Thursday, January 26, 2006

Childhood Books

I’ve been pretty laid back this week so, I don’t have any interesting stories to tell or anything to complain about. Because, well:

1. I spend my free time going to the gym.
2. If I’m not at the gym I’m sleeping.
3. If I’m not at the gym or sleeping I’m in class.

I don’t even go to the library anymore. I’m becoming a homebody.

My substitute roommate and I made plans yesterday to go and eat Mexican together. This is something we do. It’s kinda been our thing. But today I was to worn out from sleeping to want to go out. (Yes from sleeping, and that is why I’m up at 12 writing a blog) Instead I ate a frozen pizza and watched the national news. I don’t even have a minor adventure to write about. I don’t think going to the bank to deposit my financial aid check counts.

I though I would leave you guys with my reading list from my Literature for Adolescents class.

Holes Louis Sachar
Bud, Not Buddy Christopher Paul Curtis
The Bicycle Man David L. Dudley (The Department Chair)
Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town Kimberly Willis Holt
Behind the Mountains Edwidge Danticat
Under The Blood-Red Sun Graham Salisbury
Leaving Home Hazel Rochman and Darlene Z. McCampbell
Speak Laurie Halse Anderson
Rainbow Boys Alex Sanchez
godless Pete Hautman
whale talk Chris Crutcher

Let me know if any of you guys read any of these books as an adolescent. For that matter, let me know what you guys read growing up. I was a huge Judy Bloom fan myself. I loved her “Fudge” books and Blubber was a huge hit with me because, well I was the chubby kid. Who can forget Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I was really into the series books: The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High, Goose Bumps and the list goes on. I loved C.S. Lewis as well. The Magician’s Nephew was oddly one of my favorites, second to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sometimes people lose themselves in Southern Hospitality.

Hospitality in itself is a good thing. Treating others with warmth and generosity is what human beings should naturally do. Southern Hospitality, however, is an entirely different beast. Southern Hospitality becomes not about just being kind and welcoming, but about being pleasing and never stepping on others toes. Maybe it isn’t Southern Hospitality that I have a problem with, but the expectations placed upon southern women.

Maybe I have a problem with standing up for myself.

Growing up in the south is like growing up in another world. As a child I was taught Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am, Yes Sir, and No Sir. If I answered my mother with yes she would respond with “Yes what?” and the child version of Jessica never said no. Saying “NO” to my Mother ensured a good ‘ole fashioned spanking. If you were going to use the word you had better be prepared for an ass beating. Honestly, I cannot recall any of my siblings or me using the word no. Even No Ma’am, if used in certain context, could make my Mom’s eyebrows rise.

So why do I feel like I’ve lost myself in Southern Hospitality, or rather social expectations? I’ m drawn back to the Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am’s of my childhood. As an adult I’m no longer required to treat people respectfully, I just do. And honestly there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Recently I’ve found that I’ve become more than just respectful, I’ve tried to become pleasing. I want those that I care about the most to be happy, and I’ve sacrificed my own happiness for theirs: A recipe for disaster.

In Mexico people think that it is rude to not give you directions. If you ask a Mexican how to get somewhere, and even if they don’t’ know the way they will make up something. Yes, this is completely unhelpful, but it’s the culture. Southern Hospitality has the same need to please. If you’re hosting a party or just a group of people, as host you go out of your way to make sure everyone is happy. As a guest you accept whatever your host offers you. That’s Southern Hospitality at it’s best.

So how can I keep the charming side of Southern Hospitality while remaining true to myself? This past weekend my boyfriend was cooking me an egg and I explained to him exactly how I wanted it, but it didn’t turn out as I had expected. At that second I had a moment. My thought process went like this:

I can accept this egg and eat it as is, or I can just tell him that he got it wrong.
But, if I eat that egg he’ll think that’s how I really like them, and I’ll be stuck eating eggs that way forever.
I don’t want to be difficult.
I’ll just cook another egg myself.

The southern girl in me found an acceptable way to try and get what I wanted while still being pleasing. But why does everything have to be pleasing. Why couldn’t I have just said, “That’s not how I eat my eggs” especially after having explained how I wanted it cooked. I came across as rude by offering to cook another egg. I wasn’t respectful or pleasing, but I was trying to be both and get what wanted.
I want to be warm and welcoming and generous while still being myself.

Recently, my roommate and her family have taken over my apartment. I’ve become a nomad living with my boyfriend on the weekends and another friend during the week. I’ve been totally stressed out about this entire living situation, but the Southern Girl in me has just bitten my tongue, but I’ve had enough.

As the saying goes “I need to grow some balls!” I’m tired of getting taken advantage of.
I’m ready to stand up for myself. My New Year’s resolution has become not just to lose weight, but also to take pride in myself: To realize that I deserve to be treated respectfully, and that my needs, my wants and my dreams and my wishes are just as important as anyone else.

This isn’t about Southern Hospitality. This is about learning to be myself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

January Workout update

I’m on the horse, as Stacey likes to say, the workout horse that is. This is week 3 of the great workout plan and I’ve hit a wall.

I feel like I’m doing things right: Cardio Monday, Wednesday and Friday and weights on Tuesday and Thursday with some cardio. But week three has found me weak and tired. When I’m jogging on the treadmill my arms feel sooo heavy and I have to really force myself to push through.

Today, which is weights and cardio day, I almost gave up. I did my weight training with the intention of hopping on an elliptical for a few minutes. So when the time came for cardio, of course, all the machines were full. I just decided to forget it and leave. But as fate would have it a girl got off the elliptical as I was walking out, and I took it as a sign and hopped right on. It was a good workout.

But here’s the deal: I put back on the 1 pound that I had lost over the past 2 week and added half a pound. ADDED! Talk about disappointment. I know I know muscle is stronger then fat and that’s probably where the weight came from. Maybe I should just change my weigh in day from Tuesday to Wednesday. I don’t know. I’m just going to push on through and hope for the best.

I hope everyone else’s is doing well with the New Year resolutions. Just think the first month is almost over!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Why me?

This semester already seems to be picking up from last semester. I would like a beer and a cigarette while I cry. I promised myself that I would make the best of my last 4 classes at Georgia Southern, but really I just wish I didn’t have to take them. I’m tired of being stressed and emotional all the time, but most of all I hate Spanish!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Ok I have to admit that I’m a complete dork. About 2 days ago I turned on my new laptop to write a blog. I felt inspired and was ready to put my thoughts into words. As soon as I turned my computer on it said I had a virus. So I consulted my sister’s boyfriend, he suggested I use my parent’s computer to google the virus. So I did, and of course that was useless because I understood nothing about the virus other than it comes through your e-mail. I then called my boyfriend and he suggested I get serious computer help. So I did, this morning in fact. It turned out that I’m just a paranoid dork; my laptop is fine and was just warning me that I wasn’t protected against this sober or sober virus.

So all you guys get is this boring post until I have something of interest written.
But I do hope you all had a great New Years and are enjoying the 1st of the year. This is my last week of freedom before my last semester of school begins on the 9th.