No Jane of the Jungle: Part 2

2 years ago while in Korea I decided to put my big girl panties on and venture out into the jungle. The dating jungle that is. I really don’t know what possessed me to do such a thing. Perhaps it was one too many nights spent cuddling up with a book or some misguided fear of missing out.

Even though I had heard some nightmarish stories, I felt strangely brave and excited. I mean, how bad could it really be?

Let’s just say, that it was disastrous an eye-opening adventure. An adventure that led me to one realisation: I am No Jane of the Jungle.
I decided at that point to stick to my books, movies and numerous dates with chocolate cake.

As a result, my curves are now amp-ler, my cleavage is lots-er-er and my butt is cushioned-der-rer. I am packing in all the right places.

Luckily for me, I have since left the Land of the Skinny and am now living in a Place of Undulating Foothills and Mountainous Terrain (my home South Africa). I feel like a normal part of society again and not some alien fatty inhabiting the shores of a shapeless race.

With this new sense of normality came a false sense of optimism and confidence. Whilst not actively seeking to date I have been out.

Now, how can I put it to you? Ummmm….let me put it this way; I’m no longer in jungle territory, more like the open Wild.

In the jungle, I wasn’t sure what was lurking around, it was all foreign to me, including some of the animals. Now I’m in familiar territory. I can spot a baboon a mile away. I can see the vulture swooping in for the kill and I can hear the laughing hyena.

While the animals are now identifiable the behaviour is not. You think you keeping company with a lion in the meantime it’s a fox. You think you’re conversating with an elephant in the meantime it’s a parrot. You think you dining with a giraffe in the meantime it’s a pig.

I mean it’s very confusing. The evolution in the Wild is taking a different turn. I can’t keep up. So what I’ve now realised is that I’m no Jane of the Jungle nor am I a Winnie in the Wild.

So what am I?

I don’t yet know. What I am thinking though, is that I may have to stay indoors…….

and start collecting cats?

Advertisements

#L&Ltake NYC: The Truth

“Here’s the truth”. I’ve been saying that a lot lately. And usually it’s been followed by fall on the floor laughter. Mostly because I’ve just reached a point in my life where there’s no keeping it in. Not for shocked looks, nasty whispers or unwanted judgements.

So here it is. I’ve been dating and making out all over the show. That’s right. From park benches and cosy restaurants to arty theatres and long piers. From Belgian, American and French to Mexican, Japanese and Italian.

And I see you giving me the side-eye now. Yes you.

Don’t pull out the good book yet, I haven’t dropped my panties but I’m not holding back either.

Simply because there’s no reason to.

I’m love-struck. Love-struck over the freedom I feel in the arms of my future potential lover. Let’s be clear, they’re not safe or warm or cuddly, but they are completely uninhibited. They feel like they’re saying, “God bless you girl, you do you, any way, any how, any want.”

Be expressive. Be unique. Be purple in the face of green.

And you see this in the ancient fossil wearing her black leathers or the peacock prancing in his platform heels or even the ‘girl-next-door’ with her bright orange hair.

And you hear this in the boom box conversation on the bus or in the New Yorker stories from the neighbour or in the cussing of the pissed off cyclist.

And you smell it in the aroma of old dog’s pee on the streets.

For this is not a traditional love story. This is a Gotham city kinda love story.

And at the heart of this story is freedom… this is ‘New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of and where there’s nothing you can’t do’.

But like any great love it can suck you in, get you naked, love you up and spit you out.

This is for the brave, the crazy and the resilient.

This is for the ‘all in’ otherwise you’ll find yourself ‘all out’. This is for those who want to take a gulp out of a life and not a sip.

This is for those who know when to put on the blinkers, the ear phones and the protection and when to be like Eve.

Because when you fall prey to the seduction: the bright lights, flashy bulbs and limelight; the flattery and the false promises; the casual rather than the committed, the fall is long, hollow and hard.

It’ll leave you broke and broken.

This is the hard-knock kind of love. The kind that takes most of your time and energy and requires intense work.

It’s also the kind that needs you to dig deeper for the softer parts. For the downtime and for the quiet.

Whether it’s a walk on the Highline, kayaking on the Hudson, a nap in Prospect Park or a visit to the Met, there’s another side to be found and experienced, just like all great lovers.

And don’t we all want to say that we’ve had at least one great lover in our lives?

I’m 35, never been married and have no kids. I’m single and no, not desperate. I’m at a point in my life where most people are wondering when I’m gonna settle down. They don’t even have to say it, I can sense it.

But I don’t want to settle.

I want to be purple in the face of green.

I want to rock my black leathers and red lipstick. I want to prance in my platforms and I want bright orange hair.

Heck, I want to rip all my clothes off and skinny dip under the moonlight. I want to have mad, passionate sex. And, if we gonna be honest I want to have an orgasm too.

I want to fall madly in love.

Madly. In. Love

The only way to do that is to take a risk and allow myself to be vulnerable.

Maybe I’ve been infected by the madness of this city already. But who cares? I’m love struck. I’m talking crazy and I love it.

I’ve already proven in my choices that I’m not afraid to take risks. Can I be vulnerable though?

One thing’s for sure, I’ve been sucked in.

How far or for how long? Mmm, only time will tell.

P.S For more on #L&LtakeNYC visit LeanneTee

A Single shot of Truth

I initially wrote a tell-all straight-up-truth post about being single, dating and sex. When I mentioned it to my friend yesterday she gave me a look so horrifying, I thought I’d better sleep on it. Luckily for those whose hearts might have been beating a little faster by now, her look of sheer horror made me decide to spare the trauma it might have caused to some ego’s. It was not a kiss-and-tell, just some general truths women never tell men.

Anyway it was all linked to me watching “Think Like A Man” which I thought was a load of crap, and happening upon this article talking about the new Mr Right: Mr Right Always and not Mr Right Now. Some of the things about Mr Right Always:

  •  supports your career and ambitions
  •  is proud when you achieve professionally
  • doesn’t expect to be waited on but does expect to be helped
  • enjoys doing things for you just as you do for him
  • knows who your friends are and makes an effort with them
  • doesn’t feel competitive with you. Your wins are his too.

I sent this to a few of my single friends and they all wrote back wanting to know if such men still exist? Honestly, I don’t know. Do they? No, it’s not a rhetorical question, I’m asking, do they?

I’ve been single for so long I feel like I need to join a support group.

Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m single. My last boyfriend was 3 years ago.

Say hello to Lisa everyone.

Sometimes I find the topic of singledom amongst women to be like that of ‘giving birth’. Ask a woman what its like to have a child and she’ll tell you all the glowing details leaving out the most important parts, the truth. I’m sure it’s a wonderful experience but what I really want to know is how painful it is, how messy it is, how draining it is, how hard it is?

It’s the same for being single. Everyone will tell you how happy they are, how it doesn’t bother them, how they are not looking. No-one really wants to talk about the fact that it can get lonely. That it can be hard.  That it’s not always fun. That the real truth is that we all secretly want to be in a relationship.

When you’re newly single it can be a bit scary at first, you think can I really do this? Can I survive on my own? Then you start hanging out with friends, going to dinners, parties, lunch dates, shopping, you’re giddy with all this freedom and free time. Being single is the best thing ever. You gain some confidence, you feel amazing and then you decide to start meeting people, putting yourself out there.  And this is where it can start to get a little hairy. (You can read about my “dating” experiences in Korea here.)

Personally I’ve found dating to be complicated, confusing, and hard work. I don’t understand what happened to honesty, just telling the truth and being transparent about what you want and who you are. I don’t want to figure it out, read between the lines or play the game. Because when you not sure what the rules are or how it’s played you’ll find yourself in dangerously painful territory.

There are all sorts of things I never imagined having to negotiate when I first became single. To give you a bit of background, 3 years ago I came out of a 5 year relationship that for the most part was good, but it left me feeling broken and empty. I got lost in the relationship, lost my sense of self, lost my way, forgot my essence. After that, I took the time I needed to re-discover and heal myself before I even thought about meeting someone else.

And let me just say after my foray into the world of dating, that it’s hard enough just trying to meet wholesome people, but now you also have to deal with the notions of “friends with benefits”, “it’s complicated” (are we just friends going for coffee, are we just hanging out and having some fun, are we mutually exclusive, are we just friends having sex, oh no wait, that’s friends with benefits), “casual dating”, and being a “cougar”. I’ve been having a lot of that lately. I’m 35 and just this week I had a 20-year-old wanting to go out with me. Ummm….yeah, just the idea was a stretch for my imagination. I’m no Samantha.

I’ve reached a plateau with regards to this dating thing. After the initial period of being on a high it becomes a bit tiresome. For me anyway. I also think it’s a bit harder to do when you’re comfortable and happy with yourself and you know what you want. When I was younger and stupider it all seemed a lot easier.

I don’t know where this plateau will lead, a climb up the mountain or a descent into a valley, and I think I like it that way. I haven’t given up, just let it go. The only advice I could give anyone in the same situation is to spend this time concentrating on you. Its part of the human condition to want to feel and know that you are loved. The most important thing I’ve learnt is not to try to force it, let it beckon you.

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Kahlil Gibran.