Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Quick rant: I was flipping through a book at a store today. It was a book on how to find a man worth keeping or some such nonsense. I don't read books like this because I think they are silly, but this one was from a Christian perspective and I thought it might have something interesting in it. This book went so far as to say that a little plastic surgery wouldn't be a bad idea to be prettier so that men will notice you. WHAT?? I mean, I'm all for "getting pretty" to go out so that I'll look nicer in case I see someone I know or in case I meet someone interesting. But to me, "getting pretty" means putting on some makeup, maybe putting some kind of product in my hair, and wearing cute clothes. It does not involve invasive surgery just to impress men. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard! And the book is from a Christian perspective. Whatever happened to inner beauty? It just strikes me as odd that a book from a Christian perspective would be telling women it's a good idea to get plastic surgery to improve their apperance, when we are supposed to be focusing on our inner beauty and the condition of our souls. Every Mother's Day, my pastor preaches about Proverbs 31. They don't say much about the outward attributes of this woman, but they praise her for who she is and what she does. They say she is worth more than rubies. She is trustworthy, productive, intelligent, energetic, strong, compassionate, talented, responsible, positive, respected and wise. They call her The Virtuous Woman, not The Beautiful Woman. In fact, one of my favorite verses is from this passage: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears God is truly charming and lovely." I guess my point is that it seems very extreme for a book from a Christian perspective to tell women to have plastic surgery to improve their looks when we are actually supposed to spend more time on what's inside rather than what's outside. It just sends the wrong message. Needless to say, I did not purchase the book. Personally, if the choice comes down to getting plastic surgery and finding a man or not getting plastic surgery and being single for the rest of my life, I'll take being single. I'm happy with myself the way I am, and if people don't like it, they can keep walking. Sure, there are things I need to work on... I need to lose weight and I want to grow my hair out, but I wouldn't have surgery to fix anything on me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes surgery is needed or wanted, and I would never judge a woman who chose to get surgery for herself, so that she can feel better about herself. But I don't need surgery to feel better about myself and I sort of resent that book saying I should consider it just to "snag a man." Actually, I don't believe in changing anything about myself just for a man. I did that once and will never do it again.

Okay, rant over. Sorry about that.

So today... worked on one of the three grants I'm trying to finish. This one is due Friday, which means it's actually due Thursday because I'm going to our Florida office (to work on the other two grants) on Friday and won't be around to submit it that day. It's been great working on this grant. I'm actually creating a program for it, a program we've been wanting to create for awhile now, and if we get the funds we will be able to do it. It's a nutrition and fitness program, to help combat the problem of obesity among poverty-stricken families. The program will be geared toward the kids, with handouts they can take home for their parents. I've been doing a lot of research on the issue and it seems that a lack of education among low-income families contributes in part to the obesity problem in those families. If we can just show them that they can eat healthy without spending more money, we've at least done something. We're also considering doing a gardening program to show the kids how to grow their own veggies, and a junior chef program to teach the older kids how to prepare simple, healthy meals for themselves. So you can see where this particular grant would be a lot of fun to write. I'm looking forward to seeing if we get the funds so we can start the program. It's going to be great!

An odd thing happened today. My boss, who is a really incredible person and a great mentor to me, got an email with job listings today and we were looking at them in her office. She found one that I actually qualified for and mentioned I would be good at the job. I laughed about it and asked her if she was ready to get rid of me. She said no way, which was funny. But thinking about it later, I find it odd that she would mention I would be good at a job that isn't the job I have now. She's very cool about those kinds of things, though. When I was hired, they told me they were aware that this job would be a stepping stone for me and that I would probably move on in a few years. Obviously with the salary they are able to give me, I will have to seek other opportunities in the future, but usually bosses don't like to talk about those kinds of things. So anyway, it was a strange moment. I hope I'm not getting fired or anything, lol!

The editing is still going well. I'm finished with chapters 1 and 2, but I think I'm going to go back to chapter 1 and adding something that might make things more interesting. Still determined to finish the first five chapters by the end of the week so I can send the package out on Monday. As for the writing, I'm gearing up to start on it again. After the Storm has been difficult lately and I'm sure it's what I said before. It's hurricane season, and not even a year since Katrina. The subject matter is still too close to me. The first passage I wrote was about the smell on the Mississippi coast, about how it was the smell of death, even a week after the storm. The smell was so strong and overpowering that it seeped into your clothes and even in your skin if you were there for any amount of time. When I read back over that passage, the memory of that smell and the feelings I was having at the time just came flooding back to me. It was almost too much to bear. I have to get over this thing, or I will never be able to write the story. And I really want to write this story.

Okay, so I've gone on and on forever tonight, so I'll leave it for now.


  1. I agree with you about the plastic surgery. As someone who works in entertainment, I am shocked at how many people choose to deform themselves that way.

    I'm not surprised that a book from a "Christain" perspective would suggest it -- I bet if you researched the author, there'd be a connection to a plastic surgeon known by said author. Follow the money and you find the source of the rot.

    Unfortunately, hypocrisy is rampant in most areas of life.

    That is why I prefer what I call "disorganized religion" to "organized relgion" -- less hypocrisy.

    Congrats on your editing!

    I'm glad that your organization values you enough to know you'll move on to something better eventually. If they really want to keep you, they'll come up with a better offer.

  2. There are "Christian" swingers, Anita!

    I've talked to some of them at length. They speak the right language, they use the right combination of words and they are careful to name Jesus for about everything they do.

    But, their fundamental identity is not about serving God. Its about serving their bodies and their concept of pleasure. And that fundamental identity makes them decidedly un-Christian. Ahhh, "don't be so judgmental," I am advised. Its not judgmental, I would say, its the discernment and its the wisdom, and its the test all things, spoken of in Scripture.

    The truth is that I would rather associate with a man who wife-swaps and makes no pretense at being a Christian, then a man who is convinced he can be good at both, at the same time. There is a degree of innocence to the first that is not there with the second.