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  • How to Stay in Love and Be Happy in a Relationship ForEVER!

    I think we all know the narrative of the classic love story. Human meets human. They fall in love. They have sex 3-5 times a day. They think this will never change. They know they are the real deal, the ones who have found the hidden elixir of eternal love and lust. They are convinced they are different. They move into together. They are happy. But who’s turn is it to unload the dishwasher? Why are your dirty socks always on the sofa? Don’t use the sponge to wipe up the floor! THAT’S FOR THE SINK! No, you take out the trash! I did it last time. Who’s turn is it to make dinner? But I cleaned up yesterday! Why are you in such a bad mood all the time. No, YOU’RE THE ONE WITH TOO MANY EMOTIONS! Why are you always interrupting me? That’s my story… I want to tell it! I don’t want to watch that show, I want to watch THIS show. I guess we can have sex. Did you brush your teeth? Does that mean I have to brush my teeth? No it’s fine, I’ll do it. Wanna put some music on? Not that track, I hate that track. Have you always had this mole?

    The intimate relationship of living with a person and committing yourself to them is not an easy dynamic. Cohabitating means you’re exposed to MANY different sides of a person. No one is in a good mood all the time or has the energy to consistently be on their best behavior, so as a consequence you’re going to see the worst of your partner. (Except for me, I’m always a delight) It’s the moments of witnessing the shadow side of your lover that you may even feel some hate for them, but here is the question – how long do you hold onto that hate? How easy is it for you to access forgiveness?

    Genuine forgiveness is the KEY INGREDIENT to keeping the cherry pie of your relationship stay fresh. When you start to resent your partner, and are unable to forgive them for their behavior, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. Forgiveness is best accessed when the other person owns their shit and can say to you, “Whoops, I know I just took a huge metaphoric dump on the rug of our love and it’s smelly and moist, but hey, I’ll clean it up. Maybe the scent will linger for a bit, but I won’t deny my shit stank up the room. I also have this Nag Champa incense we could burn.”

    Of course, not everything a person does is forgivable. People can be abusive and if you’re living in that paradigm and keep forgiving then you’re putting yourself in danger (emotionally and physically). Yet for many of us our problems with our partners aren’t major red flags but more insidious scratches all over the body, and if you have too many, you will slowly bleed to death. You have to have time to heal each abrasion before the next one forms because even if they scar, they at least are no longer open decaying wounds.

    Having unconditional love for a person doesn’t mean you don’t have boundaries. I used to think that to show unconditional love I had to always say “yes” and do what a person wanted. But that’s not sustainable. Saying “no” is sometimes the most loving act you can do if saying “no” means you won’t resent them in the future. Unconditional love is what we are looking for, yet that means we also have to give it. So how is this achieved?

    We have to separate the person we love from the behavior we want to choke them for. People don’t change, but behavior does. It’s hard to fathom changing who you are, but it is totally possible to change how you act. When you’re with a partner you love and respect you have to take their feedback of your behavior and modify accordingly. Chances are the stuff you do that drives your partner crazy also drives everyone else fucking crazy. Your partner just nags you about it more because they have to goddamn live with it!

    We have to train the person we want to be with to be the best versions of themselves. Just as if you got a puppy, you wouldn’t just expect that puppy not to piss in your shoes. You’d train them how to act so they’d know what behavior was acceptable. Some people lack the skills of being a good roommate and they have to be taught how to be so they aren’t insanely annoying. The more your partner is willing to be influenced by you, and learn from your wisdom, the more you will be able to work together in being the best versions of yourselves more often.

    A lot of my friends who date men often accept their ways because they assume that’s just how men are – especially around the house. NO! People have so much potential for growth, you just have to figure out the best strategy to motivate them to work with you not against you. Many men haven’t been taught to access their nurturing, caregiving, or homemaking sides. But a life partner than can cook, do the laundry, care about your emotional needs, express their emotional needs, clean up after themselves, take care of children, is a person that’s more fun to live with. When the woman takes up all the slack of running the house, holding the emotional space, and has to also work a job – she’s going to feel bitter. When a person refuses to evolve you’re going to resent the shit out of them. But you sometimes have to train your lover to learn that evolution is best for all parties. The better person you are to your partner, the better person you are to the world at large.

  • Toni Bologna’s Valentine’s Day Guide To a Loving, Lasting, Lusty, Relationship

    Well it’s that special time of year again where you look at the love of your life, gaze into their adoring eyes, and say, “Fuck, is CVS still open because I forgot to get you something?” Or maybe you’re single and feeling society’s absurd pressure that being alone means your lonely because no one likes to admit the deepest loneliness you will ever feel is in bed next to a person you’re sick of fucking. No matter what your predicament, Valentine’s Day is ready to make you feel inadequate! Yet even though I think Valentine’s has become a commercial nightmare of modern materialism that infiltrates expectations and manipulates minds into feeling eternally unsatisfied regardless of relationship status, it’s still cool to celebrate love I guess?

    I love you, because you love me, and I need you to love me so I can love myself… so thanks for that! As such, here is my gift to you. My Valentine’s guide of relationship advice that I think will make you less of an asshole. You’re welcome!

    1. Treat Others How They Wanted to Be Treated: There is the common cliché to treat others how you want to be treated, which is all fine and dandy with strangers, yet I think you can do better with your partner. You can’t just treat your partner how you want them to treat you because you are different people with different needs. I for one, find unloading the dishwasher an aphrodisiac. Nothing gets me wetter than a clean kitchen! Yet I can’t expect the same of my partner! The key to showing love to the one you love is knowing them well enough to understand THEIR love language. The more you observe what makes THEM happy and what makes THEM feel loved, the more you can speak to them your adoration with your words and actions. It’s not enough to know what you like and what you want, you have to take the next step and learn what THEY like and want. Just because you like a finger in your ass doesn’t mean your partner does! You can’t just go around blasting asses without knowing the crucial information of this being an appreciated act! The key to being a loving partner is having curiosity about how your partner wants to be loved and appreciated. If this feels mysterious to you, then ask your partner how and when they feel most loved by you and I’m 100% sure they will have some suggestions.

    2. Just Because You Feel Mad Doesn’t Mean You Have To Act That Way: People fight in relationships. This is normal. Sometimes you get mad at your partner. Sometimes your rage is reasonable, and sometimes it’s your own fucking problem. Yet when you’re angry it can be hard to differentiate if your reasoning is rational, or merely a product of your own unresolved issues. But guess what you guys? Just because you’re mad, doesn’t mean you have to act that way. You can easily express with words, “I’m upset by your actions and need to take time to process my feelings,” yet still act cordial. There is literally no reason to ACT like a dick just because you’re hurt. You can be hurt, yet simultaneous treat your partner with respect. They aren’t going to hear or understand your pain more just because you’re huffing and puffing, slamming doors, yelling, or breaking computers. You don’t have to put your partner down with insults, or have that aggressive guarded energy where your face is all contorted and your body language resembles Mike Pence. You can be mad and act kind at the same time!

    3. Only Argue When Your Heart is Open for a Solution: You know that feeling when you’re really upset about something, and you’re just not ready to not be upset? Well that’s the worse time to talk to your partner. When your heart is closed and your holding onto your anger, bad day, frustration, nothing your partner says is going to change that. It’s fine to have your heart closed and wallow in self-pity, but that doesn’t mean you have to inflict that energy on the person you love – that’s what Fiona Apple is for. When you don’t feel like feeling better, then fine! Stay in that mode and listen to music, or punch a punching bag. Yet there is no need to argue in that state of mind. It won’t go anywhere! You’ll just go round and round in circles in a merry-go-round of past resentments. Only talk to your partner about problems when your heart is open to finding a solution.

    4. You Don’t Have To Join Every Fight You’re Invited to: Sometimes your partner is in a pissy mood and ready to pick a fight, yet that doesn’t mean you have to accept their invitation. Nine times out of ten we inflict pain because we feel pain. So rather than getting seduced into a blame game about not filling up the car with gas, instead try and show compassion that the person in front of you that is being really argumentative, and annoying, and making you want to pinch in the genitals is probably hurting from profound unsettled past traumas. This is a great opportunity to take a step back, breathe, and see if you can help them uncover what is actually causing them suffering.

    5. Get Ready for A Life Time of Forgiveness: You’re going to have to forgive your partner for their bullshit behavior… a lot. Just as you’re going to have to forgive yourself for your own bullshit behavior. Getting close to someone and fostering intimacy means that people will let their guard’s downs, and sometimes get emotionally lazy. When you’re around someone a lot, it’s hard to always be your best self, and that’s understandable. When you feel truly comfortable around someone, you tend to have moments where you try less hard, which leads to lame behavior. So when your partner acts wack, the best way to forgive them is coming together to understand WHY they acted that way. Dissecting the motivation of destructive behavior will help change the pattern. The more you focus on the “why,” and not the “what,” the easer it will be to understand each other and ourselves. So the next time you do something that you later realize was pretty unnecessary, figure out why you acted in that manner, do your best to understand how to improve that part of yourself, and forgive yourself for not always being your best self because you can learn a lot from your worst self too.

    6. You Don’t Have to Change to Be Loved, Just Suck Less: A lot of people feel the pressure to change in a relationship. You have to change to be a better partner. You have to change to be a better person. But guess what? You don’t have to change. Change in an insane expectation. We aren’t grasshoppers that can morph into locusts to create ecological mayhem across the grasslands! We’re humans, and no matter what, we can’t change that fact. I’m telling you to stop expecting yourself to change because change feels very daunting and basically impossible. Thinking you have to change is exhausting, and will probably make you not even try. How about you see things this way? You’re already a perfect being of light with infinite potential. All the things you want to be, you already are, or have the latent talent to be. You want to work harder… well; there is a part of you that already knows how to do that. Just be that part of you more often. You want to eat better? There is also a part of you that knows how to do that, so be that part of you a greater percentage of the day. You want to be kinder, more patient, more loving?? You already are those things somewhere inside you, just be that way more often. You don’t have to change; you just have to be your best self for a greater part of the day. You don’t have to change because you have so much beauty inside you already because you are perfectly capable of being your best self more often.

    7. You Have to Share Reality With Your Partner: This one is key, and has a lot do with self-reflection. You have to be open with your partner and yourself about the wounds of your past. You have to understand your inner child, how they were traumatized, and how they act out in your adult life. You have to take the time to unpack your conditioning, and deprogram yourself from society’s socialization. This is no easy task and most people avoid asking these hard questions because it’s emotionally taxing to truly take the time to know yourself. But the more you know yourself, the more you can be vulnerable and honest with you partner about your inadequacies. This is crucial because the worst thing you can do to your partner is hurt them deeply, and then not understand the pain you caused. But you can’t understand the pain you cause, unless you understand the pain you were caused. It’s like a bio feedback loop of suffering that Elon Musk should make a car from and then blast into space. When you know yourself, you can better understand your impact on your partner, and share their reality about how you’re perceived. Maybe you’re really jealous because a past love has cheated on you? Maybe you take out that jealousy on your partner because you’re scared of losing them? Maybe your jealousy manifests in a destructive way that pushes your partner away? You have to own that you’re like that, share why you’re like that, and work together to heal from past pain. Maybe you feel love is conditional because your parents didn’t emotionally invest in you and you felt abandoned? Maybe that makes you hyper needy and subsequently smothering? You have to embrace the truth of your fears around love because you are unconsciously punishing your partner because of past pain. You have to share in the reality you create with your partner, and both equally understand the parts you play. You can’t be playing Othello while your partner is playing King Lear. Those roles don’t share a common reality. You have to be in the same Shakespearean saga with your partner and develop a mutual understanding of both the love and pain you share.

    February 14, 2018 • emotions, Musings, Relationships, Sex Stuff • Views: 1606

  • I Need a Vacation From Myself

    When most people go on vacation, they find themselves relaxing at the beach, drinking Mai Tais, taking in some light reading, and sleeping in. When I try to vacation I tend to have my ego ripped out of my psyche so I can fully examine all my demons and search deep into the dark depths of my soul to uncover all it is about me that is vile. To each his own.

    It’s not like I had that intention when I got on the plane to California. My initial vision was that I take a work meeting, and then visit my lovely friend in LA to go on adventures. It was the perfect idea to get me out of my head because so far, no matter where I go, I keep bumping into me. I figured hanging out with a childhood friend who also happens to be one of the best people on planet earth would be the ideal getaway. Not to say that didn’t happen – but it wasn’t exactly the light-hearted jaunt I had intended.

    The first 24 hours were pure bliss. Everything you dreamed a vacation would be. But then, on a hike, my knee started to hurt. Not because of any reason mind you, it just hurt. I knew what this meant. It meant it was time for my soul to communicate to my ego through the language of my body. OBVI!

    My knee hurting was holding us back from all the fun things we could be doing. I knew the pain was a message I had to decode, because my body breaking down is when I am forced to do my deepest self-reflection. Otherwise I’m always on the move, trying this, doing that, being here, going there. But when my body slows me down, I am forced to think about all the things I avoid thinking about.

    In a way, the ego journey was obvious. I was in LA. LA represents much more to me than just a city that will soon be underwater, or blown up by North Korea. LA is the mecca of ambition and success in my creative field. A lot of people ask me why I don’t move to LA, especially because it’s kind of hard to network / break into the business when you live amongst the trees in rural New Hampshire. Sure I often go outside and pitch my witty feminist script ideas to the squirrels, but they are so damn critical about narrative structure.

    I’m an obsessive and ambitious person, but I don’t really thrive when I’m in places like New York and LA because I get too distracted. My FOMO takes over, and I end up flitting about to this place and that like a hummingbird with ADHD – always looking for the next place to be, or the next person to talk to. But when I’m isolated in nature, with nothing to pull me away from my work, I’m infinitely more productive. As an artist my life choices make sense because they facilitate creativity and productivity, but it’s not like I have any big success to brag about either.

    A lot of these questions were coming up for me, but they are nothing new, and were not the mystery behind my knee pain. Then my friend made a comment… “You want to come here to LA to make big strides” and it really struck me. Not only because I have freakishly long legs, but also because the wanting to make strides was so clearly manifesting in my knee.

    That night I went to bed, and I couldn’t sleep. I started thinking of how unconsciously judgmental I can be of my friends who are more focused on relationships than me. How there is this way I’ve felt superior because where they’re busy thinking and talking about guys, I am busy thinking and talking about my career. Constantly. I had to realize that I am no different than my friends looking for love. The yearning I have for my career is the same. I’m just as pathetic as a teenage girl the morning of prom, waiting to see if someone will call. I’m just as boring talking endlessly about this project or that, as any girl talking about this boy or that. I mean both conversations involve dicks, mine just happens to center around how to turn the vas deferens into a character for a video.

    I woke up that morning and my knee pain was gone! I did it! I was free to finally enjoy myself right?

    NOPE!

    Then the next day my back went into spasm. Of course.

    What the dick universe? Now what?

    I could barely stand without shooting pain, so I had to think, and I had to think fast. Why? Why was my back in this tightened state of constant spasm? I realized that the seed of the spasm had been planted in a yoga class my friend had taken me to earlier in the week. I don’t usually go to yoga classes because I’m a teacher, so I practice yoga on my own. There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to go to class because no one challenges me in the same way I know how to challenge myself. So this yoga class felt easy to me – which of course I KNOW IS NOT THE POINT OF YOGA, but I had a lot of energy to burn that day. Rather than just enjoying the experience I was having, I kept making everything harder for myself. Doing 7 of a pose instead of just the few she was suggesting. I had to realize that are many times where I’m trying to make the moment more than what it is.

    That was exactly it. That was my problem. Always wanting things to be more than what they are. The struggle of enjoying what is in front of me. Now this is something I know intellectually – that I should honor the process not focus on the goal – but having a philosophical understanding is not the same as a visceral one.

    The challenge is that existing in the present is a lofty goal, because if you think about it, there is no present moment – only the past and the future. What we think is the present moment is actually the past because it takes time for our brain to process the data and information to make sense of the reality in front of us. The now is already over. This moment just happened. It’s like the line of the horizon – it actually doesn’t exist. It’s just our perception. In theoretical physics, there is no difference between the past and the future because they’re treated exactly the same. Yet we are told to live in the present to avoid the suffering of obsessing about the past and future. Suffering is not caused by the external realities around us, but rather the internal thoughts inside of us. Our minds are the cause of our suffering. Wanting to be somewhere else other than where you are is the root of suffering. Not being able to appreciate what is happening because you have a craving for something different. A person who does not crave cannot suffer, yet achieving that state of Nirvana takes a discipline so many of us lack. So we run from pain towards pleasure… always wanting less pain and more pleasure. As long as we exist in that paradigm, we will never be satisfied because we will always be in this state of craving more or less of something. That is the irony of the human condition, one obsessed with the illusion of linear time. Time is a circle. Time is infinite. The past could be the future. Time is barely relevant in this multi-verse of multi dimensions of infinite time and infinite space because the universe is not only expanding away from us it’s also accelerating. That’s all I had to learn. DUH!

    Here I am when I was 19 and on vacation in Greece… god I was so much simpler then! Just sticking my tits out enjoying life like a normal person.

    May 3, 2017 • Adventures, ambitions, emotions, Musings • Views: 1296

  • Lessons From A Love Triangle

    Women tell each other everything. Donald Trump’s locker room doesn’t have shit compared to the average relationship between two women. If you’re in a relationship with a women, you can bet your sweet ass that every single one of her close friends could pick out your dick in a police line up it’s been described to her in such precise detail. Her friends know if you’re munching on muff, and that you like taint tickled in the morning. I highly suggest you never look those ladies in the eyes again.

    Women tend to have incredibly personal, intimate relationships with each other. They’re comfortable sharing their feelings, admitting vulnerabilities, and discussing the minutia of their lives. I’ve no joke had a friend send me a pic of her puss once, asking if a mysterious bump looked normal. Female friendships often border on therapy sessions, and definitely tow the doctor patient confidentiality line considering how much we reveal to each other.

    Men however, are mostly more reserved in their relationships with other men. Where women tend to talk about themselves in their conversations, men talk more about subjects. If you were a fly on the wall listening to a bunch of chicks chatting, chances are you would here a lot about love, relationships, family, and other more personal themes. And definitely a lot about periods. Yet a gaggle of guys would discuss more abstract subjects – sports, cars, politics, current events, etc… It’s not because men don’t care about their personal lives, or women are uninterested in social issues, this is more a reflection of different cultures of communication. I’ve had many deep philosophical inquiries about societal matters with my lady friends, but those talks are not as common. Just as I am sure there are moments where a dude will open up to a friend about some problem he’s having, but that’s also a more rare occurrence.

    Because of this, most hetero men don’t get into deep personal confessions with each other, and only have women to expose themselves to. This creates a dynamic where women see the weakest part of a man, and are the only ones he will reveal that part of himself to. The role of women is then defined by picking up the emotional fragments of not only each other, but also the men in their lives. Their romantic connection becomes burdened by the reality that she’s the only person he ever opens up to. He doesn’t turn to others to get advice about their relationship, or learn how to better behave – and only has her to process his feelings with. That’s a lot to ask, especially because you then expect her to blow you like a Nintendo cartridge circa 1989.

    I think this way of being is doing a major disservice to all genders! We need to shake shit up!

    Wouldn’t we all be happier if these ratios changed around a bit? Although I am genuinely interested in the relationship plights of my friends, I think women need more opportunities to talk out some of their shit out with dudes. We need more cross gender friendships, and for men to take on emotionally driven conversations. That way my girl can get some insider trading information about the male species – and I can get a break from hearing about how Carl is a douche nozzle so she and I can spend our energy discussing the Federal Reserve instead.

    I also think male relationships would benefit if they relied on each other more emotionally. It’s said the men are some of the loneliest people because they lack genuine feelings of closeness to others. Masculinity doesn’t encourage revealing the underbelly of your emotional self, and hiding that part of you can make you feel isolated and alienated. We need to teach our men and boys to gossip like the girls of the WB.

    Girls are conditioned from a young age to know how to deal with issues around relationships, and intimacy. Most media targeted to girls have subplots of love. Almost every cartoon The Munch watches has talk of boyfriends, or the characters having crushes. This pony likes that pony and wants to marry him, or this monster thinks that monster is a cutie-pie (despite the fact his body is covered in scales). Young boys, however, don’t often talk about these things with each other, and media they consume isn’t pushing these concepts down their throats. There is no ménage à trois in Transformers. Because girls are exposed to relationship drama, they start to develop an understanding of the importance around it, where with boys they lack the language to start the conversation because it’s not in their lexicon.

    I was playing with Munch the other day and I couldn’t believe her emotional intelligence when it comes to matters of the heart. She’s like the ultimate wing woman. As can be seen in the below drama that was created with the Little Mermaid dolls.

    Munch: Okay Mama. You will be human Ariel, and I will be mermaid Ariel.
    Toni: But aren’t they the same person, just different time periods?
    Munch: Ummm they are just different people now.
    Toni: But both named Ariel?
    Munch: Right. Human Ariel and Mermaid Ariel.
    Toni: Got it.
    Munch: And Human Ariel is in love with Eric. You act Eric too. But you have to make them really in love, and I better believe it.

    BETTER BELIEVE IT! Okay… so my plan was to fuck with Munch a bit, and let her know what it’s actually like when your friend is in love.

    Munch: Hey Human Ariel, you wanna play?
    Toni: No I can’t. I’m in love with Eric, so I just want to spend time with him. I don’t really have time for you right now.
    Munch: Oh. That’s okay. I totally understand.

    WHAT??? That was her reaction?? To totally understand!!?

    Munch: Hey Human Ariel, I made this new friend, her name is Barbie. Do you want to meet her?
    Toni: No Mermaid Ariel. Like I said, I’m in love with Eric so I really don’t have time for you right now, or meeting new friends. I just want to spend time with him.
    Munch. That’s okay. That happens when you’re in love. Just let me know when you’re done and ready to play.

    I WAS LIKE HOLY SHIT! THIS KID REALLY KNOWS HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND.

    Toni: Okay Mermaid Ariel. I’m bored of Eric now. I’ll meet your friend.
    Munch: Hi. I’m Barbie. Sometimes I get bored of Ken too. It happens. Shall we go an adventure?

    Okay… it’s official that Munch is ready to be an awesome friend when she grows up.

    April 5, 2017 • emotions, Musings, Relationships, Sex Stuff, Vagina Stuff • Views: 1153

  • Donald Trump Self-Esteem

    I think the one thing we can all learn from Donald Trump, is how to maintain unwavering positive self-esteem, even in the face of total failure. His confidence is remarkable! He doesn’t care about the approval of others! If people aren’t into him, he just thinks it’s a lie constructed by the fake news made up of a bunch of dummies. Trump’s sassier then the sassy friend in a movie who knows how to sass it up!

    I don’t know about you guys, but I could use some of that Trump-esteem. My life is filled with rejection. I am constantly dealing with people telling me, “thanks, but no thanks.” It’s hard to keep going in the face of that. When you work in a creative field, you have to be somewhat, if not completely delusional. Even when people tell me that the films I make, or the things I write aren’t good enough, I have to tell myself “keep trying Toni… Not everyone is going to understand your style of genital humor.”

    But if I were in any other profession, say a surgeon, and hospitals kept rejecting me – I would probably stop. I would never be like, “they just don’t get my type of surgery.”

    If I were a lawyer and lost every case, chances are I would quit, rather then yell at the judge, “my law is post-modern, avant-garde, reductionist… and you have no taste because you’re provincial philistine!

    The other day I went for a walk, got pretty stoned, and thought to myself “wow, I am the hardest working unsuccessful person I know.” It would be one thing if I didn’t work that hard, then I would have an excuse. I could be like, “well Toni, you never really tried.” But I really try!! Then I started to think that I must just not be that amazing at anything, and my current life is the consequence of my being un-amazing. Then I got soooo hungry. But then, I got a new video idea!

    I think we all have to deal with disappointment and rejection – whether in love, work, school, or public approval. Yet even though we are a social species, we also can’t allow other’s to define our sense of self. In matters of the heart, we often take breakups so personally. “Oh dear, that person doesn’t love me, therefor I can’t love myself.” Well, maybe you were an asshole every so often and could have done more to clean up your dirty dishes. But you can learn from your mistakes and still think you are worthy of love. Rejection, although damaging for the ego, is also an opportunity to grow, improve, and better define what it is you actually want.

    So in these dark political times where the face of Donald Trump causes my mouth to water at the precipice of constant retching, and my vagina to dry up, ready to turn itself inside out – there is something positive I can learn from him. I can channel his unrelenting pride. And you can too, the next time an entire world thinks you’re a piece of shit.

    Looks like I need a dose of Trump-Esteem!!!

    March 30, 2017 • Current Events, emotions, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1613

  • Not Playing the Game is the New Game

    How much do you censor yourself on a daily basis? Do you ever find yourself in situations where you want to say one thing, but instead say another in fear of how you will be perceived? How defined is your personality by the expectations of others? Do you feel like your true self has to be tamed or contained in order to protect your feelings and spare yourself from rejection?

    What would happen if everything you wanted to express, you actually did?

    As socialized humans most of us have it ingrained in us that we think before we share, and consider the emotional reaction of others when deciding how to behave. When people shun these rules, or challenge them, they are often out-casted. Yet what do you think are the cultural norms that serve us in our humanity, and what are the ones that keep us from it?

    The other day I was meeting a friend for lunch at the Green Grocer, and decided to do a bit of grocery shopping before hand. As I was loading up my bok choy and bone broth at the register, I suddenly had the feeling that I may have just shit my pants. As you can assume, this is an alarming sensation mixed with a fair amount of anxiety. At that exact moment my friend entered into the store, and started talking to me. Now, it’s kind of hard to be yourself when you’re questioning whether or not there is shit in your pants. So I did what any normal person would do… leaned over and said, “I may or may not have just shit my pants, and kind of need to investigate before I can be fully present.”

    Look… I get it that discussing sharting is not typically grocery line conversation. Yet at the same time, how frustrating is it to talk to someone who isn’t really paying attention and doing weird gestures with the bottom half of their body? Wouldn’t you rather know the truth of your company dealing with a potential bodily crisis rather than thinking you’re boring them as they stare off into the distance with an expression of deep questioning and angst?

    Lucky for me, there was no shit in my pants and I could continue with lunch unfazed by such an inconvenience. However this delightful experience did get me thinking about all the things that we hide from each other that actually might be important to know.

    Like most people, I exist in a quantum mass of contradiction. It’s not like I don’t care what people feel about me, because I do… I just don’t care what people think about me. Does this make sense? I think this comes from the two influences of my parents. My dad is like a social ambassador to the UN. He’s incredibly polite, he can talk to anyone, and he has the uncanny ability to charm even the vilest people. Where my mom will go into a store and ask the sales lady if the leggings she’s trying on is giving her a camel toe. THIS IS WHERE I COME FROM GUYS!

    I am a peacemaker. I care deeply about the emotional well being of others, but if within that context, you also happen to think I’m totally out of my mind, I’m okay with that. I feel like everyone has a mental illness they’re covering up, and the best thing we can do for each other is pull back the veil.

    Yet I also have to acknowledge that the way I deal with people has been fundamentally different from the way I’ve dealt with the opposite sex. When I was in high school my view of men was that all boys use girls. I decided that I was NOT going to be the sucker, or get used by some fucktard dude, and my solution was to cheat on EVERYONE I dated. I figured if I used guys the way they used girls, I wouldn’t feel used. So I always had multiple boyfriends, and lied to everyone. It all culminated when I was 18-years old and ran the Boston Marathon. When I got to the finish line I saw my boyfriend that went to my school, the boy I was cheating on with my boyfriend, another boy who I was having a long-term emotional affair with, my out of school boyfriend, and finally another boy I was leading on. So after running 26 miles and seeing these five boys do you know what I did? I KEPT RUNNING!!! I tried to run home… but everyone stopped me. And would you like to know the consequences of my actions? A LOT OF PEOPLE GOT HURT!

    But I least I didn’t get used right??

    The problem with modern romance is that the culture has become such where people are embarrassed for having feelings, and are ashamed for feeling love. The cool thing to do is show that you have no emotions, and how you’re just so damn cool about everything that whatever goes, and nothing matters, and who cares because Tinder.

    It’s as if the protecting our egos has become more important than sharing our hearts.

    No way I’m I gonna be the one admitting the fragility of ventricles. I’m gonna act like my aorta doesn’t need you because the humiliation of admitting that you got into my right atrium is too much to bare. You guys… I did really good in 8th grade biology can you tell?

    Men seem to think that all women want are relationships, so they act all frosty to show they aren’t ready for any serious commitment. Women know that men are paranoid about them wanting relationships, so they act all blasé to prove you’re not the kind or girl who’s desperate for commitment. Then it becomes this game of pretending like neither of you give a shit, when really, if you don’t give a shit about the person you’re fucking, chances are the sex is shit.

    You can’t enter into relationships feeling guarded, because if you do, you are avoiding the intimacy of who you both really are. There is so much fear around “what is this going to turn into,” or “am I going to get hurt by another person’s indifference,” that people so often self censor or become hyper-calculated.

    When I was in my 20’s I got bored of playing the game. So then my new strategy became to tell the guy I liked everything that’s wrong with me right in the beginning. I’d be like, “hey, I’m mostly lovely but I’m never wrong, I will emotionally eviscerate you in an argument and point out every flaw you’ve ever had, and I will totally lie to you to avoid conflict or get what I want.” EASY RIGHT!

    Technically that’s not how the game is played, but I would argue that NOT playing the game is the new game! How refreshing is radical honesty in this photo-shopped auto-tuned world? How sexy is vulnerability when everyone is treating each other like robots from West World? We are not disposable, and we shouldn’t treat each other as such just because you can swipe right again tomorrow.

    Much like how my friend probably didn’t think she wanted to know about my potentially poopy pants, it was BETTER for her that she did because then she didn’t take my feces inspired pre-occupation personally. The more open we are about what we are dealing with emotionally, the better friends we can be to each other.

    Me at 13 plotting the destruction of the future boys in my life…

    February 22, 2017 • emotions, Musings, Old School Stories, Pee & Poop, Sex Stuff • Views: 1421

  • Just Because I Love You, Doesn’t Mean I Care About You

    I think we waste a lot of our life force bickering with the people we love the most. You know those stupid cyclical fights that you’ve had over and over and over again that never seem to get resolved because in your heart you know they are going to leave their fucking dirty socks on the shower bathmat again? Most of the disagreements we have with people are just repeat conversations of the past, and each time we go down that yellow brick road, we will eventually end up in a poppy field passing out from emotional exhaustion.

    When you’re really close to someone, you have to deal with their eccentricities, annoying habits, compulsive behaviors, and shitty moods. The more comfortable someone is around you, the more they let they guard down, and reveal the underbelly of their darkest selves. Sometimes I want to say, “hey, do you mind putting a shirt over your vulnerability right now, because I’ve seen a little too much of you today.”

    The times I get most upset with people are when I feel like someone has disappointed me. I had some expectation they didn’t live up to, and then felt let down. I justify my rage by feeling like I was just caring about them – but is my caring a prison? If I never had that expectation to begin with, then I would never have gone through that psychic journey of disappointment.

    Do you think it’s possible to love someone deeply, but not really care about them?

    I don’t mean caring about their wellbeing, but caring about them in the sense that you don’t care or anticipate how they will behave.

    When we fall in love with someone – a lover, friend, or even our own children – we have LIMITLESS expectations of them. When you first meet a person they are perfect in our eyes, because they haven’t yet revealed themselves otherwise. It’s so easy to think that this dude will never put the silverware facing down in the dishwasher, or this friend will totally steam her vagina with me, or my baby will never boss me around like the evil step sisters in Cinderella and then yell in my face that she hates me because I said it was time for bed.

    The more you get to know someone, they will eventually fail you in one way or another… but is that their fault, or yours?

    It’s a lot easier to see YOU as the cause of MY misery. When something doesn’t go my way, that’s not my fault, it’s YOURS for making me do it in the first place! Although it may feel momentarily better to blame other people for my emotions and say, “you made me feel bad about myself!” In reality, I made ME feel bad about myself. Even though it may feel like a lot of responsibility to see things that way, it is also empowering. I am the architect of my responses to the world, and can choose how I internalize my feelings.

    If every time I get upset with someone I see it as my own doing, then I am no longer at the mercy of the world around me. I can’t control how you treat me, but I can control how hard I cunt punt you… I mean how I react to you.

    So now when anything happens to me where I want to choke someone, I instead try and see my part in the situation, and instead focus on that. No matter what shitty thing happens, there is always a lesson I can learn. Even if sometimes that lesson is dipping your toothbrush in my pee toilet.

    I have been trying to teach The Munch to not blame other people for her emotional wellbeing, but instead recognizing that she is the dictator of her internal world. So far this strategy is being met with mixed results. Sometimes it only inflames her:

    Toni: Okay, that’s enough screens for tonight.
    The Munch: Can I just watch one more “My Little Pony?”
    Toni: No. We had a deal, and it’s time for a bath.
    The Munch: I WANNA WATCH ONE MORE “MY LITTLE PONY!!!”
    Toni: Dude. You and I had an agreement, and you have to honor it.
    The Munch: YOU’RE THE WORST MOMMY IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
    Toni: Munch, I know it’s disappointing, and you want to watch your show, but that doesn’t mean you have to deflect your anger onto me. You have to look inside yourself and realize that you made a promise, and it’s not my fault I am making you keep it. Instead of caring about me, and how I’m not letting you do what you want, you should instead care about you, and learning how to keep your word.
    The Munch: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    But other times, it actually has been making an impact.

    The Munch: Mommy, did you remember to pack my stuffed animal?
    Toni: Oh no. I forgot. I’m sorry.
    The Munch: That’s okay. I should have reminded you.

    See how much easier it is to get along when we all just take responsibility for ourselves!!!

    (Ps she totally did remind me…)

    munch in van

    March 30, 2016 • 5 years old, Behavior, Mommyhood, Parenting, Relationships • Views: 1798

  • I Don’t Love You Anymore!

    The Munch is still in a state of healing from her eye surgery. It is for sure WAAAYYY more complex than I imagined, and as it stands right now the doctor is thinking that we may have to do another operation. I of course REALY don’t want to put Munch through that, so have been going hard on the holistic healing front.

    In these past few weeks I’ve taken her to a variety hippy doctors, and they all say her body is still processing the trauma of the experience. Because I want to be as proactive as possible, there are a bunch of things I am trying in order to address both the emotional and physical distress. This is the short list:

    1) Eye patch glasses: Munch didn’t want to wear an eye patch because she didn’t think patches were “fashionable,” and the adhesive gave her cheek a rash. So I made her some super sweet Hello Kitty glasses with a ballerina patch over the good eye. Now she looks like a punk rock pirate, and will wear them around her friends.
    2) Pills for her blood/liver: My acupuncture lady said we needed to support her liver/blood to keep tendons and eyes healthy. I brewed Chinese herbs for 2 days in hopes that Munch would drink it, but she refused because it tasted like “monkey poop and pee.” But she did learn to swallow pills so at least that is happening – but she is also now irrationally excited about swallowing pills… which makes me somewhat concerned for her future and doing ecstasy. PS I am also now drinking the “monkey poo and pee” drink because I don’t want it to go to waste, and it tastes more like giraffe semen.
    3) Eye Games: We play games with flash cards where I make her move her eye around. This game has now evolved to me also playing, and working out my eye, which can now bench press 250 lbs.
    4) Massages: I massage her leg to stimulate blood production, her feet to lower stress, her head to relax the brain, and her eye to bring awareness of healing. This is a 30 min process where I have to keep her relaxed and entertained so she doesn’t squirm around. This means I tell stories the entire time, which I make up from the top of my head. I now have carpel tunnel syndrome in my hands from all these damn massages, and probably should enter an improv group for my amazing off the cuff story telling abilities – although many of them end with someone farting really loud.
    5) Singing: Now I have to make her sing as much as possible because the vibration in her head is healing, but she HATES it when I sing because The Munch is a musical snob… sooooo this one isn’t going so well.

    I have also been taking her to healers who do cranial sacral work and trauma release. I have noticed that when we get home from these visits, she has total meltdowns that night. The Munch isn’t really one to have tantrums, so I figure she is getting out these buried emotions that she kept in while trying to be cooperative during the surgery. She was excessively stoic, and maybe needs to get some of the fear and rage out?

    I have been trying to give The Munch space to have these outrageous moments of outburst, and not take them personally or get angry with her for acting out. I know her well enough to know this isn’t her normal behavior, so there is no point in punishing her for needing to release. But this is what it looked like last night.

    The Munch: Mamma, can I have a candy cane?
    Toni: There is no way! It is bedtime, and you can’t eat a candy cane right before bed.
    The Munch: But I WANT ONE!
    Toni: That is understandable because candy canes are delicious. But you have to wait until tomorrow. You can have one then.
    The Munch: Well I can eat it anyway, and you can’t stop me.
    Toni: Of course I can. I am way bigger than you and can take it from you. I would rather you just put it away and have it tomorrow.
    The Munch: Try and take it from me.
    Toni: I am not going to do that.
    The Munch: Just try and take it from me.

    Okay fine… I am the grown up and could have refused. But she was TAUNTING ME OKAY!

    I grabbed the candy cane and it she held onto the hook, and now the other half was in my hand.

    The Munch: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH YOU BROKE IT!!!! WAAAAHHHHHHAAA
    Toni: Dude I am sorry. I didn’t mean to break it. It was an accident!
    The Munch: WELL YOU DID BREAK IT!! WAHHHHHAAAA
    Toni: You told me to try and take it!
    The Munch: WAAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHAAA!!! YOU BROKE IT!
    Toni: I didn’t mean to break it, but you did tell me to try and take it. Besides, you can have the pieces in the tomorrow. It gets all broken up in your tummy anyway. I will save them for you.
    The Munch: I DON’T WANT IT TO BE BROKEN! I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE! AND I AM TAKING MOLLY FROM YOU AND YOU WILL NEVER SEE MOLLY AGAIN. EVEN THOUGH SHE IS YOUR FAVORITE STUFFY.

    The Munch then went into my room, and got my stuffed animal dog named Molly, and hid her. Okay fine a grown up isn’t supposed to sleep with stuffed animals. But I have had molly for 25 years! I always sleep with Molly!

    The Munch: There! Now Molly is hidden and you will never find her!
    Toni: Munch I hear that you are angry, but I think you maybe need some time to think and calm down and then we can talk.
    The Munch: NO! I am locking you in my room and YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE!
    Toni: Never? What if I get hungry?
    The Munch: You will get nothing to eat!!!
    Toni: So I would just starve to death in your room?
    The Munch: YES!!!
    Toni: So when people ask you “what happened to your mom?” you would just say “oh I got super mad because she broke my candy cane so I locked her in my room. She eventually starved to death and died.”
    The Munch: Yes!
    Toni: Don’t you think you would maybe miss me?
    The Munch: YES I WOULD!
    Toni: Okay well can we think of a solution for you to feel better so you are not yelling or trying to starve me to death?
    The Munch: NOTHING WILL MAKE ME FEEL BETTER EXCEPT FOR WATCHING MY LITTLE PONY OR EATING A NON BROKEN CANDY CANE.
    Toni: Well, neither of those things are going to happen.
    The Munch: WELL THEN YOU CAN’T MAKE ME HAPPY!
    Toni: Of course I can’t make you happy! You have to make your elf happy! Can you think of something that might make you happy? Like maybe you could jump on the bed and then into my arms.
    The Munch: Ummm okay.

    Then she was totally fine and we did our 45-minute healing routine and I got early onset arthritis. This morning we talked about it…

    The Munch: I love you. You’re the best mommy in the whole universe.
    Toni: Remember when you told me last night that you didn’t me any more? Did you mean that?
    The Munch: No… I was just angry.
    Toni: I know. But when you say harsh things, even when you are angry, it can really hurt someone’s feelings. You have to always be careful with your words, because you can never take them back.
    The Munch: Well you didn’t seem like your feelings were hurt last night.
    Toni: That is because I’m your mom, and moms are always more forgiving towards their children. Not everyone will be that way. I knew you didn’t mean those words, but I also know you have been going through a lot, so have a lot of emotions you are working through.
    The Munch: Maybe you also knew you shouldn’t have broken my candy cane.

    She does look pretty bad ass right?

    don't-love-you-(i)

  • Do You Speak My Love Language ?

    We use the word love all the time. I love chocolate. I love sunsets. I love “Game of Thrones.” But there is no way I feel the same about a delicious dessert as I do about watching someone’s bowels get ripped out their anus on a Sunday night. One is infinitely more satisfying than the other. (Up to you to choose which one).

    Love is an oversimplified term to express one of the most complex human emotions. That is why the Ancient Greeks had 5 words for love – to represent the different flavors of love we feel. There are varying ways in which we experience love for something or someone, and the deeper we understand these distinctions, the more we understand our relationship to the target of our affection. Not every person you love you are meant to be with, much like how not every pie you love you are meant to eat the entirety of.

    Just as there is a distinction between loving your friend and loving your favorite pair of boots (the boots obviously being the ones you confide in on those cold lonely nights) there is also diversity in the ways in which we express love towards each other. Haven’t you ever been in a relationship with someone that you know you love deeply, and they love you, but you both constantly feel unappreciated and misunderstood?

    The problem isn’t that the love isn’t there. The real issue is that you aren’t speaking the same love language!

    According to Gary Chapman, who has spent over 30 years as a marriage counselor, there are 5 major love languages. We all speak love in a very specific way, regardless if others are actually aware of our modality. I could be shouting at you with my love language, but you if you have different love language, my efforts to communicate might fall onto deaf ears. It would be as if I only knew French and you only knew Russian – we just wouldn’t comprehend what the other person was saying.

    We look for people to love us the same way that we love them. When you speak a love language, you assume everyone is fluent in it. Yet in truth, someone might be showing love in their love language, but you’re just not listening!! We all have to become not only bi-lingual in love languages, but uhhh… five-lingual. The more we understand the different ways in which people love, the more we can acknowledge and appreciate people’s tries!

    If I learned your love language and spoke it to you, and you learned my love language and spoke it to me, our relationship would be infinitely more loving. We need to be aware of each other’s vocabularies. Imagine if at schools, rather than just learning the basics of grammar and reading, children learned to speak love. If they were taught to be able to identify, translate, and be fluent in all love languages. Wouldn’t the world be such a better fucking place?!!!

    Here are the love languages

    1) Words of Affirmation: Someone who gives a lot of compliments, says “I love you often,” and outwardly expresses gratitude for things like taking out the trash or doing the dishes. These are people who enjoy praise and appreciation, and want you to give that back to them in return.
    2) Acts of Service: These are people who are always doing you favors. Helping out around the house, driving you to the airport, moving your apartment for the 3rd time. They show love with their actions, and are looking for you to be as helpful as they are.
    3) Receiving and Giving Gifts: These are not materialistic people looking for lavish presents, but rather “the thought that counts” kind of gestures. They see gifts as a way of showing “I was thinking about you when I saw this fox key chain because I know how you like foxes and key chains.” It makes them feel heard, understood, and like they are on your mind.
    4) Quality Time: These people are looking for giving and receiving quality time together. Moments of pure undivided attention. They want the intimacy of interaction, and knowing they are the only thing in your world for that moment.
    5) Physical Touch: These people show love through their body. They need affection, and readily give it. A squeeze on the shoulder, hug, kiss on the head. They feel most loved when their body is also experiencing the sensation.

    So which one are you? I think we are all familiar with each one of these ways of loving; yet there is probably one that speaks to you most loudly. Know your love language, teach it to the people you love, and ask to learn theirs.

    I hope this baby speaks petting as it’s love language… but not heavy petting, because that would be just weird.

    love-language-blog

     

    November 9, 2015 • Musings, Relationships • Views: 1397