Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Day Draws Near



As if things weren’t scary and serious enough, here comes Friday, January 20, 2017. I’ve recently posted humor pieces, and although I amused myself in the process of writing those posts, it was merely another excuse by me to avoid addressing Donald Trump’s upcoming presidency.  How can it be? That those words can now be strung together? President Donald Trump?  

One of his many faces

I was raised on the 1960s ideology of equal rights and peace. Love flowed, yet there was violence, too, brought about by anger and the desire to draw attention to the many injustices that prevailed. There were the Chicago 8, Black Panthers, Gloria Steinheim, Betty Friedan and the rest of them. And there was me, a micro within the macro of middle-class teen women, who wore ragged jeans and attended local protests and rock concerts. As far as I was concerned, our entire life theme, down to our civics class discussions and our music, was meant to foster racial equality and promote peace in an era where we watched our friends depart for Vietnam where they might die, or return so messed up in the head, they were never the same again. We wanted the country and the world to be better. One of my favorite words has always been “possible.” To this day, I don’t know if I’d be able to go on if I didn’t believe in the meaning of that word. Of course, I guess that depends on what one hopes is possible; surely that point can be argued, and as we have witnessed, there’s plenty of arguing happening these days. 

I’ve commented on right-wing blogs and posts. I followed them because I felt it important to inform myself about what others, who don’t share my political stance, believe. When I comment, I am careful to choose my words so that I respectfully make my point. The kindest response I have received was a condescending “pray for her.” 

I remain polite when I comment, I don’t believe in name-calling, and for that I was labeled passive-aggressive. It’s not like I need to always be right, or to win the conversation, but refuting every single negation of rational, loving, caring philosophies that serve all people, is exhausting. Dang, and I always thought it was so easy to live the golden rule - silly me.

The words, openness and tolerance, seem to have lost their meaning within the context of this particular political conversation to which I refer.  My experience in right-wing arenas, renders the words laughable. How and why did we stop caring about all human beings to the point these folks believe that only people like themselves are the norm, or deserve consideration?  Transsexuals are deemed psychologically unsound.  Black Lives Matter and White Privilege are titles that so many on the right believe negate their own place in the world, and there seems to be no effort to understand why others, who are somehow "different," feel their lives and needs have been ignored and disrespected.  Or perhaps I don’t need to ask how and why we stopped caring. Because, apparently, some of us never cared in the first place.

The issues are more complex than my ability to discuss here, but as the week wanes, and I approach my personal Media Blackout Day, a/k/a Inauguration Day, I offer kindness and condolences to everyone who feels like me, the girl from the 1960s, who still believes in the possible.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Apologies

 Jersey Sauce this afternoon. Because real news is just too hard to handle.

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Dear Faculty with whom I work,

I’m sorry to say I cringe when I hear your footsteps coming up the hallway and that I dread you’ll need something that might actually require me to work. I’m sorry for the eyeroll after you leave.



Dear Massage Therapist,

I apologize for the tiny black fuzzies that come off of my socks and stick to my toes, and in turn, stick to your fingers when you work on my toes.



Dear Driver in Front of Me,

I’m sorry for the evil eye (and horn honk) I aimed at your rear-view mirror when you detained me with your audacious driving behavior. I realize you needed to make that left hand turn (into your own freaking driveway at the end of a long workday,) but you held me up for 25 seconds.



Dear Driver in Back of Me,

I’m sorry that I was texting at the red light and took a few moments to proceed when it turned green; it was truly inconsiderate of me, and I understand how you feel because I’d be really pissed at your inconsideration if you didn’t bolt the second the light turned green



Dear Doctor,

I’m sorry that when you examined me, it turned out my deodorant sort of wore off and the natural body odor god gave me mixed in with the patchouli.



Dear Waitperson,

I’ve read that wait staff detest customers who text as you attempt to take their order. So I’m sorry (not sorry) I was texting my daughter a photo of my cats (they’re adorable) when I ordered my margarita last night. I didn’t mean to be rude (actually didn’t care.)  



 
Dear Father O’Brien,

I’m sorry that I never executed the penance you gave me in seventh grade when I told you I went parking with Robbie Meyer. Though technically, I’ve said a lot of Hail Mary’s since then, so if you want to credit me with a few of those, feel free. 





Dear Mom,

I’m sorry I didn’t become a nun.  I’m sorry I got married three times. I’m sorry I don’t call more often. I’m sorry we’re Catholic because if we weren’t, I wouldn’t have had to apologize for the first two items here. 









Dear Friend I've Known Since Third Grade,

I’m sorry I smacked you in the face with a ruler when you laid your head back onto my desk. I’m also sorry that I did not smack you harder while I had the opportunity because if I smacked you now it would seem so inappropriate. 



Dear Bad Dentist,

I’m sorry I didn’t rip off my bib at my last appointment and run while I had the chance.  Thanks for effing up #22 for the rest of my life.



Dear Granola-like person behind me in the co-op line,

I’m sorry I took so long in the check-out line this morning. I’ve never spent $200 on groceries before (it was fun, and I bought a free-range chicken!) Also, I usually remember to bring my wallet with me (oops!,) and I usually don’t run to the front kiosk to add bling-like items at the last minute, and I’m sorry I chatted on a personal level about wine choices with the cashier more than I usually do.  Happy Holidays! 





Dear Thompson’s Fish Market,

$29.99 for one pound of scallops? You cater to the local elite. I realize that. And I understand Vermont is a tad inland, but REALLY??? YOU should be sorry. 



Dear Dr. Ted, the Orthodontist,

I’m sorry I wrote your office a hate letter and that I cried when I couldn’t grasp the manner by which I should hook a rubberband, but maybe you shouldn’t cater to adult persons who require braces.  All being said, I can’t get over my toothy new smile, so this is an “I’m sorry” and a “thank you” all rolled into one.



 

Dear Fellow Yogini,

 I’m sorry that when the class executed sun salutation this morning, my ass bumped into your nose. I blame the somewhat selfish yoga instructor for packing in too many students. And – okay, it’s true…if I hadn’t been out of sync with the rest of the class, the incident probably wouldn’t have occurred in the first place.





Dear Faculty,

Have you ever gone to the pub and the bartender made your Margaritas unbelievably strong as if he liked you and decided you should have more tequila than a regular customer?  Me, too!  I’m sorry I couldn’t make it into the office today, by the way.