Sunday 31 July 2016

So, am I officially an adult now?

I just bought a mattress, for the first time in my life.  (Alas, I didn’t see this article on the best mattresses for sex until the next day.  Luckily, it’s so crappy & poorly written that it wouldn’t have made a difference.)

What prompted me to make such an expensive, adult-like purchase?  It's kind of a long story, but, like many such tales, it comes down to pain.

In high school, I bought myself a futon.  It was so much cooler than a conventional mattress & box spring, not to mention cheaper.

& I did the same thing in college, selling that futon to some gullible incoming student when I graduated.

When I moved to Scotland in 1997, I wasn’t living in a dorm or a furnished flat for the first time in my life & I needed some semblance of a bed.  I did, literally, sleep on the floor until I got some temp work & could scrape together the money for a futon.  It was made from organic cotton only, no foam or wool or other fillers.  Calling it “firm” would be generous; I’m not sure it was a huge improvement over the floor.  I shipped it overseas when I moved back to NYC, where it took up most of the floor space in my studio apartment.

I rather liked it on the floor but, when I moved up to MA, I decided it was time to treat myself to a frame, which I have rather charmingly strung with fairy lights.

By 2012, the cotton futon had gotten so compressed that it felt like I was sleeping on concrete.  City Boy bitched about it, too, & I gradually developed chronic lower back pain.  I was unemployed but at one point I was in such agony that I splurged on a cheap new futon, as documented at the time in this blog post.  It had springs in it to make it softer than a regular futon, almost a hybrid form of bedding.  City Boy, of course, refused to contribute to the cost but he did do one useful thing: he procured a feather mattress topper from a friend who was giving it away.

I put the futon & mattress topper on top of the old futon, princess & the pea style.  
It wasn't really a pea; the princess had tucked her
dildo under the mattress & forgotten about it.
For awhile, my back was better.  & when it wasn’t, it gave me an excuse to see my smoking hot chiropractor.

But over the last year, as my life has otherwise gotten better in every respect, my back has gotten worse.  Even sexy chiro can’t help at this point.  The springy futon feels comfy; I have no proof beyond circumstantial evidence that it's the source of the problem.  But I’ve begun to worry there might be permanent damage being done, not to mention how the lack of sleep ages me prematurely & drains my energy.  It affects my ability to focus on work or pleasure, makes me irritable, intrudes upon exercise, & generally circumscribes my life.  This is not the best time for me to be using up the last little bit of credit on the one credit card that isn’t at its limit, but if a new mattress fixes the problem, it will be worth the risk.

Part of fairy tale often left out: Goldilocks stopping to stir her
honey pot when she tried each bed.
I tried a bunch of mattresses, Goldilocks style, &, to be honest, it is difficult to tell in the showroom which will be comfiest in the long run.  I chose a mid-priced option — neither the cheapest nor the most expensive.  I couldn’t splash out on a luxury model, nor do I think all the bells & whistles are necessary, but the money would be wasted if I got a cheap-o model that wasn’t supportive or didn’t last very long.

Trying out the mattresses in the showroom, I was surrounded by couples, many of whom had just bought houses.  Some were buying mattresses for guest rooms, which struck me as a real luxury.  It seemed like such an adult thing to do, like buying property or insurance.  It made me wonder if we ever completely stop feeling like we are play-acting at being adults.  Everyone I’ve asked said that feeling never completely goes away.

Had to pay for delivery as I don’t know anyone with a truck, but they hauled away both old futons, which is convenient, as the alternative would have been to drag them into the garage for raccoons to nest in.  The cat, who hides under the bed when strangers come into the house, was deeply traumatized that it failed to be the safe hiding place she was used to.

The new mattress is so much higher than the futons that it almost completely covers the headboard.  I hope I can still hold onto it. 

Wednesday 27 July 2016

History, Motherfuckers

On Tuesday, 26 July 2016, a major political party nominated a candidate for the office of president of the United States who does not have a penis.

No, not Catelyn Jenner.  She didn't cut it off; she wasn't born with one.  The nominee, Hillary Rodham (maybe should be Rodless?) Clinton is biologically, chromosomally female.  She birthed a baby, which dispels any doubt. Someday, MtoF transsexuals will undoubtedly have that ability, but the technology isn't there yet, despite the weird shit you read on the Internet.

Oh, wait, that makes it worse?  You're afraid of anyone with PMS having access to the nuclear codes?  She's a post-menopausal grandmother now, so I think you can rest easy on that score.

So, this is a historic moment.  There was also a historic moment 8 years ago when the same party nominated the first black presidential candidate.  (He won, BTW.)  Note that I said "the same party".  The other party just nominated a megalomaniac narcissist & a troglodyte fundie who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old.  That party nominated a woman for VP in 2008 you say?  Well, the Democrats did that back in 1984.  &--bonus—she wasn't dumber than a lump of moose poop.
Let's not do the Time Warp again, GOP, you unconventional conventionists
Speaking of dates, the 19th Amendment establishing the right of all American women to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920.  Now, Barbie tells us that "math is hard" for girls, but even I can figure out that was nearly a 100 fucking years ago.

We have waited too fucking long for this.  Oh, do I cuss too much for a lady?  Too damn bad.

This is important.  This is history in the making. Whatever your policy views or your party affiliation, you need to appreciate this & remember how hard your mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, & great-great grandmothers fought for this day.

Jeannette Rankin, first lady in the House,
known for her interesting taste in hats. Not really.
When my grandmother was born, women could not vote for president, let alone be considered as viable candidates for that office.  The first woman was elected to the House in 1916, but we had to wait until 1932 for the first female Senator, and 1933 for the first female presidential cabinet appointee (Secretary of Labour).

When my mother was growing up, women were still required to quit many jobs when they married or had children, and they couldn't get a loan or credit without a man's signature.  It's not so very long ago that women took their husbands' name when they married because they went from being their father's legal property to their husband's property.  I remember, as a small child, being confused when I saw a clipping of a letter my grandmother had written to the local paper.  It was signed "Mrs." followed by my grandfather's full name.  Puzzled, I asked her why she hadn't signed her name, & she seemed equally puzzled by the question.  Her identity in the world was as a married woman; she was nobody on her own, without a husband's name behind her thoughts, her words.  Remember when Bill was first running for president and Hillary Rodham had to start using "Clinton" to placate the conservatives?  I wonder how my grandmother would react to the potential First Gentleman's speech, hearing him sing his wife's praises as the most qualified candidate to lead the richest, most powerful nation on earth.  Not because she is "Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton" but because of her own education, hard work, and accomplishments.  I like to think my grandma would be thrilled--and equally happy to have a granddaughter who will never, under any circumstances, take a man's name.

We still have a long way to go for women to achieve full social, legal, and economic equality, but this nomination is a major step in the right direction.