Tag Archives: home

Free Bitch: why too much of something is bad enough.


Breakups suck.

Usually they remind you you’re not enough and you spend all your time lamenting how inadequate you are. I have lots of experience with that kind of breakup, and with the kind of girlfriend who sits and tells me about how things would have worked out if she’d just had more sex with her boyfriend. If she’d been more, somehow.

Lately I’ve been noting a pattern in the demise of my relationships and my rather bouncily healthy self esteem is making itself quite known in the data I’m collecting.

They aren’t ending because I’m not enough. They’re ending because I’m too much.

This is interesting to note because in one, my partner was an abusive jerk with seemingly irresolvable misogyny and a dark messiah complex and in the other my partner was a nice, giving, open-hearted guy who just had trouble stretching his awesome to the limits of wonderment I wanted to explore. There’s no crime in that, at all, and the relationship brought much beauty, healing and fun to my life.

But in both situations, the ultimate death-note of the relationship rang when I wanted to step just a little further than was comfortable. My voraciousness for newness, for stimulation and ever-flexible boundaries apparently makes me an easy person to love, but slippery to grip.

I have lots of friends like me. It isn’t like I’m the only free bitch circulating. But I have very thirsty ambitions about ideal relations and they conjure a vision that is perhaps so impossible that I’ll never find a person or people to fit the bill.

See, my more-ness manifests as kinky, poly, feminist free-thinker who likes to keep a foot in many beds and options and refuses to give the right to dabble up. I don’t do strict limits. I find negotiating away an experience for the comfort of someone else, really hard. That means that I have just lost a boy that loves me dearly, because he does need some set horizons around the number of partners I have and how that influences time and space and jealousies, whereas I prefer to live inside the question mark. Full stops feel limiting.

Maybe some of this is emergent from my abuse history. Being forced to live in secret for so many years, to squash my queerness and poly inclinations and kinky imagination creates an unwillingness to give of myself that way again. I am still eager to taste all the world offers, to cram as much in my greedy mouth as I can, and I want my safewords to be self imposed. If I mercy, I want to own it. I want my limits to be mine, and anything requested feels imposed, though those truths are poles apart.

What I can perceive rationally as a fair deal to preserve a relationship still doesn’t trickle down through muscle and into my heart.

And perhaps I shouldn’t have to strike those deals, if I don’t want to, ever. In a moment of unconditional love, The Boy said to me don’t feel guilty for needing what you need. There’s nothing wrong with just being who you are. I loved him for that kindness…even in letting go, he was validating who I knew I needed to be.

Which is what leads us to the glittering positive of this whole experience – the learning of hope.

I hope that one day I meet a soul, or souls, who want to strike that perfect even balance of home and security and freedom and experimentation in the spirit of joy with me. I hope I find someone who sees me and admires and beholds rather than measures what they can handle…someone who wants to fuck and rage and fight the world beside me, to parent and nurture and build a nest, a radical nest. Who wants to be their own kind of free and champion my lovely, terrible freedom.

I want home, family, love + the great unknown. I’m told I can’t have both, by so many sources. I’m told that compromise is the path to happiness, that settling gets you what you want.

But here’s my foot, taking a leap of faith, and daring to believe that somewhere, out there is an equally free bitch who one day might be into changing nappies.

Fingers crossed, eh?

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Big Sarah’s Little Boots.


I have new boots.

Disclaimer: They are not vegan, which makes me quite sad. There was not a single scrap of a chance I was going to find vegan work boots with steel caps that were safe and in good enough condition for me to go to my new job on Monday though. Yeah, I prefer having my toes not chopped off (I will be working near heavy machinery and heavily loaded trolleys that may run over feet).

I plan to save up my pay and buy some really great custom work boots from Veganwares and give these current ones to the Salvos so somebody else who needs to start a new job and needs safe feet can benefit from my temporary unethical choice.

But even though I regrettably have dead cow on my feet, I am excited about the fact that I own work boots – steel-capped (for kicking holes in patriarchy, too)! And a trusty belt! And big thick work socks. And those singlets that make your tits look great at the same time as shouting these tits are hardworking, capable tits!

I am not pleased about the fact that the only boots I could get were in men’s sizes. The shop girl said that women come in all the time asking for footwear for jobs on factory floors, in sheds, on farms – places where you need something sturdy, reliable and safe. Yet all that is provided are boots for men, which is ridiculous, and quite sexist. I called my father from the change rooms to bitch about this, and he bemusedly said the best recourse was probably hiking boots from a camping store.

In the end I settled on a pair of Jackaroo men’s size sevens. Insoles for arch support. And hard yakka acrylic woolies for my toesies.

I put all my gear on and The Boy got a bit excited. There were the arms around the waist and a big grin and the “heyyyyy, sexy” thing. Awww.

I look like the girls from back home, who drink rum and have a perpetual sunburn and bits of grass in their hair. The girls who swagger along Peel street, having come into town to bank, knowing their secret knowledge and rippling with strength, wit and a ‘don’t fuck with me’ rural fierceness. I’ve spent my whole life running away from this aesthetic, and yet here I am, inhabiting it.

It feels rather nice, actually, though I feel a fraud. ‘Tis all a bit like drag for this femme for now (could I rock redhot red lipstick with these? likely…) but for some reason this attire makes me feel like I can do things.

Now I’m going to go cook a big pot of chili and sing along to Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone and dream of the browning hills and fairy-scatter lights of my hometown. I’m going home this Easter, to camp with my family. I’ll be putting up tents, like I know how, and making fires, and rock hopping through rivers.

In my boots.


Haus Frau: why the cult of the domestic has me by the ovaries.


For A.T and J.M. Much love.

—–

Fuck, I love bone china.

I recently acquired a teetering stack of mismatched tea plates from my local op-shop. Ten plates, one dollar each and individually wrapped in brown paper.

Yellowing at the edges where gold leaf slicked around, coloured a broadening milky paste across their centre, they were delightfully perfect in my gaze. They were pricked with riots of cornflowers and switches of grass, heavy headed pink buds leaning sweetly and nervously out of corners. Regency, Delphine, Royal Vale, Hammersley, Wedgewood and Windsor.

Mine. Mine mine mine.

The best part wasn’t buying the suckers, though that was part of the draw. The best part was getting them home. With excited, lamb-shaky hands, I pulled the paper away and dipped them slowly into a hot sink of suds. I watched the water suck and pucker and pull, and I washed them gently with a wide lemon coloured cloth. Everything in my house was still and hushed while I did this, and I did it with care.

Then I dried them. Put them away. Stood back and looked at them in the cupboard a little while.

It was like quiet worship – an inexpensive, humble connection with my sense of home. Such experiences border on the holy for me; some people have religion, and I have my nest, for which I flit to and fro collecting twigs.

I didn’t have a home of my own for most of last year. I lived in share-houses, which for many do feel like home (a truth I would never begrudge). But the tender thrill of acquiring and arranging objects in a space mostly you pass through, daily, is demarcated in my heart as that which is most home-like. Mostly I eat and laugh and cry and orgasm and read and curl and bathe and kitty-play and churlishly sulk here.

For me, curating my home has become an act of wilful feminism. The first home to which I attached was defined by the principles to which I attached it. I married very young, a maid with hope in her heart and daisies pinned up in her hair. I was cheeky and rambunctious as I am currently, though that was a foetal aspect of my now fully-fledged knowledge of who I am and may hope to be. Then, I wanted that white picket fence – I wanted every fucking post and I threw my heart and body and money and time at it without regard for where the divisions of all that lay, and what the cost of submerging my self would be. I took part in rites I had no hope of truly understanding, allowed ancient structures to become the frame for a picture I didn’t fit in. And from this place I built a home.

It was a good home, the one that I built. I did it sincerely. I believed in it. But anything built from a place of hopeful-aim and not arrived-at identity is unlikely to stand. And it did not, for me.

Attached too much to someone else, that house was.

But finally, finally, I have my own house and I live so well in it. I share it with my partner, but in a more radical way than I could have ever imagined in the past. We have separate rooms, and we kept receipts of all the furnishings and objects we acquired so in the likely event that we one day part ways – for few relationships last our lives long – I’ll buy out his share. Open discussion had led to autonomy. My cats live with us, but they’re my cats. Rather than feeling a sense of mercenary failure to merge, I feel joy at my newfound ability to stand unstintingly in the light of equality. Before, I would have felt deeply ashamed of that.

And every day now, I turn the key in the lock of place where I lay down and know myself. The twigs I bring here are ones I have chosen, for me, for my place, and I make the bounds of all that is around me come to life. My feathers rustle and fluff with smug pleasure.

I am not the lovely, innocent child in a bride’s dress anymore. But I am a woman with teapots and cats and a sea-foam blue tablecloth. Maturity in my domestic shell is not a cheat, nor is it a sadness; it is something I rise and shine to daily, enjoying where my step hits the cool tile of my bathroom, my nakedness surrounded by walls I pay for, I afford. This woman is a woman with plans, and each lamp and each mopped floor is a trembling ripple of joy on the new skin of her fully possessed life.

Oh, how I prefer her.


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