Saturday, January 29, 2005

Funny Thing Happened at the Baby Viewing

You see, my friends, every time we go to see new babies in our crowd there is the inevitable question "when are you two going to have a baby?" I mean, do you people even READ my blog?

Okay. But, it gets even better. So, I ask one of the wives if she and her husband are getting ready to have kids (because this is apparently what you do now) and she said to me (and I am NOT making this up), "Well, we got married, and we bought a house, and so it's the natural next step. I mean, we even have the dog."

Are you friggin' kidding me?? I beg you to tell me that you are, I wanted to say. But, instead, I just laughed politely and tried to change the subject. You see, I didn't realize there was an order to these things. That there was a law that once you got married and bought a house, that if you then got a dog then :::BING::: you were trained for parenthood. She's not the person who has ever expressed similar sentiment, but just the first I knew who was willing to admit it out loud.

Since when does having a dog train you to be a parent? You don't walk the baby when the baby has to poop. The dog does not have to be nursed. Acquiring a puppy does not, in fact, change the entire shape of your body. You don't have to worry about putting money aside to save for the puppies education. After all, obedience school doesn't quite run the cost of a college education. You don't have to clothe a dog -- in FACT, if you do, you look more than a little strange. You would clothe the dog in the privacy of your own home, maybe. (You sick little dog-dressing freak.)

And furthermore, if you buy the house before you get married and you happen to be cat people instead of dog people, does this disqualify you from the baby race? Is this how we can get a pass out of this shit?

Random stranger: So, when are you two crazy kids going to have babies?
Us: Sorry, we don't have a dog -- we're cat people.
Random stranger: Oh.

It's this kind of mindset that just drives me insane. Please understand that I have absolutely nothing against anyone who wants to have kids. (Contrary to beliefs attributed to me when I am really grouchy.) Procreate away -- SOMEONE has to take care of us childless fuckers when we are old. But, if you want to have kids, actually WANT TO HAVE THEM. Not because it is the "logical next step." That's crap. Honestly, it's crap. There is no logical step. You get married to someone because you believe you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Maybe you already had a plan to have kids, maybe you didn't. But you don't HAVE to have them. This is so frustrating to me. I feel as though I constantly have to justify (yes, even to myself quite frequently) why I do not want to have children. Why do I have to do that? What if there was something physically wrong with me that prevented me from having children? Would I have to explain this whenever someone asked? I wish I could, but unfortunately there is a wine bottle trapped in my uterus that prevents my having more children. Or something.

It's not an easy decision to stick to. After all, it's the "logical step." But since when have we ever been logical? One day we may be the sole source for information on adult movies (not that kind) and adult restaurants because our friends will be inundated with family movies and family restaurants. Maybe not. Maybe we'll be old and childless and lonely. This is a chance we may be taking.

Maybe THAT'S our logical step. That's what I'm saying. This is not the 50's. This is not some country where we don't have choices. (Though, if you're not a God-fearing Republican, it may feel that way.) We can choose to be married and yet still also choose NOT to procreate. We can choose not to marry or buy the house but have kids anyways. Who is to say? Who is making the rules, here?

No one but us. Because we are allowed. And the next step is just the next step -- even if it is illogical.

Friday, January 21, 2005

It's time that you knew this about me. I watch tv.

A LOT of tv.

I know, you're shocked. Take a moment to absorb. I've recently confronted my addiction to reality tv shows when I realized that I regularly watch about 5 reality shows (for those of you keeping track at home: The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, The Real World, The Surreal Life, and recently added Unscripted.) It's embarrassing. I KNOW that they're crack. I know it's wrong. I can't stop it.

I feel so dirty and ashamed of myself. But, I can't stop. I won't stop. Dude, I have 97% quit smoking and what more can you ask of someone? (I would probably be at 100% if there weren't bars.)

The thing is watching these reality shows is like watching a little microcosm of the universe. All of the communication problems that we all have are right there on display. I see it time and time again -- someone isn't communicating with someone else and chaos ensues. I am fascinated by this. Truly. The more problems I see people having communicating, the more I realize just how incredibly difficult it really is to do to truly communicate with another person.

The problem with communication is that it has to involve people. That's it. If there were a way to do it that could eliminate the need for people -- it would solve all the problems. As soon as you start involving people, then you start involving all of the bullshit of each person you are trying to involve. When you say something innocuous like "How was your day?", he hears something entirely different. He can't BELIEVE you are asking how his day was. You suddenly get an entire litany of complaints and madness simply because you were insane enough to ask how his day was -- HOW COULD YOU ASK THAT?! Don't you know what today was? Well, no, you will reply. Which will only elicit more disbelief.

This actually didn't happen to me, although it is something that could have happened. This communication stuff, it's not as easy as they make it sound like. Two different people with two different brains that encompass two different worlds of experience and thoughts and feelings and nuances are trying to speak the same language. The fact that we are able to say anything to anyone and have them really understand what we are saying is truly unbelievably amazing, isn't it?

Don't you get it?!

Probably not -- you are, after all, a person.

SO, this amazing tangent was brought to you by the Healthy Rationalization Foundation. I am rationalizing my crack-like addiction to reality tv by basically asserting that it's because I'm studying people's communication skills.

Am I the master or what? You want to worship me, don't you?

Probably not. After all, you are a person.

Probably not.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

an open letter to a drama queen friend

I want you to know that I think you deserve better than what you are signing up for. I want you to know that there is more to life than being with someone who calls you at midnight to berate you for being with other people and having a good time. Is this a crime? (Dr. Seuss-like preaching.) I KNOW that you don't want to be alone, I know this more than anyone. It's easy for me to say -- I'm not alone, am I? But, that doesn't mean that I don't know how hard it is to be alone. I've BEEN alone. Alone alone. It sucks. It really sucks. The world is geared towards being with someone else. The evil triumvirate of holidays (Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day) is winding down to the final stretch. The stories are filled with hearts and couples and racy-lacy underwear is in the store fronts of even the most sedate store.

It ain't easy.

I know that you avoid me when you make these decisions. I know that I am hard on you. I hope you believe that it's only because I want so much for you and truly believe that you deserve to be happy. I think you are an amazing person and I think you have the power to be happy alone, at least for a little while. But you have to believe that. And I've been where you are. I know how hard it is to be alone. One of my VERY first weekends alone, I really thought I was going to collapse from the boredom and loneliness. I was contemplating settling in to do a nice jigsaw puzzle, and I wondered, "Is this all there is?" I was scared.

VERY scared.

But, the alternative was being with someone who was verbally and emotionally and occasionally physically abusive. Someone who didn't think I deserved to be treated any better. Someone who made me believe that, too. It took a LONG time to regain a feeling of confidence. I don't want that for you. I want you to be empowered.

That's what it comes from. I guess I was hoping to be the one to empower you, but you have to want it for yourself. No matter how much I want you to have it, to feel it, to own it -- you have to want it at least a little bit for me to be there to give it to you. You have to be willing to make hard choices. You have to try not to stay with men who will use you and put your light under a bucket. You are a goddess, you an amazing creature. But, if you don't believe this yourself -- I can't give it to you. I can tell you over and over again, but you think they're just words and I'm being pushy and whatever. It's easy for you, Heather -- you're not ALONE.

That's what it boils down to. As soon as I got in a relationship, I lost my right to extoll the virtues of being alone because I didn't choose that. Well, the fact is that I never would have married just anyone. I was way beyond being with someone just to not be alone. Anyone that knows me (particularly anyone that has been around my relationship with Scott and see it compared to other relationships) would have to understand that there is no other relationship for me. There's no one else that fits with me the way that he does. If you're not going to be with someone who pushes you to be the best parts of you, who isn't going to accept you for your warts and all -- then there is no one else.

If you are sitting by the phone waiting for him to call, if you're timing how long you wait to call him back, if you feel remotely uncomfortable being around him... He's not the one for you. Period.

You know he's not the one for you. But, I knew he would come to you with his excuses and his reasons and I warned you -- this is a red flag. I'm not judging you for your decisions, but you have to know what you're in for. This is a defining moment. And I want better for you.

But, more importantly -- I want you to want better for you.

I really care about you a lot -- I'm here for you whichever way you decide to go. I'm just asking you to be careful with your heart. It's the only one you have, and you're the only who is really going to care about it.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Next up: In Good Company

Just finished watching this, and it was so awesome! Don't you just love this time of year...? With our weird East Coast weather patterns (hello, can you say from shorts to popsicle in 12 hours time?) to the amazing movies that all squeezed in so they were fresh on Oscar voters' minds, this time of year is enough to make me yell ""Norman Mailer, I'm pregnant!"" Calm down, I am NOT pregnant!

Anyways... This was a great movie. It's been getting a lot of raves, and now I can see why. The plot definitely takes you to cheesy, but it's a nice ride along the way. I didn't mind buying in to the cheesy. I cried a little, but then again I'm a bit notorious with the weeping. I cried so hard when I saw that predictable Pay it Forward that I swallowed my gum. Do you guys remember that?! Scott and his friend Kenny had an incredibly good time making fun of me over that. But, then again -- what DIDN'T they have a good time making fun of me over? How fucked up is it that I reminisce about it?!

The best thing about this movie for me was that the main character, Dan Foleman, reminds me of my husband. Just a strong, decent man who really believes in what he does. I mean, how rare is that? I just loves my husband to pieces -- it's so disgusting! ;-)

It's really hard to not give away the movie. (Just as I've had a hard time not giving anything away about Million Dollar Baby. ) I really do forgive him for being so ridiculously cheesy in the Flight of the Phoenix. But, it really reminded me of a Jimmy Stewart movie. The nice guy has a happy ending and still manages to learn another lesson out of it. AND still manages to stay nice to the last person who he thought he could be kind to. Just amazing. Not sure if he'll get nominated, but he should be a contender. Dennis Quaid deserves it, too. Can anyone tell me if he has an Oscar or not??

So, not a review -- I'm too easily distracted to do those -- just a suggestion that you should go. It's good stuff. It's not terribly dark, but it definitely brings to mind some of the underbelly aspects of corporate America. Even somehow managed to stay away from being preachy and just pragmatic. How CAN you propose synergy while you're firing people to help make you a fatter bottom line? GREAT question, Dan!

Hope you watch it -- and better yet, I hope you tell me what you think!


Monday, January 10, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

Million Big Fat Stars and Kleenexes, kids! HOLY crap!

I mean, I swear to God. Is it possible to cry that much in 2 1/2 hours? WHO knew? I laughed, I cried. "Tough ain't enough."

Who didn't rock in this movie? Clint Eastwood with the graspy old voice and mean but tender ways. Morgan Freeman with his usual soft-spoken, calm ways, taking it back to Shawshank. And Hilary Swank? Fuhgeddaboutit. Her character slowly evolves in this perfect, beautiful way. You CANNOT separate her from the part.

WHY are you still reading this? Why aren't you at the movies watching this?

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and not just because of the fighting. The fighting was SUCH an integral part of the story, that it was almost another character. I always used to think I sort of had a thing for boxing -- but I realize now that I didn't even KNOW boxing until I saw Million Dollar Baby. This movie may be this generation's Rocky! When was the last time you saw a movie that you got so engrossed in that thecharacters became part of your conciousness? That you REALLY cared what happened to them?

Well, you would be having that experience now if you weren't sitting here reading this ridiculous pandering blog instead of sitting in a movie theater? I mean, you really do NOT follow directions very well.

(This blog will still be here when you get back from the movies.)

I just want to talk to you about the movie SO much. It is SO good. We were going to watch another movie afterwards, and we decided not to... We didn't want to watch anything that was going to take away from the experience. Remember the time I wrote about the fudge that was SO good that I didn't want to brush my teeth afterwards? I didn't want to lose that taste. This is the movie version of THAT experience.

So, I'll ask you again... Why are you still reading this?

I'm gonna stop writing, that'll show you...


PS: Like I could stop writing if I could! I'm considering changing the name of the blog from Inside Heather's Head to Full Heather Jacket. What do we think?
Back To School

I love starting new classes. I get a little giddy as the classes approach. Generally, this feeling abates almost as soon as the actual classes start. Remember the nightmare that was English 111? How dumb am I to be jumping into English 112 right after -- and still with an edge of anticipation that doesn't resemble dread?

Maybe it's the thought that I may actually get inspired and learn new things. Expand my brain cells from something beyond the best cure for frizz? (Graham Webb's Color Shine... Though I'm not sure of the name so much as the color and the look of the bottle.) Really want to read things that are longer than a, er, sitting? The allure of the clean notebook, the promise of... Just the promise really.

After my hopes were so bitterly disappointed in the past at The Country Club (local euphemism for the community college I attend), I really thought this feeling of anticipation wouldn't come up this time. But, I have since learned that my past English teacher's horrifying lack of anything resembling teaching skills are legendary, and the teacher for my online history class seems SO fun that I'm sorry I'm taking the class online, and this combo is apparently enough to re-ignite my excitement over school starting. (But, not enough to cease my problems with run-on sentences.)

I always secretly liked school when I was growing up. Granted, this was 90% because of the social aspect. But, in school I was blessed with a lot of really good teachers who really made learning enjoyable. Many times I learned things by default. I was having such a good time in their class, I didn't realize they were teaching me things along the way. Shame on them! Slipping in those bits of knowledge! But, while I will grudgingly admit that I am smart, I'm really not terribly smart and definitely growing less and less book smart as time goes on. I simply need a lot of motivation to read dry academic material. Good classes, good teachers are a good springboard for me. I guess this is why I start the semester with such a strong attitude of hope. Hoping that this time I will be inspired to study and read the material and not wing it. It's a defense mechanism that keeps me going.

Somehow, it's been working. But, it's history and sorry -- that doesn't excite me much. And literature, which I WISH interested me -- but it doesn't. I have always wanted to be the girl who reads a bunch of poetry AND understands it... But, I'm not and I don't. Hell, I didn't even understand some of the stuff I wrote when I was writing it. How can I be expected to understand other people's stuff.

But, maybe this time will be different...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ring A Ling

My cell phone service provider was down today. I had no idea that I was quite so addicted to my phone. And being able to use it. And waiting for it not to ring.

It was really odd. Sometimes it would light up for no reason, and I would get a little lift of hope... Thinking that it might be working again. But, no it was just a glitch in the phone. No signal, no calls in or out. I felt trapped.

My friend said, "I have to find a payphone to check in with the man." Pay? phone? What is this pay phone you speak of? I can't even remember the last time I had to use a pay phone. I'm not even sure how much it costs to make a call. (50 cents, as it turns out. She talked until she used up the money and the "little woman in the phone" asked for more money... Don't want to waste a toll call, after all.) I'm sure using a pay phone may feel a little similar to paying for sex -- dirty and sordid. Not that I would, uh, know about that...

What if someone needed to reach me? Someone could be calling. My friend in Italy hasn't talked to me in forever, and she said that she would call... Maybe this would be the night! Julia, I'm here! My phone's just broken.

I felt like a homely girl on Friday night.

My phone started working before anyone else's did. And I did indeed feel touched by God. Well, at least touched. Probably in the head.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Who didn't expect me to rip off Bridget Jones one of these days?

New year's resolutions broken: 0. I only ever resolve not to make resolutions, a pretty easy one to keep.

Calories consumed: Who's counting? When you don't make a resolution to lose the weight you desperately need to lose, no need to count calories.

Cigarettes smoked: Since midnight on 1/1, maybe 1. I felt terribly guilty about it though, if that counts.

Husbands shagged: 1. :-) HAPPY New Year!

Cousins I've hung out with: 1. My cousin the Original Gangsta is temporarily in the area until the Navy has other plans for him. It was pretty cool, but weird to hang out with someone who really is in a completely different generation than I am. At least there is some comfort in the fact that he was born during Reagan's first administration, rather than the second.

TV shows I became obsessed with: 1. Gilmore Girls. I always knew that I would like this show if I had the time to watch it and now thanks to TiVo -- I do! I had a little marathon yesterday while accidentally drinking an entire bottle of wine. The Girls rock. The dialogue is snappier than Pop Rocks, but without the guilty pleasure aspect because it's just GOOD. Low carb Pop Rocks!!

Running off now for my other obsession -- Never Change by Elizabeth Berg. My aunt (the Gangsta's mom) was listening to the book on tape while she was here helping out during the "bad times". She HIGHLY recommended it, and I idolize the woman so I'm pretty much going to do her bidding. All I can say is that I am quite greatful that the object of my idolization has great taste in books. (This is, of course, not a newsflash.) The book is this... Well, I'm no good at describing things, so here's a link: Never Change. I'm just so INVESTED in the main character of this book, and I know she's going to get her heart broken... Anyways, it's a great book. [Shameless aside to my most avid reader: Catt, your book group may like this. It's pretty short and definitely a quick read if I didn't have such a short attention span.]

kisses ~

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