Monday, October 31, 2011

Defending Kim Kardashian

Defending Kim
I woke up this morning and the world was abuzz with news of the Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphreys split. After the much televised and gossiped about wedding took place, there was nothing left for the world to do but speculate about the couple’s impending divorce and wish them the worst. When they were together, everyone rooted for them to fail. When they finally did split up, instead of the naysayers breathing a sigh of relief, they seem to have unleashed their rage against Kim. Having so many people speculating why they were together and why they had a lavish wedding, could anyone expect them to make it? I am shocked and would like to address two issues that I have with everyone’s response: 1.) Marriage is a covenant between two individuals, why is Kim the bad guy?, and 2.) It’s Kim and Kris’ marriage, how does its dissolution affect the world?

Marriage is a covenant between two individuals: why is Kim the bad guy?
A majority of the tweets, facebook status updates and blogs have been slamming Kim about filing for divorce. Some seem to paint her soon to be ex-husband as being duped into proposing to her (the man-eater). Last time I watched “Keeping up with the Kardashians” it was Kris Humphreys who got down on his knees amidst a room lined with candles and a rug littered with rose petals to propose Kim. Having been around her and her family, I am sure he knew very well what he was getting himself into. He is 26 years old and, even if he was beguiled by the charm and the money, he had a chance to back out; he did not. I do not consider myself a feminist by any means, but it saddens me to see that the woman is once again being blamed for the breakdown of a marriage. Granted, the sacred marriage lasted only 72 days, but why is she automatically the villain? That being said, I have heard nothing but negative comments about the Kardashian-Humphreys marriage from inception. I don’t propose to know the girl, but from watching shows and reading about her, perhaps they both fell fast and madly for each other but did not have the support system to honestly tell them to slow down and keep their feet grounded. With a mother who practically pushed her to the altar, it’s no wonder the couple did not take time to know each other.

I can attest that marriage is a good thing, AND I can also say that marriage takes work, patience and teamwork. Not every tingling feeling is love and even love if not properly fed and nourished dies. I also don’t think we should judge Kim and Kris since we don’t know what led to their “irreconcilable differences.”  Would the world still react harshly towards her if we discovered other details that would have led an average newlywed to file for a divorce? By shunning and prejudging her so publicly, are we sending a message to our youth to simply “grin and bear it?”

 72 days may be short for most individuals, but depending on what they were going through (i.e., domestic violence), it may be exactly enough for a party to ascertain the need to get out. I support the institution of marriage; therefore, I think it would have been worse for the young couple to stay married for the sake of saving face. I also caution people to remember that both Kim and Kris are people, and a barrage of words, even from strangers, can cause a world of hurt.

It’s Kim and Kris’ marriage, how does its dissolution affect the world?
I have read threads that range from people feeling emotionally betrayed, citing the wedding and nuptials as a sham, to expressing outrage at the amount of money spent on the wedding. My take on it is: Why does it matter? How can anyone derive any form of satisfaction from two individuals divorcing? If people felt so passionate and adamant against the couple getting married, why did they not try to do something about it before they said “I do” (i.e., send Kim or Kris a warning tweet)? Now that they are headed towards splitsville, everyone feels the need to tweet and retweet the announcement that the couple is calling it quits. For those who expressed shock at the amount of money spent on the wedding, well, it’s what they wanted, AND no, that money could not have helped the orphans in Somalia, Tajikistan or wherever remote place that people are starving, because it would have probably been spent on something else. To those who point and wag their fingers about what the couple is teaching our youth I would say, the lesson begins with you. If you, or anyone for that matter, are letting our youth learn important life lesson from reality TV shows, I would say hie thee to the nearest Big Brother Big Sister, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America or the local YMCA.  Finally, for those fans who feel hurt and betrayed that the couple is splitting, you may have been “there” when the cameras were rolling (notice the sarcastic quotation marks), but you certainly have not been a part of the marriage after the cameras stopped rolling. It is only news because we make it news. If it indeed was publicity stunt (which I highly doubt), then they have succeeded in their ploy. I urge you to take a chance that it was not a publicity stunt. In that case, we should put ourselves in their shoes and let them go through their season with dignity.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Comeback Queen

I have often been told, when you get down to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. For the most part, that is practical advice. The question becomes, how long can you hang on? To this I add, not only tie a knot, but know that you have options. I will elaborate more on this later. Far more frequently, I have been meeting Divas who are stuck in a rut. Some are going through the pain of losing a job, searching for a husband, feeling unfulfilled with their life and careers, while others are experiencing depression. In a world of go big or go home, it can be easy to lose perspective. So you are probably wondering, what’s a girl to do? Well the first step Beloved, is to remember that you have options. Simply tie the knot, but know that you can use it in various ways to get yourself out of your situation. Use the knot to propel yourself out of your situation. If playing Tarzan isn’t your thing, then use the knot as a wrung and slowly, inch your way back up. All these are options, and there are many more. To those Divas that are feeling down, if you find yourself watching re-run after re-run of Judge Judy or other daytime television shows, step away from the television and remember that you have options. Don’t let the small tasks feel daunting to you. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t tackle all your issues in one day. One of the smartest and compassionate Law School professors, Don Judges once calmed me down with one question. In the midst of my panic attack, he calmly looked at me and asked: “How do you eat an elephant?” I was taken aback as his question came out of left field. He then stated, “One bite at a time.” I have been out of Law School for two years and his words have been a source of comfort and a catalyst when I am stuck or overwhelmed by my situation.  Start small and move up.  If dishes are piling up in the sink, start with the easiest task. Little by little reinvent yourself and become “the come- back queen”.  A Divo (a male version of a Diva) once said “I am happy because I know what it’s like to be sad and I never want to end up there again.” From the intense look in his eyes, I believed him. I think what he learned is that there are options. So you don’t have the job you want, get another one until you can get the one you want. So your dreams are on hold and you are waiting for your big break, do something else in the meantime. Bottom-line: Don’t just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. There are going to be setbacks, but know that your situation will change.  Divas, envision yourself the way you want to be and work on it. To those Divas and Divos who are struggling, know that I support you and I am sending you the biggest cyber hug you can imagine. From one Diva to another, keep the faith, continue dreaming and remain fabulous!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The feast

I went to lunch with two older gentlemen and it was the best lunch I have ever had. Because of the two extraordinary gentlemen, an ordinary lunch was transformed into a feast before my very own eyes. At first, I was very nervous: it was an establishment that served food buffet style and I was scared once they saw the “feeding”, they would run to the Sebastian county line and never look back. Since I have embarked on my campaign to be a bold woman, I never know how people will perceive me and I wanted to make a really good impression, after all I am a lady!

You may be curious as to what the aforementioned “feeding” is, and I will gladly tell you. You see Reader; I was born with a voracious appetite that has intensified with the passing of time. I attack my food and dive into the buffet with my entire being. When I see a buffet, it’s like a lion seeing a herd of gazelles sprinkled with seasoning and tied to a tree near a big lake. For me, buffets mean all you can eat, even if you get sick later. Normally this would not be a problem as my husband and I are molded out of the same clay (I knew he was truly my soul mate after a trip to a local buffet establishment. I think the entire restaurant was scandalized at our zeal, and perhaps slightly disturbed at my excited utterances and motions every time I discovered something I thought my husband would enjoy).  In fact we encourage each other and share the same passion for food.

As the two gentlemen approached me, I experienced a wave of calmness. I felt like I was reuniting with old friends. I thought of my impending move and felt a slight pang; if only I had met them sooner. We started off with small talk and by the end of my first plate I was guffawing in between fork bites of assorted deserts. Time stood still amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I was transfixed as if spellbound by each statement the gentlemen made. At first I catalogued pieces of our conversation, eager to share it with my best friend when I got home. Finally, I gave in and immersed myself in the moment, in the words and sentences. The ordinary mixture and jumble of different foods on my plate became small portions of intensely delicious flavor pockets to my palate.

My dear reader, the two gentlemen completely differed in looks and mannerisms, but they both spoke to my heart. They were both my seniors by some years, but for that one hour and a half none of that mattered.  One was animated with slightly long salt and pepper hair. He was jovial and had a glint in his eyes that hinted at being mischievous in his younger years. He had a smile that made you forgive him before he even confessed his transgressions.  His eyes lit up every time he prepared to tell a joke, and true to its promise, I had a fit of laughter every time. He spoke with his body; making motions with his hands and his words painted a picture before my eyes. The other gentleman was exactly that, a gentle man. He was tall and thin with short salt and pepper hair. He had a gentle yet shy smile. His glasses made him seem intelligent, analytical and self assured. His eyes were friendly and revealed a kind soul with each glance. Each time he smiled, a secret was passed between us, yet his calm demeanor did not reveal it even to me. Like a flutter of a butterfly’s wing, his voice was always one octave above a whisper and if you did not pay attention an entire conversation could be missed.  Although he did not say much, his presence commanded attention. When he opened his mouth to speak, his soft voice was warm apple cobbler, tangy lemon cake and chocolate covered strawberries. He sat very still and did not move as he spoke, but he laughed with his entire body. Throughout the course of our conversation, they asked me questions and greeted my answers with nods and smiles that seemed like they already knew the answers, knew my life and knew my soul. 

Afterwards, I was giddy with excitement. With my heart beating wildly against my chest, torrents of waves and emotions going through me, I rushed home to my Love so I could gush about my wonderful experience, about my new found friends, and about my delicious midday feast. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tearing the house down....

Oh the injustice! oh the madness! Where is the compassion? Reader, as I am typing this entry, I am mad...I mean hot, fuming! Smoke and heat are coming from the keyboard as I type. Perhaps I am being over dramatic but I will let you be the judge.

On Tuesday I had the privilege of attending the Fort Smith Board of the Director's meeting. The meeting started out pretty boring, but there was one item on the agenda that left me picking my jaw off the floor. It was proposed that the Directors vote to demolish a structure. The structure was described as an eyesore and unsightly. Two of the Directors stated they received a substantial amount of complaints from concerned residents. One of the Directors actually drove to the area to get a visual of the structure. The other Director stated that he did not believe the house was salvageable and should be demolished, and this sentiment was echoed by the Director who had previously driven to the site.

As this discussion was ensuing, a timid Spanish speaking individual spoke up from the back of the room. At first her voice was so soft that the city clerk did not hear her. She stated that she did not speak English very well, but had enlisted her son to speak on her behalf because he spoke English. With all eyes in the room on him, the young man shyly walked to the podium. He looked like he had the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. He had on a plain frayed white t-shirt and jeans. He respectfully informed the assembled Directors that he was there to answer their questions.

As the rest of the story was revealed, I slowly became incensed. Apparently 6 or 7 months ago, there was a residential fire that damaged a house in Fort Smith. Since then, the owners have been trying to contact the insurance company to make a claim and repairs but they have been getting the run around. After a couple of brief questions, a motion was made to give the homeowner two weeks to rectify the situation with the insurance, fix the roof or face the demolition of their home. As more facts came out, the Director who made the motion withdrew his motion and made a new motion to give the individual thirty days. This caused a huge discussion by other Directors who felt that 15 days would suffice, while others just flat refused because they did not believe the structure to be salvageable.

It was further revealed that the homeowner and her lawyer had been in contact with a city representative. The City Representative was fully apprised and aware of what was going on with this structure and was working with the homeowner to rectify the situation. It also quickly became evident that the Directors had not gotten in touch with him to acquire additional information (one quick phone call or email would have sufficed). They were simply ready to demolish someone's house based on complaints and no additional information. In the end, at one of the Director's behest, the Directors (with the exception of one) voted to give the young man and his mother thirty days to get the situation taken care of or face the demolition of their house.

As I silently sat there, I became enraged. My dear reader, if your dwelling were to burn today and the insurance were to dig their heels in, do you have extra cash lying around that would enable you to pay for a new roof within two weeks, much less thirty days? I looked at the Directors, with their well groomed beards, nicely done hair, suits, ties and nice and expensive looking clothing. I realized that they probably had nice vehicles to transport them to their nice garages, where they could enter their nice warm houses and sleep on their nice beds covered with their nice 300 thread count sheets. I blinked back my tears as I stared at the back of the young man in his thin, frayed white cotton t-shirt and saw the disconnect. I wondered how he and his mother got to the meeting that night, and I wondered where they were staying now. More importantly, I wondered where he would lay his head that night.

Now I pose this question to you gentle reader, is it a wonder or a surprise that my head is still reeling five days later? If you were in that young man's shoes would you have wanted the Directors to make the same decisions or perhaps dig for a little more information? Where is the diligence? Where is the compassion?

"foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." - Jesus

Saturday, April 30, 2011

No turning back

For 3 years, I have wanted to start a blog. Finally, after reading a friend's diet blog I was so inspired that I decided to start my blog today. Don't get me wrong reader, it's not that I did not want to start blogging, I was just afraid of the unknown. What's changed, you ask? Truthfully, I don't know. I have many "wants" that never manifest because I talk myself out of them. This dreary afternoon I decided to grab the bull by the horns. I timidly began by clicking on a link. My heart was pounding and thoughts were racing through my head. I have always been told, to be careful what I put on the internet because it will always be accessible. Another thought was, what if I misspell a word or what if my readers misinterpret what I am attempting to convey? All these thoughts slowed me down, but all the while, my fingers were steadily (or admittedly shakily) working to create my new blog. Once I got started, there was no turning back. Now the page is halfway done, and although I still wonder if I made the right decision, I am proud of myself for taking the step. Now I just need followers, which is where you come in dear sweet reader. Who will my audience be? Just about anyone who can read. I hope to attract anyone who would love to hear about my journey living in small town America. I want everyone to know that it's not where you live, but the people that you surround yourself with that make life worth living. I hope to attract other small town and big city  Divas to read this blog and share my journey.