Complaints of a Committed Woman

[EDIT: I should have clarified this further before publishing this article. When in situations/settings where looking for romantic partners is expected (bars, clubs, etc.) I’m quite up front about my state of availability and/or interest, because I certainly don’t want to waste anyone’s time who’s trying to get lucky. It’s more benign settings such as school, or work, that I find this to be a difficult situation. ]

I don’t initially tell people that I’m in a committed relationship, especially men. This is in part because it’s not always the first thing that comes up when I talk to people, and in part because I’d like to actually talk to people without them worrying that my partner will come rampaging out of the bushes to beat them up.

Point: I’m a young adult, but I am an autonomous adult, who has value whether or not I’m in a relationship.

Unfortunately, in my experience, this isn’t always the first thing on peoples’ minds when talking to me. And no, I’m not complaining about people mistaking my status for single and attempting to ask me out: I’m flattered when that happens. What disappoints me is the silence I get when I mention my partner in passing, or when (if I don’t catch it soon enough) I have to clarify the situation. It’s like people saying “well, you’re off the market, why would I bother talking to you?”

Let’s take a look at that saying, “off the market”. First off, I’m not a piece of livestock. Back to the point above, I have value in my individual personality regardless of whether I’m “available” or not. And I’m an optimistic person, most of the time. Chances are, I think that you have value regardless of your relationship status.

In all likelihood, if I’ve engaged you in conversation in the first place, I think you’re an interesting person. I think you’re someone who I’d like to get to know better, because I adore being surrounded by fascinating, fun people. I’m lucky enough to have many amazing friends who bring all kinds of wonderful depth into my life, and this exchange of ideas and experiences is what makes the courtship of friends worth it. All those awkward first text messages, facebook interactions, invitations, the dance is all worth it if a connection of value grows.

Let’s take a look at that term now, a “connection of value”. I made that up, but I like it. For me, that means that in knowing each other, we mutually benefit from sharing viewpoints, stories, recommendations, advice, laughter, all these really neat things that we wouldn’t have if we hadn’t met. “Friendship” is an overused term, in these situations. It’s loaded. “Friendship” calls to mind the dreaded (and repeatedly disproven) “friend-zone”. So yes, I’ll call you my friend, because it’s an easy label, and nobody wants to be a personified “connection”. If anyone has a better term than “friend”, let me know. “This guy I know”? Agh.

Point is, when I refrain from saying I’m in a relationship, it’s not because I want to “lead people on”. That’s the furthest thing from my mind. I believe that my relationship status is not the entirety of my being, and I appreciate it when other people think the same thing.

friendship

Kind of related?

What do you think? Comments are appreciated, I’d really like to know.

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3am why’s

I’ve just had that moment where I’ve reread the instructions for my assignment and realized I’ve been writing in the detail that a 6-8 page paper deserves, and all they want is one page double-spaced. I chose a poem that’s 94 lines long. Ffffft. 

Grumpy Cat AWesome

This is my score for myself. I can’t remember where I got this from. If it’s yours, please tell me, I’ll give cred. It’s lovely.

And so it goes. Tomorrow, stay tuned for a) why my friends are the best friends ever, and b) how much Afrikaans I’ve learned in the past two hours (it is so difficult my mouth doesn’t make those sounds). Cheers.

Birthday Festival Begins

Today’s my birthday.
A one-woman holiday!
The party starts now.

My family adopted a new tradition about a year ago from one of my parents’ friends: Birthday Festival, also known as Birthday Week. Starting a day before your birthday (so as to include the last day of the previous age), you get to do/eat/party whatever you like for a whole seven days. Within reason, of course. For some reason university doesn’t accept “Birthday Week” as sufficient reason to extend paper deadlines.

For me, this is the perfect invention. I love my birthday. Always have, always will. I think it has something to do with my being very self-centred, because the thought of a day where everyone is nice to you and you get free things (sometimes) AND presents? It’s glorious. Like the haiku above states: a one-woman holiday. All for me (and everyone else born on April 5th, but that’s besides the point). And now it gets to last a whole week! My cup runneth over.

BIRTHDAYS

art by me

art by me

When You Notice Me

I walk across each day not noticing people noticing me. Sure, I’ll notice the appreciative once-over from the guy on the bus when it’s too early for me to care that yes indeed my legs are still very much there, and I’ll notice the girl eyeing my tights as I pass her in the hall, but mostly ’cause I’m busy checking out her fantastic curves at the same time. But with most people, I don’t notice them noticing me.

I notice other people quite a lot. Friends, strangers, acquaintances. I notice their jawlines, cheekbones, how their hair falls just so across their eyebrows and brushes their forehead with a certain, quiet grace. I notice the girl standing in the Tim Horton’s lineup with the raucous auburn curls cascading down her shoulders, and I want to run my fingers through the corkscrews and soak up their warmth.

I notice socks, smiles, freckles. I notice eyes: pale, muddy, piercing, jewel-toned, clear, warm, endless, crinkled in laughter, half-asleep, studious. I notice hats, the colour and each specific dip and bow of their lips. I notice lipstick. I notice the delicate curve of collarbones and neck-pockets and hips and hands waving excitedly, soft hair curly hair long glorious wavy hair facial hair stubble eyelashes.

I notice the three birthmarks on the girl’s neck sitting beside me on the bus, like baby fingerprints dipped in molasses.

But when I notice you noticing the small dots on my neck, like some errant painter dipping burnt umber speckles across my skin, curving taut over my collarbone, hiding behind my ear, I notice you noticing me in quite a new way.

Your new eyes make my skin crackle.

© Emily Bragg 2013

I spy with my little eye….50 of you!

Well hello! I’m befuddled and thrilled and aghast with pleasure, because I opened my account today and lo and behold: I have a little red star thingy that says “Congratulations on Reaching 50 Followers”! As I’ve really only been blogging here for about a month an a half, this crazy support from the WordPress community is just unexpectedly delightful.Thank you, to all you new shadow-friends, and cheers to the old ones for sticking around, you lovebugs you.

Especially during this strangely grey month of February, where every ounce of friendliness counts double-weight. Also, I promise to try and upload pictures of my artsy stuff, I’ve been neglecting that exponentially since I got this thing up and running. Anyways. Thank you, thank you, thank you—ooop, and there’s 51! HELLO

I can’t even. Thanks guys.

lovelovelove

lovelovelove

 

© Emily Bragg 2013

Focus On The Advil Side

Little things like a cup of hot, strong tea, a sweet kiss on the cheek, a touch on the hand; they let me focus on what’s going on around me, all the good that’s around me.

Especially now, when my uterus is using my lower back as a punching bag (those near and dear to me have heard various similar metaphors, along with the utterance “my uterus is a treacherous bitch“) and I’m living Advil to Advil.

I just, I hate acting a stereotype. I love everyone around me, even when I’m angry. It’s just that these distinctly unpregnant pangs emanating from my lower abdomen can get a little aggravating. And if I snark at you, it’s just the moon-lady talking.

That, or you’re being unforgivably irritating.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Apology Epoch

I’ve found myself apologizing to people a lot lately.

I’m not certain if it’s because I’ve been more offensive
Or I’ve just noticed my actions
And the way I can sometimes be both a slap and a distraction
To people.

The attraction of risking others’ emotions is
The Attention, the resultant direction of
Eyes towards my antics, my words.
I’m the first to admit it.

And too often
I don’t look at what I’ve said
Until the later hours, when someone says
“Hey,
That really hit me hard.”

And then I apologize
Because at that point there’s no other words
To make it less stinging, less hard;
Even “I’m sorry” really won’t heal that much
Of the scar.

I say scars, but only ’cause it rhymes;
Maybe there’s been a few times
Where I’ve been so unkind that it cuts so deep
The surrounding tissue puckers and heals awry,
But mostly they’re bumps and bruises,
A few paper cuts.

Don’t think I don’t care, I’m
Scared of what I do when I’m not looking
To the people
I care about.

I know the best solution to my apology condition (my
blatant inattention) would be to
Tone down my actions.
I’ve never really done that.
I don’t know how to backtrack or which
Words lack the stinging smack of
Unintended harassment.

The only solution,
The only viable battle plan is to listen
Instead of speaking
And try to swing it so I don’t seem sullen, don’t attract
Attention with my silence.

Some of my favourite people
Are completely understated.
The ones who say the funniest things
In the quietest voices.

It’s not in my blood to be that way.
But I could quiet what I do,
Save the energy for emergencies and
Say better things.

Draw out this marrow and
Replace it with
Liquid quiet
So I
Have
An endless internal supply.
Quiet
Replicating cells of
Quieter quiet. It grows
Quiet.

I grow
Quiet.

© Emily Bragg 2013