Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Message to Naive Provocative Dressers

Since "slut-shaming" is a no-no these days, here is a gender-neutral message to everyone, male or female, who exposes their underwear in public on purpose:

Dear Clueless Individual,

I bet someone told you that whale-tail or sagging look you sport is cool. Perhaps your friends, celebrities and other people you admire dress like that. However, perhaps you didn't know that dressing to expose the undergarments, back in the day when most people had a sense of modesty, used to signal those around you that you were available for sex. It told unscrupulous people that you were available and scrupulous people that you were unclean, undisciplined and otherwise untrustworthy.

Now, I'm sure at this point you're thinking to yourself, "But I'm not asking for sex; I just dress like this because it's what I want to do and it's my body, damnit." That's fine. You can walk around town looking like something out of Rocky Horror Picture Show for all I care. However, your motivation for dressing the way you do does not mitigate the reality that unscrupulous people will still see you as an easy target and scrupulous people will lose respect for you. If that's a risk you want to take, be my guest.

By now you've probably got steam coming out of your ears and are about to accuse me of victim-blaming. None of this is to say that anyone of whom sexual advantage is taken can be blamed, at least not any more than someone who leaves food out while camping can be blamed for a bear attack, someone who leaves his garage door open can be blamed for a robbery or someone who walks down a dark alley with cash falling out of his pockets can be blamed for a mugging. However, all of these unfortunate circumstances can be prevented at least in part by doing the responsible adult thing and covering your own ass, literally and figuratively. If you should find yourself in a pickle because you made the mistake of trusting the world a little too much and making yourself an easy target for a predator, I'm not going to have much sympathy for you.

A concerned citizen -- not your mother, not a misogynist and not a square.

Monday, December 2, 2013

When in Doubt, Flank It With Pumpkins: (Belated) Fall Decor Part 2

Better late than never, right? I wanted to put all these pictures up before Halloween, but family vacations, work and ADD happened, as is their wont. So, without further ado, enjoy a tour of my fall/Halloween decor: 

The front door on Halloween. I got the door hanger from Hobby Lobby.

I kept the mantel pretty simple. The only additions to the existing set-up were a couple foam glitter gourds from Walmart with some moss.

A cute little stuffed turkey from Hobby Lobby graces the fireplace seat.

A ceramic pumpkin from Hobby Lobby on the right side table.

A Hobby Lobby ceramic pumpkin and a Walmart foam pumpkin on the left side table.

This year's Jack-o-lantern.

All I did with the coffee table was add a cool copper pumpkin and a Waxberry oil candle.

The entry "shrine" with moss and a couple Hobby Lobby pumpkins. That pedestal makes anything look classy; I need more of them.

I draped a stained glass Hobby Lobby leaf garland over the mirror, because I can't leave well enough alone.

The kitchen, having no counter space, was pretty simple. Just a ceramic owl jar and leaf placemat from Hobby Lobby on the range (plus a beaded spider hanging in the doorway and a purple glitter pumpkin on another counter, of which I failed to get a picture).

We have a cool little look-through between our kitchen and our living room, so I stuck another pumpkin on a platter and flanked it with moss and candles.

As you can see, the overarching theme for the season was, "When in doubt, flank it with pumpkins." Buying said pumpkins turned out to be a bit of an apartment-dwelling rookie mistake on my part, as they take up a hell of a lot of storage space en masse.

Where has all the closet space gone? Pumpkins ate it, every one. When will I ever learn? When will I ever learn?

Fortunately for me and my bank account, fall decor is pretty hard to come by when you're not into orange and black. I'm lucky if I can find one or two green and purple things that aren't campy. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy items that are either hollow or flat.

As you may have guessed from the picture above, I tore everything down today and have begun the process of decorating for Christmas. Hopefully that will be done within the week.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hey Women, Men Are People Too.

This is a rant. I'm not citing sources; you can look them up and correct me if you like.

Lately the internet has run amok with ubiquitous "Real Men" posts. Real men do this, real men don't do that, such and such is what it takes to be a real man, and only by meeting the criteria for a real man will you be considered for employment as a mate. These are almost unanimously met with "Amen, Sistah"s and other affirmations all around. However, not once to my knowledge has there been anything similar regarding Real Women. Imagine if the tables were turned and some bitter man penned a treatise on what constitutes a real woman. He'd be chased out with virtual torches and pitchforks and labeled a chauvinist pig.

Whether intentionally or not, modern culture has become such that men are held to a certain standard of conduct and women largely are not. Any few standards to which women are or used to be held, e.g. chastity, kindness, beauty and/or childrearing prowess, are contested and ultimately abandoned, because oppression. In today's culture, a man's chief duty is to everyone else, while a woman's foremost duty is to herself. A woman is entitled to a good man, while a man must fight, jump through hoops, beg for and otherwise "earn" a good woman.

Think I'm wrong? Consider this. One of my Facebook friends recently boasted about how her toddler daughter pushed a little boy over a toy. "Girl power," she called it. Had it been her son who pushed a little girl, it would be neither cute nor commendable. It's not just her, though. Society in general is sending the message that women behave less than admirably for good reasons and men for selfish or evil reasons. If a woman bullies a man, she's fighting off her male oppressors. Good for her. If a man bullies a woman, lock him up. If a woman abandons her family, she probably wasn't happy at home. If a man abandons his family, he's a deadbeat. If a girl breaks a guy's heart, she deserved better anyway. If a guy breaks a girl's heart, he let a good thing go. If a girl want's out of the friend zone, she's following her heart. If a guy wants out of the friend zone, he's got ulterior motives. If a woman goes apeshit, she's just in a bad place that she probably didn't put herself in. If a man goes apeshit, he's just apeshit. I could go on for days.

In spite of the popular idea that women want to be equals, they also still want to be princesses. That is to say, they want the best that chivalry and equality have to offer with none of the responsibility to anyone but themselves. Every woman hopes and expects to be treated like a princess by her man, but none of them want to treat their man like a king. In a world where women can own property, support themselves and otherwise live independently, they still quantify their relationships according to what the man can offer. Does he take you on nice dates? Did he buy you a big rock? Does he patiently wait out all your emotional tirades? Does he think you're beautiful all the time? Is he emotionally available? Is he a good father? Does he have a good job? And, most importantly, DOES HE EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN?

These are the qualities of a "real man": someone who selflessly provides and gives of himself while thinking only the best of his lady. What, then, can his lady be expected to contribute in return? What constitutes a real woman in this modern world? Sex? Only if she feels like it. Household duties? Only if she enjoys it and doesn't have something better to do, and even then you're expected to help. Child-rearing? Again, only if she wants kids and doesn't want to outsource their parenting to daycare, and even then you're expected to help. Emotional support? Only if you're not a pussy. Helping out financially? Maybe, but she'll resent you for being a poor provider. Commitment? Only if you meet her every demand and you do nothing divorce-worthy like aging, losing your job or treating her less like a princess. Respect for your personal needs, desires and ambitions? Not likely.

Is it any wonder why non-religious guys don't want to get married anymore? Dear Christ.

Women, it's time to decide if you want to be a princess or an equal. Those of you who keep trying to be both are scaring off the men for those of us who have picked and are willing to treat their men with the respect they are due. /endrant 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall Decor: Bedroom and Bathroom

I'm not one of those people who look forward to fall and winter with bated breath. While I love watching the leaves change and the snow fall from behind glass, the prospect of feeling chronically chilled for six to nine months doesn't hold much appeal. That being the case, as soon as the leaves start to turn and I trade my knit pajamas for flannel, I decorate. Nothing eases the transition from balmy evenings to frigid, blustery nights that kill my plants and chill my soul like a trip to Hobby Lobby when the seasonal decor is 40% off. Although I'm trying to use what I have and curtail my spending on knick-knacks that only see daylight three months out of the year, I couldn't resist a few additions.

A sprinkling of fall on the dresser in the bedroom. I'm a sucker for purple, and these leaf placemats came in a set of two -- the other's in the kitchen. The pumpkin is also new, and the birdies I've had.

In the interest of not overcrowding the bathroom counter, I just added a yellow glitter pumpkin and a sunflower oil candle from Waxberry to the existing decor. Got to have the symmetry.
This corner used to be pretty naked, but I had to bring my ferns from the balcony n for the winter. Add another glitter pumpkin  and voila.
Another sunflower oil candle flanked by ceramic birdies.

I didn't see the sense in adding much more decor to the bedroom since we spend most of our time in there asleep, but the bathroom sees more use. Plus, it's a lot easier to find yellow and green fall accessories than purple and blue (a fact which has probably saved me hundreds of dollars over the years in mitigated temptation alone). While I broke one of my cardinal rules by purchasing seasonal items that are bulky to store, we couldn't resist the oil candles, and I'm a lost cause at Hobby Lobby.

Next installment: balcony, kitchen and living room decor. I'm waiting on the addition of a few more trinkets before I'll call it presentable. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blogging, Take 2

...And, action!

If you know me, you're perhaps aware that I endeavored to blog a few years back, a pursuit which resulted in a couple of whiny, highfalutin posts that existed almost exclusively to use highbrow vocabulary for highbrow vocabulary's sake and to prove my mother right. I am notoriously undisciplined when it comes to finishing what I start, so rather than picking up where I left off and trying to redeem the Great Blogging Disaster of '09, I am launching a shiny new blog for a new chapter in my life.

Allow me to flatter myself and assume you're curious as to what "hausfraud" means. This is a term that came about in trying both to define a role for myself in my latest living situation and sum up my impostor complex regarding domesticity. You see, my life's ambition centers around creating a Martha Stewart-esque domestic paradise wherein I reign supreme. I would spend hours as a little girl watching Martha transform humble household fixtures and meals into works of art, and I knew my life would be summarily fulfilled when I was married and had my own home to care for and make pristine.

Thus far, I've achieved one of the two.

Last year, on account of a practical decision to save money and be closer to work, my long-suffering beau of two years and I moved out of our respective family homes and into a one-bedroom apartment together. While I didn't get carried over the threshold as per the June Cleaver prototype I'd been aspiring to emulate, I got the 750 square feet beyond that threshold, and I have spent the last 15 months trying to find a balance between girlfriend, roommate and wife roles while I straddle the line between them. It has been a challenge to adapt my outdated ideal of homemaking to a modern situation much more common to my generation, wherein the housewife is a distant memory and the well-kept home only lasts until the lease is up. This blog, if all goes as planned, will document this endeavor to feather a nest that may only last for a season or two. Stick around.