Category Archives: Relationships

I Lie

I lie. You probably do too. Well, at least just a little.

pino

I’m not talking about super big lies- I am who I say I am- but sometimes little white lies crawl out of my mouth all too easily. Things like that shirt doesn’t make you look fat or I don’t have a babysitter to watch the kids tonight, because really I don’t want to do something or oh yum, those homemade cookies taste great. Also, blaming something on my kids or my husband is perfect way to get out of doing something and not be a jerk, right? Right?!

Sometimes we justify telling our little white lies because we want to spare the feelings of those around us. We (I) tell myself (unconsciously) that I bend the truth so they don’t feel bad- but maybe in actuality we bend the truth because we are to chicken to face how bad it will make us feel to be that completely honest. We are the ones who will get red in the face, we are the ones who will feel uncomfortable. So we save ourselves.

I also really have a hard time saying “no,” probably partly for the same reasons. And you wouldn’t think this is true probably, because sometimes I have a snarky little mouth that says too much. But I end up saying yes to volunteering or whatever, because maybe it sounds good at the time or I just don’t always find the words to say, “no, I have too much damn stuff on my plate already.” Maybe I speak too quickly to just be agreeable. Maybe we aren’t taught to say no or be disagreeable. We are taught to be polite and kind and fit in, no matter what. And you had better just eat that cookie that grandma made and smile, because you don’t want to be rude. We teach our kids to say thank you for that horrendous sweater with kittens on it that they got for Christmas because otherwise you hurt their feelings. Maybe even when we say yes but don’t want to, it means we aren’t being our authentic selves or being honest. Maybe sometimes we should stop doing that.

Sometimes it backfires.

Recently there was this situation where someone asked me if my child could do something with them. For several reasons the answer will always be no. And to save face I just made an excuse up about why they couldn’t- instead of saying the real reason why they couldn’t- which included my extreme distrust and discomfort of this person, and knowledge of some illegal activity. I gave the brushed off version, which was, “sorry we’re busy.” But now the problem is, they are being pushy and keep asking again and again. (Which is weird. stop) So it seems like I’m just going to have to be completely honest and let them know I don’t feel comfortable leaving my child with them. I feel like I have to break up with this person I don’t even like. And break-ups are uncomfortable, right. And I especially know that because it doesn’t just involve me, but my child- I have to just be straight up- and risk being a jerk to speak up for their best interest. This has to happen every time, really for their safety and to teach them a valuable lesson here.

Author Mark Twain once said, “No fact is more firmly established than that lying is a necessity of our circumstance–the deduction that it is then a Virtue goes without saying.” Is this right?

So what would you do? Is it ever okay to lie? I will give credit to local media personality, Evan Dawson, because when I asked Twitter this morning what I should do, he suggested that it was never okay to lie, for any reason- even to save face. He also sent me a link of a book, Lying by Sam Harris, where the author tackles the problem with white lies and argues that we can “radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie.”

Interesting and thought-provoking (yet so simply glaringly true) concept. And man with three kids, I need simplicity like I need food and water.

Oh and also everyone else on Twitter also says I need to cop to the truth. Something that I was already overwhelmingly feeling like I had to, considering the present situation- but I apparently needed a kick in the butt to reassure me that it was the right thing to do. For me, and maybe for them too, and definitely for my kids.

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Interactive Heat Map Shows Where Hate Tweets Come From In The USA

 

A group of researchers from the Floating Sheep Project have geotagged racist, homophobic and ableist tweets (tweets directed towards disabled people) from around the country in-between 2012 and 2013.  They have plotted their findings on interactive maps, shown here.  They also break up each category by specific words and have sifted through them to make sure the words are actually used in negative connotations.  The findings are interesting and correlate, for example, it shows that the term “Wetback” is primarily only found in Texas where the immigration issue is more prominent.

Homophobic Tweets

Homophobic Tweets

Racist Tweets

Racist Tweets

What do you think?  Does this sound about right?  Are you surprised by the findings?

Can A Feminist Raise A Gentleman?

I wrote this a year ago and posted it on my old blog which nobody read, that is why you may notice the ages of my children are not current. First time this is being posted at From Playgrounds To Politics.

When I was brining my kids to school this morning and we were headed in the building, we came across a young girl struggling to open the heavy front door of the building.  My two older kids were several steps ahead of me and I told my 5 (almost 6) year old son to help the girl with the door.  We continued on our way to the classroom and while walking I reminded my son, “It’s always polite to hold the door for others. Especially girls. That’s called being a Gentleman.”  This isn’t out of the ordinary of something I may say to him, I’m always trying to teach my kids about being polite and helping others.  But I started to question if telling my 5 year old that holding doors especially for girls was the right thing to do or if it was it was odd or sexist?  Usually when I tell my kids things, they usually ask “why.” This particular time, nobody asked why, but I was thinking in my head, maybe he would ask and I couldn’t come up with a great 5 year old answer other than,” because that’s what a gentleman or a good boy does.”  So that got me thinking about other things we teach our sons that is along the same lines.  Never hit a person, but especially a girl.  When you walk in a doorway, let a girl go first.

Maybe 5 isn’t a good age to make this distinction, but then when is a good age to make this differentiation?  When exactly does the gentlemen training begin?  So now I turn to the feminist inside me and my question is: can we raise good little gentlemen without teaching them to be sexist?  I urge my son to be helpful to anyone that needs help of course, but there is something in our society that makes it extra polite to help a girl and later on, a woman.  I mean, we all want our sons to be good to women and I think it’s a common idea that a man who opens your door for you and pays for your dinner is a good catch, right!  And obviously hitting a woman is absolutely wrong and terrible.  And, although not right as well, hitting a man in society is much more accepted than hitting a woman.  But at what point can we teach this to a boy?  When can we say, “don’t hit little so and so on the playground, because she’s a girl.”  So now I have to ask, can a man (or a boy) treat the other sex, like the fairer sex, without being sexist?

I have 2 boys and 1 girl in my house and I can say in our family we are just at the point of saying, “you can’t hit anyone.”  No one doesn’t get hit because they’re a girl, no one gets to go first because they’re a girl, no one gets anything different because of who they are.  When it comes to siblings (I have 1, 3 & 5 year olds) they don’t understand that kind of logic, and it would make an unfair playing field when I often have to break up wrestling matches and arguments if I was always favoring my daughter.  With 3 kids close in age, when it comes to toys, everybody plays with everything.  We never tell our daughter she can’t do something because she’s a girl and I will correct our children if they say, “that’s a boys toy or a girls toy.” I can’t say that we live in a gender neutral home because my daughter wears plenty of pink and has a million princess Barbies.  That being said, my daughter would rather play with dinosaurs and dig worms out of the ground than anything else, and both my sons have played with dolls. I wouldn’t say I’m raising sexist children, but is that not really true when I teach my son to be good to girls.

I teach my kids that  everyone is equal.  We treat everyone with kindness.  We help people, especially those who can’t help themselves.  But where does the “ladies and gentlemen” part of all that come in to play.  If everyone is equal and girls can do everything that boys can do, when is it fair to introduce the idea that as a boy, you will treat girls differently, and how is that fair in elementary school?  If we want our girls to be strong and our boys to be respectful, how exactly does a feminist raise her boys, and can she raise a Gentleman?

I do think this whole Ladies and Gentlemen thing can be accomplished even with a feminist approach, and I do think that there is a balance..  but I want to hear how you raise your boys or girls to be “Ladies and Gentlemen,” or tell me, is that notion becoming extinct (or should it be)?

door gentleman

Why You Don’t Want To Date A Disney Prince

When talking to my single friends that are looking for love, I keep hearing the women ask, “Just where are all the Princes anyway?”  From the time that women are very young we expect our lives are going to end up like a Disney Movie.  We look for the handsome prince to scoop us up, sweep us off our feet, and carry us off into the sunset on the back of a white horse and onward to the castle in the sky.  Snow White sang our mantra, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” and that little tune warms our hearts and we nod with hypnotic visions of what love is supposed to be like spiraling in our eyes and unrealistic expectations in our brains.

So now when we’re in our 20’s & 30’s and 40’s and single or divorced or even in an imperfect marriage, we question: “Where is my prince, my knight in shining armor, why can’t my life be like the movies?”  Well, I’m here to say #1 we don’t live in the movies and #2 maybe the prince doesn’t really exist.  *Gasp*  The same childhood movies that fool us into thinking what a prince is really supposed to be like, is also the same movies that show us plainly that these princely guys may not be the dreamy men that we think they’re cracked up to be.

Take Snow White for example.  Her so-called “prince” is actually kind of clueless and scary.  When The Prince finds innocent Snow White in the woods after being lost and confused, he scares her half to death.  Snow White actually runs away from him.  This is where the story should end, but the Prince doesn’t take the hint at all, he shows up and kisses her when he thinks she’s dead.  This kind of freaky postmortem lust is pretty disturbing, but somehow in the story, it makes birds chirp, dwarves dance and awakens Snow White to her senses where she promptly falls head over heels for the man she ran from.  We all know a good kisser is a plus, but come on, no man, no kiss, is that good.

That brings me to Cinderella and her prince, Prince Charming. So Cinderella meets Prince Charming at the ball, he instantly falls in love with her, yet even after an entire night of dancing he doesn’t even bother to learn her name.  Jerk.  So then The Charmer has the brilliant idea of finding the girl he “loves” by proclaiming he will marry the woman who fits into the shoe he’s carrying around.  Now, how many of your friends have the same shoe size as you?  I mean, luckily he found the right woman, but what are the odds? I’m pretty sure it was basically a ploy to fulfill his foot fetish and was really willing to pick the girl with the most appealing foot.  This feeling of kismet is tempting, but keep moving Cinderella, you can do better, at the very least find a man that can recognize your face and remember your name.

Moving on to Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip. First of all, he still lives with his parents. Ugh. This tells us he probably doesn’t have a job and isn’t very ambitious. Then, he’s another one who kisses girls while they’re sleeping. This is called Date Rape, ladies. Stay away!

Moving on to Jasmine and Aladdin. Where do I start?  Aladdin is a reckless, homeless, bad boy, thief that lies about everything he is to get Jasmine to like him.  If this was real, all your girl friends would tell you how bad this guy is.  Once a liar, always a liar.  Dump him immediately.

What about Peter Pan? This guy starts the relationship off by being a creeper peeping tom watching Wendy through her windows at night.  This is not endearing ladies, this is creepy. Then we find out Peter is an immature player (hello, Tinker bell, Tiger Lilly) that refuses to act mature.  We have all dated guys like this.  All he wants to do is play video games and run around with his friends.  You can not change him. He will never grow up. Avoid!

While growing up, who hasn’t wanted to live in a magical castle. Too bad in Belle’s case this meant living with a controlling, verbally abusive, self centered monster like the Beast.  Next thing you know we’re going to see them on an episode of 20/20 with a relationship gone awry story.  I’d suggest he get anger management classes immediately and Belle get the hell out of that situation before it’s too late and things get worse.

Then we have Flynn Ryder from Tangled.  He’s another thief that gets incarcerated.  Keep moving Rapunzel, a guy with a rap sheet is not a catch.

 

 

This brings me to Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid. This guy doesn’t care about who he’s with as long as she’s a good singer. This seems very shallow to me. Eric goes back and forth from this Ursula/ Vanessa character and then to Ariel so easily, we all know he’s not being genuine with either one.  Another thing, Eric seems so clueless, that even when they’re on a date and they’re in a boat, under the glow of the moon and romantic music is playing, Ariel is dropping hints all over the place, he still can’t take the initiative and just “Kiss the Girl.” We all know this guy is a Mamma’s boy and we would totally have to do everything for him and teach him everything from scratch.  I don’t know about you, but I need a man that can do things for himself.  This guy is totally going to be leaving his clothes on the bathroom floor and knows absolutely nothing in the bedroom. No thank you.  Next. 

Then we have Captain John Smith.  First of all, he needs to respect boundaries and should not be kissing Pocahontas when she already has a boyfriend. Then, in talking to Pocahontas, he reveals his true racist feelings, saying his people have improved the lives of the “Savages.” Come on Pocahontas, don’t degrade yourself like this.  Find a man who appreciates you for you and respects your culture.

So after running down the list of all the so-called heroic princes that we all love, I have to ask the question: Are women really that naive or are we taught from our youth to pick the wrong men?  I am pleading with all women out there, please don’t be like Snow White.  Please don’t stare dreamingly up to the sky and sing how someday your prince will come and imagine being with a man that you don’t even know whether he exists or not. Get out of the house and hop on your own white horse.  Don’t dream about the castle in the sky, because this is more unrealistic that the American Dream.  We all know neither one exist in the way that fairy tales tell us they do.  I’m sure there’s a great guy out there for you, but he’s not from the Disney movies, and frankly thank God, because those guys are losers!

Is Texting Etiquette a Thing?

It’s no major news story that people are overly attached to their cell phones and literally have them fastened to their hips 24 hours a day.  We carry them around, we sleep next to them, use them as alarm clocks, place them on the dashboards for a GPS, use them in school to calculate problems, carry them at work to aid in our jobs, tweet and text and update statuses, foursquare and blog, use them as mirrors or flashlights, pass the time while in the bathroom or on a plane, entertain our kids on car rides, take pictures, Facebook stalk our ex-boyfriends, whatever.  With the world at out fingertips It seems like the general population is unable to control themselves and can’t hardly resist texting or smart phoning, especially during inappropriate times and places.  I’ve seen live tweets from a funeral, received texts from church, rolled my eyes as family members are clicking away during holiday dinner, and sure as eggs is eggs, not a day goes by when countless people are instagramming the view of the oh so glorious sunset or crazy exotic cars with 5 foot spoilers and truck nuts dangling WHILE DRIVING.  (Side Note: Stop doing that, it’s dangerous, what’s wrong with you).

Okay, so you get it, our phones have become our forever companion, all day long.  Most of the people I know can be reached and notified within a moments notice at anytime of the day.  I can get ‘round the clock medical advice, or childrearing input answered any time of day and night, because it’s safe to assume that someone I know at anytime has a cell phone in hand and is able to talk back to me on the spot.

So now I have this issue of: I know people have their cell phones, and I have something really important or maybe not even that important to tell them, it’s on my mind right then and there and I have my very own Smartphone in hand ready to send you whatever it is that is crossing though my brain, maybe some new meme is burning a hole in my digital pocket companion.  The new question is: should we, as the sender or texter, be mindful or cautious of when and what time we are texting them?  It used to be that I could call your house, leave a voice mail during the day and you would just get it when you got home from work and return my call.  Now I know you have the phone in your pocket, so there’s no question that you are going to be getting my call right then and there.  If I am calling you or texting you, are there texting etiquette rules that I should be mindful of?  For instance if I know you are in a meeting, or are driving, or  it is late at night.  Is it the texter’s responsibility to contact responsibly at decent waking non working, non driving, non churching hours, or is it the receiver’s job to make sure their phones are turned off in the movie theater or when they are sleeping and so forth.  I’ve had it happen that I’ve texted my sister and she yelled at me for texting while she was sleeping.  Was it my fault for texting her at 10 o’clock at night or should she just have turned her phone off before bed if she didn‘t want to be bothered?  Maybe texting or calling is one thing, but now that we can  set notifications to ring when we win an eBay auction or receive tweets or get tagged in an instagram picture, should I be mindful of when I tweet and Facebook them as well?  What if I know somebody is driving, should I not comment on their newly posted sunset picture for fear that they will not be smart enough to resist the dangerous urge to read and reply?  What about when my husband just left to run to the store and I really want to remind him to pick up some ice cream and it better be Death by Chocolate or else?  Should I text even though I know he is driving, or wait 15 minutes until he is safely strolling through Wegmans and possibly run the risk that he‘s already at checkout because I waited too long and then I‘m stuck with prison grade store brand vanilla?

Am I being selfish and impatient and inconsiderate when I am texting somebody immediately when I have an idea?  Should we abide by courteous rules and traditional hours of conversation or should I text away at my own free will and hope they turn their devices off during the times they do not wish to be disturbed?  One last thing.. Do these rules apply or become stricter when sending non work friendly material?  Oops.