Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dating Culture?

I like to spend some time on the Yahoo Answers. Mostly I answer questions in the humanities section, but every once in a while I move into the family and relationships section, just to see if there's anything interesting. It also lets me see what the future will be like, and let me tell you, it isn't pretty. For example, here are a couple of the questions posted this evening:
im dating a fifth grade boy is that ok? btw is it ok if i like another guy? i still love the guy im with but i like the other dude?is that ok?

The asker is a sixth grader. An eleven year old is dating a ten year old, and someone, somewhere, thinks this is acceptable or cute. Not only dating, but she wants to date someone else as well! The responders (so far) are about evenly divided between "you're too young to date/be in love" and "it's fine, you're in love". The "it's fine" crowd is what has me a tad bit worried. Says one responder,
She may not know what love is.
But she's old enough to be dating.
You guys need to stop saying "omg you're too young wait til you're 16!" and stuff like that.
Kids start dating from as young as 3rd and 4th grade now a days.
Get over it.
It's insane but it'll be okay...

Third and fourth grade? Please take yourself out of the gene pool. The rest look like other sixth graders who basically cheer her on, or tell her to find a guy her own age (because I guess that one year makes all the difference). [/sarcasm]
Another question I read:
Is it bad that a friend of mine can't get a girlfriend. He's 15,in 10th grade. He has never really kissed a girl. Do you think it's bad..? He's always at home and never really goes out with friends..

So, by fifteen (or roundabout highschool age) we're expected to have already started making out? I know I'm not the only person disturbed by this. What I don't understand is how parents let it get this way. Dating used to be not so different from courtship. Meaning, the point of dating was to find the person you would marry. Now it seems to be just another pointless, aimless activity. Well, unless you consider hooking-up or shacking-up to be worthy goals. In fact, if you were to say in mixed company, "I'm looking for a spouse" people would probably think you were a little off. If you take marriage out of the equation, what is the point of dating? Companionship? You can get that from your friends. That pretty much narrows it down to...physical pleasure. And I don't want to hear about how dating amongst such young kids couldn't lead to that, because we all know that's a lie.

We've gotten to a point where we no longer differentiate between adult and child activities*, and it's not doing anyone any good. Actually, it seems like there's almost been a total role reversal, where teenagers are expected to drink and be crazy, but when parents have so much as a glass of wine they're vilified for being irresponsible.

I know I'm hopelessly old fashioned, but is it too much to ask to let children be children? It's bad enough that the hook-up, don't-ever-let-yourself-be-unattached culture has infiltrated high schools, but we have to draw a line somewhere.

*I think the creation of 'teenagers' is partly to blame for this.

It's not about being single...

...and it's not particularly blissful, or happy at all, but it's still important.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is pointless, as it is based on lies and junk science. Above all, it is cruel and inhumane. I'm not going to rehash all the facts to back this up right now, if you're interested in the truth please don't wait for it to be spoon-fed to you (and that applies to all subjects, not just BSL). If you can, consider fostering for a local rescue; if you can't, please make a donation to one so they can continue their work. Also, find out where your state stands on the issue, and what you can do to end this bigotry.

Pit Bull Rescue Center
Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reality Check

Pearl's post reminded me of a conversation I saw on Trading Spouses (don't judge me). A Ft. Lauderdale mom had switched with a Wisconsin* farm mom. The farm family had a chicken coop, and one day the Florida mom happened to look in and see a dead chicken. She ran to tell the kids (17 year old girl, teenage boy) that one of the chickens was sick and someone needed to do something. The girl poked her head in and looked for a second, and flatly stated, "It's dead." The FL mom was greatly upset by this, refused to believe it, and made the girl pick it up, carry it to the garage, and lay it on the cool floor with a fan blowing on it because, "He's just overheated." After a few minutes of this, she was still insisting it was alive and she even said she could feel a pulse. Once again, the girl felt for a pulse and, just as flatly, stated, "Yeah. It's dead." FL mom was finally forced to accept the chicken wasn't making a comeback, which is when she wanted to have a funeral for the thing (I don't know if they ever did; I doubt it.)

Later, in those 'alone with the camera' interviews they do, the FL mom explained that the chicken had probably died of the heat because it wasn't used to heat like she is, being from Florida and living at the beach as she does. The girl expressed her exasperation with the woman, because early after arriving the FL mom had talk about making a fancy chicken-based dish for the family. Did she not, the girl asked, realize they would have had to kill one of their chickens anyway for her to make the meal?

Two (related) things struck me about the situation: 1) the FL mom's arrogance and 2) her ignorance of nature and where food comes from. Presumably, the chicken had lived its whole life on this farm, experiencing the same four seasons every year. Meaning, the chicken wasn't suddenly overwhelmed by the heat and just couldn't stand it because it hadn't been exposed to a Florida heat. Secondly, the mom sounds like one of those people who thinks meat is produced in a factory, already plastic wrapped and ready for cooking. It seems to be a common misconception, considering how many meat-eaters think hunting for food is immoral. It reminds me of the scene in a Montgomery Troy music video, where the guy is driving through town with a deer strapped to his hood. He gets stopped at a red light, next to an indoor/outdoor cafe, where the patrons are horrified to see his kill...right up until their juicy, medium rare steaks are brought out.

Humans are omnivores. Animals die so we can eat. Deal with it. No one is saying you have to go out and kill your own food, we would just appreciate it if you had a rudimentary understanding of the real circle of life**.

And another thing: if you're against the use of leather or fur products, you should probably stop eating meat as well. Do you think slaughter houses just throw the skins out when they're done? Of course not, they sell them to companies who produce leather and fur goods (if they don't have their own business on the side).

I'm glad I could get that off my chest. I have been chastised by people for a pair of gloves I own (rabbit fur-lined leather), and I'm a little tired of having to explain to people that if they eat steak or rabbit, they helped make my gloves.

*I think it was Wisconsin, but it could have been a different northern/midwest state.
**Not the fake Disney one, where lions eat grubs and are best friends with walking pork chops.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

To address an issue that some men seem to suffer from in making assumptions about single women!

From Singularly Blissful Kate's log:

When a single female who is attractive is single by choice and happy about it, men make the assumption that she is a lesbian. Well I’m here to clear that little misunderstanding right up and fast. I personally believe a man who desires a female that is attractive and finds her to impossible to have will make the undignified assumption that she is a lesbian in order to make himself feel more comfortable about his masculinity! There I’ve said it, and another thing, just because a girl is happy being single, does not mean she will choose to ignore every single man out there on the face of the planet, it just means she is wiser in her decisions about choosing a mate that will not exhaust, use, or abuse her. A single female that is NOT desperate, will not do something stupid and desperate and go falling for the first available attractive man calling.
I find that my mind is clearer in making a decision for life when I am happy, content , and confident in myself, and my singleness.

Arrrr, the pirate hath spoken!