#ichoosepleasure – The Final Chapter

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

That very word, pleasure, had changed for me; I used to think it a mild sort of word, indicating a rather low-key self-indulgence; now it seemed explosive, the two vowels in the first syllable spurting up like fireworks, ending on the plateau of the last syllable, its dreamy purr.
— Alice Munro (from the novel, Lives of Girls and Women)

You were born for pleasure.

Before you learned to say “please” and “thank you”.  Before you brought home your first “A+” at school.  Before you did what was expected of you.  Before you knew how to do it the “right way”.

You were special from the day you were born.

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

In all your glorious imperfection.  You had cradle cap or you cried endlessly or you refused to nurse (or you refused to ever stop nursing), you were completely incapable of performing a single useful task and yet you were deeply loved just for being here.  You still made your mother’s eyes light up every morning.  Your father was mesmerized at the sight of your tiny fingers wrapping around his.  Strangers stopped in the street to coax a smile from you.  Your skin and your smell were intoxicating.

You were special from the day you were born.

This is what I wanted the woman I mentioned at the end of Part Five to know.  There was a line of us standing out in front of the hotel, waiting for the valet to bring our cars around at the end of the conference.  A colleague congratulated me on my recent re-marriage, I made a crack about just being part of a statistic – 80% of people re-marry within five years of their divorce.  The voice of a woman from behind me said, “I’ve been divorced for 16 years and I’M not re-married.”  The sadness in her voice pulled at me, because I knew this was not the place to tell her what I suspect was the reason she has been alone for so long.  But this is the place where I tell you.

She was always wearing the appropriate clothing, maybe just a tad more buttoned up than she had to be; her hair a little more tightly pulled up than it had to be.  Despite having seen and spoken with her at various events, cocktail receptions and seminars, I had never seen her laugh more than was necessary to be polite.  I had never seen her hair loose from its bun.  Her skirt was never too short.  Her jacket was never wrinkled.  She was always calm, controlled and appropriate.  Not unhappy but not happy, either.  I wondered what it would take to loosen that bun and get a belly laugh out of her. Here was a woman who was blonde, thin, attractive and well-groomed – all the things that women are “supposed to be”, according to the Barbie dolls and fashion magazines.  But she came off as just a little too together and just didn’t seem very happy.  I don’t know anyone who dreams of falling in love with a woman who is “perfectly groomed and not unhappy”.

I know how good it can feel to stay in control, to not flip your shit when it feels like your world is falling down around you.  But then things settle into place and it can be hard to stop holding the reins so tightly.  It can become a habit to be just okay, just surviving this day.  To not be on the verge of tears because you have shoved the place they come from down so deep that no one will find it, not even you.

The woman who couldn’t find love after her first marriage ended?  She walked around like a walking wound, eyes forward, zipped up and armored.  She had forgotten to notice how eyes lit up when she entered a room.  She had forgotten that the feel of her skin and her smell are intoxicating.

You were special from the day you were born.

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Photo Credit: Karen Bardavid

Never forget.  You don’t have to earn it.  If you want delicious love, be open for receiving love deliciously.  If you want someone to ignite your sparkle, you have to notice when someone is trying to light you up.
Walk through the door opened for you, with pleasure.  When your glorious ass is appreciated, look the person in the eye and give a smile that says, “Yes, I AM a gorgeous creature of light.  Thank you for noticing.”

You were special from the day you were born.

You don’t have to earn your right to pleasure.  You don’t have to ask permission to be delighted.

Pleasure is waiting for you.  Are you ready to receive it?

Join me on a journey to pleasure.  Because it is time to say yes to receiving all the delicious love you can handle.  We’re going to let our hair out of its tight, little bun, we’re going to walk with the swagger of a woman who knows she is a glorious gift, and we are going to delight in the journey of this gorgeous life.

Please share your thoughts.

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