Thursday, January 28, 2021

What If I Dated In High School

High school couples at prom. Image source.

So recently I had a dream where I found out that my high school crush actually did like me, back in the day. And my reaction, in the dream, was "ah I missed my chance!"

To clarify the timeline: In the dream, I was my current self. Married to Hendrix. And I found out, hey you know that dude that you were totally in love with in high school? (In this blog post we'll call him David.) Well he liked you too, in high school.

Well CRAP, missed my chance.

Like, ah man, turns out we both liked each other! There was potential for some fun romantic things to happen, instead of all that endless pining I did. We could have dated for a short period of time, and then moved on with life and then years later I would marry Hendrix. Man, I missed out on that.

Anyway, this was my reaction in the dream, and I was very surprised because it's so completely the opposite of the purity ideology I used to believe. In purity land, the ideal case is that over my whole entire lifetime, my husband is the only person I ever do ANYTHING romantic or sexual with. Married people look back on their previous relationships with regret- "oh if only I had waited! I wish I hadn't dated this person, I wish I hadn't kissed that person!" Those previous relationships damage your purity and damage your marriage, and your spouse is so wonderful and amazing in comparison- you wish your past self could have known that you didn't need any of those short-term things and you should wait for "the one."

But no, in the dream my thinking was more along these lines: I liked David, and he liked me, so logically there must have been some level of romantic closeness we could have had that would have been enjoyable without causing long-term heartbreak. Logically, there must have been a way we could have had some fun, with proper safeguards in place in terms of being honest about our expectations for the relationship and not imagining it to be something it wasn't.

It would be fun for high-school Perfect Number, and it wouldn't affect my marriage in the present. Purity culture says that's impossible, so I was quite proud of myself for thinking these things.

But ... realistically, thinking about who I was back in high school and what I believed about dating, could David and I have found that "logical" path where we have fun and love each other just for the short term? Like, I didn't have a CLUE about ANYTHING back then. 

There were so many BIZARRE MISCONCEPTIONS I had about how dating is supposed to work. And maybe every teenager has wildly bizarre misconceptions. Maybe that's unavoidable. And you can only learn how wrong you are by getting into a relationship, which will then be full of problems caused by all your wrong ideas about how dating works. Maybe that's unavoidable, and everyone's first relationship has those problems? Maybe I'm ridiculous for thinking "if only I had been taught a better ideology of how dating works, then I could have successfully had a fun short-term relationship in high school." Like maybe no one successfully has a fun short-term relationship in high school. Maybe it's just not possible to date in a healthy way when you're so young and inexperienced.

Here are a few things I was completely wrong about:

1. I felt like "I would do ANYTHING he asked me to do [except sex, of course, because that's a sin], in return for him being my boyfriend."

Yes, I totally believed this. Imagined all sorts of scenarios where he would offer me a deal- if you do XYZ for me, then we can be boyfriend and girlfriend. And I loved him so much, I was absolutely willing to do it, whatever it was. Except sex, of course, because I learned in church that that's a sin. But anything else, yes definitely.

What if he wanted to kiss? Yes, I would have done it. If that's what it took for him to agree to be my boyfriend, I would have done it. And this is an extremely messed-up line of thinking... did I ever ask myself if I wanted to kiss him? I don't remember ever having a desire for that. I saw it as a bargaining chip. That's all. 

I was warned so many times about "boys are gonna tell you 'oh if you REALLY LOVE me, then you'll have sex with me' but you need to say no because they're wrong because it's a sin to have unmarried sex." I thought the "sex" bit was the part that was wrong- I didn't even think about the coercion/ emotional manipulation aspects. In reality, those are the things that are wrong. 

"If you love me, you'll have sex with me"- I was warned to watch out for this, because sex is a sin. "If you love me, you'll do XYZ thing that your pastor thinks is totally fine and not sinful but you don't want to do"- I would have seen nothing wrong with that. 

Nobody ever told me "in a healthy relationship, people don't say 'if you love me, you'll do XYZ thing you don't want to do.'" No matter what the "XYZ" is, it's bad and wrong to coerce your partner like this. They taught me it was wrong when XYZ=sex. But no, that completely misses the point. 

And if David really had said to me "here are the things you have to do, and then I'll allow you to call yourself my girlfriend" I would have been so excited. It would have felt like success- as long as sex wasn't on the list- hooray, these are all things I can do! 

I wouldn't have seen how it was a giant waving red flag. In a healthy relationship, that's not how people talk. 

And even if, in this hypothetical, I held up my end of the deal, there would be no mechanism to make him hold up his end. A boy who mistreats me in this way is going to mistreat me in other ways too. He thinks that just because I'm in love with him, it's totally fine to coerce me into things I don't want to do (but hey, none of those things are sex, so it's okay!). There is no real-world scenario where I fulfill the requirements on his list and then in return, he is a good boyfriend who loves me that way I deserve to be loved.

But back then, that's what I wanted. Wanted it so bad. I would have done anything.

2. I believed that some desires were more correct than others

I believed that these are the correct things to want: You date someone long-term. You love each other deeply, before you ever kiss. You don't have sex til you're married.

I believed that the correct way for physical desires (for sex, kissing, etc) to come about was to grow out of a very close emotional connection. It's only correct to feel sexual desire for someone you're already in love with.

If you want something different than that, well, you're bad and wrong. Sure, we are all sinful so maybe it's understandable that occasionally you might have a desire for something you're not supposed to- like maybe you feel sexually attracted to a stranger. But if you are a good and godly person, you will of course fight back against those wrong desires.

They warned me to watch out for boys who have those incorrect desires and are so incredibly sinful that they- gasp!- pursue them instead of trying to repress them. Watch out for boys, they are interested in terrible, dreadful things like having sex without dating. Like kissing even when they're- gasp!- not in love with you. Oh how awful! Oh how evil! 

I thought emotional and romantic desires are supposed to come first. And then, after a long time of doing that emotional and romantic stuff, you would desire the physical and sexual stuff. That's the way it's supposed to be.

They warned me about the evils of "hooking up" and "friends with benefits" and "making out with a stranger at a party." I believed these things were bad and wrong because the correct desire to have is for a long-term, loving, romantic relationship- and then after that, you desire sex.

Okay, the reality is, it's fine if people desire sex outside of a long-term romantic relationship. That's totally fine and normal. Everyone's desires are different. And hey, turns out I'm asexual. (Hmm it occurs to me that, just from reading this post, you might think I sound more demisexual than asexual. So, yes, demisexuality is a thing, but no, I don't identify as demisexual. For a bunch of reasons. Maybe I should write a post on that.)

Everyone's romantic desires and sexual desires fit together differently, and that's fine. Also, it's fine to not have romantic desires or not have sexual desires.

And since it's fine for people's desires to be different, you need to COMMUNICATE with your partner. Don't assume what each other's desires are, or what kind of relationship you want to have. You have to TALK TO EACH OTHER.

I was warned about boys who would want to have sex with me, and then when they finally got what they wanted, they would vanish from my life. And I believed such boys were bad because the only correct way to desire sex is in the context of a long-term romantic relationship. You should only desire sex with someone when you intend to spend the rest of your life in that relationship.

Umm, okay, no. In reality, the "boy has sex with a girl, and then he disappears" is a problem because they had different expectations about what the sex meant and what kind of relationship they had. And if everyone honestly communicated, this wouldn't happen. Or maybe the boy lied about being in love in order to coerce the girl into having sex- in that case, the problem isn't "he is interested in having sex with someone he's not in love with, oh the horror"; the problem is the lying.

But if I had dated David, I would have assumed that since he seems to be a good person, of course he wouldn't be so incredibly perverted as to, say, kiss me without being in love with me. I wouldn't have realized we needed to communicate about what we wanted and what kissing meant. Only an evil monster would, say, try to initiate sex if he didn't intend to marry me- the kind of monsters they warn us about in church, but sound so perverted and evil that I can't imagine I would ever encounter one in real life. If I was dating a boy, and I truly trusted him and truly believed he loved me, and he told me he wanted to have sex, I would have understood it as him saying he intends to marry me. If you're a good person, then that's what sex means, right?

I believed that there was only one correct way that physical intimacy connected to romantic intimacy. If I had kissed David and it made me feel like he loved me and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, I would have literally believed that he really did feel that way. Without actually talking about it. I believed that was the sort of thing that could be reliably communicated just through a kiss.

Wow, that's ridiculous. No, you can't assume your partner interprets physical stuff the same way you do. Everyone is different, and that's fine. So you need to COMMUNICATE.

(And actually, coming out as asexual has helped me understand this much better. Learning that not everyone has the same outlook on sex and romance that I do, and that's totally normal.)

At the same time, though, I worry about the effectiveness of teaching kids "communicate and make sure you're on the same page about what things mean and you're not assuming your partner's feelings." Isn't it easier to just say "don't have sex with a boy because he'll disappear and he won't value you"? In an alternate universe, I can imagine little teenage Perfect Number, considering having sex with her boyfriend as a way to manipulate him into being more committed to her. It's clearly a bad idea and going to backfire. At that age, though, I don't think I would have been capable of honestly understanding my own desires and motivations. I might have fooled myself into thinking "yes, we did communicate and understand each other, therefore it's okay to have sex."

3. Loyalty and jealousy

Wow, my views on loyalty and jealousy were EXTREMELY messed-up.

My understanding of loyalty was "I'm in love with him, and so I will be devoted to him, and not consider dating any other guys, even though this is a one-sided crush and I don't have any sort of commitment from him." I thought being "loyal" in this way was inherently good. 

I thought it was more good and moral to have one long-term crush that lasted for a year than to have 10 short-term crushes that each lasted a month or so. Because, I was "loyal." If I moved from one unrequited crush to another, well that would be "shallow." Okay, in reality, why on earth would a long-term one-sided crush be more "moral" than a bunch of short-term ones? Like how on earth would that be some sort of indicator of whether I'm a good person with integrity?

(Well, because purity.)

But in reality, no. If it's a one-sided crush, then there's no commitment from him, and so why would I owe him anything? Makes no sense.

No, there is nothing inherently good about "loyalty", if "loyalty" means wallowing in my one-sided crush long-term. (In fact, you could argue that's not emotionally healthy for me.) It's only good to be loyal to someone who's trustworthy and committed to you.

Loyalty is not a good thing in and of itself. Same for obedience. Same for trust.

And what about jealousy? Well basically I thought jealousy was good and normal. I remember how jealous I would always get when I was dating my first boyfriend (after I finally gave up on David)- let's call him BF1.

I was jealous about BF1 kissing his ex-girlfriend, back when they were dating, before I had met him. I made such a big deal about it that eventually he told me he regretted it. And I thought my behavior was completely normal and healthy.

I was jealous about him talking to other girls. I remember one time, he was telling me about how he had to drop off some paperwork at some college administrator's office, and the administrator was a woman, and I felt very proud of myself for not being jealous about that, for being able to reassure myself that there is no romantic interest going on when one drops off paperwork. Because normally I was so jealous whenever BF1 told me about any interaction he had with a woman.

BF1 was interested in dancing, and he used to go to events at our college about learning to dance. One time I went with him and I saw him dancing with other girls and I just ... I cried and cried for hours that night. And he kept trying to reassure me, tell me "it doesn't mean anything!" and that he only wants to be with me. I was so jealous.

And I thought all of that jealousy was completely normal. I'd heard a lot of purity-culture teaching and Christian marriage advice about "having an ex means you'll never be able to fully love your spouse" and "men and women shouldn't be alone together because one thing leads to another" and "men and women can't really be friends" and the Billy Graham rule and "protect your marriage by never emailing anyone of the opposite gender." I thought it was all normal and healthy, how jealous I was.

BF1 tried to tell me it didn't seem healthy, and I told him "well the bible says God is a jealous God." Thinking about it now, maybe God isn't emotionally healthy either.

I don't remember being that jealous about David, because we were never dating and so I knew I didn't have any actual claim on him. Of course I was unhappy when he talked to other girls, but I didn't have the "it is good and right and normal for me to be unhappy when he talks to other girls" belief that I had with BF1.

4. Breaking up

I guess, knowing what I know now, I can explain my situation this way: I am the kind of person who falls in love so hard, and the idea of breaking up is just so unimaginable, so devastating, that I can't even think about it. All the dramatic "how can I live without him", all of that.

I use the term "knowing what I know now" because back then I would never have put it in those words. I never would have said "I am the kind of person who falls in love so hard" because I had no idea not everyone is like that. I had no idea I would have to actually spell it out like that in order to communicate and give you all a clear idea of how I felt. Isn't that just how it works for everyone?

Of course breaking up is totally devastating and feels like the end of the world. I remember thinking of it as some kind of disaster that suddenly comes out of nowhere... it didn't occur to me that breaking up happens because one partner CHOOSES to break up. Chooses???!!! How? Why? How could anyone choose to break up?

I gave up on David loving me, and yeah that felt like the end of the world, and I now realize that I had depression because of it. 

BF1 broke up with me, and yes of course that felt like the end of the world. 

Years later I was dating another boy (BF2) and that relationship stretched on for over a year, when it should have ended much sooner because he wasn't valuing me, and I was unhappy. But all I could think about was how to manipulate him into being the kind of boyfriend I wanted. I didn't think "hey maybe I would be better off if I broke up with BF2." I had no concept of "breaking up can be GOOD sometimes. It can be the RIGHT CHOICE sometimes." And indeed, in church all I had heard was purity teaching about how breaking up will ruin your life because now you've lost part of your heart and you can't fully love your future husband. And marriage teaching about how if your husband mistreats you, you need to pray for him more and submit to him more, and keep waiting for him to be a better person. There was never a hint of "sometimes you just need to get out of that relationship."

Or, actually, there was a little bit of teaching about breaking up. There were testimonies about "God told me to break up with my boyfriend." Or like, if you did something really bad, like having sex, or dating a non-Christian, then at some point you'll need to do the right thing and end that relationship, even though it's devastating.

With BF2... I eventually told him we would "take a break." I guess I never broke up with him; technically we're still "on a break." (Note that I am literally married to someone else now.) I ... I just couldn't break up with him, I just couldn't. I loved him, and I believed in always putting him before myself. Always being more self-sacrificing, always giving him another chance. Isn't that what love is? Isn't it selfish to care about my own needs?

So the point I'm trying to make, about naive high-school Perfect Number in love with David: Maybe it's not good to get into a relationship without any kind of understanding of how to get out. Maybe you shouldn't date if you haven't given any thought to "where is my unhappiness threshold that will mean it's time to break up." It doesn't have to be specified exactly, and I'm not saying you literally have to commit to it and follow it exactly once you're in the relationship, and yes of course if you're unhappy you should try to work with your partner to solve the problem, instead of immediately taking the nuclear option- but at least you should have the idea that breaking up is an option. Don't get into a relationship if you can't imagine choosing to break up no matter how bad things get. Don't get into a relationship if you're so terrified that a breakup will ruin your life, that you're not able to seriously realistically think about it.

Actually, that's what I did when I married Hendrix. I am not "unconditionally" married to him. We talked about it, and if somehow we get to a point where we can't both be happy and healthy being married, then divorce is an option. In church I heard that when you get married you need to be like "divorce is not an option" but I don't believe that.

But in high school, I imagined this is how it goes: You fall in love so hard. Then you date. Then you break up, and it's like Beyoncé says in the song "If I Were A Boy"- "and everything you had got destroyed." (Thinking about it now, I think maybe she meant everything you had *together*, everything you did *for the relationship*. Not literally you feel like your entire life is over.) And you're devastated, can barely get out of bed in the mornings, can barely put one foot in front of the other to go to class and get things done. What's the point of eating? What's the point of brushing your hair? And you vow to never fall in love again. But then, after a long time, it doesn't hurt as bad anymore. And you notice a new boy. And the cycle repeats.

Seriously, that was the only way I could imagine a breakup could go. I remember when I broke up with BF1, one of my friends mentioned that I "had a really bad breakup" and I felt like, no, that was a normal breakup. How could it have gone any other way?

So yeah, in that dream I had, where David liked me back and there was potential for some kind of fun short-term romantic thing- ha, no, high-school Perfect Number definitely could not have done that.


So, is this just the nature of being a teenager with a crush? Everyone has extremely wrong ideas about dating when they start their first relationship? Maybe it's not possible to teach kids some sort of "healthy perspective" that avoids all this- maybe the only way they can really learn is through experience. (Which is kind of funny, because purity culture literally tries to teach everything to set you up to have a perfect marriage with exactly 0 experience. In purity culture, experience means you're "impure" and can't have a good marriage.)

What if I dated in high school? Well, it wouldn't have been good overall. Certainly would have had some fun parts, but also some very unhealthy parts. But isn't that what happened with BF1 and BF2 anyway? Not dating in high school didn't spare me from that.

But actually, those experiences aren't really the reason that I have a healthier perspective now. Really, it was getting out of purity culture, getting out of evangelical Christianity, getting out of "consider others better than yourself", learning about feminism, learning about asexuality.

Maybe it's impossible to ensure that inexperienced kids don't have any bizarre wrong ideas about dating. But surely it's possible to do a better job than what I had. At least for the 4 points I've outlined in this post, we can teach kids the opposite.



Tuesday, January 26, 2021


1. China’s Left-Behind Kids Repeat Their Parents’ Tragic Choices (posted January 18) "In some regions, family separations have become a fact of life, with parents and children no longer considering it unusual to live apart for most of the year."

2. Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87 (posted January 23) 

3. The lynch mob (posted January 19) Slacktivist's post, with links to 2 good articles about the January 6 insurrection.

4. COVID-19 ended blowing out birthday candles. Please: Let's put spitting on cakes in the past. (posted January 22) Okay yeah this writer is probably right.

5. The 11 days of drama at sea that changed cruising forever (posted December 29) This is a good summary of what happened with cruise ships during the pandemic.

6. And the big news in Shanghai is we have discovered 12ish locally-transmitted covid cases over the past week or so, which is a big deal because that number has been 0 since the 7 cases in November. (The 12 are all connected.) I am still going to work like normal (because I don't live or work near there) but there are some rules that are back to being strict again. Like we had to show the green QR codes to enter the mall last weekend- and only 1 entrance was open. The security guards at the office building where I work are being more strict about telling everyone to wear their masks. And food delivery workers aren't allowed to enter the building anymore. So, just some little things that don't really make a huge difference in my life. I have heard that some parts of the city are in lockdown / people who had contact with the infected people are all in quarantine now.

I expect they will have this under control and it'll all blow over in about 2 weeks and we'll be fine- which is what happened in November.

Monday, January 18, 2021


1. Behind viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after riots (posted January 8) "When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot."

2. 'If I would have known then what I know now, I would have never stepped foot in the NFL' (posted January 17) "The Raiders settled for $1.25 million in September 2014, paying cheerleaders from 2010 - 2014 what they were owed back in wages." 

3. Chinese New Year- the biggest holiday of the year here- is the week of February 12. This year, the government is recommending that people don't travel, due to the pandemic. China has been doing extremely well this whole year, close to 0 cases on a day-to-day basis (not counting the imported ones- but all international travelers are required to quarantine, so those cases get caught before they can spread), but with a few outbreaks here and there. (For example, I am in Shanghai- Shanghai had 7 locally-transmitted COVID cases in November, which was a BIG DEAL, and then none since then.) The authorities respond to any COVID case with very strict lockdowns and quarantines, and so we are doing well and life is mostly "back to normal" except that we have to wear masks, and can't travel.

Schools in Shanghai have requirements that students can't come to school if they or their family members have come from other cities within the past 14 days. HR at my job sent an email about what kind of quarantine and COVID-testing you need to do if you travel to a "medium risk" or "high risk" area within China during the new year holiday.

So yeah we are staying in Shanghai.

It's new year, it's the biggest holiday in China, so I think there will be people travelling, but definitely less than a normal year.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

My Husband Believes He Doesn't Get A Say In How Many Babies I Make

Stickers on the back of a car, showing a stick-figure family with a dad, mom, and 3 children. Image source.
Wrote this when I was 33 weeks pregnant


I thought I would like being pregnant, but I don't. It really sucks. It's so much harder than I expected. Nausea, heartburn, weird pains in all different places, having to pee all the time, gaining weight, and so on and so on.

And I'm like "well I always thought I wanted to have 3 kids... but... I am making just the first one right now and it's already so hard. Am I really going to be able to make 3?"

And my husband, Hendrix, told me it's my decision. If I decide we are only having 1 kid because pregnancy is too hard, he is fine with that.

And I feel quite confused. Because, I never thought it should be 100% my decision. I never thought I had that right. I'm the one with a uterus, I'm the one who has to endure the whole pregnancy, I'm the one whose body changes- but does that mean it should be all me and he doesn't have a say at all?

What's a healthy, feminist, pro-choice view on this?

(I'm using the term "pro-choice" but I'm not actually talking about abortion here; I'm talking about my right to make a decision about how many pregnancies to go through. Yes, abortion can be a part of that, but more importantly is just not having unprotected sex in the first place. I think the term "pro-choice" should be about people's right to make decisions about their own bodies in many different contexts, not just about "I have the right to have an abortion." For example, it's very important that pregnant people all have access to good health care, so that if they want to keep the pregnancy, they can make that choice. People shouldn't feel like they are forced to have an abortion because prenatal health care is too expensive.)

I always thought that, before getting married, a couple should talk about how many kids they want (and if they even want kids at all). And yes, Hendrix and I did that. We want maybe like 2 or 3 kids, somewhere thereabouts. We agreed. But now I'm finding out that pregnancy sucks. I still want several kids, but wow it seems so much more daunting and unrealistic than it did back when we were just throwing ideas around and we didn't know anything.

In other words, what if a couple agrees on how many kids they want, when neither of them knows a single thing about pregnancy, and then the person with a uterus changes their mind after actually experiencing pregnancy and childbirth? Seems like that can quite easily happen.

Hendrix doesn't have a uterus- does that mean he gets no say in this? And, more generally, does it mean EVERYONE who doesn't have a uterus doesn't have the right to have offspring? The only way they can get offspring is to convince a person with a uterus to make a baby. There are no circumstances where they have the right to tell a person with a uterus "you HAVE TO make a baby." Is that... true? Even in marriage, they don't have that right?

In my case, one HUGELY IMPORTANT aspect of this situation is that my husband is Chinese. He has lived his entire life in China. His generation is the one affected by the one-child policy. For him, it's completely normal and expected that a family only has 1 child. He doesn't have brothers or sisters. Most people he knows (that are around his age) don't have brothers or sisters. (There are some exceptions, like twins, or if your family is rich enough to pay the fine for having multiple kids, or if you live in the middle of nowhere and nobody from the government comes to check, or if you're an ethnic minority, etc.)

And even though the one-child policy ended in 2016 and now people can have 2 kids, the economics of raising kids in China now entirely revolve around the one-child concept. Everything for kids has gotten so expensive, especially education, because when families only have 1 kid, they end up pouring all their money and resources into that one kid. And now they feel like they have to do that, in order to compete with the other 1 billion people in China. Yes, the government says you can have 2 kids now, but for most families that's just financially UNIMAGINABLE.

So Hendrix is like, "yeah sure we can just have 1 kid, I'm Chinese, it's normal for me." But I would imagine that, in general, people who don't have a uterus won't necessarily be so agreeable when their uterus-bearing partner suddenly changes their mind about how many babies they're willing to make.

I thought since we discussed it before marriage, then that's the deal and it's not fair to change the deal now. I never ever thought that it's "my body my choice" in marriage- but apparently my husband does. ... Should it be "my body my choice" in marriage? Or do I owe him babies because I already agreed to it back when I knew nothing about pregnancy?

And, actually, this isn't just about pregnancy. If you have two people who are young and inexperienced, who have never been married before, and they're in premarital counseling talking about their plan for how the whole rest of their life is going to go ... well obviously there could be lots of topics where they actually don't have a clue and will end up changing their minds later. How does a couple navigate that? I always thought they discuss it and if they both agree, they can change the plan... but if they don't agree, then no, the partner who changed their mind doesn't have the right to decide not to follow the plan.

But maybe the reality is you marry a person, not a plan.

And maybe that's what Hendrix thinks too... maybe he would like to have several kids, but he sees me suffering every day of this pregnancy, and he loves me so much that he would never ever want to force me to do this if it wasn't what I wanted. He loves me, and that's more important than our "plan."

Maybe that's how love and marriage are supposed to work- rather than the way I always imagined when I believed in "purity"... In purity land, a relationship is based on a checklist of requirements. Based on whether or not two people match "on paper", not based on their actual experience of being in a relationship with each other. No, in purity culture, experience is bad. Experience makes you "impure."

And if our relationship is based on our "checklists" matching, then how could it possibly be okay for me to change something on my checklist?

So I'm very confused that my husband is okay with only having one child. Should I have expected from the beginning that this is my choice, that he doesn't have the right to make me go through pregnancy again? I never ever thought that; that's why I'm so surprised. I thought in marriage, my body belongs to him. (And his body belongs to me, but in practical terms when would I ever have an opportunity to have exercise that right? It's not like he can get pregnant. And conservative Christians think women don't want sex.)

I'm pro-choice, but I'm just realizing that maybe I was only pro-choice for unmarried women. Is this what it means to be truly pro-choice- for my husband to tell me he's okay with it if I never want to get pregnant again?

And a lot of women say that after your baby is born, you end up forgetting how much you hated pregnancy and childbirth, and you convince yourself to have another baby. So who knows how I'll feel a year from now. And maybe Hendrix will suddenly want a second baby, after he experiences the first. Who knows?

But right now, my husband says I have way more bodily autonomy than I ever thought a wife could have, and I don't know how to feel about it. Just one more reason I'm so glad I married him instead of the hypothetical perfect godly man I always imagined.



Tuesday, January 5, 2021


1. The Christmas Story. My son got this book for Christmas- it's a board book with buttons that make sounds, it tells the story of Jesus' birth, and, GET THIS, NONE OF THE CHARACTERS ARE WHITE PEOPLE. They are all like, brown Middle-Eastern people. That's the way it should be, but WOWWWW I have never seen any nativity book where ALL the people were brown Middle-Eastern people. Usually they're all white, except for 1 black wiseman that gets thrown in for "diversity" or whatever.

Very happy with this book.

2. Teaching Hal Lindsey to teenagers in the ’80s was child abuse (posted January 1) "None of this talk about the future — college, careers, children, grandchildren — was presented to us as contingent. It wasn’t a matter of 'But just in case the Bible prophecy scholars are wrong and the Lord tarries, then you’ll need a Plan B.' It was, instead, a constant yet constantly unacknowledged contradiction. And what that contradiction taught us was that the things we believed or claimed to believe didn’t matter — that the substance of our 'beliefs' did not need to correspond to reality or to affect the reality of our lives in any meaningful way."