Archive for March, 2013

05 Mar 2013

Listen to me Complain

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I just spent a full fucking hour of my day on the phone will creditors. Medical creditors. One bill had already been paid, one needed to be paid over the phone with my credit card, (I was on hold for 17 minutes), and one had tried to go through my insurance but said my insurance was unavailable at the time of service, which it most certainly was NOT. When I called to figure this out I listened to horrible, loud, muzac for a full eight minutes while being told to press 3 if I wanted the voicemail, but otherwise to stay on the line. At minute 8 I was transferred to voicemail ANYWAY, where I left my name, account number, phone number, and death threats.

Then I think “There before the grace of God…” when I realize if GOD FORBID someone in the house was really ill… Not only would it be devastating, but the amount of paperwork that would have to get done, and the money that would be flying out the window. Then I realize how lucky I am. Then I get back to the following complaining:

I wonder how we’re supposed to get any real shit done with our days when half of our days are filled up with shit that should be done by the person whose job it is to do it!! I mean, can’t you just take the extra second to check my insurance? Or take a minute to call me and see why my insurance is saying it’s not mine anymore?

Why, for instance, do I have to gather every pay check I get through my union every year, tally it all up, and tell that union how much money I made??? They want to “make sure I’m getting my pension credits”, but aren’t they paying people to check records?

And if Target charges me a late fee when my check to them was ON TIME, should I really have to spend 13 minutes on the phone convincing them to drop the $25.00 late fee??? (Okay, it was 24 HOURS late. Seriously. And that has never happened before. It was a holiday week. They shouldn’t have charged me.)

I have enough trouble figuring out what I’m going to cook, defrost, or order for dinner, how I’m going to make my husband feel appreciated, and if I’m going to be able to muster the patience to play one more (imaginative) game of “follow the pirate map around the house” with my (adorable) son WITHOUT all the extra work I have to do during the day because other people aren’t doing their jobs right.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to gather my son’s t-ball gear, a snack, and head out to CVS where I’m hoping they sell flasks that look like iPhones. And don’t worry, I’ll just fill mine with chai tea. I’m one of those moms who wishes she was a heavy drinker, but isn’t. I should probably start now, though. Maybe I’ll realize I just need to calm the hell down a bit.

P.S. I really do enjoy following the pirate map. I’m just tired from all the bullshit phone calls.

04 Mar 2013

How Lena Dunham Makes Me Feel

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I’ve been thinking a whole lot lately about Lena Dunham’s show, “Girls”. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about Lena Dunham and all the nudity.

I know a lot has been written about it, and I think I’ve been spending this time ruminating and deciding how I feel about all the hubbub.

First, I should say that I have watched, and will most likely continue to watch, every episode. When the show first began I was completely enamored, and beyond excited to see a show about, well… Girls. I loved the writing and the dynamics of the characters. I instantly loved Lena as Hannah, and all she represented.

As the show has gone on, I have become less enamored, but no less excited to watch. I still feel there are moments of, if not brilliance, then at least pure relatability, in each episode. There are times I rewind, just to hear a line again, or see an expression. I am in awe of Lena’s early success, her amazing drive, and the fact that she clearly has no fear of “putting it all out there”.

Which brings me to the nudity. Or, partial nudity. Or, wait… Is constant partial nudity just complete nudity? Either way, I want to talk about it.

I think I get what Lena Dunham is doing. And I might be COMPLETELY wrong here. But this is my take. Or maybe I should say, “This is how what Lena Dunham is doing, by showing her body so frequently, has affected me.”

Lena is 26-years-old, and according to everything the media tells us, she is not in “perfect shape”. She is a tad on the pudgy side, clearly not into lifting weights, and seems against plastic surgery to enhance her breasts or suck fat out of her thighs. I know these things because I see her entire body weekly on my television.

At first, I was offended. WHY do I want to see this girl naked?? Then I became bored. Oh, there’s Lena, naked again. Then a lightbulb went off. OH MY GOD, I thought to myself, LENA DUNHAM WANTS US TO KNOW THAT IT’S OKAY TO LOVE YOURSELF!!

Again, I might be reading too much into this. Lena might just like being naked on camera. But I really think her nudity comes with a message. And to me, that message is that we, as women, are not the sum of our body parts. What matters is what our bodies are housing: Our brains, our hearts, our creativity, our passions, our desires, our kindness, our strength. We have little to no control over our bodies, so why should they be what defines us? When I die, will the mourners woefully touch my casket and say, “She looked great in 2011, when she got down to 123 pounds.”?

The point is this: If I had one THIRD of the confidence in myself at 26 that Lena does, I might have been as successful as she is. At the very least, I would have wasted SO MUCH less time complaining about my body. Which, I will say (after years of therapy and a ton of 20/20 hindsight), was pretty fucking spectacular.

Had I had just a scrap of Lena’s “my body does not define me” attitude… Oh the places I could have gone. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe Lena’s body does define her. Maybe it defines her as a lovely, adorable, perfect woman who is absolutely fine just the way she is. THAT is the point. Why should a woman only be defined by long legs, a flat stomach, perfect breasts, and a perky ass? Few women posses these qualities. Most have short torsos, or torsos that are too long, saggy knees, chunky ankles, one breast bigger than the other, and dimpled skin. And maybe those ARE the things that should define us, at least physically. WE are okay, just the way we are. And it breaks my heart, truly shreds it to pieces, that I am fortyfuckingone years old, and I am just now grasping this. What a waste of years.

Lena scares us, as a society. She’s throwing herself in our faces and saying, “I am enough.” How dare she.

Thanks, Lena. I mean it when I say you might be the reason my feelings about myself are changing. Even if you didn’t have any message to begin with… I got it loud and clear.

01 Mar 2013

Romance

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The definition of romance has changed for me over the years.

As a little girl, it was seeing my father bringing flowers home for my mom, or giving her a jewel-encrusted bracelet on Valentine’s Day. It was the image of a prince on horseback, rescuing a princess from her sleeping prison.

As a middle-schooler, romance was a Journey song that I quietly wept to in the back of my parents’ car, thinking about the boy I had a crush on.

In high-school, romance was a secret kiss at a friend’s party, or a boy I liked telling me I looked “hotter than I usually did”. And it was still a Journey song I wept quietly to.

As I got older and relationships got more serious, I defined romance as something surprising, like a gift I wasn’t expecting or a note under my pillow. It was a special dinner out, or a candlelit dinner in. It was flowery words and passionate sex. ┬áIt was youth and fun and… Journey.

I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, and in April we will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We’ve never been big on celebrating Valentine’s day or exchanging opulent gifts. We don’t tend to go out for many fancy meals, and we’re not really the “carriage through the park” people.

But yesterday, my husband took me in his arms and hugged me with all his strength. He thanked me for being his partner and for going through this life with him. And I am telling you, with all my heart, that that was the most romantic moment I have ever had. And Journey wasn’t even playing.

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