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  • Fox News Feminism Is So Sweet

    Fox news recently did a segment about “how to keep your husband happy” where they interviewed the lovely “Princeton Mom”- author of the book Marry Smart. It was really cute. They talked about how women have become uppity princesses who need to shut their damn mouths and make their man a drink so he can be content while she cooks him dinner. So sweet!

    The Princeton Mom blames feminism for the degradation of how men are treated in marriages, and her advice is that women hold onto their husbands with their little pussy paws so he doesn’t leave you a lonely cat-woman spinster old maiden. She doesn’t say you have to wait on him hand and foot, but it’s probably a good idea if you do. If the Princeton Mom is going to crown herself the queen of knowing what makes men happy, then how would she advise gay couples? Shouldn’t relationship counsel ultimately be in the universal language of love? If the rational can’t be applied to all dynamics how is it even legitimate? If you are both husbands or wives then who is making who the damn drink?

    Initially I felt a lot of rage towards this Princeton Mom and the Fox News pundits egging her on, because the logic was so condescending and seemingly backwards. Yet there was an underlying message she was espousing that was reasonable – it was about kindness. Be caring towards the person you live with, parent with, and have committed yourself to. Yes! I agree with that. That is a human quality all people should strive towards because that is a decent way to behave – not because you are trying to make someone else happy.

    In fact, the expectation to make your husband or wife happy is totally absurd.

    It is not your spouse’s job to make you happy. That is your responsibility. Happiness comes from within because it is an esoteric feeling that passes like gas. Another person can’t make you happy any more than they can make you love yourself. In any given day we feel a variety of complex emotions, and the only way to find balance within the chaos is our own internal maturity of how we deal with the stresses of life. Happiness is not a goal to achieve but rather a state of being that comes with contentment of self.

    I am pretty sure the Dalai Lama isn’t expecting some lady friend to make his ass happy after she makes him bacon and eggs for breakfast – and he seems like a pretty happy dude. Relationships aren’t about holding the other person responsible for your mental well-being. They are about helping each other with the bullshit minutia of life, and listening to the other person bitch about the bullshit minutia of life.

    The only person you are accountable for making happy is yourself. And guess what? A happy person is usually a nice person to be around. They are inherently more thoughtful, compassionate, and giving because their mind isn’t clouded with anxiety or depressing thoughts. When people solely prioritize the happiness of others it makes them feel like shit, and therefor eventually act like it too. Just as you could alienate your spouse by being selfish, you could also turn out to be a bitter bride who has given her life to a man only to dream about poisoning his martini. When your own happiness is a priority it is easier to be a giving partner because you don’t feel emotionally depleted.
    fox-news-feminism-blog-(i)

    July 9, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Relationships, Vagina Stuff, Women's Business • Views: 2558

  • So Much Forgiveness

    People suck. They can be selfish, entitled, thoughtless, rude and the more you are around them, the greater the chance they will piss you off. In adult relationships there are many options on how to deal with asshole behavior. You can avoid the person, write a snarly text message, confront them after a few drinks when feeling belligerent, pee on their lawn, or simply resentment the person and never talk to them again. When dealing with a young child, you don’t have these options because they don’t have a yard, can’t read, and it’s frowned upon to get wasted with them. You actually have to be the mature one and lead by example.

    Children are moody daughters of dicks. (Why does that not have the same ring to it as sons of bitches?) Their emotions fluctuate like climate change induced storms and it’s hard to anticipate when they are going to fly into a fit of fury. And as quickly as kids shit in your mouth with their emotional bile, they turn around and are as sweet as cancer-causing aspartame.

    This afternoon started out with The Munch acting like a gentle creature, similar to a friendly giant on pot brownies. She was considerate, wanted to help making a sandwich, and was generally in a dreamy state of lovingness. Until she wasn’t.

    I sat down on the couch to tell Munch a story, but she wanted to be where I was sitting, and for me to sit across from her on this wooden chair.

    Munch: Mamma, move over so I and sit here and you can sit there.
    Toni: Dude, I don’t want to move over. I am already sitting here.
    Munch: But I want to sit there!! I want you to sit across from me so I can look at you!
    Toni: Well then you sit on the wooden chair. I am comfy on the couch.
    Munch: No Mamma… you sit on that chair and I want to sit on the couch!
    Toni: No way.
    Munch: Okay fine. I will put these pillows on the chair and now you can sit on it.
    Toni: I want to sit here… you can sit there.
    Munch: NO MAMMA NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAHHHHAHHHAHHHAAAAAAHHHAAA!!! You sit there!

    Munch then cried like she was going for the Oscar, while I wondered why my kid was such a little twerp. Her whole logic was so egocentric. Did she really want me to be uncomfortable so she could live her OCD moment and frame the perfect shot for story time?

    Then I sat on the stupid wooden chair because I am a weak.

    Munch of course immediately stopped weeping and happily wanted me to tell her a story – but I was bitter at that point. Even though I could have stood my ground, I acquiesced and then begrudged her for it. Despite the fact that I wanted to pout, I couldn’t sulk because it was my own damn fault for catering to her demands. I put my big girl pants on, let it go, and moved on.

    Then later we got into an argument over treats because as you may know, I am living with a sugar addict.

    Munch: Mamma, can I have a treat. I had healthy stuff for lunch remember?
    Toni: Sure, what do you want?
    Munch: A chocolate popsicle.
    Toni: Ummmm we don’t have that. So you want a mango popsicle?
    Munch: No. A chocolate popsicle.
    Toni: I just told you we don’t have that. But I can give you some pieces of a special chocolate bar?
    Munch: Okay.
    Toni: Here you go. Four pieces because you are four years old.
    Munch: I actually want a big bar of chocolate.
    Toni: But you are already eating the pieces I gave you.
    Munch: Yeah, but I want just one big piece of chocolate bar. Not little pieces.
    Toni: Dude, you just ate all the pieces I gave you. You stuffed them in your mouth the whole time you were demanding more?
    Munch: I want a mango popsicle now.
    Toni: No way. I just gave you a delicious special treat because you didn’t want the mango popsicle.
    Munch: Waahhhhaaaa!!!!!!!!!! I WANT A MANGO POPSICLE!!

    She cried for ten minutes, threw her headband across the room, and stomped her feet while staring me in the face. This time I didn’t comply to her desires because that would be insane. The Munch had to play out her rebellion, while I managed her snarky comments.

    Munch: Mamma, if you don’t give me a treat I am going to throw you outside.
    Toni: I would like to see you try.
    Munch: Fine, then I will just spit in your face.
    Toni: Go ahead and see what happens.
    Munch: Fine. Just give me a treat then and I won’t do any of those things.
    Toni: Dude, there is no way.

    She continued to cry until she finally accepted she had lost the battle.

    Munch: Mamma, I love you so much. I’m so lucky.

    There is no way you can stay angry with someone after a proposition like that.

    Parents have these dynamics with their kids everyday, and forgiveness is an hourly affair. You both have to forgive each other constantly because there is so much tension and conflict when raising children. They want what they want because they are tyrants and parents have to keep them in check so they don’t stay that way.

    Most relationships and our larger society could benefit from this level of fluidity. If we admit we are basically are all just big babies trying to make it in this cruel world, we’ll remember that we are all always growing and evolving.

    so-much-forgiveness-blog-(i)

  • Do You Really Listen?

    It is really hard to listen to people. We hear the words that come out of face holes, but to truly listen to what someone needs is difficult. Even when we think we are paying attention to what someone is saying, it doesn’t inherently mean that we understand where they are coming from.

    Communication is the most common theme of relationship problems. We are all clouded by subjectivity, so during conversations we tend to focus on our own opinions more than the other person’s. Yet when you exist under this lens of “how do your wants affect me and my wants?” it is impossible to actually connect to the desires of the other person.

    It is challenging to clear your mind of yourself because the self is so persistently chatting in your head. The ego is as relentless as virgin at a porn convention – it just can’t get enough stimulation. The challenge then becomes how to have meaningful conversations with people where you are actually listening to each other and honoring the varying perspectives.

    As a parent it is really easy to bulldoze over your child’s wishes and ignore the substance of what they are trying to ask for. For one, the way they ask is sometimes annoying as fuck. Kids will whine/stomp/yell/cry/hit if you don’t agree with them, and their compromising skills are still being developed. Their discontent can feel tyrannical because they have no patience to explain their perspective. They also often want things that are fucking outrageous. The Munch will feel totally justified to scream and kick the floor because I won’t build her a candy house. Since kids so often approach you in this irrational hyper-emotional way, it is easy to forget that sometimes their requests are totally reasonable.

    The Munch had her birthday the other day, and she wanted to watch Cinderella while I made her breakfast. I never let her watch things in the morning, but figured it was her birthday, so why not make a special occasion. Yet while she was watching Cinderella she was thirsty and wanted some water.

    Munch: Mamma, can you get me some water?
    Toni: Sure.
    Munch: With a straw?
    Toni: Oaky fine. Here you go. But you have to drink it here in the kitchen.
    Munch: But I am watching Cinderella…
    Toni: Yeah but I don’t want you to have a cup of water next to my computer because it could spill.
    Munch: But I will be really careful. I don’t spill it.
    Toni: I know you will be careful, but accidents happen. If you spilled water on my computer you would ruin my computer and Apple care wouldn’t fix it. I can’t let take that risk. My computer is my life, as pathetic as that is.
    Munch: But Mom I am really thirsty! It is so hot outside!!!
    Toni: Well just pause Cinderella and come get water when you want it!
    Munch: But then I will just have to keep coming into the kitchen.
    Toni: Okay, I have an idea. Come. Let’s bring the water into my office, and I will pur the water here. On the table over here.
    Munch: But I still have to keep getting up!
    Toni: Dude… you have to get up, but you are in the same room?
    Munch: Mom I just want to have the water next to me!! Wahhhaaaahhhhaaaa
    Toni: Okay, you are not listening. No more Cinderella.

    I took the computer away, and of course The Munch started to cry. I felt bad because it was her birthday and hot as balls. I could understand being thirsty and not wanting to get up, but I also really didn’t want a cup of water next to my reason for living…. Uh, I mean just a meaningless piece of technology.

    Munch: Wahhhaaaahhaaaa!!
    Toni: Munch, come here. Lets have a cuddle and talk.
    Munch: Mamma, I really want to watch Cinderella.
    Toni: I hear you. But I really don’t want water that could be spilled next to my computer. It is expensive and important to me.
    Munch: But I wasn’t going to spill it and I really didn’t want to get up that many times because then I would miss Cinderella and I would get even more sweaty!
    Toni: Wait a minute…. I have a solution. We could get one of your water bottles with a straw, and then you could have the water bottle next to you, drink from a straw, but I wouldn’t have to be nervous about my computer!
    Munch: Yayyyyyy!

    The solution was obvious, but I wasn’t thinking of one because I was being narrow-minded in my own logic. I knew what I didn’t want, and that felt more important than what Munch wanted. Yet when I took a minute to really listen to her, we came up with a resolution that fit both of our needs.

    listening-blog-(i)

  • The Longing of Lust

    What is the difference between love and lust?  In the beginning of a relationship it is almost impossible to distinguish between the two.  Is it my heart that is reacting to this person, or my genitals?  They are both warm and tingly, and I am not quite sure who is in charge here.

    Lust is a very powerful force, but it exists only in the realm of the unfamiliar.  The less you know someone, the more potential they have, and the deeper the abyss of lust.  The fantasy of who they could be, or how you might be together, is still intact because the exposure is limited.  When you never fully have that person as yours, living with them, waking up next to them, staring at them across a silent dinner table, the lust is a pulsing force.  But the more you get to know someone fully, the mystery dissolves, and so does your invented perception of them.  You know what they look like when they yawn, or how their veins protrude when they are angry, and the truth of their humanness dampens the lust.

    Part of what drives lust is the fact that they are still out of reach.  Something you are striving for, longing for.  When you meet someone you are attracted to, we often want to consume them.  Devour them completely with our time, love, energy, and private parts.  But it is the moments before, and the period when you are not sure what is going to happen, that is the most stimulating.  But there is insecurity to this position of not knowing, and it is exactly that place of insecurity that feeds the lust.

    Will they kiss me?

    Do they want me?

    How long with this last?

    Sometime relationships can exist for years in this state of limbo, other times a few drunken hours on the kitchen floor.  But we all have had people we pine over, but never commit to.  It is a desperate place to exist, but also exciting.  Yet is chasing the dragon of lust ultimately a distraction from love? Or facing yourself fully?  When you are consumed by lust is it worth the angst it causes?  The titillation of uncertainty is also a paralyzing consequence.  Being in a state of lust can make you feel alive on the outside but dead inside.

    Lust is a fleeting feeling, where love is eternal. So when all that ambiguity is replaced by security, we can only hope the lust transforms into love.

    lust-blog

    September 17, 2013 • Musings, Relationships • Views: 3338

  • Do You Think It’s Possible To Change?

    Even though change is the only constant in life, doesn’t it seem impossible to change as a person? Just the thought of changing feels exhausting.  It is hard enough changing my underwear let alone my whole personality.

    But we all suck, and need to change all the time for other people. You have to change for your parents, friends, lovers, employers, employees, and even your child.  Anyone who is around you for more than 1 hour a day is going to ask you to change.  Because lets face it, we are all really annoying.

    The idea of changing is overwhelming.  I am not a fucking caterpillar.  I don’t know how I can just change from one thing into another. I don’t even know how to make a cocoon or what I would construct it with.  Would organic goat feces work and wouldn’t I smell kind of funky when I emerged?  Who am I supposed to change into and where is the old me going to go?

    I feel like the concept of change is so esoteric and intimidating that people often feel they can’t.  “I can’t change. This is who I am.  Can’t you just accept me for me?” Nope. Probably not.  Because you are a big poopy pants.

    Then I realized something.  Thinking that the concept of “improving” is only accomplished through “changing” is totally counter-productive.  You already have the person who you want to be inside of you, the key is being that person more often.  So rather than thinking of being a totally new you, be the best version of you most of the time.

    Every person has good in them- kindness, empathy, caring, and consideration. You have been that before and can be that again.  Even serial killers are nice sometimes to some people.  So rather than focusing on change like you have to be different than who you are, be yourself.  Just the 2.0 model of you.

    (Even thinking about changing makes me have to lie down)

    changing-blog

     

     

    June 19, 2013 • 2 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1440

  • I Need My Space… But Wait, Don’t Go Away!

    Remember being a kid and getting into fights with your friends?  It always felt like it was the biggest deal.  My world was over if someone was mad at me, or I felt like my friends at school were turning on me.  I would pretend to be sick just to avoid dealing with the idea that people didn’t like me.  Is it just me, or was childhood filled with a lot of social anxiety?

    I think part of that stress was because when you are young, you lack the perspective of foresight.  Knowing that these things happen, and eventually you will either make up, or grow apart.  Its not like you are going to die just because someone is mad at you or doesn’t want to be your friend.

    It is so easy to give people power, because it is so hard to remember that their opinion of you doesn’t have to be your opinion of you.

    Fighting with people is part of the being in relationships, but it is still stressful and something I try to avoid.  When I do go there, I have come to realize an important strategy.  Don’t talk when you are still mad.

    When you get angry with me that usually makes me get angry at you.  I get pissed because you are pissed.  Two people being pissy, it is a recipe for an argument that goes in circles.  You tell me how I suck, then I tell you how you suck.  You say I am shitty, and I tell you that I am shitty because I am reacting to your shit.

    If I am mad or frustrated, I am not listening to you.  I don’t even really want to move on, be empathetic, or forgive.  It is like I am stuck inside the mouth of a lion, and I don’t want to be there, but keep feeding into it.

    If I have time to let things breathe, and think it through on my own, I am so much more capable of approaching things with an open heart.  And when I am open to move forward, the conversation is much more productive.

    I try to apply this logic when dealing with The Munch… but it has proven to be quite challenging.  Especially considering she is way more relentless than the average person, and for me to take my space and leave her in the house to go weep in the woods and drink a pint of whiskey would be considered bad parenting.

    Munch: “No Mamma I don’t want to wear that dress I want to wear my birthday dress!”

    Toni: “Well, you have been wearing that dress for about 6 days straight and I put in in the laundry to clean it.”

    Munch: “But I want to wear my birthday dress!!!!”

    Toni: “Munch, its is really gross and dirty and needs to get clean.  So its in the laundry.  I will wash it tonight and you can wear it tomrrow.”

    Munch: “I WANT TO WEAR MY BIRTHDAY DRESS!! GET IT OUT OF THE LAUNDRY SO I CAN WEAR IT TODAY!!”

    Toni: “Dude, no.  That is insane.  Your dress is cruddy and gross and has stains all over it.”

    Munch: “MAMMA NO!! GET IT FROM THE LAUNDRY I WANT TO WEAR MY BIRTHDAY DRESS!!!!!!!!”

    So this is the part where I think it would be best for me to exit the conversation and take a moment.  To think things through and contemplate how best to explain that wearing a dress that has scuzz all over it is really yucky and eww.  And The Munch would take the time to see my point.  That perhaps she could wear something fucking else.  But instead we are both in each other’s faces because I am supposed to watch her and make sure she is alive all the time.

    Toni: “Fine.  Wear you stupid dress I don’t care.”

    Munch: “Thank you Mamma, I love you.”

    i-need-space-blog-(i)

     

  • I Am Committed To Not Being Committed To you

    What I have to do in my life is more important than what you have to do in your life.  But if I need you to do something in my life than that is more important than what is going on in your life.  Got that?

    Everyone is busy, and it is easy to think that what you are doing is the most important thing in the world.  And it is – to you.  But what if someone needs you to do something in their life?  Do you ever flake out on them? Probably you do sometimes.  But does that make you any less infuriated when someone flakes on you? Hell no it doesn’t.

    Being reliable is hard.  When you make a commitment to someone, you don’t always want to follow through when the actual time of the commitment creeps up, then feel overwhelmed and want to prioritize other things.  It is easy to say yes to something before you actually have to do it, but then feeling like no the day of.  The desire to flake is as strong as the smell of your armpits.

    In my 20’s I would sometimes be reliable and other times flakey as fuck. I was unreliable about being unreliable because sometimes I was really reliable.  I am not sure what that was about??? Maybe because I smoked an insane amount of pot those days – but I seriously doubt it.

    After enough people reminded me how lame it was to be so lame I made a promise to myself.  Every thing that I said “yes” to I would do… no matter what.  And maybe that would teach me to say “no” to more things in the beginning and only commit to things I knew I would follow through with.

    This life experience taught me a lot. Mainly that bachelorette parties get pretty messy pretty early on in the night.

    In order for things to be a priority in your life, you have to make them a priority.  If that is a project you are doing with another person, you both have to care about it equally and feel invested in the creation. And if someone asks for your help and you said “yes” because you want them to at least think you are a “good” friend, you have to care about their needs as much as your own.  Even if you are just pretending.

    “Ummm are any you guys going to help me out of here? Or are you doing your own thing?”

    commitment-blog-(i)

    June 5, 2013 • 2 years old, Behavior, Mommy Body, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1282

  • How To Like Your Family Even When You Don’t

    The love you feel for your family is different than the love you feel for those you don’t share DNA with.  It is almost as if the love is choiceless.  Despite everything, you have to love them in this primal desperate way.  You know them on a cellular level, and even if their personalities are slightly repugnant, there is still a connection.  We are bonded to those we share blood with.

    The parent-child relationship is probably the most complex because there are so many strings attached.  The child needs the parent to keep them alive/safe, and the parent then feels some sense of ownership over their kid.  As the child ages into an adult, sometimes these dynamics are so deeply embedded into the relationship that it is difficult to respect each other.  It can be hard to find the friendship when there has been this distinct role of the superior and the subordinate.  The child who is always seeking approval from their parent, or the parent who is never satisfied with their child is one of many power struggles that can infect the love.

    That is why having things in common with your family can bring you together despite the complexity of past resentments or failed expectations.  No relationship is every perfect, but the more you share, the more time you will want to spend together.  If you have similar interests, then that are always activities you can together to reinforce the attachment.

    Since The Munch is only 2, I can’t exactly say that we like to do the same things.  I mean, playing in the sandbox and ordering people around is great, but when that person who is being ordered around is me – it kind of loses its charm.  We don’t always see eye to eye on what we want to do with our day, and I feel like I do a lot of the compromising.  I mean, reading Pippi Longstockings 19 times is not exactly what I call the best afternoon of my life, but I will do it for The Munch because I know its good for her brain… and I want her to be the smartest kid ever so I look good.

    One thing we do have in common is dance.  We go into my barn where I do my dances, and The Munch does hers.  Usually we do our own things, but  today  The Munch decided she would make up some moves for me to perform.

    Munch:  “Lift your left toe and put it over here on the window, then over the spider… twirl around 3 times – then fall on the floor. But don’t hurt yourself.  But hit your head and cry.  Then get up and jump like a frog like this.  Then go back and forth. Run to the mirror.  Shake your bum 20 times like this, then lift your right leg all the way to the ceiling.  Move your arms up and down, run over here, then fall down again. But this time, hurt yourself.”

    And I would do exactly as she articulated because that was some pretty imaginative choreography.

    “5,6,7,8 and walk 2,3,4…”

    things-in-common-blog-(i)

  • Trust me, you can’t trust me

    I don’t always trust myself.  But you can trust me – in the sense that I am saying you can’t really trust me.  I mean, you can sometimes trust me, just not all the time.  But enough where you can trust that you will be surprised to discover that you really shouldn’t have trusted me in the first place.  I hope this clears things up.  But I also hope you know I didn’t mean anything I just said.

    Trust is such an important theme in relationships that it deserves its own song.  We are all very concerned with trust and do a lot talking about it.  Trust is like the Kim Kardashian of emotions.  It just keeps coming up no matter where you look.  But I see trust as spectrum – something that has flexibility depending on the person and the situation.  With everyone I love in my life I trust them each in specific ways, and in varying capacities.  Some people are really honest, but are fucking crazy as shit.

    There are those in my life who I trust will always tell me the truth, because it is not in their character to lie.  But that doesn’t mean that they are reliable people.  Or I can trust them to deal with my emotions.  If am questioning if the bags under my eyes make me look gross they will for sure say “yes…”  And if I ask their opinion on work I need critiqued they will be absolutely upfront on how I can improve.  I really appreciate how they never blow smoke up my ass – although I used to be into that sort of thing.

    People who speak their mind in a completely unfiltered manner can be hard to digest, but with a little fiber, you realize they are giving you a great gift.  It is not always what you want to hear, and these are not the people I trust to comfort me when I am down, but I trust that they have my best interest at heart by telling me exactly how they see things.

    I also know people who I know tell white lies, are not upfront with their feelings, but I consider them really dependable friends.  They are empathetic, considerate, great listeners, and often make me feel safe opening up my most vulnerable side.  Even though I can tell they lie about certain things, it is usually harmless, and in some way maintaining their own pride.  I may not be able to trust these people to be completely transparent, yet I can trust that I can be myself completely around them.

    My feelings about trust are that it is not about trusting someone entirely about all things all the time. It is trusting that not matter what happens, you can trust that you can work through it together.  You have trust in the relationship, and you can trust them with your heart.  Because in every bond there are moments where trust is violated, but trusting that you can work it out, to me, is the most imperative.

    For example, I can trust that The Munch will tell me the truth when I ask her if ate a cookie at her grandmother’s house, but I can’t trust her when she says “one last time.”  She never actually means “one last time” because she is a fucking liar!  But I trust that we will figure it out in the end.

    (See…. look at me! Colored lasers all over my face.  You can’t trust that girl!)

    trust-me-you-can't-blog-(i)

    April 8, 2013 • 2 years old, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1707