Thursday, September 29, 2011

Under Unusual Circumstances

After our Parisian misadventure I finally have mom back in my Dijonaise home town; quite a sight for soar eyes after the crowded streets of Paris. With her staying in my tiny studio, however, and a temporarily homeless friend of TMI's staying at his place, (he's waiting for the keys to his new apartment) appropriate territory for making love has become increasingly hard to find. -And, let's face it, for a couple as famously frisky as we are, times are tough.

Last night, given the choice of sharing a bed with another guy and sleeping in my tiny 12 x 12 apartment with my mom and I, TMI chose the later. My mom is installed on a bunk bed situated over mine.. And, would you believe it, in the night and encouraged by the sounds of her snoring, TMI and I had our usual wild, crazy, but this time forcibly silent, sex.

..It was ok. But really. Sex while you can hear your mother snoring above you? Simultaneously great and profoundly disturbing. Every time there seemed to be a break in the snores TMI and I would freeze in horror, potentially caught in the mom-scaring 69 or worse, and wait until she resumed before we dared move again.

I have to say that was the first time I've ever had sex under such weird circumstances, aka, my mother. Let the record state I feel thoroughly bizarre. -But, this morning, while mom sat in my tiny kitchen doing crosswords and TMI and I lingered in bed... we did it again. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

From Paradise to Paris

I don't know how I've failed to mention this, but yesterday, September 24th 2011, my mother landed for the very first time in Europe; in the city of Paris; at the Charles de Gaulle airport. It took me six months of harassing her over Skype to convince her to do it, insisting that there would never be a better time to see France than while her daughter is living there. So, at long last, she took the plunge and traveled the 8,000 miles from paradise to Paris.

I had to hop on an early train to meet her at the gate as she came out of customs. She's a tiny little woman, basically a miniature of me, and leading her through the airport, the bustling RER, and then today, THE FLOODED streets of tourist infested Paris, has been.. stressful, mostly. I've never seen Paris so crowded as it was today. We fought our way from the pyramid at the Louvre down the Champs-Elysees to L'arc de Triomphe, and then veered off towards the Seine were we found the Eiffel Tower. It was so flooded with tourists we fled the whole scene, preferring to miss the view from the tower then face the mob. I insisted we follow the river so that she see the Notre Dame, but the unthinkable crowds were anguish unprecedented, so I pulled her off into the side streets and took respite in a cafe.

At last we're back in our tiny hotel. I'm starting to be very happy I don't live here. Dijon is so much more of an accessible size. And I'm in France predominantly for the language after all; and here in Paris, I actually have to ask people if they speak French before asking for directions or the time.

It's a shame Paris is becoming such a theme park. The place seemed utterly leeched of its romance. It was sad to see the beautiful face of Notre Dame, which I have always adored, swimming in an impenetrable sea of bodies.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Phoque Fighters

I can't go another post without mentioning some of the lovely lady bloggers who have helped IFFTP over the past few months; the blogging world is not an easy one to break in to, so friends willing to read, re-post, and get the word out are incredibly valuable.

Please let me introduce two the of the wonderful women who not only keep me coming back for more, but have helped support IFFTP:

Ashely Bussard
from the Peanut Gallery

"Hey guys Im Ashley and Im 23. Right now Im planning my September 2012 wedding, raising a two year old ball of fire, and day dreaming about owning my own vintage inspired shop one day.

I started my blog as a pregnancy journal for friends and family to keep updated on Peyton and her development/birth while I was away at school. That was almost 3 years ago. Now it’s a hodge podge baby book of her day to day life, my wedding plans, fashion posts, and whatever else pops into my head at the time! So feel free to stop by say 'haii' Id love to have you and you won't be sorry. (biased? noway)"

Jamie Dunn
from Easily Dunn

"A ballerina, magician's assistant, black belt, and former model finds true love. A sweet little baby falls from the stars. A tale of gypsies, dinosaurs, and high seas adventure. A chronicle of everything we love, everything we do, everywhere we go, and all the days we felt alive."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Ink Well (and everything to do with forever)

Nothing good lasts forever, or, so they say. For this reason, love is sometimes described as a flower which blooms, wilts, and, if you're going to get really poetic about it and you happen to be a believer in lasting love, you may also allude to the ability to press them and keep them long after they've died.

What I was thinking today, however, is that maybe the myth of eternal love is more like an ink pen. In the beginning you have to give it a push by dragging it around to get it going, then suddenly you have a nice, satisfying black flow that can carry you along silky smooth for months; maybe longer if you're lucky. But, in the end, it doesn't matter how much you "work at it" or promise pen fidelity, because when the line starts getting dry, you can bet your buttons you'll be reaching for the newer model and the one in your hand has its days numbered.

These stubbornly pessimistic thoughts have a habit of ruining otherwise perfectly good evenings with TMI. We've been discussing efforts to get me back to France after Christmas in Hawaii and getting an apartment together. ..An incredibly elating thought, and yet the sacrifice would be my friends and my family. Placing myself scquarely opposite on the globe from my nearest and dearest which have nothing to to with sex or ink and everything to do with forever.

But, on the other hand, friends fall in love and become less available as their significant other becomes more significant. The temptation to remain forever single could leave me lonely surrounded by friends in love.

I know the obvious solution simile: if you really like the pen, you can buy more ink. But what's the real life equivalent of the inkwell? Could something so idealistic possibly exist? And for something so uncertain, how can I ever really know if it's worth the sacrifice?

Tying Loose Ends

With TMI finally back in town, my apartment has been stage to a literal non-stop sexual marathon for the past three days. And, to make things even better, we recently took another leap into the dangerous and the delicious: Finally getting over the shyness of expressing a mutual interest, TMI pulled off his belt and tied my hands to the head board.

Wow. What can I say? The temperature in the room was so high I wouldn't be surprised if my neighbor could feel the heat (or heard it, anyway); and the results were SO rewarding that we did it repetitively plusieurs fois all afternoon and into the evening.

Ah, young love in Eastern France. Honestly, I can't believe I stayed 5 years in a relationship where the sex remained so comparatively tame.. -and here I was fortunate enough to find a partner who, within 4 months, I've been able to break nearly all of my sexual boundaries with. I guess it's called sexual chemistry, and I think it's growing on me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The End is in Sight

After three weeks of not having TMI home with me in Dijon, he is at last making his triumphant return to my longing arms tomorrow afternoon. (With several cases of wine, rumor has it.) But, instead of feeling excited and giddy, I find myself feeling increasingly miserable; loosing sleep, in fact. Amazingly, after a lighting fast 8 months in France, Christmas is already appearing on the horizon and thus bringing with it the mandatory plane tickets to return me to the islands and to my family.

TMI is obligated to stay in Dijon at least another two years to finish his analog studies. My visa is up in February and without money or a well paying job which in turn requires the miraculous miracle of a French work visa, coming back to France would be...difficult.

Today, coincidentally and for the first time, I allowed myself to admit to friends and family and, perhaps more importantly, to myself, that I am in love. And I am scared. Scared out of mind about enduring a last night with TMI. The alarm the morning I have to drag myself out of his arms and somehow out the door; to the train station and through the airport terminals alone; knowing that I have three days and half a globe to put between me and the man I love. Not to mention the incredible menace of facing the obscurity of responsibility and adulthood in which I have virtually NO DIRECTION.

There's a part me that still bitterly denies the existence of true and/or lasting love. Maybe it's for the best that TMI and I execute our relationship at the height of its youth and fervor instead of letting it get old and stale. It's a meaningful union (I'm ashamed it took me so long to realize it) and maybe it deserves better than to cool off in drawn-out domestication. It deserves tears and misery. Die young and face the history books with eternal youth, right?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Agony of Andouillette

Last Thursday I was suddenly informed that I could hop a train Friday evening and spend the weekend with TMI. Since I had been suffering some serious intimacy and sexual withdrawals I was very happy to spend the 30 Euros on a ticket and head into the country.

TMI is staying in an old run down boarding house with two other boys also finishing their summer internships. As one can imagine, the old house habited by two 20 something boys and one shy (and very much the third wheel) 18 year old, was a complete disaster. Old sausages hung on window clasps, socks were balled up on the kitchen counter, a loaf of bread with a collection of cutlery stabbed into it was stuffed in the freezer, an enormous murdered arachnid terrorized the bathroom floor, and a single vegetable was no where to be found in the whole house.

Despite all this I was lovingly received, lovingly cuddled, cared for and made love to with the utmost attentiveness for most of my stay; and while the boys worked I took refuge in TMI's bedroom with a book.

The second night some Dijonaise friends drove out and we had a barebeque. I ate something a little too French and mixed it with a little too much wine and spent the second half of the night puking miserably in the bathroom, at this point sort of befriending the huge dead spider at the toilet side.

Despite all of this it was predominantly pleasant and saturated with sentimentality. I don't think I've ever been loved the way I feel I am now. -Even with my relationship which lasted years. Maybe every love is different? Or maybe I'm just learning how to pick em' and starting to hit a little closer to home? One can hope.

When is it Right?

In light of the good-and-understanding-person critera: no body is perfect, relationships require compromise, and beauty is only skin deep; how do we ever really know when it's right?

After doing some very disappointing google searches for "am I in love" or "should I commit" or "is he the one" and turning up a horrific explosion of illiterate and predictable myspace quizzes created for hormonal preteens recovering from their first kiss tremors, I decided someone needed to put their foot down and look at this practically.

What really makes a relationship the right relationship? When is it safe to spill the L-word; to move in together; to start talking about children and stoping in front of jeweler windows to admire diamonds? Is there a criteria? And, given the different experiences people may or may not have, does it change from person to person? I got a little carried away and started asking around. "What are the 4 qualities of a perfect relationship?" Here's what I've uncovered:

guy # 1: 24, Paris, FR
laughs, the ability to compromise, variation, and peace

lady # 4: 60, HI, US
mutual love, respect, understanding, and shared interests

guy # 2: 27, Paris, FR
trust, understanding, discovery, and beautiful sex

lady # 2: 23, OR, US
commitment, stability, passion, and adventure

guy # 3: 25, HI, US
forgiveness, sex, humor, sympathy/apathy

lady # 3: 22, AK, US
communication, great sex, support, appreciation

lady # 1: 23, Dijon, FR
passion, compatibility, communication and ambition

Who woulda-thunk that with all the struggling and angst and worry that can be cultivated between two people that the desirable qualities of a relationship (at least in my small sample pool) are so simple and universal? Shared interests, communication and humor = Compatibility, passion = Sex, and variation, discovery, adventure and ambition all fall into a seated desire to avoid the monotonous = Innovation.

Is it safe to say that if we have these three we're doing it right? -And if we're missing one or all it's time to hit the road? Can two relationships be completely different and still good for unique reasons?

In a culture where we're taught to compromise and accept what's wrong, how do we know when it's right?

Friday, September 9, 2011

The French God of Health and Wellness Does Not Give His Blessing.

So... I'm having a problem. Since starting to take my oral contraceptives which I was once so very excited about starting, my boobs have grown voraciously to such an extent that they hurt terribly, and, even worse, my right one has staggeringly outgrown my left one. I HATE IT. I sent an explicit photo to most of my friends asking for advice. All conceded that the right one was definitely disproportionate and that I should see a doctor, -which I tried to do yesterday AND FAILED.

On my way to my appointment, literally, while walking to the office, I was suddenly assaulted by a pain in my pelvis. I was pretty sure I knew what it was, since I just recovered from one about a month ago, and ran to a near by health food store, (coincidentally the one and only in Dijon,) bought a jug of cranberry juice, and downed it en route. Evidently I was too late, because by the time I'd arrived I was so afflicted by the burning and insatiable need to pee it was all I could talk about with the doctor. I squirmed in my chair while announcing my sudden UTI and practically tore the prescription out of his hands and went running to the pharmacy.. unable to even MENTION my boob problems.

I sadly drank my medecin back at home while I mourned the fate of my ever growing boob. I really, reeeaally hope it chillaxes before too much longer. Also, what is up with the onslaught of urinary tract infections? I'd never had one before in my life and suddenly I've had two within the last three months. Obviously, the French god of health and wellness has it out for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Giving up the Ghost

When we have our hearts broken, or lay victim to unrequited love, do we ever really give up the day dreams? The shoulda-woulda-coulda's and the ghost of our feelings? Do we ever completely shake the glimmer of hope that they'll come back, years later and begging for forgiveness? When it comes to Handsome Parisian, I can say that I'm thoroughly erked that I wasn't able to ignite any embers of commitment in his heart. But after three months between us, what remains of him in my mind has waned to an image of his ENORMOUS dinner plate hands. Big hands make me absolutely weak in the knees, and, if nothing else, it's the ghost of those hands on my body that would lead me down the path of infidelity, if anything did.

Last night, I Skyped with TMI for the first time since he left. He was standing under a street lamp outside the vineyard and his face faded in and out of focus. I was surprised by how handsome he looked. Like new lovers usually do, we talked about nothing and smiled foolishly at one another for 45 minutes until his battery died. Before he went he assumed a serious face and said "I love you. Really, je t'aime." He says it sparingly and never just throws the words around; always adding my name at the end.

I was affected by his sincerity. Today, while working in the cafe and passing a lull on Facebook, Handsome Parisian prodded me flirtatiously about visiting. In a sudden act of righteousness that surprised even me, I told him I'd decided we should skip it. Something inside me finally gave way and I saw him in a different light: a devastatingly handsome jerk and probably the end of a relationship with a man who truly loves me. And so, just like that, I resolved to forget the hands and give up the ghost.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kissing or Telling

Yesterday I surprised myself when, in a frisky frenzy and ironically amidst very fond thoughts for TMI, I messaged Handsome Parisian. And, like the worst kind of vixen, I announced that my boyfriend was out of town. I couldn't resist the thrill of the flirt and, assuming a position of non-commitance, asked if he might be traveling in Dijon's direction anytime soon. To my simultaneous horror and delight, he said he could probably figure out how to "swing something."

Then I had to take a startled pause. What the heck am I doing? Am I really deliberating planning to cheat on TMI? How is it that I can go around all day missing him and telling myself that I love him and in the same state of mind casually ask Handsome Parisian if he's up for casual sex?

Somehow I always hoped that love came with a handy dandy eraser of any desire for other people. YES I'm sympathetic, YES I desperately want to avoid hurting TMI, and yet, I can't shake the solid belief that it's not the cheat that does the hurting, it's the TELLING.

Casual sex with someone else wouldn't erase my feelings for TMI; it wouldn't dissuade me from being in a relationship with him. In fact, the only thing that would have any conceivable effect on our future or happiness together would be assaulting him with the terrible truth.




Seriously which is the crime here, the kissing, or the telling??

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cave Dreams and Jesus

Last night I dreamt I was Ayla from Clan of the Cavebear and having all sorts of hot pre-historic sex with a blonde, virile caveman. Then, without warning, he turned into a surfer dude and left me for a woman of modernity, driving away in a mini cooper all the while I protested that he would never find another girl who came from the time of mammoths.

Six days since TMI left for his three week internship, and I interpret this dream as the beginnings of some painful sex withdrawals. I know I mentioned an intention to be an honorable girlfriend but promiscuity seems to glitter through my veins regardless of where I firmly set my brain.

I'm spending my mornings pulling espressos and sugaring waffles, trying to pass time and keep myself safely distracted. Everyone who works in this cafe is insane. Firstly because they are all a rare breed of French Jesus-freaks; and secondly for a hoard of individual quirks and eccentricities. Alex, who I'm working with today, is staggeringly cross-eyed. He moves around the kitchen flawlessly, but just looking at him can induce a headache.

We're in a lull at the present moment and he's sitting across from me intently reading "La Bible, Le texte original avec les mots d'aujourd'hui." His computer next to him has the words "Jesus et Alex" rotating in 3D for his screensaver. Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to him, I sit mere feet away reliving sexy pre-historic blasphemy.

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