Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If I had a dollar for every time ....

I tell my kids "please stop it"...which after about the 5th time becomes more of a growl of "stop it I said"...well I would be rich.  You know before I had children I was quite the opinionated gal on what type of parent I would be...HA!!! along came 2 amazing boys and with each one my ability to constantly re-evaluate and evolve my parenting style.  

I have become that mother that has yelled in public, I have given my kids donuts pretty much every Sunday when we go to the supermarket so that they make the trip as enjoyable and fast as possible, they have asked for and had breakfast for dinner, slept in their clothes and I have even, head hung in shame, added sprinkles to veggies to get them to eat it.  I love my boys but find myself wishing they were not so loud on many a weekend day when my thoughts drift not to the Mt Everest pile of laundry that I am doing, which I believe is doubling as I walk away since it never seems to end, but to spending some time reading, without interruption or need to play peace keeper, or painting.  The reading I sometimes can get in....the painting well I have the easel up and my intentions are there...but the time, the quiet ...well the laundry she's a calling.  

I never thought I would be the mother who plays Angry Birds or Plants Vs Zombies with the boys...and smiled at their awe that I can beat levels they cannot...who the hell is this woman?  Me, who has always been pretty content with being an only child, me ...who is ok doing things without company, me....whose single days consisted of cereal dinners....I have become this woman who cooks multiple dinners, cuts sandwiches into shapes, who follows 2 small children around a park saying "tag you're it".  I am not sure that I would have believed it if you had told me.  

Recently there was another motherhood article, this time not a Dragon Mother, but an American one who was living in France.  She wrote a book about how French mothers all seem to have time for chic dinner parties, as opposed to drinking fine wine on the kitchen floor with my good friend while kids hijack the tv, and that they push their kids to independent play, not smile with relief as we drink more fine wine with same friends when our kids go to the basement.  There were some merits to what she said but mostly after thinking about it I just wanted to give this woman the finger.  I have been to France and much like anywhere else there are wonderful children and there are annoying, spoiled children who make me remember that I do not really relish the company of children who are misbehaved.  I do not have that "love all kiddies" gene and at a recent party I realized that I chose the kids my kids play with for them, while I still can, based on how much I like the parents (insert wine and food memory here) and how much I like the kids.  So far my boys seem to like the choices as much if not more than me.  

So as I type this, and hear the dryer buzzing, because of course it never stops, and wonder what to give them for lunch tomorrow I realize that I do not want a dollar...I want my life exactly as it is.  I make time for myself, my friends, my interests as I can...but while my boys are little I do not need to shuffle them away at every chance to discuss the idiotic candidates from the far right, the silent annoying ones from the left or whatever Nietzsche thought about the meaning of life....I just have to take a deep breath, so I can be ready to say "stop it", and let it out with a smile for having 2 terrific boys.  

“Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. "Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?" Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother?" Wasn't there any change?” 
― Erma Bombeck 

“Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.” 
― Erma Bombeck 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

50 Shades of Grey...insert smile

Feel the fire, feel my love inside you it's so right 
There's the sound and the smell of love in my mind 
I'm a toy, come and play with me, say the word now 
Wrap your legs around mine and ride me tonight 
I'm a man, I'm a goddess  ....Berlin.."Sex I'm A"

The buzz is really astounding, when most articles written about books is how the industry is struggling to keep up with print, this book is selling out.  Of course I am talking about "50 Shades of Grey".  I hear about it on the news, on TV and yes among almost every woman's gathering I go to.  I downloaded it ...did not know it was a trilogy...also did not realize it was over 400 pages long...and I could not finish it.  I know I am so the minority here but I thought the writing was poor and the story well not my thing and besides the writing distracted me from what should have been the hot parts.  If I am going to read something that is sexy and it is not going to be well written please keep it to 150 pages so I can smile, blush and possibly jot down an idea or two for future use.

I know having said all that this is going to seem contradictory....I think it is great that this book is having the success it is having.  I tend to like my books deep, troubling, well written on topics that are rarely cheerful.  In looking at what most "great literature" is out there the sad seems to beat the happy by a massive margin.  I like books that I wish I could have written and to which I bow to the talent that did.  The Grey books are nothing like that and so what?!! I like my own Sophie Kinsella, Kristin Hanah, Helen Fielding, Sophie Hanah books and I have no delusion about their literary worth while acknowledging their ability to entertain me.  Great books are those that take us to a place we may have been in , may have only thought about, or unleash something in us that we usually have tampered down.  I remember dog eared parts of Jackie Collins when I was in college, when my reading for fun had to be easy and mindless and hotter than my textbooks.  I love the phenomena of the Grey books because it also comes at a time when women's sexuality is being attacked and used as a control tactic.  The success of Grey says that women enjoy porn (cause yes that is what this is), and sorry all you old school 70s feminist you missed the boat on the fact that we do like to look too, and sex as much as men...shudder yet far right ?

While we are it I like art, music, fashion and other frivolous pursuits....like writing this blog, pining and chatting on Facebook.  I admit I love my Apple devices, which for the cult that will probably slam me are best for the beauty than the use (stop it they are fine but am still not sold on how good a business machine it is ...now back away and go download an app). I am not ashamed of this and why should I be???? It is probably one of those places where I have to control the eye roll from my very conservative and very liberal friends.  The very conservative group tries to get me to buy stuff but for the profit or the payout in the after life.  The very liberal tell me how the struggle of the average person does not allow for this so we should be pursuing only our intellect and absolute needs!!! Blah, blah, blah....Nonsense, it is ok to enjoy the pleasure we get from the visual, the audible and define that for ourselves.  Maybe in my perfect world there would be time for whatever it is that makes you relax, smile, learn something or learn nothing.

I applaud the prize worthy great writers, artists, musicians...but equally I applaud those that create entertainment that appeals broadly, for "great" is defined by what we like.  I encourage reading the well written books...but a little shade of grey never hurt anyone (well unless you liked it and signed the agreement for the Red Room).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Voyeur and Flasher

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” 
― Benjamin Franklin 

Funny thing this blogging and social networking world we now live in.  I remember many stories in books and movies whose main plot is the finding of a novel, a journal, a letter that then leads us down the path of a life, love, combination so different that what we thought we knew of the main character.  Think Bridges Of Madison County....ok so it's not a literary prize winner but still among one of the books and movies I enjoyed a lot.  The romance in that story is sentimental and touching but the discovery of this "other" life that this woman led even for a short while...that is what I think appeals to so many of us.  The idea that we are not only what our routines show us to be.

However, the game changer is the digital age.  I mean blogging is a little like journal writing, with editing, and aspirations for the writer ; some are accomplished, published, well known figures but most bloggers are people who may not have the time, talent, or ability to actually write more than a blog...and there is so much pleasure in being able to do that for those of us who partake.  Facebook is basically your entire life for all to see, what you ate, cooked, did, thought.  It is the virtual flasher basically....and for those who are reading boy are we a world of voyeurs.  I mean we like to look...to laugh with (ok or sometimes at)....cry....and see what everyone who we know well or peripherally is doing. I think this is why we like reality tv...though deep down we know it is scripted and usually poorly acted...somehow we do like looking in the windows from the hedges.

You could find fault in this or you could find it a way to bind the world.  Like any other news, from the Town Crier to Facebook, you could choose to be part of a world that encourages each other, supports friendships and reconnects people.  You could also use it to be a hate monger, create groups that spout negative ideology. I find it amazing that people blame the medium not the writer.   I choose to use this for a place where I can indulge my love of writing.  I choose this as a place to reconnect with friends who I may not get as many chances to see as I can but whose lives I feel a slight part of by what they share.  I hope that we use discretion when needed and apologize when we do not.

For now I will embrace this voyeur - flasher relationship and be my usual optimistic self who hopes this will help us unite for a better world.  I will always have a secret place in my heart and my thoughts though ....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slut, whore and other ridiculous names

 “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”
-Elizabeth Taylor

If anything has made me cringe with disgust and fear from the far right it has been their consistent attack on women and the reaction they get from me angers me even more...because it makes me want to break out the duct tape, cover their mouths and say "shut the F up".  That makes me angry because while that is what I am feeling what I am thinking is that they have a right to their speak of their views openly.  For this internal struggle I dislike them even more.

The rhetoric against women has become universal.  I will not say it is the right of a religious group to mandate the covering of women, to make women feel that uncovered they are somehow less worthy of their beliefs in a higher power.  I will not agree that religious institutions (who are tax exempt for the most part) get ANY say in how federal tax dollars are spent...cause you did not contribute any to that pool.  I cannot imagine that no one has screamed that these organizations are basically publicizing that they openly must discriminate in their hiring practices....because otherwise how do they justify the fact that they do not want to offer to have healthcare pay for birth control unless they only hire people who adhere to that religious code?  Mostly I just am struggling to understand how we got to this sad, sad moment in history.

Women like sex! There I said it...bring on the fatwa.  They do and if they didn't I would say the people who want to have sex with them should be really sad.  There is nothing wrong with this statement yet throughout history it has been used to diminish women, to cover them up, to stifle them and to brand them as less in  societies. It has always been amazing me to me that a man who has sex with as many partners as his imagination will allow, oh I mean with as many partners as he claims to, is called in most languages by names that raise his status among men.  He is virile, stud, man among men.  A woman who does this though is seem through a dirty set of glasses she is after all a slut, a whore, a degenerate.  In history women have been institutionalized, accused of witchcraft and let's not forget that nymphomaniac is a mental disorder only applied to women...oh please.  Why is women's sexuality so scary to men that they have to make it a disorder???

So to all those who feel sex ...sex ....sex is the reason for all that ails us. Those who think that sex is the thing that they should control for others because they have so successfully repressed it in themselves. For all those who think that the only issues facing us in the US and the world are whether women that choose to burn their literal or metaphorical burkas and bras.  For you all I say stop ....look around you...this is hate talk as vile as anything Hitler, Amin, Stalin or any other despot spouted.   Stop calling women names and start calling on each other to figure out how to rebuild economies and the world for those children you so keep saying you care about. Mostly start accepting that  men and women are equals..not the same...but equals.

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again.......Helen Reddy