r-rated men.

Yes. With most everything. Emotional impulsivity, I'd call this.
Confession: normally, I advertise these blog entries on my public/writer Facebook page which automatically cross posts to Twitter. And then, if I don't think my mom is going to be shocked or offended, I also advertise on my private/personal Facebook page. But when I write entries that are very very personal or very very crazy, I don't do any kind of advertising, not even as a direct link on Twitter. Because I'm worried C will see them or at least hear about them, because I'm connected, via Social Media, to many of his friends and family. And I also have some friends and coworkers who religiously read what I write here, and I don't want any of them to think I'm crazy. (Ironically, they probably already know that I am but think it's in a good way and don't judge me for it. It's just a weird insecurity of mine. I think.)

At any rate. This is a blog entry I'm not advertising. You'll see why in a minute.

Can I tell you some stories? They all relate back to why I refuse to date men whose names start with the letter R. I'm not kidding. If I ever re-marry and his name starts with the letter R, I officially give permission to anyone who stumbles upon this to come back and remind me I said this, and I will come to your house and clean your kitchen and bathrooms for you. I'll even do the toilets, and I HATE doing the toilets. 

So I once lived in Arizona. On the US/Mexican border. And I don't know if it's because the Sonoran Desert is full of ley lines and maybe buried aliens waiting for the signal to rise up and eat all of Earth's humans, but so many strange things happened to me during the three years I lived there. So, so many. One of the strange things was I only found men whose names started with R. 

First, there was Ralph. I was so in love with Ralph, but for all the wrong reasons. Ralph had severe commitmentphobia issues, and they were so deep and so fucked up even THIS commitmentphobe can't wrap her head around them to this day. And, because I was in my insane 20s, I wasn't wise to the ways of men or the world at that point. I wore rose-colored glasses and really, seriously believed in magic. (FYI: I still wear rose-colored glasses, but they are filthy now. And I do believe in magic, but it's become more of the Mother Nature-focused kind of magic.) 

When Ralph sneered as he described his disdain for women who (I quote) "get out their claws, find a shoulder to latch onto, and don't let go," that was like a very, very large lighthouse shining beacon in my face, glowing red and yellow and blue and all the other colors of all the first responder vehicles in the entire world. It also made me get out my claws and try to sink them into Ralph's shoulder. Which made him turn into even more of gigantic dickhead than he was just for saying women have claws. (PSA men: if you talk and think about women like this, YOU'RE the problem, not them.)

In other words, Ralph eventually broke my heart. Not as bad as Steve did with his box of darkness, but Ralph sent me into a "I just don't UNDERSTAND" kind of tailspin. I have the journal entries from 1996 to prove it. There are even tear stains on some of them.

Then, there was Rick. Rick was probably the weirdest man I have ever dated. I can't decide if it's because Rick worked out in the desert for a living or if it's because I met him in a bar. Possibly both. At any rate, the flashing emergency lights with that man were probably when Rick informed me he'd met his ex-wife in a bar, and 24 hours later asked her to marry him, and 48 hours after that they were. 

They got married. Seventy-two hours after meeting. Not joking. 

I think their marriage lasted a year, actually. But she left him. I don't know if it was just compatibility issues, she couldn't take all the dirt and dust he tracked in from the desert each day, or maybe it was just that Rick didn't like to talk. And I don't mean have deep discussions about important Life matters. I mean talk. SPEAK. As in: use words. The entire time I knew Rick, I think he said a total of 300 words to me. 

Once, my mom came to visit me and Rick took us both to San Diego, to the zoo. After we got back, my mom and I sat down and she looked at me very seriously and said, "Tell me why you like him so much." And I couldn't answer, because honestly I had no idea if I even DID like Rick. Rick was desperate to sleep with me, but I didn't even think I wanted him to kiss me. And so I kept going on dates with him, I think to make a decision? But he rarely spoke, and so it was hard to know which way to decide. 

My mom echoed this concern, and then had to leave. When I saw Rick after that, one of the 300 words he said to me were: "Your mom hates me." And I tried to tell him that wasn't true, but quite frankly even though she hadn't actually said it? Yes. My mom hated Rick. And so after that, I just told Rick I wasn't really feeling it and we shouldn't see each other anymore. 

And so Rick got his brother and they both came to visit me at my apartment, and like the insane girl I was in my 20s, I actually allowed them both inside and did not have a phone in my hand ready to dial 911 for the police. After explaining to Rick's brother why Rick wasn't for me, they both eventually left. I don't remember exactly what Rick's brother said to me, but I do remember shaking as I closed the door. I look back on that moment as a 43 year old mother now, Internet, and I tell you: by everything that makes sense under the sun and stars and the wind that blows, I should not be alive today. And I have no idea how I escaped Arizona without at least one aggravated sexual violation happening to me. (On the other hand, I think your 20s are for making all the wrong choices, and also I think I've written here that I do have a yellow-colored guardian angel who's very protective.)

Then, there was Raul. Raul was from Mexico and spoke no English. Fortunately, I speak rudimentary Espanol and so we had some nice conversations. He came over to my apartment with stuffed animals and flowers (ick) and I ended up having a one night stand with him. He called me "mami" over and over as he climaxed, and simply because of THAT (oddly, not the stuffed animals) I refused to ever talk to or see him again. I knew it was a cultural thing, but uh. NO. I do not want to be a grown man's mami, mamma, mom, or mother.

Also there was Raphael. Raphael was sweet and kind and attentive and funny and...engaged. Which Raphael neglected to tell me about until after we'd slept together. Nice. And then Raphael spread the word to all of his bar buddies that I'd sleep with them too, and so for many months after that sometimes I'd go to a bar with friends and some man would buy me a drink and then when I turned him down for more and refuse to leave with him, he'd get really angry and tell me that's not what Raphael said I'd do and that I was actually a hideous cow. Thanks, Raphael. Hope you've been divorced ten times now, hope you have an incurable STD and your testicles don't work.

Last, there was Ron. I wish I could recreate Ron's speaking pattern for you. I couldn't decide if he sounded like an old-fashioned news anchor or an auctioneer or whatever, but his speech pattern was up and down, up and down. Weirdest talker ever. He was like something straight out of a Seinfeld episode.

I met Ron from classified ads. He answered mine, and I agreed to meet him for lunch at a Chinese place. I remember driving up and seeing him standing outside the restaurant, waiting, and I immediately went, "Oh god. Oh god, no. Don't make eye contact, Amy. Don't make eye contact!" But Ron saw me and I made eye contact through the windshield. And I didn't want to be an asshole and stand him up. And so I sighed, parked, and went in for lunch with him. 

The problem with Ron wasn't just his weird manner of speech. It was also the fact he was 5'4" (I am 5'9"), wore an ink black toupee, and had a thick porno guy moustache. I couldn't decide if he just had severely bad fashion sense or was actually just a child pornographer. 

Anyway, once we had lunch, Ron wanted to marry me. Or at least come live with me. Or attach himself to my legs and never ever let go. And I was such a different person back then. I'm a people pleaser today, but I've learned: it is okay to say no. It is okay to just be very honest and tell someone: you are not for me. And then wish them well and move on. Which I THINK I tried to do with Ron, but I just wasn't as firm back then as I can be now and my people pleasing tendencies were off the chain. And so I kept meeting Ron for lunches and dinners and movies, simply because I didn't know how to fucking get rid of him. In my defense, I was only 25. Not even 10 years away from 16. 

I remember one time I had to return something to my friend Sonja who worked part-time at a CD/book/DVD store called Hastings. I'd gone to dinner with Ron, so he came along with me while I made the drop off. She was working the CD section that night, and as I walked up to her, she grabbed my arm. She pulled me close and whispered violently, "Amy. I don't want to freak you out or anything, but there's a creepy guy right behind you. I think he may be stalking you. He keeps following you and he looks like a pornographer or a disgusting child molester or somebody who might...I don't know, like attack you." 

And I freaked out. Holy shit! Who was following me?! And so she described the man to me, kind of pointed at him, and I turned around and went, "Oh. Oh wait no! That's just Ron. That's the guy I told you about." 

Suspicions. Confirmed.

Here's how I finally got rid of Ron: I moved. To Georgia. Also, when I informed Ron I was moving to Georgia and so there'd be no more dinners or movies, he said he could absolutely quit his job and get another one in Georgia so we could be together. Forever. 

Oh, Reader(s). Oh my god. I still want to weep with weariness and terror when I think about that conversation. I hadn't even kissed Ron, and he was planning to spend the rest of his creepy life creepy stalking me. 

That's it. Those are all my men with R names stories. And so now? I refuse to date men who have names that start with R. 

Oh, wait! No. It wasn't just Arizona. When C and I were separated for 7 months in 2007, I did meet another R-named man called Robb (yes, two b's and I don't think it was his real first name; I think it was his mother's maiden name) who was a raging conservative Republican. Robb was actually pretty okay as a person if a little off-color; it was just that as soon as I started hanging out with him, he immediately started tracking my every move and then acted like he wasn't when I called him on what he was doing, trying to make ME sound like I had a problem. And, truth be told, I really wasn't that into Robb physically, and we certainly didn't see eye to eye on anything political. I eventually went back to C and Robb got offended by that, and so now I have no idea where Robb is. Probably hanging out at the strip club he took me to on our first date. (I am notoriously unable to see the beacons of emergency lights flashing. Though once I do, and I get it, choirs of angels sing and I know exactly what to do. It just takes me 100 mistakes and awhile.)

I want to talk to my counselor about my patterns with men next time I see her. Not specifically R-named men, but men in general. I wrote about this one time, about how I end up with men who cage me or use me. (Can you see my patterns in the Arizona [plus one Georgia] R-named men?)

Internet, I don't ever want to get re-married (and legally can't right now) (And frankly? Legally? I'm not even supposed to be entertaining the idea of meeting new men right now either.) I actually don't understand Western culture's obsession with marriage; historically, it was a way to treat women as property, chattel. I married C because he'd kind of made it a challenge ("when you're like THIS and you change yourself to THIS MUCH, I'll put a ring on your finger") and also I felt like marriage offered protection and security if one of the live-in partners died or whatever. 

Now I can see it's really just something legal you can do for insurance and tax purposes. Other than that, I don't really see the value in it. I also think it's antiquated in that so many men automatically assume when they marry a woman she's going to take their name. I once heard a radio disc jockey rant about never ever wanting to be with a woman who refused to take his last name. What the whaaat? That seems so very chauvinistically penis-oriented to me. Ask me why I never changed my last name...it was always a point of contention between C and me. He thinks if I ever do get re-married again, I'll take the new man's last name; that not taking his was me being not really committed to him or punishing him or whatever. Nope. It was just that I already have one man's surname...why take on another's? And why do WOMEN have to do it? Why don't men? Because marriage is an antiquated form of human ownership. (It's okay. It's fine. You can call me cynical and jaded; I really don't mind.)

And I don't (and legally? Right now I'm not even supposed to be entertaining this idea) even want to be in a committed relationship with a man right now. Relationships involve work. Lots and lots and lots of work, and I'm all kinds of different levels of exhausted at the moment. And sad. And jaded.

But I will confess: I miss the company of men. I like men. They freak me out sometimes and make me angry and I absolutely positively refuse to date a man whose first name starts with R. And I don't want to become entangled in a relationship that would be hard to explain to my 6 year old much less my estranged husband (legalities, legalities). And I do worry about becoming too attached in spite of what I say I want right now. Just because...you know...filthy rose-colored glasses and a residual, clinging belief in magic. 

And also I find men to be very confusing. Some will say one thing and then do another. I know women do this as well, men. So I guess what I'm really saying is I just find other humans confusing. As someone who says what she means and means what she says and sucks at being fake and telling lies, I have always had a very difficult time navigating the fucked up waters of humanity. Which is why I get used, maybe? I dunno know. I just know I want to go to dinner with someone of the opposite sex and enjoy it. Or have dinner with them at my place, and enjoy it. And I want to have sex again, but only with someone who knows what they're doing and I want to have touching me and isn't too fucked up. And then send them away and not worry about them for awhile until next time, because I have so so many other things to worry about right now. But also not get entangled in something messy or end up getting used. Getting used is the worst thing ever. But so is being entangled in something overwhelmingly messy. My life is messy enough.

If THAT wasn't a big enough order for the Universe, I'm also really very picky. I don't want to hang out with just any man. And not going out for numerous dinners with someone who looks like a stalker pornographer. Or calls you creepy terms of endearment like mami. Or wants to move in with you after 24 hours. Or is an asshole. Or is nice upfront but then turns into an asshole. Or continues to vote for fascists. Or clings to your legs like a psychotic piece of out of control lint. (This list goes on for about ten more paragraphs, so I'm going to stop there.)

Okay. That's it. I have no idea how to find a human being who fits what I'm looking for. Or how to wrap this up, so I'm abruptly ending here. See why I'm not advertising this blog entry? I hope C doesn't have any P.I.s following me. 

(On a related, stream-of-consciousness side note, Edward Snowden just got a Twitter account. I'm following him but not publicly. Because I think that would make Edward pretty proud of me, to know that I know not to let the NSA in on knowing I pay attention to what Edward Snowden thinks.) 

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