What Is Love? – Jemima

My best girl Jemima is lucky to have so many people in her life that love her, but as she explains here, love isn’t always plain sailing…

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What is love? Always an interesting question. Love has so many forms. Whether it be a mother’s love, relationships or friendships. Even down to your pets. It can be an amazing feeling of butterflies or a toxic poison that eats away at you.

Like many women I’ve seen the highs and lows of love. It’s made me do some crazy things that you just can’t give reason. At present I can only describe my love life like a pendulum, swinging between love and hate. Then there’s that steady middle ground of just plain numb. Why stay? Love. Love for the man that’s hiding inside. Like I said, love will make you do some crazy shit.

Love is hope. Hope for a happy ever after. That hope for a better tomorrow. Sticking it out and braving the rough is made that little bit easier when it’s for the one you love.

Stepping away from the relationship side of it there’s the love I have for my son. That love that’s so deep it hurts. The mere thought of anything happening to him and I want to hold him tight and never let go. The pride I feel when he learns something new. I swore to Lola when I was pregnant I would never be that mum who posts thousands of pictures and informs the world when my child stops peeing their pants and uses a potty. Well guess what? I do. Not quite to the point of too much information but still… Why? Because I adore my son. He is my world and even on my lowest days he is what pushes me to get up and carry on. It’s the purest and truest love I have ever known. When you know you would lay your life down for someone without a second thought, you know it’s love.

Then there’s the love for your family and the family you choose, your friends. They can drive you mad. You can fall out and squabble but if anyone dare hurt them, then stand back. It’s easy to take these people in your life for granted and not realise just how much they mean to you. I love my friends and family and it hurts me if I disappoint them or, even without intention, hurt them. Only recently there was an incident where mine and Lola’s friendship was tested. Long story short she was in a bad way and thought I ignored her cry for help, that I didn’t care enough to help. However I only found out after the fall out. Up until that point I was completely clueless. But to hear the upset in her voice and reading the messages was heart breaking. I just wanted to hug her like a big sister. The love you share with your family and friends runs strong and deep. They can let you down but you know they are the ones that can pick you back up. Love is family.

I could go on and on. The list is endless. I won’t even start on my love for strawberry laces. Love is everything but nothing. You can’t touch it, you can’t see it. It’s a feeling and shown in the actions towards others. Love can be safe but dangerous, bitter sweet. It can mould the person you can become. What is love? Love is pain.

What Is Love? – Chris

Do not be surprised ladies, do not raise your hands to your lips in mock horror, do not jest and do not tease…it is true that men also have opinions on love and hearts that feel. Dedicated blog follower, Chris, here proves it…

For me, love is all sorts of things.  It’s more than attraction, more than infatuation, but shares some elements.  Love is when no matter what life throws at you, no matter what kind of day you’ve had, no matter if you’ve just had a blinding row; a look, a touch, the presence of your lover makes your life richer, and more vibrant.  Love is when even you do things for yourself, you do it for both of you without even thinking.  Love is never easy, but it’s always worth everything you do.

A few days after sending me this, Chris followed up his email with the following quote, claiming ‘more erudite people put it in much better words than I could hope to’…

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What Is Love? – Solemi

Solemi writes here of a love realised through parenthood, not only the love she feels for her own offspring but how that love opened her eyes to the familial love already present in her own life…

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I had a very strange little childhood, born to a 16 year old confused young lady and an absent father. Until I was 6 I believed a man called Mark to be my darling Daddy. I adored him and one cruel day my violent, drunk, second offering of a Stepdad decided to tell that blonde haired 6 year old little girl that Mark wasn’t my father at all and I was to no longer see him. Cunt.

My Nanny (Mark’s Mum) and I rebelled against it and would sneak to see each other. She would meet me after school and help me hide food in my pockets and shove sandwiches down my throat as fast as she could, because otherwise I just wouldn’t have been fed.

That woman taught me everything I know about rebellion, sneakiness, resilience and love. I lived in a dark, dark world and she was the only thing to make me laugh, smile and feel safe. I remember her tucking me in, all eiderdown and feather pillows and feeling my whole body…rest.

Of course, as time went on I fucked my own life up. I made bad choices, I slept about, I got drunk, I was in a violent relationship… all the good stuff that goes with just not knowing who you really are.
There’d never been a single man in my life who has stuck around. Everyone left. Even before I was born, when I was a tiny little embryo, I had already been rejected. That thought ruled my life for the longest time.

So here starts the changing point.

My first daughter Emily was stillborn at 36 weeks. I was 19 years old and so naive about it all. I blindly did what I was told by the nurses and I had no sense at all. I was completely numb.

I spent the next year completely stoned and trying to rid the image of her little lips, black with death.

I gave birth to my son Sam, a year later. He was the joy in my eyes and the laughter in my soul and life seemed ok for a while. In 2005 I fell pregnant again with a girl and at 26 weeks, I knew she was dead. I knew. I knew. I knew. For 4 days I stayed silent, wanting to keep her within me and keep her safe…like the eiderdown and the feather pillow…let me tuck you in little baby…let mummy keep you warm.

I did not want to go back to that room. I did not want to hold another white coffin and I certainly did not want everyone looking at me with ‘those’ eyes. I knew I would get blood poisoning eventually and I would die with her. Fine. Take me. Whatever.

But then, a little boy’s hand reached up,

“Mummy,why you sad? Can I have sammich?”

Resilience…cheers Nanny.

Amy was born a few days later, perfect dark hair, perfect little eye lashes, perfect little fingernails. Perfect. She was born in the same room, with the same nurses, I held the same white coffin and had ‘those’ eyes look at me, except this time I felt changed. Nothing would beat me. I felt an overwhelming peace with this little girl. I did everything with her that I had felt too shy to do with Emily. I washed her, dressed her and took photographs. I held her tight and drank in as much as I could of her sweet little face. Nothing could beat me. Ever again.

I got rid of the violent boyfriend, I moved into a house with just me and Sam and taught myself how to live a peaceful life. No drama, no tears, no uncertainties.

I am 10 years later now. I have a husband. Sam is doing good with a few mop up moments. I have a daughter. I have a sweet little daughter that, when she sleeps, looks like two little girls I once knew. I will live their lives for them. I will teach my daughter to live her life with no fear, with adventure and with love.

So here it is, what is love?
Love is every moment I’ve had to stand still.
Love is every eiderdown quilt, every cup of tea I still get to share with my Nanny.
Love is forgiveness: I am now very good friends with my Stepdad.
Love is Mark, still there for me.
Love is every little eyelash I got to look at.
Love is every tiny hand I got to hold.
Love is a growing teenager who has no idea how he saved me.
Love is every sunshine filled day and every rainy moment.
Love is letting go. Moving on. Savouring your moments.
Love for me has been a jolly good walk through a really shitty, muddy forest but I found the clearing, I found the waterfall and here I’ll stay.

What Is Love? – Something Vaguely Beautiful

When I asked Something Vaguely Beautiful to contribute to the guest post series ‘What Is Love?’ she was apprehensive. She was in a dark place when it came to matters of the heart, that confusing and lonely place where wallowing in the emotional torment is not only inevitable but almost welcomed. She feared that what she would write would be too dark. She was ashamed of her own feelings. I reassured her we all go to that place sometimes, that place where we defy everything we know about ourselves just to bask in the dim, fading glow of a love unhealthy. Here is her contribution to the series. I am sure you will agree that not only does she express her feelings with a beautiful transparency, but that she is not alone in them either.

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I’d loved before we met. Loves that were pleasant and predictable, commonplace like an old pair of slippers. Boring. I never really missed them after I left them. I am not so arrogant that I will look back in the face of my own experience and say, with the smug measure of certainty so many bestow upon their exes, that those loves were not really loves at all. Instead, I will say that I had never loved anyone in a way that satisfied me, that made me sure that what I held in my hands was truly and definitively love. Until two years ago when we met, in a place far from home.

He was the arrogant, ethereal, intellectual one. I watched him suck and exhale smoke through his thick lips on a dark street corner. Pulled him into my body with such vigour I was no longer sure there were two of us. Dragged my sweating body over his in waves and felt such pride how much he worshipped me. Our lovemaking was animalistic; punctuated with guttural growls and tightened hands around throats. He trusted that I wouldn’t kill him, but he got off on the fact that I easily could. He has since admitted that he often fantasises about me killing him. This love did not belong on a Hallmark card.

We parted after a year, he was supposed to return to my country with me but refused at the last moment. We left things unfinished, words unsaid. I was hurt that he wouldn’t come and he offered no explanation or comfort. I let him hurt me over the next few months because I preferred the pain he inflicted to the complete absence of him. I gave him power with which to castrate me and hoped that the time would come when he decided not to use it anymore. Sometimes I wonder if that wish is merely self-deception and honestly, in the depths of myself, I hope he hurts me until I no longer have breath left to thank him for it.

He’s coming to me now though, in two weeks he will be here and instead of elation I feel anxiety. I think that what we were is finally dying. We’re on our knees again for the second or third time in a year of separation. Maybe this is the last time. Maybe it’s not. Hope is always the last thing to perish.

We ignored this love frequently through the past year, chose to feed our egos instead of our connection. Tried not to be in love, tried not to feel the tug of one another from a six thousand mile range while we both fucked faceless others. Indulged ourselves. Debased our love for instant gratification. Morning always came though, even if we didn’t. That which was not him in my bed horrified me. For the first time in my proud promiscuous lifetime I was disgusted with other lovers, I found them insipid and colourless. Even the beautiful ones could rouse nothing but my disdain. I punished them for not being him.

This love is not what I believe love is made of as a rule; it’s not what it is to most people. I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends or young relatives. Plenty of people will be reading this, saying to themselves that this is not a description of love but of some other thing, maybe obsession or lust or a heady mix of the two, and I concede that maybe those people are probably right. But I call it love because it is the greatest force I have yet encountered and it has transformed me.

It’s not right, this love. Its very us though; not wholesome, shiny or safe. It will be mine when he doesn’t want it anymore. I can use it from now on to remind myself that it happened and to ask myself if it was really worth it. Every tear stain, every drunken message and rueful word spat out with venom. Was it worth it? I can’t tell yet. That glimpse of love that turned into a gaze and the gaze that burned me. I will wear the scars like armour; a reminder to never settle for plain and pleasant ever again but also to serve as a warning. I must try not to seek out a love carved in this one’s image.

But, I’m fully aware that I might do just that regardless.

Update #76

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The sunshine is notorious for bringing out the scantily clad and exuberantly happy and, although it is only Spring that has finally sprung here in England, the positive summer vibes are seductively approaching. People leave their homes like hypnotised lemmings, finding their way to the nearest patch of lush green grass or cool, gently flowing river. Despite this idyllic scene, however, the remnants of a harsh, dark winter remain in the bitter words and actions of those around me. The bleakness has not lifted, but rather been highlighted by the contrasting warmth of the air.

Cheating, lying, sneaking, manipulating, everywhere I turn there is evidence of one supposedly content couple scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel in an effort to conceal or execute the betrayal of their loved ones. I have searched endlessly this week for an example of a couple who are truly succeeding in their partnership and I am blessed to know a few, although none of these are close to home. My immediate influences are a dismal portrayal of the beaten down, the tired, the restless and the unsatisfied. This week I have learned, from example, that relationships are built on tolerating that which you never believed you would tolerate and an unhealthy dose of self sabotage. There is drama, stress and suspicion beyond your control and an unyielding desire to shield from the rest of the world the full extent of your discontent. I have learned that being single is awesome!

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe true love is just around the corner for everyone and my cynicism is about to be thwarted with a direct hit of Cupid’s arrow, but as I sit here at the end of a seemingly beautiful Spring day, I suspect that the weather will be the only thing bringing many of us warmth over the coming months. This, I have decided, is no bad thing. Agree or disagree, you have the opportunity to tell me what you think love is in my upcoming guest post feature, ‘What Is Love?’ Email your contributions to me at lolalittlemiss@gmail.com

In other news, I’d like to apologise for my previous post. Generalised sexist rants based on the behaviour of the minority is not something I pride myself on, but after discovering the Canadian Mountie has a girlfriend (a huge shock considering how persistently he has pursued me recently) I figured a quick spouting of angry, verbal diarrhoea was safer than a full on face to face confrontation. I’m not even interested in striking up anything with the Mountie anymore, but the fact that he thought I would never realise he was already in a relationship, or the fact he thought I wouldn’t care, was too insulting. My last post expressed my rage in the safest way I knew how!

Sex: Not since Weston proudly and valiantly broke my six month celibacy stint!

Drugs: 0

Alcohol: 0

Meat: 0

Caffeine: 0

Mental Health: All good.

Physical Health: I am about as energetic as a sloth! This is, in part, my own fault for missing a doctor’s appointment and consequently running out of medication for my anaemia and leukopenia. A new appointment has been made and in the meantime I am resting and eating well.

Mug Me Off Again, I Dare You!

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This is a mug.

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This is a human being, also known as a person.

Mugs are typically ceramic, with a sturdy handle on one side. I am a human being. I am made of flesh and bone and, although parts of me could be described as cylindrical, I am not a mug. I am not used to contain beverages of varying temperatures. Mugs are inanimate objects. They differ from human beings because people have independent emotions and thoughts, whereas mugs do not. I am definitely not a mug. The differences between myself and a mug seem quite obvious to me and, as I have never been stored away in a kitchen cupboard or had boiling water poured over my head, I can only conclude that these differences are also obvious to the general population around me. With this said, I am still forced to ask the question… why do men keep treating me like a mug?!

If one were to fill a room with balloons that represent every lie, deception or half truth that has fallen from the manipulative lips of the men I have encountered in just my adult lifetime alone, I am quite sure I’d have enough to create a real life, working floating house like the one from the movie Up. In fact, I’d much rather they gave me balloons instead of bullshit, because they’re considerably more attractive and functional.

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Ridiculous? Yes, but then at this present time I feel having faith in the existence of an honest man is a pretty ridiculous concept too.

They lie to appear wealthier, smarter, fitter. They lie to hide a girlfriend or wife. They lie to get what they want without facing negative consequences, to fulfil selfish desires without reprimand. They lie to gain, to obtain or to abandon. But above all of this, my personal experience tells me they lie not because they can, but because they feel they have to.

Somewhere, somehow, men have acquired the belief that women are unreasonable and that, in order to maintain any kind of fulfilling existence, they must lie to us to get what they want. I don’t understand this. If you want to go to the pub for a quick pint after work, then go. Do not tell us you’re working overtime or the car broke down on the way home. If you want to go to the game with a buddy, then go. The world will not implode if you confess to liking sports and male bonding. Take a chance and tell us you want to cancel our date because a rare opportunity for concert tickets has come up. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we reschedule and tell you to have a nice time.

And sex. There’s the lies for sex. I understand that men are genetically inclined to want to spread their seed. The fact that you cannot control the mini-you residing under the cover of darkness in your pants is a biological phenomena not normally conducive with the female counterpart’s desire for monogamy but, although most of us don’t like it, we accept it. That is why we check your Facebook for evidence of a significant other when you booty call us at 3am, or frantically scroll through your text messages when you’re home 10 minutes later than normal. We expect we are not the only woman in your life and we are often right. What drives us to complete despair is not the fact that you are so often misled by your genitalia, but that you have the audacity to lie to us about it. We women are blessed with a gift called intuition. We know when you are lying. We are not mugs.

Honesty isn’t that difficult. I am so brutally honest that it borders on socially inept, but I would rather that then have to be constantly on my guard lest one of my fabrications catches me out. The effort it must take to mentally file and link one splattering of bullshit to another is energy I am not prepared to waste. However, it appears my honesty is rewarded with nothing but more lies, something that frustrates me to the limits of my own sanity.

Men, please, for the love of all that is holy, stop with the lies. If you are incapable of being monogamous then tell us. Give us the option to accept you for who you are, rather than waiting to feel the pain of your deception. If you are confused, unhappy or just plain greedy, let us know. Whatever it is you want, whatever it is you are planning on making us share your attentions with, allow us the basic human right of making the decision for ourselves. We are human beings, not mugs. The discovery of a lie is always more painful that the truth.

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My Vagina Is A Bitch!

I haven’t had penetrative sex in nearly six months. I didn’t even keep count for the first five because it didn’t bother me. My celibacy was a choice I made to aid my mental health and prevent me wrongfully inviting negative people into my life and I was proud of my achievement. This last month, however, has tested my willpower to the very limits.

Every fibre of my being is being held hostage by an uncontrollable and unrelenting lust. I don’t know what to do with myself. I know I don’t want some meaningless one night stand with a near stranger, but at the same time my evil bitch of a vagina is absolutely desperate for some attention. I’ve resolved myself to the fact that if I am going to break my vow of celibacy for anyone, it has to be Weston. We care about each other and respect each other, even if it is not in the same sense as a romantic relationship. I have said before how he has always paid equal attention to the ‘friends’ part of our relationship as the ‘benefits’ and, as my housemate Robyn so rightly pointed out, Weston is the only man I’ve been sexually intimate with in nearly a year. Its not like I’d be adding any more notches to my bedpost, right?

I text Weston, then waited anxiously for his reply. I cursed his name repeatedly for not texting me back straight away and jumping at the chance to bury his face between my thighs again. Then, my phone rang,

‘Hey, what you doing?’

He sounded stoned. I wasn’t surprised,

‘Hey you, I’m just at home. What you doing? Who’s number are you ringing me from?’

‘Mine. Just had a joint. You up to much tonight?’

‘Oh. That’s weird, the name never rung up. My phones been playing up since I dropped it down the toilet!’ It was now or never. My vagina was throbbing, ‘Not up to much. Just waiting for you to come and fuck me’.

‘You’ll be waiting a long time,’ he laughed.

I was slightly offended. This man had been begging me to rekindle our regular bedroom antics for quite some time.

‘Why?! We’ve waited six months already! Get that big, beautiful cock round here!’

He proceeded to ask me where Robyn was and I told him she was home but, due to her own celibacy vow, a threesome was out of the question. He asked me where my son was and I explained that he was staying at a friend’s for the night. The stage was set. I just needed him to play along.

‘So?’

‘So what?’

‘When are you coming round?’

He paused, ‘are you serious?’

My heart leapt into my mouth. I checked the number that had called me again. Then I saw a text message had arrived from Weston. Panic set in.

‘Who is this?’ I muttered gingerly.

‘It’s Isaac! Who the fuck did you think it was?!’

My ridiculous levels of lust had made me proposition a dear, very confused, friend. A friend who is happily engaged to a wonderful young woman, the mother of his child. I now was a desperate and pathetic horny housewife who was willing to ignore the obvious vocal differences and just pounce on anything that resembled an available penis. Isaac laughed raucously on the other end of the phone.

Walt and I were thinking about paying you a visit tonight. I can’t wait to tell him about this conversation!’ he howled.

Robyn stood opposite me, tears of laughter streaming down her face as she realised the magnitude of my error.

‘My fucking bitch of a vagina!’ I squealed, ‘what the fuck is wrong with me?!’

I bowed my head in mock shame and finally read the text message from Weston,

‘I’ll be round in half an hour xxx’.

So, my vagina may be satiated, but I have no idea how long it will take for my dignity to recover!