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The Restraining Order Chronicles

11 Aug

It was Monday morning and I was getting to venture out for the day to try to lighten my spirits after an unfortunate trip to the ER the night prior. I heard a light knock on the door, and while I’m generally inclined to ignore unannounced visitors, I decided to answer on the off chance that the police officer from the night before needed more information.

When I opened the door, there was a strange woman standing on my doorstep with a white plastic trash bag filled with what looked like clothes. She immediately and without invitation began telling me her life story – how her significant other was a meth addict and abusive, how her child was taken away – the ramblings of someone obviously stressed. While I listened patiently, I knew she was surely a runaway from an abusive home looking for a helping hand.

I was right about one part.

She continued to ramble on about how her child had been given to her significant others family, which resulted in a restraining order against her. She explained she had to buy her child, Tracker, school clothes but the restraining order prevented her from giving them to him. She said she didn’t know anyone in the area other than church people, who, according to her, were unfit for the task of dropping the clothes off because of their large numbers of children.

Wanting to help, I obliged and took down her name, her son’s name, the location of the home at which to drop the clothes, and the guardian’s name. She continued carrying on about her other 4 children and their father and having to buy them school clothes. Of course, amidst the blabber, she did find a moment or two to thank me.

I took the white trash bag she’d been holding, and closed the door. As I walked back through my house, I got a sinking feeling in my gut.

Who in their right minds gets in the middle of a restraining order? And who even knows if this lady is in her right mind…she is just as likely to be on meth as anyone with all that rambling.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I completely regretted my decision to help. I heard another tap on the door, and was reluctant to answer it; I had enough crazy for one morning. By the time I mustered up the will to engage this woman again, I moved around the corner only to see her walk across the front of my apartment and look into the window well into the basement. Sinking feeling aside…I now felt worried!

I stepped back around the corner for fear she’d see me, and when I popped back around it, she was walking toward my door again. I answered it, reluctantly, but no one was there. I immediately locked all the door and windows, including the back patio gate. After all, what’s to say that she wasn’t out for something more than help violating a restraining order.

It’s been 3 days, and I decided I no longer wanted to be involved, so a trip to the police department was in order. I had no desire to get this woman, “Tamera like camera”, in trouble, but I also didn’t want to be third-party harassing these people. Alas…the police department couldn’t do anything, and I couldn’t just NOT do anything with the clothes, so onward I went to the Railroad Diagonal.

Tamera like camera had given me two different houses to visit, so I parked my car in between both. It appeared that one of the people I was directed to speak with was sitting outside, so I politely approached and addressed her. I’m not sure if she was deaf, blind in her good eye (the other one had a patch over it), ignoring me, on heavy medication, or all of the above, but all of my attempts to get her attention, which numbered several, were futile. I didn’t even get a glance from 8 feet away.

As it was starting to rain, I trotted across the way to the other home and knocked on the door, first lightly, then harder. No answer.

I set the bag down, which had been labeled, and got into my car and left. If they have any questions, the note I pinned on got ripped off and fell in one-eyed Patty’s yard. Maybe she should’ve answered me.

 

What is something you immediately regretted helping someone with? How did you resolve it?

Don’t Be a Victim: An Ode to Personal Responsibility

25 Jul

Let’s talk about a dicey subject.

Victim shaming.

Often considered an integral piece of rape culture,  victim shaming is generally known as any behavior, attitude, or stance that places blame on the victim for the incident or causes the victim to feel ashamed of his or her actions secondary to blaming the incident on the victim’s actions. As a part of rape culture, statements such as “she shouldn’t have been wearing that” or “she shouldn’t have drank that much” are common ways to propogate feelings of rape being a result of a woman’s actions, instead of that of a man’s (I’m using these particular pronouns because of the statistical frequency of rape to particular genders, however, I do very much acknowledge the presence of rape of men by men or by women – I’m not forgetting you fellas, I promise!).

It is important that we help to eliminate this brand of propogation of rape culture by teaching men and women what consent is and means and understanding that blaming anyone but the perpetrator is not okay.

I have, however, seen a lot of social media coverage of things that are basically telling anyone to throw caution to the wind. Run naked and drunk through that dark alley into that windowless van, young girl! Rape isn’t your fault!

Well, no. Rape isn’t your fault, and I do not want anyone thinking that I am suggesting that. I’m going to continue to use this scenario for explanatory purposes. If you do, in fact, run naked and drunk through a dark alley in a windowless van, this is not an excuse to rape you. It is not a reason to rape you. You should not be raped in this situation, or ever. (It is an excuse to provide you with a warm blanket, and probably call the police because a safe place for you to go is needed.) I am also not, in any way, attempting to make any person feel ashamed of whatever experiences they have been or will go through.

BUT…(yes, there is a but)…don’t be a victim.

A dark alley probably isn’t a great place to walk, regardless of your gender, how you are dressed, or your degree of sobriety. Getting into a strangers vehicle is not a great idea regardless of your gender, how you are dressed, or your degree of sobriety. Doing these things while drunk and naked is an even worse idea regardless of your gender or how you are dressed.

These things are unneccessary risks, especially in combination.

What it all comes down to is this:

The only person responsible for you…is you.

Please. Take personal responsibility for yourself. Be accountable for your actions. Be safe.

I recently saw a social media post about a girl who got hit by a car because she was playing Pokemon GO explaining that it was the game’s fault. There is no personal responsibility in that statement. It is terrible that she got hit by a car, and we would all hope that the driver in that situation was paying attention and had enough time to come to a complete stop without hitting the girl, but the fact of the matter is that this girl needs to understand that in the future, she should decrease the risk level she is taking by being more proactive in her own environment.

If you have done an acceptable degree of prevention, whatever the incident, and the incident still occurs, then at the very least you can say I did my part. It isn’t my fault. Because the last thing anyone wants to feel is that feeling of maybe I could have done this differently, or this, or that…The less someone has to face these feelings after a rape, the closer they are to healing.

We can tell everyone all the time from a young age until we are blue in the face that “no means no” or “lack of communiction is not consent” but just as it is with anything, variation in the human element means that rape will always happen. It is a lonely world out there, and I can only hope that there is someone out there that cares about you, but at the end of the day, we are all selfish human beings with our own needs to take care of.

That’s okay. We also try to be decent humans to each other and support each others interests.

But if you aren’t being responsible, there is no guarantee that someone else will be responsible. Empower yourself. Take the precautions needed when you need to take them. It’s okay.

What do you think of personal responsibility? What is something that you do to take charge when you’re feeling unsafe in your environment?

High Hopes for the New Year: Update, Helping Those in Need

27 Mar

Back just a few months ago, when everyone was making New Year’s Resolutions, I posted a blog called “High Hopes for the New Year“. So far, so good.

Here is the update of what I’ve collected so far. It doesn’t look (or feel) like much, but the goal isn’t to save the world. The goal is to inspire others, and to even help a little bit. Something, after all, is better than nothing.

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The items I’ve collected, January – March:

  • Pads
  • Socks
  • Tampons
  • Razors
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Brown Gravy (2)
  • Lipton Noodle Soup
  • Hormel Compleats Smokey Bacon Parmesan Rigatoni
  • Motts Cinnamon Apple Sauce
  • Brown Rice
  • Canned Mandarin Oranges
  • Canned Cut Green Beans
  • Canned Sliced Peaches
  • Campbells Vegetable Soup
  • Chef Boyardee Beefaroni

That is 15 items, representing 15 trips to the store over 3 months. That is 5 trips per month to the grocery store. By the end of the year, that will equal 60 items.

I would still love to have someone join me! The rules are simple: 1) items have to be generally non-perishable, 2) you have to buy something each time you go to the grocery store, 3) items don’t need to be large or extravagent

 

Aside 31 Jan

Confession time:

I feel bad when I’m being trained and I know more than the other people there.

Please, Call Me Fat

30 Jan

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If you haven’t seen the article yet, Matel has officially announced the release of the new Barbies: petite, tall, and curvy. Find the article here. You can also check out the various skin tones, ethnicities, eye shapes, and face shapes (and order your own Barbie!) at the Barbie.com website.

The new Barbies are absolutely gorgeous! That isn’t to say that I didn’t find original Barbie gorgeous, or even that I had a problem with her portrayal of women’s bodies. I didn’t. But these new Barbie’s are so beautiful! I was absolutely thrilled when I first laid eyes on curvy Barbie’s figure; it was so similar to mine!

But alas, we decided to call her curvy (which I won’t say she isn’t). Marketing a fat Barbie would’ve been a nightmare, so I get it (don’t get me started about “curvy women’s clothing). I’m also sure that half of the women out there, regardless of size or struggle, would be up in arms about that.

But I’m here to say please, call me fat.

After all, it’s what I am. I’m blessed that my fat falls in some of the more desirable places, but those curves are still made up of fat. We’ve decided that in order to be sensitive, we need to stop saying fat, but that just disguises the issue. If being fat is okay, then saying someone is fat is okay. I don’t want to be attractive because I’m fat, and I don’t want to be unattractive because I’m fat, I want to be attractive regardless of it. When we refuse to say “fat”, it feels like we should not only be ashamed of the word but of ourselves, too. Of course, I don’t want to disregard others struggles, because there are so many body types that could also be considered “fat” or “curvy”.

I am fat. I weigh 250 lbs. I’m okay with it. You should be too.

What is a descriptive term you feel we’ve removed from our repertoire to try to be “sensitive”, but it ends up working against us? How do you feel about “fat” vs. “curvy”?

30 Days of Online Dating: Day 30 (The Final Day)

29 Dec

Dearest Readers,

I thank you so much for joining me on this 30 day adventure. I’ve learned some about myself, a lot about dating sites, and I challenged myself to do some things that were terrifying, even if it was behind a virtual smokescreen.

Alas, we’ve reached our last day, and it isn’t bittersweet at all!! This has been a lot of work, without any tangible pay-off. Now that I don’t have much in the way of new things to fill you in on, I’ll do a recap of the last 30 days along with some highlights

Day 1: driven to quiet desperation by discovering a someone got a someone, I joined HowAboutWe.
Day 5: I got asked out by a guy who seems pretty much perfect, except for location
Day 21: No more potential matches
Day 22: I wrote about orgasms
Day 28: 1 more potential match
Day 29: a superintendent showed interest, but he lives in Glenwood Springs

Messages Sent: 7
Messages Received: 0
Conversations: 3
Intrigued by:
66 
Mutual Intrigues: less than 10, of which even fewer resulted in any kind of conversation

Things learned (general): It is exhausting to search and search and message people and then get nothing in return
Things learned about myself: a lot, but mostly that I still don’t like the idea of dating and meeting strangers…I’m good at relationships, but the part the proceeds the relationships
Something I challenged myself to do: message people first, openly tell people their pictures are cute

Most bizarre/shocking: Still has to be longrod21 with his wanting to hook up. There are better places for that *cough*tinder*cough*

 

Number of dates: 0

 

I won’t be deactivating my profile. If I remember correctly, you can still message people now without paying. I won’t however, be actively participating (meaning I’m not going to be browsing men, but rather, just responding if someone reaches out).

What are your thoughts? What should I do next (and don’t say Tinder!)?

30 Days of Online Dating: Day 23

21 Dec

I must say that I really wish flux capacitor guy wasn’t in New Mexico. I’m not quite sure how to skirt around the long distance issue, but I’m enjoying chatting with him (even if the conversation isn’t quick back and forth).

I’m also looking at some potential self-sabotage. I briefly mentioned it yesterday, and I’m not quite sure if that is what is going on or not. I keep looking at guys in the area and for some reason I can’t click “intrigued” or I can’t message them. I can’t tell if it’s because I have difficulty wrapping my head around getting a boyfriend, if going on a first date is just terrifying, or if there is really a reason behind my lack of interest. There is definitely a possibility for that last one, which would be the best reason. I look through these profiles, and with some guys I just have difficulty seeing myself with them. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll keep you updated.

Messages Sent: 1
Messages Received: 1 
Conversations: 1

About the guy: 26, Environmental Engineer with a masters, 6’4″ *swoon*,  he says his perfect Sunday ends with “nuzzling with a honey badger”, secretly wants to be “a flux capacitor”
His date: How about we…Skype
My reservations: He lives in New Mexico :(


Intrigued by:
6 (almost exclusively just picture “likes”) – had to perform a search for these guys
Mutual Intrigues: 0

Things learned (general): the number of bisexual men is minimal (unsure why that is)
Things learned about myself: I’m banking on cute cat guy because cute cat guy is cute, even though he was like the first guy I was intrigued by…
Something I challenged myself to do: nothing today, but something tells me I should probably try to connect with someone that my brain is telling me not to…

Most bizarre/shocking: nothing to report today, either…maybe that I’m making some long distance considerations that are probably unhealthy? *sigh*

 

Want to follow my dating excursion? Go here to begin the journey:30 Days of Online Dating