Voyeurism

How I Pulled Off a Surprise Wedding

This Valentine’s Day I married my white knight. When we started posting on social media, our friends and distant family were shocked. You see…no one knew this was coming…especially THE GROOM!

This blog tells our story.

Wrecker and I have been together for almost five years now. Both of us came from some pretty shitty romantic circumstances and were ripe for emotional attachment. This was the first relationship I had that started with complete brutal honesty and a well-developed friendship. He knew early on marriage was in our future, and he has been asking me for the last 4 years to become his wife. I was a bit more skeptical about love, having been burnt so many times before, and I kept signing him to 2-year contracts with an option to walk away if we found it was no longer working for us. (See. Brutal honesty.)

But around October of last year, I came around. I realized that our partnership was for keeps. He makes me a better person and complements me in so many ways that I would be dumb not to grab on to him and hold on tight. It came to me in an epiphany that I had THE perfect opportunity to pull off the most rarest of occasions: a SURPRISE wedding. I mean how many people have the opportunity to do that???

…And he would never suspect it happening on Valentine’s Day given my tenuous relationship with all things love.

To set up the scenario, I had asked him in early January to take Valentine’s Day off of work because I had big date night V-day plans, and he would get info on a need-to-know basis. (I have pulled off many a surprise in the past, so this was not out of the ordinary as far as he was concerned.)

The first and most important thing I needed to address was the license, so in early January I started suggesting a late February elopement. (You see this is marriage #3 for both of us, so formality was already out the window.)  And as he struggled with the idea of leaving our parents and children out, I already knew the plan was to include them all.

Throughout January, I was compiling all the things that make a wedding a wedding. I found the dress, made the bouquet, located the perfect decorations, bought baking supplies, and planned out the timeline to each detail. I created a Private Facebook event where I was feeding information to our clan.

I was also strategically feigning concern over the details of our supposed Feb. 25th elopement, but asked him if we could put off thinking about it until after his Feb. 14th date night surprise. Make no mistake here, I deserve this year’s Oscar.

Before I knew it, Valentine’s Day had arrived, and here is how it all unfolded.

Early on Valentine’s Day, we headed out to get our marriage license. We were the second couple that day. Yay, love.

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16728995_1371349416258702_168580446772077979_n.jpgSo by 10 A.M., legal paperwork in hand, I wanted to avert any suspicion of evening plans, and we grabbed a romantic breakfast at our favorite chain, First Watch. After breakfast, we stopped to get him a fresh haircut and to exchange our outdated Time Warner modem for something more this century. (As he sat giddily telling the hairdresser about the mystery evening, I bore my eyes intently into my phone and tried to keep from smiling and blowing the entire plan. If only she had known…)

In fact, the entire morning I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. You may not be able to tell from this pic, but my insides were quaking, and I feared any slight slip-up that would ruin the surprise.

After our errands, we returned home where my parents were supposed to call with a distraction (i.e., a favor) in the late afternoon.

Around 2 P.M., my mom asks me to call her via text. (Remember, she is supposed to call us.) She wants to know if they are supposed to call at 3 or if they are supposed to keep him distracted until 3. (Oh, moms…lol)

The plan she says is to say that dad “may” need help cutting a limb down out of the tree, and that they would call him to come help. Minutes go by. More minutes go by, and no call back to his phone. I’m getting antsy.

“Maybe you should call Mom and see if Dad needs help,” I suggest. “I’m a little worried he may hurt himself. Mom didn’t sound too good.”

He calls, and Mom confirms they need him. “We’ll be right there,” he says before hanging up.

I lower my eyes. “Well actually…I forgot something for our date tonight and need to make a run to the store before I start getting ready. You got this?” I look up as straight-faced as I can muster.

“Sure. Trying to get rid of me,” he says as he leaves. Am I busted??? I panic, but realize I have no time. I have a wedding to throw.

I wake the youngest (my cohort in this shenanigan) as she worked the night shift. “IT’S GO TIME!!!” I shout. “WE HAVE A WEDDING TO THROW!”

As she gets ready, I run to the basement refrigerator where the cake and cupcakes I baked just days before were ready for transport.

I run to the second floor for the helium tank and our clothing for the ceremony and Day After.

The rest is in the car and has been all day. He had no clue as we drove to get the license and ran about our errands.

After the car is packed, I return to the Master bedroom where I lay out his attire for the evening along with a few clue cards I had prepped the day before.

I slip Clue #2 into his pant’s pocket.

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It reads:

By the way, I love you for who you are and who you will become.

Today is a trail of clues. Feel free to take pictures along the way and share them with our friends. The end of the trail is where it all begins.

K–

I place his pants inside his jacket, arrange the rest of his attire and place Clue #1 on top.

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It read:

You know how I love a good surprise. Now take your time, get ready to shine, and meet me at Hueston Woods Lodge at 6:30 P.M. sharp.

NO SOONER, NO LATER.

Check in at the front desk.

K–

Here’s a photo from his perspective:

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Meanwhile…out at Hueston Woods Lodge…

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Two girls were having a quick celebratory drink,

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Or two…

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at an impromptu Bachelorette party.

Then, while she practiced the song I asked her to play for our ceremony, I was decorating the Honeymoon Suite for the anticipated “consummation.” (wink wink)

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The giant card I got at Walmart, the pillow at Charming Charlie’s and the rose petals from Amazon.

 

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I made the cake beforehand and added the edible red rose accents I got at Michaels once it was set up. The champagne flutes also came from Michaels, the champagne to fill them from Kroger, and the cake topper was personalized from a merchant on eBay. The adornments under the cake stand are ones I brought from home and came from his Valentine’s Day present from last year.

Soon after the room was set up, I began to dress while the photographer friend of the family we know, Thomissia Robinson, snapped some of these great setting-inspired shots.

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As the sun set on the evening,

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My crew of accomplices (a.k.a., our families) began to arrive.

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The Fireside Room needed very little decoration with the wide open view of lake and the large fireplace that was already lit and setting the evening’s mood.

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We just added a little fireside decoration,

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some last minute touches,

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And the scene was set.

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To a table on the side of the room, we welcomed guests and displayed the cupcakes and champagne for post-ceremony celebration.

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On two of the chairs, we framed pictures of those not able to be with us. My biological father is on the left, and his father is on the right.

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As the rest of the families arrived, there was nothing to do but wait…

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and wait…

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And wait…

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And, hey– you guessed it…

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You see we were waiting for him to arrive, check in at that front desk and receive this last clue, which read:

So they welcomed you in, but you now must descend down the spiral staircase behind you.

Come meet me at FOREVER.

K–

Every movement at the top of stairs caused my heart to leap.

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And then finally…

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What’s that in his hand you ask? My Valentine’s Day card he was going to give me over dinner.

“No, you didn’t.” was all he kept repeating.

(The card was beautiful by the way.)

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After some boutonnièrage

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(As a side note: I must confess that I had to call in for backup on this one. I was shaking from nervous energy and my fingers won’t do what I wanted them to. Thanks to my bro for coming in for the save.)

and a quick kiss,

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I walked him around to where our families were ready to greet him. This even included a surprise for us both as his oldest daughter had flown his son in, who resides in Florida, for the ceremony.

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My youngest daughter opened it with an acoustic version of Meghan Trainor’s “Like I’m Going to Lose You,” and we were wed by our officiant, B.J. Stahl. For those of you lucky enough to know her…well, how lucky are we??? Ironically, she is also my ex mother-in-law and remains still one of my closest friends.

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She greeted us all with a beautiful and meaningful opening statement. We exchanged our vows (which involved cardboard boxes and a zombie apocalypse), placed rings upon one another’s hands,

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his youngest daughter read the poem, “Love” by Roy Croft, where I clearly lost it,

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and oh yeah, you remember that 2-year contract that kept being renewed??

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We tore that sucker up!

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A first kiss as husband and wife,

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and we were wed. The thing was done.

After the ceremony, we took pictures with our parents (his by my side and mine by his),

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our seven children and six grandchildren (one was still in Florida…boo!),

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and our officiant.

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With the short ceremony over, we moved over to celebrate with champagne/”kid wine” toasts and cupcakes.

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My Dad surprised us with a touching speech about how he loved seeing me happier than I had ever been, and he welcomed his new son “officially”– although those two have one of the strongest bro-mances I have ever personally witnessed, and I think this welcoming occurred at the first time they met, or at least when Dad lended him his first tool.

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Wrecker’s Mom followed suit welcoming me into their family officially,

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and then my brother,

and then his youngest daughter.

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She talked about how when her mom died all that everyone wanted was for her Dad to find happiness again. It wasn’t until I came along that they saw him smile. Of course, I  became the tear-filled bride at such a touching moment.

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It was a day of extreme highs filled with honest emotion, and the occasion was true perfection. We were so happy to be surrounded by the love and support of our family and touched that everyone could be there to share it with us.

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There was one last step however before we were truly “official,” so we sat down to finish the formalities.

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Then some more serious photos,

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and some not-so-serious ones…

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After the ceremony, I had made reservations for the special Valentine’s menu at the Lodge’s restaurant and reserved a King Suite for the night for our honeymoon.

Over dinner, we had several couples come up to congratulate us. They had been watching the ceremony from the balcony apparently, and many were there on their own anniversaries celebrating their own Valentine’s Day marriages so many years ago. One couple even bought us some chocolate-covered strawberries. (If you are reading this, we truly appreciated your gesture of generosity.)

For us, this love story has only just begun. We can only hope it will be as full of surprises as its beginning, and we hope that all of you find happiness like we’ve found.

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Is Keeping Your Cookie in the Jar Unrealistic?

Laura Wize Cookie

I am on strike and it’s nothing new. When I am single I usually do not partake in casual sex. Honestly it’s a bunch of effort creating a false sense of intimacy with a guy, so we can have real sex.  Creating false trust with a man is like watching sand fall through an hourglass, it’s just a matter of time before something shady goes down.

I read Glamazon Tyomi’s article on ebony.com Sex Before Commitmet or Nah? She took a poll to determine if abstinence is the path to marriage or if we are fooling ourselves. The vast majority 62.5% felt it didn’t effect their chances of a long term relationship.

I know couples who had sex within the first few dates who eventually got married. That being said I don’t have a great deal of married friends. I think the way society is set up it doesn’t matter if you wait or sleep with someone new every night you can end up being the same amount of single.

There is no magical set of actions that will make you un-single, but what if abstinence became a filter? A way to weed out the worthy and the unworthy and the process of locating the worthy became more diligent. This concept would only be valid to ladies who desire commitment. (because I am not anti-sex in any way)

What if, the thing that is really keeping you from being in a committed relationship is you are trying to make relationships out of great sex? People can say what they want but for women sex can often create emotional attachments. You can say with your mouth that this isn’t serious but after you’ve been intimate with someone the lines get blurred. In all honesty the only time sex is truly crystal clear is when it’s bad.

These are my four reasons to “Keep Your Cookie in the Jar”

Hi, have we dated?

Dating is an endangered species. I know at least three couples in real life who never went on a date until they officially became boyfriend and girlfriend. Stop falling for the “Netflix and chill” it gives the man too much opportunity to get you comfortable.

Make him date you by making a suggestion for an short activity in public. You can take a walk, get an ice cream, or grab a coffee. If he isn’t down for any of your suggestions you can forget to text him back. You have your own Netflix subscription and you can chill alone. Your cookie shouldn’t even leave it’s air tight container if you have no level of friendship and a man who won’t date you is a stranger.

5 Dates Ain’t Enough

If you are lucky enough to meet someone who will date you and take you on more than one date, rejoice. After you have done your private happy dance don’t ease up just yet. The choice not to have sex is not malicious you just really want to make sure that the presenter and the man are one.

Most men know the deal and know just how long they need to be on their best behavior. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Men are not afraid to let women down when it comes to their expectations. I am not suggesting that Mr. Wonderful isn’t all that he says he is but wouldn’t it be nice to be sure.

Stop Getting into Sexuationships

If you are over the age of 25 you are too old to be friends with benefits. If you think having sex with someone and quietly keeping your feelings to yourself is healthy, grow up. Why are you giving a Section 8 Voucher to your Park Avenue pent house.

If it’s sex then let it be sex but don’t be friends. I understand women have needs but potential friends with benefits just take up space. FWB is a form of settling and you settle with bill collectors not in relationships. Why waste time when you can keep the cookie in the jar.

Maybe I belong in the natural history museum for even suggesting to millennial woman not to have sex. I just feel if you’ve had it before what’s the rush? Especially if you desire to find someone who will last beyond a moment. Sex can cloud compatibility and a torrid affair is passionate but it only lasts for so long. Once again I am not anti sex keep the lines of communication open. I’m just suggesting knowing a person a little better before getting kinky.

Don’t get sad, get free!!

I read a woman’s Facebook status where she stated she wished she could un-have sex with someone. My immediate first thought was stop having sex with people. That thought wasn’t judgemental it was real. If you’re not having sex you don’t have these awkward moments with men after they reveal their true selves.

You can’t control when you will meet Mr. Right. You can control what you do and do not give Mr. Wrong. Nothing feels better than that sigh of relief “Thank God, I didn’t sleep with that jerk!”

Once again, I could be the cave woman preaching to the millennial. At some point you have to ask yourself is the road to commitment one of choice or chance? Should you leave no stone left unturned? In my case I plan on letting the rolling stones pass me by. Some heartbreak is inevitable and some is excessive.

The beautiful sex organ is between your ears and not your legs-She’s Gotta Have It

For more Oh Wize One be sure to  follow her on Facebook at OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter @ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

 

Source: Is Keeping Your Cookie in the Jar Unrealistic?

DIY Jeweled Clutch

Looking for a weekend project? Check out Laura’s DIY clutch. Gorgeous!

Oh Wize One

I am addicted to statement pieces. Seriously when something speaks to me I drop the cash and leave my logic at home. I’m beginning to understand  that spending big money on pieces I am only going to wear on occasion is irrational.

I love evening clutches but they are expensive and too small to carry for everyday wear. I have been wanting a clear acrylic clutch so I ordered this one off ebay for $8. When I got it I thought it needed some sparkle!

For this project you will need:

Clear acrylic clutch

Assorted rhinestones

E6000

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Step One

Lay your clutch on a flat work surface. Plan out your design making sure you work around the larger rhinestones first.

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Step Two:

Spread a small amount of glue on the back of the rhinestone and attach it to the purse. Be sure to let the stones dry for at least 5 hours…

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INTERVIEW: BJ Stahl, All-around Dynamo

I have known this woman forever it seems. She’s a dynamo and a force of nature. She prefers to be thought of as a “freak of nature” and wears that badge with honor. She’s what I hope to be when I grow up. For real!  I can’t even begin to communicate the respect and love I have for her. So I won’t. But you get the point. And you will love her too.


As I’ve done with all our interviewees, I sent her a list of questions that she was free to answer by picking and choosing.  Below is what I got back. At first, I thought to myself, “How do I tease this out to fit the format of the other interviews?”. But why try? That’s like trying to fit into a box, and there’s no box known to man that could contain her brilliance or her energy.  So here she is in all her unboxed glory.


Libidacoria Magazine is proud to present this month’s feature interview, BJ Stahl.


BJ


My name is BJ Stahl….I’m an entertainer…..you know…I do whatever it takes…to entertain!  I sing, play guitar, emcee, burlesque as well as I’m a wedding officiant, journeyman commercial painter, artist and seamstress.  My hats are many and varied!  I like to think I wear them well.  When I am on stage…..I am my true self…unencumbered, raw yet guarded…..she’s my baby girl!  She’s vulnerable and controlling.  If I could be her all the time……I would be too imposing…..she lives out loud…..AND LOVES IT!  She’s a little narcissistic but will hear your woes and comfort you…….but when the lights come on….the music begins…..Honey,,,get out of my way….that’s my cue!  I giggle at her because I know her insecurity…..but honey, she is commanding that stage!  I back off and let her do her thing…..she is me, and I’m so proud of her!  I don’t really know how to juggle between my racy side and home side…..without the stage.  I have no desire to have sex outside my home, but I sure want to exude its possibility to the audience.  I want to feel the burn of their gaze…….I want to feel their eyes penetrate me…..I’m rarely disappointed…even at my age!  I like to think I listen to my inner self and follow it.  I have to admit, it took me more years than I’d like to listen.  My future is bright….bright as all the ideas within myself.  I am a visualizer…..I like to see the possibilty in my mind and let the Universe bring it to me, if that will make me happy.  It may sound random….but I have learned to follow what my gut tells me…..you can call it what you will….I call it My Universe.  My life in a word….MOTION!  Always moving toward…..never backwards.  I don’t like to dwell in the past.  That has been both cathartic and empty.   Melancholy and sad.  But, without a lot of happy memories, this proves to be perfect for me.  I have something that sends me into outer space….it’s my pet peeve!  So, I’ve agreed to come to your party,….your event….to entertain.  You tell me….hey, bring your guitar and your sound equipment and share your beautiful voice with us……we love to hear you sing!!!  I turn down a function where I know it would be awesome and go to your event.  I take my time, equipment and dress to entertain…..you know, don’t want to look like I just walked in from the plowing…..and I begin a 3-4 hour show for you and your guests.  I start the show…..the talking can be heard on stage……I think, wow, must not have my sound up enough…let’s turn that baby up a notch!  It is louder…..and so is the crowd……this continues until the guests have out done me……I am just something in the background.  I’m giving my all….digging deep for emotion to share……fingers hurting….throat sore….ego bruised…..and it drains you.  Why not just turn on the radio……plug in your iPod……hook up your Bose stereo speaker.  I am not……BACKGROUND……I came to make you laugh, make you cry and make you escape into folly……..and you want me to be …….BACKGROUND!!!  What does that exchange mean…….?  Whatever it is….it hurts!   I’ll tell you what doesn’t hurt…..when someone “hears” you……or truly “sees” you!  Nothing can get me more excited……more in need of hot penetration than…..acknowledging my existence with hot desire to please me.  From the gaze with icy fluid…..to the slightest of touch…..just enough to want me to fall into it…..to the words that say…….I haven’t lived through that…..but I’m here for you.  Not in a rush……allowing flow!  That is hot!


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Now, for a little funny.  Many years ago….I was working on the South Texas Nuclear Project….. as an industrial painter.  My part time job was a singing act.  I was maybe 30……very well built and toned, as my job was very physical.  I worked 4 12 hour shifts, then was off for 4 days.  My off days were about entertaining……out in Texas……big ole gigs out on ranches and such!  One night, I was playing a local Honky Tonk when a young good looking hot thing came into the lounge.  He sat in front of the stage and gave me >>>>>THE EYE!  Oh, I thought he was mine to take home…..mine for the picking.  It was a 4-hour show night…..we were so so tired.  The man only stared at me throughout the night…..never approached.  I thought he was being respectful…..he knew I was working.  The end of the night came…..he moseyed up to my table where my singing partner and I were splitting out till for the night.  I saw him walk closer and closer…..my heart was throbbing and my mind was racing.  Oh….he looked like he could go all night long……and I was willing to put my aches and pains of a full night show to the wayside and give him a whirl!  He strolled up to me…..tilted his head so sweetly…..leaned a little closer, then closer and said……….”Hey,…….Have you got a daughter?”  I must have paled immediately because my blood ran cold as I posed this……”Do you ever want one?”……with my fist tight and my eyes fixed on his crotch!  I never saw him again…..he sure was hot though!!!


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You can find BJ on Facebook here.


For a special treat, search her on YouTube to get a taste of her music and amazing voice.

INTERVIEW: Cassie Wolfe, LCSW, MEd., PhD Candidate

Cassie Wolfe, LCSW, MEd., PhD Candidate

Cassie Wolfe

Cassie Wolfe is a clinical social worker at an inpatient psychiatric facility where she provides case management and therapy (specializing in human sexuality) for adults, and sex education to our two adolescent units. She is also a guest lecture and facilitates trainings to other healthcare professionals on a variety of sexuality-related issues: adolescent sexuality, working with the LGBTQ population, and transgender healthcare concerns. And as if that weren’t enough, she is also part of a “sex expert” panel for dick-and-jane.com providing sex and relationship advice to members who email questions.

How did you find yourself here? What’s your story?

Like many other young people, I was obsessed with learning and talking about sex. Since I was always open to talking about sex and relationships, I became the “go to” person for my friends. At 16, an opportunity presented itself to become an editorial board member for a nationally published teen written sexuality newsletter, Sex, Etc. Writing about sexual health issues sparked my desire to continue the conversation about sex and healthy sexuality by exploring any and every issue on the sexuality spectrum. I often joked about becoming a “sex therapist” and even dressed up as what I thought one might look like, for Halloween one year! Deep inside I knew I wanted to somehow merge my passion for helping people resolve their problems with my love and curiosity about sexual health; but, I was clueless about how to make it a reality.

My first real job out of college was as a treatment adherence counselor for individuals who were HIV-positive. It wasn’t, however, until my friend, Heather and I were drinking Starbucks and rummaging through books about relationships at Barnes and Nobles that I realized what I wanted and needed to do. Heather said, “I don’t know why you’re not doing this! You’ve always wanted to do sex therapy – do it already!” That night I started googling programs and was eventually accepted into Widener University’s dual degree masters in social work and doctorate in human sexuality program. Since starting the program, I have continued to work with people with HIV/AIDS, mental health, and/or substance abuse issues. I hope to eventually open a private practice and continue working with other healthcare professionals to educate them about sexuality issues that affect the people they treat.

If you could go back, would you do it again or take another path? And what would that look like you think?

I was always fascinated with law and animals; however, there’s not one day I wake up and think “What if.” I wake up every day loving what I do and feel inspired to do more. There was a three year gap between the time I graduated from undergrad and entered grad school; so perhaps if I could’ve changed my journey, I would’ve had it start a bit sooner.

Describe your life in one word.

Fan-fucking-tastical!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Watching Judge Judy.

Worst assumptions made about you based on what you do?

Lots! That I must have something psychologically wrong with me to enjoy talking about sex and listening to people talk about their sex lives; that I must have been sexually abused as a child to pursue a career in this field; that I have sex with my clients; that I have sex with my clients and then teach them how to be better; that I somehow know everything about sex; that I must be interested in any and every sexual behavior; or that I watch couples having sex and coach them through every moment. There’s also this assumption that I’m one dimensional and only want to talk about sex 24/7.

Are women as sexually graphic as men in your experience?

I find that when people, both men and women, feel safe, comfortable, and trusting, they are equally as graphic. Sometimes all someone needs is permission to express him/herself free of guilt and judgment, and then poof, the floodgates are opened!

Correct some misconceptions about (your project/career/lifestyle).

Right now there is no title protection for terms like “therapist,” “counselor,” or “educator.” There are some people who have no formal training in human sexuality and are able to offer services and identify themselves as any of those titles. There are people who also identify themselves as “sexual surrogates” or “body workers” and also as “counselors,” who do engage sexually with the people who come to them for help. This creates mass confusion about who does what and why there are many assumptions about whether sex therapists have sex with their clients. Clinical professions such as social workers, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychiatrists are all ethically bound by their respective boards to NOT have sexual relationships with their clients. Doing otherwise is a major ethical violation that would likely result in the loss of one’s license and ability to practice. In most states, it is still illegal to pay for sex or sexual acts like prostate massages or masturbation. If people are ever confused about what services someone is offering, a good starting place is to look up the credentials after their name.

Contact Cassie at any of her social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sex-Guru/152356908153692?ref=hl

Twitter: @SexGuruCSW

Other: http://dick-n-jane.com/cassie-wolf/

INTERVIEW: Lili Parallax

Lili Parallax

Performance art takes incredible strength– strength of character and strength in spirit.  This lady has that in spades!  Libidacoria Magazine is proud to present Lili Parallax, a Columbus performance artist who isn’t confined by normality.  She’s quirky.  She knows herself.  And that, my readers, makes her super interesting.  Enjoy!
 
 
 
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Photography by James R. Parker (http://www.jamesrparkerphotography.com/)

When you “perform”, are you in character or yourself?

Lili is just a bigger version of myself. She’s all the emotions and eccentricities turned up a notch…or ten!

How did you find yourself here? What’s your story?

It’s been a winding journey! As a kid, I dabbled in dance and basically lived in flamboyant leotards, and then did show choir for several years as a teenager. I sort of lost interest in performing for a few years through college as I focused on my studies, but came back around to it when I decided to try a pole class after moving to Columbus. I tried it as an alternative to joining to a gym, and completely fell in love!

I was drawn to pole for a number of reasons:

1. It allowed me to fly, which obviously, is super fun and bad ass.
2. While I enjoy taking dance classes, I’ve never been very serious about it, so taking ballet as a beginner in your 20’s can be scary. Most pole studios are still adult-only, so I didn’t feel behind!
3. Underwear is appropriate (and necessary!) workout attire. As you advance, more skin contact is required to stick to the pole. I was timid at first, like most are, but when the option is taking off your shirt or plummeting to the Earth, you get over it.

After a year or so doing pole, I started to branch out and try other aerial apparatuses. I love them all, but like all aerialists, I tend to prefer some over others. They each require different skills and strengths, so it makes sense that different bodies would naturally be better at some over others. I perform primarily on pole and lyra (aerial hoop), but I’ve done some work on trapeze and corde lisse too (aerial rope). I’ve tried silks (aerial fabric), but I could never really get into it. I guess I just prefer having something hard in my hand (bah-dum-cha!).

Lili2

Photography by Effy Falck

Correct some misconceptions about your art.

Aerial and pole dance is HARD. I know sometimes it looks easy, folks, but that’s because we work our butts off to make it look that way!  I sometimes get comments like, “It can’t be that difficult… I mean, strippers do it.”  Aside from being a generally ignorant comment, it just doesn’t make sense. How exactly do you think those strippers get those rockin’ bods?

I actually find that once people see the work it takes to do it, they respect both me and the art form more.

How do you juggle your “racy” side with your “home” side? And do they ever merge together?

Juggling my performer life and home life isn’t an issue at all, but I do have a 9-5 working, professional side that I like to keep separate. Having a stage name certainly helps with that, and it makes me feel like a super hero!

Describe your life in one word.

Fun.

If you could go back, would you do it again or take another path? And what would that look like you think?

I’ve really enjoyed my journey, and it’s not so much that I wish I would have done things differently as much as sooner. I’m having so much fun; it would have been great to have been doing it all along!

What’s your cure for creative blockage?

I put on some music, close my eyes, and just start moving. If I can’t think of anything to do, I just bounce up and down, but eventually something comes. If that doesn’t work, I take a break, drink some booze, and then start the process over. There’s always a video recording, so I don’t forget anything genius that’s discovered in the fourth cycle or so.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

In college, my roommate and I would watch “Next” marathons on MTV. I haven’t seen it in years, and I still get withdrawal shakes when I think about it. It’s so unbelievably good/bad.

I also really dig Quiet Riot.

What’s your sexiest turn-on?

It’s something I’ve only realized lately, but I really dig underwear with ass capes.

What’s your perfect Sunday look like?

  • Breakfast – Cold pizza
  • Morning activities – practicing pole on the beach somewhere warm and sunny, next to clear blue water. While riding unicorns along the beach, all my favorite people would clap and holler when I nailed all my nemesis moves.
  • Lunch – Sushi and cheesy mashed potatoes
  • Afternoon activities – Drinking margaritas on the beach. The unicorns are still there too, of course.
  • Dinner – Hot dog in a baguette from one of the street vendors in Denmark.
  • Evening – All of my friends fly to Korea and dance until the sun comes up. We exit the club and eat Pizza in a Cup (That’s a real thing. This little old lady stays up all night to feed the hungry drunk people of Daegu tiny pizzas in paper cups. Rain or shine!  She’s a saint).

Mind you, this Sunday isn’t very practical, but neither is perfection.

What’s your preferred drink?

Bulleit bourbon and soda

Have you embraced technology or are you still a pen and paper writer?

I’m constantly made fun of for being a Luddite. All my grocery and To-Do lists are scribbled on old envelopes and receipts, and I have a notebook with a Zebra-Unicorn-Pegasus on the front that I keep all of my act ideas in. I don’t have a smartphone, so I still look up directions on Google Maps and write them all out on scrap paper before I leave the house. I feel that I function just fine, but it really bothers others when they find out.  I really just prefer to be less “connected.” It’s liberating.

Share an embarrassing story.

When I was in Korea, my friend Shauna and I saw this white van idling, but empty, along the side of the street.  This was in the wee hours of the morning after some drinking, so we decide it would be a good idea to climb inside and see what happened. I was looking around while in the passenger seat, and as Shauna is climbing in, a man comes running up and speaking Korean to us. Then, almost immediately, there were about 15 young Korean dudes (early 20’s?) in the van. We try to explain, in English, that “we thought it was our friend’s van.”  They accepted our “oops”, and he even handed us his business card. We met up with one of our friends that speaks Korean and showed him the card. I’m not sure I would have guessed that a business card with pink stars all over it would be for male prostitutes.

Truth? I’m not actually embarrassed by this story, but I think it’s so good that you, lovely readers, would enjoy it anyway.

What’s your next project or step?

The next couple of performances are repeats of previously created acts, but I’m really excited for some things I’m working on for October! Halloween always brings out the best performances. You really have to bring your A-game since it’s rare that you’re the only one in costume. You have to really give them something to look at!

 

Lili3

 

What’s the last random internet…thing…you saw that made you laugh out loud to yourself?

Drunken Jungle Animals:

Name one completely useless thing you’re really good at.

I can wiggle my ears, although I’m much better at one side than the other.

What was your moment—the moment you realized you “made” it?

Have I made it? Don’t stick a fork in me yet! I’m still in the making!

I have really enjoyed the journey so far, and all the opportunities I’ve been given, but I still feel like there’s so much room for me to grow. Of course, I put a lot of effort into my pieces, and I try to put the best show on I can, each and every time, but I can still really feel myself developing a little more with each performance.

Stay tuned, folks!

 
Visit Lili’s facebook profile at https://www.facebook.com/lili.parallax or send her an email at Lili.Parallax@gmail.com.
 
In addition to her independent work, Lili performs regularly with the following groups:
Movement Activities/Mikey Butane Ensemble: movementactivities.com
Columbus Burlesque Collective: http://columbusburlesque.blogspot.com/
 
In the Columbus, Ohio area and interested in giving it a try?
Aerial classes: Movement Activities movementactivities.com
Pole classes: Candy Cane http://www.candycaneparty.com/