Archive for category Women

Copping out to two evils

Every election cycle you hear the usual suspects trying to sound intelligent. They say, “Just pick the lesser of two evils,” for example.

What they’re really saying is:

  • They’ve done none of the research themselves about the issues
  • They’ve heard a lot of comments from people second-hand
  • They don’t really have the capacity to go learn anything about the candidates
  • They want to sound like they know everything

My opinion on this subject comes in part from Michael Medved, one of my favorite radio hosts. (This way you don’t think I’m pretending to have thought of it first.)

In every election cycle, the top two candidates represent two sides of the issue. Sure, one may see he/she is losing and try to emulate the other to siphon off votes, but there are still differences. (this idea stolen from a coworker) It’s like a tube of toothpaste – when you squeeze it, only toothpaste comes out. When the politician has to make a decision on voting, and assuming they haven’t been bought off on the issue by a lobbyist (see also: retired politicians), they will either vote to the left or to the right.

When that toothpaste gets squeezed, it is where you should be focusing. When the toothpaste gets squeezed, are the decisions bringing your town/city/county/state/federal government closer to the way you want things, or further? That’s what every election represents: two candidates, one of whom will take his/her area of responsibility closer to your ideal, and one of whom will take his/her area of responsibility further away.

Let’s take a good-old controversial issue like abortion, and the current candidates for President. If you want women to be able to cut little babies to pieces even if they could be born and given up for adoption right that moment, it doesn’t matter who has flipped on which issues. Romney is ultimately beholden to people who actually believe their religions, and Obama is ultimately beholden to people whose religion is little more than a flag pin on their lapel. No honestly religious person would say, “Yup, cut that baby out even though it’s due next week because it is [unwanted | going to make you too fat for that dress | ugly]” and so Romney’s actions will always tilt toward restricting most abortion.” (Please don’t waste my brain with stupid arguments about saving the life of the mother – every single abortion-limiting bill makes that exception so keep your intellectual dishonesty to yourself.)

No amoral person would ever say, “There’s no such thing as an [unwanted | ugly] baby! Make sure that little ball of ugly (or cute, if you’re lucky) comes out and we’ll make sure we find a nice home for it to some [childless | sexless | loveless | gay] couple who wouldn’t ever have any babies!” They’d say, “A baby in its 35th week of gestation is like a toenail. Cut it out!” And so Obama’s actions will always tilt toward encouraging all [poor | selfish | busy | distracted | African-American] women to abort, or anyone else with important [dancing | drinking | skiing] plans for the weekend who don’t have time to raise a child.

We could go through this exercise with any important issue of the day. Even if, like in San Francisco, your only options are a Democrat and a Socialist, if you’re a right-winger the Democrat will get you vastly closer to your ideal than the Socialist. In that case, it’s between the Democrat who wants to tax you for your financial success and confiscate your winnings to date, and the Socialist who wants to imprison you for it and slaughter your children so they don’t grow up to be bankers (I wish I were exaggerating here like I did with all the other stuff).

So in this election and every other, look at the two candidates: Which one gets you closer to your goals?

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Defending Narcissism and Offending Laxatives

In my divorce experience, I have observed friends’ and acquaintances’ divorces in order to get some perspective on my own situation. The most amazing scene played out in the middle of all of this: certain spouses convinced each other that their soon-to-be ex’s all were narcissists. More often than not, these spouses were also what I’m going to call Laxative Spouses (a close relative to Laxative Coworkers).

I’ll start off saying this: Yes, it’s narcissistic to blog about myself. But you all are reading it, so it can’t be all bad. Also, you all are bloggers, and probably write about yourselves and your points of view too. So we’ll all be happy little narcissists together, shan’t we?

It started with an email my ex sent to my new bride’s ex when they had teamed up to oppose us and support each other. They were saying that my new bride and I are narcissists and left them feeling spent. Never mind that my new bride and I spent our first marriages eternally propping up our spouses, making them better than they would have been otherwise. Then, I found out that the ex of a dear friend of mine (whose wife left him) was sending a very similar email around to any mutual friends in order to get people to “side with her.” So I’ve uncovered a clubby little conspiracy…

The members of this little group pass around links to unscientific websites (here is one example). These websites are poorly written, and fling about this accusation describing what could really be anyone when you look at them through ugly lenses. In this case, my friend’s wife (from last paragraph) had done the leaving, and since we were all from a tight little group of Mormons from college, she felt the need to tell anyone who’d listen that my friend is a pill-popping narcissist (as my bride says: “Aren’t they all?”).

My bride brings up one other brilliant point: Let’s just assume we are narcissists for a moment. For the exes who sit there pining over the departing spouse, or the exes who are otherwise angry at being left, and yet still bandy about the N word, aren’t they in fact better off? If we have a disorder that makes us bad people, shouldn’t they feel lucky to be out of a bad situation?

The basic claim is that if you have an ex (or a spouse you wish was an ex) who is a narcissist, they have this “disorder” so it’s really not your fault. You tried to relate to them, to comfort them and be a romantic partner, and they rejected you out of fear. You were so darn wonderful, they were afraid you might get to close and instead turned about and hurt you mentally and/or physically.

Now here’s my point: Narcissism is an indefensible claim. When my parents got divorced, my mom called my dad a control freak – same/same. And I have a philosophy about who throws around indefensible claims mid- and post-divorce. On a political side-note, I am a card-carrying Republican. However, 2 years ago the theme across all of the talk-radio airwaves was that President Obama is a narcissist. It has never sat right with me – again, because it is indefensible. If it is a disorder, I’ll believe it when the President walks out of a psychiatrist’s office with a diagnosis. As my bride would say: diagnonsense!

In every breakup (other than the movie-divorces where the spouses are each other’s best friend and other such unhealthy scenarios), there is one spouse (we’ll call them Spouse 1) who wholeheartedly admits, “It looked like it would be a good marriage, but over the months and years I made some mistakes, he/she made mistakes, and things got away from us.” What I’m seeing is that the other spouse (Spouse 2) blames Spouse 1 for everything. It doesn’t seem to be tied at all to which spouse left whom. It just seems to be a general character flaw.

The really insidious thing? When Spouse 1 admits they made some mistakes, Spouse 2 leaps on that moment as an opportunity to prove how right, innocent and mentally abused Spouse 1 made them. By being the more mature adult, Spouse 1 gets an extra helping of blame. But here’s the funny part: isn’t it the ultimate narcissistic move for a Spouse 2 to say everything bad in the marriage came from the other spouse? Odd, isn’t it, that they would have been the perfect husband/wife? Just sayin’!

How this all ties into Laxative Spouses
When one spouse leaves another, it’s because they’re unhappy. I talked to a divorced exec the other day who says, “No happy marriage results in divorce” – truer words were never spoken!

In my case, and my new bride’s, we were married to Laxative Spouses. It’s like this: A complaint about laxatives is that the more you use them, the more you have to use them. What happens is, when you use laxatives, your digestive tract stops pushing so hard on its own to get food through you, and lets the laxatives do their work. Regular laxative use can result in almost a permanent need for laxatives.

I felt like a laxative. The more I did, the more I made my ex feel good about herself and the more I did around the house, the less she felt she needed to do. Period. I knew that when my bishop told me the way to fix my marriage was to hold her hand at night and pray vocally, including 5 things I liked about her, what the result would be. And I was right. The result was that she would be so happy that I just liked/loved her for who she was, that she could try even less in our relationship. That’s just what Laxative Spouses do. If your Laxative Spouse has gained a ton of weight, you probably have too much decency to tell them they’re getting extraordinarily fat. If you try to make them feel comfortable, or beautiful, or whatever motivates them, a Laxative Spouse will eat even more and exercise even less because they’re so clam-happy. You made them happy, by accepting them for who they are! It’s really a catch-22: You can’t tell them they’re miserable, or fat, or lazy, or whatever their flaw is that’s driving you insane; if you pretend the problem doesn’t exist, they get clam-happy.

They’re just like Laxative Coworkers (and for the record, my ex is not one of these). Laxative Coworkers let you help them when they struggle, and then realize how much work they didn’t have to do while you were doing it for them. My bride had that problem at a grocery store – a coworker in the deli wasn’t very fast/efficient at skewering chickens for the rotisserie. After my bride helped her, my bride ended up always being tasked with skewering. This is how Laxative Coworkers work – they always say via their actions: “You’d save so much time just helping them do the stuff they don’t want to!” All you ever get from helping a Laxative Coworker, is more work.

Laxative Spouses (and likely Laxative Coworkers) peaked at a certain age and stuck there. They want the rest of their lives to be level and predictable. They don’t want change, and they don’t want anything new. I was telling my bride tonight that I love her because she is constantly evolving. She does everything she tries magnificently, and has so many neat ways to do things that I have learned a ton from her over the past year. But she is always looking for ways to do better, to do things better, to live better. It’s this sort of refusal to rest on her laurels, that I love about her. It’s this sort of person that I want to have around me.

For the record, I’m not afraid to open up. My bride knows everything about me, even things I was always too embarrassed to tell any friend, any relative, and my ex-spouse. I wanted to make sure I was a completely open book for my bride, so that nothing would ever be too touchy to share. I advise anyone getting married, whether a RM 1st marriage, or an Elizabeth Taylor 7th marriage, to take this painful step. You are the culmination of your best and worst choices – if they can’t love you for everything you are, then find someone who can. Then you can be as happy as I will forever be.

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Fashionable Apostasy

What’s the trendiest way to obscure your quickly dissolving faith? Allying yourself with:

Homosexuality

It’s so very powerful. You claim you used to love the Church (or any other Christian sect that hasn’t diluted itself with abandon) but you no longer can stand by a faith that hates homosexuals.

Defending the Church
Let’s step back a moment. First, in defense of the Church.

We don’t stand against homosexuality out of hate. When we have rules in the Church, they’re steadfast. The rules say things like “Never give up on a loved one,” and “Moderate your response to the news of your loved one’s homosexual struggles,” and “Do not encourage him or her to marry as a “cure” for homosexuality.” These aren’t the words of a community mobilizing with militaristic hatred.

An easy fact: you can’t hate people into changing. So if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, then you won’t make any headway by ostracizing and/or mocking them. We are to embrace the homosexuals we know, and encourage them to strengthen their relationship with God and their faith in the Gospel. We happen to believe something like this: if they strengthen their faith, if they submit themselves to Christ, they probably won’t continue living an active homosexual life.

We stand against gay marriage because marriage is reserved for a man and a woman, with the ideal that the union produce children. Among other reasons, there are wonderfully utilitarian uses for encouraging procreation:

  • The major cultures who hate us around the world are very happy to breed themselves into little population explosions, and don’t think they’ll refrain from using the excess people to kill us one day.
  • Our quickly bloating welfare state (and the already bloated welfare states elsewhere in the West) needs a new generation to work for 40 years to pay for 30+ years of free money to all the old folks.
  • It’s a lot easier to manufacture new Mormons (or other religion) than to convert some (and some religions you can’t convert to, like Orthodox Judaism)


The Apostates
I will give a concrete example from someone I have known – a woman I’m vaguely related to. The first time I met her and her husband, they were leaders in their Ward (their Church community); in fact, he was the 1st Counselor in his Ward’s bishopric. They had everything Church-wise going for them, and they were graduating from college. They have 3 kids. They have owned a home or two. The world should be their oyster.

Then he had trouble finding the right job. Then he decided maybe he wanted to go to grad school. She supported them financially. Then she got a new job, surrounded by successful homosexuals. She hung out with them a lot.

At this point, the husband started to drink (a big no-no for us) heavy liquor to diffuse the stress from his grad school. The woman was shocked and appalled. Soon, this woman and her husband started to one-up each other in destroying their relationship.

She went drinking with her homosexual coworkers frequently. She would pass out at their homes and sleep in their beds.

Quick aside: The dirty stories in dirty magazines are full of men who are otherwise straight who stray gay for a night. Can’t a gay man stray straight? Should a lonely housewife really be sleeping in a gay man’s bed?

Back to my story. The husband “fell in love” with a girl at school and told his wife, plus an aside that he didn’t plan to do anything about it. She wondered whether she should get into swinging to make him happy. Yes, that’s the order of it.

She then reconnected with a high school boyfriend and would leave the State to watch his sporting events. Then this woman, the high school boyfriend and his own wife, and this woman’s husband started going to strip clubs in Vegas. (This woman AND her husband each had to drink themselves into oblivion the first time they went to the strip club in order to feel comfortable being there/drown out the Holy Ghost.)

Lesson: If you have to take any drastic measures to drown out the Holy Ghost, just stop.

The woman soon announced she wanted no more children, but if her husband wanted one, then he could feel free to sleep with the high school boyfriend’s wife and make one. In my mind, she was trying to find justification to sleep with that old boyfriend.

So after all this spiritual and mental deterioration, this woman’s only regular friendships were the old high school boyfriend and the circle of homosexuals from work. And after all this deterioration, she decided she cannot support a Church that hates people who are so nice as homosexuals are.

First of all, some of her own gay friends say they don’t want gay marriage. So are these gays discriminating against their own kind?

Second of all, she leaves this whole story of her deterioration out of her reasoning for falling away from the Church.

I met another woman who has fallen away from the Church based on our stance on homosexual marriage as well. She hadn’t attended church regularly in years.

Analysis
There are a couple levels to these people’s apostasy

  • The hypocrite within: They know they’re not living their lives in accordance with our standards/rules. They don’t want to get punished and go through the repentance process. Look how easy it is to support the wrong side in this social controversy.
  • The WASP Ridiculousness/Stuff White People Like: It’s so cool to have gay friends. You’re in that circle, and the best way to keep ahead of the curve is to be a zealot for their societal issues.
  • The Morally Obtuse: You’ve depleted your “spiritual bank account” and now you need a way to obfuscate the call of the Holy Spirit to come back. Best to drown it out with a contrived emotion like zealotry. In a way, the social issue fills the void that your religion once did. Something has to fill that bank account, so why not counterfeit spiritual dollars?

I’d say that people who sacrifice the religion they once loved for a social issue like homosexual marriage have all three of these levels somewhat equally.

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Twilight is…

…Porn for Desperate Housewives.

That’s right, I said it. Yes, I read them (they’re written hardly above the Harry Potter maturity level). No I didn’t read the failed book online. No I didn’t read the booklet she wrote for charity. No I didn’t read her little sexual alien book. No, I didn’t identify with them. I was guilted into reading them (long story). The only part of any of the books I liked was when Edward was nowhere to be seen for so much of the 2nd book. Then I didn’t have to read the only dialogue on God’s Green Earth that’s worse than anything George Lucas can come up with (“I love you.” “I love you more.” “No, I love you more.” “I’d die for you.”). Gag me with a spoon, chainsaw, whatever.

Let me lay down my premise. Men watch porn to get what they don’t have, but what they really want. They look at pictures, watch videos, wait with bated (I’m so surprised that’s how it’s spelled) breath for the sexy parts of movies and HBO series, some go to strip clubs, and more. We frown on all this behavior, but of course, it’s how the world works. For every man who doesn’t do any of the above, there are 10 who wait to see the sexy parts of movies, and 100 who do all the other stuff. I’ve seen it all, and it always left me feeling less than before. So I choose not to partake.

But the fact remains that men do this, and generally speaking women do not. I once heard that the same thrill a man gets from seeing a woman topless (clarify: a woman you’d want to see topless), a woman gets when a man walks up full of confidence (thank you yet again David D! — married men, stay away from his stuff!). So, women, try to relate when you know it’s that thrill we get from the opposite sex.

Now, I was once married to a diehard Twilight fan – a Twihard. That’s right – reading all the books. Reading all the books again right before the movies come out so you don’t miss anything. Hosting Twilight parties on the opening night of every movie. I stood in line (and I’m not begrudging anyone for this) from 5pm till 11pm for the first three movies so I could hand off the place in line to all of the Twihards at her party, and then blissfully walked off to have a quiet evening alone. So I have real Twihard cred.

Women see in these books the different flavors of men they want – youthfulness with (strength? maturity? perspective? creativity? artistry? wealth?). Fill in the blank depending on which flavor of man you really wish were at home with you. They see the girl with all her weakness on her sleeve, and then of course she has all the strength no one could have seen by looking at her (the stupid magic power, and the strength no other young vampire had). Women who qualify as Twihards are getting their sexual rocks off reading about these men and the relationships they give these women. If you have any tendrils into this silly crowd, you just know so many who had to calm themselves down reading the mystical sex scene in book 4.

Here is where there’s a similarity between women and men. In an earlier post, I told the story of the guy who drove around with his car door unlocked so at any time a random stranger (beautiful) woman could jump into his car and offer to have sex with him. Of course it never happened. By watching Twilight, women who know they’re plain-looking (or past their prime) get to imagine they’re with the man who never grows old and always looks 17, and of course screws like a 40 year old with vigor and vim. Bella is plain. Bella is a wallflower (as my bride likes to point out). Plain wallflowers never get the hot guy. Plain wallflowers are reading these books (and they may be perfectly beautiful on the outside, but inside they fit the bill and we all know perception is reality to these people! – see Jessica’s blog for more about perception). Both views are equally silly.

These books are clearly satisfying everything for women that porn satisfies for men. And it’s oh-so-ironic that the books were written by a fellow Mormon! I think it’s because she can get away with it, that there’s a veneer of innocence by being a member of my church. But it’s just a veneer, people. She clearly identifies with her own characters, writing the heroine as this ridiculous woman-child who (in the end) gets to stay woman-child forever.

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