emiliana posts personal things

One day last semester I was on the bus heading to class and I was like ‘fuck class started ten minutes ago I’m going to be late again.

And then I looked down and realized that my professor was in the seat in front of me editing his powerpoints for the class that we were both supposed to be in.

So I remember watching the comedy channel when I was eleven years old and hearing one of the male comedians making fun of panty liners.

“What’s the deal with panty liners?” the dude asked, throwing his arms in the air and garnering a laugh from his audience in the process. “You either need a pad or you don’t, there’s no halfway. Do girls, like, switch them out every day rather than wearing clean underwear? I don’t see the point!”

The audience cheered and laughed in presumed agreement.

As a grown woman, it’s immediately apparent to me how idiotic this statement is. Panty liners are good for lots of things! They’re good for spotting, or if you have a light flow, or if you’re wearing a tampon and want to be careful about leakage. Pads can be uncomfortable and bulky, and if you can get away with wearing a panty liner then lots of people with vaginas choose to do that instead. The comedian was an ignorant man talking about bodies he clearly didn’t understand and his shitty opinion should be disregarded immediately.

As an eleven year old who had only recently had her first period, though, what this guy was saying seemed to make perfect sense. Maybe panty liners ARE stupid, I remember thinking, having only recently encountered a pad for the first time at this point. Why would anyone wear one? I know I sure won’t.

It took me an embarrassingly long time – the better part of a goddamn decade – to realize that panty liners weren’t some useless piece of frippery that ~other girls~ wore for no reason; that they actually have a purpose and a function and that there’s a reason that female-bodied people keep choosing to purchase them.  

And all of this would be a silly, laughable anecdote about a childhood misunderstanding – if not for the fact that some dude’s dumbass comments actually distorted my understanding of my own body for fucking years. The idea that ‘panty liners are laughable and pointless’ was so thoroughly ingrained in me as a child that I didn’t even consider seeking another opinion on the subject. I even judged other women for using them! It took me ages to realize how wrong I had been, and to correct my world view enough to actually start buying panty liners for myself without feeling guilty or stupid.

It’s fucked up as hell that some moron comedian with no understanding of bodies that aren’t his own could shape a young woman’s perception of her own body for such a long time, and those kind of statements need to be annihilated with criticism instead of reaffirmed with laughter and applause.

Announcement!!

So…there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you guys, but my life has been in such shambles the last few months I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write a proper post out. 

A few of you might remember a post I made a few months ago about the schools I’ve been applying to for my Master’s degree, and one school in particular that I had been accepted to but probably wasn’t going to be able to attend for financial reasons. 

Welp, the last few months have been some of the hardest and most conflicted of my entire life. It hasn’t been easy – in fact, it’s been absolutely frantic. But now that the dust has settled and everything has started to fall into place, I can finally let you guys know that –

I will be attending the University of Cambridge for my Master’s Degree!!!!

It’s really happening!!! As in, “the university has confirmed my acceptance and my student visa is in the mail” real!! Like. Holy shit, you guys. I never thought this was going to be a possibility for me??? But oh my god oh my god OH MY GOD, APPARENTLY IT IS.

Mr. Darling and I have had to make some hard decisions about money, but in the end we decided that it was too good an experience for either of us to pass up. Both of our families have really come together to take some of the pressure off, too, which has been absolutely amazing. 

We moved out of our basement suite amidst a few tears on August 31st, and are currently staying with Mr. Darling’s parents until we make the move. We’ve almost got a place set up for us when we arrive, which looks like it will be around the end of September for an early October school start. Our cat is going to be sent over to us at the beginning of October so she can keep living with us for the year we’re away. Mr. Darling has been doing loads better over the last few months – and holy shit, this is going to be his first opportunity to leave the continent!

One of the hardest things about coordinating an international move is that I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to commit to writing, but I’ve been getting back into the swing of things over the past few days. I hope you guys forgive my absence on here as well as on AO3 – talk about a disruptive life event in the best possible way!!

In conclusion, here’s a picture of Mr. Darling and me a few days ago, enjoying our last few days in the Canadian wilderness. <3 (Ahhhhhhhh!!!!)

Can Americans please start specifying when they are using statistics that only apply to the USA?? Like. It’s getting frustrating to see things like “45% of women experience X thing” while being left without a fucking clue as to the demographic it’s actually talking about. 

Do you mean 45% of American women? North American women? Women living in OECD countries? All women? I WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DO NOT TELL ME.

As a Canadian, I always get so confused when Americans mention going to college? Because in Canada, the terms ‘college’ and 'university’ don’t mean exactly the same thing?? Like, 'university’ would be somewhere you’d go to get a four-year degree whereas 'college’ suggests a technical school or career program.

So whenever Americans talk broadly about going to college there’s always part of my brain that’s like how many fucking electricians and plumbers and office managers does that country have??

I work at a school and today a little boy came down into the office with me to do homework and we got to talking and he mentioned that his birthday is July 4, and that he and his family usually go down into the states for the day to celebrate. So I said “ha, that’s awesome! then you get all the fireworks!” which was fine enough, but then I added “plus, you get to share a birthday with Captain America!”

And this seven year old kid just

looks at me

and asks “how do you know that?”

and in that moment I realized that my life choices are not everyone’s life chocies the end. 

I really admire the fact that I mentioned last night that I live in “the wussiest part of Canada” and like eight people have since messaged me saying “do you live in Southern BC” like it’s not even a question just a deadpan accusation.

We are so wussy about the weather here that the rest of Canada can identify us with just that description alone

WHAT A PLACE TO BE ALIVE.

Today I was thinking about how much it sucks that published authors only ever get to explore their characters in one universe – they never get to say “okay, this storyline’s pretty cool, but what if my characters were assassins or in World War II or in SPACE” – and it reminded me of this post proposing a television show called AU and I thought, fuck, what if someone did that with a book series?

Every novel would be from a different POV so that everyone gets to be a main character and you could genre hop like you’d have a horror story with vampires but also a romantic comedy where two of the characters fall in love and the rest of them are the quirky group of friends who poke fun at them along the way and

yeah

So Mr. Darling and I use the word 'partner' to refer to each other in real life.

A few weeks ago now, I was on my way to the bus after my late night Politics and Pop Culture class. My classmate Jeremy was walking with me, and we were chatting away, and then suddenly his face got all thoughtful. He asked if he could ask me a personal question, all friendly but polite, and I said absolutely. 

“I’m just wondering – Emiliana, you refer to your partner as… ‘partner’. And I know your partner’s a guy, you’ve mentioned his name before. And I’m just kinda wondering… why you do that instead of calling him your boyfriend? Like, I feel as though everyone started calling each other 'partner’ a while back and I’m not sure why and I think I missed the memo. Could you maybe explain it to me?”

It was basically the most polite, kind way I’ve ever been asked that question. I genuinely got this huge smile on my face, because dude. This was someone who had encountered a convention he wasn’t familiar with, didn’t understand why it was being used, and instead of belittling it or dismissing it he was genuinely curious and willing to learn. 

So I got this huge-ass smile on my face and said yeah, absolutely, I’d be happy to talk about that. I explained that the word 'partner’ was awesome because it’s gender neutral; because it means that anyone can talk about the person they’re in a relationship with in public without being afraid of being verbally or physically attacked as a result. That if people in male/female relationships like Mr. Darling and I used it, then it became impossible for people to hear the word 'partner’ and think 'not straight’. This was made really clear to us because, for a while there, the front staff at my job included me, Mr. Darling, and two women in a relationship. We could all use the term 'partner’ and it meant we could all talk about the person we were in a relationship with without anyone outing themselves to a customer and it was pretty darn sweet. 

Also, that the word 'partner’ is great because the ambiguity it produces can be a really good thing. Sometimes, when I refer to Mr. Darling as my partner, I can see in peoples’ eyes that they’re not sure if I’m talking about a man or a woman. And that’s kinda awesome: it forces people to confront the fact that the gender of someone’s partner isn’t the most important thing in the world, that the experiences you have with the person you’re in a relationship with are HUMAN experiences. 

Jeremy was nodding along at this point, all thoughtful, and he was like “yeah, that makes sense” with this look on his face as though it was suddenly all making sense to him. 

I finished up by mentioning that, at this point in our lives, 'partner’ genuinely is the word that fits me and Mr. Darling best. We’ve been living with each other for over four years, and if we use the term 'boyfriend/girlfriend’ people tend to get the wrong idea and don’t assume a high enough level of commitment. We’re common law married, but we’ve never had a wedding, although we do intend to have one in the future. So people get confused if we say 'husband/wife’, too. 'Partner’ is perfect because it fits us exactly.

The really awesome thing about the whole conversation was that it turned into such a great learning/teaching experience. Jeremy was genuinely curious and he wanted to learn, and it was a great illustration of the fact that ignorance is not the same as malice. He didn’t understand why people used the term, but instead of being rude or dismissive about it he politely asked me instead. And instead of being offended or upset that he wasn’t aware of the reasoning behind the term, I was happy to explain it to him in a way that made him go “hey, yeah, that’s totally valid”. 

I know that it’s not peoples’ responsibility to explain every aspect of their lives, and that it can get overwhelming and tiring to explain the same issue over and over again. But the whole experience reminded me of just how awesome it can be when a conversation becomes a learning experience like that. When you get that magical combination of 'someone who’s willing to learn’ and 'someone who’s happy to explain’ and it all comes together in such a great way.

It’s just a really nice feeling.