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October 2018

Met my mini me: Sparkle Pretty

This morning in Starbucks. How many of my posts actually start that way? It's probably pretty terrifying to think about. Anyhoo, I'm wearing a sequined top today. Because it's Sunday. This little girl danced over to me, and she is wearing -- a little lacy nightgown and light-up pink tennis shoes. My daughter says, "Mom, look it's you as a child." (I have a picture of me as a child in a turquoise ruffled nightie with red Keds on.)

This sweet little girl -- probably about three-years-old for reference -- dances over to me and she starts petting my sequined shirt. I'm talking to her about how pretty she looks and telling her that I love her light-up tennies when her mom turns around and is horrified to find her daughter petting a perfect stranger.

I just laughed and I explained, "This girl might be an author someday. Be warned. Does she have a vivid imagination?"

"Yes!" The mom sighs and tells me she won't let Mom dress her and dances to the beat of her own drum. "She won't even wear socks!"

I lifted my Ked to show her, yeah, here she is in later years. I still don't wear socks.

Why wear just ONE color when there are so many available to you? I felt redeemed today knowing that I can't be helped. My own daughter didn't want any part of that life, but I tried.


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Thomas Ravenel has been arrested. #SouthernCharm

If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that Thomas Ravenel from "Southern Charm" triggers me. And not in a good way. I have seen his kind of narcissism up close and I watched with horror when he turned a bright-eyed young woman into a crazed stalker running after him on a dock yelling THOMAS!! He loved it. One thing all of his relationships had in common on "Southern Charm" is that he always brought in a third person to traumatize and taunt his woman. See: Landon Clements and Ashley Jacobs.

And in this case, Whitney and his mother Patricia and Cameron also played a role to make Kathryn Dennis look unhinged. Granted, she was unhinged, but what they failed to understand is that they were hearing lies from Thomas and seeing the unstable Kathryn after she was gaslighted. Very easy to see her as the lunatic. (The cast has since apologized to Kathryn for their role in the abuse by Thomas. They were played.)


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One of the favorite tools of a narcissist is to triangulate and sit back and watch the action -- as if they're completely innocent. He got away with this for many, many years, but today, his dark ways finally caught up with him. If you think I'm kidding about how evil this guy is, this is his tweet this weekend. About the MOTHER of his two children -- who is in recovery for addiction. An addiction I don't believe she'd have if she hadn't taken up with this old, angry, drunk misogynist.


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https://realityblurb.com/2018/09/23/southern-charms-thomas-ravenel-accuses-kathryn-dennis-and-craig-conover-of-doing-drugs-calls-bravo-liars-and-implies-break-up-with-ashley-during-twitter-rant/

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We are going to start learning more about the insidiousness of narcissistic abuse in the world and how it leaves devastation in its wake. It will take a long time for the courts to catch up, but it seems like, at one time, they were better at it. The courts understood that although Charles Manson didn't kill anyone personally, no one would have killed without his dark grooming of young followers.

Kathryn Dennis lost her children completely for two years while this monster paraded in various women and nannies (one of whom he is accused of raping and why he was arrested today.) https://people.com/tv/southern-charm-thomas-ravenel-arrested-charged-assault/ He gaslighted her until she didn't realize that living in his basement with a baby like Rochester's first wife in "Jane Eyre" was not something she deserved.

We need more education on these personality disorders and the damage they do. Powerful men like Bill Cosby and now, Thomas Ravenel, have gotten away with their crimes for too long. Rape is a horrible crime, but so is what Thomas did to the mother of his children making her question her own reality -- and there's no law against that.

I think I should also mention that while Thomas was on his boat this weekend mad-Tweeting, Craig Conover, the guy he accuses of doing drugs with his ex, was actually on an air boat out rescuing horses after the hurricane. I watched it myself on Instagram before this story broke today. That is the best thing about narcissists. Ultimately, the truth of who they are, comes out.


#ASimpleFavor -- Fun Chick Flick

I saw "A Simple Favor" this weekend. Mostly because Paul Feig is in on it, and he's a genius in my book, so I had to see the film. We went to the fancy theater at Santana Row. On a Saturday night, what were we thinking? The seats don't just recline. They have heaters!

The movie kept my attention and it was pretty to look at. Think Doris Day and "Pillow Talk" and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please go rent "Pillow Talk" now. It's a classic. And Rock Hudson. Oh my.


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Back to "A Simple Favor." It's a fun, little ride. I won't say it's exceptionally hard to figure out, but it was fun and entertaining in a pretty, but campy way. It's a good time. Which is what a movie should be. There's a lot of swearing in it and it deserves its "R" rating, so if you are looking for a sweeter film, this isn't it. I liked it for Blake Lively's wardrobe alone.


The Great American Read #PBS

Has anyone watched, "The Great American Read" on PBS? They have gathered the top 100 books and they're asking America to vote on its favorite. Hearing people talk about their favorite books and what they mean to them sets my heart aflutter. Is there anything better than that connection with a character so that you don't feel so alone in the world?


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The full list is here: http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books/#/

Does it make you as excited as it does me? I had a tiny, little library by my house when growing up. I would ride my bike there and snuggle into a dark corner with a book. Ah, bliss. I was glad "Ghostbusters" didn't come out until later because that library ghost might have ruined my peaceful summers in the library.

When someone is deeply moved by a book, it makes you want to pick up that book and find out what you're missing. Last night when a reader described why she loved "Pride and Prejudice" I just wanted to hug her and say, "I know, right?"

This girl, a young Janeite at the annual convention of fans showed off her Austen tattoo. I showed my daughter that scene and said at least I didn't get dressed up in Regency clothing and head to annual conventions. She just told me, "No, you're just that geek in 'Austenland' with Mr. Darcy scribbled all over your binder.

Maybe.


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Luckily, I don't look good in an Empire waist. This particular Janeite spoke about Elizabeth Bennet being contrary and my ears perked up. "There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”

That quote is so me. Tell me I can't and I must. My other favorite heroines all have this in common. Bathsheba Everdene from Far from the Madding Crowd; Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind;
Meggie Cleary from The Thorn Birds. Their lives would be so simple if they just took the easy path.

I was talking to friends about publishing this morning and I know the path that publishing is taking. Why can't I just follow it like a normal writer? Because I'm Elizabeth, not Jane.

Yesterday at Costco I saw a stack of the classics in books and it thrills me to see. Check out that list of 100 top books. Which ones speak to you? Do you see a common denominator? The list is daunting. There are so many fantastic books that I love listed.

And because I mention "P&P" I can't leave this post incomplete. You're welcome.

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Misogyny in the Church & Judgment

Misogyny in the church is shown in subtle ways -- and sometimes, not so subtle ways. Regardless, it is insidious. God loves men and women equally. One sex is not BETTER than the other. We are different to accomplish God's purpose but equal in his sight.


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I know a young woman who is really struggling with her faith because of how she's been taught that women are less than men. Here are just some examples. Her father had her read Proverbs where the POOR young innocent man has been led astray, by the terrible vixen -- the lustful woman. Now, there are lustful women out there, but a man is responsible for himself and we have to stop treating men like they get some special compensation because they can't control their lusts. That's ON THEM. To me, this attitude in the church is just like women being forced to wear the Burqa by the Taliban because a man can't be responsible for himself. This young woman read that as "women are evil" and "men are their victims."

Now, this same young girl I'm speaking of is also told by her father that David is a man after God's own heart. I think it comes with age that we understand King David is a complete screw-up, but he loves the Lord and his heart is inclined toward God. But let's be honest, Bathsheba pays a terrible price for David having had her husband killed so that he could have her as his own. And rather than blame her for being a lustful woman, I'm going to say in that timeframe, she had very little choice if King David wanted her for his own. But we don't really hear about Bathsheba's pain having lost their baby. We do hear that David is a man after God's own heart -- but you have to take the WHOLE of David and not this piece. Just like all of us. Imagine if we were judged forever due to our one awful sin that we wish we could take back? But I have a really hard time with pastors who take issue with Bathsheba, but NOT David.

I'm getting sidetracked. God is not a misogynist. But many of his followers are. I'm going to tell you a subtle way this is still being taught in the church. I recently picked up a Christian book by a respected pastor of a mega church -- it is published by a very large Christian publisher. This pastor was preaching on intimacy. He was saying that it's not just sex that brings intimacy, but it's time and connection when spending time together. He said that you could even have intimacy while watching football -- but not "The Bachelor" because that is unbiblical.

I kept flipping the page to see if he said, "Just kidding." But nope. Stopped right there. But not the Bachelor because that is unbiblical. Did he add to the Gospel? If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved -- oh, and you don't watch 'The Bachelor.'"

If this pastor had clarified his meaning and said, "You can create intimacy by watching football, or maybe a chick flick on the Hallmark Channel" I would have been fine. But he did not say that. He did not qualify the television watching for anything his wife wanted to watch. He said football -- ie., what the MAN wants. You know, football. With all those cheesy beer commercials with women bouncing in bikinis and the questionable website ads -- that football? SOO Biblical! (Sarcasm.) Of course, that's all the lustful women on those commercials and cheerleading, so men are completely innocent here, I suppose.

Now, I'm not going to defend "The Bachelor." It's crap. We who watch it, know it's crap. I will admit, I never thought the fantasy suite was more than talking, but I've been enlightened by people who tell me I'm far too naive and I read one too many Jane Austen novels. There are definitely unbiblical things happening on that show, and I get that.

But so many of these self-righteous types who would call a woman out for watching "The Bachelor" also watch "Game of Thrones" or "The Walking Dead" or also may have a porn issue behind closed doors. Essentially, these men need to worry about themselves and not preach to women as if THEY are our salvation and not Jesus.

I'm just so over Christians judging other Christians based on their own version of Christianity. Pride and judging others doesn't make us holier, it makes us self-righteous and obnoxious.

My daughter has been watching some Netflix show on people in jail. (I don't know what it's called) but it's really giving her a heart for people who are in dire circumstances -- because people don't generally just end up in jail. Sometimes they're abandoned on the street. Sometimes, they have to turn tricks to eat because they have no family to turn to. Sometimes their parents are on drugs and they have nowhere to go.

Everyone has a story and their sin is based on that story and the struggles they've overcome. How lucky for someone to be able to judge what other people are watching on television! It means that you have enough to eat, you have a roof over your head. You're not in jail, your loved ones don't have a drug/drinking issue or battle major illness. Because you have time to judge what others watch for entertainment as if you're Jesus Himself.

Good luck with that.

Instead of judging, maybe you should be grateful that God didn't give you one of the harder lessons in life. Like the one that I watched last night on "Evil Lives Here." An African-American woman watched her husband descend into madness from mental illness (probably paranoid schizophrenia) and the police couldn't do anything to help her -- because he hadn't hurt anyone. Until he murdered their three sons while they slept and disappeared into the neighborhood until police apprehended him. I really doubt if God cares if this woman watches, "The Bachelor." But maybe I'm wrong. I'll take my chances.

I'd rather watch "The Bachelor" with her than football with that pastor any day of the week. Why? Because that woman doesn't have time for pious false facades and ridiculous judgments on others. She's genuine because she doesn't have the energy to be anything else. She's not pronouncing she's a better Christian than you because she doesn't watch television. She's in the thick of the worst struggle imaginable every single day of her life. This woman looked so normal you'd never know she'd been through such horror. How many others just like her are walking into our churches and being judged by someone for something the Christian machine added to the Gospel?

My point here is simple. You're not a better brand of Christian if you can't meet people where they are and the fact that our Christian market pays pastors to tell this lie is maddening.

No one is going to hell for watching "The Bachelor." And no one is getting any closer in marriage by always watching what the MAN wants to watch on television. Dude, go turn on the Hallmark Channel and let your wife build some intimacy.