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Monthly Archives: July 2011

When my Momma died.

Momma just before getting married in 1961

Momma pregnant with my sister in 1963

Momma with my sister in 1964 at Atlanta Zoo.

One of the few photos I have with Momma, my sister and me taken by our cousin.

I went to camp Tel Yehudah the summer of 1985 for the first time. Momma wanted me to go to be around other Jewish teenagers but I wasn’t so thrilled about the idea. However, once I went I had the time of my life and had high hopes to return there the next summer.

While I was at camp my parents had moved to a new city. I was excited for the move because the new city had Jews living in it. OK, so there were only a handful but that was a ton more than from where we had come. Also, we were only 45 minutes away from our Synagogue rather than an hour in a half. For some reason that made a difference to me. I was excited to see our new house and especially my new room.

When I returned from camp and my parents picked me up from the airport I was hoping Daddy was in a good mood. If he wasn’t then I could kiss being able to share my stories about camp goodbye. And I wanted to share them so badly because it was such a fantastic experience for me. Honestly, I can’t remember how Daddy’s mood was but I remember telling Momma all about camp which was all that mattered to me.

That evening when Momma, Daddy and I were eating dinner I noticed Momma had a cough that seemed to get her choked very easily. I then saw where Momma looked swollen. But Momma only chucked it off as a cold or allergies. I remember taking a mental note of that moment and feeling as if my life was going to change soon. How? I had no idea but I could feel something was going to happen.

About two weeks later Daddy came home from work but without Momma. Momma was his secretary in his law practice. In Daddy form he told me he wanted to talk to me. We sat down in our den and Daddy told me that Momma had gone to the doctor for her cough. He stopped for a minute and then he told me Momma had lung cancer and her prognosis wasn’t good. He told me it was up to Momma. If she was willing to fight then she had a chance.

Momma refused to do chemotherapy like she had done when she had breast cancer. Instead she did radiation treatments which were just as hard on Momma’s body. Initially it looked good because the cancer was shrinking. Little did we know that was customary for that type of cancer to shrink at first and then to grow with a vengeance.

Momma was in and out of the hospital for a few weeks. In mid September Momma was home but she looked very weak. I’ll never forget this one particular Saturday. I was mad at Momma for something. Hey, I was 15 so who knows what it could have been. Anyway, angry with her I went into my room, slammed my door and turned on my record player as loud as I could. As I was listening to my music I could hear Momma from her bedroom which was next door to mine. I thought she was yelling at me. But, Momma didn’t do that. She didn’t stand and yell. If she had something to say she’d come get me. I turned down my record player to hear what Momma was saying.

What I heard that day and what I went through for the the next couple of hours will always stick with me. I have replayed that day in my head over and over again and always felt so guilty.

What I heard coming from Momma’s room that day was her crying and yelling. I had never heard Momma cry, so I knew something was wrong. I ran into her room to find her walking around her bed in a daze repeating over and over again,”My god my legs are killing me. Why does it have to hurt so badly?” I tried to ask her how I could help. I was thinking she had a cramp in her legs but why was she so discombobulated? I told Momma I’d rub her legs if she wanted to lie down. She lied down on her bed and I started rubbing her legs. She kept yelling at me that wasn’t the right spot. She kept yelling for me to rub higher up on her legs which I did as she requested. Finally, I had hit the right spot. Momma yelled, “That’s it. Right there! See, I told you it was higher up on my legs.” I was totally scared at that point. See, I wasn’t even touching Momma’s legs but I was rubbing her lower back.

I told Momma I should call Daddy. She jumped up off of the bed begging me to not call him and she started crying hysterically. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to listen to Momma but she wasn’t acting right. I don’t know how I remained so calm but I did. I was able to calm Momma down. I called Daddy. He spent a little time on the phone with her but sadly he didn’t seem to have any patients for her. Momma handed the phone to me and Daddy told me to call the ambulance to take her to the hospital in Savannah. He gave me this list of things I was to do and how I was to get Momma to go into the ambulance. I was scared. Momma was begging me to allow her to stay home. All Momma wanted was to stay at home and I betrayed her and called the ambulance as Daddy instructed. I know today I didn’t betray her and Daddy should have never put me in that situation but at that time for many many years after, I held onto a lot of guilt for doing that to Momma.

Momma never came home again. She remained in the hospital for 4 months because Daddy didn’t want to care for her at home. I rarely saw her during those months because the hospital was almost an hour away and Daddy was always too busy to take me. I was left alone at home for weeks at a time never knowing what was happening.

On January 15th a Wednesday afternoon Daddy called to tell me that Momma had gone into a coma. Daddy said it was just a matter of time before she’d die. He also called my sister who lived with her husband not too far from where we lived. Daddy asked if they could pick me up and bring me to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital my sister, brother in law, and I walked into Momma’s room to see her. I remember how empty it was. Her flowers were gone. Her get well cards were gone. Her pillow was even removed. There was no sign of life in that room. l took a moment to look at her. I couldn’t believe how much she had changed. Her beautiful olive skin had turned yellow, her large amount of jet black hair was replaced with only a few strands and all of her upper teeth were gone. I walked over to Momma’s right side as my sister and brother in law went to her left. My sister was too upset to talk but took Momma’s hand. I leaned towards her and said,”Momma, we’re here now. It’s me, Morrie and Leon. We’re here.” Just as I told her we were there, a tear fell from Momma’s eye and rolled down her cheek. I could feel a lump in my throat. I wanted to cry but held back. At that moment I was afraid to cry because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to stop. My sister was really upset so I pointed to the door for us to go out.

Daddy hugged my sister as she cried in the hallway. I leaned against the wall, held my head to the floor and started counting the tiles on the floor. I just didn’t want to cry so I needed to tune out anything that could possibly make me.

My sister wanted to go back into Momma’s room by herself. As soon as she walked into the room my sister immediately ran back out yelling,”Something happened to Momma!” A nurse went into the room and came back out to tell us Momma had died. It was just after 8:30 in the evening of January 15th. Our rabbi was there and we all went back into the room while the rabbi read a prayer. The nurse had covered Momma’s body with a sheet so I stood there staring at it. I kept thinking she’d pop up telling us it was all a joke. When that didn’t happen, I had hoped to see her move just her arm letting us know she was still with us. Unfortunately, it was true and Momma was gone.

While the Rabbi was chanting and my sister was crying, I tuned them out making the room very quiet. I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. Daddy had always said it meant we were weak. And, I was not weak.

While I made the room quiet I told Momma that I loved her and didn’t want her to go. I felt bad I had been so angry with her those last months. I wanted to take it all back. During that time I could hear her telling me she wasn’t in pain anymore. She was smiling at me while waving goodbye and then before I knew it, she was gone.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

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Happy Anniversary, Carol!

I was the little girl who loved twirling pink dresses and would dream of getting married in a white dress like my own mom. Then, I became the teenager who said I’d never change my name for a man and expected my husband to be the stay at home dad. In my early 20’s I swore off marriage all together, said I never wanted children and I wanted to live on a kibbutz making art all day and night.

Well, things turned out but in my wildest dreams I would have never imagined in this way. Nine years ago today my partner and I celebrated our love for each other in front of 50 friends and family members. It was a wonderful day and it was everything I had ever wanted in a “wedding”. OK, maybe a band and a honeymoon would have been really nice but aside from that I wouldn’t have changed anything else.

Once Carol and I picked the date I had six weeks to get everything done. I knew Carol was worried about the cost but I knew if we did most of it ourselves it would work out fine. Carol made our Ketubah which we had all of our guests sign and two friends and I made our Chuppah. We asked our guests to bring a covered dish for the reception after our ceremony and another friend made our wonderful wedding cake. We had an abundance of friends who participated. One played the piano, another sang, one took photos and another played the guitar. Not able to be married in a Synagogue as I would have loved, we had the next best thing at the UU. The minister was a wonderful man who had known us so we knew he was the perfect person to officiate.

I remember waking up the morning of our ceremony excited and nervous. We headed over to the church early to prepare the sanctuary for our wedding. When we hung our Chuppah that’s when it all became real. I remember Carol and I standing together and looking at it. To see it hanging so beautifully from the wooden rafters with our rainbow star facing the congregation we realized that was our special day.

After we set up the sanctuary we went home to rest for a few hours. Later in the afternoon we gathered our clothes, packed the car and headed back to the UU. I was really nervous by that point. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be in front of so many people but of course it was too late for those thoughts.

Carol got dressed in a room in the sanctuary and I got dressed in the minister’s office. Carol’s daughter would go back and forth relaying messages between us. My sister had arrived early with her husband and two daughters. I was so glad and asked a friend to get her for me. I never knew how she felt that day about my unconventional wedding but that didn’t matter. I was happy to have her there and a part of it. That meant a lot to me.

We had asked Carol’s daughter to walk each of us into the sanctuary. When she came to get me, I told Carol’s daughter how nervous I was. I had to remind myself to not squeeze her hand too hard as she lead me into the sanctuary. As she and I walked in and down the isle I remember locking eyes with Carol. She was beaming. My heart was fluttering like it was the first time we met. It was an exciting moment.

As much as I want to marry my partner legally (and to have a wedding) there is no way I can deny that July 27th, 2002 was a very special day that I’d never trade for the world. We committed to one another that day and it was very real to us. It also showed our friends and family that our love was real and that we were committed to each other.

Now 14 years later (of being together) and 9 years since our ceremony I am still happily in love with you, Carol. You are my heart, my love and my protector. We still finish each others sentences and sing made up songs. After all of these years I stillI leave my shoes in the middle of the floor, rescue drowning worms and go through life with a tremendous passion. But, it’s my pleasure to be able to do those things with you in my life. I know we’ve had our rough times but I could never think of being without you. How we met, the paths we crossed in our past and our love for each other has truly been Bashert. Here’s to many many many more happy years together.

Happy Anniversary- I love you!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

“BRING IN THE GAYS!”

I listened to the president’s speech last night and it’s clear our country is in a panic about the pending solution to our country’s deficit. President Obama is worried because the parties can’t make a compromise. One side wants to tax the very wealthy instead of cutting already heavily cut areas like education. The other side doesn’t feel they as part of the wealthy community should be penalized for having money and it is our spending that is what needs to be cut. And the spending would be in education and in the form of any government agency that one deems is receiving too much money.

I get the concept if we are spending too much, the “simplest” solution is to stop spending. But, cutting from areas like education and other needed areas is not the solution. We must be creative on how we can generate revenue to not only pay “our bills” but to begin to put back an investment in our future. At the same time I understand those in our government find it too close to home to be told the wealthy need to pay more taxes. I can only imagine how scary that must feel. After all the amount of perks they are given and the extra spending they do on the tax payer’s ticket could be jeopardized. But, let’s not panic. The solution is right in front of us and it would not require any of you to have to make any sacrifices. A win win for everyone.

My solution is simple and one that has never been proposed.

I say:
BRING IN THE GAYS!

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Listen, haven’t we all been hearing over and over again how important it is to create jobs, revitalize our crime ridden neighborhoods and increase the real-estate market? Well, here’s one unconventional way.

You ask how in the hell will “BRINGING IN THE GAYS” possibly help? Well, let me tell yah.

Stereotypically, gays value their surroundings, they are creative at making the old look new again and many have the money to make those changes happen. Already done in many cities around the country “the gays” have an amazing talent of turning old discarded neighborhoods into charming ones which results in making a profitable and revitalized city. So, if “the gays” clearly have the ability to make positive changes our cities need then why not embrace them and encourage them to head to a city near you?

Here’s my suggestion. Each community start a “BRING IN THE GAYS” campaign to encourage “the gays” to move to their city. Instead of fighting against them, value them for what they can give back to your community.

So, what would be an incentive for “the gays” to come to your city? I have just the thing. Allow them to marry. Yep, that’s it. Since that’s what they want why not give it to them instead of expensive incentives that would actually cost the city more money. In fact allowing “the gays” to marry as an incentive to help enhance your city, those cities not only increase their opportunity to have their costly, run down communities improved but they also would be bringing in money directly from the marriage licenses. Both would be positive financial increases. What a fabulous win win for “the gays” and the cities. Obviously, cities cannot make “the gays” marrying contingent on doing something in return. The cities just have to have faith in “their gays” to invest in their city who kindly gave them mutual rights and respect. The cities would see that alone would encourage “the gays” to give back.

Now, you ask how “the gays” getting married could possibly increase a city’s bottom line? First, I’d support increasing the marriage license fee to $100 for anyone who applies (gay and straight). Then with each cities support in legalizing gay marriage, the number of “gays” filing for marriage licenses would be staggering. As those numbers increase a cities revenue would also increase.

Listen, I’d be proud to pay a higher marriage license fee knowing it would be my civic duty to help our country. Plus, I’d hate to see those government officials worry their pretty little heads on possibly giving up their own extra spending (even though it’s my tax money they’re using even for their paycheck). Gosh, it must be incredibly frustrating and taxing (no pun) debating the welfare of the less fortunate. Nothing like free plane rides and parties given in exclusive locations to clear one’s head. But, that’s another issue.

Anyway, back to “the gays” and how them marrying can help. Let me do the math for you. One in every 10 people are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Let’s say your city has roughly a population of 100,000. Out of that number you have 10,000 GLBT. Let’s say at least 6,000 of those choose to marry. That would bring in $600,000 which maybe you say is a drop in the bucket with the amount many cities need. But, if cities would do a “bring in the gays” campaign to increase that number to lets say 15,000 that would bring in a revenue of $1,500,000 from the marriage licenses alone from just the GLBT community (not even counting the straight folks receiving marriage licenses). Potentially, communities could eradicate their own deficits and bring in needed money for their community. Now that’s what I call making a difference.

Obviously, once the rush of gay marriage is over that income will level off. But, that won’t happen for a few years and by that time other monies should be flowing as a result of that rush. We need a large financial impact that can alter the deficit quickly and can jump start our economy.

Our solution?

“BRING IN THE GAYS!”

JFK once said,”Don’t ask what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.” So, don’t hesitate to contact your city leaders to let them know how we as citizens can help. Spearhead your own “BRING IN THE GAYS” campaign and watch your communities grow and thrive.

-And to help with your campaign why not order a “BRING IN THE GAYS!” bumper sticker today?
For only $8.99 plus shipping and handling you too can show off your “BRING IN THE GAYS!” pride.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in gay

 

And it fell from above!

As my seven year old son was in the bathtub I sat on my bed relaxing from a busy day. Hearing Judah playing definitely cheered me up. His sound effects along with his amazing imagination is always entertaining.

When Judah got out of the bath and “dressed” (I say that because ever since he spent the night at a friend’s house whose children only slept in their underwear, my son now just wears underwear to bed.) he crawled into bed with me. He was in a great, snuggling mood which I will always take the opportunity as much of his hugs as possible since he gives them out so sparingly.

Anyway, I gave him until 8:30 to finish his show and go to bed. Instead of finishing his show he turned the TV off at 8:15 and wanted to talk. He told me in more detail than at dinner time the things he did at his camp. When I saw it was bedtime for Bonzo as taken from an old movie, Judah reminded me he needed to take his medicine.

I go downstairs to get his medicine and a cup of water and return. After he took it I told him to wait a minute that I needed to use the restroom before I tucked him into bed. While waiting in my bed Judah picked up one of his books from my bedroom floor to read while I did what I had to do.

Just as I was walking out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom Judah started screaming as if his arm had been cut in half. I knew that kind of scream for I had used it many, many times. It could only mean one thing…an EXTRA LARGE ROACH ATTACK had take place.

I go into the bedroom and sure enough it was. Judah said he was reading his book. He thought he saw something on the ceiling but ignored it. Just a moment later he heard something fall and land on the page he was reading in his book. When he looked and saw it was at least the size of his hand, he screamed and threw the roach (and his book) across the room. Then, he ran out of the room.

So, standing at the bedroom doorway are me and Judah looking to see the roaches location as if we feel we were safe because there was no way the roach could cross the threshold to get us. Then, I felt something on my arm. I screamed and started to run. The problem was my kid was right behind me. We looked as if we were doing a three Stooges routine. Well, what I thought was a roach was actually some dental floss that was stuck to my arm.

Judah and I knew there was no way in hell we were returning to the bedroom when their was a tremendous roach on the lose. It could get us in the night and we just weren’t going to have it.

I looked at Judah and told him to get the air mattress that we were going to sleep downstairs. Judah started to panic and asked what if the roach goes downstairs. Judah also informed me it’s the downstairs where the roaches probably get into the house. When I asked what Judah’s plans were if that was the case

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

An Unexpected Pair

I was about to turn 41 when I was taught a wonderful life changing lesson from an unexpected pair.

One Saturday afternoon while my son was playing in his room, I was sitting on his floor sorting through his clothes. I noticed Judah was looking at something in his closet. Pointing to the top shelf he asked me what was in the square box. Not knowing what box I stood up to see more closely. As soon as I saw the box, I remembered it was an old hat of my dad’s which I told Judah. His eyes lit up with excitement as he asked if he could see it. At first I hesitated. I had this internal voice that just so happened to sound like Daddy telling me, “Absolutely not!” Then, I looked down at my son and saw his face so eagerly wanting to see this mysterious hat in the old fancy box. I thought about it and figured showing him the hat would be no big deal. It wasn’t as if he was going to play with it.

I got a stool and took the box down off the shelf. Judah could’t wait for me to open it. I adored the joy he showed in wanting to see this hat. It was as if it were his birthday or Chanukah. His excitement was contagious and I became eager to open the box too. As I opened the box and pulled out the hat, Judah’s eyes got really big. He said,”Momma, that is SO cool!”

The hat was from the early 1960’s. It was tan with small feathers on the side. The rim went all the way around and was bend up. Judah asked if he could try on the hat. I cringed when he asked and immediately said, “Judah, no…this was my Dad’s hat.” Without missing a beat Judah looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said,”Well, is your dad still using it? I thought you said he wasn’t alive anymore.”

I could hear two voices in my head. One voice was Daddy angrily yelling at his daughter, me, on how my child could ruin his hat. The other voice was from me as Judah’s mom which was saying to let him enjoy something of his grandfathers where good memories could be created. While listening to these voices I hadn’t noticed Judah had taken the hat, was trying it on and looking in the mirror admiring himself. I took a moment to not react and to simply watch him.

Judah was tipping the hat covering one of his eyes. Then he’d talk from the side of his mouth with a deep voice. I loved watching him play different characters according to the way he was wearing the hat. If only he knew quotes from Casablanca that would have be perfect.

After looking in the mirror Judah turned towards me. He excitedly said,”Momma, don’t move. I’ll be right back and you’re going to love my costume.” He ran out of his room with Daddy’s hat went downstairs. I could hear him opening up our old barrister’s cabinet and I couldn’t imagine what he was getting. As he was running back upstairs he yelled for me to close my eyes so he could surprise me. So I did.

When Judah told me to open my eyes and I did, I absolutely loved what I saw. He was wearing Daddy’s hat at an angle, an adult size brown trench coat, and holding one of Daddy’s old pipes. He told me he was a detective solving a crime. Judah stood in front of me while intermittently pretending to take a puff from the pipe and said in a deep voice, “Momma, some jewels were stolen and we need to find them. So, come with me to look for the clues.” Forgetting all about my concerns with Judah using Daddy’s hat, I became his assistant to find the stolen jewels. Carol knows that pretending is not easy for me but Judah so had me at “Momma”.

Watching Judah play with Daddy’s hat the way he did truly gave me joy. Even so, I told Judah he needed to put it on his dresser and take care of the hat. In my mind that was how I could justify my child playing with Daddy’s hat. But, come on who was I kidding? What 6 year old is going to take care of a hat? However, Judah promised, so I was able to let it go. I suppose I needed to hear him say it for me to get past my own issues.

A year later Judah’s school was having a fundraiser. If a student paid a dollar, they could wear a hat to school. The morning of the fundraiser Judah told me he had the perfect hat to wear. He ran upstairs so excited about the hat he had chosen. I have to say I never new the amount of pleasure I’d get from seeing my kid’s excitement but I feel that way every time.

When Judah came downstairs I was shocked to see him wearing Daddy’s hat. My heart stopped. You mean my kid wanted to take that hat to school where it could be thrown around, pulled on and even worse could get dirty? I heard Daddy’s voice haunting me again. But, it was interrupted as I saw Judah’s jubilation over wearing that hat. For the first time in many years, that hat was actually being used and adored. What good was it just sitting in a box? Judah was giving it new life and creating wonderful happy memories. At that point I finally was able to say,”What the hell. It’s OK.” And so I told Judah he could take it to school without giving him any stipulations. It was his hat from that point on and he could do as he wanted.

Judah’s face lit up when I told him he could take his hat to school. He put it on and instantly stood very tall with pride. He paraded around the living room showing off his cool hat and he was so excited to take it to school to show it to his classmates. I took pictures of this pivotal moment (for me). Judah and I had the best time laughing and playing before school and all because I was able to let go.

Moments after Judah left for school it hit me. I realized Daddy spent his entire life putting more value on his things than he did on his own family. My sister and I wanted nothing more than to be given unconditional love from him but he threw us away without any care. Instead, he gave unconditional love to his belongings giving them the best care. He’d go to great lengths to protect them and would not protect my sister or me. I guess he didn’t have to worry about inadament objects thinking differently than him. He could put them in their place and they’d stay.

As I thought about Judah loving his “new” hat I began thinking how I came to get that hat. I remembered when we went into Daddy’s house after he died. All of the things he valued most were carefully hung, wrapped, boxed and placed in a safe spot. His shirts were neatly lined in his closet, ironed and still with the plastic covering on them from the cleaners. His shoes were in a perfect row on the floor of his closet with old wooden lasts in each of them to keep their shape. He had a special closet for all of his hats which were boxed in their original hat boxes and neatly sitting on the top shelf. I don’t know why but I took two boxes of hats. At the time I couldn’t see how much Daddy cherished his personal belongings and how he placed them first. Oh the irony… I say that because Daddy (by his own accord) sadly died in a cold, sterile hospital room with none of his valued things and with not one family member around him.

I suppose it’s hard to not perpetuate the same behaviors. I didn’t realize I was even doing that as I wasn’t trying to put value on a hat but was trying in a weird way to respect Daddy. It took my son to ask why to make me think. I realized what mattered the most to me without a doubt was for my son to see I valued him more than any object. Me putting so much value on a hat who’s original owner hurt so many people just didn’t make any sense. The craziest part was it took my son who fell in love with an old hat to realize these truths.

I visited Judah at school that day he wore his hat. Even during lunch he refused to take his hat off. I joined him for recess and I took the best photos of him running and playing all while wearing his hat. And to think I may not have had this awesome memory if I had chosen to keep an old hat in an old box way up on a shelf in a closet just as Daddy did. Now, we have great photos documenting a wonderful time which Judah can share with his children and his children’s children. What more could I ever want as a mother than to have fond memories with my child?

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

Honey, we ain’t in the 1950’s anymore!

My partner, Carol, is the bread winner of the family while I have been a stay at home mom since our son, Judah, was born in 2003. Oh the irony! I say that because I swore my husband would be the one to stay home and I’d go to work. Boy, did I get that all wrong!

Anyway, I must admit as hard as I try, I am a terrible housewife. I have absolutely no “house management” skills and I stink at cleaning. When I try to organize, I tend to get overwhelmed. It amazes me to see those women who know where to put every little crumb in their house. I on the other hand have no clue. I end up sticking (or shoving if the need be) stuff in odd, out of site places so that our place looks good and I can feel some sense of accomplishment. But Lord help me when we are looking for that one item we need but can’t find because I’ve hid it so well. I won’t even begin to embarrass myself further by telling you all I’ve lost after a cleaning spree.

Aside from my unique organizing skills I have another not so popular skill. I have a tendency to break vacuum cleaners. Carol and I have been together for 14 years and I have gone through 5 vacuum cleaners. And a couple of them were certainly not cheap. In fact as I write this our most recent very expensive vacuum cleaner has something lodged in it’s hose. I remember something very long and thick being sucked up but I have no clue what it was. I tried to get it out but after a little time passed, I continued vacuuming so I could finish. I was glad it decided to over-heat when I was through but now it sits unable to be used and needing Carol’s (undivided) attention. You’d think we’d be used to this happening but Carol still complains about having to fix it every time.

OK, now onto our laundry. When I wash clothes they tend to come out with more stains than when they started. And usually existing stains will remain there. If they come out, it wasn’t on account of me but only because of some miracle. The other part of doing laundry is I’m lucky to remember when the washer has completed a load. More often than not, I forget. It’s tolerable during cooler seasons. What does that have anything to do with it you ask? Well, because our washer and dryer are in our storage building outside, over 100 degree weather doesn’t do our laundry good. In fact, I usually remember about the laundry a day or two later when Carol has asked if I’ve seen a specific item of her clothing. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the condition of the laundry then. Let’s put it this way, it certainly isn’t mountainy fresh.

What’s that you ask? Oh, how are my cooking skills? Let me start by saying that when we are invited over to someone’s house for dinner, I am asked to bring fruit or the salad- nothing cooked unless they specifically ask Carol to do it. Yep, my reputation precedes me. I once made a cake from a box. It looked fantastic but when I tasted it, it was really bad. Responsible for bringing this to a friend’s house, I thought if I decorated it nicely, it would help the taste. You know, by adding the icing it would hide the bad taste of the cake part. Well, when my friend’s tasted it they actually had to spit it out. Another time I forgot to take the paper with the inners of the hen out before cooking it. But, I couldn’t have taken it out if I wanted because the hen was frozen. Yes, I now know you never cook poultry frozen however, I didn’t know that then. With in 40 minutes the poor hen caught on fire. And I mean a total blazing, need the fire extinguisher, fire.

The most frustrating part is when I am doing any given chore, I will spill and splatter with no surface (and at times ceiling) off limits. Once I was making pancakes and I dropped the flour before making it into my batter. Of course when I drop it, man does that stuff get everywhere! Do you know what it is like to clean it up? And I am already cleaning challenged.

While doing dishes I somehow flooded the kitchen floor with water. And while vacuuming I didn’t attach the canister properly to it’s base so when I turned it on, dirt went everywhere. All of this would be normal if it only occurred once in a while. However, that’s not the case with me unfortunately. Household duties usually are messy and uneventful endeavors.

I remember as a kid watching those 1950’s sitcom and being so angry how the wives were expected to cook and clean. Even in the 1970’s all of my friend’s moms stayed at home caring for the house and kids. They all had incredibly neat homes with everything in it’s place and I have to admit I quite enjoyed being the recipient of home cooked meals.

Well, I’ve come to accept, Donna Reed, I am not. Lucille Ball’s character on I Love Lucy would be a more accurate comparison. I suppose one could say at least I’m consistent in regards to my housewife duties. When I approach a chore I (and my family) know there is a greater chance it won’t be done well and will be an adventure sort of speak. And when I do it badly, i’m never half assed. I go all the way to really make it a disaster. How many people can say that? And when there are those moments I surprise myself and do it well, there is nothing like seeing the shocked look on my family’s face. It will be funny to hear Judah describe what it was like with having a stay at home mom when he gets older. Let’s just say, he won’t be describing the housewife of the 1950’s that’s for sure!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

If all else fails, bring in “the gays” to help!

Here we are approaching another presidential election and once again there is a Conservative who has to use “the gays” for her strategy to try to get elected. Her name is Michele Bachmann. I’m sure you’ve heard about her. Recently, she gave a speech that spoke about how black slaves in the 1800’s had healthier family units than they do today.Considering her background she clearly has knowledge in living as a black slave in the 1800’s and living as a black person today.

Listen, I have to tell you. I have no problem with her personally. She looks nice and seems intelligent. It’s just her lifestyle that is an issue for me. It goes against every belief I have. Would you believe in her marriage she thinks her husband is the Master? Now let me explain what that means to those of you who don’t understand. As Master he is given all of the power to make all of the family decisions. The wife’s role is to obey the husband. The wife can voice her opinion but the husband is the all knowing and strong one so only he is able to make good family decisions. Only he knows what’s best for his family. The wife is to simply trust in her husband and tend to less stressful activities like making dinner for the family.

I feel so badly for Mrs. Bachmann who can’t see how enslaved she is. There are many great women’s facilities who could help her and give her the support she needs to see she has self worth. Doesn’t she know she has value? She can make decisions and choices for herself without the control of her husband. But, her lifestyle forces her to be subservient to her husband and this very reason is why I feel it is so damaging to the institution of marriage. Once other men see this way of life they are going to want it and then force their wives to live in that manner. And if not force them, those men will brain wash their wives into thinking that is what God wants. Then they will teach their sons and daughters the hierarchy of the family and the cycle will never stop. Worst of all the children will see it as an acceptable way of life which worries me even more. It’s just so damaging to our children’s welfare.

Mrs. Bachmann has to know her lifestyle is not accepted by the majority. She may think she knows what’s best for her and her family but the life she’s choosing clearly exemplifies her lack of understanding and her need for help. As we all know the majority always knows what’s best for everyone. I promise I won’t mention how the majority has been wrong through out history. You know like when the majority saw Native Americans as savages so that gave permission to kill them. Then I won’t mention how the majority kept blacks enslaved until the Federal government realized it was unconstitutional and intervened. How about how the majority supported the round up of the Japanese Americans putting them into camps during WWII? And I can’t forget how several Southern states still had interracial marriage as being illegal as late as the 1990’s until the Federal government eradicated the law. But, those are just a few silly things that really don’t prove how the majority can be wrong. The majority in this case understands Mrs. Bachmann’s lifestyle is really and truly harmful to our society and must be stopped. They are different than majorities of year’s past and know this time they have it right.

OK, so now I want to get serious here. I wanted to show in the above that any one person’s view can be skewed according to one’s own’s beliefs. I strongly believe there is nothing wrong with it because that’s what we all do. However, when a person’s views are justified by their belief’s to attempt to prove why one group of people should not exist and then use their views to change the laws to be against that one group is incredibly dangerous. We have seen through out history how pointing a finger at one group can be damaging. And yet we continue to repeat history. All we are doing is putting a new face to our targeted group.

I challenge you to go back in history and look at any group of people who were considered not of the norm or the majority. You will notice there is a common thread that follows each of them. There seems to be a mentality to the majority group where they feel superior and entitled. And because they are larger in numbers they have the ability to “overthrow” the minority. I find it fascinating that I have not found one minority group in history who deserved their “punishment” simply because they were different than the majority. And yet, we find ourselves continuously apologizing for oppressing another group when time passes and somehow we understand our wrong doings. And yet the damage was done and lives were destroyed. So why is it we continue to do it?

Now, I go back to Mrs. Bachmann who professes to know what is best for our society which she justifies from her own Christian beliefs. I want to reiterate that I have no issue with her opinion. Where I have issues is when she wants to use her opinion to make laws that prohibit me from the same rights as the majority. Yes, I am one of those “homosexuals” Mrs. Bachmann discusses in her speeches as she puts me under a microscope to question my value in society. How dare she or the majority decide my value? Her mentality is so dangerous and has lead to the destruction of many lives in our history such as the Native Americans, the blacks and the Japanese who were targeted not so long ago. And now it is my people’s turn.

Mrs. Bachmann seems to think it’s relevant that I “choose” my lifestyle and she uses that as one reason for why it’s wrong. I just don’t understand the relevantcy. Whether it is my choice or not that I choose to be lesbian doesn’t make sense how that should decide my rights in society. I don’t understand how that justifies anything. Was that the reason blacks were given “equal” rights finally because it was “proven” they were born that way? Is that how the majority was convinced to give them their freedom? I can just see that conversation between two upper class white citizens. “Well, Sam, the blacks are born that way, so they can’t help how they are. And since they can’t help it, then they deserve their freedom.” Again, the logic doesn’t make sense to me. Why should someone’s rights and freedoms be determined or justified by “if they were born that way?”

As absurd, ignorant and homophobic Mrs. Bachman is, I want to take a moment to point my finger at the gay community which I belong. We have to also take responsibility for how we are combatting the hatred. First and foremost I really am disheartened by our lack of cohesiveness. Where are the strong leaders like they had during the black civil rights movement to lead and guide? We seem to all be working for our own individual purposes which has made the gay fight for equality a somewhat discombobulated and unfocused one. Where are all of those gays and lesbians who attend their city gay prides? Can you imagine having those large number of people protesting on the doorsteps of city lawmakers when an anti gay comment is made like that of Mrs. Bechmann? How about those crowds showing up on the streets now to protest against not having equality which is our American right? It’s not reinventing the wheel. Protests work and have through out history. We must become the squeaky wheel if we want change. When you look at old tapes of Martin Luther King Jr. when he was giving his “I have a dream” speech. The number of people who attended sent a message to our president and our government. In those numbers (which as large as it was was not the majority) was strength and the ability to change the wrong that was happening. I’m sure it was frightening to many who attended. I’m sure many had lost their job because they stood up for equality. It wasn’t easy at all. However, those civil rights leaders and their supporters had enough of the oppression. They chose to stand up to the injustices as a person with self worth. Unfortunately, I don’t see the same drive and fight in the gay community. And unfortunately having a gay pride event does not count towards making change happen. It’s great to be proud and to celebrate but after all of these years I don’t see where they alone have helped make equality happen.

It saddens me tremendously when I see strong gay and lesbians in my community who have the political power and or money to stand up for our cause but refuse because of selfish reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel those gays and lesbians who are in a position to help make change happen do get angry at the injustices but they choose to do it in the privacy of their own home. But that does nothing for the cause and certainly doesn’t help change anything. Then, there are the gay organizations. Each one claiming to fight for our equality but never do we hear how. Not long ago I challenged the popular Equality organization. I asked them how they were directly helping me in my town. One of their representatives told me with the help of contributions they are in Washington fighting for my rights. I challenged the Equality representative by asking him about where were the grassroots programs in cities like mine to work in tangent with those in Washington? I told him even the civil rights movement saw the importance of having a wide spread grassroots program because change can’t just happen from the top. The Equality representative couldn’t respond and he felt I was to just trust the organization’s efforts because it was better than nothing.

Part of my point here is I find over and over again gay organizations fighting from one direction. They seem to fight from a direction that is incredibly difficult to break through. It’s hard to move a brick wall or to chisel through it. It also takes lots of time. I do think it’s important to have someone at that brick wall but we need others to look to the left and right of the wall where there are openings already made to walk through. This was how changes were made historically. If you look at how president Obama got elected that’s exactly what he did. He sent out trained teams to many cities all over the US. I know this takes money but I am confident this can be done with who we have in the gay and lesbian community. I strongly believe with large support from the gay community the results would be “law altering”. That would require more gays and lesbians to step up to the plate to help our cause and unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

Listen, I know what it is like to have had my property destroyed, to lose a job and to be rejected by my religious community for being honest about the bigotry that my family experienced. I have paid a price. But, I don’t see standing up to the injustices for my gay community as a choice. There are too many gay and lesbian children taking their own lives because of the hatred and as part of my community I have a responsibility whether I like it or not. It angers me tremendously to see other gays and lesbians in my community in positions to help on a variety of levels but they flat out refuse. How does one put blinders on and ignore what is happening to their own kind? TO me it’s inexcusable and shameful. As a minority group to begin with, it is crucial we get the gay and lesbian masses to stand up for the community in which they belong. This is our fight for our cause and yet the majority chooses to stand back expecting others to do it. It’s so interesting to see the gays and lesbians who are standing up to the adversities are actually the ones who have more to lose. And yet, they do it without any reservations and often without much help from their own community. I applaud those folks for their hard work and selflessness.

To those gays and lesbians who have chosen to stand back and let others fight your fight, I challenge you to think about your own self worth and that of our community. Then, ask yourself, “If we are not a (gay) community for ourselves then how can we ask others to be there for us? And if we are only for ourselves, then how can we change the homophobia that someone like Mrs. Bechmann spouts?” To be the change we want to see in our world, it will require more gays and lesbians to step forward to create the community that makes change happen. We as a “community” have that power.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in abusive fathers

 

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