our paces to learn the lessons meant for us.
We,each one of us, have our purpose, but it is not revealed to us (which is frustrating as hell).
I've met my One when I was 41. She was an Executive Chef in a posh winery/restaurant where I worked at the time.
As the town we lived in was quite small, I've heard of her (a lesbian accomplished Head Chef with international reputation), but we've never met.
It was not at all "love from the first sight". I liked her management style-I really like discipline,order,structure and control and she run her kitchen like a well-oiled military machine with witty sarcasm thrown here and there. The food she produced was absolutely divine.
She truly is amazingly talented and gifted.
However, she has some serious unresolved issues and personality flaws that are not immediately apparent.
We became friends pretty quickly, but there was absolutely no physical attraction between us. I can't even say that we spent that much time together socialising. We were definitely not "best mates".
S (we call her that for short) is constantly surrounded by controversy and at the time there was one regarding her dating a married restaurant head-waitress. It gotten a bit ugly with both BOH and FOH divided into camps,some calling her "a wife stealer" and some advocating "two consenting adults" theory..
S and her lover broke up and got back together (quite publicly) 3 times in 8 months with the lover alternatively leaving her husband/moving in with S and going back to the husband/leaving S.
That whole situation was,actually, a basis for our friendship,as I was openly supporting S.
In the end,the lover went back to her husband for the last time and quit the restaurant (or rather the husband made her quit on the spot). Just a side note: those two did NOT stay together. The lover is presently quite happy enjoying the company and partnership of another woman (sorry,couldn't resist..hehehehe..).
S text me to say that she "is not all that busy these days" and is open for dinner/coffee. I didn't take it as an invitation to a relationship. We did have dinner/drinks a couple of times,but that's all it was.
A couple of months went by.
Then one day I gotten a text from S inviting me to dinner. I honestly don't know,even now, what was different that day and why it was different, but suddenly, I was excited. Yes,romantically and sexually excited. Just like that, out of the blue.
I was very much looking forward to that dinner,making plans for at least kissing her and definitely hoping for more,fretting over what to wear....
It appears she had the same idea.
To make a long story short,we couldn't do anything that night,because we were joined for dinner (very unexpectedly) by one of the restaurant managers and her partner, but we did end up in bed a couple of days later :)
For me it was amazing and wonderful and,quite literally,breathtaking. I was absolutely overwhelmed and,within days,was head over heels in love with her.
This is where my earlier comment about previous experience and points of comparison comes into play: I know for a fact that I have never experienced anything of such intensity before. This was all-consuming and extremely powerful. And, no, it wasn't just chemical dependency (oxytocin and dopamine mixed with estrogen-chemicals that brain produces in abundance when people first get together),as I felt exactly the same after she left me and couldn't shake the feeling for over a year.
For her it was just a shag "in-between" the affairs (we've talked about it a year later and she admitted it) and she never loved me. I didn't mean much to her at all.
I wish everything was simple and "cut-and-dry", but,of course,things were very complicated.
Although she didn't love me, she very much liked my presence in her life,as I was very supportive,warm and caring.
Now is the time to mention that S has many,many issues:ongoing problems with her body image and her image in general (years of bulimia), insecurities about herself and others. She's had those for decades and it affected her personality and,in turn, her relationships.
She validates herself through others,thus needing partner/lover at all times. She cannot be happy by herself. She needs,craves someone to validate her feelings. She can barely function without it.
I remember when I told her that I loved her:we were in bed and she just went really,really still. She didn't say anything, but I knew then that my feelings are not reciprocated.
Yet I loved her so much, I thought I can overcome it, that my love is big enough and strong enough for both of us. I wanted to believe that we can make it work. Huge mistake! It never works. Ever,ever.
Relationship went downhill after that: she constantly tried to pick the fights with me,over nothing at all. It was almost as if she wanted me to just leave. In a way, I think she did. S hates confrontation of any kind,especially in personal relationship and tends to just run away (physically change location) instead of sorting things out properly. I know that because she's done it to at least 2 of her previous partners.
Then,very shortly (about 3 weeks) into our unfortunate relationship all hell broke loose in S's professional life.
It's too long of a side story, but she quit on the spot and walked away from her job. I have to point out that it was very much a justified decision under the circumstances and I fully supported her.
As I was working for the same place, I quit in protest. S was absolutely devastated-it was her dream job, but she truly had no choice,as the owners completely cut off her creative freedom and that's just 3 days AFTER she won them the most coveted and prestigious award in the country specifically for her unique style!
She was in tears all the time,hardly slept and was pretty much a mess. That's when I found out that she never managed her money well, had (and still has) a substantial debt and no savings.
I supported her constantly. Lots of conversations,hugs,dealing with her terrible moods. I took a lot of abuse from her during that time. I also made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of email: I knew business people in that town and had some "pull". I contacted newspapers (which brought a huge wrath from S) telling them what really happen,trying to help S to find a new,better job.
It's true what they say:"It's lonely at the top". What it meant for S with all her accolades and accomplishments after years and years of grueling 80-hour weeks in hot,sweaty kitchens, taking crap from ego-driven male chefs was that she couldn't just take ANY job. It had to be a Head Chef job AND in a restaurant that can carry her menu (this means pretty upscale and boutique).
That kind of job is not easy to come by. Weeks were going past and S was becoming frantic and depressed,as she was simply running out of money.
In the end, I got her a job at a place owned by American woman (absolutely terrible person). I worked there before and swore to never come back, but I've done it for S-I loved her so much, I would've done anything for her. American woman was rich and could pay S the salary she commanded.
The day S actually signed the contract,she promptly dumped me.
I can't even describe how devastated I was. I felt like I couldn't breathe (quite literally). The pain was almost physical (it sure felt like it was). I needed to be in motion all the time (walking,driving) to ease that pain.
I normally don't cry in public or in front of others, but I would just start crying walking down the street. I found it hard to carry a conversation with other people. Throughout all the years of my life a lot of truly terrible things happened to me and none of them broke me. S did break me. I felt that all my strength was drained from me. It felt like I am falling further and further down into the darkness and I can't even see the light any more. I am a trained psychologist, so I tried to help myself: I tried working more,I sought inspiration from my Church, I tried spending time with my friends and keeping myself busy, even tried dating (oh,what a miserable failure that was),but all was failing to get me out of the abyss I was sliding into.
This is the first time in my life I couldn't shake suicidal thoughts. I wanted to be gone because I had absolutely no strength to carry on. I was running on empty.
Every morning when I woke up, S was the first thought on my mind. I thought about her all the time. I missed her every hour of every day.
I am a very organised person, so I went into a law office and made out my will. It actually took them 3 weeks to sort it out and  still my mind was unchanged. I was ready to exit.
Conditioning is a terrible thing. From the very early childhood I was taught to be "tough" and to not show "weakness" or "emotion". So,although I clearly knew I was in trouble, I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I just couldn't. I almost started that conversation with one of my girlfriends, but just couldn't squeeze the words out.
Ultimately, it was my friend Pip who pulled me out. She is very perceptive and has uncanny ability to "sense" what's going on with other people, regardless of how they act on the surface.
Pip spent a lot of time with during those few months: we went for long walks,had a lot of wine at her place after work (she worked with me at that tragic restaurant with American owner) and a lot of conversation.
I know with absolute certainty that I would've been gone for sure without Pip. For that I am eternally grateful to her.
I haven't spoken to S at all for the first 3 weeks after the breakup,as we had a huge email fight. I was making a last-ditch effort to help her, to get her out of her "funk" and depression, but she took it in a really wrong way.
She only lasted at that restaurant 2 weeks before handing in her notice: she couldn't cope with the owner and wasn't willing to work "around" it.
I,on the other hand, promised said owner that I'd stay through holiday season (X-Mas and New Year) if they took S on board, and I always,ALWAYS keep my word, so I was stuck there for 4 months.
In those 3 weeks that S worked there, she managed to back stub and badmouth me ( I found out about that much later).
Still, I loved her so much, I did everything to support her. It absolutely broke my heart when I walked into that kitchen my first day at work and saw how profoundly unhappy she was. All I wanted to do is hold her and tell her that's it's gonna be OK, but,of course, I couldn't.
We had a truly "B Movie" episode, where one day I went looking for her, because I couldn't stand how unhappy she was and I didn't like the way we left things. I found her in a restaurant where the owner was someone she worked for years prior and they were clearly talking "business"-she ended up taking a job there, for a lot less money. She told me later she had to do it to save her "sanity".
I waited for her to finish and followed her outside. It was a miserable afternoon and it was pissing down with rain. Again, long story, but at some point I was standing outside of her car,door open,her sitting behind the wheel. I was soaked through and through,holding her hand and kissing it... Like I said, "B Movie" plot.
We ended up on speaking terms again,although we didn't see much of each other.
S would text me frequently,though,urging me to just "walk away from that awful place" (the restaurant). She is quite vindictive and God help those who done her wrong.
6 weeks went by, and she was telling me that she is unhappy in that other place as well. I suggested it might be time for her to open her own place. I told her I would help with the financing. I actually found an interested investor and put S together with her.
I kept sending her encouraging messages, telling her how great she is at her job,how talented. Yes, I was hoping for a second chance with her.. But,as I said,she never loved me in the first place.
She DID,however, like my support.
At one point I bought her a return ticket to Melbourne ($1200 as it was last minute) so she could attend her ex-partner's 40's Birthday party and visit with her friend (she lived in Melbourne for 6 years).
In the meantime, I went to Fiji (long planned holiday) to try and get some rest from the year that I've had.
S was texting me constantly,telling me how great that trip to Melbourne was for her,how she is totally focused now and ready to start her own place...
Then, 2 days later (I was still in Fiji) she text me to say that she's met someone new and she knows it's going to hurt me, but she wants to be honest and upfront.
I was heartbroken all over again. Needless to say, my vacation was shot to hell. I took a lot of walks on the beach by myself, but it's beauty was completely lost on me. I just cried. And cried. And cried.
As it turned out later, S met that woman online only a day earlier (she sent me that text before she EVER saw her in person).
They decided to move in together 2 weeks later and were engaged 3 weeks later (I have to admit, very typical lesbian behavior...LOL..)
The woman lived in Auckland with her 2 little boys  and couldn't move. So S dropped everything (job,house,friends,family,all thoughts of opening her own place) and moved in with what she endlessly described as "The One" on her FB wall..
Oh, that FB... I promised myself, that if  and when I get a girlfriend, we will NOT be FB friends. The amount of unnecessary anguish I went through reading their mushy gushing about "never felt like that before", "you are the woman of my dreams", "feel like a teenager in love" all over S's FB wall. Yip,they did it very publicly for everyone to read.
I held my tongue,as I knew that their romance wouldn't last (and it didn't) and I loved S so much, I wanted to be there for her when she needed help picking up the pieces.
It wasn't long before THAT happened-altogether 6 months, counting from the original text about "meeting someone" and being in love.
And yes, S was very much in trouble. She couldn't find a job for 3 months after moving to Auckland. She just found one 3 weeks before their big split. That woman just kicked her out.
S had no money,no place to live,no one to go,huge debt and her car was out of warrant/registration.
I was there for her. I still loved her with all my heart,just as strong as a year ago. I was willing to do anything for her.
I put her up in a motel temporarily,paid for the car,put a deposit down on a new rental,paid a contractor to fix it,gave her quite a bit of cash to pay her outstanding bills. I drove to Auckland to show her my support.
Although I told everyone that I was over her, I wasn't. I still hoped against hope,in my heart of hearts,that we will be together.
In the meantime I went to Melbourne for 2 weeks (again,long planned trip). I just wanted to see the place (never been there before) and work a bit, just for some "pocket cash".
While there, I've met someone. I wasn't looking at all. It just happened. That person walked in the room and there was instant attraction,like a switch being flipped on. For various reasons I couldn't get together with that person right then and there, but I did get her number and went home in a totally different frame of mind.
No, I didn't just forget all about S, but I was getting more and more interested in this other girl,texting her and planning a return trip to Melbourne and, finally,miraculously, I got over S.
I wasn't "in love" with her anymore. I loved her,yes-as a friend, but the physical attraction was,thankfully,gone at last.
This other girl is a whole different story,which I am not quite ready to write yet, but the whole thing was DOA: ultimately,we never even got started and the whole affair (about 4 months worth of it) brought my whole ugly and trying year to a very unpleasant end.
But in the meantime I was enjoying being friends, REAL friends (or so I thought) with S. I continued supporting her, both emotionally and financially. In a way, that breakup done her good,as she finally faced some of her problems and the fact that they are connected to her relationships. I paid for her to go to a shrink for a while,she was attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings..
We talked frequently,as she was in a very bad place,emotionally. She'd text me in the middle of the night or from work, saying how lonely she was,how she "didn't want to be in this world anymore"..
7 months passed..
Those of you who are shrewd are going to guess what happened next...LOL.. She met a new woman and the history repeated itself.
She was out of touch (with everyone, not just me), ignoring her friends,family,etc. I really truly wasn't "in love" with her anymore, so it was not the new "love" that bothered me, but the fact that she didn't care about anyone at all.
While that was going on, the major earthquake happened. (See my previous post "Earthquake" to understand what it meant for me).
I was really rattled and emailed S asking her to pay me back some of the cash loan I've given her (it was $11K total and was clearly discussed and stipulated as a loan. This did not include trips,gifts,meals,etc,of course). I only wanted $5K so I can set up a flat in Melbourne and I was going to forgive $6K...
All I got from S were short,uncaring replies,that really didn't say much, but the bottom line was that she doesn't have any money and will pay me "when she can" (which,in her case,means NEVER). Not once did she ask me how I was doing or offered any emotional support and showed any caring whatsoever.
It is crystal clear now that all this time she was only using me. She never cared. She was never there for me. I meant nothing. I was just emotional and financial "cash cow". She milked me until I couldn't be milked anymore. And then she was done.
So that was my "ONE". You can see now what I meant when I said it's not always a good thing. She almost cost me anything, including my life. It was a life-altering experience. I know I probably needed to have it. But I so wish I didn't. It shook me to my core foundation and I really hope that I've paid my dues now and will not have to go through anything like that again. I don't think I can survive another "S".

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Earthquake

 Devastating earthquake in Christchurch... On the heels of the one they had just 6 months ago. Only this time it happened in the middle of the busy day and brought down buildings that were weakened as it was by all the aftershocks.

I was in Melbourne,Australia at the time and enjoying my day off in a day Spa. Didn't watch TV or go on-line. I went to bed early, but woke up only 2 hours later having that "something is wrong" feeling. As if on cue, my NZ cellphone rang and it was my Mom calling from Moscow.

She kept yelling into the phone and all I could make out was "earthquake". I kept asking "where" until she managed to say "church". I still wasn't sure if she is talking about the one that happened in Sept (earthquake).

Little by little she calmed down and told me about horrible news coverage that filled TV screens in Moscow. Buildings crumbling,people wandering dazed and bloodied,smoke everywhere...

Mom kept saying I should go back to US,away from "those islands at the end of the World ",but she seemed to forget that she was actually visiting me in California when The Big One in there hit and we were pretty much in the middle of it.

In CA it happened at 4 am. We were all asleep. I know what people mean when they talk about the noise that precedes the actual quake-I woke up just seconds before it started.

Back then glass-top dining room tables were very much in style as well as china hutches filled with crystal stemware. And,yes, it shook bad enough for china hutch to fall on the top of the glass-top table. You can only imagine the noise... and the mess...

In the meantime,in my Mom's bedroom potted plants were falling off the shelves along with books and knick-knacks. Mom was jerked awake and started screaming. She later told me that because it was dark and she was asleep and disoriented, she thought the war started. Mom was born in 1941 and lived through the air raides and bombings, so that was her immediate reaction.

We ran outside and little kidney-shaped swimming pool in the courtyard was spilling water over the sides. Our building wasn't damaged,but electricity was cut immediately and there was that silence... And then,in a few minutes, the sirens of ambulance and firefighters started in the distance.

I was a manager of Denny's Restaurants then-a wide spread and popular chain of family-style restaurants in America that are just one step above the fast food.

I went to work at 7am and, to my surprise, staff actually showed up: cooks and waitresses. We had no electricity, but the stove was gas and functional. According to emergency manual, I had every right to shut the doors when there was no power, but,after talking with the staff, we've unanimously decided to carry on and do what we could .

Kitchen was in semi-darkness with only light coming through the pass,as it was "exhibition-style" restaurant and  had huge glass windows throughout the dining room.

Very soon customers started wandering in. Most of them were quite shaken and dazed. People just wanted a hot meal,as it was the only comfort available. I believe that we were the only place open for miles.

Before we knew it, it was a frenzy. Restaurant was full and the wait for meals was almost an hour. Yet most people were understanding. But some weren't. I understand about the stress and trauma, but screaming at me and the waitresses because the food takes too long to come out  wasn't going to help and after yet another wanker threatened to "call the home office" and "have me fired" (very American attitude,by the way), I simply shut the doors, we finished serving whomever was left in the dining room and with that we were done for the day.

Of course, with no electricity, my commercial walk-in freezer and chiller were thawing and the delivery truck with a week's worth of food did arrive (had a huge argument with the driver), but in the end, power came back on in just a nick of time.

I didn't really grasp the full aftermath of that earthquake until weeks and months that followed. A lot of freeways lay in ruins and had to be rebuild.. Economy took a serious hit.. Eventually it did affect housing market..

And here I am, in New Zealand,and,like a bad deja vu,its all happening again.. Except NZ is a small country AND an island far away from the rest of the world. We are in trouble.

Estimated cost of clean-up/rebuilding Christchurch is 14-20 billion. That money has to come from somewhere.. Specifically, our (taxpayers) pockets.

In the meantime people leave Christchurch in droves, as a lot of them have their houses damaged to a point where they are uninhabitable and their workplace laying in ruins.

As NZ only has 3 major cities (and one of them is Christchurch), people flock to Wellington and Auckland, where job market is stretched thin as it is.

There would be more as CBD CHCH businesses are not functional and it is estimated that it will take 7 months to clean up and "re-open" CBD.

I read today in Dominion Post that estimated loss of tax revenue is 5billion, which sounds right, when you think about how many people will stop working and NOT pay income taxes.

It's a double whammy,as those people will go on different types of benefits (NZ is great like that,but,again, that money has to come from somewhere).

Tourism will definitely suffer-more loss of revenue..

No, the country will not go under, but we are in for a very rough ride,as this comes at the tail end of a long recession.

I've lived through the war, I've lived through LA riots and then LA earthquake, I've lived through 9/11...

I know it sounds cowardly, but I simply don't want to do it any more. Yes, I can definitely survive and "make it",etc, but I am old and tired-it's that simple.

Besides,although I thought that LA quake didn't faze me, it did. I felt very uneasy when I came back to Wellington last week: we are on a fault line and actually everyone thought that we were gonna get hit BEFORE CHCH.. I can't get this out of my  mind,as Wellington has a lot of mountains with a lot of houses on the hillsides. Major earthquake in here would be even more devastating than in CHCH.

And the 2 days ago we had 4.5 earthquake here! There was no damage, but everyone was on edge and run outside and it's all people talked about the next day.

At the moment, I am actively arranging spending more time in Australia and structuring my life so that I can just pick up in a moment's notice and bugger off.
 I am disposing of whatever little possessions I had (furniture items mostly), so if something happens, I can just grab my bag and go.

Funny as it sounds, these days I feel safer leading "vagabond" life-style.