Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Here's Mine (with my pseudonym):

Her Imperial Majesty Pilgrim
the Somnolent of Nether Wombleshire

And here's my oldest daughter's new title:

Reverend Lady Annie the Funereal of Chipping Sodbury

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pill That Eliminates the Period Gets Mixed Reviews

I find this article both sad and fascinating. I particularly like what Ms. Andrist (apparently a real person with a very funny name) said about women not having enough time to be women. Now, who’s the sexist, I ask you?! What do you expect from a person with a name like THAT?!

I also thought it interesting that a Dr. Constantine laments menstruating women in that, “They limit sexual activity and exercise, wear dark clothes and stay home more.” Of course, I thought these sounded like some positives changes. But the loss of wages, a decrease in effectiveness at work or school and absenteeism – these are inexcusable! :)

Plus, as far as I know the Pill does NOT “stop the monthly release of an egg” but it does stop “the buildup of the uterine lining” and thus performs abortions when "necessary". The cozy terminology I remember is that it creates an inhospitable environment in which a baby/fetus/embryo cannot attach to the uterine wall.

I went to that site (Barr Pharmaceuticals) and they claim the Pill creates a "Pill Period" because it "hinders" ovulation and this type of period is different from the period of an ovulating woman. Whatever! Someone please educate me if I’m wrong. In fact, I have to share an entire section of their FAQ from the above-referenced site with you:
3: Isn’t it unnatural to not have a monthly period? Having a period every month is natural. What’s not natural are the number of periods we’re having now. Today, women have many, many more periods than their mothers or grandmothers. Years ago women stayed home, they didn’t work outside the home, they had more children, they got married earlier, and look at the number of children they had: sometimes 5, 6, 7 kids. They breast fed. They might go a long time without having a period. They might have a few periods and then get pregnant again. Now compare that to today’s modern woman. We’re having fewer children, we’re having children later, and we’re not breastfeeding. In fact, think about it. The average age of starting to have periods today is about 12. And let’s say a woman doesn’t have her first child until age 27. Well that’s 15 years of periods, you know, month after month after year after year after year. Our bodies really weren’t designed to have all of these periods. Today we’re having hundreds of periods in our lifetime, whereas a century ago we were only having a few periods. One might say that that’s not natural; that’s not what we were designed to do.

I was disappointed to find that they left out whether old-fashioned women (who menstruate less) or modern women (who bleed all the time) prefer dark clothes. I love how this Q & A sounds like one airhead explaining rocket science to another airhead. I can't argue with the internal logic of their explanation. Of course, the huge glaring assumption in the middle is that being a woman and mother to 5, 6 or 7 (Eek!) is a terrible thing of the past. Then they make the good point that if you're contracepting, you're not really a woman anyway. You might as well admit it, stop bleeding to death, and buy their product. I also have to point out that Barr Pharmaceuticals has taken a stand in the Evolutionism/Intelligent Design debate. They acknowledge we were DESIGNED.

Mostly I find it sad that we’re not worried about killing babies or about how the Pill destroys a woman’s long-term fertility specifically and our bodies in general. We’re worried about having the appearance of normality.

Pray, pray, pray.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some Cheese with That Whine

Is it me, as she always claims?

“Don’t be so sensitive."
“Can’t you take a joke?”
“You can’t be seriously angry.”
“I guess I can never do anything right.”

When I was young, living at home, and still a potential ball of clay to be molded by her hands, it was more like,

“It’s all in your head."
“Don’t be a flake.”
“You’ll never accomplish your dreams that way.”
“Maybe we should check into counseling and medication for you.”

I am thankful that she sees I’m beyond help and only wants to get along now.

She is (was and always will be) an extremely sarcastic woman with a passive aggression and a sense of her own rightness in any situation (based on decency, not morality) that can cut you to ribbons before you even know you have a single boo-boo. The years might have dulled her razor-sharp attacks a little, but not much.

On the other side of the house, he was seriously in love with arguing but lacked the intellectual ability to win any battles without resorting to below-the-belt retorts. He would argue about anything, literally anything. No passivity there at all. I remember one battle, perhaps the first in which I was able to step back and watch dispassionately, in which he wanted to convince me of some particularity concerning Braum’s dairy farm. Even though I knew that he knew nothing about this topic, I knew less and cared none at all. He was able to win that one without meanness.

When he was really backed into a corner, he wasn’t afraid to just call you stupid, scream at the top of his lungs, and appear to be on the verge of a red-faced meltdown which would end in your murder. Well, now he’s very docile and happy, sweet and oblivious. I’ve always suspected that bliss lied on the other side of all things intellectual.

I was a child and I saw through the eyes of a child that these things were of my making. I was crazy, ill-equipped to intellectually spar with the Old Man, and the cause of all this discord in my family.

Not now. Now I know they’re crazy. The only bad thing about gaining this knowledge as an adult is that I’m now the parent, most likely inflicting my own craziness on my kids.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Process of Dismantling

This is something I wrote a couple of years ago. The holy relic shirt still resides in a bag hanging in my mud porch. I'm still dismantling. Lord, never let it end.

It has been 1 year, 1 month, 20 days, 16 hours, and 24 minutes since my husband died and still I am dismantling the things he put together, the things he touched, the edifices he erected around him. When a person dies suddenly, the stuff they have left behind is not sucked into the vortex created by their vacuum-like absence. It remains. It remains exactly AS IF they never left. It is for you, the “next of kin” to dismantle it… to make the decisions of what stays and what goes, what is sacred enough to become part of the permanent shrine and what must be broken out of the matrix that was his world.

Just this morning, I finally washed a cup of his from work. He had drunk all the coffee out of it, so there was only a residue and the invisible stamp of his lips. I had kept this cup (and a spoon, fork and knife he kept at work in a Ziploc bag) by my desk at home, not knowing exactly what to do with them.

I have another confession to make. I have a dirty shirt of his in a bag. This shirt was his lawn mowing shirt and instead of washing it every time, he kept it in a plastic bag in our mud porch. The shirt has lost all its scent but it reminds me of his substance, his physical presence, his manly sense of order in which washing a shirt used only for dirty work was unnecessary.

Most people will say, “Wash them, you silly fool. That’s what you do with them… and not over a year later.” Yes, but when will he drink from another cup again. When will he mow our lawn or sweat in a shirt or make a decision about how best to store work clothes. When will I be able to wash his dirty cup again? I have dismantled an entire activity of his that will never repeat.

This is exactly why dismantling my husband’s life is difficult. Every act, every doodle on a piece of paper, every wonderfully dirty shirt is sacred. They are sacred because they can never be again. Dismantling a loved one is painful. Yet I do not want to reach the end.

And what of me? How can I be trusted to make the choices about the parts of me that he touched? I am inextricably enmeshed in this matrix also and I do not know how or even if I want to dismantle the part of me that is him and the part of me that is me. But if I remain entwined with his remains, for the person of my husband has gone on and is no longer concerned with matrices and edifices, what of me will be left for anyone else? Will I not be living among the dead, dying among the living?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sonet by Juliusz Słowacki

Już północ - cień ponury pół świata okrywa,
A jeszcze serce zmysłom spoczynku nie daje,
Myśl za minionym szczęściem gonić nie przestaje,
Westchnienie po westchnieniu z piersi się wyrywa.

A choć znużone ciało we śnie odpoczywa,
To myśl znów ulatuje w snów i marzeń kraje,
Goni za marą, której szczęściu niedostaje,
A dusza przez sen nawet drugiej duszy wzywa.

Jest kwiat, co się otwiera pośród nocy cienia
I spogląda na księżyc, i miłe tchnie wonie,
Aż póki nie obaczy jutrzenki promienia.

Jest serce, co się kryjąc w zakrwawionym łonie,
W nocy tylko oddycha, w nocy we łzach tonie,
A w dzień pilnie ukrywa głębokie cierpienia.
And now, for those of you who prefer English...
The Translation

It’s midnight – half the world is covered in shadow,
But still the heart stirs and provides no rest,
Thoughts of a bygone love wring and wrest,
As pained sighs after new sighs continually flow.

And though the weary body lies in calming sleep,
Thoughts take wing in the land of dreams,
Chasing visions of joy never gotten, it seems,
As one soul calls to another even in silence deep.

There is a flower which opens up in shadowy night,
And gazes at the moon, and sweetens the air,
Till it’s touched by the beams of morning light.

There is a heart – in wounded breast taking flight;
Only at night does it breathe in teary despair,
Till it softly covers its desires from day’s pitiless glare.


Well, I guess I've done it. I'm part of the Me Generation. I've got me a blog.