Linda

The sexual revolution of the 70’s changed the lives of everyone who lived through it. Sex was no longer something to keep in the bedroom within the context of a married covenant. It became a symbol of rebellion to the many wise generations above us. Sex became entertainment for many and the pornography industry sky rocketed. One of the major adult motion pictures of the time was titled “Deep Throat,” starring “Linda Lovelace.” As you can imagine from the title (please don’t), it was a sight that had never seen the big screen before. 

Linda has an incredible story. I watched a movie on Netflix titled Lovelace. Anna was horribly scarred after watching the first 20 minutes or so of Lovelace. The first bit of it really does make it seem like you’re watching a pornography movie… so I can understand her confusion. At first, I watched it thinking, “No way is there something that crude on Netflix!” Well, guess what kids, I was wrong. I was horrified at this film and immediately turned it off when a particular scene came on. I mean, seriously? Ew. So I told Anna, “okay, I believe you.” 

But then… I looked into what the movie was about. I read that it was about Linda Lovelace. I read that it as based on her autobiography entitled Ordeal. I decided to take another look into the movie (skipping the beginning, as to not end up crying) and see what Linda’s story was. Little did I know that I would end up crying regardless. 

The most interesting thing about this movie is that the beginning supposedly shows the “glamour” of the pornography industry. Past that point, it shows the back stage of what goes on behind scenes and in the lives of stars like Linda. An incredibly heart-breaking story had me emotional by the end, and I couldn’t help but attempt empathy. Her story tells tales of being thrown into this industry, beat, held at gunpoint, paid nothing, eating very little, being forced to do many many many things that she did not want to do but felt as though she should obey her husband, as she was raised to do… for if she didn’t, there were mighty consequences.

She lived to tell the tale until she passed in 2002 due to injuries from a car accident a month earlier. Once she made it out, she told her story and titled it Ordeal, and it sold out during 3 prints. The movie I watched came out in 2009 starring Amanda Seyfried (Ms. Seyfried is the only reason Anna watched it blindly the first time by mistake) tells the story of Ordeal and brought me to tears. While I am unsure what I can do or what I can say, I know that stories like hers aren’t as uncommon as I wish that they were.

This means that I need to take action against things like this. Linda became an extreme anti-porn and anti-domestic violence advocate once she was out of the hands of her “loving husband” Chuck. It breaks my heart to know that women are suffering the way Linda did 40 years ago, despite action against the industry. It’s probably bigger now than ever, with the internet and all.

Let me at least say this. Men and women alike, if you’ve ever been interested in viewing these types of things, think about it like this. The person you see on screen? They’re someone’s daughter. They probably haven’t talked to their parents in a while, and if they have, it’s because their parents don’t know. That’s someone’s sibling. Someone’s cousin. Someone’s aunt. Someone’s granddaughter. Someone’s somebody. What you see on screen isn’t the full picture of their lives. By viewing this graphic content, you are supporting an industry built on abuse. By simply viewing this, you are supporting all that goes on off the set, like domestic violence, rape, and maltreatment. Remember that next time you want to view something like that. 

Anyways, off my soap box. Tragic movie. If things like I’ve mentioned above make you cry or uncomfortable, I wouldn’t recommend this R rated film. But it really is an eye-opener to things that I like to pretend don’t exist sometimes. I know I personally forget that everything has more to it than meets the eye, the pornography industry being one of those things. 

My Favorite Time of Day

***DISCLAIMER***

The following story was completely made up for the purpose of creating a character using the methods of characterization we learned. Any similarities to real people, places, or conversation are completely coincidental.  

 

***WARNING***

The story you are about to read is extremely cheesy and short. You might want it to go on longer, and you might want it to be over sooner. It just depends on what kind of story you like.

 

My Favorite Time of Day

By Erin Bell

 

“Want me to help you with those?” He asked.

“Thanks Dean, they were getting heavy.” I say with a gasp, as he grabs my books.

“Oh, no problem. I would do this anytime.” he says back, although he looks slightly strained.

Today, the sun was out and the weather was definitely preferable. I look over at Dean, and he is breathtaking. His eyes look like emeralds, and his long, wavy hair in the sunlight is shining. It’s a beautiful sun-kissed blonde. I love walking home with him from school every day. Finally, September is here, and the long walks home came with it. Just as I was admiring him, he looked over, and I quickly looked away.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked, and I looked back up at him. He is looking deep into my eyes. I love it when he does this, because I know he’s really listening.

“Nothing–” I say a little too quickly, so I come back with, “I just love the weather when it’s like this. It’s perfect.”

“I find it enjoyable. Hey Faith, can I ask you something?”

“Yeah, of course. What’s up?”

“Well, you know that new girl Darcy? She’s a junior, like me, so I don’t know if a sophomore like you would know her–”

I interrupted and said smugly, “Yes, I do know her. Darcy Maltrie, the really pretty one, right?” I’m very curious as to why he’s talking about her. “What about her?”

“Well, I was thinking about her, and we’re in a lot of the same classes, and we actually sit by each other in three of them, and she keeps talking to me, and we have the same lunch, and–” I cut him off again.

“Dean Emmett Ami, do you have a crush? Does Dean finally have a crush on a girl?” I tease         , even though I desperately hope he’ll say no.

Ever since we were climbing trees in my backyard to the time he held me when my father passed away last year, Dean and I have always been best friends. We have both lived in this small town our whole life, right next door to each other. Our parents’ have had us walking to school together ever since I started school, because my parents didn’t want me walking to school alone. I love being best friends with him, and sometimes, I feel like I should protect him from things, because I don’t want to see him get hurt.

“I guess you could call it that, but I think it’s more than a crush. She’s cute, and nice, and funny, and… well I wanted to ask you if you think it’s a good idea to ask her out on a date.”

As he said this, he started blushing. For some reason, that infuriated me, so I told him, “Well, I think it’s really great that you’re taking interest in someone, but, Darcy? I don’t know Dean…”

“Why? I think it’d be great! But, I think you know me best, and if you can give me a valid reason why I shouldn’t, then I won’t.” He paused for a few seconds to allow me to think, and then he said, “Well?”

“Well, um, she’s a Cancer and you’re a Libra. The magazine I read last night said that those Zodiac Signs are totally not compatible.” Personally, I thought this was a very clever response.

“Okay, that is definitely not a valid reason to not go on a date with someone. Is there a real reason you don’t want me to go out with her?”

“Not really.” I said, turning away. I am so afraid that he won’t know what he’s getting into, and he won’t keep his options open, and then he’ll get hurt, but I can’t tell him that.

“Okay, well, if you can’t think of anything, I’m going to do it. I’m going to call her right up and say, ‘Hey Darcy! Are you doing anything on Saturday night?’ and it’ll go great from there.” He looks off into the sky as he says this, and I can see the whole thing playing out in his head.

“Yeah, you’re right, and I’m sorry for trying to stop you. It’ll be fun, and you’ll have to tell me all about it!” I exclaim, and feel like I sound too excited. I definitely overcompensated for telling him not to ask her out.

“I’ll be sure to do that. Well, here are your books, and I had a nice time walking with you, as always. See you later.” And with a wave a smile, he turns on his heel and walks into his house.

I wonder why he wants to go on a date with her. I mean, she’s very pretty, and she’s his age, but he has never been interested in someone before. So why does he choose her? Why does he choose now? I just realized how long I’d just been standing outside the house. I should probably go in.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday morning, and I have been dying to know how his date with Darcy Maltrie went. I’m sure it went fine, considering Dean is so nice, stunning, and charming.

“Hey Faith!” he called.

“Hey Dean!” I called back with a smile. I was waiting for him at the end of my driveway, like I do every day, and I am never late. When he walked up, he automatically grabbed my books for me without even asking. We both turn and start making our way towards the school.

“I told you I’d tell you all about my date with Darcy. But I’m not really sure I want to.” As he said this, my mind starts racing. He must have had a really great time. She must have been a lot more fun than me if he won’t tell me about it.

“Well why not? You told me that she said yes, and you told me when and where, but why can’t you tell me how it went?” That must have sounded really desperate.

“It just wasn’t very great. I told her that I’d be there at six ‘o’ clock Saturday night, and she wasn’t ready until about six forty five. Then, she decided that we were going to get Mexican food instead of pizza, because pizza was too cheap. She complained the whole time about how heavy her purse was, and how cold she was, even after I offered my jacket and I was left in a tee shirt. I got her home right on time, and do you want to know what she said? Well I am going to tell you what she said. She said ‘Really? Right on time? Who does that? You are such a goody two-shoes, and I can’t see it working out.’ I told her to have a nice night, and that was that.”

He actually seemed upset about it. I felt bad for him, and couldn’t think of anything else to do but hug him.

“Oh, Dean, I’m sorry, that sounds awful.” I was tempted to say I told you so! But I could tell that now was just not the time. “She obviously just didn’t see how lucky she got, and she totally blew it.”

We break from our embrace and continue walking, him slightly in front of me. We walk in silence for a couple of minutes, but I break it by saying, “You do know that any girl would be lucky to have you, right?” I started blushing as I said this, but I really wish I hadn’t. I hate blushing; it gives away any emotions you might be trying to hide.

Dean looks over and says with a slight smile, “You really think so? Do you think you’re lucky to have me?”

“Of course! You’re the best friend anyone could even hope for.” I said quickly. I didn’t want to say anything I’d regret.

“Well any guy would be lucky to have you by his side, you know that? When I say any guy, I mean any guy.”

I laughed at this and said, “Kind of like you do?” and continued laughing, because I was totally kidding.

“Um, sort of… You’re my best friend. Because you’re my best friend, tell me what you’re thinking right now.” His face remains straight, poker-like.

My giggling fades out as I say, “Um, I don’t know. That I’m glad we’re best friends. Why? What are you thinking right now?”

“I was thinking about how beautiful you are… and how sometimes, I secretly wish that we’d be more than best friends.” I looked up at him as he said this, and we stopped walking. He continued, “I was thinking about how I was sick of hoping you’d want to be more than best friends also, and I went on a date with a girl who I barely knew, to try to stop those feelings.”

I had no idea what to say. Dean and I had always been best friends and always will be. I want to tell him that he’s the best guy I have ever met. I want to tell him that I have felt the same way for a long time. I want to tell him the real reason why I didn’t want him to go on a date with Darcy. I want to tell him how insanely happy I am that he just said all of that. Just then, he interrupted my thoughts.

“Are you going to say something soon? Because I’m getting the feeling that this is going to get really awkward really fast if you don’t feel the same way, like I’d hoped.”

Instead of saying all of the things I’d like to say, I kissed him on the cheek. I took my eyes away from his, saw the smile on his face, grabbed his hand, and we continued on our way.

“You still haven’t said anything. Since you lied the first time, can you tell me what you’re thinking right now?” Dean said, looking down at me.

“I’m thinking about how we’re going to be late to school!” I said laughing, as he laughed with me. Together we started talking, laughing, and running… hand in hand.

And that’s when the bus came. That’s how Faith died that day. Dean ended his life 70 years later with Darcy by his side and 6 kids.

The End.

Friendly Reminder: Happiness is a Choice You Make

Sadness is a strange thing, and is irreparable when you let it be. It can be one of the most damaging things to the human soul, if allowed. It isn’t something forced upon us, but it is a natural human reaction to a change of plans. Knowing that life will change due to a specific event renders emotions of denial, disappointment and anger. But letting these feelings completely deplete you and dwelling on the plans for the future can be devastating to life.

Sadness is something that isn’t forced upon us by anyone or anything. Latching onto ideas of the future is necessary for happiness. While settling with sadness is easy and safe, grasping a new plan for the future creates hope. Hope is vital when pursuing happiness. Maybe our plans aren’t always realistic, but they stir hope in our souls and help us to keep pursuing something. The day we lock away any plans, dreams, and goals for the future is the day we lock away motivation, hope, and happiness.

Continue to live. Resist the path that’s the easiest to go along with, because it won’t create happiness. Sure, the feeling of disappointment will never occur again, because there’s nothing to be disappointed about. But remember that happiness can be created when a vision becomes reality and our plans pan out just like we thought they would, and not all plans go wrong. So without an optimistic attitude about the blessings that have come along with a change and accepting them into a new vision of the future, happiness is unattainable. If you’re always looking back at the bright colors of the past, you will never see how much brighter the colors are now.

Thoughts on Time

We come and go

Like bird who fly south 

for a warmer, better life;

some of them stay

 and some of them go

others making trips back and forth.

Despite their choice,

they have to make one;

some of them stay

and some of them go.

We do the same, with people we know.

Some of us stay,

and some of us go.

But then there are some,

like the traveling birds,

who make the trips back and forth.

It may not be easy, or comfortable,

But they never want to forget

the birds who stayed.

As time drifts on,

so do we. Just like the birds.

Our lives in constant motion

living to the best we can

making choices and sacrificing a lot.

A day may come when we cannot return

like we’d returned so many times before.

We must become a bird who left

or once again join the birds who stayed.

We have to choose which life we live

despite the hard decision.

Some of us stay,

some of go,

and some of us just don’t know.

If there is a competition over who’s busiest and most important, I lose. Here is my concession speech.

Friends… a long post. But worth it. Let’s stop this competition of “whose life is worse and whose struggles are worse” because is that really what we want to be sharing? Let’s share our joys and triumphs and rejoice with one another. Let’s feel joy.

The Matt Walsh Blog

Alright, I won’t rehash what I wrote yesterday.

I entered into the octagon and found myself in a Parenting Death Match. The “who has it harder, whose job is tougher, who’s busier, who’s more important, who sleeps less, eats less, has less downtime, and less fun” competition. The “whose life is more miserable, because a miserable life is more important and compelling than a joyous one” contest.

That thing where we see who can beat their chest and play their violin the loudest.

That thing. That thing where we argue about whether dads have it tougher than moms, or moms have it tougher than dads, or Stay at Home moms have it tougher than working moms, or parents have it tougher than non-parents, or I have it tougher than you, or he than her, or her than him, or my dog than your dog, etc, etc, and so forth.

Honest…

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Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I like to think that one day I’ll be living lakeside in a glorious home that I built and personally designed on a 10-acre property and have the time to leisurely soak in the sunshine unto my pale skin. I’ll be slathered in sunscreen and bug-spray, warding off the unhappiness tied to bugs and sun when they touch me. I’ll be reading and writing to my heart’s content, unworried with my finances and relationships. Everything will be dandy. My happy home and happy husband will be present and thriving. I’ll have the time, resources, and money to help as many people as I can to the best of my ability; the desire to help where I can will never leave me. My degree from UW will be hanging in my at-home office, or as I’ll call it, “the writing nook.” My 4 years at the UW will have been the highlight of my life and led me to a writing career that skyrocketed and gave me the opportunity to earn millions of dollars.

Isn’t that the American dream? Or, better defined, my personal vision for the American dream? I do not know what my life entails, even if I’m only looking ahead to 5 months from now. My life is going to be different than I had hoped. I’d worked for all my years in high school with one goal in hindsight: Be a Husky. All I ever wanted was to be a Husky at the University of Washington. I saw my sister have the same dream and be crushed when it couldn’t become her reality. Although we have different reasons, I am experiencing what I watched her go through 6 years ago. I am unable to attend the UW.

No, I wasn’t denied acceptance. I have been accepted! I had tailored my transcripts and activities with the goal of making it in to the UW. Four years of my life were spent thinking, “would this better my chances in getting into the UW?” or “I HAVE to get straight A’s – that’s what they want at the UW.” All of those years of consciously tailoring my life to fit their expectations of freshmen paid off. I was accepted to be apart of their freshman class in Fall 2014. Something that I continually forgot to remind myself of was why.

I’d wanted to be a Husky since I was 10 years old. My girl scout troop took a tour and I was dazzled. I couldn’t get over how magical the libraries seemed and how cool it would be to read in the courtyard under the cherry blossoms in the week that they’re blooming. I read up on how academically rigorous their courses were and I was hooked. Being a total nerd and loving to learn my entire life, this school appealed to me. I never considered distance, family obligation, money, weather, where I’d live…  nothing. I was hooked at 10 and nothing changed that for 8 years.

It didn’t hit me until this academic year that I need to consider more than my 10 year old heart liked to consider. I fell in love when it wasn’t meant for me. I wish I hadn’t realized it so far down the road. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this dream that wasn’t mine to live. I don’t regret how I’ve spend my time through high school. I’ve had an ideal high school experience and I’ve loved it so so so much. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience or better people to experience it with. Ugh, I’m so mushy and cliche. But really.

So Seattle is no longer my dream or my end goal. It scares me because now I have no idea what my dream or end goal is. I’d had it set for 8 years and now as the time approaches for me to fulfill that dream, it’s not my dream to have anymore. I don’t belong at UW or Seattle Pacific University. My dream schools aren’t really what I want. I don’t like rain. I don’t like crammed quarters. I don’t like ‘college life.’ I don’t like 3 and a half hours away from my home. I don’t like driving in/up to Seattle. I don’t like not having a car. So I like the school. So I got in. So… what!? It’s not where I belong and I am coming to terms with that. Slowly but surely, I am coming to terms and learning a new reality!

Fingers Crossed!

It’s waiting for me… It’s probably been postmarked… I’m so nervous to get this letter.
I’d LOVE more than anything to attend the University of Washington. I’ve been a little bit obsessed with that school since I was 10 years old. But there are so many things that are keeping that from being a reality.
The biggest problem, first and foremost, is that I have no idea whether I am getting in or not. But like I said, it’s been post-marked and should be at my house very soon.
The next problem is finances. I do not have the money to go to a school like that right off the bat. I really wish that I did, but I just don’t. So even if that wonderful letter letting me know that I could possibly be a Husky is a positive letter, I don’t know if I can do anything with it. I do not have money to pay for school and I do not have money to pay for college. 
The third thing is weather. Lame reason, I know. But I don’t know if I could handle the amount of rain that Seattle gets. I would be sad all of the time, because I have freaky mood weather relation things… but I adore Seattle. I adore UW. I adooooore it! I’d love to be there. I need to be somewhere sunnier if I want to be happier; that’s how my body works.
The fourth thing is I need a car. I know this probably sounds really dumb to a lot of  people (like reason three) but I do not like to be without transportation at a moments’ notice. I need to be able to drive home at any second. Maybe it’s a fear-based need, but nonetheless, a need. 
The fifth thing is my indecisive brain. Sure, if I had some plan of what I want to do with my life, I’d be way more likely to head off to a 4-year school. But the truth is, I have no idea what the rest of my life is going to look like or what I will be doing. I know one thing: I aspire to inspire. My goal is to leave the planet a better place than I found it and help people with the skills I have been given. I don’t know what that looks like practically and I know that 694505452 other people have probably said that same thing. So I don’t know what that looks like at this point and it’d cost me a lot more money than it needs to if I tried figure that out at a 4-year university as opposed to getting those same general education credits at a 2-year college. 
This is where I’m stuck. I know that once it’s figured it, I’ll look back on this struggle and I’ll laugh a little bit (I hope!) but with whatever I decide to do, I’ll be fine!