Surely My Eyes Deceive Me!

1.  The Red-Headed Kid, after months of absence from Tiny Cat Pants, is asleep right now on my couch.  I feel a little bad about coming downstairs and flipping on all the lights this morning, but I didn’t know he was still here.  On the other hand, I was glad he came over last night, because I was watching the rest of the Spike Lee documentary and the Red-Headed Kid is one of those guys that doesn’t see anything wrong with crying.  Not out and out sobs, but when that old lady was going through her house and seeing that everything was gone, or when the kid talked about being assured his house was empty and then finding his dead mother under the refrigerator, or when the woman was at the funeral for her five year old daughter, tears were openly falling and he was all “That’s fucked up.”

2.  Every day we walk by this house where the old man knocks on the window and waves at us and his dog barks and leaps and scratches against the other window at hard as it can.  Today the man wasn’t at his usual spot, but the dog was at its.  I’ll give you three guesses as to what finally happened.  Yes, that dog finally hit that window hard enough to break it.  I was so startled but I turned to Mrs. Wigglebottom and said, “I guess we should have seen that coming.”

3.  We saw a red tailed hawk sitting in the middle of the street, out front of the house of the woman who always gives Mrs. Wigglebottom treats.  It just sat there, facing her house, head turned to watch us pass.  It was cool.  I wonder if all animals just know to wait outside her house for snacks.

4.  Kleinheider sent me this link to a story about a woman who’s enlisting the help of Jane and its readers to lose her virginity.  I’m not sure I can do this justice.  On the one hand, I think we, as a society, highly overvalue virginity.  Whether or not you’ve had sex is just not that important.  And so I guess if someone wants a magazine to help her get laid, it’s not a big deal.

But on the other hand, this really bothers me.  Is it weird that she’s a twenty-nine year old virgin?

Frankly, yes.

But so what?  Why do we have to see every weird thing about us as a problem to be solved?

That bugs the shit out of me–that message–that your quirks are “issues” that you need to address and fix.  And I hate to see Jane reinforcing that.

14 thoughts on “Surely My Eyes Deceive Me!

  1. While I hate to give in to the "they replaced the editor and now the magazine has gone to shit" sort of thinking (so I didn’t until I’d read a few issues under the new regime), I do think Jane magazine has lost someting by replacing original editor/founder Jane Pratt. What it has lost (in my opinion) is an intangible sort of intelligence that would have prevented it from reinforcing this "quirks are issues" bullshit.

  2. I don’t even care if someone thinks that his/her quirks are issues. That’s just another quirk, in my book. What I despise is the idea that the unpublicized life is not worth living. And that therefore the best way to deal with these issues is to share them with as many people as possible via mass media. The appeal of tons of cool blind dates? I get that. The appeal of having to report on those dates not just to the people who set me up but to the whole world? That’s just lost on me.

  3. "What I despise is the idea that the unpublicized life is not worth living. And that therefore the best way to deal with these issues is to share them with as many people as possible via mass media."Yeah, what would compel people to publish for the whole world to see the details of their private lives?I know I would never do that. (Hee hee hee)

  4. PS: NM, I’m laughing goodnaturedly when I say that. The irony is too funny, knowing that everybody here is guilty of that one.

  5. Oh, everybody here does that? You mean I’m the only person who ever comments here who isn’t a blogger? And all of your blogs give real-time accounts of all the details of your personal lives? I’d better pay closer attention, I guess.

  6. Oh we all don’t do that. But blogs for many people are their diaries, and contain personal matters that would normally remain secret.Me personally, sometimes I do politics, sometimes I merely write down my observances of what others are doing, and sometimes I expose for the whole world to read what is going on in my life, good and bad.I believe I am fairly typical in that regard.

  7. Fair enough. Would you do the same if you had as many readers as Jane magazine? They claim to reach about three quarters of a million people.

  8. Probably not. And I guess I should mention that I only go by my first name when I blog/comment. If on a sliding scale, what I and other blogger do is probably around a 3, the virgin in Jane a 6, and those who go on Maury Povich to hear, "You are NOT the father," a 10.

  9. I was thinking about virginity just this morning. My son just turned 18 and he is still a virgin. So is his girlfriend.They have chosen to abstain from sex right now. I find this a little odd. Not that I want my son to be screwing everyone in town but they have been together for 2 years. (Yes, I know this for a fact as I bought him condoms which resulted in both my son and his girlfriend having a talk with me about how insulted they were that I would "encourage" such a thing). A 29 year old virgin is also odd but the way she is going about losing it is just plain bonkers.Oh and I have no idea how I found you but glad I did.

  10. If this chick who wants to get laid before November is so cute, adorable, and funny, why HASN’T it happened before? Methinks she’s got some crazy issues other than just being a virgin – maybe she’s a raging bitch or a wacko or has some other un-sexy personality trait that has caused her to make normal men run from her screaming, therefore leaving her in her virgin status. I wouldn’t trust anyone who needs the aid of a magazine to get some nookie to be as good as they say they are…

  11. Ya know, Lee (and Aunt B.), I think there’s a greater difference than from 3 to 6 between "the redheaded kid came over and we watched HBO, and yesterday I saw a guy wearing a skirt, and my opinion on the latest political issue is thus-and-so" and "readers, fix me up with cool guys so I can get laid". The first focuses on reactions to the world around us, and invites a discussion of *the world*. The second focuses on the writer and invites readers to talk about the writer–more, more, more. If this blog is a 3 on a sliding scale of Advertisements for Myself, then the Jane writer has to be an 8 at least. IMO, that is.

  12. Argh! I hate when I miss the interesting conversations. But I can still catch up! I’m determined.Okay, for starters, Jag, yes, exactly. The reinforcing of the "quirks are issues thing" is exactly what bugs me about this.True, the woman is free to do whatever she wants with herself, but it’s troubling to me that no one at Jane asked themselves what kind of message this sends to their readers. If they want their readers to be quirky, free spirits, then they shouldn’t treat quirks like problems.NM & Lee, you both bring up excellent points. But I think another difference between putting your shit out there on a blog and putting your shit out there as a national magazine’s fix-it project is that I’m not beholden to you guys in the same way this woman now is to Jane’s little project.My obligation is to myself. You all are a wonderful and important side benefit. But I don’t write so that you can learn about me; I write to make myself holy to myself.I don’t know. Maybe that’s a shitty distinction to make, but I see a world of difference between me holding myself up to scrutiny in front of you and saying "B., love even this" and Jane holding that woman up for public scrutiny saying, "Public, help fix this."Christine, I think your son and his girlfriend are kind of charming. Maybe strange, but if it works for them, I say more power to them.Bekah, I don’t know. I guess I can see how it would happen. People are weird. If not for my inability to keep my hands to myself when drunk, I could easily see how I might have ended up in that spot–I’m kind of awkward and weird in real life. So, I have sympathy.

  13. "I see a world of difference between me holding myself up to scrutiny in front of you and saying ‘B., love even this’ and Jane holding that woman up for public scrutiny saying, ‘Public, help fix this.’"Yes, that’s what I was trying (weakly) to get at yesterday. There’s a difference not only of degree but of content involved here.

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