Sunday, April 22, 2012


Brave - adjective, noun, verb

1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
2. making a fine appearance.
3. Archaic . excellent; fine; admirable.
7. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes.

The final "Contemporary British Novel"-class was a very busy one. It was kind of a tense atmosphere. Our wonderful teacher started off by telling us we were short on time and had a lot to go through. It was a Friday, exams were looming in the corner of everyone's eye, and it was just one of those days.

In my head I have named groups of the 50 or so people in my literature class. There's the drama people, the geek squad, the hipsters, the exchange students, the catcher in the rye crowd, the punks, the freaks, the dames and the loners. I like them all, and I mean every one of the names in the nicest possible way, it's just a way to place them in my mental map of the world.

 Most of the geek squad had chosen White Tiger as their  book (we all had to choose one of the six as our book to talk about), so they were getting ready to give their presentations. One of them, a really sweet guy I've talked to a couple of times( who's also into Dungeons and Dragons and therefore gave the name geek squad to the geek squad) was about to give his presentation, but he looked really really nervous.

Something happens to a crowd when the speaker looks nervous and begins nervously. People try to avoid eye contact. They squirm a little in their seat. Some feel sorry for the person, and try desperately to find something the speaker says to take notes from, just to make it look like the nervousness doesn't bother them at all. We were 50 squirming people.

He gathered his papers, cleared his throat, and said something like this: I'm sorry if I stutter or stumble. I do that when I'm nervous. I am really nervous now, so just know that I'll be imagining you all naked.

Oh, sweet relief.

We all laughed. What an effective way to defuse the situation! Tension melted away and the awareness of the awkwardness made it way less awkward.

He then got on to give a stumbling, stuttering presentation, but with some of the very best points that were given that day! What a brave thing to do, I thought. Playing your weakness face up on the table.

I never do that. I tend to avoid situations where I don't feel I have the upper hand, and I don't like admitting I'm scared or uncomfortable. But I will try this now, this new thing. So here goes:

I get extremely uncomfortable in regular social settings. Wherever I don't have a clear role, be it class representative, teacher, "hobby psychologist", supportive person or quirky-positive-friend-to-hang-around, I  get nervous, my hands get clammy, and my mouth gets dry. I desperately try to think of random facts I know, just to have something to talk about. When found I blurt them out, and in the frightening awkwardness that inevitably follows I  try to change the mood by asking overly direct questions. I am a train wreck.

It happens because I am a socially awkward person. I beg your pardon if I seem flustered, stuttering or random. It will get better with time, as I get to know you better, or manage to define my role in our relationship.

Until then, just know I'll be imagining you naked.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Whore - noun verb

1. a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse,usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.
2. to act as a whore.
3. to consort with whores.
4. Obsolete. to make a whore of; corrupt

Firstly a clarification: Yes, this blog is called "I love to love the words I love," and no, I don't love the word whore. Except I sort of do. I wish whore meant kitten. How perfect wouldn't that be? Listen to that sound whooore. It sounds cuddly and fluffy and puffy and cute, doesn't it? But yes, whore is the word of this blog post, because I do love words, and I think words are important. Today, I'm talking about the word whore just because it is a word, and I love words.
My school is filled with wonderful people. I had lunch today, with a few  different girls and they are in every way fun to talk with. They talk in broad strokes and colorful expressions. One of them in particular uses such grandiose words, even when describing minuscule things, that when she arrives at her wedding day, I cannot imagine she will have anything left to describe her husband with than supercalifraglitisticexpialidocious. They are a blast to listen to, a blast to chat with, and the way they talk makes me truly sorry that I've never had many friends, especially not of the female persuasion.

Now, don't get me wrong, these are really bright ladies! They read, they discuss, they think and they talk about important things (in between nail polish and other people's behaviour). Today, however, they caught me completely of guard mid lunch. They were talking about clothing. I had zoned out and focused on my food and was contemplating buying a new lunch box, when my subconscious danger-alert went off in the back of my head. One of them had just said something like: have you seen 6th graders now a days? They're whores!
My shock must have been visible, because one of the others looked at me and said "No, but they are. Have you seen the way they dress?" I heard confirming sounds around the table.

Up until now, the conversation had been so funny, clever, elegant and interesting. But this part blew my mind. Is this what we do? Really? We, women in university, still use "whore" as an acceptable description of people, based on how they dress? And 11-year old girls, no less. Seriously?

Now, I realize this wasn't meant literally. They do not think all 11 year old girls are prostitutes, and I get that.  I also understand this has become quite common in Norway (and I'm sure my American friends will be appalled by this), and that even politicians in later years have been called whores by other self declared adults. I understand it is just "a figure of speech." I understand that "this is how people talk now a days." But seriously? Seriously‽ 
Using crude, vulgar and gendered epithets is, and should forever remain, a sign of bad manners, low education, aggression and low intelligence. Why on earth would we let "whore" slide up to "acceptable derogatory terms"? Why on earth would we, bright, otherwise well behaved, good mannered ladies in higher education WANT to take part in the normalization of such offensive speech? Think about it! You can make a difference here!

I have arrived at the conclusion that the only possible explanation is "we've never thought about it." So now, I'm begging you all. Think about it. Take a good hard look at your vocabulary and consider your choices!

Feel free to call me inappropriately dressed, a pretentious snob, brown noser, geek, nerd, coccydynia, miscreant, nincompoop, idiot, simpleton or even, if you absolutely have to, and you can't find a more learned word, call me a bitch. But do not call me a whore.

You see, I give it away for free. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


fig•ure - noun, verb
2. an amount or value expressed in numbers.
6. the bodily form or frame: a slender or graceful figure
22. a phantasm or illusion. portray by speech or action.
29.Informal . to conclude, judge, reason, or think about                                     

So, after a short break, I'm back at uni trying to figure out a plan for the next 8 weeks of revision, preparation and exams. I love my classes, but part of that love has translated itself into an increased focus on "related subject" and a highly decreased focus on reading. Now I have to pay.

Simultaneously I try treating my social life with a little care and affection, as that is always the first thing to go when I get stressed. So, I've filled up my week with appointments, made a reading plan for the week, prepared well for my day at work tomorrow, and even planned for a little "me time" smack dab in the middle of it all.

And then I lost my voice. No, seriously. It was bad during the weekend, but now it's even worse. When I got off the bus after school today, I could barely more than whisper.

This keeps happening and is my body's preferred signal for "calm down or I will shut down, madam." The second best signal is random muscle pain, and this time it's going for broke.

My body and I have always had conflicting ideas about its role in my life, and how much time it's allowed to claim for itself during a normal month. My figure is... let's call it wide, my flaws are numerous, and with the welcome exception of my hair and eyes, I don't really have much to brag about or write down on those "What I love about my body" pages from old school year diaries.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am of the firm belief that physical beauty isn't all it's cracked up to be. And I am not saying that I am ugly, or BuHuHu I'm so big, or any of that self critical crap. I'm just making the truthful observation that my body and I would never appear in beauty pages in a magazine. And that's fine.

It is however probably not fine that i neglect my body and my body's needs in such a consistent and totally indifferent manner. It's probably not fine that I feed its sugar addiction to make it shut up, and it's probably not fine that I push its capacity to the very edge, long days and short nights, work work and some more work, then sleep for 8 hours one night, and then start over. It's probably not fine.

So, I give in. Body: you'll get your way. If you just give me my voice back, I promise to take care of you. It will be sort of a reward for having stayed with me for 26 years of randomness. You keep my voice hostage, I'll pay the ransom.

I will negotiate with this terrorist... Go figure.