You Try; I’ll Buy

My parents have never had sushi.  Both the Butcher and I love it.  I told them this morning that, if they would be willing to try sushi, I would be willing to buy them lunch.

Here’s how any new thing goes with my parents:


Me: Let’s try this new thing.

Dad: I can’t do that.  I need some tool or implement that could easily be procured.

Me: You can have that tool.

Dad: No you can’t.

Me: You don’t know.  You’ve never done new thing.  Mom, do you want to try this new thing?

Mom: It’s up to your father.

A Little Later, While Trying the New Thing:

Dad: Grouch, grouch, grouch.

Mom: Well, I don’t know…

Dad: Hmm.  Well, that wasn’t that bad.  It reminds me of when I was in college.

Mom: Well, I don’t know…

Dad: No, I’ve got it.  I’ll pay for it.  You spend your money on getting the Butcher to go back to school.

Then, later:

Dad: Let’s go do that new thing.

Me: I thought you didn’t like that new thing.

Dad: Are you kidding?  We loved the new thing.  We’ve been doing the new thing once a week back home.  We practically invented the new thing.

Mom: I was telling all the women at work about the new thing and they’re so silly.  They’re completely convinced they could never do something like the new thing.  They’re so missing out.

We’ll see if the great Sushi Experiment of 2006 works in a similar fashion.

George W. Bush–We Now Know the Truth

Via Twisty (Hurray!  She’s back from Cancerland), the Germans uncover a startling secret about our President.

My god, do I even need to warn you conservatives that you’re going to not find it funny?  Well, maybe Kleinheider will laugh and the rest of you can just bitch in the comments about how Bush is so not an idiot and I am a socialist pig.  You know, the usual.


Does ‘Virgin’ Equal ‘Dumbass’?

Y’all, I’ve been thinking a lot about the cutesy dumbass model of American femininity.  And, fuck me, I wish I knew more about math, because clearly cutesy and dumbass are two independent variables, but that are somehow interlinked.

Let me try to articulate that.  First, you have the cutesy factor.  Women as a group are supposed to be good looking, but ‘good looking’ is defined in a very specific way–young, thin but round, bright eyes, shiny hair on their heads but otherwise mostly hairless–sexy but sexy according to a specific set of cultural expectations.  And all women are kind of assumed to be aiming for that standard of cutesiness and so are open to public judgement about whether they are reaching it.

Then you have the dumbass factor, which I think is pretty self-explanatory.  Women as a group are supposed to be stupid.

Now, of course, individual, particular women aren’t always cutesy dumbasses and don’t want to be perceived as cutesy dumbasses (though, I would argue that we’d rather be seen as cutesy than dumbass, because being cutesy is much more valuable culturally than being a dumbass).  But I think we all, from time to time, feel like we’re running into the unspoken expectation that we will, when it comes down to it, behave as cutesy dumbasses.

But it seems, too, like there’s some kind of relationship between cutesy and dumbass.  If you are very cutesy, it’s assumed that you are a dumbass.  If you’re not a dumbass, people are surprised if you’re cutesy.

So, maybe “dumbass” is the cost of “cutesy.”  If you’re going to fit into that specific cultural aesthetic mode–which is highly desirable–the price you pay is that you’re perceived of as a dumbass*.  This works to explain, too, why men date beautiful idiots.  The cultural assumption is that beauty and brains don’t often go together and that beauty is highly desirable.  So, if a guy can get a beautiful girl, the cost is that she’s kind of an idiot.

Okay, so lets set aside religious virginity. 

My question for you is this: How wrapped up in the “cutesy dumbass” paradigm is our national quest to push for abstinance-only sex ed?

Realistically, one could be educated about all aspects of sex, from how to do it, how to keep yourself safe from pregnancy and disease while doing it, etc. and one could still make the decision to either remain a virgin or to abstain from further sex until one is old enough or married or whatever.

In the real world, “knowledge of sex” doesn’t equal “go forth and immediately have sex.”

So, why are we pushing an agenda of “teach them nothing except not to do it”?

I wonder if it’s because we believe that “dumbass” equals “cutesy”?  So, if a girl wants to remain attractive to a potential husband, she must not know too much.

Do you get what I’m saying?  I think religious prohibitions against premarital sex are wrapped up in issues of purity.  But our cultural prohibitions against sex seem much more wrapped up in how we’ve conflated dumbassedness with attractiveness.




*Which, if you think about it, explains Candi Lynn, the Hooter’s Chick from last week and her claim of feminism.  She wants to claim to be a feminist because she feels that she’s every day challenging the idea that cutesy women are dumbasses.  Hmm.  Maybe that is a feminist project, a little.

My Parents Know What Sells

I told my folks that y’all were curious about what they looked like and that we needed to take a picture so that I could post it here at Tiny Cat Pants.

My dad then suggested that they would have a lot of time alone together out at the camper and could sure take some photos that would impress my friends. I’m not sure there’s a definition of “impress” equivalent to “scare into lifelong celibacy” but I don’t have my Oxford English Dictionary handy. Maybe that’s some ancient sense of the word.

Anyway, I did find this one of the seven of us: Mom, Dad, me, the recalcitrant brother, the Butcher, and my two nephews.

I think it’ll give you some sense of the genetic material I have to work with.


To which I reply, the only way I will ever be sure that I only have two nephews is if the recalcitrant brother becomes a billionaire and we see who, if anyone, crawls out of the woodwork looking for child support.

The recalcitrant brother seemed for a period in his twenties to be determined to heal the long-standing rift between the North and the South by making sweet love to every Southern girl he could get his hands on.

I’m just trying to be open to the possibility of more nephews, just in case.