Sex & the Single Brain-Cell: Breast Augmentation Fall-Out

If there was ever a time when one of my journal archives could have been more visual than wordy… Sorry. These posts came from the somewhat stormy time with my live-in girlfriend, Dani (not her real name). Around the time we met she had lost a lot of weight, but didn’t like what it did to her figure. So, she decided to have breast-augmentation surgery. Needless to say, I was pretty happy, but needed to make sure that I wasn’t too happy with her decision…

July 2, 1990
1988_jbb-chillin-at-home-croppedWhoa, haven’t we come full circle since that last journal entry was made? For those with less than perfect mind-reading abilities, what I am referring to is the little explosion that occurred last Thursday night, June 28 (yes, I know, there I go explaining the unknown with the obscure). Let me just write that with Dani’s decision to go ahead with the breast surgery and its unclear ramifications, there has been a discernible level of emotional uncertainty between us.

Again, it involves questions about my eagerness for this surgery and the nature of my primary attraction to her. It’s been voiced more than once by Dani that I should be hanging around with someone like Pam (an attractive busty blond in one of the aerobics classes that I teach) rather than being with her. And in the absence of some tangible evidence of our love’s logic, Dani continues to chip away at the question as to whether having a relationship with her is what I really wanted. As if love is a logical argument that can be argued and won! Ugh.

So last Thursday (June 28) … it had been a while since we had had sex (since the weekend before) and I was feeling particularly randy. So after Dani’s son had been sent off to bed I made it clear to Dani that I wanted to go to bed with her before having to head off for my midnight shift at work. Ignoring the exhaustion of the preceding week and the aerobics workout that I had just finished we blasted ahead. But all stations were not “go.” This was going to take more of an effort than I had anticipated. I became distracted because it was so warm (duh, July in Southern California and no AC) and in the course of our sexual efforts, I started sweating (an old distraction). Then there was the thought that I was going to be heading to work within the hour. It was indeed not-so-slow-motion-disaster in progress. Mr. Erection swept in and out and presented no particular evidence of staying. And in the middle of all of this lay the temptation to bolster my fading hard-on with mental images of large breasts on vaguely familiar women (oh no, the forbidden fruit!). But it was a lost cause.

I decided against the “big breast” strategy and lost the battle to my many distractions. Explaining to Dani what had happened was not going to be easy. I decided to start with the part about not employing a fantasy to keep things going but then quickly realized that that was not a particularly brilliant decision. She was understandably upset that such a strategy should ever be needed. Things quickly spiraled in a downward direction from there.

Loud accusations erupted beginning with, did I love her at all or was I just making a fool out of her? How does one respond to that? Yeah, here was another case where honesty was not advisable, especially considering how skillfully Dani was able to employ “honesty as a weapon” from which one usually didn’t recover… I got up to take a shower. She got up to take it out on my desk chair with a none-to-brilliant right-hook on the thing. The chair is fine. She bruised her thumb and palm something fierce.

A dangerous level of instability descended on our household over the weekend. It took from that night until this morning at three AM, five-days, when she called with further disturbing questions, I’m guessing in order to find something of the trust that we had before my disclosure. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this breast thing, but even then, my mental indiscretions have nothing to do with the surgery. If anything it is might be my own sabotaging the relationship/fear of success that previously badgered my path.

Dani has been a lover and girlfriend like no other. Complex and simple, forward and easily frightened, playfully sexual and seriously demanding in her eroticism; she doesn’t often see her own sexual appeal but boldly takes charge when the whim is the air. She doubts her femininity and then does the career-woman-mother-lover-housekeeper thing in the time that it takes most of us to decide whether we want toast for breakfast. There is a girl-next-door, tomboy class-clown nature to her that she verbally rejects but faithfully maintains. Whereas my previous girlfriend drew me in because of her cloak of emotional silence, Dani has drawn me in with her openness and feisty spirit. It’s too bad that it seems to take our verbal fire-fights before I can even come close to understanding how I feel. JBB

There were six posts between the last one and this next one and all of them were about various computer configuration woes. What does that tell you about my state of mind? Ugh. Even then, I begin the next entry with computer shit. Sad.

July 19. 1990 Surgery Blues
This is the first actual entry made in Word for Windows. I had to redo the margins to one and a half itches because the page ran off the edge of the screen when it was set at one inch It’s silly that I should be writing about this fucking program when there are so many other things going on. For example, this morning Dani had her breast-augmentation surgery.

I have since found myself in the position of being her nursemaid. So far it hasn’t been particularly difficult. She’s spent most today in some state of slumber. But the emotional responsibilities… now that’s another thing altogether. Prior to the surgery we had our share of °discussions.” They were mostly about the possible reactions of “others” to her surgery and our own related fears. It’s been pretty difficult to keep a handle on it. Needless to say, we’ve both had ample opportunities to say, “I’m sorry” to each other. This surgery has put a strain on us but I think in the long run it’s going to be good because of the bonding we’ve shared in this endeavor. I just have to be really careful to not be too “happy” with the results.

Well, my duties call me so I’ll have to end this entry for now. JBB

1991-08-10 Oregon Trail with Denise - 05 cropped

July 26. 1990 An Emotional Week
It’s been the better part of week since my last entry. It’s also been a very busy week. In the intervening Dani has left her previous state of slumber for one with an evolving self-image. I can sense the frustration in her over the patience needed for the healing process to be successful She is not used to being still for very long and less used to having to depend on anyone. In the past week she has had to ask for my aid and that of her friend, Connie, on numerous occasions. l have tried to remain sensitive to her frustrations but my efforts have not all been successful. For example, one of my duties has been to massage her breasts to help prevent hardening around the implants and encourage blood flow. At first I was unsure about how much pressure to apply because I certainly didn’t want to hurt her, but Dani quickly interpreted my timid touch as some indication that I didn’t like the results. Ah… no! But no matter what I said she was convinced that I wasn’t happy with her new curves.

1990-05_Denise-apartment-03-croppedAnd then on Saturday, in the midst of all the emotional tip-toeing, one of her pets died. Fortunately wasn’t one of the ferrets, that would have been horrific. She and her son, Brian, had had the small female rat (affectionately named “Rat”) for a number of years. About a month ago, when she was cleaning Rat’s cage she mentioned that the rat was looking pretty old. But Rat couldn’t have timed her departure more poorly. Denise was at a loss in controlling her emotions and embarrassed with even having these emotions. It was sad.

I tried to provide Dani the encouragement and space to say goodbye to their little furry friend. I placed Rat in one of my computer paraphernalia boxes along with Rat’s last piece of bread, some sunflower seeds and a last loving touch from Dani. I then place Rat in the dumpster behind our apartment amidst a giant pile of newspapers—Rat would find ample material to build her next home in the next life with the newspapers. Dani openly sobbed and hugged me when I returned from the dumpster.

It has been an emotional week. JBB

Am I Lazy, Overly Cautious or Just Picky?

Peteca toma seu banho by elbragon

Coming back from a presentation I commented on this beautiful park and lake we were driving past. A buddy in the car said that the park was also a great place to meet girls and offered to loan me one of his dogs ’cause “girls love dogs.” I just thought that the park was a pretty.

Then Brother Matt mentioned during his recent Florida visit that my current and persistent lack of a girlfriend was causing mom to openly worry whether I’ve changed my gender preferences. Thanks mom. The truth is I’m beginning to wonder: have I become lazy, too cautious or too picky when it comes to dating?

This is hardly a new phenomenon. I went through a pretty long dry spell after breaking up with a live-in girlfriend in the early 90s. One friend spoke up at the time and said that he and my other friends were worried that I’d given up on having someone in my life. I was just beginning my teaching career and pretty much every waking hour and ounce of emotional energy was being poured into surviving those first few years. I thought I was, for the first time, being smart and acting like an adult. Apparently not. Damn.

Another friend, who knew that I’d been very fortunate with the level of attractiveness of my former girlfriends and female friends, said that I needed to expand my preferences beyond curvy playboy playmates. Out of frustration she quipped that at our age all the good ones were already taken anyway.That one left a scar. I mean, if all the good ones are taken and I’m not taken then does this mean that I’m not one of the “good ones?” Shit. That didn’t leave me with a particularly hopeful sense of having a future with someone I found attractive.

So at least one part of moving across the continent over a year ago was to get a new start on social things. And as much as I’d been warned to not have high expectations by two very good friends who have lived in the area (I mean, after all I’ve spent a lifetime spoiled by all the pretty people in Southern California), my dateless-state is not for a lack of attractive women where ever one goes. So, again, am I being lazy, overly cautious or just too picky? Sitting here staring at these words reminds me that the fact that I reflect and try to think through all of this is just not normal for guys, so my well-meaning friends say. Ack.

When I was in the process of moving here one friend suggested a couple websites, like, where one could easily meet like-minded individuals centered on common interests. I signed up but never got off my butt. Another avenue to meet new people would have been to join a church. I used to inwardly chuckle when someone suggested that I should check in to see the size of the singles group before getting involved. But I couldn’t see making my choice of church based on some babe-meter. I had other issues about churches, so I never really even considered this as a meaningful option. In fact, being as busy as I’ve been over the past year, getting involved with anything for the purpose of meeting women hasn’t been enough. Put another way, there has to be a value to the thing beyond just meeting women. I am the complete inverse of several of my good buddies who’s main reason for doing anything is to meet women. That’s just not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people and I generally find the people I encounter fascinating, but given how busy I am there are scant few hours dedicated to meeting these fascinating people.

One of the take-aways of my last relationship was how much better things seemed to come together for me when I’m in a relationship just in terms of energy and a sense of purpose. It’s not that I need someone for these things as much as having the benefit of someone to share the journey with, just in terms of bouncing ideas off of and getting outside of my own head on a regular ongoing basis. At the same time I do have a very full life with my career and writing and just the stuff that fills each day that I’m not entirely convinced that having as much freedom as I have isn’t much better than the complications of letting another voice into my life. Part of the problem is that I am very good at adapting to living all on my own and convincing myself that I really don’t need anyone. Too lazy, overly cautious or just too picky? I think I need to work the “friends” angle and just get out more to be with other people and find the joy there. No pretenses, no props, no re-inventions, nothing that’s not really a part of my life and passions. I’ll dare to go to the park without the borrowed dog and see what happens. 😉 jbb

Jessica at Laguna Lake by TravOC

Jessica at Laguna Lake by TravOC

Image: Peteca toma seu banho by elbragon, retrieved on 10/15/2009, Creative commons/attribution license.
Image: Past Girlfriends by Joe Bustillos, retrieved 10/15/2009. Creative Commons/attribution license.
image: Jessica at Laguna Lake by TravOC, retrieved on 10/15/2009, Creative Commons/attribution license.

Juls Heading Home

Juls was released from the hospital today. Now the challenge is getting rest at home (w/o having to deal w/ an ex-, kids or a high-maintenance boyfriend). After I helped her into the backseat of her dad’s truck for the ride home, she kissed me & said she loved me. Wow. jbb

Life Happens – Juls’ Surgery

2007-09-26 SJ Hospital for juls day one - Lounge

St. Joseph Hospital Lobby
Sitting in the main waiting room/reception area at St. Joseph Hospital. If it weren’t impolite I’d have thrown off my shoes and curled on a couch for a much needed afternoon nap. Damn. Energy is low…must… not… fall … asleep… in front… of Juls’ folks. Yeah, nothing like meeting folks for the first time and then having an all day conversation with ’em.

What was it they say about first impressions? When I got to the hospital Juls was already in radiology so I had to introduce myself to her folks. It wasn’t too hard to figure out which group was hers, so I politely approached them extended my hand asking, “Mr. and Mrs. Hackney?” They nodded as I found a seat and explained who I was. Once I was comfortable Juls’ mom gently corrected me, “We know what you meant, but we’re not the Hackneys.” Ack, of course, Hackney is her ex-husband’s name. Doh! Great beginning to the day.

One unanticipated thing that has blown me away all day is the incredible similarity between Juls and her mom. I’d seen pictures of them before but completely missed it. I mean, the mannerisms and voice and social ability are remarkable. I know I hate it when I’m told how much I act, talk, look like my older sister, but watch her mom walk, the way she holds her hands in front of her was downright amazing.

2007-09-26 SJ Hospital for juls day one selfie

2007-09-26 SJ Hospital for juls day one selfie

Late night @ St. Joseph Hospital
Both doctors have come by, she’s in recovery following her surgery. They’ve dealt with the cancer but there will need to be further cosmetic surgery. The after-work crowd is coming through with a continuous stream of screaming babies and infants. One little girl was pulled out the door by her father screaming, “I want my mommy!” I’m wide awake now. I probably should call the folks to let ’em know how things went… jbb

Sent from my iPhone

The Danger of Getting What You Ask For

End of October, weather’s changing (kind’a), setting the clocks back this weekend and I’m spending another Friday night solo. Well, that’s not exactly what i was wishing for and that tends to highlight the contrast between where I want to be and where I seem to still be. Sorry, that’s too dark. I had a really great weekend with You-know-who but we still seem to have some trouble translating that “goodness” into the rest of our week. It’s difficult to understand how so much bliss on Sunday can turn into frustrated anxiety by Wednesday. Funny thing was that I was feeling so good Tuesday morning that I became a little anxious about feeling so good. Yikes, talk about destructive bad habits. JBB

Happy New Year Confusion

Ok, I’m confused. In that it’s taken me over a week to write this entry shows you how confused I am about all of this. So… it’s been a very long road but I was actually getting pretty comfortable with the whole thing about being best-friends with my former-love and having no other expectations beyond that. I mean, when we rounded the corner from September to November it was pretty clear to me that the pressures of her ongoing divorce and the upcoming holidays were such that she was operating on “survival mode,” staying busy with work and trying to manage the difficult transition her youngest son was having with the impending departure of dad and mom living together. Translation: whereas some might deal with said difficulty by losing themselves in a relationship (read: rebound) she was very much staying away from that scenario and basically being my “buddy on the phone” averaging about three or four calls a week. During Thanksgiving things got to the point where I needed some kind of confirmation of our relationship status, following which there were larger drops in communication. And, of course, I didn’t see her for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Thus, while there were hints that she had been looking for a gift for me for Christmas, for the second year in a row I got nothing from her. All of which, continued to push me toward the conclusion that we’re just friends, and that she’s still in “emotionally unavailable” mode.

So I mentioned to her, in passing, that I was going to go to my favorite local pub, Taco Beach, for New Years Eve. Next thing I know she wants to know what time I’m planning on going thus I have an unforeseen date for the evening. Hell, I hated being alone for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I wasn’t going to reject her gesture and make it a “three-peat” of being alone. In the back of my mind I knew that any little circumstance on her home-front could belay this plan, so the Taco Beach scenario was a good one for me in that even if she couldn’t make it, I would still end up spending the evening with my friends at the bar (translation: I wouldn’t be alone). Well, surprise, surprise, she showed and even more surprising sparks flew between us and a lot of pent up affection got “exercised.” Happy New Years, indeed! Okay, so now that I think about it, maybe that was my Christmas gift.

So neither one of us wanted to ruin the moment by asking what all of this meant (or means). And so we drifted into the next week. She was tired on Monday, it was an overcast, rainy day and I was still on vacation. I wanted to invite her to play hooky from work and come over to spend more time with me. But I hesitated. Then when I did say something, she countered with an offer to meet some place else closer to her work. I differed. The down-grade from napping with her on a rainy day in my apartment to having a few beers with her at some bar was too much to navigate (she’d hinted at the end of our New Year’s Eve visit that she was disappointed in herself that things happened the way that they did… ack). Then I remembered that the Rose Bowl was going to be Wednesday evening, so I offered to meet her some place convenient for both of us, to watch the game together. She sent a “:-(” to me for not wanting to meet somewhere on Monday but agreed to Wednesday and suggested this very cool lounge.

Wednesday she showed up just before the game began looking very good to me. She sat very close to me, working her hands up my sleeves, but then teased that it was more about her being cold and looking for warmth than about affection. We laughed… ha ha ha. I rubbed her shoulders and she scratched my back, but I really wasn’t sure how to act. Sitting down, the small of her back was exposed and I played with her a bit, but I couldn’t read whether my affection was being appreciated or tolerated. And the game wasn’t go so well either.

Then just after half-time her boys called saying that they were hungry and that no one was there to feed them. Normally she works pretty late so I guess she didn’t bother saying anything to anyone about not being available to dinner-duty and was hoping that her not-too-significant-other would hold down the fort. Well, having been on this road as long as I have, I knew that there was a pretty good chance that we’d have game-interuptus. So when it happened I told her that that I was kind of counting on it and she left me with some cash to cover her part of the tab, gave me a kiss and scooted off to feed the kids at home. I guess that relieved me of the whole pressure of whether we’d spend some time kissing in the parking lot and other such frustrations, but it also reminded me of my marginal importance to her actual responsibilities. She called on her way home, after ordering food for the boys. SC got their asses kicked and that didn’t help my sense of what was “right in the world.”

I think we talked on the phone on Thursday and really briefly on Friday but there’s been nothing since then, and no plans to reconnect. I found out, in passing, that she has another hearing date on Friday (1/13) but she seems to not be treating this as anything really significant (or at least significant enough to signal when it will be that her soon-to-be-ex will be forced to move out of the house). Anyway, all of this feels like she’s still very much emotionally unavailable and that she’s nowhere near feeling like she’s in the position to really have someone in her life. Thus, I’m left to wonder what the hell I’m doing still “seeing” her.

After all of this time, I don’t think that she’s being any less honest with me or trying to toy with my emotions. I think that she really does love me, but hasn’t gotten to the place where she feels like she can have that in her life in a more meaningful way than to be my friend. I do not see anything devious in her actions and just feel this is where she’s at. Now in her eagerness to be done with the part of her life that’s holding her up I think she does what we all do when we want to move on, and that is to underestimate how long it’s going to take for her to really be there. That’s not deception, but just what one does to get through the shit one often has to get through. And quite frankly, it may be taking her forever, but she’ll most likely be in a healthier place when she gets there. Alas, having no guarantees or even any emotional energy left for this journey of unknown length, I have to wonder what I’m doing, why I’m still here.

colleen turkeytrot 69886887_6f19bb035e_oAfter meeting a couple last summer who had gotten together through e-harmony my interest was piqued. My running partner, Colleen, gave e-harmony a try last October but didn’t seem to like it all that much because she was getting so many matches and guys she contacted got upset with her when she didn’t respond to them right away. She was obviously looking for something much more casual and being as attractive as she is, she got a lot more attention that required much more work than she wanted to do. Not that I’d expect my experience to be the same, but that was enough for me to hold off putting my name on the list until I felt like I could devote the time needed to do the process right. I’d completed all of the questionnaires and profile material but didn’t want to do it before the new year because somehow that seemed even more desperate. But then seeing her for New Years after not seeing her in almost three months, and seeming to click with her (at least for that one night)… it really makes it hard for me to try to think about going out there to start something with someone else. But I have to face the fact that regardless of our feelings, her life is such that she cannot freely be my girlfriend and it could easily many many months, if not more than a year, before she’ll feel comfortable having that kind of relationship with me. I really don’t know. Clearly I don’t like the way things are but having tried to remain at my post long beyond what a reasonable person would attempt, I have no emotional stamina to just be the buddy when I know that we could be so much more for one another. But maybe that’s all just wishful thinking on my part. I know that I need more than just good intentions, but one cannot just make-up the kind of connection we’ve had (when we’ve had any connections). What a mess. JBB

Precious Pearl

Love by Jennifer C.

Begun on April 16 9:53PM
Taco Beach. Escape meal
after late afternoon workout (Spring Week Friday…. trying to completive when I’d rather be “busy” ack!) … Lots on my mind, but I have some unfinished business to attend to. In my last journal entry I alluded to M’s metaphor without telling the whole story. That’s so typical of me.

Over a week ago M emailed me saying that there was a lot on her mind and she felt the need for us to get together and talk. Ah oh. She immediately added that she promises that it’s nothing bad (like the last time she insisted that we needed to talk). In that I’d told her about my desire to be “available” for my love’s birthday (which conflicted with a worship night that M and I had planned) I wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to escape our “conversation” unscathed.

(4/23/04 11:53 am)

It’s amazing how long it takes me to come back to whatever I’m writing . Ugh. So…. Where was I? I ended up having a good week the week M suggested we get together to talk (after all I did get a chance to spend some time with J for her birthday after 4 months of being apart). So I thought M and I should meet the Saturday (4/10) at Yankee Doodles for a few beers and to play some pool.

She was true to her word and things didn’t go “badly.” Actually things were very casual and friendly and I’d all but forgot that there was a reason she wanted to talk. About midway through my pitcher of MGD she started to tell me that I’d been heavily on her mind all week and she felt strongly compelled to pray for me though she really didn’t know why.
Then she told me that the Lord had given her a dream (or vision.. I really don’t remember which). So in her story (dream/vision/whatever….) there is this little girl and one day the little girl’s mom gives her a faux-pearl necklace. The little girl absolutely loves the necklace and wears it every day and everywhere. After a while the necklace was beginning to show its wear-and-tear. So one night as the little girl was getting ready for bed her father came to her and asked her if she would give her pearls to him because he wanted to do something for her. She told him no because she loves her pearls so much she can’t give them to him. He asked her , “Don’t you trust me?”

She said that she trusts and loves him but that she loves her pearls so much that she can’t stand to be apart from them. So he said goodnight and she went to sleep. The next night he asked her the same question and she gave him the same answer: she does trust and love him but she loves her pearls so much she can’t give them to him. This goes on for several nights with the father gently asking her to trust him and the little girl saying that she loves her pearls too much to be able to give them to her.

Finally one night the little girl hands the pearls to her father saying that there is nothing that she loves more than her pearls but no one that she trusts more than him. He kisses her and tucks her in and takes the pearls with him when he leaves the room.

The next morning she wakes to find a gift box waiting for her with an attached note. The note read: “To my loving daughter, I wanted you to have the best that I can give you. Thank you for trusting me, love, your father.” Inside the little box was the most perfect pearl necklace she’d ever imagined. She suddenly realized that he never intended to take what she loved from her, but wanted to give her something even better.

By this time, as M is telling me this story, tears are rolling down my cheeks and for the first time in a long time it seems like someone understands my struggle. As I previously mentioned, all the previous metaphors didn’t properly acknowledge that the reason for my tenacity with my love is because I really truly love her and that this prevents me from “walking away” or in some way changing course and unacknowleding this love. This one begins with my love for her and how deeply into my soul this has grown. The problem then is to find a way to trust God more with this precious love. Needless to say, it doesn’t take away the sting of our separation but it does cast things in an “understandable” light.

It was the most amazing time, spending that evening with M. She said that she now believes that this love between my love and I is “doable,” if two people love one another the way we seem to. When I told this story to Brent he was amazed at how far M has come since our earlier conversations. I had to really agree.

As M talked about her own struggles and what the Lord seemed to be doing in her life she admitted that she was attracted to me. We both agreed, however, that she deserves to have someone love her for who she is and not because she happens to be available. She teared up when she confessed her hope that God has someone who will love her the way I clearly love J. We had the most amazing time sharing. JBB

p.s., So, when I told J the story she said that she’d heard it before and that I’d been fooled. Ain’t love grand. Ack.

Current Music: Don Henley – Boys of Summer – Building the Perfect Beast