Sunday, September 18, 2011

PSA: George Clooney will not Remarry

Dear Ladies, 

George Clooney has gone public about his relationship with Stacy Keibler, whoever that is. These two gorgeous people (though she really doesn't do anything for me; blondes, IMO, are over-rated) have been spending some time together for the past few months, and, undoubtedly, they will continue to do so for the next few months/years. Even so, you can be sure that Ms. Keibler will not be the next Mrs. Clooney. 


B/c George Clooney said a long time ago that he will never remarry,* and numerous long relationships that have not led to a walk down the altar should be evidence enough that he means business. That is, the business of staying a bachelor. 

If Clooney's ex-flame Elisabetta Canalis, who is smokin' hot - she's like one part Kate Beckinsale and one part Alessandra Ambrosio and one part Italian accent - couldn't get the guy to put a ring on her finger, I assure you, there is not a woman out there who will. 

So: stop dreaming, stop theorizing, stop guessing, stop scheming. If what you want is a big ol' rock; the romantic vowels on the beach; the growing fat together as you grow old together, try pinning your hopes on someone other than one of only three men* to rank as People's Sexiest Man Alive twice (1997 and 2006). Besides, he probably works too much and doesn't pick up his underwear.

Yours Truly 

* Clooney was married to Talia Balsam in the early '90s. 
** Brad Pitt and Richard Gere (yum) were the other two. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here comes the bride

Before asking me to marry him, Brad did not ask "permission" from my father. We went to the Clark Building in downtown Pittsburgh with my mom and browsed around, I picked out the stones and setting I wanted, and when he'd paid all the necessary cash months later, he picked up the ring and popped the question in the most romantic of ways (a scavenger hunt). 

When we got married, surrounded by our immediate families on a dock behind PNC Park, my father did not "give" me away. In fact, my mom stood next to me and he stood next to her. 

Nope, I didn't wear white! 
None of this ever fazed me. It didn't seem weird. And after reading Gayle Rubin's "The Traffic in Women" last night, I might have figured out why. Or if not "why" (which might have just been that I'm very practical about some things and never had the big dream about the fabulous, $30,000 wedding - I actually find the wedding industry obnoxious and totally wasteful [don't cringe, Shannon!]) then at least a great reason for why it absolutely should not have. 

Rubin explains that the exchange of women in marriage by men is one of the founding principles of society - all the way back to way back when. Women, given as "gifts" from one man of one family to another man of another family, helped to create alliances, right wrongs, etc. Basically, to build networks of kin that serve as the basis for civilization. The notion that a father "gives" his daughter away in marriage, then, is not the innocuous, sweet tradition that people would claim it is. Rather it harkens back to one of the oldest bases of women's oppression by men

Brad didn't ask my dad if he could marry me b/c, well, he was young and dumb and undoubtedly didn't know much of anything about the conventions of marriage proposal beyond "get down on one knee." But the important fact is that neither Brad nor myself needed permission - from my father or anyone - to get married. We were both capable adults. 

As for the wedding ceremony, I wasn't my father's to give away in the first place. I'm an autonomous being, whether married or unmarried. The notion that a woman belongs first to her father and then to her husband initiates in me a gag reflex so strong I can barely describe it. And it probably does for most other people, too. Well, that's precisely what we're okay-ing when we okay things like giving away the bride. And don't tell me about how it's a nice tradition and convention blah blah blah. The ideology that underlies this (and so many others) tradition is detrimental to women and relationships, sexist, and just plan wrong. 

And perpetuating such a tradition, like it or not, perpetuates the ideology that objectifies women and subordinates them to men - the fact that it's hidden from view, that we don't think of it as being rooted in anything other than ceremony, is precisely why it's so effective in country that, today, prides itself on its equality. I'm all for tradition when it's equitable and reasonable. But when it isn't, I'm sorry: it's got to go. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mental Health Day

If you've been too tired, busy, and stressed to notice that your kitchen sink is full of week-old dirty dishes or that everywhere you walk you're stepping over a piece of clothing that you discarded in a morning fit of "I hate all my clothes and have nothing to wear," chances are you need a mental health day. 

Which brings me to today. 

Glancing over all the unread posts on my blog reading list, I've determined that I haven't been on a blog - mine or anyone else's - for almost 2 weeks. Life's been that chaotic. And until last night, I haven't had a decent night's sleep in a week. So today, after being in bed for 13.5 hours and actually sleeping quite a bit of them, I'm taking a mental health day. Catch up on blogging, maybe workout, play some Lumosity, read about celebs, perhaps even finish a drape project I started 2 months ago. Doing things I will actually enjoy. (Wow, that's not something I say often during the school year.) 

Normally, even when it's desperately needed, I can't indulge in such a luxury. That's b/c my work is never done until the last minute, no matter how dilligently I keep at it. (And even at the last minute it's usually 2/3 done.) BUT, magically, all of my stuff for tomorrow has been done since Sunday, and I've even got 3/4 of this coming Monday's work finished as well. 

So I can actually relax. And putz around. And feel like a human being instead of a robot. It's glorious

My advice? If you've been feeling anything like I have for the past 7 days, try try try to carve out a little "me-time," even if it's only 3 or 4 hours. You'll be glad you did. I've only been out of bed for 2.5 hours, and I feel soooooooooooooooo much better already.