She's Not That Positive

I’m positive about a lot of things, in a pessimistic kind of way.

Hey Sluts! October 19, 2013

As you know faithful readers I go to school with mostly 20-somethings, and for the last few months have overheard various conversations that annoy, scare or confuse me. Most of this is a result of the way people (kids) use language now. This post is about a particular word.

Now I have been known to use this word in various contexts, and I have at times had this word used to describe me. So I am not going to pretend I’m above this kind of talk but stick with me, I think I have a point (I hope).

It started last semester when I was with one of these twenty-something girls, and I saw a poster for the “Slut Walk” at my school. Not knowing what it was about I was understandably taken aback by the title; this girl and I started talking about the event. She explained that it was to demonstrate against using a woman’s appearance or actions as way to defend her rape; this got us on to a discussion about “slut shaming” as well.

I obviously believe very strongly that a woman should both feel and be safe dressing and acting in a way that makes her feel empowered. She should not be degraded for how she chooses to dress, or her actions. As women we should be having events like “Slut Walk” and fighting against “slut shaming” we should be yelling and screaming for our rights and our safety. ABSOLUTELY!

But words have power, let’s not forget that.

So here is my argument, instead of adopting this misogynistic hurtful term to shock and promote our causes, why not stop using the term altogether. My young friend argued, “Well if we use it for our causes it takes the power away from that word and makes it mean what we want it to mean”; what do we want the term “slut” to mean exactly? Someone who is in control, who has the power and the right and the freedom to do what they want with their bodies however and whenever they want? Why can’t we just call these people women? Or better yet just people?

So readers what do you think, is appropriating this kind of language helpful or hurtful?

*For the purpose of this post I am ignoring the upsetting fact that young women seem to feel (like I did at that age) that asserting your dominance and your independence needs to be associated with asserting yourself sexually.

 

Life on the Corner – 2 July 3, 2013

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 4:09 pm
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Monday June 10

This morning I left the house and an older man (60’s or 70’s) stopped in front of me and leered down my top mumbled something and almost reached out to touch my boob before catching my eye and moving on (it’s a wonder it didn’t hit a lamp-post he was staring so hard). Yes, I guess I get people staring or commenting on my chest often, but I honestly can’t remember feeling as violated as I did today, there was something super sleazy in that little old man’s eyes that I haven’t been able to get over all day. Like “Him” says, if you are going to stare at boobs do it with your periphery that way you don’t get caught. Gross.

Tuesday June 11

Using his legs to scoot himself forward he wheeled his chair up to me with that crazed look that most of the long-time drug users down here seem to share. He looked up at me and I thought “I don’t have change, and I don’t have time for this.” He met my gaze and said “can you spare a smile?” I couldn’t help but smile, not just at his request but my reaction to him. He smiled wide and gave a little laugh, I couldn’t help but do the same, and at that he pumped his fist in the air triumphantly and shouted “it’s gonna be a great day!” I laughed harder and called after him to have a good day, “I will now sweetie” he replied. It still makes me smile.

 

Encounters – Life on the Corner – Take 1 June 8, 2013

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 2:42 pm
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Every day I walk the streets of my neighbourhood I am struck by, not only the sadness and despair of the lives that live here, but the kindness, laughter and neighbourliness that I haven’t encountered in any other neighbourhood in Vancouver. I’ve decided to diary the ones that stick out the most.

Friday June 7, 2013

Red T-shirt, man in late 50’s (although it’s hard to tell with the hard livin’ my neighbours do) on Hastings Street. Screams at older man, “Come at me man, do it! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Screams after me “Come at me, come on! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Screams at the bus “Come at me, do it! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Sigh, he’s right you know, in a hundred years I’ll be dead what does it matter?

Saturday June 8, 2013

She walked down the street towards me, little chubby in a too tight turquoise top and too short acid washed ruffled skirt. A baby face with a cigarette dangling from her lips, sadness surrounded her. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, “hello” she said smiling broadly. I smiled back as she walked past, “hi”. “How are you?” wobbling slightly as she passed me. “Good, you?” “Great!” she said. “Have a good day” I called after without turning around. “You too!” she yelled crossing the street. Made my morning.

 

 

OH-EM-GEE: I Quit! September 18, 2012

Today I quit my job. YAY!

Well actually a week ago I gave notice for the end of December, but today they announced it publicly!!

So aside from the reasons listed on my Twitter feed, why am I leaving? Where am I going?

I will be going back to school full-time to pursue a new career in a completely different field, and I am FREAKING OUT!! This is the first time I have quit a job with no plan for income, not even long-term (long- long-term yes, but that’s about 4-5 years away).

I have been a marketing professional for 13 years, in many different fields for many different companies, and now (well as of the end of December) I am a full-time student. Man, even when I was a full-time student originally I worked full-time too. (But then I was in my late teens/early twenties, who has the energy for that anymore?)

*phew*

It was a difficult decision as a result of a wonderfully supportive partner. I could probably have done this on my own, but I know I wouldn’t have.

My studies and my new career path will be focusing on helping people, not people who need a new downtown condo, insurance, want to sell a TV show or market a product; but people who really need help, people who are having trouble adjusting to a new life or escaping the traumas of an old one.

I’m oddly proud of myself and my decision, totally freaked out about the future, incredibly excited and nervous about how I am going to live on less than a third of my current yearly salary.

But I’m pretty sure I can make it happen.

(Anyone have any good “Mr. Noodles” recipes?)

 

I should be committed April 1, 2012

Yes I’ve been busy, and while my life seems crazy and at times I feel a little certifiable for taking so much on, it’s not what I mean by being “committed”. Well, it’s not that not far off, but no, this post is about something even crazier, I’m dating someone. Like the double entendre? (Like the big college girl term?)

Yes you read that correctly, someONE. I am in a RELATIONSHIP. While you might assume because of my efforts to start dating earlier on in the blog, I was looking for this, the truth is the thought of being in a relationship freaks me out. It’s not that hanging out with someone and having fun and doing “coupley” stuff freaks me out, and it certainly has nothing to do with *Him (yes, that’s his “not that positive” name), he is awesome, patient, kind, fun, laid back, and really easy to be with. It’s the commitment that scares me. It’s even the word commitment that scares me.

The scariest part for me is telling people. Why? I don’t know. Everyone of course is happy for me, why wouldn’t they be? But it makes it real and when it’s real there is a real possibility I could get really hurt. The worst part about people knowing you’re in a relationship is telling them that you aren’t anymore.

Want proof of how much of a freak I am? Here’s how I told my mum:  “Mum I need to tell you something, but I’m not ready to tell anyone else, and I don’t want you to make too big of a deal about this.” Mum sits down looking completely freaked out. “OK, of course, what is it?” Deep breath… “Well… Him and I are dating, we have been for a while.” Mum taking a big gulp of her drink and breathing big sigh of relief “Oh is that it? Thank God I thought you had cancer or something, what is wrong with you?!… Do you think it’s my fault you are so obviously afraid of commitment?” (My mother is constantly worried that she is the cause all the problems in my life. And no Mum you aren’t.)

So why is it so scary? I don’t think it is because my parents got divorced, if anything it could be that every single person in my extended family has been divorced at least once. Or the fact that my relationships seem to go amazingly until one day I see pictures of the guy who asked me if I would marry him, kissing another girl on Facebook.

It took me a long time to get over that relationship and a long time to admit to myself that I was in this one. So yes the dating experiment is officially over, and without getting super girly about it he’s awesome and I am so glad that I am letting myself trust someone again.

So there you have it, I am in a committed relationship, and because of Him, everyday it gets a little less scary.

*she

P.S. Don’t worry though I won’t be changing this into a relationship blog. I’ll leave that to the very funny and amazing He & She of I Do Already. (Although I will admit to not so secretly wanting to emulate their relationship)

 

OH-MY-HAIR September 4, 2011

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 12:27 pm
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Women put a lot of emotion into a new hairstyle. OK I may be generalizing, but I put a lot in my new hairstyles. I expect them to make me “feel” different, either to aesthetically reflect who I am and how I’m feeling or to somehow magically make me feel different. I admit this is a lot of pressure to put on hair and my hairstylist, but, as a Ginger, I’ve been defined by my hair since I was a kid.  It seems only natural to me now that it should reflect who I am.

Most women will get drastically different hairstyles at major milestones in their lives, break-ups, new jobs, just married, pregnancy. (Again I’m generalizing, but I don’t think I’m far off.) I just don’t know if they do it for the same reason I do. Sometimes I just need to FEEL different.

I had long straight strawberry-blonde hair until I hit 22 when I announced to my boyfriend that I was going to the hairdresser. His response, “don’t cut your hair or dye it, I forbid it.” I was shocked. It was the first time anyone aside from my parents had forbidden me to do anything. (Ask my mum how that turned out.) I came back from the salon with a short “Rachel-from-friends” style and much blonder hair. I felt rebellious and smug, he hated it but I didn’t care. (Incidentally over the next three-plus-years he tried to forbid a number of things I had no intention of doing until he “suggested” I not do them; you can’t take the Ginger out of the girl folks.)

When we broke up I went back to long-straight-strawberry-blonde, (spite is a magical thing). At 31 and in love, my boyfriend told me I would look amazing with a short-Bob. I laughed it off, but I was in love with an amazing guy and quitting my job to start freelancing, I was empowered and I needed new hair to define it. So one night when he met me at a wedding reception he was surprised to find a slighting-drunk-high-on-life-Bob-sporting me. I looked fantastic and more importantly I FELT fantastic! My hair grew back long and straight as soon as that relationship went to shit and I had to find a new job because a freelance client “couldn’t” pay me.

Recently my hairdresser convinced me to go dark red and get bangs. I looked different, but I didn’t feel different. Every time I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself. For the first time, my hair changed but I didn’t. For the first time it was just hair. Maybe it was just the wrong style? Maybe I need something more drastic than bangs to make me feel different? So now, my hair not quite back to strawberry-blonde, has gone back to the short Bob.

As sassy as my new hair looks, I don’t feel sassy, I don’t feel different at all. I’m not sure why I expected to, or even why I wanted to. Is it possible that it’s just a haircut after all, and all of the change before was happening inside? Is it possible that a simple haircut can’t change your life?

Well whatever the reason at least my hair looks and feels fantastic. I guess the rest is up to me.

 

On My Own Again August 16, 2011

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 6:38 pm
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That’s it. After nearly eight years of living together Roomie and I have separated. Her and her boyfriend have taken over ‘our’ place and I have moved on.

It’s actually been about a month and a half since the split but finally the dust has settled and I feel like I’m able to talk about it now. OK that is WAY over dramatizing, but I feel like since it has been so long since we’ve talked I should give you something salacious. (Oooh good word!)

Eight years of living with Roomie, has taught me a lot about myself (and even more about her); and all told I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything. Our situation was supposed to be temporary, to help me get back on my feet financially, it was when we moved together three and a half years ago that we joked this might be permanent. (Secretly I think our parents are still holding out hope we’ll end up together.)

Eight years. That is nearly a decade. It’s longer than most marriages; according to divorcepeers.com it is almost a year longer than the median. (Yup, I looked it up, it’s called research folks). Our first weekend “apart” we spent together setting up my new place. Old habits die hard.

Eight years is a long time to think about someone and how your daily life affects theirs. Who showers first? How quiet was I when I snuck in last night? Do I call when I am not coming home so she doesn’t worry? Is that my cheese or her cheese?

Eight years of sharing bad days, good days, picking each other up after broken relationships, celebrating successes, supporting each other through everything from what shoes to wear (mostly me) to career advice. You know those really intense phone conversations you have with your best friend where you talk about EVERYTHING, and laugh about nothing, and end up just watching TV together on the phone, commenting on whatever is happening on-screen? I had eight years of that.

Frankly I miss it.

I love my new apartment and having all my stuff out, and decorating, and showering whenever I want, and having people over, and listening to MY music, and everything else that comes with the independence of living alone.

But when I stopped the other day. I missed it. I missed coming home to someone. Someone who will talk about my bad day with me, someone who cares that I AM home; someone to cook dinner for, and to take the remote from me because frankly I am “a terrible driver” and I like to watch commercials. I miss someone encouraging me to do something different, to confirm I look decent enough to leave the house.  Someone who gives me tough love, and when I need it, just love.

More specifically, I miss tripping over Roomie’s sparkly shoes, and hearing her laugh when I try to say something in Japanese. I miss the cat. I miss making snarky remarks at the TV shows and laughing with her. I miss spending everyday with my best friend.

I am by nature fiercely independent. Always have been, ask my mum. I love living alone and am super excited about this next chapter. I’ve enjoyed the last month immensely. But I just needed to acknowledge how grateful I am to Roomie for the last eight years.

As for Roomie and I? We’ll be fine; you don’t go through that much with someone and stop talking. She’s my best friend, my partner in crime, the person I still message and call when I need to run something by someone. I hear her voice in my head still, when I reach for something black at the clothing store (don’t worry, I put it down!), or when something happens just like she said it would. We still have keys to each other’s apartments. The only changes are that when I come home I don’t trip over her shoes and it takes four minutes instead of four seconds to walk over and see her for a laugh… and from now on you’ll all know her as M*.

As she says “we both know too many secrets about each other not to be best friends.”

x