“When we observe a woman who seems hostile and fiercely independent some of the time but passive, dependent and feminine on other occasions, our reducing valve usually makes us choose between the two syndromes. We decide that one pattern is in service of the other, or that both are in the service of a third motive. She must be a really castrating lady with a facade of passivity—or perhaps she is a warm, passive-dependent woman with a surface defense of aggressiveness. But perhaps nature is bigger than our concepts and it is possible for the lady to be a hostile, fiercely independent, passive, dependent, feminine, aggressive, warm, castrating person all-in-one. Of course which of these she is at any particular moment would not be random or capricious—it would depend on who she is with, when, how, and much, much more. But each of these aspects of her self may be a quite genuine and real aspect of her total being.”—Walter Mischel, psychologist, as quoted in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (via zesticola)
“If your idea of a role model is somebody who’s gonna preach to your kids that sex before marriage is wrong and cursing is wrong and women should be this and be that, then I’m not a role model. But if you want your girls to feel strong and intelligent and be outspoken and fight for what they think is right, then I want to be that type of role model, yeah.”—Megan Fox (via petitefeministe)
Old polaroids from the old neigbhorhood. There happened to be a “boy gang” there.
When he presented himself every year with possible event dates in hand, details scrawled into the margins of last year’s brochures, a saccharine dreamy smile upon his face, I cringed. His perpetual grin reminded me of the simpleton village child, and I was all to glad that I didn’t have to assist him in his scheduling.
Facts that I had acquired about him over time: he wore a Speedo when swimming at the local Y, he favored a Russian folklorist that he recommended to me who post-researching I found to have an extensive body of work concentrated on erotica and the bawdy that I always wondered if he’d also read, his laugh had a maniacal quality to it, and unbeknownst to him, everywhere he went he seemed to create awkward situations.
Later, it would be me who would have to deal with his requests, and I came armed with a healthy dose of skepticism and scorn for the lamb. While he was older than I by many years, I dealt with him as if handling an adolescent. With his happy go lucky youthful manner, he was undisturbed by my derision and always scooted a chair close to me whenever we worked together. It was as if merely by sitting together, he presumed a familiarity between us. During one morning session of tackling a problem, he brought up cinema. I listened halfheartedly until he began stringing along heavy names, a roster of “The Greats”: Fellini, Godard, Demy, Capra, Truffaut, and Renoir. I swung around in my chair in disbelief and listened as he eloquently spoke—disassembling themes, cleaving into symbolism until all facets and minutia were neatly categorized, and deftly analyzing many of my favorite films. Two of his favorites he suggested I check out were Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Diva and Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. Now, I look forward to our flurry of exchanged emails with film suggestions. I go out of my way to express appreciation for his movie recommendations, which I truly enjoy, but feel each surrounded by a foreboding sense of guilt for initially being a cad. I overload him with compliments to negate the original unfair assumptions that linger in the recesses of my conscience. I feel with each addition to my permanent film collection, he’s having the last laugh.
I sit outside in the evenings with an orange blossom in hand, always heavy on the gin, and the little girls in the neighborhood appear on their brightly colored bikes. I hear their squeals coming down the block first, and then, there they are. “Hi, Miss Lady,” they sing song, and I look around for someone older than I, wondering when I became a “Miss Lady.”The blonde assembly before me are always flattering, and they come with a plethora of compliments. “I hope when I grow up, I’m as pretty as you,” one blue eyed girl says, popping her gum so the scent of watermelon punctuates her sentences. I feel like I’m being spied on when one notes, “You always have pretty dresses. I saw you changed twice yesterday! You changed into pants; why would you change into those pants?”
My favorite is the sole brunette of this girl gang who is quick witted, a perpetual liar, and to be frank, quite bizarre. When they are feeling vicious as young girls are prone, it is M. that they target and the familiar battle cry of my childhood sounds, “You’re not our friend anymore!” She is resilient and proud. Perhaps, it’s just that I identify with her, but I find her much more interesting than the other paper dolls. She often appears alone, without the blonde brigade in tow, at my door.
The first time she introduces herself as “M. that moved in six months ago,” and asks about the stray cat that sits most evenings at my feet. The white feline Millie hisses at children and only likes me as long as she can sit in my lap without being disturbed. If I shift too much, I’ve been scratched and hissed at too. Millie is a survivalist and trusts no one, and it is Millie that M. wants to befriend. This day that we are to have our introductions, Millie has fled when M. appears with a bouquet of flowers that she’s picked in her tatty leftover Easter basket. M. leaves a flower with me with firm instruction to give to the cat next time I see her. I give the flower to the cat later that evening, chuckling as the devil green eyed bitch glares suspiciously. I am slightly drunk, and I present it with the proper ceremonial air just as M. has instructed. I wonder if the neighbors are watching, and I consider if I’m, in fact, still as bizarre as M. or myself as a child. Present circumstances of giving a wilted Queen Anne’s Lace to a petulant stray cat would point to an affirmative answer.
After a few days, M. reappears, and I tell her I gave Millie her flower. “Did she like it?” she asks. I wonder how to respond. I think there are times when I don’t even know if my own two cats like me. “I think so,” I answer affirmatively. What’s a lie to the perpetual liar of the neighborhood? She nods as if this were expected, “I thought those might be her favorite,” she says. I hope that she doesn’t test out their newly formed friendship any time soon. “Do you know where she is today?” she asks. When I shake my head, she quips, “I imagine she’s off in a bush givin’ birth. That’s all any of the cats do around here anyway! Just go off in a bush and have kittens,” and I am amused and laugh. Although she doesn’t understand why I find this so funny, she giggles along, too. I am reminded of the Island of Misfit Toys, and I can only hope my future children come with enough hang ups and insecurities to make them interesting.
“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”—Dave Barry | Submitted by: bornonthe17th (via quote-book)
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic - the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of syncronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”—Charles de Lint. (via espacevide)