Insert Tie Pun Here

I like ties. A lot. They’re fun and there’s so many ways to change them up. Skinny ties are my favorite because they look great with everything and never overshadow an outfit like a wide tie does. I love the way I look on the days I wear them too. Maybe it’s the knot (Youtube! Alex Krasny!) or the pairing of tie & skirt or tie & knee high boots…whatever.

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Me today, fantastic tie included.

Anyway,  today I stopped for beer and peanut butter after work at the local grocery. (Stop judging me.) I really wanted to get rid of the change that was weighing my purse down so I decided I would pay entirely with coins. This is always a mistake. But here I was being optimistic because I was able to walk right up to the cash register (the one with a real person at it,  only a monster pays solely with coins at the self checkout. People chose this lane because it’s quick, Daryl!) and started counting them out while the previous person finished.

I thought I was good.  I would count my change while this other person paid and the cashier scanned my 2 things. I would be the fastest coin payer ever because I was prepared! Then stuff happened.  Another person with only 2 things came up behind me.  (Oh great,  now I’m going to look like an asshat because they thought this would be quick but some jerk lady in a tie decided she needed to pay with coins.) I start to get flustered, but only on the inside.  I’ve almost got all my coins counted out when the cashier scans the beer and asks for my ID. (No! You were supposed to scan the peanut butter first! Don’t reach past the first thing on the belt!) I had it ready and handed it to him. I try to finish counting.  Then he asks for my discount code.  (Dammit!) Okay,  I punch in my number and I look at the screen to see how much the total is. I’m about to finish counting when the chick bagging my 2 items compliments me.  In fact she said it twice because I didn’t react the first time.  “I like your outfit” she says motioning to my tie. I think I sort of turned and smiled at her. Did I say thank you?  I DON’T KNOW IF I SAID THANK YOU. The cashier is asking for the total.  $4.91. I knew I had about five bucks so I give up counting and dump my overflowing handful toward him. It registers that I am a failure at paying for things with only coins while the cashier counts my nickels and quarters and dimes (at least I didn’t use pennies). The girl is gone now so I can’t turn to her and make sure thank you comes out of my mouth. 
I leave the grocery in a mess wondering if it would be weird to find the girl and explain that I was thankful for the compliment.  I debate on the way home if I should turn the car around and talk to her.  I ruminate as I write this post of I should call the grocery and leave her a message.  (Omigosh.  Can I even go back there?!)

Plague of Frogs

You guys.

I’m living with frogs. No, they weren’t invited. Not quite sure where they are coming from but signs point to my bedroom window being the main spawning point.

Two nights ago, the sixth (or unconfirmed seventh) frog appeared around 2 am when I awoke to see Emmex chewing and drooling all over my pillow. Let me set the scene:

It’s 2 in the morning. I’ve been sleeping, but it’s hot so I raise the sash on the window next to the head of my bed. I have to be up at 5 for work. Then, from nowhere Emmex comes bounding up my bed, attacking whatever he has found and ends up in my window behind a curtain. I’m confused as I usually am after waking at the wrong time. I hear slurpy noises, the kind of slurpy noises that make you want to throw up a bit. I’m scared but I pull back the curtain slowly and Emmex emerges foaming at the mouth. He chewing…something. It’s pitch black and I only have the dimmed light from the screen of my phone to see. I’m afraid to look away because what if he throws up on my bed? Then I’d have to look for kitty puke in the dark and avoid it while getting out of bed to get cleaning supplies. Ew.

He doesn’t throw up. He keeps chewing but now it’s dripping on my bed, my pillow and a bit on me. I push him off the bed and brighten my screen to see if there are any parts of his snack on my bed. He’s still chewing and drooling on the floor. I’m exhausted and push my drooley pillow to the floor because I can’t get out of bed right now. But then I decide I need to check the windowsill for snacky parts. There’s a rather large tree frog sitting on the screen. Crap. I don’t want it to jump on my face while I’m sleeping so I get out of bed slowly, trying not to scare it and also trying not to draw Emmex’s attention to the window. All I need is two frog murders on my conscience.

I grab an old plastic cup from the bathroom to catch the frog. (Word of advice: Frogs are slippery and jump quickly when caught. They also pee when they’re scared. So if you don’t want to end up with a hand full of pee instead of frog, use a container to capture your squishy friend.) I scoop the frog into the cup and start scooching off the bed again to let it go out my back door. I get half way out my bedroom when I look down and the frog is gone. Mother of pearl. I flip the lights on the room (something I had been trying to avoid because I didn’t want to be fully awake) and start looking for Mr Froggy. Emmex is looking too. This would have made a good Froggy Horror Tale.

[My brother, Josh and I would play with a ceramic frog he had and create stories with it while on car trips or when we were bored. The one we both distinctly remember was The Skateboard Massacre. This *story* consisted of a plastic Garfield figure on a skateboard and the froggy trying to cross the half-pipe. It always ended with the froggy getting squashed by Garfield. We had music and everything! We were morbid children.]

Anyway.

I finally found Mr. Froggy and kept my hand over the cup so he couldn’t jump out again. He was safely deposited on my back deck, though his safety from there is rather questionable. (We have a lot of birds.) So the story, mostly, ended.

I wasn’t able to go back to sleep for another hour. Being reduced to one pillow is rough when you’re spoiled with two. Also the thought that another frog would spawn on my window screen kept me awake long enough to ensure I wouldn’t get a squishy surprise on my face or roll over on some poor froggy in my sleep. I did not find whatever Emmex was chewing. He must have swallowed it or I’ll find pieces parts in a really remote part of my house sometime. RIP froggy.

The problem is that after 7 frogs (1 in a kiddo room, 1 in the kiddos’ bathroom, 1 in my bathtub, 1 in my toilet, 1 in the laundry hallway, and now 2 in my bedroom) I have an unwanted taste of frog in my mouth. I rinsed my mouth after brushing this morning and the image arose unbidden in my mind of a frog sitting on my faucet and getting all his or her froggy germs all over it and the water tasted funny somehow. There’s the weird inkling that since I’ve had so many frogs in my house and my allergies have gotten to the point that my asthma hates me every second of every day the frogs are now to blame for my asthma, like I’m breathing in froggy slime, for lack of a better term, and it’s clogging my lungs. I’m also constantly wondering as I drift to sleep if I’ll feel a small hop and a froggy will scare the bejeezus out of me. Or if Emmex will claw me in the middle of the night trying to catch his new snacky. :s I’m blaming this on the time I was tricked into eating a frog leg (told it was chicken but once I said it tasted funny the person fessed up). I swear to god I could feel little legs hopping around in my stomach for days afterward.

I actually like frogs. Used to play with them all the time. I was the one who would catch frogs so the kiddos could see them up close and we’d let them go in whatever wetland they had been found in. But I don’t live close to a pond. And these are frogs, not toads. And they’re getting bigger.

I’m waiting for a plague of flies next.

 

 

Revisited

Ooookaaay. Here I am again. Calmer, more collected and armed with facts rather than simply anger. I’ve done research, sooooo much research. I’ve read articles on both sides of the argument. (I wanted to puke at a few.) So as promised in my last post here is the new revised rant on modesty culture.

The heavy burden of keeping men’s minds pure that women are made to shoulder is utter crap. Please let me elaborate before you roll your eyes, mutter something about women wearing tight clothes in church, then clicking on the next cat video in your queue. I’m not saying women should wear clothing that barely covers their nipples in church. Of course not. That’s ridiculous. Be respectful of the Gd you’re coming to worship. Be respectful of the social situation you’re in whether it’s church or a funeral, visiting someone’s home, or in a business meeting. However, being respectful of your social situation is completely different than shouldering the morality of half the population of the earth.

Dressing according to a set of rules will never stop another person from lusting or not lusting. Dressing according to a set of rules will not prevent a person’s mind from dehumanizing you. And that’s what lust is. That’s how the Bible defines it (no, really). Feeling an attraction to someone isn’t lust. Lust is the self-serving sexual desire that reduces a person into an object that is only meant for your pleasure.

I’ve heard people talk about women dressing modestly so they’re not a stumbling block for men in the church. I’ve also heard the same people tell women to dress modestly so they’re not a rape temptation. This equates good men with rapists. And I’m pretty sure, no matter their mindset, that’s not what they intended to imply. Nevertheless, that’s what you say when you reduce men to sex-craving monsters who can’t control themselves unless a woman is covered head to toe in a burlap sack. Oh and by the way, rape is not a crime about lust or sex, it is a crime of power, a rapist’s power over their victim. Either way, isn’t it pretty offensive toward men to imply they can’t handle themselves so they have to leave it up to the opposite sex to be their moral compass? I know there’s plenty of guys out there who see women as people and not as evil, seductive temptresses who are only here to guide them away from the true path by showing a bit of shoulder. But there are also plenty of people (men and women) who will blame a woman for how she’s treated because of the clothing she’s wearing.

*Side note: I am aware there are many statistics about female on male rape. I’m definitely not pretending that doesn’t exist. I’m also not going to pretend that there aren’t homosexual people in the world to which the whole of this post need not apply. For the sake of this argument though I am focusing on modesty culture which is primarily marketed towards females (and promoted by heterosexual males) and it’s connection to rape culture.

Now let’s throw some statistics on this bonfire shall we?

15% of sexual assault victims are aged 12-17

288, 820 people aged 12 or older are victims of sexual assault each year on average

Does anyone think the 12 year olds included in these statistics were dressed immodestly and caused their attackers to think impure thoughts thereby leading to the assault? Good god I hope not.

Ah, but then there’s the counter argument. Time to pull out your Bible kittens. We’re doing some digging.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 : I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works.

I desire, not Gd commands. These are human words giving advice. Yes they are inspired by Gd. Yep, totally awesome to keep yourself set apart from the world and distinguish yourself from the godless heathens. However, this is not a commandment given that, if broken, will prevent your soul from being received into heaven. Paul ( the apostle and author of 1 Timothy) is saying that when you do good things you’ll look good. There’s a whole sermon in this verse I’m sure, but what it boils down to is that Gd did not say to women wear formless sackcloth or else eternal damnation awaits you.

And here’s another that goes along the same lines as 1 Timothy 2:8-10 above:

1 Peter 3:3-4 : Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in Gd’s sight is very precious.

Can we agree that this is talking about placing more stock in vanity than in Gd? It’s about placing your looks above being a good person of faith. Also it doesn’t specifically call out women, so why don’t we lump men in with these modesty rules?

And another verse:

Romans 12:2a : Do not be conformed to this world…

If we look at the rest of the verse though we can see this is speaking more to the mind of the Christian than the modesty of women->

Romans 12:2b : but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of Gd, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There’s an interesting survey of 1600 Christian guys that was nicely summed up in this article. The questions were submitted by Christian girls and some of the answers are startling to say the least.

It starts with questions about whether mini-skirts and halter tops are immodest. Not surprisingly 93.1% and 73.5% respectively agreed that these items of clothing were immodest. It slowly gets more shocking. 47.5% say wearing a strap (for your purse) across the chest is immodest. (Dear god, I just want my hands free.) 38.8% believe tights with polka dots or other designs draw too much attention to a woman’s or girl’s legs. (Wait what? I love polka dots, screw you.) Then it makes my jaw drop. 74.9% say the way a girl walks can be a stumbling block. 56.8% say a girl stretching can be a stumbling block. (I’m tired and I’ve been sitting in an office for 10 hours. I’m going to stretch no matter who’s around.) 76.5% say seeing a woman’s chest bounce while walking or running is a stumbling block. (Okay, my boobs are big. They’re gonna jiggle unless I duct tape them down.)

I think what this survey points out more than the desire for Christian men to have Christian women behave modestly (or their definition thereof) is that we aren’t teaching our men to see women as anything more than an object to be desired. We have hips! Yes there’s boobs too. My god, I have a butt! Does anyone really think men will see me as a bland rectangle if I dress according to whatever rules those same men make up? We need to teach young men that their minds are their own responsibility. Policing women will not make men lust less. Training men to see women as separate beings, not responsible for men’s morality and not as a vessel to carry the boobs or butt or ankles or hips that they desire, will create a more humanistic view of people on the whole.

Here’s an interesting food for thought question: Do we make modesty a god when we emphasize it so much we stop focusing on the more important teachings? When women are policed to the point of worrying about how they walk in front of a man it starts restricting everything they can do. Does Gd really sanction controlling women in this way?

Modesty culture teaches women that their body is only good for one purpose: to turn someone on. It teaches young women they need to stay hidden so only their husbands will see that bit of shoulder or waist that is obviously so alluring to every other man on earth. If it is a girl’s responsibility to make sure a man doesn’t stumble by what she wears doesn’t the opposite hold true: that it is a girl’s fault if a man does stumble? She must have done something to provoke it like wearing a shirt that was cut just a tad too low or wearing shorts that were way too high. If we normalize the thought that a woman can cause a man to have lustful thoughts simply by what she’s wearing then aren’t we also encouraging men to blame the clothing when they take advantage of someone?

How about this? Instead of teaching women that the morality of all men lies in their hands, we teach men that women are people and not seductive pieces of meat? It’s not that hard.

Yes, dress appropriate for the situation. No I would never wear a bikini to church just like I’d never wear a ballgown to a business meeting. I will always respect the culture and social situation that I’m in. But I’m also not going to let someone dictate what I wear based on a man’s reaction.

 

You know those posts that you hem and haw about before posting then wonder for weeks after if you made the right decision?  If people are reading it and judging you (they are)? If someone will feel differently about you/hate you/see you as less of a person once they read it (most likely)? Yeah,  that was my last post.  Born in the fire of outrage and pure frustration it was a good rant.  But the part that bothers me the most (beyond the paranoia about seeking the approval of other people) is that it wasn’t as well thought out and argumentative as it could have been with facts and figures. I simply slapped words on the digital page (screen?). I didn’t put much effort into it and it showed. 
Okay,  yes,  this is simply a random blog that maybe five people read. No it’s not going to change the world, but I also want to be true to myself (and my love of arguing). So I’m going to try and revisit that post, more in depth and with (possibly) less swears to make a valid point that would hold up under scrutiny. Maybe do a poll of random people. (Oh geez, that would mean talking to strangers.  I don’t do so well there. Maybe an internet poll? ANYTHING to prevent the panic that comes with people interaction of the new variety.)
So that’s what I THINK I’ll be working on lately.  Maybe I’ll get distracted again.  Maybe I won’t.  We’ll see.