Can’t we all just get along?

Can’t we all just get along?

Can’t we all just get along?! 

Well, if that’s not a loaded question these days, I don’t know what is. At this point, I’m honestly having a hard time remembering what it was like to be able to log in to ANY form of social media without being flooded with the latest divisive topic. Remember when we were little and our parents told us “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and for a brief amount of time it meant stomping off to sulk about it before moving on with your day? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go back to that? I mean, I realize we can’t. I realize nothing is ever changed by people remaining quiet, but on that same line, nothing is ever changed by intolerance either.

When did we, as an entire population of the planet, become SO intolerant of other people, while at the same time demanding they be tolerant of us? Case in point: love it, or hate it, the NFL players, and now celebrities in general, taking a knee during the National Anthem at games has got to be, aside from our president, THE most divisive topic around right now. Everyone believes they’re on the right side of the argument, and NOBODY will consider anything else….at least that’s what you see. Yesterday, I was lucky to come across what was quite possibly THE single greatest post about the whole take a knee debacle ever. I was lucky, because I downloaded the image before the friend that shared it deleted it after being bullied by grown ass adults for posting something that differed from their opinion. I wish I knew who originally posted it, because it’s beautiful. It’s not the popular opinion, and I’m bound to catch the same hell my friend did for sharing it, but it’s such a poignant thought, and deserves to be shared.

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“I guess they think our country is hurt and they are hoping that it will get better.” Out of the mouths of babes. With that, Molly, with her 8-year-old innocence, became the person with the opinion we should all consider. There was no profanity laced “we stand for the National Anthem out of respect and even my 2-year-old knows how to do it,” or “Look at these kids. They are true Americans. Those overpaid NFL snowflakes should pay attention to this.”  There was no “F*** the police” or “Not my president” from the other side. There was simply “I guess they think our country is hurt and they are hoping that it will get better.”

So back to my friend who posted, and then subsequently deleted this picture. Do you know, there was not one single voice of complaint from the people who support the silent kneeling protest? Nope, the multiple “That’s bullshit, and you know it” complaints were all from the incredibly red, VERY right leaning people who DEMAND everyone show respect for our flag and National Anthem.

Do I think it’s wrong to feel so strongly for your country? Hell no. I admire it. I love this county. I get a little choked up (damn “allergies”) when I hear someone sing the National Anthem (especially if they sing ALL of the verses, not just the first one we all know by heart), or when I see veterans carrying the flag in a parade, or when I’m in a room with 700 people on 9/11 and the speaker stops everything and calls for a moment of silence at the precise time the planes hit the World Trade Center and it’s suddenly so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It’s not wrong to feel patriotic!

Here’s what I wonder though. As you’re demanding tolerance for this 1 belief of yours, are you in return tolerant of other people’s beliefs? Is it truly a 2 way street, or are you disgusted by, or unjustly afraid of someone wearing a burqa or a hijab? Do you demand religious freedom, but look down on someone who faces East and prays during prayer hours? Do you call police horrible names and act as if they’re all corrupt, but call 911 looking for them in an emergency? Do you believe everyone in this country should speak English because they’re in America, yet believe when you travel to foreign countries that they should also speak English so you can understand?

Tolerance is a two-way street. You don’t get to ignore the rights of everyone else while demanding your own rights. That’s simply not the way it works.

Take your knee in solidarity with those who are already doing it if you want. Cancel your DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket if you want. Stand at attention with your hand over your heart if you want. Boycott the games if you want. You have the freedom to do those things. You have the freedom to think our President is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or an incompetent Cheeto who should be impeached. That’s the great thing about living in THIS country. You have the FREEDOM to think what you want about whatever you want, but it doesn’t mean you need to be an asshole to people who think differently than you. You can be passionate without being a prick. And whether 8-year-old Molly actually said it or if someone made it up and attributed it to a fake made up 8-year-old, our country….our world actually…is hurt, and maybe we all need to take a knee and hope it gets better.

 

 

 

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Impossibly high standards?

Impossibly high standards?

  • Is their a reason your not responding to my messages?
  • Your cute. Next time your in town we should hang out.
  • You know that’s the way people talk anymore. Irregardless of what you think, theirs nothing wrong with it.

THOSE are just the messages I received TODAY. The last one came from an acquaintance who said my impossibly high standards were the reason I’m 37 and single AF. Well, well, well. I’m more inclined to think that it has something to do with the fact that I have a face for radio and no time or tolerance for bullshit, but whatever. To that “friend” I said, “I watched/listened to a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Graham Cassidy Heller Johnson Healthcare proposal for 5 hours just for fun today, and because I know one of the people testifying. I enjoy conversations with people who can use basic grammar at a 4th grade level and beyond.  The last person I met from one of these stupid ‘dating’ apps instantly had my attention with his ability to use the word you’re, and I have yet to find someone else who can master this, including the real peach you just tried to set me up with.  Considering texting is 90% of the way people communicate these days, I just really don’t want to be in any sort of relationship with someone who has such horrid mastery of the English language that it makes me want to poke my eyes out and throw my new phone across the room. Furthermore, if I can’t stand texting someone, WHY would I want to do anything else with them?!”

She said, “Your kind of being a bitch. There really nice and I think you’d like them if you would of given them a chance. Besides, nobody our age cares about senate hearings.”

I responded “Lots of people turn to personal insults when they don’t have anything intelligent to say. You’re kind of proving my point.”

I’m fairly certain I won’t be hearing from this person ever again. It’s no real loss.

Toilet water and cigarettes

Toilet water and cigarettes

I like evidence based arguments. Feelings and emotions are open to interpretation and get in the way, but scientific, evidence based facts and arguments….those are pretty difficult to dispute. For example:

Emotion based facts about tobacco (several of these opinions belong to my 18-year-old idiot, obviously)

  • Smoking is gross
  • Smoking makes you look cool
  • Smoking is fun
  • That chew can ring in the back pocket of my jeans is sooooo sexy.
  • Avoiding law enforcement because I’m too young to do this legally is such a thrill!
  • Tobacco helps me not be such a raging hormonal asshole (He said “deal with your stupid rules” but I prefer raging hormonal asshole to “cleaning up after myself is just sooooooo unfair.”)

Scientific/evidence based facts about tobacco (Just a few…obviously I could go on and on and on, but nobody came here for a health lesson.)

  • There are 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke alone, and 28% of those chemicals are known carcinogens.
  • Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States
  • There is no “safe” form of tobacco
  • In addition to cancer, tobacco causes heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Tobacco increases your risk of stroke

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You see “There are 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke” is much more accurate than “smoking is gross,” even though it is. I mean, if you’re old enough to light up or shove something in your lip, and you feel like playing roulette with your own health, by all means, go ahead and do it. There is absolutely nothing I can do to stop you. BUT, if you’re my kid, and you’re not even old enough to buy this shit legally, and I’m paying for your health insurance, dental bills, and doctor’s visits, among all of the other things I’m paying for, you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to have an opinion on your filthy habit.

For crying out loud, I’ve spent YEARS trying to help pass bills to combat the use of tobacco, and you know what? Collectively, the group I work with on this has been successful! Smoking rates among US adults is at an all time low. Only 15.1% of US adults smoke! Another all time low? Only 8% of high school students smoke. 20.2% of high school students used any tobacco product in 2016, which is a 5.1% decrease from 2015.

This weekend, I was able to celebrate some great successes ACS CAN members have been part of. Successes like Guam raising the legal smoking age to 21, entire cities in California banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol and all flavored E-Cig juices, and New York City raising tobacco taxes to the point where a pack of cigarettes purchased in NYC is now $13. You can argue that these things are all unfair all you want, but if fewer people are using tobacco, then fewer people are dying from diseases caused by tobacco, and THAT is never going to be a bad thing.

While all of these people are doing all of these things to combat tobacco use and all of the problems it causes, the response I get from my man-child is simply “I don’t care if I get cancer.” Soooo….when I left town to go to Washington DC to ask members of congress to fund cancer research, to close the Medicare loophole in colorectal cancer screenings, and to improve quality of life for people with long-term illness by passing the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, and found a nearly full pack of Marlboros sitting next to my microwave, I did the only thing I felt was appropriate, or would at least satisfy my devious nature. I took 2 of them out of the package, dipped them in the toilet, dried them with my hair dryer, and placed them back in the package. I left a note that said “2 of these have been dipped in the toilet. Good luck figuring out which ones they are,” and then walked out the door and left for 6 glorious, smoke free, teenage asshole free days in the nation’s capital. I’m sure he never saw the note, because my house was still standing and had no new holes in the walls or doors when I returned home, which makes it even more satisfying to my devious/evil side. I regret absolutely nothing about this decision.

Veni Vidi Brunchi

Veni Vidi Brunchi

queso daddy

Veni Vidi Brunchi! Wait…something doesn’t look right there. Actually, it’s perfect. I came. I saw. I brunched. Veni Vidi Vici is so last year. 😉

I just got home from 6 days in Washington DC. They were THE best. We had amazing dinners, and the most delicious brunches. We were at least a little inebriated almost all of the waking moments of said 6 days thanks to fantastic restaurants, and a terrific hotel bar staff. I mean, the hotel chicken during the meeting portion of the trip left a lot to be desired, but we were all grown ups with American Express cards, so even hotel chicken couldn’t stop us from just waiting out the meal time functions and then going out for real food.

Every time I go to DC with the kick ass group of girls I travel with, leaving there is even harder. Yeah, this is only the second time I’ve gone there with them, but holy jeez is it ever fun! Every year when I have to leave, I start thinking a little more seriously about exactly what it would take to be able to afford to live there. After speaking with some of the DC staff with ACS CAN and a friend from Salt Lake who has lived there for the last few years about the housing situation, I realized that $2300+ for 700 square feet was REALLY not an option. Actually, I don’t think I even make enough money to be homeless in Washington DC.

I did however, figure out what it would take to be able to relocate to DC and enjoy all of the culture and all of the food on a daily basis. And now, I just need to actively start looking for a sugar daddy who will buy me an apartment in DC, and pay for all of the things so I can just spend my time wandering around the Smithsonian Museums and brunching with my friends. Oh yeah…I need some time for lobbying too, because as it turns out, I love doing that. Although “Sugar Daddy” has such negative connotations, and everyone knows that nachos are better junk food than sugary treats anyway, so I’ll hold out for a Queso Daddy.

The one with the TMI

The one with the TMI

kiss

I had lunch with an old friend today. She’s the kind of friend you can talk about anything and everything with, and we did…for 30 minutes, because apparently some people have jobs where they can’t take a 2 hour lunch if they feel like it. Go figure. We managed to fit a whole lot of “too much information” in to that 30 minutes though.

In regards to relationships, we’re complete polar opposites. I sometimes wish I had it in me to be more like her, and she wishes she was just a bit more like me from time to time. What I mean by that is this, she constantly craves companionship, and wants to be in a relationship, or a relationship like thing. Me, I couldn’t care less. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate relationship like things, and companionship would be great, but I can’t bring myself to focus on finding it for myself. I’m too busy being awesome at other things. We could both use a little bit of each other’s way of thinking in our lives, but we balance each other nicely, even though there are always times when we wish we had just a little bit of what the other one has, and seemingly takes for granted.

Back to the TMI….you’ve been warned. During lunch the question was asked “If you had to marry the last person you kissed, would you be happy?” Have you ever thought about that? I hadn’t until today, but my answer is a resounding NO. TMI in 3…2….1… The last person I kissed. I was at a friend’s house and they just sort of showed up. I’ve known this person for a few years. I’m not interested in this person in the least, but when he said “we should make out” tequila said “Meh…you don’t really have anything better to do.”

Tequila was wrong. You do know that you need to actually use your lips when you kiss someone right? I thought this was common knowledge, but apparently it’s not. There was like 3 minutes of licking my tongue and I don’t even know what the hell else that was before I was like “OK…I’m done,” and just got up and left the room. It was awkward AF, and involved very little actual kissing. Honestly, I’ve eaten tripe, tasted rotten herring eggs, and throw up from stress at least 3 times a week, and THAT 3 minutes was the grossest thing I have ever done with my mouth. So no, I would NOT be happy if I had to marry the last person I kissed. In fact, I wish there was a way to bleach it from my memory, but tequila failed me there too.

Then the question was changed a bit and asked again. “If you had to marry the last person you slept with, would you be happy?”

I didn’t even have to think about that. Yes, and indefinitely happy, but he wouldn’t be. I mean, he might be for a little bit, but it wouldn’t last, because he doesn’t realize that he is so far out of my league, we almost aren’t even playing the same game. Seriously, I’m the kid in T-ball that hits the T and then runs to third base instead of first, and he’s Babe freaking Ruth. I’m not fishing for compliments here, just stating what is completely obvious to me. He’s been knocked down a LOT in the last while, which totally worked to my advantage. I mean, we NEVER would have met if things were going well for him, so I’m glad for that, but when things start going his way again, he’s going to realize he’s FAR better than some of the people around him and the situations he’s found himself in lately. When that happens, watch out, because he’ll change the world, and for his sweet boys, it’ll be the best thing ever.

Anyway…after that explanation, I realized that if I wasn’t careful, I was going to trip and fall right back in to some old feelings, which just won’t work for me right now, so I brushed that shit off and took her back to work.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, her answers were yes, and yes, and I know the guy, (small town) so I can pretty safely say she definitely would be happy if she had to marry the last guy she did either of those things with.

 

I don’t know who you are, but I don’t like you already.

I don’t know who you are, but I don’t like you already.

One of my jobs is insanely cool. It’s the bring  your kids to work, get your shit done, and have a good time doing it type of place. It’s seriously THE perfect place to start my day. It’s also right across the street from the bank I go to on the daily, so I take the office kids to the bank with me so they can play with the toys, get a treat, and more importantly, give their moms a few minutes of respite. “I like going to the bank. You give them money, and they give me suckers,” said one of the kids a few years ago. See, it works for everyone. It’s something they learn early too, like before they can even talk early.

Today as I was getting ready to leave, the almost 1-year-old was the only one at the office. She started reaching simultaneously for me and the door, while smacking her lips. That’s baby talk for “I want strangers to tell me I’m pretty and give me a sucker!”

As we loaded up and walked across the street, she got more excited the closer we got to that toddler treat heaven. She was smacking her lips, pointing to the counter, and walking around like she owned the place, pausing to let people admire her from time to time. She was particularly intrigued with the lady next to me, and while the sweet old woman proclaimed “All babies just love me,” I thought to myself “That’s the window we usually go to and she can see the basket of suckers.” I didn’t want to burst her bubble though, so I just smiled, nodded my head, and picked up my tiny banking partner when she realized that woman wasn’t going to grab her the sucker she so desperately wanted and walked back to me with her arms up.

I finished my business and grabbed a sucker, holding it just tight enough that little miss couldn’t pull it out of my hand and eat it wrapper and all. As we were getting ready to walk out the door, the lady in our usual money/sucker exchange location said “Oh, you better see what Grandma got you.”

Grandma?! Are you freaking kidding me?! Now I wish I had burst her bubble and told her the kid just wanted the suckers and didn’t care about the person in the way of them. Grandma?! I don’t even know who this lady is, but I know I don’t like her…

 

Out with the old

Out with the old

let go

I hold on to stuff far longer than I should. Clothes, books, mail, “science experiments” in the fridge that used to be food, feelings, body fat, you name it, I’ve got too much of it. I mean, it hasn’t reached hoarder status yet, but it’s a pretty fine line. Maybe not so fine. I mean, I do clean out the fridge and throw away junk mail plenty often enough, so I’m not going to be found dead in a pile of collapsed junk mail one of these days.

I know why I do it. After my kid was born, my now ex had a box of my things in a storage unit, along with a bunch of useless crap of his that he apparently didn’t care about enough to pay the bill on the storage unit. These things included the kid’s baby book, from the first few months of his life when I thought I was going to be THAT mom that had time to scrapbook everything (I’m laughing at the hilarity of that right now), and a box of things from high school. Things that prove I existed before 1999. That box held so many memories, and when I found out it was lost in the storage unit with the rest of his crap, instead of where I had left it at his parent’s house, I was devastated. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but clearly, over time, I just quit getting rid of things, because I might want them some day.

Saturday I woke up and realized, I needed to find my hideous blue American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network polo shirt for my rapidly approaching trip to Washington D.C. and had no idea where to start looking. Actually, that’s a lie. I knew it had to be in one of 3 different piles of clothes that needed to be put away, but couldn’t be put away because my dresser, and 2 closets are full of crap I haven’t worn in YEARS. See, there’s an upside to being perpetually single and not having to share closet space, in that you don’t ever really have to consider whether or not someone else has room for their clothes. It’s also a giant downside, because you literally never have to clean out your own clothes…at least until they start taking over every other available space in your house too.

Anyway, back to the hideous shirt. I figured the best way to find the damn thing, since “forgetting” to bring it was an option that would end with me spending $25 on another ugly shirt, was to just start cleaning, and putting things away this time, instead of getting dressed off of the sofa, or from the clothes that are on rotation from the dirty pile in the bathroom to the dryer and basket in front of it. I broke it up in to easily manageable pieces by starting the never-ending process of washing everything again, because most of it had been in a pile for so long it needed ironed, and I gave my ironing board away to someone who would actually use it last year.

While the first load was in the expensive toy washing machine (high-efficiency washing machines are seriously the laundry equivalent of an easy bake oven), I opened the closet and went to town. THREE garbage bags later, I had removed every single shirt that I’ll never wear, didn’t fit now, wouldn’t buy again if I saw it in the store today, or didn’t absolutely love, and then moved everything else to the other side of the closet so I had half of a closet to start hanging clean clothes in. Well, 7 loads of laundry later, I had filled the clean side of the closet AGAIN, and knew I needed to move on to the other side, but I also had a best friend date to the Symphony, so that had to wait until the next day.

I thought I could save some of the pants. I really wanted to save some of the pants. I mean, most of them are hardly even worn, but honestly, I don’t need 50 pairs of pants that include Adidas tear away track pants, Union Bay corduroy overalls, and pants so small that I would need a year of anorexia AND a surgeon to shave off some hip bone to even fit in them again. 3 more garbage bags full of pants, dresses, and skirts later, I had made it through every single thing in my closet.

My sweet friend that came and stayed with me Saturday night told me “Don’t clean for me” as she was on her way out during the initial stages of the closet purge. I had spent 3 weekends helping her pack for a move, so I knew she understood. I assured her I wasn’t cleaning for her though. I was doing it for me. I was doing it because I woke up Saturday morning and realized that, much like the song from that movie I still have managed to avoid seeing, that is like fingernails on a chalkboard to parents who have had to hear it be played over, and over, and over, it was time to make like Elsa and just let it go.

Why do I suck so bad at this? Why do good things happen to literally everyone else? Why do I work my ass off and go nowhere, like I’m stuck in snow and just can’t get ANY traction to move in any direction? Thoughts like these have invaded at least a moment of every single day of my “adult” life, and I needed to do something about it. Apparently this was the day that I realized there will never be room for the good things I so badly want, if I’m holding on to literally everything that I’ve ever had. Not that the clothes aren’t great to have, I mean, some of that stuff is literally in stores now for like 3 times more than I paid for it in the last 2 decades, but that doesn’t mean I NEED to keep it. So this weekend, I started cleaning out the old, because there will never be room for anything new (or even the old but good) in my life if I’m constantly surrounded by useless things from my past.

Am I really believing that after cleaning out the material and mental junk that things might start going my way? Not really. I mean, I am a realist after all, but a girl can dream.