Of Grenades and Cotton Ballz

Aware of women’s issues, I still hesitate before speaking for any sex in general and decline to consider myself a feminist. There are too many disappointments in women’s society for me to be convinced that the sorriest female is as great as the strongest. Certainly there are laws and politics that cannot pertain to me without including a category of ovary-carriers in general, and in important instances such as these I’m willing to be generalized. For my own individuality, I’m not. The world has me mentally herded in with all other estrogen and that is why I see the need to make a few things clear regarding what I believe when it comes to most other vaginas.

Granted, anyone could look me over and be disgusted, convinced that I’m the only problem. But allow me to speak up against the first topic that really pisses me off: solely blaming men for women’s oppression. Because, if you ask me, some of this alleged “oppression” exercised by way of sarcasm, harassment, and media is a man’s natural and acceptable reaction to the stupid things that women do.

Consider the issue of dress. When you go strutting down Main Street in a baby doll tee shirt with the word “hooch” written across the chest (perhaps with matching daisy dukes bearing the same suggestive title across your ass) you might get treated like (gasp) a hooch. Try to understand that brains and beauty are getting increasingly harder to remember or recognize, let alone respect. You might want to try another way to empower and sexualize yourself besides constantly tugging your shorts down and holding the bra strap up. Don’t think for a moment I’m implying scantily-clad woman aren’t deserving of love or intelligence; I’m suggesting you don’t get bent out of shape if some guy driving by holds a few bucks out the window and mistakes you for a hooker. Geeze.

If you can’t handle dressing to enjoy yourself and having an affect on someone else to want to enjoy you, too, then I guess it really isn’t very joyful after all, is it?

It has been a battle to have the female’s voice heard, to have her vote mean something, to own her land and keep this country’s laws off her body. Women are turning to men and pointing the finger because their little girls walk into toy stores and see things on the shelf like pink, plastic vacuum cleaners. But perhaps if Mommy wasn’t always vacuuming, then Suzie Q wouldn’t care to emulate it. When she wants a Night of the Living Dead action figure instead, Suzie will let you know. There are more reasons as to why stores are divided up other than random conspiracies for product placement. The miniscule issues that feminists piddle their energy away on fail to attack the bigger problem at large.

We aren’t equal, so get over it. Regardless of whether or not every woman has the choice to be just as powerful as the average man, they aren’t. I don’t need statistics to prove to you that more men physically defeat women than the other way around. This overpowering aspect has left many females beaten and will continue to do beating. No matter how clever or exceptional some women are or may become to help compensate for this unevenness of muscle power, I suspect that physical strength will remain essential to victory. This notion of inadequacy is easily hypothesized after observing masculinity being attributed to men and femininity (slightly less important in, say, a war) to women. A lot of something here and a lot of another there, does not equality make. So not only are women varied in degrees amongst each other, they are also (speaking in terms of physical strength) weaker than men on the whole. Blaming men for this is like blaming the top student for the cruel lack of give in a grading curve – tough shit.

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Take A Hint.

For the past three days, I had a small issue.

A friend who used to go to school with me, lives 3 minutes away or so, and he started to visit more this year than any previous year. He used to follow me and Julie around the playground in junior high because he had a crush on the girl with the biggest chest of the entire student body. We were friends, well enough, but he was always relatively annoying.

Throughout high school, we exchanged good words and I was always bumming lunch money from him. I’d allowed him to borrow my guitar, cds, and anything else, so he felt like he was always in debt to me, and I took advantage of that. I was always tugging on his shirt at lunch time…he knew that it was me, and he’d reach for his wallet to hand me a dollar for lunch.

We got along pretty well. I rode home in his covertible after school, we took choir together, blah blah blah – point is, after high school, our lives haven’t had much to do with each other. We no longer share schedules in common, he tripped on acid and walked through a green door that wasn’t there, borrowed 200 dollars for rent money that really went to drugs, did a crappy job painting our house to pay us back for it, …it was basically one wrong move after another, and when we stopped giving him money, he seemed to be gone for 2 years or so.

I guess he played a small role in contributing to the events leading to my little brother’s accident, as well. I was reading his poetry at the time, throwing chords to it. After learning this, all projects with David ceased and I removed him from my little electronic address book. When the hounding did not stop, I suggested that his constant presence was a little forceful, and that I liked being alone. This worked for a good two months!

But 3 days ago, he came back.

Pulled up in his van uninvited, and walked right in with, “If it isn’t my favorite bitch.” Slammed his orange Faygo on the kitchen table and mused to my music selection, “Billy Joel sucks.”

Oh, hell no.

When I’d run around doing my chores and then some to avoid him, he followed me around. When I mocked him, he laughed. When I said I had to run to town and do what I need to do, he asked to ride along. None of the subtle excuses work on this one.

I made pleading eyes to my parents several times, and Mom would ask in a whisper that only an idiot couldn’t hear, “What’s wrong?”

He said that Hendrix was a God, even though “only one song, All ALong The Watchtower, made it on the top charts.” I said, “He didn’t write that, you know.”
“He didn’t?” No. You’re not a musical genuis. Your father listens to classic rock and has therefore, taught you little.
“Bob Dylan did.”
“Bob Dylan sucks. He can’t even sing.”

I’d have imagined my hands around his neck, but that would have involved imagining touching him.

Yesterday when my mom came home, I sprinted out the door and yelled, “Hey MA- what time are we goin to Subway today?” and pointed at his van with silent “HELP! ME!” eyes. She said, “I never planned anything like that with you.”

Day before yesterday, I ran with David and got the twins to help save me. Adam began mock-choking whenever David lit up, and Nick flat out told him that he sucked. They knew I was in pain.

Yes, the boy who used to have abs and invited me to punch him as hard as I could, now has a beer belly and I went on a diet. I’d like to walk up and punch him now, and say, “Hey, what’s wrong? Old times!” But. More physical contact, you see.

He saw the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack stuck in the cassette player and looked at me like, “Who the hell put THAT there?”(*cue flashback of me and the twins riding along, windows down, blasting “Be Our Guest” as I do my best to sing the operatic spoons’ part, as they fall down into the punch in my head.)

When neither one was around, he asked disappointedly, “How old are they?” (as in, so I see you’re hanging out with children. how uncool.) And when he looked at my cd rack, he asked, “Why do you have pop cds?”

This gave Nick an idea. “Let’s play Britney!” And he danced around, bobbing and saying (lying) about how much fun the game was, while I played. After a stunning performance, I offered to toss the hand control over to David.

He sat back in his (MY) chair and said, “No. Thanks.”

When he went to use the restroom, Nick turned to me and said, “I’m having so much fun!” He meant, trying to piss off David every chance he got. And I laughed hard. I’m so in love with those twins.

Adam was wearing a tee shirt for those who are too easily agitated that read, “Your favorite band sucks.”
“So what are your favorite bands, David?” Adam asked.
“Nine Inch Nails and Tool.”
“And are you still working at Goodwill?”
“No.”
“Well, that’s okay. Look how things turned out for you. You’ve got a stupid haircut and you’re fat.”

I nearly spit the turkey sub out my nose, at the wicked sense of humor. He knew I’d gotten pissed, at the Billy Joel comment. And I still imagine those twins as the 12 year olds who sat at my piano for lessons, shy and wide-eyed. So anytime they say anything, really, I’m just. So proud.

*tears up* (lol)

We talked about people we graduated with. I expressed my great respect for one of the girls and he said, “Yeah. I used to go to church with her. I was trying to get some.”

Okay. Any points you never made, you just lost with me.

“No wonder you failed a GM personality test. You’re a bitch.”

Too bad, you’ve got no idea.

Yesterday, third day in a ROW, he pulls this on me, in the middle of a devotional study. (a short-intended glance in the Bible turned into a “help, I can’t stop reading and I’m trading all of my mother’s stupid romance novels in for credit on the used bookstore’s spiritual shelf” kick, which has gotten completely out of hand. Overindulgence, thy name is Autumn May. We’re talking WoW albums in the PC and Veggie Tales in the VCR, here.) And for every stupid thing he had to say, I had scripture on the end of my tonuge….but I saved it.

When I started dieting, I went around telling everyone how to eat. I don’t want to run around telling everyone how to live, just because I found a new obsession. I’d get annoying, fast, and besides. I don’t believe in preaching the way I was thinking about preaching.

“BE GONE FROM ME, SATAN!”

“Um, David? If my dad comes in here drunk saying he doesn’t like people in his house, you might have to leave.”
“Well if he does that, you can just come chill with me. Cool?”
“Well, I have things that I do later in the day, and I need to be here to be ready for them.”
“Oh, okay, no problem.”

Because I had brought Roy over earlier last week, my dad was still stewing because, “He comes in here and eats all our food, that prick. He’s no fuckin’ good.” I heard my parents scream at each other in the front room, and Mom yelled out, “AUTUMN?! WILL YOU TELL DAVID TO GET LOST, ALREADY?”

:) He got up and exited the house. I walked in after things settled down a little, to give her 2 thumbs up and a smile.

“And if he calls, tell him you’re going somewhere with me.”

:) My mom DOES still care about me.

Stages, or Staged?

I just bought Britney’s “Stages” DVD, a new official release that looked like it was going to be like Madonna’s “Truth Or Dare” – a real documentary where the camera captures what the performance artist deals with. I thought it was made as means of providing a safe and accurate peek into how she feels offstage. I thought she’d be sweating, talking, or otherwise dealing with life in some way.

I was wrong.

The cover of this product, a huge photo book, has a black and white of Britney from her chest down, back against a wall, with a phone in front of her, as if to seem anti-glamour. When I was trying to judge from the photo, I read it as “I’m sitting in a hotel hallway, beat and anticipating a phone call in my well worn, I’m-Like-You clothes.” Less than half way through the program, Britney walks out to one of the rooms in her suite…and proceeds to do a photo shoot of all of these “real life”, “practical” images. My heart broke, a little bit.

I watched in disbelief as they moved her hair around her shoulders for just-right-messiness. A plate was ready and sitting on the bed, so she could climb right on and pose as though it had really been where she was lounging, with breakfast half gone. Usually when you buy a Britney anything, you get exactly what you saw in the store; the outside is screaming “lights! Camera! Makeup!”. “Stages”, on the other hand, would have been better titled “Staged”. But determined to enjoy this broken promise, I put some gummi bears into my mouth and carried on.

What proceeded was paranoid blabber from the rich men in her company. If a fanatic tried to jump a fence, Mr.Kingshit made love to the camera like a big, bad ass from “Cops”. And you think Britney seems ditsy? Her crew is far worse, and, sadly, allowed to speak throughout the final cut of this project. What does Brit have to say, you ask? Beyond phone calls to her mom, “I love you momma, I love you so much” and “I’m so tired/I’m so excited”, not a whole hell of a lot.

“’Why did you give your people the bird’, they kept askin, and I had to keep sayin’ that I’d already covered that!” she defended in an after-interview (where she was harassed “could you stand up and turn around for us” and badgered for personal answers). Did we, the fans who’d given her money to see something exclusive, get any answers that she was claiming had been already revealed? No, but we sure got her talking about how annoying repeating herself is. Apparently, if we weren’t there that day to hear her answer the first time, we’re shit out of luck.

The last half tries to excuse her canceled tour in Mexico due to excessive rain, but never really apologizes. All we get from the artist is her saying, “I had my rain shoes on for that one, and I still fell.” All tell and no show makes me wonder if anything’s true at this point.

The recurring theme of “she goes through so much and gives them everything – can’t she have anything to herself” was finally drilled into my brain and I understood that I would never get the intimate look that her marketing suggests. I was a fool for thinking that the world behind those brown eyes would ever be released to fans beyond a few “shits” she let slip, and it cost me $30 for this lesson. In temporary denial, I wondered, “Why would they release something like this for people like me to see? Don’t they realize that they’ve chosen to show the trick before the magic? So, is nothing there to see or is her reality still just a big secret?”

That mystery is one of the few things that haven’t been exploited, and I’m not sure if I want to know the truth, anymore. They’ve been feeding me glitter and hairspray for so long that a good helping of meat could seriously damage my system. Worse yet…I dare ask…what if this is the main course?