I imagine there might be a fair few posts like this from me. I start with good intentions – or, well, intentions at least – and then forget. Or do other things instead. Honestly, I really ought to be cleaning the kitchen and then making food for myself right now. But I remembered this blog, so here I am.
There’s a few things I feel like saying. One thing is that I haven’t really felt like reading or writing much about feminism recently. I’ve made an exception for Blue Milk, whose blog I still keep up with, because (a) I love her writing and (b) she doesn’t make me sad, just frustrated by injustice every once in a while. Some of the larger feminist blogs honestly feel a bit overwhelming for me at the moment. Not because I’m in any kind of bad place – I’m not – but just because… well, I suppose I wanted a break from caring.
The second thing is that I’m getting married to J in about 6 weeks. Whoever knew that a small wedding would be so demanding? Not me, that’s for sure. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. Actually, there’s probably a whole heap of feminist writing that could be written on the subject of weddings. I feel like that might justify a whole post on its own though, because I really could go on and on and on about it. Also, I feel like anybody who actually reads this blog should get a bit of warning, so having a post dedicated to it might be the way to go.
The third thing is that we’re moving house again, 4 weeks after the wedding. (In fact, there are multiple weddings. One that we’re planning and hosting, one that J’s parents are hosting, and one that my parents are hosting. At different times, I either think that this is exactly as batshit as it sounds, or that it’s a great idea.) But only to the flat immediately above the one we’re currently in. At this rate, the internet will never know about the flat we’re living in at the moment. I’m sure it’ll be heartbroken.
The fourth thing is that I’m spending a fair amount of time on Ravelry now that I’m not really anywhere else on the internet. It’s a lovely place to be, because – probably a bit like the feminist blogosphere – it feels predominantly female. But, unlike the general feminist blogosphere, Ravelry is a knitting and crochet site, so there’s an awful lot of stitching related forum threads. But at times, it also feels a lot like internet-based consciousness-raising sessions. I feel like this is a win.
The BBC informs us that the divorce rate in England and Wales is now the lowest it’s been for 29 years:
“Ayesha Vardag, a divorce lawyer involved in a landmark court win last year over a pre-nuptial agreement, said: “Our experience is that fewer couples are divorcing because fewer are marrying.””
Because I am a wind-up merchant, occaisionally I have conversations with J that go something like this:
Me: Hey, I had a thought.
Me: Well, you don’t want to divorce me, right?
J: Um, no…
Me: Well, I’ve worked out a way to make sure that your odds of divorcing me are zero.
Me: Don’t marry me. As soon as you do, you’ve got a 45% chance of divorcing me by the time we’re 50.*
J: Bloody statisticians.
*This argument, admitedly, would work better if J didn’t like a pointless bet every once in a while.
On an entirely different note, today I roasted a whole chicken all by myself, and it is definitely cooked properly and smells yummy. (I got a bit enthusiastic with the lemon.) I am very proud though, as I’ve never done it before. I’m having some for dinner tonight and the remains will no doubt haunt the rest of my week as I try to work out how many reincarnations of the same meat you can actually eat.
Recently, in Rachland:
J: Well, to be honest, I’m still a bit disappointed that you’re not taking my name.
Me: Huh. To be honest, I’m still very disappointed that you’re not taking mine.
It is for reasons like this that I suspect we will just have to live in sin. Imagine trying to plan a wedding with those kinds of conversational snippets. Perhaps I shall have a housewarming instead. God knows there’s more to celebrate about owning your own home than there is to celebrate about rampant displays of heteronormativity. And besides, at the moment at least, home repossesion is less likely than divorce. Hurrah!
(One article in the Guardian from February says that “1 in 290 borrowers had their home repossessed in the fourth quarter of last year”, and another, from last year, says that “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found 45% of marriages will end in divorce before a couple’s 50th anniversary if 2005 rates continue”.)
One of the downsides about being engaged to a man who sells jewellery is that sometimes he forgets how much I’m not interested in it. This is not to say that I don’t like colourful or twinkly things – that would be silly! – just that I don’t really care what it’s made from, as long as it doesn’t irritate my skin. Bear in mind, my skin can be irritated by aqueous cream and E45, two products specifically designed for sensitive skin. So the irritation thing is a reasonable concern. The relative shininess of platinum as compared to silver really isn’t.
Now, J and I both wear engagement rings. Which is to say, anybody who sees his left hand assumes that he’s already married, because in the eyes of the patriarchy, it is always and only the woman who should carry the symbol of ownership – formerly wedding rings, and now, since mens’ wedding rings have become common, engagement rings.
The other day, wedding rings came up in conversation. Since one of the things that irritates J is me quoting his own arguments at him verbatim, I try to make a point of doing so every so often, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity:
J: Lots of the men I speak to at work get that look. The one that says, “I’m paying silly money for my girlfriend’s ring, and she’s not paying for anything for me”. And then I speak to them about watches. And their faces light up.
Me: The joys of equality – now everybody has to give you their money!
J: Well… I was thinking… Everybody thinks that this [points at his ring] is a wedding band, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding band.
Me: Hmm. Well, I was thinking, everybody thinks that this [points at my ring] is a wedding ring, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding ring either.
J: *looks disappointed*
Me: *light dawns* Oh! You wanted a new watch, didn’t you?! You thought that you could buy me another ring I don’t need and I could buy you another watch that you don’t need!
J: *looks shifty*
Me: How much?
J:…. £1,000… ish…
Me: *laughs hysterically*
J: No wedding rings, then?
I would like to point out here that my life is made considerably more entertaining by J’s presence. In a good way. And I’m very relieved, to be honest, that we won’t be thinking about any more pointless jewellery. Being many things, but mainly an impoverished maths student, I can’t help but note that the money that would have bought the watch J wanted would have paid for 40 week’s worth of food for me – an academic year’s worth, in other words. That kind of thing makes me want to gibber in a corner.
(J now has his own blog, which he has promised will not make him sound like a whinging emo git. I checked this. He told me it was “delicately put”.)
Although Fannie has got this story covered (she also promises a follow-up post), I couldn’t help noticing this quote:
The plaintiffs contended that this state’s statutes contravene
the state constitutional prohibition against sex discrimination
because those statutes preclude a woman from
doing what a man may do, namely, marry a woman,
and preclude a man from doing what a woman may do,
namely, marry a man.
Now, that is quite a cool and groovy argument, I feel.
Is it me, or would it a bit laughable to refer to my surname as a “maiden” name?
You know, in the sense that “maiden” equated to “virgin” and is, therefore, entirely innaccurate.
And given that I’ve had my surname as an “un-maiden” name (as it were) for the last two years without being married, would it not be a bit silly to change it on marriage?
Sometimes, when I think about all of those girls I used to know at school – you know, the “I’m-going-to-marry-a-rich-husband-and-arse-around-all-day” girls – I wonder what happened to them. Whether they did marry, whether they will marry, and whether they’d be freaked out by the thought of me being engaged.
And sometimes I wonder whether they ever realised that the rich husband they wanted would be able to make big important medical decisions if they were half-dead and incapable of making their own.
Well…. It’d be ok if you married a doctor, I suppose!
I am, as I may have mentioned before, of extremely mixed heritage. Some of that heritage, through my maternal grandfather, is Anglo-Indian (a distinct group made up of the children of European fathers and Indian mothers, back when India was up for grabs, based on the cunning use of flags).
My mother and I went to see my grandfather today, as he is in a respite care home for a couple of weeks – he has Alzheimer’s and my grandmother, his primary carer, is going to Ireland to visit her family for a break. And, to liven up the day a little, Mum found some magazines specifically aimed at Anglo-Indians…. like you do!
Anyway, this evening, after we’d got back, she wandered in to my room, magazine in hand….
Mum: Congratulations! You’re an Anglo-Indian!
Me: Oh good. Why?
Mum: You’re the child of an Anglo-Indian.
Me: Cool. So my kids can be Anglos too then..
Mum: Yes. Now, do you want to marry a nice Anglo boy?
Mum: Because I could put an advert in this magazine.
Mum: Here, listen to this one — “Alliance invited for 30-year old spinster, B.Sc, 5’3″, 75kgs. Interested Roman Catholic/ Protestant bachelors from India may reply with personal details/ family background” — [laughs] — see, you thought our family was weird – we’re really on the normal end of the scale…