Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Little Thanksgiving

It's the holidays, which always makes me a bit sentimental. Perhaps it's because I miss certain faces from back home, or how much I'm beginning to realize just how long I had been living in embittered victim mode. But as I sit here, next to my Charlie Brown Christmas tree and unable to sleep, I know that I am still a Lucky Girl. And for the longest time (I'm talking decades)- I let one man terrorize my perception on every person and every situation.

I was for so long under the impression that he killed whatever was loveable in me. My father left me a broken shell of a girl - ugly, torn, refuse. And I have been helplessly holding hostage this notion that all I could ever be was what he left me. I put myself out there with the serrated edges somewhat exposed so no one could shatter me further. And then it occurred to me that for all these years I had been giving him power. It was actually a strange realization. Listening to a stand-up comedian one night discussing women with father issues, I no longer wanted to be the subject of that joke. I thought, "Oh shit. My self-esteem is at the level of being so pathetic it has become comedic fodder."

But I can't blame my father anymore. I'm no longer twelve. I haven't even seen him in nine years. It's time to let the fog of the past go; and build my self-worth on what I've accomplished, the family I have that loves me, my incredible friends who put up with me - breathe life back into myself. I look at my tattoo as a reminder that I never have to be somewhere I don't want to be. I may be small, but I cannot be contained.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for finally starting to grow the fuck up and learning to be a stronger person. As I go into the holiday season, I will remind myself daily that I am lucky to have a family that supports me, old friends who continue to make me smile, new friends who have welcomed me to the wonderful city of Chicago, and a chance to start over.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Risque Business

Performing burlesque is the mutt's nuts (thanks for that phrase, Christopher Moore). Here are just a few reasons I love what I do:

1. Every weekend I become highly flammable. Between the Aquanet, spray on pantyhose, and "adhesives" - no one should light a match within twenty feet of my person.

2. I love to dance. I love to dance in my undies even more. I love to dance in my undies as part of my job a ridiculous amount. I'm a lucky lady.

3. I found glitter in my coffee the other morning.

4. It inspires me to find new ways to move. I forgot for awhile what it was like to push myself physically to find characterization, intriguing body shapes, rediscover flexibility.

5. Every show is an adventure. Will my pastie stay on tonight? Oh shit, I thought I had another 8-count to get my shirt tied. Where's my bra for the next number? Why is this audience member not pulling my tail?

6. I couldn't ask for a more talented, beautiful, fun-loving group of people to work with and for.

7. Shimmying in a dancer's thong and pasties is a pretty rockin' adrenaline rush.

8. It's an amazing workout. I love a performance that requires stretching, water bottle, and post-show peanut butter sandwich.

9. I'm effing Slightly Spitfire. I named myself after a Gaslight Anthem lyric and World War II aircraft. I've embraced my not-so-inner geek.

10. Burlesque is not only entertainment, but empowerment. The shows I've seen and the ones I'm involved with inspire confidence. It's sexy. It's fun. It's spectacle. If it doesn't make your day, then you might be dead inside.

I can't believe I'm fortunate enough to be a part of Gorilla Tango Burlesque. I know how incredibly lucky I am to be able to say I love this job. Now, go see some burlesque. See what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And This Is Why I'm Single


I've never really done it. I'm not good at it. And sometimes I don't even realize when I'm on a date until the guy has to point it out. Yeah, that's happened.

-You did know this was a date?
-No. I thought it was dinner. And cookies. And "cookies" isn't code for anything other than cookies. I really like cookies.

Even I miss my own dating experiences. I could piss and beleaguer about my lack of luck in the department of love, but that's been done (by yours truly after a couple of glasses of red wine). Instead I thought it might be more enjoyable to share my awkwardness and generalizations on the opposite sex in different circumstances. Or what I like to call, "And this is why I'm single."

1. I'll start with the slightly inebriated guy who stopped me as I was walking to the grocery store this weekend.

-(Inebriated, yet attractive guy): Let's talk about these bags you've got. What are they about?
- I'm going grocery shopping.
- Oh. You're all green and shit... and I'm just that drunk asshole on a corner in Chicago.
- No. You're fine.
- I'm Dave.
- Rebecca.
(I continue on my merry way as I hear Dave as he exits into the Dairy Queen, something close to)
- I'd like to get into those bags.
(I poke my head around the corner because I'm neither deaf, nor drunk)
- What'd you say?
- Nothing. I just think you're really cute.
- Well, thank you.

I was actually highly flattered by this encounter. (And this is why I'm single).

2. I despise silence between two people unless I'm angry. My inability to cope with awkward silences with men I like lead to awkward phrases such as, but not limited to:

- I have had sooooo much caffeine.
- I have that dude's shoes. I really like sneakers.
- I dance in my skivvies on Friday nights. It's my job.
- Guinness. It's my favorite. It's like a liquid potato.
- My back up plan is to marry Elijah Wood and move to Hobbitton.

Ladies, all of these phrases are turn-offs. Even the third one. (And this is why I'm single).

3. One time I ran into a man I had a sizeable crush on at a bar, and he shook my arm. That's right, my arm - like it was a Magic 8 ball. It lasted twenty seconds, I said nothing while staring at him, and promptly went home.

(And this is why I'm single).

4. I have, on multiple occasions, been caught dancing with an inanimate object. I've also been busted playing in cardboard boxes, seeing if I could fit into certain tight spaces, smacking my own behind and saying, "good game Taylor."

(And this is why I'm single).

5. I gave my number to a guy. After (*cough*) beers, I'm not sure it was mine.

(And this is why I'm single).

And after reviewing this list (knowing I could easily list fifty things without stopping); I'm not disheartened. I realize my life is full of amusing qualities that keep me from jabbing coffee stirrers into my eyeballs on a daily basis. I say weird shit. I maintain eye contact. I go out alone. Is this why I'm single? Hell if I know, but it's kind of fun figuring it out.