Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stap on a Pair Part 2: a Palin Call to Serve

Part 1

Thankfully, it seems that the Obama campaign read Part 1 of this series and reformed their candidate accordingly. Pardon me for a minute while I take credit for something I had very little of nothing to do with...
That is the American way, yes?

Because of the success of that first salvo (please, no pictures) I think it is about time that I had a woman to pit bull talk with this Palin character. I tried to stay out of the whole political commentary thing as long as I could, mildly content to shake my head at the events of the last few weeks, and shriek with laughter at the absurdity spewed forth from the Right. I even bit my tongue when I wanted to be effusive about all things Biden related, and how intensely enamoured I am with how resistant to politically correct Biden seems to be. (And that smile!)

But this kinda foolishness I can stand no more of.

So, as is our way around these parts, let's engage in a little real talk, yes?

I am gonna say the thing that I am not supposed to say because I am a woman, because I am young and ambitious and with the exception of the men I date and the liquor I choose, I am a fastidious judge of character.
No, wait, scratch that. I drink Goose and single barrel Jack Daniels. My taste in liquor is impeccable. It's just the men I need to work on.

All of that aside, I have one very important message for Governor Palin...

You can't have it both ways.

You cannot claim to be a reformer and support that claim with outright lies about your record. You can't say you are all about political transparency and then refuse to cooperate in investigations against you that you previously welcomed. You can't claim that you are more than qualified to be 'a heartbeat away from the presidency' (I will live a happy life if I never hear that phrase uttered again) and yet can't answer simple policy questions. (Come on! Even I know some of this stuff and my foreign policy experience is limited to the fact that I knew I could drink legally in Spain when I travelled there in high school.)

And even more importantly than that, you can't claim to be a "pit bull in lipstick" but run from any reporter that isn't payrolled by Us Weekly or People. Get real.

What's even more disappointing to me, Sarah, is that you have all the charm and poise to actually be someone great in politics... albeit a candidate I would never support because, you know, I actually champion women and minorities. But still, I imagine you would be the soccer mom super woman that Republican wet dreams are made of. And yet, you continue to put every woman anywhere another decade behind every single time you open your mouth.

We'll skip the part where I am a hardcore liberal, so much so that I cannot even fathom that there are still women in the world so extreme that they don't even support abortion in the instance of incest or rape. I'll even gloss right over the fact that your repeated insistence that the war in Iraq is a "holy war" is no less radical than the Muslims extremists we are fighting who believe their Jihad is a "holy war" too. (And that is a MUCH more plausible reason to compare you to a Muslim rather than just someone's given name.) I'll even avoid my severely unpopular stance that I am skeptical of how a mother, not just any mother, but a mother with a special needs infant, fathoms travelling to Iraq with a nursing infant in tow and believes she can manage to be focused and effective. (Then again, who am I to say? I am not only not a mom, but I also wholeheartedly support welfare to work and after school programs and baby sitters and believe that the 'Supermom' icon is a dangerous and false illusion that is extremely unattainable and unhealthy. But, whatever.)

We'll get right to the heart of my issue with you and stick to it...

For all the talk of pit bulls and mavericks, you've got no balls.

Despite my liberal and feminist beliefs, I will look beyond the fact that you have essentially given the media a way to call you a bitch every time they mention you. THAT, my dear Sarah, is sexist. And even worse, it is inflicted at your own hand. But to repeatedly claim you can play with the boys, that you aren't afraid to get dirty, that you're up to any challenge, only to effectively avoid the media like a one night stand you're ashamed of, only belies that image. And it furthermore sets up those women that do have the balls to step into any arena and go toe to toe with men for failure. Do you really think, for those men who view women as the lesser entity anyway, that they aren't scoffing to themselves that for all your talk and posturing, you sure seem scared of a few microphones and tape recorders? Do you think they aren't, in turn, projecting that cowardice onto every woman they encounter in the world and betting on her being all talk and no action?

Even you aren't that stupid, even if you did have to go to 5 different colleges to get your degree in Broadcast Journalism. (Shouldn't that mean that you know how to deal with the media because you are the media? And furthermore, does that mean that you are more equipped to deal with foreign affairs and the economy than two lawyers educated in Ivy League schools with emphasis on Political Science? Just a question. Personally, I care more about that if you are running for vice president than how you drive your kids to school. You can share with me your meatloaf recipes after the election.)

What makes me sad about this entire political season (and I do mean it's entirety. Despite my staunch support of Obama, I was extremely disappointed in this decision, whatever the reason may be) is that it is more insulting than anything. Even if I weren't college educated or even mildly intelligent, I could put this two plus two together. The only people who say nothing are the people who have nothing to say. I can forgive even Biden's early remarks about Obama calling into race into play because at least he's saying something. The self professed pit bull seems to be notsomuch with the barking. Or even speaking at all, for that matter.

Personally, I am almost glad that you refuse to give interviews and answer off the cuff questions. Who knows what manner of idiot you will make women everywhere look like if you open your mouth again? But at least kill the rhetoric. It's weak. And it's tired. And it's unfair the women who are actually mavericks, and misleading to the girls that want to grow up to be one.

You can't have it both ways Governor. You can't present yourself as the perfect soccer mom and working mother, and trot your family out for photo ops and events when it's convenient and then bristle when people question your "family values" when you have a knocked up 17 year old high school dropout that you are "proud of" who marrying (we'll see) a self professed "fucking Redneck" and taking pictures downing Maker's Mark (by the way Fox News, that makes Bristol a 'baby mama'. Not a wife and mother of 15 years. I expect you to act accordingly. Thanks.) (Remind me to ask you also Sarah, when we share that meatloaf recipe, what on earth would possess you to throw your hat into this already cut throat race, KNOWING your daughter would be faced with worldwide scrutiny of her uterus? Next to Angelina, everyone is gonna be watching this poor child like a hawk. Perfect mom my over sized ass.) You cannot tell us that you are ready for anything and stumble when asked about something as simple as whether or not you agree with the Bush doctrine. And more importantly, you can't holler about being a pit bull during a teleprompter aided performance billed as a speech that any voice over actor would be proud of, but then run scared from the hard questions, crying sexism and how the boys in the media are being so mean and unfair! Omg! They called me pretty! They're asking me, like, superhard questions about what I say I believe in! That is so sexist!

Let's define sexism...

Sexism [sek-siz-uhm]. noun- 1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles. 2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; esp., such discrimination directed against women.

And just so that we are clear...

Sexism is not expecting you to be able to answer a question.
Sexism is not calling you attractive; it is the act of belittling or intimidating you by doing so. But you're a pit bull! You're not intimidated!
Sexism is not calling you on your lies.
Sexism is not Tina Fey's brilliant sketch on SNL.

And by the way, while we are on the subject, please, for the love of God and all things feminist and intelligent, would you please stop mentioning your admiration for Hillary Clinton? It's insulting for you to even try to insert yourself into the same realm as her. And for those women who, like me, still have a great deal of admiration Senator Clinton despite her obvious gaffes during the primary, it is simply pathetic and infuriating. You called her a whiner, remember? I'd at least respect you if you stuck to your hunting rifles... err... guns.

So tell me, Sarah. Are you "plowing through"? Are you changing and reforming the way the government is run? Are you showing up to the table with the boys, ready to put your toe to the line and some points on the board? Or are you giving 29 second sound bites about lovely baby names because soccer moms are experts on that sorta thing? Well, that and building wasteful sports arenas.

You don't come across like a pit bull Governor Palin. More like a Yorkie puppy; new to the large world around you, exploring and stumbling, scampering away at any loud noise or sudden movement, rather than finding the power of your voice and barking the obstacle away.

Put your balls on the table Palin. Stop crying sexism and devaluing the efforts to combat real sexism that women deal with everyday. Be the pit bull you say you are. Or go back to Alaska and plant a garden and tell people that using intimidation, abusing your power, and bulldozing people is what being a feminist is all about.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Eyes are Green

"I just feel like I'm so behind!"
"Behind?" I ask.
"Well, like, so many of my friends are getting married and having kids and finding fabulous apartments or they're dating and travelling, and I just feel like I'm...not."
"So, what? Just because they're doing it doesn't mean you need to be. Besides how are you behind? You're only 25. Your life hasn't even started yet. Besides, them hoes will be divorced and homeless by the time you get your credit together and buy your first house."
"La that's not the point. I just need to get my life together."

And there it is. The phrase continuously uttered by mid-to-late twentysomethings everywhere, at least twice a day.

I need to get my life together.

Sometimes, it is a valid assertion. That credit card that seemed like a good idea in college is now $5,000 in debt from dinners and trips you can't return to pay it off. You got a car after graduation but you got bent over without your choice of lubricant on the payments and interest. Your entry level job is in no way equipped to pay for your 50K in loans (which is literally almost everyone I know). Life is just generally not what you expect it to be. And you know you need to get that shit right unless you wanna be the 35 year old “entrepreneur’ of a some vague variety, living at home and going on a VH-1 reality show just to get outta the house.

But other times, "I need to get my life together" is merely just an instinctual response to general small things that should in no way throw off your entire day or week.

For example...

La goes to war with her alarm clock for 30 minutes, realizing she is gonna have to haul ass (and skip makeup) to make it to work on time.
"I need to get my life together."

No ma'am, you just need to get your lazy ass up in the morning.

Girl can't let go of the same dumb ass she’s been fucking with for two years that cheats on her more than reality stars get tested for STDs.
"I need to get my life together."

Wait, no. That definitely deserves getting one’s life together. But unfortunately, the young do not have a monopoly on stupid, so that has little to do with anything.

What I am finding most often in these convos between me and my quarter life crisis friends, is that more often than not, our self-worth is not only weighed heavily by where we are vs. where we think we should be, but also but where we are vs. where OTHER people we know are.

Sure, logically you know that there's no way that your Communications degree is gonna yield you the same type of starting salary that your friend the business whiz kid whose first job out of college was at Microsoft has, but for some reason you still think that you too should be buying a house on your sad little $30K a year.

And you also recognize wholeheartedly that your friend that's having the big, beautiful 300 person wedding because she is marrying a football player is probably gonna end up a lonely, divorced mother of 3 with no life skills in less than 5 years, but you can't help but think that you too should be having a wedding in the Loew's Millenium Ballrooom.

So then it makes me wonder, why do we do this to ourselves? We know better. We know that we really only have 1-3 years of real world living under our belts, and the rookie years all always the hardest. We know in our hearts we aren't (mostly) ready (financially, emotionally, spiritually) to be anybody's wife or husband, let alone some poor kid's half ass together parent. We should be able to solidly recognize by now that the perfect job (in our field, doing something we love, earning enough to keep Sallie Mae from eating our young) is not going to just fall into our laps. We should also know by now, that "accomplishing" any of these things isn't going to wave a magic wand over our lives and make our lives seem "together." It just doesn't work that way. Nothing in life really does. (Which pretty much blows.) But think about it really...

It's always the rehearsal that kicks your ass. The show is what you get to enjoy.

I have spent much of the last few weeks trying to change my thinking; to be more positive, to be still and pray sometimes instead of thinking. To focus on the things that really need changing and not the things that are just getting on my nerves for the time being. Trying to accompany each negative thought with a positive one (or two).  I realize there’s a lot I have missed out on while waiting to "get my life together”.

We seem to have lost our own sense that we can map the course our lives take. Somewhere along the way, we bought into the idea that we would be alone forever if we weren't married by 25, or that we'd never have kids if we didn't have them by 28. I thought we had learned by now that there is no such thing as that perfect job/man/apartment/car that ties it all together? We are in a subconscious competition with our peers that seem to be "doing it all" rather than setting the pace ourselves. And doesn't it seem like the deadlines are getting tighter? I remember a few scant years ago when getting married by 28 or so was the goal, kids by 30. Now the brides can barely legally do shots at their own bachelorette party and they’re hitting Babies R Us in a dead sprint soon thereafter.

It’s easy to trace it back to the societal influences and the dangerous (and usually false) icons of having it all. But when did we lose faith in the process?

Granted, I bitch all the time about how much my 20's have, thus far, sucked like a groupie during All Star game. But I think I recognize now, as I didn't the first four years of my 20's, that there is something larger at play here. Sure, it doesn't always make it better or less irritating or even make me consume less liquor to temporarily relieve the pressure. But I recognize that there will come a time for me too when all those things I thought I couldn't get a handle on in my younger years will seem like basic addition. I have faith that I am not going through anything unique or extraordinary that millions of thirtysomethings can now laugh about. (But seriously though; what's that like?) But even more than that, I respect the fact that despite these quarter life crisis issues not being unique, that my life is.

And it is not required to fit anyone else's timeline but my own.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm alive. I'll be back when I can get some power or at least a steady cell signal. (My poor BB is on the bullshit right now.) How cruel is it that after 2 years of going without cable, I finally get it for a few hours only for it to be wiped out by the weather? Sonofabitch!

Dear Hurricane Ike,

You is a bitch nigga. No wait- a bitch ASS nigga...



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mean Girls

You know how when you were younger, your parents told you if you don't have anything nice to say not to say anything at all? Or treat others how you wanna be treated? And all that other yadda yadda bullshit?

As a semi-adult in the beginnings of trading my training bras for La Perla (that's a lie. I never worn training bras. I got boobs at the same time I was getting my ass kicked by long division), I think I'd like to amend those. While I certainly understand the necessity of instilling in children that they should share and be kind to their friends and not judge little Cameron, the girl in their class with two mommys, the concept that being a nice, well mannered girl will get you further in life seems almost as antiquated as shoulder pads and no sex before marriage (sorry Jonas Brothers). I certainly am not advocating being a screaming banshee of a shrew, but it seems sometimes that those well put together, quietly dignified Mrs. Manners type become...well, librarians. The rest of us recognize that you can order books on Amazon and that librarians rarely make six figures, and we pack up the cardigans and khakis, dye our hair black (or in my case, Hot Chocolate) and learn to relish the way saying "bullshit" tastes in our mouths. Besides, rude girls are an aphrodisiac.

You don't believe me? Let's examine exhibit A...

I decide I absolutely must have sushi and so I trek to one of my favoritest places in town to treat myself to a little dinner. It's one of those supertrendy you-can-wear-jeans-here-but-only-if-they-cost-$150-and-you-pair-them-with-sky-high-heels kind of places. But I can excuse the pretentious nature of the clientele during this happy hour situation because the food is honeymoon orgasms on plates. As the waiter shows me to my table, I immediately notice the two top next to me occupied by one of those super fly $150 jeans wearing model chicks and her impossibly fumbling date. He is pretty damn attractive but he has the swag of a pineapple and the game of Jordan in a baseball uniform (that is to say, notsomuch). His date is one of those super pretty chicks who gets by because she's pretty and doesn't have to know Obama's tax cut plans because she can push her tits up to her ears and wear them like earrings. God help us all.

I order my very dirty martini, and break out the book I brought. But I couldn't stay engrossed in it. Because the date to my right had to be, quite possibly, the WORST DATE KNOWN TO MAN. (Except for the one I went on where the guy cried into his entree. Oh and the one where his girlfriend showed up.) I gather from their interaction that this is a first date. It's awful. The girl is aloof and distant and they guy is a sweaty, stuttering mess. Both of them are quite attractive so I can understand what the initial attraction to each other was, but this thing was going nowhere, fast. And from the way the model chick was eyeing the dude at the bar in the Ralph Lauren suit, I am guessing she knows it too.

At some point, she gets up to go to the bathroom. The guy breathes an audible sigh like he's been holding his breath for the last hour. I don't mean to do it but I blurt, "You SUCK at this."

He turns and looks at me, all blinking rapidly and sputtering and I try my best to backtrack.

"I didn't mean to say it like that. It's just... you SUCK at this."
"You do realize you said it the exact same way?"
"Yeah I do but sweetie that's how much you suck."

He chuckles at me and at least I know that he isn't gonna throw a hissy fit and demand I be kicked out before my unagi hits the table. I figure if I am gonna insult him, I can at least try to help.

"How long has it been since you've done this?" I ask him.
"What? Go on a date? Wow. Like 5 years. I just got divorced. This is my first date since then."
"Ohhh. Ok. So THAT'S why you look all green like Maury just told you that you ARE the father."
"Yeah that could be it." He pauses thoughtfully for a moment. "Do I really suck at this?"
"Oh, honey. Like Bristol Palin on prom night after a couple shots of Maker's Mark."

This gets an even heartier laugh out of him and I am wondering at this point if he is drunk and completely missing the point of what I am saying.

"Ok if I am so bad," he says, "you have to help me."
"I'm sorry... what?"
"You have to help me. You can't just insult me then wash your hands of me."
"Are you sure? Because that was exactly my intention."
"No. You can't. Consider it your community service. You look like the type of girl that is probably about due for some."
"Well fuck you very much."

He eyes my cleavage spilling out of my top, the 5 inch heels on my feet, and the Stoli martini in my hand.

He might have a point.

"Alright," I say, lighting a clove and carefully blowing smoke away from his face, "if I am gonna help you, I need some background info first." He launches into his bio. "About her you narcissist. Not you."
"Well I don't know if I have time for that. She's just using the bathroom."
"Oh you have plenty of time. She's in the bathroom right now hovering over a toilet with her cell phone clutched to her ear asking her best friend how to quickly and painlessly get out of this date. When she does get that answer, she is then going to scroll through her phone and find a suitable backup plan for the rest of this evening because she doesn't want to go home and watch Grey's Anatomy and wallow in feeling like she got all dressed up with nowhere to go."
"How do you-"
"I have a vagina."

He stares at me in awe and I raise my eyebrow like he's a moron. Cuz he probably is.

"Alright," I tell him, throwing back the last of martini number two, "here's what you do..."

Fast forward 30 minutes later, homegirl is all but crawling on the table making takemehome eyes at Dr. Donothing. I pay my check and walk out figuring that this gives me at least another 6 months reprieve on going to church. By the time I make it to the valet stand I hear fast footsteps behind me. I figure I shouldn't be too panicked since I am in the white part of town.

"Hey!" the loser shouts at me, running up to my side. "You left really quick."
"That's generally what one does when they are leaving."
"Can I call you some time?"
"Are you fucking kidding me sir?"

The look on his face tells me he is absolutely dead serious. I chuckle to myself, utterly amused at his gall.

"What on earth makes you think that I would go out with you when you are asking me out while you're on a date with another woman?"
"I just thought you were cool and that maybe-"
"No," I say cutting him off, "you didn't think I was cool. You thought I was rude. And a challenge. Little Miss Model in there may have the cool and detached game on lock but you know you're smarter than her so therefore you still feel somewhat in control of the situation. But with me, you can't say that. You're attractive. Judging from your appearance I would say you're well off. You're a black man in a city where you are outnumbered 10 to 1. Very few women talk to you like I did. You're intrigued. And also, see through."

I grab my keys from the valet and tip him, making my way to the drivers side. He follows.

"What? You think I am gonna say yes so that you can ask another chick out on a date when you're with me?"
"I wouldn't do that to you."
"Why on earth would I buy that?"
"Because I believe that you would kick me in the balls if I did."
"Correction. I would nail your balls to the floor between your feet. Please step away from my door."
"I am going out on a limb here. Cut me some slack."
"Well let this be a lesson to you. This is what happens when you try to trade up. Get the fuck away from my door please," I say, sweet as can be, while simultaneously pushing him backwards with my heel and closing my door. As I drove away I could see him standing in the valet line, staring at my Howard plates all confused.

Jesus. I threaten to castrate the man and tell him he's a shitty date and he still asks me for my number? Nice girls are screwed.

Consider this the memo.

Oh, btw. I'm back :-)