Posts Tagged ‘rants’

Cutting the Cord

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

So between the tax increase (thanks for NOTHING stupid town) and the new minivan (thanks for NOTHING fetus) (just kidding) our budget is feeling a little pinched.

By “budget” I mean “dollars left over in our bank account three days before payday since we seem to be totally incapable of planning or predicting exactly how much we’re spending despite spreadsheets, software and having made pretty much the same amount of money for the last 2 years.”

And by “a little pinched” I mean “I’m considering selling my gold for cash. If I could just remember where I buried that chest of pirate’s booty.”

Unfortunately our largest expenses are all fixed – mortgage, car payments, insurance – so we’re taking a really hard look at our optional expenses. Since we can’t really stop eating or bathing and I would probably DIE without internet (not an exaggeration at all – I NEVER exaggerate) the service on the chopping block is cable.


Growing up, my parents refused to pay good money for TV when it was available for free right out of the airwaves. Of course “available” is a relative term that often meant Dad climbing on the roof to reposition the giant antenna so we could watch whatever channel was currently broadcasting the documentary about soap in English.

We spent a lot of time at other people’s houses who did have cable outside.

When I went to college I was THRILLED to learn the dorms included cable – INCLUDED!!!!! – although I’m pretty sure my dad called to ask if he could get a discount on room & board if he had the connection turned off. Don’t worry, roommates, I’m sure he would have climbed up on the roof of the dorm to install a giant antenna for us.

With that kind of traumatic TV past, I’m having a hard time giving up my cable. I am in fact, throwing a little bit of a hissy fit about it. I don’t CARE that we have Netflix. I don’t CARE that almost every show I watch is available online. I don’t CARE that I can buy a season pass to almost everything else on iTunes for a fraction of our monthly cable bill. I don’t CARE that we have a super-fast desktop designated media computer attached directly to our TV so I can watch all the online shows ON MY ACTUAL TV. I don’t….oh. Well, when you put it that way, I guess I’m being a little unreasonable. Fine.

I think instead of giving up all TV we’re going to go to the absolute bare bones $16 a month cable plan (which is less than we pay for Netflix). Then I can still watch the Today Show in the morning while Baby Evan and I get ready and the Price is Right at lunch. Because it’s not lunch time without The Price is Right and I am NOT screwing around with roof climbing and antennas. It means I won’t have a DVR. It means I have to choose between shows when there are two things on I want to watch. It means when I’m deciding if I should sit on the couch and watch Wipeout or take the baby to the park the first option might take enough effort that I make the wiser choice.

I think it will be good for us and our bank account.

My Nipples Will Not Corrupt Your Children

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

I don’t care if my breastfeeding offends you. I don’t care if your child sees my nipple while I’m trying to get the baby latched on. I don’t care if you think I should use a cover. I don’t care if you think it’s “gross” or “nasty” or “immodest”. I don’t care if you complain. I don’t care if you glare at me. Simply put, your objections sound like a personal problem to me. We can talk about it if you want, but don’t expect me to stop nursing the baby while I school you.

With all the pro-breastfeeding talk and ad campaigns and information out there, you’d think breastfeeding was something people actually supported. It turns out it’s not breastfeeding. It’s just breastmilk. Sure babies should drink human milk – it’s just such a shame it comes from those dirty, disgusting boobs. The worst part is it’s often women, even other mothers, whose delicate sensibilities are so offended by the sight of nursing. Women who themselves have been driven to bottles, either intentionally or subversively, by the sexualization of the word “breast” or the formula industry. (A whole other topic – from shady marketing techniques all the way to influencing government agencies to tone down support for breastfeeding.) Women who are so ashamed of their own bodies that they can’t stand even a glimpse of a breast doing what breasts are supposed to do. You know who was breastfed? JESUS. And I bet Mary didn’t use a Hooter Hider.

“Well then, go ahead. Of course you can nurse in public,” most people will say, “Just be discrete. There’s no need to go flashing your boobs around everywhere.” HAVE YOU EVER ACTUALLY SEEN THAT HAPPEN? EVER? Before I had a baby, the only person I had ever seen breastfeed, anywhere, at any time in my life, was my own mother feeding my baby brother. And you know what? I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER IT. I was seven when he was born and her nursing affected me SO LITTLE that it doesn’t even exist as a memory in my brain. Now I attend a breastfeeding support group, where 8 to 12 women all nurse their babies at once and not a single one of them uses a cover…and I can still count the number of nipples I’ve seen on one hand. Next time you see someone feeding her baby in public, try looking at her face instead of her chest. It’s not that hard, and might keep you from seeing those nipples you’re so worried about.

Part of the stigma of breastfeeding is the straight-to-the-baby delivery system. Our culture is obsessed with food preparation. It’s just how eating is done. You buy food at the store, you bring it home, you mix it and you heat it. Formula is prepared the way we’re used to, the way we’re comfortable with, the way we’ve been raised to understand. Food preparation is so ingrained in our society we think things like unpasteurized milk and the raw foods diet are crazy. But why force a mother to add or subtract or mix or heat something when the perfect food at the perfect consistency and the perfect temperature is available on demand? IF SHE WANTS TO BREASTFEED, let her do it. (And you know what, if she wants to bottle-feed, just keep those opinions to yourself as well. I’m sick of that debate too.)

Believe it or not, my right to feed my child is an actual right. Your right to be offended is not. (Link to breastfeeding laws by state here.) EVEN IF the baby looks “too old” to be doing that. EVEN IF he’s old enough to ask for it. EVEN IF it makes you uncomfortable. EVEN IF you hate babies and never want to have any. EVEN IF ANYTHING.

The next time you see a mom nursing in public – and I challenge you to find one – tell her you admire that she’s doing the best she can for her baby and you support her. I guarantee you will make her day.