Wednesday, May 16


I feel like complaining. Feel free to share complaints too. Any comments that sound like "you should accentuate the positive, and not wallow in your own misery" will be summarily deleted. I'm taking this brief moment to wallow in my own, admittedly petty and middle class misery to get it out of my system. If my misery offends you, feel free to abstain from wallowing in it with me.
Let's get this pity party started:
  • I think my son would whine less if I were a better parent.
  • I feel inadequate when women with daughters the same age as my son talk about potty training their girls. (Even though I know girls are supposedly supposed to be potty trained earlier than boys.)
  • I hate that my husband doesn't thank me for doing all the housework, even though I don't thank him for going to his job. I feel like it makes me a hypocrite.
  • My son hates getting his diaper changed, which means that I hate changing it because He flails his legs, and squirms around for all he's worth. I'd let him sit in his poop all day if it wouldn't leak out and make a mess.
  • I think the pediatrician was annoyed with me for letting my younger son's circumcision heal poorly. I didn't know how to prevent it, and it was easy for him to fix.
  • I'm afraid to mention that I had my son circumcised for fear that the anti-circumcision crowd will swoop in to condemn me.
  • The floor of my house is messy, and most days I'll just put on shoes instead of sweeping it up.
  • I'm terrified of roaches, but I can't be bothered to sweep up the spilled food under my toddler's chair frequently enough to be sure we won't get infested.
  • I feel like a bad person for using paper-towels and disposable disinfectant wipes to clean because they're bad for the environment.
  • I repeat that line to myself as an excuse to avoid cleaning.
  • I claim to hate some things more than I do, so that I can feel like a good person for doing those things anyways.
  • I hate that dressing up and wearing makeup makes me feel better about myself.
  • I get depressed during the summer in Phoenix because I never go outside since the heat is nearly unbearable.
  • I've been using face wash on my butt hoping it will get rid of the blackheads-- it seems to be working.
  • I wish I didn't have breasts. They get in the way, and they'll only get worse as I get older.
  • I want to take tap dance lessons, but there are no intermediate classes for people my age. I can either take lessons with 10 year olds, or 60 year olds, or people my age who are *way* better than me and on their way to being professional dancers.
  • I want to play competitive soccer again.
  • Even if I found a tap class or a soccer team I'd have to wait until my baby is older to join because I wouldn't have enough time between feedings to do those things.
  • I haven't been to a dentist for nearly three years. A few months ago I finally got up the courage to call a dentist and set up an appointment. When I went to my appointment they wouldn't even see me because I was pregnant. The receptionist acted like they wouldn't treat me if they knew I was breastfeeding either. I don't know when I'll have enough courage to go back, even though I know I need at least one root canal, if not two.
  • I'm jealous of the friends my husband has at work, but am afraid to tell him because he'll tell me what I already know- that there are people at church I should try to be friends with, and that it's my own fault if I won't even try to make friends.

Thursday, May 10


Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was much younger and living a bubble at the time, but the whole R. Kelly sex-tape thing is news to me. Aside from all the classic 'celebrities are above the law' reading about it made me really mad. Consider the following:

Adult man urinates on your house or car, it's vandalism.
Adult man urinates on your dog, it's animal abuse.
Adult man urinates on another man, could probably be considered assault and would likely result in an arrest.
Adult man urinates on a woman and it's 'sex act.'

Things that are acts of simple violence on anyone or anything else become "sex" when it's done to a woman. I don't fall in with the 'all sex is rape' camp, but when things like this happen I can certainly see where they're coming from.

Monday, March 26

Fed up

I am 39 weeks pregnant with my second baby. Every evening for at least the past two weeks (or more) starting at about 6:30 I start having contractions. They are, more or less, painless, spaced 10 minutes apart and continue until I go to bed around 10. I am at once incredibly fortunate, and unfortunate that this is how my pregnancies go.

Let me describe the delivery of my first baby. It was a Sunday, and though I was vaguely uncomfortable during church it was shaping up to be a day just like any other. At 2:45, shortly after our home teachers left, my water broke and I started having painful irregular contractions. After my water broke we left immediately for the hospital, and at 4:15 (90 minutes later) my son was born.

After the fact I was able to recognize that I was having what is called silent labor. I was most likely in labor for days, completely unaware and having painless contractions. By the time I was made aware that I was in labor I was already well into the transition stage. While this made for a blissfully easy birth (only 90 minutes of pain!) it has led to weeks of mental anxiety for me now.

You see, I don't want to have a baby in the back seat of any one's car, at home with just my toddler and cat to attend me, or at the grocery store or anywhere else in between. I don't want to have a baby at the hospital without my husband there, yet because my husband has a 30-50 minute commute, and the hospital is a 30 minute drive away from our house this is a very real possibility.

When I was told 2 weeks ago that I've started dialating I've been on pins and needles ever since. I've been afraid to go anywhere lest my water break while I'm at the store or library alone with my toddler. I reluctantly watch my husband leave for work every morning painfully aware that for the next 8 hours I'm on my own if I go into labor. I fixate on every discomfort and contemplate if it means I should go to the hospital or not. And every evening I sit quietly with my hand on my tummy (the only way I can tell when they start or stop) and time my clockwork-like contractions attentive to any change in sensation, reluctant to give up and go to bed. (Because who wants to get all ready for bed just to have to dash to the hospital once you get comfortable?) This also sets my nerves on edge and lowers my patience, which later leads to guilt for being short-tempered with my husband, son and cat.

Being constantly on edge like this has really taken its toll on me. I'm having trouble sleeping (on top of regular pregnancy sleep troubles), and I'm feeling more and more depressed. I'm starting to think that I'd take the hours of physical pain over this mind-numbing paranoia.

All of our trials are uniquely our own. I'm sure there are countless women out there who could handle this much better than I can, and there are probably quite a few who would do much worse than I. I'm sure there are even women who would chastise me for daring to complain about being pregnant at all, because that is a blessing that, for whatever reason, they don't have. Yet the comparisons aren't fair, I am now and always will be me. The difficulty others perceive in things that are easy for me should not lionize my success or validate my failures. Likewise the ease with which other people could handle my lot should not denigrate the trial that it is for me.

Wednesday, February 28

My Top 10 Fictional Male Role Models

While reading Digg this afternoon I came across a list of the Top 100 Fictional Male Role Models (warning, the site is rather lewd, I don't know what pop-ups there might be or ads there might be). I was bitterly disappointed in the list. Not only was it filled with characters that shouldn't really be anyone's role model (Freddy Krueger, Borat, Keyser Soze) but it was also very poorly ranked (Zach Morris (yes, from Saved by the Bell) managed to rank 35th, above MacGuyver, Aragorn, and James Bond.) So I've put together my own top 10:

We're having power troubles here, so I'm posting this without links or commentary for now. I will return to fill it in later (maybe even with pictures!) as I've already lost it once and my son just woke up from his nap.

10. MacGuyver
9. Vincent from Gattacca
8. Horatio Hornblower
7. Wesley AKA Farm Boy from The Princess Bride
6. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Ned Nederlander from The Three Amigos
4. Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption
3. Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings
2. Bishop Muriel from Les Miserables
1. Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter

Monday, February 26


There is a discussion going on at FMH that spurred a few thoughts for me, (actually it's a resurrected discussion, that seems to be turning into a free for all). The discussion moved on before I could submit my comments so, they're going here instead! (Good thing too, cause I haven't posted for who knows how long...)

1. Modest v. Appropriate
To be modest is to avoid the sin of pride and vanity. One does this by not seeking undue attention or praise, and by showing respect for one's self and God. Therefore, to dress modestly is to dress in an unassuming fashion, to avoid extravagance or extremes, to follow guidelines set by God and to display respect to one's self, peers, and surroundings. Displaying respect to one's self, peers and surroundings through clothing choices is what I term 'dressing appropriately.'

Modest clothing is not always appropriate and appropriate clothing is not always modest, though a modest person will seek to dress appropriately whenever possible. I find it extremely unfortunate that the vast majority of discussions on modesty focus exclusively on dressing appropriately, more specifically on women dressing appropriately. Modesty is a lifestyle that we are all commanded to live by, not a criteria for women's clothing choices.

2. Reflexive v. Controlled Response

I can't stop a bird from flying over my head, but I can keep it from building a nest in my hair.
In the discussions of appropriate dress for women (the ones often called discussions on modesty) a the thought frequently brought up that a woman's inappropriate dress causes impure thoughts in men. This thought normally continues along the lines of 'Impure thoughts are sins. Therefore, to prevent men from sinning, women should dress modestly.' This thought process is strikingly similar to a common bit of rape apologia that says 'Immodestly dressed women incite men to lust after and rape them. Therefore women should dress modestly to avoid being raped.'

I think that the initial statement is false; that is to say that a woman's inappropriate dress does not cause impure thoughts in men. A woman's inappropriate dress does cause a reflexive response in men. Reflexive responses are not impure thoughts, and are not sins. When men choose to grab a hold of those reflexive responses and dwell on them then they become impure sinful thoughts. Men, therefore, are not captive to the whims of inappropriately dressed women, because the first step in thinking impure sinful thoughts (or raping) is the man's choice to dwell on the inappropriately dressed woman.

3. Intentional v. Unintentional
My husband is incredibly ticklish, and it would be very rude of me to tickle him when he's trying to talk to someone, or when he's trying to work, or other similarly serious situations. It is similarly rude for a woman to intentionally dress inappropriately with the goal of distracting the men around her. Even though the men may not be sinning when their reflexes react to her appearance, they still have to deal with the distraction, and must recollect their thoughts every time their reflexes go off. It is considerate and polite to dress appropriately at all times, and youth should be encouraged to dress appropriately.

The trouble is, such behavior is only rude when it is intentional, and all too frequently women, especially young women, are not intentionally dressing to distract men in a sexual way. They dress that way because the magazines said that it flatters their figure, because it's in-style, because that's how their friends are dressing, or simply because that shirt used to fit just fine three months ago. It is rather conceited of men to assume that women see themselves through men's eyes, and always dress with men's thoughts and reactions in mind. We should all be much slower to think of a woman as 'dressing like a whore' when she wears sexually inappropriate clothing, because chances are she's not doing it on purpose at all.

In summary, we do everyone a disservice when we make sexually inappropriate female dress the only meaning of immodesty because avoiding such dress has more to do with good manners than modest behavior, and we miss the opportunity to teach everyone the real benefits of a modest life. We do everyone a disservice when we blame women's appearance for men's sins because it restricts women and allows men to believe they are helpless and out of control. We are rude to men when we disregard their reflexes and the resulting distraction, and we are rude to women when we assume their clothing choices are made maliciously with men's reflexes in mind.

Friday, February 9

It's alive!

It's true, I'm back. I've finished and recovered from my stint as a full-time guest blogger, and shall now return to posting my screeds here. Thanks to everyone who hosted me as a guest, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I think the challenge of writing for a larger audience did me good, at the very least it made me appreciate the comforts my quiet little site a bit more. As promised earlier here are links to all of the posts I wrote at all of the blogs I visited.

At Exponent II

Fleshpots and Manna
Horror Stories, Fairly Tales and Scriptures
At Arms Length

At Feminist Mormon Housewives

Just for Women

At By Common Consent

Negetive Definition
Married to a Martyr
Playing with Fire
A Non-Christmas Post

At Times and Seasons

From Russia with Love
Tooth Bugs
Appropriate Requests

Saturday, January 20

Shopping for Shame

I may have mentioned this before, but my school district had a comprehensive sex-ed program for which I am grateful to this day. In reading a few things recently about shame and embarrassment surrounding sex, I felt another wave of gratitude for the teacher I had.

One of the assignments she gave us involved filling out a table with information about various over the counter contraceptives. She told us that much of the information could be obtained from various sources, but that the form was designed to make it necessary to go to a store and look at the packaging in order to fill it out completely, and only complete forms would be given full marks.

A few years earlier I was dealing with menstruation. The first time I had to buy feminine hygeine products I was overwhelmed with embarrassment- a feeling that I picked up from my sisters, friends, and advertisements. I can also remember trying in vain to open the packing silently in the stall of a public restroom horrified at the idea that the tell-tale crinkling would give away the true nature of my visit to the restroom. (Incidentally I've heard that "Quiestest Packaging" is now a selling point for some hygeine products.) I also remember one day, simply saying to myself "Aw to heck with it!" From that point on I made a point of crinkling the wrapper as loudly as I could, then staring down anyone who dared to look at me. I made a point of smiling congenially and making idle conversation with the cashier of the grocery store when purchasing pads, almost daring them to try and make me embarrassed. That was a liberating change, and I quickly learned people just don't care that much, and the ones that do will be embarrassed by your brazen shamelessness leaving you in peace.

When completing my sex-ed assignment a few years later I was, once again, overwhelmed with embarrassment. I walked past the condom section two or three times, pausing slightly then rushing on. Finally, in the greeting card isle I had another "Aw, to heck with it!" moment. It was getting late, I had an assignment to do, and good grades meant a lot more to me than avoiding dirty looks from shelf-stockers. So I became as brazen as I was shy, and camped out in front of the condom display until I had finished my assignment. I quickly learned that, just like with pads, no one cared.

I realize now that her main goal in giving this assignment wasn't to teach us critical package reading skills, but to desensitize us to dealing with contraceptive items in public. In our "nod-nod, wink-wink, know what I mean?" culture, getting over the shame is a vital skill I think every teenager should learn. I still vividly remember that experience and call upon my those heartening memories any time I need to buy any sort of embarrassing item.