Monday, July 30, 2012

i'm not a unicorn

this post is about the chimera of chivalry. and it's going to be all over the place...

i went to the Walmarts tonight because i was long overdue to buy a lawnmower. i hated doing it but i couldn't find a decent lawn service and i was over borrowing lawn mowers and Sears didn't have the one i wanted and Home Depot was confusing ... etc etc. (enthralling, right.) anydamnway, i paid for a lawnmower online and went to pick it up. they had it ready; a ginormous box balancing on a tiny shopping cart: "here you go."

i guess i had been staring for some time at the teetering box because the sales rep finally interrupted my musing of possible catastrophic events that would ensue getting the box to my car, let alone home. you know, the box falling off the cart, parts shattering everywhere, a blade taking my right leg off, regretting not buying the extra Protection Plan.

"does that look like the right one?" Chotchie asked.

"yeah. heh. i mean, now if i can just get it home and figure out how to put it together," i answered. really? these things don't come assembled?

"ah, i bet it's not that hard." thanks for the encouragement, Chotchie.

i managed to get the damn thing to my car, in my car, and i managed to get the beast home. i even managed to put it together. the technical writing in the owner's manual was ridiculous but i carefully put the correct oil in, filled it with gas, i choked and throttled, and i mowed the lawn. but i did some thinking as i mowed and i got really annoyed.

what in THE hell is wrong with people? okay, i was wearing a wife beater and cut off jean shorts. and yes i did have dirt all over myself from gardening. i didn't look my best; i'm actually a little embarrassed by my hair situation even for Walmarts, but what in the fuck? i am 110 lbs. and i am a lady. and even if i was 310 lbs. or a lady with a mustache, at least give me the "respect your elder" card.

the way i was taught, this is how it should have gone down:

"here you are. let me get someone to help you out to your car with this. in fact, if you'll pull your car around back, we can load it right away" Chotchie would say.

"oh, why thank you! i was wondering how i was going to roll it out of the store. i sure hope i can figure out how to put it together," i would reply.

Chotchie would look appalled and exclaim, "why, a sweet little lady like you shouldn't put a lawnmower together, let alone lift it alone! you make your husband do it. or, i'd be happy to assemble it for you right here if you'd like?"

i realize it's not the Ritz Carlton but come on.

this issue whole issue of how men view women has been surfacing a lot lately. and it's not necessarily about chivalry, it's about common courtesy, respect, innate goodness. here are two more examples.

boardroom at my office for company-wide meeting: 25 chairs. 18 filled by men (most under 27) and 7 by women. and at least 10 women standing up or sitting on THE FLOOR. (this had happened before at a pizza party where i sat on the floor in a skirt and was a little taken aback.) this time, i sent my boss a text: "18 guys in chairs out of 25. disgusting." of course he didn't respond and i'm sure he hates me now for being such a "feminist." but then again, he was one of the men sitting down.

second example: talking to some guys about the issue. can't remember how it came up. something about opening doors for women. and i open doors for men. i don't really feel strongly about it. i also would offer my seat on a bus, in a crowded room, in the park for someone older than me, male or female. anyway, one of the guys said, "listen, you can't have it both ways. you can't have your independence and all these rights AND be treated like that. you have to pick one." i asked him what he meant by independence and all "these rights". he said "things like, being paid the same as men, holding top positions in companies, having someone take care of you..." i burst out laughing. i found this interesting because last time i checked women DON'T and NEVER HAVE been paid as much as men for the same positions; we don't hold nearly as many executive roles; we aren't taken seriously nor are we respected; and i pay all my bills, support both my daughters alone, do all the yard work, change the oil in my car, cook, clean, AND put together a freaking lawn mower. i don't bitch about not having a door opened or a guy expecting me to pay for a dinner he invited me to, and i STILL don't get a motherloving seat in the boardroom. (is it contradictory to say that i didn't really want one nor would have i accepted one, i just wanted it to be offered? to other ladies even?)

i thought about my grandpa. he taught me about hard work. he taught me how to farm, get up early, take care of myself, and work my ass off. but he also taught me how a lady should be treated. he treated my grandma like a queen. she was a hard worker, but every dinner she cooked, every contribution she offered the house, every bed she washed and made, was appreciated. and she never paid for a meal, opened her door, or was insulted without my grandpa knocking someone out.

i don't know the answer. i don't know if i just live in the wrong place ... maybe the wrong era? and i know there are good guys out there. but it seems like we are getting farther and farther away from the beauty of what makes men good and women gentle. it makes me sad. while i put my lawnmower together, i just knew my grandpa was whispering, you're tough, you deserve better but you are happy, be lucky you can do it alone. i love you.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Five Things I Need

1. Love letters with just the right amount of sentiment.

2. Kisses with no ulterior motive or simultaneous boob grab.

3. Alone time.

4. Someone who appreciates me instead of competing with me.

5. To be treated like a lady; doors opened, compliments; dates; occasional flowers; thoughtful gifts; protection.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

big ideas

big ideas? i have them.
i'm full of them.
one big burst that carries me for a couple of days (maybe weeks) and then ...
no follow through.
some might say it's a flaw but i am more inclined to say it's a beautiful childlike quality that i refuse to let go of.
one day, all the scribbled notes, stacks of books, papers, drawings, scraps, and pictures will come together.
it's just not my time yet.
we're still in the swell season.

if the irony isn't too much, wait for it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


during my junior year in high school my journal was stolen by some boys from the next city over. it was passed around their high school and eventually returned to me. i didn't notice it had been taken until i got it back; according to my calculations they had it for two solid weeks. two weeks taking turns reading about my life from 6th grade to 11th. and since i hung out with them so much, there were very specific details about some of them. and even more details about my friends and family. all high school girls write about drama, boys, suicide, making out to Journey, annoying friends, and insecurities ... right? all of them? their deepest darkest innermost secrets ...

it made me embarrassed. it made me kinda sick. i thought they were horrible to take such a personal thing from a "friend". but i didn't make a big deal out of it and it didn't really change the course of my life. looking back, i am actually surprised how little i cared.

so maybe that explains why i don't feel too exposed writing about myself in a blog. what could be worse? if my fragile, insecure teen self can handle it, and people want to read it ... it's not like i'm going to be running for president any time soon. plus all the juicy stuff is hidden in obscure blogs behind a pen name.

jk. lol. hi. hop in.

when i stop writing, i stop processing. the words just rattle around in my head. writing is therapy for me and if no one ever read or commented on this blog, i'd continue to do it. it's my journal. and millions of others'. recently i have been struggling to write simple copy at work; even one sentence to let customers know a product is out of stock has become a tedious, ten minute process. we're sorry, we regret to inform, due to the high demand, due to the great success, important product update ... every word is over analyzed and it is forced and dry. there is no flow to it. and now the same can be said for my personal ramblings. when you stop doing something, it eventually falls further out of reach.

however if all those thoughts, epiphanies, lessons, and ideas are forced to cycle through my brain without being compartmentalized and jotted down, they get stuck, grow stale, and begin attaching themselves to the inside of my skull. and then i just disconnect.

the same thing happens when we have a catastrophe in our lives, when someone we love passes away, or our hearts are broken. in a few months time, it doesn't seem like it's that bad (it can't get any worse); it doesn't hurt as much (it just hurts); we don't miss them every second (maybe it's every five).  and then after a few more months, the details get cloudy and time becomes a big garbage disposal. instead of piecing it back together or untangling the rat's nest, there are those times in life to just start over.

what i'm trying to say is i am not going to be too hard on myself because i can't piece together any meaningful posts. i have to clean out the cobwebs to get to the good stuff.

oh yeah, i picked up hitchhikers for the first time in my life last week. it wasn't too bad.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

five months, fourth of july & fires

five months.

five months without so much as one word on my neglected little blog.

'tis not for lack of ambition. not for lack of profound thoughts. not for lack of dysfunctional episodes that would be debilitating if they weren't comical. no, there is plenty of material -- more than ever.

it took me being inspired by a captivating, guileless writer (who, incidentally, has a new tattoo that is the first i've ever wanted an exact replica of on my body) to decide to blog my heart out.

so you can look forward to a thrilling post about the fact that i have NOT seen Magic Mike yet; i will elaborately mourn the recent death of Matlock; you can most likely expect a blistering rant about my (former) favorite NBA player Steve Nash disgracing his name, legacy, family, and fans by signing with the Lakers; and i might even throw in an essay about why i feel so blasé and discouraged about the current state of affairs in our country.

all nail biting commentary, without question.

that's it. actually, it's not. just one more thing ....

i would like to publicly express my appreciation to all the firefighters combating the numerous wildfires throughout the West, especially in Utah. these brave men and women are working around the clock, sacrificing their lives, to protect our homes and communities. my thoughts and prayers are with you as well as others who have been affected. i don't know, and i am guilty as well, if we truly understand how hard firefighters are physically working for us.


so why so many fires anyway? what gives?

according to a local news source, officials believe that over 21 wildfires in Utah have been started by gun use. ooooh, of course, people shooting their guns on a lazy afternoon for lack of anything better to do.

so here it is, from me to those of you who live in utah (the 6th safest state in the US) who continue shooting your guns like renegades:
yes, you have the right to bear arms. i have no problem with you exercising your second amendment right. HOWEVER, when you are firing your gun for no real reason in a non-designated shooting area; when you are recklessly disregarding the safety protocol and rules you agreed to when you received your license; when you or your buddy thinks that you don't need to follow the rules or go to the gun range to shoot; or maybe when you hear on the news that gun use is causing MOST of the devastating wildfires in our state ... STOP. stop shooting your gun and being a ignorant jerk.

careless gun use IS endangering people, killing wildlife, destroying public lands, damaging homes and property, and forcing families to evacuate their homes. isn't it simple? just stop shooting your gun unless it's a matter of life and death. i was appalled to read that gun rights activists, upon hearing reports that gun use had caused at least 21 utah fires, defended their rights instead of working towards a solution or showing any compassion for those in danger. clark aposhian, chairman of the utah sports shooting council, immediately rallied to make sure legislators wouldn't ban guns or ammunition ... um, how about your rally to educate the mindless idiots causing the problem or to help those who have no place to live thanks to your edacity.  REALLY?

let me throw this out there: let's say there is even a slight chance that gun use did indeed cause 21 fires and could potentially cause more. isn't it worth it or common sense to INDEPENDENTLY set aside your gun slinging hobby, without the government or anyone else telling you to do so? and then maybe when the 800,000 acres that are burning in our country are contained, you can hit the range again? where is the harm in that?

you're worried about your "right" to have and shoot your gun? worry about your fellow man! does he have a right to protect himself from you? think about your communities, people's homes, animals, lives that are being destroyed. be a part of the solution. i feel sad that there are individuals in our society have lost sight of looking out for each other out of pure selfishness.

anyway, take it for what it's worth. happy independence day!