I Don’t Like That I Don’t Get It

I had an odd reaction to a movie I watched the other night, and I’m not sure I want to talk about it. Yet it affected me in ways that I don’t like, because it makes me reflect on parts of me that I don’t like.

I watched one of those Barbershop movies. I don’t know if those comedy/dramas that happen in the ‘hood interest you, but I enjoy the hip language and colorful culture that’s portrayed.  The first two movies were more about the barbershop starting or moving, and the interactions between those who decided to stay and make the shop their own. The third one was more about the same barbershop owner trying to keep his kid out of gangs, along with the effects gangs were having on the ‘hood. This installment was darker, edgier, the gangs scarier, and the vocabulary a lot more raunchy.

I enjoyed the darkness — I didn’t get what all the T&A had to do with it.

The first thing that comes to mind when I don’t like something is that I’m turning into an old fogie. While there’s no doubt that’s true, I like to think that I keep up with the younger generations fairly well. I know it’s more than bro and bae, and I try and keep and open mind. After all, my parents rolled their eyes at me, and their parents at them. And I’m not aghast at swearing or sexual innuendos or basic raw sex.  Been there, done that, too. I can cleavage with the best of them. But there was something about the sexual volleys between the sexes that seemed so raw and offensive, I wondered what the point was.

Look. I know I’m whitebread. I’ve never denied that. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to understand. I don’t want to walk through the world with blinders on. I know with every new generation the boundaries are looser and farther away, society is wilder and more demanding, and the chances of success fewer and fewer.

But this…

This is why I didn’t want to talk about it. My prudish self is coming out. But I couldn’t help but react to the big, tightly-wrapped booties sticking out and shaking and cleavage falling out to one’s belly button and sizes of anatomy parts. What are they saying? What image of life are they trying to portray?

Just like I can’t wrap my head around today’s politics, I also can’t wrap my head around the plight of inner city situations. I am removed, so there is no way I could understand. And because I can’t understand I have no idea what they’re all going through.

And something tells me I should.

Everyone’s life is different. From Africa to the south side of Chicago, from Buckingham Palace to small town Hebron, everyone’s story starts where they are born and ends where they die. And every single thing that blows by affects our lives whether we want them too or not.

I’d like to think that there is still such a thing as self respect. That being sassy, being cool, being a smart ass is a show of confidence. That talking trash about body parts and sexual positions are signs that the we’re not afraid to bring these taboos into the light.

But sometimes I wonder. Is it them — or me?

HaChaCha Hermione

tumblr_m6nj6jcdgM1rvv4n8o1_500I came across an article the other day that confirmed what I’ve thought all along. According to J.K. Rowling, Hermione should have ended up with Harry Potter, not Ron Weasley. (http://time.com/3680/j-k-rowling-says-hermione-should-have-ended-up-with-harry-potter-not-ron/ )

Duh.

Although I LOVE the books (and the movies), I could have told you that there was never any real chemistry between Hermione and Ron. None. Opposites attract, you say. Looking at my husband and me, that could very well be true. He’s logic, I’m pretzel. He’s smart, I’m trying. He has the patience of a saint, I would rather stand and complain and fidget. But seriously. Hermione was smart, resourceful, and outgoing. Ron was dull, jealous, and a little thick. Hermione sparkled every moment she was around Harry. Her sparkle was practically non-existent around Ron. I mean, anyone who read the books could see that. So it made me start to think.

What other characters in books and/or movies should never have gotten together?

The revised, re-pumped Star Trek movie franchise. Spock and Uhura? Naw. Even if he does dip into his emotions now and then. She’s so smoldering she should be in her own spaceship. Indiana Jones and any of his female co-stars. Was there really any hachacha between any of them? And don’t say it was more of a satire/drama. So was The Mummy. And Rick and Evelyn O’Connell made danger take a back seat to hot teasing.

J.K.’s admission also made me take a look at my own characters. Book One and Book Two: the same two stars. Book One the heroine doesn’t get the hero because she’s busy trying to stay alive. Book Two she goes back to look for him and they spend most of the book dancing around previous commitments. My third novel is more an independent-woman-in-a-situation sort of book, romance more a hint than a possibility. (I may have her connect with the hero in the sequel).

Maybe I’ve been skirting the real issue – chemistry. a.k.a Sex. Admit it. Sex sells. Chemistry makes you want to strip off your clothes and get shamelessly amorous. Like you can’t keep your hands (oh..and mind) off of the other person. But we all know there has to be some kind of depth behind the chemistry/sex to make it last more than one night. Harry and Hermione were always hugging, touching, and adventuring together. There was never any such show of affection between Hermione and Ron. Actually, Ron was more of a third wheel (as was Ron’s sister who wound up with Harry).

But all this is hindsight. J.K. had a real belief in her pairings, and it was up to the reader to see her world as she did. And hers was a delightful world to get lost in.

So I wonder. Do you have books or movies where the pairings have been less-than-satisfying? Have you seen coupling that doesn’t really make sense?

When is a Cherry not a Cherry?

cherryLike an artist loving colors, like a potter loving texture, I love words. I love the written word, the spoken word. I love the English language in all its curly q’s and static punctuation marks. I love reading, I love creative conversations, and, as you know, I love writing.

I’m also such a child when it comes to words.

Take today. I’m entering catalog copy onto the website, and the product is hoes. I chuckle as I type. I wouldn’t have chuckled 15 years ago, but the world of English has changed since I was a young tart. One of my favorite movies is Fred Astaire in The Gay Divorcee. More giggles. Pussy used to mean cat. Cock was a male rooster. Chuckle chuckle. A shaft was a vertical opening or passage through the floors of a building. Jugs held moonshine or water. Laughing with me yet? Now I find myself avoiding those words just because of today’s connotations.

The same is true with reading and writing sex scenes. Now, I’m not a puritan. Through the years I’ve had my share of “love on the picnic bench” or “kitchen table bumps.”  But as I get older the words just don’t stimulate like they used to. There are lots of books out today where women are ravished and men are studding and the language is as red as bing cherries. I mean, how many erotic positions and sounds can there be? I’m not a prude either. Healthy libidos are what keep us young. So how do you balance sex and love and lust in your blockbuster novel without being embarrassed about every other word?

One way is to write sex scenes that explode without saying one dirty word.

Ever try saying something without saying something? Now, that’s a challenge! Funny thing is, I enjoyed the challenge. Try out this passage from my latest creation:

His sensuality devoured me, sparking a hunger I never knew I had. I was not a virgin, but I might as well have been, as I surrendered to his caresses and his demands. Falling on the feathered bed, his hands found every curve, every fullness of my body, sending electrical currents through me. Currents I almost could not stand. His mouth followed his hands, and I found myself following his lead, my needs exploding into sounds and screams of pure pleasure. When he took me it was if a monster roared above me. Guttural, wild, transcending this plane to another and another. I matched his transcendence, spiraling out of control, the heat from our stones exploding inside of us, inside of each other.

Not one male chicken, not one kitty cat.  Not one moonshine container or vertical passage in a  building. Normal “words” like hands and mouths and explosions, but nothing is ever really said. Just implied.

I suppose for most it’s a pretty boring passage. The point of using variations of cats and roosters is to get that extra blush that words like kisses and hugs can’t bring. It’s like using swear words when you’re a little kid. You’re not supposed to say them, but every time you do you get that little thrill of being naughty. And that’s the power of words. One word can launch a thousand dreams, a thousand nightmares. That — is power.

I must admit I do miss some of the old-fashioned words, though. I personally miss — and use — the cat’s meow, groovy, the cat’s pajamas, jive, holy mackerel. I’m not going to stop watching The Gay Divorcee or Leave it to Beaver just because slang has twisted the words around.

But that’s not going to stop me from giggling every time I type the color buff or cherry.