Today, I was walking with my female friend in the Lower East Side, and this very thin, very tan lady bumped into her very roughly. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we had decided to go for a walk. The lady dropped the food she was carrying and then tried to pressure my friend into giving her money for more food because she was homeless and didn’t have any money to go buy another meal. It looked like some sort of sandwich with naan bread on the ground. I didn’t really like that this woman was pressuring us to give her money. She had a man with her, but I don’t really remember what he looked like.
Life is about needs, wants, and the things we conflict between the labels. Many religions make the claim that life is about suffering, and Buddhism specifies that desire is at its core. I’m relatively unreligious, but I have to agree with this claim. Life is about caving into desire, whether it be air, food, sex, or sleep— it’s just a matter of which one.
I really loved Barbie as a kid, and I’m not sure if that’s surprising. She’s beautiful, kind, and always taught that you can be anything. While I don’t think that’s a universal statement, I think it’s true a lot of the time and is a healthy message to send to young girls. You want it? You get it. Just do it. Get good! It’s a remarkably powerful but simple message, especially coming from an image of peak femininity. Even if you yourself don’t have an interest in dolls, consider that these are the toys our daughters are statistically likely to be playing with.
I talk the way I write, believe it or not. Admittedly, by nature of being written, my thoughts are more articulate and refined in writing, but the manner in which I write them mirrors my pretentious wordiness and elongated sentences. For this, I blame my multilingual upbringing, speaking exclusively Polish at home, English among my friends, and being taught Latin during all four years of high school. Sometimes the way I say words is weird too, because being as shy as I was during my childhood, I spent more time reading than speaking. Lots of my Polish-speaking friends have accents or quirky linguistic habits, even if they spent their entire lives in the United States. I do, too. Even though I don’t often talk about my ethnicity particularly often on my site, I do think there’s a lot of power in a language and an ethnic background.