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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 2 of 2

If you’re just tuning in and have trouble staying focused like most humans seem to when it comes to the written word, this means that you didn’t finish reading the title of this entry which ends with “2 of 2.”  So, to get the most out of this topic, which I think is important, please click here for the first part of this write-up so that you fully understand why the hell I’m discussing people currently in my life.  Or as I like to call it, “my village.”  I know that a lot of you won’t click… so I’m going to first encourage you again to do so, otherwise this may be confusing.  Then, because I know a lot of you still won’t, I will quickly summarize the point I am attempting to make.  In modern romance, we have grown to expect one person to satisfy all of our human desires, from security and dependability to adventure and spontaneity and that’s unrealistic.  Different people play different, yet integral roles in our lives, and we need all of them to keep us fulfilled and happy.

Every Sunday night I drink gin gimlets with Snow White.  Her and I have a lot in common, so when you parallel our personalities, it might make sense that we would get along.  We both have a unique perspective of the world that others may classify as odd or eccentric.  The unexpected part about our friendship is that she is barely twenty years old.  Twenty-year-olds can be entertaining for a second, but for the most part, they are not going to hold my interest every Sunday night because there is little chance that they can say something that I haven’t already thought about.  There are exceptions, and Snow White is one of them.  She’s further than an exception,  I would describe her more as an anomaly because she is not like talking to a girl.

Girls are great, and having a girly outlet is a need in my life.  Having a person in my life who I can have cerebral discussions with is also a desire I seek, but you don’t often find yourself in a cerebral conversation with chicks.  Snow White and I at times have challenging conversations that I’m finding inspiring.  She is one of the smartest people I know and she makes me want to learn more.  Somehow she makes things like the value of entropy sound like something I want to study.  Having inspiration in my life is definitely a role that I need present.  I’m used to being creatively inspired, but I’m really enjoying Snow White’s scholastic inspiration.  I’d like to think that in some way I do the same for her.  We have a kind of beautiful complementary friendship because she will teach me about acute pulmonary embolism, and then I’ll tell her stories, summarizing for her the poignance of Of Mice and Men or the genius ending to Lord of the Flies.  It’s a nice little routine and I love my Sunday night’s with Snow White.

I used to need my significant other to inspire and challenge me.  I still LOVE when boys I am with do that, but now I’ve recognized that maybe that doesn’t need to be what their principle role is in my life.  If I keep people like Snow White in my “village” and others who inspire me, then that desire will be fulfilled and I won’t feel unsatisfied by my boyfriend if he is not the one making me run to an encyclopedia or a canvas to everyday.

Then there is Lady Insanity.  Lady Insanity is a 50-year-old woman who matches her eyeliner color to her shirts, she is obsessed with mini bottles of hand sanitizer, she owns a tanning bed that is in the guest bedroom, her favorite drink is Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, and she slaps me when I “take the lord’s name in vain.”  I don’t know how or why, but I seem to have recently ended a lot of my nights with this crazy woman.  We absolutely have some great times (bordering on sloppy), but we also have become strong friends.  We talk to each other about a lot, and we support and help each other.  It’s a very unexpected friendship.  Sometimes she satisfies my spontaneous desires because I’ll think it’s going to be a low-key night, but suddenly I’m with her, singing along to Snoop Dogg songs and then going to talk to psychics.  Then some nights she plays the role of a more maternal, voice of reason to my life.  We all need days when we get wasted by the pool and then think it’s a good idea to dance in public.  And we all need days to talk shit out and get insight and advice from someone who has been there.  Lady Insanity is one of the ones that meets both of those desires.

Kristy is my best friend and you would NEVER guess it.  She looks like she was in a sorority, she is loud and outrageous, she is the most high strung person I have ever met, she is obsessed with “nippies” which are nipple covers and she will happily tell you all about them and send you a link to the ordering page.  Essentially, Kristy was a Xanax girl.  We all know those.  The chicks in college who were into Xanax, they all have very similar characteristics am I right?  If I had to sum them up… borderline obnoxious but fun.  Kristy is like that on the surface, but then you get to know her and she is such a beautiful human being.  That girl has been there for me through every single life obstacle I have gone through post sophomore year of high school.  A lot of these obstacles, I probably couldn’t have fought through had it not been for her.  She has been my life support during times when I thought I would never recover.  Kristy is the only person in the world who knows EVERYTHING about me.

Luckily, I really like her fiancé and her other friends too.  So often there is about five or so of us who go out for drinks, and it is always such a good time.  My cheeks hurt from laughing.  I’ve come to notice that almost every time we are all sitting around a table drinking beer, Kristy’s asshole gets brought up.  I don’t know how or why, but it seems like at some point in the night, we all start talking about her butthole for some absurd reason.  The last time was her fiancé asking her if he has been in her ass the furthest.  “I don’t need names!” he said, “I just want to know that if anyone else has been in there, that I have been in the deepest.”  Such a ridiculous conversation, but I was dying.  I’ve been sitting at a bar with them before when they ordered a sex toy on their smartphones from amazon.  Obviously, Kristy plays the role of “best friend, trusted confidant” by which she meets my human desire for “dependability and permanence.”  All at the same time… I have so much fun with her and that girl can make me laugh.

These descriptions of people who make my world go ‘round, leads to me Logan.  Logan meets multiple desires, but I would never expect him to meet all, which is why even though he is a new addition in my life, I still need all of the people I’ve already discussed in order to maintain a healthy romantic relationship with him.  If I abandoned those relationships, or if he abandoned his, then we would seek ALL of those desires from each other and that is unrealistic and unfair and would ultimately lead to an inevitable demise and most likely resenting each other.  Basically, what happens to a lot of couples who devote their lives to one another and don’t nurture the other integral relationships in their INDIVIDUAL lives.

What is amazing about Logan, and one of the reasons why he impresses me more and more every single day, is that he is the only boy I have ever been with who seems to TRULY recognize that, and does not just pretend to.  He also impresses me because even after telling me that he shaves his fucking forearms because he thinks it makes the swollen muscles show up better after leaving the gym… I’m still obsessed with him.  That’s a feat.  He deserves at least a high five for that because normally I would be gone before that sentence was even complete.  We have grown accustom to a point system using high fives.  So when he tells me that he shits his pants once a decade (which is something that I could very easily write an entire entry about), he gets at least negative a million high fives.  But when he says “I was super into Xena Warrior Princess when I was younger … For real, I was all about that bitch,” as a way to prove that he is not sexist, it makes me laugh really hard and want to kiss him and he gets at least two high fives for that.

So world, meet Logan, the boy with the dodgy eyes.  The first time I saw him, I crossed my fingers that he would talk to me.  According to him, it was my smile that honed him in, but for me, it was his eyes.  He has this dangerous, kind of shady look about him that was really doing something for my boy crazy side.  Three months and about multiple boys later, and Logan is my rock.  I’ve always found that line to be incredibly lame, but if I said, “Logan is my tree trunk,” that would be weird.  I do think of him more like a solid tree trunk though, because I koala the shit out of him.  That’s what he calls it.  I latch on to his torso like a koala on a Eucalyptus tree and he just walks around with me like that with no struggle.  Or throws me onto the bed and manhandles me, which is my favorite.  I lay on him, and kind of climb all over him (especially when we are laying on the couch and I am making him watch Dawson’s Creek), and his body can take it all.  He is big with a ridiculously solid, strong core.

What this description is leading up to is that part of Logan’s role in my life, is like his stomach muscles.  I know that is a weird thing to say.  I’m definitely a weirdo, and Logan definitely is not.  He’s a self-proclaimed bro dude.  A lot of his interests are so douchey.  He likes football and fights and power lifting and he was a bouncer and listens to OG hardcore and has a fucking tattoo of Florida, among other douchey tattoos.  Every time I see the Florida tattoo, I say “Flo Grown!” and he rolls his eyes and says something like, “Okay, you bitch.”  And that makes me giggle and then he just sighs and lets his arms flop to the side until I’m done laughing and then I probably make fun of him for something else like, “remember the time you went to a vape convention?”  Then I REALLY start laughing and he sighs again, and then says, “are you done?” and I’m probably not, but he’ll grab my face in the middle of my laughter and kiss me and look me in the eye and say, “you are so fucking beautiful.”  I am so fucking lucky.

I have embraced his douche bag qualities because when you put them all together, Logan is gold.  He has embraced my weirdness and adapted to it.  When I explained to him that, “you are for me, like your stomach muscles.  I can punch it or koala it or put my weight on it, and it doesn’t falter.”  His response was back, “I pinky promise that I am always going to be like my stomach muscles for you.”  When he said that odd sentence, I knew that he had fully embraced my weirdness and was learning to speak my language.

A friend of mine, named Mark, said something to me a while ago that stuck.  He is much older than me… maybe in his late 60’s or early 70’s? so it felt like words of wisdom.  He told me that one should NOT marry their best friend, but instead marry for lust.  I’ve never been an advocate for marriage (to put it lightly), but I still heard what he was saying.  People often advise, “marry your best friend,” but even at a young age, I never felt that I agreed with that, though I couldn’t articulate why until now.  Mark is right.  There should be people in your life that already meet those “best friend” desires.  You shouldn’t need a best friend in a partner, you should WANT your partner.  Sex.  Lust.  Whoo!  Fun words!  Sex and lust are basic human desire and unless we want to start debating monogamy, is a desire that in our culture we tend to get from one person at a time.  So why not be with somebody who wholly satisfies your sexual desires?  The one thing that no one else can give you.

Obviously, other characteristics are important.  You can’t have lust and nothing else.  But I think we write off lust too quickly when considering partners because for absurd reasons, people associate lust with sin.  I don’t think that I should necessarily be giving relationship advice, but you’ve made it this far, so I might as well continue with my self-righteous solution.  I think that the person you decide to really try with, should be the person who you can’t wait to talk to about your day, and also the person who you can’t wait to grab their face and make-out with.  I think that Logan and I will be okay because on top of wanting to rip his clothes off AND talk to him about everything constantly, he meets my human desire for stability, acceptance, laughter and dependability.  Money doesn’t matter to me, but the older I get, the more I realize that stability does.  Logan is stable, and it’s hot.  Like I said, my tree trunk.  He also accepts me wholly.  We all need people like that in our lives.  Those who accept our past and flaws and nuances and show no desire to change any of it.  And Logan makes me laugh.  A lot.  Which is sexy.

So world, meet Logan.  I thought I had eradicated hope from my life, but I do hope that he is around for a while and that you all can get to know him.  And I still cross my fingers everyday that he will keep talking to me.

To truly bring this full circle, I’ve realized that none of these people would be in my routine and none of these human desires would be met if I was still touring a lot.  Road life was absolutely what I needed over the last few years, and I loved it.  I also truly believe that I am a better and wiser person because of my roadie life, but I think I’m ready to move on from that now.  I was using touring as a form of escapism and while it was a friggen blast at times, I currently don’t feel the need to escape and I have all of these people to thank for that.

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The Key to a Healthy Relationship is More Relationships – 1 of 2

Back in December I had turned down a couple of tours for the first quarter of this year.  One of them because the band’s manager is the most hated man I have ever met and I will absolutely never be associated with him ever again.  The second one because they weren’t offering enough money and it was for a support band on a five band tour package… and I’m a snob.  I very much prefer working for the headlining band, or co-headlining band because it’s a lot less of a headache.  I knew that by turning down these gigs, it would mean that I would be home for a while and the thought of that usually makes my vagina shrivel.  I was expecting the Post Tour Blues to kick my ass immediately.  I was not in a great place because I had just left the Viking for a second time; a true modern romantic tragedy that I may tell someday.  And I also was expecting to come home and be with a certain boy, but life doesn’t give a fuck about your plans, so that didn’t end up working out.  I thought I would spiral into a major depression and then jump at the first opportunity to runaway and onto a bus with a rock band and drown in immediate gratification, new faces to make me forget the old ones, and lots of whiskey.

What actually happened though, was that I was okay.  I’ve been home for a while and surprisingly, I’m good.  My demons must be tired from years of antagonizing because they are laying dormant right now.  My sister and I signed up at a boxing gym, and I think that helped a lot.  We decided that we wanted to be badass boxers, so I dived into that.  Don’t piss me off because I can hit you with a one, two and it will hurt.  Definitely don’t piss my sister off because she is diligently looking for any reason to hit someone with a solid one, two, hook.  In that spot of one’s soul that we keep hidden, I have love and empathy and Raven has rage and violence.  I’m waiting for the phone call from her in the middle of the night telling me that she killed someone with her barehands and needs help cleaning up.  I’m kidding.  But she seriously can’t wait to knock a mother fucker out.

Another reason why I think I’m okay, is that a lot of my human desires are being met, through a kind of routine that I developed.  I never thought that I would use the word routine without rolling my eyes and throwing up in my mouth a little bit, but look at me now!  All grown up!  Well, I can’t get too carried away.  I still get very excited when I come in contact with a bouncy ball, and I still play in the rain and giggle when I see a penis drawing.  My routines are not lame, which is what is saving me.

A long time ago I watched a Ted Talk by Esther Perel about the secret to desire in a long-term relationship.  Firstly, if you don’t watch Ted Talk’s, you’re being dumb.  That talk is one that has always stuck with me and I recommend it to everyone, even if you’re not in a relationship.  Clearly, most of my life I have not been, but I still took a lot from this lecture.  Her thesis statement is that around the globe, where romance enters, there seems to be a crisis of desire.  I will paraphrase.  In modern day relationships, we except our partner to provide all of our needs and wants for us.  Back when marriage was an economic institution, what was expected was children, social statures and companionship.  Now, we expect all that from our partner, but ALSO for him or her to be our “best friend, trusted confidant and passionate lover and we live twice as long.”  When you think about it like that, it’s really ridiculous.

She goes on to say that as humans, we seek security, dependability, and permanence but we ALSO seek adventure, risk and spontaneity.  For some retarded reason, we have grown to expect ONE person to provide all of that for us, when until modern society, it was an entire village which provided those needs for one another.  This lecture of course led to some introspection, and I started becoming aware of all of our “roles.”  No matter what type of relationship you have with someone, you play a role in their lives that in some way meets at least one of the human desires.  For example, Fat Face for a while satisfied my adventurous, spontaneous side, but didn’t meet my innate desire for security and dependability.  I had to get that from someone else.  This confirms for me my theory that it is very healthy and 100% necessary to maintain friendships with the opposite sex (or sex of your choice) when in a relationship.  It’s plain dumb to think that one person can satisfy all of your desires when taking into consideration the grand spectrum of desires.  So, after watching the Esther Perel talk again, I recognized that all of the people currently in my life, play a different role so that my desires are met, which leads to health and happiness.  Like she said in the lecture, a small village once provided all of these things, so this is my small village.  The friends and family and lovers who meet my needs and are helping making this weird life less painful and sometimes down right beautiful.

I’ll start with Rach.  Rachel is my age, but married with three children and doesn’t drink at all.  Basically, we could not have more polarizing lives unless she was a Sudanese woman married with three children and malaria.  However, her and her whole family meets my kind of family, “wholesome” desires.  Each time I leave them, I feel so uplifted and just- – I don’t know… wholesome!  I have become this weird extra appendage to her family.  Think of when people have an extra finger or toe… that’s me.  I’m the strange extra flab of questionable skin to the Holm family.

Rachel thinks that my life is so interesting, but I think her life is so interesting.  She has a cat named Jeff for crying out loud.  I think that is hysterical.  And she has an adorable little four year old girl named Matt.  Okay… her name is Mattie, but I call her Matt because I’m a twat and just find it funny.  When all of us go out to eat or do something, her and her husband fight over which one is going to be on “Mattie duty.”  They’re serious about it, but I just giggle at the side and play soccer with the son using a wadded up piece of paper.  Once we are settled, Rach, me and her husband attempt to use code words and gestures to discuss adult matters such as, what it means that a guy I was dating couldn’t get it up… and how much they do or do not make-out as a form of foreplay.  We manage to have full blown conversations about this while Matt is singing “up  town funk you up” to herself, the boy is coloring and the oldest girl is playing with my bracelets.

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Me and the fam.

Rachel and I have known each other since we were six years old, and we were very close from then, and all the way through high school.  After high school we drifted apart for a while and I think during those years, our differences kept us apart.  Now, I think it is our differences that seemed to have brought us back together.  When you’re someone like me, who is constantly going through an existential crisis and sometimes can’t remember if I may or may not have made-out with two different boys in the same night, it’s good to have people like Rachel around to hear about how they need to bake 300 cookies in one day (for reasons I still don’t understand) and how her kids all play Bloody Mary together in the bathroom.  Seeing Rach and her family has become routine, and the role that they play in my life is getting doses of wholesomeness and innocence that I don’t get regularly from anyone else.  Another integral role that Rachy plays in my life is that she encourages me when I think it’s a good idea to buy a floppy hat and sparkly fake glasses.

On this same vein, there is Cody.  I never thought that I would be watching movies in my living room on a shitty television and ordering shitty pizza with Cody again.  Just like Rachel, I thought that our best days were behind us.  We have been extremely close since age 14, but after a few years of not living in the same area (during our mid twenties) and having very different lives, I figured that we would just continue growing apart until we both realized that the only reason why we were pretending to be friends still was out of some morbid obligation we thought we owed to our former selves.  Close to a year ago though, something changed (including proximity) and I remember announcing to my sister, “Cody is cool again!!!”

Him and I have been hanging out fairly regularly since and it has been my favorite thing.  We have nacho night about once a week which simply includes making nachos, drinking PBR and watching stupid youtube videos.  We also play pool occasionally though we never seem to get better, we watch movies, we talk about writing movies, he tells me about albino snakes and I tell him about books I’m reading and we laugh over the things that we used to get pissed at each other about when we were young and in love.

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Cody and I.

Cody satisfies my desire to talk, and also to be 100% comfortable with someone else.  We talk about all of it.  It’s great to have someone who you can discuss the psychological effects of the technological boom with, but also turn around and laugh about how weird nipples are and if we would rather fuck Fiona Apple or Alanis Morrisette.  Laughter is the most integral to life, so include as much people as you can who make you laugh.  It’s also important to have someone who you can be 100% real around.  Maybe a lot of people get that from their significant other, but that has never been me.  Right now, I’m getting that from Cody and my sister and realizing how important it is to have that in your life.  We all need at least one person who we can be completely unimpressive around and don’t give a fuck if we have sweaty armpits or if we just feel like eating a lot of Taco Bell and not being judged.  What I’ve learned the most through this resurrection friendship with Cody is that sometimes, you can go home again.  That’s part of his role, he provides me with a sense of home and comfort and it helps keep me grounded.

My sister, Raven.  I’m living at home again, and that means spending more time with Flava’ Rave, as Cody calls her.  She is just so funny because she is a paradigm for her generation.  My morning routine seems to be, make coffee, then talk and laugh with Raven for about an hour and a half before we contemplate what we are doing with our day.  Considering how far apart we are in age, Raven and I are very close.  She’s nine years my junior, but I can still talk to her about A LOT.  She’s a total B though too, and if she is getting slightly annoyed with me, she’ll just put her hand up and say, “bye.”  It makes me laugh every time.  She actually just left the room and we both were cracking up because she is being so NOT chill about a current crush she has.  We honestly just spent 15 minutes deciding on the exact words and punctuation to use in a two sentence text to her crush.  In this role, I think it’s more about what role I am playing.  I’m her big sister and providing that role for her, provides me with a small sense of purpose which we all need.  I am there for her in every sense of that “you’re my blood” type of way.  Essentially, she can do no wrong and no matter what, I got her back.  That unconditional love should absolutely be in everyone’s routine.

To be continued…  Part 2

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Raven and I.

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