Women Can’t Out-Do Men

I’m not sure men can hack being with an accomplished woman. This, if they are not very accomplished themselves. There has been much said of celebrity couples whose relationships end when the woman is more commercially successful than the man. We’ve all heard of the curse of the Oscar. The Seal/Klum relationship is the latest, and there have been many others.

At its core, it’s probably a good thing men are so affected when they are not the primary providers. I believe men are conditioned, whether innately or socially, to provide for those entrusted to them. Even if both parties make similar incomes, men know the responsibility ultimately falls to them, even if just in theory. I’m sure there’s a lot of research on this, and I haven’t read it, but it probably has something to do with the fact that women traditionally take on more responsibility within the home, particularly with kids, and therefore men have to take something on, too. Say what you want about equality, but relationships and families are rarely squarely equal, so I believe this broadbrush picture has merit.

It’s good when men feel the burden of taking care of their partner and family. They should feel that burden. And although women want to have their own successes, to some degree we all want to be taken care of. Or, to know that the option exists if we need it. It’s a huge emotional support.

However, feeling this burden should not result in the man throwing in the towel, purposely sabotaging his relationship, and making like the partnership isn’t working when really what’s not working is his own ego.

Sure, it may be uncomfortable for some men to be financially inferior to their wives. 99% of the time they’d probably wish the situation were reversed. But a confident man would just take pride in his wife and enjoy the benefits.

I wonder how many men would truly be fine with that, particularly in cases where the difference is so great?

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Why I Have A Beef With Pharmaceutical Companies & How To Get Rid Of Lice (All In One!)

My kid and I got lice a while back. God only knows where she picked it up because she’s not in daycare, but whatever. So I did about 17 loads of hot laundry, bagged up some toys and couch cushions and proceeded to buy the de-lousing shampoo from the drug store.

Having now had the nasty things I have a big beef with the companies who make the lice treatments. It is 100% unnecessary and ill-advised to buy this shampoo.

The reason even the manufacturers suggest doing the treatment once, and then again in 7 -10 days, is because it does not necessarily kill the eggs. If the eggs aren’t killed they will hatch in a few days and you’ll have the problem all over again.

There are a number of things wrong with pharmacists suggesting this treatment.

First of all, it’s expensive. Where I live, it costs almost $20 for one treatment.

Second, the bottle is really small, so if you have long, abundant hair like mine it will often not be enough.

Third, it’s made of questionable toxins that they advise you don’t get in your eyes or your mouth. I don’t know if you’ve tried to wash a child’s hair, but the chances of doing exactly that are great (especially on a toddler who doesn’t like her hair washed).

Fourth, lice eat your head and leave lesions, even if you don’t scratch. The chemicals burn on these lesions, causing not only discomfort for the 10 minutes you have to leave it on, but also concerns over those toxins entering your body through those scabs.

A treatment that is cheaper, healthier and equally, if not more, effective: don’t poison the lice, suffocate them.

After a horrendous experience de-lousing my toddler with the lice shampoo, I asked the pharmacist if there was a viable alternative. She told me to use a thick substance (cheap conditioner is easiest, mayonnaise is also good) and coat it over your whole head. Really heap it on. On my hair it took a half litre of conditioner. Wrap your head in plastic wrap and go about your business. I don’t know how long it takes to smother bugs so I left it for a couple of hours.  Then, drag a fine-toothed comb through the hair to remove the carcases. This step is easier using conditioner, but if you’re using mayo, just dip the comb in vinegar before each swipe to break up the coating and make it easy to comb through.

Often, the eggs are too small to be removed with the comb. And similar to using the toxic shampoo, they will not likely be dead. Now this is where I have a real problem with the instructions on lice shampoo. Re-do the treatment after 7 days? In my experience, the lice had not only already been able to hatch in that time, but also lay more eggs of their own. My advice? If you’re anal like me, do the gooping conditioner/mayo treatment every other day for a week. Although, I’m sure doing it every 2 or 3 days for three treatments would suffice.

I’m not spouting nonsense. It is only logical that this works because insects cannot live without oxygen. Also, I tried it and kicked the problem in the ass.

Speaking of kickers: you have to be diligent about washing/putting in plastic bags any other items in your house that may have been in contact with the infected person’s head. It’s not that you have to go overboard, you just have to be aware and take precautions. Wash whatever you can in hot water and put couch pillows/stuffed animals/hats in air-tight plastic bags for a couple of weeks.

There is no reason to spend upwards of $40, intoxicate yourself and keep our elementary schools dealing with this disgusting problem. This way is safe, it works like nobody’s business, and it’s cheap. Don’t listen to your pharmacist.

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Saying Stupid Things

My sister used to say I need to filter what comes out of my mouth. I don’t take offence to this, as I know I’m prone to voice things in contexts that are not quite appropriate. For example, I am what some would call a religious person and in religious circles, if you say it’s okay to masturbate people will look at you like they want to have a shower. And then they will avoid you. Maybe some topics aren’t for all audiences.

I don’t want to talk about masturbation. My point is that sometimes my tongue gets me into trouble or makes me feel like I’ve failed. Everyone’s heat rises when they feel slighted, patronized or outright treated badly. Mine tends to spike, then I speak, then I think, then I am disappointed. Because even if I’m justified, I feel like I should be more zen or something.

I have learned how much life can suck if you voice every crappy thing that happens. You know what? When things are crappy and you can’t change that they’re crappy, there is only one solution. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.

You can, and maybe should, talk about things for a time to your favourite  sounding board. I mean, we relate to people by discussing both the good and the bad in life; there is some emotional benefit to doing that. But the old adage that it’s good to get absolutely everything off your chest so you don’t bottle things up and explode later on is just not true. Because the more people you talk to about a crappy thing, the more you’re thinking about that crappy thing, and the more those negative emotions associated with that crappy thing overtake you.

When thoughts of shitty stuff creep into my head I have to just get them out. It’s the only thing that works. Because sometimes circumstances will suck over which I have no control and no amount of positive thinking is going to make them better. It’s not about avoiding anything, or being unrealistic. It’s just about keeping them away until time does its magic.

It’s tempting to go on and on and on about everything we’re feeling and thinking. But it’s idiotic, and I don’t want to be an idiot.

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Of Cars and Men

I got in a minor car accident recently (which was not my fault) and it got me thinking of the ballsiness of men. I mean, I think of this topic fairly often in general, but this incident renewed my interest.

Women like men who are ballsy. No matter the woman, ballsy equals confident and you can never go wrong with that. Now, I know you can’t feign confidence, so if you don’t have it you likely need to read some self-help books. (Seriously! There’s nothing wrong with bettering yourself or going to counselling! We all need it sometimes.) And we all know that when any person affects confidence it’s embarrassing.

Of course, there is at least one circumstance in which it’s endearing for someone to be awkward. See, if a man seems unsure and I can tell he likes me, I think it’s cute. Not that men want to be cute; I have actually heard they would rather be called anything but. However, to me he is cute and I am delighted. I don’t trust a man who is too charming.

The last time I got into a fender bender, I tapped a man’s bumper and we pulled over to the side of the road. The man who got out of the car was about my dad’s age, easily 60. We exchanged information and he said he’d get his car inspected. A few days later he called me to say there was no damage. Then, pausing weirdly, he finally  joked that since I’d put him to all that trouble the least I could do was have dinner with him.

Good for him!

Now, I was 29, but I looked young that day. I had just been skiing and my hair was in pigtails. I could have been 19 for all he knew. So…yeah, questionable. But I was still impressed. 

I have turned down more offers than I have accepted – we all have, I think – but I have never once turned a man down and thought, “Oh, geez, this is embarrassing for him.” I think more of him, like he’s doing what a guy should do. So, yeah, good on him.

And good on that 60-year-old.

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Never Say Never

No, I’m not a Bieber fan, though I can guarantee if I was 20 years younger I’d be all over that.

Really, I think more people should say never more often. You know, have some tenacity about things. If you say it out loud you’re more likely to stick to it, because otherwise your very word is at stake.

As such, I would like to say 6 things that I would never do. These things are not just a matter of theory; I have had the opportunity to do otherwise and have made the decision not to. For example, I won’t say I would never have an abortion. I’d like to think I wouldn’t, but I haven’t been put in that position, so I’ll leave it.

  • Live in Denmark again. Exotic, right? Okay, you try it for a few years. Tell me what you think. (Love you, my Danish friends…)
  • Cheat on my partner. Even entertaining the notion is a real pussy thing to do. So is putting yourself in a situation where you could find yourself in a position to do it.
  • Paint my finger nails. I’ve done it before when I was a kid, but now I can’t get past the long list of horrendous chemicals in polish. I mean, you suck your fingers on occasion, right? It’s also because I don’t like the look on me. On other people, fine.
  • Wear Earrings. I had my ears pierced when I was ten, and fainted. Then they got infected and I vowed never to wear them again. I can’t even hold earrings. Actually, I don’t wear any jewellry. Once again, on other people, fine.
  • Smoke pot or tobacco. The former is embarrassing and something best left to the one-off party or 14-year-old boys. The latter I’ve tried in the past when inebriated, and is grossly unappealing.
  • Say there is no God. Not because I’ve been taught the opposite my whole life, but because I’ve seen God in ways I can’t explain. Life doesn’t make sense to me outside of this fact.

Anything you know you would never do? Or would you never say never?

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To Boob Job?

My sister and I often say that our hands are 20 years our senior. Like, if someone just saw our hands and not the rest of our bodies they might presume us middle-aged. Both of us suffered from eczema off and on since we were kids, but more than that, our hands are just DRY.

I once had someone say that if they only saw a portrait of my face they would assume the rest of me was chubby. I kind of thought that was funny until I was running in a race in gym class and my classmates told me later that my cheeks move up and down when I run, like someone facing a wind machine.

About a decade ago, a middle-aged woman gasped when she saw my bare legs and asked me what had happened. Had I fallen? I looked down, confused, until I registered that my knees looked bruised because my skin is so mottled.

One person, who shall remain nameless, once asked if I would consider getting a boob job. Not, like, a question of principal, but just whether I wanted bigger boobs.

People always tell me I look very ERECT when I run. Must look ridiculous, but I think I do it to keep all my lanky appendages from flailing, thus making me more aero-dynamic.

I do love my body. I would change a few things, you know, if God was asking. Also, if I got to make everything perfect my sister and I would have considerably less to laugh about . That counts for something, you know?

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Sucking It Up

Seems to me I’ve been doing too much naval gazing. Typically, if something bad happens to you, or even something really good, you’re so wrapped up in your own pain or joy that you can’t be bothered with anything else. Either scenario is annoying in other people, and now I’m annoying myself.

Regardless of whatever happens in your life, the grace period is only so long. For some events, the grace period is longer because the event is that much worse. But every grace period does end. As empathetic as we are, we can’t keep feeling sorry for someone else’s hard time. At a certain point, we don’t know what to say anymore. We’ve said everything and we have no more sympathy to extend. It’s not that our compassion runs dry, it’s maybe that we expect every person to have the ability to get over it. [Understand, I’m not talking about catastophes.]

That’s crass, isn’t it? If somebody at work stole the Canucks doughnut my friend bought me and I bitched and spat about it FOREVER, someone certainly should tell me to get over it. But you can’t say that about painful things.

I’ve generally lived as though I can make things as good as I want to. I find if I wallow in self-pity I have the potential to get nasty. Like yesterday, my dad was going on about how he couldn’t care less about recycling because pollution is all a conspiracy and the government is lying to us and damn that Al Gore who preaches one thing and then hops on his private jet…etc. I went OFF on him, which was not only not called for but really disrespectful. I mean, I still don’t agree with him and I’m irked by what he said, but come on. What’s wrong with me?

I heard someone recently say that you’re happiness is directly related to what you always think about. I have to start thinking about other things. I have so many good things in my life, why am I thinking about what I don’t have?

People can be asses but that doesn’t mean I have to be one. Sorry, Dad.

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Miserable Human Beings

Do you ever wonder how you might change if something really terrible happened to you? If maybe you would turn into the very sort of person you’ve always despised if your circumstances became unfavourable?

I had a conversation today with a friend who questioned how someone wonderful can do a one-eighty and become someone completely different, for no reason. How does this happen? Were they always a terrible person? Are we all rotten to the core unless things are going our way? Are we all capable of an about-face if life hands us something bad? What goes on in a person’s mind when they are doing something awful to another human being?

It’s perplexing in a wife who is head over heels for her husband on their wedding day and then two years later has an affair and leaves. Or a close co-worker who sells you out to management to secure a promotion for himself. More specifically, people who do these things and never make amends for them.

Terrible people will not recognize that they are doing terrible things. And if they do, they always have an excuse for their actions. Terrible people will always be able to tell themselves that they are right because they don’t want to believe they are terrible. Because to know you are a terrible person would make you want to kill yourself.

Which is why the unfaithful wife will tell herself that her husband didn’t treat her right and she never loved him anyway. It’s why the backstabbing co-worker will tell himself that he needs to put food on the table for his kids.

I have seen people do awful things to loved ones. Most people do awful things because they are miserable. And everyone can justify themselves. Some people never right their wrongs, never achieve insight or accept responsibility for the pain they’ve caused.

In my opinion, it comes down to how emotionally healthy you are. No one will ever admit they are a miserable person. They will always say their misery comes from something or someone else. But a person who is well will, after a short time, achieve some enlightenment and perspective and set about not committing terrible things over and over.

How honest do you want to be about yourself? Like I’ve said before, I believe it is ALWAYS easier to apologize than to bullheadedly justify your actions.

Plus, ultimately, we all know you miserable humans secretly hate yourselves. It takes an honourable person to admit that and get help.

Why on earth wouldn’t you?

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Pain and the Ignoramous

Shit happens. And I don’t mean shit in a flippant way, like tripping in the mud or missing the bus. Sometimes life hands you really rough stuff.

There are those kinds of people, however, who go through life with everything falling into place, ticketty-boo, one thing happening after another in the natural order of things without much of a hiccup. I have spoken of such fortunate ones before, and I don’t begrudge them. But there’s something to be said for experience.

I have always thought that, although I haven’t had a HARD life, I have had to work a little bit harder for every good thing that I have. I had to actually try in school to get good grades, I dated for over a decade before I found a man I wanted to marry, I had to pay for everything I owned after age fifteen and I worked 7 days a week for almost four years to have something to my name. No, not terribly hard, but I’ve never had anything handed to me on a silver platter and it’s made me, if nothing else, resourceful and enormously grateful for whatever I do have.

The thing that has always kept me hopeful, and perhaps the reason I have lots of opinions on varying subjects, is because I have LIVED and TRIED and had fantastic and terrible experiences. If someone can confide in me in their troubled time, I usually have a decent idea of where they’re coming from. And I am thankful for that. We all know that the best catharsis in a time of need is to talk to someone who can fully understand where you’re coming from because they’ve been there themselves. Everyone else, although potentially well-meaning, cannot possibly relate.

We can all attempt to empathize, and if we’re good people we try our best to do so. But ultimately, unless we’ve been through the exact same thing, we just don’t get it.

You don’t know what it’s like to lose a child if your dad died. You don’t know what it’s like to be lonely until you’ve had absolutely no one to be with. You don’t know what it’s like to provide for yourself if you’ve always had a third hand slipping you twenties on the side. And you don’t know heartache until your heart has been torn in two.

I would like to appeal to all ignorant people reading this. I mean ignorant in the sense of not knowing what a specific experience is like, which we all are about certain things. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY. I don’t mean don’t offer support, I don’t mean don’t add your two cents where you tactfully see fit. And I don’t mean staying silent when all your friend wants to hear is that he has the right to be angry or scared or hurt. But saying to a heartbroken friend that her wayward husband’s lack of loyalty is a blessing in disguise DOES NOT HELP. IT ACTUALLY DOES THE OPPOSITE.

When people talk to you about their pain, they do so because they are still raw. They don’t need to hear how much better you are without the bastard, or how God has a special someone just around the corner, or how the deceased loved one is in a better place. They need you to grieve with them. They need you to feel their loss. They want you to tell them that they love you and they are there for you if you need something. They want you to be specific in your exhortations. Don’t make vague promises that you both know may or may not be true. If you believe a heartbroken friend will find someone else because they are a good catch, tell them that. If you believe your brother will be okay because he has marketable skills that many companies need, say it. If you’ve known loss and you can say with authority that the pain subsides with time, encourage with that.

I could have done without the latest event in my life. I may be many things, but I don’t treat people like shit and I didn’t deserve it. But I know it will make me more empathetic, because I now truly understand a great pain. That doesn’t make me grateful for the experience. The most I can hope is to, at the very least, be a comfort to other people going through the same thing.

(Do ask me to elaborate. This is a blog, not a one-on-one.)

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Christians Don’t Like Me

I have been made aware that a few people do not like my blog. It’s not the writing that offends them, nor do they particularly find it boring and therefore not worthy of blogosphere space. Apparently, my use of expletives every so often is what has led them to believe that what I’m writing is sinful and better left to otherwise rot the brains of less godly people.

These particular people are Christians. I am a Christian, so I know how they think. And I know what they’re thinking. And I think they are misinformed.

There is a certain breed of Christian that gets all riled up when people do obvious naughty things like swear. It’s not that their linguistic sensitivities make them snobby (like, it’s low-brow to cuss in order to make one’s point), because I’m not sure they’re all that lexically inclined. Rather, because they have been bred to equate swearing with ungodliness, they likely believe me a heathen and someone to be avoided lest one of them become influenced by my impious intent.

Christians like this are very legalistic. They find it difficult to exercise discretion over which situation is harmed or helped by the use of a good expletive. It’s why they never take a sip of wine, it’s why they go to church every single Sunday, it’s why they don’t go out dancing and it’s why they don’t dare believe that gay people are just like them. It’s hard to think for yourself, no?

Of course, I understand the other option. That certain Christians just get rubbed the wrong way when people swear. I still cringe at the use of “fuck”. I don’t like it, and I tend to think it’s too intense and grating for most contexts. So, I also understand that if swear words bring you down or rub you the wrong way, then fine. But I think more often than not, these sorts of people aren’t looking at the message as a whole.

For instance, I choose expletives very carefully, and only in certain situations. I believe that in many circumstances it is simply a lazy man’s go-to. Plus, very often other vocabulary packs a better punch. However, there are times when one’s objective is precisely to be crass, and in these situations nothing rings truer than some well-placed profanity.

It’s not that I can’t bear people who don’t like swearing in any circumstance. I have never sworn all that much. It’s just the hypocrisy and ignorance of the opinion that I find tiresome. Very often, Christians harp on relatively insignificant things whilst ignoring more serious issues. It’s not swearing that’s sinful. It’s the intent of the words spoken. For instance, if I tell you to “get lost”, am I really any more righteous than someone who tells you to “fuck off”? I don’t think so.

In the case of my blog, it could be these particular folks just don’t think it’s healthy to rant. Or maybe they do the things I rant about and are offended.

My fellow Bible thumpers, can’t we all just enlighten ourselves a wee bit?

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