Sometimes I think that ideas, feelings, experiences, emotions... all of these things need time to marinate. Whatever you are going through right now will never appear completely clearly to you, but it always seems that what you went through six months ago or sometimes 5 years ago looks so much simpler or easier to figure out now that it's all over. Things that seem monumental at the time might seem completely trivial in the morning light.
I keep trying to think of a quote I once heard about an author who said it took moving Paris in order to write about America. That's not it exactly and I can't remember if it was Hemingway or Gertrude Stein or someone like that. The point is, sometimes we have to have more distance between our experiences to see them clearly enough to put it down on paper. If you have any idea what quote I am talking about, let me know, because it's driving me crazy not to remember it correctly!
Inside of me, I feel like there is a bubbling pot of experience and disappointment. It's a combination of lost loves, divorce, sexual awakenings and disillusionment, every failed relationship of my past, dreams I had that were smashed by me or others, performances that never happened, trips cut short, everything I've missed and everything I was lucky enough to have. I think it is only from the safety of my current peaceful life and bright future that I can really look back on the hodge-podge of experiences of the last five or six years with astounding clarity. This boiling, bubbling pot is mixing everything together in the back of my mind and something is brewing for me. Pardon the terrible metaphors, but I hope you understand what I mean. My past is marinating and ideas are coming forward out of it. In its time, a book will be born from it, I know it with all that I am. It isn't ready yet, but it's stirring.
Sometimes I think that ideas, feelings, experiences, emotions... all of these things need time to marinate. Whatever you are going through right now will never appear completely clearly to you, but it always seems that what you went through six months ago or sometimes 5 years ago looks so much simpler or easier to figure out now that it's all over. Things that seem monumental at the time might seem completely trivial in the morning light.
So tomorrow will be five years ago that I married J the jerk. It seems amazing to me that five years have really gone by, but it also seems crazy that it has only been five years. I feel so removed from that day. In all honesty, it was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I remember feeling so beautiful and loved. With the exception of a morning "I can't find my car keys" freak-out, it was a perfect day. Well, perfect except for the fact that I was marrying the WRONG guy.
Now that I am older and wiser, I can see so many reasons why I should not have walked down the isle with him five years ago. At the same time, though, if I hadn't been through that experience and the four years of marriage that followed, I would not be able to appreciate my life now with someone who is a million times better. I am glad I got to experience the big southern wedding too, because I know that my next wedding will definitely not be like that. I would much prefer my next wedding to be on the beach of some gorgeous caribbean island with me (skinny this time hopefully) in a much simpler dress marrying a much more made-for-me man.
It's just so strange to look back on five years ago, though, and realize the kinds of mistakes I made with my life back then. On the flip side, at least I can look at life now and realize how far I have come. You would think, though, that I would be so much happier now. And I am. Sort of. I have no reason to be unhappy. It is just taking a lot longer to get rid of the emotional baggage that I started building up five years ago. I wish it could be as simple as burning my wedding dress
(picture of my wedding dress inserted, without me modeling it of course) in the backyard and dancing around it at midnight three times, but there is no secret voodoo that I know of for getting rid of painful memories and negative thoughts that have become habit after years of emotional abuse. The dress, FYI, is sitting in a closet downstairs and I am either going to list it on ebay or take it to some consignment shop and sell it for whatever I can get for it. It would be a shame to burn a $1500 dress, but I would do it if I thought it would cure everything that's wrong with me.
I wonder how long it will be before March 29th is just another day, with no real significance and barely a memory of that event. Right now, it feels kind of like I imagine it would feel to remember the day someone died that you loved but who hurt you. Someone you loved but who you weren't necessarily sad to see go. Right now, there is still too much emotion and too many feelings of loss associated with that day to forget it. I know that I do not want to be back there again and I am glad that I have moved on, but that doesn't mean that I am totally over it all yet either, if that makes sense. I lost so much of myself the day I married him, and it is taking me years to find it again. I will never really be the same again. So, tomorrow I will non-celebrate my non-anniversary. Just a weird feeling.
Do you ever wonder why scientists and doctors invest so much time and money on studies that tell us... exactly what we already knew? CNN.com is reporting about a recent study that shows "Big Belly could carry bigger dimentia risk". The article is basically about how doctors have been conducting a study over the past 30+ years to see if having a fat belly leads to health problems. DUH! Why don't they just post one giant study that says: STUDY SHOWS THAT ABUSING YOUR BODY MAY LEAD TO HEALTH PROBLEMS. That should about cover it.
In our quest for weight loss, we often reach what weight watchers calls a "Plateau". That means that for weeks on end, you stay the same exact weight. This is, as you can imagine, quite frustrating for anyone who is just saying NO! to all the Krispy Kremes and other tempting chocolates and breads in order to lose weight. Or, in fact, working out an hour a day. You would think that making all of that effort is bound to lead to weight loss, right? So what do you do when it isn't working?
I guess you have to step back and analyze everything you are doing. Apparently, it isn't enough to just do BETTER. If I compared my eating and exercise habits now with those of a year ago, there would be no contest. I have made extreme improvements in both areas. Yes, I have lost some weight. 10 lbs. The sad thing is that I was at this weight six months ago. And even though I am doing better now than I was six months ago, I am still not fucking losing weight.
Okay, so back to the analysis.
#1. I am working out four times a week. Yay for me. I definitely am enjoying it, but I thought that it would result in some weight loss, which, so far, is not the case. In fact, I GAINED weight. The Jazzercise instructors said not to worry, because it's muscle gain, blah blah blah. I still want to lose weight! And if not exercising isn't helping, you would think that doing some exercise would. How long am I seriously going to have to wait to see some damn results here?
#2. I am eating within my allotted weight watchers points. Alright, so this is true and not true. I had this idea that I would pretty much eat out and eat what I want on Friday's, then follow points the rest of the week. We get 35 "Flex" points, which is what I was using on weekends. I have definitely over-abused this idea of eating on Fridays. Instead, I kind of eat what I want all weekend and then start my points on Monday, which isn't working at all. I think what I'm doing to myself is losing weight monday - thursday and then freaking gaining it all back friday - sunday. But here's the crappy thing: I want to lose weight, but I hate having to give up the food. How shallow and ridiculous is that? It makes me feel like shit, but there it is. Honestly.
I completely expected to reach a point where losing weight became a lot harder. That always happens somewhere during the battle to lose. But usually that happens when you're like halfway through or near the end and you have to really push to go the extra final 1 pounds or whatever. So how am I supposed to feel when it is just the beginning and I"m only 10 lbs. into a 50 lb goal and it's already this hard? Sacrifice sucks. In Weight Watcher terms,I am not really on a plateau. I am just in a self-control cul de sac.
Do you ever wonder if there are signs directing us in life? Just like road signs that tell us when to stop, yield, speed up or slow down, maybe the universe sends us signs that tell us which way to go in life. I don't necessarily believe that we are pre-destined to certain actions, but I think that there is some kind of plan out there. It's complicated in my head and a subject that I've always struggled with, but I do think that while we all have free choice, there are certain talents each of us have been given so that we can have a purpose. Some people never realize that purpose, though. So that got me thinking, what is the difference between the people that never realize their life's purpose, and those that do?
I think it might have something to do with signs. Not exactly as in "Lord, give me a sign." and suddenly a gathering of angels appears before you, but more like... well, let me tell you the signs that I think have been there in my life. For example, it is almost 5 years since the war in Iraq began. Saturday will have been 5 years ago that I married J, the biggest mistake of my life, probably. The fact that a war was starting right around a wedding that inside I was a bit uncertain about should have triggered something perhaps. Then, the fact that the house we bought and called our "dream house" burned down TWICE could be considered a pretty enormous sign. I think that the universe was trying to tell me "You are on the wrong path, and it is going to take something really dramatic to get you back on the right one."
I am not necessarily thinking that when you are on the right path, everything goes perfectly, but maybe the universe sort of opens doors for you when you're going the right way. Maybe that's what "Luck" really is... signs. Lately, I have been having dreams about ghosts. Then, my friend T reminded me of one of my favorite books when I was a teenager, "Remember Me" by Christopher Pike, which is about a girl who was pushed off a balcony and died and tells the whole story as a ghost who is trying to figure out who killed her. So ghosts have been on my mind. When I went to look up the guidelines for the story I've been writing, just to get a fresh perspective, the Harlequin website lists a new writing opportunity called "Nocturne Bites" and they are looking for short stories about paramormal things like vampires, werewolves, etc. GHOSTS! I think this is a definite sign that I should write a ghost story. I have started working on it and the ideas are flowing pretty easily. I am going to try to at least write the first 1000 words or so today and see how it goes. I think that all signs point to success here. Maybe all we have to do is be sensitive to the signs, pay attention to opportunity and try to be flexible enough to change and grow according to what feels right and what, no matter how much we might want it, feels wrong.
What is it about getting older that makes women want to cut their hair short? I have been thinking about this as I have noticed my hair getting longer and longer over the past few months. At this point, my hair is about 2 inches past my shoulders I would say. Since it is layered, it may actually be even longer than that in the very back. Most women I have known, however, opt for the shoulder-length or shorter haircuts after they turn 30, and then rarely let it grow out again. Why is that? I was thinking that it could be for several reasons such as :
1. More women have children by this time and therefor, less time to fix their hair in the mornings. So, they cut their hair from lack of time.
2. They want to appear more professional and less little-girl and they think that cutting your hair makes you less girly.
3. Women in their 30's have often been married for a while and are tired of their husbands begging them for sex all the time, so they cut their hair short hoping to appear less sexually desirable.
4. They think they "should" because all the other women their age are doing it.
In recent years, though, it seems that celebrities have opened up a new, sexier path
for aging women. Turning 40 no longer means having to have this old lady-esque short hair style. Unless you have some sort of vitamin deficiency or other reason why your hair simply cannot be maintained long, I think you should just say NO! to the short hair-style of old ladies as long as possible. As for me, I am thinking about growing my hair out as long as I can in this very sexy, Elle Macpherson style. She's in her 40's, but she still looks fabulous, and I imagine that she will still be sexy and amazing well into her 50's and 60's. Can you honestly imagine her with that once-a-week perm, cut above your neckline hair style old ladies almost always have? It's very hard indeed. Maybe a lot of women are just afraid they'll look silly being 40 with long hair, but like with anything else, if you are confident, you can pull anything off, right? I mean, sometimes I start to feel silly carrying a Hello Kitty purse when I'm 31 years old, but then I say, "Fuck it!, I'm Fabulous." and carry it anyway because I love Hello Kitty. I, for one, am going to let my hair grow out, no matter who thinks it is silly. That doesn't mean I"ll never cut it, but I imagine i will keep it shoulder-length or longer for many years to come.
On Wednesday night, G and I went to a pizza place that we go to about once a week, and the manager, who recognized us, offered us a free pass to go see a screening of 21. I had seen a trailer of the movie and it is actually something I was interested in going to see. It's a movie about an MIT student who has always dreamed of going to Harvard Medical School, but he doesn't have the $300,000+ it will cost to go there. The kid is brilliant, but since he doesn't "dazzle" on his application for a certain scholarship, his chances of affording Harvard seem slim. But then he is approached by one of his math professors, played by Kevin Spacey, who asks him to join a team of incredibly smart Vegas-trotting card-counters.
The movie has all the basic elements of a good film. Good vs. Evil. Morality vs. Sin. The Inner Struggle. Suspense. Sex. I don't want to give away anything more than the trailers do, so I won't tell you how it turns out, but I thought it was actually a good film. Of course, i am very easy to please when it comes to movies. Anything that can make me forget the rest of my life for a couple hours is good enough for me, as long as it isn't too offensive. And hey, I like Rob Zombie films, so it takes a lot to offend me, obviously. I thought it was super sweet for the manager to give us the free tickets. It was fun to be amongst the first people to see the movie, and there is a certain excitement to being in a theater that's completely packed. Well, as long as everyone is quiet and paying attention to the movie, which they were last night. Of course, I had to make two extra trips to the car last night before they would let me in. One, to take my cell phone back, and two, to take my camera back (which I didn't realize I had until they searched my bags). It appears they are more serious about making sure that no one films the sneak preview than they are about making sure no one carries a bomb onto a 747. Anyway, 21 was a good movie, and I highly recommend it, in case you're going to see a movie this weekend.
Okay, so maybe you aren't supposed to talk about things like this in a public forum, but fuck it. This is what's on my mind this morning and I am going to share it. I am not one of those girls who has a normal period. In fact, before last week, I had not had a real period for many months... we're talking like 6 months. This has happened to me before, so I wasn't too worried for the first few months. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome when I was in college which basically means that I have cycsts on my ovaries, which causes them to not function the way they are supposed to. I got poked and prodded by doctors so much that I would rather not go back to a doctor about missed periods unless it gets to around the six month mark.
So, as I dangerously approached Doctor hell, I also started Jazzercise. Apparently the little bit of weight loss paired with high activity boosted my hormones enough to start my period. If you have never been unfortunate enough to deal with the first period after a six month hiatus, let me just tell you, it's not pleasant. I have had cramps, nausea, headaches, body aches, the works. I have also been extremely irritable and unable to control my own moodswings, which is frustrating for me, but probably more so for G, who has to live with me. All of this is pretty normal period behavior I guess, but a normal period for me lasts about 3 days, maybe 4 , at most 5. This period has been going on for 10 days and counting.
G has been very understanding and very loving towards me, which is rare and amazing in a man. I know he is ready for this to be over though, but there's not exactly anything I can do about that except try to hide my bitchy-ness. I also know that I am supposed to be going to work out every day, but I already missed Tuesday and now, I will probably miss today. Yesterday, I thought maybe working out would make me feel better, but it only made me feel worse, to be honest. I just can't bring myself to get dressed and go jump and dance around if it's going to just lead to worse cramps and being even more tired. I am just so ready for this to be over. It sucks. Period.
So, while I am in the process of throwng things away, I came across a box full of sentimental crap. I say crap because it really serves no other purpose than to remind me of the past. Nametags from summer camps, playbills from all the plays I was in, trophies for girl of the year, band awards, debate awards, match books, movie ticket stubs, etc. None of it (except maybe the playbills) looks good enough to put on display anywhere really. So what is its fate? Should I keep it anyway and just let it take up storage space for the rest of my life, only pulling it out in 10 or 15 years to show my child, who really probably won't care anyway??
I have always thought that it was a gift to have such a great memory of the past. I mean, I can remember things all the way back to when I was 3 years old. When I look at those nametags, I can remember exactly what all of those counselors and friends looked like, even though I haven't seen them for 20 years. Lately, I've been thinking that I let myself get trapped in those memories a little too much. I spend time thinking of the past and wishing that I had made better decisions, or even wishing I was still back there. (Even though I love where I am now.) I wonder if it would be wiser to just start letting go of the past. Maybe I should throw away all of those trophies that don't serve any purpose other than to remind me that once upon a time, I was the kind of girl who won trophies. It's time I started winning new things, making new trophies in my life. I think it's important to remember the past, but not to get caught up in it for too long. I think that now is the time for truly letting go of that past and trying to recreate that girl I once was... and it's time to truly start becoming who I will be.
Ebay's logan is kind of cute. "Shop Victoriously" Of course, I have been more interested in selling victoriously. I have all of this crap still left over from my divorce. The problem I'm having is that it takes too freaking long to get good pictures of the items, research a reasonable price, figure out how much to charge for shipping so I don't get screwed on that, and then make the listing look good. Not to mention the time put into answering questions from interested buyers and then sending out emails with invoices and getting the darn thing shipped off.
For example, last week I listed 9 things. It took me about 3 hours to get them all listed, which may or may not be normal for most people, but that's how long it took me. Then I spent at least a combined total of an hour or so answering questions about the items an checking in on the auctions. In the end, I only sold 4 of the 9 items for a total of $99.72 plus shipping. Today, I took the 3 items that were paid for right away to UPS spent about 30 minutes at the shop while they were shipped out. I am still waiting for one person to pay which will mean yet another trip to the UPS store, and probably another 30 minutes.
All in all, that is about 5 hours of work, for about $100.00. I guess 20 bucks an hour isn't too bad really when it comes down to it, but it does seem like a lot of hassle for very little money. Every bit of it reminds me of my past dead marriage as well, and creates clutter in my new home with my new love. If there is anything to the idea of Fung Shui, then having wedding gifts from a your last marriage in your hopefully future husband's house can't be good. Is that all really worth a couple hundred bucks?? I hate to sort of throw away potential money, but honestly, I think I've got one more ebay list in me and then everything is going to the freakin' Christian donation center down the street.
For the majority of my adult life, I have been worried about money. Now, probably that has largely to do with the fact that during my college years I severely abused credit cards and put myself into enormous amounts of debt right off the bat. Even though my parents eventually did dig me out of that credit card hole, I was still always worried about money. I have been through times in my life where I was struggling to balance who needs to get paid first based on who was least likely to turn my shit off if I didn't pay it on time. I spent years where digging through the couch for change was the only way I was going to buy gas to get to work. I have these horrid memories of waking up one morning to the sound of the air conditioning going off because they guy had just shut off my power.
Anyone who has ever lived with that kind of worry knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say money worries. It's like it's trained on me now and the only way I will ever cure myself of that worry is if I have a million dollars in extra spending money someday. Even though I have a reasonable amount of money in the bank right now, I have to admit that there is still the slightest catch of breath when it takes too long for my card to process at the grocery store. I know that feeling of the words "Declined" coming across that ATM swiper all too well, and it is not a good feeling.
I know they say that money is the root of all evil, but honestly, I think that not having money is just as evil. Maybe that means that living somewhere in between rich and poor is the best, but I have to tell you that there is a very big part of me that wants to experience what it feels like to be rich for a change. Can you imagine having the type of life where you could fly to the Bahamas, stay in a suite with your own private chef, stay for a full week and get massages, go to nice dinners, and fly home without ever having to even glance at your bank account to think about what it's costing you? What if you could live in a house that someone else cleaned? And you could afford a decorator who designed all of your rooms based on your personal tastes and style? Those things all sound amazing, but best of all would be never having to really WORRY about it.
And here's the thing: I know in my deepest heart of hearts that if I truly applied myself to writing, I could create a worry-free life for myself. I don't know if I could ever be so rich that I had a personal chef or anything like that, but I know that I coud make enough money to have all of my needs taken care of without worry. So what's holding me back? I have been writing now for over 9 months, technically... and I haven't really submitted anything for publishing. The only thing holding me back is ME, and believe me, I know that. I wish that I could just wake up tomorrow and somehow magically have the energy to become everything that I know I'm capable of becoming. I wish that I could live up to my potential today and everyday from now on. Why can't I? If I had the answer to that question, I'd already be rich, I think.
I have been feeling so great about my progress with Jazzercise that I was confident I would lose at least a pound or two a week since I've been exercising. Last week was great, and I lost 1.8 pounds! Yay! But today, after a week of eating good and exercising daily, I actually gained .8 of a pound. And what sucks is that this was the last week of my first weigh-in card, which lasts about six months... and I just really wanted to see a loss on that last week. Oh well. At least there is an overall loss, but mentally it's still tough to swallow.
Denise, my weight watchers leader, said not to be discouraged because the first few weeks of hard exercise often produces weight gain. She was saying something about how during the first weeks of exercise, water or something binds itself to your muscles, causing temporary weight gain. I tried to search the internet for what she was talking about, but I couldn't find anything about that. I guess a small weight gain at first makes perfect sense, though. Just for the basic reason that you are gaining muscle mass, which weighs more than fat compared to the amount of space it takes up in your body. I certainly feel like my clothes fit differently this week, so I can't focus on the number on that scale. This week i will just have to measure my success in terms of the fact that I have stuck with an exercise program for two weeks solid, which is HUGE for me. Hopefully next week I will see a significant loss.
Isn't it funny how this is one of the main "wars" Americans fight on a daily basis? I mean, with all the unhealthy, fatty foods in restaurants and the over-processed, sugary food in the grocery store that we all grew up viewing as "treats" or "rewards"... we are basically a country of fat people who desperately wish we had the self control to be thin and healthy. It really shouldn't be this hard to eat right. Sometimes I am really ashamed of myself for loving bad food the way that I do. I crave it, really... especially chocolate and sugary things. Oh, and Pizza of course. Why does cutting that stuff out of my diet make me sad? I don't exactly know, but it does. So, I am learning to cut the portions down and make better decisions overall without completely cutting out everything that I love to eat. Over six months of working on it, I can definitely say that I have made progress. However, as with most other things in my life right now, I don't think the progress is good enough, and that's where I start to talk down to myself and let what is basically a success, still bring me down. I need a serious attitude adjustment.
So, here's how I will choose to look at it... This was the last week of weighing in on a member card that has a bunch of ups and downs on it. Next week is my first week of weighing in on a brand new card, a new beginning, a new chance to make it. Next week is my first week of weighing in a card that, by the end of it, will show me at my goal weight of 145.
This poem is more about Fall than Spring, but it is one of my favorites so I share it today. It is an old poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, written in the latter half of the 19th century.
SPRING AND FALL
to a young child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves like the things of man, you
With you fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Get this. Our country wages a war against drugs and pours millions into it. How far have they really come and how much good have they really done with all of that money?? I think that would be an impossible question to answer. Most people would probably agree with me that some drugs are most certainly worse than others, as in marijuana vs. heroine. One is incredibly addictive and sometimes even fatal. The other just more often than not leads to watching tv or eating a bunch of Doritos instead of getting your laundry done. I don't have any official statistics, but I bet there is a lot of money spent on law enforcement and jail/prison inmates, lawsuits, etc. to fight a war against eating too many Doritos and being mildly high for a few hours. After all, it's easier sometimes to fight the wars you know you can win, right?
But then there's the drugs that are being pushed at us, poured down our throats a every chance a doctor gets to diagnose someone as "depressed". When I was teaching, I would venture to say that 75% of the faculty, including the principal, were on drugs. Sure, they were legal prescription drugs, but seriously, does that make it right? Americans these days are so quick to turn to any drug, legal or illegal, in order to make their problems go away. I mean, isn't that what is really at the base of most drug taking?? Some kind of desire to escape for a little while from the everyday sadness or mundane'ness or the pressure of life?
Now, CNN is also reporting that after testing water supplies throughout the country, an array of pharmaceuticals have been detected in drinking water. Over 41 million Americans are drinking tap water that is laced with drugs. How? Well, disgustingly enough... people take drugs, process them, pee them out, flush them down and then eventually, after the water is cleaned, put back into reservoirs, rivers and lakes, it is cleaned again and put back into our drinking water. So, basically we are drinking someone's pee'd out prescription drugs. Of course, the press is reporting that it's not dangerous because the amounts are so tiny. Excuse me, but how the fuck do they know what drinking trace amounts of sex hormones and anti-depressants is going to do to a 3 year old child today who drinks that drug water for the next 25 years or so? This is seriously disturbing news to me, honestly. The government is so quick to take away recreational drugs, but they are not accomplishing anything when the public is still going to be harmed by the drugs in our own drinking water and the drugs our doctors throw at us. It definitely gives you something to think about, doesn't it?
On Saturday night G and I decided to go out to eat, which we actually do a lot, but this was a bit different. Usually we eat out at Hibachi Express or Subway or McDonald's type places... but Saturday I was in the mood for drinking too :P. We headed towards O'Charley's but were keeping our eye out for something else along the way. G saw TGI Friday's so we decided to pull in there and give it a try. I honestly think it's been at least 5 years since I have been to a Friday's! Probably since I lived in Indiana.
It was a little bit full and there was a wait, so we put in our names and headed to the bar. I usually will order something like vodka/cranberry juice, but in the moment, I just decided to try something new, so i ordered an Ultimate Mango Mai-Tai. Let me tell you, it was super yummy! That is one of the best drinks I have had out in a long time! It isn't a frozen drink, just a fruity one, and it left me feeling a little buzz before we even went to our tables. For food, I ended up getting the Jack Daniels ribs, which were also amazing (and another maitai with dinner of course). All in all, it ended up being about $75 for the entire evening out, which is a rare luxury for us, but it was fun to get out and spend some quality time together over good food and good drinks. Hope you all had a great weekend!
It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is pregnant! Maybe that is just the way it goes when you are 30 something because that's the time when most of your friends are having babies, but it seems a bit crazy right now. My friend T is a couple of months along now. My friend L from teaching last year is 7 months pregnant. And all you have to do to see a pregnant woman these days is flip through people magazine, where apparently, being pregnant is so very "in" these days.
There was a time when being a working Mom wasn't even an option at all. Fathers went to work and brought home the money to support their families. Moms stayed at home, forsaking any career goals or aspirations for the greater good of their family unit. How times have changed!! There are still Moms who stay at home, of course, but that is because they are choosing to, not simply because that's what "everyone else is doing." It took a while I think for celebrity women to really be allowed to have a career and family, though. There was a time in Hollywood where pregnancy or motherhood meant the end of a woman's career, period. No studio was going to hire a woman who had a child, and that was just it, like an unwritten law.
Suddenly, however, it seems like having a baby is just as trendy as wearing the latest Versace designs or carrying the newest Berkin bag. A pregnant belly is no longer a shocking thing to see at awards ceremonies or a thing to be hidden until your trainers can work you to death to get your celebrity body back. The press has even given it a cute name... a baby "bump". They will call it a "bump" even if it's a freakin mountain sized belly, just because it sounds more trendy and cutesy. So, let's count the celebrities who are pregnant or have very recently given birth:
Jennifer Lopez (who just had twins), Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, Halle Barry, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Lisa Marie Presley, Salma Hayek, and who can forget little Jamie Lynn Spears. I am sure I am leaving out tons of others, but I'm sure you get my point. Everyone is pregnant!!
I have no doubt that being a mother is what everyone says it is. It changes your life, it gives you new meaning, and all that good stuff. Salma Hayek says in a recent magazine interview that she was "born to have this girl." And I also think it is wonderful that my friends are happy and are having babies of course. I just know that even though I have found the man of my dreams, I am not ready to go down that path yet. There are already so many pressures put on women (especially in the south I will say) to have certain things like husbands and families, like I wrote earlier this week... and now it seems like the pressure to have a baby is coming from all sides as well. That doesn't mean I am going to have one, but it certainly makes me wonder how younger girls are handling it. if there's already all that pressure from your everyday life to get married by a certain age and have children, then you turn on the tv or flip through a magazine and are bombarded with baby "bump" photos... maybe it just seems more and more like the thing to do these days.
I am not really sure what I am trying to say with this post, I am just making some observations I guess. On one hand, I think it's amazing and wonderful that women have more choices and can more easily handle the stress and pressures of being a mom, a wife, a celebrity or a working mom, and all of that. On the other hand, though, it does appear that some people are taking this newfound freedom that women have and abusing it simply because it seems like the "it" thing to do. After all, Angelina Jolie may make it look easy to have 4 or 5 kids, but we normal women need to remember that she also makes something like $30 million a year and can buy all the help she needs to raise them all. I don't know what my final point is here, just that it's been on my mind lately.
I guess it seems like there has to be some new scandal every year on American Idol, and you have to wonder if they plan it that way. I am beginning to think that maybe they actually recruit people who are willing to let themselves be thrown off the show for their lies, just to create more publicity for the show. The truth is, even though I have been a fan of the show since the beginning,I have to agree with what some of the people over at Vote For The Worst have to say. Reality TV is definitely not "Real" in the same sense that life is real. It may not be scripted the same way a regular sitcom is scripted, but there is definitely an agenda. Producers can lead us to believe anything, true or not, by the way they edit and manipulate, I have no doubt about that.
Millions of people show up to audition for American Idol, and it's obvious that the judges don't neccesarily pick the most talented singers. They pick a variety of singers that meet the criteria they are looking for this season. And sometimes it really does seem like they pick certain people just so the early voting will be easier and they can predict who will go. Then they pick their show ponies (David Archuleta) and they give them tons of air time and video clips, personal information, etc. I have to wonder if they even give some contestants more rehearsal time or styling advice.
So what's the big scandal released on American Idol just before the top 12 are announced and the competition moves to the big stage and starts grooming it's cheesy tour group? David Hernandez is a gay stripper! A lot of people seem to be surprised that the guy is gay quoting some audition scene where he asked if there were "any ladies around", but how could you not have known he was gay? Are you blind? The guy is obviously into fashion. He was singing Celine Dion songs people! I didn't mind, though. Who cares if he's gay?? This is supposed to be a competition about good singers, remember?
Well, the news of David's job at a strip club called Dick's Cabaret for the past 3 years just hit the net over the past week, and there is some speculation about whether he will be allowed to continue on in the competition. The rumors are that he has already been sent home after his performance on Tuesday and that he will not be in the audience for the girl's performance tonight. Funny how that bit of news will probably improve the number of people watching tonight's show astronomically. I mean how else can they keep up a 30 million person audience three nights a week for 2 months?? I have to say that I would not be surprised if David Hernandez is riding first class on his way home with a large wad of cash in his back pocket and a note that says "Thank you for allowing yourself to be exploited for cash... again."
I guess you really can't blame the producers too much. What they do works doesn't it? We watch the show. If America didn't buzz with the news of their scandals and fall for the bait they put out, they would be out of a job and American Idol wouldn't have made it to the 2nd season, let alone the 7th. What I do blame them for is trying to convince us that it's okay to disqualify someone for being a gay stripper. What? Do they think he is a bad role model? With a name like American Idol, they must be wanting to uphold the saintly reputation of pop music idols such as Britney Spears, Madonna, Puff Daddy, and Amy Whinehouse. Right?
I have to admit that I often have a problem with the fact that America idolizes people who repeatedly make bad decisions. There are plenty of amazing people in our country who would make great role models and who deserve to be put up on a pedastol, so why do we let ourselves worship these skanks, whores, drug addicts, and alcoholics? And it isn't just pop music icons that we exonerate for this behavior. We allow it in our sports stars where a player can be in rehab for being a heroine addict one year, but then next season he's right back on the field making millions a year and signing autographs for 10 year olds who are wearing their number on a jersey and looking up at them with pure admiration. We allow it in our movie stars for sure. DUI's for movie stars is almost like a rite of passage these days, isn't it? And, worst of all, we allow it in our own government. I would bet there are more Senators who have gay strippers on their payroll somewhere than we would ever care to know about.
So what's the problem with letting David Hernandez stay on American Idol? If Jamie Lynn Spears gets to be pregnant at 16 and still work for Nickolodean, where do we draw the line? Teenage Pregnancy? No Problem. Heroine Addict? There's always Rehab. DUI? Everyone's doing it. Gay Stripping? Whoa! Omg! Quarantine him! Exile him! Off with his head! I don't get it.
Well, so far so good with the exercise this week. I am about to head out for my third day of Jazzercise. I can definitely feel the resistance starting to pull me down and make me want to come up with some excuses why I can't go today. Resistance is a very curious thing. It's not that I don't enjoy Jazzercise. In fact, when I'm there and I'm really into it, so far it is the best I have felt in a very long time (well, apart from making love). And when I leave, I am so awake and my body feels so good and energized. So why is there resistance? Who knows! It's as if whenever you are trying to do something that is actually GOOD for yourself, resistance kicks in and tries to convince you otherwise.
Resistance is not my word for it. I was reading this book I got for my birthday called "the War of Art" by Steven Pressfield, and he is the one that calls it that. I didn't always have a name for it, but I have always felt it pulling me down and making excuses for me to bail out on things that should be good for me.
Anyway, after two days of working out but not really eating right, I have gained weight. The exercise is supposed to help me lose it! So why the heck have I been eating like crazy?? I guess I am a bit hungrier in general from working out, but that is not an excuse for eating fatty food when i'm hungry. It's self-sabotage really. As if my brain said, "What? You're doing something good for yourself that might boost your self esteem and weight loss?? Hmm... how can I sabotage these efforts? I know! I'll convince you that since you're working out and being good, you can cheat a little on the food part and the exercise will make up for it. Hahahaha." And so here I am, a pound heavier than I was last week despite my exercising efforts. I have two days till weigh-in so you know what that means. Super good on the food from here on out. Hopefully tomorrow morning the scales will be back down. Here's hoping.
Jazzercise was definitely a success yesterday. It was a lot of fun with really good music and fun dance moves. I definitely could not hang during the last twenty minutes when we did weights and strength type stuff, but I know that I did my best. After time, surely that stuff will get easier right? I am going to believe that it will as long as I stick with it. The bottom line is that I exercised for a full hour and I had a good time doing it. As much as I rebel against exercise and usually hate doing it, I hope that I have found something I will keep up with.
The other good thing about my day was that I had so much more energy throughout the afternoon. I got some good writing done and I certainly hope to repeat that today. The weird thing though, is that in the afternoon and evening I got irritable. You would think that energy and fun would have equalled an amazing day all around. I don't know what my problem was! G came home and we went to see Vantage Point, which was pretty good, but not awesome. We had a stupid argument about drinks and snacks at the movie theater. For some reason, I love to have a soda at the movie theater when i'm watching a movie. Yes, I know it's expensive, and I know that sometimes it makes me have to pee in the middle of the film. I still want it. I like to have candy too, but I can do without the candy. But everytime we go see a movie, we have to have this conversation/argument about me wanting a drink. Honestly, we argue so rarely that it really annoyed me to be having this argument yet again. Okay, so it's a $3 drink. I still want it. What's the big deal? We saved $3 by going to the matinee anyway. In the end, I got the drink, probably because I sort of threw a fit about it, but I also sort of made myself insane and irritated for the entire evening.
After the movie, it was as though every single thing bugged me or made me feel anxious and irritated. I couldn't control it, honestly. I am not sure if it has to do with our argument or if it's just about the fact that I almost started my period and then didn't. Maybe it's just PMS. Either way, I had been hoping that fun exercise would equal instant and prolonged happiness. I guess I will have to stick to it and see if I feel better today or not. Of course,what I want to do this morning is get back in bed but I know that ultimately that will only make me feel worse. I am heading back to Jazzercise and hoping that it will wake me up and make me feel great. I am also hoping that by Friday the scale will say I am a little bit lighter.
I am writing a super short post this morning because I am about to head out to try Jazzercise! I used to love aerobics classes in college, and I am hoping that this will be fun and motivating. I also am a little nervous about meeting new people, because sometimes you fit in and sometimes you just don't. I will write more later and let you know how it goes!