Married for 40 Years! It can happen.

Though I was going to write a post about my devastation that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are separating (because that is seriously the end of the world and it makes me want to cry and scream and I think it might mean that love is dead and I’m scared that the world will end and that this is the first sign of the apocalypse and I just can’t stop crying about it because it’s so damn sad – they’re so beautifully funny and their union was everything we were going for – and by “we” I mean EVERYONE – and this is the most devastating news and I’m so sad and I don’t want it to be true and it’s awful and I know we’re all suffering), but instead, let me talk about my parents.

They’ve been married for 40 years.  I’ll give you a moment to process.

Barb and Don are so adorable. Seriously, they’re so in love and so happy and so, so weird.

These two got married on September 9, 1972.  Barb was 20 (but a wee little baby) and Don was 23.  They were so young and so in love and such hippies (sort of).  They are adorable and so very in love.  It took 15 years for them to finally make a baby, though they tried and tried and tried.  In 1987, they welcomed my older sister.  Two years later, they welcomed me – I was even shorter back then.

They’ve had some tough times, an aneurysm and a stroke between them, but they are inspirationally, Notebook-level in love.  Even when they’d fight, they would always come and find my sister and me to explain that they were just mad about “something stupid” and that they’d surely get over it soon.

I cannot even imagine being married right now, so it makes it even more impressive that they did it and did it right at such a young age. I feel weird even talking six months in the future with my boyfriend, but Don and Barb knew that they wanted to spend their lives together.

Don proposed when they got back in Barb’s car (which he was driving) after they had pancakes.  He basically just turned to her and said, “Will you?”  She obviously agreed.  Though this detail is less than cinematic, it’s sort of the perfect starting to a simple, happy life.  They never needed a big show; they have each other.  For the record, I would like a proposal with more planning (so would Kate)… At least a poem or something…  Perhaps a watermelon?

When I feel sad about celebrity, friend, and my own break-ups, I just focus on them.  They’ve given more unrealistic expectations about love than any amount of Disney or chick flicks could.  They’re amazing and wonderful.

Happy Anniversary, Don and Barb!

 

10 Ways to Test Your Relationship

Relationships are hard, weird, and hopefully great.  Every relationship will be tested naturally, but if you’re looking for ways to see just how strong, or good, or whatever your relationship is, here are some ideas.

  1. Ask about porn.  When you do this, make sure to ask about the frequency, type, subject, and any other details you can imagine.  The more you push for details, the more of a test it really will be.  Once you’ve completed asking about this wonderful subject, make  certain you share your interests and preferences just as openly.
  2. Road Trip!  Being trapped in a car for hours and hours and hours is a sure-fire way to see if you secretly hate each other.  Plus, if your partner doesn’t shoot you when you scream and startle them upon seeing a spider…  You’re golden.
  3. Fart in front of your partner while maintaining eye contact.  I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it would work.
  4. Have a really awful day.  Then, hang out.  While it’s hot.  And you’re tired.  Experiment away!
  5. Go hiking.  You will quickly learn if you or your partner are whiny, lazy, weepy, weak, annoying, or cool.
  6. Debate who is weirder.  This will get ugly fast.  You will see what your partner finds odd and possibly annoying about you.  If you can withstand this, you’ll be alright.
  7. Have weird sex.  I don’t care if it’s role play, bondage, blindfolded, exhibitionist, group, or just different – try something a little out of your comfort zone together.  When you do this, you will either build trust and see that you already have a great deal.  OR it will be an awkward mess and perhaps a sign that you should avoid each other forever.  OR maybe it’s bad, but you can both laugh.  It’s a test.  You be the judge.
  8. Meet the parents.  What could be more telling than that?  Do you hate your partner’s parents?  Do they hate yours?  Are they creepy together?  Do you feel judged?  It will be awkward, but you can do it… and if you can’t, maybe you’ve failed.
  9. Meet the friends.  You will be judged so damn hard.  Get ready.  Get set.  Get to impressing.  Friends will tell it like it is.  You have to impress each other’s friends, or you will ruin each other’s lives.
  10. Throw up on your partner’s bedroom floor.  Trust me, this will test you both. Big time.  If your partner simply begins to take care of you, cleans your barf, and then refuses to sleep to maintain surveillance of you and your illness for the night, then they are awesome, and they deserve major rewards.  If they get mad at you and tell you to clean it up, they might be a real dick.  The lover that holds your hair deserve high praise and hella love.

Christina Aguilera Won’t Let Me Like Her

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

Oh, Christina…

I should warn you all that this post is largely about The Voice on NBC.  I love this show, and I’m not ashamed of it.  If you have seen any clips or episodes, you may have noticed that Christina Aguilera has been acting a little rude, a little conceited, and sometimes just completely unlikable.  I want to like her, but just won’t let me.

I didn’t understand “Genie in a Bottle,” but I loved it. I liked it too.  Yes, when she went through her slutty phase, it was hard for me to support her, but she had empowering songs, and “Beautiful,” which is a great song, dammit.  Even when she was “Dirty,” she was likable.  She sang about how dudes can be “players,” but ladies are “sluts” and “whores.”  I think that’s a great point.  Ladies should be able to do exactly what dudes do.  We are equal, and she demanded that – even if we were just talking sex.  Also, she’s a friggin’ machine.  This girl can sing like nobody.  She is just so powerful, and skilled.  My god, she’s good.  You have to respect that.  If I was that good, I would probably have quite an ego, so I do understand hers.  She deserves to be a little cocky, but she could save it for the stage.  I miss liking her.

Basically, Christina was always a little crazy, but I liked the craziness before.  What was different about seeing her as a coach on The Voice?  I guess, I just didn’t know she was kind of mean.  Instead of being humble, kind, considerate, or normal, she’s just shown that she’s a bit too obsessed with herself to really give people the time of day, or the consideration of tact.  She is usually correct in her criticisms; I just wish she’d be nicer about it.

If I had a genie in a bottle, I would ask him to make Christina Aguilera likable again.

To Tony Lucca (aka Mr. Tries-Too-Hard), she called his ass out once.  I was happy.  When she told him that he seemed “one-dimensional” it helped him.  He stepped his game way up, and he was thankful for the comment.  That’s what good criticism does.

But… then she just wouldn’t lay off.  Sometimes, she needed to just say, “Good job,” and leave it at that.  Her final critique was fair and a good point; she complained that doing Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” was a little strange considering its derogatory lyrics and his status as a husband and father (of a daughter).  I don’t really understand why he chose to do this song.  Yes, it was cool.  Yes, it was edgy (I guess).  I think, that like many people, I was sick of how damn hard this guy was trying.  We get it. You’re cool.  Now, sing an actual blues/rock song.  Her criticism was refreshing.  She also complimented the performance and said some nice things.  The problem is that she spent the whole season being a tool to this dude and to Adam Levine (who seems like a tool anyway), so this criticism just seemed like yet another whiny, self-obsessed insult.  It didn’t come off as the rather adept industry-wide issue it is.  OY

Another issue: she was a little cold to all the guests.  Both J. Biebs and The Wanted performed this season and were allegedly “snubbed” by Ms. Aguilera.  She just could have been a little nicer, a little humbler.

Another issue: WHAT THE HELL IS SHE WEARING? WHY WON’T SHE JUST WEAR SOMETHING NORMAL WITH NORMAL HAIR AND NORMAL MAKE-UP?  Why? …. Oh, Christina…

One of many crimes. What is this atrocity?

This actually doesn’t look that bad… but still.

Choose one crazy accessory. Also, wear pants more often. Please!

Suddenly, it seemed like she had fired her crazed stylist, hair and make-up team, and actually just brushed her hair and put on a nice dress. I praised the heavens. It didn’t last.

My point is that I want to like Christina Aguilera.  She is so amazingly talented.  Why can’t she just be nicer?

I’ve got 99 problems, and her attitude is #1.

On Napping – An Insomniac’s Confusion

Hello.  I am an insomniac.  I do not nap.  I don’t understand napping.  I barely understand sleeping.  Napping is confusing.  How do people sleep during the day?  My freshmen year roommate (who is amazing, by the way) was a champion napper.  I was always so impressed by her ability to randomly fall asleep when the sun was still shining, people were still running about, and while her mind was still buzzing away.  I have trouble sleeping in the dead of night, without distractions.  I truly cannot understand how people can settle down enough to sleep before nightfall.  I have only ever napped when very, very ill.  I also went through a phase when I was sleeping only about two hours per night… During that period, I did occasionally fall asleep randomly, but that was more like dying briefly because my body was so close to death.

It was like this:

Everyone else is adorable when they nap.  They look normal and together.  They look very grateful for the rest.  They are simply overjoyed to be asleep.  They look like this:

Recently, I was compelled to sleep more, and also to nap in a normal way.  I experienced this strange day-sleep on Sunday (the fun day of some), and it was confusing, but beautiful.  I had a few dreams.  The rain lulled me in and out of my sleepiness.  I awoke with fabric lines on my face and arms.  In some ways it was glorious, but it was also largely confusing.  Basically, my boyfriend is a sleep magician, a nap sensei.  He’s a champion sleeper, too.

What is this napping?  How does it work?  How did I do it?  What?

Napping seems like an art form I cannot understand, or a language I don’t speak.  Shouldn’t people be productive during the day and sleepy at night (or in my case, awake all day and weirdly productive at night)?  I guess, I’m just a weird freak.  I just don’t sleep.  I want to sleep.  I just don’t get it.

We Get It, Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day needs to settle it down.  Seriously, why are we putting so much value in this little old day?  It shouldn’t make or break a relationship, it shouldn’t define us as people, and it shouldn’t depress us based on whatever relationship status we can use to describe ourselves on that day.  It just shouldn’t.  I’m actually not sad, lonely, or depressed (this year), but I still think Valentine’s Day is a little evil.  A person cannot escape hearts, red crap, shiny shit, lacy shit, feathered shit, champagne shit, chocolate shit, expensive shit, diamond shit, more heart-shit, etc.

Why not just do something nice for the people you love?  Even if it’s not sexy, you’ll feel good.  If you are in a relationship, you’re expected to have a fancy dinner, eat chocolate, drink champagne, and then put on crazy lingerie and have the hottest sex of ever…  That’s unreasonable.  You will be bloated.  You will not feel like having sex with the lights on.  Just willing myself to get into a corset is enough to ruin a nice meal.  “I’ll have the side salad without dressing as my entree…”  The expectations are unrealistic.  Shouldn’t this be reserved for anniversaries?  What happens if a chick is unavailable for the supreme pleasures of Valentine’s Day doin’ it?  Ladies get this thing every month, and it complicates things?  I’m just saying: what if?  That’s a lot of pressure for a reproductive system to handle.

I’m also infuriated that the V-Day tropes are that dudes spend cash while ladies put out.  Blerg.

I just don’t want to see hearts everywhere.  I don’t like them.  I don’t want everything to be pink.  I don’t want my boyfriend to feel like he has to send me roses or I will kill him.  THAT’S STUPID.  No one is entitled to roses.  I’m certainly not.

Plus, dudes can’t handle all this pressure.  It makes ladies crazy, and guys can’t live up to the crazy expectations pushed into female minds by rom-coms and Hallmark commercials.  I think I’ve even seen a cat food commercial about human love recently.  What? How? Why? COME ON.

Ladies, settle it down.  If a dude doesn’t buy you flowers, it’s okay.  Maybe just take a moment to appreciate the people you love instead of buying everything in CVS?

If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is just gigantic reminder that you are not in a relationship, and that you will likely not be needing any lacy accessories.  Why should singles be tormented further by our weirdly couple-obsessed culture?  Being single kind of rules… because there are no rules!  Okay, not really, but still.   This can be such an awkward day.  We should just act normal.

Why are heart shapes so anatomically incorrect?  It really bothers me.

Friggin’ Valentine’s Day…

On Marriage Equality

First, let’s get one thing straight (pun intended), this issue is Marriage Equality, not Gay Marriage.  Calling this issue “Gay Marriage” implies that gay people are getting something special – like a Big & Tall store which is a special place for big and tall dudes.  People have the right to choose who they love.  Americans are allowed to get married, if they are both consenting, unrelated, free-willed adults… but only if they are of the opposite sex.  Wait?  Don’t we all deserve the freedom to marry whoever we would like (assuming we want to marry an adult who also wants to marry us)?  Don’t we?

Second, let’s celebrate the fact that the 9th Circuit Court in California overturned Prop 8: meaning they ruled that California cannot ban gay marriage (marriage equality).  Prop 8 Decision!  More on the decision HERE and HERE!  This deserves a few major YAYs!  I’m so happy, proud, excited, and relieved.  This shouldn’t be so hard.  This should be simple.  Gay people should have equal rights to marriage in every state.

Bigots hate.  Hate is evil.  The gay community does not deserve hatred; they are humans (the regular kind) and they deserve every single right a straight person has.  People deserve to be treated like people.  American people ought to be treated as if they are American (again, the regular kind).

Ever wonder why there isn’t a straight community?  It’s because they don’t have all that much in common, and it’s also because they aren’t being denied their rights, so they don’t have to unite.  Not all gay people are the same; shocking, right?  Just like not all people are the same.  WOW.  Yet, they still deserve the same rights.

I’m just so sick of hearing people argue about Marriage Equality.  It shouldn’t be open for argument.  This should be a cut-and-dry equal rights decision.  Of course gay marriage should be legal.  Of course it is simply marriage.  Of course we should all have the same rights.  This is America, right?  Freedom of religion… Freedom from religion…

Arguing against marriage equality because a religion doesn’t endorse homosexuality should be a clear false start.  This isn’t a “Christian Nation;” you are welcome to be a Christian in America, and most Christians realize that accepting and loving their fellow humans is a major part of their religion, and so they don’t attack gay people.  Don’t hide behind a religion, you’re not a Christian, you’re a bigot.  Also, religion doesn’t mean a thing in American government.

A few more things:

1. How is a straight marriage threatened by a gay marriage?  Straight marriages seem fine even through all the mail-order brides, arranged marriages, divorces, cheating, abuse…  People still get married.  Marriage will be fine.

2. Why do you care so much what gay people do?

3. Gay people also feel love…

4. How would you feel if the government took away all marriages?

5. How do you feel about inter-racial marriages?  That’s a no-brainer, right?  Of course people of different races can marry!  Think about it!  We left that up to the states and it turned out SO well.  Wait a second…

Finally, in 50 years, I believe strongly that we will look back on our nation’s past and hang our heads in shame that people in this country resisted Marriage Equality.  This is a civil rights issue.  Someday, this will seem like it should have been so easy because it should be an easy decision to make.

Imaginary Person #1: Should gay people be allowed to marry?
Imaginary Person #2: Are they consenting adults of sound mind?
Imaginary Person #1: Yes.
Imaginary Person #2: Oh, well, then… Duh, YES!

I’m tired of being ashamed of our currently bigoted country.

I’m bringing my AK-47 to the Christmas Party

We are, after all, in a war, right? To save Christmas… Oh, we aren’t?

You’ll excuse my momentary rhetorical strategy of playing dumb, but the idea that there is some sort of ideological war against your Yule log is absurd.

Christmas is pervasive. It’s everywhere. I’ve seen complaints about this being referred to as the “Holiday Season” and otherwise intelligent folks getting all up-in-arms when someone wishes them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” What gives, people?

I like to wish people a Merry Christmas. Sometimes I wish them a Happy Holiday(s). Sometimes I just say, “Enjoy the Holiday!” Once in a great while I may even pull out the “Happy Christmas.” (That’s only if you’re real lucky). In the past few years, I’ve become accustomed to wishing one half of my family a “Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah.” (Depending on their spelling preference, of course.) This doesn’t mean I’m some kind of Christmas-hating heathen. It just means my world view isn’t dominated by people who only celebrate the same holiday I do in the winter. Happy Holidays is just an easy way of covering all the bases. Instead of assuming someone is a Christian, you can still spread the joy of the season that comprises many holidays for people in all walks of life by saying “Happy Holidays.” You cover Christians, Jews, people who celebrate Kwanzaa, winter solstice-celebrating folks, atheists, and other groups. Instead of asking someone to identify themselves, which takes time and is, quite frankly, kind of rude, you can just wish them “Happy Holidays,” and hope that you made their day a little brighter.

If there’s one thing people need to recognize amidst all the celebrating by gorging ourselves and racking up a bunch of credit card debt on crap we probably don’t need but that makes us happy, is that Christmas has become a secularized holiday in addition to a religious one, and in both worlds the point is to bring joy to other people during a period of celebration (of togetherness, if you’re not religious, and of Jesus’s birth if you’re a Christian). So instead of outlining all the ways you’re different from (and apparently superior to) all the other folks who have holidays to celebrate during this time, maybe you should be more concerned with making sure everyone shares in the joy that marks this time of year by wishing people a happy holiday, whichever one they choose to celebrate.

5 Signs You’re Not Really a “Bad Ass”

Don is a bad ass.  He’s a Vietnam Veteran who snowmobiles, is not capable of drinking so much he could be drunk, has beaten up multiple jerks, loves him some jager, never does yard work without bleeding and never seems to notice that he’s bleeding, and he’s also a pretty ballin’ cook.  Boom.  Bad ass.

Kate is bad ass because she will cut you with her words, take you down analytically, drink another bottle of the cheap red, laugh at your stupidity, charm you into wanting to date her, and then she’ll cut you down again.  Oh, and she’s in a PhD program at 22.

Patty is a bad ass because she could kick your ass, drink you under the table, hem anything, clean anything, fix a lot of things, she has 7.32 jobs, and she’ll do it all wearing a pencil skirt and heels.

You probably are not a bad ass.  Bad asses are awesome.  They chop down trees, build houses, fix cars, beat up dudes who are assholes, don’t flinch when they bleed, and aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty to get it done (regardless of the it).

Urban dictionary defines bad ass a number of ways, but my favorite snippets are:

Badass:

  1. Ultra-cool motherfucker.
  2. The badass is an uncommon man of supreme style. He does what he wants, when he wants, where he wants. You won’t find him on facebook, myspace, msn, et cetera because he is probably out being cool somewhere.
  3. Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.
  4. “Sam Elliott’s mustache = badass.”
  5. Infinitely cool, über awesome, hardcore to the extreme.  “Say what you will about Bruce Lee or Chuck Noris, Tsutomu Yamaguchi is, hands down, the most badass example of a badass ever to walk the earth: Tsutomu Yamaguchi was the only known survivor of BOTH atomic blasts. He died at age 93 on January 6, 2010.”  There is NOTHING more bad ass than that.
There are a lot of people, mostly dudes, who claim to be bad ass, but most of them aren’t.  If you think you are a bad ass, read the following carefully.
5 Signs You’re Not Really a “Bad Ass”
  1. You are wearing a polo shirt, and it’s not a uniform.  First of all, bad asses don’t really wear uniforms.  Second of all, polos are for English guys, and frat boys.  If you’re English, we’ll allow a polo if you wore it while playing polo.  If you are a frat boy, shut up, you’re not a bad ass.
  2. The sight of blood makes you feel nauseated.  A true bad ass in not bothered in the slightest by blood.  A true bad ass usually doesn’t notice their own, but will come to the aid of others who bleed.
  3. You can’t fix or even identify what’s wrong with your car/fridge/sink/motorcycle/computer.  Bad asses fix shit.  If you cannot fix anything, you’re not bad ass.
  4. You can’t do mental math.  Math is bad ass.
  5. You don’t know how to throw a punch.  Punching is a big part of being a bad ass.  Fighting is important.
There are many other signs, so proceed claiming to be a bad ass carefully.