Women’s Lib Post Ahead

Don’t worry y’all, I have two blog posts waiting in the wings. One is about make up, the other about nail polish. Rest assured, I will not be giving up my girly posts.

However, this blog has become a place for me to describe the jumble of thoughts in my head that are pressing to get out, lest they leak through my ears. I won’t give up on make up, nail polish, and of course, FOOD, posts, but I feel the need to discuss this topic that’s been burning a hole in my pocket.

Yesterday, I went to the dentist to get a tooth fixed (I grind my teeth, and one of those suckers broke). I was running late from work, so I went to the appointment in full uniform, with my gun on. As it’s been stated before, I live in a really small town, and the dentist I’ve been going to has been the same one I’ve gone to since I was little. Thus, I know all the hygienists there as well.

As I was sitting in the chair waiting for the procedure chatting with one of the women, a woman whose known me since Sunday School came roaring into the office and immediately, with a mild undertone of disbelief, said “What in the world job do YOU do that requires you to carry a gun?!” When I smiled and said “I’m a probation officer,” she replied; “But you’ve always been so….girly.”

Let me break here to enter this shocking PSA: I am used to this question. When I started this job, I used to enjoy that people would ask me this question. I am 5’4″ and curvy/athletic (on a good day), with a penchant for dresses, make up, and heels. I love jewelry (I’ve bulked up on stud earrings since this job). Spiders scare me. I’m a big fan of lipstick. I don’t know jack shit about cars. I don’t look like a probation officer, or someone who would carry a firearm to work, or someone who would enforce the law.

However, in the year and some change I’ve had this job, my attitude toward that question has changed. What does a probation officer actually look like? A man. That’s the blatant, painfully obvious answer.

I’m not angry about it. It just bothers me. It bothers me when people ask me what I do and then are amazed by my response (I usually get teacher, which I answer with a resound “Absolutely fucking not”). It bothers me when people ask my parents what I do for a living and are floored with their response (and my parents are pretty proud of me). It bothers me when strangers or people I’ve just met laugh and say “No, seriously, what do you do?”

As a female in law enforcement, I’m supposed to fit this stereotype. I’m supposed to be tall, bulky, with super short hair, not be interested in typical “feminine” things, and probably, and sorry to be blunt, be a lesbian. There are women in law enforcement who may fit into one of those adjectives, but regardless if we do or do not, that does not mean that women are not capable of being in this profession.

When I took this job, my best friend said to me, “You were made to do this. You are the only person I know who can handle it.” And she didn’t mean a thing about my look. She meant that I’m confident, courageous, and can hold my own. She meant it as a compliment. She knew I could still keep my femininity and be a kick ass woman in a man’s world. And the women who are in law enforcement can do just that. For God’s sake, we’re WOMEN; we wear multiple hats as it is.

People of the world, remember; just because we wear khakis, a polo, and boots to work, doesn’t mean we can’t rock a LBD, heels, and some red lipstick. I can kick your ass in either.

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Love With Food Box October 2014

This month’s theme was Monster Mash, which was all things related to fall and Halloween- my favorite time of year!

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Organic Jelly Beans by Surf Sweets- Non-GMO, Gluten free, and Organic

Honey Almond Nut Butter and Chocolate Almond Butter by Justin’s- Gluten free and Organic. I really wanted to try a good almond butter, so I’m excited for this find.

Cinnamon and Sugar Bananinha Banana Bar by Nutryvitta- Non-GMO and Organic. Promises to be better than candy

Organic Original Falafel Chips by Flamous- Gluten free, Organic, and Non-GMO. Promises to ward off Dracula 🙂

Buttery Shortbread Squares by Clairesquares

Original Cheese Straws by J & M. I love you, Love With Food, but these were just gross.

Snapea Crisps by Calbee- Non-GMO. If y’all haven’t had these, RUN to the grocery store. Try all flavors, but mostly the Wasabi Ranch ones. They. Are. Amazing.

I can’t stop thinking about babies, but not why you think.

Let me start by saying that I am totally, completely, sometimes painfully, single.

I am not seeing anyone. I tried match.com, hated it, and deactivated my subscription. I don’t like meeting random guys at the bars because well…yeah. My job doesn’t exactly lend itself to meeting men (plus I swear to God that Troopers practice arranged marriages/Mom always told me to be a cop’s SECOND wife). I have a few guys I talk to occasionally, but nothing promising.

And to be even more honest with you, I’m not sure I have any desire to be in a relationship right now. The whole process of learning who someone is romantically, getting intimate, having him meet my family, integrating him with my friends, and just plain giving up being selfish to do what I want to do when I want to do it sounds smothering.

However, at almost 25 in a small town, everyone around me is getting married or having kids or both. So, of course, I can’t help but consider what kind of mother I’d be when the time comes.

Actually, let me clarify; IF that time comes. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood looks incredible, and I bet it’s amazing to have a child grow inside of you. My mom is my best friend, and I am thankful for her everyday.

But motherhood just seems to be so…much. Crying babies in restaurants annoy the shit out of me. Kids who run around and wreak havoc as moms look on drive me nuts. Babies are cute, but they all look the same. And no, I don’t give a shit about your kid eating gluten free and avoiding red dye like the plague.

People tell me I will change my mind. And I may. I may meet the love of my life and want to reproduce with him. I also may stay unmarried but feel that pull to have or adopt a child. But if I don’t and continue to feel this way, does this make me less of a woman? I’d like to think not.

Regardless, where did all these children come from?!

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month & I’m sick of the NFL and their scandals

I’ve been debating writing this post since the Ray Rice scandal (quite literally) exploded on the front pages of every social media page and news source in the US.

I’ve seen the memes. I’ve seen the video. I’ve seen the apology videos (both of them, a term I use loosely). I’ve seen the “jokes” about taking the stairs instead of elevators and others that are equally asinine. Don’t get me wrong, I have to use humor at work so I don’t lose my goddamn mind or get burnt out by the time I’m 30 years old.

However, as someone who has gone through domestic violence and come out on the other side, there is nothing even remotely funny about victims and their stories of survival.

There is nothing funny about the fact that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. It’s 2014. Why do we still need to discuss this? Why does the term “domestic violence” even exist? Domestic violence isn’t always physical. It is verbal. It’s control. It’s calling someone a slut, ugly, fat, worthless, and instilling in their mind that NO ONE will ever love them the way their abuser does. What the victim doesn’t realize at the time, however, is that no one will ever love them like that, and that’s a damn good thing.

There is nothing funny about the fact that 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men are stalked in their lifetime. Remember when you wanted your parents to get off your back? Imagine your exboyfriend calling and texting you so much that you have to turn your phone off, since it’s useless to try to contact anyone else. You can’t get through. Imagine your exboyfriend just appearing at the restaurant you’re at. My ex showed up at a dinner after 12 hours of drinking and chased me around town in his BMW. He also once showed up at a party I was at and locked me in a bedroom when I wouldn’t talk to him. He held me down until I fought back enough to get away from him. It was terrifying.

There is nothing funny about the fact that 1/3 of female homicides (femicide) are killed by an intimate partner. Personally, I am positive that my ex would have killed me if I would’ve “stuck it out.” I stuck with him for 3 hellish years, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

It breaks my heart to watch that Ray Rice video and to watch the “apology” videos that have come in the aftermath. Rice’s now wife has been with him since they were teens; do you think that’s the first time he’s laid hands on her? The violence always escalates. Always. And the “honeymoon” phase gets shorter every time. I have been her. You are convinced it’s as good as it gets; that you deserve to be treated that way. When you love someone for that long, you forget how to have a normal, loving, healthy, AMAZING relationship. This is your new “normal.”

If you watch the apology videos, not once does Rice apologize to his wife, but she certainly apologizes enough to him. And let me tell you from experience, reporting domestic violence against a man who has prestige in the community is so difficult. My ex was a cop. I didn’t report the stalking, abusive behavior because I knew he’d lose his job, and nothing would be holding him back from making my life a complete, living, hell. It was easier to take it, to be unable to move on with someone else, to sneak around and meet him because I thought it wouldn’t get worse.

What got me out? My ex cheated on me and got someone else pregnant. I thank God for that woman every day, because without her, I don’t know what my breaking point would’ve been. For someone you know (or yourself) that is experiencing domestic violence, I don’t know what his or her breaking point is either. I do know that the worst thing you can do is turn away. If one of my friends would have sat me down and explained that they were concerned, that this isn’t right, I’m not sure if it would’ve changed things. I do know it would have helped me somewhat. Abusers make their victims feel alone, isolated; like they have no one to help them. Do not inadvertently help the abuser isolate the victim.

And if you are reading this and are being subjected to domestic violence, here this; I love you. We are forever tied. You are beautiful, smart, funny, charismatic, and worthy of safe love. Love that you don’t have to fear. Love that you know won’t break into your home and terrify you. There is help.

And please, I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I am thankful for this experience so that I may help others in this process. I just want the world to know that domestic violence has a face, and one of them is mine.

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