Fight for Love

I recently read the nonfiction book “Group How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved my Life” by Christie Tate. I thought this was such a good book I was ready to sign up for group therapy.

There is one part of the book that still makes me think. At one point the author describes to her group how she and her present boyfriend had never fought.

“Dr. Rosen piped up. ‘Pray for a fight.

‘Why?

‘Because you want a truly intimate relationship.’

That means fighting?

‘If you aren’t willing to fight, how can you be intimate?'”

I admit that I’ve said for a long time that couples that don’t fight aren’t real- that there’s no way that two people get along all the time…

But what’s the line between healthy fighting and non healthy fighting?

I definitely know couples who fight but I don’t consider them to have an intimate relationship- quite the opposite. They fight so much they never have a kind word for one another.

So what is healthy fighting?

How do we achieve it?

How do we know the difference between fighting for the good of a relationship and fighting for the bad of a relationship?

Are mere mortals such as ourselves capable of healthy, relationship strengthening, intimacy forward fighting?

How do we learn to fight without damaging one another?

I’ve always tried to go by the following:

  1. No name calling
  2. No bringing up things from the past
  3. Concentrate on the immediate transgression
  4. No blame
  5. Use feelings: when you did X, it made me feel Y

But what if your partner doesn’t fight fair?

I know of couples where one partner still brings up the time their partner forgot to throw out the garbage ten years prior. I know other people who respond to fights with subtle words like “You know where the door is.”

Is it a fair fight if one person is using heavy duty ammunition?

If two people are not on the same page, can you achieve intimacy?

What do you think about this concept- fighting for love?

Do you have rules for fights?

Do you have a threshold of what you will and won’t fight about?

Do you try to avoid fights in relationships?

Let’s duke it out…

Compromise?

“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.”

— Janis Joplin

Here I go- using a quote again…

What is it to compromise yourself?

What do you think Joplin meant by this?

Is it compromise when a struggling musician takes a job not making music because they need to pay the bills?

A PhD in comparative literature begins writing Buzzfeed quizzes because they are more popular than the thoroughly researched papers that they once wrote?

In order to survive, do we sometimes need to do things that we don’t want to do?

How do we get on in life while being true to ourselves, when we live in a world where we must adhere to rules that we may or may not like?

Considering Joplin’s innate genius and tragic end, at what cost does compromise, or lack of, come?

How do we retain our individuality while blending in with everyone else?

I have no answers to these questions: I just have more questions…

Discuss:

Wild and Flowing Mane

As some of you may remember, one of the worst books I read last year was “The Bromance Book Club” by Lyssa Kay Adams.

Spoiler alert: I will be talking about the book and my language may go out of the PG13 realm, so tread cautiously…

TBMC is about a men’s book club. When the main character splits up with his wife he is devastated. His buddies invite him to join their book club which helps the male participants make their situations with their female partners better. They do this by reading romance novels.

Bromance- get it?

That’s about as clever as the book gets…

However, judging by the popularity of this series, there are a lot of people buying into what this book is selling…

And what the book is selling is that women want to be treated like the characters in regency romances…

So my question:

Do women want to be treated like characters in regency romances?

Do we want to be swept up by a guy with long flowing locks riding bareback on a large stallion? (he’s shirtless by the way- if that matters to you)?

Do we want men to treat us like the characters in Harlequin romances?

which leads us to my fist thought when I got the idea for this post:

Am I the only women who doesn’t fantasize about this subject?

I remember telling a guy friend that I read “Chick lit”.

When I told him this he assumed I meant books that were heavy on sex but light on everything else.

In reality- when I say chick lit, I mean books that are heavy on female characters and relationships- whether it be mother/child, friendship, or relationship.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you enjoy reading about sex…

I enjoy reading about it when it is between me and my guy- then it’s intimate and directed towards me and just way more erotic…

My fantasy is not some guy riding bareback…

It’s more likely about me riding bareback…

So my question is:

Do most women really want the whole Fabio fantasy?

Or do people just think that women do?

Savage

A few months ago I was listening to the song “Savage Love” by Jason Derulo. I thought it was a nice song with a fun beat.

Daughter: You can’t listen to that song. There’s a petition on (insert social media outlet here) to ban it.

Me: Why?

Daughter: Because it steals the theme from a Polynesian song

Me: And?

Daughter: First of all the song mimics another. Secondly, Derulo isn’t of that culture so he is using something without the full understanding of what it means

Me: Isn’t music basically just the same seven notes, just arranged slightly differently. After awhile, doesn’t all music, consciously or unconsciously mirror itself?

Should we ban music because it may or may not mirror something else?

Last week I wanted to watch “The Prom” on Netflix. “The Prom” is loosely based on a true story about a person who wanted to bring their same sex date to prom, and all that ensued afterwards. My daughter said we shouldn’t be watching it because we should be banning James Corden because he’s straight and plays his gay character very stereotypically gay.

Last year there was much brouhaha about the novel “American Dirt” because the author was not Latinx. It was said that she shouldn’t be writing about an experience that she knows nothing about, even though she researched the book for years.

Is music bad because it riffs off something else?

Is it time for Meryl to give her Oscars for “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Iron Lady” because she is neither British nor Polish?

Now that Gatsby is public domain, do we not allow any adaptations of it?

I listened to Savage Love, watched The Prom and read American Dirt.

Am I a bad person?

By doing these things, am I hurting someone or something?

Is my behavior egregious?

While worrying about the government becoming Big Brother….have people, regular everyday people, become big brother?

The other day I posted about how a friend of a friend got suspended from Facebook with no cause or reason. A few people responded that the most likely cause of getting suspended from a social media outlet is by someone reporting you.

Regular person A reports another regular person Z. Person Z is not given a trial. They are not given a reason.

They are just considered guilty.

No charge given.

Just a verdict rendered.

Am I the only one who thinks there is a problem with this?

Aren’t we supposed to be ending profiling?

Is by doing more profiling the way to end profiling?

Or are we just allowed to report anyone who doesn’t agree with us?

If someone doesn’t like this post, instead of ignoring it and moving on, should they report me because they think I an inciting something?

Because I am speaking out of place?

Because I don’t know anything?

Because they don’t agree with me?

Back in November when I wrote the idea for this post, in my mind it was about music: how all songs borrow from one another in some way. But as I began to write this morning, I realized how much this specific example reflects a wider problem- how when you give someone a little power, how it can be used for good, and for not so good.

We have all, individually, somehow become judge, jury and executioner…

If we don’t stop judging others, things will never get better

Highlights of my week- 1/17

Do you believe in censorship?

PercentVote Count

No

70.00%

Yes

30.00%

Who has the right to censor someone?

PercentVote Count

No one has the right to censor anyone because I believe in the First Amendment

72.73%

There should be a group formed who determines what speech is and isn’t acceptable

27.27%

The government

0.00%

The media

0.00%

I freely admit that there were wording issues with the above question, as private institutions do not need to allow you First Amendment Rights….just think about that for a moment…

This weeks questions, which can be found if you go directly to my site, deal with issues. Three things were discussed in the past few weeks on social media, the halls of Congress and my blog. I ask you how important are they:

Gratitude Saturday

Sometimes things just drop into you lap…

Yesterday I wrote about the ability that the large monopolies have to censor any of us at any time…

I have a Facebook friend from elementary school. Really nice person then and now. She posts about her dogs, her horses and her 100+ year old Father. Nothing ever negative or political.

She just posted this morning that her friend who only posts positive messages and quotes scripture was suspended from Facebook for 20 days… never posts anything political or negative or demeaning…

I’m grateful that my posts have not been censored…YET….

Not such a great thing to be grateful for…

Google It

Would you be surprised to learn that I bought something off Amazon lately?

Would you be surprised to hear that my doorman receives over 100 packages every day, that he takes in deliveries about ten times a day?

A few years ago, my doorman would get one UPS delivery at about 4pm…with about ten packages…

Now- he starts getting packages at 8am…and he gets packages about every hour until 9pm…sometimes later…

I’m not the only one buying things on Amazon…

You can buy the game Monopoly on Amazon….or you get experience an actual monopoly by using it…and using it…and using it…

See the pictures that are somewhere here in the blog? That’s a postcard I received this week…

They’re offering me a 15$ Amazon gift card. All I have to do is rate a product Five Stars…

I am being asked to possibly lie about a product and receive compensation…

We all know that this happens.

We all know that the majority of reviews are lies…

And sometimes the lie is a Five Star lie- and sometimes it’s a one star lie…

But however you look at it, there are products that don’t deserve the rating that they have received on Amazon, and Amazon knows it.

That’s the thing about a monopoly: a monopoly knows that there are falsehoods being perpetuated, yet they can choose not to care…

Because everyone is going to listen to them anyway

Amazon is able to tell us anything it wants to.

It is also able to hide from us anything it wants to…

That’s pretty scary for a company that delivers movies and documentaries and other forms of visual media…

And publishes books…

Did you know that Amazon owns Goodreads…

IMDb

Whole Foods

Diapers.com

Wag.com

Shopbop

Zappos

Audible

Ring

Look at that PARTIAL list and think about how much of your life is controlled by Amazon…

And now think about what Amazon chooses to censor and what Amazon chooses not to censor…

Think about what Google chooses to censor and not censor…

Apple…

Facebook…

Microsoft…

Think about what these companies- clearly the monopolies choose what to highlight in the world, and choose what they want to cover up…

Every day we allow these companies to censor our everyday lives…

We allow them to tell us what to buy, what to watch, what to listen to…

They know what our habits are…

They know what we buy…

They know what drugs we use, how much alcohol we consume, which cookie is our favorite…

They are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient…

You know, there are research studies that say if you have the omni trifecta you can be considered a God…

Have we decided that we do need religion after all and have chosen these companies to be the all seeing, all knowing, ever present deity that we so crave?

Google may have bought Fitbit yesterday -…

Every step you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you…

Is that just a line from a song, a song that can be streamed via any of the companies that I listed above…

Or is that just a precursor to what our lives will be like…

Private companies can choose to say, or not say, anything they want…

They have the right to not allow something they don’t think is right,

Private companies have the ability to censor anything they want…

My question to you is-

Should companies as large as these, companies that have insinuated themselves into every facet of our lives really be considered Private Institutions?

Once private companies begin to have more control than the Government…shouldn’t we be just a little bit worried?

Because that is what is happening now…

We’ve given these companies literally everything they need to take over our lives…the virtual keys to the kingdom…

We have bent over…

Now what happens?

But You Weren’t Supposed to do That…

My college alumnae association recently started an online book club.

My friend M and I were probably the first ones to sign up.

We attended a small, women’s, Catholic liberal arts college, located in a suburb of a major city.

From what you just read about my college, can you make any assumptions about me?

Can you determine what my likes and dislikes are?

Does my choice in college say anything about me as a person?

At our first book club meeting a few months ago, we read a book called “Parakeet”. This book would definitely be considered literary fiction, as it was very stylized. It didn’t straight out tell a story, but used various tropes and devices to get it’s point across.

While I didn’t suggest it as a book club choice, when I got the list of choices I realized that it was on my TBR, so I put my vote in for it.

Personally I didn’t like the book: it was too “literary” for my taste. But I did think it was well written, and understood what the author was going for.

But when we had the discussion, I did find one thing very interesting- one woman stated:

“I’m really surprised that someone from our college would choose this book.”

When the woman, who is quite well read and makes very astute comments said this, I sat back and thought.

This statement was clearly the most interesting thing said at book club.

Just because I went to a certain type of school, am I expected to read a certain type of literature?

Does what we do or where we go determine who we are?

I don’t need to tell you that I didn’t graduate yesterday…

Wouldn’t you hope that I’d grown and changed over the years?

Expanded my horizons?

Opened up doors that might have previously thought locked?

Do we change as we mature?

Or are we the same people we’ve always been?

For fun, think about my choice of college: small, liberal arts, Catholic, all women, suburban.

Name one characteristic that you think I am based on my college, and then think if I am really like that.

What book do you think I would like based on my college choice?

What book do you think I would read based upon what you know about me?

Then think about your own occupational or educational choices: do they line up with your reading choices?

Does where you’re from really dictate who you are?

Cheesy One Pot Pasta

Quick recap for those who are new to my blog:

  1. I like to cook
  2. I like to try new recipes
  3. I read old school, paper, get delivered in the mail magazines
  4. I rip out recipes from said magazines
  5. I think too much
  6. I love a list

A few months ago I found a recipe: it was entitled Cheesy One Pot Pasta. For those of you that do know me, you still might not know these things:

  1. I love a meal where I only dirty one pot
  2. My husband doesn’t eat any cheese except for mozzarella on pizza and sandwiches
  3. My daughter and I love cheese so make it whenever my husband isn’t home for dinner
  4. I like a recipe where I don’t particularly need to think

So my husband was going out for dinner and I decided to make this pasta. I scanned the recipe…

I needed:

  1. rimmed baking sheet
  2. skillet
  3. large pot

Ok- I admit that one can say that the writers of the magazine weren’t wrong. You only needed one pot

However,

In the spirit of all things easy and simple…

Why would you label a recipe “One Pot” and then need three different cooking vessels with which to cook?

Now, all this got me thinking…

  1. How often do we say one thing, but mean another?
  2. How often do we say things that are misleading?
  3. How often do we not communicate to our partners exactly what we expect to happen?
  4. How often do we not think about the details involved in something?
  5. How often do we not read something or do research before we embark on something?

Yes.

I got all this out of a pasta recipe…

(Of course, now I can’t help but wonder if real people in real life actually do take a walk in the park and quote Nietzsche- I mean if I can get all philosophical while reading a recipe featured in Real Simple, maybe those beach read writers know something I don’t…)

So….

Are things as simple as they seem?

Do we delude ourselves with the best of intentions?

To close, if I were to speak to this recipe I would simply say:

“I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset that from now on I can’t Beleive you.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche

Choices

You know how I love to use quotes in my writing…

The reason we’re terrified of making choices, even little ones, is that we’re convinced we’ll make a wrong one. Again.

Simple Abundance Sarah Ban Breathnach

How good are you at choosing something?

I’ve told you the story of my husband and the kitchen tile- and how he will never ever pick out something for the house again because he is too afraid of making a mistake again…

But do you freeze up at the thought of having to make a choice?

Decision paralysis?

Research something for six months and still hem and haw?

Try six outfits on before you get dressed?

Change your mind on your meal as the waitestaff leaves your table?

Have fifty drafts in your wordpress draft folder?

Why are we so afraid of making mistakes?

I admit, I am a pretty good decision maker. I may research, or overthink it a bit, but I rarely actually hem and haw over something.

I just choose.

Of course, I have already sort of presorted things in my mind. My clothes are all the same color, and basically the same style. By this point in my life, I have my uniform. I know what I think is appropriate for different occasions- ie- I wear the same black dress, I just switch up the footware, the jewelry and the jacket layer up depending on the occasion and how much walking I’ll be doing.

If I’m at a restaurant I don’t worry about ordering something I’ve never had before: what’s the worst thing that happens? I don’t like it. My life doesn’t end because I tried chicken a la king and didn’t enjoy it…

My daughter will sometimes ask me if she should apply for something- she did it last week for a virtual alternative break program with her University.

I asked her these questions:

  1. Pros and cons
  2. Application fee too high?
  3. Was she locked in if she was chosen
  4. Downsides to applying

After these four questions, she knew her answer and she applied to the program. The worst thing that could happen is that she would waste a reference on something she wasn’t interested in.

Choosing something shouldn’t be rocket science: think about what you are choosing between. Ask yourself those type of questions.

Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen if you say “Yes”

What’s the worst thing that can happen if you say “No”?

Are you letting fear of the unknown get the better of you?

Are you scared of change?

Are you scared of living your best life?

Are you scared that you will make a mistake?

Are you scared you will fail?

We all need to remember that inertia is a choice too. It might be a passive choice, but it is a choice just the same.

Ok- I know I sound like some sort of two bit motivational speaker that appears on the odd channels on the TV at 3am…I’m guessing this is where I ask you to purchase the boxset videos of my motivational speeches…49.99 plus shipping and handling…and if you act now I will throw in a set of ginzu knives…

We have spent the past year scared…

We have spent the last year on hold…

If you want a vaccine, call up and ask for one. I know in New York State, they threw out some vaccines because there was some confusion about who exactly was eligible, so my guess is no other state is going to let that happen, so I’d say, if you want a vaccine, be proactive and ask…

There is no harm in asking for a vaccine. The worst they can say is “No. Not yet.”

But think about making choices that will enrich your life, not detract from it.

Just cause we are breathing doesn’t mean we are living…

Disclaimer: I am not advocating for or against the vaccine. I am merely stating that if you’ve been living in fear, now is the time to start taking control back.

Oddly, when I got the idea for this post a few months ago, I had no idea where I would go with it. 700 words and I’m still not quite sure what my point is…

I guess:

Stop stressing about little things.

Stop stressing about things that you can’t control.

Start living the life that you want to live.

Stop letting “things” hold you back.

We get one go round in life. Let’s make it a good one…

Stop worrying about which way you should go;

Just go…

Live…