Friday, September 12, 2014

My First Nightmare

I've been a lucid dreamer for about as long as I can remember. I always have very long, complicated dreams that are more like movies than dreams. If I don't like the way things are headed I consciously make the decision to change it. This is just how it's always been. The few times I've had no control over the sequence of events I've just woken myself up. Last night I not only had a dream take me by surprise, but I also apparently had absolutely no control over it. Bad things never happen to me in my dreams. Until last night.

I had my first ever nightmare. So what's my nightmare scenario?

I dreamt that Aaron and I were getting ready for some sort of weekend vacation. Eileen was going to watch Jude for us, she had already come and picked him up. When we got to our hotel we decided to cruise around to find a grocery store to pick up some essentials. While out I started experiencing abdominal pains. Assuming appendicitis we rush to the local hospital.

Upon arrival it not only turns out that I am pregnant but that I am also labor. I'd gotten pregnant without symptoms again only instead of making it 7 months before showing at all or having any signs of pregnancy (like last time) I made it the entire 9 months. To make it worse as the doctor is examining me he says, "Alright, they're moving down it's time to push!" and I'm just like, "THEY?!" The doctor responds by flipping the monitor around so that I can see it, I'm having twins.


Babies are precious miracles and blessings and all of that but you should have a whole 9 months to anticipate and prepare for their arrival! Having a month or less is scary enough for one baby, but two?! Dear goodness, no thanks.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Christmas Mystery

I have the best conversations with my grandfather, "Papa" as I've always called him. He is one of the few humans I make an exception for to talk to on the phone. I talked to him a few days ago and he tells me that my Christmas gift has arrived. He buys all of my gifts at least 5 months in advance. He was telling me about how excited he was about the gift he'd chosen for me for my birthday, in April, last year before Thanksgiving. It was already in his hands.

My grandfather says to me, "I want to send you your Christmas gift. It's so weird."

I chuckle and ask, "Weird?" He has fantastic taste, knows me well enough that I've never been disappointed in a gift he's given me. Not that I am ever disappointed in any gift given to me by anyone. I love gift giving. The mere thought of someone spending time trying to select something just for me fills me with farm fuzzies. It's also why I love sending gifts to others, hoping that they'll feel that way to. Considered.

My grandfather says, "I showed it to Doc. She was horrified. She said, 'Oh, Papa! You can't send that to the Duchess!'"

I laugh. He laughs.

He says, "I told her, 'Sure I can, she's going to love it!' You're going to love it. It's right up your alley."

Normally he sends me expensive, meaningful jewelry. Striking the perfect balance between sentimental value and actual monetary value. He could send me river stones from his back yard and I'd love them.

I laugh again and make the same promise I do every year, "You can send it, but I won't open it until Christmas anyway."

He knows this. He once sent me my Christmas gift in June and I took a picture of it atop my night stand everyday, unwrapped, until December 25th. We wrap up the rest of our conversation and I call my mother. I always call my mother after I get off the phone with my grandfather. She talks longer (3 hours longer on average) than he does, so it just makes sense to talk to them in this order.

I joke about how weird Papa says my gift this year is.

She replies, "Oh it is weird! More creepy than weird actually."

I relay the story of what happened when he showed it to my aunt. We laugh together.

"What is he sending me?" I joke, "Body parts?"

She laughs.

I continue fake guessing, "A mummy?"

She says, "Well, you're getting warmer!"

"What!" We're both laughing again, but she doesn't want to spoil it so she says no more. We continue our conversation well into the night. It's 12:00am by the time we hang up, her time. It's only 9:00pm my time.

And thus is born: the mystery of what my grandfather will be giving me for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Accidental Social Experiment: Reactions to Domestic Abuse

It's well established around here that I am a gamer and sometimes my blogs have to do with people I know primarily through the internet as part of a group of people working together toward similar goals in a video game, aka: a guild. Normally these are stand-up people.

In fact I have encountered worse behavior offline more frequently than I've encountered it online and I think that's a testimony to the quality of friendships you can form long distance. Money, appearance, and social standing have little affect on these sorts of friendships, which makes the internet a fabulous place to make new friends.

You may find yourself at this point wondering, "What the hell does this have to do with domestic abuse?" I'll get to that in a minute. I just wanted to preface this entry with the fact that by-and-large I believe the Internet to be a positive influence in the lives of those who use it responsibly and though it can certainly also be a negative experience from time-to-time that that is not the norm.

I also feel obliged to state that I'm not even wholly sure into which class this example ultimately falls as while I have never met the offender 'in real life' she dated an offline friend and so they have known her in real life -- though he too had met her online first.

This woman is a piece of work. My opinion of her has never been high (she mistreated several other people I know before I even met her) but I've been nothing but pleasant regardless because people change (usually for the better, not the worse). Other than the fact that she compulsively lures men into relationships under false pretenses then breaks up with them once she has gotten what she wants (sex, money, validation, kicks, whatever); she vindictively lies for other reasons too, ones that have effected me in surprisingly unexpected ways.

Most recently (most recently being the launch of Guild Wars 2, so this is a somewhat old story) she co-founded a guild with my fiance and several of our real life friends. She decided, for whatever reason, that she wanted to rid the guild of my fiance. Rather than asking him to go, which is the real kicker: had she at any point simply asked him he would have voluntarily stepped down -- she felt the need to first remove any obstacles that would object to ousting him. It was easy enough. We're busy hardworking adults, when it was politely suggested that we step down due to our considerable time constraints, we did. She approached us as if she were doing us a favor and her request wasn't entirely self-serving (it was). With us out of the way she could have just kicked him out no problem, but no, this is not what she did either.

Instead she went around to the remaining officers who didn't know him offline trying to ruin his reputation; at first sharing information that was told to her years ago in confidence and when that did not illicit the negative reaction she had hoped (because why would it?), she resorted to lies. Not harmless lies such as, "He stole loot," or something concerning the video game we were all playing but lies about real life. To be brief, she told people he was abusing me. Which is completely untrue, let me make that abundantly clear. While I was no longer in a position of power I was still part of the guild at this time and you know what shocked me most?

Not the way in which people regarded my fiance thereafter, because they treated him the same as they always had -- but the way in which they treated me.

No one acted upset with my fiance for allegedly abusing me. I however became suspect of all manner of evil. I was accused of all sorts of things from power mongering (do power-mad tyrants typically voluntarily step down?) to being a puppet of my fiance (what even?)  and rather than offer any support at all to what they believed was an abused woman they shut me down. Never have I been so completely disregarded than when, for a month, a handful of people thought I was in an abusive relationship.

Just... my fucking god. Disgusting. I'm judging you people harshly. I hope when you walk through your living rooms you stub your baby toes on the coffee table. I hope when you microwave burritos that they are hot on the outside but cold on the inside. I hope someone spoils every TV show, movie, and future book you want to see/read. I hope your dogs forever smell like wet dog. I hope every time you open mail that you get paper cuts. I hope you bite your lips every time you eat spicy food. I hope they discontinue your favorite series, cologne, lipstick, whatever worldly pleasure you love most. Just, wow. You people. Wow.

Had it been true, here you have someone who you believe is in dire need of help, someone you just a week ago liked  or had a neutral opinion of, and rather than help her you cast her aside to fend for herself because??? Do you believe by remaining in the relationship she deserves it? Most domestic violence fatalities happen AFTER the woman has successfully ended the abusive relationship. So really, why would you blame a woman for staying out of fear of dying? What the hell is going on in your mind where the victim is ever at fault? What is your damage?! Why would your initial reaction ever be anything other than "is there anything I can do to help you?"

Never have I been so disappointed in a group of human beings.