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Have the baby

Claire Fisher has an abortion. It was all part of a numbing catastrophic finale, darker than anything I've seen on this show and the show is pretty damn dark. I felt like I was still reeling from all the pain and dysfunction the day after we watched the last episode (purchased the whole season online from someone who taped it, we can't afford cable (yet) thankyouverymuch). The abortion was just a small story line but it's what stayed with me the longest. I've wanted to blog about abortion so many times, but I just can't. It's emotionally impossible. Not that I don't have rational, logical thoughts about it. I do. Plenty. But the feelings on the subject are far stronger and I know I could not be coherent. Then this happened around the same time and it was really hard not to log on here and rant away.

Maybe one day I will be able to express myself on this topic without falling into any political rethoric, but today I'm not ready. Instead I'm letting someone else speak up for the real choice, someone who has a lot more credibility than me: "If I think women should have abortions on demand, at some level, I am arguing that I shouldn't exist."

Having Veronika has made me much more sensitive to things. I feel like a whole protective layer has been torn down without my consent and there is nothing I can do about it. Every disaster, every tragedy or pain is somehow related to me and my daughter. It's pretty insane, I know, but there it is and is to be dealt with. I suppose she also has lots to do with my inability to talk about abortion calmly - because it's her fault that I became a mother, that I had to rethink the whole "birds and the bees"-issue and realize that I still don't know where babies really come from and it is her fault that I lost my personal freedom on 8/3/03 although I wasn't ready for it and still am not ready for it and it is her fault that I AM SO GLAD about it all.

People will disagree with me, but I think whoever claims that the best life lived is the one that turned out exactly as planned is a lier. God save me from a life planned and conceived just by me, my brain and my self-delusions.

Posted at 07:51 PM on April 27, 2004 | Comments (1)

The Holiday Sweater (not to be taken too seriously)

I don't know if this is an American tradition or if it's just the selective memory of an immigrant in me that forgot about similar customs in Europe but The Holiday Sweater seems to be a cultural staple around here. It's usually made of wool (oops, I meant acrylic of course) or cotton in a knit pattern and displays in cheerful holiday colors a christmas tree, candy canes, snowmen, ornaments or all of the above. Some of those just seem to scream: LOOK AT ME I HAVE THE MOST CHEERFUL HOLIDAY ATTITUDE EVER!!! . Some will also have the good old Giraffe - the oldest of all holiday symbols!?

At the risk of offending all of you, who have one or several of these in the closet, I'm telling you: don't. Dispose of them silently. I know it seemed like a good idea at some point, when you were in the most warmest cheeriest holiday mood, but really, ornaments are supposed to be on the tree and snowmen in the yard. Unless you are 7 (yes, they can pull it off) or an elf, there is no reason to succumb to the annual temptation of wearing a holiday-themed sweater. No, not even for Thanksgiving.

Posted at 04:59 PM on December 12, 2003 | Comments (7)

"Among the golden corn rows of Indiana"

The Americans have a fascination with Europe. It's the "foreign" place to go: it has similar lifestyle yet is so much more,well, - "euro".
As a European I have always felt American tourists were a little strange. I guess, like many, I resented their quantity - but now I understand that it obviously isn't their fault: their country is just huge, so understandably they will come in throngs.

Having lived here for 3 1/2 years (I know, it's a reaaally long time so I must know what I'm talking about! ;) I have to say I feel my suspicions confirmed. Europe is like Disneyland for Americans. You go there to travel from attraction to attraction in order to get a different feeling from each place but those places are not "real", they are here to entertain you, not to be taken seriously.

If you want romance, obviously you will go to Paris (as shown in this movie) and enjoy those cute little bistros while you wear black and think of Audrey Hepburn in Charade. For a more serious romantic experience you will - of course! - go to Italy, preferably Tuscany, where you will obviously buy a villa on impulse, buy a white dress and meet new people. Read: fall in love with a hunky Italian who has lived a pictoresque life in a pictoresque village just so he can finally meet his American sweetheart. On the other hand if you are looking for a more historical or cultural experience you will visit Prague (I could say Czech Republic, but let's be honest, can anybody name a Czech city besides Prague?) or Russia or some other Eastern European country, hoping it's one that still suffers under Communist-Regime-leftovers so you get some good pictures of Lenin statues, empty grocery stores or people dressed in gray.

Generally though it has to be noted that people in those countries serve more or less as extras, hired by the travel agency to supply us with all the necessary details to make the whole thing as believable as we've seen it on TV.

Sitting in Indiana, where people take it for granted that even the best restaurant in town will be located on a busy street in a regular strip-mall-type of building, I get really frustrated. Why don't people make their own surrounding "romantic", "pictoresque" and "cultural"? Why not make beautiful things part of everyday life? It baffles me. People here will have gorgeous houses, with pretty porches, seasonal decorations, different shaped windows, impeccable yards, but then they go and throw their main public buildings into shapeless boxes that get destroyed every 5 years to make room for a new parking lot or something.

Well, there's always museums and Disneyland. And Europe. :)

Posted at 08:11 PM on October 29, 2003 | Comments (9)

Being a little blog-ambitious today

(Before I start: my husband came home and fixed the embedded pic in the previous post. Go check us out, young and blissful...)

I recently finished reading this book by Rachel Cusk and I strongly do NOT recommend it. I was looking (still am) for personal accounts on motherhood and the mother-child-experience. After all reference books try to give you the objective view, but we all know subjective is much more fun to read. Not this one. I imagine Rachel Cusk to be this very urban and feminist woman, who is completely removed from what she sees as the traditional (and inferior) feminine role - motherhood. She sets the book up as if her detached feelings were normal but I'm very prone to believe she is proud of her detachment - and therefore most likely contributed willfully to not being a motherly person.
She is right that motherhood changes your identity. I expect that, although I haven't even been through it yet, but I am very uncomfortable with her lengthy descriptions of all the downfalls and problems and the portrayal of her infant daughter as almost an enemy, an intruder who took over her life and made it miserable.
Why do people get SO upset that once the baby is here their whole life is changed and they can't sleep in on Saturdays anymore? I'm sure I'll miss that too (hehe I'm already there.. silly me got herself a dog!), but we don't take steps in life just so we can stay in the same spot. So you wanted a child. Now you have it! Not sleeping through the night is not a mean plot by the child trying to destroy your independent and feminist self. If you wanted to remain what you were forever, maybe you should not have attempted child rearing.

Anyway, she gives herself away in one of the last chapters where she describes the women in the provincial town she and her husband moved to in order to escape the busyness of London (they move back within a few months). They are all matronly, wearing out-of-style flowery dresses, ride their bikes, judge everyone and have tons of children. Plus they are stupid, don't have jobs and are all racist. Obviously she wants the reader to think she has the objective, the more raw and realistic view of motherhood than these lowly women who don't know better than breed all day. Well, she didn't convince me.
Ugh. I finished it... you know, it's tough to drop a book before it ends.
If you're anything like me, don't read it. Save yourself the time for something more fun.

Posted at 09:35 PM on April 26, 2003 | Comments (3)

Rules of the rich

Have you noticed that sometimes rich people do really stupid things with their money? And that being rich does not mean you automatically have nice stuff? I was walking Digby through a fancy subdivision today and noticed the ugliest curtains in this really big, nice (most certainly expensive) house. How unfair is that? These people could have the coolest window treatment! And what do they pick? Some frumpy flowery pattern covering 3/4ers of the window - starting about 30 cms lower than the actual frame.
See, it only confirms that I should be rich. I have excellent taste. Something like this could never happen to me. If I was rich, I would totally live up to the expectation. I'd have a nice house with beautiful interior and exterior.
Just so you know, if I ever become rich, I will totally deserve it ;).

Posted at 09:32 PM on April 23, 2003 | Comments (3)