Reality steps in

It really was a loverly day yesterday, even after it turned a little sad in the evening. Thank you so much to all of youse guys for the birthday wishes. It was fun reading through them. BH gave me the best birthday present ever: he made us a bed (we’ve been doing the grad student sleep-on-mattress-and-boxspring-on-the-floor since we were married) – and he made it for free, using old doors and wood he had laying around. He even made matching night tables. It is gorgeous. If I wasn’t already married to him, I’d be dragging him to the justice of the peace right now.

This birthday was better than most; I finally have a sense of who I am, I am surrounded by people I love, and I have the chance to do good work. Except for when I become a stupidhead and whine about the trivial stuff, life is amazing.

Life is also balanced by death. When we got in with the sushi last night, we had a phone call from the nursing home which sent us right back to the car. My 86-year-old father-in-law was in the ER. He made it through the night, and given that he is as tough as nails, he might well come through this crisis, too, but it’s looking like he’s going to be in the hospital for a while. This might sound weird, but it was really nice to have the chance to hold his hand and talk quietly to him for the hours until they admitted him. So even though you don’t want to be in an emergency room on your birthday, it was all good.

Sara Ryan sent along a link to an article about one of the reasons why teenagers have such a hard time getting through the day. It reminded her of Kate in CATALYST.

And Sharyn November gave me the heads-up on a fabulous shirts-off combo of social protest and performance art. When we were doing some school shopping with Number One Son in September, we both remarked on how A&F was beating males up with unattainable body images to make them feel bad and buy more. It’s nice to see somebody fight back.

12 Replies to “Reality steps in”

  1. That sounds like the perfect gift, something he actually made and it came from the heart.

    I wrote an article on sleep deprivation for the last issue of my school newspaper, and a lot of people told me how true it is and how they can relate to the problems. I think it’s becoming a much bigger issue now because teens are starting to noticeably struggle with their schoolwork. Besides the stronger lack of work ethic present in most teens nowadays, the sleep deprivation really affects how much they want to do their work and how much they can focus on it. I, as a teenager, feel this everyday XD.

    I was just wondering if you are going to write a post with your views on this whole debate about what J.K. Rowling announced regarding Dumbledore (not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the books yet, or who hasn’t seen the articles). I’d love to hear your opinion and standing on it.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! 😀 And many warm thoughts for your father-in-law. I hope everything turns out okay.

    How true about the sleep deprivation. Once you hit high school and college, you’re pretty much expected to be tired all the time. Which, when you think about it, just isn’t right. I remember not going to bed until three or four o’clock in the morning my senior year, and having to be up at seven. “Early” for me was midnight. Once I got to college that just became standard, but hearing that kids in elementary school are suffering is a bad sign.

    When I have kids, naptime will practically be a religion. (Big supporter of the naps, here! 🙂

  3. My thoughts are with you and your father-in-law…

    The sleep deprivation article was very interesting, and would definitely explain a lot in my life. If I could change one thing about the way I lived my life in the past 4 or so years, getting more sleep might be up there. I know everything else suffered because of it.

    I’m glad you had a good birthday!
    🙂 Sarah

  4. Guys aren’t nearly as affected by the whole “unattainable body image” thing. We’re far more expected to do beautiful than be beautiful, so our equivalent of Kate Moss is more likely the Marlborough Man. A picture of a ripped, shirtless guy mainly makes us assume that it’s gay porn or something.

      1. I remember being concerned with that kind of thing in high school– not comparing myself with advertising, but with the more physically fit guys there– but it sloughed off afterwards. I wonder if that also occurs with girls/women, or if it’s a longer-lasting effect.

        1. I think it’s very long-lasting for many women and girls.

          Based on some research I’ve read about the increase in eating disorders and cutting among high school boys, I’m willing to speculate that they are beginning to feel some of the same stupid pressures to conform to unrealistic body norms.

          Sigh.

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