Hello! It is 1:30 in the morning and I am writing to you because I am an insomniac (and I work closing at my #dayjob). I believe that this post will be somewhat rambling, so please bear with me.
So I work in retail for my #dayjob in a #glitterfactory (also known as a fabric store where we sell glitter tulle. There is nothing worse than glitter tulle! Except for foil tulle. 😦 ). The store has a certain set of music it plays all day long. I’m not sure if it’s an internet radio station or an actual collection of music someone loads in. It plays things like Bob Dylan, Metric, and Dusty Springfield. Basically it is a collection of Pop music from the 60s (possibly the 50s!) to today. There are several songs that repeat, to the point where I want to tear my hair out if I hear them again.
One of them is Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child. When I was younger I really liked this song. This is a song about getting rid of a ‘trifling good for nothing’ boyfriend. When I was younger I thought it was really empowering. I’ve had to listen to it about ten times in the last week. I’ve listened to the lyrics a lot more now than when I was younger. This song gives so many mixed signals. It’s awful.
The verses are all about a man basically taking advantage of a woman who is independent and works hard, but then the chorus is about wanting a man to take care of her bills. One line is about kicking this man to the curb and then finding a baller to take care of her when times get hard. So she doesn’t want a broke man, but she wants a man who will take care of her financially? Oi. I could deconstruct the entire song’s lyrics, but I won’t. What I really have a hard time with are the lyrics of ‘Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Can you pay my automobile bills? If can than maybe we can chill. I don’t think you can so you and me are through.‘
What a message to send to young girls! Drop the man that doesn’t make money, doesn’t pay your bills, and go after one that will pay your bills. Naaaaah. I think I’ll go for a man that treats me well and like a partner. Whether we’re financially equal or not. If that means he takes care of me when times are rough, or I take care of him when times are rough, so be it. (Now, I’m going to go put on Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child, because I like their music. Even if I hate the song I just ranted about.)
I really, really hope that when I’m writing I’m not sending these sort of messages to women. Young or old. Romance is tricky. There is a particular formula for what seems to sell. I don’t want to write that. I want to write healthy things, healthy relationships. Or real ones at the very least. Not every relationship is meant to last. HEA is a toxic, horrible idea. It doesn’t mean that love is bad, it doesn’t mean that the person you were with was bad. It just means that HEA is not something we always get in life. You shouldn’t go into every relationship expecting to get it.
I hope my writing helps people. I hope it isn’t just another one in a long line of unrealistic versions of love. All I can do, I suppose, is continue to strive for it. To strive of a more real version of romance.
Meanwhile, I went on a job interview recently. A few thoughts on the interview:
- Eye contact is extremely important, and the interviewer kept looking downward. I don’t know if it was just in thought, or to look at my chest, or because I refused to look away. I refused to be intimidated. I smiled, maintained eye contact, and had confidence in myself. I wonder what sort of impression I left behind. As someone who struggles with self confidence, and standing up for herself this was a real accomplishment!
- The interviewer opened by asking me what my story was. I didn’t have an immediate cohesive spiel. So I just went with the most recent events in my life: I got a divorce earlier this year, left my husband, returned to my childhood home, and now live with my sister and brother-in-law. I went with the fact that I am rebuilding my life. (And what a life it is.) This was met with praise, of course, and condolences (I didn’t tell him that latter was not necessary, the divorce was my choice and I’m happier for it). I was told ‘that’s really hard’ that ‘divorce is a rough thing’. I just smiled and nodded. I could have explained that my ex was emotionally controlling and manipulative. I could have explained that my ex eats money. I could have explained about the things that still make me angry. Or about the things that looking back still frighten me. Instead I just accepted the compliment. I gave my story, not all of the gorey details. My story is that it is being rewritten. I’m back at chapter one.
- I learned that you should never ever tell someone you’re interviewing with that you’re a self published author. You should also never tell them that you write romance. Otherwise you’ll be asked if you write things like 50 Shades. (No, sir, I do not. I don’t write abusive relationships dressed up as really bad BDSM, thank you.) The interviewer commented that I was being evasive when asked the name of my book– Well, I write under a pen name. I don’t want you to read my book, especially not if I’m going to work for you. I really regret saying I was an author.
- It’s really sad that I regret saying I’m an author. There’s nothing wrong with erotica. There’s nothing wrong with what I write. Maybe someday I’ll have the confidence to just smile at a random stranger and say: I write erotica under then name C. McGrue, if you enjoy that sort of thing you should buy my books. Maybe when I don’t have to impress someone to make money to buy food. Someday.
I think that’s it for my rambling. Thank you for reading.