"It doesn’t take long to go from being 17 to being 57. Forty years just goes like that. You know, now I understand, about 90 year old people who feel like teenagers, you know, cause nothing changes. It’s just the body that changes."
in the new alison bechdel book, she documents a dream she has where her therapist comes over to her house, and bechdel is pantsless. her therapist takes the pants out of her house and says she's going home to mend them.
i once had a very similar dream, involving annabel (my therapist at simon’s rock) and a pair of blue plaid pajama pants that i had borrowed from tim (my boyfriend for freshman and sophomore year). annabelle came over, while i was wearing nothing but a yellow rain poncho, and was like, “you’re done with these pants. i’m taking them home to mend them, and then i’m giving them to someone else.”
anyway, it’s no small surprise that tim and i broke up very soon after, right?
there is incense burning from the cracks in the walls like the whole place is going down in flames. your cat is perched on the window sill with half her body dangling out, much braver than i’ve ever felt, but similarly constituted (i suppose our continual refrains about the meaninglessness of effort may have rubbed off on her). you are shirtless and i can see your body working underneath your skin (a quarter inch, maybe, separates your innards from the air). i am internally cataloguing all the things we don’t believe in. i’d write them down and stick them in my pocket if there were a paper big enough to contain them all.
Round and round and round and round we go like two snakes chasing each other inside a toilet bowl
You said I got no soul and my heart is black, well then why did you keep asking for things you knew I didn’t have? We could be together for the rest of our miserable lives, like ring around the rosie as the shrapnel flies.
i wrote a long, thoughtful post about this and then i deleted it because i remembered that no one really gives a shit about long and thoughtful things, but basically, something i’ve been thinking about because i am dating a person who is 7’2” tall…
the amount of attention, harassment, comments, stares, and unwanted photographing that my partner is subjected to due to his height is actually reprehensible. i have no idea how he makes it through without punching some dumb mother fucker in the face every day (and this is from a woman who is, like most women, subject to relentless street harassment most of the time i exit my house).
so here’s a checklist lovingly brought to you by the partner of a person who is “atypically” tall. hopefully i’m not appropriating this struggle in any way and it doesn’t really affect me beyond making me feel sad and self-righteously angry on behalf of my partner, whose feelings and comfort level matter to me. but i’m not trying to say that i really understand what it’s like to be so tall.
the next time you find yourself in the presence of a person over 6’6”…
1. don’t assume that there is a SINGLE comment or question you can make or ask that this person has not heard 1 jillion times before
2. don’t assume that it is your right to ask them how tall they are because it’s quite honestly none of your fucking business and you can really guess and you wouldn’t ask an extreme under- or overweight person how much they weigh, right?
3. DO NOT TAKE THEIR PHOTOGRAPH WITHOUT ASKING AND DON’T EVEN ASK, LIKE JESUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A TALL PERSON BEFORE? CHRIST HE IS NOT FAMOUS HE IS JUST TALL. Also, if you DO decide to take an instagram picture of him, don’t be surprised that he can SEE YOU DOING IT and then get shocked if he makes a mean face at you or his partner gives you the middle finger because honestly, that’s a fucked thing to do.
4. don’t ask the company of the tall person to speak on their behalf because they don’t want to answer you and don’t assume that just because you’re polite about it that your question isn’t annoying
5. don’t assume that they play basketball and don’t ask if they play basketball because it’s really obnoxious
6. don’t assume that just because someone is physically atypical means it’s okay to comment on their body like you own it
7. understand that your reaction to someone who threatens your conception of what is “normal” and “abnormal” very, VERY much speaks to the constitution of your character
8. don’t stare. tallness doesn’t equal blindness
so there you have it, a healthy list of reminders, just some things i’ve picked up over the past few months simply by being around someone who is super tall. not that he or any other tall person needs me to speak for him/them, but i’m just saying, like, as someone who is a “normal” height, i never considered this at all until i met my partner and i had NO idea how my simple reactions to other people’s bodies could be so problematic and disgusting. he always draws the distinction between the harassment he is subject to and sexual harassment, because it’s often unclear if the harassment he gets is sexual/threatening in nature (whereas typical street harassment obviously is both of those things), but that doesn’t make what people do to him okay, either.
Beneath is an excerpt from my end of the year feedback survey with Teach For America. Peace out TFA. For two years, you were the abusive spouse that told me I was never good enough, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how unrealistic the expectations, and no matter how many hours of work, love, and devotion I poured into you. You never listened to me and you harvested my data like milking a shackled cow, even though you will never know the faces or futures of the students who generated that data. When things went wrong, you blamed me, and when things went right, you blamed me for being delusional of my accomplishments.
Now it’s time for a greater, better, and more honest way to live my life.
Myself and multiple other CMs simultaneously and separately confided in one another that we had fantasized about getting hit by cars on the way to school, or that we were critically injured so that we wouldn’t have to go to work. Not because we didn’t care about closing the achievement gap, but that we cared so deeply and that we were unwilling to quit, but we didn’t feel adequately supported to accomplish what we wanted to.
the pledge of allegiance and other things that i don't want to do
since no one ever comes in my classroom or checks on anything i’m ever doing, i pretty much have free reign to kinda do whatever. this includes NOT saying the pledge of allegiance. we don’t even have a flag in our room. but i just found out we are required to say the pledge of allegiance at our pre-k/k graduation ceremony next month, which means i need to teach it to my kids now because they’ll need a month to practice. here’s how the conversation went:
Me: ”So, we’re supposed to say this thing… it’s kind of a chant… it’s called the pledge of allegiance… it’s like a chant that you say to show that you love your country, or something, I think, well actually, I don’t even know what it is exactly. I mean, I know how to SAY it, but I mean, I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean, really, but, um, we have to… learn… it.”
Kids: Blank stares
So I taught it to them, after like a half hour of trying to get them to put their right hand over their hearts (unbelievably difficult), except I decided to leave out the “UNDER GOD” part because i’m a fucking atheist but even if i weren’t i don’t think it’s right and i never thought it was right and this is a public school and if they’re going to be forced to say the pledge they’re not going to say that part because a lot of americans exist not under god, obviously, i mean for obvious reasons, that line needs to be omitted.
but of course, i barely even know the pledge since i haven’t been forced to say it since middle school, so i fucked it up and taught it to them without the “to the republic for which it stands” part and had to reteach it.
and then when it was over, my kids INSISTED on saying “AMEN” even without the god part, and even though i told them it wasn’t a prayer, which should tell you everything you need to know about the pledge of allegiance. it’s the perfect combination of three things i typically revile… patriotism, religion, and spirit.
then ezekiel wanted to know what does “justice” mean, and i said it means fairness instead of telling them the truth (which is, basically, nothing), and then i reminded them at the trayvon martin rally how everyone chanted NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE and then we chanted that for like 10 minutes.
i’m 22, i’m financially independent, i pay my own rent, i have my own health insurance, i buy my own groceries and pay for my own gas and clothes and everything, really, i get up at 6:00 in the morning for my job every day, i’m a graduate student, i have all the superficial trappings of ~*~adulthood~*~
and yet i just had a nightmare so real and visceral that i had to call my parents and cry to them about it at 7:30 a.m. on a saturday
my dad couldn’t understand what was wrong for like 5 minutes and then he was like, “wait, you had a bad dream?”
lol, ugh. descension into infancy must be a symptom of early adulthood, right?
i almost don’t want to put it in writing, but, in the dream, my mom died of a brain tumor and even beyond that, shit got weird
the combination of grey’s anatomy plus law and order svu before bad was probably a poor decision
there was a moment in the dream when i was in my classroom and people were in there yelling at me that i needed to put shit on my bulletin boards and my student christian was there and i was crying and said i would never do a bulletin board again and then christian came over and hugged me and he cried too
who just message girl after girl the same copy-and-pasted drivel
really need to stop suggesting i seem ~”down to earth”~
this is a character trait that is universal!
it’s also not one i particularly harbor!
consider substituting your choice adjectives and descriptors, like, instead of saying i seem “down to earth,” maybe say that i seem like i have no idea what i’m doing with my life and am never quite all present and seem to dislike myself yet still maintain a pretty unchallenged superiority complex
or instead of saying i seem to “enjoy life to the fullest,” call a spade a spade and suggest that i’m probably depressed and squandering precious time that could be spent doing anything other than what i do
i’m not down to earth and i do not enjoy life to the fullest and i am not the least bit ashamed of this
Last week, Pat and I were driving down Falls Road and we saw a lady running while smoking a cigarette. And I don’t mean she was, like, running to catch the bus, or because she forgot to turn the oven off, no… she was, like, RUNNING, with her sneakers on, in her exercise clothes, listening to her iPod, clearly enjoying a work out, while smoking a cigarette.
the bad thing was the event itself, but my reaction to the event itself was also bad. i’ve been off for the past few weeks, especially this week. i suppose i might be starting to slack, knowing the year is coming to a close and my students have made so much progress throughout the year. i didn’t have any coffee today, and it was first thing in the morning, but my slow reaction time and complete lack of expertise on how to handle situations like this really shows why teach for america’s training is ineffective, but also that you can’t really train for certain events that are likely to occur in classrooms of young children. this is suuuuuuuuuuper super super long. it might be the longest thing ever written on tumblr. it’s also rather sad.