Jan 29, 2009

Three Random Questions
















1. Who cares about the Native Americans? The Esq and I had a long conversation about this the other day, and if a Native American tribe dwindled down to nothing (as so many of them do), would you even know? Would you care? There's a major conundrum around how they live versus how the world works. Where are the role models? Sherman Alexie can't be the only one. I'm slightly concerned and very befuddled. Manthony should have something good to say about this. (I care!)

2. If a person wants or files for divorce, why are they automatically at fault? I lucked out, because both my ex-husband and I wanted out at the same time, but I have two separate friends going through the divorce process, and it's really fucked up. Both of them were in unhealthy, unhappy relationships, and so they made the decision to separate. And because they raised their hands first, they're the jerky assholes--even though their partners were just as unhappy (it seemed). Here's what I know about relationships: it takes two to make it work, and two to break it. Unfortunately for my buddies, that isn't the case--they're just The Bad Guy/Whorish Gal. Two people who are smart, funny, kind--GOOD PEOPLE--and all of a sudden, they're fuckoffs. People who have known them for years are bagging on them, as though it's any of their business. I feel bad for my friends; it's hard enough getting divorced, so it must be twice as hard having to constantly defend yourself against people who used to be your family or friends--especially when they appoint themselves as your personal Judge and Jury.

***Addendum: Since people seem to think I'm WAY OFF BASE here--thanks for the defensive, finger-pointy comments, Friends & Family of The Opposing Teams (at least, that's what it feels like)--I'm going to reveal that this diatribe of mine came after receiving six emails, eight phone calls, four Facebook messages, three G-Chat instant messages, and two directly-at-my-face interactions (over the space of 48 hours), most of them calling my almost-divorced girlfriend a whore, and my cousin an irresponsible father with an alcohol problem. This last sentence was quoted to me four separate times--with the SAME EXACT WORDING--which makes me wonder where they got their information from. Probably from another 'concerned party.' Right.

These things were said by people who hadn't really spoken to either of my friends--they were just people "concerned" about the welfare of their Other Friends (ie; the spouses of said girlfriend and cousin). So I was feeling a little DEFENSIVE. To which I respond with a fat middle finger. Oh, it's rude and hideous for ME to defend my friends, but when YOU do it, it's NOBLE. When YOU defend your friend, it's because you're right. Because you're just looking out for your friends, but me, I'm just basking in their failures, right? I'm just sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. So I ask you: what the fuck were YOU guys doing? FUCK. YOU. Just because I'm feeling defensive of my long-time friends (family, even), does not make me a bad person, or even misguided in any way. It just makes me a person with an opinion, and a heavy, confused heart. This is where I deal with that stuff. If YOU can't deal, FUCKING LEAVE.

Comment moderation has been turned off--I'm done with this post, completely done, and would like to move forward; I considered taking the post completely down, but this is a good lesson for me. Good luck to the couples in question, I hope you come to a decision with compassion and grace, which is what I've been telling my friends to do thus far. Thank you for your comments. PS: you should really appreciate your thumbs more.

3. Do we really appreciate our thumbs? Discuss.

I'm heading to the Eastside on a quest for new glasses with my mom--yes, I understand that contacts are lighter, easier, cheaper. I just appreciate having facial armor.


30 comments:

lisamariehahn said...

When i was in fifth grade, our teacher made us tape our thumbs down and not use them for a full day. So I feel like I can honestly say that I appreciate my thumbs! But do you?

Furtive Flatulence said...

I appreciate my thumbs when;

I look at my space bar, grab a beer, open a beer and text.

Joanna said...

Glasses all the way baby!!!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Lisa, I totally appreciate my thumbs. And my space bar is appreciating them right now!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

FF, I couldn't agree more. But shouldn't the word 'beer' be replaced with the word 'whiskey'?

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I love my new glasses, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEEEEEEEEEEEEM.

Tobias! said...

I care about my thumbs!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Do you love your thumbs more than you love Native Americans?

Tobias! said...

I don't know any real Native Americans, girl. Not in my neck of the city.

Everyone always says they're .00035% Native, and that gets tiring. I don't care where anyone came from or who screwed you over, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of "those people", Tobias, and I'm proud of my Native American heritage (which is a quarter Cherokee). I don't think it's tiring to hear about where people came from.

I also don't think you need to KNOW where you came from in order understand your identity. But still, it's interesting to some!

-Geoff

Joanna said...

I need a picture of your new glasses!!!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Tobias: the Esq said the other night that the history of the world was built on one group of people fucking over another group of people... which is certainly true of the Native Americans.

I don't tire of hearing about people's heritage, but I do get annoyed when people say they're part Native American and know nothing about it.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Geoff--hear, hear!

Furtive Flatulence said...

Jameson?

nom.

LilRed said...

1. There is an amazing documentary out there (can't recall the name) about the plight of older native americans in rural areas and their access to health care. You think inner-city poverty is bad? Yikes.

2. Doesn't it make a difference in terms of who gets what if they file first? So maybe they're not the asshole, just the smart one.

When it comes to relationships, everyone has an opinion. God knows people many years back certainly had an opinion about my relationship (cough, cough). :) If you're sure about your choices, who cares what other people think?

3. As someone who nearly cut half her ring finger off a few years back I TOTALLY appreciate all of my digits. Especially the thumbs.

You look WAY adorable in glasses!

Sara Rose said...

Fuck yes I appreciate my thumbs!! Massage just wouldn't be the same without them.

Manthony said...

3) I appreciate my thumbs because they allow me to feel superior to my cats since I can do things like open a can of tuna.

2) Divorce sucks, although mine was also lucky enough to be mutual, and neither of us caught any significant flack from anyone over it. (We had a pretty good excuse.)

1) And as for the Native American thing, I don't even know where to begin. One of the biggest problems (IMHO) is that they tend to be overlooked. People spend a ton of time talking about black/white culture wars or about how they love/hate Asian people based on their math/driving skills. But usually NAs are seen as relics of the past and/or are expected to be "culturally authentic" in ways that are completely unrealistic.

I can't really think of any highly-visible, contemporary examples aside from Sherman Alexie either. And even he doesn't have name recognition like Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Pocahontas, or Sacajawea.

Native Americans are generally seen as one or more of the following stereotypes: noble savages, the original environmentalists, indian princesses, squaws, and warrior chiefs. Contemporary stereotypes are limited to homeless drunks (aka street chiefs), keepers of sacred knowledge, or greedy casino-rich sellouts.

I can name some role models, but they probably aren't very widely known. Maria Tallchief. Graham Greene. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. N Scott Momaday. Vine Deloria Jr. Wilma Mankiller. Winona LaDuke. Preston Singletary. Paula Gunn Allen. Kay WalkingStick. James Luna.
Charles Curtis. Russell Means. Leslie Marmon Silko.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Lil Red:

1. I need to see that film.

2. I think I'm feeling like everything (in both cases) is so one-sided, it's hard for me to ever feel balanced about it - I want to defend everyone, as though it's any of my business. It's just giving me an opportunity to learn how to let go of shit that isn't mine. It's always one constant life lesson, for crying out loud. WHICH I THINK SUCKS.

3. You scientists always appreciate the thumbs; that's what I like about you.

I've never seen you in glasses before, but you would definitely look cute. You're going to love my new ones--LOOOOOVE.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

FF: Maker's Mark.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Sara Rose: I actually appreciate YOUR thumbs more than I appreciate my own! They massage me, too :)

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Manthony: I knew you'd have the best answer. This is a discussion for a later date. Good examples for role models, I looked some of them up. There should be more, way more.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

1. My baby daddy is 1/4 Nez Perce. The reason he doesn't know much about it? His real father beat his mother and she left him. Smart woman. So my baby will be 1/8 Native American and he won't even know it until he's an adult, which makes me sad. (To those of you reading, it's a long, complicated story) But I do know this: my ex didn't like to drink because he'd get drunk off of 2 mixed drinks/3 beers. Like flat on his face drunk. It's just that his Native American body chemistry is different and processed liquor differently. You think the white man might've noticed this when they got the grand idea of screwing over the NA's? Most likely, but I have no real answer.

2. I was the one who left my husband. Immediately people thought: Was she cheating on him or did she just wimp out? Neither. He fell out of love with ME and I was the one who was forced to get myself out of the terrible relationship because his passive-aggressive nature made him too lazy to take charge. My heart died the day I drove away. I cried the entire way from NY to MO but I knew I deserved better. People are too quick to judge, but if YOU know what you're doing is right then it seems as though you *just* might be strong enough to get the job done.

3. I heart my thumbs! They're the raddest of all my digits. ;)

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

OH! And before I forget (which can happen any second now...), I wanted to mention another author! Brady Udall. He's one of my faves, but hasn't put out much literature. His best is by far The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. Brilliant stuff. I'd highly recommend that, and Letting Loose the Hounds was pretty good too. Just sayin!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Thanks for the recommendations!

Anonymous said...

2. Re: Divorce. I guess it would depend whether the person is running away when its tough because they can't face their issues or whether they are leaving when things are good because they can honestly say they've given it their best shot.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Anonymous, I whole-heartedly agree. Unfortunately, not everyone always does. And I also feel like someone's 110% might look like another person's 80%, and how do you determine when they're giving it their all - what is the barometer? Is there a magic timeline or meter that dings when each person has given everything they have? I doubt it. It will usually be imbalanced, because one person is always more committed than the other.

HalfOfTheBunch said...

I was directed to view your blog today Ms. Snotty-

I heard something from my best friend in his own words recently that meant a lot to me: "Dig deep. Stretch. Dream big. Know, though that things worth doing seldom come easy. There will be good days and bad days. There will be times when you want to turn around, pack it up, and call it quits. Those times tell you that you are pushing yourself, that you are not afraid to learn by trying. Persist."

Managing all of life, work, kids, communication, sex, differences, connection, money, in-laws, the economy, stress and our own individuality is a tall task for every relationship. While not every relationship always works out, I admire those who have acknowledged struggle in their relationships but are still willing to own their part, do the work to figure it out (and it is work). Those that love each other and stay in it because the good times out weigh the hard times.

You might take a look at who is 'currently' being the judge and jury of whether someone is in a 'unhealthy, unhappy relationship, and even though their partners were just as unhappy *it seemed*'. There are clearly two sides to every story and I would either encourage you to check things out to make sure you understand the whole picture, or stay out of your friends' marriages by leaving out your own judgement and simply offer encouragement to both sides to take a look at themselves. Not everything IS as *IT SEEMS*. There is a whole lot you are not aware of, and it is their business. It is between them.

Your other friend

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I'm so glad that the people from the other side showed up to play, although that was not the point of my post. The point was feeling like I had to defend people who I love, when that isn't true: when it comes to someone else's relationship, no one knows what's going on. So why is it okay for *either* side to be unfairly judged? What I mean is, I don't like that aspect of it, and it's hard for me to sit by and watch someone's name dragged through the mud (no matter who it is). If my two separate friends - guy and gal - were doing that about their partners to me, I'd tell them where to go. It's not helpful. I guess people can say/judge/do what they want, but I wish people were more accountable for the things they say/do about their partners - trying to run them into the ground verbally, to all of their mutual friends, to their families, isn't going to help. I guess I don't see how that helps the cause.

Everyone is going to stick up for the friend they like more, or the one they think was more wronged--I was just feeling bad for my two friends, although that doesn't mean I don't feel for their partners. I just get sick of my friends saying "I don't know who that person is anymore" just because they want a divorce--to me, that means your friend could make *any* decision, and suddenly you abandon them. That doesn't seem like a friend.

Clearly, you didn't read the comment where I said "I think I'm feeling like everything (in both cases) is so one-sided, it's hard for me to ever feel balanced about it - I want to defend everyone, as though it's any of my business. It's just giving me an opportunity to learn how to let go of shit that isn't mine."

I'm working it out, too, and trying to figure out how to support or stay out of my friends' lives, without completely losing it or burying my head in the sand. It's an opportunity.

Now could the people who are so incensed about this stop coming to this blog, please? Or maybe you could just man up and say "I THINK BETH IS BEING WRONGED" or "I THINK STACY'S HUSBAND SUCKS ASS". I don't need everyone from four sides of two different relationships showing up to defend themselves - especially when there's weird spying going on and Facebook bullshit that I would rather live without. Work it out in counseling; I can't afford it, so I work it out on my blog. You don't like it, then don't come back.

The final word: if those couples can work it out, great - like, if it's good for everyone involved (especially all of the kids), wonderful! If not, I hope that everything works out the way it should, and that people can be happy with the end result. Personally, my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me, but that was very, very different.

<3

Jeanine Anderson said...

Thumb appreciation.Funny you should ask. Had a discussion this week with a friend about how much a thumb is worth. This friend knew someone who knew someone who injured his left thumb severely, on the job. It will take a lot of medical attention to restore it to partial functionality. Insurance is offering him $500,000 for the loss of his left thumb, but he'd have to have it removed in order to collect that money. The discussion: should he take it or not? How much is a left thumb worth to someone who is right handed? What about vice versa? My opinion as a left hander is that a right thumb on a left hander is worth much more than a left thumb on a right hander, because so much of the world is oriented for right handers, life would be harder for a left hander without a right thumb than a right hander without a left thumb. I think this is a Seinfield-worthy topic. :)

Looking In said...

Another perspective...

Relationships aren't about someone sucking ass, anyone being right or wrong, finding fault or blame. Its about finding a mutual understanding.