Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Being a Democrat in Arizona

Nothing reminds me more acutely that I am in Arizona than when people talk politics. Out here “talk of politics” seems really an invitation to mock and insult the president. Though I can’t say I begrudge people their right to do those things (God knows I did when it was G.W. in office) but I’m always surprised that here people do it so openly. In Northern Virginia there is that polite reticence of not saying too much in one direction or another politically, as one does not know how the other people lean. The hardest thing for me to do is when these people begin downing the road for insulting the President, I try politely to either steer the conversation or start my own sidebar

On the radio this morning, there was a commentary on the wasting of tax dollars – this argument just feeds into already held beliefs that the federal government is some nameless drone out of Washington DC that cannot relate to life here in the Wild West. In this part of the country, the main focus is always about being fiscally conservative. I like to imagine its because so many people are transplants to Arizona, they worked and made their money elsewhere and now live here like some curmudgeonly old gold miner. They don’t care about women’s bodies or who is sleeping with whom, but God forbid you touch a penny of theirs, than may all the wrath of God reign down on you. I do speculate if that is because so many Arizonian’s are newly rich or still striving to be rich.

When people talk about President Obama this way, I wonder what they did when he was running for election – it must have gotten very mean out this way, very quickly on! I think I read somewhere that President Obama didn’t even bother visiting Arizona.

This upcoming presidential election should prove to be an extremely acrimonious and messy time,

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Happyness Project

This past weekend I was thinking of some of my favorite things and being in a rather lazy mood, I thought I would list five that always brighten me up!

  1. Baby’s hugs – I love when baby hugs me, they are so cute and tight, I can feel through the hug that she really loves me, I am important to her. Its an amazing feeling!!
  2. Baby’s babbling – ok, as a new parent, I think I’m allowed to pick lots of baby things, lately baby has been “talking” a lot, not words but babbling and I LOVE it! Its so cute! The best part is that she seems to know what she is saying, there is intonation, fluctuation, just no actual words; but it is adorable!
  3. A rainy day – living in Arizona, I miss rainy days so much!! We get maybe 5 days of rain and that too rarely do we get rain during the day. Its sunny every day, I know you would think that is paradise but it gets old quick. You have to have some rain to really appreciate the sunny days, to me living every moment in sun is like I’m in that movie, “The Truman Show.”
  4. Watching my British comedies. I love me the “Are You Being Served,” Vicar of Dibley,” “As Time Goes By,” and Absolutely Fabulous.” These shows are hilarious and always manage to illicit a laugh from me.
  5. Shopping, I am well aware that this is not a particularly great habit to have, but I do love shopping, it provides only a temporary high, enough for me (especially when I find a bargain!).

What makes you happy??

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Last Friday I was very tired and decided in order to stay awake and take care of baby, I would have to turn the television on (I don’t usually like to turn the telly on too much with the baby around, because she stares at it and I can just see the brain cells atrophying.). Began flipping the channels around and caught onto this scene of a girl in a huge wedding dress, like something out of “Gone With the Wind.” What the heck??!!

Turns out it was My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on TLC. Have you seen it?! Its this series from England that follows the weddings of the English Gypsy and Irish Traveller’s communities. The what you might be saying…I was of the same mind. I had no idea there were still gypsies living in England, practicing gypsies. These are not the stereotypical gypsies one pictures in one’s mind, with the bandanas and gold hoop earrings wearing women, but rather typical English people. I swear if I saw them on the street, I would think they are just typical English folk. Apparently they are highly discriminated against in England and Ireland, they are practicing Catholics, they have huge families, they still live somewhat nomadic lives and what was most surprising to me, they maintain the cultural norms of under educating their women.

The show follows these gypsy girls through their big day and I say girls because most of the brides are age 17 or 18. There was one at 22 who was considered old. All the girls interviewed indicated that they had been pulled out of school around age 12 or 13 and that was fine with them because their aim in life was to be a wife. The show emphasized how the girls lead very sheltered lives, how none of the girls were allowed to go out of the house without their parent’s permission, how the girls generally only dated one person, always lived at home before marriage and followed their parent’s strictures. All of this, fair enough but what bothered me was that for all this talk of being so sheltered, these girls all dressed like prostitutes! Daisy Duke Shorts, tiny tops and than I noticed when pictures would be snapped of the girls, pre-wedding, they would often be in VERY provocative poses, like something out of Playboy. Also, all the girls would dance like something out of a heavy metal or rap video.

The whole thing is just creepy to me, I can’t place my finger on it, but I just feel like there is more going on behind the scenes than we the audience are privy too. For instance, none of the dad’s in the series seem to have super steady and high paying jobs and yet they can all afford these exorbitantly priced dresses and in the back of mind is the stories I’ve heard of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors in the gypsy community.

Good luck trying to find information on this secretive society, I’ve tried and there is little out there….