Fashion Plate

Towards the end of last century, the bodysuit was a fashionable part of women’s wardrobes. My admittedly blokey description of this item was “like an adult onesie” when trying to remember the name.

The bodysuit, if you remember, was, in fact, an adult onesie made of stretchy material that clasped at the lower extremity of the lady’s torso. I am told that there were two styles: the push-stud fasteners and one other.

My memory of the bodysuit is that it was a pretty darn sexy piece of kit. For starters, it hugged the figure from the neck to the waist, revealing all the goodness of that region on a lady. Second was the smooth transition from this above the equator region to the below the equator region, a fierce stoker of the male imagination. Like all the explorers who came before, we guys like to imagine ourselves on voyages of discovery.

No doubt women have different memories. Because of the skin-hugging design of the bodysuit, every curve was visible, which might or might not have pleased the wearer. Then arose the question of what underwonders one could wear…which I think was partially solved by the internally braced bodysuit. And of course there’s the fatal flaw of that system of securing the dashed thing at the crotch.

The lady parts area really is no place for snaps, frankly. Difficulty with quick removal – bathroom purposes – and unexpected unfastenings – don’t lean over too much! – and the complication of knickers etc etc all contributed to the death of the bodysuit. Sad as it is, we’re not likely to see it return, despite my wholehearted encouragement.

Static IP

I aspire to keeping order. You know the kind of mindset – everything it its place, a place for everything. Books should be sorted with recognizable logic (topic, author, fondness, year of publication), clothes by occasion, shoes likewise, the pantry by use-by date, music by association with past events. Pretty standard stuff.

People. Ah, now people aren’t as simple. As much as I’d like to corral people onto that shelf or into that nicely labeled hanging file, they resolutely refuse. Oh, they’ll keep being who they are for a while, adhering to their agreed position in my life, but then – darn it! – they go morphing into someone/something else. What’s up with that?

Trickiest are the dating scenarios. You think you’ve figured out a person and the kind of relationship you both want, and…poof! Something tilts, the storage tub falls, and stuff ends up all over the carpet. Someone then has to pick up the pieces and set their storage facility back to the neat way it was, minus a person.

Some girls just wanna have fun, some girls wanna hedge their bets, some girls wanna be serious and some girls are happy come-what-may. This might also describe one person at several different times, which is both dynamic, beautiful, fascinating and rather like whitewater rafting. You know that feeling after you’ve been through the rapids? You’re all wet and bruised, breathing heavily, smiling, exhilarated and wondering what the heck just happened.

Oh. And you want to go do it again. Immediately.

Enemies Within

Most of us float along on a sea of emotion. I like to think that I’m a logical and thought-driven person, but the truth is that I am at least as emotionally driven as anyone. I feel this way, I feel this way, this feels right, this feels wrong, I don’t know how I feel about the other thing; it’s an endless negotiation with what might be another person inside. In a sense, that’s sorta the way it is.

Logicating our way around emotional responses isn’t easy. Sure, we understand that the way we feel is a bio-chemical phenomenon. Every day we wake up in a different mood, we react slightly differently, nothing is ever quite the same as it was the day before, and so on. That’s our body chemistry at work.

Understanding, however, is not influence and it’s even a greater distance from control. Influencing our feelings requires conscious acts, at least for me. If I’m feeling sad, connect with friends; if angry, exercise; if frustrated, be constructive. No doubt you’re somewhere close to the same place.

Controlling emotions, though, is likely one of the most difficult quests one can undertake. Self-control is the filtering of emotions so that our acts have a logic or character input as well. That raises the point that we can’t really control the emotion itself, only the way we respond to it. By taking a metaphoric deep breath, we give ourselves a circuit-breaker in the process, a way to prevent the precipitous behavior that we often think of as being emotional.

If you’re good at this, you might even be able to pre-think ways around likely responses. Like plans for war, this probably won’t survive first contact with the enemy, but it’s worth a try nonetheless. Let me know how you go.

The relevance of all this to coupling is obvious, especially if you’ve made as many crappy emotional decisions as me. There’s no way to remove emotions from our lives, and in any case no-one is interested in an automaton. But a measure of self-control and detachment can help an awful lot, especially when we figure that time – even a small amount inserted into the middle of something – mellows many otherwise disastrous decisions.

Book Him, Danno.

Andy SipowiczMy favourites are the police procedurals from the UK. Wire in the Blood, Inspector Morse, George Gently; The Bill was great even though it was more of a soap-opera than a cop show. I was a latecomer to the American side of things, but NYPD Blue was brilliant, Hill Street Blues, Law & Order of course – there’s a lot of dangerous binge-watching potential in that lot.

I make the case now for being a little more like Andy Sipowicz in our dating lives. If you remember (or are too young to have had the pleasure), Andy was the dyspeptic detective star of NYPD Blue. He was tubby, balding, sour and hated criminals. His view of ne’erdowells was absolute: they should all pay. Think of him as an Old Testament kind of cop, albeit with a big gooey center. C’mon, this is television, what would you expect?

On the mean streets of NYC, Andy defaulted to a “they’re guilty until proven innocent” attitude. He didn’t view everyone walking down the street like that, but if you were near a crime or simply smelled bad, he figured you were probably guilty…of something with which he could charge you, if not the case at hand.

At least early on, I think we should date like Sipowicz. Strangers from the internet or people we meet in bars are utter unknowns, with murky motives and intent. We’re animals capable of complex multi-layered masking, so caution is warranted. Sexual possibility can push us (and them) towards extreme behavior, which in turn can lead to extremely bad results.

In my opinion, any cause for doubt is cause for dismissal. Move on. Game’s over. Next! If something jars in the first few hours or dates, my thinking is that the benefit of any doubt should go to those for whom it is deserved; folks for whom we have no track record nor history do not receive our goodwill. Once we start to accommodate strangers of unknown provenance, our defences are breached.

Self-preservation on both a physical and intellectual level must be our first thought when dealing with these people. Never give a sucker an even break, which in our context means any demonstrated bum note means no more dates.