Did I Know? Did I Even Have a Clue?

In a word, no.  I had no idea.

In 2001 I was in my late 20s and working two, sometimes 3 jobs.  Full time during the day, restaurant and catering gigs at night.  Watching the news was not much of a priority.  The events of 9/11 changed that a bit, but after a few weeks of coverage I couldn’t take the bad news anymore and started watching the Food Network non-stop (a behavior repeated after the Virginia Tech massacre but even more intense).  So I don’t remember the shockwave that rocked New England when The Boston Globe broke the Catholic Church sex scandal.

Fast forward to 2016.  I went to the movies with a friend, and she is one that will enjoy some of the more cerebral films with me (unlike the chick flick tradition I have with my mom on New Years Day).  We started with lunch, then watched Star Wars again (for both of us), and then walked across the parking lot to the Criterion theater to watch SpotlightContinue reading

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Did I Watch the 2016 State of the Union?

Yes.  Yes I did.

And the irony is that I would not consider myself politically obsessed.  I have friends that are.  Friends that are married to people that are.  Friends that have no idea I have voted for a Democrat, or they’d disown me.  Friends that have no idea members of my family have been elected to office to hold a Republican seat, or they’d never speak to me again.

Case in point:  My first thought watching the preamble mumbo jumbo tonight was that they had yet to show a man wearing something other than a red tie.  So then of course I became obsessed in trying to find one.

And then of course the President himself appears and was not, and the red tie obsession came to an end.

So here are my thoughts as they came to me watching the SotU: Continue reading

Avon Calling

Just kidding.

When I was growing up, there was a running joke about home sales ladies.  They sold makeup (Avon vs. Mary Kay) and Tupperware.  Women would kick the men out of the house for the night, have chicken salad in phyllo cups and some stale cookies, and apply frosted blue eyeshadow around the dining room table. There were a few rebels, like one of my best friends.  She’s sold BeautiControl for gosh, almost twenty years now.  But for the most part, this was it.

No, wait, there was also Amway.  Can’t forget them.

But now?  Now you have so much more.  Thirty-One.  Tastefully Simple.  ::ahem:: Adult-themed products.  Avon.  Mary Kay.  Spongewear.  Southern Living.  Lia Sophia.  Pampered Chef.  Origami Owl.  Scentsy.  Longaberger.  Seven hundred different scrapbooking companies.  A thousand different health food supplement companies.  Can’t count the number of personal grooming companies.  Books.  Baby supplies.  More adult toys.

Continue reading

When I Give Voice to an Opinion, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

So back to that Huffington Post article that I saw at work.  It was a link to a letter written by a man in a state that is debating the legal definition of marriage.  Currently, he happens to fall outside of that definition.  And he presented a very eloquent argument as to why the thought of 13 strangers debating his future without knowing anything about him, or anything about his life, or anything about his marriage was one of the more discriminatory actions he has faced.  You can go here and read the full letter–I encourage you to do so.  At a time when people debate this topic so forcefully yet I know several of my friends do not know a gay man or a lesbian woman, much less one in a committed relationship, it is a fantastic accounting of what a day in his life is like.  And it’s just that–a day.  A day when two people who are married to each other wake up in the morning and go through their day.  Go to work, eat meals, do laundry, watch a movie.  A day like the day you have, or the day like I have.

I don’t know why the letter resonated with me so strongly, but it did.  So I did something I think I’ve never done (unless it’s writing to my imagined BFF at USAToday, the Pop Culture Maven Whitney Mathison) and wrote to the guy that penned the original letter.

His name is Peter Monn.  And he wrote me back.  Continue reading

When I Give Voice to an Opinion, Part 1

So here’s a bit of back story.  A few days ago I was procrastinating at work and scrolling through my Facebook feed.  Lately I seem to be clicking on a lot of Huffington Post articles, and they had one that caught my interest so I center clicked on it and opened it up in a second tab.  And then forgot about it for the next few hours.  It caught my attention as many headlines do–because it was on an issue that I carry an opinion that I do not often discuss.

I made a promise to myself that I would change that.  That I would not hide my opinion any more.  I don’t feel that I was hiding it to begin with, but I certainly wasn’t speaking up.  Well, not any more than I normally do to friends.  But not loudly, and not often.

In my life, I have had the privilege of working in the theater, in the restaurant world, and in the corporate office of a men’s clothing company.  In each of these industries, I have had the opportunity to work with people who have a lifestyle that is quite different from the one that I live. Continue reading

Why I Choose Homeschooling

When I was a kid, it was only the kids that were unable to socialize properly that were homeschooled.  I think I knew two, a brother sister pair, and I had heard rumors of the other local families that did.  And it was always done in hushed tones, because they were kids that were different, kids that had a problem, and homeschooling was the last option available to them.

Now, over twenty years later, I can’t even begin to count the number of people I know that homeschool their children.  Families with one child, families with four children.  Actually, come to think of it, lots of families with four children for some reason.  Families with more than just their own being homeschooled.  Families that like the free structure homeschooling provides and the flexibility to pursue the individual interests of the family and the child.

Now, were I to have children, I’d homeschool in a hot minute.  Of course, while I’m being honest, I also want the husband that supports me and that makes enough money that we can comfortably afford for me to not work and stay at home with children.  And while I’m having a fantasy life it would also be ten years ago so that I’d be 30 not 40 making these predictions.  But hey, since I”m getting all hypothetical . . . .

I would love the opportunity.  I would welcome the chance to stay at home with my kids and have a hand in their cognitive development that most people don’t get to experience.  I would gladly participate in the co-op so that my kids would benefit from the art teacher that gives lessons, the hiking guide that works with various nature and science opportunities.  I would relish the fact that timing would be on the pace for the kids and the one that works best for our family structure.

But most of all?  I love the fact that the whole thing can be done without an alarm clock.  That the schedule is set to what works best for you.  That you can wake up in the morning sometime after 6am and still get your day accomplished.  That you don’t have to wake up two hours before the sun rises to get people ready and to get in a classroom before dawn.

Selfish?  Yes.  But it’s the brutal honest truth.

Snapshot of Americana

I have been gone all day.  I was at church, home long enough to change clothes, at a church function, then at a revised Sunday dinner before discovering a missed phone call and spending an hour on the phone with an old friend.  When I finally got in the house, I checked Facebook and email to catch up.  Upon which, I discovered, the new health care package was passed.

If I were to take this at face value among my Facebook friends, there is an interesting conundrum.  Evidently 2/3 of my vocal (i.e., post all opinions on Facebook) friends think this country is now going straight to hell in a handbasket.  Then there are the few vocals ones that say thank god for finally doing something about health care.

What I find interesting about this ratio is that the majority of my Facebook friends are staunch supporters of health care reform.  They have just remained silent compared to those that are die-hard Republicans and think that supporting health care reform or President Barack Obama is akin to aligning oneself with the devil.  The decry the desecration of the Constitution in the past day, that the national decision makers have forgotten the principles upon which the country was founded, and that we are now, essentially Europe.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t read the news all day.  I just find this humorous.  I disagree with much of those opinions, and the one thing that keeps coming back to me is this:

Founding Fathers never had to deal with HMOs or insurance companies.  They could trade a side of beef or a wheel of cheese for decent medical care.  If you can find a doctor that will work for such wages in today’s economy then please, by all means, let me know.  I’m moving to your town.

Interesting nighttime reading!  Time to check on the news reports and see what all the hooplah is about!