Personal Issue or Legitimate Concern?

Life is not safe. At any given moment we may become another statistic, a victim of attack, accidents or tragedies. There are numerous people just waiting to steal our wallets, identities and trust. Even the food we eat has been modified to kill us faster as the sun shines its deadly rays down upon us and the air pollutes our lungs. It’s enough to make one hole up inside the house, growing their own food and surrounded by air purifiers, afraid to step outside and take a chance.

Except what is the point of living if you close yourself off to any new adventures. How gratifying can it be to mistrust everyone? Is it worth it to live your life in fear just to pretend you’re safe? I don’t advocate going out and putting yourself in dangerous situations, but there has to be some sort of balance.

Over the past year or so I have been a daily reader of the Culture Monk blog and have been looking forward to meeting Kenneth when he comes to town on his Drinking in the Culture coffee-house tour he started a couple of months ago. I was talking to my husband about it last night and the reaction I got was not at all what I had expected. I was all but forbidden to stop by the coffee-house and meet the guy as my husband had strong concerns about “ulterior motives” and “dangerous situations” etc. Me bursting out laughing did not help the situation at all.

While I do not make a habit of meeting people off the internet and can understand why it might not be well received by someone who hasn’t been following Kenneth’s blog, I can’t help but feel that husband is letting previous issues (with a prior girlfriend) effect his view on this situation. I tried to explain that this wasn’t at all a private meeting, that it was much more like going to meet an author on a book signing tour and that I had already planned on bringing my cousin along with me…but nothing I said seemed to have any effect on my husband’s opinion. He feels that if I go I am damaging our marriage and my actions would be inappropriate.

I am torn, I don’t want to hurt my husband at all. However, I really don’t agree with him that my stopping by a coffee-house to meet Kenneth is a violation of my marriage. I don’t share things online with anyone that I don’t discuss with my husband. I don’t seek out validation online because I am missing it in my marriage. I am not a blogger looking for an escape from my relationship. I view the Drinking in the Culture tour as a social experiment and I love social experiments. I have always been interested in observing how people interact and the thought that I might have to pass up this opportunity has me feeling very frustrated.

What do you think, is this just a personal issue of husband’s or a legitimate concern?


Music Therapy or First Stages of Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome?

For as long as I can remember in my “adult” life I have used music to help cope with stressful situations or depression.

At first one could primarily find me driving about the metro area, cathartic songs blaring, as I sang or sobbed along to the music. What I couldn’t put into words, musicians would croon so eloquently, allowing me the (false?) hope that somewhere out there someone else knew how I felt inside. Eventually as I saved enough money to move out on my own the music therapy evolved.

Not to say I don’t still drive around with specific music blasting on my stock speakers, but when I found myself all alone in a private space in my early twenties I brought the music inside with me. Music would help motivate me to clean, inspire me in artistic projects and comfort me when yet another dramatic event slammed down upon me. My computers soon filled up with thousands of songs to help me sort through my emotions. I bought better speakers, I started dancing alone in my apartment. Except, I was never really alone.

I have also had cats my entire adult life. They have varied over the years but I always had at least two (no more than three) at any given time. They could escape my car concerts but there was nowhere for them to hide when I felt the need to have music surrounding me inside. I would often try and interact with them as I moved about my apartments. At first they wanted nothing to do with it. I would get annoyed looks as I tried to sing to them, or carry them about as I swayed to the music.

When I got married husband told me not to play my music so loud when I was alone (he’s wandered in on a “dance party” or two over the years) because the cats wouldn’t like it. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that the cats follow me wherever I set up my music. If I head upstairs they come running up behind me, they watch me as I work out or dance about (I am not a skilled dancer) and make no move to leave when I wander their way. If I go down in the basement they follow, if I’m using the living room they refuse to leave.  They will even come sauntering in if they hear me start up music and they happened to be off napping somewhere. I have started to call them cat dance parties now. To me it seemed like a perfectly normal thing to do.

I tend to get different opinions from others though. My brother stopped by last week and found me jamming out to some Broken Bells with the felines and implied my actions bordered on crazy cat lady behavior. Husband thinks my proclivity to rock out the minute I am alone in the house is a bit odd. A friend encouraged me to not use the term “cat dance party” in public.

What do you think? Harmless music therapy or a slippery slope towards an unhealthy cat-centric lifestyle?