Thursday, July 29, 2010
Whilst watching it, I was reminded of something. The reason I post things like this, the reason I try to be honest in my posts, regardless of how difficult it is to admit to some things:
Words are POWERFUL.
In watching HJNTIY, I was empowered to stand up to a lot of things that I'd been letting just -- happen. Hearing some of the things they say in that movie woke me up to a reality I'd been avoiding, pretending it didn't matter as much as it did. In just shy of two hours, my whole demeanor changed.
Because of WORDS.
Because I heard someone say exactly what I needed to hear. Because someone's situation was similar to mine and they overcame it in such a poetic, right way that it made me feel like I could too.
That's why it's so important to write. That's why it's so important not to shy from the truth of situations, no matter how painful they may be. Because somewhere, someone needs to hear exactly what YOU have to say. Somewhere, someone will overcome something because of what YOU said or wrote.
Never underestimate the power of a truly kick-ass sentence.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm well aware of the repercussions that could follow me being so forward on my blog about the happenings of my romantic life (Ha, "romantic." I almost said that with a straight face). But I'm 20-almost-21, a girl, and I greatly dislike keeping things inside when I know that somewhere, maybe, there might be another 20-almost-21-year-old girl who could benefit from knowing that, somewhere, there was once a girl who went through the same thing.
So if you don't care to hear how forward I can be, OMGOSHLOOKAWAYNOW. If you do care: I have another relationship rant. Excited?
I made a connection a few days ago.
Every guy I've ever "been serious" with (Get your mind out of the gutter! By "been serious" I meant "officially called my boyfriend". Geez, people. What kind of girl do you think I am?) (Don't answer that.) used the same pick-up line. A pick-up line that I didn't know was a pick-up line until, well, a few days ago. It's a real kicker:
That's it. Two words. Er, well, they were usually arranged into more elaborate sentences than just those two words, but the gist was the same. Because I didn't get crazy drunk every weekend or hang out at bars or wear enough makeup to singlehandedly employ every worker at Mary Kay, I was FASCINATING. And because I had goals and had written a novel(s) and WANTED things, I morphed into a kind of foreign-alien-science-project FASCINATING. (And let me tell ya, it is FUN to get stared at like you're a foreign-alien-science-project.)
But how long, exactly, does FASCINATING last?
Two months. Like clockwork.
Making the connection between the fact that my estranged ex's all thought I was FASCINATING and the fact that they bolted like a bored kid on an art museum field trip at an average of two months in (we'll skip the part where I tell you exactly how many estranged ex's I have to contribute to this data) helped me realize something. Something important.
Being FASCINATING is not enough. Being unique is not enough. Being "ahhed" and "ohhed" over is not enough. And despite how the media and general tween-teenage public adores the idea of being the subject of someone's obsession, it isn't all it's cracked up to be.
(*cough no this isn't another subtle blow at certain unmentioned vampire novels cough*)
Just a reminder. Learn from my slip-ups and hold out for someone who thinks you are FASCINATING and driven, talented, beautiful, amazing, etc etc.
Or become a self-professed hermit and live out your days dying of laughter to YouTube videos like this one.
(Guess which option I'm going with.)
Monday, July 26, 2010
...and because they do crazy things like this:
...that give me inspiration for Shiny New Ideas with lots of ghosts and fight scenes and really, really kick-ass fight scenes. And fight scenes.
Now I just have to fill in a plot around all those fight scenes and I'm good to go.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This lifestyle has its benefits. You never stop good things from happening. You are much more-- I want to say "relaxed," but it's really more of a blissful ignorance. You just ARE. Which is great. I am a huge supporter of BEING.
But I think sometimes that lifestyle gets taken to extremes. Sometimes events arise that need to be LIVED. Sometimes situations pop up that need to be attacked and beaten and wrestled into submission. Sometimes your life veers wildly around a corner and you have to leap on it, inject it with a syringe of muscle relaxant, and drag it back to the appropriate path.
The downside of BEING is that it becomes a crutch, an easy-out for people to avoid having to do difficult things. "I'm letting life happen" can become code for "I'm too scared to enact the changes I'd need to make my life better." So you end up settling for a lot of things that fall into your lap instead of fighting for the things you really want. And you wake up one day to realize your life isn't a grand as you thought it'd be.
Even though most self-help books proclaim a life of going with the flow and letting events happen, don't forget to fight too. While amazing things can fall into your lap, amazing things are usually amazing because they were achieved after a long battle. It's your life, after all. Do you want to wait for things to happen or make things happen? Me, I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of wishing and hoping and watching the clock.
Me, I'm in the business of not merely BEING, but EXISTING.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Sara, looking very anxious, rocks back and forth over the defendant's table. She periodically eyes the crowd behind her as though she recognizes them but can't...quite...place them.
The door behind the judge's podium opens.
Disembodied Voice: All rise for the Honorable Judge Oxbow!
Crowd stands. Sara freezes, gaping at the judge as he rises to the podium.
Oxbow: Does the defendant refuse to pay respect to the Honorable Judge?
Sara: You're not a judge -- you're a pirate!
Oxbow: Let the records show that the defendant--
Sara: *scrambling to stand* No, no, I'm standing! I'm standing. See? Standing.
Oxbow: Good. Now the state will hear the case--
Sara: What state? WHERE ARE WE??
Oxbow: *exasperated* THE STATE will hear THE CASE of Thorne, Pate, and Unnamed vs. Sara Raasch, Author.
Sara: *groans* Oh no.
Crowd sits as the Honorable Judge Oxbow sits. Sara remains standing, head hanging, as she comes to understand why she has been brought to this godforsaken place.
Judge Oxbow bangs his gavel.
Oxbow: Release the jury!
Sara: "Release"? What the--
The door beside the jury box opens and a group of all-too-familiar faces files in. At this point, Sara whirls on the crowd behind her, then back to the jury, crowd, jury, crowd.
Sara: Object! I have an objection! Objection, OBJECTION, Your Honor!
Oxbow: The trial has not yet begun. There is nothing to object!
Sara: You've compiled a jury of all the characters who had really, really unlucky roles in my books. This isn't fair! And the crowd-- the crowd is a bunch of the minor characters who died in town explosions and battle scenes. THEY ALL HATE ME!
Sara: SO this won't be a fair trial!
Oxbow: You wrote me without an eye. How's THAT for fair?
Sara: Profanity. Carry on.
Oxbow: *adjusts his judge's wig and waggles the gavel at Sara* I don't think you fully realize the consequences of your actions, Madam.
Sara: *snorts* Madam?
Oxbow: Because of your negligence, innocent characters have been suspended in a state of frozen animation for MONTHS. Their lives have literally stopped because you, YOU, were careless and selfish. We have gathered today to hear both sides once and for all and to come to a ruling.
Sara: A ruling?
Oxbow: *shifts through papers* I call the first plaintiff to the stand: Crystal Thorne.
Sara is the only one, again, who doesn't stand when the back doors open. Crystal marches down the aisle and heads straight for the podium where she takes her seat with a flip of her pink-and-black striped hair.
Crystal: Thank you, Your Honor. Nice wig.
Oxbow: *adjusts the wig again* Why don't you begin by stating your case to the jury?
Crystal: Don't mind if I do.
Crystal faces the jury. Sara keeps a stern focus on the defendant's table, afraid to look at the jury for fear their vengeful gazes might incinerate her from the inside out. Or outside in. Neither would feel very good.
Crystal: I'm Crystal Thorne. 16 years old. I should be in the prime of my life, right? Frolicking through a KICK-ASS story. Making sequels. Conquering love triangles. But where am I? WHERE AM I?
Crystal pounds on the podium, enraged.
Crystal: I've been trapped as nothing more than the blinky line thingy in a Word doc for MONTHS! MONTHS! I'm young! I'm interesting! I'm bubbly! LOOK AT MY HAIR! Any author would be THRILLED to have my story. And she's just-- she's just--
Crystal breaks down into sobs, unable to continue. The jury turns, as one, and sets an even more threatening glare on Sara. Sara shifts, pretending to pick at a spot on her jeans.
Oxbow: Thank you, Crystal. Will the next plaintiff please approach the stand?
The doors open again. Sara turns this time and smiles when she sees who the next plaintiff is. Surely HE will stand up for her...
Maxence Pate stands beside Crystal at the podium. He puts his arm around her as she continues to blubber.
Max: I had the same problem too. A solid plot. Strong characterization. A promising future. Then she had to go and lead me on. Make me think I was special. She kept primping me, what she'd wrote of me, but she never wrote more. I just stopped. Do you know what that's like? DO YOU? To just STOP? It doesn't feel right. It ain't right!
Crystal howls, a bit too theatrically. Sara giggles, which elicits shocked gasps from the crowd. One of the jurors stands, hands in fists, but is convinced to sit by another juror.
Oxbow: Do you have anything to say for yourself, Author?
Sara: *giggling* I'm-- sorry?
Oxbow: Sorry? SORRY? Sorry doesn't make up for the wasted months! The stopped lives! Characters FROZE because of you, and you're "sorry"?!
Sara: *standing* Look, I'm sorry you got all worked about this, but it's hard. Don't you realize how awesome all of you are? It's nearly impossible to stick to just ONE story.
Oxbow: That's precisely why we're here today. Jury? Have you come to a conclusion?
One of the jurors grunts in agreement and hands an envelope to the Honorable Judge. Sara squints at him. He looks familiar too -- almost piratic...
Crystal: Wait! You haven't heard the last plaintiff!
Oxbow: *rips envelope from juror* Well-- that's really beside the point. Decision's been reached.
Max: The decision can't be reached yet! SNI is in the hall!
Sara shudders and glances over her shoulder at the mention of her arch nemesis.
Sara: *growling* SNI...
Oxbow: *hastily tearing open the envelope* Oops, too late! Jury's decision: Sara Raasch, Author, will drop all other stories and focus wholly on completing the STREAM PIRATE sequel. Case closed!
Max: What? That can't be the decision. Case not closed!
Crystal: Yeah! You rigged it! SECURITY!
Oxbow: *trying to sneak off podium* Thank you all for coming here today-- Sara, you will be expected to carry out sentencing in the next few hours-- until then, I must--
Oxbow runs out the judge's door, followed closely by Crystal and Max and most of the jury.
Max: Stop! STOP! You stupid pirate!
Crystal: I didn't even get to wear the wig!
The crowd joins the chaos by erupting into an all-out character fight. STREAM PIRATE characters against all others, everyone screaming about how important THEIR story is and how shiny THEIR dialogue is and oh, look, THEIR settings are SO much more exotic...
Sara stands in the middle of the courtroom. Yazoo, Crystal, and Max are still chasing each other through the judge's quarters to her left while her arch nemesis SNI is still waiting in the hall to her right. Hm.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I made a decision. Go big or go home, right? So that's it. I'm doing it. I'm going to move to ENGLAND after graduation!
*prepares Excel spreadsheet of British cities*
*prepares checklist of things needed to move to UK*
*settles in for a long night of research*
Wow...um...there's a lot of stuff. You need. To move to the UK.
What the hell is a Resident Labour Market Test? Or a shortage occupation list? A TIER TWO WORK VISA?? WHY DO THEY LET DENTISTS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS IN BUT NOT ME??
Maybe if I find an employer...who will put up a job for a month, but not tell anyone about it...so at the end of the month, I'll apply...and the employer will tell the UK border people "Oops, we couldn't find any established Brits to fill this position, so we REALLY need this American Sara girl"...
What about Scotland?
Nope. No, Scotland IS part of the UK. Now they REALLY won't let me in.
I guess...I should...maybe...*sigh*
I made a decision. Go big or go home, right? So that's it. I'm doing it. I'm going to-- I will-- My plan is--
My plan is--
My plan is to marry a British citizen and move over there with him. Yes? Yes.
*prepares Excel spreadsheet of US cities with large British populations*
Take THAT, UK Border patrol. I can be SNEAKY. You and your stupidly tight reign on who you let in your country...leave me stuck in here in America...we'll see who wins in the end. Yeah. WE'LL SEE.
But you know what? We already won ONE war against you guys. Just sayin'.
Damn it. Now they REALLY REALLY won't let me in.
Gotta stop talking.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Anyway, I have a PROBLEM, guys. As some of you know, I graduate into the real world in November by way of college diploma.
(No, I don't just look for excuses to use the cute little wide-eyed dude facey thing. My life gets hectic and crazy all on its merry little own.)
I, unlike (or perhaps like) most college soon-to-be-graduates, have absolutely no plans for post graduation. None. Zilch. Nada. Goose egg, baby. It's like the end of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It just leaves you all gaping-mouthed and hand-waggling, unable to mumble anything else but "Wha-wha-what?!"
When I get all panicky about my future (which, believe me, happens a LOT), I watch Gilmore Girls. Heck, I watch Gilmore Girls when I'm anxious, depressed, lonely, heartbroken, etc etc insert-forlorn-adjective-here. That show always serves to give me a good perspective on what I should do, because minus the whole Ivy League school thing, I am Rori Gilmore. It's creepy, actually. I really should sue the creators of Gilmore Girls for identity theft but, um, I really like Gilmore Girls. So don't worry, Amy Sherman -- you're safe.
This most recent viewing of Gilmore Girls (season 7, in case you were wondering) left me bound and determined to increase my statistical odds of doing something WORTHY after graduation by researching the hell out of various cities. Why cities, you ask, and not jobs? Well, I'm pretty flexible about what I'll be DOING doing. Retail (*shudder*, I know, but it's always an option), secretarial stuffs, or even panhandling. I'm an excellent panhandler. Piracy is always an option too. I've been training for that for years.
So you see, I'm more in need of a definitive locale than a definitive job. This is where the SOS comes in:
Where in the world should I live?
(Okay, that's a bit broad -- I should narrow it:)
Where in the United States should I live?
(Eh, still too broad:)
Where in the continental United States that has very low humidity, mild summers, few mountains, many bookstores, and ample copper-skinned male pirates should I live?
(The last one is negotiable. They can be pale-skinned male pirates too. I'll even *gasp* settle for copper or pale-skinned male ninjas. Though, if you know the color of a ninja's skin, well, you are truly a remarkably sneaky individual.)
Help a poor, lost college student out and leave your city suggestions in the comments. Rori Gilmore and I thank you.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
It's been awhile. Remember me? Red hair, brown eyes, freaky obsessed with pirates? Yeah, that girl. I know we haven't really been on "speaking terms" lately, and I guess it's mostly my fault. No, actually -- it's ENTIRELY my fault. I've kept you at a distance by use of denial and dance-like avoidance maneuvers. I've become very good at avoidance-dancing. I break it down, yo.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry -- jokes aside, I have been dodging you at all costs. So I guess it should come as no surprise, then, that you don't really work in my favor anymore. My life has become mellow and quiet, and I have no one but myself to blame. This began a few years back and progressed up through those proceeding years until I find myself today, here, now, writing this letter to you for all the world to see. I made a lot of decisions that piled up and turned into one big snowball of "safe" decisions. I'm not proud of it. I'm not proud of any of it. I took the easy way out 9.7 times out of 10 and never looked back.
Now I see where those snowballed safe decisions have gotten me. A quiet life. A pass-by-and-never-be-noticed life. A life that I really don't want.
So I'm writing to you, Risk, to come to a truce. I promise to put an end to my snowball safe decisions if you promise to start working in my favor. As proof of my commitment to this promise, I quit my job. No promise of another job. No idea what I'm going to do with the next few months (really, years, but who's counting?). Totally and completely jumping into a big bucket of inky-black Risk. I'm serious and I'm eager and I'm hoping you're serious and eager to agree to your end of the promise. Playing it safe and making the "wise" decisions have only gotten me -- here. And here isn't so great anymore. I'd much rather be terrified and happy than safe and mediocre. So I'm taking the first step, making the first move, nudging the first pawn across the chess board.
It's your move, Risk. But know that I'm ready. I have nothing left to lose -- and by that I mean I have nothing left to lose that I know I wouldn't survive losing. These past few years have, at the very least, created in me a sense of strength. I can survive, and I will survive, and it's about damn time I started surviving on my own terms. My decisions now.
Bring it on. Give me risks to take and mountains to climb and horrifically exciting adventures. Get me out of this rut and take me somewhere -- deliciously ambiguous.
Forever Your Girl,
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
But as I was wandering from doc to doc today, I found a poem I'd forgotten. I wrote in during my slam-poetry kick (that lasted all of about a month), but it's actually pretty decent. So I shall share it with all ya'll while I continue decompressing on this lazy Wednesday afternoon. Cheers.
Second place is the first loser.
But in your eyes, second place feels like first.
In your eyes, second place feels like the ribbon broke on my stomach,
And the crowd cheers my name
Instead of hers.
But the way you say her name echoes with the voices of a thousand cheering fans,
Reminiscent of a time so precious I could never, ever, ever begin to touch it.
Memories so strong and adrenaline-filled and sweat-drenched that I can’t even see their blur as they rush by.
You look at me.
And I don’t care.
Maybe you will say my name like that one day.
Maybe you will lay awake hoping to hear my feet pound towards you,
Hoping to feel my breath beat on your face.
I don’t care that I can see her in your eyes,
That I can feel the years of desiring her on your skin,
And the way you hold me, run your fingers over my goosebumps and soothe away my strain,
I know you touched her even sweeter.
But I don’t care.
Why don’t I care?
I know you talk to her, still.
I know you laugh at what she says, and she laughs at what you say, and the line connects you, connected you, will always connect you.
I nod and smile and wave it off.
Because in your eyes, second place feels like first.
In your eyes, as long as I’m in your eyes,
I can run, and pretend the weight in my stomach is really the weight of the ribbon breaking on me.
Second is all I deserve.
I wasn’t fast enough. Simple as that.
Why don’t I like myself?
Why do I expect to win first place with you when I’m not even first in my own race?
I surrendered myself to a lifetime of dedicated imagining,
Like all I would ever get is pretending that the look on your face was put there by me.
Like I wasn’t worthy to put that look on someone’s face.
Like I could love her out of you.
But I won’t.
I cannot love you enough.
Do I hear me?
I can’t make myself enough!
And this life of falling asleep on dreams,
Of pictures I wish were of me,
Because I deserve to win my own race.
I deserve to feel the ribbon break on me,
To hear someone say my name like the voices of a thousand screaming fans,
To feel him hold me like he’s holding adrenaline in his arms,
And to see only me looking back from his eyes.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
*love taps your shoulder*
I feel all special. And not at all pressured to be clever and cute and inspiring and wise in every blog post like some authors I know.
Even though I'd planned to do some kind of cute and clever and inspiring post on motivation and persistence, I can't. Because I found someone who does it better than I ever could. So I'll let her show you how to keep the inspiration up while I go apply to more jobs.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Extreme bouts of happy things.
Happy thing #1:
(If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you've seen me post linkage to this. WATCH IT. You will love it. Promise.)
Tomorrow I will put a teal streak in my hair. Yes. TEAL. *squeals with anticipation*
Happy thing #3:
I will THROW LAPTOP at Big Red Desk if it DOES NOT STOP FREEZING UP ON ME. Not Big Red Desk. Laptop.
THERE IT GOES AGAIN. ARGH.
That wasn't a happy thing. Sorry. I'm going to post this post quick before Laptop decides to--
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Apparently I'm doing some advice-I-hate series, because I have yet another bit o' wisdom that makes me go OHMYGOSH WHY?? This one comes from quite a few sources, and quite frequently. It gets me more and more infuriated with each reiteration, until, well, angry blog posts happen. Said piece of advice:
"You're young. Don't worry so much about it. You've got plenty of time. "
Again, there is a *tiny* glimmer of good advice in here, and it's that *tiny* glimmer that I think is the intended bit of advice the advice-givers give. That *tiny* glimmer is that we shouldn't put so much pressure on ourselves to get something NOWNOWNOW. Which is an admirable piece of advice to be sure.
There's always a but.
I'll be 21 in August. When I tell people I have an agent and have written novels (the plural always gets 'em), they get this "Wow!" look that makes me a little...uneasy. Like because of my age, they didn't expect as much out of me.
If I had listened to their advice and "not worried so much" about getting an agent or getting published, I wouldn't have the world's most AMAZING agent and wouldn't have nearly the experience/growth I have as a writer. I'd be far less mature and far less driven, and would be nowhere near as close to achieving my publishing goals as I am.
It was hard. REALLY hard. And a lot of it sucked. But do I regret any of it? Do I feel like in focusing on a writing career instead of "being a teenager" that I was cheated out of anything? HELL NO. What did I miss? Honestly, I can't think of one high school/teenage experience that I would go back and add to my life.
And now, being almost 21, I have the same advice given to me about (you guessed it) BOYS. Relationships. *gasp* MARRIAGE. Even though I'd say about 70% of my friends are engaged and/or in serious relationships, I get told to "slow down" and "not worry about it" because I'm young and have my entire life to get married. True. But telling me this, giving me this advice, doesn't stop the fact that I still WANT things. Telling me not to worry so much about my writing career didn't kill my dream to be published. It just...actually, it didn't affect me at all. I kept right on going at the pace I was going. I'm a great listener.
I feel like this piece of advice is offering me a cop-out. A way to shrug off the responsibility of being mature and say "Eh, I'm young. I don't have to worry about "adult" things. I'll just sit here and mooch off people and take it easy. After all, I have my WHOLE LIFE to do stuff."
When does one become "old enough" to worry about things, exactly? When I'm 25? Is that when I should start seriously worrying about why I have no marriage prospects or why my book isn't getting picked up or why I have no job options? Or maybe 30? 35? What is the cut-off age for being "young enough" to not worry about things? Or will me not worrying about things suddenly become "irresponsible" one day, and all this advice about not worrying will suddenly turn into angry shouts of how "lazy" I am?
Or maybe I could just keep on living how I am living and wanting what I want. Because even though I am young, I still know what I want. I still know I want my book published. I still know I want to get married. And just because I'm young and I have "plenty of time" doesn't mean I'm going to stop seeking these things. I'm not going to give up on them until a more "opportune" time in my life. I don't think such times exist. Waiting for the stars to align and the moon to glow just right and the seasons to cooperate and I'm emotionally stable and financially secure and oh, yeah, I have a nice house, too -- it's like waiting for rain in a desert. Possible, but not probable.
So while I appreciate the advice, I can't take it. Taking it would mean to stop fighting for what I want. And I can't stop fighting.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Today, one of my friends got a really infuriating piece of advice regarding male-folk, relationship-type situations. It went something like this:
"You should just accept that chivalry is dead and go after what you want. You shouldn't wait on him, because he's not going to come after you."
This piece of advice came from, shocker, a male-type person. Now, in all fairness, there is one *tiny* glimmer of a good piece of advice in there -- that we should be go-getters and doers and not just stand around picking our fingernails. Empowerment! I am Woman, Hear me Arrrrgh! Or something.
(Hey, if I'm going to chant anything, it's going to be ARRRRGH, like a pirate. Not RAWWWR. RAWWWR isn't fear-inducing. Psh.)
Now here's where my rant comes in.
I've noticed a pattern in the menfolk I and my female counterparts interact with. There seems to be an epidemic of sorts. An epidemic of faultlessness. Example:
Girl and Boy start texting. (Because, really, how else does one have a relationship nowadays? Wait -- people still TALK? On their PHONES? I didn't know my phone could do that...)
Girl and Boy text for quite awhile. Say, a few months.
Boy tells Girl, quite frequently, that he does not want a girlfriend and is happy single. Girl continues texting him anyway.
Boy also, quite frequently, tells Girl how amazing/beautiful/wonderful/smart she is. Many compliments are heaped upon her, and even a few I've-never-met-anyone-like-you's.
Girl starts falling for Boy.
Boy continues to tell Girl all kinds of compliments.
Girl eventually comes to a very maddening resolution wherein Boy either 1) ends communication rather abruptly or 2) Girl "makes a move" on Boy and Boy refuses her. Here is where Boy claims faultlessness. His defense:
"I told you I didn't want a relationship from the start. YOU'RE the one who got it in your mind that I wanted more. I told you I didn't want anything."
In essence, "This is your fault. I'm not at fault in this. You can't be angry with me, because I told you well ahead of time. You only have yourself to blame."
Boy gets away with the whole "getting the milk for free" thing while Girl gets left with a hollow mix of "Well, he DID tell me..." and "But he said I was beautiful! He said he'd never met anyone like me! He talked to me for HOURS!"
Which brings me back to the previous piece of infuriating advice. My response to said piece of advice was a huge, resounding "COP-OUT!"
Much of the actions of my friends' boyfriends and male acquaintances and male dating buddies center around this need to be faultless. Some deep, gnawing fear of being RESPONSIBLE for something, whether that something be Girl's heart or their own future. These menfolk, for whatever reason, seem to be driven solely by this horrific repulsion to being held accountable for their actions. They'd rather have their decisions made for them or find a way to pin it all on us, the womenfolk.
Previous infuriating piece of advice translated: "Your standards are too high. You expect too much out of us. YOU need to be the one to change. Not us."
Why should WE be the ones to change our mindsets? Why should WE be the ones to relinquish our chivalry dreams? Why should we settle for responsibility-fearing blob-boys who leach decisions out of us like they're still five-year-old's and we're their mothers? Mayda Del Valle said it best. We are NOT your mothers. And I don't want some dependent, indecisive, scared little child as my partner. I don't want a slave -- I want a BOYFRIEND. I want a CHAMPION.
To which the rebuttal is often: "Men aren't perfect!"
I KNOW. Good god almighty, do I EVER know. I don't want perfect. I've had perfect, and it really isn't all it's cracked up to be. Mostly an ego so big there's hardly room for it, him, and me in the same bed.
I'm not asking for perfect. I'm asking for decisive. I'm asking for strength and loyalty. I'm asking for an independent co-existence, a mutual decision to be together yet know that neither person is entirely dependent on the other.
If I can be these things -- strong, decisive, loyal -- as the lack of such things in my male counterparts has forced me to be, then I KNOW it is possible for these same male counterparts to step up. It is not too much to ask. And I will not feel ashamed or "overstepping my bounds" for asking it. I want my chivalry back.
And I will wait for a man to come along who can give me the truth of how much he can really love me.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
So go read this post by Natalie Whipple. It explains it better than I have time to.
*revs chain saw*
*opens paint cans*
*lays out blue prints*
*gets to work*
Monday, July 5, 2010
My job requires a certain degree of "customer service," which does not entail inaudible, frantic screams directed at particularly mind-blowing customers. But since most of you (*shifty eyes*) don't know where I work, I shall unload the things I keep bottled up inside all day in hope that you read this and take pity on the next poor, unsuspecting retail employee you stumble across.
#1) Don't pick on us. You KNOW, by our company's policies, (hell, by EVERY retail store's policies EVERYWHERE) that we are NOT ALLOWED to fight back. Picking on us, being mean to us, getting angry with us, or yelling at us are just cowardly reactions to problems that are NOT OUR FAULT (see next #). It's like picking a fight with a tree and calling it a "glorified twig." The poor tree can't fight back! What'd it ever do to you? Go pick on someone who at least has the freedom to stand up for themselves. All we can do is smile and nod and count to ten over and over and over again. And then say really mean things about you when you leave. Because we do. Do you really want to be THAT guy? No, I didn't think so.
#2) MOST OF THE PROBLEMS YOU ENCOUNTER ARE NOT OUR FAULT. Let me say it again. MOST OF THE PROBLEMS YOU ENCOUNTER ARE NOT OUR FAULT. That sweater you had us special order for you from another store that didn't arrive yet because the %$#@ idiots at the other store put it on the truck instead of in the mail? NOT OUR FAULT (granted, it is the fault of the %$#@ idiots at the OTHER store, but not the %$#@ idiots at this store). Those shoes that have been marked down three times because we've had them for two years but don't have your size anymore and can't order more because they were discontinued a year ago? NOT OUR FAULT. Those crazy popular shoes you waited until the last minute to get only to find out we only have a size 4.5 left and you need a 2? NOT OUR FAULT. Yelling at us, getting snippy with us, or otherwise treating us like slaves will not magically make these items appear. So chill.
#3) Contrary to popular belief, we, as retail employees, are NOT out to single-handedly prevent you from acquiring the items you want. This is not a war.
#4) We are NOT babysitters. I repeat: NOT BABYSITTERS. Again, just because you KNOW we are required to be stupidly nice and not yell at your children does not give you the right to dump them in our store and wander blindly whilst they tear all the balls out of the ball pit, strip the mannequins, and wail on the punching bag display. I understand your children are quite energetic and getting them to SIT DOWN while you shop is very, very strenuous, but hey, you are the one who decided to reproduce. You deal with the consequences.
#5) Contrary to popular belief, we, as retail employees, have better things to do than shop for you. If you call our store to see if we have ONE item in stock, that's fine. But if you call to see if we have FIVE OR MORE items in stock and if we could set them out for you and maybe put your name on them so no one else buys them and okay, thanks, I'll be in sometime next year to pick them up? Unless you're willing to slip us an extra $50 for our time, get off your tush and come shop for yourself.
#6) We do not control the prices. Of ANYTHING. Especially in corporate-owned stores. Arguing with us, trying to haggle, or threatening to "talk to the manager" will not make the $79 shoes $69. Nor will telling us that we need to lower our prices because we just lost a sale. Consider us the messengers, bud -- don't shoot the messengers. We are merely the angelic apparitions sent from the big bad vendors to inform you of THEIR pricing decisions. If you want to blame someone, blame Nike.
#7) I like people. Really, I do. A lot of the people I've encountered in my retail stint have been very enjoyable individuals who have happy, polite, controlled children and who can have calm, rational "Oh-you-don't-have-this-in-a-large?-That's-okay-don't-worry-about-it," conversations without resorting to obnoxious eye-rolls or swearing. I like these people very much. These people brighten my otherwise cloudy day. These people are also the ones who see the unruly customers and give me those "I am SO SORRY" looks that make me giggle. You don't want to be on the other side of this exchange, folks. It's much more fun to be the giggler or the look-giver than the person who makes the other customers feel uncomfortable. Trust me.
This all rose from something completely unrelated to my job, actually. I was at a restaurant the other day with a friend, waiting to check out, when an older gentleman (not sure what he wanted) started yelling at the cashier and telling him he couldn't do his job. The gentleman proceeded to tell everyone he encountered on the way out of the restaurant that the cashier couldn't do his "damn job." This really irritated me. As someone who has far too many years of experience in customer service, I find it incredibly cowardly when someone loses their temper on us. There is never any reason to be that vocal or just plain mean with someone (as I said above) who cannot, under penalty of being fired, fight back at all. If it is truly an issue, contact the manager. Do not publicly berate the employee (especially when he is a terrified, prepubescent teenager). That will not solve the problem.
So here's a stupidly long blog post just to say: tell a retail/customer service employee they did a good job. Here's to a group who has been stomped on for too long -- hooray, customer service employees! Hooray!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
(sorry, the quality sucks a little bit)
(how many times do I put my finger up? Guesses?)
CONGRATS to our winners!! I'll be sending emails alerting them if they don't see this video and completely freak out in the comments section. If they do see the video though, some instructions for them:
1) Send an email to seesarawrite (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address, or wherever you'd like me to send your book.
2) Dance it out, yo.
To everyone: have an AMAZING Independence Day! Or, er, by "everyone" I mean everyone who lives in the US. To my international lovelies: have a GREAT Sunday!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Also, I spent the evening matching songs to each chapter of WHITE LIKE ASHES, so every chapter now has a "theme song" that fits the mood of it. Or at least, that's what I was going for.
Of course I'm going to share the playlist with you, even though most of you have no idea why these songs would fit with the twenty-two chapters in WLA (yes, I'm aware there's only twenty-one songs -- I used one twice. I cheat). But I figure you can still appreciate some AMAZING songs, such as Estasi Dell Anima by David Sardy (an instrumental from Zombieland) or Set the Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol. WLA aside, it's a pretty solid list of amazing tunes. And maybe they'll inspire you as they inspired me. Passing on the inspiration.
Enjoy, bloggers. Enjoy.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
There are these mannequins where I work. Only, unlike the one pictured above, these don't have heads or whole legs. They're short, stubby, decapitated dudes with the bodies of Greek gods. Hey, they gotta have something going for them.
Today, a brother and sister pair, no more than 8 years old, stood staring at one of the headless, mostly-limbless dudes. The brother turned to his big sis and, totally serious, asked, "When you grow up, are you going to marry a guy who looks like this?"
To which she nodded. "I'll try."
Amen, sister. All little girls aspire to find a nice headless, legless, crazy-ripped man to marry. That way he can't talk back and can't run away, and he still looks darn amazing.
Girl power, baby.