Rant

Picky Eaters Aren’t Childish!

So as I was looking up blog posts about picky eaters, I got so enraged that I was almost in tears. When I saw a post on Reddit about this, I was made to feel childish. As I may have mentioned in more than one blog post, I’m a picky eater. I already feel bad about being a picky eater. Being called “childish” and “a deal breaker for dating” makes me feel worse. I can’t help it that I’m a picky eater. I don’t want to be a picky eater. I don’t want to have to look at restaurant menus to see if there is anything I can even eat. You all are failing to even consider the many (but not all) reasons why someone’s picky.

  • Food allergies and intolerances. My niece is allergic to peanuts, my best friend from university is allergic to mushrooms, and a cousin has Celiac Disease. While my best friend’s food trigger can be avoided more easily, it’s not very easy to avoid things made of peanut products or gluten (though there are more gluten-free options than when my cousin was diagnosed). You know what would happen if they weren’t picky about what they ate? They’d get sick. My niece and best friend will break out in hives and my cousin will end up with intestinal damage.
  • Mental health and neurodiversity. Many people with autism do not have many foods that they will eat without having a meltdown. Based on stories I have read, some people with autism have so few foods that they will eat that I can count with one hand. With other stories, I can use both hands. OCD can be a factor too, when it comes to foods touching, texture, color, etc. Now don’t go self-diagnosing yourself as OCD because of this.
  • In some cases, it’s a disorder. There are many conditions, besides the aforementioned autism, that is a factor in having what is called a “feeding disorder”. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), formerly known as Selective Eating Disorder is one of them. ARFID is very selective eating that is not attributed to lack of available food, a medical condition, or mental health issue. Learn more about it here. I eat a lot of different foods in comparison to the people whose stories are on that site’s guestbook.
  • Food restrictions based on religion. Some religions prohibit the consumption of certain foods. A majority of people who follow the Hindu faith are vegetarians. Hindu practitioners who aren’t vegetarians still avoid beef. Muslims and certain sects of Judaism prohibit pork. I used to work with a woman who is vegetarian because she is Hindu. The barber in the hair salon I go to is Muslim. This is non-negotiable. They cannot eat your pulled pork sandwiches.
  • They’re vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, or anything else that means they don’t eat animal products and/or meat. With the exception of pescetarians who go to a seafood restaurant, there aren’t many options at restaurants for those who don’t eat meat. Yes, there are restaurants that only serve vegetarian or vegan meals, but how far do you have to go to find that if you don’t live in the city? I’m not a vegetarian, but the nearest vegetarian-only restaurant that I know of is about 26 miles away.

I am less picky than I used to be, but I’m still picky. My pickiness is largely based on how food looks. I’m also worried that if I order a new food at a restaurant, I won’t like it and I will have wasted money. I’m not picky based on texture, but I have liked certain foods or snacks because of its texture. Sometimes, me trying new foods would be a result of not having any choice. One time, Red Lobster ran out of chicken tenders on Mother’s Day, so I had to have a chicken caesar salad. I wanted to try the caesar salad, though, so I guess it wasn’t that bad of an experience. I also had to try beef stew one time at my ex-boyfriend’s family dinners to celebrate someone’s birthday. There was way too much wine in it. I’m sensitive with overpowering tastes, which is why I don’t like chocolate.

However, I have discovered foods that I like because of trying new things. I love sushi now, after trying it in March 2016. My boyfriend’s father’s cousin made the best French toast I ever had (I first tried it at my childhood friend Samantha’s 13th birthday sleepover). Franklin, honey, if you see this blog post, tell Ms. Linda to invite us over for brunch again. Maybe for Christmas? I first tried miso soup in 2014 when a moderator group I was a part of went out for Japanese food. Very delicious. I always get miso soup with my sushi.

So shame on you if you want to stigmatize people for something that it turns out they can’t control. Trust me, we don’t want to be picky eaters either.

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Rant

Don’t Moon the Photographer! A Guest Perspective of a 2016 Wedding

For my friends whose first language isn’t English: Mooning someone means to show someone your bare butt by bending over and pulling down your pants and underwear.

I’m going to be vague on a few things and change some names because I don’t want anyone from the wedding knowing exactly who is doing this guest perspective. This blog post is in the rant category because this will mostly be a complaint about the wedding.

In 2016, my parents, my boyfriend at the time, and I attended my childhood friend’s wedding. She was still in elementary school when we met, so I am still saying childhood friend. My friend Maxine married Josh (names changed). I didn’t want to be there because I wasn’t asked to be in the wedding (we all thought I was going to be in it. Even her family members thought I was going to be in the wedding). I was already in a bad mood because my then-boyfriend left his phone at JcPenney the night before when he was trying on clothes for the wedding. We didn’t realize it until after the store closed. When we went back the next morning, they didn’t have the phone claimed. I think a worker found it, but chose to not turn it in.

The ceremony:

  • Started late. Didn’t really care about that since I heard someone say that it’s bad luck to start a wedding on time. The reason why the wedding started late was because only a few people on Josh’s side were here. Many minutes later, a giant group of people from Josh’s side arrived. I guess they got a bus from a hotel and it was running late
  • Way too much prayer! One prayer is fine, but four or five? Way too much! I’m an atheist so this was a big problem for me. I swear there was a prayer between each part in the ceremony. I think I even rolled my eyes and quietly huffed after prayer number 3. This is why my wedding will be 100% secular.
  • The processional was sad. What I mean is the bridesmaids looked sad. I seriously wonder who died. I am likely to be a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding in April 2019 (my cousin’s fiancee told me I’m in the planning committee and her sister will text everyone next year) so I hope the wedding party looks happy. Side note: I am very excited about my cousin getting married.
  • The flower girls, who were 1 and 3, were going anywhere but down the aisle. From what I read, if a flower girl or ring bearer is under the age of 7, they may not walk down the aisle perfectly, even if there is a wedding rehearsal. The three-year-old eventually walked down the aisle properly, but I think Maxine’s stepmom should have picked up the one-year-old and carried her down the aisle (the flower girls were Maxine’s half-sisters). I think their delay in going down the aisle caused my friend to miss her musical cue. I have a strong feeling of when she was supposed to walk down the aisle with her dad.

After the recessional, the photographer told us to make a half moon around the wedding party for the group picture before the wedding party photos. Dad asked me if we can moon the photographer. I told him no. This is where the title of this blog post came from. Dad also asked this when we stepped into the reception area, after the officiant blessed the food, and while we were eating.

Reception:

  • I don’t remember if the salad was served before or after the wedding party walked into the reception area. I didn’t put dressing on my salad because I didn’t know if the dressing was ranch. I have a food sensitivity to something in ranch and I will feel nauseous if I eat or kiss someone who ate ranch. Found out later it was Italian dressing. The caterers should have actually said what it was.
  • When Maxine and Josh walked into the reception area, not everyone stood up. I think a table and a half on the other side stayed seated. Guess who was singled out by the “aunt” (who is actually Maxine’s dad’s friend who probably is still attracted to the bride’s dad)? That’s right, me. I was in a bad mood already. Lay off, you alcoholic swine.
  • The dances happened after the dinner, which surprised me. I expected the dances to happen right after the bride and groom walked in. I expected the following to happen: wedding party walks in, the newlyweds walk in, first dance by the newlyweds, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, eat food.
  • I thought it was decent that Maxine’s dad walked onto the dance floor from being a bit hidden for the father-daughter dance, but I would want my dad to already be on the dance floor when it’s time for us to dance.
  • It was a buffet dinner, which I prefer instead of plated meals. This is mainly because I have some family members who may not be able to have a regular meal (niece is allergic to peanuts and beets while a cousin has Celiac Disease). There were a lot of food options. The alcoholic “aunt” commented that she loves black weddings because they serve fried chicken. I knew she was already drunk at this point. The food was good, though.
  • Mom complained about the music during dinner. I think she said the music sounded too “old”. I reminded her that this was Disney music by Randy Newman. All of the music on the CD on the tables were from Disney. Maxine wanted a Tinkerbell wedding, but Josh luckily said no. She got married shortly before her 23rd birthday, so yeah. Too old for Tinkerbell.
  • No one seemed to pay attention to the cake cutting. I’m not sure if the cake cutting was announced. If it was, no one cared. As someone who strongly craves attention, I would be openly pissed about it.
  • Here’s the part that caused me to almost start a brawl: the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Long story short, the garter was passed to the best man and the bouquet was passed to the best man’s girlfriend. On top of my then-boyfriend’s phone being stolen and way too much prayer, I snapped. I was livid. I’m flipping out at people and my dad couldn’t even calm me down. We had to leave during the groomsmen dance performance of “Sexy and I Know It” because I was in kill mode. The only reason why I didn’t start attacking people was because the bride was my reference for my security clearance investigation. Maxine, if you read this, you are damn lucky.

So to my fellow brides-to-be, grooms-to-be, and non-binary spouses-to-be, I have some tips for you based on this wedding (and a few other weddings, but mainly this one)”

  • Not everyone is Christian. Don’t assume and respect those who aren’t Christian
  • Limit people’s alcohol consumption at the wedding. Of course, alcoholics will have already had some drinks before heading to the ceremony
  • People walking down the aisle should pretend to be happy that the couple is getting married. I know the real reason why Josh proposed to Maxine (no, she wasn’t pregnant despite what I originally thought), but this is the perfect time to be fake
  • Don’t have flower girls that are too young. Four or five years old is a good minimum age
  • Make sure people use clear language so people don’t misinterpret things. Not only for people who want to joke at a solemn event, but for people whose language may not be English
Rant

Hero Worship: Sometimes it Goes Too Far

This post is largely (but not completely) inspired by the recent protests at the American football games on Sunday. People will be offended. I seriously don’t give a fuck.

If you haven’t been aware of things going on in the NFL lately, football players have taken Colin Kaepernick’s lead on peaceful protesting and have either kneeled for the national anthem or stayed in the locker room. This pissed people off. Mainly white people and people who are or were in the military. Those people are clearly okay with the injustices going on in America (or as some say, Amerikkka), and to those people, fuck you. I will not respect you for being okay with my life being at risk.

In one football team, the only athlete from one team on the field for the National Anthem was a military veteran. People were quick to point it out. This, and a non-negative event that happened after kickboxing last month is what inspired this blog about the hero worshiping that occurs with people in the military.

Last month, before my boyfriend went off to his two-week training, I met up with him and some men from his National Guard unit for lunch. Of course, they were in uniform. Two people thanked the guardsmen for their service. It made me think about whether these thank yous were legitimate or if the two guys felt like they had to thank them because they were in uniform. Some people also thank elderly men for their service. They didn’t have a choice but to fight in a war, so should they really be thanked? Form your opinion on that.

In the American culture, there is an elevated (and excessive) admiration for anyone who is or was in the military. Well, except for National Guard members since they’re misunderstood. More on that in another blog. This is what hero worship means. People think that anyone who chooses to fight in the armed services is better than everyone else. Heck, I have met at least one person in the ROTC who seemed to be better than the rest of the people in the religion class because of being in the ROTC. You are not entitled to anyone’s respect. You are not entitled to have your perks. You are not entitled to anything, so don’t be an entitled schmuck.

And to the civilians who like to figurative suck the dicks of the military: why do you do it? If you feel like you have to, don’t. It’s as ineffective as an insincere apology. Are you living vicariously through those in the service? People in the military should not be seen as perfect people or glorified to the level of a deity.

Awareness · Rant

Where are the Black Voices?

Warning: White people might be offended at this blog post. I don’t care. Either read this and be offended or don’t read this blog post. I’m not holding a gun against your head to force you to read this.

We all know what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. We see firsthand what happens when white supremacists use their power to make it dangerous for me, a black person, to live in America. The white supremacists aren’t even hiding anymore. I can no longer travel south of Maryland due to fear of being attacked because the color of my skin is wrong. Another white supremacy rally was allowed in Boston. Fuck Boston. I heard the sports fans are racist there too.

On Sunday, August 13th, there were rallies around the country. There was even one in my county! I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to bring my white friend with me due to my fear that he’d be harassed. That wouldn’t have happened, and it was a good thing I didn’t go anyways. The next day, mom saw images of the rallies around the country. There were mostly white people in attendance.

Tonight, I saw news reports of confederate statues being taken down. Guess what race did all the talking about racism? White people. Whites will NEVER be the targets of racism!

In these two cases, there was a strong lack of black people, the race that is the most affected by these scary spikes in racism that started occurring with Ferguson. Where are the black voices, the voices that matter the most? Yes, I know that white people marched with black people during the civil rights era, but these marches and protests didn’t consist almost entirely of white people. Black people have the power to change the world they live in, but they can’t do that when white people once again try to take the spotlight and silence us. Enough is enough.

White people, please do not speak on my behalf. I am alive. I am the oppressed one. I can speak for myself.

Rant

Kickboxer Rage! Shadowboxing Means No Contact!

First of all, I want to give a shout-out to Catherine. She is one of my followers and she’s started kickboxing. Read her blog posts here. Catherine, I will have a blog post in the future that will be able to give you tips for kickboxing.

I’m angry. So angry that I even talked to my kickboxing coach about it. Nearly a month ago, my workout buddy got kicked in the ribs and bruised his rib. No, I didn’t do it! I’d never forgive myself if I did. On the evening of May 17th, he got kicked in the ribs again. Same spot as last month. He also got hit in the nose by a different person and it looks like his nose might bruise. Last week, he got hit in the eyeball by a guy who is quitting boxing to join a different gym. These injuries should not have occurred because we were doing paired shadowboxing, which is no contact.

The combined boxing and kickboxing class is two hours long three times per week. The first hour is conditioning hour, which consists of warm-ups, stretching, shadowboxing by yourself, paired shadowboxing (no contact boxing or kickboxing), and ab work. Read that again. No contact. It means that your punches or kicks don’t hit the person. Tell me, why the hell is my workout buddy hurt again? Another month of him having to sleep on his right side since his left side is hurt! He said he’ll still be in class on Saturday, but I don’t know if he will.

So why are Gary and I angry? I’m repeating myself, but shadowboxing is no contact. Still, people are making contact. Gary got hurt twice in one day and ribs take weeks to heal. He doesn’t even want to shadowbox anymore. I’m angry because people aren’t practicing self-control. I’m starting to not like this gym because more than one person has done contact work during no-contact shadowboxing. Since he was kicked in the ribs twice, I’m worried that he might quit if he gets hurt one more time. I don’t want Gary to quit. I feel a connection with him moreso than anyone else at the gym. I only see him when I have kickboxing, although I want to spend time with him outside of class like some other boxers and kickboxers do.

For 2017, I promised myself that this is the year where I’m not silent. I will speak up. I don’t want to be silent and be seen as passively accepting things that are wrong. That’s why I talked to my coach after class. I suggested that he remind everyone that shadowboxing means that there will be no contact. He told me that he’s going to keep a closer eye on my buddy during shadowboxing and will tell anyone who looks like they may do contact “Absolutely no contact” before they do a round of shadowboxing. He’s also been given the options to either “work the bags” (hitting the bags) during the paired shadowboxing time, shadowbox with the coach, or shadowbox with a few people he can trust (which to be honest, he doesn’t seem to like kickboxers anymore since it’s almost always been kickboxers who hurt him. I hope I’m the exception to his dislike for kickboxers).

Gary, if you ever come across this blog post, Coach and I don’t want you to quit. Coach likes you a lot. I really admire how you figuratively spat in the face of death and decided to pursue boxing after being given your second chance at life. Whenever I get frustrated at my lack of improvement, you make things better. Whenever I don’t want to show up to kickboxing, the thought of you being there makes me want to go to class. You mean a lot to me and if you quit and I never see you again, I would be devastated.

Rant

Rage! Get My Name Right, White People!

It’s another rage post! If you’re not white and don’t have a white name, you have experienced this issue. I am black, but I have a Hispanic-sounding name. No seriously, my roommates my freshman year of university argued whether I was black or Hispanic due to my first name. Once they saw me, they knew I wasn’t Hispanic (though people mistake me for Puerto Rican based on appearance). People will mispronounce your name, whether they butcher it badly, call you a completely different name, or drop letters. I’ve experienced the dropping of letters or being called a completely different name.

At kickboxing, people have called me Martika or Marcella (being called Marcella recently is why I’m writing this blog). It’s neither. I thank the people who get my name right. At the dentist, a receptionist called me Martine. I had to correct her, and I was snippy about it. I’m not sorry about that. You can only take so much incorrectness before you stop being nice. I’ve been called the wrong name by people’s family and by a bus driver in first grade (with my bus driver, she would say the wrong name when doing bus evacuation. At some point, I refused to say I was here until she got my name right). You know what all these people have in common? They are white.

Tell me, white people. Why do you feel like it’s okay to butcher non-white names? Do you like the power to piss people of color off? Do you not have the capability of getting names right? And tell me, people of color. Are you also pissed off when people get your name wrong? Do you want to change your name to an easier name?

I will not be nice about people getting my name wrong anymore! I’m even considering having white people call me a different name (possibly Cara) while people of color can use my real name. If you can’t say my name right at all, don’t say my name.

Rant

Feminist Rage! Why are Baby Girls Seemingly Less Desirable Now?

Trigger warning: There will be a mention of miscarriage in this blog. If this is a trigger for you, don’t read this blog. I want my readers to be safe.

Oh my gosh! People are reading my blogs! Thanks to everyone who has liked my posts so far! I love you! Today also marks 6 months at my current job! Let’s eat cake!

I rage again! This time, my inspiration comes from many things which will be mentioned in this blog. So in the West, I have been hearing more and more people wanting baby boys and have even heard about people being disappointed over having a baby girl.

I first heard about this after returning from a conference relating to my on-campus job. My brother and sister-in-law had a gender reveal party (I don’t know why they call it that. We’re only learning the sex of the baby) and when they found out they were having a girl, they were openly disappointed. They wanted a boy as their first child (they still only have one child, and I think it’s going to stay that way). I heard about it again at my cousin and his wife’s gender reveal party (I wasn’t there either, because… I don’t remember). At least this time, my cousin’s wife mentioned her disappointment to someone after the party. Here’s something I’d like to say to my sister-in-law and cousin’s wife…

BITCHES! BOTH OF YOUR PREVIOUS PREGNANCIES ENDED IN MISCARRIAGE! BE FUCKING GLAD THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO CARRY THIS BABY TO TERM!

Now recently, I’ve been hearing people say that boys are easier to raise than girls. My mom told me otherwise, but I don’t have kids so I can’t form an opinion. What’s pissing me off is that people are saying things along the lines of “At least you’re not having a girl.” Tell me, what’s wrong with girls? I know people’s brains have been molded by misogyny, and that’s sad. Women have just as much value in the world as men do.

I feel bad for the women who don’t want baby girls or feel thankful that they don’t have girls. They’re just victims of internalized misogyny. Society as a whole favors men more than people who aren’t men. Women shouldn’t contribute to the problem. If I were to have a baby girl (or adopt a girl), I would be happy and support them in this anti-women world.

A message to girls: You have worth. You may not be as famous for good things like Malala Yousafzai, but you are worthy of being loved and desired (not just sexually, of course!). Stand up for other women when they face sexism.