Tag Archives: Inadequacy

I (Heart) You, Babe

St. Valentine’s Day come round again, bringing with it the pure joy and sense of togetherness that is love.

It surely wouldn’t bring with it feelings of inadequacy, panic, anger, frustration, sexual frustration, crumpling under pressure, performance anxiety, fervent desire to be somewhere — anywhere — else. Surely.

Ha, don’t call it Shirley.

I’m not sure if it’s a difference between dudes and dudettes, but the men I know really have no special affection for Valentine’s Day. To us, it’s just a day where we used to get candy in school and (at least for me) that inadequate feeling when the only Valentines in your bag were the ones that got given out to everyone in the classroom.

Even when I ostensibly grew up, I never saw all that much reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I probably got it from my AlohaDoc, aka my dad.

I can’t remember how many times he told me the story of how, when he was a young dude himself, he used to break up with whoever his girlfriend was at the time right around the first of February. That way he didn’t have to go out and purchase a gift.

Women, on the other candy assortment, seem to love Valentine’s Day. I found this out during the first Valentine’s Day I spent with the lady who would become my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Having More Fun Than Anyone I’ve Ever Met Before.

We were about to swap presents when she said, “I love Valentine’s Day. It’s always been so special to me.”

At which point my heart crumbled to dust, sifted out my body and landed in a small, dry pile on the linoleum of her dad’s kitchen floor. Because, being an idiot, I’d managed to get her something remarkably unspecial. Heck, it was so unspecial, I can’t even remember what it was.

What I do remember is the look on her face, the sadness trying to hide behind a really bad poker face. I’ve learned since then. Valentine’s Day is a big deal.

Me? Still not so much. The way I see it, I would rather receive spontaneous recognition of someone’s love for me during the year than have one day where that display is mandated. I mean, is it really special when you’ve got to do it?

I’m not so sure about that.

Anyway, I don’t want to come off sounding all cynical and anti-love. I’m not. Well, not anti-love. I can’t help being cynical. I mean, after all, my eyes and ears do work and I pay attention to the world. How could I not be cynical?

But not cynical about love. Love is amazing. Love. Love will keep us together. It’s just Valentine’s Day I have a problem with.

That said, I still went out and got some very nice presents to hand over to my Sweetie. I’m not telling because she’ll probably read this before I have a chance to give them to her.

The hug’s going to be nice. As for anything else. . .

See you later, dudes.

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Nu Project To Europe

Ask any woman: Most of them hate the way their body looks.

Heck, ask most dudes and you’ll find at least one thing they wish they could change. (If anyone guessed hair would be right at the top of the list, congratulations. Genius stickers all ’round.)

To make matters worse, most of our media showcases only the bodies of those who can afford to spend 12 hours a day working out, the money to afford the best plastic surgeons, and to have a nutritionist and chef on staff to prepare healthy and delicious meals for them.

And then there’s Photoshop and other image-manipulation software. Whoa, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of colorful horses there, dudes.

What I’m getting at is that the images we see most often in the media surrounding us (and with the internet, we’re almost always surrounded by media), are of perfect bodies. Not one of which are ours.Nu Project cover

Which is only one reason I like The Nu Project. Originally conceived on Kickstarter, The Nu Project is the brainchild of photographer Matt Blum. He went out and created a wonderfully tasteful book of nudes.

The thing is, his models were perfectly ordinary ladies you’d meet whenever you went outside. They are ladies of every color, every age, every size. And they all agreed to display their bodies for this book, in an effort the show that there is beauty in every body. If I may steal from the book’s tagline. And I just did, so I guess I may-ed.

As soon as I heard about this project, I raced to Kickstarter and became a backer, pledging enough money to make sure I got a copy of the book. It’s now sitting in pride of place, on the coffee table next to a huge photo book of the best shots from the Hubble Space Telescope.

It’s available now for people who aren’t Kickstarter backers. You can purchase the book from Matt Blum’s website, or you can buy it at Amazon.com or other book seller sites.

It’s wonderful that these women decided to get over their feelings of inadequacy pushed on them by the continual bombardment of perfect images and showcase the beauty in their body. Not only that, but it’s something that’s been desperately needed for a long time.

Take this comment from the project’s FAQ page: Thank you for this. I have lived with crippling body insecurity all of my life, even seeking help from doctors about it. I recently went through major surgery twice for health reasons and it’s left me very visibly scarred. I saw the photo of a woman with several scars on her body and started crying as the photo tells the story of somebody who’s been through a lot and has the courage to show it off proudly. It really struck a chord with me. Thanks for your work, and thanks for the incredible woman who showed off the hard times she’s been through in a brave manner.

In addition to the book, Matt Blum has set up a website for the project on which he displays some of the photographs he took for the first book, and some he’s preparing for use in the next iterations. In fact, just recently, he was able to photograph his first transgender person when he and the project were in New York.

All well and good, you say, but we’re guessing that’s not the reason you’re writing about this today. And you’re right. It’s not. I’m writing to ask you to support Matt Blum’s efforts to travel farther and take more pictures of more women in more places to create more books.

To travel to those exotic places, like, say, Europe, the project needs to secure more funding. The best way to do that is for you to buy a copy of the book. And then tell others about the book, urging them to buy it as well. Or, if you’re feeling especially flush (in a money sense) these days, you could help to directly sponsor a shoot. You can download the project’s sponsorship packet by clicking here.

It’s a tremendous opportunity to do something good for a lot of people.

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Broken Heart

by Richard

It seems odd, but this is the first time it’s happened here in Casa de Dude. We’ve got a broken heart.

Sarcasmo recently went through an odd little break up. To most people, I’m sure, it wouldn’t mean all that much. But it meant the world to him.

He came to me for advice. He didn’t know what to do because it hurt so bad.

And all I had left to give him were clichés.

You’ll get better in time.

The joys of trying for love outweigh the sadness losing it.

There are others out there for you.

“It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” said J.

“Try it,” K growled.

Even as the words left my mouth, I could feel the inadequacy of them. It’s not just inadequate to this situation, but to most situations that deal with a broken heart. When you’re heart’s in a million pieces on the ground, everything is inadequate. Nothing can heal the pain. Nothing can make a difference.

The words we say are nothing but noise. The hugs we give are nothing but constrictions. The smiles, merely more teeth showing. The tears we shed are arid counterpoint to the ocean of sadness inside. And the prose we right, not nearly purple enough to cover the depth of our damage.

And then, one day, you find that you’re healed. The thought of the dudettes name doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve just tried to kiss an angry hedgehog. Seeing the dude’s face across the room, doesn’t make you want to run the other way at speed.

And you’re amazed that you ever actually cared enough to worry about losing that twit.

When your heart is fresh broken, you know it will never heal. When it’s healed, you know it’s hardened enough so that it will never break again. Until the next time.

But that’s something you don’t want to hear about right now.

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