Friday, June 3, 2011

Adorable videos from an entirely unbiased aunt

My niece and nephew get a kick out of being wireless and jumping on the bed. Ah, the simple pleasures.

Another nephew and Grandpa...I don't know why a little tyke hitting my dad's bald head cracks me up so much. Maybe it's the slightly chicken-esque noise the boy makes.

My niece regaling us with "If You Chance to Meet a Frown" (and reprimanding our efforts to help with the words).

(P.S. Sorry about the sideways-ness of this video. I am either too lazy or not technical enough to figure it out. Just turn your head, ok?)

The J-man is easily entertained by Grandpa making a popping noise with his finger and his mouth. If you watch closely, you can see the wee lad trying to do it himself.

And we also abuse him by feeding him whipped cream from a can...and then laughing hysterically when it all comes back out of his mouth.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Frustrations with life...a.k.a. an unusual (for this writer) rant against people of the opposite gender

Of late, I've been getting more and more frustrated at my interactions with gentlemen between the ages of 25 - 40. Not in general, but a few specific incidences have left me feeling uneasy and less-than-hopeful about my prospects for ever finding someone of the opposite sex to whom I would like to hitch my shining star. I don't consider myself a picky woman, but is it too much to ask for: a) ACTUAL dates instead of hanging out? b) a little respect for my life decisions and dreams? c) someone who doesn't talk solely about crass and depraved topics?

I submit that it is not. Really, I have faith in the fellas. So this one's for you...consider it some friendly advice instead of the jaded perspective of a woman in her late twenties trying to get a man (which is definitely not the intent of this post).

Recently I have been flabbergasted at some of the expectations of the men with whom I socialize. I had someone tell me that he would never get married because basically he couldn't find a girl who could keep up with him intellectually. If I had been drinking liquid, it would have come out my nose. I was so taken aback by the nerve! The gall! The cajones! Who thinks these things, let alone says them?!

I've also had some discussions at work with people who tell me that there are men around my age who are married and submit to the Donna Reed mentality of a having a woman who should know her place in the kitchen, dinner on the table when he gets home. And he gets angry and frustrated when the woman will not submit to such insane expectations, especially women who themselves have jobs or are going to school. I imagine that there must be a dividing of chores, a sharing of responsibilities; running a household demands just that. It's one thing for a girl to want to serve her family, but when it becomes an assumption that she must deliver instead of a kind act she does out of love, that's where I personally draw the line. An act of service should never be demanded by a heavy, emotionally manipulative hand. I can just imagine the chauvinistic attitude of some of these men who say terrifyingly insulting things like, "Woman, where's my supper!?" (I know...this probably doesn't actually happen and is a little over-the-top...but it illustrates my point in this case.)

I don't want to believe that men in this day and age could have such ridiculous standards for women. Do they all want someone with multiple upper level degrees and honors and titles...but one who will set all that aside to essentially play second fiddle and devote herself to a life of laundry and husband-doting? With no time for herself or her hobbies? Because don't you know it, women are best known for their ability to keep a tidy house and make cookies.

Don't worry...I love cleaning my apartment and baking up some chocolate chippy goodness. That's what I do. I am by no means a feminist, nor do I think of myself as the type who refuses to set aside my life of selfishness to serve others. BUT...I do consider myself to be a decent mix of the things that make anyone a strong, confident individual. I'm not saying that I'm the tippy top in 'marriage material' or anything, but anyone who knows me knows that I have some great qualities to offer in any type of relationship, romantic or otherwise. I mean, I do things like make cake balls. Or organize camping trips. Or become a sounding board for whatever ails my friends. I play a mean organ and budget like nobody's business. And I know that someday, some lucky man will recognize these qualities and snatch me up faster than a pair of hot red shoes at a half-price sale.

Several have ruminated about or asked me why I'm not married. (And some are saying right now, "Well, read this very blog post...that'll shed some light...") What I want to tell them is something like, "Oh, it's because I'm ugly." Yep, I'm exactly that sarcastic. But really? Like I know why I'm not married? I could list a bunch of excuses (as if one had to excuse their marital status?), but none of them holds up in the light of day.

I've been told that maybe I'm too independent or self-reliant. Heaven forbid that a woman in my circumstance take care of herself instead of becoming the damsel in distress at every turn. Wouldn't I love to be taken care of while I, in turn, take care of someone else? The answer is YES. But the answer isn't that simple when two people are involved. I'm not willing to sacrifice my self-worth to put up with hypocritical judgment or egotistical condescension from a dude who will not appreciate me and will belittle my self-worth.

So men, please stop ogling me. And tickling me. Using and abusing my kind nature for your own devices. And expecting me to fit an impossible mold. This girl is who she is and doesn't make apologies anymore.