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Personality and Music

Music and Personality
No real plan here, just sort of me tracing my train of thought this afternoon.

As I left work today to go to lunch, I popped the ipod on and blasted Don Omar- La Calle Me Llama
I was going to write about my personal musical soundscape, as I reflected upon the sounds of gunshots and cartridges being loaded. I really like the sound of that.
It made me wonder, what sort of person would people take me to be based on what I listen to. It made me wonder how much of the appeal of those sounds is just the sound and how much is context- movies I’ve seen and so on? In a nutshell, when I hear the gun clackclack, I have a subconscious notion that “some shit is about to go down”.

But mostly I was thinking that fuck work, I should ride around in the sun singing “papi quisiera quedarme, pero la calle me llama”. Yeah, my wannabe boyfriend would complain about that as would my other suitors. La calle me llama, I love the streets. I love urban spaces, love being out and about amongst people. Love. It.

What the hell kind of girl AM I?
Does the music I listen to shape me, or are my musical preferences shaped by my personality.
While Im pretty attractive and known for my elegance and grace (according to those who stop me to comment on it), Im not a soft kittenish sort of woman.. I want to be, always have. I dont have the grace of a butterfly or a fairy, theres something distinctly predatory about me. That is, if the words “scary” and “menacing” mean anything.
I am also very nice, old people and children frequently approach me in public. To me that said that Im not scary, but as I got older I realized I probably appear like a Cop or something. I look like someone who is benevolently aggressive! Meaning, if someone mean is chasing you, if you hide behind me I’ll protect you AND stomp their ass.
And there have been the occasional remarks online asking if I am really female, I just happen to have strong features.
Yet, most people are surprised that I listen to so much reggaeton. I do a good job at playing the role.
Yet, I never wear frills or lace or print clothing. I rarely wear my hair loose. I do have nice makeup and feet tho. ALL of my friends are male, and always have been despite my efforts to get girlfriends. In most of my romantic relationships we’ve either started or ended as buddies, dogs, homies. I never listen to music by female singers, I dont like the sounds of their voices very much.
I dont do Girl very well.
I do like 3 female singers- kd lang, sinead, shirley manson and ivy queen. Probably because they all are women whom I can relate to, whom, I can sing along to and not feel unlike myself.They havent succumbed to the pressure to be feminine and mute themselves in order to fit society’s idea of what a woman should think, feel or say.

I think I like male singers because they express themselves like I do, assertively and passionately. I can sing along to that.  Im extremely heterosexual. I’ve never doubted it, but I’m honest enough with myself to wonder if perhaps I am. I mean, Im surrounded by men, my friends are all men, I’m one of the boys. Maybe I am a boy?

I dont think Im surrounded by male friends and male singers because I’ve got gender identity issues, I think I just really truly appreciate men. A lot. (That wasn’t a sex reference, btw) And it may not even be that I like men, but I like male culture. I like the freedoms that men have that women dont. I dont want to be a man, I just want to be able to fuck and yell and fight and cuss like they do.
So perhaps it figures that I would like music with a whole lot of screaming and  yelling. I am a city person and love being OUT, so I appreciate music that references partying and street life.

At the same time, I cannot deny that listening to reggaeton has also shaped me. I would not, 10 years ago, have been as comfortable with my relationship status as I am now. That is to say, I am divorced and almost 38 and my last 3 suitors are 25,25 and 26. (They chased me, not the reverse. Suitors, not lovers.) I have become ok with that, though initially it was hard for me to be the older more experienced higher status part of a couple. Having a lower status man, intially, felt like a demotion for me. Not for me, but I felt that other people would see it that way. “Thats the best you can do, a broke little boy?”
Having heard Mayor Que Yo crooned at me hundreds of times sort of cured me of that.

10 years ago, I may have done a little freak dancing. But I blame reggaeton for the situations I find myself in. Im comfortable doing some pretty gender bending things such as bending my ex’s girlfriend over, placing my hand on her back and perreando. (A delicate way of saying humping her ass.) I’ve done it to a few of his girlfriends, they initiated it not me though!!! Still, not a sexual thing. I have a female dog who humps stuffed animals, cats, and even male dogs. Its not sex, its a show of dominance. And I think, again, it goes back to my relationships with my male friends, they treat me almost as if I am a male in a female body and occasionally I join in on their little male bonding. “She’s hot, lets sandwich her and dance”, they seem to be thinking, without stopping to think, “she’s a girl, why would she do that”.

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More of my thoughts. Excuse the unfinished nature of it.

After writing the last bit, I recalled a girl I know who was at the club. We hadnt seen each other in a LONG time and after the obligatory squealing and gushing and kissing, she started to dance and sort of looked at me and extended her hands as if to say “Come on girl”. So I started to dance too.

We danced merengue and she turned me, then I turned her. Then we danced some salsa. We would dance then she’d do a little girlish styling and a turn, then when she came back to face me, I’d do my moves and a turn. And so it went for a few songs.

I’ve often danced with women. That women in Latin Clubs dance with one another is something an AA female friend of mine commented on. She said one time there was a club and the men were all deployed and the few who remained werent really asking women to dance. So she got up with her latina friends to dance in a big ole group of women.

Sometimes when the men arent dancing or when we outnumber them too much, we women will dance in a big ole cluster of girls. I don’t have female friends I go out with, so I often wait till I see a girl I know in the group and kind of join in by standing near her. Or I’ll sidle up to some and wait for them to let me in the circle.
Sometimes, when Im dancing alone another woman who is there alone will come invite me onto the floor. Often they are older than me.

The thing about dancing with girls is that rarely are we competitive. And you don’t get the feeling that when they do a move they expect you to exceed it or that they hope u cant keep up. Many a time I have danced with older women who, appearancewise, werent a match. (Women in their late 50’s or so)

But they had the moves and they never tried to make me look bad, but helped me if I couldn’t make a turn or keep up. And I was always in awe. In exchange for them not totally smoking me in moves, I never did anything to flaunt how young and hot I was (relatively speaking, since Im middle aged) I’ve danced reggaeton with women who were in their 50’s and could move well and I always defer to them on the floor. IF not, they’d dance a salsa with me and start turning me so muchthat I got dizzy and lost and looked absolutely clueless. LOL

And when we dance with each other there seems to be a lot of mutual appreciation. When one on one, we try to match each other move for move. I’ve never had a woman try to upstage me and I’ve never tried to upstage one. When we reach the highest level that the least skilled person can dance at, we stay there. And then we each take our turns prancing and turning and showing off. Theres always a sense of attempting to take it higher and work it as much as possible, you want to urge your partner to do her best and you may do so by throwing some more hip or shoulder action in there, or doing some little flicks of the skirt or foot taps. But once she meets you and can no longer keep up- that’s it. We actually do enjoy watching one another dance and be pretty.

I guess I was just thinking about some of my friends and the fun we have. And then some of my friends who wont go dance with me, who are afraid to go out with me because Im a really good dancer and they don’t want to look bad compared to me. They don’t understand that I would never outdress or outdance them. That if we, as girls, went out as a group none of the other girls would outdress them or outdance them. Its not the way. We arent competing to be the best. We see it sort of as a team effort.

We fix each others hair in the bathroom lend each other makeup, admire how each others asses look in our pants, envy one anothers shoes or bosom or what have you. We coo over one another and OMG girl you look so fucking great! When I used to have girl friends (I’ve moved a lot so maintaining them is hard) and my sister was here, we’d share earrings and jewelry and clothing, shop for shoes in one anothers closets.

The other night I saw 2 girls exchanging shoes because one’s feet were hurting in hers so her friend gave her HER shoes. Sometimes the feeling of solidarity is so strong that we don’t care about competition, about men, about being the prettiest. We may care if OUR group as a whole is hot, but we take pride in having hot friends.

Now, I cant speak for all women, all cities, all clubs, all cultures. This is simply my experience and Im sure there are plenty of places that are more cutthroat.

Ok, enough blather

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