Posts tagged ‘feminism’

Lazy Saturday

All around, it’s been a very homey Saturday. We canceled plans to go out tonight because Z is having a crappy few days and not feeling well. I spent the afternoon doing a little stoned knitting (which proved about as slow and inaccurate as regular knitting), and tweaking and cat-proofing the patio garden.

The patio garden is one of my favourite places at present, as well as an incredible time-sink. I’m trying to buy as little stuff for it as possible, so it’s built mostly of cobbled-together found materials. You can interpret this to mean that I am either an Earth-loving recyclista goddess, or too cheap and lazy to go to the hardware store. All of the roughly 200L of sterile dirt filling the various pots, planters, buckets and dresser drawers were purchased and brought home in plastic bags over the last two summers, which kind of diminishes any Earth goddess cred.

Last summer on the patio garden: tomato flowers

Last summer's patio garden: Tomato flowers

Having taken a quick bathroom break in between splicing chicken wire to fortify and re-install the homemade fence around the patio garden, I returned to find a cat sprawled ecstatically on the soft warm dirt of my herb bed. Bastard! 15 minutes later, catproofing was complete.

Then I made dinner out of delicious ingredients from this morning’s farmers market, including a rhubarb PIE, and then Z and I played some cards….  Tomorrow upon awakening I will resume panicking about schoolwork*.

Contrasts:

It’s interesting that dirt, rocks and sticks – the raw materials of gardening – are such scarce resources here in the inner city, while pots, planters, furniture, etc. are heaped abundantly in backalley trash heaps. I had a hell of a time finding sticks to prop up the chicken wire, and finally lucked out when biking past a municipal tree-trimming work in progress. (I then proceeded to bike 10 km home with a bundle of 4-foot long sticks lashed to my frame…)

It’s also interesting that all the glorious tinkering I did today for fun (knitting, gardening, cooking) represented unceasing toil for my grandmother, sixty years ago.  She grew most of the family’s produce in her garden, cooked and baked all their meals from scratch, and knitted socks for everyone. I greatly appreciate being free of the urgent necessity of doing these things. For lucky me they can be leisure, like sitting on the beach, but they are more. They are also little symbolic ways of handmaking beauty for this house and this life.

I ordered a book of knitting patterns for baby stuff in the mail, and can’t wait to inflict nubbly handmade “beauty” on the helpless, immobile and mute offspring of my friends.

*Schoolwork = Coursework? Sort of. I find that one of the ways grad school chips away at my sanity  is that there are infinite tasks that are only cursorily related to actual courses, but that have to get done for one school-related purpose or another. Networking, resume-building, volunteer work, independent research, responding to 11,345 emails about the students’ association… all schoolwork.

Advice on getting hitched from the internet

A friend’s blog post led me to the following very interesting discussions on the internets, on the very topic of yesterday’s ramblings:

What Are the Pros and Cons of Getting Married? from Jezebel.com

The 100-odd pages of comments (!) tell me that a lot of women are staring down this question, and make a lot of good points. In the States, it seems that government incentives heavily favour married folks (and vigourously discriminate against gay couples). These comments also led me to the Offbeat Bride website, which is a little too rabidly fond of weddings for my comfort, but does have a thoughtful essay about what it means to skip the traditional expectations for a wedding and design your own ceremony instead:

Is Having an Offbeat Wedding Any Different Than Having a Traditional Wedding?

 I’m not quite clear how much of my reluctance to just set a date and go for it results from my ambivalence towards the whole Western cultural institutions of weddings and marriage. Wearing white (woman’s virginity being integral to the transaction). Being given away (woman as property). Engagement rings (for women only). Vowing to obey (I know, this isn’t common anymore, but I grew up around seriously conservative religious relatives, and women vow to obey). The groom asking the bride’s father for permission to marry her (see above, with the crazy conservative family.)

My family might be a special case, but the cultural idea that a wedding is the culmination of a young woman’s life is still alive and well in mainstream North American culture, along with accompanying assumption is that marriage the end of a woman’s autonomous identity.

I hate the idea of taking my husband’s name with a fervour that I know perfectly well is unreasonable (what, my own last name isn’t patriarchal?) but that doesn’t stop me from arching my back and spitting. Partnership should affect our identities equally. Z did refuse my suggestion of taking a new, combined last name together. I can’t really blame him – I don’t love the idea of changing my name, so why should he?  I am fine with us having separate names, and kind of like the implication that our personal identities as presented publically wouldn’t change with marriage. We will cross the bridge of what to name our child/ren when the time comes. Poor kid/s. I will probably settle for something like my last name as middle name, which is what my mother did for me.

As we understand the laws of our province, we can each legally use whichever last name we want once we are married.  That is, assuming I arise from this apathy and ambivalence, and commit to a weddin’ date.

Well hello internet

I forgot what a royal pain in the arse that it can be to set up a blog. Nonetheless! I am stoked about this here little blog experiment.

You see, internet, I already have way too many blogs.  You might even say I have a problem. There’s the one I write for sort of officially, the personal livejournal which has waaay too many easily offended semi-acquaintances reading it to be personal, the one I started, then abandoned on behalf of a local non-profit, and the expired one I wrote for a class. I don’t know if this here blog is going to make it out in the blogiverse, or if I will quietly put an end to it as a failed experiment.  I will try not to abandon it with hardly any content.  This is a sad fate for blogs. Maybe one day I will have readers to discuss things with, or even grow some ovaries and open it up to people I know in real life.  Stranger things have happened.

There are all kinds of things that I like to worry about, and that I find difficult to discuss with people in real life.  Probably, this has something to do with my rabid cocaine addict of an internal editor. I need to find my own voice without worrying about offending anybody from our little circle of friends. But you, out there on the internet, are welcome to read and be offended or not, as you like. Should you want to comment thoughtfully on any of my ramblings, I would be so delighted for the conversation. Goddess bless the internet.

I think this blog might deal a lot with applied feminism, a topic that seems to be unfashionable among the young ladies of today. For example, my parter Z and I already live with about as many cats as you can reasonably fit into our apartment. We talk a lot about adding a baby human as soon as reasonably possible – that is as soon as I get my “mature student” ass out of grad school and into some kind of paying position with maternity leave. Much angst ensues on the topic of establishing my career, family expectations, sharing the second shift and navigating working motherhood.

But I’m not pregnant, right?  And I’m still in school, and said career is but a glimmer in my eye, right? 

I might add that I’m a planner. Ha ha, no seriously. I study planning. One day, if there is still an economy to speak of by the time I graduate, I will hopefully get paid to worry about things like housing, daycares, roads, train tracks, and perhaps endangered species. I excel  at worrying.

For now, I leave you, nonexistent internet reader, for  a 3pm breakfast of burnt french toast.  I’m not normally this lazy – it’s a golden combination of Z out of town on business, me sick with the flu, and school being out for a few weeks between terms.  Aaaaa!  Cough! Sneeze!