That’s about how I feel right now.
When on vacation (as I am now, in Kentucky, home of army posts, vet clinics, and my dear friend Kate), I tend to take my time in the mornings, in way that is simply not possible during the school year (6:30 AM clinicals, anyone?). I drink some delightful beverage (sometimes tea, or coffee…but given budget recently, mostly just delightful water), power up my computer (or the TV, at Kate’s house), and curl up with the cats to read/watch the news before hopping into the shower to actually start getting ready for possibly being productive. I generally feel quite satisfied and informed and ready to take on the day after this.
But see the above picture (Cute model, no?).
Since news broke of Mr. Anthony Weiner’s online activity, newsfeeds online and on television have been inundated with reports that cover everything from his online sexual activity, to sexual/marital transgressions of John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the like, to the validity of social networking sites, to validity of marital expectations in society. Are these cases of infidelity tragedies for the husbands, who are desperate to hear some variation of “You’re so hot”, as well as the wives who lost their stability in the wake of such a simple phrase? Are these examples that prove that humans (or men–the news coverage has been rather bare in reference to cheating women; feel free to debate fairness) are not, by nature, destined to be monogamous? What of the phenomenon that more men are now “marrying up, dating down”?
The ice in my delightful water is all melted, and I think just lost my appetite.
It’s not that I don’t think that questions of monogamy, the place of marriage in society, or gender roles and honesty shouldn’t be discussed, or that they shouldn’t be discussed in the morning–if you woke me up at 4 AM, I still think I could hold my own in an intelligent discussion of any of the above subjects. But I’m annoyed at the social messages being sent to women in light of them–from what I’ve gathered from the news reports, men are dogs/being a great wife is not enough, marriages may be failing because passion takes too much work for modern life, and in the face of scandal, the most graceful thing a woman can publicly do is be silent.
I’m uncomfortable with these messages, because of what they tell me to expect from future romantic partners, and because of what they tell me to believe about commitment and happiness in general. It’s enough to make me throw up my hands (spilling my delightful beverage and scaring the heck out of Atlanta), grab the remote, and watch cartoons, because childhood-based programming is simply less likely to cause a migraine. Who needs to be informed? Clearly, if the last few days are any indication, all the news can tell me is that it sucks to be a 20-something year old woman with a lifetime of (rapidly fading? If this is the picture modern romance, I can join the ranks of happily independent single women) possible romantic paths in her future–there isn’t much to be expected from men, and if that’s disconcerting, well, then the entire institution of marriage can be blamed. AND ANOTHER THING: this is damn demeaning to men. I love men. I hate when they’re demeaned.
If you’re still reading this (and kudos to you if you are–I tried to warn you in the title), you can get a trip update! Yay! I’m in Kentucky now (also cleverly mentioned in the title) with Kate, who is currently working, and was thus spared the above rant. I spent Monday night in Springfield, MO, and got to see Julie, a dear friend who is pregnant with her first child (and she is ROCKING the beautiful-belly look).
Julie and I met 3 1/2 years ago online. I posted a question on Yahoo answers about health insurance, and she started her reply with “I think I’m the girl you need to talk to.” She was, and has been ever since. We didn’t figure it out until the next day (the day I was leaving for Kentucky; we grabbed breakfast), but I got into Springfield Monday night on the 3rd anniversary of us meeting in person. Awesome.
Tomorrow I’m northern-bound! The goal is to make it to North East, PA (which, confusingly, is located in the Northwest corner of PA). I’ll keep you all updated!