Posts tagged ‘Oklahoma’

The Knitting Club

So, this weekend I took my granny squares and met up with a group of people who meet every other week at the Central Market to knit and crochet. I now have 97 out of 100 granny squares completed. When I get done with the 100 squares I have to crochet a black border around each one and then sew them together. I anticipate that I may be done sometime between now and the year 3000.

I wasn’t sure what I expected out of the group exactly, maybe a bunch of old biddies or a group of soccer moms. Neither was true. It was a pretty large group. There must have been at lease eight or nine people there. There were even two men.

We looked at pattern books and ate cookies and worked on our projects and talked. The lady who sat on my right was a technical writer who lived within walking distance of my house. The one on my left was a crochet guru who worked for a library. The woman directly across from me was from Oklahoma, and she teaches composition and rhetoric at a local university. The woman to her left was a former high school English teacher and a former Christian educator. And the two men were mos. Could the group have been more tailored made for moi? I don’t see how.

We talked about the news, its quality or lack thereof. The tech writer and I talked about the zoning plans for our respective neighborhoods and how sad it was that the area was destined to be Downtown: The Sequel. This means that it’ll be all vertical multi-use with outrageously high rents. In twenty years, they’ll have stripped this neighborhood of its poor and its minorities as well as its character. It will be homogenized, pasteurized, pristine, pretty, progressive, and predominantly white. It’ll also be pricey. I was glad that someone else besides me found that sad.

The tech writer was an African American woman, and when the subject of marriage and children came up, and I said that I thought marriage and children were both wonderful things but that I was tired of being made to feel less of a woman if I didn’t experience them, she said something profound. She said, “I have two grown children and a grandbaby. I’ve been married and divorced twice. All I ever wanted to be was That Girl. You know, like Marlo Thomas. Just a cute little career girl with a steady boyfriend.” Funny how you never think about the grass being greener.

We talked about writing and reading. We talked about grammar and novels. The meeting started at 2 and didn’t break up until nearly 5. Afterward, I went to the Mr. Brewsters for enchiladas and to see baby Punky.

I had intended to try a new church this weekend, but I didn’t get my nerve up and procrastinated instead, staying in bed under the covers and reading issues of The New Yorker. However, I did go to the church building on Sunday afternoon and drive by the outside so I would know how to get there for next week. I consider that progress.

I think I found a church that might fit with my particular brand of theology. I think I found some place where they might not think of homosexuality as a sin and where gays might be welcome to worship without being given the cold shoulder or the love the sinner speech. It’s small, and it’s close. The website talks about their commitment to service.

I like the Presbyterian church my landlords go to except that it’s all money. They pour most of their resources into buildings and programs designed to fill the needs of the church members and very little money comparatively into service and missions. Austin Stone is committed to missions, and they’re close now. I like the people who worship there, but that church is a member of the Southern Baptist Conference. I’m going to be pretty diametrically opposed to some of their theology. Plus, I’m pretty certain you’ll never see any gay or lesbian couples filling the pews at either of those churches.

January 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment

I Didn’t Mean to Shoot My Wife; We Were Just Having Sex

A typical cap gun display. http://www.nicholsc...

Image via Wikipedia

I am perplexed at a recent news story. A 23 year old man from Oklahoma City shot his 50 year old wife in the head at point blank range. He then called 911 to report to the police that the shooting was an accident. They were just engaging in a role playing fantasy, a sex thing, and he didn’t mean to shoot her. He didn’t realize the gun was loaded.

This is disturbing on so many levels that I just don’t know where to start. I’m not going to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, but are we asked to believe that this woman got off on some sort of rape fantasy involving loaded weapons? I know people like strange and kinky things in the bedroom, but c’mon!

How do you “forget” something as important as whether or not a gun is loaded? Why wouldn’t you check before you had sex? I mean, you could think of it as foreplay. Kissing, check. Fondling, check. KY, check. Opening up the chamber of a gun and looking for bullets, check.

Other people search for condoms or run to the bathroom to insert a diaphragm. This guy’s idea of birth control was apparently to murder his wife.

People, if you feel the need and you absolutely have to do shit like guns and knives and strangulation, please check your weapon of choice before the heat of the moment. Couldn’t these two have used a toy gun?

This whole incident just boggles the mind. And it makes me wonder if this kid thought that he’d have a chance in hell of getting off scot-free as long as he told the authorities that it was all an accident involving kinky sex.

I know what I think. I don’t think this was an accident at all. I think this guy wanted to murder his wife and get away with it.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2010/12/29/ng.sex.fantasy.death.hln?iref=allsearch

January 3, 2011 at 12:36 am 2 comments

The Post In Which I Eat Crow

A bottle of Hannaford store brand Dijon mustard.

Image via Wikipedia

Mmmm. Yummy crow. I will not eat the whole crow, but I will serve myself up a nice big gnarly piece of breast meat and chow down, carefully, with lots of honey mustard or barbecue sauce to help with the taste.

Remember my post on The Man Box, and then the one about The Bet? Remember dear old Vern? Well, after Kay’s comment on The Bet I rushed to old Vern’s defense pretty quickly, and I realized that something about the cynicism of the situation really bothered me.

I realized that I liked thinking that on some level Vern had been my friend and that he had genuinely wanted to look out for me. I realized that something about me really cherished that memory. And that, despite my nasty but truthful comments about his fatal flaws of vanity, narcissism, bigotry, and small town small mindedness, I really thought this guy and I had a friendship at one point. I liked thinking that someone was watching over me. Just like the old song. Some feminist I am.

So, I thought about it some more, and then I thought, well, I could “settle” this once and for all (not really; I mean, you never really know if someone is telling you the truth or not) by contacting Vern and allowing him to respond with his side of the story. Naturally, I did not tell him that I had written an uncomplimentary essay about something he did nearly twenty years ago and published it on the internet. Let’s keep that secret just between us guys and gals.

How did I go about performing this feat of achievement? Why, with Facebook, of course. It’s easy to find Vern on Facebook. You just type Vern and then Smalltown, Oklahoma, and he pops up. Amazing. And then you can email some guy who tried to get into your pants nearly twenty years ago. Gotta love the internet.

So, of course, I sent off my pissy email. And basically, it went something like how’s your kid and the wife, and by the way, did you really think your friends wouldn’t tell on you? That’s a really great way to contact someone you haven’t seen or heard from in years. I recommend that everyone show such discretion and judgment.

He responds with two emails. The first one is one where he says, basically, I’m not sure if I know you, but didn’t we work together at the physical plant at State Mental Hospital University? The second response, about four minutes later includes an apology in advance. It reads basically that he did a lot of stupid stuff in college, not all of which he could possibly remember but that if he ever at any time hurt my feelings that would really upset him. Also, he tells me he has a seventeen year old son and that he and his wife have been divorced for thirteen years now.

A sane woman receiving this response would probably just think, yay, I got my apology, but no! I have never claimed to be sane. I email him back, mostly smarting because he pretended not to remember me. Bullshit; I knew he remembered me! And that basically made me go all passive aggressive on his ass, by telling him that I would hardly say that he hurt me since that’s really making a bigger deal out of the situation than it was but that I think he’s a jerk because he tried to get in my pants when he had a fiancée and a baby on the way, and what’s more he made a bet about it with his friends.

I don’t ask him what happened. I just go right ahead and accuse him. I also recommend this tactic. Be pissy and make accusations and then fly off the handle with resentment because someone who hasn’t seen you in nearly twenty years might want to ask where they remember you from. I should teach a class in conflict management.

If I haven’t made enough of an ass of myself yet, did I mention that I also told him that he was full of himself and then added that I’ve met bigger jerks than him since then? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a proud moment. Jesus is smiling down on me from heaven. I didn’t come across as bitter, not at all.

Vern responds with a book. I mean the email practically had diagrams and everything. The friend (let’s call him Ernest (an Oklahoma joke for those in the know)) that I got my wild accusation from about the bet, because come to think of it, it was just the one guy, turns out that he and Vern aren’t buddies anymore.  And according to Vern this guy used to make up stories about him because he was jealous. Okay. That’s plausible.

Then he gives me a timeline of he and his ex-wife’s courtship. This includes the date of the original breakup, after which he would’ve been free to screw around, so to speak. He admits to being promiscuous but says he’s not proud of it. He then tells me when he and the girlfriend started dating again, and it was, lo and behold, the same month he graduated, the one when I turned 21, and it is not just plausible but in fact likely that he might not have even been together with her on my 21st birthday. They didn’t conceive their son until October of that year. The wedding was in January of the next year, and the kid was born in July. So, hmm, the timing for my version of events is all wrong.

He then goes on to say that he admits to using poor judgment in waiting until the last minute to make a move and that he thought about it often over the years and regretted how it probably made me feel. He swears on his Father’s grave (I’m not making this up, just reporting the facts) that there was never any bet.

Then he goes on to talk about how he’s been raising his son alone as a single parent and that he doesn’t date or “chase tail” and that his kid is an honor student who’s graduating in the spring with a full ride scholarship for vocal music and drama. Huh? A son in musical comedy? Vern? Didn’t you make him play football? He tops that off with saying that he’s raised his son “not to be like me.” What was that I said about small town small mindedness? Pass the honey mustard.

He apologizes again, even though, at this point I think we all know who the ass is in this scenario. He tells me he had a crush on me and  liked me because I was sweet and attractive and yes, he wanted to have sex with me because he genuinely liked me. I admit. It’s a novel concept, but sometimes people want to have sex with someone because they find the other person attractive and they like the other person.

So, now I have a dilemma. I can either choose to believe the story I originally believed, or given that his explanation is plausible and his explained motivation the simpler of the two possibilities, I can choose to believe Vern, or, well, at least give him the benefit of the doubt. So, I apologize. I tell him that I’ve been unforgivably rude, and that the truth about a bet or no bet is ultimately between him and God, and he shouldn’t really give a damn what I believe.

And then the emails fly back and forth, and we have a nice flirty time on memory lane where I fish for compliments about how hot I was back in the day, and I think I’ve been somewhat unfair to this guy over the years. Maybe very unfair. I don’t trust him entirely, but I do know which version of the story I prefer. Not enough to want to pursue something with him, although he left the door wide open for that and told me he’d love to buy me dinner to make it up to me. I got the last email at noon today. I won’t respond this time, but it started off with this sentence, “I did like to look after you and make sure you were safe.” Is it a line? Yeah, but I liked it just the same.

December 31, 2010 at 1:08 am 7 comments

The Third Time I Fell in Love

Guy #1

The first time I fell in love, well, I almost don’t count it. I was a freshman in college, and the young man didn’t feel the same way. We didn’t even date. He was my best friend. We were both English majors. We worked together. We socialized with each other and had all the same friends. He was funny and kind and smart. He and his brothers used to throw Egg Balancing Parties during the Fall and Spring Equinox. I used to write him letters that were more like personal essays, like this blog, and he kept them in a notebook that he still has, and he treasured them.

We spent nearly every day together. Sometimes it was every day. When I first met him I asked him if he was gay, and he told me he wasn’t. I don’t know what it was about him that made me ask. He wasn’t stereotypically effeminate. Maybe it was a sixth sense and years of socializing with high school thespians.

By the time that I got around to pressing the issue my friend and I had been as close as two people can be without having sex and being close. I was too young to know that if I had to press the issue with a confession of any sort that I could know in advance what the answer was going to be. If you have to tell a guy how you feel about him in order to find out how he feels about you…here’s a hint…he doesn’t.

But he let me down gently. And he was honest about it. He didn’t give me any agonizing details. He didn’t lie. He just said he wasn’t interested in me in that way and that he wouldn’t ever be interested in me in that way. I took a friendship sabbatical and came back, and after maybe a few verbal jabs that he endured with patience and humility, I returned refreshed and renewed and envigored about the friendship. He told me he was gay a year or two later. I should always trust my first instincts with my gaydar.

Now I guess I could technically get upset that he wasn’t completely honest about the gay thing, but I figure that a young man in his early 20s in Oklahoma in the early 1990s can be cut some slack in the honesty department when it comes to coming out of the closet. He didn’t lie about his feelings towards me; he just wasn’t feeling it, and maybe if he were straight he would have not felt the same way.

Guy #2

The second time I fell in love was a little over a decade later. I had just turned 30. I met a guy at a bar who was nine years older than me and was obviously a bad relationship risk on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. It was a friendship and a casual sexual thing (which I’m not proud of and not terribly ashamed of, either). It wasn’t meant to evolve into anything else other than what it was. And then one day when we were in bed, he told me that he loved me. He clarified so I would know it wasn’t anything platonic, “I mean, I’m in love with you.”

I think that in my thirties, with nearly all my girlfriends having been married, and me having nothing to show for my life and very little in the way of dating prospects, that I was just desperate to be loved. I had worked it out in my head that love was a commitment, and I would commit to this guy.

Surely, he could see that he was getting better than he deserved in me and would treat me accordingly. I really thought that was what would happen; I thought that if I encouraged him and held high expectations for the relationship, that he would rise to the occasion and everything would be moonlight and roses and picket fences and 2.3 children in the suburbs.

Unfortunately, the second time I fell in love, I fell in love with a sociopath. He wasn’t capable of loving anyone, not even himself. He was incapable of fidelity. He was entirely self-absorbed. He was a pathological liar. He couldn’t hold down a job for any length of time. He had no discernible moral code. He’d been divorced twice and had abandoned two children, and I thought he could change because he told me he wanted to be a better person. I could oversimplify the relationship by saying that The Rat Bastard eventually dumped me because he told me he was gay, but the truth was that I had outlived my usefulness to him. The glass workboot didn’t fit.

Guy #3

I actually met Guy #3 before I met Guy #2. I worked with him, and then I didn’t. For a long time. We met up once during this time, and I stopped by the apartment he shared with his brother for a visit. I don’t even recall how this came about, since we had socialized with each other a few times, but we weren’t close.

About two and a half years ago, about eight years after we first met, I ran into this guy at the cafeteria at my work. I didn’t say hello. For one thing, I didn’t recognize him for sure. I thought maybe it was him, but I wasn’t sure. And then there was my crippling discomfort with the fact that I was now eight years older and several pounds heavier. I knew that I would be measured against the yardstick of my cute and skinny self and found lacking.

I looked up his name on the employee directory, and then I sent him an email. And then I waited. I think it took him a week or longer to respond. Obviously, I hadn’t made a very big or favorable initial impression. But eventually he did respond, and he asked me if I had plans for New Years Eve, and I told him I didn’t. So, we made plans for this pseudo New Years date, sight unseen. Well, I had seen him, but he hadn’t seen me.

It was a double undate, and I could get into the details of that night, but it’s unnecessary. He recognized me right away, and he didn’t register any shock or even any acknowledgement of my altered appearance. He kissed me on the lips on New Years, and then I drove him back to his car. That night I had worn some shoes that killed my feet, and I took them off, and he gave me his shoes to wear instead. That glass slipper motif again.

He seemed interested in pursuing a relationship, but what the hell do I know? Maybe he was just trying to encourage me to get out of the house more and get a life. I put him off with the excuse that we worked together and for that reason it would be unwise to date. Later, I added that I couldn’t pursue a relationship with someone who didn’t believe in God, and I stick by that decision. If someone refuses to acknowledge what’s most important in your life and denies its very existence, they can never fully know you.

Over time he became my best friend, and I think I became his. Again, the details aren’t important. In writing this I am breaking a promise that I made to not write about him anymore, but I think that he’s long since quit reading this blog. Also, I don’t want to write about how it all unraveled or my disappointment or what I perceived as his dishonesty. I don’t want to trash him for his failures or his frailties.

The most hurtful things he did or said I’ve kept to myself. Despite what seems to be my complete candor, there are still some secret scars that I don’t share with the world or with him. It’s like the gift that you do not give. I do not give it because I love him. I want to write about what made me love him in the first place…how he snuck up on me and caught me unaware and made me love him.

He was sweet. He was generous. He was kind. He had a great smile. I never went anywhere with him or did anything with him where he didn’t make me feel profoundly safe and provided for. He thought I was smart and funny and even pretty. He took pictures of me with no makeup on and saved them to his iPhone over my protests (I hate having my photo taken).

We could talk for hours. We went out into the world together and snuggled on the couch and watched television. He was a very talented musician. He had these great hands. And he had a quality about him that was fundamentally decent and boyish and vulnerable. It was like he’d grown up with the soft spot on his skull still intact.

You know how there were some experiments years ago about how family members could recognize each other’s unique odor by making these family members wear t-shirts for a day with no lotion and no deodorant? Then afterwards they passed the t-shirts around and each family member could recognize each other by smell alone. I could recognize him by smell alone.

And so I loved him, and one day I decided to tell him, but just like with Guy #1, if you have to be the one to break the news, then you should already know the answer. And his answer was perfect silence, which was, of course, humiliating.

There was an “incident.” There always is. But none of it matters. I was sick, and I couldn’t be in a relationship and still be in my sickness. You know that song, the one that says you only get what you give? He was sick as well. We couldn’t heal each other. We would both have to recognize a problem and then seek help to get well. And for that reason I can forgive any of the other bullshit and just remember that once I was in love.

December 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm 2 comments

The State of the Blog Address

Rep. Mary Fallin

Image by republicanconference via Flickr

I am so pleased to report that this blog has received 46 hits today alone. And all I had to do was write a ridonkulously hyperbolic paragraph yesterday where I sarcastically threatened to kill myself because I’ve never given birth.

Seriously, I would never kill myself over something that silly. I realize that politicians feel that they have to fight dirty. It’s just so inappropriate to me. I think that mothers are very important people. What they do is valuable and should never be taken for granted. However, I would never cast aspersions on someone’s intelligence or competence because they are a mother, so I would expect that those women that are mothers would do me the same favor in reverse.

What Mary Fallin is doing is a cheap trick that sets back women’s rights. It might endear her to the more conservative voters in Oklahoma or to some women with children, but it hurts all women in the long run. She should be ashamed of herself.

The tiny blog is growing. Again, still not competing with TMZ or Gizmodo, but I have gotten over 500 hits this month. I started writing in May 2009, and I got exactly three hits that entire month.

On a personal note, I now have a job with a company that employs writers here in Austin, and I have an informational interview scheduled for lunch tomorrow with one of the members of the editorial department. It all happened by either divine providence or dumb luck, depending on what you believe. I know what I believe. God is good.

October 26, 2010 at 5:59 pm 1 comment

Mother Governor

Seal of Oklahoma.

Image via Wikipedia

I love this article I found on the current Oklahoma race for governor. For the first time ever, the governor’s race is a race between two women. This should be good news for feminists everywhere. Yay!

Now for the bad news. You knew there would be some. Apparently the Republican candidate is saying that she is more fully qualified than the Democratic candidate because she is…wait for it…a mother. Apparently, motherhood qualifies you for public office. I know that there are going to be a lot of men who will be interested in the fact that they are no longer qualified for public office by virtue of their testes.

This is the most ridiculous debate in the history of American politics. Despite the fact that the Democratic candidate is clearly and hands down the more credentialed candidate with previous political experience and a law degree, she isn’t qualified because she hasn’t been married and hasn’t seen fit to be fruitful and multiply.

Maybe the Republican candidate, a motherly nincompoop named Mary Fallin, would like to amend her statement to the more gender neutral parenthood. Parenthood qualifies one for public office. If Mary Fallin were in charge, then we would never have had Presidents Polk, Harding, or Buchanan. They were unqualified.

According to Ms. Fallin the ability to raise a family shows your ability to put others before yourself. Apparently putting others before yourself doesn’t show that ability unless the other in question came from your womb. That Mother Theresa, for instance…what a selfish bitch!

But you know who is supremely fit for public office. The following women:

Kate Gosselin

Nadya Sulleman

Mary Kay LeTourneau

Susan Smith (if only she weren’t a felon)

Michelle Duggar

Joan Crawford

Bristol Palin

I urge those of you Oklahomans who are politically active to please write in one of these imminently qualified candidates on your gubernatorial ballot.

Actually, I’m surprised that those of us who aren’t mothers are qualified for anything. Why do we even get out of bed in the morning? I’m probably not even qualified to write this blog or hold a job or, well, anything. Excuse me for a moment while I go kill myself. I’m so selfish that I’m obviously not fit to live.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/23/mary_fallin_jarki_askins_2010_election__n_772886.html

October 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm 3 comments


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