Wining Wife®

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Month: December 2011

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Another Christmas

 

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So it’s like my 35th Christmas here on earth (if you count when I was just a wee lass of a month and a half old), and so far it’s been a good one. It’s got me thinking about a lot of things – the end of the year stuff – things I’ve accomplished this year, how far I’ve come from a couple years ago when I was in an emotional hell, and the people I love. It’s funny, because while I have a lot of “friends” on Facebook, in real life, I only have a few close friends. It takes a while for me to let someone in – and each year, the bar is set higher for those who would like to be part of my life. Here’s a rundown of my year in a nutshell:

 

  • I lost 60 pounds from August 10, 2010 until now
  • I started off the year single and unwilling to mingle, and I’m now ending the year in a committed, loving, and healthy relationship with my best friend
  • I walked on hot coals – making me a firewalker
  • I outdid last year’s income for my business by 130% – not bad considering the emotional turmoil I was going through during the first half of the year
  • I walked a 5k and ran two 5ks
  • I was baptized and became a member of a church
  • I helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • My book, Success in Life was published in June.
  • My son was in two plays
  • My son went from kid to teenager
  • My brother fell ill with liver cirrhosis at a very young age
  • I wrote more than 300 articles

 

Those aren’t the only things that have happened, but they are the most significant. I’m hoping that 2012 will bring many great and wonderful things into my life. I’m ready!

 

What were your accomplishments this year?

 

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The Sad State of American Birth Control Options

 

London at War - Birth Control

London at War – Birth Control (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

 

Theme Song: Pink Floyd “Money”

 

Projects: Writing articles, editing stuff, getting ready for Christmas

 

You probably haven’t stopped much to think about birth control – unless you need it. It’s really actually a sad thing that the options that we have for birth control are kind of slim and choosing an option is a game of playing “What’s the least of the evils?”  In case you’re not familiar with the different choices, here are your options, broken down by type:

 

  • Permanent (vasectomy, tubal ligation) – not an option for those who want to eventually have kids, just not right now (or for those who “might” want to have kids sometime in the future
  • Long-term (IUDs) – while some women swear by these, others have been known to have horrible, nightmare experiences with them, including when the IUD punctures the uterus and ends up floating around threatening organs
  • Hormonal (pills, patches, shots, nuvaring) – again works for many women, but it can be frustrating to find the “right” one, meanwhile some of these methods have killed women due to blood clots – others have managed to be fine with that, but mood swings can be a real problem
  • Barrier (Cervical cap, diaphragm, condoms) block the boys before they can meet up with the egg. The first two need to be used with  a barrier gel of some sort in order to form a seal
  • And of course, the worst choice, the P & P (Pull out and pray – yikes!) or none at all

 

Now, ideally, the conversation about birth control takes place between two partners wanting to prevent pregnancy. They consider the options and make an informed choice about what method they will use, and then use it correctly and with regularity. They head down to their local women’s health specialist and get a prescription of some sort. If it doesn’t work/is uncomfortable/or has some negative side effect, their doctor works with them to find something that will work.

 

For couples and women who are low income, the state steps in at some point, and legislates sexuality. This is done indirectly. Some insurance companies also legislate sexuality. Here’s an example:

 

A woman picks up her prescription and finds that the box of spermicide for her diaphragm only contains enough for 10 applications – and only five refills over the next year. That means, on the instructions given, they can have intercourse 50 times and have it be covered by the insurance program the woman is on.  When asked about the need for extra spermicide – in case the couple is more active than the prescription allows, they are told “You will just have to purchase more on your own.”

 

Here’s another example:

 

A woman is on the pill, but while on vacation, someone stole her purse. In the purse were both the current and next month’s supply of pills. She calls her pharmacy and is told that her insurance will only cover 12 packs of birth control pills per year.

 

Sex is a huge part of adult intimate relationships. It’s unfathomable to think that for those who could not afford to purchase condoms, spermicide, or extra birth control pills when needed, it’s not a possibility due to financial constraints. The morning after pill runs about $60. While Planned Parenthood and other such women’s clinics try their best to help women and men who wish to prevent pregnancies from occurring that were not planned, there is only so much they can do with their funding.

 

This brings me to my point – you would think, that in all the human history that we’ve had, that there would be better solutions for preventing pregnancy. You would also think that insurance companies would find it beneficial to cover birth control. Here’s an argument that might appeal to an insurance company: It is far less expensive for you to cover birth control options for women and help them find something that works (and I focus here on women due to the very limited number of male options) than it is for you to cover a pregnancy. It seems like common sense.

 

Also, it would be nice if we could stop making products that burn, maim, or kill women in the name of preventing pregnancy. I recognize that a small percentage of women are affected, but that percentage is enough to continue researching methods that are more safe and effective.

 

For many, this might not seem like a priority – birth control. It’s something that many think belongs behind closed doors. However, by providing women with choices – and the power to support those choices – we can prevent unwanted/unplanned pregnancies. Abstinence is not at all a realistic option for most adults (particularly those in relationships).

 

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The Right Stuff

 

Theme Song: “The Right Stuff” New Kids on the Block

 

Projects: Revising a book chapter, updating blogs, sending out newsletter, editing

 

Right now, I’m listening to “The Right Stuff.” I know it’s totally cheesy, but would you expect anything less from a reformed Blockhead? I put on my “NKOTB Playlist” on iTunes, because for some reason, whenever I’m stressed out, I do such a thing. I think it’s because returning to a simpler time musically is relaxing. It’s interesting though, because this particular time, when I put it on, I really noticed the lyrics:

 

“All that I needed was you/O

New Kids on the Block

Cover of New Kids on the Block

h, girl, you’re so right/And all that I wanted was you/You made all my dreams come true”

 

Now, to many people, this won’t seem like a big deal. These lyrics are innocuous enough. I’ve listened to this song thousands of time over my lifespan since I was a wee preteen. Never once did I notice the interesting connotations of these lyrics until today.

 

I’m having a problem with the word “All” in the lyrics. Really? “All” I needed was you?  That seems strange.  It would seem that more would be needed – food, shelter, clothing, friends, a career, etc. All I wanted was you? Really? All dreams?

 

Granted, I’m possibly reading a little much in this, but it made me look at other songs by the group…take this set of lyrics, for example:

 

“Please don’t go girl/I just can’t live without you/Please don’t go girl/So listen to me… (Don’t go, girl)/Please don’t go girl/You would ruin my whole world/Tell me you’ll stay/Never ever go away “

 

Really? “I can’t live without you?” “You would ruin my whole world” YIKES! This is another song I’d listened to hundreds of thousands of times while growing up.

 

Here’s one more:

 

“There’s so much I like in you I can’t go on,/I wanted a girl like you I’ve looked so long,/girl, nothing will make us wrong, I know our love is too strong,/let’s leave the rest behind, our dreams ask what we will find.”

 

I’m not going to get into the logistics of solo albums. Jordan Knight‘s “Give it to You” was banned in Canada b/c it seemed to advocate date rape. Okay, so where am I going with all this, you wonder? That’s where it gets interesting. Imagine that you grow up listening to these lyrics – over and over again. You begin to get a very skewed idea of what “The Right Stuff” is. These lyrics are indicative of very, very unhealthy relationships! I mean the guy can’t live without her! She’s EVERYTHING he needs. He can’t go on! YUCK!

 

Healthy relationships happen when two people recognize that there’s more in life than just the relationship. Each person is whole in his or her being. There are individual goals, interests, etc. The other person is like seasoning to the individual’s life – and life will go on (albeit possibly uncomfortably for a bit) once that person does leave. If I ever again dated someone who said “I can’t live without you,” I’d run faster than you can say “On your marks, get set, GO!”  I’ve had enough of that kind of crazy NKOTB song-worthy “drama crapmance” for a lifetime. YET, this is what we’re feeding our young girls. Let’s look at some of Justin Bieber’s lyrics real quick.

 

“My prize possession, one and only/Adore you girl, I want you/The one I can’t live without/That’s you, that’s you

You’re my special little lady/The one that makes me crazy/Of all the girls I’ve ever known/It’s you, it’s you”

 

So these girls are learning that they’re someone’s “possession” and there’s that not being able to live without someone thing again. And this one:

 

“Running out of time, where is my runaway love?/Searching low and high, know that I’m not giving up/I’d give it all up for us, it’ll never be enough/I won’t stop until I find my runaway love”

 

So now stalking is okay too? Sigh. I will grant that I am pulling lyrics out of context of an entire song, but it’s still quite disturbing that teeny-bopper music seems to espouse a celebration of unhealthy relationship patterns. I’m not quite sure what the effects are or if there is a causal relationship. However, I think it’s interesting that pop culture seems to hold these sorts of sentiments as being ones to strive for in relationships/as being “romantic.” Quite possibly this is why many girls do pass up on the good guys…which is sad, because good guys are WAY more romantic and cool than people who look at women as possessions they can’t live without! (And I know that, because I’m with a good guy, and he’s quite romantic!)

 

Real, healthy relationships develop over time, they’re more like really close friendships than crazy love affairs, and at the end of the day – that’s what’s important, right? Having a companion who will stand by you when things are hard and when things are easy!

 

I’m really interested now in song lyrics and connotations about romance from them. What are some lyrics from your favorite songs that are questionable?

 

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