If being an adult is hard, being a lady adult is even harder

23 Feb

That’s right.  “Lady adult.”  Because “woman” sounds way too serious.

Okay, guys, it is 2:30 in the morning and here I am writing my blog post, which should be up at 9.  Somewhere in between now and 11:30, I have to finish Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee. Oh, and I guess I should sleep, too.  It’s no surprise.  I do everything last minute.  That’s what makes me such an awful adult.

Let’s go over some of my rules for how to be an awful adult.  I call it, “Lora’s Guide to Totally Sucking at Life, Responsibility, and Adulthood.”

1.)  You have an e-mail you need to answer?  It was sent a week ago and you still haven’t even opened it because you’re afraid of what it will say?  IGNORE IT.  It’ll totally just go away.  My process of trying to forget about that e-mail includes a pretty ingenious strategy I like to call, “Just Don’t Check Your E-Mail AT ALL.”  It’s pretty intense and complicated, and basically just involves me spending tons of hours on the Internet, with at least five tabs open on my browser, and none of those tabs say, “BSU Webmail.”

2.)  You have a paper due Friday and an entire book to read before Wednesday?  Yeah, you should totally watch five episodes of Veronica Mars on Netflix Instant Watch instead.

 

Good choice.

3.)  You got invited to go out with some friends?  Say “no, I have too much to do.  I should go home.”  That will totally make you feel like an adult.  In fact, those good adult feelings should power you through an entire night of ignoring everything you said you were going to do.  Instead, stay up until 2 in the morning reading celebrity gossip websites.

4.)  Your car was stuck in the ice for two weeks?  Aw, that sucks.  You totally deserve to use that as an excuse not to do anything.  Yeah, I know the ice is melted now.  But that’s no reason to abandon a good excuse.  Keep that one in your Excuse Arsenal (TM).

5.)  It’s raining outside?  Surely that’s a good enough reason to skip class and watch “Ellen” and eat cheese and crackers in bed.  I mean, what more can they expect when there’s water coming out of the sky?  It’s not like there’s some sort of dome device made of metal and nylon that you could hold over your head to keep the rain off.  As if.

Here’s something that will totally shock you:  I DIDN’T MAKE ANY OF THOSE UP.  They were all inspired by true-life events.  Also, I didn’t even really mention the best examples of my life laziness.  Those are too embarrassing (also embarrassing:  the fact that I can never spell the word “embarrassing” correctly on the first try).

So I’m feeling more and more anxious about the future.  How can I be an adult when I am totally not built for such a task?  I think maybe I’ll just drop out and mooch off my parents for a while and live in my dad’s basement except he doesn’t even have a basement so I guess maybe I’ll just sleep in the bathtub.  But I can’t do that.  I have dreams and stuff.  It’s such a burden.

Even more discouraging is the fact that I am growing into an adult WOMAN.  Right now, it’s kind of a bitch being a woman (heh heh).  First of all, you have these ten things that Republicans are trying to do that directly target women, and there’s this:

Secondly, as a writer, I’m discouraged by this study of female writers, contributors and reviewers in major literary publications.  Thirdly, as someone who wants to go into the entertainment industry, I’m frustrated by things like this, and this:

and the fact that only 1/3 of the people in my screenwriting class are girls and the guys can’t seem to write female characters without making them stereotypes, bitches, or stereotypical bitches and I know you people are tired of hearing me bitch about that, you bunch of bitches.

I’d say that, lately, although I’m not depressed, I’ve been feeling super down about my future, and the future of everyone.  I don’t know if I can be adult, or a lady, or a lady adult.  And let’s say that by some stroke of luck or idiocy, I achieve my dreams.  But what about my little sister?  Will she be able to do all the things she dreams about?  Will she become a fashion photographer?  What about my little girl cousins?  Will Sadie get to be a jockey/veterinarian/dog breeder?  What about any potential nieces I might have, or even daughters I might adopt (because you can bet your bippy I’m not carrying around some parasite baby for 9 months and then expelling it from my body)?  Will they have to set aside their dreams because they’re women, and because, if things keep going the way the’ve been going lately, all women will soon be reduced to a bunch of walking incubators?

Hell, how can I be content with my own (hypothetical) successes when there might be a woman not a mile away who can’t afford to get a breast exam even though she found a lump in the shower this morning, who can’t go to Planned Parenthood and get the birth control she so desperately needs, who doesn’t feel safe reporting a rape because of all the slut shaming and victim blaming she’d have to endure?

The bottom line is that having dreams is hard, being an adult is hard, and being a lady is hard, and when you’re an adult lady full of dreams – so full of dreams, they are about to make your boobs explode – it can seem almost like you will have to give up and push those dreams back into your gut and just resign yourself to being a housewife.

 

Oh my god, what if I became this lady?

But that’s when you have to say, “Hey!  You!  Remember, the only salmon that go with the flow are the dead ones.  Do you want to be a dead salmon?  Hell no.  Because they stink.  And also a bear will eat you.”

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7 Responses to “If being an adult is hard, being a lady adult is even harder”

  1. elysiasmith February 23, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    “Hell, how can I be content with my own (hypothetical) successes when there might be a woman not a mile away who can’t afford to get a breast exam even though she found a lump in the shower this morning, who can’t go to Planned Parenthood and get the birth control she so desperately needs, who doesn’t feel safe reporting a rape because of all the slut shaming and victim blaming she’d have to endure?”

    I think the most important thing, is that we are aware of women’s struggles. And we are doing our best to make other’s aware (without sounding like biased, whiny, bitches). There are so many women who don’t care, I mean, as long as it doesn’t affect them.
    They don’t realize that’s the struggle is affecting women around them, their children, their friends, their co-workers.

  2. Copper February 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    A few things

    – The only way forgoing something to watch Veronica Mars instead can be seen as a bad thing is if the alternative was watching Mad Men or 30 Rock or some other excellent tv show. Otherwise, it’s perfectly acceptable and sometimes recommended

    – Speaking of great tv shows, why do I get the feeling that if River Tam ever became a mother, she’d take the phrase “whipping my children into shape” literally, leading to an action that would look remarkably similar to that last picture?

    – Now for the serious things; Chris Rock made a comment about the Tea Party and racism that I think might also apply to misogyny as well; he said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that children are always the most active and rebellious just before they go to sleep, and the Tea Party feels a lot like a child’s last tantrum, meaning that massive racism in America seems to be drawing to a close, and will effectively be “asleep” once we can ride out this tantrum.
    (Link: http://splitsider.com/2011/02/chris-rock-talks-about-the-tea-party-and-the-end-of-racism/)
    In some ways, the Republican movement against women also feels a lot like that, a sort of “waaa, we want things to go our way, and we remain the only privileged ones waaaa” kind of behaviour that’s the last gasp of a dying movement. Like you’ve pointed out above, women are half of the population, and that’s a pretty big force that you’re better off not messing with, and I suspect Republicans will feel that pain at some point in the near future.
    As to the actual educational levels, maybe your line of work is an anomaly? Because (and this might just be stats specific to Canada, but they’re fairly consistent stats, verified by different sources) two thirds of the post-secondary population at any given time are female up here, and while I can’t remember the exact numbers, the graduating class of any given year has a ratio of females to males pretty close to that (again, I don’t know how well these stats translate across the border). If you couple that with the massive gaps that will be left in companies with the retirement of baby boomers (there will be 2 people for every 3 jobs, last I heard) and I don’t see any conceivable way the sheer number of women in the workforce won’t increase significantly in the next 10-15 years. More women means more women in power means more women get fairer chances, means more women get into the workforce of their choosing, and more women get the support and assistance they need (because of more female doctors) and so on. I don’t know what’ll happen to victim-blaming and slut-shaming (because that’s the kind of problem that crosses gender lines), but if things proceed the way they seem to be proceeding, a lot of these problems will get minimised once our generation becomes the dominant one. It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely possible the way things stand, and I suspect it’ll require a lot of us to not be dead salmon to make that happen ultimately. But all hope is not lost; in fact, things are better than they might seem.

    • Copper February 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

      Holy wall of text, Batman! I promise to use paragraphs next time.

    • leeraloo February 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      Damn, I hope so. I hope we’re seeing the dying gasp of a bunch of sexist idiots being in power. I can’t imagine if things got worse.

      Also, how did I not know that “Veronica Mars” was THAT good? How am I just now watching it? Especially since I am such a self-professed fan of shows and movies set in high school. It’s blowing my mind.

      • Copper February 24, 2011 at 10:18 am #

        I’m fairly positive it is. I mean, despite what any posturing and internet bravado may suggest, most guys think of women as equals. We can’t not think that; we’ve got mothers, sisters, daughters, female friends, female partners/spouses, and the like, and we want to see them succeed and be happy just as much as we want to see ourselves succeed and be happy. When push comes to shove, we’re not going to say “sorry sis, I know I probably wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for you, but frankly, I agree that you don’t deserve to earn as much as me.” People like us (and we are in the majority) will never let things get to the point where women are just walking incubators, to be dismissed once the baby’s out.

        Furthermore, I’m sure that, on some level, this vocal minority understands that as their numbers decrease by attrition, their ideals do too, so they try to ingrain it as much as possible, but ultimately it’s a lot of sounds and fury, signifying nothing. Of course, it won’t just signify nothing on its own; both males and females will have to work towards making sure it ends up being just a bunch of hot air. But, you know, the groundwork is there, and I think it’s stronger than it may appear.

        As to Veronica Mars, damn you for not watching the show when it was on. It’s in the trifecta of excellent shows that suffered from low ratings and unnecessary network interference (the other two being Arrested Development and Firefly) However, I’m going to give you a pass, because Kristen Bell has largely chosen bad projects after the show ended that there’s no way you could’ve known Veronica Mars wasn’t more of the same. Also, there was the aforementioned bad marketing by way of network interference. How far into it are you?

      • leeraloo February 24, 2011 at 10:58 am #

        Yeah, I know most people hold the opinion that women are equal, but I wish I could say that more people had a passion to make it so. I just worry that people are way too complacent and might let things like this just slip by because it’s harder to take a stand. But I do think we tend to make the extremists in America seem much more present than they are, like they have more power than they do, like their numbers are larger than they are. It’s hard to remember that when I’m constantly hearing about the Tea Party this and the Tea Party that, but the truth is that their numbers are greatly exaggerated.

        As for Veronica Mars, I think it was one of those shows, like Firefly, that I just didn’t know about when it was on. And yeah, Kristen Bell has kind of picked crap projects since then. She needs a good movie, stat. But I’m only about 5 or 6 episodes in. Considering how much school crap I have to do, I shouldn’t even be that far in, but it’s just so damn good.

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