My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Ring it September 9, 2015

Filed under: Family,Hubby,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 12:36 am
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new ring

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I have a confession – I never liked my wedding ring.  Or my wedding for that matter.

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It was bought on a sale because frankly, that was all we could afford at the time.  It wasn’t the color or the shape I wanted, it was just, a ring.  The diamonds were kind of wonky, but I can’t really blame the jeweler.  I blacked out in the store while they were fixing a few of the loose stones a few months into my pregnancy.  They just wanted me out.

The wedding was at the courthouse, with my son in tow.  Rushed, so my dentist man could go off to basic.  Not what you picture as a little girl growing up, even if you’re a tomboy.

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The ring I really wanted, I kept a picture of for 20 years, for our “big” anniversary.  20 years seemed so far away at the time?  I had wrapped my mind around this ring with a choke hold.  That is what I really want!  In my mind, I didn’t get a “real” wedding, so why not a pretty ring?  Ok, so I didn’t get a “pretty” ring, so how about a “really pretty” ring on our 20th?  20 years I thought about this.

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Pathetic… maybe.  Hush you.

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A few months back, a pastor was talking about how much people spend on weddings.  Upwards of $15k for a “small” wedding.  I think ours may have cost $200, maybe?  And of those weddings, about 50% get a divorce before their 20th anniversary.  He wondered why we as a society spend so much, just to throw it away a few years later?  Why not spend that much on a 20th, or 50th anniversary?  Why not celebrate a real accomplishment?

I mean, the joining of two people to become one is amazing, but in reality, they’re still in “puppy love” – it’s no miracle.  Morning breath isn’t even an issue yet.  20, 30, 40 years later when they’ve gotten passed “dutch ovens”, seeing childbirth, financial difficulties, teenagers, and possibly severe illnesses together – that, right there, is something to be celebrated with a huge party!

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This began to change my view on my scrawny, unloved ring, and for that matter, my scrawny, unloved wedding.

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6 months ago I put up a picture of “the ring” on the inside of my dentist man’s bathroom mirror with the request “If you’re going to get me a gift, I want *THIS* ring.  No other ring.  *THIS* ring.  I don’t care what size diamonds.  What color.  Or how inexpensively you buy it.  I want *THIS* ring!”  And after 20 years of waiting, we found out my finger is too small for it.  I think it *might* have fit my thumb?

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stupid pygmy fingers

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For a bit there, I was really, sadly, a bit devastated.

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My dentist man and I went and picked out a very similar ring, that fit my stupid pygmy finger and we waited for it to come back from the jeweler.

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And waited.

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And waited.

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It feels like forever you know.  Especially when you’ve waited 20 years.  Ok, it was only a week and a half, I was a little impatient here.

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But while I was waiting, I looked at my “old” ring.  The one I had thought of as so ugly, and boring.  And I thought about our wedding, that I thought of as so shameful.  And I thought about us getting to 20 years and still being so in-love.  And the thought of being together until death, and still being in-love.  And that “old” ring started to become so beautiful to me.  All of it’s nicks and dings.  It’s wonky diamonds that have a back story.  It’s worn out underside because I refuse take it off.  A little paint stuck between some of the diamonds.

And looking over the wedding photo’s of two young kids, who were really, truly in love.  Even though the product of that love showed up a little earlier than we would have planned, we had a “quicky” wedding, because we cared more about living, than a party.  We got “just a ring” because we cared more about each other, than material things.  We may have been still in “puppy love”, but it’s grown more than I could have imagined.

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My ring showed up today.  As I slipped the unworn, pristine diamonds and gold up against my worn out, wonky diamonds and dented gold, I was so proud of them both.  They tell a story of two people, who became one and made a whole new world for themselves.  To tell you the truth, the ring was never really that important day-to-day.  But when I look at them now, I’m reminded to see our past, present and future, with pride.

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Oh I want a big party still.  But I want a big, giant 80th anniversary.  In wedding style.  Let’s celebrate the big accomplishments here!

I will never look at our wedding, our anniversaries, or our small day-to-day memories the same again.

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And just in case you were wondering what I got him?

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glasses

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Liquor glasses, with all the roles he’s played over the past 20 years.  He’s worn a lot of hats, and done them remarkably well.  And frankly, being married to me, takes a lot little liquor every-so-often!

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Body shaming vs. Boy shaming September 5, 2015

Filed under: Boys,Family,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 3:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

flower

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For 20 + years I’ve been surrounded by nothing but masculinity.  Excluding my fury “girls” I know very little of the feminine side, short of what I know of my tom-boy selfness.  My thoughts and actions tend toward the more masculine side with their own feminine flare (glitter power tools anyone!).

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With this in mind, I have a slightly unique perspective into both worlds.

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My FB feed is a lot of news; I’m a bit of a news junky.  And a lot of it lately has been on “body shaming” of girls for various reasons, among them for the way they want to dress.  They want to wear, what they want to wear.  And I for one love this idea since I have my own unique style… that is until I see what they want to wear and why.

I fully agree no adult should be told what to wear.  You’re an adult and make your own choices in life.  If you want to walk down the street with a giant pink foam cowboy hat, a glitter leotard and a blue boa, I’m all for it – I mean really, who *wouldn’t want to see that*!  Even if you walk down the street neked – it’s your right.  However…. you cannot tell me, not to look.  Or for that matter, form an opinion on said attire.  Neaner-neaner – it’s my right, same as yours.  This also means dealing with the consequences of that choice – say a lost job because your boa keeps getting caught in the meat grinder?

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Schools are asking girls to please refrain from certain outfits for various reasons (and boys for that matter) and they and their parents are getting their knickers in a wad because it’s “shaming” their body.  “They shouldn’t have to hide under burkas!  And boys should just learn to look the other way.”  *evil boys*  To a certain extent, you’re right.  Not on the body shaming, but that they shouldn’t have to hide under burkas, and boys should learn to look the other way.  But in all honesty, most girls dress a certain way, not to impress their friends or because it’s comfortable (seriously, are “Daisy Dukes” even remotely comfortable?”) but to have boys look.  A 5-year-old wearing spaghetti straps is not looking for boys attention, she’s comfortable.  It’s warm.  This is what she wears.  A 16-year-old, wearing “Daisy Dukes”, with a slashed, backless top with, or worse, without, a bra, is not only a distraction to the boys in the room, but the girls around her, AND the teacher, male or female.  Wearing see through leggings with a bright pink thong that says “Juicy” – I know I notice, could you imagine being a 16-year-old boy?

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Here’s the deal that parents of girls (and some boys) seem to forget.  Boys from about 13 – 26 are very, VERY, hormonally driven.  They’re not perverts.  There isn’t something wrong with them.  This isn’t something we should chastise them for.  This isn’t an illness.  And it isn’t something to fix.  This is how humanity survives.  People wonder what makes boys do some of the dumb things they do – girls!  Girls in sweats.  Girls in swim suits.  Girls in leggings.  Girls in pajama’s.  Girls in jeans.  Girls.  As their parents, it’s our job to shout over hormones until they can think over the hormones on their own.  And I seriously doubt Algebra is able to shout loud enough to do this?

Guys already have a hard enough time with body parts misbehaving at random moments of the day for no apparent reason – add to that see-through leggings on a perfect 16-year-old backside, and even the most chaste 80-year-old man will have a little “moment”.  And if I’m looking, so are guys.

And of course guys aren’t merely hormone driven, knuckle dragging, neanderthals either.  Boys (the gentlemen of the classification, not crappy “players”), love various other things.  But at this stage, their changing brains make doing just about anything way more challenging.

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Girls around that same age are also hormonally driven.  That’s why a lot of them are wearing these types of outfits.  I’m not talking about leggings at the gym, or wearing short-shorts at home watching t.v., or even non-see through leggings at school with a long t-shirt, because gosh darn it, they really are comfortable.  And it’s easier to think when you’re not being stabbed, cinched, wrapped, and contorted.  I’m talking about the swim-suits that leave half the cheek hanging out (ok, they don’t hang at that age).  I myself wear a bikini because swim-suits are too long and I want to keep everything inside the suite.  So a pair of board shorts and a tankini top to make sure everything is covered.  I get it, you can’t swim in the old-fashioned 1920’s full body wool suits.  I’m with you on that.  But leaving your butt cheek out and a sliver of a top isn’t making swimming any easier (which is obvious by all the tugging, adjusting and checking), it’s just letting people see as much of you as possible.

Just don’t look right?  Standing in front of you in the water park, one step up and there a poor 13-year-old boy stands, with a girls keester 6 inches from his face.  Even I’d want to goose her!  Or in class, as she leans forward to ask someone in front of her a questions without even a thought to her what her backside is doing, and her now half covered buns are a foot from his face.  So he looks to the left so as to not “stare” and the girl next to him is grabbing her books and her top is so loose he can see to her navel.  He looks at his paper and draws a complete blank.  “What class am I in again?”

Seriously – why can’t you just be less human guys?

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I once asked a guy about the more revealing outfits, “Sure, I love those!  But I wouldn’t marry a girl who wore one?  She’s already shown everybody everything.  What’s left for me?”

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Wow!  Even I was shocked by that answer.

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I completely agree that rape isn’t about what the girl is wearing.  It’s about control.  It can happen no matter who, or what you are wearing.  But when a girl is wearing as little as possible, she’s given all her control away.  She’s given everything away.  She’s just making it a little easier to justify in the attackers head.  Luckily majority of boys and men will turn and look the other way because they’ve been taught to ignore every fiber of their sexual being and walk away.  They have control.

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“But stores only put this type of clothing out?!”  No, no they don’t.  There are stores that exist that make clothing that covers all the right parts, male or female.  And no, they aren’t Amish looking.  And buying it only makes them purchase more to display.  If they made thongs for a 3-year-old would you buy it?  (Maybe you shouldn’t answer that?)  No, because it sexuallizes them?  Ah – yes, yes it does.  And the same for the 10, 12 and 16-year-old.

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modest

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Added to all of this is a huge double standard.  Men can show off as much, or as little of their body as they want and women are encouraged to ogle, “What a hottie!”  No problem.  A girl shows off everything and boys are shamed for even a passing glance.  And if a guy in school were to dress a bit more provocatively, say, letting his “happy trail” show (oh, don’t fake like you don’t know what that is) he’d be considered a perv and told to cover it, he wouldn’t be a victim of “body shaming”.   Schools ask them to not let their skivvies show (in most schools), but no one has an issue with that standard.  Why is it ok for a girls thong to show?

While my boys are in the house, I make sure to dress them as to not be a distraction to those around them.  One child had a purple fohawk, that was about as wild as we got.  Why, because we wanted them safe, and thought about those around us, and about our sons futures and how what they do now, may affect that future.

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No matter where you come from in life, religious or not, sex was a design/function built-in to us for pleasure and for carrying on the human race.  Our bodies were made to induce certain things in each other.  And let’s face it, neked bodies are pretty awesome!  That’s why we keep them covered (hopefully), so as to a) not freeze/burn to death, b) make cooking bacon easier, and c) not be turning everyone on, all the time – I mean, somebody has to do some real work around here!

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I am no prude.  I love my yoga pants, I wear a bikini (sort of) and think sex rocks.  Which brings me back to the beginning.  I know how my brain works, and that majority of the time it’s thinking about sex.  Which means as a girl (woman, female, duddette, chick) I have to control myself so that others are able to control themselves.  Me, doing whatever I want – be-damned how it affects someone else, isn’t always the best life choice.

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As for the “body shaming” – it’s the exact opposite.  Society holds women’s bodies to be so freaking awesome, we can hardly stand it.  Guys so love everything about us, that the mere thought of it makes them giddy.  It’s something for special occasions – say, their wedding night perhaps?  Or, to a lesser extent, lets just keep the massively flesh bearing outfits to a night out or at the beach when those around you aren’t trying to take a test?

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Shaming works both ways, and so does self-control.

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knight