Category: Emotions


My best friend has been encouraging me to go to college. Full disclosure here, it won’t be ‘going back to college’, since I never went. She went to college and has her bachelor’s degree and is now looking at law school. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. None of which is encouraging me to actually apply for college since I know I won’t do as well. I”m about half as intelligent as she is. However tonight I applied. New York State is offering free tuition.

It isn’t as easy as I hoped it would be.

As I was filling out the application it said I needed to submit my FAFSA ID, which I don’t have and I was routed to the website to apply for FAFSA. So I started the application process, including questions I had no clue so I guessed, I hope I’m right, if not I’ll either owe NYS a billion dollars or go to jail. I can handle jail. I couldn’t handle debt. Anyway, somewhere in this process, in the middle of my soul crushing confusion I tweeted:

Someone replied with a gif of Woody saying “You’ll be fine, Partner”. This is someone that I am pretty sure I have never met in person, just on social media. As I looked at the tweet and thought, “She doesn’t know me”, I then thought of the 80 people who formed a human chain to save 9 people caught in a rip tide and saved their lives. To those 80 people, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but it was a huge deal to the people they saved.

Just like, to the person that responded to my tweet, it might not have seemed like a big deal, just a quick search and post, but it encouraged me. It made me think, that maybe I can do this. Maybe I can start a new chapter in my life. Not life saving maybe, but certainly life changing.
 

“Speak” is a young adult novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, it is not a new book, it was first published in 1999. And this is not a review of the book, that will be on my other blog. In fact, this post has a spoiler in it so if you haven’t read the book and are planning to, you might want to not read this post. This is a chance for me to get on my soapbox about my favorite topic to get on my soapbox about, violence against women.

Melinda Sordino’s freshman year is off to a horrible start. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends — and even strangers — all hate her. Months pass and things aren’t getting better. She’s a pariah. The lowest of the low. Avoided by everyone. But eventually, she’ll reveal what happened at the party. And when she finally speaks the truth, everything will change.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what happened at the party. In fact I knew before I read a review of the book with a spoiler that told me what happened that Melinda had been the victim of some sort of sexual assault, either rape or attempted rape, probably by a popular boy. What I didn’t understand when I was reading the book was why no one knew what happened, they all knew she called the police but not why. I was expecting that she was a pariah because she had claimed she was raped at the party but no one believed her, but no one knew why she called the police. The reason (here’s the spoiler) was because when the police got there, she ran away and didn’t talk to them. Of course then, you might ask, if she didn’t talk to the police then how did everybody know she called the police? I don’t remember that being explained. It’s really the only thing in the book that doesn’t make sense. It did not detract from the impact the book has had on its reading audience.

This book has an interview with the author in the back. I didn’t really read it, just kind of skimmed through it, one question and answer caught my attention:

Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?

I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped.

She admits she was horrified, as she kept getting the question over and over she realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a women. I would go a step further and say a lot of young men don’t truly understand what rape actually entails. “Lots of Men Don’t Think Rape is Rape“. I keep reading on social media that we need to talk to our girls and boys about rape, tell girls how to protect themselves and boy to not rape. Parents need to do more. They need to educate their children, boys and girls, about what exactly rape is and why it is wrong. Boys can’t understand the emotional impact of rape unless someone explains it to them. Realize I am speaking in generalities here, I know there are some very aware young men.

Rape is a crime of violence and woman can feel it. Even when their life wasn’t threatened women report being afraid they would be killed. Some men don’t realize they are a threat to women simply because they are bigger and stronger than the woman. Also the way the ‘definition of rape’ has changed and the fact that many men are starting a ‘mens movement’, just makes me more afraid.

O.K. that’s all I can think of right now. Getting off my soapbox.

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Perfection

Is not attainable in its true sense. But what about relative perfection? Sunday I had to go to Brooklyn, after telling myself over and over again that I needed to leave earlier than I left Saturday, I ended up leaving later. Then when I got to Lexington and 59th I waited for the Q train, and waited and waited. I saw a girl going to the same event I was going to and we started talking about “No Q train” trying to figure out another way to get there and she said, “It always happens on the day you need everything to be perfect.” Perfect for us at that moment was making all our train connections smoothly, at the proper station and without waiting. We made it to Brooklyn, but we were late.

Today was another special event I planned to go to. For this event I didn’t have to go to Brooklyn, but I had to dress up pretty, do my hair and makeup and hopefully not be sick feeling. I woke up with cramps I thought they were stomach cramps from my soup the night before and thought maybe I was developing an allergy to black beans. One of my great-nieces is allergic to black beans. As I was getting ready for work I realized they weren’t stomach cramps and I wasn’t going to be feeling well for the special event in the evening. Then when I came home from work early so I could ready, I was going to iron my dress and make dinner, instead I sat down on the couch and fell asleep. I barely had time to take a bath and get dressed. Fortunately my friends are not critical. But I was not happy.

Perfection, not attainable in any form.

When you’re making other plans is the saying. In my experience it would be ‘death is what happens’ which is a part of life as they say. Just when I decided that I would dig deep and buy an iPad I get a phone call. Now I have to save money for a plane ticket to the west coast. I have six months I was told.

One time I said I would only get on a plane if someone died. I’m making a slight adjustment, died or is dying. I would like to get out there before he dies.

Of course this means my heart is breaking into pieces inside me and the pain is more than I can bear, but I can’t think about that now, when life happens it still goes on.

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Just a quick post to remember the day, it was sudden and I was here, he was there so I didn’t get to say good-bye, something that matters only to me.

Oh you fancy?

It started with the yogurt. When I was on Weight Watchers I started eating non-fat Greek yogurt, the reason being Greek yogurt is high in protein (18g in 6 ounces of plain non-fat Greek yogurt, 9g in 6 ounces of regular non-fat yogurt). This guy, (who’ll I’ll call Guy) walks back and asks what I’m eating, after telling him he says “Oh fancy yogurt.” From then on he called it “Your special fancy yogurt.” which really pissed me off. It was more the way he said it, which to me sounded like, “Oh you think you’re so special (better than everybody else) you have to have special fancy yogurt.” Like my ‘specialness went that far’. NO I think I’m fat and need to lose weight. When I tried explaining it to him, in an effort to get him to stop saying it, Guy insisted that’s not how he meant it. He meant it as a compliment.

Fast forward to this week, Guy and I go get lunch, I got chicken cutlet with mixed vegetables. The deli gave us plastic forks, which I don’t like using, so when we got back to the office I went to my cubicle and got a flatware fork. Immediately he says, “Oh you had to get your fancy fork.” I almost stabbed him with it. It’s not fancy, I’ve had plastic forks break when stuck into food, sometimes they won’t stick into food the tines bend, if I had been by myself (which is how I prefer to have my lunch) I would have told the deli people I didn’t need a fork. If I had brought my plate he would have said “You had to get your special plate” (oh wait, my plate is special, it’s heart shaped and says LOVE on it). You might be thinking why don’t I just say “No” when he asks me to get lunch with him? It’s not just that he pays for lunch, if I say “No, I brought my lunch” then for the next month he goes on about how hurt he was, how if it was him, he would have left his lunch for the next day. Reinforcing the “You think your so special, better than everybody else.” I’m not special, I’m an introvert and need my alone time.

Then there’s the favorites, my FAVORITE deli, and if I find a new place I like, your FAVORITE new place. All with that special inflection on favorite that makes me want to spit. There’s a word for what you’re doing Guy, its called “HARASSMENT”.

I stopped writing about my commute because I was tired of writing the same thing everyday. I figured everyone must be tired of reading it too. Then I changed to the #4 and it just sat there! There were 5 million people on the train and it only holds 2 million etc. Anyway, things have changed in my commute.

The first thing is my route to the subway station has changed. This is the sidewalk I normally walk on to get to the subway. I don’t know what they are doing here but the sidewalk is almost completely blocked off. This picture was taken on my way home, in the morning the workers are there and you can’t walk up nearly this far. So they have made a ‘pedestrian walkway’.
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Which is just cones put out on the road to re-direct traffic, and this is a rather narrow road, it makes more sense to walk on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Which I would do except,
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IMG_1558They are working on the entrance to the subway, so I have to cross the street anyway. So walking down to 96th Street is really the best way to go except, there is a fruit stand at 95th and 3rd where I like to get my breakfast, and being human I am a creature of habit and automatically turn left at 95th street. I also don’t like having to change my routine. After two years of walking the same way to the subway I have to do something different and it annoys me. So I come here to vent and to post pictures, I am really just trying to get back into the habit of writing so if this bores you or YOU are annoyed that with all the bad things happening lately I am going on about having to change my routine, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. Meaning I don’t feel bad about writing this. Because of all the bad that happened last week, I need to get back to my routine and the MTA is not helping! If you are still reading this, thank you for reading and I promise I’ll get better.

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It would be nice, if it was just this easy, but it’s not, because of the reasons for rape and because like it or not we live in a rape culture, just telling people to not rape is not enough.

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