Pot-Smoking Liberals and Gays Take Aim

So Ohio lawmaker, Candice Keller, has finally figured out why so many people out there are shooting up this country, and it’s a doozy. Since she’s now taken down her Facebook post, here’s what it said. Are you ready? Here we go:

“After every mass shooting, the liberals start the blame game. Why not place the blame where it belongs?

“The breakdown of the traditional American family (thank you, transgender, homosexual marriage, and drag queen advocates); fatherlessness, a subject no one discusses or believes is relevant; the ignoring of violent video games; the relaxing of laws against criminals (open borders); the acceptance of recreational marijuana; failed school policies (hello, parents who defend misbehaving students); disrespect to law enforcement (thank you, Obama), hatred of our veterans (thank you, professional athletes who hate our flag and National Anthem); the Dem Congress, many members whom (sic) are openly anti-Semitic; the culture, which totally ignores the importance of God and the church (until they elect a President); State officeholders, who have no interest whatsoever in learning about our Constitution and the Second Amendment; and snowflakes, who can’t accept a duly-elected President.

“Did I forget anybody? The list is long. And the fury will continue.”

Gosh, that’s a LOT of blame! Basically, only Christian Trump Voters (an oxymoron, I know) are exempt from responsibility.

But maybe Candice has a point. Let’s take this one at a time and see who is really to blame for all this gun violence:

The LGBTQ Community: I’d have to do some research, but I don’t think anyone in this group has ever perpetrated a mass shooting, and certainly not in the name of gay rights, although I have to agree that all of those lesbians and drag queens out there have ruined my marriage. I can barely give my husband a blow job anymore, I’m so upset. We’re about to celebrate 30 years of a very happy marriage, but if it weren’t for all those gays out there, we’d be even happier.

Fatherlessness: By this, I assume Ms. Keller means all those dead-beat dads out there that don’t pay child support for or raise their children. Yeah, that’s a problem. And dead-beat dads suck. So do dead-beat moms, because kids need loving parents, and they deserve to be well taken care of. So can we agree that people that don’t treat children well suck? Yes? Okay. Then Republican lawmakers suck.

Violent Video Games: I actually agree with this one. Score one for Ms. Keller.

Undocumented Immigrants: The reason for everything that’s bad in our country, like having fresh produce available for purchase in our stores pretty much any day of the year; or hotels that are clean and restaurants, period; or a poorly-paid labor market to scrub the toilets and raise the children of the rich. It’s really astonishing how those illegals are shooting up the country, like, just the other day this guy drove 10 hours to El Paso, Texas to kill – oh, wait a minute. Never mind.

Recreational Marijuana: If this were true, everyone in Colorado, Massachusetts, California, or Canada would have killed each other already. I sort of think that if you gave everyone who was thinking of shooting up a McDonald’s a few edibles, they’d probably just eat a box of Oreos and fall asleep. So…

The Educational System: Let me see if I understand: Teachers and administrators are responsible for turning out psychopaths who procure (in some cases, illegally) assault weapons or other firearms. I think this is a very good theory because those educators are so lazy. All they do all day is try to impart knowledge to overcrowded, underfunded classrooms of students, some of whom have no support at home, are living in poverty, and don’t have enough to eat, AND make sure every kid gets really high test scores so they don’t get fired. Goddammit, it’s the teachers!

President Obama: Well, obviously.

Professional Athletes: You know, nothing gripes my cookies like those professional athletes who HATE VETERANS. You know they do, because they say it all the time. They say, “I am taking a knee because I want to call attention to aspects of this country that are unfair to people of color (thanks, Colin Kaepernick!) or people who are gay (thanks, Megan Rapinoe!).” That’s what they say, you know, and then whenever they see veterans, they kick them and shove them and beat the shit out of them and leave them for dead…oh, wait…that was Matthew Shepherd. I’m sorry.

A BRIEF DIGRESSION:

Patriot Fun Fact #1: You can’t be a patriot unless you can only have one idea in your head and cannot tolerate hearing another viewpoint without melting into a puddle of Snowflake Juice.

Patriot Fun Fact #2: People who both love our country AND think that people shouldn’t be treated differently because of the color of their skin are NOT patriots.

LET’S GET BACK TO OUR LIST:

We were talking about who’s fault it is that the only place you can go without getting shot these days is a Pizza Hut, and that’s because the diarrhea starts the moment you walk in. If you go anywhere else, you’re going to get shot by:

The Anti-Semitic Democratic Congress: Although Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, nearly 7 percent, or 36 of 535 members of the current Congress are Jewish. Of those 36, 34 are Democrats. Yeah, it’s the Democrats, all right.

All Those Non-Christians: To the extent that you are implicitly including Donald Trump in this group, yeah, I would have to agree. Apparently, it’s impossible to be non-Christian AND not shoot people. Which is why the First Amendment established Christianity as the national religion.

People Who Have No Interest in Learning About the Second Amendment: Are they better or worse than those people who aren’t interested in learning about the First Amendment? Just asking for a friend.

Snowflakes: You mean all those embittered straight white Christian males (spoiler alert: A lot of them are closeted gays who would feel so much better if they’d just accept who they are and meet a nice guy and settle down in a cozy little bungalow with a chocolate lab and frequent trips to Turks and Caicos)? You know – the ones who are enraged to the point of shooting up concerts and churches and synagogues and Wal-Marts and grocery stores and movie theatre and kindergarten children because they can’t handle that just having a pulse is no longer good enough to guarantee them a life of success, happiness, and the assured domination of anyone who isn’t also a straight white Christian male? Yeah, that’s what I thought you meant…Because that’s the actual definition of every Snowflake I’ve ever met.

People Who Can’t Accept a Duly Elected President: Not to quibble, but I don’t think it’s the “duly elected part,” (which, of course, is problematic, what with the fact that he didn’t actually win the popular vote), I think it’s the “Racist, Misogynistic, Sexually Predatory, Uneducated, Incurious, Undisciplined, Divisive, Thuggish, Unprepared, Narcissistic, Mentally Ill, Morally Bankrupt, Disabled-Mocking, Muslim-Hating, Unprincipled, Lying, Deceitful, Untrustworthy, Laughable, Treasonous Son-of-a-Bitch” that has some people just a tad bit fired up.

Surprisingly, Ms. Keller did not mention the mentally ill – and not, I am sure, because she doesn’t think they are part of the problem, but because, I am certain, she opposes any sort of funding for the identification and treatment of mental illness.

So that’s whose fault it is. Not the (overwhelmingly Republican) lawmakers across the country who refuse to enact even the most modest of gun control laws.

Not the NRA, which pours money into the coffers of said lawmakers in order to make sure that they don’t enact even the most modest of gun control laws.

Not a president who encourages hatred and division in order to divert attention from the fact that he’s a…well, you know what he is. Yeah, you do.

Not those who hate/cannot tolerate the existence of anyone who doesn’t look/worship/think like them and who believe that having lots of guns will protect you from having to face the fact that they’re an asshole. Yeah, they are.

Not even those who actually pull the trigger – even though guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and even though the people who have been pulling the trigger of late are overwhelmingly racist, xenophobic, prejudiced dicks.

ANOTHER BRIEF DIGRESSION:

Dear Snowflakes:

You know how you’re all angry and shit because you were too lazy and entitled to achieve your dreams and goals?

Nobody did that to you. Not the immigrants or the gays or the Muslims or women or people of color.

Love, Wendy

LET’S WRAP THIS THING UP, COULD WE?

To sum up, the people responsible for all these mass shootings are the Democratic Atheistic Immigrant Pot-Smoking Gay Teacher-Athletes.

So now you know.

A STORY OF RAPE IN FIVE ACTS, WITH AN ENCORE

OVERTURE

I hear a lot of people worrying about all those poor guys out there who get accused of rape – you know, people like Donald Trump, Jr., who is more concerned about his sons than his daughters where the issue of sexual assault is concerned.

And you know, let’s be honest here:  Guys have it tough.  It’s hard when all women, without exception, immediately report that they have been sexually assaulted (that is, maybe 20%, at best), and most women who accuse men of rape are lying (a whopping 2% – 10% according to one US Study, 8% according to the FBI), so what’s a guy to do?

Lucky for you boys, it looks like you the criminal justice system has got your back.  Between prosecutors who won’t charge and judges who aren’t sure sexual assault is really so bad, you can be free to rape away without cause for concern.  At best, you’ll walk with no jail time, and at worst, you may have to serve a few months (less if she was drunk, because she was asking for it).

Here’s the story – a Play in Five Acts – curated expressly for all those Rapey McRapersons who just can’t keep their hands to themselves.

ACT I:  SAD SWIMMER SORRY (NOT SORRY)

In June 2015, Brock Turner, a student at Stanford University and a member of its swim team, was discovered by two graduate students as he raped an unconscious woman.  Although Turner attempted to flee, one of the students chased him down and tackled him as Turner smiled and laughed.

The victim, whom Turner had approached and tried to kiss at a fraternity party earlier that evening, was taken to the hospital, where she was found to have dried blood on her hands and elbows, abrasions, bruising, and penetrating trauma to her genitalia.  Turner admitted to having consumed nine drinks on the evening in question and had a blood alcohol level of 0.17% at the time of his arrest.  The victim’s BAL was estimated to be roughly 0.22% at the time of the assault, a level which would have precluded her from giving consent.  A year prior to the assault, Turner was arrested on campus for underage drinking; his cell phone texts included extensive discussions of his use of alcohol and illegal drugs.

At trial, the jury convicted Turner of assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.

Prior to sentencing, Turner’s father read a letter in which he lamented that his son “will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve… He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile,” and stated that a prison sentence would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

Although the prosecuting attorney had requested a sentence of six years (the minimum guidelines for the charges of which he was convicted), Presiding Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to six months in prison, followed by three months of probation.  In support of this decision, he cited Turner’s youth, lack of a significant prior record, and lack of “criminal sophistication,” noting as well that “there is less moral culpability attached to the defendant who is legally intoxicated” and that a prison sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner.

In September 2016, Turner was released from jail after serving only half of his six-month sentence.  Turner has never admitted to the conduct which led to his conviction and maintains his innocence.

Takeaway:  A “dry humping” defense may not be particularly effective – a better strategy is to blame it on “the party culture and risk-taking behavior” that is a part of college life.

ACT II:  ALASKA ATTACKER ABSOLVED (…AND ALL THAT JIZZ)

On August 8, 2017, 34-year-old Justin Schneider offered a young woman a ride in his truck.  She accepted, and he agreed to take her to her destination after he stopped to pick up a few things from a friend.  A few minutes later, he pulled over, stopped his vehicle, and asked her to get out of the truck to help him load up.  When she did, he grabbed her by the throat and choked her until she blacked out, all the while threatening to kill her.  He then masturbated to completion on her face.  As the victim regained consciousness, Schneider was zipping up.  He threw her backpack at her and drove away.

Somehow, the victim had the presence of mind to call 911 and report Schneider’s license plate.  Schneider, who is married, did not contest the victim’s version of the events, but he didn’t have to:  In Alaska, it’s not a crime to jerk off all over someone’s face.  Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannick also declined to pursue kidnapping charges because “the victim willingly got into Mr. Schneider’s vehicle and willingly drove with him to the location of the assault.”

Schneider plead guilty to a single count of second-degree assault and was given a suspended sentence of one year in prison.  The district attorney who agreed to the plea deal stated that Mr. Schneider should be on notice that this is his one “pass,” noting also that Schneider had already received a “life sentence” when he lost his government job as the result of his conduct.  Sentencing Judge Michael Corey warned Schneider, “this can never happen again.”

As he walked out of the courtroom a free man, Schneider stated, “I would just like to emphasize how grateful I am for this process.”

Teachable Moment:  If you ask the girl if she wants a ride and she says yes, anything goes!

ACT III:          EVERYTHING’S LEGAL IN JERSEY

Scene 1:  If There is No Gun, It’s All in Fun

In 2017, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout “from a good family” raped an intoxicated teenage girl, filmed it, and sent it to his buddies with the text, “when your first time having sex was rape.” The video showed the assailant penetrating the young woman from behind and banging her head against a cement wall.  Prior to the assault, the defendant and other males at had sprayed Febreeze on the victim’s buttocks and slapped her so hard that she had visible hand marks even many hours later.  Video of the victim at the time of the rape revealed that she was stumbling and slurring her speech.

After the victim pressed charges, the prosecutor sought to have the assailant tried as an adult.  Judge James Troiano declined to do so, stating that the defendant had good test scores, was from a good family that had sent him to an “excellent school,” and was destined to go to a good college.  Troiano also refused to characterize the defendant’s behavior as “rape,” but suggested what had happened was merely a “sexual assault” because there was only one assailant, and no weapons were involved.

Troiano also attributed the defendant’s admission of guilt via text to “a 16-year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends” and chided the prosecuting attorney for telling the victim and her family that bringing charges against the boy could have a “devastating effect” on his life.

Scene 2:  It’s Not a Crime, Even if it’s Her “First Time”

Judge Marcia Silva of the Middlesex County, New Jersey Family Law Court, declined to try a 16-year-old boy who raped a 12-year-old girl in 2017, finding that “the offense is not an especially heinous or cruel offense.”  Although the victim reported that her assailant had

pushed her, grabbed her hands, removed her clothing and penetrated her without consent, causing her to lose her virginity, Judge Silva concluded, “beyond losing her virginity, the State did not claim that the victim suffered any further injuries, either physical, mental or emotional.”

A Tip from the Pros:   Location, location, location!

ACT IV:  HERE COMES THE JUDGE (….OR, FIVE IS MAGIC NUMBER)

Judge Calvin R. Holden seems to have a special love of child molesters – let’s look at his record:

  • In 2019, he sentenced 22-year old Joseph Robert Meili, who plead guilty to third-degree child molestation after raping an 11-year-old girl in his Missouri home, to five years of supervised probation, with no jail time.
  • The same day, he issued the same sentenced to 21-year-old Avery Genovese, who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl.
  • In 2016, he sentenced a 24-year-old man who sexually assaulted an 8-year-old he had agreed to babysit to 30 days in jail and five years of probation.
  • ater that year, Beau Maurice Gormley, 33, who had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 16-year-old co-worker, received the same sentence from Holden.

Practice Pointer:  The probationary period is a great time to get your online degree – at the end, your criminal record may be expunged, and you’ll be so much more marketable!

ACT V:  A FEW FOR THE ROAD

  • A Texas woman who had been hospitalized and sedated was repeatedly raped by a physician, Shafeeq Sheikh. The victim tried calling for help, but the nurse’s button was unplugged.  He was eventually convicted of rape but was given no prison time (2013, Texas).
  • Austin James Wilkerson sexually assaulted an intoxicated freshman at University of Colorado at Boulder, after telling her friends he would take care of her. Judge Patrick Butler, however, said he “struggled” with the idea of putting Wilkerson in jail, ultimately sentencing him to 20 years probation, and two years in a prison work-release program (Colorado 2014).
  • Owen Labrie, a student at the elite St. Paul’s School, was accused of raping a 14-year-old female classmate as part of “Senior Salute,” a game of sexual conquest. He was found him guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault charges and endangering a child’s welfare and was sentenced to a year in jail, of which he served less than nine months, having been released for “good behavior” (2015, New Hampshire)
  • Baylor University student Jacob Walter Anderson repeatedly raped, gagged, and choked a woman at a 2016 frat party. Anderson pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of unlawful restraint, and agreed to go to counseling and pay a $400 fine.  He will not be required to register as a sex offender or serve any jail time (2016, Texas).
  • 18-year-old David Becker sexually assaulted two of his classmates while they were sleeping following a house party, stating he thought there was nothing wrong with his conduct because the victims – who, again, were asleep – “didn’t protest.” He was sentenced to two years’ probation.  Said his attorney, “[h]e can now look forward to a productive life without being burdened with the stigma of having to register as a sex offender.” (2016, Massachusetts)
  • Nicholas Fifield of Iowa, met a woman who suffered from seven mental disorders, including autism and dissociative identity disorder through an online dating website and convinced her caretakers at the group home where she lived to let him take her to the movies. Instead, he allegedly took her to his home and forced her to perform oral sex.  Fifield was charged with third-degree sex abuse of a person “suffering from a mental defect or incapacity, which precludes giving consent.” But plead guilty to a lesser crime.  Polk County prosecutor John Sarcone told the press he would not pursue jail time for Fifield, claiming “prison would not do this kid any good” (Iowa 2016).
  • John Enochs of Illinois received one year of probation after being accused of raping two women; prosecutors accepted his plea to the charge of misdemeanor batter despite surveillance video which clearly showed him entering the room of one of the victim and notwithstanding that the second victim produced an eyewitness, who confirmed her account of rape (2016, Illinois).
  • A South Dakota high school student was raped by a classmate during a summer band trip to Minnesota. The rapist, Nicholas Schumacher, was found guilty of felony sex assault the following year, and sentencing guidelines called for a four-year prison sentence.  Instead, he was given a year’s sentence in the county jail but released after only nine months (2016, Minnesota).
  • A woman alleged that University of Virginia student Stephen Baril (the grandson of a former Virginia governor) offered to walk her home from a bar but ended up taking her to his apartment where he raped and sodomized her. Baril plead guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery and felony unlawful wounding and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation (2017, Virginia).
  • Logan Michael Osborn, met a 14-year-old girl at a high school play, asked her to take a walk, then pushed the girl down, tied a belt around her neck and hands and performed a sex act as he pushed her against a fence and down to her knees. Osborn plead guilty to carnal knowledge of the victim but claimed that the encounter was consensual. Osborn was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison with eight years suspended, but Osborn never served any time after the trial judge issued a stay with respect to the 2 years’ jail time despite seven prior allegations of sexual misconduct (2017, Virginia).
  • 26-year-old Shane Piche admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl who rode the school bus he drove. Piche, who plead guilty to third-degree rape, invited the 14-year-old victim to his New York home, gave her alcohol and raped her. He was sentenced to no jail time and received 10 years’ probation (2016, New York).
  • Alec Cook was convicted of multiple sexual assaults, stalking and choking women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cook admitted to these charges at his sentencing hearing, stating “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  The charges carried a possibility of 40 years in jail.  He was sentenced to three (2018, Wisconsin).
  • Michael Wysolovski admitted to keeping a 17-year-old teenage girl in sexual captivity for more than a year. When she was found, she was severely malnourished and been kept in a dog cage.  Her assailant plead guilty to first-degree cruelty toward a child and was sentenced to 8 months in jail, plus 10 years’ probation (2018, Georgia).

ENCORE, ENCORE!

Are you mad now? No?

Well, maybe you will be when I tell you that there are people sitting in jail right now, who have been sentenced to life in prison, for the following crimes:

  • Attempting to cash a stolen check
  • Possessing stolen wrenches
  • Siphoning gasoline from a truck
  • Shoplifting three belts from a department store
  • Taking an abusive stepfather’s gun from shared home

Consider also that the unfortunate ones below served more time that most of the rapists on the above list:

  • Gary Harrington served a 30-day jail sentence after collecting rainwater on his property. It was apparently a violation of a state law that says that all water is publicly owned, according to the 1925 Oregon law.
  • Ashley Huff spent a month in jail after she was accused of possession of methamphetamine when police found a suspicious spoon in her car. Turns out the residue was in fact sauce from a can of SpaghettiOs.
  • Lori Teel was summoned to appear in court after she forgot to return one Twilight book and two DVDs of the set Twilight: New Moon. When she failed to do that, a warrant was issued for her arrest and she was incarcerated for a night.
  • Tonya Ann Fowler didn’t like her unattractive police mugshot, so she called 911 to complain. She got arrested and had the chance to have a new mugshot before spending three days in custody.

Are you mad now? No?

Well then, I give up.

APPLAUSE

I’m Gorgeous

“I’m fat,” I say.

We’ve just made love…we are 55…we’ve been together for 36 years…we’re each other’s one and only lover…ever…

I was 110 pounds of long legs and silky hair when we met. I was gorgeous, but I didn’t know it.

We got married. We had kids. I was trim.

In my 40’s, for the first time in my life, I got fat. So fat, my breasts were abundant.

But I was fat.

I lost weight. I was, once again, slim. I was gorgeous.

Ten years passed.

I got fat again. Menopause and anti-depressants. Ten years older, crow’s feet and age spots.

Which is where I am today.

It’s okay.

Today, I love myself. I’m happy. I have a good marriage. My kids are doing well. My career is vibrant, and I make a good living. I’m talented and creative and…if you don’t mind a little padding, well…

I’m gorgeous.

Not because I’m slim, which is what he calls me, even though I’m not.

Not because I have exceptionally great skin, which I do.

Not because I can still turn a head. Which I can.

I’m gorgeous because I love, and I care, and I give and think and try.

I’m gorgeous because I love. I love. I LOVE.

It feels good.

“I’m fat,” I say as we make love. 165 pounds.

He doesn’t argue.

He’d like me thinner. I’d like that, too.

But still, I think, I’m gorgeous, even if I’m no longer his skinny little wife.

Knowing all the ways that I am, indeed, gorgeous, fills my soul with great joy.

I know.

It’s enough.

He loves me. He always will. He is my deepest and dearest and only love.

I am no longer slim. It’s unlikely I’ll ever weigh less than I do at this moment.

That will have to be okay for him. It’s okay for me.

I’m happy. I’m at peace.

So, I’m gorgeous.

The Soul-Crushing Job That Pays the Bills

When I was very young…like, seven…I told people I was going to go to Radcliffe. Which isn’t even a thing anymore. it’s what girls said when they meant, “Harvard.”

How sad we couldn’t just say, “Harvard.”

But it was in 1972. And I wanted to go there – hadn’t even read “Love Story” yet (which – spoiler alert – is a sack of poo girded in a crispy coat of Patriarchy). I just wanted a great – the BEST – education. So I could be who I wanted to be, whether or not there was a guy around to mansplain the world to me.

I was 8.

And then I realized I was good at school. Good enough, anyway, to get into a good-enough college, and a good-enough law school.

(That’s what we did in the ’80’s. We went to law school. To avoid adulting).

I was 25.

Then I got married, and I got pregnant, and then I got pregnant again, and then I had a sweet baby girl who was autistic and intellectually disabled.

I quit my job. I had to. No one could cope with my sweet baby girl.

Including me.

But I was her mother, and so I did.

Eventually, I went back to work. As a lawyer. Not because I wanted to, but because the costs of having a child with special needs were more than we could bear. I didn’t want to. I desperately DID NOT WANT TO.

But as my father said, “You have a law degree. Get a job.

And so I did.

Fifteen years later, I’m a shareholder in a large insurance defense litigation firm. I’m very good at what I do – better than I need to be – and painfully aware that my intellect probably exceeds what the day-to-day of my job requires. I make a good living. One that is hard to walk away from, especially with a child in college.

I do my job. It pays the bills.

And I am grateful.

My mother did not have the same choices. Her parents could not afford a college education, and there were no student loans. Least of all for women.

My parents paved the way, and I worked hard, and now I’m a lawyer, and I’m proud of what I’ve made possible for my children, but desperately unhappy with the trade-off that goes hand-in-hand with the kind of work I do.

My life is not my own, and the demand to BILL BILL BILL is an open app that runs nonstop.

Men who worked in coal mines 70 years ago didn’t like their jobs, but they did them, without complaint, year after year after fucking year.

They didn’t complain.

And so shouldn’t I.

I’m lucky to have an education, and a job.

I am.

But.

It’s not enough. Never will be.

I Drink too Much

I drink too much. I do.

I come from a long line of alcoholics…2 grandfathers, a grandmother, a father, a brother, a sister, and two uncles.

Despite my best intentions, my daughter married an alcoholic. I love him. But he’s an alcoholic, and that worries me, because there has never been a moment of my life that wasn’t largely influenced by an alcoholic…and not in a good way.

I grew up in a home ruled by an alcoholic. We all made excuses for him. He was larger than life. He beat my brother. He molested my sister.

He ignored me.

I grew up. I vowed I would be better. I went to a great college, graduated from law school, passed the bar and started my career

30 years later, I drink too much. I always have, except for the 9 years I was sober. I’m so proud of those years. I was sober.

And then I wasn’t.

I want to be sober. I want to be clear.

But I also want to be free if the anxiety and background noise that is the soundtrack of my life. I want the world to be quiet.

It isn’t.

So I drink. Too much. And I hope that those years of sobriety were enough to save my children from the demons that haunt me.

I hope they will be better than their flawed mother…though how they can be, with her example, seems insurmountable. God, I hope it isn’t.

Some days I don’t drink. Some days, I do.

If only I were made of stronger stuff.

If only the fiber of my being was imbued with the certitude of my youth that I would be able to surmount the intractable grip of my history.

I should be better. Dear god,I should be better.

I’m not.

I try.

But,

I drink too much.

Deep Thoughts and Other Wisdom

No matter how bad your day, someone else’s is worse.

Don’t allow Others to poison the well for you. Withhold judgment and form your own opinion. You may find out that Others were wrong.

Never say never.  Because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Your before picture might be someone’s after.

If you opt out of the process, you don’t get to complain about the result.

Instead of focusing our emotions on anger at those who wrong us, perhaps we should concentrate on gratitude that, in doing so, said individuals have revealed to us their true character and, therefore, have hastened the process for escorting them and their negative energy out of our lives.

Small Kindnesses

When our oldest daughter was about a year old, we stopped for dinner at a family restaurant after a long day in the car.  Our baby was tired and cranky, and I became increasingly upset as other diners turned to stare, making it clear that a toddler’s justifiable fussing was ruining their dinner.

My husband and I tried to soothe and distract her, and I ended up taking her outside to walk until she finally fell asleep on my shoulder. Back inside the restaurant and near tears from the dagger-like stares of other patrons, I concluded that I was the worst parent in world history.

Just then, a couple, who were about the age I am now, got up to leave, and as they did they stopped by our table to complement our beautiful daughter and to congratulate us on our patient and loving care of her. “Such good parents,” the woman said, and her husband agreed. Those words, and their smiles, enfolded me like a warm blanket.

That kindness and affirmation meant everything to me at that moment, and its spirit has lived with me daily in the 27 years that have passed since that day. I’m certain that our daughter was nowhere near as obstreperous in reality as it seemed in that moment, but neither was I a model parent.

Still, that couple did something that I have endeavored to do ever since: They looked for the best in me, and in praising what I had not yet become, helped me grow into what I always hoped to be.

From that day onward, I have looked for opportunities to recognize the effort to become, the desire to be better, the determination to grow into the person one aspires to be. Whether in the grocery check-out line chatting with a tired mother of little ones, or someone in despair, or a young person looking to make their way in the world, we can all be the voice of kindness and gentle encouragement, especially when things aren’t working out.

It’s easy to be that person. One small kindness can transform someone’s day, or even their entire perception of themselves. That couple who did it for me all those years ago? I don’t know their names, but I wish I did so I could thank them. They saw the mother I wanted to be, and in so doing, helped me to become. It made all the difference in the world to me.

Every day, I try to be that person.

It feels really good.

Choice and the 63 Million

Pro-Choice advocates are appropriately concerned about recent laws enacted in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri that effectively outlaw abortion under any circumstances and would imprison physicians who perform them.

These laws are unconstitutional. All sitting Supreme Court Justices testified under oath during their confirmation hearings that, consistent with stare decisis (the bedrock principle of our judicial system) they would uphold the precedent of Roe v. Wade, as that is a matter of settled law.

If the justices act as they have promised they would (so help them God), these laws represent an obstacle for women seeking legal abortion – no small thing – but ultimately one which is temporary.

If the justices do not act as they have promised they would (so help them God), then Roe is overturned and states are free to enact legislation outlawing abortion.

We all know what happens next: Unsafe, life-threatening back alley abortions for the poor; safe, “therapeutic” D & C’s for the rich. Same as it ever was.

There isn’t much any of us can do to influence the make-up of the Supreme Court…that ship sailed 2 1/2 years ago when 63 million Americans put their faith in an unhinged narcissist whose single consideration in all things is, which choice will inure to me greater power and total control?

What we can do is make sure he doesn’t get re-elected, which, given his behavior thus far, shouldn’t be a tall order, except it turns out that our country is a lot more racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic than anyone ever suspected.

And then there are those lawmakers in Georgia and Alabama. They didn’t just wake up one morning as legislator or governor…someone elected them. A whole lot of people, actually, and one must assume that those people are okay with ending a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to have a child, even if that decision was foisted upon her by a rapist.

And so I guess what I’m saying is, if you don’t like where we are headed, then thank the good people of Alabama, Georgia, and the 63 million who elected a king.

Me? I’m proud to be one of the 66 Million.

Love Beyond Words

Love is love is love. And then more love.

Love beyond words.

If we fill our hearts and souls with love…

…how can we fail to fulfill our purpose?