European Dreams

This post will be short.  I’m about to leave Florence, AL to drive to Atlanta, where I will get on a plane with my dad and fly to Europe.  I have dreamed of this trip for so long, and now it’s here.  For two weeks I will be exploring Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark.  I will get to see where I came from.  And maybe I’ll get some insight on where I’m going.  I wish I had time to write more, but I’m already running late!  I’ll try to post while I’m there, but it probably won’t happen.  Sorry that this isn’t that thoughtful, I just found it necessary.

Northern Europe, I’ll see you soon.

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That Was Today?

Today, I have done seven minutes of yoga.  I have watched far too many episodes of Parenthood.  I have washed dishes.  I ordered Chinese food.  I walked my dog.  We cuddled too.  Now we’re sitting on opposite couches.

You know what I didn’t get to do?  Go look at the sun.  Because I don’t have eclipse glasses.  I did get to see the little crescents through a colander.  And all of the photos my boyfriend sent me.

It’s just strange that this is a monumental time in my life.  It’s the only chance I have to see it.  Two seconds was long enough I think though.  Because the idea in my head is more exciting than the actual event.

It was just nice to have a day off I think.  That’s all I think.

You’re Not From Around Here

I don’t like making blanket statements.  So I don’t want to say all white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Or even that older, southern, white men feel like they can say whatever they want.  Because I’m not sure if it’s across the board true.  But whether it is true or it isn’t, it annoys me.

I’m not sure if it’s my personality.  Or the fact that I’m from California.  Or a combination of both.  But I don’t like talking to strangers very much, especially when I have no reason to.  So whenever I’m approached, I’m not very good at reacting.  I’m not even sure what the appropriate reaction is sometimes.  My thoughts immediately go to: “why is this person talking to me?”  And I don’t even really care what they’re saying.

The other day I was picking up from a restaurant for a delivery (I starting working a second job doing food deliveries for a new company because my boyfriend works for them and it’s fun).  I picked up from the same restaurant three times in a row, and the same man was sitting at the bar all three times.  The first time he asked me about delivering, and asked if he could order a grilled chicken salad… from the restaurant he was sitting in…  And I know he was messing with me, but I’m a joke killer, because it’s more fun for me to act as if I’m taking something literally.  I told him I didn’t take orders and that he’d have to go to the website.  Every time I went in to pick up he continued to pester me.  I told him it would be pointless for me to deliver to him because he is already in the restaurant, to which he said that I didn’t have a good sense of humor.  I told him I had a great sense of humor, but that I was from California and I tried to leave it at that.  Then he said he could tell I wasn’t from around here.  I really just didn’t think he was funny.

And I’m sure that there are men just like him where I’m from, but maybe I haven’t encountered enough of them.  Or maybe they know to quit when the receiver obviously doesn’t like their banter.  I wish I could wear a sign around my neck that says, “Don’t talk to me” whenever I’m not in the mood.

This seems to happen more and more though.  They seem to assume that because you exist in their vicinity, that you are fair game.  I’m not fair game.  I don’t understand the point of making jokes about my job or anything else about me just because you don’t know how to start a real conversation.  Especially if you’re not even there alone.  In this latest instance, his wife (I’m assuming) was sitting right next to him.

Just because a female exists, doesn’t mean you have a right to her.  Her thoughts belong to her, her conversation belongs to her, unless she wants to share it.  And that goes both ways.  It’s the same for men, it just doesn’t seem worth mentioning.

I wish I was more terrifying.

Honestly, what am I supposed to do?  Fake a laugh?  Hahahahahaha.  Shut up.

To Be a Woman

I was never taught how to be a woman.  It was never a choice I made.  So it was never something that I put much thought into.  Sometimes the word woman even almost makes me cringe when applied to me.  Maybe because the word woman seemed too mature for me, too momish, too much like a feminine adult.  Not that I have any issue with being feminine, I am feminine.  I just have never been able to box myself in with women who life fashion or makeup, or powerful women, or career women, or women leaders.  I don’t even group myself with women writers.  Because I just am a writer.  I just am a woman.

As a kid I was a tomboy.  It was what my mom wanted me to be.  She never wanted me to feel confined to being one thing.  She never wanted me to feel like I couldn’t do something just because boys did it.  I got to play paintball with my brother and his friends.  I got to play soccer and go hiking and ride my bike wherever I wanted.  I could wear silly tshirts with my favorite cartoon and shorts that I found in the boys section.

But I also got to take ballet when I wanted.  And I got to wear makeup and bikinis and carry a purse.  I could have sleepovers with all of my girlfriends.  I could bake brownies and stay up late watching chick flicks.

And I don’t really think either side of the spectrum makes you more or less a woman.  But it seems to have become popular to point out who is more woman or who is less woman or who is the best feminist.  It’s always been so hard for me to care.

I think I thought I had a lot to say.  But maybe I have nothing to say at all.  I am woman.  Hear me… or don’t.

Unintelligence

I have a good job.  I really like my job.  I just got promoted at my job.  And it’s okay that I’m not doing the type of job that I thought I’d grow up to do.  Welcome to our economy.

The job market is fairly small.  And sometimes it seems that people have forgotten that.  A lot of people go to college, but most people don’t get jobs in their field after they graduate, and that’s not for lack of trying.

A month or so ago, I was having a conversation with someone I work with who also has a degree.  People come through all the time and act like we’re dumb because we work at Starbucks, even though Starbucks will actually give tuition reimbursement to their partners who are trying to get their bachelors if they go to ASU.  Starbucks cares about education, so why would someone assume that only stupid or uneducated people would work a job like that?  No, you don’t need a degree, but I never wanted to get a job in my field anyway.
But I digress.  I was talking with my coworker about working at Starbucks and about how college isn’t for everyone and having your degree doesn’t really make you any better than anyone else, because in this economy, it’s usually pretty hard to get a job in your field unless you’re either top tier or you have a lot of connections where there are openings.  It’s luck and who you know, not necessarily intelligence or capability.
An hour after our conversation a very loud man walked and announced that he had a question.  But he then went on to say that his question required intelligence, and that was pretty hard to find in Starbucks.  Both my coworker and I looked at him with obvious offense on our faces.  He began to laugh and told us to take a joke, then my supervisor came up front and he got to ask her his question.
During their conversation though, he told her she should go back to school, because she dropped out when she realized it wasn’t for her.  He was trying to force his worldview on her.  And she was annoyed.  We were all annoyed.

It’s fine to value education.  I’m currently planning on possibly going back and getting my masters degree next fall.  And that’s not because I think my current job is beneath me.  It’s not because I’m dying to do something else.  Even if I do get my masters and find a job in that field, I might still work a few days at Starbucks, because I enjoy it, and I like the benefits.

A degree does not necessarily mean a career.  And a lack of a degree does not equate stupidity.

It’s okay that I have a degree and am a barista.  Welcome to the real world.

Two Kinds

This was supposed to go up several days ago, but my internet has been out because of the rain.

A week and a half ago I ran a 5k in Birmingham, at the zoo, with my friend, Eli.  He’s not yet a strong runner, so after the first mile and a half, we decided to walk for a little while.  It’s a 5k, it’s not like it mattered for anything either of us was doing.  Anyway, the race was pretty obviously on the road and we were walking on the sidewalk.  After about a minute, a slightly overweight, older woman passed us running, which didn’t matter.  However, as she passed, she chose to yell at us for walking because we weren’t walking single file, even though we were on the sidewalk and there was more than enough room to run on the road, where the race actually was.  People like that make me so mad.  I told Eli that one thing I’ve noticed in the South is that if you’re doing something that someone doesn’t like, they’ll say it as rudely as they can.  In California, you judge everyone, but you’ll say it to your friend, and if you really mean it, you’ll say it loud enough that the person can hear.  Yes, I know that this isn’t a nice thing to do, but I think I prefer it.  I hate confrontation anyway.

Later on in the race we were just reaching a water stop, and we had decided to run after we got a drink.  While we were walking to the table, an older lady passed us and started saying, “Come on, go go go go, don’t let an old lady pass you!”
At first, I was unsure that she was talking to us, but she most definitely was.  It annoyed me, but she was trying to be encouraging.  And after we got our water, we ran.  And we finished the race.

We passed both of these women.  One of them was proud, even though she’d never met us, simply because she was probably a nice woman.  Whereas when we passed the mean lady, I said loudly to Eli, “There’s a mean lady.”  Then as we passed her, I said, “Bye mean lady.”  You know, because I’m a child.  One woman was proud that we finished.  The other one, I was proud to have passed.  She deserved to finish far behind me.  It still irks me.  So stupid.

Anyway, we have the choice to be one of two kinds of people.  We can choose to be annoying and encouraging, because everyone deserves a good life.  Or we can choose to be cranky because not everything is exactly as we wished it was.  Who will I choose  to be today?