I was reading over some of my past posts and came across the one titled “Restless” from March of earlier this year. In that post, I talk about the sense of unquiet that I was feeling deep within me, that I felt like I was searching for something. I concluded that perhaps it meant I was open to new opportunities and that a bit more risk-taking would be in store for me this year—and that this would be a very good year indeed.
Since that post, I have been laid off from my job of over four years, applied to countless positions in my determined job search, only to be told that I’m over-qualified or that I made it to the final round of interviews onl y to be beat out by one other candidate. I’ve trimmed every ounce of fat off of my already tight budget, anticipating a long haul before I am gainfully employed again. I worry that, at 48, my age is becoming a factor in weeding me out as a viable prospect. So I worry and worry, and worry some more…
I find myself working out more than ever, to use up all this restless energy—running 6-10 miles a week, working out with a barbell program 4-5 times a week and one session of yoga. It’s a way to funnel this unsettled energy into something productive.
Interestingly enough, all this exercise and restive thought is igniting my libido. I feel like the perpetual crouching tiger is prowling within me, searching for release and as I lie awake in bed, my mind fills with wanton sexual fantasies. A girl could go crazy for lack of sex!
I realize that a part of me feels like it has been on hold for 20-some years–my health, my emotions, things that I want to do and experience. I want someone to ask me what I need, what will make me happy. And care about the answers.
I feel like doing something delightfully rash, like pulling out a few grand out of my meager savings and flying off to Europe and wandering the streets of Paris. Just shaking loose of Pittsburgh and these Etats-Unis. Being uninhibited, unfettered, impractical. God, I’ve been practical and reasonable for so long, about so many things.
Writing this makes me resolute: my time will come. I just need to plow through this short-lived period of unemployment and separation from what I really want, and then…and then…I am going for it. And what will be, will be.
Paris, here I come.
I remember when I first learned about sex. I was in third grade and my best friend, Cheryl, and I decided to each confront our mothers with evidence that something peculiar was going on in our respective bathrooms. We had both seen the tightly toilet-paper wrapped parcels in the trash containers in the bathroom every few weeks and I had even gone so far as to unwrap one to see what it contained. The sheer amount of blood had shocked and repelled me. Something had to be done, something was dreadfully wrong!
As far as most mothers go, mine was pretty approachable. Like most women who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s, she was very conservative and careful. Her version of cursing was an emphatic “Oh, SUGAR!” if something broke or irritated her. Yeah, well, Sugar was about to get a surprise.
I came home from school and determinedly told my mother that I needed to talk to her. Worried, my mother led me to the living room, where all important conversations took place. I remember her sitting in my father’s green arm chair, almost as if it lent her added composure and strength.
I don’t recall the exact words I used but I still remember the look of disbelief that came over my mother’s face as I presented my inquiry in my third grade trill. God love her, she maintained her composure and honestly and calmly told me all about menstruation and what to expect. There, the end.
Finally, recess! My words tumbled out of me as I told Cheryl my news. But Cheryl’s mother was younger and a bit more progressive. She had punctuated Cheryl’s lesson on menstruation with an Intro to Sex Ed and told her about intercourse! My third grade brain stalled then melted. The man does WHAT to the woman??? NO!!
I marched home, marched up our front steps, slammed open the front door and faced my mother. “YOU DIDN’T TELL ME ABOUT YOU KNOW WHAT!!!” I said. My mother about wet herself laughing. Literally. She had to hold onto the kitchen door she was laughing so hard. I think my mother could have killed Cheryl’s mother that day.
After my initial shock wore off, my inquisitive little brain cells went into overtime. This was interesting stuff, indeed, and I wanted to know more about it. Much of this was fueled by restless hormones; mine stirred early and powerfully and it was clear, even at a young age that sex and sensuality would play an important role in my life.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to distinguish the other qualities that I want in my lover: sensitivity, kindness to others, the ambition to succeed, generosity, the ability to make me laugh, a magnetic personality, an agile mind. Add that to the, oh, so delicious heat that sexual compatibility brings to the relationship and you have the delightful chemistry for a relationship. Not too much to ask, is it?
Although I am no longer a practicing Catholic, sex in my adult life has been an interesting dichotomy between balancing my early, ingrained values and my surging hormones. I’m not saying I want to sleep with every man I see, not at all, I’ve always been a one-man woman, deeply devoted to the man I love. And love has happened rarely. Commitment, love, chemistry, monogamy, all of that needs to be a part of the picture before the hormones can take over. With the right person, I’m pretty much an Angel in public and bawdy Devil between the sheets. Yes, indeedy, that shock from third grade has definitely worn off.