Permission vs. Blessing

This blog post was supposed to go up on Friday, but I got a medium-bad migraine that day and couldn’t sit and type in front of a computer screen. ūüė¶ But anyway, this week on one of the shows I watch (which is fairly progressive), a character asked his girlfriend to marry him, and when they announced their engagement to their friends and family, the girlfriend’s father (who’s a fairly progressive character) got really salty that the boyfriend hadn’t asked his “permission” first. I was rather annoyed by this, and I talked about it with a close friend. I would totally have been in favor of the boyfriend asking the father’s “blessing,” but I’m not okay with the word¬†permission being tossed around like that, and I’m not okay with the writers making the father upset that he didn’t get asked. To my surprise, my friend basically said “Meh, permission and blessing are essentially the same thing.” To me, they are¬†extremely¬†different, and here’s why.

In many world cultures for many thousands of years, women were treated as property by men (and of course, this practice continues today in some places). Fathers controlled their daughters’ lives — their education, their opportunities, their money, and more — until those daughters got married, at which point their husbands began controlling their lives. Often, marriage was literally a business contract between father and future spouse: a man might refuse to marry a woman if he didn’t get enough money, land, livestock, or other possessions as part of the bargain. In any case, these sexist beliefs completely discounted a woman’s desires and her ability to make her own choices about how the rest of her life was going to go. Continue reading “Permission vs. Blessing”

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That Time My Grandparents Went to Antarctica

Today would have been my grampy’s 100th birthday. I can just about hear him spouting off interesting facts about the number 100 and the etymology of the word “century.”

When I was helping my parents get ready to move a few weeks ago, my dad gave me a small stack of photographs from my grammy and grampy’s trip to Antarctica (fortunately labeled on the back in Grammy’s neat handwriting). I’ve been meaning to post them online for other family members to see, and I realized today would be a good day to do so.

We’re very fortunate that Grampy was working on an autobiography of sorts during his later years. I don’t think he had any serious plans to get it published, but he typed up numerous pages (on the computer, because he was hip like that) of memories in first person. In the last section my dad has, Grampy wrote about how the Antarctic trip came about, although it unfortunately stops before they actually went. My dad isn’t sure whether there’s more to the file and he just doesn’t have it, or if that’s where Grampy stopped writing. (Wilson family, if anyone has more of this document, please pass it along!)

But at any rate, my grandparents went on an Intourist/Linblad expedition to the Soviet Union in 1988, and they encountered several problems. Continue reading “That Time My Grandparents Went to Antarctica”

The Problem We STILL Live With

Hello. It’s been a while. My life has been absolutely insane.

In January, I took a contract to write thirty 600-word articles for a VA loans company, and fortunately the friend I report to let me have some flexibility in my regular monthly article-writing deadline, but that meant that when February rolled around, I was already behind on my regular work for this month. Also, my parents finally sold their house after more than a decade of attempting to do so, and they bought a nice, smaller house across town, and then they thought they were going to have to move to Kansas because my dad got a job offer there, and then they decided moving to Kansas was prohibitively expensive even with the prospect of a new job, but in any case they had pretty short window of time to get out of the house they’d been living in for the past fifteen years. So for each of the last four weeks, I drove two hours down to central Ohio for a few days to clean out/pack up my childhood room, pack up my sister’s room since she’s so far away, and help my parents out with whatever else they needed. Then I came back up to Akron to babysit, go to hula class (oh yeah, I’m taking hula now!), do my writing/marketing work, and spend a few minutes with my boyfriend in between everything else.

So I’ve been pretty busy, and I haven’t really had any time for blogging, although I did manage to finally upload the beautiful unicorn art that my sister drew for me! She takes commissions…if you’re interested, let me know! I’ve also been trying, like so many other citizens of the United States, to wrap my head around the new normal of having a narcissistic psychopath as president of the country…which brings me to the actual topic of this blog post. Continue reading “The Problem We STILL Live With”

An Open Letter to the Obama Family

Dear Barack, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Shirley, Bo, and Sunny,

I can’t believe it’s been eight years already. I’m sure you can’t believe it either. When I stop and think about all that’s changed — how I’ve changed, how you’ve changed, how our country has changed — then it seems rather astonishing that it’s¬†only been eight years. But still, January 20, 2009, feels like it really wasn’t that long ago.

I was a sophomore in college at the time, and I remember grabbing lunch from the cafeteria in the basement of my dorm and taking it back up to my room so I could watch the inauguration ceremony. I had to run off to one class, but it was a short one, and the parade was still going by the time I got back. I remember feeling so proud that day, watching the installation of¬†my¬†first president, the first one I had been old enough to vote for. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Obama Family”

A Prayer for Carrie Fisher

Yesterday, while she was flying home from London, Carrie Fisher had a massive heart attack and stopped breathing. Apparently they performed CPR for quite a while on the plane, and she was rushed to the hospital as soon as the flight landed at LAX.

As soon as the news broke, millions of Star Wars fans around the world took to social media, terrified that 2016 would take one more beloved figure from us. It’s widely agreed that 2016 has been “a dumpster fire of a year” (I’ve seen that phrase in way too many places to have any idea of its origin), and while some very positive things have happened in my life this year, I’ve been drained¬†by the number of celebrity deaths like just about everyone else. Continue reading “A Prayer for Carrie Fisher”

Shopping on Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I’m truly excited about it for the first time since 2012. You know why? Because I don’t work in retail anymore.

I really enjoy shopping a lot of the time, and I like getting a good deal as much as the next person. I have absolutely no problem with going out during the day on a Friday in search of some great prices. But there is literally nothing in the entire world that will get me to EVER go shopping on Thanksgiving or before the sun comes up the day after Thanksgiving, because I am not a terrible person.

I saw a meme on Facebook today that said “To those working this Thanksgiving, thank you for your services.” It had pictures of doctors, firefighters, police officers, and soldiers, people who do essential jobs for our health and safety that we really need every day. You know who wasn’t pictured? Retail workers, because nobody NEEDS to be buying shoes or sweaters on Thanksgiving! (I will argue that workers at grocery stores and some restaurants should have been included in the meme, Continue reading “Shopping on Thanksgiving”

Chicago

Two Thursdays ago¬†Jeremy and I drove to Chicago to visit my sister, Alicia, and her boyfriend, Caleb. It was Jeremy’s first time in the city. We had been looking forward to this trip for quite a while, and it kind of felt like the only bright spot in the world after the colossal disaster of Election Day two days before we left.

We managed to hit the road at 9 AM (Ohio time), exactly as we had planned, and we made it to Alicia and Caleb’s apartment building around 2 PM (Chicago time). I had only seen their apartment via video chat before, so I was really glad to get to see it in person. It’s technically a studio, although there’s a glass block wall that kind of sections off the space where their bed is. They’ve taken a very small space and made it feel really homey, which I think makes it feel bigger than it actually is. There are also windows all along the back wall, which let in a lot of natural light. The rest of their building is also really cool. They have a dry cleaner and a convenience store on the first floor, and there’s a pool, and there’s a lounge that has about eight large bookcases where residents can donate their old books and DVDs and take things that other people have left. Caleb was getting rid of some books and told me to pick out a couple things I liked, so I now have¬†The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold,¬†Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and¬†The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, all of which I’ve been wanting to read, plus seasons 2-5 of¬†The West Wing on DVD! Continue reading “Chicago”