List #246: Yes All Women. Or Not All of The Times I Felt Uncomfortable.

It's a rare day that I'm swept up in stories that come along with hashtag campaigns. As much as I love Twitter, I don't necessarily love the trends that get started there. That is, until #YesAllWomen.

I don't recommend watching the USC Santa Barbara killer's videos. But I do encourage browsing through the tales being told on Twitter. And I do recommend you read things like this New Yorker article or this piece from Slate.

Personally, this campaign really got me thinking about my own life journey and experiences with misogyny. I made a few of my own mistakes in my 32 years. And of course, I have my own regrets. But these are just a few of the times that I remember being scared, frightened, or pressured simply because I was a woman.

  • In 9th grade I started the school year as a naive 13 year-old. And ever day, for the entire first semester, a biology partner threatened to crawl into my bedroom window and rape me.
  • I cross a very busy road between a coffee shop and my library, nearly every day. And at least once a week (often more), men honk their horn and hoot out the window to get my attention.
  • The time I was in college and was coaxed into coming back to that guy's room.
  • Though I never really knew for sure, I'm nearly certain that roofies were put into my (and probably other's drinks) at a sorority and fraternity mixer. It's the only time in my life where I blacked out to the point where I don't remember parts of the night. Thank goodness for friends who always made sure we all got home safe.
  • All of the times I've had to tell strangers that I had a boyfriend (even when I didn't) because they won't take hints that I'm not interested.
  • Those times where I got asked out at the front desk of the library, while I was on duty, in front of not only staff members, but the general public.
  • One morning, not more than a month ago, walking down a very busy street in Pittsburgh. Wearing a dress, like I do every single day. And have a man tell me to "Shake that Booty" from the loudspeaker, attached to his truck.
  • The fact that so many people find this blog by adding "slut" to my profession. 
Though there are more of these stories from own my life, I'm thankful that my stories don't end in violence or sexual assault. I am one of the lucky ones.

I am smart enough to know that a hash tag won't change the world. These issues run deeper than anything 140 characters can convey or fix. But I do think that social media can start a conversation. Or many conversations. To let women know they aren't alone, to let parents open up about talking to their children, to let men understand where women are coming from just a little more, to help understand what it may mean to walk in someone else's shoes. I don't think anything will change over night. But maybe we're all growing up to be adults who can help future generations choose their words and actions just a little more wiser than we choose our own.


List #245: Things That Happen When You Have an Ear Infection

Last weekend I developed a sore throat. And after a trip to the doctor I developed a cough. And then I woke up yesterday morning with an earache. Like a little kid.

But since earaches aren't contagious, and everything else I have is just allergies, I did not contract an earache from a little toddler. But I did get tinnitus (and funny enough, it happens to be tinnitus awareness week). And the tinnitus is making me dizzy. And being dizzy is making me nauseated. 

So yeah, it's been that kind of week around here. 

Here's what happens when you're 32 and get, according to the Physician's Assistant, "one really bad ear infection" in the middle of May:
  • You run into the library before it opens to send yourself files and grab a laptop so you can work from the couch.
  • A morning nap happens and it feels like 3 hours, but it's only 30 minutes.
  • A trip to the medical clinic is in order. 
  • So much dizziness occurs that more naps happen.
  • And then, the nausea begins.
  • Stress about summer reading and the amount of work to be done starts to build.
  • The ringing in the ears gets worse and worse.
  • The boyfriend gets me medicine and fountain Coke and cheese curls. 
  • Lots of Parenthood is watched. 
  • Windows are open for fresh air.
  • It's learned that earaches are not contagious.
Here's hoping that tomorrow goes swiftly and the antibiotic kicks in. Because I have a three day weekend with two boys to enjoy. 


List #244: Pittsburgh Things I Love Right Now

I'm a big fan of mini-breaks. Sometimes a long weekend away is almost better than a week's vacation. And thanks to tagging along and tacking on to the boyfriend's work schedule, we were both able to get away for a few days. Our lives are a bit hectic at the moment, no matter if we are together or apart, so it was nice having a few days to nearly ignore the cell phones, walk miles across a new city, and soak in a big bathtub.

And sure, when you come back home, reality hits you hard in the face. But when you step off that plane, you get to remember why you love your city all over again. 

Here is why I love Pittsburgh. This week.

  • Greek Food Festivals have arrived. It's time for Greek churches to showcase their best cooks. But remember friends, real Greek salads don't have lettuce.
  • Temperatures are climbing. I actually wore tights a lot during my mini-break. Tights, in May is ridiculous. But finally, the temps are rising and we're even going to get into the 70s this week.
  • Playoff hockey. It's the second round and the Penguins are up 2 games to 1. 
  • Baseball. I have a few games knocked out this season. And even managed to visit a different ballpark.
  • Voter registration. My address change made the cut. So I can soon vote in the primary. 
I love traveling and my love affair with Pittsburgh changes in strength from week to week, but I think I might be coming around to loving this unpredictable season of spring in my hometown.