Aliens and Blueberry Pie

It’s late and the dog just figured out I’m moving tomorrow. She’s nosing around my room, clearly shocked to see the hardwoods now that my drawers and gaping suitcases aren’t covering them. My parents, sister, and I are all in our respective beds with plans to be up early – much earlier, in fact, than I’ve had to get up in all of the past six weeks. It’s hard to believe I actually have been in America for the past six weeks. Continue reading

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Snarky Rant on Life

At the risk of sounding incredibly, insanely snarky: there seem to be an over-abundance of kids having kids and/or getting hitched in my town. People younger than me. People I remember as freshmen in high-school. People who have legally been driving a vehicle for less than five years. YOUNG people. Continue reading

Smoking

Smoking (NF, draft 1)

Well, I suppose I’ve liked the way smoke smelled ever since I met Ian for dinner at Dos Amigos and he was standing outside, casual, with his hands in the pockets of the black hooded jacket I had given him for his twenty-first birthday. I’d seen him smoke before – I’d often stood on the porch with him, talking about nothing or the girl that he was fucking – but I think that night outside of Dos was the first time I realized that I liked the way it smelled. Continue reading

Salvation Army Church Experience

So,I didn’t realize that Regent’s Hall, the Salvation Army headquarters, would be in the middle of a street full of retail stores. Perhaps because of the videos we watched, or perhaps because of my suburban, Bible-belt church experience, I simply expected a grander, bigger structure than the one we entered. Pretty sure Continue reading

The Tower (dum dum DUM)

That’s how it sounded in my head, anyway. SO! We went to the Tower of London this morning for a tour and it was SO cool! That was definitely on the “things I wanted to do here” list, and I thought our tour guide was pretty great. I’d heard about the crows before but man, those puppies (birdies?) are huge! And their beaks…I’m pretty sure if one bit you, you’d lose a finger. But they were neat! Continue reading

Knowing is Good Enough

Alright, this is going to be decidedly un-study abroad related. That’s fine. After all, this has been my blog for a lot longer than I’ve been in London.

So I recently watched another movie where the fight between the two people who are supposed to be involved romantically centers purely on tension over the fact that one does not behave the way the other wants them to. Not in a controlling-your-behavior kind of way, just in a “you don’t act like you care about me, so I’m gonna pitch a hissy-fit until you get it together and act like you mean it.”

Really?

This is what our relationships have come to?

Knowing is good enough.

People have baggage. Hell, everyone has baggage they drag through life. Some more than others. Even when you come to terms with it, what life’s tossed your way has shaped you. To think that it hasn’t is probably one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard.

Because everyone brings their own, unique shit along with them, everyone approaches relationships differently. People act on their emotions – the whole crazy, inexact range of them – differently.

So why on God’s green earth would we expect everyone to show their affection in relationships in the exact same way?

Knowing is good enough.

I’m so tired of these fights, real or fictitious, about this. If you know someone cares, what else matters? Actually…if you care, what the hell else matters? This whole “love” shindig is supposed to be unconditional, isn’t it?

I feel like I’m leaving out the articulation of some crucial connect-the-dots piece of this, but I’m trying.

So, point #1: If you love someone, why in the world does it matter if they love you back? That’s just a bonus. For whatever reason, you have a connection than enables you to care for another human being in a deep and inexplicable way. That’s awesome. That’s beautiful. Celebrate being alive and knowing what you’re capable of. Real love is pretty awe-inspiring, I think.

Point #2: Supposing you’re actually lucky enough to have come into the world AND fallen down this crazy rabbit-y hole of love AND not only do you experience it, but someone else actually experiences it with you, for you. WOW. Don’t you just know it? Can’t you just tell? It’s not that hard to gauge in people, even the reserved ones. It isn’t, I swear. So if they love you and they know it, and you love them and you know it, and you’re so much more exponentially lucky that you get to spend regular amounts of time with this other person…

what could you possibly have to complain about?

Knowing is good enough.

Hell, knowing that you’re capable of that kind of love – even when it doesn’t work out – is good enough. I’m not trying to be a royal prick about it but this is, in my experience, very true. And if I can do that, if I can know in my gut that it was beautiful and great and – oh, so what that it didn’t work out – it was still this awesome experience that brought a bit more magic into the world, then people in functional relationships really ought to be able to get down off their high horses and revel in the joy that it even exists. Knowing it’s working, knowing it’s reciprocated…well that sure as hell ought to be enough.

Who cares what you act like. Who cares what they act like (Barring, you know, violence and such.)

Grow up. Life and love are so much more beautiful than questioning and worrying over why someone doesn’t act the way you want them to in your relationship. It’s quite simple, so no need to worry about it any more: THEY HAVE DIFFERENT BAGGAGE THAN YOU. They react to life differently than you, or in ways that maybe aren’t your absolutely perfect image of a doting partner.

Dear goodness, grow up.

After all, everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.

Knowing is good enough.

This is Just Exactly Like Us.*

We kill and we die. This is the human race – and maybe the human way. We destroy things. Innocence. Innocents. We sensationalize violence; we sensationalize everything. Television, video games, holiday, disasters – everything, everything must be monumental, exaggerated, bigger than it really is. Why? Why do we do this? Why is it acceptable to do these things, and then act all surprised and horrified when tragedies like December 14, 2012, happen?

I am not saying that Newtown yesterday was not sad. It was. It is. Sad, awful, horrendous, terrible. I cannot imagine what that entire town of parents and children and families are going through right now.

But this happens. Mass shootings. They’ve been happening more and more frequently lately. Do we realize that this is the second shooting in less than six months?? This is so wrong. This is unacceptable on such a grand level that I actually find it hard to fathom.

We are doing something wrong. Something distinctly not right as a society that must, in some way, validate the actions of these men. This doesn’t happen in Europe! I mean, shootings and violence still happen, but aren’t they usually connected to terrorist/extremist organizations? They aren’t usually isolated incidents created by individuals. A single person isn’t going off the deep end and offing a pub to get back at their mother or brother or whatnot.

This seems to be an America-specific phenomenon. And I find all of it so terribly disturbing.

So what can we do?

What can we do to put this behind us, without trivializing the lives of the brave children and adults who died yesterday?

I think I agree with Morgan Freeman: he said to forget the name of the man who did this, not to allow him that. Remember the victims instead.

*Tweaked title of Drew Perry’s novel, which everyone should read.