Friday, September 2, 2011

In which Jenny Lewis leads to greater self-awareness.

"You Are What You Love" - Jenny Lewis
With the Watson Twins

This song popped into my head this morning, after a few years of almost forgetting it existed. It's one of those songs that reminds me of a specific time, place, or feeling. A certain Neko Case song is reminiscent a difficult goodbye. Most Liz Phair songs remind me of what it was like to be in a sexually and emotionally confusing relationship. Play me the right Belle & Sebastian song, and I am transported to a dimly lit room in a moment so exhilarating and exciting that I forget about the coffin in the corner.

With this song, I remember, clear as a bell, being 19 years old and heartbroken for an entire summer. I had experienced two romantic flops in less than 2 months' time. These duds followed startingly identical trajectories: Meet guy. Slowly flirt and bat eyelashes. Make out. Flirt more. Fool around. CELL PHONE SILENCE. For someone as young and inexperienced as I, this double-feature of lameness devastated me. I would hole myself up in my room and listen to the same songs over and over again, this one being featured heavily. After spending many nights smoking Marlboro Lights and sneaking malt beverages on my back patio, I became convinced that I was experiencing the worst heartbreak and that I was destined for a lifetime of unrequited loves. I took the pain and ran with it, catastrophizing everything.

Years later, I don't take it so personally when flirtations fizzle out. I know now that it's very common and typically for the better. I know that not all romantic entanglements have to be novels; most are short stories and some are just blurbs. And, hello? It's totally his loss. The point is, when this kind of thing has happened to me recently, I brush it off and move on. I can say, "No big swig" to something that would have caused me indescribable pain only five years ago. That right there, is proof of lifetime progress. I have learned how to survive pain and disappointment. Better than that, I am much better at seeing things for what they are. It could have just been the product of more life experience, but it's also possible that at some point I made the conscious decision that feeling like a victim is simply not an option, especially such a trivial issue as boys. I grew up, forged on, and survived the perils of my hormones. 

So when I thought of that song, I could remember feeling such a painful association with this it, but I could not, for the life of me, recall why I had identified so strongly with it at that time. I've had similar crummy situations since then, as recently as this summer, and I just can't see myself responding with such pain. When something like that happens now, I brush it off and walk away. I take a moment to acknowledge the disappointment and move on. There are much greater heartaches to endure, much higher mountains to climb.

This disparity of response is reassuring to me. It's reassuring to know that the pain, frustration, and confusion I currently feel towards my personal life is completely tolerable. In five years, it might even seem trivial and laughable. It sucks right now, but I have to fight through it. I was obviously able to do it in college, as I stopped caring about those two lame boys by the end of that summer. I moved on. I forged on despite my heavy heart when I was 19, and the light at the end of that tunnel was the absolute brightest I had ever seen. It can happen again. I will find a new light at the end of this tunnel, too. I just have to keep fighting, keep surviving. The reward that is waiting for me will be...unimaginably wonderful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This deserves a happy dance...

Excuse me, I have to get this out of my system:


After weeks of answering Craigslist ads, I finally landed an interview for a part-time office position. After prepping for the interview with a new power outfit and an intense performance of "The Edge of Glory" (followed by an encore of "Bad Romance") in the shower, I felt confident and powerful

Try and stop me, universe.

I start Monday and I am really looking forward to all of the new opportunities that are bound to come my way. I knew I could do this. I really, really did. 


What made you feel confident and powerful this week?

Monday, August 22, 2011

How I spent my summer vacation

The end of August has always been an exhilarating time for me. In the past, I have been dizzy with excitement thinking of all that Back To School season implies: new knowledge to be had, new friends to be made, new opportunities to be seized. (Not to mention new supplies to be purchased.)

An essential part of the Back to School experience is the process of rewinding the film and examining the summer months: Did I make the most of my summer? Have I adequately prepared myself for the challenges ahead? Do I have any regrets? While I may not be returning to school this fall, I see no reason why I cannot adopt this spirit and reflect on my summer.

Here are the facts: I was unemployed. I stayed in most weekend nights. I was in a relationship that finally fell apart. I kept to myself, hunkered down in my basement. I watched a lot of Netflix.

In the past, I would have been embarrassed by this summer. There were no grand adventures, I didn't come away with epic tales of debauchery and rebellion...and I am more than okay with that. I am confident that my seemingly sad and wasted summer was actually one of the most important times in my life. This summer, I became a student of the self.

What does that mean, "student of self?" It means that I have begun the process of unpacking a lifetime of pain. It means that I am working toward breaking the cycle. It means that I am learning the tremendous power of becoming self-aware. It is the hardest work I have ever done, but it was this work that got me through this tumultuous time in my life. 

What did this "work" entail? I wrote in my journal with a brutal honesty that I have never allowed myself. When faced with uncomfortable situations or thoughts, I actively examined them and dug deep to the roots, rather than running away from them. I asked myself the toughest questions one can ask, all in the name of a better life through self-awareness. I would not rest until I fully believed that I am a unique human event. I know myself now. I know my worth and I don't question it for a moment.

I'm grateful for the time I spent alone this summer. As much as loneliness frightens me, I desperately needed solitude for this work. It was an education in truly experiencing my emotions. I willingly sat in some intense feelings, both fresh and long-ignored, and embraced their raw truths. Each wave of human feeling was a lesson: Pain is temporary. Knowing myself is permanent.

How I spent my summer vacation. I cried. I mourned. I felt intense rage. It wasn't exciting or glamorous and, at times, it wasn't particularly fun, but I have zero regrets about how I chose to spend my time. I am filled with the same exhilaration I felt as a child going back to school. I spent my summer learning about my self and have built a ferocious appetite for it. The next chapter of my education as a student of self is just beginning, and I am ready for every lesson that comes my way. Nothing can stop me, now that I have a stronger self of self.

A stronger sense of Kait.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My week in bullet points: April 4-10, 2011

Spring is has been such a tease this week, but even though she only teases, she still fuels my positive moods and my productivity. Here's a taste of what I did this week, just in case you missed it.
  • I was in the city this week with Rachel Rabbit White talking to a Korean television crew about No Makeup Week. It was a fun experience and it was great to spread the word about a project that I loved participating in. Of course, I am awkward and sometimes I do awkward things in front of strangers, like this: Cameras make me awkward. And boring.
  • Justin and I went out! With other people! And sang karaoke! This probably doesn't sound exciting, but I haven't been out with Justin like this in months, so it was incredibly exciting for me.
  • I had a fabulous Saturday! The weather was lovely, so I took Weetzie Dog to the playground down the street. She hated it, I loved it. I took in the weather and the budding trees. I especially enjoyed the swings, as I always do: Higher! Go higher!
  • The entirety of yesterday was spent with Netflix. I don't regret it.
One last thing! My friend Jackie is running a half marathon for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and she needs support in all forms! For any of you that have participated in charity races or Relay For Life events, you know that meeting your fundraising goal can be difficult and that sometimes, asking your friends and family for help can be awkward. Blood cancers are the #2 cause of death in children and LLS is dedicated to looking for a cure. Please visit her fundraising site here and donate to this important cause. You can also support Jackie by checking out her blog, Jax Race. It chronicles her adventures in running and preparing for her half marathon in September.

Alright, I'm out. Have a good week, everyone!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Higher! Go higher!

I'm an adult who loves playground swings. I always have. For a kid who was afraid of just about anything (from needles to zoo animals), I conquered the swings. My awkward long legs let me soar higher than all the other kids. Queen of the Swings, that was me.

I still soar on playground swings every time the opportunity presents itself. Years of practicing my swinging stride allow me to be sky high in virtually no time. I'm free up there. My mind is completely blank. It's the one time when my mind isn't racing, when I'm not worrying about things I have to do, or reading too much into the littlest things. When I'm on the swings, the gears in my mind stop turning. I am fully in the moment, and I never want it to end. I never want to come down from that high place in the sky; I never want to come down from the high of the adrenaline rush. I can see myself just going up, up up...

Higher! Go higher! For the other kids, it was a dare, a challenge. For me, that push to go higher was a necessity. I needed to fly higher, farther from the world below and closer to somewhere new. Somewhere special. A place where I could be myself and love myself without anxiety or pressure or teasing. As an adult, I know that I can't logically go higher; my sight line is already far above the bar (and, hello, gravity). Even knowing this, something about the swings still forces me to push. That need to soar and escape is undeniable.

With each playground communion, I feel closer to something great, something wonderful. The swings allow me to have a private and intimate moment with myself. I find myself simply breathing and feeling the air around me, examining how it feels to be in my body. I can shut everything out and enjoy the simplicity of the experience: no noise, no distractions, no racing thoughts...just bliss.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cameras make me awkward. And boring.

File this under: "Evidence Of Kait's Supreme Awkwardness"

So yesterday I was in the city with Rabbit...and a film crew (more on that much much later). Later in the afternoon, we all walked to a local coffee shop to shoot some footage of Rabbit and I "working." We figured we could easily pretend to do work and we pretty much didn't need to. We sat with our computers open, talking about projects and brainstorming some things.

Buuuut I ran into a problem with fake working when the cameraman decided that he needed of closeup shot of me doing work. So I figured if I typed I was typing, I would look very serious and very productive...until the camera was right in my face and I was struck with anxiety. My brain seized up and here, dear friends, is what I typed while I was "working" for the camera:

Fake work! Fake work is fun. Doing fake work with no makeup is interesting. I am eating some delicious pie right now. The employees called us "models" when they thought we couldn't hear. Models with no makeup. HAHAAAAA
There is a camera on my face right now so I am FAKE BLOGGING. I have nothing to say but I feel really awakward doing NOTHING so instead I type. About nothing. With my apple pie. 

Special, right? I would also, from time to time, stop writing, stare at the screen, tap the "Delete" key furiously, and the re-type the same awkward sentence. And, to calm anyone's nerves, my laptop screen was not in the shot, just my face.

I'm feeling that awkwardness clutching my brain again, so I have no idea how to end this post. Fin.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My week in bullet points: March 28-April 3, 2011

Better late than never, right? Here's what I did this week, just in case you missed it.
  • On the blog, I recapped my Spring Getaway to Southern Illinois: Part One and Part Two
  • My best friend (who has an insightful blog about art and life in New York City, btw) sent me a link to this great blog: Le Dog Blog. If you love happy, smiling puppies as much as I do, I highly recommend you clickclickclick!
  • Also, spent a good portion of my week, laughing at this video: My Little Pony meets The Dark Knight
  • Almost got into a fistfight with some librarians. First telling me I didn't return of my DVD's (hello, I'm ncredibly anal, I always return two DVD's at once, it's what I do on Mondays) and then they had me run back upstairs to see if the DVD was on the shelf. I worked in DVD rental, I know how it goes, but come on, in my day the employee was the one who did the running around to see if another employee made a mistake, i'mjustsaying.
  • I did a lot of personal journaling this week, thinking about my introduction into love, dating, and sex. It's stuff I haven't really thought about in a long time and it's taken me to some dark, painful places, but I think I will eventually be able to make something good out of this. :-)
  • I didn't fall victim to ANY April Fool's Day pranks. My friends/family are not jokesters and skepticism reigned supreme!
  • Had a crazy Sunday date with Justin, complete with a good movie (Cedar Rapids) and screaming hooligan children at the Cheesecake Factory. The dinner was a little fraught with stress thanks to a booth a little girls behind me who ran around the restuarant (two of whom actually leaned or fell into our booth) and threw cheesecake at their tween "supervisor," but it's always lovely to have a day out with my boyfriend, especially after a busy, moody week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Getaway, Part Two

Part Two of my Spring Getaway post. If you missed Part One, check it out here and then come on back.

Saturday was our Carbondale Adventure day. The hotel might have been more of an adventure than anything else. Arguing cleaning staff, room confusion, and guests using the parking lot as a party space until four in the morning. Justin and I got terrible sleep because of the loud guests, but i maintain that the worst part about that Carbondale hotel was the fact there were two copies of the exact same painting hanging in our room on adjacent walls.  ANYWAY, Justin and I had lunch at a (fake) Lonestar Steak & Saloon because the Showme's that the Internet promised us was now an Applebee's. (We really wanted burgers brought to us by busty girls). We went to two college town shops that my cousin recommended to me: Tropicana Vintage Clothing and Plaza Records. At the thrift shop, I picked up a fuzzy red and black coat AND convinced the shopgirl to knock off five dollars and sales tax because we shared a cosmic, tingly connection to the coat, which we both separately named Lola (oh, and because I asked). At the record store, which was being run by two snotty college kids who were way too into Laurie Anderson for my tastes and who loathed Soundgaren, I picked up a vinyl copy of Neko Case's Blacklisted. Now I just need a functioning turntable...another day, another problem. 

Dinner with my cousin and her husband was OUTSTANDING. We went to the Newell House in Carbondale, which I will now be recommending to anyone I ever meet for the rest of my life. Great drink list, delicious appetizers and salads, tremendous entrees, and desserts that make you melt into your chair. Also? Four people ate like kings at a not-necessarily-cheap bistro without holding back for under $200. Impressive.  If you are ever in the Carbondale, IL area, GO TO THE NEWELL HOUSE.

The drive home. We were exhausted from being kept awake by partying youths outside our hotel and, despite not wanting the spring getaway to end, I think we both were anxious to get home to our beds. Justin was excessively silly on the drive home, which can be a blessing and, well...less than a blessing. I napped and ate way too many snacks..

We're back at home now, already dealing with the life stuff we left behind. Yeah, there were moments on our trip when we would look at each other and say, "I wish we could run away like this forever." It sounds great, running away from all your troubles and just living for yourself, and it is...for a little while. Eventually, though, it starts to feel strange and stale. Being back at home means going back to work, getting into disagreements, and personal pain, but this trip reminded Justin and I that no matter how messy our lives get, we have each other. We have each other to talk to, to lean on, to confide in, to laugh with. We have each other to love. I hope that we can take more trips like this, trips that serve as reminders that we enrich each other's lives and, more importantly, that we can handle whatever life throws at us. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Getaway, Part One

Hello, friends! I've been gone for a week, but this time it was for a happy reason, not stress or sadness. Justin and I took a romantic, love-y dove-y spring getaway to beautiful Southern Illinois (or So-Ill, as I like to call it). We'd been stressed out by school, work, friends, family, just life in general, so this trip was much needed. It was a wonderful extended weekend of laughter, silliness, and reconnecting with each other. This update is a bit rambly and unorganized, but you really didn't expect me to spend time on my trip documenting every detail, did you?

(This thing turned out be way too long, so I split it up into two posts. Part Two will be posted tomorrow!)

Justin and I hit the road on Wednesday morning, stopping at a Cracker Barrel along the way and I ate waaaay too much, leaving me with that awful my-tummy-is-going-to-rupture feeling for the rest of the drive. We were pleasantly surprised by our hotel in Marion, IL. Comfortable king-size bed, big desk, comfortable chairs, flat-screen TV, aaaaand a jetted bathtub. Awesome. Luckily for us, there was a 1920s-themed steakhouse right next door to the hotel. Our dinner plans for the evening were pretty much sealed when we spotted the old-timey cars on display in front of the restaurant.

True to form, the first full day we had in So-Ill was an abrupt change in weather from three days of 80 degree weather and 40 degree weather and grey skies. (We tried to shake the notion that we had brought the horrible Chicago weather with us.) But this was our spring getaway, so weather be damned! We had outdoor plans and we were going to do them on the ONE day in our entire trip that didn't have rain in the forecast. We drove down to the Shawnee National Forest and walked the observation trail at The Garden of the Gods. It was cloudy and a bit chilly, but it actually turned out to be an interesting day to see the park. I've always seen it in the summer, when the sun is shining and everything is green. Going on a grey day in early spring was very different. Less green, small buds, and some fantastic colored moss and weathering on the rocks. I was so pleased with the afternoon that I took a lot of pictures, that you can check out here. They are all scenic with a few cloesups of rock surfaces, if you're into that sort of thing. After our communion with nature, we met up with my So-Ill family at a pizza place in Marion.

Friday had a bit of a slow start. We woke up to rain, so I was crabby. Justin had been dealing with some indigestion/heartburn problems for several days, so that made him crabby. But we got through it and after a lunch with my grandmother, we had talked away the crabbiness and our love-y dove-y spring getaway was back on track. We nixed plans to go out to dinner so that we could both stay in & relax and so that Justin could give his digestive system a rest. We had food delivered to the hotel (and it.was.AMAZING) and watched TV in bed. Ended the night by dropping a vanilla-toffee bath bomb into the jetted tub. Hellooooo, relaxation!

Stay tuned for Part Two!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My week in bullet points: March 14-20, 2011

It's the first day of Spring! With the beginning of Spring comes the beginning of a transitional period in my life. I'm doing more with my time and feeling good about it. Here's some of what I did this week, just in case you missed it.
  • I learned from Facebook that a member of my graduating class passed away this week. Read my thoughts on the news here.
  • I got hit with another cold! I felt like complete garbage within two hours on Tuesday afternoon (the Ides of March, how suspicious) and was convinced that I would be suffering from the Whine-Flu 2.0, moaning about how horrible my cold was for days on end. Fortunately, it wasn't so bad, I felt functional by Friday morning.
  • Wednesday was a BEAUTIFUL spring day! So beautiful that I forgot about my cold, sat outside, and enjoyed the moment. If you haven't already, read my thoughts about the possibilities of spring here.
  • Having "Friday" stuck in your head on a Friday is pretty fucking horrible, you guys.
  • Had dinner with some of the extended fam this weekend. Seeing my baby cousins is always a delight. L is walking now and she looks like me when I was a baby. The little boys weren't interested in playing with me, but the little girls were my best pals, asking me to put their hair up and showing me their new favorite toys. The best, though? 9-year-old J announced that she likes my current boyfriend way more than my former boyfriend. The old boyfriend has been gone for nearly two years and Justin wasn't even there to provoke this declaration of preference. J just likes him so much and thinks he's so much fun that she wants him to hang out with our family all the time. Adorable.
To top it all off, I am now the proud owner of this wonderful plastic pig:

Looks pretty typical, right?



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh! how I forgot what it's like

Spring has sprung in Chicago, my friends. It's 53 degrees, there are buds on the trees, and all signs of a blizzard have been completely erased.

Every year, there is that pivotal first day of Spring weather that makes me feel different. I am reminded of my favorite spring. It is Spring 2006. I am a 19-year-old freshman at Elmhurst College, a small, liberal arts school nestled in the safety of Chicago suburbia. Elmhurst, IL is so beautiful in the spring, with its endless trees and beautiful flowers, all blossoming at the same time. That first year, the campus came alive again for me in the spring.

It is April. I am riding in a white truck with a senior. He is an actor, he is a popular frat boy, he has great taste in music and film, he is adorable...and he is driving me around, talking to me. Awkward, not yet grown into my face, and completely inexperienced ME. We are listening to Neko Case's "Star Witness" (which he has recently fallen in love with, causing my internal swooning to escalate to Bieber Fever levels). The sun's warmth casts a loving, protective glow over everything that passes out my open window. I am sipping delicious raspberry lemonade as the heavenly spring wind gently caresses my hair. I remove myself from the conversation and take a breath. This is life. This is adulthood. This is happiness.

Oh! how I forgot what it's like...

Neko's words cross my mind every spring. I get so caught up in the sadness of winter, the weight of it all, that I forget what comes next. I forget what it feels like to come out of the darkness and feel the warm embrace of spring's possibilities.

Spring's possibilities. I am filled with this idea every year. That first day when I remember that there are so many little things in life that are astoundingly great. Birds chirping. A quiet drive through your neighborhood. The condensation of a cold drink. Everything is magical and makes me feel young and alive. My brain races with thoughts, ideas, and plans. Nothing is out of my reach. At 19, the world was laid in front of me, waiting for me to overtake it with my brains, my wit, my pizazz, my energy. And every year, I am reminded that possibility isn't just for the 19-year-olds, for the college set. It is for all of us. The coming of spring gives each and every one of us that renewed sense of "watch out, world, here I come."

We have to embrace it and hold onto it. While I love that yearly reminder of what this moment feels like, I don't want it to be a feeling that fades and requires a reminder. I want to feel this feeling year-round, and I think I'm finally on the right path, the path that will give me springtime motivation year-round.

Oh! how I forgot what it's like.

Oh, how I forgot! And oh, how it feels to be ready.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life is immensely too short

Last night, I learned (via the gossip mill that is a typical Facebook news feed) that a former classmate of mine passed away on Saturday. I went to elementary school, middle school, and high school with the individual and I can honestly say that he was one of the nicest guys I had ever meet (and my parents agree). By high school, he had the physical prowess of someone who could put anyone who crossed his path into some serious physical pain, but I don't think that really in his nature. My dad saw this person at Menard's, maybe a year ago, and he still greeted him with a hearty, "Hello, Mr. Armstrong!" as if he were still a nice 4th grader who lived in my neighborhood. Matt, you had a good heart and you will greatly missed.

Matt graduated in my class. He is my age...and his body failed him. I can't even imagine...I just...I don't know, guys, I don't what to say. I know what to say when someone takes a ton of drugs and commits suicide, I know what to say when the best friend you ever made in group therapy stops returning your calls before being found dead in her apartment, but...I don't know what to say when young people who led good, clean lives are taken down by their own bodies. It baffles me.

What I do have to say might sound like a downer, but clearly, life is too short. Life is too short to stress over the little things. Life is too short to stay angry with people. To short to second guess yourself, to short to pass on opportunities, too short to live without really living.

So to all the other twentysomethings out there (especially the younger half), if you were gone tomorrow, could you say that you had truly lived in your short life? I am already making strides to stop being frightened of new opportunities, of making less rules for myself. Yes, we should take care of our bodies, but we should also be certain that we are making the most of our lives, of cherishing every single moment that we have on this Earth.

And also, if you love someone, if you cherish someone's friendship, or if you just think someone is quirky character and you're glad to have them in your life, tell them. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, say something. You never know when it will your last opportunity.

Love, peace, and comfort to all who knew Matt. <3 <3

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My week in bullet points: March 7-13, 2011

Fairly uneventful week. Working on trying to change that. Here's my week in bullet points, just in case you missed it.
  • Made a major life decision that I'm not ready to talk about on the blog. I'm still processing my feelings and I can't shake the assumption that I need  to justify my decisions to other people. When the time comes, I'll fill y'all in, don't worry.
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a fantastic film that will, surprisingly, not bum you out. Watch it.
  • Justin and I have reached Season 3 of our grand Gilmore Girls journey. I have to say, this has been a special journey for the both of us. I've taken someone else on a Gilmore Girls journey before, but this has been great because Justin has his own opinions on the characters that I would have never considered before. Yes, we bicker a bit when I remind him that some of these characters are making their decisions because they're teenagers so we should cut them the teensiest bit of slack, but we also discuss characters' intentions and actions like intelligent adults. Sometimes, Justin will actually change opinions that I have held for five years because he sees the world differently and has different experiences than I do and can therefore make a compelling argument. (This is all great, but I am confident that Justin won't be so keen on Christopher come Season 5).
  • I'M QUARANTINED! Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover that my left tonsil was the size of Neptune and swallowing was too difficult and too painful. Upon an actual examination, said tonsil filled up half my throat and was super red and angry. After a few hours of telling myself the swelling would go down and taking 20 minutes to eat half a Jello cup, I had my dad drive me to an Immediate Care Center. My doctor had no time for stories about how that tonsil has always been just a little bigger, no appreciation for my nervous charms, none of it. He clearly set a goal of meeting with me, diagnosing me, and treating me in under 2 minutes. Dude shone a light down my throat, asked me if I was allergic to penicillin, and then left. No swab necessary. WORLD RECORD! So today, since I have been diagnosed with "presumed Strep," I am downing Gatorade like there's no tomorrow and avoiding people at all costs.
I realize that two of those bullet points are hella long and probably deserved their own posts, whatever, I'm in a transitional period.

How was everyone else's week?

Monday, March 7, 2011

My week WITHOUT bullet points: February 28-March 6, 2011

Once again, I'm a day late. I needed yesterday to veg out with a film festival of Showgirls, Sid & Nancy, and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. But I was thinking about my week in bullet points. The more I thought about it, however, I realized it would just be one bullet point as my week pretty much revolved around one event, an event that would define my week in a matter of two days. My week is worthy of a full-fledged post. So here's what happened to me last week, just in case you missed it.

It started out badly. Monday was emotionally draining on a level I had not experienced in a long time. Things were said by people in different areas of my life that were hurtful. The words themselves are not important to this story. What is important to know is how these words made me feel. At the end of the first row, I felt shunned, unlikeable, and stripped of my power. By the end of the second, I felt as if there was nothing I could do to please anyone. I was ready to give up.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a new outlook. It occurred to me that I was stronger than I had been made to feel the day before. I felt powerful and ambitious. My vision was clear. Rather than getting down on myself because of things other people had to say, I said, "Fuck 'em." I didn't have the time to worry about petty arguments because I had the IIFA State Forensics tournament to work towards. It had been a fabulous tournament the year before (taking all three of my events to finals, connecting with my team), and I was determined to make this year even better.

With a packed coaching schedule and Lady Gaga on repeat in my car, I had a goal: Ignore the haters and break at least two events to finals. I spent the week focused on staying strong and finding the vulnerability necessary to make my events as amazing as they could be. I felt more prepared than I ever have before a tournament.

I performed my ass off at the tournament on Friday and Saturday. I strutted around Northern Illinois University with purpose and confidence. I never questioned myself or compared myself to other competitors. I laid everything out for the world to see and it felt good.

Turns out that all the hard work I put in paid off: not only did I break all four of my events to finals, but I finished in the top three of each event. It was an incredible feeling and a tremendous personal accomplishment. I visualized my ideal outcome and I made it happen. Pretty friggin' cool, right?

So from now on, I'm not going to let other people stand in the way of not only what I want from life, but what   I need from life. I need to look out for myself, to do what's best for me. I need to remind myself daily to truly own my life and my decisions. I will not be taken down by those who are threatened by my strength and I will not compromise my needs because I want to please everyone.

This week served as the ultimate proof that I have the power to make things happen for me. I have the strength to get what I need from life. I feel like I really do have the strength and the capability to make big, scary changes in my life, changes that will bring me relief, happiness, and fulfillment.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My week in bullet points: February 21-27, 2011

Ugh, I'm a day late with this! But hey, whatever, at least I remembered that I forgot to do something yesterday. So here's a recap of my busy busy week, just in case you missed it:

  • Tuesday was Lady Porn Day! I spent Monday and Tuesday at LPD HQ, manning the Twitter conversation. Keeping up with the hashtag was stressful, but the experience was amazing. We received such tremendously positive feedback, stimulated some awesome twitter conversations about women and porn, received some awesome press coverage, and made amazing connections with the courageous women who were willing to discuss something as personal as a relationship with porn. YEAH, LADIES!
  • My blog got a lot of hits this week, thanks to Lady Porn Day! If you haven't already, you can read my personal story of self-exploration through porn here.
  • In a display of perfect cosmic timing, my piece on sex-positivity was published on Eden Cafe the day after Lady Porn Day. Check it out here!
  • My Forensics life has officially gone into overdrive. I competed at a competitive 4-year tournament this weekend and managed to place 5th in Communication Analysis! I was quite pleased with myself. So pleased, in fact, that I actually sauntered out of a round. I blame listening to "Born This Way" on repeat before leaving for the tournament.
I've got a big State Forensics tournament coming up this week, so most of my time will be spent preparing for that. I still hope to have another post up before I leave Friday morning, but if I don't, I like to think that I have a pretty good excuse. :-)
Proud to be holding a MAFL prize.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lady Porn Day: Self-Exploration Through Porn

Sex blogger and journalist (also, my first cousin) Rabbit White has declared February 22 to be Lady Porn Day. Rabbit says that, "At it’s heart, this is about celebrating pornography and masturbation." Lady Porn Day provides an opportunity for all who are interested to discuss, explore, and share personal porn experiences, philosophies, and opinions. I am honored to be a part of the Lady Porn Day team.

This post contains content that is not normally seen on my personal blog. I discuss my personal and private (until now) experiences with pornography, masturbation, and my own sexuality. Consider yourself warned.

I was not always someone who was interested in porn. Pornography was never discussed in my home or in my sex education classes. I was left completely in the dark. Despite my regular teenage masturbation habit, I developed the idea that if porn was not discussed amongst women, then it must not be worthwhile. Having no one to talk to, I just assumed that everyone masturbated the same way I did: late at night, under the covers, squeezing my eyes shut and holding my breath, terrified that someone would hear me or burst into the room.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me. I saw my first “Skinemax” flick on a lonely evening when I was about 17. I watched one sex scene, felt that special tingle in my jeans…and promptly turned off the flick and headed to bed. I had never seen something like that, something so brazenly open about the act of sex and all of its pleasures, so I was confused by how aroused I was. This was the first time that I had been aroused by visual stimuli rather than spontaneous curiosity and exploration.

My late-night encounter was a revelation. I wanted to explore this type of arousal further, but being a timid teenager with no resources, I felt my options were limited. For several years, I found pleasure and enjoyment in what I had access to: TV series on DVD. I had a penchant for developing hard-core crushes on television characters. Why not turn these silly teenage crushes into masturbatory fodder? I would have been more than happy to have any of the men from CSI dust my body for evidence, Spike was more than welcome to ravage me in his Sunnydale crypt, and mounting Sam Seaborn in the Roosevelt Room was never out of the question.

I’ve gotten much more comfortable with searching for porn since then. I regularly cruise cable TV for delicious soft-core porn. The introduction of On Demand cable into my life has enhanced my porn-viewing habits, and now my brain holds a database of titles, production companies, and performers. My favorite movies are always there, day or night, waiting for me.

It’s taken years of self-exploration, but I have finally realized what elements of porn turn me on: ambiguity and genuine pleasure.

If something has a mystery about it, I find it sexy. This love of ambiguity is precisely why I have never been able to get into hardcore porn. I don’t want to see everything. The in-and-out of penetration feels amazing, but in my opinion, a closeup of said penetration looks unpleasant. I’d rather let my imaginative mind wander. This is why I find erotic literature so effective. The descriptive language allows me to take the reigns in visualization. Every time I read an erotic short story, I envision myself and whomever I see fit to fill the role(s) of the lovers. That’s the beauty of ambiguity—you can fill in the blanks to fit your desired interpretation.

Genuine pleasure is a major element for me. I’ve seen my fair share of porn performers ooh and aah their way through a scene and it just doesn’t work for me. I’d rather see a female performer’s face contorted in pleasure, her body convulsing, her breath shortening. You see, when I watch porn, I look for that genuine pleasure so that I can live vicariously through her. If it appears that a performer is trying to “look sexy,” I’m not into it. I want to look at a female performer and think, “Whoa. That looks like fun.” Witnessing genuine pleasure inspires me to pursue my own genuine pleasure.

Today, I feel no shame about the role porn plays in my life. Porn is about exploration. Not just exploring the world of pornography and sexuality, but exploring YOURSELF. What intrigues you, what makes you feel a connection. Building a relationship with porn is a full mind-body experience. Exploring my sexuality through pornography and masturbation has not only given me a sense of self-awareness about my body, it has also given me the strength to assert myself, to say, “This is what I want in my life. This is what makes me feel powerful and in control.”

So today, I can say with confidence that my relationship and experiences with porn are important, empowering, and most importantly, they are mine. No one can ever take away from me, and that is pretty fucking sexy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My week in bullet points: February 14-20, 2011

Oh jeez, what a long week! I can't believe I survived. Lots of working, lots of running around, lots of not spending time in my own home. My body is worn out and I'm exhausted, but I'm still ready to recap my week for you, just in case you missed it.

  • After watching the Grammy's, I wrote a post shedding the tiniest amount of light possible about how Lady Gaga and Madonna inspire me and teach me how to be a strong woman. 
  • I didn't get to see Justin on Valentine's Day (which didn't bum me out because we don't really put that much emphasis on Valentine's Day being a special day for us as a couple), but I did feel the love in my Forensics office, where my Speech Wife made me a Valentine's Day card and the boys on my team bought the girls delicious cookies.
  • Traveled out to the city to work with Rabbit White on her upcoming project, Lady Porn Day. Click here to learn all the info about Lady Porn Day. If you're on Twitter, you can get in on the conversation RIGHT NOW by using the hashtag #ladypornday and check back in with me this Tuesday (February 22), which is the official date for Lady Porn Day, for my thoughts on porn, as well as some other surprises!
  • On my Tuesday morning commute, I crossed something seemingly average to most yet extraordinarily bold to me off of my bucket list. Read about it, won't you?
  • Tried to make Justin watch Showgirls. He couldn't get through it. I, however, loved every second of it.
  • Competed in a Forensics tournament for the first time since December. I had a great time, saw friends from other teams and some of the COD Forensics alumni, which always makes my day. To top it all off, I took 2nd place in Communication Analysis!
What's to come in the week ahead? Well, aside from work, school, and another tournament, LADY PORN DAY IS TUESDAY! So much work has gone into it and it has been such a privilege to be a part of Rabbit's branichild. Hope you guys love it as much as we do!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30-- #10

It was a sudden impulse. It is very rare that I am possessed by these impulses, these sudden urges to try something new. Because these instances are few and far between, I have learned that they must never be ignored and must always be embraced to the fullest...especially when there are bucket lists involved.

It seemed like a typical Tuesday morning. I was simply driving to work. However, instead of following my normal route and turning right, I made the sudden decision to turn left. What was to the left, you ask? An alternate route, of course. A route that would get me to work in eleven minutes flat. A route that consisted mainly of driving on a major expressway.

I've always been wary of expressway driving. So many lanes, such high speeds; the thought of such an environment made me tremendously nervous. I was convinced that I would never be able to keep it together on an expressway, that I would never be able to stay in control of the moment.

Maybe it was the power of feeling super cute. Maybe it was the power of Neko Case crooning to me, "This tornado loves you, this tornado loves you." Whatever it was, it made me feel powerful. The expressway route was merely an extension lane, I wouldn't be required to do anything bold, like merging, so I just did it. I cackled and let out the perfect Romy and Michele, "WOOHOOOO!" as I veered onto the on-ramp. I was totally jazzed, doing a little dance in the driver's seat...

...And then I was there. Cruising down I-290 at a cool 70 mph. I had seen this road from a passenger's seat view a thousand times. I guess I expected it to look different somehow. Scarier, more intimidating. I knew I had graduated from a timid, mousy driver to a full-fledged woman of the road when I casually (but carefully) exited my lane and passed the rusty old jalopy going juuuuuust 55. Later, loser. I've got places to be. Fabulous places, exciting places.

Oh, the places I will go...with my newfound power. ;-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

If I'm Born This Way, then I must Express Myself.

Something happened to me last night when Lady Gaga took the stage at the 53rd Anual Grammy Awards last night. Gaga was not new to me, "Born This Way" was not new to me, and her theatrical stage elements were certainly not new to me. But when Lady Gaga emerged from her alien pod and I saw her face and heard her voice singing those words, I was riveted. By the time she waltzed up to her Haunted Mansion organ, there was a bizarre surge of emotions and I could honestly feel myself growing misty. If my mom hadn't been sitting next me, I probably would have cried a little from the uplifting and encouraging vibes that emanated from my television. After a shitty, shitty weekend, I was ready to give into the misery and give up. I was ready to give up on school, on Forensics, on trying to be a prodtucive member of society. As ridiculous as it sounds, Lady Gaga was my angel last night. An angel that said, "You're on the right track, baby."

And you know what? I just might be on the right track, thanks to Mother Monster. After that perforamce,  I was a born-again Little Monster. I perked up, went back to work, and got some things accomplished. The coming week suddenly seemed less daunting.


Someone had to rain on my parade. Or remind me that I left my cake out in the rain. Take your pick.

As could have been predicted by a howler monkey, the Internet has been in an uproar (or something like that), saying that "Born This Way" is a rip-off of the classic Madonna track, "Express Yourself." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I don't care. Similar chords and/or song structures be damned. To me, they are two different messages from two different women without whom I would be nothing.

"Express Yourself," to me, is a song that tells girls we have choices in our romantic entanglements. Madonna teaches us that second-best is not even close to good enough in a relationship and that we are strong enough to make that kind of informed and empowered decision about our sex lives. She warns of the traps of the lavish gifter. Just because he gets you the diamond rings or the "fancy cars that go very fast," does not mean he's bought your heart. No one buys my heart. When I was a child, Madonna's words taught me that I had the right to express my thoughts, my opinions, and my desires. She taught me that (and this was a concept I wouldn't fully grasp until only a few years ago) second-best is NEVER EVER enough. I would have done far better as a free bitch. In fact, I am a free bitch, baby, thanks to growing up with Madonna.

And speaking of being a free bitch, baby...

While Madonna told me to express myself as a girl, Gaga tells me to embrace myself as a woman. A white woman. A sexual woman. A stubborn woman. An autistic woman. A quirky woman. A jealous woman. A broken woman. A lost woman. These aren't all positive qualities. But baby, I was born this way. However we were created, it could not have possibly been a mistake, so why should I hide these things about me that others find not-so-great as if they were mistakes? I can never truly love myself if I am overly concerned with how others perceive me. You are the only person who has the right to say who you truly are. Lady Gaga's message in this song doesn't apply to just women; everyone can be on the right track to loving themselves by realizing that being born this way is the greatest gift of all.

You can say what you want. Lady Gaga doesn't care if you think her song is unoriginal and if it the situation were flipped, Madge would totally not give a shit. And you know what? When the snow starts to thaw and I'm driving home from school or work with my windows down having a little dance party in my car, It just will not matter.

I should take a cue from Gaga. The only way I can survive is to accept and embrace who I am and make it all work for me. Instead of hiding in reget, I'm gonna learn to love myself and I'll be set.


(Or a drag queen, but that's a whole other post coming soon this week!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My week in bullet points: February 7-13, 2011

Last night Justin and I had some truly horrific pillow talk while watching Empire Strikes Back. It went something like this:

Justin: I don't want to watch this.

Kait: Whatever, you're exhausted, you'll be asleep before Luke makes it to Dagobah. I, however, will be wide awake.

J: This isn't even my favorite movie. I'm a Return guy.

K: Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? This is a joke right? Because this is clearly the better movie.

J: Nope. Ewoks are awesome and Boba Fett eats it in the most pathetic way--


J: Meh. Yeah. No big.

K: Do I need to show you my Boba Fett undies?

J: YAWN. Ice planets and swamp planets? This movie blows. Nighty night.

K: ...crickets...crickets...

OKAY OKAY, so it didn't really happen like that. He now claims that he was just trying to get a rise out of me (you know, because he finds my neurotic rants entertaining), but I still say that we shouldn't joke about that topic. Preferring Return of the Jedi to Empire is a dealbreaker. There are some major philosophical differences in that debate, i'mjustsayin. I was shaken to my very core.

Oh, right, my week bullet points. Here's a recap of my totally eventful week, just in case you missed it.

  • I was still sick. Like, quarantine sick until Thursday. I watched a lot of TV and scribbled a lot of crazy nonsense that I'm still trying to sort out.
  • Launched into major overdrive in assisting Rachel of Rabbit Write with her next big project. Y'all should keep your eyes peeled on February 22. Let's just say that my browsing history is now clogged with a whole lot of smut (yay!).
  • Had a mini-meltdown over the weekend as personal problems grew to a massive head. I quietly chose to handle it by being anywhere but my own home for the entire weekend. Justin was great, keeping me (relatively) calm with homemade meals, Sara Lee cheesecake, Gilmore Girls, and hugs. I am now back at home and planning to tackle this coming week one day at a time.
I've got a busy week ahead of me. It will be stressful and overwhelming with work, school, and Forensics, but it will also be nice as I will be going into the Chicago to work on blogging things with my darling cousin. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 31-February 6, 2011

Happy Sunday! Well, not so happy for me. You'll learn why in just a hot second. Here's a recap of my week, just in case you missed it.

  • Chicago got hit by a blizzard. I was trapped in my house from Tuesday night until Friday morning. I spent that time doing homework and watching MSNBC. 
  • Once I was able to get my car out of my driveway and gained the ability to see the world, I was struck down by a major cold. Today has been the worst day of the cold, hence why I am not having a happy Sunday. I was hoping to get out of the house and go somewhere to watch the Super Bowl, but I am instead chained to a box of Kleenex.
  • And then I found a magical unicorn living in my garage. OKAY, not really, but I feel pretty underwhelmed by my week. The blizzard impeded my ability to go out and experience the world and the cold has impeded my ability to give a shit about experiencing the world. Here's to making this coming week count!
Since I'm not doing anything on this Super Bowl Sunday, I want to know how you guys enjoyed your weekends.  Any good snacks? Raucous parties?

"You actually expect me to go out there? I call shenanigans on this whole week!"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicago or Hoth? Sometimes I get them mixed up.

Greetings, world! I'm coming to you live from the aftermath of the Chicago Blizzard of 2011/snOMG!/Snotorious B.I.G./Snoprah Winfrey. The streets in our subdivision are plowed, but my mom and I are snowed in as we have yet to figure out how we're going to free the cars from the shackles of snow.

Here's some photos of my new existence on Planet Hoth

High-top furniture

The front of my house?

That is a 6-foot fence!
I really don't know what to say about this snow, you guys. As you can see, we had some epic overnight snowfall. Not plowed or shoveled, the snow comes up to my waist. I'm 5' 9". I'm not going to do the math. The dogs don't know what to do. Luckily for them, the snow drifted overnight and created a path along the side of the house. We have four cars in our driveway, so a snow-blower is not going to be helpful. Neither is a two-woman shoveling team comprised of a 135-pound twentysomething with a shitty back and a fortysomething physically disabled mother. Sooooo we're not thinking about the driveway. It's a self-preservational instinct. But don't worry about us. We've got plenty of white wine and snacks to last us a couple days, at least.

Any other Chicagoans reading? Tell me about your blizzard experience. If you've got photos, I want to see them.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My week in bullet points: This is not your average update

It's about 6:00 on a Sunday night, which is when I usually start settling down to recap my week. I'm usually scrolling down Facebook and Twitter, making sure I don't miss anything, and I'm uploading the photos I took over the course of the week. But not tonight.

I'm going to be honest. I did nothing this week. Well, that's not entirely true. I went to class. I worked. I saw Justin (the high point of the week, without question). But none of it felt supremely special of recapping. Even my anniversary dinner was lackluster. (Although, that has since been attributed to the fact that our special restaurant changed chefs and was not indicative of the moods/feelings of the happy anniversary couple.)

I'm just going to stop beating around the bush and 'fess up to you guys. I'm bummed out. I am Seasonal-Affective-Disorder-stay-in-my-jammies-and-devour-all-the-ice-cream-in-the-free-world-depressed. It's like this every winter. The short days and the grey Chicago skies throw me into a serious rut. A rut that prevents me from completing tasks (like blog posts). A rut that makes enjoying the simple things almost impossible. A rut that makes the walk from my front door to my car at the end of the driveway seem like an overnight trek across Planet Hoth. I am literally forcing myself to go through the motions of every day, because I know that laying in bed all day is in no way going to help my situation. I think I've gotten to a point where ignoring it just won't work anymore. I'm 24 years old. I need to be more proactive about the my winter moods. This winter has sucked. I have cried too much and wasted too much time in my pajamas doing nothing but feeling like a crabby bitch.

This is not a cry for help. I am not "at risk." I'm not looking for sympathy or concern. I'm just a typical woman with the Wintertime Blues, trying to push her way through her rut (as well as trying to explain why it might seem like I'm not really doing anything on this site).

So bear with me, friends, as we all chug along through what seems to be a particularly lame winter. (Chicago has a Blizzard Watch to look forward to this week. Hear that silence? Yeah, that's the sound of people not celebrating.) I can't promise that this is the moment where I turn it all around, where sharing my personal blues  transforms me into a shiny happy blogging machine. That would be way too easy (and boring). What I can say is that I'm really trying to help myself.

And I want you guys to all try to help yourselves, as well. I know I'm not the only one who feels more than a little sluggish during the winter months. What do you do to abate the doom and the gloom?

P.S. There is no photo of the week. Weetzie Dog was gone all week while we watched my sister's dog, so I was too bummed out to take any photos of anything while my model was away.

P.P.S. I feel a little lame for lumping time spent with Justin into a week of crap. My time with Justin really was special and worthy of recapping and remembering. Dinner at our special place was great, even if the food was not satisfying. We had our fancy drinks, each other, a strangers to judge. We also now have Gilmore Girls, which promises to be a great journey.

P.P.P.S Hey, look at that! I finished a post. :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 17-23, 2011

I'm late with this post. I know it, I accept it, I'm moving on. Here's what I did this week, just in case you missed it.

  • I got published! Words I wrote appeared somewhere other than here! If you haven't already, check out my first piece for Eden Cafe: Body Acceptance and the Tummy Monster
  • Starting to fall back in the grind of school. And when I say "fall back," I almost mean it literally as my college has cut salt from their budget. The parking spaces are all covered in ice and some are covered in snow, which means that parking is now a battle and walking to class takes some extra skill and flair. I have never looked forward to the spring thaw as much I am this year.
  • My weekend was busy busy busy! My school's Forensics team hosted our annual Frankly Speaking Tournament on Friday and Saturday. For the second year, I was in charge of the ballot table, which is pretty much the hub of information for the tournament. It's a job that can be a bit hectic and requires a lot of focus and organization, but I have so much fun doing it. My internal clock got all messed up, but it was definitely worth it.
  • Saturday marked 365 days since I went on my first date with Justin. Unfortunately, because of the tournament, we didn't get to see each other. We'll be making up for that by going out to a nice dinner this week.
  • I watched football yesterday. I never watch sports, but I hadn't seen Justin all weekend and I was very eager to get out of my house, so I jumped at the chance to watch the Bears-Packers game with Justin and his friends. And ya know what? I got it. I understood the thrill of watching sports in a group, of cheering for a local team. I even found myself talking to the TV, encouraging the Bears to keep it together and stay calm under pressure. It was a nice afternoon and I could probably be be easily convinced to watch future games.
  • I read something this morning and felt it was essential that I share it with you all as soon as possible. The Bloggess has written a brief post about coping with mental illness and is encouraging her readers to share kind words to someone struggling with a recent suicide. The comment section has turned into a confession wall of readers speaking out about their own struggles. Very moving and, for someone like me, very comforting. I highly recommend checking it out: "Coming out."
Winter in my backayard. Love it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 10-16, 2011

Another week is over. Here's a recap of what I did this week, just in case you missed it.

  • I did not produce any new content for my blog. FAIL.
  • BUT I DID MANAGE TO GO SHOPPING. Between sale prices and having a whole lot of gift cards, I paid $32 cash (after sales tax) for this dress. My savings were so great that the salesgirl ACTUALLY said, "You go, girlfriend!"
  • I went to a fancy cocktail party for Justin's work. Justin works at Medieval Times, so the party was a strange mix of actors, overly-primped club girls, former High School Theatre techies, and guys with long ponytails. Awesome buffet and chocolate fountain. Unfortunately, I was feeling really tired and hella shy, so I really didn't get to chat with anyone.
  • I watched maaaaany reruns of Buffy. I never saw season 7 and Logo just happened to be airing the episodes. How could I resist?
  • I watched in horror as my Facebook news feed overflowed statuses about astrology. Seriously? Astrology is gahbage (that's "garbage"), in my opinion.
Photo of the week!
A snowy night in a suburban subdivsion.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My week in bullet points: January 3-9, 2011

The first full week of 2011! Here's a recap of what went down, just in case you missed it.
  • I blogged about the discovery of a group of men who want to boycott American women in their romantic lives. Said boycotters had negative responses. Welcome to the Internet.
  • Had my first date night of the year with Justin. It was sooo nice to go out to eat (with a gift card, el oh el), stare at each other in dim lighting, and speak in hushed tones. Some of those hushed tones may have contained words about the obnoxious lady across the dining room who was talking about personal issues at a surprising volume.
  • Attended a Speech workshop and got some work done. It was nice to see everyone again and get back into the swing of Forensics-type stuff.
  • Saw Black Swan with my best friend. Great film, great company, great conversation afterwards. Love love love.
  • I won a SexIs Twitter Trivia contest! Lesson learned: if you spend your entire week on the Internet, you can win a bottle of $40 massage oil. (The question: "SexIs' comedic columnist, the Bloggess, was the focus of a story by what mainstream news organization this week?" Answer, without doing a bit of research: The Huffington Post. I may be lame, but at least I won a prize for my lameness.)
And now for my 365 Photo of the Week:
Yes, two weeks in a row of Weetzie Dog. Can you blame me?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boycott American Women? Huh.

Last week, I stumbled across a Jezebel article entitled, "Idiot Starts Boycott of American Women." I was obviously intrigued, so I eagerly clicked on the link. APPARENTLY, there is a blog where men come together to discuss, basically, why American women are undateable and would make really shitty wives (my words, for the record). Taking their disdain for American women a step further from verbal slander, these guys are boycotting American women. Now, I wasn't entirely clear if this is a boycott on dating American women or of their existence as a whole (no American female servers, medical professionals, customer service representatives, or sex workers for THESE guys!), but the concept seemed still...a little off. Still thinking about it and talking about it in the new year, I obviously had to check out the source material.

I want to start my reaction to this blog by saying that my tone here is not "angry feminist." That would just be too expected. My initial reaction would better be described as "baffled/amused/curious about these guys' lives." I'm not going to judge these guys for their opinions; every human is entitled to their opinions and it is not my place to tell these men that they are wrong. However, that won't stop me from judging their methods. As of today, this is the most recent post:

I say don't get married period. But if you must be a hardhead, I believe outsourcing is the best idea. Foreign women are comfortable in their femininity. As a male I am attracted to this. I believe that American women have priced themselves out of the marketplace. Too needy, too many headgames, too easy to divorce. Not many foreign men want American wives either. Plus nowadays you hear American women using terms like "starter husbands". Don't do it guys. What a crude women American girls are. American men are considered the best husbands in the world. They sure put up with more than most men in other countries do. That's why women from around the world try so hard to marry an American man. American women become very bitter divorcees.
Right off the bat, I can see that these won't be the strongest of arguments. Atrocious grammar aside, this person is pulling claims out of nowhere, lumping all American women together. Yes, there are some American women who have some "different" ideas about marriage, but that doesn't mean that we ALL want starter husbands.

i've never met any women other than american women, but i will say they (American women) are a huge pain in the ass and i couldn't imagine women from any other country being any worse than american women.

Anyway, you dumb American women can bitch and whine all you want. The facts are that over 50 percent of American women are single. The facts speak for themselves- NO ONE WANTS YOU!
First, this individual admits to only having met American women, so he really has nothing to compare them to...and yet still feels he has an argument. Secondly, if you're going to try and convince me of something with "facts," show me where you got that information. Citing sources establishes credibility. When you have credibility, your audience will listen. Don't believe me? Find any Communicate! textbook by Rudoph F. Verderber.

Scrolling through the blog, I found posts from different that shared some basic sentiments:
  • American women hate American men and should therefore admit to being lesbian whores.
  • Half of American women are single and polls show that American women are the least desirable women in the world. (The posts provide no source citations.)
  • American women are selfish creatures who want nothing more than to date/marry you so that they can hurt you.
To me, this blog is sending two messages. The intended message is that American women are unfit to be mates for American men. However, I sense a latent message from these men. I get the sense that every man who posts to this site has been hurt deeply by someone in their past. It is possible that these men have been hurt repeatedly by women. Not knowing how to deal with this hurt, rejection, and emasculation, the men of Boycott American Women generalized their feeling to all American women. It is this possibility of hurt that prevents me from being angry with these men. Yes, there are some items on the blog that make me want to scream, "Maybe it didn't work out because you can't communicate with American women, not because all American women are evil succubi!" but I still feel sad for these men. They're not "idiots," just men reeling from a personal trauma. Everyone deserves the chance to be accepted by a loving partner, but everyone has to work towards bettering themselves in preparation of that partner.

So, American Men Against American Women, here is my advice to you: Have an open mind. As an American woman, I was offended by your wild generalizations, but I allowed myself to think about what caused you to think this way. By keeping an open mind, I remember that you have experienced loss in love the same way that I have. By swearing off American women, you're closing yourself off from so many opportunities. Having a closed mind and maintaining your views as they are will only drive women away. You may think that an American woman isn't what you want, but go outside into the world and I guarantee that you will find at least one man who finds American women (with their freedoms and ideas) to be a treasure.

(And seriously, guys, bone up on your oral and written communication skills. Shitty grammar and unsupported views are turn-offs that can be remedied.)