Breaking the cycle of parenting with food
We love to blame our parents for all sorts of things. It's their fault that you’re still single, if only they hadn’t made you wear corduroys you might not be so self conscious today, if mum had been less hard on your schoolwork then you might not be failing to get that promotion, oh dad why did you make me write so many thank you notes, now everyone mistakes my politeness for insincerity. And so on…
But if truth be known, the snippets from childhood that we blame for our adulthood failings may not be the correct ones at all. If you really want an accurate demonstration of what your parents were like as parents, then life does offer you a second chance to recapture their parenting skills. All you have to do is wait until they become grandparents. It is unlikely that their parenting skills have changed in the twenty to forty years since they became parents, and you will be flooded with stark memories and realizations as their parenting successes and failures are revealed through the way in which they interact with your children.
My four year old niece spends one whole day a week with my parents. My mother always recounts to me how much fun they had. Sara helped me wash the dishes, she says. Sara helped me fold the clothes and put them in the closet, she says. There is no doubt that she loves her granddaughter, but it is only when I spent some of those precious days observing them that I realized just how she was expressing that love. As it turns out, grandma doesn’t play with beloved granddaughter, talk with her, get to know her or sit down and read her a story. In fact grandma doesn’t interrupt her day one iota for her beloved granddaughter. Instead grandma continues to go about her usual business, clean the kitchen, wash the dishes, dust the objects, vacuum the floor, do the laundry, fold the clothes, walk the dog. Of course the child follows grandma around the house, chatters away and tries to copy grandma doing all the chores. And perhaps it’s because my mother feels guilty for ignoring her granddaughter but doesn’t know a different way to interact with a child, or perhaps it’s simply laziness, but every thirty minutes or so my mother will walk the child into the kitchen, sit her down and offer her a snack. Sara will accept the snack and shut up and mother will return to her chores secure in her conscience that she has fulfilled her duty toward her granddaughter, and that for the next fifteen minutes at least, or however long it takes a four year old to devour a pain au chocolat, the child will not suffer from boredom.
By the time Sara is returned to her parents, her face, hair and clothes look like she has been dunked in a vat of chocolate (which essentially she has been), and everyone is wondering why she won’t eat her dinner, cannot sit still and throws a tantrum just before bed.
I look back at my brother’s and my chubby childhoods and realize that that’s exactly how our mother handled us. As far back as I can remember, my mother was always busy cleaning or rearranging something in the house. Perhaps she has obsessive compulsive disorder, though it has yet to be diagnosed. All I know is that I cannot recall a single time when she sat down and actually played with us. There was always food though, and if that didn’t settle us, then there was yelling. Fortunately my brother and I had each other and certainly we enjoyed hours of fun together in our own imaginary world. Yet, aside from being the fat kid in school, I do not remember it as a bad childhood.
But, as I watch my mother repeat her parenting techniques on my niece, I cannot help but feel a twinge of sadness at the realization that she was never interested in me on an emotional level. It occurs to me that as children, my brother and I represented little more than additional cleaning, we were just another household chore, no different than vacuuming the floor. Perhaps that’s how everyone parented in the 1970s, I don’t know. What I do know is that my own niece’s mother does not interact with her daughter solely through food and makes an effort to nurture her child’s brain rather than her stomach. With my own baby due in just a few months, I am wondering from where I should seek my parenting advice. Certainly my sister in law will come in very handy. But that’s not to say that my mother didn’t provide a safe home for us. My brother and I were always clean and well fed. In the end I will probably draw from both sources. And goodness knows, in spite of all that I will make my own mistakes, though of course no one will find out what those are for at least twenty years…
Pregnancy, hormones and madness
So pregnancy is supposed to be the most exciting time of your life, right? Yet you are going bonkers. The train is late, the new office chair you ordered won't be delivered on time, you just ran out of cereal and the shop is closed. This is so cataclysmic that you are seriously considering throwing yourself off a bridge, because how can you possibly bring a child into such an inefficient world?! And furthermore, how will you even cope with a baby, when your husband has to physically restrain you from assaulting the shop assistant because they just ran out of maternity pants in your size?
Some women sail through their pregnancies with nary a misfiring neuron, but if you have ever felt the churning anger that splashes the backs of your eyes and temporarily blinds you, or the black futility of depression, where the mere thought of rising from you bed fills you with horror, then you know what it feels like to feel hormonal.
But how do you explain these feelings to another person such that they get it? Even those closest to us cannot exist inside our heads, and unless you possess science fiction-like abilities to mind merge, or the other person is willing to stick their finger in a live socket every time you feel a twinge, words alone will always fail to do justice to your pain, leaving the listener cold, as you blurt out generic words like "stressed" and "anxious".
It's a sad fact that only when we see someone else's pain, are we able to relate to it. Walk into any A&E and you'll probably squirm as you observe the open wounds of strangers, leaving them in no doubt that you empathize. But listen to enough depressed people whine about themselves and you would be forgiven for thinking that they were all pathetic losers, lay-abouts and masters of self pity.
When I was five months pregnant, my husband and I moved to a new city, I was unemployed for the first time in 15 years, we spent three weeks living with his parents and I was sprouting thick dark hairs all over my body. It doesn't take a wizard to understand that I might have been the slightest bit out of sorts. After a particularly stellar performance in a shopping mall, in which I learned that I might be more likely than my child to throw tantrums in public, I found myself trying to explain to my poor husband how I felt inside. I used broad words like "depressed" and "wretched", but they really didn't do justice to what the hormones were really doing to my grip on reality.
Day after day i found myself apologizing for my behavior. My sweet husband tried to understand, but really how could he have the slightest clue? By his tenth time of comforting me through the tragedy of running out of string cheese, even he was becoming immune to my incessant caterwauling. Yet for me the pain never got old. Each messy outburst was as fresh as a newly opened wound.
In the end I retreated to my corner, fearful of interacting with anyone lest I offend them, or be tempted to chase them around the room with a knife. Because let's face it, when a person is going mad in front of you, you see ugliness not pain. And when they try to explain it, you see self pity not humility. How must I look to him, I asked myself. And when, in a brief moment of lucidity, I saw my ugliness through his eyes, I realized that the only way to get through this would be to keep my mouth shut, my opinions to myself and just hope and pray that I would wake up one day and feel normal again.
"I'm just fine, thanks..."
The truth about Hurricane Irene
What was really happening in the mandatory evacuation zone in New York during the great Hurricane Irene...
And why we should rename it Hurricane Bullshit ...
They warned that it would be historical, and certainly Hurricane Irene caused damage in the South. But what was happening in New York? Aside from Mayor Bloomberg hijacking all the news channels for days, with desperate pleas to evacuate, the only thing historical about Hurricane Irene in New York (cat 3 - cat 2 - cat 1 - ooops nope tropical storm) was how empty the streets of New York were.
Let's not be fooled, the only reason Mayor Bloomberg overreacted to Hurricane Irene was to make up for his under reaction during the December snowstorm. Did he fool us into thinking that he cares? Not really. Aside from impressively inconveniencing all of Manhattan (we get that Long Island actually did get winds and floods), guess who's going to foot the bill for this needless evacuation? That's right, you the Manhattan taxpayer! Thanks Mayor BS for continuing to think about yourself and only yourself.
For those who think I'm an ungrateful bitch, allow me to provide you with the cost to us (husband, baby and me) of evacuating for nothing !!
1) Evacuation. Cost: Three friendships. persons who turned us down during this time of apocalyptic emergency.
2) Evacuating to bed bug infested house. Cost: bed bugs hitched a ride home with us. See photo of bed bug bitten calf below.
3) Diagnosing bed bugs in our own home. Cost $350. But the beagle was cute.
4) Cryogenically treating bedbugs in our home. Cost $900 !!
5) New washer/dryer, after we set ours on fire trying to dry our bed bug infested pillows. Cost $1359. Note to self do not wash and dry feather pillows.
6) Four new pillows. Cost $200.
7) Friends who bitched me out for complaining about being evacuated for no good reason and being ungrateful that I didn't get flooded. Cost: at least ten people.
So there you have it. Had we stayed home and been flooded the cost would have been ZERO, since we have flood insurance.
So please, all I ask is that you be kind to me and forgive my lack of foresight for not getting ‘fake evacuation insurance’. However fear not I am on the case as we speak. Already called five insurance companies. Idiots don't cover for fake evacuations, but I shalln’t rest until I find one who does….
How frightfully rude!
Call me a British snob if you like. But after the way one New Yorker and her fiancé were treated as they planned their wedding day, I am quite happy to be a British snob. God save the Queen!
A Wedding is the one occasion where you really get to test friendships. And if manners and integrity were not valued friendship qualities, then perhaps these American guests would have passed with flying colours (not colors!).
Because this bride is British, not only did she find the lack of etiquette vulgar, but downright novel. In other words, she had never encountered such imaginative levels of discourtesy until her move to America.
So here’s what you can expect from your American ‘friends’ when you plan your big day:
1) Just because you announce your wedding date well in advance, don’t be surprised when months after receiving your invitation, another couple takes it upon themselves to set their wedding date for the very same day. Worse still, this couple will show no embarrassment when sharing their happy news, and certain mutual friends may even change their rsvp to your wedding from yes to no, to attend the other wedding. Don't expect anyone to lose any sleep over this or to feel the tiniest bit of remorse.
2) Even though you made the effort to fly out for her wedding, stood by her when her future mother in law was one asinine comment from being flung in the Hudson with a brick around her neck, she cannot fly out to your wedding because she is trying to get pregnant. Americans aren’t great at geography, so perhaps she can be forgiven for thinking that by London, you meant Chernobyl. But, in case she hasn’t read the invitation, you might want to point out that her husband is invited too and I believe they haven’t outlawed sex and you can still get pregnant in England. It happens to British people all the time.
3) “I never see my husband so I want to be with him THAT day.” This has to be the winner of the lamest excuse, only a hair ahead of “I have too many weddings to go to this year.”
4) In case you make the common mistake of assuming that your wedding day is all about you, think again, as one couple reminded the bride with, "I'd love to come, but only if this other couple is coming too."
5) Some folk just can’t seem to make up their tiny little minds as to what they’re doing that day. Where I’m from (England) we look in our diaries and if the entry is blank, then the answer is a no-brainer yes. Clearly it doesn’t work that way in America, as demonstrated by this delightful young guest who asked, "Can I let you know a few days before the wedding?" Well actually, no you can’t! This isn’t some beer pong night, it’s a wedding with escort cards and seating plans, so no you can’t just make last minute decisions on a whim…
6) For those Americans who simply don’t like to say no, well they don’t have to. In my primitive little island (England), you rsvp with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In America, perhaps taking a leaf out of the ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ culture nurtured by Facebook, they have a constitutional right to options. One invitee deemed it perfectly reasonable to respond with, "Well, I'm not sure… I may 'pop' in on the day and say 'hi'."
Perhaps, instead of guest’s names, the seating cards should just read ‘male’ or ‘female,’ that way no one feels undue pressure to turn up, but if they do decide to grace you with their presence, then at least you can still adhere to the man-woman seating system.
In conclusion how does anyone get anything done in a country where people treat one another with such flagrant lack of respect? We’ve all had to deal with guests who fail to rsvp or even worse bail on the day. But these excuses scream of the me, me, me culture that is prevalent in certain parts of the world today. What is saddest of all is that some people have come to regard this treatment as entirely normal.
For those of us who find this behavior abhorrent, we need to take a stand and do what we can to bring back common decency. Don't put up with anything less than respect, and do not be pressured into compromising your standards by people who have none. Otherwise God help our children!
Tired of New York City cab drivers, and how we can boycott them
Having lived in New York for a year now, I have been insulted, yelled at, ignored, threatened and even spat at by the city's cab drivers. I have since made it my mission to avoid cabs at all costs. Even until the end of my pregnancy, I was so disgusted that I walked and used public transport rather than poison my psyche by exposing it to this low caliber of human being.
Clearly the New York taxi driving industry is unregulated, even though it's drivers are mostly unfit to do their job, of extremely low IQ and run their business like monkeys. As such, it is up to us, the customers, to regulate them to give them an incentive to regulate themselves. And the way we can do that is to VOTE WITH OUR FEET.
Below are just a few examples of why New York cab drivers are unfit for civilized society, and why we, the civilized consumers, should be saying "no more":
You enter the cab, state your destination and the driver doesn't even bother to acknowledge that he's heard you. Often I state my destination twice and then get yelled at. I was once thrown out of the cab for such an offense, and then spat at as I made a run for it.
Many times you state your destination and the driver has no clue how to get there. I might be mistaken, but most American cities are on a grid, making it shamefully easy to get from A to B. Knowing your city is an essential part of the job, if you don't know it then you are incompetent to do your job.
Talking on the phone the entire journey. I certainly don’t know of any job that allows it’s employees to engage in personal phone conversations the entire day. It is rude, disrespectful and unprofessional.
4) Dangerous driving
How did these buffoons ever pass their driving test? They speed dangerously and break all the traffic laws, such as blocking the box, intimidating other drivers and even yelling profanities at anyone who gets in their way. Oh and of course the cab driver thinks he's always right, so even if as a passenger I suggest he shut up and drive properly, he will argue viciously. Did I say unprofessional?
5) Filthy, falling apart and unsafe cars
Many times the seat belt is broken, but if you alert the driver he yells at you to get the hell out of his cab. In most cities it's your basic right as a passenger to have functioning seat belts in the back. Again the cab driver has no common courtesy and thinks he's always right. Did I mention unprofessional?
6) Refusal of service
Why is it so hard to convince a New York cab driver to take you anywhere outside Manhattan? Very simply, if the driver goes to the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, he is less likely to get a fare for the return journey to Manhattan. The scavenging low-life will therefore refuse to take you home, even though it is against the law to refuse to take a customer anywhere within the five boroughs.
As demonstrated here : http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=7997909
7) No basic human decency
Countless stories exist of people on crutches, in wheelchairs or heavily pregnant being refused a ride in preference for someone with a suitcase. Like i said, cab drivers are the scum of the universe, and it's time we treated them as such.
8) Sense of entitlement
You may tip the man, but he will never say thank you. As such i have resolved to stop tipping altogether. Having said that, I don't even use cabs anymore, but i certainly recommend anyone who does use them to not bother tipping them. You get charged enough for the hell ride as it is!
I personally have taken all the necessary steps to exorcise New York cab drivers from my life. And in truth we really don't need cab drivers in New York. Anyone who's been stranded, yet still made it home, can attest to that.
Here are some tips on how you can live a life free of the evil cab drivers:
1) Use the public transport, it's pretty good in New York
2) Sign up for Zip Car
3) You might own a car, but that isn't an option for everyone
4) Walk where possible. It's free and will also save you that gym membership
5) Get a bicycle. You might even prefer an e bike (http://veloteq.com/). A tad more expensive than a regular bike, but in the long term it will be cheaper than taking cabs everywhere.
Sure if you're a girl alone late at night you might have no choice but to take a cab. Though the demeanor of some of drivers doesn't instill in me any more confidence than the local knife wielding rapist you might encounter on a subway late at night.
Still, the most important thing is to be safe. Though it is satisfying if we can do so without inviting poison into our lives !!!
Pregnant in a world with no real men
This is an old chestnut I know, but it needs to be dealt with once and for all.
Someone please explain to me why pregnant women are left standing on buses and trains, whilst able-bodied men sit back and pretend not to see them.
As a member of the 'club' myself, I have yet to be offered a seat by a man. I've been dangling from the bars with my belly pressed right up against their nostrils, and they've remained planted in their seats, normally with eyes tightly shut. The eyes shut thing is a classic; it’s as if, as soon as my belly wanders onto the train, seated males spontaneously fall into a coma.
Women, on the other hand have shown themselves to be far more gracious, frequently jumping up to offer a seat. Recently when a woman stood up for me, I loudly pronounced, "thanks, but I don't see why you should give up your seat when there are plenty of men here who could do the same." I thought, that should shake them out of their apathy. Well, guess what? This was followed by absolute silence, in which the entire carriage squinted up at me as though I were some novel curiosity, and not a single male rose to his feet. As the kindly woman had now fled leaving the seat vacant, I figured I ought to at least grab it, lest some other burly Neanderthal leap in.
Men, what is the problem exactly? I've heard the old song about sexual equality, but it's okay to discard that stupid notion when it comes to pregnant women. Oh, and in case your tiny minds can't figure this out for yourselves, anyone on crutches would qualify for a seat too!
So please, if you're not prepared to exhibit basic manners, then at least tell me what goes through your heads when a pregnant woman looms over you, threatening to poke out your eye with her protruding navel, as she is jostled about the train?
Perhaps there is something in the water that has caused your testicles to shrivel up or maybe your intense high fructose corn syrup diets have provoked a heinous genetic mutation to the Y chromosome, because when I look down at your pathetic, indifferent faces, I don't see men, I just see failures and losers, and I want to puke.
Where are all the real men?
Pregnancy weight gain
Okay, so we're all so much more educated than our parents. We know that eating for two is an old myth.So we continue to eat for one. One pound a week, thirty pounds total is the recommended weight gain for the average pregnancy.
Well somehow it hasn't quite worked out that way for me...
At first all was well, weight gain was barely noticeable. A pound here, a couple there.
Then came the second trimester and that telltale bump. That's when I showed up to a monthly appointment to find that suddenly I’d gained not 4 but 5 pounds in one month!
"Four pounds a week," the doctor sternly reminded me.
"Ok," I breathed. " I'll do it."
But what I was really thinking was how did that happen? I didn't eat more than usual, yet there was that pesky extra pound begging the contrary.
So I waddled home and minded my diet, eating no more than before the pregnancy. I was never a self-starver and no day passed without a hit of chocolate. After thirty years as a chocoholic, I certainly considered myself an expert in how much was enough to stay within my BMI. Yet it was with horror that, the following month, I was met with a 6 pound weight gain. Now the doctor was really mad
"Four pounds a week," she reiterated.
"But I'm not eating more than normal," I pleaded.
"Well perhaps you're doing less," she suggested.
Well, I have a person strapped to my middle, my center of gravity is gone, standing feels like my pelvis is about to break, I need to pee every ten minutes and yes I waddle instead of walk. So perhaps I am doing less, but I never stepped foot in a gym before, so that argument is bunk too.
The final straw came the next month, when a further 7 pound weight gain had the doctor scolding me like a bad schoolgirl. This time, though, I had kept a close daily eye on my weight and noticed that, along with swollen ankles, the gain was inconsistent. No change for several days and then suddenly 3 pounds in one night. Never gained weight like this before, I thought.
So I said to the doc, "seriously I'm not eating more, but my ankles are swollen, is it possible I'm gaining water weight?"
Her reply, "your ankles are swelling because you're gaining too much weight and not the other way around."
This was becoming traumatic. Every visit to the OB had me walking out in tears of frustration. What was I to do? I was expected to have control over my body, yet my body was responding in a way with which I was unfamiliar. If things continued in this trend, I will have gained at least 50lbs by the end of this pregnancy.
I guess, only once the baby is out will I learn how much weight I truly gained. My doctor is certainly convinced that it's all my doing and that there is no explanation other than that I'm eating too much and moving too little. But I KNOW my body and I know that is not the case.
So girls, in the absence of an explanation, my advice is to be sensible, but do not beat yourselves up for what you cannot control. Just enjoy this special time.
As for my doctor, I have one thing to say: Thanks doc for for providing no comfort, for leaving me uninformed, for making me feel that it’s all my fault and for casting a shadow over what should be a joyous time in my life. I know I'm not supposed to eat for two, but nowhere does it say that I'm not even supposed to eat for one.
There HAS TO be another explanation. I WILL find it. Meantime I will do my best to not allow this mystery and your silence to mar any more of this precious time that is my first pregnancy.
"It's not me, doc, it's the baby"
Can a bad house guest remain a good friend?
“Make yourself at home,” is what we tell our house guests. And we mean it. I need my house guests to feel comfortable enough to help themselves from the refrigerator, so that I don’t have to wait on them hand and foot. And most importantly, I hope they will treat my home with respect. The kind of respect that applies in their own homes.
Well my last house guest did not make herself quite as at home as I had hoped. Sure she ate my food and commanded the remote control, but compared to her own tidy home, where shoes are not allowed, she clearly felt that my home was not worthy of the same regard.
June arrived off the plane with a nasty sniffle. Blowing through an entire box of tissues, she explained that she must have contracted some form of the Black Death from those nasty Petri dishes known as airplane seats. I certainly empathized. After a flight, my first instinct is to strip, shower and apply fresh clothing.
As her nose turned red, her eyes black and the rest of her a scary, post-mortem green, she asked to lie down. I pointed her to my bedroom, handing her a bath towel and showing her the location of the bathroom on the way. Meantime I continued preparing the bed in the guest room.
I had expected that she would either stop to shower, or perhaps remove her outer clothing, before flopping onto the bed. But when I returned to the room an hour later, I found June under my sheets, fully clothed except for her shoes. Fighting back the urge to retch, I woke her and sent her to the spare room that was now ready with fresh sheets, whereupon she jumped under the covers still fully clothed and returned to her slumber. Three days later both my husband and I were sick, which was not helped by the fact that I was eight months pregnant.
In the following days, June’s level of cleanliness did not improve. The kitchen seemed to spontaneously explode just by her entering it. Chocolate powder never quite made it into the glass, butter never quite onto the bread, and when the soup bubbled out of the pan, she made no attempt to clean the stove. Instead, she grabbed her tenth box of tissues, blew her nose and slumped off into the living room.
And finally there was the dog. We repeatedly asked her to keep the fuzzy little creature off the furniture, but were ignored every time. Anyone who lives with children knows what it’s like to nag someone a hundred times, only to have them ignore you. It turned out that June had decided that the dog on her lap, was not the same as the dog on the couch. Well silly me.
Eventually, the dog, having figured out long before its owner that it was unwelcome on the furniture, chose to settle on a tapestry that lay folded on the floor. As I entered the living room to find the dog clawing into the beautiful wedding gift that we had planned to hang on our wall, whilst June ignored the whole thing, I finally lost my cool.
“What is she doing?” I yelled.
“Burrowing,” replied June. “It’s what she does. She has terrier in her.”
“Well she’s gonna have a knife in her if you don’t get her claws out of my tapestry.”
Did my house guest apologize? Absolutely not. She fixed me with wounded eyes as she lifted the dog back onto the couch.
Finally June left, at which point I would have heaved a sigh of relief were my nose not so blocked that I couldn’t breathe.
June came and went without leaving us gift.
In spite of everything, I was sad to see her go. Not because I enjoyed having my house treated worse than a rock star’s hotel room, but because she is a friend whose company I enjoy. When I was not busy wondering whether rats would move in, I enjoyed scouring the city together in search of the best hot chocolate. And being chocoholics is just one of the many things that bind us, not to mention how much I enjoy our conversations that last for hours. All of this is why we became friends. My husband has officially banned her from the house, and I certainly agree with him, but can I realistically ban her from my house without banning her from my life?
If I tell June that she was a terrible house guest, she will no doubt be offended, justify herself fiercely and artfully turn it around so that I wind up in the wrong. Isn’t that what we all do when faced with criticism? To quote Dale Carnegie, “Let’s realize that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself or herself, and condemn us in return.”
With that in mind, I have chosen not to confront June. And though she thinks our friendship is intact, I can’t help but resent her. Not so much because she disrespected my home, as because she would never admit to it or apologize for it. Having said that I am pretty certain that one pleasant visit with June on neutral territory, is all it will take to cure my anger. After all, she is charming and I’ve already mentioned that I like her. But even when I am ready to forgive her, I know my husband never will be, and that June will have to remain forever banned from our home.
No good will come from criticizing me...
Do you get bogged down by your blogs?
With so many blogs rattling around the net, all clamoring for attention, it’s only fair to ask, what is the blogging experience like for the blogger? What drives people to blog? And most importantly, is it fun?
Blogging can certainly be fun if that's all you're doing it for. You get to put your emotions into words, perhaps get a debate going, even learn a thing or two from someone you’ve never met and probably never will meet. But if suddenly your intentions change so that you are blogging for readership, credibility, or some other reason where the difference between success and failure becomes an issue, then blogging switches from being fun to just plain old hard work with little reward.
Most depressing is when you have taken the time and trouble to write something that you are certain is interesting and provocative, but the response is minimal to say the least. Insult is then added to injury when you open your daily newspaper to see paid journalists regurgitating the same tired nonsense, while you remain forever trapped in obscurity and dogged by feelings of failure.
One recent article particularly irked me. It was published in a mainstream newspaper by a journalist complaining bitterly about the noise from her young neighbor’s apartment. I certainly agreed with her that she shouldn’t have to endure someone else’s loud music, and had I spotted this in a blog, would most likely have responded with my utter sympathies. But this was published in a mainstream newspaper with a readership of almost 1.4 million. The article was neither clever nor original, though I’m sure that her insightful statement that “85 decibels of Led Zeppelin seeping through your walls are unwanted nerve-frying babble,” would have elicited one or two nods of agreement from the general public, though most probably from frustrated bloggers who’s mission in life is to get you to read and comment back on their equally unoriginal thoughts.
As it is, our journalist did blog about her noisy neighbor and boasted that she received a “wave of messages and comments agreeing” with her. Well if she thinks that everyone enjoys the same blogging experience, then she is blissfully deluded. Without the luxury of the mainstream media at one’s fingertips, blogging may start off as fun, but will rapidly escalate into a full time battle against your own insignificance.
I have been blogging for about four months, and what started out as a fun experiment has rapidly escalated into a nagging reminder that I am at best, mediocre. I don’t believe that I am the only one to experience it this way. Bloggers have become so desperate for validation that they join blog farms and discussion forums where every subject line is entitled “follow me and I’ll follow you.” This is clearly the work of people who have crossed over from blogging for fun to blogging for results. And there is nothing fun about that.
So do you get bogged down by your bogs? I think the answer is yes, absolutely. Unless you are able to achieve an enormous readership (whether or not you deserve it, as in the case of our journalist) or you have a very thick skin.
But it used to be fun !
Starving in New York City
People, we get it, obesity is unhealthy, and not very attractive either. But here's a news flash. Anorexia is pretty unhealthy and ugly too.
Pretty much everyone knows that a healthy mind, body and soul involves living squarely within your BMI (body mass index).
Well everyone except residents of New York City, it seems. Walking down the streets of Manhattan, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've stumbled into a concentration camp. It's an endless catwalk of underfed females, and when you think it couldn't possibly get any thinner, you turn a corner and bam, another skeleton clicks its way by.
Women are fighting fat like it's the devil's curse, never mind that our brains are 60% fat and our important organs such as kidneys require fat to hold them in position and allow them to function. If you are a single woman living in New York City, fat is evil and must be exorcised at all costs.
I understand that New York City has a disproportionate ratio of women to men, that competition is steep and it's important to look one's best. I understand that some women feel the need to wear cocktail dresses in the middle of the day and that for certain woman the monthly make up bill is higher than the rent. What I don't understand is women who believe that starving themselves to dangerously low weights increases their chances of ensnaring Mr Right.
I mean come on guys, don't you desire a girl who is happy, healthy, able to hold a conversation and has the shape of a fertile woman who might some day bare you children? Or does it really turn you on to date a girl who throws up after every meal, is cranky from lack of food, has the bone density of an eighty year old and faints every now and then?
Frankly, ladies, a guy who wants to date a skeleton is anything but Mr Right. It makes me mad to see well fed males strolling proudly alongside their starving girlfriends. Since when was a skeleton a status symbol?
On an anthropological level, it would make sense for a man to be drawn to the girl who demonstrates, health, stability and fertility, but clearly that isn't the case in New York City, where women who look like twelve year old boys are ranked higher than women who look like women.
Has something gone seriously wrong with this society? Or is this just nature's way of redressing the balance? After all if enough women starve to death, then New York City may one day see an equal male to female ratio. What other explanation could there possibly be?