Monthly Archives: June 2013

Act Like A Girl aka I’m Overthinking Again


I have no problem admitting that I like Demi Lovato’s music. I think she’s a pretty good singer, not to mention very attractive. But that’s beside the point.

What is my point?

Lyrics. See, she has this new single out called “Heart Attack” which basically talks about her fear of falling in love again. She sings that if she ever did that, she’d probably have a heart attack. Yeah, cute. đŸ˜‰

Anyway, there’s one part of the song where she says “But you, make me wanna act like a girl…” and every time I hear that part it kinda bothers me. What bothers me is the implication that there’s something wrong with a girl acting like a girl. She says nothing specifically about being a tomboy or perhaps a butch lesbian. But in the context of the song, wanting to wear perfume, high heels or paint her nails is considered a bad thing. Or at least something you would only do to impress a boy.

Yeah, yeah… I’m overthinking the lyrics for sure. I KNOW that she simply means that being around this guy makes her want to do things that she doesn’t NORMALLY do. I get that. I just don’t understand why she chose THAT particular phrase as a way to demonstrate  uncharacteristic behavior.

I mean, c’mon… the truth is that if the gender tables were turned and a guy sang, “But you, make me wanna act like a boy…” it would be nearly impossible to spin that implication into something trivial. You’d probably have ongoing debates about social emasculation, metrosexuals and discrimination against effeminate heterosexual men.

And yet, with songs like this one, girls are being told that you don’t NEED to act like a girl as if there’s something inherently wrong with being girly. I’m not knocking girls who prefer trucks and army men over dolls and dress-up. I just think there should be positive reinforcement of either choice instead of making one out to be better than the other.

The irony? In spite of all that I’ve said, I really, REALLY like the song! lol

Okay, okay… I’ll stop now. Turning my brain off. đŸ˜›

Categories: commentary, music, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Not All Fathers Are Biological


To all of the Dads (biological and non-biological), Grandfathers, Uncles, Cousins, Neighbors, Educators, Ministers, Supervisors, Business Owners, Social Service Workers, Physical and Mental Health Professionals and any other man who has accepted the responsibility and privilege of helping to raise and mentor the next generation of our society…

I SALUTE YOU!

May your labor of love be rewarded through the lives you’ve changed and the world you’ve helped to shape.

Happy Father’s Day!

fist-bump

 

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Broken Walls


I read a quote once that went something like, “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” That was ringing in my thoughts after a conversation I had with my brilliantly insightful wife about friends a while back. See, for a long time I couldn’t say that I had very many close friends. That’s not to say that I didn’t have people that I cared deeply about. But aside from my wife and parents, there were maybe 2 other people on this earth that I felt I could trust implicitly.

The more I thought about it, the more it made me wonder if perhaps I had created walls that I was silently hoping people would care enough to break down. Was I baiting people? Were my friendships going to be based on some arbitrary display of perseverance? Would I take the fact that people hadn’t yet attempted to circumvent my relationship walls to mean they don’t really care about me? And then, in the absurdity of it all, turn around and feel as if this would allow me to not care either and so cast them aside? fist-break-through-wall

Heaven forbid…

It’s not that I thought people were disposable. But I could very well have pushed them away unintentionally with these walls of my own invention. The design of which is really not very fair. I mean, what kind of deep relationship could I really expect to gain if I made someone jump through hoops that THEY may or may not even realize exist?

I had to do some soul searching to figure out what this was really about.

It became clear that it was partly/mostly my own fault. There were people with whom I believed I could have a really close relationship. Some of them had actually pursued me. But I hadn’t reciprocated much if at all. Was it because I was a horrible person? I don’t think so. Instead, I’d convinced myself that it’s an issue of time. With all of the chaos that I’d been dealing with at any given moment, I told myself that I didn’t have the time to dedicate to the cultivation of a deep friendship with someone else. At one point I actually said to someone, “I really enjoy hanging out and talking with you, but I can’t give you the kind of things you want from this relationship and I don’t want you to constantly be disappointed when I don’t come through.” Unfortunately, this went against my own belief that you will make time for those things (and people) that are important to you. My wife called that a cop out.

So where did I go off track?

I think it was simply a defense mechanism. After being wounded in past relationships, I hadn’t really allowed an opportunity for anyone get close to me. I mean, not REALLY close. Yeah, I could share interests and show compassion and provide encouragement to others. But that was all about giving and nothing about receiving. Few people knew the details of the things that I struggled against on a daily basis. Heck, my blog audience probably knew (and still knows) more about the intimate details of my life than people offline. I believe it was an underlying fear of rejection. The less I put myself out there, the less chance I had of getting hurt. But I couldn’t live my life in fear of potential pain inflicted by others.

After that talk with my wife, I found myself lamenting the lack of deep friendships. It was then that I decided that I needed to pursue people.

Slowly. Just 1 or 2 in the beginning. But it was a start.

I’m curious if I am alone in this…

Does anyone else struggle with developing close friendships? I mean, the real friendships. Not superficial, mere acquaintances or people who want to be more but you’ve friend zoned them. I’m talking Best Friends. People you’d protect with your very life if necessary. Is that a challenge for anyone else?

Because in spite of the obstacles I’ve created in the past, I genuinely want those kind of people in my future.

Broken walls and all.

break-wall

Categories: personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Inconvenience of Marriage


My wife and I like to cuddle up at home and indulge in the occasional Rom-Com after the kids have gone to bed. We did this Saturday night with a movie I won’t name because I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, even indirectly. Anyway, like most Rom-Coms of late, I found the depiction of two married couples to be more than a bit offensive.

Why?

Because of how they decided to portray the families, and in particular, each couple. One of the couples had two kids (ages 4 and a newborn). The wife was constantly yelling and cursing at the husband, while the husband acted like a crass, apathetic fool with no understanding of social etiquette. Their 4-year-old was literally running around the room screaming like he was tripped out on drugs and the baby was somewhere off in the distance, crying and inconsolable.

The second couple had a baby that looked to be about 8 or 9 months old. They were insulting each other at every opportunity and it was more than obvious that resentment had built up in each of them to the point that they just didn’t care anymore if they hurt each others feelings in public.

Now, I’m sure there are couples that behave this way. That’s not what was offensive. What was offensive was the fact that they used these couples to illustrate what it meant to be married with kids as if this was the standard makeup of today’s family. It was the writer’s commentary on the torture of parenting and how it ruins otherwise good relationship, and was used in direct contrast to a couple of their single friends who watched these two couples implode and decided that it was better to have kids without the “inconvenience of marriage”.

This was the foundation of the movie plot!

I had to pause the movie to voice my frustration at what has become an oft-used plot device of making marriage and parenting seem like punishment for falling in love. I couldn’t understand why destructive, unhealthy marriages have proliferated among what are supposed to be ROMANTIC COMEDIES. I saw nothing romantic or funny about this.

My wife, the kind soul that she is, took my hand and attempted to soothe my frustration by explaining to me that the underlying message is that marriages are for more likely to succeed when the two people involved are best friends and not just lovers.

I accepted this explanation, albeit grumpily. I still think it’s in poor taste to bash marriage and parenting. As if we don’t have enough of that POV regularly reinforced by tabloids and other “reality” media. :-/

/rant

Categories: commentary, family, marriage, opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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