Don't Try to Tell Me That Your Husband is Better Looking Than Mine

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thanks "Blended" for keeping me up all night.

I haven’t written an academic paper since I graduated from university, and I never thought that I would have a desire to write a formal paper outside of my English classes. I am losing sleep over thinking about this topic, and the paper has begun to write itself, so I finally decided to write my thoughts down. I have had a small tugging sensation pulling at the back of my mind since I watched the movie “Blended” with my husband and my two year old (we could not convince her to go to sleep). It was a seemingly harmless PG13 movie, and was recommended to me by family members as being “pretty funny, but with a few awkward parts”. I was initially excited to hear that it was a PG13 film because it seems like there are hardly any PG13 movies premiering these days that are worth seeing.  I would say that my family gave an accurate description of the film, and the part that stood out to me as the most “awkward” was the drugstore encounter between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It was this “awkward” scene that has most frustrated my mind for the past three weeks.  For those that have not seen this film, the scene unfolds in the wake of two very “awkward” errands. Sandler is on a mission to pick up feminine products for his teenage daughter, and Barrymore has “violated” her teenage son’s privacy by destroying his pornography (so, obviously, she must replace the relic before her son discovers what she has done). 

The premise of this encounter was not my main frustration, but it is relevant. As it unfolds, Barrymore’s oldest son is found to have been viewing his mother’s private email. Instead of receiving any form of punishment, the family reaches an agreement where one anothers' privacy should no longer be breached. Barrymore goes into her teenage son’s room and begins to gather his laundry. As she gather’s the laundry, her son sleeps peacefully in his bed. She was not snooping or being nosy, because this would have violated her and her son’s agreement. As she is doing her son a favor by gathering his laundry, she stumbles upon a pornographic body that has the head of the family’s babysitter glued to it.  Barrymore’s initial reaction is offense and disgust. She tears the image up. Fine. Great! Hurray for moral instinct . . . If this would have been the end of the scene, followed by a discussion on why this is not appropriate or respectful behavior, I would have applauded. Sadly, the film continued on to the “awkward” drug store run in. 

Sandler’s horribly awkward errand begins with his teenage daughter’s dang body and its need to menstruate. Seriously! Do women have to do that? Sandler, in this film, is the father of three daughters. And, yes, seeing as how menstruation has been occurring since the beginning of time, it will happen eventually for all three of his healthy daughters, whether they want it to or not. But, because this is such a shameful surprise, Sandler’s daughter has to shout the request for tampons and feel embarrassed.  Perhaps this embarrassment could have been curbed by a simple discussion years before, but I suppose the opportunity to smooth over the father-daughter teenage experience would have been too “awkward” to deal with. 

And so begins the drugstore run-in. Barrymore witnesses Sandler fumbling through the feminine product section, and he is choosing the most unnecessary products possible (even though he had a wife for how many years? I’m not buying it Sandler). Next, Sandler realizes that Barrymore is rifling through the pornographic magazine isle, and becomes curious as to why she would be looking through those magazines in the first place. Barrymore explains how she intruded upon her son’s privacy and must replace the image before her son finds out. Barrymore expresses that her initial instinct was to be offended because the pornography was degrading to women.  Sandler kindly silences those feelings of offense and anger by explaining that ALL teenage boys do it. And further, he views the ripped fragments of the magazine and is able to pinpoint the issue and edition of the magazine because ALL grown men view it, and apparently they view it SO frequently that he can scientifically evaluate the spacing of the staples, oh, and he already has that issue at home.
And here rises my frustration. Pornography and menstruation should not be equated. They are not in the same category, and should not be put on the same level on the parental experience scale. Porn viewing should not equal “I have a son” territory, while menstruation does equal “I have a daughter” territory. Our society is so corroded, that the underlying messages of a PG13 film are that porn is okay and completely normal, and it is also appropriate for dads to be awkward and uneducated about their teenage daughter’s developing bodies.  The son sleeps away soundly in his bed and never has to have a discussion on respecting women’s bodies, while the daughter must shout her requests to a father that learned nothing from his wife of over a decade. I feel that if anything, this sends a horrible message about the men around us. Instead of raising the bar for parents, this film sends a subtle message that it is normal to lower it. Instead of helping men to feel comfortable with a very unavoidable element of the female body, it gives men an escape route. Rather than encouraging men to see that a body with a cut out of a head glued to it is sad objectification, it normalizes pornography because the entire male population obviously does it.  

Here is the thing. The entire male population doesn’t view pornography. I personally know dozens of men who I can confidently say do not view pornography or think of it as a normal part of the human experience. The number of men and women that think this way is very small compared to the number of men and women that do. 

Can’t we raise the bar instead of constantly lowering it? Oh, shoot, no-- sorry. I forgot that if we raised the standards that it wouldn’t be funny anymore.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Have to Clean 3 Days Early

Tyler is coming home from North Dakota tomorrow evening. I am really excited, but I must admit he has thrown me off a little bit. I thought he was coming home on Saturday, and I had my week planned accordingly. It is currently finals week, so obviously instead of studying, I am going to write a blog. I am an English Major so it counts a little... I have my last two finals on Wednesday and then I am done. I am trying not to rip my face off because I am ridiculously sick of school this semester. So far I have been successful, but I guess that depends on how you rate your success. I haven't showered in three days, or styled my hair, or worn makeup, or changed my pants. I consider the fact that I am alive right now an accomplishment. I procrastinated this whole semester, as I do every semester, and then I think I can finish all of my assignments in one week. Some how I manage to pass my classes, but I am nearly dead at the end of my one week time frame and I am the most hateful person if you encounter me during this week.

Unfortunately I don't get embarrassed anymore, except around Tyler, when he is home I try really hard to look nice, but while he is gone I crash and burn. I have had braided hair since Saturday morning, like the Pippy Longstocking type of braids, one on each side of my face. I haven't changed it, and now it is really frizzy and I did indeed wake up this morning and not even look in the mirror. It was a little sad when I got home and realized that I am in fact, pathetic. I didn't feel super bad though, because most of the girls in my classes looked just as bad, if not worse, than I did. Finals week will do that to a woman. Anyways, back to the fact that Tyler is getting home tomorrow, this means that I have to scour the apartment for messes and make sure that they are duly noted, and then cleansed. Tyler is what you would like to call a "clean freak", and I am what you would like to call "creative". If I have important tasks that must be managed, I always focus on those things and nothing else will get in my way... Tyler cannot mentally function if our apartment is not spotless. Most days I am quite thankful for his intense desire to be clean, because I know that this is not the most common trait in males. He gets it from his mom, Linda. She is the best cleaner/organizer that I have ever encoutnered, and the thing that kills me is she actually enjoys it. I am currently aspiring to become this way.

I am not like ridiculously messy, I just like to put my clothes on the floor, but I am also what can be referred to as a "draper". Apparently my subconscious mind thinks that it looks nice, and is more acceptable to drape something over a chair, or lamp, than to drop it on the floor. Of course, when I run out of "drape" space I always will settle with the floor. I am trying to break this habit, but I can't tell if it is a success or not. I think since I have been married, when Tyler was home, I was a lot more aware of myself and I thought I did pretty good. I am not sure that Tyler will agree, as he has very high standards, but I was feeling pretty good about myself.... But then he started going to North Dakota... and I had no one to be accountable to. I had a two week span of free reign and I got a little carried away. I didn't have roommates, parents, or a husband to come into my room and say... Wow, you are kind of out of control. So now, as my father would say, my room looks like a nuclear bomb has gone off. Tyler, of course, will never know because, tomorrow, I will clean until I can no longer find anything to clean, and when he gets home it will have the appearance of perfection. I was thinking I would be able to procrastinate my cleaning until, Thursday... maybe Friday, but now he is getting home tomorrow and I will have to conquer my bedroom whether I want to, or not. I admit, it does feel nice when everything looks good, but it always gets dirty in two days. I just wish I knew how to "whistle while I worked", so to speak, in every aspect of my life.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Ate All of the Peppermint Ice Cream

I bought a family sized carton of peppermint ice cream two days ago. Unfortunately I have been living on my own for the past two weeks and do not have a family to share that ice cream with, so naturally, I ate it by myself... And not in the portion control kind of way. The ice cream is gone. I had half for dinner the first night I bought it and the other half the second night. I relished in the the little crunchy pepperminty bits while I could, but I am seriously the best at rationalization. My throat was just slightly sore, so I decided that the ice cream made it feel better and that made finishing it off completely acceptable. I am trying to convince myself that buying more peppermint ice cream is a bad idea, but it isn't working. At all. I always tell myself that I have a fast metabolism and that I am immune to obesity and heart failure. So what if we all know that I'm not? Maybe once when I was twelve that excuse would have worked, but it seems that as time goes on my body rebels.

Pinterest always makes me feel guilty for not running and for making up excuses as to why I can eat the worst things and get away with not running. There are little quotes all over on there like:

"Someone busier and less fat than you is running right now!!"
"Don't treat your body like a garbage can!!!"
"Even if you run slow... You are still lapping the people on the couch!!!"
"Do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog."

I always make up a bratty sarcastic comment in my head to counter their guilt trips. All of those people that are outside running are dying of cold and will eventually get frostbitten feet that will have to be amputated. Where does that get them? Nowhere. In a wheel chair, maybe. I do not treat my body like a garbage can; I would never throw away a new carton of peppermint ice cream. I would rather sit on the couch than have people watch me run slow, if I am going to run it is going to be at a normal pace and I am going to attempt to look as human as possible. I love dogs as they are the most loyal forms of life, so if rewarding myself with food likens me unto a dog then I am allllll for it.

I am not actually against physical activity. I quite enjoy it when it involves some form of game. I love playing basketball or rugby... but running just to run is not fun, ever. When you are out driving in your warm car do you ever see a jogger that is smiling? No. They all look like they hate the world. Maybe if they smiled while they ran then I would think about doing it. It's hard to feel encouraged by a person with a straight face. I actually bought a gym membership and I went a few times, but then I realized that the only people smiling where the ones who greeted me from behind the desk. Everyone else was just intense and there was no laughter to be heard. And if I have learned anything from pinterest it is that, "Laughter is the Best Calorie Burner!!!"

Friday, December 9, 2011

This Was NEVER Supposed to Happen

I don't know how I got here. I didn't even want to become a blogger. I have been being urged into blogging for quite some time now because apparently extended family members have the desire to monitor my life. Not that this is a bad thing, it's just that I don't know how to type cute things about myself. I don't have awesome and nifty accomplishments to display such as a hand sewn quilt or some hand painted wooden blocks that offer up a festive holiday greeting to all of those that enter my home. I can already tell you that this blog is going to be a bit disappointing for those of you that want to acquire delicious recipes or instructions on how to improve your cardigan. I don't have either of those things on hand, or know how to provide them to you, if you are hoping to find something of that nature I might suggest pinterest. I have found that I can scroll through pinterest for hours and pin a million crafty ideas and a million delicious recipes, not that I have ever actually used them, but someday I will.

I recently married my perfectly wonderful husband/love of my life Tyler in July and I love being married, except I don't know what I am doing half the time with this whole being married thing, so I just act like I get it. I don't think anyone really "gets" being married it is just one of those things that you decide you want to do because you really really love someone and can't get enough of kissing them... and then you have a wedding day and all of a sudden you live together. Learning how to live with another human being that is outside of your family can be quite difficult. Learning how to live with a manly man is a HUGE adjustment. I love that Tyler is a manly man because he loves being a man, him and his kind enjoy doing things like chopping firewood and building houses in the woods. I never worry about surviving if the world comes to an end because Tyler has at least five guns of various sizes and could go into the hills and bring me back wild game that I could add to a nourishing stew (I currently receive various dead animals now and the world isn't actually ending, but we have a freezer full of organic meat and I never have to buy ground beef). I never even suspected half of the things that I have been exposed to, not that I don't appreciate each of them in their own way. I grew up with two sisters and zero brothers. I had my dad, but I guess he kind of learned how to adapt to the females around him, as he was given no other choice. Tyler was raised with two brothers. That is all I need to say. We are still making adjustments on how to see things from the other person's point of view. I am wayyyyy to sensitive and I am trying to learn how to not get offended when he gives me a noogie. Tyler is doing really well at learning that I don't like wrestling him because I always loose and have no hope of winning.

My husband Tyler is an excellent provider. On top of knowing how to provide fresh game on demand he has been dedicating two weeks of his life every month to going up to North Dakota. He drives water trucks for the oil fields, and he has his CDL... How many of you can say that about your husbands? He doesn't love going up there and I don't love it when he leaves either. Luckily this will be his last round and then we are going to try to find jobs around Idaho Falls. I am so happy that this is happening because I literally forget how to socially interact with human beings for the two weeks that he is gone. I will go hang out with family and friends and I will try to make a joke and it fails... Because it wasn't even funny. At all. I try to be "funny" to prove to myself that I do have an ounce of sanity left and it ends up making everyone feel awkward. I guess not everyone understands that I am joking when I say that "I hate everything and have nothing left to live for". Really I love everything and have a lot to live for and I am loving the beginning of this new adventure they call "marriage". I don't know how to write a normal "blog" (whatever that means) post. Hopefully I will get better at this as time goes on, if not I won't be offended if you never visit my "blog" again. I have nothing left to say so I guess this means it is time for me to go and get a bowl of peppermint ice cream.