These Two Things Are Not The Same….

I was speaking to a male blogging friend recently about some of the worst comments he has ever received (because bloggers share comments like soldiers share battle wounds) and something really struck me. Lets see what you think…

His 5 Worst Comments

  1. I hope you die
  2. Your grammar is incorrect
  3. You’re not as smart as you think you are
  4. You’re an asshole
  5. You should do more research

My 5 Worst Comments (Warning – graphic)

  1. I hope you get raped
  2. I’m going to find you and dick slap you
  3. I can’t wait to beat your cunt
  4. If you get raped, know you deserved it
  5. I’m going to shove my big dick up your ass until you bleed

So…those are not the same. All awful, but not exactly equal. What really struck me, is that my friend blogs about what might be considered controversial topics and I…well…I don’t. (At least not on the blog where I received these comments) I blog about happy things and things that make me laugh.  So, why are my worst comments so much more violent than his?

I have a pretty good theory as to why – it’s because I have a vagina.

BUT – before I add another thing to my sexism list, I thought a larger sample was in order. So, male bloggers – have you ever received violent comments? Feel free to be as vague as possible (aka, just say “yes”) as I know this can be very painful and difficult to rehash. I’m just interested to know if my friend is just super lucky in the comment troll department, or if there is something bigger at play here.

Let me know your thoughts! (And ladies, if you would like to, feel free to share as well)

- Mae

I’m Sorry My Name Change Inconvenienced You. Oh Wait, Nope.

Changing my last name to my husband’s was a decision of convenience. My maiden name is almost impossible for anyone who does not speak Welsh to pronounce and after a lifetime of correcting people’s pronunciation of it, I was relieved/exicted to change my last name to something that was easy for everyone to say because it’s so recognizable (Holla is you share a last name with a notable historical figure everyone learns about in school).

But then actually doing it, changing my name, became one of the most frustrating and painful processes of my life. The entire thing is impossible and ridiculous and probably qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Like, if someone keeps committing crimes, you should punish them by having to change their name every 6 months because then they will never commit a crime again. Basically, I just solved habitual crime in America.

This process has been excruciating. Between filling out all of the forms (so so many of them), and mailing things, and showing up for pictures, and providing proof that I am who I say I am and that I did in fact get married, and then waiting the exact number of days you have to wait, and then getting a letter that the powers that be got my letter and are sending me a letter in acknowledgement of that letter and that in 2-8 weeks I will be the proud owner of all kinds of new cards, and oh yeah, once you get them here are a bunch of other forms you have to fill out to notify everyone of your new name, and WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP?

I could have bought a gun every 4 hours for the months it took me to do all this and I would have had all of the guns in the world and no one would have so much as asked what my maiden name was. I’m just sayin.

But finally, finally, I got through it. At least, most of it. I’m at the part now where I have to notify insurance, banks, etc. of my name change. So, I email HR at my job and let them know about my new legal name.

And then I got an email that went a little something like this:
“Do we really have to do this? Can’t we just leave your name as is? This is a huge hassle for us.”

Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize changing my name was a hassle. Is it a hassle? It’s been as pleasant as eating peach pie for me. I’m so sorry this inconveniences you. Oh wait, nope, I’m not. MOTHERFUCKER.

- Mae

The Things We Do For Pretty.

You guys. Have you ever thought about the thing you do to achieve that seemingly elusive “pretty”? I had never really given my “pretty” routine a good thinking on until recently – but then I did – and now….now I just can’t believe all the things I do for “pretty”.

I eat at least an ounce of walnuts every morning. I don’t particularly like walnuts. But I eat them because I read that they make your skin “pretty”.

I drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water as soon as I wake up every morning. It’s not horrible, but I don’t love it. Again, I read this will make both your skin and hair “pretty”.

I spend hours upon hours researching tips/tricks/advice on how to be “pretty”.

I can not honestly remember the last time I wasn’t on a diet. Because it is so ingrained in my psyche that skinny is “pretty”.

I constantly fuss with my hair because I want it to look “pretty”.

I spend a disgusting amount of money on products that will make me “pretty”.

I spend hours hating myself because despite all of the above, in my eyes, I’m failing at being “pretty”.

FUCK PRETTY. Seriously, fuck it. What about healthy? What about confident? What about intelligent, and funny, and thoughtful, and caring, and compassionate, and kind, and loving? What am I doing to on a daily basis to achieve those things?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start neglecting my hygiene and do nothing but sit around watching old episodes of Veronica Mars. Ok, so yes, I do plan on watching a lot of Veronica Mars, but I’m also going to do other things. Things that fulfill my desire to be healthy, confident, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, kind, and loving. Because fuck pretty y’all. There are so many better things than pretty.

- Mae

Don’t Be An Asshole

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Here is a rule that I think everyone should abide by all the time: “Don’t be an asshole”.

Simple, no? And yet it seems like every person with an internet connection and the comfort of anonymity feels like they have a right to be an asshole and they make good use of that right by commenting on well-meaning blogs everywhere and BEING AN ASSHOLE.

You disagree with something a blogger has written? So be it. That’s totally cool and hell, I welcome it, but there should be just a shred of human decency in your response. (Unless you’re just a spam bot, in which case, sorry to point out that you’re incapable of human emotion). As bloggers, we don’t expect to be agreed with all the time, we write because we have something to say, and it’s ok if you don’t agree and have something to say yourself in response to what we said (you follow?), it’s why we have comments enabled on our blog, to allow discussion.

I like discussion. What I don’t like and what I absolutely won’t tolerate is someone acting like an asshole in response to something a blogger has written. First of all, you don’t know them. You can’t ever be clear on what motivates them or what circumstances have driven them to post what they post. Second of all, you don’t have to read their blog. Ever. YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ IT. No one is forcing you. If you see something you don’t like, move along. IT’S SO SIMPLE. And thirdly, WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH BY BEING AN ASSHOLE???

Maybe you were hoping to get a reaction. Congratulations! Mission accomplished! This is my reaction to you being an asshole. It can be summed up by saying DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Let’s be kind to one another. Please.

- Mae

Let’s Leave Genitalia Out Of This.

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People of the human being persuasion!

I have a request that, quite frankly, I can’t believe I even have to make, but I do and so here we are.

Can we please leave our genitalia out of arguments/disagreements/differences of opinion? For example, if you prefer mayonnaise and I prefer mustard, that does not mean that I should call you a “dick” or you should call me a “cunt.” It is not our genitalia that are informing those opinions, it is our tastebuds.

Let’s take it further. If you are anti-marriage equality and I am pro-marriage equality, it does not make sense for you to threaten to shoot my vagina or for me to threaten to chop off your penis. It is our brains that are at an impasse, not our sex organs.

What I’m trying to say is, let’s leave genitalia out of this. I don’t think with my vagina and you don’t think with your penis. Let’s stop reducing each other to our sex organs, ok? We’re so much more.

- Mae

Pregnancy Playlist

My hubbers sent me an interesting article the other day about the music parents want their children to listen to, which made me pose the question “What are the top 5 musicians you want your babies to listen to in utero?”

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Because those are the types of questions I ask. Also, because I think if you hit them with the good stuff (musically) while they’re developing (literally) then you will have the best chance of not fighting over what’s playing on the radio on family road trips. This may just be the key to family harmony….

My top 5 had already changed about 10 times, but I think I’ve finally landed on a list I (and my future embryos) can live with.

1. Johnny Cash.

2. Jimi Hendrix.

3. Willie Nelson.

4. Dolly Parton (Full disclosure, Grace made me realize this was a necessity)

5. Otis Redding.

Obviously, my embry-yo-yos will have lots more to listen to than this (my husband and I compulsively listen to and collect music) but these are my top 5. Until I change my mind again.

Who are the top 5 artists you hope your kiddos listen to and love?

- Mae

I Don’t Get Coachella Fashion

There. I said it. I don’t get Coachella fashion. At all.

I get that it’s California and it’s filled to the port-o-potties with celebrities who need to be SEEN, but the fashion choices just seem impractical for a music festival. I can say that because I am so stranger to music festivals, I go to ACL every year and it’s the best music festival in the world and yes I absolutely am biased on that so don’t even try to call me out on it.  And of course, I want to look nice because people take pictures and there are cameras and one year Christian Bale was literally standing like 10 feet away from Grace and I so, yeah, I get wanting to look good. But, it’s still an outdoor music festival.

Wearing all white?

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Uh- hello?? You sit on the grass. Or on a blanket on the grass. There is loads of grass. Am I the only one who lives in fear of the grass stain?

Wearing nothing but a bathing suit?

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I checked. Yes, the weather was warm during the day, but at night? Weren’t you cold? It seems like you would be cold. Also, bathing suits don’t breathe real well in the heat. Knock knock – it’s a yeast infection, motherfuckers.

Wearing jeans you clearly ripped apart yourself?

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Yeah. You’re not fooling anyone. Stop trying so hard to look like you’re not trying at all. You must be exhausted. Also, your boyfriend? Tell him to let the 60’s keep their things, he wasn’t at Woodstock, and everyone knows that.

Also, do you think all these people were wearing sunscreen and drinking enough water? I worry about that.

- Mae

My Housewife Aspirations

I want to be a housewife. I want to stay at home with the kids, cook my family meals, keep things clean and organized, be available to my family at all times, and when I get a spare minute (because don’t get it twisted, housewives are busy) I want to write. That’s what I want. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time.

I got a taste of what being a housewife might be like (minus the kids) for a couple days this week and I loved it. And I was busier than I am on most work days. And I worked longer than I do on most work days. AND I LOVED IT. And I can’t wait until that gets to be my job.

In the past, I’ve been hesitant to admit this. I’ve gotten an awful lot of side-eye from ladies questioning my “feminism” when I expressed my desire to be a housewife/stay-at-home Mom. They question the point of me even getting a BA if all I wanted was an MRS. Which, I have to say is absurd because for the longest time, I didn’t even know if I wanted to be married, but I always, always knew I wanted to be a Mom and if at all possible, I wanted to stay home with my kids. Also, I was like, really really good at college and learned a lot and oh yeah, I HAVE A CAREER. I just don’t want to do this career for ever. It’s a means to an end. It’s the money that we’re saving so that I can be a stay-at-home Mom. Wanting to be a housewife doesn’t make me less of a feminist. NOT AT ALL. Because I’m choosing it. It’s a choice, not a requirement, or an expectation from anyone else. It’s what I want. Truly.

So, here I am, saying it loud and saying it proud, because I’m choosing this choice. I WANT TO BE A HOUSEWIFE.

- Mae

Goodbye Reality Television. I Knew You TOO Well.

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I am one of those people who watches a LOT of reality television. I’ve seen just about every reality TV show at least once and have recorded seasons and seasons of my favorite ones on my DVR to watch over and over again. You know all those Keeping Up With The Kardashians they show on E! and you’re like “Who keeps watching this?” – well, it’s me. I watch it shamefully, but I watch it.

Until now! I am officially purging my DVR of all the reality TV shows and have canceled their recording in the future. Hurrah me!

Ok, I’m sorry, that was a lie. I’m purging my DVR of almost all reality TV and have canceled most of the shows recoding in the future. I am allowing myself to indulge in reality TV that involves people having some sort of talent/competitive edge. So, I’m keeping Project Runway, The Voice, The Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, and RuPaul’s Drag Race. BUT, I am getting rid of…

The Rachel Zoe Project and It’s A Brad Brad World (for the record, I never took sides in their falling out because oh yeah, I DON’T KNOW THEM)

Mob Wives (Too much drama, too much fighting, a lot less mob than you would think)

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives on New Jersey, (For me, it all started with Jersey…)

Vanderpump Rules (Honestly, I don’t even know why I watched this ever because, whaaaaattt???)

Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Any Kardashian anything, (This might be my most embarrassing one because….again….whaaaaaattt? The point? I can’t find it.)

And I can’t think of any more but I’m sure there were more and I’ve already forgotten about them since I deleted them and that really is a testament to their poor quality and lack of any valuable information.

Why am I doing this? Because of emotions y’all. Why in the world was I coming home after a difficult day at work getting yelled at, just to watch other people yell at each other? Negativity I don’t need ye! And I would often find myself feeling so angry/upset/confused by what I was watching that it just put me in an even worse mood than I already was in. What kind of sense does that make? Answer, none. So, I deleted them forever.

Adieu reality TV shows (some of you). Unfortunately, I knew you all too well.

How Do You Love A Racist?

I was (thankfully) raised in a home where racism was not tolerated. My parents had lots of friends of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds than ours and I never thought twice about it. In fact, I was so shocked by what I saw in a video on racism in the South when I was in 5th grade that I literally sobbed in front of my entire class and had to see the school counselor. I just couldn’t even fathom that type of hatred. It shocked and upset me deeply, but it also made me feel very proud to come from the family that I came from. A family that would NEVER discriminate or feel hatred towards a member of a different race.

I have a great Uncle who has been exceptionally awesome to me. He has always encouraged my love of hiking, exploring, history, and world travel. He would let me roam for hours on his large property, patiently and sweetly explaining to me that the rock I found was not a dinosaur fossil, but was indeed, a very unique rock. He watched all the history shows with me that the rest of my family found boring, and when I declared I was going to go to Africa by myself, he was one of the only ones who focused more on helping me prepare for the trip than trying to talk me out of it.

And then one day I overheard him use the N-word. And I felt the same shock and deep level of distress that I felt the day they showed the video on racism in 5th grade. I couldn’t believe my ears. How could this man who I had always loved and even admired say something like that? Never in my childhood had I heard him say such a thing. I was beyond appalled and stunned. And then he continued on his tirade and it became glaringly apparent that my great Uncle was a racist. A horrible despicable racist. How in the world, could I love a racist?

There ensued a battle with myself. If he was a stranger, I would find him repugnant. But he wasn’t a stranger. He was a man who had cared for me and encouraged me. But he was a racist. Could I reject him knowing how much he had done for me? Could I love him knowing how hate-filled his heart was?

How do you love a racist? Can you? Should you?

I chose to distance myself from him. I explained why. He promised not to say those things around me ever again, but his heart wasn’t changed. I still see him for family holidays but we’re no longer as close as we were. I feel like to go back to the way things were would be dishonest and damaging to my conscience. I think that racism should have consequences and in this case, the consequence was losing a closeness with his niece. It didn’t change his mind. But my mind was also unchanged. I think I made the right decision for myself, but I still think about this question and wonder about how other people may have handled the same situation.

So, I’ll ask again. How do you love a racist? Can you? Should you?

- Mae