Wining Wife®

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Month: May 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Saturday Night Date Night

Theme Song: “By the Cathedral” Keren Ann

So tonight we went to a wine tasting, dinner, and to see the film The Avengers. It was a pretty good time!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Mother’s Day weekend! What do your plans involve?

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Supporting Gay Marriage…Or as I Like to Call it, Marriage

 

Theme Song: “Lounge Act” Nirvana

For almost a year now, I’ve worked as a volunteer with a very important organization, Stonewall Alliance. They offer support services and community for all members of the LGBTIQQA population (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and Ally) locally. Many of my friends belong to this community, as do I. I cannot tell you how much it means to me that President Obama has offered his support to the issue of equality for all couples when it comes to marriage. It should not ever be a fight for one member of a relationship to visit the other in the hospital because they are not legally married. It should not be an issue when our soldiers are off for their partners to receive support and aid as any married couple would. The fact that one is a member of the LGBTIQQA community does not make he or she any less capable of deep commitment than anyone else. In fact, one only has to look at many of the relationships in politics or Hollywood to understand that relationships only last so long as the people committed to the relationship work on it and not only commit once to one another, but continually commit themselves to the other individual in the relationship.

Marriage has many dimensions to it. There’s the emotional level – the commitment we make to our partners on a daily basis. I don’t think there needs to be any kind of ceremony or ritual to make for an emotional marriage between two people. There’s the spiritual level – the deep level bond two people have between themselves and their spiritual life, and it is often celebrated in the form of a ceremony with others. There’s such a breadth of religious beliefs in the world, that I don’t want to limit what is possible there, so here I mean spiritual in the largest sense possible. This can tie into the community sense – the community’s recognized support and acknowledgement of the relationship, but these two can be separate. There’s also the legal sense – the sense in which certain rights or privileges are granted based upon the community recognition of a couple’s official status.

What is sad is that we often deny marriage in the community and legal sense to those who are fully committed to one another in all senses of the word. In the past we have also denied interracial marriages and interfaith marriages. Isn’t it time we allow ALL people who would like to marry to be able to do so?

Marriage is a dynamic relationship, it has been shown to alleviate stress, lead to happier lives, and extend the lives of those who are in this particular relationship. Why deny the right to commit oneself fully, with the community support and legal benefits and rights, that heterosexual couples are able to receive to others based upon who they love? To me, that seems like too far a step back in time.

 

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Female Legitimacy, Battlestar Galactica, Sex, Love, and Emotion

 

Theme Song: “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”

So, I’ve been watching episodes of Battlestar Galacitca with my son and my fiancé. It’s interesting the different rolls women have in this series. I’m only in the second season, so please don’t ruin it for me in your comments. It seems to me that the women in this program are either religious, sexual partners, in love, or filled with angry emotion. That seems to appear to be how women are portrayed in media, period. After all, aren’t we emotional, sexual, loving beings – and when it comes to legitimacy as leaders, we need to be spiritual and the “perfect” woman?

What is the “perfect woman?” Especially when it comes to learning how to interact with the opposite sex, this can be a loaded question. It can put a lot of pressure on women. As a woman, I’m told not to move too fast, too slow. Don’t have sex too often, too seldom. Don’t put career first: Put career first! You’re your own person; you are here to serve your partner and help him to become the man he is meant to be. Womanhood is such a complex thing!!!

It can be overwhelming. What makes a woman, a woman? What makes a man a man? In our media. we learn that women are supposed to be beautiful, intelligent, matriarchs who can heal a wound with a kiss and make our husbands swoon. In our academic lives, we are told we are independent, we don’t need men, and relationships are the balls and chains that enslave us.

I tend to think that life is what you make of it. I love my partner and fiance. I would never look at him as anything other than a “partner” in the truest sense of the word.

What does modern media teach you about what it means to be a woman? What do you think about that?

 

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Guest Post: All Things Reconsidered

My post today was over at the All Things Reconsidered blog by my friend Peter Nichols. Please cruse over there and read it. In it, I talk about the way that checklists and prescriptive lists deceive us.

On Life Lists and Prescribing Happiness

Overheard Café Conversations

 

Café

Café (Photo credit: leandro_marco)

 

Theme Song: “Stay the Same” Joey McIntyre

 

Ah, the art of the overheard café conversation. I’ve heard some interesting conversations at cafes! There was a conversation involving an adulterous situation; there was a situation where disgruntled thoughts about farmers markets were expressed. My thought is – why does it matter what people talk about when they talk in cafes?

 

Part of our conversations in cafes are superficial. We want people to like us. I’ll give you that. But part of our café conversations are insidious. They convey messages we may be unwilling to make ourselves.

 

My question to you is, what sorts of things have you overheard while at a café?

 

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Five Movies That Have Inspired My Blogging

 

Theme Song: “Hello Monday” by Danny Wood

For the first blogathon theme, we are asked to select five movies that have inspired our work and our blogging. I’m stretching this a bit, because, well there are a lot of good movies out there. Here’s my list:

1. Julie and Julia

I have to admit this film has influenced me in more ways than just one. Julie and Julia shows what can come about when one has a successful blog. It’s more than that, however. It’s about keeping going on a dream even when it seems difficult. It’s about setting goals and seeing them through, and it’s about how food can heal our souls. Yeah, I love to cook and eat, so that helps. But it’s also about how we all find success in our own way – and that’s a good thing.

Julie and Julia

2. Reality Bites

This movie is my favorite movie of all time. I often will say “I love Terminator and Terminator 2, but in reality, Reality Bites is my favorite film. When it comes to blogging, the following quote is salient: Lelaina Pierce: “I really thought I would be something by the age of 23.” Troy Dire “Honey, the only thing you have to be by the age of 23 is yourself.” Never were such true words spoken. No matter what age we are, the only thing we have to be is ourselves. Whether we are making a documentary or a blog, that’s the most important thing we can do in life.

Reality Bites

3. Iron Man


We spend an awful lot of time planning out our lives as though it were an exact science. Tony Stark, he believed that sometimes you have to run before you can walk. I fully support this sentiment. Sometimes, you do very much have to run before you can walk. Blogging is one of those times. Another great quote from this movie involves Tony Stark’s production process. He, after all, built it in a cave from  bunch of scraps. If Tony Stark can do it, anything is possible!

Iron Man

4. Legally Blonde

There is nothing better than attending law school with a pen and some paper and having it all be color-coordinated with your iMac! I LOVE this movie! Legally Blonde is everything that is fun – and shouldn’t we love what we do? From this movie, I’ve gathered that if you love what you do and you stick with it, you will be successful – and even possibly wind up on top – no matter who you are! Bonus points if you do it with style!

Legally Blonde

5. He’s Just Not That Into You


Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a fan of what I write. However, some people will like it! What He’s Just Not That Into You has taught me about blogging is that you can’t worry about pleasing everyone. The right readers will follow you, and the wrong readers, well they’ll keep on their merry way. What’s important is that you learn who your audience is, and you learn how to speak to them. The rest will come with time!

He’s Just Not That Into You

Honorable Mention: The Television Show, Ally McBeal


Naturally, Ally McBeal inspired me to create this blog. I felt I had enough  in common with her quirky ways to use her name as my blog name.  Naturally, we don’t have too much in common, but it’s still fun to think about what it would be like if she and I knew each other (of course, providing she were a real person.) I think we’d be friends!

Ally McBeal

So what movies and TV shows have inspired you?

 

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Engagement Party!

 

Theme Song: “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love” Pink Martini

So tonight we had some local friends over for our engagement party. It seems everyone has a cold or was out of town…but we still had a good time. Here are some pictures from the event. (And yes, those are my awesome shoes I wore tonight – super high heels – and supremely comfy! I made pulled pork and flan! It was a spectacular night! The company that made it was great!)

What did you do with your Saturday night?

 

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Some of the Blogathon Writers I’m Enjoying

 

Theme Song: “Roll Away Your Stone” Mumford & Sons

Image courtesy of sxc.hu

This month, I’m participating in the Word Count Blogthon. The purpose of the Blogathon is to post every day – and that requires careful planning. There are many talented participants in the challenge.  The great thing is that there are so many people with so many different viewpoints who are participating in the challenge. It’s interesting to see all the different things people come up with to write about.

  • Lisa at Land Guppy Productions has written about ten things learned at the ballpark while watching the Mariners. I have to agree with her assessment of sponsorship in baseball – I noticed the last time I went to see a local team play that everything was sponsored. It was very strange.
  • Kirstin at Running for Autism wrote a post on remembering the things that matter. It’s really good to remember those things that are important to us. After all, they are what make life worth living. She’s also a runner-which is exciting for me, because it’s great to feel motivated by reading someone else who enjoys running for charity causes.
  • Van Waffle at Speed River Journal has been writing about the natural in the everyday spaces. His post today was an ode to an office window. It’s so important to consider the way our work spaces make us feel when we’re in them.
  • Jodi at How to Write Better, Faster gave some great tips for sandwiching bad news. I mean, who likes to deliver the icky stuff to others? Rather than delivering bad news all in one chunk, she suggests that such communication should be handled in a delicate manner.

These are only four of the participants (there are over 200), and there are many other great blogs going on, so I don’t want to leave them out. These are just four of the posts that have stuck with me recently. If you’re participating, who are you enjoying? If you’re not, check out the roll of participants at Word Count and read some of these blogs!

 

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Forcing Incompatibilities

 

Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1182577

Theme song: Pink “So What”

Sometimes, you have to meet the right person in order to know just how wrong the wrong person was.

I think it’s interesting how sometimes, we want our story to be more important than real life and so we’ll try to force compatibility out of incompatibility with others in order to do so. I’m at a point in my life where I no longer want to be someone I’m not just to get along with others. But when I was younger, I would do that all the time. You see, growing up, I wasn’t someone who fit in with the crowd. I preferred reading books to shopping for clothes, writing stories to going to the movies, and sports to makeup.  I was content to march to the beat of my own drummer. I was a kid who’d read the Bible because I felt like I should know what was in there – not because I believed that it was true.

Things changed at some point. Though I was always the philosophical kid, I met someone in high school who changed me. I gave up watching The New Mickey Mouse Club – which may have been for the best, but I also gave up other things. I gave up creative writing club, Amnesty International, stage crew, radio club, acting and dancing classes, several close friends, and babysitting. I gave up the music I loved to listen to – exchanging rap for hard rock. I went from being the girl who would sing loudly to passing cars with her best friend in front of the house in exchange for being quiet. I went from being confident to being very self-conscious. I wanted a black dress to wear to prom, I wound up wearing a white one at his insistence. I began to give up the traditions I’d grown up with in exchange for his traditions. In essence, I gave up me. When the relationship ended, I had to re-define who I was, outside of the relationship. Some of it was because of his insistence that I change, but I also allowed it to happen. I’d been too afraid to be who I was – for whatever reason, and too afraid to lose the attention he gave me.

Parents stepped in, but for different reasons. We were too serious about each other too young – far after I gave up my first activity. When I look at various life events I’ve experienced, I look at that period and think, “Parents should have stepped in much sooner.”

Later in life, I met up with the same boy, only he was grown up. I convinced myself that our story would be a romantic love story – even though we had nothing in common. Once again, I found myself being changed. Before him, I had a list of reasons not to get married, denoted by random numbers I’d come up with when a friend would complain about a spouse or I’d read random marriage stories (full disclaimer here, I’m still not entirely sure I believe in marriage. The main reason I wasn’t sure marriage worked was because in most cases, the woman winds up giving up a lot of herself for the sake of the relationship. Granted, relationships in general require that we compromise on some things – and I haven’t always been willing to compromise!)  Once again, I gave up many things that were important to me – graduate school, reading for fun, alone time, friends, traditions, and more.

Granted, I don’t blame him for all of that. It takes to to tango, and I was at a place, at 30, where I was freaking out about the fact that I was single. I let a lot of things slide. “You don’t like brown? I guess I won’t wear my favorite brown shirt then.” “You act strange at parties because you get nervous? I guess I won’t be going to parties anymore.” “You have a problem with the holidays I celebrate? I guess I won’t be hunting Easter eggs anymore.” “You want me to denounce the traditions I grew up with and embrace yours? –

but wait, I can’t. I never considered myself so, but I cannot give up the ideas and traditions of Christianity.” When I realized that, and realized how much of myself I’d been letting pass by – I was the sort of person before we were together who always had to be doing something, out in the world. With him, I was the sort of person who worked all the time. I no longer had balance. I started to reclaim who I was.

But, when I started to reclaim myself, and the things I wanted out of life, I started to realize that there was no way in which we were compatible for one another. And things, eventually, became crystal clear that they would not work out.

Why am I writing all of this? Publicly? I don’t know, I suppose it’s because I want to save other women (and men) from making similar mistakes. It’s not the only relationship where that happened, but it is the only relationship where it happened to such a degree that a year later I’m still undoing the “not-mes” that had occurred. I finally once again have a wardrobe that reflects my personality. If you find yourself forcing incompatibilities into compatibilities, it’s like putting too much stuff in an already overflowing closet. At some point, that door will open, and it will all fall out. You’re not alone – others I’ve talked to have done it, but if you’re doing it, don’t marry the person. At some point you will want to be you again.

The truth is, you don’t have to like the same music or the same people in order to be with someone. Why do we fool ourselves into believing that we have to meet some sort of imaginary checklist the other person has? Moving forward, if  being around someone makes you uncomfortable, and you find yourself saying you like things you don’t like or acting in a manner that goes against who you are, think hard about what that other person really is adding to your life. You should be able to be yourself when with your partner. My current partner is supportive, and I can always be myself around him. I never have to pretend to be someone else, and more importantly, I never have to pretend to like anything I don’t like. It’s so important to find someone you love who loves you for exactly who you are. And with all the crazy stuff that  happens in life, there is nothing more important than being yourself. Sure, that means we don’t always agree, but it also means we respect and love each other completely.

Have you ever compromised yourself for someone else? What happened?

 

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On Those Who Man-Bash (or Woman-Bash)

 

Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/783246

Theme Song: “Vertigo” U2

So there I was, about a year ago, watching Sex in the City as a divorced woman with a friend. When I was in my 20s, it was one of my favorite TV shows. As I watched the movie, I noticed all the man-bashing jabs, and watched my friend laugh at them. This isn’t to say I’ve never found such jokes humorous. But it is to say that I think that it’s safe to say that I’m no longer in a place where I think it’s funny to bash significant others.

Let’s face it, these are the people we want to spend our lives with! Whether you call someone an oaf to his face or behind his back, it’s cruel, disrespectful, and frankly not funny. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think it can’t possibly be a sign that you love the person you’re with.

But women in relationships aren’t the only ones who do this. Single women do this too. They poke fun of the men they date, put them down, etc. Some women bash before the man even gets to the door for the first date. Our society seems to think this is okay. However, my thoughts are if you don’t respect the guy, don’t go out with him, it’s that simple.

The same goes in reverse – men, if you don’t respect a woman, don’t date her! This kind of mate bashing is just cruel. In some of the groups I’m a member in on Cafe Mom, there’s a lot of this kind of bashing that goes on (women bashing their husbands, partners, etc.). It saddens me. While not every guy is a good guy, there ARE some really good guys out there, and they deserve respect from the women who love them.

It’s interesting because the attitudes we have towards members of the opposite sex, even those things we think are harmless, can eat away at our relationships with others. How many times have we been the recipient of a joke someone else thought was funny, only to find that it hurts us? I know that’s happened to me, and I’m sure other people have experienced this.

I don’t think other people’s weaknesses should be the way we bond with our friends. It’s bad karma. If you find yourself bonding over bashing other people, try changing the subject. There are so many interesting things to talk about. I won’t say I’ve never participated in man-bashing, but over the years, I’ve realized that it’s like a cancer. My fiancé does so many great and wonderful things for me and for others. He is an awesome man. I’d never say a negative word about him (In fact, I can’t think of anything negative to say about him, anyway). Instead of bashing your man (or woman, or friend, or date, or partner, etc.), try taking a deep breath and think about all the wonderful things that person has done for you and brought into your life.

Have you ever bashed someone else just to bond with a group of people? How did that work out for you?

 

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