~ Ma Noirceur

Just a little something I wrote. 

Small Win #1

I want to make a series of sharing the small wins of our country. Today I will share a fact about teen pregnancy.  

In 1991, the U.S. teen birth rate was 61.8 births for every 1,000 adolescent females, compared with 29.4 births for every 1,000 adolescent females in 2012.

Cold Commute.

Real feel: -9°.

Bus 69.

Late.

Arrive at Harvard square at 8:59.

Email: Will be late. 19 minute walk away. 

Frowning without trying.

Face whipped.

Eyes water.

Fingers go numb.

Thought: Fingers… who needs them. 

Keep walking. 

Bridge over icy water.

Thought: Why are bridges so much windier?

9 minutes away. 

Face freezing. 

Chest sweating. 

Thought: Nose.. who needs one. 

Cross the street.

Walk into the heat.

Defrost to the beat. 

Coat off. 

Ass in seat.

Work.

Colt.

Today may be the first day I have ever truly been cold. All the other times I thought I was cold, I was probably just underdressed. Waiting for the bus in -7 I began to cry. Not from my conscious mind but the wind took me and my eyes didn’t know what else to do besides water. Then I walked. And I felt like a sumo wrestler was pressing onto my forehead. This winter can end now. But alas it is only beginning. 

Missing Maturity in the Marriage Debate

This is a rant. Recently my timeline has been bombarded with hoards of relationship advice to 20 somethings. Namely the ridiculous article 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged at 23 but also this one: The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage which has resurfaced after about 18 months… Both articles belittle the commitments that 20 somethings are making to each other as if to say: Hey you there, I know you are an adult but you have no idea what you are doing so I am going to give you stats about people like you and how they end up.

But that’s just it. Neither author provides a real grounding for their argument. The stats quoted in the Times article are aggregates. Yes those who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to slide into a marriage that ends in divorce, but those same stats when looking at couples who have a college degree or higher actually flips. And in terms of the author who is hating on getting engaged at 23: again partners with the same level of education have more successful marriages.  More recent data from the CDC shows that cohabitating women who have a bachelor’s degree or higher are more likely to move into marriage, and less educated women were also more likely to become pregnant while they were living with their partner.

It seems to me that both of these critiques of commitment aren’t really for the privileged audiences for which they wrote them. My friends who are engaged/married/living together at 23 are overwhelming college educated, well-traveled, mentally stable, and employed. Another thing they failed to discuss is that MONEY MATTERS! My main issue is that these writers try to develop some type of pattern of causation. Living together does not cause divorce. Being married at 23 does not cause divorce. An American culture that does not value commitment is what causes divorce.

I cannot speak for my parents’ generation. I can only speak for ours. We are the ones who come from divorced parents. If you are like me, and your parents are still together after 25+ years, you still have been touched by it: we grew up with friends whose parents were divorced or we are dating someone with divorced parents. I do not want to bash people who have gotten divorced. I get it: people are not always as compatible as they seem.  But look at pop culture, we see marriage as something as disposable as last season’s fashions. We try on a spouse and after a while we out grow them. That is America.  What needs to be discussed is why we have a culture that values deception, betrayal, scandal, and revenge (ironically all network shows). People are cohabitating at rates high across the globe. This isn’t increasing rates of divorce.

But listen, we cannot critique young people who are striving to make commitments who have seen nothing but broken homes by telling them, No No don’t do that you’ll get divorced! Our parents did everything right and it could’ve happened to them too.  Discouraging us is not going to fix everything. We need to encourage conversations about thinking critically before making a big commitment and understanding that commitment looks different for every couple. We are really going to be in over our heads if we effectively push young people away from making long term commitments. 

The letter of the week is H

Hark.

Hercules.

Homely.

Harpoon.

Honey.

Healthy.

Hibernating.

Huh?

Happy New Year!

"Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?"

Kanye West   (via downfalling)

(Source: ab-rard)

#ImFromtheSouth

The start of the holiday season has me feeling a little nostalgic about the South. But in true Southern fashion,  I keep telling myself “Let not your heart be troubled” because I shall return to the south in a few short weeks. In the meantime, here are some things I miss the most:

The natural understanding of the Southern people and Southern struggle. I can be in a room full of strangers understand what they are about. I may not agree but I understand where they are coming from.

College Football =Religion. These folks up here get so excited over some hockey. I can’t with that. Now that 2013 Iron Bowl: that’s something I can get behind.

The Southern Drawl. Don’t I miss hearing that I “got some splaining [explaining] to do!” There is nothing like a thick Southern accent to make me feel like home again. I am not here for the Boston accent (Park the car in Harvard yard= Pahk the cah in hahvahd yahd)

Being able to casually experience the same thing in a grocery store and react together. Y’all know y’all saw a woman act crazy with her child, and you and the person in the aisle with you exchange a glance, two short words, laugh and push on by.

Cost of Living. Saying the rent is too damn high is just an understatement. 

Calling a store and saying “What time y’all close?” and not being self-conscious. Don’t nobody down South need correct English. We know it and we know when to use it, we just don’t choose to.

Fried Chicken. Lord y’all would think I was hunting for a unicorn the way I struggle to find fried chicken in this city. Whereas in Augusta, I drive half a mile and pass Zaxby’s, Bojangles, Chick-fil-A. #hogheaven

You know what: Food in general. Biscuits. Krispy Kremes. Fried Fish. Pimento cheese. Sweet tea. Be still my soul!

A touch of religious life even when you aren’t looking for it. In the South you don’t have to be religious to say “Bless her heart” and “Thank the Lord”.

Driving home for a weekend. Lord knows flights from Boston anywhere south of Philly are spensive as hell. 

Let me be clear there is a list I could make that would be things I love about living in Boston, but this is not the time nor place for that. I will hold on for that later. I am looking forward to a down home Southern Christmas.