So thought I’d better write a follow up. Or, rather, just effing felt like writing a follow up. Yeah… I’m a lil angsty these days. Just a smidge.
Even though there are options. Things are not set in stone, nothing has really been decided. Yet. I have no idea what will happen next, or where I’ll be in six months. Where Canada will be. Most days, when a lil less angsty, I feel pretty optimistic about things. Most days, actually, I just don’t worry about.
“The future… was wide open.”
You know, it’s interesting. The things you can still learn. For instance, this thing (yeah yeah “relationship” shuddup) with Canda has made me really, for the first time evah, understand this whole concept of “the one”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still in no way believe in soul mates and all that crap, but… I comprehend why people believe in them – and not just because they’re shoved down our throats as “true love” and something we’re all supposed to aspire to. I understand how people feel that one person is “the one” in the sense that… you really can’t imagine being with someone else. Or, rather, you really really don’t want to. Not because they are some other half you’ve spent your whole life trying to find but because… well, yeah. You’d just rather hang out with them. The whole but there are other fish in the sea! is just not comforting.
But… it is about that time in your life. Whether or not we want to admit it, it is about who we are, and who they are, and where we both are in our lives. In that moment. In that time.
Because the other thing is… No matter what happens, no matter where I end up, where Canada ends up, where our lives take us, whether together or apart… things will change. Not just because we’ll be somewhere else – people change, too. Maybe that means you fall out of love, but then again maybe it means you change together and till death did ya part and all that. And, in this case, if we do end up having to say goodbye…. while that will suck so fucking hard and not in a good way but maybe with too much teeth, I also know we’ll both survive it. Our hearts will mend, knowing us both, and we will move on. No matter how little I want to think about that, no matter how impossible that sounds, right now. In this moment. In this time.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? The thing we have so much trouble with.
It’s that we can move on. That we change… that there are, indeed, other fish in the sea. The hard part is coming to terms with that. I think, and perhaps will one day fully realize, that may be part of the reason heartache is so difficult, and why some people feel they never move on, or that it’s impossible to.
The admitting that, while in that moment and in that time, that person felt like “the one”… it wasn’t because they were our other half. It is admitting that’s not how this work and that things, and people, change. Even how we feel about this person that is so so important to us now. Even that will change, if it needs to and we allow it – one day, they won’t feel like “the one” any more, if we stop acting like there’s only one, and they were it.
Don’t get me wrong. This makes me pretty sad right now, actually. Yep, still angsty. Or that I don’t want to change, or have to say goodbye to this awesome dude who is smart and fun and independent and makes me laugh and thoughtful and compassionate and who I can talk to about pretty much anything. Who listens and thinks before he speaks, and considers other viewpoints, even though he can be stubborn and opinionated. This man who has been a very grounding force in my world and I know we will fight about something eventually. Eventually. Shit.
But… my world does not revolve around him, nor does his around me. We have other priorities, even if some of them are already giving way – some will never change. Even while we both consider things I don’t think we ever thought we would, there are still things out of the question.
And if, one day, in another moment and another time, we run right up against what neither of us will change… well. There will be another moment, and another time. As little as I want to admit it in this one.
I think accepting that, no matter how difficult, is necessary. And, even though it will feel like the impossible, the difference is realizing that it is not impossible… and that, one day if things are different, there is some comfort, and there is hope in that.
It’s just a different kind of hope. And it doesn’t mean I give up on hoping things will work out, or give in now, or stop enjoying what I have. You can’t live your life that way either. But isn’t that just it? We live our lives with what we have, now, today. In this moment and in this time. Even as we accept the only thing you can count on in life is that things, with or without your permission, can, and will, change. Sometimes, that change is what moves us forward, if we let it.
I also remind myself that there is a reason my life does not revolve around Canada – and that his does not revolve around me. There is more to my life than that, and that’s something maybe we should all be more comfortable with, too. In addition, it’s remembering that, while we can feel like that one person is THE one… that isn’t really how it works. There are other fish in the sea. And, moreover, we are whole people, we are not in search for our other half, but are instead complete on our own.
♦ ◊ ♦
As an aside, a friend of mine is currently watching his wife die of cancer. She’s been battling it for a few years. They’ve been together forever, but couldn’t afford to get married. Last July, when she went into experimental treatment, they finally went ahead and got engaged.
Last week, her doctors told them there was nothing more they could do.They were married in the hospital.
It’s a very, very stark reminder of the fragility of life, and the importance of what you do with it… as well as the people you choose to fill it with. Take care of each other.
Oh. Hey there. Been awhile, huh? And, yeah – I wish this meant I was back too (I missed writing long tirades where I write the same statement three different ways, too). Unfortunately, not possible yet kiddos. I’m just here to vent for a hot second…
So… yep. Still seeing that-dude-I-named-Canada. GAWD what a pain in my ass. I mean, seriously. Relationships. I don’t know why anyone even bothers. Did I ask to be in one? Nope. Sure didn’t. And yet.
Here I am. In a relationship. With another person. For going on, oh fuck, like ten months. And things are well… pretty much awesome.
You know that song I blogged about, oh, um, here? And, you know how maybe once-upon-a-time lyrics like “save tonight/and fight the break of dawn/come tomorrow/tomorrow I’ll be gone…” were just so tragically romantic *le-sighhhhhh*? Well. Let me tell ya something kittens.
It’s not really all that romantic. It’s pretty much just fucking fucking tragic.
Yes, things with Canada are awesome. One of the things I like about him is his independence, his ambition. Of course, his independence and his ambition mean he’s really pursuing what he wants from life. I also respect it, because I’m similar. I have very specific goals for myself, where I want to live, what my career will look like… etc (and, can we all please fucking note, those goals have never included “get married” or “have babies” or anything even remotely similar. Let’s just note that.)
Canada also has such goals. Very fucking specific ones.
And therein lies the catch (and it’s a doozy kittens). Our goals do not, in any way, actually fucking match.
No, I’m serious. I always been a can’t-wait-to-move-back-West person. I’m tied to the ocean. Etc. Canada? He’s a gonna-move-back-to-northern-New-England person. And he’s tied to, well, large game animals. Like moose and things. He also loves to hunt. And apparently you can’t do that anywhere but New England. Oh, excuse me, you can’t do that right anywhere but New England.
FML. Really. F. M. L.
In addition, (for added fun!) things are moving rather rapidly for Canada. Unexpectedly. Like, we may only have a couple months before it’s… sayonara, babe. Save tonight and all that jizz.
Look. Ok. Yes, I just started this post with a long winded angsty sort-of trying-to-be funny intro (yep you missed me). But. FUCK.
This isn’t fair. I didn’t ask to be in a goddamn relationship. I didn’t want to meet anyone. Yeah yeah yeah that’s how it always happens and blah blah blah. I get it. And shut the fuck up.
Because I have this fucking awesome thing that I didn’t, actually, ask for. That didn’t, apparently, go away the next morning (and, by the way because Life just wants to fuck with me, the sex just keeps getting better, not boring. He actually matches my sex drive. Life plays, er, dirty).
And…. I’m going to have to say goodbye. If I want to have all the things I want in life. So he can have all the things he wants in life. And… I don’t know how I can ever do that. Right now? Pure, brutal honesty? I can’t imagine being in a relationship with anyone else. Ever. I don’t even want to. I mean, I know that I’ll get through whatever happens. I know that. But still.
Yes. It sounds so fucking romantic and tragic and shit – star-crossed lovers or some crap. But it’s not. It’s not romantic. It’s just fucking. tragic.
OK ok ok. I’m being maybe a lil mildly overdramatic here. Maybe the goodbye won’t be forever. We’ve already talked and we’re going to try the long-distance thing. We will. And it’s not to say things are over, there are still options. I’m the first to tell you who knows where life will go. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll work out. I think there is some hope. Some chance we can make this work…
Oh, yeah, also? Pretty sure he wants kids. Me? Nooooooo thank you. So, there’s that, too.
It’s just… what fucks me up is that gooddamn song. The save tonight fight the break of dawn bullshit.
Yes – we will try the long-distance crap but… one day, far far sooner than I will ever be ready for it… that goddamn song is going to be my goddamn life. And I do not know how I will get through that shit. Fuck you, Mr. Eagle Eye Cherry. Fuuuuuuck you.
And it’s not romantic. It’s just. fucking. tragic.
Who does this happen to? How is this even remotely fair? Why can’t he just follow me around the country and we’ll travel and have disposable income and dogs? Where did I ever say I even wanted this crap? Who fucking likes relationships, anyway? What the fuck am I supposed to do about this?
FML. The end.
‘Tis with a heavy heart that I write this, and it’s been a long time I’ve avoided it: I don’t have time any more.
I just don’t. I am loathe to admit it, and it’s hard to come to terms with that reality. Over the past few months, I’ve tried to find a balance among everything, and keep blogging. I really have tried to find a way to Have It All – my way.
It hasn’t worked.
Here’s the fundamental problem: To me, blogging isn’t just writing a post a week. Hell, I could probs still do that, and ya know I haven’t run out of things to say. Blogging is far more than that. It is an entire community of incredibly smart, funny, interesting, engaging people who write smart, funny, interesting, engaging things. All. The. Time. Blogging isn’t just what I have to say, blogging is also all the things everyone else is saying, and all the things I have still to learn, and all the things I learn that I want to share.
I can’t just write something, throw it up on the web, and call it good. That just… isn’t enough for me. Whether I like it or not, it’s all or none, kids – and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
So. As of this writing, Women Are From Mars is going dark. No, not forever. I am absolutely hopeful that I will find the time again, when things calm down a bit. In addition, I absolutely know that this community will still be here when I find that time. When do I think I’ll be back you ask? Well… I’m thinking not before the New Year. Yep. I need a good, long time to get my shit together, guys. But… It’ll happen. I’ve had too much fun, learned too much, and met too many awesome people, to stay away forevs.
This isn’t goodbye. This is just… see ya later.
Before I go, a few sincere thanks to some AWESOME bloggers out there. I’m comin’ back for you, kids. In no particular order…
The awesomeness of my #badassgirlcult:
First blogger crush, who made me squeal when she actually commented on a post: Blunt Delivery
And the other badass cult members:
My other Really Serious blogger crushes, who were so awesome and were, who knows why, also so awesome to me:
And, last but absolutely not least, the bloggers that were there since the beginning… We’ve exchanged e-mails and even phone calls, and I feel like y’all have been there since day one.
The amazing crew at Met Another Frog.
I can’t thank you enough for the support and l-o-v-e over the years. For realz, yo. I had no idea what I was getting into, all those 2.5 years ago.
And, with that, I take my leave – for now. I won’t be using my Nikki B. facebook or twitter accounts, either. However, I may post randomly once in a while, when I do feel like just throwin’ something out there, so check in from time to time.
If you want to keep in touch – e-mail me! womenarefrommars at gmail.com. I will be checking that fairly regularly (if only to empty junk from the inbox).
Much, much love.
This month’s Tree Hugger Tuesday is about just that – TREES! Aren’t trees awesome? Around my neck of the woods (heh heh), they’re even changing colors this time of year!
How much paper do you think you use on a regular basis? How many of those nice, crisp printer packets do you open a month? Well, over 90% of that paper comes from those awesome trees – most often harvested in unsustainable ways – and accounts for 40% of our wood pulp production.
In the US, we consume 30% of the world’s paper – yet we have less than 5% of the world’s population (I know I know – we’re good at taking more than our fair share of a lot of things, aren’t we). On average, we print out 28 pages of paper a day! 28 pages! In addition, the average American receives 41 pounds of unwanted junk mail each year. At work, we’re just as bad. In an average office, you use 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, too. In general, in the US we throw away 4 million tons of office paper every year.
All that paper is pretty costly: Globally, we produce over 300 million tons of paper each year – and that costs over 300 million forested acres. It also uses huge amounts of chemicals, pesticides, energy and water. For each ton of paper towels we make, we cut down 17 trees and use 20,000 gallons of water. In addition, recycling, while a step in the right direction, also uses energy and water, as well as bleaching agents that are often environmentally harmful.
It’s more costly to the pocketbook, too. Using paper products costs you money every time you buy them – only to throw them away. And it’s not just you – it’s your work, too. Companies don’t just purchase paper, they also spend money to ship, store, copy, print, post, and dispose of that paper – all at increased costs.
So. What can you do? There are a lot of ways you can cut down your use, therefore saving trees, energy, and water – and reducing waste!
- Reduce Junk Mail: Sometimes, we use up paper we don’t even want. The United States, about 68 million trees are cut down a year to produce 17 billion catalogs and 65 billion pieces of direct mail. The direct mail aside, if you’re like me, that damn junk mail goes right back in the recycling bin. End that cycle! There are plenty of ways to stop that junk mail from even arriving. There are free services to help you, including Catalogue Choices and DMAChoice. You do have to tell these sites which companies to stop, the choices alone can make your head spin/drive this point home. I recommend checking the companies on the junk you received first, so you know which ones to search for.
- Promote a “think before you copy or print” attitude: Preview and proofread documents before printing. Try to rely on digital copies. At work, look to see if you can only print some pages versus an entire report, and consider sharing some documents with co-workers. Print only the number of copies needed for the meeting, don’t make extra.
- Use double-sided printing and copying whenever possible. Increasing double-sided printing and copying by not even 50% could save 15 million trees.
- Re-use one-sided documents as scrap paper: Look at the paper ou do throw away. More than likely, it has an entire side you didn’t use. Start taking advantage of that space before tossing it. You can even take a cue from a friend of mine: Cut paper into quarters and staple to create new notepads – save cost of buying those, too!
- As I’ve mentioned before, cut down on other paper products. Use cloth towels, napkins, handkerchiefs, etc – both at home and bring them with you. Never use paper plates. If you must, then only buy those that explicitly state “made from 100% recycled paper.” Seventh Generation is a pretty safe brand to go with.
- Switch to electronic bills, statements and payments: You could save 6.6 pounds of paper, 63 galloons of water and 4.5 gallons of gasoline, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 171 pounds, annually by stopping paper statements and checks.
- Use digital avenues for collaboration at work, instead of printing and circulating paper. Sending documents with Track Changes via e-mail, using Google Docs, etc. Share using thumb drives instead of paper trails.
- Recycle: Do this at home, and encourage your workplace to recycle paper, too. But remember, recycling also uses energy and chemicals, so you should reduce and reuse first.
- Use recycled paper or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper: Every ton of recycled paper used saves about 17 trees, and uses 60% less energy than creating new paper.
So. That’s just a few things you can do to help save the trees. Of course, keep in mind that these Tree Hugger posts are meant to provide some ideas on how to change little things in your life that could make a difference – but that it’s ok if you can’t do everything. I run off the philosophy that we do as much as we can, and allow for the things we have trouble with. It’s like buying carbon credits for the airplane flight you want to take.
For instance, I may do all of the above but… additional things that save paper are using e-cards instead of printed ones (10,000 trees are cut down in China alone for holiday cards, and if we all sent one less holiday card, we’d save over 50,000 yards-cubed of paper), and using an E-reader instead of buying books, magazines, or newspapers (we print over 2 billion books, 359 million magazines and 24 billion newspapers in the US a year). Buuuuuttt… For me? There’s just something about a getting a card in the mail, and I looooovveeeee books. I love them. Physical books I can hold in my hand, with pages I can dog-ear. I don’t really want to give up either of these things. So I buy cards printed locally on recycled paper, and I try to always shop at local book stores, so I’m supporting my community, and I don’t throw books away.
So figure out which ones work for you. Take some of these recommendations. Take all of them. Do something – and save some trees! in addition to energy and water, and you’ll produce less waste, and leave more trees to help clean up greenhouse gases. Reducing paper use can not only reducing waste, use, and energy by creating and throwing away less paper, but can also reduce greenhouse gases by making sure there are more trees on the planet. More trees absorb more carbon, a greenhouse gas.
Not enough for ya? Then remember your pocket book: you can save money, too, simply by buying and using less. Don’t take my word for it – check these big company examples: By increasing the use of online forms and reports, e-mail, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight paper, Bank of America decreased paper consumption by 25% in two years, and saved more than $1 million a year. Citigroup found it could save $70,000 a year if employees used double-sided copying to save just one sheet of paper a week.
There ya have it. This Tree Hugger Tuesday, give back to the trees!
Blog Her ~ “Reducing Your Paper Trail”
Reduce.org ~ “Become a paper-less office”
Vision of Earth ~ “31 Ways to Reduce Paper Use”
I’m really looking forward to next weekend. A good friend is getting married, a bunch of people will be in town for it. I’m excited to see them, happy for those getting hitched.
Except for one thing. One teeny tiny fucking rain cloud hanging over my goddamn parade.
It sounds like this person will be in attendance (I’ve also written about her here). Look. I recognize it’s been years now since I’ve seen her. Years. I know I am over it, I do not think about her at all. As such, I also understand that most people who aren’t me expect that, as a friend said in e-mail, “it’s all in the past now.” Well, yeah. It is.
OK. Quick (ha ha ha ha!) backstory: Basically, this girl, I called her Kay, and I sort-of met at a party, and we had the same group of friends. As I’ve recalled over at Met Another Frog: ”
The first time I saw Kay, I… noticed her. Immediately. But everyone assumed we knew each other, so no one introduced us. That first night, we never even spoke.
She would tell me later that she literally could not talk to me. That all she did, as soon as I walked in the door, was pray that I was gay.
Once we finally did speak, we developed a close friendship. She also spent six months pushing me on the whole straight thing. I spent six months telling her no.
And then I gave an inch – because I could no longer ignore the way she made me feel. It was all downhill from there.
Every wonderful, amazing, heart-stopping thing you’ve ever wanted someone to tell you, Kay said to me. And I felt this unbelievable connection to her. I fully believed the only reason I was feeling this way about a girl was because, well…. maybe there is truth in fairy tales.
And, one night, words translated into an intense, insane, head-over-heels tumble into Kay’s bed.
In the beginning, I had been terrified of hurting her. Because I identified as straight, I was so so afraid of only being able to go so far, and therefore causing her pain. When I voiced those concerns? She told me “everything will be fine – stop worrying! Follow your heart!” …. Right.
And… I had a boyfriend at the time. The fact that we both failed to even act like that was a problem should have been giant fucking red flag number one – and, even though I broke up with him the next day, and even though I had my reasons as to why I didn’t break up with him sooner, that does not excuse or validate cheating on him.
Welp. I got what I paid for. I actually knew in the morning that things were different. Something was wrong. Even though she told me she was so happy, and she couldn’t believe it happened… she then made up excuses about an ex to avoid me, said she needed space, she needed time, because this was just so intense… and then three weeks later made out with some one else right in front of me. I, of course, responded by getting completely shitfaced, chainsmoking my brains out, and crying in public.
That was about how the next year went. She said things to keep me just close enough… and I allowed that and pursued her in an attempt to reclaim my broken heart, and avoid dealing with what this person had actually done to me. In addition, of course, was everything that comes along with going from identifying as straight to the whole OH MY GAWD THAT WAS A GIRL thing.
To add some salt to the proverbial gaping hole in my chest, I didn’t tell anyone. Because I didn’t want my now-ex-BF to think I’d broken up with him for the wrong reasons, and because I thought we were going to give him some time to recover before we came out together in public, and because I was still reeling from what this meant for my own sexuality and identity. I was able to pretend that no one knew.
Everyone knew. I didn’t find out for over six months that she told everyone. Which was bad enough. But. I didn’t find out for over a year that not only had she told everyone? She also told them that I came on to her. That, the one night? I wouldn’t get out of her bed. That she didn’t know what to do with me, that I had completely freaked her out. Which is hilarious (or something), because apparently how she deals with being “freaked out” is to put on some Sarah McLachlan (I couldn’t listen to “Ice Cream” for the longest friggin’ time), light 500 candles, get on her knees before I even had my clothes off – and engage in sex that was so one-sided, I didn’t even know people would term it “sex” as I had done nothing to her. I barely touched her boobs. Because, in reality, I was the one freaking the fuck out.
But, sure, whatever. Maybe some people deal with freaking out by licking pussy. Who am I to judge.
The last time I really hung out with Kay? We were supposedly not speaking – until she pulled me away from the girl I was dancing with and started kissing me.
So. Yeah. How I let that go on so long, I’ll never quite understand. We all make mistakes – sometimes massive ones. It’s always most difficult to see the shit you’re right in the middle of. We never take that good advice when we really need it. Etc.
Regardless. At this point? I’m well over it. Kay is not someone I think about, well, ever. But…. do I want to have to see her?
Nope. Sure don’t. Sure would rather just not. At all. Ever again.
And that’s the annoying thing. The idea that we can be so done with someone… and they still have that ability to rain on our goddamn parade.
Everyone tells you “you’ll get over it” or “you shouldn’t care any more” or “you need to forgive them to let it go” or whatev. That we’re supposed to forgive in order to move on. If we haven’t done that, can’t do that, then the theory is we haven’t and can’t really move on, either. If they can still affect us in some way. That’s the hypothetical litmus test, right?
Really? Is that really true? Or is it enough to just be so very, very done with a person – and never want to see them again? Even if they are still able to manifest as a fucking stormcloud?
Or are we really only “over it” when they can no longer affect us, and do we truly need to forgive?
Honestly? It just seems like more work, emotions, and effort to figure out how to forgive Kay, when I don’t expend any of those things on her normally. Instead? I’d rather just allow for a very rare day that looks like rain, and bring a damn umbrella.
Last week, I had this really amazing conversation over coffee. On Monday, I had a Women’s Commission that drove home the significance of that conversation.
A few weeks ago, friend of mine got me in touch with one of the soccer coaches at my university. We were finally able to meet up last Friday morning – he’s interested in starting a men’s group to discuss men’s issues, as well as anti-sexism and bystander awareness and empowerment… etc.
One thing that was clear from this is Soccer Coach has been self-educating himself on gender, sexism, social narratives, you name it – and he is clearly more than a little overwhelmed at what that education is making him see in this world. The things he has come to understand. The other thing that was clear is that this conversation, and his new-found awareness, makes me want to leap from my chair and do a happy dance. It is so so exciting to think about this happening, about starting something that is so needed in our society – a group where men can educate themselves and one another on the subtle ways misogyny still works in the world, and on what they can do about it.
This is in addition the space this would create for men to talk about what it means to be a man today. About masculinity. About gender roles. A space where they can have the conversations women have been fighting to have for decades – but a space that is enlightened, educated, aware.
I have so much hope for this. So much hope that this is happening the way that it should – through that enlightenment, education, and awareness, and not as a shroud for a post-feminist backlash (…why does that sound familiar…).
SO this post is in part a call to arms, a quest for resources, a plea for advice. If anyone who reads this has thoughts, recommendations, references, etc that I can pass on Soccer Coach, PLEASE leave them in the comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve already been in touch with Jamie Utt of Change From Within, and he’s provided me some websites for similar groups on other campuses, including those for Haverford, Harvard, University of Hartford, and Northwestern. These are in addition to other resources like Men Can Stop Rape, Jackson Katz, and Men Stopping Violence.
Of course, Soccer Coach is interested in a greater dialogue than just against rape and sexual assault – to include men working against sexism in general, as well as ways in which the patriarchy works in our society and against men themselves.
Yet while this cup of coffee left me filled with hope… a Women’s Commission the following Monday drove home the point – this isn’t just a hopeful venture. It’s a very fucking necessary one. These groups, this enlightened and educated and aware conversations between men need to happen – and they need to happen now.
Apparently, a new anonymous twitter account appeared in recent months – one called “[my university]-d”. The “d” stands for, well, you can probably guess. The tweets? The more benign of them included things like: “If she’s wearing leopardprint, she wants the D” and “If she texts you ‘heyy…’ she wants the D” and “If she wears a mini skirt she wants the D”. You get the idea.
Please don’t tell me I have to explain why this is a serious, serious problem. Why this just plays into our narratives that women are always and constantly available to men, that anything we do can be seen as an invitation. How this perpetuates and excuses rape culture.
The thing is? There was a serious backlash towards those who spoke out against this twitter account, including of course the whole “can’t you take a joke?” contingent. The ones who would belittle and threaten and harass a woman who started a IDidntWantTheD twitter account in response, and tweeted about her own rape and sexual violence at the hands of her boyfriend.
As you can imagine, the people who drove this backlash were both men and women.
The Women’s Commission discussed this – as well as the fact that we can’t just look at singular instances. There are multiple-and-growing examples – especially within social media and the anonymity it allows. The answer isn’t just about addressing each and every person who uses this language, who perpetuates these social narratives and this rape culture, who excuse and ignore street harassment and sexual violence.
The key is enlightenment. It is education. It is awareness.
It is empowered young men and women to stand up and speak out – not only in public forums as bystanders, but also in private conversations. Who understand the difference between a goddamn joke. Who will begin to make a change.
It starts with one soccer coach who starts to educate himself. One soccer coach who reaches out to others for help, for support, for understanding. One conversation. One dialogue. One example that hits home.
One person who begins to listen, to understand – and who is willing and wants to educate someone else.
I have an excuse for being MIA the past little while. Ok, the past two weeks. I was actually on vacation. Like, a for-reals vacation. Like, no work got done. Like, went out into the wilds where the interwebs, and even cell phone service, couldn’t find me.
It was lovely. And, hence, no blogging from me.
Anyhoo. During my day-long travel back from said vacation (I’m still working on the jet-lag hangover), I made the unfortunate decision to watch The Five-Year Engagement. Now, I’m not one for rom-coms, but I thought it might be funny.
It was a little funny. Kind of. It was also looooooong. And, aside from overstaying its welcome on my personal TV screen, it got my panties in a bit of a bunch.
I knew things weren’t going well when, at an engagement party, the sister of the bride goes on about how she “doesn’t believe in the institute of marriage” but can’t really get through her speech because she’s bawling her eyes out. BECAUSE CAH-LEARLY SHE ACTUALLY ONLY CLAIMS THAT SHIT BECAUSE SHE ISN’T THE ONE GETTING MARRIED.
Wow. Obvious much? And who, really, is surprised when she hooks up with the loser BFF of the groom THAT NIGHT? And then falls in to a baby/marriage with him? I mean, shit. Even the angry chef-boss-lady who goes on about how stupid commitment is has a super-hot GF, and is therefore no longer angry, by the end of this flick (when it finally arrives).
Is there anything that pays more homage to the institute of marriage than the romantic comedy? Anything that doesn’t do more to hold up arguments against the institution of marriage, and call them false? Any vehicle we have that doesn’t try harder to make us believe the only path to real happiness is through finding The One and getting goddamn hitched?
Moreover, this one is so blatantly Marriage-Oriented, it even attempts to avoid the typical OMG We’re Soul Mates! mantra of all other chick flicks – by specifically trying to argue that marriage should Just Happen, and we don’t actually need to find The One. As the sister who-says-she-doesn’t-believe-in-the-institution-of-marriage-and-is-then-married puts so well (while pretending to be Elmo, no less):
“MAYBE it’s not about finding the best cookie. MAYBE it’s about just picking a cookie and taking a bite!”
What if you don’t like cookies? What if you want to eat lots and lots of cookies? What if you’d rather have steak?
Of course, in the end, this movie pulls a fast one – as in, they really WERE soul mates! Ha ha ha! Gotcha!
In addition to all that jiz, is it any wonder the LGBTQ+ community wants to have marriage equality? In a culture that spawns this bullshit all. the. time., is it really that hard to understand why they aren’t going to buy the whole “sorry, you can’t have marriage – but here’s a civil union!” thing? And it’s not just pop culture. From rom-coms to religion, we hold up marriage on this fucking pedestal – and then we pretend we don’t understand how degrading and painful it is to deny that to someone. We act like it’s the epitome of romantic relationships, that it IS one of THE Life Goals, and then we make it inaccessible. Is it any wonder this is a focus of LGBTQ+ advocacy?
Of course, clearly I am just sick of marriage on a pedestal, period. And don’t even get me started on how this lil movie made HER move to pursue HER career the undoing of the relationship. That, my good friends, is a whole ‘nother post.