Walking Alone at Night: A Man’s Perspective

Last week I posted about how I feel when I encounter a man while walking alone at night. Not surprisingly, many of you commented that you feel exactly the same way. Anxious. Fearful. Alert. And ready to run.

One comment from a reader really stuck out to me. Marybeth wrote that she wondered if every time a man encounters a woman at night, if he wonders if she’s afraid of him. Sarah jumped in and said she’d had this discussion with her husband, who said he knows when women are afraid because he’s seen women tense up or get their phones out fast and that he realizes there’s nothing he can really do to make them not scared.

I feel like this post is helped by sharing several very unscary pictures of a man who loves his golden retriever.

I feel like this post is helped by sharing several very unscary pictures of a man who loves his golden retriever.

So I asked N. Here’s how that discussion went.

Me: Do you ever worry that you scare women when you are walking and you see a woman by herself?

N: Yes, definitely.

Me: Like, every time? You always think about it?

N: Of course. You can’t not think about it.

Me: Do you ever do anything differently once you think about the fact that you might be scaring her?

N: Not really. I don’t feel like there’s much you can do. Pretty much anything you do that might make her less scared could also scare her more. Like what are you going to do? Say hi? Walk faster? Smile? All of those things might freak her out even more so I usually just keep walking. Sometimes I’ll cross the street, if I needed to eventually anyways, and hope that makes her less scared. There’s just not much you can do though. What could a guy do that would make you less scared?

[I think for a minute, and come up with nothing]

Me: I honestly can’t think of anything. You’re right, anything he might do would probably make me more scared.

[Moving on]

Me: How do you feel about possibly having a daughter someday and knowing that she’ll grow up and have these same experiences?

N: Sad in a weird kind of way. Because it sucks that we live in a world where your immediate reaction is to not trust someone. But I wouldn’t necessarily want her to be that trusting.

Me: Do you have any other comments?

N: I love you.

[I roll my eyes and give him the "take this seriously' face, while smiling just a bit]

N: I don’t know. I would say that I wish people would be more trusting but at the same time, that’s not good advice.

I don’t really know what to do with this besides just be like, huh. I really thought that it didn’t occur to men that women were afraid. But that isn’t the case. As N said, he thinks about it every single time he sees a woman alone at night.

So I guess that in most situations, there are two people walking alone at night. One is afraid, the other is afraid that he’s making the other one afraid. It’s kind of funny but mostly sad, right?

Now here’s a little blogging homework (if you don’t mind feeding my curiosity). Ask a man in your life these questions. Report back here and leave a comment with his answers. How do they feel? Is there anything they do to try to make women less afraid? And women, what could a man do in this situation to make you less afraid?

Filed Under: Life

Today, I’m Playing Favorites

Sometimes it’s nice to tell the people who inspire you, “Hey, you inspire me! Thanks for writing! Thanks for sharing your life with the internet!” So that’s what I’m doing today.

Today I'm Playing Favorites - My Favorite Bloggers | www.eastandblog.com

I follow lots of blogs (hundreds) but frequently I scroll through bloglovin and only click the posts that interest me. These ladies below are the ones who I click on every time they post. The ones who never leave me hanging and who make blog world better for me. They are the bloggers who keep me blogging. So ladies, thank you for all that you do and all that you share.

Princess Burlap, The Daily Tay, Northern Belle Diaries
Serious Writing Chops – Princess Burlap

Dayna is a damn beautiful writer. Her voice is not like anyone elses I’ve ever read. She is entirely unique. Such an awesome thing in blog world where there is sometimes a lack of individuality. Dayna has been open about her love story with “blue eyes” (possibly the first cutsie husband nickname that doesn’t annoy me), her husband who has autism.

I also never miss a Toast Post, written by her neurotic pup who happens to be waiting for the zombie apocalypse. You and me both, Toast.

Will Make You Snarf Coffee Up Your Nose – The Daily Tay

I don’t remember when I found Taylor or how but she’s probably my favorite blogger. Period. I know she’s a comedian in real life but it’s really cool when humor comes through in the written form too. Taylor nails this and somehow even when she’s talking about totally normal, daily life type stuff, she makes it fun to read. I could not get through this post without laugh/crying. I expect to see her on SNL one day.

The Blog You’ll Most Want to Pin From - Northern Belle Diaries

Lisette posts so much useful stuff! From WordPress tutorials to domestic tips (like how to remove set in oil stains or how to get that stinky smell out of towels) to delicious recipes, you’ll want to pin every post! If you use WordPress or are considering a switch, you’ll definitely want to check out her resources page.

The Other Juliette, A Blonde Ambition, Betsy Transatlantically

Blogger Who is Winning Twitter – The Other Juliette

Sure, she gets carried away with the all caps but girlfriend is hilarious. This translates perfectly to her blog where it’s basically a stream of consciousness, directly from the mind of Juliette. Basically she can ramble or word vomit or whatever and it’s still amusing as hell. Follow her on twitter and try not to laugh inappropriately at your desk at work.

Best Linkup – Confessional Friday by A Blonde Ambition

When I say “best” I mean, this linkup will actually help you grow your blog. On the occasion that I do link up with Leslie, I get more page views that day from her site than I ever have from any other linkup.

Leslie also is a down to earth momma who shares about beauty, fashion, and home decor. Plus, she’s got a ten month old and baby #2 is already on the way!

Feel Smarter for Having Read It - Betsy Transatlantically

It feels like Betsy writes articles. Her posts are thought out and intelligent and she often addresses issues that might intimidate other people. She’s mature and thoughtful and I truly enjoy reading her perspective on things.

She also has shared every step of her expatriation love story that I just know is going to end in a really happy ending one of these days. Her recent post on the subject broke my heart, so I truly can’t imagine how her heart feels. I will be so thrilled for her when her husband Jon is finally in the US!

What Dress Code?, Love Woke Me Up This Morning, Mr Thomas and Me

Fashion Blogger Who Is A Real Human – What Dress Code?

You know when you see a fashion blogger and you just know that they wore the outfit just for the shoot and then took it off and put on yoga pants? I know Liz in real life and she is just as stylish on a day-to-day basis as she is on her blog.

The cool thing is though, she’s stylish in an attainable way. Check out some of her recent outfits and see for yourself. She also happens to be the first person I saw really pull of a crop top, so there’s that. I aspire to be as naturally stylish as Liz. She also throws in some delicious recipes and is a beautiful photographer.

Where I Get Book Suggestions – Love Woke Me Up This Morning

Emmy is an avid reader and I’ve gotten more than a couple of great book suggestions from her. I love reading them and then discussing them with her later via comments or twitter.

Emmy attended a small, Christian college and her post How Small Christian Universities Messed Up My View of Marriage and Happiness is a post you cannot miss. We couldn’t have had more different college (and really, life) experiences but I love how obvious it is that Emmy’s heart is in her writing. Get caught up with Emmy here.

Blogger On Team Jesus Without Being Pushy - Mr. Thomas and Me

Amber and I share opposite beliefs on lots of things (starting with Jesus). She’s one of those people who talks about her faith in an inspired way that isn’t pushy. I’ve really enjoyed following along with her Milking Stool Ministry vlog series. I have never read the bible but the way she talks about her faith really fascinates me. Add on the fact that her faith seems to make her more open instead of more closed, and it leaves me wishing more religious folks were like her. Plus she is genuinely one of the most likable people in blog world. And I’d also give her an award for best eyebrows. Just sayin’.

Read More

Filed Under: blogging

Everyday Makeup Routine

Since starting my new job, the number of people I see per day has gone from one to hundreds. And that’s not including all the people I just pass in the halls! Hospitals are busy places and so I’ve tried to step up my game and look presentable and put together all the time.

I also love reading about beauty products and I love when bloggers share their makeup routines. Here’s what I’m using these days:

Everyday Makeup Routine | www.eastandblog.com #beauty #makeup #foundation #mascara

Sunscreen  |  Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture SPF 35

Since I’m inside all day now and not out and about, I’ve downgraded from SPF 55 to SPF 35. I know, this was a big step for me. I think what I like about this lotion is that I don’t notice it. It’s there, it does its job. I let it sink in for about 10 minutes before applying makeup.

Foundation  |  Revlon Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin in Buff

I’ve tried so many foundations and this is absolutely the only foundation that you can apply to dry skin and it doesn’t emphasize it. Since dry skin is something I struggle with, I’m glad I found this stuff. It also really does stay on and doesn’t break me out.

If I wake up and I feel like my skin is looking really good, I skip foundation and just opt for concealer and powder.

Foundation Brush  |  Eco Tools Buffing Brush

Easiest way to apply foundation flawlessly. Period.

Concealer  |  Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer in Ivory

I’d been a longtime user of the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer that so many of us love. On a whim, I bought this one instead because, well, looking luminous sounded really good to me when I was standing in the aisle at Target in gym clothes. I like this every bit as much as the Age Rewind although it has significantly less product in the tube. It does a good job of making me look very awake in the morning.

Powder  |  E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder

I’d heard that this is a dupe for Make Up For Ever’s HD Powder, which I’d always wanted to try but was too cheap to buy at $32 a pop. I’ve only ever bought the E.L.F. version so I can’t confirm the dupe (although Meg O. did!) but I can say that this is a great product.

I like it over foundation as a setting powder and I like it alone. It really makes your pores disappear and even though it’s white, doesn’t make you look like a ghost (take that with a grain of salt though, as I’m the palest shade in almost every face product).

Eyelash Curler  |  Revlon Eyelash Curler

Putting mascara on without a good curl just feels wrong.

Eyeliner  |  Revlon Colorstay in Charcoal

Black eyeliner looks too harsh on me to use everyday (and is less forgiving when you maybe aren’t super good at eyeliner, like me) so I opt for charcoal. This eyeliner goes on smoothly and stays on all day. I’m not committed to using this brand forever but I definitely like it.

Mascara  |  Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara

HOLY GRAIL PRODUCT. I’m obsessed with this stuff. This mascara is a fabulous dupe for Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara, which I love but am also too cheap to buy all the time. This is the only non-waterproof mascara I have ever found that holds my curl in place all day, makes my eyelashes look way longer than they actually are, and doesn’t flake. When you wash your face at night and it washes off SO easily, you’ll think it’s magic. Because it is.

Blush  |  Flower Glow Baby Glow Blush Bronzer Duo in Beachy Keen

Flower is the brand started by Drew Barrymore that is only sold at Walmart (blah). Their philosophy is that you should not have to spend a lot of money to get the quality cosmetics you want and deserve. You can read more about their philosophy here.

Once I knew they were really going to focus on quality products, I had to try it. I’ve been very impressed with the products I’ve tried so far. This blush is a beautiful pinky coral and the bronzer is, well, bronzer. The finish is satin without significant shimmer. I’m not a bronzer fan but I’d keep buying this duo just for the blush side!

Blush Brush  |  E.L.F. Studio Blush Brush

I’m still confused as to why people pay so much for brushes. This works.

Lips  |  Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Blooming Balm

I’m surprised I don’t hear more people raving about these. I’m on a never-ending quest to find the perfect shade of pink for my lips. And in this product, I may have found it. This is a lovely, natural looking light pink that is a bit like my-lips-but-better although a little lighter. It feels divine on (like a lip balm, just like it says) and lasts quite a while. Unlike many similar products, it actually does really moisturize the lips. I have these in several colors but this is my favorite.

Nighttime Face Treatment  |  Acure Argan Oil

You might have read my review of Josie Maran Argan Oil a while back. Argan Oil did wonders for my skin. When I ran out, I struggled to take the plunge to buy the big bottle. I just couldn’t do it. So I did some reasearch and found that Whole Foods carries Argan Oil (a variety of high quality brands). I popped over there and found Acure Argan Oil. To put it in perspective, Josie Maran is $48 for 1.7 oz (that’s $28 for 1 oz.!). Acure Argan Oil is $14.99 for 1 oz. SOLD.

Acure Argan Oil is very slightly thicker than the Josie Maran version, but feels pretty much the same on the skin. It is also certified organic and harvested sustainably. This does not break my skin out, in fact it has drastically reduced the number of break outs I have! I also have many less dry skin patches than I used to and overall my face is much more balanced. After a decade of fearing oil as the enemy, I now slather my face in it every night. I’ve heard it works well on fine lines too.

The Thing About Cosmetics

I’ll change my mind 100 times about which products are my favorites. One day I cannot live without the L’Oreal Pore Vanisher, and then I’ll skip it all together for weeks on end. Sometimes I’ll completely adore a product but then decide that for what it does, it’s a little too pricy. That’s how I felt about this one now that I’m inside most of the day. And here’s what I was using back in February – my whole routine has changed!

The thing is, it’s fun to try new products. I could find the absolute perfect product and I’d still buy something else eventually. Although, truth time, I cannot imagine me cheating on my Physicians Formula mascara with any other brand anytime soon. Seriously. Holy Grail.

What are your holy grail products? Please share! 

Filed Under: beauty

Except that he was a man.

Last night I was walking home from the gym. Our apartment complex is pretty big, with sprawling grounds and winding sidewalk paths throughout (wow, that made it sound way nicer than it is). I had my headphones in one ear, just one, and was finishing up an episode of This American Life.

As I came to a fork in the path, I glanced over and saw a young guy, walking down the opposite fork, in the same direction as me. He was a young twenty something, tall, generic looking, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans.

trail at night

Instantly, I was fearful. I took my headphone out and sped up my pace, cell phone in hand ready to call, ready to scream. This person had done nothing to make me think that he would hurt me in any way. Except that he was a man.

And how weird is it? Because I’ve grown up female, my natural instinct when alone at night is to be fearful. To feel small and weak and attackable.

I’ve joked before with N about feeling very attackable. It sounds silly when I say it like that but truthfully, it’s how I feel. Perhaps I should be more trusting of people but any time I’ve been alone after dark, I’ve been fearful of every male I’ve encountered. I often wonder if every woman feels like this. From what I understand from my friends and loved ones, they do.

I’ve never been attacked. In fact, I’d venture to say that no man has ever even made me feel uncomfortable. I spent hours (days) of my life in frat houses in college and never once did any guy act inappropriately towards me. But I’m in the minority and I know that.

So I guess I just wonder, what must it be like for men to live their lives not being afraid of strangers simply because of their gender? I’ve seen N walk in from the gym wearing both headphones, completely oblivious, something I’d never do. Taking away hearing takes away an awareness that, when walking alone, I feel like I need. I constantly look around, check behind me, and am completely alert. Almost ready for something to happen. Sometimes I feel like men take that feeling of safety for granted.

I’m not really sure what we can do about this issue as a whole. I’m fairly sure that decades from now, the world will not have changed enough for my daughter to not be fearful. Still, sometimes it’s hard not to wonder what it would be like to keep my headphones in and walk home alone in the dark. Fearless.

Filed Under: Personal

5 Things I’ve Learned from Working in a Children’s Hospital

5 Things I've Learned from Working in a Children's Hospital - Including how to get car seats nearly half off! #kids #children #safety | eastandblog.com
1. Children are little sponges.

What’s the expression? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When parents don’t say pleases and thank yous, is it really so shocking that the kids don’t either? And when parents are kind and respectful, it’s no wonder that their kids ask for a sticker instead of just taking one.

This is one of the things that scares me most about having children. They watch everything you do. They mimic you, your words, your behaviors. They truly are little sponges.

I knew this but didn’t realize how extreme it was until I interacted with hundreds of parents and their children every day. I think this is one of the reasons I feel unprepared to have children. I feel like I need to be the absolute best version of myself, to present to my children an example of someone that they should want to be like. I’m not that person (yet).

2. Children’s hospitals often have a safety store – selling car seats, sleep sacks, etc. at cost.

You are required by law to put your child in a car seat in the car. Many children’s hospitals nationwide get brand name safety items at cost and sell them at cost to make sure all kids have the safety equipment they need.

Anyone can shop at the safety store and everyone gets the items at cost. It’s such an awesome resource. Why pay full price at Target when you could get the same brand name car seat for cheap? The safety store also sells items like sleep sacks, monitors, and helmets.

If you are interested in seeing if your local children’s hospital has a safety store, visit their website or give them a call. Here is a list of all of the children’s hospitals in the US.

3. If you waited a long time in the ER, there’s probably a reason.

And that reason could be that there was a child much, much sicker than yours who needed attention first.

4. Someone doesn’t have to look like a good parent to be a good parent.

What does a good parent look like, really? One thing I’ve learned is the good and bad parents come in all shapes and sizes. A person can be a great parent (or a terrible one) regardless of what they look like, dress like, how many tattoos they have, how many teeth they’re missing, or what language they speak.

I feel like interacting with so many different kinds of people and families has made me a little less judgmental. Everyone gets a big smile and everyone gets my best care and concern.

5. You aren’t guaranteed a healthy child.

This is the scariest thing of all. It seems like because most people I know have healthy babies, that I will too someday. But seeing kids who have serious medical needs (sometimes life-long) every day has really terrified me. Sure, my kids could be healthy. And yes, even if they weren’t I would love them anyways. But there is always that chance that they won’t be and I have a reminder of that every single day.

Filed Under: Life