Entries Posted in "Marriage"

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself
May 29, 2009

I'm cross posting this from the Lifestyle section because it's just too good. And in light of all the bacon sympathizers who sided with me in my epic battle with my husband over bacon, I WILL be buying this t-shirt, thank you very much. That is all I have to say about that.

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In Quirkiness and Health
May 12, 2009

I so love being married if for no other reason than the pure enrichment it brings to my life, for better or worse. Guilt-free, married sex is a bonus too.

As of late however, the subject of bacon is seriously putting my marriage in jeopardy. No really, it is. Every married couple has their threshold. You know, those activities that are completely off limits because participation results in unnecessary conflict, one spouse not speaking to the other and a very chilly night? When it comes to food, do not MESS with my bacon. Before Andre and I got married, I thought painting would be the death of us. Together, we once painted a bathroom at my parent's house and after I learned my future husband was a criss-cross, sideways and sometimes diagonal painter who thought it fun to paint smiley faces on the walls and cover it up later, I was convinced he was not the man for me. Is there really any other truly proper way to paint with a roller than in an even up and down motion? I think not. I'm serious, people. Before you get engaged, try painting or wallpapering a room together. Brings out all kinds of fun and interesting animosity you never knew was there. While we're at it, I also recommend ballroom dancing. It's like marital counseling with a soundtrack and an up beat. But back to bacon--the current thorn in my marital side.

I have never been one to hide my love of all things meat. The blood pumping through my veins is hardcore carnivorous blood. I like my food to have once had a pulse. I relish in a good steak. My stomach grumbles at the smell of barbeque. I eat vegetarians for lunch. Not literally, just in theory. I get teary-eyed when I visit the meat section at Whole Foods because they carry venison and ground buffalo. I've never had ground buffalo, but it makes me feel warm and tingly to know if I wanted to eat buffalo burgers, I could. But my favorite and most cherished meat of all is bacon. And my husband doesn't want me to have it. He is a wretched, wretched man.

One thing I will say about marriage is that it certainly does keep life interesting. I've yet to decide if it's marriage itself that's so deeply fascinating or if I just happened to marry a very quirky man. Which isn't to say I am without quirks. I just happen to think my quirks are merely a byproduct of my inherent coolness whereas my dear husband Andre, quite frankly, is just weird.

And now these two quirky people are becoming one. Unfortuantely, there are certain aspects of this "oneness" I wish to reject. One of them being Andre's firm belief that ketchup is not merely a condiment, but in fact a universal sauce. I also wish to reject his insistence that bacon is terrible for the body. I have no logic to back up my sentiment other than it tastes so dang good. How can something that tastes so good be so bad. Surely God didn't create a thing as wonderful as bacon so that we'd never taste of its greasy goodness. According to Andre, there is a reason pork isn't Biblically kosher. And it's a good reason. According to Ambra, there is a reason bacon smells good. And it's because it's bacon. I don't eat pork, but I do eat bacon. You see, bacon is a separate classification of meat. It has its own category.

Believe it or not, our first real marital spat took place over the subject of bacon. It was a typical casual Sunday afternoon and we just left church to go do our usual weekly grocery shopping at Whole Limb Foods. As we approached the checkout line, Andre peeped the package of bacon I subtly placed in the cart and declared, "No way. We are not having that in our house. Let's go swap that out for a package of turkey bacon."

I clutched my pearls.

Then as if the universe had been thrust into slow motion, I repeated his suggestion back to him as a rhetorical question of sorts. I wanted to give him a second chance to redeem the blasphemous heresy that had just come from his mouth. "Turkey. Bacon?"

"Yes," he said with a calm blessed assurance that Jesus was his, "Turkey bacon is what we're buying."

How could someone be so matter of fact in their wrongness? If life were like a cartoon, there would've been literal steam coming from my ears at that very moment accompanied by a tiny thought bubble with a vignette of me tying Andre up and placing him on the train track. In the cartoon world I'd be much more violent.

Were we really about to get into an all out debate in the middle of Whole Foods over...bacon? Oh yes we were! To be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure what happened in that moment, but the next thing I knew, I had turkey bacon in my cart, and pork, I mean, bacon was no where to be found. Where was Ashton Kutcher because surely I was being punk'd. Maybe not punk'd, but definitely punked.

Continue reading "In Quirkiness and Health">>>

Posted in Marriage, Observations in Life | Permanent Link | Comments { 12 }
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The Quest for Integrity
May 7, 2009

carrieprejean2.jpg
As is expected, the ramifications of Miss California, Carrie Prejean's comments regarding traditional marriage or "non-opposite marriage" (whatever that may be) continue to be felt. While some may argue that Prejean's semi-nude photographs that have recently surfaced provide a major blow to her fight in favor of traditional marriage, I think the photographs serve as a great jumping off point for discussion on a few important issues.

When Mario Lavandeira (also known as Perez Hilton) asked Prejean to give her opinion on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized, it was no shocker that whatever answer she gave pro or con, was bound to make the press. But what shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone is how quickly many individuals would seek to discredit the messenger who spoke the shaky words, "I believe marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman." It is interesting what the masses do when someone puts forth a personal opinion that is at odds with what many wrongly assume is the ethos of the majority. There is little that can be done to combat the opinion of another, so instead of going after the opinion, the adversary attempts to combat the integrity of the individual. That's where many messengers with valid points fall short -- lack of integrity (Rush Limbaugh, I'm talking to you).

For whatever inconceivable reason, Carrie Prejean posed for semi nude photographs. Was what she did when she was 18-years-old in conflict with her Christian beliefs? Though many would argue with me, I'd say so. While I don't care for the type of logic that implies tastefully done boudoir photos are less egregious than posing as a nude centerfold for Playboy, I do think that given the current age of sex tapes, sexting, and drunken revelry, Prejean's current art making the rounds on the Internet is far less incriminating than what you might find opening up an issue of Maxim or logging on to TMZ.com. Still, I've never been one to get behind the whole soft/hard classification of pornographic material. It all leads down a very bad path as far as I'm concerned. At age 21, is Prejean the same person she was at age 18? I'd hope not. Maybe these photos fall under the banner of "we all make mistakes." Unfortunately, that conclusion is entirely too cliche for my tastes.

If I were a betting woman, I'd wager that Ms. Prejean likely never imagined one day her answer during a beauty pageant would temporarily make her the face of a major moral and political debate. And had Ms. Prejean been privy to her future, I can pretty much guarantee she wouldn't have posed for those "modeling" shots either. The decisions we make in life are far more crucial to our future than we realize. Short-sightedness is familiar territory for many young Americans. Whether or not you believe Prejean is in the wrong for posing for those photos, the reality is, given her current platform, she executed poor judgment and is now reaping the consequences of that mistake. "To whom much is given, much is required" comes to mind. Are there many well-meaning people who pose for semi-nude photographs with no intent of ever releasing the photos to the public? Certainly. Unfortunately, some people will end up in places down the road where those very photos might call to question their integrity on an entirely separate issue. If you're one who likes to reason such consequences and double standards as unfair, let me remind you of two phrases my mother often said, "That's great for Johnson family, but you are not a Johnson," and my personal favorite, "Life is not fair. And then you die."

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Posted in Current Events, Marriage, Sex/Purity | Permanent Link | Comments { 7 }
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Correcting the Internet
April 29, 2009

Someone sent me this cartoon a few months ago and it most perfectly describes the average evening in my home. One of the things that's been made blatantly apparent to me in my nearly three short years of marriage is how different generations view technology. While I'm not entirely fond of the labels sociologists put on generations, I think there is a lot of truth that can come from observing the era in which a person comes of age.

Technically, I am a member of Generation-Y (also known as the Millennial Generation). My husband Andre, on the other hand is from the bunch known as Generation X. On most days, this means nothing in our home. After all, we're only four years apart. When it comes to the Internet though, those four years feel like dog years some days.

Like most in his generation, Andre has embraced much of what the Internet has to offer. He does the whole social networking thing to a certain extent, but views it as a necessary evil. Though he uses Google and many of their products like Gmail, Gchat, etc., he has all these theories about being watched online and doesn't trust that Sillocon Valley behemoth as he can throw them. Having worked for Google, I'd say his concerns are incredibly valid. For Andre, the Internet is purely a means to an end. He makes money on it, runs businesses on it, gets his information and entertainment on it, and stays in touch with friends and family on it. The difference between he and I is the level of seriousness with which we embrace the Internet. For me, the Internet is a way of life. It is a very serious matter and not something to be toyed with.

I can remember learning on Mac computers as early as second or third grade. We'd be whisked away to the computer lab where we had to endure "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" and got to play Sim City as a treat. Yes, Sim City has been around forever. I started learning Microsoft Office in elementary school and by eighth grade we were gathering research information on the Internet and presenting our history projects via PowerPoint. I am on right on the edge of being in Generation Y, but I am truly a child of the technology revolution. I have no qualms about putting much of my personal life on the Internet or transacting on the Internet and most of my peers can be found online on all the spots I frequent. In short, I trust the Internet far more than Andre does. I also esteem it a bit higher, sometimes to fault.

Within our first year of marriage, it didn't take Andre long to realize he'd married a bit of a monster. Who was this blogging, podcasting, IMing, social networking, website managing woman he called his wife? One night he pointed out to me that he could tell when I was debating with someone on the Internet by the level of intensity in my typing. I laughed at first, but he was absolutely right. There are few things that infuriate me more than something I've read on the Internet.

Weblogs, message boards and other online communities provide the opportunity to converse with people from all walks of life, holding all types of worldviews. Nowadays most media outlets, including major news sites allow user feedback. Even social networking sites like Facebook incorporate many opportunities for you the user to tell people what you think. In short, the Internet is a bastion of personal opinion. Got an opinion? The Internet is waiting to hear it. Even better, someone is also there waiting to telling you you're wrong.

If you've surfed around enough, you've surely read some type of boneheaded commentary that warranted a response. Maybe you've even read it here! The difference between my husband and I is that when he reads something he disagrees with, he puts it low on his priority list. He thinks very little of the opinions of people on the world wide web. Me? I usually have to say something and whatever I have to say needs to be said with a great amount of urgency. The antidote to this type of behavior is quite simple: start a blog.

Posted in Blogging, Life, Marriage, Technology | Permanent Link | Comments { 1 }
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Bikini Baristas & The Miss USA Pageant
April 21, 2009

It seems women in bikinis are causing quite a stir these days. Sometimes folks just can't leave well enough alone. An interesting trend has emerged out in the Pacific Northwest of lingerie and bikini-clad baristas. If this trend hasn't found its way to your neck of the woods yet, I imagine it's just a matter of time. That is, unless you live in the south because Southern folks don't play that mess. Seattle is known for bringing Starbucks to the world, but even Starbucks has competition these days. Instead of Starbucks, many morning commuters have often opted for locally owned, roadside drive through coffee stands. Smaller coffee stands have that hometown feel where you see the same barista every day and they know your ordering habits. What if one day you pulled up and your barista was sporting what I like to call "bedroom attire?"

A huge number of privately owned (read: mafia-owned) espresso stands centered on this business model have been opening up across the Pacific Northwest. With catchy names like "Bikini Baristas" and "Cowgirls Espresso" these new coffee stands have made it quite clear they aren't selling coffee. They are selling sex. What started out as women in bikinis has now become women in full out lingerie, thongs and all. The reader boards outside these establishments read like the ones outside the strip club or the peep show "Something hot is cooking inside!" or "Meet the new barista, Candy - weekdays, 5pm-close." The clientele these businesses are after is of course, largely male, and in my opinion, largely unethical.

These types of establishments open up a hotbed of issues and the legality is entirely questionable. Selling sexual images under the guise of coffee should require some sort of licensing just as strip clubs and other "adult entertainment" joint must obtain. Seeing these girls strutting around in plain sight of children is indecent exposure. I also worry about the safety of the young women involved. Most often they are under age 20, and while no one forced them into a negligee at gunpoint, these girls are being put at risk by this business model. Flaunting their goods on a daily basis to men, many of whom lack self control opens up a door that is not easily shut. With no security and only one girl working a shift at a time, what happens when someone shows up one winter evening wanting more than just a double tall nonfat latte? It is common knowledge that the sex industry is a magnet for all types of other crime.

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Posted in Current Events, Marriage, Politics, Sex/Purity | Permanent Link | Comments { 12 }
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The Lifelong Project
June 1, 2007

Nine months ago today, I embarked upon a wonderful journey. Though unremarkable to most, a nine month anniversary pales in comparison to my parents' twenty-six year marriage and especially my grandparents' fifty years of matrimony. Heck, we're not even a year in but every milestone for me is pretty tremendous considering the dismal standards our society has for marriage. Don't get me wrong. We deserve no pats on the back. It's not as though I'm waiting for the moment when I can yell out "Hey, we've made it longer than Tori Spelling!" God help me if I ever use celebrity schizophrenia as my measuring rod for a successful marriage.

Throughout our engagement, Andre and I battled the evil forces called "wedding planning." If ever there were a shady racket to be found it is in the wedding industry. Only could a bridal salon get away with charging $300 for a piece of tulle by calling it a "bridal veil." During the whole arduous (but fun) process, we constantly reminded ourselves not to spend more time planning our wedding (an event) than we did planning our marriage (a lifetime). I would say we did about 60/40 and the result was an awesome wedding and thus far, an awesome marriage.

I haven't been at it long, but I can already say marriage ranks second on my list of best decisions I ever made. No doubt the single life is fantastic. If you are not married, live it up. Being unmarried has its own set of wonderful benefits and let me just say I managed to milk every last drop out of those benefits and I'm so glad I did.

By many standards, I got married young. Though at 24 (the age I was when I wed), in some countries I'd have five children and a goat by now. I am of the mind that maturity more than age should determine when a person is ready for marriage. I am also of the mind that history has proven the power a collective society has in determining exactly what the age of maturity is. In America and in many other countries, we associate the age of responsibility with the ability to drive a car, buy cigarettes, alcohol and obtain credit--not exactly good indicators of much of anything let alone maturity of an individual. One generation casts low expectations to the next, expectations are met and those expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today, we generally deem the average 21-year-old very immature.

I always knew I'd marry young. My general nature is fairly driven so a casual relationship here or there would never fly with me. If I was going to be in a relationship, it was for the long haul or not at all. The upside to that perspective was that we went into our marriage without a lot of the usual baggage. If I had to make one recommendation to all you future married-folk out there, the less baggage the better. I would do the baggage-free dance if one existed, but I think the funky chicken will suffice. If you have baggage, spend some time lightening your load before you join with another person in holy matrimony. It will make a world of difference.

I've struggled with how much of this aspect of my life I want to share online and I'm not sure I've come to a clear resolution. One thing I know for sure - we are in dire need of more clear-minded voices speaking out on the topic of marriage so if I can contribute my humble bit, I most certainly will.

So happy 9-month anniversary my dear. Here's to many many more (except in the future I would prefer to celebrate in 12-month increments, thanks).

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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
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