Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop defending them.

I was five the first time it happened to me. The same age as my youngest daughter.  I was with my parents at someone's house, family friends I guess you could call them. The adults were downstairs visiting, I was upstairs with their kids playing. All I remember is one of the boys (the kids were all several years older than I was) made me get in his bed under the blanket to see a "snake" and touch it. I didn't even know what it was. I knew it wasn't a real snake, but I could't even imagine what it might be.

Then came the classroom. In elementary school, one boy sat behind me and would hit me, hard, in the back of my head every single day. I told my parents. I told my teacher. I was told "Hit him back, he'll stop." One day I did hit him back. I got in trouble, not him.

 Another year, another class, same boy - he would sit behind me in class. He didn't hit me. He grabbed my breasts. In class, while the teacher was talking. He intimidated me so that I was afraid to say anything. It had already been reinforced to me over the years that telling someone didn't do any good. It wouldn't make him stop.

I can hear it now - grownups saying "Oh boys only are mean to the girls they like." Every time I'd try to talk about various boys who would touch me, hurt me, mock me, harass me - "he's just doing it because he likes you." I'd get the good-natured teasing "Christine has a little boyfriend!" More reinforcement: Your discomfort doesn't matter as much as the boys' pleasure.

In college, I had several guy friends. Suddenly, there were more. Guys from my classes would call me in my dorm. I'd chat with them, sometimes go on dates with different guys. Many times I'd go with a group of people and we'd go out dancing. Then I found out there was a rumor going around that if a guy was nice to me I'd sleep with him. I was floored. Finally I was confident, I was happy, I was enjoying myself, but since many of my friends were guys that meant I was a whore? I wasn't even sleeping with them, but that's beside the point. I broke down crying at home and the first thing said to me was "Have you done anything to cause people to think that?"

This is why I'm sickened by so many people's reaction to the whole Bill Cosby thing. Yes, we grew up loving Cosby Show and Jello Pudding Pops, and his comedy albums, and the specials. Yes, he was America's favourite dad. But that was a character, not the real person. These allegations have been whispered about for years. But finally, someone listened to one of the women. And that gave others courage to speak up also. Because I am damn sure those women were also shut down when they first tried to tell someone. "Bill COSBY did this to you? Are you sure? Didn't you maybe have too much to drink? Maybe you just led him on." And on and on it goes. More and more women came forward, and I had the displeasure at hearing a male in my life say out loud "I bet they're all making it up, their stories are too similar." Or maybe his MO was that consistent?

Yes, I'm sad that such a hero of our culture turned out to be such a villain instead. But I'm even more disturbed, saddened, and absolutely disgusted by the defense he's still getting.

Quit perpetrating the message, however subliminal, that girls and women aren't good enough to not be assaulted. Quit implying that because a man is powerful, respected, funny, well-liked, he couldn't possibly have done anything to them and they must have brought it on themselves. Quit teaching our daughters that if they are ever harassed or sexually assaulted, that it's their own fault.

It isn't our fault.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Today's prompt asks what five things make me happy right now.
I like thinking of happy things!

1. When our girls are snuggled up together, playing and giggling.

2. Unsolicited hugs.

3. Time together as a family.

4. Words. Reading them, writing them.

5. Laughing together

Monday, July 20, 2015

Talking to myself

Today's prompt asks the question what 10 things would I say to my 16 year old self, if I could.

1. It gets better. The bullying and harassment will stop soon. Just keep going.

2. You won't be this close with these friends forever. But you will keep in touch with a lot of them thanks to social media. However, in just a couple years you'll be in college and you'll make new friends, who will be the best friends you could ask for.

3. You'll make some questionable choices, but that's okay. You'll learn and become a stronger person from them.

4. It's okay to ask hard questions.

5. It's okay to take care of yourself.

6. It's okay to say no.

7. Treasure the time with your friends, since some won't make it far into adulthood.

8. In 3 short years, you're going to grow up very quickly.

9. You're going to be okay.

10. Don't stop dreaming.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


(Again, blog challenge found here)

Day 2 of this challenge is about fears. Describe 3 legitimate fears I have and explain how they came about. Sounds easy enough, right?

1. I'm afraid of ducks and cows. Not pictures, toys, or anything like that, but being around them in person. Exposed. No walls or fence to protect me.
Image from

I'll wait for you to stop laughing.

No really, stop.

Why am I afraid of ducks and cows? It's simple, really - they started it!

When I was little, we used to go to a duck pond and feed the ducks. These big, ugly black ducks with red bills.

 These ducks are mean. They chased me and bit me. Evil things.

As for the cows? That one is simple. I was near one, and something startled it, and it reared up at me like a horse does! Cows are huge, and I knew that was bad. I haven't been able to get close to one since.

2. Like every parent, I'm terrified of something happening to either of my daughters. This fear is bestowed at birth, I'm sure, and is pretty self-explanatory. Both girls tested this within their first couple days of life but thankfully both are healthy and full of life.

3. Heights. I'm fine on planes, but can't stand being near the edge of balconies and decks. Observation towers? Aerial trams? Nope and nope.

I've ridden this before. It's horrifying.

Monday, July 6, 2015

That's so random

Last night I found a few 30 day blog challenges - how exciting! Roughly half a year of ideas, hooray! (Here is the link if you want to join in.) Today's topic? List 20 random things about myself.

1. I have red hair and blue eyes, which is the rarest hair/eye color combination in the world. And my daughters are the same.

2. The Myers-Briggs personality test classifies me as INFP, accurately.

3. I read a lot. On Goodreads, I set my yearly challenge as reading 100 books this calendar year. As of today I'm at 136 finished and counting.

4. I google everything. Seriously, everything. If I don't know something, I just look it up. Honestly I can't comprehend why everyone doesn't! What else was that actor in? How do you make a certain dish? Is that political story going around Facebook true or not? I can tell you in seconds.

5. I think bacon is a bit overrated.

6.  I'm guilty of this:

7. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by responsibilities that I just shut down for a day or two. I read book after book after book and try to forget for a while. Then I can move on and deal.

8. Cold temperatures make me break out in hives, starting on my fingers and traveling up my arms if I don't warm up.

9. I often have a hard time sleeping because my brain just will not shut off. So I'll read to distract my brain, which leads to a whole other insomnia issue.

10. I'm 5'11" and still wear heels. And I won't apologize for that, either.

11. Red is my favourite color.

12. Grumpy Cat annoys me greatly.

13. I've had a terrible case of poison ivy for nearly 2 weeks now. Today is day 12 of oral steroids for it. I wish I could stay on them forever! I've been pain free in my back and feet for the first time in a year.

14. I used to paint with watercolors and oils but it's been almost 10 years since I've done it. I have no confidence in my abilities at all and talk myself out of it every time.

15. I do this a lot, too:

16. My favourite movies are The Whole Nine Yards and Rent.

17. My favourite TV show is Sherlock.

18. I love big dogs. We have a Pointer (small at 45 lbs) and a German Shepherd (not small at 90ish lbs).

19. This October will be our 18th wedding anniversary. In 2016, I'll have been married for half my life already!

20. I don't mind my job, but I haaaaaate commuting to work. I get so freaking bored in traffic. Even when there's not much traffic I just want to get there already and be done with it. The long drive just kills me.