Books

Big Little Lies

This is one of the few times where I watched the show/movie before I read the book. I was about half way through the HBO limited series namely because of my celebrity doppelganger, Reese, was starring in it when I picked up the novel at Target.

I read it within two days. That is, after long hours at both jobs while preparing to present my research for my dissertation next month. Oh, and, take that crazy $400 praxis exam. Life has been a little crazy lately especially when you add in our wedding and selling our townhouse– we’ll recover next year..right?

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Anyway, despite the insanity, I found myself reading Big Little Lies on my lunch break, in my car waiting for my next class to start and even in bed after these crazy long days. Last night, I read until I literally fell asleep. It’s been awhile since I was just so into a book.

I liked how you knew someone was going to die, but you didn’t know how or why. You learn fairly early on that is it going to be Perry or Celeste because this is the story of domestic violence, wrapped up rather nicely in its white-bread vanilla topping. I was just shocked by the ending, of which one was to die and more importantly, who the killer was and why.

It’s a shock, but in so many ways, it is that shock that up-heaves the vanilla topping and underneath it, you find yourself exposed to the raw chunky violence that as Celeste herself says, “This can happen to anyone.”

It’s a powerful book. I think any young woman needs to read it and then watch the limited series on HBO. It made me think of my own time within an abusive relationship.

I can’t even really say it was a relationship, it was a fleeting moment in my life, thankfully. It was after that big love that I shut down after. He was the first guy I really attempted to date. In many ways, he was the first person I attempted to care about, to actually try with. In the end it lasted only a couple of months. I ended it, I totally cut him out. It took me a few tries to get to that point though, because much like Celeste, it was like I was dating two different people: there was the over indulging side who appeared protective and kind, going out of his way to me and my friends, but then there was that time alone where like a switch that person went away and in his place was someone who enjoyed hurting other people, especially when he felt wronged or embarrassed or betrayed. All of which seemed to happen more in his head than in reality.

There had been hints leading up to his eventual full-turn, but he was good in that he was so manipulative that he would have you second guessing. Was that real? Did he just say or do that? No, he had to be joking because look how sweet he is now, every relationship has its bumps, but maybe this is worth that bump? [it’s not] Abusers are great like that, they are excellent liars because I think to a point, they believe what they are saying and feel entitled to whatever they can steal from someone– materially, physically and emotionally.  It’s almost like they know that they are doing these awful things, but in their minds, they make up for it because they are so amazing for the next week or two before the next bout of abuse. One thing he was always good at, was how quick to tell you what a wonderful, giving person he was even to those that wronged him which largely were women from his past.

When Celeste visits a counselor, she tells her that is takes someone six or seven times before they leave an abusive situation. I believe that. While my experience was relatively short, within that time it took me about three times before I finally did. When I did it, I didn’t even tell him. We had parted ways earlier that day, I knew it was important that he think he still “had” me. He kissed me on my check and asked me if everything was alright, I knew he knew that it wasn’t and that he had taken it to an entirely new level that morning. This was the calm following the storm.

I assured him how wonderful he was, and how wonderful we were, trying not to gag the entire time I did so. He has already revealed himself and I had already found out his other secrets, he was done but he didn’t know how far I knew or how much strength I really had. My next stop was to AT&T where I blocked him from all contact. Then I went straight home and followed suit on social media. I hadn’t even thought about e-mail, because who in 2011 e-mailed anymore? Apparently him. It began so nicely as always, then when I never responded they got nastier and nastier until he dumped me. That was the one piece of humor I got out of the entire ordeal. I had cut all contact, ghosted him for lack of a better word and here he was, after calling me all kinds of names, after threatening me and the like, all he had left was to tell me how it was over and it felt so good to be single. I burst out laughing at that point, because dude, you’d been single for awhile by then.

The next stop was to the printer to print off all of his harassment and then to the police station to finalize my report that I had started several days before.

This really can happen to anyone.

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The Reality that is Under Eye Bags

I was fairly young when OJ Simpson killed his wife. Though, he was found not guilt of that crime, there really is no doubt in my mind that in a jealous rage, he sliced her and her friend up. There was never any other evidence that it wasn’t him and then, when he wrote that book? Yeah, that guy is guilty as they come! I’m glad that karma finally caught up with him and that though, not in jail for murder, he is in jail for 33 years and hopefully when he is up for parole this October, that he is not awarded it.

I have vivid memories of the famous low-speed Bronco chase on TV. Followed by little snippets and bits of his trial, but that was really it. My family wasn’t big sports people either, so I didn’t even know who OJ was until that trial.

When The People v. OJ Simpson came out last year, I really had no interest in watching it. I felt that a show that potentially glorified a murdering, wife-abusing asshole wasn’t worth the time I would lose to watch it. That was, up until a few days ago when at lunch, a teacher friend was telling us all how good this show was and how it really did the case justice.

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I stayed up until 5:30 this morning watching most of the series. It just sucked me in, part because of nostalgia for that time– it was cool to see the cars and the outfits that I remember from when I was young. However, it was also really interesting to re-visit this case as an adult and getting to see all the little pieces that led up to the very infamous, “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.” I fell asleep, so don’t ruin anything for me beyond episode 6! I plan to go right home after work and finish watching.

That is, after I scrap off the layers of makeup I put on today to you know, NOT look like I had stayed up all night. As you can see, no matter how many layers of foundation and under eye brightener I use, covers up these earned bags. It feel like ever since I turned 30, and even about halfway through my 29th year, there has just been absolutely no way to hide these babies. Is it an age thing? Should I just accept them as a fact and wear them as a badge of honor to the fact that I can still stay up all night and go to work the next day? Not going to lie, I am a little proud that I inadvertently pulled an all-nighter and was able to still get up to teach. I haven;t done that probably since student teaching when I had a 100-page teacher work sample to finish and was still expected to student intern full-time. I got through it, and I got advanced proficient on that stupid work sample that I think is somewhere in the closet of my childhood bedroom still.