Hell of a marriage…

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I recently came across an article titled “Marriage is made in Hell” by Laura Kipnis, a Media Studies professor at the NorthWestern University. She presents marriage as an outdated and in some respect constrictive institution. I hate to think that I am as cynical as Kipnis, but I found myself agreeing with her observations. I came to the conclusion that marriage must experience a major overhaul to remain relevant in our ever changing society. A report by the Globe and Mail showed that in 2008, more than 40% of marriages ended in divorce, a 2% increase from the previous year. Marriage has its advantages, some of which are highlighted by Kipnis, but it has also proven to be a prison of broken dreams and desires for many people.

     Kipnis suggest that a successful marriage requires the denial of personal desires and goals for the union. She identifies some of the sacrifices that marriage demands, and I know many women and men who have endured discomfort to honour their wedding vows. My parents are an example, as they struggled for many years to keep their union together. Being leaders in the church, they felt they had a duty to set an example and fight for their marriage. Their stubborn attempt to stay together made home a living hell, and my sisters and I had to endure many fights between our parents. When they finally separated, we experienced a side of our parents we never saw before; they morphed into real people who loved every day of their new lives. Dad bought a red car, a colour my mother hated and mom travelled to Haiti, a destination my father forbade. It was clear that being single allowed them to fulfill desires they were denied when married. I would go even further and say that the separation had released them from a match made in a personal hell.

  The comedian Chris Rock jokes that the wedding reception is a set up, as couples will never again experience “the high” felt at this ceremony; it is all downhill after this point. However the ceremony is not alone in creating a false sense of reality. Women who grew up with images of Disney princesses riding happily ever after into the sunset with Prince Charming, are given a rude awakening when the glass slipper does not fit. Men who are caught up in the world of sitcoms, where every problem is solved within 20 minutes, will also find reality to be bitter. The very idea of being husband and wife harbours unrealistic expectations. There are many instances of couples who have lived together for many years separating soon after they get married. This is an indictment on marriage, as the couple proved that they had the ability to stay together outside of wedlock, but having made it “official”, heightened expectations and ruined the union. These couples can be accused of bringing damnation upon themselves by getting married.

With marriage rates on a steady decline and divorce rising, it is safe to say that many people have opted out of this institution. Its benefits are easily duplicated, making marriage redundant. The society is changing along with our values, and marriage still holds true to its core which fits perfectly in the Victorian era. The celebration of individualism, education, capitalism and “singledom” has allowed people to aspire for more than the title afforded to them in wedlock. Is it hell? I wouldn’t go as far as saying that, but I know that unless you are masochistic, discomfort and sacrifice are not appealing…and it R the truth.

 

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We are not Free….

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Recently I made a declaration on Facebook, that I do not believe people choose their sexual orientation. As is typical with my status comments, it elicited  a range of responses, from support, to indifference and of course a few disagreeing with my position. However, one comment provoked me to examine my own thoughts on free-will; ‘God gives us choice in every aspect of our lives….” Simple reasoning would prove this statement invalid, as none of us choose our parents, our date of birth, or nationality, yet these seem diminutive when juxtaposed with other aspects of our lives where we have no choice.

I’ve always believed in Predetermination, the idea that every event is caused, not simply by the immediately prior events, but by a causal chain of occurrences that goes back well before recent events. For example, one’s personal characteristics are predetermined by socialization and heredity, by a chain of events going back before one’s birth. Children born in the ghetto to a poor dysfunctional family are predetermined to live a life of crime or debauchery. One could argue that some make it out of the ghetto and lead successful lives, but even this is predetermined by factors outside of that person, factors they make no decision on; opportunity, motivation, “the drive” to make things better for themselves. This  does have seriously implications on our penal and reward system, as this reasoning suggest that criminals are not responsible for their deeds, and people are not responsible for their own successes. My personal belief is that society makes criminals then punishes them for being criminals, but that is for another blog spot.

I’ve pondered on the following disposition where I love honey roasted peanuts, they are delicious. I also love peanut cake and may say it is a confection that I was addicted to as a student at University, yet I cannot put peanut butter in my mouth, the very smell of it makes me nauseous…how come? I did not choose to dislike peanut butter, neither did I try not to like it, it was predetermined by something in my genetic coding. 

With advancements in science, we are able to see that genuine dysfunctions exist that cause students to be slow at Math and other technical subjects. For years they have been labelled as slow, dunce, or just lazy, yet we realize this exist outside of their ability to control it. The spin-off due to this dysfunction that they had no control over has led many of them down unsavoury paths. So are they free, or predetermined?

I should hasten to say I think there are some points at which persons make decisions, but even the options are based on predetermined factors, so how free is there choice? There are studies to show that human behaviour is affected by so many external factors, that coupled with those based on genetics, it is ridiculous to say we have free-will.

The idea that people are free agents making decisions based on an unlimited course of action is flawed and should be examined honestly. As it relates to sexual orientation; homosexuality is as much a choice as heterosexuality and it r the truth.

 


Stranger than fiction…o_0

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I pledged never to write about the people around me in my blogs. This is if we become friends and they stumble upon it eventually, that would be awkward. However, I have to write about my experience last night which still has me pinching myself.

Last night I had an encounter with a random girl, she might as well have been a ghost because I don’t know where she came from, neither where she went after.

I live in a shared space with five men. We all have our own rooms, but we share bathrooms and kitchen area. Now this situation lends itself to so many stories, but we will have those on another day.

This particular Saturday I sat down to dinner of curried chicken and white rice. I heard a knock on my door and there was this red-head waving to me in the doorway. This is unusual, because I have never seen a woman in this house. She introduce herself and was kind enough to apologize for the alcoholic fumes leaving her body because it is her day off and she has been drinking, so she maybe drunk. Wait, it isn’t awkward yet.

She said she smelled my dinner and it smelled so good that she was wondering if I have any more so that she may have some. Please understand that this is a common joke among Jamaicans back home. We will ask to share in a stranger’s meal as a compliment to how good it looks or smell, but will definitely not accept after the polite consent from the cook. A Jamaican friend of mine shared how he was severely beaten by his mother because she caught him accepting food from the neighbours; What made it worse was that it was a dumpling… that warrants the death penalty in Jamaica. This tacit rule is rooted deep in our culture and we all blindly obey it without thought to question its origin. Anyway, back to Miss Thing….I nervously laughed at the request and she laughed too, but I became confused because she was looking with expectancy. I said to her that I don’t have any left as I only prepared for one . Now please understand my surprise when Miss Thing takes the plate from my hand and starts eating….as God is my witness it r the truth. She shovelled too clumps of chicken into her mouth before I even registered what was happening. She handed me back the plate while informing me she graduated from George Brown with a Food Management degree and my dinner is very tasty… as if I didn’t know; I told her thanks with a smile.

She goes further to take my cup and begin drinking. At this point I started looking around for a hidden camera because clearly this was a prank, it had to be. She then steps beyond me, sits on my bed and starts shooting questions at me about where I’m from and what I am doing in Canada …looking around the room as she speaks. Then Miss Thing removes her shoes, so I say, “This feels so surreal, like I am in an updated version of Goldy Locks and the three bears.” She responds, “…but there are only two bears,” and starts to cackle…0_O She eventually left, well not before taking some more of the rice and giving me a high-five. 

Can somebody explain to me what happened? I’ve never had this experience in my life and I am too shock to be angry. Can anybody say if this has happened to them and if I should expect more encounters like this? Clearly I am not in Kansas any more Toto…and that r the truth.

Happy Bday Mumzel!!!

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…Here after

Prince Charming slays the beast, kisses the princess awake,
yet only alarm clocks summon this queen from her fairy tale
to an ungrateful job of 6-2, 2-10, 10-6 that has failed to germinate
like the pea planted deep in her mattress.

With hair dark as hardship,
skin rooted in oppression
and standing tall as a dwarf
her foot plagued by varicose veins make her glass slipper uncomfortable.
She approaches her mirror, mirror on the wall,
the mirror, mirror that has lied to her for 26 of her 48 years
and with cocoa brown eyes,
loaded with hope for her prince and princesses,
she looks in.

Her past is just that,
a past filled with pain and pleasure.
A childhood of broken tiaras
and forgetful fairy godmothers,
consumed poisonous apples cultivated in her backyard
once upon a time.

Her world is one with deadly discriminating dragons,
a world where the fabled frog lays asleep in her borrowed bed after 26 years of empty kisses.
Robbed of her voice to request a fourth wish from an unwilling genie,
she looks for a father buried deep within his own ocean,
farther from the time when crabs and fish were friends.

Who will rescue the queen after the princess has ridden off into ever after?
She stands here, even after the colours have fade from her ill fitting ball gown…

Pro-choice vs Anti-Choice

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As early as the sun rose in Toronto I was deep in a discussion around abortion. Let me hasten to say, I am not an advocate for abortion, but I think it should be an option made available to all women; there is a difference. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not taken with the same leisure as that to shave the eye brows or dye ones hair, it must be a painful dilemma. I believe this should be respected and the woman given the opportunity to make a decision in the best interest of her and the foetus. People who advocate against abortion are called pro-life, but I really believe they should be called anti-choice, because that is exactly what they are doing; denying women options with regards to what happens to and inside their bodies. I have no issue if you are against abortions, no one is forcing you to have one, so why prevent those who desire to partake?

Let us face it, the world has almost 7 billion people, with a large percentage malnourished and suffering. You want me to think a divine creator will hold it against you because you did not add to this pool of drowning souls? We are using non-renewable resources faster than we can find a suitable replacement, because the world is overpopulated. We will not end up on an endangered specie list any time soon.

The conflict is heightened by the inability to decide at what point life begins; in the womb or after birth. Personally I believe “life” begins at birth. The foetus may be ALIVE but it is not a LIFE. If a census was done in a town that has a pregnant woman, would the foetus be counted? The argument is that the child could die before it is born, however, terminally ill patients in the hospital are also counted, they could die too, so what’s the difference? Is it that one is born and the other unborn? 

I was born a liberal to a very conservative family and many times my mother and I have clashed over this issue. I remember one heated argument we had, I turned to my younger sister and told her if she ever needed an abortion I would give her the money. Needless to say, my mother was livid…exactly what I wanted :D. In another instance she shared with me how she had talked a friend out of having an abortion; mom was so proud of herself. I pointed out to her that this woman was in her mid 40s, had seven children already, was a grandmother, she was unemployed and to make it worse her husband struggled to provide for them…this never moved my mother to see logic, instead she pointed out to me that God’s knew this was going to happen and he allowed it…0_o. Shortly after this, my mom migrated and the friend had a son… Would you believe my mother had the nerve to share with me how her friend was having a hard time catering for her 8th child? I said to her that she should be sending money for the baby and she was livid…again….exactly what I wanted :D. I understand and respect my mother’s viewpoint, but at the same time still hold firmly that the pregnant woman should decide. How many of you having voiced you opinions against abortion have actually visited a home or even given support to a family that has too many children? I have actually heard the argument put forward by some anti-choice people that women who had sex are aware of the “consequences” of this act….ahhm, at what point can we comfortably consider a child a “consequence”? When is it acceptable to view a child as pennant for bad decisions made by adults? How pitiful Consequence Pennant Jackson would be in a home where she is unwanted.

The catholic church as we know is anti-choice, they have even made an offer to women contemplating abortion to take the child to them after it is born….this raises my eye brows higher than Joan River’s hairline. Not only is the catholic church viewed negatively for how it “handles” children, but if they want to take care of unwanted children, look how many are already on the streets. What are they doing about them? Why not use the resources available to provide for those already here? What irritates me most is this is coming from a group that is against contraceptives….seriously, in this day and age.

I have also played the “what if…” game with people. They ask me what if my mother had an abortion, what if Mary had aborted Jesus or Beethoven’s mother terminated her pregnancy…I am willing to play this game with them and ask what if Stalin’s mother had an abortion, what if Charles Manson’s mother had one, how about Napoleon, Gaddafi, Hitler, damn, since we playing this game, how about George Bush… would we be better off had their mothers’ aborted them?

The debate on abortion will not cease, it is an issue of ethics and can be argued strongly on both sides. It all comes down to the reproductive right of all women, she should have the right to decide what happens to and in her body. I know I will never be faced with this decision myself, but I have many friends and family who may find themself at this cross road… My advice is to get as much information as possible and weigh your option to ensure you make the best decision…and that r the truth.