An Open Letter to Hillary and Melania

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Dear Hillary and Melania:

During these days of campaign rhetoric and insults flying as hard and fast as missiles; there is something you both share that you have failed to recognize. You are both women who have been emotionally abused and publicly shamed by your men. Like it or not you are in the sisterhood of the betrayed.

I know both of you didn’t ask to become the poster child for women with men who stray like wild dogs in the night. I know that their poor choices have nothing to do with you and you are not to blame. They both did what they did of their own volition, their lack of morals, and with no concern for you or your children’s welfare. You were a background distraction while they cheated to appease their own egos. Their dishonesty to you and all involved is nothing you need to take on yourself nor defend. That is for them to do. You are the innocent here. You both need to realize that old song, Stand By Your Man, is seriously outdated.

Yet, just because you are not responsible for what your men have done, there is something that I would like you to consider. Like it or not you are role models for millions of women and girls out there. You are both women of privilege. You are women who have worked hard to get where you want to be. And in some small way your actions or inaction influence other women. So my question to you both is…why do you stay with men who value themselves, their penises,  and their egos more than they value you?

Yes, the choice to stay is your choice and yours alone to make. I do not presume to understand the complexities of your relationships with your husbands. But I want you to think about this … there are millions of women in the United States who are beaten by their spouse, cheated on, or disrespected in front of their kids. These women are actively contemplating getting out of a situation that is physically dangerous or crippling to their psyche. They know they are in relationships that are emotionally unhealthy for themselves and their families. Yet, they are attempting to be brave, strong, and do what is right by their children even if it is just one step at a time until they have a plan in place and they can safely leave.

We all know that deciding to leave a marriage is never easy. But it is especially difficult for women without power, wealth, and fame. So when we see the two of you, women with all sorts of emotional and financial resources stay with men who have hurt and emotionally abused you on a national stage; it makes it just that much harder for any woman to leave her own tormentor.  How can girls have the courage to move on when you don’t? How can women separate when they see you defend a man who has not earned the right to that kind of loyalty from you? If you can’t do it with all your privilege, how can other women who are less fortunate than you?

I am so glad we live in a time when you have earned the legal right to do what you want in regards to your personal relationships. You have the luxury of being able to choose. I recognize that it is not your job to divorce for the sake of all women but dammit perhaps if we saw you refuse to put up with the crap your spouse has heaped on you, it would give others women the courage to do the same. Perhaps if we saw you value yourselves we could value ourselves in the same way.  And perhaps if we saw women like you be bold and refuse to put up with men who love themselves and their desires more than they love their wives; we wouldn’t have to have these kinds of discussions thirty years from now. For the future for women everywhere will only change when those at the top lead by example not rhetoric, show courage not complacency, and love/value themselves more than they love power or money.

Yes, it is up to us to stand on our own two feet, but I have to wonder, that if perhaps if you stood just a little higher, if it would make it easier for the rest of us.

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Porn

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The other day I mentioned porn and that got me to thinking. After much consideration I have come to the unequivocal conclusion that men should be forever banned from the making of porn films. Not only that they should not be able to write porn, direct porn, or cast the stars of these low budget features; they probably shouldn’t be able to watch them either.

I will confess right here I am not a big fan of the genre. I don’t like how women are demeaned and objectified. I don’t like “please me no matter what” attitudes of the men involved. But most of all I don’t like the plots. Actually, there are no real plots and that is exactly where the trouble lies.

Men make porn the same way they played with their toy cars when they were kids.  First off, they look for the most elusive or expensive model there is. Always.Who cares about what the color is as long as it’s a Porsche! This is followed by further scrutiny about how they will look driving the car and how fast can they can get into it and go. Next up: Leather or cloth seats? Pumped up tires or standard? With a bra or without? Essentially nothing has changed. Just pull it out back and let it rip. Banging into as many as they can becomes the name of the game, both young and old.

Now, I am not advocating more porn but I know that if women made porn there would be real plots. Instead of sex occurring one minute after the show began, it would take at least a half hour of fancy dresses with numerous costume changes, plenty of castles, and lots kissing and foreplay. The sets wouldn’t be sleazy formica kitchen countertops but fancy feather beds, lush tropical beach settees, and foods like grapes, whipped cream and caviar acting as aphrodisiacs.

I guarantee you that if women made porn the actors would all have straight dicks and perfect teeth. The men would have normal sized tools instead of scary looking tree trucks and the woman would all be able to walk upright instead of bent-over due to the size of their breasts. The actors would all manage to look like your fantasy lover not something that was drug in off of the street. And the sex act itself, well, it would last exactly 22.2 minutes because we all know what happens to our tender parts if you go much longer than that. No woman should ever be put in the position where she has to say, “You are wearing out your welcome.” THAT look of “GET THE HELL OUT” that always crosses the woman’s face in man-made porn would never occur in a film created by gals.

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If women made porn they would turn it into a series in which the viewer knew everything about the characters and cared for them like their own family members. Debbie would do Dallas but she would also do it in the blooming rose gardens of Versailles. By the end of the show you would know all of Debbie’s friends, her parents and her favorite food. She would be a fully developed person, not just a sex machine. And while Debbie and Grant were getting it on in the opera box but we would also get to see the Joffrey Ballet set the mood as they performed a portion of The Nutcracker at the same time.

You see, if women made porn it would be something grand.It would be something your husband would call you about to remind you to chill the wine because tonight is “our night to watch Upstairs and Downstairs too.”  And if there were English accents involved it would be all the better to set the mood.

Women based porn would be something women wanted to watch and men too. It would increase desire and promote safe sex. And I am willing to bet if this were the type of porn that we spent watching with our partner we would all be having a whole lot more pleasurable and sexy sex instead of demeaning sex…and isn’t that what the goal should be in the first place?

 

Six Hours Later…

It has been interesting to me that I have been composing these recent pieces in a somewhat poetic form. I ponder why because I never choose to write in this particular style. And what occurs to me is that right now I feel raw, sad and the confusion is deep and so in writing in an unfamiliar style it almost makes it feel that it is not me that this is happening to. I am incapable of organizing my thoughts in a traditional piece so I must not be that OTHER woman, that sad one, the poetic one, who might very well end up divorced.

Yep, I am just floating down De’Nile.

THREE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

CRAZY
Sometimes I feel like Hillary Clinton
Ignoring what appears to be in front of me for the greater good
But sometimes I wonder if you are the type of man
That slowly drives his wife crazy
Sweet and caring
Sexy and funny
Giving and kind in so many important ways
A good family man folks would say
With a part that is hidden from the public that longs to stray
I did my sexual experimentation when I was young
You didn’t
Are you wishing you had?
What is it you think you are missing?
It’s true
I’ve never “caught” you with another woman
There have been uncomfortable/inappropriate texts
A picture of another woman
And a very strange business card belonging to a woman
You swear you have no idea how THAT got in your wallet
There have been entire nights you were unreachable on business trips
We even laughed that you must be the most unlucky man in the world
When you are alone…even the front desk messes up
Must have rang the wrong room
Even though they were different hotels, different stays
Because you were in your room…all night
Oh yes, and there was that condom under our bed that I found when we were moving…maybe it was our teenager
And now Gwenniferr…again
Why the lie if everything is innocent?
But even worse, it is a stupid reckless lie
These are small things….distant enough from one another
Occurring here and there…not everyday…not every year
But when added up
Make you appear to be untrustworthy to me
Why don’t you just come clean?
There is nothing to come clean of you insist
And so I feel crazy
Maybe look crazy too
And you accuse me of not trusting you
And I don’t
For good reasonS
How can you have a marriage without trust?
We have for a while now
It’s made our bones brittle, our lungs empty, hearts heavy
And finally I realize that you can’t live without trust
Can counseling fix this?
I don’t know
Maybe it is over
And we just don’t know it yet
FOUR HOURS POST GWENNIFER
SPECIAL

I used to think our marriage was special

I really truly used to believe that with all my heart

When did that stop?

Today for sure

Before then…probably

We were friends, I thought

Fantastic lovers, I knew

Allies, maybe? sometimes

And I always thought

That you would be the one holding my hand when I passed on

Now I realize we just had a marriage

There was nothing special about it at all

It was just a plain ordinary marriage

Like everyone else has

A marriage of ups and downs

Of good and bad

Of happiness and sorrow

Of kindness and love

Of children and grandchildren

Of travel and adventure

But now the only thing left is the fantastic lover part

And that is not enough for me anymore

Trust….gone

Admiration…fled the scene

Truth…never

Friendship…well the therapist says we don’t have it

You wanted to like me again

I wanted the same of you

And then Gwenniferr re-emerged

Once again reminding me

We have less than a marriage

Because a marriage is built on truth and trust

And at this time ours appears to be built on sand

FIVE HOURS POST GWENNIFERR

HARMLESS

Your innocent flirting you said was harmless

Your unhappiness you felt until you wanted a D.I.V.O.R.C.E. was harmless

Your dishonesty was avoidance and therefore harmless

Your relationship with Gwenniferr is nothing, it’s harmless

She is like a sister to you, harmless

Your relationship to me that is imploding…harmless

Destroying our family…harmless

Your look-me-in-the-eye I’m telling you the truth, harmless

Your relationship with your children, maybe on your way to becoming a weekend father…harmless

Your innocence astounds me

And your harmless actions seer my soul

Permanent scars carved into my skin

One at a time over years

Looking like a tattoo of dragon talons swooping down

Cutting and digging into flesh

You BRAND my soul with your harmlessness

And it doesn’t feel harmless at all

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How did we get from this this song that we played at our 25th Wedding Anniversary to where we are now? I don’t understand

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All I know is that we knitted this marriage for all these years and with one tug, one pull of the thread it is unraveling and the speed with which it is astounds me.

Unexpected…314 Days…Do I Even Want To Fix This?

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I showed up unexpectedly

Hopeful…for a long lunch

I never show up uninvited

But I had a hunch

We needed some more time together

You told me you were going to the gym

“Let’s go,” I said.

And you said, sure… hesitated… and then insisted on going to lunch first

I would love to go to the gym with you now

Again you insisted on going to lunch right then

We did it your way…again

THE LUNCH

Lunch was lovely

Eyes locked

Fingers touching the way they do

When you want to turn me on

Beautiful blue eyes batting at me

Smiles a million miles long

Conversation sweet but lean

The man in the booth behind us flirting at me with his eyes, his smile

And for the first time in 29 years I wondered what it might be like to flirt back

For it was nothing I had even considered…before now

THE GYM

At the gym you took me into a tiny workout room

Ellipticals you said

I love the ellipticals

And so we huffed and puffed together

And then I saw that tiny almost imperceptible wave

To shoes and a dress which were the only things visible to me

I asked who it was

Gweniferr you said

And my head exploded

But not from a lack of oxygen from too much time on the elliptical

But from all the air escaping me after being punched in the gut

Hard. AGAIN.

Oh… the same Gwenniferr with whom you exchanged inappropriate texts

Oh… the same Gwenniferr you SWORE you never saw anymore because

She never came to the gym

Oh…the same Gwenniferr you have no interest in

Even though your texts several years ago appeared to speak differently for you

OH…THAT GWENNIFERR!

The elliptical stopped

NOt realizing that I was responsible

For the inaction

I wish I was mellow dramatic and could have passed out on the floor

Ladylike, as they did in the old days

A swoon

But instead I wanted to slam my body into yours

Angry…more than that

Full of RAGE…but I kept my cool and later felt… nothing

But a gaping pit where my heart once raced when you touched me

It appears you have lied to me again

Later you showed me the rest of the facility

The huge gym with even more ellipticals surprised me

It was the gym I assume that Gwenniferr had been working out in

Usually with you?

But not today

Obviously I was unexpected by her too.

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