I’m going to feel Deprived if my Husband doesn’t Cook

Pot roast

Pot roast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m going to feel deprived if my husband doesn’t cook.  In my head is this fantasy that I have, and I just laughed as I wrote that, because in this fantasy my (future) husband likes to cook.  Steak.  Mashed potatoes.  Chicken.  Pot roast.  Tacos.  You get my drift.  Oh, but my future husband doesn’t mind baking, either.  Chocolate cake.  Brownies.  Cookies.  Banana nut Muffins.  I laugh to myself again.  You are probably laughing at me, too.  Or, perhaps you are outraged.  Actually, that is kind of the mood I am in.   I feel like pushing the envelope a bit.  I’m not outraged, but actually I just want to set gender expectations on their head.

So I was just eating dinner tonight and thinking about how I feel like a “bad” female, because honestly I don’t really like to cook.  I was always too busy reading to help my Mom in the kitchen, and she would have to push and prod me.  So, I really don’t know how to cook.  That is part of the problem.  Also, I hate dishes.  But, I have a dish washer now, so you ask what is my excuse?  Truth be told, my Mom even recently subscribed me to Rachel Ray’s magazine, but I find myself flipping through it thinking that certain foods look good, but then I stumble at the action point where I need to go out and buy the needed ingredients to make the meal.  My observation is that if you don’t have basic ingredients to start with, then your grocery bill can burst your budget and be a major detriment into your foray into cooking.

I fear my future husband will feel deprived with my lack of domesticity.  Here is what “gets me.”  Women are expected to work full-time.  Be thin (and I must say that the older I become, the harder that is, especially with the genetic predisposition of the women in my family).  Be beautiful.  Be sweet.  Love children.  Do the bulk (if not all) of the cleaning in your home.  And, finally, be a domestic “goddess.”  But what happens when you don’t wear the red polka-dot apron and make an amazing pot roast?

Society likes to play it both ways.  Women need to work outside the home, but they need to shine in the home sphere, too.  If you don’t, then you deprive your husband (thus goes the logic).  Your husband deserves a good home cooked meal.  And why would a woman want to “waste” a college education if she decides she wants to raise her children and stay at home?  Is that not a noble profession, or does she have to be climbing the corporate or academic ladder to get applauded?  I think many women get burned out running from full-time work to PTA meetings to kid’s soccer practice, and trying to be home in time to make a five course meal may be an unfair burden that society places on women.  Women can juggle many things successfully, but I think fairness and equality is a standard to be obtained in both the work and home sphere.  Why can’t husbands cook, too?  While I definitely will not feel deprived if my future husband doesn’t cook (FYI, I was just stirring the pot), I do hope that my husband will at least like to grill out, or he will enjoy cooking with me as we learn to cook together.  A girl can dream.

 

Sad and Interesting is the Order of the Day

Days can be thematic sometimes. Today, sad and interesting appeared to be the order of the day. It was a long day, and I got home after 9 pm. As I was parking, I was inspired by a new song that I heard on the radio on my favorite radio station, Air1. It was by Britt Nicole, who I find very inspiring and talented. (Side note: I actually got to volunteer at her concert with radio promotions for Air1 Radio several years ago when she performed a concert in my area). Well, I loved her new song with Lecrae, and I was inspired to get on Myspace, which I don’t do much at all these days, but I still like it for the music and for reminiscing. Anyways, I was stopped by “the new myspace”, saying not only had myspace changed, but that my current browser was not supported to login. All I wanted to do was add the song to my profile as #1 song, but I had to go through the steps to get a new browser to meet my goal. So, I added Mozilla Firefox as a browser, which truth be told, I should have done ages ago, since I hear it is an excellent browser. Funny how when you can’t do something you want to do that takes “two seconds”, it is quite annoying to be slowed down with technical delays. Anybody else agree?

So, after getting my new browser, I tried to login and got stopped by the “new myspace.” Of course, I had to agree to the privacy policies, video policy, and other various policies before proceeding. I also noticed that it APPEARS that unless you are a MEMBER of myspace (i.e. the NEW myspace, not the classic myspace), you CANNOT listen to music! You can only search for music. Why would anyone want to search for music but not listen to it? Sometimes I used to listen to music in my old myspace player without logging in. This probably sounds funny, but I would listen to my playlist when I didn’t realy care or need to login, and when I didn’t care to be tracked for every song I played. Anyways, so, unless I am missing something, it appears the new myspace is EXCLUSIVE for members ONLY to listen to music, which I find sad and, well, exclusionary. I like music being free and for the people. And, don’t quote me on this without double-checking, but I believe that when I tried to check out Spotify app for music numerous months ago (which my friend raved about), I couldn’t login in because I don’t have a Facebook account. I don’t think that is very fair.

I am a person who does not like to sign something or click accept when I have not read something, especially when terms say that I have read terms, etcetera. Granted, I don’t like reading 40 page terms verbatim, but I try to pay attention to privacy policies and rules. But, I got tired of reading and really ONLY WANTED ONE SONG. It is already late, so I decided to table the new myspace for another day and make sure I am reading when I am less tired. Here is the super sad other thing that I want to comment on- when I was clicking about how the new myspace is different than the classic myspace, it said some things will not carry over in the new experience- things like blogs and comments. That makes me so sad! I always considered my old myspace like a digital record or journal as part of my life- so many happy memories are tied up there, plus blogs that I never saved that were before I was on wordpress. I think I also lost some of my poetry which I may have only had a digital copy of, which of course, I did not save. It is too late now, but I wish I knew more about archiving and stuff that seems taught more in librarian circles. Sometimes it feels like I a babe in the woods, but it is sad once it is too late to do things maybe you should have done, but didn’t think something would be totally taken away from you. I was never warned by myspace by e-mail with the changes, and I knew there was a newer version, but I didn’t use it a ton recently. Still, I don’t think they promoted the switch with a deadline, and I don’t think they publicized what people would lose until it was lost. Maybe I am wrong, and I not trying to speak something untrue, but with so much of our identities wrapped up in the digital realm, I wonder how many people would be upset if their Facebook profile got wiped out, or how would they feel if Linked In pulled the plug? We are all vulnerable.

Once I decided to pass on the new myspace (for tonight anyway), I got on Air1 Radio (www.air1.com) to stream the mixology live. Of course, I got distracted by their home page with “trending now” news headlines. Here is the one that caught my eye. It is about new Lego figurines being more grumpy than in previous years. I think that is interesting, but sort of sad. Here is the article:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/11/18904238-do-legos-need-anger-management-figurines-grumpier-than-ever-study-says?lite

Also, an article I was reading earlier in the day was in the Chronicle of Higher Education about privacy, law, and government. It was highly thought-provoking and troubling. If you are interested in privacy laws, logical arguments, or freedom, then I definitely recommend it. It fits my theme of the day- sad, yet interesting.

http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/

Ghetto shoes: Is Duct tape considered Fashionable? (Inspiration for a Better Cause)

Today was one of those days. When you decide you want to go for a walk on your morning 15 minute break to get needed exercise and enjoy a non-rainy day, but then your shoe decides to come apart at the seams, literally, completely detaching from its base. I must comment that I have lost two pairs of my favorite dress shoes in the last 10 months, so to now lose this third pair of shoes, a comfy Montego Bay Club pair of sandals, is making me wonder why I am so prone to shoe “catastrophe?”

In order to be resourceful at work and last through the day, I first tried to repair my shoe using packing tape and velcro sticky fasteners (that seemed past their prime), but those solutions did not last more than a few minutes, and unfortunately my morning walk got postponed. My third solution was duct tape, but since the base and side of my shoe were very slick, the shoe did not bond well with the duct tape. Thus, duct tape was not the solution that I had hoped for. But at least the duct tape helped my shoe limp along until my lunch break, when I resigned myself to racing home to get a different pair of shoes. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that my shoe would last through the day, and I didn’t want to “push my luck” when I had to more mobile at work later in the day. Also, I wasn’t too keen on wearing my “ghetto shoes” to a meeting with an Associate Dean and co-workers that I had in the afternoon.

I wonder if duct tape is considered fashionable? Here is a picture for you to decide.

My Poor Shoe on its "last legs" (a.k.a. Duct Tape to the rescue!) (photo by Julie A. )Smith)

My Poor Shoe on its “last legs” (a.k.a. Duct Tape to the rescue!) (photo by Julie A. Smith)

The one really good thing was that the whole situation made me think about deeper issues than just the loss of my shoe and embarrassment of my duct tape solution. It made me think of all the children around the world who do not have even ONE pair of shoes to wear. Besides being unsafe if children walk without shoes through briars, stumble upon broken glass, or encounter other sharp objects, I am sure that being without shoes is also a health risk in terms of hygiene. No child or adult should be deprived of clothing or shoes, as well as basic necessities of life such as water, food, or shelter. It is sad the basic necessities, as well as luxuries, that many of us in developed nations take for granted. When is the last time you had to wonder if you had shoes to wear or if your water was unclean?

I was blessed to go on a short-term mission trip to Haiti when I graduated from college, and it forever changed me. I worked as a teacher’s aide in a second grade classroom at a Christian school. While in Haiti, I saw poverty like I never had before, and it opened my eyes to the wealth and privilege that I had in the United States of America. It made me want to help, and while sometimes it seems that I can’t do as much as I’d like due to my limited resources and finances, I am confident that every bit helps. Today, when I thought of children without shoes, it made me think of Tom’s shoes, a business that cares to help needy children get shoes, as well as charities like Shoes for Orphan Souls.

Check out these links if you are interested and can give to help needy kids get shoes:
http://www.toms.com/easterncongo/l?cid=ps_usbrand&gclid=CI_d5e6h07cCFe1AMgodz24ACQ

http://www.shoesfororphansouls.org/

Fun By the Numbers: 716 views, 19 followers, 22 posts, and 52 countries since January 29, 2012

WordPress Logo

Stop the presses!  I hit over 700 views yesterday!  I am so excited and somewhat amazed.  I remember when I had dry spells where there were days with no views or just 1 view of my WordPress blog, and I have observed that several times I have had 19 views this past week. Yay!  Another item of note which I just realized is that tomorrow July 29 is my 6 month blogging anniversary on WordPress.  I am really glad that I joined WordPress.  My fellow bloggers are fantastic, and everyday I can be inspired, as well as learn new things.

So, my Sociological background corresponds with an interest in society and human nature, thus I want to do a fun by the numbers post.  In addition, I want to say that I am GRATEFUL for every follower that I have, every viewer that takes a moment to view my blog, every like, every comment (well, the non-spam ones), and all the countries represented by the views of my blog.  Thank you for reading and for the joy that comes through my WordPress blog.  The internet really does make the world a smaller, more unified place, and that is really beautiful.

Let’s get to it.

Views: 716 (as of 11:03 am)

Followers: 19 (only one of which is a good friend of mine since when we attended college together; I appreciate that there are so many people I have never met following my blog.  I know some people have over a thousand followers, but I am super happy with 19 followers).

Posts: 22

Time blog began: January 29, 2012

Busiest day: June 5, 2012 (23 views!)

Most popular topic categories viewed in the last week:

#1= Personal (44 views)

#2= Life (27 views)

#3= Random Thoughts (24 views)

Most popular topic tags viewed in the last week:

#1= Mother Teresa (28 views- a nice surprise)

#2= Bible (27 views)

#3= Love (21 views)

No-spam 

Real Comments= Not very many (shameless plug for non-spam comments)

Spam Comments= 552 (and 12 more sitting in the spam que)

Author’s random note: Spam is annoying.

Countries where people have viewed my blog = 52 countries since WordPress began tracking on February 25, 2012

Note:  This is one of my favorite categories.  I love how the internet unites people around the world.  I am a fan of culture and travel, but I just wish that I could travel more.  There are so many incredible countries in the world.

Here is the link to the map of the 52 countries where people have viewed my blog.  I tried several ways to copy and paste it, but it seems that I need to take a class on how to do this successfully.  I will take this class with 5 year olds. 🙂  If anyone knows the secret to this, please offer collaborate assistance.  I can copy and paste to a Word document, but only the link shows up here when uploading.

Map of Country Views since February 25, 2012

Just for fun, here are the top ten countries where people have viewed my blog.  (If you are reading this, then I will say again that I appreciate you!)

#1= United States of America (350 views)

#2= India (48 views)

#3= Philippines (45 views)

#4= Canada (24 views) (Tie)

#5= United Kingdon (24 views) (Tie)

#6= Singapore (19 views)

#7= Malaysia (16 views)

#8= Australia (12 views)

#9= South Africa (9 views) (Tie)

#10= Uganda (9 views) (Tie)

Extra note: I find it cool when there are countries which I have never heard of where someone views my blog.

Example= Seychelles

Shares= 3 (Facebook, etcetera)

*Feel free to ask if there are any stats that you are curious about.

Women, Cooking, and Body Image: A Slippery Slope

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn (Photo credit: baysmom3)

Tonight I started pondering about women and body image after I looked up “how to cook sweet corn” on ehow, and then a bit after that I queried to find out how many calories a cob of corn had.  My patience was waning, and I quickly gave up on my caloric question when one promising website slowed me down by mentioning about  giving me a free subscription when all I wanted was to answer one simple question and get on to my cooking.  However, as I looked through my pots and pans repeatedly, it dawned on my that I did not have the big cooking pot that ehow said that I would need to cook sweet corn.  Quite disappointing, and since I just cook for one, perhaps that is the reason I never noticed my lack of a big pot before.  All was not lost, however, because I wondered super important questions such as, “why do I need THREE Pyrex casserole dishes?”, and I also found a hidden plastic bag for steaming vegetables in the microwave.  However, the microwave felt like cheating when I was actually planning to cook ON THE STOVE the sweet corn that I purchased recently for 25 cents an ear.

I wish I could honestly say that I am a cook like Rachel Ray, but the honest truth is that when I was young my mom would try to get me to help cook dinner, but I often had my nose stuck in a book and was disinterested in doing the whole cooking thing.   Fast forward to today, and while I can go through spurts with cooking, more often than not I find it tedious when cooking solo, and often I cannot afford the staple ingredients that cooking requires.  Food prices have skyrocketed, and I find myself substituting convenience for healthy.  Honestly, I wish my budget was not as tight as it is, but with student loan bills that seem like I will be paying off until I am 70 (yes, of course I am being melodramatic), I can wish for more income to purchase fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods with low sodium.

Avril Lavigne + Rachel Ray

Society should not pigeon-hole women into having to be a “good cook” in order to be a “good female” or a “good wife.”  The old saying goes “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, but if that is true then I don’t really want to ponder about that.  Even in our progressive times, men are often seldom expected to cook for their wives (unless a grill is involved), but my step-dad cooks more often than my mom.  My mom is a decent to fair cook, but I have always thought it is great how her and my step-dad cook together or how sometimes he just cooks for her.  I like the idea of cooking together with a boyfriend or spouse.  It makes the whole cooking thing much more fun and is more egalitarian.

As far as body image goes, I must say that it completely FRUSTRATES me that the media and society tell women that they have to be stick thin in order to be considered attractive and beautiful.  That is one of the prime reasons that so many women struggle with eating disorders.  In the past week, I kept stumbling upon media that was harping on celebrity women who recently had a baby.  The articles were all centered around the women and their pregnancy weight that they have not lost, post-delivery.  The resulting message from the media seems to be that these women need to bounce right back to their previous lower weights, and they are viewed harshly if this is not the case.  I think that this is completely unfair.  Both society and the media in the United States unfairly thrust harmful expectations on women in terms of their weight and body image.  There is only one message that is heard loud and clear: to be beautiful means to be thin.  There are no exceptions.  These harsh expectations often cause women to struggle with low self-esteem and thoughts of only being valued for being thin or how they look in a bikini.

Finally, I want to end on a personal note.  Currently I am the heaviest weight that I have ever been, and it is a frustration for me.  I never struggled with my weight when I was younger nor did the whole diet thing.  Most of the women in my family (especially later in life) struggle with being overweight, and I have unhappily observed how I presently have a much harder time with my metabolism and losing weight than I did in my teens and twenties.  I have tried to make some lifestyle changes, but I know I need to do more.  Also, there are some sacrifices that I am not quite yet willing to make (i.e. giving up my soda- I seriously think that I could be addicted to the sugar and caffeine).  Regardless of society’s view of women’s body images and the resulting horrible pressure to be thin, I want to be happy with myself regardless of my weight while I work to be more fit and healthy.  Being healthy really is better than being thin, when you think about it.