Sunday, June 24, 2012

Inflammatory Things

I'm trying to avoid posting stuff like this on facebook, because I really hate status arguments (so pointless). I've been dog-sitting for my parents, and unlike Mitch and I, they have like a million channels. So of course I've been watching way more TV than is necessary for life (Note: none TV is necessary for life). In particular I've been enjoying Sister Wives.

I'm pretty sure most people are familiar with the premise: it's a reality show about a polygamous family. The husband is definitely a huge dweeb (c'mon, Kody with a K?), but it at least appears that the family is relatively functional. The kids are clean, well-fed, and enrolled in school, and the wives are realistically cheerful. They just seem like a really huge family; not much different than the Duggars I suppose.

Anyway, amidst all this push to legalize same-sex marriage (of which I am a proponent), I feel like maybe we should also legalize polygamy.

Much of the argument in support of same-sex marriage regards access to benefits and destigmatization of families with same-sex parents, not to mention the fact that two consenting adults should be allowed to marry each other just because. Seriously, just because. It has no bearing on anyone else's marriage, and the kids in these relationships are no better or worse for it, so just leave it.

Along that same vein, why shouldn't three or four (or more) consenting adults be allowed to marry? Isn't this type of prohibition just another example of banning a lifestyle that we might not understand?

Personally, I don't understand polyamory either. Even though I'm pretty sure I would be the alpha wife, I really have no desire to share Mitch's manly resources with other women. Conversely, I also have no desire to manage a houseful of husbands who don't know how to scrub a bathtub. Regardless of my own insecurities/laziness, polygamous families are also stigmatized and denied equal access to certain benefits. I'm sure there are some deeper economic, tax, and insurance issues that perhaps could exploited by polygamous families, but that's beyond the scope of what I feel like talking about here (it's late, and I'm starting to ramble). And I believe bringing these families out of the woodwork might help regulate some of the darker aspects of polygamy, namely child brides and rape. Maybe it's the tiny (very tiny) libertarian in me, but I just don't think the issue of who marries whom should be left up to the government.

Then again, I've also been watching a lot of Iron Chef, which also makes me feel like they should make it legal to marry a wheel of Gruyere.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

silver lining

I never thought I would want to stay home with my babies. I grew up with a mother who told me (in so many words) that I should never have to be financially dependent on my partner. Repeatedly. A lot. So I have some pretty strong feelings about education and staying relevant in a career field. I always just figured that I would pop out a baby, take my obligatory 12 weeks of maternity leave, and head back to the office. Oh that I could have a few words with myself from a year ago.

I still want to head back to the office, but over the last few months, I had started to feel like I want to have more flexibility and time at home with the Nugget. I found myself daydreaming about trips to the zoo and play dates, Pinning craft activities and homemade baby food recipes. But I kept telling myself that it wasn't the right time; I was finishing my MPH and needed to put my husband through grad school.

Lucky for me, my boss called me last week to tell me I was losing my job. A grant we submitted got shot down by the NIH. BAM. No more funding. In four to six weeks I would be packing up four and a half years of office trinkets and paperwork. She got me an interview, but it turned out this other lab could not hire me full time. At most, they could offer me four days a week. Apparently I'm just too damn expensive (I know...feel sorry for me).

I had always justified working full time as a mom by thinking that I needed to so that we could save for retirement, Nugget's college, and pay off student loans. I wanted to do all of these things very quickly. We live well within our means, but I get very anxious about having any kind of debt, and the debt that comes with graduate school can be intimidating, no matter how much it increases your earning potential. But here presents this opportunity to have some extra time at home with our baby, and I suddenly find myself feeling differently. This job situation is, at best, temporary, and we would save some money on childcare (which is like, totally outrageous by the way). It's only funded through the beginning of 2014, which is a good time for tossing that kid's ass in full time day care.

So, I took it. Granted it's only one work day fewer per week, but that translates to a 20% decrease in pay. I had always anticipated working 60 hour weeks once I finished grad school so I could rake in the big bucks. Instead, for the next 18 months we will water down our hand soap and and stop buying organic ketchup. I hope Nugget's cool with community college.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

8 months

Just kidding. 23 weeks. But some lady told me I looked like I was 7 or 8 months pregnant, and then told me, as I was picking up a granola bar, that I shouldn't eat sugar.

First, I would like to briefly explain the above picture, then I will address the discrepancy between my appearance and my gestation. Mitch and I went on our babymoon (pregcation?) this past weekend, and this was the only picture we took. Because we suck at taking pictures. It was at an art museum in Minneapolis, and the piece was titled "Jackie on stage with a pink spot." There were cigarette butts on the floor. And yes, I jumped on it when security wasn't looking.

So here's the thing with unsolicited comments and advice to a pregnant lady, the particular pregnant lady in question being myself; I don't really care. I suppose I should be offended by the comment that I look huge, but it just doesn't really matter. The woman in the aforementioned scenario was a refugee from Somalia, and I'm pretty sure she's not used to seeing well-nourished women carry children. But even if she wasn't from a country in a food crisis, it still wouldn't matter to me. My body and my baby are different from every other baby/body combination ever made, and people are stupid. These two preconditions combined with social interaction just beg for insulting and/or judgmental discourse. It usually makes for good entertainment, at least. Further, I've been one of the stupid people before, misjudging someone's gestation, even since I've been pregnant (sorry Alice). So really, getting angry doesn't do me any good, and I can't wine their stupidity away right now anyway. Thanks for the advice, lady; you're probably right about the sugar.