Tag Archives: marriage

State of the Stacie (and her Love Life)

8 Jul

Interesting (to me) things are happening in Stacie’s mind right now.

As I may have mentioned before, after 1.5 years of “meeting” as many high caliber DC men as possible on a weekly basis and one dragged out casual-hook-up-turned-obsession, I decided to give the whole exclusive thing a try.

Eight months later, I’m still kind of digging it. As the SR ladies know, I’ve had crazy fluctuating feelings about it, from tears worried that he wanted to dump me to moments of anger wishing I could dump the dweeb. Super stable, obvi. But lately, I’ve started getting more into it, wishing he was in my bed more often, not wanting to leave his place on Sunday, well you get the idea.

Just based on the last few weeks, I have a sense that he wants to tell me he loves me. Maybe I think too much of myself, but I don’t think that’s what it is. The fact that my reaction to this feeling is that I’m worried has made me ask myself a lot of new questions that I didn’t expect. And because this blog is just an exercise in self-indulgence, I will share my thoughts and questions.

I don’t think I can say it back. Honestly, I don’t know if I do or don’t. There are things about him that I like a lot. There are things about him that I can’t stand. Ultimately, I know he’s not someone I “want to end up with”.

And what baffles me is that I hate saying that. I hate the tendency that relationships have to be framed in that context. Why does it have to be about ending up with someone? Why can’t we just date and hang out now in the present and really like each other until we don’t anymore? Well, because maybe he’s 27 and that’s equally as close to 24 as it is to 30 and his friends are starting to move in with their significant others, and because I hear so many stories about people who “wasted three years” dating someone.

I don’t think it’s wasting time if you’re dating someone who you don’t intend to marry. I mean, I don’t think most people decide who to date exclusively based on marriage potential, do they? I don’t even want to get married, so does that mean that I shouldn’t date? Obviously not. Hopefully. But what if he does? What if he’s like so many other guys I know that strangely like to break up with girls by saying “I just can’t see myself being married to you”. Am I being mean to him by making him think that this is the “real thing” or whatever when that’s not at all where I stand?

Perhaps, the solution to this problem is actually talking. If we each bring up our feelings and wants and needs in life, all of these questions could be answered right? But let me remind you that I am the girl that when asked how he could introduce me to his friends I responded with “your pimp, number 1 slam piece, or madame of the night”. And then we literally never talked about it again. So as you can see, the likelihood of us having an honest conversation about things is not something I see in the horizon, unless I’m wasted.

And maybe, my inability to talk about things sheds some more light on the situation. Shouldn’t I feel comfortable and able to talk about things with the guy I’ve been seeing for eight months exclusively? Honestly, I don’t think I ever will. I’m not someone who who likes talking with anyone! Imagine having to talk about feelings with the guy that I let “pound me so hard” on a weekly basis.

Am I going to look like an asshole if I can’t say I love you back?

Is it dragging him along if I know I don’t want to date him forever? Despite the fact that I do legitimately like him and I am really enjoying being with him?

For now, I’m just relishing how good things are going. I’m letting him treat me like no guy has ever treated me before. I’m letting him show me things he likes, I’m taking him out to eat to places that I enjoy, I’m loving the sex, and I’m giving into spending an entire Sunday wearing his shirt, watching Game of Thrones, and eating chinese food, without stepping foot outside. And it is good.

How I Met Your… Aunt?

1 Apr

by Stacie Smack

WARNING: Massive spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the HIMYM Finale yet.

I’ve written about this before. I tend to be fairly vocal and open when it comes to my views on marriage, monogamy, and the fairy tale of “forever”. Well, here I am, at it again.

I (like a billion other people) was watching the HIMYM finale last night, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the (perhaps unintentional but most likely not) commentary on marriage.

Throughout the entire show, and boy was there a LOT of show, Robin and Ted’s relationship bounces around more than my weight in the last two years. They obviously love each other, have great chemistry, and enjoy each other’s company. BUT. And it’s a big but. They want different things. He wants kids, and a family. She hates kids, and wants nothing holding her back, while she travels the world. After 9 seasons, we get it guys. You want different things.

And so they each go about their lives, trying to accomplish what they want. Ted finally meets The Mother. They have kids. They live in the suburbs. They are in love. Robin finally becomes a world travelling anchor.

I just want to talk in circles about two things:

1) Robin and Barney get a divorce.

They had been fighting. They were both unhappy. And so she offers him an option. She offers him a clean freeway exit on Year Three.

This is a nod to my (and others’) theory of Marital contracts rather than eternal vows. I’m not saying they had a clean break. But after three years, they revisited their priorities, and these had changed. They should be able to get out if it doesn’t make sense to be together anymore. Why do three good years need to feel like a failure just because it wasn’t forever? Many things have expiration dates. Maybe relationships do too.

2) Robin and Ted end up together.

People seem to be OUTRAGED by this. They feel cheated. They wanted the fairy tale love that Tracy was supposed to bring to Ted.

I think people are too quick to draw conclusions. And yes this is a fictional show. But how many relationships follow a similar pattern? In particular, the one of finding love much later than what is expected. Doesn’t it make perfect sense that they should be together now?

He has his family and the suburbs and he had the fairy tale love which was sadly taken from him. She was able to spend over a decade flying all over the world without responsibilities for others. His kids are older and need less attention. If he could have stayed with his wife forever he would have, but that was not the case. He is alone again. She is slowing down. All of a sudden, they no longer want different things because they already experienced and lived through the things they wanted that kept them apart. Now, they just want each other.

I guess what I’m trying to get to is that we don’t give enough credit to our selfishness, our ever-changing desires, and our independence. Especially US. The generation that grew up being told that we can do whatever, whenever, however we want to because the world is our oyster and everything is accessible to us. How are we expected to know what we want in EVERY aspect of our lives by the time we are 28 which is apparently the universal “start freaking out about finding a partner” age.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to get married young. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to find love. But I do wish we could take a step back and realize that we all have different priorities, and sometimes these conflict with settling down and having to start sharing a life – or sometimes your partner’s desires conflict with you wanting to settle down and share a life. Sometimes we love someone but the timing isn’t right. That doesn’t mean that it will never be right. And I’m not claiming these are soul mates either and that you should sit around and wait for the time to be right. If so, it never will be. But we need to slow our rolls and be less married to our expectations, because that’s not how life is. You do you, fight for what you want, and embrace that sometimes the ending you expected is not the ending that you’ll actually get.

So to all the HIMYM finale haters, think about it. Doesn’t it fit like the perfect puzzle piece?

 

Boys, Sometimes a Girl Just Needs One (But Sometimes Not).

11 Mar

by Stacie Smack

It’s always been a common known fact that I am going to be the 60 year old in the leopard leggings, sequin top, and a 27 year old boy toy. My friends love to joke about how I will be the one who’s always up to take a ladies trip somewhere fun, who’ll have the ultimate bachelorette* apartment fully stocked with wine, chips, and hummus, so that they can come and take a load off from their presumably married family lives.

Honestly, I’m just flattered that they think that I’ll be rich enough to afford wine and a penthouse, that I’ll still have my fabulous looks and oh-so great curves, and that I’ll still have my amazing flirtation and seduction skills (and humility?) that will lead me to have a solid rotation of 2 or 3 men that will obviously be eternally devoted and in love with me, without expecting me to love them in return.

Right?

Despite the pride I take in my reputation, I spend an awful lot of time whining about how much I hate single life. I mean, just look at every single blog post I’ve ever written (hint: they’re all about boys and dating).

And let’s be real, it is definitely not just me. I actually have this terrible tendency of eavesdropping on conversations whenever I see two or three 20-something women walking by me (and no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll adjust my pace so that I can listen for longer). And my rigorous statistical analysis has shown that approximately 89.4% of the time, the conversations that these women are having are about boys.

So why do we let this subject matter take up 76.8% of our mental space? What if instead of spending the last 2 hours looking at my phone to see if “he” texted me back, I had read another chapter of Lean In? What if I had worked on my blog post ahead of time?

Why is the subject of relationships such a time suck?

Well, duh Stacie. Because there are all sorts of pressures all around us! Family, friends, TV shows. BIOLOGY! All of these things are like little voices inside of our womanly heads  saying “find a man before you shrivel up all alone!”

Scenario 1: Some of your closest friends are in relationships. Obviously you crave one too! They’re doing all the gross couple-y stuff you want to be doing that you used to do with your friend before she got herself a date. You become hyper aware of how alone you are because not only do you see your friend enjoying her relationship, you also mourn the loss of the 24/7 hour friend. And this may be a tad dramatic (not at all), but I don’t care (I love it). Not all women ditch their friends once in a relationship, but they now have a new person to make time for and yet, the amount of available time in a day hasn’t changed! Something’s gotta give.

Scenario 2: Your older sister was married when she was your age now! And you’re still single trying to make assholes in law school fall in love with you. Something must be wrong with you. Except it’s not, and please don’t ask me that question again. Your sister (or cousin, or mom) was just different. It’s not that she got lucky, or that she’s the exception. Her life just happened in a different order.

So yeah, this is all easier said than done. These pressures are not going away. And let’s face it, we LOVE talking about “BOYZ”. Otherwise, why would we do it so much? So I say, let’s embrace the boy-talk. Let’s over-analyze every text. Relieve every minute of that first hook up outside the AdMo McDonald’s. Stay in bed a little longer after he lives because you can still smell his shirt on your bed. Spend 5 hours at brunch recounting last night’s shenanigans and planning your future wedding with “Rando #2”. Let’s open our arms and accept the boy psychosis.

But let’s be aware that it is a bit of a psychosis – it’s an exaggerated hyper reality. Let’s be constantly aware that we are definitely over analyzing a text,a word, a gesture. Let’s enjoy the emotional ride for a bit, but let’s remember that it shouldn’t define our state of being. Yes, a partner can make you “happy”, but so can best friends, professional satisfaction, family, or tequila. More importantly, you can make you happy! Don’t let the male gender control you. We already have a gigantic glass ceiling to break through, let’s not also create glass walls.

Say yes to love, dates, romance, hook ups, adventures!

But say yes to moving on, being young, having opportunities, appreciating your independence!

*Google Chrome doesn’t recognize the word bachelorette and wants me to correct it to bachelor. GOOD BYE.

I Regressed to 1775 and Found my Inner Femme Sole

29 Oct

This weekend, I went to Colonial Williamsburg to learn accurate facts about this nation’s history, naturally. Most of the things went in one ear and out the other. Most, but not all.

As it turns out, the rules in those times stated that a single woman had the same rights as a man while she was single (fun fact: voting back in those times was not a right, it was a civil duty that if a man failed to fulfill ended in a fine). I am sure that it was not as clear in practice as it was in theory, but at least it was acknowledge that women had the right to own property, a right to her own earnings, and many more. Here’s the kicker: two individuals became one as far as law was concerned in the 18th century, as in a woman lost all her rights to her husband.

The following events take place in R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. A strapping lad (who was definitely older than the average life expectancy of 1762) led us on a tour of this tres classy establishment. In one of the rooms, he pointed to a map and asked if any of the gentlemen were interested in “land speculation”, and I decided to respond with a confident “of course”. Now, this man had to stay in character, so he said that in his times it was very possible for a woman who has been single for a long, long, long time (his emphasis, not mine) also known as a “Femme Sole” to be interested in land speculation. I obviously accepted this title proudly (and perhaps a just a tiny bit bitterly).

From there, we were lead to a dining room where we were able to sample Mr. Charlton’s coffee and hot cocoa. An older black woman told us her story of living in 1762 Williamsburg as free woman, while we sipped on very rich, dense, delicious hot chocolate. One thing led to another, and somehow I told her that I would not like to be married, given that I like my rights. She was not happy with my response.

“You can’t think like that honey. A beautiful girl like you, you would make such a great ornament to your husband”

“I can be a great ornament to myself”

“Oh well honey, that is selfish!”

“Exactly”

“You are shameless”

The look of horror on her face was priceless. She asked me what my dad would think, I  told her that he doesn’t live in Williamsburg, and then she proceeded with her story. As we began getting up to exit the Coffeehouse, this woman pulled me aside, grabbed my face with her hands, looked me in the eyes and repeated her advice “You can’t think like that honey, seriously. You should find a man and get married”.

I obviously am in a position that is NOTHING AT ALL like her character. However, I don’t want to get married. Which led to the following thoughts:

1. When the institution of marriage was established, life expectancy was less than half of what it is today. In other words, when you said “forever” back then, you probably just meant 7 to 12 years.

2. Today, we live for about 80 years.If a marriage lasted the average length of a marriage in Colonial times, our divorce rate would be MUCH smaller.

So…

3. What if a marriage was only good for 10 years (or another limited time period, the 10 is not scientifici)?

4. After those 10 years, you would have to get re-married which would force individuals to stop and think about the status of their relationships.

I don’t think this would necessarily mean more people would choose to not remarry, but don’t you think that it would allow couples to think about what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs work? It would force people to COMMUNICATE!!

This might be a radical suggestion. But as it was pointed out to me, a Femme Sole was a radical kind of woman. And I am here to shake things up.

The Problem With “300 Sandwiches:” If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put Mayo On It

2 Oct

by Brownout Betty

It is a modern A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, with added sandwich photos, without the rights of woman.

Gawker nails it as usual

Happy Thursday, everyone. So, this blog 300 Sandwiches has caused a bit of a stir on the Internet. I’m not sure if its enchanting power is because of the beautiful food porn or because it adds just the right amount of girl power to the classically misogynistic ‘bitch make me a sandwich’ trope or because no one is really sure whether this woman is serious or not.

I’m inclined to think it’s that last one, because I personally am fascinated by this woman and her blog.  There is just no way that Stephanie is so tone deaf to the 21st century that she doesn’t realize how she’s buying into – and perhaps even validating – this bizarre idea that woman have to bend over backwards to ‘snag’ a man.

For real, she’s this high flying career woman with a great boyfriend who’s himself a cook, so it seems unlikely that she’s into this super medieval pleasing-her-man-on-his-terms stuff. But I looked into it , and I’m not so sure. Consider this quote from an interview she did with NPR:

“It’s not just a girl making all this food to earn a man’s love. This is a journey between the two of us as we continue on towards engagement. And I don’t think I’m less of a woman or a hard-charging career woman because I want to do something nice for my boyfriend.”

Sounds nice, but the problem is that this is not a joint journey that they’re embarking in together.  It’s easy for her to say that to her readers because her blog has the feel of this Julie and Julia type thing where she sets herself a challenge and blogs about completing it. But it’s not like that at all, because she is doing something – on her own – with the explicit intention of locking this guy down. He has nothing to do with it, and it’s misleading for her to be like ‘oh we’re going on this magic carpet ride together.’ No, actually, she’s just making him a bunch of food, seeking his approval, and making a specific causal link between that food and that approval and an eventual proposal. Here’s a telling quotation from the post about sandwich 174:

E took one bite. “I feel fat already,” he said, tearing at the sandwich after eating a healthy dinner of salmon and sweet potatoes.

“But,” E smiled, “that sandwich is good. I can see why this is considered his forbidden sandwich. This. Is. Tasty.”

See? There’s no reciprocation or interaction here – they’re not taking a journey. He laid out the rules of engagement (in a manner of speaking) when he said “you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring,” and she bought into it. Hard. (Aside: I’m sure that Eric is not actually making his proposal to her contingent on these sandwiches and that it’s probably going to happen no matter what, but if that’s the case then this blog is totally misrepresenting the situation. Or I’m taking life way too literally because I’m a radical feminist. Whatever).

And of course she’s not less of a woman for doing something nice for her boyfriend. But no one is saying that, and frankly I find it a little disingenuous for her to paint her critics into a corner like that. No one is criticizing her for being nice. I’m criticizing her for innocently masquerading her project as ‘nice.’ It’s way more than that. It’s a cute idea, but it gets into territory that’s touchy for many women – the feeling that society constantly puts them on the losing end of a power struggle with men – but then totally ignores the social and political implications of the “make me a sandwich” culture that our society hasn’t quite shed.