Friday, August 21, 2015

The Duggars Set Josh up to Fail

I went back and forth on whether I wanted to write anything at all about the latest Duggar scandal, mainly because there are so many facets of the whole thing.  But have a free Friday afternoon so here I am, all up on my soapbox.

First, Josh is a hypocrite and an asshole.  There's no way around that.  Cheating on your wife is bad enough, intent to cheat on your wife is bad enough.  But if you're going to do that then keep your ass in Tontitown, Arkansas, selling used cars.  Don't perch yourself on a platform, screaming from the pulpit about family values.  Don't you dare try to preach about homosexuals and how they ruin the sanctity of marriage when you can't keep it in your pants.  Glass houses, stones, all that.  He's disgusting.

That said, Jim Bob and Michelle set Josh up to fail.  Yes, he was an adult and yes, he made his own choices.  He chose to step outside of his marriage and that's all on him.  But.  BUT.  The Duggars took and take helicopter parenting to a whole new level.  You HAVE to give your children autonomy.  You HAVE to let them make their own choices, good or bad.  Sheltering them from every single "bad" thing in the world only sets them up to fall.

These boys couldn't even look at females.  Their sisters were taught to yell, "Nike!" when they saw an immodestly dressed female (which, let's be real, probably meant she was wearing shorts or maybe a tank top) so the boys would know to look at their shoes.  The boys were all thrown in a room together without so much as an old Sears underwear catalog to, uh, well, we won't go there.  Then you have Josh who is sexually stunted but curious enough that he TOUCHES HIS SISTERS.  And how was this dealt with?  Was the boy given proper therapy?  No, he was sent off to do manual labor.  They never got to the root of his sexual issues and, in my opinion, that makes Anna Duggar's tears and grief just as much the fault of Jim Bob and Michelle.

Not only that, but this boy was married at only 20 to someone whom he had never had a conversation with without the presence of a "chaperone."  How can you really get to know a person?  How can you know if you have any chemistry at all with a person if you're not even allowed to so much as touch before you're engaged?  Let's say Jim Bob and Michelle never went off the deep end into fundamentalism and patriarchy.  Let's say they raised Josh and maybe three or four siblings in a fairly strict conservative Christian household, the kind of people who support Tea Party politicians and share anti-Obama memes on Facebook.  If he was allowed to date, allowed to form friendships with people other than those just like him and his family, would all this have happened?  I kinda doubt it.  I think that Josh would've ended up like a lot of other nearing 30-year-olds of his generation.  He'd be joining online dating sites, maybe to meet someone, possibly just to get laid.  He'd occasionally look up some internet porn.  And, then, eventually, he'd settle down with someone he loved -- someone he was able to meet on his own, to touch and talk to and even sleep with before marriage -- have his 2.5 kids, and live a relatively simple life, hopefully thankful that the mistakes of his 20's led to a tame and happier 30's decade.  He was robbed of that, simply because he was brainwashed from the jump that his parents were the ones who needed to make all decisions for him before springing him out on his own, with a bride to take care of and the instructions to "be fruitful and multiply" at the ripe old age of 20.  That's just . . . it's sad.

Anna is a victim of her cult(ure.)  In the beginning, I kind of wavered on whether or not I feel much sympathy for Anna, mostly because she didn't dump his sorry ass when the molestation scandal broke.  (For what it's worth, I don't believe she knew the true details of that whole scenario until the rest of us did.  I think she was probably told something along the lines of "he engaged in some inappropriate touching, only over the clothes, just for a few minutes" and was never told that he actually touched his SISTERS.)  But you know what?  Females raised in the patriarchy movement are even more brainwashed than the boys.  This poor girl.  She never stood a chance.  She was taught from the time she was a little girl that her only goals in life were to a wife and mother.  She was taught that if she was pure and kept sweet that her perfect prince would come along and then, as long as she gave him sex whenever he wanted it, submitted completely to her husband, and kept having babies for the Lord, she'd have the ideal fundamentalist life. 

And now that all this has happened, there's a good chance she's blaming herself.  In fact, I even read earlier that she's absorbing partial blame.  Why?  Because she didn't have sex with him enough or the kind of sex he wanted?  That's not how a relationship works.  She's a victim and the saddest thing about it is that she can't or won't act like any of us would.  She won't scream at him or throw a shoe at him or cuss him out or put all his clothes in the driveway.  She'll blame herself and get busy on filling that quiver a little more.

The fans who are abandoning ship NOW are disgusting.  Disgusting.  SERIOUSLY?  Just three months ago he admitted to molesting five females, including his own sisters.  One of those was a FIVE-YEAR-OLD when he was FIFTEEN.  That is not a youthful mistake.  That's not a teenage indiscretion.  That is sexual assault.  It was disgusting that it happened and even more disgusting that his parents swept it under the rug then paraded two of his victims out on national TV to tout the party  line of "forgive and forget."

Someone shared Matt Walsh's statement on Facebook yesterday.  At first, I kinda did the slow clap for Walsh.  I mean, if you're a conservative Christian and King Douchelord Matt Walsh thinks you're a douche?  Then, dude, you're a douche.  But you know what?  Nope.  No slow claps for Walsh or anyone else like him.  Why is it suddenly worse when it was two consenting adults participating in immoral behavior?  I'll reuse the word I've used a lot this post: disgusting.  I get that people wanted to think he was reformed and he was changed and blah, blah, blah.  But that doesn't change the fact that he committed a crime.  It doesn't change the fact that he stole the innocence from little girls and it doesn't change the fact that his parents "boys will be boys"-ed it and STILL paraded their family on TV as the ultimate in family values.

I was seriously blown away and sick that so many mainstream Christians stood up for the Duggars in the face of the first scandal.  When will people realize that this family does more harm for Christianity than any of the "liberal media" they like to blame everything on?  There's no way they should be the face of any Christianity, of any family values, and should not ever be held as an example of a "good, wholesome" way to raise your children.

What happens next?  I wish Anna would dump his sorry ass and move on/ up.  That's never going to happen, it's just not.  So even though Josh is a douche and an asshole and should probably be set on fire by a group of rainbow flag waving drag queens, I hope HE has the balls to do it.  I hope he finally musters up the courage to get out from under Daddy's thumb.  I wish he would divorce Anna (seriously, in two years she would thank him) so she can get on with her life, meet another man, take steps away from the patriarchal lifestyle that threw her under the bus.  Then he can go and be young and single.  Meet women!  Have sex!  Flip the bird to Jim Bob and the fundamentalist lifestyle and write a tell-all with all proceeds going to the children because, come on, that's the only way fundamentalism is EVER going to benefit them. 

That won't even happen either, though.  What will happen is that Baby #5 will be announced within a year.  In two years, the book will hit the shelves Surviving Infidelity: The Josh and Anna Duggar Story.  They'll start speaking at churches about how Jesus saved their marriage.  And, meanwhile, they'll both be living a miserable life.  Their poor children.  (Of course this is all provided we don't have a woman on the cover of US Weekly next week under the headline that screams something like, "I WAS JOSH'S MISTRESS: THE KINKY THINGS DUGGAR WANTED!")

Monday, August 17, 2015

SOB! Give Me a Drink!

Boyfriend and I both started diets about two weeks ago.  Along with those diets is . . . no drinking on weekdays.  Neither of us were big weeknight drinkers until the summer came along and, well, things like nights by the pool just require a beer.  So we've been in the habit of having a weeknight drink and now . . . now we're not.  He texted me Thursday night with the YouTube link to this song, his new favorite, and I KNEW it had to be the theme for our weekend.

SOB!  Give me a drink!

We went to Nashville together back in January but that was a work-related trip for him (I tagged along for the expense account!)  This past weekend was our first non-work trip just the two of us.  We went to Hot Springs. And we had an amazing time.  Like, can I go back right this minute, puh-leeeeease?!?

My mom kept my kids (thanks again, Mom!) so we had to drop them off before we could even make it to Hot Springs. We didn't get all checked into our hotel until close to midnight Friday night and do you know what that means in the buckle of the Bible Belt? Pretty much everything was closed. We ended up having (canned!) beer in the hotel bar. 

Saturday morning we were up early, had breakfast, then set out to hike up to the mountain tower. We did the hike with the kids last month and were prepped to do it with zero whining. 

Except, you know, I forgot my tennis shoes and was hiking in FLIP FLOPS!

I still kept my whining to a minimum, though!  At least, I think I did!

Somehow along the way, we wandered off the path that leads to the lookout tower. We followed another path and ended up walking about six miles. Definitely wore off our big breakfast!

Definitely buying a selfie stick before our next trip!

We took a backpack full of beer with us and tried to time things so that we'd be back to "civilization" by the time we ran out. Fail. We're beer people!  (Or we just walked THAT much/ THAT far?!?)

Our first - and only - post hike stop was at the Superior Bathhouse Brewery. Brewery! Yes puh-lease and thaaaaank you. 

We decided to try two flights and were ... We were rather disappointed. The grapefruit beer was great, a few were decent, others were yuck. 

They may have been yuck but they were also STRONG. We got back to the room and thought it would be the BEST IDEA EVER to order pizza. 

"Get the second largest size!"

Yeeeeah. We ate a total of three pieces then promptly took naps.


That's how Mike and Carol Brady would've done it, right??

Saturday night, we headed out for dinner at a steakhouse. There were big plans for things like ... hitting the club Al Capone and Babe Ruth were known to frequent or, you know, just having ice cream. But we were tired so it was back to bed. 

There's nothing like being young and in love! *Insert silly eyed emoji here!*

Sunday morning, we got up and hit the trail again. 

We didn't go as far this time, only about two miles, but I did this part of the trail in my FLIP FLOPS!

It may not look like much but it was pretty much straight down and very slick ground. I was proud of myself for not biting it!

Breakfast after our hike then if was time to pick the kids up ...

And head back home to Memphis. Wahhhh!

It was such a great weekend!  We're on the cusp of Festival Season 2.0 in Memphis . . . and I love festival season and football and all that . . . but I'm so, so, so not ready for summer to end!  I need a few more weeks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Griswold Style to End the Summer

Friday morning, boyfriend and I loaded up all five kids in the car and headed for his hometown in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Whyyyyy do I have 85 chins in this pic?

There is pretty much nothing between Memphis and Chicago. Corn. Corn, corn, corn. Tons of corn. And, in the Missouri boot hill town of Sikeston, there's a restaurant called Lambert's. It's an institution, famous for their "throwed rolls." I'd heard about it but never been. Boyfriend thought this was a travesty and so, for lunch on Friday, we stopped at Lambert's. 

I think I'll devote an entire post to this place because it was amazing. Hello! Fried okra! Also, I got hit in the head with a roll which was probably the highlight of the trip for the kids. 

Thanks for the balloons, waitress!

By the way -- I didn't think K2's balloon would make it to the car. It's Wednesday and she still has it!

We made it to boyfriend's friend's house a little after 6:00 in the evening and immediately cracked a couple beers. #ninehours #fivekids

We spent the evening visiting in the garage. The kids wanted to swim but quickly learned the Chicago air is a lot cooler than the Memphis air!

Saturday morning we got up and headed to boyfriend's brother's house. His whole family came over and so did ...

My friend Mo!

Benefits of dating a Chicago boy: pizza, hotdogs, getting to see my MoMo whenever we visit. 

The men grilled, we ate, the kids swam some more, everyone visited. I got to know more of his family. It was really a great time. 

I was raised in central Arkansas, boyfriend in the south Chicago 'burbs but it's crazy - CRAZY - how similar our families are. We were sitting outside Saturday night and his oldest brother started a political conversation. Political conversations are my own brother's very favorite thing. Though I will say boyfriend's brother was much less aggressive in his opinions than my own would've been. Perhaps because I was there? 

Even though we ate and ate and ate some more (just like my people!), the family was convinced I needed to try their favorite (deliverable) Chicago style pizza. According to them, the real secret to Chicago style isn't in the crust ... It's the sauce. We ordered from Aurelio's which is thin crust but has the best sweet sauce. I tried the super six and ...

It was super good! I've always thought Chicago pizza = thick crust but this stuff was amazing. 

If there's a dog, this child is in Heaven.

Sunday morning rolled around, time for us to head home. Boo! We stopped for breakfast with friends on the way out then if was Memphis bound. 

It was a quick trip but definitely a fun one! I can't wait to go back in October ... without kids!