Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HRH Mommy Kate... or Not.

Matt and I rather got into a tiff recently regarding the fertility of the new Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton (or Mountbatten-Windsor, if you want to be technical about it). Seems a strange topic for us, I know, especially considering that we're not English, but all of the tabloids here in the US seem so interested in the Duchess's fertility, or lack there of, that we couldn't help ourselves. So, while standing at the checkout at Wal-Mart, reading that Prince William and his new bride are simply overjoyed at being pregnant with twins--another false report, from the fine folks at Star--the debate began.

I suggested, in passing, that it was a shame that she was being treated like this and that there is something ridiculous about expecting her to have babies at all. I mean, who knows, she may want to be childfree, right? Please understand, this in no way suggests that she actually does want to be childfree, because I don't know, it was a hypothetical. It's much more likely, in fact, that she wants to be a mother, as many women do. It's not the point at all, really. The point is that I feel like it's unfair for it to be expected of her, her feelings aside.

Matt adamantly disagreed. He said that she knew when accepting the job of a princess, and marrying a man who stood in line for the throne, a man who will someday be King of England, what she was getting herself into. He contends that she understood what was expected of her, and consented to those expectations by accepting a prince as her husband. He's absolutely unwilling to relent on this point, he believes it's the case and won't be swayed... got to love a man with convictions, I guess.

The problem for me is that he's suggesting that her marrying the man she loves is somehow accepting a job. Like getting married is the same as becoming a secretary or a school teacher. Further, I take issue with the fact that that particular job should be accompanied by the expectation that she'll produce children. How many other jobs require you to have babies to keep them?! She's a person, not a stock animal.  When I said she should be able to marry whomever she wants and still have choices, he said, "right, but she choose to marry a prince and a prince comes with responsibilities." We went round and round for hours, each defending our sides, and though I think he ultimately won the argument, I still have a problem with the idea that she should have to do something she may or may not want to do as a form of patriotic responsibility.

So I suggested that this is the year 2011, not 1601, and people should be able to make their own choices, even royal people--I mean, Queen Elizabeth didn't have children!! He said, "Yeah, and look how well the Elizabeth thing turned out!! Besides, this isn't the real world we're talking about, it's fairyland where people have titles like prince, princess, duke and duchess. In fairyland, princesses are expected to have babies to propagate the royal line." Okay, he has a point, right, I mean we're not talking about every day situations, here. In everyday situations, people almost always have a right to make their own decisions. This is where the argument started to break down, and he started to win. I hate it when he wins!

So I tried again by explaining that I thought she should have a right to marry whomever she wants, without pretense, because even though this isn't the real world these people are living in, she's still a person. Oops, that was the wrong thing to say, because he came back with this gem, "it's not different than a person marrying someone who's childfree, with the understanding that so-doing would mean that they would have no children." He asked me what I thought would happen if, in the childfree scenario, one of the people changed their mind, to which I replied they would probably get a divorce. Yeah, exactly, that was his point. I asked him what he thought would happen if Kate decided she didn't want to have children, even if she did accept the idea initially, to which he replied that she should find another husband.

His only concession was to infertility. He agreed that if she were found to be infertile, due to circumstances that were out of her control, that it would just be bad luck for the crown. He didn't think that that circumstance would breed divorce, though he held fast to the idea that she was probably checked out before he was allowed to marry her to make sure that a) she could have babies, and b) wasn't with child at the time of the marriage. Still, things happen, right?

Whatever the case may be, whether she wants kids or not, I wish the tabloids would just leave her alone. I mean, why is it news to Americans that she's pregnant, or in this particular case, not pregnant? Other than the whole, every girl loves a fairy tale thing. Truthfully, I never was all that interested in the royal marriage, though I must say, she's growing on me. At first, I was incredibly put off by her wearing Princess Di's jewelry, particularly her ring, because I adored Princess Di and was quite broken up when she died. No one will replace her, and I've come to the conclusion that Kate's not really trying to. She seems like a lovely person and though she will always be a person of interest, I just wish it was less interest to rag mags that continually lie about what may or may not be happening in her newly-royal womb.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sinking, Sinking, Sinking

You know, I've found that the longer I go without blogging, the more anxious I feel about it, which leads me to serious blog avoidance. Hence, no posts this month so far, unless you count the first and it occurred to me when I was typing that that particular problem pertains to everything in my life right now. The longer I avoid something, the more I want to avoid it. It's procrastination, taken to the absolute extreme. Take my thesis, for example. The longer I avoid it, the more anxiety I feel about avoiding it, the less I want to tackle it. So, there it sits, not getting done, because I'm too anxious to work on it. Grading and housework, too, for that matter.

It's everything in my life because I feel like I'm absolutely underwater, right now. I'm behind on everything, falling farther behind every day, and I feel like I just can't get caught up. It sucks to feel like your drowning in your own existence, but that's how I'm feeling right now. What's worse, it's absolutely not an illusion. I am drowning, I am behind, way behind, and every time I feel like I can start to get caught up, something else piles on. Grading, for instance. Grading is my biggest thing right now because it seems to take me forever. I get it done in time for a short reprieve, just for more papers to pile in. It's a part of the job, and I both accept and understand it, I even enjoy it most of the time, but right now it feels like an anchor tied to my feet.

Ugh, I just realized that I haven't written anything in almost a month and I'm back with complaining. Sorry. It's all I feel like doing right now, thanks to some rather annoying physiological things going on with me. So, it's bitch, bitch, bitch and maybe next week I'll feel less like complaining. For now, this is all I've got and you know, I'm okay with that because even though I'm complaining, I feel like it's digging me out of one of the many holes I'm stuck in. This represents one less thing I'm behind on, which actually makes me kind of happy. Weird, right?  I'm complaining about everything dragging me down and saying I'm happy about blogging. It's a bi-polar kind of day, I guess.

For now, I'm off. My students are taking a mid-term and papers will start coming in soon. I hope everyone's in less of a rut than I am right now, I wouldn't wish this on people I don't like, let alone friends. Oh, and please forgive the typos, I'm not really in an edit kind of mood.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bad Housekeeping

I'm a terrible housekeeper. I figured that little admission might come in handy, considering I'm about to complain about my messy house... no, not messy, downright dirty. And you know, like everyone else I hate living in a dirty house. I just can't understand how it keeps getting like this. If it's clean, I can usually keep it that way for a while, but when it gets out of hand, it gets really out of hand and usually that has something to do with my slacking for a few days. That's all it takes, a few days, and my house is a disaster again. Then, it's the snowball effect and before I know it, we're knee deep in messy. It would probably help if I had help, someone, oh, I don't know, like a husband to take up half the slack. How novel.

Now you're probably thinking that I'm either being dramatic and that it's not really that bad, or that it's the opposite and we're some kind of hoarders who need an intervention. It's really neither, but rather somewhere in between. For example, since yesterday I've run three loads of dishes and i'm not even half done. I've probably got another 5+ loads to wash. Oh, and lets not even get started on the laundry, which I would love to say stays in the bedroom, but in fact seems to gather on the sofa in the living room. Matt takes his clothes off and throws them wherever he happens to be, and that means the sofa. No matter how often I ask him to quit it, he just keep using the living room as a hamper.

While a good part of the problem is that no matter how cleaned up my house is, it never feels clean because of the clutter, the problem is also that I can't keep things clean by myself. I simply can't. Matt makes more messes than anyone I've ever met, hands down. Messes just seem to grow from him, like he's just producing the mess that surrounds his desk from the ether. Today, I picked up a dozen or so cigarette boxes, several handfuls of food wrappers, half a dozen empty water bottles, handfuls of the little papers that they put in the top of the cigarette boxes, tissues, and believe it or not, cigarette butts from times he's spilled his ashtray and not bothered to clean it up. Oh, all that and his desk is still a huge mess! Then, he uses my computer and leaves his trash all over my desk. I got up yesterday and there were ashes on my desk (as there are right now), food wrappers, and his coffee press. All strewn out on my desk. Ugh!

And it's not just his desk (and mine) that are the problem. He lets the trash overflow in the laundry room, with coffee filters, before he takes it out. Do you know how hard it is to sweep up coffee? It's almost impossible to get it all up, in fact. It lingers, in the cracks and under the dryer, and gets all over everything. Right now, there're coffee grounds all over the laundry room floor because he took the trash out and didn't bother to sweep them up. So, yours truly is going to have to do the dirty work because he refuses to see the messes, or he doesn't care, or a combination of both things--though I think it much more likely that he's just ignoring it because he doesn't care if his environment is a disaster.

I suppose I should have known, when we first got together, and his friends came over and were downright shocked that his place was clean. Well, of course it was clean! There was a time when I was a really good housekeeper, before time and messes and apathy beat it out of me. I use to care that my house was a mess, and though I still do, I'm so distracted by the thought that it's just going to look like a mess again in less than a few days, that cleaning it up seems like wasted effort I could be expending doing something else... like grading, or working on my thesis, or preparing for class, or reading a book (hah, yeah, who has time for that?!).

And really, the fact that no matter how clean it is, it never looks or feels clean is a real downer. Living in a mobile home, for quite a long time now, things are just starting to be dingy. The walls are a little tiny bit yellow from the smoke, the carpets are downright disgusting from wear and tear and time and animals, things are breaking and are in need of repair, the blinds are cracking from time and sunshine. It's just disheartening. I can't get it really clean and I hate it. But even if I did, it wouldn't feel clean because of the clutter. We have so much clutter and every time I tell myself we'll get rid of something, I can either not bear to part with it, or Matt refuses to let me get rid of it (he's a HUGE pack-rat, worse than me by a mile).

So I keep telling myself that it's okay that I don't have the time, energy, nor the drive to keep things sparkling clean right now. I work a full-time job (teaching & grading are very time consuming) and am trying to write my thesis. I don't have time to do anything I enjoy right now, let alone to do the things I have to do, like keep my house clean. Matt won't help, and though he always says he will, time has taught me that those are empty promises. I'm getting use to it. But I told him that when we move, things I will be different. That when we move, and have a different house, that things will stay clean and he promises me that he'll help keep them that way.

I'll believe it when I see it, but right now I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I impressed upon him, and myself, that if my friends and family saw my house looking the way it does now, I would literally die of shame and embarrassment. I would never be able to show my face in public again, I would be so humiliated. It's important to me that people I care about be able to come visit me. I don't want to end up a shut in who can't let people come into her house because she's ashamed. I simply cant, and moving to a new state and living in a new place is a good way for us to start over, together, and form better habits. I just keep hoping that the change will fix some of the things that're broken and that we'll be able to work together to keep things clean. We'll see.