I was hesitant to write this post.
I was hesitant because I was worried about using the wrong language.
I was hesitant because I didn't want to deal with argumentative backlash because I don't know everything.
I was hesitant because I didn't want to offend anyone.
...Then I got over that.
I got over it when I read, and reread, and reread again the hurtful things people say.
I got over it when I thought of all of the people I care about who's rights are at stake.
I got over it when it dawned on me that being silent does nothing.
I got over it... because I'm getting pissed.
To be honest, my main concern could actually be described as a lack of understanding. I honestly don't understand why people have an issue with something that doesn't affect them.
Most of my annoyance comes from those who argue against marriage equality from a religious stand-point. You can spout off all of the scripture you want; old and new testament. I've read it, I've heard it... fine. Here's what I personally won't put up with; actively working to destroy another's chance at happiness because you think they're sinning, and it's worse than your sinning.
I honestly don't understand the thought process.
If someone thinks that anyone that identifies at LGTB is going to hell, fine. I personally don't agree with them, but fine. This is America and they get to have a point of view. What I don't get is their continued involvement. If you think they're going to hell and you're going to heaven, then let them! I'm fairly certain that if they wanted your opinion, they'd ask you for it. In the mean time, let them live the life they're happy living, and you can marry someone with different genitalia than what's stored in your pants/skirt/tutu.
Personally, if I had to imagine what my idea of heaven looked like, it wouldn't be one where people I care about (gay or straight) weren't allowed in. I have a hard time believing in a God that hands out rejection letters like that college who denied you. Before my freshman year of college, I filled out tons (7) of scholarship applications, and I got tons (6) of rejection letters in response. I was left feeling crushed and completely inadequate. I can't believe in a God who would actively do that to someone who loved Him. Because following that thought process I can't help but wonder; "who am I to make the cut?"
I strongly and boldly stand behind marriage equality as a friend, a confidant, a classmate, a colleague, and a Christian.
Here's hoping that the next generation ifeelsfree to be whoever they are :)
I remember when I was in elementary school, I looked forward to library days like crazy. I just remember this avid love for reading. Throughout elementary and junior high, and somewhat into high school, it wasn't uncommon for me to finish at least a book a week (probably more if it was summer or we were on a road trip).
This was something that was instilled in me at a very young age. My parents would read to my sister and I nearly every night. I remember my mom reading fairly often. However, I think the kicker for me; the real proof of the importance of books, was my grandmother's house. To this day, my grandmother's house is full of books. In fact, I'm fairly certain there is only one room in the entire house that doesn't house at least one book, and that's the bathroom. Books, upon books, upon books... and every kind of book you could think of. Do you remember that room in the Beauty and the Beast? The library that Beast basically gives to Belle? I'm fairly certain that was my grandma's goal. But it wasn't just the books in sheer number; it was the respect for books my grandmother and mother taught me. (I still feel badly when I see a book held open upside down). When I first started writing in (text)books for school, it horrified my mother; which was a calm reaction compared to when I started writing in my Bible.
Unfortunately, somewhere in the middle of my high school career, I stopped reading for the pure enjoyment of it. For the same reason that gym class makes playing outside less enjoyable. Once you're forced to do it, it loses its luster. Then college happened. At this point, it wasn't so much that reading didn't sound appealing, I just had no time to read the things I wanted to read because I was using most of my time to read the things I had to read. In the academic study of religion, it's not uncommon to be assigned 100-200 pages of reading a night.
Well, now that I've graduated, I've finally found myself having the time to read for enjoyment. My new job at a bookstore helps a ton as well. Having finished reading four books last week, and having read a book in it's completion today, I can honestly say that I've missed this so much! Last week I read Misery, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and I am Not a Psychic; and today I finished Carrie. It's a good thing I'm a fast reader, because I have a long list to get to and new books are being published every day.
Do you have any suggestions for my list? I'm always looking for recommendations!
Thanks for reading!
PS. If you're looking for recommendations for your next literary adventure, I would recommend visiting this site: http://whatshouldireadnext.com/
You type in a book you really enjoyed reading, and it gives you a list of books that you would probably enjoy. The only thing to watch out for; it's
I was watching Weekend Update tonight and I caught a teaser about a story about online dating. Because of my recent adventures in online dating, it caught my interest.
Because of a large lawsuit, this story was released recently:
Because I know that most people won't take the time to read the article, let me summarize it for you. Mary Kay Beckman used the match.com online dating service. In 2011 she met Wade Ridley. They went on a few dates. Mary Kay felt that there was just something "off" about him and decided to break it off. A month or so later she came home to Ridley hiding in her garage with a knife. He stabbed her 10 times then kicked and stomped on her head. His intention was to kill her. He confessed this after confessing to a murder he committed in Phoenix shortly after.
There are pictures on the site linked above. As with any form of violence, let alone [post] dating violence, this horrifies me. The fact that someone would react in such a way, that that level of carelessness of life exists, makes my heart sink to my stomach.
Mary Kay has decided to sue match.com for $10 million because the service paired her with this man.. Match.com does offer safe dating tips. Beckman, in her lawsuit, stated that the tips aren't thorough enough and that they need to "overtly warn users of potential dangers."
While what happened to her is horrific, I side with match.com, that her lawsuit is frivolous. Match.com never states that they have any way of knowing what their customers could potentially do. With no criminal record, even a background check (which the site doesn't offer anyways), wouldn't have helped.
At the end of it, this isn't a case of online-dating-specific violence. This is a case of how someone who wasn't in a good state of mind, violently handled rejection. This is a risk anyone in the dating world takes whenever we agree to date someone. Ideally, we know the person well enough beforehand to trust them not to react this way. In this case, there was no way to know.
Just promise to be careful, ok?
Thanks for reading!
I really feel like everyone is afraid of something. Even if the fear isn't something seemingly prominent. Personally, I'm not afraid of heights, or spiders, or clowns, or the zombie apocalypse (if it's going to happen, it's going to happen). Some people are afraid of anything that crawls or the dark. However, those who usually say "I'm not afraid of anything" just don't recognize that sometimes fear goes by another name; insecurity. Maybe you're afraid of commitment, failure, or dying alone. What I'm saying is, fear isn't something that always leads to hiding under the blankets or screaming until the dogs howl. Sometimes fear is just a barrier between you and you doing what you need/want to do.
I used to think I was afraid of failure. Or maybe I just used to be afraid of failure. Failure as a fear is a little atypical because no one tells you to just "face your fears" when your fear is failure... Unfortunately for me, I got the chance to. I faced my fear of failure, head on, and more than once. And each time, I survived it!
I do still have fears currently. In fact, I have two fairly large fears. I fear car crashes/accidents/collisions. I fear them so much that when watching an insurance commercial or an action movie, I have to cover my eyes if I see one coming. If I don't see it coming, I jump. It's pretty bad. If there's an apparent car accident on the side of the road, I stare straight ahead. My high school, every year, does a "Prom Reenactment" where they reenact a car accident caused by a student who is intoxicated. My high school went all-out. There were smashed cars, one of my theater friends got put into a body bag... I sat there watching sick to my stomach. So yeah, afraid of car accidents.
However, my other fear is the one that I think impacts my life more heavily. I'm so afraid of confrontation. Even safely inside my car I won't honk my horn. What scares me most about confrontation are people's reactions and retaliations. Working in retail, I've had too many customers yell or get pissed at me (almost to the point of making me cry, and once actually to the point of making me ill) for things I had no control over, that I'm literally terrified of making someone angry by doing something I do have control over.
The other day I had to tag some cars that were parked in our church's parking lot without a paid parking pass. I was so nervous that one of them would see me do it, get pissed, and come after me, that after I tagged the cars, I hung out in the church for a half hour waiting for them to leave.
I wouldn't say I'm paranoid. Let's ignore the fact that part of paranoia is not realizing you're paranoid. Anyways. I wouldn't say I'm paranoid. I just have a slightly irrational fear of people's potential irrationality. Oh you want another example? Let me tell you about tonight.
I'm laying in bed. I'm actually trying to develop a normal sleeping patter when it happens. At first I think it's just a noise the heater is making, or I'm just imagining it (I swear, I'm not paranoid!), but there's a high pitched breathy whistle... someone is playing the recorder. And not a nice little diddy on a wooden instrument. No, someone is squawking on one of those plastic pieces of crap they give to 3rd graders. Oh, and they're doing this at 12:45 am, and then again at 1:10 am.
Being the passive aggressive person I am, I knock on the connected wall a couple of times. Then the noise stops! ... for about two minutes. Any rational person would have walked out of the apartment, took a 60 foot stroll, and knocked on their door, politely asking them to stop. After all, the person playing the recorder could be this person! Ignoring the fact that I don't live in an Abby. But no. In fact, after knocking on the wall... I ran to make sure my door was locked. Because in my mind, the person playing the recorder at one in the morning would obviously come closer to resembling this person:
Because obviously Mr. Ron Burgundy the Cable Guy is my next door neighbor. In fact; right now, at nearly 2am, he's STILL PLAYING!! But I will stay in my bed. I will watch Netflix with my headphones on, like I still live in a dorm because my brain has convinced me that anyone who would play the recorder at two in the morning is obviously a violent personality and would aptly punch me in the face upon hearing my polite, yet desperate, plead. I went to a pretty large public high school (this is on topic, I swear). I wouldn't trade it for the world. I know it's Iowa, but I feel like I got to experience a lot of diversity there. However, one thing I also learned; angry people don't like to be asked to stop doing something they want to do. This was made evident all of the times a student would blow up at a teacher because the teacher asked them to stop talking. I know that psychologically, those episodes are often caused by an outlying greater anger in their lives. However, in the classroom, all I knew was that it made me really uneasy. And now, here I am.
Dear Mysterious Next-door Neighbor,
I am a huge supporter of music as a creative outlet. That being said, STOP PLAYING THE DAMN RECORDER!
Your Passive Aggressive Next-door Neighbor.
That'll teach him! ...and now I have to move.
Here's hoping that sleep came easier to you and that your musical neighbors have normal practice hours, and better instruments.
Thanks for reading!
I will begin by confessing, as this is how I often begin my posts. I confess that I'm not a Julia Roberts fan. After watching Pretty Woman (which I did enjoy), I've just seen her as type-casted. I can't help it, I see her and think Vivian.
I digress. Tonight, scrolling through Netflix (admittedly looking for Topher Grace movies) I noticed Mona Lisa Smile (2003). I knew nothing of what the movie was about. I guess I had assumed it was a heartwarming Lifetime-type movie, which I don't typically enjoy. However, this is what Netflix gave as the summary: "In 1953, the women of Wellesley College are measured by how well they marry -- until the arrival of a professor who threatens to upend the status quo."
Well, few things make me happier than tales of shaking and waking a society that's settling for "good enough." So I watched it. I loved it. The cast was superb, and I'll be the first one to say that I don't think anyone else could have done for that role what Julia Roberts did. She was brilliant. And as a piece of media, the movie did just what it was set out to do (aside from make money); it got me thinking. So, I would like to thank Mona Lisa Smile for inspiring this blog post. If you haven't seen it yet, please do. It's on Netflix! If you have seen it, please comment at the bottom of the post! What was your favorite part? Why did you want to watch it?
This movie, above all else, made me realize how lucky I am to be a woman today. To say that I wouldn't have been able to survive as a woman in the 1950's is absurd because I'm sure I would have been alright in any time I was brought up in. What I am saying is that I'm grateful I was born now, when we can look back on ads like the one to the right and just shake our heads. I took a gender communications class last semester and we literally spent two weeks just analyzing ads and deciphering what it said about gender. Well, I'll give the 50's this much, they're not trying to hide anything. While we use subtlety, this is apparently one occasion where 50's society was ok with blunt honesty. (The discussion about his need to wear a dress shirt and a tie to eat breakfast in bed is one for another time.) I can't help but think of how fortunate I am to live in a time and place where the assumption of the lifestyle and dynamic that this advertisement suggests is no longer a safe assumption. In the Mona Lisa film, the girls who attend this college are basically just filling their time while they wait for their Ivy League boyfriends to propose. Sure, they've made the advancement of even being in college, but very few of them plan on using the academia outside of the institution. How wonderful is it that we are no longer only as worthy as our MRS degrees?
I know that there is another side of this coin to discuss. While women are no longer portrayed as helpless, man-serving, house-wives in the mass media, is the way they're portrayed now really that much better? Understanding the extreme cases to be considered on a case-by-case basis, I would have to say yes. I much prefer women's place and face in the media now than I do to that of the 1950's. Let me show you why.
First comment, picture #1. Ma'am, I think there is blood dripping from the top of your stove. Even if your meal is burnt, if it's still bleeding, you haven't cooked it long enough.
Jokes aside though, the first woman is literally weeping about burning dinner. But her husband, the real hero of the story, is there to tell her that he still loves her and that she shouldn't worry because the beer is safe (yay). Second picture. I'm sorry but, what the hell is happening here??!! I don't know that I've seen very many more demeaning pictures than this one. She's over his knee, he has raised his hand to her... because of coffee. You have go to be shitting me. How was this seen and not looked at with hostility? I think the part that bothers me the most about this ad, is the fact that it's actually geared towards women. The previous two pictures (one for ties and another for beer), could arguably have been made for men with a masculine audience in mind. However, the copy at the top of this ad directs the ad at women (assuming the gay community wasn't exactly prominent in the 50's). And if there's any question left, there's even a line in the ad to connect the words to the obvious inevitable consequence.
And that's why this doesn't bother me. I've heard people's arguments against ads like this one. Yes, you can see her underwear and her skin. Yes, her pose can be read as suggestive. But you know what? This, to me, shows women in a truer light than any of the previous ads. There's something we're very aware of now that they didn't feel comfortable publishing in the 50's; this radical idea that women are sexual beings. There's been this movement in the last 15-20 years where, as women, we've started taking back sex. In essence, we've taken control of our gender. "We are who you say we are" has become "we are whoever the hell we want to be." Now, there is obviously still a balancing act that needs to be played as we decide when we're being sexual people and when all we're being is sex. We've been witness to those mistakes as well. There's one more reason I'd like to discuss.
Strong. Accomplished. Passionate. Heart-filled. Women. Women to look up to. Women who aren't idolized for their ability to put a roast on the table and keep their homes in immaculate condition. Women who, instead, are looked up to for their abilities to help other people, to stand for their convictions, and to be pillars of humanity. Our current way of "doing media" is one where an African American woman could host her own talk-show for 25 years while building schools for underprivileged girls. This world we live in gives openly gay women the opportunity to have a much deserved voice and the ability to speak out against hate, prejudice, and horrible continuing injustice.
What a world we live in.
What a world.
Thanks for reading :)
Ps. I know this was a longer one, and I hope the pictures helped! The movie just got me so fired up! Who knows, if I watch it again, there may be a sequel to this...
I have no business changing the world, nor do I wish to be remembered after I'm gone. I do, however, desire to be the person I'm needed to be by those I love.