Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The cost of being a woman

My boyfriend and I will watch old movies and joke about how men's fashion hasn't changed that much in the last century. Men in the 1920s, '30s, '40s and through the decades have taken a similar approach to fashion. Slacks, button down or button front shirt, tie, suits, dress shoes... The cuts may change, suits are made to fit tighter or looser, tie width changes, but a man wearing a pair of slacks purchased in the last five years, a crisp buttoned shirt with or without a tie in an acceptable width and length and a man is good to go. It's simple.
In that same time period, look at how much women's fashion has changed -- even from the beginning of a decade. Look at how the fashions vary from the beginning of "Mad Men" to the end. Don Draper and the older men don't change much, and the younger men play into trends a little more, but a suit cut differently is still a suit. The women's clothing, on the other hand, differs so much from character to character and throughout the decade. Fashion is another way to show a female character's growth throughout the series.
A man who doesn't change sizes can wear the same clothes until they wear out. I once outed a male co-worker for having a hole in the elbow of his shirt. The buttoned shirt lasts until his elbow pops out.
Very few women's clothing items will last that long -- not because of quality, but because of fashion. Shirts get tighter and looser, as do pants. Skirt lengths change. The proper shoes for each outfit is always changing. A woman isn't properly dressed for many occasions if she isn't wearing heals that pinch her toes, rub against her heals and make her stand tippy-toed for hours on end.
And then we get to grooming.
I have hair that's on the greasy side, so I have to wash it every morning. Which means I need to dry it every day. That whole process probably sucks about 20 minutes from my day.
Give a man 20 minutes and not only is he showered and washed, but he's probably fully dressed and in the car on his way to work already.
I generally don't wear make up, mostly because I have acne-prone skin and skipping all make up tends to make my skin look nicer. The other reason is time. I like the way I look with a nicely lined eye and pink cheeks, but it takes time. And that's if you don't mess up.
Men can buy work clothes at end-of-season clearance sales and not have to worry about being "on trend." They can buy a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash and shaving products and be perfectly groomed for the corporate world.
If a woman tried that, she'd be called frumpy at best.
I just want some of my grooming time back to use on more productive things, if I could.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Single in the Oil Patch

For some women, being single in the Oil Patch would be a venerable beefcake buffet, but I'm not one of them.
Sure, there are a lot of men here, and many of those are single guys who moved up here to make a ton of money, which they are. But the type of guy who moves to North Dakota to make a ton of money for themselves really aren't my type. They're the type who want that money to buy big boy toys, not pay off student loans.
I have a bachelor's degree from Bemidji State University and a master's degree from Columbia College Chicago, and I miss living in the city every day.
I don't feel safer when people around me have guns. Quite the opposite, I'm worried that person may snap and use the firearm irresponsibly.
I'm not impressed by your paycheck, I'm impressed by your heart, which is very unimpressive if you're trying to win me with your paycheck.
I'm a liberal feminazi bitch. You're not going to change me, so please stop trying.
I'm done with "opposites attract." They might attract, but they don't last. Sooner or later you will have a major argument that just leads to conflict and heart ache, and before you know it, you've wasted eight months of your life that you'll never get back.
I guess my point is you should just leave me alone if you're looking for a housewife to bear your children, because that's not me.
Thank you

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 'Baby-Momma' dilema in journalism

The definition of "family" is forever changing, and with this poses some challenges for journalists. When a woman is the mother of a man's child, but they currently have no other legally defined relationship, and were never married, it gets so exhausting to put "mother of his child" in stories. I really wish we could say "baby-momma." Especially when the two have a civil relationship or even a friendship that has come out of co-parenting. They might have dated, but the romantic entaglements are all gone. Ex-wife sounds like there is some sort of dispute. Baby-momma sounds like what it is, baby-momma.

James was joined by his baby-momma for their 7-year-old's school play.

So please, let's bring this term out of the "slang" world and into credible language where it belongs.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dear Netflix:

Dear Netflix,

I think you really f*cked up this time. We were mad about the 50 percent price increase. So what do you do, not lower prices or let us know that with the increase there will be more content streaming. You make it more complicated that it was before.

People loved Netflix. You get DVDs in the mail, how great is that? And I can watch stuff online, too? GREAT. What, you have an app for my TV! I'm on board.

But now you're Qwickster? WTW? That's kind of messed up. Actually, that's really messed up. So not only are you charging more, you're going to change your name? Because name changes have really been successful for companies in the past. And one thing I loved about Netflix was that if I had a DVD in my queue and it became available with watch instantly, I would know. So if my DVDs are from Qwickster, and they become available on Netflix, will I know? Do I have to search it out to watch it streaming?

Basically Netflix, I think you lost a customer, at least for DVDs... and with the loss of Starz in February and the rise of services like HuluPlus and Amazon, I think you might have lost me and MILLIONS of others.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When does it become OK to put your significant other first?

My new coworker used to work at the same place as his wife. When the moved here they only had one car. (Why have two when you go to the same place every day?) So he has to drive her places until they can get another car. (Side note, I recommend a large car or, better yet, some type of vehicle with 4-wheel drive.)

Anyway, no one is going argue with a man who has to drive his wife to work or a doctor's appointment or anything like that, but would they do the same for a girlfriend? If someone had to leave work early for a boyfriend's doctor's appointment, would that be OK?

Do they have to be live-in before it's OK? Engaged? Dating for a year? Mother/father of your child? At what point does doing something for your significant other become sweet and not flaky?

And maybe it's flaky for a woman to do something for a man, but sweet for a man to do something for a woman?

All I know is that I felt flaky when I would choose a boyfriend over friends and especially over work, even if it was leaving to grab a quick bite, or if he stopped by to say "hi."

Does it depend on the level of commitment, or is it a boy/girl thing?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vegas baby!

I got invited to go to Las Vegas this summer. The trip is totally affordable and I think I'm going to go :)

But there's a tiny little glitch in the form of 30 lbs. The trip is only six weeks away, so I don't think that I can lose it all by then, but I can work my butt off, be really strict with my diet and drop about 10 while toning up and creating muscle.

I've been trying to lose weight for a while now, and I've dropped a few pounds in the last few months, I'm not shedding it as quickly as I would like. I think this trip is going to be the boost I need to whip me into shape.

How am I going to do it? First of all, lots of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beans), veggies, fruit, healthy fats (think eggs, peanut butter, olive oil) and whole grains. Very few sweets, white carbs and little to no prepackaged food. The exception would be Kashi granola bars for a quick, on-the-go snack. But even they aren't as good as having a piece of fruit or some veggies.

I've been eating better, but not nearly as good as I should be. I've been eating less bad stuff, but not no bad stuff. That's going to have to stop now.

I've been lacking something to really motivate me, so I think this trip will be a good thing in more than one way.

It's Vegas baby!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Midnight Run

This town can suck you in. It can break you down and kill your spirit if you let it. They want you to conform, they don't like outsiders here. People who do different things, look different, act different, are different aren't welcome, aren't wanted. People here get married young, have families and work to support that family, not because they want to build a career.

They don't like independent people here. People aren't supposed to be alone here. The sidewalks don't get used here, especially not at night. And no one goes out in the rain.

So the strangest thing I could do would be to go for a midnight run alone in the rain.

I was sick of sitting alone in my apartment. I was sick of sitting. I was sick of being afraid of a little water and darkness. If no one uses the sidewalk they are just as safe in the darkness as they are in the light. And I might look harmless, but I can fend for myself if need be.

The water, the water felt good, cleansing. The movement was cleansing as well. The heavy breathing was putting good in and bad out. I guess I didn't run as much as I walked, because my knee hurt, but it still felt good.

More importantly I got stuff out. I thought and talked to myself about all sorts of stuff. It felt good to get it out, it felt good to put it out in the world. The bad went out and the rain washed it away.

Most importantly, it felt good to be different, to stop trying to conform and just do what felt good, what felt right for me. Because now I feel better, I feel right.