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You’re doing it wrong

13 May

In every committed relationship, there comes that awkward moment when you have to tell your chosen partner they’re doing something wrong. Not just wrong. But like, really, really wrong. Usually, it’s something that builds and builds until the other person can’t handle it anymore.

In my case, it took five years. And the person doing something absolutely wrong is my husband.

I had to tell him. I thought about writing him an open letter, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t read it, so I just told him to his face.

Now, in most cases, I don’t like to tell people they are doing things wrong. There are lots of different ways to live, and who am I to judge people for their choices?

If another person wants to do nothing for their birthday, that’s fine.

But it’s not fine when it’s my chosen partner.

My husband celebrates birthdays wrong.

I am not okay with this.

It’s not just his birthday, but all birthdays.

He drove me crazy a few days ago when his birthday came around because he didn’t want anything special. He didn’t even want cake.

Basically, I spent the whole day being irritated because I wanted to make the day special, and he didn’t.

I know it’s not my birthday and blah, blah, blah, be mature, blah. But DUDE. I just wanted to celebrate his life.

That was bad enough. But now, my birthday is coming up and he keeps saying things like, “It’s not called a birthweek, it’s called a birthday.”

In my head I’m thinking, everyone knows you get to celebrate your birthday for the week before and the week after the actual day.

Then I realize that everyone probably doesn’t know that. And I’m ridiculous. My expectations for birthdays are too high.

And I’m probably the one who celebrates birthdays wrong!

But it’s the day we are BORN. If that event didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be here, so I think it deserves some celebrating.

In completely unrelated news, I bought an origami kit. So stay tuned for pictures! And I think this will replace the threat of the creepy puppet making.

-Kinley Baker

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Choosing to believe the best and my new BFF Little Bird

3 May

Life is hard. Sometimes, we just have to choose to believe the best.

One day this week, when my husband was pulling into our garage, he kept looking behind him.

“What?!” I demanded. My first thought was: fire, intruder, apocalypse. As is normal for the eternally paranoid.

Instead of any of those things, he said, “I think that’s a dead bird.”

I was way sad face about it because we’ve had a few dead rabbits turn up lately and this is more proof that we do indeed have a neighborhood problem. I know what you’re thinking. Werewolves. I know, that was my first thought, too.

I know nature works its way for a reason, but I’m kind of a pro at mourning strangers and animals I just met.

We get out of the car and it turns out, it’s not a dead bird at all!

It’s a baby!

Meet Little Bird. Named after the television show Little Bear.

birds, cute, animals, baby birds, Kinley Baker, Author Kinley Baker, Romance Author, choosing to believe the best

“My parents left me on your doorstep. They said they’d be back later…”

Isn’t he adorable? I will love him forever.

Of course my husband was like: “Don’t touch him!”

My response: “It honestly never occurred to me!”

Selective germaphobes do not touch random wild animals.

But anyway, so this baby bird hung out there for a while.

Then he was gone. And this is the core of the post.

I choose to believe his parents came back for him. I choose to believe that he’s off in another part of the neighborhood causing adolescent mischief. I choose to believe these things, even if that does make me naive or optimistic.

Did it occur to me another animal might have eaten him? Yes.

Did it occur to me that Little Bird didn’t get a happy ending?

Yes.

But I choose to believe he’s with his family in a happier place.

Because life is hard. Life sucks. Sometimes, you just have to choose to believe the best. No good comes from dwelling on the bad.

I doubt I’ll see Little Bird again, but I won’t forget him.

He showed up in my driveway, and that makes him part of my life.

He’ll grow older and have a good life. I choose to believe that.

-Kinley

 

A world where I can look like a damsel, swear like a sailor, and party like a rock star

11 Mar

I wish we could live in a world that didn’t judge us for the shadows of who we’re supposed to be. People are too intricate to be defined by something that offers no clarity.

Shadows, Kinley Baker, Romance Author, The Realm of Shadows, Shadow Shifters, Sun, Grass

A shadow of yourself.

I’m fascinated by the relationships that form the solid threads of the world we live in. I could read for hours or days—and sometimes do—about what gender roles mean and how they reflect the lives we embrace as men and women.

I can see the strengths and weaknesses of the roles we’ve constructed for everyone. At the end of the day, my wishes are pretty simple.

I wish I could live in a world where I can like Star Trek and rock out to Taylor Swift in the mornings. I wish I could live in a world where I can cheer on a good tackle in football, but will forever appreciate the grace of figure skating.

A world where something as different as football and figure skating can be viewed with equal athletic strength.

No one would ever call me domestic. No one would ever call me a hip hop dancer, either. Yet I dance, just as I force myself to clean the house. I made a commitment to my family unit, and while my husband does the cooking and cleans the kitchen, it’s really only fair if I handle the laundry and the upstairs (to be honest, I’m the one in the relationship who struggles to pull my weight in the domestic sphere).

Working full time and bringing home a wage gives me a sense of accomplishment. In the event that things change and I have the privilege to stay home with my (hopefully) future children, I don’t want someone to judge me for my choices.

All that should concern them is that the choices are mine. I don’t want to be told that I choose to stay at home because society decided that’s where I belong. If I make that decision, I feel I belong there. I’m much too restless to allow society to win with no arguments.

The worst part of the gender dynamics for me is when I fall into the stereotypes that people I respect speak out against. Activists want women to stand as strong and smart individuals. I’m not sure I’m a good representative of either.

It’s not very hard to make me look ditzy. I confess. My strength in life is not recounting facts of any kind. I tend to stare blankly if I don’t know the answer to a question.

If you want me to look uneducated, you can ask me who the seventh President of the United States was, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you on the spot without Google. The only thing I remember about history is that there were a lot of wars.

I graduated from college with honors though, which just adds to the irony of this post.

To me, equality is about having all the choices available, and not being judged for what we decide. Even if that means we fall into the stereotypes. Like it or not, we have expectations based on past experiences.

History has shown it repeats (I remember that much), so part of our perception isn’t wrong. The only way we’ll move forward is to embrace the past.

Let’s not force people to do what they don’t want just because they feel they have to rebel against established practices.

If I had my way, I’d be a mass of contradictions and I’d embrace them all. As much as I love the shadows and have explored their power in fiction, in the real world, shadows hide too much. I don’t want to hide who I am anymore. I don’t want society to decide who that is either.

I don’t want to be less, just because I’m complicated. I don’t want to lose respect, just because I like cheesy movies. I don’t want to act like I have all the answers, just to earn credibility.

If someone tells you they have all the answers, run. None of us do. Why can’t we make that okay? Ironies and contradictions are fascinating. How do we go about remembering that?

We can’t be everything. We can’t be one thing. We should be able to be who we are in peace without having to qualify the parts of us that don’t fit into the boxes.

I don’t fit inside boxes. But then, if I was in a box I’d probably get claustrophobic.

What do you think? Do you have two passions that completely contradict? Do you think we can get to a point where equality equals choice?

Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)