I Love You, But Hate What’s Coming Out of Your Mouth

Do we have to believe everything our friends believe? Do we? Why? Isn’t it our differences that enrich our lives? It seems that no matter what we are talking about lately, it almost always turns to the current climate of divisiveness. People take sides, get offended, and usually (it seems to me) everyone is ticked off at the other side. Being on opposing sides is nothing new, but it wasn’t that long ago that this country was apathetic. Now we all have opinions and we want you to have our opinions. Why? Why is it so important that we agree on everything? Just because you are offended, doesn’t mean it is offensive.

I have a large group of friends. My brother calls them my army – ha! Two of my friends are sisters. One of them is the other pea in my pod. She is who I call when I want my own opinion given to me. We agree on practically everything. Her opinions make me feel supported and right. The other sister is more like a sister to me than a friend. I call her when I want an opposing, but well thought out opinion, from a completely different place with completely different experiences – you get my drift. Her opinions make me think and I learn from them.

I may not have an army, but I am definitely a friend collector. Every single one of them has enriched my life in numerous ways. I have atheist friends, good Christian friends, Mormon friends, Catholic friends, a Buddhist monk, and crazy religious friends. I have friends who shop at thrift stores and friends who never leave Nordstroms. I don’t want to lose any friends, ever. Do I need to lose the ones whose opinions are opposite mine?

Years ago, after my mom’s best friend got the first divorce, she started dating a windbag. A rich, good looking, fun, smart, arrogant, loud mouthed blow hard. We were celebrating one of our holidays there around the time of the OJ Simpson ordeal. He was going off on some sort of rant that closely resembled racism. I looked over at her and inquired, “how do you deal with that?”

She replied, “What do I care what he thinks?” What? What did she just say? This was news to me. Of course you care what someone thinks. I still think about that statement. She was right. Who cares what someone thinks or says? Beautiful, wonderful people have been known to say horrific things. Even the lowest of the low says something beautiful now and then. Actions speak louder than words. Maybe he was walking the racism line (that generation lived during the civil rights movement) – but, I never saw him treat anyone with anything but respect and dignity.

Then, years later, I read Eckhart Tolle – thanks, Oprah. Because it seemed so esoteric and mind blowing, it took forever for me to wrap my head around what he was saying.. He taught me that we are not our thoughts. What? We think those thoughts, therefore they must be ours and therefore an extension of us. Right? Having murderous thoughts doesn’t make me a murderer or even violent. How often does something pop into your head and you think, “I wonder where that came from? I don’t think that way.” It happens to me frequently. Of course, writer’s curse.

I’ve noticed as I have aged, that there are so many things that divide us from our friends and other people we love. It starts when you begin to make friends, you lose friends occasionally based on who your other friends are. Then boyfriends. Then kids. And, then, old age. Fuck me.

I know not everyone is interested in such an eclectic group of friends. And, sometimes I have to separate friends and referee fights on FB. Okay – it’s not that bad. It was just one fight. But, I do keep some of them separate – for me, not for them. I don’t want to hear anyone go at it. I like peace. I just don’t always want to be the one to make it. I have learned that not everyone is like me. Not all of my friends are going to like each other. All of my friends are going to say or do things that I don’t appreciate. So the fuck what? The opposite sister up there – about once a week she says something and I think – “who the eff are you and where did you get that ridiculous opinion again?” I just move forward. I am not going to be changing anyone’s opinion anytime soon. And, nobody is going to be changing mine. We need such diversity.

I find that their diversity enriches me. It broadens my views. And, I get that too – not everyone wants or thinks broader views are a goal. Life is short. Experiences are many. Life changing experiences are few. Life changing people can happen every day. For that, I am thankful.

 

Divorce: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I’ve decided that Divorce is the gift that keeps on giving, instead of the thing that cut me off at the knees, leaving a barrage of scars. But getting here was a long haul.

And, I’m not saying that in a snarky or sarcastic tone, really.

Since my divorce, I have learned so many new things and am energized and excited in ways I never thought possible, especially at the beginning.  I have updated my resume (this seems easy until you consider my college roommate. She found her most recent resume on a floppy disc), interviewed for many jobs and am on job three post-divorce. I have made new friends, met new people, and learned new things. During my eight days at job number one, I found my lip gloss soulmate (it’s a thing) and learned how to use two monitors. During job number two,  I found new restaurants, stores, and deeper appreciation for cultural differences. Job number three led to my illustrious writing career and without it, you wouldn’t be reading this.

I used to want to stay home every night and watch tv. I still like doing that (way more than I should) but, looking back on my marriage (dinner, watch favorite shows, costco on saturday) that now feels like waiting for my turn to die. Now, I am writing, hanging with friends, finding new things to do. I used to want us to agree on all of our kid-related decisions. We didn’t. Still don’t. But, now I know that we won’t always agree and there is nothing I can do about it. So, I do my thing and he can do his. I have peace.

We had a lot of money. A lot of money. Now, I don’t have a lot of money. I learned how to do more with less, building better relationships with my kids in the process. And, teaching them you don’t need money to enjoy things and you don’t have to be in the front row to enjoy the show.  I’m not arguing that money doesn’t make things more fun, but fun can be had without. I am not necessarily materialistic, but I loved my home and my really nice car. Now, I am free as a bird, not defined by what I drive or where I live. Plus, I’ve learned to find joy and calm even when things are tight.

Before, I wanted my friends and their husbands to like us and want to hang out with us. We had some like that. But, now I have found that I can choose (and choose, I do) who I hang out with and what I do. Much easier and no stress. What can suck about only spending time with the people you choose?

What used to be a loss of all of my holidays has given me the permission to do different things, to make or break traditions. I spent one Thanksgiving or Christmas at the movies. Not crowded. Especially the chick flicks. The theater was filled with men and kids. Which only served to remind me; you don’t have to do all that work, spend all that money, while the ingrates go to the movies. And, you don’t have to spend time with his relatives, especially the assholey ones. Traditions are important, but we have made it our tradition to be flexible and try new things. Instead of making all of the decisions, we make decisions together. While that is more “friendy” than “parenty,” we all enjoy doing the things that we choose to do together.

While I was married, I was worried about my future for a variety of reasons. Now I have a plan for my future that excites me so, I cannot wait to retire. This divorce has given me the opportunity to live a second chapter, or start a whole new book. It has given me strength I never knew I had. It has given me new friends. It has given me new traditions and happier holidays. It has taught me I am creative and flexible and smart. It has given me freedom and joy. It has taught me a lot about parenting. I don’t know if I am a better parent, but I am a different one. I have always been open minded, but now I am not just open, I am receptive to new things.

The most surprising thing, though, is how this experience has enriched my children’s relationships with their parents. In my home, we spend almost all of our time together. If we watch television, we do it together. If we go to the movies, shopping, out to eat, we do it together. We take short road trips and go on local “adventures.” I try not to make other plans, waste time online, or talk on the phone when my kids are home and we are together. While divorce may make it easier to “play” us, it also makes it more difficult to have a favorite parent. I am not sure if this better, but I know if we were married, the relationship would be primary.

While all of these things are true, they are not reasons to divorce. I think it is way better for families to stay together. When that isn’t possible, you need to go through it. It sucks a lot of the time, but some moments of joy seep through. Everyday, I find reasons why divorce keeps giving me presents. And, I am thankful. It wasn’t easy and I had to choose happiness – something that is more difficult than it sounds.

The best thing…divorce has turned me into a perfect girlfriend; I don’t ever want to get married again and I don’t care about money.

I am totally free.

Happy New Year, 2018!

A year ago my blog was about how my musical childhood was dying and how so many of my heroes were lost in 2015 and 2016. 2017 took my number one longtime hero.  I have only one friend I have known longer than Tom Petty. That hurt. Deeply. Still does. It just seems weird to me to be in a world where I’m never going to see him perform live again.

Rereading that new years blog I’m amused to notice platitudes are my favorite thing to use, next to song lyrics, in speech. I notice with amusement that I spoke of not hating 2016. Funny. Can’t imagine I would say anything like that now. The notion that I might hate a year is weird. Maybe because I’ve crested over the top.

If 2016 was the year the music died, then 2017 was the year of shit that didn’t get done. Things that didn’t get done: the yard, the beach house for a week in the summer, 1st day of school photos and last day of school photos, didn’t buy school photos, didn’t train the dogs, didn’t decorate for any holiday…although, we did put Christmas tree up and the boxes in hallway, didn’t get my first blog out until the 12th, didn’t finish painting my room, didn’t get my life together and organised, didn’t completely clean out garage, didn’t get a new job, didn’t find a man, didn’t spend more time with friends. So many things did not get done.

2017 was also the year I started to let shit go. To be fair, even before 2017, I had become Queen of Letting Things Go. But, even I, held on to some shit. To rephrase, 2017 was the year I let go of anything else I was so tightly clutching. My new spirit of change says, “who cares what I let go or what I didn’t do? Let’s focus on what I did. (“I do not want what I haven’t got,” isn’t just a song title.)  

2017 is the first year where I really made a new year’s resolution. The resolution wasn’t intentional. I was at a point in my life where I needed to pursue one thing at a time. I was getting overwhelmed at the sheer thought of what I had on my plate. Being a single parent of limited means, my everyday life was already daunting as hell. I decided to pursue the “job” that would get me what I wanted/needed. For the first time in my life I had actually sat down and put my dream to paper. (For the purists out there, I actually ‘wrote’ my resolution by pressing keys on my iPad. I know how you writers are.) I put my dream of pursuing writing as a career and life choice as my #1 goal. I put everything else related to life choice, career, or job goal on the back burner until 2018. I determined what the many versions of success looked like. I broke down the goal into bite sized chunks and made a detailed list of what I needed to do and by when. I also spent some time, about once a month, to evaluate where I was and how the goals/list were going.  This step had seemed boring to me in the past, but it was now more energizing than the goal. I could really do this.

And, I was having such a great time doing it. Until I had to wrestle with arthritis. And, in late July I was greeted with an opportunity to pen and publish a true crime book! So, now it looked like I was going to have to put one dream on hold to do what? Something I didn’t want to do? Many blogs in the future will be devoted to “that process.” I wrestled with that decision so long, I put it’s own purpose at risk. Somewhere around the first week of December, I took inventory again.

I had achieved half of my list. It was the easiest, least important part. So the fuck what? I had achieved half of my list, I had written and published through an indie publisher (now I was self and indie published), I had collaborated on a book, I had built a potentially lucrative future for that book genre, I had something I had written for fun performed for a huge audience, I had reached top 15 in a book genre on Amazon, I had made new contacts regarding my goals, I had determined my retirement plan, I started to make changes in direction due to arthritis, I’ve accepted that diagnosis. Every single area of my life showed growth and improvement. I had a fantastic year. I accomplished so much. And, as I keep saying (ad naseum, I know) I have never been happier.

On a lark, I reached out to someone who appeared to need a little cheerleader in their corner. Next thing I know, she is going to help me finish my list! Probably so I could meet my goal in January or February!  And, by reaching out to her and working with her, I am taking steps to achieve the biggest dream I have. WOW! Amazing.

2017 was the year that I learned that in letting go, I would gain beyond measure. I finally let go of who and what my future must look like. I have a general purpose and direction and a list of goals, but I am keeping it fluid. I was so rigid in my erotica book goals, that I almost missed one of the two best opportunities I had this year. I was so rigid in whom I was looking for, that I couldn’t be open to find the one.

So…no new year’s resolutions this year, just a “to-do list”  which really turned into a “see in the future” psychic thing. In the next three months, I am going to meet or begin the relationship that is “the one” for me. I don’t know if I have met him yet, but he is on his way. I am going to get everything organised and get on top of everything in my life. I am halfway there already after last year.  I am going to be well on my way to selecting a retirement date by the end of this year. My life is going to continue to change for the better. I absolutely know it.

I was going to blog about that woman who returned her tree to Costco…..not sure which would have been more entertaining.

I Had Goals and a Plan

I would have said that I am the least likely among my friends to be writing erotica.  I probably did say it in one of my earlier blogs. Here are some of the reasons why: I thinks sex is private and intimate. I don’t care what you do and I don’t want to hear about it…..and I am not going to tell you what I do. My “number” is way lower than some of my friends.  To be fair….it is way higher than some of my friends.  I can name 5 of my friends off the top of my head that married their first partner. So, my “higher number” doesn’t have to go that far. I didn’t read or watch much “porn”. It was never really my thing. 

Always being an avid reader, romance books were my passion in high school. Danielle Steel was really my first love. Everything I liked to read, did not have sex. And, if there was “sex”, it wasn’t explicit. It was more…..”and the lights went out” or, “and they made mad, passionate love.” I skipped the sex scenes when watching movies at home….explicit or no. Well…..except for the sex scene in Mobsters where I fell in love with Christian Slater. I wasn’t embarrassed, really. It is just private. As for watching porn….I have seen it….but, it never did much for me. And, I did blush more in the first few months of telling people what I was writing than I had in my entire life.

I spent 12 years in Catholic schools (I know what some of you are thinking…..’going to Catholic schools is a prerequisite for writing porn’….)  I almost have a post-graduate degree. I go to church. I have a fantastic relationship with my dad. I am well adjusted (debatable…later). The fact that I was writing porn made me laugh and it made some of my friends laugh.   

Recently, my friend’s daughter posted a picture on FB of her surrounded by cops (it is a long and funny story….really). After all of the usual comments…I replied…..”I used to want to get arrested.”  And, in a rush……memories came flooding back.

I was reminded of my “goals” when I was in my early 20’s:

  1. Get arrested
  2. Get in Easyriders magazine
  3. Be in a Motley Crue music video

All of these designed to achieve my “Big Long Term Goal”…..marry Nikki Sixx. I had our wedding planned and everything……white leather mini dress and all. I had the band picked out. The cake. And, that white leather wedding dress.  I couldn’t decide between white pumps (it was the late 80’s after all) or white biker boots. The struggle was real.

So, of course, this made me think.  Hmmmm.  Erotica author seems like it could be the real “Big Term Life Goal” or……#4 at the very least.

Smiling, I think: I am the only girl I know who has been to a strip club…and, not the “Thunder Down Under” kind (do yourself a favor and click on that..it is a beautiful abfest).  And then there is that whole, “My Grandma Was a Stripper” thing. (I know, I know….that blog is coming soon….she was a stripper in the 40’s!)

I had a plan. I had a good plan. Every once in a while I look around at my life and wonder, “when did everything go so horribly wrong? I was supposed to marry Nikki Sixx.” I think we all know Nikki and I were never married. We didn’t even date. Okay……he doesn’t even know I exist. And, was I serious in those pursuits?  Not really…..but, it was sure fun to tell people. Except my parents…..they were NOT amused. But, they never had to bail me out of jail.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!

Happy New Year!! 2016 had some tough moments……..but, for me, the bloodshed started in early December, 2015 with the death of Scott Weiland.  My friend and I discussed our shock at the time. His death was unexpected, but not surprising, really.  We discussed how you never really know anything. All the platitudes are true…..”you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, only the good die young, the future is not promised, each day is a gift”…blah, blah…..I could go on…but, you get it. Anyway….it seemed like only a few days later when Lemmy died. That hurt too. We knew he was sick….just hoped he would dominate it like he dominated metal. And, then in early 2016…Bowie….okay….now it was starting to feel personal…my childhood was dying.  Okay….not really…..how can I explain?  Let’s see….if I were the type of person to record meaningful personal life events on my body…..I would have tats with all of these people for one reason or another. (Of course, the first one would have been of Andy Gibb….but, I digress.)

I know it is not rational to mourn the loss of people you don’t know….but, each of these people touched me in some way that I found significant.  We grew up together.  Or, it felt like we had. So…while I did not cry or attend funerals or memorials….I was sad. Noticeably sad. And, then …Glenn Frey.  RUFKM?  The Eagles is the one band to share one thing……my mother, my daughter and I are all big fans. I remember long road trips with my mom listening to that greatest hits 8 – track over and over and over…..(which is a joke, because 8 – tracks never ended or stopped……more digression.)

So…..this was getting ridiculous.  ( I am not going to go through the whole list…so, stick with me……) The Eagles were on my bucket list. I had missed their most recent tour due to funds and a promise to “go no matter what” next tour.  Well, damn. Not sure if they would tour or not now……but, I am kind of a purist.  You need to have the essence of the band there…..(at the very least) or I won’t go. The Eagles are not the Eagles without Glenn Frey. This made me sad and angry (at people, money, divorce, courts, etc) and not sure what else. It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at some silent fundraising auction.  And, there on the table is a guitar….signed by most of the Eagles (Okay….more purist…no Randy Meisner….now I have ventured into music minutiae for most of you….) and NOBODY is bidding on it. I have had 2 super strong but very tasty drinks on an empty stomach.  I think it is my job to start the bidding….just to get it rolling…but, surely…..someone will outbid my tiny little $1800 in order to own this piece of American history?  Surely.  

Ha!  I am definitely not Shirley. Nobody outbid me.  And, I didn’t care. I missed their concert dammit…I was getting the damn guitar…because NOBODY OUTBID ME!!! (I don’t have $1800 laying around to buy a $200 guitar with sharpie marks on it. I don’t have $18 laying around for the same thing.) I had buyer’s remorse for a little bit….but, I really got to thinking……..I could have gone to the show and taken my mom and daughter for less than I paid for that damn guitar.  Which would have been great for many reasons but, mostly because my Mom has passed since.

So…….I decided.  Life is short. Enjoy it. Eat dessert first……blah blah….Okay really…..if there is something I want…..I spend a little time evaluating my level of want, cost, etc.  If I will regret not going…then, I need to bite the bullet and find a way to make it happen (whatever it is….concert, dinner, trip, shoes, shot glasses, whatever).  

It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at work, reading a review of the most recent GNR show in Las Vegas.  I had thought it was a one time reunion.  I was incorrect. They were on tour.  Well, hell…..tickets must be sold out, right?   No, they were not. I could score some fairly good seats in the next 2 minutes for the low low low cost of $275.

Each.

You have to buy 2. So you don’t have to sit and experience this alone.

Even if you have no one to take.  Well…that isn’t fair……I have plenty of people to take….but, who will appreciate it $275 worth? And, don’t forget driving, parking, food, drinks, dinner…….(I skipped the souvenir….hahaha). But, $275 EACH?  WTF?  And I was under pressure….because I just knew if I didn’t buy tickets right this minute…they will sell out and there will never be another tour and, and, and…..well.  I bought them. Life is short.  And, then I called the one person in the world I thought would not think I was out of my mind. He works in radio, is a musician, lover of music, and manages bands and organizes tours. His reply, “We were just discussing this at work…..what does the person look like that would spend that much money to see that band?”

Me….that stupid person would look like me. I blamed it on Glenn Frey and the damn guitar.

It really has been on ongoing process for me. For the last few years, I have been giving up expectations, setting goals, and being thankful for EVERYTHING!  People probably think I’m the village idiot..walking around happy all the time with a big dumb grin on my face….but, I don’t care.  I’m happy. I’m not judging.  I still get disappointed and sad…but, not as often.  Seems when you spend so much time being thankful and working towards goals, that is what happens……you are happy and content.  Well.  That is what happened to me. Not everyday is a warm sunny beach. But, the beach, on a crappy day, is still the beach. And, I LOVE the beach.

And, that is the very long explanation for why I didn’t hate 2016.  I had a great year. I was thankful for all experiences…I achieved some goals…….I sat around thinking how happy I was.  Have I discovered the key? The key to being happy?  I am a fairly happy person anyway. But, this year…..I am sooooo happy. 2016 cut my childhood away in tiny little slices…..and, then it died. Maybe it needed to. Maybe because of all of this. Or in spite of it, I became more present this year. AWESOME!

Is This What I have Become?

So…it happened today. I was writing a blog post….a simple, funny story about paper towels. About paper towels in the bathroom. At work. The post was G rated in content, R rated in language……until….I had reached the build up (look…..it is happening again…used “build up” instead of something less sexual) and was ready to deliver the punch line. And, instead of a funny story…..thoughts of sex and nakedness and spanking and punishment started to wander into my mind and onto my pages.

Aaaahhhhh.  I am an average woman with a private Catholic school background and a mostly vanilla history. My “foray” into writing erotica was a fluke. A complete accident. I didn’t set out to write or even publish it. And, now……now……that is all I can write? Not sure if that makes me laugh or, or….okay….laugh is my only reaction. Because this is the most preposterous thing….EVER!!!!

Until about 10 years ago….I didn’t enjoy the sex written in books. Most of what I read had short, boring scenes that usually started and ended with “and the lights went out.” I sped through those passages like it was an Olympic event. And, that is if they had sex scenes at all. I fast forwarded most sex scenes when I was watching a movie. I didn’t watch porn. I have always felt that whatever was done between 2 (or more) adults was up to them. I don’t care. I don’t judge. And I really don’t want to know.  When I was younger, a friend of mine returned from a safari trip. Her dog sitter had left one of her personal sex toys behind.  Where did my friend find it? I don’t know. What kind of toy was it? I don’t know. What color was it? I don’t know. What did my friend do with it? I don’t know. Do you know why I don’t know? Because recalling the story as she told it to me made me blush for years. I never asked. I don’t know and I didn’t want to know. And then a lot of random stuff happened. Each and every occurrence dancing me one step closer to Erotica Writer Extraordinaire…….  And, now…..well, you know…..I want to know where she found it; what it was; how she gave it back…….

So….here I am…..erotica ebook publisher and blogger of sex. How did this happen? When did it happen? And how long is this conversation going to bring giggles to my lips? One thing led to another. Tiny little steps or circumstances that gave no indication of where the path would wind to. And, at the time, the path had no direction. There was no “goal”. It was just life. Get a divorce. Get a job. Get another job. Write a love letter. Write a story. Write a book. Because you are having a little dry spell, write about sex. And, the rest is just a slippery slope of being open to new experiences and new opportunities.

It is true that with age comes wisdom….well, it is for me.  I know now that you should just “do” stuff. Try it. If you like it, do it again.  If you don’t, stop doing it. But, it is in the learning of new things or the path less traveled or the “open attitude” that brings the greatest enjoyment. Every experience, every conversation, every decision shapes you and challenges you to change with it. I have been embracing every single opportunity for a few years now. I no longer cringe at the thought of change. Now, I run towards it. I have become a happier, more fulfilled, more joyous, more content, more enthusiastic liver of life than I ever was.  And, that is fucking fantastic.

Today, though, I had to pause. Have I become a part of this world that I am teasing at the edges of? I don’t mind the writing or publishing of what could be called pornographic material. But, I never wanted to become part of the “business”. Is that what I am now? Part of the business? My younger, reluctant to change self, would have spent the next several days agonizing. Wise, experienced Bianca says…….FUCK IT. Don’t waste the worry. You are not going to become someone your children won’t recognize. I have been though some life and know that I will do only what makes sense to me. I am aware I don’t want to degenerate. So, I won’t. Simple as that.

If I had any lingering doubt, I put it out with this…….who am I? What have I become?  “I have become a happier, more fulfilled, more joyous, more content, more enthusiastic liver of life than I ever was.  And, that is fucking fantastic. ”

Fuck yeah it is.

Check out this sexy read