Sunday, May 29, 2011

Alienation, Sluts, Friends, and Towels

1. Felt thankful for my blog after trying to talk to my family.  We were all having a fun and friendly chat after ice-cream.    My dad told a couple of stories.  Our friend told some stories.  My sister told two stories.  Then I wanted to tell a story.  I announced that I had something to say, related to the conversation.  No one gave me any attention.  They ignored me and started talking about their own things.  I could have tried again when they finished...if they ever finished.   I gave up and left to go exercise.  That's the thing about talking to my family.  It usually feels like such a battle.   It's hard to find a break in the conversation to say anything.  Then if I manage that, there are usually many interruptions.  I feel like I talk and stop, talk and stop, wait to see if someone will say the polite, You were saying. Sometimes they do.  Sometimes they don't.

I feel I'm lucky if I can manage to share a brief opinion and/or respond to someone else's story.  It's nearly impossible to tell my own story.

It's not as bad when I talk one on one with family members, depending on who I'm talking to.  But when there's more than one person, I usually feel lost.  It's easier and better for me to just stay quiet.

So yeah. It's nice for me to have a blog.  It's nice to have a place to tell my stories and share my feelings.  It's fantastic to know that sometimes people are reading and paying attention. I love all that.

2. Talked to Tim and my brother-in-law about various things, including Australia.   With them, I was actually able to talk more, even tell a very brief story or two. So maybe it's more of an issue with my immediate family.

Tim and my brother-in-law read my blog on a regular basis. My immediate family reads it very rarely.  So if Tim and my brother-in-law are interested in me enough to read my blog, it fits that they also show interest in what I'm saying when I speak.

3. Thought I had forgotten an Australian birthday. Same old story.   I got the email from Facebook that her birthday was on Saturday.  I meant to say happy birthday on Friday (which is Saturday in Australia); but I forgot.   I remembered on Saturday morning and left her a belated birthday message.  Quickly after, I got a message back from her.  She said I wasn't late! It wasn't midnight yet in Australia yet.  I'm glad I was on time.

Now there's another Aussie birthday tomorrow.  We'll see if I manage to remember.

4. Read Andrew's post about the slut walk.  It made me love him even more. I especially like his honest contradiction at the end.

5.  Lost a basketball game, but I had fun playing.  I'm starting to dislike sports a little less. That's good.  I mean I'm obsessed with a country that's obsessed with sports.  It would work out better if I had a tiny bit of liking for the subject matter.  Plus, Greg is TOTALLY obsessed with sports, especially basketball.  Australia for me is like sports for Greg.

I don't know if I'll ever like watching sports or keeping up with sports news; but maybe I'll like playing a little bit sometimes.

6. Saw a Port Douglas towel outside at the pool.   I had never seen it before.   We have an Australia map towel and an Australian flag towel that we brought over.   I'm assuming the Port Douglas towel came from my parents.  They went to Queensland the first time they visited Australia.

7. Looked at a website about the Hotel Radisson Treetops Resorts.  This is where the towel's from.  I guess I shall be a nice daughter and assume my parents bought the towel at the gift shop.  

8. Decided to read about my Australian of the day on the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  

Today's person is Joseph Francis Allen.  I don't know if he was related to the Reverend William Allen from yesterday.  I also don't know if he's related to Peter Allen.

Joseph Francis Allen was born in Cornwall England, and he came to Parramatta when he was ten.

He became an architect, and made some buildings in Western Australia. He also built a ship.

He did stuff in government. He was the major of Freemantle from 1909-1914.

He did more government stuff.  None of it's too interesting to me.

His death is a bit more interesting.  He was found in the swan river.  The coroner said it wasn't suspicious.  I guess that means they don't think he was murdered.  Maybe he fell in the river?

9. Started to read editorial about the Slut Walk.   Before reading it, I'll say I don't really know how I feel about all that.  I read Andrew's post about it, and I probably have similar feelings.  I don't think women should ever be blamed for men's violence towards them.   On the other hand, I don't know if I like slut fashion.  I don't know if I'm morally against it.   If someone wants to dress that way, that's fine.   Maybe.   But I can't say I won't secretly judge them a bit.   I'm sure they'd judge me and my frumpy clothes.  It's not that I'm a bad person or they're a bad person.  We might just assume we come from different worlds and have nothing in common.

10. Read the editorial.   Maiy Azize questions whether it's a good idea to reclaim the word slut.   Personally, I think it's fine.   It could give women the right to openly love sex and be proud of their sexuality.  Samantha from Sex and the City is a great role model for all that.

But we're not all going to be Samantha.  That lifestyle and personality is fine for some. It's not for all of us.

Maiy Azize quotes from one of the organizers of the Toronto slutwalk.   She mentions that she rejects man-hating, hairy-legged, Birkenstock-wearing” feminists.   It's fine to be a slut.   It's also fine to be a hairy-legged feminists.  Why can't women learn to accept other women?

And I include myself in this of course. I judge other women.   I look at their clothes and think things like, She doesn't look like my type of friend.

It doesn't have to be about clothes.  Sometimes the woman will say something that will make me think She is SO not my type of person.   Or she'll say something and I'll think, this woman is my soulmate.  

11. Liked this quote from Maiy Azize says here:   If, as Sonya Barnett says, so many women are uncomfortable with being labelled as feminists, then why is that not the word she is trying to reclaim? Doesn’t that make more sense than ‘reclaiming’ a word that was never ours?
Feminist, not slut, is the word we should use to describe women who support other women, consensual sex and equality. Feminist is the word that has really been taken away from us.

The word feminist does have a negative connotation.  In the extreme form, I picture a woman with hairy legs and no bra. She hates men. She looks down at women who get married, breed, and then stay home to take care of the children.  I don't like THOSE type of feminists.   I'm fine with the free-moving boobs and hairy legs.  I'm not so okay with the anger and attitudes of superiority.  

I like the type of feminism that accepts diversity and choice.  We can stay home and take care of our babies.  We can pursue a career. We can love pink dresses and sparkly toenail polish, but it's okay if we prefer something else.

12. Felt guilty and hypocritical.   If I was a good feminist, I wouldn't be so quick to decide if a woman was my type or not.  But then I started thinking that while it's not okay to judge other women as bad or good; it's fine to judge a women on whether or not she'd be a good match for me.   I've never found a perfect match, and I probably never will.  But certain types of women are more my type, and I prefer being friends with them.

13. Thought about the people in my life and realized I don't really have a perfect type of friend.   I don't know my type really.   In the end, I think all you need is at least one thing in common.   Maybe we both homeschool.  Maybe we both love Modern Family.  Maybe we both have vivid dreams and have a strong belief in spiritual stuff.   Maybe we both support gay rights.  Maybe we both have blogging as a hobby.  Maybe we have the same parenting philosophies.

Sometimes I can't easily find things in common with someone, but we feel relaxed with each other for some reason.   Sometimes it's just the fact that we can make each other laugh.   In the end, shared laughter is often more important than shared interests, philosophies, and clothes styles.  

14. Received attention at dinner tonight.  That was nice.  I even got to tell a short story. It was about the last time I ate meat.  It wasn't a long story, probably three sentences.  I'm not sure if anyone actually listened.  Maybe they did.  I don't know.

15. Picked up the Australia Map towel from the ground and put it back on the pool chair.   I then realised that Jive Talking was playing on the radio.  The Bee Gees are Australian. So I had Aussie music for my moment with the Aussie towel.

16. Hung out with family outside.  Then on my way back, I saw the towel had fallen again. I started to fix it, but realised the strong wind would make it keep falling.  I also realized that the map towel is kind of special to me, and I don't want to share it.   Is that selfish?   Probably.

I'm leaving the Australian flag towel. So I'm not too horrible.

The map towel has special meaning to me.  It doesn't have any meaning to my family.   To them, it's just one of many towels.   When they use it, they don't even realize it's Australia-related.  Well, at least that's what I'm guessing. 

17. Wanted to clarify that I'm not annoyed with my family for not loving the Australia towel.   I don't have any special feelings for the many towels we have here.  I probably don't even notice them. I use the towels without giving them any thought or attention.

I wouldn't expect my family to care about my Australia Map towel.   But I care about it, and I want to be greedy and not share.

18. Decided it's probably perfectly okay to be greedy and not share if other people don't have interest in or desire for the beloved object.

19. Tried to remember why I brought the Aussie towel to the lake house in the first place.   I think MAYBE I brought it just for myself to use.   I think I wanted to keep that towel just for me, and share the flag towel. But then the map towel got mixed up with all the other towels.

So I was probably possessive about the beloved towel from the very beginning.

I'm a little ashamed about all of this...but not too much.