Archive | Etiquette Matters

A Word from the Siren in Charge

1970s Alice Walker taking up plenty of space like the good womanist she is.

I’ve been really struck that, even now, I’m seeing a number of women couch their indignation about the Kavanaugh hearings with phrases like “of course not ALL men…” and “there are really good guys.” Obviously not all guys are awful but I’m tired of tiptoeing around male feelings.

Witness how, even as CBF was serving her civic duty at great personal cost, she was in a million palpable ways laboring to “make nice”–to apologize for taking up any space. It is vital that we women stop people-pleasing no matter what our conditioning. I get that those of us who sleep with anyone identifying as a man are deeply conflicted in a way that is still unacknowledged. That we may unconsciously fear wilting dicks even as we wave our flags. But the bottom line is we need to stop being cool girls and instead stand as grown-ass women.

Everyone bold enough to identify as a women in this misogynistic culture needs to speak in declarative sentences rather than upticks that beg for permission. We need to stop playing along or picking our battles when micro- or macro-aggression appears. We need to call out BS as it happens in real time. Even if it means we seem like “man haters,” we need to stop apologizing for ourselves and stop trying to pretty up our righteous fury. And can we stop patting “good guys” on the back like they deserve a medal for achieving a baseline of decency in the face of profound human rights violations? I honestly expect any man I electively know to use their male privilege to fight misogyny and gender inequality at every turn. Life is short but the legacy we leave is long.

In other news, Mrs. Lincoln, Grace is really digging on the cooler weather. She’s all, mom, I like to snuggle in your knee pit! and, mom, isn’t it fun to play with jangly balls at 3 am? So cuddly I can hardly begrudge her transgressions, she’s keeping me company as I roast acorn squash, brussels sprouts, and pork loin tonight with concord grapes, thyme, and chopped apples. I also am opening a bottle of red from the Sierra Foothills that I’d been saving for a special occasion. Because, you know, Sunday blues, mean reds, permakittens, and patriarchy. NYC balance, y’all.

Venus Runs Amok

Venus retrogrades roughly every 18 months and when it does, we all wear what I call “Venus retrograde goggles.” By this I mean that nothing tastes or looks or feels exactly right, and what resonates aesthetically often will feel super off once Venus goes direct. This is because this planet governs love, money, and aesthetics–all things beauty-related–so we’ll have an opportunity to examine our patterns and misconceptions in this area whether we like it or not. Expect old lovers to come out of the woodwork, expect old heartbreak to resurface as well.

The retrograde begins officially on October 5 and lasts until November 16–it’s 40 days and 40 nights, essentially–but we entered its shadow yesterday. Did you feel it? Were there checks delayed, problems with a bank account? Did you get into a fight with a partner, buy a skirt you’re already questioning?

I know I’m always informing you about retrogrades but 2018 has been retrograde central and Venus is the last planet to deliver such a doozy this year (if you don’t count our last Mercury retrograde, anyway). And this retrograde has been the astrological aspect I’ve been most dreading on a personal note. It’s taking place mostly in Libra within a degree of my moon in Libra. Since the moon governs our emotional response and Venus is ruled by Libra, I’ll be feeling it like a mo-fo in pretty much every area of my life, especially since my career has an aesthetic bent. I expect zits, a decline in my critical faculties, and emotional devastation.

Which is all to say that last night was the hardest I’ve had in 2018, and today all I want is to curl up on the couch of someone who lays a cool hand upon my forehead and drops an afghan over me as I weep. Who lets me know I am loveable even at my most difficult, who lets me float without drowning, who sees me even when I cannot see myself, and who will love me even when I love them back.

My heart already aches, you see, and all the unkindness and hurts we harbor are emerging from the darkness so we may heal them with light. I don’t know how I’m going to handle this baptism by fire. I don’t even know how I’m going to eat today. But I know I’m telling you because I haven’t quite given up yet. Send afghans. Send quiet company. Send love for my sharpest edges. While you’re at it, send some for yourself.

Subway Haiki

O L TRAIN HIPSTER
NEW YORK IS JUST YOUR GAP YEAR
BUT ACT RIGHT ON THE TRAIN

NO MATTER HOW CUTE
TAKE THAT KNAPSACK OFF YOUR BACK
OUR SPACE MATTERS TOO

OPEN LAPTOP ON TRAIN
YOU’RE ASKING TO GET RIPPED OFF
I MEAN, FOR REAL: DUH

HELP VOCAL FRY
BEFORE MORNING COFFEE SO
I MAY HAVE TO KILL

LOOK THAT GUY IS OLD
THAT WOMAN’S VERY PREGNANT
GIVE UP YOUR DAMN SEAT

I AM WRITING THESE
SO I DON’T GET ARRESTED
I’D RATHER PUNCH YOU

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy