a few words

First a few words about this coffee talk thing in general. It’s like a diary only you all get to read it. So being that it is a diary it is sort of private, which is not to say you can’t share it with your friends, I just want you to realize it is my sharing a little bit of my insides with you. I don’t want to be lectured about my insides. I am happy to talk about stuff I put down in word, but I don’t really want an email saying something like, ‘oh Heather you are all wrong’. Certainly each an every one of my readers are entitled to their own opinion and certainly I am interested in any aspects or perspectives I may have missed when thinking about a topic, but I don’t want to be lectured. I’m not expecting undying praise either. This is an ‘oh poor me’ page. It’s just my thinking out loud with bad grammar. You’ll get the idea, I am sure, when you read on. (Don’t worry Nana, no more talking about masturbation).

I’ve been acting very strangely lately. At least I think it is strange. I am becoming rather passive and indifferent. I don’t especially care about a heck of a lot these days. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict interests me because I am afraid for all the innocent people being killed. I am afraid for the guilty ones too actually. I am afraid that the seemingly meaningless violence, killing for the sake of killing, an eye-for-an-eye to the fullest seems to be spreading and will hurt me and my loved ones soon. Selfish? I don’t think so. By fearing for my loved ones, without being extremist, I am really supporting a solution to protect everyone’s loved ones. Anyhow, though I have loud hair and an opinion, I have always thought I was rather fair. I don’t remember ever speaking harshly or admitting to not being willing to accept anyone’s religious beliefs. I do have a problem with subjecting those beliefs to unwilling others forcibly. Afghanistan under the Taliban would be a problem for me but at the same time I don’t feel it would have been terribly appropriate to force western style democracy and Christianity on them either. A puzzle to say the least. But now, I fear, that I among others, will be hurt, nay killed, not for our beliefs but for what we represent to others. Have I been naive? Has this been going on somewhere all my life and now I am just a typical westerner that cares only when it has hit home? Yes and no. I don’t believe I am that naive, it has gotten worse and spread recently, but I will admit that it is stronger now that it is in ‘my world’. Which, of course, is not just or right of me to have ignored for all my 32+ years (yep, I’m old). Though I am not sure I can do much about it now that I could have before. I am a relatively powerless mass member. I vote. That is my voice. Anyhow…

So along with this passivity with a concern for the Middle East, I find myself turning into a hermit. I don’t really want to go out anymore. I’d like to have dinner with friends, preferably at our place and talk about stuff, like the Middle East. Email isn’t even any fun anymore. I have a friend whom I email with almost everyday. He will remain nameless so as not to disrupt his position in society. I mean really if some of his friends and, God forbid coworkers/employers, found out he was chatting with me about love and commitment and marriage, he would be ostracized from the disgruntled youth club. Anyhow, as much as I have enjoyed these debates in the recent past, lately they seem meaningless. I mean what is the point? What new thing could we possibly learn or come up with about having a good marriage or what love is? 8 bazillion books have been written about it, there are facts everywhere, the answer is obvious, success or failure simply is a matter of will power, strength and desire, nothing more, nothing less, in my opinion at least. So as a result of this opinion, I suddenly find these conversations unnecessary. It isn’t that I don’t want to talk to him, or about personal topics, it is just it all seems so Junior High. You are probably saying to yourself, ‘Heather you aren’t passive you are pessimistic’. But I’m not pessimistic. I think anyone can succeed if they want. ‘Oh Heather what a naive rich kid you are’. No, I’m not. Yes, I had opportunities that others didn’t because my parents could afford schooling and experience for me, but that doesn’t mean I have anything I want. It means that I have what is most important to me. It also means that I can’t have some things I would like, like more shoes, but I accept that because I have what is most important. Perhaps the problem is people want everything. People, not just kids, say ‘Madonna seems to have everything, money, fame, family, happiness, so I want nothing less and if I can’t have that then I am just going to blame the situation’. But does Madonna have everything? Maybe she wants peace and quiet but can’t possibly get that with all the fame following her around. Princess Di really seemed to want love and peace, but didn’t seem to be able to get that, though she did have a lot of things a lot of other people would have liked to have, with the exception of having to have been married to Prince Charles that is. Anyhow my point is we can have what we want, commitment, happy marriage, love if we are willing to make the trade off’s with other things that are mutually exclusive in our lives, to get it. So that, to me, seems to be the bottom line, and I am tired of talking about it. Is there a minimum of things that we SHOULD get in life? A minimum amount of security both physical and financial, a minimum amount of love, a minimum amount of respect? Well yes, and I think that is easy to achieve if you are aware of the trade off’s and don’t act too selfishly. I had a debate with a boss once about this country where women had to walk 10 paces behind the men. She asked how I would deal with a country like that, would I accept their social norms and play my appropriate roll. I said no, but that it wouldn’t be a problem because I wouldn’t be going there either. My point being, why should I purposely go somewhere and push my belief system on them? My only issue with all of this is what about those who don’t have a choice? What about the women of the Taliban who were not allowed to be educated, to be equal or to even get proper medical care? Well, there I am not sure. I am greatly conflicted in what to do in that case. I don’t want to push my beliefs on someone else, except my belief that everyone should get the choice on how they want to live, assuming it does not specifically and directly interfere with another’s choice of how to live. And of course there are lots of hairs we can split. Where does direct end and indirect start, but at some point we need to draw a line and some people will end up disadvantaged but I don’t think the majority and I think even those disadvantaged will have more choice than many do now. Anyhow… back to the answer being obvious and trade off’s…even the Taliban could get a lot of what they wanted if they just wouldn’t want everything (though I suppose that defeats the purpose for them). Oh God my mind is out of control…

And to think I haven’t even gotten to what I consider the controversial part yet. But let’s do that now. Part of what makes me think this passivity is ok is that I find myself being ok with things that use to really bother me. I use to get really upset when one of my new good friends just sort of disappeared on me. It happens a lot. As most of you know, I don’t have light relationships, for the most part. I have intense ones. Most people like this at first, cause I’m interesting and fun, but after I while I get to be too much. Also, they have other people and commitments in their lives and they can’t suddenly make me the center. This use to really bother me. I use to wonder what was wrong with me. Why didn’t people like me? Why did they keep leaving me? But I’ve come to believe that it isn’t that they don’t like me, necessarily, but that they have other things in life, AND I can be a bit too intense for people. I’ve talked about that in coffee talks before. So I don’t consider these reduced friendships failures anymore and I don’t write them off completely, I can recategorize them in my hierarchy of energy use. Sometimes I am just TOO much for some people and they don’t want to have anything to do with me, but that is relatively rare. Sometimes I discover that these people aren’t who I thought they were, or as I get to know them better, I realize that the relationship, from both sides, is unhealthy, so I end it, though mostly quietly. It isn’t anyone’s fault. We can’t love or be loved by everyone. So I’m ok with it, and I feel more passive. And I think this is ok. So where the controversy? Well that has to do with something else I am ok with, at least mostly. It’s my body. As most of you know, a year or so back I really got into shape. I was going to the gym 5 days a week and was looking killer. Strong and sleek. But I’ve slacked off a bit. Being svelte was cool but it took so much time. It was get up, go to work, go to gym, eat, sleep. Not really fun. And now that I am in IT I work more hours. So I have gained a few. I was down to 52 kilos at the peak, then I settled at 54. Now I have gained 2 kilos and am at 56 (I was at 63 when I arrived in Germany by the way). Fundamentally I am ok with this. I have a few outfits I can’t wear anymore that I miss, but I still look good. A bit heavy on the thighs but my boobs rock (sorry Nana). I mean, in my opinion, I have the perfect boobs. A lot of other people, both male and female, have told me they agree too. The issue is, I would like to do a little reduction on the thigh action but I don’t want my boobs to change at all! And as we all know, when you start losing weight, at least girls, you lose it from your bust first! No! So, I’ve been thinking (here comes the controversy) about liposuction. Two things keep me from doing it. First the dumb one, Germany. I really want to speak 100% the same language with the person sucking fat out of my thighs with a vacuum. Makes sense, oder? Now the second and far less vain, the cost. No really, it isn’t vain. The reason the cost is a problem, anywhere from $1800 to $3000 bucks, is because it seems a ridiculous thing to spend a decent chunk of change on. Mom would say I should pay her back instead, but I make my payments to bank of Mom, on time and with interest, so I have no guilt there. The thing that gives me guilt is the starving kids in Africa. The orphans of AIDS. The kids living on the streets of Brazil. Etc. How could I possibly spend $3000 on sucking fat out of my thighs when kids in Africa would do anything to have this problem (only a figure of speech)? I know what you are saying, ‘But Heather what about your shoe habit?’ Well at least shoes have a purpose and it isn’t that I don’t give any money to charity, it comes out of my check every pay period. And let’s not forget my semi-selfish gift of the gym and massages (I mailed the check last week Mom) to my Mom for Christmas but really just cause. Hm? But liposuction? Oh please. But at the same time, I love my body, but… It isn’t like I am planning on a hunger strike or consciously induced vomiting, I like my body, I just want a little change. I consider it pretty cool that I am this happy with it being that mostly I have been indifferent to my body most of my life treating it, relatively, poorly by feeding it ‘2 Tacos for $.99’ for 2 straight years of college. (Never did an illegal narcotic in my life, not even pot, and once the Vicodine were gone, they were gone.)

Anyhow, why am I so blah about all of this? It just isn’t me. I actually bought an Unix book! Save me! My only real concern, cause some of the passivity is good, not getting all worked up over stuff at the office, is that this may all be medically induced. Since November I have been taking a medication for my acne problem (it got really bad with all the sweating at the gym) that reduces the Testosterone in my system. My Mom’s dermo, Dr. Zumwalt, took one look at me and said, you’ve got too much male hormone coursing through you and it is causing big painful red zits on your face. Or it was. The medication works beautifully. My skin is a bit dry but perfect otherwise (Did you know that Eunuchs have NO body hair and NO acne because they are 100% Testosterone free?) But is this medication changing my basic assertive verging on aggressive personality? And is that bad? Am I losing the bad and the good about my non-medicated personality? Or am I, God help me, maturing? I like the idea of maturing but I don’t want to fool myself into believing I have achieved a 30-something Nirvana when it is really the pills. I mean I feel fulfilled in life, happy, satisfied by my work and marriage and sex life. If it is the medication, is it so bad? Or am I fooling myself? Does this apathy with ‘the questions of life’ mean I am enlightened by experience or dulled by meds? At least I have this to think about. Of course perhaps all I need to do is change the conversation from WHAT is the answer, to HOW does one implement it? Sort of like my frustrations at work. Sort of like the Hitchhiker’s Guide and the answer to life the universe and everything…

This weeks picture isn’t about the clothes, but the hair. I got it into my head, based on a conversation we had, many years ago now, with our really cool Real Estate agent Monique Dyer of Corvallis, about when in High School she put her hair in dozens of ponytails one day only to have everyone copy it the next day causing her to take them out, that I must do the same. Why I did it now, I can’t say. I just felt like it. But it was seriously cool. Everyone loved it and I think the over all outfit looked great. Of course I did wear a shirt to work. Check out a close up on the hair page. Cheers.

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