I have been feeling an urge to reconnect with my local community by subscribing to the local newspaper so I have started reading it online. (Well, I subscribed to the RSS feed but it only gives the first sentence of any given article. Dumb.)
I ran across a letter to the editor about how IU and Bloomington ought to be ashamed of themselves for being opposed to children's healthcare in Indiana. What heinous crime did they commit, you may ask? They banned smoking, which decreases tobacco sales (theoretically), which decreases the amount of tax revenue made on tobacco sales, and that tax revenue is partially allocated to subsidize children's healthcare programs.
Oh the twisted, twisted logic.
So I work in this office center that houses a bunch of non-profits and often I'm the only one there working. It's not uncommon for people to wander in randomly and say "Hey, what is this place about?" Sometimes they're genuinely curious and interested in volunteering but other times they're just weird.
Today a man wandered in and looked at the poster about the Dalai Lama coming to speak at IU. He asked me where the Dalai Lama lives and without thinking, I said "Tibet."
He said "No he doesn't. He's forbidden to go back there. [pause] He's such a phony. He wears a watch. I bet he lives in a penthouse in New York. And the Pope is no better. You know, he was off touring and do you know what he did for 'leisure?' He watched a soccer game. Wanted to see those cute young boys run around. Blech."
And then he left, before I could think to say. Which is probably just as well.
I was tagged by bbick
1. List seven habits/quirks/facts about your significant other.
2. Tag seven people to do the same.
3. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag whoever wants to do it.
1) His default word when he can't remember a word is "ninja." As in, "Have you seen my... ninja... anywhere?"
2) Like most of my previous roommates, he can not find things in the refrigerator if they are in the drawers.
3) He makes an awesome frittata and is a good cook when he's cooking for both of us but would probably live on ramen noodles and hot dogs if left on his own.
4) I'm not sure he could survive more than 48 hours without his computer.
5) He likes to make up random songs about what we're doing like "Maggie's making cookies, yeah!" and when I tease him about his lyrics not rhyming, he points out that "cookies" rhymes with "cookies" so really he just needs to repeat every line.
6) One of his talents is to "win" conversations, which happens when he comes up with bizarre enough tangents and arguments that the other person stops talking.
7) He is very good at making me laugh, even when I'm horrified by what I'm laughing about (I'm afraid this will sound even more horrible over lj but lets just say that two of his favorite topics are "punching" and "kittens.")
Okay, and the seven people I'm tagging:
Will & I are planning wedding stuff again and got on the subject of last names. I don't particularly want to change my name, but we did discuss that we could both change our names to something different, just for fun. Like secret spies. And then we came up with the perfect new last name: Zawesome.
I think our kids might kill us, though.
I got Netflix. So of course I've been adding lots of crazy stuff to my queue. The first movie I watched was Space Camp, which was an enjoyable kitchy 80s family movie about kids at space camp who accidentally get sent into space for real. The true message of the movie was that all adults are jerks. And robots are awesome.
However, it was not the movie I thought it was. In fact, I had never seen it. I thought I was getting a different movie, of which I only remember one scene. There was a group of kids and one of them was in a wheelchair. His favorite time was when they got to go swimming. They put him in a little inner tube but when the adults weren't looking, he slipped underwater to experience weightlessness. Unfortunately, a lifeguard looked over and thought he was drowning. The lifeguard dove in and hauled him to the side of the pool, which totally ruined his happy weightless experience and made him start choking on pool water. And there was space camp in there somewhere, I think.... Ring any bells?
I was out at the farm today. Steve & I got up early to beat the heat (ha ha!) and pick vegetables for market. We came in about noon to shower & have lunch and then we hopped in the car and drove down to Steve's super secret pawpaw patch.
For those who don't know them, pawpaws are a fruit also known as the Indiana banana. They grow on trees in the woods and ripen sometime between August and October depending on the variety & climate & all that. They are about fist-size and look like a blockish egg. There are usually between 2 and 6 fruits on a tree, so it takes a lot more trees to get a worthwhile amount than if you're picking, say, apples. Oh, and the preferred method of picking is to shake the tree vigorously until the fruit fall and then pick them up off the ground.
It hurts when they land on your head. A pair of them smacked me right in the nose and that was about the time when I was ready to be done but we traipsed through the woods for another half hour or so while I fine-tuned my theory about ripe pawpaws being most frequent in stinging nettle patches.
It was fun to do a little hunting & gathering after our stint of more traditional agriculture. I would call it "gathering" but somehow that makes it sound really easy, like they're just lying on the ground waiting to be scooped up into a basket. It was really more like hunting - creeping through the woods, looking for the right trees, peering up to see the fruit, shaking them vigorously until the fruit fell, and then searching wildly to see where they fell.
Will has been following some threadlist somewhere about marriage and asked for my two cents so I thought I'd post 'em here as well.
>Here's what started the whole thing:
>" Recently--and three guesses why--my pondering has shifted away from
>comparing Marriage as a Legal and Socially Sanctioned Declaration of Love
>and Commitment versus a Committed Lifelong Loving Partnership that does not
>have the legal stamp on it. Now I am deeply considering the relative
>desirability and value of Lifelong versus Not-Lifelong relationships.
>I am really grappling with this and I want to know what you think about it.
>If a person is not religious (and doesn't care about sanctity/sin) and not
>planning to have children (and therefore isn't trying to provide a stable
>Why is a *lifelong* romantic relationship and partnership the ideal?
>What is it, exactly, that makes a lifelong commitment--whether through a
>legal marriage, non-legal ceremony and celebration, or a verbal or even
>tacit agreement--so important in American/Western mainstream culture? Why do
>most people search and strive for singular, lifelong monogamy rather than
>serial monogamy? Why is it the goal to have *one* partner and *one*
>relationship that lasts til death? Why (and how) is that "better" than
>having multiple romance-partnerships throughout your life, letting each one
>last for as many years as it seems inclined to? Why do so many people
>believe a lifelong relationship is more meaningful, more special, more
>important, more satisfying, more [fill in the blank] than a shorter one that
>just ends when it ends?
>...I'm really not interested in cynical responses or sniping criticisms of
>other people's choices. And I am well aware of the historical roots of
>marriage to control women, etc, so you needn't dredge that up. I want to
>know what *you*, personally, truly believe. I want to know why *you*
>want(ed) lifelong commitment, or why not if you do/did not."
My guess is that most people pursue a Lifelong Relationship because it is what we are culturally programmed to do. That's the model we see the most often, largely because it has the backing of most major religions, Western tradition in general, and there is still that idea out there that the goal ultimately is to have children so people are seeking that parenting dryad.
For people who actually stop and ask themselves on an individual basis if they really want a Lifelong Relationship rather than Serial Monogamy (and are not constrained by religion or the expectation of raising children), I expect 50%-75% still want a Lifelong Relationship. Why? Because it seems safer and easier. (I would say this is the explanation for why so many people choose a 40-hour job with benefits even if it doesn't quite fit their dreams and aspirations.) Being with one person forever means you always have that person to count on and plan around/with. You don't have to worry about "When is this going to end and then what will I do?" You don't have to worry about the heartache of breaking up and the trauma of dating after X years in a steady relationship.
Granted, there are no guarantees that your marriage will actually be a Lifelong Relationship. Either of you could change your mind somewhere down the line and decide it isn't working. One of you could die. But I think for a lot of people, there is a lot of reassurance in the idea that both of you are commited to making it work forever. The trick is for both partners to understand that it's a shared goal and that you both have to work for it. The fact that both of you are committed to a Lifelong Relationship doesn't make it easy to do. There will be lots of compromise and negotiation and reevaluation as you each grow. I believe it's possible to make it work if both people are communicating and still committed to each other. But it doesn't happen automatically.
Is there anything wrong with Serial Monogamy? No, I don't think so. I can see where it might be the better choice for some people. I think most people don't even ask themselves the question, which is a shame since at the very least it gets people thinking about what marriage is before they decide whether or not they want it.
For me, I want a Lifelong Relationship because I feel that provides a lot of stability. I want to buy land, build a huge garden, get some pets, have some children. I don't want to have to worry about how all that will be divided up if/when my relationship ends and where my life will go from there. I want to have a partner I can count on for the rest of our life together. I want to be able to have 50 years of intimate knowledge of each other so when we're old we have a million inside jokes and a million tiny things we appreciate about each other. I fully intend to have a life of my own separate from my partner and to have friends who come, stay, and go over my lifetime but I love the idea of having one relationship that stays forever.
There is a fly in my office that is driving me batty. Why does it have to tickle so much when they land on me? And why do they love tickling me so?
On the plus side, there are only a couple other people here today. I share a building with a number of non-profit groups and sometimes the place has an overwhelming odor of unwashed environmental activist. I mean, I'm not the most hygienic of people, but if you're going to spend time in an office with no windows, you can't do the shower-free deodorant-free things. Or at least I can't handle it. Guess I'll never be a true hippy.
I was at the farm last week, hoeing some eggplants, when I heard a rumble in the distance. It wasn't thunder and it grew louder as I stood to scan the cloudy sky. Four army helicopters appeared, low in the sky and slowly cruising over the farm. I felt like a peasant in a rice field watching the Americans appear. It was bizarre.
In the late afternoon, we spent several hours picking green beans. Picking beans is truly miserable work. It's very hard on the lower back as well as the wrists and it takes FOREVER to fill up a bushel basket. We filled five. I was feeling pretty grumpy. The owners told me that picking green beans is miserable but they do it many times over and over every year because it's relatively lucrative. All I could think was "That's crazy!"
But then I drove home and on my beautiful drive through the countryside I thought "Well, it wasn't thaaat bad...."
And so the insanity begins.