I have one of those jobs where we'll be bombarded with work for a while, then we'll sit around twiddling our thumbs while we wait for people to finish what they have to do so that we can do what we have to do. Which means I have a lot of time to goof off on the Internet when I'm not in the middle of a project.
The other day, I spent at least an hour at http://www.kittenwar.com. It was shockingly addictive. The site puts two pictures of random felines (usually kittens, but sometimes cats) side by side, then asks you to click on the picture of the cutest kitty. As soon as you click, your vote is registered and you are shown the percentage of people who agreed with you on the relative cuteness of said kitty. AND (this is the kicker) a new pair of kitty pics appears, and the cycle continues. Since I love me some, fuzzy, cuddly, adorable baby animals, and I have a particular soft spot for kittens, this site may prove to be my favorite thing on the Internet.
But here's the thing: I already have two lovely kitties of my own. And much as I would love to add to my feline family, I know that now is not the right time for us to adopt a baby kitty. So I just admired the kitten pictures, cooed over their adorableness, and smiled because it's impossible not to smile when you see a picture of a cute little kitty.
That's how I feel about the handsome celebrity men in my Top 8 lists. I enjoy looking at their pictures, admiring how cute they are, and am generally glad that they exist. But I don't want one of them for my own, not even for a second. I'm happy with the handsome man I married, and the fact that I enjoy looking at their pictures has nothing more to do with the state of my morals or my faith or my marriage than enjoying my time at Kitten War has to do with how much I love and appreciate the two lovely kitties I already have.
I decided not to be offended by Ryan's "Pretending" post because I don't think he was intentionally judging me (or Arwen or Lisa) because I (we) have interests that he doesn't understand. But it got me thinking about certain things, and I've realized that it does bother me that certain people seem to be "concerned" over things that aren't a cause for concern. I get a lot of this from certain people in my life, and I've gotten tired of it.
But just in case you were wondering:
- My blood pressure is perfect, as I've mentioned many times before, so I think I'll just continue using the same amount of salt I always have.
- The fact that I don't enjoy gardening doesn't mean that I have an ugly yard or that I'm a neglectful wife, it just means I don't enjoy it.
- My doctor told me to stop eating so many raw fruits and vegetables and my Crohn's Disease would stop flaring up--but thank you for telling me that I'm neglecting my health by following a medical specialist's advice.
- Yes, I do wear a lot of red, but I'm pretty sure no one thinks I'm "easy" because of it.
- Actually, spending time reading every day is not a waste of my time. I can keep my house tidy and my husband happy and still get through a few chapters without everything going to Texas in a handbasket.
- Not ditching the friends I had long before I met Steve (even the male ones) does not jeopardize the health of my marriage or my committment to it. It just means that I value friendship and loyalty, and that I don't stop caring about someone because I have a "Mrs." in front of my name. Also, if I'd wanted to get romantically involved with any of said male friends, I could have pursued that long before I took my vows with my husband. It's insulting to me that you think I'm the kind of person who can't be trusted in the presence of men who aren't my husband, and I can't help but wonder if your suspicions say more about you than they do about me.
And, yes, over the last few years I have had well-meaning people voice concern over all of those topics, and many, many more.
If I was boozing, getting high, gambling the mortgage money, and cruising for dudes down at the pub, I should hope that people would care enough to say something. But misplaced concern feels pretty condescending and judgemental when you're on the receiving end, even if it's coming from a caring place. I've successfully completed almost 32 years on this planet. Through the grace of God and the guidance of my loving family, my youthful indescretions were few and minor--and I learned valuable lessons from the mistakes I made. I've got a happy marriage and family, a pretty darn good reputation, a good education, an even temper, many wonderful people who love me, an inquisitive mind, compassion for others, well-grounded faith, and a place in Heaven. Several people respect my judgement and opinions enough to come to me for advice on a regular basis. I'm not trying to sound proud or boastful, but I'm doing okay. I can honestly say that I like who I am. I don't have every single thing in my life perfectly "together", but I don't have any shameful secrets to hide, either. I choose to wear red (even strappy high heels! "gasp!"), avoid broccoli, read lots of books, and stay in contact with my old friends--even the guys. I often spend half an hour watching Entertainment Tonight and I enjoy snarking on celebrities. These things are part of who I am, and I shouldn't have to feel ashamed of it because other people disagree, or see no value in it, or choose to focus their attention elsewhere. I don't think other people are misguided because they like dogs better than cats or don't know that Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro broke up. We're all different. We all have different interests and abilities. And I, for one, am glad. Think how boring it would be if we all had identical interests. Especially if those shared interests were like Ty's! (Sorry, it's my duty as big sister to take advantage of opportunities like that.)