Monthly Archives: January 2013

Attracting a Partner, Part 1

I am doing a class next week on Attracting a Partner.

It used to be called, Attracting a Dominant, but then the more I did it the more I realized that the same things went into both sides of it, or many of the same anyway, and it seemed silly to do a class that applied to both but marketed to one.

At the Sunday munch last week, I ended up giving a sort of impromptu vision of what I think is important in finding a partner.

On one level, it’s funny, because I say the same thing in all my classes, on the other hand, it’s not funny at all, really.

The first step is always knowing yourself.

If you do not know what you want, if you are unable to define it and communicate it, the likelihood that you will find it goes WAY down.

I think one of the reasons that can be hard is that it requires a certain level of honesty with yourself, and sometimes that’s not the prettiest side of our personality, or, rather, it’s not the way we THINK we should look.

Back in the last decade, when I was more focused on finding people, one of the things that mattered was that they not have children, at least children under a certain age, whom they had much contact with.

I don’t mean I preferred deadbeat dads, by the way.

But I don’t particularly like children.  My not having children was not an accident, or a sorrow.

If a man had children that were still preteens, for instance, I believed they should be his primary focus, meaning I couldn’t be.

I want your attention.  Children interfere – and should.  Ergo, no children.

I also like decorative playmates and partners.  I am shallow.  I’m also a big believer in physical attraction.

I am not perfect, nor do I expect others to be, but I do like good-looking playmates, and that weighs heavily in my decisions.

Those are not overly flattering recognitions about oneself, but if I think that an unattractive guy with three small kids will work for me, in the end, we’re both going to waste our time.

I think you have to be realistic about what you have to offer, too, in the sense of time and commitment.  It might be fun to fantasize about being kept naked and chained 24/7, but if you have a mortgage and a job, then that’s probably not realistic, unless you find someone with an estate and a lot of disposable income.

It’s not impossible, but you might not have a very broad pool of candidates from which to draw.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re failing ourselves if we’re not as “committed” as we think we ought to be, or as other people are.

My kink life really IS my life.  I do little that doesn’t have kink components.  Most of my social interactions are kink-related.  Most of my travel is kink-related.  Most of my relationships are kink-related.

Personally, I was never looking for something that was just in the bedroom.  If you’re unwilling to go to an event with me, or a munch, or a party, then, I’m probably not interested.

But that doesn’t mean everyone is so committed to this, or should be.

I don’t have blood family, or children.  That doesn’t claim my time.

I was never overly career-driven.  I gave what I had to give to get along.  That didn’t claim my time.

Being realistic about what you have to give and want to get back is vital, I think, to actually GETTING it.

Remember – I have a new website on my OWN domain up and running.   It’s the same right now, but in time this one will likely not be updated as often – better get your bookmarks updated!

And a LINK to the new site would be incredibly helpful, wouldn’t it?  Thanks to the MonkeysJourney blog for the reminder.

You can find my new home here.

Alarms at Night

So, last night I am sleeping soundly, as you might expect, given that it was 4am.

I wake up, slowly, trying to figure out what that sound is.

You know how it is, you’re half-groggy, and it is January, not exactly tornado season.

I spent probably five minutes at least coming awake, trying to figure out what I’m hearing.

Finally, I say to slave drew, “Are those sirens?”

“I think so…”

“Are they TORNADO sirens?”

About then, we both sort of wake up enough to realize that they are, indeed, tornado sirens.

We get up and turn on the television upstairs.  Yes, tornado sirens.  Yep, we’re having what seems to be a hellacious storm, passing over Louisville.

We are warned repeatedly to take shelter, but nothing is HAPPENING around us.

After about 15 minutes, I said, “Let’s go downstairs, if we do need to go to the basement, better to already be downstairs…”

We never went downstairs, it never really got bad here.  It got bad all around us, but it was also a very fast-moving storm, traveling at something like 50+ miles per hour, they said, so it was over and gone before too long, but it still kept us up from 4am to 5am.

And then going back to sleep is not that easy afterwards.

So it was an earlier start than I’d planned on.

I went to the Wednesday Coffee, I had a friend who wanted advice and that was the easiest place to meet.

I chatted with a few people and then came home.

Tomorrow I have a meeting to talk to a venue owner.  We’ll see how it works out.

Friday is the Friday Munch.

Saturday I’ll be in Indy overnight to emcee a contest, then home again Sunday.

A busy week.

I need to do some work on Bluegrass, I need to sell tickets and figure out a schedule for classes and what classes I’ll have.

I need to do some followups on Great Lakes, too.

I also need to do some work on my new site, I needed to move to this site to accommodate some other ideas I want to put into place, so that’s in the works.

I need to respond to comments, and leave the ones I keep meaning to leave.

I need to clean off my desk, and touch base with a half dozen people, too.

So, I have more to do than I have time to do it, and there’s nothing at all unusual in that, is there?

Now, if there are just no more alarms at night.

If you don’t recognize the reference, by the way, which is admittedly vague, it’s from my favorite author, James Thurber, and from my favorite of his books.  You can find the story here.

Remember, too, to take a look at my NEW site on my OWN domain, which you can find here.

Website!

I am SO freaking happy to announce that I finally have my blog up on my own domain, something that has been on my agenda for a couple of months.

If you’re reading this on MsConstanceExplains at WordPress, well, I’m still very glad to have you.

However, if you’re reading this on my own domain, at MsConstanceExplains.com, well then, I’m even more glad to have you.

To give credit where credit is more than due, I had little to do with this.

My good friend Charles did the migration for me.  I had tried and played at it a few times, but just never got it to work.  I was worried I’d lose everything because I’m not that much of a tech person.  I had spent a couple of hours trying to figure it out, and a month kind of playing at it.

I gave Charles the information last night, and he had it done before noon today.

Now THAT’S a geek.

In the best sense of the word.

So, I am very pleased to have this done, to be able to check it off my large to do list.

On another note, I started sending out questions to my crew that are planning to run for Leather titles, and I plan to do that daily.

The thing about Leather Contests is that it’s not unlike a job interview.  You are, in fact, interviewing for the job of a title holder.

International Mr. Leather, for instance, there are usually in the range of 50 contestants.

IML is a BIG deal.  Participants are judged on stage presence and personality (Pecs and Personality), leather image, presentation skills, and physical appearance.  To be named as one of the top twenty contestants is a big deal, to be named top three is extraordinary.

I hold a Leather title with slave drew.  He and I are Great Lakes Master and slave 2003.  We competed at GLLA, where we won, then went on to compete at the International Master and slave contest, where we did not win.

When we ran, there were no feeder contests for the regionals.

There are, for most of the major contests, three levels of competition.

You compete at the state level, then at the regional, then at the International.

I can produce five titles, if I have contestants.  I can produce Bluegrass Leather Pride Master and slave, Bluegrass Leather Pride Bootblack, Bluegrass Leather Pride Sir, Bluegrass Leather Pride boy, and Ms Bluegrass Leather Pride. I produce a state contest.

All of my contestants then go on to Great Lakes Leather Alliance, which is the regional contest.

Some of the winners of GLLA will go to specific international contests.

The Great Lakes Master and slave, for instance, will go to South Plains Leatherfest, where they will compete for International Master and slave.

The Great Lakes Leather Sir and Leather boy will go to International Leather Sir and boy Contest.

The Great Lakes Bootblack can choose to compete at International Mr Bootblack, or in the case of a female, International Ms Bootblack, or International Community Bootblack, which is affiliated with the International Leather Sir and boy.

Great Lakes Ms. Leather Pride can choose to go to compete for International Ms Leather, which is called IMsL for short – pronounced “im-sill” – or she can go to compete for the International Ms Olympus contest.

What the regional and state contests endeavor to do is create an experience as close to the international contests as is possible.  We basically take the application from the International and use it for regional, and from regional and use it for state.

The more often a contestant going through the same contest, the better they do.

Virtually all contests have some of the same components – an interview, a speech, and a pop question.  Some, like the Master and slave, also have a presentation.

M/s couples are also judged on their Master and slave dynamics; those qualities that make them a Master and slave as opposed to simply a dominant and submissive couple.

Some of the Leather contests also have an image or appearance component, but you shouldn’t interpret that as meaning that only traditionally perfect people compete and win.  One of the good things about the Leather community is that we tend to have a broader view of what’s attractive, and often, it’s far more about being comfortable in your skin.

So, we are working on preparing people for interviews by asking questions.  Next week we will work some on speeches, which is often one of the things the people find terrifying.

So, once again, I hope you visit my new home.  I’m very happy to have gotten moved in finally.

Poetry Corner

You should know by now that I often turn to poetry here when I lack time and inspiration to write something myself.  And really, I have good taste in poetry, so it’s ok.

I wrote a class of D/s themed poetry, or poetry that spoke to me of it, anyway, some time ago.  I rarely do it – it’s very few people’s thing, but here are parts of it.

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Elinor Wylie, born in 1885, was famous during her life almost as much for her beauty and personality as for her poetry. After an unhappy marriage, she fled to England with Horace Wylie in 1910; following her first husband’s death she married Wylie, and although they were later divorced, she continued to write under the name Elinor Wylie. In 1923 she married William Rose Benét, poet and editor.  She died in 1928.

Pretty Words

Poets make pets of pretty, docile words:
I love smooth words, like gold-enameled fish
Which circle slowly with a silken swish,
And tender ones, like downy-feathered birds:
Words shy and dappled, deep-eyed deer in herds,
Come to my hand, and playful if I wish,
Or purring softly at a silver dish,
Blue Persian kittens fed on cream and curds.

I love bright words, words up and singing early;
Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing;
Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees;
I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly,
Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees,
Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.

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John Keats, one of the greatest English poets and a major figure in the Romantic movement, was born in 1795 in London. He died of tuberculosis in Italy in 1821.  In that tragically short lifetime, he wrote an astonishing amount of poetry.  In this work, he takes on the voice of a young knight, entranced and bewitched by La Belle Dame sans Merci – the beautiful lady without mercy.

La Belle Dame sans Merci

O what can ail thee, Knight at arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the Lake
And no birds sing!

O what can ail thee, Knight at arms,
So haggard, and so woebegone?
The squirrel’s granary is full
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a Lady in the Meads,
Full beautiful, a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light
And her eyes were wild.

I made a Garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant Zone;
She looked at me as she did love
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend and sing
A faery’s song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said
I love thee true.

She took me to her elfin grot
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lull’ed me to sleep,
And there I dreamed, Ah Woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale Kings, and Princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried, La belle dame sans merci
Thee hath in thrall!

I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gap’ed wide,
And I awoke, and found me here
On the cold hill’s side.

And that is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering;
Though the sedge is withered from the Lake
And no birds sing.

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William Butler Yeats, born in Dublin in 1865, died in 1939 was a poet and a playwright.  He is considered the greatest lyric poet Ireland has produced and one of the major figures of 20th-century literature.  Irish legends and the occult fascinated him.  Some of that fascination in evident in his poetry.

A Poet to His Beloved

I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams;
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-gray sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
This is brimmed from the pale fire of time;
White woman with numberless dreams
I bring you my passionate rhyme.

When You Are Old

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced among the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.

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Titleholder Preparations

We had one of the titleholder preps we do in Louisville tonight.  We do preparations for people planning to run for titles and tonight we had five potential contestants and seven or eight of us who were working with them, asking questions, giving feedback on the questions that were being given and the way they were given.

We talked about why they wanted to hold the titles for which they were running, what they thought they brought to the table that other contestants might not, what part spirituality played in their Leather lives, why they were running for the title they were running for.

It’s always interesting to hear how people answer those questions, and I’m generally pleased with where we are.  We have more work, but things are going well.

Then we had the Sunday munch after, and that was fun, but it’s nearly bedtime now.  More tomorrow, I swear.

Fringe Elements Meeting

We had our second open meeting for Fringe Elements tonight.

We had expected more people than actually showed, but that was fine, too.  We had about 25 people, I think, plus the six of us who sit on the Board of Directors.

We had set it up so we talked about the venue search, our financials, marketing, administration and volunteers.

We’ve been searching for a venue since we started and have had no luck.  We’ve found places that didn’t work for various reasons – location, structure, access, ownership, neighbors, etc., etc., etc.

We talked about having looked at 113 venues, and dealt with something like 90 agents.

We actually have a viewing scheduled for Monday, too.

We talked about our finances, where we were, how much we’d made and from where.

In addition, we talked about how many meetings we had held, how many events, where we’d been represented, what we’d done.

Then we talked about our marketing and our legal status, and then our volunteers.

All in all, it went very well.  I’d spent three or four hours in the last day or two putting together the information, figuring out the flow, preparing for questions we might get, getting some things done that we wanted to have available and ready, etc.

I am glad it’s over, and glad it went well.

If you’d like to take a look, our website is here.

To a Tea

I post so much about tea that I thought I would expound on it because, well, because I can.

I did a tea portion of a class before a formal Leather dinner and it was, apparently, a revelation to a lot of people, so maybe it will have some value here, too.

Tea is a lovely beverage.  It is the second most consumed drink in the world, after water.

Experts say tea provides as many disease-fighting flavonoids antioxidants as fruits or vegetables.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that promote a healthier immune system.

White tea contains the most antioxidants, followed by green tea. Black tea undergoes a fermentation process, which severely decreases its antioxidant content (though it still has more than coffee).

Additionally, tea contains a lot of other natural compounds that promote health, including vitamins C, D and K, amino acids and fluoride.

Tea has a long history of ceremony around it.  According to the records, tea was first introduced to Japan from China in the early ninth century by Japanese Buddhist monks.

According to the evolution of the tea ceremony, which you can read in its entirety here, “Powdered tea is used only in the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu), which was created in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the midst of Japan’s samurai-dominated medieval age (1185-1568). It is green powdered tea, which is scooped into a rather large bowl and whipped into a frothy, bitter-tasting drink with hot water poured from a kettle.”

While coffee has some of the same health benefits as tea, most health professionals agree that more than two or three cups a day is excessive and is bad for your teeth, reduces the flow of blood to your heart, can cause headaches, indigestion and constipation, and also increases blood pressure. Coffee has even been linked to greater frequencies of sterility in men.

So, in general, tea is better for you than coffee.

My information is from here, but basically all tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. What makes each tea different is the way it has been processed.

Tea can be classified according to the amount of processing that goes into the final product.

Black tea goes through the most processing, and is actually fermented.

White tea leaves are the youngest and most tender leaves that are much more rare because they are only harvested at certain times of the year. After harvest, the young tea leaves are fired immediately before any oxidation can occur which results sweeter and naturally mild product.

Because of the use of only select leaves, white tea tends to be more expensive than other tea.

Green tea is produced by preventing oxidation from occurring. The harvested leaves are initially steamed, which stops the fermentation process, before being fired. As it has been for centuries, green tea is the beverage of choice in many Asian countries.

Studies indicate that green tea may be more healthful than other varieties as well.

Let me make a statement that for me, herbal tea is not tea.

It is, in fact, an anathema and an abomination.  Ick.

I like flavored teas, but I’m particular about the flavor.  No mint.  No apple.  No pumpkin.  No chocolate.

I’m lukewarm about vanilla.

I like berry flavors, though not usually strawberry.  I like citrus, but I prefer grapefruit over orange.

Earl Gray is disgusting.  Might as well pour perfume into a perfectly good pot of tea.

Decent tea is worth the price.

If you don’t drink tea but you’d like to have tea around for others, buy a tin of decent English or Irish breakfast tea.

Notice I said tin, not box.

Tea gets stale much faster in a cardboard box, or a paper envelope.

I am quite fond of The Republic of Tea brand.  They run about $10-$14 for 50 tea bags or the equivalent of loose tea.  My longstanding favorite tea is their Blackberry Sage, which I have been drinking for, literally, more than 20 years, and a new variety which I’m also liking a LOT, a Rose Petal tea, with black tea blended with rose petals and buds.

It’s sold in a tin with a tight-fitting lid, meaning that the tea will stay fresh, even if you don’t use it for a long time, and it’s a good quality tea.

If you like coffee, you know that if you come to my house and I offer you coffee, you know that if I pull out an old bag of cheap coffee from the cupboard, one that’s not been sealed or stored in the freezer, or, worse yet, a jar of cheap instant coffee, you’re probably not going to get a decent cup of coffee.

You’ll likely say thanks but no thanks, and have a soda or a glass of water.

If you pull a half open box of Lipton tea from the cupboard, boil a mug of water in the microwave and dump the tea bag in it, then bring it to me with nowhere to get rid of the tea bag, I’m not going to get a very good cup of tea, either.

Water has to be boiled over a fire.  I don’t know what happens to water when you boil it in a microwave, but it does something.  It makes the water flat or something.  It’s disgusting.

I *love* an electric tea kettle.  I use this one, and yes, I know it’s expensive.  It’s worth every cent.

We use the tea kettle on average at least three or four times a day.  It boils water fast and, in my view, the best thing is, it turns itself off and I don’t have to think abut it again.  If you let water boil and boil, it loses oxygen and the tea isn’t nearly as good.  Like in a microwave, it tastes flat.

I boil water in the tea pot for pasta, too.  It’s faster and more efficient, and you KNOW slave drew is all about efficient use of energy.

If you wouldn’t drink your water in a glass with ice, then you probably don’t want to drink it boiled for tea, either.  I wouldn’t, anyway.

Louisville is very lucky, we have very good water, I don’t bother to filter it, it tastes fine straight from the tap.  If yours doesn’t, then you need to at least use water that’s gone through a filter.

Technically, green and white teas should be steeped with water JUST before it boils.  I do use fully boiled for all of it, unless I happen to be standing by the tea kettle.

Tea made in a mug is usually too strong.  We have three teapots, because we might have a pot of black tea and a pot of green all going at once.  One teabag makes one pot of tea.

Before you pour the boiling water in the teapot, you should rinse it out with warm water, so it’s not a cold pot.  You shouldn’t make tea in a silver or metal pot, because it will taste metallic.

Black tea is usually steeped for three to four minutes, green and white for one or two, but I’m really not a purist about that.  It depends on how strong the tea is.

If you’re using a tea bag, you’re supposed to take it out after that length of time, though I don’t bother most of the time.  If it’s very strong, or very black, I do take it out because it gets bitter.

If you’re a real tea drinker, too, you probably have a tea cozy, to put over the tea pot to keep it warm.

We have two.  One for black, one for green.

We do a lot of loose tea, too, and because of that, we do a lot of blends.  We have three or four tea infusers, the little cup of plastic and mesh that fits down in the pot to hold the tea leaves.  We use about a teaspoon of tea for a pot, maybe a bit more, depending.

I don’t like small cups, I like a big mug,  People who like big mugs tend to not want to refill it as often, people who like small cups really often hate cold tea.

I really dislike coffee, always have.  I have my own travel mugs for tea that are not EVER used for coffee, ever, ever, ever.  Once you’ve put coffee in a travel cup, it always smells of coffee.

I can’t make tea in a hotel room using the coffee pot, either, the water tastes disgusting.

I’ve been known to take a tea kettle with me to a hotel room.

I will warm a cup of tea in the microwave, but I don’t boil it.  I prefer not to have to, but I won’t turn my nose up at it.

Now, have I totally intimidated you so you’ll never make me tea?

Being Served

I read an interesting blog by jade, on Queen Bees and service.  I recommend you read it, here, it’s really an interesting entry.

I think that often one of the things that’s hard for people to understand about being a dominant is that being served is not always as easy as it might seem.

For one thing, being served well requires training someone in how you like to be served and that means, then, that you put up with less than ideal service for a while, because no one is going to get it right the first time.

I often use tea as an example in explaining service.

I drink a lot of hot tea.  I think I’ve had four or five pots of tea today.  The morning started with a couple pots of Blackberry Sage tea, I had Rose Petal Tea in the afternoon, then a pot of a new tea I had ordered, a green pear flavor, and then a pot of my favorite green tea at the moment, a pink grapefruit.

So, as you can tell, I take my tea fairly seriously.  Only one was a tea bag kind of tea, the other was all loose tea.

If you were going to serve me for a day or two, you’d need to know how to make tea.  Not only that, you’d need to make tea the way I like it, and even slave drew, who also drinks tea and knows what teas I like and how I like my teas, and once in a while I get a tea that isn’t really what I wanted at that particular time.  It’s unavoidable.

For you to get my tea right, you have to know if I want black tea or green tea or white tea, do I want it flavored or plain, how strong do I want it?

Black tea and green tea and white tea all have different kinds of brewing times.

I like mugs, largish ones, not small cups.

You can’t boil water in a microwave and make tea with it.  I don’t’ know why, but it’s disgusting.

So, if you’re going to make me tea, most likely, I’m going to have quite a few pots of tea that aren’t exactly what I want.

To get good service, too, I have to be able to articulate both what I want and how I want it, and that’s not always easy.

In addition, I have to KNOW what it is I want.

That’s harder than you might think.

I know a lot of dominants who seem to expect submissives to read their minds, when, it seems, there’s not much there to read.

You also have to be willing to make a choice, to pick one thing over another.

You know those people, you say to them, What kind of pie would you like, we have pumpkin, apple and pecan, and they say, Oh, it doesn’t matter.  Whatever.

My, how helpful.

I’ve told you I have all three.  It clearly makes no difference to ME what you have, if it did, I’d not have offered them all.

Or the person to who you say, would you rather have a soft drink or wine, and they say, Yes.

Again, not helpful.

As a dominant, you have to know your own mind, and be willing to state it.

It can be hard, too, to not feel guilty or as if you’re taking advantage of someone.

I know, I know, it’s the dynamic, you like serving, we get that.

But still.

When we’re both sitting down, sometimes it feels pretty selfish to say, “I’d like more tea.”

If it’s something less pleasant – getting up in the night to let the dogs out, for instance – it can feel pretty selfish to stay snug and warm in bed while someone else gets up to do that.

During our Fringe Board meetings, we often  meet at my house and eat dinner during the meeting.  Last time I started to take one of the plates to the kitchen.

I was basically not allowed to, because jacki took it from me, with her usual, Really, Ma’am?  Really?

Sometimes that’s odd for me, too – it’s my house, I’m the host, I should take care of people, it’s odd to me to sit down and be waited on.

I know, I know, it’s hard to believe.

I told you being served is not the easiest thing.

Shyness

I had a conversation tonight with someone about shyness.

When I was a teenager, I was painfully shy.  I know, hard to believe if you know me now.

Now, I will willingly take a stage, take a microphone, stand up in front of people, stand in the spotlight.

I know that it started after I got out of school.

I was astonishingly unpopular in school.  No movie dates or school dances or proms.

What probably won’t surprise anyone is that I was on the annual staff, about my only activity.

Then I got out of school and through a few coincidences and one of those horrible social programs, I got a job I’d never have gotten any other way, that lead me down a lot of paths.

I got a job through CETA, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act.  It was one of those programs that Reaganomics thought had no value, although it was actually a continuation of the WPA.

Anyway, I got a job working for an arts alliance in the itty tiny town I grew up in.  I ran the office, typed up everything in the days when things were typed, scheduled classes, wrote grants, and generally did whatever needed to be done.

It was a great job for someone who didn’t have a lot of experience doing those things, and the woman who hired me, Colleen, actually had a lot of influence on me.

She was enough older than I was that it was easy for her to be a mentor, but not so much older that we didn’t have a lot in common.

I spent a LOT of time at her house as we got to know each other, and less at my own, and that was, no doubt, a real benefit to me, too.

Colleen was NOT shy.  She was six feet tall in her stocking feet and, in the parlance of the day, she owned it.  She stood tall, she didn’t slouch, she wore heels, and her husband was about 5’8″.

I learned a lot from Colleen, the most important thing being that you missed out on a LOT by being shy.  A lot.

I really didn’t want that to be the case.

I think I came to the realization that mild discomfort on my part was not a good enough reason to miss out on the things that I wanted to experience.

So I stopped.

I know, I know, if you’re shy, you’re saying, but how do you do that, how do you not stand there paralyzed and just get over it?

I don’t know, on one hand, on the other hand, I know exactly.  You simply do it.

You put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

Shyness is really about being obsessed with yourself.

I know, I know, not the most popular view, particularly if you’re the one who’s shy.  However, shyness is about being sure that everyone is watching YOU.

They’re paying attention to themselves.

That’s the secret.

No one is paying THAT much attention to you, because they’re all obsessed with themselves.

The other thing I do know is that the best way to stop focusing on yourself is to focus on someone else.

I think, too, that having a job makes it easier.

As NOT shy as I usually am, I can be at loose ends if I don’t have a role.

Give me a job, though, and I’m good.

It’s one of the best things about volunteering, because you have a job and that pushes you to focus on other people, on a task, and that’s helpful, I think.

Give me a job and I’m happy.

Put me on a stage and I’m even better.

 

Tuesday

We had a Fringe Board meeting tonight, which takes both time and energy.

The good news is, however, that I finally took down the Christmas tree in preparation.

Now, to be fair, I hadn’t done a tone of decorating for Christmas.  A small Christmas tree with Scottie ornaments, a few things set out, not a lot.  I was not living in Santa’s workshop or anything, but it is the 22nd of January, it was time to take it all down and put it away.

I’ve got things to do on Bluegrass Leather Pride, which I will do some work on tomorrow and the day after.

I seriously need to respond to comments, and that’s on my agenda.

And after 20 minutes, this is all I have, so I think I should just accept that I haven’t much to say tonight.

Tomorrow I feel sure I’ll be more talkative.