The few, the proud... and me

You know how sometimes things bug you, and you just sort of let them, and then suddenly somehow it triggers something from your past? That happened to me as I was drifting off for my nap...

Growing up in SmallVillage, the schools went K-6, 7-9 and 10-12. That meant that when you were in 9th grade, traditionally lowest on the teen totem pole, you were actually King of the School. No, it doesn't quite make sense to me either but that's what Junior High is filled with, things that don't quite make sense. 9th grade is also when many (most?) girls are blossoming into women and boys are devolving into something not quite man-like.

One day, a group of girls I knew somewhat well and who, like me, were rather well endowed by their Creator, came to school wearing t-shirts that said IBTC. I think there was a book (possibly by Judy Blume) that included that acronym, but it certainly wasn't information that the boys would have had. I asked one of the girls why and she said that I certainly could join the IBTC... I declined the invitation. Their reason was that they were reclaiming the word or disempowering the boys or something like that, which seemed like an ok reason but it also made me feel like Groucho Marx. At that time in my life there were more than enough ways to label me and while one more wasn't going to hurt, it seemed that there wasn't a point to it (or, as my mother once said, there wasn't any two points to it).


So I find myself in a similar place. There's another group of self-selected "in" people reclaiming words and empowering themselves and blah blah blah. Again I could join. And again, I declined. I've written about my reasons elsewhere and they still stand: with or without the official title/t-shirt/tiara, I already know what tribes I'm a part of and that's enough for me.

As I drifted off to sleep I thought of the IBTC and how it could have really been powerful if the original five had brought in 200 or so t-shirts, one for every girl in the grade. That I could have bought into. And how powerful it could be if this new group did the same.

Until everyone is gets the t-shirt, you can keep mine.


Friday Inspirations

Today is a good time to mention two of my friends, both of whom have, in very different ways, achieved something quite inspirational.

Chuck writes a blog for the Albany Times-Union - to his credit, he's blogged every day for over two years. Even better, tonight he's being inducted into the Albany City School District Hall of Fame. Congratulations Chuck!

Patti, on the other hand, has had a more difficult time. Currently she's battling both brain cancer and MS, but she's not one of those who dwells on the negative. Even before her cancer diagnosis, she was working on establishing the PattiStrong Foundation, whose mission "is to provide funding, training and support globally for women to achieve entrepreneurial success, and to do so in ways that encourage the development of both enduring enterprises and strong families." There's an auction to support the Foundation on BodilJewelry (click on PattiStrong Auction) consisting of pieces crafted by Patti, or favorites from her collection, as well as pieces donated by others. Go forth and do well by others!


Never Say Never...

Years ago there was this guy I met - we were in grad school and fell in like with each other. There were a number of classes shared, and a loose group within our cohort formed. I'd even gotten to know his wife, whom I liked quite a bit. After graduation the ties got looser as lives and jobs took us on different paths. Luckily there was e-mail and we were able to keep in touch.

His wife was, well let's be honest, morbidly obese and decided to get some variant of the stomach surgery; as so often happens, the weight dropped and she changed. One summer I got an e-mail from him: he'd discovered that she was having an affair with someone. This wasn't just a casual affair, it was the end of their marriage and one of those ugly ends (fights over custody of the cat, who got what proportion of the proceeds of the sale of the house, etc.). ENOUGH - he's done with marriage For.Ever. He'd never love again, never get trapped again, never get into THAT situation again. Ever. No way, no how.

Now, I love the guy and I know that he's one of those that is very comfortable around women. So I knew that he'd be out looking for some female companionship, and I wasn't wrong. Like virtually every guy I know that's done the on-line dating thing, he had an easy time finding a great gal.

Digression: I think that the reason that virtually all the guys I know have had an easier time is because they're princes. As every gal knows, ya gotta kiss a whole bunch of frogs first, so of course my princes have a successful experience. Unlike the gals, dealing with all those froggies.

At first it was casual dating... then spending weekends together... then practically moving in together... then moving in together... Can you see where this is going?

Not so fast: trouble arose in paradise. But our Prince-Hero decided that he'd work through the trouble with his new gal, and they've stayed together. He even started talking about the impossible. Which, last month, became very much the possible.

So today I had breakfast with him, hearing all the gory details about dress and music and how they'd eloped. Now, dear readers, you know me really well by now and you know - really, absolutely know - that I said those four little words. As a matter of fact, I think they were the second sentence I said to him after "hey there".

Never, and I mean N.E.V.E.R. say never.


Meeting Musings

Today was one of those days when my two religious faiths collide: the Judaism in which I was raised and the Quakerism I've chosen. Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and during Meeting I mulled over this blog post about a Day of Non-Atonement Atonement.

Now, the author here seems to have stuck her tongue in her cheek, but I did think about the intent: things that I'm not particularly sorry I've done, because they were done honestly and with a pureness of spirit. For example, there are people who read this blog and believe I've blogged about them when in reality, I'm blogging about someone else (I was actually accused of this by one reader). That they read a post about a person or event, felt that it was about them and were hurt is not my fault, and if they've taken some of what I said on board and thought about changes, well, that's all to the good. Another example is when I've had to tell people things that aren't pleasant to hear but that were necessary - like when, as the head of the student theatre group in college, I had to tell a director that his play would not be produced because after weeks of rehearsal, it was no where near ready for the public. The difficult conversation should not be atoned for, ever (delivery is another thing, obviously).

This isn't to suggest that I've let myself off scott free, and there are people I'm reaching out to to say "look, I'm sorry if I made your life more difficult this past year - please forgive me for that".

The other thing that I started to mull was getting rid of my to do list. The fall is a time for beginnings, right? School starts, tv seasons start, etc., and for many of us it's another opportunity to rethink how we're doing things. So when I read Kill Your To Do List, it started to resonate with me... and then Lifehack showed me the value of a Not To Do List.

What's the tie-in between the two? Number One on my Not To Do List is to not allow others to make me feel the need to apologize because they've decided I need to - unless I have, however inadvertently, hurt them. Number Two is that I will not dwell on Number One past the conversation (whether or not there's an apology given).

May all of you be sealed in the Book of Life for this year.


Links Galore

I haven't done a Links Galore post in, well... far too long. So here goes!


Notes from Mt. Bookpile

A better-than-good quarter, with 73 read. You know where to find the reviews.

Children's/Young Adult
Science Fiction/Fantasy