Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

After reading a recent article in the New York Times, “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry,” I was overcome by a myriad of emotions.  Anger and empathy dominating them.  Once again struck by the struggles of women who, bound by culture and fear, are forced to share their lives with men who lack the education and self confidence to embrace and appreciate the wild, fiery, passionate, dedicated (and, yes, at times dramatic and difficult) entity that is the female spirit.  In attempts to thwart off his own handed-down insecurities and assure himself that she will never have the freedom nor independence to see a life outside the one he deems “honorable,” he robs not only himself of the limitless possibilities promised by her ravenous spirit…but he robs her of a spirit that defines her, empowers her, and inspires her.  Leaving her trapped in a relationship void of love, in a body void of familiarity…where she can only be, say, or do what is dictated to her.

In spite of this centuries-old practice, some women still manage to find a way to thrive.  To write.

This ambitious group of Afghan women featured in the NYT article has found an emotional outlet in poetry.  Writing as a form of escape, a form of complaint, a form of freedom.  But they do so in secret because the act of expressing her feelings, her ambitions, her worries in written form is cause for extreme physical punishment at the hands of her husband, brother, or father.  The men they dutifully answer to are threatened by such things, seeing her expression as a possible flight risk from her strictly defined domestic role.  So, she isn’t allowed education or exposure to outside influences that may mar that role.

Feeding an unspoken fear as old as time…education leads to independent thinking.  And independent thinking leads to rebellion.

Damn straight it does.  Thank goodness!

Expressing oneself through writing is not only a source of therapy, expression, and self exploration for the writer, but also a source of strength, understanding, and inspiration for the reader.  Though separated by oceans, cultures, and cavemen hell-bent against evolution, we all have the desire and the right to grow and learn by literary means.

To inspire.  And to be inspired.

May these women continue to find both the strength and courage to inspire all women, as they have me.

_______________

I wish I may, I wish I might

Be a solitary bird lost in flight

Free to be, to love, to write

No glow of red, only green light

No tether, wrong, or right

Soaring high over mountains, cloaked in night

Shedding, ridding all semblance of plight

And fervently anticipating, with dawn in sight

A bold new rush of wind as I graze the sunlight

~ Chick Hughes

 

 

 

 

Modern day Cupid has gone geek.  And geek is chic.  As a texting techie, you have the hottest trend in flirting right in the palm of your hand.  Your cell phone, your lifeline, your communication mecca.  From “Hi” to “Ttyl”… you text to share the latest gossip with your BFF, to explain why you’re running late for work, when you can’t remember whether you’re supposed to buy wheat bread or Shedd’s Spread, and, well…just because you can.  But your communication mecca is good for more than just chore chatting and gossip gathering.  It can be your secret weapon in an otherwise daunting world of dating – used to drive him mad with flirty suggestive messages.  Turning that lifeline into a lustline.  An always on-call hard juiced up love tool fitting snugly in your hand ready to rise to your every whim.  With a little imagination and a quick “send,” you can relay your most intimate forbidden thoughts instantaneously, heighten your dating experience, and keep him begging for more.   Read more…

 

~ Contribution to a dating/relationship website

And may your nearest redeemer for frequent flirter miles not be a 3 ft tall, grammatically challenged know-it-all.  Although, this little green ladies’ man seems to know his way around a flirt…and a skirt.  Once again, men are left scratching their heads as the whole concept of “size matters” is shot to hell by this image of a seemingly studly Yoda regaling women with tales starring the forceful magic of his “light saber.”   Tales so heroic, so sexually charged, they send women’s clothing plunging to a crumpled heap on the ground in a desperate plea of surrender.  Or so says Photoshop.

Captivating I am.  Seduce you I will.

Every Jedi knows the art of flirting is a mix of conversation, body language, and physical touch…and may just be our most vital form of communication.  It’s the foreplay to our foreplay, so to say.

We flirt because it’s a necessary road to reproduction junction.  It could be that the flirtee is just too hot to be denied our charms.  And it could be that it’s just fun.  Scientists say that flirting doesn’t necessarily mean attraction.  That, hot or not, we’re evolutionarily programmed to be sexually alert, on our toes, and prepared for passionate throes.  Married, single, or “it’s complicated” …our primitive libidos are in constant battle with modern monogamy.  So, even if we’re off the market, we flirt with potential buyers to humor our libidos…and our egos.  Met with success, or shaming mess, we flirt to advertise our assets…and remind ourselves we’ve still got it.  When we flirt, we display our creativity, our humor, and our intelligence…flaunting our stellar skills for withstanding whatever poo pies life may throw our way (selling ourselves as the optimal life partner).  But aside from our dung dodging skills, we spread our peacock feathers…display our bountiful (surgically custom) cleavage, our Baby Got Back bums, our Fabio-lously spray tanned flexing pecs, our firm afterglow-inducing light sabers.  Saying, without saying, “I got that good hit!  Don’t you want to bag me?”

We flirt.  We bag.  We ensure the survival of our genetic genius.  And we settle into family life.  We now have children to raise, mortgages to pay, bosses to mock, and spontaneity to block.  Burdened by an endlessly overwhelming list of chores and responsibilities that would make even the most devoted Family Guy pimp out his wife for a break, we don’t take time to maintain flirting fluency with our main squeeze.  The romance dies.  We’re merely roommates…without benefits…tending to chores.  Making it from one day to the next.  We get comfortable in the notion that our spouse isn’t going anywhere.  And realize…neither are we.  We’re in a rut.

It’s then that we realize that somewhere along the way, we’ve become biologically washed up.  With no sex life and no sex appeal, we’re no longer relevant to the circle of life.  We begin to feel unwanted and depressed.  We start to miss the flirt, the chase…the thrill of sexual possibilities.  Ironically, both spouses will come face to face with his/her own feeling of sexual loss.  However, neither will attempt to fill this void for the other.  Usually because we’re both too busy trying to maintain every other relationship in the daily grind…forgetting that a happy sweetie promises a different grind altogether.  We go out of our way to please other people.  Bosses, friends, co-workers.  Why?  Because we know that our bosses, our friends, or our co-workers can, and will, walk out on us at any time.  We don’t take these relationships for granted.  So we see the value in the work needed to maintain them.  But our spouses…we take them for granted.  We don’t work on the marital relationship because it’s the one place we think we can afford to get lazy and fall asleep on the job.

Divorce…and remarriage…statistics beg to differ.

The cold hard truth is…what we take for granted, someone just around the corner is all too eager to appreciate.

Whatever the cost to our social or family life, we’re drawn to flirty appreciation like an oompa loompa to shoe lifts.   It boosts our egos, stimulates our sex drives, and spices up our lives.  We need to flirt to feel special…to feel connected.  We need it emotionally and sexually.  So, if no one is flirting with us at home, we begin to feel stagnant.  We grow bored with our marriage AND ourselves.  And we’re all the more receptive to outside flirts.

Marriage is monotonous…on a good day.  If we want to keep it fresh and romantic, we can’t put away our dazzling peacock plumage just because we’re too lazy to strut it.  We need to continue displaying our assets.  Otherwise, life clouds our memory.  And we both forget why we fell in love in the first place.  The flirt, the tease, the challenge, the FUN…this is what keeps our spouse true and still believing in “I do.”

Why flirting with the one that matters…matters?

*  It’s adult play.  We never outgrow our need for play.  Make your spouse your toy.

*  It boosts both egos.  Flirting gives us a sense of power.  Whether we’re the hunter or the prey, we all enjoy a good chase. It validates our sexual worth.

*  It’s the language of love…promising the continual emotional connection we seek so ruthlessly.

*  It reminds our spouse that we’re still very much attracted to them…translation:  “I don’t take you for granted!”

*  It’s healthy for children to witness our playful love.  It provides them a sense of security and models a healthy, loving relationship.

*  It will eventually lead to sex.  Filthy, dirty sex…somewhere. 😉

Teasing Tactics:

*  Be witty and challenging.

*  Tackle a chore your sweetie usually takes care of.

*  Wear flirty clothes…or no clothes.

*  Snuggle…give back rubs or massages.

*  Engage in sexy, suggestive banter.  Remember, the brain is our most sexual organ.

*  Compliment.  Flattery will get you everywhere.

*  Send romantic/sexy texts or emails…either as yourself…or the sultry stranger who’s been lusting from afar.

*  Create a special hand signal (sign language) for a romantic/sexy message just between the two of you.

 

It’s our nature to follow the flirt.  When it comes to your sweetie, turn up your tease…

Lead the way.

Chick Hughes

“It’s not my fault that I fell for you, you tripped me” ~ unknown

 

 

 

 

Communication is many things.  Heard, misheard, code word,  wrong word… and between couples, a 4-letter word.   Attempting to translate the alien language of the opposite sex proves to be difficult, frustrating, and, at times, futile.  In the words of Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wa wah wa wah wah wah wa wa.”  Or something like that.  Maybe this was some code language understood by the Peanuts gang alone.  But so often, I wish Lucy, in all her smart-ass future feminist extremist attitude, would yell from her desk…

“Enunciate bitch!  We can’t understand you”

Obviously, conversation doesn’t always equal communication.  One can talk endlessly without saying a thing.  And one can speak volumes without being heard at all.  Successful communication requires both speaking and listening.  I once read that we have one mouth and 2 ears…so we should listen twice as much as we speak.  Yet, we don’t.  The longer we’re together, the less we listen.

I sometimes watch older couples in restaurants…wondering what they’re talking about, how connected they are, or whether they’re existing side-by-side oblivious to the other.  Body language reveals so much about a couple’s mojo.  Many times, I’ve watched as a wife eats and jabbers on about whatever is on her mind.  She talks, but he’s not listening.  This person she’s conversing with hasn’t diverted his attention from the edible orgasm on his plate in 20 minutes.  He has no idea that she’s talking, let alone what she’s saying.  Yet, she yammers on…and on…never seeming to notice that her “communication” is being upstaged by the perfectly seasoned and sauteed carcass that’s giving him more oral action than he’s seen in a long time.  By this point of my stealthy stalking, I’m not sure who I pity more…they both seem immersed in their own worlds, bored to death, and hardly connected.  Their exchange, or lack of it, fascinates me.  I watch.  I analyze.  I wonder…

Would he “stand up” and take notice if she sandwiched that meat between her boobs while she spoke?  😉  I’m kidding.  Ok, so I’m not.  Of course he would!

Are they happy?  Or have they mutually surrendered to a lonely parallel existence?

Any long time couple can relate.  After years of “togetherness,” we inevitably lose touch without realizing it.  We assume that because we share close proximity, we’re also close emotionally.  And on some levels, we are.  Living together IS close.  Intimately personal gestures like putting ass to toilet seat while the other scrubs unmentionable areas in the shower requires a certain level of closeness — wouldn’t you say?  😉

But again, that’s physical proximity.  Parallel existence is not communicating.  It’s not connection.  It’s not enough.  Or so says the half of marriages that end due to loss of that connection.

Experts say there’s a reason we reach the “My husband/wife doesn’t understand me anymore” point in a marriage.  And that reason is lazy communication.  Research shows that we sometimes communicate better with strangers than with our own spouses.  That long-time couples get to know each other so well that we assume too much shared information..and consequently, share less.  The less we share, the less we understand, the less connected we feel.  When communicating with a stranger, we realize they know nothing about us.  So, we share more.  More detail, more emotion – more in general – in an attempt to be understood.  But when speaking to our spouse for the umpteen billionth time in a year, we mentally calculate (x number of years together = can read my mind).  We falsely assume they know what we’re feeling and thinking.  So we don’t bother to delve too much into it.

Like our bodies, our brains get comfortable…and lazy.  After winning over our partner in marriage, we may let ourselves go, not make time for exercise, and avoid giving our mid-section a little in-spection.  Our brains are no different.  We get comfortable and let our communication slide.  Maybe we eventually feel we’re repeating ourselves and stop.  Maybe we feel the other doesn’t care, so why bother.  Maybe we just assume he/she already knows…or should know what we’re feeling.  And when “he” doesn’t, watch out!  Because he should…right?  Our brains are devious and self-protective enough to convince us that it’s the “other” spouse who doesn’t understand “us.”  Or can’t read our mind.  The lazy brain prefers to shift blame elsewhere.  But to be heard and understood,  Express Yourself!

If we’re failing to communicate and stay connected due to comfort, maybe we’re, in fact, too close for comfort.  Sometimes we just get in a rut, take one another for granted, and grow bored.  But remember the beginning of your relationship?  When communication  wasn’t a chore?  When it came without effort?  Communication just was, wasn’t it?  We didn’t think twice about it.  What else just was?  Sex, cuddling, emotion.  It all goes hand-in-hand.  We communicate because we want to be closer.  We want to be closer to have sex and a connection.  So, a lack of communication will result in a lack of connection will result in a lack of sex will result in a lack of communication will result in a lack of connection will result in a lack of sex.  Round and round we go.  Where we get off – and don’t “get off” – we all know.  Splitsville.

We can walk around with our iPods, iPhones, iAlones tucked securely in our pockets every single day.  Reliably close.  But if we don’t plug in the headphones and listen, we won’t appreciate them and will eventually decide we don’t need them around.  Or someone else may steal them from our reliably close pocket when we’re not “listening.”

A happy couple needs three things to thrive:  connection, love, and sex.  Each relies on the other for success.  If one falls to the wayside, the others follow in a domino effect.

Maybe the man in the restaurant would be less into his meal and more into his wife if he knew she’d be into him later in bed.  After all, men communicate for sex.  Women have sex to communicate.

So connect, communicate, and fornicate.

Plug in, tune in, “come” in.  😉

Chick Hughes

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~  George Bernard Shaw