I have a college degree. I have a piece of paper that basically says, “I’m smart.” (Signed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, thank you very much.) But lets face it. I can be pretty slow sometimes, too. I make up for it by being really good at faking that I know what’s going on… I like to say I have my BS in BS.
In the last few weeks, though, I’ve had TWO instances of having lived years clueless and FINALLY figuring something out. Moments when the light bulb clicked on and I went, “Ohhhh!” to no one but myself.
The first was listening to the song, “Song of the South” by Alabama. I’ve lived in Nashville for over four years now. I’ve heard the song countless times in life and since I moved there.
I only JUST last week figured out what the line, “Papa got a job with the TVA” means. I’ll be honest, as a kid, I thought maybe it was, “Papa got a job with the TV, hey!” because TVA meant nothing to me. Then it hit me. Out of the blue. Ironically while I was laying on my bed in Texas. TVA… Tennessee Valley Authority. Where I get my electricity! DUH!
Then, when I was going through things to throw out in our move, I stumbled upon old journals from when I was a teenager. My journalism class in high school started, every day, with writing in a journal. It was fun to go back and read what was important to me back then!
I stumbled upon the entry from when OJ Simpson trial finally ended. “The juice is loose.” I wrote. Because everyone else was saying it. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand that line. All I knew was that was what headlines and reporters were using to kick off reports of his acquittal.
Yeah, about two days ago, when I wasn’t even thinking about anything other than if I had time to flatiron my hair, suddenly I said to my reflection, “Oh duh. OJ. Juice. The juice is loose. I’m slow.”
Please someone reassure me that I am not the only person who puts things together years later for NO REASON. Its like my subconscious mind was chewing on it. Like a piece of old gum. And suddenly it went, “Oh hey, this gum is peppermint flavored! Time to spit out and get a new piece.”
Yeah, its a cheesy analogy but its all I’ve got right now. I’m still exhausted from all these moments of sudden understanding. I’m a little slow sometimes. I admit it. But, hey, at least I entertain myself with it.
I apologize in advance if this blog is a bit all over the place. I’ve been chewing on this for weeks now, hoping I could bring all my thoughts into a decent order to write this post. However, I’ve decided I need to just throw it out there and get it over with so I can stop mind-blocking myself from other topics.
My thoughts all kicked off when I read an article on a local tv station website that reported a new study suggested that marriage is becoming obsolete.
About 52% of Americans were married in 2008, down from 72% in 1960.
Researchers found that not only has marriage declined, but cohabitation, or unmarried partners living together, has become more widespread, nearly doubling since 1990.
It a very frustrating article because it suggests that young people do not want marriage, but then turns around and says young people DO want to get married, only they want to wait longer than their parents did to tie the knot.
In 2008, just 26% of people in their 20′s were married, compared to 68% in 1960.
Now, the average age for making it official is 27 for women and 29 for men.
Sounds about right. I was 26 when I got married, which was about on course for what you see today.
I am SO happily married. Which, I’m fairly sure marriage was not on most of my friend’s radars for me back in the day. Heck, to a degree, I guess I figured I’d get married some day, but I never felt a rush to do so. If it happened, great. If not, no big deal… until I fell head over heels and realized it was what was right for me. Now… I can’t imagine life without my husband. We complete each other, and there’s this HUGE comfort in knowing he’s there. We’re solid. We’re meant to be.
And yet within this, I look around as people get married and I find even myself, on occasion, going, “Do you really think they can make it?” Divorce is so rampant that I do understand people’s skepticism of marriages. Half the time I am bracing myself for news of friend’s marriages ending! So I understand the fear and skepticism. I really do.
But what I don’t understand is this repulsion towards it I see so often today. It goes beyond fear and skepticism. Celebrities claiming they “don’t believe in” marriage makes me want to cry (and deeply turns me off towards them.) I see so many couples who are happy to live together and raise a family, but the idea of actually getting married (even though their relationship has already lasted longer than some marriages!) is upwards of asking them to get into a box of killer bees. You can literally FEEL the waves of repulsion come off of them. The dreaded M-word!
Meanwhile, you have same-sex couples fighting every day to have the right to get married. Is this a case of “the grass is greener”, or is it that these same-sex couples see what so many heterosexual couples are missing: the many rights and benefits that come from getting married.
An article on NOLO lists out the many rights and benefits afforded to couples who get married. Just a few of them:
- Filing joint income tax returns (which at times will lend itself to better refunds!)
- Inheriting a share of your spouse’s estate.
- Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
- Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse’s employer.
- Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
- Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.
- Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
- Making medical decisions for your spouse if they become incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
- Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures, including burial arrangements.
- Receiving family rates for health, homeowners’, auto, and other types of insurance.
- Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
These are just a few of the many benefits that come from marriage on the legal side of things. Definitely visit NOLO for the full list. This doesn’t even go into the studies that show health benefits of marriage…
Granted, when marriages go south, it tends to be much uglier than dating or cohabitation. Divorce and legal actions have to happen. Mental and emotional stress goes through the roof. Etc.
I remember hearing over time that to have a strong marriage, each person needs to be a strong individual. And I’ll agree with that… to a degree. I think a strong marriage also comes from being willing to lean on each other. From working together to keep it strong. From loving each other through thick and thin (with obvious exceptions, like spousal abuse when you need to walk away). From knowing how to balance putting yourself and your spouse first in turn.
Call me old fashioned. I love weddings, and a strong marriage makes me incredibly happy to see. When I see something on TV, or read in the news, about couples married 30, 40, 50+ years, I get this giddy grin. I’m a romantic at heart, and I hope the idea of that “marriage becoming obsolete” was just a terrible choice of headline. I believe strongly in marriage!
I love being married. I wear my wedding ring proudly. And God help any man who thinks he’s going to look at it as a “challenge.” He’ll get an earful. Same for any woman towards my husband. Because my marriage is something I will fight for with a vengeance.
I feel so secure in that we CAN be apart for weeks at a time, and its okay (and makes the time we are together all the more precious!)
I don’t begrudge anyone who opts not to get married. Like I said in the beginning, I’m sure plenty of people saw me as “single and fabulous” as my destiny. But I DO have a hard time grasping this deep disdain and dislike I often feel from people towards the institution. It saddens me.
So what have I concluded in all of this? Not a whole lot, I guess. I’m still going to be chewing on this a bit, sitting back, listening to people’s opinions and thoughts on marriage. Trying to understand and see their point of view.
I just hope others will see mine, just the same.
I got a jury duty summons.
And I laughed at it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against doing my civic duty and all that jazz. (Even though its not really high on my list of “things to do.”) It’s because it came to my parent’s house.
In my hometown.
Where I do not live.
Oh I am here working, sure. But home is Nashville, TN. I have the driver’s license, voters registration, and even Social Security statements to prove it! Vehicle registration, too. Tax return. Legal documents. Insurance documents. Everything! Heck, I can’t even go to the doctor here and expect insurance to do much of anything, because I DO NOT live here.
And I haven’t lived here for four and a half years!
On top of it, they sent it to me with my maiden name on it. Which I changed over four years ago as well!
Needless to say, we all got a good laugh from this court mix-up, and I filled out the card explaining I don’t live here and that they even had my name wrong. I dropped it back in the mail to the court clerk; I’m pretty sure I’m safely exempt from it. Heck, chances are I’ll not even be here working on the date of the summons… they’d literally have to fly to Tennessee to find me. At home in my bed. With my husband and cat.
However, it was also rather disconcerting. I know I’m from a small town and all that, but you’d think after four years the system would have caught up to them. Literally, the only thing that was still coming here for me under my maiden name was a couple credit card statements… and those are currently in the process of being discharged.
I wonder if they ever send out jury summons to people who have passed away? How do you arrest someone for not appearing at court because they are dead?
Anyway, mistakes happen and I got a good laugh from it. But it did make me question what kind of database they use for juror selection, and why is it so far out of date? Anything like this ever happen to anyone else?
I set foot on a plane for the first time when I was 23 years old. Nervous, I listened intently to all the safety procedures. I wanted to know what to do should my plane crash… because, after all, that was guaranteed, right? It was in the fine print along with what it cost to change your tickets and the official airline peanut disclosure (the one notifying you the peanuts contained peanuts.) Your first flight will crash.
Yeah… no. Didn’t happen (obviously) and in the years since I’ve become that passenger that sits down and opens a book. I might give a cursory glance at the flight attendants as they wave their arms and put the yellow life vest on… but I’ve heard it enough that I can practically say it with them.
I sometimes glance around me to see if I can see any first-timers listening to every word. I remember one flight where, during boarding, a mother ran ahead to take a picture of her daughter taking her first steps on a plane. It was half annoying, half amusing, half what-the-he….
Yes, three halves. Shut up.
The girl was a champ. Her first flight didn’t crash either.
So as I write this, once again I am somewhere between Tennessee and Texas. And as I gaze down at the clouds below us, I can’t help but think to myself… everyone should do this atleast once. Now, granted, if you battle claustrophobia, you might be the exception to my broad sweeping statement. But otherwise… you should do it. Yes, even you, Mr. Afraid-of-heights. That’s what aisle seats are for. Pbththth
But flying is an experience. If you dare and take an window seat, it makes you realize how small you really are in the grand scheme of this earth. As cars and trucks become like ants and the ground a huge quilt of fields, golf courses, houses and baseball diamonds, your own existence is realized as being one little piece of the world’s puzzle.
You encounter such a wide range of people when flying. The businessman, focused on the next big deal. The lover with a dreamy and excited look as they can’t wait to see their special someone (or with tears as they leave them). The family on vacation. The mother with a baby, hoping to not be THAT passenger that gives the entire cabin a headache. The Redneck. The socialite. The loudmouth. The child flying alone after a trip to see grandma (or a parent).
Flying gives you time to quiet your mind. Flying gives you time to read. Flying let’s you befriend a stranger (if you are so inclined.) Flying gives you… you time!
See, flying isn’t just about getting from point A to point B. It’s about the experience. Oh, sure, I’ve had bad experiences… a 7 hour delay (when I could have driven the trip in 3 hours). Terrible seat-mates. Rough landings. The time a woman REFUSED to trade seats so my husband and I could sit together on a 4 hour flight. A cabin full of junior high kids on a trip. Luggage concerns. Etc.
But on a whole, I take the good and shrug off the bad. I enjoy flying. A lot. I wish everyone else did, too, and I urge those non-flyers to try it sometime.
BTW — there isn’t really anything in any fine print about crashing. So stop looking for it and panicking. Sheesh!!
Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!
A week at home in Nashville before flying back to Texas today…
♥ ♥ ♥
Today wasn’t a good day for my husband. Oh, we found plenty of humor in his misfortunes, but to say his day went well would be a lie. Unfortunately, I am to blame for one of his day’s not so great moments… and it was the one that seemed to set the tone for the day.
We got up this morning, and headed for the kitchen. My husband started the coffee, and I started digging for clean bowls to pour us some cereal. After finally uprooting the bowls from the dishwasher (which meant putting other clean dishes away in the process), I headed to grab the box of cereal.
My husband was blocking the cabinet door, so I asked him to move and watch out so I wouldn’t hit him..
Instead, he spun around to hug me, and… I smacked him right in the side of the head with the cabinet door. It wasn’t exactly gentle, and it was with that ever-so-painful corner of the door. I felt TERRIBLE! I actually felt tears spring to my eyes when he said, “OW!” I started apologizing and trying to explain what happened.
He retreated from the kitchen saying he was, “in the way” and I sat down at the table and… burst into tears. Big, fat tears fell, and I found myself fighting them back knowing it was silly. He was okay! And… I had told him to move, after all!
My husband came back to find me sniffling . I wouldn’t even look at him. He finally asked me why I was crying.
“I don’t know!!!” I responded, still fighting not to sob all over again.
He started to laugh as he hugged me… which ended up making ME laugh. I asked him if I am like this when I’m just PMSing, what would I be like when we were pregnant? He found that amusing as well…
I’m glad he puts up with me and finds some of my more bizarre moments amusing. Even when the result in his having a nice bop to the head.