When the officer asked her where she lives, the woman motioned in front of her. She drew circles with her hands in midair. She waved frantically as far as her arms would reach.
The men tried specific terms like "residence" and "address" but the woman was not wrong.
Perception is reality.
The police perceived the woman as part of their job. A menace to society that needed to be removed from the situation.
The beauticians saw their clients' discomfort. Disorder in their business. They saw problem that needed to be removed in order to maintain their revenue.
I saw a woman. I saw my mother. I saw a situation that needed to be resolved before a woman fell to the floor, seizing, comatose. I saw a brain, desperately needing sugar to continue functioning as mine, as the polices', as the stylists' and their clients'.
The woman saw her life in front of her. She could not see herself and that did not matter.
We see what's in front of us but we imagine the rest to the best of our abilities. We imagine the world around us, functioning in the distance without our help. We imagine what we've done and what we are going to do. We imagine how we appear to those around us. We imagine their thoughts and feelings.
The woman, whose sugar-deprived brain prevented her from the presence most people perceive, saw only what was in front of her. For those brief moments, her eyes were her only means of vision.
Perhaps the rest of us see too much.
When I was young, I wanted to fly a kite but all the kites I bought were broken and torn up when I got them. None of them would stay in the air for very long but I'd keep trying.
Several years ago, I spent everything I had on a beautiful, new, well-constructed kite. The string broke and my beloved kite blew away. Occasionally, it would come back and I'd try to tie the strings back on but it would just blow away again.
So I bought more kites. They were cheap and broken like my early kites. They wouldn't fly high enough so I would get bored and throw them away. Sometimes I'd keep them in a closet because it was better than not having a kite at all. Sometimes I'd fly a kite once, and leave it at the park, pretending it was never my kite at all, hoping someone else would come along and give it a good home.
I always kept the strings from that kite that flew away. Now I have invested in a new kite, one just as perfect and sturdy. I just don't know what to do with the extra string.
Best Friends, Best Friends, Making a Cake
I've become incredibly lonely and depressed since Michael and I parted ways in New Mexico. I keep lamenting my lack of friends. More importantly, the lack of a best friend.
I haven't really had a long-term best friend. M was my best friend in grade school. That was easy. We were the smartest girls in class with a similar sense of humor. By seventh grade, I wasn't enough for her. She wanted to be cool. I was depressed and difficult to be around. She once referred to me as one of her "hard friends" because I had problems and she couldn't just relax and have fun with me.
At some point M got too wrapped up with her social life and extra curricular activities to be my friend and I started hanging out with her younger sister. She slowly earned the label of my best friend. We had similar personalities and interests, plus she had problems too so we spent most of our time talking about our feelings and the rest of our time goofing off and making fun of stuff.
After high school I met Chelsea. That was the weirdest relationship of all. I knew when I first saw her that I wanted to be her best friend. Somehow, despite my awkwardness, she accepted that role and we spent every waking moment together.
After our falling out, I never really found anyone to take her place. I latched on to Shannon for dear life, though I realize that she always meant more to me than I did her. Part of me always knew that but it didn't quite hit me as hard as it did the day I left her house.
At some point during Shannon's absence, I started spending time with Keli because she always had pills and weed. We also had a weird falling out when I started dating her ex. We're still on good terms but I don't really see her anymore.
When I met Michael, I started hanging out with Aracelli because we had similar life experiences. Though, like Shan and me, we too had an imbalance in our friendship. She ended up sucking the life out of me. After her, I decided I don't really need a best friend.
Then along came Zeta. Though I absolutely adore her, I couldn't relate to her the way I did with other girls. She has distinct interests that I don't always understand and I often felt like I was too shallow for her.
Then she moved.
So I have Cami. She lives a few trailers down. She's a 53 year old alcoholic that constantly bitches about her coworkers, boyfriend, and her boyfriend's son. By the end of the night, she's usually pretty plastered and I can never get a word in edgewise. A lot of times I have to hear stories three or four times because she doesn't remember telling me something the night before.
I long for a new girl. Someone like Chelsea, that I can tell from across the room that I want to be friends with her. Someone I can spend every moment of my life and share every detail of my past without judgement. Someone like Aracelli in the sense that I can escape from my roommates to just hang out and watch tv in peace while swapping stories about work, school, family, etc. Someone like Shannon who knows me so well that we can openly discuss and joke about personal hygiene and bodily (dis)functions. Someone like the entire Ford family, who always offers encouragement and compliments, even when I know I don't deserve it. Someone like Keli, who, despite her age, still has the anarchist fire in her and knows how to have a good time on a Friday night. And who I feel absolutely secure around when I'm high.
Or just Michael.
Goddamn, I fucking miss him.
I hate it that I've been avoiding my friends and extended family because I'm insecure about my weight, job, location, income, degree limbo, and shifting plans.
I feel like I make people uncomfortable with my lack of success at everything.
I want to curl up in a hole forever.
Fuck all of you.
Sometimes when I come home from work, I just sit on my bed and cry.
I realize I'm only paying $300 on rent every month but why does it have to be so noisy? Why can't the kitchen be as clean as I left it in the morning? Where the fuck did all the dirty dishes come from? I've only been gone for eight hours. Why does the TV need to be so loud? Why are there so many people in this house? Why is there so much furniture? Why are there so many cards and board games on the floor? Why do all of your friends need to come over? Why is the TV even on if you're going to sit there and discuss your role play games. WHY DOES WALTER ALWAYS HAVE TO YELL? Why don't any of you have jobs? What makes you think eating an entire gallon of ice cream is appropriate behavior for a 30-year-old? Why can't I have an hour of peace and quiet after work? Why do I have to do a sink full of someone else's dishes before I can make myself a meal or get a glass of water?
This is why I don't want kids.
I'm definitely getting to the point where I feel like people on social networking sites that preach their diet are just as bad as people who preach their religion. I've always felt this way about vegans because of the whole moral issue behind the diet. Now it seems like every one of my friends is either vegan, vegetarian, paleo, raw, organic, or something else that I haven't heard of yet.
I admit, I am fascinated with food, eating healthy, new recipes, new foods etc. However, it's getting to the point where I'm feeling attacked by certain friends. Every time I check my facebook, my feed is flooded with articles, blogs, and images, all preaching about how I should eat. Lists of reasons to go vegan or paleo.
I don't need your article to tell me that processed foods are bad. Also, not all foods suddenly turn into poison as soon as it hits a factory.
Organic foods are one item on the list of frequently preached foods. They aren't necessarily safer, more nutritious, better tasting, better for the environment, or anything that my friends claim they are. Some of them might have their benefits, but consuming only foods that are labeled organic, simply because of their reputation is daft. Preaching your diet is just plain irritating.
As far as the whole Eat Meat and Don't Eat Meat debate, just shut up. If someone is morally opposed to eating meat, or a certain kind of meat, don't assume they're protein-deprived.
And on the other side of the debate: just because someone doesn't feel as strongly about animal rights as you, it's no reason to criticize. Everyone has their own perception of morality. Maybe they focus their moral energy on something that you don't find so important. Would you want them pushing those beliefs on you? Then stop telling them that meat is murder.
I have about half a dozen friends on the paleo diet. These people are slightly less annoying than vegans and the organic freaks. They also seem to be more informed than any of my food-obsessed friends. The only problem that I have is that they constantly upload images of their meals with #paleo at the end. Some complain that a certain food does not qualify as a paleo food item.
Here's the thing. Like religion, I support your decision to maintain a certain diet. Also like religion, I don't want it rubbed in my face.
There's a sense of superiority that these people exude. For instance, if you steamed some broccoli and grilled a piece of chicken, good for you. That looks much more appetizing and nutritious than the can of Chef Boyardee I inhaled between classes. However, is it necessary to announce the name of your diet with the photo? Was it even necessary to post the photo? I mean, it isn't exactly a gourmet meal, it's two items that are pretty easy to cook that you put on a fancy plate.
I'm not just complaining about the paleo crowd in this regard. People captioning their photo "Vegan sausage with tomato sauce and gluten-free breadsticks"
Fucking great. So you just announced two of your diet restrictions just by stating the name of your dish.
I understand the desire to show off a meal that you cooked, especially if you're not known for your cooking skills. But to regularly post your meals and snacks as if it was a huge accomplishment is just kind of tacky.
I suppose this attitude comes from my mother. She has type one diabetes. Her body cannot process carbohydrates without synthetic insulin, and even with the shots, digestion is extremely difficult on her body so she has to limit her carb intake. Though there are low-carb fad diets (Atkins) and plenty of recipe books and websites for people with diabetes, my mother simply counts her carbs. She can look at an item and know whether or not she should consume it, based on how many grams of carbohydrate the item contains. If she has a meal that is high in carbs, she eats a small portion. If someone offers her candy or dessert, she politely declines. When she goes out with friends, she orders a small salad. She does not feel the need to post photos of her healthy dinner or complain to her friends that she cannot find a low-carb cheesecake recipe.
I suppose she's just a product of her time. Since she didn't grow up with social networking media, she does not have a use for it. But in addition to eating well and not sharing, she never intentionally makes others feel guilty about their decisions. She doesn't walk around handing out copies of articles about how people aren't supposed to consume so many carbs or how limiting your sugar intake will decrease the risk of diabetes. She doesn't mock others for eating fast food or point out how long it has been since she's eaten a french fry.
However, she does rub her religion in your face. I can't defend her there.
So rather than making this a guide to what to put on networking sites, I'm just going to vow to never post anything about my diet. I never discuss religion and I'm working on toning it down on the politics. So from now on, I will only post food-related information if I'm not naming a specific diet or trend. If I make food, I might post a picture, but I will not boast at how healthy or cruelty-free it is. I will not brag about how healthy I feel or act with any sense of superiority. I might make comments about how I slipped up and ate an entire turkey but I will not brag that it was farm-raised.
Though I love my friends (I would delete them from facebook if I didn't) I wish they would stop making me feel inferior about what I put into my body. Someday I will start eating healthy again, I just don't need the reminder.
New dress and headband. A ring in the mail. A delayed letter to my parents. A new job next weekend. So much to do between now and then. So much to do before July.
Is it normal to start having second thoughts after the novelty of engagement has worn off? Though, one might argue that the engagement hasn't even begun.
I'm starting to feel like a child again. Like when I logged on to this website eight years ago and announced that I was engaged. My boyfriend had proposed and I paraded around for weeks, my head held high, possessing an undeserved belief that I was so much more mature than my peers because of this silly interaction between someone as childish as I.
I wonder now, if this is just a mutual fantasy between two people who are drunk with distance. The longing has created a deeper sense of desire and we're compensating with excessive commitment.
Or maybe the distance has made us realize how much we dislike being apart.
Either way, I can't help but listen to the opinions and wandering thoughts of others, subtly suggesting that this is not a meaningful relationship, that I shouldn't trust him simply because I cannot keep an eye on him, that long-distance relationships never work and that I'm simply a dreamer for believing that some day I'll move to California and live happily ever after.
I could sit here and say that I'm different and that even though the whole situation seems like a teenage dream, our relationship is different. But then I go back to sixteen-year-old me, who sported a cheap amethyst ring, truly convinced that I would buck the odds and marry my high school sweetheart some day.
Then I think about my last relationship where we constantly talked about getting married but we broke up every other week.
I have to consider that I've been blinded by a proposal in the past, I really need to think about this one.
Yet, all the other times, there was something that wasn't quite right about the relationship, other people would say "But Ev, you cheated on him" or "But Ev, he's a complete and utter douchebag" And I'd sit there and say "I know but..."
Now, my close friends say he's nice and that they're happy for me. It's the random acquaintances that make the skeptical remarks.
I know, ignore everyone and do what I think is right. Unfortunately, I'm really confused about what I'm feeling.
I suppose I should talk to him.
Did shit just get real? I think shit just got real. That is all.
More Roommate Drama
I guess I really shouldn't complain. It's not like he's the worst roommate I've ever had. I had to get a restraining order against one of my old roommates so I should be happy that he isn't combative or insane.
Still, let me illustrate some examples of Rob's stupidity, cluelessness, irresponsible behavior, general disgustingness.
Rob: I unplugged your...thing"
Me: What thing?
R: The thing in the bathroom.
M: What thing in the bathroom?
R: Your...ray gun...thing.
M: My hairdryer?
R: Is that what that is?
(Granted, this would have been a really funny joke, however, he kept a straight face and looked genuinely confused about the whole thing.)
Rob: Why aren't you concerned about your weight like normal girls?
Me: Excuse me?
Rob: Every time I see you, you're eating.
(He spends most of his day in the living room, playing video games, reading comic books etc. The only time I'm not in my room is when I'm in the kitchen either cooking or eating.)
Rob: You eat a lot of fast food.
Me: Yeah, and I'm still a quarter of your size so what's your point?
Rob: Don't take it personally. I was just making an observation.
Me: Fair warning, my parents are coming over in about fifteen minutes.
Rob: Okay, that's fine.
(He continued sitting on the couch, playing video games in his boxers. My parents stood in the living room while I sat on the floor opening birthday presents that they brought for me. There was no where else to sit since he couldn't bother cleaning up some of his mess.)
- Every time he gets a phone call, no matter where he is in the house, he has to pace in front of my bedroom door so I'm stuck listening to his conversations.
- The bathroom is in a very inconvenient location in the house, right next to my bedroom. The toilet creaks when you sit down and stand up, loudly enough to hear from the living room. Since I'm a girl, I don't like people to know that I poop, nor do I want to know when someone else is pooping. Once, while I was in the bathroom doing my hair and makeup, I opened the door to grab some hair product and Rob was standing three feet from the door, holding comic books, waiting to take a dump. I went to my room and finished doing my hair since I felt extremely awkward. Clearly he did not.
- Another bathroom related problem. Because of the creaking toilet issue, I am unfortunately aware of Rob's toilet habits. Once while I was in bed, I heard the toilet creak, about ten minutes later the toilet creaked again and I heard the faucet running. Then I heard him brushing his teeth and an electric razor. He then flushed the toilet shortly before opening the door. So, basically, he let his shit sit in the toilet while he went about the rest of his routine. I don't understand the reasoning behind this behavior, but I really wish I wasn't aware of it.
- His ringtone. Most people set their phones to vibrate or set a simple beep for texts. He has a thirty-second ringtone for text messages. It's not even a good song, it's just one of the jingles that comes with the phone.
- The mess. His bedroom is the same size as mine. I have several storage tubs in the spare bedroom that I was planning on unpacking as soon as I got settled in. He completely filled the rest of the spare room, piling boxes around and on top of my stuff. He has a desk in the living room and shelves in the kitchen where he stores about fifty different board games and volumes of D&D books. The living room is completely covered in games, action figures, and Magic the Gathering cards. I have one cabinet in the kitchen for my pots, pans, and food. He and Brian have taken over the rest of the cabinets and Rob has invaded the entire counter top with random, filthy appliances like a sandwich maker and popcorn popper. The kitchen table is covered in games. Not to mention the sink is constantly filled with dirty dishes that only belong to Rob. The fridge is full of Mountain Dew and the freezer is packed with ice cream. I had to set up my coffee maker and crock pot in what little space I had left in my bedroom.
- The complete lack of privacy. Rob hosts different game nights several times a week. He constantly has friends over to play or discuss games. I never know when people are going to come over or how long they are going to stay. So I can't have friends over, I can't use the kitchen, I never know if I'm going to have peace and quiet or if people are going to be shouting at each other or if they're going to bring their children over to run around. The few times I do have friends over, Rob doesn't have the decency to leave the living room. He continues playing his video games or fucking around on the computer, making my guests feel uncomfortable enough to leave.
- He is only in his room to sleep. Like I said, his desk is in the living room. If he's not playing video games or watching tv, he is sitting at his computer or reading comic books on the couch. Since he has basically taken over every room in the house with his filth and clutter, I am completely sequestered in my bedroom.
- He sets an alarm every morning and on several occasions, hit snooze every ten minutes for about five hours. He doesn't go to school or have a job so I'm not sure why he bothers setting an alarm.
- I can basically sum him up as Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. Obese, smug, poor hygiene, no ambition, nerdy hobbies and interests. Though, whenever he has trouble with women, it's always the girl's fault. They're always too shallow, complicated, stupid etc. Or my favorite excuse "Nice guys finish last."
- I honestly don't understand geek/nerd culture. It's like all of the nerds in town will hang out with anyone who games. Rob is a jerk. Every time I've conversed with him, I've walked away feeling insulted or uncomfortable. He doesn't understand or care about social conventions like small talk or politely laughing at people's jokes. I've never seen him smile. The few times he's laughed, it was because he was watching a funny show or movie, not because of something a friend said. He doesn't seem to actually care about people, they are just numbers to him. Another warm body to play role-play games or to discuss fictional worlds.
I might have make a part two of this topic because I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface of this guy's issues. I realize some of these things might be kind of petty but they're things I have to deal with each and every day. It wouldn't be so bad if he would simply get a job or clean up once in a while. I have gone days without seeing or hearing Brian because he works and spends time in his room but I have to see Rob every day. Whether he intends to or not, he seems to give me dirty looks every time I walk past him to go to the kitchen. Though I rarely speak to him or get in his way, he acts like I'm completely cramping his style by living in the same house. I would imagine he would prefer to use my room for more storage, or have another gamer move in. Even though I have a job, go to school, experience real human connections with the people in my life and aspire to make a difference in this world, he still makes me feel like a waste of space, simply because I don't live in his fantasy world.
I'm so incredibly sad and lonely. I seriously don't know what to do about this.
Fizzled Spark in the Trailer Park
I haven't had a home in years. The semester I spent with Chelsea in the dorms seems more like a dream or a summer at camp before becoming an adult. It was the last time I felt secure. Small increments of time while living with Shannon felt safe and homelike.
There were two times when I went through a period of contentment and growth in that house. The first was when I had just moved in. I drove myself crazy pining for Josh. I was sad, lonely, and jealous of my friends who got to "go home" for the summer. When my feelings for him were not reciprocated, I slowly learned to embrace my loneliness. Until the chaos that occurred later that fall.
The second time was after my breakup with Chris. I basically had a three month long breakdown, an addiction to valium, vicious cycle, blah blah. All over some douchebag that I knew I shouldn't have wasted my time on to begin with. As soon as the clouds of addiction started to clear, I grew content with my living situation. I was alright with myself. I enjoyed life. Then Shan sold the house and I was forced to move into the first shithole I could afford.
Since then, I've wanted nothing more than a place to call home. I keep telling myself that when I graduate, I can stop worrying about money, find a nice place to live, and just exist with no resistance. I constantly fantasize about waking up in a bed with a real bedframe, showering in a tastefully decorated bathroom, sitting down at a vintage vanity in a bathrobe and putting on makeup, while deciding what I want to do on my day off. I think about how great it would be to clean the whole house while listening to music, not worrying if I'm bothering the roommates or whether or not the sink is going to drain after I do the dishes. Dishes. I want nice dishes so that when I cook delicious, balanced meals, I can eat off of trendy dishes, rather than some cheap set from Walmart. I long for a living room with matching furniture that I picked out myself, rather than just dealing with some ridiculously heavy, torn-up, beige hide-a-bed that my roommate refuses to part with. I want decorative towels and vintage kitchen appliances. I want a room with exercise equipment and enough space to do yoga and zumba. I want another room, or at least a closet for my craft supplies.
I'm so tired of moving place to place, throwing away clothes, furniture, and possessions like an episode of Hoarders, never replacing the things I've lost. Slowly losing more of myself with every new apartment. I don't even bother unpacking the boxes or decorating my room anymore because I know how much effort it takes to tear everything down and pack it all up again.
A mantle. I'd really like a mantle for all the wacky crap that I used to collect but had to toss over the years of downsizing.
I guess after spending a week in a strange house, I realize how much I live like I'm on vacation. Never really unpacking, just grabbing what I need before heading out. Access to the kitchen, but not actually cooking. Nothing is mine, my stuff is packed up in the spare bedroom. Except I'm not on vacation, I'm not visiting friends. I'm paying to wade through other people's crap.
I'm getting too old for this. I thought I'd make it to graduation but something has to change.
I watched The Nutcracker on PBS for a brief moment as it interrupted the program Cami and I were watching. In my drunken stupor, I believed it was Joanie fucking with me.
I lit a candle for her, as a hundred others did. I watched the dancers on the screen, remembering her breast falling out of her top as she gracefully pranced around the lobby of the senior center.
Tonight, I make no resolutions. I don't focus on the past year, the celebrities, events, or my personal misadventures. Tonight I fall asleep, dreaming about the great person the world lost one year ago.
Of course I can't quite articulate my feelings so I'll have to pull a quote from my personal gods:
The people you love but you didn't quite know; they're the places that you wanted to go.
Rest in peace, Joanie. I've missed my chance to truly know you, but you've impacted my life more than you will ever know.
I'm finally starting to understand the correlation between my menstrual cycle and the amount of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream I consume.
I always wondered if women actually crave snacky food during their period or if they just used the term "craving" as an excuse to eat like a pig once a month. I know that my chocolate intake increases when my hormones start raging. I always feel this overwhelming need to go out and buy something unhealthy or to eat an entire pizza.
When I came home from work today, my body was aching. I've been walking around with mild cramps all day, my head is killing me and I'm highly sensitive to light and sound. My heart dropped when I pulled up to the house and saw a car that belonged to the most unappealing person in my life right now.
Walter. My roommate's friend. He has a two-year-old son and his wife just had another baby a few weeks ago. I recently posted an entry about bad parents, this guy was my motivation. Part of my roommates' nerd culture involves staying up all night several times a week and playing games with friends. I don't even know if half of the people like each other or if they just hang out because they need someone to game with.
Walter brings his son over for said gaming. Instead of calling it a night and taking his family home when they get tired, his wife would sleep on the couch and his son runs around screaming until the wee hours of the morning.
I could deal with him being a shitty husband and father because it's not my problem, but the thing that kills me about Walter is he is fucking loud as hell. As soon as I walked up to the door, I could hear him shouting. Not angrily or passionately, just talking. Talking about fucking wizards and games and RPG characters and action figures and cards and comics. Everyone else is talking normally and he has to scream back.
"I WAS THINKING ABOUT HAVING D&D ON TUESDAYS INSTEAD OF THURSDAYS"
I have enough issues with my lazy ass roommate who doesn't work or clean up after himself (couldn't even manage to get dressed this afternoon) but bringing Walter into the house just makes me want to murder them all with a fucking frying pan.
Like I said, my head is pounding. I just want to take a nice shower after work, kick back and watch some shows, surf the internet and have a nice bowl of soup. But with a living room full of nerds, a sink full of dishes, kitchen table covered in magic cards and now fucking Walter yelling every thought that passes through his head, I grabbed a pint of fucking ice cream, sat in my room and ate the whole goddamn thing.
Did it make Walter stop screaming?
Is my kitchen clean now?
Do I feel better than I did before?
I grabbed the ice cream because I'm fucking fed up and I deserve a treat. When I have to spend a week feeling like shit, the only thing that provides instant relief, even a slight bit, isn't easy to pass up. People always talk about irritability and mood swings like it's a treatable symptom of PMS. I think of it more like an illness. When you have a cold, you're miserable and if someone around you is cheerful or engaging in irritating behavior, you're less likely to tolerate it. So if I'm walking around with a headache, stomach pains and a constant squishy, moist feeling in my crotch, I'm not willing to deal with people who can't keep their damn voice down. In fact, I want to scream back at him and tell him to shut the fuck up because my vagina is hemorrhaging. I want every man in this house to clean every room (quietly) and without complaining about anything because they have no way of knowing the suffering I endure once a month and therefore they should cater to my needs.
Instead, I ate a pint of ice cream.
Things I hate about people's parenting.
Just so we're clear, no, I don't have children. I have an assortment of friends with children and I see all kinds of things I don't agree with. I wish I could say something to each of them individually but parents (particularly mothers) are extremely defensive and I'd rather just vent to no one in particular about this, rather than suffer the backlash. Yes, I know that parenting is not easy. Yes, if I ever have kids, I will make numerous mistakes. No, I do not hate children. Yes, I think your parenting skills are far more superior than mine will ever be. That being said, things I hate:
-When a parent screams at a child. Unless the child is in immediate danger, there is no reason to scream at a child. This is even more important if you are in public because not only are you damaging your child (who probably no longer reacts to your screaming anyway), you are disturbing others. Prepare for judgmental glares.
-When a parent continually scolds, criticizes, or threatens to punish a child that is fairly well-behaved. Children have more energy than adults. You can't expect them to be silent and still all the time. Parents should pick their battles.
-Seeing a child over the age of three with a pacifier. Pacifiers should be used to calm a fussy baby in public or to help a baby sleep. Parents shouldn't allow their children to develop bad habits just because it's the easiest solution at the time. By the age of three, children should be weaned off of the nook.
-Naked photos on social networking sites. Everyone has naked baby photos in an album somewhere. Close friends and relatives might find them cute. An acquaintance, coworker or that guy you had a class with in high school might either be a pedophile or have the means to sell your photos to pedophiles. It sounds far-fetched, but if you have 400+ friends and all of them have access to photos of your naked children, is it really so hard to believe that you might know a closet pedophile or someone who is desperate enough for money to do something highly immoral? If you want to share the photos with specific people, make a private album or do it the old-fashioned way, print them off and mail them.
-Breast feeding in public. Just kidding. I highly support and encourage breastfeeding, public and private. Anyone who can't distinguish between a woman feeding her child and a graphic sex act is fucking stupid. Anyone who opposes public breast feeding should be forced to eat their meals in the bathroom.
-Smoking (any substance) in an enclosed space with children. I admit, I'm guilty of this. I have a friend who smokes cigarettes in the same room as her toddler. I would smoke cigarettes in the house if her son was asleep or in another room, though I completely hate myself for it now and wish I'd said something instead of joining her.
-Smoking while pregnant. I won't say anything to a woman who is smoking but if a pregnant woman asks me for a cigarette, I tell her that I'd rather not be responsible for the miscarriage or birth defects.
-Empty threats. Even at the age of two, the kid has you figured out. Don't say it if you don't mean it.
-Spoiled children. This is something that makes me sad, rather than angry or annoyed. When I was a child, my friends and I had wild imaginations. We ran around and played outside, pretending to be astronauts, witches and cats. We didn't have many toys but we could spend an afternoon playing with legos. Because of ebay and amazon, parents can buy nearly any toy that their children want for half of what they would spend in a department store. The internet has made it easy for parents to appease their children rather than have to go through the pain and humiliation of explaining to them that they can't afford something. I've observed that children who have an abundance of toys seem to have shorter attention spans and worse attitudes than children who are deprived of every toy and gadget that they see on TV.
-People who pay more attention to their pets than their children. I see this all the time. A child is "acting up" while their parent is talking to the dog, praising it, holding it, showing more affection than the child has had all day. The parent scolds the child, tells them to settle down, stop jumping on the couch, lower their voice etc. While the parent loves and dotes on the pet, the child starts talking about something that happened at school. The parent ignores the child until he/she starts to misbehave again and the parent sends the kid to their room or timeout while continuing to praise the pet. Yes, pets are easier to deal with than people. They are obedient, love you unconditionally, never talk back and never expect anything from you except food and love. Still, they are not people. They are not your children. Your child is acting up because they are not receiving enough attention. Granted, your child needs to learn patience but if they see you treating the dog the way they want to be treated, they will resort to acting out and probably end up with some sort of complex. Pay attention to your child. Even if you're a dick and love your pet more.
-People who don't understand the importance of routine. Seriously, you need to put your child to bed at the same time every night. Since most preschools and kindergartens begin at 8 am, the child should be put to bed early, so that he/she gets into the habit of waking up early in the morning. Bedtime routine is important. Have a quiet activity, like reading, every night before you put your kid to bed. For christ's sake don't let your kid fall asleep in front of the damn tv every night. This ties into my next point.
-Not understanding the child's needs. My roommates have a friend who brings his two-year-old son over to my house. Once the kid was running around screaming, raising hell, and expressing general crankiness. His parents yelled at him, ordered him around, and couldn't seem to figure out what his problem was. It was two in the morning. The poor kid was exhausted. Toddlers can't acknowledge and process tiredness and make themselves take a nap on the couch. They need their parents to calm them down and put them to bed.
-Poor diet. The issue that I'm probably most passionate about but among my friends, I'm probably alone on this one. I grew up on corn dogs and chicken nuggets and I think that's wrong. My parents were poor, they did what they could to make ends meet, and I love them to death but was it really worth it to save a dime and feed us Hamburger Helper every night, if all four of us now have weight issues? I cringe at children's birthday parties, watching infants stuffing cake and ice cream into their tiny mouths, smearing their face with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. I always swear to myself, that will never be me or my kids but I know better. Thing is, I get annoyed when anyone makes a big deal about their (or their child's) diet. I can't stand the kind of people who attend any kind of pot luck or gathering involving food and making a huge issue about their vegan diet, religious views about a certain food, a food sensitivity that they claim to be a "severe allergy" or any aversion to non-organic, processed, chemical additives, etc etc. So when I imagine myself at a party with a three-year-old, telling her that she can't have cake or ice cream while handing her some homemade fruit leather to hold her over, I can only imagine the dirty looks from other mothers, assuming I'm judging them for letting their precious darlings stuff their faces with sweets. Which I am. Though I don't want to be the picky person in a group of people, I hate it that society encourages us to indulge our children. I hate it that I can't raise a child to age of twelve without having sugary snacks forced on them. Even "healthy" snacks like granola bars pack as much sugar as a candy bar and they're served at nearly every daycare in the world. As soon as kids get into school, there are vending machines around every corner, feeding off of children's thirst for sugar. It doesn't matter how developed my child's pallet is by the time they get to school. If they hear the cool kid in class say that green beans are gross, that's all it takes, your child won't touch a green bean for years. I could create another bullet entirely for the issue of bribing but I feel like most people use bribery with sugary snacks. I watched a friend of mine give her toddler about sixteen ounces of diet soda in his sippy cup, then couldn't believe that he fussed all through his naptime. I watched this friend, and her husband feed their son ice cream, pop tarts, packaged sponge cakes, and fruit juice before his bedtime. When they heard his laughter all night on the baby monitor, they assumed there were ghosts in his room. I get it, sometimes it's easier to give in to a child's greed than to fight it, especially if the child can't even speak. However, if you do not give your child soda and sweets before they are speaking, they won't scream and cry every time they see you treat yourself to something unhealthy.
I realize that last one got a little long. Mostly because I'm highly conflicted about it. Like I said, I'm not a parent. I wouldn't be a perfect parent. Each of these items is debatable. These are just the things I wish I could say to parents.
First off, I hate the word "bully." I think it sounds juvenile. I prefer terms like "harassment" and "verbal abuse" because it captures the severity of the issue, rather than making it sound like some 90's cartoon character.
This issue with Amanda Todd has gotten everyone talking. Anonymous has tracked down the alleged asshole who drove her to do this and is publicly shaming him. I would imagine this acts as a deterrent for other potential attackers but it does not help the current victims.
I do not understand how a young girl could be moved from school to school, and suffer through such torment alone. Why did no one step in?
I understand why high school students wouldn't step in: fear. They see one person being shunned, and they don't want to be a victim themselves, so they either avoid it or they give in and become one of the tormenters.
I'm not even going to get into the whole slut shaming aspect of it because that I don't want this to turn into a term paper. But yes, slut shaming and gay shaming are probably the trickiest things to deal with in a high school because of our puritan parents and teachers. It's okay to harass someone, if they deserve it. And no one deserves it more than a teenager who is sexually aware.
I digress. I know that when you suffer in high school, you suffer alone. But we live in an age of technology and awareness so why isn't there a mentor program for teens? If Anonymous can put so much effort into tracking down some maniacal pervert, why can't they find other troubled teens and reach out to them? Why isn't there a program that I can join to mentor a teen who is going through the same hell that poor Amanda suffered? Let's face it, she's not the only one out there who has had to go through with this. We can sit there, post an image for Bully Awareness Month and feel like we did our part, but there is a high school where I live, why am I not reaching out to those students? First off, I don't know any high schoolers. I'm in college. It's creepy to hang out at high school events and say "Yo, you look troubled, wanna go out for coffee?" But why isn't Fort Hays starting an organization for college students to adopt a high schooler? I mean, sure we have Big Brothers and Big Sisters but that is for At Risk students and children from "broken homes." If the school counselor talks to a student who is troubled, sad, and lonely, they should pawn that student off to someone closer to their age. Once a week, I would gladly give up a few hours to go to Pottery Works or Gella's and just talk to a kid about their problems. I'd give that kid advice and tell them that life goes on after high school, because it does, and they won't always be that girl who showed her boobs on the internet, or the boy who asked the quarterback to prom.
How do I, in a non-creepy, semi-professional way, reach out to troubled teens? How can I prevent teen suicide?
No, seriously. Does anyone know?
For as long as I can remember, my body has been different. I started developing breasts and pubic hair in fourth grade and I started my period a week after my eleventh birthday. It was about then that I realized that I didn't look like the other girls in my class. By seventh grade (locker room time) I noticed all the other girls had large hips to contrast their small waists, perky breasts with stretch marks and nipples that pointed upwards. I never lost my baby fat. My areolas were large, lopsided and somewhat saggy. I did not have hips and my butt was completely flat. My arms were huge, compared to the rest of my body. It was then that I realized that I would never be any taller than five feet and I would always look like an overweight, ten-year-old boy.
When ever I pointed any of this out to my friends or significant others they all said something about how I'm perfect the way I am, my flaws are cute, or they love me the way I look.
Moving on to my gender and orientation. When I was in grade school, I wanted to be a boy. I don't know why. Part of it was that I had three older brothers. I liked their friends and thought that their friends would like me if I was more like my brothers. I also got it in my head, somehow, that acting like a guy was the way to get a boyfriend. At that age, boys disregard the girl's personality and develop a crush on the prettiest girl in their class, regardless of their interests, intelligence, or sense of humor. For some reason, I didn't understand that, despite all evidence pointing towards it. I opted for dress and act just like the person I want to date. I didn't get a boyfriend until years later when I learned to embrace my femininity in my unique way.
My first kiss was a girl, who also gave me my first orgasm. At this point I was twelve. I knew homosexuality was a thing but I didn't understand it. I knew it was wrong, especially since I was at church camp. I knew I was going to hell. What confused me was the fact that I wanted a boyfriend, I wanted to kiss boys, I wanted to engage in what I understood to be intercourse with boys BUT some girl put her hand down my pants and made me feel things I've never felt before and she kissed me and I didn't want it to end. That's when it hit me, I let a girl touch me, therefore I am gay. It was a disease, I was exposed to the gay so I was deserving of the label. As I got older, started dating guys, letting guys touch me, I gained an understanding of my feelings and added the unfortunate term "bisexual" to my vocabulary. I realize that term is still synonymous with "will fuck anything" but I am one of the few and proud who understand the fluidity of sexuality and gender. Mostly from experience because I sure as hell didn't get it from my Catholic upbringing.
So as an adult, I've obtained many friends of every gender, orientation, and identification. I get frustrated with the conservatives, mostly my own family, when they talk about how women are supposed to act a certain way, how homosexuals are too preoccupied with sex to do anything worthwhile, or that transgendered people are mentally ill. I've argued these points to death. I've given up on the bigots in my life.
The one person who has completely thrown my views out of orbit is my friend Jayne. I have trouble talking about Jayne in past tense because when I dated her, she was Jarret and identified mostly as a male. So this is where it gets confusing.
When I met Jarret, he was a cool, laid-back kinda guy who shared many of my interests and strange sense of humor. I mostly liked him because he liked me. I also had a mild curiosity about dating a cross-dresser.
I don't remember our first kiss or how the relationship started but I remember losing my virginity to him one afternoon in my dorm room. I remember when I met Jayne. It was like night and day. Jayne was quiet, nervous and submissive. This could have been because she was nervous about how I would react to her but if she was the same person as Jarret, why didn't I like her? I tried to be dominant, though it was against my nature at the time. I felt uncomfortable complimenting her and trying to seduce her but I knew that that was just the sacrifice that I would have to make with Jayne. I just didn't understand why she couldn't be relaxed and smooth like Jarret. There were times that I would go over to Jarret's house just to hang out and relax. He would ask me if I minded him "getting prettied up." I never told him how much I minded. It took hours upon hours for her to dress up for no reason at all. She would have to shave everything, shower, do her hair and makeup, spend a ridiculous amount of time selecting an outfit, just so we could sit around watching South Park for a few hours before going to bed. I do not tolerate this sort of behavior from any guy or girl. Especially since I was usually wearing pajama pants, fluffy slippers, no makeup, and a pony tail.
When we went to bed, she made a huge deal about labeling the sex that we were about to engage in.
"Are you ready to have lesbian sex?"
"Are you okay with lesbian sex?"
"Do you prefer lesbian sex to straight sex?"
"Would you rather not have lesbian sex tonight?"
Her idea of "lesbian sex" was simply straight penis-inserted-into-vagina sex while she was wearing some slutty outfit and several hours worth of makeup.
That's when she told me I was the butch. Which is coincidentally where I decided that I fucking hate labels.
There are two types of lesbians, apparently. The lipstick lesbians that wear pretty dresses and have the most obnoxious fake orgasms in "lesbian" porn. And then there are the butch lesbians that wear cutoff flannel and know how to install light fixtures.
So where does someone like Ellen Degeneres fit in? The well-groomed lesbian that wears makeup but not dresses. Someone who doesn't wear high heels or answer to Papa? That's right, you can't lump everything into two categories. Especially not people.
But it wasn't just the lesbian nonsense that Jayne liked to generalize. She also believed that women were supposed to wear lace aprons and heels while baking cookies. She thought that mini skirts perfectly acceptable (and should be encouraged) for women over forty. She idolized Marilyn Monroe and thought all straight women should dress like her on a regular basis. She thought that the only way she could exude femininity was to wear prom dresses with matching eye shadow up to the brow. She often coerced me into the dreaded makeover night where she would slather so much makeup on me that I looked like a man in drag. Then she'd laugh and tell me that I "actually look like a girl." I found this offensive because though at one point of my life, I wanted to be a boy, I now identify as female. I wear dresses, makeup, heels, gaudy jewelry, all the things that our culture defines as feminine. At times I consider myself pretty. So it hurt to have her treat me like I can only be attractive when I completely cover myself in her face paint and sequin gowns.
The part the bothered me the most was the bisexuality double standard. One night we were lying in bed and Jarret announced that he had been feeling "girl horny" the night before and had sex with some strange guy. I told him it was okay, and it was, considering I had just banged several guys and a couple girls at a party. He got really hurt and upset and explained to me that girls were special to him but guys were just guys. This is the person that was so adamant that we were having lesbian sex and that she wants to identify as a female. So if this person decides to dress up like a female, identify, even for one night, as a female, and her standards stand that girls are special, guys are just sex objects, then why was it a big deal for me to have sex with men but not women?
Needless to say, I stopped talking to Jarret and Jayne after this incident. This person so obsessed with gender roles that there are two different personalities in one person.
Jayne moved to New York where she began her transition. I'm happy for her but it's also caused the most complicated jealousy within me. She has hosted several fund-raisers for her surgery. Judging by the thousand plus friends that she has on facebook, she clearly has all the financial and emotional support that she needs. I feel like there is a reverse-bigotry in the gay community regarding transgendered issues. This is where the bit on my body issues is important.
I realize Jayne is different. She has spent her whole life in a body that does not fit with who she is inside. She attended a small high school that did not tolerate homosexuality, transgendered and any other sexual "deviance." She was unable to wear her desired attire to prom and has face an array of discrimination and general mockery.
So wait, how is she different again? My slutty behavior was not tolerated, I spent most of my life confused and afraid of my sexuality because of my repressed Christian upbringing in my repressive Christian community. I was constantly ridiculed for my clothing and behavior. I supported my gay friends rather than condemning them and trying to change them. I was a fag hag. And I was worse than gay, I was bisexual. A slut who would sleep with anyone and anything.
The difference? I am not transgendered. I am simply unhappy with my body. So why can't I have a fund raiser for a new boob job? That reverse bigotry I was talking about. See, if a transgendered person wants cosmetic surgery, it's a matter of life or death. They can throw around the word "discrimination" and immediately get a response. Everyone deserves to be happy, right? But if I try to raise money so that I don't look like a boy, people just pity me. They tell me I'm fine and that I should just accept the way that I look. Try telling a transgendered person that. That's not equality, that's a lawsuit.
So this is it for now. I'll revisit and revise some other time. I didn't mean for this to be a huge transbash or fuel for conservative propaganda. This is just me, making an observation about an old friend who embodies everything I hate about society.
I scanned the bar, looking for someone to take me home. I was lonely. My boyfriend is halfway across the country. There were no takers. After two and a half pitchers of liquor and several other mixed drinks, I walked home, looking forward to my vibrator.
There was a massive party outside of my apartment. One man pushed through the crowd to talk to me. He was charming enough, I figured I could have a quickie with him before heading home to sleep. We talked, I flirted. He knew I wanted sex.
I walked upstairs and found that I had left my keys inside. I obtained a hanger from my neighbor and went to work on the lock. The nameless face appeared and offered to help, informing me that he “used to be a crook.” I thought nothing of it until he invited himself inside. We flirted a bit more, I knew I was going to have sex with him. For a brief moment I even wanted it, mostly so that he would leave. His presence made me nervous and I regretted talking to him. I agreed to sex, informed him that I’m in a long-distance relationship, had to work early, wanted him gone by morning and that I didn’t want him to call me, ever.
Then he started to run his mouth.
We sat on my bed. As he touched me, he told me this would be the best experience of my life, multiple orgasms, blah blah blah, I’ll forget my stupid old boyfriend and he’d fuck me until morning.
Fuck that. I told him I just wanted a quickie, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, gtfo.
He told me I had to give him head, when I protested he told me I’d be so turned on that I’d be begging for it. I could tell he’d done this a million times, taken advantage of women who were extremely drunk and slightly afraid of him. The more he talked, the more I wanted him to leave. I allowed another rapist into my life.
By this time he had most of my clothes off. I never reached out to touch him. I told him I had changed my mind, I’m really tired, give me your number and we could do this another time, I’m really uncomfortable, I’m scared, I don’t want to do this.
He shushed me and proceeded to explain and repeat why this was going to be so great, how I’d be begging for more and I’ll never want it to end.
I wanted it to end right there. It crossed my mind, leave now or I’ll call the cops. But then I thought about the whole “crook” bullshit. He literally just broke into my apartment. He saw the bat and the mace by the door, he saw the knives and blunt objects surrounding us. If I pissed him off, he could easily come back another day and do a lot worse to me. Or he could kill me right then and there. He wasn’t happy when I told him I didn’t want to do this, he only grew more aggressive.
I laid back and quietly let him take me.
It was painful. It felt like my first time. Everything he said made me want to vomit, everything he did caused unbelievable pain. I stared at the ceiling, motionless, wishing he would see my discomfort and offer to stop. Instead, he ordered me around and I obeyed as if he had a gun to my head. I shook, cried, and pushed back as much as I could, this made him angry. He started calling me “crazy bitch” and other obscenities. He finally asked me if it was my first time, suddenly compassionate. He assured me that he would slow down and go easy on me, blabbing about how he would do anything to please me. His condescending bullshit made me cry hysterically. I couldn't believe that he wouldn't just stop when I was clearly upset and in pain. When the condom broke, I curled up into a ball and screamed into a pillow. He walked around my apartment, searching for the other condom that he had, telling me that he was going to fuck me so much harder this time. When he couldn’t find it, he climbed on top of me, despite my begging him not to. I started screaming and trying to fight him off of me. He finally stopped after I calmly informed him that this feels an awful lot like rape. He stood in front of me, his massive penis in my face and said: “The least you could do is give me some fucking head, you crazy ass bitch.”
I vomited all over the carpet and begged him to leave. He kissed me and touched me, reassured me that he's a good person, convincing me that I was insane for not wanting it, his last attempts to coerce me into consent.
I don’t even know how many times I apologized for “being crazy” and “starting something I couldn’t finish.”
I swore that if this ever happened, I would report it. I owe it to the fifteen year old me and to every girl who might fall victim to this asshole. I didn’t even get his name. I asked my neighbor if he knew him and he said he didn’t. I can’t explain this to the cops, a judge, a doctor, my parents, my boyfriend, anyone. All for what? An investigation that will go nowhere?
Self-pity and such.
I'm scared. Afraid to leave the house. Afraid of sex. Afraid of men. Afraid of alcohol. I could sit here and say "It's not my fault" a million times but I'm aware of the countless errors that led up to this. I should have learned my lesson by now. I pretty much feel like crying all the time. I hate myself and I want someone to tell me it's not my fault. More than anything, I desperately want to tell someone. Every time I decide to tell someone, I choke on the words and my eyes start to burn. It feels like I'm suffocating. So here you go, internet. Thank you for listening.
I've been making my own jewelry, living out of boxes, collecting nick-knacks from thrift stores and wearing mismatched socks for far too long.
I want to burn it all down and start over. Shame that I'm still too big of a pussy to do it without him. I wish I could tell him not to leave me, to take me with him. Unfortunately, I love him too much to stand in the way of his happiness.
I just wish he'd be honest about it.
Here I go again. I can't help it.
Maybe he'd appreciate me if I actually did something worthwhile. If I cleaned my damn apartment once in a while or cooked a decent meal instead of offering to buy a basket of wings.
Waiting for it to end. Longing for the guy who proclaimed his love for me from the top of a mountain. Waiting for someone who feels the same. Someone who doesn't need to be drunk to enjoy my company.
Wishing for someone who really, really digs me.
Maybe I'll take that person seriously this time.
But then I ask myself "Why would he put up a fight if he didn't care?"
Then it's back to our silent meals. Content with the nothing that holds us together. It's not like I'll ever find anyone better once he's done with me.
I'll cry now because I'm hormonal.
Because I'm tired.
I'm stressed, sick and weak.
I'll feel better. I needed that. What was I thinking anyway? I know that I don't want to get married. I'm too realistic to believe in a happy ending. I'm still to cynical to believe in love.
Here and now, Baby.
He takes the edge off of the torment of life. That's all I ask.
My old self.
I will not allow the hot chicks at the adjacent table to deter me from eating. I am hungry. I have been eating rice for weeks. I deserve a complete meal. I deserve protein.
I do not care if they look at me.
I do not care if they watch me.
If they judge me, they have problems.
They are just attractive girls.