Conundrum of Age

This week has been something else. I have quite a few things to discuss with my small collection of readers. However it’s all going to have to take it’s time. The most demanding of posts is in regards to a small twitter “feud” that occurred between Armie Hammer and James Woods.

We’re gonna let the name slide for now… but just know, I am not a fan. What I am in favor of is his portrayal of a young 24 year old college professor that falls in love with a 17 year old boy in the film “Call Me by Your Name.” While I have yet to see it, I am aware of what it’s about, and I eagerly await the opportunity to do so for the simple coincidence of the character’s ages.

My husband and I met when I was in the final days of 17 and he was in the twilight months of him being 24. Our meeting was an accident. He had messaged me out of the blue during the AOL instant messenger days, thinking I was someone else who happened to have a similar screenname to mine. (My internet handle was “Melancholyschaos,” good god was I such a hipster emo.) He was dating someone at the time, his first message to me was in fact “Diego and I are still together.” I carried on the conversation like I knew who he was and what he was talking about before I finally just asked him who he was.

For some reason I had a hunch he and this Diego would not last long and every time he appeared in my “buddy list” I would message him. Finally, he ditched his former and I swooped in. We ended up meeting near midnight at a Denny’s, close to where we live now.

My husband hates this story. He also hates the fact that I was 17. It brings him more shame than it should. In the end it was just a number, and I turned 18 only 3 weeks after we first met. He did the legal thing and waited until that magical age to take our relationship any further than just talking.

I understand his discomfort. Yet it’s strange to think that numbers play such a significant part of public perception. In the case of James Woods, I also see how that seems young. If he were a year older somehow that makes it miraculously better and no one would bat an eye. However, that wasn’t the point he was trying to make with his comment. He was equating that to NAMBLA, which is an entirely different organization; one that should be shunned from every corner of the globe. He suggested that this group was “getting their way” and destroying public norms. Mr. Hammer’s response to that was “Didn’t you date a girl that was 19 when you were 60?” Well said, Hammer. Well said. James Wood’s response was to block him on twitter. So, I guess he won that argument.

I hesitated for so many years to divulge our ages at our first meeting. Mainly because of his insecurity, but a small portion of my own. But, seeing as how we’ve been together for so long it’s just part of our history. There’s no reason to be ashamed. I knew what I was getting myself into and what I was pursuing. Most would say, “Well, you were immature.” Yes, but was I? At what point do we just assume someone is an “adult” and stop treating them as if they “don’t know.” Is it when the clock strikes midnight and I roll over to 18?

The best portion of this “ twitter fight” was of a young actress that chimed in with a story that Mr. Woods had invited her and some friends to Las Vegas for a weekend. Her response at the time was that she was 16, to which his reply was “even better.” Since her tweet, he has said that her retelling is an outright lie, but when one looks at his dating history, it would appear that he has a taste for the young ones. So, who is to say? (Oh, he totally did it.)

Again, I don’t understand why age plays such a huge role in a relationship. I mean, it does 100% when it comes to the maturity level and “making it work,” but what I don’t understand is an outsider’s perspective when learning the ages of the couple.

Now, don’t for a second think I am advocating the dating of underage boys or girls. Quite the contrary. I don’t think teenagers are capable of grasping the idea of monogamous relationships. I know that in my early years I was still discovering who I was as a person or what I wanted out of life.

The simple answer to this is that there is no cut and dry response. It is a murky topic that goes into a downward spiral quickly. I guess, it just boils down to intent. What is happening with the relationship and what is being gained.

I will say, if you’re old enough to be that child’s grandparent, you probably shouldn’t be messing around with them. Okay, Woods?

Advertisements

Smoke-briety 

I would consider myself a social smoker, mainly because I only smoke a cigarette when I’m the company of others that partake in the good old fashioned tabaccy. It’s a rare and unusual occasion (typically when I’m super stressed about one thing in particular) that I buy a pack and just smoke by my lonesome. 

I am usually not around those that do. When I am I return to my filthy habit which in turn drives my husband crazy. It is smoking that has been a huge point of contention in our relationship. He sees it as a waste of money and the person with a cigarette between their lips is instantly unattractive. While I have disagreed he is not wrong.  

In the last I would just keep my habit a secret, hiding hand sanitizer and mouth wash in my car to help wipe away the signs of my smoking. But however “good” I thought I was I know he knew. He would hold his dislike of it to himself and allow me to live in a delusion. Yet I still knew he knew. 

With the close of this show I promised myself and him to that I would stop. Not because of health reasons, or that I feel like a monstrous hypocrite when I tell my pops he needs to stop, but because of my vanity. 

When I look at those that have smoked for years, they take on a particularly leathery look filled with cracks and creases that show their age with more lathered on top. I don’t want that to be me. Plus, after this last revisit to cigarette land I felt like garbage. 

So for the betterment of my relationship and myself I will end my torrid affair with nicotine. It’s him, not me. And I hope to never return. 

The Garden

Relationships are hard. No matter how one cuts it they are work. This idea that Hollywood has peddled to us that it’s always supposed to be easy has really done a disservice. It is a garden to be tended and seen too. There will be the lean times where it’s more work for not much reward but then there will be bounties unlike any have seen, if the effort was put forth 

My own relationship is fine. (I think.) It was just on my mind this week because a good friend of mine has found herself caught up in a whirlwind romance. She has found her other half and it looks to be something more than a casual trist. And I couldn’t be happier for her. She deserves it. Her previous relationship was hard tended but it didn’t bring forth any real fruit. 

From her recounting of the past months events I have gotten a vision that if they are still together by thanksgiving, which she will be visiting his family, he will propose. I could be wrong (more than likely I am, I tend to run that way) but something just tells me that. 

When I was younger I could pinpoint with an eerie accuracy when and how a relationship would end. It would come to me instantly in a flash. Granted most of the time it was of my own relationships and one could argue that the events that would occur could have just been a self-fulfilling prophecy, however I never saw myself as the ender of the relationship. 

What does this information have to do with working toward a relationship, who knows. I just miss having the talent. It went away once I met my husband. 

He and I, this early October, will have been together for 14 years. It has been hard fought. Our harvests have been bountiful and filling, but there have been lean times as well. I think the number one thing for a gardener is to remember that fruits will flourish no matter how hard the struggle. 

For the sake of clarity, it has been a summer for our relationship. Not anything he or I have done, it’s just that our obligations have taken us into new realms separate of the other. Me with work, school, and the show. And him with work. It’s weird transitioning from him texting all day long to not hearing from him until he’s on his way home. But it’s work. It is just time to till the soil and pull any weeds that may grow. 

Australian Same-Sex Marriage

So, an article came across my yahoo.com newsfeed (yeah, I know, the eye roll is appropriate.) It told of two gay men in Australia that were against gay marriage. Immediately I was enraged for a couple reasons, mostly because I know that this “news” station is using these two men to justify the other side’s opinion that it should be illegal. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s step back.

When gay marriage was being endlessly debated in the states I read and shared every article on Facebook. I joined a couple groups and would try and get all of my friends and family on board. One of my cousins, an out lesbian, never joined any of my groups and refused joining the fight. While she never outright said it, I knew she was against gay marriage. I was incensed. I couldn’t understand why. All I could conclude is that she’s 1) a nut-job and 2) a republican, which I assume is just to be “different.”

One time when I was taking a basic English class to “get back to the roots of writing” (god, I’m an idiot) I was put into a group that had this one little shit in it that was full of opinions. I have since seen him working at a movie theatre as a ticket taker, so, looks like he’s doing well for himself.   Anyway, I took this class during the heated ‘Prop 8’ in California and the topic was on everyone’s minds. This particular person informed the group that he had gay friends that didn’t want gay marriage because, and I fucking quote, “they didn’t want to get married.” Um… Excuse me? If this was even remotely true (and god I hope it isn’t) all I could think was that this is the most selfish reason to not want legislation. You don’t want to get married? Much like our hetero counterparts they don’t HAVE to get married. They can stay single until the day they die drunk and alone, to be eaten by their hundreds of cats. But to vote against your own community because YOU don’t want to get married is some bull shit.

This article (which I will post a link at the bottom) brings back that rage. How can these fuck faces sit there and tell all the others in their community they don’t believe in marriage because they don’t see themselves getting married. Are you fucking high on poppers? Maybe if you take the bottle away from your nostril for a couple days you might gain some clarity. This is not just for you, it’s for everyone. To sit there and purposefully harm someone else THAT DOES WANT TO GET MARRIED is beyond cruel.

That’s the thing about politics that confuses the hell out of me. People pass this legislation because it either will or won’t affect THEIRSELF. Fuck the other people that have hopes and dreams.

I truly hope this “couple”… I mean, can we call them that? They’re not… I mean… They’re men. That word is reserved for heterosexual couples that aren’t living in sin. They shouldn’t even be allowed to share a bed. They’re not married. They’re just friends… I hope these “friends” are ostracized by their community. Fuck having they’re “own opinion.” “Everyone should be treated with respect.” No they fucking don’t. You’re not showing any courtesy to those who want to get married so why should these “friends” be given any?

Here is the match: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36960765/same-sex-marriage-wollongong-gay-couple-oppose-marriage-push/

 

Chaos and joy in the spotlight

Oh theatre. It is a dark and cruel mistress. All this week has been a giant whirlwind of scrambling chaos to get a show ready for performance. With most theatrical shows it is months of rehearsal cobbled together to make the near perfect performance. However the game I play does the reverse of that. The writer’s of our sketch comedy show slam out a series of scenes and we have to make something magical happen in a week. It’s agonizingly euphoric. 

I was young when theater roped me in. I wanted to perform since I could remember. I wanted to be center stage spouting off lines and emoting a range of feelings. My favorite past time was learning the scenes from movies and recreating them line for line, trying to match their facial expressions and movements. It really came naturally to me. 

The whole notion of my want of performing was weird seeing as how I was a VERY shy kid. I was terrified to talk to people and typically chose to hide in my room than be in front of a group of people. However as time went on I realized that it was my fear of being in a crowd as myself that drove me into solace. That and I’m a straight up introvert. 

The first play I ever auditioned for I never actually got around to trying out. Instead I showed up, saw it was improvesque and I booked. I wasn’t even sure I could read lines, let alone make up my own on the spot. So I left. I swore to myself that I would try out in the spring. 

True to my word, I showed up and read over the lines, and overcome with panic and terror, I tried to once again slip out the back, but halfway down the hallway my drama teacher, Ms. Henry, popped her head into the hallway and shouted, “Joshua, get back here.” 

Her shriek was like the voice of some derange god and I obeyed rather than risk a smote. I auditioned for the first time ever and got a role playing a man in mental ward that was convinced he was horrifically disfigured. Thanks to that wonderful woman refusing to let me run, I found myself in theatre. And I also discovered a dark side of myself. 

I let my abilities go to my head and I turned into a major dick. 

It was common knowledge among the drama kids that the seniors were always given the lead roles and I expected that the role of Mr. Hill of Music Man would be mine for the taking. In that mindset I did not show up for a single pre-rehearsal and booked it after every school day. I didn’t put in the time. So as punishment for my arrogance, my teacher gave me the mayor instead. I was furious. The role I wanted went to a junior boy and one of my former nemeses. (I have had many. I’m like a character in a soap opera.)

Because of resentment and lack of interest, I was fired/quit from the spring performance of my senior year. That failure and disappointment taught me a valuable lesson, don’t get cocky.

So as I prepare to go on stage I have to remind myself I may be good and I may not. But whichever, don’t let it go to my head.  

Same Cake, Different Frosting

Evidently, it is human nature to do the same thing and expect different results. Einstein defined this as the definition of insanity; however, I think it applies to everyone. There are areas of our lives that we need to learn hard lessons, and even then it doesn’t mean it will prove to have any effect on our way of life. I say this because yesterday a bakery in my own hometown declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding day because it was against her religion. I get enraged for a number of reasons, not just, because it’s discrimination (no matter how you cut it) but I thought we had moved on. Clearly, we need another round of lessons. So, settle in class.

The thing that hurts me the most is that this is happening in my very town. No matter how liberal or crazy someone outside of the state of California views it’s residents it doesn’t apply into my pocket of bloody red that resides at it’s heart. This town is bleeding republicans. Which is why I am not surprised that it happened, but at the same time in shock. I get so comfortable in my own bubble surrounded by people that love and accept me without question. So, hearing that someone else has refused a service to one of my community members resonates on a whole other level because I know that I could very well have been in their shoes. It also makes me feel guilty, because I have very rarely come across any kind of hatred.

One of my good friends posted how he understood but it made him uneasy that government should have a say over private businesses. You mean, like laws? Where businesses have to have disclose all things in their food or how they have to abide by cleanliness? I’m confused. Where do we draw this supposed line?

My thought is that if you open a business there is a legal and social contract that is understood and accepted; unless the patron in your establishment is acting irrationally, you have to serve them. “The customer is always right,” has been echoed in retail since it was coined (by JC Penny I believe…). And unless you’re establishment offers a niche service there is no reason to say “I can’t do this.” For instance, if I went to a vegan restaurant and demanded a steak. Well, they don’t serve steaks. Or If I go to a Christian book store and demand the latest Stephen King novel. Those things don’t exist in that realm. So, when I walk into a bakery and ask for a cake, unless I don’t have the money or am calling you every filthy name under the sun (and speaking to a man that isn’t there), then the owner has to serve them.

It’s petty bull shit. “My religious beliefs….” Okay, what if this is that person’s third marriage, after she has been divorced twice for adultery? Are you still going to serve them? What about a couple that has had multiple children out of wedlock and is only now getting married? Their morals don’t exist then. They just see dollar signs. But, God forbid (pun intended), that they make a cake for a gay couple.

Now, in this event in my own hometown the baker at least was a “good Christian” and directed them to a bakery that does. Bless their heart. Doing the good Christian thing. However, here is how I see the situation. Let us say I have a coffee shop. And this same faithful baker comes in wearing all the trappings of a “Christian” and upon seeing them I pull her aside and say “I’m sorry. I don’t serve Christians here. However, there is another coffee shop across town that does. You’ll have to go there. Sorry.”

Everyone and there cat knows that woman would be infuriated and raise all kinds of hell. (Pun, again, intended.) Moreover, she would have every right to. No one should experience discrimination for any reason. Ever. At all. No matter what. Unless they’re just an outright asshole. Then let the denial of services commence.

So, if one has a hang-up about making a goddamn cake for a couple of homos on their wedding day then don’t make cakes. Make muffins for a coffee shop. Sell JUST cookies. If your morals are “so strong”, do not go into a job that would infringe upon your beliefs. It is common sense.

If this couple had gone in and lied about what the cake was for and they had made it, the woman would have done just that and they would have taken the cake to their gay wedding. Has this woman now participated in their unholy matrimony? Has she tarnished her “spotless” soul and barred herself from the gates of heaven? No.

The mental gymnastics must get exhausting.

To quote their own faith at them, what about the parable of the Good Samaritan? It was told by Christ to his followers and it detailed how a man lay beaten and bloody in a ditch and was passed up by all these holy men and strangers and wasn’t tended to until a Samaritan (a group of people who were seen as disgusting) finally came to his aid because he saw a man in need. They would say, oh, well the story is about helping out someone in medical need. True, but that’s not how parables work. They are miniscule lessons that impart an overall message. The thing you learn from the parable is HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN NO MATTER WHAT.

So, like most of everything that is happening in our country, here we are, once again. Same shit, just a different day.

Nothing to add, merely to relay

As much as I don’t want this to turn into a political blog it will inevitably trail that way sometimes. Especially because people insist on making laws or having ideas for change that will or won’t hurt a community I am a part of.

It’s funny because before the whole election I had little to no interest in politics. What was happening beyond my bubble was far beyond me. Which is what I feel so many Americans felt. We were disengaged because we had always trusted the system to work for itself and it was in that complacency that things began to go haywire.

The only law that mattered to me and my life was gay marriage. I wanted the knowledge that I could one day wed the person I wanted to be with. When that finally happened, for me, everything else became moot. And, again, I was complacent.

As it turns out this was the week to attack the rights of anyone under the rainbow banner of LGBTQ.

Let us begin with tRump’s pick for the head scientist of the department of agriculture. He is a gentleman that believes that homosexuality is a choice and that we are on the same level as pedophiles. It’s lucky that he is headed for the department of ag because he appears to be useless anywhere else. What terrifies me is that he is not the only one that thinks this way, and I imagine that most of those that inevitably will fill the remaining administration will probably have similar ideas on the topic.

For a brief moment I understand where they’re coming from with the logic “it’s a choice.” Yes. To some degree it is in fact a choice as everything we do in our life is a chosen by us. However, by choosing to conform to the straight life because it’s the “right way” would cause harm to the person doing the choosing and those around him. In addition, who the HELL would want to knowingly choose a life of pain and heart ache if they had ANY want/desire/attraction to the opposite sex. It would stand to reason that one would just choose the “normal” way and be done with the whole issue. But they think it’s for sexual pleasure, and yes it is, but what if I told a hetero man that he could never have sex with a woman again, but only men because it was right? They would say absolutely not because they’re not hardwired that way.

When I get to the pedophile shit I just cringe because his statement is accusing me of doing just that, and there is nothing I despise and loath more than a person that sexually abuses a child. As having been abused myself (not by an adult but by an older neighbor boy) I find it insulting. I am too an extreme that if I knew someone had harmed one of my loved ones as a child I would seek vengeance however it may be. I’m like a rabid dog when it comes to protecting the innocent, so to lump me in with someone that abuses a human, that is still struggling to understand what it is to be human, is infuriating.

It just shows me that most of those that fly the Christian moniker tend to be the least empathetic people, especially when an R is attached to their political affiliation.

Now… This last issue is not one that I am super strong about because I am not transgendered. I don’t know anyone personally, so that fight is not one that I feel I am in. However, I know what it’s like to be ostracized by society because of who I am, so I know when the bully on the playground picks the next victim I have to stand up to defeat him. Trump going after trans in the military is pointless and just dumb. They want to pretend that it’s about keeping a cohesive unit or that the other soldiers are in danger, but again it is because they lack any semblance of a heart. If they tried to look at it from the other person’s side they would see that their fears don’t even exist. Most trans people are more terrified of being outed because it could result in an even harder life.

Every morning when I wake I am terrified what the day will hold. It’s stressful. It is honestly wearing me down to the point that I have finally just accepted that the world is doomed. The life we lived is no more and now the powers that be have an agenda that benefits only them and no one else. That is why I have become very nihilistic. I genuinely hope that they fuck our shit up. I want them to ruin the country so that it will be on their watch, under their command, and all their fault. Unfortunately they will not see it that way and will spin it to be someone else’s doing because no one in politics can just own their bull shit.

I dislike writing about politics because I am not as well versed on the topic as I should be, nor do I have anything new to add to the constant chatter that buzzes around these issues. I wish I did have more to add/say/reveal but ultimately I have nothing. I am absolutely helpless. Knowing that my communities way of life is always in the hands of those who are not a part of, nor care for is soul crushing. It is in this powerlessness that I come to two very different metaphorical roads in my mind. Both are scary. One leads to me accepting myself as a victim under those that seek to oppress me; or I seek to be the one with the power, fueled by my rage. The second is more enticing because it gives me the illusion that some sort of war is being won, but I know that road leads to radicalization and inevitably ends up hurting the overall cause. Yet, on the other path, I have to take what is given to me with a smile and keep moving on, all the while have my spirit torn apart.