Confession of a Feminist

As a single woman in her mid-thirties, with a career-long rap sheet in the culinary industry, you would assume that I would support the #metoo movement.  I have stories, I have harassment, I have glass ceiling lower than a garden apartment.

I am angered by the way I have been treated, I am angered that I put up with it to some degree. I am mad that I thought this “locker room talk” would make me stronger, I am mad that I thought my career was more important than my dignity.

I have never been physically harassed beyond butt grabbing and boob groping, but I can comfortably say that I have been verbally harassed just about every day on the job.

“You gotta have thick skin if you are going to make it in this industry.”

Christ on a stick, I have heard that so many times I want to puke.

It’s not always words, it’s glancing, it’s licking of the lips (I know, ew), it’s the brushing against the butt repeatedly, it’s the unwanted advances, it’s subtly lewd comments, it’s the never being taken seriously because of the way that I look.  I have not been granted second interviews for management positions because of my innocent smile, soft eyes, amiable nature.  Every time I tell anyone that I work in the foodservice industry, people always assume that I must be a server.  I am a damn fine cook and a successful chef,  I don’t rely on talent or beauty, I rely on skill, determination, drive, and a great sense of style.

I do not back the #metoo movement because social media is click bait, and that is it.  #metoo a damn trend and right now at some point soon it will trend downward.  There is no fight in a hashtag.  There is no march, there is no riot, there is nothing beyond words of disapproval.

Last year’s person of the year was a monster who insists still that the title of the Time magazine award should be REVERTED to “man” of the year.

This year’s Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is a fucking hashtag.

GET REAL.

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ARE MORE THAN A MAGAZINE COVER.

Little Year 2018

Happy Little Year everyone!

February 8th marks the beginning preparations for Chinese New Year.  This 8 day period is the tailgate before the year flips over to the year of the dog.  The year of the Rooster is in its twilight.

To prepare, houses are cleaned to sweep away bad luck and prayers are offered to the stove god.  I personally believe in spring cleaning in the heart of winter, so I will be busy dusting out the old, making room for the new.  I will offer sacrifices to please the stove god by keeping its hearth warm and its belly full with braising and roasting.

Watered Down

Dear people of the millennial clan,

Is La Croix going to water down the term used to describe every other brand of sparkling water, just like how Coca-Cola has replaced the words soda and pop, not to mention any competing brand names like Pepsi and RC?  Like how Band-Aid means a sticky bandage? I don’t even know the nonbranded way to ask for a Band-Aid. Is La Croix going to be the new Rollerblade of in-line skating?  Is La Croix going to be the Kleenex of nose tissues?

I am just wondering because I have come to love, truly, calling all sparkling water bubblers.  Can we just decide to say “bubbler” instead of “La Croix?

Yours Truly,

Marigold.

It’s not a Diet

It’s not.  It is a time of restricted eating.  Diet denotes a period of limiting food to one’s body with the desired intention to lose weight.  A time of restricted eating means that there are many foods that I avoid, but I fill my belly 3 times a day to its happy content with the desired intention of feeling great.

This year’s Paleo Challenge is geared towards reforming my dietary habits for longevity, with the 30 day period as a launching pad for the rest of the year.  It is about getting reacquainted with not having wine every day, following a consistent regime of yoga and exercise, thinking about what goes into my mouth.  I want to be healthier in mind, body, and spirit for a lot longer than a mere 30 day period.

I don’t love giving up bread, cheese, beans, booze, but I do.  It truly makes me feel great, it makes me refocus on the importance of keeping indulgences to a minimum. It is a focused time to cut the crap in order to motivate myself to be a better human in general.

Appetizing

Why are people eating Tide Pods? You know the dishwasher tabs, a type of soap you put in a machine that washes your dishes so that your hands don’t get wet?

And why do I even have to ask this question?  Throughout history, people consistently say that the world is the most crazy at that certain time, but does this not take the cake?

I did, I fucking googled “why are people eating tide pods?” because I was too embarrassed to actually ask someone.   I am just the type of person you would expect to ask this question: a very un-tech savvy mid-30’s lady who is pretty much consistently in a bathrobe.  Yes, I actually type into the google search box: why are people eating tide pods?  Question mark and all- I just HAD to know.

And you know what I found out?  Nothing.  I still have no idea why people are eating dishwasher tabs.  One explanation is that they vaguely resemble candy.  An explanation which raises even more questions than it proposes to answer, but I do not have time to dissect this new wormhole right now. What I do know is that I have read about it enough times to google the Tide Pod phenomena.

The Mystery will remain until someone takes the time to explain it to me.  But since you didn’t ask, here is my explanation:

“The internet is not making us smarter, and this is the evidence. Direct fucking evidence.  No need to litigate, this question is sufficient proof to win the case of “The Value of the Internet V Reading a Book.”

Smartphones are making us addicted to their bright screens and moving content, but all this fluidity is keeping us distracted enough to not actually care about the content.  We just like to dive into the internet zone- a place where we are entertained in whatever fashion we fancy,  distracted from the world around us where we can judge other people’s bad life decisions, a comforting spot where we can put off our chores and the horrors of having to take care of oneself.  Smartphones with their vivid screens are addictive- the more you dig, the deeper you need to go.

We use our smartphones for everything and all the time.  It has become an extension of the self to such an astonishing degree.  One does not do anything without the phone in hand-eat, poop, socialize.  ne does not leave the house without the phone in the pocket, one does not ride the train without eyes glued to the glowing screen, one does not waste time in any other way besides the comforting hand-hug of that indispensable phone. Many people sleep with them in bed at night.  When was the last time your trusty phone has left your side?  When was the last time you left it out of arm’s reach intentionally?

It’s like why read Shakespeare when there is Netflix?”

-Marigold

New Year Reflection

I am ringing in the new year just like everybody else- spending hours at the gym, undergoing a diet overhaul, setting new careers goals, making travel plans.

This year is starting on the left foot.  I am plunging into this year like none before- namely like a normal person.  The motivation behind my normality is because of the current status of unemployment- a theme that will come up occasionally over the coming months until I solidify any future career plans.

Today I am not going to dwell on the events of the past, I will save that burden for the future.  For now, I am looking forward to hearing more from Marigold, I am looking forward to having a healthy relationship with future career endeavors, I am hoping that good luck will shine some golden rays this way.

This year is about setting new goals that at benefit my personal growth rather than my career trajectory.  This year I am starting out the year wanting to get in shape and sharpen my creative eye.  I have a lot of yoga to practice, a lot of laps to swim, many colored pencils to wear down, a lot of clicking on my computer keyboard to tap.  I have a lot of music that needs to be listened to, I have a lot of meals that need to be cooked, I have a lot of pictures that need to be taken, a lot of ink that needs to be spilled.  I have a lot of work to do, and not a lot of money to make.

This is a year of rebuilding and I am just tickled to see what unfolds.

Marco Polo

I think of things to write about, but when the time comes, I go stone cold.  Is this writers block?  If so, then maybe I don’t have what it takes to write a book, maybe I don’t have the charisma to hostess a blog, to live my life by the way of pen, by the stroke of the ink, by the code of the keypad.

I get inspired to write only when I cannot, namely when I am struggling against sleep, tossing in the sea of the comforter, tangled in the seaweed of the sheet, mind racing while the body cannot.

So here I am, hanging out with myself on a late fall evening, bored and avoiding Marigold.

Maybe we broke up and I was too distracted to even notice, maybe that’s it.  Whenever I call on Marigold, when I am ready, when I have time, I have already lost motivation because of how long I have avoided my blog baby.  Marigold has run away, and I do not blame her.

It’s like I am nervous, or scared, intimidated, unclear, and for the first time in  my life, unopinionated.

It certainly is strange, but I miss Marigold, and I do hope she starts to stop by a little more often than never.

XO

Marianna

A Toast for My Friends

Sarah Lucille has changed my life.  I can say with confidence that everyone in this room can related to and understand this fact.

Like all of her closest friends, I met Sarah in the water.  Our friendship grew through the mutual struggle in competitive swimming, our respect for each other blossomed in countless hours bouncing back and forth off the pool’s walls, trying with all the might in our skinny arms to be the absolute best swimmer that we could be.  Despite the stress, competition, emotion, and simple act of growing up, Sarah was without a doubt supportive, encouraging, engaging, smart, well rounded, and of course, excited.

Sarah Lucille changed my life when she introduced me to the world of synchronized swimming.

We were both at of U of M, a large and intimidating university not very much like the smallish city from whence we came.  In trying to carve out a sense of self,  it was very intimidating to be in a sea of students, all the same age, and everyone really good at something.  I personally was so average in intelligence, so below average in social skills, so under coached in how to fit in, but so ready for the challenge of starting out my adult life away from the coziness of my where I came from. I wanted to find a niche, a way to make the experience negotiable, I wanted an extracurricular to fill in the gap between school and the new found party life.

A few weeks after synchro practice began, I got a call from Sarah telling me that I have join this team.  She raved about how you didnt need any experience to join, about how great the group was, how beautiful the olympic sized pool and diving well were, how this top notch facility would let us swim in its glorious pool.  She really saw the potential in the team. That little push was all it took for me to dive into the strange world of synchronized swimming- sport that blends ballet and water polo.  I can say with confidence that if it wasnt for Sarah, I never would have joined, I never would have stuck with it, I never would have the honor to consider myself a member of that team.

Seriously, I am sure that no one knows too much about this obscure sport, so let me give you a few details.  Its like dancing in water, it’s being graceful while looking like a wet dog, it’s defying all natural instincts when you are faced with the water: you keep your eyes open, you have to maintain a clear sense of direction while also upside down and submerged underwater, and you have smile all while wearing a sequenced bathing suit, have your face painted with clownlike make-up, and your hair literally glued to your head with gelatin.  Most importantly, you have to stay clear headed and in control while under pressure, underwater, while wet and confused. You cannot touch the bottom, you have to count music the entire time, and you have to copy the movements of seven other people.  It sounds impossible and it felt like that the entire 4 years I was on the team.  In the beginning, we would be SO proud when there was just a few seconds of actual synchronization.

This was an extremely hard sport, but good lord did we have a good time.  We had a lot of adventures and I learned more about myself then than ever before or since.

Being a part of this team is the single most important event of my college years.  I would not be the same person today  if I was not able to be on this team and share this traumatic event with Sarah.  And just like in highschool, she was fun, encouraging, creative, energetic, supportive, engaging.  Never critical, needy, judgemental or negative.  She always wanted me to succeed and be a great swimmer and pushed me to keep on trying even though I had no natural talent nor grace.

In getting to know the other bridemaids, it has been stated again and again that Sarah has helped everyone push there boundaries, to encourage everyone to try a little harder, go a little further, never give up or give in.  She has made people stronger, more confident, more talented all with in her style of happy encouragement and determination.

Sarah has an infectious personality that spreads cheer, joy, and optimism throughout every situation.  I can say with confidence that everyone in this room can relate to and understand with fact.

Sarah has a level of enthusiasm for life  and consideration for friends that has been unmatched.  Until I met Cy.  It did not take a long amount of time for me to realize this.  As soon as I got to know Cy I was convinced that Sarah met her perfect match.  Being with both of them together makes to best of times great, the happiest of circumstances hilarious, the simplest of events remarkable.

With all the stress and overload of details leading up to the wedding, with taking on the silly task of catering their own wedding, welcoming old friends from far and wide, setting up family and accommodations, filling up her binder with all the details, there has never been any moment of doubt that this wedding is not the best idea ever.  It is so inspiring to see a couple so perfectly matched and so damn ready to shared their vows,  without a trace of doubt in their decision to pledge a lifetime dedication to the other person.

Cheers to friends who make you a better person and cheers to the inspiration found in love.

Thank you Mrs Hans and Mr Van Wesep for including me in your celebration.  I look forward to your shared shennagins and adventures as married couple.  Love you both and am prividelged to have you guys in my life.