Sunday, June 19, 2022

Big Lies

There's a belief out there, especially prevalent among politicians, that if a lie's big enough, people will believe it because it has to be the truth.  

They're both right and wrong, on that.  

People believe what they want to believe--either because they really, really want it to be true...or because they're afraid it might be.  

The USA has fed us--women, in particular--a massive lie for...well, for much longer than I've been alive.  

That lie?  

"You can have it all!  The lucrative career, the perfect house, the perfect family!  It all can be yours--you don't have to sacrifice anything!!!"  

It isn't just a lie.  It's a damned, filthy lie.  

Nobody can have it all.  There are trade offs that have to be made.  Always.  For everyone.  

When I taught college, I had a colleague that I had been on good terms with...she was friendly, I knew her from the time I was a student and liked her.  She saw potential in me--pushed me as a student to go for a masters' degree, then pushed me as a colleague to go for a doctorate.  Told me I was too smart, too good to stay an adjunct.  

I...didn't go for the doctorate.  At all.  I didn't want to.  I loved teaching, yes--however.  However.  

I barely made it through the two years of my masters' degree with my sanity intact.  I was, as I've mentioned before, one of two in a department of around two hundred (full professors, adjuncts, and graduate teaching assistants) who didn't vote for John Kerry in '04.  

I could have had my doctorate.  At the expense of my sanity. 

I could not have had both.  

This same colleague chose something else: she wanted her career, but she also wanted a husband and children (she dearly wanted children).  She chose to postpone marriage and children until she and her fiance got work in the same town.  

On the one hand, I got that.  However.  They'd been engaged for twelve years by the time they got married.  She was in her mid forties when they got married, and by that time, it wasn't possible for them to conceive.  Even with help.  They explored all of their options, and...

In choosing to wait, they gave up the chance to have children.  They set their priorities...and lost out on one of the things they really wanted.  

Because you cannot have everything.  

(She ended up hating me, by the way, for making the choices I did, the ones opposite to the choices she made.)

The pernicious belief that you making a lot of women make assumptions that prove wrong later, and making them miserable and bitter.  And it's also making them target other women who chose otherwise as somehow "betraying the sisterhood of all women and pushing us back to being trapped in the home doing nothing."

(Which, by the way, the working class never was--they were too busy working.  And most of those bitching would never have been trapped in the home doing nothing--there's always work to be done--and would have been grateful for a day off from housework.)

I think what drives the bitterness is the nagging feeling that they bought a lie, and an unfulfilling one for most of them, at that.  

Unfortunately, anytime someone suggests that such might be the case, they're descended upon with (often digital, but sometimes real) threats of actual bodily harm by those who have that nagging feeling, and are trying to drown it out by drowning out other voices that back it up. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

I am still here...but not all there.

Then again, I never was all there.  Or at least, I don't ever remember being all there.  

I've always been "crazy."  In school, I read too much, to be normal (still do, honestly,* and in a much more even split between a screen and on dead tree).  In college, I thought too much to be normal.  And because I thought instead of emoted, because facts and evidence mattered more than feelings, I wasn't just not normal, but downright weird. 

In grad school, it was starting to get uncomfortable.  I wanted that master's degree, though, so I shut up, did the work, did my job (tuition waived, plus a stipend paid for teaching composition 100 and 200), and soldiered through for two years (while some of my classmates had been drifting, and working on their master's degree for four).  But.  But, I had the wrongthink thing going on.  In a department with over a hundred grad student employees (not counting the ones taking out loans for it), I was one of two  that didn't vote for Kerry in '04.  Two

I still think too much, I guess--I have not done the things I was supposed to have done by my early forties.  I haven't filed for divorce or bankruptcy (and won't be doing either), I haven't gotten an abortion (and won't ever, even if I wish I could wave a magic wand and be rid of the internal apparatus that makes life difficult), I haven't voted democrat because the evil republicans are going to put me in a burka.**  I don't have a house full of cats (there are only two--even if it seems like more, sometimes).  I'm not miserable and wondering why (I know very well why my stress levels are what they are, thank you).  My kids are veritable stereotypes of their biological sex, and I'm not pushing them to be anything other than what they are, just to be cool

I'm not stunned and wondering why prices have spiked, gas is soaring, and some things are hard to even find.  

I won't say I'm not mad about it--I'm actually so far beyond mad it's getting really icy.  But I'm not wondering why it happened.  I fucking told the people advocating for the policies driving current problems that this is what it would lead to.  

Three stimulus checks, plus shutting down American oil production, plus letting that absolute shitwit in CA fuck with the rest of the nation in his stupidity regarding what kinds of trucks can be on the roads when his fucktarded rules are preventing stuff coming into our ports from leaving those ports.***   How the FUCK did anyone think that anything other than what is happening NOW would result???

Did I take the "stimulus checks" in spite of that?  Damn right I did.  Did some repairs that we'd been putting off with that money.  

But I know damn well that refusing it would have left us several thousand poorer...and made not one damn bit of difference now.  

I'm not "normal."  I'm proudly weird, in the Dave Ramsey definition,**** and in that of society.*****  I am battening down all hatches, and preparing for the nation to go through hell before it reaches a point where we, collectively, say "enough," and hang the bastards pushing us through the gate on the road that leads to perdition. 


*"Normal" people don't seem to read at all.  

**The GOP aren't the speckfuckingtacular morons colluding with violent, radical Islam due to them being our "little brown brothers."

***Honestly, California "green vehicle" policies should be nullified because they're interfering with interstate commerce something fierce.  

 ****Dave Ramsey's definition of "weird" is "someone who has zero debt."  I am profoundly weird, given that my credit rating is zero; my other half's credit rating is probably aggressively mediocre...because we have zero debt.  

*****I think for myself.  I do for myself and my family.  I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord...  I am a housewife, stay-at-home mom, and proud of it.  I cook, I clean (to the best of my abilities), I sew (sort of--still learning), knit, garden (some--health issues preclude heavy stuff), and in general, attempt to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  

Friday, June 3, 2022

Long day, yesterday

 Most of the day yesterday was spent driving or waiting.  Y'know, you don't realize exactly how tiring that is until after the fact: I probably shouldn't do anything more than putting away groceries, today, if I want to not risk an autoimmune attack.

So, yesterday, my absolutely wonderful other half took the kids with him when he left for work to leave them with my spectacularly awesome mother-in-law for the day.  And she really is spectacularly awesome: she's said she'll help me with dealing with Mom's issue however she can.  And I really, really appreciate that, and will be trying to limit it to things I know she enjoys (and watching the grandkids is definitely something she enjoys), and not ask too often.

I left the house around 9:30.  Got to my mom's around 10:30. Spent a couple hours chivvying her around (making her eat, reminding her of what she was doing when she forgot--which I do a lot, too), and reminding her that we were leaving around noonish (we left before 12:30, which was my goal.  Got to her bone density scan appointment with time to spare--and a good thing, too: the oncologist's office had sent over the wrong code on the orders, and that had to be corrected.  

I had an appointment up on the fourth floor of the same building.  I had to leave for mine while she was waiting for hers.  Mine was a standard, fifteen minute endocrinologist's appointment--at which she cut levothyroxine, but left the liothyronine alone, and had a bit of a horror attack when she found out why my sodium levels were stable and almost threshold: I've been adding 220mg of sodium (via electrolyte water enhancer) to every 30 oz mug of water.  She took both of my hands and told me, very calmly and seriously, to never, ever go on a low sodium diet because it could kill me.  

My mom's hypersensitive to sodium the other way--a little bit and she swells up like a toad and has a blood pressure spike.  Seems like ANY dietary sodium is bad for her, while I can't seem to get enough, even with a standard American high sodium diet.    

When I made it back down to the first floor, I found Mom waiting on a bench near the lab I get blood work done in.   She'd been done with her delayed bone scan for about half an hour, at that point, and she was ready to go home.  

We left the building around ten 'til three, I got her home at four-ish, and got home after my other half and the kids.  

Thank God I'd planned ahead for supper: I had some of my bastardized fusion of stir fry and fajitas in the freezer and pulled that out for our supper, while the kids had sandwiches.  

I'm looking forward to having nothing today other than picking up the groceries in a little bit, and wrangling kids.