What it’s all about

22 Jul

When we’re out for cocktails at our favorite bar – where the bartender loves us and the waiters are always slightly scared – we always end up discussing the Big Questions. Like, how much citrus does the week’s special cocktail need? Are fantasy books real books, even when you know the author personally? Why do Friend’s friends always drink more than her, yet she is the most happily drunk of the group? And why do guys on Tinder always start a conversation with, “Hi, how are you?”

You see, Friend has been Tindering for a while, and I like to watch people interacting with each other. And I really, really, reallllllllly think that, in order to stand out from a fuck-buddy platform, you need to up your game a bit and, I don’t know … talk to the other person as if they are actual humans? “How are you, where do you live, wanne make sexytime?”

I tried to explain this to Richard later, quite drunk – that’s the state of mind where I am most passionate about stupid ideas like this. At the bar we had collected the guys’ best and worst chat-up lines, and most of them were lacking exactly this realization: No matter whether you want to sleep with the people you are talking to or not, it pays off to treat them like a real person. You know, fake interest in their hobbies, ask them questions about themselves, discuss books or movies. Be a real person yourself instead of trying to impress them into making sloppy love.

(I am rambling. I know. I had less than four hours of sleep. I still think this concept is worth exploring.)

Richard, “If all you have is a picture of another person, how are you supposed to start a conversation?”

Me, “I don’t know – maybe comment on something that is in the picture?” (Referring to Friend’s Tinder profile:) “He could write: I see you like 50s dresses. Or: That green dress looks really pretty on you. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

Richard, “But what is so wrong about writing: How are you?”

Me, “It’s only half a step about going to someone at a party and asking them whether they are at this party, too.”

Yeah, I did not get the point across. I also tried to explain that, when we first met, I was under the impression – or maybe under the illusion – that he considered me a real person. And that this was what made our dates fun: That we could talk about all kinds of topics and be hilarious together and share childhood stories and plan outings without trying to get in the other one’s pants. (This happened to be on the third real date, which is a coincidence, because I totally do not believe in the magical romance of threes. Basically I made him dinner, dragged him out for a walk and then threw myself on top of him until he kissed me. I am subtle like that.)

Of course regarding people as people helps not only when you are flirting. Everyday interactions become much easier and rewarding when you think of the baker not as bread-machine-man but as a guy who may have the occasional bad day, maybe hate getting up early and fearing that his wife does not love him anymore. Even if he never tells you about it. Even if on the outside he is just this guy who never smiles and does not talk much. (It is possible that he is just an asshole, yes. Or he has a deep personality and Thoughts All Day Long.)

I think I am going to stop here and weep into my tea mug because the day is just so damn day.

Boundaries, not just for witches

6 Jul

I have always had problems setting boundaries, no matter whether with family, friends or random people I meet on the streets. Partly it stems from back in my childhood, when we children were not allowed to set boundaries with adult relatives, such as, “No, I don’t want a hug from grandma today” – instant punishment would follow. As a consequence I struggled with what I really wanted or did not want for many years.

As I grow older, fortunately, I have less time for bullshit. And more intimate knowledge of the things I want. I am still rather quiet and, as long as things are not important to me, quite likely to just go along with whatever plans and ideas people around me mention (which movies to watch, which pubs to frequent, where to eat, … ).

When it comes to the important stuff, however, I have become a fierceful guardian of my personal boundaries. And this has led, in the past year, to repeated trouble with family and friends.

You don’t get to complain to us about the dirt on our car. If it annoys you so much, you can borrow the keys and take it to the car wash. The same goes for our flat. You don’t have to visit.

I will not be bullied into giving up me-time to hang out with you because you are bored.

Being friends with me does not give you permission to take out your anger or frustration on me. Also you don’t have right to a certain number of interactions per week.

I am not a teddy bear, to be touched whenever you want. It doesn’t matter how long we have been friends. Ignore this statement at your own risk.

Trying to manipulate me, if you get caught, is a sure way to get into trouble.

It is kind of sad that some people are not ready to accept these simple rules – it all boils down to “Don’t be an asshole, play nice.” Usually I give one warning – as I did with crazy e-mail guy (who hasn’t contacted me in a while, thank the gods!) – and then make them face the consequences. Don’t get me wrong, it is not impossible to rebuild trust … but it takes plenty of time and effort.

One of the worst things about these confrontations is when the other party won’t accept my boundaries and demands explanations. Like, what do you mean, you can’t accept that I find some interactions inacceptable? Why do you need a reason for not treating me like property, or an employee? And even better (or worse, as it is) is when they refuse to accept the explanation – for yes, of course I *do* give explanations, where necessary (can’t expect everyone to go around reading minds).

After plenty of work, I can say I barely hold a grudge against people. They can’t be anyone but themselves. But I refuse to let anyone drag me down to a relationship I am not comfortable with. Getting up and leaving gets less scary the more often you do it.

(Witchy note: If you have trouble enforcing boundaries, make sure to have a cerulean item on you – a scarf or a necklace is perfect, but a string of cord in your pocket or your favorite worn-out light blue socks will work as well.)

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

23 Jun

And I will keep telling you – I am not dead yet! But since there is no time for real blog posts and stuff, I’ll leave you with a quick update on all the things I may or may not have been up to.

* I lost another 2kg and rewarded myself by buying a new running T-shirt and a book with freerunning exercises. Had anyone told me I would look forward to buying that kind of stuff ten years ago, I’d have thought about punching them and abandoned the idea because of the effort.

* Last Saturday I participated in a “Race for the cure” 5K and finished in 27 minutes (give or take – but definitely less than 30!).

* I remembered to think of summer solstice! Not that I did anything special besidses lighting a few yellow and orange candles and complaining about the rain, but I remembered!

What else is new? We have a new boss with new ideas and rules and complications, but that should settle within a few weeks. And I have been writing and plotting and scheming, and I have wonderful ideas for weird stories. Circus, monsters, prostitution – what’s not to love?

I’ll leave you with a picture of Ronja trying to summon a cat demon.

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Honestly, I can’t sit down for a ritual without having cats all over the altar. But they are cute. ^^

Full days – full of magic and tentacles

9 Jun

Time flies by when you are having fun. Or when you’re busy trying not to drown in all your plans, actions, appointments, must-dos, …

As usual, I am busy working, writing and running. Also, I am eating tons of strawberries and planning more stories to tell – as soon as I have the time for it. One of them will contain this funny fellow:

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This is Bob. He is a tentacle alien from another dimension – and a stand-up comedian. I hope to find out, over the course of the next months, how he and Lusty Andrea are trying to save the world from a tentacle invasion.

Please don’t get your crazy on!

1 Jun

At least not in my e-mail inbox …

You know me, a bit. I am not the most secretive person, and quite trusting – other people might call it “stupid”. Anyway, I love meeting new people, exchanging ideas and learning new things about places and ideas I have never explored before.

Which is why, for quite some time, my e-mail address has been up on some pagan penpal page – really, I don’t even recall the address anymore. And over several years I have met a few nice people there. Every now and then, however, you stumble upon a bad apple. Like in this example:

Hatemail 1 Hatemail 2 Hatemail 3 Hatemail 4

A … let’s say, “elderly gentleman” from North Carolina, after almost a year of sufficiently pleasant communication by e-mail, snapped over a minor disagreement and has started sending me “interesting” mail. The pictures are screenshots of my e-mail account. I contacted his e-mail service with a complaint and the screenshots (minus the black bars) and hopefully got his e-mail account blocked, at least temporarily. So why am I sharing this with you? Partly outrage, partly a need to share with you why I may be less open at the moment than usual. I refuse to be cowed into hiding, but I admit – when, the very same day I received the latest piece of hatemail I got another request via the same platform (from someone with a very similarly built e-mail address at the same provider), I decided to not delve into any new communication at the moment. After all, paranoia is just another word for longevity, right?

Apart from this mess, life is just peachy.

This can’t go on!

7 May

Believe it or not, I missed Beltane. The horror! One of my favorite holidays and the one I used to feel in my blood days before it was upon us. Slipped between work, everyday life and deadlines. This is a post by a very, very sad witch.

In the past I have repeatedly said that things need to change. Witching tends to take a back seat when life gets busy, but that is not the way I want it – and most of all, not the way I need it.

Over the next few days I hope to make a few changes – rearrange my home office, take the altar from the bedroom to said office, schedule the coming weeks around moons and seasons.

You see, I am a hypocrite. From my pedestal (which I carefully dusted), I preach to all kinds of people who care or care not that, as women and witches and artists, we should not even try to “have it all”. You know: A clean flat AND a great carreer AND a busy social life AND a great body. I keep telling people that it is okay to compromise. Let the dust sit for a few days, it won’t rise and kill you (unless a spell goes bad). Tell people you don’t have time for coktails to observe that special full moon instead. Skip the workout.

Because I *know* that everyone only gets 24 hours in a day. I tried applying for more, or for a clone to take some of the more mundane tasks, but to no avail. And so I hurry from task to task – kitchen, office, grocery store, office, kitchen, cocktail bar, more office – and try to HAVE it all and DO it all and IMPRESS them all. And on top I try to make it seem like such a fucking easy task. “Oh, that fourteen-layer cake with the marchpane Notre Dame on top? I qhipped it up before breakfast, no biggie. The windows are from spun sugar, totally easy!”

I know you are laughing. And I bet from the outside it looks funny. Might even make a great sitcom. But while I am in the middle of this mess I keep creating around me, I would like to take a few minutes out of the day to beat myself over the head with something heavy. Good thing I have to get that writing assignment done first and cook dinner and tomorrow’s lunch from scratch, no time for self-inflicted wisdom.

Anyway, I will let you know how it goes. If I ever get around to full-time witchy blogging again. Have fun! And don’t forget, words of wisdom spoken from a dusty crate you did NOT build yourself are almost as impressive.

Holiday plans

21 Apr

Yesterda marked the beginning of our two-week holiday. We don’t have any big plans – meet a few friends, watch a movie, go hiking – but I made one decision: I won’t wear any outfit suitable for the office! Yesterday I took the car to the repair shop and myself to the dentist, wearing pink shorts and a T-shirt with a Heavy Metal print. Today’s dress has a neckline that almost reveals my belly button (since there is no reasonable amount of boob to obscure the view). I totally need more hippie skirts and inappropriate tank tops. And I promise, the bikini will be reserved for the balcony – at least until the open air swimming season starts!

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