Dear Stranger…

Since I delayed in the post allow me to set it up in the proper time frame. This past weekend after my husband got out of work I decided to surprise him with getting his Father’s Day present a day early which involved going to Target. Now, I should mention we rarely shop at Target for several reasons that aren’t important for this post, but the machine was there so, despite my husband’s protests of me dragging him to a store, we went. Needless to say after we got his present- which was a French Press coffee maker- his tone drastically changed and we browsed the aisles a bit and ended up with a few more things before checking out. While we waited, I heard a few children a couple of checkouts over go into the usual childlike wonder at my current hair color which caused me to smile and I turned my attention munchkin where he sat in the cart looking at the stuff we had bought. After we leave and are home a few my husband turns to me, noting a few looks I had overlooked while I was talking to munchkin about the things in the cart. I look perplexed for a moment, so he reminds me we are far from normal- we’re both in our mid-twenties with  a three year old, and in my case- which has been confirmed by an insane amount of strangers- I look younger. The biggest guilty party of the depth of dislike and unwelcome he described, though was the hair, mine being the blue it is and his falling to about mid-back. Now- looks and some glares are no strange thing to me since going outta the box in regards to my hair, but given that my husband took it on himself to silently tell the guilty party here that her glare wasn’t welcome drove it to a new level since it showed that it was enough to bother him, and he gives about ten thousand less cares about what other people think and actually encourages me to do the same. And while I usually try to simply ignore things, this incident as well as a few others prompted this response:

Dear stranger,

You know me. I’m the one that sticks out like a sore thumb in a crowd if only due to one fact of my appearance- my hair. I’m the one that you just spent the entire wait in line giving a death stare to and sending silent messages that generally boil down to unwelcome before moving onto my husband. You don’t know me though, just as I don’t know you- not the true me or you anyway. Since you will never give me the chance to tell you- why don’t I do it now. Yes, my hair is blue- it might not be to your tastes, but it is to mine. There is no reason for you to make me feel unwelcome, or try to because of that fact. I don’t make you feel unwelcome, or at least try not to because your hair is a shade of my natural color, brown and I happen to dislike that color on me.  Besides taste, there is another reason my hair is blue and that is because very recently I managed to overcome my self-esteem issues and start doing things for me and not what the popular opinion wants. I dyed my hair since high school at various times, but because of this was always too afraid to try the wild colors. This re-found ability enables me to brush off most of the stares, but doesn’t make me immune to them by any means and especially not the harsh ones like you gave today. But that stare will never allow you to know this about me because of simply closing your mind due to appearances.

You will also never know though we look young, my husband and I have been together for 7 and a 1/2 years, almost been married a whole year and have been through hell and back, even more than some- as we joke, we’re only waiting for the richer part of the marriage vows. I’m trying to keep in mind that you would never know this without asking or really taking in the rings on my left hand, but I wonder if the wrinkled nose, like something that smelled rotten was underneath it, was really needed. Chances are it wasn’t.

Yes, everyone at some point does the judging stare in various degrees, the only thing separating one from another is the intention of the stare. They can range from simply taking in and casting silent judgements to trying to drive away as you were. It only partly worked, it was enough to make us feel unwelcome but not enough to make us simply drop everything and go away. We all have our own preferences painted by our own internal styles or what is shown out there in the world (ex. Media coverage or reality tv shows), but it doesn’t make driving away based on that any more right or any less hurtful. So, next time you see someone who might not look like everyone else, who has something about them that might stand out whether it’s hair or something- think twice about what message that stare might deliver because even the toughest people can crack and you might not know their whole story.

_____________________________________________________________________

Note: I wrote this with the thought that for good or bad or right or wrong, we all cast judgements, you only need to go the nearest high school to really see it. The main thing is being on the receiving end of the judgements like the one my husband and I experienced and what that cuts off because such a judgement is cast and if people should be judged that way for things like blue hair. If you comment keep comments along these lines and not how right or wrong or anything like that such judgements are, all that is, is a can of worms and leads to just comments being combed since I don’t think anyone will agree anytime soon on it sadly.

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A Two-Part Deal- Rant and When Failure Cripples

So I originally planned on doing something entirely for this blog post and that will still happen but I want to take out a second for something that has really been annoying me lately.  (By the way posts of this sort will be few and far between since while I’m interested in these topics I know I’m in the minority)  Sometimes I forget the most important thing of reading articles on line of any type, don’t read the comments- now usually the articles I frequent are political in nature (hazard of being an IR major)  or somewhat controversial though its still applied on any article.  The thing I get when I read these comments is how generally uninformed people are, it is FINE and encouraged to have a passionate opinion about a topic or something.  It is NOT fine to have this opinion be formed on some biased story or some just general assholeness, yes it’s not a word deal with it folks.   And this applies too on social media in general, election season on my personal Facebook drove me up the WALL with this type of thing.  Whatever happened to if you can’t say anything nice don’t say it, or general compassion?   We seem to forget there are actual people behind these screens.  I’m a firm believer of looking at the good in people because if you honestly don’t you’ll go crazy because of all the negative, but dear lord when politics or anything of that nature comes up it goes out the window and makes you wonder what the heck these people are thinking or doing in the world.   These are also among the worst for my pet peeves of being rude, insulting and just generally informed using the most known to be biased sources to back up their views.  Is it really that hard to even go to a .gov website people and pull this information from actual texts that support your claims to be taken seriously? Its a lot less than what I have to do for my papers let me tell you and you’re already on the internet if its that important you have to dive your point home that badly.  I understand not everyone will be able to do this always, but if you’re on the internet where there is essentially limitless information at your fingertips and you’re using proof for your point anyway take the extra time.    Also another fun one, especially in election season, are the experts in everything- sorry people the world is a lot more complicated than its the Republican’s fault, Democrats or President Obama- which I won’t even touch right now cause its a whole other monster.

Okay now back to the regularly scheduled post now that I have it out of my system another thing that has been hindering writing lately- failure.  This my husband pointed out the other night after a mental breakdown on my part over a part of the story and how much is left to do and falling to me (keeping the blog up to date, admining the facebook page, editing, finishing it all up, cover art aka self-publishing problems) is a lot of my issue with the other things being secondary and making a mountain out of a molehill so to speak, I’m afraid of this thing I’ve rewritten so much, worked so hard on falling flat on its ass.  And its completely true, I am afraid and while yes – I’ve heard it just overcome, you got this, we’re behind  you etc. fuck does it get hard to stop that voice again once it echoes as you push on through the story.  And sadly it’s one of those things that won’t just quiet cause you need a break and take it, it comes back time and time again at some point.  So how do you deal when this stuff just stops you dead in your tracks?  I sat long and hard that night thinking it over, and realized how he was absolutely right, as harsh as it seemed at the time, which later I told him was one of the few times I will ever admit he was right on something, I was afraid to fail and still am.  I don’t see Vengeance making a New York Times best seller, and while I still pour everything I have into it, its a self published novel, its chances aren’t good though I try to make them the best I can and make it the best I can, and come whatever result awaits me there will be a second book- the ideas have already started turning.

So after that was resolved I went to put munchkin to bed, grabbing my tablet to read him Vengeance, he sat down next to me with a book of his own as I read through the prologue “reading” it so to speak on his own.  It was then that I got back my purpose, realizing even if it fails I will have shown him that dreams – no matter how crazy they seem to the rest of the world- are possible and HE at least enjoys the story, which is all that matters.  We’ve read some more the past few bedtimes and are well into chapter 3 now, the other night I had to break up the dogs arguing over a bone in the living room and he followed me out after it was done I told him get back in bed so we could continue reading, he rushed ahead of me and hopped back into this bed waiting for the next part.  Nothing also makes you prouder since he’s still mastering the whole talking stages and he starts saying things he heard you read from YOUR book.

So if failure cripples you, take a step back and just evaluate again, yeah chances are I will have to do it again at some point, but even if you don’t have a munchkin to read to, it definitely helps.

*Due to the nature of the first part of this post, moderation will be enforced in the comments, nothing inflammatory and keep it civil.

Until Next Time,

Tiffany

Seriously Internet?

Okay so excuse the soapbox post for a few moments,I promise I’ll be brief and won’t do it often, that’s not me and not that interesting to read soapbox after soapbox after soapbox.  Anyway- I was reading someone’s take on women in the new Star Trek movie over on Tumblr and how women weren’t presented in the best light and weren’t present  very much in the movie.  Okay let’s ignore that fact if they were or weren’t- I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t judge- I’m mainly talking about the comments in response to the post.  They range from a simple I agree with you here’s why from the movie, to almost straight out attacks.  Okay this is to be expected its the internet- but some are just about make your jaw hit the floor with either stupidity or lack of logic.

Let me just bring up a few of my favorite arguments against why this is a deal at all.

1) Feminism vs. it not being that big of a deal- so apparently while this might have been present its not that big of a thing, not even note worthy.  Basically making a mountain out of a mole-hill and they’re just a crazy feminist person.  When does one have to be an extreme feminist to want to see women not just there for looks or whatever and do something with their intelligence and be respected/liked for that.  (While there was a couple scenes in the movie that did this the blogger still thought it was too little and wasn’t like oh no sexuality at all, just have something else there too.)  But immediately this argument comes up and automatically these groupings are thrown in- it kinda makes my head turn.  Okay so it didn’t matter to you- I can respect that to but to outright dismiss (and I realize this is a lot of the world of commentors) a person’s view and put it so casually as “you’re just a feminist” or “you’re a whatever”  is ridiculous.

2) Your profile pic is sexualized so what’s the deal?- So someone can’t want a person to be intelligent and be respected yet still be sexy just not have that be focus or all it seems they’re there for a lot of the time and have a posed picture of them in an attractive position as their profile picture?  Here’s the headdesk moment- seriously?  Does this picture really make the argument that invalid or lose credibility because of it being there?  I think its somewhat true what one of the commentors pointed out- we’ve been taught overall that you have to have either looks or smarts and can’t have it all for some yet unexplained reason.  This loss of credibility seems to kinda prove the point, that you can’t have something that shows as sexy even by a little bit and support opening up women roles in movies, TV and other stuff for their smarts or other qualities.

Those by far are the most original and unique counter-arguments as to why this even matters/ or should to the blogger- well other than the a-typical bashing that happens.  Personally I think its all a narrow minded view the counter-arguments.  Just because someone calls for a bigger representation or a broader one for women might be more accurate but does not automatically make them a feminist or man-hating or whatever.  Sexy doesn’t have to narrow down to all sex no smarts or vice versa.  To be honest  I thought we were past these views with some of the stronger female leads, though there still might need to be a counterbalance to males maybe, and I understand this was  remake so its kinda holding true to the time of the original but there have always been strong females in Star Trek in some way, and like I said from my understanding there were moments just not enough to satisfy the other actions in the movie.  While I can see why for some this fact alone would be like well its just holding true for the time frame- but at the same time for  a franchise that made its make by- forgive the cliche/ stealing of the logo- go to where no man has gone before the movies should feel as progressive.  Making a mountain- out a molehill? I really doubt it in a way- I think the counterarguments make even more of an issue than the original post in a way just because- well you see their counterarguments’ main points.  While I can  understand wanting to phrase things to get a charge out of readers and inspire some debate, these are almost worded hurtful, and that makes me go seriously?  When did we ever get so spiteful, hateful or whatever other adjective fits as well or better that we jump on this attack spree and just fire off things no matter what.

Its almost like we forget there ARE other people on the other side of our screens.    And I saw this even more on my facebook feed during the elections or after- seriously I enjoyed facebook a thousand times more when it was mainly just networking.  As long as people get their opinions out there who gives a care about feelings or the one I ABSOLUTELY love whether it makes sense and has a good support material besides wikipedia or a insanely biased news source (which is why I headesk at those arguments above).  Feel the sarcasm?  I understand and respect not everyone will agree with me or even a part of the world’s population on a given day- just stop with the insta- label, the insta-hate internet – it makes you smarter if you actually have a not just straight out attack for once and are don’t use charged words.  And  while you’re at it actually look up what you’re arguing for or against and I’m not talking Master’s degree level research just enough without the charge and then form your opinion respectfully.

And woops that led into another tangent I didn’t mean to, oh well it was at least related and so true in my humble opinion.  By the way here’s the tumblr post I was talking about http://thisfeliciaday.tumblr.com/post/50858883769/star-trek-movie-spoilerzzzz some of the comments I references might have been moderated since it was getting kinda out of hand it seemed with them, but check it out because it does raise some good points those in the comments who are discussing it.