Madonna, Way Before Nirvana

The Material Girl. When she was starting her career, I was in college. I was listening to hard rock and heavy metal radio and she wasn’t exactly, “underground.” My roommate, however, was a HUGE fan. Huge. We had a door sized poster of Madonna’s face hanging in our apartment. (We also had a door poster of Jon Bon Jovi)  My roommate was the rightest republican there ever was. She even worked in our state capitol and had plans to run for office. (I know, I know – how did I end up with a roommate like that?) I was mildly amused that she admired a woman who strutted around wearing a “Boy Toy” belt buckle on stage. That is the main reason that I was not a big fan. I was nobody’s toy. Also, when I looked a little deeper – all I wanted to do was scrub all that smeary meakeup off of her face. Not my cup of tea.

The roommate, though, still idolized. It took several years for me to catch on and catch on I did. When Madonna released the “Justify My Love” on VHS for sale after it was banned on MTV, I decided I was a fan. Talk about a genius marketing move. Impressive. I didn’t love everything she did and frequently disagree with some of the things she stands for. But, here is a woman who made it on her own by herself. She worked hard, made decisions, some amazing decisions, and did everything she could to continue to make herself relevant. Talk about a role model.

Well, she has done it again – https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2018/08/16/madonna-turns-60-revisit-her-painful-lessons-aging-while-female/982562002/

She is raging against the machine – the one that says that women of a certain age should act a certain way and are basically irrelevant. C’mon. Madge isn’t going to take that shit laying down. Where have all you fuckers been?  But, here is the thing, for the first time in our relationship (mine and Madonna’s), we are on the same page. She is saying the things I am saying.

Apparently some are saying she isn’t aging with dignity or grace. What, she is 60? She needs to wear a housecoat, crocs and stay at home crafting? Or doing volunteer work? Who defines and why do we listen?

Who decides when we are irrelevant? I have been saying for years that I am so tired of being treated like I am invisible.  I have just hit my stride – who is going to tell me my voice isn’t important? Okay, I think we all know it isn’t important – yet. But, when did a number determine when I had to silence it or use it in a different way?

I don’t want anyone to tell me what to wear or not to wear, what to say, who decided we had to: be pretty? Wear makeup? Get botox? Look young? How many men do this? I could age rage forever. You get the picture. 

Madonna doesn’t need my support, but – Rock on, Sister Queen. Fuck ’em.

 

It’s a Girl, My Lord….

Oh, Jeff Slate. You don’t get to spew about how much the Eagles suck and not get some sort of response from me. I will agree with you – they are not a rock band. Just like ABBA was not a rock band. If you compare them to rock, you are contributing to the problem you are complaining about in the first place. You and I are on the same side on this one. Yeah, I can see heated arguments with famous musicians. 

Mr. Slate was writing his unhappy response to the above article where the Eagles Greatest Hits from the 70’s has outsold Michael Jackson (also not a rock act) to be top of the list for most albums sold. I think the first conversation anyone should have is why we included a greatest hits album on a “best of albums list” to begin with. But, I digress.

I can appreciate his opinion – he is, after all, writing about music for a living. And, he has already lived my dream of writing for Rolling Stone. There are some of us who love music and some of us who merely turn on the radio.  I, like Jeff, am a music lover. My favorite thing to do in the world, is to talk music with anyone who loves and appreciates it as much as I do. If I have a glass of wine in one hand while doing it – I couldn’t be happier.

So, I agree with Jeff, they are not a rock band. And, we grew up in roughly the same era – so we have heard the same things. I’ve written about it before but things have changed a little since I was growing up. Back then we had AM radio and FM radio. Everything was played on AM radio, except the harder rock or less mainstream stuff that showed up on FM. I don’t even remember FM radio until high school – I had a semi nomadic life as a child – not all towns are created equal when it comes to radio. Especially for dinos like me. 

I spent a lot of time in my mom’s car back in the day. It was nice – she drove a Lincoln Continental with leather seats – the nicest car we had ever owned. It was the late 70s.  I always wanted the radio on – mom compromised – we could listen to her 8-tracks. She had ABBA (of course), Eddie Rabbit, George Jones, John Denver, Charlie Rich ( I can sing Behind Closed Doors in my sleep), and the Eagles Greatest Hits. I was listening to Styx and Bowie – I hadn’t crossed all the way over to hard rock, yet. The Eagles were doable and Mom liked them – A Lot. So, listen I did. Until Hotel California came out. My brother gave it to me for Christmas – my very first ever cassette tape. I still have it. But, I wore that out. It was the Eagles, who my mom loved and new music – which she hated. It was a win-win for this little rebel. Old Eagles is something we could agree on. Ha. it was probably the only thing we agreed on. 

Flash forward a bit, and you have me now in my mid-twenties and rockin’ the local live rock bar on weekends (weekdays too, but that is another story.) The Eagles were okay, but I was more interested in Bon Jovi (yes, I know you hate him, too, Jeff) and Motley Crue. I enjoyed more hard and metal and no easy listening except for the Madonna and Rick Astley my College roommate would play when she couldn’t take the “noise” anymore. So – I was more into Joe Walsh than Glen Frey.

I feel like one of my most important jobs as a mom is to make sure my kids have a healthy music appetite and appreciation. I want them to know everybody I know.  We started playing “who sings this song” when they were little. We still do – the daughter is amazing at it – the boy – poor kid. He likes music but isn’t the fanatic the rest of his family is. She is also a choir kid – so, I introduced her to the Eagles young. Because, hate or whatever – those boys could sing amazingly together. She loved them. When she was 11 or 12, I gave her her first concert/band T. She had asked for several for Christmas – but, I bought her the Eagles, Hotel California shirt. She didn’t ask for it, but I had a feeling. I have never before (or after) given her anything that elicited such a fantastic response. She didn’t open any other presents for a while. She still wears it. Last summer me and the kids road tripped on RT 66, travelling all the way to Winslow, AZ….I am sure you can guess why.

If my mom was still here – the Eagles are something our three generations could share. How many other music acts (bands, groups or other) can say that? They were not a rock act. Unless, you want to put them under the soft-rock category. But, I don’t think that exists. Whether or not they sucked? If you like and enjoy them and they make you happy – even if only for the time the song is on – that doesn’t suck. I can remember one Christmas eve where an entire family of fifteen (spanning generations) had a fantastic evening watching the dvd of their farewell tour. We sang, we laughed, we had a blast.

You are entitled to your opinion, Mr. Slate. But, don’t expect to hate and not hear about it.

Copy and Paste, for Geezers

I am not 30 anymore. I know it. You know it. Everyone around me knows it. I can’t stop talking about it. In this ongoing trek through the quagmire of aging….I wonder how to describe myself. I do what we were all taught to do back in the day – look it up in the dictionary. Okay, don’t do that. It’s depressing. I qualify for “elderly” but, am not quite there yet.

I usually say “old lady” because it’s funny and has more than one meaning. I googled “mature women” and started to laugh, there is so very little mature about me. Well, that’s what I think, anyway.  I used to ask my mom how it felt to be old. She died when she was 59. 6 years older than me. 6 years. Of course, I started asking her this when she was in her 40s. What a little snot I was.

But, here I am. Teenaged kids and divorced. Starting over. I feel not old, but experienced. Mature? Old? I don’t think so, Susan. Parts of me (body parts, mostly) feel pretty old. The rest of me? Well, just a few days ago, I was fangirling like a 15 year old over a has-band rocker – local at that. I was tittering and giggling and stalking his fb page – look, he is so cute, I can’t help myself. See? 15 year old fangirl. Please note, I was fangirling with another elderly woman.

Very little has changed about my irreverent attitude and my devil may care, throw it to the winds existence since I was a teen. But, I am wiser (wise asser, too) calmer, and more comfortable in my skin. Or, at least I’m trying to be.

In one area though, I have definitely become a dinosaur. I have a smart phone, laptop, ipad. Continue to self publish this blog and manage an online existence for my writing persona. Some of the other raptors I hang with think I am the pinnacle of “up with the times.” They think I can do everything electronic and internet based. And, mostly I can.

I have finally learned how to copy and paste on my cell phone. It’s awesome. Some of you have stopped reading in laughter. This isn’t for you. Move along. This is for those like me from a prehistoric era. Here is the funny part. I “copy” with one finger and I hold it up and do not let it touch anything. I do not lower it to type. I do not lower it to answer my phone or swipe a way a tweet notification. I actually hold it up – like it is actually something – and keep it up until I get to the “paste” page.  And, you should see the contortions I make trying to make this happen. I laugh everytime. So stupid. And yet, I can’t stop doing it. I don’t want to “lose” it.

I don’t know how long it was before I noticed I was doing this. Maybe I should listen more when the snarky teenager says, “mom, you aren’t doing that right.” As if that is going to fucking happen.

 

What a Croc

I have a funny friend. She doesn’t try to be funny, but she can’t help it. She says funny things. Some people might say the things she says make her a bitch – but, she makes me laugh, sometimes for hours. She has been trying to get me to step up my personal presentation game as I am not one of those women who know how to coordinate. She wears outfits. I wear clothes. Comfortable clothes. For years, she has tried. I knew if I just let her, I could have the wardrobe that many would envy. It’s just that I hate to shop and thought that being a slave to fashion would take more money, time, and patience than I possess. Her efforts and those of others, have paid off. I have stepped up my game, and expanded my wardrobe beyond t-shirts and jeans.

When I was a kid, wearing jeans was still pretty new.  My mother used to say, “only convicts and drug addicts wear jeans.” According to her, they also are the only ones who got tattoos. She and I would go shopping and I would find these lovely casual tops and my mom would ask, “what are you going to wear that with?”

“Jeans.”

We would sing that song until the chorus where mom would say, “You know, you can’t wear jeans everywhere, all of the time. You will never find a job where you can wear jeans.” Ha! I laughed at that. And, Mom, I proved you wrong. I have worn jeans to work since 1995. I wore jeans almost daily until just recently, when I discovered leggings and tunics….my new uniform. Talk about comfortable – man. I don’t even change clothes when I get home because I am still comfy. It is the biggest form of cheating I can think of and people compliment me all day long. And I can wear boots! But, I digress.

While I may have improved the wardrobe…my shoes were still in the comfy department. To be fair – my ankles roll and I have a balance problem. Not a big deal when I was younger, but as I get older, falling could mean a broken hip or I’ve fallen and I can’t reach my wine….what a tragedy that would be.

Back to my funny friend. She barely tolerates my Birkenstocks and Uggs. Two brands I loved for their quality and comfort. But, they no longer meet my expectations in either department.  I have a few pair I haven’t worn out yet and I wear them sometimes when I’m with her just for fun. Anyhow – we were talking about schools and teaching philosophies – mom stuff. And she is telling me about someone’s opinion from where her kids go to school.

She says, “How can I listen to anything she says, she wears Crocs.”

I burst out laughing. I mean, even I agree that wearing Crocs spells giving up as much as Birkenstocks say lesbian. It is one of my favorite things she has ever said. It still makes me smile to think of it. By the way, not all of us in Birks are lesbians. And the reverse is also true.

Recently the son and I were shopping for this week long walking trip we were going to be taking.  I was looking for cute, comfy shoes. With arch support. That go with everything. While my son tried on a poop ton of shoes, I wandered. I found the cutest little flip flops. Okay – not super cute.  Not little.  But they are black, have about an inch of stacked height, and little stars of glitter all over the strap. Tacky to some, cute to me. Even the funny fashionista would approve.  And, they are on clearance – score!

Until I find the box…Crocs. Never say never starts going through my mind. Well, they won’t have my size. They do. I figure I might as well try them on to prove to myself that I won’t like them. OMG. They are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Lighter than the Famolare Get Theres. Way lighter than the Doc Marten’s. They feel like walking on a cloud or one of those new thick kitchen sink cushions on your feet. They have arch support and are cheaper than the Havaianas I used to wear.

Dang. I hope I don’t lose her as a friend.

PS – Famolares are back for sale….I might die.

Heather Locklear and FB – WTF?

Facebook. Mombook. Fakebook. I am sure there are other not so nice names to describe this social media outlet. Some love it. Some hate it. Some hate the ones that love it. Or, something like that.

FB is a great tool and fun pastime. It reminds you of your friends’ birthdays and let’s you “see” what is going on in the lives of your friends and family.

I’m not interested in living my life on FB. You won’t see me parade my relationships on here, either. I enjoy looking at yours, though: perfect gift, perfect flowers, perfect engagement, perfect children, perfect perfect. Everything is perfect. And, when it isn’t, you can toss it off as, “we are just wild and crazy guys.” Do these people look happy? Sure. Makes me wonder. Why are they trying so hard to convince everyone of same? I’m not buying it.

Mostly, I wonder if the problem is with me. I don’t want the entire world to know what I had for breakfast or where I am and whom I’m with. Sometimes I share – but, usually way after I have left. Why am I so secretive? Dunno. It is not like I have anything to hide. But, I just don’t want the world to know what I am doing and whom I am with. I was sandwiched in between the aluminum foil hats (and other things to keep the government out of my head) generation and the “hey, Amazon – let me pay you to spy on me” generation. That could be it. 

Fb , like the cigarette people, did what they could to “addict” us. And it worked, for some. I don’t care about likes, shares, etc. they don’t define me. But, I think we all know someone who spends just a little too much time on there.

What does FB and other social media have to do with Heather Locklear? Read on, brave soul. The gist is – you never know.

Heather Locklear. Beautiful, bubbly, and living a seemingly exciting life. I always wanted to be her. She was cute and perky and she married someone from Motley Crue. I know, I wanted Nikki Sixx. Tommy was easily the best looking of the 4, but I only had eyes for Nikki. Look at her now – a few marriages, drunk driving, rehab, questionable 911 calls and trips to the “hospital”.

I am not sure what her demons are. Mine was divorce. There are probably lots of reasons she seems to be swimming in the bottom of the barrel. But, dang. Get up, girl. You sort of prove my point…you have millions, can still earn millions. She is even gorgeous in her mug shots. Only she could manage that. Family, connections, friends, she seems to have everything and yet, I think she has nothing. It’s sad, really.

For some, it is hard to have sympathy or empathy for rich and beautiful women going through hard times. When Tiger and Elan Nordgren split, I felt quite sad for her. I knew some of what she was going through. Losing so much is so hard. Choosing better instead of bitter can be a struggle everyday, depending on your situation. Maybe I picked myself up because I had to. Kids and bills.

I will be eternally grateful that when I was going through mine, the only things people saw on social media are what I decided what would be shared. I could portray any image I wanted. Poor Heather (any Elan and any other celeb), having to live her shame in front of everyone. When I was in the ugly stages of mine, total strangers would walk up to me and say, “you look like you need a hug”….how bad does someone have to look for strangers to want to help? I am very thankful that I did not have to do mine with headlines judging me and showing lovely pix of me in jail. Of course, I didn’t go to jail, but you know what I mean.

And you know what…people forget the stuff that I have done….hell, even I can’t remember everything I’ve done. I’ve learned to apologize, forgive, get better and move on. Celebs get to live it all again over and over in the immediate aftermath. But, God forbid they make another mistake. All new headlines with timelines of all of their past transgressions. Over and over – making another new story from the rehashing of old news. And, pictures. Ugh. I am glad there were no cell phone cameras to record all of my stupid moves.

It happened again. Another beautiful, but sad, mugshot. You know what would be nice? To quit talking about and rehashing how she and others fell apart. Let’s refuse to enjoy the torture by ink the rags are producing. Let’s refuse to do it to anyone. Let’s start talking about how we are going to help her get herself together again. Or, how we can support her and everyone else, while they are putting themselves back together again. Let’s cut her and everyone else who needs it, some slack. It’s hard, I know – for someone who looks beautiful even on her worst day. But, let’s do it. You don’t know what her life is like. Just like nobody knows what your life is like. No matter what it looks like on FB.

I Hate Myself for Loving You

I hate myself for loving you

Can’t break free from the things that you do

I wanna walk, but I run back to you

I hate myself for loving you

Do you think Joan Jett wrote this song about my one true love? I’m pretty sure she didn’t, but the song fits. My love is dark and cool and effervescent. Literally. You see, I am hopelessly devoted to Diet Coke. Everybody drinks coffee. Not me. I like my caffeine cold and carbonated.

Yes, I know it is poison in liquid form. It has no nutritional value. It doesn’t even give me a buzz – caffeine or otherwise. There is no logical reason why I continue to drink it – other than addiction. And, I get no high from this. None. I mean, I love the way it enters my mouth – cold, bubbles, and deliciousness splash on my tongue in a rush as my heart does a little happy dance. Yeah, sounds like addiction to me.

My preference is Diet Coke – but, really any fountain diet soda will do. In a pinch, I will drink a can (or one of those plastic bottles), but my preference is from the fountain. After that, my next favorite is diet Shasta lemon lime (better than 7up which it is emulating) and then diet 7up. Then Diet Pepsi. If there is Diet Coke in the fountain, it guarantees an empty cup – I usually don’t finish if my cup runs over with something else.

My obsession has been going on a long time. 25 years ago when I met my future ex-husband, I knew we were meant to be when on one of our early dates. We were in his car. I announced that I was thirsty. Instead of taking me to the nearest drive through, he pulled in to an am/pm. I was elated. I thought he would get a can. As I made my way to the fountain soda machine, he seemed to be following me. We both reached for 32 oz cups (remember – this was 25 years ago – not all fast food had sodas this large and McDonald’s hadn’t even started their $1 drink specials) and we both filled our cups with diet cola – Coke for me, Pepsi for him. I knew then – true love. Don’t judge. I’m a lot smarter now.

Years ago – I wish I could remember when (click here for the answer to this and some other interesting information) – McDonald’s came out with their “big” straw. This and this alone caused me to start drinking more soda – seriously. That big straw could deliver more of that cool, bubbly lusciousness to my tongue…..yum. Instead of going through other drive throughs, I would look for a McDonald’s like some sort of crazy drug addict. And, then something surprising happened – I realized that McDonald’s Diet Coke was the right mix of bubbles and syrup. Back in the day – with co2 cans and syrup cans (then boxes) getting the right mix was not easy – I know this because that was one of my jobs in my first job – measuring the mix of soda and syrup.  Now, it is probably more automated, but then – crappy sodas were everywhere. Too much soda – not enough flavor. Too much syrup and not enough bubbles equals flat soda which is icky. I ordered Diet Coke after Diet Coke at McDonald’s and every single one of them was perfect. I expressed this to husband (the Diet Pepsi guy) and he conducted his own research. This became one of the only things we ever agreed on. Not kidding. McDonald’s has the best Diet Coke.

And, then you know what McDonald’s did? They made those sodas $1.00. A dollar! That is like free delivery of drugs to your door. Oh – yeah – they already do that in CA. But, I digress. Really – when the soda is perfect and the straw is big and the price is a dollar? I can’t drive by without doing that. I try. So help me, God – I try. I keep trying to stop – but, I love it so much.

I can’t quit you , Diet Coke.

 

Every Woman Bleeds – One More Reason to Love Meghan Markle

I’ve always been offended that I have had to pay for feminine products. Meghan Markle – the lovely new princess or duchess or whatever she is – is now giving us one more reason to love her. What do these two sentences have in common? I’ll tell ya….but, here is the article.

I will summarize – she is taking on women’s periods (not literally), their menstrual cycles, and saying we should make these things mainstream, for a variety of reasons. Basically, she is saying that menstruation is a normal, natural thing and it should not be treated with shame and secrecy. But, to make that vision more prescient and topical, she takes it further. She wants to educate us on the menstruation situation across the globe. The sad sick thing is – not all women have access to supplies or relief from the symptoms.

I have been buying period products since I was 20 and moved out of the house. The first time I bought them, I remember being irritated. Why do I have to pay for these? This is just one more thing women have to spend money on that men don’t and they have us over a barrel – we have to have them. Why are they so expensive? Why are we so embarrassed by it? Why do we feel shame or embarrassment when we have to purchase them? Why when we are miserable and lying around feeling gross and in pain, do some of us have men who won’t go to store for us to restock? Or who make stupid jokes? 

You would think that women would be revered for dealing with this messy, smelly, irritating and painful process. If it weren’t for women doing this, we wouldn’t be able to exist. And exist in a similar environment for around 10 months. It’s icky, I admit. But we don’t do it – it just happens.

I for one – am going to join the lovely expat on her crusade. Back in the halls of the the girl’s Catholic high school I attended, we sang: On the rag again. I just can’t wait to bleed on my pad again. Sung to the tune of On the Road Again by Willie Nelson. I would like to say I wrote that, but it is doubtful. Sorry, Willie.

Women bleed. Because they didn’t get pregnant (lucky you). Every woman is different. Some bleed a little. Some bleed a lot. Some know when the bleeding will start. Some don’t know until someone tells them they have had an accident. Some women are crippled with pain. Some are not. Some have other symptoms (irritability, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, rage) some have none. My periods changed over the course of things. They started out violent. And got better. Then worse. And then worse until I had seen the last crime scene in my underpants (I wish I was funny and witty enough to have written that. Do yourself a favor and check out No Strings Attached and watch the period scene. Hilarious). Anyway, I fought that bitch (in surgery – hysterectomy) and I won. One of the best decisions I have ever made, by the way.

We are all different. Just because your mom and your sister didn’t have my same symptoms, doesn’t mean they I am not having them (damn that x of mine). The very last thing you should probably ask your woman if you suspect she is having a hormonal time is, “Are you having your period?” All women within earshot will think your a douche and want to take turns kicking you in the balls. 

Just a little more education – tampons of any kind go inside; pads of any kind go on outside; there is also a cup thing http://divacup.com/how-it-works/how-it-works/ that is inserted to catch flow. Most recently, period panties.

Tampons: different sizes based on heaviness of flow. Different applicators to insert based on preference.

Pads: different sizes based on flow. Sometimes women wear both tampons and pads. They may use a variety of variations depending on situation.

Period panties are interesting – you wear them, bleed in them, rinse them out and wear them again. My daughter wasn’t interested, but maybe I will try them for bladder incontinence when I get there. I’m laughing hysterically, even if you are not.

Cups: I had heard of these and admit they just sounded gross and ick. I don’t like any bodily fluids – shouldn’t they just stay inside? Anyway, I did a little research and found out these might not be such a bad option. Cost effective and environmentally friendly. Hardly gross. Especially when you consider what my own mother used: rags safety pinned to her panties. Because these products have not always been available for women. And, I guess, they still are not. Ms Meghan Markle Married to Diana’s youngest – has found a cause that we can all benefit from.

I really couldn’t write this blog and not include my story. The day I started my period, my mom sent my dad to the store to pick up stuff for me. I turned about 8 shades of embarrassment. Absorbent pads didn’t always have adhesive, ladies and gentleman! My dad brought me home belted pads. And no belt. This is hilarious now, not so ha ha then. For those who need more explanation, go here. You should know, belted pads are making a comeback.

As shocked as I am that I wrote this long about periods – I would like to add one more thought. Bleeding through your clothes so that everyone can see that you are on your period has always been shameful. I have seen articles in women’s magazines making fun and showing pictures of women who were caught off guard. These articles were written for “humor” – not funny. Why are we shaming women for anything? I’m angry and she’s lovely. She will win this battle. Great choice, Harry.

 

I Never Can Say Goodbye

As I write this, one of my friends is preparing to bury her father. One had to fly out of town unexpectedly to do a welfare check on her father – he had died in his home. Another spent last weekend cleaning out her dad’s house to ready it for sale. One cancelled our girl’s weekend because her mom and stepfather are failing and could go at any time. None of this is funny – unless I say something like “the common denominator (seriously – a math reference? Do we even teach those anymore?) is me – stay away from me or your parents will die. Which really isn’t that funny.

I am pretty sure it is because most of my friends are around my age – which means it is just a timing thing. My blogs have become a little farther apart as surrounded by all of this is not happy at all. Just because death is a normal part of life and all that crap, doesn’t mean I have to talk about it all of the time. But, since I’m thinking it all of the time – it is all I can write. Bleck. At least I stopped writing about the ungraceful things that happen to us as we age. (Just because I stopped doesn’t mean I am done.)

I have always hated goodbyes. Always.

I don’t like to say goodbye on the phone – funny – I must have learned that from Dad – it used to drive all of my friends and family nuts – Dad would just hang up the phone when he thought the conversation had come to an end. Seriously – a few friends have admitted to me that they do everything in their power to try to make him say goodbye. My sister and I just laugh about it. We also laugh about the things he does say. Like once, he ended his conversation with me like this, “I still love you.” She and I giggle over that all of the time. Sometimes we say it to each other. The sad part is, that tiny joke will be lost in a few generations. Maybe he didn’t like goodbyes either.

I don’t say goodbye on the phone, either – but I don’t just hang up. I say things like, “I’ll call you. Call me or have a good day. Try not to kill your kids, your husband, your dog.”  I’ve already told you I don’t say goodbye at parties. When friends leave, or when we part – I never say those actual words. I don’t like people to leave – ever. (Okay – sometimes. People who let their kids eat strawberries on my white couch. Or, assholey relatives.)

Maybe I think it is because I won’t see them again. Maybe because it hurts. The friend who is getting ready to bury her father told me she wouldn’t say goodbye at his funeral. She was going to wish him peace and happiness. What a beautiful idea. It doesn’t bring tears the way “goodbye” or “say hi to Mom” does. It is hopeful, it is positive. And, not only is it a great way to not say goodbye – it is a great thing to wish for yourself and the others left behind.

You never know when someone’s words will enrich your life. It happens to me all of the time.

 

I Need to Know and I Need to Know Now

It happened again today. The news broke that they have finally caught the East Area Rapist. You couldn’t have missed the news – it is everywhere – even twitter. I am a little obsessed – I was living in this area when the rapes and murders started. My much older sister was living in Rancho Cordova, CA – where 2 of the murders happened – he killed a couple walking their dog. Yeah – my sister was married and had dogs….plus, I write a little true crime and this case has been a thorn in our side since I was a young preteen.

Once the news broke – I was captivated. I  kept looking for articles on what happened. Watched the news everywhere. I needed more information and I wanted it right fucking now. I discovered that he was married to a divorce attorney – not mine, thankfully. He has kids – but, I want to know how many. Where do they live? How old are they? They say he wasn’t even on their radar a few weeks ago? Really? How did they know to collect his “discarded DNA”? They say there was no “tip” – really? You just randomly decided to test this guy’s DNA for fucking fun? Not bloody likely, Susan. Did anybody have any idea? I call bullshit on the entire thing. Something is going on here and I want answers, dammit. I know people who live in his area. This is scary stuff.

Don’t get all nutty – I know it is in everyone’s best interest if they don’t reveal too much and I am not asking for all of the gory details, really. Okay – big fat lie. I want to know everything. And I want to know right now! I need to know (Tom Petty wrote that song just for me;) That clip is from The Midnight Special – I loved that show! But, I digress.

Frequently, I make references to how patience is not my strong suit. That when they were handing out virtues, I got lost and ended up in the “swear like it’s your job” line. So many times things are put in front of me and I am pretty sure the only reason is so that I can learn how to be patient. Yeah. While this old dog can learn new tricks – I haven’t grown any patience since I was a pup. You know you might have a problem if both of your teenagers tell you to be patient more that they roll their eyes at you.

So, with that background, it might make sense that I appear obsessed as I comb the internet for latest developments. I don’t know when this started, but it has been going on a while. A big news story breaks and I am checking the news apps – as many as I can find. I keep hoping that the new news will make the news. I am always disappointed. It’s almost a sickness. Okay. It really is a sickness. After I get disgusted with the lack of information, I ask anyone I’m conversing with, “are you following….” as if maybe they know something I do not. Okay – I may have gone past “sickness” to “terminal.”

What is the cause? I don’t know. But, it reminds me of a funny bit Joan Rivers did back in the day when her job wasn’t just plastic surgery tester, it was comedian. This was way back in the day. Way, way back – early 80’s – just after the dinosaurs. She was doing a bit about microwaves. Which everyone has now – but, not everyone had back then. The joke was about Elizabeth Taylor whose weight went up and down. Joan’s line was something like, “only Elizabeth Taylor stands in front of her microwave and screams, ‘hurry!’” Probably I shouldn’t need to write a blog to explain the joke. Bleh.

Funnier thing is, I want my microwave to go faster, too. And my oven. And my toaster. Did fast food and microwaves take away our patience? Did instant access to news as it was actually happening online and on tv create this desire for speed in everything? Could be a California curse. I don’t know. Arguments for all could be made.

Gotta go – in the time I took to write this, maybe there is an update…….next time I will try to use more relevant and current examples – no promises.

I Love You, But Hate What’s Coming Out of Your Mouth

Do we have to believe everything our friends believe? Do we? Why? Isn’t it our differences that enrich our lives? It seems that no matter what we are talking about lately, it almost always turns to the current climate of divisiveness. People take sides, get offended, and usually (it seems to me) everyone is ticked off at the other side. Being on opposing sides is nothing new, but it wasn’t that long ago that this country was apathetic. Now we all have opinions and we want you to have our opinions. Why? Why is it so important that we agree on everything? Just because you are offended, doesn’t mean it is offensive.

I have a large group of friends. My brother calls them my army – ha! Two of my friends are sisters. One of them is the other pea in my pod. She is who I call when I want my own opinion given to me. We agree on practically everything. Her opinions make me feel supported and right. The other sister is more like a sister to me than a friend. I call her when I want an opposing, but well thought out opinion, from a completely different place with completely different experiences – you get my drift. Her opinions make me think and I learn from them.

I may not have an army, but I am definitely a friend collector. Every single one of them has enriched my life in numerous ways. I have atheist friends, good Christian friends, Mormon friends, Catholic friends, a Buddhist monk, and crazy religious friends. I have friends who shop at thrift stores and friends who never leave Nordstroms. I don’t want to lose any friends, ever. Do I need to lose the ones whose opinions are opposite mine?

Years ago, after my mom’s best friend got the first divorce, she started dating a windbag. A rich, good looking, fun, smart, arrogant, loud mouthed blow hard. We were celebrating one of our holidays there around the time of the OJ Simpson ordeal. He was going off on some sort of rant that closely resembled racism. I looked over at her and inquired, “how do you deal with that?”

She replied, “What do I care what he thinks?” What? What did she just say? This was news to me. Of course you care what someone thinks. I still think about that statement. She was right. Who cares what someone thinks or says? Beautiful, wonderful people have been known to say horrific things. Even the lowest of the low says something beautiful now and then. Actions speak louder than words. Maybe he was walking the racism line (that generation lived during the civil rights movement) – but, I never saw him treat anyone with anything but respect and dignity.

Then, years later, I read Eckhart Tolle – thanks, Oprah. Because it seemed so esoteric and mind blowing, it took forever for me to wrap my head around what he was saying.. He taught me that we are not our thoughts. What? We think those thoughts, therefore they must be ours and therefore an extension of us. Right? Having murderous thoughts doesn’t make me a murderer or even violent. How often does something pop into your head and you think, “I wonder where that came from? I don’t think that way.” It happens to me frequently. Of course, writer’s curse.

I’ve noticed as I have aged, that there are so many things that divide us from our friends and other people we love. It starts when you begin to make friends, you lose friends occasionally based on who your other friends are. Then boyfriends. Then kids. And, then, old age. Fuck me.

I know not everyone is interested in such an eclectic group of friends. And, sometimes I have to separate friends and referee fights on FB. Okay – it’s not that bad. It was just one fight. But, I do keep some of them separate – for me, not for them. I don’t want to hear anyone go at it. I like peace. I just don’t always want to be the one to make it. I have learned that not everyone is like me. Not all of my friends are going to like each other. All of my friends are going to say or do things that I don’t appreciate. So the fuck what? The opposite sister up there – about once a week she says something and I think – “who the eff are you and where did you get that ridiculous opinion again?” I just move forward. I am not going to be changing anyone’s opinion anytime soon. And, nobody is going to be changing mine. We need such diversity.

I find that their diversity enriches me. It broadens my views. And, I get that too – not everyone wants or thinks broader views are a goal. Life is short. Experiences are many. Life changing experiences are few. Life changing people can happen every day. For that, I am thankful.