embarrassment

i love enrique vasquez, wish i coulda seen him as angel

i love enrique vasquez, wish i coulda seen him as angel

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a really hard time dealing with embarrassment.  Sometimes I think I handle my own better than other people’s.  This causes problems for me when I’m watching movies.  I can’t take a lot of scary movies – but normally, I can watch them if I put the movie on mute.  I do this with embarrassment, too.

So this evening, I’m watching He’s Just Not That Into You.  This movie is almost hurting me.  It starts off with a tiny homage to the book [which didn’t totally suck] basically saying that dudes that don’t call, aren’t interested.  It’s true that culturally [that would be USAmerican culture], women are taught to obssess, to build up all the nothings into something.  But the foolishness in this movie?  Unbelievable.

I spent about half of this movie completely uncomfortable.  On mute.

It’s just disappointing…when you chuckle twice in a ~2hr movie.  And when a movie that’s (marginally) aimed at your demographic spends more time making you uncomfortable than making you laugh, or identifying with the characters….oooh wee.  Best part of the movie?  Getting to see Wilson Cruz again.  He doesn’t get enough work.  I hate that I missed him in Rent.

I just can’t stand watching women being portrayed as stupid and desperate over and over.   I had higher expectations.  Not really high.  But higher.

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abuse accepted: Grey’s [trigger warning]

turtleneck

turtlenecks hide a lot

I’ve never seen this excuse [on tv] before: dude’s been to war, and sleep-strangles his gf.  Miraculously she gets away.  Hides in the bathroom.  And then busts out, and hugs him – tells him it’s ok.

When this is real life:
Four Army wives

SO…I understand PTSD.  Folks who are affected need help.  And love.  But they don’t need access to their beloved’s necks during freaky flashback episodes.

When a woman lies in bed with a man, and she’s afraid to fall asleep – it’s time to go.

weird dudes

For some reason, I have had my fair share of ‘weird dude experiences’ (WDE).  In fact, I’m sure if you get a group of women in their 20s and 30s together, you could have a little festival to celebrate surviving multiple WDE.

When I was a young teenager I ran into a lot of the ‘psst’ guys.  Mostly kinda old [20s or older, sometimes MUCH older], sometimes grody-lookin’ dudes who decided that the best method of getting my attention was doing a stage whispered ‘PSST!’ repeatedly, until I looked their way.  The first time this happened to me, naive as I was, I thought there was actually something the dude wanted to tell me.  Like – information or something.

I learned.

And it only took one time for me to begin to completely ignore these weirdos.  Completely ignore in the way of being completely aware of them and their spatial relationship with me at all times until we are no longer in any real proximity, but not actually making any eye contact or speaking.  Not out of fear so much, as just uncomfortable-ness.  I actually tend not to be afraid, sometimes when [in retrospect] perhaps I should have been.

My dad tells me that guys do this because it works.  That’s actually kind of upsetting, if it’s true.

Then, there are other dudes.  Random weird dudes that approach you because – why?  I’m not entirely sure.  Maybe I’m not having enough fun and he’s just the man for me – that could be it, every once in a while I get some old dude hollering at me about how I should have a smile on my face.  That is freakin’ annoying.  That’s happened to me ever since I was a kid, and I don’t really understand it.  Yeah yeah yeah, we all learned that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile – but I had to actually sit my dad down and talk to him about that: “It still takes some muscles to smile.  Why can’t I just not have an expression, sometimes?”

Not to mention the fact that sometimes I am not in the mood to smile, and I believe I have that right.

but I digress.

Weird dudes approach – in any locale – and sometimes get as far as asking for my number.  Now, when there’s forethought, sometimes I can tell a good lie.  ‘Good’ in that it’s believable and delivered well.  But most of the time, in the midst of a WDE, I’m uncomfortable and maybe a little flustered – this is a combination that often leads to the straight up truth.  I think I’ve ended up giving out my real number twice, cuz of that.  Both times were big mistakes, but at least they didn’t turn out to be crazy maniac killers.

Thank God.

My biggest problem was that I didn’t have callerID or screen (w/my answering machine, as I do now) at the time, and every time the phone rang it was a nightmare.

But apparently a poor girl named Olga has won this year’s award for top WDE. (via Shakesville)

(transcript)

That WDE would freak the crap outta me.

tumultuous times

The rain is pouring down outside, after about an hour of flashing and flickering lightning.  What a great night to be inside.  Except, I left work because the sun set – not because my work was done.  And I left people there.  So I feel bad.  But I am still incredibly grateful for the Sabbath.  If you don’t actually have a day of rest, I’m sorry.  God knew what He was doing.  We need that day.  The whole day.

I’ve worked 12 hour days since Tuesday.  Which I haven’t done since my last job. (’05)  So I was definitely ready for the break.  But since stuff still wasn’t going right when I left, I’m considering what I should do (if anything) for my boss and coworker that I left behind.  Granted, my boss has been a hellion for the last two weeks, and she’s part of the reason that we were in this pickle, but she finally started acting human again this afternoon.  A couple of days this week, I thought I just needed to quit.  That might still be the case, but right now, I don’t feel the urgency that I did yesterday or the …five days before.  Anyway, I have mixed feeling about leaving her there.  More about leaving my coworker.  Tough situation.  But it really wasn’t necessary for me to stay, either.

But apparently, I’m not the only one who’s been going through.  One of the links on my blogroll doesn’t work because of some crazy stuff [read: total concept/idea/content appropriation sans credit].  Then there was this whole other thing with some publishers and some WOC.  woo.  Why’s it gotta be feminists fighting?

My dad is a feminist.  But he’s also still a good deal sexist.  I deal.  He’s my dad.  He’s actually very progressive for his age and upbringing.  He had good goals in raising my sister and I… I’m proud of him.  But he still says some sexist stuff.

His response to my ranting about my boss and her bizarre behavior?

“It’s a shame that she’s acting this way,  now people have a perfect example to point to and say -‘see? women don’t work as managers.  They’re too emotional.’ “

Now, on the face of it, this sounds supportive.  But when you know (like I do) that every time I bring up anything negative about my boss, this is what he says.  If there’s a better marker for showing that his first thought tends toward the stereotype of female bosses being emotional, tell me about it.  But, on the real, he’s a really awesome dad.

/digression

Anyway, this [the femblog blow-up] is one of those situations that I would describe to my dad, and he’d say something to the effect of

“It’s a shame they’re acting like that.  All that fighting and arguing.  Now people just have another example to point to and say ‘see?  Women could never rule the world (much less the country) – they’re too emotional.  You know – all those hormones.’ “

So what’s up ladies?  Are we seriously going to give people the exact ammunition they’re (literally) preaching about?  Not to say that those people who have been wronged should not be livid – they should.  But the cattiness [for lack of a better term] that has come with the backlash against valid righteous indignation?  Why?  Are we not all grown-@ss women?

I am thoroughly and completely beat.  My blinks keep getting longer and longer.  So goodnight and grow up.  I’m gonna go get some Sabbath rest.

satisfaction & learning about myself

The things that I expect from my life are influenced by how I grew up. We all know this, but sometimes, it takes a little perspective to see how much our upbringing really affects us. That was what part of my wknd was about. I went to go see some friends this weekend, and we hung out and had a good time. We’re all Adventists, so we all have that common background, but no two people are ever raised exactly alike – even in the same family, so the diversity in viewpoints is to be expected. I was raised to be fully independent as an adult – interdependent enough to appreciate having friends, etc. but not to be looking for a mate to support me the rest of my life. I internalized those values and they’re a part of me.

One of my friends was raised to be able to take care of herself if necessary…but there was the understanding that it probably wouldn’t be necessary. She maintains a fairly good balance in her life with her husband – they make decisions together and are a pretty awesome couple, actually. Another one of my friends was raised to become a career woman, but her dreams were to be a wife and mother. And she’s living the dream. She wants nothing more, as far as I can tell, and she seems truly happy.

I got to know another girl a little better this weekend. And in observing her husband, learned a little about myself. She and her husband met in college, and got married, while still in school. He got a degree in chemistry or general science [I’m not entirely sure which, as different people kept giving me different info], and she got a degree in…math, I believe. Well, having a degree in chemistry myself, and realizing that it’s kinda rare for me to meet people [outside of work] in my field, I tried to talk with this guy.

That didn’t work.

Now, just so you know, I didn’t start off with, “hey – I’m a chemist, too! Wanna talk about bond angles and SN2 reactions?” I actually didn’t get to start a conversation with him. I happened to have a small part in some discussion that a bunch of us were involved in, but once I got involved, he shut down. I can’t remember the exact topic – it was somewhat analytical, but not about science. Continue reading

‘lipstick jungle’ and NBC

Looks like NBC’s got a thing for women right about now. NBC and MSNBC. The network jumped on the ‘Sex and the City’ rehash train with an actual Candace Bushnell follow-up: Lipstick Jungle. The news network…well, they’ve got Chris Matthews and David Shuster. What else can I say? They’ve apparently got women on the brain as well. [The only two that seem to matter to them right now share the same last name, but I digress]

What I’m really talking about here isn’t just NBC and Lipstick Jungle (or ABC and Cashmere Mafia, for that matter) – it’s the general trend of putting forth high-achieving women as hopelessly conflicted semi-basket cases. Most of the time, if they have achieved a high-enough level, their husbands are dealing with male implosion and they’re still dealing with the responsibility for most of the home life [whether it’s actually hands-on or managing the nanny and the maid]. They still hafta stroke the guy’s ego, and deal with some simpering in that department – but then if things don’t go well at home/office/in the public eye – they take a private moment to cry.

The stereotypical ‘claw-her-way-to-the-top-by-any-means-necessary-b*tch’ will do the strong, silent cry: a few tears roll down the cheeks and are immediately wiped away, with furtive glances [even though she’s alone]. The ‘sensitive-but-still-in-charge-woman’ [read: the wimp] gets to boo-hoo it up in front of her girlfriends for some good old-fashioned hugs and ice cream. And inevitably, there’s at least one who is totally into being a strong, independent [never actually say the word feminist – but then none of these women do] woman, and is completely swept off of her feet by a guy that’s even more successful than she is. (Note: He won’t actually stay with her, because he’ll realize she’s too attached to her job/life/individuality/independence and at the end of the day he wants someone who can stand by his side and wave – OR he’ll leave cuz it’s just a glorified booty-call, he was in it for the chase, and she’s actually decided she could work from home just so she can be near him 25hrs of the day.)

It’s a recipe that seems to be working [at least as long as the strike has been on – we’ll see how things go now that the WGA is patching things back up.]

What’s up with this? Is this really the way successful women are? [I mean the super-successful ones that are worthy of having tv shows made about them – not the regular successful ones who make up the rest of America’s female population.] Ever notice that when they’ve made it to the pinnacle of success, their morals get spotty and there tends to be a fair amount of hanky-panky goin’ on? Maybe that’s following a male example/stereotype based on access, maybe not. But really, maybe it’s me that’s out of touch. I don’t actually know any CEOs – male or female – so, maybe that’s what it really is like.

Somehow, though, it seems to me like these shows are trying to impress on us the message that Concerned Women for America [and others like them] are trying to get out: feminism sold us a bill of goods, and all we really wanted was a husband and some kids, anyway. If we go out there and work, and get all ambitious, how will we ever get a man???

MSNBC.com has the answer, and it’s from a woman. Lori Gottlieb knows us. She’s a woman. So of course, she does. And her solution? Settle. [h/t Shakesville] Stop all the posturing ladies – you know you want a man. And you know why, too, right? So, you can have bee-yoo-tee-ful babies together. As many as possible. All that corporate-ladder climbing is for the birds. Or rather, for the men. But, you know, since you already have a job and everything, and most families in America can’t really afford for an adult in the house to not work…just find some guy you think you can live with. Who’ll take the kids for a moment or two every week, so you can catch some down time. You know – someone who can open the pickle jar. [Yeah, I watched the ‘matchmaker Oprah’ – and while I agreed that you shouldn’t approach a date like an interview, or come in looking like a slob, or one-up everything a dude says…why do I still need to sublimate the successful parts of myself to be with someone? Oh that’s right – cuz ‘men still need to feel like men’.]

So, while I was a little interested in Brooke Shields’ return to the small-screen, and the fact that another Candace Bushnell book was being adapted for tv, I don’t know how many more of these I’ll be watching. I happen to really be into Lucy Liu’s hair on Cashmere Mafia

lucy-lius-hair.png

but I can’t seem to get into the show otherwise, and it seems of the same ilk, basically. All mega-successful women trying to deal with how everyone else has a problem with them because they’re mega-successful women. Guess it’s progress, though. Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe didn’t really have much in the way of jobs…although they did have incredible apartments. [magic of television]

So I’ll end with a positive: go here, pick a woman, and support her.

the ghost in the kitchen

Last night I was up late writing what has since been misinterpreted as a semi-explanation of How Black People Think in a comment at Spectrum, with the wind whipping around my house. All of a sudden, the door to my garage creaks open, and the motion-sensor light in the kitchen turns on. ::cue Twilight Zone theme::

I froze on my couch for about 30sec – but there was no human besides me in the house. So I closed the door, and figured it probably opened due to some kind of pressure change [or something] because of all the wind. [what’s weird is that just as I was writing this, something fell or dropped in the kitchen. but the light didn’t come on – and when I went to look – I didn’t see anything out of place.] I don’t actually believe in ghosts – the freezing on the couch was cuz I couldn’t remember for a split second if I’d closed my garage door. If it’d actually been somebody walking in…woo! Freakout.

All this on top of the very special Oprah all about FEAR [didn’t you know it was your secret weapon?] that aired yesterday. I hate being afraid. And it’s actually pretty rare that I am. I don’t put myself in bad situations frequently, and I simply refuse to believe that a woman outside after dark is a recipe for disaster. I have no qualms [besides a bit of laziness, esp. if I’m already comfortable] with going out at night to do some shopping/visit friends/whatever. But I know women [around my age] who don’t leave their houses after dark, have security alarms and dogs and more.

Oprah’s show was about how listening to your intuition can help save your life. An example was given about how sometimes women will get on an elevator with someone they have a bad feeling about/scares them because they don’t want to offend the person on the elevator. [anyone else reading between those lines?] I don’t want to contradict the basic premise that listening to your intuition is a good idea – cuz I actually agree with that. But you might wanna spend some of your downtime analyzing whether or not there’s a pattern to the ‘bad feelings’ you get.

This all reminds me of an article that was in B*tch a couple months ago (wow, it was actually last summer). The same woman I know who doesn’t go out after dark is prone to send me those fear-mongering emails. You know the ones – they usually say something like “send this to your wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers and daughters all the women in your life” and then proceed to tell some story about how a woman was out at night, or doing something completely normal by herself – like shop in the daytime – and she was accosted/assaulted/saved-in-the-nick-of-time by a man. It boggles my mind how people can cognitively know that snopes.com exists, yet send out unsubstantiated drivel to overfill my e-mailbox on such a constant basis. And *believe* that you should never smell a perfume sample cuz they might try to drug you, that every time you go to a gas station at night you better check your backseat for serial killers, etc.

What’s up with the fear always being the tool for the woman? And how come it’s so acceptable to heap fear on women? same ol’, same ol’, huh.