Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memos From the Eye of the Midwestern Storm

RE: The Vernal Equinox

I forgot to balance an egg on end yesterday. Maybe next year.

RE: Robot Babies

I do not think they
inspire baby making. Nor do I think they terrify teens into abstinence. Get a clue, people of earth.

I am especially annoyed by the following: "Girls are required to take care of their robot babies for three days and two nights, while boys can either take a baby for 24 hours or write a paper (emphasis mine)." Seriously? This is utterly archaic. Shame on you New York public school system. If a female student wants to explore the ramifications of early parenthood via writing & research, as opposed to dragging around a whiny rubber doll for three days, why shouldn't she? Also: what message does this send the male population about their responsibilities? Does it ultimately suggest they are less responsible than women for the care of their children? Way to support a culture of deadbeat dads, public school system. Nicely done.

With apologies to Joss Whedon: Grr. Arrgh.

RE: Things I Cannot Stand

Words like "gals" & "hubby" ((shudder)) Karl Rove, meaningless platitudes, microwave dinners, movies that star Julia Roberts, instant oatmeal, The Amazon Kindle, smug people with expensive haircuts, Applebees, James Patterson thrillers (why does everyone revile Dan Brown & Stephanie Meyer when Patterson is such a worthy target for mockery?), olives & pickles, uncomfortable shoes, linoleum.

RE: The Telephone

I am uncomfortable on the telephone. I like email better. There are no awkward silences in an email, although there might be awkward verbiage. Or typos. I can live with that.

RE: From the "Think About It Before You Publish It" Files

I just saw a headline on the Comcast homepage that read "Huge Pendulum Nails Model" and I laughed at my desk for approximately six minutes.


Kathleen said...

Please forgive me for liking Julia Roberts (spotted her in Mystic Pizza and said to self, "Major star someday!") and saying "hubby" now and then in certain audiences.

I, too, don't think the Japanese robot babies (or the American versions) will actually encourage babymaking. But who knows?

The thing about the woman having to do more of the actual nitty gritty of childcare, however, rings true to me. We do. Most of the time. In some cases, I suppose, the man might do "equal time," as they say, but my experience of two natural childbirths & breastfeeding for 6years straight was that it was my body that was taken over, my time, etc. A willing thrill, but also very exhausting and sometimes frustrating. Often frustrating. I got help, but my entire self was given over and taken over, and I wouldn't want to fool any young woman that it would be otherwise.

That someone else would legislate any of this, or make unfair school rules, seems wrong, as you say. But to think we can choose or truly equally divide the reality of it...well, I don't think it can be done.

Susan said...

Oh, almost everyone I know says "hubby" and I tease them about it, but don't bear any actual grudges :)

I don't think I've ever seen Mystic Pizza! Perhaps it's good? I just loathe "Pretty Woman" & "Runaway Bride" & other similar-type movies. Of course, I'm not much for romantic comedies. My bad cinematic experiences have left me traumatized & now Julia Roberts horrifies me more than Freddy Kruger.

Yes, I agree that the physical aspects of childcare are borne (forgive me, sometimes I cannot resist the pun) more heavily by the female of the species (certainly pregnancy, birth & breastfeeding exclusively so); however, why aren't the young women given the same option (to write a paper, for example) as the young men? And while the reality is that women--more often than not--bear heavier responsibilities, maybe it's because the men are often "given a pass." We've created cultural expectations that (sometimes) shut men out of enjoying nurturing their own children & it seems to me that it's to the father's disadvantage, too.

Maybe I'm just feeling idealistic today.

I know of many fathers who describe spending time with their children (when the mother is away) as "babysitting" & I find this very strange! It suggests they feel less invested in their own experience as parents. I wish this weren't so...