A Woman of a Certain Age

In July, up in Austin, I was highly offended when the police record over a minor parking dispute referred to me [the perpetrator in this isolated incident] as a “middle-aged woman.”

By the last week of October, for reasons as yet unknown to me, I’d started referring to myself as a “middle-aged woman.

At which point the person to whom I’d provided the reference said to me:

“What, do you expect to live to 102?”

At first, I was so relieved that he didn’t say “108” that it took me a week to ask myself the following question:

How did I go from outrage to gratitude in 3 months?

Or is it 4?

Cathexis and [no] other Malapropisms

So I found out I’ve been using a word I like incorrectly for donkeys’ years now.

Turns out it’s cathexis and its numerous grammatical iterations.

So, colloquially it means “to invest energy in or stimulate” (or its infinitive version is for the grammocrats). But I’m not sure that’s what it started out meaning.

Back in the day, and I could have this wrong based on atrophy of my gray matter (or green matter for that matter; I can’t remember which color matters in matters of brain matter), it meant something else entirely.

Mostly because of two books that I wouldn’t classify as “pop psychology” because they were much deeper than that, but they did have a huge influence on the masses in the ‘70s (that’s of the 1900s).

These books were called “The Road Less Traveled” and something like “The Drama of the Gifted Child” and yes, I read them both. Not in the 70s of course because I was a small child then and wouldn’t have known the meaning of words like “cathexis.”

So anyhoo (that’s the second time I’ve used that term today; it’s not looking great for my green matter), I honestly can’t remember which of the two books addressed the all-encompassing issue of cathexis. Which apparently made such a strong impression on me that I’ve been using the term incorrectly all these years.

See, I thought it meant to love and attach to your caregivers and vice versa, and if it doesn’t happen, you’ll grow up to get really upset when someone drops an ice cream cone on the ground. Or something like that?

If any of my 21 subscribers have read either book or happen to be mental health professionals, elucidation would be greatly appreciated.

Because I’m going to quit “cathecting” to the wrong right things, and I’m going to start cathecting with the right wrong things. Or quit eating ice cream altogether.

Tattoos and Proof of My Financial Responsibility (typos and all)

Example Number One:

Yes, I know I’m not supposed to use enumeration when there’s only one example, but why are you quibbling over something so silly?

Anyway, as I was saying,

Example Number One (which I feel is more than adequate, but whatever):

All these young kids spend a fortune these days in time, dollars, and pain to get tattoos which tell their stories on their bodies.

Well, I haven’t spent a dime on such frivolities (don’t you dare take away my magnetic eyelashes, though!)

Why? If you’d ever seen my body, you wouldn’t ask!

Wasn’t it that Vile John Mayer who ditched Poor Jennifer Anniston (anyone with that first name must be an angel!) that crooned “Your Body is a Wonderland?”

Well, my body looks like Hiroshima or Nagasaki circa early post-WW2. For starters, it starts (is that redundant?) with my boobs. Obviously! You can’t get a biopsy, lumpectomy, re-excision surgery, port placement surgery, port removal surgery, 12 infusions of the ball buster known as Taxol, 1 infusion of the other ball buster that goes by Adriamycin, aka “The Red Devil,” 33 radiation whatevers (which they didn’t tell me at the time totally shreds your skin), 3 reconstruction surgeries, a double mastectomy where they took out the old implants and put new ones under my pectoral muscles which later had to be “expanded” to stretch the skin on numerous unpleasant occasions because I was too skinny, and they also had to pull that muscle from back there by my shoulder blade around to the front so I’d have enough skin as well as put in “cadaver shelves” (honestly, I didn’t ask for the details), and then the final surgery 4 months later plus the nipple procedure that didn’t take and then the nipple tattoos…

I’ll be damned! I do so have tattoos!!

Anyway, I kind of forgot where I was going with this one. Write it off to the premature menopause I went through 14 years ago. That can really screw with your brain and bones, so no wonder my short-term memory is so bad, right?

Anyway, I was trying to say that my body is totally destroyed. I’m fully in agreement.

But it’s also totally badass! You could spend hours just counting my scars and hearing the stories behind them. They go all the way back to my age 3.

And I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They’re so fucking gorgeous I can hardly stand it❣️

Lucifer Rising

I’m starting to get worried.

Most people have a mid-life crisis when they realize they’re eventually going to die. For me, it’s realizing I might actually live that’s throwing me for a loop.

It’s like I finally decided: WTH, I’m here, I might as well have some fun! But the way it’s showing up is very confusing and unfamiliar to me. Let me link my advocate video below for you, my beloved subscribers. Just watch this nice and sweet lady talk.

You can’t help but like her, right? She’s very “relatable” as they say. I hate her. She’s a judgmental bitch, but y’all still don’t believe me.

The problem is that the more and more I expose her, the darker what’s left seems to be getting.

Like I said, I think it’s about having some fun for a change, but I’m not sure that’s it. Instead, it might be about my questioning [and subsequent jettisoning] of the Rules I Have Lived by My Entire Life.

With expulsion of said rules, I’m no longer troubled by those pesky “trials of conscience” and “ethical dilemmas.”

No, I’m just sitting here with my dirty mind and the same determination I’ve used to stay alive the last 54 years. Which has not been insubstantial, let me assure you! We are talking about a Determination the likes of which you might not have witnessed up close and personal before.

So how did I go from an Ingenue to a Succubus in such a short period of time? How did I go from being so nice and sweet to wanting to mercilessly use you for my own selfish purposes and then break your shriveled little heart into a million tiny pieces? While I sit back and laugh hysterically…

Because let’s not forget: you didn’t lose any sleep over the tears you caused me.

Yet somehow it’s not pretty on ME, is it?

Me, a public figure and a viral social media sensation. Should I curb my recent appetites to maintain my reputation so that I can continue to advocate for other breast cancer survivors without a sullied path of discarded lovers to minimize my message?

Hell no! I told you I was no longer troubled by ethical dilemmas! That includes how many tears you’ll shed this time.

P.S. It’s 4 days later, and I haven’t been able to sleep since posting this. Mostly because I know I threatened to break the Cardinal and ONLY rule on Jennifurrville, and that’s to NEVER deliberately break another person’s heart. That’s akin to murder in my opinion, and I’m many things, but I’m not a murderer. Will you forgive me?

My Impending Divorce

Dear Spotify:

Did you not read my post yesterday about how You were one of the Last Heroes of Smartphone Integrity in these days of “Technology Rape?”

Simply for allowing us to listen to our music on your app while actually simultaneously DOING SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE, like paying bills on other apps?

You don’t like being a Hero much, do you?

Because, as of this morning, this one quality – this one thing that made you [somewhat] special – is now officially gone. Erased by Hal (of Space Odyssey notoriety, youngsters) during my “download” last night. You know: the one that goes into that Matrix port in my brain while I’m sleeping?

I’d like to think it was an accident, or something silly like “Operator Error.” Only this Operator isn’t stupid and didn’t turn stupid overnight.

Do you honestly think I have nothing better to do than listen to your music while simultaneously staring at your boring static app?

Maybe I don’t really need your answer to that last question. The more egregious fallout of your betrayal is what you’re literally forcing me to do here.

Which is sending me into the cold, hard, made-of-85karat-gold arms of Jeff Bezos. You know that, don’t you? And after I publicly stated he’s been relentlessly pursuing me for the last few months?

I do not want to be embraced by those arms! Maybe by Any Other Living Arms, but not his.

So what was it they did in the Old Testament? I think it was speaking these words out loud:

“I Divorce You, I Divorce You, I Divorce You!”

-Leviticus or one of the other “First Five”

I’m pretty sure witnesses weren’t required, so I’m just providing y’all with a front row seat to my Impending Divorce.

And damnit, but I’ve had to go through a lot of divorces lately! Not to mention the Two Before.

You know the part I hate the most about Divorce? [I am an undisputed expert, so please do listen well]…

It’s all the crap you have to do (or, The Four “F’s”, as I like to call them):

  1. Fucking Pack up all your shit (*see note below)
  2. Find alternate services
  3. Fill out all that godforsaken paperwork – even if it is digital, it still should be done away with under The Paperwork Reduction Act (**see second note)
  4. And probably most importantly: Figure out how to get your needs met by the new guy (***see third note)

*Theres nothing I hate more than assembling those loathsome wardrobe boxes from U-Haul. And you know I’m going to need about 14, you greedy motherfucker! I’d almost stay with you to avoid this whole process, but I’m starting to get ANGRY now, and trust me: nobody needs to see that. So I’m coming for you, Confounding Tape Dispenser with Teeth! We’re about to renew our relationship.

**Why doesn’t The Paperwork Reduction Act address Paperwork In General? Because it’s high time we got rid of it all! Collectively decided to wipe it from The Face of The Earth! I’ll even use my monthly $10.81 (x 60 months, don’t lose sight of that!) Spotify payment to contribute to that cause.

***Regarding #4: Really? Next to assembling wardrobe boxes, you know how I despise breaking in a “new guy.” After years of cultivating playlists that actually have personal significance to me, you’re forcing me to do it all over again. With a newbie.

I just don’t get it, Spotify. Other than that one time in 2018, did I ever miss a payment? No, I did not. So then…Why? Because you know what? I was actually thankful for the Music you brought into my Toneless Life. I enjoyed adding a soundtrack to my daily life. I even enjoyed that karaoke playlist that I used to prepare for my shitty little performances. Maudlin of me, I know.

Besides, how can I put on a decent performance if I can’t look at the lyrics from Jeff’s sight while listening to said songs? As a matter of fact: your petty jealousy is preventing me from realizing my dreams of becoming The Next Karaoke Sensation. I will personally blame you if my dreams [so fresh and new after having none for so long] never reach fruition.

I thought you loved me, but you just married me for my money.

The truth hurts, but I can’t live with all of you ruthless capitalists anymore! I’m going to join a fringe group like the Peace Corps or something equally radical because like I said: I’m really starting to get pissed off here.

Did I not just advise you to Never Underestimate Me?

What’s that expression again?

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

-Not sure

Well, can I just say that this woman is feeling both scorned and furious right now?

So if you’ve done me wrong, I suggest you start implementing counter-surveillance maneuvers and change your locks. Also, you might want to park that Ferrari somewhere with controlled access. I know you’ll just get it fixed, but my keys are really sharp and I can’t help that they start vibrating in my hand when I see your fleet of luxury automobiles in my pot-hole-riddled parking lot.

Please Come to Austin…

Let me tell y’all a little something about Austin, Texas. It’s sure changed a hell of a lot since I was a young college student between the years of 1984 and 1987.

It is now a big mega-hub for the Lone Star State (who I can criticize because I was born in Austin in 196X (it’s a very high number, rest assured). The reason is because we’re whoring ourselves to bring jobs to the state, and we dangled some pretty shiny baubles to make ELON swoon and bring his crew here. And don’t forget the Venerable Joe Rogan’s “studio” is here. Well, technically about 70 miles North of here -as the crow flies.

Anyway, let’s just say that God reached down and kissed me by letting me live in Austin the three and a half years I did. You can see a photo of me with my former roommate (now a highly respected doctor) in our 3-bedroom house we rented for $600 a month. I’m willing to account for inflation, but what’s happening in Austin is very sad. The people from California moving here got way more money when selling their houses there than they cost in Austin, driving prices to unaffordable levels for the locals. This has had a spillover effect on rental prices as well. My friend Julie has been a colorful regular Austin character for 35 years, having waited tables at virtually every restaurant in that town! Oops, sorry, I forgot it’s not a town anymore.

Well, Julie can no longer pay her rent on the hovel she shares with an abusive man since they just raised it from $900/month to $1400/month. After 8 years of tenancy. But when I write about what’s going on in Austin on LinkedIn, nobody “likes” what I have to say. Side note: LinkedIn isn’t very ENFP-friendly. Things can get pretty artificial over there, so I prefer it over here when I feel like I need to express myself. Thanks again, Readers❣️

Anyway, right wrong or indifferent, I got my stimulus check and immediately booked an Airbnb for the month of July in Austin. I hadn’t really spent any time up there in so many decades, and I needed to get away for a while. You feel me? July 2021…Quarantine…with my elderly parents…need I say more?

So… I boarded my ghetto Maltipoo, Cooper, into my 2007 slothmobile and we headed up to Austin on July 1st, 2021. We got ourselves into some “misadventures” up there in that “supremely cool,” Live Music Capitol of the United States of America.

Now the details aren’t as salacious as my COLLEGE years, but if you want to hear about Austin, you have to tell me. This is SOCIAL media, after all❣️ If ONE PERSON says they want to hear what happened in Austin, I’ll tell you.

Otherwise: what happened in Austin STAYS in Austin.

For “Alonzo”

I have another idea. I know the current situation with the parents isn’t ideal, but you know that’s temporary. So consider:

What do we need, like 15 minutes, 10? Seriously, I think we can safely say we only need 12 minutes total for this.

I will start to mention to my elderly mother and stepfather that I am “seeing ants again.” I’ll mention it a couple of times max.

My Poor Mother’s OCD will be so activated by this alarming news that she will immediately want to call an exterminator. I will tell her I’ll take care of the details.

In the meantime, you go to Home Depot and buy one of those hose apparatuses (apparatusi?) that you use when you have to put Round Up on the weeds.

We set the date and you show up with the Round Up thingy and a dark polo shirt (preferably one with someone’s name on it if possible) and a pair of khakis. Your name can be “Jose.”

You’ll discover an area of intense concern in my bedroom. You’ll say the ant hive is located immediately beneath the flooring just over the door jam in my bedroom. So you’ll have to shut the door for at least 20 minutes, certainly no less (always under-promise and over-deliver).

I’ll claim to be so violently ill that I couldn’t possibly leave the bedroom that long in my current state. And that if Jose is okay with ME and his chemicals aren’t going to kill me, then he can stay and we can just go ahead and close the door.

Both of them are partially-to-completely deaf, especially my OCD mother, which is a mercy for us.

At that point, we have 10-15 minutes to “get rid of some ants.”

You just have to promise to TRY to keep it down. My mother could potentially feel the vibrations and begin collecting trash bags throughout the house, as is her preferred process when having one of her OCD “attacks.” And she’s particularly worried about the trash in my room, what with the ants and all.

But still: what a deal, right? Fifteen minutes of PURE ME for all of $29.99. I’m pretty sure that’s the best damn special Home Depot’s EVER had!

The Soundtrack In Jennifurrville today: Heroes

We’re off to a great start today! It’s better if you play this song at the same time as you look at the [revised] lyrics. Fortunately, Spotify still allows you to play the songs you pay $10.81/month to listen to while on other apps, so thank you for the generosity, Spotify (big shout out to you for owning all our music until we unsubscribe, at which point you take your music away – even the downloaded stuff!)

But I digress. You simply have to hear Bowie’s voice crack when he amps up the volume towards the end (minute 3:17 for those who feel the need to skip ahead). At this point, the song has the potential to transport you to the Land of Unicorns and Leprechauns. I want to go.

I’ll even rent an Uber Bus so we can ALL go❣️

https://open.spotify.com/track/7Jh1bpe76CNTCgdgAdBw4Z?si=kp_cBA7hSAKaSrZ8KCtw1w

I, I will be king (queen)
And you, you will be queen (king)
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I’ll drink all the time (smoke weed)
‘Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we’re lovers, and that is that
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time just for one day
We can be heroes for ever and ever
What d’you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We’re nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we’re lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Brian Eno / David Bowie / Andrea Schroeder

“You Never Miss a Play though You Make Quite a Few”

I was a young and impressionable 14-year-old when Billy Squier started singing his songs, playing his guitar, and strutting around in that special way of his in 1981.

I don’t care what disgusting things everybody says he did in that video from the 1990s. He can do those same disgusting things to me❣️

TWENTY-FIVE HOURS A DAY AND EIGHT DAYS A WEEK.

My Ideal Date: The Key to My Heart

Booking a private karaoke room so I can sing about 6 hours’ worth of songs in my shitty voice to ONE OTHER LIVING PERSON. And not freaking out if I cry in some of them. I’m talking about the kind of tears that come with some snot.

I know it will be hard to recover from the snot part, but should he find himself able:

It really bothers me that I can’t see the stars at night anymore. I used to see them every night when I parked my car in the driveway when I was a teenager in Atlanta, Georgia.

I just want to go see the stars in the sky again. That’s the key.

P.S. The Karaoke comes with lots of dancing. So there’s always that.

Desperately Seeking Sensitive Nigerians; Love Letter to a Scammer

I don’t want to sound paranoid or racist, and I most certainly don’t want to insult sensitive Nigerians in ANY way. But can someone out there explain the recent explosion in my Nigerian “audience?” I can assure you I am seeking illumination only. I’m actually BEGGING YOU to school me on my ignorance of how my admittedly-externally-privileged upbringing between two Southern United States between the late 1960s and mid 1980s, experience with chemotherapy and similar exhilarating adventures, and feeling abandoned by my husbands after choosing personal relationships over my career actually RESONATES WITH YOU??

I’M. ON. MY. KNEES. LITERALLY. BEGGING. YOU.

To tell me how my experiences with those experiences resonate with YOUR experiences of your experiences over in Nigeria.

Because I want us to collaborate on a book. Apparently we are kindred spirits, true soul mates, in spite of the fact we have absolutely nothing in common. I mean, you could pretend to be someone you’re not, but why would you want to do that? No, if my words RESONATE WITH YOU, YOU MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY.

So don’t be afraid to step forward, Sensitive Nigerians❣️ I want to provide a safe place to “connect“: a virtual community for those processing traumas from childhood, breast cancer, and divorce. And other VULNERABLE, Middle-Aged Women. Divorcees and the like.

All of us sharing freely and openly. Right here. Just waiting.

With knives.

The “Me” in Meme

I’m going to try to do this like my younger friends on YouTube (is it called a meme?)…

PERSON: “helpful advice

ME: (inside head) DO YOU THINK I DON’T ALREADY KNOW THAT…AS WELL AS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF MY PERSONAL FLAWS?

ME: (outside head) manifested “sensitivity to criticism”

Journal, 10/13/21

I can’t tell anybody this, but…

I’m simultaneously the most insecure AND the most intelligent person I know.

No wonder I’m no good at Marriage.

But what are the alternatives for a woman, aged 54, who still desires connection and love? When I’m being serious, people think I’m interviewing for a husband. When I write “I’m not interviewing for a husband; I have no set agenda” on my online dating profile, I get NO responses (or if I do, I’m asked what I’m wearing).

I don’t mind admitting I’m very confused by the dating scene in 2021 for middle-aged people (God, am I going to have to call myself a “senior” next year?). I seem to be very attractive to WOMEN and COUPLES these days, which kind of freaks me out. I think these women want to be my friend, but they don’t: they want to be my friend. I don’t even know if they want me for themselves, their husbands, or both.

This really weirds me out because I’ve relied on my gut instinct my whole life, but it seems to be failing me these days.
I admit that, as a heterosexual who came of age when gender was a binary concept, I’ve become a clumsy reader of the signals and vibes I get “out there.” I’ve also been accused of being things I’ve never considered myself to be, like:
•a tease
•overly flirtatious
•too uptight
•too liberal, and [in the absence of closure, I’d have to go with]
•too damaged.

How does a person who religiously goes to therapy every week fix being “too damaged?”

I honestly don’t think I’m the problem. I’d love to go out with a male version of me. I think maybe the ones who think I’m too damaged are too damaged themselves to see my [inner] beauty?

I surely don’t want to have to fish for compliments and ‘status reports” all the time in my next relationship. In fact, let’s say it out loud together:

WE ARE DONE WITH THAT❣️

WE WANT AND DESERVE ONE GREAT BIG MESSY, DESPERATE PASSIONATE LOVE AFFAIR BEFORE WE RELOCATE PLANETS❣️

WE ARE FASCINATING – just think of all the boring first date conversations we’ve carried and made interesting. Not everyone can do that!

LET’S JUST TRY TO LOVE OURSELVES FOR A WHILE, because:

WE ATTRACT WHAT WE PUT OUT, and what WE put out is highly unique. It probably takes decades for huge Humpback whales to find their mates-for-life. I don’t imagine they have mixers and matchmakers. And they must be practically extinct or there wouldn’t be “Save the Whales” bumper stickers everywhere (maybe not everywhere NOW, but everywhere ONCE).

I think I’m comparing myself to a Humpback Whale now, which reminds me that I use metaphorical language a lot. I’m just not a typical, normal person.

And you know what? I’m so frigging glad❣️ The worst type of lonely is being anxiously attached and disconnected from the person lying next to you in bed. In a dry and dead marriage with someone you never should’ve married in the first place.

Been there, done that, paid my dues.

We’ll just hang out here with the Whales for a while, Thank You. 🐳

My “Chiaroscuro” Head

My comment on a YouTube video re: “Assertive vs. Turbulent” results on the online MBTI assessment:

We’re all ENFPs living in an ISTJ world, and that can be stressful when your life is lived in cycles or episodes rather than boring old linear time. I’m definitely an ENFP-T, but my Turbulence (Traumas) have made deeper as well as darker. I happen to think the juxtaposition of light and dark (chiaroscuro) is more beautiful than light alone.

From Nerdwriter1’s YouTube channel

I learned the term chiaroscuro during my upper school years at a private prep school in Atlanta, where we took weekly vocabulary quizzes from a workbook called “Wordly Wise.”

We took these quizzes – that tested our spelling and comprehension of approximately 15 new words per week – every week of every year of upper school (grades 9-12).

Since neuroscience tells me my brain was still developing at that age, I credit this process for building a large vocabulary in my head. I believe Wordly Wise is the reason I remember the meanings of odd words like “bivouac” and “chiaroscuro” over 35 years later.

So,thank you, Wordly Wise!  
By providing me with an arsenal of words, you’ve enabled me to better understand my inner and outer worlds.

Post Photo: A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery, a 1766 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, demonstrates the use of chiaroscuro lighting in his work.

Keeping Low with the Kardashians

Journal, 10/07/21

https://youtu.be/srxia1lPsac

After 10 years of active avoidance of and determined disengagement from All Things Kardashian, this Family’s incessant ubiquity and unrelenting pursuit of my attention have me simultaneously crying “Uncle!” and “Enough!”

I was hoping by 2021 we could collectively agree that all women are beautiful just as they are: tall, short, curvy, hippy, short-legged, big-busted, waifish, dark, light, red, white… it’s all good because there’s Someone for Everyone.

In a culture where we proclaim to value the individual, we will still select Archetypes to emulate. I had [mistakenly] assumed these people represent the best of what we humans are capable; ordinary people who’ve found themselves in extraordinary circumstances and, to their surprise as well as our own, find themselves accomplishing extraordinary things. These heroes inspire us to forsake the comfort of Now for the anxiety of What’s Next; the status quo for a moving but more suitable target; what we know for what we’re willing to learn. Because that’s what our Role Models have done!

However, when the people we’ve elected as our Exemplars, our Paragons of Femininity, venerate vapidity, praise pretentiousness, celebrate superficiality, extoll egotism, and magnify manipulation, we need to replace them.

Or am I the only one suffering from Kardashian Fatigue?

SEVEN GAMES TO EXPLORE YOURSELF AND OTHERS

1.CONVINCE ME!

(2-6 Players, Rules Expand with More than 2 Players):

Convince Me! is a debate game which allows one player 5 minutes to convince the other of his or her position towards an issue of frequent debate: if it’s talked about on social media, on television news shows, or at family dinners and cocktail parties, it’s a potential topic for an earnest and heated game of Convince Me! Methods for selecting the specific topics for debate are described in further detail below. However, if you understand half of a nighttime talk-show host’s opening monologue, you are well-equipped. Since Player 1 chooses the initial stance being taken on the first round of Convince Me!, he will choose to go right, left, in the middle, or altogether different in his debate.

After each player completes his or her 5 minute argument (aka: does a Convince Me!), the other player will articulate a 15-30 second summary of their “opponent’s” view: this is merely a brief restatement of the original argument, allowing player 2 to communicate he/she understands the original viewpoint and clear up any misunderstandings. Player 1 approves or corrects the argument if necessary – this is NOT a time to debate the topic further, however. Its sole purpose is clarification and it shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds. The next step is for Player 2 to articulate a differing view from Player 1’s (his or her opportunity to perform an opposing Convince Me!). It should follow all of the same steps to express, restate, and clarify as the original Convince Me! – and should do it in the same time allowances. At the end, if this is more of a conversation than a game, you can debrief your Convince Me! and how you really think…or just allow the conversation to proceed organically. If this is being played as a game, particularly if there are more than 2 players (but no more than 8), it has to be played as a partial spectator sport: when the two active players are doing a Convince Me!, the remaining players should be actively watching and/or participating in some other way (cheering, encouraging, picking sides, whatever). Then after the 1st

Convince Me!, the table goes to the next player pair. They play their own turn of Convince Me! Choices must be made as to whether extemporaneous pairings are made immediately before play or at the very beginning; whether topics of debate are chosen immediately before play, selected for them by the group or another playing pair, or even chosen arbitrarily from scraps containing topics previously-brainstormed by the group or printed from a standardized list

*There is a difference between the conversational version of Convince Me! and the wildly popular game version. If you are simply playing conversational Convince Me! you can choose to debate the topic of your choice. Some experts even recommend using the Convince Me! framework as a means for resolving marital and relational disputes.

2.FIVE MINUTES

You will receive 5 open-ended questions selected by the other player and will have 30-60 seconds to answer each to the best of your ability within that time frame. Examples include;

1. What’s your favorite musical composer, group or band and why?

2. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last 5 years and why?

3. Do you like your older daughter’s new husband? Why or why not?

4. What is your son’s most native gifting and do you encourage its expression?

5. Think about a moment in time when you remember saying to yourself: “I am so happy. What were you doing and what was going on around you?

Next, player 2 gets to ask the same 5 questions or a different set of questions. Methods of selecting questions are the same as they are in Convince Me! (selected extemporaneously by the asking player, selected randomly from scraps of previously chosen questions, provided by spectator players, or chosen from a standard list).

3.SELL YOURSELF

You have 30 seconds using real-life examples to state why you’d be the perfect person to fill a position as a ___________ (insert other player’s choice). An example is “Why you’d make an excellent PLUMBER or BAKER or AUTO MECHANIC using real-life experiences. The more challenging and incongruent the better, though you can start easily and work your way up to the harder ones. After player 1 finishes, it switches over to next player, but in any round, he or she is allowed to say “You’re Fired” if you’re not REALLY trying!!

4.EXPLAIN IT TO ME LIKE I’M A GUY (or GIRL):

Here you explain something to a member of the opposite sex the exact way you’d explain it to friend of your same gender. The most interesting explanations come from questions of an interpersonal nature. For example:

1. “Explain your last breakup to me like I was a guy (or a girl, depending).”

2. “Explain the reasons for your divorce.”

3. “How do you feel about your daughter’s boyfriend?”

4. “Describe your dating experience so far.”

Provide the explanation (between 60-120 seconds, unless you opt to relax the time constraints – it’s more exhilarating with the limits; more relaxed without). Switch to the other player and have him/her answer the same question the same way – as if to a good friend of the same sex.

5.EXPLAIN IT TO ME FROM A MAN’S/WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE:

This isn’t explaining the topic TO a member of the same sex; rather it’s explaining it to your date (or friend of the opposite sex) from the perspective of someone of your gender. It’s not a debate, it’s a creative game and there are no right or wrong explanations. You can play it stereotypically (all Andrew Dice Clay-like or Stepford Wife-like) or didactically. It’s one player’s chance to get the opposite sex’s view on topics of interest. Or simply to create a spontaneous, amusing, or even over-the-top farcical explanation from the point of view of a character – like a drama exercise. The choice is yours. Some topics could include (female-generated for men to expound upon):

◦ Why men are interested in the whole “Sugar Baby Concept”

◦ Do men really “get scared” sometimes and need to pull away, or is that just a line? And why?

◦ Why do so many men watch pornography?

◦ What do most men watch when they watch it and then why?

◦ What does it feel like to have lots of testosterone combined with youth (ie, what does it feel like to be a teenage boy?)

(Maximum 3 minutes for each issue).

6.FIVE FAST FREE-FALL:

(15 seconds each)

1. 5 favorite bands

2. 5 favorite songs

3. 5 favorite movies

4. 5 nouns that begin with the letter J

5. 5 verbs that begin with the letter I

6. 5 adjectives that could describe a bike

7. 5 best cities for museums, musical performances, and other forms of artistic expression

8. 5 best cities for a romantic vacation

9. 5 happiest moments (45 seconds for this one)

10. 5 kitchen items and their Spanish equivalent (30 seconds)

11. Last time you felt scared (only 1 answer needed; no time limit)

Extra credit round:

—Last 5 times you were disappointed (45 seconds)

—5 Best Vacations Ever

7.IMAGINE

You start by stating your story situation. This is a good default:

“Imagine you were the King of Texas, like a member of a monarchy. You have jewels and mansions and personal wealth and you can never be removed from the job. You wake at leisure from a beautiful bed and the first thing you do is………….. ‘because you want to’ ……… “ (you have to provide a reason for what you do before handing it to the other player). Then player 2 says:

“Then you ……….. because you want to ………”. It goes back and forth like this until the story runs its course or you can tweak the method of play by setting an arbitrary time limit in which the challenge is to think and answer quickly. Both types of play constitute a fantastical game where together you build an entertaining story. You can play it straight and easy, but it’s actually more fun if you each ‘reach high’ and the player who follows you has to provide answers that actually make (even unrealistic or creative) sense. The goal is to create a story without bounds, being clever but silly in the process. The benefit of this game is that it usually results in laughter – which we all know is good for the soul and contributes to overall “salud.”

I think most of these games are best with 2 players sitting face-to-face, but they can all easily be modified to include up to 6 players.

WHO WRITES THIS KIND OF STUFF?? AN ENFP, I GUESS.

May, 2021

Textpectations & Blocking

I’ve noticed there’s a certain type of divorced, middle-aged man who will block you as soon as you start asking bitchy and extreme questions like:

“Why are you breaking up with me by text?”

“Is something wrong?”

“Why aren’t you replying anymore?”

Are you okay?, and the ever-fatal

“Can you call me so we can discuss it?”

I’m proud to report I’ve been officially “blocked twice.”

Thank you for Loving Me Not

Thank you dear Steven for loving me Not.
For if you had, I might not have met Scott.
You never did meet My Most Precious Self.
To keep her secure, she remained on the shelf.
I made the decision to follow my feelings
And found the conclusions to be quite revealing:
To start you must find a fully grown male,
Who’s brave enough to be Willing To Fail.
Someone who knows just fast Time is fading,
Someone who’s sick of damned Internet Dating!
Without any conflict, I hadn’t a clue
Whatever I did that so “unfulfilled” you.
My only regret’s that I wasted my time
On someone who‘s neither “Christian” nor kind.
So let’s end on Goodbye, but you MUST listen well:
Do take good care but then
GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Spring 2021, Edited October