A Love Long Distance

A blessing inside a curse , a love long distance
You visit every quarter-year, a half-week of bliss
Then you leave and break my heart, another last kiss

Written in response to #3LINETHURSDAY YEAR TWO: WEEK SIX

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Anne Frank

Hello friends and welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Each Wednesday bloggers share their very favorite quotes to inspire and motivate each other to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution is from the famous diarist, Anne Frank.

Annelies Marie “Anne”, born on June 12th, 1929, was a German-born Jewish girl from the city of Frankfurt. She spent most of her life in or near Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. In 1942, when Anne was just 13 years old, her and her family, and four friends, hid from the Nazis in the attic of her father’s office during the German occupation in World War II. It was in those two years of hiding in that attic that she wrote in her “cardboard-covered notebook, bearing the proud name ‘diary'”, which she had received as a birthday gift.

On the morning of August 4th 1944, after receiving an anonymous tip, the German police stormed the office and found the Franks and their friends. They were arrested, held, interrogated, and then shipped to concentration camps, specifically, Auschwitz. The source of the information that led the authorities to raid has never been identified. In the end the only member of her family to survive would be her father, Otto. After the war ended Otto returned to Amsterdam and was given Anne’s diary by one of the women who had helped hide them, Miep Gies.

Otto edited and submitted his daughter’s diary for publication. It wasn’t easy at first but eventually his efforts resulted in  publication and Anne becoming one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. She became the voice for many who suffered during that time. She became the voice who would teach many young children of the atrocities that occurred in a way that they could understand and identify with.

She is one of the greatest authors of the 20th century.

Because paper has more patience than people.

— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard of Anne Frank. I think that is a good thing. I’ve always imagined that because of her the world is a better place. I like to think that she has some part in the fact that nothing quite like the Holocaust has happened again. I like to think that we are all more aware of just how bad it all was because we read her diary and she made us really feel what it was like for her and her family. She made us love her too and through that love we cared more about her fate. Through that love we felt real pain at learning her fate and that of all the victims of the Holocaust.

I hope that kids in middle and high school are still reading her book.

I chose the quote because while I do have dreams of writing for a living and spending my days holed up in my home office/library writing books people will love to read, I do wonder if that isn’t why I write at all. Some days I get the feeling that writing is just a very good friend to me and that is why I can’t stop.

Writing is there for me when I am sad and when i am happy. Writing can hold events from the past and all my hopes for the future. Writing is never irritated with me no matter how much I go on. Writing doesn’t lose interest because I go off on a tangent or because I have trouble explaining something they way I mean to. Writing never interrupts or tells me “not now”. When I have nothing and no one I will have my writing. Whether I realize my dream or end up homeless and hopeless, I will have writing.

I kept diaries and journals as a teenager too. Writing is, after all, the perfect confidant and will keep all of your secrets. I wrote about feeling confused and sad and alone. I wrote about the things I couldn’t tell anyone about and I felt so much better for it. I wonder sometimes if writing is what got me through all those hard years. In my early twenties me and writing grew apart briefly. I wasn’t so confused or sad or alone and I didn’t know what to write about anymore.

This blog is a sort of return to that kind of writing. Like the page this place on the internet is patient with me. I write here when, and what, I need to and I feel better when I do. My friendship with writing grows everyday and by now we feel like old friends greeting each other a little more easily every time we meet.

I do still keep a paper journal, when I remember to that is. I use it to record more private thoughts, or things that no one else would possibly care about. Every time I do I still get that same feeling, the rush of thoughts coming faster than I can write, the relief at having got something off my chest, and the fear, and the hope, that someday someone will read my private thoughts. I love it.

I’ll never understood why so many people don’t keep journals.

Yeah, I’m Needy, So What?

All my life I’ve been a deeply feeling person. I feel empathy and love quite strongly. Because of that, because being alone hurts, I need love and affection, attention and encouragement, from other humans. I am not ashamed to admit that, but I used to be.

All my life people have tried to toughen me up. They have tried offering advice, they have tried shaming me, they have tried making me feel guilty about it, they have even tried beating it out of me. In the end all they accomplished was making me wish I didn’t feel so deeply. I wished I didn’t need other people so damn much. All that guilt and shame didn’t change how I felt deep down. All it did was make me waste a whole lot of time trying to be something I wasn’t.

“You are not clingy, or needy, or silly for having needs for affection and affirmation and attention within a romantic relationship. Those needs aren’t an embarrassing outgrowth of your low-self esteem or depression or whatever messy emotional issues you may have going on, that’s just basic shit that people need from each other. We of course should not make our partners responsible for meeting all of our emotional needs – it’s not someone’s else’s job to make you happy. But inside a healthy relationship, being able to show affection, pay attention, and demonstrate “you are amazing and important to me” is a pleasure, not some task or burden.”

— Jennifer Peepas

Every thing we are taught as children is meant to prepare us for a world that is harsh. We are taught that other people will treat us badly. They will use and abuse us and leave us high and dry, sad and alone. So we go about the world endeavoring to take what we can from every one we meet before they can take anything from us. Every interaction and every relationship is nothing more than a game of chess. Do your best not to leave yourself vulnerable, but do make sacrifices, do allow yourself to be open, but only when it will get you something of value.

Compliments and admittance of emotion become currency we barter. We play a game of getting others to love and care for us without having to risk our own hearts. We play out the very prophecy our elders warned us about. We endure the pain of isolation in order to protect ourselves from feelings of isolation. How fucked up is that? And who should really be the ones to feel shame?

I believe the world needs more vulnerability. I believe the world needs open hearts and understanding. I believe everyone needs praise and to be told that they matter. I believe that the world needs more people to admit they need it too.

If we all just gave up the farce, if we all went to that person whose attention and affection we crave and just told them how we felt and what we needed. If we all opened our hearts and let ourselves love as hard and as sweetly as we all wish we could, imagine how the world would be then? I believe it could still be that way if we all changed a little bit, one by one. A good starting place is to allow those around you to express their own need and resist the temptation to belittle or invalidate it. 

Humans are social creatures. It is natural and beautiful and, in this world, it’s also very brave to show you natural need to be with others who care, protect, and encourage you.

The world needs more needy people

Post inspired by Musings of a Creative Spirit

Monday Motivation // Be Thankful

Good Monday morning to you all! I hope you had a good weekend and I hope you have meet the work week well. I know Mondays are the hardest day of the week. I know Mondays are the hardest days to like. I know that we are all conditioned to drag our feet and maintain a negative outlook but that really isn’t good way to live. I say it’s a huge waste of the short time you have on this earth to go on hating one day out of every week. I say let’s work every Monday to start the week off right.

This Monday is the first of the holiday season, a very stressful time for many families. That stress could be lessened if we’d all get back to remembering what this season is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about giving thanks for what we have and helping others who have less. I am not a big fan of the Thanksgiving story, the one where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans come together to feast and give thanks, mainly because it is completely false, but I do agree with the sentiment, and I do think it’s good to spread it.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”

Oprah Winfrey

This week I am trying to get back into the swing of things after taking off a whole week of work. I woke up sad my break was over and angry I had to go back to work doing a job that is not fulfilling. I quickly realized this was a poor way to view my life. I realized I was being very ungrateful for all the good things I have that many others don’t. I might not always like my job but compared to many other people in many other places around the world I am lucky and quite rich.

This morning I wanted to put my money into perspective, I googled “where am I on the global wealth scale”. The first result was a link for the Global Rich List, and oh man did that make me feel bad. I won’t divulge my income but I can tell you that according to this site, globally I am sitting in the top 1 to 2 percent. That isn’t even including my girlfriends income, and she makes considerably more than me. I am rich and working a cushy job and I woke up complaining. How horrible am I?

I have clean water and heat on demand. I have good food, I have clothes, I have a stable roof over my head, and I generally feel safe where I live and work. I can vote, I can take people to court who wrong me, and I can move about freely in the world. I am not religious but the best word to describe my station in life is blessed.

So this week I am going to remember to be thankful for what I have. I am going to remember that while I sometimes forget how lucky I am, there are those who would gladly switch places with me. I will stop taking my life for granted. I will stop complaining so damn much. I will do this because when we are always wanting more and more in life we forget to look behind us and help those who need our help the most. We forget that while we are complaining about not having the newest and the best there are some who are just trying to survive.

If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Halloween and Happy NaBloPoMo Everyone

Good morning friends, and happy Sunday. I am so happy to see you this morning! I am in need of some good conversation and a good strong cup of coffee. I am tired from a late, but calm, Halloween night, and sad that my favorite time of the year has come to an end. It’s November now which means preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the two most stressful holidays of all. Ugh!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that my Fall Break wasn’t spent exactly as I had hoped. On Monday and Tuesday I did some writing but nothing I liked. I planned to keep at it but my plans for the week changed, starting on Wednesday, when I got invited to birthday dinner with some old friends. I spent much of that day buying gifts and a new outfit to wear.

Then on Thursday and Friday my girlfriend took off work to spend time some time with me. We spent the time being completely lazy. We watched movies, drank, and slept a lot, our favorite activities when we are staying in. I don’t regret it at all but I know it will be awhile before I can take this much time off of work again.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I didn’t make much progress on a story but I did get a rough draft of a poem written for the Rising Phoenix Review, a “monthly online zine dedicated to publishing poetry focused on the working class and other marginalized groups”.

I found them on Tumblr awhile back after searching for “call for submissions”. I liked what they were doing and what they stand for and so have been planning to submit work to them for the past couple of months. I haven’t yet because I wanted to really get an idea of what they were looking for first. I also wanted to give myself time to write something a little different.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that, on a less serious writing note, I am having a lot of fun working with “found poetry“. I think found poetry appeals to me because I love collage art and this is the literary version of that art. I like the quiet focus it takes to scour the page looking for good phrases to use. I like the care and precision required for using an exact-o knife to cut out the words. I like sliding the cut outs over the desk trying this phrase with that and finding meaning in words that meant something completely different before.

I have a ton of material to work with since I’ve been a magazine hoarder my entire life. I feel like a good magazine is just like a good book, you don’t want to throw it way after you are done, you want to keep it and possibly read it again. I tend to buy a lot of philosophy and science type magazines so the articles make me think. They leave an impression on me and have even influenced the kind of writer I want to be. But the piles are getting out of hand, so I’m purging by reading them and making little poems out of as many articles as I can.

This coming week I want to try using my science magazines and see what I can come up with.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that this Halloween was a fun but we kept it pretty tame this year. Most years I am looking for a crazy party to go to but this year I wanted to be somewhere that felt safer. You never know what will happen at big parties and I have gotten too old to not worry about things like that anymore. So this year we spent the evening at our favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, and we saw one of the funniest musicals ever, Little Shop of Horrors.

At the last-minute, literally on Halloween morning we made the decision to dress up as Seymour, me, and Audrey, my girlfriend, and we made simple little Audrey II for me to carry around. As part of the special screening we got free s’mores and a mudslide, plus balloons, poppers, and a “smell-along” scratch and sniff card. It was so much fun!

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had hoped this to be participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this year but unfortunately I do not have good book idea ready yet. So instead I will be participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, the blogging alternative. I’m preparing for the prompts, picking and choosing which ones I like and which ones I want to supplement with something else, like The Daily Post prompts.

Next year I will definitely be doing NaNoWriMo though. I knew this year I might not since I had only just started writing and hadn’t done much fiction writing at all. One of my biggest goals for next year is to start writing short stories and work on a book idea. I do have one or two but I’m not sure how to tell them yet and one of them I’d really like to make into a graphic novel instead…There really should be a graphic novel version of NaNoWriMo…just saying.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had better get going. This past week we were very lazy about the house work and I have a ton of cleaning and shopping to do. I hope you all had a good weekend and a fun Halloween. Update me in the comments and enjoy the rest of your Sunday because Monday is coming up fast!

Original image by Julius Schorzman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Events I Regret

I used to have many regrets. I used to dwell on what could have been if only circumstances had been different but I have come to a place of acceptance and even gratitude. Acceptance of the things I cannot change and gratitude for where these circumstances have lead me.

Despite that, there are just a few lingering things I wish I could go back and change. Events in which I wish I had acted with more courage and thoughtfulness.

The Girl I Bullied in School

I was in middle school, in maybe 6th or 7th grade, when I new girl got transferred and I got talked in to bullying and embarrassing her in front of everyone. You see, she had albinism and that made her a target and one day I unintentionally gave everyone a reason to pick on her.

It was after gym class and just before lunch. I had stupidly left the lunch my mother had packed for my on a bench in the locker room and after changing back into my school clothes I noticed someone had stolen my fruit roll up. Looking back now I realize I may have over reacted but at the time that fruit roll up was everything. We were poor and I didn’t get treats like this often.

I began shouting at every one “WHO STOLE MY FRUIT ROLL UP?!”. No one confessed but a few said they had seen the new girl, the one with albinism, hovering around my bag. I wanted to let it go after the new girls name was dropped. I wanted to let it go because I knew if it went any further I would have to confront her. I didn’t want to do that.

But middle school rules clearly state that if you do not call someone out for wronging you, you become the new target. I didn’t want that and so, without thinking, I marched into the lunch room and proceeded to yell at, and completely embarrass this girl in front of everyone.

The look on her face will haunt me forever. More than looking angry or sad, she just looked exhausted. She looked like she knew I was doing this because she was different and she was just tired of going through this. I felt so bad then, I still feel bad now. I wish I could go back and change things. I wish I could go back and be her friend instead of being one in a long line of people who gave her a hard time for no other reason than because she was different.

That Time I Got My Sister in Trouble

Around the same time in my life I got my sister the worst spanking of her life, and mine, because I blamed her for us playing around too much.

Every night it was my job to clean the kitchen, top to bottom, and my sisters job to clean the living room, top to bottom. We were under clear instructions not to play around during this time but kids will be kids and we broke that rule every time. One particular night my mother was in a particularly bad mood and was having none of our shit.

We began goofing off, like we always did, and my mother yelled down to us. I don’t remember what she said but I do remember thinking it would be funny to play a game of who could blame the other faster. After my mom yelled down I immediately yelled back up “TONYA STARTED IT” and immediately I regretted it.

My mother called my sister upstairs and after a few minutes of hearing my sister try to talk her way out of it I heard her screams and cries. I just stood there, in the middle of the living-room, hanging my head in shame.

I wish I could go back and change that night. I wish we never would have played around, or I at least wish I had taken the blame. I was the big sister and I should have protected her.

The Teacher I Blew Off

Years later I was in high school, sort of. I was enrolled but I barely ever showed up. I liked learning but I hated the other kids and at this point I was the new target due to my size and unwillingness to join social activities. I guess Karma had come full circle.

I occasionally showed up for math class though. For one, it was after lunch and before I could make plans on where to go when I ditched the rest of the afternoon and two, I took pride in showing up out of nowhere and showing the teacher how easy it was for me to do the work I never studied for.

After a long stretch of not showing my math teacher tracked me down in the hallway. She stopped me and asked where I had been. I didn’t answer because I thought I was in trouble and didn’t want to further incriminate myself. She realized this quickly and assured me that she only wanted to give me something. It was an application to take part in a program where I could begin taking college courses in math right away.

I was only a freshman.

I blew her off though and I have regretted it ever since. If only I had listened to her, if only I had taken and filled out that application. Can you imagine where I might be? I wish I would have listened but I also wish I could go back and thank her for even trying. I hope I didn’t ruin her for kids who came after me. I hope she never stopped caring.

These regrets may not seem like such a big deal but they are things I have regretted for a long time and so have grown bigger in my mind as time has passed. I am working on forgiving myself for these missteps, especially since I was only a kid when these mistakes were made. The girl who committed these acts is, for the most part, gone now, and I hope to help her rest in peace.

In response to The Daily Post Prompt: Revisionist History

Go back in time to an event you think could have played out differently for you. Let alternate history have its moment: tell us what could, would or should have happened?

Things I Needed Today

I needed someone to let me know it’s ok to make mistakes. I know that I mess up. I make more than my fair share of mistakes but everyday I try to be better. Sometimes, even when I am wrong, I want for someone to just tell me it’s ok. I want someone to say that they see me trying and it is all forgiven and forgotten. It seems like I only ever get yelled at and reminded about how much I mess up. We all make mistakes but it seems like mine pile up on top of one another until I feel like I’ll be crushed under the weight of it all.

I needed for people to let go of their own feelings and hear my side of it. I try to tell people about how I feel but they only take it personally and get defensive. I am often told why I shouldn’t feel the way I do or what I should’t have done in the forst place that madde the other person do whatever it was that made me feel whatever I do. If I had only not said that or done that or given that look then everything would be fine. I wish someone would just hug me and say they understand and they see that I am hurting.

More than anything, I needed to get away! I wish I could find a place where I could be alone and be sad.I am always somewhere where it is inapproriate to feel things. I need time to feel and express my emotions and I need to do it away from other people who may judge me. I need a place where I can let it all out! I need a place to sob and cry and I also need a place for anger and screaming. I imagine a sort of cave, out away from civilization, and place in nature, where I can be both good and bad. Only out there in nature there is no good or bad, I would just be who I am and there would be no one to tell me to be different.

I guess we all need these things sometimes. I think maybe I just had a bad day today and everything has gotten to me. I hope maybe tomorrow will be better and I won’t need quite so much.

Some Quick Thoughts on the Ferguson Decision

I was supposed to write a post about how I wanted to improve and be more positive this week, like I do every Monday, but this Monday was special. This Monday we all watched and waited for the decision from the Grand Jury on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missori.

So all day I thought about that and couldn’t write anything. I thought about Mike Brown and what might have been going through his head in those final moments. I thought about Darren Wilson and wondered where he might be and what he might be feeling about all of this. I thought about Mike Brown’s poor family and what the decision would mean for them and their piece of mind. I thought about what the reactions would be tonight whatever way the decision might go. Most of all, I thought about what all of this meant for my country in the coming days and weeks.

Then just a few hours ago it was finally announced that there would be no indictment. I feel so many things right now and it’s hard for me to put it all into words. I can honestly say I’m not surprised, but for some reason I still felt a bit of shock when I heard it. I think I want to hear more of the evidence now that it should be released to the public but I can’t help wondering how it is that an unarmed teenager is killed by a cop and there was NOTHING excessive about it. Just doesn’t seen right.

I guess I’m unsure about whether or not I believed the Grand Jury had come to the right decision. I generally don’t trust our justice system I can’t help thinking that just because they will not charge him does not mean he is innocent. It doesn’t mean what he did was right and it doesn’t mean that our system isn’t broken!

I am closely following what is going on across the country through news outlets and social media. Within a couple of hours many protests have broken out and things may be escalating and turning violent, especially in Ferguson. Now all I am thinking about are all those people out there who are angry and hurt and who feel the system has failed them. I am worried about them tonight. I feel for them and hope they succeed in having their voices heard.

My thoughts are with you tonight Ferguson. Stay strong and stay safe!

If We Were Having Coffee…and Baileys

It’s another late night coffee date, which means I am adding some Baileys to mine and I’m encouraging you to do the same :)

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was alright. I mean, it started out rough because I was sick but I am finally getting over that and just about feeling normal again. There is still irritation in my chest and throat and I will have a small coughing fit a few times a day and at least once every night. Thank God for Ricola cough drops though! They really work but don’t eat too many in a row. I did that earlier in the week and it wrecked havoc on my digestive system!

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that me and my Ole Lady had a wonderful week together last week. We had noticed that the stress from work was causing us to be irritable and short with each other. We weren’t treating each other very well at all and after a few arguements we finally sat down and really talked it out. We realized that we didn’t want to be like that, we love each other too much to be acting like that! So now we are patient with each other and show each other love whenever possible. We know things may bubble over again but we’ll just talk it out again and again.

If we were having coffee I would take a minute to thank you for being here and listening to me. This blog hit 200 followers this past week and I have to say I am very honored that there are people who like what they read here enough to like and comment and follow. I started this blog just 8 months ago and I never imagined that I would learn so much both about myself and about other people in such a short amount of time. There are times when I feel like I’m not sure what exactly I am doing or why exactly I am doing it but I do know that I am enjoying it and I will be doing this for a long time to come.

If we were having coffee I would say that it was late and I have to work early tomorrow so I have to go. I do hope you had a good week, as always, let me know in the comments, and thank you again for taking a bit of time for me :)

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The Hunger Games Are “Girly Movies”?

I didn’t know the Hunger Games movies were “chick flicks” to be laughed at until just a moment ago, when I told a guy friend of mine that I was going to see Mockingjay – Part 1 tonight and he laughed at me! Then he asks me if I had also watched the Twilight movies (I have but I didn’t care for them much) and if I had read the 50 Shades of Grey series (I read book one and two but didn’t like than enough to keep reading) but I had no idea what either of those things had to do with The Hunger Games. The only thing I can figure is that my guy friend only saw that all three featured a female lead and some sort of love story.

I asked him if he had seen or read any of Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, or The Hunger Games? He said no so I know none of his opinions about any of this are his own. I started to explain that The Hunger Games was totally different but he said I clearly had bad taste so my opinion didn’t matter. (Men.) I didn’t press the issue further because I really didn’t care what he thought but I got to thinking why was this movie series, which featured a whole lot of violence and killing and plotting and scheming to bring down a tyrannical government seen as “girly”, and why was I being laughed at for seeing it?

Now I actually did read the entire Hunger Games series and I absolutely loved it! To me, Katniss Everdeen is a brave and intelligent girl, with complex emotions, who did what she had to do for her family and for the people she loved, and eventually she came to do her best for everyone in her nation. I also like that throughout the entire series Katniss stayed true to who she was and what she thought was right. I think she is a great character for young girls. I think it’s easy to identify with her and in the end I think no women could walk away from the story not wanting to be a little more like Katness.

On top of all that, the plot and other characters are amazing too. I’m not going to get into a full analysis of The Hunger Games because my point isn’t really that the Hunger Games is good, my point is that even though it’s good it is considered a “girly movie”. The story does feature a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, but it never seemed to be the sort of love story you read or see in other “chick flicks”. I actually thought the whole thing was rather tragic and sad! Not the kind of love story girls swoon over.

I think if more guys actually gave the story a chance they would see that it’s actually really good AND some might even find that they can also identify with Katniss. I wondered what my guy friend would think if the lead character were a male instead? I mean think about it, a guy going in to a ring to fight to the death and then leads the nation in overthrowing a government? Sounds pretty badass! Hell, even if he meet a girl along the way and falls in love he’s still badass! But if it’s a girl doing all of this badass shit then it’s a joke???

Look if your a guy reading this I guess my point is to please not brush off stories of girls saving the world and act like they are nothing but silly love stories. There is so much more to it then that. There can be badass shit going on AND some emotions going on too. That is much more human and realistic. And even if you just plain don’t like the story, at the very least don’t belittle it. It’s important for us women to see other women saving the day up on the big screen too. It’s no laughing matter that society teaches us that girls can’t be heroes, or that they need a man in order to do anything. At the very least take that much seriously!

P.S. Look at that picture up there, does she look like she’s ready for romance? NO! She ready to kick some ass! How could you think this is about to be a “girly movie”???