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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break

Spring break couldn't have happened at a better time. I feel silly even saying I need a break desperately when there are plenty of folks out there doing a dozen things more than I am, but yeah. I needed this break pretty badly.

So far this week, I've slept in and read a lot on wine. You know what? It's really starting to come together. I am re-reading a great book right now (The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil), and it amazes me how much I remember...and how much more of it makes sense this time around. I have almost finished an article on rose wines, an appropriate topic for summer drinking, too. Now I just need to figure out where to peddle it! I can't believe how consistently intense I've been on this topic. For some reason, I wondered if I'd just lose interest after a while because it's happened before with different subjects. However, as time goes on, I seem to gain even more enthusiasm on the topic. Go figure.

It's funny, but this week I have been especially aware of how perfectly matched Alex is with me. He reads my moods well and accomodates. He's more chemically appealing to me than any other person I've ever known in my life. My kids...are his kids. And the romance never dies. By "romance" I do not mean some sort of froo froo concept only alive in novels. Instead, I mean that he never seems to lose that joy of just doing something to make me happy. I still get nightly massages. I still never have to vacuum my house when he's around because he automatically does it first. I still get to finish off the last bit of cheese, chocolate, or wine. He never tries to convince me he's wonderful (most men I know spend more time bragging about what they've done or what they would do...); he just does everything conceivable to SHOW me he's wonderful. I can't deny that I feel a strong physical pull to the man. He's very appealing that way. But when I think about Foilwoman writing a while back about logic being such an important part of a matchup, I realize that this time around, I used my brain as well as my heart instead of just my heart. He fits with me religiously, philosophically, politically, parentally, goal wise in the universe, and has also shared with me realism as far as finances/material goods go. We are compatable in bed (he's the only guy who has been able to keep up with me so far...believe me, I value a man who wants sex almost as much as I do). Our sense of humor is extremely similar. Yet we have differences that make this life together not predictable nor boring. Sometimes, by the very merit that he spent his whole life in France or England, he has a unique perspective to mine that forces me to think, laugh, love, learn. I adore that.

On another Alex front, though, I am frustrated to realize that he may not get his green card by the time he graduates in August. When we married, as far as I knew, it took about four months for residency paperwork to be approved. So, when I submitted all the paperwork by the end of Jan, I thought I was safe. Well, first of all, they don't record it as processed until Feb. 22nd. Second of all, they are six months behind at this point, not four months. Sigh. Apparently nowadays one has to wait until a visa number for a spouse is available before he or she can be a resident. Before, there were no numbers needed. It was automatic. I'm so glad we're cracking down on LEGAL immigration. That'll really help illegal immigration slow down and all. If we had been able to move to France, we could easily do so. It's the US that has stricter immigration laws. He probably has to go back to France in Sept, so I worry that if he doesn't have his green card by then, he loses his student visa status (since he graduates in August), and he can only return for three months. Then he has to stay in France while we get it straight. ARRRGHH. It's just wrong. We've spent enough time apart. No more. This is just...wrong.

And then I remind myself that I'm borrowing trouble. I don't know what will pass until it does. And life is quite good with him, with my job at Clemson, with my kids right now. Just when I thought I'd sink financially, I get a great tax refund that fixes it all. Then I get approved for a session of the AP readings, too, and that will help me out as far as money goes. It always seems to work out, so I just need to let it work out, you know?

He makes me a better person. Who you hang out with determines if you'll be the same person, a better person, or a worse person. I definitely believe you can take two decent human beings and put them together and the result is two horrible human beings (I think of me and my ex for proof of that). I also believe sometimes you can place two people together and make them better than what they are. Alex does that for me, and I do that for him. So, since we're meant to be together, it should work out. The end.


On a side note, the day before spring break I had a high school senior randomly pick my class to sit in on just to see what Clemson was like. I managed to drag her into the discussion, and for whatever reason I was on fire that day. We laughed, we learned, we laughed some more. Man, she came up after class to tell me how much it rocked and how much she was appreciative that I let her sit there and see it. That made me feel good! You know, sometimes a bad day happens as a teacher and I wonder what I'm doing. Then days like that happen and I remember why. I need reminders like that. I think we all do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mothers and Star Wars

Well, this last weekend, Alex and I drove down to Atlanta to see Grant again. We really have a lot of fun with him (and he feeds us AMAZINGLY WELL!), so we seem to go down quite a bit. We went down in November, twice in December, and then this weekend. Although he started out my friend, he's definitely Alex's too. Alex told me once that he was so glad to have Grant as a friend because most of the other friends he's made through me are more my friends than his, not having so much in common with him as just loving him because he's attached to me. On the other hand, Grant has a fair bit in common with Alex as far as interests go, and Grant tries to communicate with him too, so he feels like he finally has his first mutual friend in America. That's cool because it makes it easier to convince Alex to drive down for the weekend to see Grant!

Anyway, we primarily eat good/great food, drink too much alcohol, and see lots of movies whenever we visit. This past weekend, we decided upon a Star Wars theme. We started with episode one, then we went to episode five. We didn't get to reach episode six (aka Return of the Jedi) because we ran out of time. We also got to watch two Japanese related movies in between the other movies for variation. Anyway! One thing about episode three (aka Revenge of the Sith) really pissed me off. Padme was a crap mum. Let me explain.

Padme is pregnant. For some reason I cannot figure out, technology in this high tech society does not involve ultrasounds because she has no idea--nor does anybody else--that she's carrying twins. Sure, you can go on the theory that since she wasn't supposed to be married to Anakin/Darth Vader, she just didn't go to the doctor's. But really, even the biggest moron could see she was pregnant at the end, so what would be the point there? Due to Anakin's conversion to the dark side of the force, she loses her will to live. She gives birth. She names her kids. And then she dies. Stupid bitch...I want to kill her. Sadly, however, she's already dead.

See, motherhood is not easy. Motherhood is worth just about anything, but it's not easy. She gave up before she began because she decided that her husband was the most important thing in her life and her kids didn't matter. For nine months she carried twins, and she never grew to love them so much that she would want to live to take care of them. I just don't get it.

Now, before anybody tells me, "Kira, you don't know what it's like to be depressed, severely depressed, and that's why she decided to just die." Bullshit. When my marriage fell apart, I certainly was so depressed that death was a beautiful option, a release from my misery. I distinctly remember falling asleep at night, hoping I'd die in my sleep, only to wake up crying because I was still alive. I remember the kids waking up and needing me, the tears still streaming down my face, me mentally telling myself that only a woman who didn't care for her children would stay in bed and wallow...and boom, mentally kicking myself over and over again, I was out of bed and taking care of them. I loved them. In fact, my love for them was the only good and beautiful part of my universe left at that point. How could I kill myself? How could I just lose the will to live when my kids needed me so badly? Impossible!

So, I guess it really bothers me that Padme just....named her children and slipped away. Wuss. Real women love their children even when the father is psycho, evil, and the dark lord of the universe. Real mothers forage on because we have been given this extraordinary strength to live when others would fail. My therapist told me once that when women have kids, they become statistically very unlikely to commit suicide. However, she stated that when men have kids, the rate of suicide largely remains unchanged. Therefore, caretaking through extreme depression should indeed be a mother's trait. (for a side note, however, I know for certain that my ex's love for his kids pulled him through some desires for suicide too, so I realize men can have that bond as well with their kids)

I liked Padme all the way until the end. Then I became furious. Good thing she enabled her children to be adopted elsewhere because she never could have been a real mom.