Archive for June, 2010

Done

June 30, 2010

I found one nit the size of Newark in my nitpick edit (an easily corrected nit, but distressing just by its very existence), but I am done none the less.  Doubtless there are still errors to be found, but all that are going to be found for the moment have been found. 

Time to take the rest of the day off.

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Some Quick Advice

June 29, 2010

Never waste time saying things like “This isn’t possible!” and stopping your thinking there.  If saying that is just a prelude to your explanation about what is really happening, that’s fine . . . just be sure to be right.

And if you don’t have an explanation why it is suddenly literally raining cats and dogs, do yourself a favor and don’t waste time boggling.  Just open your umbrella and try not to step in a poodle.

Status Update

June 28, 2010

My final “nitpick” edit is still nicely on schedule to be complete before the end of this month, but since this final stretch is taking up a lot of my energy/focus, blog posts here for the next few days are likely to be brief.

As soon as I’m done though, I’ll post that rant I mentioned last week.

A Brief Silence

June 25, 2010

Silence, and a candle for all those people in your life you were once close to and now .  . . for one reason or another, you’re not anymore.

Misconceptions (Part Four)

June 24, 2010

“He’s definitely a boy,” the female tech doing the ultrasound said.  “His hand’s in the way a bit, but that just makes him more definitely a boy.  Guys start like that from the womb, you know.”

. . .

While I have a funny, ranting retort to that statement, I’m going to table that for now so we can keep focus.  THAT is what I’m talking about though, the “He’s only a guy, you know which head he thinks with. -wink, wink-” mentality. 

Laugh if you will (and some of you will), but ask yourself just how exactly does that kind of thinking differ from the days when girls were considered mentally deficient because “obviously” no “mere woman” was capable of grasping complex concepts?  She was a woman, after all!

It’s garbage, all of it. 

And it’s garbage my son will have to get used to.

But I admit I expected he’d at least get the chance to be born before the first time that idiocy would be directed his way.

P.S.  The tech wasn’t trying to be funny when she said that, by the way.  She spoke those words with an air of weary acceptance of a sad “fact.”  But even if she was trying to be funny, how much better is that exactly?

Misconceptions (Part Three)

June 23, 2010

Now I know people don’t mean any harm when they say things like that, so I don’t really take offense. 

But that brings me to my next example though, the next misconception about my son I want to clear up is that he is not the product of any “mother’s curse” upon me. 

Yes, I know it’s just friendly teasing when people say things like that, so, again, I’m not really offended and no harm has been done, I promise, but seriously . . . don’t be surprised if I don’t smile when you say things like that.  My son is neither a curse, nor the product of a curse; he may very well turn out “exactly like me” (but I doubt it), and I will almost certainly experience the flip side of situations I put my parents through when I was a child, but that’s just the way things are, not a curse.  I wouldn’t be teased like this if I were having a daughter, so don’t tease me because I’m having a son. 

But enough nitpicking; I was just doing it to get some things off my chest and warm up for the main event anyway.  So now let’s talk about how my son was insulted for his gender within moments of his gender being determined in the first place.

Misconceptions (Part Two)

June 22, 2010

Now I want to be clear that I know girls still don’t have it easy, but things have at least moved away from the days when the naming tradition for girls was “First (useless) daughter,” “Second (useless) daughter,” etc.  And while society in general still isn’t fair toward girls, neither is it fair to boys either.  I’m not trying to pretend the former doesn’t exist, but what I focusing on right now is the latter, understood?

Good.

With that said, the first misconception involving my son that I’m going to mention, really bridges both types of unfairness.

“You’re having a boy!” ‘she who is pregnant’ has been told.  “Rob must be so happy!”

Yes, Rob is happy he’s having a son.  Rob would like to point out that Rob would be equally happy to have a daughter as well; Rob just likes knowing these things, you see.  Other than dealing with the practical differences of having a son instead of a daughter, however, Rob has no further feelings on the matter because Rob is not a 14th century feudal lord in need of a male heir to inherit his vast estates, carry on his noble name, and lead his armies to glorious victory. 

And even if he was . . . a daughter could do all that just as well, so why precisely must I be “so” excited again?

Misconceptions (Part One)

June 21, 2010

My letter to my son last week garnered me some polite confusion on one point in particular, namely, the idea that it’s still common to accuse boys/guys with the “crime” of “being a boy/guy.” 

I’m not entirely surprised at this confusion, though I admit to being a little distressed by it, because so far every guy I’ve talked about this with knows exactly what I’m talking about, but even my own Mother seemed baffled at first on my insistence on this point.  Once I’ve given a few examples about what I’m talking about, everyone who has approached me has essentially nodded and said “Oh . . . that,which  in a backhanded way distresses me even more.  Somehow it makes the unfairness seem all the worse when not only do you have to explain it, but when you do explain, the average response is comprehension on the order of pointing out that the smog is particularly bad today — the comprehension that says “I know what you mean, but I’ve been breathing bad air for so long that I don’t really notice anymore.”  I was planning to elaborate on the point this week anyway, but still . . .

I can honestly say that I wish I didn’t have to explain.

To My Unborn Son (Part Five)

June 18, 2010

Which makes this as good a time as any to wrap this letter up for the moment, I suppose.  We’ve got your name sussed out now, by the way (I hope you like it.  If not, it’s been deliberately crafted so you can shorten it and/or turn it around so you can make it more to your liking — something I first learned the importance of from your grandfather.), but there’s still a lot that needs to be done, like setting up a safety deposit box in your name or finding some other secure place for your ultrasound pictures.  (I can’t guarantee they’ll never be used to embarrass you, but I can make it a difficult trick to pull off, at least — best I can do under the circumstances, I’m afraid.)

Just a couple of quick reminders before I go:

Remember to cut your mother some slack now and then (particularly if she ever finds where I secured those pictures), and watch out for those people that think it’s funny to tell outrageous stories to children just to see if you’ll believe them.  Remember, if someone ever tries to tell you there’s no peanut butter left in the world because a giant peanut better eating black hole has sucked it all away, the Universal perfect child response in that circumstance is a disdainful “Nu-uh!” and a scornful look; don’t kick them.  Until you’re old enough to make the determination on your own, just come to me and let me decide if they need to be kicked or not.

There’s a lot more to say, but all of it can wait for now.  Good luck, son, and remember . . . I’m pulling for you.

This candle’s for you.

I’ll talk to you later.

To My Unborn Son (Part Four)

June 17, 2010

I’m going to level with you, son.  You’re going to take a lot of flak in your life just because you’re a boy.  You’re going to hear an awful lot of nonsense about “guy things,” most of it silly, some of it down right insulting, and almost all of it from people who should really know better.

Now, girls still frequently take flak for “being girls” too, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really widely acceptable to demonstrate one’s ignorance by talking like that anymore.  Unfortunately, accusing a boy of the “crime” of being a boy is still so common that I know full well most people that do it aren’t actively trying to demonstrate their ignorance — most of the time they’re usually just trying to be funny.  You get used to it.

Mostly.  (I never managed more than mostly, at least.  Perhaps you’ll be able to do me one better in that regard.)

And though I am guilty of overreacting (or wanting to, at least) to what is for all intents and purposes, comparatively benign stupidity, I have found that I react all the stronger when people start trying to give you grief for your gender, particularly when you haven’t even been born yet.  They’d know better to try and do that  to you if you were a girl, but it seems I’m going to have to “educate” a number of people over the course of your lifetime.  (And that is the main reason why you being a boy is going to be the harder path for me — but it’ll be worth it, every minute of it.)

You’re a boy, son.  That’s a good thing, and neither a crime nor a shortcoming.  Girls aren’t better than you any more than you’re better than them.  Boys and girls are just . . . different, and usually not as different as most people think, but they are different in some really important ways that needn’t really concern you until you start dating.

But that’s a topic for another time.