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This fucking mess of a day.
Shit breaks – I know shit breaks. I know how to fix, replace, move on. I do this stuff. I get annoyed when it costs money, especially when money is tight. But we need a dryer, so I bought a dryer. The plan was that Will Dearest would pick it up tomorrow.
Only that’s not a great plan anymore, because I picked Will up from work today, the poor thing suddenly down with something terrible that involves vomit. Also, I am terrified of germs that cause vomiting.* Which makes me a dreadful nurse, and then a guilty wife.
Additionally, I am currently afraid of our apartment. Will is curled up in bed, and with any luck, will stop getting up to puke, and get some sleep, and then feel better. I picked up juice for him and set it on the counter. I can’t go in the bedroom. I am worried that if I take a shower, that the steam will turn the bathroom into a giant petri dish. I keep my toothbrush in there, yo. Is it safe to touch the cat that’s been sleeping with him?
So I fled the house to get him some juice. Also the cupboards were bare with after-holiday and all. So groceries – Man Cub and I had at it. And the grocery store was bizarre. They had almost none of the things that we usually get – the whole list had to be refurbed. I’m not sure what ended up in the cart, to be honest, except for the corned beef. I know about the corned beef, because I cannot stop thinking about it. I would not have bought the corned beef if there had been any chicken. And I’ve been wanting corned beef for, like, weeks, but haven’t been able to justify it until now. I cannot wait for WIll to feel better so we can eat corned beef.**
As we pulled into the driveway, Will texted simply this: We’re out of oil.
Lately there’s been a spate of crap on my facebook feed of judgement, specifically the type regarding what people look like, or how they dress, or what they eat. A lot of it is of the high and mighty variety – commentary on Michelle Obama’s behind, or what dress Gabourey Sidibe should or shouldn’t have worn on the red carpet (and how she’s obviously going to die young, because omg, deathfatz), or coupons leading to even more omg, deathfatz because dontcha know, people who use coupons don’t know how to eat good food. Or the latest, straight up shit talking about Harnaam Kaur’s choice to rock a beard instead of conforming to homogenized standards of beauty, complete with assumptions about her religion and medical status.
And it just irritates the shit out of me. First and foremost because it assumes that anyone who has a little padding or some extra hair is inherently stupid. Secondly, because, holy shit, why is it your business in the first place? Why so judgmental, buddy – got nothing going on by you of interest to talk about?
And I could let it roll off, all duck’s back and water, sure, but the fact is, this shit is personal, hello.
Point in fact, I’m a fat and kinda hairy lady, myself. At 4′ 10″, I’ve been around 167 pounds pretty much all of my post-teen years. I was 190 when I was pregnant, and then around 130 twice, for a hot fifteen minutes apiece. This body involves years and years of fat shame from doctors and strangers, as well as occasional, “concern,” from members of my family,* and, if I may speak frankly, sister, I don’t need that crap from my friends.**
I walk around in this body – do you know that? I look after its stray hairs and lumpy bits, and feed it and bathe it, and exercise it. It’s mine, and I’m in it, and I take it to the yoga mat, and I drag it to doctor’s appointments where it gets weighed and tsk tsked over sometimes, just like Michelle Obama and Gabourey Sidibe, and everyone else. I have two options in this world with this body: 1) I can be ashamed of it and hide it away at home, or 2) I can walk out into the sun and have a life.
Let me tell you a story:
I sat down to write about this dreadful commercial I saw the other night, only to find, upon researching it more, that it has been pulled. Hooray! But the more I think about it this morning, the more I think that just because it’s been pulled and so swept under the rug, the more it needs to be talked about, actually.
Let me check my privilege before I begin here: My mother was a second wave feminist, and she instilled in me some Values. I was in the right place at the right time to be part of the Riot Grrrl movement.* A good eighty percent of the men I deal with are really great people who just, well… get it. The other twenty percent of these guys, the ones who want to take my agency, the guy who pulled the exceptionalism stunt on me in my pigtails at Trader Joe’s last year, I feel empowered enough to deal with them on my own. And I’m privileged enough not to run into the really scary ones that often.** Big. Privilege. Ok, recognized, stated, spoken, there it is: context.
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about gender, ever since spending the week at Kripalu, engaged in Sisterhood, because this was a different kind of gooey center – I tend to ruminate upon gender in terms of the personal-as-political more than anything else. Men are a very important part of my life, and it helps that I live with two really great men (ok, one of them, at thirteen, is really still a cub – he still has the goofy paws and the learning curve thing happening) who value me as I am – we have a huge amount of mutual respect, a metric fuckload of love, and a really great division of labour (for the record, Will Dearest has changed a few diapers in his time). Which is to say, I am blessed with a home that is a safe place and sanctuary.
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In our meetings we will…
Come prepared • Assume positive intent • Honor time • Speak our truth
Listen attentively • Be mutually respectful • Step up and step back
That was the message on the agenda at the meeting I went to yesterday about MA school testing. It was placed just below the names of the facilitators, just above the list of meeting expectations. Not in huge print, but smallish, in italic script – not blaring, but noticeable. A firm, gentle reminder about the etiquette for the meeting. Beautiful.
I want to see that everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. I want to see it over the school doors. Carved into the sides of buildings. Taped to stop signs. Painted on vacant storefront windows downtown. All over the place.
Also, I want a stack of business cards to hand out that simply say, “Go forth in dignity and kindness.” But Will thinks I might get punched out trying to give them to people. Or that they might confuse dignity with indignation x.x
So this meeting last night. It was a determination meeting in regard to a proposal that MCAS testing be used as a tool to evaluate teachers. MCAS is standardized student testing in this state, and it’s high-stakes. If students don’t pass it, they ultimately don’t graduate.*
Usually I am not that much of a scamp. Rarely am I any good at being funny on purpose. I am, tho’ pretty playful,* and sometimes the moment just takes me.
On the way to Atremedes in Blackwing last night, we wiped on the trash around the ledge** – specifically the monster with the pair of corehounds that stun and silence. The second wipe took a little longer…
Full disclosure – I’m having a hard time being careful with this post. It’s a subject about which I have a deep passion, for one thing. For another thing, I’m about up to my eyeballs lately in irritating people, and it’s starting to wear. I tried last night to broach the topic gently and failed, so logged off before I went from sassy to rude, and I may or may not owe an apology to someone for that sassiness – I feel like a bit of a jerk, in all honesty; I was less compassionate than I was statement-making, and it’s bugging me. So I’m going to see if I can work this out here in writing.
Dear Rogue who chatted: “People are retarded,” last night;
Yes, Virginia, it’s true. Some people do have mental retardation (MR).* Lots of people. Unlikely, tho’, is the possibility that the hunter in your group who misdirected to you is one of those people. There’s a good chance he made a mistake. Also an outside chance that you just pissed him off.
Know what makes me bizarre on a regular basis? People who do not understand that being patriotic, that being American, in the US does not mean being a Christian. Especially when the people who spout that divisionist garbage are running for office.
Look at the dangerous clown in this video below – skip to 0:48 for her asking, “Where in the Constitution is separation of Church and State?” and then check out the last fifteen seconds of the clip, where she natters on in disbelief that it’s (ZOMG!) right there in the First Amendment. This is the Tea Party’s finest, my friends. If she gets into office, it’s balloon animals for everyone!*
Oh, Mumble. Oh, Trend Micro.
At least Trend Micro will tell me its issues – it comes and complains, albeit in a fairly unspecific manner (see the title for this entry). Mumble just gives me the cold shoulder and freezes up. What’s most aggravating about Mumble is that there was one time that it did work – and that one time, I really liked it!
Blargh. Ok – back to waiting on Trend Micro customer support and disinstalling/reinstalling Mumble. Please send Good Thoughts.
I just noticed the use of “retarded” on the link page. Color me Deeply Pissed Off that Oatmeal, whom I generally adore, went unthinkingly with ableist language. There were totally better ways to say it.
“Why so pissy, Apple?” you may ask.
Because privilege is freaking sneaky. For a really great post on what privilege is all about, go have a look at John Scalzi’s blog from yesterday. Go have a look – it’s good stuff.