Let’s Talk About: Twilight Sparkle

Wait, what?

Yes, I mean the main protagonist of My Little Pony. I had zero intention of ever watching this show, but my boyfriend is a fan of it and urged me to watch it. Eventually, I gave in and watched the first episode. I was instantly in love with Twilight. But I don’t like what happens to her.

Let me make my annoyance obvious. In the episode summary on Wikipedia, she’s referred to as an anti-social pony. Anti-social.

I hate this. I despise introversion and being reserved are seen as negative traits. Why? The second episode revealed why these events were necessary. That doesn’t help because it still portrayed Twilight preferring her alone time as a bad thing and her preference only changed because of an emergency matter (I’m not going to rant on why Celestia thought it was a good idea to form an entirely luck-based plan instead of be directly upfront with Twilight, or I won’t shut up). I know it’s a common thing in cartoons for lifelong bonds to form instantaneously, and I’d absolutely expect that in a cartoon with friendship as its theme. Except maybe that’d be a reason to have the friendships form more realistically instead of in such a cliché way. I love my best friend like she’s my sister, but I sure didn’t feel that way a day after meeting her. But cliché formulas are also common in cartoons, especially ones intended to have lessons taught through the episodes.

I probably seem strange to have a rant about this. After all, I have a best friend and a boyfriend, so why would I be bothered by a loner character learning about the “magic of friendship”? Easy. I just said it. It only happened because of an emergency matter. No relationship works like that! Friendship and love (of all types, not only romantic) are amazing things, but they don’t happen instantly (before you argue with parenthood: oxytocin). Strong bonds don’t form overnight in any situation. I am more outgoing than I used to be, but that took years. I wasn’t suddenly no longer an introvert or reserved because I met my best friend one day ago. Guess what? I’m still introverted and reserved, and I still despise most people, something working in retail has actually made stronger due to being in constant contact with people. Whatever percentage the number three is of the human population is the percentage of people I like having around.

These two episodes would’ve worked better as a season finale, not a season beginner. I could almost understand these traits being portrayed negatively if Twilight was evil, but she’s not. In fact, despite being obviously unhappy about being sent to the festival/party, she was polite to the others while trying to get away from them as quickly as possible, and if memory serves, she did help when one of them almost hurt herself by accident. She’s not mean, and wanting only her books as company doesn’t make her mean, bad, or evil.

I’ve yet to watch another episode because this kind of treatment with introverted characters puts me off watching anything more of whatever media it is. However, I went through her character list on TV Tropes and it seems, for the most part, she still keeps her introverted personality and she does slowly change over time instead of instantly. That sounds much better, though it doesn’t change my opinion about the first two episodes. The downside is, if TV Tropes is accurate, she rivals Pinkie Pie in exuberance by the latest season. I hate to admit it, but I find Pinkie Pie annoying, as I greatly dislike overly energetic characters who behave like they’re drunk on happiness. Of course, I doubt I’ll get as far as seven seasons anyway. It took me over three years to get to the fourth season of Sailor Moon, and I’ve only watched three episodes of that.

If I do continue watching MLP, I’m hoping to find Twilight’s friends aren’t the pushy type who will continuously try to “pull her out of her shell” and nag her half to death about “opening up”, and will instead respect her wishes if she wants to be alone to study, read, or whatever else. I don’t think it’s wrong (however cliché it may be) for loner characters to go on to learn about friendship and love, or even for their personality to eventually flip a 180. I do think it’s wrong if the path that gets them there portrays that part of their personality as an issue and to be dealt with by forcing them into such situations (as with Twilight) instead of letting them develop willingly. And for heaven’s sake, I hope Celestia is more direct and upfront instead of continually being cryptic and secretive, but since when have mentor characters ever done that? But that’s a whole different rant for another day.

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A Different Jealousy

I’m beginning to wonder if relationship jealousy would be easier to handle than this.

My family is jealous of how I treat my boyfriend. To be more specific, they believe I treat him “like a king” while I treat them “like crap”. The problem here is they were jealous because… I wore a dress.

I very rarely wear dresses, but I chose to for our anniversary weekend. Somehow, my family believes daring to wear a dress for a special occasion means trying to impress someone rather than just doing something special for a day that’s, well, special.

In other words, treating my boyfriend like a king means wearing a dress to his house. Meanwhile, treating them like crap was akin to… not giving them the password to my personal computer.

If there were ever one absolute bit of proof that shows how poisonous my family is when it comes to relationships, it’s this. I don’t expect a date between my boyfriend and me to be of any importance to them, but to be jealous over your family member’s partner? To get upset because I wear a dress for one special day instead of all the time at home?

To be truthful, a small part of me always suspected jealousy from them, but I don’t like to play the “you’re just jealous” card because I see it as immature. But I really don’t know what else to call it. It’s not the first time they’ve gotten upset about me spending time with my boyfriend. It’s just the only time they’ve accused me of treating him better than them. They make the same accusation when it comes to how I treat my friends too.

The kind of funny thing is they might be right. It’s not something I can personally see, but there’s a good chance I do treat my boyfriend better than I treat them. Except what they view as “special treatment” is really just the treatment that results when you don’t demand respect because “well, I say so”. My boyfriend and I have had our pitfalls, yes, but most of the time, we treat each other well and respect each other’s space and feelings. Most of my family wouldn’t know “respect” if it smacked them behind the head, and it’s a generational thing.

To give a recent example, my father wiped out my computer. It’d broken down and I intended to take it to a tech expert to be fixed. Instead, he took it upon himself without any permission from me whatsoever to try repairing it, and worsened the problem. On top of that, he had no idea why I was so upset, which didn’t surprise me since it wasn’t his computer he wiped out. Prior to this, he’d used my computer numerous times without asking, often when I was asleep or out of the house. When I restarted the computer after it was wiped, I set up the personal account again, but did not re-enable the guest account. Yet, he still tried to use it without my permission and asked for my password while I was visiting my boyfriend. I didn’t respond to the messages and deleted them.

This happened after a night where my dad and my grandfather had a heated argument that became physical because the latter intended to drive the family’s car while drunk. The car is under my father’s name and he believed my grandfather would get into an accident, which would result in him being penalized. That’s a legitimate concern, but my grandfather did not care at all. Note that my grandfather also has no valid license, which means he’d be breaking two laws. I don’t believe physical violence is how to solve things (my dad says my grandfather attacked him first; I didn’t see what happened), but look at the link there. My grandfather has zero concern for what could badly affect someone else. Thus, my dad, who was raised by this man, doesn’t either.

Those stories are two of many examples across my family. And yet, they still believe they’re entitled to my respect for no other reason than “family comes first”. If I really do treat my boyfriend better than I treat them, I have no guilt about that. Their jealousy isn’t something I’m going to worry myself about. At this point, I’m genuinely convinced they simply do not want me to realize the way they think of and treat people isn’t a positive thing. I figured that out years ago, but the more I get out into the world, the clearer it becomes. I often think about how my teenage self would be horrified if she knew what she’d be doing in the years to come, but maybe it was so horrifying because I was afraid of what I didn’t know and only had my family’s stories to go on. As it turned out, the world outside of what my family made for me is tough, but not so scary. It’s big and bright and alluring. They know it. And they know they can’t keep me from it anymore.

Credit: A Necessary Evil

Lately, I’ve been researching credit cards and companies because my credit file is nearly non-existent. As much as that sucks because it makes some things harder, I think I’d rather put up with the lack of credit than deal with a credit card.

From what I’ve found, most of these companies are terrible, especially big ones like Capital One, which was full of reviews about how their customer service sucks and they’re terrible at handling fraud. I’ve had my debit card receive fraudulent charges before, so knowing how that would be handled is very important. Thankfully, it’s only happened twice, and each time, I was not held accountable for the charges and the matter was rectified immediately. Hell will freeze over before I do business with any company that would hold me responsible for something that isn’t my fault.

Aside from bad experiences, some of the requirements for these cards sound dangerous. Since my credit is close to none, I could only ever have a secured credit card, which apparently requires a deposit of up to $300. Which does make sense, but worries me for the sole fact that money is no longer mine. Apparently, if you miss even one payment, no matter how small, the company will run off with your deposit. That means the only way to ensure I don’t ever forget the bill is to use automatic payment, and I am not by any means allowing a company I have no trust in at the moment into my bank accounts (if they haven’t already gotten into them, considering a social security number is required to apply for these cards). The only company I have auto-pay set up with is my cell phone provider, and I didn’t even permit that until I’d been with them for at least two years. Also, the only way you get your deposit back (if they don’t run off with it, that is) is if you cancel the card… which will badly affect your credit score. How does that not sound like a trap? “You have to give us your money, but if you leave us, we’ll still damage you.” In short, either way, I’d be backed into a corner and screwed. The choices are stay with this credit company for life, even if I’m not satisfied with them, or take a hit because I dare to leave them. Sounds like an abusive relationship. At this point, I wouldn’t even want an unsecured one, though it’s not like the difference matters to me anyway.

The newest thing I’ve read is spending too much of your credit limit will harm your credit score. I have no intention of making large purchases on credit, but that’s besides the point. The point is you’ll be penalized for spending outside of your credit limit, but also penalized just for getting close to it. Why even have the limit? The point of a limit is “you can’t cross this line”, not “you can’t get this close to this line”. Yet on the flip side, I read about experiences where the credit company unknowingly closed the user’s card for spending too little. So, let’s get this straight. You can’t overspend (which makes perfect sense), you can’t spend too much within the limit, and you can’t spend too far away from the limit. I repeat: How does this not sound like a trap?

On top of that, those negative hits remain on your credit history for seven years. So, if I cancel one credit card to go to another, that first card is still badly affecting my score for over half of a decade later, no matter how well I’m doing with my current card. Or I miss one payment, but never miss another, and that one missed payment is still biting me in the behind for years to come. No times one thousand. Even my job isn’t that unforgiving, and they pay me!

The bottom line is I’d rather continue what I’m doing and stay as far away from credit cards as possible. Yes, I know having no credit history will make some things harder, but I’m not sure making a few things easier is worth trapping myself.

Your Friends Lost You

Lately, I’ve seen a somewhat popular post from Whisper going around. I won’t post the image, but the quote is: “When I say I won’t tell anyone, my husband doesn’t count.”

I’ve always been neutral about marriage. This is one of those things that pushes me toward the more negative side of it.

My boyfriend and I are not married yet, but he does want to marry me and I’ve already agreed, so we will marry someday. However, if I ever catch myself thinking “Well, I’m getting married, so soon, my friends won’t matter anymore”, that’s when I call off the wedding. This works the other way around too. If I ever found out he was being distrustful to his friends because of me, I’d call it quits. I am not going to be someone’s reason for being a jerk.

I used to read often that newlywed couples, particularly the wives, tended to lose their friends when they got married. However, if that quote gives any suggestion to married life, it’s no wonder why. They didn’t lose their friends. They decided their friends no longer mattered and chose to permanently put them aside. Perhaps people have different ideas of what “friendship” means, but for me, if I cannot trust you, we cannot be friends.

I love my boyfriend and I am content with the idea of someday being his wife. But I also love my best friend. She is like a sister to me, and she was in my life four years before he was. She is not going on the back burner. Yes, I talk to my boyfriend about my best friend, and vice versa, and I’m hoping I’ll eventually have a chance to introduce them to each other since they are the two most important people in my life. But if she ever comes to me and says, “Please don’t tell anyone this”, he will not know. If I ever do reveal something she wanted me to keep secret, I’ll apologize.

That’s what real friends do.

Continuing to respect my friends does not make me a bad girlfriend, nor will it make me a bad wife. On the contrary, letting him be the reason I stop doing so is what would make me a bad partner.

It’s A Sex Outcome, Not An Airborne Virus

Personally, I don’t care about politics. Never have and never will. The topic bores me half to death. That said, I do know the meaning of some political words and phrases, like “conservative” and “traditional family values”.

It’s hard not to know what those since, while my family’s not particularly political, they certainly believe in most of what’s associated what those terms. However, they’re certainly not the type to practice what they preach.

I’ve had a boyfriend and very happy relationship for the past eight months, and I learned my sister has a circle of friends who are men closer to my age than hers. Neither of us are sexually active at the moment, but we know about birth control, contraceptives, and abortion (although my sister is opposed to that last one).

Unfortunately, my mother and grandmother are of the old opinion that pregnancy is an impossible thing to avoid. They seem think of pregnancy as an airborne virus, believing it’s inevitable for any young woman who spends a lot of time around a man, and that men and women are incapable of being friends and nothing more.

Yes, my sister and I are aware many children are born out of wedlock. It’s hard not to be when we were both children born out of wedlock, as was our mother. Neither our mother or our grandmother were ever married. My mother became pregnant with me by my father in about half the time I’ve had my relationship, and the same is true for her pregnancy with my sister. We spent all of our teen years hearing about how awful teenage boys are and while I would agree with that opinion, bullying was my problem with the boys, not being tricked into sex. That, and teenage girls are just as awful.

Knowing that does not make what my mother and grandmother do any less frustrating. They’re free to hold their beliefs. What’s bothersome is when they treat my sister and I as if we’re too stupid to know better, or acting as if methods to prevent pregnancy don’t exist. I don’t live with them, so I don’t hear the brunt of it, but I do know they refer to us as “sluts”, “whores”, and other mean-spirited words for that we merely speak to men. Yes, I understand many parents often want better for their kids, but I think insisting it’s “slutty” for a young woman to speak to a man in an attempt to prevent them from getting pregnant out of wedlock is too much.

I suppose the upside is my sister and I are at ages where, thankfully, we can determine and maintain our own relationships, though it doesn’t feel good to have your family be so against your friends or partner. I sometimes wonder if they’ll really hold up those opinions for the rest of their lives or if they’ll loosen up as my sister and I reach our mid-twenties or perhaps thirties. Who knows? I may not even have contact with my mother by that time.

Your Judgement Isn’t Important

Anger is swirling inside me right now.

I spent the whole day with my boyfriend. As always, I had a great time. However, we accidentally left his home a bit too late and, as a result, I had to take a much later train home than I intended. It was a genuine accident and we know we have to be more careful now.

So, why am I angry? Because when I sent a message to my uncle to let him know I’d be late, we got into a discussion about it and at one point, he said this to me: “He’s not important.”

“He” is referring to my boyfriend, of course. This isn’t the first time my uncle’s said that either and, frankly, I’m becoming less and less tolerant of these comments. I ignore them because my boyfriend doesn’t hear them, which is what I care about most, and they do not affect either of us personally. I don’t expect him to be considered important to anyone in my family. They don’t know him. But to say he’s not important at all? No!

Not only is he important to me, he is important as a person overall. Why? Let me break it up:

  • He was upset about being late and blamed himself for it. (Empathy)
  • He saw to it that I got on the train I needed and wouldn’t be any later than I already was. (Responsibility)
  • He told me to call him when I got home because he wanted to know I made it home safely. (Caring/Concern)
  • He apologized again after I called him. (Kindness)

There’s much more than that, but those are the ones relevant to this instance. You don’t have to be a big shot to be important. Everyone is important to at least two people: themselves and someone else. And I certainly hope he considers himself as important and valuable as I consider him.

I’ve told my boyfriend enough about my family for him to be able to make some scathing comments of his own, but he doesn’t. He doesn’t know them just like they don’t know him, yet he manages to be the bigger person in this matter. I love him for that, and I love him overall and the devil will have to rise before I let my family decide who I should deem important and unimportant. I could deem several of my uncle’s past relationships unimportant, but that wouldn’t make me any more mature than him, and they’re not mine to place a value on anyway. So, I don’t.

Getting in deeper, my boyfriend is one of the three people (the other two are my best friend, and high school clinician) who’s had – and still continues to have – a huge positive impact on me and my life. He’s important to my health, my well-being, and me as a person. He’s added a lot to me and my life I don’t want to ever have taken. He’s become another reason I’m happy I did not take my life years ago when I was heavily suicidal. I didn’t know him around the time and thinking that I so easily never could’ve saddens me. Heck, when I think about how it was pure luck I met him (I randomly decided to log into OKC after being fed up with it), I feel a bit stunned.

Yes, he is very important to me and I prioritize him. Sure, sometimes, other things come first because different things need attention at different times, but he and our relationship absolutely are a priority for me and unless the day comes when we decide to cut ties (which I hope will never happen), that’s how my priorities will always be. No amount of mean comments will make me regret that.

Things Change

I’ve been going through my archives every now and then. I post so infrequently because I have little to talk about, but it sometimes amuses me how much things have changed since I wrote some of the posts I did. And how much some things have not changed.

I’ve noticed one thing changing for certain. My tolerance level for my family. It seems the longer I stay with them, the lower it gets. Most of my time is spent thinking about how to get away from them. Funnily enough, a lot of the negative emotions I feel only happen around them. When I’m away from home, whether it’s by myself or with my friends, they vanish like they were never there to begin with.

My mom and sister have left my life completely. Why, I don’t know. The last I remember is my mom being mad at me for something between her and my dad. I’m clueless as to what I had to do with it. Whenever I eventually move out on my own (or with someone else), I don’t exactly plan to maintain much contact with my family here. Sometimes, I swear I’m going to have a mental breakdown someday from being so aggravated with them.