Thursday, October 20, 2011

Whatever Happened to Dr. Blythe?

Does anyone else love to read L.M. Montgomery?  My all-time favorite is The Blue Castle, but I also like to read Anne of Green Gables and the sequels.  The other day, I was reading one of the later books, Rainbow Valley, I think, and I was struck by Anne's husband, Dr. Blythe.  If you remember, he was a very highly respected doctor, he had a successful practice, everyone loved him, and he was always going out.  And he didn't work at a hospital or office, he made house calls.

Whatever happened to that?  Whatever happened to doctors being on call all the time and knowing his patients and their families?  Whatever happened to doctors being affordable?  Dr. Blythe made a good living, but he also took care of everyone, and people managed to pay him without taking loans out on their souls.  Of course, Dr. Blythe lived in a small town, but surely there would be enough patients in a small part of town to support family doctors in a similar practice.  And hey, whatever happened to women routinely giving birth at home?

But really, I guess it's almost obvious what happened.  The culture changes, laws changed, and things got to expensive.  So many doctors have hundreds of thousands in student loans by the time they finish school, so they have to charge a lot of money.  Also, malpractice insurance is out the wazoo.  A roommate of mine once talked about how her dad, who was an OB/GYN, had to take out tons of malpractice insurance to protect himself, because people sue the doctor if there is anything wrong with the baby, even if it wasn't the doctors fault.  That probably also explains why doctors work from hospitals, for the sterile environment.  And I'm sure the need for malpractice insurance isn't limited to doctors who deliver babies.  We are much to prone to sue people for things that go wrong.  Sometimes, yes, the doctor was at fault, and should be held accountable.  But sometimes, things happen and no one is to blame, but people want to blame someone. 

Anyway, I guess this is a "good old days" post, wishing for what won't be again.  Either way, I am glad my husband isn't studying to be a doctor.  They may make good money, but it takes years to become a doctor (and I am tired of him being in school), and, whether they are Dr. Blythe or a hospital doctor from our time, they are way to busy for my liking.

The Culture of Unhappiness

I was sitting on my couch nursing my baby and getting him ready for bed, and thinking.  That's a nice thing about nursing, it gives you lots of time to think about things.  And it's funny how your mind wanders sometimes.

Anyway, I was thinking about writing, and writing somehow lead me to the character of Elizabeth Bennet in the LDS version of Pride and Prejudice, and that made me think of the pink bible, or whatever it was called in that movie, the book that was all about dating.  And that made me think about other things, which I decided to write about tonight.

What is it about our culture that pushes people towards unhappiness?  So many people seem to be waiting for happiness to happen to them.  And there is always something keeping them from happiness.  In the LDS culture, it is often (for a woman) a man.  On that note, what is up with the freaky books about how to get a guy?  That pink bible book in the movie was made up, but I have seen real versions, and some of them were scary.  I read one of them back when I was in college.

After a particularly hard rejection by a guy, back when I was 19, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Rules, to help me learn how to get the guys I'm interested in.  I read it very quickly, and was very disturbed.  Something I remember from it specifically, it basically said that a woman's only way to get the right man, is to be what he wants in a woman.  Which I guess in a way makes sense, but rather than saying you should find a guy who is like you, it basically said that you should change the kind of person you are for the man.  And I was appalled by the idea.

I gave the book back to my friend, saying that wasn't the kind of help I wanted.  She tried to argue with me, but I told her I believed that I should, and could, find a guy who liked me for me, and I couldn't imagine going through life trying to repress who I really was just to keep a guy happy.

But why does something like this sell at all? Basically it's because of the false belief that you have to have a guy to be happy.  I have never believed that was healthy.  I remember a friend telling me when I was in my early twenties, when I was trying to help her get through a hard time, "When I get married, then I'll be happy." Which is just sad.  We need to be happy regardless of the situation we are in.

I hope no one will say anything like, "That's easy for you to say, you are married and have a kid."  Well, that's true, but I didn't get married til I was 28. Heck I never even kissed a guy until I was 28.  And I was a happy person before I got married.  Not to say I was deliriously happy, I had my times of feeling down, and unloved, but I was generally happy and productive. I had friends, I had plans for my future, and I think I could have lived my life well if I never had married.  But being a happy person is what will help my marriage last, and helps me deal with the rough spots.  Although I won't deny that my beautiful baby boy also has a way of making me feel even happier.

And marriage isn't the only thing people look forward to for happiness.  Some people need to get the right job, or make enough money, or move to the right place, but either way it is flawed.  The problem with having the idea that you will be happy when _________ happens, is it's not true.  You may be happy for awhile at first, from the euphoria of finally having achieved what you wanted, but euphoria wears off, and if you aren't happy on your own, you won't be happy when the euphoria wears off.  I think that is why some marriages end in less than a year, because people think marriage will make them happy, and when the honeymoon stage wears off, and the spouse isn't perfect, people decide that they married the wrong person, and that is why they aren't happy.

If we could all learn to be happy where we are, with what we have, and with who we are, our lives would be so much less complicated.

P.S.  I would like to add a caveat, that there is nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself, trying to be a better person.  My issue is the idea that people should change who they essentially are just for a  man.  But trying to become a better wife/person/husband/man/woman for your own edification and to be nicer to others around you etc, is a good thing.

Monday, October 17, 2011


We went to Spooktacular this weekend. Spooktacular is a thing at a local garden, where actors do little skits based on popular stories (like Disney movies). My mother-in-law and two of my sisters-in-law were in the skits, so were able to get free tickets for family members, so we went. "We" included Mason, Mike, me, April and Jeffrey.

The kids dress up, and since it was a bit chilly, Mason wore a sweater and sweat pants under his costume.

He was Winnie the Pooh!

Our tour started after 8, so it was dark, and Mason was carried by someone most of the time. He found the skits interesting, but he didn't entirely understand what was going on. He laughed a couple of times at things, but actually laughed more in line, because we were being silly with him.

He got a glowstick for the Harry Potterish skit, and thought it was pretty cool.

He walked part of the way, and near the end he fell and faceplanted. His upper lip and chin got all scraped up, and he got a bit of a bloody nose, though not enough to leak. You can see the redness a bit on his face. It was much worse the next day, and is better now.

At the end of the tour we took a hayride back to the main building where we had parked.

We got to see his Grandma and Aunties after the skits. I don't have a picture of Auntie Missa unfortunately, and the one of Grandma was very blurry.

It was fun! I promise I'll get some better pictures of his costume closer to Halloween.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mason's first haircut

Mike has been bugging me to give Mason a haircut, and I haven't really wanted to , but it's been getting more and more messy and all over the place. The other day, a bug got caught in his hair and couldn't get out because it is so long, yet thin. So I had a bit of spare time today and decided the haircut was needed.


It's not easy to see here, but when his hair got messy, it got really frizzy and all over the place.


Here is the hair I cut:
Not terrible for the first try, I suppose.