Trigger Warning: This content deals with accounts of sexual assault and physical violence....Is that it pops back up when you least expect it. This weekend, after the horrific shooting in Santa Barbara, a video was released by the murderer where he bemoans his bad luck with women. I watched about 15 seconds of it before I felt the nausea creep up my throat, but what was more surprising than this man's issues was the reaction to it by other men. Posts showed up all over social media pondering why women didn't just give it up for him. "It" presumably being whatever this disturbed young man wanted. I, along with many many many others, started sharing my stories of abuse on the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen. The tweets were meant to say no, not all men are bad or commit acts of abuse, but yes, ALL women have to deal with it on almost a daily basis. That fear is indoctrinated from the beginning. That women are taught how not to be raped, but rarely do we teach men not to rape.
We met at a concert and it's almost an age test to see who remembers the bands who played: The Mighty Lemondrops and Material Issue. I get very reminiscent with I hear "Inside Out" and "Valerie Loves Me." When we tell the story, each of us leave out details we don't like, but the main point is this: it was a condemned bar and Bryan was moving back to Baltimore the very next day. The company I worked for was hiring and I gave him my number under that pretense. But we both knew there was something there, even then.
When people ask how I met Monika, we usually look at each other and shrug. Twitter? Ignite Boulder? A concert? All of the above? It was quite a while ago for sure, and that lady has become a most cherished friend. The difference in our ages makes us more like sisters sometimes, although Monika is quite mature and me... not so much. So basically we meet in the middle? What *is* clearly defined, though, is how Monika met Jonathon. And then married him 23 days later. I remember it distinctly because I am there in that timeline, at Day 5 Concert. I got a text while they were in route, "I am bringing a guy. I want your opinion."
"Can I stay home from school on Friday?" Dex asked; we didn't know what to say. "There is a dance for 6th graders and 90% of my friends are staying home so they don't have to go." Everything came rushing back, as if I was Molly Ringwald just finding out her underpants were on display for every nerd in school.
"Why did you move?" People ask us that a lot, although I am not sure why it is such a strange thing, that we picked up from Maryland and headed west in early 1994. So many have done the same - and I don't mean in a Oregon Trail kind of way. Over the last twenty years, there has been a massive influx into Colorado, from all over... simply because it's a great place to live.
Sometimes I go over blog posts in my head and wonder how self-important I sound. I assume what I'm thinking about right now will come out as very narcissistic and passive aggressive.
Do you ever go through cycles where it feels like a group of people in your life are all leaving at the same time?
I'm old enough where this is has happened several times and parts of it hurt and parts of it, honestly, can be a relief. This time, mostly it hurts because it just feels like losing touch (for whatever reason) rather than a healthy changing of the guard.