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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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I Want To Know About...

Your libido. Because mine is terrible. I know I can pretend to be fantastically sexual, fool you all with my aMAZing sex life but I don't want to pretend for you. I don't want to pretend for my husband. Truth is, I suck. And not the kind of suck that The Surge wishes I would undertake on a semi-regular basis. I know, I know. You're all reeling from the shock of discovering I'm not a love machine. I've racked my brain in an effort to discover whether my lousy libido is simply hormonal or due to the fucked-upness that directly stems from my pious Mormon upbringing. I just don't know.

Admitting you aren't a rock star in the sack is no small feat. Millions of people exaggerate their sex life, the size of their penis, how many times they do it a week and so forth. I find my husband immensly attractive. Not only that, I adore the man to pieces, I really do. Except for when I hate him and want to kick him in the balls. But those instances are few and far between these days. I have settled into being his wife. OhMyGod I'm a wife! A wife? When did I become a wife? June Cleaver was a wife. Interestingly, I can't picture June fucking Ward senseless so maybe it's a proper wifely duty NOT to give it up? Just kidding. June probably had a closet full of whips, chains and bustiers. Regardless of the shock that zings my body when I realize I am a wife and almost thirty, (thirty?? holy shit I'm almost thirty!) I enjoy being in this relationship. I see our future together and I like it. I picture The Surge with our children and it makes me smile. I can't wait to bore you senseless with zillions of baby photos. All in good time.

The Surge and I, we communicate better than anyone I've ever been with. I am not afraid to tell him anything. He knows everything about me. Everything. Even my sexual dysfunction. He understands me, he listens to me and only complains about my complaining when we're in one of those brutal fights during which I've probably thrown my wedding ring at him. For the most part we tango through life tripping each other up but generally catching up with the rhythm within minutes. Or hours. Okay sometimes days and by then a different song is playing but we usually figure it out.

But when it comes to activities in the boudoir, I am still an uptight little Mormon girl. Most of the time. I need to know I'm not alone. I hate myself for not being the wife The Surge deserves. I want to rock his rock'n'roll world. I know I do, for the most part... I make him laugh, I surprise him with my knowledge, he likes to read this here blog... Yet when it comes to sex, much of the time I end up feeling guilty or foolish, like an actor. I fold into myself. Origami girl. Don't touch me. I feel weird. I want to lose myself in the moment, not think about it. I wanna get freaky, yo! Yet, unless I've smoked a joint, most of the time I am hyper aware and can't let go

I remember one night, I was high on The Pot and began ogling The Surge with "The Look".. The Look that says I want to brutally fuck you and I'm going to do it right now! He likes that look. I remember making out with him on our couch, high school style, for what felt like hours.
"I finally feel like myself. Like, when I'm high all that weird sex bullshit that buzzes around my head is gone and I can be who I really am." I said to him between tongue battle.
"Don't say that." he said.
"Because you need to feel like yourself when you aren't high."
The sageness of this sentence struck me like a fist and then haunted me for days. Why can't I feel natural, like myself during sex??

I've been told by former lovers that I ooze sex appeal. Now, I don't know whether that's true but I do know that I know how to act sexy, I just don't know how to seal the deal in the bedroom. Well, I know how to do that too - I just don't know how to relax and feel okay and not weird about it, oh say, three times a week? Is that the right number?

Part Of The Problem

Never fear! Spliffer, that randy bastard, returned home late last night. Mom called sobbing and laughing and I could hear The Spliffer tap dancing across her hard wood floors in excitement. His whitish coat was smeared with dirt so it appears he disappeared for yet another one-off with some woodland creature or other.

I was going to post this yesterday, so it may be a day late and a dollar or five short but fuck it. I know celebrity airbrushing is old news. Especially after we all marvelled over this website a few months back. I expect airbrushing in magazines and movie posters... but news? From the very people who are reporting the problem? Now our newscasters are going to perpetuate the weight worry that affects nearly every single woman I know?

CBS seriously photoshopped about 20 lbs off Katie Couric for her new promo ads. The original picture was taken at the May upfronts and the image on the right is a dramatically slimmer version courtesty of Photoshop. Apparently Katie did not know they were retouching her photo but joked about it when she saw the latest version of herself saying she liked the original one better,"There's more of me to love."

Yes, of course magazine photos are altered all the time. However, this alteration comes as the network is struggling to portray Couric as a news anchor with the gravitas to convey serious news. What's next? Is the E Network going to convey a panel to debate her hairstyle and wardrobe? Additionally, this is the network that has aired several pieces on anorexia and other eating disorders. Not only are they perpetuating weight problems, they're instigating a screaming double standard before Couric has even hit the airwaves. Did they Photoshop Dan Rather into a svelte movie star? Or course not. Let's hope the news the network airs is more realistic than their ad campaign.


I am on pins and needles. My Mom's dog is missing. Not only is Spliffy Mom's dog, he's the family dog. We picked him from a neighbor's litter when I was 16 years old. He's been with us ever since. But for the last ten years or so, he's been Mom's sidekick. Where she goes, he goes.

The Dog Whisperer tells us not to humanize our dogs, but we all do anyway. Spliff is a person. Really. We like to joke that he's a boy in a dog suit. We'll play around with the little guy, jokingly searching for the zipper to the dog suit. He's our boy.

Mom's house is in the foothills of Utah's towering mountains. When Spliff was younger he liked to chase deer, birds, really anything that moved on the mountainside. Occasionally he'd pull an all nighter, perhaps making it with a neighbor bitch then he'd trot proudly home the next morning smelling of skunk and, like a frat boy sleeping off a hangover, he'd crash for the next several hours. Now he's so old he hangs close to home. But that doesn't stop him from throwing the occasional secret dog party when his buddy Max is in town.

When I moved in with Mom while preparing to move to NYC, The Surge spent several months walking in the mountains with Spliffer and Max. It was during this time that he wrote several songs from his latest album. He's often told me those days in the mountains with just the dogs were the happiest of his life. The day The Surge and I left for NYC we took one last walk with Spliffer and Max, the two pals. Saying goodbye to the mountains and Spliff was one of the few times I've seen The Surge's eyes well up.

Mom called this morning to say Spliff has been missing since last night when she let him outside. My stomach dropped into my toes and I felt vomit climbing my throat. Aside from the death of a family member, it's the call I've been dreading. I feigned nonchalance and reassured her that, of course, he'll turn up any time.

The hours are ticking by. She's afraid he got hit and someone threw him in a trash can because they were in a hurry to get to work. "Today is trash day" she just texted, worried he's gone forever. "Nah," I texted back. "He's wearing his collar. If someone hit him they'll call. He's probably off in the mountains. He'll come home". But I just don't know. I'm sitting here with my Maxer, looking at all my Spliffy photos and feeling sick to my stomach.

Mormon Masturbation Manifesto

I've been reading a book called 'Leaving The Saints' by Martha Beck. Like me, Martha was born and raised in Provo, Utah. Her father was high up in Mormon heirarchy. The book is blowing my mind. I know it came out nearly a year ago.. I've been avoiding reading it because I just didn't want to deal.. Specifically because I haven't resolved my Mormon messiness. Additionally, I didn't really want her book to influence anything I write as our experiences within the Mormon church were, for the most part, extremely different.

One thing that caught my eye I will share for you. It might help explain my fucked-upness when it comes to sex. Not that I've shared that little bit of fun with you all in any great detail, but fuck it. I have sexual issues. Issues. Such a general word for some shit that can destroy a marriage. Anyway.. to give you a taste of what would cause such issues in a young Mormon woman I will quote an excerpt from Beck's book.

"The Latter-day Saint (Mormon) attitude toward physical desire is more what you'd imagine hearing from Queen Victoria if she'd lived in the 1950's and joined the John Birch Society. Mormon leaders rarely speak out about sex except to state that it is direly forbidden to anyone who isn't sealed in the covenant to that one special man (or forty-eight special woman). When they do tackle some sex-related issue, these leaders spare no effort in encouraging Mormons, young and old, to repress their physical urges.

Let me show you what I mean by quoting a tract that was once widely disseminated among the Saints. It was written by one of Mormonism's twelve apostles to help flawed but well-meaning Church members avoid the insidious sin of autoeroticism. This selection is mild, compared to the whole document, but it will give you the general tenor of Mormon attitudes toward sex. The following is printed just as it was in the origingal document, capital letters and all.

-If you are associated with other persons having this same problem (masturbation), you must break off their friendship. Never associate with outher people having the same weakness...You must get away from people of that kind.

-When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes. Then GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM AND GO INTO ANOTHER ROOM WHERE YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight.


-A Book Of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful...

-In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken..."

Duuuude... Is it any wonder I'm in dire need of serious counseling? But enough about this.. I'm unemployed, The Surge isn't home and I've got a vibrator in my bedroom that's calling my name. Maybe I should follow that last rule and tie my hand to the bed frame.. Kinda kinky, no?

Happy Birthday, Asshole

"Y'know, Monica farts, ALL the time." My older brother Brandon drops this bomb casually, then giggles with glee as my current crush swallows and stares stupidly at his shoes. "She's been to the doctor about it but even he doesn't know what's wrong."

He was bigger. He was stronger. Most importantly, he was older and at the age of fifteen had apparently sworn an oath dedicating his life to ruining mine. Gone was the sweet, smiling youngster with a face full of sunshine. In his place trawled a scowling teen with a chip on his shoulder that could rival the Grand Canyon.

I tried to conduct the very delicate business of being a 13-year-old girl as far from his evil eye as possible. Sometimes, though, avoiding a tornado proves rather difficult and, well, you just don't make it to the storm cellar in time.

This latest torture session had started when I had the unmitigated gall to actually think it was safe to invite my new junior high crush over to the house.

"Okay, I'll see you in a minute." After untangling myself from a phone cord stretched so much it could nearly reach outside the house, I hang up the telephone.

Before taking the very bold and exciting step of inviting the super hot Joe Bonham over I'd thoroughly checked the house from top to bottom, taking extra care to listen at Brandon's always locked door (he'd taken to using his ground floor bedroom window as an entry/exit) to make sure the coast was clear.

There was Jordan, quietly watching afternoon cartoons in the basement, an occasional chortle interrupting The Roadrunner's "MEEP MEEP!" Shaun was hippety-hopping about on the trampoline in the backyard. Mom was, of course, at work.

After investigating the "fort" Brandon had erected from old wood he found piled in our shed I officially declared the premises a Brandon-Free Zone and had raced to the kitchen telephone to invite Joe over.

After I hang up the phone I hustle to my bedroom to slide into a pair of my best acid-washed jeans. The extremely stylish ones with the bow perched atop the zippered ankle. I twirl in my full length mirror to examine the effect. Niiice. I top the jeans with my very cool black tee-shirt with "Lifes A Beach" spray painted in hot pink across a chartreuse tropical beach scene, then skip to the bathroom to check my bangs.

As my fingers peck at my perfectly curled bangs like a demented chicken, to my utter dismay I hear the front door slam shut. I freeze as the unmistakable pound of my brother's feet on the stairs beat to the rhythm of my rapidly approaching heart attack.

I stand still, hand on the turquoise canister of Aqua Net, ears straining, praying to god it is only little Shaun in search of fruit roll-ups. In my heart I know it is Him. The Evil One. The squeak of the cereal cabinet confirms my worst fears. Oh Heavenly Father above above! Brandon is home and Joe was, at this very moment, innocently heading straight into the yawning maws of hell!

Bang arrangement forgotten, I pace the bathroom floor furtively before leaping into action. I ease open the door, carefully look both ways then ballet dance across the hall toward the phone in my mom's room. Frantically, I dial Joe's digits.
"Is Joe there?" I hiss desperately at his mother.
"No, dear. He's on his way to a friend's house." She sing-songs down the line Donna Reed style. I could almost smell the cookies baking in her kitsch kitchen with it's green and white gingham curtains, a complimentary contrast to the red walls painted in an old-timey Coca Cola motif.
"Can I give him a message?" She asks politely. So this is what normal families are like, I marveled. Cordial phone conversations, mothers at home preparing dinner. Little Johnny probably enjoying milk and freshly baked cookies at a silver and formica kitchen table.

"Um... No. Thanks anyway!" I slam down the phone and skitter to the living room window and peer out despairingly, just in time to see Joe press the doorbell down below. Before I can move, Brandon thunders heavily down the hall shouting I'll get it!

I scramble after him but it's too late. I round the corner to a nightmarish scene. There stands Joe in all his hunky fourteen-year old glory. Joe AND my big brother Brandon.

My older brother turns to me, a wicked grin through which all manner of putrescence from his dark soul enters the universe splits his horrifying countenance.
"Soooo..." he says to Joe. "You like my sister, huh? I bet you wouldn't like her if you smelled the bathroom every morning when she finishes."
Embarrassed, Joe looks to me for help but I am agog at this gargantuan leap into new and humiliating territory. I can only gurgle "Nu-uh.."
"In fact," Brandon continues unabashedly, "yesterday she forgot to flush. You would not BeLIEVE the size of the loaf she left sitting there. Biggest turd you ever saw. She really pinched off a record breaker!"

I spiral into despair, my young life flashes before my eyes before I regain enough composure to rush Joe from The Wicked One's gnarly clutches.
"C'mon Joe. Lets go hang out in my room." I try my best to ignore Brandon, but the three of us know there is no recovery from 'stinky loaf' talk. At least I don't give Brandon what he really wants. Tears, screaming, slamming doors. Those are the only reactions that will satiate The Beast.
"Seriously Joe, I'm not lying!" Brandon continues. "Why would I make THAT up? That would just be weird." He utters this last bit before casually taking a bite of his cereal.

Oh, the trickery! The sheer duplicity! I drag Joe down the hall by the handful of tee-shirt I've grasped in my fist.
"You know, Monica wet the bed until she was eight years old." Brandon trails us down the hall, shoveling giant spoonfuls of Trix into his snarling mouth. I slam my door and thankfully, he stays out. Apparently, his work here is done.
"Just thought you should know, man!" He shouts helpfully through the wood laminate door.

Inside the bedroom, Joe and I stare at each other in silence. Finding words is akin to locating Waldo in my little brother's favorite book.
"He is SUCH a liar." I finally sputter, careful not to get too defensive for fear of appearing guilty. But it's ruined. Joe doesn't know my family well enough to brush off their special brand of horror.