Monthly Archives: February 2015

I accidentally taught my little brother the word slut

I have a complex relationship with the word, because I hate that it’s used to demean women and I like that there’s an entire movement about reclaiming the word, but sometimes it just slips out as a negative thing. Like this time. We were looking at Halloween costumes, and I remembered the topic in class about how the female comic book characters are always dressed in these frilly little dresses and tutus, when though the actual comic book versions of them DO NOT look like that. So as I was flipping through the Party City catalog, I commented kind of to myself, how annoying it is that the only available girl version of the ninja turtles if a “slutty dress.” Anthony asked me what that meant, and I just said that they put the girl in a short little dress that extra tight and really does nothing to stay true to the actual character. Like the girl costume for Donatello, the only ninja turtle available in girl costume because he wears a purple mask. Really? That’s the determining factor? So anyways, I gave him the explanation and then thought damn, I maybe should not have said that.  That word is just much more complicated than that, but he’s only 11 and it was bad enough I added it to his vocabulary.

Sure enough, when my mom came home that night he gave her a speech about how ridiculous men are and that he refused to buy a costume at Party City because they think women can only be slutty super heroes and not real ones. He went on to say that he didn’t understand what their problem was but that they just needed to get over it because girls can be super heroes too. Since then, I’ve heard him give the speech to his dad, our other brother and God knows who else in school. I’m expecting a call from his teacher any day now on the topic.

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Some goodbyes are harder than others

Some happen in the heat of a moment, others in the midst of tears. Some happen in public places, most happen in doorways and cars. But some goodbyes happen long after that person has left your life. Sometimes the sad realization that a story has reached its end takes time to sink in. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, sometimes it takes a few months, and in some cases, it takes a few years.

Sometimes the actual goodbye is as simple as letting go of hope. Letting go of that last little bit of hope, deep inside your soul, that maybe your story just hit a road bump. An intermission. A break in time for the characters to develop and make their way back around to each other. It’s the kind of hope you don’t talk about or even acknowledge, but you always know that it’s there. Waiting. Loving. And always hoping.

Maybe you reach that moment on your own, in your own time, or maybe you reach that moment when you finally meet someone that reminds you of what it feels like to be part of an “us” again. Someone who wants to stand tall by your side and experience new things with you. Either way, the feelings that this moment entails are the same. It’s a deep rooted sadness. It’s the realization of a truth that you always knew. An ending that you tried to avoid. The ending that you couldn’t bring yourself to face.

It’s almost like realizing you’d been living your life in denial, in limbo, in a pause. Or maybe you weren’t living your life at all. You went through the motions, accomplished great things, checked off places to see on your bucket list, but through all of it your heart was closed. It was on hiatus. It was taking a long break, not by choice, but in order to survive because coming alive meant facing the end.

It’s like being there at the time of death, but skipping the funeral. At some point, you’ve got to visit that grave. You’ll find yourself looking for the tombstone and as the rain pours down, you fall to your knees in front of that place. The place where your hope died, all those years ago.

It’s an ending, but a bittersweet one because what allowed you to let that old hope go, has replaced it with a new hope. A new future. The possibility of love and happiness, after so much rain.

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