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Monday, January 23, 2012

What about Men?

I really am tired of society's putting so much responsibility on women to improve male-female relationships.  Let me start with church.  Since my experiences are pretty much in the Black church, specifically Baptists, that's who I am specifically critiquing.  I am so sick of sermons telling women to be submissive, chiding us that our husbands need r-e-s-p-e-c-t and that if they were getting it, they would be better men, better husbands, better fathers, yadda yadda yadda.  I'm not saying I don't agree that men should be respected by their wives, but it seems there is far too much imbalance in the messages.  Black preachers would have you believe that if a woman would simply learn to speak sweetly and bat her eyelashes, everything else will fall into place.  Doesn't matter how he behaves or what he does, just SUBMIT and OBEY.  The rhetoric can be so harsh and guilt provoking that it is ridiculous.  But when is the last time you heard a sermon taking a man to task for failing to love his wife as Christ loves the church?  When is the last time a minister raked men over the coals for speaking harshly to their wives and/or children and failing to live up to their God given responsibilities? 

I might come off as a raving, anti-God, male-bashing feminist, but this couldn't be further from the truth.  I love God with all my heart.  I am actually pretty old-fashioned and conservative.  I do believe in the concept of submission.  But I also believe it has been so distorted that it is simply a tool to oppress women and not God's original intent.  In the world as it should be, a man is obedient and submissive to God and loves his wife so much that he would lay down his life for her, always putting her needs above his own.  That's not me, that's the bible.  If a man were truly loving a woman on these standards, what woman would have a problem submitting to this?  But too often men want to run around like cavemen, thumping their chests and demanding to be put first without holding up their end of the bargain.  And too often, in my humble opinion, the church tacitly approves such barbaric behavior by preaching one-sided sermons OR if they are adventurous enough to address the male role, it is a watered down version of the fire and brimstone launched at the woman.

Then there's the media.  Why is there article after article telling women how to keep things "fresh" and sexy, but nothing for the men?  OK, maybe I am missing it since I don't read men's magazines, but in "netural" mags like Ebony, the articles are geared toward helping women "keep" their man.  Well why not help my man learn how to keep me?  I think this rant started because I saw an article "helping" women prepare for Valentine's Day, urging us to "keep it fresh and sexy".  So often the message is that our men will stray because we don't stay thin, perfectly manicured with perfectly coiffed hair day in day out.  But does anybody challenge them to drop the love handles?  Who chides the men about the spare tire they have put on?  Again, too much responsibility is given to the woman for all that occurs in a relationship.

Women shouldn't be left to keep love alive by themselves.  Men need to be reminded far more often that what they did to catch a woman, they need to do twice as much to keep her.  A little less chiding for women to submit and a lot more urging men to be legit....maybe then families could truly prosper. 
There are two sides to every story--tell them both.  I'm just sayin'----

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ohhhh...., so it is "tchotchke"

Back in December I posted that I was going to be "cha chee"---explore my inner diva and express a whole new persona.  I wanted to move away from the boring, frumpy person that I have spent my whole life being and ramp it up a bit.  Cha chee was something I heard a woman on television say.  Well, tonight I learned the correct spelling a real definition of the word.  It is t-c-h-o-t-c-h-k-e.  Now, I have seen this word before, but always to mean little knick knacky type collecitbles, like glass figurines.  So, while I am embarrassed that I was so off on the spelling, I had the right spirit of the word---a second definition of tchotchke is an attractive, unconventional woman.

So, in 2012 I think I will figure out which of my frumpy, old lady ways I will abandon to find the tchotchke that I have been smothering within me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

AT&T, U-VERSE RANT

I haven't had home phone service since Tuesday morning.  Today is Friday.  No, it's not because I didn't pay a phone bill.  It's not because of some terrible storm.  It all started because I got U-Verse for my television, internet, and bundled in my home phone.

I am not even going to go into all the inaccuracies I experienced during the sales portion of my experience.  And understand that this rant doesn't even gie a fraction of a glimpse of how awful my experience has been.  I am giving just a brief overview.

I have had the same landline for 14 years.  No matter what the company has chosen to call itself, I have remained with them (Illinois Bell, SBC, Ameritech, and now AT&T).  I decided to get U-Verse for my television.  And my phone got looped in.  The overzealous tech cut off my landline service before getting the U-Verse going, only to discover that my neighborhood couldn't full support U-Verse (seems like AT&T would know that for sure before selling a package to a customer).  He had to request an outside tech and promised within two hours that would happen, and he would be back to finish the job.  Never mentioned that I would be left with no telephone service.  Two days and no service later, the job was completed.  This was after speaking to at least 18 different representatives.  (By the way, you can get someone 24 hours a day to take your money, but you can't get someone to talk to you about a problem on your phone line after 7 p.m. if it isn't a U-Verse issue.  See where the priority is?  Dollars, not customer service).

During all these conversations, I was told that it might take weeks to get the telephone working under U-Verse, but the rep could get me back my landline.  I told her fine, I didn't care what it was as long as it worked.  HOWEVER, the U-Verse got repaired and service was restord.  But the ticket wasn't cancelled.  So I guess on Tuesday of this week, they discovered the ticket for new service and cut off my working service.  But didn't restore the land line service either.  And here's where it get's really aggravating:  I have been bounced from person to person to person, department to department to department.  Different reps blame different departments for the lack of service.  On Tuesday I was promised that my service would be restored by 8 p.m.  Didn't happen. On Wednesday, I was told that a supervisor would call me (left my cell number)---didn't happen.  Thursday, same promise----NADA.  In fact, on Thursday the agent implored that I keep my phone with me at all times because they had tried to call me a few times.  When I asked at what number, you know what she gave me???  My home number!!!!  These geniuses called the number that is not working, the whole point of my interactions with them!!!!!!!  I was on hold for 54 minutes Thursday afternoon (that's only the tip of the iceberg of all the waiting I have done in hold purgatory).  Guess what happens?  A rep finally picks up, tells me she has to re-route me.  When I complain that I don't understand why I keep getting bounced around, why can't they take my cell number, they do the leg work and call me back, she barely acknowledges the questin and simply keeps repeating that she has to transfer me.  And then has the audacity to tell me that I am going to receive a survey asking about her assistance and she hopes that I would respond that I was satisfied!  Are you kidding?????  When I pointed out how assanine that was, she simply repeated her request!  She then transfers me to the general business office who supposedly would be able to help.  I spend another six minutes on hold when all of a sudden the music stops.  I look down at my phone----dead.  (This is only one of many times I was disconnected by the lovely telecommunications company).  My guess is that I was cut off because the time hit 6 p.m., the time in which this particular department closes.

For years my brother has tried to convert me to Magic Jack, but I have maintained that I will always have a regular old fashioned home phone.  But after days and weeks of dealing with AT&T, maybe I need to rethink this position.  It's actually been kind of nice not having the noise of a home phone.  Magic Jack certainly is cheaper.  They haven't cared about my loyalty, with their stupid "thank you for being the best part of AT&T".  And here's a clue.... when you have had a customer who has been bounced from department to department, dispense with the scripts because she has heard the same "don't worry, we are going to get this situation resolved" too many times and it hasn't proven true.

The funny thing is that after years of steadfast refusal to give up a land line phone, it might be AT&T themselves that cause me to abandon this loyalty.  I think if I am not up and running by 8 p.m. tonight, I am calling it quits.