Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MEG RYAN, YOU BEEN LYIN'! In which I discuss the Performing Seal School of Orgasms

I have always been fascinated by the “Yes, Yes, Yes!” scene in When Harry Met Sally.  You know the one I mean: the 80’s tousled, curly-haired, non-plastically-puckered duckie, Meg Ryan, claims that women can fake an orgasm and no man would ever know; where she, in the middle of the restaurant, throws her head back and exclaims wails of delight for the delectation of Katz’s diner.

It’s a fun scene.  But, you know what, it’s a lie.  A big, fat, cream-cheese-slathered, lox-layered, pumpernickel bagel of a lie, that sets up man and womankind for disappointment.  Man, since he expects his cohorts to warble arias of ecstasy; and we ladies, because we see Ryan’s over-zealous display and wonder… “Are we missing something?”

So, it’s time to eat bagel!  I want to break it down and to discuss why it’s hard for me to swallow.  (No, it’s not because I picked pumpernickel.)  And chaps, since this dating punditry is supposed to be educational, please sharpen your pencil and take note.

Women can orgasm without a murmur.  FACT.  The electrical impulses catapulting across neurones can make us watery-eyed and breathless, perhaps even groan, but most highly-satisfied women don’t NEED to howl and/ or give a running commentary.

Of course, if you look down (or up!) to see your mate gazing out of the window, or perhaps at the TV behind your head, or—Heaven forfend—texting, then chances are, they are not really giving you their all.  But, generally, if you pay attention and listen to them breathing, you’ll know.

So, when a stranger –obviously straight out of Charm School—asked me,

“Hey Cutie,”—yes ‘Cutie!’ The Dicktard alert already started to clang—“are you a moaner or a screamer?” I realized that the When Harry Met Sally or WHMS fallacy had, indeed, been far-reaching.  I also realized that any stranger who would open with such a question was quite, quite deserving of my derision, my filthiest glare, my lean in and my, “You can be assured that you will never know, Dicktard.”  (I held my glass of wine close; it really was far too good to waste on him.)

So, in search of the truth, and eager to right the wrongs of the relationshipworld, I conducted sophisticated and scientifically insignificant research!  Namely, I polled my girlfriends!  It was quite the Pandora's Box.

I selected at random, a panel of ten 30-42 year old professionals, some in committed relationships, some dating, some committed to the asylum.  I asked the following:

1)      When having an orgasm—A REAL orgasm—do you: stonewall/breath loudly/ murmur appreciatively/exclaim at the important bits/exclaim throughout/wail like a Banshee? Honey and lemon for you, m’lady!

2)      On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Martha Mute and 10 being Wailing Wendy, and you can’t pick 5, how loud do you think you are?

3)      When a chap asks for verbal instructions—I know, typical!  The one time you don’t want a guy to ask for directions!—do you: enjoy giving full colourful commentary as to when, where, how and how much, using expletives, adjectives and maybe even an ode to his Trouser Truncheon?; or, do you cringe, inwardly die a bit, and proceed with the Marcel Marceau guide; or, do you flame with embarrassment, swallow your tongue, eye-bulge in manner of a rutting deer caught misguidedly following lunar inclination to the median of I-81, because he should be able to tell what you like; like he should your coffee (strong, but milky), or what type of pasta you like, (angel hair, regardless of the sauce) and engagement rings, (cushion cut emerald, F.Y.I).

I put the survey to the panel, worried about asking friends such personal questions, and then I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It seems ladies, unsurprising, don’t holler out about their personal mating habits.  Other than the fact, “yes, I’m getting fucked. Quite regularly as it happens,” we don’t really discuss the nitty gritty.  “You are?  That’s wonderful!  Is it good?  Are you happy?” is really about as far as we go, in spite of what Sex And The City would have you believe.  But some brave ladies did come forward and results were recorded. 

Oh please bludgeon me.
Okay, so a bit of laundry here.  I am not a performing seal.  I was, once, for a children’s theatre company.  It was generally humiliating and demeaning.  I wore a seal costume, a pink tutu and bounced balls off my head, whilst “arfing” and clapping my fins together.

This is what I think of when women do the WHMS Performing Seal School of Orgasms.  And I think that this is what men have come to expect: a raise-the-roof, volley of superlatives, squeals, shrieks and general displays of delirium, but what say the panel...

The consensus was that there was no consensus!   In fact, in spite of giving multiple choice answers, the women who polled wrote their own!  Which just goes to show what complex creatures we are. Some are quiet, the lowest vocal score being 3, and some are vocal, the top score being a 9 out of 10 on the audio cues; but, the amplitude can be subject and situation specific.  For instance, if the kiddos are tucked in bed it’s going to be more of Marcel Marceau kind of evening; a tent in the woods surrounded by festival goers, likewise; a well-insulated chalet  in the Alps, with roaring fireplaces, fur rugs and cheese fondue avec l'homme dans les reves, it’s safe for wild abandon. 

Often it comes down to comfort level.  The greater the comfort, the louder the display.  (And by comfort, I mean trust, familiarity and connection.  Okay, the Southern kind can come into it too!)  However, even the shyer Lesser Vocalists stated their quietness was not dissatisfaction.  Au contraire, it was a sign of them concentrating, clenching their muscles, trembling, surfing waves of delight.  “When I am close, I can’t actually say a thing, my brain isn’t in that place, I just have to remember to keep breathing.”
Getting some tips. Yes, I know, it's a sea lion. Same difference.

Being a Biologist-actress-writer, I need to understand the wailing seals more clearly.  My brain wanders to the evolutionary significance; the actress ponders, “What’s my motivation here?”  Are the squeals a manifestation of frustrated teenage cheerleading pyramid dreams?  Are they genuinely the sounds that bubble from the pit of one’s pleasure-making factories to aid reproduction in some way?  Is it all a show to encourage the mate, so the whole process will be quickly dispatched in time for tea and a cookie and the results of Dancing With The Stars?  OR, is it just an attention-grabbing advertisement to inform anyone with hearing that yes, you are having sex, that, bully-for-you, someone finds you desirable.  Is there some sexual selection advantage garnered by advertising desirability?  I suppose so, but then surely that would make virgins undesirable and that’s clearly a crock-of-shit. 

I’ve only had my own experiences, and my Hollywood brainwashing to compare before, but from the Panel's feedback--and they had a lot to say on the subject, ironically--in bed, full sentences and coherent words are a ph-allacy; loud gasps, breathing and random, incoherent words, that’s the sweet spot.

Do animals have orgasms?  Dolphin, Bonobos and Homo Sapiens have sex recreationally.  I don’t mean in parks—although, wait, they do have sex in parks, well, not dolphins, unless you count Sea World—but I mean for fun, not necessarily for procreation.  I wonder, does Flipper make those weirdy little clicks as she comes?

I remember visiting the Animal Kingdom at Disney when I was about 14.  I watched amazed to see two giant turtles getting jiggy with it and them being so vocal in the process.  The groans went on for ages and climaxed to quite the crescendo of turtle tantra.  At that age, the concept of sex was fascinating to me—I’d seen Dirty Dancing and Top Gun; I was quite, quite in love with the England Rugby team and certain that I would, someday, meet and marry my hero, the 6ft 6 Gargantuan, Tim Rodber.  (Erm, I did meet him, in fact, but the whole marriage proposal thing flew off the table I believe when, giddy with excitement and chardonnay, I vomited over my shoes and his somewhere in Fulham.) 

I went to a girls’ school—a school sans boys!—so rainy breaks would often be spent, wide-eyed as we read passages from Jilly Cooper’s Riders or Polo, smuggled in from someone’s mum’s bookshelf.  We salivated over the Bastardly "Rupert Campbell Black" and hoped, someday, we would meet our own RCB and then this new magical world would be revealed to us: one that would set off fireworks, rocket launchers, that would blast us into the sensation stratosphere.  I had high hopes that future me would actually be desirable, that I might—oh please, dear God make it so—fill a bra, and that I would be fabulous at this strange, sweaty, tangle of limbs.

And I hoped that when this new adult pleasuredome opened to me, that it would be with someone who knew what they were doing.  Maybe this is my true blue repressed Brit bit rearing its prudish head, but “No thank you!  I don’t not want to tell you what to do, and I most certainly do not want to ‘talk dirty to you.’”  It’s scary and exposing, and quite frankly, the idea of conjuring amusing adjectives and analogies is my idea of awkward and embarrassing.

But, as the Panel pointed out, I should make a distinction between “giving helpful instruction—otherwise you could be waiting around all day and really that helps no one,” and “making a porno.”  It seems the Panel encourage instruction-- if the poor guy is too dumb to pick up on your breathing/gasping/writhing cues—but it should be done after the fun and games.  Perhaps during pillow talk. 

Am imagining a little post performance review here, like giving acting notes, “Well, George, I love that thing you did with your tongue, but just as I was starting to really get into the groove, you kept changing it up.  Not cool, George, not cool.  This only leaves both of us frustrated.  If you really want me to be Mrs Clooney, I definitely need more tongue and patience.”  Helpful advice, surely saving time and effort.   

A panelist, let’s call her “Rodericka,” answered that she finds men who ask for instructions during sex “EXTREMELY ANNOYING!  Unless,” she added, “he has had an epic fail and then you have to do something to rescue the situation and raise his spirits.  But ONLY in emergencies.  When absolutely necessary.”

“Now, as for ‘dirty talk’ if he wants to express his appreciation, then that can be nice.  As long as it is well worded.”  No pressure, guys.  Another fabulous female wrote “sex should be dirty, but it doesn’t have to be theatrical and certainly not pornographic.  I'm also not willing to coo and purr and name things that already have names.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Cringeville. 

Most of my girlfriends know the words to “Talk Dirty To Me” and can sing the song with gusto after a shotski or two, but really, when it comes down to it, the majority say, "please don’t."  A simple whispered “I love you,” is all most need to seal the deal.

So, you might be thinking, “wow, the Brit’s are really stiff” (or not, as the case may be,) but when confronted with Drunky McCharming’s question it really annoyed me that a) he deigned to ask me and b) that he was assuming I would act in a certain way.  My little scientific survey proved, if not statistically, that women do react differently, and, just to complicate matters, we react differently with the same person in a different situation, at different times of the month.  We don’t all toss our heads back and cry, “Yes, YES, YES!” But you never know when we might howl at the moon.   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Holla we want pre-nup!" In which my goat has been goaded, not gilded!

My goat has been got this week: royally stalked, speared, shanked and stewed.   And, as I marinate in feelings of female frustration—echoes of “that’s just not fair!” and “fucking cheek!” whirling through the coils of grey matter—no solution seems to satisfy.

So, what is it that has so skewered my usually sunny disposition?  That has kebabed my thoughts, stabbing through the center of everything and therefore making E. v. unproductive? 

Well, yes, it’s men—no surprise there then—but it is women too, People.  People and perceptions, specifically in terms of the subset of the male species: the wealthy male.  Homo Dicktardus Millionairus.

Oh grief!  Is she going to yammer on about how Prince William really should have given her a chance again?  No.  I am not.  Good for you, Kate.  Changing your major to study William’s course at St. Andrew’s University had NOTHING to do with you wanting to date him.  The thought never crossed my mind!  However, now that my goat has been slaughtered, I might as well share the feast.  So this is my take on… Gold Digging.  Cue music, Kanye.

I type as an Equal Opportunities Dater.  Scratch that, there are some criteria: teeth, hair (preferable), charisma, passions, kindness, integrity—there are those base non-negotiables—but other than that, blankety blank sums in the checking account, and off-shore accounts in Grand Cayman, Monte Carlo and other tax haven, have never made it to the list. 

I am an independent, hard-working woman filled with passion, ambition, and dedication.  I have goals and I will achieve them and succeed by my own merit.  I had rather assumed—Fool, fool, that I am!—that my efforts and endeavours rather speak for me.

So, Dearest Reader, imagine my horror—Quelle Horreur!—when one’s integrity was called into question and I was asked—not in quite these terms, but near enough—“Are you a Gold-digger?”

I was pole-axed, nay, lampooned, speechless, witless, stunned senseless.  After I scraped my jaw from the floor, I considered how One could possibly defend against such an unpalatable charge.  Surely, protestations of sincerity only sound… insincere?  But what else can one say? 
"But, but... I didn't ask the ex-Beloved for a bean!  Not a cent!  Not a share of our home, nor a dip in the pool."--And it has been a bligh warm summer not to ask for a returnee dip! 

Perhaps I need to provide references, methought: “Ermmm, well here’s my dating resume and three previous dates' telephone numbers who would be happy to provide recommendations of honourable conduct.  Oh, and while we are at it, here’s my credit report and current bank statements.”  Really?  RAHHHHHLLY?

It’s perplexing on a number of counts because a) why would that thought even cross someone’s mind when dating me? b) because I feel helpless and I HATE feeling helpless.  c) Surely, a manly man, wealthy or not, should be assured enough of his talents to know that it doesn't matter what he is packing in his pocket?  But mostly, d) how to prove what one is not? 

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s review.  Kanye West did a great job defining your classic "Gold digger," but I’m a biologist and love a meaty classification. 

Common attributes of a GOLD DIGGER: Homo Parasitus

·         Shies away from work

·         Takes the easiest path

·         Has an Action Man (G.I. Joe) eye/head swivel, checking out all others in the room

·         Never offers to pay for dinner/ offers to pay and then—oh Heavens!—finds that purse/wallet is AWOL

·         Is more impressed with glitzy gifts than heartfelt ones

·         Would rather dine at the nameless, faceless, minimalist urban chic restaurant and order a leaf of bibb lettuce, or anything with truffle oil, for their date to pay extortionate sums for, than the cozy little Italian on the corner, with the plastic red and white check tablecloth, the carafe with candle, dripping wax down the sides, and cheap dishes of unfashionable deliciousness.

A Real FishWife of NJ. Such class. Such style.
NB: GD’s are usually—always—thought of as being women.  Yet, I know many men who would belly-flop into the above description.  Isn’t it odd that you rarely hear the term bandied around about men?  You hear "Gold Digger" and you immediately think of some plastic, gilded Real Housewife of New Jersey.  Why is that? 

I suppose it is because women can get pregnant and men can’t—when I last checked—so the classic GD scenario hooking your "Baby Daddy"—dear Lord, that sounds ridiculous even typing it—is more difficult to accomplish if you are the chap.  But then again, I don’t have a great deal of sympathy here.  If you are a man of means and you are sleeping with an Unknown Quantity, why in Hades would you risk it?   WHY? 
Congrats Charlene! He's a Dad! Again. Surprise!

I feel I need to have this heart to heart with Prince Albert of Monaco.  How many paternity cases have proceeded or are pending?  Crikey, Man!  You rule the Principality, your wedding reportedly cost $65 MILLION (so you obviously have crock-shit-loads of cash), and there you are wanging away, spreading your wild ones without a bye or leave.  I don’t care about your proclivities or preferences, your sperm trail seems to be just darn right careless.  Albie, meet Mr. Condom.  Mr. Condom, meet Prince Penis.  It’s hardly rocket science, Al.  (And don’t tell me you’re allergic to latex either, because Buddy, I don’t believe you.)  "I won't cry for you, Albert-weiner, the truth is you never sheathed it..."

We, as women, don’t do ourselves any favours in crushing this stereotype, either.  Hollywood plays to it.  Think of the ghastly reality TV offerings from the Hef’s Playboy Mansion show to my latest horrific TV discovery… Millionaire Matchmaker, on Bravo.

OH. GOOD. LORD.  I can’t blame a chap from trying to protect his assets with women like these around!  Mind you, listening to some of these men, arrogant enough to enter themselves for a show like this, methinks they deserve every fake that fawns their way.  Check out the fist-pump (in the video below) when the blonde model learns her date, Max Marcus Von Oliver EdWeird Blah Blah Blah is a Prince.  Priceless.

I can understand why well-heeled types go for pre-nups –as much as the Romantic Me screams “NOOOOO!”  You know what, a marriage is a contract.  If a contract ends, surely it is easier if there are certain terms in place?  There is, however, no such arrangement for dating, so how does one protect/defend oneself?  Maybe if such a hideous cold contract were in place it would answer those detractors who assume the only reason a younger and relatively attractive woman would date an older chap would be money? 

Oh yes, I am sure Anna Nicole Smith really did love her octogenarian billionaire, but forget her…oops you already did.  (Distasteful?  Sorry.  I just didn’t buy it for a moment.)   Oh shit?  Does that mean I’m a hypocrite, because I assume ANS had her geriatric’s billions firmly in her sights?  Gah, I suppose it does.   But that was a pretty steep age gap. 

Look at Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Spartacus-Douglas-Jones and Michael Douglas, there is a wee ol’ generation jump there.  The actresses, whilst successful, were in no way the secured celebrities they are now, but did that make them Fortune Hunters?  The tabloids implied it, and what could they say to defend their honour?  Nothing.  However, they have graciously stood by their older men, won Oscars, spawned, run marathons.  Time has told. 

Is that all I can do?  I suppose so.  I shall keep my own conscience, and continue to take the most challenging path.  I will look people in the eye and give my whole attention, no matter who else in the room.   I will always treasure the hardback Catch 22 inscribed, ‘To my Beautiful En,’ far more than all the Coach purses in the world.  CafĂ© Rinaldi will always be my favourite.  I hold my head and debit card up.  

But maybe we should think about NOT promoting such stereotypes in the future.  I am not typing this as a bra-burning hoorah or a sycophantic commercial, but maybe a bit of a call to arms that men and women, regardless of status or bank account, should be self-reliant.  That women should not promote themselves as being these ridiculous televised fortune hunters.  Grow up, get a job, do it yourself.  You are not, and never will be, a Disney Princess.  And Millionaires, be you male or female, get a pre-nup, get a good attorney, and go with your gut.  And if you meet her on a show called Millionaire Matchmaker, chances are, Bud, she’s not really there for your dashing charisma.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sexual Seconds! Please Sir, is it wise to have more?

So, this week has been all about moving.  Compiling 32 years of life into cardboard boxes, bags and any random receptacles to shift the shit I can’t bear to part with (and taxes).  Let’s not forget the taxes.  Gadzooks, do I really need to take up valuable space in my 12x15 with boxes full of statements, spreadsheets and receipts?  Seriously? It is area I could free up to learn circus tricks, yoga or contortionism. 
But this blog isn’t about the physical and emotional trauma that was EGJ Moves to Brooklyn.  Because you know what?  Moving is hard.  You have to part with things you love.  You have to grow up, kiss teddy goodbye, and dispense with all those love letters and photographs you have held on to with the vague premature nostalgia of being able to tell your grandchildren that, “Yes, once Grandma was young.  She was relatively pretty and some boys liked her.”  You have to be ruthless.

But you probably know this already.  You have had your own moving trauma and you sure as Scooby Doo snacks don’t need a vicarious dose through me.

So, I’m not writing about moving, but rather moving on.  I was caught reading a tweet whilst innocently noshing on a tuna sandwich.  It read:

Don’t meet your girlfriend’s exes, it’s their shoes you are filling.  And by shoes, I mean vagina.(@Luke Romyn)

It was fortunate, indeed, that my fellow diner was familiar with the vagaries of the Heimlich manoeuvre, but after I had cleaned my computer screen, I thought more about this.
How can you not eventually see on Facebook or hear on the grapevine, or—egads!—meet in public, your exes?  What is the right protocol?  What is the wrong?  And what is the God-awful-Larry-David-type behaviour that will make everyone in your general vicinity cringe with embarrassment and forbid you ever to go out again in any locale that might harbor an ex?

If you are a nice person—and I hope you are—you will consider your ex’s feelings in this.  But it’s bloody difficult to look out for someone else as well as care for yourself.  We are, as humans, ultimately selfish.  The survival-of-the-fittest instinct precludes any altruistic sacrifice, so it is unlikely that we choose a life of enforced celibacy to save the feelings of our exes; but how can we still date in a small gene pool and not stab the sensibilities of those separated from us?  What limits and rules should we apply?  Where does it start, dear Reader?  Where does it stop?  When can you date and not feel guilty?

Oscar Night at Amici, with hosts Mark Masetti & Michaela Moore
Let’s take the example of my beloved adopted home town of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.  It’s a small town.  In my 7 years in the environs, I have met many people.  Every first Friday, the art walk in Scranton brings out the same warm-hearted arts supporters; every Wednesday a great crowd toe-tap to the jazz night at Amici; on warm summer nights, friendly faces congregate under the pagoda at State St.  There is always a guaranteed sighting of someone you know.  It’s like friggin’ Cheers.  Only there is not one bar, there are many.

You’d be hard pushed to find more than one degree of separation in fair ol’ Scrant.  It’s comforting in that way.  Unless you have exes, because then it is a little too close for comfort.

I read somewhere that, when on a date, you should never go somewhere you really like, because if it doesn’t work out, now Unworkoutable knows YOUR place, and imagine you go there and now he/she is cozied up at the bar chatting with your friendly bartender, arms/tongue around someone else!  Not good, dear Reader, not good. 

I confess, once I went on a date with a certain Scrantonite and after dins we went to one of my favourite places.  I perched at the bar, engrossed in the tennis playing on the screen above.  I ordered a glass of my usual and Date order his.  It was about ten minutes before I turned to my left and realized sitting RIGHT BESIDE me was—Oh Gawd, shoot me!—a chap I had dated briefly and become good friends with.  There was no ill-will, but I felt terrible, because I genuinely cared for the non-date to my left—much more than the one to my right.  I glowed puce and drank quickly.  The tennis was, I believe, riveting.  Date vs Gwyn-Jones: 40-Love.

But let’s not get into my dirty laundry.  Let’s return instead to our beloved couple, Daisy and Armando, as introduced by Michael J. Coene in his response to Manopoly and other Bastardly Dicktards:

It’s been months, maybe even years, and Daisy and Armando have reached the point of no return.  They finally face their silent disappointment and resignation; or maybe they engage in vocal, vitriolic warfare; either way, their relationship ebbs or explodes and they are left, two halves.  Splittsville. 

No longer ‘Daisy and Armando’, but ‘Just Daisy’ and ‘Just Armando’.  Singledom has branded them a new title.  And whilst they will wear it for a while and spurn talk of ever yinging their yang ever again; whilst Daisy takes a vow of celibacy/ice-cream/commitment to learn a language or maybe ballroom dancing; and while Armando goes out with his boys, peacocking it up at the Hardware Bar, letting the semi-clad Barely Legals straddle him in the dentist chair and swallowing the Jack Daniels poured lasciviously down his gullet, making his Adam’s apple bob eagerly; the chances are that, at some stage—maybe not at the Hardware or at Blue Ribbon Ice Cream Parlour—these two love-lorn halves will find other shapes to fit with.

And that is when the holy shit splatter can really start pelting.  The Oh My God, Run for Cover, Nuclear Flying Fecal Fallout that is going to take Daisy down, and Armando, and all of their friends, and their new halves and the friends of their new halves.

This is more than a case of Sharks versus Jets, more than a Soprano fracas.  This is where loyalities are tested, solidified or whacked… ‘You’re dead to me.’

So, what is Daisy or Armando to do?

Lady G celibate?  Nunsense! She's virgin' on the ridiculous!
We’ve already taken the celibacy option off the table.  This is the age of Lady Gaga and the Kardashians, after all. 
Daisy and Armando cannot deny their genetic predisposition to couple.  But what is the best way to be kind without being cruel?  How can they stay friends if they have been lovers?  Lord, sounds like a terrible Michael Bolton song, don’t it, eh?

You see, I’m interested, I genuinely am, because I always try to be kind and stay friendly with ex-partner/boyfriends and was quite proud that I boast a healthy wodge of Christmas cards each year from chaps with whom I have, at some stage, exchanged saliva.  It is rather pleasing to think that, in spite of not working out, I can, at least still exchange something with them.

It didn’t occur to me before now, that, perhaps, being friends was the very worst thing one could do.  When Daisy sees Armando enjoying the chaps-wearing and sequin-bra-ed Tiffany gyrating over his crotch, aiming another shot of amber nectar down his throat, how can she just laugh it off and be happy for him?  That was her crotch to gyrate over.  She may not be jealous, but odds are a silent fist hits her right between the solar plexus. 

And what of Armando?  When he looks surreptitiously in Daisy’s direction and sees a  likely suitor swoosh in to the bar stool next to her, engage her in witty banter and offer her a drink; when he watches as she accepts, lowers her head demurely and plays with her hair; he is conflicted.

Daisy and Armando are over, after all.  Haven’t they agreed to be friends?   ‘Heck! What does it matter if we happen to see each other out and about!  It’s a small town.  Forget about it!’

But it does matter, you see.  Daisy cannot forget the little looks and smiles he used to throw at her and now she can see him flicking at others.  She cannot bear to watch him laugh at some random woman’s unfunny joke and casually slip his arm around her, a silent admission of his new ownership.

Armando looks up from his table, where he is trying to fake a smile and appear as if he is concentrating on this groupie—what’s her name again?  Melanie?  Melissa? –and he sees Daisy.  It’s over, he knows it, but seeing this dude sidle up to her in his indigo jeans and button down shirt, and that Daisy--who never liked engaging with strangers anyway—suddenly seems rapt in his presence, is torture.

They know they are not supposed to be together, that it didn’t work out, but they have shared so much with each other, it sucks the air from Daisy's lungs to see Armando with another her, standing in the spot where she used to be.  No one likes to be replaced.  Not at work, or in sport, and definitely not in relationships.

But let’s add another glug of scenario sambuca to make the shituation really flambĂ©!  What happens when Indigo Jeans knows Armando, or when Tiffany, Melanie or Melissa is acquainted with Daisy?  GAH!  I’ll tell you what happens… emotional holocaust. 

When a good friend was matched with my former chap on an internet site, I almost shaved my head.  Freud would have lots to say I am sure.   I was just so desperate to protest in some way, but I was powerless.  What could I say?  Nothing.  He was not mine anymore, and any vocal protestation would have shown me up, not him.  It was so horrid to imagine him with anyone but me.  It still is.

In Clarks Summit, the chances of dating someone none of your friends/acquaintances have ever dated is slim to none.  Seriously, good luck with that.  I’m not paranoid, but everyone knows everyone.  They know where my car is parked, they know how long it’s parked for, and they know exactly where I was and how many cookies I ate while my vehicle was stationary.  Think you can keep any Summit hook up on the QT?  Think again, my friend.

So, what is fair?  What are the rules for sexual second helpings?  Is it okay to ask for more?  Without it, in a small town, one might starve!  I mean think about it, does Daisy have to deny any suitor who knows Armando?  Is Armando forever forbidden the fruits of Daisy’s friends?  Is that practical?  It’s logical certainly, but here’s the thing: passion is not logical.  The heart is the most illogical and non-negotiable organ and we’d be fools not to consult it once in a while.

I suppose, therefore, there is no easy way to move on and be good friends.  That must be why so many halves have to cut the ties and be done, never to speak, nor exchange Crimble cards again; but, forgive me, Readers, I can’t give up that easily.  I have cherished these people and I still want to be friends.  I want them in my life and I want to know that they are okay—perhaps not who they are knobbing or how hard, or how blissfully happy they are without me—I do want them to pine for a decent amount of time—but then they can be happy.  (Preferable when I am deliriously happy too.)

And, hopefully, friendship, true friendship—when two people care about each other, without sexual bullshit fucking it all up—will win the day.  Sure, meeting each others exes is never going to be a hoorah fest of mutual appreciation--you are standing in vagina-shoes--but if you value your friendship at all, you should be able to wish them well. 
Daisy will know that she will always occupy a little space in Armando’s heart, as he will in hers.  And as both pursue other passions, they may forget the aching and become desensitized to the thump that hits them in the guts every time their eyes meet, but their lips can’t.  Maybe. 

Moving  and moving on.  It’s brutal.  It rips out your innards and wraps them around your neck like an Isadora Duncan scarf.  But, just speed through it, ignore the choking, and, when you can breathe again and sleep again, and not be conscious of the space beside you, it is quite liberating.  You got here.  The wind is blowing through your hair.  You survived, and today is a new adventure.