Tag Archives: Interests

Thank You

I’ve recently made it up to almost 180 followers. I really do want to say thank you all for following me, because half the time I feel like I have absolutely nothing important to say; half the time I feel like a pretentious poop face when I talk about “important” things; and half the time I’m just an idiot student/musician trying to promote myself and/or “save the world.”

I’ve said it before, but most of the time I probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Most of the time, I’m probably wrong about something. It’s absolutely a thrill to find that people agree with me or are at least interested in what I have to say sometimes, so thanks.

I started this blog nearly three years ago almost on a whim. I’ve talked about a million different things, thrown out really stupid and/or random ideas, and I’ve changed, and it’s changed a lot. I’ve been terribly controversial, and incredibly boring, and for some reason people read this stuff.

I really do appreciate it, so thanks for reading, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for coming back!

Katie

What Is This Romance Of Which You Speak?

I’m completely switching gears from my last post. Because of very recent circumstances (as in earlier today), I need to rant about something completely different.

In case you didn’t know, I’m a quirky, shy 21 year old girl who uses a power wheelchair.

Before I start this rant, let’s get one thing straight; I don’t have self esteem issues. In fact, when I look in the mirror, I think I’m pretty cute; maybe not “pretty” exactly, but cute. I aint shootin’ for pretty. Pretty is too much work. I’m not lonely either. In fact, sometimes all I want is to lurk in my room and quietly play video games or read, or lurk in the basement and play guitar (I don’t do that quietly). In fact, what I want to rant about isn’t really a problem. It’s just weird.

I am not, nor have I ever been attracted to anyone (with the exception of one person who I’m not going to talk about for the sake of privacy, though he probably knows who he is). That was back when I was in high school, and it was nothing more than a crush.

The fact of the matter is, I have no idea what romance is, nor do I have any idea how to be romantic. I was talking to my mom yesterday because we were outside the grocery store waiting for my aunt, and they were selling flowers. My mom loves when my dad brings home flowers, but I feel like I would be thoroughly annoyed if someone brought me flowers on Valentine’s Day or what have you. It irks me that one would pull living things out of the ground just because they’re pretty. You just destroyed a plant. Way to go.

I also have never understood the difference between just hanging out and being on a date. For example, if you go out for dinner with someone, when is it a date, and when is it just going out for food? Furthermore, what is so special about a fancy candlelight dinner? Why isn’t pizza just as good? I like pizza… a lot.

Furthermore, I hate mushy talk. Pet names are okay, but being overly affectionate is just annoying to me. I’m not saying don’t do it at all. I’m just saying stuff like the “I love you,” “I love you more,” crap is stupid.

And I find stuff annoying. I wouldn’t want someone to just randomly give me gifts if it’s not Christmas or my birthday. I hate having stuff just lying around. The exception to this would be if he got me useful stuff or stuff that I needed. I would appreciate that.

Lastly–and I find this point a bit awkward–I find sex appalling. I don’t even want to think about it because the whole concept disgusts me. I know I’m not the only person like this, but I get the sense that it’s not common. The only reason I even mention it is because it means my soul mate has to be someone who thinks the same way, and I feel like finding that sort of person will be difficult.

The thing is, I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life. I eventually do want to be married. I just think about it sometimes because a lot of people I know, including some of my friends are either in, or have been in serious relationships. Some of my older friends are even married or engaged. I’ve never even been on a date. To my knowledge, no one has ever even been interested in going on a date with me. I think I’m a pretty cool person. I’m nice, I’m spiritual, I play video games and play guitar, I’m ambitious, I’m educated, I’m interested in interesting things, I’m creative, I’m kinda-sorta funny in a not-funny way, I’m adorably awkward, I like people, and I like animals.

I am shy, and I can tend to be a bit anti-social sometimes, but plenty of people are like that. I’ve just sort of been waiting to be in the right place at the right time, but I’m wondering just how long I’ll have to wait. I’ve briefly considered online dating, but the whole concept kind of weirds me out. Plus I feel like you’re supposed to be friends with someone first. I’ve also considered the possibility that God is getting me ready for a specific person, or getting him ready for me, or both. I’ve also considered the possibility that I don’t have time to be in a relationship; at least not a serious one right now. I’m finishing up my last actually serious semester at school, and I have a music career to work on. I guess I have to figure out what and how much have to sacrifice for a relationship, and how badly I want/need it.

I guess right now it doesn’t really bug me too much. I’m more worried that I’m weird. I guess I am. I guess I don’t really care. Maybe it’s one of those “I’ll know it when I see it kind of things.” I’ve run into a lot of happy accidents in my life already. Music just sort of happened. My involvement with Boston University just sort of happened. I decided to teach religious education at my church sort of out of the blue. I almost accidentally ended up at Gordon College. The thing is, these things happened partly because I was asked or I got the idea, and I said “Yes. I’ll do it.” I think that’s what makes life happen. We can’t know the future, but we can say “yes,” and make or let things happen.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Stop Telling Us We’re Inspirational!

I remember reading a post by a mother a while ago, talking about her disabled child. Basically her post was saying that it annoys her when people say her child is “amazing” because they can do interesting, “normal” things despite their disability. At the time I think I agreed with it because it was well written, etc, but I didn’t really think much about it.

Last night I read a poem by a 16 year old girl who was paralyzed from the chest down. The person who posted it explained how she got paralyzed, etc, and then said how amazing it was that she managed to live a happy, fairly normal life despite her disability.

I have decided that this kind of thinking irks me. I don’t often think about it too much, but I do sometimes get comments about how inspirational I am for doing seemingly standard things. In fact, my dad sometimes gives me the “you’re amazing” talk. Don’t get me wrong, I do think I’m amazing and wonderful, but it’s certainly not because I can manage to be happy. I just like myself.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I’ve been disabled since I was born. I have Muscular Dystrophy, which makes my muscles week, and for some reason I can’t extend my arms or legs all the way. I also have epilepsy, which is mostly taken care of by my medication, but I still get symptoms occasionally. I have pretty terrible eyesight, too. Quite frankly, none of this has ever bothered me too much. I mean, it’s inconvenient in some respects, but I have far more important things to worry about.

I’m not special because I can write coherently or read stories, or critically analyze movies. I’m not special because I’m good at racing games. I’m not special because I’ll get up and sing in front of people. I’m not special because I learned to play guitar upside-down. I’m not special because I’m going to college. I’m certainly not special because I can manage to be happy. I choose to be happy. There’s nothing particularly different or amazing about that. It’s not that hard. Anyone can choose to be happy. It just makes life easier.

Saying that “people like me” are special because we can manage to be happy and functional is actually a bit insulting. It implies that we should pity ourselves and let the world run our lives for us because we have the right to. I have no interest in doing that. I sometimes pity myself. It’s true, but it’s certainly not because I can’t walk. Sometimes I wonder why I haven’t ever been able to get a date and why it’s so difficult to get gigs as a newbie musician. Then I stop worrying about it and move on because worrying solves nothing. And yes, I do complain about some of that stuff on this blog. This is where I do my worrying about it.

We’re just people. Maybe we look a little different and our bodies or our minds work differently, but at our core we’re no different than anyone else. I met a man this past semester who had no arms and no legs. He seemed very nice and I didn’t get to talk to him very much, and it only occurred to me after our conversation had ended that he was somehow driving his wheelchair with no arms or legs. I asked his sister about it because she is a classmate of mine, and she said because he lost his limbs when he was young, he was able to develop muscles in his elbows that most of us don’t use. I thought it was cool because I learned something new. It’s a testament to how adaptable humans in general are. This man was not inspirational to me, however, because he wasn’t trying to be. I liked him because he was friendly and interesting. He was just a normal person to me because I expected him to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad some people can find “people like me” inspirational. They would be wrong, but it doesn’t cause them too much harm. What I would ask is that they keep it to themselves. Be our friends. ask us about what we’re interested in. Argue with us about philosophy. Treat us like you would treat anyone else. Just stop telling us how amazing it is that we’re happy.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

The Stupid Man: A Critique Of Sexist Advertising From A Woman’s Perspective

A while ago my dad mentioned that commercials on television were often demeaning to men. At first I thought he was crazy, but then I started to pay attention, and I think he’s right. The scenario in many commercials is usually something like this: guy is trying to do something and can’t. Girl comes over and gives him X product or X advice, or even just does whatever it is herself. Some narration about the product. End of commercial. There are hundreds of variations of this, but it seems to all point to one thing: advertising has become sexist.

Something I have noticed about the generation of people approximately between the ages of 15-35 seem very interested in women’s empowerment. Obviously people have been working towards that for years, but now, along with the gay rights movement, it is more socially acceptable. What I often see as a result of this however, is a tendency to take it a bit too far. For example, it is socially acceptable to make jokes about the intelligence of men, but it is not as socially acceptable to make jokes about the intelligence of women. It does, however still seem to be socially acceptable to poke fun at the moodiness or emotional sensitivity of women, and interestingly, it is still okay to make jokes about overly sensitive men. This obviously raises the question of whether or not our society has a problem with sensitivity in general, but that’s a topic for another time.

The question in advertising, comedy or anything else is, at what point does something become sexist? Often when people observe that something is sexist, they notice that it’s sexist against women. Not many people seem to take into account, however, that things can be sexist and downright offensive towards men. I believe vehemently that women and men should be equal, and when it comes to portrayals of the sexes in advertising, they are not. We seem to be at a precarious place at this point in time. There is still plenty of inequality for women in this country and all over the world. In America, however, we are equal in terms of what we can say and do, and we must be careful that this does not lead to animosity between men and women.

Social norms are changing at an almost overwhelming rate. Groups who were oppressed throughout history, women included are gaining immense power and freedom very quickly, and we are having to learn how to use it very quickly. Sexist advertising is not empowerment. It is irresponsible, and frankly, immature. I can guarantee that if commercials were shown with men helping women with things, someone would call them out as being sexist. The main problem with this kind of advertising is that it is one sided. If half the commercials showed men helping women and half showed women helping men, there would be nothing wrong, but the constant portrayal of men being weaker and less intelligent than women is offensive and unfair.

The fact of the matter is that women are better at some things and men are better at others, and this is okay. Furthermore, every individual has different interests, skills and talents. It is okay for Sarah to be physically stronger than Tom because he happens to be a physicist and has decided that solving the mysteries of the universe is more important than working out. It’s also okay for Miles to be a body builder and Nancy to be a fashion model. I can be slaying zombies one minute and gushing over cute puppies the next, and there’s nothing weird about that.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!