The Red Thong That Went To Church

My companion and I arrived just after the call to worship. We slid into the aisle end of the third pew from the back, lucky to have found such prime real estate. Typically, all of the end seats were taken before the song leader could clear his throat. To be late and not have to step over feet that were comfortable and on time was lucky, no blessed.

As the congregation arose to join in hymn, I began removing my jacket, delaying my rise. Just as I was about to stand my eyes locked in on it. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed the debauchery that was before me. With their heads buried into hymnals, no one shared my horror. The sin threatened to expose the reason for my tardiness or my escapades the night before.

I stood slowly, locking glare with the red thong, afraid to look away but too ashamed to continue in my stare. Trimmed in black lace, the intimate apparel was personified into the image of a frowned face. The lace was fuzzy tamed eyebrows and the dents in her cheeks were squinted eyes. Where the white, un-lined slacks with no hosiery gathered in the crack of her butt, a thin crooked nose morphed into a frown.

As the deer panted for the water, the thong tauntingly peered at me. Angered at its visibility or being stuck in such an unholy (depending on how you look at it) position, it engaged me in conversation. I nudged my neighbor and he quickly wrapped his arm around me in an attempt to be chivalrous. Or so I assumed. As I leaned over to warn him of the threat before us I realized that his chivalry was out of fear of being caught in his own fixation.

Instantly, as if my eyes were washed with mud and visibility restored, I discovered that what I saw as a scowl was actually the sexy image of bedroom eyes, dimples and luscious lips enticing my mate with its promise of sensuality. The temptress taunted the beige granny panties beneath my black, wool, lined pants and nude stockings and my derriere tensed at the idea of being forced to wear such an iniquity.

We were prompted to sit and within minutes I was able to focus on the message and not the seducer crushed against the crushed red velvet of the church pew. All was well in the world when the white, un-lined slacks erected abruptly. It beckoned my attention but I buried my view into the text and silenced its sultry call by reading the words aloud, in my head. I held my breath in the moments of its absence knowing it would once again tease me upon its return.

When the white slacks emerged, I nervously laughed out of shock over its third transformation in the ninety minutes we were together. The alluring red thong was now nothing more than a pair of red, cotton briefs with black, cotton trim. The relieved expression proved they didn’t want my man any more than they wanted to harass me. They only wanted to be freed from the depths of their imprisonment.

I smiled at the panties and they smiled back and my own panties exhaled.

Sole Mates and Soul Mates

Few things compare to the exhilarating feeling of finding the perfect pair of shoes! Well, maybe finding them in your exact size!! Wait, and at 50% off!!! Euphoria erupts when you get home and discover that it is the perfect color for the dress you bought last week because it embraced every inch of your curvaceous silhouette without revealing the effects of overindulgence in everything from chocolate cookies to chocolate cake (and all things chocolate in between). The fact that you paid twice your allotted budget on the garment that is sure to turn this first date into your first proposal matters not compared to its ability to give an illusion of perfection.

Perfect hair. Perfect scent. Perfect make-up (but not so much as to look fake). Perfect cleavage and now…perfect pumps.

Two hours later, your heels are blistered and your toes are numb as you try to mask the pain in your “dogs” who are barking up something terrible. That perfect smile now looks like a sign of lactose intolerance and the pain on your face is mistakenly translated into rejection. He awkwardly searches for a way to discreetly check for the body odor that has offended you. Little does he know…you are in the process of committing shoeicide.

Why can’t those perfect 5” ring-wranglers feel as good as a pair of nude, Velcro strapped, support shoes? You know the ones with the rubber sole that can be found in abundance at your local Piccadilly or K & W during the early bird special hours. Why is comfort so ugly? And why is pretty so murderous? Before you get your panties in a bunch, ugly and comfortable shoes are great-if that’s what you like and kudos to you for being the one person on earth who actually buys them. But me no likey!

You have a better chance at finding your soul mate than finding your sole mate.

That’s what I discovered this weekend, when after just a few minutes of dancing, I discovered I had been wearing my two-hour pumps for three hours.* Ache set in but the joy on my soul mate’s face pushed me past the pain and two hours later, we were still grooving. That’s what soul mates are all about. When you find someone who connects to your soul spiritually, intellectually, culturally, physically and socially, you love them too much to let a little bunion end the fun.

I found my soul mate, but not in the way one may think. Not in that romantical love that leads to matrimonial union but in that unconditional love that binds two girlfriends at their heart and core and neither miles nor years can sever the union. For clarification, I don’t use physically to describe a sexual relationship (don’t get it twisted) but a relationship where one’s experiences with body image and body issues are that of the other.

My twin soul and I are as connected as conjoined Siamese cats and for that, I would wear nude, Velcro strapped, support shoes over a pair of come-get-me-stilettos any day!

*You have to find the mathematical calculation to maximize wear and minimize pain. For example, if you can only get 5 hours in a particular pair of leather pumps and you need to wear them for 8 hours, 4.5 hours should include sitting (slightly lift the back of the heel off the foot to relieve pressure but do not-I repeat- DO NOT take the shoe off) and only 22% of the day should involve walking at a mild pace, eliminate all steps and rub a numbing agent on at 4 hours. This method will have to be tweaked if the material is cloth or synthetic and if the shoe is bright red, forego the math cause you’re hot!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Forgive me in advance for putting you through the cliché tribute to St. Valentine and the Hallmark obsession created in his name. I too want to vomit my regular Friday night thin crust Pacific veggie pizza (minus the tomatoes and onions plus pineapples) at the mere mention of chocolates, flowers and heart shaped candies that taste like chalk but nevertheless, here I am-writing and here you are-reading. So let’s just get through this moment and this thought so I can return to tweeting.

 I have seen quite a few February 14ths, 32 of them to be exact. I have minor recollections of cards with perforated edges and red lollipops attached filling brown paper bags just before the call of blue bus. Tomorrow my sons will cut out 20+ names (because why write them all when there is glue and scissors) and strategically decipher who gets what, making sure the boys get ‘hey friend’ and that one special girl gets ‘be mine’.

By age 12, I had graduated to actually having a Valentine and traded Betty Boop cards for a red, heart shaped, velvet box of chocolates. My excitement on the seventh grade hall of Leroy Martin Middle School was not met with reciprocal enthusiasm. Upon opening my locker, just before first period, I found a note. I assumed that it contained two pencil written boxes asking me to profess or negate my affection for a young man ignited by the spirit of the day. Instead, I found a Dear John of sorts that read “___ ______’s legs aint locked.”

That day after school, as Michael Jackson’s Remember the Times video premiered on BET, I washed down chocolates with tears.

The next year, I received a blank thank you card from my then boyfriend that read “Happy Valantine Day, I love you like a sistas.”

Needless to say, I was not developing an affinity for February 14th until two years later when I received an enormous white stuffed teddy bear with two huge balloons that read ‘I [heart] U’ and ‘Be Mine”. I was hooked; not on the holiday but on the feeling that came with it.

LOVE, is not that feeling. It’s not being loved or spoiled or surprised that sends our emotions over the top. No my dear friends…that pleasure…that titillation…that sensation is GLOAT! It’s the ability to feel ten feet tall as the florist enters the office in slow motion and announces ‘I have a delivery for Shannon Bennett’ while every other woman sitting at her empty desk says a silent prayer to be the recipient of such public exclamation of affection. It’s the arrogance that accompanies the knowledge that everyone unanimously hates you and hopes you choke on a raspberry filled chocolate. Even though they’ll “oooo” and “aaaa” and graciously accept one of your delicacies as they congratulate you on having found such a good catch, rest assured there will be infinite texts that begin with “she think she all that…”.

If those same red roses and gourmet truffles were sent to your house you would accept them with little more concern than a certified letter from a bill collector and for that reason may I make this suggestion-please add your work address to your email signature, highlight in bold and attach a link to flowers.com.

The Mechanism Behind Fetishism

Fetishes come in various forms. There is the lawyer who has a fetish for success and infinite possibilities achieved. There is the mom who has a fetish for discipline because of her desire to rear responsible and well-mannered children. There is the fashionista who has a fetish for healthy living through exercise and diet. There is the graduate student who has a fetish for finding romance at the turn of every corner. Each of these represents a longing within them that demands complete devotion to their fixation and each fixation has a spell of sorts on their desires. The lawyer may be driven by a fear of failure. The mom may be driven by the fear of her own mistakes. The fashionista may be driven by the fear of obesity. The student may be driven by the fear of loneliness. Behind each of these fetishes lies a fear through which our obsessions are manifested. I admire these four souls who have found drive to diminish the power of their fear and release its hold on them.

Twenty minutes into trying to figure out my own fetish, I decided to reverse the theory and look at my fears. The process worked. I fear not having a voice, being silenced, losing the ability to articulate my thoughts. My fetish is writing. I am continuously in composition from journal entries that reveal my deepest secrets to manuals for standard operations of procedures. It matters to me not what I have authored but that I simply have. It is through transcription that I reveal who I am and acknowledge that I am present and relative. You have encouraged this voice merely by reading this blog.

Typically, when we think of fetishes we picture sexual fetishism where sexual connotation is given to asexual entities. The most commonly recognized of these is the foot fetish. In walks Peter. Literally. I was sitting at my desk with my feet propped on the foot rest when he walked in without a word and removed my shoe before I could say “hold on” to whoever had me engaged in conversation. I ran him off and forbid him to return after a few coarse words. On another occasion, Peter returned to the scene of his initial violation; however this time he satisfied his pleasures via web images in the computer lab. And again, Peter returned, but to his enjoyment he was able to con the freshman coed to remove her shoe and achieve ultimate gratification.

Horror flashed across her face and then embarrassment as we laughed at her naivety in helping Peter show her where his ankle hurt. When I explained his fetish and that showing him her foot was equal to showing a typical teenage male her boobs, she was in disbelief. I imagine that she spent all evening on google trying to learn more about the concept that had not held space in her budding mind prior to this moment. I wondered when I first learned about such crazes and other more sinister perversions. Surely my inexperience decreased as my fears increased, until my own fetish captured my interests and seduced my hands with pen and paper.

I wonder what fear guided Peter to his fetish, or if an experience shaped his amusement. I will probably never know but in preparation, I am adopting a shoe fetish.

Giving It Up

I am giving it up. Actually, I gave it up. Thursday in my office, from behind my desk, around 1:45pm, I gave it up. It was extremely hard but in the end it was just as good as if I had done it myself.

I don’t know where this need to control came from. Maybe it’s innate. Maybe it was birthed through fear. Maybe it is rooted in instances where I had none. Maybe it’s a reflection of abandonment issues that compliment adoption.

When the pounding in my head would not allow me to lead the presentation, I handed it over. Almost immediately, the headache ceased, either from the Excedrin Migraine I had popped twenty minutes before or from the relief in letting someone else take control. I was able to relax, a little, but the idea that my expectations would not be met in the delivery of the information lingered. Expectations breed disappointments, or so they say but lack of expectations do too.

Today and I learned that not only is it ok to delegate tasks but that often times, the candidate succeeds. And if they don’t, so what…assess the outcome, explore alternatives and move on. We are so determined to have control that we exhaust ourselves and provide a disservice to our subordinates by denying them the opportunity to shine.

So I gave it up and in giving it up I gained something…peace.

But there is another side to the control coin. Sometimes, we don’t give it up…we lose it. In these instances, there is no peace there is only pain. I can recall several occasions where I lost control and my words or actions had consequences that I was not prepared to accept.

From behind that same desk, on that same day, I lost control in a conversation with a friend. I allowed emotions derived from miscommunication and holding things in to consume me and made accusations that I truthfully didn’t believe.  In losing control, we unwillingly give power over ourselves to someone else. I’ve spent countless nights in torment over allowing someone else to take control of me and in those moments I replayed the event over and over trying to figure out  the how, when, why, where, what and who. There is no tranquility in losing control as there is in voluntarily giving it up.

Control is like money, power, sanity, love, freedom, and friendship in that I’d rather give it up than lose it any day.

Up All Night

I awoke to find them in the same position I had left them hours ago, crouched over action figures, transferring attention between their wrestling matches and ESPN, rapping along with Drake. I informed them that the sun was coming up and instructed them to get in bed. Before I could turn off the light, they were snoring.

Deja vu teased me for days. I felt I had been there before but I couldn’t remember when. I visualized myself crouched over Barbie and Ken, the pink house, the pink van, the clothes. Ken slapped Barbie and my playmate in a male voice said “Where’s my food woman?” This memory plagued me for days, when had this happened or had it at all?

It hit me today. I was about 8. The shouting outside the bedroom door wouldn’t allow us to sleep. Stephanie and I played until the sun came up and her mother entered with red cheeks and dark eyes to prepare us for Sunday school. I wasn’t afraid. I had seen this scene many times before. I was sworn to secrecy and never told my mother of what happened on those nights I slept over Stephanie’s house.

As she covered her face in a concrete layer of makeup, she explained her red cheeks away. “You should always wear sunscreen so you don’t get sunburned like this.” I sat on the bathroom counter watching her in her beige bra and half slip. She was beautiful even after her beating.

We slept all through worship service that day, Stephanie and I. My mother asked as we drove home, “Have you ever seen Stephanie’s parents fight?” I said no. I hadn’t. She never fought back and when the yelling began, we retreated to the bedroom and Barbie and Ken, the pink house, the pink van, the clothes.

I was never permitted to stay with Stephanie again.

‘Til Death Do Us Part…

In just a few days I will celebrate the birth of my marriage or mourn its death, depending on how you look at it. It would have been ten years. Instead it’s been two and a half years since my divorce. I am reminded of this as the left turning signal on my vehicle is out. There are quite a few other things on my ‘honey do list’. I have learned to do a lot of them on my own but I refuse to clean the garage solo in the aftermath of last week’s snake sighting.

I remember the first time I ever took the trash out. I was the military wife of a deployed soldier. Having three brothers, I was always taught that there are male specific chores and female specific chores. Growing up with a mother and father in the household affords you that knowledge. When I married, I was fully educated on how to live with a partner. I was not educated on how to live alone.

No knock against my upbringing, but my parent’s generation, just as the ones before them were dedicated to the idea that daughters would one day grow up and marry. Checking divorced or single in response to questions that have no bearing on getting a root canal or pap smear was unheard of. I was prepped for washing dishes, cooking and decorating for the holidays. I was not prepared for mowing the lawn, changing a flat or cleaning the grill. Ironically, boys are taught to live alone. Mothers are often overheard advising their sons to learn how to cook and do laundry so they don’t have to depend on a woman. Girls are taught to depend on a man, be it their husbands or fathers. I am teaching my sons how to coexist in a healthy relationship as a respectful partner but I am also teaching them how to exist by themselves.

Gender roles have evolved. The family unit does not consist of a mom, a dad and two and a half kids any longer (which is morbidly disgusting because I often visualize the bloody upper torso of a toddler when I hear that term). But as much as things change, they stay the same. While it has become the norm to be single or a single mom, it still isn’t completely acceptable as evident by the stares in PTA meetings and doctor’s visits. I am often asked by teachers and the like “What is your last name.” Experience has taught them to ask. I live in a community where unmarried mothers are automatically assumed to be “baby mama’s” not divorcees. I think. Or maybe that’s my own insecurity talking out of discomfort from feeling like the only single mom in the play group or at the school play. I am sure there are others. The statistics say so. I am also sure that some of those wedded mothers wish they were not.

I have chosen to celebrate the union that brought forth two incredible little beings.