Sunday, September 27, 2020

Politics For The Concerned

Yes, I'm still here. September has been...uninspiring...and I have to tell you, I'm not feeling particularly Chipper, Centered, or Grounded lately. I'm leaning on my Coping Mechanisms (walking, journaling, reading, meditating, weekending at the lake) and referencing this article more than a few times. As my favourite doctor, Dr. B. Neurologist Extraordinaire says, I am a great observer and know my body well. It is telling me that I am in need of Gentling (and if that's not a word, it should be) and Radical Self-Care (and that's a term I'm borrowing from my buddy Shirley). 

It's not something I'm going through alone; I know that. Those of us who are Concerned Persons feel a sense of desperation and endlessness at times. That sense of being directionless. Those of us who care about others, not just those whose skin colour, race, sex, or gender match our own, feel a sense of almost constant outrage mixed with sadness. We feel a shadow of panic as we see the representatives of our elected government not only enable criminal and immoral activity, but encourage it with impunity. I know I feel a sense of dismay and profound disappointment when I see evidence of support for those people proudly displayed in campaign signs and flags in my own community. I wonder at their embrace of such cruelty, bigotry, and degradation.

I don't even have to mention the stressors caused by the pandemic. We're all living them, unless we subscribe to the Magical Thinking of the deniers and nihilists who are making it worse for everyone by selfishly refusing to follow safety protocols. We all miss our Former Lives, but not nearly as much as those who have died from the virus, alone and afraid, miserable and suffering. We who are Concerned Persons don't simply dismiss them and deny them. We mourn them and know or know of them and recognize the senselessness of their deaths. They weigh on us, and we grieve them.

The current resident of the White House supposedly rode in on a wave of disaffected voters who felt unrepresented. These so-called Flyover State Voters were sick of being ignored; they were tired of Coastal Elites calling the shots in Washington. Is this really what the middle of America comprises, a herd of racist bigots who flock to facebook to spread hideous conspiracy theories? I can't even begin to express my shame for Ohio, which has become more red and gun-happy than Texas. And thanks to savage gerrymandering, it will remain so for this election. So much for the reputation Midwesterners had for being so welcoming, kind, friendly, and...well, you understand. 

Excuse me for seeming jaded; I feel the same way about so-called Christians, too. Let me just leave that comment there. I'm sure you understand what I mean.

And here's the thing:  nuts and bolts, my basic life has not drastically changed during this administration. My family all have been employed, we've been fortunate to have retained our insurances, we've escaped this virus thus far even though my husband and sons are all essential workers. As one of 45*'s supporters said, we can still gas up our vehicles, put food on the table, and get our booze on the weekend. I know we are incredibly and magnificently fortunate.

But as Concerned Persons, my family all know that It's Not Just About Us. It never is. It's about our Democracy. It's about our friends, our neighbors, our international family, and our status as a world example. It's about the people who need more than we do. It's about standing up for those who are overlooked. It's about adding volume to the voices of the voiceless. It's about righting wrongs. It's about being proud of what we stand for, what our President says and does, and what he or she represents to the world on our behalf. It's about Liberty And Justice For All.

This isolationism, this Only (White) America mindset is small-mindedness to a fault. I'm reminded of the quote by Thomas Paine, political activist and American Revolutionary, "'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." Only one candidate in this presidential contest can claim true heart, conscience, and principles. As a Concerned Person, I can only hope that others see this and vote to restore heart, conscience, and principles to the White House.

I will be voting early, in person with mask and gloves, and I will be voting Democrat down the ballot. I am voting to send a message and I am voting not just for myself, but for my country and for those who need rights restored. I've had enough.

How about you?


Thursday, September 10, 2020

I Saw These Things In My Bathroom, And Now You Have To Look At Them, Too

I wish I could say that I noticed these things because I was meticulously cleaning my bathroom, carefully wiping away each speck of dried soapsuds or polishing the porcelain and chrome knobs of the vanity faucet. Oh, I wish.

Actually, what I really wish is that Someone Else came in once a week to clean my bathroom. Hell, while I'm at it, I wish that Someone would come in and clean my whole house. Yes, I'm retired, but housework holds no charm for me.

But, I digress.

Here are a couple of things in my bathroom that snagged my Normal Filter. Let's see if It's Just Me.

1. I Am A Lousy Mother.

This tag is on my blowdryer. As you can see, I am a Rule Follower and DID NOT REMOVE IT! I did not, however, ever warn my children about the risk of death by electric shock. Ever. By some miracle, both Jared and Sam are still alive more than thirty years later. And I had blowdryers in the house the entire time! And bathtubs! By the way, neither my blowdryer nor my bathtub looks like the one pictured in the tag. I'd have to consult Rick, but I'm pretty sure that building codes do not allow an outlet right there by a bathtub. I'm absolutely positive, however, that Rules Of The English Language do not dictate that set of quotation marks. Just sayin'.

2. What Kind Of Mixed Messaging Is Happening Here?

This is my shower curtain liner. We have incredibly hard water, so I end up getting a new one about every four months. No amount of washing/soaking in various solutions will completely take out the ugly orangey residue. I just replace the liner, and I get nice cloth ones at my wondrous grocery store for two bucks. This one made me laugh. I'm pretty sure no sultan ever got his linens from China, and if he somehow did, they were not 100% polyester. I think about all the beautiful fibers and textiles made in the geographic areas of the Ottoman Empire, and then I look at my $1.99 shower curtain liner. I imagine entire desert tents, perhaps, made of shower curtain liners flapping in the warm nighttime breezes as the sultans clap for a servant. "Send to the Chinese for more of these polyester linens!" they command. "They are durable and cheap, and lightweight for easy travel." Of course, there is the Sultan of Brunei. He could certainly get his linens from China, but he is worth about 28 billion dollars, so I doubt he'd be surrounding himself with 100% polyester anything, let alone polyester shower curtain liners. He probably has a Himalayan Pink Salt cavern shower, no curtains needed.

My bathroom has nothing like that, just a death trap blowdryer and a wannabe royal shower curtain liner, both good for a couple of laughs.  Thank goodness I noticed them both.

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