Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight

There is a conversation going on right now in the IT world.  It is a very, very important conversation, a conversation that is long overdue and NEEDS to be had.  The problem is that one half of this conversation is living in fear of the other.  One half of this conversation is being bullied, abused, and attacked for simply trying to exist.

It’s become an us vs. them scenario, split straight down the gender line, and we are severely outnumbered.  There have been a few deflectors from the other side who have stood up, and publicly defended us against their own kind, but these few, brave souls are not enough.  I’ve talked to countless members from the other side who tell me they fully agree and support the cause, yet they remain silent…choosing instead to allow the abuse and degradation to continue because “it wasn’t my fight, it wasn’t my life, it wasn’t my rights, it wasn’t my place” and “no one from your side was present when things were said, no one from your side intervened, no one from your side brought it up.”

When our side is standing in a room, outnumbered twenty to one, your one small voice, your five seconds of bravery, your willingness to take a stand because YOU believe in us, can make all the difference in the world.  It can turn the meekest wallflower into an outspoken soapboxer.  Just knowing that we are not alone, that we are not the only ones willing to stand up for what’s right, that you’ll have our backs when the vultures attack, would mean the world.

But it’s been my realization as of late, that aside from a few big name celebrities, no one from their side is willing to say a word.  No one is willing to lend a hand.  No one is willing to look at someone of their own variety and say, “No, she has value here, too.”  Instead, they hide in the shadows watching every move of the game, but just as afraid of playing as we are, albeit for completely different reasons.

And the silence is deafening.

Stop Trying to Shatter My Happiness!

Stop Trying to Shatter My Happiness!

A small crowd gathered in my office over lunch to discuss their weekends.  One said his wife wanted time apart and went to stay with a friend for two days.  Another said she spent the whole weekend screaming at her husband because he’s an idiot.  A third chimed in that his wife barely speaks to him at all.  Another ranted about having to do everything around the house because her husband refuses to lift a finger.  Another mentioned how her boyfriend was on a hunting trip all weekend and she was glad he was gone.  Then they turned to me – like vultures – leering at the silent spectator in the corner, “How was YOUR weekend?  Did your man piss you off?  Did you tell him to go the hell home?”

“You don’t want to hear about my weekend,” I assured them.

“Sure we do!  What did you do?”

“Nothing.”

“Aww, c’mon!  What’d you do?  You’re always doing weird and interesting stuff.”

“Nothing.  We sat at home, in our PJs, snuggled in fuzzy blankets in the living room.  We cooked, we ate, we watched movies, we played board games.  Quite literally, that is all we did.  It was just a wonderful, lazy weekend.”

“He was too cheap to take you out?”

“No!  It was my idea to stay home.  I suggested that we not leave the house for two days.  Sometimes I just enjoy having down time where I don’t have to run all over creation or worry about being somewhere by a certain time or how much money we can afford to spend.”

“HE gets to sit and watch movies and YOU get to do all the cooking and cleaning, you mean?  Doesn’t sound like a good weekend to me.  Typical man, though.  Don’t you just wanna scream?  Yell at him!  Tell him to get up off his lazy ass and do something!”

“Not at all.  He’s amazing.  He helps with everything.  I have no reason to scream or yell at him.  We’ve never had a fight, ever, about anything.”

“You guys spend every weekend together, don’t you?  Bet your glad when he leaves at the end of the weekend, aren’t you?”

“No!  I’m never happy to see him leave.  I wish we could spend MORE time together.”

They stared at me, blinking, before releasing a collective jumble of moans, groans, and sighs, muttering to themselves as they meandered out the door.

Sorry to rain on your pity parade, kids – and I’m sorry your relationships suck – but I kissed my share of frogs before finding a prince.  And he was absolutely worth every second of the wait.  That Hipster kid is what they call a “keeper.”

Hormone Hell

Hormone Hell

Through the years, people have given me shit tons of parenting advice and warnings, but no one prepared me, at least not adequately, for the special hell that is pubescent girls.

My house is a hotbed of hormones lately.  I’m buying feminine hygiene products in bulk.  I’m screaming at people to take showers.  I’m battling through emotional breakdowns every other day (usually my own).  I’m perpetually lecturing a la Mike Brady on topics of etiquette and manners.  I’m sniffing armpits to verify everyone is wearing deodorant.

I’ll repeat that in case you didn’t catch it: I’M SNIFFING ARMPITS.

Every day.

It’s part of the routine now.

Why am I sniffing armpits, you ask?  Because if I don’t do it, they don’t wear it.  And I become the mom of the stinky kids.  I don’t want to be the mom of the stinky kids.

So I sniff the armpits.

I’m going to go curl up on the couch and cry now.  Someone bring me chocolates and tell me I’m pretty.