The luxury of choices you never have to make.

I never know exactly what to think with articles like this: http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/features/15249/index.html. (Courtesy of Dana.)

On one hand, I believe that what I do with my body is my business. Same goes for everyone else. I also don’t think that people who cannot get pregnant and who, based on just about every statistic ever published, do not share equally in raising children, should be allowed to make unilateral decisions for those who can and do.

However, thoughts of late-term abortions make me uncomfortable. If I can imagine it as a human body, I’m going to have a hard time with the idea of its destruction. I will see the death of the potential Mozart or Gandhi alongside the death of the potential Hitler or Dahmer. I also don’t have a lot of patience for aspects like a lot of the reasoning in the article – the whys of how a lot of women end up in the position of needing abortions at that point. It’s not the money or the logistics, it’s things like the “flakiness”. Again, it’s my body, I should be able to do what I want with it – but – that also means its my responsibility to take care of it. (That said, I’ve never been impoverished or a minority, and my thinking might well be very different if I were.)

There is also a key point in my mind that isn’t common in those I know, which is that I could have been an aborted fetus. Early-term, late-term, whatever. My parents didn’t intend to have me, didn’t want me, plus my mother was not a young woman, so the pregnancy was riskier in general, and my risk of being born handicapped was higher. Why go through with it? My brother’s mother was a teenager, as was my brother’s father. They couldn’t take care of a baby. They couldn’t give it any kind of advantageous life. Why go through with it? It gets weirdly personal when you think about not existing. It’s a “what if?” scenario anyone can do – what if Mom and Dad had never met? what if they couldn’t have children? what if one of them had married someone else? who would I be then? But it’s a little more personal when there is logic behind you not existing. When you dying was a viable alternative to the option of you being born. When you can never ask why your parents chose column A instead of column B.

It’s part, I think, of my paranoia around sex. It’s nothing like what it used to be. I used to obsess madly in the days leading up to my period if I’d been sexually active during that month. Even though I’ve been on the pill for years and am religious about condom use unless I’m with someone long-term. It’s possible. It was strange when I hit my early 20s and realized that if I got pregnant now, I wouldn’t be the same kind of “statistic”. Granted, being adopted, I have a bit more insight into the various options in those situations. If the what if scenarios of my life had included an “accident”. Would it have made my choice easier or harder? No idea. The luxury of never having had to make that choice is one for which I am very grateful.

Blessings.

On WNET, a while back, Dana started a little thing called “Bitching to the Internet”. When you were annoyed about something, or having a bad day, you could just write it up and send it to the list with that title, and we would all know that you were just clearing your head or uttering a virtual barbaris yawp, and no one had to try to solve anything or make you feel better, necessarily. It’s served us well. As has its yang posting: “Blessings to the Internet”, where we can crow about the good as well. Over time, they’ve largely morphed together, and we’ll keep each other apprised of our personal barometers with a “Bitchings & Blessings” post.

Well, as I may have mentioned, this has been one HELL of a year for me. But it’s almost over. And the last week or so has been awesome. The world isn’t perfect. People I care about aren’t necessarily having the best time. And there are still things I’d like to have happen or fall into place that haven’t. But things are good. So.

Blessings

  1. My brother’s house is finished and on the market. It looks really good.
  2. My brother is going to be okay.
  3. I have time to myself to read books, run errands, do housecleaning, help out other friends, go to movies, etc.
  4. I am sleeping really well.
  5. Despite my hideous diet the last while, I haven’t gotten sick or gained weight.
  6. I have a job.
  7. I live with cool pets.
  8. Andrew and I are friends.
  9. I have really cool friends, none of whom are currently insane.
  10. Occasionally the men in my life communicate so that I have a clue what’s going on.
  11. Good wine.
  12. Enough money to take care of myself.
  13. Fishnet stockings.
  14. My parents cooler than those of anyone I know. (And who are more than happy to be shared with the less fortunate.)
  15. No one has yet broken beyond my ability to help fix.
  16. There are cool boys who like me.
  17. The Work Husband makes workdays fun.
  18. Good sex.
  19. Comfort that there are people out there who would take care of me if I needed it, but coupled with the confidence that I don’t think there’s anything I couldn’t deal with anymore.
  20. I am feeling alright in this skin.

IM sad.

After Andrew and I broke up, several of our Important Conversations to hash things out (not fighting, just explanations and expressions of feelings and whatnot) took place via Messenger. And at the time I thought it was a bit weird, and would probably be considered poor etiquette or whatever, but overall, I didn’t care. I was going through hell and he couldn’t talk to me face to face and this way I could get things off my chest and he finally told me what was going on in his half of our relationship the last two years or so. So fuck you, Miss Manners.

That said, acceptance of “new media”-based communication is still lagging, such that we are only now developing etiquette for email usage, particularly when it comes to relationships. And like any other manners-based decree, it’s all guidelines. People will still interpret, ignore, or break the rules. I think we are still years away from “norms” in terms of how we communicate online, and in terms of what is accepted or not. And I think it will be some time before the average person will cease to think that having major, life-affecting conversations in text is rude, cowardly, or simply geeky and antisocial. So be it. I disagree.

As I said, with Andrew and I, it worked. I heard things I never wanted to hear, but within a couple months I was starting to like him as a friend again, and I could deal with the idea of dating, which wouldn’t have been the case without those conversations. (I kinda screwed up the dating thing the first time around, but that’s another story… Hmm, maybe THAT’S the real reason that poor guinea pig refuses to use Messenger with me…) 🙂

Today a friend of mine had a similar experience. A slowly imminent ending that took place via Messenger. On Blackberry, even. My friend wasn’t entirely comfortable with that, either. No reason to be. How many people have had any experience with that in the past? However, it got what needed to be said out in the open. It stopped someone’s game-playing and what was starting to become cowardliness, and aired what was really going on. Hurt? Hell yes. People are still people, and they still care as much as they ever did, regardless of what form the words are put into.

Now, there are all kinds of tangles that potentially come along with this new territory. Saving logs of conversations can be good to re-read to help you understand better. Or it can help you obsess. Getting your thoughts out in text can help you say things you’ve been unable to say, face to face. But if you’re saying them to someone who doesn’t think text-based Important Conversations are appropriate, you’re going to get anger and insult, not communication and understanding.

Using online modes of communication is kind of like being bisexual. You’ve got yourself another opportunity for Good Things. But you’ve also got yourself another opportunity to screw up or experience serious rejection. I think as long as you’re doing your best, and basing communication on the premise of do no harm, all’s fair in love, war, and emoticons.

Cross your legs… and your fingers…

I have several friends who’ve had a shitty day today. Aside from a headache, mine’s not bad. However, it is never a good thing to come back from lunch (with a coffee, when you already kinda have to pee…) and see this:

washroom door

The sign tells us that the plumbers have been called and are working on the problem, and in the mean time we are allowed to go use the washrooms at The Brick (which is across the parking lot).

However, two hours later, when the washrooms are still unusable, and you decide the only logical course of action is to go to Starbuck’s to pee and get hot chocolate, it is even less heartening to walk out the door and see this beside the employee entrance:

port-o-potties

Port-o-potties. Outside. In December. At work. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

However, when one returns from Starbuck’s and these have arrived, it is cause for much more grave concern. This concern is further validated when one reads one’s email and there is one from HR telling us all to call the Employee Hotline in the morning to see if the sewage problem has been resolved, and, if not, only essential staff (which I am not) need come in.

heavy equipment

truck

So, kiddies, cross your fingers that Melle gets a Sewage Day tomorrow!

Oh yeah…

Just for Dana, we also saw a midget yesterday at Victoria’s Secret. While the intensity with which he was pawing through the drawer of g-strings was a tad creepy (especially since his female companion was talking to a sales associate elsewhere), at least he had all his limbs and pigments, else I’d have been dragging Dana (presumably helplessly convulsed in hysterics) out of there by her hair.