Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Internet: Helping interesting personalities since probably the early ’90’s

This video made the rounds again recently; it’s one I’d seen before but because I’ve been trying to wrestle with my feelings on feminism lately, it is now more relevant, more in-my-face, more thought-provoking than it had been the first time I watched it.

As I think back over my own history, there have been very few instances in which straight men in my age bracket have noticed me on my own and when I say that, I really mean “due to my looks.” The handful of times people have approached me in that capacity, I was usually wearing a bikini or something equally tight and body-showing. Most of the time, though, I’ve had to use something else to get a normal straight guy to talk to me. I differentiate between straight and gay men here because I have never had a problem with a gay man coming right over and chatting me up; they often give me a chance from the get-go and I appreciate that.

This weirdness dates back to high school. While I could get attention from all the old pervs without even batting my eye, my male peers just did not see me. However, they did see my best friend; she was (and still is) beautiful. She’s tall with the heart-shaped face and lovely blue eyes, blonde hair, straight white teeth. She’s the picture of health and vitality and back then, she had iffy self-confidence so was pretty much a magnet to men and boys everywhere. In fact, her parents got a great offer (camels, I think?) for both her and her sister when they were abroad once.

We had our schtick – she’d lure the guys in with her fabulous looks and I would keep them there with my witty ways. I was pretty funny back in the day and I could do guy humor because I was something of a tomboy. I got the “You’re really funny!” all the time but I never got a phone number. T always got digits but she wasn’t allowed to date so it was sort of a pointless exercise. I guess we were practicing for real life.

This doesn’t work anymore. T has developed a ton of confidence, she can flirt like a champ, oh, and she’s married. Well, so am I, actually. But if we DID have to try this routine, it wouldn’t work. I’d have to wear a skin-tight top, a corset, and booty-hugging pants to even compete. I hate that if I had to get male attention, I’d have to show off my physical attributes because my face is not pretty.

That’s the crux of it. My face is not pretty. I’m not saying I look like Meg Mucklebones but…ok, my first husband told me, “If we were in a restaurant and I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t look twice at you.” No, that’s not why he’s my ex-husband, though the fact that his comment came during a discussion about how pretty Noelle is didn’t  help his cause. The thought was echoed by a boy I later dated who said, “You’re the prettiest plain girl I’ve ever met.” Harsh. But also, from the perspective of our society’s expectations of feminine beauty, true. Let’s not get into a discussion on how I gathered emotionally harmful males to my bed but, instead, let’s talk about why Dustin Hoffman is right and why that sucks.

What Hoffman said in his video clip about wanting to be a beautiful woman, it’s what most of us want because we’re supposed to want it. We know that a woman’s currency, whether we buck the system or not, is most easily found in her attractiveness. Worse, when he said he now regrets not knowing interesting women because they weren’t physically attractive, that is something that has been told to me (see above paragraph) and, I would assume, to many not-conventionally-beautiful women. Our savior has become the internet which is both sad and wonderful. It’s great to be able to go personality-first into the world, to be seen as a peer, rather than as a potential mate, as a person because of what we type. At the same time, why can’t that happen in real life? Why is it our shining personalities don’t make us attractive until someone has been around us long enough to get past the plain face and start being charmed by our wit, talent, and general amazing ways?

I know, I sound all “eeehnn, I’m not pretty and it’s not fair” and typically, that’s the last thing on my mind. But when actors start crying about how they didn’t get to meet wonderful people based on those people’s appearances, I have to get a bit angry. I mean, how many people have I not met because I’m not beautiful? While it’s idealistically true that I wouldn’t want to talk to such shallow people anyhow, it still makes me feel a bit “SEE? We’ve been telling you all along!” It makes me want to punch society in the face, honestly.

So to the beautiful people who get more than enough attention: I’m sorry. I do it, too. You’re all just so eye-catching, it’s hard not to want to be around you. Hopefully, I’ve been able to make you laugh a bit when I’m bothering you so that it’s not a total wash.

And to the rest of us, the women who aren’t noticed, even though we’re delightful, because someone else didn’t think we were beautiful enough: Eh, screw ’em. Let’s go hang out and enjoy our own company. Once we start laughing, everyone else will want to share our fun and by then, we’ll all be way too caught up in our fabulousness to even notice them. And there’s always the internet.

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under My Dearly Beloveds, My Opinions on STUFF

NovaSure: The not-really six-month update

Technically, I’m not at six months until Sept. 7th, but if you count this way: March (1), April (2), May (3), June (4), July (5), August (6), this update becomes totally legit.

Here is your fair warning before we begin:

This post is about my very own reproductive organs and it is full of Too Much Personal Information. If you’re uncomfortable knowing really personal stuff about me, about lady parts, about sex, or about the way a woman’s body functions, then you should not read this post.

Continue reading

55 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Opinions on STUFF

Pushing up Daisy

August 16, 2013, Friday. 7:00 pm.


The vet said Daisy is going downhill fast. That was maybe three weeks ago. She said Daisy might make it until the end of summer and we should understand that we are now in end-of-life care. I didn’t believe her. Daisy and I, we’ve been taking walks in the morning, she’s been all tail-waggy and engaged. She hangs out with us on the patio in the evenings, she jumps on the bed to sleep with us at night, she makes sure we are always all where we’re supposed to be (even the cats). She is happy, not ready to go. I gave her ’til the end of the year.

She’s only bones and fur, now, and the fur is falling out fast. I worried about how we’d keep her comfortable once the cool weather started. We’re clever, though; we’d come up with something to make our bag-of-bones puppy warm enough in the winter.

This week, she’s stopped eating. Not full-out stopped but it’s a battle to get anything down her. I’m resorting to all sorts of tricks. Cat food, peanut butter, cheese…whatever it takes to get a few bites in her. Each day, she eats less. Today, she had a handful of frosted mini-wheats and nothing more.

We took a walk this morning but she didn’t want to go far. Her tail wagged the whole time but she was quick to lead us home where she went up to the bedroom and curled up in her spot. I left for work. When I came back, she didn’t run to greet me. She was on the bed, waiting.

Now she only wants to go outside if she absolutely has to pee, no longer caring to hang out in the yard because the cats and I are out there. She wants to be in her spot by my side of the bed or up on the bed, itself.

She’s all bones. Bones and fur that’s falling out. But she still wags her tail when I say her name.

August 17th, Saturday. 3:00 pm

We just finished burying Daisy May in the backyard. The vet showed up a little after 2:00 pm and Daisy made her last stand – she jumped up, trotted her best trot, and barked. Then she went back to bed and collapsed.

My parents came by this morning to say goodbye. That made her happy; she loved them. They loved her, too. Gabe and I, Toki and Evie, we were all there when the vet put the magic death potion into her paw. We all watched her, petted her, made sure she knew she wasn’t alone and that she was so very loved.

Next spring, we will plant flowers on her. Daisies. She can push them up from below.

Are you having fun, Daisy?

10 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds

Little housesitter on the prairie

I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful area, at the base of mountains with pine forests all around with both cities and plains just a short drive away. I always think I prefer the mountains and forests to the prairie mostly because I forget how pretty the prairie can be, especially if it’s allowed to just be grasslands. I guess I’m too used to seeing the blank, weedy, non-grasslands that surround so many of our Suburbias On the Plains; the developers come in, dig their holes, tear everything up and leave. They don’t bother to reintroduce grasses so weeds grow – scratchy, itchy things jutting up out of pebbly dirt, looking mean and stunted. It makes my brain think prairie land is ugly.
But it’s not. It’s full of life. There are gajillions of birds, bugs, and other critters. When it rains, everything blooms. When it doesn’t rain, sages and other chamisa thrive because they know how to live without water. The landscape becomes a soft, silvery bluegreen.
Sunsets are amazing in the flatlands, especially with the mountains to the west. You can see everything for miles. I’ve been watching the rainstorms gather in the north and west each afternoon, I follow their progress as they travel down the range flicking lightning through their dark blue blottiness and I feel like a little bit of magic is thrown my way when the sun breaks through the upper clouds. The people under the rainstorm can’t see it but I’m far enough out that I can. It’s a heavy, yellow beam, the color of the sunflowers that dot the landscape.

image

image

image

When those storms come out here, it’s not quiet and romantic; it’s violent. There is lightning, rolling thunder that growls for tens of seconds, wind whipping raindrops into the windows, into the few trees, onto the ground. It’s dark and loud. Then early the next morning, there’s a low-hanging mist over everything and suddenly you can’t tell that the horizon goes on for miles. You’re socked in, all sounds are kept close, everything feels damp and heavy. It’s a good time to pull up a lawn chair, grab a hot drink, and watch the fog dissipate while the dogs lie quietly at your feet.

That blur in the foreground is not a ghost. It's piece of wheat blowing in the slight breeze.

That’s how I remembered that our plains are anything but plain.

2 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In someone else's backyard

Was “boring” code for “A sort of fun you will never know”?

You know how when you were a kid, you’d get ideas in your head and you’d try to turn them into reality? Sometimes you could accomplish the goal with your  Lite-Brite set, sometimes you’d have to go out and experiment, and once in awhile, you would have to get your parents involved. Usually through begging.

Some parents help their children make dreams tangible. Other’s give their tykes space and materials to make stuff happen. And then there were my parents. Yes, we were allowed to adopt any animal we brought home (Chris had a minnow named SilverStreak for about 3 years. He had a field mouse our cat caught, too) and we had full reign of the town, from the top of the airy mountain down to the rushy glen. To be fair, we weren’t really held back often; we were like little naturalists exploring our world and that was awesome.

But when we got those ideas, the big ones we couldn’t manifest on our own, the ones that involved asking for help, well, the answer was quite often “No.” And that “No” became very specific when we were pleading to go somewhere.

Backing up: I was reminded of this because  Shana Abe photoposted the giant  May Natural History Museum beetle on Facebook and I was reminded that I have wanted to go there since I was 12. We used to drive past it regularly on our way to our grandparents’ cafe and every time, Chris, Noelle, Bedot and I would wail for mom to stop, STOP! We wanted to visit the bug museum. The answer was always “No.”

We’d cry, “Why? Why can’t we go?”

“It’s boring.”

As it happened, that was also the reason we couldn’t go to Circus Circus in Las Vegas or the La Brea Tar Pits, among other places.

In retrospect, I get that my parents didn’t want to haul our little carcasses along on their grown-up-time Vegas trips but back then, we kept begging to go because our friends said Circus Circus was the coolest place ever. I’m sure Mom had no alternative but to tell us our friends were stupid and the place was, in actuality, boring.

But the Tar Pits?  I learned about them in 3rd grade and was fascinated. In my mind, there were lots of slimy, little pits of boiling black goo and every once in awhile, a mammoth skull would bubble up from the ooze to bob along on top until someone fished it out and cleaned it up. I told Mom I really wanted to go but she told me it was boring, it was just a hole in the ground with some black water, nothing but disappointment and a nasty smell. Of course, the truth was that it would have been an expensive trip, involving several days’ travel in the station wagon, multiple stops for food and bathrooms, plus motel costs, and headaches. So why didn’t Mom just tell us that the Tar Pits were alarmingly expensive? Why did she file them under the Boring category? Because she’s evil. Obviously.

And what was up with the Bug Museum? It was an hour away and it’s not like it cost much to get in. We definitely could have recycled aluminum cans for a summer to cover the entry fees. Hell, Bedot would have gotten in for free. It’s like Mom wanted us to be uneducated and untraveled. This is how white trash stays white trash, people. It’s self-perpetuating.

Once I became an adult with mobility and funds, I went to Las Vegas. I saw Circus Circus. I was thankful Mom verbotened that one because, dude, the place is creepy. I would have been terrified as a child had our parents dumped us off there while they went off and gambled for hours on end. Mom = 1

Last summer, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits while we were in California for Gabe’s birthday. Guess what? It is NOT BORING! She completely lied about that one. Children = 1

La Brea Tar Pits

This is going to be my Christmas card to my mom for the rest of her life. Every year. And inside it will say, “I hope your Christmas is BORING” which is pretty loving, if you think about it. You know, since boring apparently means “awesome”

And that means I need to head down the road to the bug museum. If it is not boring, Mom and I, we’re going to have words. Or, rather, we’re going to define words, one in particular: Boring.

9 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, In someone else's backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Opinions on STUFF, Out & about or abroad, White trash childhood