The Money Tie to Monogamy

31 05 2013

Jealousy: Relationships & Consumerism

I spend a lot of time thinking about monogamy and why it doesn’t work for me. What I’ve been contemplating lately is its interconnection with consumerism. The jealously, the greed, the desire. We want to own our relationships like we own our stuff, but love doesn’t work that way, which is why monogamy is flawed. I am suggesting that because our society is entrenched with the desire to “have,” we often circumnavigate the point of relationships.

The career, the car, the house, the dog, the child, the partner it’s all part of the package. We are constructed by the media and our family and our peers to make this package happen. If we make this package happen than our lives will be complete, only then will we be capable of containing a glimmer of fulfillment and happiness.

Take a look at online dating. It’s all about marketing and sales. But instead of a product we’re marketing and selling ourselves. And why do we do this? Because it’s the newest way to advertise for relationships. We compete with other people on there to stand out, to look fresh, to please a potential new mate.

mongamy v polyamory

We have to buy things in order to compete in this social world: make-up, clothes, shoes, jewelry (and obviously computers and internet connections).

Consumerism breeds competition. Competition glorifies the individual. The individual who does everything better than the other individual wins at life. To be an individual winner means to be in a monogamous relationship because it proves that your individuality is better to the other individual than any other individual out there. The two of you are the best because you’re together and you did everything right to make that relationship happen, to become a package of love.

But the flaw is in the short-sightedness of this concept.

I met a woman last night who told me she was on online dating to meet a guy to have babies with. This woman was 24 years old and already divorced. Her husband had cheated on her and so she did what is “required” of her and she left him. Her most recent dating life had led her to sleeping with a doctor. She decided to do this on the second date because she felt this would reel him in and make him want to keep her around. She said that she had five orgasms because it was important to put her needs first. Then she said she wanted to marry the guy not because she necessarily liked him but because it would make her dad so happy if she married a Jewish guy.

What. The. Fuck.

So, she was willing to put her needs first on a physical basis but then couldn’t go further to see that making her dad happy would not actually make her happy in the long run. It was not a set-up for a connection, for a nourishing relationship, but to complete a package she feels obligated to complete.

There is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy. It works fine for some people. But what works better is trust and communication—and these are the two most important things regardless of the structure or composition of one’s relations to others.

I feel like we miss this a lot. We’re too busy thinking about the rules to actually sit down and contemplate what works best for us, to trust ourselves and figure out what our true needs and desires are.

Why do we get jealous?

If we love someone what’s wrong with them being loved by and loving others?

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Standing in the Way of Control.

18 12 2012

The recent shooting in Connecticut has created a mega-storm in regards to the debate on gun control.

This is not about gun control.

Instead of skirting the main issue we need to confront it head on.

Okay, so a mentally disturbed person used a gun to murder a bunch of innocent people. The equation for a solution that most people see here is to either 1. Take Away The Gun or 2. Give People More Guns

The gun in the equation is not the problem.

I remember when I was younger there was a slogan that became incredibly popular at least in my area of small-town Kansas, which was “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People.” Though this is a true statement, the opposite side of the gun control debate would argue that less people would die if it was less easy to pull the trigger. Both of these concepts are right… in a way.

Again. Not the point.

What we’re failing to recognize here are the mechanism of power that keep this kind of horror repeating itself.

In other words, power—the lack of power and the quest for power—keep us from being free, keep us from feeling safe, keep us from feeling love at its fullest.

Think of a two-year-old who throws tantrums. Why is the kid throwing a fit? Because she or he is coming into consciousness and lacks the ability to communicate proper needs and desires. The child’s powerlessness is realized. How does a parent cease the tantrum? The parent does not throw a tantrum back because this is futile, the parent eases the tantrum with love. Care, affection, understanding.

I refuse to back down on my argument that the world needs more love.

We must re-evaluate what is important.

Money, things, being “better” than our neighbor—these concepts, rooted in capitalism which thrives on individualism, are literally killing us and keeping the rest of us in a constant state of anxiety and fear.

Keeping a gun at our hip will only fuel this more. We will become a trigger-happy society that shoots firsts and asks questions later. We will retreat and become more isolated. We will continue to have no power and even less love in our lives.

Regardless of how cheesy it sounds, we have to open our hearts.

This is vague, but basically it comes down to recognizing other people’s existence on the planet. A smile, a “hello, how are you?,” a creation and development of community connectedness, a willingness to give with no-strings attached. Communication—an open dialogue voicing our needs, wants, desires, concerns, where we actually listen to each other and act accordingly.

In the documentary Happy, sociologists discovered that small acts of kindness literally changed people’s brain chemistry and allowed more endorphins to flow through the body creating a more constant state of happiness. Kindness towards others should be valued more than pleasing the self.

So, yeah, we can sit around and debate all we want to about guns and mental health and health care and democracy but until we get to the root of the issue our society is not going to transform into something better—and neither will we—as individuals.

bell hooks in All About Love (a book I think everyone should read) discusses the concept that love is about helping another transform themselves into the best person they can be—it’s time we do that collectively, not just in pairs, but as a society. We should look out for one another because when we do it makes our own lives more fulfilling and the lives of others more about love, which is what we all need any way.

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The Hierarchy of the Dollar Bill.

2 07 2012

I’ve been trying to determine if it’s worse being a stripper and having to pay for everything in one dollar bills or being paid eight dollars an hour to take the hundred one dollar bills (that she probably earned in less than an hour) from a stripper.

Yesterday all my co-workers and I had to drive out to the middle of nowhere suburb to find out they’re taking away 1% of our 2% commission. There was no justification for this besides an email stating that basically we were doing an awesome job and they didn’t want to pay us for that.

This a perfect example of how corporations fuck over their employees. Once we actually start doing well, making them a ton of money, they get greedy and try to take it all for themselves. They need to understand that keeping us happy would actually improve their revenue and keep us loyal to them as a company.

They earn their labor costs for an entire week in one afternoon.

They sell everything in the store for at least 50% more than cost.

Sales reps get 1% of our daily sales.

When I sale a $100 toy (that cost the company $40) I get one dollar.

Strippers get one dollar in one second just for winking at a guy.

I give people hours upon hours of pleasure via their sales purchase.

Strippers give people just a fleeting moment of pleasure.

Is this not ass backwards?

I am already bitter about the fact that I am over-educated and working in retail.

The fact that the company has no ownership regarding the decision to take away the other 1% commission of our daily goal makes me want to rage. It makes me want to start my own store. It makes me want to cry. Cry because I am at the bottom and some incredibly selfish greedy asshole is at the top and there is nothing I can do about it.

Except of course, take the hundred one-dollar bills with a smile and say, “money is money.”

And cringe at the fact that I have none.