So here I am, complaining in a loud voice. As per use...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
So here I am, complaining in a loud voice. As per use...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Meanwhile, I have some terrible excuses for why I have been absent for so long, and I will not waste your time on them. However, I have just gone to see Julie & Julia, a movie about another terrific food blogger, and it inspired me to post again. But not for the reasons you might expect.
So if you haven't see the movie, you might want to stop reading, because I am about the divulge the only conflict there is. OK, everyone with me either already seen it, or don't care? Good.
Here's the deal; Julie Powell is like, so totally bummed about life and her career and stuff, so she takes it upon herself to start a blog and cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She has set herself up with quite the challenge, wanting to complete 524 recipes in 365 days. Its a cute concept and I am sure the blog and subsequent book were adorable, blah, blah, blah, but it is a movie and so they had to insert some conflict. Enter the somewhat schmucky husband. The movie begins with a much resisted move (on her part) to a dump in Queens, which he sort of reminds her they decided to do for the space, and she sort of reminds him in return that it was mostly so he could be closer to work. So, right off the bat, not loving him. Then, he encourages her to start this blog, and sort of rolls with the punches as she gets more and more absorbed in the task at hand. Then I guess, hubby-wubby is feeling a bit neglected and (BIG F-ING SURPISE) feels that he isn't getting laid enough (read: Hollywood short hand for neglected in his relationship.) So when Julie is finally feeling like she is accomplishing something with her life for the first time in years, I guess he just can't handle her new found self-absorption, and chooses the night of her biggest dissapointment to berate her for how she is all about herself, and only cares about her blog, and he's like really, really mad, dammit! (Did I mention he's not getting any at this point?) He storms out like a junior high cheerleader, and Julie embarks on a shame spiral of how terrible she is, and how she is so mean to her husband. There was even a scene when her and a friend discuss how she is really a bitch, that was so unfounded in anything we had previously seen, I was floored.
Anyway, he comes back and without so much as a "told you so" generously forgives her and sees her through the end of her project, although she is presumably, much easier to live with post-big fight.
Am I taking this Hollywood schlock a little too personally? Maybe. But what was interesting was the conversation I had with the man I went to see it with after it was over. (Not my fiance, by the way, but close...his brother.) The difference was, while I felt, yes her character was self-absorbed and maybe a bit of a drama queen, this was a timed project with an end in sight, and he could have sucked it up for a bit longer, or at least not chosen to dress her down on the night of her huge dissapointment. He felt that the husband had been a good sport up until that point, and that she had pushed it too far, and that this guy was a good guy and has the right to be angry because she was being so self-involved.
Which leads me to my final point, which is based on a gross generalization I am happy to make. Women get a bad rap for being self absorbed a lot of the time. Especially in the case of these characters, who I think are a good representation of many couples out there. She finally finds something she enjoys, that she might have a future in, she finally focuses on something outside of him and their relationship for for like five minutes, and he throws a hissy fit because she's being self-absorbed. Is it possible that some men don't realize that they themselves are self-absorbed, that they themselves think in terms of "I" before "we" because their mothers, and girlfriends and wives and society have made their life the priority? Because we buy lipstick and talk on the phone a lot we are self absorbed, but the entire culture is formed around football season, and they aren't? I don't know, I have just dealt with enough guys in my life who don't even realize that earning a living and taking out the garbage doesn't automatically make them a team player. Future husband not included in that group, of course.
Am I crazy? Over sensitive? Not articulating this fully? Totally full of shit?
Would love to hear the thoughts of the feminists and pro-feminists among you.
(PS. I have no idea if the same conflict appeared in the blog or the book, but either way, its weak in the movie.)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Emerging from Fringe world to write this post...apologies to anyone who is looking at the blog and asking, "WTF?"
So I had this very weird experience at the gym yesterday. I was on the elliptical, listening to my iPod and watching the little TV with closed captioning (this is my way, and I am very particular about it!) Since American Justice, Fashion Files, Seinfeld or any other of my standards were not on I was flipping and came across the last ten minutes of 'Dirty Dancing'.
Did you just gasp? So did I. (If you are a woman born between 1970 and 1980, you probably did.) I haven't seen it a long time, and I was thrilled to see Johnny declare to Jerry Orbach 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner,' and sweep an adorable, pre-plastic surgery Jennifer Grey onto the dance floor. And making the lift? Forget it, I was welling up right in the middle of the downtown Y.
And here's the thing I realized, watching the end of this movie again, they sort of end up together. Like, there they are dancing, in the middle of the floor, making out a bit, gazing into each others eyes, and...credits roll. So its a happy ending...a Hollywood Happily Ever After if you will.
Did you know that was how the movie ended? Because I sure didn't. I must have seen it twenty times before the 80's were over, and yet, I always "understood" that in the end, although Johnny is absolved as not the "one who got Penny in trouble" and Baby is redeemed to her father after "looking wonderful up there", in the end they part good friends. I just knew that after the credits, Baby goes off to college, realizes all that the world really has to offer a young woman with her brains and means, and she goes on to meet someone in law school, or medical school, or some other nice Jewish profession. Johnny, with a new sense of self, goes back to school, or maybe enrolls in learning a trade, and makes a respectable living for himself. He probably met a nice lady, more in his economic class, closer to his age, but never forgot what Baby did for him.
And there I am, sweating my patootie off on the elliptical at the gym going, "Hold up, wait minute," realizing for the first time that that is not how the movie ends at all. At the end of the movie, we are led to believe they may in fact live happily ever after.
How did I get so confused? I was only 9 when the movie came out, it's unlikely I came up with the whole "Baby-goes-off-to-college" alternative ending myself. It all clicked suddenly. My mother must have put the idea in my head. There I was romanticizing the idea of Johnny in his leather jacket and dancing pants, and she stepped in and put an end to that right away. And sent Baby off to college, no less. A nice touch.
Sure. She was no fool. She didn't want me growing up and looking at the Johnnys of the world in spite of the Neils. She didn't want me to fetishize the shcutzim (non-Jewish men) and end up with some poor, artistic good looking guy just out of LOVE.
OK, so that last part may have backfired on her. And no, its not that my mom didn't want me to find love, it's just that she didn't see love and financial stability and mutually exclusive. And she wasn't wrong. In fact, she was pretty smart, because she had me fooled until this past weekend that the end of Dirty Dancing is a bitter sweet goodbye where everything works out for the best.
And her little white lie had a secondary outcome, one she could not have foreseen, but that may have been the most valuable part of all. Imagining that Baby and Johnny didn't end up together, that she went on to college and that he was just the first of a lifetime of experiences and lovers, sort of gave me the freedom to imagine that getting the guy, and ending up hitched isn't the sum of a lifetime. And that relationships are worth having even if they are not forever; there is always something to be learned, to be cherished. In the end, it was really quite a feminist ideal. Happily ever after doesn't always depend on finding the right man, it depends on you, and making you own Hollywood ending.
So thanks Mom. But I wonder what else she was lying about?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sorry I've been away so long friends! Off in radioland...
OK, so I am getting ready for a trip home to NY, and while there I will go on my first sojourn into wedding dress territory. I know I want to keep it cheap, I am leaning towards a JCrew dress (haven't you heard, JCrew does wedding dresses now...), and I am thinking very simple...no lace, no sparklies, and no veil.
But there is one traditional thing I just can't seem to let go of...I really want to wear white. Doesn't have to be pure white, very comfortable with ivory, or even champagne coloured, but I can't seem to get away from the standard image of "bridal".
And I am not even sure why. I am a total slob and will probably have wine down the front of my dress within the first 20 minutes. Also, have I earned the white in the 'traditional sense'..um, no. But I can't picture it any other way, now that I am allowing myself picture it, and I am not sure why. I have been going with the excuse of "when else do you get to wear a white dress?" But I am not sure that is really why. Is it totally hypocritical to stick with that weird standard?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
There is an interesting challenge, planning a "Jewish style" wedding in a city where I only know gentiles. I use the term "Jewish style" modeled after the term "Kosher style" in that we are taking the facades and cultural representations of the Jewish Wedding, without the Rabbi, prayers, and, well...without the religion I guess.
I don't even know how this is going to play out when it comes to the ceremony, right now I am trying to navigate through the plans for the reception. And I am wondering if other people know more about it this. Is it only Jews that dance through the whole wedding? All of the Jewish weddings I have been to, you dance right away after the ceremony and cocktail hour, and then the dance in punctuated by the meal. At the non-Jewish weddings I have been too, there is the ceremony, then the whole dinner, speeches, and only after dessert is served do people get up to dance. That seems to be the norm here in Winnipeg, and it is making it hard to plan my Jewish style wedding, especially without any other Jews around. I am not a gal who has been imagining her wedding day since she was a kid. Not even close. And there is nothing wrong with what I perceive as the "gentile style" (ooh, that has a nice ring to it), but when I think about the wedding I want to have, the one that we should have and represents us, the dancing the night away thing seems pretty important.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Good god, if I didn't know any better I would think it was the gay 90's again...
Apparently, Wedding masters The Knot are launching 75 new wedding websites " to offer the most robust local resources available for today's couples tying the knot. "
According to their announcement:
"At a time when the economy is pinching all advertising budgets, The Knot is focused on adding value for our local advertisers by maximizing their exposure online," said David Liu, CEO of The Knot Inc.
I checked the list, and naturally, Winnipeg is not on it. (sigh.)
I guess the idea is to help people keep their budgets down by giving more detailed, local oriented feedback and planning, but I have been looking at wedding photos online for 3 months now, and the more pictures I look at, the more directions I feel pulled in. Now The Knot is adding more than 1,700 real wedding photos, and I shudder to think how long it will take me to look through them, and how many new ideas will crop up in the process!
I feel like I went from not-even-interested-in-getting-married to bridezilla in under a minute. This vortex has a strong pull. Feminists, beware.
Monday, March 30, 2009
You know that ridiculous argument against same sex marriage, that if we allow people of the same sex to marry each other, then the next step is bestiality? Well, sometimes I look at my big orange fella blinking at me lazily through eye buggers, and I think, "Hell yeah!"
OK, not really. (But sort of). But I use this jovial opening to introduce an issue that is a thorn in the side of my wedding. Same sex marriage, and the lack of legality. Now, I live in Canada, and same sex marriage is legal here, so it is honestly less of an issue. But I have guilt about living in Canada and what I am getting in general (free health care, regulated banks, etc.) and as an American, I do still care about the rights of my fellow Americans.
Even in Canada, the thrilling victory of Obama was dampened by the Prop 8 debacle in California, and there was this exasperated sense of "Come the hell on, America! Get with the program." In Canada same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005, and guess what? People are still getting married (HELLO?), people are still having babies, families are staying together, and guess what else? We have had an influx of wonderful homosexuals wanting to get married and live in a country that fully accepts them and extends them all the rights that they deserve. So suck on that Dobson and co!
There has been a lot of talk in New York, my home state, of legalizing same-sex marriage but the fact remains that in most of the United States, there are people who are not legally allowed to marry the people they choose. I have issues getting married knowing that the same rights are not available to other people. I have come to terms with the fact that there are other many compelling reasons to get married, but that is definitely a hang up that I have.
We have decided to create a special wedding book for our guests that highlights both the reasons we are getting married, and some of the reasons we hesitated before making that decision (I know, incredibly romantic, but more on that later.) We are definitely including the limited legality of same-sex marriage in the world as one of the reasons we hesitated.
And as far as my cat is concerned...there is no need to worry. He let me know that he really likes me as a friend, but turns out I'm not really his type.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
- Buying a new diamond is difficult if you are trying to avoid blood diamonds. It can certainly be done, but it's harder.
- They're expensive! Duh. OK, so maybe you don't wear a diamond, but you can have another kind of engagement ring. Yes but...
- Why should he buy me something and not vice-versa. And OK, let say I get him something really nice too, like an expensive watch. Its still not the same. No one is looking at his watch and saying, "Nice watch, you must be engaged to a real nice lady." (Plus it just so happens my partner won't wear a watch, so my options are so limited)
- I don't want to feel like I am wearing a symbol of ownership.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Jason and I were thinking about doing a fake movie poster for our save the date, and I came across this cute thing on the interwebs.
Would love to hear suggestions for possible movies that would be recognizable to our "audience". So far all I've gotten was "Dumb and Dumber."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We have picked a date and place for our wedding. Exciting!
We knew we wanted to have the ceremony and party in the same place, and we wanted a "Jewish-style" wedding where the dancing and dinner happen simultaneously (I have been to a few where you eat, have speeches etc. and then dance afterwards, and its not for me) so we chose the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (Oh, yeah, and we are getting married in Winnipeg, which is limiting in itself.) So big thanks in advance to my dear family and friends who are schlepping their generous asses from NY to the 'Peg just to watch me marry a guy I've been living with for five years.
So, we have our non-religious location and date chosen (its more than a year away, so there will be lots of posting between now and then, I am sure.)
So, the next step was to figure out who is actually going to marry us. We are both non- religious people (and very consciously non-religious, not just lazy) so we knew we weren't going to have any clergy. We also knew we wanted a friend to perform the wedding, someone who knew us as people and as a couple. But choosing a friend is not easy, it has to be someone who speaks well, writes well, knows us well...
Actually for us it was easy. The right person came to mind immediately. Not only was he a great friend and a great mind, he has done it before, and he knows what it means to make this kind of commitment. He is married to one of the smartest, loveliest, people I know. They themselves have a wonderful relationship and great senses of humor and...wait a sec...
I have never been to a wedding where a couple performs the ceremony, and my partner loved the idea when I suggested it. Technically only one person can sign the papers, and we haven't discussed which one of them will actually be the legal officiator, but we don't care. Who ever does not can serve as a witness. As far as we are concerned we are being married by a couple, a man and a woman, which in our case, reflects our commitment to an equal partnership, friendship and love.
Feminist wedding victory #1!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
1) Engagement rings (blech) - I hate even thinking about what a hypocrite I am (might be)
2) White wedding dress (laugh, then sigh. I totally want to wear one.)
3) Being walked down the aisle
4) writing our own vows
5) wedding cake? and then cutting the wedding cake?
6) invitations addressed from parents (no, on so many levels, but still want to talk about it)
7) Engagement parties
8) Flowers? In our global warming, diminishing resources world?
9) Religious elements in the service...yikes. I'm a Jew. He's a Mennonite. That's going to be a long post. Or several long posts.
10) Band or DJ (OK that is less of a feminist question, but seriously band or DJ?)
I can't think of any more tonight. These should be enough to get us started. Open to your suggestions to peeps.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
OK, I am a writer, but I have never blogged before. The whole enterprise intimidates me, as I am on the tail end of a generation whose worst nightmare was having their diary read by anyone. I know, I know, this is a not a diary, and these days, my worst nightmare is not that my diary might be read, but how boring people would find it. But, I procrastinate.
This is a blog about my impending (ahem), upcoming nuptials. My wedding is planned for a little over a year from now, and the stress has begun.
Here's the thing, it is not the bridezilla-stress made iconic by shows like, uh, lets see Bridezillas, for starters. Its not the idea of a perfect wedding, or a perfect space like in Bride Wars, and it is certainly not a worry about the guy and whether he's the one for me, like in the...oh god, there is not enough time in the day.
No for me the stress is getting behind the idea of a wedding in a way that is not a total compromise of my feminist ideals. My partner and I are adults who been together for 7 years, lived together for four, and we are entering into a legal and romantic contract with our eyes open, our expectations realistic, and despite this clinical explanation, we are very, very in love.
He wanted to get married. And so did I, in a way. But we put it off. And off. And off. There were lots of reasons, I could fill 10 more blogs. But one of the reasons is the fear of becoming part of the consumer wedding machine, of losing my identity and, perhaps worst of all, compromising my feminist ideals in pursuit of some fairy tale wedding, which I don't really believe in, and I know will have no bearing on my actual marriage. (Marriage? What does that have to do with a wedding.)
I gotta tell you, I am don't see myself tripping down that particular rabbit hole, at least, not consciously. But I have decided to keep this blog as a way of tracking my research (yeah, I'm doing research about it) and share my pro-feminist wedding plans with anyone who is interested.
And also as practice with this whole "blog" thing. I figure I should give it a try. Since it really seems to be catching on.