Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If You're Doing These Things, I Have a Message for You: Knock it the "eff" Off!

As I have mentioned, I have a lot less rage than I did when I was in a college classroom. But I'm still surrounded by your average idiot and the thoughtless (and often senseless) behavior of idiots never ceases to amaze me and it (occasionally) enrages me.

Observe: As I sit this morning on the freeway - "sit" and not "drive" being the operative word, the driver behind me appears to be tailing me a little closely and as we go five feet. stop 10 seconds. go five feet. stop 10 seconds, he seems preoccupied and a bit slow with the reaction time. It's a clear morning and I've got a fairly decent view of him and it would seem he's smoking the world's longest cigarette. I mean we're talking Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tifanny's cigarette holder long. It's very white and thin and occasionally he removes it from his mouth and then wait . . . he's frothing at the mouth. This can't be good. A person operating a moving vehicle should - ideally - not be frothing.

I'm confused. Is he chewing tobacco and somehow swirling it around with this long white stick? (Can you tell how bad traffic was? Lots of time to observe and solve the mystery). But. Wait. The froth is . . . blue. Now I'm scared. Is he having a seizure? Should I dial 911 from my cell and say, what? I'm on the northbound middle lane of I-27 and there's a driver behind me . . . foaming blue at the mouth? And that's bad, right? Send paramedics, okay? 'Cause I don't think that's really supposed to be happening. Not good for him and certainly not good for any of us here on the road with him.

And then I see him . . . spit. Into the passenger seat. (I'm guessing there was some kind of spit receptacle in the seat. At least I hope for the sake of any future passengers there was a spit receptacle!) I can't decide who is the bigger idiot: Him, for brushing his teeth while navigating rush hour traffic or me, for taking a good 5 minutes to figure out he was brushing his teeth while navigating rush hour traffic. Please - don't answer that.

While we're on the subject of idiotic people doing mystifying things, here's another for you: Women who bring their cell phones into public restrooms and have conversations. This happens to me on average (at work, not at home - thank heaven for small favors!) at least once a day. I'm trying to be all annoyingly healthy and drink my 8+, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. My skin looks nicer than ever, but I'm sure my co-workers think I have a bladder infection or some kind of kidney condition. The point is - I visit the ladies' room a lot. So I have a lot of experience with this. And it is just . . . bizarre.

Maybe I have issues. I embrace that. Perhaps I was potty-trained too early (or too late as the legend goes). Yes, I could be stuck in some Freudian stage and that is why I'm all messed up. Or maybe even I was once traumatized by the sudden and unexpected flushing of one of those toilets with the automated laser/flushing thing. Fill in my sick issue of your choice here:

But. When I am in a public restroom - and yes, ladies, you are not in your own home in your own bathroom and you're not in someone else's home, so that makes work bathrooms "public", whether you like it or not - there is nothing more disconcerting than hearing a woman crash into the bathroom talking loudly about something inane, THEN hearing her sit in the stall next to mine (when I'm the only one in there and there are EIGHT OTHER EMPTY STALLS BUT I DIGRESS!), plunk herself on the toilet, begin urinating and telling her husband what's she making for dinner ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

You know what? My urethra shrieks in shame and everything stops. And suddenly I have what they call "stage fright" and now I can't do a damn thing until you've finished your conversation and who knows how long that's going to take?? Because while you don't care that your husband hears YOU going to the bathroom, I care that he can hear me. I'm sure he's perfectly nice and a very understanding, supportive man but I don't know him and I don't like the idea of the sound of my peeing being transmitted over the cellular airwaves. Really, ladies - you're taking multi-tasking much too far. One or the other. Not both. Please.

I apologize for the potentially graphic and offensive nature of this post. Believe it or not, even after teaching the kids about sex and all kinds of things most adults don't mention in pleasant conversation, I prefer not to engage in long discussions about my bodily functions. But, anonymous cell-phone-in-the-ladies'-room-users, today was the last straw!!! You pushed me too far. Please don't make me do it again. And if you can't do it for me, think of the children.

(I have no idea what that means, but as Kathy Griffin says, it seems to get people to pay more attention.)


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Reasons why this post will suck

Uh, one: I should not be blogging.

I just spent the last 5 minutes trying to figure out what day it is. "It's Wednesday. No, not quite. Is it Monday? Maybe. Could be. Wait . . . Yes, it's TUESDAY."

Who doesn't know what day it is . . . for FIVE minutes!? Although, when I was pondering that particular question of the day, I was amazingly calm.

Okay, next reason: I attended a conference today. I drank:
  1. 3 cups of coffee

  2. 1 giant Diet Mountain Dew (which I've never had before, but they had already run out of Diet Pepsi)

  3. Another giant cup of coffee, and . . .

  4. No water.

I am thirsty and dehydrated to distraction (and probably more than a little wired up) and although I've sucked down almost an entire pitcher of Brita water, I am still having trouble removing my tongue from the roof of my mouth. Fascinating, yes?

And perhaps because of the conference and/or the dehydration situation, that's about all I got. Told ya - this post sucks. I'm trying to be okay with that because not even two years ago, I (vaguely) remember posting about some book title like No One Cares What You Had for Lunch - How to Write Fascinating Blog Entries - and I ripped on people who would need a book like that. I think I may have made comments in the realm of, "I ALWAYS have something to say. Who is SO boring that they have to blog about what they had for lunch? PLEASE. I could post 100 times a day about all kinds of fascinating, compelling issues and look at me go with my snarky bloggy self."

And now . . . well, witness the carnage. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I'm not even interesting enough to tell you what I had for lunch (It was a chicken salad sandwich on ciabatta bread, if you're wondering) - I've stooped so low that I'm discussing beverages!!!!! Oh, the humanity!

Oh - and my eyes are crossing and I'm not even doing the most basic proof-reading which would have made my head spin not so long ago and now . . . eh. Not so much.

Now I will attempt to distract you with a picture of Minnie . . . in a dress. (This was NOT my idea, nor was this dress purchased by myself or Mr. J. In fact, Minnie was photographed wearing this dress because Mr. J. LOST A BET AT WORK. I think someone should call the ASPCA.)


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The "F" Word - Again!

Liberal Banana is back in the Blogosphere! Hooray!!!!!!

I figured if she could do it, I still probably couldn't do it, but I'm willing to entertain the idea.

Now. Let's get down to business.

No - not that "f" word. I have no problem (probably a sad thing for my mother) with the f word.

I have written about this before but I'm much too lazy to find it in my archives.

It's "feminist". The reaction to this word has always surprised me. If you were a regular reader you may remember that my female students often included a phrase like this in their writings, "Not that I'm a feminist or anything, but I don't think that women should . . . " be forced to wear burqas, experience genital mutilation, be date-raped, slipped the date-rape drug, get beaten by their husbands . . . choose one of the above or insert your own.

I haven't thought about it in a long time and then today I walked past a colleague's office. She was lunching with her assistant and I heard her call my name: "Hey! Teacher Lady" I stuck my head in to say hello and she said, "Let me know if I'm crossing inappropriate boundaries," (wait - are you going to tell me you have Herpes? No, different job). How do you feel about Sarah Palin?"

My response: "She's basically a conservative white dude with an NRA membership card who happens to have a pesky little thing called a uterus."

Colleague looked at assistant smugly: I told you she wouldn't like her!
Assistant looked at me, confused: But I told you, TL's a feminist.
Colleague shook her head, "The feminists don't like her."

I was thanked for my time and then I wandered off to my meeting and proceeded to be pretty useless because I couldn't keep myself from wondering what "feminist" meant.

I was extra confused b/c colleague is a very successful 40-year-old who is married but kept her own last name (apparently that's a BIG tip-off to all the other feminist hunters out there) and would seem to be very assertive in her marriage (at least the way she tells it).

Assistant is the primary bread-winner in her household while the spouse stays home with 3 children under the age of 5.

Mr. J. pays all the bills and manages our finances to the point where I'm embarrassed to admit it because I'm pretty much as ignorant about money as the average 1950s housewife.

But I'm the feminist?

What does that mean? To my knowledge, I've never been recruited. I don't own a message tee that reads, "This is what a feminist looks like" (although I don't care if someone else wants to wear one).

I don't have a membership card, I haven't paid any dues since, oh, I was born and if there are weekly meetings, I've never been invited.

And let's say I were to be recruited - where might this happen as I'm going about my day? In the dressing room at Nordstrom's while I'm trying to wrestle myself into size 6 jeans? (Yes, I know - I'm quite the dreamer!) Suddenly, I hear - "Psst - you don't have to take this anymore" and I see an unmanicured hand slip a business card under the divider. The card reads, "Feminists. World Domination is Just One Bra-Burning Away." On the reverse side is an address to a Tarot Card parlor which serves as the "front" for the operation.

This has never happened to me (and I'm pretty grateful actually because no one likes to see strange hands appearing from underneath dividers of any sort, especially if they're in politics) and I think if it ever did I'd probably have some sort of fit that would involve me soiling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this (oh, blogosphere - you are kind and understanding because I suck right now) but ultimately: What did I do, say, wear, carry, mention, sing, eat or _______ (something, right!?!) to announce to my colleagues that I am a "feminist".

And again - would someone please tell me what that means, exactly? Was it Gloria Steinem who said, "A feminist is anyone who distinguishes herself from a doormat"? I like that definition. Too bad it never really caught on because then world domination WOULD be just one bra-burning away!