Friday, November 13, 2015


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 

money ~ turkey ~ clock ~ light ~ garbage

They were submitted by:

The title may be a bit misleading. 


She picks up the garbage strewn around the room and chunks it in the bin. It’s been a long day, and the last thing she wants to do is clean up, but she has a compulsive streak that won’t let her get any rest until everything is set back in its place and the cleaning is all done. The turkey or what’s left of it has already been tucked inside plastic bags and set in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s lunch, so all that’s left to do is wipe the counters and get to the mound of dirty dishes in the sink. It might take two runs in the dishwasher to clean them all.

She stands at the sink washing the leftover grime down the drain lost in thought over the day--the way the tension always hung in the room whenever the family was together, no affection or warmth. Everyone was mechanical. A family of androids not programmed with any semblance of human emotion.

Sometimes she lays in bed at night staring at the wave of royal blue light coming from the digital numbers on her alarm clock on the little table beside her wondering if she actually knows what love feels like. Has she ever been loved? Does she know how to love? Is that a natural occurrence or does love have to be nutured? She thinks maybe you have to be loved to learn how to love and marvels at how broken she is, how desperate to feel something, anything other than numbness.

There’s not enough money in all the world, she guesses, that could fix that sort of void, to breech that harbor of nothingness. How do you teach someone to love who has never felt it?

She finishes stacking the first load of dishes in the washer, turns it on, and looks around the kitchen. She takes her purple Scotch Brite sponge and a bottle of Fantatik and goes to work on the counter and table washing away every speck that is out of place. She leans back against the counter to take in the fruits of her labor, her sparkling kitchen. If only her soul could be feel this clean, this fresh and shiny… if she could take a sponge and soak up all self-hatred from years of never feeling good enough maybe she could start anew.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: Baking In A Tornado Spatulas on Parade The Momisodes Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm Rena’s World Never Ever Give Up Hope Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles Eileen’s Perpetually Busy Confessions of a part-time working mom Someone Else’s Genius Climaxed The Angrivated Mom

Monday, November 9, 2015


I wrote this piece for a newsletter run by a pen pal and very close friend. I wanted to share it here for Sunday Confessions. Its about a term I coined called "interspection." The Sunday Confession prompt is "give" and since interspection requires you to give a piece of yourself to someone else, i thought it would be perfect.


I read a story not long ago about a man whose life was saved by something I like to call interspection. This man was fresh out of the military and subsequently entered a downward spiral ending with his decision to kill himself. The night he planned to commit suicide he walked around his neighborhood one last time taking in the sights when he happened upon a woman crying in the rain. Instead of going on about his business like many of us would do, he spoke to her, checked on her, and eventually asked her if she wanted to get out of the nasty weather and have a cup of coffee. The two of them walked over to a diner across the street and talked for a good long while about all sorts of topics. They laughed and pondered life, traded stories, and for a little while forgot about their respective problems. After he came back from a quick trip to the bathroom, he found that she had disappeared on him. In the article I read, this man had recently posted an ad looking to get in touch with this woman because after a full life, he wanted her to know he thought about her from time to time even more than 40 years later, and that the connection he felt in that diner is what gave him the will to go on living.

Interspection is powerful stuff.

We all know what it means to be introspective, to explore our own depths, thoughts, and emotions, but when two people (or more) apply that same level of exploration and scrutiny to one another, you get interspection. Like the man in the story I read, interspection requires letting down your walls and allowing a person see you for who you are and seeing them for who they are as well. It’s a process unencumbered by the usual detachments and baggage that we typically bring to social relationships after a lifetime of experiences. With interspection, you willingly make yourself vulnerable allowing another human being to see a part of yourself that very rarely gets recognition while simulataneously peeling back the layers to reveal that part of someone else.

In that process, you learn a lot about that person but you also begin to realize new information about yourself. You see parts of yourself reflected in that someone else, and you begin to notice things about you that need growth and improvement. It’s natural of course to compare ourselves to others as a way to measure our own selves, a process that begins typically in middle childhood, but this, interspection , is more than a simple compare and contrast type of effort. With interspection, you also form a bond unlike anything you’ve experienced before it. It’s not love or friendship though those can certainly be a side effect; it’s a strengthening of the ties of humanity that reside within us all and a true exchange of empathy.

We live in a world currently where people seem like shimmering apparitions lacking real substance and a full form. You friend someone on social media to get 140 character quips and anecdotes for likes and shares. Photo highlight reels scroll across tiny screens to show us a moment here and there, but is that humanity? Can you capture the full essence of a human being in a couple sentences and a photo here and there? Or even in letters that talk about what happened that week and what the weather is like? I don’t think so. I picture the people I know and even with my deep desire for interspective relationships, I mostly get flickering shapes of others built on the tiny bits of life they’re willing to share with us all… We are always too busy, too absorbed with our own selves and too caught up in daily life to stop for just one moment and truly let go with another human being. We love but keep secrets. We marry but keep up our walls and defenses. We have unbreakable bonds with our children yet still hold back the truths of our existence from them. We are all but ghosts to one another searching for a connection but not able to grasp anything solid.

The lack of connection we feel to others, that inability to full grasp onto those ties that bind us to other human beings is painful not only to ourselves but all of society. When very few people in the world take on solid form, when we fail to be able to truly put ourselves in another person’s shoes and see the world from their eyes instead of just our own, it becomes far too easy to dehumanize others even entire groups of people. It becomes all too easy to become desensitized to the plights other people might face and to care only for the things that are within our own reach. What we lose by focusing on ourselves and our own daily struggles is the critical piece to the puzzle that could begin to mend some of the violence and oppression that plagues our society as it stands now.

Interspection can change that. When we enter the world intent on letting ourselves be vulnerable and intent on strengthening our ties to other human beings on the deepest of levels, we foster empathy, compassion, and even our own humanity. We recognize ourselves in others, but, perhaps for the first time, we also begin to see what it could be like living their life and having their experiences. Opening up in such a way comes with its risks, but the benefits, for each person and all of society, could be incredible. Every interspective relationship could reach far beyond its own two participants rippling out and changing how each person interacts with others, shaping worldviews, and altering the fabric that connects us all to one another.

Take a deep breath, let your walls down with someone, and watch the world metamorphose.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My prompt is What would it be like to be a man for a day?

It was submitted by:


The feminist in me wants to take this question all through the ages and really dig deep into the political and sociocultural implications of what it is like in this world for a man versus a woman. Even the minor daily experiences can be extremely different between the genders.

I want to know what it’s like that. I want to know what it’s like to wake up and not be worried so much about fixing my hair just right, putting on makeup, getting every line on my lipstick absolutely perfect, to not be so concerned about getting a comment about my weight or to not be hyperfocused on how wide I look from the side for once. I realize men face similar pressures about appearance as women. We all have body issues and face issues and self esteem issues, but these problems seem compounded for women who face a horde of images and advertisements about staying youthful, staying fit but having a nice ass and a sizable rack, keeping thick, shiny hair and a perfect smile on our faces at all times. And we’re supposed to be personable and friendly and open to every comment and suggestion every man on the street makes towards us. So it would be wonderful to not have to worry just one day about unwanted comments, about not being told to smile, and about being seen as more than a comment box for suggestions of how I can better please men in the world that see me walking around thinking it’s okay to just be myself. I might be able to play video games online without feeling the need to disguise who I am. I don’t have to worry about rape threats or death threats for being a female gamer who vocally wishes for more strong, fully armored female protagonists.

I also expect that my ability to reason and to have a rationale state of mind would not be questioned nearly as often. I had a discussion on Facebook recently about a news article which was very controversial. And in the comments, a “friend” of mine made comments which I thought were completely without much thought which I think is unacceptable for such a highly charged topic. Either make a comment that’s well thought out or don’t comment. It’s pretty simple. Instead, though, he popped off at the mouth without reading anything else, without doing any research, and without looking into the matter at all—essentially the equivalent of commenting on an article you’ve never read. Instead, however, of actually doing the reading and the researching involved or commenting further on the actual conversation, when I called this person out, he said, “I’m sorry I upset you.” Would he have said “I’m sorry I upset you” if I were another guy? I highly doubt it. My vagina doesn’t make me any less capable of having a debate, and yes, his comments bothered me, but that doesn’t mean I need to be patronized like I’m an emotional wreck that needs to change her damn tampon.

Would I feel differently about the topic of rape? Would it be something that isn’t constantly on the forefront of my brain? I think not. I think I could go out with whoever I wanted unconcerned about the risks… I could be like those guys on Plenty of Fish who message me inviting me to their homes in their first message for drinks and whatever else. When I message them back about just how risky that is for a woman, they seem nonplussed like I am some kind of paranoid freak to be concerned about meeting a strange man in his home and plying myself with booze. And, as always, if I did and something terrible happened to me, I would catch the blame perhaps even by these same sorts of men. They would ask questions like why would I go to a stranger’s house and weaken myself with booze. Maybe if I had a dangler between my legs, I could go where I want without *as much* concern about my reputation or about being overpowered or about being believed if things go wrong.

But ultimately I think it would be eye-opening. Would the differences be all that noticeable, I wonder? Certainly, I assume so because identifying as a woman comes with a lot of social pressures and stigmas and oppressions. I think it would make me appreciate my own struggles even more, but I also think it would let me see struggles that men face that I can’t readily identify from my own position in life, and that, ultimately, would help my actions as a feminist—a benefit that could have a ripple effect spreading further with each person share my experiences with. No matter what it would be like for me to be a man for a day, I would come out better for having those experiences and understanding them.

Also, it would suck to have to stand up to pee. I rather like having that time to rest for a minute. 


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes Spatulas on Parade Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Never Ever Give Up Hope The Lieber Family Blog Rena’s World Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles Confessions of a part-time working mom Just a Lovely Day Someone Else’s Genius Climaxed The Angrivated Mom