Monday, February 27, 2006

First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage.

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Or at least that's how it's supposed to go, right? Well in our case we opted for a puppy instead. Say hello to Tater. Our three month old black pug.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm not happy with myself. I haven't been for a long time. Not since the summer G and I got together. Before we "hooked it up" I had decided I was fed up with boys. That I was tired of trying to attract them. That I was tired of trying to emulate other women hoping to find out what secret ingredient they contained in their sweet pollen and that I would just be myself. This was not an easy decision, but it was liberating. And shortly after that G and I fell in love. They say it happens when you least expect it. However, while our love has withstood a great deal of obstacles including freedom did not last long. At the end of the summer all the other girls came back in time for the first semester of my junior year of school.

All of my friends had graduated and moved on so I was stuck with the task of meeting and making new companions. It seemed as though the new breed of students I was left with as options were either smarter, prettier or more driven then me. I remember feeling heavy and sad for the first week of school, especially. At first I thought it was the birth control. Eventually I got used to the feeling. Accepted it as normal to never feel good about myself. I look at pictures of myself then and I think what was I thinking? I was beautiful and strong and thin and smart and determined. Since then I've gained 45 lbs. With each one it is like the burden I picked up back then gets a little bit heavier and I stoop a little lower.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to put that burden down again. To shuck off the need to compare myself with other women. To leave behind the desire to fit into their shoes. To get my nails done like Annie or my hair done like Sheila. Or to smell delicious like Kathy. Or to fit into size 4 workout pants like Tammy. But fear keeps me holding clutching the millstone around my neck. 'Cause if I dropped I might really let myself go and I can't even bare to imagine the result. Never mind that I actually lost weight and got the man of my dreams the last time I put that burden down. Never mind that stereotypes are archaic and ridiculous.

While they shouldn't matter. While they're unrealistic. Stereotypes are powerful. According to Andrea Johnston in Girls Speak Out, "Here is what can happen: Most girls silence themselves between the ages of nine and sixteen; that is, they give up a part of who they are because they think it's necessary to do so to survive. They begin to act like a stereotype, a false idea of what it means to be female. Girls play the more feminine role that is based on the mistaken belief that females are weaker than males. There is a lot of pressure on girls to fit this stereotype rather than fight for their unique differences. For example, girls want to be thin, even anorexic or bulimic, because girls of different sizes and shapes are not as easily accepted. Carol Gilligan, one of the first researchers to study girls, describes the change in many girls as losing their different and unique voices. Instead of trusting themselves, girls may become uncertain and lose self-confidence." I know this has happened to me. More than once in my life. What has it held be back from becoming or doing? Who would I be if I were uninhibited? Is being different that bad?

However, there is hope. I'm rooting for the Dove Real Campaign for Beauty and when I make enough money or manage my money well enough to give to charity they're the first on my list. I hope desperately that their concept will work and that sooner rather than later women like me and little girls who come after us can let go of our albatross and get on with our lives. Save our energy for something really worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's My Birthday!

Well actually yesterday was my real birthday and it was fun. My honey took the day off of work so we could hang out and i finally got the George Foreman grill I've been longing for. As C says "it's the little things that make people happy."

Today however, was like a birthday celebration at work! I walked into my cubie to find a brand new printer. Yay! It's glorious. I used it all day. Then I learned that I have been upgraded to my very own office, where I am now sitting typinging this. And to top it off my honey came into town to go to lunch with my boss and a coworker of mine. All in all it was a good day. And I got a lot done.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This Is It?

Last night I had a melt down. I broke into tears on the way home from the max because the book I was reading was full of short essays by prolific women authors and all I could think of was "That was supposed to be me." I couldn't even make it up the stairs.

I cried my way to the library. I cried my way home. I cried my way to the mail box. I cried my way home. I cried when I opened my birthday card from my Aunt Doc, which said "May beautiful opportunities open up for you this year." (I sure hope they do, but at the rate my life has been moving along I doubt it.) I cried when I couldn't get on the internet. I managed to stop crying for The Simpsons and to eat dinner. I cried at One Tree Hill multiple times, but especially when the coach was talking about what to do when life doesn't turn out the way you expect it to. He said we shouldn't be bitter, but just accept the hand we're dealt.

I'm not convinced. There's got to be some in between. Some retaliation. So when I wake up in the morning and see that I've become everything I never wanted to be, I can stomp my foot down and scream!

But it shouldn't just stop there. I should be able to affect change. I should be able to reroute my life. Shouldn't I? How do I know when it's time to rebel and when to acquiesce?

My life has not turned out as I imagined it would. Do I just take it for what it is? Or do I stand up and fight? If I plan to duke it out, what am I duking? Who or what is the enemy here?