Monthly Archives: February 2014

Big Bullies with Boobs vs. Big Bullies with Rules

Woman contacts airline to ask about a breastfeeding policy.

Woman is told that unless she can convince her baby to allow a cover.. Too bad, so sad. Outta luck. Gotta use a bottle that the baby won’t take.

Women try to convince airline that they should possibly educate their employees better. The end goal being so that employees do not continue to pass out false information that damages the reputation of the airline and that forces restrictions on women and babies.

The end result? Those women are called bullies.

There’s another word. Advocates. People that push for things that should be.

Bullies push. Sure. Bullies push you over and take your lunch money. Bullies tell you that you can’t fly on an airplane unless you can do something that you can’t. Bullies are big all on their own and they target small people. Airlines are big. Breastfeeding women tend to be individuals rather than parts of some huge horking conspiracy geared to expose everyone to babies that need to eat.

Bullies don’t say “Hey big company, can you clarify your policy to your employees so that they’ll stop pushing us over and taking our lunch money telling us that we can’t breastfeed our babies on your planes?”

That’s called pushing for a change from a company with a problematic issue over policy. Were the people that yelled and hawked and hemmed over TSA rules and regulations “bullies” or were they pointing out valid concerns like “people should be able to carry water on a plane without being strip-searched” and “refusing to allow a woman wearing a hijab on the plane is a really bad move and discrimination”.

If people took to the internets with a social media push to get airlines to offer better potoato chips in-flight would that be bullying or would we all jab our fists in the air and yell VIVE LA DEEP FRIED POTATO THINS! while being all smug about how awesome social media can be at enacting important change?

Breastfeeding women are simply tired of being told that they can’t sit at THIS table (which is for the people with the cool babies that let them cover up with fashionable fabrics) and that they can’t do /THAT/ here. (With “that” being feeding a baby.) We’re tired of being told to “just pump” by someone who has never struggled to pump half an ounce while balancing a baby on one hip and vacuuming the floor with their free arm. We’re tired of people that have never had mastitis telling us that we have to fly an entire long flight without nursing, and the possibility of being accosted by airport personnel if we nurse before a flight. We’re tired of people being ANGRY at us if our baby is crying, but being even more ANGRY with us if our baby is nursing quietly and they witness a peek of the very same upper boob that was visible through the top of the v-neck of our socially acceptable shirt.

We’re just tired of being told that we have to jump through hoops to feed a baby when “not seeing those things” just involves… Looking away. Turning your eyes somewhere else.

Who’s bullying who here?

The real bullies should grow some boobs and fess up to making a mistake. They should clarify their policy and make it clear to customer service reps. They should have their policy in stark black and white letters on their website so that women can print it out and bring it on the plane in case the airlines don’t want to spend the money educating the people that they hire.

There should be some sort of a solution, and it should be the airlines that are pushing for it, not the women that just want to nurse their babies and maybe take a shower here and there.

You don’t want to be bothered about a problem with your company.. Fix it. None of us want to be wasting our time with this stuff, either. Let us talk about happier things instead. Like the awesome new policy that you are working on where women can breastfeed their children with no restrictions-and-by-the-way-here’s-a-complimentary-water-because-we-know-how-thirsty-breastfeeding-moms-can-be. You’d turn your “bullies” into awesome buzz overnight.

From Here to There, Surrounded by Myths that Love is Fleeting

(At work, surrounded by people that you like, but that are not quite friends and that are not family. Adult topics of discussion. Fast pace. Energetic. Clients. Guard up. Lunch eaten at a desk from take-out containers. Bus rides with strangers. Hunkered down alone with a book.)

(At home, surrounded by children. Laughter and tears. Tantrums and discussions. Unrelenting. Joyful and inescapable. No other adults most days. Just us in a cave. Constantly touched in a taking-way. Touched out, but in need of touching. Talked out, but in need of words that flow in adult-like patterns.)

And at the end of the day we meet. From two different worlds with two different sets of needs. We can understand this to be a temporary thing that will pass. Or we can start to view each other as “too different” and choose to grow apart. We can try and understand the different-type-of-day and the rougher-periods around deadlines and around home-events. We can try to find a balance, or we can choose to feel that it doesn’t really matter.

This is a choice that we are pushed to make, often without understanding or warning. No one talks about the disconnect that happens. There’s “falling in love” and “falling out of love”. There’s the controlling female stereotype and the uncaring distant male. There’s dramatized affairs on both sides where partners escape fro m the person that they used to love that has somehow inexplicably become “bad”.

This is our culture. A culture of separation. Of people that choose to treat each other poorly because they’re pursuing the intense chemical attraction of a person whose faults they haven’t yet learned.

And here we all are, forming families. Thinking that we understand love. Believing that if we are “still in love” all of the things that we go through will somehow not bother us or not matter.

Oh those things will bother us. They’ll bother us deeply.

Maybe we’ll lose our way, not be able to understand how to reconnect. Maybe we’ll stay together as a thing to do, to keep from having to re-start all over again. Maybe we’ll come to resent each other. Maybe we’ll feel unloved, even as we feel we still love.

All of it is choices. Reactions and responses. Actions and decisions. Fifty percent of it is mine.

I cannot see the future.

I have seen people at the end of their lives, where one life extends past another. Where all of the things that made up day to day stresses simply didn’t matter anymore and they were wishing for more time to put to better use.

I’ve seen the end of marriage, where people who could have sat at each others sides at that end of life where nothing really matters anymore, choose to end things because the little things become huge once the hormonal bliss wears thin.

I wish that I had not been raised on the mythical version of love that everyone talks about. The blind and senseless version. I wish that I had been raised understanding how to do these things.

How to get there from here, with him, and with my family. With all the differences of our different day, and all our different wants and needs. While surrounded by all of these things that say love is something fleeting.

Without Yeast the Bread Will Not Rise.

She was waiting at the door when he came home. He expected her to be upset, like his teacher had been when she told him that she was going to email his mother.

Instead his mother gave him a hug and they went into the kitchen. On the table was a recipe and the ingredients for a loaf of bread.

She went down the recipe list, asking him to taste each ingredient. When he said that he liked the ingredient she left it on the list. When she he said it was “meh” she left it on the list. When he said it was “YUCK” she crossed it off.

In the end the bread was made with no yeast and no oil.

He was excited! They had never made bread this way before. It would be the best bread that they had ever made without the yucky stuff that they usually put in.

They mixed and they stirred and they covered the dough to let it sit. When they came back he was confused, the dough had not puffed up the way it always did. They kneaded it again and it stuck to their hands and pulled apart.

“That’s okay.” said his mother, and she showed him how to scrape the dough into the bread pan. They put it in the oven and waited for it to bake.

It did not smell like bread. It did not smell good at all. And when the timer went off it came out flat and dark and hard and it would not come out of the bread pan. It was not bread, it was a brick!

His mother watched him quietly. “What do you think happened?” she asked. He didn’t know what to say.

“Well we didn’t put the yucky stuff in. Just the stuff that was okay and the stuff that I liked.”

“Sometimes we can’t understand why something yucky is needed to make something that we like, so we leave it out. We make our bread without the yeast and without the oil. Son. Right now you are baking your bread without the yeast and without the oil. When you do only the things that you like in school and not all of the other things, you are baking bread that will not rise.”

He looked at her and thought.

“If you don’t understand why something is necessary, you can ask me. But if you simply choose not to include the ingredients that you do not like or see the meaning of.. Your bread will not turn out the way you want it to.”

The next day in school he opened his lunch box and there were two slices of bread. One that was dense delicious. The other was hard and burned. There was no note. There did not need to be. He understood.