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Category Archives: Weekly photo challenge

High Holiday ticket selling: Money making or Soul breaking?

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Selling tickets for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services has always felt intrinsically wrong to me. It doesn’t matter if the synagogue says they won’t turn someone away. To me that is irrelevant. The fact is the inference (of selling tickets) ALONE makes those people who can’t afford to buy them feel inferior.  It’s a shanda and should NEVER be done. Dammit! We’re such hypocrates! This is a holiday we are to think about the wrongs we’ve done to others and to apologize to them. It’s a holiday about admitting our transgressions and fixing it.

Making money off of a Holy day where we are to spend our time in self-reflection and soul checking (chesbone nefesh)…a Holy day where we are to reach out and apologize to those we hurt during the year…and it being a Holy time we are to ask G-d to inscribe us in the book of life…Selling tickets contradicts the meaning of the day especially when it hurts those unable to pay to pray. The entire money-making thing feels like the corporate mentality of how can we profit at every single turn even if it’s not nice. Oh hell, some synagogues sell seating and aliyot to make more money on the high holidays. There is nothing more ridiculous than to come to services and be forced to sit in folding chairs in the way back because someone paid to sit in the comfortable seats. And there’s nothing more asinine than to show up to services, to sit in the back and then to see all of the paid seats are empty because those folks like to make an entrance halfway through the service.

Listen, I understand a synagogue needs money to survive.  But here’s the thing, folks. Selling tickets isolates those who can’t afford it. Synagogue members say a person won’t be turned away but in reality they are being turned away. Putting other Jews in a situation where they have to choose to say, “I can’t afford it” (which is embarrassing) OR to choose to stay at home is just wrong. The entire ideology of selling tickets sends a message to those of us who are less fortunate financially. That message is if you can’t pay then you aren’t welcomed. Period.

Here’s the thing. Maybe a synagogue only wants those who can pay. OK, then. Just say so. Stop hiding behind a righteous persona of accepting anyone and be honest. Of course I’d feel that would be very wrong and against any of my Jewish beliefs BUT at least it would be truthful.

Listen, I really do understand a synagogue needs to make money. I get it. It needs money to sustain itself. It takes money to grow. However, never ever should the way it is done turn another Jew away. On one hand we say the high holidays are about checking one’s soul and apologizing to those we wronged but on the other hand we show such a lack of respect to those less fortunate when we use tickets for the high holidays. It’s OK as long as we apologize? I think not. Making money should never come before treating others the way we want to be treated ourselves. The corporate world has capitalized on making the most money it can by exploiting situations and people. I choose to “exploit” in a much more productive and creative way that doesn’t keep my people and their families from the very purpose of our synagogue…to come and pray. Creating new methods and new ideas (never thought up) is the direction synagogues need to go. Those methods need to be INCLUSIVE and NEVER exclusive.

When I was a little girl my family and I lived in Atlanta, GA. We attended the only conservative synagogue which was 45 minutes from our house. The fact that my dad was basically a dead beat and my mom supported me and my sister off a secretary’s salary, I don’t know how in the hell she was able to give us the Jewish education that was so important to her.

I attended Hebrew school 2 days a week and Sunday school. I remember feeling different. Most of the kids in my religious school classes were from families whose vacations cost more than what my mom was making in a month. I knew our status was way below the others but our mom didn’t care. It was important to her we got our Jewish education and she did everything in her power to make it happen. It was also very important to my mom that we attended services…especially the high holiday services.

Now let me explain. The synagogue we attended had so many people who attended it was customary to have to park at least a mile away (on a good year). Sometimes even farther. There were so many people when we got inside the sanctuary we often had to sit in folding chairs so far from the bimah we’d have to watch services on a TV. The families who paid a lot of money got to sit in the comfortable seats with an actual live view of the bimah.

One more thing. I have to tell you a little something about my mom before I continue. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama from 1930 to 1960. She was raised by a nanny and frequently vacationed with her aunt and uncle (who was the CEO of the Gillette company in Canada). I’m certain my mom hated not being able to provide the same opportunities to her children as she was given. Of course excluding the nanny for obvious reasons. Regardless, she always kept her head held high for her kids. And no matter what…if she was being treated unfairly, she never hesitated standing up against the injustice (even if it meant it would expose her own misfortunes and cause her embarrassment).

Ok, so back to when my family attended the synagogue in Atlanta. I remember as early as  5 years old knowing that the selling of high holiday tickets was more of a status thing rather than a feeling of supporting the synagogue. Yes, it supported the place but when it evolved to buying prime seating and buying aliyot, it grew into something much more evil. I could see it in the behavior and demeanor of the congregants. They felt power and had no regards for others. Even so, I ignored it. I loved going to synagogue during the high holidays…the mixed smells of perfumes, the smells of the Challot, hearing Cantor Goodfriend belt out a prayer and hearing the shofar being blown was exciting. As a kid the high holidays were a special time.

Having said that every year from the age of five to eleven the high holidays were tainted by one thing. I dreaded getting through the entrance of the synagogue where all of the ticket Nazi’s sat at these long tables. They were typically women and each of them had a thick packet of paper stapled together. On each sheet were lists and lists of names of the people who had paid. Now, maybe you’re thinking that my parents should have prearranged things so entering would be easier and less traumatic for me as a child. Well, they tried. My mom about a month before the holidays would contact the synagogue to tell them we couldn’t afford a ticket. She did that with hopes to get our name on the ticket Nazi list. During one conversation I remember hearing my mom talking on the phone about it. I remember the look on her face when she had to admit she couldn’t pay…I could see from my mom’s expression on her face the difficulty it was to tell a stranger why she couldn’t afford buying a high holiday ticket.  And I particularly remember my mom having to say, “No, I can’t even pay you a little bit of money.” I was assuming the person on the other end was trying to negotiate some kind of payment from my mom because then my mom said, “If I pay you $100 then I won’t be able to feed my family.” Y’all, my mom was always level-headed. She never exaggerated. So, I knew she meant what she was saying. When my mom hung up the phone that time I remember she sarcastically kept saying to herself, “And we say we never turn anyone away due to lack of paying.” I am guessing my mom had hoped by making that call it would reduce any embarrassment we would have at the entrance with the ticket Nazi’s. Better to embarrass herself with one person on the phone rather than with a crowd of people as we wait in line to get into the synagogue.

The stress and the pain it caused my mom has stayed with me. She was a woman who wasn’t afraid to work hard but life always seemed to get in the way of her success. Seeing the pain it caused her I swore when I grew up I would NEVER support any congregation who sold tickets…because I could never be a part of an organization that would treat others the way my mom was treated.  I feel strongly it sets up situations that go against every teaching of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To me that alone is reason enough to stop it. In my mind the money received from selling tickets is tainted and worthless as long as we hurt people in the process.

If money is what is needed, then it’s time congregations looked to a new model. It’s no longer the lucrative days of the 1950’s and 1960’s when so many congregations were growing exponentially. Congregants gave money even when they couldn’t pay to repair their homes. The social expectations were different back then. There was a lot of pressure for families to give. Today, many understand we have to put our families first in regards to their every day needs. As much as we want our synagogues to flourish as they once did, we can no longer justify putting our family’s basic needs second. And frankly, we no longer are bound by the same social pressures as we once were.     And yet I find it interesting that we are running our synagogues as if we still lived in the 1950’s. Good or bad those days are long gone. We can no longer rely just on our membership to make a profit. Today, we have to work smarter by creating a more sustainable cash flow. Smaller towns have fluctuating members especially when there isn’t a lot of industry to bring new people into the community. It’s time to stop expending so much energy on looking for new members in such a way it feels more like desperation.  Religion is a personal choice and each have their own needs and wants.  Judaism is not a missionary religion and so folks are often turned off when approached. Here’s the thing. Even in the corporate world businesses no longer rely on their “walk through the door” customers.  It’s time to create a new model and one that isn’t filled with corporate jargon that only turns people away. It’s time to create a new environment which allows the synagogues to be approachable and welcoming.

AND SO, just a week away from the new year I ask my fellow Jews to think about the message that selling tickets sends. I challenge them to find other ways (than to sell tickets) so that the synagogues reflect the true spirit of the holidays. Of course complacently is easier and often it can feel safer. I get it. But if we are to grow and better ourselves, then we must step out into unchartered territory. Let’s not lose sight we are NOT only a “business” but we are also a place of worship. There is no doubt it’s imperative to assure money making BUT it’s never excusable to do it in such a way where it is soul breaking.

On that note I wish EVERYONE L’Shana tova, tikatevu…may this year be filled with sweetness, love and the ability to think beyond what has always been.

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Trump Supporter’s accountability

Finger_pointingLets surmise Trump has a  condition known as diarrhea of the mouth…poor fellow. As a result of his condition sadly, he can’t see the difference between speaking your mind and hurting people.  if because of his horrible condition, how is it his supporters over look, make excuses for and totally ignore the negative comments he’s made? He has spoken negatively about blacks, women, Jews, muslims, gays and the handicapped.  Surly most (Trump) supporters has at LEAST one of those “kinds of people” in their family or a friend who they care about and love. Don’t you? Do you speak negatively to your own family and friends? Come on, you mean you don’t call each other fat, stupid, dumb and the men you know don’t make references about the size of their penis’ at the dinner table? Well, slap my ass and call me Sally, I hope the hell you don’t.  SO, then why is it OK for Trump to do it? How are using those words and insults part of “speaking one’s mind” and acceptable? If it is something you’d never say to your friends or family members because it’s hurtful then it is NEVER OK for anyone to say it to members of our country and world.

AND SO, TO YOU Trump supporters I point my finger at you…I point to you and ask where is your accountability in allowing him to speak to your friends and family as he has done and continues to do?

You know, my father used to speak his mind too. He sure did. He used to call me names when I didn’t agree with him. He said I was a loser. I was stupid. I was dumb AND I would never amount to anything. And those were just the tip of the iceberg (and not the Jewish kind either). It was common for him to call me a bitch and other derogatory names against women. Today, we would call that verbal abuse. We also know that speaking like that is counter productive and does nothing but alienate the very people who are being insulted. SO, I ask you again. Why is it OK for Trump to say those things?

This is not about Hilary Clinton. This isn’t about any other aspect of the 2016 election. I am writing this piece to address the verbally abusive statements Donald Trump has made. This is about a man named Donald Trump who has stood up before our nation and made fun of handicapped people, said ALL blacks are lazy and referenced other women in regards to their beauty (or there lack off). How do you as a supporter justify the negative and mean things he has said?  Would you tolerate your spouse, son or friend from saying it to you?  Gosh, I hope not. How do you justify the amount of hate that he has provoked in others during his campaign rallies? There are record numbers of hate groups like the KKK who are not only showing their support of Trump BUT they have also been acknowledged in a positive manner by Trump. This is NOT OK! During a campaign rally any criticism voiced from a member of a crowd (to Trump), he immediately attacks them by name calling.  Wasn’t that a kind of behavior we did in grade school? PEOPLE, where’s the logic here? Now, name calling is part of speaking one’s mind? Are you kidding me?  Why are you not appalled? You would be if it were your son or daughter speaking that way but the potential president of the United States is allowed?

Here’s the thing. We are the UNITED States of America. We are made up of many not just one. Our country is about justice for the many and not simply for the few. I believe in voting for a person who will stand up for each and every one of us AND NOT one who will put them down. If a man like Trump is willing to speak negatively against one group, how can you be so certain yours won’t be next? The manner in which Trump has behaved and the way his supporters have followed him saddens me beyond words. How can loving people overlook the hate he has publicly voiced? And how is it his supporters have not demanded he stop?  How do YOU allow him to speak to one of your family members, a friend, a co-worker and a neighbor as he has done? AND lastly, are you not giving him permission to speak as he does when you sit by idly and say nothing?

I have not heard one supporter of Trump I know denounce his hateful statements. All I’ve heard Trump supporters say is they like him because he’s speaking his mind, he’s honest AND Clinton is a crook. Let me tell you something people. My father also spoke his mind and it was damaging. It doesn’t matter if the hateful talk is coming from a parent or from a man running for presidency. The bottom line is it’s wrong. I’m SICK AND TIRED of the bigot and the abuser being protected. Don’t attempt to bull shit me and try to disguise his name calling as “simply speaking one’s mind”. OH HELL NO! IF Hilary Clinton were to say the hateful things as Trump has said, I (as a lifelong Democrat) would have no choice but to vote for the other candidate. I respect myself AND my fellow human being far more than to support someone willing to use any of my friends in that way.

I have to be honest here and say I am disappointed in my family and friends who support Trump.  I am disappointed in my Trump supporting friends for not demanding, screaming from the roof tops and being appalled at Trump. It makes me wonder. Do my friends and family members who support him really believe the abusive remarks he’s made? Do you not see it as abuse or hate (and if not I’m dumbfounded)?  Do you really not recognize what hate sounds like? How about replacing the person he’s speaking about and putting you in there? I guarantee if you do, you will better hear what I hear.

BUT, if you aren’t certain let me point these things out from statements he’s made: making fun of a handicapped person through hand gestures, saying ALL blacks are lazy, saying Mexico is sending us ALL of their criminals, referring to a woman as unattractive, ugly and a bitch and calling people fat and dumb. When you make a statement that says ALL in a group are this or that, that is called a bigoted remark. That’s like saying ALL white people have black hair.  It’s just simply not true.

Do you still say you applaud him for “speaking his mind?” Really?  After all, why do we need diplomacy from a president? Gosh, that’s not important, right? After all just think what Donald Trump could say when speaking to  Bashar Al-Assar? Gosh, I hope he tells him to go to hell and that he’s a stupid ass bastard. How about Trump speaking to other hate filled, wanting to bomb the hell out of others, world leaders? No need to worry about diplomacy or worrying about speaking his mind. After all those leaders won’t mind…oh, wait a minute… those are leaders who have had their own citizens murdered for far lessor “offenses”. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Trump has a condition known as diarrhea of the mouth…he has no filter no matter who he’s speaking to.  Let’s just insight the volatile. And then there are those of us who fit into those categories he has said bigoted things about, how about us? Just ignore it? Really?

It saddens me tremendously more than anything to have family and friends make excuses for his behavior instead of demanding better. How am I supposed to react? How do you think it makes me feel? You say you value me but you vote for a man who doesn’t. You say you accept my marriage but you vote for a man who doesn’t (and wants to take it away from me). You say you understand the need for Carol to adopt Judah but then you vote for a man who wants to keep us from doing so. And you tell me how unfair it is to be fired from a job simply because I’m gay and yet, yes, you vote for a man who believes it’s OK.

If my friends and family members do love us and support us for who we are then where the HELL is your outrage? Why in the HELL are you not screaming from the roof tops telling that man to stop? Does it not matter that much or is that important to you? Is it  because it really doesn’t effect you? Holy hell I hope more than anything it’s not because you actually agree with him in regards to his hateful comments.  You do know by remaining silent it only gives him the permission to continue AND by voting for him  makes YOU an accomplice? Again, you ask if this is this personal? Really? Hell yes! This is MY family! When friends and family members vote for a man who wants to hurt MY FAMILY it makes me sad and angry. I point my finger to you for your participation.

It blows my mind to have friends and family members who would never speak hatefully in their own homes, yet are voting for a man who has made name calling and making fun of people the norm in his campaign.  To have friends and family members who have seemed to have embraced me as a lesbian and a Jew BUT are voting for a man who has made blanket derogatory remarks against me.  I just don’t understand.

Listen, when I hear any person speaking negatively about another, I am standing up and speaking out. Sadly, I am often the only one and I don’t understand why.  It’s my duty, though, to treat my fellow humans with integrity AND stand with them in the time of need.  I’m especially outraged when the injustice is directed to a friend or family member because then it is personal.

Let me say this again. This is NOT ABOUT CLINTON! This isn’t about being a Republican or a Democrat. THIS IS ABOUT STANDING UP FOR YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKER and NEIGHBOR. THIS IS ABOUT SPEAKING OUT  against a man who in very plain English has said inexcusable things about the very people YOU claim you care about in your own lives.

AND SO here I wait and watch making YOU accountable…

 

 

I am a Living Sitcom!

Wooden-TVOK, so, it is no secret (to those who know me) that I have a problem when it comes to doing tasks and chores around the house. And by “problem” I don’t mean that I am not motivated or that I don’t want to finish a project. I simply mean I have a  great, great tendency to break things. I can’t explain why nor do I understand how it happens. It just does. And sadly, I have too many examples to prove it.

This past summer while I tried to start our lawn mower, I pulled the starter cord I suppose too hard and next thing I knew I was holding the part of the frayed cord in my hand. Yes, I know. That can happen to anyone. I know it has happened to many people, BUT, I’ve managed to do it T-H-R-E-E times in a very short amount of time!! And of course there were the vacuums, the fans and other electrical devises that I’ve ruined. And of course I cannot forget the time I broke the handle off our new refrigerator. Yes, I broke a refrigerator handle too. My partner taped it back together. There is nothing like seeing red duct tape on a black refrigerator as reminder of my talent. My mother in law had a good laugh about that one. After all how many of you can say you’ve accomplished that feat? Well for me, it was as easy as tripping over a cat and falling into the refrigerator handle causing it to pop (halfway) off. Embarrassed about it, I told my family I simply opened the door and it broke. They of course knew better. I never break things that easily and without some kind of outlandish story. I have been the cause of way too many household item’s untimely deaths that it is beyond words. Folks, I could NOT make this stuff up.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but sadly each time I’ve destroyed something, there is an amazing story that goes with it. For example, there was the time I caught the oven on fire…roughly about three or four times. One of those times I put a frozen hen into the oven. Yes, I know now you don’t do that but obviously, I was not aware of that fact when I did this. And so, as the hen thawed, the paper (that held the inners) caught on fire. Then, there was the time I tripped and spilled peroxide all over a rug. I thought if I used laundry detergent it would prevent the rug from staining. Well, I failed to read the label which clearly stated it had bleach in it. The bad part? I didn’t know it until after I had doused the rug with it.

Another time I was renting a room in an older couple’s home. I wanted to thank them for their kindness, so I decided to do a little something extra for them. For whatever reason at that time, I felt washing their kitchen floor would be the perfect way. While the wife was at the grocery store and the husband was at workout, I got to work. I was really proud of myself. I had not only scrubbed the floor but I had also made it shine. See, I had found this bottle in their cupboard. The label on it read,  “We make any kitchen floor shine.” I figured if it shined with one coat, if I added three coats, it would shine even better. Once I was done, I was amazed! I thought it looked awesome and I couldn’t wait to surprise especially the wife.  She came home not too much after I had finished. She entered through the front door with two large paper bags of grocery items. I stood off to the side watching her and waiting for her to be surprised. I just knew she’d be over the moon with emotion once she saw what I had done. Well, just as she reached the kitchen and stepped onto the linoleum floor, it was as if she was trying to walk on a sheet of ice. Her feet slid out from underneath her as her grocery bags went sailing into the air. By the time she landed on the floor (on her butt), so did her groceries. I was relieved when I saw the wife was alright, however, her carton of eggs and other delicate grocery items didn’t fare as well. I was so upset. How could such a kind gesture turn out so badly? Where did I go wrong?  WELL, any guesses what it was that I did? You got it. That bottle I saw in the cupboard that had promised to make the floor shine… it turned out to be floor wax! AND the label (which the wife point out to me) clearly stated, “Do not use in high traffic areas as it can be very slippery and can cause injury.”  Now, I must admit that was the worse one. Most of the time it was just the item I ruined. For instance once I used Carol’s meat thermometer as an ice pick. I honestly didn’t know that kept it from being used ever again for it’s original purpose.

Here’s the thing. I just don’t understand how I get myself into these messes. I mean well AND, as hard as I try, I seem to always manage to destroy something. It’s as if I find myself living in an episode of “I Love Lucy.”

OK, so, would you care to hear my latest episode? You’re sure to be entertained…I promise you. AND the best part is there won’t be any commercial interruptions.

SO, recently, we’ve had a lot of rain in our area. I noticed the neighbors were blowing the accumulated pine straw and leaves off of their roofs which got me thinking. Should we be doing the same thing? As new home owners, I don’t know anything. I often go by what others are doing, look it up on the internet and then follow suit if it’s necessary. And so, I looked it up. Many sites recommended and highly suggested removing any debris off your roof. If one doesn’t, it can cause the roof shingles to deteriorate quicker and possibly cause other damage to your roof. AND SO, of course I needed to get off the pine straw that had accumulated on our roof. However, knowing our ladder wasn’t tall enough to allow me to climb on the roof, I knew I’d have to create a different plan. My idea was to place the open ladder as close to the house as I could. Then, I could climb up. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to see the roof top well, my 12 year could help by standing back (to where he could see the roof) and tell me where to aim the blower. Oh, now, don’t worry. I didn’t fall off. This is me. I’d have to do something much more dramatic than simply falling off a ladder. BUT, what I failed to figure into the plan was the ability (or there lack of) of my 12 year old (who in the midst of puberty has a brain of mush). And so this plan did not work out. I needed to be able to see the roof myself.
Just as my 12 year old and I were figuring out plan B…I should say as I was figuring out Plan B because my son’s suggested was to quit… anyway, just as I was thinking my partner, Carol, came outside to see what havoc I was causing. OK, so I need to say this. After almost 20 years together, Carol was well aware that suggesting to me to stop what I was doing that it was NOT going to work. In fact, she knew that would only give me the motivation to do it myself which could possibly cause harm to me, our son, the house or to all of the above. And so, Carol had no choice but to make a suggestion. She recommended  I move the ladder to another spot (that was more sturdy and at a better angle) and while she held the ladder, I could try to go further up the ladder (than I had previously done) so I could see the roof. Now, once again, don’t worry. I didn’t fall off the ladder. By now you can see that would be way too easy for me.  Drama…it has to include more drama than simply falling.
I took Carol’s advice. As she held the ladder I climbed higher allowing me to see the to of the roof. I asked our 12 year old to hand me the blower and with a swooping right to left motion, I tried to blow off all of the pine straw. But, it wasn’t working because it was heavy from the rain. I wasn’t going to give up, though. My thought was if maybe I simply held the blower without moving it left to right, the continuous air would blow the debris away. And so, I aimed the blower and kept it steady. The problem with this was my arm got tired. I had not realized I rested the blower down onto the roof on a shingle until I heard a strange sound coming from the blower. When I looked I realized I had it sitting on the roof and by doing so it had caused the airflow to be blocked. I quickly picked it up and pulled it towards me to check it over. I had no idea what I was doing, but I thought since it was electrical, I should turn it off. Now, how this made since, I don’t know. Because after all, the extension cord was plugged into the blower and was still plugged into the socket on the side of the house. Whatever my rationale, that was what I did. As soon as I flipped the switch to off, something caught my eye inside the blower. Y’ALL! What caught my eye were small flames coming out from the plug area. What was I to do? I panicked and started yelling, “CAROL! CAROL!” I was certain I also yelled, “FIRE!” but she didn’t hear me. All she heard was me calling her name and to that she responded with yelling back, “WHAT? WHAT?”
For a split second I had the thought I could burn down our house. Well, like hell was I going to allow that from happening. We worked too hard to have this house. I had to figure out what to do and quick. As the flame got bigger, I got really scared and that was when I pulled out the industrial plug from the blower. I didn’t even think that I could have burned myself. I just wanted the fire to stop. Well with my luck that of course did NOT solve the problem. The fire was out on the blower but it had transferred to the electrical cord’s plug.  In my head I was yelling as loud as I could for Carol to unplug the cord from the socket on the side of the house BUT I could not get the words out. Of course I wanted to jump off the ladder but even I knew better than trying. It all was happening so fast, Carol still didn’t have a clue as to what was happening. AND our son who did realize it just stood watching.
As the flames began to increase inside the cord (that was attached to our house), something came over me and I threw it. Yes, I threw it. But not only did I throw it but I threw it in Carol’s direction. What the hell was I thinking?  I yelled to her, “WATCH OUT!” I was amazed by how fast she moved even though she had not a clue as to what was happening. Thank goodness the fire went out as the cord fell to the ground. And of course I was able by that point to tell Carol to pull it out of the socket that was against the house. Y’all, I cannot imagine our neighbor’s perspective. I’m sure it was very entertaining.
I am HAPPY to report no one was harmed in the making of this “I’ve done it again” episode. Unfortunately, our blower and our 50ft industrial cord (that I was so proud to have gotten at a yard sale for $5), have both crossed over into the “I’ve, killed another one” pile. May they a-l-l rest in peace.
To think there are people who get paid to come up with stories like these for TV. Gosh! They just need to follow me around because LAWD HELP ME, I am a living sitcom!
 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in Weekly photo challenge

 

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My baby

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OK y’all I am SO excited! Why? Because tomorrow morning we get to see our boy after being at camp for nearly a month! For the past 11 years (will be 12 years on Monday, August 10th) my entire world has revolved around this boy.  And you know what? I’ve LOVED it. OK, so it was rough in the beginning but thinking about so many awesome times together I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Who would have thought up into my 20’s I vowed never to have kids?! Yep, I did. I never wanted the “trouble” and even more so I didn’t want to screw them up as much as I felt I had been screwed up by my parents. WELL…not only did I end up having one child BUT my b-i-g-g-e-s-t regret was that I couldn’t have more. I suppose that is what makes it so hard when I see my one and only baby growing up. I often think about our second pregnancy (when Judah was 5) and what it could have been like with a second child. Would it have made a difference in my pain of watching my children grow up? Oh lawd! Probably not! BUT at the very least it would have delayed my fear of having an empty nest. I suppose this is the Jewish momma syndrome?

Another thing…want to know what’s so funny about all of this?  Well, I used to feel “those” moms who were so wrapped up in their kid’s lives schlepping them here and there were TOTALLY NUTS! Yes, I did! I felt they needed to get a life of their own and have their own identity separate from their kids. I often thought how they could just lose themselves in their children because after all those kids weren’t going to be around forever. Well of course I am eating my words because here I am…I AM one of those moms. AND know what? Between you and me I am OK with Judah being the center of my world. Of course his nagging, whining, not wanting to clean up after himself and everything that is frustrating with raising a kid is hard. LAWD those days are hard! BUT, the flip side is I’d NEVER trade any of those days for the days we laugh together and the days he wants a hug or wants me to spend time with him. Of course I love Carol and of course I value our time together. At the end of the day we are the ones spending the rest of our lives together and in time it will be JUST us. I understand that fact and I can’t wait for her to have her health back so we can complete some of our goals together. HOWEVER, there is something special in the connection you have with your child. I never believed that until now. I really am at awe every time I see my kid. The things he’s taught me about myself has been life altering. My heart smiles when I see this perfect balance of his two moms in him. l am so proud of him that I continuously say to myself, “WOW! He’s ours!? We are the lucky parents to get him!”

Listen, I know our goal as parents is to push our babies out of the nest so they can eventually fly on their own. I get that and I know we as parents have no choice in that matter. He will fly on his own. AND that folks is where I have a tough time. Each year Judah has a birthday, my heart aches knowing he’s one year closer to gaining his independence and wanting his own life (without his Momma being around on a daily basis to share). This summer Judah attending a camp far from home (four days shy of a month) has given me a taste of how my life will be when he’s off conquering the world (in a very short 6 years) and I hate the empty feeling. It’s funny because I was worried about Carol and how she’d deal with Judah being gone. BUT, I do think I’ve had the harder time. I suppose because it’s me who takes care of most of Judah’s daily needs. Bottom line though,  I understand whether I like it or not, Judah will continue to grow up and he will fly out on his own. It will happen and I cannot stop it.

You know before Judah was born Carol said we were not going to put him in daycare. One issue was if we did (put him in daycare) one of our salaries would have gone straight into paying for it. Her point was if daycare gave us no extra income then why not just stay home with him and give him more one on one attention? Carol felt it was better for a child anyway to have one parent home with him. I as a daycare child and latchkey kid didn’t think it made a difference. Well, not until Carol pointed out some of my issues as partly because of being at daycare. And so because Carol had the better job, I was the parent to stay at home. When Judah was born I was 33 years old and had never been around babies for too long. To say it was hard for me would be an understatement. I cried a lot and I never wanted Carol to go to work. She was better at playing with Judah and keeping him happy. I was always nervous, impatient and I just didn’t know what to do. But then the tides began to turn and I started to change. OK, it helped when Judah could talk and tell me what he wanted. Even so, I actually started to enjoy being a stay at home mom. Judah made me laugh and always kept me smiling. He brought things out of me, softened me and I (secretly) loved it. This kid of mine had an act for opening me up and showing me another way of life. I NEVER EVER would have thought he would turn my world around.

AND SO, here I am no longer 33 and Judah certainly no longer a baby. It’s August 5th, 2015 and never in a million years would I have thought I’d be eagerly waiting to pick him up from camp. I swore when I was a counselor that I would NEVER be one of “those” parents. AND YET, I HAVE become one of “those” parents. And you know what? I’m OK with that. Yes, I am. In fact I’ll proudly wear that t-shirt. Listen, I’m sure we’ll notice how much Judah has grown since we last saw him nearly a month ago…grown not just in height but in so many other ways. And even though in four days our son will be 12, entering 6th grade and soon to be bar mitzvah’d NONE of that will matter tomorrow morning. NOPE, won’t matter at all… because when I see my kid, I will still see MY baby who I have missed.  AND I will hug him and squeeze him and make him my very own…again.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Weekly photo challenge

 

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What’s (MORE) worse for a kid than having ONE Jewish momma?

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A year ago I decided our son needed to be around more Jewish kids and to learn about the Judaism that is closer to mine and Carol’s philosophy. I felt strongly that one particular camp would be the one. And so I started the process of seeing how I could find the funding to get Judah to C.J. Why C.J you ask? Well for me, it is multifaceted…not just one reason. First of all, I spent 10 summers there… not as a camper but as a staff member. I did attend their sister camp for the older kids when I was 15, so I wasn’t totally wide eyed when I started working here. During my first two summers at CJ (I was 18 and 19 years old) I was a Madricha (counselor for Offarim) and the remaining years I was the Omanut (art) specialist. As much as I did enjoy being a counselor, I really loved being the art specialist. Gosh, of course I did. It was what I was studying in college and it gave the opportunity to do my own art…was my outlet. And so, I worked hard to start a ceramics program and moved the art program to a bigger space to house the new kilns. (It’s so cool the art facility is still in tact as I left it with improvements. My work wasn’t in vein.) I loved camp and I cared about the well being of the art program. But for me there was another equal reason I have a special connection to this place. Camp was my salvation. It was a place I felt safe and where I never had to struggle. I didn’t have to worry about bills or my next meal. Camp was a safe place for me and a place I felt free and included. Many of my friends there knew my mom had died when I was 15. But the secret I held for many years was that my dad was abusive. Especially after my mom died, my life with my dad was nothing less than hellish. And so C.J was my place of refuge. It gave me many friends who taught me to be the person I am today. It educated me in ways life never did. It gave me Year Course and more life experiences. CJ made me realize I counted in this world and I could achieve any thing in my life as long as I worked hard. Of course some of that was a young person’s “I can conquer the world” ideal…but for me it allowed me to watch my peers and to see I deserved better. And for all of those things I am so thankful.

Now, as good as CJ was to me I must be honest about my last summer with them. That last summer I worked there, it was not one I like to remember. I have to mention it because it is so relevant as to why I knew Carol would not approve of sending our son to CJ. And I must be honest, I totally understand as I am still baffled how such a place…a place that was my home could betray me in that way.

It was the late 1990’s and Carol and I were dating. Because camp was one of my favorite places on earth I wanted Carol to see it…I wanted her to love it like I did. And so, I had permission for her to come to camp to spend every Shabbat with me. Because I was a specialist in charge of an activity that was not allowed to be done on Shabbat, I had that time off.  Carol and I were good friends with the horse staff and a few of the Israeli’s. The Teva specialist has been our dear friend ever since. Anyway, Carol got to know camp well. She hadn’t converted to Judaism yet but she still learned many of the prayers and Israeli songs. We’d have tea with the two shaliach families. At first she enjoyed all of the things I loved about CJ…Shabbat, Havdallah. But what happened…the reality of us being a couple, the dark side was exposed and I was shocked. I couldn’t believe how people’s attitudes changed when they realized Carol was not just my friend…I’m sure it became obvious as we were in love. I couldn’t believe how it was people who knew me for years and I called many of them friends could just start treating me as a freak. Carol and I never displayed any affection in public but that didn’t matter as staff members started horrible rumors about us. They’d laugh and whisper when we’d walk by and they’d get campers to ask me questions that were NOT appropriate. Even the Shaliach got in the hateful action…she made it clear that because I was gay I should not be around children. She demanded I be fired and even held meetings with staff members who felt the same way. I know this because our friend Bosmat, who was the teva specialist was the only one to stand up for us in those meetings. We were so grateful to her loyalty and can’t even begin to tell you the love we have for her and her family to this day. Not many have stood up for us over the years. Bosmat did and she never cared how that alienated her. If only we had more Bosmat’s that summer.

After many years at CJ I was shocked this could happen in a place I felt so comfortable. I felt betrayed. Carol was appalled by the behavior especially coming from a camp who prided themselves on being accepting. AND SO as I thought about sending our son to CJ, I knew Carol would not be happy. She rightfully still harbored anger. And folks, that’s not all. Back when it all happened I wrote a letter to the big Kohuna of Young Judaea about what happened to us, I gave examples of other staff members who’s opposite sex boy and girlfriends were allowed to come visit…I told him about how we were treated. W*E*L*L, I got a letter back from him blaming me for what happened…after all we chose to be out and never tried to hide who we were. I won’t even mention this director’s name as he is still very involved and well liked among Judaeans, But a mensch, this man is F*A*R from it. My movement I loved and was an integral a part of kicked me out like a piece of garbage and I was hurt. Carol was furious and never forgave them for what happened. AND SO It didn’t matter that it had been almost 20 years later. I knew Carol would NOT be happy with my decision to send Judah to that camp.

Listen, I knew Carol was right. Why would I want to send out kid to a camp that rejected his parents? Why would I want to support a place that didn’t support us. That very thing was the reason we no longer attended Synagogue in our own town. In fact at the time when many in our Jewish community turned against us, the only ones who embraced us was the the Rabbi and his wife from the Chabad house. Y’all, kindness can go a long way even when I know and understand their interpretation of Judaism. But, we didn’t have to justify who we were or argue about why we were. There, we just were.

AND SO, I knew the first thing I needed to do was to find out how and if CJ had changed. I had friends who told me it had but to be honest, they could not really know if it had as they weren’t us. Would they really be aware of the bigotries…would they even notice the subtle hatred?  SO, my first course of business was to find out how GLBT staff and campers were treated at the camp. How would our son be treated because he has two moms? It was important to know the philosophy at camp had changed and negative behavior against GLBT would not be tolerated. After months of my friends assuring me it had changed they encouraged me to speak to the new director. After receiving a call one afternoon from the director and speaking to him for a good hour, I felt confident things were different. Gosh, it had been 20 years later and after all our kid now 11 had never even had an issue at school with having two moms. How people viewed us had changed. But, I knew my partner well…I knew she still would not like it ….she would not like sending Judah to a place that harbored such a horrible time for us. For me though, I couldn’t condemn CJ because of that one summer even as bad as it was for us. There was more to that place…and if they had changed I knew Judah would be a good fit there.

Without telling Carol I began the process of looking into scholarships to pay for camp. I knew there was no way we could pay for it. We had just bought a house…the dog of the neighborhood just so we could afford it. A lot of work needs to be done to the house and we both committed that any extra money would go towards our house to get it fixed up.  SO, I knew sending Judah to camp would be a long shot. There was no reason to even worry Carol (or to tell Judah) if I couldn’t make it happen.

After a few months I had a plan of action. The only thing was it would meant we’d have to take a good amount we were using to fix up the house and put it towards camp. YIKES! It was time I told Carol my plan and to convince her of the benefits of sending Judah to this camp. I was nervous to say the least. I wanted her to be as excited as I was BUT I knew that was not going to be reality. Not only was I suggesting we send Judah to the camp that ostracized us BUT I was also saying we needed that money that was to go into our house. I won’t lie y’all. Carol was not happy with me. If Judah had not been excited about going, I know for sure I would have lost this battle. And y’all know what? Carol would have had a case no doubt.

Of course Carol reminded me of how we were treated and what that could do to Judah. She never wanted him to be treated badly or differently and up to now Judah hasn’t been. Listen, Carol wasn’t concerned with the kids. Judah knows how to handle that. After all Judah once said, ” All kids get teased…it’s just what it means to be a kid. But, it’s not worth my time to respond to the other kid (who’s doing the teasing). They’re dumb. I know they won’t go anywhere in life by being that way and I know I will. SO why bother getting upset or angry or anything else? After all you can’t change stupid.” Carol was confident Judah would be fine with the other kids. It was the adults that concerned her. For Carol it was  not knowing the staff and trusting total strangers to care for our kid. Listen, I understood her fears. However, I felt confident that the director was supportive and would never allow anything to happen to our son.

Of course I had my fears. One being I never had been away from my kid for that long. And the other was Judah being in culture shock. With us living in a small Southern town it’s not easy raising our kid Jewish. It’s not easy being the only Jewish, lesbian couple raising a son. We went through many hard years not in the community at large but just in the Jewish community when we came out. It’s been very difficult to get over the meanness. And as I mentioned before one group who accepted us without question was the local Chabad group. But as nice as they are, their belief system is not ours. Their religiousness is not ours. It’s not the Judaism we belong to…it’s not our philosophy. I also know Judah feels like an outsider there. That was why I felt CJ would be good for him. I just knew if he could get used to all of the Hebrew and be comfortable with attending services…if he could just find his own purpose and place at camp, he’d love it as I did. AND who better to have as an addition to CJ than a child of the new generation of “family.”

I know people laugh at me and Carol for our worrying about our kid at camp. But, there is the reality here.  He’s a kid who has two moms and that’s not like the other kids. We are learning from Judah every day. He has taught us his norm is having two moms. It’s just what it is. Because of that he does’t think so much about it as we do. He also doesn’t worry about it as much as we do. Even so, it’s still hard not to worry. Our kid is only 11. The world around him is not a sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya. He will hear other kids and adults say things and those things may possibly be hateful. Not knowing every staff member at CJ and not knowing how accepting they are, it’s hard to simply relax. For us it’s not just about our son being away from us. There is that added worry for us that most other parents don’t have to be concerned about when they send their kid to camp. For the most part our son has come through his 11 years unscathed from those bigotries.  But, him being away in at place for nearly a month it’s difficult to not concern ourselves with what he may come across. We can only hope we have given him the proper skills, the courage and the strength to handle any situation that may come his way. Listen, when I was a kid I got teased for being Jewish and Carol did for wearing glasses. But y’all this is our son. It’s so different being on the parent side. OY is it hard!

I do want to thank Carol, my love, for allowing Judah this opportunity…for sacrificing. I know letting go was not easy and until he’s back home won’t be easy.  Your bravery is beyond words as I know you have added fears that are justified. We can take a little comfort in knowing Judah was ready. We do have to put our faith in our kid and know that “we done good” preparing him. He wanted to go even though he was nervous. We’ve done a great job.. we should be proud how far he’s come from those days he couldn’t even walk into a crowded room let alone stand on a stage. Who would have thought Judah would go to a “strange” camp and feel comfortable even before we left. We have to try to focus on those good things.

AND SO, here we are not even at week one and these two Jewish moms are pacing the floor. You can rest assured we will continue to check the camp website every 5 minutes for pictures of our son. We will analyze every facial expression we see to make sure he is OK. We will look at his clothing to see if he’s changed them…please don’t let it be our kid who gets the camp talk about the importance of cleanliness. We will wait with bated breathe for a letter from our kid and complain every day we haven’t gotten one. After all what’s (MORE) worse for a kid than having one Jewish Momma? YEP, that would be to be THE kid who HAS TWO Jewish Momma’s!

P.S. My kid swore he would NOT do the following when he got to camp:

* Go horseback riding * Do any kind of dancing * Be on the stage * Participate in any kind of cheering * Do the climbing wall * The zip line *Anything art related * Singing * Wearing something silly

AND NOW NOTICE THE PHOTOS THAT CAMP CAPTURED OF MY KID: Not bad for his first week of never doing these things.

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Horseback riding

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Dancing

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On stage

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Art..far right.

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Singing: Birkat counts, yes?

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Wearing something silly…glittery bow tie and a belt on his hat.

This is my first letter from Judah from camp that arrived on today (Tuesday, July 21). I already knew what chug Judah chose- I found out through another kid’s (who’s in the bunk) father. But, that’s all I knew. Y’all, I’m so glad he’s having an amazing time but gee whiz! Did he just HAVE to add the part about not missing me? REALLY, KID? Anyway, here it is…THE LETTER!

Judah letter

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Weekly photo challenge

 

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Giving everyone the finger!

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After my partner left for work around 7pm it was time to get my 11 year to slow down and begin his nightly ritual. First course of action was getting him to take a shower. He had his tennis lesson and was outside playing basketball for most of the afternoon so his body odor was as his other mom says, “Ripe!” It took me 30 minutes to finally get him into the bathroom to start his shower. And even then he didn’t just jump right in. Instead, he turned on his music, unclothed down to his underwear and then began practicing his basketball moves while looking into the mirror. Well at least he was in the bathroom, right?

And so, while my kid was occupied I thought I’d finally go and sit down. I had already taken my shower and I was so tired. But then just as I was going to do just that I noticed our kitchen counter was filled with dirty dishes. It bothered me and knowing Carol, my partner was just as tired as I was, I figured I’d go ahead and get those done. It had been a tremendously busy week. Carol was working nights and coming home just in time to take Judah to school. Then, she’d rightfully sleep all day. I was up at 5am and by the time I got I had gotten home at 4, I was also exhausted. And so, I thought washing the dishes then was as good of a time as any.

Just as I started to rearrange the dirty dishes to get them ready to wash…that’s right folks. No dishwasher. We hand wash our dishes. And yes, we do that by choice. Anyway, as I’m starting I can hear Judah singing in the bathroom. That was a good sign he was about to step into the shower.

As I was entertained by my kid singing I reached for the first glass to wash. It was an actual glass, glass with the letter “B” engraved on it. We had gotten a full set of them from an estate sale. Folks, how often do you find glasses with your initials on them? We had to get them. And so, Carol and I agreed they were to only be used for when we had guests and for special occasions. That rule came about because well, we were of the klutzy kind and knew we’d break them all if we used them daily.

And so, as I reached for this glass to wash I wondered why it was with our daily cups and not put away with our special occasion dishes. Meanwhile, it really didn’t matter at that moment because it had to be washed regardless. As I was washing it I could see some crusty stuff on the bottom. Not able to rinse it out, I took a wash cloth and proceeded to reach inside of the glass with my hand. For a quick second I did think it may not be a good idea to do that but obviously I didn’t listen because that folks was when all of the excitement began. Just as I reached into the glass, it exploded. And when it did I felt a snap and then a rush of pain that went straight up my arm. I instantly grabbed my fingers and screamed knowing I had really cut myself. In fact I screamed so loud I fully expected Judah to run out of the bathroom but his radio was too loud for him to hear me. I stood at the sink for a second watching the blood dripping out from my squeezing hand. And so, I squeeze harder but the blood kept on coming. I panicked. Listen, all of the times before when I cut myself all it took was me squeezing my hand and the blood stopped. BUT, not this time. Holy shit! I knew I had cut my finger badly. It hurt like hell and the more blood I saw, the worse I felt. I got scared and any rational thoughts of what to do were gone.

As I hung my hand over the kitchen sing squeezing my fingers and watching the flood drip, I started yelling for Judah. But, I knew it was a mute point with his radio on so loud. I I’d have to go to the bathroom to get him. BUT, what about the blood? It would get all over the place? And letting go of my hand and wrapping something (like a towel) around it was not an option. Why? Well, I don’t know except that I couldn’t let go.

SO, with no other option I ran to the bathroom and banged on the door yelling,”JUDAH! JUDAH! JUDAH!” At that moment I had a quick thought of how I was sounding like the Big Bang Theory character, Sheldon, SO I added another, Judah!” as if that made a difference. When Judah didn’t hear me, I really panicked and yelled, “I hurt myself… emergency! Now, for those who know me. For some unknown reason when I panic I seem to yell, “Emergency!” Not sure why except that I am so panicked that is what I am able to get out.

Well, finally, Judah runs out of the bathroom. He’s in his underwear. He wasn’t concerned at all. I knew he felt I was over reacting. He asked to look at my finger but I told him I couldn’t let go. He could see my hand was full of blood and only then did he realize it wasn’t good. I tried to think of friends I knew who handled emergencies well. And so, when Judah asked what he needed to do, I told him to call his aunt Jackie. As Judah was doing that I began walking around crying. The pain was intense. When Judah returned from the back of the house to tell me Aunt Jackie didn’t answer her phone, I asked him to call his best friend’s mom. When she didn’t answer her phone I asked him to call my partner, his other mom. OK, so when she didn’t answer the phone, I really lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. Meanwhile, Judah was as calm as a cucumber. He kept telling me it would be OK and told me to put my finger under cold running water. I walked over to the sink, turned on the cold water and held my finger’s under it. Grant you, I never let go. I kept squeezing my hurt hand the entire time.

Finally, Carol, my partner, called back. As Judah was talking to her he walked to the back of the house. I suppose that was because I kept yelling and crying and he couldn’t hear on the phone. Judah told me later that he had told Carol there was lots of blood but what was really bothersome to him was I wouldn’t stop crying. Anyway, Carol told him to get the neighbor across the street. So, when Judah hung up the phone he quickly put on his pants and shoes to head towards the back door. He tells me he’s going to get Brian across the street. I went into a different panic. How could Judah go get our neighbor when our house was such a wreck!? I told Judah I didn’t want him to get the neighbor. I can’t even remember if I told Judah why but it didn’t matter anyway, Judah didn’t listen. As I’m yelling at him, he proceeds to leave and run across the street. With in minutes our neighbor came over with a first aide kit. He asked to look at my wound but I told him I didn’t want to let go of it. Well, folks, he was awesome. He was as calm as could be and got me to let go so he could see it. The entire time he was worried I was going to pass out and had Judah get me a chair.

Just as I sat down there was a knock on the door. It was Brian’s parents. They were concerned and came over to help. Ten minutes after that there was another knock at the door. Tt was Judah’s best friend and his mom. Y’all my worst nightmare…a messy house and 100 people inside. OK, so the only mess was the dishes and obviously it was not 100 people BUT it felt like it. I was on death’s bed, blood was everywhere. I was delusional. No not really. It’s just that blood and me don’t get along.I HATE blood and on top of that the fear of needles. And knowing I’d need stitches did not help the situation.

As I sat in a chair holding my hand in the air to try to stop the bleeding our neighbor and Judah’s friend offered to take me to the hospital. I didn’t mind our neighbor taking me but as upset as I was I really wanted someone I knew. So, after a few minutes of figuring out what to do, Judah’s friend’s mom, Beth, said she’d take me to the urgent care place that was nearby. Y’all, I can’t tell you how much I love what our neighbor did for me. We really need to do something for them and as a thank you. Special people that’s for sure! Anyway, my neighbor went back to his home and I went to change my bloody clothes to go to the urgent care place.

About five minutes later we were in the car and heading to urgent care. As we were driving there Beth says she needs to get dinner for Christian. I suggested stopping at McDonalds on the way to the urgent care place since it was right next to it. Now, let me say this. My finger wouldn’t stop bleeding so my neighbor told me it was important to keep my hand/finger up in the air. SO, as I’m riding in Beth’s car I have my hand up in the air the entire time. And as I am doing this my son and his friend were hysterically laughing about it. They said I looked like I was flipping everyone off who was driving by our car. And you know what? They were right! Each person who drove by gave a second look every time.

When we got to the McDonald’s it was packed. The drive through had a good 9 cars waiting in the drive thru. However, I wasn’t in a hurry to get to the urgent care. It took a good 15 minutes to get the boys food and then we headed to the Urgent care place. As we drove into their parking lot I asked Beth, “Should I be concerned that there are cars here?” Well, there were a couple. Beth tells me that’s good that means there won’t be a wait. Well, dammit were we wrong! Wouldn’t you know it? They were closed! Urgent care after hours closed at 7! It was 8. The fact that Carol was leaving work about 30 miles away and meeting us there, I had to call her to help come up with a plan B.

We decided to go ahead and head to the hospital emergency room. I hated the thought because of the long wait, however, there weren’t any other choices. Beth needed to get home. She needed to get her kid home and ready for bed. So, I ask her if she could drop me off at the ER where Carol would be meeting me.

From the Urgent Care place to the hospital ER it was about 15 minutes. To get there we headed through one of the scenic areas of Augusta. To occupy myself and to try to keep thinking about having to get stitches I look around at the old house with my hand up in the air obviously giving every one who drives by the finger. Just as I was taking in the scenery Beth slams on her breaks and yells, “Wiener dog! Wiener dog!” That was when I noticed a dachshund that looked like ours almost get hit by a car coming from the other direction. Now just to show you how the site of blood makes me delusional, I actually asked myself (quietly) how our dog, Bessie, had gotten out of our house. Meanwhile, I knew it wasn’t our dog. Well, just as Beth stopped the car, I jumped out and ran towards the dog hoping to get it out of the street. Of course I did this with my damn arm held up over my head and my finger in the air. Honestly, I can’t imagine what people were thinking. I’m guessing they thought my arm in the air was my way of getting the cars to stop. Surely, they saw my bandage? If it had been daylight they would have seen the blood but then again that may have made me appear even more crazy. At any rate thank goodness the owner was nearby and I was able to get the dog over to the side walk.

When I jumped back into Beth’s car she started laughing and saying that it was the injured person who was the one who ran to save the dog. Listen, it wasn’t as if I was in a hurry to get to the ER. The other thing I hated just as much as blood and that was shots/needles. SO, sure, I’ll stop and help out! No problem.

The remainder of the ride to the ER was uneventful. When we got there Carol was already waiting for me. Beth dropped me off and took our kid with her to spend the night. By this time it was 9:00pm. The ER was packed. We hated to think how long the wait was going to be. We check in and I go to get my vitals done. Folks, would you believe the woman asked me if I ever tried to commit suicide? Um, hell no! I can’t even stand blood! How could I possibly accomplish that!? And wasn’t it clear I was a total whip when it came to any bodily harm?

Once my vitals were done we went back into the waiting room. It was so packed we had to go into another room that was less crowded. As we sit down we were almost immediately approached by this young man in a wheel chair. Of course I’m sitting there with my hand up in the air feeling like the statue of liberty but a lot less green. He bean talking to us. He apologizes up front and says he’s really scared because he had accidentally stabbed himself in the wrist with his knife when he was cutting bamboo. Now folks. There I am sitting with my damn hand in the air. I’m in pain and terrified of getting the stitches. BUT my injury certainly did not compare to that man’s injury. He by all means won the award for worst injury. I felt bad for him. He was so nice. He even asked about my injury and was concerned for me. It really made me feel bad for my piddly ol injury. Hell, I couldn’t compare to his. I could try to tell him I cut my finger on a glass and that I cut it to the bone BUT even that couldn’t match his by any means. Listen, the guy was so sweet. He fully admitted he was scared and was looking at talking to someone so he could keep his mind off things. HOWEVER, when he kept talking about holding his veins and such, I just couldn’t handle it. The worse part was when he told us he had been waiting in the ER for 3 hours! Damn! We had only been there 30 minutes! I wasn’t sure which I was more worried about…getting stitches or having to hear more about his injury. It was funny when the man told us he was embarrassed because he had just gotten some kind of award from the Boy scout’s for teaching a troop about knife safety. Whoops.

About 45 minutes later my name was called and we were able to head into the back. Because my injury was cut and dry…pun intended, they could sew me up quickly and get us on our way. Oh how easy they made it sound. I have to say the staff and PA were so nice. They handled me very well. The numbing shot which was given directly into my wound was crazy painful. Where in the hell is the Star Trek medicine they promised us? You know the kind with out any needles or pain? OY VEY!

Only 3 hours in the ER and six stitches later, the PA told us we were cleared to go. But before we left the PA stresses that it’s very important to not move my hand a lot, keep it rested and upright to get the swelling down. She tells us we need to go buy a finger condom…yes, you heard me right. A finger condom to put over my bandage to keep it clean. Nothing like thinking about heading back to my teaching job teaching teenagers all while wearing a finger condom on a finger that has to remain in the “flipping off” position. Oh, this is going to really be good.

The PA continued to tell us more. I need to keep my finger clean and from getting any dirt in it. WHAT? NO DIRT? Folks! I work with clay and was working on this awesome piece! Great! Just great! No playing in dirt for at least a week? How will I manage? Meanwhile, all of that isn’t even the best part. Y’all want to know the best part of this entire thing? Tomorrow morning I am taking the first part of the GACE test. It’s the test that if I pass will allow me to apply to the art teacher position at the school where I have been teaching art since this past October. WELLLLLLL, tomorrow I take the WRITING portion of the test. Yes, it’s on the computer BUT without the usage of my right hand I will have to hunt and peck just as I’ve had to do when writing this piece. Oh, my life has never been dull.

After we get home and both Carol and I are lying in the bed, I begin to laugh hysterically. Carol asked me what was so funny. I tell her, “You realize you’re going to have to do my hair in the morning?” For those who know my partner hair is NOT her thing. She didn’t even know how to open a burette. All I can say is the next 7 days of not having full usage of my right hand it going to be very interesting and in some cases very comical. OY VEY! Only I could manage this!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Weekly photo challenge

 

Weekly photo challenge- Achievement

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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Weekly photo challenge

 

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